Saturday, November 24, 2012

Raw #56 - March 28th, 1994

Eight days after Wrestlemania X, the former champion Yokozuna's manager, Jim Cornette, is at ringside to commentate. He vows to tell the "unvarnished truth" on tonight's Raw. Lex Luger comes down to the ring to his new, less patriotic entrance theme, which sounds just like the beginning of "Eye of the Tiger," with a hint of "My Obsession."
Luger takes on "The Model" Rick Martel, another narcissist whom Vince could have turned into an "American Original" to take on Yokozuna, were it not for his Canadian birthplace. Jim Cornette places the blame for Lex's DQ loss at Wrestlemania solely on Luger himself for losing his temper and assaulting him, Mr. Fuji, and Mr. Perfect. Contrary to legend, Lex was never scheduled to win the title at Wrestlemania, although the deeply unsatisfying screwjob ending definitely looked like something that was thrown together the day of the event after Luger blabbed about winning the title to the press the night before (which never actually happened). Cornette shakes Ted DiBiase's hand, who his sitting behind him at ringside (Ted himself, not just his hand). Luger is more aggressive in this match than he has ever been, perhaps in hopes of gaining the WWF title he feels he deserves (which he won't). As the two opponents run the ropes, Lex knocks down Martel with a Nice Maneuver (#1 - shoulder block) while Cornette accuses Lex of being unable to channel his anger (and taking it out on innocent t-shirts). Vince calls Luger a mesomorph, prompting Cornette to wonder what Lex's religion has to do with anything. Lex uses plenty of headlocks to wear down Martel, Randy Orton-style.

When Raw returns from break, Martel pulls Luger to the outside but fails to slam his head against the apron. Instead, Luger throws Martel back into the ring, only to be attacked upon entering after him. Meanwhile, Cornette continues to defend the indefensible, accusing Luger of trying to "kill half the people in the building," thus warranting disqualification against Yokozuna. Martel catches Luger coming off the ropes with a Maneuver (#2 - knee) while Vince plugs the encore presentation of Wrestlemania, which airs right after Raw. Martel slaps a chinlock (which McMahon predictably calls a chokehold) in order to deprive Lex of the "athlete's gasoline," says Cornette (referring to oxygen, not steroids). The Model then comes off the second rope, but gets caught "in the breadbasket" by Luger. Luger fails to follow up on this, whipping Martel to the ropes but missing a dropkick after The Model hooks the ropes. Lex then uses a surprise backslide pin for the victory! Wait a minute, no, he doesn't. Luger grabs Martel in a waistlock from behind and runs him into the ropes, only for Martel to counter with a Nice Maneuver (#3), grabbing the ropes. As The Model gloats, however, Luger stalks him from behind, hammering him with right hands, then putting him in the torture rack, which is okay to use now that Ludvig Borga is gone and no longer using it. Martel submits.
Owen Hart is shown lifting weights backstage, where he grunts a lot, then says to the camera, "After beatin' Bret, I'm ready to beat anybody!" Todd Pettengill then plugs "the match you didn't see at Wrestlemania," the ten-man tag team match next week.

Owen Hart faces off against Mike Freeman, while Vince compares Owen Hart to some obscure 1994 Winter Olympian who was upset at winning silver instead of gold. Vince and Jim chat with Ted DiBiase while the fans chant, "We Want Bret." Ted promises some big surprises over the next few weeks. The announcers argue over which of the Hart brothers taught the other the Sharpshooter (it was Konnan Hart). Owen dominates Freeman as Vince speculates about Owen getting a rematch at Bret, but for the WWF title. After a bulldog, Hart puts the Sharpshooter on Freeman for the victory.
Doink and Dink come to ringside, where the taller clown squirts Ted DiBiase with water. The Doinkster takes on Eric Cody, who gets his shocked by Dink's hidden hand buzzer. Doink starts off the match with a top wristlock takedown, a Nice Maneuver (#4). Jim Cornette complains about New York fans, who were chanting things he can't repeat at Wrestlemania (for instance, the "Bullshit" chant that followed the Lex Luger DQ). Cornette rightly blasts Dink for blatantly interfering, stomping on Cody's midsection while the jobber is locked in an armbar. Vince dares Jim to challenge Dink to a match, leading Cornette to claim to be able to "whip any midget and anybody under the age of 12." Any child older than that is in Rob Feinstein's jurisdiction. Doink hits a fairly crappy German suplex on Cody for a two-count while Vince comments on Ted DiBiase's "kisser" and plugs the new USA series "Weird Science." Doink hits the newly-christened Whoopee Cushion for the victory.

Jim Cornette introduces Johnny Polo and the Quebecers while a Quebecers fan sings along with their theme music. Polo is proud of his team, who retained their titles at Wrestlemania by being counted out. Captain Lou comes to ringside in his windbreaker from the 1993 Diesel collection. He brings out his new tag team, the Headshrinkers. Polo is shocked, seeing as how the Headshrinkers are (or were) heels. Albano threatens to get Jack Tunney involved (oooh!) if Polo doesn't live up to his end of the bargain and put the tag team titles on the line.
Todd Pettengill promotes another match you didn't see at Wrestlemania (if you blinked), Earthquake vs. Adam Bomb, who did battle in a 30-second squash at Mania. The rematch is on Raw next week, an episode whose theme is "Wrestlemania leftovers." This theme would get its own pay-per-view in the years to come, called "Backlash."

Black Phantom is in the ring. If you have a sharp eye and a complete lack of honesty with yourself, you might be able to distinguish the face under the black spandex mask as that of Vampire Warrior, better known as Gangrel. His opponent is the 123-Kid, perhaps best known as Joanie Laurer's sex partner. I mean, X-Pac. Jim Cornette, who has been unkind to First Lady Hillary Clinton all night, has some disparaging words about Amy Carter, daughter of former President Jimmy Carter, who is recently engaged despite being unable to get any kind of date, even on a tombstone. The Kid hits a Nice Maneuver (#5 - kick to the face), countering the Phantom's telegraphed back body drop, while Vince wonders if The Million Dollar Man's wealth can match that of Rush Limbaugh. If Rush has more than one million dollars, then I doubt it. In fact, Limbaugh made 15 million dollars last year, which Jim Cornette applauds. With his praise of Rush and his criticisms of the Clintons and Carters, it appears that Cornette is quite the Republican at this point, which must have changed over the course of the next few decades. The Kid's kick gets caught by the Black Phantom, but he counters with a jumping mule kick for a Maneuver (#6). He then hits another Maneuver (#7), a spinning heel kick rivalled only by Mabel, for a two-count. The Phantom has been kicked in the "moosh" so many times, his mouth must be filled with blood. Is this the origin of Gangrel? The Kid wins with a moonsault off the top rope.
Crush, who was last seen "hanging around" backstage Madison Square Garden (before falling down), takes on Ray Hudson. Crush has a confrontation with Nikolai Volkoff, who is in the Poughkeepsie crowd again, wearing the same red suit as always. When the match gets under way, Crush knocks Hudson down with chops, then does a laughable Kung Fu pose. After Crush exhausts his offensive arsenal, he finishes off Hudson with a knee-drop as realistic as Triple H's to win the match.
Next week, the ten-man tag match finally takes place, even though the Headshrinkers are faces aligned with Lou Albano now, yet are still on the heel team. We get a short video recap of the night's events set to generic Southern rock music, which hopefully is not a permanent feature of Monday nights.

Final tally:

7 Maneuvers (Year total: 40)

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