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PostSubject: 1996 Discussion   Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:15 pm

Discuss Raw in 1996.
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PostSubject: Re: 1996 Discussion   Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:29 pm

Shawn Michaels & Diesel v British Bullgod & Yokozuna (RAW, 2/5/96)
Good little tag match. Nothing I'd nominate because I definitely won't vote for it, but it's Shawn in a tag environment so it's pretty much good by default. Some nice little spots at the start, a decent FIP section with Shawn bumping and selling and playing FIP like he was bron to, and then a finish, which is simple enough. Won't blow you away, but I'm a mark for the formula so I'm gonna dig it anyway. ***
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PostSubject: Re: 1996 Discussion   Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:33 pm

Steve Austin Vs Mankind - Raw November 11th 1996
Its quite possibly the best pure brawl I have EVER seen in WWF/E history. It it just magnificent. It was supposed to be Vader Vs Austin to see who was the toughest guy in WWF, but Vader injured his shoulder the night before at Survivor Series, so Mankind replaced him. The rules were relaxed as hell, so both guys just beat the living fuck out of each other. Mankind jumped Austin on his way to the ring, and they spent a good 5 minutes trying to kill each other on the outside, while referees and trainers tried to stop them... and get them back in the ring! That's right, they were only trying to break up the fight so they could get in the ring and officially start the match, how awesome is THAT?! Foley takes some pretty hard bumps as per usual, including a sick guard rail bump. Austin sells well for Foley, and vice versa. There literally isn't anything else to this match other than both guys trying to kill each other for no reason at all. Match ends in a DQ when the Executioner helps out Mankind. 'Taker shows up to beat the hell out of Mankind and Executioner, sending them out of the ring. Austin then sends 'Taker over the ropes, but 'taker lands on his feet and gets in the ring to fight Austin, who fucks off.It only goes about 12 minutes, but its some of the best 12 minutes of Raw I have ever seen. I'm nominating this fucker, and probably overrating it too, but I don't give a flying fuck. **** and its making my list!
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PostSubject: Re: 1996 Discussion   Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:35 pm

Shawn Michaels v 123 Kid (RAW, 3/4/96)
- Good match where Michaels basically says "kick me in the face all you want, Sean". And so Sean does. I've realised Michaels' formula is pretty much southern tag formula plugged into singles environment. Real simple, and the kip-up spot serves as the hot tag. Obviously Michaels isn't the first, last or only person to use that kind of formula, and I'm not going into the pros and cons of using it, but watching through the Michaels set you see it clear as day. Match goes about 13 minutes and Waltman pumps out a few kicks that look REAL nice. Shawn eats them like a nut, too. Simple stuff, but better than most of what I've seen from WWE this year. ***1/4
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PostSubject: Re: 1996 Discussion   Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:37 pm

The Undertaker Vs Owen Hart - WWF Raw 1996
The match is secondary here, as Goldust is on commentary talking about how he wants to touch the Dead Man, and begins to orgasm when he thinks of all the things he can do with the urn. He then gets up and stalks Paul Bearer, molests him (which causes Paul to waddle away as fast as he can), then continues to watch the match . As for the actual match, nothing bad here, but we didn't exactly miss anything when they were concentrating n Goldust. 'Taker uses his power early on, Owen attacks the leg, then 'Taker comes back with some more power. Oh, and Goldust molests Owen on the outside which causes him to be distracted enough to get Tombstoned. After the match is over, Paul Bearer returns with a casket, and Paul Bearer basically rams it up Goldust's arse. I feel dirty after watching this one.
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PostSubject: Re: 1996 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:00 am

Shawn Michaels v HHH (RAW, 5/13/96)
Thought this was really good, although it's a very low end nomination, and a match I'm about 99% sure I won't vote for. Michaels comes into this in the midst of the whole sexual harassment angle with Dianna Smith, so they play up the idea that he might not be entirely focused in the early minutes and the result is Helmsley coming out on top of all the early exchanges. Hunter's still the blueblood "technical wrestler" at this stage, but it's WWF's idea of technical wrestling so the most audacious attempt at a sequence is him reversing a hammerlock and doing a single leg takedown or something. Wasn't anything that'll blow your mind, but Michaels sells frustration and you realise he's gonna have to take another route to get ahead. He basically uses his smarts and does some mocking shtick that goades Hunter into making mistakes and being shown up. All simple enough, but it's one of those "Michaels is having fun now!" periods filled with hijinks that he'll have in the vast majority of his TV matches as a face. King on commentary is constantly warning Helmsley's valet about Shawn being a sex fiend and that she should watch her back, so Shawn comes over and starts flirting and that pisses of Hunter, which in turn leads to Shawn dragging him into the ring over the top rope with a headlock before dropping him on his face. We get a few minutes of Shawn working the NOSE afterwards, and then we get a trademark Michaels turnbuckle bump that transitions into Helmsley's stretch on offence. Nothing very noteworthy about what Hunter does on offence, but Shawn's always a willing bumper and does his thing to make it look good. There's one neat spot where Hunter attempts a powerbomb only for Shawn to reverse it into a hurricanrana which Helmsley then counters into a sunset flip; had Vince losing his shit on commentary. Vince from this era is a really deplorable announcer, btw. He's TOTALLY different in the early 80s, when he was legit fantastic on his own. Just seems far too overexcited post-Hulkamania. Anyways, after around 7 minutes of Hunter working him over they segue into the finishing stretch. Nothing mindblowing about the final few minutes or anything, and you can guess how it ends, but everything about this is just really solid, at points hinting at being very good. Honestly could imagine someone watching this and thinking it's their best match, given that it isn't overbooked and doesn't have Michaels no-selling 15 minutes of back work or however long it was. Certainly better than their 3 stages of Hell match, anyway. Worth a watch. ***1/4
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PostSubject: Re: 1996 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:03 am

Shawn Michaels v Marty Jannetty (RAW, 7/1/96)
Step below the Helmsley match from 5/13 for me, but this is another really good Michaels RAW match from that year. Opening stages seem to be about parity in that both guys used to be partners and still have each other well scouted, both coming out on top of exchanges. The transition into Jannetty's run on offence is really cool, with Shawn tossing him to the floor and following it up with a baseball slide, only to realise Marty and Leif Cassidy had pulled a switcheroo and Shawn nailed the wrong guy, which allows Marty to jump him from behind. Jannetty's offence is pretty similar to early heel Shawn, and the match as a whole is pretty similar to their singles matches on RAW from 1993 with the roles reversed. Those two matches and this are all close enough in terms of quality, which means I probably won't vote for any of them. The 5/93 match is something I was considering for my bottom 5 or so when I watched it whenever, but I've got enough bottom five contenders to make a top 200, so I don't even know anymore. ***1/4
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PostSubject: Re: 1996 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:04 am

Shawn Michaels & Ahmed Johnson v Smoking Gunns (RAW, 7/22/96)
Nice little tag match. Southern tag formula so I duuuuug it and stuff. Ahmed's sloppy as shit and hits at least one move every match that looks like it has the potential to paralyze someone, but he was really over at this point and was a pretty good house of fire. He also takes a swank hotshot from Bart, which was a really cool spot. Michaels plays FIP as you'd expect, and it's good. The transition into it is the same as the spot you'd see in a few of the Rockers/Brainbusters matches from '89, which was awesome. Too bad the Gunns don't have the offence to be able to work him over like the Busters, but what are ya gonna do? Finish sees the debut of RON "FUCKIN" SIMMONS as Farooq in his funky ass head gear, so it gets tossed out for a DQ. Not anything I'll vote for, and I seriously doubt anybody else would either, but it's another fun stop in a year that's made me appreciate Michaels as a worker all over again, at a time where I was pretty down on the guy.
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