The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 03.25.96
Taped from San Antonio, TX
Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler
There’s a sexual content warning on this show. Man, Vince’s love of Shawn Michaels is really getting out of hand.
Shawn Michaels v. Leif Cassidy
Amazingly, Al Snow’s super-dork persona actually was the one that stuck for a while. Shawn introduces Jose Lothario officially here and all the audience members have to pretend to be excited to have a bald old Mexican guy with the hot new babyface star. Also, he appears to be wearing a referee’s shirt. Bret joins us on commentary (and Lawler runs away) as Shawn controls with armdrags. Both guys try a bodyblock and Shawn ends up on top for two, and he goes back to the arm. Kind of funny to hear Vince actually trying to call the match before going back to his usual stream of nonsense. Shawn tries a leapfrog and gets powerbombed, and Cassidy gets a uranage for two. And now Marty comes to ringside for moral support as we take a break. We return with Shawn somehow bleeding now as Cassidy gets a suplex and goes to the chinlock. Bret wins the internet by noting “Shawn’s at a disadvantage after taking a vicious beating from nine cheerleaders in Syracuse”. Leif tries to hotshot Shawn from the powerbomb position and nearly breaks his neck, and that was nearly a giant disaster on a lot of levels. Holy crap, I’m surprised Vince didn’t stop the match and scream at him right there. Leif gets a superplex for two, but tries another one and gets blocked. Bret’s take: “I have a lot of respect for Mexican wrestlers, but rolling around in a ball doesn’t mean you’re tough.” Shawn comes back with a flying clothesline and a pretty nasty atomic drop, but Marty trips him up with spectacular timing. Cassidy misses a charge, however, and Shawn puts him away with a superkick at 10:44. Really good TV match, with things getting a bit nasty at the end. ***1/4
Hunter Hearst Helmsley v. Aldo Montoya
In hyping the Ultimate Warrior’s return, the graphic for Wrestlemania VIII shows attendance of 62,000. In what universe?! HHH pounds on Aldo and drops a knee for two. More irony as Vince says Wrestlemania will be tons of action, without some guy beaking about making $30 million and only having an 8 minute match. Instead we got Warrior beaking about making a bunch of money and then doing a 30 second squash. Aldo fights back with a bodypress for two and uses the PORTUGESE MARTIAL ARTS for two, and a flying bodypress gets two. Pedigree finishes at 5:01, however. Dull match. *
Meanwhile, somewhere in Hollywood, Goldust molests a Roddy Piper mannequin and then smashes it. Well, you always hurt the one you love.
Next week: MANKIND
Undertaker has words for Diesel, as you can see him start to get more comfortable without Paul Bearer talking for him.
Bret Hart v. Shawn Michaels: The Hard Sell. I would like to point out that there is nothing remotely as interesting or compelling hyping up this year’s show. Between this and the previous Undertaker segment they were trying their darnedest to talk you into buying that show. It still flopped, but they TRIED.
Owen Hart v. Ahmed Johnson
Vince fights a two-front war on commentary, noting that you’re not going to get ripped off like that yucky boxing stuff, and you’re not going to watch the over-the-hill gang like WCW. WWF is everything to everyone, apparently. Ahmed overpowers Owen, but Bulldog heads down to ringside and Owen uses the distraction to attack. Owen goes up and gets caught in something vaguely resembling a spinebuster and we take a break. Back with Bulldog running in for the DQ at 5:45. Nothing match, which seemed to happen frequently with this feud. ½* Vader comes in to complete the heel beatdown, but Yoko and Jake make the save and we will see YOU at Wrestlemania 12!
Well, they tried.