Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Raw #100 - February 27th, 1995

Raw's 100th episode starts off with the first ever announcement that the World Wrestling Federation has for over 50 years been the revolutionary force in sports entertainment. Plus, Raw gets a revamped intro. Vince McMahon promises a response from Lawrence Taylor himself tonight on Raw. Vince and Jim Cornette are live at ringside this week, sporting mics with the blue Raw logo. See, Raw hasn't always been the "red" brand, and the alternate logo color fits nicely considering how much the WWF's popularity has cooled off by 1995. Lex Luger will face Tatanka to end what Vince generously calls one of the hottest rivalries ever (a rivalry highlighted by extremely boring matches and Tatanka accusing Lex of selling out over and over again then swerving us all for some reason).
Lex Luger speaks in a pre-recorded segment with a calm demeanor that can probably be attributed to wearing a loose-fitting jacket rather than a tight t-shirt. He says that Tatanka stooped to a new low when he attacked Joe "Chief Jay Strongbow" Scarpa on the Action Zone, a man whom Tatanka the previous year claimed to have "nursed" him.

Tatanka comes to the ring with new grey graphics, promising to teach Lex "the Native American way," prompting Vince to deny that Tatanka represents Native Americans anywhere in much the same way that he would reiterate later this year that Goldust does not represent the gay community. Speaking of which, Lex is accompanied by Strongbow, who parades to the ring wearing a gigantic feather headdress.
Lex chases Tatanka out of the ring, leading the Native American to stall while the audience chants "USA" in support of Luger and against the Pembroke, North Carolina native. Tatanka finally comes back to the ring to slug it out with Luger, about which Vince notes that there is little scientific skill being displayed. Yeah, don't hold your breath for that, McMahon. Luger clotheslines Tatanka to the mat, but rather than going for the cover, he gets on the canvas and continues punching Tatanka. The Native American tries to beg Luger off, then suckers him with a Maneuver, pulling him by the tights through the ropes and to the outside. Tatanka then slams Lex's head into the steps, then chops him down in the ring.

Throughout the break, Tatanka dominates the once and future Total Package. When Raw returns, he whips Luger back and forth between turnbuckles. Tatanka apparently finds that too exciting, so he changes course and puts a bear hug on his opponent. Luger punches out of the hold and drops Tatanka down with a belly-to-back suplex. Tatanka fires back with chops, which Lex starts to no-sell. He just stops working! Tatanka catches some big boots in the face, allowing Lex to land some punches then apply a sleeperhold, which Vince credits to Chief Jay Strongbow, supposedly a master of the hold. Never having seen a Strongbow match, I'm going to have to take Vince's word for it. Tatanka escapes, then jumps to the outside to get in Strongbow's face. He then snatches off Strongbow's headdress and rips it in half, prompting Jay to chop Tatanka. The ref lets the match continue rather than awarding it to Tatanka by disqualification.
After another commercial break, Lex takes it to Tatanka, knocking him out of the ring and leading him to quit the match. As the Native American tries to leave the ringside area, Lex stops him, lifts him over his shoulder, and walks him back. If Gorilla Monsoon were announcing, he'd be criticizing Lex for bad strategy, expending so much energy to give his opponent a free ride back to the ring. Lex then powerslams the Native American, who tries to escape once again only to get suplexed over the ropes and back into the ring. Tatanka then takes advantage of a distraction by the Million Dollar Man to leave the ring yet again. This time, Lex doesn't follow him out, taking the countout victory and setting up their big Wrestlemania match. Ha ha, no! Tatanka would have more important things to do, like being a lumberjack in a publicity stunt match, while Lex would team up with Davey Boy Smith for an all-important bout with the Blu Twins.

We see footage from a meaningless 20-man battle royal from Superstars in which Jerry Lawler spent most of the match on the outside hopping on one foot in hopes of surviving to the end. Instead, Bret Hart kicked his leg (out of his leg), sending Lawler's other foot to the floor. This would unfortunately be only the first foot-related incident between the two men this year. Bret's brother Owen comes to the ring to face Larry Santo while Jim Cornette accuses Bret Hart of being a racist. Vince mentions Owen's search for a tag team partner to face the Smoking Gunns, who have been defending the tag team titles against many of the teams from the recent tag team tournament. Reading between the lines, that means that Owen's partner Jim Neidhart has been fired by the WWF. Jim Cornette claims that Owen's opponent, Larry Santo, is the son of El Santo. Owen breaks out of an arm wrench to knock Santo over with a heel kick. Vince mentions the media coverage of the Bam Bam-LT feud, citing a front page article in the New York Daily News. Santo gets some brief offense in before eating a big boot (not Snitsky-style) and getting hit by a High-Risk Maneuver (#2 - flying drop kick). Owen locks him in the sharpshooter for the win, then pretends to have a hearing problem so that he doesn't hear his instructions to release the hold.
Vince and Jim appear at the announcers' table, which has been set up in front of the green-screened audience. Lawrence Taylor appears via satellite to take questions from McMahon. LT is "weighing [his] options" about what to do with Bam Bam, despite rumors of a match. Cornette puts Bam Bam on the other side of the split screen to taunt LT. Taylor says that he's "right here," while Bam Bam points out that he is not "I Dream of Jeannie" so he can't snap his fingers and be there. Now that would be a great gimmick! Are you listening, Vince? Probably, as he has already given Fandango that TV show's old theme music. Bigelow challenges LT to a confrontation at the Wrestlemania press conference at the Harley Davidson Café the next day. They would then settle their differences in a two-hour heart-to-heart talk, thus obviating the need for a Wrestlemania main event. Oh, sorry, that's just wishful thinking.

Doink the Clown steps into the ring with a Typhoon lookalike. The clown puts his jobber opponent in an armbar while Dink steps all over him, somehow not drawing a disqualification. Doink keeps that armbar on his opponent, who is named Bob Cooke, employing a few Wrestling Maneuvers (#3) in the process. Doink hits the Whoopie Cushion for the victory.
A promo video airs for next week's Shawn Michaels-British Bulldog match, narrated by Todd Pettengill with terrible stock metal music dubbed over top of whatever the original song was.

The Supreme Fighting Machine Kama takes on the unfortunately named Ken Raper, who is making his first appearance on Raw. Trust me, I would remember if he had been on before. To make matters worse, Vince is in the middle of talking about Kama's "Supreme Fighting Machine" nickname, saying that anyone calling himself that "best be willing to back it up" just as Raper's name flashes on the screen. Jim Cornette then notes Kama's strategy of demoralizing Raper by riding him and slapping him around. Kama hits a Nice Maneuver (#4), turning a hammerlock into a pinning combination. Uncomfortable word choices aside, Cornette wonders how Kama would fare against Mantaur, then promotes Tech War, coming up next on USA. Kama pummels Raper with strikes, taking time to mug for the camera and decry the poor competition. The situation seems ripe for an upset, but I somehow don't see chants of "Raper" catching on like the "1-2-3" chants from 1993. Kama locks in the STF, and "Raper wastes no time at all in submission."
More green-screen excitement ensues as Jim Cornette lambastes Lex Luger's scientific ability, noting the book written about Lex Luger called Great Wrestling Moves, the world's shortest book. A word with the British Bulldog yields nothing of note. The Toddster then talks about the following day's press conference, urging fans who can't be there in person to pay $1.49 a minute to listen to updates on the event. The Toddster signs off for the first time, ending the broadcast.

Final tally:

4 Maneuvers (Year total: 39)

No comments:

Post a Comment