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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW–05.06.96

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 05.06.96

Taped from Sioux City, IA

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler

Wildman Marc Mero v. The 1-2-3 Kid

Mero wins a slugfest and grabs a headlock to start, then goes to work on the arm while HHH tries to maintain a snooty accent on commentary. Mero dropkicks Kid out of the ring and follows with a dive, but slingshots in and hits knee. The Kid uses CRANE STYLE to take over and gets a good dropkick into the corner. Kid with a sleeper while the announcers are already mocking Sable’s unchanging facial expression. I will say, those who complain about the terrible acting of the Total Divas crew probably didn’t have to live through Sable’s push on top. Mero fights out of the sleeper, but Kid hits him with a kick combo until Mero takes him down with a legdrag. Kid puts him down again with a spinkick for two and drops legs on him, setting up another sleeper. Kid uses the ropes like a good asshole heel and we take a break. Back with Mero making the comeback, and they both end up on the floor, but Kid tries to bring him back in with a superplex. Mero grabs the top rope and falls on top for the pin at 11:40. Kid was another one cranking it up to another level just before he bailed for WCW and a big contract. ***1/4

Meanwhile, Ted Dibiase and Steve Austin accept Savio Vega’s strap match for the PPV, but if Savio loses he has to be become their chauffeur.

Meanwhile, some ring rat claims that Shawn Michaels also fucked her while her ex-husband was on the road. I wonder if that was supposed to be some kind of clever allusion to Elizabeth?

The British Bulldog v. Fatu

Bulldog makes the fatal error of ramming Fatu’s head into the turnbuckles, which only makes him dance. Bulldog bails for advice from Diana and Cornette. That advice? “Always check the ring for trap doors before taking any flat back bumps.” Back in, we get the test of strength, but Bulldog crotches Fatu on the top rope and dumps him. Back in, Bulldog whips him around the ring and mocks Shawn Michaels, while Cornette chokes Fatu out with the racket. And then another angle that went nowhere, as Fatu’s family, the Samoan Gangsta Party, watches from ringside. That one was just totally abandoned. That would have been Samu and some other Anoia relative, I believe, playing OG Samoans who were trying to win Fatu back to the dark side. Sika had a shitload of kids, obviously. Fatu comes back with a sleeper, but Bulldog goes low to escape. Fatu makes the comeback, but walks into a clothesline and we get a patented 180 flip sell. Powerslam finishes clean at 8:00. This was fine. **

The Bodydonnas v. Tekno Team 2000

Apparently the Rockers won the rematch to earn a title shot, but the Godwinns were the ones who ended up with the tag titles. So I don’t know where the hell they unearthed Tekno Team 2000 from after their short and hilariously bad introduction in 1995, but here they are again. TT2K manages to double-team Skip while Harvey Wippleman takes notes on the refereeing at ringside, which actually led to Wippleman becoming a referee for a while. Zip comes in and gets double-teamed, but we take a break and Watts takes a flapjack when we return. I don’t even remember which was Troy and which was Travis. It’s Erik Watts and Chad Fortune, whatever. Watts fights back and misses a blind charge, knocking himself silly on the top turnbuckle. Bodydonnas with a slingshot suplex for two and Skip works the arm. Vince clarifies that Erik Watts is in fact Troy. Zip goes up and misses an elbow, and it’s hot (?) tag Travis. He quickly gets clobbered by the champs and Zip finishes with a terrible looking flying axehandle at 8:53. I have no idea how that was supposed to be painful. He basically landed on the mat and then did a double axehandle while sitting on his ass and pinned the guy. This was a thing that happened to fill 10 minutes. * Like really, TEKNO TEAM 2000? These are the guys getting TV time?

Undertaker v. Owen Hart

Apparently Goldust now has to defend the title against Undertaker in a casket match at the PPV, because reasons. Man, after Ramon left Goldust really was a completely directionless character. Like really, did I totally miss the issue behind this feud between last week and this week’s show? Owen runs away for a couple of minutes and we take a break, returning with Goldust harassing Paul Bearer as the camera totally ignores the match. Paul runs away as Owen works on the leg for a while, but he tries the Sharpshooter and gets chokeslammed. Taker throws out of the ring and Goldust assists Owen back in with a squeeze of the ass, and Undertaker finishes with the tombstone at 8:35. I sense Owen was getting ribbed there for some reason. Nothing match. *

The Pulse

A pretty blah show with a bunch of meandering plotlines, but the Kid-Mero match was damn good.

Comments

  1. Adam "Colorado" CurryApril 11, 2015 at 12:36 AM

    I forget, was Bulldog supposed to be a heel at this time? This whole angle was just stupid. Like, if a guy is trying to fuck your wife that should make you the face, right?

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  2. Was Roman in the Samoan Gangster Party at ringside?

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  3. Doctor FunkopolisApril 11, 2015 at 1:00 AM

    Nah, they were lying about it to get HBK off his game. It was...mind games.

    Seriously, almost ever feud had that going on.

    Their payoff was supposed to be Diana actually lusting after Shawn, but that storyline got nixed because Vince forgot it wasn't real and got jealous.

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  4. Adam "Colorado" CurryApril 11, 2015 at 1:21 AM

    Why would that get HBK off his game? I thought it was the other way around, which is why it didn't make sense, that's not face behavior. Why would Shawn care that Bulldog thinks he's trying to fuck his wife? Hell, it wouldn't surprise me if Shawn did fuck her just to spite her brother.

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  5. Adam "Colorado" CurryApril 11, 2015 at 1:22 AM

    He was about 8 years old at the time, so probably not.

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  6. He could have been an 8 year old gangster. I misread that, I thought Scott meant his entire family was at ringside, not his brothers or cousins in a tag team or whatever.

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  7. Shawn was the face because he would never have sex with a married woman, and bulldog was lying and impugning his honour as a face.

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  8. I think this is the worst era for tag teams in the WWE. Tekno Team 2000 vs. The Bodydonnas? Yecchhhh

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  9. Adam "Colorado" CurryApril 11, 2015 at 1:35 AM

    Well, I once bought weed from a 9 year old, so an 8 year old gangsta isn't out of the real of possibility. Good smoke too, people were like "oh, you should have just took it from him". Yeah, because robbing a kid is going to make me like a real man. Kid had fat sacks of good tree, I'm not going to fuck with his hustle.

    Right, the SGP... IIRC they were 2 unknown Samoans, though one of them might have ended up being Rosey. Forget what happened to them, I guess Vince just lost interest. I wanna say they had a match or 2 in ECW then just disappeared.

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  10. Adam "Colorado" CurryApril 11, 2015 at 1:40 AM

    But... Shawn's whole gimmick was literally being a male whore that will dick down any broad. Of COURSE he'd bang another wrestlers wife. He's the sexy boy, the boy toy. Laying the wood to an older (I know him and Diana are probably the same age roughly, but you know what I mean) woman, especially one married to a heel, is something he'd totally do.

    It's like 2013 ROH, the face/heel structure in this company is fucked.

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  11. Adam "Colorado" CurryApril 11, 2015 at 1:41 AM

    Right now isn't much better. At least there's more than 3 teams.

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  12. Goldust needed to be turned on by being put in the casket, and UT and Bearer are outraged at the disrespect for the dead...

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  13. Doctor FunkopolisApril 11, 2015 at 1:54 AM

    Nope. Shawn's a good guy now. He's seen the light. He's obviously not getting into anything naughty like cocaine or Sunny or other men's wives. Actually, he doesn't even have a character at this point. HBK's just a guy right now.

    I have no idea how they could fuck up a simple program like Bulldog vs Shawn. Bulldog wants the fucking championship, he beats the shit out of Shawn. Shawn says he wants a piece, Bulldog demands it be a title match and there you go.

    But instead, it's "mind games" and it's all over this era of WWF. They were so thin talent wise (in terms of bodies) and creatively. They knew they were going to have to stretch this out beyond one PPV and they also knew they weren't going to put the title on Bulldog.

    And they thought this would draw.

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  14. Lots of restholds, and keeping to a formula all the time.

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  15. Adam "Colorado" CurryApril 11, 2015 at 2:04 AM

    Yeah, I would have just had Bulldog press slam Shawn a couple times, then toss him around a little more to really get the point across that Bulldog is, in fact, much stronger. They even had a built in backstory with the 95 Rumble, Bulldog kind of got fucked there. Sure, both of HBK's feet didn't touch the floor, but if my music plays and Fink announces me as the winner I'm just going to have to assume I won and celebrate. If there was ever a time for the heel to play the sore loser card that was it.

    And to top it off we got the shitty double pin finish at the PPV. No wonder I jumped to WCW (and had already gone to ECW) shortly after this.

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  16. There were....reasons!

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  17. "some ring rat claims that Shawn Michaels also fucked her while her ex-husband was on the road. I wonder if that was supposed to be some kind of clever allusion to Elizabeth"

    I was thinking sunny.

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  18. Tekno Team 2000. The fuck...

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  19. Tag team of the future in the 80s, new breed

    Tag team of the future in the 90s, tekno team 2000

    No teams of the future since because the future is NOW!

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  20. Stu put the kabosh on the angle because it made Diana look like some kind of whoore.

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  21. Goldust was pretty much neutered for the rest of 96 and Mcmahon got cold feet with the character after a bunch of bad press and letters from different organizations. He literally became a dull character in a gold suit

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  22. The storyline eventually was dropped after Bret saw that tv was implying his sister was fucking Shawn

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  23. He was dull. UT he wasn't a bad worker like them

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  24. It was Bret. He mentioned it in his book. He was pissed Diana would agree to anything for tv time

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  25. I was making a Cornette joke. He loves to tell this story,

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  26. Samu and young and smaller Rosey were the SGP.

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  27. Is this the episode where Goldust flirts with Paul Bearer? Barber's reaction was hilarious.

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  28. Doctor FunkopolisApril 11, 2015 at 6:58 AM

    Reasons! Things! Maybe even stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  29. We were six months away from the Austin/Pillman gun episode that began to turn things around. But til then - yeah - some pretty painful stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Doctor FunkopolisApril 11, 2015 at 7:13 AM

    Bart Gunn had two 10 minute singles matches that absolutely needed to see him squashed (Mankind and Austin).


    But they were at such a shitty place that they had no choice but to give him a little protection.

    Because you never know when you might need Bart Gunn to carry things.

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  31. From the comments, it seems like Orton's opponents consider working with him a "night off", like Bobby Eaton, Chris Benoit, and Ricky Morton also were.

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  32. The Goldust/Taker feud was terrible.

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  33. I don't think Vince started breathing easy until Bret agreed to come back. Bret could have asked for half of Asia and got it. Of course, Vince would have just reneged on it later, but still

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  34. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogApril 11, 2015 at 8:04 AM

    Raw spent most of its first three years being terrible

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  35. I thinkk Samoan Gangsta Party was just the proto-Three Minute Warning with Jamal and Rosey

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  36. Anyway, I was watching another Raw yesterday, and Sunny starts flirting with Kevin Kelly at ringside, but then does a 180 when she asks what his pay is like and he's like, "Eh, it's okay." I'm sure if she asked if he has any coke he would've just gone for broke and said yes on national TV.

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  37. It gets so bad that Owen and Bulldog become de facto faces even though they're still dickheads.

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  38. Hart was definitely a major player in the company's resurgence. Once the NWO deal got boring, the WWE had the superior product at the top of the card. Austin, Vader, Sid, Taker, Michaels, Hart...They all crossed paths and provided great television.

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  39. They were gone from the WWE before the angle with Fatu could get rolling, They were in ECW for a cup of coffee. So they really didn't have a chance to show what they can do because they never stuck around long enough to make an impression.

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  40. What insightful commentary!

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  41. And words were said!

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  42. Funny thing is, it's not as if Dr. Tom and Candido were incapable of wrestling good matches, either in teams or as singles. It's like the characters they were forced to play swallowed them whole.

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  43. I actually liked most, if not all of 1993 but 94 and 95, not so much.

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  44. Mid 2000's gives this era a run

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  45. Someone should make a Too Many Cooks type video with all of the members of the A'noai family.


    I laughed WAY too hard at that trap door line

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  46. Owen vs Taker sounds pretty rare.

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  47. It was Julie Hart.

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  48. They should have Kevin Owens beat Undertaker in five minutes next year and send him out on a stretcher.

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  49. Don't recall mid 2000 tag teams but 96 was hard to top for awfulness. Godwins, body donnas, gunns, new rockers. I mean that's terrible

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  50. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogApril 11, 2015 at 11:30 AM

    I didn't know that about Anvil. I thought he was canadian. Huh

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  51. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!April 11, 2015 at 1:08 PM

    It was missing Mayo bowls.

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  52. Sable was so completely unmotivated and uninspired, even when she was at the very top. It's amazing how over she was for having a rockin 90s bod.

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  53. Bret returned and made Austin... which saved the company and won the war.

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  54. Yeah 93 Raw was pretty good. I liked when they ran it out of the Manhattan Center.

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  55. Yeah I think the Ahmed feud was the last time they had Goldust sexually harass other men.

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  56. No, 3 minute warning was known as The Island Boyz in developmental.

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  58. I have to say when I was re-watching '96 recently, the character got AWFULLY stale doing that. For 4 or 5 straight programs, the feud would consist of Goldust coming onto a babyface while the babyface was doing an interview, babyface fights back, PPV match. I like the character but it was getting one-note and in need of a change in direction even without GLAAD pressure.

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  59. I haven't gotten there yet but I remember not thinking much of the gun shit at the time--that felt phony and desperate and contrived as well. It was an example of WWF realizing it had to do something different, but still not figuring out precisely what to do.

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  60. I remember reading in a dirt sheet that this was supposed to be Elizabeth by implication, but the WWF had to cover themselves from legal action so thoroughly that no one could possibly have picked up on it unless they were told.

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  61. Samu was the other.

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  62. You must have hated Flair and Bret then

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  63. No, because they do moves OTHER than restholds, too. Bret could dog it like a motherfucker sometimes, but he ALWAYS brought it all out for bigger matches, and definitely didn't stick to a formula for those.

    Both guys also used intensity and psychology to a level that Randy never came close to, as well. He can't touch either guy.

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  64. Yeah, he was announced as being from Reno, Nevada, although he was actually born in Florida, so the whole "Bret is from Canada" thing wasn't really part of their act until 1997, especially when the Hart Foundation name was more of an extended colloquial term for describing Jimmy Hart's crew (with Honky Tonk Man and Danny Davis).

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  65. It's actually easier than that. We know there's roughly 80,000 people in the stands. Then look at any picture of the field, do a quick count of people in one block of chairs (which is easy to do), start multiplying for similar sized chunks of people, then add it all up.

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  66. I feel it's a loss of innocence thing. People lived with that attendance number for years before it was even questioned. Then to have someone involved with the event come out and say that number was made up...

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  67. What I'd always heard is that the Stones concert shortly after did 88,000 and that because the promoters knew that was going to be roughly the number, and with the Pope coming later and them being able to rough out all the numbers based on seats they'd be able to put on the field, wrestling was going to lose out because of the room they needed for the ring, aisles for the mini carts, and other equipment. So they had to come up with a number that wouldn't look ridiculously inflated, but also was safely out of reach of the Stones & the Pope.

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  68. Dammit, that would've been a great storyline in the eyes of 12-year-old Greg.

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  69. Only on the blog.

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  70. Eh, I don't throw a lot of these out but what else is Undertaker really going to contribute?

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  71. But the Pope's announced attendance was higher than Wrestlemania III's despite pictures showing that it couldn't have been possible...

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  72. Too bad the person who said it was made up was working for the competition at the time...

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  73. So was Hulk Hogan, who was also working for the competition at the time, AND good friends with him. Would WCW really order an employee of theirs to contact Dave Meltzer to contradict their top star?

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  74. ... an attendance figure reported by the promoters of that event. It's pretty much assumed that they felt they out-drew WrestleMania, so they reported a made-up number as well. Its not like the Pope was sitting there asking "so boys, how wella the Pope do inna da big show?"

    (Not sure why the Pope sounds like Mario in my head...)

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  75. you bought week from a 9 year old because you're a low life

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