September 30, 1996 - Monday Night Wars 51

Raw 178

  • After Stone Cold beats Jake the Snake in the opening match, Hunter Hearst Helmsley comes out to the ring to publicly call out Mr. Perfect. Hunter’s been hounded by Perfect for weeks now and it seems that he’s finally reached his breaking point. Interestingly, after Hunter challenges Mr. Perfect, he just leaves the ring to join the commentary team for the next match. Nowadays, Perfect would have immediately come out to fire back at Hunter and/or just had the fight right then and there. Instead, Mr. Perfect accepts the match via video call while the Godwinns fight the Grimm Twins.

  • We then get a followup to the accusations that Jeff Jarrett never actually sang his “hit” song. It turns out it was actually his assistant The Roadie this whole time! Okay I still don’t care though!

  • Fake Razor Ramon then faces off against Savio Vega. Savio wins, but unfortunately it’s because Razor is disqualified when fake Diesel comes down to double team him. Savio gets fake Razor’s Edged and fake Jackknifed. I don’t know what to make of these guys. The only way I think I’ll care is if they’re literally malformed clones created by WWF scientists. So far nobody’s said they’re not.

 "Kill...us..."

"Kill...us..."

Nitro 55

  • Eric Bischoff begins by addressing the nWo takeover last week and running down the history of WCW (which dates back to 1905) and the illustrious names associated with it. By comparison, he says that “the nWo is nothing but dirtbags.” It’s a heartfelt and impassioned speech that’s undercut by the crowd chanting for the “nWo” in the background.

  • The matches on today’s show are great, just nothing to mention in particular. Arn Anderson VS Chris Jericho (“this kid’s got a great future ahead of him” says Tony Schiavone), Rick Steiner VS Chris Benoit, and Dean Malenko VS Alex Wright where Das Wunderkind actually manages to win for once. Oh and Juventud Guerrera teamed up with newcomer El Technico who I will refer to from now on as Pajama Man.

 Guess I've got my next Halloween costume figured out.

Guess I've got my next Halloween costume figured out.

  • Throughout the program, multiple nWo advertisements air. Apparently, the WCW is now paying for them as part of the contract they signed if Hogan won the belt. The ads just consist of the nWo sitting around in someone’s hotel room and ragging on the WCW, ordering room service, and just generally acting like guys who think they’re too cool for school. In the last ad, they try to coerce Miss Elizabeth into joining them, but she rejects their offer and leaves their room, only to run into Randy Savage who promptly jumps to conclusions about what she was doing and loses his mind. He’s yelling, pacing like a maniac, and pointing his big sausage finger in Liz’s face. If Macho Man is supposed to be the hero of WCW, I say let the nWo take over. It can’t be any worse.

Verdict: Raw is inching closer to being competitive with nWo after improving their commentary team and letting JR’s leash out a little bit. It also doesn’t hurt to have the likes of Austin and Hunter Hearst Helmsley starting to get more matches. But until they beef up the length of their program, which literally doesn’t even seem possible without switching to a live format, they’re always going to be playing second fiddle to Nitro, whether it’s WCW or the nWo who are in charge.

Winner this week: Nitro

Score to date: Nitro 38, Raw 13

(Television Ratings: Raw - 2.3; Nitro - 3.3)