The SmarK Rant for WWF Monday Night RAW – 03.18.96

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 03.18.96

We’re on the Road to Wrestlemania…12.

Taped from San Antonio, TX

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler

The British Bulldog v. Jake Roberts

How can they seriously gripe about “washed up” stars like Hogan and Savage while putting these two 80s leftovers out there as “New Generation” stars?  Vince bitches about the latest Tyson boxing match only going 8 minutes on PPV and how “boring” that is.  You’re right, who would want to watch spectacular knockouts in a boxing match?  Jake tries for the DDT a few times, but Bulldog escapes and pounds him in the corner.  Bulldog chokes and stomps away, but he misses an elbow and Jake comes back with the kneelift, but Bulldog catches him from behind with the powerslam, which Jake turns into the DDT.  Cornette pulls Jake out at two, and Jake chases after Cornette and gets counted out at 4:50.  Jake was worthless here.  ½*  Lawler hypes up a match he’s having on Superstars this weekend, which turned out to be him squashing a jobber while doing his own commentary, and it was pretty hilarious.

Meanwhile, Bret and Shawn continue their respective training.  Bret feels like he’s a better role model.  Man, you can really see the seeds of that heel turn planted here.

Goldust v. Fatu

I seem to recall Bischoff burying this RAW on the Nitro opposite it, come to think of it.  Goldust is wearing a kilt in honor of Piper, and Fatu attacks him and pounds away.  He gives Goldust a low blow behind the ref’s back and we take a break.  Back with Fatu hitting a Diamond Cutter and going up, but a dive misses and Goldust finishes with the Curtain Call at 4:35.  The announcers totally ignored the match while talking with Piper on the phone.  Nothing match.  *

Camp Cornette is out to accept the challenge for the six-man at Wrestlemania.  Cornette insinuates that he pushed Mr. Fuji down the stairs to explain his disappearance.  That’s pretty funny.  Yokozuna pops up on the video wall and now he’s a thug life Samoan after years of only saying “Banzai”.  That’s quite the change.  If the babyfaces win, Yoko gets five minutes with Cornette.  Which of course did not happen.

Meanwhile, at MSG on the weekend, we got Bret Hart & Undertaker v. Shawn Michaels & Diesel in a match that actually sold out the arena for a house show for the first time in many years.  And Diesel turned on Shawn once and for all to set up the first post-WM program.

Diesel v. Barry Horowitz

Diesel throws up the Kliq sign on the way to the ring…could this be a secret alliance with the Young Bucks?  Does Shawn Michaels throw Superkick Parties?  CALL THE HOTLINE TO FIND OUT!  Diesel beats on Horowitz as expected, but a casket gets wheeled down to ringside and Horowitz gets some shots on the distracted Diesel.  Diesel casually puts him down with a big boot, gets two, and then punches him in the head for the pin at 2:09 while literally paying no attention to him.  Poor Barry looked like the geek jobbers of all geek jobbers after that finish.  Diesel opens the casket to find a creepy Diesel mannequin in there.  Man, if Nash had died young like many of his contemporaries that would have been one of the most incredibly oogy segments in history. As it is, it was still pretty poor taste, especially for a show that was supposed to be family friendly.

Bret Hart v. Tatanka

Bret takes over quickly with a clothesline from the middle and works on the arm, and a bodypress gets two.  The Kid heads down to ringside and Tatanka gets a cheapshot to take over.  His big plan:  Choke Bret out in the corner.  THAT FIEND.  Sideslam gets two.  I should note that Tatanka is getting pretty fat at this point, like past the usual “cycling off steroids” bloat.  Tatanka drops an elbow and throws chops in the corner, and he’s clearly blown up like Brock Lesnar in the third round of a title fight already.  We take a break and return with Tatanka holding a chinlock.  Bret makes the comeback with the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM, but Kid interferes, only to collide with Tatanka and allow Bret to get the rollup for the pin at 9:00.  Was this official “every match must have a shitty finish” night?  Nowadays we just call that “Monday”.  **1/4

And NOW the stream starts dying on me.  Well at least I made it through the actual show.

The Federal Turner Commission sees the WWF in full court press whine mode, as Billionaire Ted defends himself against accusations of creating a monopoly in the TV industry.  All this was even more ridiculous considering that Ted was forced out of the industry less than 5 years after this.  Some “omnipotent” billionaire.  And then they have the balls to ask fans to write to the real FTC because of concerns over the Time-Warner merger.  Fuck right off with this.

The Pulse

Another shit week.