Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Raw #112 - May 22nd, 1995

Shawn Michaels returns to the ring after being sort of powerbombed by Sid and then powerbombed twice again. His opponent: Sid's fellow Corporation member, King Kong Bundy. And in case fans don't buy into this as a grudge match, it's a King of the Ring qualifier now. Michaels-Bundy: this time, it's impersonal.
Vince and Jerry tell us that the Allied Powers will be in action, which shouldn't be something to advertise, and Bret Hart will be in the arena tonight. The Kwang and Mang Connection, otherwise known as Savio Vega and Razor Ramon, come down the aisle for Razor's match. The Bad Guy, who defeated Jacob Blu to qualify for the King of the Ring this weekend, faces Mike Bell. Savio helped even the odds against the Blue Twins, just as he evened the odds against the Roadie and Jeff Jarrett at In Your House, which will be available on August 9th on Coliseum Video. Be sure to buy it on day one, as everyone will want to get their hands on the three-month-old pay-per-view come release day. Vince announces that Razor is now the only three-time Intercontinental champion, having beaten Jeff Jarrett just last Friday at a house show (after Jarrett was too injured to climb the ladder and had to improvise a new finish). The King then corrects him, reminding him that Double J beat him right back for the title two days later in perhaps the most obscure town to ever see a WWF title change (Three Rivers, Quebec), making him a three-time champion as well. Not bad for a guy who earlier this month was only a one-time champion and who never dropped the belt to anyone on TV. All this, by the way, actually occurred after this Raw was taped, so the Razor Ramon in the ring tonight has neither won nor lost his third Intercontinental title yet.

Despite the mid-match massage,
Mike Bell would fail to earn a spot it The Clique.

As Razor locks up with Mike Bell, Savio, or as Lawler calls him, "Burrito Breath" looks on. Vega, by the way, is not from Mexico, but Puerto Rico, where burritos are not particularly popular. You would think that the King, who likes Puerto Ricans so much that he thinks "everybody ought to own one or two of them," would have a better grasp on the island's culture. Bell scores a takedown on Ramon and struts around the ring to celebrate. A series of hammerlocks and reversals ends with Razor slapping Bell across the face. Bell takes offense and delivers, uh, offense against Razor, only for the Bad guy to back him into the corner and chop him. After a series of classic Razor Ramon moves, such as the fallaway slam, STF, chokeslam, and belly-to-back superplex, Ramon finishes off his Five Moves of Doom with a Razor's Edge... or not. Instead he stands Bell up and derisively pushes him over, then pins him with one foot. All the while, Jerry Lawler makes fun of Bret Hart for having been an ugly baby.
As Savio and Razor walk back up the aisle, they are passed by bret Hart, who marches to the ring wearing his Sgt. Pepper jacket and jean shorts. And here I thought that Hart only started wearing jorts in 2010 because he was friends on-screen with John Cena. Bret comes down to wonder how in the hell he lost to a worthless little scum like Jerry Lawler (Hitman's words, not mine). He says he's gone through enough... stuff... (his words, again) to have a parasite maggot like Lawler saying that he's better than him. Bret demands one more match, of any kind, against the King so that he can destroy him once and for all (or, failing that, make him kiss his own feet). Jerry isn't taking the bait and tells Vince to tell Hart not to make a fool of himself again. This sets Hart off, causing him to stand right over Lawler and tell him that he's "lower than s***" before grabbing him by the collar and throttling him. Road agents Tony Garea and Rene Goulet pull Hart away before he gets an answer. This is a fascinating promo given the word choices employed by Hart, saying "damn," "hell," and "shit" in the same tirade as "butt" and "stuff." Sort of like how I was just now inconsistent with my censorship of the word, "shit."

Hunter Hearst Helmsley makes his Raw debut when the show returns, wrestling John Crystal. The American Blueblood struggles to escape a hammerlock until he reaches the ropes. Hunter gets revenge with "forearm uppercuts," which is what Vince calls European uppercuts. His lack of wrestling knowledge robs him of another chance to talk about snobbish Hunter is for using such an imported move. Helmsley finishes Crystal off in a hurry with a cutter, a Maneuver that would be his finisher until Diamond Dallas Page politely asked him to stop using it.
Mr. Backlund delivers his first campaign message, acknowledging that the plebeians have a lot of abomination for him but claiming that they also agree with his viewpoints, such as guaranteeing full employment for all citizens so that they can purchase dictionaries, demanding that every American read at least one classic American novel per week, and the banning of the spell check, calculators in schools, and summer vacation.

The In Your House fallout continues eight days after the event as Matt Pompacelli gets to fulfill his lifelong dream of meeting Stephanie Wiand. He also gets a house or something. Of course, it wouldn't be a housewarming without the Bushwhackers, who are hiding in the closet. I would make a gay joke about that, but Luke and Butch have licked each other for too many years for anyone to deny their total heterosexuality.
The Allied Powers take on the hideous jobber tag team of Bill Payne and Tony DeVito. Vince screams that Bret Hart is on his way to the ring right before break, which he laughs about after Raw returns. King is not amused. Bulldog lifts DeVito into the air for a delayed vertical suplex before tagging in Luger, who takes down the newly-tagged Bill Payne. Luger keeps Payne in a loooong armbar before tagging back out. Bulldog beats Payne with a running powerslam. As the Powers celebrate, Vince makes another false Bret Hart alarm, drawing the ire of Lawler.

We see a recap of last week's Diesel/Bam Bam/Million Dollar Corporation happenings, including a clearly not injured WWF champion as the WWF builds toward the future tag team confrontation with Tatanka and Sid. Also, the Toddster announces a Jeff Jarrett-Undertaker match next week for a spot in the King of the Ring tournament.
Kama, the Supreme Fighting Machine, faces Barry Horowitz. Both of these men would wrestle their one-on-one pay-per-view debuts at Summerslam 1995 (Kama having competed in the 1993 Rumble as Papa Shango and Horowitz having been one of Shawn Michaels's knights at Survivor Series 1993). Jerry Lawler dwells on the fact that Hart agreed to have any kind of match with him, wondering what kind of embarrassing stipulation he could employ. If I were King, I would forget about "embarrassing" and go for the sure thing that can only hurt Bret and not possibly backfire on Lawler. I'm thinking a "Loser Castrates Bret Hart" match. Kama locks Horowitz in a half crab. As a kid, I once saw in WWF magazine that listed under finishing moves, Kama had "an arsenal of them," and I assumed that this was the name of an actual move. Could this Boston crab variation be that dreaded "Arsenal of Them"?

Next out to the ring is fellow Corporation member King Kong Bundy, who hopes to earn a spot in the quarterfinals of the tournament, possibly facing Mabel in the semis. Fans cheer Shawn Michaels, who, as part of his recent face turn, has toned down his infuriating male stripper routine and George Michael beard. Ha! Just kidding. HBK is as skanktastic as always. Vince wonders whether Shawn is physically ready to compete, given that he suffered two and a half entire powerbombs a mere seven weeks ago.
The match gets started during the break. Michaels hits a flying body press to Bundy on the outside. Back in the ring, Bundy plays the big immobile oaf for Shawn to wrestle circles around. Michaels takes a short break for a photo op with Ted DiBiase before delivering a flying axe handle onto the "bo-hemoth." After Bundy whips HBK over the turnbuckles to the outside, Lawler speculates that Michaels is wrestling his last match, much like the NBA's Charles Barkley said he had played his last game (which he did... five years later). Bundy works over Michaels in the ring, even countering a sunset flip with a Maneuver (#2 - sitting on Shawn). Diesel and Bam Bam are seen watching the match on a backstage monitor, a practice that always confused me as a kid. Why aren't Bam Bam and Diesel suddenly watching themselves on the screen after the camera shifts to backstage?

During the break, Shawn launches a comeback consisting of "High Risk Maneuver [#3] after High-Risk Maneuver [#4]." A flying body press knocks the big man over, while a superkick (now Michaels's finisher and thus ultra-powerful) knocks him out cold for the pinfall. Diesel and Bam Bam come to the ring, with the champion offering his hand to the Boy Toy (for a handshake). Shawn is reluctant, then signals for Diesel to raise his totally un-injured arm up high. Shawn makes the leaping high-five, then hugs Big Daddy Cool while Bam Bam watches. Diesel celebrates with the two men who earned his friendship by getting beaten up by Sid.
Next week, Sid and Hakushi will each be in action. Vince wants an answer from Lawler about Bret Hart's challenge, but Lawler acts like he's choking and can't answer. Next week is also the qualifying match between the Undertaker (with Paul Bearer) and Jeff Jarrett (with The Roadie), a match promoted with a truly WWF 1995 composite photo.

Final tally:

4 Maneuvers (Year total: 90)

1 comment:

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