June 17, 1996 - Monday Night Wars 37

Raw 164

  • Today’s episode may be bad, or it may be good, but at the end of the day we got the first ever Stone Cold Stunner and that’s got to count for something.

It's not the prettiest Stunner in the world, but you got to start somewhere.

It's not the prettiest Stunner in the world, but you got to start somewhere.

  • After his match with Savio, Austin provides commentary for the Marc Mero/Owen Hart match. This is the first time he’s been given the mic since his debut, which is insane. The next time we’ll hear from him will be his famous “Austin 3:16” promo. That’s a pretty good batting average.

  • Most of the rest of the show is building up to the upcoming King of the Ring tournament. The British Bulldog cuts a promo on Shawn Michaels, Jerry Lawler beats up Aldo Montoya as a facsimile of what he promises to do to the Ultimate Warrior, and Jake the Snake gets the win over Goldust in the final qualifying round of the King of the Ring.

  • Somewhere in the middle of all of that, we get tape of Brian Pillman at his contract signing for the WWF. He was recently in a terrible car accident that could have cost him his life, so this contract signing means a lot to him. His heartfelt speech is a far cry from the loose cannon gimmick he had on WCW.

Nitro 40

  • Speaking of WCW, today’s Nitro is directly after the Great American Bash. As an aside, I have to say that it seems like a misstep to have a pay per view named the Great American Bash only to follow it up immediately with the “Bash at the Beach”. The names are too similar, which leads to confusion among viewers, wrestlers, and even the commentators. Anyway, at the pay per view, a lot went down. Eric Bischoff was viciously attacked by Razor Ramon and Diesel, which means he’s absent entirely from tonight’s program. In addition to that, Mongo McMichael betrayed his partner Kevin Greene in exchange for a briefcase of money and is now the final member of the Four Horsemen. I’m actually down with this because it was a cool swerve and it gets Mongo out of the broadcaster’s booth.

  • With the Horsemen back at full power, they’re once again all over this episode. Arn Anderson & Chris Benoit take on the American Males, Mean Gene interviews Ric Flair and all the valets (Elizabeth, Woman, and now Mongo’s wife Debra), and then Flair wrestles the newly reinstated Randy Savage. Unfortunately for Savage, the ref gets accidentally knocked out which allows the other Horsemen to pile in and kick the stuffing out of the Macho Man, culminating with Mongo using his steel briefcase to strike the final blow.

Savage takes a steel briefcase to the head like a champ here.

  • After that, Mean Gene interviews Jimmy Hart, Kevin Sullivan, and the Giant. Gene makes the observation that he’s been noticing cliques forming in the WCW recently, including even some outsiders (meaning Razor and Diesel). The Giant wants to know if the Four Horsemen are supposed to be the elite group, why is he the World Champion and not one of them? To prove his point, he takes on Scott Steiner in a match directly after the interview and wins despite taking a chair to the back.

  • We end the night with the announcement of who will be taking on the outsiders at Bash at the Beach. After an apparently extensive process to determine who their best wrestlers in the company are, they’ve decided it will be Lex Luger, Sting, and Randy Savage. Seems like a decent trio, especially considering Luger and Sting are the current Tag Team Champions. WCW better just hope the bad blood between Luger and Savage won’t be an issue.

Verdict: With things on Nitro really starting to heat up, I don’t expect Raw to catch up anytime soon. The Horsemen are at full power and the nWo is on the horizon. Maybe Stone Cold can do something to bolster Raw, but it might be too little too late for now.

Winner this week: Nitro

Score to date: Nitro 26, Raw 11

(Television Ratings: Raw - 2.3; Nitro - 3.4)