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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW–04.15.96

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 04.15.95

Taped from San Bernadino, CA

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler

Marc Mero v. Leif Cassidy

Sable is now Mero’s manager, while Leif gets Marty Jannetty. Both relationships ended up pretty badly. Sign at ringside: “Leif Cassidy, WWF champion in 7 years.” Well, Hardcore champion, sure. Mero controls with armdrags and dropkicks Cassidy to the floor, and back in Cassidy goes with the eyepoke and gets slugged off the ring apron as a result. Cassidy goes to Marty for advice, and that advice? “If the cops catch you with something in your gym bag…start a fight with them!” That’s terrible advice, fake Marty Jannetty! Back in the ring, Cassidy takes over with a clothesline and declares how much he loves being a Rocker, and we take a break. Back with Cassidy hitting a dive on Mero and stopping to dance. Back in, Leif tries a full nelson and Mero flips it into a spinning headscissors, into a dive to the floor. Back in, Mero with a sunset flip from the top to finish at 8:46. They were definitely getting more comfortable throwing Snow out there as someone to have a good match with the top guys. Unfortunately that never translated into anything for him. **1/2

Diesel, via phone call from Germany, lets us know that he’s the smartest man in wrestling. No doubt.

STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN v. Bart Gunn

Vince notes that this is “two raw boned, rugged individuals going at it.” I wouldn’t describe Bart as either of those things. Gunn works the headlock on Austin, who responds by tossing Bart and follows with an axehandle off the apron. Vince relays the info that Ahmed Johnson has managed to break his thumb in a worked arm wrestling contest. That should have been a sign right there that maybe he’s too easily injured. Back in, the HEARTLESS Steve Austin works on the neck and goes to a chinlock while the crowd visibly gets up and leaves for the concession stands. Bart fights up and Austin dumps him as we take a break. Back with Austin going to another chinlock, but Bart comes back with a bulldog and SHOOTS THE HALF for two. Cross body gets two. Dibiase trips him up and Austin attacks, but gets rolled up for two. Small package gets two. Bart tries a sleeper, but Austin reverses to a jawbreaker and then viciously throws him into the ringpost before finishing with the Million Dollar Dream at 10:45. Good ending, but the match was way too long. **1/4

The Man They Call Vader is going to engage in sports entertainment with Razor Ramon at the PPV and he feels like his chances are good.

Sunny knows that we want her and expresses it in music video form. I’m sure many a teenage boy had that video taped for posterity, if you know what I mean.

Intercontinental title: Goldust v. Savio Vega

So a couple of days before this, Goldust blew out his knee in Germany and obviously couldn’t make the PPV, so of course they continued heavily promoting his title defense against Ultimate Warrior anyway. Goldust fondles Savio off a lockup and gyrates in the corner, leading to Vega chasing him down the aisle. Vince feels that Savio is tired of these shenanigans. Back in, Savio with a sideslam for two and we take a break. Back with Goldust hitting an atomic drop out of the corner, as the edit didn’t actually delete anything and literally picked up where the previous cut ended. Goldust takes him down and goes to a rear chinlock, then stops to cut a promo on the crowd, declaring that if they don’t quiet down he’ll go out and kiss every one of them. He did that bit on house shows at the time as well. Not surprising since this whole show has seemingly been composed of leftover dark matches anyway. Savio comes back and tries a superplex, but Goldust bites him to block and then lands on Vega’s foot on the way down. Vega makes the comeback and we take another break. Back with Vega getting a rollup for two, but the ref is bumped. Marlena gives Goldust the belt, but Savio superkicks it out of his hands and hits him with it for the pin at 15:18 to apparently win the title. However, another ref saw Savio using the belt and feels that a DQ should have been called. So Gorilla comes out and vacates the title, pending a rematch NEXT WEEK. Weak. Much like this match. *1/2 I don’t even get the reasoning with this, as Savio was feuding with Austin and Goldust was supposed to be having this big program with Warrior, and you suddenly do a two week angle where Goldust loses and regains the IC title before the PPV? On a pair of taped shows? What sense did this make?

Bret Hart comments on the Iron Man match and his future plans, which at the time was put on the show to refute rumors that Bret was going to WCW along with Hall and Nash. Perish the thought.

The Pulse

Not a fan of this one.

Comments

  1. Is this the interview where Cornette quasi-shoots on Ramon leaving? "Razor Ramon has made some very bad career choices! Razor Ramon may no longer exist after In Your House!"

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  2. Two things about the end of Diesel that really astounded me.


    The guy lost every PPV since he lost the title at Survivor Series. Technically he didn't beat Owen, then the Rumble, then lost to Bret, then to Undertaker, and then two Shawn. From a kayfabe standpoint, why did he keep getting title shots?


    Despite that, they pushed him really hard at the end. He was a focal point when he really should not have been at this point. I know they wanted to get one last big match between him and HBK, but he was such a presence on TV that it really did seem like he was invading WCW when he showed up.

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  3. yeah I believe that is the one. Funny how they just dragged him out after about 6 weeks not even being on TV just to do the job to Vader.

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  4. How is Bart Gunn not a rugged raw boned kind of guy?

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  5. Actually, his bones are rugged...Bart Gunn lacks calcium.

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  6. For the same reason guys always get title shots: meaty thighs and glorious hair.

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  7. Just watched Kenny Omega vs. Mascara Dorada from New Japan Attack and I gotta say, that was a great match. Also, the ending to AJ Styles vs Ibushi was insane.

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  8. I'd also call that his very best period.

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  9. Knuckleberry PinnApril 5, 2015 at 2:30 PM

    Must have been quite the panic to be Vince at this time. Hart, Razor and Diesel all gone within a couple of months.

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  10. I forgot about the goldust ic title switch. That made no sense back then and doesn't now either. Weird.

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  11. This was odd. I'm surprised they didn't relentlessly job him out from the time he resigned actually. It gave us the great iyh match but I always felt it left him strong going to wcw. Probably wouldn't have mattered either way but still surprised they didn't just make him look weak.

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  12. Seriously. That was a big fucking dude.

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  13. I felt like the main event was stop-start and awkward in places. Still **** but was expecting a MOTY candidate. Next wave of title matches should be great though.

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  14. He was also underrated, Brawl for All aside. Billy got the push but Bart was the better worker.

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  15. Didn't they do the exact same thing with the IC Title the year before with Bob Holly and Jeff Jarrett? Seemed like a waste of time in both instances, though the Holly/Jarrett matches were solid.

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  16. As a die hard wwf fan back then this felt like immenent doom.

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  17. Sign at ringside: “Leif Cassidy, WWF champion in 7 years."



    What in hell was THAT guy smoking?

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  18. I dunno, man -- I loved his nWo run. Some of the funniest, best promos I've ever seen.

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  19. Same thing Marty was?

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  20. And not to mention Bret going home for an extended period. It was bad times, all around.

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  21. Vince's pants were happy as long as he had his boy toy left

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  22. to be fair, if a year later someone had "Rocky Maivia, WWF Champion in 16 months!" sign at ringside you might have thought the same.

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  23. Agreed. I was expecting a bit more but it was still damn good. The finish with Styles catching Ibushi during the Phoenix splash was just insanity.

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  24. I would've thought him slightly saner than Leif Cassidy guy.

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  25. I remember him doing the exact counter against Low Ki years ago. I like to think Styles kayfabe remembered how to counter the Phoenix Splash - like he and Kenny Omega had it planned.

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  26. The did that a lot with the IC title. They did it a year before with Jarrett and Bob Holly. Excitement of a title change without going through with it I guess.

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  27. Yeah, I was going to say. Odd to mock Bart for being 'fake tough' when in a shoot he would've beaten Austin in five seconds.

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  28. I feel like vince was in deep denial about Ramon and Nash leaving until the bitter end and probably hoped that Nash would change his mind up until the day he was gone.

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  29. James M. FabianoApril 5, 2015 at 9:26 PM

    Now, I always liked Leif Cassidy, he was almost a WWF version of Stevie Richards' clueless putz gimmick, and I thought the New Rockers being stuck in the '70s was funny.

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  30. James M. FabianoApril 5, 2015 at 9:27 PM

    His bones are OK it's his jaw that's glass.

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  31. When crapping on '96 WWF, a lot of people forget that. For the May to October period, they really only had two top guys (HBK & Taker), which makes it hard to turn things around. Aside from Vader (and much has been made lately about his '96 WWF run), much of their roster were mid-card guys trying to move on up (Austin & Foley obviously did), and it takes time to turn guys into top level guys.
    Not surprisingly, Raw got a lot better when a top guy (Bret) came back in the fall, and one of those up and comers (Austin) really started to break out. During the interim, it was quite difficult to be hot with just Taker and Shawn at the top, especially as they weren't working with each other.

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  32. company jobbed out King Mabel way harder and that was only a few months earlier and he wasn't even going to be appearing on WCW tv

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  33. Poor Al: A great wrestler needs to excel at at least two of the three categories: Look, Skill & Charisma. He really only had the middle one, mixed with some funny lines here and there to justify a middling score in the third. He just looked and sounded too much like a doofus most of the time.

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  34. I think they needed Nash to job to end that feud once and for all, and to put Shawn over in a big way. Sure, Nash was overly-prominent for a guy who was leaving, but here he was beaten by Undertaker & Shawn Michaels within a month of each other.

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