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