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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW–06.19.95

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 06.19.95

Back into the breach I go.

Taped from Struthers, OH

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler

Undertaker v. Mike McReynolds

This guy looks like a shorter Stevie Richards without the muscle definition, and Undertaker destroys him with a chokeslam and tombstone at 1:00, before the smoke from his entrance even clears. Well you’d have to think Undertaker’s going pretty far in the King of the Ring tournament now, right?

Meanwhile, Man Mountain Rock is still really broken up over his guitar. It really tied the room together, man!

Adam Bomb v. Bill Payne

Apropos that Vince is hyping the Special Olympics during these shows, given the booking at the time. Bomb shrugs off Payne’s attack and beats on him in the corner, then follows with a sideslam as Vince notes that Razor Ramon probably won’t be at King of the Ring after all. That is honestly one of the few times I can recall where they didn’t just advertise the guy and then switch off before the show. Bomb finishes with the flying clothesline at 2:00, still without even a feud or storyline.

King of the Ring Report with Todd. They continue to focus on Jerry Lawler’s feet as the big drawing card here. And this is the go-home show!

Tatanka & Sid v. The Headshrinkers

Tatanka immediately makes the mistake of trying to hit Fatu in the head, and that goes badly for him. He comes back with his own stereotype power, the Native American chops, and tosses Fatu. Sadly, the chops cannot defeat the samoan skull much like the immovable force meeting the unstoppable object or something. I’m not 100% clear on the science here. Over to Sid, who beats on both savages like cutting through the Gordian knot with scissors (***) See, just like in the RAW scripts that were leaked, I left in a pause for everyone to pop for that one. I SAID, GO GET YOUR SQUEEGEE, SID. So we take a break and return with more excitement of Sid beating on Fatu, and Tatanka cuts off the tag before missing an elbow. Now, finally, hot tag Sionne, the man who epitomizes excitement and hot tags. Powerslam gets two. Hotshot gets two. Piledriver gets two and it’s BONZO GONZO, allowing Sid to powerbomb Fatu in the chaos. But rather than pin him, he ties him in the ropes and then powerbombs Sionne on the floor for Tatanka to pin at 11:00. Given they were main eventing the PPV coming up later that week, you’d think the proper booking would be for the heels to completely destroy the midcard goof tag team and thus actually look like a threat, instead of going back and forth with them and selling for dancin’ Fatu before squeezing out a win behind the ref’s back. *

Meanwhile, Jerry Lawler takes us on a tour of his dungeon and describes all the awful things he’s gonna do to Bret Hart. I will say that out of all the guys phoning in the buildup for this shitty PPV (some literally like Diesel) Lawler was the one who was 100% committed to getting the deal over and trying to draw money.

Hunter Hearst Helmsley v. Buck Quartermaine

I feel like this should have been a tag team. Hunter would be an 18th century dandy and Quartermaine could dress like Indiana Jones and be the manly 18th century adventurer and it would be like a wacky buddy cop movie. Helmsley with a backbreaker and he finishes with the Pedigree at 2:30.

Shawn Michaels v. Gus Kantarrakis

I actually had to look up the results of this show to figure out how to spell that jobber’s name. That’s far more work than this show warrants. Shawn clowns around with him and sits in the front row in a funny spot, then tosses him and suplexes him on the floor, then puts him down with a superkick out there. Back in, the crowd wants one more time, so he obliges with another superkick to finish at 4:15. Clearly, Shawn was 17 levels above everyone else in the promotion at this point, on a rocket to the World title and the only guy who the crowd was truly invested in. Frankly I’m shocked they didn’t manage to lose him to WCW at this point given the other decisions being made.

Next week: Jeff Jarrett v. Savio Vega for the IC title in another match to gum up the lineage! Also, King of the Ring 95 happens. Just accept it.

Comments

  1. You hit the nail on the head on the last rant, why on earth people thought WCW couldn't compete with this I've no idea.

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  2. As a kid, I kept thinking that Lawler doing all of this might affect his performance, as he would be super uncomfortable with such messed up feet, and it might put him at a disadvantage. And hey, he lost, so I was totally right!!!

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  3. And people wondered how Nitro would fare against RAW?


    I know WWF was the much bigger brand, but come on!

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  4. Stranger in the AlpsSeptember 8, 2014 at 12:40 PM

    You know what song was pretty popular around this time:
    "Wynona's Big Brown Beaver" by Primus. I enjoyed that song. I did not enjoy this episode. Although muting the volume on this show, and turning up 'Wynona's Big Brown Beaver" certainly gave The Undertaker's entrance some pop.

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  5. To be fair, RAW was doing ratings that were hitting all-time highs at this point, so there was certainly an argument there.

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  6. Have Adam Rose join. Or better yet, just have the bunny join the Wyatts.

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  7. His legendary martial arts kicks weren't as potent as they usually were.

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  8. I feel like for most of the time Vince was a pretty terrible booker. A great businessman, but a shitty wrestling booker.

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  9. I dig this a lot. For a comic book fan, I'm curious - are digital comics probably the way to go these days in terms of bang-for-buck? Comixology or what not?

    I've made it all the way up to the Hollywood Arc in Ultimate Spider-man and found those giant like, novel-sized trade paperbacks were a great value, but the smaller versions were pretty hefty. Then I spent 14 dollars on Spider-man: Reign, and then too much money on ASBAR, and gave up.


    PS - I thiiiinkkk you should review the Onslaught Saga.

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  10. Sadly Jim Ross was doing most of the day to day booking stuff at this point. You can't even blame Vince aside from the usual size fetish that demanded Mabel win the tournament.

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  11. Has Bomb ever had a storyline outside of the Harvey Wippleman deal?

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  12. Praise for funny Lawler reminds me of that time when he introduced his wife to the audience and she was like 25 years old.

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  13. I'll say again the booking was good as Mabel never looked weak and was booked like a main event monster heel, but it's just a shame they wasted really good booking on Mabel.

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  14. Cowardly heel lawler was pretty fun. He turned into a total goof during the attitude era when he was a face, but the fact that he and hart were able to get over a year out of that dopey feud was pretty amazing.

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  15. That's a bit too old for the King.

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  16. I think this may have been Headshrinkers last match, so Scott was right in saying they should have been destroyed here so it'd give a reason for Fatu to be repackaged a few months later.

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  17. Yep, being a lead-in for Duckman and Weird Science ended up working out great for them, at least until the usual break for tennis hit and killed their ratings momentum.

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  18. Course not, but I just love kayfabe explanation for things. Helps me sleep easier at night.

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  19. I did not think Ross was that high up at this point ... good to know. I always think of JR as pushing guys with legit athletic backgrounds to help get them over - a Mable/Savio Vega finals doesn't speak to that too well LOL.


    If you substitute Mabel for Bam Bam Bigelow, you could have really had something.

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  20. Has there ever been any other point in WWF's history where JR was the main booker. JR's has shown flashes during this period of being a good sensible booker.

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  21. Shawn Michaels doing a come-from-behind run through the corporation would have been fine, Undertaker running through everyone would have been fine, FUCKING ANYTHING would have been fine compared to what we got.

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  22. King Undertaker just would have been weird.

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  23. shit, if your going to insist on a giant lugheda - give it to Sid. At least he knows how to get over.

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  24. He knows how to get over except when being anchored by DiBiase.

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  25. I was really surprised the Headshrinkers went this far into the year TBH.
    And why the hell was he called "Sionne"? Everyone knew he was the Barbarian, yeah?

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  26. That is fair, but it definitely doesn't mean RAW was bulletproof, especially once a superior alternative was on. Within 3 months Nitro was winning more than it was losing.

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  27. I remember PWI was apoplectic about the Nitro thing. It seemed like they wanted it to fail

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  28. You may complain, but considering the speed you're posting these, we can only assume you're loving ranting on this shit.

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  29. WCW had been better than the WWF since the end of 93 by this point.

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  30. Ugh. what a tool he was. He got progressively worse too. I thought it was awesome when he quit in 2001 and Heyman took over.

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  31. Heyman's takeover as color commentator irked both Ross and McMahon, but the audience (including me) enjoyed it.

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  32. Scott's rants are fueled by Diesel Power.

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  33. Few things are as satisfying as discussing Tatanka for long periods of time.

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  34. I think by about the start of the nWo though, Raw had actually gotten a consistent lead hadn't it? I think HBK's run was a huge success at first and Raw was actually killing it. Then Hall showed up and the whole tide turned.

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  35. Can't argue it hurt the business in the (very) long-term.

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  36. I didn't, but then, I was too young to recall The Barbarian's first run and didn't remember what he'd looked like, and only figured it out on those ancient "This guy's real name is ______, and he was also THIS guy!" internet posts when I first discovered the online world of breaking kayfabe.

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  37. I guess his reflexes weren't fast enough to catch it.

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  38. You're right. From 4/1/96 to 5/13/96 RAW won every week. Nitro then won every week from 5/20/96 until 4/6/98.

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  39. What Nitro thing?

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  40. Did it? I mean, wouldn't one of those two been the one to hire and assign him in the first place? I remember a lot of ppl online hating lawler leaving, but as soon as heyman was on it was forgotten b/c he was much better at it. I mean, it turned out not to matter as the whole thing morphed into total stupidity that summer with the invasion angle and heyman's role in that, but those few months I thought really exposed how Lawler never refined his announcing game. And he's still there, 13 years later...

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  41. Yeah I hate that. Sionne sounds like a woman's name.

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  42. The Barbarian is pretty obvious for those that watched back then because they didn't even try to change his look.

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  43. Very close to their last match (June 22nd according to History of the WWE) and probably their last televised one (I didn't check that).

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  44. Believe it or not, he actually wrestled a couple of house show matches in the summer of 1994 as The Barbarian before being brought into the Headshrinkers.

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  45. LOOK AT 'EEM

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  46. Nitro premiering at the same time as RAW.

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  47. When was Nitro's last win? I'd have to assume sometime in the summer of 1998... Perhaps when Goldberg beat Hogan for the title?

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  48. Well of course. It's 45 minutes and I have tons of stupid fucking shit to talk about. But holy fuck do I hate this period so, so much. It's like Data trying the drink in Generations, where he knows it's terrible but enjoys the sensation of emotions so much.

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  49. I think the Warrior debut and the week they put Goldberg/DDP from Havoc on Nitro were the only two wins after that.

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  50. Virgil's Gimmick TableSeptember 8, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    I never got that name because that sounds like an Italian name, not a Samoan one.

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  51. From a hiring perspective it was a great hire. From a personality perspective I'm sure McMahon and Ross had some reservations. Fortunately Heyman knows how to do his job while still getting under your skin.

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  52. Not Daniels... Austin.

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  53. 10/26/98 when they re-telecast the main event of Halloween Havoc of World Champion Goldberg versus DDP.

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  54. I'll let you tell him.

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  55. He came back with a ridiculous haircut.

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  56. TOOT TOOT, oops sorry inner Tugboat. Now let me go with Russel Crowe and fight around the world.

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  57. I hear 16 was the limit and thats it.

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  58. I assume for copyright reasons as Headshrinker Sionne could belong to Vince while The Barbarian wouldn't.

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  59. That song seems like it would have fit well with the Goddwin's entrance.

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  60. King of the Ring had Tatanka in the MAIN EVENT! And then after that he just becomes a pretty big joke. So funny how different the roster looks a year later.

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  61. Tatanka was still a joke leading up to KOTR as well. The only time Tatanka could have main evented and not be laughed of the building would have been in 93.

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  62. MaffewOfBotchamaniaSeptember 8, 2014 at 3:02 PM

    Is there a serious reason why the ratings were so high during this time?

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  63. I think the cable market was growing around this time with more people getting cable. Not sure about America, but I think it'd be a valid reason for British viewers.

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  64. Oh and another reason, do you remember 90's television? There really wasn't much competition back then. Most of the stuff shown were just 80s reruns.

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  65. True, his feud with Luger was awful right from the get go. And then it kept going and going and going and...going. A feud where both parties came out looking significantly worse.

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  66. Bring on the king of the ring 95 re-rant!

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  67. Bring on everyone's comments where they rebook the event.

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  68. PIS. PIS.


    (Plot Induced Stupidity).


    I use CBR's Rumble's forum rules pretty tightly to judge power levels and such. Considering that Superman took a nuke later on, the lightning is just a low showing (like when Batman goes down to a lead pipe from a random thug, it's not a normal showing at all).

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  69. "My King of the Ring would be way better because it would have less Savio Vega matches!"

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  70. It's his real name.

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  71. Now Sione with one n, that's a man's name!

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  72. :( you did GaB '91!

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  73. "I will say that out of all the guys phoning in the buildup for this shitty PPV (some literally like Diesel) Lawler was the one who was 100% committed to getting the deal over and trying to draw money."
    And shockingly, his match got the biggest reaction of the night (aside from Shawn's entrance). Amazing how that works.

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  74. Having the booking team arrested isn't technically rebooking the event.

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  75. What about a Scott Sez? You never did any of the June shows when you were doing all those Scott Sez a couple of years back. God knows you could have plenty more to say about it ;)

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  76. They were? Last I recall they were basically doing the same ratings as now but a little lower.

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  77. how about? because Raw had been in that timeslot for over two years, so it had an established fan base. and going head-to-head people were obviously wondering if there were enough wrestling fans in the US to make two simultanious shows a success.

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  78. Adam "Colorado" CurrySeptember 8, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    http://gawker.com/9-year-old-in-pajamas-steals-city-bus-just-because-he-c-1631625939



    As least kids in Buffalo don't steal buses... yet.

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  79. I recall his reason being that he didn't like the King of the Ring shows.

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  80. Raw was getting a little higher ratings back then (usually mid 3s). Of course, the cable world is a lot higher now. Still, it's fun for a snicker.

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  81. say what you want about Lawler but the man is a professional.

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  82. The mom being 25? I'd argue that's a bit too young, he likes the moms around 30. Not the moms themselves, of course...

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  83. 90s television = Roseanne, Seinfeld, and Friends. None of which dared to touch a Monday night. Long live Monday night wrestling!

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  84. I'd tell him, but I wouldn't tell his wife!

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  85. You're not even getting half the story of what an embarrassment our transit system is right now due to cutbacks and labor problems. That was just the incident that happened to make national news.

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  86. I might but the original rant from the late 90s is pretty bad.

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  87. Nope, they were legitimately doing record high ratings. The show previous to this one was a 3.9, for instance, which was unheard of at the time and only beaten by the Flair-Hogan Clash match from 94.

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  88. No wonder Nash title reign was a disaster.... Tatanka was the number 2 heel in the company! They should have either turned Nash heel or had Luger turn heel. What a joke 95 was for wwf

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  89. Austin's simply playing it cool on his podcast because he certainly worked crowds different in WCCW, ECW, WCW, and WWF. Anyone who has watched Austin's matches can see that. Even Austin working a match for Shotgun Saturday Night in a nightclub in 1997 was different than how he worked a WrestleMania stadium show when he was on top.



    To pretend working a match in the TNA Impact Zone is the same as working a match at Madison Square Garden is kidding yourself.

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  90. You would have thought Nash as champion was can't miss and then they cook up this stuff: And according to Mountain Maxx -- I think the whole booking team was doped up during this year.

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  91. How can you pass up the chance to watch the unlikely journey of a carribbean legend for only $9.99

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  92. I for one recall fondly his 2006 return run

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  93. They did another 3.9 a couple of weeks later too. I would drop to a 2.7 rating in early July ending the four months straight of over 3.0 ratings. After that they went 3.1 / 3.8 / 3.4 / 3.2 / 3.4 / 3.2 before the MNW started.

    The first head to head week, RAW's rating dropped to a 2.2, which is closer to it's 1993 and 1994 numbers. It does kind of make you wonder how much Nitro raised the visibility of WCW overall to fans who didn't watch in 1994 and 1995, because they took such a big chunk of the audience right off the bat.

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  94. I don't own Onslaught Saga in trade and I'm unlikely to buy it since I read it in real time and didn't care for it. But I'll give you the cliffnotes version of my memories from 15+ years ago. I though the build to Onslaught was really good with Juggernaut getting punched across the state, Jean almost getting recruited and Post kidnapping 4 X-men into another dimension for a big fight and being like I'm the least of what you have to worry about. But I think the actual story was overlong and mired in nonsense. Onslaught's powers and origin just make no F-ing sense at all. About the only part I remember liking was Apocalypse meeting Sue Storm. That and I recall the Cable issues having fantastic art but Cable surviving a fight with Hulk was ludicrous. I recall the Wolverine issues with Elektra being particularly awful writing. And I think the ending is the stupidest thing ever with the best plan the Avengers and FF can come up with is lets run into this blob of energy and contain it with our bodies. So that's my 2-cents. My grade for it overall would be like a D.

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