owen hart neidhart post ss 97

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  1. Slobberknocker Central Monday Night Recap #104
  2. November 10th, 1997
  5. WCW Monday Nitro:
  6. Live/Taped: Live.
  7. Length: Two Hours+.
  8. Location: Memphis, Tennessee.
  9. HOUR ONE Hosted By: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay and Larry Zbyszko.
  11.  - Eric Bischoff leads the full NWO contingent to the ring: many of them
  12.    carrying Canadian flags. "Hollywood" Hogan even has flags tucked into his
  13.    boots. Larry Zbyszko asks if the NWO has bought Canada? Bischoff gets in
  14.    the ring and says he has two announcements:
  16.    First he hypes the arrival of a superstar, making it sound a lot like
  17.    he's talking about Bret Hart. It turns out to be Kevin Nash, though, who
  18.    is pushed to the ring in a wheelchair by Syxx. Nash then walks into the
  19.    ring and directs a few comments towards the Giant over the mic. The crowd
  20.    chants for Sting.
  22.    Bischoff then comes right out and says it: the newest member of the New
  23.    World Order is ... Okay, so he doesn't actually say it, but he goes on to
  24.    lead the NWO in a deliberately poor (some would say piss-poor) rendition
  25.    of "Oh Canada", which they dedicate to Hart. Remember what Jim Cornette
  26.    said about Bischoff? Here Bischoff himself repeats what Cornette said,
  27.    saying he's signed Hart because he likes to hang out with guys who smoke
  28.    cigars and ride Harleys", and that's he's spending a    "billionaire's
  29.    money ... because I can!" Bischoff calls Hart a "Knockout guy!", to which
  30.    Hogan responds "He passed the initiation!" (That's right, they're making
  31.    fun of the fact that Hart nearly broke McMahon's jaw). At the ends he
  32.    finally says Bret Hart is the latest member of the NWO.
  34.    Schiavone and Tenay can't believe it, saying Hart is a second generation
  35.    wrestler, stands for tradition and is a guy who would never quit or give
  36.    up. After the commercial break they continue on this thread, reiterating
  37.    that Hart doesn't quit and that he's one of the greatest champions ever.
  38.    Only Zbyszko questions the reliability of anything Bischoff says.
  40.    And you wonder why the WWF wanted Hart to lose the title?
  42.  - Mean Gene hypes the WCW hotline, saying the NWO has "apparently" signed
  43.    Bret Hart, and that the hotline has all the info regarding Hart's
  44.    confrontation between he and a "rival promoter". (That's right, WCW will
  45.    now be making money off of the fact that Hart nearly broke McMahon's
  46.    jaw).
  49.    Regal and Taylor scored an upset over the Heat on Saturday and this is
  50.    the rematch. After just a few minutes of muddled action Taylor pins one
  51.    of the Heat after a double-underhook suplex.
  53.    Other than noting that Regal and Taylor have just beaten the seven time
  54.    World Tag Team Champions, the announcers spend almost all of the match
  55.    talking about Bret Hart.
  57.  - Nitro Girls.
  60.    Raven and his Flock are show arriving.
  62.    Jericho squashes him, making him tap out in the Lion Tamer. After the
  63.    match Billy Kidman throws a cup of water or pop on Disco. Disco grabs
  64.    Kidman and lays him out with a Stone Cold Stunner (dubbed the
  65.    "Chartbuster"). Perry Saturn and Sick Boy close in for the kill, but
  66.    Disco is saved by Scotty Riggs (sporting an eye patch). They turn on
  67.    Riggs, but Raven waves them off. Raven then invites Riggs to take a free
  68.    shot at him. Riggs grabs his own head (such angst!) and wanders off.
  71.    Oh yeah ... WCW doesn't do wrestlers with gimmicks. Riiiiiight. Jimmy
  72.    Hart, a big name in Memphis in years past, comes out to coach the
  73.    Barbarian on. It didn't work. Glacier knocks Hart off the apron and he
  74.    doesn't get up until after the match.
  76.    Glacier wins by catching the Barbarian with a kick as he comes off the
  77.    top. Meng then runs in and puts Glacier out with the Tongan Death Grip.
  79.    It's two days later and I'm still waiting for some of the kicks Glacier
  80.    threw to land. I suppose this was to prove WCW's superiority of their
  81.    karate guy over the WWF's new karate guy, Steve Blackman. Schiavone has
  82.    bought Hart's joining the NWO hook, line and sinker, and urges us fans to
  83.    do the same. He also hypes the hotline again.
  85.  - They promo the 60 Man Battle Royal, naming about 30 different guys who
  86.    all have a shot at winning it. I like this match, just because it's so
  87.    loopy and chaotic. I have the first one on tape, and have seen last
  88.    year's. It's pretty damn hard to watch, though, until they get down to
  89.    the last ten guys or so.
  91.  - Since nothing Raven has said over the last month has made sense, he comes
  92.    to the ring and explains his position: he was abused as a child, and now
  93.    all the "freaks, misfits and outcasts" have joined him. It's our fault.
  94.    He then shows his latest find, which appears to be "Heavy Metal" Van
  95.    Hammer. Somebody remind me ... wasn't Van Hammer run out of the wrestling
  96.    business for some reason or another? I only know it's Van Hammer because
  97.    Schiavone said it looked like him. Why bring up Van Hammer's name if it
  98.    isn't him? I tell ya, if Raven brings in P.N. News, then I'm outta here!
  100.  - ALEX WRIGHT (w/ Debra McMichael) vs. YUJI NAGATA (w/ Sonny Onoo)
  101.    Nagata has little trouble with Wright, making him submit in a stump
  102.    puller type move.
  104.    In a moment almost as disturbing as Hart leaving the WWF, Sonny Onoo
  105.    gives Debra some flowers, hands her some yen and kisses her on the lips
  106.    (with a dip). She slaps him. Oh, the horror! (okay, so I'm exaggerating.
  107.    Slightly).
  109. HOUR TWO Hosted By: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan.
  111.  - Hogan and Bischoff come out to announce that Sting has done a movie.
  112.    Hogan is so p.o.'ed that they want Sting-tonight! The movie will debut at
  113.    an art house theater film festival in Atlanta. It is called "Why Real
  114.    Men Commit Crimes". I'm guessing it's about the time Sting and Luger
  115.    stole that police car. Unless TNT airs it, it will soon disappear off the
  116.    face of the earth.
  119.    Saturn starts off attacking Benoit on the floor. In the ring he suplexes
  120.    him. Then Benoit takes over and lays in several brutally stiff chops.
  121.    They move over to another corner and Saturn tucks Benoit up into a pin.
  122.    They continue to fight, even though the ref is calling for the bell.
  123.    Schiavone, too busy hyping World War 3, can't figure out why the bell is
  124.    being rung. Kidman and Sick Boy come in, but Benoit sends them packing.
  125.    Van Hammer then appears and he and Benoit stare down. Fit Finley runs in
  126.    and nails Benoit from behind. All of this happens in about three minutes.
  127.    I've no idea what it all means either.
  129.  - Nitro Girls.
  131.  - "Assault on Devils Island" will be show after Nitro tonight.
  133.  - Mean Gene interviews Ric Flair, who says little of interest (but says it
  134.    very well nonetheless).
  137.    Good match, but well short of what they did at the PPV. That match had
  138.    nice pacing, emotion, and told a story as it progressed. This one was
  139.    condensed down into just all the high spots, with Guerrero coming back
  140.    from an almost continual beating to nail the Frog Splash for the win.
  141.    Eddie wins back the Cruiserweight Title, which diminishes the impact of
  142.    their PPV match (if you ask me).
  144.    Dean Malenko comes out and he and Guerrero give each other the evil eye.
  146.  - During the break TNT hypes a special behind-the-scenes look at the new
  147.    "Alien: Resurrection" movie, which will be shown sometime during the
  148.    November 24th edition of Nitro.
  150.  - They play another of those Nitro party tapes that have been sent in.
  151.    Nothing like a dorm full of college-age marks whooping it up.
  153.  - RANDY SAVAGE (w/ Elizabeth) vs. RAY TRAYLOR
  154.    Traylor somehow lifts his ponderous bulk up into an enzuguiri kick! He
  155.    then waffles Savage with a steel chair. Traylor, who I'd guess is about
  156.    600 pounds overweight, still moves faster and surer that Lex Luger, and
  157.    really turned it up a notch in this match. (Which I guess means he turned
  158.    it up to "one". Zero plus one equals one). Traylor climbs to the top, but
  159.    Liz grabs his foot, making him fall and crotch himself. From there it's
  160.    just a formality for Savage to drop an elbow off the top and cover for
  161.    the pin. Savage drops another elbow. When the ref complains Savage pops
  162.    him. Liz takes off, then comes back with a can of spraypaint. She sprays
  163.    "NWO" on his stomach (and has room left over for the "Gettysburg
  164.    Address"). They later announce that the ref has reversed the decision,
  165.    giving Traylor the win via DQ.
  167.    Schiavone spends half the match telling us how awful it is that Bret Hart
  168.    has joined the NWO. The other half he talks about World War 3.
  170.  - Nitro Girls.
  173.    This was one of those matches which wasn't bad, but it didn't do anything
  174.    for me personally. See, there's just too many stars in WCW, and too many
  175.    guys who have been pushed to the top. DDP seems like he's "great" just
  176.    because, well, because they say he's "great". They don't really seem to
  177.    have a direction for him. Even in his ongoing feud with Randy Savage,
  178.    Savage has won most of those match. Page hasn't even held a title since
  179.    the days when Johnny B. Badd was around. With so many wrestlers on the
  180.    roster it's hard to follow and root for one guy in every match: unless
  181.    you take a shortcut. For example, a lot of fans say they like the NWO ...
  182.    or hate the NWO. It doesn't really take into account how good or bad any
  183.    individual wrestler in the group is, it's just easier to say you "like"
  184.    or "hate" them all. Same with the cruiserweights, or Four Horsemen. Some
  185.    fans just stick to the traditional face/heel outlook and cheer the "good
  186.    guys and boo the "bad guys" (or vice versa). And then there's a lot of
  187.    fans (like myself) who just pick out certain wrestlers they are
  188.    interested in, good or bad. The problem with this approach is that it
  189.    leaves just too many guys left over that we don't like, that we hate, are
  190.    bored by, or just plain don't give a damn about. DDP, Lex Luger and the
  191.    Giant right now are all guys I just have a hard time being interested in.
  193.    This match, which as I said wasn't bad, comes to an end when Hennig
  194.    whacks DDP in his taped up ribs, drawing the DQ.
  196.  - RIC FLAIR vs. LEX LUGER
  197.    I'd swear I saw these two do this exact same match maybe seven or eight
  198.    years ago! Luger no-sells a lot of stuff early. Flair then focuses on the
  199.    legs. He applies the Figure Four, but Luger rolls out of it, reaching the
  200.    ropes. Luger then stages his comeback, setting Flair up for the Torture
  201.    Rack.
  203.    Suddenly Curt Hennig runs in for no discernible reason. The ref calls for
  204.    the bell. Luger nails Hennig, then hoists Flair over his head and tosses
  205.    him at Curt (as if they were in cahoots). Flair lands on top of Hennig
  206.    and starts pounding on him. Hennig takes off (running so slow that Flair
  207.    has to practically walk so as not to catch him too quickly). The two
  208.    brawl in the aisle as they go to break.
  210.    Why did Hennig run in? Flair was seconds away from losing the match?
  212.  - Bischoff and Hogan come out yet again. Hogan challenges Sting to come
  213.    out. Lo and behold Sting drops from the ceiling and walks to the ring. He
  214.    points his baseball bat at him, drops it, then starts to take off his
  215.    gloves and coat. The two meet eye-to-eye in the center of the ring.
  217.    Suddenly Sting is nailed from behind by the rest of the NWO. Everyone
  218.    takes turns beating on him. Having seen approximately 100 different
  219.    Stings, I watch for some to run in.
  221.    None arrive.
  223.    Since Sting is the supposed savior of WCW, I look for WCW's top stars to
  224.    come out to his aid.
  226.    None arrive.
  228.    Past altercations have broken out in the ring and often they are stopped
  229.    by a flood of security officers.
  231.    None arrive.
  233.    Sting receives one of the most thorough, brutal beatings in the year-and-
  234.    a-half history of the NWO. He is stomped and kicked to the mat as Hogan
  235.    drops THREE Legdrops o' Doom(tm).
  237.  - Next week: Nothing announced.
  241. The NWO conquest of ego is now complete. I don't think there is a single
  242. wrestler in WCW who hasn't been bitch-slapped, punked, walloped, stomped, or
  243. generally folded, spindled and mutilated. I'm assuming that this is meant to
  244. make Sting look less than invincible, thus adding an element of suspense to
  245. his Starrcade match with Hogan. Yet that paranoid little voice in the back
  246. of my head whispers "maybe Sting is no longer the savior of WCW ... maybe
  247. Bret Hart is?" Funny how Hart's impending arrival and Sting's destruction
  248. both take place on the same night.
  250. I hope none of you out there are seriously falling for the notion that Hart
  251. is joining the NWO. Hart's gonna tell them to "stick it!", and that he's
  252. "The Best There Is, The Best There Was and The Best There Will Ever Be" and
  253. that he'll kick all their butts. I just hope he doesn't take Jimmy Hart back
  254. as his manager.
  256. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  258. WWF RAW is WAR:
  259. Live/Taped: Live.
  260. Length: Two Hours.
  261. Location: Ottawa, Canada.
  262. HOUR ONE Hosted By: Jim Ross and Jim Cornette.
  264.  - For what it's worth, Bret Hart is still part of the RAW opening.
  265.    (Remember, Jeff Jarrett, Diesel and Razor Ramon were completely removed
  266.    the day after each of them left).
  268.  - Degeneration X has a new theme song and video clip, which sounds a little
  269.    like Salt n' Peppa. It was used the night before at Survivor Series as
  270.    the promo for the December "In Your House" PPV (which is also called
  271.    "Degeneration X"). The music now plays whenever DX comes out, and the
  272.    video is played on the screen. (The WWF may have a revolt on their hands
  273.    if it replaces "Sexy Boy").
  275.    Rick Rude comes out and-after wrangling with the crowd a bit-introduces
  276.    Shawn Michaels. (The crowd chants "bullsh*t" as Rude says Michaels beat
  277.    Hart. The WWF actually cranks up the crowd noise, making the chant even
  278.    more noticeable). Jim Ross admits the Survivor Series match was
  279.    controversial, and that many think Bret never gave up. He says Hart has
  280.    now left the WWF.
  282.    Shawn really starts laying it one thick. The crowd chants "faggot" and
  283.    "we want Bret!" Shawn, saying someone else took the first shot (Nitro),
  284.    tells the fans that he beat Bret in his home country with his own hold.
  285.    Shawn says if people thought he was too much before, that they haven't
  286.    seen anything yet. Shawn says he slapped the Sharpshooter on Hart,
  287.    listened to him squeal and give up, then ran his ass "down south with
  288.    the other dinosaurs". Those guys who aren't dinosaurs "down there" are
  289.    his friends and that they'll kick Bret's ass someday. He says that unlike
  290.    Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart and Randy Savage, he has "pure, God given natural
  291.    talent!" Shawn asks Rude what it is he's trying to say and Rude says
  292.    Shawn is a guy who won't quit and that he's a fighting champion. Shawn
  293.    says he also won't beat up on a "52 year old man!" (That's right, Shawn's
  294.    trashing Bret for the fact that Bret nearly broke McMahon's jaw).
  296.    Out comes Ken Shamrock. Shamrock accepts Shawn's open challenge of sorts,
  297.    saying he'll take him on if Shawn is the fighting champion he says he is.
  298.    Shawn says he already gave Shamrock a wrestling lesson last week (to
  299.    which Shamrock replies something that had to be bleeped out). Ken runs
  300.    down each DX member, calling Chyna a "man ... or female ... whatever you
  301.    want to call yourself!" (which gets a pop from the crowd).
  303.    Shawn gets his turn back on the mic and speaks for each DX member, saying
  304.    "this woman" (Chyna) can knock him out anytime she wants. He says this
  305.    "old man" (Rude) could knock him out as well. The same for Helmsley.
  307.    Sgt. Slaughter makes his way to the ring. Shawn tells him to say it, not
  308.    spray it. Slaughter takes the mic away and says Shawn will face Ken
  309.    Shamrock. Not tonight, but at a later date. Shawn, fearing he means
  310.    tonight, starts saying he's too worn out to face Shamrock. Slaughter says
  311.    Michaels won't have to fight tonight ... Helmsley will. HHH says he
  312.    already has a match scheduled. Slaughter says he'll sit at ringside and
  313.    make sure Michaels, Chyna and Rude stay out of the match, banning them
  314.    all from ringside.
  316.    On the way to the break they show the promo for the Survivor Series
  317.    replay. All I can say is you really shouldn't comment on the situation
  318.    until you've seen the match for yourself. Terrible finish or not, it was
  319.    one of the most brutal and wild matches in recent history. Included in
  320.    the promo is the line "What made him snap?" and a clip of Hart's post PPV
  321.    rampage. This is not an endorsement of the PPV, nor am I saying you should
  322.    get the replay. All I'm saying is make sure you know what actually
  323.    happened (on the PPV) before making too many comments. A lot of people
  324.    out there simply didn't see it, and a lot of what's being said is on the
  325.    Net is based on erroneous info (such as Vince McMahon ringing the bell
  326.    himself and handing Shawn the belt: neither of which happened). Seeing it
  327.    won't change what happened, or the aftermath, and we'll probably never
  328.    know fully what led up to it or happened afterward. One should at least
  329.    try and learn the closest to what actually happened in terms of the PPV
  330.    itself, though, and the best way to do that is actually see the PPV for
  331.    yourself. (Of course the WWF may fiddle with the video, which is further
  332.    reason why I can't recommend buying the replay).
  334.  - MARC MERO (w/ Sable) vs. AHMED JOHNSON
  335.    Mero has little to work with here, so we get about three minutes of
  336.    punches being thrown. Ahmed then gets Mero in position for the Pearl
  337.    River Plunge, but Mero slips out and launches a low blow into Ahmed's
  338.    Posse Pouch. The ref signals the DQ. Mero then laughably tries to hoist
  339.    Ahmed into the TKO, drops him, tries him again and drops him without
  340.    successfully performing the move.
  342.    Fat-assed boxing oddity Butterbean looks on from the front row. Read:
  343.    setup.
  345.  - Karate Fighters crap.
  347.  - Sunny comes out to do the ring announcing duties. Brian Christopher sits
  348.    in for color commentary. Yes ... it's Light Heavyweight time.
  351.    Devon Storm is one severely ugly guy. He looks like a blonde rooster in
  352.    Power Ranger tights.
  354.    Taka wins in an okay match. The two blew a few combinations. Christopher
  355.    finally tries to interfere, but Taka drop-kicks him off the apron, puts
  356.    Storm down with the Michinoku Driver, then leaps onto Christopher from
  357.    the ring. The two brawl for a few seconds up the ramp.
  359.    Taka will now face Aguila next week. There's been a change in the
  360.    brackets: Jerry Lynn has been pulled from the tournament and will be
  361.    replaced by Scott Taylor. The winner of that match will face the winner
  362.    of the Brian Christopher/Flash Flanagan match. Michinoku vs. Christopher
  363.    seems the obvious final match, which will now take place at the December
  364.    IYH PPV.
  366.    They replay a few seconds of Goldust and Marlena's interview on the way
  367.    to the break.
  369.  - Goldust comes to the ring for an interview wearing golden pj's, smoking
  370.    jacket and earrings. His face is painted black with "F" and "U" painted
  371.    on the cheeks. Cornette says it means "forever unchained", but you and I
  372.    know what it means. Goldust calls his old man a "fatass", and that he's
  373.    finally living for himself. Goldust says again that he's found someone
  374.    new. They show stills of what happened in the "USA vs. Canada" match at
  375.    the PPV. Goldust says he didn't wrestle because he wasn't cleared to
  376.    (his broken arm and all).
  378.    Vader comes to the ring and demands to know why Goldust left him at the
  379.    PPV. Goldust starts to explain about his arm, but Vader tells him to shut
  380.    up. Unable to come up with a good answer Vader pops Goldust and
  381.    powerbombs him.
  383.    I wonder who Goldust had "found"? I wonder if it's a woman?
  386.    Who the f#@k cares?! The DOA ride their bikes out to watch the match. The
  387.    Jackal is now David Koresh, and the TC is his cult. The Jackal babbles on
  388.    in color commentary during the match. He tries to interfere, gets knocked
  389.    down, and comes back to babble some more. After who knows how long one of
  390.    the Head Bangers covers one of the TC and gets the pin. The Interrogator-
  391.    scratch that: the SEVEN FOOT TALL Interrogator-comes in, which draws the
  392.    DOA in. Big Brawl ensues.
  394.    Again, who the f#@k cares?! Truth Commission, Los Boricuas, the Godwinns
  395.    ... how many real athletes went by the way because the WWF signed these
  396.    sacks of sh*t?
  398.    Ross announces that there's a disturbance in the back and they cut to
  399.    Blackjack Bradshaw yelling for a doctor. Blackjack Windham is down on the
  400.    ground.
  402. HOUR TWO Hosted By: Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler.
  404.  - I notice on my satellite that the second hour is now officially listed as
  405.    "WWF War Zone" on the on-screen guide. They kick hour two off with still
  406.    photos of Steve Austin beating Owen Hart.
  408.  - It's been some time now ...
  410.    *KEE-RASH!*
  412.    Austin gets maybe the loudest reaction of the show: mostly positive, but
  413.    quite a few boo's mixed in. Michael Cole gets the honor of interviewing
  414.    him. Instead of dwelling on the fact that he beat Owen, Austin instead
  415.    points out that even though he just spent the last two months at home
  416.    drinking beer and watching TV, that he came back and-with a snap of his
  417.    fingers-won his Intercontinental Title back. Cole asks Austin if he's a
  418.    marked man and should just paint a bullseye on his forehead? Austin asks
  419.    if he should paint a bullseye on Cole's ass and kick him around the
  420.    arena?
  422.    Rocky Maivia comes out to the stage and says over a house mic that he was
  423.    the best Intercontinental Champion ever (sounding an awful lot like Elvis
  424.    for some strange reason). Maivia challenges Austin to future a match.
  425.    Austin challenges Rocky to get a decent haircut.
  427.  - Jim Ross tries to get some comments from Steve Blackman, but they are
  428.    quickly interrupted by Los Boricuas. A scuffle breaks out and Blackman
  429.    holds his own against the two lesser known Boricuas. Several referees
  430.    come out to maintain order.
  432.  - Michael Cole gets comments from Road Dog and "A-Double Crooked Letter".
  433.    They will face Bradshaw in a handicap "Bunkhouse Match".
  436.    This was great, but woefully short. Bradshaw comes out and starts kicking
  437.    some serious ass. He starts off throwing powder at Gunn. He then chucks
  438.    Road Dog to the floor. Gunn is nailed with a trash can. Road Dog is
  439.    thrown into the steps. Bradshaw nails Billy with a boot, then wallops
  440.    Road Dog with the trash can's lid. He clotheslines Gunn out of the ring
  441.    and sends Road Dog over with a big boot. Billy is tossed into the ring
  442.    steps. Bradshaw kicks apart the timekeeper's podium and smashes it over
  443.    Gunn's head. A follow up chairshot draws an even bigger roar. The chair is
  444.    tossed into the ring and Bradshaw sets Gunn up on the ropes. The crowd
  445.    chants for a "DDT" and they get it, but it's Billy who applies the DDT to
  446.    Bradshaw. He and Road Dog both cover him and get the three count. Noooo!
  447.    We want blood! We want blood!
  449.    Blackjack Windham was apparently one of the guys who refused to wrestle
  450.    due to the Hart situation. Hard to tell how good this would have been if
  451.    Windham had actually been there.
  454.  - They show the second part of the Jeff Jarrett interview (which aired on
  455.    Live Wire this past weekend). This is where he played the word
  456.    association game. Part three is next week.
  458.  - Michael Cole gets an interview with Butterbean. As one might expect, Marc
  459.    Mero comes out says he is a real boxer. Mero asks who Butterbean has even
  460.    beaten? He tells him to stop looking at Sable, then says he can beat him
  461.    in four rounds or less. Some pushing and shoving ensues.
  463.    This was weaker than the travesty that lead to Lawrence Taylor getting
  464.    into the ring. Does the WWF really want to bring boxers into this? WCW
  465.    already has ties to Evander Holyfield, who beat Michael Moorer this past
  466.    weekend. (Moorer was rumored as the WWF's first choice for something like
  467.    this). If you've never seen Butterbean, he's bald and about the same size
  468.    and shape as King Kong Bundy. He fights in "Tough Man" competitions and
  469.    is the "Super Heavyweight" champion for one of boxing's alphabet soup
  470.    organizations.
  473.    It's nice to see that there's at least one WWF superstar which the
  474.    Canadians still love unconditionally.
  476.    Before you start getting fond memories about the Undertaker/Papa Shango
  477.    days, let me tell you that there was no finish to this.
  479.    Immediately after a shot which sends Kama to the floor the lights go out.
  480.    The red lights come on and Kane and Paul Bearer take their place at the
  481.    top of the ramp. Bearer taunts the Undertaker, but the Taker will have
  482.    none of it. He says he senses there's still good behind the evil mask of
  483.    Kane and that never, ever, absolutely positively not wrestle his brother.
  484.    Bearer warns that whatever happens from now on is the Undertaker's fault.
  485.    Kane raises his arms and signals for the pyrotechnics on the ring posts
  486.    to go off. The segment ends with the Undertaker looking anguished.
  488.  - Clips of Shamrock vs. Michaels from last week.
  490.  - HUNTER HEARST HELMSLEY (w/ Degeneration X) vs. KEN SHAMROCK
  491.    Sgt. Slaughter intercepts Michaels, Chyna and Rude and sends them back to
  492.    the dressing room. He then prevents Helmsley from taking a quick powder.
  494.    This match was at the dull end of the good spectrum. Everything just
  495.    moved too slow. Shamrock did a very nice huracanrana. Helmsley proved he
  496.    still needs a superior opponent to carry him in a match. Just as Jerry
  497.    Lawler started giving his take on the Bret Hart situation Helmsley
  498.    started swearing at Sgt. Slaughter, which was blanked out (thus blocking
  499.    what Lawler was saying as well). Rude then came to the ring as they went
  500.    to break. He tries to enter the ring, but Slaughter keeps him back. Chyna
  501.    runs in and tries to help Helmsley, but Slaughter grabs her around the
  502.    waist and herds her over next to Rude. Thus occupied, Slaughter misses
  503.    Shawn Michaels running in. Rude tosses Shawn the Haliburton, which he
  504.    uses to smash Shamrock on the back. Helmsley covers and the count reaches
  505.    two when the show runs out of time.
  507.    I'd say it's safe to assume that HHH got the pin, as Shamrock was
  508.    completely out.
  510.  - Next week: More Light Heavyweight action.
  514. Not bad, but there wasn't all that much I cared to see this week. Too many
  515. "why's" and "what if's".
  517. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  519. The Bottom Line:
  521. Survivor Series wasn't that bad a PPV, but I'm still giving it a negative
  522. review. The Kane/Mankind and USA/Canada matches were okay, but nothing
  523. special. Austin/Owen was good-actually better than I expected-but short (for
  524. obvious reasons).
  526. Hart Michaels was a tremendous match forever ruined by the finish (though in
  527. an odd sense it served to give the match the lasting memory it deserved).
  528. If you want my take on the whole Hart situation, check out the main page on
  529. my website. To put it bluntly, I support what the WWF did, but definitely not
  530. the way they did it. I agree wholeheartedly with the notion that Hart had to
  531. have the title taken away from him. His refusal to lose it cleanly backed
  532. McMahon into a corner. That still doesn't excuse the solution McMahon came
  533. up with, nor did it excuse Hart's attacking McMahon after the show.
  535. Wrestling got a real black eye this weekend, and there's more than enough
  536. blame to spread around. I don't feel particularly sorry for anyone involved,
  537. except for myself as a fan, as well as the other fans understandably and
  538. legitimately angered by all of this. Wrestling is and always has been a
  539. dirty business. Many of us need to remember that the next time something
  540. like this comes up which reveals that fact. Maybe its just a good reminder
  541. that some of us take this whole "sport" too damn serious.
  543. This week, by the way, marks the end of the second full year of the Recap
  544. being written. What a way to celebrate an anniversary.
  546. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  548. This Week's Winner: Nitro. How could I give the WWF the win this week?
  550. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  552. "Slobberknocker Central" and "Monday Night Recap" are copyright 1997 by
  553. John Petrie, and all opinions expressed therein are his own, and not those
  554. of "Internet Access, Inc". Check the "Slobberknocker Central" main page for
  555. info on how to receive the "Recap" free via E-Mail every week.
  556. Volume One, Number 104 of the "Monday Night Recap", November 10th, 1997.
  558. John Petrie
  560. Slobberknocker Central
  565. ~~~~
  567. Slobberknocker Central Monday Night Recap #105
  568. November 17th, 1997
  571. WCW Monday Nitro:
  572. Live/Taped: Live.
  573. Length: Two Hours+.
  574. Location: Cincinnati, Ohio.
  575. HOUR ONE Hosted By: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay and Larry Zbyszko.
  577.  - They replay Sting getting the bejesus beat out of him.
  579.  - The NWO come right out and immediately Tony Schiavone insults our
  580.    intelligence. Hall and Nash are again carrying the new WCW World Tag Team
  581.    Title belts and Schiavone again says they went out and had new belts
  582.    made. If any of you have the Monday Nitro from May 26th on tape, check it
  583.    out: right there we see Hall and Nash wearing those exact same belts for
  584.    the first of many times. I guess in order to be fans of WCW we're
  585.    supposed to be stupid and not be able to remember things from as little
  586.    as six months ago. If you don't have that (or any Nitro after it) on
  587.    tape, then check out "": it's the site of the guys who
  588.    made the belts, and he has a picture of them taken earlier this year
  589.    before he delivered them to WCW.
  591.    Bischoff strokes his ego on the mic. Hall badmouths Larry Zbyszko. Nash
  592.    aims a few comments toward the Giant. Bischoff then brings out Hogan,
  593.    who air guitars his way halfway to the ring. Unfortunately he's not
  594.    alone.
  596.    Rick Rude. "Ravishing" Rick Rude follows him out. Now, I'd been cut off
  597.    from the Net since Saturday night, so I had no idea this was coming down.
  598.    (I can't say as I was shocked or overly surprised. In fact, my first
  599.    thought was "it figures"). Rude says there's things right and wrong in
  600.    wrestling, and that Shawn Michaels claiming he'd beat Bret Hart when he
  601.    didn't was wrong. He says Vince McMahon ordering a ref to ring the bell
  602.    to rob Hart of that title was wrong as well. Bret's leaving the "Titanic"
  603.    that is the WWF was right. He then joins in on the WCW program and says
  604.    it was right for the NWO to lay out Sting.
  606.    Hogan asks us all how great he is.
  608.    At least this defection makes a little sense, as Rude feuded with Sting
  609.    in the past. I guess this really does mean that the NWO is just
  610.    "Degeneration X South" after all. Don't congratulate Rude for jumping
  611.    ship because of Bret Hart, though. Word is that Rude (who wasn't under
  612.    WWF contract) has joined WCW as part of a settlement in the lawsuit he
  613.    filed against them after they fired him (because of an injury he suffered
  614.    in Japan). Early word is that he'll be a pro-NWO color commentator on the
  615.    new WCW show. ECW is the one who's really screwed here, as Rude was
  616.    supposed to be part of the angle surrounding their main event at November
  617.    to Remember '97. ECW has already announced that Rude will likely no
  618.    longer be a part of their PPV (nor anything else, for that matter). Rude
  619.    worked with ECW pretty much on a week-to-week basis. At least WCW paid
  620.    the WWF back with some free advertising.
  622.  - Nitro Girls.
  624.  - Ray Traylor grants Mean Gene Okerlund a pointless interview which is
  625.    quickly ended by an NWO stomp-fest. "NWO" is again painted on his ample
  626.    body.
  628.    Roughly 25 minutes have gone by now. Time for a match yet?
  630.  - GLACIER vs. MENG (w/ Jimmy Hart)
  631.    This isn't exactly what I had in mind.
  633.    Meng pins Glacier with the Tongan Death Grip. Barbarian does a run-in,
  634.    but Meng had already gotten the win. Ernest Miller then runs in, but he
  635.    too tastes the Death Grip.
  637.  - Diamond Dallas Page addresses Bret Hart in a brief comment on the way to
  638.    commercial, saying he can't believe Hart is joining the NWO.
  640.  - ALEX WRIGHT (w/ Debra McMichael) vs. STEVE "MONGO" MCMICHAEL
  641.    Debra's only dumped Wright two or three times now, but the injury to
  642.    Bill Goldberg has forced her to stick with him a bit longer.
  644.    Mongo wrestles a Lex Luger-esque match, whereby he gets beat up for most
  645.    of it then stages a comeback. Unfortunately he gets a bit carried away
  646.    and tosses the referee aside to continue a beating on Wright in the
  647.    corner. Wright via DQ. Move along folks ... nothing to see here.
  649.  - Nitro Girls.
  652.    Good match, though they blew a few spots. Mysterio does a terribly
  653.    unconvincing job of selling this time out, acting like he has a bad back
  654.    from almost the start of the match. Jericho then lays in most of the
  655.    offense, but Mysterio comes back to get the "surprise" pin with the
  656.    springboard huracanrana. Jericho had hardly touched him before Rey
  657.    started acting seriously injured. this allowed the announcers to hype the
  658.    win as a "never say die" performance. Mysterio was still able to do all
  659.    his moves during the match, which seemed to contradict with the "pain"
  660.    that he indicated that he was feeling. Again, it was good, but I've seen
  661.    better from both.
  663.  - Lex Luger with comments about Bret Hart. Upset. Disappointed. You get the
  664.    picture.
  666.  - Eric Bischoff comes to the desk to taunt Larry Zbyszko. Larry responds to
  667.    the challenge, but is blindsided by Konan, Buff Bagwell and others.
  668.    Bischoff, as the others hold Larry up, lays in a kick to the gut (which
  669.    Bischoff has the good sense to shield from the camera by blocking the
  670.    shot with his own body). The NWO then stomp Zbyszko into paste on the
  671.    concrete. Bischoff poses with a foot on Larry's unmoving body.
  673.    Family entertainment? Bischoff has now pushed himself right up there with
  674.    past promoters such as Jim Cornette and Paul E. Dangerously. If Vince
  675.    McMahon tried this fans would scream their heads off. Bischoff satisfies
  676.    his ego and it's okay, though. WCW the home of tradition? Hardly, as
  677.    Bischoff's continuing effort to put himself over makes a victim out of a
  678.    legendary wrestler. I doubt Zbyszko's eventual "revenge" will ever make
  679.    up for this. Even Cornette and Paul E. got their asses kicked on a
  680.    regular basis.
  682.    Other than two notable occurrences, this hour was pretty miserable. Only
  683.    the Mysterio match stood out in in-ring action.
  685. HOUR TWO Hosted By: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan.
  687.  - DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE vs. VILLANO V (w/ Villano IV)
  688.    The two Villanos switch, doubleteam and use every underhanded trick they
  689.    can think of, but Page still manhandles both to earn a pin. Both Villanos
  690.    receive Diamond Cutters. Even though this was standard house show fare,
  691.    it was probably still the most purely enjoyable match of the night. Page
  692.    looked on fire and it just pointed out how badly he's being under/misused
  693.    right now.
  696.    One of Malenko's best matches in some time. Both men start off fast and
  697.    crisp (and I wish I had the time to do a blow-by-blow account). Rey
  698.    Mysterio (still selling his "bad back") comes out to watch as they cut to
  699.    commercial. (Disgustingly enough, Tony Schiavone has spent a lot of time
  700.    up to this point blathering on about the World War 3 main event).
  702.    Eddie does all the great heel bits where he tries to beg off, asks to
  703.    shake hands, etc. Malenko is firmly in control, but Eddie turns it around
  704.    with a series of drop-kicks. They then run a sequence on trading very
  705.    close pins. Both climb to the top and Eddie suplexes Malenko to the mat.
  706.    Both are slow to get up and they again ascend to the top, where Malenko
  707.    nails Eddie with a belly-to-back suplex. This time they're REALLY slow to
  708.    get up. In fact, they don't get up at all. The referee makes delivers a
  709.    ten count and declares the match a draw. Dean rolls out of the ring while
  710.    trainers start to look over Eddie, who had landed squarely on his
  711.    shoulder out of the suplex.
  713.  - They replay the comments by Lex Luger.
  715.  - Another of those really embarrassing Nitro Party videos is played.
  717.  - SCOTTY RIGGS vs. SATURN (w/ Raven and his Flock)
  718.    Billy Kidman (stepping into the departing Stevie Richards' shoes) gets on
  719.    the mic and asks Riggs to join his Flock. Riggs declines. During the
  720.    match he would lose his eyepatch and the gauze underneath, revealing a
  721.    milky white cataract (obviously a contact lens).
  723.    This match was pretty dull for the most part. Saturn did a few suplexes
  724.    and took some light bumps, but did little else. Riggs pulls off the spot
  725.    of the night (and possibly one of the gutsiest of the year) by doing a
  726.    plancha from the top turnbuckle onto Raven and crew at ringside on the
  727.    other side of the guard rail. Saturn then whipped Riggs into the steps,
  728.    followed by a legdrop off the top. He finishes Riggs off with a really
  729.    weak looking submission hold.
  731.    The last minute or so of this match was pretty intense. I might give this
  732.    whole scenario if Saturn were able to perform at that capacity for the
  733.    entire match. Riggs again shows he has some skills.
  735.  - Nitro Girls.
  737.  - THE STEINER BROTHERS vs. ???
  738.    The NWO jumps the Steiners before they can reach the ring. Hogan directs
  739.    traffic as the two brothers from Michigan are mudholed and spraypainted.
  742.    Though far from being an outright bad match, this one pretty much ran on
  743.    autopilot for several minutes. Both took turns equally in the dominant
  744.    position, laying in offense for a bit, then the other guy would take
  745.    over. It was a little like one person playing two characters in a video
  746.    game: control one guy for a bit, put the controller down and then control
  747.    the other guy ... repeat. The match eventually spills to the floor, where
  748.    Hennig tosses the ref into Luger, then nails Lex with the U.S. Title
  749.    belt. Hennig drags Luger back in for a Hennig-Plex, but the ref signals
  750.    that he's already DQ'ed Hennig. After Hennig throws down the ref the
  751.    Giant comes out to chase him off and check on Lex.
  753.  - THE GIANT vs. SCOTT HALL (w/ Syxx)
  754.    Kevin Nash sits in for color commentary (sounding slightly drunk again. I
  755.    don't just say this to be funny or insulting. Nash just wasn't all that
  756.    coherent. About all he said was that the Giant was "one dimensional",
  757.    then mumbled a lot).
  759.    Not much of a match. They stall at first, then the Giant picks up Hall
  760.    and sets him on the turnbuckles. The two trade a few chops before going
  761.    to the floor, where Hall slams the Giant's hand against the ring steps.
  762.    Once back in the ring the Giant signals for the chokeslam (which would
  763.    have been affected by the attack on the hand), but is jumped by the other
  764.    NWO members. The show ends with a few WCW scrubs running in to save the
  765.    Giant, conveniently filling up the ring to give a hint as to what the 60
  766.    Man Battle Royal at World War 3 will look like. (If you missed it, don't
  767.    worry: they'll be doing it again this weekend at the end of WCW Saturday
  768.    Night).
  770.  - Next week: Nothing announced.
  774. Rude's appearance, while noteworthy this week (and embarrassing to the WWF),
  775. doesn't really amount to much. Two good matches aside, the vast majority of
  776. this week's show was pointless matches and run-ins.
  778. Isn't it ironic how WCW continues to use WWF talent to keep up their ratings
  779. momentum? It's simply amazing how so many WCW fans will say "the WWF sucks!"
  780. yet turn right around and cheer those same WWF wrestlers when they come in.
  782. I'm assuming that they are building to a triangle match involving Malenko,
  783. Guerrero and Mysterio. That seems to be the only thing that fits the
  784. scenario. Either that, or someone will get a definite win this Sunday and go
  785. on to face Malenko at the next PPV. While a three-way matchup would make for
  786. a great match, it's starting to make the Cruiserweight division look as
  787. limited as the WWF's Light Heavyweight division. The WWF has two stars ...
  788. WCW has three. The relative inactivity among the rest of the cruiserweights
  789. have definitely placed them far behind these three. The rumors say that WCW
  790. is going to try and make up for this by holding a tournament to crown the
  791. top contender to the title (which by next week will either be held by
  792. Guerrero still or Mysterio). If this happens it shows how much WCW has done
  793. to dismantle their existing division (since it'll necessitate their bringing
  794. in several guys from Japan).
  796. There's also talk of WCW trying to start some kind of "Tough Man" division:
  797. an idea which I think is really stupid. Since it's still just a rumor, I
  798. have no idea what the "rules" will, be, nor what being in the division will
  799. entail. It's just another effort to capitalize on the whole UFC thing. Bill
  800. Goldberg, Meng, Steve Regal, Fit Finley and Saturn are all names being
  801. tossed around as guys who'll be in the division.
  803. World War 3 is this Sunday and I freely admit I have very little idea what
  804. the entire card is. 60 Man Battle Royal ... Flair vs. Hennig ... Mysterio
  805. vs. Guerrero ... Goldberg vs. McMichael ... is there anything else?
  807. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  809. WWF RAW is WAR:
  810. Live/Taped: Taped 11/10.
  811. Length: Two Hours.
  812. Location: Ontario, Canada.
  813. HOUR ONE Hosted By: Jim Ross and Jim Cornette.
  815.  - Prior to the opening they show the finish to last week's Ken Shamrock/
  816.    Hunter Hearst Helmsley match. After RAW went off the air Commissioner
  817.    Slaughter stopped the ref's three count on Shamrock. Helmsley then nailed
  818.    the referee. A shoving match ensued and Shawn Michaels ended up being
  819.    rolled up and pinned by Shamrock. Slaughter made the three count.
  821.    Bret Hart has been removed from the opening footage. There was also no
  822.    on-screen graphic identifying the location of the show. I'm not sure, but
  823.    I think they used some canned crowd noise at times throughout the show.
  824.    Seems like the WWF didn't want to convey the fact that this was a
  825.    Canadian crowd.
  827.  - Pull my finger:
  829.    *KEE-RASH!*
  831.    "Stone Cold" Steve Austin opens the show with an in-ring challenge to
  832.    Rocky Maivia. The Nation of Domination's music starts up and the NOD
  833.    gather at the top of the ramp. Rocky sends Faarooq, Kama and D-Lo to the
  834.    ring. As Austin is busy laying out D-Lo with Stone Cold Stunner, Rocky
  835.    slides in and swipes the Intercontinental Title belt (which Austin had
  836.    left lying on the mat). Austin menaces the announcers, saying he'll get
  837.    his belt back soon enough.
  839.  - Butterbean is shown in the front row.
  841.  - This week's embarrassing Karate Fighters segment.
  843.  - MARC MERO (w/ Sable) vs. JERRY "THE KING" LAWLER (w/ Brian Christopher)
  844.    Let's get this straight right off: Mero did not hit Sable, nor is the WWF
  845.    trying to pass on that impression. Sable was kicked in the head by a
  846.    horse several days before Survivor Series. Since then she has covered it
  847.    up with makeup and her sunglasses. During this match the sunglasses fell
  848.    off accidentally. Fans in attendance saw the black eye last week and word
  849.    spread on the Internet that the WWF was doing a "wife beating" angle.
  850.    This simply isn't true. The black eye wasn't meant to be seen. Both Ross
  851.    and Cornette mentioned several times during the match that the black eye
  852.    was from an accident, in an effort to kill the irresponsible rumor that
  853.    was being spread on the Internet and hotlines.
  855.    Mero gets in Butterbean's face briefly before the match. Christopher
  856.    comes out after the match has started and sits in for color commentary.
  857.    Pre-match they show clips of Mero beating Christopher in a match from
  858.    about a month ago.
  860.    A somewhat slow match, but Lawler showed he's far from needing to draw a
  861.    pension. After a sweet looking drop-kick, he comes out to gab with
  862.    Christopher (who's just arrived at ringside). Mero baseball slides out
  863.    and knocks father into son. The match resumes in the ring and Mero sends
  864.    Jerry back out (up and over the top rope) with an uppercut. The match
  865.    then switches to the King doing comedy spots (such as "boxing" with Mero,
  866.    then hiding behind the ref on his hands and knees when Mero pops him).
  867.    Mero is sent to the floor and Christopher kicks him in the head. He then
  868.    bothers Sable as Lawler manhandles Mero in the ring. Mero takes control,
  869.    but is distracted when he's sees Christopher out with Sable. Lawler nails
  870.    him from behind, then spikes him with a Piledriver (and were this Memphis
  871.    they'd be getting a priest for Mero). Lawler gets ready to cover for the
  872.    pin, but Sable climbs in the ring and wraps her belt around the King's
  873.    neck. The ref calls for the bell. Christopher helps Lawler escape as Mero
  874.    angrily asks Sable why she got his disqualified. (Sable's sunglasses had
  875.    fallen off as she entered the ring. This is where the fans in attendance
  876.    got the impression that Mero was "abusing" Sable. Jim Cornette went so
  877.    far as to say the fans may have the wrong impression about the eye, and
  878.    reiterated that it was from an accident). Butterbean is shown looking on
  879.    disapprovingly.
  881.    On the way to break they hype the upcoming "Why Bret Why?" Vince McMahon
  882.    interview.
  884.  - The new "WWF Attitude" spot, now minus Bret Hart.
  886.  - Vince McMahon's "Why Bret Why?" interview:
  888.    * When asked if he screwed Bret Hart, McMahon answers that while he
  889.      accepts responsibility for any decisions he's made ("and I'm not
  890.      perfect"), it was Bret Hart who screwed Bret Hart. McMahon talks about
  891.      how it's a "time honored tradition" for a wrestler and a champion to
  892.      acknowledge those who helped him get where he was when leaving the WWF.
  893.      Bret refused to do this (i.e. "job").
  895.    * Hart leaving the WWF was a mutual decision based on Hart's dislike for
  896.      Shawn Michaels and McMahon's decision that Hart wasn't worth the money
  897.      he was being paid. The mutual decision cleared the way for Bret to come
  898.      to terms with WCW for a contract worth $3 million per year for three
  899.      years, with 125 wrestling dates per year. McMahon says that to his
  900.      knowledge this is the largest contract in all of professional
  901.      wrestling.
  903.    * Vince suffered a concussion and some lingering vision loss due to
  904.      Hart's attack. Vince says that he knew Bret was going to hit him, hoped
  905.      he wouldn't, but ultimately allowed him to. Vince suggests that he
  906.      might have had a better showing if he'd have fought back. He hasn't
  907.      ruled out the prospect of pressing charges or filing a lawsuit, but
  908.      says that it's "up to Bret". (McMahon had a clearly visible black eye).
  910.    * Broaching the tender subject of what Bret should have done, Vince
  911.      describes it as if he were telling a "story" (laying out the booking
  912.      scenario the WWF had hoped to do). Vince says Bret should have lost
  913.      cleanly to Michaels, stood up like a man, and proved the real champion
  914.      he was to the fans and other wrestlers.
  916.    * On the subject of sympathy, Vince says he has no sympathy for Bret.
  917.      He wishes Bret had done the right thing for himself, the fans, the WWF
  918.      and the other WWF superstars.
  920.    To be continued in hour two.
  923.    Cornette says Savio Vega and Miguel Perez are upset because someone broke
  924.    into their dressing room and looted it. It's quickly apparent that Gunn
  925.    and Road Dog are the culprits as they come out to Los Boricuas music
  926.    wearing some of their stuff. All four men brawl for a minute or so until
  927.    the other two members of Los Boricuas come out. Gunn and Road Dog win via
  928.    DQ.
  930.  - They run a lengthy feature on Ken Shamrock, showing him beating everyone
  931.    from Bret to Shawn (in non-decision "tap outs") to Vader. Some UFC clips
  932.    are included.
  934.  - Sunny comes out to serve as referee for the next match.
  937.    The usual mini mayhem multiplied by three. Non-stop action during the few
  938.    minutes in which the match lasts. Just as they set up a comedy bit where
  939.    Sunny does a leapfrog over one of the minis the lights go out.
  941.    Jim Ross: "Good God no! Through fire and brimstone ... it's KANE!"
  943.    Kane strides to the ring as the minis scatter. They and Sunny end up
  944.    huddling behind Cornette and Ross. Cornette, brandishing his tennis
  945.    racquet, yells at Paul Bearer "Paul ... I've always liked you!"
  947.    As Kane decides what he's going to do the Head Bangers sneak up behind
  948.    him. When he turns they smash their radio over his head. Kane doesn't
  949.    react. They then climb up separate corners and come off with axehandle
  950.    shots, which staggers Kane, but doesn't knock him down. Kane quickly
  951.    takes out both Head Bangers with Tombstone Piledrivers. Paul Bearer
  952.    enters, surveys the carnage and gives his nod of approval.
  954.    Pretty funny stuff.
  956. HOUR TWO Hosted By: Jim Ross and Jim Cornette.
  958.  - They recap the first hour, then they replay the entire Helmsley/Shamrock
  959.    match finish clip which they showed at the top of the show. (Arrrrrrgh!)
  961.  - Rick Rude is in the ring. (What the ... ? Somehow he's grown back the
  962.    beard which had been missing on Nitro). Shawn, Hunter and Chyna's
  963.    entrance is intercut with the Degeneration X video, which gets
  964.    disorienting after a while as they switch every half second or so. Shawn
  965.    gets on the mic and runs down Ken Shamrock. He says he ran Bret Hart and
  966.    his family out, and will now do the same to Bret's friends. Hunter then
  967.    takes the mic and tells Commissioner Slaughter to bring his "fat ass"
  968.    out. Slaughter comes out, giving Shawn a "three count" clap. Hunter says
  969.    if Slaughter sticks his chin in their business again they'll knock it
  970.    off. He then goes on to talk about Slaughter's "old Lady", and how he
  971.    hears that she's unsatisfied with Slaughter's "privates"-that Slaughter
  972.    can't go past "half mast". Hunter says if Slaughter doesn't watch out,
  973.    he'll go over to his house and show his wife his "lance corporal" and
  974.    show her what it means to "stand at attention".
  976.    Slaughter smacks him. This leads to the whole gang laying out Slaughter,
  977.    whacking him with Rude's Haliburton, Pedigree'ing him, and finally laying
  978.    a big "X" on his chest made out of toilet paper. A few hundred crotch
  979.    chops follow as other WWF officials try to rescue Slaughter.
  981.    I'm almost positive the audio was tinkered with during this segment.
  984.    Solid match, but a bit on the unspectacular side. Taylor hits Shelley on
  985.    the floor with a drop-kick off the guard rail. He ends up with the pin
  986.    following a DDT (applied as Taylor leaped from the top rope).
  988.    Jeff Jarrett "phoned in" during the match, ragging on the WWF for not
  989.    hyping this phone call (while they overhyped Bret Hart, who isn't even
  990.    with the WWF any more). Jarrett says he'll make his "debut" on RAW next
  991.    week.
  993.    Taylor faces the winner of the Brian Christopher/Flash Flanagan match.
  994.    The Light Heavyweight tournament final will be at the December 7th PPV.
  996.  - Marc Mero and Sable come back out. Long story short, Mero challenges
  997.    Butterbean to come into the ring. He does and the to get into a shoving
  998.    match after Mero tells him to stop looking at Sable. Really weak.
  1000.  - "Why Bret Why?" part two:
  1002.    * Would Vince welcome Bret back to the WWF? Yes, though Bret would have
  1003.      to apologize for what he did. McMahon says he'd apologize for the
  1004.      decision he was forced to make. There'd also have to be an complete
  1005.      understanding beforehand about what the return would entail. If
  1006.      troubles did arise, Bret wouldn't get any more "free shots".
  1008.    * Did Bret "sell out"? Yes, says McMahon, because Vince helped him sell
  1009.      out. He says Bret sold out and he doesn't blame him for one bit for
  1010.      doing so given the money involved. He says Bret acts touchy about this
  1011.      subject, and that every time Bret denies selling out he loses some of
  1012.      his credibility. Vince says it's no big deal and that other WWF
  1013.      superstars may come to him asking for help "selling out" as well.
  1015.    * The WWF will go on. He regrets the decision he was forced to make,
  1016.      regrets that Bret made the wrong decision, regrets that Bret's fans are
  1017.      hurt by what Bret did, and regrets that his own son had to see what
  1018.      happened backstage. Nonetheless, McMahon stands by the decision he had
  1019.      to make.
  1021.    * When asked what he would say to Bret, Vince reiterates several of the
  1022.      above points. He says it's too bad that Bret forgot that they were in
  1023.      the business of "sports entertainment".
  1025.    * When asked when he'll be over it, Vince says he's over it now. Bret
  1026.      will always be a part of the WWF in some small way or another. McMahon
  1027.      will remember the good times, thinking of Bret as the "Excellence of
  1028.      Execution". "It's just too damn bad that in the end Bret really wasn't
  1029.      'the Best There Is, the Best There Was and the Best There Ever Will
  1030.      Be'. Bret had his chance to prove it in his final match in the WWF ...
  1031.      and failed."
  1033.  - VADER vs. GOLDUST
  1034.    No match. Goldust comes out (in pajama top, nylons and gold slippers) and
  1035.    says he hasn't been cleared to wrestle. He presents a letter from his
  1036.    doctor, which Vader crumples up. As Vader is arguing with the referee
  1037.    Goldust pulls a hammer out of the sling his arm is in and whacks Vader on
  1038.    the head. Vader drops like a sack and lays on the mat twitching.
  1040.  - Commissioner Slaughter comes back out and says that Helmsley crossed the
  1041.    line. Slipping into the old Sgt. Slaughter persona, Slaughter announces
  1042.    that he will come out of retirement to face Helmsley at In Your House
  1043.    "Degeneration X" on December 7th.
  1045.  - ROCKY MAIVIA (w/ the Nation of Domination) vs. DUDE LOVE
  1046.    Rocky, carrying the Intercontinental Title belt, announces that this is a
  1047.    "non-title" match.
  1049.    Imagine my surprise when Rocky and Dude go into a sequence where they
  1050.    trade scientific holds, reversing armbars and such. Going into the break
  1051.    they run the promo for 13 tape WrestleMania set.
  1053.    Dude Love signals for and nails the "Sweet Shin Music". In comes the
  1054.    other Nation members, who deliver a whipping to Dude Love.
  1056.    Steve Austin runs in for the save, though Rocky manages to escape with
  1057.    the title belt. D-Lo Brown suffers a second Stone Cold Stunner just
  1058.    before the show ends.
  1060.  - Next week: Taka Michinoku vs. Aguila. Brian Christopher vs. Flash
  1061.    Flanagan.
  1065. A lot stronger show than I expected given that it was taped.
  1067. Rocky Maivia is getting almost as much heat as Vince McMahon! I'm really
  1068. starting to get into his heel bit (just as it took a while for Eddie Guerrero
  1069. to win me over with his new persona).
  1071. Dammit, just when I figured Survivor Series would be the last PPV I'd get
  1072. this year, the next In Your House is starting to interest me.
  1074. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1076. The Bottom Line:
  1078. Once again I switched over to RAW when it came on and never switched back.
  1079. For all its lack of depth in the roster and lack of quality in-ring action,
  1080. RAW is still going farther to entertain me. They're still doing things that
  1081. are surprising and entertaining from segment to segment. With WCW, they blew
  1082. their wad ten minutes in after Rude had come out. From that point on I, as a
  1083. regular viewer, know that the most that will happen is one or two okay
  1084. Guerrero/Malenko/Mysterio/Jericho matches will take place, some NWO run-ins
  1085. and a possible Sting appearance at the end. The rest-and this is the way
  1086. it's been for weeks-looks hardly better than the average WCW Saturday Night.
  1088. RAW is still only hampered by their lack of depth in the roster, which has
  1089. meant lesser quality wrestlers have had to be used, which has brought down
  1090. their overall match quality. For those asking "why doesn't the WWF hire more
  1091. wrestlers?", the answer is, simply, there are none. WCW, with their
  1092. bottomless checkbook, has them all. Cruiserweights who aren't being used ...
  1093. quality midcarders not being used ... names from the past ... there's just
  1094. so many wrestlers currently under WCW contract that they just don't have
  1095. time to show them all. Maybe half of WCW's roster is on a "revolving door"
  1096. and they're lucky to be seen on TV once a month. People gripe about the
  1097. WWF's lack of talent as if the WWF can actually do anything about it. No
  1098. matter how much money the WWF makes, and how much they have to offer, WCW
  1099. can offer more-almost always in conjunction with a promise of less work.
  1100. Literally dozens of guys are currently wrestling for WCW completely blinded
  1101. by the money and easy schedule-oblivious to the fact that their career is
  1102. going absolutely nowhere. For those only in it for the money there's no need
  1103. for them to look beyond what WCW is currently giving them. This is why
  1104. holding out hope for guys like the Giant and Ric Flair to jump to the WWF is
  1105. probably a waste of time.
  1107. In the past there would have been a natural migration of talent between the
  1108. two federations, which kept the rosters of both fresh, as well as serving to
  1109. revive sagging careers of those wrestlers. Both companies are now employing
  1110. a siege mentality, locking all their wrestlers into long term contracts. This
  1111. quickly leads to the wrestlers becoming boring to the fans of the respective
  1112. promotions. That's why Bret Hart jumping ship becomes such a big deal (just
  1113. as most any defection the other way would be to WWF fans). Hart's hardcore
  1114. fans aside, deep down many WWF fans realize Hart had done all he could, and
  1115. were on the verge of losing interest in him (if they hadn't already). WCW's
  1116. fans, always just as anxious for new talent as the WWF's fans are, welcome
  1117. him with open arms. Even a great many of the WWF's fans (myself included)
  1118. regain some interest in Hart because of the new potential matches. The once
  1119. natural flow of talent back and forth has been cut off by WCW. They have
  1120. signed most everyone there is to sign, and those not on TV are sitting at
  1121. home watching Monday nights, content to be paid without working. The WWF
  1122. simply can't muster enough money to draw away a significant number of
  1123. wrestlers. When they do get any, like Jeff Jarrett, it's because WCW decides
  1124. he's not worth matching the money the WWF is forced to pay him. Many of
  1125. WCW's wrestlers are kept on the payroll not because of their talent, ability
  1126. or drawing power, but merely to prevent them from working for the WWF.
  1128. There currently exists a serious, legitimate threat to the future of the
  1129. WWF. All it would take would be for the USA Network to drop the WWF to turn
  1130. them overnight into a regional promotion barely on par with ECW. What would
  1131. happen then, you might ask? First off, a great many WWF wrestlers would be
  1132. unemployed, with only a slight few being able to find work elsewhere. If the
  1133. WWF folded altogether it would be the single most disastrous event in the
  1134. history of professional wrestling. First off, the vast majority of WWF
  1135. wrestlers would be out of work. ECW and the other indys would employ some,
  1136. some might go overseas, and some could end up in WCW. Most of them would
  1137. simply disappear from the business. The second thing that would happen is
  1138. that WCW would probably fire a great many of their own wrestlers, since
  1139. there'd be no further need to keep them under contract. Next we'd see the
  1140. average match quality go way down. Wrestlers wouldn't need to push
  1141. themselves. With WCW being the only show to watch, the wrestlers would know
  1142. that they wouldn't have to knock themselves out to get over. They also
  1143. wouldn't want to risk injury, as there'd be numerous guys waiting in the
  1144. wings to replace them. Pro-wrestling would become a very bland, watered down
  1145. pastime, dominated by the fading stars of the past and present, crowding
  1146. the young athletic superstars out of the spotlight.
  1148. This is obviously a very drastic scenario, and one that would take a whole
  1149. hell of a lot of (further) bad luck to strike the WWF. While the chances of
  1150. the WWF going away completely are next to zero, (as the name of the
  1151. promotion would live on somehow, no matter how small it became), there does
  1152. exist the real possibility of the WWF being knocked out of competition with
  1153. WCW. As I said above, all it would take would be for USA to drop them
  1154. (especially if it happened before the WWF were able to arrange a new
  1155. television home elsewhere). Anyone who thinks the WWF could fold and have it
  1156. benefit WCW are really ignoring the reality of the situation. WCW obviously
  1157. wouldn't hire all the WWF wrestlers. Why? Because they wouldn't have to. Any
  1158. wrestler who declined a low offer from WCW, who couldn't cut it in ECW,
  1159. wasn't willing to wrestle at fair grounds and swap meets, and wasn't willing
  1160. to leave the country probably wouldn't work at all. Guys like Ahmed Johnson,
  1161. who are near the top of the WWF, wouldn't even get a job in WCW if he didn't
  1162. accept what little pay they offered him. With there being no one to outbid,
  1163. and the wrestlers having no other credible career options, the minimum
  1164. salary in WCW would get pretty low pretty quick. Again, WCW stars aren't
  1165. currently being paid based on ability, potential, and drawing power: most
  1166. are being paid to keep them out of the WWF.
  1168. I've said it before and I'll say it again: the WWF, even when they marched
  1169. over the competition back in the 80's, never sought to shut down all the
  1170. competition in the wrestling world. They realized that they needed other
  1171. promotions to exist to serve as breeding grounds for new talent, as well as
  1172. a place for the older wrestlers to go every so often. Wrestling promotions
  1173. need the talent to move because the fans need to see new faces periodically
  1174. to stay interested. WCW, if they had their way, would shut down all the
  1175. opposition and replace it with themselves. Vince McMahon only wanted the WWF
  1176. to be the biggest wrestling promotion in the world. Since Ted Turner took
  1177. over WCW, he's not only wanted his to be the biggest, he wants it to be the
  1178. ONLY wrestling promotion in the world. That's why he's trying to kill the
  1179. WWF. If not in the whole world, at least in the United States. Then Mexico,
  1180. Canada Japan, and the world.
  1182. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1184. This Week's Winner: RAW.
  1186. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1188. "Slobberknocker Central" and "Monday Night Recap" are copyright 1997 by
  1189. John Petrie, and all opinions expressed therein are his own, and not those
  1190. of "Internet Access, Inc". Check the "Slobberknocker Central" main page for
  1191. info on how to receive the "Recap" free via E-Mail every week.
  1192. Volume One, Number 105 of the "Monday Night Recap", November 17th, 1997.
  1194. John Petrie
  1196. Slobberknocker Central
  1201. ~~~
  1203. Slobberknocker Central Monday Night Recap #106
  1204. November 24th, 1997
  1206. WCW Monday Nitro:
  1207. Live/Taped: Live.
  1208. Length: Two Hours+.
  1209. Location: Saginaw, Michigan.
  1210. HOUR ONE Hosted By: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay and Larry Zbyszko.
  1212.  - The New World Order has assembled backstage, preparing to make their
  1213.    entry. Bischoff is smoking a cigar. Everyone is present except Kevin
  1214.    Nash. One might think we are being shown this because something is
  1215.    supposed to happen. Instead, the camera follows them to the ring, where
  1216.    they generate their weekly quota of hot air. Hogan brings a "Bischoff
  1217.    owns Vince" sign in the ring (taken from the fan which it had most likely
  1218.    been planted with in the first place). Rick Rude reprises his
  1219.    Degeneration X role by standing around and doing nothing. Bischoff
  1220.    introduces Hall as the man who beat "59 other men!" (well ... 47 or so
  1221.    anyway. I didn't count anywhere near 60 for the WW3 main event. Maybe I
  1222.    just missed one or two ... or a dozen). Hogan then gets on the mic and,
  1223.    knowing that Sting isn't in the building, challenges "anyone in the
  1224.    building" to come out tonight for a title match.
  1226.    Here comes the Giant, followed by J.J. Dillon. The Giant accepts the
  1227.    challenge, but Dillon says he isn't cleared to wrestle. The Giant says
  1228.    he'll sign a waiver absolving WCW of any responsibility. Dillon agrees
  1229.    and the match is set. The Giant rightly points out that the WCW Title
  1230.    belt still has his name on it. He has a cast halfway up to his ass on
  1231.    his right arm. I thought it was his hand that was injured?
  1233.    You know why I hate the NWO? All bias against WCW aside, or my
  1234.    monumental dislike for Eric Bischoff, it simply comes down to this:
  1235.    they're the bad guys. I'm SUPPOSED to not like them! Somebody out there
  1236.    explain why I should ignore the traditional "face/heel" structure and
  1237.    like them. Their t-shirts are cool? Kevin Nash's long hair is cool? Buff
  1238.    Bagwell gives me a "special feeling"? Seriously, what is it about the NWO
  1239.    you guys out there like? Their interviews are weak across the board, so
  1240.    it can't be that. Hennig and Bagwell are okay wrestlers, so maybe I can
  1241.    see them being liked. Savage and Hall are adequate. Beyond these four,
  1242.    what is it that's just so damned great about the NWO? Konan is really
  1243.    that cool? Scott Norton? VINCENT!?
  1246.    Squash.
  1248.  - Nitro Girls. Yay ... boobies. WCW wants me to treat them as objects, well
  1249.    then I'm willing to oblige.
  1251.  - MENG (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. BOOKER T. (w/ Jacquelyn)
  1252.    Meng is beating the piss out of Booker, but Booker escapes from a
  1253.    powerbomb and rolls Meng up for the upset pin. Enraged, Meng slaps on the
  1254.    Tongan Death Grip(tm). Out comes Stevie Ray (you know ... the Harlem Heat
  1255.    guy that sucks) with a balsa wood chair, which he breaks over Meng's
  1256.    head. Just watching it hurt me more than that chair would ever hurt Meng.
  1257.    Stevie Ray gets his throat massaged Tonga style as well.
  1259.    I actually liked this match, though if this were the WWF the equivalent
  1260.    would probably be Henry Godwinn vs. Ahmed Johnson. (Which isn't really a
  1261.    fair comparison since neither Meng nor Booker T. have legitimately hurt
  1262.    as many guys as Ahmed has).
  1264.    On the way to the break they play the special sneak peek look at "Aliens
  1265.    Resurrection". The clip lasted exactly 30 seconds.
  1267.    In case you didn't quite get it, the Steiners won the above match.
  1268.    Easily. In poor fashion.
  1270.  - They show still photos chronicling Scotty Riggs' destruction at the hands
  1271.    of Raven at the PPV. They show a snippet of the J.J. Dillon interview
  1272.    from the PPV in which he made the ultimatum stating that Raven had 24
  1273.    hours to sign with WCW. They go live to Mean Gene Okerlund and Dillon.
  1274.    Dillon says Raven did indeed sign a contract overnight, but that it had a
  1275.    "lot of scribbling in the margins" which altered the contents of the
  1276.    contract. Raven, at ringside with his Flock, says he'll wrestle when,
  1277.    where, how, and against who he wants to. Dillon says he isn't happy with
  1278.    the stipulations, but will apparently abide by them and considers Raven
  1279.    officially under WCW contract. During all this Scotty Riggs slinks out
  1280.    and takes a seat among the members of Raven's Flock (which now includes
  1281.    Riggs, Perry Saturn, Billy Kidman, Van Hammer, Sick Boy and Skank).
  1283.  - CHRIS BENOIT vs. RAVEN
  1284.    Raven gets up and sends Sick Boy into the ring, making it ...
  1286.  - CHRIS BENOIT vs. SICK BOY
  1287.    Very short match, as Benoit quickly gets the upper hand. The other Flock
  1288.    members run in, but Benoit holds them off. He then applies a submission
  1289.    hold to get the win. Another wave comes in and Benoit does well until
  1290.    Saturn clocks him with his TV Title belt. The Flock stomps Benoit into
  1291.    the mat as Raven looks on.
  1293.    Skank, by the way, looks just like Glacier. Short blond hair.
  1295.  - A black-and-white NWO sponsored promo replays Bischoff's "victories" over
  1296.    Larry Zbyszko. Larry heads to the ring and challenges Scott Hall. NWO
  1297.    leaflets drop from the ceiling, showing a picture of Bischoff kicking
  1298.    Zbyszko. Bischoff comes halfway to the ring and says Hall is too busy
  1299.    defending his tag team title to accept Larry's challenge. Larry
  1300.    challenges Bischoff, which Bischoff basically accepts, but security keeps
  1301.    the two separated. I guess you can pencil these two in for Starrcade.
  1303. HOUR TWO Hosted By: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan.
  1305.  - Nitro Girls.
  1307.  - PRINCE IAUKEA vs. ALEX WRIGHT (w/ Debra McMichael)
  1308.    They show stills from the Wright/Steve McMichael match from the PPV.
  1310.    These two put together a solid match (though frankly by this point I'd
  1311.    switched over to RAW for good). The upshot here is that Wright is
  1312.    dominating, but Debra jumps up on the apron and her sash gets caught on
  1313.    a turnbuckle bolt. Wright is so distracted telling her to get down that
  1314.    Iaukea is able to hit a crossbody off the top for the upset pin.
  1315.    Afterwards Wright gets on the house mic and "fires" Debra. (Gee, and I'd
  1316.    just made the logical assumption that the two were sleeping together).
  1318.    Heading into the commercial they show a good (but waaaaaay over the top)
  1319.    promo for Starrcade.
  1321.  - RANDY "MACHO MAN" SAVAGE (w/ Elizabeth) vs. DISCO INFERNO
  1322.    Tony Schiavone mentions Bret Hart for the only time in the entire show
  1323.    (as far as I could tell), stating flat out that Hart was in the NWO.
  1325.    Savage has no trouble whatsoever with Disco, pinning him after an elbow
  1326.    off the top. After his third elbow he throws down the ref. Liz, who had
  1327.    also gotten involved in the match, comes in and places a boot on Disco as
  1328.    Savage makes a three count. (Since this is WCW we can probably count that
  1329.    as an actual victory, making Liz the number one contender for the WCW
  1330.    Television Title). Savage hits a fourth elbow off the top before the
  1331.    carnage is concluded.
  1333.  - Another of those Nitro party videos. This one wasn't nearly as
  1334.    embarrassing as the previous one: mostly because it looked more like a
  1335.    real party (as opposed to a drunken frat's cheap attempt to get on TV).
  1338.    For those trashing the likes of Scott Taylor and Flash Flanagan in the
  1339.    WWF's Light Heavyweight tournament, don't forget that Armstrong was once
  1340.    considered one of WCW's top Cruiserweight contenders.
  1342.    A good match, but the crowd was absolutely dead until Malenko slapped on
  1343.    the Texas Cloverleaf for the win.
  1345.  - Mean Gene interviews Steve "Mongo" McMichael. Debra comes out and tries
  1346.    to sweet talk him into taking her back. He tells her to "get the hell out
  1347.    of here!"
  1349.  - Nitro Girls.
  1352.    Another good match. (You'd have a hard time convincing me that it meant
  1353.    anything, though). Bagwell gets the somewhat illogical win after Jericho
  1354.    had dominated for most of the match. Bagwell catches him with a boot to
  1355.    the chin, then blew his finisher off the turnbuckles (hitting him
  1356.    crosswise instead of flipping over him for the Buff Blockbuster).
  1358.  - They show stills from the Hennig/Flair PPV match.
  1361.    Mike Tenay plugs the Brian Pillman memorial video WCW is putting
  1362.    together.
  1364.    Why the hell is Traylor getting a U.S. Title match? Hasn't he gotten
  1365.    beaten up by the NWO every week for the last month or two?
  1367.    This match is no different, as Traylor once again falls victim to an NWO
  1368.    run-in and beating. In one particularly terrible spot during the match,
  1369.    Traylor hits Hennig with an uppercut. Hennig then leisurely turns around,
  1370.    takes a step and blatantly THROWS himself over the top rope to the floor
  1371.    (as if Traylor's blow had sufficient force to knock him from the ring).
  1372.    That aside, this match was actually watchable for the most part. Traylor
  1373.    is in control, on the verge of winning (yeeeeeeaaaaah suuuuuuuuure), when
  1374.    the NWO run in, drawing the DQ. Traylor is once again laid out and "NWO"
  1375.    is painted on his carcass.
  1377.  - Clip of the Giant getting his hand hurt by Hall last week, then still
  1378.    photos from the PPV.
  1381.    Bischoff and Rick Rude chase the announcers away to do the commentary for
  1382.    the match. Rude doesn't say much: maybe two or three sentences. Bischoff
  1383.    uses the time to trash the Steiners.
  1385.    The Giant, despite his injured hand, manages to nail Hogan with a choke-
  1386.    slam. The NWO quickly flood the ring, drawing the DQ. (This is #1).
  1388.    Sting walks to the ring and hits the Giant's cast with a baseball bat.
  1389.    Yup ... Kevin Nash. (This is #2).
  1391.    Sting drops from the ceiling and tragically falls through the canvas of
  1392.    the ring. Nash starts hitting it in the head with the bat, revealing that
  1393.    it's a mannequin. (This is #3). The show ends.
  1395.  - Next week: Nothing announced.
  1399. Three (3) elements made up the end of this week's show and all three of them
  1400. have been done before. The NWO DQ run-in has been done dozens of times. Nash
  1401. has dressed as Sting two or three times now. Finally, the dummy Sting bit
  1402. was done once before as well. Obviously originality wasn't a big concern
  1403. here.
  1405. While some of the wrestling was okay, there wasn't the usual "standout"
  1406. match where you could point to it as obviously being the best of the
  1407. evening.
  1409. My overall impression is one of "did anything happen?" I guess I'd attribute
  1410. that to the fact that they now have to build to Starrcade: a PPV which was
  1411. already established months ago as being "Hogan vs. Sting" and nothing else.
  1412. Sure, they'll try to attach a big undercard, but the vast majority of buyers
  1413. will be tuning in to see Hogan and Sting. Even as the matches of the
  1414. undercard take place all the announcers will be able to discuss is the main
  1415. event. WCW may manage to put together their biggest undercard ever and it
  1416. will be overshadowed by the "greatest match of all time".
  1418. I dunno ... this wasn't a bad Nitro, it just didn't do anything for me. All
  1419. things considered that probably constitutes high praise from me.
  1421. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1423. WWF RAW is WAR:
  1424. Live/Taped: Live.
  1425. Length: Two Hours.
  1426. Location: Fayettevile, North Carolina.
  1427. WWF RAW Hosted By: Jim Ross and Jim Cornette.
  1429.  - Bret Hart or no Bret Hart, the crowd is huge. Jim Ross later announces
  1430.    that it's an all-time attendance record for the arena. One out of every
  1431.    two fans seems to have a sign.
  1433.  - "Ravishing" Rick Rude's music starts up, but it's "Handsome Harvey"
  1434.    (Whippelman) instead. Dressed in a suit and carrying the Haliburton, he
  1435.    heads to the ring to do the usual Degeneration X intro ("cut the music!")
  1436.    DX comes out. Shawn Michaels grabs the mic and says "THAT was a hard
  1437.    spot to fill!" then pushes Whippelman down. Hunter Hearst Helmsley shoves
  1438.    him out of the ring.
  1440.    Shawn then gets all serious and, in a very emotional tone, says that not
  1441.    only was Bret Hart screwed at Survivor Series, but that Bret, the WWF and
  1442.    the fans all deserved better. He says he takes full responsibility for
  1443.    what happened. Shawn says he's been in contact with Bret without the
  1444.    knowledge of the WWF, the Internet and "underground dirt sheets". Since
  1445.    Bret is still under WWF contract until November 30th, Bret will come out
  1446.    later in the show and the two will settle things once and for all-either
  1447.    with a handshake or a fight.
  1449.    Ohhhhhhhh reeeeeaaaaaaalllllllly?!
  1452.    Mr. Ass and the Dog come out wearing the LOD's shoulder pads. Like them
  1453.    or not, these guys are currently the most interesting tag team in either
  1454.    the WWF or WCW.
  1456.    During the match Jim Ross mentions the ECW pay-per-view scheduled for
  1457.    this Sunday: November to Remember. A lot of folks have been making a big
  1458.    deal of this, pointing to it as evidence that the two feds will be
  1459.    working together soon in an increased capacity. Ross says that ECW has
  1460.    "purchased" some time and will air some kind of a pre-taped promo for
  1461.    their PPV. Ross warns that ECW "is not for everyone" and that it isn't a
  1462.    sanctioned WWF event. My bet is that this is being said because the PPV
  1463.    will feature a number of present and past WWF wrestlers, and one of the
  1464.    bigger matches involves a stipulation in which the winner will hold aloft
  1465.    his promotion's flag. As the angle is currently running in ECW, Sabu, Rob
  1466.    Van Dam, the Pitbulls and Lance Wright are all "acting under the orders
  1467.    of Vince McMahon"-or so they'd like you to think. They make numerous
  1468.    references to "Stamford, Connecticut", wear WWF clothing and even bring a
  1469.    WWF flag to the ring (Sabu and Van Dam, anyway). I myself took Ross'
  1470.    comments as an attempt by the WWF to distance themselves from the PPV,
  1471.    yet assist ECW in hyping it-clearly making the distinction between the
  1472.    two companies. We'll see this weekend on Shotgun (and probably Superstars
  1473.    as well) what this all amounts to. As to future joint ventures ... I'll
  1474.    believe it when I see it.
  1476.    The match actually starts off pretty good, but Hawk runs out of gas
  1477.    quickly (and as we all know Animal bats cleanup for the LOD, meaning Hawk
  1478.    usually spends the most time in the ring). An early commercial (and the
  1479.    stretch of restholds that usually calls for) kills any chance for this
  1480.    match to ever be anything much better than "okay". Once back the match is
  1481.    firmly set on "idle", with Hawk taking a prolonged amount of punishment
  1482.    until he can make the hot tag to Animal. Animal, as many people have
  1483.    noticed, is in the best shape he's been in in years, and looks pretty
  1484.    good cleaning house. They then set up a great ref bump: Animal pitches
  1485.    Billy Gunn into the ropes and launches a flying shoulderblock. Gunn drops
  1486.    down and Animal squarely nails the ref. An age old spot which looked
  1487.    really good here since the ref didn't obviously move himself into
  1488.    position. The LOD then set Gunn up for the Doomsday Device, but Road Dog
  1489.    nails Animal with a chair. Hawk chases the Dog out of the ring while
  1490.    Billy rolls Animal up. A second ref enters the ring and makes the three
  1491.    count. New World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Champions.
  1493.    Gunn and the Dog are so happy (and afraid of retaliation) that they run
  1494.    completely out of the arena ("just like bank robbers!" yells Ross) and
  1495.    into a waiting sports car in the parking lot. Gunn, at the wheel, tears
  1496.    out of the lot, narrowly avoiding a head-on collision with a long white
  1497.    stretch limo which is pulling up to the arena.
  1499.    Going into the break they run this week's Karate Fighters spot. This week
  1500.    Sunny bedazzles Shrimp Scampi with her cleavage, which gives her the edge
  1501.    and the victory. A slow-mo replay shows Sunny's winning moves: both of
  1502.    them ... bouncing up and down.
  1504.    After the commercial they replay the getaway, make note of the limo, and
  1505.    show Hawk and Animal assaulting a security guard in the ring (which took
  1506.    place during the break). Ross speculates as to whether or not Bret Hart
  1507.    is in the limo. Jim Cornette says everyone who is supposed to be in the
  1508.    arena is already there and accounted for. (Does that include Kane?)
  1510.  - Goldust, in a wheelchair, is rolled to the ring. Michael Cole moves in
  1511.    for the interview. After showing clips of the events which have lead up
  1512.    to this (between Goldust and Vader) Cole asks what Goldust hit Vader with
  1513.    last week. Goldust ducks the question and says what has been afflicting
  1514.    him has spread throughout his body. ("A broken bone!" yells Cornette).
  1515.    Goldust says he has become a paraplegic, and now in the last day a
  1516.    quadriplegic. He asks Cole to cross his legs for him. He also requests an
  1517.    alcohol rub from his nurse (which draws a swishy, lispy "Good God yes!"
  1518.    from him as she rubs his shoulders). Goldust continues recounting his
  1519.    woes until ...
  1521.    "It's time ... it's time ... it's ... "
  1523.    Vader strides to the ring, where he accuses Goldust of faking his
  1524.    injuries. Goldust's protests fall on deaf ears. He grabs the golden one,
  1525.    but receives an eyeful of rubbing alcohol from the nurse, who tears off
  1526.    her blues to reveal Luna Vachon! Vader stumbles around and issues a
  1527.    censor bleeped profanity as Goldust and Luna make their escape. Jim Ross
  1528.    accuses the duo of raiding Elton John's wardrobe, then ties it in to the
  1529.    most appropriate Elton song title: "The Bitch is Back!"
  1531.  - Cornette sarcastically calls a live shot of the white limo "captivating".
  1533.  - They show clips recapping the Helmsley/Slaughter confrontation. They then
  1534.    show classic clips of Slaughter in the ring.
  1536.    Commissioner Slaughter comes to the ring. In a bizarre, over the top
  1537.    interview (which ran much too long) Slaughter talks about dead bodies and
  1538.    gut wounds and such. He starts off mild mannered: by the end he's wearing
  1539.    his drill sergeant hat and nearly frothing at the mouth. Slaughter says
  1540.    his match with Helmsley will be a "Boot Camp" match. If I remember right,
  1541.    the stipulations for one of these involves Greg Gagne showing up wearing
  1542.    cammo and a headband calling himself "Rambo".
  1544.  - BRIAN CHRISTOPHER (w/ Jerry "the King" Lawler) vs. FLANAGAN
  1545.    Flanagan loses his "Flash" for this one.
  1547.    Early on Christopher nails Flanagan with a Sunset Flip from the apron to
  1548.    the floor (nice move). From then on it's a foregone conclusion. Lawler
  1549.    gets in a few licks while Flanagan is down on the floor. Christopher
  1550.    finishes him off a few minutes later with a legdrop off the top rope.
  1552.    Christopher will face Scott Taylor next week. Taka Michinoku faces
  1553.    Aguila. The two winners will square off at the December 7th In Your
  1554.    House "Degeneration X" PPV.
  1556.    Two matches ... ouch. It was entertaining, but that's just too few
  1557.    matches for an entire hour.
  1559. WWF WAR ZONE Hosted By: Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler.
  1561.  - The War Zone has its own new intro now. It's similar to the start of the
  1562.    first hour, but it incorporates more of the footage the WWF shot back in
  1563.    1995 for the unsuccessful country music intro (which they only used one
  1564.    week). My brother tells me that the music is from the "In Your House"
  1565.    video game for the Playstation.
  1567.  - DX returns to the ring. Helmsley quickly tosses off a few insults at Sgt.
  1568.    Slaughter, resuming his military theme from last week (threatening to
  1569.    show Slaughter's wife his "soldier in the purple helmet!'). Shawn then
  1570.    takes the mic and introduces "Bret Hart" ...
  1572.    ... who turns out to be a midget in a Bret Hart mask. Dressed in a
  1573.    leather jacket, he plays to the crowd just as Hart does. Once in the
  1574.    ring, Helmsley acts as ringmaster, recounting the events at Survivor
  1575.    Series. Michaels pushes "Bret" down, then applies the Sharpshooter.
  1576.    Helmsley holds the mic close as "Hart" (mimicking referee Earl Hebner)
  1577.    yells "Ring the bell! Ring the bell!" The mini "Hart" then confirms that
  1578.    Shawn is the best, the Icon, etc. A "WCW" sign is slapped on his butt
  1579.    and "Bret Hart" is sent packing.
  1581.    While Hart's theme is still playing Jim "the Anvil" Neidhart comes out.
  1582.    "I AM the Hart Foundation!" yells the Anvil. He threatens to take out
  1583.    Michaels, but Shawn turns the tables by pointing out that Jim has always
  1584.    been in Bret's shadow, and that he's not benefiting from Hart's new big
  1585.    WCW contract. "Bret's at home in Calgary," says Shawn, pointing out that
  1586.    Jim is here working to feed his family. When asked about the Bulldog,
  1587.    Neidhart says he's having surgery done on his knee. Shawn makes fun of
  1588.    this, alluding that the Bulldog is faking it (adding that he himself is
  1589.    "familiar" with that type of injury). Neidhart says Owen hart is
  1590.    "emotionally distraught", which Shawn also makes light of. Shawn bottom
  1591.    lines it by offering Neidhart the opportunity of his life: a spot in
  1592.    Degeneration X.
  1594.    Funny stuff, though it went on too long. Yeah, they pulled a "Nitro" with
  1595.    the bait-and-switch. If you're still pissed, Hart will be doing the same
  1596.    when he shows up in WCW. (Consider this: would this segment have been
  1597.    "disgraceful" if Hart was still in the WWF? Suppose they had done it six
  1598.    months ago. Why should it be any different now? He didn't die, folks, he
  1599.    just quit the WWF. That's all). Michaels now has a firm lock on "most
  1600.    hated wrestler" in the world.
  1602.  - They show a brief clip of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin having dinner with
  1603.    the winner of the Survivor Series "Super Supper" contest. They
  1604.    fortunately cut this short before it looks like a Nitro Party video.
  1606.  - A special look at Butterbean, showing him beating up guys, video games
  1607.    he's in, a song that's been written about him and other stuff that has
  1608.    nothing to do with professional wrestling.
  1610.  - KEN SHAMROCK vs. SAVIO VEGA (w/ Miguel Perez)
  1611.    Ken beats the salsa out of Savio, making him submit with an ankle hold.
  1612.    Miguel Perez tries to interfere with no success.
  1614.    Steve Austin is shown pulling up to the arena in a snazzy looking pickup
  1615.    with "Austin 3:16" painted on the door (as well as other identifying
  1616.    "Stone Cold" logos on the hood and such). I thought Cornette said
  1617.    everyone who was supposed to be there already was? Austin make a beer
  1618.    run?
  1620.  - Rocky "the Rock" Maivia comes to the ring for an interview, flanked by
  1621.    the other Nation of Domination members. As Rocky speaks, strange things
  1622.    happen: the lights flicker, his mic cuts out, "Rocky Sucks" flashes on
  1623.    the screen. Rocky cuts his comments short and sends the NOD off to check
  1624.    out what the problem is. Steve Austin then appears on the Titan-Tron,
  1625.    showing him in the control truck messing with the switches and buttons.
  1626.    Austin says "when you're walking through the airport and your beeper goes
  1627.    off, and it says 'Austin 3:16', you'll know your ass is mine!" Austin
  1628.    asks Rocky if it's "live or Memorex?"
  1630.    Back in the ring Austin is shown sneaking up behind Rocky. Rocky's beeper
  1631.    goes off and he checks it. Presumably seeing "3:16" his eyes nearly pop
  1632.    out of his head. Austin whirls him around and delivers a Stone Cold
  1633.    Stunner. The NOD returns, but Austin slides out to grab a chair. By then
  1634.    Rocky has scooped up the IC belt and he and the NOD make their getaway.
  1635.    Austin offers Maivia an early Thanksgiving bird by flipping him one.
  1637.  - Replay of what just happened.
  1639.  - CRUSH vs. JEFF JARRETT
  1640.    No match. After Crush rides his bike to the ring they cut to Jarrett in
  1641.    the lockerroom. Jarrett says McMahon hasn't lived up to his end of their
  1642.    contract, pointing out the shabby quality of the accommodations (as well
  1643.    as the opponent in the ring). Jarrett, for some reason, is dressed like
  1644.    a futuristic Aztec priest. Crush wins the match via forfeit.
  1646.    The lights then cut out, the pyros blow and Kane comes out. Crush quickly
  1647.    falls victim to a chokeslam and Tombstone Piledriver. The other DOA
  1648.    bikers come out to pull Crush from the ring. WWF official Jerry Brisco
  1649.    accidentally bumps into Kane and he gets slammed as well.
  1651.    Wow ... two "Nitro's" in one night!
  1653.  - VADER vs. SHAWN MICHAELS (w/ Degeneration X)
  1654.    Before Shawn and crew hit the ring they bring out DX's newest member:
  1655.    Jim "the Anvil" Neidhart. One can imagine a TV screen being shot out
  1656.    somewhere in Calgary. Vader has one eye bandaged (from the rubbing
  1657.    alcohol tossed by Luna).
  1659.    The match starts during the commercial break. This one is almost all
  1660.    Vader. Neidhart shows he's definitely on DX's side by pulling down the
  1661.    ropes as Vader hits them, sending him to the floor. He and Hunter then
  1662.    stomp on Vader as Shawn distracts the ref. Vader is tossed back in, but
  1663.    continues to dominate Michaels. Vader sets up Shawn for the Vaderbomb,
  1664.    but Hunter throws a cup of "hot" coffee in Vader's good eye (as Neidhart
  1665.    distracts the ref). Shawn nails the Superkick and covers for the pin.
  1667.    The newly expanded Degeneration X celebrates in the ring. Suddenly Chyna,
  1668.    who had surreptitiously circled around behind Neidhart, whomps him with a
  1669.    crotch shot from the rear. Shawn and Hunter turn and clothesline the
  1670.    Anvil to the mat. The show ends with the three stomping on Neidhart as
  1671.    Shawn yells stuff like "Who is the 'Icon'?!" into the mic.
  1673.  - Next week: Michinoku vs. Aguila. Christopher vs. Taylor.
  1677. Four matches. I generally liked all the interviews and angles, but showing
  1678. only four matches in two hours is inexcusable. Since the four matches they
  1679. DID show were okay (barely), my only major complain this week was the lack
  1680. of in-ring action. Maybe we're lucky, though, in that we didn't have to see
  1681. the Truth Commission or Godwinns.
  1683. Maivia's reaction to his beeper was one of the funniest things I've seen in
  1684. the last six months.
  1686. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1688. The Bottom Line:
  1690. There's too many PPV's. World War 3, which I won't criticize too much (since
  1691. I didn't see it) came off as very weak listening to it via RealAudio. With
  1692. "November to Remember" this Sunday and "Degeneration X" next week, that's
  1693. just too damn many PPV's. Let's not forget Starrcade, which is only about
  1694. four weeks away. Quality line-ups aside, it's just too hard to get fired up
  1695. for them when they now happen almost every other week. The PPV's suffer from
  1696. the matches being underdeveloped, while the TV shows suffer from having to
  1697. hype the PPV's, which hampers the ability to set up coherent, well thought
  1698. out angles and storylines. It seems the best they can do is like in the case
  1699. of Hennig vs. Flair: one wrestler gets a few wins over the other, then the
  1700. other (generally the face) gets his revenge the second or third time around.
  1701. This pretty much describes the Guerrero/Mysterio feud to a "T".
  1703. Of course none of these are new observations. It's just that they seem
  1704. especially noticeable now with the current scheduling of the shows. There was
  1705. barely any time between Halloween Havoc and World War 3, and they're already
  1706. hyping Starrcade now (as well as, to a lesser extent, "Souled Out 2" and
  1707. "SuperBrawl VIII"). The WWF, to their credit, hasn't started shoving the
  1708. Royal Rumble down our throats yet (but that'll begin soon enough).
  1710. The ratings were interesting this week. Nitro did a 3.9, while RAW pulled in
  1711. a 3.0: the closest margin of difference since before Luger beat Hogan on
  1712. Nitro for the World Title several months back. Both of these are slightly
  1713. down from the last few weeks, with Nitro's drop being a bit bigger. A look
  1714. at the quarterly breakdowns showed that RAW lost viewers during some of the
  1715. lengthier interview segments-Slaughter's in particular. Had they shown a few
  1716. more matches the numbers may have been even closer. You can see all the
  1717. numbers for yourself at "".
  1719. In other ratings news, WWF Superstars beat WCW Saturday Night this past
  1720. weekend for the first time in ... well, a LONG time. They also tied them the
  1721. week before, which many in the TV business would count as a win to
  1722. Superstars since it had a higher share (due to the smaller number of overall
  1723. TV viewers on Sunday mornings). In fact, Superstars has been tying Saturday
  1724. Night roughly three out of every four weeks for the past several months.
  1725. When Saturday Night does beat Superstars, it has only been by a slight
  1726. margin (usually well below half a ratings point). This past weekend on
  1727. Superstars they started the show by thanking the fans for making them the
  1728. most watched wrestling show the previous weekend, which means that they may
  1729. actually have narrowly beat Saturday Night instead of just tying them (as
  1730. was reported on the Internet). If this was the case, that makes two weeks in
  1731. a row in which Superstars beat Saturday Night. With the show having a good
  1732. share for the timeslot, it is rapidly becoming a very important show for the
  1733. WWF. The WWF should seriously consider putting more resources into the
  1734. show, airing more original matches (and being less of a RAW recap show). If
  1735. they could feature less of the "controversial" subject matter, yet maintain
  1736. the ratings, Superstars could alone serve as a valuable asset in the WWF's
  1737. relationship with the USA Network.
  1739. I think the WWF should start busting up the various gangs and "factions" in
  1740. the WWF, then go back to pushing guys like Ahmed Johnson, Crush and Savio
  1741. Vega as singles wrestlers. There's some slight talent there being wasted in
  1742. these matches, which invariably end in run-in DQ's. A lot of these guys
  1743. could be pushed as straight up tag teams as well. They could also dump the
  1744. Truth Commission altogether, and put the Godwinns out to pasture. They also
  1745. need to start showing the OTHER Light Heavyweights in matches together. Just
  1746. because they were showing the tournament match this week didn't mean that
  1747. they couldn't show a Super Loco/Tajiri match (just as an example). And green
  1748. or not, they need to get Brakus and Mark Henry in the ring. Same with Glenn
  1749. Kulka. Marc Mero is being wasted as well (though things may look up if they
  1750. do indeed kick off a Mero/Dude Love feud soon). It's time for some new
  1751. blood, and with the build to the royal Rumble about to begin, this is the
  1752. time to start it. ECW, maybe?
  1754. As for WCW, just wake me up after Sting beats Hogan for the title. Maybe
  1755. then they'll get back to some REAL wrestling.
  1757. You know, I'd actually have given Nitro the win this week if ANYTHING had
  1758. actually happened.
  1760. On a whole other topic, local station KBSU (which is run by students at the
  1761. nearby Bemidji State University) started airing Music City Wrestling this
  1762. Monday. The best thing I can say about it is that it has a charming cheap
  1763. look to it. I guess I'm just spoiled. MCW airs at 6:00 PM, ending just as
  1764. Nitro starts. They also show ECW at 10:00 PM, which is just after RAW ends.
  1765. It's obviously being put together by some serious wrestling fans, and kudos
  1766. go out to whoever they are.
  1768. I'm sorry this week's installment was so late. Happy Thanksgiving,
  1769. everyone!
  1771. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1773. This Week's Winner: RAW.
  1775. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1777. "Slobberknocker Central" and "Monday Night Recap" are copyright 1997 by
  1778. John Petrie, and all opinions expressed therein are his own, and not those
  1779. of "Internet Access, Inc". Check the "Slobberknocker Central" main page for
  1780. info on how to receive the "Recap" free via E-Mail every week.
  1781. Volume One, Number 106 of the "Monday Night Recap", November 24th, 1997.
  1783. John Petrie
  1785. Slobberknocker Central
  1788. ~~~~
  1790. Slobberknocker Central Monday Night Recap #108
  1791. December 8th, 1997
  1794. WCW Monday Nitro:
  1795. Live/Taped: Live.
  1796. Length: Two Hours+.
  1797. Location: Buffalo, New York.
  1798. HOUR ONE Hosted By: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan.
  1800.  - A clip of J.J. Dillon telling Eric Bischoff that he'll have to face Larry
  1801.    Zbyszko at Starrcade gets the ball rolling this week. Larry is absent
  1802.    from the announcing booth this week so that he won't be a target for the
  1803.    NWO, according to Tony Schiavone. Massive crowd this week: over 19,000
  1804.    according to Mike Tenay. Jim Kelly and a number of Buffalo Bills are
  1805.    reportedly in attendance (more on that later).
  1807.  - KONAN vs. RAY TRAYLOR
  1808.    Man, how I wish Konan would pull his pants up.
  1810.    The match starts off at about half speed, with both just kind of running
  1811.    into each other and laying in some fat punches. They briefly go to the
  1812.    floor, then back into the ring. The crowd is noisy, but really not that
  1813.    much into the match. The move of the match comes when Traylor whips Konan
  1814.    into the corner. Konan flips up and Traylor catches him. Konan then
  1815.    slides out of the grab, falling behind Traylor and applying an inverted
  1816.    DDT. Konan then starts whipping Traylor from corner to corner.
  1818.    Suddenly the lights go out!
  1820.    For very nearly a full minute (58 seconds by the counter on my VCR) the
  1821.    lights are out. Flashbulbs pop in the crowd, occasionally revealing that
  1822.    something is going on in the ring (which the crowd can see, but we at
  1823.    home really can't). When the lights come back on Konan is laid out in the
  1824.    center of the ring. Traylor looks around dumbly, then drops for the
  1825.    cover. The ref makes the three count.
  1827.    My assumption at this point was that the Steiner Brothers had lived up to
  1828.    their promise to help Traylor when he needed it. Poor match to warm up
  1829.    the crowd with, but the trickery with the lights did the job.
  1831.  - BARBARIAN (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. STEVE "MONGO" MCMICHAEL
  1832.    Raven's Flock, minus Raven, arrive during this match. The fans seem more
  1833.    interested in this than the match itself.
  1835.    Slower than the last match, as well as shorter (I think), but somewhat
  1836.    more entertaining. The two are evenly matched, trading bodyslams and the
  1837.    like. McMichael catches the Barbarian off the second turnbuckle with a
  1838.    slap to the belly, then puts him away with a Tombstone Piledriver. Mongo
  1839.    then faces Jimmy Hart, who had jumped up on the apron. After teasing it a
  1840.    bit, Mongo knocks him to floor-except that Meng is now there to catch
  1841.    him. Meng enters the ring and takes Mongo down with the Tongan Death
  1842.    Grip.
  1844.  - Mean Gene Okerlund brings out Disco Inferno for an interview. Disco
  1845.    doesn't really seem to know why he's out there. Okerlund runs him down,
  1846.    pointing out his loss to Jacquelyn, and that the other wrestlers don't
  1847.    know which door he'll come out of when he goes to the bathroom. Disco
  1848.    nearly snaps, saying he's tired of this nonsense. He points out how the
  1849.    match with Jacquelyn was a "no win" situation. Disco says he's had
  1850.    enough. So have we all, Disco baby, so have we all!
  1852.  - Buff Bagwell, in comments given to Mean Gene, challenges Lex Luger to a
  1853.    match (rematch, actually, from their match last week).
  1856.    Eddie Guerrero comes to the desk to deliver color commentary, doing a
  1857.    much better job coming across as a "cool heel", instead of an "annoying
  1858.    heel" or "jerk heel" ... or "boring heel, as he was the last time out.
  1860.    Dean has little trouble getting Iaukea into position for the Texas
  1861.    Cloverleaf and the win. Okay match, but again really short.
  1863.  - Nitro Girls.
  1865.  - NWO promo, this time running down the Giant. I'm beginning to think that
  1866.    these things are setting up the fans for an increased NWO presence and
  1867.    style on Nitro. That probably says a lot about the upcoming Zbyszko/
  1868.    Bischoff match for Starrcade. If Larry wins, he gets a match with Scott
  1869.    Hall next year. If Bischoff wins, the NWO gets Nitro.
  1871.  - Pretaped Kevin Nash comments are played. He says he and Hall have taken
  1872.    the Giant's chokeslam away (when they broke his hand), making him even
  1873.    less than one dimensional. Nash challenges the Giant to a match at
  1874.    Starrcade.
  1876.  - Mean Gene brings out the Giant, who in essence accepts the challenge. He
  1877.    says being one dimensional is all he needs, but that he'll bring the
  1878.    chokeslam with him to Starrcade. Tony Schiavone wets himself over how big
  1879.    Starrcade is shaping up to be.
  1881.  - They play the Starrcade promo where Sting walks through a ruined gothic
  1882.    cathedral, pulling his baseball bat out of a pile of NWO rubble.
  1883.    "Paybacks Are Hell!" is the slogan. I could make a "WCW PPV's Are Hell!"
  1884.    joke, but I won't.
  1886.  - Nitro Girls.
  1888.  - They replay the clip from last week of the Sting mannequin falling from
  1889.    the roof through the ring.
  1891.  - CHRIS BENOIT vs. RAVEN
  1892.    Doesn't happen. For the third week in a row (sounds familiar) Raven
  1893.    doesn't wrestle, even though he's scheduled to. This time he isn't even
  1894.    in the building. His Flock member with the blonde hair heads to the ring.
  1895.    Though he's been called "Skank" behind the scenes for almost a month, WCW
  1896.    finally gives him a name: "Lodi" (pronounced "Low-dee").
  1898.  - CHRIS BENOIT vs. LODI
  1899.    Lodi displays no wrestling talent or ability whatsoever. He doesn't even
  1900.    perform any moves. Benoit just tosses him into anything buckled down at
  1901.    ringside, throws him in the ring, stomps on him, suplexes him off the
  1902.    turnbuckles, hits him with a headbutt off the top, and applies the
  1903.    Crippler Crossface for the submission. Total squash.
  1905.    Raven's Flock consider running in, but instead just stand around looking
  1906.    lost. Mike Tenay points out that the group has no direction without
  1907.    Raven. Benoit grabs a house mic and challenges Raven to come out and take
  1908.    a beating like a man. "You were abused as a child? Come see what 'abuse'
  1909.    really is!" (Or words to that effect).
  1911. HOUR TWO Hosted By: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan.
  1913.  - Mean Gene brings out the "Nature Boy", Ric Flair. Flair says he's got a
  1914.    few things on his mind about the whole NWO, as opposed to just Curt
  1915.    Hennig. He says he thinks Sting will beat Hogan. Showing he's not too up
  1916.    on the card he says Hall and Nash will lose to the Steiners. He admits
  1917.    that he doesn't know what Savage will be doing that night. He then,
  1918.    almost offhandedly, says he wants a cage match with Curt Hennig. Mean
  1919.    Gene then, for no apparent reason, brings up Bret Hart. Flair says Hart
  1920.    is wrong in calling himself the "best of all time". He says it's easy to
  1921.    get a newspaper column printed in your own hometown. He says if Hart
  1922.    comes to Charlotte, he'll see who really is "the Best There Is, the Best
  1923.    There Was, and the Best There Ever Will Be!" He talks about Hart as if
  1924.    he's joined the NWO, furthering the red herring WCW wants us to swallow
  1925.    on that account. The fans are less than 100% in support of Flair's
  1926.    anti-Hart comments.
  1928.    In case you didn't know, Hart and Flair have traded low key barbs at each
  1929.    other for the last few years. Hart has called Flair an "unoriginal"
  1930.    wrestler who uses the same moves every match. He's even gone so far as to
  1931.    not only insult Flair, but those fans who consider Flair the "greatest
  1932.    ever". Flair, on the other hand, has apparently said Hart has one of the
  1933.    biggest egos in the business: bigger even than Hulk Hogan's. I think it's
  1934.    fairly telling that Flair and Hogan have, for the most part, coexisted
  1935.    peacefully together in WCW for more than three years, while Flair and
  1936.    Hart couldn't stand to be near each other for more than a few months in
  1937.    the WWF.
  1939.  - The NWO promo of Sting being beaten up is shown.
  1942.    Very early in the match (before it really starts) Savage goes over to
  1943.    the guard rail to badmouth Jim Kelly and Bruce Smith. Savage slaps
  1944.    Kelly's hat off his head. Morrus grabs him from behind, with Kelly and
  1945.    Smith laying in some laughably weak forearm and elbow shots (Smith
  1946.    laughing so hard that he can barely connect). Kelly has this goofy,
  1947.    determined look on his face (kind of like when Paul E. Dangerously gets
  1948.    in a fight). Savage gets away, but Morrus catches him and throws him back
  1949.    into the rail for more. (The crowd, as you'd guess, really eats this up).
  1950.    Once in the ring the match settles down to the usual back-and-forth
  1951.    affair. Savage hits an elbow off the top, but Morrus kicks out. He hits
  1952.    another, but this time picks Morrus up instead of taking the easy pin. He
  1953.    shoves aside the ref and climbs up for a third when ...
  1955.    Again the lights go out!
  1957.    More camera flashes and several figures can be barely made out in the
  1958.    ring. A loud, fake sounding electrical buzz noise arises. This time the
  1959.    lights are off for well over a minute. Once back up they reveal Savage,
  1960.    Morrus and the ref all laid out in the ring. Savage has a Sting mask on,
  1961.    which pretty much tells us who is doing all this. No finish to the match
  1962.    ... they just go to break showing the mess in the ring.
  1964.  - "Ravishing" Rick Rude and Eric Bischoff come to the announcer's desk.
  1965.    Rude grabs a mic and accuses Tony Schiavone of being in on everything
  1966.    that goes on in WCW, since it's WCW who not only pays his salary, but
  1967.    also the production crew and power bill. He calls Tony, Mike and Bobby
  1968.    the "Three Monkeys", and says if anything else funny happens he'll come
  1969.    out and take the three of them out. He then grabs Tenay's wrists and
  1970.    forces his hands over his eyes ("See No Evil"), and puts Tony's hands
  1971.    over his mouth ("Speak No Evil"). The Brain wisely covers his own ears
  1972.    ("Hear No Evil"). After they've left Bobby points out that he once
  1973.    managed Rude, yet he's never seen him fired up like that. Bobby threatens
  1974.    to walk. Schiavone announces a commercial break so that they can regroup.
  1976.    Classic Rude, but an obvious attempt on WCW's part to come up with
  1977.    something for him to do.
  1980.    A terribly sloppy match, as the two blew several moves (such as a whip
  1981.    into the ropes). Still, a somewhat entertaining match. Disco displays his
  1982.    new "extreme" attitude, taking the match to the floor. Saturn whips him
  1983.    into the rail, where the Flock waits, but Disco gets in the first shot.
  1984.    Saturn charges and Disco backdrops him into the crowd. Disco nails one of
  1985.    the Flock with a Stone Col-err, "Chartbuster" on the guard rail. Back in
  1986.    the ring they go and after bumping into each other a bit more, plus some
  1987.    suplexes by Saturn, Disco nails the Chartbuster out of nowhere and covers
  1988.    for the upset pin. New WCW Television Champion! The Raven-less Flock (now
  1989.    0 for 2 on the night) hit the ring, but Disco grabs the belt and heads
  1990.    for safer ground.
  1992.    Good ol' fashioned southern booking ... I guess.
  1994.  - The latest Nitro Party Video is another candidate for the worst yet. Once
  1995.    again a frat house full of slobs (this time in Illinois) make fools of
  1996.    themselves just to get on TV. This one includes a really embarrassing clip
  1997.    of one pinning another on their beer stained carpet. The air is thick
  1998.    with bong smoke as a pair of them mouth several NWO slogans. The rest
  1999.    stand around in the background looking pretty well baked. There's been a
  2000.    lot of talk lately by people "embarrassed" to be wrestling fans. It's
  2001.    stuff like this that embarrasses me.
  2003.  - Nitro Girls.
  2005.  - BUFF BAGWELL (w/ Vincent) vs. LEX LUGER
  2006.    Luger is just barely more over than Bagwell this time out. Of those fans
  2007.    even bothering to make noise, Luger leads something like 51% to 49%.
  2008.    Speaking of "annoying heels", Bagwell fits that mold nicely.
  2010.    Once again Luger lets himself get beat up for almost the whole match,
  2011.    then comes back with a series of clotheslines and the Bionic Forearm.
  2012.    Bagwell rolls to the floor. Luger follows and is met by Vincent and Scott
  2013.    Norton, who keep him occupied long enough for referee Nick Patrick (yeah
  2014.    ... THAT guy) to make the countout. Bagwell celebrates like he's just
  2015.    won a title match.
  2017.    Meanwhile the rumors of Nick Patrick turning NWO again continue. I'm
  2018.    going against the stream on this one, betting that WCW has you all
  2019.    suckered.
  2021.  - Another NWO promo: this time "Rowdy" Roddy Piper gets the black-and-white
  2022.    treatment. Coming back from the break they show a collection of Sting
  2023.    clips in black-and-white, set to moody, spooky music.
  2026.    Hall conducts his weekly poll, designed to do no more than kill time and
  2027.    stay on the air against RAW. The Buffalo sheep chant "NWO" along with
  2028.    him, even though they'd just cheered loudly when he asked them if they
  2029.    were there to see WCW. You know what this reminds me of? WrestleMania XI,
  2030.    when they showed Bret Hart's kid singing along with Shawn Michaels' theme
  2031.    music. Some people just don't seem to realize how stupid they can come
  2032.    across. "The NWO sucks ... (pause) ... NWO rules!" Well, which is it?!
  2033.    Anyone who wears an NWO t-shirt, boos them when they come out, then yells
  2034.    "Too Sweet!" along with them should just be shot, you know?
  2036.    WCW then actually has the nerve to take a commercial break before Page
  2037.    comes out.
  2039.    A fan near ringside holds up a six foot tall cardboard cutout of the
  2040.    Undertaker. It's that kinda night. I have no idea what that means.
  2042.    Another in a string of not-bad-not-good-just-blah Nitro main events. Lots
  2043.    of rest holds. Page, wrestling with his ribs taped, nails Hall with a
  2044.    Pedigree (of sorts).
  2046.    In comes Curt Hennig, drawing the mandatory Nitro main event NWO run-in
  2047.    DQ. The rest of the NWO follows and Page soon resembles a speed bump on
  2048.    an off-ramp.
  2050.    Sting drops from the ceiling, again dropping through the ring. Yes, it's
  2051.    another dummy. The wiggling, twisting rope going into the hole
  2052.    immediately gives away what is happening under the ring.
  2054.    "Hollywood" Hogan takes the mic and says since Sting is so afraid to face
  2055.    him that the fans should just wait until he wrestles Scott Hall in
  2056.    February to see a real match. Hogan then says he wants to wrestle the
  2057.    Sting dummy and sends Hennig to pull it out of the hole. Hogan runs
  2058.    down Sting's track record as a non-main eventer as it takes three guys to
  2059.    pull the not-quite-as-limp-as-it-just-was-dummy out of the hole. The
  2060.    "dummy" is stood up against the ropes. Hogan says he's going to wipe the
  2061.    smile off the dummy's face. He walks over and tales a swipe at the mask
  2062.    and wig on the dummy, which fall away to reveal the real Sting. Several
  2063.    NWO members are sent packing by him as Hogan cowers in fear on the
  2064.    arena floor.  
  2066.  - Next week: Nothing announced.
  2070. C'mon! Do they really expect us to believe that Hennig, Norton and Bagwell
  2071. pulled that "dummy" out of the hole and didn't realize it was really a
  2072. person? They could have at least had whoever controls the rope rigging to
  2073. tow the rope back up, bringing the "dummy" back out of the hole in the
  2074. canvas. Then as they went over to it his head would snap up, the fans would
  2075. have been fooled, etc. This is now the third time that they've dropped a
  2076. Sting mannequin from the ceiling, and the second time that he's popped up
  2077. from under the ring. Combining the two is only barely a new variation on the
  2078. theme.
  2080. The finish aside, this was an okay installment of Nitro. A lot happened,
  2081. though not as much in the ring as usual. The lack of a strong cruiserweight
  2082. match was very noticeable. Hell, if I didn't know better, I'd think I was
  2083. watching RAW! All it was missing was a lot of cussing and bare asses!
  2085. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  2087. WWF RAW is WAR:
  2088. Live/Taped: Live.
  2089. Length: Two Hours.
  2090. Location: Portland, Maine.
  2091. WWF RAW Hosted By: Jim Ross, Michael Cole and Kevin Kelly.
  2093.  - Still photos are shown from Steve Austin's victory over Rocky Maivia at
  2094.    the "DeGeneration X" PPV. Intro. Fireworks. An incredibly packed house,
  2095.    with at least one sign for every 2.3 people it would seem.
  2097.  - New announcing crew tonight. Cole actually isn't bad, having seamlessly
  2098.    replaced Todd Pettengill on the WWF's shows. I'll say this about
  2099.    Pettengill: he had one major plus and one major minus. The plus was that
  2100.    he was good behind the mic in terms of the quality of his voice and such.
  2101.    The minus was that he spent all of his time trying to get himself over as
  2102.    some kind of comic genius. Cole, who actually physically resembles
  2103.    Pettengill a little bit, just sticks to doing his job.
  2105.  - Vince McMahon heads to the ring. The crowd lets him know how little they
  2106.    they think of him. McMahon just smiles. He goes into a speech, saying
  2107.    that despite his overwhelming popularity, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin has
  2108.    crossed the line and gone too far. Vince says Austin endangered the
  2109.    safety of the fans by driving his truck all the way to the ring. Austin's
  2110.    abuse of referees is brought up, as well as the fact that Austin used his
  2111.    truck as a weapon in the match. Vince says the ref who Austin had Stunned
  2112.    was in the process of calling for a DQ when the second ref came in to
  2113.    make the three count in Austin's favor. McMahon says that because of
  2114.    this, he is ordering Austin to defend his Intercontinental Title in a
  2115.    rematch against the "People's Champion", Rocky Maivia. (Huh?)
  2117.    Katie bar the door, cuz ...
  2119.    *KEE-RASH!*
  2121.    Stone Cold doesn't look too happy (though frankly when does he ever?)
  2122.    He chucks the belt into the ring and gives Vince the cold shoulder as he
  2123.    plays to the crowd. McMahon contemplates making an exit, but decides to
  2124.    stay in the ring since Austin wants to speak. Austin says he wasn't sure
  2125.    if he heard him right because of all the explosions. A rematch? Tonight?
  2126.    Austin says he doesn't give a damn who McMahon is. "Who I am," says
  2127.    McMahon, "is the proud owner of the World Wrestling Federation. And
  2128.    furthermore, Mr. Austin, I'm your ... your boss!" Austin says he doesn't
  2129.    give a damn. He asks the fans if they'd like to see him whip McMahon's
  2130.    ass, then "Gimme a 'Hell yes!'" The crowd gives with a loud "Hell yes!"
  2131.    McMahon says he's been meaning to talk to him about his language also.
  2132.    Austin replies with something that gets edited out by the playing an
  2133.    audio clip of crowd noise over it. McMahon says if Austin doesn't defend
  2134.    the belt there'll be serious consequences. Austin says he'll go in the
  2135.    back, drink a beer, eat a hot dog and think over whether he'll defend the
  2136.    belt or not. Whatever he decides, if he comes back out, someone is
  2137.    getting their ass whipped.
  2139.    Either Cole or Kelly points out during this how many WWF officials and
  2140.    "agents" are around ringside. Calling this a "heel turn" on McMahon's
  2141.    part wouldn't be too far off the mark. I have a theory about this. It's
  2142.    a bit whacky. It's down in the "Bottom Line" section.
  2145.    It's the finals of the Karate Fighters Holiday Tournament. Lawler quickly
  2146.    wins, but a "Hidden Camera" instant replay shows that he used chewing
  2147.    gum to rig his fighter, used a Sable action figure to seduce the opposing
  2148.    fighter ... and paid off the ref. An announcer comes out and says that
  2149.    the "Tribunal" has stripped Lawler of the title and crowns Sunny the 1997
  2150.    Karate Fighters Champion.
  2152.    A good angle, but the match itself sucked.
  2154.  - They show stills from the LOD/Dog & Gunn match.
  2157.    A total *ugh!* of a match. Road Dog and Bad Ass come to the ring to keep
  2158.    an eye on things. This actually wasn't too bad. Why? Because the first
  2159.    few minutes of an LOD match usually aren't too bad, since that's how long
  2160.    it takes for them to completely run out of gas. They're still going
  2161.    strong when ...
  2163.    Suddenly the lights go out!
  2165.    It's Kane ... again. Hawk is the only one left in the ring, Animal having
  2166.    been thrown into the ring steps. Everyone else hightails it out of there.
  2167.    Kane kicks him in the gut and piledrives him. Hawk stands right back up.
  2168.    Kane grabs him by the throat (instantly killing a huge cheer that had
  2169.    started to go up for Hawk) and chokeslams him. Hawk tries to get up
  2170.    again. Kane grabs him and hoists him into the Tombstone Piledriver, which
  2171.    finally puts him down for good. After Kane and Paul Bearer leave, Road
  2172.    Dog and Bad Ass sneak in to lay in a few shots of their own. Animal
  2173.    eventually chases them off with a chair.
  2175.  - Replay of Kane's attack. Gunn and Dog are still in the ring. Road Dog
  2176.    says that now that they've completely finished off all the tag teams in
  2177.    the WWF, he and Billy Gunn will start competing in singles competition,
  2178.    (but not until he and Gun do a chorus of the "Nah nah hey hey goodbye!"
  2179.    song, dedicated to the "OLD"). Road Dog challenges anyone to come out and
  2180.    face Billy Gunn in a singles match.
  2182.  - "BAD ASS" BILLY GUNN vs. ???
  2183.    Dude Love comes out! "I said one guy, not three!" laments Road Dog.
  2186.    A surprisingly decent little match. They start off attacking Dude on the
  2187.    floor. Road Dog sits in for commentary as the match progresses. Nice
  2188.    back-and-forth action as Road Dog alternates between worry and
  2189.    confidence, based on Gunn's performance. Dude eventually gets Gunn set up
  2190.    for the "Sweet Shin Music", but Gunn avoids it and nails a standing
  2191.    Rocker Dropper a few moments later. Dude comes back with the "SSM" and
  2192.    double arm DDT. Dude covers and gets the surprisingly clean pin.
  2194.    Road Dog slides into the ring and pastes Dude Love with a steel chair. He
  2195.    and Gunn then set him up for shot off the top rope, Billy intending to
  2196.    drive a knee into Dude's head with both tag team belts placed on his
  2197.    face. The knee misses, though, but the crowd still pops for the insane
  2198.    move.
  2200.  - Rocky Maivia, in the back with the Nation of Domination, says there's no
  2201.    way Austin wants to face him again tonight. Rocky says he clearly kicked
  2202.    Austin's ass the night before, and is the "People's Champion".
  2204.  - Stills from the Taka Michinoku/Brian Christopher match are shown. They
  2205.    then show Christopher, after the match at the PPV, roaming the halls with
  2206.    a cupful of ice for his busted lip. Christopher says there's no way he's
  2207.    letting a "foreigner" come into this country and win HIS belt. Cut to a
  2208.    clip of Jim Ross teaching Taka some English. Ross tells him that a
  2209.    "knock down, drag out fight" is a "slobberknocker", which Taka is able to
  2210.    say on his second try. Cut back to the ring, where Jim Cornette is
  2211.    awaiting to do a special interview with Taka and his first challenger to
  2212.    the title. Taka comes out. Moments later Jerry Lawler comes out,
  2213.    interrupting Cornette's setup for the champion/challenger interview.
  2214.    Lawler does the usual anti-foreigner schtick, joking that every four
  2215.    seconds a woman in Japan gives birth and that he is going to track her
  2216.    down and make her stop. Lawler asks Taka if he even knows any English: a
  2217.    prerequisite, in his opinion, for someone to hold a title in this
  2218.    country. "You ... jack-ass!" replies Taka. "That's two!" exclaims
  2219.    Cornette.
  2221.    Out comes a masked wrestler, named "El Unico" by Cornette. Okay, I'll
  2222.    admit it: I fell for it. I looked this guy over and wondered "who's he?"
  2223.    My dad took one look at him and said "Ahhh ... that's Lawler's jerk of
  2224.    a kid!" Lawler, meanwhile, runs the "masked man" down as being another
  2225.    foreigner-"Still drippin' wet from swimming across the Rio Grande!".
  2226.    Lawler puts a finger in "El Unico's" face, prompting a shove in return.
  2227.    He and Taka then stand side-by-side, teasing a fight with Lawler ...
  2228.    until the masked man attacks Taka. Yes, it is Brian Christopher. He and
  2229.    Lawler proceed to destroy Taka, taking turns nailing him with THREE
  2230.    straight piledrivers! (If this was Memphis the ring doctor would have
  2231.    declared Taka legally dead). The usual host of referees arrive to break
  2232.    things up.
  2234.    Heading into the break they show Austin reclining in the back, scarfing
  2235.    down a hot dog.
  2237.  - In what is hopefully the final jab at Bret Hart, the WWF shows what
  2238.    they'd been hyping since the top of the show as the "Destruction of the
  2239.    Hart Foundation", which turns out to be a series of clips showing Shawn
  2240.    Michaels beating the British Bulldog in the U.K., Shawn beating Bret at
  2241.    the Survivor Series, Degeneration X turning on Jim Neidhart and Owen Hart
  2242.    attacking Shawn at the previous night's PPV. This last bit is played up
  2243.    as Owen getting "final revenge" on Michaels, settling the score for the
  2244.    Hart Foundation. The idea here is that Shawn rid the WWF of the Hart
  2245.    Foundation, but that Owen got in the final word and that we won't be
  2246.    seeing any more of him. Uh-huh. Yeah.
  2248.  - KURRGAN THE INTERROGATOR (w/ the Jackal) vs. FLASH FUNK
  2249.    Boy, am I glad there can be only one! Kurrgan, formerly the Interrogator,
  2250.    has a slightly more interesting ring outfit. He still can't wrestle a
  2251.    lick, with his performance in this match comparable to a tree being hit
  2252.    by lightning and slowly toppling over. I've seen a stack of cardboard
  2253.    boxes being knocked over display more wrestling acumen. The Jackal sits
  2254.    in for color commentary, playing up his generic cult leader gimmick.
  2255.    Kurrgan wins wit the lamest looking Iron Claw to the forehead I've ever
  2256.    seen. He then refuses to release the hold, causing the referee to reverse
  2257.    the decision and give Flash Funk the DQ win. Sniper and Recon from the
  2258.    Truth Commission come out, but they are unsuccessful in getting him to
  2259.    let go the hold. Finally the Jackal slaps Kurrgan's face, which cause the
  2260.    big man to let go and give him an evil stare. The two then trade a
  2261.    maniacal laugh as Recon and Sniper look on in the corner.
  2263.    I'd never have devoted this much text to the match, except that it seems
  2264.    to have signaled the end of the Truth Commission. Huzzah!
  2266.  - Stills from Michaels vs. Shamrock. They then show post-match comments
  2267.    from Shamrock, who essentially throws his hat into the ring as the first
  2268.    official entrant in the Royal Rumble.
  2270.    Hype for the "War Zone" closes out the first hour.
  2272. WWF WAR ZONE Hosted By: Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler.
  2274.  - No fireworks for the second hour. DeGeneration X come out instead. Hunter
  2275.    gets on the mic first, taking another opportunity to run down Sgt.
  2276.    Slaughter and his "old lady". Shawn then takes over and says he
  2277.    "schooled" Ken Shamrock. He then moves on to the Hart family, which he
  2278.    claims to have destroyed. He calls them a "big, smoking, stinky, nasty
  2279.    turd!", which nearly gives Jim Ross a heart (Hart?) attack. Shawn says
  2280.    what you do to turds is flush them. They all go down, except for that
  2281.    last little nugget that just won't go. Owen is that nugget. Shawn closes
  2282.    by saying that he knows Owen isn't in the building, but nonetheless won't
  2283.    leave the ring until Owen-if he's anywhere in the state of Maine-comes
  2284.    out to face him.
  2286.    A card table is set up. Chyna whispers something to Shawn, who then says
  2287.    over the mic that he's going to live up to that old promise to walk naked
  2288.    on live TV. A deck of cards has appeared and what was going to be a game
  2289.    of poker is now a game of strip poker.
  2291.    The segment ends with the first hand being dealt ... and the DOA entering
  2292.    the ring area on their motorcycles. Back from the commercial they show a
  2293.    graphic for the Royal Rumble, which is being sponsored by 1-800-COLLECT.
  2294.    In case you're wondering about the WWF having advertiser problems, well,
  2295.    1-800-COLLECT is also a sponsor of Nitro (or at least they used to be).
  2297.  - THE DOA vs. LOS BORICUAS
  2298.    The card table has been moved from the ring to ringside. The strip poker
  2299.    game progresses at the same time as the match (sort of. Other than Shawn
  2300.    and Hunter losing their shirts, nothing much seems to be happening-except
  2301.    for all three shielding their cards from the camera).
  2303.    Total yawner of a match. Los Boricuas-at full strength-get the win over
  2304.    just the two bald members of DOA. Someone uses a 2X4 and someone gets the
  2305.    pin-aw ... who cares! Los Boricuas win.
  2307.    DX, smoking stogies, tell Los Boricuas to beat it. The camera cuts to
  2308.    the back, where Rocky Maivia is pacing in anticipation of his possible
  2309.    match with Steve Austin later in the show.
  2311.  - The poker game has moved back into the ring. Even though Shawn is only
  2312.    holding maybe two cards, and doesn't pick up any of the ones he's dealt,
  2313.    he acts like he's lost another hand and "reluctantly" strips off his
  2314.    pants. The squeal from the women in the crowd is overwhelming, if not a
  2315.    bit embarrassing. Shawn strips to his jockeys as the Head Bangers come to
  2316.    the ring for their match. The two men in skirts politely ask for the card
  2317.    table to be removed from the ring. DX refuses. The Bangers flip over the
  2318.    card table. Shawn takes the glass he'd been drinking Jack Daniels from
  2319.    and smashes it over Mosh's heads (leaving several tiny cuts and scrapes).
  2320.    Shawn follows this with a swat from a steel chair. Thrasher is then
  2321.    triple-teamed, set up on Helmsley's shoulders on the top turnbuckle and
  2322.    powerbombed through the card table! The bottle of booze is dumped over
  2323.    Thrasher. Shawn struts about the ring as Hunter is shoving a chair into
  2324.    Mosh's throat. Shawn stops to plant a foot on Thrasher's chest and jiggles
  2325.    his jimmy.
  2327.    CUT THE F&@#ING MUSIC! I was into it up to this point, but really ...
  2328.    Shawn fidgeting with his Unit was just too much!
  2330.    Fortunately this spectacle is finally cut short when out of nowhere Owen
  2331.    Hart slides into the ring and attacks Shawn. Hunter quickly chases him
  2332.    off and Owen runs away through the crowd.
  2334.  - JEFF JARRETT vs. VADER
  2335.    Yes, the WWF may have completely botched Jarrett's return. The outfit is
  2336.    dumb, his entrance music is even dumber, and he's yet to do anything in
  2337.    the ring. This match is no exception.
  2339.    Before the two can even lock up Goldust's new music starts to play. Out
  2340.    he comes wearing a black robe, accompanied by Luna. Once he reaches the
  2341.    ring he opens the robe, flashing Vader. He and Luna split, with Vader in
  2342.    close pursuit. Jarrett earns a countout victory.
  2344.    Like Raven, this is the third week in a row that Jarrett has been
  2345.    announced in a match, but didn't wrestle. (At least to WCW's benefit
  2346.    they've provided one good match to take his place on one of those
  2347.    occasions). I simply don't understand where they're going with this one.
  2348.    Jarrett, although he technically has back-to-back wins over the
  2349.    Undertaker and Vader on successive nights, has absolutely no credibility
  2350.    built up whatsoever. What are they saving him for? The WWF has an
  2351.    overabundance of heels right now and frankly Jarrett is the least
  2352.    interesting of all of them. They seem to be portraying him as a "new age"
  2353.    Ric Flair. Having him wrestle as a face would probably be wise, but may
  2354.    not be doable given this stupid persona they've saddled him with. Jarrett
  2355.    came back and said the "Double J" gimmick McMahon made up for him was
  2356.    stupid. This is supposed to be better? We're SUPPOSED to think that
  2357.    Jarrett came up with this gimmick. I just don't get it.
  2359.    Now Goldust I understand. It seems that after he broke his hand several
  2360.    weeks back he was left with two courses of action: let the hand heal
  2361.    naturally and keep wrestling, which would almost guarantee the injury
  2362.    sticking around for the next half year, or he could get it operated on,
  2363.    which would put him out of action until January, but almost guaranteed a
  2364.    full recovery. Goldust chose the latter, which is why his match with
  2365.    Vader was scrapped from the PPV. Expect a lot more stuff like this over
  2366.    the next month. Thank God you couldn't actually see anything. Goldust was
  2367.    first shown from the side, then from across the ring, where he could only
  2368.    be seen from the chest up. I doubt seriously that he was actually totally
  2369.    nude under the coat as so many have assumed. I may not quite get what
  2370.    they're trying to do with him, but at least I understand why he isn't in
  2371.    the ring.
  2373.  - Stills from Marc Mero vs. Butterbean are shown. Butterbean, in post-match
  2374.    comments, says he's after Mero and that this isn't over.
  2377.    Mero comes to the ring and says he's the greatest wrestler and boxer in
  2378.    the world. He says he's annoyed that McMahon has sent him out to wrestle
  2379.    a jobber like Sal Sincere. Mero says it's a jobber's role to lose every
  2380.    match, and that Sincere-a "jobroni"-isn't even really named "Sal
  2381.    Sincere". Mero reveals the jobber's real name: Tom Brandi. Mero says the
  2382.    WWF gave him a stupid gimmick and that Brandi foolishly accepted it.
  2384.    He then brings out Sable, who he calls his "property". Sable comes down
  2385.    the ramp wearing a potato sack. Once in the ring he says he'll quickly
  2386.    finish of the jobber Brandi, but that Sable has to disrobe him first. As
  2387.    he stands there waiting for her to pull off his robe she stops, thinks it
  2388.    over, and removes her potato sack, revealing the skimpiest assortment of
  2389.    dental floss ever to be called a bikini. Mero turns to see what the crowd
  2390.    is going nuts over and quickly wraps his robe around her. Brandi seizes
  2391.    the opportunity to drop-kick him out of the ring. Mero, instead of
  2392.    continuing the match, hustles Sable out of the ring area. Sincere/Brandi
  2393.    wins the match by countout.
  2395.    You have to say this about the WWF: they're equal opportunists in their
  2396.    sexist ways. First we got Shawn's "oscar", then Sable's "golden globes".
  2397.    Ah, it's an award winning night all around!
  2399.  - You can win Steve Austin's "3:16" pickup yourself, simply by calling a
  2400.    special phone number and entering a contest. You can also enter by
  2401.    sending in a postcard to a certain address. If interested, I'm assuming
  2402.    all the details are on the WWF's website. The winner will be contacted
  2403.    during the Royal Rumble. Yes, they'll be fixing the damage Austin did to
  2404.    the truck first.
  2407.    Maivia comes to the ring first. The "Rocky sucks!" chant which
  2408.    accompanies him is louder than anything else heard on the show.
  2410.    *KEE-RASH!*
  2412.    Austin heads to the ring, though he's still dressed in street clothes.
  2413.    McMahon meets Austin in the ring and points out that he doesn't appear to
  2414.    be dressed to wrestle. Austin asks if he has to be dressed to wrestle
  2415.    just to wrestle? McMahon says if he wants to wear jeans in a match then
  2416.    he can, and that the match should start. Austin says it's not gonna be
  2417.    that way, as he sat in the back, drank a few "Steveweisers" and decided
  2418.    not to wrestle Maivia. He asks McMahon what he's going to do ... fire
  2419.    him? Maivia interjects, saying "Vince, 'The Rock' thinks you should fire
  2420.    him!" McMahon tells him to keep out of it, then warns Austin that he
  2421.    won't fire him, but that Austin is forcing him to strip him of the title
  2422.    and give it to "The Rock". Austin says if Vince strips him of the title
  2423.    he'll beat the hell out of him. Austin goes on to say that he's already
  2424.    been the Intercontinental Champion, as well as a Tag Team Champion (twice
  2425.    for both), and that there's only one title he's interested in: the World
  2426.    Heavyweight Title. Because Austin's got "bigger fish to fry" he forfeits
  2427.    the title, offering the belt to Maivia. "Take it!" says McMahon. Rocky
  2428.    snatches away the belt. Austin the offers Rocky his hand. Rocky shakes it
  2429.    and Austin holds his arm up as McMahon announces Maivia as the new WWF
  2430.    Intercontinental Champion. The celebration quickly ends as Austin kicks
  2431.    him in the gut and drops him with a Stone Cold Stunner. "There's your
  2432.    champion!" says Austin, who picks up the belt and tells McMahon that if
  2433.    he wants ratings, then everyone should tune in next week to see what
  2434.    plans Austin has for the belt. "Same 'Stone Cold' time ... same 'Stone
  2435.    Cold' channel!" He starts to leave, then comes back to the ring for one
  2436.    last hurrah as McMahon confers with his aides at ringside; McMahon
  2437.    himself standing on the apron.
  2439.    Austin suddenly decides to run the ropes. Hitting the ropes closest to
  2440.    the ramp, McMahon is propelled off the apron, slamming hard on the floor
  2441.    at the foot of the ramp! McMahon comes up cussing, calling Austin a name
  2442.    that had to be covered over with a crowd noise audio fill. Austin shows
  2443.    that he was just bouncing on the ropes and that it was an accident, but
  2444.    McMahon looks unconvinced. The show ends with a quick replay of Maivia
  2445.    getting stunned, then McMahon getting dumped.
  2447.  - Next week: Nothing announced.
  2451. One of the weirdest RAW's I can ever remember. The poor match quality aside
  2452. (with only one good match out of seven advertised-only four of which
  2453. actually took place), this show was packed with surprises, some drama, and a
  2454. ton of general strangeness. From an in-ring standpoint Nitro obviously won
  2455. the night. RAW easily cleaned up in every other category though. I might
  2456. have been more impressed with Nitro if I felt any of the matches actually
  2457. meant anything.
  2459. Even the Disco Inferno title win seemed pointless, since WCW's continuing
  2460. fascination with him will obviously wane again in the next few weeks and
  2461. he'll once again be relegated back to jobber status. (Hey, maybe I'm wrong
  2462. on this one, but frankly I gave up on him long ago. He's yet another in a
  2463. long string of wrestlers who everyone says is really good, yet never manages
  2464. to show it in most of his matches). Too many people also overlook the fact
  2465. that he really has one of the dumbest gimmicks in wrestling-if not THE
  2466. dumbest. Drop the gimmick, have him go by his real name, let him turn up his
  2467. in-ring performances and maybe, just maybe, I'll give a damn. Until then
  2468. he's a comic relief wrestler who's been pushed and de-pushed too many times
  2469. to even begin taking seriously.
  2471. RAW delivered a show that kept my full attention for the two hours, yet it
  2472. wasn't until it was all over that I realized they'd only delivered one
  2473. decent match (and I bet I'm probably in slim company as one who enjoyed that
  2474. match-Dude Love vs. Bad Ass). Still, it was enough for me to give the show
  2475. the nod over Nitro, since despite the marginally better match quality this
  2476. week, I can't even point to one Nitro match which really did anything for
  2477. me. The Disco/Saturn match came the closest, but that involved a wrestler
  2478. who means nothing to me (Saturn) and a wrestler I actively dislike (Disco).
  2480. The bit with Shawn juggling his nutsack really was too much, though. I
  2481. actually felt bile rise in my throat. I was really enjoying myself up until
  2482. then. Fortunately Sable brought me out of that funk a few minutes later.
  2483. Arrrooooooo! Rowf, rowf! Oink!
  2485. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  2487. The Bottom Line:
  2489. Suppose you're Vince McMahon and you'd like to downplay the whole Bret Hart
  2490. situation. Most wrestling fans don't know all of what happened at Survivor
  2491. Series, and it'd be difficult to find any two fans who agree on the "facts"
  2492. of the story. The "smart" fans on the other hand have, for the most part,
  2493. taken Bret Hart's side of the story. So, what's the best way to get the
  2494. "smart" fans on your side?
  2496. Make them think it's all a work.
  2498. That's right, make them think McMahon has worked the "smart" fans again.
  2499. Get enough fans to think it might all have been an elaborate angle and
  2500. maybe, just maybe, some of this online hostility dies down a bit. Some might
  2501. even go so far as to declare him a "genius" again. Could it work? Hell, the
  2502. seeds of doubt are already there. Joey Styles has gone on the ECW hotline
  2503. expressing his belief that the whole thing was a work. Jim Neidhart, a
  2504. staunch defender of Bret Hart, allows himself to be humiliated two weeks in
  2505. a row by DeGeneration X (when it would have been much simpler for him to
  2506. just stay lost). Owen Hart, who we all believed had left the WWF, "suddenly"
  2507. makes a return appearance at a PPV and on live on TV the following night.
  2508. Some fans might even begin to doubt if Hart has even left the WWF (after
  2509. all, it's been more than a month, yet he still hasn't appeared in WCW).
  2511. So how do you go about doing it?
  2513. First off you set up a scenario which, on the surface, bears a strong
  2514. resemblance to what happened in the Bret Hart situation. Now obviously Steve
  2515. Austin isn't planning on going to WCW, but this is a situation where, just
  2516. like in the case of Bret Hart, a wrestler is refusing to follow one of
  2517. McMahon's orders. What's more, it involves another title. Even more, it
  2518. would seem that McMahon is maybe showing favoritism for one wrestler over
  2519. the other (possibly referenced to by his "People's Champion" remark about
  2520. Maivia). Austin refuses to do what he says, so McMahon takes the title away
  2521. from him ... just like he did to Bret Hart. Throw in a bit of intrigue with
  2522. an increase in the number of WWF officials at ringside ... just like at
  2523. Survivor Series. Finally, maybe it wasn't a sock to the head, but knocking
  2524. McMahon off the apron was a physical response ... just like after Survivor
  2525. Series.
  2527. So what next?
  2529. Well, maybe McMahon does an interview saying he and Austin have had
  2530. "differences of opinion over the direction of the WWF", with Vince blaming
  2531. all the foul language in the WWF on Austin. Austin might even say he was
  2532. asked to quit because of his injuries, which made him no longer worth the
  2533. money he was being paid. Austin, though, says he's no Bret Hart and won't
  2534. run away to WCW. He'll stick around and make McMahon's life a living hell.
  2535. The WWF plays up the angle that Austin is too beat up and worn out to do
  2536. much of anything. They could even bring up Austin's needing a doctor's
  2537. waiver again, saying that they no longer want to take a risk with him
  2538. getting hurt any more. Austin manages to get a doctor's release just on the
  2539. eve of the Royal Rumble, much to the chagrin of McMahon. Austin then wins
  2540. the Rumble. The angle then concludes after WrestleMania when Austin beats
  2541. Michaels for the title. McMahon comes up to shake Austin's hand, saying he'd
  2542. always believed in him. Austin says "Okay Vince," kicks him in the gut and
  2543. lays him out with the Stone Cold Stunner. McMahon, instead of looking
  2544. manipulative and evil, ends up looking just silly. Somewhere along the line
  2545. most folks forget all about how he "screwed" Bret Hart.
  2547. Could it happen?
  2549. Probably not. Still, whatever McMahon is up to has succeeded in getting fans
  2550. talking about him and the WWF in a slightly less negative light, making
  2551. everyone forget about Bret Hart for a minute. Maybe that's all he's up to
  2552. after all. What do I think? Ask me again after WrestleMania.
  2554. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  2556. This Week's Winner: RAW.
  2558. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  2560. "Slobberknocker Central" and "Monday Night Recap" are copyright 1997 by
  2561. John Petrie, and all opinions expressed therein are his own, and not those
  2562. of "Internet Access, Inc". Check the "Slobberknocker Central" main page for
  2563. info on how to receive the "Recap" free via E-Mail every week.
  2564. Volume One, Number 108 of the "Monday Night Recap", December 8th, 1997.
  2566. John Petrie
  2568. Slobberknocker Central
RAW Paste Data
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