January 29, 1996 - Monday Night Wars 20

Raw 145

  • It’s nice that Raw has a “tell” right at the top of the show that let’s me know if it will be a good episode or not. Basically, if the episode is live, it will be good. Otherwise it’ll just be another lackluster show. Today’s show is not live and surprise: it’s pretty lackluster.

  • Worth mentioning though is that while Gorilla Monsoon is out of commission, the new acting president is Rowdy Roddy Piper. I’m interested to see if he actually exerts any power or books any matches. One thing’s for sure, he’s a lot more ring-ready than poor Gorilla, so Vader will have a real fight on his hands if he tries anything again.

  • We also get our very first teaser for Mankind. They don’t give a date for when he’ll be debuting, but I’m very excited for it. I didn’t expect to see him so soon. Things are looking brighter much sooner than I anticipated.

Creepy. I like it!

  • Shawn Michaels has a match against Yokozuna to finish the show out. I don’t care about the match, I just want to highlight how over Shawn is at this point. He has the audience eating out of the palm of his hand. He’s also obviously a great worker, so they really shouldn’t be wasting him by fighting Yokozuna.

Nitro 22

  • Is the WCW stuck in 1985? You would think so if you saw the card. Flair, Hogan, Meng, The Barbarian, Legion of Doom, and Savage all have matches. Raw’s smear campaign may have a pretty good point: these guys are old! I’m not really interested in seeing any of them wrestle any more. They’re all just so boring. The only one who’s at all still relevant is Flair and it’s because of his mic work and the Four Horsemen.

My face when both shows suck this week.

My face when both shows suck this week.

  • Speaking of which, Kevin Sullivan, backed up by Hugh Morrus, calls out Arn Anderson for not getting rid of Brian Pillman yet. Double A and Pillman come down to the ring to address this. Arn agrees that Brian is a loose cannon that needs to be taken to task and begins to take off his belt, presumably to give Brian the tough love that his dad never gave him. But suddenly the Taskmaster kicks Arn in the ribs and starts beating Pillman with the belt himself. Arn gets tangled up with Hugh, but DDTs him and chases Kevin Sullivan off. Arn addresses the camera directly and says that whoever’s in charge of booking better get him a match with those two or it’ll be a bloodbath in the locker room. Pillman finishes by saying “I got you into this mess, and I’m gonna get you out!” I really like this development. I was worried that they were going to “kill off” Brian’s character too early. I’m glad he’s going to (hopefully) get a little bit of a redemption soon.

  • Afterwards, Sister Sherri is giving an interview when she’s suddenly attacked from behind by Madusa. The bell rings so I guess it’s an actual match? Madusa’s wearing active wear and kick pads, while Sherri’s wearing a skimpy dress, nylons, and sexy underwear. I’m not really sure how to interpret this. It seems like Sherri is getting blindsided based on what she’s wearing and the circumstances, but if that’s the case, why is it an official match? Somehow Sherri ends up winning the thing via a roll through, but Madusa doesn’t take kindly to this and brutally slams Sherri’s head repeatedly into the mat. If I’m not mistaken, this whole thing started because they were both dating the same man. Seems like a pretty bad excuse for a feud, but I don’t think we’re supposed to care about that as long as we get to see scantily clad women fighting.

Some people say Madusa is still beating Sherri to this day.

Some people say Madusa is still beating Sherri to this day.

Verdict: Both shows stumble this week, but I love seeing the development of the Four Horsemen story. Arn Anderson is surprisingly powerful on the mic. It’s no surprise that he’s called the Enforcer. I’ll also give Rowdy Roddy Piper an honorable mention here too because at least the WWF actually brought someone in who can both talk and fight, so hopefully this Vader storyline will continue being compelling.

Winner this week: Nitro (by a nose)

Score to date: Nitro 18, Raw 2

(Television Ratings: Raw - 2.4; Nitro - 2.8)