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Arn Promo: "They send one of yours to the hospital, you send one of theirs to the morgue". Another typically excellent, firey promo from Arn Anderson a week after being put in hospital by the NWO fired back a rebuttal fitting of the storyline. WCW were quickly repositioning the whole angle as "Us vs them", and all of a sudden we were presented with the idea of Arn Anderson being on our side? Exciting.
Shawn Sit Down: A highlight of another relatively quiet month of Raw, Shawn Michaels sat down with Kevin Kelly to talk about his upcoming pay per view match with Vader. Shawn said that he was the rightful champion in the WWF, as nobody could handle the schedule like he could (which is probably a shoot). On Bret, he was cordial: "the WWF without Bret Hart is like peanut butter without jello"… give it a year, eh?
It's Not A Pissing Bouquet Of Flowers: On the first Nitro of the month the now familiar black limo turned out at Disney MGM. As Sting and Luger approached they opened the door to find a black wreath proclaiming the end of WCW. A nice little skit, save for Tony Schiavone who, for the rest of the show, repeatedly called it a fucking "bouquet of flowers".
Invitational Battle Royal: It's always a nice litmus test of the strength of any roster when it presents a battle royal for the shot at a major championship. In this case it was the WWF attempting to create a number one contender to face the WWF Champion on the Raw after Summerslam. After Undertaker and Mankind took each other out, we were left with Sid, Ahmed Johnson, Goldust and Steve Austin. Ahmed would end up winning the match, but that would be his last action for a while.
A Meeting Of The Minds: There's something brilliant when (sparingly) big name heels and big name babyfaces unite against a common enemy. On Nitro this month we saw just that with a long in ring segment between Sting, Lex Luger and the Four Horseman. In storyline, it was slated that the Horsemen by themselves would take on the NWO in War Games, but Luger and mainly Sting talked them around. Really nice segment with four of the biggest names in WCW.
Crush Is Back: Yep, as promised last month, Crush made his triumphant return to WWF television under his new prisoner gimmick. The whole thing is a bit flat, it's like they liked the idea but had no conviction (no pun intended) to take it anywhere near far enough to work. Combine that with an abhorrently bad match with Savio Vega (less awful, more completely demoralizing) and you have a hell of a bad start for a new character.
Hogan Chair Attack: Hogan's chair shots in his babyface run in WCW were traditionally pretty awful (see his match with Vader at Superbrawl 1995 – I think). But now he's a heel he's come out swinging like Babe Ruth. The person that felt the brunt of that was Randy Savage, who Hogan caught in the back of the head on Nitro, subsequently making him unavailable for the Clash four days later.
Ahmed Sit Down: If there's one thing the WWF definitely do better (and more) than WCW at this time it's a good old fashioned sit down interview. Ahmed Johnson is the subject this time, reacting to his very real kidney issues. Ahmed, who doesn't really need to play any gimmick here, does a great job selling the severity and his hopes should he be able to return.
Nick Patrick: While we saw the best (the Clash) and the worst (Hog Wild) of this angle outside of Nitro, we did see another chapter in the evil referee gimmick with a very subtle move during the main event. As Scott Hall was in the corner about to take a Stinger Splash, Patrick quickly pulled Hall out of the corner to avoid him taking the hit. It was subtle enough where you may not have seen it live, but the replay showed it loud and clear.
He's Still Here: So Paul Bearer is with Mankind now... it was the culmination of a reasonably well done angle at Summerslam. Still, we needed a big promo to follow up on the angle on Raw the following night and... we didn't really get that. Still, it was the stand-out moment on the final Raw of August, and did include some cool stuff with Undertaker's body being bought out to ringside before he surprised everyone by sitting up. Undertaker is still here, and he still has power.
Get This Skunk Out Of Here: The NWO definitely has an issue when it comes to being bi-polar. They're always entertaining, but their often inconsistent characters go well beyond the realm of good storytelling. However, when the angle involves them tearing shit up they're really rather good at it. With Hogan armed with a spray can like he'd never seen paint before, he and the Outsiders went to work on the guys in the main event of the last Nitro in August, spray-painting "NWO" on the backs of all the guys involved and spraying a skunk line down Ric Flair's hair.
We Still Short Of Talent: I mean, the WWF do try, but the departures of Diesel and Razor Ramon and the absence of Bret Hart have left a hole in the weekly roster they're just not able to fill. Instead we get barely over mid-carders filling shows. If only there was a way of bringing back Diesel and Razor?