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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW–03.20.95

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 03.20.95

Taped from Stockton, CA

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jim Cornette

Razor Ramon v. Henry Godwinn

This is a weird match, especially so early in HOG’s run. Danny Davis is wearing stripes for some reason instead of the standard blue shirts. Maybe it’s the long sleeves that are so off-putting, I dunno. Was this like one of those weeks where Vince suddenly decided that the color of referee shirts was making and/or breaking the product? True story, he used to change up the ref shirts depending on what WCW was doing, so that they would always have the opposite. Test of strength leads to Godwinn putting Razor down with a clothesline and he pounds away. Elbowdrop gets two and he runs Razor into the mat to cut off a comeback and chokes him down in various ways. Vince shills the WWF Hotline and notes that “unlike OTHER hotlines…”, back when wrestling hotline competition was the only thing they were battling over. No wonder Nitro pissed him off so badly, if the time that hotline billing begins brought out that kind of reaction. We take a break and return with Razor making the comeback with a sloppy bulldog for two. The ref actually counted three and Razor looked pissed. This brings the Roadie out to run interference, and Godwinn hits Razor with a clothesline from behind. However, now the Kid comes out and attacks Roadie, and Godwinn gets all distracted, allowing a Razor’s Edge at 8:00 to finish. Kind of a cute twist on the distraction finish, although clearly they were giving up on Godwinn’s big heel push already. *1/2

Meanwhile, Lex Luger faces Tatanka in a cage match on Sunday Night Slam, aka the Wrestlemania buildup show, plus Jeff Jarrett defends the IC title against Bob Backlund to pay off the contract hijacking from last week.

Fan Festival is also next week, and Vince actually has the gall to claim that “no one cares more about you the fan than the WWF!” Long as you don’t cheer for the wrong guy, then they’ll never run TV there again.

Meanwhile on the Action Zone, Bam Bam demonstrates his football skillz on Doink, but more importantly NIKOLAI VOLKOFF IS ALIVE! I was getting worried about him there.

Steve McMichael gets brought out to replace Jim Cornette on commentary. Kind of surreal that he actually managed to springboard this minor gig into a wrestling career. Well, “career”.

King Kong Bundy v. Raven Clarke & Adam Croomes

Both geeks try for a slam and get rammed together, as Vince is worried about seeing a potential DONNYBROOK at Wrestlemania. Perish the thought. Bundy pins one of the geeks with one foot at 2:45. More importantly, Kama comes out to talk shit at Mongo and they get into a pretty good brawl at ringside. Future US champion, ladies and gentlemen.

Wrestlemania Report with Todd. Nothing new here.

WWF tag titles: The Smoking Gunns v. The Heavenly Bodies

I think this is it for the Bodies, actually. Billy gets a bulldog on Pritchard off a criss-cross and the Gunns clean house, and Bart adds a press-slam on the Doctor. The Gunns double-team Del Ray in their corner and Bart controls with a headlock, leading to more double-teaming from the Gunns. We take a break and return with Bart suddenly playing face-in-peril as Del Ray works on the back. Kind of a dull heat sequence with Pritchard getting a suplex and Del Ray using a chinlock before going up and whiffing on a flying splash. They clothesline each other and it’s hot tag Billy, as they quickly hit the body-vice into a neckbreaker. The Bodies try the switch, but Del Ray only gets two after a DDT. Billy backslides him for the pin to retain at 14:30, however. That was a weird finish, as they did the Midnight Express heel finish (where Eaton would come off the top onto Ricky Morton and put Condrey on top behind the ref’s back) but instead of the standard switch where the other babyface would then do the same thing while the ref was dealing with the illegal heel, they just kept wrestling and did the lame backslide finish instead. Pretty lethargic match, but it’s hard to screw up tag team wrestling. **3/4

Next week: Bret Hart v. Owen Hart, (one last) one last time!

Comments

  1. Stranger in the AlpsAugust 24, 2014 at 9:56 PM

    You know, these Wrestlemania/SummerSlam/Survivor Series TV specials that they ran would be a good idea for the Video Vault on the Network..............if anyone at the Network cared.

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  2. How could WWE ever think that a guy who raises the animal that gives us bacon and ribs could be evil?

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  3. Bret vs. Owen! Never to be seen again by you, by your children, by your children's children, or by your children's children's children!

    For three months.

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  4. "Long as you don’t cheer for the wrong guy, then they’ll never run TV there again."


    ?

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  5. I just recently watched that Bret/Owen match. Pretty good stuff. Reading this recaps has actually made me want to watch WrestleMania 11. Even as a mark I remember being disturbed that the WWF Championship match didn't close the show.

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  6. Yeah that's news to me, I think he'd rather you show up and pay money.

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  7. CruelConnectionNumber2August 24, 2014 at 10:35 PM

    What About Raven Clarke

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  8. Seems perfectly cromulent to me.

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  9. TJ: Ah yes, the Bret Hart cameo in Simpsons where he sounds NOTHING like Bret.

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  10. WWE doing a taping in Stockton is hilarious to me for some reason.

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  11. You don't see them running Toronto or Vancouver anymore, do you?

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  12. "The Bottom Line: Don’t ask me why, but I get the vibe that they’re gonna switch things up and at least have Jericho make the finals against Austin at the PPV, if not win it outright. If they were gonna do Rock-Austin, they’d have just done Rock-Austin and got the big buyrate. This way, Jericho gets heat for beating Rock, AND peripheral heat for costing the fans the chance to see the match they really wanted to see. Plus then you have a strong heel in Jericho, getting chased by two strong babyfaces, and that equals BIG $$$, especially when the expectation is that Jericho could lose on any given night. I’m not counting on seeing that, but I think that’d be the smartest way to go about things, instead of unifying the titles with a WM-level match on a PPV that no one traditionally orders anyway. Hold off Rock-Austin until Royal Rumble, if not longer. Hell, you can draw a 1.0 buyrate just on a #1 contender match between those two, to see who GETS Jericho in the first place."


    Scott Keith is Nostradamus.

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  13. Hmm, could there be any other reason?

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  14. Virgil's Gimmick TableAugust 24, 2014 at 11:12 PM

    Unfortunately it didn't work out quite the way he described.

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  15. And you would have figured a returning Triple H coming back to get vengeance on the guy who injured him(sure HHH hurt himself in a freak accident but Jericho slapped on the Walls to worsen it) would have been a simple story to tell.


    They really screwed up A LOT of stuff from SS01-WM18.

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  16. The sad thing is Mania 18 was just a few changes away from being a really great show. Put Rock/Hogan on last and put Angle with someone other than Kane.

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  17. My card would go: Triple H/Jericho for the Strap, Austin/Hogan, Rock/Angle,

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  18. Everyone figured that back then

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  19. They had a RAW in Toronto last September.

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  20. Eh, Rock/Hogan worked too well IMO.

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  21. It worked sure but I don't care. I'll take Austin/Hogan DUD over Rock/Hogan working. For me, it just HAD to be Austin/Hogan. They were #1 and #2.

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  22. Adam "Colorado" CurryAugust 25, 2014 at 12:52 AM

    He sounds more like Duffman.

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  23. We used to get yearly PPV's

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  24. HOG was a pretty good big guy worker and this type of match was a good use of him where he works a long match before losing, but still making him look strong in defeat. HOG could have been a new age Haku.

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  25. it's funny- I never considered Godwinn to be a big guy as a young fan, but watching old stuff looking back, I was like "Holy FUCK!"- he was HUGE. I think the stupid outfit and standard brawling style actually made him stand out LESS than it should have. As a result, he didn't wrestle a real power style, and came across as more of a generic nobody.

    It's still weird to see a fairly new heel job 1-2-3 to a guy's finisher, though, even if he IS the IC Champion. I actually don't remember HOG being a heel at ALL in those early days, either.

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  26. And that was the only televised show here in the past five years.

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  27. Please tell me that Bischoff didn't watch this stuff and go "you know how we can strike a big blow in our war? Steal Steve McMichael!" I bet he did though.

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  28. His vignettes accused us of being lazier than the pigs he owned. That's about it.

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  29. I think it's all about the outfit/gimmick. Give anyone the right gimmick, and he will get over. For example Isaac Yankem vs Kane. Same for the Bodies. Prichard as Zip did fit much better into that time, although the Bodydonnas Gimmick itself suckt IMO. ;-)

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  30. Is he the brother of Bryan Clark?

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  31. McMichael: "Is this coma??" Oh them fighting words!!

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  32. Luger/Tatanka in a cage > Luger & Bulldog vs Blu Twins.... Bret vs Owen and Jarrett vs Backlund > Bret vs Backlund, Jarrett vs Razor. The WM Special > Wrestlemania?

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  33. Don't forget Blayze v Nakano. The RawAfterMania > WM

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  34. MaffewOfBotchamaniaAugust 25, 2014 at 5:39 AM

    ''Mock my hotline, eh? I'LL SHOW YOU!''


    *signs Mongo*

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  35. No, he's the brother of Bret "Hitman" Clark

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  36. Sort of how that Cena/Orton match (Iron Man?) was supposed to be the last one ever.

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  37. "- Absurdity of the week: A bra-and-panties match between Trish and Stacy is apparently supposed to be the big draw that pulls Velocity above the 0.5 or so that Excess has been doing in that timeslot. The show hasn’t even debuted yet and already it looks like another lost cause. I’ll say it again: Instead of mixing and matching the same B-level JTTS on shows that all look the same, buy a little arena like Center Stage, call up a bunch of close-to-ready OVW guys and mix them with the excess guys from Smackdown who they can’t find anything to do with, and let someone like Jerry Lawler book an old-school Memphis-type show to get these guys ready for prime time. It certainly can’t do any worse than Excess does."


    Scott coming pretty damn close to describing NXT would be way back in 2002.

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  38. Plus I have a feeling it was Lawler who booked the bra-and-panties match.

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  39. And don't let Triple H feud with Steph.

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  40. I was there live, and it was kind of disappointing that after the WM 16 and 17 classics with the Hardys/E & C/Dudleys... We get a regular fatal 4 way tag title match involving Billy & Chuck and the Acolytes. Talk about a letdown!

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  41. Can I just say something about Nitro ... i just watched the first episode on the Network of the Monday Night Wars. They kept showing Vince saying "you just don't do that" or "dirty pool" or "they wanted to put me out of business" and all this in very hushed tones as if WCW crossed some line. Didn't Vince literally put scores of territories out of business by syndicated his product and buying off local television stations for air time? Am I missing something? It almost made me root for WCW all over again.

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  42. It's always funny when something bad happens to someone else. Not as funny when it happens to you.

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  43. Eric Bischoff brings up this exact point on a WWE produced DVD. Shocked they didn't edit it out.

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  44. I know Vince, rightfully, catches a lot of flack for being whimsically paranoid, but the ref shirt thing is actually a pretty good idea. It's a small, simple thing to make your product look different than the competition, much like ring rope colors...

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  45. GREAT idea. I remember getting so excited for those shows because, as a young kid, my parents wouldn't let me order the PPVs themselves yet, so those shows were a really big deal for me.

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  46. AverageJoeEverymanAugust 25, 2014 at 7:05 AM

    DUFFMAN, BRET DUFFMAN. HERE TO BRING YOU MORE BEERS FOR YOUR TEARS!! OOOOH YEAH!!

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  47. SummerSlam Spectacular 1992: http://www.dailymotion.com/playlist/xd1y3_staledogg_summerslam-spectacular-1992/1#video=x4622c

    That is why the Network needs wrestling people running it. And this should be a draw of the Network, random shows that aired only once and then were forgotten. So many floating out there on the Interwebs.

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  48. When they started talking about Rock vs Hogan as a dream match I thought, "No it isn't. It's Austin vs Hogan. Nobody brought up Rock vs Hogan ever until just now."

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  49. It makes me picture Nick Diaz in 1995 WWF. "Where you at Diesel? Where you at motherfuckerrrrr?"

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  50. Bret and Owen always had awesome matches no matter how overdone it was. Reading these recaps makes me realize that Dolph vs Kofi isn't a new phenomenon. Some matches just get beaten to death with no roster depth.

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  51. Damn. Alright Scott, who do you like for the Super Bowl this year? Ill get my bets in now.

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  52. Was Nash injured during that? It seemed weird he didn't have a match. I know Flair asked for Taker as his opponent but i'd have said tought titty and gone Taker-Nash, Austin-Hall (or vice versa), Angle-Flair, Rock-Hogan, and just scratched Kane orr gave him busy work.

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  53. Yeah they did. Seemed like when it was WCW vs WWF fantasy booking it was always Rock/Hogan, both the Hollywood superman types, and Austin/Goldberg. And usually Taker/Sting.

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  54. Nash wasn't in-ring shape especially for WM. The guy seemed to have forgotten how to wrestle around this time too. Not trying to be snarky by saying "he's got bad workrate lol" but I mean he couldn't do the basics right anymore like running the ropes or taking a simple back bump.

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  55. Even on the commentary its murky, you have Al Jean (i think) and Groening talking about how nice he was and then Yeardly Smith saying "i thought that was Hank?" I think Bret did the "this place has old man stink" line and then they had Azaria do the punch up line about the Shrieking Sheik, maybe Bret bailed early or his takes all sucked. If i still go to a shkw he's doing autographs at in November i'm gonna have him sign my DVD anyway.

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  56. False. Austin/Goldberg is the only part of that anybody speculated on at the time. Taker/Sting came way later. Hogan was so damaged by late WCW that the Austin match was all anybody wanted to see. Show me just one person speculating on Taker/Sting before the 2010s or Rock/Hogan before 02 anywhere online. It didn't happen. The WWF even wanted to do Austin vs Hogan but Austin turned it down because he thought Hogan was finished in ring.

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  57. Hold that 10 for Johnny B. BadAugust 25, 2014 at 8:42 AM

    Given the roster after the 95 Rumble, this is the best legit Mania card I could come up with:
    1. Diesel vs Shawn
    2. Bam Bam vs L.T.
    3. Bret vs Owen (final encounter)
    4. Razor vs Backlund
    5. Gunns vs M.O.M. (tag titles)
    6. Jarrett vs Bulldog (IC title)

    7. Luger vs Tatanka (strap match)
    8. New Headshrienkers vs Blu Brothers
    9. Doink vs Hakushi
    10. Montoya vs I.R.S.
    11. Duke Droese vs Kama
    12. Kid & Holly vs Heavenly Bodies
    13. Alundra Blayze vs Bull Nakano
    14. Kwang vs Adam Bomb

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  58. Even Vince Russo thinks this is too many matches....bro. You should try to limit it to about 8 matches.

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  59. I'm not talking about during the Invasion, I'm talking about when WCW was still around. Austin was just a natural pair with Goldberg because of their similarities, Rock/Hogan just seemed to fit with both having the movie star thing and the big, superhero style comebacks in the ring. I think there was PWIs thsy fantasy booked a WWF vs WCW show with all those matches, plus Outlaws vs Outsiders and a bunch of others.

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  60. Let's ditch 8, 9, 10, 11 and 14.

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  61. I just watched that, too. WCW going in direct competition with him wasn't his issue. What Vince and others specifically said was crossing the line was spoiling the results of the show. And that was out of line. Even Bischoff admits as much.
    Whether or not that's better or worse than syndicating his product and forcing territories off TV is another discussion, but it's not the same thing he's talking about. Vince definitely did some cold-blooded shit in getting those syndicated TV deals, but I can see where he's coming from as characterizing that stuff as business, and Bischoff going on TV three minutes early and just spoiling the results as personal and underhanded.
    I'm not saying I agree with him, per se. But they're two different things.

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  62. Its all crocadile tears for me with regards to Vince. The reason he was almost out of business wasn't WCW giving away its show ... it was headlining Summerslam with Mabel or an In Your House with Diesel and British Bulldog. From about to 93 to around 96 Raw looked like an ROH taping. They like to bash WCW, but man the WWF product was terrible for a long time.

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  63. I think there's something to this. And it's not new or Vince-centric--the old AFL officials wore orange stripes instead of black, to differentiate from the NFL (and to take advantage of then-brand-new color teevees).

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  64. Yeah, leave the top 7 and throw in #12, which has the makings of a strong opening bout. That works.

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  65. This show was the first time seeing Razor Ramon compete. I remember being really excited for it.

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  66. If I had to guess, I'd actually chock this more up to differing concerns than I would to malicious intent. The WWE also didn't run any PPV event in Canada from 1990 to 1995 either, or from 2000 through 2002, etc. etc. and I don't think their choice was based on people cheering for someone who they didn't want to get cheered from. By this logic the WWE would also stop running any live events anywhere in the United States based on Daniel Bryan's reactions last year, and they didn't stop that either.


    Business is complicated, but crossing the border to Canada involves a whole host of concerns and expenses. Sometimes when business is super-hot they ran more. Skydome is a huge stadium - they're not going to risk getting embarrassed by running an event there and not having it heavily attended.


    As for house shows, they run them all the time in TO, Vancouver, Quebec, etc. It's no different a world than in the early 80s -90s from that standpoint.

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