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Charles (Loss)

[1997-01-27-WWF-Raw] Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, The Undertaker and Steve Austin

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Shawn Michaels is out to be interviewed by the always-glowing Vince McMahon. Bret is still teasing problems with Vince and tells Shawn he wants to be the one to beat him. Vince intervenes to tell him he's overlooking Sid and Bret says he's not, but he'd even watch Shawn's back to ensure he gets him at Wrestlemania this time around. Undertaker is the next guy called out, and he says he's tired of Bret talking about getting screwed when he's been screwed more than anyone. Vince brings up Sid yet again and then introduces Austin. Jim Ross interviews Austin outside the ring in a nice little piece of attention to detail. He refuses to enter the ring with "three big crybabies and little boy blue". He antagonizes them a little and also argues with Vader, who is standing by the entrance. Okay segment.

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Lawler says he cant understand why these people cheer Shawn Michaels. You and me both brother. They are still bringing up Sid as a huge contender in this segment. Shawn gives a fairly wooden promo and the crowd is dead for his segment.

 

Bret comes out and is a little less whiny and controlled than last week but he acts like its a foregone conclusion he will be facing Michaels to which Vince responds that he is overlooking Sid.

 

Taker is next to the frey. He says that he has been screwed more than Bret and took too much of a backseat. Pretty good promo by taker here.

 

SCSA comes out to absolutely no pop. Lawler says he loves this guy. JR interviewing him in the aisle is an excellent touch.

 

" From what I see right now, I see three cry babies and little boy blue"

 

Vader with Paul is at the entrance and SCSA heads to the back and has some words with Vader. This felt a lot like the type of segments we see weekly on Raw.

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Everyone but Undertaker comes off heelish. Vince plugs rematch of Shawn versus Sid at Thursday Raw Thursday. Michaels is going to give Sid his shot back at the title. Bret wants Shawn to keep the title so he can face him one on one. Undertaker lets us know he is ready to be back in the title picture.

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Dead crowd notwithstanding (yeah, I'm getting too much of Vince calling the action), this is a decent segment in which Austin cuts the best promo of the four, but nothing earth shattering.

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Pretty good segment. I actually quite liked Shawn's promo here, as he actually puts his opponents over and puts the nature of the championship era. All the talk about "attitude" is pretty jarringly prescient, too. The only negative was Vince having to repeatedly jut in to put over the Shawn-Sid match on Thursday Raw.

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Austin's promo is the best, but that's no surprise at this point. Shawn's was fine for what it was. I liked him putting over his opponents too. I laughed at Bret telling Shawn he hopes he stays healthy for WM. Maybe that was Shawn's cue to bail. Vince getting annoyed with Taker & Bret assuming Shawn would retain over Sid is hilarious, but I don't blame him. They should know not to make assumptions. It's a minor pet peeve of mine too. Austin threatens to come to the ring & fight but decides against it & jaws with Vader at the entrance to end the segment. Good build to Shawn-Sid rematch (which never happens of course) & Final Four. Nothing too spectacular but the focus is strong & the intrigue is there.

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I feel sympathetic to Shawn. He is clearly a guy going through a lot and you can see him at least being conciliatory towards Bret. He takes his shots, but he is also at least trying to be nice during some parts. He is the kinda person that knows he is a pain the ass, cant really help it, but tries make up for it by acknowledging that he is one and saying nice things about people. Bret is just a total dick. Part of this that blurs the lines is are they positioning this as Bret being more heelish than Shawn so maybe that why Bret comes off as the world's biggest asshole. Like the man does not give an inch. Bret comes off as a condescending, know it all, myopic Moral Judge of the Universe. You can tell he lives in a world that is black and white. He cant admit his faults. Definitely not a fan of Bret the character. It is funny watching all the classic Bret matches back I really started to appreciate Bret as the heir to NWA World Champion, incredible offensive wrestler with a dynamic range, someone who can have a match unto himself and really take you on a ride. Watching these Bret promos is making me hate him all over again. I run so hot and cold with both him and Shawn because at the end of the day they are both shitheads and they make it incredibly difficult for anyone to like them. Austin is the star here and he is hilarious calling them "Three crybabies and little boy blue. " I rather hang out with Austin than these three crybabies anyways.

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Not nearly as hot as last week, but another fun segment with the main event players that builds the Final Four. This was one of Undertaker's better promos to this point because he got to say some of his goofy shit about the dark side and taking Shawn's soul while sounding genuinely menacing rather than cartoony. Austin smelling an ambush and getting Ross to interview him in the aisle was a very cool touch, as was him calling someone front row a punk and telling them to shut it. He isn't red hot yet from a fan connection perspective, but everything he does when you stick a mic in his face right now is absolute money. I also quite liked Shawn's promo. Wasn't anything particularly memorable, but he got his point across fine and didn't strike me as being disingenuous with what he was saying. I haven't watched the four way from In Your House in about ten years so if nothing else they got me hyped to check it out again. 

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