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WWF Superstars: January 19, 1997

BigDaddyLoco: You are right about this version of Austin being better in a lot of ways than the Austin we all know and love. He was just a pissed off dude, not a guy playing a pissed off dude and Funk was money in the old man rambling drunk mode.

That’s what we call Money. Watching today’s product, you genuinely start to get the feeling they have lost all concept of what a character is; specifically to be a character you have to BE a character, and lord knows Austin is a bloody character. Unbelievably, beyond the over-scripted, over-thought, over-hashtagged RAW, they actually DO have people who still get this concept working in NXT. I haven’t watched much of their product, as evidenced by the fact that the last time I tuned in Daniel Bryan was a part of their show, but I did check out their last Takeover outing and was blown away (forgive me, I’m slow). Sami Zayn, the plucky babyface, fighting with all his heart to capture the title that has eluded him for over a year. Kevin Owens, the old indy vet, finally getting his chance on the big stage after nearly a decade of destroying his body, and he’s ready to find a new gear and make you believe. The finish to that match was stolen directly from WrestleWar 89, with a modern day flair, and I loved every second of it.

It really gave me the kind of hope for the future, that IF they ever accept the fact that what’s not working isn’t working, they’ll be able to find new live in the same vein of what 1997 is about to bring us as the year progresses.

But first, we have a little Superstars to worry about.


JIM ROSS is wandering aimlessly through the Alamo Dome. He does not come across Sid, who was last seen in here, and that feels like a missed opportunity. The idea of him spending the week, looking up at the Royal Rumble sign, and smiling like a jackass would not be REMOTELY out of character.

DOC HENDRIX introduces us to the Dome, while TODD PETTENGILL rides around the stadium on a bicycle, screaming like a banshee. Since this makes no sense, it’s apropos it leads into a recap of Shotgun Saturday Night. Riveting.


Hype for tonight’s main event. Not enough shots of Pete Lothario being sent to the coroner.

SHAWN MICHAELS has woken up early, and has the flu. Despite this, JIM ROSS stands close enough to Shawn to contract venereal diseases let alone the flu. Shawn refuses to use his illness as an excuse, making it a real strange thing to spend so much time discussing in that case.

More Shotgun footage, featuring Austin and Funk.

TODD PETTENGILL finds GEORGE and ADAM passed out across a bunch of arena seats. How in the hell did they get in there? Security was ok with this? Todd wakes them up by shouting at the top of his lungs, and Adam falls down about 4 rows in horror. George asks for a Todd autograph on his forehead, making this the first time anyone has asked Todd to sign anything since he inked his ill-conceived contract.

DOC HENDRIX picks Pierroth or Crush to win the Royal Rumble. I, sadly, probably would have bought into this when I was a teenager and genuinely believed the Rumble could be used as a device for any wrestler to become a star. I was with a group of about 30 other guys watching the 2000 Rumble, and for a while we somehow convinced ourselves Crash Holly had it cinched. I won’t lie, I miss that naiveté.

BRET HART has also woken up early to meet with JIM ROSS, and I don’t hear him complaining about any ailments that resemble the symptoms of a hard night of drinking like a certain someone else. You know, it took about 2 shows, but my full on hatred of Shawn Michaels has come flooding back, and I don’t see that getting better anytime soon. Bret ignores Doc’s “top 10 contenders” list, but figures he’s going to be targeted anyway. He refuses to take anymore backwards steps, and vows to prove tonight that he’s still the best in the world.

After some last minute pitches to ORDER NOW, SYCHO SID has bumped into JR, and … is he wearing a kippah?


You know, at this point, there’s nothing about Sid I wouldn’t believe. Ross asks Sid if the pressure has gotten to him. Sid starts whisper-shouting, even though there’s nobody here. He starts carrying on about some story about carrying about a rock, until tonight when 70000 people will see Shawn’s fear. He remains the master and ruler of the world, as well as the Hebrew people apparently.

STEVE AUSTIN busts in on DOC HENDRIX and TODD PETTENGILL’s wrap up, to remind everyone he’s here in the “Aloe Dome” and he’s gonna kick the hell out of someone. Oh PLEASE be Todd! Sadly, he wanders off in a bad mood before we find out his plans, but maybe tonight my wishes will be filled.


Rumble next!

Comments

  1. People are voting for Rodney Mack and Jazz?

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  2. Hating 1997 Shawn Michaels is natural.

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  3. The Love-Matic Grampa!February 5, 2015 at 7:41 PM

    When we wonder why Vince is Vince and Hogan is Hogan, well, here's why.

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  4. 1990 Royal Rumble was super kick ass hence deserving of those 6,000+ votes

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  5. CruelConnectionNumber2February 5, 2015 at 8:22 PM

    Doom probably deserved the award. Roma went from TV jobber to squashing The Rockers on PPV and surviving at the SSeries, which is impressive for that time.

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  6. Hating any Shawn Michaels, really.

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  7. Why do you think Big Show keeps getting the pushes he does?

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  8. I remember sitting on my bed as a 11 year old - watching this match and still thinking it was real.

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  9. And It looks like Hogan did tell the truth about the Vicks Vapor Rub he was going to put in his eyes. I watched a old copy of the heel turn and you can tell it is on his finger.

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  10. I still believe anyone can win the Rumble! It's still real to me! Any year now, Macho Man will rise from the grave and finally have his win!

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  11. If the WWF wrote off HBK's hangovers as "having the flu" every time he appeared on tv, he would have had the flu for at least 3 years straight.

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  12. Very late to the thread but this show is special for me in that it is the first wrestling I ever watched and the entire show is what drew me into wrestling.

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  13. Sometimes I wonder if the confusion around that was the inspiration for Russo to become so overly blatant w the angles.

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  14. I mentioned this in a thread way back but one of the reasons Hogan is so awesome is because he *cared* so much about the events that happened. Orndorff turns on him and he's enraged. Andre confronts him and he reacts like someone ripped his heart out. Savage turns on him and he comes off so distraught about it. It really made you invested.

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  15. Lol...when HTM hit Savage with guitar,. My grandfather thought it was absolutely hysterical and could not stop laughing. Meanwhile I was in tears yelling "I hate you grandpa!!" I *could not* understand why he was so callously laughing when a man was getting beaten!!

    Ah, to be 25 again...

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  16. Were you the dudes in the background falling over each other in glee?

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  17. Excellent, excellent point... Hulk rarely gets the credit for that. The Cena jokey stuff started with the Rock, if you no sell all the drama/emotion like they do, then so do the fans. Flair or Piper could joke around, Savage and Warrior were out there, Jake Roberts and even the Hitman were calm and cool... But you still believed in their passion, anger and pain. The believable drama is what is missing, much more than witty comebacks and 'this is awesome' movesets.

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  18. "Mean" Dean AndrewsFebruary 6, 2015 at 5:35 AM

    SID staying there for a week, just smiling up at the sign, would indeed be wonderful. A missed opportunity there.

    I was *certain* Mr Perfect was winning in 2002, from the moment he came out. Sad.

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  19. We were up in the rafters, but we were very happy when Hogan lost, yes.

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  20. Thanks, I appreciate the kind words. :)

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  21. Like Andre cared.

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  22. Lets be realistic. It kills Vince that he didn't get Paul Wight first and do the "son of Andre" storyline.

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  23. I'll repeat to the day I die

    Hogan>Austin and the reasons are basically the same as Kobe saying Jordan was the best ever.

    Because he did all the big things first. First to draw major TV and PPV numbers. First to have such big mainstream appeal. First to get into TV and movies.

    Without Hogan the WWF never would have gotten as big as it did. LOL at anyone workrate mark saying shit like "Oh you could have put anyone in that role and he would have succeeded"

    NO NO NO

    It takes a person with that certain IT to do that.

    Now as far as in ring work Austin>Hogan by miles and miles.

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  24. Yeah, how is it that Hogan is a better pro wrestling actor than hollywood actor?

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  25. What is this "birds and bee's" thing that you speak of?

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  26. You know even in 1995 when I was very well past believing it was real, I still felt my heart sink into my gut when The Giant fell off the ledge at Halloween Havoc. I legitimately thought something had gone horribly wrong at first.

    Then of course later he came back and I was thinking how if they had done that and just had him outright squash Hogan they would have made one of the biggest stars in wrestling history in just one night.

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