The Monday Night War Review: Episode Four - 'A New D-Generation'
Posted by Robert Leighty Jr. on 09.02.2014
"You make the rules, and we'll break 'em!"
The Monday Night War: Episode Four – ‘A New D-Generation'
-This is Attitude Week on WWE Network and that includes this episode of the Monday Night War as it focuses on DX. Much like the n.W.o there have been several DVDs, but we will see if this adds anything new.
-Monday Night War Opening and still awesome!
-We start this one out in the later months of 1996 as we are backtracking obviously. Nitro is the clear cut #1 promotion in the world thanks to Ted's blank checks and mostly because of the n.W.o. Cole mentions they were in trouble and tows the line by saying Turner was stealing their talent and spending tons of money. Yes, we get it by now!
-More of the same stuff rehashed from previous episodes as they bring up the n.W.o being hip and reality based while the WWF was stuck in the past with cartoon characters. They specifically bring up Hunter Hearst Helmsley and HHH mentions that Vince loved the character. HHH knew it was a way to get his foot in the door and his hope was that it would evolve into more of his own character.
-While WCW was kicking ass, Shawn Michaels was growing bitter because his friends were down South doing the kicking week after week. Apparently Shawn and HHH realized the kiddy stuff sucked and they wanted to go a different direction. Shawn was a pain to work with at the time and was fighting his own personal demons. Vince says Shawn's personal life and professional life were crumbling and he started to act out on screen.
-The WWF decided to pair Shawn and HHH together after they badgered Vince for months to let it happen. So now we are into the fall of 1997 and Hunter has evolved into a smart ass and Shawn is the smart ass he has always been, but now is allowed to cut loose. They discuss the importance of Chyna and put over how much she meant to the group. HHH mentions that they liked Rick Rude and decided to make him part of the group as well.
-HHH mentions they were both coming from an angry place at the time and they were just doing things to entertain themselves and it happened to entertain others as well. One of those things was the crotch chop and they mention it was something they did when someone didn't agree with their train of thought. The rest of the locker room thought they were crossing the line and even killing traditions within the business.
-Bret mentions they rubbed things in the noses of the other wrestlers and how it was a thumb in the eye to guys like him. Bret calls Shawn a degenerate on RAW and thus a name is coined. Shawn calls them Degeneration X soon after and the rest is history. They show some of their abuse of Cole and it's still pretty damn funny.
-Jericho says that as a wrestler he thought it was breaking tradition, but as a fan he thought it was hilarious. CM Punk says it was more realistic and brought in shades of gray (similar to the n.W.o). Bischoff shows up and basically says it was a rip-off of the n.W.o. Shawn disagrees and says the n.W.o was a bunch of white guys wanting to be gangsters while DX was more about sexual innuendos. He also mentions the n.W.o beat everyone up while DX always got beat up (unless you are the British Bulldog).
-DX was building RAW and apparently WCW fired back by stealing Rick Rude from the WWF. They don't mention it was done because of how pissed he was about the whole Montreal thing. It was a sweet deal though as he appeared on both shows on Nov 17 since RAW was taped and Nitro was live. The ratings were Nitro 4.1, RAW 3.1. You have to love the spin on this as apparently WCW feared DX so much in late 97, when they were kicking RAW's ass mind you, that they had to steal Rick Rude.
-DX didn't care though as they just kept plowing forward and had Harvey Whippleman come out as Rude the following week and get turfed from the group. Shawn and HHH were the core of DX and just needed those two as now Chyna means jack shit to the group as well.
-By Dec of 1997 RAW closed the gap and Nitro held a 3.5 to 3.1 lead just before Christmas. All that momentum came with a price though as DX started to cross lines. Vince says personally he was always entertained but as a businessman he knew they had crossed a bunch of lines. That led to USA Network sending a letter threatening to pull RAW off the air. DX took that list and performed the now infamous (and hilarious) State of DX address. They knew it was going to be hit or miss as they were going to be applauded or booted off the air. HHH's deliver of the forbidden words and Shawn's reaction is just priceless. Vince brings them into his office and tells them that the USA Network loved the skit and they were given the green light to continue.
-The audience loved DX and that made Vince love them as well. Daniel Bryan mentions he was a huge fan of DX and they just kept outdoing themselves week to week. They show the BBQ skit and the Strip Poker Game and they mention you had to watch to see how far they would go. They talk about Chyna getting implants and how they worked that into the show. "She went from flat chested to double D," says HHH. Nice! They spent a major part of a segment on RAW discussing Chyna's new tits just because they were told not to mention them.
-The rebellious formula of DX had spread throughout the WWF at the time and 2 other guys were paired into a tag team: Billy Gunn and Jesse James. HHH mentions they liked both of them and asked if they wanted to be in DX. They mention they played hard to get and told them they would get back to them. They got so hot that they didn't need DX, so they let the Outlaws do their own thing.
-RAW was catching fire and it only got hotter when the WWF reached a deal with Mike Tyson. He ends up joining DX and Cole mentions that Mike was a degenerate anyway. Tyson himself pops up and says he loved being in the rings with those guys.
-We head to the scoreboard: Feb 23rd Nitro 4.6, RAW 3.2; March 2nd Nitro 4.8, RAW 3.8; March 9th: Nitro 4.9; RAW 3.6
-The stage was set for Shawn to lead the WWF back to the top of sports entertainment (what?), but a back injury killed that. Shawn said he knew he had to get to WrestleMania for Steve and he got there even with a crippling injury. Everyone blows Shawn for showing up and doing the honors to Steve even with the back injury. I guess the idea that he was pissed off for having to do the job and didn't feel he was appreciated is no longer on the table.
-The future of DX is in doubt because Shawn was gone and everyone saw HHH as just the sidekick in the group. Shawn tells a story that he knew the next night was huge and he knew HHH had to take things over and to a higher level. HHH takes over the role as the leader of DX and he makes sure to mention Shawn dropped the ball (Shawn was ok with it as he knew it had to be done). A new era is born as Waltman shows back up in the WWF as X-Pac, fresh off his run with the n.W.o. in WCW.
-There was vindication for Vince as this was the first time they brought someone over from WCW. They show Hogan burying Syxx on Nitro and Waltman calls Bischoff a dick for firing him via Fed-Ex. They show X-Pac's promo where he buries Hogan and Bischoff and it blew the minds of fans around the world. His jump showed that momentum was changing in the war.
-The next step happened later that night when The New Age Outlaws finally become members of the group. They all fit perfectly in with HHH's vision of DX.
-Scoreboard time: April 6th: Nitro 4.6, RAW 4.4; April 13th: RAW 4.6, Nitro 4.2. Wow they actually have the balls to say that DX spurred the WWF to that first victory. Guess that Austin/McMahon Main Event had jack shit to do with it.
-We bypass that spin and head towards DX invading WCW. HHH just mentioned in it joking and Vince decided to do it. They decided to drive a tank to the Norfolk Scope where WCW was having Nitro and see what havoc they could raise. HHH was the only one of the group to know at first and when the others found out they thought it was all a joke. It really happened though and HHH mentions that Nash told him he was at a gym with Luger and on the way back he saw DX outside the building. Jericho mentions they were looking outside the door and the wrestlers were hoping they would get in the building.
-Bischoff told everyone to get back to work and he thought it was brilliant even if he hated it from the position he was in. Nash says he tried to get someone to open the door to let them in, but it didn't happen. HHH says they had no plan if they did happen to get into the building and part of me really wishes they would have gotten in somehow. Hell, WCW should have let them and taken their chances. HHH asked Vince what he was going to do if WCW sent 10 guys to his show and Vince says he would have let them in the building and put them on TV as fans would watch his show instead.
-Bischoff counters by challenging Vince to a fight at WCW Slamboree. He says the issue was with him and Vince and he wanted to take the attention away from DX. Hogan says it was legit and he told Eric that Vince may show up and would probably kick his ass. Eric says he didn't care because if Vince showed up on his TV and kicked his ass, he would be printing money. Too bad he didn't think about that when DX tried to invade.
-Bischoff celebrated being the king, but RAW was now in the lead and took a big lead in June with a 5.4 to 4.1 ratings win. Because DX lead the way everyone else in the WWF locker room was taking notice and started trying to one up what everyone else was doing. Yep, DX is the reason the Rock and Steve Austin took off.
-Speaking of the Rock he had his own faction and it only made sense for them to have a war with DX. They bring up the DX parody of the Nation and I wonder if they will bring up that a year early the n.W.o did the same thing to the Horsemen. Sure, the DX spoof of the Nation was hilarious, but it only feeds the idea that DX was a copy of the n.W.o. X-Pac didn't want to be Mark Henry but decided to role with it because he knew he wasn't going to get out of it. Waltman mentions that Henry was laughing his ass off at the Gorilla Position and Mark says he knows funny when he sees it and that was funny. That ends the segment and as expected no mention of them lifting the idea from WCW and the n.W.o.
-Shawn says an argument can be made that this DX was better than the original version. Punk says HHH was able to turn into the group into something different and something more his style. This leads to the discussion of crowd participation. DX was the new cool thing and Bischoff mentions that he was losing his 18-34 year old male audience to the WWF now.
-DX helped RAW distance themselves from Nitro and it was because of how well they gelled with one another. DX was a catalyst in the WWF winning the war and Jericho mentions they were a huge factor because you needed to see what they were going to do.
-For over a decade DX would evolve and reform and at the core they were a group that just had fun and didn't care what people thought about them.
-A preview for the next episode shows it was be about Mick Foley called "Have a Nice Day." Yeah, more from the WWF side of things.
Extra Thoughts: We have a long way to go if they are 20 parts in this series. It is still a fun show to watch, but you can definitely start a drinking game with each time the WWF is called out for being cartoony or WCW is called out for stealing WWF guys and having a blank check. The topic at hand was DX and thankfully they only focused on what amounted to the first year of the group. Some of the spin is rather laughable, but to be expected at this point. I never watched any of the DX DVD sets, so most of this stuff seemed fresh to me (outside of what has been told on HHH and Shawn's DVD sets over the years). I get how influential DX was, but I think their importance in helping the WWF win the war is a little inflated here, but that could be my n.W.o bias coming into play.