The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 11.06.95
Taped from wherever they’ve been for the past few weeks. Brandon, MB, I think it was.
Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Handsome Dok Hendrix.
The British Bulldog v. Marty Jannetty
SO MUCH FRINGE. Fringe and tassels everywhere! Marty grabs a headlock and works the arm, then hits an enzuigiri for two. Bulldog presses him onto the top to break the momentum while Clarence Mason does an inset promo announcing Bulldog’s title shot in December. I should note both Bulldog title shots set the record for lowest buyrates in modern history. And his matches against Michaels in 96 didn’t do much better. Jannetty fights out of a chinlock, but Bulldog headbutts him down for two and goes back to it. Marty with a crucifix for two, but Bulldog clotheslines him for the 360 sell, and that gets two. I could watch Jannetty sell clotheslines all day. We take a break and return with Bulldog holding another chinlock, but Marty fights back with a sunset flip that Bulldog blocks for two. Aaaaaaaaand back to the chinlock. Jesus fuck. Did we time travel back to a 1988 episode of Primetime Wrestling? Bulldog stomps away in the corner and, say it with me, BACK TO THE CHINLOCK. Finally Marty makes the comeback and goes up for the fistdrop, but he lands on his feet and opts for a DDT instead. That gets two, but Jannetty misses a blind charge like a moron and Bulldog puts us out of our misery with the powerslam at 11:31. *1/2
Meanwhile, Barry Horowitz pumps up Bret and Hakushi for the main event.
Henry Godwinn v. Terry Richards
I guess HOG was supposed to be a babyface at this point, but you wouldn’t know it from the dead silent crowd. He drops an elbow and guillotines him on the apron, before finishing with the slop drop at 1:51. Sadly, that cur Hunter Hearst Helmsley attacks him from behind and Pedigrees him on the floor before dropping a bucket of slop on him (while wearing gloves, in a nice touch). (How did I completely miss RRRRRRRRRRRRHYNO as the jobber here?)
MILTON BRADLEY KARATE FIGHTERS PRESENTS SURVIVOR SERIES SLAM JAM, WITH TODD PETTINGILL!
…is a sentence that sums up 1995.
Kama v. Tony Roy
Speaking of things that couldn’t be any more 1995, Barry Didinski is offering a bag of 1000 Mad Caps (pogs), which everyone loves of course, for only $21! Yes, $20 for a fucking bag of plastic discs. I feel bad for the idiot kids who bit on that “deal”. Kama beats on Roy in the corner while Vince talks to Shawn Michaels on the phone and ignores the match (rightly so). Shawn’s Marine count at this point is up to “nine guys” by the way. I wonder if the number of Marines was affected by Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle and that’s why it kept changing? Kama finishes the jobber with a sidekick at 3:00.
Weird bit as they hype next week’s Ramon v. Sid match as an IC title match, with DQ and countout rules waived, even though the match was already taped and they changed it to a non-title match for no real reason. Why even do that kind of scummy bait and switch advertising?
Bret Hart & Hakushi v. Jerry Lawler & Isaac Yankem
Bret and Hakushi double-team Yankem in the corner while they overlay a steady white noise of fake crowd heat that makes this sound SO low-rent. This was the end of the night on a nothing RAW taping so I can certainly understand the dead crowd at least. Bret with a sunset flip on Yankem for two, but Hakushi tries the handspring elbow and Yankem cuts him off with a clothesline. Yankem works the back on the floor, running Hakushi into the post, and back in with a sideslam for two. Lawler with a piledriver for two and we take a break. Back with Yankem holding a bearhug and going to a Boston crab, but Bret breaks it up and gets the hot tag. Bret with the usual on Yankem and he’s submitting to the Sharpshooter behind the ref’s back, but Lawler grabs a chair, only to be intercepted by Barry Horowitz. The ref sees that and disqualifies the babyfaces at 12:40. Clearly Bill Watts was long gone if we’re getting that kind of shitty finish. *1/2 This led to nothing and was just a finish to get them out of the match.
Next week: Helmsley v. Godwinn and Ramon v. Sid (not) for the IC title as this sad taping continues its death march. We even get HIGHLIGHTS of next week as they just blatantly give away that it’s taped!
The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 11.06.95
Live from Jacksonville, FL
Your hosts are Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan and Mongo.
So the high concept for this show is that there’s two groups of wrestlers divided into separate locker rooms, and fans can vote for what they want to see in the main event via the WCW hotline. That was actually kind of ahead of its time, in fact, given the Twitter polls that clog up current programming now.
“WCW Title”: The Giant v. Cobra
The announcers are immediately pushing Flair v. Sting as the choice fans should vote for. Giant immediately chokeslams Fake Sting at 0:15 to “retain”.
Meanwhile, in the red locker room, you can vote for Ric Flair or a bunch of midcard scrubs. Gee, I wonder who will win?
Meanwhile, in the blue locker room, you’ve Sting and what looks like 7 or 8 guys they hauled off the street and trained that day. Hopefully WCW can successfully rig this vote without fucking it up.
Meanwhile, in Venice Beach, the Megapowers chill out on the dark side with what appears to be a homeless guy and a guitar player on LSD. This was a weird period for Hulkamania, brother.
Kevin Sullivan v. Renegade
Renegade attacks and clotheslines him to the floor, but stupidly goes after Jimmy Hart and gets clobbered. Back in, Sullivan stomps him down and tries a slingshot senton (?!), which misses. Renegade comes back with a handspring elbow, but misses a charge by a mile and gets hung in the Tree of Woe. Kevin finishes him with the double stomp at 2:38. Jimmy rubs off Renegade’s face paint after the match and declares that he’s just “plain old Rick” now. And yet things got worse for the poor guy. DUD
Chris Benoit v. Eddie Guerrero
Well OK then. Benoit with a snap suplex as the NJPW contingent eats dinner by the ring. Eddie comes back with a tilt-a-whirl slam and Benoit bails, so Eddie follows with a dive off the top and back in for a brainbuster. They fight on top and Benoit brings him down with a superplex for two. The MDK powerbomb gets two as Benoit just BOUNCES his head off the mat with that one. Eddie comes back with a rollup for two and another one off a running knee for two, but Benoit slugs him down again. Bridged german suplex gets two. Northern Lights suplex gets two. Eddie escapes the dragon suplex, so Benoit drops him on the top rope and they do a crazy slugfest on the apron before Benoit suplexes Eddie back in, but Eddie falls on top for the pin at 6:31. Nothing wrong with this. ***1/4
Sting v. Ric Flair
Sting attacks and starts throwing press slams immediately, and we get a Flair Flip to put him on the floor. Sting no-sells the chops, but Flair gets a suplex and Sting pops up from that too, before missing his splash into the railing. And we take a break. Back with Flair in control via figure-four and some cheating, but Sting powers out of it. Flair throws chops and Sting is having none of that. Mongo: “Fear makes cowards of us all.” And obvious things are obvious. Flair pokes him in the eyes and tosses him, but takes a running charge with a chair and has it intercepted by the ref in a funny spot. Back in, Flair slugs him down and gets two via the ropes, and they go into the pinfall reversal sequence. Flair goes up and gets slammed off and Sting starts going crazy on Flair, but a well time pair of brass knuckles turns the tide. Flair’s crazy old man elbowdrop gets two and Sting starts no-selling again. How can you not love this match? Another press slam and a superplex set up the Scorpion Deathlock to finish at 14:00, but Sting is so enraged that he refuses to let go. We then get a major WCW-level botch as Bischoff starts yelling about Lex Luger coming down to break it up, when in fact Luger was nowhere to be seen due to missing his cue. Finally the other blue room losers break up the hold and finally Luger finishes rubbing one out in the back or whatever he was doing, and Sting then has to put Flair BACK in the hold so that Luger can talk him out into releasing again. He’s the Sting whisperer! The ending was WCW-riffic, but it was a hell of a match. ***1/2
Jimmy Hart reveals the secret stipulation from Halloween Havoc, as apparently Hogan signed a contract that waived the DQ rule, so Giant is in fact the WCW World champion. WHAT A TWIST! So Mean Gene brings out the electrifying lawyer NICK LAMBROSE, who announces that although Giant may legally be the champion, he’s being stripped of it because, uh, WHAT THE HELL IS THAT OVER THERE?!? So the winner of the World War 3 battle royale gets the belt. So Abeyance makes his Monday Night Wars debut!
Next week: Randy Savage v. Meng! Eddie Guerrero v. Johnny B. Badd!