Friday, August 29, 2014

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW–04.17.95

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 04.17.95

Nitro is coming to the Network next week and I’m getting tempted to jump ship, but really I’m only four months behind at this point. Any preference? Keep sticking it out or do something different?

Taped from Poughkeepsie, NY

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler and the green screen.

Meanwhile, Ted Dibiase introduces Sid as the newest member of the team, which immediately drops Sid’s standing about 18 notches. If you wanted to kill the guy’s momentum as a heel immediately, that was the perfect way to do it. In fact, Vince goes so far as to note that Dibiase was pulling the strings on Sid’s turn the whole time. BARF.

Duke Droese v. Jean Pierre Lafitte

Yeah, you know it’s 1995 because you’ve got a garbageman fighting a pirate. Lafitte slugs away to start, but Duke gets a hiptoss and clotheslines him to the floor. Back in for a kneedrop that gets two. Blind charge misses and Patchy the Pirate gets a neckbreaker and goes up with a legdrop for two. Lafitte pounds away and they can’t even get the canned heat excited for this, and we TAKE A BREAK?!? Oh god. Back with Metalbeard holding a chinlock, but they collide for a double count and Duke is up first with the comeback. Powerslam and Duke goes up and misses a flying splash, allowing Paul Burchill to finish with the senton at 11:30. What a thrilling debut. *

Meanwhile, Mr. Bob Backlund is on the beach for spring break as they just won’t let the joke die.

Doink the Clown v. Roy Raymond

Raymond bails to the apron, but gets suplexed back in and Doink works the arm. To the chinlock, and the Whoopie Cushion from both himself and Dink (complete with sound effects from both) finishes at 3:18.

In Your House Report with Todd. These shows were another sign that Vince was getting nervy about WCW, as Bischoff expanded the PPV calendar to monthly shows and this was the WWF’s response. This also marks the point where I moved into my own apartment for the first time and lost access to my giant satellite dish, thus leaving the USA network behind and not being able to afford PPV for a few months. So as…uh…enticing as the Diesel v. Sid main event was, I didn’t see this show until years later.

WWF tag title: Yokozuna & Owen Hart v. Bob Holly & 1-2-3 Kid

Kid works Owen’s arm to start and they have a kip-up battle before we get some double-teaming in the babyface corner. Bob goes back to the arm, but Yoko comes in and pummels him down to take over. Owen pulls Bob out and runs him into the post a few times, and the rather dull heat segment begins. Bob with a backslide on Owen for two, but Yoko beats him down and goes to the nervehold. Owen comes in and Bob gets a hope spot with a small package for two, and he counters an Owen superplex for two. Owen cuts off the tag with the Owenzuigiri for two, and it’s back to the resting from Yoko. Ditto for Owen, but Bob fights out and makes the hot tag to the Kid. He hits Yoko with three enzuigiris and a leg lariat to drop him, then hits Owen with a suicide dive, but Yoko casually finishes him with a belly to belly at 15:31. Picked up a bit with Kid’s phenomenal comeback, but the rest was a long chinlock. **

Undertaker feels like drinking and driving is a bad idea.

Henry Godwinn v. Rich Myers

And now the lowpoint of the show, as Jerry Lawler gets into a phone argument with Cornfed, Duckman’s pig sidekick. Well, I suppose they had the Muppets on RAW a couple of years ago. Slop drop finishes at 2:00.

And then after that bullshit, they have the nerve to do one of their promos about how the WWF is “cultured” and people are just being jerks for looking down on them.

Next week: Diesel v. Bam Bam Bigelow! This show can suck it.

99 comments:

  1. Stick with RAW...the worse the shows are, the better your reviews normally are!

    Besides, I quit watching WWF at this time and switched to WCW, so this is kind of new to me anyway

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  2. Stick with Raw! At least until you catch up with the network

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  3. Stick with RAW

    Or, be hardcore, and do them both

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  4. I support this opinion.

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  5. Wait till you get to Nitro's debut then review each weeks Raw and Nitro side by side

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  6. But, if you switch to Nitro, you'll miss the pathetic Billionaire Ted skits. It's funny how they tried to focus on how old Hogan and Savage were and tout their own "New Generation" while bringing back guys like the Ultimate Warrior and Jake the Snake Roberts. Did they really think these skits would do anything but cause people to say "Hey, Hogan and Savage are on WCW? Let me change the channel!"

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  7. Bayless wouldn't make us choose!

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  8. Stick with your wife.

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  9. EAT. SLEEP. BUILD A LITTLE FORT.

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  10. TM CooltrainerBretAugust 30, 2014 at 4:25 AM

    To be fair, a pirate gimmick wouldn't be a bad idea. Fun stuff for the kids, and so long as its sanity checked, it can work. Garbageman is undefendable, but yeah, pirate wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

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  11. FREE SHOWER CURTAIN!

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  12. Believe me as someone who lived through it - there is nothing interesting about it

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  13. Grind it out til you get to the hart/hakushi match in in July. Don't think you've ever reviewed it and it was a great tv match especially considering 1995. He breaks out the sftd in it which may be the first time it was done on North American tv.

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  14. Neither.

    Review WCW Thunder!

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  15. Ni...never mind.

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  16. I have no intention of watching the full shows, but I do go watch matches or segments that were good or historical. These reviews help fill the hole in my wrestling fandom.

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  17. Good plan. With Mabel though I wasn't being snarky or anything - it was just totally boring. He wasn't over and all of a sudden they pushed him and everyone knew diesel was winning. Sometimes the bad stuff in wrestling is fun - dungeon of doom, shock master, etc. this was neither though, just totally dull. If you watch anything from 95 check out the hbk/jj match from iyh if you haven't already and the hart/hakushi match from raw. The rest rely on Scott's reviews and save yourself the time!

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  18. The garbageman gimmick wouldn't haven't been too bad during the Attitude era if they given it a darker heeler edge and turned him into a hardcore wrestler.

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  19. Not saying it worked, but WWF did book Mabel really well during this period as they tried to put him over as a monster as he never lost a match, not even a tag match where Mo could be pinned and he never looked bad/lost those post match beatdown angles.

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  20. Hey, there's a turkey behind the bed!

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  21. I've seen all of the 95 ppv's already. Just curious about the storylines. It's also strange to see the production for these shows. It's back to the 60s. I'm a slight history nerd so that's the main point of interest.

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  22. ...and if you still can't get over then you may want to find another profession.

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  23. Surprised at the average rating for the tag title match. I watched the match countless times, but then again I was a huge Waltman mark at the time and I always loved the chemistry Waltman and Owen had.

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  24. Vince had no idea what to do with him in his first run. Going to WCW was the best thing for him career wise.

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  25. He didn't get over, but he did look good as Mabel did carry himself pretty well during this period.

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  26. Yeah give them points for trying I suppose. But having to watch that push weekly was so boring. And I liked diesel at the time too. I think they tried the hogan formula from the 80s and it just flopped

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  27. Vince was going to go down kicking and screaming before he abandoned the Hogan formula. No offense to Mabel, but there were just too many better options. Razor for one.

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  28. To be fair, there wasn't much you could do with Waltman at the time as the guy was too small to have any credibility. I was a huge Kid fan, but even I would have hated it if they gave him a IC title run during this time. It'd only be a year or two later where small guys would start to be accepted as legit main eventers.

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  29. And that was because of Bischoff. Vince didn't know what to do with small guys but WCW always did. Swap Pillman and Waltman's career trajectories and I'm thinking our perception of them would be completely different.

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  30. the early part of their careers

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  31. I'm not saying Razor would have been a bad choice, but Razor is above the sort of huge monster heel push as Razor has acting skills and stuff and they could have easily sold a feud with two best friends turning on each other.


    But I do agree Mabel was a bad choice for the big monster heel push. I really would have loved to have seen Kama get that same push instead.

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  32. As far as big monster I guess Mabel was the best choice, probably the only choice. I'm not sure how this played out but why not save Sid for the big ppv? Or even just turn Diesel heel

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  33. Maybe, though I wouldn't have liked to have seen a big Kid push or anything, I do feel he deserved better and should have at least been tag team champion for a few months before losing instead of the weak 24 hour deal.


    And I do feel Kid should have wrestled in every PPV as WWF could have formulated the whole 20 minute hot cruiserweight opener before WCW did.

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  34. What's a madda, Homer? Never seen a naked chick riding a clam before?

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  35. Yeah, if Sid didn't join the Corporation and WWF built up to a Diesel-Sid feud slowly with the match taking place at Summerslam and Sid received the same push Mabel did, I'm pretty sure that would have done really good business.

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  36. I'm not saying he should have been world champ or even intercontinental champ, but he was better than curtain jerking jobber status.

    If anything these shows display how out of touch and close-minded Titan had become. No wonder they are running these shows in high school gyms

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  37. It is weird, because while Kid was essentially a jobber, he was a high tier jobber as he got pushed better than all the other jobbers at his level. I mean, WWF didn't do a Bret Hart/Bob Holly 20 minute classic on Raw or anything, so it seems WWF knew he had talent at least, but I think the big problem was that he was too small that no-one in charge wanted to support him for a big push.

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  38. I vote RAW. I can't say it's a great period in WWE history, but as many have pointed out, there WAS a lot of talent on the roster. The booking just stunk (Patterson had stepped down from his full time role after the steroid trial and according to the sheets, Jim Ross was stepped in early '95 but I don't think that ever went anywhere. By mid-1995, they actually brought in Bill Watts for a few weeks). But hey, that leaves a lot of room for opinions and, for us smarks, second guessing. What better blog topic can there be? :)
    Plus, there is some good stuff coming up. One poster mentioned Bret-Hakushi...awesome match. And HHH's debut should be coming any day now. Sunny is around for the summer too; they didn't know what to do with her but she was entertaining. Granted, the shows building up to KotR were awful and the Mabel buildup for Summerslam was weak, but once Monsoon becomes the kayfabe President, the shows get a little more interesting.
    Finally, I agree with everyone that DiBiase's corporation was a complete waste of a heel stable. I just wonder why DiBiase made such a lousy manager. He was a great talker and was just 2 years removed from a very credible wrestling career. How does that not translate?

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  39. I like the Raw reviews. Bad period, but seriously I like any era that pushes Bundy. Too bad they didn't give him the IC title during this run.

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  40. Not sure on the DiBiase deal. Most people would argue that the fact that DiBiase's group were booked like a bunch of losers that never won a match as the reason why they didn't get over, but I think the thing that ultimately hurt them was that DiBiase couldn't take a single bump because of his insurance deal, so we all knew that the big heel would never get his comeuppance. The only type of retribution DiBiase received was being slopped by Henry Godwinn. Not the same as the Warrior/Brother Love deal.

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  41. Bundy is above the IC title. If they were going to give him a title, it had to be the world.

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  42. The guy used to buy grade A talent is now buying Tatanka. It doesn't matter who else he has. The guy employs Tatanka. Complete gimmick killer. The dot-com boom must have really hurt him.

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  43. Yep, they really didn't have any idea what to do with Bundy. Disappointing, because the heel side of the roster was decimated at this point. But once he got squashed by Taker at Mania, they just gave up on him. It didn't help that they stuck him in the Corporation but they could at least have pushed him as the #2 guy after Sid...heel Tatanka was a complete waste. He should have teamed with Sid at KotR vs. Diesel and Bigelow but the last big thing he did was get squashed by HBK on RAW. After that, he was done.
    He would have been a good feud for Bret post-WM. They were pretty good friends according to Bret's book, and Bret really had nothing to do after beating Backlund and Owen. Or, he could feuded with Razor.

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  44. You pick on poor Tatanka, but ignore Nikolai Volkoff?

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  45. Didn't Bundy refuse to put Bret's sharpshooter finish over or something?

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  46. Forgot about him. Dibiase industries was really in a slump. I'd make more business jokes if I knew much about business.

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  47. I just think DiBiase had a curse on him. I mean, he brought Andre's contract for a million dollars then a year later sold it back to Heenan for $100,000.

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  48. Hadn't heard that. I thought he and Bret were tight from their Stampede days. Bret talked about drawing a very obscene "going-away" present for Bundy at Survivor Series 87 that everyone in the locker room signed. Bundy loved it.
    If Bundy was going to job for HBK (as he did on an upcoming RAW), I don't see why he wouldn't lay down for Bret. His "big man" aura was pretty much gone at this point, but that's on the booking.

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  49. Yeah but Bundy was no way a world title guy at that point. He was a fat dude of a past era. Have him beat up hogan and them get squashed in the rematch is fine in 85. In 95 it just wasn't there. Then again it's not like anything they did in 95 worked well anyway so trying that would've been just as good as anything else I guess.

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  50. Could Bret even put the sharpshooter on him?

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  51. No wonder the guy can only afford Tatanka and Volkoff. Though I think you are referring to Hercules. Still he lost 900,000. He spent all that money buying off Heenan, Andre, the ref, his plastic surgery, and he STILL didn't get to keep the belt.

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  52. I'd love to see that format.

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  53. I vaguely remember hearing that and I thought I read it in Bret's book that Bundy refused to put him over back when Bret was champion, though Bundy did refuse to do a lot of jobs because he was very protective of his character and being a big draw on the indy circuit. I'm guessing Vince must have spiked Bundy's drink with something to get him to agree to job to Shawn Michaels.

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  54. I remember hearing rumors that WWF wanted to put the tag titles on Bam Bam and Bundy. That would have worked too as the new Natural Disasters.

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  55. Stick it out. By the time Watts comes in and gives us the best week of wrestling in 1995 (heel beat down of HBK, Diesel and Taker) it'll be worth it.

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  56. Take your time finishing Raw. It will probably be another year until we get the next 100 hours of Nitro.

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  57. SPOILERS DUDE! Seriously, the nerve of some of you guys.

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  58. Tatanka should have been repackaged as Corporate Chris Chavis, complete with DiBiase's old tear away suits and $ sign ring gear.

    People just don't want to boo an Indian.

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  59. Less than a year. It was barely six months!

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  60. There wasn't much to the character. He was an Indian that did Indian stuff. Yeah, he turned for money but that still doesn't tell us much. That just wasn't enough to run with.

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  61. MikeyMike, WitnessAugust 30, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    I love these Raws. Keep reviewing!

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  62. I join the call for continuing with Raw, then when Nitro starts, which is what 10 more shows from your POV, Hopefully we can get Raw vs Nitro rants looking at what each show was putting out on the same day.

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  63. Which is why you make him a full-on sellout, adopting all of DiBiase's old gimmicks. Even give him the million dollar dream as a finisher.

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  64. DiBiase just wasn't a very good businessman. Probably living off a trust fund.

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  65. I fell like they won a good bit though. Like they won their survivor series match AFTER embarassing Luger at Summerslam.

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  66. Hakushi/Kid and Kid/Roadie are perfect examples of what they should have been doing with Kid ALL THE TIME

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  67. Please stick with Raw, even though the show is about to take a large quality drop for a few months. That kind of garbage can make for fun reviews. Also, this stretch hasn't been chronicled too often.

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  68. Yeah surprised it took WWF two years after the fact to do any good to give Steve Austin that gimmick (adopting DiBiase's finisher and giving him the million dollar belt).

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  69. They had a few surprising wins here and there, but for the most part were booked like losers.

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  70. I vote for side by side reviews (was that an option?). I was one of those west coast fans that could watch both shows, but I haven't watched either in a long time. Plus RAW is about to get really dreary and it'll be fun dissecting Mongo's insane commentary.


    I kind of like the idea of you reviewing Nitro though, since you've seen so few episodes.

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  71. Duckman and WWE? That's some quality Ed Ferrera synergy there.

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  72. My guess is that he was like Donald Trump. Just living off of his dad's money and business acumen.

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  73. I did watch the first IYH (only $15 for a ppv? WHATADEAL) and the Brer/Hakusi match was more than worth it.

    I'd been solidly watching all the WCW ppvs in 94-95 and this was when I kind of switched back from WCW to WWF and never really looked back.

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  74. It was weird that Bret was in the midcard for almost an entire year, but spent that entire year beating newcomers. (Hakushi twice, Yankem twice, Lafitte twice, I think he beat Waylon too). So it was nice of him to step down from the title picture, but... he basically did "bury" most newcomers, and he didn't really need the win, and beating Breat would have made those newcomers, etc etc etc.

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  75. I say stick it out, otherwise you will trigger my OCD. If we aren't through the worst of it now, we have to be close, right?

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  76. I guess I compare it to Cena beating Cesaro, Sandow and Wyatt last year whille in between title reigns.

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  77. Could put it on Yoko.

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  78. and he could put it on his fat wife too. (hey, HE said it in his book, not me)

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  79. Cesaro and Wyatt were/are up and coming stars. Those guys Bret beat were mid card filler. And anyone who says Cena buried those guys is an idiot. Only the Wyatt 30 match comes to close to a burying.

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  80. ah ok, glad you didn't see it as burials, you and I are 2 of the rare ones.



    And I'd say that Hakushi definitely did have breakout potential right at the start, he was like a breath of fresh air out there. and MAYBE Lafitte.... possibly... kind of... maybe...

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  81. That had potential but WWE never saw it. WWE clearly sees, or did, potential in Cesaro and Wyatt.

    Cena didn't bury Wyatt, but him going over at 30 is easily one of dumbest decisions made in 2014.

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  82. Yep, I see people focus solely on the Wyatt win, where it was very tainted, while ignoring that both of Cena's wins were not exactly on the up and up either (Wyatt got cocky and basically let him win at WM 30, and Cena trapped Wyatt so he was forced to stay down for the 10 count, Wyatt was still willing to fight)

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  83. Anything other than Wyatt winning decisively at 30 and moving on to a blood feud with Bryan for the title is wrong.

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  84. But the big money match for mid 2014 was Cena/Brock. Cena simply could not lose his preceeding feud. The only argument I'll accept is that he could have feuded with someone else, and Wyatt could have won another feud in the mean time.

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  85. No, it was Bryan/Brock. At the time of 30, Cena didn't have to be protected for anything.

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  86. Well in hindsight, I guess they lucked out then. Cause had Cena gone into SummerSlam having lost to Bryan, Orton AND Wyatt, then Brock squashing him just wouldn't have meant as much.

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  87. Please. Cena is bullet proof for life and has been for some time now.

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  88. By the way, where the hell is everyone else? Did people here suddenly get a life, and I was not notified of it?

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  89. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywQgFMMxvUo


    Man, I loved King Booker. Sole bright spot of 2006 SmackDown

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  90. Batista trying not to laugh was great.



    And I also loved how his "angry ghetto" side often came out during his promos. Great character indeed.

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  91. MikeyMike, WitnessAugust 30, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    I was trying to think of another bright spot but I couldn't. Were London and Kendrick a thing in 06?

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  92. MikeyMike, WitnessAugust 30, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    Armageddon 08 is a solid show. Great go home matches, a good Cena-Jericho match, and Punk-Mysterio was fun,

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