Thursday, November 13, 2014

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW–11.20.95

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 11.20.95

Has anyone ever gotten an ad since the one time weeks ago that they started putting them on? I watch tons of content on the Network and I’ve only ever seen one. That would certainly match up with the definition of “limited”, but honestly I’m OK with one 30 second ad before each show. So it’s curious they appear to have dropped that idea.

LAST NIGHT! Diesel Power runs out of gas for good, as Bret Hart wins his third WWF title to put a merciful bullet in the reign of Kevin Nash.

LIVE from Richmond, VA!

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler.

The 1-2-3 Kid v. Hakushi

Kid works a headlock, but Hakushi goes an armbar while Marty Jannetty tries to run in and gets mugged by a roving gang of referees as we take a break. Damn punk refs! Back with Kid working on a chinlock, but Hakushi fights out and misses a dropkick. Kid drops an elbow for two. Flying splash gets two. Hakushi fights back with a spinkick and flying shoulderblock for two, and Kid bails to the floor. Hakushi tries to follow with a dive, but Dibiase pushes him off the top and Kid finishes with a leg lariat at 8:46. Didn’t really get going. **1/2 Marty Jannetty again tries to exact revenge, but this time Sid lays him out. This poor bastard.

In Your House SLAM JAM with Dok. So we’ve got Bret v. Bulldog and HOG v. HHH thus far. And no one buying it.

Skip of the Greenwich Bodydonnas v. Savio Vega

Before the match, Barry Didinski shills a jean jacket with various gaudy WWF logos on it. C’mon, even a Canadian wouldn’t stoop THAT low, and we pioneered jean jackets as formal wear! Savio slugs away and catapults Skip into the corner, but Skip gets a bodypress for two. Savio with a suplex and he throws chops in the corner, but Diesel (basically just dressed in Kevin Nash street clothes) comes out and beats up Skip to end the match at 3:00 or so. Poochie, you look like you have something to say…do you? He ain’t apologizing for his actions, because he’s not SOME CORPORATE PUPPET that was created by Vince any longer. In fact, 24 hours after he won the title, the suits told him to start smiling more, and he’s sick of it. So he’s back, basically. And he’s only high-fiving fans who wear his merchandise. That’s a distinctly Kevin Nash point of view. This was pretty mind-blowing, fourth-wall shattering stuff for the time, although now dripping with irony in that they based a whole storyline around a babyface getting neutered and seeking revenge for it, and then made the exact same mistake with Shawn Michaels immediately afterwards and nearly drove HIM to WCW as a result. I mean, Vince would never let him leave, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. Anyway, I wish Diesel would have cut this promo months beforehand, because it would have saved his title reign.

Shawn Michaels v. Owen Hart

So yeah, this is pretty famous. They trade some near-falls off a headlock to start and Shawn dropkicks him out of the ring while Vince notes all the terrible head injuries that Shawn sustained last night. FORESHADOWING. Owen clotheslines him out of the ring and follows with a baseball slide as the official count of Marines is up to “nine hoodlums”. Owen fires away with forearms back in the ring and follows with a backbreaker before going to the chinlock. Shawn fights out and Owen gets a leg lariat for two as we take a break. Back with Shawn making the comeback, but Owen cuts him off with a clothesline for two. Shawn slugs back but does a great job of selling his concussion problems, and he reverses a superplex attempt for two. Shawn makes the comeback with the flying forearm and flying elbow for two, but Owen hits him the ENZUIGIRI OF DEATH and goes for the Sharpshooter. Shawn fights him off and clotheslines him to the floor, but clowns around and passes out in the middle of the ring and EVERYONE FREAKS THE FUCK OUT. Match is stopped at 12:25 and the show just grinds to a jarring halt as no one seems to know what to do. We take a break and return with Vince himself assisting EMTs in the ring and no commentary, which gives it an extra sense of realness, exactly the sort of thing that Vince Russo spent years trying to duplicate with little success. Match was excellent before the wacky finish, by the way. ***1/2 Although it should be noted that WCW still won the night, 2.6 to 2.3, so it was not yet the reality era in WWF.

Really great show up and down this week.

Next week: Kama v. Undertaker!

90 comments:

  1. If the Syracuse Marine incident happened in the 2014 twitter/iwc/facebook/concussio-frenzy/everyone has a cameraphone days, what would have happened to Shawn in the WWE? Still wins the Rumble and title? Suspension? Would he lose all credibility?

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  2. I watch most of the original content and I've only had two ads so far. Even when I do, they're all for some low level products instead of the big names that were reported to have signed up.

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  3. Given how WWE is so military-friendly now, I suspect Michaels would get fired for getting into a fight with a bunch of Marines.

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  4. Suspension without a doubt. He definitely doesn't win the Rumble.

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  5. Adam "Colorado" CurryNovember 13, 2014 at 10:43 PM

    He would have already been suspended under the wellness policy.

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  6. Wasn't Russo a part of the booking team at this point?

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  7. he would take a 30 day vacation which he seemed to do a lot between 1994-1997

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  8. I got my first ad during the Live Stream today for a cell phone company I've never heard of. Weird ad where a mom tells kids to remove their thumbs.

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  9. I think I've posted about this before on the blog, but here goes again...why did WWF openly mention that Michaels was injured in a bar fight with a group of Marines? They're trying to build this guy as their next big babyface star, yet fighting servicemen automatically makes HBK look like a jerk. Why not just say "Michaels is injured and has to give up the belt" and be vague about it rather than chalk it up to a specific incident? Heck, they would've said HBK had a concussion, which would've eventually tied into the Owen angle from this show.

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  10. Diesel shoot: http://www.wwe.com/videos/playlists/raw-1000-videos-6

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  11. That's true. A fuck up like Shawn doesn't get very far in THIS BUSINESS today, and that's a good thing.

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  12. Adam "Colorado" CurryNovember 13, 2014 at 10:45 PM

    For him maybe, not for us.

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  13. I don't mean Shawn specifically, just druggies with attitudes.

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  14. At least it's money for them.

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  15. Orton is the only one. I think it's because Vince is pretty hard for him.

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  16. TELL ME A LIE and say that this angle doesn't scream of ratings war desperation on Vince's part.

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  17. "because vince has a pretty hard-on for him"


    FTFY

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  18. This storyline made me contemplate that maybe, pro wrestling WAS real. I was so worried for Shawn. I thought he was completely done for.


    Owen Hart was an asshole

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  19. I can't speak to its prettiness.

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  20. So if he doesn't win the Rumble, who does? Diesel? Taker? Sid? Bulldog? Owen?

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  21. One of the most famous RAWs of all time. HBK's collapse was scary live. Everyone bought it as real.


    Nitro countered with Hogan v. Sting.


    The Monday Night Wars.

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  22. Adam "Colorado" CurryNovember 13, 2014 at 11:05 PM

    Either Sid or Owen. Actually, Sid might have been gone by the Rumble.

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  23. I've gotten that ad twice over the last couple of days. It's oddly disturbing. Especially the end with the youngest kid being scolded for sucking on the severed thumb.

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  24. He might have been throwing out ideas, but according to Jim Cornette, he didn't start until after the RAW frkm England witn Owen and Davey.

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  25. Yeah cause they all play video games now.

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  26. I loved that angle. And I marked out like crazy when he made his return at the Rumble.

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  27. It worked because of Shawn. He's one of the best wrestling actors to ever enter the ring.

    I got why they did it, but always wished they'd have held off on Diesel losing the belt until mania against Shawn.

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  28. The RSPW exploded after this! People were actually calling hospitalstto get an update on Shawn's condition.

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  29. Then why would Diesel snap beforehand?

    They couldn't carry the Diesel Power gimmick like that all the way to Wrestlemania.

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  30. On the RAW Replay (not sure if this version was on the Network) they showed extra footage of Owen crying in a corner before Cornette and Fuji lead him away.

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  31. Depends what the footage actually shows. Nobody really knows what happened that night.

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  32. I'm guessing you're being sarcastic. I'm not on the road, but I would put heavy action on the wrestlers being cleaner than they were 19 years ago.

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  33. It was from Germany but aye.

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  34. CruelConnectionNumber2November 13, 2014 at 11:53 PM

    P sure after this one, Dave Scherer drove to Virginia and had his tape recorder outside the Richmond Memorial Hospital.

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  35. CruelConnectionNumber2November 13, 2014 at 11:56 PM

    WCW also ran STING VS. HULK HOGAN FOR FREE that night like morons.

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  36. Well, Hogan as a dying face that wasn't exactly moving #s at this point and I'd say they popped a pretty good buyrate at Starrcade in 1997.

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  37. Yeah this was a good angle at the time and even moreso now in retrospect as it kind of set a template for things to come.

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  38. This angle BLEW MY MIND at the time. Not only that, but almost every friend I had in college who was insistent that wrestling was fake *completely believed* that this was for real (as did I). What memories!!

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  39. I actually got my first ad today. KOTR 96. I've watched every PPV from 95 onward since ads supposedly started up so this is 1 in like...16 or so?

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  40. It's sad that I didn't buy Shawn's KO'dness. But only because I assumed that EVERYTHING in wrestling was always fake. Generally more true than not, but still.

    Some people are always like that. I remember my dad thinking that Owen Hart's death was an angle (of course, he didn't actually see the show and how people acted). It still beats the idiots who thought that wrestlers always used blood packets and had wires that helped them jump high.

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  41. They've stopped using the wires!?

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  42. Yeah- I figure that's why Vince stopped using Cruiserweights. Probably a business expense.

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  43. So that's why they've stopped doing bumps off the top of the Cell...Foley was so awesome at selling, it looked like it actually hurt.

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  44. Virgil's Gimmick TableNovember 14, 2014 at 2:12 AM

    I once had someone tell me the ring was a trampoline. Seriously.

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  45. I’m happy with it, but I tend to gag on any
    the over-the-top military worship.

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  46. Stranger in the AlpsNovember 14, 2014 at 3:03 AM

    I am not disappointed in your jean jacket mention. I have not lived in America so long that I have not forgotten the comfort you get from the feel of denim on your skin while falling asleep.

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  47. I still haven't seen the Diesel promo or the Shawn thing. Glad someone posted it below. I shall now watch it.

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  48. I think i've had 1 advert for every 8 VOD i watch. It's always the same one for American cell phones, so as a Brit it does nothing for me, i wonder if legitimate viewers from other countries get country specific adverts.

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  49. That Shawn thing would have freaked me out if I saw it live. I then would have been pissed to find out it was a work. I'm not cool with this kind of stuff as an angle.

    Diesel's promo didn't do anything for me. Maybe I had to be there.

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  50. At the time, I was hoping the "injury" would keep Shawn out forever. Yes, I hated Shawn back then.

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  51. I always love the look on people's faces when I tell them about blading and the chairs being real and not rubber. First there's denial, and then horror.

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  52. The Cosby sweater and front fanny pack take a little bit away from the Nash promo. It's still great.

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  53. Yep, where Hogan was still the invincible face, and Sting actually had him beat. That was mind blowing on its own.

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  54. Did he mention stunt grannies?

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  55. Yeah, I agree with Justin, Shawn beating Diesel for the belt would have been a more satisfying payoff rather than Bret beating Diesel for the title.


    And to answer your question, if WWF wanted to go the Diesel/Shawn route for WM12 then they could have easily tweaked things, like maybe Diesel turns on Shawn because he's jealous of his popularity, or maybe Diesel turns on Shawn after Shawn wins the Rumble because Diesel knows Shawn is the one man that can beat him. And they could have sowed the seeds beforehand with Diesel trying to convince HBK not to enter in the Rumble match because it's "too soon" after the concussion much like Angle persuaded Eddie not to enter the 2004 Rumble match.

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  56. It's been awhile so I forget but did WWF ever admit it was a group of marines? I always thought they described Shawn's attackers as "thugs".

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  57. Know what would be awesome? If WWF panic booked and decided to bring back Warrior a few months early and have him win the Rumble match after being the surprise entrant.

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  58. From the point of view of the rest of the planet, those 2 things are the same thing. *BOOM!*

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  59. Yeah I don't want to sound too smarky, but I always thought the Shawn concussion came off pretty hokey too and I didn't buy into it totally when it first happened. I did believe the 1-2-3 Kid neck injury with the Smokin Gunns earlier on in the year was real, however.

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  60. That only happens when Dennis Stamp is being booked.

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  61. And at least they didn't give away a winner like the Hogan/Goldberg match.

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  62. I wouldn't quite call Hogan invincible because he was doing the whole Phantom of the Opera thing at the time. If Hogan was wearing the Red & Yellow then his Hulkamaniac powers would have been at full compacity.

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  63. While I'm concerned for my brain remembering these tiny tidbits I don't think the Undertaker/Kama match happened as Kama was injured and replaced by Mo, but what I'm remembering incorrectly was that I thought this took place on Superstars and not Raw.

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  64. But we DO get a Brother Love segment... so call it a wash, right?

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  65. YankeesHoganTripleHFanNovember 14, 2014 at 6:44 AM

    OH TAG!

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  66. Yeah, what was up with that? If they brought Love back just so he could get beat up again, I'd understand that, but they brought him back and he quietly disappeared again shortly after.

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  67. YankeesHoganTripleHFanNovember 14, 2014 at 7:03 AM

    I know that everyone remember's the Ultimate Warrior "retiring" Brother Love, but for my money the best Brother Love beating was the one The Bossman gave him. I marked out SO HARD when Bossman dropped the ball and chain on his stomach.

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  68. I'm guessing it was partly that, and also to make Shawn the most sympathetic babyface of all babyfaces. It worked too, because the Royal Rumble crowd exploded for him.

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  69. I was 13 when this show aired and the HBK angle had me FREAKED out. In terms of "shoots" that weren't a shoot, that has to be near the top of the list. My second favorite, behind Bret cursing in 97 to kick off the Attitude era.

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  70. I also think it's funny that everyone says HBK flopped as champ in 96 but Raw was killing Nitro in the ratings until Scott Hall showed up on Nitro.

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  71. Do ratings really matter and determine someone a flop? I think Vince would have been more concerned with houseshow figures which was their main bread and butter at the time.

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  72. Yeah, what really got me was Owen showing concern also.

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  73. The reasons they decided to burn all that potential money to pop a rating never made any sense to me. That still stands out in a company that was littered with bad decisions

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  74. Any chance they would've just shot newcomer Vader into that slot? Never really thought about it b/c it was always shawn if he could go, but interesting thought. Does Vader get his monster heel push right off the bat and then shawn conquers him once he's healthy?

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  75. That's because that's when Nitro was being moved or pre-empted by the NBA playoffs. Raw always "won" when Nitro aired at 7pm.

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  76. Great freakout by Jesse, too. "THAT AIN'T 'JAIL,' THAT'S THE RING!"

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  77. I've gotten the same ad where the kid playing with his phone rips his thumbs off 3 or 4 times. That's it.

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  78. No, he wasn't doing that until April of '97. Got a ways to go.

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  79. He had shown at the '94 Survivor Series that he could break out the tears when need be.

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  80. Owen had to be used having tears in his eyes by having Bret as a brother. I'm sure Owen called Bret every morning to remind him with a tear in his eye that he was the greatest older brother a guy could have.

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  81. This. And whether or not it shows up feels random.

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  82. I can't remember if they mentioned it was marines or not, but even if they did, it wouldn't necessarily have the same socio-political weight that it would now. Not that servicemen were hated or lightly regarded in 1995, but the military wasn't put on a pedestal like they have been over the last 13 or 14 years. Getting into a fight with a marine would have been more of a "just two guys having a fight" thing than "how dare he disagree with one of those wonderful men in uniform?" It's a cliché, but it was a slightly different time.

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  83. Virgil's Gimmick TableNovember 14, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    That must be why it's so rare. I'll keep my eyes out though. You never know when he's gonna be booked.

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  84. Virgil's Gimmick TableNovember 14, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    No, but he mentioned blood capsules.

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  85. Man, you can really tell the whole promotion turned around once Bret got the strap back. That in your house ppv sounds must see!

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  86. This is what made me start checking the internet back in 95 to see if this way real, this is how i discovered the IWC and what turned me into the bitter smark i am today at 34

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  87. you should also mention that this timespan (from Michaels winning the belt to Hall showing up) was less than two months.

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  88. this. if it really was several guys beating on one I can hardly imagine the guy getting punished for it.

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  89. I don't tell people about this because it's real stupid.

    I mean, wrestling as a "fake fight in which (ideally) no one gets hurt" = a bit silly. but self mutilation to bleed? that's just weird and stupid.

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