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Reviews from Across the Pond – WWF Shotgun Saturday Night January 4th 1997

December 6, 2011 | Posted by Jack Stevenson
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Reviews from Across the Pond – WWF Shotgun Saturday Night January 4th 1997  


So apparently what little fanbase I have has seen its Shotgun Saturday Night needs go desperately unfulfilled. Thus, despite the fact I had no inclination to ever even watch an episode of this curious program, I’ve caved in to the weight of three whole requests in the comment section like the spineless coward that I am.

A still before the show advises us that viewer discretion is advised, and then we go to the streets outside the Mirage Nightclub in NYC, where Bob Backlund calls for the banning of the disgraceful Shotgun Saturday Night. Well that’s one way to advertise your brand new program. Your hosts are Vince McMahon and the achingly gorgeous Sunny.


A bearded Todd Pettengill and a fan in the front row are baffled by the idea of wrestling nuns. They’ve got a point. Sister Angelica and Mother Smucker are their names. In case you didn’t get the joke, Mother Smucker rhymes with motherfucker. This is high-brow stuff here people. The Flying Nuns, I believe, were the Headbangers in disguise.

The Nuns attack the Godwinns from behind and the two teams slug it out, with The Hog Farmers soon taking control. Sister Angelica stops a Phineas Godwinn attack via religious activity. Henry Godwinn has no such qualms about assaulting nuns though. Vince McMahon is surprised to discover that Sister Angelica has facial hair, but he explains it away as a chromosome problem. And now here’s Brother Love, who appears to be the manager of the Flying Nuns! Meanwhile, in the ring, nothing happens. We head to a commercial break, and when we come back the Nuns appear to have garnered some momentum. Henry Godwinn kills that with a baaaaaaaaack body drop to Sister Angelica, who promptly stops to prayer. The joke wasn’t funny to begin with, by now it’s actively offensive. The dastardly Nuns utilise illegal double-teaming behind the back of the official. Well executed AWA Special by the Flyers! Angelica slams Henry down, and Mother Smucker follows up with a leg drop. Finally, Phineas Godwinn decides enough is enough, and cleans house on the Nuns. He’s hesistant about slamming a nun though, especially being as he has to put his hand near the crotch area. This gives Brother Love the opportunity to wallop P.I.G with a book, and that’s enough for the three.

Rating- ¼*- I decided this deserved a quarter of a star, because both teams tried really hard to sell the gimmick. There’s no getting over the fact that this was an appalling start to the new show though; at best, the Flying Nuns joke is just typical late-nineties WWF trash, at worst it’s an appalling, unnecessary slight to Christians.

Post-match, Brother Love promises to clean the WWF up with their perfect, virginal hands, and renames his team “the Sisters of Love.”

Rocky Maivia, Goldust and Marlena are chilling in the nightclub, but Bob Backlund, accompanied by the Sultan, is disgusted by the level of Marlena’s cleavage. THIS MEANS WAR!


The Sultan is a masked Rikishi.

Goldie slugs the Sultan out to the floor, and follows him out. They take turns bouncing each other’s heads into the ring steps. Back in the ring, a clothesline by Goldust gets two. The Bizarre One cinches in a sleeper hold as Todd Pettengill attempts to get a word with Backlund at ringside. He doesn’t believe Goldust shouldn’t be given any exposure. If he’d said that a year prior, he would have been a beloved good guy. Meanwhile, the Sultan has taken control in the ring. Leg-drop gets two, as does a powerslam. Pettengill joins the commentary booth to complain about BB, so the former WWF Champion remonstrates with him and claims the Sultan will be the next WWF Champion. Goldust briefly makes a comeback with a Butt Butt, but is soon sent back to the floor. Sultan goes for a steel chair, but the referee seizes it from him. In the ring, the big man charges right into the ring post, and Goldust lands a swinging neckbreaker. SEVEN PUNCHES IN THE CORNER! Bulldog! Two! Clothesline! Two! The Sultan fires back out of nowhere with a Samoan Drop, and he follows up with the Camel Clutch. But Marlena hops onto the ring apron and, in a semi-famous moment in WWF history, flashes her breasts to the world! Well, not really, because pesky camera angles mean we at home don’t get to see them, but the fans in attendance do and they seem quite satisfied. Bob Backlund has a fit, the match is thrown out, and Goldust is declared the winner thanks to the little known clause in the WWF rulebook that says if your female associate gets her breasts out during the match, you automatically pick up the victory. But titles don’t change hands if you win by breast exposure.

Rating- * ¼- Decent, reasonably energetic encounter before the decidedly unusual finish. So far in this show we’ve had two evil cross-dressing nuns and Marlena flashing her breasts at the crowd, all in a dark, grimy setting; is it fair to say that this was the unlikely start of the Attitude Era?

Sunny is outraged that she is no longer the centre of attention, and promises that next week, to top Marlena, she’ll be showing us a sex tape featuring her! This will almost definitely not be as good as it sounds.


Faarooq is absent tonight for the Nation of Domination.

Crush attacks before the bell, triggering a rough and tumble on the mat. Johnson dumps the N.O.D member with a body slam, and then dumps him into the fan barricade on the floor. Ahmed then heads out onto the dance floor, which is about level with the ring; he takes a run up across, and soars into the ring with a flying clothesline on Crush! That was unique. Back to the floor, and Crush collides with the ring steps. The ‘Jailbird’ is able to garner control in the ring though, wearing Ahmed down and dumping him with a belly to belly suplex. Johnson retaliates with a bicycle kick, and signal for the Pearl River Plunge, but a young D-Lo Brown attacks from behind for the DQ.

Rating- ¾*- They kept things short, which means I can’t go any higher than the rating I gave it, but also means this wasn’t an absolute abomination. The spot on the dancefloor was pretty fun, and they were able to integrate some actual wrestling in between the punching and kicking. No clean finishes yet tonight though.

Post-match, Ahmed dumps D-Lo with a spinebuster and sets up for a Pearl River Plunge. Crush breaks it up this time though, and with the help of the rest of the Nation’s underlings gives AJ a sickening chair shot to the head. Goldust and the Godwinns make the save, and the makeshift foursome battle with the N.O.D on the streets of NYC. D-Lo takes a Pearl River Plunge on top of a car! Nasty.

And just when you thought this show couldn’t get any more bizarre…


Before the match, we see some wacky antics between Jim Cornette and Mini Vader. Also, Sunny and Mascarita Sagrada do the Macarena while Todd Pettengill belts out some customised lyrics. Has someone spiked my drink? Is this really happening?

Vader dumps Sagrada with a big body slam but soon gets befuddled by the Luchador’s speed and agility. Jim Cornette stops the match to reprimand his tiny client as we head to commercials. We return with Sagrada flying onto Mini Vader on the floor with an Asai Moonsault! The Mini Mastodon comes back with some headbutts in the ring. Big clothesline! Even bigger powerbomb! Sunny starts talking about her sex tape again, and I understandably get a bit preoccupied. When I snap back to reality, Sagrada soars from the top rope and nails a beautiful flying huracanrana, sending Vader to the floor. And, to follow up, a high crossbody from the top rope to the floor! Back to the ring, a huracanrana and missile dropkick gets the three.

Rating- * ¼- Woah, that was tremendous fun. Too short and one sided to rate any higher, but the action was crisp, graceful and exciting. The minis could actually have been a genuine, colourful, wacky alternative to the WCW’s Cruiserweight Division. Just a pity they were always treated as a freakshow.

Post-match, a livid Jim Cornette challenges Sagrada to a fight, but the minis team up to strip Cornette to his boxers as we head to yet another commercial break. We return for literally 30 seconds so Sunny can dance. Worth it I think. Next week, Sunny’s sex tape, and Marc Mero! With Sable!!

The 411: Readers, you were right; for better or for worse, this was far more entertaining than 2009 Smackdown. I don't think there is a word that explains just how bizarre this show was; midgets, nuns, breasts, Jim Cornette in his underwear, Ahmed Johnson landing a clothesline from a dancefloor, Bob Backlund, Sunny promising a sex tape... I have legitimately no idea how to rate this, but I do have a strange desire to watch the next episode, so I guess that's a positive.
Final Score:  6.5   [ Average ]  legend

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