Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Raw #109 - May 1st, 1995

Vince and Jerry are at ringside in the flesh to open this taped edition of Monday Night Raw, perhaps marking the end of the brief but unfortunate era of green screen technology on Raw. Our opening match is the Allied Powers versus George Anderson and Ron Hagan, two jobbers who probably still make a better team than Davey Boy and Luger. For one thing, I bet you that Hagan won't accidentally powerslam his opponent on top of his own partner like Luger did at Wrestlemania. McMahon and Lawler discuss the events of yesterday's Action Zone, in which Bob Holly (filling in for the newly-injured 123 Kid) appeared to defeat Jeff Jarrett (who had his foot on the rope) for the Intercontinental Title. As a result, the title was vacated instead of just immediately restarting the match or returning the belt back to Jarrett.
Lex opens the match with a quick series of basic moves on Anderson, whom Lawler claims to have an associate degree in fire science. He must be really terrible if Vince didn't immediately sign him and saddle him with a firefighter gimmick. Davey Boy tags in, as does Hagan, who has borrowed his ring gear from Marty Jannetty. Hagan is no match for Smith, so he tags out to his own personal Shawn Michaels, George Anderson, who quickly falls prey to a running powerslam and is pinned by the Bulldog.
We see a highlights of yesterday's Action Zone, which proves the referee's decision to be even more baffling. First, Jarrett got the pin on Holly while putting his feet on the ropes for leverage, only for referee Tim White to run in and correct Earl Hebner. Thus, the match was restarted. Holly then pinned Double J, who got a foot on the rope once again, this time in hopes of breaking the pin. Hebner didn't see the foot once again and awarded Sparky Plugg the match and the Intercontinental Title. Again, Tim White rushed in to correct Hebner, while the new Intercontinental Champion wisely lefts ringside with the belt. Why couldn't Hebner just restart the match again like he did just a few minutes earlier under the same circumstances? Fortunately, Federation President Jack Tunney was able to make an executive decision and complicate the Intercontinental Title history yet again by holding it up for a week.
Talk about tainted victories.
You know how I said that this episode would be the end of Raw's "green screen era"? Alas, The King and Vince surely enough sit in front of pre-recorded spectators who pay no attention to the announcers supposedly just inches away.
The would-be Intercontinental Champion Bob Holly comes to the ring to face Butler Stevens, another wrestler with whom Vince would really miss the boat, never bringing him into the WWF to be Hunter Hearst Helmsley's butler (Stevens). The jobber gets in a bit of offense before whipping Holly to the corner, where the race car driver floats over him for a Nice Maneuver before scoop-slamming and hip-tossing him. Vince speculates that Razor Ramon will select Holly (who never would be Intercontinental Champion) to be his partner at In Your House, replacing the injured Kid. Lawler explains that Butler Stevens moonlights as a pest control man, making me wonder whether The King is just pitching new gimmicks to Vince right on the air. Holly wins with a High-Risk Maneuver (#2 - flying body press).
Todd Pettengill gives us the scoop on In Your House, which is 13 days away. The Toddster notes that the $14.95 charge costs less than a full tank of gas, which I imagine was a more impressive figure in 1995. Todd tells us that Jeff Jarrett and the Roadie were the ones responsible for the 123 Kid's off-screen neck injury, and so Razor Ramon is going to take the two on without a partner of his own in a handicap match at the PPV. That's a strange way of getting revenge, making things much easier for your opponents, but you can't argue with the Bad Guy, since Double J's Intercontinental Title will now be at stake. Right? Oh, sorry, I just assumed that since Razor could (and will) beat the champion and an extra opponent by himself, he deserves to get a shot at the title. Actually, Jarrett isn't technically the IC champion anymore, despite holding the belt in the picture.
Stan Lane narrates the promo for next week's Raw, announcing that Owen Hart and Bart Gunn, whose respective tag teams will face off at In Your House, would be wrestling "mano a mano," which is Spanish for "hand to hand," not "one on one." Doink faces possible Intercontinental champion Jeff Jarrett, as well.

We hear the sound of a cow mooing, which indicates that Mantaur is wrestling. Had the theme music begun with pigs oinking, it would have meant that Henry Godwinn was on his way to the ring. The WWF really could have capitalized on all these barnyard gimmicks with a "See 'n' Say" animal sounds toy of their own. Mantaur's opponent is Sonny Rodgers, whom he quickly charges at and plows into the corner, lifting him with his two stiff arms as if they were horns. Rodgers nearly scores an upset with a school boy pin after Mantaur misses another charge into the corner. Mantaur continues to manhandle (or Mantaurhandle) his opponent as Vince announces that WWF Mania with Stephanie Wiand and Todd Pettengill will be held from the very house in Orlando being given away at In Your House. If that's not enough reason to want that house, you must be more of a Sean Mooney fan or something. Mantaur gets the win with a powerslam.
Nicholas Turturro, of whom we thought we had seen that last at Wrestlemania XI, is back for another vignette promoting Man Mountain Rock. The NYPD Blue cop can't understand how Man Mountain Rock can be both a wrestler and a rock-and-roller at the same time. He never once asked Paul Bearer during his interrogation how he could be both a mortician and a wrestling manager. Turturro really must have no idea what to make of the WWF in 1995, come to think of it, with all its wrestling pirates, race car drivers, country singers, clowns, hog farmers, and soon, dentists and teachers. Rock eventually proves himself by rocking out on the electric guitar and then beating up Nicholas. How did I never cheer this guy when he wrestled on Superstars?
Sid, who has still not been officially tagged as "Psycho" (or "Sycho"), faces Razor Ramon, attacking the Bad Guy before the bell during Razor's pyro. Sid powerbombs Ramon before the match even starts, then powerbombs him once more while the referee politely suggests that he stop doing that Diesel then arrives to rescue another Sid victim (too late, just like Shawn and Bam Bam), leading Sid to walk away. Well, there goes tonight's only non-squash match.
Adam Bomb shows off his fabulous Randy Orton-style pose while his fans show off their foam nuclear missiles (which I imagine sell poorly in Japan). Dave Sigfrid is Bomb's designated victim tonight. Once again, Vince drops the ball, never inviting Sigfrid to team up with fellow jobber Raymond Roy as flamboyant magicians. Adam Bomb faces Mabel at In Your House in a King of the Ring qualifying match, the first step in Mabel's legendary run as King of the World Wrestling Federation. Bomb hits a Nice Maneuver (#3 - headlock takeover) to put his opponent to the ground. Sigfrid nearly scores the upset with a flying body press, which Bomb rolls through to score a near-fall before putting Sigfrid in another headlock. I think Orton copied more than just Adam's pose.  Bomb then levels Dave with multiple clotheslines, then hits a flying clothesline to put him away. Adam Bomb, the creation of devastation, celebrates his win by tossing mini-nukes into the audience.
Backstage, a dazed Razor Ramon is surrounded by Diesel, both Hebners, Tony Garea, and Rene Goulet. Ray Rougeau tells us in his most stilted English that somebody has to stop Sid.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley gives us a brief word on civility. So brief, in fact, that I can repeat it verbatim right here: "Ah, think of it! Civility. Are you listening? I don't think so."

Mabel then demonstrates that he is even worse at rapping without Oscar. Men on a Mission's opponents tonight are Kevin Kruger and Bill Duke. Kruger almost gets squashed by a Mabel butt splash, but moves out of the way for the first-ever Good Maneuver (#4) in Raw history, saving his own life in the process. He tags in Bill Duke, with whom he double-dropkicks Mabel to no effect. Mo tags in and puts Duke in a chinlock. Vince notes that "Whoomp there it is" is written on Mo's "sizable derriere" (although sans Oscar, they don't rap that song anymore, thus reducing their repertoire by approximately 100%). Mo DDTs Duke, but pulls him up repeatedly before the three count, prolonging the match to Vince's dismay. MOM double-teams Duke with a corner splash, allowing Mabel to hit a belly-to-belly for the pin.
The announcers are back at ringside (for real this time) to run down next week's card. Bret Hart comes to ringside to address Lawler's challenge for In Your House. The Hitman says that Lawler is a liar for claiming that Hitman ducked the King by accepting Hakushi's challenge, then vows to beat Lawler after beating Hakushi, wrestling multiple matches in one night, something he has never done except for King of the Ring 1993, Summerslam 1993, Royal Rumble 1994, and Wrestlemania X.

Final Tally:

4 Maneuvers (Year total: 77)

No comments:

Post a Comment