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Shotgun Saturday Night - January 4, 1997
by Scrooge McSuck
- 1997 was a lost year to me as a wrestling fan. While I still watched the "big Four" PPV's, I pretty much lost all connection to not only the WWF, but wrestling in general, so 1997 is the year that basically will never hold any significant meaning for me. Except for two examples: WCW's pushing of Sting, who turned into the Crow and wouldn't wrestle for over a year, and the WWF's Hell in a Cell, told to me by a friend, and when I saw the replay of it and the debut of Kane, I was hooked again, but back to the story.
I missed out on a lot, but not that much, if you know what I mean. I missed out on the Hart Foundation, but I didn't really miss the Gang Warz (the "z" has to be there for emphasis). I missed out on... well, not much else. If not for Steve Austin vs. The Hart Foundation, 1997 would not be remembered fondly at all. The WWF was in what I called it's awkward stage. You didn't know what they were doing, what they were trying to accomplish, and what they were trying to make their center of attention. One of these new fangled ideas was basically a more adult version of the original concept for Monday Night Raw. Taped on location from various New York city locations, but with a more raunchy attitude and poor production values. Just think of it as ECW, except with guys the WWF hadn't black-listed yet.
- We open the show with Bob Backlund rambling nonsense outside the night club that this weeks show is being broadcasted from. If Backlund doesn't approve, then it must be awesome, right? Naturally, the first shot of a WWF Superstar in the opening video is Shawn Michaels with his pants down. Woah, is that the Biker-Taker, three years before the character debuted?
- We're in the Mirage Night Club, with Vince McMahon and Sunny as the broadcast team for Shotgun Saturday Night, and they quickly run down what we're going to see tonight. Sunny is hot, but her voice is quite irritating to listen to for an entire broadcast, and speaking of an irritating voice, it's Vince McMahon trying to be hip and with it. We throw it to Todd Pettengill, and he's got the goatee of attitude. Just think of an even less-cool version of Michael Cole.
The Godwinns (w/ Hillbilly Jim) vs. The Flying Nuns:
(Henry & Phineas Godwinn vs. Sister Angelica & Mother Smucker)
Vince is calling this a Mixed Tag Team Match. The Nuns attack from behind and pound away in opposite corners. I notice the ring is considerably smaller than usual. The Godwinns with clotheslines to clear the ring. Henry works the arm of "Angelica", and Phineas comes in, grabbing a headlock. Crowd chants "holy shit", so you know this crowd has ATTITUDE. Henry comes back in and plows through Angelica with a shoulder block. Vince begs the camera man for no upskirts during this match, but not in so many words. Phineas and Smucker lockup into the corner, as Todd interviews Hillbilly Jim. He seems weirded out by everything, for some reason. Smucker with a wristlock, but Phineas quickly counters. "Go to Hell" chant starts up now. Suddenly, Brother Love
appears at ringside. Jesus Christ... no pun intended. The Nuns bow down before him chanting "We're Not Worthy" as we head to a commercial. We return, with Angelica ramming shoulders into the midsection of Henry. Whip to the corner is reversed, and HOG with a back drop. The Nuns bail for some conferencing. Smucker is in and "she" puts the boots to HOG. Angelica with a sledge from the top rope, and more stompin'. Agelica with more booting... are the Nuns from Australia? Smucker comes in and does a leap frog splash across the back of HOG. Irish whip, and a double snapmare from the Nuns gets a two count. Double teaming in the corner, and yes, kicking is heavily involved. Angelica with a slam, and Smucker heads to the top rope, and misses a leg drop. PIG gets the sweaty tag (he's ALWAYS wet!), and he hammers away on both Nuns. Blasphemy! PIG goes for a slam, but is weirded out, so HOG does it. Irish whip is reversed, and PIG takes a dropkick to the face, then Brother Love bashes him with the bible, and the three count is academic at 9:33. I've NEVER seen that used as a foreign weapon. Post-match, Todd Pettengill brings Brother Love into the ring for an interview. Correction, that's the book of love. Brother Love gives them the name of The Sisters of Love
. Uh-huh. * The match wasn't anything to write home about, but the atmosphere makes it watchable. Oh, for those who care, the Nuns would trade in their gowns for skirts and rename themselves the Headbangers, Mosh and Thrasher.
- Todd Pettengill wanders to the "VIP Section", and spies the likes of Rocky Miavia, Goldust, and Marlena before Bob Backlund runs in, along with his protege, The Sultan, to give everyone a lecture about morality. "That's cleavage, lady!" Captain Obvious strikes again. Next week, join us from the All-Star Cafe in New York City.
Goldust (w/ Marlena) vs. The Sultan (w/ Mr. Bob Backlund)
Goldust is very freshly turned babyface at this point, brought on by Jerry Lawler accusing him of being gay, and Goldust un-outing himself and declaring Marlena was his love interest. So much for this character being worth a damn, anymore. The Sultan is the Headshrinker formerly known as Fatu, and about 50 pounds away from being Rikishi. Goldust dodges a clothesline and quickly hammers away, knocking the Sultan out of the ring. Goldust follows out and gets pounded on for it. Back in the ring, and they exchange blows. Irish whip, and Goldust with an uppercut, followed by a clothesline for a two count. Irish whip, and Goldust with a sleeper hold. Todd with an in-match interview... attempt, with Backlund. "I can't hear without my glasses on!" The camera misses the action, but the Sultan has Goldust in a compromising position. Whip to the corner, and Sultan charges in with a clothesline. Sultan maintains control, doing little of note. Sultan with a snapmare, followed by a leg drop, and that gets a two count. Irish whip, and Sultan with a powerslam for another two count. Sultan with a snapmare, and it's a nerve hold. Backlund spazzes out at the broadcast position, we're spared of anytthing audible. The crowd is bored, so they chant "Fatu Sucks". I guess they're not fooled by this mysterious Sultan. Goldust with blows to the midsection, followed by a butt-butt, but he misses an elbow drop, and Sultan covers for a two count. Sultan tosses Goldust out of the ring, but the referee prevents the use of a steel chair. Slugfest, won by Sultan. Back in the ring, and Sultan is "hammering away." Whip to the corner, and he posts himself on a charge. Goldust with a swinging neck breaker, followed by mounted corner punches. Even a smart crowd will chant along with it. Goldust with a running bulldog, but that only gets two. Goldust with a clothesline, and Sultan does his Jannetty-sell™. Sultan catches Goldust off the ropes with an Arabian Drop, then clamps on the Camel Clutch. Marlena hops on the apron and removes her top to distract the Sultan, and everyone else. Goldust tosses the Sultan out of the ring, and Backlund keeps him from entering the ring, so it's a Count-Out victory at 9:20 for Goldust. Todd declares Marlena the winner of the match. DUD Match sucked it pretty hard, but again, the atompshere kept it watchable, at least.
- We're back in the VIP Section. Goldust and Marlena are back in there, along with the likes of Jim Cornette, Salvatore Sincere, and Shotgun Saturday Night - January 4, 1997. We get a replay of Marlena's exposed back, while Backlund has a fit in the ring. I seem to remember this being a very often replayed moment on Monday Night Raw in the following weeks. Sunny says she's going to top it by showing us one of her home sex videos. WHAT?! Oh wait, I think I remember what that was about.
Ahmed Johnson vs Crush (w/ Clarence Mason and the Nation)
This is the first match to get any introductions, at least for the television audience. You know, the Nation idea wasn't so horrible when it was Faarooq, Crush, and eventually Savio Vega, but then branching them off into their own stereotypical "gangs" was just terribly offensive and definitely racist, especially when the white bikers are portrayed as the babyfaces among the three of them. It's funny how Ahmed went from being the next big thing at the end of 1995 to just another guy as 1997 came around. They hug and brawl on the canvas to start. Irish whip and they blow a clothesline spot. Johnson with a slam, then tosses Crush over the top rope. The Royal Rumble isn't for another three weeks, Ahmed! Back in the ring, and Ahmed gets tossed as they appear to blow another spot. Ahmed heads into the "crowd", then dives over the top rope and connects with a clothesline!? I guess there's a ramp on the far side of the ring? Crush puts the boots to Ahmed as Todd interviews Clarence Mason. Whatever happened to that guy? They head outside the ring, and Ahmed whips Crush into the steps. Back in the ring, and Crush pounds the kidney area of Johnson, then takes him down with a beelly-to-belly suplex. Crush with a full nelson, but Ahmed quickly powers out, then "hits" a crummy scissors kick. Ahmed goes for the Plunge, but D'Lo Brown (unnamed still) runs in to make the save, drawing a Disqualification at 3:56. Johnson catches him coming off the ropes with a spinebuster, but Crush is there to make the save for the lackey, and it's time to put the boots to him. Crush has a METAL chair, and he bashes Ahmed with it good. That'll be $25,000 by today's standards. Goldust and the Godwinns run in to make the save. Now THERE'S a Survivor Series team if I've ever seen one. They all run through the crowd and out the backdoor. Ahmed has Brown cornered, and thankfully there's no broke bottles laying around. The end result: Ahmed gives the Pearl River Plunge to Brown on top of a car. Ouch. Awesome spot, but the match sucked major dick. -** I think Ahmed managed to blow more spots than successful ones.
- We see the Port Authority Bus Terminal, and Jim Cornette is yelling at Mini-Vader for holding it in on his entire trip from Mexico. We follow them into the Men's Room, but thankfully, we're spared of having to see Cornette's wang.
Mascarita Sagrada vs. Mini-Vader
Just what every show needs, a Mini's Match (no longer dubbed Midgets. I guess Vince wanted to be more politically correct about them or something). Todd invites Sunny into the ring to do the "Mascarena", and Todd does his worst Weird Al impersonation singing the Macarena song. Mascarita Sagrada joins in with the fun, and the crowd just DOESN'T like it. Vader punts the shit out of Sagrada, then press slams him. Vader misses a splash, and then Sagrada misses an Asai moonsault. Sagrada with a bunch of arm drags, as Cornette joins the commentary team, running down Mini Vader. Cornette comes into the ring, using his racket to signal timeout. Cornette scolds Mini Vader as we go to commercial. We return, with Sagrada executing a suicide dive, it seems. The camera barely panned the ring as it happened. Back inside, and Vader pounds away. Irish whip, and Vader with a clothesline, followed by a Mini-Vader-Bomb. Whip to the corner, and Vader misses that dumb 1-2-3 Kid spot where he tries to do a dropkick or something. Sagrada sends Vader out of the ring with a hurricanrana, then comes off the top rope with a body press to the floor. Back in the ring, and Sagrada with another hurricanrana, then comes off the top with a missile dropkick for the three count at 4:10. Cornette comes back in the ring and gives Vader a verbal lashing, then takes off his jacket and challenges Sagarada to a fight. Vader sneaks up from behind, and they do the old school yard tripping trick. The Mini's pants Cornette, who is thankfully wearing boxer shorts. ** Yes, the Midget... sorry, Mini Match was the best match of the night, and it was pretty entertaining for its comedy, too. Color me surprised.
- Time for some local commercials. Jackie Chan's First Strike! NEW Starbust Fruit Twists! Tune in Sunday, for Rio Lobo! Go to Aid Auto Stores for your winter needs!
- Local card hyping, for the WWF @ Madison Square Garden, saturday, January 25th! The Undertaker challenges Sycho Sid for the WWF Title! Shawn Michaels faces Mankind, with Paul Bearer in his corner. Bret "Hitman" Hart meets the man they call (Not Mini) Vader! Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Goldust in a special attraction match, as well as tag team action featuring Ahmed Johnson and Savio Vega facing the Nation's Crush and Faarooq!
- One last shot of Jim Cornette's pale legs as the broadcast comes to an end.
Final Thoughts: Definitely an interesting show. The wrestling wasn't very good, and to be honest, most of it was terrible, but there's something about location and atmopshere that can really lift a show up from the garbage pile. I wish the WWF put on some higher level names other than Goldust, the Godwinns, Crush, and midgets, but the roster was pretty thin at this point. The show is filled with a more raunchy direction, especially with their female employees, and then you had nonsense like the Flying Nuns/Sisters of Love. Overall, a surprisingly fun waste of 45 minutes, but don't expect a lot of good wrestling.
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