The SmarK 24/7 Rant for Monday Night RAW – October 13 1997
– It was a tossup between this and Supertowns on the Superstation, but the Monday Night Wars stuff gets more hits so let’s do it.
– So Dungeon of Death is out next week, although it’s apparently shipping early from Chapters here in Canada, and my publisher is looking for some widely read wrestling blogs to send review copies to. Being that I’m incredibly self-centered I don’t tend to read many other wrestling sites, so I’m not sure about what some good choices would be, outside of stuff like Seth Mates’ blog on Newsday.com. So if you’ve got suggestions, drop me an e-mail.
– Taped from Topeka, KS.
– The Hart Foundation starts us out with an interview, but Shawn Michaels and his yet-unnamed group of associates interrupt and make jokes about how old and boring Bret is. Shawn’s “Good god, you can put an eye out with that thing!” is one of the first references, of many to come, to HHH’s penis. 11 years later and we’re still hearing about it. And then Shawn names the group DeGeneration X and history is made. And then the Nation interrupts before Bret can give his rebuttal, as you can really see Bret getting his legs cut out from under him at every stop here.
Owen Hart v. Kama Mustafa
Kama attacks while D-X heads down to do color commentary. Kama gets a slam and an elbow for two, but he runs into a leg lariat and Owen goes up with a missile dropkick for two. Kama comes back with a sidekick and pounds away in the corner, but Owen gets the ENZUIGIRI OF DEATH and a corner clothesline. Kama hits the chinlock while D-X eats bananas at ringside, which I believe was an incredibly inside joke about Jim Cornette. A big brawl erupts between the NOD and Harts, and it’s a Sportz Entertainment Finish at 5:00. Pretty dull stuff. 1/2*
Nova & Max Mini v. Tarantula & Mosaic
I really don’t know where they were going with this whole midget thing that infested RAW for months in 1997. Stuff happens, I fast forward.
– Let us take you back to Shotgun Saturday Night, as the Rockabilly-Honky Tonk Man relationship falls apart and Road Dog Jesse Jammes returns and brings Billy Gunn back to the world of relevance again. Man, that one would end up having bigger ramifications on the world of wrestling than I bet anyone would have guessed.
Flash Funk v. Shawn Michaels
Doesn’t happen, as Kane comes out instead of Shawn and beats the holy hell out of Funk, killing him with a chokeslam and tombstone. I’m really glad they got rid of the red light gimmick. Funny bit afterwards with D-X coming out and Shawn pinning the corpse of Flash.
DOA v. The Truth Commission
Yeah, it’s the dark side of the Russo era, as we get a million different combinations of suck with these teams. In this case, it’s the Harris brothers against Bull Buchanan and whoever Sniper is. I think it was indy guy John Rambo if I remember correctly. Vince and King just totally ignore the shitty match and make dated political references for the first couple of minutes so as to convince the audience that it’s live and not taped on the Tuesday from the week before. Anyway, DOA gets the advantage beforeâ€¦uh, I can’t be bothered to care. Fast forward. Someone gets DQ’d, fans go for nachos, you know the drill.
– Steve Austin joins us to sign his contract and release, but no stunner for Vince this time. Faarooq and the Nation interrupt, so Rocky takes his first stunner and Austin exits into the crowd.
– Back to Sable playing Laser Tag against Freddie Blassie.
Tajiri v. Brian Christopher
Wow, forgot about Tajiri’s brief run in 1997. He was such a nice clean cut young man before Heyman turned him into ECW’s version of Great Muta and gave him a career. They trade wristlocks to start and Christopher tries a headlock, but Tajiri hits him with an overhead suplex and gets a high kick from the apron. Missile dropkick gets two. Christopher comes back with a dropkick and a bulldog for two and chokes away in the corner as the crowd just dies off. Tajiri comes back with a sunset flip into a rolling cradle for two and the canned heat goes crazy. Springboard elbow and Tajiri takes him down with an armbar, then hits a jawbreaker in the corner. High kick on the ropes, but Christopher comes back with a clothesline while Vince takes random shots at Hulk Hogan on commentary. Tajiri fights back with his kick combo and a snap suplex into a standing moonsault for two. Rollup gets two, but Christopher reverses for the pin at 5:20. Christopher was a decent worker but he was just kick and punch 80s stuff and shows that they had no clue what fans wanted from this division. **
– Jim Cornette returns with another rant, this time against Phil Muschnick, which is more of an extension of Vince’s personal vendetta than anything which would sound natural coming out of Cornette’s mouth. Not only that, but it’s hypocritical and stupid for Vince/Cornette to go after anyone for using Brian Pillman’s death as a talking point against wrestling when Vince was the one who stuck his widow on RAW to draw ratings the day after he died. And as it turned out, Phil was correct about the death rate in wrestling being a concern. This one really left a bad taste in my mouth.
Goldust v. Savio Vega
More sour grapes from Vince as he continues his vendetta against Hulk Hogan, making him sound REALLY petty and bitter. With Pillman dead, Goldust and Marlena are happily reunited again and back to being boring. Vega pounds away and misses an elbow, but a Boriqua trips up Goldust and allows Savio to stomp Goldust down again. Los Boriquas get sent back to the dressing room while Savio chokes away, but Goldust comes back with a backslide for two. Savio clotheslines him down again and heads out to menace Marlena, then catches Goldust with a superkick. Back in, Vega misses the leg lariat and Goldust tries the Curtain Call, but Savio reverses out and puts him down with a sidekick for two. Goldust with a rollup for two. Savio gets the leg lariat in the corner, but Goldust hits him with the loaded purse for the pin at 4:12. Well this certainly filled 4 minutes. *1/2
HHH v. The Patriot
Another bait and switch, as Rick Rude throws coffee in Patriot’s face and D-X gloats about their victory instead. Sgt. Slaughter comes out and brings out Ahmed Johnson instead. D-X just totally no-sells it and kills any drama, and the Nation runs out and attacks Ahmed instead.
WWF tag titles: The Godwinns v. The Legion of Doom
Last shot at the titles, and the LOD must retire if they lose. Uh huh. Animal fights off PIG and works on the arm of Henry. JR wonders if the LOD will let the hide go with the tallow, as they say. As WHO says? Inbred hicks from Arkansas? Has anyone ever used that phrase before? Hawk slugs away on both Godwinns and Animal gets two. Powerslam gets two on Phineas. PIG fires away in the corner and we take a break. Back with punches from Henry and a lariat, and Phineas comes in with a jawbreaker and dumps Hawk. Back in, the Godwinns continue punching and I continue checking my watch. Hawk clotheslines them and gets the false tag. Phineas gets two on Hawk off that. Godwinns work him over in the corner while Animal gets helped out due to an “injury” sustained in the previous fracas, and of course the ref is bumped. But lo, Animal is HEALED by the power of positive thinking, or maybe Jesus, or perhaps both. PIG tries a piledriver on him, but Hawk comes off the top with a clothesline to finish, and thank you to Jesus for that, and give them their last tag titles before they descended into self parody, at 8:46. 1/2* Everyone was in slow motion for this one.
This show was pretty horrific and dull, but that’s a taped RAW for ya. Luckily next week brings the official debut of D-X’s new music and travelling circus, so things pick up again.
Tags: Raw, WWE