Post-nWo Souled Out carnage or pre-Thursday RAW Thursday shrapnel? Who wins?
Continuing from the PPV, the nWo takes over Nitro. We then revisit the finish to the tag title match as the Steiners won thanks to uninvited official Randy Anderson. Speaking of Anderson, Bischoff summons him to the broadcast table, confronts Anderson, and questions him about his presence last night. When he finds out that Anderson “violated company policy,” Bischoff terminates him. Firing a man who battles cancer should be considered a crime in my book.
Next, Bischoff summons the Steiners to the broadcast table and strips them of the tag titles while returning them to the Outsiders. In the meantime, the nWo voiceover states “we are in control.” As Rick tosses his belt to Hall, Scott drops his like a bad habit. Rick picks it up and “breaks” the belt. While the Steiners go to the ring, Bischoff threatens a serious fine for their actions. I wish the Steiners would have tossed them into a cornfield instead.
Match 1: Rick & Scott Steiner versus Faces of Fear
Despite the Steiners no longer being tag champs, Bischoff promised a tag title match later in the show.
As Scott gave Barbarian a Steinerline, Rick delivered a powerslam to Meng.
After Barbarian gave Scott a sidewalk slam, Hall taunted him about his ailing back.
Barbarian then followed with a cross-corner whip and an avalanche.
Upon giving Scott another cross-corner whip, Barbarian ate boot on his follow-through.
Scott then gave him a belly-to-belly suplex for 2.
Rick and Meng tagged in, and Meng gave him an inverted atomic drop.
As Barbarian tagged in, Faces of Fear delivered their back drop/powerbomb combo to Rick. SWEET! That got 2.
While Harlem Heat and Sister Sherri were on camera, Hall dropped the insider “Houston” comment on them.
After Barbarian delivered a vertical suplex to Rick, Meng came off the top rope and landed on a seated Rick. OUCH!
Hall then mentioned Scott’s “30 pounds” of “training” during his layoff. I’m not saying Scott injected steroids, but…
Meanwhile, Barbarian gave Rick a powerslam for 2.
Hall then indirectly called out Jerry Sags of the Nasty Boys for the Shreveport incident.
As Faces of Fear mounted opposite turnbuckles, they delivered stereo diving head butts for only 2 thanks to a save by Scott.
When Barbarian placed Rick atop the top turnbuckle, Hall referred to him by his real name “Robbie.”
Barbarian then tried a belly-to-belly superplex, but Rick blocked and landed atop him.
When Barbarian missed a Mafia kick, Rick gave him a T-bone suplex.
If matches with no heat are popcorn matches, are Steiner matches steak matches?
Hot tag Scott.
After a butterfly powerbomb, Scott got 2.
He then missed a clothesline but ate a running body block from Meng.
As Scott escaped a vertical suplex, he countered with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex to Meng.
Summary: Good showcase match by the Steiners despite the botch. Also, Hall’s subtle breaches of kayfabe were intriguing.
After a commercial break, Tony Schiavone and Larry Zbyszko man the broadcast table for the remainder of hour #1. We then revisit stills from the ladder match from the PPV. Additionally, stills from DDP’s second “won’t get fooled again” moment were shown.
Match 2: Giant versus Roadblock
Who’s this ham’n’egger? He’s certainly a hoss.
Having shed both the Dungeon of Doom and the nWo, Giant made his entrance without music.
After Giant reversed a cross-corner whip, he delivered a corner clothesline.
Upon giving Roadblock a second cross-corner whip, Giant ate boot on his follow-through.
When Roadblock couldn’t slam him, Giant succeeded with his own slam.
Giant then gave Roadblock a clothesline followed by…
Oh. My. God.
A dropkick by Giant!
I have seen it all.
It was so incredible that it sent Roadblock over the top rope, through a table, and to the floor.
When Giant tossed him back into the ring, he gave Roadblock a chokeslam.
Summary: Showcase match for Giant. Great dropkick by the big guy.
After the match, Giant challenges Hogan to a match TONIGHT!
Match 3 for the WCW US title: Eddie Guerrero (champion) versus Jeff Jarrett
After a leap frog, Jarrett clotheslined Eddie.
Upon giving Eddie a cross-corner whip, Jarrett delivered a monkey flip, but Eddie landed on his feet. How adept!
Eddie then gave Jarrett a dropkick for 2.
As a member of the front row opposite the hard camera held up a “Scoops” sign, Jarrett came back with a swinging neckbreaker. I used to read that site back in the day. Hi Al!
Eddie then attempted a sunset flip but managed to avoid the knuckle sandwich. The mayo must have turned.
Regardless, he hooked an inside cradle on Jarrett for 2.
Immediately, Jarrett bounced back with a clothesline for 2.
After a vertical suplex by Jarrett, he gave Eddie a running guillotine.
Eddie came back with a cross body block, but a double shoulder block put both wrestlers down on the mat.
Upon giving Jarrett a flying headscissors, Eddie delivered an inverted atomic drop.
He then gave Jarrett a brainbuster, mounted the top turnbuckle, but got caught.
Jarrett then delivered a top rope superplex.
Suddenly, Debra dragged Mongo down the aisle toward the ring.
As Jarrett gave Eddie the ten-punch count-along, Eddie returned the favor.
While Eddie distracted referee Mark Curtis, Mongo intentionally WALLOPED Jarrett with the Haliburton.
Since it sounded like Jarrett had been shot with a bazooka, Curtis called for the bell disqualifying Eddie.
Not THAT kind of bazooka!
Summary: Good match with more angle development in the finish.
As Debra raises Jarrett’s hand in victory, Mongo drags her away from ringside as Zbyszko acts misogynistically. I wonder if he knows Bill O’Reilly.
Tony then broadcasts part of the main event match from Starrcade. Before the finish can be shown, the tape cuts out. All of a sudden, Bischoff emerges and SHUTS THAT SHIT DOWN.
THE FOLLOWING ANNOUNCEMENT HAS BEEN PAID FOR BY THE NEW WORLD ORDER:
Buy the shirt! Send it to Rock Star Gary. Make it an XL.
THE PRECEDING ANNOUNCEMENT HAS BEEN PAID FOR BY THE NEW WORLD ORDER.
On WCW Saturday Night, ahh, skip it this week. It sucks.
Match 4: Ultimo Dragon (w/ Sonny Onoo) versus Billy Pearl
Billy who? Apparently, this is WWF jobber Brian Walsh. Where’s Randy Barber when you need him?
After a Pearl monkey flip, Dragon landed on his feet. Afterward, Pearl dropkicked him.
Upon giving Pearl a series of kicks, Dragon slammed and gave him an elbow drop for 2.
After a cross-corner whip, Dragon came up empty on his handspring elbow.
Pearl then delivered a slam, mounted the top turnbuckle, leaped, but ate a dropkick to the midsection on the way down. Wow!
Upon giving Pearl a fallaway slam, Dragon hit an Asai moonsault from the second rope.
Following a tiger suplex, Dragon pinned Pearl.
Summary: Showcase match for Dragon.
At the entrance, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews the Four Horsemen. After Flair (“Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeean whoo Gene”) questions the whereabouts of Dan Gable, head coach of the University of Iowa wrestling team, he congratulates both Benoit and Woman on their comingling. Next, he informs Debra to follow Mongo’s orders for the sake of the Horsemen. Afterward, he tells a “fat boy” to shut up. Classic Flair.
Following that, Arn translates Mongo’s earlier message to Jarrett and pats Benoit on the back for his match against Taskmaster at the Clash. Further, Mongo crows about his earlier homerun while Benoit tells Taskmaster to “let go.” He then wants to face Morrus by himself tonight. Hmmm…
Match 5: The “Total Package” Lex Luger versus Ron Powers
Ham’n’egger #3? Was there a convention that I missed?
Powers botched a knee to the midsection and followed by botching his receipt of a hip toss.
I smell more Power Plant training for this guy.
After Luger reversed a cross-corner whip, he put a forearm into Powers’ back.
Upon nailing him with a (loaded) forearm, Luger hooked the Torture Rack.
Summary: Showcase match for Luger. I hope Sarge made this jabronie do some serious squats for embarrassing himself on national TV.
Valvoline sponsors the replay.
After the match, Okerlund interviews Luger in the ring. Humbly, Luger speaks up for Giant and asks him to rejoin WCW.
Tenay and Heenan replace Zbyszko at the broadcast table.
Match 6: The Amazing French Canadians (w/ Colonel Parker) versus the “Enforcer” Arn Anderson & Mongo (w/ Debra McMichael)
RETRACTION ALERT! In MNW week 70, I mentioned that Arn had wrestled his last live match. Please pardon my error as THIS was his last live match. I feel even worse now.
As Mongo distracted referee Mark Curtis, Ouellet tossed Arn over the top rope to the floor. How dastardly!
While Parker put the boots to Arn, Ouellet made Arn taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the North by Midwest burger at Exile Brewing Company.
Upon Arn’s return, Ouellet tagged in, and the Canadians almost stomped him into glue.
After putting Arn down on the mat, Rougeau slammed Ouellet atop Arn.
Shortly after, Ouellet hit Arn with a lariat for 2.
Rougeau tagged in, and the Canadians gave Arn a double stungun. OUCH!
When Ouellet tagged in, he gave Arn a cross-corner whip that ultimately led to their heads ramming together.
Hot tag Mongo.
Upon military-pressing Rougeau, Mongo tossed him at Ouellet and gave them a double clothesline to a raucous ovation.
After a double noggin knocker, Parker tossed the Canadian flag into the ring, but Curtis stopped Ouellet in his tracks.
That allowed Mongo to obtain the Haliburton from Debra and OBLITERATE Rougeau with it.
The Horsemen won. Woohoo!
Sad way to end Arn’s in-ring career as he played the heat magnet while Mongo came to his rescue.
Lee Marshall then delivers the 1-800-COLLECT road report from “Memphis, TN.” Maybe they can paint him blue and kick him in the ribs before next week.
Match 7 for the WCW World tag team titles: The Outsiders (champions w/ Syxx) versus the Extreme
For those unaware, the Extreme was portrayed by Ace Darling and Devon Storm.
Darling attempted a cross body block, but Hall caught and gave him a fallaway slam.
As Storm tagged in, Nash also tagged in and clotheslined him out of his boots.
He then gave Storm a sidewalk slam and tagged in Hall.
Immediately, Hall gave Storm the Outsider Edge, pulled him into the center of the ring, and pinned him with one foot on his chest.
Summary: Showcase match for the champs.
Match 8: Taskmaster (w/ Jimmy Hart) versus “Desperado” Joe Gomez
Upon tossing Gomez outside the ring, Taskmaster joined and made him taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Louisiana Purchase at Buzzard Billy’s.
Taskmaster then grabbed a chair from the front row and LAUNCHED it at Gomez. YEE-OUCH!
Back in the ring, Taskmaster delivered a clothesline followed by the double stomp.
Summary: Showcase match for Taskmaster.
After a commercial break, “the biggest ICON in wrestling” (a.k.a. “Hollywood” Hogan) comes to the ring with Bischoff and Elizabeth. Oddly, Elizabeth leaves before making it into the ring. After Hogan strokes his ego for a few minutes, he bungles the name of his upcoming movie Shadow Warriors. Don’t worry, you’re not missing anything with that flick. Nevertheless, Sting and “Macho Man” Randy Savage watch Hogan from the cheap seats. Hogan then accepts Giant’s challenge.
Match 9 (non-title): WCW Cruiserweight champion Dean Malenko versus “Lightning Foot” Jerry Flynn
Flynn began his onslaught with a leg lariat and a series of kicks in the corner.
He then gave Malenko a cross-corner whip followed by another leg lariat.
As Malenko came back with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex, he got 2.
He then gave Flynn a cross-corner whip, ducked under the bottom rope, and tripped him.
Next, he hammered Flynn’s knee on the apron.
Flynn came back, gave Malenko a cross-corner whip, but came up empty on his follow-through.
When Malenko mounted the top turnbuckle, Flynn kicked him in the midsection.
After a spinning savate kick, Flynn delivered a powerslam for 2.
Upon ducking a kick, Malenko hooked the Texas Cloverleaf for the submission.
Summary: Showcase match for Malenko.
After a commercial break, a police officer provides a letter to Tony at the broadcast table. Tony informs us that Hogan will defend the WCW World title at SuperBrawl VII against “Rowdy” Roddy Piper.
Match 10: The “Crippler” Chris Benoit (w/ Woman) versus Hugh Morrus
After shoving Benoit into a corner, Morrus came up empty on his follow-through.
As Morrus caught him by the leg, he spun Benoit around and clotheslined him in the back.
He then gorilla-pressed Benoit and dropped him face-first to the mat.
When Benoit came back with a clothesline, he got 2.
After Morrus delivered a powerslam, he mounted the top turnbuckle but came up empty on his No Laughing Matter attempt.
As Benoit mounted the top turnbuckle, Miss Texas came out of the stands to confront Woman.
With referee Mark Curtis and security distracted by Miss Texas at ringside, Taskmaster ANNIHILATED Benoit with a balsa wood chair.
Morrus then mounted the top turnbuckle and hit the No Laughing Matter.
Summary: More angle than match.
Miss Texas leaves ringside with Taskmaster and Hart. At the entrance, Okerlund interviews Taskmaster who claims to know her while Hart calls her “trouble.” Miss Texas then wants to come to Taskmaster’s side and calls Woman “a fugitive from a fat farm.” OUCH! To finish the interview, she wants to give Taskmaster “comfort.”
Although the live feed missed it, Benoit hit a diving head butt during the disruption at ringside.
During a commercial break, an ad for the WCW Power Plant airs. Someone notify Ron Powers.
Before the main event, Hogan gets on the microphone and wants to destroy both Giant and Piper.
Match 11 (non-title): WCW World champion “Hollywood” Hogan (w/ the nWo) versus Giant
After dispatching Vincent over the top rope to the floor, Giant gave Hogan the ten-top-turnbuckle count-along.
He then choked Hogan with his boot in the corner.
Upon giving Hogan a cross-corner whip, Giant kicked him in the midsection.
Hogan came back, gave Giant a cross-corner whip, and followed with a corner clothesline.
Following a backbreaker, Giant only got 2 because Vincent put Hogan’s foot on the bottom rope. SNEAKY!
Giant then manhandled Vincent in and then out of the ring.
While Giant had Hogan in his clutches, Bischoff entered the ring and gave Giant some weak double axe handles.
When Giant attempted to chokeslam Bischoff, the Outsiders ran in to save their boss.
Summary: Did you expect a finish when there wasn’t one at the PPV? I thought not.
After the match, the Outsiders double-team Giant until Luger hits the ring wearing a WCW t-shirt. Luger and Giant stand face-to-face with them as Nitro leaves the air.
Conclusion: While the matches were somewhat meaningless, the Bischoff-is-boss storyline coupled with the ongoing Taskmaster-Benoit saga made Nitro entertaining. What’s on RAW?
TV Rating: 3.60
WWF Monday Night RAW
Taped from Beaumont, TX
Airdate: January 27, 1997 (taped 1/20)
Hosted by Vince McMahon & Jerry “The King” Lawler
Prior to the first match, we visit footage from Madison Square Garden on 1/25 as Johnson and Savio Vega faced the Nation of Domination. Ultimately, Vega guillotined his own partner allowing the NoD to win. WE HAVE A HEEL TURN!
On Shotgun Saturday Night, Sid CREAMED Crush with a steel chair. Hopefully, it was flavored.
Match 1: Ahmed Johnson versus Crush (w/ the Nation of Domination)
As Johnson walked around the ring, Crush ambushed and rammed him face-first into the steps.
In the ring, Johnson reversed an Irish whip and delivered a powerslam.
He then gave Crush a bicycle kick, a cross-corner whip, and nailed him on his follow-through.
After a leg lariat, Johnson missed an elbow drop.
Upon giving Johnson an inverted atomic drop, Crush delivered a belly-to-belly suplex.
After a commercial break, Johnson escaped a reverse chin lock with an electric chair.
Crush then delivered a backbreaker for 2.
Next, he mounted the second turnbuckle, leaped, but received a dropkick to the midsection.
On the replay, Johnson barely got any air under him.
He then clotheslined Crush over the top rope to the floor.
After Johnson joined Crush on the floor, Faarooq ran to the ring and attacked Johnson from behind.
Meanwhile, Crush distracted referee Jim Korderas.
Faarooq then rammed Johnson shoulder-first into the steps before throwing him back in.
Afterward, Crush hit the heart punch.
Summary: C-R-A-P-O-L-A. Unfortunately, the Johnson-NoD feud continues.
After a commercial break, we revisit Faarooq’s ambush of Johnson followed by the heart punch.
As the Beaumont faithful chants “We Want Shawn,” Vince interviews the WWF champion in the ring. He then mentions Thursday RAW Thursday on 2/13 when Michaels defends the WWF title against Sycho Sid. They then discuss the Fatal 4-way match at the PPV as Michaels refers to Vader as “tons of fun.” HA!
Vince then brings out Bret who wants to face Michaels at WrestleMania XIII. As Vince points out that Sid may win the title on 2/13, Bret doesn’t overlook Sid but wants to beat Michaels for the title. Vince then brings out the Undertaker who mentions his match against Bret at Royal Rumble ’96 but wants to face Michaels at WrestleMania XIII.
Vince then brings out Austin who has Ross interview him from the aisle. After cutting a promo on all three wrestlers in the ring, Austin baits them before retreating smartly. He then mouths off to Vader who stood at the entrance with Bearer.
The Western Union Rewind was the ambush by Faarooq earlier in the show. Gee, I guess they didn’t want you to miss that segment.
RAW is sponsored by Western Union.
Match 2: WWF tag team champion the “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith (w/ Clarence Mason & Owen Hart) versus Doug Furnas
After a leap frog, Furnas delivered a dropkick.
He then gave Smith a cross-corner whip followed by an avalanche for 2.
Next, Furnas delivered a vertical suplex for another 2.
After another cross-corner whip, Furnas came up empty on his follow-through and soared over the top turnbuckle to the floor.
Smith then joined and rammed Furnas into the steps.
As Vince noted the tag title match at IYH between the champions and Furnas/LaFon, Smith removed the top step and dropped it on Furnas’ back. OUCH!
Backstage, Johnson found the NoD locker room and destroyed the door. Of course, the NoD was nowhere to be found.
In the ring, Smith gave Furnas a HARD cross-corner whip and put a knee into his midsection for 2.
After a clothesline, Smith attempted a piledriver, but Furnas countered with a back drop.
Smith then delivered a snap suplex for another 2.
As Furnas escaped a possible delayed vertical suplex, he dropkicked Smith again.
Afterward, he gave Smith an overhead belly-to-belly suplex followed by a powerslam for 2.
When he attempted a huracanrana, Smith powerbombed him for 2.
While Owen got up on one apron, LaFon got up on an adjacent one. Referee Jim Korderas then tried to shoo LaFon away.
Meanwhile, Furnas reversed an Irish whip sending Smith into Owen’s Slammy.
He then rolled up Smith for 2.
Upon dispatching Owen from the ring, Furnas attempted a sunset flip, but Smith hooked his legs and pinned him. This was the same cradle that he used to beat Bret at Summerslam ’92 for the Intercontinental title.
Summary: The match served as an appetizer for the tag title match at the PPV.
After the match, Smith and Owen have a heated argument over the Slammy spot teasing a Smith face turn. After cooler heads prevail, Smith and Owen shake hands.
We then return to MSG as Johnson gave Faarooq and Crush consecutive spinebusters. When Johnson returns to his corner, Vega turned on him allowing Faarooq to deliver the Dominator for the victory.
On Shotgun Saturday Night, Pettengill interviewed Vega who stated he lost his temper, didn’t join the NoD, and beat up Rocky Maivia. After the match, the NoD joined the pummeling of Maivia. They must be ribbing him for his fanny pack.
As the Godwinns make their entrance, footage aired from the Toronto Skydome as Tiger Ali Singh, son of Tiger Jeet Singh, joined the WWF.
Match 3: Vader & Mankind (w/ Paul Bearer) versus the Godwinns (w/ Hillbilly Jim)
According to Vince, next week’s episode will be Royal Rumble RAW. Smell the ratings!
After Henry slammed Mankind, he tagged in Phineas.
As Mankind tossed Phineas outside the ring, he and Vader shared menacing looks at one another.
In the ring, Vader tagged in and pummeled Phineas.
He then clotheslined Phineas and tagged in Mankind.
While Phineas reversed an Irish whip, Mankind applied the Mandible claw to him.
To save his partner, Henry knocked both Phineas and Mankind over the top rope to the floor.
As Henry distracted referee Mike Chioda, Phineas attempted to suplex Mankind back into the ring, but Vader blocked it by holding Mankind’s legs. Clever!
Vader then got up on the apron and, along with Mankind, unceremoniously dumped Phineas over the top rope to the floor.
Henry then came over and clobbered both Vader and Mankind on the floor.
During the commercial break, a commercial for Gheorghe Muresan cologne aired. Actually, the ad was for Snickers with Pettengill doing the voiceover work. The Snickers Slam of the Week was Johnson’s spinebuster of Helmsley on Superstars (aired 1/26, taped 1/21).
Afterward, Mankind gave Phineas a cross-corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
As Vader tagged in, Phineas made the hot tag.
Henry then gave Vader a belly-to-back suplex but missed an elbow drop.
After Vader delivered an elbow drop to the abdomen, he gave Henry a running body block that sent him between the ropes to the floor.
While Phineas distracted Chioda, Mankind swung a steel chair but nailed Vader instead of Henry. Comeuppance from Halloween Havoc ’93!
Henry then rolled into the ring as Vader was counted out.
Summary: Elements of WWF Attitude were the sole highlights of this match.
As Vince shilled IYH, Johnson tosses one of the members of PG-13 into the trunk of a car and takes a swing with a 2x4 before the car pulls away.
Conclusion: The only worthwhile portion of the program was the Michaels/Fatal 4-way interview. The rest of this show was skippable at best and AWFUL at worst. Did it stand a chance against Nitro this week?
TV Rating: 2.20
Who won? Nope, once again, RAW lost by more than a full ratings point. While heaven knows what will happen on Nitro, RAW will emanate from Toronto and rebroadcast the Rumble match.