Hosted by Eric Bischoff, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, and Steve “Mongo” McMichael
Match 1 for the World TV title: Lex Luger (champion) versus Loch Ness
Before the broadcast team could even turn on their microphones, the Giant was kicking the bejeezus out of Loch Ness in the aisle.
Within seconds of being on the air, the Giant made Loch Ness taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the southern fried chicken at Bea’s Restaurant. Yum!
As Giant continued to beat the starch out of Loch Ness, Luger made his entrance, posed, and walked right past the carnage.
The bell rung.
Referee Randy Anderson counted Loch Ness out.
Summary: No match thanks to the Giant.
After the match, Jimmy Hart jumped in Luger’s arms, but Luger is still perplexed by his presence.
Luger then makes his way to the announce position. Luger’s on a roll as Heenan applauds his effort.
Tony Schiavone, filling in for the under-the-weather “Mean” Gene Okerlund, stands by the entrance and interviews the ”Megapowers.” Lots of boos can be heard from the live crowd. Hogan steals the “dirtiest player in the game” moniker from Flair. Them’s fightin’ words! Last, but not least, he doesn’t care what the Taskmaster brings out of the Dungeon of Doom. Be careful what you ask for, Hulk.
Match 2: The Steiner Brothers versus Public Enemy
Considering what occurred between the Steiners and Road Warriors last week, I fear for Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge’s safety in this match.
Before Public Enemy went to the ring, they grabbed a table and brought it with them.
Eric called the WWF the World Whining Federation again. Har-de-har-har.
Rocco countered a tilt-a-whirl slam from Scott with an arm drag.
However, he was unable to counter the second one.
Gorilla press slam from Scott chased Rocco outside the ring.
Scott then hit a double axe handle from the apron to the floor.
Rick tagged in and the crowd barked like dogs for him.
Powerslam by Rick kept the crowd barking.
Steinerlines to both members of Public Enemy cleared the ring.
Eric noted that Chicago Bulls forward Dennis Rodman received a six-game suspension from the NBA. Could he be WCW-bound?
After Rocco tossed Rick outside the ring, Grunge gave Rick a bulldog on a plastic chair.
Eric also noted that Booker T will replace Luger in the Chicago Street Fight at the PPV this Sunday.
After a slam, Rocco mounted the second turnbuckle and hit a moonsault on Rick.
DDT by Rocco followed by a top rope, oops, Rocco got caught on the way down and received a powerslam for 2.
Scott tagged in and placed Rocco on the top turnbuckle.
He then executed a T-bone superplex. Wow!
Out of nowhere, Rocco hit a springboard moonsault on Scott for 2.
Swinging neckbreaker from Grunge got 2.
After Grunge put Scott on the top turnbuckle, he tried a superplex. Nonetheless, Scott countered with a front suplex sending Grunge down to the mat.
Overhead belly-to-belly suplex by Scott to Grunge led to the hot tag.
To counter the WWF’s using Olympian Mark Henry, WCW signed 1994 Olympian Chip Minton. I wonder how he’ll fare “where the big boys play.” The quick answer is Henry had the better longevity in pro wrestling.
After Rocco tossed Rick outside the ring, he made Rick taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Country Cuban sandwich at the 1885 Grill.
As Scott delivered the ten-punch count-along to Grunge, Rocco placed Rick upon the table.
After Rocco dumped Scott, he charged toward Rick and hit a somersault plancha through the table.
Unfortunately for Rocco, Rick moved out of the way!
Back in the ring, Scott hoisted Grunge up, and the Steiners hit the Steinerizer.
Summary: Not as hard-hitting as last week, but still pretty damn good.
PEPBOYS Power Pin of the Week sponsors the replay.
Prior to the next match, Eric runs down the card at Uncensored:
For the US title, Konnan defends against Eddie Guerrero.
In a Chicago street fight, Booker T and Sting square off against the Road Warriors.
In a man versus woman match, Madusa tangles with Colonel Parker.
Loch Ness seeks revenge against the Giant.
Four-cage Doomsday match. Stipulations still up in the air.
Match 3: The “Enforcer” Arn Anderson (w/ Woman) versus the Booty Man
In 1985, this match would headline World Championship Wrestling at 6:05pm on Saturday night.
Unfortunately, in 1996, this match doesn’t sound as promising.
Eric noted that if DDP loses the match to the Booty Man at Uncensored, then DDP will be forced to retire. Hmmm…I’m not certain if I recall his retirement in 1996 or not.
The Booty man rammed Arn’s head into the turnbuckles.
Unfortunately for us Kimberly lovers, she was renamed the Booty Girl. Sigh.
Instead of receiving a right hand coming off the ropes, Arn ducked outside the ring.
The Booty Man met him there, received a knee to the mid-section, and then got his back rammed into the apron.
As Arn worked over the left arm, he gave the Booty Man an Anderson slam.
Arn then mounted the second turnbuckle only to receive a shot to the mid-section on the way down.
Powerslam and back body drop by the Booty Man.
Speak her name and she appears! The Booty Girl headed to the ring.
An extremely jealous Woman removed her shoe and stalked the Booty Girl. I bet Chris Benoit admired her intensity.
The Booty Man got between the women enabling Arn to jump from the apron and give the Booty Man a double axe handle.
As Arn tossed the Booty Man back in the ring, the Booty Man gained his feet immediately.
So when Arn tried to re-enter the ring, The Booty Man gave him the high knee and got the pin.
Summary: I’d rather have the Booty Man retire than DDP at Uncensored; therefore, I’ll definitely be rooting for Page.
On WCW Saturday Night, the Road Warriors will battle Public Enemy (aired 3/23, taped 3/20). Sting faces Earl Robert Eaton. Eddie Guerrero matches up against Alex Wright Steve Doll. Lastly, Ric Flair wrestles against Sergeant Craig Pitman.
Match 4: The Road Warriors versus the Nasty Boys
As the Road Warriors entered the ring, Eric mentioned the Alliance to End Hulkamania. As my fellow wrestling columnist Scott Keith correctly pointed out, TAEH is the opposite of heat.
The Nasty Boys stormed the ring, and a four-way brawl took place.
After Knobbs sent Animal over the top rope to the floor, he delivered a double axe handle from the apron to Animal.
On the other side of the ring, Hawk rammed Sags into the ring post shoulder-first.
During the commercial break, an ad for Uncensored aired.
When we return, the Nasty Boys delivered a double clothesline to Hawk.
Just as Knobbs mounted the top turnbuckle, Animal pushed him.
As Knobbs straddled the top rope, Hawk gave him a shoulder block making him taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Sloppy Jose taco at Taco Mamacita.
When Animal was working over Knobbs outside the ring, Sags gave Animal a plastic chair shot.
In retaliation, Animal grabbed the chair and nailed both Nasty Boys with it.
Back in the ring, Animal gave Knobbs a shoulder block.
While referee Nick Patrick was distracted with Animal, Hawk gave Knobbs a low blow.
The buffering from the WWE Network during this match was HORRIBLE. C’mon, WWE. Get it together!
Meanwhile the Road Warriors continued to work on Knobbs’ ribs.
Powerslam by Animal followed by an elbow drop got 2.
He then went for a splash but only hit knees.
As the match broke down, the Steiners ran in and knocked Sags from the ring.
Scott then made Sags taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the General Homeboy at Taco Mamacita.
Somehow Animal’s arm pad wound up in the middle of the ring. He picked it up and sent Knobbs into the middle of 1997.
Summary: Since the Road Warriors have a match at the PPV, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out who would win here. How they got there wasn’t too shabby.
After the match, Hawk nails both Scott and Rick with a plastic chair.
Don’t miss Uncensored this Sunday only on PPV!
Match 5 (Texas tornado): Hulk Hogan and “Macho Man” Randy Savage versus “Nature Boy” Ric Flair and the Taskmaster (w/ Woman)
If you’re expecting a ***** classic here, you’ve got the wrong match.
Hogan followed Flair to the floor then made him taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the “Hurts So Good” wings at Sing It or Wing It.
After placing a souvenir Macho Man hat on Flair, Hogan rammed Flair’s head into the apron.
At the same time, on the other side of the ring, the Taskmaster whipped Savage back-first into the ring post.
After Flair tossed Hogan back inside the ring, he mounted the top turnbuckle.
Needless to say, but guess what happened? ?…he came down the…hard…way! ?
A Flair flip morphed into a Hogan clothesline sending Flair back to the floor.
Outside the ring, Hogan choked the Taskmaster with a camera cable.
On the other side of the ring, Woman raked Savage’s eyes as Flair held him.
Hogan nailed the Taskmaster with the plastic chair twice then walloped Flair with it.
Back in the ring, Savage delivered a clothesline to Flair.
Some fisticuffs by Savage resulted in a Flair flop.
Consecutively Flair gave a charging Savage a back elbow then Hogan gave the Taskmaster a clothesline in the corner.
After Flair tossed Hogan over the top rope to the floor, the Taskmaster mounted the second turnbuckle and nailed Savage with Flair’s assistance.
Flair then slapped the figure-four leg lock on Savage.
Hogan then slapped the figure-four leg lock on the Taskmaster.
Savage reversed the hold.
A shoving match between referee Randy Anderson and Flair took place which Anderson won.
Axe bomber from Hogan to Flair as the Taskmaster tossed Savage outside the ring.
The Taskmaster followed Savage and rammed him twice face-first into the ring post.
Belly-to-back suplex by Flair…no-sold by Hogan. Groan.
Outside the ring, the Taskmaster straddled Savage on the steel railing. OUCH!
Flair flip #2 sent Flair directly to the floor.
While on the floor, Flair responded to Hogan for stealing his moniker if you catch my drift.
Once the Taskmaster tossed Savage over the top rope to the floor, Flair whipped him into the steel railing.
Forearm blow from the apron to the floor by Taskmaster to Hogan.
After giving Hogan an eye rake, Woman gave Flair her shoe.
Flair hammered Hogan with it.
After some showboating, Flair made the cover…yet only got 2!
Meanwhile Arn came to the ring.
Big boot, but when Hogan went to come off the ropes, Arn tripped him.
Wait a minute! What in the blue hell is Brian PIllman doing here? Wasn’t he fired? I guess it was all a work by Bischoff.
The bell rang as Pillman tried to nail Savage with a chair. At the same time, the Taskmaster nailed Pillman with one.
Summary: Messy sports-entertainment match with a sports-entertainment finish.
After the match, the carnage continues 4-on-2. All of a sudden, the Booty Man hits the ring. Arn motions to the back, and Tiny Lister and Jeep Swenson with Jimmy Hart hit the ring. The last time Lister was involved in professional wrestling was in 1989 for Summerslam. Having also performed in the movie No Holds Barred, Swenson and his gigantic biceps returned to pro wrestling.
Flair gets on the microphone and calls out Hogan. Tony gets in the ring to interview TAEH. The Taskmaster, Flair and Arn all gloat about their team. Flair tells Savage that he’ll bring Elizabeth to visit him in the hospital “after she rides Space Mountain all night long. Woo!” Tell him, Nature Boy!
Conclusion: Napkin meet pen as this show appeared to be booked on the fly. While there was a ton of promotion for the PPV on Sunday, the Hogan nonsense at the end made me shake my head.
TV Rating: 3.60
WWF Monday Night RAW
Taped from San Antonio, TX
Airdate: March 18, 1996 (taped 3/11)
Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler
Highlights from Madison Square Garden are shown as Diesel lays out Michaels with a steel chair. Has the WWF ever heard of building suspense?
Match 1: The “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith (w/ Jim Cornette) versus Jake “The Snake” Roberts
Just like the Anderson-Booty Man match on Nitro, this match would have been much better in 1985.
After reversing a hammerlock, Roberts went for an early DDT attempt but was unsuccessful.
Again Roberts reversed a move by Smith, tried the DDT, and failed.
As Smith distracted referee Jack Doan, Cornette nailed Roberts with the tennis racquet.
Vince noted that Smith and Owen will face the Godwinns in the semi-finals of the WWF World tag team title tournament on Superstars.
Cornette distracted Roberts so that Smith could take advantage.
However, within mere seconds, Roberts delivered the DDT.
As Roberts made the cover, Cornette dragged Roberts’ legs out of the ring.
To counter Cornette, Roberts removed the snake from its bag and chased Cornette.
Smith won by count-out.
Summary: Poor Davey. He had nothing to work with except a one-trick pony.
Training videos of Michaels and Hart are shown. This takes up quite a bit of time. What’s on Nitro?
Match 2: Goldust (w/ Marlena) versus Fatu
Just to spite Piper, Goldust wore a kilt during this match.
Fatu gave Goldust a back body drop then mocked him.
As Fatu delivered a head butt to the abdomen of Goldust, Piper was on the phone.
Fatu then mounted the top turnbuckle but missed a diving head butt.
A Goldust clothesline resulted in a 360° sell by Fatu. Sweet!
Curtain call by Goldust got the pin.
Summary: The Piper promo over the phone was better than the match.
Promo for the Ultimate Warrior. Of course Vince had to insert the retirement match at WrestleMania VII that put Savage on the shelf for months.
Recap of last week’s main event preceded a challenge by Roberts on Superstars for a six-man tag team match at WrestleMania.
In the ring, Vince interviews Cornette, Vader, Smith, and Owen. Cornette accepts the challenge then badmouths Yokozuna. He then implicates that Fuji fell down the stairs. Vader gets to shout “Vader Time.”
On the video wall, Yokozuna, in clear and plain English, besmirches Cornette. Roberts then clarifies that if his team win, Yokozuna gets five minutes with Cornette. As a demonstration, Yokozuna bonsai drops a balloon.
Be sure to catch the Iron Man match at WrestleMania XII on March 31 only on PPV.
An actual sell-out (17,000, 14,824 paid) of Madison Square Garden took place over the previous weekend. During the show, Diesel brawls with the Undertaker in the aisle. When they return to the ring, Diesel uses a chair on him then on Bret. After a discussion with Michaels, he WALLOPED Michaels in the back. How dastardly!
Prior to the next match, an ad for the Superstar line is shown using Lex Luger’s music. Huh?
We revisit last week where Diesel floored Bearer.
Match 3: Diesel versus Barry Horowitz
As Diesel made his entrance, he flashed the Wolfpack hand signal more than likely at the still suspended Scott Hall.
After Diesel gave Horowitz a short-arm clothesline, Bearer wheeled a new casket to ringside.
Sidewalk slam by Diesel took place as Bearer finally pushed the casket against the ring.
Meanwhile Horowitz gave Diesel a dropkick to the back.
Big boot by Diesel thwarted the brief Horowitz rally.
He only got a 2 count then knocked Horowitz out with one punch.
Summary: Showcase match for Big Daddy Cool. I’m thinking the aftermath will be better than the match. Let’s see…
Diesel exits the ring and grabs the timekeeper’s wrench. He approaches the casket, knocks on it, and opens it. Inside a Diesel mannequin lies cold as the Undertaker bell tolls. Diesel is beside himself.
A quick peek in the locker room catches a sneak peek at DiBiase, the 1-2-3 Kid, and Tatanka talking strategy.
The Karate Fighters Slam of the Week is Mark Henry’s slam of the King last week.
Next week on RAW Michaels battles Leif Cassidy of the New Rockers while Ahmed Johnson faces Owen.
RAW is sponsored by Snickers and milk.
Match 4 (non-title): WWF Champion Bret “Hitman: Hart versus Tatanka (w/ the “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase)
After mule-kicking a charging Tatanka, Bret mounted the second turnbuckle and gave him a clothesline.
Cross-body block by Bret got 2.
As the 1-2-3 Kid came to the ring, Tatanka delivered a clothesline.
Vicious cross-corner whip by Tatanka followed by a sidewalk slam.
Knee to the mid-section kept Tatanka in control.
A slam and elbow drop got 2 for Tatanka.
Inside cradle by Bret got 2.
After another slam, Tatanka mounted the top turnbuckle, but received a shot to the mid-section on the way down.
Side Russian leg sweep followed by an inverted atomic drop by Bret.
He followed up with a clothesline and a backbreaker.
After that, he delivered a second rope elbow.
Sharpshooter, but DiBiase jumped on the apron.
At first, Bret went after DiBiase then the 1-2-3 Kid jumped on the apron and grabbed Bret.
Tatanka came off the ropes and…struck the Kid instead of Bret.
Seizing the opportunity, Bret rolled Tatanka up and got the pin.
Summary: Despite the odds against Bret, there was no real doubt in the outcome of this match.
Federal Turner Commission: The topics of predatory practices as well as TV industry monopoly are discussed. When asked if the WWF is his latest target, Billionaire Ted uses the famous quote from A Few Good Men. When asked if Billionaire Ted’s trying to put the WWF out of business three times, he finally relents and acquiesces. A plea to write the chairman of the FTC is then shown. Sigh.
Conclusion: The WWF’s current mission may be the road to Wrestlemania, but the quality of programming they put on RAW doesn’t compare one bit to Nitro’s quality. And, truthfully, I don’t believe it’s right for the WWF to make public service announcements citing their agenda during their program. While, within reason, they’re permitted to put anything they want on their program, stuff like this isn’t necessary.
TV Rating: 2.90
Who won? While Nitro wasn’t as red-hot as last week, it was hot enough to get the better portion of wrestling viewers this week. Not counting unopposed weeks, Nitro has won six weeks in a row. Next week contains both the fallout from Uncensored as well as the go-home show for WrestleMania. I can’t wait!