This reflection is rated:

Please put the kiddies to bed before reading.

WCW Monday Nitro

Live from Grand Rapids, MI

Airdate: November 4, 1996

Attendance: 7,568

Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, and “Iron” Mike Tenay

Opening montage.

Once again, Sting watches the show from the rafters. Also, Giant, DiBiase, and Vincent observe everything from the audience. Tony then informs us about a tournament for a new women’s champion as the belt sits on the broadcast table. Additionally, he notes that Bischoff is in Portland, OR trying to sign “Rowdy” Roddy Piper to a WCW contract. I hope he doesn’t make a wrong turn.

Before I forget, this crowd is OFF THE HOOK making matches much better.

Match 1: Marcus Bagwell (w/ Scotty Riggs) versus Brad Armstrong


Rating: ***1/2

Summary: Really good finish to a match that saw Bagwell play somewhat of a tweener role.

Before the next match begins, we revisit last week’s episode when the nWo cheered for DDP during his match.

Match 2: Diamond Dallas Page versus Ice Train (w/ Teddy Long)


Rating: **1/2

Summary: Decent match with a good angle teasing DDP as a possible member of the nWo.

On WCW Saturday Night with the best ratings in the business, Lord Steven Regal defends the World TV title against “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, Harlem Heat toasts their croissant against the Amazing French Canadians, and the winner of the upcoming Cruiserweight title match faces former champion Mysterio. Oh, and Syxx wrestles against the Bounty Hunter during the nWo allocated segment. Solid episode.

Match 3 for the WCW Cruiserweight title: Dean Malenko (champion) versus Scotty Riggs (w/ Marcus Bagwell)


Rating: **1/2

Summary: This was both a showcase match for Malenko as well as more “tweener” drama for Bagwell.

We then revisit last week’s episode when both an injured Benoit and an injured Eddie gave their worst performance.

Match 4: The “Crippler” Chris Benoit (w/ Woman) versus Hector Guerrero



Buy the shirt! Send it to Rock Star Gary. Make it an XL.


Rating: **1/2

Summary: Crappy finish to a good match. Bring back Hector!

From the crowd, Giant absorbs some nWo love from the Grand Rapids faithful.

Last week, Jarrett barely won the Battle of Tennessee against Morton, and the Giant read his fortune.

By the entrance, Tenay interviews the Four Horsemen with Woman and Debra. In this case, Jarrett replaces Flair but gets dismissed by both Benoit and Mongo. As the rest of the Horsemen leave, Jarrett calls out Sting who is in the cheap seats.

Prior to the next match, Tony, Tenay, and Heenan discuss the not-yet-signed “match of the decade” between Hogan and Piper.

Following that, Lee Marshall provides the 1-800-COLLECT Road Report “from St. Petersburg, FL.”

Match 5 (WCW Women’s title quarterfinal): Madusa versus Reina Jubuki


Rating: **

Summary: A clever disguise helps a tournament when the audience isn’t completely cognizant of the competitors.

Match 6: “Lionheart” Chris Jericho versus Michael Wallstreet


Rating: **

Summary: After needing a decent head start, this match got going and finished strong.

By the entrance, Tenay interviews Nick Patrick along with Alan Sharpe. Jericho joins them and calls out Patrick for feigning injury. Sharpe retorts by calling former NHL player Ted Irvine, Jericho’s father, a “goon.” Considering his long career and his goal tally, Irvine was quite the opposite. Teddy Long comes out and runs down Patrick for ignoring the interference by the Outsiders earlier tonight.

In the meantime, as DiBiase and Vincent watch from the audience, Sharpe continues his denigration by referring to Long’s suspension during his days as a referee. Jericho rebuts stating the issue revolves around the present and not the past.

We then revisit last week’s episode as Luger lost to Booker T by countout after chasing after Sting into the stands.

Prior to the next match, Luger cuts a promo on Sting.

Match 7: The “Total Package” Lex Luger versus Booker T (w/ Sister Sherri)


Rating: *1/2

Summary: They can thank the Grand Rapids faithful for most of the rating in this one.

As Parker states his case to an unhappy Sherri, Sting watches from the rafters.

After a commercial break, Bischoff is on the phone and announces that a match has been signed, but neither are all the I’s are dotted nor the T’s crossed. Hmmm…

We then revisit the post-match debate between Hogan and Piper from Halloween Havoc. Check out my reflection of that show for my comments.

Anyway, Hogan closes out the program with a soliloquy requesting an invitation to the Cable Ace Awards. As he plugs Santa with Muscles, Hogan poses for the nWo-ites.

Conclusion: Despite the extremely hot crowd, Nitro was merely mediocre. On the other hand, check it out for the new tweener character for Bagwell. What’s on RAW?

TV Rating: 3.40

WWF Monday Night RAW

Taped from Fort Wayne, IN

Airdate: November 4, 1996 (taped 10/21)

Attendance: 4,555 (no longer conscious)

Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler

Opening montage.

LIVE from Walton, Kentucky, Kevin Kelly stands outside Brian Pillman’s house to hype an interview with the convalescing “Loose Cannon.”

Match 1: Goldust (w/ Marlena) versus the Stalker


Rating: *1/2

Summary: If the Austin phone interview wasn’t airing simultaneously with this match, I would have watched Nitro.

After the match, Maivia mounts the top turnbuckle and hits both Crush and Goldust with a flying double clothesline. Wow! This kid might amount to something.

Hendrix then shills Survivor Series on 11/17 and the following match:

Undertaker versus Mankind (w/ Paul Bearer in a shark cage)

Supposedly during a house show, although the RAW letters were shown by the entrance, Mankind, with Bearer and Executioner alongside, cuts a promo on Undertaker who then responds with a Bearer mannequin hung upside-down in a cage.

We then go LIVE to Walton, KY where Pillman sits on a couch with his left ankle HEAVILY taped as his wife Melanie stands next to him. Kelly interviews Pillman who gives an emotional promo and reveals his 9mm pistol. Pillman’s well aware of his Second Amendment rights.

In the Milton-Bradley Karate Fighters Holiday tournament, Marlena promises big things for her fighter; however, Sid defeats her handily. Next week, Hendrix faces Sable.

After a commercial break, we return to Walton, KY as Pillman’s friends attack Austin outside the house. As you would expect, Austin manhandles them even dunking one of them in a kiddie pool. He then uses a plastic garbage can against both of them. After he tosses one of them into the garage door, he SQUISHES the other guy’s head between the car door and the jam. OUCH! Finally, he tries to find a way into the house while trash-talking Pillman.

Match 2: The Sultan (w/ Bob Backlund and Iron Sheik) versus Alex “The Pug” Porteau


Rating: DUD

Summary: Showcase match for Sultan.

Back at the Pillman house, Pillman’s armed and ready while Austin breaks down the back door. As Melanie screams, the feed goes out. Are you fucking kidding me?

Back at the arena, Jim Ross moderates a meeting in the ring between WWF champion Michaels and #1 contender Sycho Sid. What happened to the tag match? Oh, that’s NEXT week. As Ross interviews Michaels, we revisit RAW from 4/3/95 when Sid powerbombed the bejesus out of Michaels cementing his heel turn. Conversely, Sid literally calls “BULLSHIT” on Michaels’ fairy tale. He then states that he accidentally hit Michaels last week when dealing with the tag champs and calls Ross a “fatso.”

When Michaels informs Sid that he’s “not in his league,” Sid rebuts with “I’m not in the little league.” HA! Michaels then borrows Flair’s catchphrase and tears down the podium. As they shove one another, Cornette, along with Vader, Smith, Owen, and Mason, come to the ring. While Michaels and Sid handle Smith and Vader respectively, Owen nails Sid in the back with a steel chair.

Michaels then nails Owen and grabs the chair. When Sid notices that Michaels has the chair, they go face-to-face again. Another ambush by Cornette’s army gets extinguished, and they go face-to-face again. Officials separate them to finish the segment.

Ad for WWF: Full Metal the album.

We then revisit Austin’s destruction of Pillman’s friends followed by Austin’s break-in. Bring back the LIVE feed already! Dammit!

RAW is sponsored by RAW Magazine featuring Sunny.

Match 3: Marc Mero (w/ Sable) versus Razor Ramon (w/ Diesel)


  1. 11/5 in St. Johns, Newfoundland
  2. 11/6 in Sydney, Nova Scotia
  3. 11/7 in St. John, New Brunswick
  4. 11/8 in Buffalo, New York (featuring Mr. Perfect)
  5. 11/9 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  6. 11/10 in Cleveland, Ohio (featuring Mr. Perfect)
  7. 11/17 in New York, New York

Rating: ½*

Summary: Mero may have had his working boots on, but the reincarnation of Ramon is AWFUL.

Once again, we revisit the break-in then FINALLY return to the LIVE feed. Pillman’s friends try to restrain him as Kelly states that nobody has been shot. Whew! That’s a relief. Meanwhile, Austin returns, and Pillman’s friends try to remove him. Rather loudly, Pillman calls him a “son of a bitch” and tells his friends to “get out of the fucking way.” No, folks, that was neither censored on USA nor the WWE Network. As Lawler yells at Kelly to grab the gun, a frightened Melanie cries on the couch.

Conclusion: The wrestling on this show was DEPLORABLE, but the Austin-Pillman angle was incredible and makes this a can’t-miss episode. Did it amount to a ratings win for RAW this week?

TV Rating: 2.30

Who won? Unfortunately not, as Nitro beat RAW by more than a full point. The time slot change may have caused that, but if the WWF changes their format to stuff like this instead of crappy taped matches that mean diddly-squat, then their program will supersede Nitro in terms of quality.

Stay tuned for week 60 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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