Live from Canton, OH

Airdate: January 29, 1996

Attendance: 3,500

Hosted by Eric Bischoff, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, and Steve “Mongo” McMichael

Opening montage.

Match 1: Hulk Hogan versus “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (w/ Jimmy Hart)


Rating: ***

Summary: Clever finish to the usual Flair-Hogan encounter. However, I believe there will be more to this story.

After the match Savage comes to Hogan’s aid as Hogan holds his injured eye. Blood can be shown.

On WCW Saturday Night Flair meets Dean Malenko (aired 2/3, taped 1/17). Also Eddie Guerrero faces WCW World tag team champion Lex Luger (aired 2/3, taped late January). In addition Public Enemy, Sting, as well as the Giant and Taskmaster will be there.

Be sure to catch SuperBrawl VI on February 11 live on PPV from St. Petersburg, FL.

Match 2: The Road Warriors versus the Faces of Fear


Rating: ***

Summary: While there were a few miscommunication spots (due to collective ring rust) these teams gelled pretty well together. Welcome back Legion of Doom!

The replay is sponsored by 1-800-COLLECT.

“Mean” Gene Okerlund is in the ring interviewing the Taskmaster and Hugh Morrus. The Taskmaster questions Arn Anderson’s integrity which is big no-no. Ask and you shall receive as Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman enter the ring. Arn takes Pillman to task with respect to his Horseman duties. He then offers Pillman tough love by removing his belt. Taskmaster and Morrus attack Anderson as Pillman cowers outside the ring. Taskmaster finds him and whips him with the belt. A DDT by Arn in the ring puts Morrus down then Arn rescues Pillman. Next he challenges Taskmaster and Morrus to a match with Pillman’s support.

In case you didn’t already know, SuperBrawl VI is live on PPV on February 11.

Gene is still in the ring but with Sister Sherri. We see the result of the wedding angle from Vegas at the Clash. Meanwhile Madusa mounts the top turnbuckle and lands on Sherri. Ring the bell!

Match 3: Sister Sherri versus Alundra Blayze Madusa


Rating: *

Summary: Very short match to blow off the mess from the Clash.

After the match Madusa gave Sherri a German suplex that Sherri wasn’t expecting. She probably got a concussion as she was out cold. Referees Eller and Patrick pull Madusa off Sherri.

Match 4 for the WCW World title: “Macho Man” Randy Savage (champion) versus the Giant


Rating: DUD

Summary: This was all angle with no match. Bait meets switch yet again.

After Eller steals the belt away from Savage, the “Macho Man” jumps on Giant’s back and hooks a sleeper. Flair runs out and pulls Savage from the ring. He then makes him taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Pepe Rosso Salmone at the Bistro.

Flair nails Savage with a chair to the back twice then rams him into the ring post. As Flair knocks Eller out the Giant gives Savage a delayed vertical suplex. To add insult to injury the Giant delivers a trio of backbreakers. Next the Giant delivers the chokeslam. As he sets up for another one Hogan runs out with his head bandaged up wielding a steel chair. He wallops Giant in the back with it and then to the head. A third chair shot in the head sends the Giant over the top rope to the floor.

Hugh Morrus and Meng run into the ring and eat chair shots of their own. The One Man Gang and the Taskmaster receive shots as well. As Zodiac holds the Giant back once again Flair storms the broadcast position. He mentions the two cage matches at SuperBrawl as Giant joins him. Next he vows to take his belt and Elizabeth “one more time.”

Conclusion: What a chaotic ending! This show had both fluff and stuff for everyone. I wonder how RAW was counter-programmed.

TV Rating: 2.80

WWF Monday Night RAW

Taped from Stockton, CA

Airdate: January 29, 1996 (taped 1/22)

Attendance: 2,904

Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler

Opening montage.

Match 1: Diesel versus “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith (w/ Jim Cornette)


Rating: **

Summary: MUCH better match than what transpired in October. Then again that’s not saying much.

Slam Jam with Dok Hendrix: Despite the threat of legal action another Billionaire Ted skit is forthcoming. By the way In Your House VI will take place on February 18 live on PPV from Louisville, KY.

For IYH VI in the main event Bret will defend the WWF title against Diesel in a steel cage. Within a pre-taped interview he cuts a promo on Diesel black eye and all. Also on the PPV Shawn Michaels puts up his WrestleMania XII title shot against Owen. In addition Razor Ramon will face the 1-2-3 Kid in a crybaby match. Loser of said match will be fed a baby bottle and must wear a diaper. Fun for the whole family, I’m sure. Lastly a rematch from the very first Free for All Duke “The Dumpster” Droese will face Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Highlights from this past weekend’s Superstars show Helmsley nailing Droese from behind after a Droese victory. While hitting him with his own garbage can Helmsley also cut Droese’s hair. How scandalous!

According to Dok on 1/17 a Turner executive contacted the WWF by phone to “express his delight” with the skits. However, on 1/23, a letter sent from the same individual (i.e. Eric Bischoff) threatened legal action. It also dismissed prior claims by the WWF and informed them of WCW’s drug-testing policy. Dok threw it in WCW’s face and introduced the next Billionaire Ted skit:

At a press conference Billionaire Ted with the Huckster and Nacho Man alongside refutes being a hillbilly and wearing cheap suits. Secondly, he refuses to answer a question regarding putting the WWF out of business. Third, he is questioned about undercutting advertising revenue for the WWF which he also rebuffs. Fourth, the question of putting Nitro in the same slot as RAW in order to hurt the WWF is raised and acknowledged by Ted. He also doesn’t deny trying to put the WWF out of business. Fifth, the question of who will win the WrestleMania XII match between the Huckster and Nacho surfaces with the Huckster’s response being “it’s in my contract…that I never lose.” (Meanwhile Hogan lost on Nitro.)

What is my $.02 on this? It’s absolute drivel. While it is considered poor play by WCW to give away results of taped programming the response to that is “STOP TAPING.” It’s not to create bad skits that mock the competition. While this is cut-throat it’s also juvenile and unnecessary.

Match 2: The Godwinns (w/ Hillbilly Jim) versus the Body Donnas (w/ Sunny)


Rating: *

Summary: Showcase match for the new tag team plus a hot diva might equal ratings.

After the match Henry ejects Skip over the top rope to the floor then the hillbillies square-dance with Sunny much to her dismay.

Next week on RAW Bret defends the title against the Undertaker again.

We see highlights of Vader and his participation in the Royal Rumble following by his victory over Savio Vega and the aftermath. In a pre-taped segment Clarence Mason and Jim Cornette challenge the WWF regarding Vader’s suspension. A Get Well Gorilla campaign is then shown.

Vince is in the ring and introduces us to WWF interim President Gorilla Monsoon’s replacement stand-in—“Rowdy” Roddy Piper! This is Piper’s first WWF appearance since the 1994 King of the Ring. Piper asks McMahon if he is his boss which is pretty funny. He then references his Snuka demolition via coconut. Next he refers to Cyndi Lauper, Mr. T, and Dick Clark. Following that he touts the WWF New Generation and wants to “straighten things out.” In quick, witty fashion he praises Vince by saying “nice suit, kid.” HA!

Piper then tells the WWF fans that they’re in “good hands” with him. Who is he, AllState? He then states “everybody’s gotta pay the Piper, and you’re (Vince) no different.” He then hoists Vince on his shoulders in a fireman’s carry and gives him an airplane spin. While I realize that Piper has an authoritative role rather than a competitive one his references were extremely outdated. I wonder if he was getting pointers from Okerlund.

A Mankind vignette is shown. Welcome to the WWF, Mick Foley! “Have a nice day!”

Promotional consideration paid for by the following: Edge shave gel.

Match 3: “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels versus Yokozuna


Rating: ***

Summary: Shawn Michaels is one of the few wrestlers out there that could carry Yokozuna to such a rating.

After the match Smith joins Owen and Yokozuna in the ring. Just as all three men are about to corner Michaels Diesel runs in to balance the sides.

Vince interviews Cornette who informs us there is no dissention in his stable whatsoever. Cornette then challenges the Dudes with Attitudes to a tag team match next week against Yokozuna and Smith. In their own unique way they accept the challenge.

Conclusion: Since it was tonight’s theme, the question of Yokozuna’s membership within the Cornette stable wasn’t answered tonight, but its status is up in the air. While it was mildly entertaining it wasn’t great. There was a lot of filler between the matches which may not bode well in the ratings for the WWF. Let’s see…

TV Rating: 2.40

Who won? Yep, I was right. The taped RAW fell flat after being live last week. In spite of WCW’s having close to five hours of wrestling last week the wrestling audience still chose Nitro this week with everything it offered.

In other news this week Konnan beat the One Man Gang for the US title in a match taped for the Main Event. Also Raven won the ECW title from Sandman in Philadelphia on 1/27. Neither title reign was very long for either man. Do I smell a trend in the wrestling world?

Anyways, see you next time for week 22 of the Monday Night War!

Comments? Suggestions? Send them to me at rsg@rockstargary.com and follow me on Twitter (@rockstargary202).

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