Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Raw #59 - April 18th, 1994

Monday Night Raw comes at you taped from the Utica Memorial Auditorium. The show opens with a replay of Jerry Lawler's mishap from last week, perhaps in an effort to promote a new "Bloopers, Bleeps, and Blunders" tape from Coliseum Video, which Macho Man references. This week's King's Court features the WWF's female wrestler, Alundra Blayze, who sits atop the Federation's one-person women's division. Also, Bret Hart faces off against Kwang in a thankfully non-title match, which leads Savage to suggest that he himself get a title shot.

Kwang is already in the ring as the champion comes down the aisle. This is as close as Harvey Wippleman or his proteges have ever gotten to the WWF championship belt. Kwang, the greatest fake Asian wrestler since Kato or perhaps Super Ninja, attacks Hart as he enters the ring. Kwang then spits green mist into the air in an ancient ritual symbolizing the waste of a perfectly good secret weapon. The Puerto Rican ninja sprayed that same mist, we are told, at Tatanka this weekend on Superstars. The deadline for tax returns, by the way, was this past Friday, which will prove important later on tonight when Vince fills us in on what happened on the syndicated show. Bret puts Kwang in an arm bar and spits at Harvey on the outside of the ring. Hart bounces off the ropes, only to be side-stepped by the Caribbean legend and tossed through the ropes to the arena floor, injuring his wrist. Kwang follows him to the outside, attempting to savate kick him against the ring post, which the champion dodges as Raw goes to commercial.
Kwang is in control of the match when the show returns, hitting a running spinning heel kick in the corner on Hart for an Unbelievable Maneuver (#1), the first in two weeks. Kwang only gets a two-count, then puts Bret in an exciting nerve hold. Owen Hart takes advantage of the blatant rest hold by calling into Monday Night Raw. Owen, we are told, lives on the opposite side of Calgary from the Hitman. Owen promises to beat Bret Hart again, this time for the title, on the Wrestlemania Revenge Tour. Kwang tries another spinning heel kick, but Hart grabs the ropes to stop short. Hart hits a clothesline and gets a two-count with a small package. He starts on his five moves of doom sequence, using a backbreaker, followed by an elbow smash, Russian legsweep, and a Sharpshooter. That's four moves, actually.

Raw girl Dana Dodson explains via a sign why she likes sushi. Jeff Jarrett is allegedly irate that Tonya Harding has been offered a million dollars to record a country music album. He then struts in the ring like Dudley Moore at his wedding this weekend. Vince also mentions that Harry Connick, Jr., who I didn't realize was famous yet, was recently wedded. With all of these long-forgotten pop culture references, Raw is like an old episode of Saturday Night Live, except only occasionally funny (okay, honestly, it's exactly like an old episode of Saturday Night Live). Jarrett wrestles a tanner, oilier PJ Walker, who by the end of the year would be wearing a yellow jock strap on his head (not as hazing by the Clique, but as a wrestling gimmick). Walker, you may recall, was Double J's opponent in his debut match last year. Double J calls out Bret Hart during the match, as Vince notes that he is climbing up the ladder of the WWF in hopes of getting a title shot. Beating Koko B. Ware and Aldo Montoya is a good start. Walker nearly scores an upset win over Jarrett with a small package, only to be hit with a Nice Maneuver (#2) by Jarrett, a suplex in which PJ is bounced off the top rope before hitting the canvas. Jarrett then hits a Lawler-esque fist drop off the top rope, then finishes Walker off with a DDT, which would be his finishing move until he decided to rip off Ric Flair and Buddy Rogers more blatantly and adopt the Figure Four.

Lou Albano demands a title shot for his Headshrinkers by yelling at Jack Tunney via a camera. The Steiner Brothers are in action for the first and only time on Raw this year, up next.
The Steiners take on the jobber team of Mike Khoury (which Vince pronounces, "Curry"), who was one of the King's throne bearers last week, and Barry Hardy, who has been jobbing to the Steiners on Raw since day one as one half of the Executioners. The Steiners, who were inexplicably excluded from Wrestlemania in favor of Men on a Mission, dominate the enhancement talent as usual with dangerous-looking slams, including a release dragon suplex by Scott. Vince suggests that the brothers sign Magic Johnson as their manager before relaying rumors that Rick and Scott are not getting along, much like Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley (except the Steiners aren't sleeping with each other) (hopefully). Maybe Vince is trying to lay the groundwork for a Scott Steiner singles push which, watching him manhandle Diesel at the MSG Royal Rumble, could have been a huge deal, especially considering that he is still mobile and not completely musclebound at this point in his career. Vince also mentions a new Barbie doll of Nancy Kerrigan and asks Randy what it says when you pull her string (Answer: "Why me? Why me? Waaaah!"). Let that be a lesson to professional athletes out there: when you get clubbed in the knee cap by an unknown assailant, show more dignity while you wait for the ambulance. McMahon continues to ignore the match, commenting on Bill Clinton's 1967 Mustang, which prompts him to sing a line from Wilson Pickett's "Mustang Sally." Rick puts Hardy in the Maneuver (#3) known as the camel clutch before Scott hits an Angle slam off the second rope. He then throws Hardy into the corner so he can take Khoury, whom he finishes off with a Steiner Screwdriver.

Duke "The Dumpster" Droese makes his first appearance on Raw in a vignette in which he collects garbage, high-fives another trashman with garbage can lids, and explains that he's not going to take garbage from anyone in the WWF.
When Raw returns, Jerry Lawler is in the ring for the King's Court. I'm watching a WWE Classics on Demand version of this episode, and it's a little disconcerting that bits get cut off before or after commercial breaks. Who knows what gems are being left on the cutting room floor? I prefer VHS rips of Raw, which present the show exactly as it aired originally, including all the things WWE has deemed irrelevant or too embarrassing to air, such as updates on the next PPV (irrelevant) featuring Todd Pettengill (embarrassing). I don't like being limited only to the footage that has the modern WWE's seal of approval.
Jerry introduces the Women's (or, more accurately, Woman's) Champion, Alundra Blayze, who is alone in the ladies' division. He says that she spent three hours in the beauty shop today, "and that was just to get an estimate." Vince calls her "sensational," like a certain other female wrestler no longer employed by WWF. She enters the ring with fan's Burger King crown, which reads, and I quote, "Lalwer is a Loser." For those of you awaiting the arrival of illiterate wrestling fans, "THERrrrrE HERrrrE." After Jerry asks Blayze how many Peeping Toms she's cured (back when Lawler would call all the babyface women ugly, including Sable), Alundra responds with some lines from Humpty Dumpty, which she quotes correctly, unlike Ted DiBiase did last February. She also calls the King's Court a rip-off of Piper's Pit. Jerry asks Alundra where her belt is (back when wrestlers and announcers were allowed to use the "b-word" to refer to championship titles). The King introduces someone who wouldn;t misplace the belt if she were champion, Luna Vachon. Bam Bam's main squeeze denies stealing Blayze's belt, while Alundra, addressing Luna as "Woman" (perhaps somehow confusing her with Nancy Sullivan), calls her a "closet champion" (perhaps confusing her with Jacques Rougeau). Blayze then challenges Luna to a match right damn now before King has to separate the two.

The late Earthquake, John Tenta, steps into the ring with the late Mike Bell in a match that, if I am not mistaken, is filmed while they are both still alive. Vince informs the audience that Earthquake is a former sumo wrestler, just like Yokozuna, except with actual sumo experience. Mike Bell starts off the match standing on the second rope and challenging Quake to a test of strength. He is quickly slammed to the canvas and chased around the ring, only to re-enter the ring first and put the boots to Earthquake, a Very Clever Maneuver (#4). Quake retaliates with dropkicks that knock Bell out of the ring. Vince asks Macho about the tapes he and Todd Pettengill are receiving from all across the country from people wanting to be the new co-host of WWF Mania (a position ultimately filled by Stephanie Wyand).  Earthquake wins with The Big One.
Next, we see footage from Superstars this weekend in which Tatanka took on Kwang. IRS appears at ringside, toying with his headdress. After getting spit in the face with Kwang's mist and being tied up in the ropes, IRS put on the headdress, did a war dance, and then ripped up the feathers. This is in retaliation for Tatanka's failure to declare his headdress on his tax returns this year (even though, as I have repeatedly said, he wouldn't need to do so until next year's tax season, and even though IRS would not know whether the Native American had indeed paid the gift tax, considering that tax returns were due only the day before). He even beat up Chief Jay Strongbow, the Italian-American wrestler present at the ceremony where Tatanka received the feathers in the first place.

IRS comes to the ring comes to the ring while chastising the tax cheats in the audience for not filing in time. He also makes a vague reference to showing Tatanka what the IRS can do, which probably confused the fans in Utica, who have not yet seen the most recent episode of Superstars because it aired after this Raw was taped. Major Yates, one of the King's throne-bearers, tries his luck against the IRS. Despite a two-count off a sunset flip, he comes up short, succumbing to "The Penalty," which is what IRS calls the STF.
Johnny Polo is backstage and outraged at Lou Albano's attempts to get a tag team title shot against the Quebecers from Jack Tunney. Next week, Bam Bam Bigelow, the 123 Kid, and Owen Hart are in action, while Razor Ramon faces Jeff Jarrett. Jerry Lawler, whose throne is set up backstage next to boxes and a forklift, promises to bring Nikolai Volkoff onto the King's Court next week.

Final Tally:

4 Maneuvers (Year total: 52)

1 comment:

  1. Another fantastic update, but I think you meant "Aldo Montoya" in a spot where you wrote "Also Montoya". Although the latter sounds like a cooler wrestler.