April 21, 2011
MONDAY NIGHT WAR CLASSICS Ė Week 5: A War Declared a Draw (10/02/95)
WWE Monday Night Raw and WCW Monday Nitro tied in the TV ratings war with both drawing a 2.5 rating. This is only time in the history of this Monday Night War that both shows were tied with the same ratings. There are several scenarios on both shows that had the upper hand over the other. Take a look at my ratings analysis below:
Both shows previewed their top matches the week before (September 25, 1995) for October 2nd. For WWE Raw, two matches were hyped as Razor Ramon faces The 123 Kid. The Kid has wanted to face Razor for quite some time. Razor also wants to avenge his loss from two years ago when he made The Kid famous in one of the most historic upsets in WWE history. Another match that the WWE hyped was Bret Hart vs. Jean Pierre Lafitte. Bret wants to get even with Pierre after he stole his shades. On Nitro, the anticipated match was Lex Luger vs. Randy Savage with Luger leaving WCW if he loses the match.
Right from the start, Eric Bischoff wanted viewers to stay put. He told the viewers to call Mike Tenayís 900 hotline to reveal the results from Monday Night Raw. Very good tactic, but it might backfire in months to come.
They didnít waste time getting into the main event with Luger facing Savage in an important match for both. Bischoff said that these two men have never wrestled before in their careers (amazing since both men were in the WWE for two full years). The match ended when The Giant interfered to beat up Savage, but not Luger. Even though the match ended with no clear winner, fans are still confused about Luger being part of the Dungeon of Doom or still playing a lone wolf character.
Bischoff took a shot at the WWE numerous times during the show. When he talked about Luger and Savage not facing each other in their careers, he implied that there two matches on Raw that were rematches. Bret and Lafitte wrestled at In Your House 3 and The Kid and Razor faced each other a few times before this one.
The Savage-Luger match went head-to-head with Luger vs. Savage. It looks like WCW had the upper hand in this one because it was the main event. Razor defeated The Kid and pinned him three times after The Kid asked for a rematch twice after being pinned. Both men are good now since The Kid finally earned Razorís respect.
Bret Hart defeated Pierre to settle the score once and for all. That match went head-to-head with Ric Flair vs. Arn Anderson. The match ended with a clean finish. At this point, Flair and Anderson are in a small feud since their break-up months ago.
Even though it was a tie, I believe WCW had the upper hand in this one. Nitro had the better show and Raw featured two matches that took place on pay-per-view or years ago. Fans want to see fresh storylines and feuds and thatís what WCW gave you this week. Anderson vs. Flair has to be one of the matches that could be saved for PPV, but still it was used properly on Nitro.
Monday Night Raw Highlight of the Night
Over on Monday Night Raw, the WWE did not hype their upcoming pay-per-view, In Your House 4. Instead, they went to a recycled storyline that took place in May 1993 when Razor Ramon challenged The 123 Kid on Raw. Letís go back to May 17, 1993 when Razor took on The 123 Kid:
Monday Night Raw Flashback: May 17, 1993, New York, NY (Manhattan Center)
In a night of upsets, Razor Ramon lost to a young 19-year old Sean Waltman in one of the most unpredictable endings in WWE history. In was a night of shocking moments (Jannetty returned to the WWE that night to challenge and win the IC title over Shawn Michaels) as The 123 Kid scored a huge upset. The Kid wrestled for the third week in a row on Raw (as The Cannonball Kid and The Lightning Kid) and wrestled as a jobber. His third week was the charm. Razor came to the ring as usual, wearing his gold chain and oozing machismo.
Razor played around with The Kid during the match. He tried to pin him, but then he lifted The Kid on purpose to keep the match longer. Out of nowhere, The 123 Kid pinned Razor with a moonsault and the crowd popped. The Kid fled the ring as the crowd was stunned. Razor went to the announcerís table and was furious. Randy Savage, who was on commentary, told Razor that he was simply beat. The Kid was named The 123 Kid and was used for the next few weeks as an underdog. One of the best ideas from this booking was that every time The Kid wrestles, anything can happen in the WWE.
Monday Nitro Highlight of the Night
If Lex Luger loses his match with Randy Savage, he quits WCW. That was the stipulation in the main event of Monday Nitro. We didnít have a clear winner as the match still ended with fans wondering if Luger was part of the Dungeon of Doom. Luger is doing heel tactics, but we are unsure if heís part of the heel stable. At least WCW is using him better than heís role in his last days with the WWE. I give credit to WCW for that. Also in this storyline, Hogan is not really worried about Lugerís role right now. Savage focused more on Lugerís decision to be a babyface or be part of the Dungeon of Doom.
Monday Night War Key Players
The following wrestlers wrestled on WWE Monday Night Raw and WCW Monday Nitro this particular week (October 2, 1995). Somehow, these wrestlers made an impact on the Monday Night Wars: (They signed with the rival company during this era)
Actually, the wrestlers that performed on Raw and Nitro this week were already discussed in previous editions of Monday Night War Classics or they were not impact players on both shows.
This Week in Monday Night War History
(April 17-23, 2011)
April 21, 1997 Ė Bret Hart and Steve Austin wrestled in a street fight. Bret already had an injured knee, so Austin worked on it and completely dominated Bret in a brawl. Austin is beginning to get cheered from fans while Bret is now a full-fledged heel. Austinís character is taking off big time and you can see ďAustin 3:16Ē t-shirts everywhere.
April 19, 1999 Ė The Rock holds a funeral for Steve Austin in one of the most entertaining moments in the Rock-Austin feud.
April 22, 1996 Ė The Giant defeated Ric Flair to win the WCW World Title. This is The Giantís first title run in WCW.
April 20, 1998 Ė In one of the many bouts these two had, Hulk Hogan defeated Randy Savage to win back the WCW World Title. Bret Hart helped Hogan win the belt, while Roddy Piper came out to confront the Hitman. Bret is showing signs that he is with the NWO.
Monday Night War Scoreboard
WCW Monday Nitro 1, WWE Monday Night Raw 2 (1 Tie)
Thatís it for this week in Monday Night War Classics. Tune in next week for Monday Night War Classics Week 6 Ė A War Declared a Draw II (10/09/95)
MONDAY NIGHT WAR CLASSICS ARCHIVES
MONDAY NIGHT WAR CLASSICS Ė Week 4: Triple Header Leads to Double Wins - Octavio Fierros (4/16/11)
MONDAY NIGHT WAR CLASSICS - Week 3: Which Route Should Lex Express Take? - Octavio Fierros (4/6/11)
MONDAY NIGHT WAR CLASSICS - Week 2: WCW Draws First Blood - Octavio Fierros (3/27/11)
MONDAY NIGHT WAR CLASSICS - Week 1: Lex Express Arrives in WCW - Octavio Fierros (3/20/11)
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