Previously on the Best and Worst of WWF Monday Night Raw: Bret Hart complained about his unfair treatment at the Royal Rumble and quit until Gorilla Monsoon made a four-way #1 contender match for the upcoming In Your House pay-per-view. Also, Raw got really defensive about La Femme Nikita being a more masculine post-wrestling Monday night show than The New Adventures of Robin Hood. I dunno.
If you want us to keep doing retro reports, share them around! And be sure to drop down into our comments section to tell us what you think about the maneuvers, quite frankly.
And now, the vintage Best and Worst of WWF Monday Night Raw for Jan. 27, 1997.
Worst: The Ahmed Johnson Vs. The Nation Of Domination Story Drags On
If you’ve been following along with our semi-weekly retro column, you know that Ahmed Johnson’s endless war with the pre-Crisis Nation of Domination is the most boring story of 1996, the most boring story of 1997, and at least as boring as anything happening after that. It boils down to Faarooq calling Ahmed an Uncle Tom, Ahmed trying to attack him with a freestanding wooden board, and everyone kicking Ahmed in the kidneys for like two years. Then, before Ahmed can actually get revenge on anyone, he gives up and joins them. And you wonder why nobody still likes Ahmed Johnson?
We open this week with Ahmed going one-on-one with Crush. I feel like Crush could’ve wrestled Ric Flair in 1989 and Flair would’ve potatoed him for not being as good as a broomstick. They do nothing more athletic than a clubbing forearm for about four minutes until the referee gets distracted and tosses Ahmed into the ring steps, allowing Crush to connect with his deadly ARMPIT PUNCH and score the victory.
This is one of three (3) Ahmed Johnson vs. The Nation of Domination segments in this one-hour program.
Worst: The Ahmed Johnson Vs. The Nation Of Domination Story Is Still Dragging On
At the end of the night, the Nation is collectively piling their sh*t into a rental car when Ahmed comes jogging out into the parking lot with his board and attacks them. He ends up stuffing one of PG-13 into the trunk and tries to Brock Lesnar the car with his 2-by-4, but dude is legit slower than Actual Jim Duggan and whiffs as they drive away. This is all Very Important.
Best: If You’re Wondering Why Ahmed Johnson Is So Saucy
Somewhere in the middle of the show, we jump to footage from the previous weekend’s Madison Square Garden show in which Ahmed teamed up with Savio Vega against, you guessed it, the Nation of Domination. Ahmed’s about to win the match but Vega demands a tag, and when Ahmed wanders over to tag him, Vega turns on him and chokes him across the top rope.
On Shotgun Saturday Night, Vega explains that he had a “real bad day” (see the graphic?), didn’t actually join the Nation of Domination and will never let the fans down again. Then he has a match, the Nation of Domination shows up to salute him at ringside, and they all end up ganging up and beating down Vega’s opponent.
Who was that opponent, you might ask?
The Rock. A year later, this beatdown would come back around and be very bad for Faarooq. Funny how that works out sometimes.
Worst: Vince McMahon Joins The Horsemen
I’m kidding. But that would’ve been way more interesting than the sh*t Nitro’s doing with Mongo and Jeff Jarrett.
Best: Your Weekly “Stone Cold Steve Austin Is Cooler Than The Rest Of These Jokers” Segment
Shawn Michaels, who is about two weeks away from “losing his smile” and vacating the WWF Championship due to “injury” in really gigantic quotation marks, walks to the ring with a 100 percent operational leg and assures us that he’s going to give Sid a title shot at the upcoming Thursday Raw Thursday and be champion for a long time. Bret Hart shows up to say he’s going to win the #1 contender match at Final Four and face Shawn at WrestleMania, which causes Vince to get in his face all weird and be like, “HEY BRET YOU ARE UNDERESTIMATING SYCHO SID MAYBE SID WILL WIN AND YOU’LL FACE SID, RIGHT?” Bret’s like, “oh, I might also wrestle Sid but I’m DEFINITELY wrestling Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania.” Shawn’s kneecap thinks to itself, “I should probably say I’m hurt.”
Vince then brings out the Undertaker, who says that he will NO LONGER BE THE HUNTED, HE WILL BECOME THE HUNTER, and whatever else you’d type in an e-fed promo about your Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse character who wrestles in baggy pants with flames on them.
That brings out Stone Cold Steve Austin. Austin says everybody in the ring should stop being a bunch of crybabies and shut up. Again, isn’t it super hard to understand why he became the most popular guy on the show?
They tease him and Vader getting into it as he leaves, but Vader just stands there doing and saying nothing, which is the perfect illustration of WWF Vader. In Your House: Final Four goes down in just slightly over two weeks, and I’m sure everyone’s legs in this segment will be fine!
Best: Owen Hart’s Nike Snowsuit
Davey Boy Smith has a competently wrestled but pretty boring match with Doug Furnas, but the highlight is absolutely Owen Hart showing up looking like a cross between Ahmed Johnson, JBL and Stupid Sexy Flanders. Dude’s out here in a forest green and white Nike … what is that, a snowsuit? With the towel around his neck tucked into the jacket. That’s such a spectacular old man look.
The match actually gets pretty good at the end with some fun counters, and Owen accidentally Slammy’ing Davey Boy in the face for a nearfall. Bulldog eventually counters a sunset flip with the Bret Hart Memorial SummerSlam Clutch and wins. They tease some dissension between Owen and Bulldog, but cooler heads prevail, they shake hands, and nobody attacks anybody with a board.
Worst: Vader Losing To The Goddamn Godwinns
Speaking of being attacked with bored, here are the Godwinns!
They main-event this episode against Mankind and Vader, and as you can see by the screenshot and the angry boldface, it doesn’t end well. Vader and Henry O. end up tumbling to the outside and Mankind tries to plaster Henry with a chairshot, but misses and hits Vader. Well, “misses.” Henry dodges super early, and Mankind still just kinda runs forward and blatantly chairshots Vader anyway. This appears to be on purpose, and is kinda sorta another illustration of how important and threatening everyone thinks Vader is.
Unbelievably, that’s the entire show. Three Ahmed Johnson segments, the Godwinns defeating one of the guys main-eventing In Your House, seven minutes of British Bulldog chinlocks and a lot of top guy posturing that never pays off.
Two more weeks until Thursday Raw Thursday, everybody!