Monday Night Wars Week 26 and 27: February 26th and March 5th 1996


Scott Hall gave notice to Vince McMahon that he was jumping to WCW. Coincidentally *wink wink* Hall failed a drug test and was suspended 6 weeks.

Vince is definitely reacting to Nitro’s star power heavy shows as the intro plugs Diesel, Undertaker, Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart as all appearing tonight.

Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. Isaac Yankem

This is Jake’s first match on the USA Network in almost 4 years. He’s now wearing a shirt to hide his body. Crowd chants for the “DDT” right away. Jake takes a pounding for several minutes with punches and kicks. Yankem tries a DDT but Jake grabs the ropes to block it and then finishes with a DDT of his own for the pin. He then inexplicably doesn’t put the snake on his fallen foe. Roberts had so much ring rust here, you could almost hear him squeak. I’m sure I was gushing over his return at the time though.

We get a video package of fans begging for the return of the Ultimate Warrior.

Bob Holly vs. Diesel

Nash knocks Holly down twice with ease. Holly gets some token offense before Diesel hits a clothesline, a side slam and some big fists. Diesel stops the beatdown to check the ring for holes that Taker may try and emerge from. They actually go to commercial during this squash match… Nash hits the powerbomb for the win as soon as we get back to live action. The lights go out and Taker appears in the ring. Nash heads towards him and the lights go out again and Taker is gone. The lights go out again and Taker appears on the video wall and reminds Nash that the Deadman is the master of mind games.

Nash gave his notice to Vince this week and he’ll be joining Scott Hall in WCW. Nash worked this match with a shoulder injury.

Ahmed Johnson vs. Shinobi

Shinobi is Al Snow, with his second masked jobber gimmick of the year. Ahmed chucks Shinobi out of the ring. Johnson tosses the cloaked man around the ring as Goldust calls in to discuss his desire to play with Roddy Piper’s “bag pipe”. Shinobi gets a wee bit of offense in but botches a springboard move and falls on his face. Snow blew a move on RAW as Avatar as well. Johnson hits the spinebuster and finishes with the Tiger bomb.

Just a squash.

Mankind is in his cellar and plays with his rat friends while bemoaning his mother sending him away. (The rats belonged to Jim Cornette’s girlfriend, according to the Observer.)

Vince McMahon brings out Shawn and Bret for an interview. Shawn says he respects Bret more than anyone but plans on usurping Hart’s status as being the best there is, was and ever will be. Hart says Shawn is a pleasure to watch but the Hitman plans on giving Shawn the fight of his life. Shawn shows off his abs and Vince is all smiles. How creepy.

Piper comes down and says Hart shouldn’t be booed since he’s a 3 time World champ, and Shawn shouldn’t be jeered since he’s won a lot of tough matches as well. Roddy doesn’t want any B.S. finish so he makes their match a one-hour “Iron Man” match. Maybe Hogan and Loch Ness can have one of those at Uncensored!

Yokozuna vs. Owen Hart and The British Bulldog

Owen avoids Yoko and celebrates. Owen has to get near Yoko to inflict damage though and when he does Yoko knocks him down and sends him across the ring with a slam. Bulldog tags in and meets the same fate. Yoko misses a charge and runs into the turnbuckle and that opens up the opportunity for Owen to deliver a top rope dropkick. Both heels double-team the obese protagonist. Yoko starts to make a comeback on both men and so Vader comes down and wallops Yoko down by himself as a 3 on 1 beatdown ensues. Ahmed Johnson and Jake Roberts run in and save the day. Ahmed and Vader’s stare down makes the crowd lose their shit.

Larry Fling Live…Huckster and Nacho Man are going bald. Larry remembers these guys from his childhood (because they’re old you see). They mention their recent injuries caused by women’s shoes. Nacho Man says he left because he couldn’t keep up with the new stars. Fling insults the geezers and Huckster threatens him with a chair until Larry holds up a high heel shoe, which makes him recoil in fear. Nacho Man says the fans only have the Huckster’s merchandise on because WCW promises them if they wear it, they’ll get on TV.


Eric Bischoff gives out the RAW results and buries Jake Roberts’ age.

Sting vs. Big Bubba Rogers

They stall a ton to start. Sting finally trips him up and nails a face buster. Sting is caught while trying a splash and Bubba is able to drive him to the mat. Sting tries again after taking some shots and Bubba slams him into the mat again. Bubba splashes Sting in the corner and wallops him with more big shots. Bubba takes the fight to the floor and an old lady gets into it with him at ringside. Kayfabe Grandma. At least she wasn’t Hatpin Mary.

Sting manages a piledriver back in the ring and both men are dead on their feet. Bubba sends him to the floor again but tries a top rope move and Sting pushes him off and hits a splash for the pin. Match was fine.

Sting and Luger are talking to Mean Gene when the Road Warriors interrupt and ask Sting how he can be such an idiot when it comes to Lex. Luger says he’ll face the Road Warriors in any type of match they want. Lex says he’s from Chicago just like the Warriors and Sting points out that Luger grew up in the white-collar part of town while the Warriors were tearing up the streets in the ghetto. Hawk says at Uncensored we’ll take you on in a Chicago Street Fight. Lex acts excited…then asks what is a Chicago Street fight anyway? Sting walks off in disgust. Good segment.

Renegade vs. Lex Luger

Renegade knocks Lex over numerous times with shoulder blocks and Luger bails. Renegade no sells a reverse atomic drop and back drops The Total Package. A missed splash finally slows Renegade down. Lex pounds away on Renegade and the Renegade no sells a surprising amount of Luger’s moves. He catches Luger with a springboard elbow and prepares to finish him off but Jimmy Hart shoves Renegade off the top rope. Luger traps him in the torture rack for the submission win. Not a bad little match, as Lex sold a ton for the jabroni.

Hart and Lex celebrate until Sting comes down and Luger then chases Hart away. Lex tries to suck up to the Renegade and Sting goes nuts on Luger. Sting is finally sick of Lex being a tweener I guess.

The Road Warriors vs. Harlem Heat

Booker T surprisingly gets the best of Hawk right away but Hawk is able to rebound with a dropkick and chases T to the floor. Stevie Ray and Animal compare strength. Animal and Hawk both get some shots in before Hawk is powerbombed. Hawk is then trapped on Heat’s side of the ring and absorbs the might of the Harlem boys. I’ve been very surprised at how much the Warriors have sold in this run so far.

Hawk is able to tag in his partner shortly after surviving a double suplex. Animal nails a dropkick and a double clothesline before a four-way brawl breaks out. T blasts Hawk with the Harlem Hangover but the ref is distracted. Animal kicks T in the face and Hawk makes the pin. That was a remarkably lame finish as the kick looked far from one that should have kept T down. Match was plodding.

Hulk Hogan, Randy “Macho Man Savage” and The Booty Man vs. Arn Anderson, Ric Flair and “The Taskmaster” Kevin Sullivan

All 6 guys brawl around the ringside. Kimberly Page comes down with flowers. Beefcake dominates Double A once things become civilized.

Bischoff hints that he has guys working for him in the WWF offices to relay info in secret.

Beefcake locks on a sleeper on Arn and then locks one on the Taskmaster when Sullivan tries to save Anderson. Flair and Booty Man have a strut-off. Booty out muscles him and lets Savage get a piece of the Nature Boy. Savage ends up trapped in the corner but fights his way out. Flair gets the best of Macho Man but Flair turns his back and Savage sneaks a tag to Hogan, Hogan wipes out all 3 heels by himself.

Then Booty Man tags in and clears the ring of all the villains. Savage tags in-Liz and Woman try and trip him, so he yanks both of their hair! Sullivan jumps Savage and Flair lays in the abuse at ringside.

Booty Man gets the hot tag after Savage finally manages to orchestrate his escape. Booty sends all 3 antagonists into Hogan’s boot and Hulk drops a legdrop in Arn for the pin. Flair jumps Hogan from behind and Liz locks his hands in cuffs after a Hogan helpfully pulls his wristbands upward and puts his hands close together as the camera catches it all up close. Beefcake and Savage run the heels off after Hogan takes a few belt whips across the back. Fairly paint by numbers stuff, and perhaps a little maddening to see Beefcake dominating the WCW’s top villains.

Final thoughts:

Wrestlemania is shaping up slowly, while WCW continues to run in place.

There is no Nitro the following week, so lets hit up RAW for that week too:

The WWF has a golden opportunity here as this is the first RAW to run unopposed in six months. Wrestlemania is a few weeks away and there is a good chance that more than a few fans who have wandered away may be taking a peek back at the WWF with Nitro preempted. So let’s hope for some solid action, and maybe a hot angle or two.


We open with a promise that the destiny of the Ultimate Warrior will be revealed tonight. Good tease for any Nitro viewers looking for their wrestling fix.

Shawn Michaels vs. 1-2-3 Kid

The Kid charges at Shawn before the lights even go on from HBK’s entrance and Shawn backdrops him to the floor. Lawler surprisingly backs Bret in the Hart/HBK match at Mania. The Kid and Shawn go back and forth with some quick paced one-upmanship.

The Kid uses karate and Shawn takes advantage of the fact that he is more powerful than his opposition, a fact that doesn’t occur often. They trade some quick pin attempts and then HBK press slams Waltman and clotheslines him to the unforgiving concrete.

Hart joins us from the back and critiques Shawn’s moveset choice. The Kid blasts Michaels with a spin heel kick and gives HBK a taste of what it feels like to be sent to the floor. Waltman planchas onto Shawn and drives Michaels head into the concrete multiple times.

HBK nails a moonsault, a flying forearm, a diving elbow and tries a superkick but Waltman bails to the floor. Kid jumps Shawn but misses a flying legdrop and eats Sweet Chin Music as he falls in defeat. Good match, as you would expect from these two.

Goldust stars in “Piper’s Pit”. Goldust is in a kilt and has invaded the empty set of Piper’s Pit. Goldy tells of being a teenager and getting aroused by seeing Roddy on this very set. Goldust has seen all of Piper’s movies and they gave Goldy spanking material. He is upset that The Hot Rod is invading Hollywood. He then sucks on Piper’s bag pipe. What a creeper.

Vince voice-overs a brief retrospective on the Warrior’s WWF career, making sure to get a jab at Hogan along the way. The Warrior will be at Wrestlemania.

Hakushi vs. Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw

This is Bradshaw’s RAW debut. He’s doing a PG version of Stan Hansen’s gimmick, and Vince even name drops Hansen in comparison. He shakes off Hakushi’s flying attacks and stomps away at the Kamikaze. Hakushi gets a bit of token offense but Bradshaw no sells it. Hakushi is booted to the floor and slammed into the ring edge. A lariat finishes it back in the ring.

Bradshaw hog-ties and brands him after the match. I believe this was actually Hakushi’s last WWF match as it was announced on the weekend shows after this that the branding shamed Hakushi so much he had to leave the WWF.

Piper joins us on the phone. He calls Lawler “Rush Limbaugh” and says Goldust is just like Adrian Adonis and is playing mind games.

Dok Hendrix plugs a folding chair with the Wrestlemania logo on it- it can be yours for a mere EIGHTY dollars!

Bret “Hitman” Hart vs. HHH

Vince buries the model HHH brings to the ring, insulting her personality. HHH takes advantage early, as the veteran Hart feels out the young talent and awaits his opening. Hart begins to wear away at HHH’s shoulder. HBK comes down to ringside. Bret locks in a lengthy hammerlock. Does Bret think he needs to pace himself for an hour for this match too?

Hart has some words with Shawn and HHH nearly jumps him from behind.

Hart goes back to the arm back in the ring. HHH nails the Harley Race high knee and unloads with a bounty of fists. HHH drives home some knee drops but lands on Bret’s foot when he attempts a high risk move. Hart nails the reverse atomic drop, back breaker and second rope elbow. HHH manages to sucker Bret in for one last Hail Mary of offense, but the Hitman manages to clamp on the Sharpshooter and earn the submission victory. Match was fine, but Bret was eating up lots of time with that armwork that went nowhere.

Billionaire Ted is on “Tee Vee Trivia”. They go over some of Ted Turner’s questionable comments on race, beheading your wife instead of divorce, millionaires owning water ways, and class warfare. Pretty lame segment. The Huckster is shown still handcuffed to the ringpost on Nitro and he admits he helped put the cuffs on himself. That made me chuckle.

Final Thoughts:

Vince took advantage of the lack of competition and pushed the 3 things he felt would sell Wrestlemania: Bret vs. Shawn, and the returns of Warrior and Piper. An overall solid outing from team Titan.


Written by Andrew Lutzke

The grumpy old man of, lover of wrasslin' and true crimes.

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