Live from Charleston, WV

Airdate: April 15, 1996

Attendance: 8,040 (6,381 paid)

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

Match 1 (handicap): Hulk Hogan versus the “Enforcer” Arn Anderson and the Taskmaster (w/ Woman, Elizabeth, and Jimmy Hart)



Summary: I’m not even going to dignify this crap.

“Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews Hogan after the match as audio technical difficulties mess with the Hulkster. GET OFF MY TV! Good riddance! Go make your movies already! Where were the rest of the Horsemen and Dungeon of Doom? They should have buried Hogan six feet under. You’ve gotta be kidding me!

In spite of my rage against the opening contest, the show must go on…

As the announcers open the program, the feisty crowd chants “Weasel!”

Match 2 (street fight): Nasty Boys versus the Public Enemy


Rating: **1/2

Summary: Since garbage brawls were these two teams’ specialty, they made it worthwhile. The Nasty Boys got their revenge upon Public Enemy for messing with them.

After the match, Rocco charges at Knobbs, who is on the apron, launching him into the steel railing mush-first. Waiter, the Nasty blond will have Mama’s meatballs. Outside the ring, Grunge sets Sags up on a table as Rocco somersaults onto Grunge, and both members of Public Enemy CRUNCH Sags. YEE-OUCH!

Twix Sweet Revenge sponsors the replay.

Match 3: “Macho Man” Randy Savage versus Earl Robert Eaton (w/ Jeeves)


Rating: **1/2

Summary: The story of the match made this a much more enjoyable showcase match than I thought it’d be. Eaton’s impersonation of Flair may not have been great, but it didn’t have to be.

After the match, Savage tosses Anderson down, mounts the top turnbuckle, and leaps over three people to give Eaton another big elbow. Wow! Duggan and Wright hold Savage down as Dillinger handcuffs him.

Ad for the WCW Magazine. Ooh, an exclusive interview with Madusa.

WCW Monday Nitro is sponsored by The Great White Hype.

Match 4 for the WCW World tag team titles: The “Total Package” Lex Luger and Sting (champions) versus WCW World champion “Nature Boy” Ric Flair and the Giant (w/ Woman and Elizabeth)>


Rating: ***

Summary: The underlying story of the match was the brief tension between Flair and Giant. The hot coffee finish recycled from two weeks ago? Seriously? Who booked that crap?

After the match, Giant delivers a chokeslam to Luger then to Sting. Flair struts around the ring and bows to the Giant.

As retribution for the April fool’s joke two weeks ago, Heenan got trapped in his own handcuffs.

Conclusion: If only that first segment hadn’t occurred. Hogan’s babyface shtick during the 80s is tiresome enough, but his plowing through both the Dungeon of Doom and Four Horsemen BY HIMSELF week after week has removed any respect I had for Hogan during this time. Things had better be DRASTICALLY different when he returns from Hollywood. As far as the rest of the show goes, it was pretty good. But how’d it do against RAW?

TV Rating: 2.80

WWF Monday Night RAW

Taped from San Bernardino, CA

Airdate: April 15, 1996 (taped 4/1)

Attendance: 3,663

Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler

Vince promises exclusive post-match reaction from Bret after the Iron Man match at WrestleMania along with an interview from Germany.

Opening montage.

Prior to the first match, we see what had previously transpired between Helmsley and Mero.

Match 1: “Wildman” Marc Mero (w/ Sable) versus Leif Cassidy (w/ Marty Jannetty)


Rating: ***1/2

Summary: Good match between these guys. While Cassidy isn’t getting wins on RAW, he’s still impressing me.

Diesel is on the phone as the chair shot from MSG is shown again. Next, they show the highlight from last week where Diesel waffled Michaels with the belt. Michaels and Diesel will have a no-holds-barred match at In Your House.

According to Vince, Austin refused a rematch against Vega on Superstars but accepted a match against the Caribbean Kid. Austin subsequently lost as the Caribbean Kid was revealed as Savio Vega. D’oh!

Match 2: Stone Cold Steve Austin (w/ the “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase) versus Bart Gunn


Rating: **

Summary: Another showcase match for Austin albeit competitive.

Promo for In Your House: Good Friends, Better Enemies narrated by Jim Ross.

Vince is in the ring and interviews Vader with Jim Cornette. The latter describes the history of Vader in the WWF thus far. At the next PPV, Vader will face Razor Ramon. It’s an AWA reunion! Perhaps Jake “The Milkman” Milliman will be at ringside. OK, maybe not. Cornette completely buries Ramon then asks what time it is. Vader time!

Video for Sunny. Please excuse me while I try to collect myself.

RAW is sponsored by Castrol.

Prior to the main event, we revisit the confrontation between Warrior and Goldust.

Match 3 for the Intercontinental title: Goldust (champion w/ Marlena) versus Savio Vega


Rating: **

Summary: More seasoning between these two guys is needed for better chemistry.

After the match, referee Tim White raises Goldust’s arm. WWF President Gorilla Monsoon comes to the ring to consult with Hebner and White. Ring announcer Howard Finkel then informs us that Monsoon has stripped the Intercontinental title from Goldust and declared it vacant. Lastly, a rematch between Vega and Goldust will determine the champion next week.

I’m not sure what the WWF has in store between Warrior and Goldust at the PPV because Goldust blew out his knee (according to Meltzer) in Germany on 4/13, so he won’t be very mobile if at all on 4/28. Of course, that wasn’t mentioned here.

After losing the main event at WrestleMania, Hart walks backstage, hangs his head, and shoos the media out of his locker room. He then grabs his bag and drives away. In Germany, Bret shares his feelings about the match stating that Michaels didn’t beat him within the 60-minute timeframe. He also considers working for another organization “a step down.” He dances around the subject of WCW throwing big money contracts around (namely to Hall and Nash). Good interview.

Conclusion: Competitive matches, the Bret interview, and the Sunny video make this episode a must-see. This is the type of show (even if the matches are taped) that the WWF can air and beat Nitro regularly. Let’s see how they did.

TV Rating: 3.10

Who won? Yep. I’m sure the Hogan nonsense DROVE the wrestling fans to RAW, and they never looked back. Without Hogan next week on Nitro, I hope the program improves dramatically. At the same time, RAW needs to continue doing shows like this one for ratings success.

In other news during this week in wrestling history, Brian Pillman was severely injured in an automobile accident on 4/15. How unfortunate considering his WCW contract had just expired. I hope he recovers and ends up in a wrestling ring sooner rather than later.

Stay tuned for Monday Night War week 33!

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

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