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Old 11-10-2015, 12:31 AM   #101
LKJ
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Thanks; I'm always glad to get reassurance that people are actually reading.

And yeah, WCW really kicked WWF's ass for a very long time. I'll just be glad to get past the period of time where WWF is a horrible company, because their episodes are not very easy to sit through at this point.
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Old 11-10-2015, 10:41 AM   #102
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

I found those billionaire Ted skits fascinating because it was such a shift in philosophy about recognizing other companies for WWF. WCW always talked about the other promotions; they even had a segment that reported the (kayfabe) news of the other companies such as title changes and debuts. After leaving the NWA in the early 80s, Vince would at most vaguely bring up that WWF wasn't the only game in town e.g. when Harley Race debuted he described him as a newcomer to World Wrestling Federation but not the world of wrestling, then made him the "King" in hopes that this would get over his pedigree without having to mention the NWA. Most of the time he wouldn't even do that; when Steamboat and Barry Windham returned to WWF they made no mention of what they were doing in the meantime.
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Old 11-10-2015, 12:30 PM   #103
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

If and when you get to the point that Thunder and Smackdown debut, will you be including them in this, or dealing just with the Monday shows?
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Old 11-10-2015, 02:12 PM   #104
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Yesterday, I wanted to watch everything from Survivor Series 99 (Austin hit by car) until Backlash 2000 where he helps Rock...there are no 2000 RAWs up. It's part of the AE afaik.
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Old 11-10-2015, 03:01 PM   #105
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

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If and when you get to the point that Thunder and Smackdown debut, will you be including them in this, or dealing just with the Monday shows?
I don't know. Will decide when I get there. That's quite a ways off. No sign of Thunder on the WWE Network yet either.
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Old 11-10-2015, 07:33 PM   #106
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

I wonder if wrestling will ever have the star power it had at this time. On that Nitro you have:

Hogan, Savage and Flair (all household names that even non-wrestling fans would know)
Luger and Sting (both household names in many states in the country)

All guys more or less full timers. And that is just one of the two major wrestling companies. And this is before wrestling really got scorching hot again, adding more household names.
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Old 11-10-2015, 07:46 PM   #107
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Listening to the Flair podcast and never realized how instrumental Flair was at getting Hogan and Macho into the company. I know those things predate the start of this by a little bit, but it goes to show you that Flair had next to zero ego and all he cared about was getting good matches out of folks.

Another laughable facts was that WCW was making 40 dollars a month in merchandise sales prior to Hogan's arrival. I know it predates putting clothes on everyone and expecting them to sell them, but I mean man, even crappy bands had shirts for 20 bucks in the lobby after the show.

Sorry for the slight derail, loving this write-up and look forward to seeing how far you get.
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Old 11-10-2015, 08:14 PM   #108
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

January 8, 1996

RAW

Newark, DE

We open the show by teasing a Shawn Michaels press conference, a ****ing Billionaire Ted skit, and the forthcoming replay of a match that people already paid to see. Needless to say, I'm optimistic about this episode.

Hakushi vs. Jeff Jarrett: A bit of fun offense by Hakushi early, and then Jeff Jarrett slows the match down to utter boredom. Too bad Hakushi found himself inducted into the Job Squad in less than a year like this. Jarrett goes over clean via submission by slapping on the figure-four.



Result: Jeff Jarrett via submission

Jim Ross in for Dok Hendrix on the Royal Rumble report. He mentions that Jake Roberts has been confirmed as an entrant for the Royal Rumble. They also run a video promo about Vader. And they do a quick "Scheme Gene" bit. Whatever.

Ahmed Johnson vs. local jobber: This jobber is for some reason wearing silk pajama bottoms or some such thing. Ahmed throws HORRIBLE spinebusters every time. They always look sloppy, unsafe, and unimpressive. "Sloppy, unsafe, and unimpressive" is actually a pretty good cliffs notes summary of Ahmed's career. He goes over quickly here with the Pearl River Plunge.

Result: Ahmed Johnson via pinfall

Jeff Jarrett runs in and tries to ambush Ahmed with a guitar after the match, but Ahmed sidesteps and Jarrett breaks the guitar against the corner, then gets scared and runs off.

Next week on Raw, we will get Undertaker vs. his brother Isaac Yankem. We will also get Owen Hart vs. Marty Jannetty. Hey, Owen vs. Jannetty could be good if given time.

Brother Love is with Ted DiBiase. Oh ****, I know what this is. Ted DiBiase announces his Million Dollar Champion: The Ringmaster.



We have just seen our first glimpse of the man most responsible for winning the Monday Night Wars. This debut, and the "Ringmaster" thing in general, were lame. But whatever…we're now only a period of months away from Austin 3:16.

Goldust vs. Aldo Montoya: Aldo Montoya, by all rights a jobber when not wrestling as Justin Credible, gets the jobber entrance. Aldo bumps hard and makes Goldust look good, gets a brief moment's token offense, but succumbs to the Curtain Call. I've likely already said this, but what a ****ing lame finisher.

Result: Goldust via pinfall

Vince throws it to Jim Ross. Jim Ross throws it to the Shawn Michaels press conference footage from earlier today. Michaels says that doctors have told him not to compete anymore in the WWF. He then says that he's throwing his hat into the ring for the Royal Rumble anyway, and vows to win the WWF Title at WrestleMania.



And now it's time for them to replay an entire ****ing PPV main event, Bret Hart vs. British Bulldog from IYH 5. I will be skipping past this. My writeup is linked in that PPV recap.

Back to tonight's Raw, they throw it to a pre-taped promo with The Undertaker and Paul Bearer. "The Creatures of the Night have spoken, and I intend to deliver."

We're onto another Billionaire Ted sketch. So stupid. This one even has the "Nacho Man" questioning "what if we get tested for steroids?" and the Huckster saying "No need to worry about that, we're not in the WWF anymore." Seriously? Man, it's a bold move for Vince to start high-horsing about steroids.

And that's the end of the show.

Overall: I mean, they were punting away half their airtime once again. It's like they taped two weeks' worth of episodes and are now attempting to fill four weeks with it. Fun little historical time capsule of Steve Austin's first appearance on Raw, but on its own merits that segment was nothing. The whole show was worthless; I refuse to give credit for the Bret vs. Bulldog match being a really good one, given that it was a replay.

NITRO

Charleston, SC

After some hype for tonight's show from the announce desk, they send it straight to the ring.

Chris Benoit (w/ Brian Pillman) vs. Alex Wright: I sort of love it when I fire up one of these episodes and see a big gap with no search bubbles, because there's a good chance it means Chris Benoit. This is a decent match, plenty of high-impact action. As much of a lame-ass as this "Das Wunderkind" character was for Alex Wright, it really was true that he was incredibly capable for how young he was. Chris Benoit goes over with a dragon suplex. Brian Pillman saunters into the ring and spits on a fallen Alex Wright.



Result: Chris Benoit via pinfall

Straight into another match we go…

Lord Steven Regal (w/ Jeeves) vs. Eddie Guerrero: They wrestle the majority of this match in Regal's style, with a lot of mat-based chain wrestling. Obviously Eddie is up for that task. Pretty solid chemistry between the two in spite of different natural styles…I probably enjoyed this one a bit more than Benoit vs. Wright. With Regal in pretty solid control of the match, Eddie pulls a really well-executed desperation counter into a backslide for the win. Regal keeps attacking after the bell for a moment, as if to no-sell that it was a true three-count since it was close, but Eddie is declared the victor. I think the confusion was intentional rather than being a botch. Good match.



Result: Eddie Guerrero via pinfall

Mean Gene is with Sting and Lex Luger. Sting confronts Luger about what happened at Starrcade, with Luger holding him out from being able to beat the 10-count. Luger gives a lame excuse about how he was asking for help up since his knee was injured. Sting and Gene don't like it. Luger still asks Sting to be a tag team with him at Clash of the Champions, and Sting does accept even though he doesn't seem overly excited about it.

DDP vs. Sting: Thankfully the "self-high five" Nirvana ripoff music seems to be consistently missing from every DDP appearance. For all of the songs that it sucks to be missing, that one I'm happy to hopefully never hear again. DDP jumps Sting before the bell and actually rubs his used cigar butt in his face. Nice over-the-top pescado by Sting after he turns the tables. Then he botches a simple leapfrog and seems to kind of hurt himself. You win some, you lose some.



Match is okay. DDP controls a good bit of the offense, and unfortunately executes a really long reverse chinlock, but otherwise there's a fair bit of good stuff. Sting eventually launches the big comeback and wins with the Scorpion Deathlock.

Result: Sting via submission

Ric Flair & Arn Anderson vs. Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage: Poor Randy Savage is back in full Mega Powers red and yellow regalia. Going back to last week, Hogan keeps doing this incredibly lame thing where he holds the four fingers for the Four Horsemen signal upside down as some weird attempt to taunt Flair and Anderson.

Match is nothing special. They keep up a decent pace, and it's not bad or anything, but I just didn't find it especially interesting either. Savage takes continuous punishment for a lengthy heat segment, but eventually makes the hot tag to Hogan when Flair accidentally pushes Savage into Hulk. At this point, we're expected to believe that Flair is really stupid and would react in a way that he never does:



C'mon man. Anyway, Hulk Hogan pins Arn Anderson after a legdrop, while at the same time the Dungeon of Doom hits ringside and attacks the Horsemen. Then The Giant goes inside and chokeslams both Hogan and Savage. The Dungeon of Doom leaves Hulk and Savage laid out in the ring as the show goes off the air.

Result: Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage via pinfall

Overall: Strong show. Only match I really didn't like much was the main event, but even that had kind of a cool scene with the Dungeon of Doom laying out everyone to end the show. They were hitting stride here with a combination of good wrestling and interesting angles.

---

Ratings for 1/8/96: Raw 3, Nitro 2.8
Ratings Running Score: Raw, 8-7-2

Better Show: Nitro in an absolute blowout. They really should have been winning the ratings war more consistently already.
Better Show Running Score: Nitro 14-3

Match of the Night: Eddie Guerrero vs. Steven Regal

Last edited by LKJ; 11-10-2015 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 11-10-2015, 08:33 PM   #109
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

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Another laughable facts was that WCW was making 40 dollars a month in merchandise sales prior to Hogan's arrival. I know it predates putting clothes on everyone and expecting them to sell them, but I mean man, even crappy bands had shirts for 20 bucks in the lobby after the show.
Reminds me of the Four Horsemen Vitamins and Ugly Sweatshirts from the 80s. WCW had plenty of merch before Hogan; they had trading cards and video games and toys even. So the 40 dollar figure must be net profit, not gross.

But the merch, like the house shows, really wasn't run well before Bischoff started. WCW was owned by a TV company and TV was what Ted Turner and his lieutenants knew. WCW existed because wrestling had helped to make TBS when it first became a national station in the 70s, so Ted Turner felt wrestling should be a bedrock of the station.
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Old 11-10-2015, 11:46 PM   #110
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Hey LKJ,

I just wanted to say thanks for doing this series. I look forward to each review and can't wait for the actual good Raws.

Keep it up!
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Old 11-11-2015, 01:06 AM   #111
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Thanks much, appreciate you reading.
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Old 11-11-2015, 11:52 AM   #112
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

January 15, 1996

NITRO

Miami, FL

At the announce desk, Eric Bischoff is sporting a silly leather jacket. He says that tonight, Ric Flair is defending the WCW Title against Sting. They're really kind of overloading the free TV world title matches. We're also getting Hulk Hogan against a Dungeon of Doom member, Randy Savage vs. Lex Luger, and Arn Anderson vs. Dungeon of Doom member Hugh Morrus. Doesn't sound like it leaves any room for a great cruiserweight match, but hopefully they can manage a good episode anyway.

As they head to the ring, Bischoff also mentions that Randy Savage will get a title shot at the champion coming out of tonight's title match.

Lex Luger vs. Randy Savage: No Jimmy Hart with Luger tonight. I don't actually get the point of this match when you announce before it starts that Randy Savage is lined up for a title shot next. So he can lose and then just shrug and start prepping for his title match? Seems like making this a #1 contender match would be more sensible, but maybe they have another story to tell.



…I guess that story is Luger winning completely clean. Savage misses the flying elbow, Luger puts him in the torture rack, referee Randy Anderson picks up and drops Savage's arm three times, ding ding ding. Bischoff expresses his shock. Luger yells at the camera that he's the one who should be getting a title shot. This wasn't a good match.

Result: Luger via submission

The Dungeon of Doom come out toward the ring as a group, and Kevin Sullivan grabs Mean Gene and pulls him toward the ring with him. Then suddenly, appearing right behind them, the Four Horsemen calmly walk out. Arn Anderson is in a suit, Chris Benoit is in a shirt and tie, Ric Flair is in his ring garb for later, and Brian Pillman is in street clothes. Arn to Pillman: "I thought I told you to dress appropriately. This is a business meeting."



Arn says that there's no winners or losers if these two factions keep fighting, and there's no money rolling in, so he wants to put a stop to this. It's like that meeting late in The Godfather. Kevin Sullivan says that he respects Flair so much that he'll let Flair borrow the big man (The Giant) for Clash of the Champions. Sullivan also tells Arn that he respects him and doesn't think he gets his due. Then he says that his problem is with Pillman, who is a punk with no respect. Arn says that he wants to be clear: they respect the Dungeon of Doom, but they don't fear them. Pillman starts running his mouth at Sullivan about how they don't fear them, leading to this awesomeness:



So ****ing epic. I didn't remember that moment at all, but it made me so excited. Arn is almost certainly one of my top 10 all-time personal favorites. After the slap, Arn talks Sullivan down as well, and the Dungeon of Doom leaves the ring with a tentative agreement for a ceasefire.

Public Enemy vs. American Males American Males American Males: This is Public Enemy's debut match after some success in ECW. Didn't really love them in ECW, and if memory serves, they got worse when they defected to the mainstream. Hopefully they're better than I remember them.

This match is kind of terrible. Bagwell attempts a roll-up on Johnny Grunge, totally botches it, referee Nick Patrick is distracted during this anyway, Rocco Rock comes in and hits Bagwell with a simple punch or something, and suddenly Grunge is able to pin Bagwell instead. Stupid ending, stupid match.

Result: Public Enemy via pinfall

PE sets up two tables in a double-decker setup outside the ring. They set Bagwell up on top, Rocco Rock hits a somersault sentan onto Bagwell, and he goes through both tables. Okay, that was cool. That somewhat redeemed the whole match segment.



WCW Title - Ric Flair (c) (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Sting: Not the main event? C'mon. Also, this occasional association between Flair and Jimmy Hart was pretty damn weird, especially given that Flair had a stable behind him.

These guys have wrestled a lot lately, and this bout doesn't particularly stand out, but it's half-decent I guess. Nice superplex spot by Sting at the mid-point in the match. I do enjoy the ending a decent bit. Sting on a flurry of offense, Jimmy Hart gets up on the apron wielding a megaphone, Lex Luger runs down and gets up on the apron, yelling at Jimmy to get down and wrestling the megaphone away from him. As he does this, he clearly gets it in the way in the corner as Sting was flying in for a Stinger Splash, and Sting gets knocked out cold running straight into the megaphone.



Luger makes like it was all a terrible accident, but Ric Flair slaps on the figure-four, and an unconscious Sting is down for the three-count. The babyface announcers don't buy it as an accident; Heenan does. Lex clearly looked and got himself into a spot to harm Sting, but that could have just been the man behind the character not being able to make it look accidental I suppose.

Result: Ric Flair via pinfall

Luger goes in and pulls Flair off, making him release the hold, but then Hogan and Savage run in, and Flair and Luger both head for the hills.

Savage and Hogan plead with Sting to realize that Luger isn't really his friend. Sting was unconscious and didn't realize what happened. After being told that Luger cost him the match, he says he's going to the back to get it straight from the horse's mouth. He exits stage left.

Then Hogan turns to Savage and confronts him about how he should be the one who gets the title shot next week, but that Savage pulled a fast one and signed for the title shot earlier tonight before anyone got there. Savage correctly responds with (paraphrased) "WTF are you talking about, idiot. They offered it to me, of course I'm taking it." Hogan keeps throwing a fit, says he has a better chance of actually winning the title than Savage does. Savage gets pissed and leaves. Hogan follows him out trying to continue the confrontation as the show heads to break.

Back from break…

Hulk Hogan vs. Meng (w/ The Taskmaster): Would be fun if Meng just decided to shoot here. He really wasn't much of a worker in his post-Haku days…I don't remember him participating in even a watchable match as Meng. Needless to say that Hogan wasn't the one to carry him to that task. This is a handful of minutes of dull brawling. Meng mostly controls, Hogan hulks up, the crowd no-sells the hulk-up. Taskmaster tries to run interference from the apron, Savage runs down and tries to pull Taskmaster down, Taskmaster kicks him away, but while he's distracted Hogan takes a foreign object from him and then clocks Meng with it for the dirty pin.



Result: Hulk Hogan via pinfall

We get the wrap-up from the desk, hyping Flair vs. Savage for next Monday and signing off.

Overall: Less strong than last week, but still pretty good. Loved loved loved the Horsemen-DoD segment, enjoyed the ending of Flair-Luger and the aftermath of that, Marcus Bagwell going through two tables was fun…certainly enough here to call this a pretty fun watch.

RAW

Newark, DE

Right up front, we get "WARNING: The Following Program Contains Action of a Graphic Nature. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED." I'm curious as to what the hell that could be about.

We head straight to a shot of Sunny in a nightgown laying on a pool table, with Jerry Lawler saying that "she's already used her influence on Gorilla Monsoon." Without explaining, they hype tonight's show, with Undertaker vs. Isaac Yankem and a confrontation between Goldust and Razor Ramon to come.

Marty Jannetty vs. Owen Hart (w/ Jim Cornette): I will forever be a mark for the spots where an opponent runs at Owen and Owen suddenly counters into a belly-to-belly suplex. He does one of those here. Unfortunately this match doesn't really live up to its level of potential…it's fine, but that's all. Owen goes over clean when he and Marty engage in a series of hold-counterhold, culminating in Owen tripping Jannetty, stepping in front of him, then bridging backward for a pin.



Result: Owen Hart via pinfall

To Todd Pettengill for the Royal Rumble report, which is this Sunday. He says that of the wrestlers drawing for their spot in the Rumble match, two will draw blanks. They will face each other on the pre-show, with the winner getting #30 and the loser getting #1. Pretty solid idea. Off the top of my head, I think the match ends up being HHH vs. Duke "The Dumpster" Droese. He throws it to a spoken promo by Diesel and a video promo of Vader, and then sends it to Dok Hendrix. Dok says that he can confirm that Razor Ramon is fed up with Goldust and is planning on showing up tonight to tear him apart.

Before the next match, we get a cleavage shot of Sunny bending over a pool table and taking a shot. I've got no complaints, though I do think it's funny in a shameless kind of way that they just had her doing this without even integrating it into anything to do with the show.

The Ringmaster (w/ Ted DiBiase) vs. Matt Hardy: Huh. Didn't realize that Matt was around and working these jobber matches too. This was an extended and kind of boring squash. Ringmaster goes over with the Million Dollar Dream sleeper.



Result: The Ringmaster via submission

Video promo for Shawn Michaels.

Dok Hendrix says that his sources tell him that Razor Ramon is just a few minutes away from the arena. He has sources within Razor's car? Okay, whatever.

The Smoking Gunns vs. The Spiders: This gets joined in progress. The Spiders are masked men, but I'm pretty sure that these guys would become the Headbangers during the next year or two. For now, they were just squash match jobbers. The Gunns win with the Sidewinder.

Result: Smoking Gunns via pinfall

New Billionaire Ted skit. Ted asks why WWF's wrestling is still better than theirs (it isn't). Vince Russo plays one of the characters. He tells Ted (about WWF), "They've got better athletes. All we've got are the disloyal, greedy has-beens from the 80s." The notion of "disloyal" is always one that will annoy the **** out of me. "If you don't agree to take less money to work for me, you're disloyal." But people eat that up for some reason, so I guess I don't fully blame Vince for going there. I find it very irritating though.

Back to the arena, Vince is in the ring and introduces Goldust for an interview. Vince openly asks him, "Do you really mean what you say, or are you just trying to prey on the homophobic fears of most men, specifically Razor Ramon?" Goldust no-sells the question and just cuts a promo coming on to Razor again.

Dok back in the locker room area, Razor Ramon enters angrily and asks where Goldust is, then sets out to go find him.

Isaac Yankem vs. The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer): So Paul Bearer really just carries the chain that used to be an urn to the ring now. Really? The chain has magical powers? They already replaced the original urn once back in 1994. Just go to the magic store and buy another one.

After some brawling, Jerry Lawler gets up from the announce table and attempts to rip the chain away from Paul Bearer, but Taker sees him and steps toward him, causing Lawler to run away to the back. We get a quick PIP report from the back of Dok saying he's going to have an interview with Goldust after this.



Yankem actually attempts the first of many tombstones in his career here, but Taker escapes and executes his own for the three-count. Somehow, right in the middle of that closing exchange, they again panned the full camera to Dok just randomly pacing backstage. Why do they think we care so much about the story he's chasing? Whatever. Not a terrible match. Not great.

Result: Undertaker via pinfall

Backstage, Dok is with Goldust. Razor immediately comes into the shot and brutally attacks Goldust, slamming him with multiple trash cans and flinging him into a table. Goldust stops him with a low blow, and Raw heads to its last commercial.

Back from commercial, we get more randomly-placed sexual innuendo from Sunny in a bathtub. Alright. We also get a rundown of this coming Sunday's Royal Rumble in order to hype the card.

To the back again. Goldust attempts to leave the arena, but Razor jumps him again, slamming him HARD into a fuse box and then throwing him hard through the arena door. This was some enjoyably brutal backstage action. They brawl into the snow outside, where Goldust manages to make an escape in his car as Razor throws a trash can at the departing vehicle. This is the scene that ends the show.



Overall: The Goldust/Razor stuff that this show was built around actually was reasonably compelling TV, to my surprise. I hadn't seen this stuff since it happened, and I figured it would be more cringeworthy than it is, especially in light of 20 years of societal attitude changes. Nothing else about this show was all that great, but as always, if you finish a show strong then a lot gets forgiven. So with that in mind, not too bad of an episode.

---

Ratings for 1/15/96: Nitro 3.5, Raw 2.4 (Note: Nitro's highest rating and biggest margin of victory yet)
Ratings Running Score: Tied, 8-8-2

Better Show: It's still Nitro. By less than last week, but they still entertained me a decent bit more. That Horsemen/Dungeon of Doom segment was so great.
Better Show Running Score: Nitro 15-3

Match of the Night: Err…none? There weren't really any particularly good matches. Owen Hart vs. Marty Jannetty, I guess.

Last edited by LKJ; 11-11-2015 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 11-11-2015, 01:08 PM   #113
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

idk about The Spiders becoming The Headbangers. The Headbangers were in Smoky Mountain Wrestling until they went into the WWF as The Headbangers.
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Old 11-11-2015, 01:17 PM   #114
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

From Headbanger Mosh's Wiki:

Quote:
Warrington went on to form a tag team with Glenn Ruth in 1994. He and Ruth, working as the masked team "the Spiders" lost to Axel and Ian Rotten in ECW. Wrestling under a variety of names and gimmicks. First appearing as The Spiders in 1994 and then as The Flying Nuns, with Warrington as Mother Smucker and Ruth as Sister Angelica; debuting on the premiere broadcast of Shotgun Saturday Night along with Brother Love in 1997.
I knew that one of them had wrestled as The Spider at some point, at least. Vince had that working agreement with Jim Cornette and SMW, so loaning them these two to just work a squash match under masks doesn't seem too surprising. There's no source to confirm it, but that would still be my guess.
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Old 11-11-2015, 02:44 PM   #115
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

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From Headbanger Mosh's Wiki:



I knew that one of them had wrestled as The Spider at some point, at least. Vince had that working agreement with Jim Cornette and SMW, so loaning them these two to just work a squash match under masks doesn't seem too surprising. There's no source to confirm it, but that would still be my guess.
Glenn started as The Spider in the South Jersey area back in the early 90's. The only reason I know this, is because he was also a substitute teacher at my high school at this time as well.
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Old 11-11-2015, 03:57 PM   #116
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

WWF ROYAL RUMBLE '96



I was right about the pre-show match, which isn't broadcast here on the WWE Network. Duke Droese beat HHH, so HHH will enter at #1 and Droese will enter at #30.

We start on Sunny in a bathtub giving us the "viewer discretion is advised" warning. Honestly, Sunny was very hot, but these segments from this past Raw and now just kind of elicited eye-rolling on my end. I guess it just seemed super desperate from WWF's end.

After the opening hype graphics, Vince McMahon and Mr. Perfect are at the broadcast table for tonight's event, and we're ready to kick things off straight away.

Jeff Jarrett vs. Ahmed Johnson: Ahmed is usually either no-selling, selling badly, or executing sloppy offense. But to give him credit on a couple of things, he does take a nice hard stair bump here, and later he also executes a running over-the-top plancha that looks very impressive from a man his size. He even follows that up with an attempted somersault cannonball from the top rope that misses. Those two spots are more than I thought he could do, really.



Jarrett slaps on a figure-four, Ahmed escapes it. Tries for another, Ahmed boots him out of the ring. Jarrett finally just gets frustrated, grabs his guitar from ringside, heads to the top, and hits Ahmed over the head with it for the obvious DQ.

Result: Ahmed Johnson via DQ (6:40)
Rating: *1/2

Diesel does an interview backstage with Todd Pettengill. No real substance to it, but his personality was a lot better ever since his semi-turn at Survivor Series.

Tag Team Titles - The Smoking Gunns (c) vs. The Bodydonnas (w/ Sunny): As opposed to the weird backstage vignettes that seem desperate to me, I can't say I mind the shameless lingering camera shots on Sunny during the actual wrestling part of the show. This match seems like it has some potential - there's enough in-ring talent involved - but it never really gets going very well. I do appreciate a spot where Sunny gets knocked off the apron, isn't really hurt, but then sells it like she is after baiting Billy into coming and checking on her. Her guys attack Billy, and she springs up healthy as a horse and celebrates what she did. She was a very good heel.



After a heat segment on Billy Gunn, Bart gets the hot tag, it leads the Gunns to hit the Sidewinder, but Sunny is distracting on the apron and Zip comes off the top to hit Bart Gunn in mid-pin, then puts Skip on top. Looked like a title change, but it only gets a two-count. The ending gets botched, as the Bodydonnas go for a double suplex on Bart, they do it really slowly so as to enable the planned spot, Billy is slightly late in spearing one of the Bodydonnas, and Bart clumsily turns it into a small package on the other for a three-count. Not great.

Result: Smoking Gunns via pinfall (11:14)
Rating: *1/2

They replay a "best-of" montage of the Billionaire Ted skits. They really thought a lot of this embarrassing idea.

Video package of the Razor Ramon/Goldust feud.

Intercontinental Title - Razor Ramon (c) vs. Goldust (w/ Marlena): This was Marlena's first appearance; it was unannounced, and she doesn't seem to have a name yet. Razor approaches this match more calmly than his irate appearance on Raw Monday night. Goldust spends a decent while making physical overtures toward Razor that causes Razor to stay away for a while, but they eventually get down to action. The only spot that I always remembered from the match was this one:



The match itself is fairly disjointed, because it's so fixated on Goldust stalling and making lewd gestures at Razor, with occasional wrestling sequences in between. The ending sequence occurs during a distraction by Marlena, which enables the 1-2-3 Kid to run in from the crowd and hit a spinning wheel kick from the top to the back of Razor's head, enabling Goldust to make the pin for the 1-2-3.



Result: "…and NEW Intercontinental Champion," Goldust via pinfall (14:17)
Rating: *1/2

We get word from Shawn Michaels's doctor, who thinks that Shawn is just fine and good to go. We also get quick promos from Owen Hart, Jake Roberts, Jerry Lawler, Barry Horowitz, Vader with Jim Cornette, and Shawn Michaels himself.

Royal Rumble: Hunter Hearst-Helmsley and Henry Godwinn are #1 and #2.

*This seems to be the first year that every entrant gets entrance music; up until now, guys would just run in without.
*They set up a whole spot with the first four guys where Henry Godwinn slops all three of the heels (HHH, Backlund, Lawler) who have run away outside the ring. Stupid.
*King Mabel is in this as well, so obviously I was just wrong about him being gone after the casket match last month. If I just keep declaring every new appearance his last one, I'll eventually be right.
*Jake Roberts gets a huge pop for his return. He enters and promptly unleashes a massive snake, then places it on top of Jerry Lawler as the rest of the ring clears (not over the top). I give credit to anyone who let the snake crawl on them over the years. That would horrify me.



*Even after the match has settled back in after the snake spot, the crowd unleashes a loud "DDT" chant. No question this crowd helped Jake get a bit more of a run with WWF after this. He eventually delivers one, but they **** up and have it happen off-camera as the crowd pops for it.
*We go nine men deep before finally having our first elimination, when Yokozuna tosses Bob Backlund out.
*1-2-3 Kid's music hits, Razor Ramon follows him in and chases him furiously for a decent while, but the officials eventually get him to return to the back.
*Vader wrecks some fools, making 4+ eliminations and looking generally dominant. He gets eliminated when brawling with Yokozuna against the ropes when Shawn Michaels sneaks up behind them and dumps them both out. Vader isn't taking this lying down; he re-enters and has a go at Shawn Michaels, throwing him out over the top to the floor. He dumps HHH and Bob Holly as well. These eliminations don't end up counting, and Vader eventually leaves when a whole crowd of officials and President Gorilla Monsoon get in and demand that he leave, and Jim Cornette talks him down. Nice crowd heat for this sequence; it was a good debut.



*After a couple of appearances early on in green trunks, Steve Austin's Ringmaster character is into the classic black trunks for this occasion. He's still rocking the short hair though.



*HHH is the one with the really long run here, as he lasts from the #1 spot to almost 50 minutes into the match before getting dumped out by Diesel.

Our final four is Shawn Michaels, Diesel, Kama, and the British Bulldog. Michaels clotheslines Bulldog out over the top to eliminate him. Diesel tosses Kama on the other side of the ring. As he turns around from making that elimination, Diesel runs into a superkick from Michaels that sends him out over the top. HBK wins back-to-back Rumbles.



Result: Shawn Michaels by last eliminating Diesel (58:49)
Rating: **1/2

Dok Hendrix tries to interview Diesel, who just yells at him and starts heading back toward the ring. He enters, teases the full heel turn, and instead holds his hand up for the high five. The friendship remains intact for now.

The Undertaker comes out for his entrance for the main event, but Diesel hadn't actually left ringside yet. They have a confrontation in the aisle and trade blows before officials pull them apart.

WWF Title - Bret Hart (c) vs. The Undertaker: Slow, slow start to this one. Undertaker does take an enjoyable leg bump against the steel steps, which opens him up to limb work from Bret after that. A LOT of limb work. Given the run time of the Royal Rumble match, they obviously shortened the clock between entrants, and gave a whole ton of time to this one that it doesn't seem like they needed or warranted. It's a rare thing that I would accuse Bret of being lazy, but the match felt like at least 20 minutes of this:



I did just notice that Paul Bearer has another urn now, so that's the end of the chain. Bret does take a nice hard bump against the timekeeper's table outside. The crowd sounds pretty clearly pro-Taker at times in this one, though at times both guys get clear negative reactions while on offense. Frankly, both guys deserved a share of booing here, so I'm glad they both got to hear it.

Bret rips Taker's mask off late, which reveals…well, Taker looks the same as ever. Bret runs into a Tombstone, Taker has him pinned, but Diesel appears at ringside and pulls referee Earl Hebner out during the count for a disqualification. As the announcement is made that Taker doesn't win the title, Diesel flips him the bird from the aisleway, smirks, and walks off. Bret Hart remains World Champion after a ****ty match with a ****ty ending.

Result: The Undertaker via DQ
Rating: *

In the post-event "Royal Rumble Plus" segment, Gorilla Monsoon announces that Bret Hart will defend the belt against Diesel at February In Your House. The Undertaker marches in angrily and says that it will be a cold day in hell before Diesel is ever be the WWF Champion. As a result of that, Gorilla Monsoon says that it will be a cage match for the title to avoid seeing another title match ruined by interference.

There are some other interviews as well, but they're of no real consequence. A video package of preceding event plays us out.

Overall: Not a good show. The undercard matches were worse than mediocre, the Rumble match was very predictable, and the main event sucked. Couple of fun moments in the Rumble itself, most notably Jake Roberts' return and Vader's rampage, but that's not enough to make this into much of a show.
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Old 11-11-2015, 04:51 PM   #117
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

You have the ability to make your own gifs, and you can't even give us ONE "Sunny in a bathtub" clip?

C'mon, man.
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Old 11-11-2015, 05:01 PM   #118
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

It wasn't that great, really.
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Old 11-11-2015, 05:10 PM   #119
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

You could at least have given it a star rating.
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Old 11-11-2015, 05:15 PM   #120
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

I would say it was less interesting than her pool table scenes have been.
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Old 11-12-2015, 11:34 AM   #121
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Incredible thread idea, I'm thoroughly enjoying it.

The latest episodes reminded me of my favorite Sunny moment. She was holding both tag belts near her waste and says to the camera "They're a great pair, aren't they? I mean the belts".
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Old 11-12-2015, 07:25 PM   #122
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

January 22, 1996

RAW

Stockton, CA

After another Sunny opening, we get video clips from last night's Royal Rumble. We also hear that we're getting Bret Hart vs. Goldust and Razor Ramon vs. HHH tonight.

Vader (w/ Jim Cornette) vs. Savio Vega: This is a squash match in spite of a bit of offense from Savio. Vader goes over with the Vaderbomb.

Result: Vader via pinfall

The segment is far from over, however. After the match, Vader slams Savio again and delivers another Vaderbomb. Referee Jimmy Koderas objects, so Vader headbutts him twice and throws him out of the ring. Jim Cornette tries to calm him down, and Vader brushes him aside. Referee Jack Doan confronts Vader, so Vader hits him in the face a couple of times and then powerbombs him.



Gorilla Monsoon now into the ring, and he angrily gets in Vader's face. He tells the ring announcer to say that Vader has been indefinitely suspended. Vader gets back in Monsoon's face. Monsoon refuses to back down, dropping his glasses and yelling back at him. Vader shoves Gorilla. Gorilla chops him several times as a result. It was kind of stunning to see Gorilla actually physically do anything to anyone, which it doesn't seem like he had probably done since retiring over a decade ago.



Vader ends up hitting an avalanche on Gorilla in the corner, drops an elbow on him, and then drags him into the corner and delivers a Vaderbomb on him as well.



Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon hit the ring and chase Vader out, but by this point the damage is done. This was a great segment and a great way to introduce Vader into the company. This was certainly a time where authority figures had not yet been physically attacked by wrestlers, so it felt really big. After the commercial, they keep hammering home what an appalling thing this was. Gorilla is stretchered off by EMTs.

They go backstage to Vader, who is in a blind rage and yells that he's declaring war on every wrestler in the WWF, and every official. "And that includes you, Mr. McMahon. And Mr. … AAAAAHHHH!" I don't know if he was meaning to say Monsoon or Lawler or what.

HHH vs. Razor Ramon: HHH is accompanied to the ring by a woman. This must have been the start of his run where he added a ladies man element to his role, and was accompanied by a different woman at every match. He needed additional elements to get people to really care about him, so this was a good step.



We also see a PIP promo from Ted DiBiase and the 1-2-3 Kid, who mock him for losing last night and say that he lost fair and square and has been whining ever since. They say that just like with a crying baby, they should put a bottle in his mouth and change his diaper. Sigh. That is headed somewhere terrible…

During the match, the Kid comes to ringside as Razor is laying near the apron, and the Kid stuffs an oversized baby bottle toward his mouth. Razor gets mad, chases the Kid, and we have a countout. Some of the action here was fine, but it was overshadowed by all of that baby bottle **** and a dumb ending.

Result: HHH via countout

Another Billionaire Ted sketch. **** off.

Vince McMahon, in the ring, brings out Shawn Michaels for an interview. He says that he's going to win the title at WrestleMania, but before that point he has something to take care of. He calls out Owen Hart for taking credit for his recent injuries. Jim Cornette interrupts and says that Owen has proved his point, that he has no incentive to fight Michaels again, and that he isn't going to. Michaels says that he would do anything it takes to get to Owen Hart.



Cornette seizes the opening and asks Shawn to put the WrestleMania title shot on the line. Shawn is given pause, but accepts the challenge, and his title shot is on the line in February. He tosses Cornette out over the top rope to close out the segment.

Next week on Raw, we will see Diesel vs. the British Bulldog. WTF, why? That match has already miserably failed. We don't possibly need another edition of it. We will also see Shawn Michaels vs. Yokozuna.

Bret Hart vs. Goldust (w/ Marlena): Vince says Marlena's name tonight, so she didn't go nameless for very long. I'm pretty fond of tonight's dress. They say that Bret injured his knee last night, but obviously not too badly, or else they're quite stupid for having him wrestle ASAP afterward. I don't really get why we're going IC Champ vs. WWF Champ at this point in time anyway.

Goldust, after some offense from Bret, starts to take a walk. Razor Ramon emerges from the back, punches him, and throws him back into the ring. Bret makes quick work of him from there, slapping on the Sharpshooter and getting the submission. Someone wins the IC Title, then you immediately have him lose cleanly the next night? What is this, 2015? Weird booking choice during an era where booking wasn't broken yet. Non-title match, so of course Goldust still holds the IC Title.



Result: Bret Hart via submission

After the match, Vince comes in and gets a promo from Bret Hart, who cuts a pretty strong promo by 1996 Bret standards, vowing to take care of Diesel and also vowing to give Undertaker another title shot. Jerry Lawler summarizes next week's show, Vince joins him back at the table, and they sign off.

Overall: Mixed bag. The Vader stuff was great, the Shawn Michaels/Jim Cornette segment was pretty good, and everything else was meh at best. Okay show overall.

NITRO

Las Vegas, NV

We get our standard announce desk hype. Randy Savage with a world title shot at Ric Flair tonight. Harlem Heat to defend the tag team titles against Sting and Lex Luger. Konnan interrupts at the desk, introduces himself and the fact that he's the Mexican Heavyweight Champion, then says he's going to beat Psicosis tomorrow night at Clash of the Champions. With a Clash tomorrow, it seems weird to have two big title matches already tonight. And WTF, I guess we're starting on the World Title match?

WCW Title - Ric Flair (c) vs. Randy Savage: Savage takes a page from Ric Flair's book, and as his music hits a line of beautiful women walk out in evening gowns. One of them is Woman. I'm pretty sure another is Debra McMichael. Eric Bischoff says "hey wait, I recognize one of those women. It's Woman!" Debra remains unidentified until Mongo became a wrestler, but I'm pretty sure that's her. Bischoff says that in a shocker, Miss Elizabeth will reunite with Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan tomorrow night at Clash. Wouldn't it have been way better to just have her appear?

Ric Flair propositions Woman at ringside, and she responds by slapping him. Savage attacks, and we're off. The match is back and forth without a clear advantage to either man. The endgame arrives late when, during a Jimmy Hart referee distraction, Arn Anderson runs out and gets on the apron, equipped with brass knuckles. He swings, but Savage sidesteps and he hits Flair.



Hogan pulls Arn down from the apron, and Savage goes up top for the flying elbow. While he does, the bell rings. Twice. Apparently a terrible botch, because Savage hits the elbow, the referee counts to three, and we have a title change where all involved just have to awkwardly ignore the premature bell.

Result: Randy Savage via pinfall, new WCW World Champion

Hulk Hogan runs around the ring posing and preening for the audience. Note that all he did was pull Arn down to the floor after Arn had already knocked Flair out, so he basically didn't do anything. Savage grabs the microphone. "Stop the music. Stop the music. I got something to say, right straight to your eyes, brother. You're celebrating this match like you won it. I won it. I am the WCW World Heavyweight Champion. You understand that? You're clowning around the ring. Don't embarrass yourself like that, brother. We're friends. We've been to hell and back 12 times. 13 is either our lucky number or our unlucky number. Understood?" It really is a beautiful thing to see someone, especially Randy Savage, cut Hogan off at the knees like this, since Savage's career is defined by title wins that Hulk Hogan makes all about him.



Hogan congratulates him, but says, "but I might add, with a little bit of help from your best friend." No you dip****, you didn't do anything. Hulk asks for the first title shot. Savage says that he's not the championship committee. He tells him to get himself up to #1 for a title shot and that he'll be happy to do it. They hype up a possible future match, but the heat dies down and they set their minds to teaming up tomorrow night at the Clash.

Dean Malenko vs. Brian Pillman: Under this Loose Cannon heel gimmick, Pillman spends an undue amount of time on histrionics. Obviously he was more than capable in the ring, but it did actually hurt this match to an extent that he wouldn't quit carrying on. Still decent action though. Malenko puts Pillman on his back in a fireman's carry hold, then drops him along his knee for a gutbuster. Nice spot.



A really dumb ending follows, where Malenko gets tripped with his leg clearly tied up in the ropes, and referee Nick Patrick (in his pre-corruption days) just blatantly ignores it and counts a three-count anyway. Meh.

Result: Brian Pillman via pinfall

Tag Team Titles - Harlem Heat (c) vs. Sting & Lex Luger: Champs out first. The announcers make it sound like they've fired Sister Sherri over the Colonel Parker romance, so perhaps that's something that happened on the weekend shows. Luger holds his own against the Heat early, but after tagging out, Sting falls into face-in-peril mode. A couple of times Luger comes into the ring when baited, causing the referee to force him out, and Eric Bischoff questions whether he's really trying to help Sting or not. Really? Even if he's a selfish heel at heart, I'm pretty sure he would still want to be a tag team champion. The heat segment is fairly dull, as the Heat doesn't do much of interest.

Eventually Booker T goes for the Harlem Hangover, and Sting manages to roll away and make the hot tag. Nope, hot tag doesn't count, because Nick Patrick got distracted by Stevie Ray like a dolt. Luger back to the apron. Jimmy Hart appears at ringside, and feeds a foreign object to Lex. Lex holds it and waits as Sting and Booker T collide in mid-ring. Sting up first, finally makes the hot tag that counts, Luger clobbers Booker with what explodes and appears to clearly be a roll of silver dollars, and makes the pin to win the titles. Sting is confused and doesn't realize that they cheated to win the belts.



Result: Sting & Lex Luger via pinfall, new Tag Team Champions

Hulk Hogan vs. One Man Gang: The Mega Powers are having interpersonal issues on the eve of a reunion with Miss Elizabeth. Historically you don't want to see Akeem at this particular moment. Hogan is able to handle this one though, and wins with a bodyslam and legdrop with little incident.



Result: Hulk Hogan via pinfall

The Dungeon of Doom begins to descend on the ring. So do the Horsemen. Randy Savage hits the ring and fights everyone off with Hogan. They keep the ring and have a staredown with the two enemy factions, who back down for tonight. Hogan and Savage cut a promo about their tag match tomorrow, talking about how they'll have Miss Elizabeth and Kevin Greene in their corner.

They wrap things up from the desk with the reminder to everyone to watch the Clash tomorrow night.

Overall: Another good episode. The Hogan/Savage stuff worked well, a couple of big title changes to keep things exciting…I enjoyed.

---

Ratings for 1/22/96: Raw 2.9, Nitro 2.7
Ratings Running Score: Raw, 9-8-2

Better Show: It's a slightly closer call on this night, but WCW wins again. The Vader stuff wasn't quite enough to make the whole WWF show better.
Better Show Running Score: Nitro 16-3

Match of the Night: Again no particularly great matches, but I end up on Dean Malenko vs. Brian Pillman as a lame default choice.
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Old 11-12-2015, 09:05 PM   #123
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

I may be the only one in the world who will ever say this but part of me kind of liked the dungeon of doom. They were so cartoony and stupid that I actually found myself enjoying them when they were on the show.
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Old 11-12-2015, 09:41 PM   #124
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

did nitro really have a world title change in the middle of the card on a nitro?
that sounds so weird
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Old 11-12-2015, 09:43 PM   #125
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Not the middle of the card. The opening match. Yes it was bizarre.
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