Skip to main content

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW–06.03.96

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 06.03.96

HULK HOGAN’S ROCK N WRESTLING is added! You know I’m gonna review the SHIT out of that. Now that’s what I’m talking about.

Taped from Fayetteville, NC

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler

King of the Ring Qualifier: Bob Holly v. Stone Cold Steve Austin

Austin is now running solo after deliberately losing to Savio Vega at Beware of Dog 2, which Meltzer at the time complained made no sense but in fact ended up changing the course of wrestling. They trade headlocks and Vince talks about how they’re going to “break with tradition” and show footage from the PPV. They just showed the entire main event of IYH5 a few months before this! Holly rams into the turnbuckles, but Austin fires back with chops, so Holly takes him down with a chinlock. Austin powers out with a backbreaker and drops the knee, and the middle rope elbow gets two. He tosses Holly and necksnaps him on the way back in, then drops another knee for two as we take a break. Back with Holly making the comeback with an elbow for two and he slugs away in the corner, but Austin drops him and finishes with the Million Dollar Dream at 11:00 to advance to the second round. The crowd was really getting into Austin here. ***

Mankind v. Barry Horowitz

Mankind beats Barry down and hangs him in the Tree of Woe for a dropkick, and they head to the floor for more abuse of Horowitz. And we take a break. Really? For THIS match? Back with Mankind finishing with the Mandible Claw at 5:45. Total squash.

Meanwhile, we get RARE footage from the PPV, as they do an incredibly lame double-pin finish to build to a rematch at King of the Ring. And then, to continue the comedy of errors that was this year, British Bulldog gave 90 day notice after this episode and actually could have left for WCW at the end of the summer had he wanted to. That’s probably where the nWo third man rumors about him came from. He of course re-signed and got the tag titles in September instead.

Meanwhile, a naked Goldust lounges in his den and assures us that he saved Ahmed Johnson’s life last week. Also, he loves chocolate in his mouth.

The Godwinns v. Tekno Team 2000

This show is sliding downhill rapidly. Speaking of downhill, the Bodydonnas are on a search for a new manager, and we all know where THAT ended up. Tekno Team works on PIG with some pedestrian stuff and Erik Watts gets a standing moonsault for two. Troy drops elbows and we TAKE A BREAK?! Back with Phineas making the “hot” tag to Henry, who dodges a charge from Fortune and finishes with the Slop Drop at 8:11. The crowd was literally silent for the entire match before mysteriously cheering loudly for the finish. ½*

Meanwhile, Clarence Mason clarifies that he’s now suing Gorilla Monsoon, as they suddenly drop the Diana angle due to her objections and Davey’s possible departure, and shift the heat to that storyline instead. So by the time we got to King of the Ring, the main event angle was beyond dead.

King of the Ring Qualifier: Jake Roberts v. Hunter Hearst Helmsley

It was stated explicitly in the Observer at the time, for those wondering, that this is the beginning of Hunter’s punishment for the Curtain Call and it’ll probably last for a while. So it wasn’t just something that we found out retroactively. Hunter escapes an early DDT attempt while they let his valet talk to Lawler for some reason. Vince just BURIES her on commentary in a really funny bit, deadpanning that she’s part of the “Rocket scientist of the week program”. Speaking of burials, Vince then goes off (for legal reasons) on a long explanation about how Razor Ramon and Diesel are in fact not under contract to the WWF and are “perpetrating a ruse” while under contract to a rival promotion. Well, that pretty much puts an end to that invader angle over on Nitro, I’d say. Of course, the more he made those claims, the more it made people think that he was being a lying carney and they were actually working for the WWF. You’d think the smart thing would be to just shut up and let the lawyers do their thing. The stalling just goes on FOREVER here, as Hunter keeps evading an armbar and we take a break after 5:00 of literally nothing happening. Back with Hunter working him over in the corner as Vince talks more ridiculous bullshit about Warrior’s comic, which has now exploded into one of the highest-selling comics of all time. Meanwhile, Hunter goes to a chinlock, but Jake fights out and gets the short clothesline, but Hunter elbows him down for two as we take another break. Back with Jake hitting the DDT out of nowhere for the pin at 13:40. Hunter on his back looking at the lights would quickly become a familiar sight. -*

The Pulse

Terrible show this week aside from one good Austin-Holly match.

Comments

  1. Also, he loves chocolate in his mouth

    Can't you love at hate something at once? If so, then I hate Goldust and love him at the same time.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That Goldust promo was utterly disturbing

    ReplyDelete
  3. When did Austin say he deliberately lost the match? I don't remember that all

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think mr perfect interviewed him and he alluded to it and curt said he was really stone cold.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Probably on superstars if he didn't do it here.

    ReplyDelete
  6. At least the second Bulldog/Michaels match was the bees knees.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Scott has always claimed this and I'm always wondering when he said this.

    ReplyDelete
  8. AverageJoeEverymanApril 20, 2015 at 9:53 PM

    Yeah he really said it somewhere, I remember it as well.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Vince's lawyers basically forced Bischoff to ask the Outsiders if they worked for the WWF at the Great American Bash. They both had to say no before they continued the angle.

    ReplyDelete
  10. So was I the only oblivious fuck who didn't quite get that Hall and Nash were actually invading from WWF? I just bought it as they were coming in as a new group and taking over. I was young and so used to the idea that anything from another company didn't exist that I just assumed there was no way they were supposed to be Razor and Diesel representing Vince.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Interview on Superstars that was shot after the match. Vince or whatever interviewer asked him how he felt about losing Dibiase and Austin replied that "maybe he didn't want Dibiase to be his manager no more" and that's why he lost the match.

    ReplyDelete
  12. In fact if I recall the conversation goes something like this:
    "oh well, maybe I didn't need him as my manager any more"
    "that's cold"
    "correction, that's *stone* cold"

    ReplyDelete
  13. I always bought that as a heel lying and was just making excuses as to why he lost much like Bart's "I can do that, but I don't want too". If Austin said he purposely lost straight after the match and sang the goodbye song to DiBiase, then at least that excuse would have merit.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I imagine that if Bulldog was the third man instead of Hogan that angle would have been dead by the end of '96.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks for clarifying. I wasn't watching Superstars at the time, which makes sense

    ReplyDelete
  16. "Ween" Dean AndrewsApril 20, 2015 at 10:41 PM

    Imagining Bulldog as The Third Man is just... BIZARRE!

    ReplyDelete
  17. If Hogan had pull in 1996 - it would have been dead.

    ReplyDelete
  18. "The Invaders" was still a great angle even amid the lawsuits. On the EWR game, I called them Scott "Razor" Hall and Kevin Nash. If only if Bischoff didn't want to play evil Vince years before that existed

    ReplyDelete
  19. Do the power outage matches from Beware of Dog 1 exist somewhere? I don't have the network, but would they be on there as special matches or something?

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'd bet a psychologist could spend a lifetime researching Vince's reactions to Bischoff putting Nitro against Raw and creating the NWO angle, his petulant reactions to them were pretty hilarious.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Don't see how Scott gave the HHH/Jake match -* but give Austin/Holly ***. I'm not saying Jake and Trips was Steamboat vs Flair but it was definitely not a negative star match.

    The Austin and Holly match was far more boring. I think they went to three different chin locks in that match. Hunter and Jake only did one. And at least there was some decent build to the DDT at the end. Austin's offense was still kind of goofy as he transitioned into a more brawling style. And every match he has with the Million Dollar Dream and not the Stunner seems weird.

    I find it funny that if Flair, or Michaels, or Bret do a wrist lock it's a technical masterpiece but when someone like Jake does it, it's boring. I mean to each his own but I'd give Hunter and Jake **. It wasn't the greatest match but I wasn't bored either. Maybe I'm just a sucker for Jake.



    Even fat out of shape Jake.


    On an unrelated note, Lawler blatantly staring at Sunny's boobs was hilarious.

    ReplyDelete
  22. good lord stop crying seriously

    ReplyDelete
  23. "The crowd was literally silent for the entire match before mysteriously cheering loudly for the finish."


    In their defense, I'd be cheering for that match to end as well.

    ReplyDelete
  24. You mean "dead by the end of Bash of the Beach", right?

    ReplyDelete
  25. I don't see how this match was part of a 'burial' as much as it was two midcarders facing off and someone had to lose. Jake's whole schtick at this point was that he was a tough veteran who was probably out of his depth but he could still win on any given night due to his insta-kill finisher. HHH being cagey at first made sense since naturally, you want to keep your distance from a fresh Jake (since that's when he's most able to hit the move). Then you had HHH taking over to wear the older guy down, yet HHH makes a couple of mistakes and ultimately Jake is able to catch him.

    ReplyDelete
  26. This match wasn't a burial, but was a start of things to come where HHH would lose to everybody up and down the card. Plus even though HHH was losing, he was involved in a angle with Perfect as Perfect would cost him the match for the most part, so even though HHH woud lose, he was never buried as such.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Also, he failed to even qualify for a tournament that, a month earlier, he'd been booked to win.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I remember seeing blackout photos from Raw Magazine back in the day, and all the finishes were more or less the same, except the finish to the Taker/Goldust casket match was a redo of the Taker/Yoko casket match at RR 94. A bunch of heels ran out (including the long-AWOL Isaac Yankem, of all people. Also, Bradshaw) to help Goldust win. I imagine it was changed because fans wouldn't have been able to see/understand the Mankind finish in the dark.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I really don't know how he thought the babyface act was sustainable at all with the reactions he was getting prior to the turn. Worse, he apparently wasn't selling merch that well either. I mean, at least Cena still moves product, but Hulk's only options were either turn heel or sit at home and collect paychecks, since the babyface act wasn't cutting it anymore. Come to think of it, he probably could have hoodwinked them into financing another season of Thunder In Paradise.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I was 7 when it happened and I thought the same thing u did

    ReplyDelete
  31. Adam "Colorado" CurryApril 21, 2015 at 1:17 AM

    Yeah, but that worked out well for everyone involved in the end. Well, not Jake, but in fairness he was smoking crack at the time.

    ReplyDelete
  32. F'N Body Slams - Dan SelbyApril 21, 2015 at 2:22 AM

    I do kind of get his point.


    I think a lot depends on the wrestler, and the mood of the writer at the time.

    ReplyDelete
  33. F'N Body Slams - Dan SelbyApril 21, 2015 at 2:25 AM

    I have to say, there's a decent reason Cena still moves products - HIS ARE THE ONLY ONES IN STOCK.


    Orton backed this up on Twitter...


    I went to both Raw/SD in London - both times they had NOTHING but Cena merch. Everything else was sold out... Do the working out. They're keeping their top guy, the top guy, and it's another classic WWE self-fulfilling prophecy.


    Still, I bought a shirt. Of course I did.

    ReplyDelete
  34. The question is, even if he had won the KOTR tournament, what then? Main Event against Shawn Michaels at Summer Slam? Or Free for All against Austin? ;) I never saw HHH as anything more than a midcarder for life, if he stayed with his gimmick.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Of course he wouldn't have been a main eventer, but I imagine he would have won the IC title sooner than he did.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Battle Kat LitterApril 21, 2015 at 4:48 AM

    I thought Bulldog was rumoured to be the fourth man, not the third man. He'd have made more sense than The Giant

    ReplyDelete
  37. But shouldn't a KOTR winner be a main eventer? When Bret won, he was already world champion, when Owen won, he was in the Summer Slam world title match, when Mabel won, he was too, so I think it would have been better if Vader would have won the KOTR tournament and in 97 then Bret Hart (if he wasn't hurt) again. I think it devalued the PPV that the winner since 96 wasn't on the main event level.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I agree, I think if they wanted the KOTR concept to be a draw they needed to make the winner have a title match at Summerslam, but starting this year they decided to let midcarders win the thing because reasons then wonder why the event wasn't drawing.

    ReplyDelete
  39. MaffewOfBotchamaniaApril 21, 2015 at 5:21 AM

    They showed some brief clips of it on one of Austin's DVDs and it just looked (unsurprisingly) very dark.

    ReplyDelete
  40. MaffewOfBotchamaniaApril 21, 2015 at 5:21 AM

    Why was Bulldog wanting to leave?

    ReplyDelete
  41. Did they? I assume you went to all match booths.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Doctor FunkopolisApril 21, 2015 at 5:34 AM

    I thought they were doing the "Loose Cannon" gimmick, but with less gimmick.

    Like, WCW hired them and then let them do whatever but that whatever turned out to be this off script invasion angle.

    When it was just Hall, I thought he was literally doing the Loose Cannon gimmick.

    I was 12.

    ReplyDelete
  43. But the thing is, his babyface act wouldn't had gone stale, if Hogan would have turned heel back when he was still a face draw. That's the problem with this "but he sells merchandise so we can't turn him heel". You HAVE to turn to just keep guys fresh. If you wait until they don't draw anymore, you are screwed and then even a heel turn could fail. Was the nWo so big because of Hogan or because of Nash and Hall?

    ReplyDelete
  44. Doctor FunkopolisApril 21, 2015 at 5:41 AM

    I thought it was acceptable wrestling. It's a shame Jake was in a bad way, because I loved that his style had changed to him looking for the DDT early.

    He would even bust out his finishing sequence early and people would even interrupt that.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I can confirm this too. Me and my brother both desperately wanted SR shirts.

    ReplyDelete
  46. F'N Body Slams - Dan SelbyApril 21, 2015 at 5:55 AM

    The one at the main entrance for the O2 arena ie. should be VERY well stocked.


    We got there moderately early, and already every single Seth Rollins shirt had gone. How many did they bring, 50?!


    To me, who wins on this? Cena? Well, yeh. WWE? Not really. All they're doing is handcuffing their 'lower' (ahem, World Champion) talent. But, I guess it 'proves' WWE right... But in this case, is 'right' even the right term?!


    Isn't this game about making money?


    It does defy logic.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I was thinking magical generosity of ATM Eric. Insane money, much lighter work schedule and because he's BIZAAAAARE~!

    ReplyDelete
  48. < This has revealed step-by-step how to follow this diet to see these amazing results. He has laid out every food you need to include in your diet, and when you need to eat them. The diet is incredibly simple to follow, with very little effort involved. If you are looking to lose weight fast, This is definitely something you should consider. This FREE Report may help you also

    ▰▰▰▶▶▶▶▶▶ http://www.health.com/reports/6

    ..

    ◆◆◆◆◆◆◆◆◆◆◆◆◆

    ReplyDelete
  49. Well you stock the arena by section. If you expect cena to sell more you tend to stick more of his stuff at each area to up the availability. Now I'm not defending them and think when something sells out at a stand more should be brought in.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Razor and Diesel were back under WWF contract by September.

    ReplyDelete
  51. It was an insert promo during a Superstars match. I remember seeing that and thinking, "whoa, this is a different kind of guy". I think I might have been right.

    ReplyDelete
  52. People that use drugs get what they deserve.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Praise the lord and pass the ammunition.

    ReplyDelete
  54. afaik Cena is the top seller on wwe.com as well.

    (so even if he might sell less on the shows under other circumstances, there is still a high demand for his stuff)

    ReplyDelete
  55. 1. the nWo would have never been as huge as it was if it wasn't for Hogan. literally every other name (Sting, Bret Hart) that is/was thrown into discussion is not as big of a deal as the biggest babyface ever (up to that point) becoming a villain.

    2. turning someone before their popularity seems to decline is potentially wasting money. it's something hardly any promoter would do (and I actually understand why).

    ReplyDelete
  56. nope, same here. 14year old me know wrestling was a work and therefore never assumed something happening on the shows would be "real".

    ReplyDelete
  57. aren't pretty much all of their matches at least "watchable"? (Bulldog is one of the guys that can't carry someone a great match but is perfectly capable of keeping up if put against someone who can)

    ReplyDelete
  58. If nothing else Vince knew how to get a Hart to stick around - offer him titles.

    ReplyDelete
  59. If Bullfrog comes in 1996 - he might still collapse in the end - but from a wrestling point of view - you get a more solid angle - but maybe the lawsuits thwarted a plan of a all former WWF invasion. I'd rather have had Jarrett, Bulldog as possible members than Norton and Bagwell.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Giant joining was really dumb. What was even dumber was Savage joining after getting his ass kicked and humiliated by them for months. Yeah Bulldog would have made alot more sense.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Well that is the "cyclical" in wrestling. They have success. Then they suck. And then they get turned and the success comes back. ;)

    I think it is better to change something before everything goes down. And I think during the attitude they did turn more often (Rock, HHH, Taker; Kane) and they could keep the guys all fresh instead of waiting until everybody is boring.

    ReplyDelete
  62. when did they do that with The Rock?

    (also I believe the assumption that wrestling is "cyclical" is the result of what happened in the nineties. before that you often didn't have what you just mentioned: for example afaik André the Giant was never the heel when he was in his prime)

    ReplyDelete
  63. Man Jake the Snake was just absolute dog shit. Did he ever have a singles match in 96 rated above DUD?

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment