by Logan Scisco
-The presidential sex scandal parodies continue, as Sunny is dressed like Marilyn Monroe and sings “Happy Birthday” to Classie Freddie Blassie. It was Blassie’s eightieth birthday.
-The D-Generation X beatdown of Steve Austin on last week’s show is recapped in a video package.
-Jim Ross, Kevin Kelly, and Michael Cole are in the booth and they are taped from Evansville, Indiana. I will be really happy when we get rid of this three man commentary team in hour one. Listening to it is like Ross fighting a verbal handicap match.
-Steve Austin comes out with a white bag and calls out WWF Champion Shawn Michaels, but D-Generation X appears on the Titantron. Michaels says he calls the shot in the WWF and Austin will face him on his schedule. Michaels says that Austin needs to give him a reason to come to the ring and Austin says he should because he has the WWF title. Michaels blows that off, but realizes that a toy belt is in his bag and becomes irate. Austin says that he will be easy to find if Michaels wants his belt back. Sometimes the simple stuff is all you need to do to in order to tell a great story and that’s all this did. 1 for 1
-Call 815-734-1161 to get your RAW is War varsity jacket for $199.99 (plus $21 shipping & handling)! I really want to know how many people bought this thing at that price.
-Sunny comes out to do guest ring announcing duties for our next match.
-Opening Contest: Jeff Jarrett & Barry Windham (w/The Rock N’ Roll Express & Jim Cornette) beat The Legion of Doom by disqualification when Bradshaw interferes at 4:59:
The announcers barely talk about the Legion of Doom losing to the NWA faction two weeks ago and Cole tries to sell this match as some kind of new attraction. Of course, Jarrett and Windham lost on last week’s show to Bradshaw and Flash Funk, so they don’t seem in line for a push. The LOD’s storyline continues to be “are these guys too old?” When all hell breaks loose, Hawk ends up on the arena floor and the NWA faction works over his knee before tossing him back into the ring. Jarrett proceeds to apply a figure-four, but Hawk is not going to submit to break character so Bradshaw does the predictable run-in and although he never touches anyone in the NWA faction that costs the LOD the match by disqualification. That makes no sense to Sunny, who seems confused announcing the result. With the piped in crowd noise, you would think this was the main event of WrestleMania. Rating: *½ (1 for 2)
-D-Generation X is shown talking about a plan to get the WWF title back from Steve Austin.
-Henry Godwinn (w/Phineas Godwinn) pins Pierre (w/Jacques) when Phineas hits Pierre with a slop bucket at 4:24:
The Quebecers and Godwinns began a small feud on the most recent edition of Shotgun Saturday Night and are booked to face each other at No Way Out, so this offers a preview of what is come. Of course, why these teams are booked against each other makes little sense, since both are heels and are not over. Pierre nearly kills himself with a plancha and he hits a flying leg drop, which Kelly says he stole from Brian Christopher. To be fair, Pierre was technically a pirate in 1995, so that’s not a stretch. This match is decent for a big man match, but the finish is silly as Jacques trips Henry and Henry conveniently puts his head through the ropes to get hit by a slop bucket. Phineas then hits Pierre with his bucket after Jacques distracts the referee by running from Phineas. Got that? Rating: *¾ (1 for 3)
-Chyna walks in on the Los Boricuas poker game and speaks to them in Spanish about helping out with Steve Austin. Lost in this translation is how to cheat the paying customer and replace Savio Vega with Shawn Michaels in the eight man tag match main event at No Way Out.
-Shawn Michaels yelling at Steve Austin last week is the Western Union Rewind segment.
-“Too Sexy” Brian Christopher & El Pantera beat Taka Michinoku & Aguila when Pantera pins Michinoku after a flying headbutt at 5:28 shown:
Now, you might remember that Pantera beat Christopher two weeks ago and Lawler slapped him, so it would make little sense for them to be partners. However, on a recent episode of Shotgun Saturday Night, Pantera turned against Michinoku since they are facing each other for the light heavyweight title at No Way Out, so they are teaming up now. You can tell that all of this is booked on the fly because Pantera debuted two weeks ago, so they should have just made him a heel and avoided these problems. This has a fast start, but Christopher makes sure he slows that to a crawl when he gets involved. This has a good finish, as Christopher’s attempt to hit Michinoku with a foreign object fails, but Pantera puts it in his mask, makes a blind tag, and headbutts Michinoku to capture the victory and set himself up as a threat for No Way Out. This had its moments if you exclude Christopher’s involvement. Rating: **¼ (2 for 4)
-Kane and Paul Bearer come out and Bearer complains about Vader using a fire extinguisher on Kane last week. Bearer gives Kane a Vader clock and Kane uses his magical powers to set it on fire. Bearer promises that the Undertaker will not be at No Way Out because the Undertaker is gone. If the clock fire had been more impressive I’d give this a point, but it was pretty weak sauce. 2 for 5
-The Rock hitting the Rock Bottom on Tom Brandi on Shotgun Saturday Night is the Footaction Slam of the Week.
-Jerry Lawler joins Jim Ross in the booth as we enter hour two.
-The Rock & Faarooq (w/The Nation of Domination) beat Ken Shamrock & Chainz (w/The Disciples of Apocalypse & Ahmed Johnson) when Faarooq pins Shamrock after the Rock hits Shamrock with a chair at 4:21:
This is our last exhibition bout before the “war of attrition” ten man tag match at No Way Out. Before the match, the Rock makes clear that he is in favor of cloning as long as it is done very, very selectively and that means no one in Evansville should be cloned. In fact, the Rock says only he should be cloned because he’s the “best damn Intercontinental champion there ever was.” They should have just booked the Rock against the Honky Tonk Man to settle that question once and for all. Chainz finds himself in peril and when Shamrock gets the tag he cleans house and puts Faarooq in the ankle lock. However, the referee is busy sorting out a fight between the factions at ringside and the Rock gets a chair and delivers a sick shot to help his team win. After the match, Shamrock snaps and suplexes the referee and Chainz and his team has to restrain him. Rating: ** (3 for 6)
-Footage from the WrestleMania XIV press conference is shown. Vince McMahon announces that the main event is Shawn Michaels defending the WWF title against Steve Austin and Mike Tyson will serve as the enforcer of the match. Tyson puts over Bruno Sammartino and how much he loved him as a kid. Shawn Michaels chews out a reporter who puts down wrestling and Austin and Michaels have a confrontation and Tyson has to get between them. This looked like a fun press conference.
-Los Boricuas and Chyna are shown looking for Steve Austin in the locker room. Chyna finds a jobber in a towel and tosses him into a locker.
-Steve Blackman defeats Recon (w/Sniper) via submission to an armbar at 4:33:
This is when they gave Blackman glowing sticks and had him put on a martial arts display before each match. Amazing how that didn’t catch on. Seconds into the match, the Jackyl’s music hits and he descends from the rafters on a platform and cuts a promo refuting the idea that he is a sociopath. The promo makes it impossible to pay attention to the match, which is a shame because it is pretty decent. Jackyl is upset that Recon loses and slaps him. Recon is upset, but the Jackyl turns his back and Recon backs off. I won’t rate the match, but the Jackyl’s promo was not very entertaining and neither were the post-match antics. 3 for 7
-Call 1-900-737-4WWF to hear what former NWA champion is having negotiations with Jim Cornette about coming into the WWF!
-The New Age Outlaws come out in University of Kentucky t-shirts and discuss how they are getting chills near the entrance because of last week’s dumpster incident. Billy Gunn wants to recreate it so they pull out a dumpster and the Road Dogg narrates last week’s events. They push the dumpster off the entrance and Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie blow up dolls are inside. Billy does CPR to the Cactus one and they promise to hurt Cactus and Chainsaw at No Way Out. This segment effectively put over the Outlaws as cocky, arrogant heels that you wanted to see destroyed by Cactus and Chainsaw. 4 for 8
-Los Boricuas and Chyna continue to look for Steve Austin in the back, but after Los Boricuas go through some double doors, Austin chains them shut.
-Thrasher (w/Mosh) pins The Artist Formerly Known as Goldust (w/Marc Mero, Sable & Luna Vachon) with a schoolboy at 4:28:
Goldust has become partial to the Marilyn Manson persona, as he is doing it again for this show. This is another preview of a pay-per-view tag team match since the Headbangers will face Goldust and Marc Mero at No Way Out. When the crowd starts chanting loudly for Sable, Mero, Luna, and Goldust order her to the locker room. This match drags on until Sable comes back out and gets into a shouting match with Luna. When Goldust tries to confront Sable she slaps him and Thrasher takes advantage to win. After the match, Mero has to restrain Luna before she can mix it up with Sable. The match was not very good, but the angle behind it had some good heat. Rating: *¼ (5 for 9)
-D-Generation X comes out and Shawn Michaels demands Steve Austin return what belongs to him. Austin comes out with the title belt, but DX flees and the New Age Outlaws wander out. Chyna grabs the belt from the canvas as Austin faces four-on-one odds, but Chainsaw Charlie cuts through the canvas and he and Cactus Jack come from under the ring. Owen Hart joins in as well and DX and the New Age Outlaws flee. Nice closing segment that wetted the audience’s appetite for the pay-per-view main event. 6 for 10
The Final Report Card: A decent “go home” show for No Way Out and I am surprised that the eight man tag team match did not get more build in the weeks leading up to the show. Tonight was really the first sustained hype of the main event. Regardless, the last segment did what it was supposed to do and the Austin-Michaels storyline for the evening was well executed. The Sable-Mero storyline is arguably the second best one that the company is doing right now and its beginning to segway nicely into a mixed tag match for WrestleMania. The next RAW was held on a Saturday, February 21st, so we will recap No Way Out of Texas and go to that episode.
Monday Night War Rating: 3.2 (vs. 4.6 for Nitro)
Show Evaluation: Thumbs Up