Sunday, September 9, 2012

Raw #24 - July 5th, 1993

The twenty-fourth Raw starts off with a brief recap of the Stars & Stripes Challenges from the previous day, presented without commentary but with austere military music playing over top of footage of guys not picking up Yokozuna. After the Raw theme hits, the fans with miniature American flags chant USA and Vince shows a more complete recap with commentary. We first hear a voice-cracking rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner by Lee Rouson, followed by a shot of the Chevrolet Silverado, which is white, not blue as promised. Lee Rouson, former running back of the New York Giants, is the first to attempt a slam. Bobby Heenan advises him "to keep running and get some singing lessons." The Charlotte Hornets' Scott Burrell gives up without even attempting to lift the champion, while Bob Backlund, Scott Steiner, and other professional athletes all give a "gallant effort." Yokozuna at one point takes a break to eat rice. Tatanka attempts to fight Yoko, but the champion counters with a Devastating Maneuver (#1), a savate kick to the chin area (I say "chin area" because it clearly did not connect), followed by a leg drop. Crush lifts Yokozuna quite easily, but then just gives up, perhaps remembering that he's not booked to win. Randy Savage is the last contestant, but he doesn't come close to lifting the champion. 

"Hey, I was promised a blue truck! I hate America!"
-Lex Luger,
in an alternate universe where he never turned face.
Todd Pettengill reluctantly declares Yokozuna the winner, but is interrupted by the arrival of a helicopter. Lex Luger arrives in an American flag shirt for some reason and launches into a pseudo-patriotic promo about Yokozuna being a cancer on the WWF and the only thing wrong with America being "blood-sucking leeches like [Fuji] and that over-stuffed, sushi-eating, rice-chomping wrestler you call a champion." Lex's wife at the time is Japanese, it should be noted. Luger hits Yoko with his steel-plated forearm and then slams the champion to the ground. Luger, Vince tells us, has challenged Yokozuna to a title match, but Mr. Fuji has refused. Macho Man says that all the competitors are all "damn proud" of Luger.

The off-kilter MIDI entrance theme of the Beverlys hits, with Blake ("I can't believe I'm still employed") Beverly entering the ring accompanied by a large Raw girl who is definitely not Themis Klarides (who has been the sole Raw girl for the past few weeks). I'm even more surprised at the retention of Blake (real name, Mike Enos), given Vince's disdain for anyone named "Enos." His opponent is the 123 Kid, who is wearing slightly different ring attire and enters to theme music. The battle of the Minnesotan mullets begins after commercial.

Blake starts the match off with a slap to the face, but the Kid hits him with a dropkick and then counters a flapjack with a Maneuver (#2 - dropkick). Blake catches the Kid's spinning heel kick, but he counters with an enziguiri to Blake's head, an Unbelievable Maneuver (#3). Blake stops the Kid's momentum with a powerslam. Bobby Heenan proclaims Lex Luger's slam "The Hiplock Heard 'Round the World." Blake suplexes the 123 Kid into the top turnbuckle and to the arena floor, a Maneuver (#4) that is unbelievable, says Vince. Beverly slaps the 123 Kid outside the ring, but somehow avoids a countout. Vince points out that the 123 Kid relies on High-Risk Maneuvers (#5), but that he won't be making too many Maneuvers (#6) after Blake hits a diving headbutt. Blake derides the Kid verbally before press-slamming him to the floor slamming him repeatedly. Vince is hopeful about the Kid's chances, however, reflecting on the Kid's recovery from a failed High-Risk Maneuver (#7 - botched turnbuckle leap to the concrete floor) against Razor. Beverly whips Kid to the corner, where the underdog attempts a Maneuver (#8 - flying body press) but misses. 

Heenan urges Blake to put away the 123 Kid quickly and not toy around with him. Regardless, Beverly shoulderblocks the Kid out of the ring, but then misses a jump from teh top rope, allowing the Kid to mount the top turnbuckle and hit an Unbelievable Maneuver (#9 - somersault dive). The 123 Kid gives "new dimension to the term, 'High-Risk Maneuver'" (#10). Blake rolls into the ring and feigns a neck injury, then misses a swing at the Kid and gets whipped to the ropes. Blake then blocks an attempted Maneuver (#11 - leapfrog) by the 123 Kid and slams the underdog to the mat. However, he misses a headbutt of the tope rope and falls prey to a top-rope Maneuver (#12 - legdrop to the back of the head.) by the Kid for the pinfall on "the big man" (relatively speaking). Bobby Heenan gives the Kid credit for his win over "Mike Blaverly."

We are treated to our first look at Men on a Mission (or "M.O.M.", get it? I don't get it. What does a mom have to do with rappers?). Oscar, the team's rapper/manager, declares that they're "playin' no jokes" and "playin' no games. We're kickin' butt and we're takin' names." This vow would not prevent them from dressing up as clowns at Survivor Series.

Pictured (left to right): Fire hose, fire, ho
Bam Bam Bigelow, accompanied by his main squeeze Luna Vachon, takes on Baltimore's Joey Maggs. As the atcion gets under way, Vince exhorts us to "Look at this Maneuver" (#13). a corner splash. He follows this up with another corner splash and a headbutt to end the match in a pinfall in the shortest match in Raw history to date (42 seconds).

Samu enters the ring accompanied by Afa. The Undertaker's bell rings and the house lights go out completely for the first time. The Taker gets a spotlight entrance, sans Paul Bearer, who was beaten up by Mr. Hughes. Bobby Heenan claims that Taker is weaker without the urn, which Vince finds ridiculous, but which would be a major plot point for many of the Undertaker's feuds in the coming years. The Undertaker attempts to leapfrog Samu but his opponent does not duck, sending the Samoan's head into the Deadman's groin. Undertaker then executes a Maneuver (#14 - drop toe hold) that he has never done before. He then hits a dropkick, another one of his new Maneuvers (#15). Afa fires up Samu outside the ring by headbutting him. Undertaker then hits Old School, which was at that point called Current School, but then misses a diving clothesline and gets pounded outside.

Throughout the break, Samu has been throwing Taker back and forth between ring posts. Samu then throws him back into the ring and gets a two-count. Undertaker sits up after each slam. Samu clotheslines him over the top rope, but Taker lands on his feet, re-enters the ring, and whips the Samoan back and forth between corners. Samu responds with a backbreaker and headbutts to the prone Taker. Samu then climbs the ropes, but the Undertaker sits up, leading Samu to try a headbutt anyway (which misses). Taker then chokeslams his opponent, lifting him a foot off the ground (or 14 feet, according to Macho Man). The Deadman tombstones Samu to win the match.

World Rustling Federation champion Yokozuna comes to ringside with Mr. Fuji for an interview with Vince McMahon as the fans chant "USA." Fuji explains that Lex Luger cheated to win the Stars & Stripes Challenge, having used his steel-plated forearm (the one that the announcers have been complaining about for months) to knock out Yokozuna before slamming him. Fuji then explains that Luger's move was not a slam (where one lifts his opponent over one's head) and a hip toss (where the opponent is tossed over one's hip). The crowd chants "USA" loudly as Fuji explains why he denied Lex Luger a title shot (for cheating). Vince suggests that Yoko give a shot, if not to Lex Luger, then to Hulk Hogan or Bret Hart (not gonna happen). Fuji offers a shot to any American athlete, leading Crush to challenge the champion. Vince asks Yokozuna if he accepts, to which he replies "Hi." Vince assumes this means "yes" and makes it official. Fuji (born in Hawaii) vows to make Crush lose faith in Hawaii. Next week, the two athletes of Polynesian extraction battle to determine whether the USA or Japan is the greatest country on earth.

Mr. Perfect, after putting his gum on the large Raw girl's sunglasses, battles Brian Costello, who does not get his name displayed on screen. Costello could team up with Bobby Who to form an Abbott and Costello-themed tag team. In the time it took me to write that joke, Mr. Perfect has ended the match with a Perfectplex. Perfect extends his perfect Raw record with a win in one minute flat. Stay tuned for Silk Stalkings, next on USA.

Final tally:

0 Uncut, uncensored, uncookeds (Cumulative total: 33. I'm starting to think they've dropped that motto)
15 Maneuvers (Cumulative total: 159)

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