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" The Gravel Pit "
Best of October 21, 1996 – November 17, 1996 (Part 2)
Posted by Retro Rob on Oct 28, 2002, 22:22
Best of October 21, 1996 – November 17, 1996 (Part 2)
Before we take a trip back to October 1996, I would like to talk about October 2002. For the first time in my 9 years as a wrestling fan I actually I changed the channel and didn't look back during a WWE program. That has NEVER happened before. I have muscled through the Dark Ages of 1995, the lame gimmicks in 1996, the crappy wrestling in 1997, the Attitude of 1998, the Russo Era of 1999, the golden age that was 2000, the horrific Invasion of 2001 and up until now, the pathetic "split", but nechrophilia simply crossed the line. It wasn't really the necrophilia itself that offended me, it was just the realization that wrestling isn't wrestling anymore. Some could argue that I was having a very tough week and maybe was overly judgmental of the angle, but in retrospect, I don't think so. I don't flip to TNN every Monday night in the hopes of seeing horribly acted, disturbing storylines like the one that was featured last week. I want to watch WRESTLING damnit! Why is that so fucking hard to understand? I don't see the point in drawing back the "casual fans" if you scare away all of the hardcore fans in the process. Then what happens the next time that the casual fans find something better to watch on TV and there are hardcore fans left because of the utter bullshit you put us through in order to spike the ratings by 0.1 of a point? I'll tell you what happens, the WWE will be dead in the water. Of course if last week was the end of this disgusting shit I could easily forgive and forget, BUT NO, Vince McMahon decides to send out a memo asking for more necrophilia, rape, and murder angles. Not only that, but he also would like some of these "entertaining" storylines to start appearing on the only redeeming factor left in the WWE, SmackDown!. I find it hard to understand how the WWE could ignore 1,300 complaints towards the angle. That number was a RECORD HIGH! Isn't that a hint that maybe soap operas aren't the "in thing" at this present time? Quite frankly, I have had enough. I have no desire to watch Raw this Monday and now that the Big Show is being pushed big-time on SmackDown!, I have no desire to watch that show either. Congratulations WWE, you have just done the unthinkable, driven away one of those die-hard fans who has followed you for the better part of a decade. Hell, I was generally the kind of fan who could almost always find the positives when watching a WWF show. Even during the last few months I have been able to overlook a few things here and there, but this was the straw that broke the camel's back. Now, I'll get off my little soapbox because it is time to go back to a time when wrestling was dare I say it...fun to watch.
For those of you who forgot, or never read, Part 1 of this tape review here is the LINK.
WWF Monday Night Raw: October 28, 1996
Steve Austin is currently at the WWF Studios. He is pissed that the WWF is willing to send camera crews to Bret Hart's house and Brian Pillman's house, but not HIS house. Austin promises to show up at Pillman’s house next week. Austin snaps at McMahon while footage of the vicious attack on Pillman from SuperStars airs. Austin tells us that he attacked Pillman because Brian was trying to promote Bret Hart during Stone Cold's interview time. Pillman forgot the about the one lesson that Austin taught him, DTA, Don't Trust Anybody. McMahon wonders why Gorilla Monsoon hasn't taken any action towards Stone Cold. Austin thinks the reason why is because Monsoon is a simply a puppet for the Real Boss, Vince McMahon, and McMahon knows that Austin is worth too much. McMahon is too greedy to suspend a man of Austin's caliber. McMahon would never risk losing the Austin-Hart match at the Survivor Series. Generally Vince tends to shut down when people mention his greed; this situation was no different. 6.5/15
We are about to begin a "Face To Face" interview via satellite between Austin and Hart, but Hart's feed is having issues, so Sunny strolls out to the ring for...
Billy Gunn vs. Freddie Joe Floyd
Sunny, the guest commentator, puts over Floyd's (Tracy Smothers) talent, as she has worked with him in SMW. Floyd works the arm while Sunny mentions that she likes blondes and Billy's killer instinct. Gunn clotheslines Floyd to the floor. Bart Gunn comes down to ringside. The Gunns argue over Sunny until some officials get Bart away from the ring. Billy nails Floyd off the apron to the rail. Nice bump from Tracy. Meanwhile, Billy yells at Bart who still hasn't made it past the entrance ramp. Back in, Floyd connects with a back elbow and a big kick for 2. Gunn turns the tides with a stun gun and a legdrop off the top for the win. (3:05) 1/4* This was more about the Billy-Bart-Sunny triangle than the match itself. It was strange to see the King keep his composure (for the most part) while Sunny was near him.
Back to the Austin-Bret satellite confrontation. Bret starts off by saying there was no real reason for his hiatus, he just needed a break. Something he has been waiting 12 years for. He calls Austin a great wrestler. Throughout all of this, Steve is making faces at Bret. Classic. Steve Austin translates what Bret just said as, "Yes McMahon, I'm afraid that Stone Cold Steve Austin kick my ass." Vince wants to know what Bret will do if he loses at the Survivor Series. Bret is willing to accept whatever the results are. Austin tells Bret to shut up. He adds that no matter what happens at the Survivor Series, their feud will go on until Austin is dead. From here on in Austin keeps screaming every time Hart says something. This is fucking great. Vince cuts off Bret and ends the interview. Austin refuses to stop talking. He decides to throw the production assistant into a ladder. He smashes a monitor and we go to commercial. Why can't the WWE do stuff like this anymore? 7.5/16
WWF Title: Shawn Michaels vs. British Bulldog w/Clarence Mason (finish)
Both men are down until the inevitable...KIP UP! Owen Hart is on commentary. Michaels connects with a backbody drop and the 10 punch in the corner. The Bulldog picks Shawn up for the running powerslam, but HBK slides off. He slams Smith and comes off the top with an elbow drop. He calls for some Sweet Chin Music, so Owen hooks his leg. The ref calls for the bell. (1:25) Sid runs out for the save, but accidentally hits Michaels with his back punch. They shove each other and we have a staredown. McMahon hypes a Face To Face interview between these two next week. Owen Hart gets a mic and challenges Sid and Shawn to a Tag-Title match. They take him up on it. 8.5/17
Recap of the Austin attack from earlier. Austin is still in the studio ranting about how he can do anything because Vince doesn't have the balls to stop him. The police show up and escort him out of the building. 9/18
WCW Monday Nitro: October 28, 1996
WCW TV Title: Lord Steven Regal vs. Juventud Guerrera
The late Brian Hildebrand is the referee. Sting is spotted in the crowd. Tony tells us that he really is Sting. Larry repeats Tony, who once again reiterates that Sting is indeed in the crowd. Larry compares Sting's face paint to the yin and the yang. This is why I hated WCW. Regal goes to work on the arm as the nWo parade through the crowd with picket signs. Syxx has a mic and promises to win the Crusierweight Title. He adds that once the nWo has possession of the Cruiser Title, the TV Title is the last one that eludes them, so Regal should watch out. This essentially stops the match for a good minute. Regal goes back to the arm, but Syxx is still talking. Now he tells Sting to make the right decision. A fast-paced sequence follows. Regal reverses a double-underhook suplex with a RANA! Juvi connects with a dropkick, but misses the 450. Regal wins with the Regal Stretch. (3:19) 1/2* Just like the Gunn-Floyd match earlier, this more about the extracurricular activities than the in-ring action.
A few of the matches from Halloween Havoc are recapped with still pictures.
* Lex Luger d. Arn Anderson, Lex refused to break the Torture Rack. Arn needed to be stretched out.
* Dean Malenko d. Rey Misterio Jr. for the Crusierweight Title.
* Mongo McMichael & Jeff Jarrett d. The Faces of Fear, Tony, "It was everything we expected." Afterwards, the Dungeon of Doom attacks the Horsemen and Sullivan yells at Woman. 9.5/19
Tony interviews Jarrett at ringside. Jarrett wants a rematch with the Giant so they can finish what they started at Halloween Havoc. Jarrett calls Havoc a big night for the Horsemen as he accompanied Arn Anderson to the hospital. Jarrett also lays down a challenge for Hulk Hogan and the nWo. He calls for WCW to unite, INCLUDING the 4 Horsemen, the Dungeon of Doom, and Lex Luger and Sting. Jeff adds that if Sting doesn't want to lead WCW, he and Ric Flair will. Good promo, but sadly Jarrett had no heat. 10/20
The Nasty Boys are in the ring and they don't need the nWo. More anti-nWo propaganda here. 10/21
Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Jimmy Graffiti
Graffiti is simply Jimmy Del Ray dressed as a punk. Graffiti quickly takes Rey to the mat with an electric chair drop. He follows up with a gutwrench powerbomb for 2. Rey connects with a monkey flip, but misses a moonsault. Del Ray comes off the top with a crossbody into a dropkick from Misterio. Rey botches a springboard splash. Graffiti backbody drops Rey to the apron, where Rey ranas Jimmy to the floor. Graffiti comes back with a hard whip to the rail. Jimmy comes off the apron with his trademark senton. Back in, Rey kicks out of a legdrop at 2. Rey counters a powerbomb with a back dropkick. He wins it with a springboard rana. (3:24) *1/4 Fun 3 minute match.
Nick Patrick is out with his attorney Alan Sharpe. The story here is that Patrick was partial towards Hogan during the main event at Halloween Havoc, thus it is assumed he is being payed by the nWo. Patrick attributes his slow-count and other errors to Chris Jericho injuring his neck earlier in the show. Jericho comes out to call Patrick a fraud. Teddy Long backs up Chris Jericho and gets into a heated argument with Sharpe. Nothing particularly interesting here. 10.5/22
Roddy Piper returned to wrestling at Halloween Havoc to confront Hogan. The confrontation is shown here. Piper is all, "You're only where you are because of me," "I'm just as a big an icon as you are," to Hogan. I never understood that argument. This is fucking HULK HOGAN we are talking about. Roddy Piper is no HULK HOGAN. Sure he was a legend in his time, but on a whole, he is nowhere near as well known as Hogan. Although I don't agree with any of his points, Piper is a good interview. Especially when he is "shooting". Hogan is willing to admit that he and Piper ran neck and neck. That's not enough for Piper though, who brings up WrestleMania (to a big pop). "If I hadn't knocked out Mr. T, took on the New York City Police Department, chased Dick Clark, had my way with Liberace, if they didn't hate me so much, do you think they would have loved you so much? SHUT UP, I AIN'T FINISHED." I fucking love that line. Piper adds that he is the only man Hogan never beat. Hogan makes fun of the kilt and hints that there will be one more blowoff match between the two, but Bischoff won't confirm anything. Surprisingly good stuff here. 11.5/23
Hogan comes down to the ring with DiBiase. He asks that the lights are turned off and a spotlight is shone on him. Hogan gabs about beating Savage and how he'll take care of Liz. He briefly touches on the Piper situation and then...poses and dances to end the show. And people wonder why WCW ended up getting their asses kicked in the ratings. What was the fucking point to this whole thing? It lasted a good 7 minutes. 11.5/24
WCW Saturday Night: November 2, 1996
Jarrett cuts a promo backstage. He once again calls for WCW to unite including the Horsemen, the Dungeon, the Nasty Boys, Luger, Sting, and Piper. He reiterates that if no one takes lead of WCW, he and Flair will. I always like Jarrett's mic work and this time around he actually had some heat. I figure that is because he was the biggest name to show up for the Saturday Night tapings. 12.5/25
Tony is with Chris Benoit and Woman. Benoit was RIPPED in 96. The next time he has the chance, Chris will cripple Kevin Sullivan. Benoit also states that he will be the man to lead WCW into the next era. Woman reminds Benoit of how devious Sullivan is. She also promises to stand with Benoit through it all. 13/26
Confidential will probably be up tomorrow. As for Part 3…all in due time.
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