Sunday, January 20, 2013

Raw #78 - September 19th, 1994

The cold opening for the September 19th episode of Raw centers around Tatanka, who fooled us all by having sold out to Ted DiBiase all along. The exact purpose of this deception will never be explained, but he certainly fooled a lot of people, and that's all that matters! Vince McMahon would later take the lessons learned from this angle and incorporate them into the Corporate Ministry angle, revealing himself to be the Higher Power so that he could fool Stone Cold Steve Austin at great personal expense.
Raw is back in Lowell, Massachusetts for another edition of Raw taped before Summerslam. Randy Savage tells us that he never would have predicted Tatanka selling out "in a million zillion years." Tonight's episode features Duke "The Dumpster" Droese against Jerry "The King" Lawler and an interview with Bob Backlund. First, though, is Lex Luger in action against The Executioner (Duane Gill). One of these men will go on to hold a WWF title. At ringside is Lou Gianfriddo of WWF Magazine. Do you think that he might play a role in tonight's Raw? Nah, he's just a journalist doing his job. It takes a lot of in-depth research to write articles for WWF Magazine.

Luger gets to work on The Executioner with "an outstanding side headlock." Vince is apparently desperate enough to finally get Lex Luger over that he will call a headlock "outstanding." Vince also tells the sob story of a young Native American girl who wrote to WWF Mania to express her disappointment in Tatanka. "An unbelievable setback for Native Americans all over the world!" adds Randy. Lex Luger, on the other hand, is a role model for everyone, including Native Americans according to Vince. Lex wins by submission with the "Rebel Rack." Let me get this straight: Lex Luger, who is billed from Atlanta, uses a move called the Rebel Rack, yet he wears the American flag instead of the Confederate flag. Vince takes one last opportunity to praise Lex as a role model, comparing him to the new Miss America, Heather Whitestone. Luger exemplifies what "Mr. America is really all about," says Vince, perhaps getting the idea for the Mr. America/Hulk Hogan angle.
A video package airs dubbing Tatanka a "devious Native American." The Devious Native American is in action next week, as are tag team champions Shawn Michaels and Diesel. Jerry Lawler hosts the King's Court with the British Bulldog on a live Raw.
Speaking of the King, Lawler walks to the ring to a chorus of boos from the fans, including an adolescent boy with a paper Doink mask. A sign in the audience declares that this week, The King gets trashed, despite Lawler's reputation for avoiding drugs and alcohol. Lawler takes the mic and tells the peons to bow down and kiss his royal feet.
Duke does his best Lana Del Rey impression for his
stock photo.
Vince is eager for the King to be stuffed into Duke's trash can, despite Gorilla Monsoon's apology to the fans weeks ago insisting that in the WWF, objects are to be used only for what they were designed for, and that a garbage can is to be used only for garbage. Duke chases Jerry around the ring before the bell, then corners him while Lawler stalls and tells the referee to watch out for hair- and tights-pulling. Lawler starts off the action with a standing side headlock. Not an "outstanding" side headlock, though. The King soon gets lofted into the air and down to the canvas. Vince then makes lighthearted reference to Gone with the Wind author Margaret Mitchell's old house burning to the ground over the weekend, wondering if Lawler's career would do the same. "Let's torch it," says Savage. Droese pounds away at Lawler, who takes every opportunity to take a breather on the outside. As the audience chants, "Burger King," Randy invites Lawler to approach the announcer's table where, Savage says he's got a Whopper for him. I think that's what he said to Stephanie McMahon, too.

When Raw returns, Jerry is in the corner begging the fans for silence as he pulls something from his tights (a weapon, that is). He then strikes Droese, knocking him down with the Power of the Punch. He then continues pounding on the dazed trash man. Speaking of Trashmen, the WWF really missed out on a great opportunity to get the Dumpster over by failing to obtain the license to "Surfin' Bird." Had Duke had that song for his entrance theme, I would be referring to him as a world champion and Hall of Famer. The King lands a piledriver, then steps outside the ring to pick up the trash can that Duke brought with him to the ring. He opens the lid, only to reveal Dink. As much as I hate to see Dink in any capacity, it's good to know that he's spent the past ten minutes stuffed in a garbage can. Dink squirts something in Lawler's eyes, sending the King on a wild annoying sidekick chase. Lawler gets counted out in the process. While Jerry is in a tizzy, Dink sneaks up from behind and gets on his tippy-toes to bite the King's rump, which is something Lawler usually wouldn't mind except that the perpetrator is an adult male. As Lawler chases Dink around the ring, Duke trips the King and drives him from the ring. Doink sneaks up behind the King, who brandishes a trash can, leading Lawler to run away through the crowd. Duke poses with Doink and Dink for the 1994 Wrestlecrap Yearbook.
The Heavenly Bodies arrive without their winged jackets (which thankfully were torn up by the Smoking Gunns) to take on jobber extraordinaire Mike Bell and horror legend Steve King. The match starts during the break, leading Vince to apologize, even though the episode is taped and they could have easily shown the match in its entirety had Vince wanted it that way. Vince explains the altercation (or mee-lay) between the Bodies and the Gunns recently on Superstars. Tom Prichard hits a suplex, or soo-play as Randy calls it. Vince notes the absence of the Bodies' manager Jim Cornette, who is allegedly in Toronto negotiating with Jack Tunney. Jimmy Del Ray hits a Devastating Maneuver (#1 - running clothesline). Del Ray proceeds to hit King with  "reverse knife edges," which raises the question of what a regular knife edge looks like. Del Ray finishes off Steve King with another Devastating Maneuver (#2 - moonsault), stranding Mike Bell, who did not step into the ring during the match.

Vince McMahon welcomes "former World Wrestling Federation champion, Bob Backlund." Backlund is sporting a jacket reading "St. Augustine Kids Wrestling Club," which he must have swiped from Rob Feinstein. Vince recalls that Backlund used to "typlify" what sportsmanship was about. The audience chants "Has-Been" at Backlund, who has gotten a haircut since his last appearance. Let's see what his hair looks like in his next match in two weeks, taped more than a month after this appearance. Vince chides Backlund for no longer being sportsmanlike following his loss to Bret Hart and subsequent "snapping." Backlund responds by resenting the term, "former," claiming that he is still the WWF champion and that he celebrated his sixteenth anniversary of being champion last year. "And I'm going for eighteen!" he notes. Backlund then claims to have beaten Bret Hart on Superstars and that his standards are too high for these plebeians. He goes on to rail against society, where teachers help students cheat on tests and principals "drive around dressed like women." That's right, they're not just cross-dressing, they're cross-dressing while driving! He says that he had resisted using the chickenwing during his WWF comeback so that he could make the fans happy, but claims that it is an inescapable hold. Backlund continues to come down hard on modern society, saying that people are too weak to go on a diet, that they "suffer from dyslexia. Fifty percent of the people in America can't read!" With that, I have decided to retire my blog as of right now, since half the people in my own country can't even read it. Or maybe not; perhaps things have changed in the past eighteen years or so. Whatever the veracity of Bob Backlund's statistics, I hope he enjoys his recent job, writing the dubious "Did You Know?" facts that air on Monday Night Raw.
Vince denies that the chickenwing crossface has no escape, since Backlund himself has claimed that for every hold there is an escape. Backlund responds by challenging anyone to escape from the chickenwing, then invites Lou Gianfriddo, who, were it not for his presence at ringside during the Lawler match, I would have mistaken for Dink without the makeup. Lou allows Backlund to demonstrate the hold. The former (?) champion vows to retire if anyone can break the hold and claims not to be "fallacious" when he makes a promise, unlike the President. "I need a dictionary when Bob Backlund talks," says Randy. Bob applies the hold on the diminutive writer, then proceeds to go nuts, swinging him around the ring. Vince McMahon himself tries to pry Backlund off, followed by WWF officials. "To hell with Tunney!" says Randy before charging into the ring. "That's what discipline is all about!" says Backlund.

The announcers are back at their table to commentate the next match, featuring the newly rechristened Thurman "Sparky" Plugg, now known as Bob "Spark Plugg" Holly. Note that he retains the double-g spelling of "plug." Howard Finkel still announces him as Thurman "Sparky" Plugg, however. If that name business weren't confusing enough, Plugg's opponent tonight is Richie Rich. The two men exchange arm wrenches in a contest ignored by the announcers, who are still talking about the previous segment's events. They are so distracted that they even neglected to call Holly's best dropkick in the business.
Yokozuna comes to the ring in a new robe without Mr. Fuji and Jim Cornette. His victim for tonight is Phil Apollo, who by his presence on the same card as Doink proves that he is not the clown (that's Ray Apollo, for the record). The announcers emphasize Yokozuna's recent weight gain (which would result in a four month absence from the Federation so that he could lose weight. It didn't work). The announcers talk about Yoko being afraid of facing the Undertaker on the Hart Attack tour in a casket match. Truth be told, Yokozuna would lose to the Undertaker in 43 different casket matches, culminating in a televised one at Survivor Series 1994. You would think that after the 40th time being stuffed into the casket, Yoko would stop being so afraid of the pine box. Macho Man reads promo copy for The Haunting of Sea Cliff Inn, the USA World Premiere Movie, before Yokozuna squashes Apollo with the Banzai Drop. Yoko then flees the ring after The Undertaker's bell tolls.

The announcers promote next week's Raw, including the return of the British Bulldog on the King's Court.

Final tally:

2 Maneuvers (Year total: 105)

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