Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Raw #92 - December 26th, 1994

It's the last Raw of 1994, and tonight's episode kicks off with the British Bulldog against Lex Luger's arch-rival, Tatanka. Hey, wouldn't it be great if Bulldog and Luger teamed up? Shawn and Vince are once again our commentators for the evening and are joined briefly by Ted DiBiase and Tatanka on their way to the ring as if to prove that the announcers are actually in the arena tonight and not standing in front of a green screen. Raw's opening rolls, this week without Tyco's logo plastered over top of it, seeing as Christmas shopping has just ended.
The Bulldog comes to the ring as Vince mentions that Smith is celebrating Boxing Day. Shawn wonders if that means that the Bulldog celebrates by beating up the nearest family member. I think he's got Smith confused with the Dynamite Kid. Vince mentions, as always, the "rockets' red glare," alluding to the U.S. national anthem and its description of British bombs in a war that Britain lost and barely remembers. Vince points out that Tatanka has much more muscle mass than most people realize, leading Shawn to comparing lifting Tatanka with lifting a "wet safe." Bulldog hiptosses Tatanka for a Nice Maneuver (#1), proving that even wet safes are no match for the strength of the Bulldog. Shawn notes Tatanka's "molasses-like quickness." Smith demonstrates his agility advantage by performing another Maneuver (#2 - crucifix pin) for a two-count that Vince thinks is a three-count. The Native American tries to fight back with chops, but Bulldog picks him up for an Unbelievable Maneuver (#3 - delayed vertical suplex). Tatanka, who with partner Bam Bam Bigelow have advanced to round two of the tag team tournament, rolls to the outside for a rest, then re-enters to nearly fall victim to the running powerslam.

After the commercial break, Tatanka has the advantage and methodically beats down Davey Boy. Vince mentions the Native American's feud with Lex Luger wherein he sold out to the Million Dollar Man. Shawn tells Lex to take the money when he has the chance in the year 1995, which is exactly what he would do when he jumps ship to WCW in September. Bulldog surprises the Native American with a body press, which Tatanka kicks out of "with authority." Smith continues launching his comeback, which Vince attributes to his "resiliency," until DiBiase pulls down the rope, sending Davey Boy flopping to the outside. Lex Luger rushes to the ring to correct this injustice, stalking Ted around the ring until Tatanka tries to tomahawk-chop Luger and gets a shot to the gut for his trouble. A brawl breaks out between Luger & Smith and Tatanka & Bam Bam. The referee disqualifies both competitors, even though Luger interfered long before Bam Bam did.
Henry Godwinn makes his first Raw appearance, coming to the ring with an empty bucket.  Godwinn will participate in the 1995 Royal Rumble, where he will save himself from elimination in a much better spot than Shawn Michaels's. Vince calls Godwinn a favorite to win the Rumble, which is the fastest (read: shortest) ever, with a new entry every 60 seconds to get the whole thing over with as quickly as possible. The hog farmer from Bitters, Arkansas takes on Mike Khoury. Big Henry stomps and slams Khoury throughout the match, finishing him off with the Slop Drop, a Very Effectice Maneuver (#4) that always look weak. Vince also reminds us that Hakushi will also be coming to the WWF.

Jerry Lawler is in the ring for the King's Court, insulting the audience by calling them ugly. Again. He also alludes to Vince McMahon's toupee, which we would come to learn a decade later is actually his real hair. Vince is aghast. Lawler's guest this week is Diesel, otherwise known as Big Daddy Cool (or, as Lawler first called him, "Cool Daddy"). Shawn Michaels is not impressed. King offers a handshake, which Diesel takes him up on and then crushes his royal hand. Fortunately, this would not lead to a "Kiss My Hand" Match between the two. Vince lets out a hearty laugh and finds it "thickly amusing." Lawler wishes that Bob Backlund would put the chicken wing on Diesel during the Holiday Wish Tour and says that Shawn has told the former WWWF champion everything there is to know about Big Daddy Cool. Lawler is furious and berates Diesel for foolishly promising Bret Hart a title shot. Diesel interrupts King's diatribe, throwing him out of the ring and putting on his crown. From what I've heard about Lawler's early days in the Federation, merely trying on his crown is very generous of Diesel. Shawn gets a dig in at Kevin Nash, comparing him to the Cowardly Lion and vowing to "send him back to Oz."
Harvey Wippleman's Kwang faces veteran Raw enhancement talent Rich Myers. Myers gets whipped to the ropes by Kwang, but the man from the Far East drops to the mat, leading his opponent to somersault over him for no reason. "Well, that was unusual," says Vince. Kwang spits out red mist, then hits a Maneuver (#5 - heel kick) to drop Myers. Howard Finkel appears in a split-screen to deliver pre-recorded comments apologizing for pulling down Harvey Wippleman's pants. Kwang telegraphs a back body drop, leading Myers to flip off his back for an Attempt at a Clever Maneuver (#6) but mess up the landing. As Kwang pins the jobber, Shawn says that Myers looks less like the 1-2-3 Kid and more like the 1-2-3 Dork.

WWF's new correspondent Stephanie Wiand is backstage with Ted DiBiase. Wiand's face bears an uncanny resemblance to the "Overly Attached Girlfirend" of Youtube fame. Ted accepts Lex and Davey Boy's challenge for a tag team match next week with Bam Bam & Tatanka.

The Undertaker's bell tolls, turning the arena pitch black, minus the flashlight that Michaels holds up to his own face. The Undertaker is accompanied by the Late Paul Bearer, who back then was known simply as Paul Bearer. Vince mentions that Taker will face IRS at the Royal Rumble, leading Shawn to make the obvious "death and taxes" connection. The Brooklyn Brawler is Undertaker's victim for tonight. Vince references Andre Agassi's new, short, non-mullet haircut, which back then was highly unfashionable. It's ironic that everyone assumed Vince wore a wig, but no one suspected Agassi.

After a commercial, Taker is still staring at the Brawler. Shawn and Vince debate whether Paul Bearer's urn is full of Christmas cookies or the Ghost of Christmas Cookies Past. The Brawler tries to sneak attack Taker, but Undy turns around and hits him with a big boot. Shawn reads promotional copy for The Outlaw Josie Wales on USA, then tells the Brawler that it takes more than a headlock to beat The Undertaker. That's why Randy Orton lost his Wrestlemania 21 match. The announcers acknowledge The Undertaker's months-long absence from Monday Night Raw. Vince promises that next week, Jeff Jarrett will sing on television for the first time, even though conventional wisdom holds that Double J's singing debut wouldn't come until In Your House 2. Taker finishes off Lombardi with a tombstone. IRS appears in the aisle with his druids as Raw goes off the air.

Final tally:

6 Maneuvers

Final year total: 169

Year average: 3.25 Maneuvers per episode (including non-McMahon episodes)

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