Hosted by Eric Bischoff, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, and Steve “Mongo” McMichael
Match 1: Sting versus the Giant (w/ Jimmy Hart)
As the program opened, both men were already in the ring.
Last week’s face turn? What face turn?
On that note, where’s the opening montage?
Sting clipped the Giant then mounted the top turnbuckle and clipped him again. (whistle) Personal foul #1 Offense. 15 yard penalty. First down.
Next he tried a cross-body block coming off the ropes and hit the Giant like he was a brick wall.
Elbow drop by the Giant who then tossed Sting outside the ring.
Upon following Sting outside, he whipped him into the steel railing.
After giving Sting a military press, the Giant vaulted Sting back into the ring.
When the Giant got up on the apron, he grabbed Sting for a chokeslam.
Instead Sting dropkicked him sending down to the floor in a heap.
Luger entered the ring so referee Randy Anderson called for the bell.
Summary: Not sure what this was supposed to be other than erasing Giant’s face turn.
Opening montage. Oh, there it is.
The broadcast team mentioned what transpired prior to going on the air. We then see footage where Hart bribed Harlem Heat not to compete against Giant and Sting.
Match 2 (triangle tag team): Nasty Boys versus the Road Warriors versus the Steiner Brothers
Rick caught Knobbs with a powerslam to take the early advantage.
Elbow drop got no count thanks to a Sags save.
Scott came in and gave Sags a dropkick.
After Knobbs clotheslined Rick, Animal clotheslined Knobbs.
After an elbow drop, Animal dove at Knobbs but only ate the top rope. Sorry, I don’t do top rope restaurant recommendations.
As Sags gave Animal a running clothesline in the corner, Hawk tagged in and made Sags eat a boot to the face.
Scott entered the ring and gave Hawk a pumphandle slam.
Double clothesline put both men down.
With Scott in the corner, Hawk charged but missed landing all the way down on the floor.
Scott followed up with a double axe handle off the apron to the floor.
Back in the ring, Hawk gave Scott a hangman’s neckbreaker.
Fist drop by Hawk got 2.
Animal tagged in and gave Scott a flying shoulder block.
He then ran in Rick’s direction and got crushed.
Scott came back in and gave Animal an overhead belly-to-belly suplex.
Sags came in and gave Scott an elbow drop.
Rick tagged back in and knocked Knobbs down with a big right hand.
Running body block by Rick. Who does he think he is? Vader?
After Rick tossed Sags outside the ring, Hawk nailed Sags.
The match then detoured outside the ring.
Referee Nick Patrick restored order as Scott and Animal are back in the ring.
Rick tagged in, charged at Animal, and ate boot.
HUGE shoulder block by Hawk sent Rick down to the mat.
After receiving a cross-corner whip from Knobbs, Scott exploded out of the corner to clothesline him.
Vertical suplex by Knobbs got 2 on Scott.
Backbreaker by Sags to Rick got 2.
Clothesline and elbow drop got 2 for Knobbs on Rick.
As Sags and Hawk fought outside the ring, Rick delivered a German release suplex to Knobbs.
On the floor. Hawk gave Sags a dropkick making him taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the cumin rubbed moonfish at Fire.
After a commercial break, a double clothesline knocked both Rick and Animal down to the mat.
Powerslam from Hawk to Sags.
Knobbs tagged in and hit Hawk with a running clothesline.
Splash by Knobbs got no count thanks to a save by Rick.
Irish whip-assisted corner splash by the Nasty Boys to Hawk.
Bulldog by Knobbs to Hawk got 2.
German suplex #2 by Rick to Knobbs.
Knobbs slammed Rick then mounted the second turnbuckle.
Rick caught him and attempted a belly-to-belly superplex.
Instead Hawk nailed both of them sending them crashing to the floor.
CLEAN-UP IN AISLE 5!
Knobbs got up and rammed Rick into the ring post.
With Patrick distracted with someone off camera, Scott backdropped Animal over the top rope to the floor.
The Public Enemy ran in, nailed Knobbs with a chair, and tossed what looked like a Nasty Boy in the ring.
Scott pinned the Nasty Boy.
Summary: Stiff, hard-hitting match with a unique and clever finish.
As it turned out, Johnny Grunge was wearing a Nasty Boys shirt and ate the pin to screw with the Nasty Boys. To completely commit to the gimmick, Grunge cut his hair just like Knobbs. Wow! So it was the Public Enemy all along! I get it.
On WCW Saturday Night, Luger defends the World TV title against the Giant (aired 4/6, taped 3/27). Also, Savage faces Scott Norton (did not occur) while Flair tangles with the Booty Man (no evidence located).
Match 3: Hulk Hogan and the Booty Man (w/ the Booty Babe) versus the Taskmaster and the “Enforcer” Arn Anderson (w/ Woman and Elizabeth)
Eric noted that the first drawing for the Lethal Lottery will take place on WCW Saturday Night this weekend.
Subsequently, Heenan announced that after tonight he was officially retired. Wow! That’s quite an announcement though I’m suspicious about the timing.
Arn tried a spinning toe hold on the Booty Man but got kicked into the corner instead.
Atomic drop from the Booty Man to Arn sent him into a right hand by Hogan.
The Taskmaster came in and received an atomic drop too.
Arn pulled the Booty Man outside the ring and made him taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the salmon Caesar at the Blue Point Grille.
As Arn confronted the Booty Babe, Hogan swooped down and gave him a clothesline.
Back in the ring, a double big boot put Arn down on the mat.
After a cross-corner whip, the Taskmaster made the Booty Man eat boot.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle, got caught, and came down the hard way.
Knee lift by the Booty Man sent the Taskmaster scurrying to the floor.
Arn reversed a cross-corner whip but ate a back elbow from Hogan.
Stungun from Hogan to Arn.
Hogan went for the pin, saw the Taskmaster coming, and got out of the way.
The Taskmaster accidentally delivered an elbow drop to Arn. Oops.
Double noggin-knocker by Hogan.
Double clothesline to Arn.
After Arn tossed the Booty Man outside the ring, the Booty Man brawled with the Taskmaster.
The Booty Man then re-entered the ring via sunset flip to Arn.
Wisely Arn tagged out to the Taskmaster.
As Arn distracted referee Randy Anderson, Woman raked the face of the Booty Man. How dastardly!
Running clothesline by the Taskmaster to the Booty Man. Taskmaster egged on Hogan to interfere.
As Hogan came in and distracted Anderson, Taskmaster tossed the Booty Man over the top rope to the floor.
Arn then guillotined the Booty Man using the bottom rope.
Both the Taskmaster and the Booty Man were down in the ring until the Booty Man made the hot tag to Hogan.
Big boot by Hogan to Taskmaster.
Big boot by Hogan to Arn.
Boos can be heard from the Cleveland faithful.
As the Booty Babe gave Hogan her shoe, the Taskmaster also had Woman’s shoe.
Hogan blocked the Taskmaster’s shoe shot then nailed him with the Booty Babe’s shoe.
Summary: While the match wasn’t boring, the result was predictable. YAWN.
After the match, Woman grabs the Booty Babe until the Booty Man rescues her. As she joined her man and Hogan in the ring, she planted a big kiss on the Booty Man. Down in Atlanta, DDP was allegedly crying.
1-800-COLLECT sponsors the replay; however, Eric screams to get the camera back on the ring. According to Eric, the Booty Man went back to the ring to retrieve the Booty Babe’s shoe and got trampled by Arn and the Taskmaster. So the faces win the match, but the heels get the last laugh. Hulk Hogan booking, ladies and gentlemen.
“Mean” Gene Okerlund gets into the ring to interview Hogan and the Booty Man. Massive booing can be heard as the WCW crowd is TIRED of Hogan’s shtick. Meanwhile, Booty Man asks Hogan be his partner on the next episode of WCW Monday Nitro. After some fact-checking, I discover that Nitro is pre-empted AGAIN next week. Was there another Civil War mini-series they needed to broadcast instead?
Match 4 for the WCW World title: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (champion w/ Woman and Elizabeth) versus the World TV and World tag team champion “Total Package” Lex Luger
The theme music for the WWF Superstar line brought Luger to the ring.
Prior to his entrance, Flair noticed an attractive blonde in the audience. Eric pointed out that it was Debra McMichael—Mongo’s then-wife.
Just to spite Savage, Flair still has “Macho Man” on the WCW World title belt. BURN!
Woman tried to distract Luger with Elizabeth. Eventually, she ended up being more than just a distraction to him.
Gorilla press slam for Luger put Flair down on the mat then to the floor.
Gorilla press slam #2 woke up the crowd.
Luger reversed a cross-corner whip but ate a back elbow.
After strutting for the appreciative crowd, he mounted the top turnbuckle.
Of course, he…♬…came…down…the…haaaaaaard….waaaay!...♬
Running clothesline by Luger while a second one sent Flair over the top rope to the floor.
Flair threw a tantrum and headed backstage.
After Woman helped Flair to regroup, he re-entered the ring.
Gorilla press slam #3 on the top rope. OUCH!
A series of clotheslines by Luger kept the champ down.
After Luger tried to give Elizabeth his cell # chased off the women, he attempted to re-enter the ring.
Unfortunately for him, Flair gave him a knee to the mid-section sending him from the apron to tasting the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Italian Market pizza at Great Lakes Brewing Company.
While Flair distracted referee Nick Patrick, Woman clawed Luger on the floor.
Again Flair distracted Patrick so Woman clawed Luger on the apron.
When Luger returned to the ring, Flair clipped him. (whistle) Personal foul. Defense. #0. 15-yard penalty. Still first down.
Flair hooked the figure-four leg lock.
Luger reversed the hold, but Flair tossed Luger outside the ring.
Next Flair whipped Luger into the steel railing, but Luger no-sold it.
In fact, he came back with a clothesline to Flair on the floor.
Flair returned to the ring first, but Luger tried a sunset flip.
When Flair reached for the top rope, Patrick kicked his arm loosening the grip.
Flair then went down but only for a 2 count.
Backslide by Luger got another 2.
Flair flip, but Flair landed on the apron.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle, came off, but got caught.
Luger then put Flair on the top turnbuckle and hit a superplex.
Powerslam by Luger as Woman got up on the apron.
While Luger got Flair up in the Torture Rack, Elizabeth distracted Patrick.
Woman came into the ring and splashed hot coffee in Luger’s face. How dastardly!
Flair took Luger down by the tights and pinned him with his feet on the ropes. Woohoo!
Summary: While this was the tried and true formula for these guys, the finish was different. Regrettably, a foreign object finish occurred in the previous match; thus, I must deduct ½*.
After the match, Sting comes out to check on his friend as Flair flaunts his victory in the aisle.
At the broadcast table, after shaking hands with Mongo and Eric, Heenan revealed his retirement as an April fool’s joke. HA! My suspicions were correct.
Conclusion: Take a standard card deck and shuffle them. Why do I ask? Because that’s exactly what WCW did here. I’m not sure if they felt using the same players in different scenarios would beat the post-WrestleMania RAW, but it didn’t seem like they were trying very hard here.
TV Rating: 2.80
WWF Monday Night RAW
Live from San Bernardino, CA
Airdate: April 1, 1996
Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler
To open the show, Vince and Lawler recap WrestleMania.
Match 1: Mankind versus Bob “Sparkplug” Holly
Mick Foley made his RAW debut here wearing a brown face mask.
The symbol on the back of his ring attire resembled a combination of a Celtic cross and the symbol of life.
At ringside, a fan held up a sign asking to “Bring back the Conquistadors.” Clever!
As referee Mike Chioda got between Mankind and Holly, the former Cactus Jack attacked the future “super-heavyweight.”
After pummeling Holly in the corner, Mankind put a knee to Holly’s head.
To celebrate, Mankind pulled his own hair out.
Back elbow by Holly was answered by an elbow by Mankind.
Clothesline by Holly followed by that sweet dropkick.
Holly tried a cross-body block but sailed over the top rope to the floor instead.
Mankind met him outside the ring then gave him a stungun on the apron. OUCH!
A few ECW fans were overheard chanting “he’s hardcore.”
After tying Holly to the tree of woe, Mankind dropped a fist to the head.
Chioda freed Holly from the corner then Mankind applied the Mandible claw.
As Mankind screamed, Holly passed out.
Summary: Good showcase match for the debuting Mankind in spite of the lack of crowd noise.
Check out the encore of WrestleMania XII tomorrow night!
Sable is sitting in the front row.
Match 2: “Wildman” Marc Mero (w/ Sable) versus Isaac Yankem
Dropkick by Mero sent Yankem outside the ring.
Mero followed up with a somersault plancha. Nice!
After throwing Yankem back into the ring, Mero delivered a slingshot leg drop for 2.
Flying headscissors and a knee lift put Yankem down on the mat.
Mero then mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a double axe handle for 2.
In the meantime, a delusional fan held up a sign reading “Bring back Jamison.” Seriously?
As Helmsley made his way to the ring, Yankem delivered a clothesline.
Helmsley sat down next to Sable as Yankem rammed Mero’s head into the top turnbuckle.
A cross-corner whip by Yankem caused a sternum bump by Mero.
Yankem quickly followed with a belly-to-back suplex for 2.
Crucifix by Mero only got 2.
Another sternum bump in the corner by Mero. Yankem tried the belly-to-back suplex again, but Mero flipped over him.
Reverse rollup got 2 for Mero.
After channeling his inner Johnny B Badd by hitting the Tutti Frutti, Mero mounted the top turnbuckle again.
Top rope sunset flip got the pin.
Summary: Sensational debut for Mero. I look forward to seeing more from this guy here in the WWF.
After the match, Sable applauds Mero ignoring Helmsley. Mero came to their location as Helmsley grabbed Sable. Her response was a slap to Helmsley’s face. Mero then assisted her over the steel railing to exit with him.
Next week the Ultimate Warrior makes his RAW debut.
Ed Begley, Jr. wants you to watch his show after RAW.
RAW is sponsored by the US Army and milk.
Highlights from the Free for All where the Bodydonnas won the WWF tag team titles are shown. At the next In Your House, a rematch between the Bodydonnas and Godwinns will take place.
Match 3 (non-title): WWF tag team champions the Bodydonnas (w/ Sunny) versus Barry Horowitz and Aldo Montoya
As Sunny exited the ring, she modeled off her cleavage the WWF tag title belt.
Shoulder block by Montoya got 2 on Skip.
Standing side headlock and headscissors by Montoya took both Bodydonnas down to the mat.
As Horowitz distracted referee Jack Doan, the Bodydonnas double-teamed Montoya with a double flapjack.
Snap suplex by Skip followed by a pair of elbow drops by Zip.
Knee drop by Zip got 2.
After Skip tossed Montoya outside the ring, he tried to suplex him back in.
However, Montoya blocked it and suplexed Skip to the floor.
He then mounted the second turnbuckle and hit a flying body press to Skip on the floor.
Who is this guy? He’s incredible! Wait, oh yeah…
High knee by Horowitz who then dispatched Zip from the corner.
He hooked the Horowitz cradle, but Doan was distracted by Sunny.
Montoya tagged, hit another flying body press, but only got 2.
German suplex with a bridge only got 2 for Skip.
Huracanrana by Montoya countered into a powerbomb by Skip.
Super huracanrana by Skip followed by a cannonball by Zip.
Summary: More competitive than I thought it’d be. You can definitely see the potential in Montoya here.
After the match, Sunny brings the belts into the ring for the champs.
In case you just tuned in, catch the encore presentation of WrestleMania XII tomorrow night.
When we return from a commercial break, we see 3 things:
Bob Backlund campaigning in the stands.
An RSPW sign.
Another sign decreeing Hogan as the anti-Christ. Wow!
Call the Superstar line and listen to Lex Luger’s entrance music post-WrestleMania news.
Vince is in the ring and interviews the NEW WWF champion—Shawn Michaels. As he makes his way to the ring, he’s wearing a ball cap? That’s odd. He lets us know that he appreciates the support. Vince tells Shawn that next week he must defend the WWF title against Lawler while Diesel will be on commentary. The chair shot from MSG is shown again. In regards to last night’s marathon match, Michaels sings Hart’s praises. As Vince mentions Lawler again, the crowd chants “Burger King” at him. Michaels calls him “Kingfish” then makes a White Castle reference. He then tells Diesel that they were good friends but are better enemies, and he will beat him at IYH.
Dok Hendrix in the WWF Store shills the Shawn Michaels’ autographed championship mat plague. Only 4800 were made. Get yours for only $49.95. I hope they cleaned it before they sold it. Bacterial infection, anyone?
Prior to the next match, Begley shills his new show after RAW.
Match 4: The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) versus Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw (w/ Zebekiah)
In the ring to my left, Bradshaw stood alongside Zebekiah.
Vince noted that next week Ahmed Johnson and Davey Boy Smith will have an arm-wrestling contest. Additionally, Yokozuna will face Vader.
After giving the Undertaker a cross-corner whip, Bradshaw ate boot.
Powerslam by Bradshaw, but the Undertaker did the zombie sit-up.
Lariat and elbow drop by Bradshaw kept the dead man down.
Boot to the face by Bradshaw sent the Undertaker to the floor.
During the commercial break, the Karate Fighters slam of the week was the car stunt during the Hollywood backlot brawl.
When we return to the ring, Bradshaw hit a sidewalk slam for 2.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a flying shoulder block for 2. Wow!
Again he mounted the top turnbuckle but got caught with a powerslam.
After receiving a cross-corner whip, Bradshaw levelled the Undertaker with another lariat.
Big boot by Bradshaw, but the Undertaker came back with a flying clothesline.
Chokeslam and tombstone finish off Bradshaw.
But, of all people, Mankind ran in and nailed the Undertaker in the back.
Undertaker won by DQ.
Summary: Impressive work by Bradshaw, but he wasn’t pulling the upset here.
After the match, Mankind nails the Undertaker sending him outside the ring. As the crowd again chants “he’s hardcore,” To appease his small following, Mankind makes the Undertaker taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the crab-stuffed mushrooms at Castaway. Next he rammed the Undertaker knees-first into the steps. As Bearer checks on him, Mankind delivers the Cactus elbow. While screaming, he gives the Undertaker the Mandible claw until officials pull him off. Mankind relentlessly breaks free and reapplies the claw again and again. Wow! The Undertaker’s human! Who’d thunk it?
Conclusion: While the outcomes of each match left little doubt to the viewer, the excitement was in the details. This was a hot RAW with a tremendous finish leaving the audience wanting more. Now THAT’S the way they can win the Monday Night War. I wonder if this trend continues.
TV Rating: 2.90
Who won? The more exciting RAW beat Nitro for the first time (head-to-head) since 1/22 albeit by a tenth of a point. A win is a win though. With Nitro pre-empted next week, I hope RAW doesn’t return to the boring nonsense they were doing prior to WrestleMania.