Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Raw #93 - January 2nd, 1995

The first faces we see on Raw in 1995 are those of the as-of-yet unnamed Roadie and Jeff Jarrett, who promises to sing in public for the first time tonight. Shawn Michaels is back on commentary along with Gorilla Monsoon, who is filling for Vince. McMahon may be "under the weather," but Gorilla and Shawn are in front of a green screen. Ted DiBiase's music plays over the two announcers as The Million Dollar Man accompanies Bam Bam Bigelow and Tatanka for their match against the soon-to-be Allied Powers. Monsoon wonders if there will be gold coming to the Million Dollar Corporation, and there most certainly will, as long as you count Paul Bearer's urn as gold.

Some seemingly piped-in chants of "USA" greet Lex Luger, who steps into the ring to fireworks and immediately gets beaten down by his two opponents. The Bulldog soon arrives to make the save. If only they had come out simultaneously, perhaps too an awkward mash-up of "Rue Britannia" and Luger's "Eye of the Tiger"-soundalike music, there wouldn't have been any double-teaming in the first place. The face team takes Bam Bam down with consecutive clotheslines. "A lot of clotheslines for a couple of guys who don't wear any shirts," says Michaels. Luger then works over Bigelow's arm with wrestling holds, perhaps forgetting that he is Lex Luger. A cheap shot by Tatanka tilts the match in favor of the heels, giving Tatanka the opportunity to tag in and work over Luger. Some more phantom chants of "USA" pop up while the audience remains seated quietly. Tatanka uses a series of elbow drops as Michaels speculates that he has bulked up. "A whole lotta Indian there!" It must be all that ICO-PRO.
A tomahawk chop from the top nearly puts Luger away. Meanwhile, Shawn once again refers to himself as "The H.B. Kid," a nickname I have ignored over the past few weeks in hopes that it would just go away. The Native American locks Lex in a bear hug while Monsoon chastises him for bad strategy. Bam Bam, he says, should be the one doing a bear hug. Also in classic Monsoon fashion, he also questions the Million Dollar Man's wisdom in accepting "a match of this magnitude" so close to the next tag team tournament match with The Headshrinkers. The unnaturally loud crowd lends Luger his support, helping him escape from the bear hug, but the newly-tagged Bigelow puts him down once again. Bam Bam charges the man Made in the USA, but gets caught with a powerslam. Lex and Bigelow each tag out and their partners enter the ring, where Tatanka is soon scooped up for a Bulldog running powerslam. For some reason, Bulldog goes out of his way to slam the Native American down near the ropes, allowing DiBiase to place his client out of the ring. This instigates a brawl outside of the ring involving all four men, who are counted out. Vince McMahon would see this boring match and think to himself that not only should Luger and Bulldog team up again, but that they should open Wrestlemania.
After the commercial, we see "the flunkie" of Jarrett setting up the microphone stands at ringside. Yes, before he was "The Roadie" or "The Road Dogg," BG James was "The Flunkie." Shawn then corrects Monsoon and calls him "The Roadie" (James, not Monsoon). Jarrett's singing debut will have to wait, though, as The Dumpster is in action next, and he's making a pouty face.
Mike Bell squares off against Duke Droese while Shawn Michaels announces Pamela Anderson's attendance at the upcoming Royal Rumble. Monsoon reminds us that this year's Rumble will be the fastest ever, as entrants will arrive every minute, rather than two minutes. He and Shawn agree that this Rumble will require its participants to be in superior shape, despite the fact that you only enter the match once and it will be by far the shortest Rumble ever. Note to wrestling fans: any time a stupid rule change is made and the announcers say that it favors wrestlers with great conditioning, it's BS. That's what they would say about the AWF's "rounds system," wherein the action screeched to a halt every four minutes for a water break. Shawn then plugs "Tech War" with William Shatner, premiering on USA this Saturday night. Shatner himself will be at next week's second-anniversary Raw, earning a Wrestlecrap induction. The Duke hits a tilt-a-whirl slam on Bell that he calls the "Trash Compactor" (actually, the announcers call it that. Duke never gets any mic time). Monsoon informs us that the crappy tag match that opened the show will resume at the end of the show.

The Roadie appears again to set up the wiring for tonight's performance, prompting Shawn to make a Marion Berry joke about "perfect wiring" (referring to the newly-reelected DC mayor's drug arrest in a hidden-camera sting operation five years earlier). "Will you stop?!" says Monsoon as we go back to commercial.
It's the King's Court up next, with Jerry Lawler promising not just one king, but two kings. As Monsoon points out, he holds up three fingers. Tonight's guest is the King of Harts, Owen Hart, whom Shawn praises for his "Oscar-winning performance" at the Survivor Series, feigning concern for his brother's welfare. That's still no match for his Slammy-winning performance later in the year against Shawn Michaels, putting him out of action in the "Squared Circle Shocker" of the year. It sounds like Shawn hesitates in the middle of his lines, as if reading from a script. Owen arrives with the pink and black towel from Survivor Series. Owen then reflects on his great 1994, topped off by Bret losing the title, which was all part of Owen's "master plan." He and Lawler are giddy about Bret having lost over a month ago. Owen has a "scoop" for the King's Court, vowing (in a speech heavily censored in the WWE re-release) to be the WWF Tag Team Champion, the WWF Intercontinental Champion, and the WWF Champion and never lose them. He also says that he will win this year's Royal Rumble.

Gorilla and Shawn are back at their green-screen booth. The Toddster then narrates a video package for next week's second-anniversary Raw, featuring Razor vs. Owen and the Harvey Wippleman/Howard Finkel tuxedo match, dubbed the "unstoppable force vs. the immovable object."
Jeff Jarrett makes a very foggy entrance to the ring to face the Iceman himself, Buck Quartermaine. Double J's strobe lights no doubt give seizures to viewers at home before the singer takes to the mic. His singing debut will have to wait until after his squash match. Gorilla Monsoon praises Jarrett's opening moves, which include, and I quote, a "crotch switch." Jarrett clotheslines Buck from the top rope, then hits a "beauty" of a neckbreaker right onto Quartermaine's external occipital protuberance. Shawn makes a joke about Buck "getting hammered" like the New Years' revelers, which is something he claims WWF superstars would never do. Later this year, HBK would get beaten up by a Marine while smashed after hitting on his girlfriend. Monsoon accuses Jarrett of stealing his strut from Nature Boy Buddy Rogers, although it is probably Ric Flair whom Double J is emulating. He's in WCW, though, so Buddy Rogers it is. Jarrett wastes time, leading Gorilla to scold him for not finishing off the "youngster," which puts Buck's age at somewhere between 16 and 44, which was Carlos Colón's age at the 1993 Royal Rumble when Monsoon called him a "youngster."

Jarrett stands in the ring with a guitar that he doesn't look like he knows how to hold, let alone play. Double J doesn't like the sound levels, holding up his performance. Next, the lights aren't exactly right, and there is too much feedback, so Jarrett again refuses to perform. "Where's Kevin Dunn when you need him?" asks Gorilla. Super Dave Osborne is on hand to talk to Monsoon in his raspy boice. Dave would later re-appear on Raw as "John Laurinaitis." The dark curtains behind Dave's head make it look like he has a massive mullet.
The opening tag match has been resumed, with Bam Bam softening up Luger as Raw returns to air.  Shawn says that Luger is finally being exposed for his "lack of talent," which leaves Monsoon aghast (at the remark, not Lex's obvious lack of talent). Bigelow and Tatanka dominate Luger for the entire segment, and when Raw returns, Monsoon claims that the action has been "fast and furious," despite Bam Bam still beating up Luger. This match is so terrible that it's no wonder neither team would ever win the tag team titles. Luger finally gets the hot tag, dropkicking and bodyslamming both men (even Bigelow). A pin attempt on Tatanka is broken up by Bam Bam, but Luger clotheslines him out of the ring, from which he climbs back onto the apron and gets knocked off by an Irish-shipped Tatanka. Davey Boy pins Tatanka for the win in a match that should have been over 50 minutes ago. DiBiase chews out Bam Bam for costing the team the match

Gorilla plugs next week's Intercontinental and tuxedo matches as Raw goes off the air. 

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