Last week: Pete Lothario suffered a crippling injury at the hands of Sid Vicious, and fans were so outraged they called the WWF headquarters to demand to know why Jose Lothario was not taken out with him.
THE HONKY TONK MAN draws announce duties for the second night in a row, paired with the ever excited VINCE MCMAHON for the go-home show before the Rumble.
HUNTER HEARST HELMSLEY and JERRY LAWLER vs. GOLDUST and MARC MERO (with Marlena and Sable)
Two weeks ago, Hunter knocked down Marlena, which somehow has resulted in Goldust being named the #1 contender. Goldust goes right for Helmsley, but he breaks away quickly and makes eyes at Marlena. Lawler and Mero pair off, and Mero wipes the floor with the King. Lawler dives to his corner, and clings on to Hunter’s legs for safety like a terrified child. Eventually he sucks it up and decides to get back on the horse, and takes a big left from the boxer. Lawler manages to hold Mero hostage, drawing in Hunter for a cheap shot – but Mero ducks and Lawler eats it in the chops. Man alive, these guys are less coordinated than High Voltage. Helmsley finally takes the tag officially, and gets backdropped across the ring. Goldust gets the tag, and Hunter rushes to the safety of his corner, tagging in Lawler as fast as he can. I’m downright confused by the notion of Triple H showing that much ass against Goldust of all people, I can’t promise my system won’t shut down and go into shock at some point during this match. I’ve spent the last 15 years being led to believe that Hunter was the model from which all future wrestlers would be chiselled; a god I am not permitted to pray to as I am not worthy. All wrestlers tremble before his almighty manhood, but yet, Goldust scares the crap out of him? Of course, I wasn’t able to tell from that angle, but it’s entirely possible Goldust was fully erect; and Triple H needed to make haste to save his heterosexual image. Hunter starts causing a series of distractions with Goldust, and they’re able to double team Mero in the corner. Mero is able to get the hot tag, and Lawler rushes to his corner for the tag… only to see Hunter walking away. Lawler begs him to come back, and manages to rake the eyes to stop the attack. Now Triple H is willing to play ball, and they double team him ‘til Mero is brought back in. Helmsley pulls Mero to the floor, and Lawler gets in a free shot with his Invisible International Object. Because this is never going to end, we’ll need to throw in a commercial break.
Mero is snapping off a rana when we come back, and Goldust begs for the tag. Hunter tries to cut off the ring, but Mero gets to the corner, and Goldust dives on Helmsley with a ground and pound. An uppercut sends Helmsley flying backwards, and he gets tied up in the ropes. Goldust happily advances, and chokes Hunter in the ropes until he draws a DQ at 11:22. Mero gets in Goldust’s face, so Goldust punches HIM. Mero stands there in shock, as Hunter manages to squirm away. This entire match was a totally disjointed with zero flow, and they could have lopped 5 or 6 minutes off and got to the same result without aggravating the piss out of me. *
Earlier today, in the Alamodome (home of the Royal Rumble, this Sunday for the low low price of much more than $9.95), SYCHO SID stands in the empty arena, and whispers about all the pain he’s going to cause Shawn’s mother, Jose Lothario, and all his friends from his hometown. From the highest seat in the roof (in the roof?!?), they’ll see the look that tells them that Sid is the Master and Ruler of the World. I love the fact that Sid, given the week off RAW, decided that he would drive to San Antonio a week in advance of the pay-per-view, and stand around inside an empty arena screaming at absolutely nobody at all. What did he do as soon as the camera turned off? Did he just up and leave and find the nearest Sonic for some lunch? Did he tape Sid shirts under each individual chair so he can do his finest Oprah impression this weekend? “YOU GET A SHIRT – AND YOU GET A SHIRT!” Did he set up the ring? Did he stand in front of the concession stands, wrestling with the emotional choice of corn dog or nachos, before realizing there was nobody there? Honestly, I don’t even care for the rest of the matches tonight, I need to know what Sid is doing.
Meanwhile, LIVE, from San Antonio, SHAWN MICHAELS is partying with his 300 closest friends. Vince replays all the attacks on the Lothario family in recent months, including multiple shots of the powerbomb on Pete. Michaels figures if Sid wants to get cheap, he can be just as dirty, because he’s a Texan. “I’m all man, and at least a yard wide, if you know what I’m talking about.” I’m glad he brought it up; I was worried we’d go another week without a State Of His Penis address. Michaels reminds us that he’s the man, and the leader of the New Generation. “Nobody can work his ass into the ground like me!” Even from atop a cactus?
BRET HART comes gimping down to ringside following Steve Austin’s attack last night on Superstars. He joins the commentary team, and if he’s in a mood, he should be fun.
THE BRITISH BULLDOG vs. ROCKY MAIVIA
Bret calls Rocky the most promising wrestler he’s ever seen. I’ll give him credit for being a killer judge of character, because between that stupid grin and haircut, I’d have figured he was about 14 months shy of being feature endeavored. Bret’s sick of Steve Austin trying to end his career, and finds that the WWF has turned into a lawless land. As a result, he’s going to start playing by his own rules, and vows to turn Austin’s knees into talcum powder. Rocky hiptosses Bulldog around, while Honky changes the subject from Rocky because he’s sick to death of the verbal fellating. Honky promises to keep a close eye on Bret this weekend, because he’s still looking for a protégé. Bret doesn’t ignore it, because he may need some help in this lawless land. That leads to both guys jumping on Bret, reminding him there’s lots of rules around here. Bret: “You haven’t been watching my matches then.” CLARENCE MASON comes down to ringside to fire up the Bulldog and get him back in this. Bulldog, fully inspired, gets back in the ring so Rocky can continue working over his shoulder. That draws OWEN HART and his Slammy down to ringside, and heads right over to Bret to show off his award. Bret’s irritated with his annoying little brother, since things have been so harmonious at the Hart home over the Christmas holidays and here he is ruining things again. They stare each other down as we head to break.
Back from commercial, Owen’s still burning a hole through Bret. Rocky gets a close 2 off a sunset flip, but Bulldog pops up and hits a clothesline. Rocky hits a crossbody for 2, and Bulldog turns around with a standing vertical suplex for 2. Bret promises to win the Royal Rumble this weekend, bad ankle and all, as Rocky fires himself up with a Flip Flop and Fly. Cactus clothesline sees them both careen to the floor with some series momentum, and now STEVE AUSTIN bumrushes the Bulldog. Bret stands to fight, but Owen’s got his back to the Bulldog and has no idea what’s up – so he just keeps himself in Bret’s way. Bulldog eats a Stunner, and by the time Bret’s able to hop after him, AND Owen spies him, Austin’s already made his way to the back. Bulldog is counted out at 9:13. They ain’t much on the wrestling tonight, are they? *1/2
THE NATION OF DOMINATION are back in the locker room, and Vince asks if it’ll be every man for himself at the Rumble. Faarooq tells him there’s no chance, they’ll be completely unified as one.
A live shot airs of the party in San Antonio, and I’d LOVE to know just how in the hell ROCKY MAIVIA got from New York to Texas in the last 3 minutes.
THE UNDERTAKER vs. KONA CRUSH (with Faarooq, PG-13, and Clarence Mason)
The Undertaker goes right after Crush before PG-13 can even finish their pre-match rap, throwing him face first into the steps. Off the bell, Taker plants him with a DDT, and drops the leg. He heads up for Old School, but Faarooq shakes the ropes and Taker crashes down right on his rosary beads. Crush charges, but Taker backdrops him to the floor, and uses the break to shake off the ball-shot. Crush is pulled back to the apron, but he drops down with a jawbreaker and turns the tide. A spike piledriver gets Faarooq’s nodding approval. They move to the floor, and Taker is gently dropped face first across the guardrail. I’ve seen mothers put their babies to sleep with more aggression than that. VADER shows up at the top of the ramp, staring at Undertaker as we move to a commercial.
Crush works a head vice when we return, and the fans fire up a “JAILBIRD” chant. Vince hypes next week’s show, which will see the winner of the Royal Rumble take on the loser of the WWF Championship match. The fans work to rally Taker as he takes a backbreaker. Crush heads to the second rope, which is probably not where a man of his size belongs. Lo and behold, he misses a fist drop, and Undertaker takes over. A jumping clothesline sets up the Tombstone, but Crush drops off the back and hits a uranage! Crush holds his fist in the air to show off his black power, but Taker sits up and chokeslams him quickly. The Nation has enough, and attacks for the DQ at 8:41. *1/2
With Taker beaten down by the Nation, Vader takes advantage, hitting a pair of Vaderbombs! AHMED JOHNSON rushes down to save, smacking Crush in the back of the head with a 2x4 – but the Nation gangs up and stops that fast. Faarooq smashes it over Ahmed’s back a few times as we head off the air.
This was the end of a taping cycle; and they did their best to hype the Rumble with what they had, but man alive are these ever stale by the time we get to them. Thankfully, next week is live, and it’s fantastic. Granted, it won’t feature a 45 minute match during La Femme Nikita, but Bret Hart makes up for it. Stay tuned!