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Charles (Loss)

[1998-02-02-WWF-Raw] Owen Hart vs Billy Gunn

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Owen is still getting great pops, even bigger than Bret honestly. This match was a good contest to fill some tv time and show how resentful NAO was after the incident with Cactus and chainsaw. They did more wrestling than I would have imagined and Owen's hope babyface spots are timed really well. Owen is able to lock in the sharpshooter and Road Dogg comes in for the DQ. The rest of D-X comes down and the beatdown on Owen commences. Owen being led up the stage creates a lot of danger to the proceedings based on what happened earlier. HHH gives him a ddt on the stage. HHH then instructs NAO to swing Owen to the floor from the stage as officials come in to stop it. (*1/2)

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I too liked this match as continued storyline development. Road Dogg runs in for the DQ as Owen is about to apply the sharpshooter, and DX comes out to help them do even more damage. HHH gives Owen a DDT on the entrance platform and they are about to throw him off the stage but referees and other officials come out to stop them. I laugh at the subtext of this being wrestlers snapping because of the pressure to win the ratings war.

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Owens is coming in hot after the dumpster incident. Great opening stretch of Owen taking it to Gunn and dispatching Road Dogg too. Good stuff to establish the association between the Outlaws and DX and the programs being mixed together like this makes them all feel bigger and gives the show a greater feeling of purpose.

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Is this the best Billy Gunn singles match ever? It's nothing great but as a TV match go and as Gunn matches go, it's pretty good, with Gunn executing okay and Owen working really hard. Despite being emasculated over the past month, Owen is still over and the crowd still pops for the Sharpshooter teases. Eventually Owen is beaten down 5-on-1 by the NAO and DX, and Shawn & Hunter encourage the Outlaws to toss him off the ramp, too. It's broken up by officials (as the crowd boos, heh), as DX keeps encouraging the NAO to push the envelope and fight for those ratings. Yes, this is definitely an episode that made the Outlaws as they're more or less the centerpieces of the entire show with almost every segment revolving around them at least indirectly.

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