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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW–06.10.96

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 06.10.96

Taped from Sioux City, IA. Week three of a 1996 RAW taping cycle. Feel the excitement. I don’t think there’s much this show could do to top the batshit craziness of Nitro this week, ether.

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler

King of the Ring Qualifier: Owen Hart v. Yokozuna

Owen attacks and pounds Yoko with the broken arm, showing what a badass he truly was. He’s like Tara on SOA! Yoko chops him down, but misses a legdrop and Owen takes over after a cheapshot from Cornette. Owen hits him with a leg lariat, but goes up and misses a dropkick to allow Yoko to make the comeback. Banzai Drop misses and Owen pins him with his feet on the ropes at 4:03. The end was rapidly approaching for Yokozuna’s career. This was OK thanks to Owen bumping all the place. **

Meanwhile, Jake Roberts has some big problems, man. Choking on his own vomit due to coke and pills and such. But then among us hasn’t been there? That’s why it was such a relatable character.

King of the Ring Qualifier: Bodydonna Skip v. Marc Mero

Mero has been hanging around for three months now and I still have no idea what his character is supposed to be. I kind of wish he had just come in as Marvellous Marc Mero instead of having to fall back on that gimmick after the injury. Mero sends Skip running with some armdrags and a dropkick, but Skip suplexes him on the top rope to take over while Jake continues his sob story on commentary. Skip with a flying fistdrop and Vince plays “What’s in the news?” to show how LIIIIIIIIIVE they are. Skip goes up top after 15 years of this barnburner and Mero dropkicks him on the way down, but Skip goes to a devastating surfboard. Skip misses a top rope rana, but recovers with an enzuigiri to the shoulder for two. And we take a break. Goody. Back with Skip holding a chinlock and he follows with a gutwrench for two. Another chinlock and a slam gets two. Skip dumps him and misses a dive, and Mero gets his own five and finishes with a top rope rana at 12:34. Way too long for what it was. *1/2

Jerry Lawler presents Ultimate Warrior with the infamous framed portrait, while Warrior RUINS the whole angle with that damn baseball cap. They could have drawn millions and outdone the nWo, but Warrior’s baseball cap sunk the whole thing. And in fact Lawler hits him with the portrait, Warrior basically ignores it, and then runs off. Wow, what an angle. Also, Meltzer rips the lid off the whole comic book lie in the Observer this week, noting that Vince made up the whole “#1 comic in the world” thing and that most major distributors don’t even carry it. Shocking. Note to Jerry Lawler: This feud didn’t work because it was STUPID and no one bought Lawler as any kind of threat, not because of any baseball caps.

British Bulldog v. Undertaker

Also, this week in the Observer, Bulldog clears up his issues with the WWF thanks to promises of dropping the entire Diana angle, despite getting a “big money offer” from WCW, and he basically agrees to stay after all. Whew. So now the heat shifts to Jim Cornette being given the right to select a guest referee for the title match instead. Bulldog slugs away in the corner, but Taker chokes him out and Bulldog runs away. Back in, Taker goes old school and drops the leg for two. Bulldog hammers away on him and hits the delayed suplex, but Taker sits up, so Bulldog powerslams him for two. We take a break and return with Bulldog holding a chinlock, but Undertaker makes the comeback. Bulldog cuts him off with a neckbreaker and legdrop for two and goes back to the chinlock again. That goes on for a long time, with Bulldog making O Faces for some reason to really sell the exertion, but Taker finally suplexes out. Bulldog with the powerslam, but Taker escapes and they slug it out. And then we take another break to really stretch things out. Back with Taker hitting the chokeslam and they fight to the floor, but Mankind pops out of the ring apron and holds Taker’s foot, giving Bulldog the countout win at 17:19. Wow, way to really build up Bulldog for that title match in two weeks. Mankind beats the hell out of Undertaker again and we’re out. Does it kind of weird anyone else out thinking about Undertaker as a part of these shows that seemed like a lifetime ago, with everyone dead or retired, and yet Undertaker was just wrestling Bray Wyatt third from the top at Wrestlemania a few weeks ago? I guess it just shows the effectiveness that his character retoolings have had over the years that he can still be a believable part of the show today. **

The Pulse

You literally missed nothing if you skipped this one.

Comments

  1. Give me plain old wrestler Marc Mero over characters like Henry Godwinn and Skip any day of the week.

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  2. I never understood why the Yoko is too fat to balance himself on the ropes and falls back and gets pinned was the go to finish for that guy.

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  3. Not a whole lotta finishers you can use on the guy.

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  4. Just seemed lazy and made Yoko look like an idiot because he he kept repeating the same mistake. Plus Owen could have used his enziguri to win the match.

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  5. Just not much you can do with an immobile blob. Powerbomb, tombstone, powerslam, stunner, sharpshooter are all pretty much no-gos with '96 Yoko.

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  6. And Austin could have just whacked him with a chair several times like what he did with Rock to beat Yoko.

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  7. It amazes me that Jake is still alive. DDP must have the magic touch.

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  8. To be fair to Jerry Lawler, his soundbite on the "Self-Destruction" DVD is a bit out of context. They present it as Lawler saying the feud was ruined because Warrior was wearing a cap, but in his autobiography, Lawler talks about this angle and goes into more detail.

    Warrior was completely freaked out about taking a bump with broken glass and Lawler explained that he had done the angle before in Memphis and assured him he wouldn't get hurt. He even took the extra effort of explaining the physics and how he was going to hit him--whack Warrior with the non-glass side causes the glass to shatter and fly up & outward, not onto Warrior's head, so he'll be safe, and again, the guy hitting him is a guy who's done the angle before.

    So Warrior walks out wearing the cap, and Lawler is a lot more pissed off about Warrior showing him, "I don't trust you." And to a lesser extent, he was annoyed by the cap because he called it an "angle alert"--he's never worn a cap before, so when he shows up wearing one, it's a non-verbal heads-up that something is about to happen and the surprise is shattered. Kinda like the time Warrior was feuding with Papa Shango and he shows up for an interview with Mean Gene Okerlund, and he's wearing a jacket. And suddenly he begins to ooze mysterious goo.

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  9. The Dubstep Cowboys are SUPER GAY. They're just being jerks to Enzo and Cass.

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  10. Why couldn't the stunner be used? Yoko just has to take it and fall backwards. He doesn't have to sell it like Rock or anything.

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  11. I always thought that Bret's title win at WM X was anti-climatic b/c of that finish.

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  12. Yeah, the problem with subtitled promos on the main roster is that it would be treated as comedy...a la the dubbed promos of Kaientai.

    You can't trust them to treat him seriously on the main roster (and can you imagine the JBL commentary?)

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  13. ARRRRGH THE BARBARIANApril 23, 2015 at 12:42 AM

    It makes him look stupid. If he finds another finisher he's unstoppable.

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  14. I love Bayley. (Is she the only face female in the entire WWE company right now? Not sure what Charlotte is...not sure what Paige is, other than "in an injury angle/filming a movie". Is Alexa Bliss a face? Blue Pants? Carmella?)

    Anyway...I love Bayley...but her "break-up a pinfall" technique was bad in this match--especially early. Like a pinfall could be stopped by a half-hearted tap on the back.

    (We can constructively criticizem especially when they're working in developmental, those we love--Paige's early work on the main roster, for example, was not as good as it could have been.)

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  15. Not only that, but he started wrestling at the tail end of the territory era....a year before the first Wresltemania!

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  16. "I guess it just shows the effectiveness that his character retoolings have had over the years that he can still be a believable part of the show today."

    Or it could be that the rest of the main roster today isn't really any kind of believable by comparison.

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  17. Alexa is definitely a babyface. Blue pants is as well.

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  18. He is really good in adopting new styles. But he wouldn't fit in today with the grey or violet gloves and the old outfit from the 90s. Even in 97 it looked out of place at Wrestlemania 13. But he was always the Undertaker - even as a biker...

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  19. and with this explaination it sounds like Lawler was absolutely right with his criticism.

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  20. MaffewOfBotchamaniaApril 23, 2015 at 4:43 AM

    I was about to post exactly this. On the DVD it seemed like they were looking for any reason to shit on Warrior, ran out of major ones and resorted to '''oh and this one time HE WORE A CAP''.

    But as you've said, it's the editing that killed it because it's a valid point if explained correctly.

    Now who would've thought Lawler hitting Warrior would generate so much discussion years later?

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  21. Yeah. His character was a guy who wins a lot of matches!

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  22. He'd still hafta drop to his knees first before going backwards. He was just so out-of-shape, I think it would've looked like shit.

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  23. The announcers didn't do a very good job of telling the story there. Yoko was supposed to have still been woozy from getting hit by Luger's steel forearm earlier in the night. That's what caused him to lose his balance. I think it was mentioned once prior to the final match but wasn't brought up at all after that.

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  24. Looks like I literally would miss three matches, wrestlers talking and Vince's announcing. I'm not sure if you're miss using the word in purpose or what.

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  25. Hulk hogan ric flair Etc

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  26. Shouldn't you be out with your tranny mistress somewhere?

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  27. According to the monday night war dvd this was the last time raw won the ratings before the 84 consecutive nitro victories or however long it was

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  28. What a great point!

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  29. I've always thought the last Undertaker match he should appear with his old garb.

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  30. Yoko's belly-to-belly was arguably the best move in his arsenal. That move look like it killed people (especially jobbers that weighed 150 pounds).

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  31. Ah, that makes me more sense. Yeah, commentary completely dropped the ball on that.

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  32. And the "WHAT?" chants...

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  33. Ah I was wondering where Owens's surgery fit into the taping schedule.

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  34. Yea Feb 18th was the last tv tapings they had done, so he had his surgery shortly afterwords. Not sure if he'll be cleared for tonight's tapings or not, but he should be by May's.

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  35. I know Shoemaker likes to push that "Reality Era" label, but it just doesn't work for me.

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  36. Also, Warrior got real lazy with his facepaint that day.

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  37. I guess I should clarify a little.

    There is one important distinction between Lucha Underground's situation and NXT's. A huge portion of Lucha's live audience is Latino and bilingual so they can appropriately react to in-ring promos from Spanish speaking wrestlers while they're subtitled for the at home audience.

    None of NXT's audience speaks Japanese unless this guy is in attendance.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-uTnqYHZ-I



    So, when I said Itami should cut subtitled promos, I mean backstage. There's no way they could have him cut in-ring Japanese promos, it'd be a disaster.


    And yes, Itami could never do it on the main roster. Vince would 100% set him up to be mocked with JBL as the point man on the project, but it could be a nice transitional way of handling him until his English is good enough to carry promos.

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  38. Could you have imagined Yoko flopping around like the Rock after a Stunner? While the Rock's overselling was a bit silly Yoko could have exposed the business RIGHT THERE.

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