Thursday, September 18, 2014

September Classics: Cactus Jack vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley - RAW 9/22/97

A memorable moment in RAW history, as Cactus Jack makes his debut.


71 comments:

  1. Awesome moment/match, and they played off of it beautifully a couple of years later when Hunter and Foley had their WWF title feud.

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  3. Top five all-time Raw episode.

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  4. This feels relevant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_TPEPxSUbc

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  5. That Raw is the template for how to build a wrestling TV episode. Absolutely masterful.

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  6. I feel like whenever I watch a 97 WWF show and there's not a Foley-HHH match I'm not actually watching a 97 WWF show.

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  7. Or a Bret Hart tirade against America!

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  8. Extant1979 - Ghetto SuperstarSeptember 18, 2014 at 1:51 PM

    The only appropriate response to this is:


    "Did somebody say 3 minutes...?"

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  9. Same one as when Austin stunned Vince?

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  10. True. 1997 Raw was awesome. Can't wait for it to get added to the Network.

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  11. Sometimes I wish more wrestlers had alter egos that they could pull out when shit got serious.

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  12. 1997 Raw had the feeling that they were THIS close to anarchy, with all hell breaking loose in so many feuds & angles. It was a great year.

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  13. Steve here!


    And Larson!


    Top 10 WORST losses on Raw EVAR!

    Evar, Steve? The show's not exactly more than a couple decades...


    ...FOR ALL TIME!!!


    .......okay.

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  14. So I'm assuming no one thinks Vince/HHH has him be a "shitty" wrestler on purpose?

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  15. I mean, maybe now, but certainly not when he was main eventing Wrestlemania. He was working with John Cena, one of the top performers of this generation, and they couldn't even break ***. That says more about Miz than it does Cena.

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  17. No argument there although I thought that was a good match personally. The biggest stars doing media and movies have never been great wrestlers. I think a lot of guys know this and dont worry about being great mat technicians. Why beat your body up just to break 3 stars?

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  18. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomerySeptember 18, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    Still one of my favorite moments ever. Marked out like crazy when WWE 13 had this too.

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  19. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomerySeptember 18, 2014 at 2:51 PM

    I think that's the big reason WWE never felt comfortable pushing Punk as THE guy, or as a 1b to Cena, because he was too much of an introvert to be a face of the company and be out there in the media.

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  20. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomerySeptember 18, 2014 at 2:52 PM

    Yeah I loved the ascension to credible guy, but I thought the title and WM headline was too much, too fast while he was still trying to learn. They treated him as a finished product when he wasn't.

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  21. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomerySeptember 18, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    THREE MINUTES AND WE OUTTA HERE

    My mom loved that theme for some reason

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  22. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomerySeptember 18, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    WWE.com and their online stuff has been fantastic since Joey Styles was handed the reins. They just need to keep producing it, and promoting it, because I think casual fans would dig it as much as we do

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  23. Yessir, he wasn't through with him, not through with him by a long shot.


    Fucking LEGEND.

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  24. Top five all time Raw moment for sure. From the tremendous video package to Hunter selling the *shit* out of Cactus's entrance, to the crazy brawl that followed, all of it is legendary Attitude stuff.


    I believe Foley mentions on one of his seven career retrospectives that Hunter could've made the whole thing seem like nonsense if he just blew off that Foley was wearing different tights, but instead H made it way more memorable by selling Jack's entrance like the devil had just appeared on screen.


    Such good stuff.

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  25. He mentioned that in his book, but it was about his 2000 Rumble match. So I guess technically, HHH sold fear for Cactus both times.

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  26. Might be my favorite episode ever.

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  27. Raw really was War for a while there.

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  28. That was always my complaint about Punk.


    You wanna be the number one super duper top guy in the company?


    You are more than welcome to try to work harder than John, on both sides of the camera.

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  29. Foley was either talking about this or the angle wher Cactus returned for the 2000 Rumble. Either way, he was correct: Hunter was awesome.

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  30. Ahhh ok. Personally I think this return is 1,000x more memorable than 2000.

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  31. Their rumble 2000 match was awesome and for years was my favorite WWF match of all time. I watched it recently though and didn't quite hold up to that level in my mind (still great though). That was the match where HHH really broke through I think. It was always easy to credit Foley with bumping like a maniac, but HHH carried that match I thought

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  32. Goosebumps every time.

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  33. I've been watching old Pat Patterson matches and heels like the Miz and Mizdow would benefit a ton from studying his tapes.

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  34. It also just dawned on me that both times that Cactus Jack appeared to fight HHH, it was at MSG.

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  35. I remember as I was watching that Raw in 99, that HHH smoking Mankind with the ring bell was a nice touch. Then, when Mankind cleared the ring, and whipped his mask off, I went 1986 Hogan-level mark while wondering "Did Cactus Jack just reappear?" The next night on Smackdown, it was confirmed...and I marked out again.

    That's what the current writers don't bother to do: set upa big angle with little hints as to what's coming. You want to make compelling TV, make the audience wonder and THINK. Oh...that's right, the money-making demographic for WWE is the four-toothed chain smoking inbred hillbilly who will drop a couple bills getting their kid decked out head to toe in Hustle, Loyalty, Respect gear. FML.

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  36. Funny thing is, after this super loaded show, Nitro still crushed Raw something like 4.5 to 2.3 in the ratings that week. The NWO was still untouchable for another 5-6 months I guess.

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  37. I was gonna make a certain reply to that, but your last sentence is pretty much spot on. :)

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  38. Love this moment/match! The entire interview with Mankind and Dude was awesome in building Cactus Jack.

    CACTUS JACK.....IS BACK!

    Triple H's reaction is fantastic as well. It worked so well because Triple H legitimately looked terrified and he knew he was gonna get his ass kicked.

    And then they had a hell of a match. One of my favorite Raw matches/moments and it's not even the most memorable moment from this show!

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  39. Yeah I was thinking about that too, makes sense it's basically Foley's home arena.

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  40. I've recently been watching NWO era Nitro's because I didn't really watch much WCW ever.

    Yes NWO drew a shit ton but I haven't really been enjoying the shows nearly as much as Austin era Raw.

    NWO ain't got shit on ol' Stone Cold.

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  41. The nWo got real old real quick as far as an actual storyline, there was enough craziness too it all that people still to tune in but as far as I was concerned my interest ended by the time Waltman was around and he was barely member #6 of 108.

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  42. I never really visited sites like this back then (I didn't even have internet till '98), so I was completely unaware of all the ratings stuff as it was happening. I flipped back and forth like everyone else, but I just thought that WWF was way better all throughout '97. After both promotions' PPVs in October '97 (Hogan/Piper in the cage vs. Shawn/Undertaker in the cell), I thought it was blatantly clear to every wrestling fan which promotion was better. So years later when I started visiting sites like this (411, Rantsylvania, etc), I was shocked to learn that more people were watching WCW than WWF in late '97.

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  43. Yeah I think the match itself is way better from 2000, but this angle and especially that damn video makes this top 5 of all time stuff for me.

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  44. My buddy had a satellite so we could catch Nitro live from the east coast then run across the street and watch Raw taped for the west coast. I always thought Raw was better but then I never left after Hulkamania, I was totally content watching Bret and Shawn whip asses all across the 90's.

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  45. I'm at Starrcade 1996 in my viewing and I've gotten a bit tired of it too.

    Syxx was probably the first member to join where I felt like he devalued the concept. Before him it was Dibiase and Giant who both worked at least because Dibiase was the money and Giant was the protection. But then Virgil joined and Syxx joined.

    Syxx was a lower level guy in WWF and now he's in the NWO. What.

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  46. I don't hate this match or anything, but I've never really liked it... or their equally-beloved cage match... or any Triple H match before the Royal Rumble street fight.

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  47. Well at least for IWC people (was still very early in the internet age), he was a Kliq member. For me, it was when there was some sort of open invitation, and anyone could join, around late 1996. So Bagwell, Wallstreet, Big Bubba and Norton all joined. SMELL THE STAR POWER!

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  48. Also, I don't wanna sound like a Hogan hater because he's done some great stuff. But after the turn and his BATB promo, not a lot of what he has been doing actually works for me. Stuff he tried to get over like "Heeeeeeere's the NWO!" And "anything less would be uncivilized" just didn't work and his improv trash talk was pretty lame.

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  49. Yep I just got past that part. Right after Bischoff turned and he said any WCW wrestler could convert their contract into an NWO contract. First volunteer? Marcus Bagwell.

    easily my favorite part of this era of Nitro so far has been the building of Sting rather than the NWO.

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  50. Yeah, Hogan didn't do a whole lot of character evolution for quite a long time. Nash tells great stories about the three of them cutting those first black and white promos and how he basically just did a Hulk Hogan promo and the editing team had to cut around it to make those quick cut promo videos that were so great. It makes perfect sense to me.

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  51. I can take or leave the match, but the opening video is fantastic! Foley's ability to give each one of his personas a distinct personality and style was something to behold.

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  52. I love how they came full circle 2 and a half years later with HHH winning the MSG Street Fight.

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  53. November was when Raw started to really gain momentum. In fact, the December 22 show is pretty notable because Raw actually won the final hour, which was the first victory of any sort for Raw in like 70 weeks.

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  54. I'd give anything to be a major fan watching the Bret/Vince confrontation from July '97 live when it happened. I mean, the obscenity tirade from 3 months later was obviously edgier, but that pull-apart brawl felt so real and must've been pure chaos for fringe smarks watching at the time.

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  55. And to add to that, he could also stop mentioning over and over how he's out the door the moment his contract expires (which he did twice really)

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  56. Yep, although I remember hearing rumours (possibly complete speculation) that Cena purposely tanked that match because he didn't like the Miz. I don't buy it for a second, but I remember him being especially harsh with him (and with Del Rio, for that matter) on the mic. Didn't he say something like "I'm tired of trying to make average look awesome" to one of them during a promo back in late 2011? A very shoot-ish and un-Cena like comment.

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  57. Angry, bitter midcarders trying to break through to the main event are always great characters. Worked with heel Austin, worked with heel Cena, and for a while it worked with heel Miz (and heel Mr Kennedy, with whom I think Miz shares a lot of similarities) too.

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  58. Wasn't he aligned with Laurinaitis for a while, or am I imagining that?

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  59. His wrestlemania video was the shit, i marked out when it happened at the show.

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  60. didnt he also get a huge concussion and doesnt even remember most of the match too?

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  61. yea he won the match for team johnny. the best is when lauranitis used to do the picture in the ring haha. i kinda miss ace in some ways.

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  62. i tell you what he definitely knows how to play an old school heel to the t. im hoping he gets somewhat back to where he was.

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  63. I really thought in 2010-11 Miz was going to breakthrough to the next level. But he's really not good in the ring and the company just doesn't have any sort of mindset for how to make him better.

    Like MVP got great by working with Benoit for four months. They just don't have anyone who can make guys BETTER anymore.

    Miz worked with a selfish Randy Orton and a super old Jerry Lawler.

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  64. He didn't get the concussion until very near the false finish, which I think is why the restart finish was so rushed.

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  65. His offense was the drizzling shits.

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  66. I've never been a big Miz guy, but yeah, this is the most I've liked in a long time. He's nailing this character pretty good.

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  67. CruelConnectionNumber2September 18, 2014 at 8:10 PM

    The Miz hasn't been interesting since his ladder match with Jerry Lawler.

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  68. Why isn't this stuff on the Network?

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  69. exactly. todays (pop) culture has become so "geeky" that it has become very easy to picture even "casuals" debating over most of those lists/features.

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