Saturday, December 29, 2012

Raw #72 - July 18th, 1994

The big question on tonight's Raw is whether Lex Luger has sold out to the Million Dollar Man. Personally, I can't see Luger turning his back on his fans to wrestle for some rich guy named Ted on Monday nights. Luger challenges for Diesel's Intercontinental title in tonight's featured match.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Figure Friday: The long-lost Steiner, Crush

Last week, I looked at the figures of Money, Inc. and showed how they were so cohesive a team that they even shared a lower body. This week, I profile another pair of WWF figures from Hasbro, the Steiner Brothers. The Rick and Scott figures really have nothing in common... except that they both borrow heavily from Brian "Crush" Adams. Allow me to explain.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Raw #71 - July 11th, 1994

Raw comes to us taped from Bushkill, Pennsylvania. On commentary are Jim Ross and Randy Savage. Tonight's featured match is the 123 Kid-Bret Hart match for the WWF title, which the Kid earned by beating Nikolai Volkoff. No, really. The Kid comes to the ring with new lighting spelling out "1-2-3." "If this match lives up to one one-hundredth of its expectations," says Macho, "...we're gonna go on a magic carpet ride!" Jim Ross reminds us that his opponent, Bret Hart, was voted Superstar of the Year in 1993, much like John Cena in 2012, except Hart won the King of the Ring and actually held a title during those 12 months.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Raw #70 - July 4th, 1994

It's a Fourth of July edition of Monday Night Raw! On this day last year, Lex Luger turned face and bodyslammed Yokozuna, and look how far that has gotten him in the past year! Why, he almost made it to the King of the Ring. Raw kicks off with a battle between two King of the Ring entrants who lost in the first round, Tatanka and Jeff Jarrett. Hopefully this match will end better than that other match between two King of the Ring entrants who lost in the first round, Bam Bam vs. Mabel, which Mabel won by countout last week.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Figure Friday: Below the Belt with Money, Inc.

Ted DiBiase and Irwin R. Schyster shared a lot of things: a team name, a tag team title, an affinity for money, and, unlike many other tag teams, a lower body. At least as far as Hasbro was concerned. No, we never saw a Siamese twin figure of DiBiase and Rotundo, but we did see a pair of action figures with many similar features, including a recycled lower body with stomping action.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Raw #69 - June 27th, 1994

Jerry Lawler's garbage can attack on Duke "The Dumpster" Droese is the subject of tonight's cold opening. Monsoon calls Lawler's use of a trash can as a weapon, "the unthinkable." The unthinkable would later happen hundreds of times in the Attitude Era to kill time during hardcore matches. The Dumpster says that it's one thing to jump him from behind, but it's another thing to hit him with his own trash can. You tell 'im, Duke! Lawler cuts his own studio promo justifying his attack on Droese, citing The Dumpster's dumping of trash on the King, but he is told by an off-camera voice (which one subscriber pointed out is Shane McMahon) that he is supposed to apologize. Lawler says he would rather be fined or suspended than apologize before eventually offering an insincere "I apologize," which he swears he'll never say again. This is one feud that's destined to be settled at Summerslam! No, just kidding. This is Duke "The Dumpster" Droese we're talking about.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Raw #68 - June 20th, 1994

Tonight, Raw begins with a brief recap, featuring stills and sound bites, of last night's King of the Ring pay-per-view. If you haven't already read my massive recap of the event that inspired this blog in the first place, do so now. I'll wait here. Anyway, Diesel defeated Bret Hart last night by disqualification after interference by Jim Neidhart, but Hart retained the WWF title. Later, Neidhart helped Owen win the King of the Ring tournament.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

King of the Ring 1994: Enter Donovan

Given that my blog is called, "How Much Does This Guy Weigh?", it's a foregone conclusion that I would review 1994's King of the Ring, where the phrase was coined by Art Donovan. To write an original analysis of the event, however, is a daunting task, considering that Wrestlecrap's induction of Art Donovan years ago, along with compilation videos like Botchamania 72, not only have covered Art's antics at the PPV extensively, but were my inspiration for taking the name Art0Donnell in the first place. What could I possibly add to the conversation (assuming that there is indeed a "conversation" about an eighteen-year-old pay-per-view)? Fortunately, if you have ever read a single post of mine on this blog, you'll know that I have been following the Federation during this time period very closely, so you may yet learn something from this recap (besides how much Mabel weighs).

Friday, December 14, 2012

Figure Friday: Three Men and a Body

Sometimes I don't know whether to consider Hasbro's WWF toy-makers supremely unoriginal or brilliantly creative. On the one hand, they regularly re-used existing pieces of wrestling figures, disguising their origins with a fresh coat of paint. On the other hand, the leaps of imagination required to transform a particular action figure, representing one Federation superstar, into another action figure representing an entirely dissimilar wrestler are commendable. Sure, there were some easy cases, like transforming Bushwhacker Luke into Bushwhacker Butch and vice versa, but some of the re-hashes bridge not only generations but basic body types, as well.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Raw #67 - June 13th, 1994

Tonight's episode is the "Countdown to the Crowning," a "very special edition of Monday Night Raw," which makes it a) a commercial for the pay-per-view, and b) technically an episode of Raw, which means that I am obligated to recap it. The great thing about the King of the Ring is that it's the only WWF pay-per-view that lends itself to magnetic chalkboard displays, in this case the tournament bracket.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Raw #66 - June 6th, 1994

Raw emanates from Youngstown, Ohio for the third week in a row as Tatanka and Crush face off in a rematch from last week's inconclusive King of the Ring qualifying match. As per usual, tonight's main event opens the show, which realistically is what an organization would do to make sure its feature attraction doesn't run over time if it only had one hour of television. The lumberjacks are in the process of filing in when the show opens, leading to a confrontation between Razor Ramon and IRS.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Literal wrestling move names

The names of many wrestling moves are colorful but baffling to the uninitiated. Here is what a number of common wrestling moves would look like if their names were taken literally.

The move names are hidden in captions under the photos.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Raw #65 - May 30th, 1994

It's the last Raw of May, and next month's King of the Ring bracket is almost set in stone. We see a video package of all of the qualifiers as the bracket takes shape. IRS, Razor Ramon, Mabel, Bam Bam Bigelow, Jeff Jarrett, Owen Hart, and The 123 Kid have all been entered into the first round, leaving just one slot left to go. That position will be filled by the winner of tonight's main event, which was advertised last week: Tatanka vs. Jimmy Del Ray, who has recently undergone a makeover where he wears face paint, has added muscle mass, and gained several inches in height to look exactly like Crush. In fact, he's even calling himself "Crush" now and taken Mr. Fuji as a manager. This is going to be confusing for many viewers.
The resemblance is uncanny.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Raw #64 - May 23rd, 1994

After his face-stealing victory over Yokozuna last week in sumo competition, Earthquake looks to win a berth in the King of the Ring tournament... or does he? Our announcers wonder where exactly Earthquake has gone, since he is not at the arena tonight. He was Banzai-dropped by Yokozuna at a house show in Anaheim, which is used to explain his absence. What a strange run for Earthquake; he returns to the WWF ring, squashes Adam Bomb at Wrestlemania, goes undefeated, beats the former champion, then is gone from the Federation for the next four years. Owen Hart comes to the ring to face a mystery opponent on this first-ever Raw in Youngstown, Ohio. Vince, however, calls it "Struthers, OH," which is about five miles away from Youngstown. Somebody is wrong here.

Friday, December 7, 2012

New on Wrestlecrap - Johnny Damon hosts Raw

My latest article on Wrestlecrap is the induction of the Johnny Damon Christmas episode of Raw from 2009.

Figure Friday: ¢#®!$ ℬ∑№ℹ+

This week's figure was quite cutting-edge when it came out but is now more than a bit dated. It definitely had its good points, such as its true-to-life appearance, the result of digital scanning of the wrestler's face by Jakks Pacific. It also has many joints and other points of articulation. So yes, this figure is technically sound, but all of that suddenly becomes less important when you realize that it's a Chris Benoit doll.
Yes, this is one of many Chris Benoit action figures, manufactured, obviously, before his grisly death in June of 2007. It could even be one of the same ones Daniel Benoit owned, exonerating his father in a Nancy Grace-concocted leap in logic.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Raw #63 - May 16th, 1994

Welcome everyone to Mon-day-Night-Raw! Tonight is the sumo match between Earthquake and Yokozuna, the only such match the promotion would put on for 11 years. Bam Bam Bigelow takes on Thurman Plugg (his friends call him "Sparky") in a King of the Ring qualifying match.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Raw #62 - May 9th, 1994

What decade is this? Oh right, the 90s.
Tonight's cold opening features a replay of Earthquake's challenge to Yokozuna from last week's episode.  The former champion is the guest on The King's Court. Also, Razor Ramon takes on his future long-time friend, Savio Vega, who is currently masquerading as a martial arts expert from "The Orient," in the "first" 1994 King of the Ring qualifying match to be aired. If you've memorized Art Donovan's commentary like I have, you'll know who wins this qualifier.

Monday, December 3, 2012

If ECW had won... (Part 1)

Pay-Per-Views would be slightly different.

This week's installment of Multiverse Monday takes a glimpse into what the wrestling world would look like had ECW outlasted the WWF and WCW.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Raw #61 - May 2nd, 1994

Tonight, Monday Night Raw debuts in Vermont, the fifth state to host the prime-time wrestling program. Tonight's episode features the long-awaited tag team title match between the Quebecers and the Headshrinkers.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Roxxi Laveaux on Wrestlecrap

Read my induction of my favorite TNA Knockout, the over-the-top voodoo queen from New Orleans, Roxxi Laveaux, into the annals of Wrestlecrap.

Figure Friday: Ahmed Johnson

Ahmed Johnson is famed for his unintelligible promos, massive weight gain, and frequent in-ring wedgies, but you can add one more accolade to that list. Ahmed was the subject of one of the most unrealistic action figures ever created.

This is Ahmed Johnson:


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Raw #60 - April 25th, 1994

It's Raw episode #60, and How Much Does This Guy Weigh? post #100! The Macho Man opens Raw by telling Nikolai Volkoff to "come on down" a la Rod Roddy of the Price is Right. His mic isn't broadcasting over the PA, though, so Nikolai, who is Jerry Lawler's guest on the King's Court tonight, does not hear him. Razor Ramon, who defends the Intercontinental title this weekend against Diesel, faces Jeff Jarrett in a non-title match to open the show.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Raw #59 - April 18th, 1994

Monday Night Raw comes at you taped from the Utica Memorial Auditorium. The show opens with a replay of Jerry Lawler's mishap from last week, perhaps in an effort to promote a new "Bloopers, Bleeps, and Blunders" tape from Coliseum Video, which Macho Man references. This week's King's Court features the WWF's female wrestler, Alundra Blayze, who sits atop the Federation's one-person women's division. Also, Bret Hart faces off against Kwang in a thankfully non-title match, which leads Savage to suggest that he himself get a title shot.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Raw #58 - April 11th, 1994

After last week's disgraceful green-screening, Vince McMahon welcomes us to Raw, which emanates live tonight from an arena he is actually standing in. Macho Man is back on commentary tonight, and he's looking to burn Utica to the ground a la Michael Scott. Raw gets colored lights over the ring and a smoke machine tonight. Diesel comes down the aisle with Shawn Michaels to open the show. His opponent in this battle of the bodyguards is the wrestling superstar himself, Virgil.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Genesis of McGillicutty

On today's Multiverse Monday, historians look back at one of the great speeches in the history of the English language.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Raw #57 - April 4th, 1994

Tonight's Raw is a night of firsts. It is the first time a cancelled Wrestlemania match will take place on the program, the first time a Wrestlemania rematch will take place, and the first time the announcers will appear at "ringside" via an obvious green screen. Vince asks guest commentator Gorilla Monsoon whether Earthquake will give Adam Bomb "The Big One" (referring to the Earthquake Splash, I hope). In an effort to completely throw any illusion of being "live" out the window, Vince asks for and catches a baseball thrown from off screen, supposedly signed by Cincinnati Reds owner and racist Marge Schott, and gives it to Gorilla. This is when Raw jumps the shark (for the first time).

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Raw #56 - March 28th, 1994

Eight days after Wrestlemania X, the former champion Yokozuna's manager, Jim Cornette, is at ringside to commentate. He vows to tell the "unvarnished truth" on tonight's Raw. Lex Luger comes down to the ring to his new, less patriotic entrance theme, which sounds just like the beginning of "Eye of the Tiger," with a hint of "My Obsession."

Friday, November 23, 2012

Figure Friday: Tatanka

The story of the Tatanka action figure begins with the Texas Tornado. Kerry von Erich wore tassels on his boots when he wrestled in the WWF as the Texas Tornado. His action figure looked like this:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Don't let the Ultimate Warrior spoil your Thanksgiving

On the November 1988 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, the Ultimate Warrior made this vow to his mysterious challenger and his manager. Why Japan's Mr. Fuji and Super Ninja would celebrate Thanksgiving in the first place, however, is never quite explained.

Raw #55 - March 21st, 1994

Tonight, for the first time ever, Raw is airing live the night after a pay-per-view, thanks to Wrestlemania X taking place in New York City. Tonight's episode is in Poughkeepsie, the new de facto home base of Monday Night Raw. The Macho Man is back on commentary after having defeated Crush last night (after nine consecutive losses in falls-count-anywhere matches on house shows). New WWF champion Bret Hart will be interviewed tonight.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Raw #54 - March 7th, 1994

With just two weeks left until Wrestlemania, tonight's Raw is the last before the pay-per-view. Ted DiBiase joins Vince on commentary, as he did at the Royal Rumble. DiBiase insists that he could by the kind of presentation Tatanka will get from the Lumbee tribe, but that some things aren't worth buying. Vince reminds him that the tax man will be here tonight in the form of Irwin R. Schyster, for the first time implying that a tax collector and a rich man would ever be at odds. Where were you two years ago when Money, Inc. was formed? Vince calls DiBiase's former bodyguard Virgil a "wrestler extraordinaire" (which is like a "Wrestling Superstar").

Survivor Series teams that never were

With another Survivor Series in the record books, it's time to take a glimpse at an alternate universe in a new column I call, "Multiverse Monday." This week, let's look at Survivor Series teams that never were, from a time period when the announcers didn't feel the need to call the elimination matches, "traditional" (meaning, "obligatory").

Team Harvey: Giant Gonzalez, Big Bully Busick, Sid Justice, Kim Chee, & Kamala

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Raw #53 - February 28th, 1994

Tonight's Raw comes to you taped from Bushkill, Pennsylvania for its first-ever out-of-sequence episode, shot one month ago. The "Hall of Fame-bound" Randy Savage comes to the ring first to take on Yokozuna for the WWF title. Harvey Wippleman is on commentary tonight. Vince McMahon notes Yokozuna's hesitation to enter the ring, possibly as a psychological ploy against the Macho Man, who, according to McMahon, "does not like to wait for anything." A lesser blogger would suggest that Vince is referring to his daughter Stephanie's eighteenth birthday.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Raw #52 - February 21st, 1994

Monday Night Raw is live after a two-week absence due to the Westminster Dog Show. The show returns to the Mid-Hudson Civic Center and features the Macho Man back on commentary. Vince introduces him as "a man who one day will be in the WWF Hall of Fame." This, of course, is before Savage committed that unforgivable deed. You know the one I mean. Obviously, Vince is not going to let Savage into the Hall after he left the WWF abruptly to go to WCW. What did you think I was talking about?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Figure Friday: Giant Gonzalez and homemade wrestlers

As I explained in the Doink the Clown article, after Hasbro stopped producing WWF figures, toy stores were left with only the less popular figures that had yet to sell out. As a result, parents of the mid-90s had slim pickings when it came time to buy an action figure for their kids' birthdays or Christmas. That would explain how over the years my household acquired not one, but three Giant Gonzalez figures.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Raw #51 - February 7th, 1994

We start off the fifty-first episode of Raw with a recap of last week's events, which set up tonight's main event of Marty Jannetty vs. IRS. Joining Vince McMahon tonight is... Bastion Booger? I did not see this coming. Booger says he has some gas for Sparky Plugg, who makes his Raw debut tonight, and that, like "The Rocket" Owen Hart, he feels like he's ready to blast off. It looks like this week's theme is "fart jokes."

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Raw #50 - January 31st, 1994

This week's Raw is the first one filmed after the Royal Rumble, meaning that they're finally going to advance the post-Rumble storyline. The Wrestlemania title picture will be decided by the flip of a coin, apparently one with Lex and Bret's faces on either side. Considering Luger's patriotic mega-push this past summer, I'm surprised that Vince didn't petition the U.S. Mint to actually put Lex on a real coin.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Raw #49 - January 24th, 1994

It's the first Raw after the Royal Rumble, so expect to hear the shocking results of Saturday's pay-per-view... that is, as long as the announcers aren't on camera. This episode was taped two weeks earlier, you see, so any would-be spoilers have been dubbed into the show in post-production. Lex Luger, who co-won Saturday's Rumble with Bret Hart, is in action first. Joining Vince on commentary this week is Jim Ross, who I predict will say the word "brudda" 35 fewer times than Crush did last week. This 49th episode of Raw is Jim Ross's first.

The lost Royal Rumble of 1994

It's a little known fact, and one that WWE will never acknowledge, that there have been more Royal Rumbles than the ones shown on pay-per-view or television. One such house show Royal Rumble took place on January 17th, 1994 at Madison Square Garden, just five days before the Royal Rumble PPV and occurring at the same time as a taped Monday Night Raw was being aired. Thanks to some bootleg camera work (which couldn't have been easy in 1994, given the size of camcorders of the day), this Rumble is preserved for posterity. After being traded on VHS for years, it has made its way onto the Wild West of video hosting sites, Dailymotion.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Figure Friday: Get Bent

The closest thing to standing these guys can do.
This week's Figure Friday focuses on the travesty that was the WWF Bend-Ems (Series I, specifically). These toys, manufactured by JusToys, were for people who tired of the old Hasbro line of wrestling figures and their pesky ability to be posed, to have their body parts moved without ripping apart, and to stand on their own. How bad were the Bend-Ems? For years, this would be Kevin Nash's only WWF figure, and it couldn't even do him justice in terms of replicating his move set.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Raw #48 - January 17th, 1994

It's the Monday before the Royal Rumble, and rather than have the standard pre-PPV special like "March to Wrestlemania," "Summerslam Spectacular," or "Survivor Series Showdown," the WWF is showing a regular episode of Raw. Thus, instead of a "Royal Rumble Rumba" or whatever they would call it, we have a Raw taped right after last week's episode.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Linda McMahon loses Senate race

Still, as much as we might want to keep McMahon out of the Senate and end WWE's censorship of its own Attitude Era footage, let's not forget the charitable side of the McMahons. Last week, WWE donated $1 million to Susan G. Komen, meaning that curing cancer is approximately 1% as important to them as winning a Senate seat.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Other Kind of Politicking

WWE has had a long history of involvement in electoral politics, starting in 2000, when the Smackdown Your Vote campaign, aimed at registering young WWF fans to vote, was launched. The non-partisan campaign emphasized only the importance of voter participation, as well as legitimizing the then-World Wrestling Federation, a lightning rod for criticism, in the eyes of the mainstream media. Somehow, WWE has always managed to blow every opportunity to be taken seriously by the media and the politicians.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Raw #47 - January 10th, 1994

Monday Night Raw celebrates its first anniversary tonight, and what better place to do so than in Richmond, Virginia? Footage airs from last week of Marty Jannetty and the 123 Kid getting in Johnny Polo's face and getting a tag team title match. Tonight, the Quebecers defend against Marty Confetti and the Poster Boy for Pampers (Polo's words, not mine). The Macho Man's theme music plays, heralding the return of Randy Savage to the announce table.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Art0Donnell debuts on

Figure Friday - Doink the Clown

If Hasbro had kept their toy line
going through 1997, they would
have given the Sable figure the same
finishing move.
Anyone who knows anything about 90's wrestling knows that the heel version of Doink the Clown was awesome. In fact, I believe that is a requirement for writing about wrestling online. Not only did he have a great gimmick, cool music, and solid wrestling skills, but he also had a unique action figure which, as far as I know, is the only wrestling figure produced with realistic hair weaved in (although Larry Zbyszko would attempt the same thing but in real life).