by Logan Scisco
-Vince McMahon and Jim Ross are in the booth and they are taped from Tulsa, Oklahoma.
-McMahon interviews the Nation of Domination and apologizes for the racist slogans posted in their locker room last week. That’s not good enough for Faarooq, who says that it does not make up for 400 years of racism in the United States. Rocky Maivia takes the mic as McMahon is ushered out of the ring and warns the Hart Foundation that they have created a race war with the Nation and Faarooq challenges them to a match next week. The Hart Foundation comes out and Bret accepts the challenge, says there is no racial prejudice in Canada, and tells Faarooq that D-Generation X is to blame for their problems. DX comes on the Titantron and makes some Ku Klux Klan references and says that they heard the Harts use the “n-word” and that leads to the Nation beating down the Harts on the ramp. Bret seems to have suffered an ankle injury in the melee, which bodes poorly for his title defense against Ken Shamrock tonight.
-A clip of Bret Hart on Mad TV is shown.
-Opening Contest: Triple H (w/D-Generation X) beats Goldust (w/Marlena) with the Pedigree at 5:36:
Rude does Helmsley’s announcing duties and lets us know that Helmsley is the “future of the World Wrestling Federation.” Helmsley’s theme music is in need of an overhaul since he’s still using Ode to Joy, which does not fit the group. Michaels does commentary, but says little of note. Chyna works in her usual interference by slamming Goldust on the entrance ramp when he ends up outside of the ring and Marlena gets in some interference by slapping Helmsley later in the match. However, when Marlena is working in these blows, Chyna gets into the ring and clocks Goldust with Marlena’s purse and the rest is academic. This is probably the best Goldust-Helmsley match since they had to work a faster pace under the TV time constraints. After the match, Michaels tells McMahon and Ross to “suck it” and McMahon is not happy about that. Rating: **
-Jim Cornette rants against the cage match WCW put on at Halloween Havoc between Hulk Hogan and Roddy Piper. There’s no real point in this and it’s the weakest of Cornette’s rants so far.
-A small video package shows highlights of a presentation of Oklahoma wrestling legends like Jim Ross, Bill Watts, Jack and Gerald Brisco, and Danny Hodge that happened in the show.
-Intercontinental Championship Match: Ahmed Johnson defeats Owen Hart (Champion) by disqualification when Steve Austin interferes at 6:19 shown:
Ahmed was in a gray area at this stage of his WWF career because he could not be legitimately reduced to jobber status, but he was nowhere near the heights he achieved in 1996. Ahmed proceeds to dominate Owen in this plodding match, which the Nation of Domination comes out to watch, and you can tell that he is making an effort to work a less stiff style. Ahmed hits a spinebuster, but Steve Austin runs in through the crowd and gives him a Stone Cold Stunner and Owen retains the title heading into Survivor Series. Rating: ½*
-Call 1-900-7374WWF to find out who the three superstars were that did not make it to the WWF’s recent European tour!
-Ross interviews Mankind, who says Dude Love just wanted to have fun and he thought he had a truce with Paul Bearer for both of them to leave each other alone. He says he will retaliate by making Paul Bearer’s life a living hell and will complicate Kane’s path towards the Undertaker. Commissioner Slaughter comes out and says that he will not sanction Mankind’s match with Kane at Survivor Series, so Mankind puts Slaughter in the Mandible Claw. Mankind had absolutely no chance of beating Kane at Survivor Series, but this was a good promo that made you want to see the match. It’s also been a bad couple of months on the job for Slaughter thus far.
-A video package hypes the Bret Hart-Ken Shamrock WWF title match on tonight’s show.
-WWF Championship Match: Bret “the Hitman” Hart (Champion) wrestles Ken Shamrock to a no contest at 10:31 shown:
Again, Montreal did not have to happen as they could have done a title switch here if they wanted to get the belt off of Bret. I like to think of this as a continuation of the issue between these two from WrestleMania XIII, but the announcers don’t reference that. Bret works the leg for a long time and Shamrock does a good job selling the damage. Shamrock has an excellent ankle lock counter to the Sharpshooter, but Earl Hebner gets bumped during that and is not there to register Bret tapping out. Bret proceeds to nail Shamrock with a chair and apply the Sharpshooter, but Shawn Michaels runs in and blasts Bret with Sweet Chin Music. Shamrock doesn’t appreciate this and snaps on Michaels and WWF officials run into the ring to put an end to this. That just leads to Bret attacking Michaels, as another referee tends to Hebner who is still down from a slight nudge during that Sharpshooter counter. Shamrock still lacked a strong character at this time and if this match happened a couple of years later it would have been much better. Rating: **½
-WWF Champion Bret Hart tells the announcers that after the Survivor Series he isn’t going to have to worry about Shawn Michaels anymore. That’s true in more ways than one.
-“The Road Dogg” Jesse James & “Bad Ass” Billy Gunn beat The New Blackjacks when James pins Bradshaw after Gunn hits Bradshaw with a chair at 2:14:
McMahon reminds viewers during this match that they can watch Hulk Hogan fight the Undertaker on the Survivor Series flashback special tomorrow night, which he promises is not “another bad Hulk Hogan movie.” It’s also fitting that the WWF picked a Survivor Series match that Hogan lost. McMahon also tells viewers that Gorilla Monsoon is very sick and in the hospital, which was when Monsoon was diagnosed with cancer. This is an abbreviated match where James and Gunn steal another win and continue to move up the tag team ranks.
-After the match, a brawl breaks out between James, Gunn, and the Blackjacks and James and Gunn tear about the Blackjacks cowboy hats after the Godwinns and Headbangers interject themselves. This is to hype a Survivor Series match between these teams at the pay-per-view.
-Kane and Paul Bearer come out and Bearer rants some more against the Undertaker. They also accept Mankind’s challenge for the Survivor Series.
-D-Generation X cuts a promo where Shawn Michaels moons Bret Hart. Again, McMahon expresses his disgust.
-Marc Mero (w/Sable) beats Flash Funk with the TKO at 3:48:
Mero’s comeback continues in this match, but Funk gives him all that he can handle. Mero brings back the Merosault, but it just does not fit well the rest of his offense. Funk hits a moonsault for two, but Mero hits a low blow behind the referee’s back like his match last week against Brian Christopher and then finishes Funk off. The only thing that the crowd cared about was Sable. Rating: *¾
-Ross interviews Jeff Jarrett, who says that he left the WWF in 1995 because Vince McMahon put limitations on him. He says he had no chance of advancement in WCW because he was not one of Eric Bischoff’s boys. He points out that the WWF shows have great action from beginning to end, but WCW does not have that. Jarrett might have wanted to look at this video before he decided to ditch the WWF and head to WCW’s sinking ship in 1999.
-The Road Dogg and Billy Gunn come down to ringside, playing with the pieces of the New Blackjacks cowboys hats that they destroyed earlier in the show. They refuse to tell Ross why they have an interest in the next contest.
-Non-Title Match: The Legion of Doom (WWF Tag Team Champions) beat Savio Vega & Miguel Perez (w/Los Boricuas) when Hawk pinned Perez after the Road Dogg tripped him at 2:49:
It doesn’t take long for the Road Dogg and Gunn to steal the LOD’s shoulder pads and they put them on and do a pose down. What’s puzzling is that all of this happens and Animal just sits on the apron and does nothing. The match slowly unfolds until the Road Dogg tries to trip Hawk, but accidentally trips Perez, and Dogg and Gunn run away with the LOD’s shoulder pads. I’m surprised that the company never really got behind Savio and Perez as a tag team threat because both were quite proficient in the ring. They were just tossed into a terrible stable.
-Ahmed Johnson tells Steve Austin has entered his zone and it is his time to score on Austin in his zone and get him.
-Tune in next week to see the beginning of the light heavyweight championship tournament and hear more comments from Jeff Jarrett! Also, Steve Austin will be here!
The Final Report Card: The entire month has been filled with anti-WCW attacks, but it’s not showing any significant gains in the ratings of the company or filling the bottom line. As was the case with most of the taped RAWs, this one lacked the atmosphere of the live episodes and the show really died after Bret-Shamrock. Still, the first hour was strong enough to warrant a neutral rating and by the same token, at least the booking staff is giving most people in the company something to do.
Monday Night War Rating: 2.3 (vs. 4.3 for Nitro)
Show Evaluation: Neutral
I thought that was one of the better Cornette speeches honestly.ReplyDelete
Is it the one about how "Garbage is also a household word"?ReplyDelete
Is this Bret's last match on Raw? I think he and Shawn are only on next week's show via video package.ReplyDelete
Seriously, Jarrett had to have been on some good drugs if he thought going to WCW in 1999 was a good idea.ReplyDelete
Yeah, and sucking wind so bad the first three rows died of oxygen deprivation.ReplyDelete
Yes, this was Bret's last RAW match for a long time.ReplyDelete
Goldust and HHH had to have wrestled 100 times in 96 and 97. Is there any reason why? Was this match really there best one?ReplyDelete
Jeff Jarrett made terrible career decisions.ReplyDelete
The first couple were more insidery and cool seeming. I agree when watching these this one seemed a step down.ReplyDelete
It would have been cool since they never did, but putting Austin agains Ahmed would not happen after the neck injury, possibly before.ReplyDelete
The image of the (then really skinny) Outlaws posing in the shoulder pads is incredibly funny.ReplyDelete
Bad as Jarrett's decisions were, his key problem was that he couldn't draw flies with the proverbial "mouthful of shit".ReplyDelete
I mean, the guy couldn't get over with a ton of powerful names who were practically obsessed with getting him over. I mean, Vince Russo got BILLY GUNN over, and couldn't manage the same with The Least Interesting Wrestler In The World.
Anti-WCW attacks seemed kind of cool at the time, but it's also really petty to try and bash the competition because you're mad they draw better than you. Of course, by this time next year, they'd be a fair bit ahead.ReplyDelete