Volume 2, Issue 123
February 3, 1997
Coming to us from the historic Mid-South Arena in Memphis, TN. Tony and Larry Legend introduce the program as NWO music blares.
Hollywood Hogan, Ted Dibiase and Vincent come to the ring. Hogan says that Roddy Piper has been "doggin'" him and he plans to confront the Rowdy one tonight. In fact he seems to be saying he wants to wrestle him for the Title on the program - its not really clear however because the announcers gloss over that part of the statement, prefering instead to point out that Hogan knew that Piper was not yet in the building.
Ultimo Dragon vs. Ray Mendoza Jr. - two very acrobatic cruiserweights in a knock-down-drag-out fight. Mendoza has a pretty good reputation in Mexico, he keeps up with the Dragon in this one. In fact he stays one step ahead through much of the match. In the end he succombs to a spinning Frankensteiner from the top followed by a double chickenwing suplex.
Billy Kidman vs. Glacier - Kidman is outweighed in this match, it will be interesting to see how he fares against this unorthedox opponent. The best competiton this guy's had so far was Big Bubba... Glacier seems a little cocky during the match. Not that he isn't justified against this particular opponent. Kidman gets in his licks here and there, but it isn't enough for him to prevail by any means. Glacier downs him with a sidekick to the face as Kidman is coming off the top. Forget about it.
Ice Train vs. La Parka - The Train lives up to his name as he runs over his slightly smaller opponent. Meanwhile in the back, Lex Luger is seen to be knocked cold as Hall and Nash stand over him with steel pipes. Back to the match - La Parka gets some flying moves in and gains some ground but eventually he is overwhelmed by the Trains juggernaut.
Horsemen interview with Mean Gene - Arn is conspicuously absent. Benoit says the divisions have been heeled. Woman refers the stranger who appeared last week as "Jaquelynn" and says that she is accepting Nancy's "leftovers". Mongo offers to take Lugars's place against Jeff Jarrett later tonight. Debra says that when God gave out faces, Jaquelynn thought he said "cases" and ask for a leather one...The Nature Boy ends the conversation by saying that Arn is layed up, watching on TV at home but everything is cool. He refers to Kevin Sullivan as "Devil" and tells Jaquelynn that "no woman who has a boyfriend known as "Shorty" will ever walk next to the Nature Boy.
Review of the Steiners loss of the belt and their match against the Faces.
Steiner Brothers vs. Harlem Heat - two of the top Tag Teams of all time (and two sets of legitimate brothers) mix it up. Can't get any better than this. The Public Enemy and Faces of Fear are in the crowd to watch. Scotty looks as big as a house - obviously still doing the 'roids... Stevie Ray goes after Rick the first time they are in together - knocks off his trademark headgear. Rick comes back with a suplex. The Heat use their feet to great advantage as usual. In the middle of it all the Faces and PE run in and ruin the match. Then the Faces and PE fight each other back to the locker room. The ref should have restarted the match but didn't. Too bad...
The second hour begins
Mike Enos vs. Dean Malenko - Enoa has nothing going for him here except size and (maybe) guile. It isn't nearly enough. Malenko matches him in cruelty and out-wrestles him by a mile. Syxx makes an appearance ringside in the middle of the match and steals the Cruiserweight belt! Malenko doesn't notice since he's being pummeled when it happens. Malenko wins with a small package then goes looking for his Title. David Penser is explaining about the theft to Malenko as we cut to commercial.
Mean Gene with Sullivan, Jaquelynn, Konan and Jimmy Hart. The Taskmaster calls Jaquelynn the "darkness before the dawn..." Konan offers to take care of Benoit so Kevin can have more time with Jaquelynn. Jimmy Hart doesn't like the idea of women in wrestling - he'd rather Sullivan worried about other things.
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Renegade - Mr. Frenetic Jobber (the Warrior wanna-be) gets his clock cleaned. Nuff said... Hall and Nash show up on the ramp after the match ends, steel pipes in hand. Dallas looks scared for the first time I can remember. Sting appears in the stands. Then Macho Man on the opposite side. DDP goes and gets a chair to defend himself. Hall and Nash retreat - Page is standing in the ring with the chair as we go to commercial.
Alex Wright vs. Super Calo - these guys are evenly matched. At one point they trade missing drop-kicks. Moments later Calo loses his footing as he tries to mount the corner - Wright takes the advantage for a while but then loses it after a couple of exchanges. Calo throws a spectaculer cross-body block to the floor from the top turnbuckle. Back in the ring Wright again asserts himself. Calo gets hit and twice careens into the same fan at ringside. Back inside Calo gets a superplex but hesitates and misses the pin. Calo goes to the top and misses a forward somersault. Wright takes him down with a missle drop-kick and gets the win.
Konan vs. Chris Benoit - this should be a barn burner! Konan was always aggresive and very athletic. Being with the DOD has only enhanced those qualities. Benoit is the original buzz-saw. Konan goes right to work on his opponent before the bell. Konan drop-kicks Benoit in the chest as he is seated on the mat. Its all Konan for the first several minutes. He punishes his opponent with a stump-puller, then benoit comes back with a vengence. He does his wolverine thing then gets a superplex. Konan comes back with a backbreaker to a powerbomb (Tenay calls it a power-drop). Benoit is coming back again when Jaquelynn shows up with a strap to use on Woman. Benoit disposes of Konan by throwing him over the top then gets in behind Jaquelynn and confiscates the belt. Jaquelynn is searching for a weapon when Konan grabs her and wrestles her away from the ring area. Benoit got disqualified.
Jeff Jarrett vs. Steve McMichael - Debra is clearly unhappy at this turn of events. Who is she going to support in this match? Jarrett struts one too many times and gets clobbered. McMichaels is steadily improving but it would surprise me to see him win this one. He misses an elbow drop to give Jarrett the advantage. After some serious drubbing, Mongo gets drop-kicked over the top to the floor. Debra grabs on and clings to him until he is counted out of the ring!! Then she acts like she's happy about it. This couple has some serious problems...
Mean Gene is in the ring as we return - he introduces Rowdy Roddy Piper as THE Icon... Roddy brings one of his sons to the ring. A little Tad about 8 years old. Piper says he'll never be an Elvis Presley and Hogan will never be a Roddy Piper. He mentions his Title shot then says he doesn't understand "I already beat the guy..." He introduces his son Colt who says he's honored to be in Memphis. Piper then declines the Title match...at this point Hogan shows up. Piper asks Hogan to just let him leave with his son. That's not good enough for Hogan. He menaces the boy saying that Piper took a "calculated risk" by bringing him out to the ring. Bischoff enjoins Piper to state that Hogan beat him. Piper complies. Hogan tells him to say that he (Hogan) is the icon. Piper complies to that as well. Hogan insults him, says he's hiding behind his son. Piper leads his son to the corner, sends him out of the ring and then turns around and TEARS INTO HOGAN!! He throws Hogan and Bischoff together, Eric rolls out of the ring and grabs a chair. Meanwhile Piper is assaulting Hogan with his belt. Bischoff is up on the apron but is afraids to enter the ring. Piper grabs the Title belt away from Dibiase at ringside and takes a swing at Bischoff who ducks away. the goons retreat as Piper motions his son to come back to the ring. Then he accepts the match saying "let the games begin...San Francisco watch my fists go!!!" Fade to black.
As I mentioned in yesterday's edition, I will be at SuperBrawl and look forward to meeting some of you there. My seat is in section 111 row C (way up in Sting territory, unfortunately) but I will be there early and plan to hang out in the concourse before and after the card so watch for me and say hello if you see me (I'll be the one in the Solie's Vintage Wrestling T-Shirt)...
Royal Rumble RAW Report
From Skydome in Toronto - this is supposed to be a live show but actually I suspect it was taped at the house show that Mark Paar described in yesterdays edition of the newsletter. Several of the matches prove to be identical to ones described my Mark. Others are very similar with slight variations.
RAW is a two hour broadcast tonight (and reportedly from now on) and will feature highlights from the 1996 Royal Rumble match. There will be two Title matches as well.
Vader vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin - Bret Hart hits the ring before the match can start. He attacks Austin and puts him down - he is pulled off and Vader goes after Bret. Bret gets his shots in before he is dragged off. Outside the ring Bret gets into it with Austin again. Finally the match starts. Austin dominates the early going, then turns his back on Vader and gets clobbered from behind. Vader bulls Austin into the corner and pummels him. Now its all Vader. He pounds his opponent into the mat then goes up for a Vader bomb. Changes his mind and goes all the way up for a Moonsault - but he's taking too much time and gets caught (and crotched) by the recovered Austin. The referee gets creamed in the ensuing melee. Now Stone Cold is all over him as we cut to commercial. (This match sounds like the one Mark described except that Mark didn't mention Bret Hart's involvement)
We're back and so is Vader. Now the match is see-sawing. The referee tries to intervene after Austin delivers his second low-blow - Stone Cold puts the Stunner on him!! Vader attacks from behind they tumble to the outside where they continue to brawl. A second ref (Hebner) runs out to declare the contest over as we go to commercial.
Or maybe not - we're back after a very short break.
Flash Funk vs. Savio Vega (w/NOD) - Savio tries to ground his high-flying opponent from the get-go. He is largely successful. Funk (who shares Double J's tailor) can't seem to get anything together at first. He finally breaks lose and turns the tables. A couple of flashy moves later he goes to the top but gets distracted by a NOD thug at ringside - so he splashes him! Then he goes back up to do the same to Savio - he goes for a Moonsault...nobody home...Vega rolls him over and pins him.
We see clips from La Femme Nikita as Vince interviews the star in the stands. (This must be the gorgious blonde Mark talked about) Cut to commercial.
Interview - Sid with Jim Ross - JR wants to know how he feels about HBK. He calls their relationship a "friendship on the edge of madness..."He says they both exhibited "evil" tendancies - Sid at Survivor Series - Shawn at the Royal Rumble - then he goes into his usual "I am the ruler of the world..." schtick - yatta, yatta.
Vince tries to stir up trouble between Davey Boy and Owen Hart. He succeeds. Up next - they defend their titles against Furnas/LaFon. Cut to commercial.
Doug Furnas/Phillip LaFon vs. Owen Hart/British Bulldog - the announcers are speculating that the Champs may go down tonight. Could be...
LaFon tries some of his fancy moves but is overpowered by the Bulldog. He tags in Owen who has less success. Furnas gets in (they say he has the flu tonight - it doesn't show) and keeps the advantage until the Bulldog comes back in. Bulldog turns the tables then tags Owen back in. They are tagging well and now Furnas is starting to show signs of fatigue. The tag champs are effectively isolating Furnas who is clearly running out of gas. Owen is inside with Furnas - Bulldog is turned around and posing for the crowd. Owen isn't too happy when he goes for a tag and Bulldog isn't ready. Cut to commercial.
We're back and the Champs are still in charge. Shortly thereafter Furnas finally gets lose and tags in his partner. LaFon cleans house then gets a pin on Owen - except that his foot is on the rope (sounding more and more familiar...). LaFon goes for a series of pins which are successively broken up by Davey Boy. Owen gets flung toward the Bulldog (who is still illegally in the ring) Owen is catapulted over the top to the floor as he flies over Davey's back. Davey is wrestling in the ring but Owen is the legal man. He gets counted out as he sits on the floor giving the time out signal and clutching his supposedly injured leg. He and Davey Boy have words as they leave the arena. (Again this match sounds like the one from Friday night)
Ahmed Johnson swears revenge the NOD - he says he's off prozac now so watch out. Meanwhile Crush is approaching the ring. Ahmed makes to head out there but the Undertaker appears and says "If you go now you go alone - if you wait we'll bury them together..." Cut to commercial.
Crush vs. Goldust - this is pretty even until Hunter Hearst Helmsley comes out and distracts Goldust. Crush takes over and dominates the rest of the match. Goldust makes a brief comeback but is cut short by Savio Vega who slips into the ring and gives him a round kick. Crush wins with the Heart Punch.
Shawn Michaels interview - he is agreeing with Sid - the WWF belt has brought out the worst in a number of WWF athletes including himself. He concedes that Bret is more popular in Toronto. Bret shows up in the middle of the interview (as decribed by Mark) - he puts Shawn down - he says he's finding it harder and harder to like Shawn. He calls Shawn a punk. Shawn takes the Mic and starts to talk as Steve Austin hits the ring and attacks the Hitman - they roll out to the floor and continue to brawl - meanwhile Sycho Sid decides to get involved as well - he and Shawn are jawin' in the ring as we go to commercial.
We return as Shawn and Bret are going nose-to-nose in the ring. Sid and Austin have been escorted away (apparently). Shawn lays the belt on the mat between them as they face off. Shawn goes to retrieve his title but Bret steps on it then picks it up and examines it. He drops it on the mat and leaves the ring.
We see the contract signing of Tiger Singh (as decribed in yesterday's edition).
Marc Mero vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley - Mr. Hughes and Sable are barred from ringside. This is a pretty exciting match (unlike the one Mark described) Mero dominates most of the action. He hits his Mero-sault and later gets in a Hurracuranna. Helmsley seems to be getting by on guile alone this evening (not an unusal occurence). He succeeds in removing the padding from one of the corner buckles but fails when he tries to use it. Mero blocks the move and then points the exposed buckle out to the referee. As the ref is trying to re-cover the corner, Helmsley steals a set of brass knuckles out of his boot and uses them on Mero to get the pin.
By the way, we have been seeing short clips from the Rumble all evening. I could swear we were told that we would see the entire (or a substantial portion of) the Battle Royal tonight. Meanwhile Vince is prattling on about "bait and switch tactics" apparently referring to the Piper/Hogan match that didn't happen on Nitro tonight. He actually has the gall to say that "we promised you a no holds barred match and we don't wait until one-hour and fifty minutes into the program..." at this point it is one hour and 48 minutes into the show...I wonder how he would describe calling a show live when it was taped three days ago..?
Undertaker/Ahmed Johnson vs. Faarooq/Mankind - no holds barred - this one starts out two on two and goes that way for the entire match. Its UT/MK and Ahmed/Faarooq at first, but then switches to UT/Faarooq and Ahmed/MK. It switches back just as we see Savio Vega and Crush approaching the ring area. Cut to commercial.
We come back to see Ahmed give Mankind the Pearl River Plunge - Faarooq prevents the pin. Moments later Ahmed gets his 2X4 and starts chasing tha NOD off. Back in the ring Undertaker and Mankind are going at it when Vader shows up. Together he and Mankind tear into the Dead Man. Vader gets a chair and bashes UT but the man from the dark side is unfazed by it. He knocks Vader out of the ring and then throws the chair down in the center of the ring. He executes the Tombstone Piledriver by driving Mankind's head onto the chair and gets the win. Fade to black.
Well, this was certainly and exciting RAW program, even if it wasn't really live. Apparently Vince thinks that if any part of a show is broadcast live that gives him the right to call it a live RAW. I did think his comments about "bait and switch" were just a tiny bit disengenuous...but what the hell.
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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