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WWF Thursday Raw
February 13, 1997

Hour 1Hour 2Hour 3Composite
2.712.71

Written by: John Petrie

Hosted by Vince McMahon, Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler.

- "Tonight ... the World Wrestling Federation Title will be declared
vacant. Thus ... this Sunday's 'Final Four' winner will become the new
World Wrestling Federation Champion. Tonight ... live ... Shawn Michaels
will forfeit the World Wrestling Federation Championship." Less than
a minute into the show and a hand grenade has been tossed our way.
No more details than that, just a voiceover as dramatic music plays and
slow motion footage of Shawn Michaels is shown. The opening sequence
plays, which is pretty much the promo they'd shown on last week's RAW
with a voice saying "Thursday RAW Thursday" over and over.

- HUNTER HEARST HELMSLEY vs. ROCKY MAIVIA
Things start off with a quick hiptoss by Helmsley. They cinch up again
and trade hammerlocks. Helmsley drop to holdss Rocky to the mat and
applies a chinlock, which Rocky escapes and puts on a hammerlock of his
own. Helmsley rolls free and both men get back to their feet, Helmsley
holding Rocky in an armbar. He moves it into a hammerlock, releases it,
applies a headlock and snap mares Rocky over to the mat. Rocky quickly
counters by catching Helmsley in a headscissors. Helmsley slips out and
grapevines Rocky's legs, then arrogantly slaps Rocky's face. Both men get
back to their feet and Rocky backs Helmsley against the ropes, which
causes the ref to move Rocky away.

Helmsley gives a courtsey and the two circle each other. Jim Ross calls
Helmsley the most cerebral Intercontinental Champion since the Honky Tonk
Man, and says Helmsley was trained by Killer Kowalski. They the go into a
series of headlocks and whips to the ropes. Rocky gets the upper hand
with a hiptoss and a dropkick. Helmsley slides to the floor to catch a
breather.

Helmsley reenters the ring and takes command of the match, relying on a
series of fists to the chin. He snap mares Rocky to the mat and follows
with an elbow to the top of the head. He then applies a chinlock.

Jim Ross repeats the announcement that Shawn will vacate the title, but
gives no details other than Gorilla Monsoon will be on hand to explain
why.

Rocky escapes the chin/headlock and throws Helmsley into the ropes.
Helmsley holds on to them instead of bouncing off, so Rocky sends him
over the top with a dropkick. Rocky follows to the floor and slams
Helmsley's head into the apron, then leans him against the post. Rocky
charges with a clothesline, but Helmsley ducks and Rocky hits the post.
Helmsley tosses him back into the ring and applies an armbar, then drives
Rocky into the mat with a DDT type maneuver while holding on to the arm.
Helmsley bounces off the ropes and drops a knee on Rocky's left arm (the
one he's been working on, but not the one to hit the ringpost). Helmsley
then reapplies the armbar and sits atop Rocky, driving him into the mat
(and allowing both to catch their breaths). A fairly loud "Rocky" chant
starts up. Rocky is able to get to his feet, escape, and whip Helmsley
into the ropes. Helmsley takes Rocky down again with an armbar. Helmsley
then drags Rocky to his feet and slams him into the corner turnbuckle.
Helmsley starts in with a series of chops as they go to a commercial.

During the break Helmsley had apparently used a standing neckbreaker.
In live action, Helmsley has Rockyin the corner and is viciously working
him over with a flurry of punches. Rocky drops to the mat as the ref
backs Helmsley away. The camera pulls back to show that the Honky Tonk
Man has come to ringside. He joins the rest of the announcers for the
remainder of the match.

Helmsley applies a vertical suplex, catches his breath, then drops a knee
to Rocky's forehead. Helmsley covers but only gets a two count. Honky
says he has come out because he was watching in the back and couldn't
stand all the praise Maivia has been getting from Ross and McMahon (a
sentiment Lawler agrees with). Helmsley meanwhile rips Rocky into the
ropes after a few punches. Rocky ducks under Helmsley's assault off the
ropes, but on the next pass Helmsley hits a high kneelift. Helmsley
covers for another two count. Another whip into the ropes and Helmsley
slaps on a sleeperhold. Rocky reverses things by whipping Helmsley into
the ropes and slapping on a sleeper of his own. Helmsley dives for the
corner, pulling Rocky with him. Rocky's head connects with the turn-
buckles and he releases the hold. They then trade blows and chops back
and forth until Rocky drops him with a chop to the throat. Rocky has
Helmsley reeling and climbs to the top, delivering a cross bodyblock.
Helmsley rolls through it and covers for a two count. They then do a few
reversals whipping each other towards the ropes and Helmsley catches
Rocky's head and drops it against his knee (like an Atomic Drop, only
holding the head instead of the body). Helmsley then plants him with a
Rick Rude style neckbreaker, but again is unable to get more than a two
count.

It's about at this point that I was sure we were going to see the title
change hands. All four announcers make much of the fact that Helmsley
just can't put Rocky away.

Helmsley tries a few more punches, then spikes him with a piledriver.
Another two count. Helmsley argues with the ref about the slow count.
Helmsley hoists Rocky up on the turnbuckles and nails a big suplex off
the second rope. He stands over Rocky. I start yelling "small package
coming!" Rocky can't even get up. Helmsley tries to apply the Pedigree,
but Rocky is too loose and keeps slumping to the mat. Helmsley releases
him and steps away, bowing to the crowd as Lawler and the Honky Tonk Man
are yelling for Helmsley to pin him. Helmsley moves back in and starts to
apply the Pedigree, but Rocky small packages him. The ref makes a fairly
slow three count and we have a new Intercontinental Champion.

The crowd modestly erupts. Dok Hendrix shows up and interviews Rocky at
Ringside. Rocky says all the things that the good guys usually say at
this point. Helmsley is shown heading to the back, a look of disgust on
his face. It was the beginning of a bad night for the last two members
of the Clique. This was a good match, lasting over twenty minutes.

- Sunny comes out and "Sunny Fan Club" signs pop up all over the place.
She gets on the mic and introduces the next match.

- THE HEADBANGERS vs. ALDO MONTOYA/BOB "SPARK PLUG" HOLLY
Before the match they show footage of Hillbilly Jim, Jesse James and the
Godwinns on "Prime Time Country" on he Nashville Network. (I saw this and
was pretty much embarrased to be a wrestling fan). Jim plays guitar with
the house band. Double J sings "With My Baby tonight." They then do a
match with the Godwinns vs, Double J and the scrawny host of the show.
The host pins both Godwinns with a cross bodyblock off the second
turnbuckle. McMahon remarks that it's easy to win when you have your own
show.

The M&M's Slam of the Week shows the Undertaker Tombstone Piledriving
Hunter Hearst Helmsley onto an escalator in Penn Station, from Shotgun
Saturday Night.

The match itself here was a squash. Holly gets in some good moves early:
a Frankensteiner, some nice clotheslines, a dropkick and an armdrag.
Montoya is tagged in and nails one of the 'Bangers with an enzuguiri
kick. Holly is tagged in and Mosh and Thrasher take over. They hit Holly
with a double suplex. They also nail him with a move where both
Headbangers go up top and one face-forward suplexes the other onto Holly.
One of then then misses a moonsault. The other Headbanger is tagged in,
as well as Montoya. Aldo comes off the top with a flying plancha and gets
a two count. The Headbangers put Aldo away though with their finisher: a
powerbomb by one while the other lands a legrop off the top turnbuckle.

During the match Ross and McMahon discusses what is wrong with Shawn
Michaels. Apparently an MRI examination of one of Shawn's knees has
revealed that he will require total reconstructive surgery. Lawler gets
McMahon to concede that Shawn's doctor has given the opinion that Shawn
will never wrestle again. They won't know the extent of the damage until
they operate, but at the least Shawn will be out for many months, with
him never setting foot in the ring again (to wrestle) being a real
possibility. Shawn is show in the back conferring with Gorilla Monsoon
as they go to break.

- They come back from the commercial:

(Vince McMahon stands in the center of the ring. Gorilla Monsoon stands
over in a corner).

VINCE MCMAHON:
"And now would you please welcome ... the most flamboyant ... the most
charismatic ... WWF Champion, perhaps of all time. Here ladies and
gentlemen ... to surrender the World wrestling Federation Championship
... ladies and gentlemen the one and only SHAWN MICHAELS!"

(Shawn comes to the ring, walking slowly. He takes great care stepping
through the ropes).

JIM ROSS:
"Shawn Michaels walking to the ring gingerly. He had an MRI done on him
yesterday in San Antonio. Doctors recommending reconstructive surgery, as
we, ah, told you. Whether you love him, or you hate him, if you're a
wrestling fan you have to respect him."

JERRY LAWLER:
"I'll tell you this Jim Ross, I don't care for him at all-professionally.
But I've got to admit this is a stand-up thing to do. As soon as he gets
the word from the doctor-I think I would have hung on to belt as long as
I could."

ROSS:
"Got to be gutwrenching ... and heartbreaking."

MCMAHON:
"This comes obviously as a shock. It's a shock to WWF fans all over the
world. Maybe it really shouldn't be, considering what you give.
Obviously Shawn Michaels, what you bring the the World Wrestling
Federation has taken it's toll on you ... specifically, your knee. And as
you are facing a knee operation, I wonder if you would share, with
millions of your fans all over the world, what's going through your
head."

SHAWN:
"Well ... it seems, ah, like we've done this before. And uh, this time,
unfortunately for me, it's much more serious than last time. I've never
had, um, a doctor look at me in the face and say, ah, that I may never be
able to wrestle again. And I was, uh, I was told that the other day. Of
course, you know I, it's not something that I believe. But the fact is
it's something that I have to deal with. Time has, has taken it's toll
on, on my body."

(A "We Want Sid!" chant breaks out).

MCMAHON:
"I know you're just as disappointed-moreso than anyone else, that you're
not defending the WWF title against Sycho Sid, or for that matter
whomever would have been stacked up against you. And no one has taken on
more challengers-no one in the history, who has ever won this
championship belt, has ever had the schedule, has ever had to endure the
kind of schedule that you have so readily taken upon yourself."

SHAWN:
"Well there's uh, one thing about me is I can't do anything halfway and
I, and I come here and I hear the people and they chant uh, Sid's name
or they chant Bret's name or they chant a lot of peoples' name, and one
thing's for sure you're going to have all of that in the future, um, and
that's what I want for the World Wrestling Federation fans. In spite of,
ah, what people may think about me what I've always wanted for all these
people is, is for them to have a good time and to enjoy themselves. I've
always tried to be the one to provide it whether it was on the good side
or the bad side. Ah, but what was always important to me was the
performance-was the performance so that these people, each time they
reached in their pocket-they paid to get a WWF ticket-they didn't regret
it because they knew that if they saw my name on the card they could
yell, they could come and they could cheer and they could boo and they
could do whatever wanted-they wanted as long as they had a good time!
Over the last couple of months, ah, there's been a lot of talk of people,
ah, having bad attitudes and a lot revolving around this belt. Uh, all I
know today is that one thing that's not going to revolve around this
belt, for a long time, is going to be Shawn Michaels. I don't know where
I'm at right now. I have to, uh, I have to have everything checked. I may
have ... I may be beyond reconstructive surgery. I may or may not be able
to fix it. But if I can't come back and perform at the level I performed
at ... before ... I can't-I can't perform. I can't come out here and just
go half-ass. I have to come out here and I have romp and stomp and I have
to get tossed around-I have to toss people around and I have to have fun.
The schedule over the last year I took on because I didn't feel like I
could say no. I wanted to do everything. I wanted to enjoy my life as the
WWF Champion. I wanted to-I wanted to ride in lear jets and ride in
limousines and I wanted to be on TV shows and I wanted to do autograph
sessions and I got to do every bit of that. If nothing else, I have all
of that to take with me. Again ... and I know right now we're in the
middle of a time where toughness is real big here in the World Wrestling
Federation ... and unfortunately all I've got right now for you is a lot
of sorrow, a lot of tears, and a lot of emotion. I don't have any
toughness for anybody, so I guess ... here you go ... here's your belt."

(The crowd starts to murmur and boo).

"What I'm going to do is go back home and see what's left for me; whether
it'll be in this ring-whether it'll be out of this ring. I know that over
the, ah, last several months I've lost a lot of things and one of them
has been my smile. And ... and I know it doesn't mean a whole lot to
everbody else, but it means a lot to me. So I have to go back and fix
myself-and take care of myself, and I have to go back and I have to find
my smile because somewhere along the line I lost it and I don't care,
really ... I don't care if it's unpopular, and I don't care if, ah,
people want to make fun of me because I'm an emotional guy. But, um ...
this is all I've ever wanted to do and ah, over the last year I got to do
it and whether you like me or not, I just want to tell you that, ah, last
year was the most wonderful year of my life. And, ah, if I never do get
to do it again, it'll be okay because I got to live one full year as
being the number one guy in this business and it was the single, most
greatest year of my life."

(A tear rolls down Shawn's cheek. Fans are openly weeping).

"And I have you to thank, and I have everybody here to thank, and it
means a lot to me and, ah, I'm gonna go home now. Okay?"

(Shawn hugs McMahon).

MCMAHON:
"Ladies and gentlmen ... SHAWN MICHAELS!"

(Shawn hugs Gorilla Monsoon).

ROSS:
"Well I'll tell ya folks ... twenty-five years I've been doing this and
I, I've never, I have never the pain in my gut that I have right now."

(Shawn circles the ring shaking the hands of the fans).

"One more time around the ring. I hope it's not the last time. Thirty-one
year old athelete: a carrer threatening-perhaps a career ending injury.
Completely out of the blue. How do you prepare ... for the loss of a
franchise player? "

LAWLER:
"Well Ross I think-I think that you know, and probably McMahon knows, and
most importantly that probably all these people realize, that Shawn
Michaels has been the most resilient champion ever, and ... "

(Shawn passes the announcer's table and hugs Jim Ross).

ROSS:
"Good luck to you. Good luck to you."

(Shawn hugs Howard Finkel).

LAWLER:
"And I'd say Ross, if I had to bet, I'll bet that he can come back from
this too."

ROSS:
"Well, I'll tell you ... I saw him as a rookie. Shreveport, Louisiana,
the Irish (*something*) Boy's Club. I knew this kid, about eighteen years
old, had it. He's still got it. Heartbreaking. It takes a man's man to do
what he just did folks. Goodbye Shawn. Godspeed."

They go to a commercial:

- McMahon, Ross and Lawler muse over Shawn Michaels' future, as well as
the future of the WWF. McMahon says the WWF owes Shawn a debt they can
never repay.

- THE UNDERTAKER vs. SAVIO VEGA (w/ The Nation of Domination)
The Undertaker is fired up, tossing Savio around like a rag doll. Savio
occasionally fights back, but the Undertaker clearly dominates. Savio
briefly takes over with a low mule kick to the naughty bits, then a
couple of flying heel kicks. Savio goes to work on the Undertaker down on
the mat. Punches, kicks, chinlocks, etc. One of the NOD rappers gets in a
choke while Savio distracts the ref. The momentum shifts back and forth
for a few minutes until finally the Undertaker chokeslams Savio and gets
the pin.

The ring fills with the Nation of Domination. They stomp on the
Undertaker until Ahmed Johnson runs out for the save. Ahmed then gets
stomped to the mat. The Undertaker does his sit-up and double chokeslams
PG-13. He and Ahmed are then able to chase the rest of the NOD off.

- "STONE COLD" STEVE AUSTIN vs. SYCHO SID
Dok Hendrix interviews Gorilla Monsoon in the back. Monsoon makes the
official announcement that whomever wins the Final Four match at In Your
House will be crowned the new WWF champion. Also, the new champion will
defend the belt the next night on RAW against Sycho Sid. RAW, live from
Nashville, Tennessee, will again be two hours long.

They use the big "SID" fireworks sign during his intro. Once the two
start off they go at it fast and furious. They trade blows back and forth
until Sid grabs Austin for a chokeslam. Austin frees himself by kicking
Sid in the nether regions. Austin, after playing to the crowd a bit,
drags Sid over to the apron, goes out, and drops an elbow across Sid's
throat. Austin drags Sid to the floor as a huge "Austin!" chant erupts.
Sid starts to shake off the damage and takes over the punishment. He puts
Austin into a headlock, but Austin squirts free and shoves Sid into the
ringpost. Both men reenter the ring. A whip to the ropes and an elbow
sends Sid to the canvas. Austin covers for a two count. Once both are
back on their feet, Austin applies an abdominal stretch, using the ropes
for extra leverage. Sid escapes and tries a sleeperhold of his own, but
Austin drops down, driving Sid's chin into the top of his head. Austin
then slaps on a chinlock. Sid pounds his way free, but is unable to
capitalize when he misses a legdrop. Austin tries to apply a Sharp-
shooter, or perhaps a Texas Cloverleaf, but Sid kicks him off.

The general melee continues for a bit more until Bret Hart runs into the
ring and attacks Austin. Austin takes off, recieving the win via DQ. This
angers Sid, and he and Hart go at it. The ring fills with officials and
they have to pull the two apart several times.

- Vader waits in the lockerroom with Paul Bearer. Vader points out that in
the last six weeks or so he's beaten the Undertaker, beat up Steve Austin
(twice) and pinned Bret Hart.

- They replay a portion of Shawn's speech.

- THE BRITISH BULLDOG/OWEN HART vs. FAAROOQ/CRUSH (w/ The NOD)
There was some okay tag team work in this one: lots of tags, logical
double teaming, stuff like that. However, I'm kinda sick of typing, so
I'm going to jump ahead to the finish.

Before that, though, they cut to the back where they get comments from
Bret Hart regarding Shawn. Bret voices his condolences to Shawn, and
says he hopes Shawn can come back. This was a nice touch from the guy
who is now the franchise of the WWF.

Because Owen is too dumb to get out of the ring, he keeps the referee
occupied as the Bulldog gets worked over. The Bulldog finally manages to
tag in Owen and he does a good job of clearing the ring, nailing both
Faarooq and Crush with spinning heel kicks. He nails Crush with a drop-
kick off the top. Faarooq comes in to break up the pin attempt. The
Bulldog enters too, and he brawls with faarooq on one side of the ring
as Owen gets tossed out by Crush on the other. Like last week's RAW,
Owen feigns a leg injury and he's counted out.

- BRET "HITMAN" HART vs. VADER
Before the match can start the lights go out and the Undertaker appears
in the aisle. He says there's a lack of respect, and that he isn't
getting his due. He says neither Bret nor Vader can beat him.

The match barely gets underway when they take a break. Hart has just been
knocked to the floor and we catch a brief glimpse of Steve Austin running
up to Bret as they fade out. Back from the break they show a clip of
Austin stomping on Bret until the officials can chase him off.

Vader is in control of the match, physically dominating Bret. Vader goes
up to the second rope and tries to splash Bret, but Hart catches him and
powerslams him. Bret then takes over with a barrage of fists, a Russian
Legsweep, and an impressive scoop bodyslam. Bret tries for the Sharp-
shooter, but Vader kicks him off. Bret hits an elbow off the second
turnbuckle. He then tosses Vader in the corner. He starts to whip him to
the opposite, but Vader reverses it. Vader charges in behind Bret, but
Bret moves and Vader hits the corner buckles. Bret grabs Vader's tree
trunk legs and slaps on the Sharpshooter. Vader reaches the ropes and
Bret must break the hold, though he is slow in doing so.

The camera cuts to the upper balcony, where Steve Austin now is. Vader
siezes the opportunity to drop Bret to the mat. Vader then climbs the
ropes for a moonsault, but Bret moves and Vader slaps the canvas. Bret
quickly covers and gets the pin.

Austin looks to be telling both Bret and Vader that they suck. Like a
madman, he whips a leg over the railing and it takes several security
men to keep him from falling into the crowd below on the lower level.

- Next week's main event (on RAW): Sid vs. the new champion.

Comments: This was, all around, an excellent card. Almost match by match
this card paid off in a big way.

Helmsley and Maivia had a really decent match, with the almost unheard of
bonus of a clean ending and the rare title change on free TV.

This is the first big match the Headbangers have been in and they looked
impressive, with Holly and Montoya showing why they are two of the more
competitive jobbers in the biz.

The Undertaker match was probably the worst, but even that managed to
proceed at a brisk pace and look competitive. Again, the clean finish was a
surprise, making the NOD run-in after the match a plus, not a minus.

Sid's brief performance here was one of his better ones, and Bret Hart's
interference, while a bit disappointing, helps to build what now may well
have to become the top feud in the federation.

I was actually hoping the Bulldog/Owen split would take place here, and was
predicting a title change. I'm surprised that they didn't play more on the
fact that Clarence Mason manages both these teams. It's incredible that he
wasn't a factor. That, combined with an almost identicle finish to the one
on last week's RAW made this the most disappointing match in my estimation.
Still, there were some interesting things going on, and they match had a
good tag team dynamic to it. The majority of the match seemed to be well
thought out: too bad they went for the cheap ending.

The main event again helped to build not only this Sunday's PPV, but add
more fuel to the Austin/Hart fire. Yet again the clean finish was a nice
surprise.

And what can I say about the Shawn Michaels bombshell? Going in, the way
they vaguely brought it up, giving no concrete details, got my mind
wandering over all the possibilities: was he retiring? Suspended? Fired?
Heading to WCW? Dead? There was a real strange vibe generated by their very
brief, blunt announcement that the World Title was vacant and that the PPV
would crown a new champ. Certainly it was done to keep viewers tuned in.
Once they finally mentioned that he was leaving due to the knee injury, the
shock of not knowing what was going on was replaced by the realization of
just how adversely this will affect the WWF-probably for the rest of the
year-if not forever. An entire year's worth of buildup in a Shawn/Bret
rematch has just gone out the window. Not only did it rearrange tonight's
card, but this Sunday's PPV, WrestleMania XIII, and the booking for the rest
of the year. The WWF has just lost their top draw, and done serious damage
to the upcoming WrestleMania lineup.

Shawn's speech was incredibly moving. It was hard not to watch it and, all
thoughts of cynicism aside, see this truly as it was: a goodbye speech. Now
I have no idea how serious this knee injury is, and I'm assuming he'll
eventually be back, but it's hard not to give them the benefit of the doubt
here. We really will have to wait and see if he comes back, and if he'll
still be able to wrestle at the same capacity. I just can't see the WWF
purposely putting their top draw on the shelf as part of an angle. Given
that, this may spell a serious change for the WWF and major loss for them
and their fans. The only reason I've even bothered to evaluate the situation
in this manner is because I'm sure there's a few out there who will just
think that the WWF is trying to generate interest by redoing Shawn's IC
Title stripping and collapse of 1995.

So what does this bode for Sunday's PPV? My first thought was that the
Undertaker would win the belt, since he'd be the best suited to fight Sid at
WrestleMania. That was assuming Sid got the match though, which it appears
he isn't. Instead Sid will fight the new champ next Monday on RAW, and Bret
Hart's encounter with Sid seems a strong sign that Hart will get the title,
with a match vs. Steve Austin at WrestleMania being the next step. The
Undertaker seems to be getting drawn into a feud with the Nation of
Domination, which would indicate the direction he'll be involved with over
the next few weeks and months. Vader's clear loss to Hart tonight would seem
to signal he's unlikely to win the belt as well (though one can't discount
the possibility that this loss was Vader's price for winning on Sunday. This
would set up Hart as the logical contender to Vader given the win, and would
set up a Vader/Hart match at WrestleMania). Austin could get it too. Again,
Austin vs. Hart at WrestleMania would be the logical followup. No matter who
wins this Sunday, I'm betting Hart will be involved in the WrestleMania main
event and come out the champion (whether he had the belt going in or not).
In other words:

- If Hart wins the belt Sunday, he'll successfully defend it against Austin
at WrestleMania.
- If Austin wins the belt Sunday, he'll lose it to Hart at WrestleMania.
- If Vader wins the belt Sunday, he'll lose it to Hart at WrestleMania.
- If the Undertaker wins the belt Sunday, he'll either lose it to Hart at
WrestleMania, or succesfully defend it against someone else (Vader,
Austin or Sid).

I'd say there's about a 40% chance of Hart winning Sunday, Austin and Vader
each getting about a 25% chance, and the Undertaker with a lowly 10% chance.
(Let's also not forget that Vader seems to be destined for a feud with
Mankind, which would give Austin a slight edge over those two).

The WWF really delivered this time out. A packed card with good wrestling,
a minimum of the usual nonsense, and the dramatic surprise which, to be
honest, was probably a more spectacular occurence than any they could have
manufactured on their own.

Tonight's RAW was historic, memorable, and good. It will be difficult for
In Your House "Final Four" to follow that up. It should certainly be
historic with the crowning of a new World Champion. If the Bulldog and Owen
finally split, (and to drag that out any longer would be a huge mistake),
then it could be memorable. But will it be any good? I believe Bulldog and
Hart are scheduled to defend the belts against Doug Furnas and Phil LaFon.
That match could be really good, but it would have to be a step above their
other matches of late. The main event could be tremendous-will probably just
be okay-and could well be a rehash of stuff we've seen from the four
competitors over the last few weeks. Other than that, I have to admit that I
really have no idea what the rest of the card will be. Is Ahmed wrestling
Faarooq? What about Goldust? "Wildman" Marc Mero? Obviously Maivia's winning
the IC belt will change the card somewhat. This is where the WWF has failed
to promote this card. By putting so much emphasis on the main event, it's
hard to think in it in terms other than the success or failure of that
match. In my opinion, it's a PPV I'm not willing to lay out money to see,
even though we are guaranteed a title change.

The big buzz earlier this week was talk of Brian Pillman returning. The WWF
will be taping matches for Superstars Friday night in Cincinatti, Ohio,
which is Pillman's home town. The rumor was that Pillman would appear, and
perhaps get involved. Having him appear at either In Your House, or
engineering a return at WrestleMania would be a boost to either card. If we
assume Hart beats Austin at Wrestlemania, it would naturally follow that
Austin would then feud with Pillman.

I'd describe WCW as plodding along right now, with a few spots of promise
shining here and there, but moving in an overall direction that I don't much
care for.

The WWF on the other hand seems to have plowed into a ditch. They've gotten
the car back out quickly, but it has a few dents, and we've yet to see if
it'll go in the right direction, much less run well at all.


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