Raw starts with Gorilla Monsoon informing us that Ahmed Johnson had to be taken to the hospital due to a ruptured kidney suffered at the hands of Farooq during his assault a few episodes back. Because of this, the Intercontinental title has to be vacated.
In another surprising turn of events, the wrestler that attorney Clarence Mason has been trying to get Gorilla Monsoon to sign off on finally debuts against Savio Vega and it’s none other than the long absent Crush! Apparently, Crush did a short stint in jail for purchasing steroids and possessing an illegal handgun, so he’s morphed his character into more of a biker type of persona.
We’re coming off of the last pay per view (Hog Wild) where the nWo was in full effect. Nash & Hall defeated Luger & Sting while Hollywood Hogan defeated The Giant and won the World Heavyweight Championship, which they promptly defaced by spray painting “nWo” across the front plate. The Booty Man, dressed all in black and sporting an nWo t-shirt, also came down to the ring to congratulate them. Hogan declared that he had known him for 20 years and he was Hogan’s best friend, before signaling to Nash & Hall to beat him up. To finish the job, Hogan then took his newly won belt and laid the Booty Man out cold with a shot across the face, saying that if he was willing to do that to his friend, what do you think he’d do to Ric Flair? Ice cold. I love it.
Picking up on tonight’s Nitro, Luger and Sting issue a challenge to Nash & Hall, who are just sitting backstage with Hogan in his dressing room. They say they’ll fight, but only when they feel like it. Looks like we’ve got our main event for tonight.
Konnan did a heel turn this past Saturday apparently, although I’m not really sure why since crowd’s seemed to love him. Maybe he just wanted to have as much fun as the nWo guys.
After Konnan, Chris Benoit wrestles a new guy named Ron Studd who TOWERS over Benoit. Height isn’t everything though and Benoit manages to put Studd down relatively easily. Afterwards he cuts a promo on the Giant, who he’ll be facing at Clash of the Champions, and it’s just okay. I’d like to see him get some more practice since he’s the one Horseman who doesn’t really have much of a personality yet.
Following that, Ric Flair takes on Randy Savage. When the ref goes down during the match, the fight spills outside the ring where Savage starts pulling up the padding of the floor with the intention of doing Flair some serious harm. Before he can do that though, Hogan runs out with a steel chair and wallops him across the back and gives him a shot to the head for good measure. He then rolls Savage back into the ring where Flair takes advantage and gets the win. In the interview after, Hogan tells Mean Gene that he didn’t attack Flair because he wants him in perfect condition so that when they face each other at Clash of the Champions, there won’t be any excuses when Hogan wins.
Finally, the night ends with the Outsiders taking on Sting & Luger. It looks like the good guys may come out on top as Sting goes for a Stinger Splash onto Scott Hall, when all of a sudden the referee, Nick Patrick, pulls Hall to safety. Seeing this, the Horsemen rush the ring, resulting in both the Outsiders and Nick Patrick running for their lives. This is the first time I’ve seen a ref cheat to help out a wrestler and I’m VERY interested to see the ramifications of this.
Verdict: It’s an easy one this week. Crush coming back isn’t even close to being more interesting than all the nWo stuff going on at Nitro, not to mention the all around better match quality that Nitro has (Rey Mysterio wrestled Ultimate Dragon this week and I didn’t even think it was worth mentioning! That’s where Nitro’s at).
Winner this week: Nitro
Score to date: Nitro 33, Raw 12
(Television Ratings: Raw - 2.0; Nitro - 3.3)