The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 07.29.96
You know, for everyone complaining about how shitty these RAW shows are, they still do twice the pageviews of the Nitro reviews. #justsayin
Taped from Seattle, WA
Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler
Sid vs. Justin Hawk Bradshaw
The crowd of course goes apeshit for Sid, and he responds by kicking the crap out of Bradshaw and absolutely squashing him dead with a chokeslam, so Bradshaw responds with the cowbell to the head for the DQ at 1:00. Sid shrugs off a double-team attempt from the heels and powerbombs Bradshaw anyway. So why not just have that be the finish? This is the same shit they're still doing today! If you wanna beat the guy, just beat him! DUD
Meanwhile, Faarooq Asaad challenges Ahmed to an IC title match at Summerslam. Unfortunately, he already ruptured Ahmed's kidney and so the match never happened. I actually recall really looking forward to seeing that one and being disappointed that it fell through. They eventually wrestled at Royal Rumble in a disappointing blowoff, didn't they?
Marc Mero vs. Vader
Vader overpowers Mero in the corner and apparently spits on him, so Mero comes back with clotheslines and a koppo kick. Vader blocks a crucifix with a samoan drop and slugs away in the corner, just beating the hell out of him. Mero fights back and hits a dive on the floor, and back in for the flying sunset flip, but Vader evades that. Mero goes up again and Vader catches him with a powerslam for the pin at 6:21. This was quite energetic and both guys looked good. Circumstances would of course work out very well for Mero soon despite the loss. ***
Jim Cornette has a face to face with Jose Lothario, and goes off on a crazed rant about how Vader is going to win the title and what a legend that Lothario is. Cornette is of course great at that sort of thing, and we cut to the back, where Shawn Michaels is watching the interview until Mankind lays him out with the Mandible Claw.
The British Bulldog vs. Henry Godwinn
The other subplot here is that Jerry Lawler will be facing Aldo Montoya next week in a rematch of a match from Superstars, because Aldo is Jake Roberts' protege and all. So many possible jokes to make there. We even get Aldo promo time! Also, BREAKING NEWS, because Sunny will be live in the WWF AOL chatroom for reasons, according to a crawl at the bottom of the screen delivering like a weather warning. Henry gets a facefirst slam for two and Bulldog bails to regroup, then comes back with the clubbing forearms before running into a boot in the corner. Bulldog goes to a chinlock while commentator Owen Hart clarifies Bret's status during his absence: He's a loser and a coward and a crybaby and a quitter, so leave him alone and get lost. So there you are. He also further clarifies that his doctor has let him know that in “a few more months” they can look at taking the cast off his wrist, which has Vince disgustedly telling him that it takes six weeks for a bone to heal. What a heartless jerk. ARE YOU A DOCTOR, VINCE MCMAHON? We take a break from this boring match for some reason and return with Owen continuing to bury his brother. Henry sets up for the slop drop, but Owen steals his bucket and Bulldog powerslams him for the pin at 9:43. I know if someone stole MY bucket of compost, I'd be upset as well. Match was crap, commentary was hilarious. 1/2*
Meanwhile, Olympic hopeful Mark Henry lifts some stuff.
Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker
Taker throws him into the corner and works the arm, and you can really start to feel Austin heating up as a character at this point. Austin makes a quick comeback and Taker no-sells for a great reaction from Austin. Taker goes old school, but Austin crotches him and chokes away to take over. He stomps a mudhole, perhaps the first one, and Lawler even coins that phrase for it! Austin drops the elbow for two and slugs away in the corner, but Taker ties him up in the ropes and beats him down again. Austin clips him, however, and works him over in the corner while we take a break. Back with Austin holding a chinlock, and he counters an UT comeback with a piledriver, but Taker does the zombie situp and crotches him on the top rope. Taker follows with a chokeslam off the top rope, but Mankind comes out for a distraction and Taker is counted out at 12:00. And Undertaker just comes right back in and tombstones Austin anyway. That's twice in one show they did the same type of screwjob finish! Decent match, as Austin was way more comfortable with his character now. **1/2
Nothing either offensive or impressive on this outing. Still a good crowd and the show breezed by, though.