Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW–06.24.96

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 06.24.96

Live from Green Bay, WI

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler

Ahmed Johnson v. Hunter Hearst Helmsley

Ahmed overpowers HHH while an enterprising group of fans opposite the hard camera get a giant “Eric Sucks Dick” sign featured every chance they get. Ahmed cranks on a side headlock while Vince runs down tonight’s electric card and confuses Savio Vega with Bob Holly. Hunter finally pulls down the top rope and Ahmed takes a gentle bump to the floor to give Hunter the advantage. Ahmed gets run into the post as the crowd is already bored and quiet. Back, Hunter with a double axehandle for two. Flying clothesline gets two and we hit the chinlock. We take a break and return with Ahmed making the comeback and whipping Hunter into the corner for two. Harvey Wippleman is a terrible referee, by the way, slow-counting both guys and frequently being out of position. Ahmed with the spinebuster and he takes too long setting up the powerbomb and gets backdropped. Hunter throws forearms in the corner and slaps him around, but Ahmed hits the Pearl River Plunge to finish at 12:25. Typically boring Ahmed match. He was fine in short squashes, but the longer matches had hot starts and hot finishes but boring stretches of nothing in the middle. **

The Bodydonnas v. The Brooklyn Brawler & Jerry Fox

The disaster that was the Bodydonna babyface run continues, as fans still boo them despite Vince working hard to convince us that we were supposed to like them for having a cross-dressing freak manager instead of the hot blonde who everyone loved. This is a lengthy squash with a dead crowd. Of note: Sunny, on commentary, promises to bring in a singles wrestler to challenge Shawn Michaels soon. And that of course would be Faarooq. Zip finishes geek #2 with the top rope rana at 4:00. Even more exciting, the PPV will feature a NON-TITLE match between the Gunns and Bodydonnas. Take all my money!

Owen Hart, British Bulldog & Vader v. Aldo Montoya, Savio Vega & Barry Horowitz

And they seriously couldn’t figure out why Nitro was destroying them in the ratings? Bulldog pounds on Savio to start and Vader beats on him in the corner, but Savio comes back with a spinkick and brings Aldo in. Owen quickly drops him with the leg lariat and Bulldog adds the delayed suplex. Corner splash by Vader into the Bulldog powerslam and then the Sharpshooter from Owen finishes at 4:18.

Steve Austin v. The Undertaker

Brian Pillman cuts a promo on Vince before the match, demanding to know where his money is. Not sure where that ever went. I assume this was the first ever Austin v. UT match in their series of eight million? They slug it out and fight on the floor to start, and Austin gets sent into the post. Back in, Taker chokes him down and they fight to the floor again, albeit very slowly. We take a break and return with Austin now in control very slowly, working on the leg. This goes on for a while with Austin laying around on the mat in a hold while Goldust joins us on commentary. And we take another break. Back with Taker missing a clothesline, but he comes back with a chokeslam. Goldust breaks up the tombstone with the old glitter to the eyes finish at 15:15. This was a whole lot of nothing. *

The Pulse

Thankfully this show gets much better in August, because they have been on a BRUTAL run of bad shows for about the past two months now. They needed an influx of new talent in the worst way…and maybe a new head writer, too?

122 comments:

  1. Before reading these rants, I honestly had no idea that the Bodydonnas were supposed to be faces with Cloudy as their manager.

    If that didn't get across to me as an eight-year old mark, then they fucked up something fierce.

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  2. 2 hours...and no Gomez?!?!? Or is this the wrong rant, im confused

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  3. I can't remember much about what happened in August, but I don't think things changed that much, as most of 96 was a terrible year for their tv product, but they were delivering a pretty good PPV product for the most part.

    Also pretty surprising they gave Hunter a pretty competitive lengthy match with their next big thing in Ahmed here as Hunter was in his jobber role around this time. It goes to show that while HHH was being buried around this time, he was smart enough to at least look good in defeat.

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  4. The fact that not a single title was defended at July's IYH really confused me, but maybe this was Vince's way to make title matches special and mean something if he showcased them at shows that mattered. I remember the big selling point for KOTR 96 was the announcers harping on that all the titles would be defended so this must have been during a period where Vince decided that title matches mattered.

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  5. Who was head writer at this point?

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  6. This is why Nitro was winning the Monday Night War at this point.

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  7. Not sure on the main, but I presume Vince/Patterson were the guys in charge of the overall direction of the company and Cornette was one of the bookers at the time.

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  8. The head writer is always Vince McMahon.

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  9. Vince gave so few shits at this point that he didn't even bother to explain why Sid was teaming with Shawn again.

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  10. That was Pettengill's job on Mania.

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  11. As a harcore viewer at the time that even watched the crappy recap shows, Pettengill always overanalyzed the storylines going on and sometimes mentioned subtle stuff that the announcers missed out on. I forget what his theory on why Sid and Shawn were teaming up again, but I'm sure he had one.

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  12. So when did Russo start to have input?

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  13. It was Vince, Cornette, Patterson, and occasionally JR as an ensemble I think

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  14. Common belief is around October/November '96, and he became the head booker starting from the famous Raw after Revenge of The Taker

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  15. I believe it was Cornette, he worked as a booker for the WWF during 96.

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  16. He became head writer the day after Canadian Stampede but he was apart of the booking commitee around this time I imagine.

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  17. I'm watching post-Survivor Series Raws, and man, these seem to be loaded. Austin/Mankind, Bret/Owen coming up next show, Taker/Mankind No DQ. Good times are ahead!

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  18. Man, somebody REALLLLLLLY didn't want to give up on that Undertaker/Goldust feud, did they?

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  19. MaffewOfBotchamaniaMay 6, 2015 at 4:13 AM

    Bloody hell, Pettengill was filling in the blanks? I had no idea.

    Strange that WWE doesn't seem to want to acknowledge any other show they did aside from Raw.

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  20. Big Dirty MurphMay 6, 2015 at 4:53 AM

    Pettingzoo gets a bum rap. He was a total cheese dick but he always engaged with the audience and helped move things along. As a young kid I felt he was more on my wavelength than an old man like Vince. Until Attitude came around and poor ol Pedophile outlived his usefulness.

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  21. The WWF didn't even have any big matches to hotshot on tv. What would be their biggest match? Shawn vs Ahmed or Shawn vs Warrior? I wouldn't turn from Nitro to watch that.

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  22. http://abload.de/img/rumble.pettengillnyqgj.jpg

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  23. The entire fan club is holding that sign.

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  24. Vince was ahead of his time, like always. In this case he was pushing for the equality and acceptance of transgender people.

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  25. Right? They just randomly brought him back saying he was reliable. Considering he turned on hbk and powerbombed him a bunch id say that's far from reliable

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  26. Was this the match where Austin counters the ropewalk? That was the first time I ever saw that happen and it blew my mind because I had spent years wondering why no one had ever done that before (that I had seen).

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  27. I recall HBK dating something like "not everything in life happens on camera"

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  28. Because none of the other shows are the longest
    running weekly episodic television program in the U.S., pal!

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  29. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 6, 2015 at 6:53 AM

    "Patera then puts Patterson away with a bearhug."


    I have no idea how you get through these, Bayless.

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  30. No, that was around November.

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  31. Everything with Shawn: vs Taker, vs Vader, vs Austin, vs Mankind, vs Owen, vs Bulldog...

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  32. I don't think that was what he was doing. I think Cloudi was a joke that went horribly wrong. Might have worked better if Rhonda Singh had been used. But this is a perverse and wicked generation.

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  33. I cancelled the Network today. No specific final straw or anything, just I realised I hadn't watched any Raw since the show I went to mid-April, and only bothered to watch bits of Extreme Rules. And I haven't watched almost any classic stuff I don't already have on my PC. So yeah.

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  34. I always find it interesting that a common reason Raw's ratings suck is because other sports are going on. I know *I* didn't watch the NBA playoffs on Monday. Just because a person is a wrestling fan does not mean they are going to watch all other sports all the time.

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  35. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 6, 2015 at 7:10 AM

    Similarities in the 1997 show and Monday's show?


    Bret Hart.


    That guy continues to ruin everything.

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  36. Russo gained a ton of steam and power when he spoke out in a meeting in April 97 after the awful South Africa Raw.

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  37. I'm no NBA fan, but I'm going to assume there were NBA playoffs this time last year as well.

    I would say that if my soccer squadron were somehow playing at the same time as WWE was on, I would never choose to watch WWE.

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  38. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 6, 2015 at 7:12 AM

    Yeah, I didn't renew after Mania. Didn't watch Extreme Rules. Monday's Raw was the first thing I've seen since the Raw after Mania (with the exceptions of the youtube clips).

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  39. At the time Shawn vs. Ahmed probably would have been a big deal given how hot Ahmed was and that they'd teamed, but given that he was due a title shot the night after Summerslam I'm surprised it never gets mentioned as a factor in Shawn retaining vs. Vader.


    Yes Shawn was a massive pain in the backside and probably did politic Vader out of a win, but Vader vs. Ahmed the night after on Raw would have been big - maybe not as big as what was going on with Nitro at the time but enough to keep a few more viewers on Raw. Plus, even if Vader retained, it could have helped boost Ahmed


    As for Shawn/Warrior - Warrior was spent but his name alone (and Shawn's ability at the time) could have been enough to carry him through to a big, important match. But that one would have been wasted on Raw.

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  40. how is the NBA the main culprit? The NBA ratings are DOWN from previous years!

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  41. I wonder if they blame the low ratings on everyone watching Raw

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  42. Easy the worst title for a book I've ever seen.

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  43. Jeremy RinehartMay 6, 2015 at 7:14 AM

    Aren't the NBA Playoffs ratings down quite a bit?

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  44. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 6, 2015 at 7:14 AM

    I watched the NBA playoffs, but I always DVR Raw just in case I hear it's good (like Monday), so I watched it yesterday.


    Nielson ratings are pretty obsolete anyway because of DVR and the internet. They really shouldn't rely on them.

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  45. Didn't John madden have a book called something dumb like "Hey! I Wrote A Book?!" and the cover was him looking all surprised?

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  46. Still better than JTG's title.

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  47. You shut your dirty decaying deviously defecating mouth!

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  48. I'm kind of interested in JTG's book. Hope it's good.

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  49. Shame that WWE has been driving people away for a while. This last monday was dope. (Admittedly I only watched on Hulu after hearing it was good) But they missed out! I wonder if WWE would ever release Hulu numbers per week.

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  50. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 6, 2015 at 7:15 AM

    Here I thought it was the best book title I've ever seen.

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  51. Way down. Sportsmediawatch.com has the details but 35 of the 38 games as of Monday were down.


    Even the LeBron games are down without the Heat. Game 1 Monday night did 4.6 million. LeBron vs. the Bulls in 2013 - none of the games did less than 6 million.

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  52. Don't worry about picking it up right away. It will be on bookshelves way beyond its shelf life for never explained reasons.

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  53. Cena vs Orton,one more timeMay 6, 2015 at 7:16 AM

    "Mommy drinks because you're bad" gives it a run for its money.

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  54. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 6, 2015 at 7:16 AM

    Them's a lot of D words.

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  55. "RAW had 3.57 million viewers this past Monday night, the lowest viewing
    audience for a non-holiday or NFL season show since 1997."


    BEHOLD THE ROMAN EMPIRE!

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  56. So, really bad ratings for a Raw that a lot of you thought was awesome.


    That won't be happening again for a long, long time.

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  57. So I'm watching late '96 Raws and it's interesting to see how Sid was still behaving like a babyface after hitting Jose Lothario with the camera, while HBK and Bret are the ones who start developing a heel edge. I guess they stopped defining Sid's character as a heel or a face and just made him "really fucking crazy."

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  58. Are you making an analogy to JTG's long and confounding WWE tenure where he was barely utilized yet still on the roster to his book being barely read and still on bookshelves?

    Because that is clever, Marv Cresto.

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  59. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 6, 2015 at 7:18 AM

    To be fair, the main event was nothing to write home about.

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  60. Are you implying we're all out of touch with mainstream society?!

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  61. Dick.


    heh.


    Btw, you can't say things like that about Bret with your current avatar. Does not compute.

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  62. Most appropriate book title ever.

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  63. Yup. http://cc.pbsstatic.com/l/75/5075/9780345325075.jpg

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  64. I tend to think poor ratings one week are a reflection of the previous week's show. In which case, these seem about right and next week's will go up.

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  65. It nails what a lot of us are thinking

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  66. No. I'm implying they will freak the fuck out about the ratings and go back to shit we dislike.

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  67. Kinda like any of your sexual events?

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  68. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 6, 2015 at 7:20 AM

    HI Hoss!

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  69. Sid always acted like a face, that's what made him so awesome. Even in the buildup to WM 8 when he was killing jobbers & Virgil, he would play to the crowd. His whole gimmick is that he thought he was the greatest thing in the world, only thing that changed was who he was beating up.

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  70. Just got done watching his return ep in 95. Felt like the first good Raw in forever.

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  71. Hope they see it that way too

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  72. Jeremy RinehartMay 6, 2015 at 7:21 AM

    Lebron seems played out

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  73. Vince: "These declining ratings have to be because of the absence of the short guy with the beard!"
    Fans: "Daniel Bryan?"
    Vince: "What? What's wrong with you, pal? I was talking about Hornswoggle!"

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  74. Nielsen takes those into account to a point. When you fill out the booklet there's a spot for dvr and stuff. They even are interested in your netflixing

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  75. Hey, the Harts dumped Jimmy for no good reason. He can say whatever he wants about them now.

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  76. I just... do not understand this book title. It throws up so many questions about Madden's behaviour and memory.

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  77. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 6, 2015 at 7:22 AM

    That's the last time I use non-licensed psychiatry.

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  78. "Casting Couch" is not about psychiatry, sir.

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  79. Here's Paul McCartney washing a chimps bollocks with a hose.
    https://vine.co/v/ezlbIbdhetl

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  80. LeBron's face turn is not going well. He played better as a heel.

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  81. A Wrestling godMay 6, 2015 at 7:24 AM

    How low does Raw's rating get before something has to change?

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  82. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 6, 2015 at 7:24 AM

    :( I'm as ashamed as Bret Hart should be for ruining last Monday's ratings and 1997.

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  83. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH AND IT'S TIME FOR A CHANGE!

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  84. Question: Where did the trope of Vince McMahon calling everyone "pal" come from? I realized that most of us here when we write "dialogue" for Vince, he's always calling people "pal."

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  85. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 6, 2015 at 7:25 AM

    Hmmm....that was informative.

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  86. Mister ThirteenMay 6, 2015 at 7:26 AM

    Is anyone going to do a recap of that documentary ESPN were showing? I'm interested to hear if it was any good.

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  87. Don't wrestlers do it when they talk in Vince Voice? CM Punk and Foley come to mind.

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  88. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 6, 2015 at 7:26 AM

    That's right BAYBAY!

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  89. No, no, no. Classic Hart Foundation includes Jimmy Hart.

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  90. In the wildly underrated comedy, My Blue Heaven, Steve Martin's character reads a book called "I wrote a book, and so can you!" I thought it was a good little joke.

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  91. Informs and inspires through magic and fun, like Ronald McDonald.

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  92. Oprah NoodlemantraMay 6, 2015 at 7:27 AM

    Time for another match with Torito in the gator suit, pally! That'll get us a 5!

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  93. Mister ThirteenMay 6, 2015 at 7:27 AM

    See, I never understand this thinking. I would always presume that the week before was responsible for the ratings, as how the hell can people know what's coming in a live show and tune in accordingly?

    For instance, if you watch one week and it's utterly dire, you're presumably much less likely to watch the next week, and if that week turns out to be amazing, you'll have missed it and counted as one less in the ratings. It's a weird system to judge anything on, really.

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  94. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 6, 2015 at 7:28 AM

    Be nice.


    I know this is asking too much. Nevermind.

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  95. The Love-Matic Grampa!May 6, 2015 at 7:28 AM

    It was good, but damn them for making me rooting for Adam Rose.

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  96. Mister ThirteenMay 6, 2015 at 7:28 AM

    Thanks Hoss, I never thought of that!

    (In all seriousness, I'm not anywhere I can download it at the moment, being on the go.)

    ReplyDelete
  97. "wildly underrated"...that is a cool phrase, though somehow contradictory in my mind. I know it's not, but somehow, the idea of anything being both wild and underrated seems unlikely to me.

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  98. Punk podcast would be the recent example, but beyond that just about every imitation of him I've heard of him in an interview has him speaking very gruff and saying "pal" and "GODDAMMIT."

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  99. Yes. I agree.


    But historically, that's not the approach WWE Creative seems to take.

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  100. Everytime anyone talks about an interaction with Vince it always starts with Vince saying, "Hey pal..."

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  101. Extant1979 - Extreme SuperstarMay 6, 2015 at 7:30 AM

    My favorite Steve Martin movie ever.

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  102. The Love-Matic Grampa!May 6, 2015 at 7:30 AM

    JTG wrote a book. It'll either be the worst or best thing ever, I guess.

    ReplyDelete
  103. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 6, 2015 at 7:30 AM

    "There were too many RASSLIN' matches on Monday, PAL! The Negroes RASSLED instead of danced! GET THEM DANCING, DAMN IT!"

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  104. What? It's good, solid, reasonable advice.

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  105. Yeah, it's always "GODDAMMIT PAL, WE'RE GOING TO PUSH ROMAN REIGNS TO THE MOON!"

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  106. Mister ThirteenMay 6, 2015 at 7:31 AM

    No-one will actually buy it, but it'll somehow stay on bookshop shelves all over the world without being taken off for low sales. Managers will somehow fail to notice the low sales due to a computer glitch.


    It's the only fitting outcome.

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  107. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 6, 2015 at 7:31 AM

    I feel like I got pulled into a crazy alternative universe for a second there.

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  108. The Love-Matic Grampa!May 6, 2015 at 7:31 AM

    No, he's a creepy hamburger-peddling clown.

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  109. Vince is probably shocked that Shelton Benjamin wrote a book.

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  110. (then just wait til you get home)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6e1hZGDaqIw

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  111. Mister ThirteenMay 6, 2015 at 7:32 AM

    It's ok - he just really misses my puns. I'll need to get some special ones drawn up for him soon. I'm no mug.

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  112. I don't know how good it will actually be, but it seems like it would be fun to hear some stories.

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  113. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 6, 2015 at 7:32 AM

    That joke was right there for anyone to take, and by gawd, you grabbed it.


    +1, sir.

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  114. Don't make me set you on fire.

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  115. They would also put Shelton on the cover

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  116. Mister ThirteenMay 6, 2015 at 7:33 AM

    I see I've inflamed your passions already. Kane we talk about this?

    ReplyDelete
  117. The JTG thing seems unnecessary at first glance, but he might have some good locker room stories about guys. As long as he's not pulling punches to stay in good graces.

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