June 24, 1996 - Monday Night Wars 38

Raw 165

  • We’re back from King of the Ring and our first match is Hunter Hearst Helmsley VS the new Intercontinental Champion Ahmed Johnson in a non-title matchup. After the match, Ahmed Johnson gives an interview with Dok Hendrix who informs us that Ahmed is the first African American IC champ which is cool. Unfortunately though, Ahmed is pretty awful on the mic. Honestly, somebody needs to beat him just so he doesn’t have to give any more interviews.

  • Next up is a match between the Bodydonnas (accompanied by their new manager “Cloudy”) and the Brooklyn Brawler & Jerry Fox. The match is just an excuse to get Sunny on commentary. She’s gone from managing the Bodydonnas, to the Godwinns, to the Smoking Gunns - each of which has one the Tag Team Championship under her management. Now she’s teasing that she’s bringing in a singles competitor with the idea that every wrestler she manages will have a WWF belt of some kind. That’s a good angle. A bad angle would be the Bodydonna’s manager Cloudy who is just a man dressed in drag.

I'd say there's more than just a chance of meatballs.

I'd say there's more than just a chance of meatballs.

  • Brian Pillman shows up a little later and he’s certainly not the humbled Brian Pillman from his contract signing. Still on crutches after his car accident, he hobbles up to Vince for an impromptu interview and asks him, “Who to I need to talk to to get my GODDAMNED money?!” The loose cannon is back!

  • Finally Stone Cold, the newly crowned King of the Ring, takes on the Undertaker. (Side note: Austin’s promo after winning King of the Ring gave us both “Austin 3:16” and “that’s the bottom line because Stone Cold said so”. The man knows what he’s doing.) Taker chokeslams Austin and it looks like he’s about to win when Goldust runs up and blows gold dust in his eyes, giving Austin the window he needs to roll out of the ring and get out of dodge before he loses. Well, he still loses by DQ, but at least he wasn’t pinned.

Nitro 41

  • The first match on Nitro is the Blue Bloods VS Public Enemy. Johnny Grunge gets the win for Public Enemy by jumping off the turnbuckle and hitting one of the Blue Bloods in the head with his cast. It’s weird to me that WCW would book that finish considering Owen Hart literally just did the same thing two weeks ago.

  • Later, Dean Malenko takes on Hardwork Bobby Walker. For some reason, Disco Inferno comes out and begins dancing in the ring during their match which distracts Bobby Walker enough to give Dean Malenko the win. After the match during an interview, Disco Inferno says to Malenko, “You may be the man of a thousand holds, but I just sold a million cds!” This is apparently enough to make Malenko lose his cool and challenge him to a match at Bash at the Beach. What a waste of time and talent that will be.

  • Towards the end of the night, Diamond Dallas Page gives an interview after beating Alex Wright (AKA Das Whipping Boy). Apparently DDP will be facing Hacksaw Jim Duggan in a taped fist match at Bash at the Beach. DDP wants to know how he got stuck facing Hacksaw in a match that Duggan’s never lost. I have to say that DDP is crazy charismatic. Seeing him, and many of the other wrestlers on the WCW roster, get so much mic time makes me wonder how many hidden gems WWF has on their hands.

DDP cuts a promo on Hacksaw's Gramma.

  • The main event is a triangle match between Harlem Heat, the Steiner Brothers, and Lex Luger & Sting. However, right when things really get cooking, Razor Ramon and Diesel rush out from the crowd with baseball bats. Luckily several law enforcement officers are ready and jump into the ring to prevent anything from happening. In the commotion though, Harlem Heat manages to roll up Luger and steal the tag team titles from under the noses of everybody.

From the looks in their eyes, maybe it  was  a good idea to have cops on hand.

From the looks in their eyes, maybe it was a good idea to have cops on hand.

Verdict: Raw just feels lifeless compared to Nitro and it’s due in large part to a lack of personality of the wrestlers. Nitro is constantly interviewing its wrestlers after they win or in the locker room before a match. By comparison, Raw maybe does one interview per show and many times it will just be some pre-taped filler. Besides that, this invasion angle is really interesting. I just wish they would flesh it out more beyond the final few minutes of each episode.

Winner this week: Nitro

Score to date: Nitro 27, Raw 11

(Television Ratings: Raw - 2.7; Nitro - 3.3)