It’s the go home show before the Royal Rumble so we get promos from both Sid and Shawn Michaels. Sid delivers his standing in the center of the empty Alamodome, the site where the Rumble will be held. By contrast, HBK’s promo is delivered while surrounded by adoring fans in his hometown of San Antonio. This all confirms my suspicions that the WWF are definitely trying to paint Sid as a regular bad guy, and not an anti-hero.
Later, Rocky Maivia finally gets a match against a real opponent in singles competition, namely the British Bulldog. Bret Hart is on commentary but his brother Owen comes out and stands nearby so that he can keep an eye on him and make sure he doesn’t interfere with the match. The fight spills out of the ring, and Bret manages to stay put. However, Stone Cold Steve Austin sees an opening and delivers a vicious chop block to the British Bulldog. Bret chases Austin back to the locker room, but the damage has been done and Rocky gets the victory via countout when the Bulldog can’t manage to pick himself up off the floor.
The usual intro sequence for Nitro is interrupted when we cut to the Giant stomping through the hallways of the backstage area before he finds the dressing room for the nWo and kicks the door open looking to get his hands on Hogan. The members of the nWo, along with building security, are able to keep the Giant at bay though. As he’s being carted away, he bellows that he wants his title shot.
After that, Hacksaw Jim Duggan makes his way to the ring, but gives Mean Gene a quick interview first. He says he’s sick and tired of the nWo running wild over the WCW and plans to do something about it. He also mentions that Sting needs to stand up and be a man and choose a side. As Hacksaw enters the ring though, Sting comes up from behind and hits him with the Scorpion Death Drop. How about that for a response?
Speaking of choosing sides, after Diamond Dallas Page wins his match against Mark Starr, Hall and Nash come out to offer the olive branch as well as membership in the nWo. They hand him an nWo shirt which he gladly puts on and then gives Scott Hall a hug. Except he then delivers a surprise Diamond Cutter to Hall before quickly escaping through the crowd before Kevin Nash can retaliate. I guess DDP chose a side after all.
Later, Chris Benoit takes on Jeff Jarrett. Mongo tries to use his halliburton briefcase on Jarrett, but because of Debra’s interference he accidentally clobbers Benoit instead. Gene Okerlund interviews the Horsemen afterwards and predictably everyone’s pretty hot. Benoit starts throwing blame at both Debra and Mongo. Mongo fires back that if he’s feeling froggy, then go ahead and jump! Arn manages to break things up before they get too out of hand, but things aren’t looking great for the Four Horsemen.
The final match of the night is the Giant VS Hollywood Hogan. Apparently the Giant was able to get the WCW booking committee to force Hogan to sign the contract that the Giant wanted from the start of the episode. That’s a pretty quick turn around! The Giant looks like a million bucks in the ring against Hogan. He gets Hogan by the throat, but Hogan kicks him in the knee. The Giant drops him, but immediately grabs him again. Hogan rakes the Giant’s eyes and gets dropped again, but once more the Giant rallies and is able to regain his grip. Just as it looks like Hogan’s finally going to get what’s coming to him though, the rest of the nWo piles into the ring and saves him. What a bunch of cowards!
Verdict: Nitro is non-stop story development this week and it’s fantastic. Raw on the other hand is non-stop filler.
Winner this week: Nitro
Score to date: Nitro 49, Raw 17
(Television Ratings: Raw - 2.3; Nitro - 3.4)