Live from Monroe, LA

Airdate: January 6, 1997

Attendance: 5,347 (4,196 paid)

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

Can Nitro redeem itself for the piss-poor effort displayed last week? What can RAW do to garner more wrestling viewership? Let’s find out!

Opening montage.

Match 1: Glacier versus “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton


Rating: -*

Summary: Get this amateur off my screen! He’s not over, and he sucks.

We then revisit Nitro from three weeks ago when Rogers joined the nWo. Next, we revisit Nitro from two week ago as Konnan dropkicked Rogers. We then revisit last week’s show when Rogers no-showed, and Wallstreet had to take his place. To say he didn’t win would be the lone bright spot of that match.

Match 2 (Mexican strap): Konnan (w/ Jimmy Hart) versus Big Bubba Rogers


Rating: DUD

Summary: Why?

After the match, Rogers gives Konnan the Bubba Spike (Bossman slam).

In the locker room, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews the Taskmaster who cuts a promo on Benoit. When Okerlund tries to pry about a mysterious person, Taskmaster shies away.

After a commercial break, Okerlund interviews the Four Horsemen at the entrance. Those are some fast feet, Gene. However, neither Benoit nor Woman is present. As Flair sings Okerlund’s name, he praises Benoit’s prowess with Woman. Afterward, to a chorus of boos, Debra states that Woman “is as ugly as grandpa’s toenails.” Ick. She then touts Jeff Jarrett who comes out to take Benoit’s place supposedly. Arn refutes his claim, but Jarrett’s calls him “the horses’ rear.” Rightfully, Arn nails Jarrett from behind.

Match 3: The “Enforcer” Arn Anderson versus Jeff Jarrett


Rating: *

Summary: Impromptu “match” to further the Horseman drama.

After the match, as Flair questions Debra’s motives, the McMichaels put the fun in dysfunctional for the Horsemen. After a few minutes, Flair settles things by agreeing with the McMichaels. On the other hand, Arn storms off as the soap opera continues.


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


On WCW Saturday Night, Mysterio faces Chavo Guerrero, Regal wrestles Psicosis, and another epic (**cough**) encounter between the Amazing French Canadians and Harlem Heat. Don’t miss it!

As DDP’s music plays, he doesn’t appear. Hmmm…

Match 4 for the WCW World TV title: Lord Steven Regal (champion) versus ???


Rating: *

Summary: I think someone yelled “Go home” to Duggan, so he did. D’oh!

After the match, referee Mark Curtis gives an unconscious Regal his belt. Duggan then grabs the WCW flag and waves it for the Monroe faithful.

Match 5: Hugh Morrus versus Jim Powers (w/ Teddy Long)


Rating: *

Summary: Stark contrast in crowd appeal between the previous match and this one.

PEPBOYS sponsors the replay.


We then revisit the highlights of hour #1 involving the Horsemen.

Match 6: Psicosis versus Rey Mysterio, Jr.


Rating: ***

Summary: Even the Monroe faithful stood up to cheer for that finish. Bravo, gentlemen!

Prior to the next match, we revisit Starrcade when Syxx beat up Eddie and stole the US belt. Methinks this was supposed to be a different video.

Match 7: The Taskmaster (w/ Jimmy Hart) versus Chavo Guerrero, Jr.


Rating: ½*

Summary: Showcase match for Taskmaster.

After a commercial break, we revisit last week’s show when the nWo attacked Piper. As the EMTs brought Piper to the ambulance, he continued to spout his gibberish.

Prior to the next match, we again revisit Syxx’s beating of Eddie and stealing the US belt. Uh huh.

Match 8 for the WCW US title: Eddie Guerrero (champion) versus “Das Wunderkind” Alex Wright


Rating: ***1/2

Summary: I didn’t think they’d one-up the Mysterio-Psicosis match, but Wright brought the goods here.

After the match, Eddie chases after Syxx for his belt.

Lee Marshall then delivers the 1-800-COLLECT road report from “New Orleans, LA.” I was hoping he had too many hurricanes and jambalaya to supply this, but I’m out of luck.

Match 9: Harlem Heat (w/ Sister Sherri) versus the Amazing French Canadians


Rating: **1/2

Summary: This was way better than what I had anticipated.

Promo for nWo Souled Out aired.

We then revisit Starrcade when Sting hit the ring during the Luger/Giant match. What’s with the whispering? Did he think he was in a crowded theater?

Match 10: The “Total Package” Lex Luger versus Meng


Rating: *

Summary: Showcase match for Luger over both members of Faces of Fear.

After a commercial break, Hogan and the rest of the nWo come to the ring. Before Hogan finishes his spiel about Piper and Giant, the latter sprints to the ring to confront him. Nash tries to attack Giant but gets tossed over the top rope to the floor. Afterward, Rogers gets shoved down, and Norton eats a Giant elbow. After Syxx gets swatted like a bug, Bagwell and nWo Sting get shrugged off together. As Wallstreet eats a Giant elbow, Vincent gets shoved back to Shreveport. When Patrick confronts Giant, he receives a gorilla press and is tossed onto Norton on the floor.

That leaves Hogan and Bischoff. As Giant blocks and crushes Hogan’s hand, Bischoff gives him a double axe handle to ZERO effect. Before Giant can manhandle the boss, Hogan repeatedly nails him in the back with a steel chair. The nWo then destroys Giant as the litter from the Monroe faithful continues to pour into the ring. As the nWo holds Giant, Bischoff gives Giant a karate kick.

Thanks, Bubba!

Before the show goes off the air, the nWo overtake the broadcast table and sing Queen’s “We Are The Champions.” Suddenly, Sting comes to the ring, whispers something to the Giant, and points his bat at the nWo. Upon dropping the bat, Sting exits the ring. Vincent then goes to the ring, checks on Giant, and grabs the bat.

However, when you poke a bear, you’d better be ready to get mauled. That’s what happens here as Giant chokeslams Vincent and holds off the nWo with Sting’s bat. As the Monroe faithful chant “We Want Sting,” both Sting and Giant stand tall albeit in different areas of the arena.

Conclusion: Sell that nWo PPV! Sell that Clash of Champions! Oh yeah, also showcase Alex Wright in the match of the night against Eddie Guerrero. While a portion of this show stunk on Melba toast, it had its moments. This was a much better effort than last week, WCW. What’s on RAW?

TV Rating: 3.40

WWF Monday Night RAW

Taped from Albany, NY

Airdate: January 6, 1997 (taped 12/30/96)

Attendance: 6,855 (who can’t sit still)

Hosted by Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, and Jerry “The King” Lawler

Opening montage.

Match 1: Mankind (w/ Paul Bearer) versus WWF tag team champion the “Rocket” Owen Hart (w/ Clarence Mason)


Rating: **

Summary: Despite being a heel versus heel match-up, the chemistry between these two wrestlers was phenomenal. They could go 15 minutes on a PPV, and the snowflakes would drop from the wrestling heavens. Unfortunately, this match was too short to build any drama.

Backstage, Shawn Michaels stands alongside Jose and Pete Lothario. He reiterates his promise not to interfere in the Bret-Vader match later in the show.

We then revisit Shotgun Saturday Night from this past weekend. During the show, Ahmed Johnson beat Crush by DQ when D’Lo Brown (not named yet) interfered. Johnson then gave Brown a Pearl River Plunge on top of a car on 56th Street. You don’t see THAT every day either. Also, the Sisters of Love (Headbangers) beat the Godwinns with help from Brother Love.

RAW is sponsored by the US Army.

Match 2: Doug Furnas & Philip LaFon versus Razor Ramon & Diesel


Rating: **1/2

Summary: LaFon and Furnas brought the goods while Ramon and Diesel were terrible.

Thanks, Sir Charles.

We then revisit last week’s show when Helmsley removed Marlena from ringside, tossed her to Mero, and sidestepped Goldust who ran over both Mero and Marlena. Next week on RAW, Goldust teams with Mero to face Lawler and Helmsley. Color me impressed.

We then revisit Shotgun Saturday Night again when Marlena got up on the apron during a Sultan-Goldust match. She then removed the top of her dress to distract Sultan. Of course, she had her back to the camera, but don’t complain to me about it.

Backstage, Bret cuts a promo on both Michaels and Vader until Sid’s music cuts him off.

Ad for the Royal Rumble aired. We’re 2 weeks away!

In the ring, Jim Ross interviewed WWF Champion Sycho Sid who makes about as much sense as the Ultimate Warrior used to make during his promos. What does it accomplish?

Thanks again, Bubba. Enjoy retirement but leave the hotties alone.

Suddenly, Michaels interrupts while wearing a bathrobe. He then stands on the broadcast table and dances after removing his robe. Fortunately, he was wearing jeans. Sid then apologizes for what he’s going to do because he’s “not responsible.”

Vince then shills Royal Rumble.

Prior to the next match, we revisit Superstars when Undertaker tombstoned Cornette after hearing Cornette trash him on commentary.

Match 3: Bret “Hitman” Hart versus Vader (w/o Jim Cornette)


Rating: ***

Summary: Decent TV match with just enough outside interference to cause a meaningful loss for Bret.

After the match, Sid grabs Pete Lothario backstage and powerbombs him on a table. Unfortunately, the table doesn’t break. YEE-OUCH!

After a commercial break, Michaels, Savio Vega, and Aldo Montoya (wearing his mask) check on Pete. Michaels then strings together numerous obscenities toward Sid that the censors blissfully catch.

Conclusion: It must be a new year because this is not your typical 1996 RAW. In fact, each match was pretty decent, and the show was very entertaining. Can it translate into a ratings victory?

TV Rating: 2.10

Who won? Nope, Nitro outperformed RAW again by more than a point. It will take something earth-shattering for RAW to stop Nitro’s streak. The question is: Which week will it happen? While nothing was scheduled for next week’s Nitro, the Goldust/Mero/Lawler/Helmsley tag was promoted for RAW.

IN OTHER NEWS THIS WEEK: Scott Hall was sent home this week, but not for reasons you’d think. In Shreveport, LA on January 4th, Jerry Sags of the Nasty Boys legitimately and repeatedly nailed Hall knocking some teeth out. That caused Hall to have oral surgery and miss Nitro.

Stay tuned for Monday Night War week 69!

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

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