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Shotgun Saturday Night - January 25, 1997
by Scrooge McSuck
- Last week was the last minute hype for the 1997 Royal Rumble, which gave us some surprise results. Steve Austin won the Rumble Match, despite being eliminated by Bret Hart, and Bret Hart, in return, threw a huge hissy fit at ringside after the match about it. Shawn Michaels, suffering from the flu, regained the WWF Title from Sid, in front of his home crowd of San Antonio, TX. Other matches: Helmsley retained the IC Title against Goldust, with help from his new "butler", Mr. Hughes, Ahmed Johnson beat up Faarooq, Undertaker jobbed to Vader, and there was a shitty 6-Man "Lucha" match that no one gave a fifth of a crap about.
- We're back in New York City, coming to you from the Webster Hall, with Vince McMahon and Owen Hart (in his ring attire) calling the action. Mankind is distracted by the dancers, and Owen quips "leave him alone, he likes women, there's nothing wrong with that." Mankind corners one of them, until Bret Hart makes the save, which quickly leads us into...
Bret "Hitman" Hart vs. Mankind (w/ Paul Bearer):
Bret "hammers" away on Mankind and rams him into the ring steps. We go into the ring, and Hart pounds away on Mankind, then comes off the second rope with a forearm. Bret with his signature snap suplex, followed by a leg drop. Owen calls those dancers a couple of "Ho Bags", and Sunny is back on commentary, taking offense to it (Owen: I still don't see any women). Mankind dumps Bret out of the ring, but Bret drags him out too, and rams him into the apron. Bret takes Mankind to the broadcast position and takes Mankind down with a suplex on the "dance floor". Mankind regains control and rakes the eyes. Mankind drives a fist into the throat and chokes away, as we're reminded about Bret "quitting" on Raw, and Vince calling it a "misunderstanding." Mankind pounds away in the corner, then connects with a knee-first charge into the face. Whip to the corner, and Bret with only about 75% of his momentum. Mankind with a leg drop, then a cover for a two count. Mankind with a snapmare, then slaps on a chinlock. Owen claims that Bret is going to lose, just like the Patriots will in the Super Bowl. Bret fights free, but Mankind puts him back down to the canvas. Whip to the corner is reversed, but Bret "charges" into an elbow. Mankind comes bouncing off the ropes, but goes flying over the top rope, to the floor. Mankind rolls out of the ring to go after the dancers, and we go to a commercial. We return, with Bret crotching Mankind across the security rail, then taking him off with a clothesline. Back inside, and Bret comes down across the back of Mankind. Todd interviews some weird girl that Todd keeps calling "Princess Leia." Back to the action, and Bret with another suplex, but he misses a second rope elbow drop. Mankind with the double-arm DDT, but that only gets a two count. Mankind misses a charge into the corner, and Bret takes him down with a Russian leg sweep. Bret grabs a headlock, and takes Mankind down with a bulldog for a two count. Bret with a swinging neck breaker for another two count. Bret with a back breaker. Sunny disputes Owen's claims of Bret never winning a Slammy, then rubs her two Slammies in the face of Owen's one. Irish whip, and Bret with a clothesline. Sharpshooter is applied, but Owen runs in and knocks Bret off for the Disqualification at 10:28. They exchange blows, with Bret clearing his brother from the ring, then they brawl back to wherever the hell they go that represents a locker room. *1/2 You want to see a clashing of styles and a barely motivated Bret Hart? Then this is the match for you. I never thought I would enjoy the commentary for a Bret Hart match more than the match itself.
- After the match, Todd is with Paul Bearer, who blames all the liquor, women, and sex on why his Mankind wasn't able to pull out the victory. Well, yeah, I'm sure if I was some sexless pervert, I would be distracted by half naked women, too... and we'll just leave that subject alone right now, mm'kay?
Rocky Miavia vs. Savio Vega:
What's this, a face-vs-face match? Something must be up... Todd interviews Savio about what happend at the Madison Square Garden, and says Savio turned on Ahmed Johnson to join the Nation of Domination. Savio blames his "hot puerto rican temper" and apologizes. Lockup, and they exchange waistlocks until Rocky grabs the ropes. Savio with an arm drag as Sunny brings up the tension between Rocky and Mero from a few weeks back. Vega with a headlock, followed by a shoulder block. Rocky with the headlock and shoulder block spot in return. They exchange hammerlocks, and Rocky counters with a snapmare. Miavia with a leg trip and headlock, and Savio counters with a hammerlock, then takes Rocky over in a half nelson for a two count. Wristlocks are exchanged as Vince runs down Rocky's family heritage. Vega sweeps the leg and scissors the knee. Faarooq and Crush come to ringside as we go to a commercial. We return, with the "faces" mouthing off to the Nation. Savio sucker punches Rocky, and hammers away. Savio with mounted punches in the corner. Whip across the ring, and Savio with a back drop. Irish whip, and Rocky comes off the ropes with a cross body for a two count. Savio with a snapmare, and he applies a nerve pinch. Todd is at ringside with Faarooq, but Todd gets snubbed. Savio with a snap suplex for a two count. Vince accidentally calls Miavia "Rocky Johnson" as Savio goes back to the nerve hold. Sunny even calls him out on it, so Vince naturally ignores it. Irish whip, and Rocky with a surprise roll up for a two count. Rocky with a clothesline, followed by chops in the corner. Whip to the corner, and Rocky runs into a spinning heel kick. Whip to the corner, and this time Rocky runs into a boot from Vega. Guess what time it is? No, not diaper time... it's nerve hold time! Haku would be so proud. "Rocky Sucks" chant as Vega continues making him his bitch. Rocky fights back with rights and chops in the corner, and Vega returns the favors. Vega with a snapmare and NERVE HOLD! Rocky fights back AGAIN and comes off the ropes with a pair of clotheslines, then takes Savio down with a back suplex for a two count. Savio dumps Rocky over the top to the floor, and he's selling a knee injury. I say that because Vince calls attention to it. The ten count is made at 11:59, and Savio wins by Count-Out. It's not over, though, as Savio goes to work on the right leg of Miavia, despite the constant ringing of the bell. Faarooq and Crush join him in the ring to ward off the referees, until Savio casually tosses Rocky out of the ring. In case it wasn't hammered home, Savio gives the fist of respect, the Nation's signature hand gesture, just in case we couldn't figure out he joined the Nation. * Started off pretty well, but damn did it die, and then decompose in front of everyone. Rocky, again, is still way too green, and Savio's heel tactics stank.
- Todd is with Jake Roberts and his snake, Revelations. Again, I said it last week, but Roberts should NOT be allowed in a bar and live television at the same time. Is it me, or was he kind of slurring his speech? Just a weird note: I didn't realize it, but the footage of the "dancers" were reused for those annoying strobing videos for the D-Generation X entrances. There's a tidbit for you!
- Tomorrow is the "Superstars Bowl", a Four Team Elimination Match between the Owen Hart & British Bulldog, Faarooq & Crush, The Godwinns, and Doug Furnas & Phil LaFon. So... the Raw Bowl really WASN'T the only time they did that?
Jake "The Snake" Roberts vs. Salvatore Sincere:
Hunter Hearst Helmsley has joined the broadcast position for this match, for whatever reason. Sincere is an Italian stereotype who is most definitely not sincere about anything. At least he doesn't have a second job, like a hockey player, plumber, or dentist, I guess. "Women Love His Python", says the graphic for Roberts, and Sincere is "A Real Goodfella." Har Har! Hunter makes alcohol/bar references about Roberts, as nothing happens. Lockup, and Roberts quickly works a wristlock. Sincere thumbs the eyes, then hammers away. Whip to the corner, and Sincere sells it hard. Roberts with an inverted atomic drop, drastically over-sold by Sincere. Roberts with a snapmare, and he slaps on a chinlock. Lockup, and Sincere with an elbow to the side of the head, followed by shoulders to the midsection. Whip across the ring, and Sincere misses a charge. Roberts with a series of rights, followed by the short arm clothesline. Roberts connects with the DDT, and the three count is made at 3:04. Sincere's over-selling was really annoying. DUD Just a squash. Roberts dumps Revelations on top of Sincere afterwards. Blink and you'll miss the Nation watching from the balconey.
Sycho Sid vs. Crush:
This is Non-Title, thanks to Sid dropping the WWF Championship to Shawn Michaels in the Alamo Dome at last weeks Royal Rumble PPV. Hopefully, this one will be short, since I don't think either man is going to be doing a carry job here. Crush (Inmate 106459339) is going solo, which is ridiculous, since we know the Nation is hanging around somewhere. Without taking his personal issues and lack of desire, Sid was always awesome to watch, especially when he squashed people in seconds. Crush attacks from behind, but Sid no-sells and boots Crush coming off the ropes. Sid with a slam, followed by a leg drop for a two count. Sid goes to work on the arm, and puts Crush down with a pair of clotheslines. Sid choke pushes Crush over the top rope, then comes off the apron with a double axehandle. At least he didn't snap his leg in half doing that. Crush rakes the eyes and headbutts to take control. Sid blocks being rammed into the steps, then introduces Crush into them, instead. Faarooq and Savio make their way to ringside as Sid comes charging into the corner with a diving shoulder. We return from a commercial, and Crush is standing proud over a fallen Sid. Crush pounds away on the back of the head of Sid, then takes a bite out of him. Whip to the corner, and Crush continues to "hammer away" with his signature headbutts. Sid slugs it out with Crush, but Crush puts him down with a slam. Faarooq tells Crush to put Sid away, but the heart punch is blocked, and Sid plants Crush with a chokeslam. Sid calls for the end, and the powerbomb is enough for... nothing, as Sid wisely rolls out of the ring and grabs a chair, fending off the Nation. Sid then bashes Crush out of the ring with it, and it's a Disqualification win at 4:50 for Crush. Oh well, Sid got the last laugh and is the one standing proud in the ring, so the victory wasn't that important to him. *1/2 Surprisngly decent match, but not a wrestling clinic or anything. It was kept reasonably short too, which is always a good thing with these two.
Final Thoughts: After weeks of toilet level talent and rare instances of high caliber matches, we're treated to appearances by the likes of Bret Hart, Sid, and Mankind, and sadly, only one of them performed up to their own usual standards. There's also a heel turn thrown in, as Savio Vega was in desperate need of hitting the browser refresh button on his WWF career, but it's too bad he had to carry a nearly 15-minute long match with a green Rocky Miavia to get the point across. Nothing was outright outrageously bad or offensive, but the half nekked women is definitely attitude era like.
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