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Old 11-21-2015, 02:25 AM   #151
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Back to the discussion from yesterday for just a moment. I was watching Austin vs. Benoit vs. Jericho from KotR 01. Ref is distracted just looking at Jericho. Behind him Austin is being put through a table by Booker T who ran in through the crowd. I find it hard to believe nobody would turn around for that. If you've ever been to a WWE event that had a table break, you know they make those things sound like gunshots, yet Hebner remains staring at Jericho. Just hilarious and I feel like I'm always going to nitpick this **** now that it was brought up.
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Old 11-21-2015, 01:07 PM   #152
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Just realized Lock Ness is Haystacks Calhoun, who my uncle always liked to refer to when he was making fun of me for liking wrestling. Spoiler alert here but the reason Lock Ness doesn't stick around - other than being terrible - is because he was diagnosed with cancer right around this time.

Also, Arn beating Hogan is amazing. I'm reading the Flair book and I just last night read that Bischoff told Flair that "Anderson couldn't draw flies if he was covered in ****." - Meaning he never drew money. The thing of it though is Flair always thought it was Hogan that originally said that and Bischoff was just putting in his own words. In short, amazing that Hogan ever let Anderson get the pin but I mean maybe Hogan - for one night - wasn't the total scum of the earth or maybe felt some remorse for saying that or agreeing with it about Anderson.

Because of this I am on an Anderson kick. I watched his match with Renegade where he had to drop the TV title to him. Anderson walks this guy through the match step by step and it's painfully obvious. You can even tell Arn is getting upset with the guy while trying to be professional. The Renegade was a male stripper brought in by Hogan because Renegade looked like Warrior and Hogan still wasn't over his WrestleMania loss. That's what Flair said in his book. If that's true - which by all account it is - that's insane behavior by Hogan. In short, Hogan wanted this guy groomed so Hogan could beat him down the road. Unfortunately for Hogan, this guy could barely bounce off the ropes and would eventually be fired. A couple years ago after that, he killed himself. Ric said he doesn't exactly blame Hogan for that, but he does blame him for getting this guy's hopes all up when he clearly had zero skill.
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Old 11-21-2015, 02:23 PM   #153
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

WWF IN YOUR HOUSE 6: RAGE IN THE CAGE



Louisville, KY

Sunny is in a bikini and kneeling on the beach for this opening. JackNicholsonNodding.gif.

Video package hypes tonight's main event of Bret Hart vs. Diesel in the steel cage for the WWF Title.

Baby Bottle Match - Razor Ramon vs. 1-2-3 Kid (w/ Ted DiBiase): My soul floats out of my body as I type "baby bottle match." I just…alright whatever, let's get this over with. 1-2-3 Kid pushes a stroller to the ring that carries a stuffed animal with Razor Ramon stuff on it.



There is no bottom. To be fair, 1-2-3 Kid was probably the more professional of the two about this, as he really did his best to try to make this idiocy work. Razor Ramon acts more like I would about the whole thing. Anyway, I guess the only mitigating factor about this stipulation is that it at least allows for a normal match from bell to bell. The Kid makes the Razor clothesline over the top look as elite as possible, and in general he bumps really well for him. Just as I say that the stip doesn't affect the match, Ted DiBiase throws baby powder in Razor's eyes. ****. Anyway, the powder in the eyes doesn't end the match; they continue from there, and it's not a bad little contest, though it hits a slow spot in the middle that drags a lot longer than I hoped.

Nice fallaway slam from the top by Razor. A 1-2-3 Kid attempt to use more baby powder ends up in his eyes. Razor's Edge, but Razor picks the Kid up on the count of two. Vince declares, "You can't give the Kid second chances." Then Razor just delivers his finisher again and makes the pin for three.

Result: Razor Ramon via pinfall (12:01)
Rating: ***



The post-match is every bit the complete and utter embarrassment that you can imagine it to be. The Kid gets powdered and diapered and actually cries. Whoever booked this - I'm assuming Russo - should be waterboarded.

HHH vs. Duke "The Dumpster" Droese: HHH's woman for the night is especially attractive. Duke Droese had cut his hair and had a much better look here as a result. This match is alright. Duke takes a couple of strong bumps, one head bump in the corner and a really wicked stair bump outside later. Droese was doing all he could here with his one PPV singles opportunity, but I'm almost sure he never made it back onto PPV again. He even exhibits some good aim here:



Unfortunately for him, he gave HHH his finishing weapon there. Helmsley smashes the lid against Droese's face for the win, as Mike Chioda finds a way to pretend to ignore something that he would have absolutely seen and heard.

Result: HHH via pinfall (9:40)
Rating: **1/2

They recap the Yokozuna face turn from the most recent episode of Raw. Then they go to Dok Hendrix, who is with Yoko and says that we're about to hear him actually speak for the first time after years of silence, saying that Jim Cornette forced him to be silent all this time. It was pretty mind-blowing to see Yoko just speak perfect English. He cuts an angry promo on Jim Cornette and his former stable-mates, British Bulldog and Owen Hart.

British Bulldog (w/ Jim Cornette) vs. Yokozuna: Yoko misses on a generic elbow drop. Vince: "I think if he had landed that, that would have been all for the British Bulldog." Really? This honestly wasn't the worst brawl. They kept it short, threw some attempted power moves at each other…I didn't love it, but on paper it seemed like it could be terrible, and it was at least pretty painless. ****ty ending though, as Yoko is about to set Bulldog up for a banzai drop and Jim Cornette just runs into the ring and attacks with the tennis racket in plain sight of the official.



Result: Yokozuna via DQ (5:05)
Rating: *1/2

As Yoko is going to go at Jim Cornette, Vader runs down and attacks from behind. Vader and Davey handcuff Yoko to the ropes and beat on him. A big group of officials eventually stops the beatdown. Incidentally: I don't know what happened with Vader's suspension. But Vince says that Jim Cornette has to talk Vader down or else Vader will be suspended again. So he must have been reinstated on Superstars or something.

Backstage, Goldust is dictating answers to a random dude for an online chat and is simultaneously molesting the guy. Okay.

Promo video for Shawn Michaels vs. Owen Hart. As an aside, I thought that this coming match and the main event were good ideas for the pre-Mania PPV, because there were underlying historical feuds and stories that made combos like Shawn vs. Diesel and Owen vs. Bret seem at least plausible as title matches for Mania. I didn't really believe that's where they would end up heading, but my inner Owen mark wanted to believe.

#1 Contender Match - Shawn Michaels vs. Owen Hart (w/ Jim Cornette): Full match writeup here. Cliffs: excellent match. Michaels absorbs one enziguiri earlier in the match, then nearly falls victim to a second one, but ducks and counters it with the superkick for the win.



Result: Shawn Michaels via pinfall (15:57)
Rating: ****1/4

Todd Pettengill introduces Rowdy Roddy Piper to the live crowd while the cage gets constructed for the main event. Piper says that Michaels is officially the #1 contender now for WrestleMania. He also books Vader vs. Yokozuna for that event. Jim Cornette and Clarence Mason interrupt, Cornette and Piper yell at each other a bit, and they eventually have successfully stalled for long enough for the cage to be in place.

WWF Title Cage Match - Bret Hart (c) vs. Diesel: The crowd, who was plenty hot for Shawn vs. Owen and has been at least decent all night, is just stone dead from the first moment of this one. They boo Diesel, but they don't really cheer for Bret. Bret does take an especially awesome chest-first corner bump in the latter half of this match, which I enjoyed. And he does bump decently for Diesel in general, so I can't totally indict him for not trying here. But really, this was just a really difficult match to get into.

As far as the ending, we've seen it too many times since, but I kind of enjoyed it here. Diesel appeared to have a path to escape the cage through the door. Suddenly Undertaker popped through the bottom of the ring and grabbed a hold of Diesel, pulling him all the way down below the ring. As he does this, Bret escapes the cage over the top for the win to retain.



Result: Bret Hart via cage escape (19:13)
Rating: *

Diesel crawls his way back out of the hole, pant leg torn and looking all kinds of shook, and he flees the ring as Taker stares him down from inside of it to close out the show.

Overall: General lameness of the main event notwithstanding, I thought it was a pretty decent show. Michaels vs. Owen was excellent, the opener did what it could to overcome the awful stipulation it had been saddled with, and most of the surrounding undercard was at least watchable. I'll take this as a slightly better PPV than what WCW put up this month.
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Old 11-21-2015, 03:06 PM   #154
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

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Slow-moving brawling, no real story…I would rather be watching Melina vs. Alicia Fox.
Well, come on, who wouldn't?
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Old 11-21-2015, 10:09 PM   #155
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Random thought: someday, someone in a cage match should just break out a pair of garden shears, cut through the mat, and escape through the bottom of the ring for the win.
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Old 11-22-2015, 01:03 AM   #156
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Somehow at Judgment Day 05 (think it was this show), Big Show faced JBL in a barbwire cage match and JBL escaped under the ring. I forget how hmmm.
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Old 11-22-2015, 01:05 AM   #157
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Usually in cage matches with escape being a win condition, they specifically say "through the door or over the top." But obviously this is wrestling, and they can just change rules whenever they want to fit a finish to it.
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Old 11-22-2015, 01:46 PM   #158
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

February 19, 1996

RAW

Cincinnati, OH

Video package to open. Undertaker "is still hunting for lost souls" tonight. Goldust will defend the IC Title against Razor Ramon. "And what about the ULLLLTIMATE WARRIOR?" That's all Vince says about that for now.



IC Title - Goldust (c) (w/ Marlena) vs. Razor Ramon: Marlena's got it going on. This match has some okay brawling, but doesn't leave me with much to write about, and it has the really lame finish. After a back superplex by Razor, Goldust decides he's had enough and he walks out for the countout.



Result: Razor Ramon via countout

Razor, irritated, picks up a mic. He cuts a promo demanding that Roddy Piper (who he calls "Roddy Rowdy Piper" twice) give him a match with Goldust any place, anytime.

Undertaker emerges from a standing casket in a dark room in the back, and they say he's headed to the ring. So he just hangs out in a casket all the time, except to wrestle?

After commercials, Dok Hendrix wastes a bunch of time recapping last night's PPV until he's finally interrupted by Vader and Jim Cornette heading to the ring. He walks in and suddenly attacks Aldo Montoya and Barry Horowitz, who I guess were going to wrestle each other even though we hadn't seen them be introduced or anything. Vader beats the **** out of the both of them, including a dangerous-looking chokeslam on Montoya.



Oh, Horowitz and Montoya were there to team up against the Bodydonnas, per Vince. So Vader just robbed us of a Sunny day? Well that's bull****.

Next is a video package about the Ultimate Warrior. They don’t actually explain yet why they run a video package about him.

Sunny is backstage in a little red number singing "Happy Birthday Mr. President" while laying on a piano. Again, I want to see Sunny in revealing clothing, but I don't particularly enjoy these random moments where they just splice 10 seconds of unrelated soft porn into the middle of a wrestling show. It's too weird.

Marty Jannetty vs. The Ringmaster (w/ Ted DiBiase): Steve Austin has shaved his head since I last saw him, so he's basically arrived at the Stone Cold look. Also, after he dumps Jannetty out of the ring, he smirks coldly at the hard camera, and Vince says that "he is stone cold." The name change must be imminent. They speak of a tag team tournament that will be starting this weekend, so something must have happened to vacate the titles? I don't know. This match is a dull one. Ringmaster isn't over yet, and he's just sort of boringly deconstructing Jannetty without the benefit of any entertaining offense. He goes over with the Million Dollar Dream. Vince again repeats, "Look at those eyes. Stone cold, he is."



Result: Ringmaster via submission

"…and on the 8th day, God created Mankind. … Why was he having such a bad day?" Great little pre-recorded Mick Foley promo.

Preview of next week tells us that we will see Yokozuna vs. The British Bulldog and Owen Hart in a handicap match. Also Jake Roberts vs. Isaac Yankem, and Diesel in action.

Tatanka (w/ Ted DiBiase) vs. The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer): Fairly early in the action here, Diesel shows up at ringside wielding an axe, and forces a cameraman to go back to the backstage area with him. We end up getting a split-screen between the match on one screen and Diesel destroying Taker's casket with the axe backstage. Lawler (earnestly): "That casket is Undertaker's home, McMahon. He's destroying his home!" What a silly way to build a feud. Taker goes over with the tombstone piledriver in a match that seemed incidental to the dumb Diesel stuff.

Result: Undertaker via pinfall



After the match, Taker sees the footage of Diesel doing this on the Titantron. I suppose he's upset or something.

They send it to a skit of "Larry Fling Live," interviewing Billionaire Ted. Not recapping this ****.

One more clip of Taker and Paul Bearer finding the wreckage of the casket backstage, and then the show abruptly ends. Good riddance.

Overall: Terrible episode. Terrible. Not one segment that I enjoyed, aside from the quick pre-taped promo by Mick Foley.

NITRO

Salisbury, MD

We hear from the desk that we'll get our championship rematch between Ric Flair and Randy Savage tonight. And a rematch between Hulk Hogan and Arn Anderson. They hype that by saying that Hogan has never lost twice to the same man, but that's only true because they called a bull**** double DQ between Hogan and Andre at WM IV when the referee should have just disqualified Hulk.



Arn Anderson (w/ Woman) vs. Hulk Hogan: Thrilled as I was to see Arn pin Hogan last week, he doesn't show much ability to actually carry Hogan to a good match. Hogan seems to have this thing well in hand, and as a middle finger to the Horsemen he slaps on the figure-four leglock. The Taskmaster runs down, and Randy Savage actually races down and into the ring to cut Taskmaster off. Referee Nick Patrick stands up and sees Savage in the ring and calls for the bell. Hogan thinks he's won by submission, but no, he has disqualified Hogan because Savage came into the ring. Arn Anderson defeats Hulk Hogan for the second consecutive week, and possibly becomes the first person in wrestling history to beat Hogan twice.



Result: Arn Anderson via DQ

Alex Wright vs. Loch Ness Monster (w/ Jimmy Hart): "Alex Wright with a nice go-behind, but what are you going to do when you get there?" Wright attempts a waistlock, and his arms appear to come multiple feet away from meeting in the middle. Just another quick squash that ends in a basic elbow drop.



Result: Loch Ness Monster via pinfall

Belfast Bruiser vs. Brad Armstrong: Belfast Bruiser is Fit Finlay back when he had long hair and a mustache. This match is okay. Some chain wrestling that makes sense and the occasional minor good spot. The Bruiser ends up going over clean with a tilt-a-whirl powerslam. Through commentary, and through some yelling into the camera by Bruiser after the match, they're setting him up for a match with Steven Regal.



Result: Belfast Bruiser via pinfall

WCW Title - Ric Flair (c) (w/ Woman and Miss Elizabeth) vs. Randy Savage: Flair, arms around Woman and Liz as he looks up at Savage in the ring, sings "I've got the whole world in my hands." I always hope that Bray Wyatt was inspired by that. They show a close-up of the WCW Title, and it still has Savage's name on it. Bischoff, in what I think is an inspired bit of commentary, says (mostly verbatim), "And he's still got 'Macho Man' on the belt. Talk about adding insult to injury. It's like saying, 'I've got your ex-wife, I've got your belt, and I'm living in the house you used to live in.' This guy's a dirtbag." As he completes saying that, Savage spits in Flair's face. Granted that I'm imagining that WCW was just lazy and didn't change the inscription on the belt yet, and Bischoff was just covering for that, but I thought it was a very effective way to start this match, especially combined with Savage's epic glare through Flair after spitting on him. Few did great facial expressions like Savage.



Reasonably entertaining match here. Feels like more of what we've seen a lot of recently, but the two work well together. The whole ending is kind of an overbooked mess, where Liz jumps up on the apron to distract Nick Patrick, Woman throws a high-heel shoe into the ring, but Savage intercepts it and wallops Flair with it, Savage covers but only gets a two-count as Flair gets a foot on the rope, the dopey timekeeper starts to ring the bell anyway before stopping, Hulk Hogan and Taskmaster run out and manage to distract Nick Patrick again, and in comes the conquering hero and the man of the hour, Arn Anderson, to plant Savage with a DDT that enables Flair to get the three-count. It was high times to be an Arn Anderson mark.



Result: Ric Flair via pinfall

Out comes Ed ****ing Leslie in bright non-Zodiac colors to make the save and chase Kevin Sullivan to the back as Hogan tends to Savage in the ring. This thing where Hogan always pulled the strings to keep Ed Leslie in business is so embarrassing.

Flair, Arn, Sullivan, Woman, and Liz all hit the announce table so that Flair can do some taunting, but Ed Leslie clears them out as Bischoff screams "I'VE HAD IT! THIS IS NOT A WAR ZONE!" Apparently he's tired of wrestlers coming and messing with the broadcast booth. And just as he says that, Hogan comes storming in and Bischoff willfully gives him his headset to rant into until Mean Gene arrives. Hogan labels Ed Leslie as "The Booty Man," which would become his latest stupid name. As a result of this segment, they book Hogan/Savage/Booty Man vs. Flair/Arn/Sullivan for next week. Meh. And with that, the show signs off.



Overall: Pretty weak show overall. The main event was half-decent I guess, but all of the chaos at the end of the match and after the match were pretty stupid. But hey, at least Arn Anderson triumphed over both Hogan and Savage during the course of the hour.

---

Ratings for 2/12/96: Raw 3.1, Nitro 2.9
Ratings Running Score: Tied, 10-10-2

Better Show: It was Nitro again, though purely by default. Poor efforts on all fronts on this date.
Better Show Running Score: Nitro 18-4

Match of the Night: Flair vs. Savage seems like the only reasonable candidate for this.

Last edited by LKJ; 11-22-2015 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 11-22-2015, 02:04 PM   #159
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

I've always loved Vader's reckless chokeslams. Just added to his beastliness despite almost legitimately killing everybody with it.
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Old 11-22-2015, 04:00 PM   #160
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Hogan kept a lot of people in the business. Not long after his signed with WCW he gave Bischoff a list of guys he thought should be in WCW. It was like Hacksaw, Beefcake, Tugboat, and Tenta. In short, those were all Hogan's buddies. To be fair maybe a couple of those guys deserved to still be wrestling for a living, but he had some ludicrous demands.

P.S. This is really making me miss Nitro and when there were two quality wrestling federations competing for the top spot.
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Old 11-22-2015, 04:26 PM   #161
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

If he pulled strings for friends so that they could wrestle on B-shows and C-shows, and occasionally job on Nitro, I really would have zero issue with that. The Ed Leslie thing is annoying because we would repeatedly get subjected to watching him in the damn main event scene, and he was totally undeserving and almost always unwatchable.
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Old 11-22-2015, 05:25 PM   #162
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

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If he pulled strings for friends so that they could wrestle on B-shows and C-shows, and occasionally job on Nitro, I really would have zero issue with that. The Ed Leslie thing is annoying because we would repeatedly get subjected to watching him in the damn main event scene, and he was totally undeserving and almost always unwatchable.
Flair said - at least in regards to Tenta and Tugboat - that Hogan wanted them because they were easy to work with in the ring. But yeah, even along those lines you can understand where he was coming from.
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Old 11-22-2015, 08:35 PM   #163
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

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Somehow at Judgment Day 05 (think it was this show), Big Show faced JBL in a barbwire cage match and JBL escaped under the ring. I forget how hmmm.
Show chokeslammed him through the ring didn't he? Or was it a Boogeyman appearance?
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Old 11-22-2015, 08:36 PM   #164
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Also, I think it was no way out and not judgement day. I remember the poster being JBL trying to climb over a barb wire fence with the words No Way Out on it.
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Old 11-22-2015, 09:56 PM   #165
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Hogan brought his buddies in to provide him with allies for backstage politics also.
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Old 11-24-2015, 12:26 PM   #166
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

This seems as good of time to ask as any - What are some of Arn Anderson's best matches? I've been on an Anderson kick because of this thread, but sort of just using the search feature on The Network to find random stuff - yes I realize I could just google it, but seeing LKJ is a huge fan thought I'd start here.
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Old 11-24-2015, 12:47 PM   #167
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

google starratings blog > look under wcw > ctrl+f > "arn anderson"

His best matches are probably tag matches and war games matches. His match vs. Flair at FB that LKJ reviewed is really good and possibly his best singles match.
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Old 11-24-2015, 01:11 PM   #168
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Watching Arn's TV title reigns in 90-91 in order, promo by promo, match by match, would be great viewing. The TV title scene was a consistent part of an otherwise inconsistent product during the early 90s. I doubt any easy way to do so currently exists, however, as the matches were spread out over a bunch of different TV shows.
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Old 11-24-2015, 02:09 PM   #169
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

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Watching Arn's TV title reigns in 90-91 in order, promo by promo, match by match, would be great viewing. The TV title scene was a consistent part of an otherwise inconsistent product during the early 90s. I doubt any easy way to do so currently exists, however, as the matches were spread out over a bunch of different TV shows.
I hope one day the network makes all those shows available. Not sure if there is a huge clamoring for it, but like you said, it would be great to go through entire title reigns and storylines.
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Old 11-24-2015, 02:11 PM   #170
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

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Originally Posted by moorobot View Post
Watching Arn's TV title reigns in 90-91 in order, promo by promo, match by match, would be great viewing. The TV title scene was a consistent part of an otherwise inconsistent product during the early 90s. I doubt any easy way to do so currently exists, however, as the matches were spread out over a bunch of different TV shows.
Thanks. I am a bit familiar with the blog from the WM review thread.

The above was supposed to quote Iso's comment. That's my bad.
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Old 11-25-2015, 12:29 AM   #171
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

February 26, 1996

NITRO

Knoxville, TN

We start, as usual, at the broadcast desk. Apparently the line they took on Ed Leslie coming back to Hogan's aid is that he was a spy in the Dungeon of Doom. Leslie turned on Hogan like 15 months ago and has been doing battle across from him each week, including main eventing a ****ing Starrcade against him, so saying that he was just a spy is a bold choice…

As we go to the first match on Nitro, Bischoff says, "And right off the bat, I want to let all you fans know, with remote controls in your hand, that the World Whiny Federation, here's how it goes down: DQ, Yokozuna in a handicap match. Jake Roberts - you talk about digging up some bones here - over Isaac Yankem. And Diesel over…Bob Holly? He's still around." To give the authentic Monday night experience, I figure I might as well pass along the actual spoilers that were hitting TNT at the start of the shows on the weeks that I do Nitro first. On the other hand: ****, that sounds like a pretty bad show to sit through after this.

Big Bubba vs. Sting: Either I've already seen this match or am just totally uninterested in the idea of it. It actually isn't too bad, with both guys working pretty hard and giving it a go, but it was hard to shake the feeling that it was pointless filler. The best moment of it was some old grandma threatening Bubba at ringside.



Eric Bischoff starts shilling Uncensored, says that you'll see stuff at it that you won't see anywhere else, or ever again. IIRC, that's more of an advertisement for everything else than for Uncensored. Sting wins this match with a cross-body off the top rope. It was more watchable than I expected.

Result: Sting via pinfall

Mean Gene is with Sting and Lex Luger after the break, but Road Warriors come out right away as well. Animal screams at both for a while. Luger brags about being from Chicago and being every bit as tough as them. Sting yells at Luger that he's from the high-rent district and they're from the streets…which I think was meant as a put-down at Lex. In any case, Luger happily accepts a challenge to a Chicago street fight as Sting throws up his hands. The Road Warriors leave. Mean Gene says, "The Road Warriors, Sting and Luger, in a Chicago street fight?" Now that the Road Warriors are gone, Lex earnestly says, "Hey, what does that mean anyway?" Luger is awesome in this segment, just being blissfully oblivious. Sting leaves, angry at him.



The Renegade vs. Lex Luger: Also pointless. Luger and Sting are just wrestling random singles matches to put themselves over for no apparent reason during a build to a tag team title defense? Surely there's a better use of this airtime. Unlike Sting vs. Bubba, this match is without any particular redeeming value. Jimmy Hart, who didn't accompany Lex to ringside, shows up at an opportune moment late in the match and shoves Renegade off the top rope. It's academic from there, as he goes up into the torture rack for the submission. Jimmy Hart celebrates like a clown for maximum heat.



Result: Lex Luger via submission

Sting runs down, angry at Luger for taking Jimmy Hart's help. Luger, who was just joyfully celebrating with Jimmy, says he doesn't know why Jimmy was out there. While pleading innocence, Luger goes and raises Renegade's arm. Luger is amusing me tonight. He's not amusing Sting though, who really starts laying into him. After being told off, Lex slinks out of the ring to end the segment.



Harlem Heat vs. Road Warriors: It's very difficult for me to watch a Harlem Heat match without wanting to write a whole manifesto about how bad Stevie Ray was. Honestly, the Road Warriors weren't much better at this point. This is all to say that as good as Booker T was, he wasn't salvaging this whole situation, especially when Stevie got the majority of the Heat's ring time. Booker did seem to have the match won with the Harlem Hangover, but it was during a ref distraction, and the Road Warriors take advantage and go over dirty with a cheap shot kick to the Booker's face as he goes to see what the hell the referee is doing. Weird face/heel flip in how they did the ending.



Result: Road Warriors via pinfall

Ric Flair, Arn Anderson & Kevin Sullivan (w/ Woman and Miss Elizabeth) vs. Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage & The Booty Man: Early on in the match, we randomly get an appearance from Kimberly, formerly the Diamond Doll. I'm pretty sure that means we've seen the end of Johnny B. Badd. Must have been an abrupt departure, since they just put him over DDP at the PPV 15 days prior. Kimberly just seems to be eying the ring with no real explanation. Then she disappears.

This match doesn't do much for me; it strikes me as the type of main event you would see on Raw in 2015. Hulk Hogan pins Arn Anderson after a legdrop following a semi-hot tag.

Result: Hogan/Savage/Ed ****ing Leslie via pinfall



The second Hogan scores the pin, Ric Flair attacks him from behind. Elizabeth handcuffs him to the corner, and Flair continues to beat on him, whipping him with something as Hogan is cuffed to the corner. It's on this note that the show goes off the air. No Nitro next week by the way…it's pre-empted by some Civil War mini-series or something.

Overall: Some of the Sting/Luger stuff was fun, but this was certainly a sub-par episode anyway.

RAW

Cincinnati, OH

After a video package telling us what we're going to see, we hear the abrasive sound of a dental drill. I notice that they didn't open on Sunny tonight for the first time in what feels like at least six weeks.

Isaac Yankem vs. Jake "The Snake" Roberts: Vince labels this as "the DDS vs. the DDT." Hadn't thought of that, but yeah, Yankem's finisher was actually a DDT that he lamely called the DDS. Jake was definitely over big here, just as he was at the Royal Rumble. He was well over the hill at this point, overweight and pretty hopeless in the ring, but I can't fault Vince for giving him a bit of a nostalgia run. I will say, even as a huge fan of Jake's back when he departed WWF in 1992, this return didn't do anything for me outside of enjoying seeing him making that one Rumble appearance. Jake blocks Yankem's DDT here and then registers his own for the three-count. Honestly, especially at this stage of their careers, I don't think that Jake's DDT held up to Arn Anderson's at all.



Result: Jake Roberts via pinfall

Jerry Lawler is all freaked out about a snake being ringside after getting a snake set on him during the Royal Rumble. Vince keeps teasing him by acting like the snake is going to come out. He finally says, "Alright, I guess we're not going to see that. But we're going to see this:"

That introduces a video package for the Ultimate Warrior, again hyping him up. Vince says "we just hope he's coming back." So it still wasn't official to the viewing audience yet, but yeah.

Bob Holly vs. Diesel: If Bob Holly's gimmick wasn't lame enough, the fact that they made him wear the WWF logo on his ass was the real guarantee that he couldn't be anything but a jobber. Diesel keeps looking down and checking the ring, selling that he's paranoid that Undertaker could be underneath again. Even as Diesel is distracted, Bob Holly gets only the slightest hint of offense in. Diesel goes over with a really bad jackknife. It's amazing to me how bad of a job he did with his own finishing move. The release always looked like he was just losing his grip on the guy, or something.



Result: Diesel via pinfall

As Diesel heads back down the aisle, Taker's music hits and the lights go out. Taker is in the ring when the lights go up. Diesel actually makes like he's going to go in after him, but the lights go down again, and when they come back up Diesel is in the ring alone. One more time with the lights out. Taker then shows up on the video screen and vows to see Diesel "on the darkside." Whatever.

Bret Hart vs. HHH and Shawn Michaels vs. 1-2-3 Kid advertised for next week. There's potential there.

Ahmed Johnson vs. Shinobi: Shinobi was Al Snow in another masked gimmick. Not really sure why they were trying to make "Al Snow in a mask" a thing. He didn't have a bad look and wasn't a bad talker. This match is just a squash, and it's devoted to Goldust calling in and cutting a homoerotic promo on Roddy Piper. I don't know what happened here to transition a planned Goldust vs. Razor WrestleMania match into Goldust vs. Piper (Razor was not gone yet), but this obviously started it. Ahmed wins this match with the Pearl River Plunge.

Result: Ahmed Johnson via pinfall

To another pre-taped Mankind promo. He cuts this one while holding a rat in some dark place.

They show highlights of Owen Hart and the British Bulldog beating Hakushi and Barry Horowitz this past weekend in the tag team tournament. They also mention that this coming weekend will feature The Godwinns against The New Rockers. So Al Snow is onto the Leif Cassidy thing starting immediately.

After commercial, Vince McMahon is in the ring and ready to conduct an interview. He brings out both Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart, who each get extended entrances. I don't know how anyone could cheer for Shawn Michaels in this outfit.



Bret and Shawn do the mutual respect thing, but also talk some trash. The crowd favors Shawn and boos Bret a bit. Roddy Piper shows up in mid-interview. Piper not only acknowledges people booing Bret, but actually admonishes the crowd for doing it. Well that's a very non-Vince way of handling things. Piper says he wants a definitive result, and proposes that they should settle this based on who could get more falls over the other. He officially sets it as a 60-minute ironman match. Bret and Shawn shake hands. Solid segment.



Handicap Match - Yokozuna vs. Owen Hart and the British Bulldog (w/ Jim Cornette): Yoko dominates both opponents early, but Owen connects on a nice missile dropkick to set the big man down.



Owen and Davey control from there, but when Yoko starts to come back and regain control, Vader comes down to ringside. Against Jim Cornette's urges, he goes in and attacks, and the 3-on-1 beatdown is on.

Result: Yokozuna via DQ

Ahmed Johnson and Jake Roberts come down for the save. Vader is willing to stand his ground and go 1-on-3, but Jake brings the snake out and is able to chase Vader out of the ring with it.

Back to the announce table, Vince hypes the Shawn Michaels vs. 1-2-3 Kid and Bret Hart vs. HHH matches for next week, then sends his show off on a sour note by again throwing it to another Billionaire Ted sketch. That's how the show ends.

Overall: Not a good episode. The Bret/Shawn segment was decent, but that's about all.

---

Ratings for 2/26/96: Nitro 3.2, Raw 3.1
Ratings Running Score: Nitro, 11-10-2

Better Show: Neither really impressed, but Lex Luger was the MVP of the night and entertained me enough that I give it to Nitro.
Better Show Running Score: Nitro 19-4

Match of the Night: Man, there's nothing here. Sting vs. Big Bubba, that's your match of the night.
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Old 11-25-2015, 12:30 AM   #172
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

FEBRUARY 1996 IN REVIEW

Arrivals:
WWF - Mostly none that I can see. Jake Roberts came back last month, so perhaps I should have listed him then, but this month is when they actually made him a full-time part of the roster again.
WCW - Ummm…Loch Ness? So basically nobody.

Match of the Month: Shawn Michaels vs. Owen Hart, In Your House 6

PPV of the Month: Mentioned it at the time of writeup, but In Your House 6 was a bit better than SuperBrawl.

Ratings: Nitro narrowly wins 2 of 3 contested weeks. There still wasn't a clear edge in the ratings war.

Quality: The first half of the month was pretty strong for WCW; it underwhelmed the last two weeks though. WWF put on one really good Raw on February 5th, then put on the better PPV by a nose, so the gap in quality was smaller this month than it has been. But WCW was still the clearly stronger product overall.
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Old 11-25-2015, 12:42 AM   #173
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Especially odd since I was very pro-WWF at the time, but I just don't react nearly as negatively to Bischoff giving out spoilers as I do to the Billionaire Ted stuff. I guess I can just find a grudging respect for cutthroat moves like what WCW was doing, whereas WWF's response is just a bunch of childish whining that I have zero respect for. It probably ties heavily to just how terrible WWF was at this time. Vince couldn't put on a good product most weeks, and his reaction was to whine about the other company taking advantage and moving in on his market share...something he rose to prominence by doing.
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Old 11-25-2015, 01:15 AM   #174
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Just got my answer on Scott Hall's sudden disappearance. Apparently a drug suspension.
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Old 11-25-2015, 06:03 AM   #175
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

I love how Road Warrior Hawk rambles on about complete nonsense comparing wrestlers to household appliances, yet Mean Gene sometimes sells his lines like they are the most devastating insults ever.
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