Volume 2, Issue 117
January 26, 1997
Shotgun Saturday Night 1/25/97
Emanating from Webster Hall in New York City.
They start out with Mankind in the ring crawling around and Todd Pettingill is interviewing Paul Bearer. He is visibly upset about the dancing girls and their effect on Mankind.
"Slammy Award Winning" Owen Hart, Vince McMahon and Sunny are commentating.
1st match: Bret "Hitman" Hart vs. Mankind
This match is fairly well worked. Mankind goes for his usual brawling and Bret Hart uses a blend of his usual classic wrestling technique and brawling. Mankind is continuously being distracted by the girls dancing around. Both are executing some pretty nice moves. Mankind hits with a nice leg drop and at one point hits his infamous double armed DDT. Bret hits his Russian leg sweep, a swinging neck-breaker, a bulldog and a suplex on the hard floor outside. Bret eventually gets his sharpshooter applied, but Owen comes out and breaks it up. Bret wins by DQ.
After the match, Paul Bearer complains again to Todd Pettengill about the girls effects on Mankind.
Evaluation: Nice match. Didn't like the screwjob ending though.
***1/2 of 5
Time of match: 13:13
Review of the Royal Rumble.
Todd Pettengill interview Savio Vega who explains that his temper got the best of him earlier in the match at Madison Square Garden leaving it ambiguous of whether or not he actually joined the Nation of Domination.
2nd Match: Rocky Maivia vs. Savio Vega
This contest starts out really well with some nice classic wrestling moves applied by both wrestlers. Very nice move-countermove action going - which is what we would expect of two face wrestlers. Eventually Faarooq and Crush come to ringside and both Savio and Rocky look at them confused. When Rocky turned his back on Vega, Savio attacked Maivia and gave the NOD signal (Stalin salute) to Crush and Faarooq. This confirms his membership to the NOD. Savio looks extremely vicious after revealing his heal identity, hits his trademark spin wheel kick from a charge of Maivia, and got a near fall. Todd tries to interview the NOD, but is chased away by Crush. Chants of ROCKY SUCKS can be heard clearly during the match. Maivia eventually comes back aggressively and hits some crisp chops, some nice punches, and a belly to back suplex. But Savio recovers and eventually he throws Maivia over the top rope where he injures his knee. Rocky can't make it back by the ten count. Vega wins by countout and Maivia's undefeated streak ends. After the match, Vega gets Maivia in the ring and viciously works on his injured knee. Crush and Faarooq join in the attack and Faarooq whips Rocky with his leather strap.
Evaluation: Vince McMahon kept referring to Rocky Maivia as Rocky Johnson despite the correction by Sunny. But that was about the only flaw in this very nice match.
**** of 5
Time of match: 14:30
Todd Pettengill interviews Jake Roberts who is holding a HUGE snake.
3rd match: Salvatore Sincere vs. Jake "The Snake" Roberts
Hunter Hearst Helmsley joins the commentary and sarcastically criticizes McMahon because of his referring to Rocky Maivia as Rocky Johnson. This one is really short. Jake customarily works on the arm of Salvatore to start. Salvatore eventually gains control, but misses his charge to the corner and hits his shoulder to the post. A short arm clothesline and a DDT later, 1-2-3. Jake Roberts gets the pin. After the match, Jake takes out his snake and covers Salvatore with it.
Evaluation: Really short and nothing to see here really (except the snake).
** of 5
Time of Match: 3:04
After we return to a commercial break, we see that HHH pedigrees Salvatore Sincere. By this time, HHH returns to commentary explaining that he wants to send a message to everybody in the WWF that he is the Intercontinental champion and that he is a force to be reckoned with.
4th Match: Sycho Sid vs. Crush
Savio and Faarooq are watching inconspicuously from the tower above. This is a brawl. Sid hits some clotheslines, a big boot to the face, a legdrop, while Crush is hitting his usual headbutts and punches. In the middle of the match, Faarooq Assad and Savio Vega come to ringside. Eventually Crush sets up Sid for the heart punch, but Sid blocks it and hits his chokeslam. Afterwards, Sid hits a powerbomb and goes to cover Crush. Sid doesn't even stay for a second as he alertly (and rightfully) goes outside of the ring as Faarooq and Savio were preparing to go inside of the ring. Sid then grabs a chair from under the ring and chases Faarooq and Savio away and hits Crush on the back. The referee notices this and DQs Sid. Crush wins it.
Evaluation: OK match. At least this didn't end with the usual NOD run in.
**1/2 of 5
Time of match: 7:06
This show was all right. I liked the fact that they were using some of their bigger stars tonight. I don't know if I have any opinion of the smaller ring, but it doesn't seem to effect the wrestling. So it really shouldn't effect me. There were some pretty lengthy (and not so lengthy) matches tonight. Some good work done here. I think that the Savio turn could revitalize his career. He looks crisper and fresher than he has in a long time.
This is Garland riding Shotgun�
Garland Chan, a student at the University of Washington is a regular contributer to Solie's
Jim Cornette is back! Along with Jim Ross to host this program. Sunny shows up in a halter top and bell-bottoms. She's the Time Keeper for this one. The feature matches today are a Final Four Tag match and Ahmed Johnson vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley (non-Title).
"Rectangle" Final Four Tag Team Match - Godwins/Furnas/LaFon vs. Faarooq/Crush/Bulldog/Owen Hart - there is some excellent mat wrestling in the opening moments as LaFon takes on the Tag Champs one at a time. Owen tags in Henry Godwin who declines to take advantage of the downed LaFon - Owen shoves him so he scoops Owen up and slams him on LaFon! Phineous is tagged in and puts a suplex on LaFon. He picks him up for a slop-drop but misses that LaFon tagged in Crush. Crush rushes in and clotheslines PIG - Henry rushes Crush - in the confusion Furnas and LaFon doubleteam PIG and eliminate the Godwins. Cut to commercial.
We're back and things are moving faster now. After a lot of furious action involving all six remaining competitors, Faarooq runs in and clips the Bulldog behind the knee as he's putting Furnas up for the running PowerSlam. The result: Bulldog is pinned - the Champs have been eliminated. Faarooq goes right to work on Furnas as we cut to commercial.
We come back and Faarooq is still in control of Furnas. Furnas escapes then gets a belly over suplex (this guy reminds me of the Steiners) - Furnas is spent but manages to tag in LaFon who has to contend with both Crush and Faarooq and handles them nicely for a while. Eventually he is overwhelmed by the doubleteam - Faarooq puts on his Dominator reverse powerbomb and pins LaFon to win the match.
They replay the Bret Hart "I Quit" speech with one very interesting ommission. When he gets to the part where he is describing the various people (and entities) who had "screwed" him, he mentions Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin and the WWF but the reference to Vince McMahon was taken out. So his statement, made looking Vince in the face, that he was "screwed by you" was omitted. Another typical instance of the WWF distorting the facts (like the way they turned around the Helmsley/Perfect situation to make it appear as if Helmsley had used Hennig then cast him aside instead of the truth - which was that Perfect quit in the middle of the storyline).
Kevin Kelly interviews Bret Hart - the Hitman wants to explain to the fans his actions on RAW last week. He says he's not a quitter, a whiner or a complainer. He then goes on to whine and complain about his treatment since returning to the WWF (at least he's not quitting...). One great line "No matter how Stone Cold Austin is, he'll never be as cool as the Excellence of Execution..." He vows that he will get "to the top of that mountain" again.
A review of the incident on Shotgun Saturday Night where Savio Vega apparently joined the Nation of Domination (see Garland Chan's report above).
Mr. Hughes accompanies HHH to the ring. This match is a warm up for the Title contest coming up at the next PPV. Ahmed Johnson vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley - Ahmed shoves HHH off twice then pauses to wipe the HHH grime off of himself. Johnson uses his weight and power advantage well throughout this match. Hunter can't get a handle on the big guy. He finally turns the tables by moving out from under an elbow drop then suckering Johnson into flinging himself over the top to the floor - cut to commercial.
Hunter is working on Ahmed's kidney as we return. He pounds on the big guy repeatedly but can't get the pin. Ahmed picks Hunter up and holds him for a looong time in a verticle suplex. Now the match is see-sawing. Hunter is getting frustrated - seems to be testing the strongman. Mr. Hughes sneaks in while Hunter distracts the referee - he hits Johnson with the title belt. Its not enough - Ahmed keeps coming back. As Johnson goes for his finisher, Hughes attacks from behind - Hunter is disqualified. Meanwhile Ahmed and Hughes are into it with Hughes definitely running second. As Hunter watches from the aisle, Ahmed puts a spine buster on his butler in the ring. Goldust, who has been watching from backstage decides to make his move - he attacks Helmsley in the aisle. As they scuffle, Johnson pounces and knocks them both down. Ahmed is chasing Hunter up the aisle with Goldust trailing them as we fade to black.
Thoughts about Souled Out...
I don't know about you but I found that Pay-Per-View last night to be one of the strangest wrestling cards I have ever seen. Its almost as if it were planned to be tacky... Some correspondents on my Readers Forum last night suggested that this is a sign that Eric Bischoff is really a "mole", bent on destroying the NWO from within, that the card was deliberately sabotaged in order to make the NWO look bad. I have a problem with this scenerio - as a part of the storyline that is - but it has some merit if looked at as a tactic to advance the storyline.
The way I look at it, Eric is in reality, a "mole" - he is the Executive Vice-President of WCW and the author (with others) of the NWO angle. He isn't really a turncoat against the organization - he's in charge of the whole shebang! If they want to set up the eventual downfall of the NWO, the way to do it is to show us the weaknesses of the NWO organization.
Last night's PPV certainly did that! These guys don't know how to put on a wrestling card! They let their egos run over their judgement by putting a crooked referee in charge and not even trying to disguise his activity, they openly put down the competition etc. Its like they don't realize that by downgrading their competition they make it obvious that these Emporers have no clothing...and thats the point exactly...
The only real problem that I see with all of this is that WCW took $27.95 of mine and other fans hard earned money in order to further this farce...but then its all just entertainment...isn't it?
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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