Friday, September 5, 2014

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW–05.22.95

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 05.22.95

What is the deal with the 98 era RAWs on the Network where the graphic has “Viewer discretion advised” plastered across it? There’s two versions of each of those shows in the archives, and both are rated TV-14 with the ominous parental warning at the beginning. Was there extra nudity and swearing or something?

Taped from Binghamton NY.

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler.

Razor Ramon v. Mike Bell

So as Vince brings up on commentary, this was the week where they did the completely random Jarrett-Ramon IC title switch in Quebec, which I’m assuming was some sort of political deal relating to the nasty promotional war with the Rougeaus at the time. Bell tries a hammerlock and gets rebuffed as apparently Ramon has qualified for the KOTR in between shows, beating Jacob Blu. Yeah, that’s what the roster was like at this point. Corner clothesline and blockbuster slam set up an STF, as Ramon tortures the poor jobber to amuse Savio Vega. Chokeslam and Razor’s Edge finish at 4:15.

Bret Hart joins us at ringside and he wants Jerry Lawler in one last match so he can destroy him once and for all. Lawler cowers and Bret calls him “lower than shit”, badgering him into picking whatever kind of match he wants to settle it. No answer is forthcoming, because Lawler is the classic Memphis heel who talks big and then backs down.

Hunter Hearst Helmsley v. John Crystal

And so the reign of terror begins. Crystal works on a hammerlock, but Hunter makes the ropes and slaps the guy around in the corner. Leg lariat and he debuts the formal bow (one of the only moves he used to do effectively for a long time) and finishes with the Ace Crusher at 2:34. Vince is pretty impressed! Maybe he’ll fix him up with his daughter.

Mr. Backlund outlines his policies as President: He would ban calculators and computers, and mandate that everyone read one great American novel per week. NO SUMMER VACATIONS. See, when they can edit him down into soundbites and contain the crazy, he’s hilarious.

The Allied Powers v. Bill Payne & Tony Devito

The Powers quickly double-team Payne and Bulldog finishes with a powerslam at 3:00. They were really downplaying them as a team at this point due to Bulldog’s rampant legal troubles. This was more of a backdrop for Vince messing with Lawler over the Bret Hart thing.

Kama v. Barry Horowitz

Horowitz manages to trick Kama to the floor, but gets beat on in the ring with Kama’s dazzling array of punches. Half-crab finishes at 2:11.

Shawn Michaels v. King Kong Bundy

Really, in retrospect the result here was never in doubt. I mean, were we really gonna see King King Kong Bundy? That’s just SILLY. Shawn slugs away in the corner and then jumps to the floor to clown with Dibiase in a funny spot, but Bundy whips him out of the ring. Shawn is instantly the world’s greatest babyface in his first match back after his turn. Bundy hammers him and follows with a backdrop, then goes to a bearhug, which Shawn tries to reverse into a sunset flip. Bundy sits on him for two, however. To the chinlock, but we take a break and return with Shawn hitting the superkick for the pin at 8:00. Wow, Bundy lays down clean. This was about as good as you were gonna get out of him. ** Diesel and Bigelow come out to make amends afterwards, thus rekindling the bromance while Bigelow is the weirdo hanging out with them because they think he’s funny when he’s drunk.

Next week: Undertaker v. Jeff Jarrett!

68 comments:

  1. Razor had a vicious choke slam.

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  2. It's a shame Bam Bam didn't remain heel a little while longer post-WrestleMania because him vs. Shawn had the capacity to be pretty awesome.

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  3. Was this it for Bundy? I remember he pretty much dropped off the face of the earth after this match, never to be seen again.

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  4. This was before my time as a fan, but I watched the Michaels-Bundy match on Youtube and wonder if anyone originally watching was thinking Diesel and Bigelow would turn on Michaels there, it seems like the logical thing, why wouldn't Diesel just go it alone?

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  5. What were Bulldog's legal troubles at the time of this?

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  6. What were the issues with the Rougeaus?

    Reading one classic novel per week is a legitimately good idea. I love how in WWE, reading is seen as a bad thing. One of the best unintentional comedy moments of recent years was Cole talking up Ryback's intelligence by saying "he reads one or even two books per MONTH!"

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  7. Adam "Colorado" CurrySeptember 5, 2014 at 12:51 AM

    In retrospect, they should have.

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  8. Too bad Ryback was reading See Spot Run instead of Wrestling for Dummies. ..

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  9. He did work a match against Bud Bundy. .

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  10. I always thought those edited shows were a Benoit thing (the first edited show I noticed was the Raw where he comes back from neck surgery) but they also did one for the Funk/Foley hardcore match episode of Raw. Who knows anymore.

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  11. I always thought the Shawn matchups against big slugs were pretty not-bad. He has a match against Yokozuna in 1996 that was pretty quick and I thought was inoffensive considering where Yoko was at that point.

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  12. I don't want to sound rude, but after watching the last Macho Man DVD set I thought that every match from him was the same. He didn't had that much variety in his moves. On the mic he was god, his outfits even better :-) but his matches were very similar IMO.

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  13. Shawn is the greatest in-ring babyface ever; however, this high school crap he was doing with Diesel was the worst. He still doesn't know how to be a babyface outside of the ring. The guy was made to be heel.

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  14. I just watched this too and Vince is the worst. HE'S ROCKIN DA HOUSE! Sounding like that dad trying to be cool. Just no Vince.

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  15. "He has a voracious appetite for KNOWLEDGE King, sometimes reading one or two books per month!"

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  16. Did the dude in the bar tell her "With all due respect, please do not flatter yourself"?

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  17. I believe Vince is WAY too excited about Shawn Michaels during most of his commentary in this era.

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  18. Yep, he actually had 2 RAW matches against him in 1996. One after the Rumble, the other the night after SummerSlam.

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  19. Virgil's Gimmick TableSeptember 5, 2014 at 5:50 AM

    I always get creeped out when Shawn is dancing and Vince starts going "OHOHOHHH. OHHH YEAH."

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  20. It led to me never really liking Shawn until late 2003. I always thought Bret was cooler.

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  21. I've always thought that Shawn was the guy that Vince wanted to be.

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  22. For some reason in my old age i get more appreciative of the guys who can have a great match with a useless opponent than i did when i was younger. Part of why i've finally become a Hogan fan. Shawn was just so great at bumping like a pinball off of big guys. i think his best mode was against medium-big guys though: Kama, Mankind, even Cena. Someone who isn't so big that Shawn can't throw offense in but is big enough that he can still do all the big bumps and fly around. And then when you get someone like Cena or Foley who are great in their own right? Money all around.

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  23. I love Savage but this is a big drawback. He got beat up all match to the point where it was boring. By the time the comeback happened, I was like "let's get this over with".

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  24. As opposed to who?

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  25. We've established here before how amorous Vince was about mid-90s stripper Shawn: http://www.wrestlinglol.com/images/vlcsnap2011012001h45m46.png
    Which carried over to Jesus Shawn: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMezkmjVpys#t=56s

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  26. I voted for Nova because not only did he invent the shoot interview, he also invented developmental.

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  27. I seem to recall him jobbing to Henry Godwinn and getting slopped on Superstars later that year.

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  28. Viewer discretion are uncensored. I know for a fact the other ones go black and white when there is blood. Not sure what else.

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  29. You can watch every Raw from 1997-2003 here: http://watchwrestling.ch/home/watch-wwf-attitude-era-year-1998/

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  30. He was a big presence on the indie circuit in the northeast through the early 2000s, but this was definitely his last big league run. He even won the "AWA" title in 1999.

    Considering how he's based in New Jersey, I was always surprised that he never did more work with ECW except for a one-shot appearance at November to Remember 93.

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  31. I never ever got the Bigelow face turn. I think he should have gone MORE heel after the LT loss to prove it was a fluke.


    Hell, you could have had Bigelow get meaner and set up a Diesel/Bam Bam feud. Anything to avoid Diesel/Sid

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  32. I now want to watch every Flash Funk match with Vince on the call. I remember his commentary being... interesting when Scorp was out there.

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  33. Is it only $9.99?

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  34. The Rock for one

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  35. Brian, since you often offer some comments about the shoots in the vote thread, how would you feel about putting some brief pro/con bites in the posts themselves to give potential voters some info to work with?

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  36. He wasn't much better in 96 with "The Clique."
    I was fine with his babyface second run.

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  37. He made it to October-ish and then went bye-byes

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  38. YankeesHoganTripleHFanSeptember 5, 2014 at 7:07 AM

    Speaking of King Kong Bundy I want to know when Bud Bundy is going to get his rematch.

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  39. Extant1979 - Ghetto SuperstarSeptember 5, 2014 at 7:07 AM

    The nWo attacks?

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  40. Wasn't Hunter's finisher called something hideous like the Pedigree Pandemonium?

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  41. you are aware that Savage vs. Michaels actually happened?

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  42. OH HE'S SOOO FUNKY!!!

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  43. I remember reading rumors at that time (1996) about them actually having a "thing".

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  44. Translation:


    "Seriously people! Do not watch the WWE Network!! I badly want it to fail!!! Everybody cancel right now!!"

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  45. wwf had sid figured all wrong, all he needed to do was add a little aerial assault to his offense....

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  46. I kind of got it. It was a lot like when Razor turned face after losing to the Kid. He hit rock bottom, and even heels were on his case, so he turned face, and regained his confidence, and was better than ever. I think they were going for the same thing here, they just didn't go all the way.

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  47. Yeah, I noticed that as well. It's really weird. It popped up as a recommendation when I was looking at the listings for the Savage and Sting set but I can't find it doing a search.

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  48. Except the WWE network has hardly any Raws from 97 to 2003 despite probably being the most demanded years of the show.

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  49. Bam Bam never needed DiBiase, but he also wasn't very good at being a face. They should have done a deal where Bam Bam fires DiBiase, but instead of turning face, he adopts a loose cannon type of gimmick where announcers could put over that DiBiase was the one that put a leash on him, and now Bam Bam is the scary unpredictable heel or something.

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  50. Maybe in the Russo era it would have happened. This was a different era where they liked to tell cutesy stories without a need for a swerve.

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  51. I felt like that was the only part of his offense that played up how big he was. He was like 6' 6" but had offense that made him look more Hart/Michaels size.

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  52. Another thing was that Bam Bam just played a boring face. I didn't want to hear promos how he gave it 110% and if he lost then that meant the other guy gave it 120%. I wanted to hear promos where he'd threaten to rip guys heads off. At least Razor got to keep his same heel character after the face turn. Razor was one of the few that WWF didn't try to make into a smiling babyface idiot after the turn.

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  53. Tyson Kidd glorified squashed Adam Rose?! That automatically puts him above Fandango, Damien Sandow, Curtis Axel, Titus O'Neill and Heath Slater who have all fallen to Rose the last few months on the totem pole.

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  54. It's close with Flair and Hogan, but even Bret Hars matches were more different, despite the five moves of doom.

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  55. Yeah, that is a good idea actually.

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  56. they are all pretty interesting but i think kelly's is the best. he's a very knowledgeable guy and he was in the wwf during their most interesting years (1996-2003). a lot of great stories, the only negative is the feinstein-level interviewer.

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  57. I would love if the Nova shoot was 2 1/2 hours of him talking about the inspiration for all of the moves he invented followed by him listing the names of performers who've stolen each move. Also, I wonder what Chris Chetti was like. Does anyone else think he might have been nice? He seems like he might have been nice.

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  58. Nova invented the shoot interview (didn't you know?!?!?!) so I'll have to go with that one. I'm sure there are at least a handful of chuckles to be had.

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  59. Damnit. Didn't scroll down before posting. Beat me to the punch. Well played, sir.

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  60. Savage had the best match on the card in 5 of the first 8 Wrestlemanias. Dig it?

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  61. Nope.


    Give it two weeks.

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  62. You are interrupting the HILARIOUS name game here.

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  63. Keirn, for the memphis and fab ones stuff especially. . .

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