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Shotgun Saturday Night - January 18, 1997

by Scrooge McSuck

- We're on week three of Shotgun Saturday Night, and so far, it's definitely been hit or miss. Last week's cutting edge material included Sunny's home sex video with Fondle Me Elmo, the retirement of the Flying Nuns and debut of the Headbangers, and midgets having to take a piss. Oh, and Marc Mero teased a heel turn that wouldn't happen for another ten months because of an injury.

- We're coming to you from "Denim & Diamonds" in San Antonio, TX, so it didn't take long for the "New York City" aspect of the show to be completely abandoned. I think we're only a day from the 1997 edition of the Royal Rumble, so it's understandable to not have to travel cross country on short notice, although you could argue they could've taped a weeks episode in advance.

- Vince McMahon and Jim Ross are calling the action this week, and hey, J.R. has a cowboy hat on, which Vince is quick to compliment him on. I wonder if that hat would become a weekly trend. Sunny is hanging around, dancing in her Daisy Dukes. Todd Pettengill is there too, looking like a total goober.

Hunter Hearst Helmsley (IC Champion) vs. Rocky Miavia:

This is Non-Title, with Hunter defending the Championship against Goldust "tomorrow" night at the Royal Rumble. Who would, in their wildest dreams, think this was going to (kind of) Main Event a WrestleMania, within the next 4 years? Or ever, for that matter? Vince brings up the run-in between Miavia and Mero from last saturday night, and yes, Sable was involved, too. Rocky chant from the San Antonio crowd. Lockup, and Miavia with a pair of arm drags. Hunter thumbs the eye, then "hammers" away. Irish whip, and Rocky with a scoop slam, followed by an arm drag and an armbar is applied. That neon cactus in the background makes me think of the In Your House video game on PlayStation. Just a little cartoony. Vince guarantees there will be a record crowd at the Alamo Dome for the Royal Rumble. Oh, back to the action... Rockly with a slam, arm drag, and armbar, once again. Hunter tries a counter, but Miavia hangs on. Hunter escapes with an inverted atomic drop, and suddenly Jake Roberts tosses a snake into the ring... the hell was that about? Jake Roberts should NOT be allowed in a bar for a live telecast. We return from the break, and Hunter has a chinlock applied, and Jake Roberts has joined the broadcast position. He was just being a dick and hypes the Rumble match. Hunter measures Rocky up for a knee drop, and covers for a two count. "Rocky" chant once again. Irish whip, and Miavia with a cross body for a two count. Hunter returns the favor with a face buster, and that gets a two count, as well. Irish whip, and Hunter with a running high knee for another two count. Chinlock! Yes, he uses the ropes for leverage. They exchange blows in the corner, until Hunter rakes the eyes. Irish whip, and Miavia with a powerslam. Suddenly, Marlena is heading to the ring area. Miavia with a series of roundhouse rights. Irish whip, and Rocky sends Hunter over the top rope with a dropkick. Miavia with an axehandle from the apron, but he's quickly slammed into the steel steps for being a rookie punk. Hunter gets distracted by Marlena, and suddenly Goldust is there to scare him into the crowd. The bell rings at 9:20, and Rocky wins by Count-Out. *1/2 It was an okay match, but Rocky was still pretty green, as mentioned in last weeks episode, and Hunter was still finding his groove, as well. They would both get much better, though, in time.

- Sunny, Todd, and Dok Hendrix are leading the crowd in doing the macarena. There's a dance that needs to be removed from everyone's history.

- Honkytonk Man is hanging around, playing Blackjack with Histeria and Mini Mankind. He cheats outrageously, claiming victory with a 25. Vince McMahon points this out, incase we aren't smart enough to know any better. This goes on for a little while, and it's saved by the screen graphic: The Honkytonk Man: Thinks Elvis Is Still Alive.

Mascarita Sagrada & Venom vs. Mini-Mankind & Histeria:

Come on, two weeks in a row with the midgets? Mini Mankind's graphic asks "How big is his Paul Bearer?", and at least he tries to do the Mankind mannuerisms. Vince promises we'll be back in New York City next week. Venom and Histeria are not midgets, but are still pretty short, barely taller than the referee (Jack Doan?). Todd tries to interview Mankind, but he only speaks spanish, of course. Sagarada's graphic: 2-parts tequilla, 1-part lime juice. Oh, the hilarity! Vince Russo must be writing these. Jim Ross hypes the Free For All, and it's going to feature a mini's match. The bigger guys lockup and give a clean break. They do a knuckle-lock, which leads to an arm drag from Venom. Histeria with a wristlock, then turns it into a hammerlock. Venom counters and takes him down with a head scissors. Venom comes back in with a top rope head scissors, and Vince has trouble identifying them. Venom with a baseball slide, followed by a springboard plancha into the crowd. Sagrada and Mankind tag in, and the crowd goes mild! Sagrada controls with arm drags, then heads to the top rope for a cross body to the floor! Remember when Mankind bought Sagrada with the Rock's bounty money? Suddenly, Stone Cold is calling the action. Histeria with a spinning heel kick to Venom, and Venom returns the favor with one of his own. Histeria back drops Venom to the floor, but Venom springs back into the ring with another hurricanrana. Histeria no-sells and dropkicks Venom out of the ring, then follows out with a plancha. The Mini's are back in the ring, and Mankind clotheslines Sagrada's head off. Whip to the corner, and a Mankind-style charge connects. Sagrada avoids a second attempt, then heads to the top rope for you guessed it, a flying head scissors. Sagrada with a springboard senton on the arena floor. The biggin's are back in, and Venom with the 103rd head scissors of the match, followed by a missile dropkick. Venom to the top rope, and he misses a twisting somersault. Ligerbomb from Histeria is enough for the three count at 6:01. I'm glad we hear Mankind's "exit" music. It reminds me of the scene in Friday The 13th, when Alice is resting in a canoe, thinking everything is fine. *1/2 Fine "lucha" match, but really, can these guys do anything other than head scissors, arm drags, and planchas?

- We got to the Alamo Dome, and hey, it's George and Adam, the WWF nerds, who are already amped up for the Royal Rumble. Jim Ross declares neither man has taken a shower in weeks. These guys would hang around for the entire year, showing up randomly to hype up PPV's and WWF merchandise. Oh, and one of them pissed their pants in the presence of the Undertaker at that years Slammy Awards.

- We get a surprise appearance from none other than Terry Funk, and why not, we are in Texas, and he's not currently employed by WCW. Funk basically cuts an ECW style promo, name dropping "the other company", using foul language, and threatening people, and now it's Steve Austin's time to talk some trash, because he's from Texas to. We get a mild pull-apart between the two, and hey, Terry Funk will be in the Royal Rumble Match tomorrow night!

"Double J" Jesse James vs. Faarooq (w/ The Nation):

Before the match, Todd tries to get an interview with Faarooq, but Crush pie faces him for being an annoying asshole, making him my favorite wrestler... of the night. The Nation entourage seems to be bigger than it was last week. Faarooq is set to face Ahmed Johnson on tomorrow night's Royal Rumble. James tries to sing his way to the ring, but his microphone doesn't work. Oh yeah, how many people forget Jesse James (Really Singing) is the Third "we can do this gimmick with anyone", except less famous than the Diesel and Razor fiasco, since this wasn't James being Jeff Jarrett, he was just the REAL singer for that stupid "With My Baby Tonight" song. James sucker punches D'Lo Brown, allowing Faarooq a shot from behind. Faarooq stomps away in the corner, then puts the fists to him. Whip to the opposite corner, and Faarooq misses a charge. James with a hip toss, followed by a crummy dropkick. James slaps on a headlock, then goes to the arm. James with a hip toss, followed by some blows in the corner. Whip across the ring, and James takes Faarooq down with a back suplex for a two count. Irish whip, and Faarooq surprises James in mid-air with a spinebuster. The Dominator comes next, and it's all over at 2:01. 1/2* Just a rushed match that was borderline a squash, had Faarooq dominated the match more.

Goldust (w/ Marlena) vs. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin:

We must be running low on time, considering the quickness of the previous match, and there's not a lot of time left for this one. I've always loved the Letterbox screen for Goldust's entrance, even when the gimmick no longer was someone obsessed with hollywood and quoting movies. Goldust: "What Does His Daddy Think?" Lockup to start, and the referee forces them apart. Austin quickly stomps a mudhole into Goldust, and the crowd aproves (mostly). Whip to the corner is reversed, and Goldust puts Austin down with a back elbow. Irish whip, and Goldust connects with a flying clothesline. Austin goes low, right in front of the referee, but no Disqualification is called. Austin with shoulders to the midsection, followed by a snapmare. Goldust counters a chinlock with a hammerlock, then drives a pair of knees into the elbow. "Austin Chant" as we somehow discuss "humorous" rumors about Goldust being pregnant. Yes Vince, very amusing. We return from commercial... eventually, with Austin mouthing off to the referee. Goldust fights back with rights, then catches Austin with an uppercut. Suddenly, Terry Funk his the ring and brawls with Austin, as the bell sounds at 3:17. The Headbangers, The Godwinns, Faarooq and Rocky Miavia all hit the ring, for no good reason other than to brawl in the ring with each other. Helmsley is there to bash Goldust with a pool cue, then chokes him with it. Austin backdrops Funk into a beer tub, and the broadcast comes to an end. 3/4* Not much of a match, and the post-match brawling was pointless. Just way too rushed for anything to make any sense.

Final Thoughts: Not too bad of an episode this week, I guess. Everything was at least watchable, the crazy goofy characters and segments were toned down, and the surprise inclussion of Terry Funk, back when that meant something, was a highlight of the show. Once again, though, all of the matches were unspectacular, but the crowd was alive for this one, and brought everything up. With all the hype about a "Royal Rumble", I wonder how that PPV turned out.

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