Friday, October 19, 2012

Raw #44 - December 20th, 1993

December 20th's Raw is already shaping up to be an historic one. We see the first ever non-white Raw girl in the ring, plus this episode is a "special holiday edition." Since this is pre-Attitude era, there will be no Santa's Helper bra and panties matches, just as there was no gravy bowl match around Thanksgiving or costume battle royal around Halloween. Instead, we're wasting time with "matches." Damn New Generation era. Shawn Michaels joins Vince to commentate matches including Owen Hart, Jeff Jarrett, and Ludvig Borga vs. Tatanka.

Double J struts down the aisle wearing an outfit reminiscent of a mummy (or a Yet-ay!). "A most unusual outfit," says Vince. He faces PJ Walker, the man Vince recently misidentified as Cory Student. Jarrett does his patented (besides Buddy Rogers, Ric Flair, and Buddy Landell) strut once more as Vince warns him not to take PJ Walker lightly, as the preliminary wrestler defeated IRS a few months before. The future Aldo Montoya hits a hip toss and an "arm drag takedown nicely done." Jarrett dodges a second Walker arm drag, a counter Vince calls a Nice Maneuver (#1) before Jeff hits the jobber from behind. Vince acknowledges that nine men have already officially been entered into the upcoming Royal Rumble, but that Lex Luger has thus far been barred due to his Summerslam 1993 contract. Jack Tunney, Federation President, was apparently in the running for Bill Clinton's Secretary of Defense, although Vince doubts that Mr. Tunney voted for the President. That's a safe bet, considering that Tunney is Canadian. Jarrett hits a surprise DDT for the victory. Double J spells his name once again for the fans.
Men on Mission comes down the aisle in Santa hats as Oscar sings some cutting-edge lyrics about throwing your hands in the air and waving them like you just don't care. He even works in lyrics about Santa Claus and "Whoomp There It Is." In a puzzling twist on the squash match genre, Men on a Mission take the lower-left corner while the jobber team takes the upper-right. Mo starts off with Duane Gill, who, along with Barry Hardy, have "had some success here in the World Wrestling Federation," according to Vince. I guess he doesn't want to point out that there are certain teams that never ever win. Shawn wonders if Mabel is on the same diet as that guy from Argentina. Vince explains that a man in Argentina recently died as the result of a pig-eating contest. Phew, I thought Shawn was talking about the rugby team from the movie Alive! Mabel splashes Hardy from the second rope for the pin.

Ludvig Borga faces Tatanka once again, with the Native American opening up with chops and those ten punches on the turnbuckles that used to be such a big part of wrestling that it was a basic move in the 16-bit wrestling games. Tatanka does his war dance, which usually signals victory, but fails to put him away after a flying body press. This is like if Hulk Hogan hulked up a minute into the match, but his opponent kicked out of the leg drop, except obviously without nearly as big a crowd reaction. Borga retaliates with moves straight off Chris Jericho's list of 1004 holds (right-handed punch, left-handed punch). However, following a Borga corner splash, Tatanka does his best Hogan impression yet again by no-selling. Borga scoop-slams Tatanka, which McMahon calls a powerslam. Tatanka gets his third wind, taking down the Finn with a (real) powerslam, but Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji come to ringside. Fuji pushes Tatanka off the top rope with the referee's back turned. Yokozuna then enters the ring, causing the referee to signal for the bell. Tatanka chops away at the champion until Borga axe-handle smashes him. Lex Luger comes down to the ring, throws Borga out, and bodyslams Yokozuna for the third time on TV. Referees separate the two factions before Teddy Long's music hits and the General Manager makes a tag team match. Wait, sorry, wrong era. No, instead we go to break.
We get a replay of Lex Luger's bodyslam on Yokozuna, which Vince says has become habit-forming. Poor choice of words, Vince, given Lex's future. The camera zooms in on a sign draped over the balcony that says... nothing. Either it said "WWF" and has been blurred out on this re-release, or the cameraman got trolled.

Captain Lou Albano gets an introduction by Howard Finkel. The former Super Mario actor appears to be wearing Diesel's windbreaker. In the ring is Art/Mark/Scott Thomas, who faces Adam Bomb. Shawn praises Bomb for signing Harvey Wippleman as his manager. I mean, look at all he's done for Well Dunn! Bomb fishhooks the mouth of Mark Thomas, who Vince says is a big fan of Barney, hence the purple tights. Michaels says that he's tired of seeing Barney every Saturday morning on PBS. Why Michaels would be watching Saturday morning kids' shows in the first place is never questioned. Bomb wins with the Atom Smasher.
A vignette for Thurman Plugg ("Sparky" to his friends) airs. Here's a continuity error for all you New Generation diehards: Plugg's nickname is spelled "Sparkey" on his race car. Sparky Plugg is one of the first faces I booed, probably because he had a stupid gimmick, name, and personality. Also, his video game reviews in WWF magazine were unhelpful.
Owen "The Shadow" Hart faces Mike Bell next. Owen puts his sunglasses on a fan at ringside. After a tug of war with Bell in the form of a top wristlock, Owen hits a Maneuver (#2) in the form of a headscissors takedown that slows down a bit in the middle as Bell struggles to complete the somersault. After launching off the back of Bell's head, Rocker Dropper-style, Owen hiptosses his opponent, prompting Vince to praise his Maneuevers (#3). Owen hits a Bret-style elbow smash  on Bell, who resembles Bret Hart, according to Vince. McMahon then plugs "Wild Card," a USA World Premiere Encore (which is a contradiction in terms). Owen puts Bell in the Sharpshooter, leading to the submission victory.
Paul Bearer welcomes a camera crew into the Undertaker's workshop, where the Dead Man is busy at work on a custom-made casket for Yokozuna. It will be a one-of-a-kind casket for a one-time-only match (not counting their casket rematch at Survivor Series later that year).
The Headshrinkers are set to demolish Phil Apollo and debuting enhancement talent Jerry Seavy. Shawn takes a page out of Vince's book (a dictionary), calling the Headshrinkers "the most devastating team" in the WWF. After Samu clotheslines Apollo over the top rope, they beat Seavy down relentlessly, with Fatu hitting a splash for the victory. Could this be rookie hazing? Usually the Samoans drag the carcass of one of their opponents to his own corner to tag in the other one.

Next week, we are promised highlights of the Women's Title tournament finals between Heidi Lee Morgan and Alundra Blayze, two women who have never been seen or mentioned on WWF TV before. Sounds like a prestigious and necessary championship to be brought back to the WWF. Razor Ramon and Lex Luger are in action next week, while Marty Jannetty takes on Johnny Polo in the manager's WWF in-ring debut.

Final tally:

3 Maneuvers (Cumulative total: 265)

1 comment:

  1. The sign in the crowd says 'LUGER FOR PREZ' in very faint writing. The episode on the network is unedited (uncut, and uncensored!).