It’s me, it’s me! A.V.D!
We’re going to have another debut edition of ‘Smokin’ & Rasslin’ this time with the third staple of weekly content: The Retro Review!
So take a puff, grab your sunglasses and hop in the DeLorean with me, as we travel back in time to the first episode of Sunday Night Heat!
Ahhh the old school WWF opener. Haven’t seen that in a while.
This is gonna be fun dipping into the annals of WWE.
I said annals.
Heat was 1998.
The anals of WWE was around 1996 during a Goon and TL Hopper match I think.
“Hottest, Hippest, Happening thing on television today” – Shane McMahon.
He’s on commentary and I don’t remember this at all.
Shane and JR.
The show opens and Kane’s music hits.
Kane and Mankind come out with Paul Bearer.
Mankind cuts an in-ring promo. I forgot how creepy he was pre-“Socko”
“Uncle Paul” lol
This was during an Undertaker-Mankind feud not long after the infamous Cell match.
Mankind’s original theme was so perfect.
Vader’s music hits.
I didn’t realize Vader was still around at this time.
Worlds Strongest man! Pre-sexual chocolate days.
𝗩𝗔𝗗𝗘𝗥 𝘃𝘀. 𝗠𝗔𝗥𝗞 𝗛𝗘𝗡𝗥𝗬
Huge military press on Vader by Henry.
HOSS match. JR’s creaming his pants.
Huge running elbow to a downed Vader.
The Mastodon fights back and knocks Mae Young’s future love interest down.
Multiple splashes from Henry.
This was right around the time Vader was jobbing out. He was demolished.
Henry disqualified for continuing to splash Vader. Kinda weird.
Vaders left in shambles.
𝘞𝘐𝘕𝘕𝘌𝘙 𝘉𝘠 𝘋𝘘: 𝘝𝘢𝘥𝘦𝘳
Nice! An advertisement for WWF Warzone for N64 and Playstation. I Remember being so pumped for this game and not wanting to admit it was a let down. It was fun at the time in some ways but in no way can it compete with the GOAT:
The Headbangers mosh (ha!) their way to the ring.
Shane is obnoxious on commentary but it works. He’s nuzzled Up to 2 stacked bimbos at the commentary table lol.
Southern Justice comes out. I vaguely remember them.
𝗛𝗘𝗔𝗗𝗕𝗔𝗡𝗚𝗘𝗥𝗦 𝘃𝘀 𝗦𝗢𝗨𝗧𝗛𝗘𝗥𝗡 𝗝𝗨𝗦𝗧𝗜𝗖𝗘
I think this is a tornado tag match. Didn’t hear it announced.
One of the Southern Justice guys is Dennis Knight aka Mideon. So funny to see certain guys run through so many gimmicks especially in this era.
Huge Clothesline from the future Ministry lackey.
Jeff Jarrett interferes for Southern Justice. Droz joins in on The headbangers behalf.
𝘋𝘌𝘊𝘐𝘚𝘐𝘖𝘕: 𝘋𝘰𝘶𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘋𝘘
More weird ref decisions.
Music video for The Oddities by ICP plays next lol. So many things I totally forgot about this era are coming back to me now.
𝗫-𝗣𝗔𝗖 𝘃𝘀 𝗧𝗔𝗞𝗔 𝗠𝗜𝗖𝗛𝗜𝗡𝗢𝗞𝗨
This was pre “we are eeeeevil” Taka. X-Pac and DX were showing cracks in the seams they would eventually burst with HHH’s heel turn at Mania 15
X-Factor ends a quick match as X-Pac wins.
Taka’s crew attacks the ring and DX follows. DX throws out all of Kaientai and celebrates in the ring by mooning the crowd. Lol
They play a promo of HHH guest staring on Pacifc Blue after Heat tonight.
Are ya ready?
Bradshaws out next against a between gimmicks Dustin Runnels.
Guess this persona wasn’t any worse than Black Reign.
𝗕𝗥𝗔𝗗𝗦𝗛𝗔𝗪 𝘃𝘀 𝗗𝗨𝗦𝗧𝗜𝗡 𝗥𝗨𝗡𝗡𝗘𝗟𝗦
Bradshaw wins with a shoulder tackle and then a huge clothesline from purgatory. (It hadn’t quite graduated to hell yet)
They play a vignette for Droz about his puking and tattoos. Apparently, D’Lo Brown wasn’t a fan.
Droz comes out next. Followed by J-E-Double F J-A Double R E Double T.
𝗝𝗘𝗙𝗙 𝗝𝗔𝗥𝗥𝗘𝗧𝗧 𝘃𝘀 𝗗𝗥𝗢𝗭
Back and forth match to start.
Double J Smacks Droz’s head off the classic metal guardrail.
Back in the ring Jarrett continues to dominate. Sleeper hold applied to Droz. I think that’s the Ring Masters move.
Southern Justice comes out. Followed by the Headbangers.
This was a time when WWE storylines were cohesive and played out full circle within single episodes.
Tennessee Lees shoe ends up in the ring and Droz hits Jarrett with it behind the refs back for the win.
Jarrett and Lee go at it back in the ring. Southern Justice attacks Lee from behind and Jarrett and them beat him up.
Not sure if we ever see Lee again.
Supposedly Mankind and Undertaker are having a match next but my clock shows me there’s only 3 minutes left in this episode.
A summerslam promo with “Highway to hell” plays. Sweet.
2 minutes to go.
Shane does the classic “We’ve asked the USA network for more time!”
Mankind is being attacked by Kane!
Kane’s beating up Paul Bearer now.
He’s gone crazy!
The mask comes off and it’s actually Taker!
He was disguised as Kane!
Lol I actually forgot about that moment. Was pretty cool to see again.
Interesting to have major storylines like that play out on the secondary show.
This was definitely a golden era for a lot of us, and I look forward to reviewing more episodes of the hottest retro show: Sunday Night Heat every weekend.
The matches were a little short as WWF at the time was more focused on the entertainment side during a lot of the Attitude era. So instead I’ll pick a “moment of the night”
𝙈𝙊𝙏𝙉: 𝙐𝙣𝙙𝙚𝙧𝙩𝙖𝙠𝙚𝙧 𝙙𝙞𝙨𝙜𝙪𝙞𝙨𝙚𝙙 𝙖𝙨 𝙆𝙖𝙣𝙚 𝙖𝙩𝙩𝙖𝙘𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙈𝙖𝙣𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙤 𝙚𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙨𝙝𝙤𝙬.
What was your MOTN? And What other retro reviews or specific Heat episodes would you like to see in this space going forward?|