Thursday, May 12, 2011

WWF Monday Night Raw- 05/29/97

As May rolls along, let's take a look back at arguably WWF's best year

1) Road Warriors v. Brian Pillman/ Jim Neidhart- 3
I liked the guys involved here, and the opening brawl was no give, no take but after that the match felt like they were stalling for the crazy 8 man brawl that ended it. Lots of clotheslines, Anvil not seemingly wanting to go down for any bump and Pillman in his own world.

2)D'Lo Brown v. Bob Holly-3
Kind of a dull match but D'Lo worked hard for it. Holly didn't do a whole lot especially considering they talked about him beating Owen Hart in a huge upset the week before. D'Lo even pulled off a slingshot legdrop over the top rope. Finish was impactful but out of nowhere. The only realization i had coming out of this is Faarooq's Nation gimmick was waaaaay ahead of it's time and he ruled as the spokesperson for that group.

3) Goldust v. Jerry Lawler- 5
Man these two guys can punch, that's what this was all about. And Lawler can eat a punch maybe better than anyone except for George Foreman. They were in Evansville, IN, where JR explains Lawler has been touring for 20 years because King did everything he could to get booed, but it wasn't working. Liked the pace they set and the leather they threw was extremely lethal. Only bad part was Goldust running himself into the ring pole looking like a kid aiming his body at a Slip n' Slide that had a piece of dog shit on one part of it. Also Lawler's piledriver here was a total headtrip.

4) Flashfunk v. Rocky Maivia- 3
This match had some potential, Rock looked slightly uncomfortable here, probably akin to how he felt sharing screen time with Sean William Scott. Funk unleashed two lethal kicks that both blasted Rock in his million dollar mouthpiece, the first he gave as astonished look as when he realized he signed a prenup with his first wife, the 2nd he tried to get over the top unsuccesfully. What killed this match's momentum was the goofy ass Headbangers bringing blow up King of the Ring lounge chairs down to ringside then interefering needlessly in the match; and the ref never threw the match out.

5) Ahmed Johnson v. Vader- 2
Man, what a joke this was. We've been compiling the WorldWide 94 project as of late, in which Vader is a complete monster; here, he's more like a Ahmed's plaything. Vader does his part and bumps really hard but Ahmed is stiffer than rebar and doesn't go with very much. Match barely goes 3 minutes. Also really funny seeing JR shill the next UFC on ppv considering their putting WWE's ppv business in the poor house.

6) HHH v. Rockabilly - 4
Kind of what I hoped 2 Cold & Rock were going to get, a clean cut 7 minutes to get in the ring, tell a story and end strong. Gunn was all over the place, showing great speed and athletcism, Helmsley very measured and made sure every thing he did meant something. Chyna is just grotesque here; so is Honky's fashion sense. Billy took the pedigree better than most.

7) Davey Boy Smith & Owen Hart v. Shawn Michaels & Steve Austin- 6
Frenetic pace set by all 4 of these guys, or as Ross called them "studs." The Hart boys were just fodder for the whole first section but what propelled this up was Shawn's beatdown section where he took loads and loads of great moves from both Owen & Davey then that perfectly segues into Austin's molten hot lava comeback where he just blows through Davey like the next hurricane the Florida coast will no doubt get this summer. Crowd was rabid for action and these guys had the skill and got the time allotted to give it to them.

Rewatching this bout from one of WWE's greatest era makes me realize Raw isn't that much different now, they still do short matches with a lot of guys, needless interference and the headliners always get more time and opportunity.

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