Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Raw #114 - June 5th, 1995

Footage from Bob Backlund's campaign rally earlier today airs to kick off Raw. Mr. Backlund calls the crowd "lazy" and "infamous individuals" who need an education. I'm used to people misusing the word, "infamous," but not like this. Tonight, Owen Hart faces the British Bulldog in the "last" qualifying match for the King of the Ring (in a match taped 22 days earlier at In Your House. Also, Savio Vega wrestles his first non-Kwang match tonight, while the Bodydonnas debut as well. And don't forget about Jean Pierre Lafitte, whom Jerry Lawler is rooting for based solely on his name: LaFeet. That's because Bret Hart accepted Lawler's challenge this weekend to a "Kiss My Foot" match.
Savio Vega faces Kenny Kendall, who attacks him before the bell. Vega quickly gets the upper hand, though, whipping him into the corner and mounting the ropes for ten punches as Jerry lawler notes Savio's haircut, which features his own name and a WWF logo shaved into the back of his head. As Kendall turns the tables and slugs away at Vega in the corner, Lawler says, "Let's talk about Kenny Kendall!" They don't. Kendall gets whipped to the ropes but doesn't get enough elevation for Vega to hit a side slam, so the Caribbean Legend just drops his opponent and kicks him. Vega makes Kendall submit to an octopus hold.

Diesel is not here tonight because he is "convalescing"... and also he is in New York with fellow surgery patient Alundra Blayze at a USA Network function. Could the whole injury angle just be an excuse to keep Diesel off TV for the next few weeks due to him missing the TV taping? Expect someone to cite this article on Wikipedia as proof that Nash was only kayfabe-injured. A special Diesel "music video" consisting of clips of him jackknifing people to the tune of his own theme (the second, bluesy one, not the one that's just truck noises). It also includes footage of him giving a big high five to Shawn Michaels just one week before we found out that that very arm was so very, very injured. Sid and Tatanka threaten to hospitalize both Diesel and Bam Bam at the King of the Ring.
Bodydonna Skip is seen jogging up and down the stairs as a warm-up for his big debut match against Barry Horowitz while Sunny explains that tonight will be "no sweat." New York-area fans are probably confused as to why WWF Live Events reporter Tamara Murphy is calling herself, "Sunny" now.

These body-conscious prima donnas (or "Boddy Donnas," for short) make their way to the ring while Barry Dadinksi hocks WWF merchandise. Skip pokes him in the belly, but unfortunately this entire exchange is omitted from the WWE re-release. It's too bad, too, because I can't find those Backlund for President buttons anywhere. Sunny cuts a short promo on all the "fat, out of shape, sorry excuses for human beings" in the Struthers, Ohio audience, showing more personality and charisma than Sable showed cleavage. It's too bad that she is also showing as much cleavage as Sable ever showed personality and charisma, which is to say none. Vince calls them the WWF's answer to Tony Little and Susan Powder. I don't know about that. Did Skip ever blow Lanny Poffo's mind (while being gentle on his credit card) while riding a piece of exercise equipment? Skip hits an arm drag takedown (nicely done), then showboats with jumping jacks, only for Barry to unleash a flurry of offense. Vince wonders if this could be the first match Horowitz ever wins. Barry kicks the bottom rope in front of Sunny and tells her to shut up, drawing a huge pop from the crowd. This could very well be the moment when Vince would decide to pull the trigger on Horowitz's long-awaited first victory and an ensuing angle with the Donnas. Skip turns things around, figuratively and literally, with a gutwrench suplex. Horowitz nearly pins Skip with a Lou Thesz press, but Skip quickly regains momentum, finishing off Horowitz with a leg drop off the top rope.
We now go to "another location" (Syracuse, New York) to see Davey Boy Smith face Owen Hart for the final King of the RIng spot. This match, taped the same night as In Your House, was left off the PPV card in favor of another qualifying match, Mabel vs Adam Bomb. The winner of this match faces Razor Ramon, unless he gets injured somehow. Jim Ross and Gorilla Monsoon announce this "Battle of the Brother-in-Laws," a match as scientifically sound as it is grammatically unsound. They wonder whether Davey Boy will be the third consecutive Hart family member to win the crown. Bulldog works over Owen with arm bars interspersed with power moves, even launching Hart into the air with a monkey flip (and a beauty!). Nothing goes right for Owen, who whips the Bulldog into the turnbuckle only to miss a shoulder charge and ram himself right into the steel post. Bulldog lifts Owen for a delayed vertical suplex and drops him down for a two-count. Monsoon praises both men's endurance, a quality that is absolutely necessary to win the tournament. That's why someone like Mabel will never win it. Owen finally shifts the momentum with a knee to the midsection while Bulldog runs the ropes. Jim Ross apologizes for the upcoming commercial break; because this match is shown on TV, it has a big chunk taken out of the middle which will never be seen, while Mabel vs. Adam Bomb is freely available online in its entirety.

Owen down Bulldog with a spinning heel kick, but Smith kicks out of a jackknife pin. The announcers stress the urgency of this match, which has less than five minutes left in the time limit. Owen locks Bulldog in a sleeper, but Davey Boy holds his arm up to prevent the referee from calling the match. Davey hits a belly-to-back suplex to put both men on the mat. Bulldog scores a two-count with a sunset flip, while Owen hits an enziguiri for another two-count. Bulldog drops Owen with a fisherman's suplex, which Owen escapes at the last second because it's not the Perfect Plex. Bulldog then executes a surfboard, but the referee starts pinning Smith's own shoulders down, forcing him to break the hold. Owen puts his foot on the ropes after a running powerslam, then kicks out of a small package and a crucifix pin. The two exchange small packages like it's Boxing Day, then Owen puts Bulldog in a backslide pin, but the bell rings before the pin can be counted, leading to a time-limit draw. Vince wonders what decision President Jack Tunney will reach about the last remaining spot in the tournament.
Next, we see "footage" of Jerry Lawler in his court, along with his knights and servants, bragging about what kind of terrible shape his feet will be in come the Kiss My Foot match. Unfortunately, WWE has absolutely ruined the segment on the re-release, dubbing that same metal instrumental over top what is supposed to be a regal promo, albeit one about corns, calluses, and hammertoes.

Bret Hart comes to the ring for an interview with Vince McMahon, who has left the announce table and left Lawler alone on commentary. With Jerry on split screen, he starts reaching under the table to undo something. He then tells the cameraman to zoom in while he shows him "something special." Fortunately, it's just his foot. Bret talks about not being able to live down his loss to Jerry Lawler, but no one watching at home is paying attention because of King's one-man foot show. Bret decides to dedicate this match to his whole family (except Owen, presumably), then vows to make Jerry Lawler kiss the King's own feet somehow.
Jean Pierre Lafitte, whom Vince accidentally calls, "Pierre" before correcting himself, is in the ring with Jerry Flynn. Lafitte hits the first Maneuver of the night via a running shoulderblock. Flynn responds with a Maneuver  (#2) of his own, a wristlock-turned-roundhouse kick. Mr. J.F. delivers a series of quick kicks, but is soon tossed over the tope rope. Lafitte then hits a Maneuver (#3 - somersault plancha) over the top rope. Pierre hits Le Cannonball, which is mostly missed by the cameras, for a victory. Vince reads an urgent message from Jack Tunney setting up another KOTR qualifying match, this time between Owen and Bulldog's respective partners, Yokozuna and Lex Luger. This was the main event of Summerslam two years ago, and now it's merely a stepping stone to get into a tournament that Kama qualified for by beating a garbage man.

Jerry Lawler promises training footage next week for his match at King of the Ring. Let's just hope there's no metal music dubbed over top of it. We now get a word from Bob Backlund, who is still campaigning outside the arena, flashlight in his face, even though everyone has long since left to see Raw. Upon learning that Man Mountain Rock would be at Raw next week, Mr. Backlund vows to be at Raw next week as well because of the "[ca]cophany" that Rock's music has caused.
The Toddster narrates a recap of Yokozuna and Lex Luger's feud in the form of a series of video clips that the guys in the production truck must have put together in a few minutes, given that the Luger-Yoko match was only announced five minutes earlier. I guess Todd Pettengill is just narrating the thing live. They make sure to show Yokozuna beating 1995 WCW's world champion Hulk Hogan. You'll recall that after Lex felled Yokozuna with a bodyslam (hiplock!), he embarked on the Lex Express bus tour around the country, even getting his own music video and inspirational song, "I'll Be Your Hero," which of course has been dubbed over and replaced with that same music that WWE uses for everything in their 1995 archival footage. It's a shame, because the music video and Todd Pettengill's narration (no, seriously) really put this match over as an important milestone for Lex Luger and a possible turning point in his career, but with the metal track being blasted over top of everything, you lose the whole "big match" feel. Instead of creating the possibility of redemption for Luger, it sounds like he's getting psyched up to beat the crap out of somebody, possibly while shaking his head up and down and giving the international sign of rock.

Final tally:

3 Maneuvers (Year total: 96)

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad the WWEN Raws got rid of the metal overdub from the WWEClassics.com Raws, and re-added the KOTR reports and such. You missed Todd's haircut!