Live from Cleveland, OH

Airdate: April 1, 1996

Attendance: 7,000 (3,831 paid)

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

Match 1: Sting versus the Giant (w/ Jimmy Hart)


Rating: NONE

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


Rating: ***

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)


Rating: *1/2

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


Rating: ***1/2

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

Attendance: 3,000

Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler

To open the show, Vince and Lawler recap WrestleMania.

Opening montage.

Match 1: Mankind versus Bob “Sparkplug” Holly


Rating: DUD

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


Rating: *1/2

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


Rating: **

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:

  1. Bob Backlund campaigning in the stands.
  2. An RSPW sign.
  3. 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)


Rating: *1/2

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.

Stay tuned for Monday Night War week 31!

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

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