October 28, 1996 - Monday Night Wars 55

Raw 182

  • Looks like we’ve finally got The Roadie back in action on Raw. Or is it Road Dogg? Or Jesse James? Or the Real Double J? Regardless of what he’s going by now, he takes on Salvatore Sincere who you may remember as being undefeated until he faced the Undertaker. Well either Double J’s on the same level as the Undertaker or Mr. Sincere’s just a big ol’ jabroni. Pretty sure I know which one my money’s on.

  • Dok Hendrix then tries to do a commercial for Survivor Series, but keeps getting interrupted by an impatient Stone Cold Steve Austin. He’s going to be interviewed later but isn’t happy with, well, just about everything. Finally after another match,we get to Stone Cold’s interview, live from the WWF studios in Connecticut. Yesterday on Superstars, Austin put Brian Pillman in the hospital for saying something positive about Bret Hart. And speak of the devil, we then get a side by side video call-in from the Hitman himself, live from his home in Calgary. Hart maintains his composure in the face of Austin’s tirade, which only makes him lose his cool even more, eventually attacking a nearby production assistant and going on a rampage.

Bret Hart sucks, but Stone Cold makes up for it.

  • During the next match (British Bulldog VS Shawn Michaels), Vince keeps giving us updates on Stone Cold. He tells us that the police have been called to deal with him. Later still we’re told that the police had to call for backup. I really love this subplot. This is the biggest expansion of Austin’s character on Raw yet and it’s been much needed. Anyway, back in the match, Owen Hart jumps in and grabs HBK’s foot right as he’s about to win, causing the match to end in a disqualification. Sid runs out to help and accidentally hits Shawn resulting in a heated face-off between the two. Seeing this dissension, Owen challenges them to a tag team match against himself and the Bulldog with the tag team titles on the line. I don’t know if it’s a good idea, but Sid and the Heartbreak Kid agree to it.

Nitro 59

  • Okay, so last night at Halloween Havoc, the Outsiders defeated Harlem Heat (thanks in no small part to crooked referee Nick Patrick) and won the Tag Team Championship belts. Hogan was also able to retain the World Heavyweight Championship against the Macho Man. I have to give props to Hogan by the way for allowing himself to be the butt of the joke several times during the match. He’s really committing to his new role as a heel. The show ended with a confrontation between Hogan and the newest member of the WCW, Rowdy Roddy Piper. I’m not sure how much Piper will be on the program, but this is a big get for them, more or less on par with Hogan himself.

  • During the first match (Juventud Guerrera VS the World Television Champion Lord Steven Regal), we get our first glimpses of the new edgier Sting. His face paint is now much more Crow-like. He’s also lurking up in the rafters above the ring like the Phantom of the Opera or something as Syxx leads a group of nWo picketers who are marching around the arena. Sting is literally and figuratively above this war. I love visual metaphors!

 Sting is REALLY into Joy Division right now.

Sting is REALLY into Joy Division right now.

  • After a singles match between Ricky Morton and Jeff Jarrett, the Giant grabs a mic and threatens Jarrett from the audience. After he’s said his piece, Jarrett gets interviewed by Tony Schiavone and actually cuts an excellent promo on the Giant and how the WCW needs to work together to oust the nWo.

  • The show ends with a recap of the Hogan/Piper show down from the night before which leads into Hollywood Hogan getting in the ring and cutting a typical meandering Hogan promo. It ends, I swear to God, with him doing his old “rip off his shirt and flex for the audience” routine. Is it supposed to be tongue-in-cheek? Maybe it was supposed to draw heat, but I think the audience was basically into it. He better not ruin the nWo for me.

Verdict: I love the brooding Sting that’s being developed on Nitro now in addition to the nWo angle. It really seems like WCW is losing control of everything. They’re even having to hire outside help from the likes of Jeff Jarrett and Rowdy Roddy Piper. Makes you wonder that even if WCW does win, at what cost to their integrity will it be? That being said, Raw wins this week on the strength of Stone Cold’s charisma alone. Giving him more and more mic time is only going to improve their product.

Winner this week: Raw

Score to date: Nitro 40, Raw 15

(Television Ratings: Raw - 2.0; Nitro - 3.6)