Thursday, October 18, 2012

Raw #43 - December 13th, 1993

Tonight's Raw is the first post-Heenan episode. Fortunately, there will be no Rob Bartlett to replace him. Instead, we get the patron saint of Botchamania, Jim Cornette, who is sporting a Santa Claus tennis racket. The Macho Man enters the ring to take on Fatu, delivering an important message to the fans in attendance: "Oooooh yeeeaaah!"
Macho Man gets knocked down several times by Fatu. These two men would take wildly different career paths by the end of the decade: Macho Man, a juiced-up woman-slapper, and Fatu, a man with a very, very large ass. Fatu pounds Savage on the outside, tries to pin him inside, then back body drops him to the outside again. Interference by Afa fails to put Randy away. Cornette mocks Savage's hair, saying that, "Wavy Gravy is dead. Jack Kerouac is dead." The first statement is not true, and the second statement, while true (Kerouac died in 1969), has nothing to do with Savage, as the author's hairstyle was more similar to that of Vince McMahon than the Macho Man. Fatu goes to the top rope, but gets crotched and knocked to the outside by Macho, who does a top-rope double axe-handle to the floor. He then tosses Fatu into the ring for a flying elbow drop for the surprisingly quick win.

Todd Pettengill comes on the air from the WWF Studios, supposedly buying the airtime himself. He then gives a really bad Ross Perot impression, then switches into "serious mode" to talk about his former Mania co-host Randy Savage. Regarding the Savage's suspension from announcing due to his aggression towards Crush in recent weeks, Todd rhetorically asks Jack Tunney, "What damage could the Macho Man do here?" Well, he could beat Todd Pettengill over the head with a TV monitor. That should be all the more reason to let him co-host WWF Mania again. He then tells viewers to vote "Yes" on "Referendum M" to reinstate the Macho Man on WWF Mania. That's 1-900-454-4WWF. Each call costs $0.99 and remember, kids should get their parents' permission to dial. If I were the parent of a kid who wanted to vote in this wrestling phone poll, I would explain to them that the WWF is just trying to take your money by making the audience feel important and powerful when, really, they're going to reinstate the Macho Man no matter how you vote. Or, if the kid's too young to face such a harsh reality, I would tell him that I would make the call myself and then, of course, never do it.

Lex Luger delivers a public service announcement about how he never uses drugs and you kids shouldn't either.
The Smoking Gunns arrive to take on Steve Smyth (pronounced like "Smith") and Jim Massenger (which rhymes with Kim Basinger, if you mispronounce that actress's name). Vince looks forward to seeing Lex Luger in the Royal Rumble, but Jim Cornette tells him that he won't be competing in it. He explains that Lex's Summerslam contract with Yokozuna prevents him from having another title shot against the 550+ pounder, so even if Lex were to win the Rumble, he wouldn't be allowed the title shot at Wrestlemania. He says he's going to discuss this with Jack Tunney, "the most respected president since Grover Cleveland," tomorrow. Do you think Clarence Mason will be involved in the negotiation? Captain Lou Albano arrives at ringside for the first time in about six months, to scout the Gunns. Smyth, who appears to be dressed in a Bushwhacker Halloween costume, works over Bart Gunn before the future Brawl-for-All winner fires back with punches that should have knocked him out cold. Billy gets the tag and bulldogs Smyth for the pinfall victory.


Without the fallen toothpick,
this angle loses all of its momentum.
Next, we see a replay from last week's HBK-123 match, in which Razor saved the Kid from a third Shawn Michaels Razor's Edge, then got suckered into the entranceway curtain, where he got punched by Diesel. The clips show all of the important moments of the incident with the exception of that close-up of Razor's toothpick, which has been omitted from this week's highlights.
I found Waldo!
IRS tells us to forget about buying Christmas presents this year, "because you're gonna need every stinkin' penny you can get your hands on, come April 15th!" This Raw is live from Poughkeepsie, by the way, but the weird graphics associated with non-Manhattan Center Raws have largely been corrected. Todd Mata (which is Spanish for "Todd Kills"), who donated his body a few weeks back against the Headshrinkers, is back this week to face Irwin. Vince wonders if Irwin had anything to do with that "Mee-lay" last week involving Shawn Michaels. The camera shows a brief close-up of Irwin's briefcase, which contains Razor's missing gold chains, before Shyster pushes the cameraman away. 

I found Super Mario, too!

IRS tosses Mata around while Jim Cornette takes credit for convincing Diana not to divorce Prince Charles. That's one way to date this show if you didn't already know the air date. Vince then apologizes to the royal family for those remarks, perhaps fearing a defamation lawsuit on top of his indictment on steroid distribution charges. Fortunately, the Duke and Duchess of Wales seem to have accepted the apology as they watched wrestling at 1 AM on a Tuesday morning. IRS hits the first Nice Maneuver of the match, belly-to-back suplexing Mata for the pinfall victory. Irwin's briefcase briefly pops open as he leaves the ring.
We see footage of Yokozuna dressed as Santa Claus, handing out presents with children sitting on his lap. Mr. Fuji wishes Paul Bearer and the Undertaker a merry Christmas. The Christmas music soon starts to slow down and drop in pitch until Yokozuna wakes up from his nightmare with Mr. Fuji by his bedside to tell him it was just a dream. Fuji and Yokozuna share a bedroom? The WWF truly is Unbelievable!
The Undertaker's bell tolls and the lights go out. The Undertaker faces Yokozuna for the title at the Royal Rumble. He then raises his arms and brings the house lights back up, prompting Jim Cornette to ask how he does that. A valid question, but one that no one seems to ask anymore, having taken for granted the Undertaker's "mystical powers." His victim tonight is J.S. Storm, who is neither Lance nor James.
When Raw returns, the Undertaker tosses Storm to the outside as Vince harps on Jim Cornette having "sold out" Yokozuna for signing him up for a casket match against the Undertaker. Cornette cries foul about contractual meddling. He says he's never been wrong. "I thought I was wrong once, but I was mistaken." Vince points out that the Undertaker has "never ever lost a casket match before," which is true, as he beat Kamala in the one and only WWF casket match ever back at Survivor Series 1992. Even that wasn't a "casket" match, but a "coffin" match, where the opponent had to be pinned before being put into the pine box. The Undertaker hits Storm with a very high chokeslam before putting him in the Tombstone. Next, he eyes the body bag at ringside, which Paul Bearer brings into the ring and gets all laid out for him.
A Double-J montage airs, explaining his very complicated gimmick of a wanna-be country music singer. When he's through with the WWF, they'll be calling it the Double-J-F. Vince and company really missed a great marketing opportunity by renaming the company "WWE" instead of the Double-J-F.
I never knew Tatanka had a last name.
Rick Martel takes on a jobber who is obviously using his real name, Tim McNeany. Cornette compares Tatanka to Lorena Bobbitt, wanting revenge at any cost against Ludvig Borga. Vince announces the USA World Premiere (read: made-for-TV) Movie, "Jericho Fever." The movie will go on a three minute tirade against the USA Network, then get buried by The Rock immediately afterward. McNeany scores a number of near-falls as Vince reminds us that Bret Hart will be joining us for in-ring action tonight. It is at this point that I realize that the VHS rip I'm watching has the matches in the wrong order. I then copy and paste this section of my Raw review into the appropriate slot. Yokozuna will be here next week, insists Cornette, because he's the champion. Cornette never managed Hulk Hogan. McNeany hits a kick to the "chest area" of Martel before The Model pulls through with a Boston-area Crab for the victory.
No, I am not a model.

A replay of an interview with Owen Hart from Superstars is shown. Owen is sick and tired of "living in the shadow of YouBret." He challenges his brother YouBret to a match.

Bret Hart, the Superstar of the Year, faces the Brooklyn Brawler. Vince and Jim talk about Owen Hart's recent challenge to Bret Hart for a match. McMahon wonders if Cornette has been giving Owen advice. Cornette aligned with Owen Hart? Never. Not this year, at least. Vince notes that Shawn Michaels will be joining him on commentary next week. Cornette says that the Brooklyn Brawler will be inducted into the WWF Hall of Fame (and five bucks says he will be in the next five years) while making some now-dated references to Rush Limbaugh and Sally Jessie Raphael. Hart hits the Five Moves of Doom on Brawler (leg sweep, elbow drop, backbreaker, Sharpshooter. Okay, that's four moves this time) for the submission victory. Vince reminds us to waste our money trying to get the Macho Man back on a Saturday morning recap show.

Men on a Mission and Owen Hart will be in action next week, says Vince, as will the debuting Double J Jeff Jarrett (That's J-E-Double-F J-A-Double-R-E-Double-T. Double J, Jeff Jarrett). Ludvig Borga and Tatanka will have a rematch next week as well. A "Whoomp There It Is" chant breaks out among the very soulful Poughkeepsie crowd.

Final tally:

1 Maneuver (Cumulative total: 262)

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