The Monday Night Wars Week -Week 29: March 18th, 1996


At MSG only 24 hours earlier, Diesel laid out Bret Hart, The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels. Pretty strong booking for a guy who is scheduled to leave your promotion in a few short weeks. The MSG show supposedly set the record gate for a WWF house show.

Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. Davey Boy Smith

Roberts catches The Bulldog with an elbow and sends him scurrying with a DDT tease. Smith tries another lock up and the threat of a DDT is enough to send Bulldog bailing again. Smith stomps Jake down and allows him to do what he does best at this point – lay down and sell. Jake takes abuse for a few minutes, but sneaks in a DDT and that KO’s Smith. Cornette breaks up the pin, so Jake gets Revelations out of his bag and chases Cornette around the ring with it. Jake being out of shape to the point where he can’t catch a manager should tell the fans something. Roberts is counted out and then he acts shocked by this turn of events. That finish sort of goes against Roberts cerebral based character. A nothing match.

Shawn Michaels is shown training with Jose Lothario. He says Jose spent months teaching him how to “tumble” and when it was time to start his career, he had no idea where to start. What an indictment on Jose’s training methods.

Bret Hart shows off all his magazine covers and title belts that he has on display at his house. Hart explains that his own son is a HBK fan. Bret says he has spent five months being beaten to hell in the WWF ring, while Shawn has been on hiatus resting. Shawn’s dancing and flare annoy Hart and he doesn’t quite grasp why the fans root for HBK over him. Another good, bitter promo from the Hitman.

Fatu vs. Goldust

Goldy wears a kilt to the ring to mock Piper. Fatu gets bored with Goldust’s preening and sneak attacks him. Goldust tries to stop the momentum with a butt-butt, Fatu spanks him instead. The Samoan misses a big splash and that allows Goldy to molest him and deliver a reverse suplex for the pin.

Roddy Piper calls in with threats.

Warrior video package to plug his return. Macho Man is gently buried.

Camp Cornette promo. Owen, Davey, Vader and Corny deliver insults and menacing words to Roberts, Yoko and Ahmed Johnson. They accept the faces challenge for a 6-man match at Wrestlemania. The faces appear on a pre-taped video and Yoko sits on an effigy of Cornette.

Barry Horowitz vs. Diesel

Diesel smashes Horowitz with knees. Paul Bearer pushes a casket down to ringside. This distraction allows Horowitz to get in some token offense, but Diesel is able to big boot Horowitz for the pin. Diesel grabs a wrench for protection and makes his way to the casket.

A wax replicate of Diesel is in the casket. That spooks Nash enough that he wanders off.

World Champion Bret “Hitman” Hart vs. Tatanka

Tatanka gets a quick start, but Bret’s Wrestlemania training allows him to push through it and he starts to use his technical prowess to out wrestle the barely motivated Indian. 123 Kid struts down and watches Tatanka begin his heat segment.
Tatanka is sucking wind pretty noticeably here. Tatanka attempts a top rope chop but Bret greets him with a fist to his belly. Hart nails him with a side Russian leg sweep, and a back breaker. He tries for a Sharpshooter, but the Kid distracts him. The Kid grabs The Hitman as Tatanka charges at him and the heels collide, as Bret wiggles free. Tatanka is then rolled up for the pin. Hart couldn’t get a clean win two weeks before Wrestlemania?

Billionaire Ted is interrogated by the FCC. Billionares run the country. No shit.


A few days after last week’s Nitro, Hulk Hogan decided to change the main event of the PPV that is coming up next Sunday. He added Macho Man to his side for the four cage Doomsday match, along with 4 more heels. Speculation was running rampart that Hogan didn’t want Hall and Nash signed to WCW. It was was also being tossed around that if Sunday’s PPV bombed after Hogan re-booked it and loaded it with his friends, then maybe he’d lose some power and the main event scene can become less full of 80’s cast offs and monster heels.

Lex Luger vs. Loch Ness

We open with The Giant assaulting the corpulent Loch Ness. Ness gets zero offense in. Lex Luger comes down, does his poses and just walks by the mayhem. The ref counts out Loch Ness and The Total Package celebrates like he just won the main event of Wrestlemania. Jimmy Hart hugs him and Lex embraces him back, until he chases Hart away.

Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage promo. The Uncensored cage match has changed again, as Hogan announces Randy will join him in the now 8 on 2 Doomsday match. More surprise opponents have been promised by Kevin Sullivan for the PPV – Hogan is game.

Savage is excited for tonight’s Texas Tornado tag match main event.

The Steiner Brothers vs. The Public Enemy

Public Enemy bring the furniture. Rocco flips out of a tilt a whirl suplex, so Scotty grabs him and tries it again – this time successfully. Rick tags in and clotheslines both heels, sending them into retreat. Bischoff annoys me by teasing Dennis Rodman, Shaq and Mr.T as possible participants in the Doomsday cage match due to their friendship with Hogan. We have to order the PPV to find out though.

Grunge bulldogs Rick on a chair at ringside. Rocco beats down Scott and tries a moonsault but it ends up as a head butt because he misses badly. Rick slams Rocco off the top rope and Scotty suplexes him off the top rope. Rocco manages a flip into Scotty but Grunge attempts a top rope move but is flung off. All four men brawl and Rick ends up on a table. Rocco misses a splash and breaks through the wood. Grunge is downed with a top rope bulldog and pinned. Choatic fun.

The Booty Man vs. Arn Anderson

Booty Man struts to annoy Anderson. Arn is rocked with punches and driven into the top and middle turnbuckles. The Enforcer stooges for Booty like a true company man. Heenan hints at some personal cocaine use in a joking manner. Anderson starts to work over Beefcake’s arm. Brutus starts his comeback as Kimberly comes down. Arn and Woman are distracted and a flying knee ends Anderson’s night. Yuck.

This Saturday night…Road Warriors vs. Public Enemy…Sting vs, Bobby Eaton…Craig Pittman vs. Ric Flair…Lex Luger vs. Brad Armstrong and Eddy Guerrero vs. Alex Wright!

The Road Warriors vs. The Nasty Boyz

A four-way scuffle starts us off, not surprisingly. All four guys brawl around the ring. The Nasties use double team moves on Animal, but he flings Knobbs violently to the floor anyway. Saggs whacks Hawk with a chair and as Animal tackles Knobbs and chokes him with the tape that was wrapped around his ribs.

Things finally settle down as we get to a more standard tag team formula match. The Steiners run down and attack both teams. Animal uses a piece of his shoulder pads to KO Knobbs and earn the pin. Sloppy brawl.

Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair and Kevin Sullivan

200 matches later and the feud just keeps going… We continue tonight’s theme as all four men brawl. Hogan puts a foam hat over Flair’s eyes and Flair sells random phantom punches as he can’t see Hogan’s swings. Becoming bored with dominating the heels they started with, Savage and Hogan trade off and beat on the opposite one. Sulllivan is choked with a cable and cracked with a chair by Hogan. Hulk slams both men’s heads together and chases them back in the ring.
Macho Man punches Flair till a Flair flop ends the barrage. The heels miraculously gain control long enough for Savage to be locked in a figure-four. Hogan responds with a figure four of his own on Sullivan. Savage is dumped on the guardrail crotch first. Hogan starts to no sell Flair’s punches and all four men end up spilling out to the floor.

Flair gets a shoe from Woman and knocks Hogan down. That sparks a Hulk-up.

Arn Anderson comes down to watch Flair get beat up some more. Anderson attacks Hogan and is chased for his efforts. Brian Pillman jumps the rail and joins the chaos. The Booty Man comes down to even the odds, but suddenly Zeus and Jeep Swenson come down the aisle and that is enough to make all 3 faces run off.

Sullivan reveals the new men are “The Z-Gangsta” and “The Final Solution”. No word on whether the Solution hails from Germany. Arn promises blood on Sunday. Flair promises to have a great amount of sexual intercourse with Elizabeth and then bring her to the hospital to see the Mega Powers.

The Observer states “The Final Solution” blew up just walking to the ring and needed medical help.

Nitro killed RAW in the ratings, a big blow for a company in the middle of Wrestlemania season.

Final thoughts:

Once again, WCW delivered a better in ring product than RAW’s squash-a-thon. WCW deserved the win this week, even with the stale main event. RAW’s only redemption was Bret Hart’s promo. Next up…Uncensored!


Written by Andrew Lutzke

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

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