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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW–04.22.96

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 04.22.96

Taped from San Bernadino, CA

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler

Intercontinental title: Goldust v. Savio Vega

So this is the rematch from last week’s ref bump/beltshot screwjob, with the title held up. Fourth week of a taping cycle so we’re really scraping the barrel now. This would also be a week where Bischoff gave away the results at the start of Nitro to be a dick, so Goldust’s triumph here wasn’t exactly a secret. Savio attacks and gets a powerslam for two and they fight to the floor, but Goldust brings him back in for a corner splash. Savio pounds on him in the corner, so Goldust goes low to take over. I bet the people in attendance were THRILLED to get a pair of Goldust v. Savio Vega matches in the span of an hour. We take a break and return with Goldust working the leg while Lawler provides inane chatter about Marlena’s boobs. Goldust goes to a chinlock while Lawler continues playing “What’s in the news?” Goldust works a lengthy chinlock while Warrior does an inset interview about how he’s going to bust into Goldust’s house and wreck it. My wife points out how rude that is. Goldust continues slowly working the leg and slugs away in the corner, but Savio suddenly makes the comeback and we take ANOTHER break. Fuck me. We return with Savio getting a small package for two as clearly there was no actual edit there and they just stuck a commercial in the match. Goldust tries the Curtain Call and Savio reverses out for two. Marlena distracts the ref and Steve Austin appears to waffle Savio with the Million Dollar belt, which gives Goldust his own gold belt back at 15:08. So one ref distraction/belt shot screwjob is resolved by doing another belt shot screwjob? *

Vader v. Fatu

Joined in progress after the entrances with Vader beating on Fatu, but Fatu shoulderblocks him and takes him down with a sloppy Diamond Cutter. Fatu to the top with a flying splash, but Vader no-sells it and kills him with a clothesline, then debuts the VADERSAULT to finish at 1:55. Total squash. This was an incredibly weird feud, too, because the entire thing was built up without Razor Ramon ever appearing on TV. Imagine if they tried to do that for a Wrestlemania! That would just be…oh, wait, never mind.

Meanwhile, in Germany, the British Bulldog attacks Jake Roberts. And then Jake DDTs him and puts the snake on him. Vince is like “He’s just giving him a taste of what Bulldog might expect at the PPV this Sunday!” Uh, Jake already hit his finisher and put the snake on him, what exactly is left for fans to see?

The Godwinns v. YOSHIHIRO TAJIRI & Tim Patterson

Uh, yeah, this is a thing that is happening. Tajiri actually gets a standing moonsault on PIG, but he tags out to the other geek and HOG bearhugs him while Hillbilly Jim chases Sunny away with his dog. How does that make him the babyface? “Yay, make the hot woman leave ringside so we can enjoy the inbred hicks unabated! Yay!” HOG finishes Patterson with the Slop Drop at 4:00, but the Bodydonnas attack and slop Phineas. This was one of the many low points of the tag titles.

Mankind v. Aldo Montoya

They show clips of Mankind attacking Undertaker, which seems like forever ago, but it was at the same taping! These four week cycles are just brutal. Aldo gets a dropkick, but Mankind proceeds to beating him down in the corner and follows with the running knee. Mankind pounds away while we take a break. Really? For this match? Back with Aldo making the comeback with a corner dropkick, but he comes off the top and gets punched in the face on the way down. Piledriver and the Mandible Claw finish at 5:30. I always loved the touch of the creepy entrance music, and then the calming piano music when he won. That was also a reference to his dropped backstory as a piano prodigy. *

We finish with a video package recapping the Shawn v. Diesel feud, and then a promo from Diesel in Germany that sounds like he’s a few beer steins into his evening.

The Pulse

Super weak go-home show for the PPV, although I bought it anyway in 1996 on the strength of the Shawn-Diesel match. But really, a 10 minute chinlock from Goldust is supposed to make me want to see that show so badly? Thanks but no.

Comments

  1. See, Chris F-B is alive and well, no need to e-mail me about it any longer.

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  2. Fun fact - San bernadino county is bigger than a lot of states.

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  3. I thought the calming piano music after Mankind would win matches was great too and I think it'd be cool if they brought back different entrance and victory themes for somebody today. I also thought it was cool that it references that scene in Silence of the Lambs where Hannibal kills his guards and plays classical piano music afterwards.

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  4. I assume that there was so little faith in Bulldog vs. Jake as a 1-on-1, they panicked and made it a tag team match with zero notice once the PPV began.

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  5. All I remember from this PPV was Shawn/Diesel and Warrior/Goldust. I have no recollection of anything else on this card.

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  6. I don't how any of this benefits Bret Hart, which would be the only right thing to do.

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  7. The bait-and-switch of Warrior/Goldust REALLY sucked, as it was one of the reasons I wanted the show. Instead of an actual match, we got 10 minutes of nothing and no match, except for a clothesline or two. HBK/Diesel kicked enough ass to make me forget about it, but it still was shoddy business practices.

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  8. At least the early In Your House shows were only 2 hours, so they generally didn't drag as much.

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  9. This IYH was pretty weak, until the Main Event. The Roberts/Bulldog match was made into a tag without notice, and still stunk (owen is good, but ahmed is worse than them all), Razor/Vader held zero interest since Razor hadn't been on TV for 2 months, and Godwinns/Body Donnas? Blech. Throw in Warrior/Goldust, and it was just disappointment after disappointment. Then Nash ripped an old man's prosthetic foot off and it kicked ass.

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  10. This one and Beware of Dog looked good on paper. Execution was a little lacking.

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  11. wasn't beware of dog the one where the lights went out?

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  12. Yep. They lost power for everything but the first 20 and last 20 minutes of the PPV.

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  13. Yes and they had to redo it a day or two later.

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  14. Savio/Austin strap match was the only really good match. Taker/Goldust relied on both guys gimmicks too much and Shawn/Bulldog was ok but not nearly as good as Shawn/Diesel the month before.

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  15. I thought the card for BoD was pretty blah when it first happened (and had no interest in begging my parents to order it), but watching it years later, it was one of their strongest IYH cards when it came to match quality, with only Yokozuna/Vader being a stinker, and that was short.

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  16. The opener with Mero/Helmsley was pretty good too, but not near the level of the strap match.

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  17. I know he gets flack for it, but thank God Eric Bischoff revealed the Raw results. That made the WWF get off it's lazy ass and turn Raw into a live show again.

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  18. The foot AND the match.

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  19. Was their match hyped in the Apter mags as some kind of dream match? I wanna say it was, although I don't understand how it's a dream match at all.

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  20. It wouldn't be so bad if they weren't stretching three week taping cycles into four and thinning things out worse than they already were. Seriously... Goldust/Savio is the only non-scrub match. IN 1996.

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  21. I don't recall. I had plenty of PWI in 1995-96, and Yokozuna wasn't really on the radar any more.

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  22. Vader/Taker could have been considered a dream match. Their Rumble 97 match was kinda eh, but Taker's title defense at Canadian Stampede was pretty good.

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  23. I thought you meant Yokozuna. Undertaker vs. anyone WCW was always an interesting dynamic.

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  24. I thought I remembered PWI hyping Vader/Yokozuna as a dream match of two super heavyweights, but I could be wrong trying to remember a 20 year old magazine.

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  25. it was still taped (at least half of the time) until at least 1999 when mankind won the title

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  26. Not only that, but Bulldog was going to headline the next PPV so you'd think it'd be smart for the guy to get some momentum to win a singles match in order to build up to that, but the booking was just weird.

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  27. Poor Bulldog... had the honors of headlining (for the Title) the worst, least bought, and in one case, literally unwatchable PPV's of 1995-96 (IYH 4, 5, and 8). Not once did I give him a hope in hell of winning, either.

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  28. I do remember them hyping a Shawn/Sting match. '95/'96 Shawn vs Sting would've been pretty sweet.

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  29. The tag division was really sad when it didn't need to be as I think the division being carried by New Rockers could have been decent until the Bulldog/Owen tag era started.

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  30. The New Rockers never had a hope in getting over. Being told to act like goofs who were behind the times. Bulldog and Owen definitely created interest, especially when Furnas and Lafon came in, but they were pushed aside for being uncharismatic.

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  31. Summerslam '96 had the Fatal Fourway of the Godwinns vs. New Rockers vs. Bodydonnas vs. The Smoking Gunns. And I remember not caring who won that match.

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  32. It's weird Bulldog was one of the worst draws ever since he had good name value and he seemed like on the same caliber as Kane/Big Show where they're not going to set the business on fire or anything, but they're perfectly fine placeholders to get a title shot for the B-PPVs.

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  33. I would say he was booked poorly, but for his late 95 push, he was mostly going over everyone. By 1996, they tried coming up with an angle to work him with Shawn, but he had already failed a couple of times and definitely lost momentum.

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  34. Sexually harassing Diana? I know Shawn's character was a little iffy with the whole stripper deal, but even 16 year old me figured Shawn could score better chicks than Diana Hart.

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  35. I meant pushing New Rockers as a babyface tag act to be the top team in the promotion could have gotten over. Being booked like the heel tag jobbers they were was never going to get over.

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  36. It wasn't a great angle, but it was better than "hey, next month, Shawn defends against Bulldog... yes, we expect people to order this." The original plan of it all being lies from Diana to get her man to kick his ass would've been fine, but they totally abandoned the whole thing.

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  37. problem with bulldog is he just got title shots against Diesel and Bret and everyone knew he had no chance. Diesel had a possibility of winning (assuming you didn't know he was leaving). Build up someone new over the last 6 months and have him go against HBK. They did that with Vader and Mankind for the summer/fall, but they needed someone before him (like Goldust or Taker).

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  38. I was fine with the Smoking Gunns, but a revived Rockers might've been a decent back-up. Crowds still reacted to Jannetty, but the stigma of a "new" partner without changing the gimmick would be there.

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  39. You're right, in late 95 he was booked fairly strong, but there was still something missing. I think Scott Keith hit the nail on the head on what that certain something was when on one of the Raws leading up to IYH5, Bulldog had a competitive match with Bob Holly where Bulldog really should have just squashed the guy.

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  40. A new "fill in the blank tag team" rarely works. See blackjacks, rockers, midnight express (wwf version).

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  41. Like I said, I know Bulldog wasn't going to do great business, but I thought the guy had enough name value that they could just plug him on a B-PPV and have it do decent business.


    The guy was also fairly over during his face run, so I can't say Bulldog wasn't a draw because American audiences didn't care about him. So yeah, pretty weird he drew the buyrates he did.

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  42. Ugh. I can understand a babyface having to battle a heel more evenly because you need to create sympathy and the idea he could lose, but the heel challenging for the WWF Title having a way too competitive match with a JTTS...

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  43. or putting 2000 in their names: Tekno Team or LOD

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  44. However, he was already on 2 b-ppvs and both bombed big time. They should have tried someone else who was more believable.
    You mentioned kane/big show for example of today. No one in their right mind would buy a ppv with them in the 1-on-1 title match thinking they have a shot.

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  45. I was only hyped for Mankind/Taker Boiler Room Brawl and Shawn/Vader to a lesser extent.

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  46. If Spivey hadn't gone down the previous fall, Waylon Mercy might have been a good opponent for Shawn on one of the B PPVs.

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  47. 95 had the more fun undercard, IMO.

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  48. I know guys getting a "new" partner never gets over, but Snow was really talented and so long they could produce great matches, I'm sure fans would've forgotten the "new" stigma.


    And I really hated the Smokin Gunns. Watching their matches now, I can apprciate the team a little more as I now realize they were a talented team, but growing up with them at the time they just had channel changing heat with me as I hated their cowboy gimmick.

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  49. Why didn't they run Shawn/Goldust on a lesser show? Too gay with the sexual deviant and the male stripper?

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  50. Everyone in 1995 seemed more motivated and the crowd was hotter. Everything at 96 just felt like stuff happening to fill time. Owen/Savio opened with a dull match, the tag team 4-way stank, Mero/Goldust had zero heat, Roberts/Lawler was a worst feud of the year contender, and arguably Sid v. Bulldog was the best match until the two big matches.

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  51. Whereas 95 had Kid/Hakushi, HHH/Holly, Horowitz/Skip and even Taker/Kama and Bret/Yankem were better than 96 undercard. Plus, Shawn/Razor ladder rematch. Only the main event of 95 really stunk.

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  52. Maybe not today, but for the past 15 years or so they always gave Show and Kane their renewed annual push as they headlined some random B-PPVs and the buyrates were okayish for the most part and I think Bulldog had the same type of upper midcarder credibility as Show/Kane.

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  53. Battle Kat LitterApril 7, 2015 at 12:48 AM

    I'm pretty sure Andre's head weighed 200lbs on it's own

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  54. I honestly can't remember anything but 3 things...
    1. The stuff with Luger
    2. Mabel sitting on Diesel
    3. Diesel winning with a freakin' shoulder tackle.
    2nd biggest PPV of the year MAIN EVENT BABY!!!

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  55. Also, LuchaDiesel with the "plancha" over the top. Give him credit for trying I guess, but leave that to Shawn and even Taker, who didn't start to see do that until about '97.

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  56. They could have given Mankind and Vader 20 minutes here and it would have been awesome, but nope.


    That's just not how 1996 WWF rolls. You get 16 minutes of Goldust/Savio trading restholds, a couple of squashes, and Justin Credible in the main event.

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  57. But that would have been bad for business. Mankind vs Vader is something you want to save for a PPV. Putting it on free tv with zero hype and reason makes me think that you're Vince Russo.

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  58. From day one, bro.

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  59. Hey, just be thankful he didn't tear his quad.

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  60. Say did save a lot for a PPV that never happened. ;)

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  61. And I guess not doing a Mankind/Vader match in the first place was equally as stupid as doing one with zero hype.

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  62. Weren't they supposed to meet at WM13 originally but plans ended up changing or something?

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  63. Goldust was injured or something, right?

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  64. that's why I think the first challenger should have been Owen Hart.

    let Owen win in February at the In Your House ppv (of course without the WM title shot on the line) which in result would at least in kayfabe would put some doubts to the Hart vs. Michaels iron man match. then do HBK vs. Owen Hart some time after WrestleMania (plus: it might have made it more easy and less "fabricated" for the WWE to transition from Owen Hart to the Bulldog to Vader as challengers - kind of a reverse Boss Man vs. Heenan Family).

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  65. Dedicated UnderachieverApril 7, 2015 at 5:19 AM

    Nash has actually addresses this and I'm paraphrasing....

    It's like going to a money machine that keeps giving you money every time you push the button. You don't walk away while it still is paying out. You keep going until it stops.

    If he's getting flown around and paid thousands of dollars to just sign his name...then good on him.

    Wish I had that at a career.

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  66. No mention of how legendary that German tour was?

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  67. TheOriginalDonaldApril 7, 2015 at 5:50 AM

    that's what vitamins do to you........BROTHER!

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  68. TheOriginalDonaldApril 7, 2015 at 5:52 AM

    BROCK, YOU DON'T KNOW DIDDLEY!-Vincent Edward Jackson #BoKnows

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  69. TheOriginalDonaldApril 7, 2015 at 5:54 AM

    whereas Paulie is boning the boss' daughter

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  70. I think so. Maybe Vince learned that they had a history and long story in WCW and then he didn't want to make the match, because Vince does not copy stories, which are better than his ideas. ;)

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  71. Worst thing about the Mero/Goldust match is that he debuts his shooting star press... and it doesn't get the win.

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  72. (In response to one Harry Thomas The Seventieth, whose post has shuffled off this mortal coil...)

    (Backstage at a random house show...)

    "Hey, Harry!"

    (He turns around, BANG! Chair shot right to the head, and down goes Harry! I lift him by the hair, throw his head between my legs, and splatter his tiny brain against the floor with a piledriver. I walk away, leaving him in a rather sizable pool of blood. Before I leave the scene, I turn around for one last remark...)

    "Fuck off, jackass."

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  73. I think Mick mentioned it in one of his books

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  74. I consider myself to be along the lines of Dory Funk and Harley Race. Not sure the great jobber123 can suffer the indignity of working for a sportz entertainment fan. We gotta get Brian his job back!

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  77. Diesel was so good as the big bully heel he probably would've done better if he ran with the belt as a bad guy instead of the new Hogan.

    ReplyDelete
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  79. (Oh, look. He brought a valet with him.)

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  82. For the first (but not the last) time in my life, I hated the WWF at this point. 14 year old me hated Diesel, despised Shawn Michaels and I didn't give a shit about anybody else because I was butt hurt about Bret dropping the title at WrestleMania. Thankfully, Steve Austin would soon give me renewed faith.

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  83. There has to be a happy medium of shit matches like this on this RAW and giving away everything for free on RAW like WWE does now.

    Why should I buy the Network to see Orton vs. Rollins yet again? Sure, they had a good match at WrestleMania but they wrestled a whole bunch of times before that on TV.

    The reason so many people talk about Cena vs. The Undertaker is because it's a fresh matchup that hasn't been done to death on RAW sixteen times already.

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  84. Boggles my mind just how much money Hogan must have made in WCW.

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  85. 29 comments. Ratings are down. That's what happens when the same people are featured every week. This is very much like the real raw. Keep up the good work!

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  86. It may not surprise you to know that Bischoff ripped this show at the start of Nitro. He was right to do so.

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  87. WCW definitely had the more interesting roster. Even though they had old guys on top (Hogan, Savage Flair) fans still cared about them plus along with the regular WCW guys like Sting, Luger etc you had the luchadores, Japanese guys and former ECW guys.

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  88. Lies! Brock starts sweating profusely after only being in the ring for 15 seconds. I think it's part of his charm, personally.

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  89. Yeah, IIRC they did alternating live/taped shows until Smackdown started.

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  90. A speaking role on RAW? I'm overwhelmed! (takes new responsibility and builds upon it)

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  91. I thought Flair stealing Liz/Savage's money was great

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  92. Charismatic eNegro Jef VinsonApril 7, 2015 at 8:09 AM

    Was this because:


    1.) Cultstatus was featured prominently
    2.) A main event with Bayless and the Kid.
    3.) Going up against the national Championship

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  93. CM Punk to UFC is even stupider,, but there it is.

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  94. Thank goodness he's back. Best thing on the Internet right now

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  95. Please don't reply to me, you worthless piece of shit.

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  96. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogApril 9, 2015 at 11:22 AM

    How would that be different with Rousey, in the context of a WWE match?

    ReplyDelete

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