The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 12.04.95
Taped from Richmond, VA
Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler
The British Bulldog v. Bob Holly
Holly evades the Bulldog and puts him down with a slam and some clotheslines, and he works the arm to control. Bulldog escapes with a press slam and pounds away, but Holly counters the delayed suplex with a small package for two. Bulldog hits it on a second try and goes to the chinlock, but Holly fights out. Bulldog with a clothesline and legdrop for two, but Holly fights back with a dropkick for two. The ten punches in the corner get two. Holly goes up the middle rope, but gets caught in the powerslam and pinned at 5:08. Bulldog doesn’t come off as any kind of main event threat at this point and was basically booked like a midcarder, so it’s no wonder his PPV shots bombed. *1/2
Meanwhile, Bob Backlund wants to be God again and chicken-wing the plebians into submission. Now there’s an election campaign you don’t hear every day. Still not as crazy as the Tea Party or half the stuff Sean Morley posts to Facebook, amirite? Bob keeps ranting until the director literally holds up a sign saying “Go To Break” on camera and they cut off his mic.
Fatu v. The Brooklyn Brawler
Brawler uses his array of stomps to start, but Fatu makes a difference with an Ace Crusher and finishes with the flying splash at 1:20. Something something Kim Kardashian joke here.
Meanwhile, Bob Backlund procures the chicken-wing on the sound engineer. Never let it be said that Vince isn’t afraid to beat a dead horse into the ground and then dig up the corpse and lay another beating on it.
Intercontinental title: Razor Ramon v. Dean Douglas
According to the WON, this was filmed at the end of the taping as a dark match and then repurposed into a TV match for whatever reason. Douglas attacks and uses the IC belt on Ramon to take control, but Razor catches him with a blockbuster slam and puts him on the floor. Back in, Ramon with an armbar, but Douglas goes to work on the back to take over. Vince notes that Dean is having back problems of his own, and in fact that injury brought his WWF career to an end for good soon after. And I think everyone was happier as a result. We take a break and return with Douglas going up with a flying bodypress, but Ramon rolls through for two. And then he just decides to finish this with the Razor’s Edge at 6:27. So unless he did something else notable between here and introducing Buddy Landell at the PPV, that’s how Douglas ended his WWF career, on the ass-end of getting squashed by Ramon. *1/2
Brother Love with King Mabel, as Love introduces Sir Mo, who is wheeling out a vandalized Undertaker casket for the match at the PPV.
Sid v. Marty Jannetty
Marty attacks to start and gets some offense on the mat, but Sid quickly pounds him down and slugs away in the corner. Blind charge hits boot and Marty fires off a Buff Blockbuster for two, and we take a break. Back with Sid destroying him with a clothesline to actually draw a face pop, and then he does it again because Marty flipping around like a gymnast was the one thing that could make Sid look good at this point. Sid with the chinlock and he tosses Marty, who flies over the top like he was shot out of a cannon. Never let it be said that Jannetty didn’t understand his role. This draws out the Kid to attack Jannetty, and Ramon makes the save, so the match is a wash at 7:11. You’d think Sid couldn’t possibly look any less motivated, but here we are. *
Next week: Bret Hart v. Bob Backlund…again.
We wrap things up with an interview with Dr. Unger, who is apparently Shawn’s personal physician. Is that personal physician like in the Dr. Zahorian sense? Apparently Shawn developed nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, slurred speech and depression. OK, but how would you know if he’s concussed? That just sounds like an average Saturday for Shawn at that point. Dr. Unger declares that Shawn is, medically speaking, brain-damaged and probably shouldn’t return to the ring. EVER. I gotta say, guys, this sounds pretty serious. So serious that Vince does a video essay about how we put our WWF superstars on a pedestal, but they’re really human beings who feel pain, just like us. Well, I mean, they’re not so human as to justify medical benefits to help with that pain or employee status so they can get outside health insurance. But they’re human, regardless.
This show sucks.
The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 12.04.95
Live from Phoenix, AZ
Your hosts are Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan and Mongo.
WCW World tag title: Harlem Heat v. The American Males
Stevie beats the ugly off of Riggs in the corner to start, but a pair of dropkicks get two. Stevie puts him down with a sideslam, but Riggs hits Booker with a forearm and the Males clean house. Bagwell with a sunset flip on Booker for two and the Males trap him in the corner while Col. Parker stops by to woo Sherri. We deal with that silliness while Booker gets a sidekick on Riggs for two, and Sherri decides to leave with Parker. The Heat don’t seem to notice the loss of their manager and continue beating on Riggs for a silent crowd. Booker with a nice spinning Black Dynamite style kung fu kick for two, and the Heat get a double gourdbuster while Booker yells at someone who is presumably a famous football person. Yay sports! Hot tag Bagwell and he’s the whorehouse of fire! Pervertplex on Stevie, but Riggs occupies the ref and the Harlem Hangover finishes Bagwell at 7:48. Dull but inoffensive. **
Sting and Lex Luger are out to reinforce their bonds of friendship, and although Sting doesn’t support Luger’s lifestyle choice (Jimmy Hart) he still supports him as a friend. But he’s not gonna cut him a break in the title match at Starrcade. Lex is cool with that. This was a really cool dynamic that you just didn’t see in wrestling before, with Luger acting as a heel but still being friends with the #1 babyface because they were actually separating the business and personal relationships.
Sting v. Kurasawa
Sting puts him on the floor and they have a quick brawl, but Kurasawa starts working on the arm in the ring. Sting fights back with the Stinger splash and finishes with the Scorpion at 2:35. Pretty much a squash. *
Scott Norton v. The Giant
Giant unleashes the clubbing forearms and slams Norton, but falls prey to an atomic drop. That was pretty impressive. Norton slugs away as Giant’s selling problems are exposed here. Norton goes up for something, but lands in a chokeslam at 2:40. *1/2
Ric Flair, joined by Charles Barkley, is out for an interview. Nothing much here.
WCW World title: Randy Savage v. Lex Luger
Savage goes on the offensive and chokes away in the corner to start, but Luger takes over with a cheapshot until Savage elbows him down for two. Savage goes to work on the arm and we take a break and return with Savage working on the arm after running it into the railing outside, and back in for a keylock. Luger makes the ropes and Savage gets a small package for two and goes to a hammerlock. To the floor and he sends Luger into the post, but misses a dive and hits the railing. I feel like we were ripped off from seeing a Savage-Pillman match in WCW where they take turns diving into the railing face-first. Back in, Savage is blinded and swinging wildly, allowing Luger to put him down with a clothesline for two. Luger drops elbows for two and follows with a kneelift as Bischoff clarifies that we’re watching wrestling and not “people talking about wrestling”. Ironically that’s what would beat WCW. The WWF couldn’t beat them at the wrestling, but they sure as shit did the gaga better. Back to the floor and Savage comes back in the ring with a clothesline for two. Luger gets rammed into an exposed turnbuckle, taking out the ref in the process, and the big elbow follows. This brings Flair in for a KO shot with brass knucks, but Hogan makes the save and keeps the ref from counting. So that’s a DQ at 18:32. Hogan goes to beat up Luger with no provocation, but Sting runs in to help his friend and gets belted by Hulk. Mind your own damn business, Hulk. ***
Back with everyone talking about wrestling in the ring, and Sting points out that Hogan’s hetero life partner Savage isn’t exactly a trustworthy fellow, either. HOW THE FUCK DID THEY NOT BOOK MEGAPOWERS V. STING & LUGER?!?
Next week: Sting & Hulk Hogan v Ric Flair & Arn Anderson!