Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Raw #120 - July 17th, 1995

Shawn Michaels aims to slap the taxman across the face in this last televised match of IRS's. But first, the tag team championship combination of Yokozuna and Owen Hart make their way to the ring for a warm-up match before their title defense against the Allied Powers. If you'll recall that Lex Luger never won a title in the WWF, you can pretty well guess how that match turns out. Their opponents tonight are Jim Dimitri and Gus Kantarrakis. "Sounds like a law firm," says Jim Cornette at ringside. "Who are these two jokes?"
The two attorneys are sporting matching ill-fitting blue singlets. After Owen Hart spends the first few minutes in the ring, then tags in Yokozuna to split Kantarrakas's wishbone (i.e. crotch). Yoko hits a legdrop on Gus and quickly tags back out, allowing Owen to win with the sharpshooter.

Jean-Pierre LaFitte, descendant of Jean LaFitte makes his return to Raw to take on David Thornberg, supposedly a relative of former Attorney General Dick Thornberg. Jerry comments on his dislike for LaFitte's last name, while he and Vince discuss Queen Elizabeth's new low-fat diet. Vince notes LaFitte's growing bad reputation in the locker room for stealing things. LaFitte climbs the top rope and barrels over Thornberg, who is standing on the arena floor, for the first Maneuver of the night. A fan wearing a Barry Horowitz hand-print vest congratulates the pirate, who then ties his opponent in the ropes and splashes him repeatedly. Pierre finishes off Thornberg with La Cannonball.
Vince and Jerry discuss Double J's upcoming musical performance at In Your House as some annoying kids give Lawler rabbit ears behind his head. That's how you can tell the announcers are really sitting in the arena and not in front of a green screen. We see the music video for "With My Baby Tonight" for the last time for a year, as Jarrett and The Roadie would walk out on the Federation after Sunday rather than wrestle at Summerslam against each other over the fact that Roadie was the one actually singing on the record.

IRS seeks to audit Shawn Michaels over unpaid taxes from his G-string dollar bill income. Schyster is wearing a blue-tinted shirt for his last hurrah with the Fed. Fans chant, "Irwin" at Irwin, which he takes offense to. IRS tries to skip out on the match (not literally, although not nearly enough wrestlers skip to and from the ring. AJ Lee has the right idea), but Shawn grabs him by the tie and drags him back to the squared circle. HBK scores a number of near-falls while holding the taxman in a headlock. Shawn then charges Irwin, who side-steps him and tosses him to the floor. IRS, who is really sweating through his dress shirt, methodically works over Michaels. He kicks out of a sunset flip attempt by the Boy Toy, then headbutts him in the gut for a Clever Maneuver (#2). IRS applies an abdominal stretch on Michaels, using the ropes for leverage. He then gets hiptossed after the referee discovers his cheating. IRS recovers and locks in a rear chinlock for approximately the length of a commercial break.
Shawn tries for an Offensive Maneuver (#3) after two minutes of being caught in a rest hold. He makes it to his feet, but gets knocked back down by the once and future Michael Wallstreet. Irwin drops off the top rope for an axe-handle smash (which is odd, considering that Shawn is flat on his back and not standing upright). Instead, he gets hit with an HBK boot, a Tremendous Maneuver (#4). Vince makes a foot-in-mouth joke at the expense of the King. Shawn kips up and hits another Tremendous Maneuver (#5) in the form of a flying fist off the ropes. The Heartbreak Kid hits an axe-handle on IRS and he got 'im! No he didn't. Irwin ducks a superkick and clotheslines Shawn. IRS whips Michaels to the corner, the taxman sliipping in the process and having to quickly crawl on his hands and knees to the corner to be in place for the next spot, wherein HBK he floats over for a Nice Maneuver (#6) and superkicks Schyster for the victory. If Shawn can do that to Jeff Jarrett, says Vince, the country singer is "going to be singing through a straw." Like Peter Frampton?

Next week, Hakushi faces Bret Hart. this week, though, Isaac Yankem terrorizes a small boy with a pair of pliers as a man in a crown talks about beating up Bret Hart. The dentist pulls out a tooth, which is digitally blurred. The kid is remarkably silent throughout the whole ordeal.
Kama comes to the ring with the former urn of The Undertaker, since melted down into a chain (the urn, not the Undertaker). His opponent is Billy Mack, who is a detective down in Texas. The Supreme Fighting manhandles Mack, but gets distracted by his own manager to get taken down by a flying dropkick. Vince alludes to Barry Horowitz's recent upset, speculating that Billy Mack could score a victory tonight. Kama knocks out his candy-striped opponent for a three-count. He then argues with two Creatures of the Night seated in the first row.
Vince introduces Big Daddy Cool Diesel, who defends the World Rustling Federation title this Sunday. Vince asks whether Diesel's reign will come to an end, prompting praise from Jerry Lawler, who compares him to Jay Leno for "having the guts to ask the big question." It's classic obscure topical commentary from the King, who clearly doesn't care whether fans watching 18 years later will understand the reference. Fortunately, in my research of Hugh Grant last week, I learned that Leno asked Grant, "What the hell were you thinking?" on the Tonight Show shortly after the actor's prostitution scandal. Mystery solved. You're welcome. Diesel compares Ted DiBiase to Frank Perdue, both of whom are "surrounded by big chickens." The champion tells his lumberjacks to "come on down," leading Jerry Lawler to blast his poor impression of Don Pardo of The Price is Right. He's right. Diesel's babyface lumberjacks are slightly less embarrassing than Sid's heels, although they do include Duke "The Dumpster" Droese and Tekno Team 2000 among there ranks. Notably absent is Doink, who is apparently no longer among even the top 16 babyfaces in the company. Diesel talks about what his various lumberjacks will do to Sid if he tries to escape, while Vince holds the WWF title belt in a scene eerily similar to the one 4 years later when he came to Raw as the Federation champion. The King gets bored with McMahon and Diesel and badgers the production team to cut to break, but not before Sid comes to ringside.
The challenger's lumberjacks have come to ringside during the commercial, and the two sides have a standoff. Sid stand on the ring apron but refuses to enter as Diesel begs him on. Sid and his forces retreat as Diesel's high-fives his own lumberjacks in the ring.

Final tally:

6 Maneuvers (Year total: 127)

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