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17 February 1997 (UK)  »

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The Rock wins his first title
25 June 2016 | by (victoria b.c canada) – See all my reviews

Live from Lowell, MA

Your hosts are Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler & Jim Ross

Intercontnental Championship

Hunter Hearst Helmsley (C) Vs Rocky Maivia

Rocky wins the title with a small package. This was considered a huge upset at the time. It would jumpstart Rocky's huge push that would turn out to be a failure. There were already some "Rocky sucks" chants here. The match was alright.

**1/4

The Headbangers Vs Bob Holly & Aldo Montoya

Sunny is the guest ring announcer. The Headbangers win. This was largely an unimportant tag team match. Though, I've always liked The Headbangers.

*1/2

Up next, Shawn Michaels forfeits the WWF title because of a knee injury. Shawn says he's never heard a doctor tell him he may never be able to wrestle again. Uhh, are we forgetting the entire concussion angle? The crowd is yelling "we want Sid" ouch. Shawn says he hears the chants of Sid, Bret, other superstars. He says the fans will get to have all of that in the future. He says he's always wanted the fans to have a good time, and he's always tried to provide the enjoyment. He talks about the bad attitudes from the superstars revolving around the title. He says he won't be involved in the title picture for a long time. Shawn says he doesn't know where he's at right now. He may not be able to fix the knee at all. He may be beyond reconstructive knee surgery. He says he can't do anything half-assed. He says he took on the gruelling WWF schedule because he wanted to enjoy life as the WWF champion. He hands over the WWF title. He says he's lost his smile. He has to find his smile again, because somewhere along the way he lost it. He doesn't care if it's unpopular, he's an emotional guy. Shawn starts crying. He says the past year has been the best year of his life. He says he's gonna go home now.

Thoughts: There are a few theories here. Shawn claims he really did have a knee injury. Bret claims Shawn made all this up because he didn't wanna lose the title to Bret at Wrestlemania 13. Both Shawn and Bret have huge egos, so who knows who is telling the truth. I enjoy Bret and Shawn as performers.

The Undertaker Vs Savio Vega (W/The Nation of Domination)

The Undertaker wins with a chokeslam. The Nation attacks Undertaker after the match until Ahmed Johnson makes the save. This was a really boring match. It consisted a lot of punching and kicking with very little wrestling.

*

"Stone Cold" Steve Austin Vs Sycho Sid

The match ends in a DQ after Bret Hart comes in and attacks Austin. After that, Sid and Bret get it on in a slugfest. Not a great match, but this match is notable for a couple of reasons. Despite being a heel, there were loud "Austin" chants. This is also the first time JR referred to Austin as a rattlesnake.

*1/2

Vader botches his pre-match promo.

Tag Team Championship

Owen Hart & The British Bulldog (C) Vs Farooq & Crush (W/The Nation)

Crush and Farooq win by countout. Bret Hart was interviewed backstage during the match, so I felt that took away from some of the match. The match was mediocre anyways.

*1/2

Bret Hart Vs Vader (W/Paul Bearer)

Bret pins Vader when Vader misses a moonsault. During the match, Austin attacks Bret and tries to cost him the match by distracting him. I feel Bret and Vader are more capable of what they showed here. Austin's antics were a lot of fun.

**

This is a decent episode of Raw. Character development was well done, and it also has a couple of memorable moments as well. It's also notable for being The Rock's first title reign.

6/10


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