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.
Vince McMahon is here tonight with guest commentator Crush, who for some reason is being given a live mic for the next sixty minutes (and is wearing flannel). Vince reminds us that there is a much better show going on at Madison Square Garden as you watch this pre-taped episode of Raw. Crush's opening comments are largely unintelligible due to the loud sirens and the fact that it's Crush, brudda!

Owen Hart comes out to his High Energy music, accompanied by brother Bret, with whom he will compete for the tag titles this Saturday at the Rumble (provided that their opponents, the Quebecers, win back the titles from the Kid and Marty Jannetty). His opponent tonight is Terry Austin, not to be confused with paralyzed jobber Chuck Austin, whose lawsuit against the WWF would result in the firing of Marty Jannetty just a few weeks from this episode. Regardless, Terry appears to try his best to end his own career, landing on his neck after a reverse monkey flip by Owen. "Nice move, brudda," says Crush. Austin avoids paralysis, then tries to do the same move on Owen, but telegraphs it and gets a Hart knee to the face instead. Vince hopes that Crush won't get involved in tonight's main event, pitting IRS versus Crush's nemesis Randy Savage, but the big man from Kona, Hawaii insists that he's just there to call the matches, brudda.
Vince mentions that last week's Raw had a record-setting audience, then speaks to Stan Lane on the phone at MSG about the upcoming tag team title rematch with implications for the Rumble event. Hart hits a back body drop and an enziguiri before landing an elbow from the second rope and his finisher (according to The Complete Idiot's Guide to Pro Wrestling), the dropkick. Crush praises Owen's ability and new attitude, brudda. After a flying dropkick, Owen puts Austin in the Sharpshooter for the victory. Crush thinks Bret is jealous of his brother, brudda. Crush, for the record, has said "brudda" 15 times thus far tonight.
Vince gets an interview with the Hart brothers at ringside regarding their match against the Quebecers and that team's title match tonight against the champions, the Kid and Jannetty. Owen would like the Quebecers to win the titles back so that Owen and Bret get a title shot at the Rumble. On the other hand, Bret says that he would never cheer for the Quebecers, and he's sure that the Kid and Jannetty would give them a title shot sooner or later. That commercial with the guy impersonating WWF superstars airs, perhaps foreshadowing Marty Jannetty's turn as the levitating Undertaker at the Royal Rumble in 5 days.
The WWF hotline will feature live interviews this Saturday night with each Superstar before he enters the Royal Rumble match. The cost is $1.49 for the first minute and $0.99 for each additional minute, and kids should get their parents' permission before wasting their money listening to what Tenryu has to say about the match.
See Earl Hebner there? He would
make the three-count on the
Kid and Marty Jannetty
at MSG that same night.
Either this episode
was taped, or it was his
good twin Dave filling in.
The Once-Defeated Native American, who is scheduled to take on the soon-to-be-crippled Ludvig Borga at the Rumble, enters the ring. It is on this very night in Madison Square Garden that Borga would break his ankle in a match against Rick Steiner. In fact, that match is likely going on at this exact moment. Oddly, Tatanka would compete later that very night, losing to Yokozuna. He must be pretty fast to get from Richmond to New York in fifteen minutes. His opponent here in Virginia is George South. In between saying, "brudda," Crush imagies that people like Tatanka, Ludvig Borga, and the Harts, who have to wrestle twice at the Rumble, will be the first men eliminated from the battle royal itself. He also doesn't think Tatanka is very bright, brudda. Meanwhile, Stan Lane reports that the tag team champions are putting up a great fight against the Quebecers. Tatanka and South trade the advatange before Tatanka hulks up, goes on the warpath, and delivers a High-Risk Maneuver (#1 - tomahawk chop) off the top rope for the pin. So far tonight, the count is 1 maneuver vs. 20 bruddas.
Next, we get a profile of Alundra Blayze, the new women's champion who has never wrestled on Raw and who wouldn't even have an opponent if she did. We see Blayze bench press (but the number and amount of weight on the barbell is not shown), then practice her kickboxing (not on a person, but on a bag that can't fight back. Big deal!), and ride a motorcycle (without a helmet. Way to set an example, Ms. Miceli). We also see her on a jet ski, where she avoids getting a black eye like Hulk Hogan did on Wrestlemania IX weekend. I guess Alundra didn't secretly set up Randy Savage's wife with another man.

Diesel takes on Scott Powers (no relation to former Young Stallion Jim), who doesn't turn around for the camera when introduced. Vince accuses Crush and the rest of Mr. Fuji's mercenaries of not trying to win the Rumble, but to prevent Lex Luger from doing so. Diesel dominates Scott "Towers" (as Vince calls him). Crush mentions the Tanya Harding case, which, along with the Lorena Bobbit case mentioned on last week's Raw, is featured in the Weird Al song, "Headline News." Crush wonders if Diesel is going to take Shawn out of the Rumble like Tanya did to Nancy Kerrigan. Stan Lane comes back on the phone to tell us that the Kid and Marty were robbed, losing the titles due to interference by Johnny Polo. The Quebecers therefore win the titles and defend them at the Rumble against the Hart Brothers. Vince takes the opportunity to wish a happy birthday to Martin Luther King, Jr. and an 80-year-old woman (Martha Hearst Gurtsen) who never misses an episode of Raw. The USA movie this Thursday night is Gross Anatomy, by the way. Diesel toys around with Powers/Towers, then pins him for the one-two-tree, brudda. Shawn steps on the fallen jobber for good measure.
Macho Man comes down the aisle with all the pomp and circumstance of "Pomp and Circumstance," standing on the turnbuckles to taunt Crush, who is of course at ringside providing the audience a steady diet of "bruddas." He threatens to jump off the top turnbuckle, but is brought down by referee Earl Hebner. IRS comes to the ring, but without his classic theme music. Irwin gets off to a fiery start, whipping Savage around the ring. Crush, who has been playing the commentary role fairly straight so far, stops being objective, actively rooting against Savage. He is so upset, in fact, that he has started saying "bra" instead of "brudda." Randy picks up a chair and marches around the ring toward Crush before Schyster attacks him from behind. Savage finally gets momentum after catching Irwin's foot after an attempted kick and atomic dropping him. he then clotheslines the taxman for a Nice Maneuver (#2).

When we return from break, however, Irwin has regained control, dropping Savage's neck across the guardrail. Perhaps it's payback for Savage shoving a cake in his face last week (which actually took place earlier that night). He suplexes the two-time former champion back into the ring. IRS puts Macho Man in a chinlock, which Vince predictably calls a chokehold. Randy slips in a quick small package for a near fall, then charges at IRS in the corner and misses, narrowly kicking out of a schoolboy roll-up. The Macho Man pulls IRS by the pants to the outside of the ring with a Maneuver (#3). "Grab him by the tights! What a maneuver," says Crush, sarcastically. Randy then lands an axe-handle smash on IRS before grabbing Crush at the announce table.
IRS has Savage locked into an abdominal stretch when we return from break, with the taxman using the ropes for leverage. Savage snapmares IRS over the ropes and into the ring, but follows it up with a top-rope move that is countered by a punch to the gut. Irwin then goes to the top for a High-Risk Maneuver (#4), but gets countered by a Beautiful Maneuver (#5 - Savage putting his boot up and kicking Schyster in the face). A follow-up pin on IRS results in a kickout. Savage goes to the top rope, prompting Crush to push him off the top-rope, drawing the disqualification. The subsequent beatdown would see Crush shove a referee and IRS fight off an attempted save by Tatanka. Yokozuna, who is simultaneously wrestling Tatanka live in Madison Square Garden, steps in to continue the punishment of Randy Savage. Lex Luger then runs into the ring wearing his warm-up jacket and American flag boxer shorts, only to be fought off by the 600-pound champion. Shawn and Diesel enter the fray before Bret Hart steps in and takes it to Yokozuna. Modern Booking 101 would dictate that the lights would go out and the Undertaker's music would hit, but alas, it does not happen, and Vince signs off.

Remember, the Royal Rumble is this Saturday night, so call your local cable operator so you don't miss the action. Except that this pay-per-view took place almost 19 years ago, so watch it on Youtube instead.

Final tally:

5 Maneuvers (1994 total: 10), plus one bonus Maneuver called by Crush

35 bruddas

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