February 26, 1996 - Monday Night Wars 23

Raw 148

  • The first match of the night is Isaac Yankem VS Jake the Snake Roberts of all people. I’m not sure if Jake’s coming back for good or if he’s just doing a one-off match. It could just be a gimmick to boost ratings. Vince calls this match “The DDS vs The DDT” which is actually pretty clever. Jake wins the match, which on the one hand feels bad because a current wrestler had to job out to someone arguably past their prime, but on the other hand it’s Isaac Yankem so who really cares?

Isaac Yankem tries to beat Jake the Snake at his own game.

  • Next up is Diesel VS Bob “Sparkplug” Holly. Obviously Diesel wins, but as he makes his way back to the locker room, the lights cut out and the Undertaker’s bell tolls. When the lights turn back on, the Undertaker is standing ominously in the ring. Diesel grins like a maniac and makes his way back to confront him, but the lights cut out once more. When they turn on again, the Undertaker has disappeared. Suddenly the video wall turns on to show the Undertaker, who tells Diesel, “It won’t be that easy. I’m the master of mind games. I’ll see you on the dark side.” I have no idea what to expect here, but hopefully it keeps escalating the way it has been and we’ll be in for a treat.

  • Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart then share the ring so that Vince can interview both of them about their upcoming match for the World Heavyweight Championship. They’re both highly complimentary of each other, but make it clear that they will be gunning for one another when the time comes. At this point, interim WWF president Rowdy Roddy Piper comes down to make things interesting. Since they’re both such highly skilled competitors, he’s decided to make it a one hour iron man match in which whoever gets the most pinfalls before time runs out will be the winner. That actually sounds insane and awesome and I can’t wait to see it!

Get hyped!

Get hyped!

  • Finally, we have Yokozuna in a handicap match against both the British Bulldog and Owen Hart. Right in the middle of it though, Vader storms down to the ring, but rather than swinging on everybody, he teams up with Owen and Davey Boy Smith to beat the stuffing out of Yokozuna. I guess if Yoko’s going to turn babyface, he’s got to get punished for all the bad he’s done first. Once he’s had enough, Ahmed Johnson and Jake the Snake run out to chase off Cornette’s goons. This is a very WCW ending. Does Vince think that’s the thing that makes Nitro better?

Nitro 26

  • I’ll tell you one thing that makes Nitro better: it’s live. And they make sure we know it by spoiling Raw’s results right at the top of the show again. Honestly, I love that they do this because it forces Raw to sink or swim.

  • The first match is Sting VS Big Bubba. I’m surprised they don’t use Big Bubba more. He’s got a great look and he knows what he’s doing in the ring. So why just have him show up every couple months only to job out to Sting? Get that man some screentime!

  • Afterwards, Mean Gene speaks to Sting and Luger, but they’re interrupted by the Road Warriors. Besides their other accusations of Luger being a wolf in sheep’s clothing, they also cast aspersions on his claim of being from Chicago, which is where the Road Warriors hail from. Luger gets heated and says he and Sting will fight them any type of match, anywhere, anytime. It seems he fell right into the Road Warrior's trap because they challenge the two to a Chicago Street Fight. I have no idea what that means. I assume it’s an eating contest.

Oh no, not Halsted Street!

  • The final match of the night is a three-on-three tag team of Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, and the Taskmaster VS Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, and Booty Man. Yes, Booty Man. The match ends with an awful spot consisting of a series of Irish whips by Booty Man (yes, Booty Man) of all three opponents into Hogan’s waiting Big Boot before Hogan drops the leg on one of them for the win.

Verdict: Raw has the return of Jake the Snake, The Undertaker doing Undertaker things, the promise of a one hour HBK/Hitman match, and a surprise babyface turn by Yokozuna. Nitro has Sting still oblivious to Luger’s duplicity and Booty Man. Yes...Booty Man.

Winner this week: Raw

Score to date: Nitro 18, Raw 5

(Television Ratings: Raw - 3.1; Nitro - 3.2)