The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 05.27.96
Anyone have experience with the Amazon Fire TV? I know they don’t have WWE Network on it yet, but apparently it’s a lot more powerful than the Roku Streaming Stick that has been steadily flaking on me for the past year now and it’s not like I have any shortage of devices that can access the Network anyway. The other problem is that they don’t technically ship to Canada, but there’s ways around that as well. (Of course, a few years later and not only does the Amazon Fire Stick ship to Canada but I have a couple of them and an Amazon Fire HD tablet as well. Still no WWE Network app up here, though.)
Live (THANK GOD!) from Fayetteville, NC
Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler
King of the Ring Qualifier: Goldust v. The Ultimate Warrior
Hopefully this will be better than their atrocity at In Your House. Vince throws me off yet again by noting that the tournament will happen on the “WWF Network” but in this case he was referring to this show and Superstars. Goldust runs away for the first minute , but Warrior hits him with a pair of atomic drops and Goldust bails. Back in, Warrior no-sells all of his offense and chases him out of the ring again. They fight on the floor and Warrior sends him into the post, which gets two. Vince claims that Warrior #1 is the highest-selling comic book in the world at that point. Given that it was pretty much impossible for any of the indy presses in 1996 to ship more comics than your average Batman or X-Men issue at that point, I would find that statement highly dubious. Plus Diamond sales figures were delayed by months. I mean, it would have been impressive to sell [x] number of copies or whatever, so why did it have to be “the #1 selling comic book in the world”? Goldust runs away again and we take a break as Ahmed Johnson chases him back to the ring again. Warrior misses a charge and Goldust dumps him to give us MORE stalling. Back in, Goldust works on the arm, but Warrior backdrops him for two. Warrior with a belly to belly for two as he’s loudly calling spots right on camera. Goldust takes him down for a neck vice as Vince notes how bad the officiating has been “lately”. Has he not been watching wrestling for the past 100 years?! Goldust goes to a lengthy chinlock, but Warrior powerslams him for two. Warrior makes the comeback and Goldust runs away yet again, with Warrior following this time for the world’s more boring double countout finish at 14:47. So both guys are tragically eliminated from the King of the Ring tournament. I guess this was slightly better than their first match? -* Jerry Lawler tries to attack Warrior with a chair, but gets nowhere, and that’s the kickoff of THEIR feud.
Meanwhile, Ted Dibiase is so confident in Steve Austin that he’ll leave the WWF if Austin can’t beat Savio Vega at Beware of Dog II.
The Smoking Gunns v. The Bodydonnas
For those keeping track, the idea is now supposed to be that the Gunns are heels with Sunny as manager and the Bodydonnas are now babyfaces, but this was all so poorly executed that fans continue giving them the reverse reactions. The Gunns dominate Zip with power moves and Skip comes in for some nice reversals with Billy as we take a break. Back with Zip apparently saying “fuck it” and going heel again with a low bridge on Bart to take over, and Skip gets a legdrop for two. Zip with a Doctorbomb for two. Skip with an elbow for two as the Godwinns come out to confront Sunny as the long beating on Bart continues. Billy comes in and gets double-teamed, and the Donnas hit Bart with a slingshot suplex, but Skip tries a flying bodypress and Bart rolls through for the pin at 11:37. The heel Gunns ended up being an effective act, but this wasn’t a good start for it. **
King of the Ring Qualifier: Ahmed Johnson v. The Man They Call Vader
Slugfest to start and Ahmed beats the hell out of Vader in the corner as the crowd goes BATSHIT for him. Finally Vader pokes him in the eyes to escape and returns fire with his own beating, but Ahmed clotheslines him out of the corner and takes him to the floor with a Cactus Clothesline. Cornette finally whacks him with the tennis racket to slow him down, but Ahmed shrugs it off and we take a break. Back with Vader going to the middle rope with a splash for two. They slug it out again in the corner and Vader hits him with a corner splash, but Ahmed suplexes him. Vader puts him down again and goes up for the Vadersault, but it misses and Ahmed makes the comeback with clotheslines. Powerslam and Ahmed hauls Cornette in for a beating, but a disgusted Owen Hart runs in from the commentary table and nails Ahmed with his arm cast, giving Vader the win at 11:00. That arm took the better part of a year to heal! Really fun match with Vader happy to let Ahmed lay into him as hard as he wanted. ***
Meanwhile, the doctors haul Ahmed to the back on a stretcher, but Goldust intercepts it and gives him mouth-to-mouth. A horrified Ahmed wakes up with gold paint on his lips and kills the first fool who gets in his way, in this case Bob Holly. He drives some poor geek through Goldust’s dressing room door, takes out the cameraman, and then stalks off to end the show. That was a GREAT angle and made me want to see Ahmed destroy Goldust and get his revenge. Which he did.
Really solid live show aside from whoever had the brilliant idea of having Warrior go 15:00 with Goldust.