Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Raw #118 - July 3rd, 1995

Sid and Bam Bam Bigelow face off tonight in a battle of the dissapointing big men whose careers would be sabotaged by the Clique! Jerry Lawler is back on tonight's episode (which was taped right after the previous episode). Jerry is carrying around a bottle of Scope, still selling his foot-kissing injuries. He promises another visit to the offices of Dr. Isaac Yankem (pronounced, YAN-kəm) tonight. Lawler takes a big swig of Scope and swallows it after promising that his dentist would "extract" revenge on the Hitman.
The 123 Kid comes to the ring for his first match since that "devastating neck injury," as Vince puts it. His opponent is Mike Bell. Vince reminds Lawler that one isn't supposed to drink mouthwash, but gargle with it. At least he doesn't make the King wear a shirt reading, "Do you spit or swallow?" The Kid is in control of Bell until running into his boot in the corner, prompting McMahon to borrow a page from Gorilla Monsoon's book (who in turn was borrowing from Jackie Gleason) and note the foot delivered right to the kisser. Bell, who is wearing a candy-striped singlet out of the Virgil Job-Wear collection, scores a near-fall as Vince sings the words on one fan's sign: "Yummy yummy yummy, I've got toe jam in my tummy." The Kid bounces back with a kick, countering a flapjack by Bell. He attempts a Dangerous Maneuver (#1) over the ropes onto Bell, but instead hesitates and executes a silla from the ring apron to the outside. After a few kicks, Kid pins Bell with an Oklahoma roll. Lawler references Freddie Blassie, calling The Kid, "the original pencil-necked geek."

We get some hype for the upcoming In Your House pay-per-view in Nashville, followed by Jeff Jarrett's debut music video, "With My Baby Tonight." In retrospect, it's obvious that it's the Roadie singing, but he had gotten little to no mic time up to this point, so no one would notice in 1995. This fact was supposed to be the catalyst for a feud between Jarrett and the Roadie, including a match at Summerslam, but both men would leave the WWF right after the upcoming In Your House.
Bob Holly wrestles the Brooklyn Brawler, who tonight is wearing a Perry Saturn-style hat. Vince announces Jerry Lawler's new 1-800-HALITOSIS phone number, which is shockingly left intact on this WWE re-release. Normally, whenever there's a phone number, the commentary gets muted and the umber gets blurred out. I guess 1-800-HALITOSIS is still active. Speaking of which, viewers have the opportunity to get the inside scoop on possible lumberjacks for Sid at In Your House. A flying head scissors by Holly out of the corner is a Nice Maneuver (#2), while a flying body press pins the Brawler.

A clip from Superstars shows the first-ever "slopping" by Henry Godwinn, whose victim was Adam Bomb. Both men were counted out, but the Arkansas hog farmer emptied the contents of his slop bucket (consisting of leftovers from catering) onto the man from Three-Mile Island. "I've heard of being slimed before," says Vince, "but I've never heard of being slopped," making fans wonder what Nickelodeon would be like if it were run by Godwinn. Adam Bomb would get his revenge in a big program against Godwinn that would culminate in a high-profile match at Summerslam. Nope, just kidding! Bomb would do nothing of note in the WWF after this.
Godwinn is in action tonight, as well, facing Barry Horowitz, who, along with the previously seen Mike Bell and Brooklyn Brawler, is part of an all-star cast of jobbers on tonight's Raw. Lawler says that Vince's "buddy Doc Rivers calls him, 'Barry Horrible-witz.'" "Doc Rivers? Doc Rivers!?" responds Vince. Jerry then denies saying, "Doc Rivers" and insists he said, "Dok Hendrix." To this day, whenever I hear that basketball player-turned LA Clippers coach mentioned on TV, I indignantly exclaim, "Doc Rivers!?" My brother and I are the only two people in the world who understand what I'm talking about. Godwinn levels Horowitz with a "devastating clothesline" as Vince speculates that he has a future in the Million Dollar Corporation. Horowitz gets a chance to shine briefly after dodging a corner splash, but soon falls victim to the slop drop. Vince issues the following commentary on the ensuing pinfall: "That should do it. A cover and... a kick-out?! No." After years of declaring matches over when the wrestlers clearly kicked out, Vince finally does the opposite and calls a kick-out when there is clearly none forthcoming.

As Softball Sid comes to ringside for his match with Mr. Heat Miser, Henry Godwinn hangs around and gets a signal from Ted DiBiase. Could they be in cahoots? Well, two months later, the hog farmer would lose to Sid to give the Corporation its very first pay-per-view victory of 1995 and it's highly possible Godwinn took a dive. Well, I mean, a kayfabe dive. Everyone in wrestling takes actual dives. Anyway, the hog farmer leaves ringside as Vince rambles on about Ted investing in "hog futures" on the commodities market.
Bam Bam enters as Vince gives a bit of revisionist history about the Beast from the East, claiming that he had been part of DiBiase's Corporation until he quit. "Quit?!" says Lawler. "He was fired!" It's true, he was. Godwinn, who has been taking his sweet time walking to the back, gets into a confrontation with Bigelow in the aisle. Whenever Bam Bam wants to walk past him, Godwinn steps that way and blocks him. Walk the other way? Same thing happens. Godwinn shoves Bam Bam, which is quite an overreaction, as this sort of thing happens to me all the time, and it rarely results in a fistfight.

Sid puts Bam Bam in a corner, which, aside from being an allusion to Dirty Dancing, is also a Nice Maneuver (#3). Sid punches Bam Bam "right in the kisser," sending him to the canvas (and not to the moon, Alice). Bigelow recovers to shoulder-block the WWF's own Sultan of Swat. Bam Bam then attempts a top-rope headbutt, but gets distracted by DiBiase and lured to the outside, where he is pummeled with kicks "to the abdominal area" by Sid. Back in the ring, Bigelow gets totally flattened (which, given his girth, is no easy task) with a boot to the face.
After the commercial, Sid has Bam Bam locked in a rest hold until they both get word that the commercial break is over, at which point Bam Bam stands up out of the camel clutch to drop Sid with an electric chair, a Tremendous Maneuver (#4). It looks like Sid hit his elbow pretty hard on that bump; hope he doesn't have to have fake surgery with Dr. James Andrews! Sid quickly shifts the momentum with a boot to the face and the worst chokeslam this side of Undertaker-Hogan 2002. Bam Bam counters the powerbomb with a back body drop, then mounts the top rope for a diving headbutt, only for Henry Godwinn to run down to the ring and push him off. Sid then makes a cover for the pinfall. After the bell, Sid hits a powerbomb on the same man he couldn't get a decent chokeslam out of. The powerbomb isn't any good, either. It's as if Bigelow's feet hit against a very low cage ceiling and kept Sid from lifting him any higher.

Waylon Mercy makes his debut tonight. Vince explains his character as a creepy pseudo-gentleman who pretends to be polite. His opponent is Jeff Hardy, the fourth high-profile jobber of the night. Hardy would end up winning the WWE title, while Horowitz would wrestle on two pay-per-views this year, the Brawler would once pin Triple H, and Mike Bell... would get pummeled by Perry Saturn after dropping him on his head.  Mercy shakes hands with referee Mike Chioda, then Jeff Hardy.
After the commercial, the match gets under way, with Mercy wearing a snappy all-white ensemble (not like a college a capella group; I mean an ensemble of clothes). Bray Wyatt really needs to emulate Mercy more closely on this point. Vince calls Jeff, "one of the original Hardy Boys," causing my brother and I much confusion as kids. Were Matt and Jeff famous as a duo before showing up to job on WWF TV? Were there later Hardy boys added to the stable? Or is Vince talking about the juvenile mystery novels about the brothers who catch smugglers? For the record, those Hardy Boys were named Frank and Joe, and they first appeared in 1927. Either Jeff is about 80 years old right here, or Vince is full of crap. After another kick to the "abdominal area," this time by Waylon Mercy, Lawler reads promo copy for the Star Wars trilogy on USA. Vince announces that America would be turning 219 years old the next day, but Jerry thinks he's talking about Helen Hart. Mercy starts rubbing his opponent's nose in the canvas as if Hardy had just peed on the ring (which he surprisingly managed not to do at Victory Road 2011). He then hits a leg drop on his fellow all-white-clad opponent, followed by a brutal brainbuster. He then slaps a sleeper hold on Jeff Hardy and gets a maniacal look on his face. Mercy wins when the referee calls for the bell. Mercy makes sure to shake Chioda's hand again. It would have been interesting to see Mercy and the earliest incarnation of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin interact in the WWF.

Next we see another visit by Jerry Lawler to the offices of Dr. Isaac Yankem, where Muzak plays very loudly. At least WWE didn't see fit to dub this dentist's office scene with that same metal crap they use in these old episodes to drown out licensed music... or just ruin vignettes that didn't have any music in them to begin with. Lawler chides the little boy there for reading a National Geographic magazine with nude pictures of native women. Someone's got to keep these kids' brains from being warped, even if he is dressed in tights and a crown in a dentist's waiting room. A man covers his mouth in pain as he leaves the office, prompting Lawler to tell the child, "That's what happens if you don't open wide." No, that last quote is not in the transcript from Lawler's 1993 indictment. Finally, Yankem himself appears, curly blonde mullet and all.
Next week Savio Vega and the Roadie will each be in action against jobbers, and the Allied Powers will take on Tatanka and Henry Godwinn, but you should really watch this episode anyway, please. Please! Before Raw goes off the air, we see a replay of Sid's crappy powerbomb to Bam Bam.

Final tally:

4 Maneuvers (Year total: 115)

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