Welcome everyone to the place where we used to put the ‘Flashback Friday‘ into Flashback Friday. Hottest Matches last week proved to be just that and has burnt out the circuits in my time machine (go with me) meaning we can no longer leap from show to show and pay per view to pay per view.
What it means is we have to take the long way home. What it means, and I’m guessing you’ve got there by reading the title of this, is we are going to cover Raw. Yes people we are going to put the ‘Monday‘ into Monday Night Raw as we go back 25 years and over 1300 episodes and start at the very begining.
RAW #1 [January 11 1993]
Sean Mooney is outside the Manhattan Centre and he welcomes us to Raw. Bobby Heenan tries to get into the building for his usual comentary role but Mooney tells him he’s been replaced. Heenan seemes angered by this, which does raise the point that Mooney seems OK with being outside, but I digress.
Following the opening credits we are welcomed to Raw (again) this time by our commentary team of Vince McMahon, Randy Savage and Rob Bartlett (no, I’ve no idea who he is either and after watching it don’t want to) they give us a run down of the matches we’ll see tonight before we head into the first ever Raw match.
Yokozuna vs Koko B Ware
Bartlet runs through a series of fat jokes and Vince suggests Yokozuna has eaten Koko’s parrot, all before the first move of the match which is a Collar and Elbow Tie-up which ends when Yokozuna pushes Koko halfway across the ring and into the corner upside down. A second Collar and Elbow Tie-up ends the same way. Koko bounces off the ropes with a Shoulder Block but runs right into Yokozuna and it is Koko that ends in a heap on the ground. Again. A second Koko Shoulder Block ends the same way. Two Dropkicks stagger Yokozuna but they don’t knock him down. Koko flies at Yokozuna with a Clothesline but Yokozuna steps out of the way and Koko lands on the ropes and is bounced backwards landing on the canvas where Yokozuna drops on him with a huge Legdrop before following up with a huge Avalanche and ends it with a Banzai Drop. There it is people, first match in Raw history and it was not a classic. That said, Yokozuna looked like an unstoppable monster which was the whole point of the match.
An ad airs for the Royal Rumble that airs in a couple of weeks. Don’t worry, when we get there I’ll slip the results in to keep everyone up to speed.
A woman with huge hair and a bathing suit wanders around the ring with a ‘Monday Night Raw‘ sign. You would NEVER see that happen in 2018.
A pre-tape promo airs with Bobby Heenan. He talks about Narcissus. He tells Mr Perfect that Narcissus is beyond perfection, anatomically perfect and physically and mentally superior beyond imagination. Heenan says that Narcissus is so beyond perfect it’s like he’s from another galaxy. Heenan tells us we will see Narcissus at the Royal Rumble.
Rick Steiner & Scott Steiner vs Executioner One & Executioner Two
Ah enhancement talent. We have covered these a couple of times back on ‘Leaping Through The Network‘ and we are going to encounter a LOT of them here on ‘Retro Raw‘. My plan is to get some of them a small level of notoriety as we go. The Executioners are Barry Hardy (no relation to Matt or Jeff) and the second most famous enhancement talent of all time, Duane Gill (for the record, I’m counting Barry Horowitz as number one. We’ll see him as we go on. Don’t agree with my #1, tweet me!)
Scott turns a Collar and Elbow Tie-up into a Back Elbow that knocks Ex 1 down and Doink is in the crowd. Scott shoots Ex 1 off the ropes and hits him with a Tilt-a-whirl Sidewalk Slam, an Elbow Drop and a Snapmare before tagging Rick. Rick hits a Knee to the gut and a Right Hand that knocks Ex 1 down. Ex 1 manages to hit Rick with a Right Hand and whips Rick off the ropes but Rick reverses it and sends EX 1 face first into the ropes. Rick shoots EX 1 off the ropes and knocks him down with a Clothesline before draping him over his shoulder and ramming Ex 1 chest first into the corner. Ex 1 recovers at ringside with Ex 2, Scott Steiner comes over and cracks their heads together with a Double Noggin Knocker and throws EX 2 into the ring. Ex 2 shoots Rick off the ropes and attempts to leapfrog him but Rick catches him and Powerslams Ex 2. Scott tags in and hits Ex 2 with an overhead Belly To Belly Suplex. Scott throws Ex 2 into his corner and he tags Ex 1 back in. Scott grabs Ex 1 and hits him with a Double Underhook Powerbomb before lifting Ex 1 onto his shoulders allowing Rick to climb to the top turnbuckle and hits what I call (and will do so in future matches) a Doomsday Bulldog. Scott makes the cover and he gets the win.
Winners: Rick Steiner & Scott Steiner
Outside the arena, Rob Bartlett’s aunt is trying to get inside to see her nephew. Turns out it’s just Bobby Heenan in drag.
Vince McMahon is in the ring. He announces for an in-ring interview, Razor Ramon. Vince asks if he is ready to challenge Bret Hart in two weeks at the Royal Rumble. Razor says he was born ready. Razor says it took Bret Hart eight and a half years to reach the top of WWE, but it only took Razor eight and a half months. Vince asks Razor why he attacked Owen Hart on Mania on Saturday morning, Razor says it was fun and there is nothing that Bret Hart can do about it. Another thing that Bret can’t do anything about, according to Razor, is stop Razor from taking the WWE Title at the Royal Rumble.
Shawn Michaels vs Max Moon [Intercontinental Title]
Match starts with a Collar and Elbow Tie-up that Shawn turns into an Arm Drag. Shawn turns another Collar and Elbow into a Headlock then a Hammerlock that Moon quickly turns into one of his own before he eats a Back Elbow from Shawn in the face. Shawn bounces of the ropes but Moon ducks him and leapfrogs him. Moon catches a boot from Shawn before spinning him round and lifting Shawn for an Atomic Drop that Shawn manages to roll out of. Moon slips behind Shawn and pushes him off the ropes for an O’Connor Roll but Shawn grabs the ropes and only Moon goes rolling backwards. Shawn charges at Moon who ducks and leapfrogs Shawn again before Hip tossing Shawn over his head before Hiptossing Shawn again when he gets to his feet and hitting Shawn with a Bodyslam that sends Shawn retreating into the corner. Shawn hits a knee to the gut to get out of a Collar And Elbow. Shawn whips Moon off the ropes but Moon ducks a Back Elbow and ducks a charging Shawn before grabbing Shawn for an Armbar in mid air!!
We come back from the ads as Shawn pushes Moon into the corner, he whips Moon into the opposite corner but Moon moves out the way of a charging Shawn and Shawn goes shoulder first into the corner. Moon attempts an Arm Wringer but Shawn punches Moon in the face before ramming Moon’s face into the buckle and whips Moon into the opposite corner. Moon attempts to leap over a charging Shawn but he gets caught and Shawn drops him, Snake Eyes style’ onto the ropes. Shawn chokes Moon before whipping him off the ropes and Dropkicking the rebounding Moon. Shawn shoots Moon off the ropes again but Moon catches Shawn with a quick Roll Up that gets a two count. Shawn catches Moon in a Headlock and hits him with a Left Hand and rams his head into the corner before whipping Moon into the opposite corner so hard it knocks him off his feet. Shawn hits Moon with a series of rights and a Headbutt.
Shawn tries for a Bodyslam that is countered into a Small Package that gets Moon a two count. Shawn whips Moon off the ropes and catches him with a Back Elbow that gets Shawn a two count. Shawn applies a Reverse Chinlock that slows things down for a bit. Moon hits a couple of elbows to Shawn’s gut to get himself out of the hold before catching Shawn as he attempts a Dropkick and Slingshots Shawn over the top rope and out of the ring. Moon then gets onto the apron and (it’s the best I have to describe this cleanly) Flying Teabags Shawn on the outside. Moon rolls Shawn back into the ring and hits an Uppercut, an Irish Whip and a Spin Kick into the corner before lifting Shawn onto his shoulders where a Rolling Kenton gets Moon a two count. Moon hits a Bodyslam but misses a sommersault Legdrop allowing Shawn to Superkick him and hit a Teardrop Suplex for the three.
Winner: Shawn Michaels [still Intercontinental Champion]
An ad airs for Mania, a Saturday morning show that airs at 10 am.
We cut to Mean Gene with the Royal Rumble Report. It’s a rundown of all the anounced matches for the PPV. Over then next few years we will get a lot of [insert PPV name] Reports. One matches at the upcoming Rumble is Shawn Michaels vs Marty Jannetty for the Intercontinental Title so we cut to a pre-taped Shawn Michaels. Shawn says that Marty doesn’t deserve a title shot but as Shawn is ‘Mr Cool‘ he’s giving Marty a shot anyway. A pre tape with Marty Jannetty where he tells us that he will get everything he wants at the Rumble: He will get the Intercontinental Title as well as ending Shawn’s career.
Announced so far or the Royal Rumble Match is Ric Flair, Tatanka, Irwin R Schyster, Bob Backlund, Jerry Lawler, Mr Perfect, Ted DiBiase, Crush, Rick Martel, Yokozuna, Randy Savage, Papa Shango, Earthquake, The Berzerker, The Undertaker, Carlos Colon, Tenryu, El Matador, Typhoon, Samu, Fatu and Jim Duggan. Also Bret Hart vs Razor Ramon for the WWE Title has been announced for the Rumble
Outside with Sean Mooney and Rob Bartlett’s uncle….no wait, It’s Bobby Heenan in a wig and a fake beard.
We see a ticket hotline number to get tickets for Raw. Usually on the WWE Network we get a ‘number no longer active’ over phone numbers. This one doesn’t. Interesting.
Kamala split from Harvey Whippleman and Kim Chee in a segment that looks a bit odd in 2018. A black man (Kamala) is chastised by two white guys (Whippleman & Kim Chee) until a second black guy (Slick) runs in to break it up. Whippleman punches Slick knocking him down and this angers Kamala and he chases Whippleman and Kim Chee away.
The Undertaker vs Damian Demento
Demento hits a series of Right Hands before whipping Undertaker off the ropes but he bends too far for a Back Drop and Undertaker rams his face into the canvas before ramming Demento’s head into the corner. Undertaker then climbs to the top rope and hits Demento with Old School (which wasn’t called Old Shool in 1993 granted but I’m writing this in 2018 so tough). Undertaker rams Demento’s head into the corner again before choking him. Undertaker Irish Whips Demento into the corner and charges but Demento gets a foot up to block him before climbing to the second turnbuckle and hitting Undertaker with an Axe Handle and drops Undertaker with a running Shoulder Block but Undertaker sits right back up. Vince McMahon is discussing “Bret Hart” as Undertaker hits an almost botched Flying Clothesline before a Tombstone finishes it for Demento.
Winner: The Undertaker
Vince advertises a Cage Match for next week between Woody Allen against Mia Farrow. Topical joke, I think they may have been divorcing at the time.
Vince McMahon is with Doink. Vince tells Doink that Crush has warned him about making kids cry. Doink says if kids don’t have a sense of humour it’s their problem. Crush comes to the ring and says if Doink keeps pulling pranks on children and making them cry, Crush will put Doink’s legs and arms in plaster. Doink sprays him with a water pistol.
Outside the building, Sean Mooney tells Bobby Heenan that he’s just gotten word that Bobby can get in the building. The show fades to black.
Post Show: This is interesting as it is so long ago and it’s the very first one. But the commentary is bad. Rob Bartlet spent the entire Shawn vs Moon match doing a really bad (and probably offensive) impression of Mike Tyson to the point that the other two sped more time dealing with him than calling the show. The matches are OK but they are TV level and we are going to get a lot more enhancement talent on Raw for the next few years and the matches won’t be great as a result.
Match of The Night: Shawn Michaels vs Max Moon. It wasn’t anything special but it was the best of what we had.
MVP: Max Moon. I thought he had a decent match and looked on Shawn’s level. Even if it was just for one night.
With that I am done. No more leaping, no more votes. Just moving on to Episode #2 of Raw next week. IN the meantime I can be found on Twitter @Callaweasy2220 where I live tweet my way through Raw, Smackdown, NXT and, when there is one on, PPV as well as randomly posting screen shots of what I’m watching if ever I’m bored. If you want to talk about Wrestling, Dr Who, Batman or my style of review writing. I’ll be back with episode 2 so until then #UseYourHead and ALWAYS have an Angle.
“Not a Chance of you doing the thing to me again”
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Chairshot Classics: WWE SummerSlam 2016
Kickoff Match #1: The Vaudevillains (Aiden English & Simon Gotch), The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor) & Breezango (Tyler Breeze & Fandango) vs. The Hype Bros (Zack Ryder & Mojo Rawley), The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) & American Alpha (Jason Jordan & Chad Gable)
Breeze & Gable to kickoff the action, collar & elbow tie-up to start out, Prince Pretty backs Gable towards his corner, Chad goes to a waistlock and takes him down to the canvas. Tyler with a back elbow to break the grip and gains a wristlock, Gable rolls through, scores with a forearm, brings him back down with a spinning drop toe hold and slaps on an armbad. Tag to Jey who regains the wristlock, Breeze with a handful of hair to work him to the corner, Aiden gets the tag, drives Jey face-first into the top turnbuckle, then connects with heavy right hands. He shoots Jey across, Jey slides to a stop, drills him with an uppercut, delivers a body slam and makes a tag to Mojo.
Rawley with big fists to the breadbasket, drives his shoulder into English’s and locks in an armwringer, Aiden breaks it with a right hand, but a whip to the ropes is reversed for a back body drop. Mojo tags out and Ryder comes off the 2nd rope for a combination suplex/dropkick. Long Island Iced Z unloads with forearms in the corner, sets for the Broski Boot, every hits the ring now and the melee is on with The Ascension left standing.
American Alpha ascends the same turnbuckle for in-sync top rope clotheslines and shoulder blocks, Breezango pulls them to the outside, Zack comes running in with a baseball slide to them both, gets dragged under the bottom rope and Aiden rams him into the ring post as we hit a break….We come back from commercial and Gotch covers Ryder for a count of 2 before utilizing a chinlock, switches to an armbar, Long Island Iced Z works to his feet, gets backed to the wrong corner and Viktor tags in to put the boots to him in the corner for a 1 count. He grounds Zack with a rear chinlock, Ryder finds his footing again, escapes after a jawbreaker, reaches for a tag, but gets driven back into the wrong corner again.
Konnor tags in and crushes Zack with a corner clothesline, sends him into a high knee from Viktor for a count of 2, Prince Pretty tags back in, snapmares Ryder over for an elbow drop and hooks the leg for another 2. He grinds Long Island Iced Z down with a rear chinlock, The Broski battles up, gets taken down into a single leg crab, Fandango gets the tag and comes in with a slingshot leg drop for a near fall. Viktor re-enters the match and puts the bad mouth on Ryder in the corner, Long Island Iced Z tries scurrying to his corner and gets caught in a front facelock, gets pushed back to the wrong corner, Konnor tags in and The Ascension knocks all of Ryder’s partners off the apron.
The Ascension looks for another double team, Zack thwarts it off, crawls to his corner as Jimmy climbs back to the apron, Konnor slides in to cut him off with a Canadian backbreaker, but Ryder slips out of it into a neckbreaker. Tags on both sides now, Jimmy delivers clotheslines to Tyler, keels him over with a kick, scores with an uppercut, shoots him to the ropes for a clothesline, Breeze ducks it, but gets planted by a Samoan Drop instead. He lines Prince Pretty up for the corner hip attack, Konnor rolls in and cuts him off, blocks a kick, swings the leg around and Jimmy decks him with an uppercut.
He goes to send Breeze to the ropes, irish whip is reversed, Jordan with a blind tag as Jimmy attempts a crossbody that misses the mark, Jordan tossing Tyler with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Fandango comes off the top rope to help his partner, gets caught by a belly-to-belly for his troubles, Gotch makes a tag, steps into the ring and gets thrown with a leg-trapped suplex, covers, but Aiden breaks it up at 2. Gable slides into the ring and goes for a kick to English, it’s countered and Gable gets planted by a sit-out powerbomb. Rawley hits the ring next with a discus punch to Aiden, turns around and Breeze lays him out with the Beauty Shot, Prince Pretty catches Zack coming in looking for the Rough Ryder, elevates him into the air and Viktor flattens him with a clothesline.
He props Ryder on the top turnbuckle, Breeze & Viktor climb up for a double superplex, Mojo rolls in and plants them both with a powerbomb, Long Island Iced Z following with the ElBro Drop off the top. Fandango climbs the opposite corner and connects with the Last Dance to Ryder, Jimmy rolls in and disposes of Fandango with a superkick, turns around and Konnor’s there to elevate him up, Viktor coming off the 2nd rope with a knee to the jaw.
Gable comes in and low-bridges Konnor over the top, elevates Viktor to the apron, Viktor hangs on, The Ascension set him up for a double suplex, but The Usos slide in to prevent it with in-sync superkicks. Jimmy & Jey take flight to the outside with crossbody planchas, Simon rolls into the ring and peppers Gable with a stiff forearm, turns around and Jordan is there to spear him in the corner. Gable tags in, American Alpha hits Grand Amplitude, Jey with a blind tag and he comes off the top with the Uso Splash to Simon for the win.
Winners: The Hype Bros, The Usos & American Alpha (Jey/Uso Splash)
- EA’s Take: Solid contest that was eerily similar to the one we saw on SmackDown. Only difference here is the heels got in some more offense and Jey tagged himself in to “steal” the pinfall. I don’t mind it, but there was nothing spectacular really. We get some teased tension between Alpha and The Usos at the end, I don’t see The Usos turning heel, but more building up the competition with these teams vying for the top spot.
Kickoff Match #2: The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von) vs. Neville & Sami Zayn
Neville & D-Von to start out, D-Von goes to a wristlock off the tie-up, The Man That Gravity Forgot uses the ropes to flip over and counter to one of his own, then tags out. Sami maintains the hold and delivers shots to the shoulder, quick tags between Neville & Zayn now, trading off blows to the left arm. The Underdog from the Underground plants D-Von with a body slam, gets on all fours, Neville jumps off his back into a standing corkscrew moonsault, then they dump Bubba over the top and look for synchronized outside dives.
Bubba trips Neville up from the floor, D-Von takes the opening, puts The Man That Gravity Forgot in the corner and puts the boots to him, shoots him to the ropes for a spinning back elbow, covers for a 1 count and we go to a commercial….We come back and Bubba props Neville on the top turnbuckle, plants him into the canvas with an elevated neckbreaker, D-Von re-enters the match and covers for a count of 2. He locks on a nerve hold to the trap muscle, The Man That Gravity Forgot fights to his feet, gets clocked by a right hand, D-Von snapmares him over and drops a leg for another 2 count.
He puts Neville into the corner and unleashes a flurry of fists, Bubba tags back in and buries a punch into the ribs, rams The Man That Gravity Forgot into the top turnbuckle and talks trash as he pummels him with more right hands. Neville starts to fire up and gets clocked by a back elbow, Bubba goes to the 2nd rope for a senton, Neville avoids it, crawls toward his corner and we get tags on both sides.
The Underdog from the Underground with clotheslines for D-Von, irish whip to the ropes is reversed, D-Von tosses Sami into the air for a flapjack, Zayn clobbers him with a dropkick, ducks a clothesline and scores with the Blue Thunder Bomb, Bubba breaking the count up at 2. D-Von tags out, Sami battles off both Dudleys initially, he misses a wild right hand, The Dudleys plant him with 3D II, Bubba hooks the leg and now Neville saves the match at a 2 count.
The half-brothers take the 2-on-1 advantage and set Neville up for 3D, The Man That Gravity Forgot slips out of it, ducks a clothesline, Bubba levels D-Von instead, turns around and gets decked by the Helluva Kick. Neville tags in, connects with the Red Arrow and that’s all she wrote.
Winners: Neville & Sami Zayn (Neville/Red Arrow)
- EA’s Take: More pretty standard stuff here, Neville’s corkscrew moonsault off of Sami’s back was impressive, but I’ve seen it before. Not that it makes it any less exciting. The Dudleys continue to have communication problems and although I don’t agree with it if that’s what’s going to happen, it looks as if a split is inevitable.
Kickoff Match #3 – Best Of 7 Series Match #1: Sheamus vs. Cesaro
Both guys a little tentative to begin, they lock-up and jostle for position in the corner, the official steps in to force a break, Sheamus tries an early Brogue Kick and misses, Cesaro following him into the opposite corner with a running uppercut. He pulls The Celtic Warrior out, Sheamus missing a wild right hand, The Swiss Superman springs off the 2nd rope for another uppercut, gets caught in the air, battles out of it and uses a double leg takedown to set for the Swing.
The Great White kicks his way free, Cesaro comes back with a double stomp to the chest, clotheslines Sheamus over the top to the floor, hits the ropes for an outside dive, but The Celtic Warrior surprises him with a right hand from the floor. He rolls into the ring and gets caught by a dropkick for a count of 2, The Great White staggers to the corner, uses the tights to pull Cesaro face-first into the turnbuckles, unleashes a flurry of uppercuts, irish whip across is reversed, The Swiss Superman follows in and gets elevated to the apron, landing on his feet.
Sheamus scores with a forearm shot and ties him in the ropes for the Beats Of The Bodhren, The King Of Swing blocks it, delivers uppercuts to the shoulder, Sheamus rips at the left arm in the ropes, drives him into the top turnbuckle and drops Cesaro with a clothesline. He drags Cesaro back into the ring and hits a vertical suplex for a count of 2, starts targeting the left arm with a top wristlock, The Swiss Superman finds his way to a standing position, powers Sheamus up into an alpamare waterslide, scores with a snap suplex and floats into a cover for 1.
The Celtic Warrior surprises him with a mule kick to the midsection, punts Cesaro in the face, shoots him to the corner and buries a shoulder into the ribs, then hits the ropes. Cesaro explodes out with an uppercut, The Great White fires back with a back elbow, sends him to the ropes for a tilt-a-whirl powerslam, hooks the leg and gains a count of 2 as we go to break….Sheamus has Cesaro grounded with a rear chinlock when we get back, The King Of Swing finds his footing, gets pushed to the ropes for a back body drop, prevents it with an uppercut, hits the ropes and gets cracked by an Irish Curse for a near fall.
The Great White lifts Cesaro up and they exchange shots, Sheamus gets the better of it, picks The Swiss Superman up for a rolling fireman’s carry, hooks him for a suplex, The King Of Swing blocking it and they both drop over the top to the floor. Both guys stagger to their feet and roll into the squared circle to just beat the count, The Celtic Warrior clobbers Cesaro with uppercuts and puts the bad-mouth on him, The Swiss Superman fires up with a barrage of uppercuts to back him to the corner, goes into the Uppercut Train, Sheamus reverses, gets propped on the top turnbuckle and then dropkicked to the apron.
The King Of Swing climbs to the 2nd rope and pulls Sheamus up for a suplex back into the ring, lateral press for a count of 2. Cesaro grabs the legs for the Swing, Sheamus kicks him away, rolls him up for a near fall, The King Of Swing charges in, nearly gets caught in another Irish Curse, flips through it for the Neutralizer, but it’s countered into White Noise for another near fall. Cesaro rolls to the apron and Sheamus clubs him across the chest, climbs to the 2nd rope, deadlifts The Swiss Superman up and plants him with a 2nd rope rolling fireman’s carry, but still can’t finish it. The Great White calls for the Brogue Kick to end it, runs into a big boot, gets flattened by a clothesline, Cesaro into the cover, but still only gets a 2 count.
He rolls to the apron and ascends to the top turnbuckle, stands on the ring post, springs off the top rope for a crossbody, hooks the leg and can still only gain a near fall. He looks to the crowd and puts Sheamus in the Swing, steps into the Sharpshooter, The Great White quickly grabs the bottom rope to force a break, the official steps in to create separation, Sheamus taking the opening to sneak in a back elbow. The Swiss Superman picks the legs and tries for another Sharpshooter, The Celtic Warrior with a thumb to the eye, rams him shoulder-first into the ring post, follows with a Brogue Kick and finishes it.
Winner: Sheamus (Brogue Kick)
- EA’s Take: No surprise here to me with Sheamus winning, it never really made sense to me for them to have a Best Of 7 when Cesaro has gotten the better of him 3 weeks in a row, so he needed it tonight. I don’t think there’s ever been a Best Of 7 Series in wrestling history that didn’t go the distance, so The Celtic Warrior had to pick up a win at some point. Not as good of a showing as their first match on RAW 3 weeks ago either, in my opinion.
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Chairshot Classics: WCW Starrcade ’91 – BattleBowl & The Lethal Lottery
Open: The names of 40 top WCW Superstars were entered into a “Lethal Lottery” to randomly generate 20 tag teams. This created 10 tag team matches with the winners of each being entered into the main event: a 20 man battle royal to determine the sole winner of Battlebowl.
In The Arena: Eric Bischoff, Missy Hyatt and Magnum T.A. are standing by with all 40 participants are standing on the entrance stage. Hyatt and T.A. start to draw names, and Bischoff announces the first participants. We have our first surprise as The Fabulous Freebirds are on opposing teams.
Match #1: Michael ‘P.S.’ Hayes & Tracy Smothers vs. Jimmy ‘Jam’ Garvin & Marcus Bagwell
Bagwell and Smothers start us out. Both Freebirds get the crowd clapping from the apron. There is a staredown and they exchange shoves. They hit the ropes and Bagwell takes Smothers down with a shoulder block. Smothers reevaluates his situation. The crowd chants for the DDT. Collar and elbow tie up and a deep arm drag by Bagwell. Another tie up, chain wrestling into a hammerlock by Smothers, reversed with a takedown by Bagwell. Smothers lectures a stalling Smothers. Collar and elbow, Smothers escapes a reverse waistlock with an elbow to the jaw and follows it with a shoulder block.
They run the ropes, Bagwell leapfrogs Smothers and delivers a hip toss. He follows with a drop kick and an arm drag, Smothers gets up and misses a drop kick before retreating. Smothers gets up and insists one or both Freebirds enter the match. Garvin is tagged in, Smothers taunts him, Garvin struts around and he is ambushed from behind. Smothers is shot into the ropes, they exchange leapfrogs before Garvin hits a hip toss and a drop kick. Smothers rolls to the apron, and he’s kicked in the face and out to the floor. Hayes checks in with his partner as the crowd cheers for the DDT. Smothers regroups in the ring, he offers a handshake but kicks Garvin in the gut.
Jimmy Jam lifts his cheap shotting opponent up for an atomic drop and he tumbles outside again. Back to the ring, Garvin grabs a wrist lock and tags in Bagwell. Bagwell enters with a double ax handle to the shoulder and locks in a wrist lock of his own. Smothers reverses with a knee to the gut and some clubbing fists. Hayes is finally tagged in, chop followed by an elbow off the ropes. Arm bar by Hayes is reversed with a take down by Bagwell. They jockey for position and Hayes uses a drop toe hold. He controls Bagwell with the arm bar and clubs Bagwell’s shoulder. Smothers is tagged back in and stays on the arm. Bagwell reverses, grabbing the other wrist, throwing Smothers over and landing a standing leg drop. Back to their feet and Bagwell stays on the shoulder. Smothers gets positioning in the corner, the referee calls for a break in the hold and The Young Pistol cheap shots Bagwell in the mid section.
The rookie escapes from the corner but Smothers is hot on his trail. Bagwell reverses a whip to the ropes and takes his opponent down with an arm drag. The fans get on the case of Smothers with some jeers. A knee to the gut off the tie up by Smothers, he lifts Bagwell but Marcus escapes and delivers a scoop slam. Garvin is tagged back in, and Smothers dives to his corner and forces a tag on Hayes. The partners smile as the crowd reacts. They shake hands and tie up. No one gets an advantage and it’s broken. Another collar and elbow and Hayes gets position on the ropes, the referee breaks them up. A fourth tie up and Hayes throws Garvin with the arm drag. Michael Struts. Garvin hits an arm drag of his own.
They tie up and Hayes goes for a quick schoolboy and a two count. Side headlock takedown by Garvin, countered with a leg scissor, broken quickly and they’re back to their feet. They each strut to their corners and tag in their respective partners as the fans cheer. Quick strikes and a superkick by Smothers. Bagwell is lifted for a scoop slam but he dodges the elbow. Garvin is tagged back in and hits Smothers with a back body drop. Garvin confuses his dazed opponent with some fast running across the ring and a running forearm. He tags in Bagwell who heads for the top rope, Garvin holds Smothers in place with a wrist lock and Bagwell gets two on a flying cross body.
Marcus gives Hayes a shot on the apron before turning to Smothers. Hayes takes offense and enters the ring to knock him with a right. Garvin turns Hayes around and Michael unknowingly clocks him with a big left. Scoop slam by Smothers in the middle of the ring as the Freebirds argue. Smothers goes for a high risk move but Bagwell gets the knees up. Bagwell hits a Fisherman’s Suplex and picks up the win. The Freebirds make up and shake hands.
Winners: Jimmy ‘Jam’ Garvin & Marcus Bagwell (Bagwell/Fisherman’s Suplex)
- EA’s Take: I don’t think I’ve seen more than two consecutive PPVs where the Freebirds remain either heels or faces. They’re sort of the ‘Ric Flair’ of tag teams – you either love them or love to hate them. This was obviously a curious match of “will they/won’t they” in terms of fighting one another. Two times I thought they were going in a particular direction, but both times it turned out to be nothing. When the Birds were in the ring, I started laughing each time they locked up and broke it off on the ropes. I would have stuck with that, exaggerating the excursion from each tie-up and adding some more comedy before making the tags back after no moves were thrown. They ended up hitting one another with some arm drags, so the whole, “sure, we’ll fight each other… just kidding”, wasn’t as good as it could have been. When they got into it at the end, you thought maybe it was friction within the team, but instead they immediately made up. Oh well, decent match. The Birds know how to entertain.
Match #2: WCW Television Champion ‘Stunning’ Steve Austin & WCW United States Champion ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude w/Paul E. Dangerously vs. Van Hammer & Big Josh
Hammer and Austin start with a tie up and quick break. Another tie up, Austin takes position and it’s broken in the corner. Hammer lifts Austin for a scoop slam and Austin looks “Stunned”. Kick to the gut and rights by Austin. Hammer reverses a back body drop with a kick to the face, but Austin is right back up with a kick and an attempted vertical suplex. The big Hammer blocks and lifts the TV champ for one instead. Austin kicks out at two and jumps back up with a drop toe hold and a reverse chin lock on the mat.
Hammer reverses into a hammerlock on the mat and follows it with knees to the ribs. They work back to their feet and Austin takes him down with a series of snapmare takedowns. Hammer reverses the Irish whip, Austin moves and Hammer collides with the turn buckle. Strikes and another snapmare by Austin who tags in Rude to a sea of boos. Rude sends him for the ride and a clothesline before taunting the crowd. Knee to the mid section and clubbing forearms by the US Champ. Hammer tries to fight back with rights, but Rude rakes his eyes. Hammer is sent to the ropes and is flipped over by a knee to the gut. Rude holds him in place with his boot as he tags in Austin.
Clothesline by Austin followed by a side salto suplex. Rude gets the quick tag, and he clubs the back of Hammer’s neck. Reverse side head lock by Rude as Hammer tries to strength his way over to Big Josh. He’s able to make it, and Josh is fired up, giving a few strikes and sending Rude for a power slam. He stands on Rude for a log roll, but the US champ points out his abs are invincible to that move. Josh unsuccessfully tries striking his mid section, but he’s had enough and just clotheslines him. A quick kick out by Rude, but he goes down just as fast with a shoulder block. Rude kicks out of another lateral press, Austin rushes the ring but Josh takes him out. The Dangerous Alliance reels on the outside after having their heads knocked together.
Rude is back in, and Dangerously screams on his phone. Josh reverses a hammerlock with an elbow to the jaw, arm drag take down, Rude desperately reaches for a tag. He gets it, and Austin meets a similar fate. Austin works back to his feet, he breaks the hold with some rights. Josh reverses the Irish whip to the ropes, Austin takes him down with a shoulder tackle, but the second time Big Josh catches him and slingshots him across the top rope. A clothesline and a lateral press gets two and Van Hammer is tagged back in. Austin is worked down with the hammerlock. He adjusts to a wrist lock and makes the quick tag to Josh who hangs onto it. Austin breaks it with rights and breaks up Josh’s attempt at a back body drop.
Reverse waist lock by Josh, Austin ducks and runs toward the ropes and Rude clocks the outdoorsman. Legal tag is made to Rude and he goes for the top rope. Double ax handle knocks Josh to the mat, but there’s a kick out at two. Strikes from Rude and another tag to Austin. Boots in the corner by Austin and he holds his opponent on the middle rope. The ref pulls him away, Rude jumps down to the floor to keep him in place and Austin comes back with a leaping bronco buster. Austin gets two and a half on Josh. Front face lock and a tag back to Rude. Clubbing forearms and a snap mare. Rude holds on with a modified reverse chin lock, Josh manages to get back to his feet and Paul E. immediately gets on the apron.
Josh fights out of the hold but he’s blind sided by Austin’s boot. Dangerously is lectured down to the floor, and the referee questions is a tag was made to Austin while he wasn’t looking. Big Josh is dumped to the floor for abuse by Rude while Austin ties up the ref. Snapmare and a reverse chinlock by Austin. Josh is slow to get back to his feet as Hammer leads the cheering. The hold is broken with elbows to the gut, and he catches a leaping Austin with a power slam. Josh goes for the elbow but Austin moves. Josh is once again draped on the middle rope, Dangerously holds him in place while Rude provides the distraction.
Austin goes for another bronco buster, but Josh moves and pulls his manager in the way. Josh crawls across the ring to make the hot tag who goes right after Austin. Power slam by Hammer followed by a belly to back suplex. Austin is sent for the ride and eats a diving shoulder block. Rude makes the save and Josh takes offense. Back to the apron, Rude makes a blind tag as Austin hits the ropes. Hammer lifts the TV champ for the back body drop but doesn’t realize the US champ in the legal man. Rude spins Hammer around and hits the Rude Awakening for the win.
Winners: ‘Stunning’ Steve Austin & ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude (Rude/Rude Awakening)
- EA’s Take: In two matches, they’ve already achieved my expectation to have some partners on opposite corners and others conveniently together with Austin and Rude. The Ravishing One’s debut at Halloween Havoc not only brought him into WCW, but opened the door for him to become leader of The Dangerous Alliance, one of the better factions that is often forgotten in time. With Rude and Paul E as the figureheads, being flanked by Arn Anderson, Larry Zbysko, Bobby Eaton, a young Steve Austin and Madusa was a pretty formidable. On top of that, Austin would quickly become Television Champion, Rude would pull off a tremendous ruse to get the US Title off of Sting and they had all the momentum in the world. Obvious winners just by reading the card.
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Chairshot Classics: WCW Monday Nitro Episode 12 – Sting vs. Hogan
Here is the go-home Nitro for World War 3!
WCW Nitro: Episode 12
November 20, 1995
Macon Coliseum, Macon, GA
Bischoff, Heenan and McMichael are on commentary as usual getting us hyped for Hulk Hogan vs Sting in the main event. Bischoff is calling it the Super Bowl of professional wrestling, interesting they gave it away on free television.
Scott “Flash” Norton vs The Shark
The Shark attacks Norton on the entrance ramp and they brawl outside the ring. Bobby Heenan says that Shark is well over 500 pounds, who believes that??? The Shark gets control with a belly to belly suplex, but Norton starts no selling his strikes. Norton hits a scoop powerslam and gets the victory. This was a very lackluster match and seemed to be filler for a few minutes. John Tenta was so talented, it’s sad that he never caught on like he really could have.
Winner: Scott Norton via pinfall
Mean Gene interviews Taskmaster and Jimmy Hart at the entrance ramp. Hart is trying to rally Sting for his match against Hogan later, focusing on Hogan not being behind Sting as a talent. Taskmaster hypes up World War 3 and how the Dungeon of Doom has strength in numbers.
Disco Inferno is out to dance until Eddie Guerrero’s music hits and he runs off.
Eddie Guerrero vs Brian Pillman
This was supposed to be Ric Flair but he came out in street clothes with Brian Pillman in his ring gear. Flair cuts a promo about being so focused on Sting, that he’s having Pillman take his place. Replace one amazing competitor with another, I’m not mad. Guerrero in control early with a neck tie head scissors, big dropkick and belly to back suplex. He goes off the top rope but Pillman catches him with a dropkick to halt the momentum. Pillman hits his own belly to back suplex for a near fall. The two trade chops before Brian sticks a finger in Eddie’s eye and hits a snap powerslam for another near fall. Pillman suplexes Eddie out of the ring and misses a cross body on the railing. Eddie counters with his own MASSIVE cross body and brings Brian back in the ring. Eddie hits the brainbuster and goes to the top rope but Pillman crotches him up there. Eddie pushes Brian off the top rope and hits the frog splash to get the victory. A very fun match, I’m sure these two could seriously tear the roof off the place.
Winner: Eddie Guerrero via pinfall
We take a look back at Nitro from the previous week where the Dungeon of Doom and Lex Luger attacked Randy Savage and worked over his arm. Commentary is saying it is a serious arm injury that will need surgery. Eric Bischoff wonders if Macho Man is faking the injury to plot against Hulk Hogan.
Big Bubba vs Road Warrior Hawk
A rare singles match for Hawk and a younger Ray Traylor, I’m good with this. Hawk attacks Bubba to start and is in control after a back body drop. Hawk hits a scoop slam but misses a splash off the top rope. Bubba is in control now with strikes and a clothesline. Hawk makes a comeback but Bubba cuts him off with a big spinebuster before eating a right fist outside the ring. The men knock heads and Hawk goes to the top rope but Bubba counters it into a facebuster. Bubba pulls something from his pocket(maybe a roll of quarters?) and tapes up his hand. He goes to come off the ropes but Jim Duggan comes out of nowhere to trip Bubba who falls face first on the foreign object. Hawk makes the cover for the victory. Big hoss match, fun stuff.
Winner: Hawk via pinfall
Sting vs Hulk Hogan
This match has been hyped up all show as the be all and end all of professional wrestling. Sting comes out in red and yellow, fitting considering Hogan’s recent move to the “dark side.” We went to commercial before Sting’s entrance and apparently right after. Interesting television choices there.
Hogan’s music hit and there’s some boos in the crowd. Macho Man Randy Savage comes out and is motioning to the entrance for Hogan to come out for an uncomfortably long time. Hogan comes in through the crowd and postures to the crowd to mostly boos. Hogan is still clean shaven and dressed in black.
After the bell, Sting is on the offensive early with lots of strikes. Hulk takes control with strikes of his own and is getting a good amount of boos. Hulk misses a clothesline and tumbles over the top rope after 2 dropkicks. Hulk pulls Stinger out of the ring, puts his head into the guardrail and suplexes him at ringside.
Sting comes back in the ring with a running cross body and we are back on even ground. Hulk goes for a spinning toe drop and it looks awful and slow, same with his attempt at an armbar takedown. It’s obvious that he is wrestling out of his comfort zone. Sting takes control with crisp looking holds and transitions. Hulk rides a side headlock for a lengthy time before inexplicably just letting Sting go. Sting goes for a Stinger Splash and Hogan counters it into a bearhug for a few seconds before again letting him go.
Belly to back suplex garners a near fall for Hulkster and he hits a suplex for another near fall. Sting comes back and starts working over the leg before locking on the Scorpion Death Lock-that is good storytelling and psychology. Hogan powers out of it and starts his traditional hulk up comeback. Three punches, big boot to Sting’s face, but Sting avoids the leg drop. Hogan’s leg is hurting, Sting locks on the Scorpion Death Lock again.
The Dungeon of Doom comes down and attacks everyone but Sting and Hogan seem to overcome the 6 on 2 odds. The Giant comes down and goes to chokeslam Hogan and Sting. Macho Man hits Giant with a chair but eats a chokelsam for his effort. Hogan and Sting use a chair to clothesline The Giant over the top rope as we go to break.
Winner: No Contest via interference on both men
After the break, Taskmaster and Jimmy Hart are at the commentary table and are sent away by Bischoff. This is being billed as an appetizer to World War 3. Bischoff pushes the narrative that WCW is unpredictable and anyone could walk out of World War 3 as WCW Heavyweight Champion as Nitro goes off the air.
The build to World War 3 has been fun, it’ll be interesting to see how it progresses and changes the show going forward!