Tuesday, November 12, 2013

What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw - January 26, 1998

by Logan Scisco


-A still image of Bobo Brazil, who recently passed away, is shown.

-Michael Cole narrates a video package that recaps Mike Tyson’s altercation with Steve Austin on last week’s show.  Cole says that Tyson does not want to be a guest referee at WrestleMania XIV and wants to face Austin instead.  Shawn Michaels also promises to give his view on the Austin-Tyson interaction tonight.

-Jim Ross, Cole, and Kevin Kelly are in the booth and they are in Davis, California.


-Opening Contest:  Ken Shamrock (w/Ahmed Johnson & The Disciples of Apocalypse) beats Mark Henry (w/The Nation of Domination) by disqualification when the Nation interferes at 3:18:

This is a preview for the “war of attrition” ten man tag team match that will happen at No Way Out.  Henry runs through a series of power moves, but Shamrock uses his UFC leg strikes to destabilize Henry and gets a huge pop for delivering a belly-to-belly suplex.  That brings in the Nation and the predictable ten man brawl and Shamrock’s team stands tall after that.  Good opener that got the crowd into the show.  Rating:  ** (1 for 1)

-A VERY long video package recaps the Undertaker-Kane feud.  After that finishes, exclusive video footage shows WWF officials breaking open the casket at the Royal Rumble, but the Undertaker is gone.

-Shawn Michaels imitating the Undertaker last week is the Western Union Rewind segment.

-Barry Windham, without the Blackjack mustache, says that he got tired of the cartoonish nature of the WWF and he wants to get back to real wrestling as part of the NWA.  Jeff Jarrett gloats about being a champion and a well versed wrestler.

-Jeff Jarrett & Barry Windham (w/Jim Cornette & The Rock N’ Roll Express) defeat The Legion of Doom when Windham pins Animal after hitting him with Cornette’s tennis racket at 5:01:

Not that the NWA faction had much of a chance at succeeding, but since the Legion of Doom had a history with the NWA the WWF should have turned them heel and made them part of it.  It would have worked better than the Rock N’ Roll Express and would have freshened up the Legion of Doom’s act better than the “LOD 2000” gimmick.  Jarrett and Windham work really well as a team and since they control nearly all of the offense this match comes off quite well.  The finish is sloppy, though and ruins the match, as Windham hits Animal with Cornette’s tennis racket and Animal appears to kick out at two, but the bell rings and gives the NWA a win.  I assume that the Legion of Doom did not want to job here and this mess was meant to somehow protect them.  Rating:  *¾ (1 for 2)

-Shawn Michaels appearance on Pictionary is shown.

-The announcers recap the Tyson-Austin altercation last week.

-D-Generation X talk to the announce team from the locker room.  European Champion Triple H promises to beat Owen Hart tonight because he is more of a man than he is.  WWF Champion Shawn Michaels says that he has been carrying the WWF on his shoulders and he thinks that he might just give up his WrestleMania title match so that Steve Austin and Mike Tyson can fight one-on-one.  Triple H asks him to reconsider and Michaels says that he can probably do something and as he rants his jacket falls off to expose a referee shirt.  He says he’d love to be the guest referee for an Austin-Tyson match.  DX was trying to be too cute for their own good here and you just wanted them to get to the point.  1 for 3

-Cactus Jack suplexing Chainsaw Charlie through a pair of chairs at the Royal Rumble is the Footaction Slam of the Week.

-The announce team hypes the house show circuit.

-Vader wrestles The Artist Formerly Known as Goldust (w/Luna Vachon) to a no contest at 2:57:

Goldust and Luna dress up like Vader for this match.  Cole hypes Vader as “the Kodiak Bear of the WWF,” but what happened to the Mastodon nickname?  Did the WWF lose a lawsuit over that too?  Vader is still too much for Goldust to handle, but this match is nowhere near the quality of their Rumble encounter.  Vader powerbombs Goldust and hits a Vader Bomb, but the lights go out and Kane walks out.  Vader proceeds to give him a reverse Tombstone, but Goldust distracts Vader after that and Kane sits up and gives Vader a Tombstone.  This is the first step in setting up a match between the two at No Way Out.  The Goldust-Vader match wasn’t much, but the brief Kane-Vader interaction was fun.  2 for 4

-Mick Foley and Terry Funk are shown chatting in the ring before the show.  They make fun of and compliment their Chainsaw Charlie and Cactus Jack gimmicks.

-We enter hour two, so its Jerry Lawler’s time to do commentary with Ross.

-Non-Title Match:  The New Age Outlaws (WWF Tag Team Champions) defeat Cactus Jack & Chainsaw Charlie by disqualification at 5:04:

For this match, the New Age Outlaws are wearing baseball catchers gear and it works to their advantage, as Cactus Jack’s low blow has no effect on the Road Dogg since he is wearing a cup.  When these two teams are brawling, this is an entertaining match, but when they start reverting to the conventional tag team formula it leaves a lot to be desired.  As all hell breaks loose, Charlie starts throwing chairs into the ring, but he doesn’t get disqualified, but that happens when Cactus hits Road Dogg with a chair and then uses it to launch an aerial attack on Billy Gunn.  A few fun spots in this, but it was mayhem without cohesion.  Rating:  *½ (2 for 5)

-After the match, Cactus Jack puts the referee in a Mandible Claw and Road Dogg is covered with chairs and Charlie gives him a moonsault.

-A video package hypes Light Heavyweight Champion Taka Michinoku.

-The Honky Tonk Man comes out to do guest ring announcing duties.

-Number One Contenders Match for the Light Heavyweight Title:  El Pantera beats “Too Sexy” Brian Christopher with a cradle at 4:25:

Someone must have realized that no one was doing anything with the light heavyweight division so they needed to start doing some matches on Raw.  The winner of this faces Taka Michinoku at No Way Out.  Pantera hits an awesome suicide dive through the corner turnbuckles, but Christopher responds with a sunset flip powerbomb from the apron to the arena floor.  There’s lots of piped in crowd noise for this, though.  Christopher still wants to stall too much, but its not excessive due to the short time allotted for the match.  Christopher’s Tennessee Jam attempt misses and Pantera takes advantage to win the bout.  Rating:  ** (3 for 6)

-After the match, Lawler goes into the ring to shake Pantera’s hand, but cheap shots him.  As if we haven’t had enough of the Lawler-light heavyweight division angle already.

-Call 1-900-737-4WWF to hear what is going on in the WWF locker room!

-Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie are giving an interview with the announcers backstage, but D-Generation X distracts them and the New Age Outlaws launch a sneak attack.  The Outlaws and DX pound away until WWF officials intervene.

-The Headbangers beat The Quebecers when Mosh pins Jacques with a sunset flip at 3:07:

The Quebecers get the jobber entrance and we get a rushed match, with the hot tag coming about ninety seconds in.  The Quebecers seem to come out on top after that, but Thrasher trips Pierre on the top rope and Mosh surprises Jacques with a sunset flip to win the match.  This result isn’t good for the Quebecers future in the division, but they take out their frustration after the match with their fun Boston Crab/flying leg drop maneuver on Mosh.  Rating:  * (3 for 7)

-Owen Hart defeats “Hunterdust” (w/”Chyna”) via submission with a Sharpshooter at 5:06 shown:

The anticipated match between Owen Hart and Triple H has been building for a month, since Helmsley cost Owen the WWF title after In Your House:  D-Generation X.  However, instead of Triple H coming out for the match, Goldust comes out dressed as Triple H (with big prosthetic nose included) and Luna Vachon dressed as Chyna.  The first half of the match is a snoozer, as Goldust methodically pounds away, but when we return from commercial break Owen cruises to a victory as if he’s in a squash match.  Goldust is nothing more than a jobber at this stage of his career.  Rating:  ¾* (3 for 8)

-After the match, D-Generation X appears on the Titantron and laughs about fooling Owen.  Commissioner Sergeant Slaughter comes out and says that since Triple H was contractually obligated to defend the title, Owen is the new European champion in lieu of beating Triple H’s replacement.  As a result of this decision, Triple H must face Owen at a later date if he wants to get his European title back.

-The announcers talk about the Tyson-Austin encounter.  This is the third time we have talked about it tonight.

-Don King says that Mike Tyson wants Steve Austin, but the Nevada State Commission will not let Tyson fight.  He says that he and Vince McMahon will have to find a way to bring both men together at WrestleMania without violating Nevada’s rules.

-Steve Austin comes out and says that Mike Tyson will soon learn not to mess with him.  He pledges to fight Tyson anywhere, anytime and asks him to show up at No Way Out.  A generic promo for Austin, but it served the purpose of continuing the intrigue about fighting Tyson.  (4 for 9)

The Final Report Card:  A very lackluster edition of Monday Night Raw, which usually happens when the event is taped.  The entire show revolved around Austin-Tyson, which had no real chance of happening anyway because of the Nevada State Athletic Commission.  Giving Owen Hart the European title via Goldust was also lame, but Triple H had not defended the title in more than a month and was still on the shelf so something had to be done.  Just a very uneventful and passable show.

Monday Night War Rating:  3.5 (vs. 4.7 for Nitro)


Show Evaluation:  Thumbs Down

72 comments:

  1. Maybe because I was an unjaded younger OfficerFarva at the time but I loved everything about the build to WM 14. The fucking ascension of Austin, Tysons involvement, Vinces increased on air role, Kane/UT. It was all fucking golden

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  2. See guys, Triple H put over Owen Hart here! Just like the Shield has been elevating guys for the past year!

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  3. The Rock-Shamrock feud was pretty memorable as well. I loved Rock as the cowardly ratfuck heel who was finally having to face the music against an unstoppable Shamrock.

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  4. "Veterans of the Revolutionary War. Where are they now?!"


    *photo of cemetery.*

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  5. WM14 is nothing special in terms of actual matches, and if you're a new fan who just watches it now, you might wonder what the big deal was. But WM14 was such a well-built show and (most importantly) it paid off most of the big storylines. Austin got the belt, Tyson had the 'Wrestlemania moment' by knocking out Michaels, Undertaker beat Kane, Foley/Funk beat the Outlaws, Sable got her revenge on Mero, Shamrock beat the hell out of the Rock (but Rock kept the belt since he was the biggest star in the long run)...everything crescendo'd nicely and gave the fans both a satisfying 'end' to a lot of stories while getting the stage for new stories to continue throughout 1998.

    Compare this to Starrcade 1997, which was about as disappointing a 'climax' to the WCW vs. NWO feud as humanly possible.

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  6. Maybe I'm alone in this but I didn't find the show that bad at all. Certainly not excellent but I didn't actively hate some of the parts Scott seemed to.

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  7. When was the last time anything was "can't miss" on RAW? I seriously can't remember a time

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  8. The RAW after Wrestlemania

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  9. Stranger in the AlpsNovember 12, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    I implore Scott and the rest of the BoB (Blog of Bryan) to.......
    wait for it......
    ....to let it play out and see where it goes.

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  10. Stranger in the AlpsNovember 12, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    So many John Smiths...

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  11. Didn't Undertaker show up for a Survivor Series match once wearing an 18th century era American flag?

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  12. All to set up a tag match at survivor series.... Not the six-on-six elimination match that would have made sense (and would have been a first).

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  13. For me, it was the RAW where Punk returned after his infamous pipebomb promo.

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  14. 10 years ago?

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  15. This rant was "Vintage Keith!"

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  16. I heard Cena got booed despite Zeb' s Brit bashing, did this get edited out of broadcast?

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  17. The Raw after Summerslam, if only to validate our fears.

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  18. That's what made this time period great. Even if the PPV was lackluster, the WWF at this time knew how to hype things and make them a big deal. They did a great job doing this throughout 1998 and all of the "big five" pay-per-views (Rumble, WrestleMania, KOTR, SummerSlam - especially with "Highway to Hell", and Survivor Series) were made as spectacles. Nowadays, its WrestleMania and nothing else. Speaking of which, the "Deadly Game" song they used for Survivor Series was arguably the best one the company has ever produced.

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  19. Raw Country proves that this company isn't even going to try to compete against a good MNF game.

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  20. Agreed. I'm gaining a new appreciation for that feud watching these shows. I liked the Rock-Shamrock series and people forget it because of all the great stuff Austin and McMahon did at this time. I think the feud did a great job putting both guys over and its where the Rock really started coming into his own.

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  21. Davis, California. DAVIS.

    Man, remember when they'd actually advertise the township from which they're broadcasting, no matter where they were? Small point, but I always appreciated it. It always made me feel that they'd come to my smallish town at some point (not that they don't come here, but they don't announce it anymore).

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  22. Raw holds steady with another 2.7 despite the worst mnf game of the year. Next week is new england vs a 6-3 panthers team. Plus with the NBA and college b ball seasons in full swing I don't know who is even watching this show now. I'm predicting a 2.4 for the survivor series go home and less than 150k buys for survivor series. And with no rock return on the horizon I don't see mania doing a million buys.

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  23. It was Bret returning for me.

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  24. I don't know about that, but he did have the American flag in his jacket when he joined the All-Americans on Superstars prior to the 1993 Survivor Series.

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  25. What's got two thumbs and has accepted I'm gonna be bored with WWE until the Rumble... ------> This Guy <-------

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  26. richard householderNovember 12, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    Yeah it was inside the back of his jacket

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  27. Kane basically being another Laurinaitis is EXACTLY what I thought of during that opening segment!


    What the hell was the point of taking a giant monster like Kane and giving him a complete gimmick overhaul if he's just going to be another goofy neutered authority figure? I figured the company was at LEAST going to use this as an excuse to get rid of Maddox and Vickie as the on-screen bosses, since they're completely redundant roles with Trips/Steph already there (Kane would basically be in charge of "Smackdown", since Trips doesn't often appear there, but he'd still be doing Trips' bidding).


    Please, NO MORE FEUDING AND/OR INEFFECTUAL AUTHORITY FIGURES!!!

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  28. Even MNF was more entertaining than this crap. Miami came up with every way to lose to a winless team and that same team came up with every way to lose again.

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  29. The one thing I'll never get is how they think jobbing a up and comer to a top guy is a push. Going over a jobber and cutting a promo would serve a guy like sandow or Langston so much better than losing 10 minute matches to top guys on free TV. I honestly wonder if Vince had a stroke and turned retarded because the booking of the show has been awful and I'm not even talking about burying guys I like. Remember how awful they made Sheamus look, the awful build for rock vs cena 2, how cena jumped ziggler when he tried to cash in, how miz didn't even get an angle for his face turn...these were all things that I wouldn't necessarily have been behind like a bryan push and I watched the wwe fuck them all up too

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  30. I would nominate the Raw after Mania.

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  31. MMMMMMY mistake!

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  32. I actually enjoyed the show for the most part. Some good matches (even if "lots of handicap matches" was a pretty lame theme), and the ending was ELECTRIC - the fans were just DYING to see the Shield/Wyatts confrontation.

    Which, to me, suggests that we're getting that match at "WM", probably with the losing team forced to disband.

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  33. Yeah the Kane turn couldnt be less interesting. And what happened to that Wyatt angle he was doing?

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  34. I realize that was a rhetorical question (or at least, it seemed that way to me), but I'll answer it anyway: it seems to have been dropped for no reason at all and with no thought to continuity.

    That said, a small part of me suspects that "The Devil" that Bray keeps talking about will be revealed to be Trips, meaning that the "Wyatts" are working for Trips and tying together the two story-lines. I really hope not.

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  35. There's no competition for a comparison point, so over the past 13 years or so he's slowly come to believe that anything they do is justified and his insane-o internal logic is sound. He's surrounded by Yes Men so when his broken, syphilitic mind says "Jobbing Big E to Del Rio will put E over b/c Del Rio is a top guy and all you have to do is stand next to a top guy and you'll get over too", nothing & no one can stop him from acting on it.

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  36. I'm for this Wyatt/Shield/Bryan and Punk Menage a trois but why would they follow through with Kane being "brainwashed" by the Wyatts? That would have given the Wyatts a little more character depth, been pretty cool, and they still could have worked with Punk/Bryan and The Shield.

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  37. As much as the general IDEA of an up-and-coming guy jobbing to an established star would seem bad, it's all in the execution - I actually think Sandow's loss to Cena did a lot for him, as it showed that, in canon, Sandow is able to hang with a guy like Cena (and, in reality, I think it proved that the performer behind "Damien Sandow" has the tools to be a credible main-eventer). I also felt similarly about Langston's job last night, as he dominated the match, and only lost due to an established main-event finisher.

    There's something to be said for the "honor in defeat" approach. Not saying it's always the right thing to do, or that it's always executed well, but I think those two examples happened to work.

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  38. The NBA on TNT got a 1.5 last Thursday. Nobody cares about the NBA.

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  39. Because their writing staff is a bunch of staff writers from King of Queens who've never watched wrestling a day in their lives, all overseen by Vince Crazyshits McMahon. Frankly I'm surprised ANY of it makes sense.

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  40. More people watch the NBA than play fighting

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  41. Rock's WM14 interview with Gennifer Flowers always cracked me up at the time. He was so good as the pretentious douchebag.

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  42. Kane was obviously bested by the Wyatts. Never heard of the famous idiom "If you can't beat them, join some other group not related to those who beat you, and give up everything in your gimmick except your contacts"

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  43. What did the NBA on ABC and/or ESPN get?

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  44. loud, boisterous boos, as you would expect your superhero face to get.

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  45. Espn got a 1.7.

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  46. Not according to the ratings.

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  47. Christ. I'm an nba fan but a 1.5 and 1.7. Ugh.

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  48. This coming week should be a solid "bottom line"; if they maintain a 2.7... they're not going any lower.

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  49. What? "Raw Country" isn't a can't miss show? Country singers, fake fighting, Nashville video themes...dude its can't miss!

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  50. It's still early in the season.

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  51. ...though again for things that'd never happen, I'd be ok with Kane if they started showing hints that he was counter agenting and somehow works Bryan back into the title picture

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  52. Those ratings are up compared to last season. You guys just have no idea what good ratings are for basic cable.

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  53. Candy Crush?? Seriously buddy. Puzzle and Dragons.

    "so perhaps next year Cena will put Cesaro over at Summerslam to set him up for a feud with the Wyatt Family after three months of everyone undermining him in the main event slot. That’s as close to elevation as you ever get anymore."



    Waaaaaah. ;) LOL...I guess the source of all these frustrated E-mails was...Scott himself!! "It was me!! It was me all along!!!"


    Just razzin ya. But seriously, Puzzle and Dragons.

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  54. You realize theirs more than one game on at a time? You can multiply that by 5 or 6 while wwe does three shows a week and only one that anyone watches. I get that you think you "got me" but its apples and oranges. Way more people watch the nba

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  55. Porn-Peddling Jef VinsonNovember 12, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    "Did he build a time machine and go back to sequentially forget to shake the hands of all the members of the McMahon family in alphabetical order or something?"


    FIFY.

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  56. Of course while the wwe runs one show anyone watches per week the NBA has 5 or 6 games on every night. I'm pretty sure that the ad money that 1.7 brought in is a "little bit" more than what wwe gets for raw

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  57. I hope you are planning to stop watching then.

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  58. All I said was it is early in the season, meaning the ratings could be higher as the games become more important. Next time preface your comment with "compared to last seasons average". Also when are you going to rage against people without cable streaming Raw. I have an expensive cable package by the way.

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  59. Yea I agree. I'm pretty sure they were pulling in 10s go the finals last year. Got league pass this year, best investment ever.

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  60. More people watch the NBA than wrestling. There's five games on at once. Raw goes on one time a week. Go ask an adverister who they would rather pimp their product for. Or go see the TV deal the NBA has and compare it to the one wrestling has. But then again you're a poster on npp so you of course you know better than advertising and TV executives

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  61. Porn-Peddling Jef VinsonNovember 12, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    As much as HHH is is a student of the game (no pun intended) if he were really trying to push Big E. He would either give him a secondary title and let him run with it or pair him with a vet and let him be in a tag team for awhile. But the secondary titles are destroyed and as much as he claims to be trying to build the Tag division it's petty much the same teams over and over again or when they get paired up you can almost hear the clock ticking on when they are going to break up or feud.

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  62. Welcome to the club. You're set with awesomeness until june

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  63. Porn-Peddling Jef VinsonNovember 12, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    What game was it?

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  64. Porn-Peddling Jef VinsonNovember 12, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    I wonder if Mickie "Ms. Hardcore Country" James will show up to job to one of the Bellas next Monday?

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  65. Man dougie really set us straight. I don't know about you but anytime someone makes an obviously false assertion, backs it up with no facts, and just repeats that assertion when questioned I feel pretty stupid!

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  66. Porn-Peddling Jef VinsonNovember 12, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    Brie Bellas nip slip?

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  67. The longest match was five minutes. This made me laugh for some reason. When did D.O.A turn face? Were they always face?

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  68. Really? I guess it was hard for me to tell since they only feuded with the NOD and Los Boriquos.

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  69. Why the fuck would you advertise Davis? I mean, we're Woodland with a University.

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