Thursday, June 18, 2015

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW–08.05.96

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 08.05.96

Taped from Seattle, WA

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jim Ross

Jerry Lawler vs. Aldo Montoya

Aldo is now Jake Roberts' protege, having learned the DDT and beaten Jerry Lawler on Superstars. The gag here is that Lawler does commentary while wrestling, then attacks Aldo after offering him the microphone. Montoya with a dropkick out of the corner, but Lawler hides behind the ref to escape the DDT. Aldo slugs away in the corner, but somehow walks into a piledriver that gets two. Another one finishes at 2:30. Not horrible for a Lawler match. ** Lawler pours a bottle of “whiskey” down his throat, which of course would have been iced tea. “He doesn't even drink!” Vince declares in horror. Well that just makes him boring.

The New Rockers vs. The Bodydonnas

Some guy in the front has an “I'm Glacier” sign, which is some pretty awesome snark. The Rockers attack Zip on the way to the ring and double-team him to control, which has crack color man Hillbilly Jim declaring it a donnybrook! Hey, that's my deal. The Donnas do some stuff and it's so boring that they cut away to a promo from Faarooq and Sunny. Ron Simmons without a goatee is just weird. So unfortunately back to the match as Zip fights off the Rockers and Jim babbles like a moron. Every day they're scufflin', apparently. So more stuff happens that I don't care about and Skip gets a flying splash on Marty for two, but Leif clotheslines him on the top rope and I guess this would be the heat segment if the Bodydonnas had any heat. God, watching the lawn dart Nitro from the week previous with cutting edge angles and editing, and then watching this bad 80s bullcrap pretty much highlights why Nitro was destroying them. And this boring match keeps going, so we cut to Gorilla Monsoon reinstating Crush in an inset promo. The Rockers cut off the tag and JESUS FUCK WE TAKE A BREAK. Back with Skip making the comeback with a top rope rana and then the Smoking Gunns run in for the DQ at 11:18. Vince promises that this is exactly what we can expect to see at Summerslam. What, a boring match between heatless teams that ends with a shit finish? Actually, I think that WAS what we saw, come to think of it. *1/2

Shawn Michaels sits down with Kevin Kelly and promises that he's just a regular guy, like all of us! Except you know, he's a wrestler and WWF World champion. Also, he could be beaten on any given night. Well, as long you don't TELL him in advance that he's dropping the title, because he'll develop a knee injury or fail a drug test or something. Given what we know about him at this point, this really makes him come off as an insufferable douchebag.

Quick note: In the WON for that week, Meltzer runs down the scheduled card for Mindgames: “Current line-up for the 9/22 IYH PPV from Philadelphia is Cornette & Vader vs. Michaels & Lothario, Owen & Bulldog vs. Sid & ? (scheduled as Johnson but that could change), Gunns vs. Godwinns for tag titles (which also may change), Vega vs. Asad, Mankind vs. Mero and Undertaker vs. Goldust. “ Literally none of those matches happened. Talk about plans changing.

Invitational Battle Royale:

So was this taped earlier in the show before Ahmed's kidney injury? Because holy crap that would suck for him if not. We've got Undertaker, Mankind, Sid, Bulldog, Bradshaw, Owen Hart, Steve Austin, Goldust, Marc Mero and Savio Vega. Taker and Mankind immediately eliminate themselves and Sid tosses the Bulldog and then it settles into the usual kicking and punching. Owen skins the cat to save himself, but Mero clotheslines him out and we take a break. We return with Goldust backdropping Mero to the floor, and then Savio eliminates himself on his own corner kick. So our final four is Austin, Sid, Goldust and Ahmed, while Undertaker brawls with Mankind through the crowd off and on. The Austin-Goldust heel duo double-teams Ahmed and tries to get Sid out, with no success. Ahmed and Goldust practically have a meeting right on camera and we take a break with Undertaker still brawling with Mankind. Back with Sid powerbombing Goldust and then Austin. And then we cut to the back for more UT-Mankind shenanigans. This is a really weird battle royale because they did a bunch of eliminations in rapid-fire manner and then it's been the same four guys for like 10 minutes. Finally Owen and Bulldog distract Sid and allow him to be eliminated. Goldust turns on Austin, but Steve goes low on him and they slug it out. Ahmed and Goldust briefly team up to put Austin out, but Goldust gets a piledriver and we take a THIRD break. Back with Ahmed holding a bodyscissors, but Goldust fights up and they collide, resulting in Goldust falling to the floor at 23:45. Ahmed was just over like crazy here and I guess you'd call this the peak of his career because he was never at the same kind of level again. Theoretically this earned Ahmed a shot at Shawn Michaels on the 8/19 RAW following Summerslam, but of course that didn't happen due to his injury, and Dave seemed to hint that they were going to do a bait-and-switch anyway to get out of it.

The Pulse

I was pretty bored by this show, but that Nitro was a tough act to follow so I could be biased.

75 comments:

  1. I still do, both T1 and 2 are fucking classic, impressively in different ways

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  2. If WWE brought back the Hardcore title next week, who would they have as the new champion? I say Ambrose.

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  3. Cena vs Orton,one more timeJune 18, 2015 at 11:54 PM

    The American economy is probably the best performing economy among the developed nations right now,though.

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  4. I think that's why a lot of people want him back - they think he'll somehow get us back to calmer times.

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  5. Babyface Lawler might be a little less lame if he at least acknowledged that he used to do all of the sneaky, dirty heel stuff he seems so offended by now.

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  6. "Every day they're scufflin', apparently."

    Party Rock was in the house that night.

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  7. IYH Mind Games had that extra fancy computer animated laughing Mankind skull, so they must have changed plans fast


    i'm pumped up for the actual gravestone with an IYH promo etched into it for the Buried Alive taping set

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  8. That original lineup for Mind Games looked horrible. Can't believe WWF was going to put Cornette and Lothario in the main event and expect people to pay for it. They ended up doing that tag match on Raw and it had a really weird ending where Vader pinned Shawn cleanly and was never mentioned again.

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  9. Even worse, they planned to put Cornette and Lothario in the main event...in Philadelphia.

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  10. Midnights were over in Philly.

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  11. Drinking = what hopeless crushing bores need to disguise their lack of personality.

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  12. "Given what we know about him at this point, this really makes him come off as an insufferable douchebag."

    It's too bad Shawn couldn't channel the goodness and kindness of Ramsay Bolton https://youtu.be/WEQnwF4yoWI the biggest babyface to have ever babyfaced.

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  13. Awesome as Shawn/Mankind was, there was absolutely no way in hell Mankind was walking out of that PPV with the Title, and everyone knew it.

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  14. That battle royal is one of my favorites. Up there with the World title battle royal from Smackdown that Kurt Angle won as one of the best ever.

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  15. After beating Undertaker for a second time, Mankind had a lot of momentum on his side and if he won the title at Mind Games, WWF could have built a big main event heel monster.

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  16. In a nutshell that was the biggest problem with 96 babyface Shawn Michaels. He was playing a character so far removed from his real life persona that he became insufferable as fans could see through the act.

    Once the heel turn came and he basically played himself - even though he was a heel he became that much more likeable (or likeable to hate if you get what I mean) as there was no pretense anymore - it was just a dick playing a dick.

    Probably another reason why his early return was a bit ropey as people weren't quite ready to buy into Christian and reformed druggie Shawn Michaels until it became obvious (probably sometime in 2004) that he was pretty genuine.

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  17. And had they subbed in Bobby and Stan, that match might not have sucked.

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  18. Much like a lot of others, he became a variation of Hulk Hogan. He became workrate Hogan. The only two top babyfaces to avoid that that come to mind are Bret and Austin.

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  19. That sounds like the worst, lamest Shawn Michaels intervew ever.

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  20. Comics really still struggle with female characters, it reminds me of Jerry and George trying to think of things for the Elaine character in their sitcom, but just getting female writers to write them seems to forge a better connection, it's like Amanda conner is the best person for Power Girl since she has fun with the Can service tropes that character is labeled without making the character a complete joke.

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  21. Well, that's awfully judgmental of you, but if that's your opinion, then huzzah.

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  22. The storyline they tacked on was kind of weird. They spun it as, "How does the WWF marketing machine get behind Mankind as World Champion?"

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  23. I'll drink to that.

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  24. Does this guy know how to party or what?!

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  25. It's simple: once he loses to Cena and goes spiralling down the card a la Wyatt and others, he'll lose to plenty more wrestlers and become "Just one of the guys who trades wins". Then he'll go through a big losing streak and job endlessly. Then he'll suddenly be the IC Champion. Then job it in a month with nobody noticing.

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  26. It's so sad that this is true. Getting the reactions for guys they like means they were right all along. Getting reactions for guys they don't means the fans are dumb.

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  27. That should have lead to another Shawn/Vader match that never happened.

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  28. Did Sid replace Vader at Survivor Series? Was that meant to be Vader?

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  29. 1996 WWF lame stuff like a Cornette/Vader vs. Shawn/Lothario tag match would have absolutely taken place. In fact they did it on RAW for some reason.

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  30. That's what I've heard. Vader was supposed to go over (no, really this time!), Shawn or somebody called Vader fat or unmotivated or something, and they changed it to Sid. You'll note, the PPV after Survivor Series is called "It's Time".

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  31. Stan Lane and Shawn Michaels would have made a great team, they could have been called the Midnight Rockers.

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  32. Sounds plausible. The names of the shows did tend to tie into what they were about at that time

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  33. The Battle Royal was taped before the injury.

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  34. I heard they did it on RAW.

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  35. Theberzerker, #1 HUSS CHOMPIONJune 19, 2015 at 6:48 AM

    Sometimes, yeah.

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  36. Literally none of those matches happened. Talk about plans changing.

    Yes, that's what happened. They changed all those matches.

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  37. >Literally none of those matches happened.


    Undertaker v. Goldust did

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  38. Yes, that's probably what happened, especially given all the upheaval in the WWF at the time

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  39. "They could come down to the ring dressed as rocking chairs!" - Verne

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  40. Stranger In The AlpsJune 19, 2015 at 7:21 AM

    Someone can be the life of the party without drinking a drop of alcohol. This is how the government controls all of you, by making alcohol available in all convenience stores. So keep drinkiing, sheeple.


    Meanwhile, my alcohol-free orange tangerine pineapple juice is keeping me aware of the shady government men installing satellite dishes on your roof.

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  41. LAME. Is that you Phil?

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  42. stranger dude is so fucking high right now

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  43. I have a vague recollection of a battle royal that happened on this Raw where the wrong guy won by accident and they had to do a match to retcon it the next week. I could have sworn this was it?

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  44. Undertaker finally won a match from Goldust. Too bad that would be the only good thing about that match. Boring matches don't suck as much if the guy you are rooting for wins.

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  45. Or was it taped after during the same taping cycle?

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  46. Austin didn't avoid it - he was always the anti-Hogan with pro-Hogan mannerisms or was that pro-Hogan with anti-Hogan mannerisms.

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  47. Luckily we were spared that match on ppv, except we weren't. They still did Cornette and Jose as a one on one match.

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  48. Does everybody know before Sandman spit beer in Savio's face that Tito Santana spit geritol in Davio's face to start a AWF feud with the WWF - or at least that is what a report read in 1996.

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  49. We are still a week away from Hog Wild - Hog means Hogan over Giant, brother. I was hoping for more babyface reactions like that one, but people - including the rock throwing bikers of 1997 started to really hate Hogan. I couldn't get into heel Hogan being such a coward after years of no selling everybody either.

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  50. In 1996, I actually laughed at the "Jim Beam" jokes. I was hoping a AWA legend like Lawler (yeah, but in 1996 I thought he was a AWA legend) would pile drive Shawn into the concrete and win the WWF title.

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  51. I don't think that crowd had a clue what was going on and that Hogan had turned heel. I remember the VHS for that show had Red and Yellow Hulk on it too.

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  52. The VHS cover did have Red and Yellow Hogan on a bike. I owned it. The bikers of 96 loved Hulk and even sang Happy Birthday to him. The biggest heels of that show was Harlem Heat. But that's no surprise with redneck bikers.

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  53. I agree, but I was hoping for more of those type of crowds. I was hoping Hogan haters would cheer radical heel Hogan - but Hogan ensured that wouldn't happen by wresting and being a Memphis coward in 1996.

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  54. And yet these same bikers cheered Harlem Heat and Jackie in 1997 - so not all redneck bikers need to be stereotyped.

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  55. Never saw 97 but that first Hog Wild had a bad crowd. I remember there was a a really good Malenko vs Benoit match and it went to overtime and the crowd was pissed. That technical shit bored the hell out of them. They just wanted to see Hogan.

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  56. I wonder if they tried to get more wrestling fans into the area for 97

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  57. I think they redid it with the final 4 b/c Ahmed got hurt, and then sid won (I think). But Ahmed was really getting over during that time, and they would've been silly not to run him vs HBK if he was healthy (or Vader if they were going to do the title switch).

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  58. Unless they dressed them up as bikers - the 97 crowd seemed even more redneck. Loved those outdoor shows though.

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  59. Didn't they tape some matches before Raw went live?

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  60. Aye, shame they lost their ass financially on them

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  61. Hogan definitely wasn't Mr. Right. Just ask Linda.

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  62. As great as Malenko and Benoit were and how fantastic the match was to a real fan, you need to work a style the audience would want, and a gaggle of marks and non-fans don't want a 35-minute classic.

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  63. I don't drink at all (didn't even have the wine at my wedding)...I always have fun at parties...

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  64. The WWF has never changed their booking plans?

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  65. Meltzer has never been wrong.

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  66. Mero v. Mankind was definitely hinted, and the main event tag match was as well. Ahmed Johnson's injury also probably changed things up.


    Meltzer was reporting on what their plans for the PPV were in mid-August. That doesn't make him wrong unless we found out those were not the plans.

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  67. think i remember Vader suffering an ankle injury in Sept. why he was left off Mind Games and light workload in the Series tag

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  68. TBH, KEITH, WWE WAS USING THE "HE'S JUST A REGULAR GUY!" SHTICK ON ALL THEIR TOP FACES AT THE TIME.


    GO WATCH THE 1994 SLAMMY'S ON THE NETWORK. IT WAS A LIVEWIRE SPECIAL. WHEN TALKING ABOUT DIESEL, TODD PEDOPHILE LITERALLY SAYS "AND LOOK AT BIG DADDY COOL DIESEL! HE'S JUST A REGULAR DUDE! LIKE YOU AND ME! ONLY TALLER!!"


    I SHIT YOU NOT, KEITH

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  69. Even Chaz was just a regular guy too.

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  70. Except for that time he was wrong.

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  71. You don't have to use caps lock you know . . .

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  72. I love this gimmick.

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