Raw History: Episode 173 and Reliving Nitro: Episode 49
SummerSlam 1996 Results
Owen Hart def. Savio Vega in 13:24 (**¼)
The Smoking Gunns def. The Bodydonnas, The Godwins and The New Rockers to retain the WWF Tag Team Titles in 12:18 (½*)
Sycho Sid def. British Bulldog in 6:25 (*)
Goldust def. Marc Mero in 11:02 (**¼)
Jerry Lawler def. Jake Roberts in 4:10 (DUD)
Mankind def. The Undertaker in a Boiler Room Brawl in 26:27 (***)
Shawn Michaels def. Vader to retain the WWF Championship in 22:19 (***¾)
August 19th, 1996 | Civic Center in Wheeling, West Virginia
WWF Champion: Shawn Michaels (1) since 3/31/96
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Vacant since 8/12/96
WWF Tag Team Champions: The Smoking Gunns (3) since 5/26/96
DID THE UNDERTAKE EXPIRE IN THE BOILER ROOM BRAWL? That’s the question asked before the opening video package.
We have a new commentary team of Kevin Kelly, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler. This is one of the first episodes to not feature Vince McMahon.
WWF Intercontinental Championship Tournament Quarterfinals: Owen Hart def. British Bulldog via countout in 10:40
The family members shake hands at the start. Commentary plugs Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind and Undertaker vs. Goldust in a “Final Curtain” match for the next In Your House. A quick start leads to Bulldog sending Owen outside. He holds the ropes to allow his brother-in-law back in. Owen hip tosses Bulldog and sends him outside before holding the ropes to let him back in. SPORTSMANSHIP! Bulldog takes over with power and press slams Owen. Some static interference affects the show and commentary apologizes for it. No word if it’s part of an angle. Before a commercial break, Sunny strolls to ringside. Wasn’t she banging Davey at this point? Or at least that’s the rumor. On a split screen, Jim Cornette complains about this match and says he isn’t out there because he wasn’t going to pick sides. He also has an issue with Vader beating HBK twice last night only to not be champion. The last tidbit there is that he has Yokozuna back under his wing. Owen gets the Sharpshooter on but Bulldog reaches the ropes. The match gets a bit more heated and spills outside. Owen nails a spinning heel kick and then chops Bulldog into Sunny’s lap. Owen beats the count and advances. The Hart family always delivers against each other. Good back and forth with both guys playing to their strengths. ***¼
Sunny is displeased and tosses the cup of whatever she was drinking in Bulldog’s face. Sunny cowers behind Lawler but yells on the mic that Owen is the better man. Cornette comes out to calm things down but gets yelled at too.
FOUR WEEKS AGO ~ Faarooq debuted and injured Ahmed Johnson. We hear Ahmed’s comments from his recent interview about it.
Mark Henry is signing autographs at ringside to Lex Luger’s old patriotic theme.
Vader w/ Jim Cornette def. Freddie Joe Floyd in 1:48
While Vader destroys Floyd, we get the static interference again. JR says it’s cold and thinks it could be the Undertaker. Vader uses two Vader Bombs to win because he’s extra angry.
Jim Ross conducts an in-ring interview with the new number one contender to the WWF Championship, Mankind and his new manager, Paul Bearer. JR asks about Bearer turning on the Undertaker. Bearer says he was tired of carrying the Undertaker for six years. The lights flicker and such, which JR believes is the Undertaker. Bearer says that Mankind has the power since he still has the urn. They recap Mankind attacking Shawn Michaels a few weeks ago and Mankind says he will make Shawn the ugliest boy toy around. Undertaker’s gong hits and druids show up carrying the Undertaker. Bearer says Undertaker has passed away. Did these poor druids carry him all the way from Cleveland last night? They lay Take in the aisle and he sits up. He raises his arms like something is supposed to happen. Fire shoots out from the turnbuckles way too late like he’s a delayed Kane or something. It could have been cool but the gaffe made it lame. Mankind and Bearer run away.
VIGNETTE ~ The Stalker is coming to the WWF. Oh.
Final Four Battle Royal: Goldust def. Savio Vega, Sycho Sid and Steve Austin in 6:34
The winner of this gets a WWF Title shot in two weeks on the US Open episode of Raw, replacing the injured Ahmed Johnson who was supposed to get a shot here. Sid comes out hype but gets triple teamed in the opening seconds and eliminated. He chokeslams everyone before leaving though. The three men trade lackluster stuff heading into the commercial. They talk about how Austin has called out Bret Hart. Savio nearly eliminates both heels but they hang on. Austin comes back in only to get sent right back out. He attacks Savio from behind before leaving though. The two most over guys are gone. Savio hits the spinning heel kick on Goldust but his clothesline by the ropes is ducked and he is sent over and out. Typical battle royal stuff. *
Non-Title Match: WWF Champion Shawn Michaels w/ Jose Lothario def. Yokozuna in 4:14
They recap Yokozuna breaking the turnbuckle on the free-for-all last night and losing to Steve Austin. This would be the final televised WWF match for Yokozuna as he never got his weight under control. He was apparently 650 pounds here. Shawn attempts to knock him off his feet and finally does after several shots. After a break, Cornette runs out and jumps Lothario until Shawn chases him away. Shawn hits Sweet Chin Music shortly after and wins. Ho-hum stuff. Shawn was great in this era but even he couldn’t pull much out of Yokozuna. **
Clash of the Champions XXXIII Results
Rey Mysterio Jr. def. Dean Malenko to retain the WCW Cruiserweight Championship in 9:29
VK Wallstreet def. Jim Duggan in 3:49
Konnan def. Ultimo Dragon in 2:58
Madusa def. Bull Nakano in 2:43
Eddie Guerrero def. Diamond Dallas Page in 4:21
The Giant def. Chris Benoit in 0:23
Harlem Heat vs. Lex Luger & Sting vs. The Steiner Brothers ends in a no contest in 13:21
Ric Flair def. Hollywood Hulk Hogan via DQ; Hogan retains WCW World Heavyweight Title in 8:03
August 19th, 1996 | Von Braun Civic Center in Huntsville, Alabama
WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Hulk Hogan (2) 8/10/96
WCW United States Champion: Ric Flair (5) since 7/7/96
WCW World Tag Team Champions: Harlem Heat (6) since 7/27/96
WCW Television Champion: Lex Luger (1) since 3/6/96
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Rey Mysterio Jr. (1) since 7/8/96
Jim Duggan def. VK Wallstreet in 5:28
Tony Schiavone says we’re starting with action but it’s Duggan and Wallstreet, so it’s guaranteed to suck. Duggan is apparently mad that he lost at the Clash of the Champions but it was because he tried to use his illegal taped fists and it backfired. They plod through stuff for a short while. Wallstreet is so unbelievably boring. Duggan goes for the tape again and Nick Patrick stops him. Wallstreet tries to use his own tape but Duggan beats him to the punch. Somehow, there is no DQ called. Like, why would you try to stop someone from taping his fist, but allow him to use it once done? Whatever. DUD
Mean Gene interviews Duggan for his thoughts on Hogan and the NWO. I feel like this has happened already. Duggan calls Hogan by his shoot name before Randy Savage interrupts. He gets a huge pop. Savage also has a problem with Hogan and promises to take him out. He will solve the problem with the Giant tonight (since Giant failed at Hog Wild and lost the title for WCW) before focusing on Hogan.
Chris Benoit w/ Elizabeth and Woman def. Earl Robert Eaton in 4:02
According to commentary, there is dissension within the Blue Bloods. Benoit’s WCW theme rules. He means business after getting humiliated at Clash. Benoit is aggressive throughout and Woman gets in a cheat shot too. Eaton makes a small comeback but falls to the diving headbutt.
VIGNETTE ~ The same old Glacier one runs.
We get a flashback of Nick Patrick throwing the Tag Team Title match out at Clash of the Champions when he saw the Outsiders show up. Mean Gene then interviews Sting and Lex Luger about their reported surprise tonight. They’ve faced the Horsemen hundreds of times and are coming with something different tonight.
Scott Norton def. Disco Inferno in 4:01
There’s a “Where’s Glacier?” sign in the crowd. Norton dominates here and Disco begs for mercy. Norton pulls him by his trunks to bring him back for more of a beating. Disco hits back elbows that have no effect and Norton uses just one to knock him on his ass. Disco takes to raking the eyes but taunts on a DDT attempt and gets tossed like nothing. A vicious shoulder breaker connects and then he wins with an armbar to set up his upcoming submission match. Back to back intense squashes. I love it.
Gene interviews Teddy Long and Ice Train about Norton’s recent attacks on Train. Train wants Norton to look him in the eyes. It wasn’t a good promo at all.
WCW SATURDAY NIGHT ~ Lex Luger vs. Dave Taylor and Ric Flair vs. Dean Malenko!
Dean Malenko def. Lord Steven Regal in 6:59
The issue between the Blue Bloods is that Regal wants to go after singles gold. Regal starts with some interesting ARMDRAG variations. I should capitalize that move each time I see it. They go to break rather quickly. Returning, Regal has the upper hand and works a rest hold. He’s sweating a ton. He strikes with solid uppercuts before taking it back to the mat. Malenko begins the comeback and busts out a German suplex for two. Regal responds with a butterfly suplex for his own near fall. Regal tries a few rollup attempts until Dean avoids one and pulls him into one of his own for the surprise win. Tidy work. This was smart, crisp and featured two guys that are damn good. ***
As we countdown to hour number two, Mean BAH GAWD Gene interviews Arn Anderson and Ric Flair. Arn talks about being a tough guy while Flair just shouts at the top of his lungs. They get cut off by the hour two pyro.
The Nasty Boys def. Public Enemy in 4:26
I’m pretty sure these teams had PPV matches in July and way back in February. Why is it still happening? Bischoff quickly discusses a bit about the lawsuit the WWF filed on them but promised that WCW would not change the way they do business. There’s some typical brawling between the teams until Saggs avoids a table spot and both PE members go through it. Knobbs hits an elbow inside to win. I didn’t like any of that. ½*
Gene interviews them about Hulk Hogan because there are no other topics apparently. Like they said when asked about it a few weeks ago, the Nasty Boys are still cool with Hogan but they aren’t NWO. They want the Tag Team Titles. Oh, great.
Bischoff and Heenan believe that the NWO aren’t showing up tonight because WCW is finally ready for their attacks.
Chavo Guerrero Jr. def. Diamond Dallas Page in 4:30
DDP is angry after losing to Eddie Guerrero at the Clash of the Champions. He hit two Diamond Cutters on Eddie after the loss even though Chavo tried to save his uncle. Chavo gets the generic babyface theme they’ve used for several people over the past year. DDP is in control for most of the match but wants to hurt Chavo, so he picks him up for more offense. He does a hammerlock belly to belly but pulls Chavo up on the pin. Chavo pulls a backslide from out of nowhere and steals it. They told a fine story for the time given. They’ll have a better match at the next PPV. *½
DDP hits Chavo with the Diamond Cutter and steals Nick Patrick’s belt to whip him. Referee Randy Anderson runs out to stop DDP and questions why Patrick didn’t stop him. Gene tries to interview Patrick who blames him for blowing everything out of proportion. Gene brings up an expensive new house that Patrick bought but it gets shrugged off.
WCW World Tag Team Championship: Harlem Heat (c) w/ Col. Robert Parker and Sister Sherri def. The American Males in 4:10
Footage is shown of the American Males upsetting Harlem Heat for the titles on an early episode of Nitro last year. Despite all the questions surrounding him, Nick Patrick is right back out as official for this. Riggs takes a beating while Bagwell plays the dumb babyface partner. Riggs connects on a dropkick to open the door. He falls into the Bagwell tag and the future Buff comes in hot. They tease the finish from last year but it fails. Booker shoves Bagwell into a powerslam that ends it. More basic stuff here. Lackluster wrestling all around tonight. **
Ric Flair and Arn Anderson come out for a match against Lex Luger and Sting. Sting and Luger have their surprise though and call out Mongo and Chris Benoit. After a break, everyone is in the ring and Sting says that the biggest problem for WCW is the NWO. He says that Luger, Flair, Arn and himself are all WCW. He brings up War Games and says it was created by the Horsemen. With all due respect to Benoit and Mongo, he and Luger have felt War Games before and demand two spots to team with Flair and Arn against the NWO. Benoit and Mongo leave the decision up to the original Horsemen. Arn tells Sting that if he’s going to be his partner, he must leave the “little Stingers” behind and bring a different kind of Sting to War Games. Sting agrees and they’re team.
THE FOLLOWING ANNOUNCEMENT HAS BEEN PAID FOR BY THE NEW WORLD ORDER ~ This one is just Scott Hall and Kevin Nash making fun of WCW while hanging out in Denver. They talk trash about Sting, Luger and wonder “What’s gonna happen to the Booty Babe?”
During the Giant’s entrance for the main event, Randy Savage rushes out and beats his ass with a steel chair. Their fight enters the ring where the Giant calls for the chokeslam. Savage fights off and even sends Jimmy Hart packing. Savage gets the chair again but the Dungeon of Doom show up. He hits them and the Giant with the chair some more. Finally, the Dungeon manage to chase him off. The Giant runs after him to close the show.
Raw Rating: 2.9
Nitro Rating: 3.5
Nitro: From a pure in-ring standpoint, this episode sucked. Only Malenko/Regal was something worth checking out. The episode succeeded on other levels though. The Sting/Luger/Horsemen promo was strong and set up War Games. Savage going nuts is always fun and sets up Savage/Giant at the PPV. I didn’t hate the DDP/Guerrero stuff and we got two enjoyable squashes. 5.0