Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Raw #68 - June 20th, 1994

Tonight, Raw begins with a brief recap, featuring stills and sound bites, of last night's King of the Ring pay-per-view. If you haven't already read my massive recap of the event that inspired this blog in the first place, do so now. I'll wait here. Anyway, Diesel defeated Bret Hart last night by disqualification after interference by Jim Neidhart, but Hart retained the WWF title. Later, Neidhart helped Owen win the King of the Ring tournament.
Gorilla Monsoon welcomes us to a live edition of Raw from White Plains, New York. He is here tonight with his broadcast colleague from last night, Randy Savage, but Art Donovan unfortunately does not make a repeat appearance. Tonight is the first night of the Raw Spanish language simulcast, featuring Ed Truco and Carlos Cabrerea. At least that's what Gorilla says their names are, but he also introduced us to "Art O'Donnell" last night, so take everything he says with a grain of salt. "Bienvenido," says Macho Man. Conspicuous by his absence is Vince McMahon, who also missed last night's pay-per-view due to neck surgery. That means no Maneuvers tonight.

Shawn Michaels prances out of the entrance way ahead of Diesel, who had an inexplicably good match last night. Then again, his opponent was Bret Hart, so I guess it was rather explicable. His opponent tonight is Mark Thomas (AKA Art Thomas, AKA Scott Thomas). Randy and Gorilla argue over whether Diesel would have pinned Bret last night had Neidhart not interfered, with Randy arguing in the negative and Monsoon in the affirmative. Hey, why do they think Diesel would have tried to pin Hart? Why not a submission? Ha ha, sorry, readers. I really should stick to a more realistic tone. My apologies. Diesel, meanwhile, works over Thomas with elbows and big boots before finishing him off with a jackknife. He pins Mark Thomas with a single foot onhis chest, which is still not as impressive as the time he pinned multiple men in WCW without even covering them at all.

We here some imitation Chariots of Fire music, the theme of the King of the Ring, as Todd Pettengill gives us the post-King of the Ring report. Todd tells us that Owen Hart is now calling himself the King of Harts ("That's H-A-R-T-S," he says, clarifying for those fans who haven't grasped  the subtle play on words). Todd talks about Jim Neidhart being Bret Hart's backup in the WWF title match; my brothers and I assumed for years that, having married Ellie Hart, Jim "Neid" had combined their names into "Neidhart." Todd also recaps Neidhart's aid of Owen Hart, the tag team title match, and finally, the match he was looking forward to most (because he's a moron), Roddy Piper vs. Jerry Lawler.
Oh My Quaaaaaaad!!!

The 123 Kid is out next to face off against Ted DiBiase's employee, the tuxedo t-shirt-wearing Ruskie Nikolai Volkoff. Ted's only other employee right now is the Fake Undertaker. The two members of DiBiase's corporation could have teamed up as the Counterfeit Nickels, or perhaps Better Dead than Red. Volkoff refuses a handshake from the Kid, who last night was piledriven three times by Jeff Jarrett and powerbombed by Owen Hart. The winner of this match, says Gorilla Monsoon, will get a title shot against Bret Hart on July 11th's Monday Night Raw. Nikolai certainly deserves a title shot after his handy defeat of Matt Hardy. If all you have to do to get a shot against Bret Hart is to beat Nikolai Volkoff or the 123 Kid, why did Jim Neidhart go to all that trouble to make sure Owen Hart won the King of the Ring tournament which, by the way, does not come with a guaranteed title shot? Randy praises the Kid's match against Owen Hart which, at under four minutes in length, you should watch right now. I'll wait again.

Gorilla accidentally calls Randy, "Mandy" while Nikolai delivers a double-underhook suplex to the Kid. 1-2-3 then scores a near-fall with a roll-up, but gets powered out of the pin and hits his head against the bottom rope. Nikolai takes control again with big backbreakers, then lifts him up out of two potential three-counts to deliver more punishment. Volkoff then whips the Kid to the corner, who tries to float over Nikolai (who did not even try to run after the Kid in the corner) and appears to blow out his knee as he lands. However, the Kid then rolls up Volkoff in a small package to score the three-count and earn a title shot. DiBiase is furious at not only his future employee, the 123 Kid, but also his current employee Nikolai. Volkoff then puts a post-match beating on the 123-pounder (that is why they call him the 123 Kid, right?). Fortunately, help is on the way in the form of Virgil, who is somehow still employed by the WWF in 1994. Virgil then grabs his former boss DiBiase by the jacket and threatens a punch, only to be clobbered by The Thousand-Dollar Man, Nikolai Volkoff. All-around good-guy Lex Luger then comes to the ring to clear DiBiase and Volkoff out of the ring. The Kid is no doubt wishing that Luger had come out to save him in the first place.
Future Connecticut Representative Themis Klarides asks the audience when the last time they got it raw was as Yokozuna waddles to the ring. His victim tonight is Nick Barbary, who gets slapped hard to the ground by Yokozuna to kick off tonight's squash. The announcers mention Yokozuna's "elimination" of Earthquake from the WWF, but point out that Typhoon, Earthquake's former tag team partner, is back in the WWF and could be coming after the sumo. Typhoon had left the Federation in 1993 to join WCW as The Shockmaster and is making his first appearance of 1994 on Raw tonight. Macho Man vows to challenge Dink when Savage comes out of retirement. Actually, he would get involved in a feud with Starrcade main-eventer Brutus Beefcake in WCW at the end of the year; I'm not sure which idea is more comical. Yokozuna crush Barbary with a legdrop, then puts his hand over Nick's face for the three-count.

The next superstar to make his way to the ring is Uncle Fred himself, Typhoon, who joined the Federation a few weeks too late and would never re-form the Natural Disasters with Earthquake. Yokozuna blocks his way to the ring as the show goes to break. Yoko then takes a swing at the Shockmaster, who blocks it and delivers a punch of his own. After Raw returns to the air, Typhoon is in the ring with the Black Phantom, later known as Gangrel. Macho Man says, "Hey, I just noticed something. You're not Vince McMahon!" That realization took almost as long as Art Donovan's realization last night that the guy in the ring with the razors printed on his tights who the announcers were calling, "Razor Ramon" was in fact Razor Ramon, his pick to win the King of the Ring tournament. Monsoon informs the viewers that Vince is recuperating from neck surgery (which means that Raw will be Maneuver-less for several more weeks). They joke that Vince is holding Savage responsible for his neck injury. "It wouldn't be the first time that Vince has held me responsible," says Randy. Teenage Stephanie McMahon never got pregnant, did she? Typhoon puts the Black Phantom in a front facelock and takes up and over for a suplex variation. "How many big guys can do that?" asks Monsoon. The answer: all of them, even Mabel. The problem is that big men's suplexes do not look very powerful because the big men themselves tend to break their opponents' falls. Monsoon dumps the job of reading the USA Network promo on Savage, who proceed to plug "Wolfman," which Randy pronounces as if that's a person's last name, rather than "wolf-man." Typhoon beats the Black Phantom with a splash.
Jerry Lawler is in the ring with sunglasses on (like Roddy Piper in They Live) and berates Roddy Piper for bringing his "daughter" with him to ringside last night. It was actually the scrawny Piper impersonator who was on The King's Court two weeks ago, which is good for Lawler, who historically can't be trusted with underage females. The King says that he's finished with Roddy Piper, spelling the end of the highly unmemorable feud. He then brings out Duke "The Dumpster" Droese, who weeks ago dumped garbage on the King on Superstars. "The Dumpster" is wearing a hat that says "Duke" on it, which he picked up from a store that sells college sports merchandise. The King refuses to let Droese into the ring, and instead gives him a microphone on the outside of the ring. Duke, says Lawler, has a pet cockroach he keeps on a leash. They argue briefly over who stinks more than the other. Jerry references the new movie, "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective," citing the line, "Do *not* go in there!" and saying that Duke was in that room. That line, by the way, was in the commercial for the movie, meaning the King didn't actually have to see the film to know the line. Had he actually bought a ticket, however, he would have known that the "room" was a bathroom, and it didn't really smell, but Jim Carrey's character had actually been in a shark tank and used a messy bathroom as an excuse for being soaking wet. After the King tells a Helen Hart joke, Droese leaves ringside, but The King follows him out and hits him from behind. Lawler smashes Duke's garbage can over his head and back, pre-dating the WWF's hardcore division by four and a half years.

Jim Cornette introduces the Heavenly Bodies, a team that originally included current WWF broadcaster Stan Lane. Attached to their jackets are wings. Their jackets already have stars all over them, and their tights have comets, so what is the name "Heavenly Bodies" supposed to mean? Astronomical objects or angels? The Bodies are trying to outdo Well Dunn, but unfortunately there are no Slammy Awards this year, so the "Stupidest Ring Attire" is still out of their reach. Speaking of which, the Raw girl in the ring appears to be paying tribute to the Killer Bees with her yellow and black-striped halter-top that resembles Brian Blair's tights worn upside down (although they didn't have an added "neckhole," at least not until The Iron Sheik was through with him). The Bodies' opponents tonight are Russ Greenberg and Jim Powers (the first a perennial Raw jobber, the second a former "Superstar" who teamed with Paul Roma in the 80s). Jim Cornette joins the commentary team. "Hey!" says Monsoon. "Hay is for horses," says Cornette.
Del Ray starts off the match by fluttering his arms like wings, but gets taken down by Powers, who imitates The Gigolo. Cornette celebrates the Heavenly Bodies' recently-granted title shots against the Headshrinkers while Powers dominates Del Ray. Although Cornette says that the Samoan team is cowardly, Randy says that the Headshrinkers would wrestle the Bodies twenty-five times a night (and twice on Sundays, says Monsoon). "We don't wrestle on Sundays; we're Christian athletes," says Cornette. I don't think that's very likely, but it is a great excuse as to why the Heavenly Bodies are never booked on Sunday night Pay-Per-Views. Powers continues to hold his own as Randy defends the Headshrinkers, since in fact, they "are the World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Championship." Cornette blasts the Headshrinkers as stupid, but Randy says that if the Heavenly Bodies are smart, "then I'd rather be stupid." We see a shot of Carlos Cabrera talking on a giant cell phone, perhaps doing a live interview with a Spanish-speaking wrestler, like Kwang.

The Bodies finally mount some offense, with Del Ray diving over the top rope into the ring for a flying clothesline. Well, "diving" isn't the right word, nor is "flying." Perhaps "tripping" and "falling" are better choices. Greenberg finally tags in after Powers handles the Bodies quite well for most of the match. Russ fares far worse than his partner. Cornette compares the Headshrinkers to dinosaurs and the Heavenly Bodies to cockroaches, in terms of smarts and longevity. Whether any of them are the same cockroach that Duke "The Dumpster" keeps as a pet is never clarified. "Hey, Carlos," shouts Monsoon to the Spanish announcers. "That's cucarachas for you guys!" Moments like these are why I love my job (although if you would like to send me a paycheck, that would be great. The owner of the Internet hasn't sent me a single check since I've started this blog). The Bodies hit a series of double-team moves, finishing off Russ Greenberg with a Del Ray moonsault while Prichard restrains the jobber. Cornette calls it their "coup de grace," pronouncing it exactly as it's spelled.

Hey, that's not what a trash can
is designed for! Then again, the WWF
would continue booking casket matches.
When Raw returns, Monsoon gets a message from the "powers to be" of the WWF condemning the actions of Jerry Lawler earlier tonight. "Objects are to be used for only what they were designed for," says Monsoon about Lawler's use of a trash can as a weapon, "and you will never, ever see that again in the World Wrestling Federation." And we never did. Ever.
Ted DiBiase, who earlier tonight was driven from the ring by Lex Luger, speaks backstage says that he has his eye on Luger, who has the potential to be the WWF champion. At least he did around this time last year. See you next week for another Vince-less edition of Monday Night Raw.

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