Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Raw #104 - March 27th, 1995

It's that time of year again! Time for a throwaway episode of Raw. Back in the day, it was standard practice for the Raw before a big pay-per-view (especially Wrestlemania) to be a clip show to hype up the event. In 2013, WWE has the "go home" show; in 1995, the WWF had the "go away" show.
Jim Ross and Gorilla Monsoon sit in an announce booth in front of a green screen to explain the evening's program, including a Bret vs. Owen no-holds-barred match. They they bring us via split screen to Vince McMahon and Todd Pettengill, sitting in-studio at WWF headquarters, perhaps in an entirely different room from JR and Monsoon. Vince praises this year's big pay-per-view event as "unquestionably the greatest Wrestlemania of them all." Or maybe he said, "of the mall," which would be true, considering that the terrible Wrestlemania XI would be the first to be held in a shopping complex.

Todd Pettengill summarizes the history of Shawn Michaels and Diesel's feud, describing what Diesel has been up to since winning the WWF title from Bob Backlund. I never knew that Nash got a Slim Jim Deal, but I do remember him being part of MTV's Rock and Jock softball game. All of a sudden, Sycho Sid's involvement makes so much more sense; the vicious one resents Big Daddy Cool for just waltzing into his sport, much like Bam Bam resents LT. We also get to see Shawn arguing with a cardboard cutout of Diesel, which is substantially more flexible than the real thing. Vince tries in vain to convince fans that Diesel is the underdog (given Sycho Sid's presence at ringside) in an effort to keep the seven-footer from looking like a bully. Todd explains all the cool Wrestlemania-related activities occurring on Prodigy this week.
"TK" stands for Themis Klarides, the WWF's token attorney/bikini model.
Salt 'n' Pepa appear in a short vignette promoting their performance at Wrestlemania to the confusion of anyone who has only seen the WWE re-release of the event, which has their music removed for copyright purposes.

We get a run-down of the Bam Bam-LT feud and get a rather irrelevant word with Reggie White. A change in camera angle gives us a glimpse of the Toddster's ponytail mullet as he and Vince discuss which opponent has more to lose in this match. Bam Bam. The answer is Bam Bam Bigelow.
Jim Ross has a word "backstage" with Bob Backlund, who may "procure" the chicken wing on Bret Hart in his match with Owen tonight.
Vince compares himself and Todd to Siskel & Ebert or Beavis & Butthead, to which Todd takes offense. True, Todd's pony tail may make him look like a horse's ass, but that doesn't mean he's a butthead. The Undertaker tells another butthead (Vince's words, not mine), King Kong Bundy, to rest in peace. Bret Hart vows to his brother Owen tonight to kick his butt (out of his butt).
In tonight's main (and only event), Owen Hart gets the jump on Bret as the Hitman enters the ring. Bret quickly takes control, hammering away on his younger brother. The elder Hart plants the Rocket with a DDT, which once upon a time was a finishing move. Jake Roberts isn't the WWF anymore, so why not just go nuts? The fight spills behind the entranceway curtain, then comes back into the sight of the live audience. Gorilla wonders why either man would agree to such a match so close to Wrestlemania, although he refrains from using the phrase, "a match of this magnitude." He does, however, demand to be given a break not once, but twice, the second time when Owen rakes his brother's face to escape a backbreaker. Owen shifts the momentum in his favor, even nailing the Hitman with an enziguiri to the "external occipital protuberance area." He then whips the former WWF champion into the rails at ringside as Raw goes to commercial.

Raw returns, and Owen hangs Bret in the tree of woe, choking him upside down with his boot. The King of Harts removes the turnbuckle padding from the opposite corner, but gets his own head smashed into the steel when Bret puts the brakes on. Owen thwarts a sharpshooter attempt with an eye gouge, then whips Bret into the exposed turnbuckle in the patented Hitman sternum-first corner bump. Owen attempts a front dropkick off the top rope, which Bret dodges... sort of. The Hitman still takes one boot to the face, but no-sells it, slingshotting Owen from the mat to the turnbuckle before locking him in a sharpshooter for the submission victory. Bret refuses to release the hold, which, this being a no-DQ match, he is not obligated to do.
We see a vignette which is dubbed over with that terrible stock metal music that WWE puts on all the 1995 Raw re-releases, which is especially hilarious considering that it's a promo from Jonathan Taylor Thomas. Hardcore! Bam Bam cuts a promo on LT calling him to a squirrel trying to get a nut. At least it's better than his mixed metaphor from Sunday Night Slam, where he proclaimed that "this Easter Egg" (LT's disparaging name for the Beast from the East) was going to set him on fire. Bigelow vows to make LT a BLT. That is, turn him into dead meat, not actually make a sandwich for the retired football player. Don't forget to catch a special live edition of WWF Mania, broadcasting from Fan Fest in Hartford with hosts Todd Pettengill and Stephanie Wyann. Also, I understand that there is some kind of wrestling card going on Sunday night, but it's probably not that important.

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