Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Raw #121 - July 24th, 1995

The post-In Your House Raw opens up with actual footage of the previous night's pay-per-view, instead of just stills. Shawn Michaels beat Jeff Jarrett after a miscommunication with the Roadie to bring the Intercontinental title back into the possession of The Clique for the next 6 months.

Shawn faces Jimmy Delray of the Heavenly Bodies in a battle of the male prostitutes. The Boy Toy is not defending his newly-won IC title against the Gigolo tonight, which is good, given that Tom Prichard and Jim Cornette's presence at ringside gives the pudgy hustler an unfair advantage. Vince wonders whether Sycho Sid will be the next to challenge for the Intercontinental title, officially demoting the big man from main event status. Michaels traps Delray in a wristlock, which the Gigolo attempts to counter by ascending the ropes and rather clumsily dropping onto the top rope and flipping backwards for the night's first Maneuver (#1). A follow up clothesline misses, allowing HBK to deliver his own clothesline, knocking the Heavenly Body over the ropes while the IC champion skins the cat. Michaels then hits a baseball slide, then misses another, only to hit both Heavenly Bodies with a double noggin-knocker. Back in the ring, Jimmy plants a DDT on Michaels, then mimics his double biceps pose before getting a two count. Delray keeps gyrating, including while setting up a neckbreaker. HBK gains back his momentum after dodging a splash from the former SMW champion. Michaels then climbs the turnbuckles for a High-Risk Maneuver (#2 - elbow drop), which connect but only earns the Sexy Boy a two-count. Shawn tries to follow this up with a superkick, which Delray ducks only for Tom Prichard to take the boot to the face. Delray whips Michaels to the ropes, but HBK leapfrogs over him for a Maneuver (#3) and a superkick. Michaels then appears to make love to his Intercontinental belt on the ring mat in celebration. Don't worry, though, as since this is before the Attitude Era, the belt is on top, not the bottom. Then he starts pulling down his tights, offering the crowd a wholesome preview of his Playgirl pictorial from the following year.
Vince then shows us a clip of Jeff Jarrett's live performance of "With My Baby Tonight," which the Roadie claims was lip-synched. This will be the last we hear of this song or angle for the next 14 months, as Jarrett and Roadie would leave the company on this night, with Roadie not returning until the following year. Jerry Lawler says he doesn't care whether it was Jarrett or the Roaide singing, because it's a great song either way. Does this mean Jerry didn't really sing his 80s hit, "Wrestling with Girls"? A fan wearing an ECW shirt is seated two seats away from a fan wearing a Lex Luger Made in the USA t-shirt, because 1995 was a weird year for wrestling. Bret Hart faces Hakushi later tonight.

Footage from 4 months earlier on Superstars is shown, with the Hitman receiving an award from the Japanese media. Hakushi interrupted the ceremony and beat up Bret Hart. Jerry Lawler narrates how he had told Hakushi about how Bret actually hated the Japanese people, further perpetuating the baffling "Bret is a racist" angle that has been going on all year with no payoff. The recap of the feud continues including Hakushi's severed Bret Hart head and the White Angel's interference against Hart at the first In Your House.
The Smoking Gunns arrive to take on John Faulkner and Rick Stockhauser. Lawler mentions that Louisville, Kentucky, site of tonight's Raw, is the home of Muhammad Ali. Vince proceeds to butcher Ali's catchphrase, exclaiming, "Sting like a butterfly!" He then hypes up the new partnership between WWF and America Online. The announcers can't tell the difference between Faulkner and Stockhauser, even though they're not twins or even related. Lawler compares the jobbers to the Blu Twins (which is more appropriate than he realizes) and spends the entire short match talking about how the Blu Twins will beat the Gunns (not like the cowboys are champions or anything). The Gunns make quick work of the jobber team with the Sidewinder.

A short promo for Goldust airs, with a Howard Finkel giving an introduction to the unseen grappler.
Next to the ring is Waylon Mercy, who takes on Gary Scott, whose hand he shakes before kicking him in the gut. Mercy viciously attacks Scott, at one point choking him with both hands. After throwing Scott to the outside, he holds the bottom rope for him, only to snap it on his back. Vince mentions this year's Summerslam, which emanates from the Igloo in Pittsburgh (home of the Penguins, hence the name. Even though penguins live in Antarctica and igloos are made by the arctic Eskimos). Unbelievably, the event has already sold 11,000 tickets. Then again, they haven't yet announced that Mabel will be in the main event, so it's not completely shocking that that many people are attending. Mercy wins with a sleeperhold.

King Mabel cuts a promo about how "on one majestical night," he went through "three of the most grueling rounds in Federation history" to become King. Even if we write this off as mere heelish boasting (especially considering that he got a bye in the second round), you still have to consider that he wrestled Savio in the finals and wonder what he's even talking about. He then offers "Big Daddy Fool" the privilege of wrestling him at Summerslam. This promo sounds like it was written by Jerry Lawler, except for the part where he says, "I pity the fool," which was written by Mr. T.
Hakushi steps into the ring to take on Bret Hart, taking out Bret's severed (mannequin) head. Shinja grabs Hitman's leg as he enters the ring, letting Hakushi get the jump on Hart. He then drops Hart on the railing, for which he will be fined, according to Vince. But by whom? Jack Tunney has retired as President. Back in the ring, Hakushi tries a Vader bomb on Hart, who gets his knees up to counter the move. Hitman then hits an inverted atomic drop, which Vince points out is a Legal Maneuver (#4), despite Bret's knee hitting Hakushi in the groin. Lawler wants to get involved in the math, but Vince tells him to stay in his seat. "Everybody hates Bret Hart," says Lawler, citing himself, Hakushi, Shinja, and Isaac Yankem. Well, that's everybody. Just before break, Hakushi whips Hart into the corner, where he hits spine first into the ringpost, then gets dropkicked into it once more.

The Modern-Day Kamikaze is in control when Raw returns, whipping Hart into the turnbuckle and unleashing a Devastating Maneuver (#5 - springboard elbow) on the former champion and racist. Hakushi then hits a Bronco Buster of sorts, minus the humping. That's Shawn Michaels's schtick. Hart pulls off a Russian leg sweep, only to be knocked back down again with a savate kick. Hakushi counters Hart again with a tiltawhirl backbreaker, then headbutts his back from the top rope. Hart tries to run Hakushi into the ropes, but the Japanese wrestler ducks, sending the Canadian to the outside with a Clever Maneuver (#6). Hakushi looks to follow up with a top-rope attack to the outside, but is interrupted by the commercial break and thus skips the high spot.
Immediately after Raw comes back from commercials, Hakushi hits a cartwheel moonsault over the ropes onto Bret, who is still on the outside. The crowd goes wild, leading to a major push for Hakushi where, instead of feuding with Bret Hart as a heel, he turns face, loses to Barry Horowitz, and feuds with Bodydonna Skip. Bret recovers and executes a Vader bomb of his own, springing off the ropes and onto both Hakushi and Shinja, who are standing on the outside. Hart sets Hakushi up with the five moves of doom, hitting a backbreaker and elbow smash, followed by a bulldog, but interrupted by interference by Shinja. Hakushi then drops Hart and attempts a splash off the top rope, which Hart dodges. He drops Hakushi with a superplex and followes it up with a Sharpshooter, to which Hakushi submits. Shinja enters the ring and gets piledriven for his troubles. "That could very well be the last we have seen of Shinja," says McMahon. What an odd thing to say, as if he knew Shinja would be leaving the company. Jean-Pierre LaFitte, whom Vince absent-mindedly refers to as "Pierre" multiple times, makes off with a sack containing the mannequin head of Bret Hart.

We are introduced to a new figure in the WWF, Dean Douglas. To get his unseen class's attention, Dean scratches his fingernails across the chalkboard. He then cuts a boring five-minute promo at the behest of Vince McMahon, who thought it would be great for Douglas to cut as monotone a promo as possible to resemble the teachers Vince hated as a kid. The problem? Students in a classroom can't just change the channel when they find someone excruciatingly dull, but TV viewers can. Douglas lectures on "knowledge" and vows to grade the superstars of the WWF, promising that many would receive Fs (although they would actually get gimmicky grades like "T" for "terrible.")
The announcers get a word with new IC champion Shawn Michaels, who is back in his stripper gear. Lawler tells Michaels that being champion three times doesn't make him a great wrestler, just Larry King having had nine wives doesn't make him a great husband. Lawler, as a 28-time USWA Unified Champion, 35-time AWA Southern Heavyweight Champion, and 3-time divorcee, is the expert here. Lawler hints at challenging for Michaels's title. Vince reminds us that Razor and Savio will challenge for Yoko and Owen's tag team titles next week.

Final tally:

6 Maneuvers (Year total: 133)


  1. I think you meant wives in the last paragraph, unless you mean Larry King is a cat, which is extra ironic since Lawler married a Kat years later.

  2. "Vince mentions this year's Summerslam, which emanates from the Igloo in Pittsburgh (home of the Penguins, hence the name. Even though penguins live in Antarctica and igloos are made by the arctic Eskimos)."

    Also, the building kind of looked like one. An igloo. Not an Eskimo.