“WHATCHA GONNA DO WHEN THE FAN BASE TURNS ON YOU BROTHER!?!?!?!”
Last week’s Hogan vs. Sting match drew a heavily papered 6,000 fans and only a $13,000 gate. It did squeak a narrow ratings victory out compared to RAW, so I suppose Bischoff was pleased at least a little bit.
Also in a very WCW like move, they aired a segment on syndication over the previous weekend that plugged the WW3 battle royal being for a number one contender’s slot and not the title, because they taped it before changing the booking plans and nobody bothered to alter the bad info.
We start with World War 3 highlights.
TV Championship: Johnny B. Badd vs. DDP
DDP comes down with roses for Kimberly, then sucker punches Badd. Kim looks at the flowers and seems to have mixed feelings. DDP hits the tilt a whirl slam. Kim finds a chain in the flowers and her superior acting skills come into play as she tries to act befuddled and hide the weapon. Badd gets a head scissors. DDP asks for the chain and she chucks it toward him but it slides over to Badd and he KO’d DDP for the pin. Kim looks sad at first and then smiles. Badd asks her who were you throwing it to? She says it doesn’t matter, because you won! Badd is ok with this answer. Then they head to the back for unspeakable sex acts. More of an angle then a match. Eric Bischoff wants to go see Kim in the back. Maybe it was to set up the next wife swap?
Jimmy Hart and The Taskmaster promo: Sullivan is mad that Luger is being friendly with Sting.
Cutie Suzuki and Mayumi Ozaki vs. Bull Nakano and Akira Hokuto
They actually booked this match to go head to head with a Japanese women’s match that was taking place on RAW. Moments like this is what made the Monday Night Wars fun. The faces try double teaming Akira but Bull takes both ladies out herself. Akira chokes Ozaki by scaling the ropes and using her arm like a hangman’s noose. Bull chucks Mayumi across the ring with two handfuls of hair. Twice. The heels hit a flying chokeslam and then let Cutie tag in.
Cutie hits a full nelson bridge suplex on Akira but is knocked down after. Bull misses a top rope leg drop and Cutie jumps on her shoulders for a head scissors. Both faces stand on Bull, then they climb the top rope and hit dual foot stomps on Nakano’s guts. Nakano blocks a double suplex and suplexes both faces instead. Akira then splashes both of them from the top rope. Akira powerbombs Ozaki and Ozaki hits a frankensteiner. The faces collide and Bull sits on Cutie. A double dropkick sends Bull over the top rope. Akira dumps both faces but misses the somersault dive to the concrete and hits Bull instead. Bull drops both faces with clothesline back in the ring and Akira hits the brainbuster for the pin. Fast paced craziness. Very spotty but fun as Hell to watch.
Hulk Hogan vs. Hugh Morrus
Morrus tries a test of strength, because he’s a goof. Hogan locks in a hammerlock and grounds Morrus. Hugh loses a battle of punches and Hulk chews on his head. Morrus hits a second rope clothesline and gets a pop from the crowd. Moonsault almost misses. Hulk up. Some crowd groans for that. Punches. Big Boot. Leg drop. 1-2-3. A mixed reaction for that from the crowd. Just a squash to put Hogan over.
Mean Gene brings out “Macho Man” Randy Savage for an interview. Macho says he’s the only World champion in wrestling. Hogan comes out to remind Macho that The Giant screwed Hulk last night. Hulk shows the replay footage but it cuts off before The Giant’s interference could be shown. The Giant attacks and chokeslams Savage on the concrete. He chases Hogan to the ring and hammers away. Sting comes down and is choked. Hogan gets a chair and after 4 shots the Giant falls from the ring. Hogan elbows the ref and keeps beating the Giant with the chair. Hogan and Sting stop to check on Macho Man, then Hogan plays to the crowd while Macho is still down and hurt because he’s an asshole. The Giant stumbles off. Bischoff suspects Sting may be part of the Dungeon of Doom because he pulled Hogan away from beating on The Giant. I’d prefer they keep The Giant stronger than this segment did – the Dungeon just letting their centerpiece take a 2 on 1 beating doesn’t make a whole lot of kayfabe sense either. Hogan standing tall while World Champ Savage is dead for minutes on end can’t be ignored either if we want to point out Hogan’s protective booking.
Sting and Lex Luger vs. Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman
Luger is late to come down for some reason. Arn sends Sting into Pillman’s boot right away and spinebusters Sting. Sting rebounds with a face plant and Pillman meets a similar fate. Both heels are press slammed by Luger and Sting. Arn wants to try Luger on for size. Luger rocks both heels and chucks Arn into Pillman. Anderson eats the flying steel forearm. Sting hits a Stinger splash and locks in the Scorpion Death Lock. Pillman climbs up top and Luger shoves Pillman off and “accidentally” into Sting. Pillman chokes away on Sting and Arn and Brian both pummel Sting. Luger chases Pillman and misses Sting’s tag attempt. A four way brawl breaks out and Sting rolls up Arn for the pin. The Horsemen just keep losing.
Flair comes out and attacks Luger. Pillman splashes Lex and Sting is locked in the Figure Four. Hogan runs in and fights off all 3 Horsemen by himself. Hogan helps Sting up and tries to grab Luger but Sting lets Lex get away. Hogan and Sting have words. They shake hands and hug.
We open with clips of Shawn’s collapse from last week and Vince delivers a somber message that the wrestlers are indeed facing the threat of injury every time they enter the ring.
Kama is set to finish his feud with the Undertaker that has been dormant since August. It was nice of Taker to ignore the fact that Kama still owns the remnants of the urn that has been turned into a necklace for so many months.
Ahmed Johnson vs. Rad Radford
Johnson is new enough that I can justify this being a worthwhile match to air. Putting over fresh faces is a must. Johnson no sells some punches and an armbar and wrecks Radford with a short elbow and a slew of punches. Johnson shrugs off some more token offense and scissor kicks Radford. A spinebuster and Pearl River Plunge ends this quickly. Lawler insults Johnson in a post match interview and Dean Douglas joins in. Ahmed wants to kick Dean’s butt, but Douglas is held back. They are signed to clash in 3 weeks on PPV. I read the Wrestling Observer for this period and Dean got this spot because he was already planning on quitting the WWF and he replaced King Kong Bundy as Johnson’s opponent. THAT would have been a stinker of epic proportions. Bundy hasn’t even been pushed, so this worked out much better for the WWF in a few ways.
We get another rundown of the Shawn Michaels angle from last week.
Alundra Blayze and Kyoko Inoue vs. Aja Kong and Tomoko Wannabe
The faces control with some double teaming but Aja starts to no sell and mounts a comeback. Vince takes time to make fun of Kong’s weight. Wannabe stretches out Kyoko but she misses a follow up splash. Inoue locks in a bridging surfboard so Aja makes her way in and nails some hard kicks. Inoue clotheslines both heels and then hits a flying elbow to Tomoko’s knee. They do a contrived spot as Wannabe climbs the ropes with Inoue far away and that allows Kyoko to run across the ring and hip toss Wannabe off the top. Blayze comes in illegally, so Kong does as well and kicks Alundra’s leg out from under her. Blayze misses a dropkick but Kong misses a splash. Vince McMahon starts talking about Aja Kong supporting safe sex in a ridiculous manner of trying to bring up a topical issue about Princess Diana to make RAW seem “live”. Even Lawler asks Vince what the Hell he is talking about. Meanwhile Aja hits a nasty back suplex and a spinning fist on Inoue for the win. Disappointing match.
Vince says he was not pleased with some of the personal comments Diesel made in McMahon’s direction last week. In the same breath, Vince makes fun of Bruce Pritchard’s weight gain, yes it’s the return nobody wanted – Brother Love.
New world champion Bret Hart is interviewed by Love. I believe the gimmick had been buried for 4 and a half years and I have no idea why they decided to trot it out again. I’d probably switch over to Nitro at this point on general principal. Love trolls Bret and won’t let Bret offer any retorts. Talking about Bret’s mother puts him over the edge and Bret grabs the microphone forcefully. Bret calls out Diesel for roughing him up at Survivor Series and Hart wants to beat the Bulldog to redeem himself for losing to Davey Boy at Summerslam 92. Then Bob Backlund randomly attacks Bret Hart and cross face chicken wings him. I have zero recollection of that angle going anywhere, as Bob and Bret had blew their feud off 8 months earlier at Wrestlemania. So this segment had an interviewer with go away heat, a cliché promo from Bret and a retired (and now comic relief) wrestler injure the World champ. A total stinker of a segment.
John Crystal vs. HHH
We see clips of Howard Finkel being slopped over the weekend, since he was a loyal employee and thus had to be humiliated. The match is just a quick squash to allow the announcers to plug the “Hog Pen” match at the PPV.
Owen Hart has an open contract for the PPV and he knows everyone is scared of him now that he has proven to be a career killer.
Undertaker vs. Kama
Kama comes down on crutches and DiBiase announces he has hired SIR MOE to take Kama’s place. UGH. This is seriously the main event?
Undertaker vs. Sir Moe
How long do we have to watch Moe try and wrestle before we can get the run in by Mabel we all know is inevitable? Moe is scared to even try a lock up. DiBiase trips Taker and Moe clotheslines him over the top rope. DiBiase is choked by Taker for his interfering. Kama saves Ted and beats the Phenom down. Vince must have had great confidence in Undertaker’s ratings drawing ability as this match gets two commercial breaks. Moe hurts his hand on Taker’s protective mask, so he punches it again – because…he’s Mo’ foolish than we thought. Sorry I’m so bored with this match that I’m making up terrible puns to amuse myself. Moe is choked and downed with a boot as the fake crowd noise is ramped up to try and pretend anybody cares about this match. Taker roughs up Kama to neutralize him as a factor and Kama runs away to the back. Undertaker choke slams and pins Moe to mercy kill this encounter.
Mabel waddles out and tries to steal the necklace that now contains the Undertaker’s power. Yokozuna comes down and faces off with the Dead Man, so instead of using the thick necklace as a weapon, Undertaker hands it to Paul Bearer for safe keeping. Mabel, in a stroke of genius, walks over and clobbers Bearer seconds later and steals the necklace. That’s the second time Bearer lost the urn this year when entrusted with it by the Undertaker. Terrible match as Moe is just a blob with no redeeming value. Even as a youngster I found Moe to be a horrible wrestler.
This may be the worst RAW I’ve watched so far in this journey through the Monday Night Wars. Nitro had a legit good ladies tag match, a fun angle with Kimberly, more Luger as a tweener intrigue and several perversely entertaining segments of WCW’s hottest feud: The Fan base vs. Hulk Hogan. Nitro wins in a massive landslide this week!