Monday Night War: February ’96

Monday Night War: February 1996

February 5th:
Nitro: 2.9

RAW: 2.7

Nitro Notes:
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Randy Savage overcame Chris Benoit by disqualification when Woman got involved. The tease of Elizabeth turning on Savage and Hogan is hinted at as she doesn’t tell Hogan about Flair who ends up attacking him until Savage makes the save. Also on the show, the issues between Brian Pillman and Kevin Sullivan esculate because of Sullivan and his tag partner Hugh Morrus attacking Pillman after their tag match. Sullivan whipped Pillman several times with a strap. Arn Anderson was Pillman’s partner for the match, by the way. Flair overcame the young Marcus Bagwell in singles action. Lastly, in what would have to be described as blast from the past, WCW World Tag Team Champions Sting and Lex Luger defeated the Road Warriors after Luger hit Animal with Jimmy Hart’s megaphone. Sting wasn’t happy with the way Luger won the match, though.

RAW Notes: Shawn Michaels and Diesel defeated Yokozuna and British Bulldog. Yokozuna officially turns babyface following the match after he attacks Jim Cornette for yelling at him. The 1-2-3 Kid defeated Hakushi. Clarence Mason made it clear that he and Vader would sue the WWF if his client was not reinstated since attacking Gorilla Monsoon. Monsoon revealed the issue is up to the board. In a rematch from the Royal Rumble, WWF World Champion Bret Hart fought the Undertaker to a draw to retain the title. Diesel ended up getting involved and power bombed the Undertaker two times. Bret Hart tried to fight off Diesel as well.

February 12th:
Nitro: 3.7

RAW: Was not aired

Nitro Notes: The night after Superbrawl, WCW had an unopposed night. They didn’t give away much on the show as the undercard was pretty lackluster. Savage defeated Morrus, Loch Ness squashed Scotty Riggs, and WCW United States Champion Konnan was victorious over Devon Storm. The main angle on the program was finding out why Elizabeth turned on Savage at Superbrawl. She reasoned that she was too crazy for Savage and gave Flair all the money and whatnot that she got from the divorce. In perhaps the biggest win of his career, Arn Anderson pinned Hulk Hogan after hitting him with Elizabeth’s high heel shoe.

February 19th:

Nitro: 2.9
RAW: 3.1

Nitro Notes: After a rather lackluster show last week, WCW came back to competition with a pretty big show but was still unable to knock off RAW in the ratings. Arn Anderson was able to beat Hulk Hogan in their rematch from last week by disqualification. Savage prevented Sullivan from interfering but the referee saw Savage in the ring causing the lame finish. Loch Ness had a squash match and the Belfast Bruiser prevailed over Brad Armstrong. Ric Flair successfully defended the WCW World Heavyweight Championship against Randy Savage after Arn Anderson planted Savage with a DDT. The Booty Man made the save for Randy Savage against a post match beat down along with Hulk Hogan.

RAW Notes:
Razor Ramon defeated WWF Intercontinental Champion Goldust by count-out but made it known that he still wanted some of Goldust at some point. The Ringmaster (Steve Austin) continued his winning ways by overcoming Marty Jannetty. The main event saw the Undertaker victorious over Tatanka.

February 26th:
Nitro: 3.2

RAW: 3.1

Nitro Notes:
Sting defeated Big Bubba, Lex Luger overcame the Renegade and afterwards celebrated with Jimmy Hart which didn’t sit well with Sting at all. The Road Warriors defeated Harlem Heat. Lastly, the new trio Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage and the Bootyman defeated Ric Flair, Arn Anderson and Kevin Sullivan. Afterwards, Hogan was handcuffed to the ropes by Elizabeth so he could be whipped by Flair with a leather strap.

RAW Notes:
Jake Roberts, Diesel and Ahmed Johnson competed in squash matches as they defeated Isaac Yankeem, Bob Holly and Shinobi the Ninja respectively. Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels had a face to face confrontation where Roddy Piper announced that they would compete in a one our iron man match with the winner being the man who earns the most falls. Yokozuna defeated British Bulldog and Owen Hart in a handicap match by disqualification when Vader attacked Yoko.

Bob’s Breakdown:
The fact that WCW continues to put on far bigger matches then WWF and continue to either barely beat them in the ratings are lose is still kind of alarming. In my opinion, the WCW shows are superior to the WWF product without a doubt. I didn’t understand why WCW didn’t put on a stronger show for the unopposed week. My reasoning is that they would have gone all out for it to get new fans to the product but they didn’t capitalize on that.

We are inching closer to when the ratings battle shifted over to WCW for quite a while. Let’s see how or when WWF really started to lose their viewers because they kept pretty decent numbers so far in 1996.