Saturday, November 17, 2012

Raw #52 - February 21st, 1994

Monday Night Raw is live after a two-week absence due to the Westminster Dog Show. The show returns to the Mid-Hudson Civic Center and features the Macho Man back on commentary. Vince introduces him as "a man who one day will be in the WWF Hall of Fame." This, of course, is before Savage committed that unforgivable deed. You know the one I mean. Obviously, Vince is not going to let Savage into the Hall after he left the WWF abruptly to go to WCW. What did you think I was talking about?
In honor of Presidents' Day, Randy Savage introduces the president of the Macho Man Fan Club, Macho Man Randy Savage. The Quebecers are set to defend their titles against Razor Ramon and the 123 Kid (filling in for Marty Jannetty, who is sidelined with a bad case of being fired). Vince doesn't explain why Jannetty's not at Raw tonight, but he does remind viewers that the Kid once won the tag team titles on Raw (which happened five episodes ago). Razor hands both his Intercontinental Title and gold chains to Tony Chimel as the Quebecers double-team the Kid to start off the match. The Kid looks to be in for a world of hurt, lying prone on the ground when one of the Quebecers launches off the top rope, inexplicably for an axe-handle smash, only to be met with the challengers boot to the face. This is the third episode in a row in which this sequence has occurred. Razor and the Kid then clean house, with the IC champion throwing his partner, fallaway slam-style, into the champions to score a near-fall and clear the ring.

The champions embrace on the outside and stall for time, two tactics which show the Quebecers to be much better heels than most people remember them for. The Quebecers, we are told, will defend their titles against Men on a Mission at Wrestlemania X in a match which everyone  who has never heard of the Steiner Brothers are clamoring to see. Razor Ramon, who will face Shawn Michaels in a ladder match at Wrestlemania, tags in and works over Pierre, but gets tripped by Johnny Polo while running the ropes. Both Quebecers enter the ring, only to be clotheslined by the Bad Guy, who exits the ring to pursue Polo. He catches the champions' manager and hits him with a Razor's Edge on the outside. Referee Bill Alfonso calls for assistance for the future Raven as the show goes to break.
Razor and the 123 Kid have the match under control when Raw returns. Pierre looks to turn the match around with an Irish whip to Razor, but as he attempts a leapfrog, the Bad Guy hits him with a low blow, sticking out his fist as Pierre lands (meaning that Pierre's crotch hit Razor's fist, which is legal). The Kid and Razor work over Pierre's knee, but the Quebecer manages to tag in Jacques. Razor then hits a drop toe hold (nicely done) to take down the former Mountie, isolating him and making him take the role of Ricky Morton in this match. The Kid gets kicked into the ropes by Jacques, only to catch his legs and stomp his gut, countering a Telegraphed Maneuver by the Quebecer (#1 - monkey flip). Razor tags in, only to be distracted by Diesel, who has appeared at ringside. The Quebecers then isolate the IC champion as Raw goes to break.
They could film whole episodes like
this. All it would take is a few
film students willing to take a
daring new approach to TV.
NXT producers, are you listening?

Raw returns with a camera shot of Diesel's glasses, which reflect the action in the ring. Razor scores a near-fall on Jacques with a sunset flip. After a tag in and a double-team mishap, Pierre is isolated by the newly-legal Kid (a term which will certainly attract Rob Feinstein to this site via Google). The Kid hits Pierre with a Beautiful Maneuver (#2), a spinning heel kick rivaled only by that of Mabel. However, a follow-up High-Risk Maneuver (#3 - dropkick) is countered when Pierre stops in his tracks, letting the Kid fall to the ground. High-Risk Maneuvers (#4) like that are difficult for the Kid considering his bad leg. Now it's the Kid's turn to play Ricky Morton, getting double-teamed by the champions and separated from his partner. After a series of kick-outs, Vince praises the 123 Kid's resilience (earning him a check-mark for not saying "resiliency"). The Kid finally tags Robert Gibson, that is, Razor Ramon, after avoiding another Quebecers double-team. Razor hits a belly-to-back superplex on Pierre, but it's not his finishing move, so he hits him with a Razor's Edge. Razor looks to get the pinfall, but it is interrupted by Shawn Michaels, who runs into the ring as Diesel distracts the 123 Kid. The challengers thus win the match by disqualification, but do not win the titles. Shawn gets into a standoff with the Kid and the Bad Guy before heading backstage.
Next week, Yokozuna faces the Macho Man in a WWF title match next week on Raw in a match that was taped back on January 31st in Bushkill, Pennsylvania. If Macho Man wins, would he still have to face Crush as scheduled at Wrestlemania X? If so, that could mean three matches in one night for the Macho Man. Jim Cornette steps into the ring and tells Savage that Yokozuna is going to snap him like a Slim Jim. The fact that Macho Man is in one piece three weeks after the match actually took place would indicate otherwise. Cornette then introduces Tom Prichard of the Heavenly Bodies, who is set to take on Bret Hart. For those of you who yearned for a Hitman-Bodydonna Zip program in 1996, this is the closest you're going to come. Last week, you will recall, Vince announced a match between the Hitman and "a Heavenly Body." Those of you who had Jimmy Del Ray in your office pool will need to pay up.
No, Yoko doesn't have a new nickname.
That's Macho Man vs. Yokozuna.

Vince McMahon singles out Raw girl Catherine Starr as being a graduate of the University of Arkansas and a (legitimate) massage therapist. Smart, Sexy, and Powerful! Bret Hart takes on Tom Prichard. The Hitman is, according to Vince, the most "technically-oriented" superstar in the WWF (as opposed to Juan "Kwang" Rivera, who is technically not Oriental). As the announcers discuss the Bret-Owen feud, Macho man compares them to Cain and Abel and the Jackson family. I guess that makes Bret the Michael of the Hart family, while Owen is Janet, and all the other siblings are La Toya, Jermaine, Tito, Jackie, Rebbie, Marlon, and Randy. That sounds about right. I also suppose that makes Stu Hart Joe Jackson, albeit inflicting much less physical punishment on his sons than the real Jackson patriarch. Prichard hits a drop toe hold so nicely done that Vince can barely describe it, calling it a "drop hold toe" before Bret regains the advantage with a dropkick "right in the moosh). Vince points out Nikolai Volkoff, whom Randy calls "as ugly as ever," in the Poughkeepsie crowd tonight.
Prichard controls the match as it returns from break. With the number-one contender for the WWF title being dominated by a lower-card tag team wrestler, Vince believes it to be the perfect time to talk to Donnie Wahlberg of "NKOTB" (the name the New Kids on the Block used after their edgy re-packaging), who will be at Wrestlemania X. Vince relates the sibling rivalry in the Hart family to that of Donnie and his younger brother, Marky Mark. I haven't heard that name in decades, so I can only assume that Wahlberg's brother Mark is just as big a nobody these days as Donnie. The Doctor of Desire continues to dominate Hart when Vince decides to pay attention to the match again. I don't believe Prichard ever got his M.D., or whatever degree or title you earn to be a Doctor of Desire (De.D.?) Then again, I don't think Jimmy Del Rey is an actual prostitute, nor is Bret "The Hitman" Hart an actual assassin. Randy Savage talks about beating Lex Luger and the Hitman at Wrestlemania, but then jumps out of his chair to prevent Jim Cornette from hitting Hart with his tennis racket. Cornette, for the record, was carrying a Wilson "Wild Thing" racket before being knocked into the steps.

Bret Hart regains the advantage when Raw returns. Cornette is back on his feet and tries to trip Hart as he runs the ropes. The distraction is enough to leave Bret open to a Prichard attack from behind, knocking the Hitman to the outside. Owen then rushes to ringside to throw his brother back into the ring. To Owen's surprise, though, Hart quickly puts the sharpshooter on Prichard for the submission victory. The Hart brothers get into a standoff after the match, separated by Federation officials Earl Hebner and Jack Dohn.
Todd Pettengill gives us a "very special" Wrestlemania report. It seems that Wrestlemania's friend Charles is being abused at home by his father and reaches out to the Tanner family for help. Oh, sorry, that's the plot of the Full House episode, "Silence is Not Golden," which aired the previous year. Instead, this report is special because the Toddster announces the celebrities for Wrestlemania X, including Little Richard (who once guest-starred on Full House), Burt Reynolds, the aforementioned Donnie Wahlberg, Jennie Garth, and Showtime's Bucky and Vinny, who apparently are somewhat famous in early 1994. Sy Sperling will also be on hand as the official hair consultant of Wrestlemania X.
Todd Pettengill explains the rules to the falls-count-anywhere match between Crush and Savage (a match that apparently won't happen if Savage beats Yokozuna for the title next week), but explains the rules wrong, saying that you must get back into the ring sixty seconds after a fall to be declared the winner. Actually, you must return to the ring in sixty seconds to not be declared the loser.
Razor Ramon faces Shawn Michaels in a ladder match, a specialty match which I though was the stupidest gimmick match imaginable when I first heard about the stipulation. In my mind, Razor and Shawn would each start off at the base of a different ladder, and the first man to reach the top and get the belts would be the winner after a 4-second race to the top. Fortunately, both wrestlers would have the opportunity to perfect their Wrestlemania performances, competing in seven ladder matches against each other on the house show circuit before March 20th in the Garden.
The Quebecers square off against Men on a Mission in a baffling tag team title match that leaves the Steiner Brothers off the card, never having gotten their rematch for the belts after dropping the championships via DQ to the Quebecers back in September.
Alundra Blayze, we are told, will defend her Women's title against an as-of-yet unnamed opponent. One can only imagine the WWF putting a Help Wanted ad in the New York Times for a second female wrestler to join the WWF for one night.
Also, the recently-returned Earthquake will face Ludvig Borga, and by Ludvig Borga, I mean Adam Bomb, as Ludvig is still out with his ankle injury, never to return to a WWF ring.
Doink and Dink will take on Bam Bam Bigelow and his main squeeze Luna Vachon in a match that should have been Doink vs. Bam Bam, allowing Luna to challenge for Alundra Blayze's wholly unnecessary Women's championship. Instead, they will face off in a mixed-tag match.

And of course, the Toddster explains the title situation, leading to two title matches as well as an Owen-Bret match. No mention is made of the ten-man tag match which would be scheduled for Mania and then cancelled that night due to time constraints.

Little Richard appears in a vignette describing himself as "the original wild man." That's right, Marc Mero would rip off Little Richard twice, in two different promotions. Yokozuna comes out to the ring along with Jim Cornette, who berates the Macho Man for stealing his tennis racket, assaulting him, and having "tried to murder" him. Randy then steps into the ring and climbs the turnbuckle, taunting the champion as Raw goes off the air. For a show with only two matches, this episode was surprisingly filler-free.

Final Tally:

4 Maneuvers (year total: 25)


  1. Another great article, but I think you probably meant to write something else here;

    "The Kid and Razor work over Pierre's knee, but the Quebecer manages to tag in Pierre."

    1. That's worse than the time in the 96 Royal Rumble when Yokozuna was dumped unceremoniously over the top rope by Yokozuna.