The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 11.11.96

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 11.11.96

Taped from Ft. Wayne, IN

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler

Notable this week:  Absolutely no mention of the gun angle from last week.

WWF tag titles:  Owen Hart & British Bulldog v. Shawn Michaels & Sid

This kind of shows how aimless that Owen & Bulldog have become since winning the tag titles, and it’s a problem they would never really overcome.  Owen is dumb enough to attack Sid and gets beat up in the corner as a result while Vince literally says “notwithstanding” three times in the first 2 minutes.  We take a break and return with the Heartbreak Psychos working Bulldog’s arm in their corner.  Bulldog comes back with a delayed suplex on Sid, while Lawler notes that this Sunday the smart money is on Sid.  Who knew the Reddit guy was around in 1996?  Shawn gets trapped in the heel corner and beat up, the role he was born to play.  Shawn gets a rollup on a distracted Owen for two, but the champs go to work on him again with the standard stuff.  Bulldog is so good as a dickish heel that I’m shocked it took him 20 years to ever try it.  We take another break with Shawn getting choked out in the corner, and this gives us a great Bret Hart promo for Survivor Series.  Back with Owen hitting the leg lariat on Shawn for two, but Shawn gets a small package on him for two.  Shawn fights back and Bulldog kicks him RIGHT IN THE NUTS.  Holy cow, what an epic ballshot that was!  Finally Shawn is just dead and Owen goes up for a missile dropkick, but Shawn collapses and it misses.  Hot tag Sid, in the role HE was born to play, and he destroys the champs and chokeslams Bulldog.  Shawn, however, tries the superkick and hits Sid by mistake (although Sid can’t even take that move properly, going down before the kick even lands) and Bulldog pins him at 17:00 to retain.  Perfectly acceptable tag team wrestling.  ***1/4

Meanwhile, Shawn and Sid have been sent to separate dressing rooms to cool down.  Prima donnas.

Mankind v. Freddie Joe Floyd

I feel like this match would have been more awesome in SMW.  Freddie gets a flurry of redneck martial arts, but misses a charge and hits the floor.  Like really, the tag team scene was dead at this point, why not just stick Tracy Smothers together with Bob Holly as a couple of rednecks or something?  Mankind with a piledriver and Mandible Claw to finish at 2:35 while the Executioner stands at ringside looking glazed over, like the after picture in an electroshock therapy brochure.  Whatever shit he was doing at that point, someone should have told him to stop.  Undertaker lowers another Paul Bearer mannequin from the ceiling after the match, which leads to also wonder why they even showed that angle last week?  Undertaker does his voiceover and Gordy has a look on his face like “Why didn’t I take the red pill?  Instead of the heroin.  Just to clarify.”

Rocky Maivia is all trained up and ready to debut at Survivor Series.  He just wants to give 110% effort and do his family proud!  Well, mission accomplished, I’d say, plus hundreds of millions of dollars and being the President’s bestie.

Meanwhile, Sid feels like perhaps Shawn might not have been mistaken when he threw that superkick earlier tonight.

Meanwhile, Shawn Michaels starts his smart-ass heel turn, making snide remarks about Bret Hart’s role model status and noting that he can hit Sid’s chin from a mile away this Sunday.

Steve Austin v. Bob Holly

Austin works a headlock while Bret watches on a TV from 1978 in what appears to be a broom closet in the back.  Well, I guess Vince spent all his budget on that 20 year contract.  Bob fights out and Austin hotshots him and drops the middle rope elbow for two.  Austin whips Holly around, but Bob comes back and misses a splash.  We take a break and return with Austin hitting the Thesz Press and laying Holly out with a lariat.  Bob finally comes back with a rana and dropkick for two while JR snarks on Vince’s announcing.  Holly goes up and lands on Austin’s foot, and the Stunner finishes at 10:22.  Just a very extended squash.  **

Meanwhile, Austin heads back to Bret’s broom closet, but then changes his mind because he doesn’t beat people up for free.

The Pulse

Well certainly compared to last week, this was pretty subdued, but still a fun and solid episode.


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