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Raw History: Episode 187 and Reliving Nitro: Episode 64

June 12, 2017 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Raw History: Episode 187 and Reliving Nitro: Episode 64  

Raw History
Episode #187
December 2nd, 1996| New Haven Coliseum in New Haven, Connecticut

WWF Champion: Sycho Sid (1) since 11/17/96
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Marc Mero (1) since 9/23/96
WWF Tag Team Champions: Owen Hart and the British Bulldog (1) since 9/22/96

Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are on commentary.

Flash Funk def. The Goon in 5:34
It’s the Raw debut of Flash Funk. Vince McMahon adores his entrance but the crowd sits on their hands. The Goon jumps from behind and holds control in the early stages. Funk changes thing a bit and nails a dive outside. Goon runs into the ring post and Funk delivers a moonsault. Goon is back in control after a break and hits a Brogue Kick like his name is Sheamus. They make a mess of a moonsault spot. It comes off way ugly. Funk uses a back suplex and the tumbleweed to win. This was, as JR would say, bowling shoe ugly. Goon got in too much offense and Funk’s stuff mostly didn’t look good.DUD

LAST WEDNESDAY ~ Steve Austin attacked Sycho Sid and apparently almost won the WWF Title. We don’t find out more yet because they need to keep viewers around.

ROYAL RUMBLE ~ They run a bad commercial for the upcoming event.

“Diesel” def. Phineas Godwin w/ Hillbilly Jim in 3:17
Jim Ross joins the booth and says “Diesel” has a long career ahead of him. Well, he was right. Anyway, “Diesel” and “Razor Ramon” have an upcoming WWF Tag Team Title shot at In Your House in two weeks. “Diesel” runs through Kevin’s Nash few signature moves, while Phineas gets in a few shots. I just realized that in three years, this would be Mideon vs. Kane. It doesn’t sound much better to be honest. “Razor” shows up and distracts Phineas from hitting the Slop Drop. Jackknife ends it. Mostly a squash and not a fun one. NR

Side note, Jerry Lawler spent the entire match dissing the recently deceased Tiny Tim. Tim was featured in a King’s Court segment in 1993 that was among the worst in Raw history.

WWF STUDIOS ~ Shawn Michaels and his horrible haircut are interviewed. He’s calmer this week. He wasn’t upset that Sid attacked him with a camera but didn’t like that he did it to Jose Lothario. Shawn goes on a tangent about not being a typical role model and says some people don’t like the things he does. He tells those people to pull the skeletons out of their closets and maybe they won’t be role models. He’s clearly talking about Bret Hart. Shawn says that he, “Mr. Emotional”, will be WWF Champion again whether people like it or not.

Justin Hawk Bradshaw w/ Uncle Zebekiah def. Jesse James in 5:57
In three years, this would be Bradshaw vs. Road Dogg. James starts hot with a hip toss and a cross body. His speed advantage is negated by a big boot, allowing Bradshaw to take control. Bradshaw kind of toys with James, not hooking the leg on a pin, so he takes a back suplex. Jesse does his dancing stuff and knocks Zebekiah off the apron. Inside, Bradshaw delivers a lariat and wins. This was just there but I liked some of what Bradshaw did. ½*

KARATE FIGHTERS ~ Since Mr. Perfect left the company, his battle with Sid is canceled. Jerry Lawler beats Todd Pettengil instead.

LONDON ~ First they give us footage from last Monday involving Austin/Bret/Owen/Bulldog. On Wednesday, British Bulldog returned the favor by attacking Austin during a match with Sid, getting Sid DQed. Sid went after Bulldog, bringing Bret out. Austin hit Bret from behind and Sid chokeslammed Bret ahead of their title match on PPV. Everyone gets some promo time on it. Austin is pissed, Bulldog is pissed, Owen tries to calm Bulldog down and refocus him, Bret hypes the title match and Sid is the master and the ruler of the world.

Jake Roberts and Marc Mero w/ Sable def. Billy Gunn and WWF Intercontinental Champion Hunter Hearst Helmsley in 12:27
This is one of the first attempts to get Billy over as a singles guy. It would never work. Jake tries the DDT but Billy escapes. Mero wants Hunter but the champion declines the invitation over and over. Since Hunter isn’t involved, Gunn gets beat up by the babyfaces. It’s different since usually a face takes heat. The crowd is dead for this as even Sable doesn’t get much of a reaction. Again, Billy avoids the DDT while Vince plugs Undertaker vs. Mankind for next week. When they switch to work on Jake, Lawler adds “HE KICKED THE BUCKET LIKE TINY TIM!” That’s just awful. Lawler’s brand of comedy is usually horrible but this is another level. Jake’s heat ends with Mero getting a mild tag. He beats up Hunter and then ducks a double team effort. He dropkicks Hunter into Billy, sending him outside. An angry Billy walks out on Hunter, leaving him to lose to the Wild Thing. It was mostly basic stuff to fill time and build Mero/Hunter but it was so damn boring. ¾*

Reliving Nitro
Episode #64
December 2nd, 1996 | Hara Arena in Dayton, Ohio

WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Hulk Hogan (2) 8/10/96
WCW United States Champion: Vacant since 11/25/96
WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Outsiders (1) since 10/27/96
WCW Television Champion: Lord Steven Regal (3) since 8/20/96
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Dean Malenko (2) since 10/27/96

As usual, Tony Schiavone and Larry Zbyszko are the hour one hosts. During their introduction, the Steiner Brothers interrupt. Scott is starting to look massive. Rick issues a challenge to Sting for attacking him last week.

Glacier def. Hardbody Harrison in 1:00
Glacier kind of disappeared for a while there. His entrance is still way overproduced. Glacier dominates and wins with a spin kick in short order. NR

Some Cincinnati Bengals are shown in the crowd and they hilariously all have nWo shirts.

The Amazing French Canadians w/ Col. Robert Parker def. Joe Gomez and Renegade in 3:16
I had no clue Renegade was still employed at this time. Gomez brings early fire but takes a huge bump over the top. Parker pulls the ropes down as the AFC send him in and he lands horribly. Schiavone gives us a history lesson, talking about Roddy Piper vs. Greg Valentine at Starrcade 1983. Renegade gets a mild tag and hits awful looking clotheslines. It quickly goes south for him. Jacques hits a piledriver, setting up the Quebecer Crash to end it. Gomez didn’t even bother saving his partner. Not a competitive match. NR

Mean Gene brings out Arn Anderson and asks him about Roddy Piper. Wow, they are pushing this match hard. I love that Arn first brings up Hulk Hogan and the fact that the myth of him being unbeatable was proven wrong when Arn beat him twice. Arn says Piper is more of a man, has more heart and is a better wrestler than Hogan. Gene mentions Piper being at Nitro next Monday in Charlotte.

The Faces of Fear w/ Jimmy Hart def. Robert Gibson and Scotty Riggs in 7:41
Marcus Bagwell turns on Scotty Riggs, so Scotty just joins another tag guy. Strange. Riggs starts rather hot, hitting a cross body. This all comes after a split screen showing of the nWo beat down last week. Hard to enjoy anything like that. Meng gets tired of their shit and chops Riggs before they do their back body drop into a powerbomb spot. It doesn’t come off clean but I dig it. I’m okay with the Faces of Fear dominating but this goes on for too long. Riggs gets his ass kicked until finding an opening and tagging Gibson. The fans barely react. The Faces of Fear get tired of his momentum and best him with the Kick of Fear. One sided and too long. *

The Faces of Fear stomp out Gibson until Riggs makes the save with a steel chair. The Faces of Fear fall outside but don’t sell it much.

SATURDAY NIGHT ~ They just plug a bunch of people appearing, including Chris Jericho, Lord Steven Regal and Jeff Jarrett.

BALTIMORE ~ Footage is shown from a match on 11/23, where Kevin Sullivan and Chris Benoit had a Falls Count Anywhere rematch (the original was at Great American Bash in that same arena). They did the spot where the match reached the bathroom again, but this time the Dungeon of Doom jumped Benoit. Back to the ring, Woman ran out to save Benoit and jumped on Sullivan’s back but the Dungeon pulled her away.

Kevin Sullivan def. Jobber in 2:00
This ham and egger doesn’t even get a name. Sullivan jumps him before the bell and dominates. He wins with the tree of woe and double stomp. NR

Sullivan is interviewed by Mean Gene after the bell. It’s a confusing promo about him or Benoit burying the other alive.

WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Dean Malenko (c) def. Billy Kidman in 5:50
Dean tries to work a slow style but Kidman surprises with a flying head scissors. Sonny Oono comes out to take pictures of Dean’s work. Wouldn’t video be better for scouting purposes? Dean avoids a pescado and powerbombs Kidman on the floor. The pace is slowed inside, which is Dean’s wheelhouse. Malenko brings more big offense with a brainbuster. Kidman gets two on a fisherman suplex and they trade inside cradles. As they battle up top, Malenko is blinded by Oono’s camera. He falls and Kidman tries the Shooting Star Press but Dean gets the knees up. Texas Cloverleaf makes him submit. A few sloppy moments from Kidman hurt this but it was a decent little sprint. **

HOUR NUMBER TWO! Mike Tenay, Schiavone and Bobby Heenan are in the booth.

Jeff Jarrett def. Big Bubba w/ Jimmy Hart in 4:08
Heenan instantly makes me laugh by saying Piper/Hogan at Starrcade is more talked about than Andre/Hogan at WrestleMania III. Wow. Jarrett avoids Bubba early and struts to a mild pop. He nails a hideous swinging neckbreaker. It was probably more Bubba’s fault than Jeff’s. Jimmy Hart gets in a cheap choke behind the referee’s back. Jarrett goes to return the favor but Bubba intervenes. Jeff ducks Bubba, who hits Jimmy by mistake. Inside, Bubba tries using the megaphone but Jeff avoids it. He rolls up Bubba but a Jimmy distraction helps Bubba kick out. Jarrett dropkicks the megaphone into Bubba’s face, which is somehow not a DQ, and Jarrett wins. Not as good as their surprising match back in October. Schiavone says Jeff continues his win streak, even though he just lost at the PPV. ½*

Rick Steiner enters the ring, calling Sting out again. Sting is shown in the rafters to a big pop. He nods in agreement for the challenge and everyone goes nuts.

It’s nWo time! Eric Bischoff, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Syxx and Vincent come out. Nash, Bischoff and Hall take over commentary because they want their hour of Nitro. Bischoff says Piper wants none of Hogan and brings up Vader, who is currently in the WWF obviously. They show clips of Hogan beating Vader up from 1995. They also show Randy Savage, who is gone now, taking a beating too.

Eddie Guerrero def. Squire Dave Taylor in 2:13
Bischoff says when they get their own show, the graphics, production and everything will be better. They give us a split screen look at Eddie advancing in the US Title Tournament over Konnan last week. Taylor works the arm for a bit but Eddie is too quick and snaps off a head scissors. He wins with the frog splash. Fine for a squash. NR

ON THE ROAD WITH LEE MARSHALL ~ Lee isn’t happy to talk with the nWo. He’s in Charlotte and says Ric Flair in Charlotte is like the Beatles in Liverpool. Scott Hall retorts, “You mean like how Flair’s old and outdated?” Zing.

Arn Anderson def. Jim Powers w/ Teddy Long
Kevin Nash calls Long “robust.” Arn is aggressive, instantly dumping Powers outside and grating his face on the mat. Hall runs down commentators trying to be tough (Dusty and Zbyszko). Powers gets in a knee lift and a dropkick but that’s about it. Arn wins with the DDT. Another glorified squash. NR

WCW United States Championship Tournament: Chris Benoit def. Lord Steven Regal in 6:27
The nWo commentary team GUSH over Benoit. Call him a first round draft pick and everything. Notably, there’s no Woman at ringside. They work a knuckle lock before Regal just gets in some strikes. Hall notes that they can grapple and mix it up with fighting. During their strikes, Regal gets busted open and the camera goes way wide. It stays wide, which makes is hard to truly enjoy this. It’s just a strange look. They trade tombstone attempts, with Benoit winning out. Regal rolls outside and avoids a pescado. Inside, Regal gets two on a butterfly superplex. Benoit comes back with a German and wins via dragon suplex. Best match of the night, though the camera stuff hurt it. **¾

Mean Gene interviews Arn Anderson, Mongo, Benoit and Debra about WCW needing leaders. Arn says they’ll back Piper’s play and if WCW needs leaders, they’re happy to join in. Arn asks about Woman and Benoit says she’s taking care of Horsemen business. Arn says if that was the case, she’d be in Dayton right now. Mongo gets on Benoit for getting involved with Woman and shitty Debra runs her mouth too. She talks too much smack about Woman even though Debra brings nothing to the table. She literally just runs down a list of random accomplishments she had in her life like “Miss Alabama, prom queen, etc.” Arn wraps things up for the group, saying they all would rather be Horsemen than anything else.

Lex Luger def. Rocco Rock w/ Johnny Grunge in 3:56
Did WCW just decide to do a bunch of meaningless matches tonight? The nWo put over Luger as a talent. While Rocco does a lot of nothing, Nash says the promotion hierarchy can be nWo, WCW, some Japan company and ECW, leading to them ragging on bingo halls and ECW as a whole. Luger delivers some SCREAMING CLOTHESLINES and wins with the Torture Rack. NR

We’re set for Rick Steiner vs. Sting. The nWo make references to how big Scott Steiner is right now. After the Steiners hit the ring, Sting comes down through the crowd and joins them. He puts the bat down and turns his back to Rick, giving him a free shot. Rick takes the cue and beats on Sting, who doesn’t fight back. However, he ducks a right hand and hits the Scorpion Death Drop. Scott helps Rick up. Sting uses the bat to move Scott over and shoves Rick back with the bat. He hands it to Rick, giving him a free shot but Scott stops him. Sting heads up the aisle as the nWo commentators hype him being a member. He points the bat at them and walks back towards the ring. He hops the guardrail and leaves. The Outsiders close the show by shilling their new shirt.

Raw Rating: 2.3
Nitro Rating: 3.4

The final score: review Very Bad
The 411
Raw: This was the shits. Maybe I’m being a bit harsh but nothing on this show worked for me. Flash Funk’s match sucked and the next two matches were barely better. I don’t care to see anything involving “Diesel” and “Razor” either, so that didn’t help. The only entertaining bit came from footage of a non-televised event. 1.0

Nitro: This had to be one of the worst weeks in the Monday Night Wars from a quality standpoint. Raw did nothing for me and Nitro was better, but not by much. The entire show was basically squash matches and one strong match (Benoit/Regal) got hurt by the camera work. With no Hogan or Piper, a lot of the show felt like it was just stalling and killing time until Starrcade. 3.5