by Logan Scisco
-Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, and
Jerry Lawler are in the booth and they are still from somewhere that is
-Footage of the aftermath of last
week’s Karate Fighters Holiday Tournament is shown.
–Opening Intercontinental Championship
Contest: Hunter Hearst Helmsley
(Champion) defeats “Wildman” Marc Mero (w/Sable) with a Pedigree at 6:11 shown:
can lose the belt here if he gets counted out or disqualified. Right before the bell rings, Goldust’s theme
plays and he and Marlena take seats in the crowd because Goldust will face the
winner at the Royal Rumble. They play to
the stipulations, as Helmsley opts not to use a chair so he doesn’t lose the
title and they have a very competitive match.
There is also some good continuity with the finish, as Helmsley avoids a
Merosault, which got him pinned at the Survivor Series in November, and he hits
the dazed Mero with the Pedigree. This
is a bit of an upset, considering how many victories over Helmsley in non-title
matches Mero had accumulated up to this point and it was a sign that the WWF
was putting more stock into Helmsley for the future. This would also constitute the official end
of the Helmsley-Mero feud, as Helmsley now moves on to feud with Goldust and Mero
moves on to a knee injury in a couple of months, which will destroy his career. Rating: **½
-After the match, Helmsley gets
on the house mic and tells Goldust that at the Royal Rumble he’s going to show
him how to be a man and then says that he’s going to let Marlena feel what it’s
like to be with a real man. Goldust
charges to the ring, but Helmsley flees before anything happens.
-McMahon and Ross discuss the
ending of the Bart Gunn-Billy Gunn match on last week’s show. Bart’s comments about how the incident was an
accident on Livewire are also played.
-Sunny comes down to the ring to
do commentary for our next match. Her
appearance on MTV’s “Singled Out” is also discussed.
–Rocky Maivia pins Salvatore Sincere (w/Jim
Cornette) with a shoulderbreaker at 5:49:
get another match between these two, with Sincere having won none of the
matches in this series. He wasn’t even
able to get a single leg up on Maivia in this small feud. Sunny fawns over Maivia as this match follows
the Randy Savage template: Maivia gets
destroyed until making a comeback out of nowhere and finishing Sincere off once
and for all. Rating: *½
-McMahon interviews WWF Champion
Sid. Sid says that in thirty days he’s
defeated Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart, two of the best technical wrestlers on
the planet, and that proves that power is the best skill that he has in his
arsenal. He runs down his height and
weight and says that isn’t changing. A really
bland interview, but it made its point.
–Pierroth & Cibernetico defeat The New
Rockers when Pierroth pins Marty Jannetty with a top rope splash at 3:51 shown:
and Cibernetico were guest participants in the Royal Rumble when the WWF had a
working relationship with AAA in Mexico.
Mil Mascaras is shown doing guest commentary at the Spanish announce
table because he will be in the Royal Rumble match. The crowd doesn’t care about the New Rockers
and they don’t know what to make of the Mexican team, so they just choose to
sit on their hands until Cibernetico blasts Cassidy with a suicide dive in the
finishing sequence. Pierroth and
Cibernetico didn’t look that good in this match, as they had trouble executing
basic maneuvers like a leapfrog and a sunset flip. Rating: *
-Ross interviews Mil Mascaras and
Mascaras quickly discusses the honor of getting to compete in the Royal Rumble.
-McMahon announces that Hunter
Hearst Helmsley, Flash Funk, the British Bulldog, Ahmed Johnson, and the
Undertaker will be in the Royal Rumble match.
For the wrestling trivia buffs out there, the 1997 Royal Rumble was the
first time since 1993 that the Undertaker was participating in the Rumble
-The Honky Tonk Man comes down to
ringside to do guest commentary. He’s on
a search to find someone to carry on his legacy because he can’t be as active
in the ring as he used to.
–Bret “the Hitman” Hart defeats The Fake
Razor Ramon via submission with the Sharpshooter at 5:58 shown:
always lauded for pulling off miracles in the ring against opponents who
couldn’t carry their weight, but this match proves that you can’t work miracles
all the time. The problem is that Ramon
dominates three quarters of the match with every type of striking and choking
move you can imagine. The highlight of
the match is when Bret whips Ramon into the steps, but Ramon stops himself
before hitting them and lightly taps them with his rear end. McMahon also praises Bret after his victory
for showing a mean streak, but that’s really tough to sell when he gets
dominated by a midcarder. Altogether,
this is one of the worst Bret matches that I’ve ever seen. Rating: ½*
-McMahon asks Shawn Michaels, who
is in the locker room, what he thinks of Bret Hart and Sid and Shawn just acts
like McMahon is asking dumb questions.
He says he’ll be ready for the Royal Rumble.
-Tune in next week to see Goldust
face Jerry Lawler!
Final Report Card: They really should’ve
just scrapped Bret Hart-Razor Ramon main event and given the Helmsley-Mero
match more time. For a blowoff to their
feud, both guys deserved more time to tell a story than what they were given on
this show. Aside from those two matches,
you have a Sincere-Maivia part 15, which was one of the more poorly developed
feuds of the year, and a squash for Pierroth and Cibernetico, where both guys
looked terrible. Overall, just a bad
show that’s not worth looking for because the one match you may want to see,
Night War Rating: N/A (vs. 3.1 for
Grade: Thumbs Down