November 11, 1996 - Monday Night Wars 57

Raw 184

  • After the bold choices made during last week’s episode, it seems that Raw received quite a bit of backlash for having an angle revolving around gun violence. Because of that, Vince just ignores it even happened except to briskly apologize for “ what happened last week with Stone Cold”. That’s a shame. That’s the kind of risk-taking you need to compete with WCW right now. Clearly doing the same tired show week in and week out isn’t cutting it.

  • We get our first peek at Rocky Maivia in a little vignette to introduce us to him before his debut match at Survivor Series this Sunday. Compared to The Rock that we all know now, this is a very low-key and subdued Dwayne Johnson. You might even say he seems boring.

An inauspicious start to say the least.

Nitro 61

  • Chris Benoit faces Jeff Jarrett in the opening match of Nitro tonight. Jarrett intends to prove that he can step into the role that Ric Flair left vacant while he and Arn Anderson are out with injuries. Double J throws Benoit out of the ring and proceeds to strut around when suddenly Sting appears out of nowhere and delivers a Scorpion Death Drop to the oblivious Double J. His job done, Sting leaves the area as quickly as he appeared without saying a word.

Jeff Jarrett's new gimmick should be getting attacked from behind.

  • Coming back from commercial a young man runs up and interrupts the announcers to hurriedly shove a manilla envelope containing a VHS tape into Tony Schiavone’s hands. Tony decides to get the tape down to the production truck so they can take a look at it so we’ll check back in with that later. In the meantime, Mean Gene (back after a few months’ absence) interviews Diamond Dallas Page about his potential role with the nWo. Right on cue, Hall and Nash come down to talk to him about it, but DDP still doesn’t commit to joining the nWo because he’s upset they didn’t come talk to him earlier. The ego of DDP knows no bounds! On a related note, later in the show, Ted DiBiase informs Sting that his offer to join the nWo is still on the table.

  • Finally, as the show wraps up, we get to see what was on the VHS tape from earlier. Turns out it’s an embarrassing music video that Rowdy Roddy Piper starred and sang in that hadn’t been seen in America. My guess is that this is Hollywood Hogan’s way of playing mind games with Piper before they face one another, assuming of course Piper signs with WCW.

Can't wait to see the embarassing music videos I'm sure Hogan's done, too.

Verdict: After last week’s boundary-pushing Raw, this week’s episode was a disappointing letdown. Hopefully it doesn’t scare them away from that kind of material for too long.

Winner this week: Nitro

Score to date: Nitro 41, Raw 16

(Television Ratings: Raw - 2.5; Nitro - 3.7)