Juventud Guerrera vs. Blitzkrieg (and other Dream Matches!)

Whatever Happened to WCW's Blitzkrieg? | Ring the Damn Bell

Welcome back to more Dream Matches! This time, I lead off with what is probably Blitzkrieg’s best match ever, as he takes on Juventud Guerrera on PPV. More Hossery as the Faces of Fear take on the Giant Jobber Division of Ron Studd & John Tenta at the same time! Then it’s a rare look at the 1-2-3 Kid in a JTTS match, as Damien “I was NOT a JOBBER!” DeMento takes him on! And I found one of Lash LeRoux’s early matches, up against a “long since stopped giving a fuck” Roadblock. And finally, my “King of the Ring Qualifying Matches” series continues, but with the only two bouts I could find on YouTube. No idea why 1993 & 1995 are there in their near-entirety, but this one only has a couple.

JUVENTUD GUERRERA vs. BLITZKRIEG:
(WCW Spring Stampede, 4/11/1999)
* Here’s another Blitzkrieg match- arguably his biggest, as he takes on Juventud on PPV! Juvi’s maskless and in mostly black (with silver & gold highlights), while Blitz has his best gear on- a slick black/red/silver get-up that’s not as loose as it sometimes is.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – June 3, 1990

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan are in the booth and they begin a new set of television tapings in Madison, Wisconsin.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, the tapings took place on May 14.

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The No-Limit Soldiers vs. Brian Knobbs, Hugh Morrus & Jerry Flynn (and other Dream Matches!)

WCW 4 Ever on Twitter: "The No Limit Soldiers #WCW… "

Quoth the No-Limit Soldiers: “Hoody Hoo!”

Welcome back to another edition of wrestling’s weirdest Dream Matches! This time I have one of the most all-time “WTF?” trios matches ever, as we end up with the First Family- a band of WCW’s weakest heel JTTS guys at this point- up against the infamous No-Limit Soldiers, long after their run was dying. So it’s a true dream team of Brian Knobbs, Hugh Morrus and friggin’ LIGHTNING FOOT against Brad Armstrong and two never-was roid-monsters in 4×4 and Swoll.

Also on the docket, we have WWF Champion “Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. Akeem in Versailles Stadium in France! Rocker Shawn Michaels taking on Demolition Crush in 1991- a bout that would look incredibly different only two years later and was on PPV in ’94! The Diamond Studd takes on P.N. News in his infamous “rapper” gimmick! And finally, a trip to 2011 WWE as Kevin Nash takes on Santino Marella.

THE NO LIMIT SOLDIERS (B.A., 4×4 & Swoll) vs. THE FIRST FAMILY (Brian Knobbs, Hugh Morrus & “LIGHTNING FOOT” Jerry Flynn, w/ Jimmy Hart):
(WCW Saturday Night, 09 11 1999)
* OH MY SWEET DEAR JESUS, YES!! THIS kind of bullshit nonsense is the entire reason I started this column in the first place! Look at these idiots- a fat sack of ass in Knobbs, never-was Hugh Morrus and of course LIGHTNING FOOT the super-jobber going up against one of WCW’s worst ideas, comprised of whatever guys they were paying but weren’t doing anything with. B.A. is Brad Armstrong, fresh from the jobber corps. Swoll is somewhat infamous for only ever doing anything in this angle (his wrestling career consists of AWA & New Japan in 1991 and WCW in 1999 and that’s it)- I do love how he’s called “Swoll”, which none of the announcers (Tony, Bobby, Larry & Mike being the four Caucasianiest Caucasians to ever live) explaining what the hell that name meant. 4×4 is an absolute BLIMP, looking like a legit Looney Tunes caricature of a roughneck, and didn’t make it more than a year in the business either, acting as a bodyguard for Harlem Heat 2000. This stems from a brawl last Saturday Night, and is a revenge bout between the two stables. The faces are all in camo gear while the First Family is in black (with Knobbs sporting a PINK SHIRT, which is amazing).

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Mr. Perfect vs. Doink the Clown (and Other Dream Matches!)

King of the Ring (1993) - Wikipedia

WWF KING OF THE RING QUALIFYING MATCHES (1993):
* So for this week’s “Dream Matches” column, I decided randomly to take a look at the build up to 1993’s inaugural King of the Ring. As a 12-year old fan, I was way into the idea of this big tournament, and even now the set-up seems great- you have an 8-man tournament in one night on PPV, and in the weeks leading up to the show, you stick your stars up against JTTS guys in “Qualifying Matches” that are mostly foregone conclusions, except a couple of them have a legit question mark. It lets your “Featured Matches” actually count for something, and gives your name guys a big win on TV- and if you were watching back then, you know you only saw “Star vs. Star” matches once per week if you were lucky. I’ll see what I can find on YouTube for these (turns out it’s everything but Shawn/Crush, which ended in a Double Count-Out, which disqualified BOTH for some reason, so we had a different Qualifying Match instead).

The issue with KOTRs, of course, is that with 16 guys, 15 have to do the job. And when times are tough, Vince is squirrelly about letting guys drop legit falls. The real purpose of the first King of the Ring, of course, was to return some credibility to former champion Bret Hart, and set off his new feud with Jerry Lawler.

RAZOR RAMON vs. “EL MATADOR” TITO SANTANA:
* So Razor had debuted the previous year and been given arguably his biggest solo push ever, teaming with Ric Flair in the main program at Survivor Series and then facing Bret Hart for the WWF Title at the Royal Rumble. After his loss there, he was cycled into the upper-midcard, beating Bob Backlund at WMIX. Here, we’re a little bit away from the face turn that would forever change his career. Santana, meanwhile, has fallen all the way down the card and is only rarely featured on TV anymore- he’s been a JTTS for years by this point, and was looking pretty flabby compared to the ’80s. Both guys are in black, here- I don’t recall Tito in that look.

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Demolition vs. The Rockers (and other Dream Matches!)

The Rockers: Marty Jannetty/Shawn Michaels | Wrestling posters, Wwf  superstars, Wrestling superstars

Found this on Pinterest. It’s glorious.

Time for more Dream Matches- this time centered by an SNME match between Demolition & The Rockers! Also, a REMATCH to the classic Jim Powers/Bobby Walker vs. Renegade/Joe Gomez match I showed you last week… PLUS the legendary explosion of that very same Renegade/Gomez team! And then not one, but TWO High Voltage solo matches, as Rage & Kaos face Fit Finlay & Perry Saturn, respectively! And then we cap things off with a Papa Shango vs. Typhoon match, long after either man was relevant! I couldn’t have booked a better match myself!

DEMOLITION (Smash & Crush, w/ Ax) vs. THE ROCKERS (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty):
(Saturday Night’s Main Event, July 27 1990)
* This is the prelude to SummerSlam, with the Demos now as heels. The Rockers are in bright yellow, and gaining credibility at this point.

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Yokozuna & Crush vs. Mabel & Typhoon (and other Dream Matches)

1995 WWF Wrestling Trading Cards (Merlin) Mabel (No.26) | Pro Wrestling | Fandom

YES I’M AN UNAPOLOGETIC MABEL MARK SHUT UP!

It’s time for more of wrestling’s strange oddities, ironic “Dream Matches”, or just stuff I didn’t otherwise know existed. First off, a quartet of 1994 WWF’s least-respected workers in a great FAT MAN STAND-OFF tag match, then a bizarre 6-man from the 1970s era of the company- Gorilla Monsoon & Haystacks Calhoun on the same team! Plus our weekly dose of Hercules, and then two roided-up tag teams from 1996 WCW- did you know that you needed High Voltage vs. The American Males in your life? Because you need High Voltage vs. the American Males in your life.

As always, WWE-owned videos are non-kosher on the Blog, but this is all easily found on YouTube.

YOKOZUNA & CRUSH (w/ Mr. Fuji) vs. MABEL & TYPHOON (w/ Oscar):
(WWF TV, 02.07.1994)
* HELL YES it’s my all time favorite kind of match- the FAT MAN STAND-OFF!! My two favorite things in wrestling are high-speed joshi, and Big Fat Guy wrestlers slamming into each other. As a kid, I was unironically a huge fan of both Mabel & Typhoon, so I was delighted when they randomly started teaming up, and because it’s the WWF, they put their 6’10” 550 lb. guy up against the only person fatter, in Yoko. Crush was in his heel persona here, and is quite possibly my least favorite wrestler to watch, ever.

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Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Monday Night RAW 11-08-1993

WWF Monday Night RAW 11-08-93

Live from Bushkill, PA

Airdate: November 8, 1993

Attendance: unknown

Hosted by Vince McMahon, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

Can Scott Steiner successfully defend America’s honor against the Finnish and evil Borga? Also, Savage returns to RAW, but how will he deal with Crush? In addition, wide receivers, Popes, hookers, and fire engines! Let’s rock!

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Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Monday Night RAW 10-25-1993

Taped from Poughkeepsie, NY

Airdate: October 25, 1993 (taped 10/18)

Attendance: unknown

Hosted by Vince McMahon & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

Can the Kid pull off another upset by defeating Jannetty? How will Polo be involved? Let’s find out!

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Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Monday Night RAW 10-18-1993

Live from Poughkeepsie, NY

Airdate: October 18, 1993

Attendance: unknown

Hosted by Vince McMahon, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

Will Savage and Crush reconcile their differences? Can Michaels be reinstated? Who’s the new guy in the WWF? Also, **BREAKING NEWS** included just for your amusement. Read on!

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Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Monday Night RAW 07-12-1993

Taped from New York, NY

Airdate: July 12, 1993 (taped 7/5)

Attendance: unknown

Hosted by Vince McMahon, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

Will Crush capture the WWF title one week removed from the “body slam heard ‘round the world”? Can the Brooklyn Brawler use his hometown advantage and beat the currently undefeated Tatanka? Let’s find out!

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Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Monday Night RAW 07-05-1993

Live from New York, NY

Airdate: July 5, 1993

Attendance: unknown

Hosted by Vince McMahon, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

Will Yokozuna survive the Stars’n’Stripes Challenge? Or does a professional athlete from who knows where actually slam the WWF champion? Also, how will the 1-2-3 Kid fare against Blake Beverly? Let’s find out!

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Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Monday Night RAW 06-28-1993

WWF Monday Night RAW 6-28-93

Taped from Poughkeepsie, NY

Airdate: June 28, 1993 (taped 6/21)

Attendance: unknown

Hosted by Vince McMahon, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

Can Michaels retain the IC title against Kamala? Who will be the best pick to win the main event? Crush? Or Booger? Let’s rock!

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Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Monday Night RAW 04-26-1993

Live from New York, NY

Airdate: April 26, 1993

Attendance: 1,000

Hosted by Vince McMahon, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

Can Crush defeat Luger or is something else in the cards? What happens when MIchaels takes Manhattan? Let’s find out!

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Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Monday Night RAW 02-22-93

Live from New York, NY

Airdate: February 22, 1993

Attendance: 1,000 (sold out)

Hosted by Vince McMahon, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, & Rob Bartlett

Hulk Hogan makes his triumphant return to the WWF! Also, can Tatanka and the Nasty Boys defeat Michaels and the Beverly Brothers? Let’s find out!

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – October 28, 1995

Vince McMahon recaps Shawn Michaels forfeiting the Intercontinental title to Dean Douglas at In Your House 4 and how Razor Ramon won the title shortly thereafter.  Today, Ramon will face Yokozuna in a non-title match.

McMahon, Jerry Lawler, and Jim Ross are in the booth and they are launching a new series of tapings from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.  The tapings took place on October 24.

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What the World Was Watching: The Action Zone – March 19, 1995

Doink and Bam Bam Bigelow cut promos on each other for today’s feature match.  Doink says he is going to win and let Lawrence Taylor know all of Bigelow’s secrets.  Bigelow rebuts that he thought he got rid of Doink for good at WrestleMania X but will finish things today.

Jim Ross and Todd Pettengill are doing commentary and they are still taped from North Charleston, West Virginia.

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Cole’s Man Crush on Miz

Hey Scott,

Why, or when, did Michael Cole stop loving the Miz?  For years he was Miz's biggest chearleader, and at some point in the last year or two he completely turned on him.  What happened?  Did he disapprove of Miz going Hollywood?

Thanks, brother.

Festq

​As Motley Crue once wrote, "Seasons must change, separate paths and separate ways.  Can't blame it on anything, so let's blame it on the rain."  ​
​So we'll blame the rain.  ​

In Russia, the crush Rusev’s you!


With all the current hullabaloo for Rusev, where does he stand in the pantheon of evil foreign heels (or at least Russian heels)? You'd think this would be an easy WWE Top 10. 

Well, I mean, he hasn't really DONE anything yet to warrant such a list.  Once we get to the program with Juan Cena we'll see where he stacks up.  Clearly Ivan Koloff is #1 for ending the reign of Bruno and nearly starting a riot in the process, and nephew Nikita is #2.  Nikolai would be #3 by sheer longevity, and you could throw Crusher Darsow in there as well.
If you expand it to xenophobic heels in general, that gives you Fritz Von Erich near the top and probably a bunch of other Nazi gimmicks from that era.  Great Khali was reasonably effective in that role for a little while, as was Umaga.  And of course Yokozuna.  
But yeah, that would be a cool top 10.  Paging YouTube guys!  

What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw – June 23, 1997

by Logan Scisco

The show opens
with a small clip and tribute to former WWF champion Stan “The Man” Stasiak.
Vince McMahon and
Jim Ross are in the booth and they are coming to us from Detroit, Michigan.
The New Nation of
Domination are interviewed by McMahon and Ahmed says that McMahon never backed
him when he came back from his injury last year for a shot at the WWF
title.  Ahmed says he doesn’t respect the
Undertaker because he’s just a slave to Paul Bearer and Faarooq says that Ahmed
coming into the Nation is like Martin Luther King aligning with Malcolm X.  D-Lo repeats what others have said in this
segment and Kama says that Ahmed will bring the WWF title to the Nation.  At the end of the segment, Crush comes out
with some other men on motorcycles and they surround the ring.  Crush says his organization is called the
Disciplines of Apocalypse and a brawl breaks out.  A combination of WWF officials and police
separate the combatants and DOA gets a chant from the crowd.  Ladies and gentlemen, the gang wars have
begun.

The Legion of Doom
cut a pre-taped promo, where they say that all hell is going to break loose
when they face the Godwinns in the tag team tournament this evening.
The formation of
Steve Austin’s team for Canadian Stampede on last week’s show is replayed.
Former UFC
Champion and then-NWA World Champion Dan Severn comes out to do commentary for
the next match.  Since Severn is a soft
spoken guy, this isn’t the best role for him.
Opening
Contest:  Ken Shamrock defeats Rockabilly
(w/The Honky Tonk Man) via submission to the ankle lock at 2:34:
Hearing McMahon talk about the “appalling” way that state
legislators are treating UFC is surreal. 
You would think that McMahon had bought the company and was promoting is
as a legitimate alternative to the form of sports entertainment that he was
offering audiences at this time. 
Shamrock easily rolls through Rockabilly in this encounter, intimidates
the Honky Tonk Man into leaving the ring, and then teases a confrontation with
Severn at the announce table before shaking his hand.
The Godwinns
promise to do things differently in the WWF from now on and Henry Godwinn
promises to get revenge for his neck injury suffered at the hands of the Legion
of Doom a couple of months ago.
Ahmed Johnson
giving the Undertaker a Pearl River Plunge on last week’s show is the Army Slam
of the Week.
The announce team
talks about whether Marc Mero is jealous of Sable’s new popularity.  You can buy the new WWF magazine and read
Vince Russo’s article about it!
Tag Team
Tournament First Round Match:  The Legion
of Doom defeat The Godwinns when Hawk pins Henry following a flying clothesline
at 3:42:
The Godwinns heel turn consists of them shedding their undershirts but they still have the slop and they use it when the LOD make
their entrance.  These teams have some
good chemistry, but they rush to get their stuff in and the wheels start to
come off of the match by the finish.  After
the match, the Godwinns attack the Legion of Doom to cement their heel turn in
the eyes of the fans.  Rating: 
After the Godwinns
have done their damage, the Hart Foundation hits the ring and beat down the
Legion of Doom.
Paul Bearer tells
The Undertaker to shut up and listen to him, which leads to the Undertaker
choking him and Vader, who is his tag team partner tonight in the tag team
tournament.  Vader looks terribly weak in
this segment, since the Undertaker makes him go to one knee with a one hand
choke.
Owen Hart says
that being booked in a triple threat match for his title is a conspiracy and is
a way for McMahon to see that his Intercontinental championship is placed into
the hands of an American.  He promises a
surprise tonight.
Steve Austin hypes
his Cause Stone Cold Said So video.
Flash Funk says
he’s one of the greatest fliers of all time and he looks forward to facing Sabu
in the next match.
Interpromotional
Match (ECW vs. WWF):  Sabu (w/Bill
Alfonso) and Flash Funk wrestle to a double count out at 4:38:
Paul Heyman is on commentary for this match to give the
television viewers background on Sabu. 
Using Funk for these interpromotional matches is not a bad idea because
Funk had wrestled Rob Van Dam and Sabu in ECW and was someone you could trust
in the ring to make the ECW guys look good. 
There was also no risk in having him lose because he wasn’t doing
anything of note in the company at this point anyway.  Since the WWF had higher production values
than ECW, Alphonso’s whistle is more annoying than usual.  Funk damages Sabu’s arm on a moonsault, as he
comes crashing down onto Sabu’s arm with his knees when executing the move, and
both men battle to a disappointing count out after a match that had some nice
spots in it.  Sabu fails to put Funk
through a table after three attempts, though. 
Rating:  **½
Mankind’s failed
attempt to convince Steve Austin that he should be Austin’s new tag team
partner on last week’s show is played
.
Call 815-734-1161
to get your copy of Cause Stone Cold Said So for $19.99 (plus $6
shipping & handling)!
Non-Title Match:  Mankind defeats The British Bulldog (European
Champion) by disqualification when the Bulldog uses a chair at 4:10:
Mankind is wearing an Austin 3:16 t-shirt and a “Pick Me
Steve!” sign and he dedicates the match to Steve Austin, thereby continuing his
campaign to be Austin’s tag team partner. 
Austin calls into the show and says that he wants to give a shout out to
his brother who was stepped on by a bull. 
However, he makes sure to note that he isn’t concerned about his
brother’s welfare but wants the $30 his brother owes him, which is a nice way
to express concern and incorporate it into the character.  Austin says he doesn’t care about Mankind’s
welfare either and would rather defend the titles alone.  Both men put together a quick match where
Mankind nearly wins with the Mandible Claw, but the Bulldog escapes and blasts
Mankind twice in the head with a chair. 
I’m really worried about what Foley is going to be like if he reaches
seventy with all the head trauma that he incurred over the course of his career.  Despite taking two blows to the head, Mankind
still recovers and puts the Bulldog in the Mandible Claw to get a nice crowd
pop.  Rating:  ** 
Intercontinental Champion Owen Hart tells
WWF President Gorilla Monsoon that Brian Pillman should be allowed to be in his
corner for the triple threat because Hunter Hearst Helmsley gets Chyna and
Goldust will have Marlena.  Monsoon
agrees.
McMahon and Ross
discuss the importance of the Intercontinental title in WWF history.  It’s sad to watch this when you consider how
far that belt has fallen in modern times
.
Triple Threat
Match for the Intercontinental Championship: 
Owen Hart (Champion w/Brian Pillman) defeats Goldust (w/Marlena) and
Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/Chyna) after pinning Helmsley after a Goldust flying
elbow drop at 7:04 shown:
This is the first televised
triple threat match in WWF history and Pat Patterson, the first
Intercontinental Champion, is the special guest referee.  The two challengers, Goldust and Helmsley,
are former Intercontinental champions and their title wins are shown prior to
the match.  Goldust appears to win the
match with a Curtain Call three minutes in, but Owen had put his foot on the
bottom rope during the count.  Patterson
refuses to change his mind, so Gorilla Monsoon comes out and shows him an
instant replay and the match is restarted. 
One of the refreshing things about this match is that it doesn’t rely on
the “toss one guy out and let’s have a one-on-one match” formula that future
triple threat matches would use.  Chyna
steals the show in another match by giving Goldust a hurricanrana and Owen
moves out of the way when Goldust tries to break up a pin he has on Helmsley
and retains the title.  This was a decent
contest and all of the guys acquitted themselves well, but the commercial break
and restart killed what the match could have been.  Rating:  **½
Bret Hart and Jim
Neidhart are interviewed by McMahon and Bret says that he isn’t worried about
the American team that has been assembled at Canadian Stampede.  Bret calls out “The Hitman” Tommy Hearns and
says that there is only room for one of them in Detroit.  Hearns jumps the barrier and gets in Bret’s
face and when they get ready for an encounter, Hearns knocks down Jim Neidhart
with a combination of punches.  WWF
officials hit the ring, though, to prevent a Bret-Hearns confrontation.  The crowd gets worked into a “USA” chant
.
Savio Vega
interrupts an interview of the New Nation, but gets beaten down and whipped by
Faarooq, Kama, and D-Lo Brown
.
Brian Christopher
cuts a pre-taped promo saying that he dominated USWA in Memphis for years and
he is ready to dominate the WWF light heavyweight division.
“Too Sexy” Brian
Christopher (w/Jerry “The King” Lawler) pins Scott Taylor after a Tennessee Jam
(flying leg drop) at 2:54:
This is another preview of the WWF light heavyweight
division and it is also a clash of the future Too Hot/Too Cool tag team
combination.  Christopher was never a
significant draw in the USWA, but I felt that he was a good midcard talent.  Lawler sidesteps the question on commentary
about whether he is Christopher’s father, which will be a running gag for the
next several years of WWF programming. 
This is a serviceable squash for Christopher, but this light heavyweight
division really needs someone that is going to “wow” crowds because mat based
wrestling is not going to get it done.
Call
1-900-737-4WWF to hear about Shawn Michaels, Sid, Yokozuna, and Maury Povich!
Paul Bearer says
there are no problems between the Undertaker and Vader concerning tonight’s tag
team tournament match.
Tag Team
Tournament First Round Match:  Faarooq
& D-Lo Brown (w/Kama Mustafa) defeat The Undertaker & Vader (w/Paul
Bearer) when Faarooq pins Vader with a clothesline at 4:59 shown:
The New Nation is without Ahmed Johnson, who suffered a
knee injury in the opening segment. 
Ahmed is shown watching the action in the back, but you can tell by his
body language that he knows he’s lost a major push.  The winner of this match faces the Legion of
Doom in the semi-finals.  DOA comes out
in the first couple of minutes and they waste no time attacking D-Lo Brown and
nearly everyone in the match gets involved in the brawl, with the Undertaker
hitting anything that moves.  From a
booking standpoint it would appear that Faarooq chose the wrong partner, since
D-Lo doesn’t have the size to deal with Vader or the Undertaker.  However, the Undertaker nails Vader in the
face after they jaw with each other and that leads to Vader jobbing to a
clothesline as if this was the Survivor Series. 
This was an awkward contest that didn’t get sufficient time to
develop.  Rating:  *½
After the match,
Bearer sends Vader after the Undertaker, but the Undertaker survives the
onslaught and Tombstone’s Vader.  Bearer
tells the Undertaker that he’s made his casket and he’s going to tell the world
his secret next week.  The Undertaker
just does a throat slashing gesture and leaves.
The Final Report Card:  Ahmed’s injury added another blow to the
Undertaker’s WWF title reign because it eventually saddled him with facing
Vader at Canadian Stampede.  However,
that match wasn’t much of a draw since the Undertaker easily dealt with Vader
on this show and Vader was hardly the menacing monster he was a year
earlier.  You can also see that the WWF
is slowly pushing D-Lo Brown.  He was the
only member retained from the old Nation of Domination, but he got some
microphone time for the first time in his career on this show and he also got a
main event spot.  Despite the awkward
main event, this show had some bright spots like the debut of the triple threat
match and the Funk-Sabu match and that’s enough for a thumbs up from me.
Monday Night War Rating:  2.4 (vs. 3.3 for Nitro)
Show Evaluation:  Thumbs Up

What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw – June 2, 1997

by Logan Scisco

McMahon recaps
last week’s tag team championship main event and the events that unfolded after
the match.  McMahon also recaps the
Undertaker’s interaction with Paul Bearer at the end of last week’s show.
Vince McMahon and
Jim Ross are in the booth and they are broadcasting from Huntington, West
Virginia.  This is the go home show for
the King of the Ring pay-per-view
.

The Undertaker
comes out and says that while it would’ve been great to break Paul Bearer’s
neck last week, it wouldn’t have helped him out of his present
circumstances.  The Undertaker talks
about how he knows he won’t go to hell after he’s dead because he’s living it
now, thereby destroying the last vestige of the original Undertaker
gimmick.  The Undertaker says that he’s
having to take on Bearer as his manager, but hopes he burns in hell for all
time.  This is such a great spin on the
manager-wrestler relationship, with a wrestler being forced to take on a
manager that he absolutely loathes.  Predictably,
Bearer comes out and he’s not happy and he reprimands the Undertaker for
cutting a promo without his approval. 
Bearer talks about how he and the Undertaker are going to rule the
world, which brings out Sid, who is making his return from a back injury.  Sid calls Bearer a “fat man” to a massive pop,
showing that Sid can get a pop for the stupidest phrases, and he puts over the
Undertaker’s title reign.  However, Sid
says he can’t respect the Undertaker after he took back Bearer and he demands a
rematch for his WWF title for tonight and promises to powerbomb the Undertaker
to hell.  The Undertaker accepts without
hesitation.  Just when you think that’s
over with, the Nation of Domination comes out and Faarooq says that a black man
is going to rule the WWF by next week’s show. 
He also says that the Undertaker is a weak man for giving into Bearer.  A crazy, yet effective opening segment that
showed some psychological vulnerability of the Undertaker for the first time in
his career.
Ahmed Johnson says
that Faarooq may have plans to be the first WWF champion but that isn’t going
to happen because he’s going to take him out tonight
.
A video package
hypes the opening bout between Faarooq and Ahmed Johnson
.
Opening
Contest:  Faarooq (w/The Nation of
Domination) defeats Ahmed Johnson after Ahmed is thrown into the ring steps on
the floor at 3:07:
This is yet another battle in the continual struggle
between Ahmed and Faarooq.  Ahmed
showcases a nice array of power moves, but the Nation of Domination intervenes
to turn the tide.  The Undertaker comes
out to lend Ahmed a hand, but the fighting on the floor sees the Undertaker
inadvertently whip Faarooq into Ahmed, who then collides with the ring steps
and the astute Faarooq rolls Ahmed into the ring to get a cheap win on his way
to the King of the Ring main event this Sunday. 
There just wasn’t a lot here.  Rating: 
*
After the match,
Ahmed gets into the Undertaker’s face and gets a chokeslam for his efforts.
Steve Austin’s
attack on Bret Hart at the end of last week’s show is played
.
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McMahon interviews
the Hart Foundation.  Bret is back on
crutches after Steve Austin’s attack at the end of last week’s show and McMahon
brings WWF Tag Team Champions Shawn Michaels and Steve Austin onto the
Titantron.  Bret says he won’t face
Michaels at the King of the Ring because of his renewed injury.  Michaels isn’t happy that Austin ruined his
match with Bret at the King of the Ring, but Austin says he doesn’t care
because he tried to take Bret out for good. 
Michaels and Austin continue to jaw and Michaels heads towards Austin’s
locker room and they argue about who needs who the most.  The Hart Foundation confers in the ring after
seeing these events and Brian Pillman proposes that Michaels take his place at
King of the Ring against Austin and Austin says that’s fine and he’ll face
Pillman on the RAW after King of the Ring.
Footage of Bob
Holly upsetting Owen Hart in a non-title match on RAW two weeks ago is shown
.
Intercontinental
Championship Match:  Owen Hart (Champion
w/The Hart Foundation) defeats Bob “Spark Plugg” Holly via submission with the
Sharpshooter at 3:16:
If they wanted to make Holly a credible threat was it
really a wise move to job him to a debuting D-Lo Brown on last week’s
show?  At least we have an
Intercontinental title match with some backstory.  This is Holly’s first crack at the
Intercontinental title since 1995, when he faced Jeff Jarrett in an
entertaining series of matches on the Action Zone and actually held the belt
for a few minutes before then-WWF President Jack Tunney vacated his
victory.  This is a technically
proficient match, but they have to rush things since we are now in the Russo
era and most matches can’t go over four minutes.  Owen counters a Holly hurricanrana attempt
with a powerbomb, which is the same mistake Holly made on last week’s show, and
quickly finishes Holly off to retain the title. 
Rating:  **
Shawn Michaels
says that he will take on the challenge of facing Steve Austin at the King of
the Ring
.
A video recaps the
second part of Mankind’s interview with Jim Ross last week
.
The Headbangers,
the Honky Tonk Man, and Jim Cornette try to set a Super Soaker ambush for
Sunny, but she gets them with a three way shot from her Super Soaker.  Sunny’s lack of acting skills are really
exposed in these commercials
.
Footage of Chyna
attacking Hunter Hearst Helmsley after she was blinded by powder from Marlena
the last time Helmsley faced Goldust on RAW is shown
.
#1 Contenders
Match for the European Championship:  Goldust
(w/Marlena) defeats Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/Chyna) with a schoolboy after
heel miscommunication at 3:49:
Goldust facepaint makes him appear like the second coming
of The Stalker.  The winner here gets a
shot at the European title next week on RAW. 
Ross tries to sell this as an equal feud, but Helmsley has won most of
the television encounters.  Goldust and
Helmsley exchange some basic moves until Chyna grabs Goldust on the apron.  Marlena then goes after Chyna and Helmsley
accidentally gives Chyna a high knee, which knocks her off the apron, and that
enables Goldust to score the upset. 
McMahon acts like Goldust has accomplished some kind of career goal by
getting to face the British Bulldog for the European title next week, but it’s
hard to buy since Goldust hasn’t come out and said that he wants to win the
European championship.  Helmsley doing
the job may not make sense because of his place in the King of the Ring
tournament, but it showcases some vulnerability and might make fans think he
and Chyna would have a blowup that would cost him his semi-final match with
Ahmed at the pay-per-view.  Rating: 
*
Call
1-900-737-4WWF to find out about a photo shoot some WWF superstars did recently
.
Shawn Michaels
hurricanrana on the British Bulldog is the Sega Slam of the Week
.
The Legion of Doom
cut a brief promo and Hawk promises that they are going to send Shawn Michaels
teeth down Austin’s throat
.
WWF Tag Team
Championship Match:  The Legion of Doom
defeat “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels & “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
(Champions) by count out at 6:58 shown:
I wonder if one of the reasons for the Michaels-Austin
pairing was allowing McMahon to compare the crowd reactions of Michaels and
Austin since they made separate entrances. 
Michaels bumping is a tad overdone in the early stages of this one as he
is clotheslined out of the ring, leaps into the guardrail, and then flops like
a fish until he ends up on top of Austin. 
The crowd is pretty divided between both teams, but it seems like the
LOD has a few more supporters in the arena as several “LOD” chants break out
during the match.  Michaels and Austin heel
it up by nailing Hawk with a tag title belt behind the referee’s back, but it
fails to get a three count.  The Hart
Foundation wander down to ringside and Michaels confronts them (after flying
out of the ring after taking a right hand) and Austin does not appreciate
that.  The tag champions end up brawling
on the floor and that gives the LOD a victory without the belts to irritate the
crowd.  This was a good carry job by
Michaels and Austin since the LOD added very little to the match’s value.  Rating:  **¾
We are shown the
third part of Mankind’s interview with Jim Ross.  Mankind discusses the Cactus Jack character
and competing in death matches in Japan.
King of the Ring
First Round Match:  Mankind defeats Savio
Vega (w/The Nation of Domination) after heel miscommunication at 3:02:
Jerry Lawler joins the commentary team because he faces
the winner in the semi-finals.  For the
first time in his WWF career Mankind elicits some cheers from the crowd during
his entrance and thereby begins the process of a face turn.  McMahon reveals that Mankind is confused why
Paul Bearer doesn’t want to manage him anymore. 
Savio really steps up his game for this match and hits an awesome
looking flying body press onto Mankind on the floor.  Lawler goes on a hilarious rant on commentary
about the size of Mankind’s house and links it to Mankind jumping off the roof
of his house as a kid.  Mankind traps
Savio in the Mandible Claw, but when Crush tries to give Mankind a heart punch
to break the hold, Mankind moves and Crush nails Savio in the head and that
advances Mankind in the tournament.  That’s
the third screwy finish tonight for those keeping score at home.  Rating:  *¼
After the match,
Savio and Crush brawl in the ring and Faarooq, instead of trying to play
peacemaker, walks off
.
McMahon and Ross
run through the King of the Ring card for this Sunday
.
Sable comes out to
model the inflatable King of the Ring chair. 
Seeing Sable try to act seductive around an INFLATABLE CHAIR is
hilariously bad.  Ross lets us know that
the chair can seat “a wide body.”
-The Undertaker
chokeslamming Ahmed Johnson earlier in the show is the Super Soaker Rewind
segment
.
Non-Title
Match:  The Undertaker (WWF Champion
w/Paul Bearer) defeats Sid with a Tombstone at 4:47 shown:
Sid made it seem in his opening promo that this was for
the title, but Howard Finkel announces it as non-title, so I guess he was
wrong.  This is as slow as their
WrestleMania match, as these two guys just don’t have good chemistry with each
other, but at least they aren’t being given twenty minutes tonight.  The Undertaker hits a flying clothesline out
of nowhere and gets the victory with the Tombstone before he’s quickly beaten
down by the Nation.  Sid tries to help
out, but he’s overwhelmed as well.  I
found little redeeming value in this and it made Sid look quite weak
(not that the WWF was banking on his value anymore).  Rating:  DUD
Tune in next week
to see Steve Austin square off with Brian Pillman!
The Final Report Card:  This RAW card was absolutely stacked, as we
got another battle between Faarooq and Ahmed, a quasi-dream match for the tag
team titles, and a WrestleMania rematch between Sid and the Undertaker.  Despite that, though, this show still didn’t
defeat Nitro.  The show went downhill
after the tag team title match, which started the second hour, but I’m still
going to award it a thumbs up because the storytelling in hour one was nicely
done.
Monday Night War Rating:  3.3 (vs. 2.5 for Nitro)
Show Evaluation:  Thumbs Up