Sunday, January 13, 2013

Raw #76 - August 15th, 1994

In the cold opening this week, we see clips from last week's episode, where Tatanka caught Luger with a fistful of dollars, then found him backstage in Ted DiBiase's dressing room. In an important development to this riveting angle, Tatanka is now calling Luger a "turncoat" to add some variety to his accusations of selling out. Somehow, at a time when 6'6'' Brian Lee is dressing up as and (very poorly) imitating  the Undertaker, this Luger-Tatanka-sellout angle is the stupidest storyline of the summer.
We are live from Lowell, Massachussetts and are greeted with a graphic displayed in the corner that briefly distorts to reveal some technical data. Tonight's episode will feature Mabel, Double J, and Duke "The Dumpster" Droese. Yes, the announcers volunteer this information at the top of the program. Owen Hart is out first with Jim Neidhart to face one of his opponents from the King of the Ring, the 123 Kid, who last month challenged Owen's brother unsuccessfully for the WWF title.

The Kid starts off with a spinning heel kick and scores a near-fall with a roll up. Owen quickly takes the advantage with a wristlock, but the Kid flips out of the hold to knock Owen down with a spin kick. The Kid locks in a headlock and keeps it on despite attempted escapes. A detour involving a headscissors by Owen is ended when the Kid puts the headlock back on, but Owen then slams him to the ground with a belly-to-back suplex. An enziguiri kick to the 123 Kid's head is the first Maneuver of the night, putting the Kid down for a two-count. Some more Irish whips and hiptosses send both men to the mat, from which they both jump to their feet. "Double kip-up!" shouts the Macho Man. The Kid dropkicks Owen while he celebrates, then baseball slides into Owen on the outside, knocking over Neidhart in the process. The Kid then knocks down Owen with a body press to the outside.
After the break, the Kid tries to suplex the King of Harts into the ring, but Owen reverses it, suplexing the 123 Kid to the floor. He follows this up with a plancha, then rams his opponent's back into the steel post twice and whips him hard into the turnbuckle back in the ring. "This is clean and present danger at its best," says Macho (meaning, "clear and present danger"), "and I'm not talking about Harrison Ford, believe me." Vince corrects him subtly. Owen continues whipping the Kid into the turnbuckles and delivers an elbow drop to the back, but is only able to score two-counts. A surprise sunset flip by the 123 Kid scores a near-fall, but Owen regains control with a chinlock and neckbreaker. A kneedrop by the Rocket off the ropes misses, leaving Owen with an injured knee. The Kid starts working Owen's leg like Bret used to do to Mr. Perfect, kicking the back of his legs and sending Owen flying backward to the mat. Owen tries another enziguiri kick, but the Kid ducks and slaps on a half crab. With no escape in sigh for Owen, The Anvil runs in and clotheslines the Kid, drawing a disqualification. Owen puts the 123 Kid into the Sharpshooter while Jim Neidhart stomps the underdog face. A number of referees pull Owen off the Kid.

Todd Pettengill is here with the Summerslam Report, reminding us that there won't be any interference in the PPV's cage match. Domino's Pizza's jingle plays briefly (the one that says, "Gotta be, gotta be, Domino's" to the tune of "We Will Rock You"). Intercontinental Champion Diesel will defend against Razor Ramon, who has enlisted some back-up in the form of former NFL great, the Chicago Bears' Walter Payton. "Sweetness" proves that cutting an intimidating promo is not a requisite for football success, as he makes Bobby Lashley sound like Road Warrior Hawk. As for the Tatanka/Lex Luger feud, Todd announces a special opinion line where fans can pay a dollar each to say whether or not Lex has sold out. Alundra Blayze defends the Women's title against Bull Nakano, while two other "incredible matches" will take place that will be announced later tonight. He must be referring to the Mabel/Jarrett match and the previously announced tag team title match.
At ringside is the MVP, a baseball-playing persona of Steve Lombardi who has competed only once in the WWF, in the Intercontinental Battle Royal last fall. He is holding a sign declaring himself on strike in a bit of topical humor referencing Major League Baseball's recent players' strike. Vince identifies him as Abe "Knuckleball" Schwartz, who cut a promo before the show explaining the baseball strike. He of course tell the fans to blame their "own ignorant, stinkin' selves."
Duke "The Dumpster" Droese comes to the ring to battle Nick Barbary (or "Nick Barbarian," as Vince calls him). After Barbary escapes a headlock, Droese clotheslines him, bodyslams him, then hits his anti-climactic finisher, an elbow drop. "A Devastating Maneuver (#2)! says McMahon as Droese scores the three count.
Jerry Lawler has Ted DiBiase in the ring for the King's Court, where the Million Dollar Man says that Paul Bearer hasn't come up with anything in his quest for the "real" Undertaker. Bearer enters to the Undertaker's music. Bearer, whose complexion is almost human-like tonight, vows that his Undertaker will destroy DiBiase's evil impostor. DiBiase brings out his Undertaker, who plays with the lights before entering the ring. The imitation Dead Man, who isn't that much taller than DiBiase, chokes Bearer at the million Dollar Man's behest before the lights flicker and a bell tolls. Bearer is outside the ring when the lights return and screams that The Undertaker is here.

Strictly speaking, this is true, just like hunger can't feed people.
People who are hungry want food, though, and people who are
greedy want money.

Mabel comes to the ring with Oscar, who repeatedly raps, "Monday Night, it's time to get Raw!" The big man faces Jeff Jarrett in a meaningless match at Summerslam, but his opponent tonight is Raymond Roy, who wears a zebra-striped singlet. The referees, however, continue to wear powder blue dress-shirts and bow ties. Vince makes reference to the recent Woodstock festival, or "Greedstock" as he calls it. This is the same night where WWF fans are asked to plunk down $0.99 to voice their opinion on the made-up story line about Lex Luger. The "bo-hemoth" Mabel works over Raymond, even landing an elbow "to the mush." Mabel sits on the top rope and doesn't so much deliver an elbow drop as fall off the ropes and break his fall with his elbow. The Man on a Mission gets the three count.
Jeff Jarrett attacks his opponent Scott Taylor before the bell. One of these men will have a homosexual gimmick in 1998, and astonishingly, it won't be the flamboyant country singer. Vince speculates that Jarrett will have trouble taking on the "bo-hemoth" Mabel at Summerslam. Taylor delivers a sunset flip-like roll-up for a Nice Maneuver (#3) and a two-count. Taylor scores another near-fall with a small package counter to a scoop slam. Taylor misses a body press when Double J duck and is then put into the figure-four. Jarrett wins by submission. His country music plays, but is then interrupted by Men on a Mission's rapping. Mabel is kept from the ring by officials as Jarrett taunts him with "chicken" gestures.

This Sunday is the Sunday Night Slam, one of the specials WWF used to air a week before a pay-per-view to get people to buy the event by showing matches that were arguably better than the ones at the PPV. While any match featuring Crush could hardly be considered pay-per-view quality, his match with Lex Luger must be better than the snoozefest the American Original would have with Tatanka at Summerslam. Diesel takes on Typhoon, who has wrestled on match on Raw since his comeback, teasing a feud with Yokozuna that thus far has not materialized. Bull Nakano warms up for her match with Alundra Blayze by taking on Heidi Lee Morgan. Okay, I take back what I said about the matches being better that the ones at the pay-per-view. "Wham bam! Sunday Night Slam's gonna be cool!" says Macho, taking off one of his pairs of sunglasses to reveal another checkered pair.

Final tally:

3 Maneuvers (Year total: 98)


  1. So THAT'S Bull Nakano looks like; until now I'd only known her as the Death-of-WCW-described "world's most brutal porcupine."

    The "vote whether Lex sold out" phone line is kind of reassuring, because it meant that WWF/E had a way of fleecing the telephone-operating public before txt-s were invented.

    These old-Raw-reviews are fun; campy and wacky and old enough that smarkiness about who's getting pushed seems to mainly amuserather than infuriate. Keep up the good work, and I appologize for commenting on a really early one (I guess I felt like I had to reading start somewhere!)

  2. This episode on the network has a match before the King's Court.
    Kwang vs. Tony Roy with Ted DiBiase on commentary talking about Luger. The match only lasts 30 seconds.