Thursday, October 16, 2014

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW–08.21.95

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 08.21.95

Ad Roulette: It’s the WWE logo again. Anyone want to start a betting pool on this?

This past week on Superstars: Kama beats the shit out of the weird goth follower of the Undertaker as that storyline gets written off in one fell swoop.

Taped from Worcestershire Sauce, MA.

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler.

Men on a Mission v. Roy Raymond & Joe Hancock

Why are MOM doing a tag team squash the week before Mabel gets a title shot? Mabel beats on Hancock and puts him down with a tree slam, and Mo gets the world’s worst press slam on him. Mabel piledrives him but the other jobber valiantly comes in and gets beat up as well. Mo drops a Sags-level flying elbow for two, and then picks him up so that Mabel can finish with the belly to belly at 3:00. Mabel calls out the Allied Powers for some bizarre reason, even though they had already broken up by that point.

Meanwhile, Dean Douglas gives Mabel a grade of “NC” for “New champion”. This gimmick is death.

1-2-3 Kid v. Brooklyn Brawler

Hilarity from Vince as he bashes the last Tyson fight and promises “No ripoffs on our PPVs!” Sure, just like the September In Your House, where they guaranteed a title change in the main event and then weaselled out of it. Brawler pounds away for a bit, but Kid finishes with spinkick and sideroll at 1:00. And then we get Stridex humor on the replay. Thankfully Kid’s heel turn was coming quickly.

Undertaker v. Tatanka

Taker is understandably irked at the Corporation and he calmly beats on Tatanka for a couple of minutes before getting slammed. Papoose to Go and Tatanka has no followup for it, lamely slugging away on the mat and then choking him down. Tatanka goes to a chinlock and that goes on for a while to say the least. Taker fights out and makes the comeback, but we take a break. Back with Tatanka slugging away again and hitting a clothesline, but Taker puts him out of his misery with a chokeslam and tombstone at 8:43.

Summerslam Insider with Todd! Kama v. Undertaker is now a casket match, because Kama beat up that goth guy, so, you know, CASKET MATCH. Also, the British Bulldog is having trouble finding Lex Luger. Because, you know, he had quit two weeks earlier and all.

Tee Vee Trivia! So basically it’s the usual insecure WWF segment, as they do a fake game show where they point out that they have “award winning broadcast journalists” and featured the return of William Shatner in 1995. At least these days they have REAL stuff to crow about. This was kind of the precursor to Billionaire Ted.

Jean Pierre LaFitte v. Scott Taylor

Taylor quickly gets a flying bodypress, but tries a rana and gets dropped and LaFitte stomps him down. Middle rope elbowdrop and backbreaker set up the Cannonball to finish at 3:00.

Diesel is out for his pre-Summerslam interview, but Bulldog interrupts because he’s unable to find Lex Luger due to medical emergency in Atlanta (ie, having about $100,000 a year surgically removed from his wallet), but Bulldog still really wants to accept MOM’s challenge tonight. So it’s Diesel & Bulldog v. MOM next!

Diesel & British Bulldog v. Men on a Mission

Diesel starts with Mo and pounds him down in the corner, and it’s over to Bulldog, who promptly turns on Big D for the no contest at 2:00. This was actually the first time that Bulldog was a heel and he immediately does a fine job of it, and even shaves off his greasy long hair as a part of the turn. Sadly the eventual blowoff was so bad that it single-handedly caused Vince McMahon to change the direction of the company, but this was really well done.

Next week: Nothing, it’s tennis.

The week after: Nothing, still tennis. But some other show debuts.

The week after THAT: Sid v. Shawn Michaels! That’ll teach WCW who the boss of Monday night is.

59 comments:

  1. This period was so bad.

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  2. I remember as a kid being in total shock at the Bulldog's turn, and half-expected Mabel to somehow win at SummerSlam. Come on, their Champion is DIESEL. Mabel beating him didn't seem impossible.

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  3. Can't agree more. For the few things WWF was doing right, it wasn't enough to balance the stuff that made you go "what the hell is this?". One notable midcard angle: I loved how almost immediately after HOG and the Corporation did their "he's working for us, but he's not good enough to be us" turn, they did almost the exact same bit with Skip and Rad Radford, before introducing "Zip" as the newest Bodydonna because Radford failed the test.

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  4. So, what exactly led Vince to change the company from the Bulldog/Diesel match? Did he just realize that Nash kind of sucks and couldn't carry a match, or really be carried in a match by anyone not named Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels? Or did he just see that Nash wasn't that over, or what?

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  5. Holy crap, this episode is like the land that workrate forgot.

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  6. If we're talking IYH 4, everything about it was disastrous. Besides the poor wrestling, Diesel couldn't buy sympathy heat that night if it were on clearance like CM Punk's merchandise. Plus he had become such a non-draw at that point. Things started turning around shortly after Diesel dropped the title, so it was a good move, I guess. Then they fell again by the Summer.

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  7. Undertaker vs. Tatanka was a solid 1-star match. :P

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  8. Screw Raw! Let's get to Starrcade '95!

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  9. Interesting. This eventually led to the title drop to Bret and Nash's heel turn right? The cool heel stuff I thought was Nash's best work in the WWE and it was kind of a precursor to the NWO.

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  10. Vince berating them as the broadcast went off the air is still pretty funny though. Underrated dopey moment

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  11. Agreed. Tweener Nash immediately got me interested, especially when he turned full heel at MSG before Mania. I couldn't wait to see Shawn kick ass his ass. (mark in '96 version of me saying this). Face Diesel bored me to sleep.

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  12. I've never seen the match. What did he say?

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  13. Well since apparently three fucking RAW episodes is their idea of content additions, I'll have plenty of time to get there this weekend.

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  14. Go back to Nitro!

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  15. Nothing happened on the actual broadcast, but according to Meltzer, Vince was just pissed at how poor the quality of the show turned out and (allegedly) chewed Nash out while leaving the ring area.

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  16. Since ads began, I've watched about 10 programs and seen only one true ad.

    So my jaded "90% of the ads will be for the WWE Network" comment was right on the money.

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  17. Has there ever been any logical reason why the internet thinks Shane Douglas sucks but also thinks the Kliq ruined him at the same time?

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  18. I don't think it was exactly a public dressing-down. It was reported that as soon as they were off air, Vince threw his glasses down (or actually broke them in half), said "Terrible," and stormed off back to the locker room.

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  19. Is that like the riddle does a tree falling over make a sound if no one is around to hear it?

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  20. Whatever was going on in Vince's mind, that night was enough for Captain Stubborn to finally pull the plug on Big Daddy Cool. I honestly could see Vince keeping it on Diesel for the Mania 12 (minus Ironman rules, of course) and just ignoring giving it to Bret had things not gone so downhill in '95.

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  21. CruelConnectionNumber2October 17, 2014 at 1:34 AM

    Douglas ruled in WCW 92-93 with Steamboat. He was a very good worker in ECW until he totally milked the "super cheater" heel role with Francine as valet. Dude was the WORST to watch from 1997-99. He was abominable in WCW in 1999-2000. Afterwards just a shell of his WCW 2000 self, which was a cracked shell with a turd sitting inside it. So... 1993-1996, he ruled. 1997-forever after, the shits. He had the talent in the WWF but his gimmick/match layout prevented it. He gradually got lazy and sunk back into it around 97. Still the best heel worker in ECW history. Raven was the best heel character.

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  22. The Ghost Of Meekin's MoobsOctober 17, 2014 at 1:34 AM

    Threadjack: The great Caliber Winfield doesn't know the difference between a mask and facepaint: http://411mania.com/wrestling/the-411-wrestling-top-5-top-5-masked-wrestlers/

    I do apologise for bringing 411 into proceedings.

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  23. CruelConnectionNumber2October 17, 2014 at 1:38 AM

    Keep in mind WCW 1992-93 had more exposure than TNA today... but lesser venues and was equally as bush league. Douglas 92-93 was equivalent to today's uh... Eddie Edwards stature. Very hard working babyface tag guy who didn't totally connect with the crowd but the smarks were like "This dude tries."

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  24. CruelConnectionNumber2October 17, 2014 at 1:45 AM

    Yeah... Calliber went full retard there. WWF was actually phasing OUT the Warrior face paint in 1990 and he did a bunch of promos with only a tiny emblem (think UT "tear drop" phase) that year. Then they changed their mind. He was never hiding his face, just like Sting wasn't and was shown without paint all the time (but with shades on). Opinion on 411Mania has always been the same as Wayne Campbell on the "Suck Cut" device -- "It certainly does suck."

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  25. CruelConnectionNumber2October 17, 2014 at 1:48 AM

    Tons of racist comments all throughout that show. Kimberly Page - "Hey, this isn't some bath house!" OH OH and Kanemoto and Otani's pictures in their match graphics are SWITCHED. They all look alike, I guess! Otani is also keyed as "Ootani" for completists sake.

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  26. CruelConnectionNumber2October 17, 2014 at 1:52 AM

    Nash's back was fucked up by Mabel at SummerSlam and British Bulldog was the SHITTIEST HEEL EVER so I don't blame Nash for that. Bret/HBK feud was definitely a breath of fresh air, though. I still say Nash (at his best in 94-96) never got great programs. Vince's fault.

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  27. CruelConnectionNumber2October 17, 2014 at 1:54 AM

    12 year old smark me that watched ECW: "Mabel was winning the title because Nash couldn't powerbomb him. Shawn beats Mabel at WrestleMania. This is 100% happening." I attended KOTR 1995 so Mabel was ingrained in my head as the new Andre the Giant.

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  28. Caliber went full retard a while ago

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  29. Ootani is perfectable acceptable for conveying the double O sound in 大谷. An O with a line over it also works.

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  30. CruelConnectionNumber2October 17, 2014 at 2:50 AM

    This is WCW, home of "Ultimate" Dragon and The Great Mota.

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  31. I just watched a Nitro with Yuji Nagata on it, and goddamn he was boring. But he's apparently a world champion and legend in Japan. Is his Japanese work significantly better?

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  32. I never thought it was fair the way it was talked about Nash being booed at IYH4. It's just terrible booking, the terrible booking that plagued his reign from the opening seconds. Why would you have your face champion brawl with Bret Hart in Canada? What did they expect?

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  33. I used to watch that on Saturday mornings.


    The old folks on the board will get that, you damn kids use your damn google.

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  34. RAW aired on Friday nights back then, I was at a club that night (no booze allowed, 14 to 18 years olds only, stupid drinking laws!!) Anyway, I was just hanging with a friend when I saw the Bulldog/Diesel segment on a TV in the corner, started to watch it (on mute of course). When the hell turn happened, I was in 100% shock for the rest of the night. I couldn't talk about anything else. Hell, a girl could have jumped on me, and I would have said "Do you know what the Bulldog was thinking???????"

    Long story short: It was a very shocking heel turn for me. :)

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  35. And Rick Flair, for gods sake

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  36. And who could forget the Heart Foundation of Bret Clarke and Jim Niedhart.

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  37. Yes and no. He is more tolerable in Japan, but his WCW run was terrible. I hated him as a kid strictly from watching WCW. I started catching his Japan work, and while he does come off better, im still no fan

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  38. He threatened to fire Mabel after the poor showing and hearing he injured Nash (after he had been hurting other wrestlers, namely jobbers, all year long). Nash talked Vince off the ledge on the firing Mabel deal, but yea both guys lost alot of confidence with Vinny

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  39. Extant1979 Most Must-See BoDerOctober 17, 2014 at 6:08 AM

    A 411 column with Watry AND Caliber? Holy shit, that might earn the World Record of Suck.


    Greatest Masked Wrestlers, Sting and Ultimate Warrior? Was that a shoot or a botch?

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  40. I don't think it was the Kliq, but the guys who thought that an evil teacher gimmick will get him over. Maybe that were the same guys which thought that evel dentists or race drivers or hockey players or rednecks with yellow shirts will get over...

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  41. Douglas was very adaptable, but that awful gimmick plus the Kliq had him in a coffin before he even had time to shed said awful gimmick.

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  42. I love Watry. (This probably surprises 0 people).

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  43. He didn't ALWAYS suck and Dean Douglas was a good gimmick on the wrong guy, at the wrong time. After his WWF run he kept equating himself with Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair while his in ring stuff rapidly declined, he was actually a really good wrestler before that. Douglas continued to talk himself up as being the level of wrestlers much better than him while never delivering the performances to back it up and lived off "I never hit in the big time because Dick Flair this or Shawn Michaels that."

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  44. Yes. I was amazed at how much his in ring stuff declined when he returned to ECW in 1996. He was a good in ring performer and totally fell apart after that.

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  45. Yep, The reason I don't like him is because of his delusions of grandeur, combined with his non stop whining and blaming everyone else for his shortcomings.

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  46. YankeesHoganTripleHFanOctober 17, 2014 at 7:04 AM

    I forgot all about the days when USA would occasionally air Raw is Tennis! (or Raw is Dogs.)

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  47. Yeah I'd heard that story, jusr misunderstood and thought part made tge broadcast

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  48. They should have fired that Vince guy. ;-)

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  49. Extant1979 Most Must-See BoDerOctober 17, 2014 at 7:40 AM

    Why must you be so contrarian?

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  50. The match sucked, but at the end Vince (in his role really as just a commentator, they hadn't yet totally let on that he was owner and all) just got up and started berating the both of them as the PPV went off the air. So basically to the mark eye, it just looks like an announcer telling the wresters they did a shitty job. Scott mentioned it in a post maybe a month ago too I believe - that was pretty much the final straw as champion Diesel and they pulled the plug there.

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  51. I thought it happened on the broadcast? Or maybe it's just the stories over the years, but could've sworn at one point I've seen tape of Vince getting up, taking off the headset and yelling at both of them while they were still in the ring. Or maybe I'm just like Homer at the cult and when a movie is boring I make up my own one in my head...

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  52. Besides which, looking like a great worker when in the ring with steamboat, austin(yes even 1992 austin) and pillman is no great trick. . .

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  53. Speaking of it always used to drive me nuts when people would have signs for Bret Hart that said, "Brett" - when in the hell did his name have an extra t?

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  54. CruelConnectionNumber2October 17, 2014 at 10:38 AM

    Sure, but he was clearly more athletic and talented than some of the other stiffs in the ring at the time (Van Hammer, Johnny Gunn, Bobby Walker, Erik Watts) and got the push because of it.

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  55. CruelConnectionNumber2October 17, 2014 at 10:39 AM

    I hated Nagata in WCW. I totally enjoy the matches of OLD MAN NAGATA during the past two G1 tournaments, he's great.

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  56. Scott, it seems you're under the impression Luger had left already by this point but he was actually still there (he even appears at Summerslam briefly), and until Bulldog's heel turn on this RAW, the Allied Powers hadn't broken up yet. I think Luger worked for them literally until the last show before Nitro which would be 9/3/95.

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