Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Raw #89 - December 5th, 1994

It's the first Raw of the last month of 1994, and the show kicks off with an ad for Tyco right in the middle of the intro. Vince is joined tonight by Shawn Michaels, who recently forfeited the tag team titles, on commentary. This is Shawn's second forfeiture (third if you count the time The Rockers' tag team title win was ret-conned).

Jeff Jarrett takes on the British Bulldog next, so Double J makes his way to the ring with a pair of Elton John glasses. Following behind him is a man with sunglasses and a backwards hat whom Vince identifies as "one of our cable pullers." He blames shoddy camera work for the brief focus on this not-at-all-a-plant, then goes off on Jarrett's glasses. The "cable-puller" takes Jarrett's hat away for him before the match. Jeff starts strutting after a single successful arm drag takedown (nicely done), to Vince's chagrine. Davey Boy reverses Jarrett's top wristlock for a Nice Maneuver (#1), but it is reversed again, allowing Jarrett to trip the Bulldog and walk on his back. His momentum hits a snag, however, when the Bulldog resists a series of hiptosses, delivers his own, then attempts to imitate Double J's strut (which is itself an imitation of Ric Flair's, which is itself an imitation of Buddy Rogers's). The camera again focuses on that ring attendant/cable puller to Shawn and Vince's annoyance before Jarrett has three consecutive headlock takeovers countered by headscissors. Vince starts to believe that this ring attendant is somehow connected to Jarrett, since he is actively rooting for him. Perhaps, suggests McMahon, the man is a bodyguard whom Jarrett has hired after being knocked down by Chuck Norris. The Bulldog rams Jarrett's head into the turnbuckle ten times, an old staple rarely seen in today's matches (although if the move were ever featured in a Saturday Morning Slam match, WWE cameras would have to cut to the announcers for a whole five seconds per its no-head-shots rule). Davey Boy then attempts a High-Risk Maneuver (#2) from the top rope, but Jarrett stops him and superplexes him for a two-count.Vince makes references to the new WWF champion and former HBK bodyguard, Diesel, before Jeff Jarrett goes to the top rope for a High-Risk Maneuver (#3 - flying clothesline) of his own.
After the break, both men collide and knock each other down in the middle of the ring. A small package nearly wins it for the Bulldog, who is then downed by a Double J sleeper hold. Bulldog stands up and backs him up into the turnbuckle, but Jarrett "bulldogs the Bulldog." Smith kicks out of a pin and delivers a fisherman's suplex for a two count of his own. "That move never beats anybody, Vin Man," says Shawn, referencing his feud with Mr. Perfect. Jarrett locks the Bulldog into a sleeper hold, which Smith escapes with some Maneuvering (#4). Bulldog then catches a jumping Jarrett and gives him an inverted atomic drop, dropping his "spine" onto his knee. Jarrett's clutches his "spine" while Bulldog whips him to the ropes for a baaaaack body drop and a series of clotheslines. Jarrett feigns running away, drawing Bulldog to the outside. Smith lifts Jarrett over his head, carries him down the aisle, and presses him back into the ring, but gets his foot caught by Jarrett's assistant, who is hiding under the ring. Bulldog gets counted out due to the shenanigans of this mystery man. Shawn blames it on an elf under the ring, perhaps giving Vince the idea for Hornswoggle. Damn you, Brian Gerard James.

Speaking of which, yet another future member of D-Generation X comes to the ring in the form of the 1-2-3 Kid. That is to say, it actually is the 1-2-3 Kid, not some shapeshifter or impersonator. We are told that Diesel was on hand for a sportscasting awards ceremony that honored, among other notables, the soccer announcer from Univision, giving McMahon an excuse to shout "Goooooooooool!" Man, I miss Macho Man. The Kid takes on his one-time tag team partner Barry Horowitz. The Kid is fresh off an upset victory over the Heavenly Bodies, which he pulled of on the previous day's Action Zone along with future X-Factor teammate Aldo Montoya. Vince tells us that Jerry Lawler's King's Court will supposedly be its most special edition ever, which must mean that Diesel will be the guest. Shawn resents the mention of that particular name. Vince also plugs the WWF "Holiday Wish" Tour, in which a portion of the proceeds will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. If Gorilla Monsoon were here, he'd probably tell us that it's the loser's share of the purse money that's being donated. The Kid hits a Maneuver (#5 - spinning heel kick) on Horowitz, followed by another spinning heel kick and a roll-up for a 1-2-3 victory. Before the commercial break, Vince promises us a match between The Bushwhackers and Well Dunn. It's very kind of him to let people know that they can skip the rest of the episode and get an early night's sleep.

When Raw returns, Kwang is in the ring with Scott Taylor. While Shawn Michaels expresses his wish for famous madam Heidi Fleiss to perform "community service" if you know what he means (sex), Harvey Wippleman berates Howard Finkel, calling him a goof. Kwang spits out mist, which Vince notes is red this time. In order to spit Asian mist, a wrestler must first swallow the contents of a condom, which is something more along the lines of Scott Taylor's initial gimmick with partner Brian Christopher. Kwang then runs at Taylor in the corner, delivering a Maneuver (#6 - spinning heel kick) and ending up on the outside of the ring. Vince informs us that we will receive an important announcement from President Jack Tunney regarding the vacant tag team titles. Kwang finishes off Scott Taylor with a move I've never seen from the martial artist, a spinning heel kick.

On the King's Court this week, Lawler yet again calls the audience ugly yet again before bringing out his vaunted guest. This guest is a "guiding light," "the brains behind the brawn," and "the man responsible for Diesel being World Wrestling Federation champion." No, it's not Bob Backlund, but rather Shawn Michaels. HBK feigns surprise to Vince's displeasure. "Give me a break!" he says in his best Gorilla Monsoon impression. Shawn is in his male stripper get-up and listens to the King bashing Diesel for being stupid (even though Nash would spend the next decade convincing various companies to pay him big money to phone it in or even no-show the biggest pay-per-view of the year -- twice. Once in WCW and once in TNA). Michaels takes credit for bringing Diesel up from nothing and leading him to all of his titles. The fans disagree, including Vladimir the Superfan, pumping their fists in support of Big Daddy Cool.
We then see highlights of this past weekend's Snowball Derby, although no mention of the sponsor, Skoal, is made this time around. Bob Holly is shown driving his stock car, but we are told that he crashed.

Shawn Michaels is back on commentary, and speaking of male strippers, Well Dunn is in the ring with thongs (although they are sans bow ties this week). Also speaking of male strippers, Wippleman continues to argue with Howard Finkel, a feud which will soon culminate in a tuxedo match. After Harvey introduces his own team, Finkel introduces the Bushwhackers, who are dressed in their John Deere-style gear but do not get the pitch-black light show treatment. Butch licks a large woman at ringside, whom Vince identifies as one of the "Rosati sisters" who moonlighted as Raw girls in 1993. That kiss, says Vince, gives Butch extra "impetus," which Michaels seems to confuse for "impotence" but does not make a witty follow-up remark. Vince relays Jack Tunney's message announcing a tag team tournament to declare new champions. The matches will take place on Superstars, with the finals occurring at the Royal Rumble. Shawn makes light of Well Dunn's "T-backs" before promising to "strut the beach in my T-back" in Tampa during Royal Rumble weekend before adding, "and drive the chicks wild" to assure the audience that he is indeed heterosexual. "Uh huh, sure," says Vince, skeptically. Timothy Well hits a series of quick leg drops on Luke, who gets his foot on a rope to break up the follow-up pin. Shawn then read promotional copy for Tom Hanks's "Big," which he fortunately did not try to tie into his choice of bathing suit. Butch gets the hot tag, but gets tripped by Harvey Wippleman and pinned by Steven Dunn. "What an upset this is!" claims Vince. Howard Finkel tells referee Earl Hebner about Wippleman's interference. Finkel and Wippleman argue as Raw goes to commercial.
Bob Backlund is at ringside to talk about his match against Doink next week. He has never clowned around, he says, nor has he ever liked clowns, who have no place in our society. The former promises that it will be a real "axiom" and that he will exterminate Doink.

Final tally:

6 Maneuvers (Year total: 154)

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