Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Raw #62 - May 9th, 1994

What decade is this? Oh right, the 90s.
Tonight's cold opening features a replay of Earthquake's challenge to Yokozuna from last week's episode.  The former champion is the guest on The King's Court. Also, Razor Ramon takes on his future long-time friend, Savio Vega, who is currently masquerading as a martial arts expert from "The Orient," in the "first" 1994 King of the Ring qualifying match to be aired. If you've memorized Art Donovan's commentary like I have, you'll know who wins this qualifier.
Kwang and Razor exhange wristlocks and hammerlocks (which, you might have noticed, is typical of 90s matches). Vince and Savage immediately contradict their claim about this being the first qualifier, as IRS defeated Scott Steiner on Superstars in the All-American's last WWF match of the decade. Kwang lands a "karate thrust to the throat area," reinforcing the idea that he is a martial arts expert, as well as the fact that Vince McMahon is unnecessarily vague in his anatomical references. Kwang gets knocked to the outside, then gets repeatedly punched off the apron each time he tries to re-enter. Kwang then snaps Razor's neck over the top rope, enters the ring, and spits green mist into the air as a "psychological tactic," according to McMahon, who is covering up for the fact that the Puerto Rican ninja just wasted his secret weapon. Kwang scores another thrust to the "throat area." A missed shoulder charge to the corner leaves Kwang vulnerable, so Razor puts him into an armbar. He slaps him in the head, which is "vintage Razor Ramon." What isn't vintage Razor is the cross-body block that scores a two-count on Kwang. The Caribbean Asian-American lands a Tremendous Maneuver (#1 - spinning heel kick) on the Anglo-Saxon Cuban's "mush." Vince promises to keep the cameras panned wide should Razor's mouth bleed. The Bad Guy whips Kwang to the ropes and gets caught with a knee to the nose that appears to be the result of a miscommunication. Razor fights back, exchanging punches and throat thrusts with Kwang, leading Macho to remark, "When the tough gets going, the going gets tough!" That's right, Randy. It's not the size of the fight in the dog, it's the size of the dog in the fight!

The show returns from break with a close-up of Vince and Savage at the announcers' table, as if to say, "Hey, not all of our commentary is dubbed in during post-production." Razor hits a chokeslam on the former TNT, who kicks out at two. Kwang oversells a roundhouse right hand, but elbows his way out of a belly-to-back superplex. he then telegraphs a back body drop, taking a kick to the face, allowing Razor to lift him up for the Razor's Edge... for a while. Razor drops Kwang, who whips him to the ropes, only for the Bad Guy to stop short of a spinning heel kick and hit the Razor's Edge (for real this time). Razor advances to the first round of the tournament, as he did last year and as he would do the following year (only to be replaced by Savio "Kwang" Vega due to injury).
Roddy Piper talks to us on the set of his new movie, "Tough and Deadly," which seems to be the result of random action movie title generator. He tells us that there is no such thing as a king, because all human beings are equal. "We all eat, we all poop." If I had seen this when I was five, I would have been cracking up. Poop! Roddy Piper doesn't like Jerry Lawler's insults about Roddy Piper and Piper's Pit, but he really can't stand that The King (who does eat and poop) called sick children in the hospital, "brats." Therefore, Roddy Piper is going to come out of retirement to fight Jerry Lawler, where if Piper wins, his prize money goes to Sick Kids' Hospital in Toronto. I've always wondered what this feud was supposed to be about that would merit a main event slot on a WWF pay-per-view; it turns out, it was about talk shows and sick kids. "You crossed the bottom line," says Piper, referring to his talk show segment on All-American Wrestling that no one remembers. But hey, it predates Stone Cold by two years.
"Tough and Deadly" stars
Roddy Piper and Billy Blanks,
inventor of the fake martial art,
Tae Bo. Fake martial artist Kwang
was unavailable for filming.

Crush comes to the ring with Mr. Fuji to face Raymond Roy, who does not even get the lights turned on during his introduction. When you see his ring attire, you can see why. When Crush goes to talk to Fuji, Roy hits a Maven-style dropkick on him with his back turned, a Nice Maneuver (#2) that allows for a schoolboy pin and a two-count. Crush responds with his own Maneuver (#3 - back kick). Vince informs us of matches later tonight featuring Doink and Mabel, as well as an Undertaker sighting. It's a Wrestlecrap Supershow! Crush pins Roy with one finger after hitting the heart punch. Randy Savage finishes reading the promo copy for Friday the 13th Part V, which he calls "Part Vee."
Doink is in action next, but first we see a clip from Superstars that is, objectively, the greatest segment ever produced. "Doink" confronts Jerry Lawler, who has been making fun of his guest Dink, only to hit Dink with two pies, silly string, and whipped cream before the diminutive clown falls off the stage and "Doink" reveals himself to be Jeff Jarrett. It reminds me of a dream I had not too long ago (the result of watching too much early-90s wrestling, if there is such a thing) in which I dumped two consecutive buckets of water on Dink, then later kicked him down the bleachers where I sat.

Doink comes to the ring with Dink, exposing an unfortunate side effect of the new lighting system on Raw. The house lights are dimmed during superstar entrances, meaning that the jobbers are unrecognizable when introduced on camera in the darkness. Doink hits a Bob Backlund-style Nice Maneuver (#4) on Mike Terrace, tripping his leg outward as the jobber charges at him. It's "the ultimate leg sweep," says Savage. Jeff Jarrett calls up on the phone to complain about the biased announcers and to gloat about his pranks on Dink. Doink hits the Whoopee Cushion to put away the best jobber named after a landscape feature.
Jerry Lawler addresses Roddy Piper's "derogatory remarks" against the King. The Rowdy One does not have the gets to show up, says Lawler, as a four-year-old boy who has never heard of Roddy Piper voices his disapproval. No, The King's guest this week is Yokozuna, "a master of the martial arts." Does Kwang know about this? Jim Cornette dismisses Earthquake's sumo credentials from way back in the day (the 80s). Cornette says that Earthquake is the typical American (despite being from Canada), an armchair quarterback. Yoko's American spokesman says that he's bilingual ("I heard that about you," says Lawler), speaking both English and Japanese, and knows that Yokozuna means "grand champion." Earthquake is clearly outmatched, just like any team that challenges The World's Greatest Tag Team. He then suggests that the Earthquake-Yokozuna match be a sumo rules match with the ring ropes taken down, and that it happen next week.

The typical Men on a Mission fan
(you know, waving his arms and

A trench-digger talks about his Undertaker sighting, where the Dead Man was found sleeping in the trench. Mabel, who faces Pierre in a KOTR qualifier this weekend on Superstars, comes to the ring in a sequined robe. His partner Mo, says Vince, was injured by Owen Hart. The big man weighs over 500 pounds according to McMahon, perhaps anticipating Art Donovan's many weight-related queries. Mike Bell attacks before the... official start of the match, but pays for it with chops by the future World's Largest Love Machine. Mabel then applies a keyed wristlock on the downed jobber, which seems quite ridiculous for a big man, considering that he could just sit on him and beat him in three seconds. He then hits a suplex on his much smaller opponent, which looks extremely ineffective, since an extremely large man will break the fall and absorb most of the impact before his opponent hits the ground. Perhaps hearing my criticisms of his wrestling style, Mabel hist an appropriate big-man move, finishing off Bell with a sidewalk slam. Savage receives a note confirming Earthquake's acceptance of Yokozuna's challenge.
The King speaks with Earthquake, who has agreed to the sumo match. "Are you nuts?!" says King, prompting Quake to snap and vows to kick Yoko's butt. Not the strongest of threats, but it is 1994.

Final Tally:

4 Maneuvers (Year total: 65)

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