Monday Night War: November 1996
The Monday Night Wars continue as the WWF crowns a new champion while another major heel turn occurs in WCW.
Action wise, RAW didn’t have a strong card lined up with a main event attraction seeing the fake Razor Ramon victorious over Marc Mero. Goldust and Barry Windham competed in singles action a callback to their WCW feud three or four years ago. This is the show that featured the gun incident between Austin and Pillman, which is probably one of the most memorable moments in RAW for the year and in its history. WWF World Champion Shawn Michaels and Psycho Sid had a confrontation to add promotion to their title match at Survivor Series.
The beginning of the demise of the American Males started as Marcus Bagwell cost Scotty Riggs a match with Dean Malenko on the program. The feature match on the program was between Booker T and Lex Luger. However, the majority of the show was squash matches and didn’t feature top level talent.
The go-home show before Survivor Series saw Psycho Sid actually take the fall in a match where he teamed with WWF World Champion Shawn Michaels to take on the WWF World Tag Team Champions Owen Hart and the British Bulldog. Steve Austin also competed on the program defeating Bob Holly in singles action.
Nitro started off with a singles match between Chris Benoit and Jeff Jarrett. A music video made by Roddy Piper from years go was aired on the program. It’s honestly quite amazing to me how well WCW was doing in 1996 when they weren’t throwing a lot of top level matches against RAW. Of course, that would change sooner rather than later.
The night after Survivor Series saw another strong feature match between Steve Austin and Mankind with Austin winning the match by disqualification. Faarooq debuted his new look and is the leader of the Nation of the Domination. New WWF World Champion Psycho Sid closed the program with an interview to promote his upcoming title defense against Bret Hart on pay per view.
A much stronger show for Nitro as which featured a really good match involving the debut of La Parka and Juventud Guerrera. WCW Cruiserweight Champion Dean Malenko wrestled J-Crown Champion Ultimo Dragon in singles action. The main event was yet another really good match between Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero. The ending of the program saw Roddy Piper appear and assure the New World Order he would be at World War III with a contract to wrestle Hogan at Starrcade. Oh, and it is revealed that Eric Bischoff has been working with the New World Order, no big deal.
A rather surprisingly low rating for RAW considering the feature match was between Bret Hart and Owen Hart. The show also featured the RAW debut of Rocky Maivia. Former WWF World Champion Shawn Michaels cut a promo saying he is going to regain the WWF World Championship at the Royal Rumble in San Antonio.
A WCW United States Championship tournament started on Nitro with a match between Lex Luger and Arn Anderson. Eric Bischoff explained why he turned New World Order and how they gives the NWO the greatest power. Rey Mysterio Jr. and Psychosis competed in a singles match. The main event was a tag match between the Faces of Fear and Harlem Heat. Marcus Bagwell officially joins the New World Order.
What are your memories of the Monday Night Wars at this point in history?
Thanks for reading.