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Shotgun Saturday Night - February 8, 1997

by Scrooge McSuck

- It's time for the end of the WWF's experiment with Shotgun Saturday Night. This is only the sixth episode, but already, they've pulled the plug on pushing the envelope. Not to point fingers, but once Terry Funk started using naughty language (well, "asshole" isn't that bad, but I guess in the WWF, it was) and did it up, ECW Style, they basically just turned it into a straight wrestling show, with a few very minor occurances (the Headbangers vomiting last week, for example), and the wrestling presented sucked, of course.

- We're coming to you live from Penn Station. Yes, we're in a subway terminal for this episode. Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train" plays as the Undertaker welcomes us from the controls of a stalled train. Well, that was interesting. Vince McMahon and Sunny are calling the action, and Todd Pettengill is doing his usual role of annoying people.

The Godwinns vs. The Nation of Domination (w/ The Posse):

(Henry O. & Phineas I. vs. Faarooq & Crush)
Why must I be forced to watch so many matches with the Godwinns (They Love Hee Haw). The Nation was kind of cool, but not in a "talk about it in public way." Either way, they weren't a bad stable, and I loved when they added PG-13 to the group to rap on the way to the ring for their entrance. Vince McMahon hypes Sunny being in the next issue of the Enquirerererer, or whatever the proper spelling was. Clarence Mason joins the commentary team as we get a butt load of stalling. Crush and Phineas start, and I think I hear a chant that ends with "Sucks D*ck". Lockup, and no one takes control. Phineas spits in the air, catches it, and wipes it in his hair. EW? Crush with a side headlock, followed by a shoulder block. Phineas with a hip toss and clothesline, then Faarooq comes in for a taste. Todd is in the crowd, making fun of a toothless crackhead. Todd... FUNNY? "Nation sucks d*ck" appears to be the new chant, and I think I heard "bWo" earlier. Faarooq in with a slam on Phineas, followed by an elbow drop. Suddenly, Savio Vega comes to ringside. Henry tags in and pounds away, then grabs a headlock. We return from commercial...

But first, we are going to the Manhattan Center for Monday Night Raw on February 24th! That's the original location of Monday Night Raw. We're going to see The Undertaker, Ahmed Johnson, Goldust, and the Nation of Domination, just to name a few, and then on March 16th, it's back to Madison Square Garden! Vader vs. Undertaker in a Casket Match, Bret Hart vs. Stone Cold in a No Holds Barred match, and Shawn defends the WWF Title inside of a Cage against Sycho Sid! Fun tidbit: That MSG card was shown on the MSG Network, but I guess it didn't draw enough ratings to pick up on a regular basis. Also, the card was heavily altered thanks to Shawn losing his smile.

Back to the action, and Faarooq bashes Henry with a giant case of something, and Crush covers for a two count. Crush with a chinlock, and we know that's going to last a while. Crush with clubberin' blows, followed by stompin'. The Nation maintains control, but do nothing much of note. Irish whip, and a double clothesline spot sets up the hot tag. Phineas pounds on Crush and plants him with a slam, then one for Faarooq. Irish whip is reversed, and Phineas gets tripped. Crush accidentally rams Savio off the apron. Phineas goes for the Slop Drop, but Faarooq clotheslines his head off, and Crush covers for the three count at 9:55. * Well, at least it didn't feel that long. I should note, about two minutes of that was the local hype job for the WWF on tour.

- Thursday, February 13th, the WWF is going to have Thursday Raw Thursday. I think we all know the historic incident from that show. Here's a hint: Someone woke up that morning and couldn't find his smile. Just saying.

- Hunter Hearst Helmsley arrives in a limo, and is quickly pestered by the roaming cold sore known as Todd Pettengill, and hey, is that his entrance music playing? You mean his ARRIVAL (in his attire, of course) to Penn Station is when his match is about to begin? How rude...

WWF Intercontinental Championship Match:
Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. The Undertaker:

I know they've had to wrestle once or twice before (definitely at the 1995 Survivor Series, briefly), but this is often recognized as their first true encounter, and really, who cares? I'm sure neither can recall a meaningless match together, as if Shotgun Saturday was WrestleMania X-Seven or something. Helmsley jumped Undertaker before the bell, but no-sold it and pounded him in the corner. We return, live, with Helmsley being choked out in the corner. Whip to the corner, and we get a referee bump... ALREADY?! Undertaker with a clothesline, so Hunter returns with the IC Title and bashes Undertaker with it. Another Commercial break?! We return once again, wotj Helmsley choking Undertaker across the middle rope. Helmsley with a snapmare, followed by a knee drop. Undertaker fights back with rights, but Hunter puts him back down with a face buster. Hunter stomps away in the corner, followed by a rude awakening for a two count. They exchange blows in the corner, with the Undertaker winning the slugfest. Hunter rams Undertaker to the buckle, but that gets no-sold, and Undertaker floors Helmsley with a roundhouse right. Irish whip, and Hunter with a swinging neck breaker for a two count. Undertaker blocks another belt shot, then uses it himself, drawing a Disqualification at 4:17 (thanks to two commercial breaks). The crowd chants for the tombstone, but the Undertaker gives him a chokeslam, WITH AUTHORITY. Hunter runs away before more damage could be dished out. I won't bother rating this. It was way too butchered... wait, Undertaker catches up to him and gives Hunter the Tombstone on the escalater! That was pretty awesome, watching him play dead as it motors down.

- Todd plays a game of chicken to interview a small kid, and alleges that the kid doesn't have a father. Holy crap, who let Todd be funny this week? The camera keeps cutting out and we can barely find him in the crowd, but we can hear him.

Aldo Montoya vs. Savio Vega (w/ The Nation of Domination):

Talk about a match that could be a main event in any arena in the country. Lockup, and Montoya with a headlock, followed by a shoulder. Montoya with a hip toss, followed by a pair of dropkicks, then a plancha to the outside. Montoya to the top with a flying body press for a two count. Savio takes control, driving knees into the midsection, then chopping the skin off of Aldo's chest. That sounded painful. Whip to the corner, and Aldo with an exaggerated sell. Irish whip, and Savio with an elbow, followed by a headbutt. Savio with elbows, followed by his signature spinning heel kick into the corner. Savio brings Montoya back in the ring with a delayed suplex, then chokes away. Todd is at ringside again, interviewing a guy named "Terry", who whips out an LFN figure of Vince McMahon. Todd: You still have the same jacket? You were like 40 then, right? Oh my God, I love Todd Pettengill. Vince: That was back when I had hair. Wow, this show is being awesome with off the wall jokes. Montoya mounts a mild comeback, but Savio haults it as we go to a commercial. We return with the Nation at ringside, and Savio in control. The crowd chants "911" as Savio kicks Montoya across the back of the head, then slaps on a nerve hold. Montoya fights free with elbows, then kicks away at the midsection in the corner. Irish whip, and Montoya with a crummy elbow. Savio rakes the eyes and puts the nerve hold back on. What a horrible rest hold. Vince hypes a boxing PPV featuring Hector "Macho" Camacho. Suddenly, the Godwinns return to ringside. Why!? Savio with a snapmare, then more resting. The action spills from inside the ring to outside, and now all six men are hangin' and bangin'... and guess what? It's a SIX MAN TAG NOW!

Faarooq is pounding away on Montoya, and Crush tags in to do the same. Crush with a press slam, but sadly, he doesn't launch him into the 4th row. Triple teaming from the Nation, as the referee yells at Phineas. Montoya counters a suplex and plants Crush with a DDT. Todd is at ringside with a woman who wants to beat someone up... and it's a cat fight! Todd: We've already had midget wrestling! Faarooq rams Montoya to the buckle, and Savio tags in to put the boots to him. Whip to the corner, and Savio charges in with a clothesline. Crush tags in and connects with a back breaker, then snaps Montoya over his knee like a Slim Jim. Which Crush finisher was worse... the Cranium Crunch or the Heart Punch? Faarooq tags in and gets taken down with a neck breaker. Savio cuts off the tag and it's London Bridge time for Montoya. Savio chokes as the crowd chants "boring." Vince actually aknowledges the chant! Faarooq goes for the Dominater, but Montoya counters with a back slide for a two count. Crush tags in and pounds away in the corner. Savio chokes him across the bottom rope behind the referee's back. Savio with an enziguri, but that only gets a two count. Savio with the front facelock spot that leads to a false hot tag... and yes, we get a false hot tag. Montoya takes another shit kicking in the corner. How is this Jobber NOT dead after a 15-minute ass kicking? Montoya fights back in the war of Portgual vs. Puerto Rico. Montoya to the top rope, and he comes off with a missile dropkick for a two count. The Godwinns come in and brawl with Crush and Faarooq. Savio with a spinning heel kick on Montoya, and that gets three (FINALLY) at 15:37 (both matches held under the same time, with two commercial breaks edited out). ** Not bad, not great. It was fine as a singles match, but the tag portion, or more like the 3-on-1 portion, really wasn't that bad. Throw in the awesome stuff with Todd Pettengill, and you had me entertained.

- Phineas Godwinn is chasing D'Lo Brown (still unnamed at this point) backstage, then suddenly Pat Patterson get slopped for wearing a Bill Cosby sweater. I bet that's not the most disgusting thing splashed on his face that night.

- Todd Pettengill is with the Guardian Angels founder. Hey, I thought Ray Traylor worked for them. He talks like a typical New Yorker, which means I couldn't make sense out of any of it.

Final Thoughts: And thus ends Shotgun Saturday Night, at least as the new cutting edge WWF program. The next week wound up being a "Best of" clip show, and the next week of new material, it was just a show that was taped before Monday Night Raw went on the air. The wrestling, once again, wasn't that good, although to be fair, this week was far more wacthable, and there was zero risque material. I did love Todd Pettengill heeling it up, which means he could entertain his way out of a paper bag. Too bad the WWF didn't roll with it, and kept him a bland babyface lover for the remainder of his stay. Oh well, a fine experiment that is remembered fondly, but honestly, shouldn't be.

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