Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Raw #108 - April 24th, 1995

Bam Bam Bigelow gets a chance at redemption (and the WWF title) when he takes on Diesel tonight in what may be Bam Bam's only televised WWF title shot ever. If you have a vague recollection of the title's history, you can guess the outcome of tonight's match. Tonight's episode comes live from Omaha, marking the first time the uncensored, uncut, and uncooked action has emanated from Nebraska.
Former tag team champions The Smoking Gunns battle the all-star jobber team of the Brooklyn Brawler and Barry Horowitz. Meanwhile, six male fans in attendance have their shirts off to reveal letters spelling, "WWF RAW." Thanks to digital scrambling by WWE to cover up the initials, "WWF," it looks like the third guy from the left has a physique so embarrassing it has to be censored. Barry Horowitz opens things up with a Nice Maneuver (#1 - shoulder block), but gets knocked over with a (the best) dropkick (in the business). Both men tag in their partners, allowing Bart to slide through the Brawler's legs for a Nice Maneuver (#2) of his own before working over Lombardi and tagging Billy back in. Jerry Lawler complains about the fact that Owen & Yokozuna accepted the Gunns' challenge and Diesel accepted Bam Bam's for tonight, but Bret Hart has refused Jerry Lawler's. Vince points out that Bret had already signed on to face Hakushi at In Your House before Lawler issued his challenge, and it's not like you can have two Bret Hart matches on the same pay-per-view. After all, people are paying good money to see Mabel advance to the King of the Ring tournament, and the WWF is not about to bump him due to time constraints. The Gunns pick up the win with the reverse 3D that the Dudley Boyz would use sometimes.

We cut to backstage, where Bam Bam speaks with a black eye. He doesn't talk to the black eye, he just has it as he tells Ted DiBiase that he's going to win the title tonight. Vince asks about the shiner, but Bigelow blows him off (verbally). The announcers then speak with Diesel, who cuts one of his trademarked relaxed promos, possibly while soaking his toes in a foot bath.
Bertha Faye, the woman in facepaint who attacked Alundra Blayze a few weeks ago, comes to the ring with her new manager Harvey Wippleman for her first match, taking on a rare female jobber, La Pantera Serena. Rhonda Singh went from "monster on the warpath" to "comedic fat white trash" after just one TV taping. Lawler compares Wippleman to Tom Arnold (meaning Faye is Roseanne), which is about the extent of the gimmick's concept. Serena tries to knock over the larger Faye, while Jerry tells us that Bertha lives in a double-side trailer in Wallace, Mississippi near Bruno. That's USWA talk, King. This is the WWF, and he's Harvey Wippleman. Pantera Serena then proceeds to botch a body press on Faye, landing on Bertha's knee while Vince points out the "lack of communication." Why should they be communicating, Vince? They're opponents! Bertha counters a sunset flip by sitting on her opponent, leading Vince and Jerry to weasel in a Duckman promo. The fans cheer as Serena chops Faye, but this is 1995 WWF, where only two women are allowed in the women's division at a time, so the unknown from Mexico gets press-slammed and pinned, never to be seen again.

The Toddster plugs the great value of the $14.95 In Your House pay-per-view, which he claims is less expensive than most movie popcorn. He must mean movie popcorn in the year 2050, not adjusted for inflation. Todd's podium, by the way, has a ring post and even some turnbuckles hanging off it. Sadly, this is the closest the WWF would ever come to bringing back those motorized carts with ropes and turnbuckles from Wrestlemanias 3 and 6. Another novelty in this In Your House report? Pettengill's new nickname for Diesel, "His Coolness." In keeping with the "house" theme of this pay-per-view, all the wrestlers' names are written on a CGI mailbox for each match, which, when you consider all the slanting and perspective shifts applied to the words, is quite a feat for the MS Paint program the graphics department was probably using. We find out about a tag match that won't exactly happen involving Razor & The 123 Kid and Jeff Jarrett & The Roadie. Sid cuts a promo with an extreme close-up on his face. Thanks goodness this episode predates HD television. Sid inadvertently quotes Garth Brooks, claiming to have "friends in low places," I suppose referring to Bigelow. I wonder if he actually thinks that's the expression, instead of "friends in high places."
Diesel, whom Vince claims is suffering from nine-hour jet lag after returning from Germant, steps into the ring with Bam Bam. Lawler talks about LT having been trained by Diesel, which he compares to attending the Vince McMahon School of Broadcasting. Nonsense! The McMahon school would involve way more maneuvers than a Kevin Nash training center. Diesel scoops up Bam Bam in the early minutes, which could have been saved for a special Bigelow Stars & Stripes Challenge on July 4th. His Coolness scores a near-fall after a clothesline, but Bam Bam pulls the champion out of the ring to punish him with the ring post.

Both men collide and knock noggins after Raw returns from break. Ted DiBiase is anxious bring a title into the Million Dollar Corporation, which of course would never end up happening. Diesel suplexes Bam Bam over head to score another two-count. Bigelow responds in kind. This is one of those rare times when a Diesel or Bigelow vertical suplex looks convincing, considering that big men usually end up breaking the fall of their much smaller opponents when doing such moves. Tatanka wanders to ringside as Bam Bam holds Diesel in a front facelock, which the champion escapes with a belly-to-back suplex. Tatanka punches Diesel while the referee's back is turned, possibly for Big Daddy Cool taking his spot in WWF Raw for Super NES and Genesis.
When Raw returns, Diesel Irish whips Bigelow, leading Tatanka to trip his own stablemate by accident(?). Maybe Tatanka is Sid's friend in a low place, saving Sid's title shot at In Your House. Diesel capitalizes with a jackknife to pick up the win. Good thing this all happened right after the show went back on the air! Ted DiBiase then steps into the ring with Tatanka to berate Bigelow for losing three big matches in a row at the Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, and tonight. "Nobody embarrasses the Corporation or the Million Dollar Man a third time," says DiBiase, temporarily forgetting Nikolai Volkoff or pretty much his entire victory-aversed stable. Ted then tells Bigelow he's fired and slaps him, leading Tatanka to attack the Beast from the East. Bigelow throws the Native American out of the ring, then grabs the mic to tell DiBiase, "You can't fire me, I quit!" Nice try, Bam Bam, but you already got fired. Now prepare for a six month run as a neutered babyface. IRS then shocks the world by still being employed by the WWF, then joining forces with Tatanka and then Sid to demolish Bam Bam. No King Kong Bundy, though. I have a feeling we're not going to see him on this episode or any other episode filmed at this taping. Big Daddy Cool then rushes in (a little late) to clear the ring and further establish himself as the all-around good guy who will come to the rescue of anybody that Sid beats up.

Next week, Razor Ramon faces Sid, whose American Express Card is displayed for the world to see. Don't try stealing his credit card number, though, as it expired September 1999.
Aldo Montoya comes to the ring to cheesy "tropical" music that may have come from the Weekend at Bernie's 2 Soundtrack. I'm pretty sure I've made that joke before, but that's the first thing that popped into my head when I heard the Man-o-War's theme song, so I stand by that comparison. Aldo is sporting short braids that make it look like... well, just remember that his mask already looks like a jock strap anyway, so fill in your own joke. His opponent tonight is the Black Phantom, played by David "Gangrel" Heath. Jerry Lawler sends out a get-well-soon message to Helen Hart, who recently burned herself while trying to iron the wrinkles out of her face. Vince plugs the WWF Hotline, which you can call for a mere $1.49 per minute to hear the inside scoop on Bam Bam. Aldo takes the Phantom down with a Nice Maneuver (#3 - flying body press). He soon follows up with a very similar Nice Maneuver (#4), launching blind off the second rope to take down the Black Phantom with a bulldog for the three-count.

We are then introduced to Hunter Hearst Helmsley, who refuses to comment. We then see Bam Bam and Diesel shake hands, which took place after their match during the commercial, and Jerry Lawler complains about Bret ducking his open challenge for In Your House. Next week's Raw comes to you taped from Omaha, Nebraska, but the announcers won't mention that.

Final tally:

4 Maneuvers (all Nice) (Year total: 73)

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