Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Raw #88 - November 28th, 1994

Tonight's Raw is a rarity: an episode airing live immediately after a pay-per-view. This means that we will actually get to see the fallout from Survivor Series instead of having the announcers merely tell us about it via dubbed-in post-production commentary while a bunch of matches with no storyline relevance take place. Vince McMahon is at ringside, for real this time, with Jerry "The King" Lawler, who tells us that we will be joined by even more royalty in the form of Owen Hart. Also appearing will be Diesel, the new ___ Champion. Since I'm watching a WWE-re-released version of Raw, the word immediately before "champion" is blurred out; I can think of at least one adjective describing Diesel as a champion that would have to be censored. Regardless of how Big Daddy Cool's reign would turn out, I'm sure this announcement really confused basically everyone who wasn't at the MSG house show where the title change took place, seeing how it took place over the weekend, off TV, in the days before the internet was prevalent. Also, Adam Bomb takes on IRS in a battle of things that liberals and conservatives hate about America, respectively.

Owen Hart is out first as the arena goes almost completely dark so that we can see the nifty lights shining onto the mat and floor. As a result, Owen and his opponent, John Paul, appear merely as silhouettes. I hope Vince figures out that being able to see the person is an important part of any wrestlers' entrance. Owen Hart brings to ringside Bret's towel from Survivor Series, which the younger Hart convinced mother Helen to throw in to cost Bret the match and his title to Bob Backlund. Owen knocks John down with his finishing move (according to Lou Albano), the dropkick. Bret gets on the phone as fans chant "We Want Bret." The Hitman explains that he has no serious injuries as his former confidante Danny Davis tells Owen to back away from the corner. He predicts that he will back around New Years' (hopefully to wish Owen a rotten new year). Vince asks him if he has seen any of the footage from the event; Hitman answers in the negative, but throws in a plug for the encore presentation airing the following night. Owen chokes Paul on the middle rope while the camera gives us a great view of that air duct on the ceiling of the Mid-Hudson Civic Center. Owen puts Paul away with the Sharpshooter, then throws the pink-and-black towel onto him.

Next is Adam Bomb vs. IRS. During Irwin's entrance, we once again go to complete darkness, minus some dollar signs shone onto the entrance way. On second thought, the pitch black is a great idea. People love the Undertaker's entrances, so why not treat every wrestler like they're the Undertaker? Speaking of Taker, Irwin is joined not only by Ted DiBiase, but a druid as well. Lawler suggests that Vince would look a lot better dressed in an all-black robe and hood, perhaps giving Vince the whole "Higher Power" idea. Schyster gets on the mic and vows to make the Undertaker pay IRS. Vince explains that Irwin put Undertaker in a sleeper hold at Survivor Series and threw him into the casket, almost costing him the match despite Chuck Norris being at ringside. Adam Bomb hits a clothesline on IRS by slingshotting himself over the ropes and into the ring. It's not his finisher, though, so IRS kicks out. Bomb then grabs Schyster by his necktie, but fortunately is not fired for this action. While Vince puts over Adam Bomb for climbing the ladder of success, King says that the big man will slide down the ladder so fast, he'll have splinters in his rear end, much like Team 3D when they went up against the Steiners. Vince brings up Lawler's Survivor Series match, where he and his midget kings took on Doink's "Clowns Are Us" team and ended up getting a pie to the face; Vince isn't sure what kind of pie it was (perhaps pumpkin) and suggests that viewers order the encore presentation of the pay-per-view to find out. IRS keeps Bomb at bay outside of the ring before bringing him back into the ring for an "elbow to the sternum area," which Bomb kicks out of with "a bit of authority" according to Vince. Bomb fights back with a cross-body for a near-fall.
After the break, Schyster has Bomb in an abdominal stretch. You know what would be cool? If, for once, Irwin cheated, perhaps by grabbing onto the top rope for leverage. And he does! He must have been listening. The referee catches IRS and forces him to break the hold. Bomb nearly wins with a surprise small package, The surprise is that it looks like crap. Irwin takes back the advantage, putting Bomb in a chinlock and using the bottom rope for leverage. Bomb escapes and rams Schyster's head into the turnbuckle, giving us a good camera shot of IRS's extra-shiny gold briefcase. Bomb then goes to the top rope for a High-Risk Maneuver (#1), only to be pushed off by the druid. IRS hits an elbow drop and pins Bomb, who is then stomped by the druid. Lex Luger rushes to the ring to defend his partner from the losing "Guts & Glory" team.  A "USA" chant breaks out as Lex drives the man from Washington, DC out of the ring.

Bob "Spark Plug" Holly comes to the ring next, prompting one middle-aged woman to declare her attraction for the race car driver. His opponent is Tony DeVito, who gets the pitch-black treatment. Speaking of dark matches, Holly defeated Kwang in a non-televised match at last Wednesday's Survivor Series. Holly hits a "nicely done" dropkick to knock down DeVito at the outset. Lawler claims that Holly has entered a "powderpuff derby," but Vince denies that the race is a "Powderperf Dolly," but rather the "Skoal Racing Snowball Derby" in Pensacola Florida. That's minus one point for the pronunciation botch, and minus ten points for name-dropping a tobacco brand on television. Vince explains that Holly will lead the "___ racing team," meaning that WWE censored "WWF" but not "Skoal" for this re-release. DeVito gets in a lot of offense, including a body slam and elbow drop before Holly fights back with punches. Vince warns DeVito not to make Holly angry; he didn't tell Rene Dupree that, though. Holly then hits a clothesline off the top rope for a victory.
Lex Luger comes to the ring next, but not before two teenage girls hold up an American flag sign with the following words: "Lex Luger The Emericen Hero." What? Why? How? I guess Bob Backlund is right about our country being full of illiterates. Even more troubling is that this version of Raw omits a Henry Godwinn vignette. The Emericen Hero, accompanied by guest flag bearer Steven Bowles, takes on Bert Centeno, or "Centino" as he is called here. Vince announces that tickets for the Royal Rumble in Tampa go on sale this Saturday. Luger makes short work of Centeno, putting him in the Rebel Rack for the submission victory (the second of the night).

Vince is in the ring after the break and asks the audience to welcome... the NEW World Wrestling Federation champion, Diesel! Big Daddy Cool is still sporting his classic entrance theme, along with some new pyro. Diesel explains how he got sick of being pushed around by Shawn at Survivor Series. Vince mentions the "dissolutionment" of the tag team championship team of Diesel and Shawn, combing "disillusionment" and "dissolution." Jack Tunney had named Diesel the number one contender for the title in what would have been champion Bob Backlund's rematch against Bret Hart. This, despite the fact that Razor Ramon actually holds a title and would have made a better champion than Diesel. The new champion recounts being told by fans to "do the job," which is exactly what Nash would tell everyone else in WCW for the remainder of that company's existence, although in this case it means to win. The badass from Detroit then quotes Jackie Gleason ("How sweet it is!") to describe his title victory. Vince thinks that Diesel hasn't seen the last of Bob Backund (he pretty much has), so the champ tells the former champion that his "cross wing chicken" might be a great hold, but he has to get it on the seven-footer first. Vince also brings up Bret Hart, whom Diesel praises. If the referee had waited for Bret to give up on his own, says Diesel, Survivor Series would still be going on. Another scenario that would have resulted in a never-ending Survivor Series would have been if the Doink's teammates had eliminated Lawler's teammates, resulting in a little-people vs. big person scenario that was forbidden by the rules. Diesel wants to become a fighting champion like Bret Hart, despite the handicap of totally sucking in the ring against most opponents not named Bret Hart, and offers Hart a title shot. Diesel then gives some parting words with forced enthusiasm about the New Generation. Cue more pyro and a commercial break.
Vince McMahon, rather than Todd Pettengill, narrates a video package for the upcoming Jeff Jarrett-British Bulldog match on next week's Raw, and for some reason I feel empty inside.

The Heavenly Bodies, accompanied by Jim Cornette, face Gary Scott and first-time Raw jobber Buck Quartermaine. In keeping with tonight's theme of signs praising the sexiness (or Emericen Hero status) of the wrestlers, A (possibly female) fan holds up a sign declaring the Bodies to be too sexy for the ring. This, of course, was when Right Said Fred's "I'm Too Sexy" song was all the rage. Actually, that was nearly three years prior to this Raw, but it's still more relevant than Rob Bartlett's Gary Coleman jokes on Raw #1. A brief flash of light reveals that it's the same woman who declared Bob Holly to be hot earlier in the show. I knew it wasn't those teenage girls; they would have probably spelled "sexy" with a "z." Mr. bob Backlund comes to ringside as the match gets under way, perhaps to boon the announce team. Backlund vows to "recover from adversity" and notes that "any intelligent person would have a dictionary within arm's length at all times." I wonder how Mr. Backlund feels about today's smart phones? They can serve as dictionaries, yet also have a deleterious effect on our society. Backlund then, in contrast to what Vince describes as Diesel's "humble" manner (which is why the fans started cheering for him in the first place, right?) is proud of where he's "at." That's not proper English, Mr. Backlund. The former champion then rails against society's ills, including "children throwing people out of windows" and "mothers killing their children." Well, if the children are throwing people out of windows, then wouldn't their mothers killing them qualify as self-defense? Vince asks Backlund about his post-match interview at MSG in which he acted as if the match hadn't happened yet; Backlund says it was the biggest "crises" of his life and that Sigmund Freud explained that such a trance can occur after a tragedy. Apparently, there is a match going on in the ring as well, wherein the Heavenly Bodies beat their opponents down with double-team moves, including a splash by Del Ray for the win. Ignoring that, Backlund promises to "procure the chicken wing" on Diesel in his rematch.
In Raw's next segment, Vince shows Backlund Saturday's match against Diesel, which lasted eight seconds. Backlund threatens to "procure the chicken wing" on Vince, then storms off. Jerry Lawler applauds, then laughs all throughout break imagining Vince in the chicken wing. Next week is Double J vs. Davey Boy Smith, and tomorrow is the encore of Survivor Series.

Final tally:

1 Maneuver (Year total: 148)

1 comment:

  1. I think I've read just about all of these Raw reviews, they're great fun.

    And wow; the summary of Mr. Backlund's rant (about "children throwing people out of windows" and "mothers killing their children") caused me to procure laughter at it.