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Last few minutes. Shawn uses his time at the booth to shoot on Bret not being an angel but presenting himself as one and even cracking on him doing the same moves in the same order. Sid comes out and grabs a cameraman and runs to the back, which leads to Austin running in and hitting Bret with a stunner to zero reaction. Vader then pins Bret after a middle rope splash. We find out why Sid wanted the camera - so he could powerbomb Pete Lothario on a table backstage. We're supposed to care about this? Thankfully, the WWF gets better as the year progresses.

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All the stuff with Lothario felt so forced. He wasn't generally known by the audience, and right away gets laid out as part of Shawn/Sid. "We're supposed to care?" was my reaction as well.

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Everything here felt out of place except the action between Vader and Bret which looked pretty good. The commentary was off and Micheals seemed disinterested. Austin came out of no where and it took Vince forever to recognize that, and the powerbomb to Pete felt forced and didn't really connect with the viewer. Was cool to see vader get a pin on Bret though.

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Hart's boots are very white. Shawn's already talking about going off on Bret Hart and both guys are suppose to be faces at this point right? Michaels takes shots at Bret's moveset. Oh, 1997. Sid brings the cameraman back stage. Austin wanders down to say hello in match. Vader beats Bret!

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I thought Lothario made Shawn look kind of lame. At a time where he was desperate for male fans, having an elderly wrestler in his corner didn't help matters. They should have used Jose more in training vignettes like they did for WM12.

 

I always enjoyed the powerbomb to Pete just because of how random it was. It continued the force-fed Sid heel turn heading into San Antonio though, which kind of sucked because I liked the gray main event picture that was going on around that one match.

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Baby face Shawn is the WORST! It's too bad Bret & Vader never had a long singles match, because it could had been awesome.

 

I do appreciate that Sid took the camera man to the back, thus giving a reason for one to be back there. So much better than the current WWE cameras are everywhere style.

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I do appreciate that Sid took the camera man to the back, thus giving a reason for one to be back there. So much better than the current WWE cameras are everywhere style.

 

Oh yeah. But damn, that ending was so random and poorly executed, complete with Steve Austin showing up when the cams are on Sid backstage. The match itself is pretty good, but you can feel they work it for exactly what it is, a TV match that's used for angles backdrop. (Mankind and Owen had fun TV match on the same show, much better than this)

Sid's "heel" push felt totally forced, indeed, as Sid had been really popular until then, and will remain a babyface afterward anyway. Poor booking this week.

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Shawn's a total fucking twerp here, as everyone has pointed out. My eyes almost rolled out of my head when he oh so cleverly predicted a Russian legsweep, "'cause it's the same all the time!" Stupid kayfabe-breaking sports-entertainmenty Russo bullshit. Imagine someone criticizing Mariano Rivera for throwing cut fastballs all the time.

 

The match itself isn't that good either--Loss pointed out in the Shawn GWE thread about how Bret, Undertaker, Shawn et al were to call the shots when Vader was working with them. That's plainly evident here, as Bret calls for a number of spots that shouldn't really be called in an ideal Bret-Vader layout. I know Vader has been criticized for being too willing to let smaller guys throw him around, but Bret pulling up his knees to block the Vaderbomb makes no sense and he shouldn't be getting bodyslammed and suplexed like it's nothing. (The bringing up the knees leads to Shawn amusingly saying Vader's going to be "singing tenor" in the shower--uh, yeah). Badly executed finish on top of all that. Shawn goes from "having no friends, no allies" in his words to rushing to the aid of Pete Lothario. Yay consistency!

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Good match. Bret works over Vader a bit after Vader misses a charge into the steps. Vader takes control again though & dominates with some great power offense. I liked his second rope splash. It looked really painful. Sid shows back up & brings a camera man to follow him to the back. This leads to the ref being distracted & Austin coming out to give Bret a stunner on the floor. Vader takes advantage & wins with the Vader Bomb in the ring.

 

We find where Sid took the cameraman & he's beating up Pete Lothario, Jose Lothario's son. He gives him a great looking powerbomb on a wooden table of some kind in the back. Shawn & Jose rush to Lothario's aid. I love Sid, but this doesn't make any sense. I guess they finally decided to turn Sid full heel here. A lot of fans don't want to cheer Shawn though. I don't think anyone gives a shit about Pete Lothario either to be honest. Bizarre choice as an angle to build to The Rumble.

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Bret vs Vader could have been so much more just as Bret vs SID but Bret is incorrigible and won't let anybody shine. This match is clearly better because Vader is as good if not better wrestler than Bret. Bret's shine is pretty boring. Much more interesting when Vader is on offense. Great second rope splash that I was planning on him missing. Bret just goes through the motions which Shawn calls him out on. It is bullshit that Bret is calling these spots against Vader. Austin clips Bret's knee and Vaderbombs wins the match. Yay!

 

SID Powerbombs Jose Lothario's kid AWESOME! SID! SID! SID! This booking and Shawns attitude are killing Shawn. Either the booking needs to conform to his attitude or his attitude needs to conform to the booking.

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I pretty much agree entirely with Pete on the match, especially the bodyslam which I had no recollection of but instantly hated. Other than Lawler making note of it the thing didn't seem to count for shit, either. I mean, that's pretty dumb. This being the tail end of a marathon taping session makes sense because nobody gave a rip about Austin being out there at all. Sid bringing the cameraman back with him was indeed a cool touch and I actually like the powerbomb on Pete Lothario in isolation, but it had no heat at all because he's some schmuck related to the old fella (who may have been a fucking awesome wrestler, but nobody had any reason to care about him at this point) who was tagging along with the guy crowds were already getting sick of. I thought WWF started getting a few things right towards the end of 1996, but it's still night and day compared to what's going on over on Nitro. 

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