A recap of “Royal Rumble RAW” airs, reminding us that false advertising doesn’t stop just because the show ended.
JIM ROSS and JAMES E CORNETTE welcome us to Sunday morning, and remind us NOT to go looking for wrestling on Monday night because RAW is on Thursday. No sir, no way, no how, Thursday ONLY, there is NO OTHER WRESTLING ANYWHERE.
THE SULTAN (with the Iron Sheik) vs. GOLDUST (with Marlena)
Christ almighty the mid-card of the WWF is *awful*. Think positive thoughts, think positive thoughts. This is loosely connected to Marlena displaying her tits to an appalled Bob Backlund 6 weeks ago, but if this is how quickly he reacts to his moral code being violated, it’s safe to say that Backlund is gonna get plenty taken advantage of during his golden years. Fans start a “USA” chant, because frickin’ GOLDUST is the FACE?!? Tolerance might be at an all-time low, but having The Gay is preferable to having The Turban. Sultan hits the Samoan drop, and goes for the camel clutch. Marlene threats to take off her top, but HUNTER HEARST HELMSLEY arrives to kidnap her. Goldust steps forward to save, but Sultan drags him right back with a belly to back suplex for the win at 3:41. Marlena fights Helmsley strong enough to give Goldust time to save his woman, but CURTIS HUGHES joins the fray, and it’s gay bashin’ time. *
FUERZA GUERRERA and HEAVY METAL vs. OCTAGON and HECTOR GARZA
FOR GOD SAKES PUT GOLDUST AND SULTAN BACK IN THE RING!!! I can’t do a WWF interpretation of a lucha libre match! They put PEPE CASAS back in the ring to officiate, because they won’t even put their own referees through this stuff. Octagon and Fuerza trade slow moving punches, and Fuerza goes to his specialty: The Awful Old Man Punch. Fuerza’s knocked to the floor, and HOLY SHIT, Octagon flies with some SERIOUS force via tope suicida!!! That might be the best version of that move I’ve *ever* seen. The hate, it’s gone! Heavy Metal and Garza mutually clothesline eachother to the floor, because they’re “twin sons!” but not. Metal nearly kills himself with a moonsault gone wrong, so they trade off where Fuerza shows off his saggy boobs. Octagon applies a fantastic armbar / headscissors submission hold, but Fuerza feels no pain since all his joints are basically paper mache. Metal re-enters the match by slipping on the top rope, and Garza nails a picture perfect moonsault for 2. Metal goes back to the top rope, because dammit he’s gonna do something right up there eventually, and hits the swandive for 2. Guerrera comes off the second rope with a chop delivered with the kind of force he uses to dab his cards at the bingo table. Garza plants Guerrera with a spinebuster, and JR gives up on this and goes split screen with:
PAUL BEARER, who’s rummaging around a locker in the men’s room. He’s sending Vader in to battle Steve Austin tonight, AND Bret on Thursday, and JR asks what the hell he’s thinking. Bearer says he’s pissed because Austin cheated Vader out of his rightful Rumble win, and he’s gonna finish him off tonight before taking care of the “whiner and crier” Bret Hart.
Back in the ring, Fuerza’s narcolepsy kicks in and on the way down his leg connects with Garza. Garza comes back with a springboard armdrag, and despite Guerrera exploding into a ball of dust off a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, the referee declares only a 2 count. Octagon uses a crucifix to end this mess at 7:59. Octagon was fantastic, Garza was ok, Heavy Metal needs a tumbling class, and … I don’t even want to talk about the rest. This is probably deserving of a rating, but it was like 4 different matches so I don’t even know what to tell you.
THE HONKY TONK MAN tries to serenade SABLE. Even Marc Mero’s so unconcerned about old Wayne’s machismo that he doesn’t bother running in to stop it.
SHAWN MICHAELS, dressed like an 80’s living room and cowboy hat, joins us in the ring. JR sells him as a man who would never quit on the fans. Let’s remember that on Thursday. KEVIN KELLY is given the privilege of having his leg humped while trying to get an interview.
Michaels pimps his match with Sid on Thursday, and since Sid was kind enough to grant Shawn a rematch after the Survivor Series, he’ll do him the same favor. Uh huh. Apparently chasing the belt has made everyone nuts over the past few months, and he’s absolutely right. That’s part of what was making the current period we’re seeing so special. The belt was *everything*. After a lackluster run by Shawn (with some spectacular matches), suddenly you had hungry superstars everywhere willing to sell out their own mothers (and in the case of Steve Austin, grandma too) just to get a shot at the title. Aside from Vader whose cred has gone the way of the Dodo bird, any one of Hart, Taker, Austin, or Sid could just as easily be on top of the promotion right now and it would feel just as desperate. Anyway, Michaels trolls Bret a little by mentioning he’s whined on live TV, cried on live TV, and quit on live TV, but since Bret doesn’t want him calling him any of those names he won’t. This is the last title shot Shawn’s handing out before Mania, and he expects to get past Sid and put on another Wrestlemania Match of the Year for the 3rd year running. Baby Jesus is swimming in his tears just from the sheer volume of lies in that 4 minute piece.
FAAROOQ (with Clarence Mason, PG-13, D’Lo Brown, Two Well Dressed Men, and One Well Dressed Woman) vs. KEN RAPER
The Raper attacks before the bell, because that’s sorta how he rolls. Unfortunately, Faarooq is probably the LAST guy Raper should try and sink himself into, and he quickly learns who the big dog in this pound is. Faarooq rams Raper, and chokes him out.
Backstage, STEVE AUSTIN hypes the main event. In a nutshell: Vader’s gonna get his ass whipped.
Back in the ring, the Dominator is putting Raper down for the count at 2:17. DUD
BRET HART joins the commentary booth for the main event, smacking Cornette in the back of the head for the hell of it. SUNNY is the guest ring announcer, another speaking role she’s terrible at.
VADER (with Paul Bearer) vs. STEVE AUSTIN
Bret defends his loss to Vader, by saying it took him a little while to get back into the swing of things when he came back to the WWF – but now that he’s in his groove, nothing’s gonna stop him. Austin spies Hart at the booth, and flips him off as he makes his way to the ring. See, that’s beautiful – these are the touches we haven’t seen from anyone not named CM Punk in years. Cornette asks about respect he might have for Austin; but Hart clarifies he has zero respect, but he doesn’t underestimate the man. Austin throws the clubberin’ in the corner, going right to Vader with the power moves. That’s a seriously ballsy strategy against a man that big, but before you know it, Austin’s stomping a mudhole and walking it dry. Still, Austin’s gonna be Austin, and during his victory lap around the ring, Vader charges at him with his barrel chest and knock Austin back to reality. Austin retaliates with a clothesline, and a very vocal “STONE COLD” conglomerate has erupted now. Vader comes back with his bear paw swats, and goes into his “WHO’S THE MAN?” routine. Of course, Austin’s a cardio machine, and clips the monster. Bret uses this as a perfect time to talk about the fact Austin’s cold enough to try and injure another man rather than just win the fight. Vader works an armbar, but Austin won’t tap, so Vader picks him up and flattens him with a clothesline. With Vader back in charge, we take a break.
By the time we’re back, Austin and Vader are trading punches at rapid speed mid-ring. Vader wins, being a good 150 pounds heavier, and Austin falls to the ropes. Vader goes to mount him, but that trick knee acts up and Vader gets punted in the pooter. He shakes it off as best as any man can shake that off, and destroys Steve with an avalanche. Seeing this, Bret talks about himself. The Vaderbomb is blocked with Austin’s knees, and suddenly Austin’s back in this and attacking like a rabid dog. As he beats on Vader, the lights go out and Undertaker’s gong hits. Bret reminds us that he’s not afraid or intimidated by the Undertaker, and nobody else in the WWF is either. The lights come on, and THE UNDERTAKER is standing behind Bret at the announce table. One soupbone knocks the Hitman on his ass, as Austin dumps Vader to the outside. All 4 guys wind up brawling in the aisle, giving us a preview of next Sunday. The referee calls for a countout at 8:30, but nobody here cares as the punches continue to fly like beads at a Mardi Gras party. **
Jim Ross, figuring this fight has no chance of ending anytime soon, signs us off and reminds us – THURSDAY, not MONDAY. In fact, if you could avoid turning on your TV to Any Channel on Monday, because there is No Wrestling Anywhere, you’ll save yourself all kinds of disappointment.