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WWF RAW: January 27, 1997

Last week was one of the wildest, most unpredictable episodes of RAW seen since the Pillman gun angle a couple of months ago. Bret Hart, sick and tired of being jerked around quit the promotion out of frustration. Lead announcer Vince McMahon inexplicably rushed backstage to help appease whatever problems he was having; but why? This isn’t the first time it’s been insinuated on camera he’s got an awful lot more stroke than just calling the matches, and he’s slowly but surely getting outed as the puppet master behind it all.

Meanwhile, Steve Austin continued to trash talk everyone and anyone, and wound up getting into a brawl with just about every main event player on the roster as a result. Gorilla Monsoon also stripped Austin of his Wrestlemania title shot (but not his Rumble win), and booked a 4-way elimination match for the next pay-per-view amongst every wrestler directly impacted by Steve’s shenanigans, with the winner going to Mania.


This week, we’re taped, still hanging out in Beaumont, Texas. JERRY LAWLER and VINCE MCMAHON are off their cues during the opening segment, but eventually stop tripping over each other long enough to take us back to Savio Vega joining the Nation at MSG on Saturday.

AHMED JOHNSON vs. KONA CRUSH (with PG-13, D’Lo Brown, Clarence Mason, and a Well Dressed Gentleman)

Faarooq is nowhere to be seen, but it doesn’t stop Crush from using chickenshit tactics; bumrushing Ahmed before the start of the match. That fares about as well as you’d expect against a freak of nature, and Crush takes a powerslam. The axekick connects, and the Superman punches has Crush seeing stars. Following a mule kick, Crush rolls out of the way of an elbowdrop and takes over the offense with an atomic drop. As is the norm with Ahmed, Crush focuses on the kidneys, hammering in a few punches before applying a bodyscissors. With his nemesis down, FAAROOQ decides to rear his ugly head as we take a quick break.

We’re back just in time to see Ahmed hitting Crush with the electric chair, but he’s in so much pain that it’s Crush who gets to his feet first. He hits a sidewalk slam and heads up, but Ahmed cuts him off with a dropkick. Crush desperately grabs the referee in a facelock, giving Faarooq a chance to run down and throw Ahmed into the ring steps. Back in, the Heart Punch finishes at 5:43. BULL … SHIT. I know we’re months past the point of Johnson being a white-hot commodity, but Crush is positively worthless at this point. I’d feel much better watching Ahmed steamroll over the Nation on his way to Faarooq, before moving on to challenge for the WWF title sometime in the early summer. In the context of THEN, the sky is still the limit for Ahmed, and the cheap mid-card dickery needs to go. *

SHAWN MICHAELS answers the call of the locals, strutting down to the ring looking every bit the part of a Midnight Cowboy. VINCE MCMAHON pulls double-duty, and hops in the ring to talk about their upcoming Thursday RAW Thursday event on February 13. I’m going to assume the February 10th episode was pre-empted for the Westminster Dog Show, causing the need to shuffle things around. And no, if you’re new, that’s not sarcasm, there was a time when RAW was regularly bumped every single February in favor of the Dog Show, I shit you not. On the other hand, it’s hard to argue with quality entertainment such as watching the 1997 edition, where for the first and only time in the history of the show, the top prize was captured by a Standard Schnauzer (named Parsifal Di Casa Netzer, but I’m sure you already knew that), which was considered a fairly major upset in the face of the favored Wire Fox Terriers. Anyway, Shawn is scheduled to defend his belt against Sid one more time, and if he’s successful he moves to Wrestlemania against the winner of the Final Four. Michaels doesn’t particularly care, because every one of those guys has personal issues with Shawn already, and ultimately he’s going to remain the champion. Vince decides to stir up a hornets nest, and hauls out BRET HART.

Bret tells Shawn to do whatever he’s got to do to retain his belt, because he’s the one he wants at Wrestlemania. He wants no excuses from the Boytoy. Vince chastises Bret for underestimating Sid, which Bret denies, except to say he’ll be watching Shawn’s back in that matchup to ensure he stays healthy. This is your Wrestlemania main event, bet the farm kids.

Next out is THE UNDERTAKER, an interesting potential foe for Shawn, but we’ve got too much unsettled business with Bret to consider this a serious possibility. Taker admits that Bret has his respect, but he’s tired of Hart crying about being “screwed” all the time. He’s had the title snatched away countless times, and vows to bring the gold back to the dark side.

STEVE AUSTIN hauls JIM ROSS down as his personal announcer, and accuses the trio in the ring of orchestrating an ambush. He’s already tossed them out once, and he’s happy to do it again … but he’ll wait for the pay-per-view. At this point, he turns to head up the ramp, but spies VADER and PAUL BEARER. Austin takes a second to ponder which direction is safest, turns to the ring and tells them “on second thought, I’ll whoop your asses right now.” Of course, that turns out to be nonsense, as he tucks tail and heads up the ramp, stopping to yell a bunch at Vader before disappearing behind the curtain.

THE BRITISH BULLDOG (with Clarence Mason, Owen Hart, and Slammy) vs. DOUG FURNAS (with Phil LaFon)

Furnas actually pinned the Bulldog on Superstars yesterday morning as part of their elimination Superstars Bowl, so there’s a bit of an issue starting to develop here. I’m COMPLETELY on board with a push for the Cam-Am Connection. Furnas plants Bulldog with a dropkick square to the face, and Bulldog rolls to the floor where he channels his inner Steve Regal and lectures a fan. Back in, Furnas catches him with a standing vertical suplex for 2. Unfortunately, he misses a Stinger Splash, and falls to the floor right in front of Owen Hart. Owen plays nice, and doesn’t lay a hand on Doug. He doesn’t have to; Bulldog picks up the ring steps and slams it over Furnas’ prone body right in front of the referee. APPARENTLY this doesn’t warrant a disqualification, but a warning. Well, ok then! We need to take a break.

While we were away, AHMED JOHNSON, armed with a 2x4, kicked down to the locker room of the Nation of Domination. Unfortunately, they weren’t around. So the hunt continues.

Back to action, with Furnas caught in a rear chinlock. LaFon pounds the mat to try and rally his partner, but Bulldog looks right at LaFon and kicks Furnas in the face. Furnas throws some desperation chops, but Bulldog stops that with a Luger-style forearm smash; probably picked up during their days working as Allied Powers. A piledriver goes to finish, but Furnas is too thick and he backdrops out of it. Bulldog’s up quickly, and hits a snap suplex, leading back to a chinlock to grind him down further. Owen, meanwhile, is screaming about LaFon being an awful Canadian “just like my lousy brother Bret!” Bulldog goes for a running clothesline, but Furnas catches him and launches Bulldog with a belly to belly overhead. The Frankensteiner is set up, but Bulldog changes it mid-move into a powerbomb! Owen jumps onto the apron, so LaFon does the same to stop him, and in the mess he completely misses the reversed Irish whip sending Bulldog face first into the Slammy, allowing Furnas to roll through and … get 2. Damn it all, I smelled upset. Furnas decks Owen, and turns back to Bulldog with a sunset flip, but Bulldog sits forward stealing the SummerSlam 92 finish, and that’s all she wrote at 7:35. Bulldog feeds it to Owen for hitting him in the face, but Clarence Mason manages to keep the peace between the hot-headed Brit and Owen. **1/2

Earlier today, a press conference announced the signing of Tiger Jeet Singh’s son, TIGER ALI SINGH. This can’t end poorly!

VADER and MANKIND (with Paul Bearer) vs. THE GODWINNS (with Hillbilly Jim)

Phineas starts with Mankind, and they trade shots back and forth, causing little damage because they’ve both got rocks for brains. Henry heads in and slams Mankind, so Vader wants the tag but Mankind doesn’t want to give up, rocking back and forth and determined to do something. Phineas is thrown to the floor, and Vader waddles over to attack, so Mankind quickly rolls Phineas back in rather than let him do anything. It’s looking like there’s jealousy about where Paul’s attention’s been lately, and Mick ain’t having none of it. So, once they’re back in, Vader punches Mankind in the back to signify he’s tagging him, and he tees off on Phineas’ face. He punches Mankind in the shoulder to bring him back in, and Mankind locks on the Mandible Claw. Henry rushes in for the save, sending them both flying to the outside, Cactus clothesline style. Back to the apron, Phineas tries to bring Mankind back into the ring with a suplex, but Vader holds Mick’s legs for safety, and together they propel Phineas back to the floor. Henry rushes over the ringsteps with some pop to attack Vader, but he winds up stepping on Phineas’ face on his way by! Now THAT is focus on your opponent.

After a brief word from our sponsors, we’re back just in time for the hot tag from Henry, who starts clotheslining both guys to a decent pop (though god knows from WHO, the fans appear to be sitting on their thumbs). An elbow misses Vader, but Vader’s doesn’t and Henry is sent back to the floor. Mankind grabs a chair while HOG is held hostage; but Henry escapes. Mankind swings anyway, LONG after he’s rolled away, and smiles at Vader as he collapses. The referee spies it and calls for a DQ at 7:13. Vince doesn’t think Mankind has any remorse, but Lawler points out you can’t grieve forever. *1/2

Out in the parking lot, AHMED JOHNSON found the Nation packing up to leave, so he rushes in with his 2x4, slams it over Wolfie D’s head and throws him in the trunk of the car! The car takes off FAST before Ahmed can do anything, and despite him sprinting after it like an Olympic runner from Kenya, he fails to catch up.


Next week: The WWF gifts me an easy show by replaying the Royal Rumble in full. Plus, more on Bret vs Austin.

Comments

  1. I guess this would be the final 60 minute Raw then? Next week must be the Toronto house show with the Bret/Shawn face to face

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  2. Was just rewatching the Reigns interview segment from last night...god that moment when Heyman says Reigns would beat Stone Cold and the crowd shits on it and Heyman has this...god damn it...I knew this was going to happen why I am I here...look in his eyes.

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  3. They popped pretty good when Triple H mentioned fighting Sting and also popped when Sting pulled out the baseball bat and pointed at the sign. I'm not excited for the match either but that segment was good. And the crowd made some noise.

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  4. The Love-Matic Grampa!February 24, 2015 at 9:37 AM

    Vince: They're ENRAPTURED!

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  5. At least he doesn't overstay his welcome.

    Actually, it's a toss-up for me as to who I dislike more - Tom or Donna. They're both incredibly unlikeable, selfish bastards.

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  6. It's 100% setting up the Raw where Roman is cuffed to the ropes, Bryan tries to run away from Brock but Brock catches the lil guy and massacres him as Roman seethes. It'll be their attempt at turning Brock heel, and giving Roman a babyface motivation against Brock.

    Wrestlemania 31 is all about Roman Reigns winning one for the lil' guy.

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  7. Dr Facts is Reigns' #1 fanFebruary 24, 2015 at 9:38 AM

    YES BRIAN LEE RETURNS AS THE UNDERTAKER!

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  8. CHRIS TRAEGER #28? Ben Wyatt #25? BOTH behind Crazy Ira & The Douche?


    Worst List Ever *clapclapclapclapclap*

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  9. Oh man, I've just thought of the perfect skit.


    The Police Squad intro, but with a hearse instead of a Police Car. Searching for the Undertaker. :D

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  10. Charismatic eNegro Jef VinsonFebruary 24, 2015 at 9:39 AM

    He could be in a wheelchair like Hulk Hogan's brother in No Holds Barred

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  11. Fuckers been off tv for nearly a year.

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  12. The Love-Matic Grampa!February 24, 2015 at 9:39 AM

    Probably a wise move.

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  13. It was a 15 min segment involving Sting that got a mediocre pop at one point, when STing pulled out the bat. Considering that Sting is their big trump card at selling the show and has been on WWE TV twice in his whole career, the fact that the crowd was silent for 95% of the segment is pretty telling.

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  14. Dr Facts is Reigns' #1 fanFebruary 24, 2015 at 9:40 AM

    So, has the company ever explained why Bryan never got a title match since he never lost the title and had to give it up?

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  15. He's an utter throwback of a character - the old one-note "angry camp gay man" joke that should have died out with Will and Grace.

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  16. It was just sad. It was like the scene in an old movie where a baseball player tips his cap to the crowd after announcing his retirement. Same exact vibe. And when he came out for the main event he got almost no reaction, and maybe half the crowd did the "Yes!" chant mechanically--like when they do the "We The People!" chant with Swagger. Very little reaction when he scored the pinfall--maybe even some boos when he tagged himself in. It just felt like you were seeing the WWE Universe flat-out give up in him.

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  17. The Love-Matic Grampa!February 24, 2015 at 9:40 AM

    So, is it safe to say they've decided Mania will be a field goal this year instead of the customary touchdown?

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  18. Not true. I heard some definite laughter when the sledgehammer did a couple of standing moonsaults before settling down.

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  19. Dr Facts is Reigns' #1 fanFebruary 24, 2015 at 9:40 AM

    More like a safety

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  20. Because he entered himself into the Rumble and thereby forfeited his title shot.

    The explanation is basically Daniel Bryan is a fucking idiot.

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  21. Charismatic eNegro Jef VinsonFebruary 24, 2015 at 9:41 AM

    He started getting the crowd back behind him towards the end of the match though.

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  22. Telling stories.

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  23. Daniel Bryan defeated Daniel Bryan.

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  24. He has long hair and luscious Samoan lips.

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  25. Does Logan's RAW 98 recaps return today?

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  26. Charismatic eNegro Jef VinsonFebruary 24, 2015 at 9:42 AM

    Because he couldn't make title defenses during the 30 day period like that fighting champion Brock Lesnar.

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  27. For the love of God, somebody give Taker some roids already!

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  28. Dr Facts is Reigns' #1 fanFebruary 24, 2015 at 9:42 AM

    HA!

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  29. The homeless looking biker dude who shows up at Town Hall meetings is ranked over Dexheart, Dennis Feinstein, Ben Wyatt, Dr. Sapersteiner, and Chris Traeger.


    I've made it my mission to destroy this list.

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  30. Better to damage his credibility first, just in case.

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  31. It was so sad that even Roman...was...confused.

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  32. failed two point conversion.

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  33. He was loved, but eventually even Flair stopped getting a reaction after the way WCW handled him.

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  34. Charismatic eNegro Jef VinsonFebruary 24, 2015 at 9:43 AM

    He's a face. Faces are supposed to be stupid.

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  35. And then he'll return at Mania to promptly squash Bray Wyatt, and then WWE will spend the next 11 months wondering why nobody gives a shit about Bray Wyatt.


    Gawd fuck the fucking Undertaker. Hope the Mania crowd turns on his boring ass.

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  36. It'll be like that Simpsons moment where the player's leg, from the knee down, flies through the air in slow motion.

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  37. Yeah, a little. Similar to the PPV actually. They could probably salvage things if they just have Sheamus blindside him next week, and get Bryan all pissed off and fired up. But you know WWE: they rarely do stuff like that anymore.

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  38. Sigh...everyone gets a mediocre pop now, my friend.

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  39. I agree with your take. WWE has officially gone from people being upset over the direction of the product to not caring. I watched the top two matches from Fastlane live, and skimmed through the rest (I could do nothing but laugh when Roman Reigns won, as I expected what happened to happen from the day they announced the match... even though one guy is over, and the other one is not. Not sure why it has to be more difficult than it is, but like I said, I just don't care to be invested anymore).


    I had no interest in watching Raw last night, and I did not watch one minute of it. Spending 5 minutes to read a recap was enough for me, and that's pretty sad when you're talking about a Raw that's typically one of the bigger ones of the year, as WrestleMania build is now the focus.

    I love wrestling, I just don't care about the main WWE product anymore. I love NXT, and enjoy watching NJPW, Lucha Underground and ROH on occassion, along with classic stuff on WWE Network.

    So, they're getting my $9.99 a month which I guess makes them win, but apathy about the current product has set in, and based on the crowd reactions from the Rumble to Fastlane, it looks like it's setting in with everyone else.

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  40. Charismatic eNegro Jef VinsonFebruary 24, 2015 at 9:44 AM

    It will more like be the final drive of the last Superbowl where McMahon knows the corredt play is to give the ball to DBry and let him run with it but chooses otherwise.

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  41. I think you're just saying that because they're visible minorities.

    Racist.

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  42. Donna's selfishness improves by later seasons. They still make Tom pretty selfish.

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  43. "It just felt like you were seeing the WWE Universe flat-out give up in him." Yup, pretty much it. To me it was an official close to the Yes Era of Daniel Bryan's career. Pretty much the upward momentum that started around Mania 28 officially ended last night.

    He's basically now a scrappy lil midcard guy that nobody really cares much about.

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  44. In WWE "let's make sure nobody gets over" logic, sure.

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  45. Network under performing, no real interesting feuds built up, biggest draws barely appearing to promote it, most popular guy not part of anything worthwhile.

    I think this ones going wide into the stands and smacking some poor kid in the face leaving his nose a bloody mess.

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  46. UH-OH.

    "As noted earlier, WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar was at last night's WWE RAW in Nashville, TN, but was not used. Lesnar had been advertised for the show for awhile, and WWE.com even issued a "Breaking News" alert on their website stating that Lesnar would be on the show.

    Dave Meltzer noted on the latest episode of Wrestling Observer Radio that there was "more to the story," although he didn't know what the story is.

    "The story is ongoing and still in progress," Meltzer said. "I don't think anyone wants it out until whatever it is is settled... But something happened, but what that is, I do not know."

    Meltzer also noted that he doesn't think that the WrestleMania main event is in jeopardy at all, but that there "is an unanswered question, and I don't know what it is right now.""

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  47. Yeah- other than occasionally saying funny things, why am I supposed to like Tom?

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  48. The Love-Matic Grampa!February 24, 2015 at 9:47 AM

    They ended the Streak, massacred Cena, devalued every other babyface on the roster, wasted a Rock cameo and will serve up the biggest monster they ever created just so Roman Reigns can get booed out of the building in a month. And I'm sure he knows it, too.



    I actually feel bad for the guy.

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  49. It was heartbreaking, you could tell it was tearing Bryan apart. I think it's succeeded in making him just another guy though so well done to Vince.

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  50. Lesnar still hasn't decided if he'll re-sign yet?

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  51. "So, they're getting my $9.99 a month which I guess makes them win," That's 100% the main takeaway from all this. The fact that you're paying them $10 a month for a product you clearly don't like is absurd.

    NXT is on Hulu Plus next morning in full. Not to be a dick, but if you're paying for the Network you have zero right to complain about WWE at all.

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  52. intentional walk with no one on base.

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  53. Dr Facts is Reigns' #1 fanFebruary 24, 2015 at 9:48 AM

    I don't remember The God of the WWE, The Roman Emperor, Roman Reigns, the greatest wrestler of this generation battling The Living Legend, The Master of Hustle, Loyalty and Respect John Cena!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q31ZmnFlkSg

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  54. Because he occasionally says funny things. I like him because he is exactly how he's presented as. The occasional good friend who too often falls into the trap of being selfish.


    Leslie is worse than Donna or Tom because she's presented as the heart and kindness of the show and often times she's infinitely more selfish and self-centered than Donna or Tom.

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  55. Would laugh hard if he no-showed Mania.

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  56. 80%? Try everyone but Cena and Lesnar. I didn't see it, but it sounds like even Seth Rollins was made to look like a prelim guy last night when Steph treated him like a kindergartner who was misbehaving for speaking up. Roman Reigns was pinned by the Big Show a few weeks ago. The Ascention are nothing, but they were still an undefeated team until they lost to DARREN YOUNG last night.

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  57. The Orton always in his trunks discussion got me wondering. Booking aside, what are the little things the WWE could do to make the product more watchable or more "believable" (not the irish whip and running the ropes stuff)? Like more pre-taped segments, wrestlers not always in their ring gear, etc.

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  58. Aye, definitely. Also, just don't introduce new characters this late in a show's life. I think there's some traditional rule about not introducing a new character in Act 3.

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  59. Saddest thing was Reigns got a good pop coming out, and they were enjoying his promo. Then Bryan same out and the fans were like "wait, what is happening?" Then Heyman did his thing and the fans straight-up booed the blowjob they were being forced to watch.

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  60. Charismatic eNegro Jef VinsonFebruary 24, 2015 at 9:51 AM

    Dunn: "Hey Brock. Are you ready to go out to the ring?"
    Brock: "No."
    Dun: "....."

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  61. This is true, actually.

    I think the moral of the story is that the guy who gets constantly bullied is the only genuinely decent person in the ENTIRE FUCKING TOWN.

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  62. Yeah, there's a lot of selective hearing with you on this one.

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  63. That's because Cena is an old, grizzled veteran on his last legs.

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  64. The Love-Matic Grampa!February 24, 2015 at 9:51 AM

    Well, yeah. I'm just wondering how WWE will view it. I mean, they will never admit outright failure, but even they have to know how weak this Road to Wrestlemania has been.

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  65. That actually made me laugh out loud, well done :)

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  66. But Gary gets the last laugh because he's got an incredibly hot wife and a loving family.

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  67. Goddamnit. But they HAD something. Something (relatively) organic and popular. It was at baseball games and shit. Now they just have a big lug.

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  68. I just deal with the hyperbole and move on.

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  69. Oh shit I missed the part where fans were cheering and into this segment setting up the #2 Wrestlemania match? Please point me to the correct audio please, I'm only going off the one that aired on the PPV.

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  70. Cesaro & Bray Wyatt were getting babyface pops last year better than Reigns this year.

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  71. And a huge penis, IIRC.

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  72. Yeah, and I'm so glad about that, because it really really annoys me just how fucking arsey everyone - even the supposedly "lovely" people like Leslie - are to him. It's never been funny, it's always just felt spiteful - a total dischord in an otherwise fairly enjoyable show.

    (I'm taking this far too seriously, of course.)

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  73. Dr Facts is Reigns' #1 fanFebruary 24, 2015 at 9:53 AM

    Get it?

    https://uproxx.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/wlimmortals9.jpg?w=650&h=650

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  74. Sting is smiling proudly at Daniel Bryan.

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  75. The Love-Matic Grampa!February 24, 2015 at 9:54 AM

    Lowered standards.

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  76. So Creative essentially had nothing for Kalisto, AJ, and THE WORLD FUCKING CHAMPION on a THREE-HOUR SHOW?

    What do they get paid for? Honestly?

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  77. There were loud and audible "Sting" chants when he entered the ring. There was a pop when his music played. There was a large pop when he brought out the bat, and another large pop when he pointed. I don't get how you can dispute something that IS THERE.

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  78. They should have done more with the "Roman Empire" slogan concept. It's something for fans to get behind - much much better than this "One Versus All" shit.

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  79. Dr Facts is Reigns' #1 fanFebruary 24, 2015 at 9:54 AM

    Entertain their 70 year old roided up boss with his strange quirks.

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  80. I enjoy the Gary ribbing because it's funny and he's got a wonderful home life so he can handle all the jokes because "fuck y'all I got my wife, kids and a stack of mystery novels"

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  81. 97 bret is my favorite wrestling character ever!

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  82. YUP. With zero push and losing pretty much every match as part of a heel tag team, Cesaro was way more over as a babyface than Roman Reigns has been at any point in this run.

    Roman Reigns is by far the least over anyone has ever been in this position. (Getting the Mania win to become the #1 babyface.)

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  83. I really liked the Ric Flair segment too, but I'm a WCW fan, so that would have appealed to people like me more than most I imagine.

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  84. Chris is #28?! How is he not #3 at worst? Eeesh.

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  85. Lowered Expectations... by Jack Handey.

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  86. Charismatic eNegro Jef VinsonFebruary 24, 2015 at 9:56 AM

    Using this logic is DBry on of the savages from Germania the Romans killed in the beginning of Gladiator?

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  87. Right!? He's only ahead of Mark, Ann and The yelling guy.

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  88. I still want to see Tom, Donna and Leslie die in a fireball from a tragic brake failure.

    Gary walks away into the sunset, hot wife in one hand, wire-cutters in the other.

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  89. The Ben and Chris dynamic was brilliant. As a double-act, they were so much better than their singles runs and then crappy tag-teams with new partners.

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  90. I think I just like it more because I love Sunny and Seinfeld so horrible people are right up my alley haha.

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  91. Charismatic eNegro Jef VinsonFebruary 24, 2015 at 9:57 AM

    McMahon: "Time for the MAIN EVENT! Go out there and Make Roman look like a million bucks!"
    Brock: "No."
    McMahon: "....."

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  92. They probably kept Brock off because they knew people would cheer him louder than Reigns, and hoped Heyman could bring the heat.

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  93. Still not sure if he has mumps or not. Forgot to look. Was distracted by the LARGEST PENIS I have ever seen.

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  94. Horrible people are fine, but they need to get their comeuppance sometimes! :D

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  95. Isn't that the actors entire schtick? I haven't seen him in much, but what I have seen him in he's doing the same angry gay dude thing.

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  96. This has meme potential. Genuinely!

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  97. That show had two good matches and everything else in the ring sucked; short with poor finishes.

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  98. I could see your point if he hadn't already broken through. He broke through last year, saved Wrestlemania, which was touted as a huge financial success (and would it have been with Orton/Batista in the main event spot?) and became the 2nd biggest merch mover behind Cena after Punk left.


    To break it down even more simply... he's over at the main event level, and Roman Reigns is not.


    Unlike anyone who has gotten the big push for Mania, Reigns is not selling merch (I was at Raw last week in Orlando and did not see anyone wearing anything of Reigns'), he's not moving house show numbers or TV ratings, and he's not over with the live audience. He can't even be called the next Cena with the mixed reaction, because Cena moved all of those needles (and still does, it seems).


    There's politics everywhere, and then there's terrible leadership.

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  99. I'd put Ann towards the bottom of any list I made. I never liked or understood her character.

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  100. You'd THINK this would be a hint to someone that maybe, just maybe, he isn't in any kind of shape to come back. But what do I know?

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  101. You'd have to wonder if that promo was a total shit sandwich that Bryan had to reluctantly eat down, or if he cares at all by this point?

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  102. Well they kinda did in the episode where they are going to their annual "Jerry Dinner" where they eat off money they collect from various Jerry gaffes and then are stuck in the cold left out of the party Jerry is throwing full of warmth and food because their cruelness caused them to miss his e-mails because they marked them spam.


    Their comeuppance was Jerry turning the other cheek and letting them in. The best revenge is a good life.

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  103. Agreed.

    None of this is his fault - he's clearly made improvements over the last two years, but he's being set-up for failure.

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  104. Watching RAW last night when Reigns was giving his "finally going to WM for good" promo, once Bryan came out, I couldn't help but realize dude (Reigns) can't even celebrate his win without having to have someone else come out and carry him

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  105. I'm glad he's only appeared once in the new season. I even liked his one appearance because it was just one!

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  106. Forgot about that one, actually. Good call.

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  107. A Lions field goal attempt, maybe.

    ReplyDelete
  108. She was fine Seasons 1-4 but by Season 5 and particularly once she got pregnant she got intolerable as all hell.


    The episode where they air grievances over wine and cheese at work was her worst performance ever and I wished her leave right away.

    ReplyDelete
  109. Charismatic eNegro Jef VinsonFebruary 24, 2015 at 10:01 AM

    I didn't come up with it, but it's still funny.

    ReplyDelete
  110. I think Vince thinks he's got this by the balls.

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  111. It's just striking how WWE is giving its fans NO ONE to cheer for right now except Reigns. Everyone is a wimp, weirdo, and/or a loser. I can't think of a single past era where the company buried EVERYONE on the roster just to push one guy.

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  112. Charismatic eNegro Jef VinsonFebruary 24, 2015 at 10:03 AM

    Don't forget old.

    ReplyDelete
  113. Well...there was Goldberg.


    And Hunter in 2001-03

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  114. That's the ultimate Meltzer speak. After he seemed pretty confident that the main event was going to be a triple threat he looks bad.

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  115. No evil authority figures. Vince/Austin was the only time it made sense. Otherwise, I don't understand the logic of the supposed show runner undercutting the show itself.

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  116. I think #1 should have been Andy & April, #2 Ron Swanson and #3 the Ben/Chris team.

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  117. Buddy, do you wear WWE Superfan Amplifiers in your ears? Seriously rewatch taht segment now.

    -Incredibly weak, seriously maybe 3-person "We want Sting chant" that last less than 10 seconds while HHH waits for STing.
    - Super nothing "pop" when his bad music hits. Pans of the crowd during Sting's entrance showing the crowd mostly sitting around doing nothing.
    - Sting in the ring, and a 3-person "WCW chant" is repeated and heard because nobody else in the crowd is making any noise.
    - HHH starts cutting a WCW promo on Sting that gets pretty much nothing. This goes on for FIVE MINUTES. Five minutes of HHH talking to very little crowd response while STing stands there.
    - Then they start fighting, and the only pop is Sting putting the bat to HHH's throat.

    In what universe is that segment not a bomb? It's setting up the #2 match on the show, possibly even the #1 match considering Roman reigns is a complete non-draw at this point. And the #2 or #1 match on Wrestlemania gets that kind of reaction for it's big set-up segment and it's not a bomb? Dude, this was only Sting's third ever appearance in WWE, by far the longest one yet, and he's already getting that tepid of a reaction. His pop was miles below what fucking Jack Swagger was getting in the Rusev feud or what Santino gets on a good night. It's really bad. The fact that you have to comb through the segment to find 1-2 places to point at and say "See, they kinda cheered Sting here!" is just proof that the angle and Sting character are not getting over.

    ReplyDelete
  118. Meltzer loves covering all of his bases.

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  119. Charismatic eNegro Jef VinsonFebruary 24, 2015 at 10:03 AM

    There were other things to do besides wrestle Goldberg. In fact the nWo buried more people than his push did.


    I agree with you on Hunter.

    ReplyDelete
  120. More like a wild Ball 4 on bases loaded for the loss.

    ReplyDelete
  121. From now on, WWE events - esp. WM - need to be promoted as "Card subject to suck."

    ReplyDelete
  122. Well seeing as Brock is probably counting this as an appearance, i'd hope there was a serious reason why they'd spend well into the six figures to not use someone.

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  123. This is where a useful IC title would do WONDERS. Someone like Barrett or even Miz holds the belt for months, either beating or sneaking past all comers, until Roman somehow gets a title shot at WM.


    Hard fought win or solid destruction, a few well-received title defenses, and eventually Roman's ascension is perfectly "organic" and acceptable. But no... gotta ram him to the top not just before he's ready, but also before the fans are really ready for him.

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  124. It has been said by wrestlers that if you're not a mark for yourself then nothing the company does to you you will affect you at all.

    I can certainly understand people who go in with a "Why bother wasting my time beating my head against the wall and going nowhere? Just give me my check and shut the fuck up and

    ReplyDelete
  125. Goldberg's probably a bad example it was just the first thing that came to my mind, it's early

    ReplyDelete
  126. Sloppy play Cresto.

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  127. Charismatic eNegro Jef VinsonFebruary 24, 2015 at 10:05 AM

    The US and IC titles should be the main event of both shows. Even if it means putting it on a Cena or Reigns.

    ReplyDelete
  128. But if you listen, the crowd almost seemed like it was going to shrug its shoulders and not protest, as if to say, "Yeah, you're the guy, you're not half bad, and we won't boo you because you haven't done anything to piss us off."

    AND THEN they put him against Bryan and Heyman. From there on out in the promo, any mention of Reigns got some boos. By the end, there was no reaction for anything. A Paul Heyman promo go zero reaction. A total misfire on WWE's part.

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  129. ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?

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  130. Winning doesn't matter (except when it does) Titles don't matter(except when they do) Who the crowd cheers for doesn't matter (except for when it matches the guy we want to cheer for)

    ReplyDelete
  131. So if you pay for a service, you have no right to complain that it should be better? As someone who works for a cable company, I wish that were the case, as we would have a lot fewer phone calls!!


    As I said, I enjoy the classic programming on the Network (I hadn't seen pretty much anything from WCW prior to the Nitro era) and some of their original shows are good, and I'll watch the stuff from a current PPV that interests me.


    However, they're not getting money from me for live events like they once did (I only went to Raw last week in Orlando because I scored free tickets through a connection), I don't watch Smackdown anymore (and judging by their ratings, I'm only one of a couple million who have given up on that show), I haven't purchased any merchandise in years, and I actually used to spend more on their product prior to the network when I would get 3 or 4 PPVs per year, when now I can get everything for $120.

    ReplyDelete
  132. Sure, but keeping your spot can be harder. Hogan worked pretty hard in WCW to keep people away from his spot. Other than that, I agree with everything you say.

    ReplyDelete
  133. I wish there were more Andy/Ron storylines because those two characters work well together. Them playing football in the parking lot was funny stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  134. That Brock Lesnar story is a giant LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  135. Charismatic eNegro Jef VinsonFebruary 24, 2015 at 10:06 AM

    That is the answer. Get DBry and Reigns away from each other. The more they interact the more it kills them.

    ReplyDelete
  136. I mean, how do you not have anything for Brock fucking Lesnar?

    ReplyDelete
  137. Just have someone explain who's fighting, and let wrestlers themselves explain why they're fighting. If anything have the wrestler get "punished" for pissing off the commissioner, none of this evil-hold them down authority nonsense.

    ReplyDelete
  138. The Love-Matic Grampa!February 24, 2015 at 10:07 AM

    They were traumatized by seeing the first live blowjob ever performed in a WWE ring.

    ReplyDelete
  139. It seems pretty obvious that the dude doesn't care anymore.

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  140. Also, on the flipside, when Bryan came out (but before it was clear he was there to give the rub to Roman), for the 1st time ever I was like, "Ugh, dude, just let it go already. You're starting to get tears in your eyes as you approach Bret-level whining."

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  141. If Vince didn't remind the crowd how much better Reigns is than Bryan, and just let the win speak for itself, it might have carried better. As it were, he's determined to prove that Bryan isn't an A+ player, all while trying to get Roman to usurp that heat.


    Not gonna work.

    ReplyDelete
  142. Cut WWE some credit..they stopped just short of having Orton go from Face to Heel back to Face in 3 hours.

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  143. Which is quite literally the only way a Paul E promo gets no reaction.

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  144. Didn't they have to pay him? He left Minnesota doesn't that basically always count as an appearance of some kind?

    ReplyDelete
  145. People seem to like Reigns when he's the only person in their line of sight. Like if he cutting a promo and a squirrel ran in the ring the squirrel would get a pop.

    ReplyDelete
  146. Or at least more Johnny Karate/Carpenter Ron

    ReplyDelete
  147. Stop having everyone in the ring when the Authority is speaking. Makes everyone look like a bunch of redshirts.

    ReplyDelete
  148. He did mention "HHH in 2000"

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  149. Lack of punctuation gives a different connotation

    Sloppy play, Cresto

    vs

    "Sloppy Play Cresto"

    ReplyDelete
  150. They might as well get used to the crowd cheering for Brock now, because there's no way he's getting booed at Mania. Brock could flip off the crowd, say "Fuck you all, I'm out forever," and they would STILL cheer him over Reigns.

    ReplyDelete
  151. If this was 1994-1998 Roman Reigns would be over as fuck and would win the Intercontinental belt at Wrestlemania this year in a heated ladder match.

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  152. Why the hell are they dragging out this feud? Orton should have kicked Seth's ass last night. What the fuck are they waiting for

    ReplyDelete
  153. *Cut to Roman Reigns' confused face*

    (Every promo ends with this)

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  154. Considering all the other crap that's happened, not having anything for Brock is kinda "meh" at this point.

    ReplyDelete
  155. Slow burn. In four weeks.

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  156. There are a lot of pot holes, detours and bumps in the road to wrestlemania maggle

    ReplyDelete
  157. I get that if this in early Februay, not now.

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  158. Dr Facts is Reigns' #1 fanFebruary 24, 2015 at 10:10 AM

    Excellent use of Advertising Shelton

    ReplyDelete
  159. Bryan came out, "gave him the rub" to warm him up, then Heyman came in to perform lip service.

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  160. They would probably cheer for how much he made and how little work he put in.

    ReplyDelete
  161. As a kid that push really bothered me. It seemed like Luger was just randomly handed a title shot and we're all supposed to love him because wears flag shirts now. I also remember being really curious about what Luger's new gear would look like, since he obviously wouldn't be wearing the Narcissist stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  162. Marv will crucify us for that (his favorite character) but I'm in total agreement, she should've been booted alongside Mark. She had no discernible traits of her own (other than she's a serial dater....I guess???) and it took creative three season to figure out a justification for her to be at City Hall the time. Had funny lines but not a funny character, she existed only as a sounding board for Leslie.

    ReplyDelete
  163. I hate when there's some miscommunication between friends that can't be discussed until they're live on Raw the next week.

    ReplyDelete
  164. I know one "Centurion" who really likes that look.

    ReplyDelete
  165. Charismatic eNegro Jef VinsonFebruary 24, 2015 at 10:11 AM

    I've always thought HHH wanted to get rid of all secondary titles (specifically the IC belt)

    ReplyDelete
  166. It's going to be Rick Vaughan's first appearance for the Tribe.

    ReplyDelete
  167. I always got definite father/son vibes from Ron and Andy. Or at least strong admiration. I liked that relationship.

    ReplyDelete
  168. The Love-Matic Grampa!February 24, 2015 at 10:12 AM

    Not having anything for Brock to do 95% of the time: par for the course.

    Not having anything for Brock to do a month away from Wrestlemania: sheer incompetence.

    ReplyDelete
  169. So is there any way Brock-Reigns can be any good? No DQ?

    ReplyDelete
  170. "Sloppy" = hulking simpleminded farmhand.

    ReplyDelete
  171. Planned cards with scheduled matches. Every week there just "happens" to be a misunderstanding to set up an on the fly main event.

    ReplyDelete
  172. The whole "everything about WWE stinks, they're terrible, they're losing me as a fan and I barely watch anymore" shit is garbage when you're directly paying them $10 a month for the service that most validates everything they're doing. So yes, 100% yes. If you're paying for the Network you sound like a goon playing the tortured fan online who thinks they might as well just stop watching WWE altogether. If you're paying for the Network, you're validating the product they're putting out there and you have no basis to complain.

    This isn't at all like paying for cable and complaining that your cable service isn't as good as you wnat it to be. Cable is more of a necesity than WWE Network is. This would be like complaining that Coca Cola is the most disgusting thing you've ever drank and you hate Coca Cola but you also purchase a case of Coca Cola everyday.

    NXT is on Hulu. The archive shit is all widely available online.

    Obviously it's your money so waste it as you see fit, but the whole "WWE sucks, they've lost a fan, but also I'm paying them $10 a month" stuff just sounds so goonish and gross to me is all.

    ReplyDelete
  173. So all Bryan did on Raw was continue his I'm Roman's Best Friend angle, so still nothing set up for him at Mania. With four shows left to start a program, and nobody really around to start it with right now, can we be *absolutely* sure there's not some kind of twist going to happen here?

    ReplyDelete
  174. In addition to Marv's patented should shrug, dude, I think this also needs to be an official BoD response to booking:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3KeZT8GNoA&t=0m12s

    (complete with Jason Sudeikis in the background)

    ReplyDelete
  175. Sitting at Denny's while my, my, my serpentine belt gets replaced and my omelette is surprisingly delicious.

    ReplyDelete
  176. The Love-Matic Grampa!February 24, 2015 at 10:13 AM

    WWE Slow Burn sounds like a new PP...uh...Newtork Special.

    ReplyDelete
  177. Tonight is gonna suck. No new Flash (for three more weeks!), last Agent Carter probably ever, and worst of all, last ep of Parks (at 10!)

    ReplyDelete
  178. or better yet, there's a undefeated monster holding the US title that Roman probably should be the guy to end that undefeated streak.

    ReplyDelete
  179. Is Arrow on hiatus too?

    ReplyDelete
  180. They really should've called an audible and had Reigns challenge Lesnar to fight, RIGHTNOWINTHISVERYRING. And then had Brock come down for the pull-apart brawl. Just anything to make Reigns look like he might be in the vicinity of badassery.

    ReplyDelete
  181. Marv's favorite character is Ann? He REALLY is the worst!

    ReplyDelete
  182. DO NOT GIVE THEM IDEAS!!

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  183. Aye, every episode for the first few years we were like "What the HELL is she even doing there?!". The only thing I really liked about her was the way Chris would say her name.

    ReplyDelete
  184. There should be a What's up with that button on the network

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  185. I didn't even know Roman's slogan was "One versus All."

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  186. Ron taking Andy to the dentist was some of the finest comedy I've seen.

    ReplyDelete
  187. It's possible they're yanking our chain and going to add Bryan in for a 3-way, but If they do I'd guarantee Bryan wins the belt and loses it immediately to Rollins on a briefcase cash-in.

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  188. In what universe...I don't know, but I know that universe exists. I listened to Stone Cold and Wade Keller call it the segment of the night and praise it for about five minutes today. So, I'm guessing that two of the more educated men on these matters might know a little something about what works.

    ReplyDelete
  189. This week is new but I think it's getting one soon so it can roll out its last run of eps without a break as well

    ReplyDelete
  190. The reason I want Sudeikis included is b/c he's so delightfully oblivious in his dancing and is just going along with everything.

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  191. Cool it's finally time for me to like the last season!

    ReplyDelete
  192. As "new" as it may be, this is the perfect way for the WWE to utilize Twitter. Go back and forth on Twitter between shows and then boom they can have a match, no need to "talk" and schedule a match for later on.

    ReplyDelete
  193. Here's one for the New Day http://www.thisisyourconscience.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/boondocks-mlk-2006-1650.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  194. The Love-Matic Grampa!February 24, 2015 at 10:16 AM

    That's what happens when you make the entire corporate structure of the company heels, people cheer when the company gets screwed over.

    ReplyDelete

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