The show begins with Vader taking on Phineas Godwinn for some reason. What is happening? Raw is descending into madness. Nothing makes sense anymore.
Jerry Lawler is then set to take on Jake the Snake, but Jake comes out dead drunk and clutching a bottle in a brown paper bag. Jake indicates that he still wants to wrestle and when the bell rings, he instantly snaps out of it and DDTs Lawler for the win. Looks like Jake was just acting drunk so Lawler would let his guard down and it paid off big!
Hunter Hearst Helmsley then faces Freddie Joe Floyd in a warm up match before Hunter takes on Mr. Perfect at In Your House. Mr. Perfect’s been showing up to all of Hunter’s matches and whisking away his valets, which Hunter does not appreciate. Tonight, Hunter has decided to handcuff his valet to the ringpost because these women are his property and he doesn’t want someone stealing them. Of course, Mr. Perfect tries to steal her anyway, and since he’s perfect, he just happens to have the key to the handcuffs. He unlocks her and leads her away backstage like a sheep. Hunter tries to stop him and gets laid out with one perfect punch, which is what I’d like to give whoever thought misogyny would make for good writing.
Finally we arrive at the main event: Stone Cold Steve Austin VS the world heavyweight champion Shawn Michaels. You’d think we’d be devoting our whole attention to this match, but you’d be wrong. We break from the action multiple times to check in via video chat with Vader, Jim Cornette, and later Sycho Sid. Then the actual match itself is interrupted by Vader coming out who is then followed by Savio Vega and then Sid. They all begin brawling while fake Razor Ramon and fake Diesel are lurking in the entranceway nearby. This sucks.
On Nitro, the Macho Man is scheduled to fight Mike Enos, but as Randy comes down the ramp, Eric Bischoff wants to have a word with him first. He wants to know what the deal is between him and Miss Elizabeth. It seems that she’s been trying to talk to him for a long time now about what’s been going on with her, but he refuses to listen. Bischoff implores Randy to turn his attention to a nearby television so that he can watch a tape of Elizabeth explaining herself. She’s clearly distraught about the whole thing and seems heartfelt. Afterwards, Randy is at a total loss for words and is in fact unable to continue with either the interview or the match. He silently struggles to come to grips with everything, nearly breaking down in tears several times before finally exiting the building.
Throughout the show, we’ve gotten glimpses of the nWo. DiBiase and Vincent were in the crowd early on, later Nash and Hall try to come down to the ring but are turned back by the combined efforts of Harlem Heat and the Faces of Fear. But finally as the program draws to a close, the full force of the nWo comes down to the ring, including Miss Elizabeth, and nobody can stop them. Hogan bloviates for awhile like he does, before the Nasty Boys come out from the back sporting nWo shirts. They tell Hogan they’re really excited about everything and just have some questions about their contracts. Hogan good-naturedly takes a look at the contracts to try to answer some questions before discovering that he hasn’t actually signed the paperwork yet. And if he hasn’t signed the paperwork yet, then the Nasty Boys aren’t actually part of the nWo. And if the Nasty Boys aren’t part of the nWo, then why are they wearing the nWo colors? Suddenly the Nasty Boys are getting beat down by the nWo and having their shirts ripped off in the process. If it wasn’t clear before, it certainly is now: the nWo is a gang and they aren’t here to play around.
Verdict: While Raw is making cheeky little jokes about alcoholism and objectifying women, Nitro is creating real connections with its audience. It’s making us feel real emotions. In between the wrestling, there are real people who we can relate to and that’s what I think these shows should be all about.
Winner this week: Nitro
Score to date: Nitro 40, Raw 13
(Television Ratings: Raw - 1.8; Nitro - 3.3)