Last week, the WWF failed to Shock Us with topless managers, sex with Todd Pettengill in an Elmo costume, or the ever present threat of Goldust giving birth. Instead, they bored us with Steve Austin running rampant around San Antonio for an hour, getting into both a verbal and physical showdown with Terry Funk. Somehow, this turned out amazing. Have we learned anything? Or will heading back to New York ruin it for all of us?
We are LIVE from Webster Hall, because THIS stupid show is the one show that doesn’t need to be taped. SUNNY is dancing on a stripper podium, while VINCE MCMAHON and OWEN HART handle commentary duties.
MANKIND (with Paul Bearer) vs. BRET HART
Mankind spies the dancers on the way to the ring, and simply can’t help himself. Years of being locked in a basement learning to become a piano player and living off rats have made him hornier than a federal inmate, and he starts humping one of the podiums like a dog. Slowly, he corners one of the girls, but Bret pops out from the shadows and starts to kick his ass. “HE’S HAD HIS SOCKS ROCKED!” screams the hipper than hip McMahon. Owen wants to know why Bret’s even allowed here since “he quit on Monday, I heard it with my own ears!” Vince blows it all off as a misunderstanding. Owen hypes the Final Four match coming up next month, even though he could beat all the guys by himself. Owen starts talking down the hos that distracted Mankind, but Sunny joins commentary and tells him to watch his mouth in the presence of a woman. Owen: “That’s fine, but I don’t see any women around here.” Bret and Mankind find themselves throwing punches in front of the announce table, and Bret gives him a vertical suplex right on the unprotected club floor! Mankind grabs Bret’s face and starts clawing and squealing. Sunny starts accusing McMahon of being the puppetmaster of the WWF, seeing as how Gorilla seemed to be doing whatever Vince told him to on Monday night. Vince says he was just trying to smooth things over, and then quickly changes the subject by screaming “WORLD FAMOUS WEBSTER HALL LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!” Mankind runs a knee into Bret’s face, and Owen apologizes to mom for Bret’s new mangled face. An elbow is launched right into Bret’s mouth, but Mankind misses the Cactus clothesline and crashes to the floor. A little dazed, he finds his focus by crawling back towards the sluts, and Vince calls for an immediate commercial break.
The traffic has been redirected to ringside by the time we’re back, and Bret drops Mankind across the guardrail, right on the beans. That must have smarted, especially given his violent erection. Bret pulls them back in, while TODD PETTENGILL stops to talk with A SLUT dressed like Princess Leah. They have an awkward discussion about her fuzzy bra, while Mankind drops Bret with the double arm DDT. He misses a charge in the corner, and Bret drops him with the Russian legsweep. Fistdrop sets up the bulldog, and Bret gets 2. Owen calls for a DQ because Bret had a handful of hair, apparently. The swinging neckbreaker gets 2. Mankind is hit with the backbreaker, and having gone through his repertoire, Bret goes to the Sharpshooter. Owen leaves the broadcast location to attack Bret, and we have a DQ at 10:32. Bret feeds it right back, and both guys brawl to the backstage area. **
PAUL BEARER cries to TODD PETTENGILL that he knew this would happen in an environment filled with sex and liquor. “OHHHHHH MY MANKIND! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO HIM?” But it’s too late; Mankind has worked his way back to the stripper stage and is desperately trying to fit in with the ladies, just like his role model Shawn Michaels.
ROCKY MAIVIA vs. SAVIO VEGA
Apparently Vega turned on Ahmed Johnson at MSG earlier in the day, and is now a member of the Nation. Vega offers Rocky the hand of friendship, while the fans start chanting for the BWO. Rock snapmares his Puerto Rican opponent, and Vince feels it would be a “major upset” if Rock won this match. I wouldn’t go so far as to say Major Upset, since Rock never really loses. Sunny offers her body to Vince, who blows her off. What planet is this show taking place on? There is NO way Vince is turning that down, then OR now. FAAROOQ and CRUSH come down to ringside, and give Savio the salute. Vega acknowledges it, and pounds Rock into the mat. Rock comes back with a crossbody block, but barely gets a 1 count. TODD PETTENGILL tries to find out what’s going on with the Nation. “ASK CRUSH!” Crush advises Pettengill to get out of his face if he wants to keep it, and Todd scatters like a cockroach. Vega works a nerve hold, but Rock fights to his feet and schoolboys Vega for 2. Vega fires back with a roundhouse kick, and Rock is seeing stars. Back to the nerve hold, but Rock escapes again and they start trading punches. Vega stops any momentum with a boot to the face, and that gets 2. And, because he really doesn’t know very many moves, Vega goes to the nerve hold for a 3rd time. And a 4th. Despite the fact I’m bored out of my mind, the fans blame Rock, chanting “ROCKY SUCKS” with a great deal of vigor. Rock delivers some hard chops in the corner, but Vega gives it right back. And yes, if you guessed a 5th nerve hold was coming, you win the prize. “It’s doubtful Savio Vega will defeat Rocky Maivia in this manner” says Vince. You mean the fact it didn’t work the first 4 times wasn’t telling enough? Vega dumps Rock to the outside, in front of the particularly vocal group who hate his guts. Since this is a horrible match, there truly is only one way to end it … with Rock failing to respond to the 10 count at 12:00. TWELVE minutes?!? For THESE guys?!? Vega pulls Rocky back into the ring afterwards, and beats the snot out of Rocky. Where was THAT in between the half dozen nerve holds? Faarooq heads in, and whips Rocky like a government stepchild. I never want to see these guys wrestle again. -***
Backstage, JAKE ROBERTS French kisses his snake.
HUNTER HEARST HELMSLEY joins the announce table.
JAKE ROBERTS vs. SALVATORE SINCERE
Triple H starts riffing on Vince’s confused commentary; “Great match with Rocky Johnson earlier tonight, eh McMahon?” Sincere pokes Jake in the eyes, but Roberts responds with a hard whip to the corner and Sincere begs off. Jake locks on a headlock, but Sal makes the ropes to break. Sincere misses a charge and eats post, and Roberts takes his head off with a short clothesline. A DDT finishes matters at 3:04. Sincere has Jake’s “sloppy snake” (per McMahon) dropped on his prone body. DUD
During the break, Helmsley stormed the ring and gave a Pedigree to Sal for the hell of it.
CRUSH vs. SYCHO SID
Sid enters through the crowd and gets a heroes’ welcome from this group. A bunch of clotheslines have Crush staggering, so Sid easily disposes him over the top. He follows off the apron with an axehandle, and his ankles hold up. FAAROOQ and SAVIO VEGA saunter down, but I doubt Sid notices or cares. We head to commercial as he hits Crush with a flying shoulderblock.
We return to Crush gnawing on Sid’s face, and that seems to take him down a peg. Still, the fans chant his name, Sid looks every which way, and he’s right back in this. Crush slams him, and shares a little black power with Faarooq. The Heart Punch is blocked with a Chokeslam, and Sid asks the crowd if they want a powerbomb. Of course they do, so Sid obliges, but he doesn’t go for the pin because he can smell the cavalry and he rolls outside. He grabs a steel chair, and starts wildly swinging at the Nation who disappear … but then he cracks Crush anyway for the hell of it and gets DQed at 5:07. With time at a premium, Sid simply stands there to soak up the adulation of the pro-ECW group, and the show heads off the air in a hurry. 1/2*
Nowhere near as good as last week’s wild showing, but the WWF seems to have found a niche with Shotgun, upping the violence and language, and eliminating the stupid ratings stunts that do nothing for the storylines. They have a solid group of mid-carders who seem hungry for opportunity recognizing (rightfully) that outside of Bret, Taker, Sid, and Shawn that there’s a lot of room at the top of the card. As a result, everyone’s showing a little extra aggression and doing whatever it takes to get noticed, with Triple H and Owen killing it on commentary tonight, and Mankind having a little fun with his character. Overall, a nice palate cleanser from nWo Souled Out, as we head into the Monday shows.
I think they have a great chance to build for the future. I think the lottery is going to be a good shot in the arm. As long as they keep the feeling of each show roughly the same it can't hurt to freshen things up.