Sunday, June 7, 2015

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW–07.22.96

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 07.22.96

Season six of Sons of Anarchy finally wrapped up this weekend in our household, and MAN did that finale suck. Someone should have told Kurt Sutter that just because FX offers you a two-hour slot for the finale, you don't have to take a 40 minute episode and stretch it out by having everyone make dramatic pauses in between lines. And quite the downer for the season to end on, as well. I found most of it pretty rambling and low-stakes once the whole Lee Toric thing was dealt with and I'd call it the second-worst season after the Belfast one. Especially with every episode being overly long like they were. But hey, we've got one season left, so hopefully it wraps up nicely.

Live from Seattle, WA. This is actually shot like a full arena setup, even with only a 7000 seat capacity for this taping, which gives the show a much bigger feel than it's been having lately.

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler

WWF tag titles: The Smoking Gunns vs. Shawn Michaels & Ahmed Johnson

It's Shawn's birthday, so Sunny brings a cake with her to celebrate. She likely gave him another birthday present in the locker room beforehand as well, if you know what I mean. By which I mean a nice watch. The Gunns attack on the floor to start, before Shawn can even get his pyro, so Sunny tries to throw the cake in his face and suffers the fickle hand of irony when Ahmed dumps it on her instead. I'm sure he probably dumped another load of something onto her in the locker room, if you know what I mean. By which I mean he had sex with her. So this doesn't happen, although Gorilla announces after the break that it will be delayed until later in the show...OR ELSE.

Marc Mero vs. The Goon

The next great uber-jobber gimmick debuts, as apparently Bill Irwin REALLY needed the cash. The Goon attacks with some hipchecks in the corner and an elbow. The touches with the character are kind of funny, actually, like the faux-Devils jersey and skate-shaped boots, but man what a stupid idea overall. Goon with a clothesline and high knee in the corner as Goon takes a ridiculous amount of the offense here and Jake Roberts calls in for an interview while Lawler mocks him on commentary. Mero finally comes back with a dropkick and a rollup for two. Meanwhile, Steve Austin on commentary gets an epic burial of Lex Luger and the time they “painted a school bus red white and blue so someone could go around kissing babies”, and he suggests giving HIM a bus so he could go town to town and whip everyone's ass. Meanwhile, Goon goes to the chinlock, but Mero comes back with a sloppy headscissors that they manage to mess up, but Goon cuts him off AGAIN and dumps him to the floor. Goon charges and slips on the remains of the cake, and Mero hits him with the somersault plancha and finishes with a slingshot legdrop at 7:15. This was a DISASTER. -* Meltzer details a story about then-wrestler Scott D'Amore doing the same gimmick and making the mistake of telling the WWF about it, only to see them never call him back and then debut the exact same gimmick two weeks later.

Meanwhile, Clarence Mason presses Gorilla Monsoon to allow a mysterious former convict to compete in the WWF again.

Mankind vs. Freddie Joe Floyd

And here's Tracy Smothers, the next in the line of goofy jobbers. Mankind with the usual dismantling of Floyd, but he misses a charge and Floyd makes the comeback with the enzuigiri and a flying elbow for two. Rollup gets two. Floyd goes up again and Mankind brings him down with the Mandible Claw at 3:49 to finish. Energetic little squash. **

Goldust vs. Barry Horowitz

Brian Pillman is on commentary and promises to say the “seven words” at some point. Well Russo wasn't booking quite yet, otherwise he might have. Goldust finishes quickly with the Curtain Call at 2:10. Pillman is quite excited for the prospect of a three-way with Marlena and Sable before Vince quickly cuts him off and moves on.

Vader announces that he's getting a title shot at Summerslam, and he's the bully who's gonna steal Shawn's lunch money, and by lunch money he's metaphorically referring to the WWF title.

WWF tag titles: The Smoking Gunns vs. Shawn Michaels & Ahmed Johnson

Take two. Shawn slugs Billy down to start and clotheslines him to the floor, and Ahmed comes in to work on the arm as we take a break. Back with Bart getting a cheapshot on Ahmed to take over, but Shawn comes in and runs wild on Billy until Bart clotheslines him on the top rope to slow him down again. Press slam onto the top rope follows. Shawn bumping around the ring as face-in-peril is the role he was born to play. The Gunns beat on him outside and Billy gets two in the ring, and we get the classic cutting the ring in half heel tactics from the Gunns. And it ALWAYS WORKS. The fans in the front row are just enraged as we take a break. Back with the wide shot of the arena, where you can see it's scaled to just the one side like a low-level concert bowl setup. Why ruin the illusion? Billy with the corner clothesline for two and he goes to the chinlock, but Shawn fights out and noggins are knocked. HOT tag Ahmed, as the asskicking babyface half of the tag team is a role that Ahmed was born to play as well, and he cleans house in impressive fashion until FAAROOQ debuts in his gladiator gear and attacks Ahmed on the floor for the DQ at 16:00. I have no idea who thought that look would be a good idea. ***1/2 Also, why would Ron Simmons let himself balloon to 300 pounds like that just before getting a big contract and push?

The Pulse

Big crowd and hot main event make this is a much easier show to sit through than recent weeks.

94 comments:

  1. Sure he does, he's CAPSLOCKMAN. ;)

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  2. "Cena winning another 2 or 3 world titles will not tarnish Flair's legacy in any way."


    Flair is already doing that on his own. :p

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  3. "There were also a couple in the Pacific where he jobbed and won the title back a day or two later that were also ignored."


    Did he do that with the front office's permission? Or did he do those jobs and win the title's back without their notification?

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  4. Theberzerker, #1 HUSS CHOMPIONJune 7, 2015 at 11:27 PM

    Man, I can't believe The Goon debuted this late, I always remembered it as one of the onslaught of dumb cartoon gimmicks from 93-94 or so. Then again, I was ALL about the nWo at this point anyway, and so sick of the BOYHOOD DREAM crap with Shawn I was barely paying attention to WWE at all.

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  5. Scott wrote the FAQ for RSPW which aimed to be the 'definitive' guide for questions such as Flair's title reigns

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  6. "but on the last Nitro the following year, the announcers were calling him a 14-time champ."


    I got a simpler answer, the announcers fucked up.

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  7. WTF, I'VE BEEN TALKING TO YOU LIKE THIS FOREVER AND NOOOOOOW IS WHEN YOU'RE UPSET?

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  8. He was on Superstars for about a month before this I believe

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  9. WTF IS YOUR OBSESSION FOR SHITTY 96 RAWS? GO BACK TO NITRO, MAN. FUCK, I HATE WHEN YOU DO THIS, SCOTT KEITH!

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  10. Lol at the part on this episode after Ahmed has an interview and McMahon says something to the effect that it sounds like he means business and King says "you could understand him?"

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  11. I didn't know Clarence Mason managed Ken Patera.

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  12. Macklin, Man Without FearJune 8, 2015 at 12:10 AM

    He's got at least one or two left. I think there's a chance he main events one of the next two putting over the next big thing and he's also(barring some crazy circumstance) retiring at WrestleMania and assuredly in the main event.

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  13. You mean he wasn't talking about Nailz?

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  14. The Goon debuted less than six months after Happy Gilmore, so if they had debuted him alongside Barry "Hole in One" Darsow, they could have made ALL the money!

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  15. Macklin, Man Without FearJune 8, 2015 at 12:12 AM

    I think it should be easier to count how many times someone has won a world title. The fact that the answer for Flair is anywhere from 16-26 is just insane. It shouldn't be a debate it should be a fact. Damn NWA/WCW/WWF/crazed bookers

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  16. Macklin, Man Without FearJune 8, 2015 at 12:13 AM

    I love when someone asks a dumb question I didn't know the answer to and was too chicken to ask someone about for years. You've done me a service today.

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  17. It's really a shame that Ron Simmons debuted in that ridiculous outfit, because he really was pretty damn good with his promos, no pun intended.

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  18. Austin's line about wanting a bus to go from town to town to whip everyone's ass... amazing

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  19. bizarre that Ron Simmon's crappy sneak attack in a goofy outfit nearly legit kills Johnson with the kick

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  20. Homeless Crush... BRAH

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  21. In Bill Irwin's defense, the only match of his I remember was him and Sting for the TV title on a Clash. He probably hadn't been on TV since that match and really DID need the cash.


    It was a better gimmick than Tracey Smothers' "living the gimmick" BS.

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  22. Sons of Anarchy is not a particularly good show after season 1. Sutter is pretty good at killing off characters for no particularly good reason (except for shock value, or because it's really tragic) and he's fond of the idiot plot in which essential things that could clear up misunderstandings are never said (again, in service of tragedy, since the show is basically a biker version of Hamlet).

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  23. The announcers have actually been describing Cena as a 'legend' and 'an all-time great' pretty regularly for the last six months or so. One suspects WWE is slowly transitioning him into that phase of his career.

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  24. Scott is clearly trolling all of us who lives for his nitro review. HE TRIVES OFF IT.

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  25. A. Even WCW didn't count those extra championships.
    B. The World Heavyweight Championship counts as one because they continuously refer to Cena as a 15-time champion, HHH as a 13-time champion, Orton as a 12-time champion, Edge as an 11-time champion, etc. None of which would be possible if you subtract their WHC reigns. They also still refer to Orton as "the youngest world champion in WWE history", which is only possible if we count the WHC. Counting only the WWE Championship, Brock Lesnar is still the youngest.


    Unless he goes down with a sudden career-ending injury anytime soon, then it's practically inevitable that Cena will surpass Flair's number of title reigns. And I don't see why people even give a shit. Cena has already surpassed Hogan, Austin, and Rock's number of reigns, why is it such a big deal that he surpasses Flair's, too? Flair will still be a 16-time world champion irregardless of how many titles anyone else holds, plus the number of titles you win has little impact in how big of a star or legend you are. You're remembered for a hell of a lot more than just a mere stat.

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  26. Those gimmicks....
    Alex "The Pug" Porteau (with Steiner Brothers theme) is also coming soon. Or Avatar...Who thought that was a good idea?

    And FAAROOQ beat down Ahmed just like Ahmed did backstage with Sunny, AMIRITE?

    *high five*

    Guys, guys?

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  27. Man, these jobbers are a fascinating look into a weird era for the company. Jericho mentions in his book that he was given a job offer to be one of them- the "Lose to everyone, but can beat actual Jobbers" guys. He wisely turned it down.

    I can kind of see the appeal... you stick a loser out there and have him beat some jobbers, but he'll lose to the people you ACTUALLY want to push. It makes it look like the Nitro-style "Star (vs) Star" booking, without actually "wasting" your top acts on TV. The problem was, they used the worst guys (mostly washed-up Indie losers or rookies), the silliest gimmicks, and jobbed them out IMMEDIATELY, rather than waited a few months after they'd picked up some wins.

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  28. Stuff like that is what helped get Austin so over- he was authentically-funny and rebellious.

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  29. TL Hopper vs. The Goon is a main event anywhere in the country.

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  30. "Meanwhile, Steve Austin on commentary gets an epic burial of Lex Luger and the time they “painted a school bus red white and blue so someone could go around kissing babies”, and he suggests giving HIM a bus so he could go town to town and whip everyone's ass. "

    Aw man that's awesome, I love it. STONE COLD.

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  31. I remember he had Bulldog's debut match in WCW. No idea why, I don't think he'd even been in the promotion right before that.

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  32. Macklin, Man Without FearJune 8, 2015 at 4:13 AM

    Austin's trash talk was incredible. Guy could flap his gums all day long. Gimmick. Beady eyes. Bottom Line.

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  33. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!June 8, 2015 at 4:30 AM

    "Irregardless"??? Ahhhhhh. *pulls hair out*

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  34. Down Under Aussie (in Japan)June 8, 2015 at 4:45 AM

    You did disappear for awhile

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  35. Because he is BIZARRE~! ?

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  36. It would definitely fly in the face of their "titles don't mean anything and are really just props" thinking for them to make a big deal about it. Plus, they would have to discuss Flair in a positive light on TV, which seems unlikely.

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  37. Cena is still the biggest star on the roster. This is another great time for me to clamor for one epic Cena world title reign. Just give the guy a 3 year run with the title. Then when someone finally beats him he retires for good.

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  38. You can bet your ass he gets it. 2 more world titles on Cena could be easily pulled off even now in 3-4 years

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  39. Ah yes, the Faarooq attack that possibly changed WWF history by putting Ahmed on the shelf and destroying all the momentum he built from late 1995 to this point.

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  40. Austin on commentary was one of the highlights on 1996. He and Bob Backlund were great when put into the "guest" role. Later in the year, Austin has a great exchange with McMahon that starts laying the foundation for their feud two years ahead of schedule.

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  41. Arn Anderson said in a shoot that Ron Simmons pretty much stopped giving a shit towards the end of his WCW run. Said he stopped going to the gym and all that. He didn't get back in shape until The Acolytes run.

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  42. Avatar was late 1995. If they'd kept the gimmick under the mask it had potential.

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  43. You asked why he would let hmself get to 300 lbs, I've noticed when guys come over to WWF/E, in a steroid testing era, they generally come in heavier (and less cut) than they were. Hmmmm...perhaps Ron stopped taking..something..before he came in.

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  44. What a disatster and waste of time Ahmed's entire run became. He was clearly going to be the black Steve Austin. Or, I guess, Austin would have been the white Ahmed Johnson.

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  45. Or Western Kentucky.

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  46. Macklin, Man Without FearJune 8, 2015 at 6:10 AM

    3 year title reign? I told you to stop drinking and smoking them funny cigarettes Devin they don't mixth baby.

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  47. Op really thinks Cena will be in midcard forever. Hate to break it to you but Cena is still face if this company.

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  48. Macklin, Man Without FearJune 8, 2015 at 6:12 AM

    Cena is still the guy until further notice. He absolutely gets at least one more reign if just to transition it to the next guy. But I don't think they're putting Cena out to pasture soon.

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  49. Yeah, I look back on Ahmed's 1995-pre injury 1996 run fondly. I was a HUGE fan of the guy as a kid. He had that intense vibe and had some devastating moves (that were delivered stiff as hell in the ring). The whole NOD feud drug him down a notch, especially when he decided to temporarily join.

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  50. Yeah, but only putting the mask on after coming to the ring was stupid. And he was no Hayabusa, even if he cosplayed as him.

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  51. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!June 8, 2015 at 6:31 AM

    Diabeetus?

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  52. His point was scott just said this wasn't a big deal if Flair gets his record broken when ten years ago he was seemingly pleading for it not to happen. I think it's a reasonable argument/question.

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  53. "the idiot plot in which essential things that could clear up misunderstandings are never said" - You basically described the entire final three seasons of Lost, with people being secretive and mysterious for the sole purpose of being secretive and mysterious.

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  54. Macklin, Man Without FearJune 8, 2015 at 6:41 AM

    Diabettis

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  55. MaffewOfBotchamaniaJune 8, 2015 at 6:41 AM

    I've always resented Farooq for hitting Ahmed so hard his kidneys exploded (or whatever it was) and thus turning Ahmed into ''sure-fire thing'' into ''what could have been''.

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  56. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!June 8, 2015 at 6:43 AM

    Jerome Bettis?

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  57. 1996 to early 1998 Austin is just a thing of beauty. One of the greatest characters of all time.

    He was good in Austin-McMahon, but the always pissed off chip on his shoulder, being held down Austin is the greatest.

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  58. Don't besmirch Shawn's boyhood dream of stripping in front of a 60 year old pervy guy.

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  61. Honestly, the jobber gimmick guys aren't much different than your Zach Ryders or Heath Slaters of the world. Except back in the mid 90s it was clearly obvious that the gimmicks were death and would never go anywhere.

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  62. Just look at Survivor Series 1995 and how crazy over Ahmed was.

    Now he's forever in my mind as the guy who wrestled Booker T for the letter "T".

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  63. Yeah, I was totally on Team Ahmed too, and always wonder if Ahmed could have made it if this incident never occured. Not to mention that Ron Simmons seemed like a shitty signing in the first place and he shouldn't have been there.

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  64. I've never actually seen Simmons look motivated for something.

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  65. He would at least go to the gym if nothing else.

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  66. Hasn't he been unofficial champ for the last 8 years anyway?

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  67. I never actually liked the guy because WCW always tried to put him over as an athlete, but the guy always walked around like he had a pole shoved up his ass.

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  68. I said they won't treat it like a big deal.

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  69. I doubt he had a love for the business. It did seem like just a check to him. I loved DOOM though. Don't take that away from me.

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  70. Doom was badass. That music too!

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  71. Ahmed turning heel and joining the Nation could have invigorated Ahmed's career, the same way it did for Rock, but Ahmed just had to get injured again.

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  72. Austin was a supreme shit talker. Once they let him cut loos on the mic there was no way he wasn't going to get over.

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  73. Yeah, and truth be told- I think I actually like the Stupid Jobbers better. Slater & Ryder just come off like a waste of time and useless. At least The Goon or TL Hopper are stupid, which makes them funny.

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  74. Hell yeah it was. It just sounded like some little white dudes were about to get that ass kicked. I've been looking for their GAB match against R&R but can't find it posted anywhere. Come on internet - do better

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  75. I know this was the era of bad gimmicks but damn, what the fuck where they thinking dressing up Ron Simmons as a black gladiator or whatever the fuck he was supposed to be in that ugly costume? And of course they made him attack the other black guy who was on his way to being a main eventer and instantly derailed his career.

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  76. Just imagine if Faarooq had kicked HBK and done that damage to him. Dude would've been fired on the spot.

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  77. OK, those in the know help me out with this whole Ahmed injury thing...

    Did Farooq's attack on this show legitimately cause the injury?
    If so, did WWF not know immediately? I mean, why have him compete in the battle royal later in the tapings?

    And if Ahmed does not get hurt does he face Shawn or Vader for the title after Summerslam?

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  78. Well that was that one famous Heat squash where he and Bradshaw sure looked motivated to beat the shit out of Public Enemy.

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  79. It sounds kinda funny but to an 11-year old me the way the Acolytes debuted were amazing. Faarooq and Bradshaw looked immaculately built and they seemed invincible at the beginning, I didn't think anyone would be able to beat them. I miss that type of roughneck tag team.

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  80. I'm sure. I remember Nash saying complained about Mabel hurting him in the ring and Vince was ready to fire him but Nash talked him out of it.

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  81. Yes.
    Ahmed probably didn't realize how hurt he was so he probably didn't even say anything (since winning that battle royal was probably putting him on the path to the World Champioship).

    I have always believe If Ahmed was healthy, he beats Vader for the belt the night after Summeralam.

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  82. No one was going to be Steve Austin but Steve Austin, but Ahmed Johnson was such a great white-meat babyface (yeah the irony) he could've been in that Bret Hart "guy while they find the guy" role.

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  83. Eh. When Maggle needs a new talking point this will probably be it. It would be nice if the WWE did sonething to make the kids and casual fans care about it...something like "Ric Flair month" on the Network highlighting his title wins or some kind of dual Flair-Cena title wins special...something to make people care about a record most people outside of this board don't even know exists

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  84. How dare someone change their mind over the course of a decade????????????????????????

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  85. I second loving the Jarrett Nitro match. A great moment in a mountain of WCW shit. I believe the NWA counts the Race in Singapore change and the Fujinami one so I count them too. I personally come up with 17. All of the unasterisked ones except the last one(I just think it's stupid) plus add in Race in Singapore, Fujinami, and Windham

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  86. not as long as he is still the reason house shows draw at all, and that his heat good or bad is still the biggest.

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  87. The good old days when I had Prodigy as my internet lol.

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  88. they should if they were smart... Watch to see if Cena breaks Flairs record at Summer Slam. all about $$$$$.

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  89. Charismatic eNegro Jef VinsonJune 8, 2015 at 10:53 AM

    It doesn't matter what belt Cena holds or who he wrestles. He's a made man so it doesn't matter his position on the card. He will draw.

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  90. Charismatic eNegro Jef VinsonJune 8, 2015 at 10:53 AM

    I'd be willing to bet HHH cares if Cena breaks the record.

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