Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Raw #122 - July 31st, 1995

King Mabel opens Raw, entering through the new "RAW" entranceway, which last week replaced the old neon sign set that bathed the show in gaudy colors since the Monday night program's debut. Mabel rides in on a throne carried by a team of jobbers to take on one of their ham 'n' egger colleagues, Nick Barberry.
Vince compares Mabel's massive size to that of Super-sized Stridex pads, which are sponsoring this year's Summerslam. The King of the Ring will face WWF champion Diesel at the August PPV. Speaking of Summerslam, the announcers get "official notification" through their headsets that Sid will indeed challenge for Shawn Michaels's Intercontinental title on pay-per-view (until the Clique changes the booking. Mabel hits the world's worst enziguiri to the back of the jobber's head, then whips him into the ringside steps before splashing him in the corner and pinning him. The presumptive next WWF champion grabs the microphone to tell the fans that he will win the title at Summerslam. This is news to the audience, which, as this show was taped last week, has not learned about the turd of a main event that Vince has booked. Can I say, "turd" on the internet?

We see a shot of a toddler whose father has dressed him up as Jerry Lawler. The small child could easily double for The King, except his taste in girls is probably much older than the real Lawler. We then get a replay of Jerry's verbal confrontation with the Intercontinental Champion before he interviews Michaels backstage. King wishes he were the one challenging Michaels for the title at Summerslam, probably because the Heartbreak Kid's stripper routine is garnering too much attention from Lawler's target demographic (adolescent girls). Two Lawler pervert jokes in one paragraph? Why not? Michaels tries to goad Lawler into a match, but the King declines, as he took an oath to be a broadcast journalist when he took the announcers' job on Raw.
Another Goldust promo clip airs, this time with a cheesy CGI bag dropping "gold dust" in the shape of the new wrestler's name.

Bam Bam Bigelow enters through the big RAW letters, complete with a video screen (as opposed to the Titantron, which is actually a massive piece of fabric upon which video is projected). Mr. Heat Miser's opponent is Bob Cook, who executes a Nice Maneuver (#1) by slipping out of the ring after being whipped by Bigelow, but then gets pulled back into the ring by his hair. Lawler attempts some topical humor by claiming that Bigelow played the sea monster in Waterworld. Considering that last week he was joking about how nobody saw the movie, I don't understand how he expects anyone to get this week's joke. Lawler wonders whether, with Jack Tunney out of the picture, he can disregard his journalistic oath. The announcers plug the WWF on America Online before Bigelow finishes Cook off with a flying headbutt, then does a celebratory cartwheel like a little girl.
Dean Douglas then grades The Beast from the East's performance, comparing him to another beast, a walrus, and giving him a grade of F.
A messed-up-looking split-screen allows Vince to interview Jim Cornette and the tag team champions, who defend against Savio Vega and Razor Ramon.
The Bodydonnas compain about having to hear about Barry Horowitz all the time. Skip then wrestles Major Yates, who nearly upsets him early on with a schoolboy roll-up. He then monkey flips the former Chris Candido before executing an arm drag takedown (nicely done). Ski, who faces Shawn Michaels on Superstars this weekend, retaliates with a release German suplex, dropping Yates on his neck. He then pats his own back, mocking Barry Horowitz, against whom he has requested a rematch. Jerry Lawler suggests that Barry Horowitz retire after getting his big win, comparing him to John Kruk (in that the baseball player recently retired immediately after getting one more hit, and not in that he had only one testicle). Skip finishes off Yates with a superplex, then pins him while doing push-ups. Skip's butt looks huge in his blue singlet, just as Faarooq's would when he debuted around this time the following year... also managed by Sunny. Lawler says that Sunny is "the picture of health," and that she has a "nice frame," a joke he would also make for her Best Buns nomination at the 1996 Slammy Awards.

The Toddster presents a (Don't Buy) Summerslam report, reminding fans that Mabel will be in the main event against Diesel. Big Daddy Cool then delivers a very relaxed promo before rather unconvincingly breaking into his "angry" voice. Bret Hart will face another tall guy, Isaac Yankem, DDS. Speaking of which, Sid will also be wrestling, challenging Shawn Michaels for the IC title... for now. Nowhere is there any mention of a Roadie/Jeff Jarrett match, despite the match being hinted at last week and being advertised in WWF magazine. That's because the duo left the Federation last week.
The tag team champions, accompanied by Mr. Fuji and Jim Cornette, enter the ring. The team of Yokozuna and Owen Hart weigh in at a combined 868, (purportedly the heaviest tag team champions ever). Vince says that the challengers, Razor and Savio, were "impressive" in their tag team debut at In Your House (despite losing to Mabel and Mo). Ramon enjoys a golden shower with his partner before the camera catches a creative sign calling the tag team champions, "Yoko Tuna and Queen of Hearts." Ouch. I guess what goes around comes around for Owen, who led chants of "faggot" against Rip Rogers in WCW. Owen slaps Savio at the outset of the match, perhaps setting up a feud over who possesses the more effective spinning heel kick. Savio runs Owen against the ropes, but the tag team champion hooks them with his arms for a Clever Maneuever (#2). Savio tags out to Razor, who returned at In Your House after 44 days of "bad ribs." Not just bad ribs, Vince, but "real bad ribs", as you said weeks ago. Ramon smacks Hart so hard he falls out of the ring just in time for a commercial.

After the break, Owen is in the ring with Ramon, who attempts a Nice Maneuver (#3 - bell to back suplex) that Owen flips out of. He then gets caught with a fallaway slam by the Bad Guy. hart quickly tags Yokozuna, and "the complexion of the match changes completely," according to McMahon, perhaps referring to Yoko's Samoan heritage. Razor tags in Savio, and both try wearing down the big man with wristlocks. Savio kicks Yoko, who tumbles out of the ring, allowing Vega to celebrate like a "Mexican jumping bean" according to Lawler, who still can't distinguish between Puerto Rico and Mexico. Owen tags in, but gets taken down with arm drags by the Caribbean legends. Owen gains momentum by whipping Savio into the turnbuckle sternum first (Hitman-style) for a Maneuver (#4), then hitting the first spinning heel kick of the night. Yoko tags back in, and the champs level Vega with a drop toe hold followed by a leg drop. Owen then slams Vega onto the mats outside the ring and rolls him back in as Vince continues discussing the possibility of a Michaels-Lawler match, which King finally agrees to.
After the commercial, Vega is seen humorously crawling over a beached Yokozuna, who lies on the mat face down. It looks like when Kamala would try to pin opponents when theyr were on their stomachs. He gets the hot tag to Razor, who hits a bulldog off the second rope onto Yoko. Owen makes the save and breaks up the pin, but Razor and Savio clean house, leaving Razor in the ring with Owen, despite the lack of a tag. Razor hits Owen with the Razor's Edge, then pins him to win the tag team titles. Jim Cornette is furious, screaming at referee Earl Hebner. The referee then instructs the ring announcer, who informs the audience that Owen was not the legal man and that the match will continue (but without Jim Cornette). Hey, remember when it mattered who the legal men were in tag team matches? Ah, the pre-Attitude era. Razor starts punching Yokozuna, then launches Owen Hart off the top rope and onto Yokozuna for a Maneuver (#5). Savio tags in to double-team Yokozuna. Owen tags in, and this time he's the one to be thrown sternum-first into the buckle. Savio, however, gets whipped to the ropes and punched in the back of the head by Yoko as raw goes to break again.

Another commercial break follows, after which Savio nearly pins Hart with a sunset flip. Yokozuna then tags in but misses an elbow drop. Both men tag out as Vince informs us that if the match doesn't end by the time Raw goes off the air, it will restart next week (instead of, you know, just airing the finish next week. This episode is pre-taped anyway and won't run over time, so it's a moot point). Razor attempts a belly-to-back suplex Owen off the ropes, but Owen counters with a Maneuver (#6 -body press). Razor rolls through the pin attempt and scores a near-fall. "What a Maneuver [#7] that was off top" says Vince. "So many near-falls," he continues after Razor gets another two-count. Owen tries to hiptoss Razor, who won't budge before Owen Rocker-Droppers out of the predicament for a Maneuver (#8). Razor then chokeslams Hart, completing a sequence of moves he had previously performed with the 123 Kid in their return match on Raw in 1993. Time is of the essence, but Razor takes his time in attempting a Razor's Edge. He signals for his finisher, but Raw goes off the air before the match can end. Huh. I guess the match will continue on next week's episode, which is filmed immediately after this one in the same arena for the same fans. Good luck explaining that one to the live audience.

Final tally:

8 Maneuvers (year total: 135)

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