July 8, 1996 - Monday Night Wars 40

Raw 167

  • Today’s episode begins with Gorilla Monsoon addressing the tv audience directly and informing us that the Ultimate Warrior has been suspended for no-showing recent events. I’m surprised he lasted this long, to be honest. But of course, since most Raws are still pre-taped, Warrior is still on tonight’s episode in a match against Owen Hart. Strange timing on that announcement, Gorilla. Interestingly, Warrior gets jumped by all three members of Camp Cornette (Owen Hart, British Bulldog, and Vader) during his match tonight. I wonder if that had anything to do with his disinterest in continuing to work with WWF.

Gorilla's not mad, he's just disappointed.

Gorilla's not mad, he's just disappointed.

  • The program tonight is just three long matches. Besides the previously mentioned Warrior/Owen match, the other two are Savio Vega VS Justin Hawk Bradshaw and the Godwinns VS the British Bulldog & Vader. So basically nothing’s really happening. I guess they’re trying to position Camp Cornette as the WWF equivalent of the Outsiders from WCW, but that’s probably a stretch.

  • On the other hand though, Shawn Michaels (World Heavyweight Champ) and Ahmed Johnson (Intercontinental Champ) spend all episode teasing the third person who will be joining them in their three man tag team. This is definitely WWF trying to capture some of that Outsider mystique that WCW has, but they’d be hard pressed to pick anyone as surprising as WCW did (which we’ll get to in just a bit). It turns out their third teammate is former Million Dollar Corporation member Sycho Sid. Hmm, somebody we haven’t seen in a few months who switches from bad to good? That sounds kind of like something WCW recently did...

Sid's angry because somebody stole all their shirts.

Sid's angry because somebody stole all their shirts.

Nitro 43

  • Bash at the Beach was last night and the world was betrayed. The third member to join the Outsiders was none other than Mr. Training-Prayers-and-Vitamins himself, Hulk Hogan. After he helped Nash and Hall win, the ring was barraged with food, soda, and trash of all kind as the fans expressed their shock and rage at this unprecedented heel turn. On tonight’s episode, we’re dealing with the fallout from this turn of events.

  • The first match is Dean Malenko defending the Cruiserweight Championship against Rey Mysterio. At one point, Mysterio goes for a springboard moonsault on the outside and just doesn’t get caught by Malenko and lands flat on his stomach. Soon after, Malenko hits an insane top rope gorilla press gutbuster to really make sure Mysterio can’t breathe. Malenko gets cocky though and doesn’t cover Mysterio who is able to rally with a hurricanrana for the win and the championship. After all that punishment, he deserves it.

That padding probably helped a lot, I'm sure...

  • Later, Mean Gene interviews Kevin Sullivan, The Giant, and Jimmy Hart about Hogan joining Nash and Hall. Jimmy’s totally speechless. The Taskmaster is shocked that he spent years trying to destroy Hulkamania only to have Hulk Hogan do it himself in one night. The Giant reassures his compatriots by reminding them that as long as he’s the World Heavyweight Champion, nothing can go wrong. After all, he’s the one who took it from Hogan in the first place. It’s funny how these guys are sort of babyfaces when compared to the traitor Hulk Hogan.

  • Even later, Gene interviews the other big heel stable, the Four Horsemen. Arn Anderson says they’ve never been role models, but there are some people who are supposed to be. So even the Horsemen are upset over Hogan’s betrayal. This is amazing. The Outsiders are being set up as heels that are so bad, even the other heels don’t like them.

  • Rounding out the interviews are Sting and Randy Savage who have nothing but contempt for their former ally. Adding fuel to the fire, Nash and Hall roll up in a limousine to try to pick a fight with them. I hope they start getting more screen time soon. It kills me that they’re consistently relegated to the final ten minutes. I want all Outsiders, all the time!

Sting and Savage tell Hogan how they really feel.

Verdict: Raw knows that Nitro is better and is therefore trying to bite their steez, albeit poorly. Nitro had gold even before Hogan’s heel turn; now they’ve got platinum.

Winner this week: Nitro

Score to date: Nitro 29, Raw 11

(Television Ratings: Raw - 2.5; Nitro - 3.5)