Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Raw #79 - September 26th, 1994

For the first time in a month and a half, Monday Night Raw is live tonight, this time from Utica, New York. The cold opening announces the night's main event, Tatanka vs. Razor Ramon with the Intercontinental title on the line. That certainly sounds like the kind of match that they should have announced the previous week, especially given that Jerry Lawler vs. Duke "The Dumpster" Droese got more promotion than this match. Randy Savage says that the eyes of the world are on Utica tonight, and not Los Angeles, where the O.J. trial has just begun.
The Four-Times-Defeated Native American Tatanka comes to the ring first while Themis Klarides shows off her David Lee Roth-style workout gear. Or should that be "Well Dunn-style"? Tatanka hopes to bring championship gold to Ted DiBiase's Corporation, even though those of you who know your history already know that neither Tatanka nor the Million Dollar Corporation would ever hold a WWF title.

Ah! Hsss... aaah!
Ted DiBiase distracts his last-ever opponent, Razor Ramon, allowing Tatanka to get the jump on the IC champion. He starts off with tomahawk chops, but Razor fights back with chops of his own (but not tomahawk chops, since only Native Americans can do those, no matter how identical they are to regular chops). Tatanka, however, shifts the momentum with clubbing blows to Ramon's back, wearing down his Royal Rumble video game co-star. Razor fights back briefly with punches, only to be clotheslined and stomped by the Native American. Finally, Razor puts an arm bar on Tatanka for the first wrestling move of the match. Meanwhile, Macho Man praises Lex Luger for being the kind of guy who is knocked down five times but gets up six times. I'll let you use your imagination to figure out how that would work. Tatanka gets back to work with yet more chops but gets tossed over the top rope while charging at Razor. As the DiBiase protege attempts to re-enter the ring, Razor punches him back down to the arena floor in a bit of strategy perhaps lifted from the aforementioned Royal Rumble video game. FInally, Tatanka snaps Razor's neck on the top rope for a Maneuver (#1). He then proceeds to stomp Razor some more until the Bad Guy falls outside the ring, where he is met with some chops. You should be noticing a pattern in this match, which is playing out like a game of Royal Rumble for SNES where the person playing as Tatanka keeps punching and kicking without realizing that you have to press X to grapple.
Razor is on the floor when Raw returns. Tatanka goes to the outside for more punishment against Razor before rolling him back into the ring, displaying an un-Luger-like presence of mind that tells him that he can't win the title via countout. Vince speculates that Lex Luger's match with Tatanka could be for the Intercontinental title, although neither man would ever hold WWF gold, nor would they ever wrestle on pay-per-view again for that matter. Finally, Tatanka does a wrestling move, an abdominal stretch that would give Gorilla Monsoon a fit due to its improper execution and the Native American's illegal use of Ted DiBiase for leverage. Tatanka just sort of stands there while Razor sells the hold like he's being drawn and quartered. Finally, referee Jack Doan catches Tatanka cheating with Ted DiBiase (though not in the same sense that Tatanka had caught his wife cheating with Paul "Max Moon" Diamond the year before) and forces him to break the hold. Razor then slaps on his own abdominal stretch before the challenger counters with a hip toss. A follow-up elbow drop misses, allowing Razor to deliver a series of right hands and a belly-to-back superplex. The Bad Guy signals for the Razor's Edge, but gets distracted by DiBiase and stalked by Tatanka, who attacks Razor from behind and delivers (wait for it) more stomps. Lex Luger marches to the ring in America's fruitiest patriotic attire, only to be blindsided by Bam Bam Bigelow. Tatanka walks up the aisle to join Bam Bam in the beatdown of Luger, who is clad in an Old Glory Speedo and a star-spangled cutoff workout sweatshirt. Razor rolls into the ring to pick up a countout victory before aiding Luger, proving that he has his priorities straight. A "mee-lay" breaks out in the aisle as we go to an inopportune commercial break.

When Raw returns, a fan seated behind our announcers declares that Martians exist via a sign at a wrestling show. Vince gives us the official decision on the match, promotes the Hart Attack Tour, then asks Randy in a harsher-in-hindsight moment when the last time he had a checkup was as it relates to heart attacks.  Speaking of tasteless heart attack references, Paul Bearer tells Yokozuna that the former champion will be the one to have a heart attack (although Wikipedia says that he would die of fluid in his lungs, not a heart attack) . The Undertaker, who beat Yokozuna in a casket match at the beginning of the year at a house show before being killed in their casket match at the Royal Rumble, will square off in a series of 42 more casket matches (including a dark match earlier this very night) before their final showdown at Survivor Series. Taker's casket match record against Yokozuna in 1994 would thus be 44-1.

Speaking of fake Orientals, next up is Kwang, who faces the mightily-mulleted Rich Myers. Vince McMahon "still can't get over that mee-lay" from earlier in the evening. "Was Bam Bam quick or what?" says Savage. "'Cause when I saw Lex come down the aisle, I just thought he had an ugly shadow!" On a severely unfunny note, Kwang is accompanied by manager Harvey Wippleman, who just under three months prior was in the car with Joey Marella when the referee and son of Gorilla Monsoon died in an accident; obviously, the announcers do not acknowledge this fact. Rich Myers takes down Kwang with a Nice Maneuver (#2 - flying head scissors). The good times don't last for the jobber, though, as Kwang retaliates with kicks. Vince brings up some recent happenings in the Phoenix Cardinals football franchise, before they were known simply as the Arizona Cardinals. He claims that Randy Savage will play quarterback for the Cardinals, Phil Simms will announce on Raw, and the Bushwhackers will join the ESPN broadcasting team. Speaking of football, Vince also brings up Jerry Lawler's ridicule of junior guest ring announcer Jeremy White on Superstars, not knowing that he was Reggie White's son. Ah, fond memories. Of course, no booker in their right mind would put a football player in a marquee match against a wrestler, let alone have the football player win. Kwang finishes Myers off with a Maneuver (#3 - spinning heel kick).

The British Bulldog is Jerry Lawler's guest on the King's Court. Macho Man says that the Bulldog's bite is much worse than his bark, which is a nice way of saying that he sucks at promos. Vince thinks that Davey Boy Smith will "take a bite out of the King, Jerry 'The King' Lawler." Bulldog makes his entrance with fireworks, which Vince calls, "The rocket's red glare," forgetting what national anthem that lyric is from. Davey Boy is probably glad to be back in a promotion that does not have evil midgets running around like Cheatum, only nice midgets like Dink. Lawler beckons to Smith as one would call a dog, with phrases like, "Come here, boy!" and "Down, boy. Down." If he tries to make Smith get down on all fours and bark like a dog, we could have problems here. Jerry proceeds to tell a string of awful puns about his dog, Timex ("He's a watchdog!"). Bulldog is slightly amused until the King brings up Smith's wife, Diana, daughter of Stu and Helen Hart, and asks if it was a case of "puppy love." I never realized how awful Jerry Lawler could be on his off nights back in the day. Bulldog threatens King in his typical incoherent fashion, saying that if Lawler made one more smart remark, they'll have to pick him up with a pooper-scooper. Just like in real-life, the toughest guys always associate themselves with dog feces (and not just in the Dog Poop match the Bulldog lost in 1999). Before Davey Boy gets to take a bite out of Lawler and drop a steaming pile in the middle of the ring (like the Godwinn's dog in 1996), he is interrupted by another guest. Who arrives in the ring? Yes, that's correct, as Bulldog's brother-in-law Jim Neidhart confronts Smith. He resents Bulldog's involvement at Summerslam, claiming that he isn't a family member. That's easy for Jim to say, since he has "Hart" right there in his last name. He challenges the Bulldog to a match next week (actually, later that night when they tape next week's Raw). Bulldog gives a long-winded reply in which he accepts the challenge, and his music plays immediately afterward as if to signal him to get the hell out of the ring. All three men in the ring continue talking over "Rue Britannia."
Next week, Alundra Blayze and Heidi Lee Morgan face Luna Vachon and Bull Nakano in what the Macho Man calls a "four-way cat fight." Standards for "catfights" were slightly lower during the New Generation era.

Last week's incident with Bob Backlund and WWF Magazine writer Lou Ginafriddo is replayed, showing how everyone got involved to break up the crazed former champion's assault: Vince McMahon, WWF referees, Randy Savage, the camera man -- oh, wait, he is actually shown casually stepping out of the ring while a five-foot-tall man is mauled by a pro wrestler.
The 123 Kid squares off against bearded jobber Kerry Davis as Vince wishes a happy eightieth birthday to fitness guru Jack LaLanne. During the match, Mr. Backlund comes to ringside carrying a gift-wrapped box that he delivers to the Macho Man. Maybe it's that dictionary Savage needed to understand Bob Backlund last week. Speaking of gifts, packages, and the Macho Man, Stephanie McMahon turned 18 this past weekend. Davis, meanwhile, delivers the world's least-likely-to-succeed elbow drop, dropped long after the Kid has moved out of the way. Vince reads the attached letter, addressed to Randy, explaining that the gift is, in fact, a dictionary. That Bob Backlund is always so thoughtful. He even uses the word, "plebeians." Vince wonders if it's the Webster-Savage Unabridged Edition. "I wrote it myself, but I forgot about it!" Maybe Savage will find the word, "horrific" in there and find out that he didn't actually invent it as he previously thought. The Kid delivers a leg drop from the top rope to pick up the pin.

King Kong Bundy will make his return to the WWF on October 23rd on the Action Zone. Shawn Michaels comes out in his stripperific jacket and hat along with his tag team partner Diesel. The champions prepare to take on two jobbers as Vince informs us that one of the Headshrinkers has "called it quits," citing Samu's recent no-shows. The match starts off with Shawn Michaels taking on Chris Kanyon (recognize that name?). Kanyon's partner tonight is none other than Bob Starr (recognize that name? Probably not). Vince notes the new facial hair on Michaels as his tag team partner, "the seven foot Diesels," steps onto the apron. After some HBK offense, Diesel tags in to rough up Kanyon with clubs to the neck and elbows in the corner before Bob Starr tags in. Michaels tags back in to deliver a Macho Man-like elbow (though from the second rope) before giving a cute look to Chris Kanyon, whom HBK probably doesn't realize is bisexual. And if he does, well, maybe those chants about Shawn from last summer are true. Diesel tags in to deliver a very reckless jackknife to start before tagging back out to Michaels. Vince speculates about tensions between the tag team champs, given that Shawn Michaels's kick at Summerslam accidentally knocked Diesel out and cost him the match. At this point, the superkick must be Michaels's finisher, since it is now powerful enough to knock out a seven-footer, whereas in teh past it merely softened up much smaller opponents for the teardrop suplex. Michaels rushes into the ring, runs the ropes, then halts his momentum and pins Starr for the 1-2-3. With anti-climaxes like that, it's no wonder they call him "The Heartbreak Kid." He then punches Kanyon, who in two years' time would be teaming with Adam Bomb in WCW in a Mortal Kombat-based angle, off the apron for good measure.
The Two Dudes with Attitudes' celebration (although they wouldn't be called that name until 1995) is cut short by the arrival of Fatu and a new Headshrinker, formerly the Barbarian. The announcers don't recognize him due to his lack of antlers. Capt. Lou introduces the "new" wrestler as "Simone," although the "m" would soon be dropped from his name. He also explains that Samu ate some raw fish and contracted a rare disease ("Helicopitero Disease") only curable by one doctor in Samoa. Hey, it's more believable than his claims to have never bladed or participated in a fixed match. About thirty seconds later, he refers to the new Headshrinker as "Saroya." Diesel tries to come back to the ring, but is restrained by Shawn as Raw signs off.

Final tally:

3 Maneuvers (Year total: 108)

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