To kick things off, we’ve got Bret Hart back in the ring on Raw for the first time in a while. His opponent is none other than his brother Owen. I guess this blood feud has no end and we’re just not going to talk about the reasons why anymore. Eventually Bret gets his brother in the Sharpshooter, but he gets nailed in the back by a steel chair courtesy of Stone Cold Steve Austin. Austin and Owen start to team up on the Hitman before the British Bulldog comes out and stops Owen. I guess he prefers to keep family business within the family. Austin doesn’t seem to care one bit though and treats the Bulldog to a backful of chair too.
We then cut to San Antonio, TX at the home of Jose Lothario who is joined by Shawn Michaels. At Survivor Series, Jose was hit in the back with a camera by Sycho Sid. Shawn, worried that Jose may be having a heart attack, ran to check on him which gave Sid the window of opportunity he needed to attack the distracted Heartbreak Kid and win the title belt. Now that Shawn knows Jose is fine and able to rest back in San Antonio, Shawn’s calling Sid out for a rematch. Hopefully Shawn won’t be gone too long. Bret being back is cool, but Shawn’s irreplaceable.
Finally, Salvatore Sincere takes on Rocky Maivia. Sunny watches from the commentary table, presumably interested in managing the up and comer. The match predictably goes to Rocky who wins with his finishing move: the shoulder breaker. I wouldn’t exactly describe it as electric.
Last night at World War 3, Rowdy Roddy Piper and Hollywood Hogan officially signed the contract for their match scheduled for Starrcade next month. We also found out that Piper had some sort of hip surgery at some point in the fairly recent past so that might factor into the match. Also factoring into the match are the 7 or 8 other guys in the nWo. I’m not sure how Piper’s going to overcome these odds but I’m interested in seeing him try!
Speaking of which, the nWo now comes out, led by the recent turncoat Eric Bischoff. He tells us that not only is he the highest ranking executive in the nWo, he’s the highest ranking executive in WCW. He goes on to say that “you guys in WCW have 30 days from right now to convert your WCW contracts to nWo contracts” and that he wants to build a dynasty. At this point the American Males come down and interrupt. Marcus Bagwell goes over to them and is greeted with an embrace. Meanwhile Scotty Riggs stands apart from the group looking angry about what’s going on. Bagwell comes over to have a few words but decides to just let his fists do the talking and takes out his longtime teammate. The audience goes nuts and immediately begins chanting for the nWo.
Later, after Diamond Dallas Page defeats Disco Inferno, Mean Gene tries once more to get a straight answer out of DDP on where his allegiance lies. Mean Gene runs down the list of people in the nWo and all the ways that DDP is tied to them: he used to manage Scott Hall, he used to be tag team partners with Kevin Nash, and Eric Bischoff is his next door neighbor. Somehow DDP still manages to avoid giving a straight answer. It certainly seems that he’s destined for the nWo, but it’s possible they’re setting us up for a swerve. I could see DDP being the unlikely and possibly reluctant savior of WCW.
The second hour of programming starts and we’re informed that Eric Bischoff will no longer be commentating during this portion of the show moving forward since he’s made clear what team he’s on. Instead Tony Schiavone will join Bobby the Brain and Mike Tenay. A match between Big Bubba and Rick Steiner gets under way when suddenly there’s a disturbance in the audience. It’s Sting! He makes his way down while the match is happening and manages to sneak right up behind Rick while the ref is distracted with Bubba and hits him with a Scorpion Death Drop. Wow, I still have no idea what Sting’s endgame is but I’m loving this. I just wish he’d get some mic time one of these weeks.
Verdict: It’s nice to have Bret back on Raw, but I wish his feud with Austin could be developed more. Unfortunately since WWF tapes 3 or 4 episodes at a time, they wouldn’t really be able to let that happen. Meanwhile, I’m loving every new development with the nWo week after week and am dying to know more about Sting.
Winner this week: Nitro
Score to date: Nitro 43, Raw 16
(Television Ratings: Raw - 2.1; Nitro - 3.1)