The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 11.25.96
Taped from New Haven, CT
Your hosts are Vince McMahon, Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler
Bret Hart v. Owen Hart
They trade armbar takedowns to start and Bret actually resorts to hair-pulling on his own brother! No wonder everyone started cheering for Steve Austin. Bret works the arm and they trade hammerlocks, but Owen wants to engage in some fisticuffsmanship and Bret rolls him up for two. Vince sorely disappoints me here while describing the versatility of Bret, as he would usually praise someone for their ability to “mix it up, rough-house style” in admiration for their varied brawling skills, but he fails to pull that one out here. Meanwhile Owen takes over with a cheapshot and goes to a chinlock, and we take a break after a leg lariat. Back with Owen going to the top and getting brought down, and Bret comes back with the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM. Been a while since I’ve had a chance to use that one for someone other than Cena. And Steve Austin runs in with a chair to break up the Sharpshooter at 11:27. This was pretty boring stuff, actually, with both guys kind of going through the motions. **1/4 Austin tries to Pillmanize Bret, but British Bulldog feels like that might be going too far and prevents it, resulting in Austin laying him out with a chairshot as well. That was the start of the long-simmering Bulldog-Owen feud that ended up going in a radically different direction.
The Executioner v. Freddie Joe Floyd
Does Tracy Smothers have to job to EVERY crap gimmick wrestler on this show? What happened to the Goon or TL Hopper? Executioner gets a sad dropkick and bulldogs Freddie for two, then pounds away in the corner before missing a splash. Freddie fights back with redneck martial arts, but Executioner finishes with the Asiatic Spike at 3:00. This was just so sad to watch, although the PPV match with Undertaker was even sadder.
Meanwhile, at Jose Lothario’s house, Shawn Michaels is apparently prospecting for the Sons of Anarchy, and he’s in a bad mood in general. He’ll be the champion again, but the fans can go fuck themselves, basically. He promises to be even more flamboyant and in-your-face than ever before! Also, he’ll kick some teeth in if need be. Angry Shawn wasn’t really the right direction for him, either.
Rocky Maivia v. Salvatore Sincere
In the most accurate predicting of the future this show will ever see, Lou Albano and Don Muraco both give their endorsements of Rocky from the Hall of Fame ceremony, and both guys seem sure that this Rocky Maivia fellow will go on to become of the biggest stars ever. And crazy as it sounds, he became an even BIGGER star than anything anyone predicted for him at the time. Rocky controls with basic stuff, but gets dumped and hit with a baseball slide. Rocky slingshots him out in response, but Sincere pounds away in the ring. He follows with a sideslam as the hyperbole continues on commentary, with Sunny declaring him to be a guy that you can build an entire organization around. And a movie franchise, too. At the same time! Rocky comes back with a slam and finishes with the shoulderbreaker at 4:26. This was some very pedestrian stuff, but Rock did OK for himself. *
Marc Mero v. Billy Gunn
Billy now literally wears a black cowboy hat to the ring. That’s a tad on-the-nose, I’d say. And really he had no actual character outside of “slightly annoying former cowboy”. Gunn attacks and gets clotheslined to the floor, and Mero slingshots in with a legdrop for two. Mero blocks a blind charge and goes up with the Merosault for two, but he walks into a fameasser. Gunn goes to the chinlock and drops a knee for two. Hunter Hearst Helmsley on commentary trying to maintain his affected accent and failing miserably while cracking jokes is much more entertaining than the match. Gunn’s heat segment drags on, until he goes up and gets crotched. And we take a break?! Fuck me. Back with Mero hitting a top rope rana for two while Hunter goes to chat with Sable, and we get a shitty DQ finish as a result at 10:10. Jake Roberts makes the save, which I’m sure leads to a shitty tag match next week. ½*
Wow, two DQ finishes in 45 minutes? Must be a special occasion. The occasion being that this show sucks.
Tags: Bret Hart v. Owen Hart, Marc Mero v. Billy Gunn, monday night raw, Rocky Maivia, SmarK Rants, SmarK WWE Network Raw Rant, The Executioner