October 7, 1996 - Monday Night Wars 52

Raw 179

  • As Raw begins, JR is missing from the commentary table. Has he been fired for so publically biting the hand that feeds him? Nope, he’s actually accompanying fake Diesel to the ring as he gets ready to fight Marc Mero in a non-title matchup. Fake Razor Ramon ends up coming down as well to help his fake brother take out the Wildman. These fake Outsiders are pretty rough. They’re like the generic cereal that your mom buys to save money. They’re storebrand nWo.

  • The main event of the show is Sycho Sid VS Goldust. After Sid wins, Vader decides to jump in and whoop up on him in his weakened post-match state. However, after he’s taken enough punishment, Sid hops right to his feet like he’s some kind of Hulk Hogan knockoff. He even wags his finger at Vader. For a show that accused Nitro of stealing their ideas, they sure seem to be stealing a lot of ideas from Nitro. I can’t wait til we find out that Sid is the third man in the fake nWo.

At least he doesn't hit a leg drop.

  • Next week, Stone Cold will be taking on Shawn Michaels. I want this to be a good match, but I’m learning to temper my expectations when it comes to Raw nailing the execution on most of their stuff. That being said, I know for a fact they have to get better at some point so maybe this will be it? Nah, probably not.

Nitro 56

  • After the opening match, we see a limo pull up outside, which these days usually means that the nWo is arriving. However, this time it’s ol’ Double J himself, Jeff Jarrett. I thought for sure that he’d be making his return on Raw given the vignettes they’ve been doing about him recently. But now I have to figure that calling him a liar and a fake wasn’t an angle to bring him back, but a way to start discrediting him before he joined the opposition. Boy, Raw sure is petty. Later on, after he defeats Hugh Mungus, he gives an interview to Tony Schiavone telling us that he’s mad at Hollywood Hogan for saying that he was bigger than wrestling and that he made it what it is today. In real life, Jeff Jarrett’s father had been a booker for a long time, so Jeff feels like Hogan has personally insulted himself and his family. Looks like WCW’s got one more wrestler on their side.

  • Randy Savage comes out later with NASCAR driver Jason Keller, the driver of the Slim Jim stock car. Two weeks ago, it was revealed that the nWo had their own race car, and last week the Monday Nitro car was rebranded as the Sting car as a way to make up to Sting for not trusting him. They’re really going hard on this NASCAR cross promotion angle. I imagine there’s a fair amount of overlap between fans of those two things though so I guess it makes sense. The Slim Jim car finished in the top 10 while the nWo car apparently hit a wall and didn’t even finish. Seems like a good omen for the Macho Man.

  • Except that that the show ends with Randy being savaged by the nWo. His opponent was supposed to be Flair, but it turns out they’ve attacked Flair in the back and grabbed Miss Elizabeth while they were at it. They parade her down to the ring and force her to watch as her one-time husband gets hit over and over and over again. Finally Hogan, using spray paint in lieu of chalk, outlines Randy’s lifeless body as it lays there in the ring resembling the scene of a murder. Even that’s not enough for the nWo though. Syxx (formerly the 123 Kid) drives out from the back in a monster truck that they plan on using to tear down the broadcast booth. Unfortunately the program ends before we get to witness that destruction.

Maybe getting punched in the head so much will make Savage less crazy.

Maybe getting punched in the head so much will make Savage less crazy.

Verdict: It’s sad to see the state of Raw right now considering they were on well before Nitro and have now been reduced to sloppily cribbing their competitor. Call me when Raw gets its own monster truck or stock car.

Winner this week: Nitro

Score to date: Nitro 39, Raw 13

(Television Ratings: Raw - 2.1; Nitro - 3.5)