Hosted by Eric Bischoff, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, and Steve “Mongo” McMichael
Match 1 for the WCW World title: “Macho Man” Randy Savage (champion) versus the “Crippler” Chris Benoit
Nancy Benoit Woman and Elizabeth joined Savage at ringside.
Being from Sarasota, FL this was almost as close to home for Savage as possible with only Tampa being an exception.
After Benoit tossed Savage outside the ring he made Savage taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Catfish Pontchartrain at Harry’s Seafood Bar and Grille.
Snap suplex by Benoit.
After a slam Benoit mounted the top turnbuckle and hit the diving head butt.
Outside the ring Benoit rammed Savage into the ring post.
Back in the ring Savage hit a clothesline.
While Woman distracted referee Jimmy Jett Benoit backdropped Savage over the top rope to the floor.
Holy crash landings, Batman! Tope suicida by Benoit totally missed with a SPLAT on the concrete floor. That HAD to hurt…OUCH! Upon further review, his head missed the mat and hit the concrete. YIKES!
After Savage tossed Benoit back into the ring he mounted the top turnbuckle and hit the big elbow.
Flair came out and confronted Elizabeth. As Flair used her as a shield Savage chased after Flair.
Astonishingly Woman came up from behind Savage and choked him with a cable!
WE HAVE A HEEL TURN!
Flair immediately attacked Savage as Jett threw the match out.
Summary: Gimme more! While there was a portion of the match where Savage was in mega-sell mode, and the match seemed one-sided the rest was really good…besides Benoit’s crash on the cement.
After the match Arn joins Flair in stomping the guts out of Savage. Hogan runs in wielding a chair and nails Arn in the head along with one for Benoit. Did anyone really think that Woman would be anything but a heel manager? She’s so dastardly!
“Mean” Gene Okerlund enters the ring, but Savage is removed from the ring by Dillenger and a trainer. Once order is restored Hogan attempts to cut a promo on the Giant for SuperBrawl. In the meantime Flair returns and wallops Hogan in his injured eye. A fan’s sign reads “Bring Back Ultimate Warrior.” Well, he was in the dirt sheets around this time.
Meanwhile Flair beats on Hogan as the Giant and Zodiac come to the ring. Hogan tries to come back but gets demolished by a chair shot to the back by the Giant. For what seems like the millionth time the Zodiac implores the Giant not to touch Hogan as Savage runs back in and swipes the chair away. Intelligently the Giant heads for safer ground.
Savage tells Gene “what I do to Flair cannot be said on TV. Trust me.” I fear for Flair’s life. He then questions Elizabeth’s loyalty to the Monster Maniacs. Hmm. Hogan’s wound has reopened and blood is seen once again. That was a great segment!
Ad for the WCW Magazine.
Prior to the next match we see the melee between Arn/Pillman and Sullivan/Morrus.
On WCW Saturday Night VK Wallstreet faces Craig “Pitbull” Pittman. Also Pillman and Arn compete in a tag team match together. In addition the Giant will be there while Sting and Lex Luger also appear. Finally Savage-Benoit Part 2 will be the main event (aired 2/10, taped 1/17).
Match 2: The “Loose Cannon” Brian Pillman and the “Enforcer” Arn Anderson versus the Taskmaster and Hugh Morrus (w/ Jimmy Hart)
Gorilla press slam by Morrus to Pillman.
Eric notified us that the Taskmaster will face Pillman at SuperBrawl in a “respect” (i.e. strap) match. You’ll definitely want to read my SuperBrawl report for that one.
Morrus gave Arn a gorilla press slam as well.
While Pillman was outside the ring he pushed the cameraman. Eric wasn’t too thrilled with that.
Clothesline by Pillman to Taskmaster.
Each man no-sold the other’s offense. Hmm.
Both men tagged out.
Pillman kicked Morrus as he came off the ropes, but Morrus turned around and choked Pillman.
Arn put a boot to the back to thwart that.
Chop block by Pillman. Personal foul #0. Defense. 15 yards. First down.
After Arn tossed Morrus outside the ring Pillman made him taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like Ginny Lu’s Nutella cheesecake at Fat Maggie’s.
Back in the ring Arn delivered a knee drop to Morrus.
With Pillman in the ring Taskmaster tagged in and a brawl ensued.
Taskmaster tied Pillman to the Tree of Woe and lowered the boom.
The brawl continued as Sullivan went for Pillman’s eyes. Arn pulled him off immediately.
Arn tossed Taskmaster outside the ring and they fought in the aisle.
As Arn was setting Taskmaster up for a piledriver on the concrete floor a broom is WHACKED against Arn’s back from behind the curtain shattering the broom.
Meanwhile back at ringside Pillman received a backdrop from Morrus when attempting a piledriver of his own.
As Taskmaster pulled out a strap referee Randy Eller threw the match out.
Summary: There are two key points to this match. First is the heel-heel dynamic which KILLED the crowd. Didn’t these guys agree to disagree not too long ago? Anyways, my second point being it was obvious Pillman was going off-script against the Taskmaster, and Sullivan acted appropriately. Sunday’s match-up ought to be very interesting.
After the match Morrus mounts the top turnbuckle and hits the No Laughing Matter (moonsault). Subsequently Taskmaster whips Pillman’s back until he escapes.
In case you didn’t already know, SuperBrawl VI happens this Sunday at 7pm EST only on PPV!
Brandon, FL native “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff, in a neck brace, interrupts the broadcast team and subtly tells them that he gave Arn a receipt with that broom shot. Way to go, Mr. Wonderful!
Match 3: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (w/ Woman) versus Marcus Bagwell
**THIS JUST IN** Savage took Hogan to the hospital.
Back to the match.
Clothesline by Bagwell.
Make that 2.
A third one sent Flair over the top rope to the floor.
Bagwell charged after Flair on the floor and clotheslined him again. Lakeland must have had a sale on them.
After Bagwell worked Flair over in the corner a Flair flop occurred.
Dropkick by Bagwell.
Second one missed as Flair held the top rope.
Figure-four attempt by Flair countered into an inside cradle for 2.
Cross-body mix-up and Bagwell went over the top rope to the floor by himself. Oops.
Knee drop by Flair.
Flair mounted the top turnbuckle but came down…the hard way. Same song, different night club.
Another clothesline by Bagwell as Woman shrieked.
After Bagwell hoisted Flair onto the top turnbuckle he hit a superplex.
Slingshot splash by Bagwell hit knees.
Figure-four leg lock.
Summary: Showcase match for Flair as he dominated the American Male. Better days were on the horizon for Mr. Bagwell.
After the match Flair refuses to release the hold and nails referee Jimmy Jett. Back from the hospital Savage runs in to chase Flair away.
Match 4 for the WCW World tag team titles: Sting and the “Total Package” Lex Luger (champions) versus the Road Warriors
Tremendous LOD chant from the crowd.
Elbow drop to Sting by Animal missed.
Face plant by Sting.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a flying clothesline.
As if on cue…piledriver by Luger to Hawk…no-sold by Hawk. Same drink, different bar.
Clothesline by Hawk.
Flying shoulder block.
Clothesline in the corner by Hawk to Sting.
After reversing a cross-corner whip Sting hit the Stinger Splash.
Scorpion death lock attempt but Animal saved.
As Animal ducked a leap frog by Sting Luger low-bridged him sending him over the top rope to the floor.
Three elbow drops by Luger.
Technical difficulties as the WWE Network apologized for them.
The building looked darker.
Eric noted that the entire building lost power. Ah ha! That’s what happened.
Powerslam by Luger to Animal.
Belly-to-back suplex by Animal to Luger.
As Hawk and Sting fought outside the ring Luger gave Animal a vertical suplex.
Animal no-sold it and gave Luger a powerslam.
Jimmy Hart attempted to interfere and dropped a heavy foreign object when Animal grabbed him.
Meanwhile Sting leaped at Hawk, missed, and ate the steel railing. It must have tasted like the picadillo a la Cubana at the Western Caribbean Cuban restaurant.
While Animal had Hart in his clutches Luger nailed Animal in the back with the foreign object.
Summary: Decent main event with Luger working heel while Sting wasn’t looking.
After the match Sting appears to be nonplussed about the situation.
Gene enters the ring and interviews Hawk and Animal. Hawk demands a match against the winner of Sting-Luger versus Harlem Heat at SuperBrawl.
Conclusion: Wow! That was a hot show. Three of the four matches delivered while the fourth told a unique story that was unfolding behind the scenes. Let’s see how RAW was counter-programmed.
TV Rating: 2.90
WWF Monday Night RAW
Taped from Stockton, CA
Airdate: February 5, 1996 (taped 1/22)
Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler
No opening montage as RAW prepares to bring us a huge tag team main event.
Prior to the match we see the leg drop that helped to defeat Smith last week against Diesel. Following that we see an accidentally mistimed spinning heel kick that was supposed to hit Michaels but instead hit Yokozuna causing him to lose.
Match 1: Diesel and the “Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels versus “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith and Yokozuna (w/ Jim Cornette)
Michaels made the Wolfpack hand gesture upon his entrance.
Vince mentioned that Michaels appeared on the Jenny Jones show. Hmm…methinks he’s an eligible bachelor at this point in time.
Meanwhile, back to the match…
Military press by Smith, but Michaels raked his eyes to escape.
Clothesline by Michaels sent Smith over the top rope to the floor. Michaels celebrated by skinning the cat back into the ring.
Yokozuna whipped Michaels into Diesel. Big Daddy Cool caught him and tossed him at Yokozuna.
Two clotheslines by Diesel couldn’t knock Yokozuna down.
A third attempt was countered into a Samoan drop.
Elbow drop by Yokozuna missed.
After receiving a whip by Yokozuna Michaels was low-bridged by Smith sending him to the floor.
While Cornette occupied referee Earl Hebner’s attention Smith whipped Michaels into the steel steps then rammed him face-first into the apron.
The illusionary attempts of being live were quite crafty as Vince and Jerry called the match briefly at ringside. Most of the match was overdubbed later on at Titan Towers.
Delayed vertical suplex by Smith to Michaels.
Nerve hold by Yokozuna.
Knee to the mid-section by Smith to Michaels.
Double head butt.
Yokozuna missed the splash.
Hot tag Diesel.
Running guillotine by Diesel to Yokozuna.
Michaels tagged in, mounted Diesel’s shoulders, and splashed Yokozuna.
Smith tried to save Yokozuna but ended up dropping his leg on him rather than Michaels.
As Diesel clotheslined Smith over the top rope to the floor Michaels gave Yokozuna a superkick sending him through the ropes to the floor as well.
Owen came to the ring, but Yokozuna was counted out.
Summary: Hot tag match with a crappy ending. Yokozuna’s tenure in Cornette’ s stable may be in jeopardy here.
After the match Cornette takes Yokozuna to task for losing yet again. After finally being fed up with Cornette’s berating, Yokozuna pushes Cornette down. As he strikes Cornette, Smith and Owen attack Yokozuna from behind. Yokozuna shrugs them off scattering the brothers-in-law. We have a face turn, ladies and gentlemen.
Mankind vignette featuring the lack of his right ear.
Be sure to catch In Your House VI live from Louisville, KY on February 18 on PPV!
Match 2: The 1-2-3 Kid (w/ the “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase) versus Hakushi
Riddle me this, Batman. The 1-2-3 Kid turned heel, but neither his attire nor his music changed confusing the audience. It’s no wonder why his heel turn fizzled.
Hakushi kipped up out of a head scissors.
Standing thrust kick by Hakushi.
The Kid used Hakushi’s momentum to toss him over the top rope to the floor. Unlike WCW that’s not a DQ in the WWF.
Somersault plancha by the Kid and he landed on his feet. Impressive!
While the Kid occupied referee Jim Korderas’ attention DiBiase put the Guccis to Hakushi outside the ring.
Back in the ring the Kid gave Hakushi a series of kicks in the corner.
He then followed up with a dropkick in the opposite corner.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle but ate a dropkick on the way down.
Handspring elbow by Hakushi.
Reverse enziguri sent the Kid to the floor.
Springboard cross-body from the ring to the floor.
Hakushi then mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a flying shoulder block.
Spinning heel kick by the Kid.
Huracanrana by Hakushi.
He mounted the top turnbuckle again only to receive a dropkick from the Kid.
With Hakushi seated upon the top turnbuckle the Kid hooked a butterfly superplex and got the pin.
Summary: Excellent showcase match for the Kid. He and Hakushi mesh very well in the ring.
Clarence Mason and Jim Cornette argue for Vader’s reinstatement in a pre-taped interview.
Interim WWF President Gorilla Monsoon provides a detailed medical analysis of his condition. Next he apologizes for his conduct against Vader and appreciates the well wishes he has received. He then states that having Piper as his temporary replacement will be good for the WWF.
Ad for the WWF Slammy Awards coming WrestleMania weekend.
Prior to the match Vince informs us that RAW will be pre-empted next week. The USA Network always pre-empted RAW for the Westminster dog show. Only God knows why. He also noted that the Undertaker will face Goldust on RAW on 2/19.
Promotional consideration paid for by Edge (the shave gel not Adam Copeland) and the US Army.
We see highlights from the end of the title match of the Royal Rumble where Diesel interfered causing Bret to lose by disqualification.
Match 3 for the WWF Title: Bret “Hitman” Hart (champion) versus the Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer)
Facial claw by the Undertaker.
Diesel came to the ring.
Ropewalk attempt by the Undertaker, but with the Diesel distraction Hart was able to give the Undertaker an arm drag down to the canvas.
Diesel joined Vince and Lawler on commentary.
After Vince questioned Diesel’s reasoning for being at ringside Diesel wanted a “bird’s eye view” and a possible pay raise. Sounded like he’d already spoken with Razor Ramon Scott Hall about WCW.
Meanwhile Bret rammed the Undertaker’s leg into the ring post.
Belly-to-back suplex by the Undertaker.
After the Undertaker tossed Bret outside the ring he then made Bret taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Frank Underwood sandwich at the Mile Wine Company.
Ropewalk shoulder smash by the Undertaker.
As the Undertaker set Bret up for the tombstone Bret’s legs knocked out referee Tim White.
Rollup by Bret but no count.
Clothesline by the Undertaker.
He then missed an elbow drop.
Once again Bret rammed the Undertaker’s leg into the ring post.
Make that twice.
Diesel left the broadcast table and nailed Bret from behind.
He then rammed Bret head-first into the ring post.
The Undertaker exited the ring and fought with Diesel.
He then rammed Diesel into the ring post.
Diesel wielded a chair and walloped the Undertaker in the back with it.
Meanwhile White is still out. Someone call an ambulance!
After tossing the Undertaker back in the ring Diesel gave him a jackknife powerbomb.
Make that 2.
The crowd booed Diesel.
During the commercial break Bret nailed Diesel in the aisle.
According to Vince the match was declared a draw. Seriously?
Summary: This match was worse than their Royal Rumble encounter. Its only saving grace was the angle involving Diesel.
“Despite the threat of legal action” here is the rest of Billionaire Ted’s press conference:
The question of WCW losing millions of dollars wasting stockholder funds was asked. Ted referred to WCW as a “play thing.” That wouldn’t be too far from the truth actually.
Regarding the Time-Warner merger Ted’s all about having fun no matter what the consequences bring. That’s a stretch.
What’s Ted’s motivation? MONEY! POWER!
Meanwhile the Nacho Man snapped into a Slim Jim.
Ted closed the press conference with the famous line from Looney Tunes.
So the WWF’s the victim here? While I understand the heavy deck that WCW was stacking against them the victim role (rather than the underdog) did not befit the WWF at this point in time. Their show (while stale) had been on the air for three years by this point and was the flagship for wrestling on Monday nights. Unfortunately I’m sure these skits will continue until WrestleMania. Sigh.
Conclusion: The first two matches on the show are good if not great and worth seeking out, but please stop after the Kid-Hakushi match as the rest of the program went downhill.
TV Rating: 2.70
Who won? With the realism of Nitro this week it was a no-brainer that WCW won. Considering RAW is pre-empted next week both shows are considered to be go-home shows for their respective PPVs. With that being said WCW did a much better job promoting their special than the WWF.