Monday, January 7, 2013

Raw #74 - August 1st, 1994

Vince McMahon is back on commentary tonight after his neck surgery. Had his neck surgery not gone so well, we might have never heard Vince on commentary ever again. Tonight's featured match is Shawn Michaels's in-ring return after Wrestlemania X against his Mania opponent, Razor Ramon. The Bad Guy challenges Diesel for the Intercontinental title at Summerslam.
Shawn and Razor engage in a staredown to open the match. It ends with Michaels shoving Razor before they can kiss. Shawn then puts a headlock on Ramon and the two exchange some New Generation-style fast-paces counters. Michaels exits the ring, but gets punched off the apron each time he tries to re-enter. He then launches off the top rope but his caught with a Ramon punch to the gut. He fights back with a neckbreaker to slow the match's fast pace. Michaels tries a body press off the second rope, but is caught by the man who oozes with machismo, who delivers a fallaway slam. Razor then whips HBK to the turnbuckle, but Shawn counters with a Nice Maneuver (#1), floating over the Bad Guy and punching him in the face. He follows up the move with a dropkick and more jabs to the face, then chokes Razor on the middle rope. The referee reprimands the Boy Toy, but Diesel, who is growing out his mullet into a standard long hair style, continues the asphyxiation of Ramon. Razor nearly scores a pinfall with a backslide for the 1-2-and he-no, he doesn't get him. Michaels responds with his own near-fall, then attempts a front dropkick on Ramon, only to be caught with a Nice Maneuver (#2) by the Bad Guy, who grabs Michaels's legs and slingshots him over the ropes and onto Diesel.

Raw returns, live from the Beeghly Center at the prestigious Youngstown State University in Ohio. We saw a replay of Razor's Maneuver (#3) in which he slingshot (slungshot? slingshotted?) Michaels over the top rope. As we return to live action, a cornered Michaels hits a Maneuver (#4) of his own, pulling Ramon by the tights into the turnbuckle. Vince reminds us that this is Shawn's first match since the "infamous ladder match" at Wrestlemania X. No, Vince, the ladder match between RVD and Eddie Guerrero where the fan interferes would be infamous. Razor-Shawn is famous. HBK ascends the ropes, but gets slammed off the top a la Ric Flair. Shawn gets caught in an abdominal stretch (although without Gorilla Monsoon on commentary, we can't tell for sure whether it is being properly applied), but he fights out with a Desperation Maneuver (#5 - poke of the eye). Shawn then whips Razor to the ropes but telegraphs a back body drop, leading Ramon to slam his head into the mat. Razor follows up with his own baaaaack body drop, leading Vince to comment that you won't see this kind of action in the Goodwill Games (created by Ted Turner). Macho asks whether that's a new game show. Razor locks Michaels in a bearhug, but the Heartbreak Kid gradually escapes with a series of elbows to the face. Razor goes right back to hugging the Sexy Boy, who attempts a Maneuver (#6 - sunset flip) on Ramon but is punched in the face, allowing the Bad Guy to attempt a pin. Michaels takes over Ramon for his own near fall, then is met with a clothesline and another near-fall. Razor charges at Michaels, who tosses him over the ropes in a Defensive Maneuver (#7). Vince is really making up for lost time with all these maneuvers being called. Diesel clotheslines Razor to the floor just before break.
Diesel rolls his Summerslam opponent into the ring as Raw returns. Michaels pulls Razor's head across the apron and drops an elbow on his throat. Randy and Vince think that Shawn's mission tonight is to injure Razor to keep him from going to the August PPV. Shawn jumps on Ramon's back and applies a sleeper, leading the Bad Guy to go down on the Boy Toy. That is, he collapses and nearly loses consciousness. Razor is almost counted down by the referee, who raises and drops his arms nearly three times. Ramon powers out with a belly-to-back suplex, putting both opponents down as the referee starts a ten count. Razor scores a two count, draping his arm over Michaels. The two then run the ropes but bump heads, sending them right back down. Michaels attempts a series of right hands, but is blocked every time by Razor. A clothesline puts Michaels down for a two-count. An attempted belly-to-back superplex by Razor is fought off by Shawn with elbows to the head, letting the heel do a flying body press, which Ramon rolls through for a near-fall. Shawn then delivers the super kick and collapses onto Razor, but since the superkick isn't his finisher yet, Ramon kicks out. Macho Man is tired out by all the action and says he's going to lay down right here. Michaels gives the signal for the Razor's Edge and positions Ramon, who now has a wedgie, accordingly. Shawn attempts to "use Razor's Maneuver [#8] against Razor," but his opponent powers out with a back body drop. Ramon, whose trunks are oozing with his left butt cheek, stands up and signals for his own Razor's Edge, but then meets Diesel on the ring apron with right hands. HBK grabs the IC title belt and tries to hit the Bad Guy with it, but instead gets a back body drop. With the referee occupied with the belt in the ring, Michaels reverses an Irish whip, sending Razor into the boot of Big Daddy Cool and allowing HBK the victory with a schoolboy. Diesel and Michaels double-team the Tough Latino after the bell. Michaels sets up Razor for a piledriver but lets go after referees storm the ring. The officials threaten the two with fines by making the "money" sign with their hands.
Todd Pettengill: The newest Horseman.

Todd Pettengill delivers the Summerslam Report, but is disgusted at the actions of Shawn Michaels and Diesel. "These two should just come down the aisle at the same time whenever one of them has a match." That's what they've been doing for months, Todd. Lex Luger faces Tatanka at the end-of-August even in a battle that will surely rival their match at last year's King of the Ring, only instead of rest holds, they will kill time by having Tatanka point at Lex and accuse him of selling out for minutes on end. This feud between the American Original and the Native American is truly setting an American Standard. Speaking of great storylines, the Undertaker faces the Undertaker at Summerslam. Whereas the other feud involves Tatanka and Lex saying, "You sold out!" and "No, I didn't!", this feud involves Ted DiBiase saying, "I have the Undertaker!" and Paul Bearer saying, "No, I have the Undertaker!" As for the Razor-Diesel match, Todd suggests that Ramon get some back up to negate HBK's presence at ringside.

Bull Nakano enters the ring accompanied by Luna and the generic Asian music used for everyone from The Orient Express to Super Ninja to Aja Kong. The announcers then slip in a rather important detail: the fact that this Nakano-Blayze bout is a non-title match. Given the total lack of challengers in the WWF women's division, one would think that a woman would become number one contender merely by showing up. Nakano goes on the offensive right away, throwing Blayze throat first into the top rope in a Maneuver (#9) that Vince McMahon deems worthy of our attention. Alundra fights back with a Maneuver (#10) of her own, a thrust kick to the chest. If only Dusty Rhodes were commentating. Nakano then grabs the champion by the hair and sends her spinning to the mat. "That was more than a 360," says Randy. "I can't add any higher than that." She follows it up with another hair-plane spin. Alundra, however, takes down Bull with a Nice Maneuver, Excellently Done (#11 - hurricanrana takeover) for a two count. "That was an Amazing Maneuver!" (#12) adds Vince. She hits a high spin kick, but on her second attempt, Bull ducks and chokes the champion. Vince wonders, judging by Nakano's makeup, whether she was in Jim Carrey's new film, The Mask. I don't see the resemblance. After working over Alundra, Nakano piledrives Blayze but pulls her shoulders up before a three-count. Meanwhile, the champion puts he foot on the rope, probably the result of a miscommunication regarding how she would escape the pin. She then hits Blayze with a powerbomb, with Nakano dropping to her knees but only getting a two-count. Another powerbomb attempt is foiled by Blayze, who rolls over Bull's shoulder and nearly pins her with a sunset flip. Alundra then tries a front dropkick off the second rope but is swatted out of the air by Bull, letting the champ drop "right on the spinal area." How exactly someone can land right on something vague like the "spinal area" is a mystery whose solution is known only by Vince McMahon. Nakano then gives Blayze "a scoop and a slam, with authority!" Nakano attempts a leg drop off the top rope, but Blayze moves out of the way, then hits her finishing move, the bridging German suplex, for a two-count. Another Nice Maneuver (#13 - victory roll) by Blayze puts Nakano down for the 1-2-and-she-no-she-doesn't. Nakano goes to the second rope, but is kicked over the top rope and to the floor by Blayze. The Women's Champion climbs to the top rope and meets Nakano on the floor with a flying body press. An Irish whip, however, is reversed by Bull and sends Blayze into the ring post. Nakano then charges at Blayze, but gets back body-dropped. Macho Man calls the women "two female 123 Kids" as Blayze returns to the ring, but not before the referee's ten-count. "Ladies and gentlemen, referee [sic] has counted both woman [sic] out of the ring," says Howard Finkel. The fans boo the decision because this is 1994 and these are two wrestlers, so they care about the outcome of a women's match. Luna sneaks behind Alundra for a cheap shot, but the champion fights back, whipping Vachon into Bull and knocking them out of the ring. What a great way to build up their inevitable PPV encounter, but it could have used more accusations from Bull Nakano about Alundra Blayze selling out to the Million Dollar Man. Alundra's music, which sounds like a drummer doing a sound check, plays in the arena. 

I found Waldo!
Jerry Lawler hosts the King's Court next. His guest, former WWF champion Bob Backlund, wrestled Bret Hart this past weekend in a rare title match on Superstars. After losing a close match, the veteran snapped, locking in the crossface chickenwing hold on the champion. Lawler goes into the audience to talk to a man and his date, telling the Macho Man that Savage wouldn't understand because all his dates "are the same: inflatable!" Savage should have responded, "Well, Lawler, all of your dates are the same: middle schoolers! Oooooooh yeahhh!" The King introduces us to Mike Boyle "and his fiancee? Girlfriend? Soon-to-be-fiancee Andrea." Way to go, Jerry, ruining the surprise. If you couldn't guess, Mike asks Andrea to marry him.
After the break, Andrea is in the ring with Jerry. He asks Andrea if the two of them "have to get married" because she's pregnant, then tells her that Mike's last girlfriend was promiscuous ("She's been around more than a carousel."). Lawler then pops the question again to Andrea, who says, "yes," she will get married (to Mike, not Jerry). Lawler tells her to get as much as she can in her own name, and Savage agrees, referring to Elizabeth. If they ever become parents, says Lawler, they have to let him have one of the puppies. Is that what Jerry was talking about all throughout the Attitude era? "Right or left?" asks Macho, possibly referring to Andrea's breasts. Huh, maybe Jerry stole the term "puppies" from Savage. Lawler then goes on to make fun of the size of Andrea's nose, then kisses her, remarking that he's gotten "better kisses from orangutans with cold sores." I bet he has. 

Next out on the King's Court, announces Lawler, is "the World Wrestling Federation Champion!" The crowd applauds the imminent arrival of Bret Hart until Bob Backlund shows up in the ring (sans entrance music) as Lawler explains that he was never beaten for the title. "Thank you for those accolades," says Bob. He talks about how ever since his "inception" into the WWF, he has tried to "boon your lifes [sic]." He tells the audience how disappointed he is in how they've changed over the past ten years, then insists that he is still WWF champion. We see a replay of this weekend's Superstars as Backlund continues to rant.
In tonight's final match, which is both last and least, The Smoking Gunns face the jobber team of Tom Bennett and George Anderson. Billy leapfrogs and runs circles around Anderson, hitting with a drop toe hold that hits Anderson "in the shin area." Bart, who is in the corner of the ring typically reserved for jobbers, tags in and back out after executing a double leg sweep. Raw goes to break in the middle of the "action" as the Gunns continue dominating Anderson. Vince calls the Gunns a great team, but not as great, according to Savage, as the team of "Jerry McDevitt and Laura Brevetti," Vince's defense attorneys. Wouldn't it be better to say that they were a terrible legal team, but that Vince was found not guilty anyway because he was just so clearly innocent? The Gunns hit the dominator/elbow drop variation of the Sidewinder and score the three count just as Raw signs off. Next week, Tatanka and Doink team up to face Bam Bam Bigelow and IRS.

Final Tally:

13 Maneuvers (Year Total: 93)


  1. I seem to remember Vince wanted to sell the neck surgery angle as totally unrelated to the trial. He even wore a neckbrace testifying in court!

  2. The look on Vince's face at the start of the show when Savage mentions the trial was priceless.

    Also, great match between Razor and Michaels.