Sunday, September 16, 2012

Raw #26 - July 19th, 1993

Raw's twenty-sixth episode starts off with Shawn Michaels vs. Marty Jannetty in a rematch for HBK's Intercontinental title, a match I didn't know existed until yesterday. Raw girl Themis Klarides holds up yet another suggestive sign in the ring. Meanwhile, Michaels is accompanied by his fashion-challenged insurance policy, Diesel. Shawn's belt (excuse me, championship) now has a black strap, replacing the white strap, which replaced the blue strap. Diesel stands silently by in his rhinestone jacket and cowboy boots, perhaps mentally thanking Vince for at least not dubbing him "The Rhinestone Cowboy." Vince does, however, call him a "cool dude in a loose mood." WWF lost out on a great merchandising opportunity right there. Marty shows up Michaels' bodyguard by wearing an even more hideous outfit straight out of the early 90s (which, incidentally, is when this match took place).

What could have been.
HBK hits Jannetty from behind to start off the match, but a Michaels backdrop on the challenger is countered when Marty lands on his feet. The action picks up in pace until Shawn tries to run Jannetty into the ropes, only to fall out the ring when Marty ducks with a Maneuver (#1), a Clever Maneuver (#2). "This match has gone 25 seconds and it's already one of the greatest matches I've ever seen," says Macho Man who, while prone to hyperbole (having called Wrestlemania IX the greatest of all time), always puts over the new generation, unlike Hulk Hogan or the "Nacho Man" character that parodied Savage in the 1996 "Billionaire Ted" skits.

Shawn slowly climbs back into the ring and slaps a headlock on the challenger, who breaks out and returns to the standard, fast-paced Shawn vs. Marty action. A missed shoulderblock by Michaels into the corner allows Marty to get in a series of hiptosses and a near-fall. Vince opines that Jannetty was the superior wrestler of The Rockers (remember those words, people of 2012!), prompting Bobby Heenan to bet Vince that he voted for Spiros [sic] Agnew. Agnew, who was elected governor of Maryland in 1966 and two years later was elected Vice President of the United States on the Nixon ticket, never ran for office on his own on a national level, rendering Heenan's accusation somewhat nonsensical. Even more curiously, Vince denies being old enough to have voted for Agnew (who last ran for office in 1972), making Vince no older than 39 years old (rather than 47, like in real life). Heenan then remarks, "It was only 1936," meaning that he has mistaken Agnew for Republican Alf Landon, who lost to FDR. This would be in Botchamania, except Maffew is English and even 99.5% of Americans have never heard of Alf Landon.

Shawn charges at Marty in the corner, but instead catches a boot to the face, allowing Jannetty to hit a Beautiful Maneuver (#3) off the second rope, clotheslining the champion. Marty gets the cover and the three count, but HBK's foot is clearly on the rope. Vince calls the match for Marty with a somewhat unenthusiastic "Way to go." Usually, Vince is a master at thinking someone has won when they clearly haven't, so he must be having an off night.

We return from break to see that the match is still going on, having restarted during the commercial. Hebner had looked at the replay on Heenan's monitor and saw HBK's foot on the rope, creating an inconsistency in officiating not to be revisited until TLC 2010, when Mike Chioda restarted a Miz-Orton tables match due to a replay on the Titantron. Heenan calls out the face announcers for their hypocrisy, since Savage and McMahon would have flipped out had it been Marty's foot on the rope. Jannetty whips Michaels to the corner, where the champion tries to float over the challenger. However, via a Nice Maneuver (#4), Jannetty puts on the breaks before running into the corner, allowing him to catch Shawn with a sleeper hold from behind. In a role reversal, what Vince calls a sleeper hold, The Brain calls a choke. Michaels breaks out with a belly-to-back suplex. Vince tells the audience to look at that Maneuver (#5), making sure no Raw viewers miss it. Vince gives Shawn credit for that Maneuver (#6). HBK then knees his opponent to the outside. He re-enters and runs the ropes with Shawn, leading to a collision which Michaels sells in his trademarked over-the-top fashion, falling through the ropes (in an over-the-second rope fashion).

Shawn has come back into the ring and has Marty on the mat in a sleeper when Raw returns from break. The crowd's "Whoomp, there it is" chant, followed by a "Marty" chant, tries to revive the challenger as Shawn puts him in a front face lock, which McMahon points out can easily turn into a chokehold. Jannetty narrowly avoids a loss via pass-out to the hold, breaking out and crotching HBK on the top rope in what Vince assures us is an Inadvertent Maneuver (#7). Despite this being a singles match, the fans chant Tag Team's hit song once again. A huricanrana takedown by Marty, reversing a Michaels powerbomb, leads to a near-fall. HBK then body presses Jannetty, who rolls over into a pin for another near-fall. After getting hit with a Rocker Dropper, Shawn gets his arms caught in the ropes, leaving him vulnerable to Jannetty's punches. He gets his arms free just in time to duck a Jannetty body press, which sends the challenger to the arena floor. Diesel then picks Jannetty up and rolls him back into the ring, where he fails to put his foot on the rope and is promptly pinned by the champion. Vince finds this ending disgraceful, perhaps preferring if Diesel had merely left Marty on the floor for a countout loss.

When we return from break, Macho Man and Bobby Heenan bicker about their respective weekend shows, WWF Mania and All-American Wrestling. Macho again refers to Todd Pettengill as his "tag team partner." Want to know the real reason why Vince holds a grudge against Savage? Forget the Stephanie McMahon rumors; Macho Man jumped ship to WCW but didn't bother to take Todd with him. WWF fans had to endure 3 more years of Pettengill after Savage left in 1994, while the wrestling world was tragically deprived of a classic swerve in which the Toddster reveals himself as Nash and Hall's third man at Bash at the Beach 1996. Randy and Bobby's argument over whose show to watch ends with an agreement of "You check me, I'll check you," taken verbatim from Steve Lombardi's job interview with Pat Patterson.

Vince McMahon is in the ring to introduce Money Inc., who two weeks ago taunted Razor Ramon for losing to the 123 Kid and then losing $10,000 to him in a rematch. IRS claims that his team was robbed of the tag team titles by the Steiners, which could very well be true, since the match took place at an untelevised house show. There will be a rematch this weekend on Superstars. DiBiase runs down Razor Ramon once more, leading the Bad Guy to come to the ring and interrupt the rant. The former tag champions offer Ramon some domestic work, but Razor tells the rich mang and the taxmang that he would never "trabajo para ustedes." For you non-hispanophones out there, that means "work for you all," not "go to rehab," as you might have expected given Scott Hall's reputation. Ramon, ignoring the lyrics of The Million Dollar Man's theme music, implies that he does not have a price. DiBiase slaps a stack of bills against the Bad Guy's chest, leading Ramon to shove DiBiase and leave the ring. DiBiase then vows to embarrass "Mr. Machismo" by easily beating the 123 Kid. Up next is Men on a Mission, which Vince calls "MOM" and which Randy Savage calls "the tag team of the future." What a bleak future that would be. A future filled with wrestling hog farmers, dentists, pirates, minotaurs, and another tag team from even further into the future (from the year 2000, to be precise).

Vlad the Superfan cheers men on a mission, such as Lex Luger.
Men on a Mission, the WWF's first rappers, arrive just in time to be completely out of step with the political and gangsta rap of the day. They knock one of their opponents out of the ring, allowing them to pummel Rich Myers. Bobby Heenan asks how much Mabel weighs. "500 pounds plus, Art," says 1994 Gorilla Monsoon. Mo comes off the top rope, pushing Mabel into a splash on Rich Myers, allowing the big(ger) man to easily pin Myers.

The Summerslam report starts up with Gene dancing on camera to Oscar's rap until he finds out he is on camera. The pay-per-view is a month and a half away. So far, the card consists of Jerry Lawler vs. Bret Hart and The Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzalez in a "Rest in Peace" match. Harvey Wippleman somehow signs for this match, despite the rules being unknown to everyone except the Undertaker, who is "mum," according to Mean Gene (not MOM, like Mabel, Oscar, and Mo, but mum). Spoiler alert: the match is just a no-holds-barred match, otherwise known as a streetfight, a No-DQ/No-Countout match, or an extreme rules match. I've always wondered why, when offered to make the stipulations for one's own match, no wrestler ever goes completely overboard and makes a ridiculously biased stipulation. For instance, in 1995, Bret Hart would allow Jerry Lawler to name the stipulation for their match at King of the Ring. Lawler would go on to pick a "Kiss My Foot" match instead of, say, a "Loser-Castrates-Bret-Hart" match. Sorry, I get carried away, and so does Mean Gene Okerlund, who starts singing a few bars of "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" in his excitement over Tiny Tim's Raw appearance tonight.

Vince McMahon discusses Lex Luger's call to action campaign, featuring the Lex Express driving across the country. Lex is wearing some gaudy American Flag pants which, in additoin to making him look like Deidrich Bader in Napoleon Dynamite, violate the United States Flag Code (176j), which forbids the wearing of the flag as clothing. That's how his match with Yokozuna should end; with Yokozuna unconscious in the ring, Jim Cornette has police officers arrest Luger for wearing Old Glory on his crotch, retaining the title for the champion. Luger poses in front of the highly-phallic Washington Monument in a bittersweet scene reminding the audience of Lex Luger's possible erectile dysfunction, a common consequence of steroid abuse

Bastion Booger, the former Friar Ferguson (Or Triple-F, as he would have been called in the Attitude era), takes on Scott Despres (which is pronounced to rhyme with "suplex" when Gordon Solie pronounces that move). This very large individual attempts to impress the capacity crowd with a clothesline with authority, while I attempt to impress the readers by working three McMahonisms into a single sentence (individual, capacity crowd, with authority). Booger wins by sitting on his opponent, which is what big men ought to do to easily win matches. McMahon plugs another Gregory Harrison TV movie, USA's Thursday movie "Caught in the Act," which Bobby Heenan incorrectly identifies as a Pee Wee Herman film. Vince makes an accidental double entendre, following up Bobby Heenan's joke with the phrase, "I'll tell you what's coming next week." For the record, it's a match between Bret Hart and Bam Bam Bigelow in a King of the Ring rematch. That match was actually pretty much a snoozer, featuring an exhausted Hart, but they would have better matches, including next week's match-up and a contest in Barcelona that would be featured on Bret's WWE DVD.

The fans shout (get this) "Burger King" at Jerry Lawler, who says he would be glad to introduce one of the greatest singers of all time, but he can't, since his guest tonight is Tiny Tim. Tim is wearing a Mickey Mouse suit that is literally a Mickey Mouse suit. The King, proving that nostalgia makes us remember the past as way better (and funnier) than it ever actually was, suggests that Tim write an advice column called "Dear Shabby." Ouch. Lawler asked Tiny Tim what year his career died, and tim says that his career is revived and he is now walking "the streets doing wonderful things" (perhaps like Lawler's most recent ex-wife). Lawler warns Tim that if he gets on the air, people will threaten to stop breathing it. Good, that's much better, Jerry. Lawler asks Tim if the host of the King's Court is a Burger King, to which the singer replies that Lawler is, in fact, the Dairy Queen. At this time, Burger King was airing commercials during Raw; I wonder how they felt about their name being bandied about as an insult. Lawler grabs Tim's ukulele and smashes it to pieces, leading the singer to weep uncontrollably. Ukuleles can be bought at any music store for well under $100 in 2012 money. We cut to commercial before Lawler can prove his superiority as a singer.

The 123 Kid takes on Chris Duffy. The Kid, who has accepted DiBiase's challenge, gets scouted by the Million Dollar Man, leading Razor Ramon to come to ringside through the crowd. Vince praises the Kid's "very unique" style. My 6th-grade English teacher would have a fit. The Kid hits a Nice Maneuver (#8 - spinning heel kick) to take down Duffy. He then hits a top rope leg drop to put Duffy away early (but not methodically). Money Inc. and Razor Ramon get into a scuffle outside the ring, but we go to break before it concludes.

The announcers pose with the Macho Boy to close the show.

Final Tally:
8 Maneuvers (Cumulative Total: 174)


  1. What's the deal with the Macho Boy and Vince violently shoving that guys arm down?

    1. That's Bobby Heenan's arm, with which he was making "rabbit ears" behind the kid's head.

  2. Scott Despres would show up a few years later in WCW to job to Kevin Sullivan under the name Maverick Wild.