Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Raw #143 - January 15th, 1996

Tonight’s Raw opens with an intro honoring Martin Luther King and his dream, which is good news for the Federation’s one black wrestler, Ahmed Johnson. Mabel and Mo will be gone after Sunday’s Royal Rumble. Dok Hendrix tells us that Razor Ramon is on his way to the arena to confront Goldust, who has an interview tonight. Plus, a new Billionaire Ted skit will air. Also, some guy named The Ringmaster will debut, but that doesn’t make the intro package.

Our first match is Owen Hart vs. Marty Jannetty. Vince interrupts himself with an “Oh my goodness” at the sight of a slightly large woman given Owen a double thumbs-down. That’s just rude, McMahon. Owen Hart floats over Marty Jannetty into a go-behind for a Nice Maneuver (#1) before running the former and future Rocker into the ropes chest-first. Marty gets the better of the exchange, then hits his own Nice Maneuver (#2 - shoulder block), only to be dropped with a belly-to-belly suplex soon after. Marty and Owen trade near-falls as Vince talks about the Rumble debut of The Man They Call Vader But Whom Vince Calls “Mastodon.” Jerry Lawler speculates that Razor Ramon is rushing to the arena to tell Goldust that he’s enrolled the Bizarre One in the “Panty of the Month Club.” “Panty of the Month Club, how dare you?” retorts Vince. This, by the way, is an historic moment for Monday Night Raw: Jerry Lawler’s first mention of panties.
Owen and Marty are both entered into the “Super Bowl of the World Wrestling Federation,” the Royal Rumble. Now, hold on. Just two weeks ago, Dok Hendrix said that Wrestlemania was the Super Bowl of the World Wrestling Federation. Get your football metaphors straight, WWF! Owen slips behind Jannetty, flips him onto his back for a Maneuver (#3), and completes a back-bridge pin for the surprise victory.
Todd Pettengill is in Dok Hendrix’s place at the Slam Jam while Dok does live correspondence at the arena. The Toddster gives us news that’s bigger than “TLC’s Waterfall with One Eye Lopez or whatever her name is.” It’s the WWF Free-For-All, available on the Preview Channel, where two randomly-drawn Rumble entrants will wrestle for the #30 spot, with the loser having to enter #1. Besides the Rumble match, Sunday’s pay-per-view will feature Ahmed Johnson vs. Jeff Jarrett, “two individuals who certainly would not be on the cast of Friends.” Well, duh. Ahmed’s black.
Sunny appears in a short promotional piece. No, I don’t mean her clothing. I mean a brief plug for Raw. In a low-cut top, she shoots pool, then says that “everybody likes it Raw.” It sounds like she says, “everybody likes it: bra!” This was right around the time Vince figured out that he could use sex appeal to attract viewers outside of the pre-teen girl demographic who was nuts for Shawn Michaels. “Later tonight,” says Vince, “we’re gonna find out if Billionaire Ted and the Huckster like it raw!” Ewwwwwww.

A commercial for WWF’s next MSG show advertises a tag match featuring the 123 Kid and Sid. This would not happen, as Sid had suffered a totally-not-made-up-to-quit-the-WWF neck injury two weeks earlier.
The Ringmaster debuts against Matt Hardy, who is dressed in his “High Voltage” tights. Austin does his patented Lou Thesz press (well, Lou Thesz’s patented Lou Thesz press), but almost gets pinned after showboating. Austin lets Hardy get a ton of offense in, but still delivers a Gordbuster, a Devastating Maneuver (#4), followed up by the Devastating Maneuver (#5) once known as the Stun Gun, dropping Hardy on his neck onto the top rope. Ringmaster finishes Hardy off with a Million Dollar Dream, then puts the boots to his opponent, which Vince ignores in favor of hyping Shawn Michaels’s return to the ring Sunday night with a video package, complete with an instrumental version of “Tell Me A Lie.” Shawn promises to win the Rumble and get a “one-way ticket to Wrestlemania,” because apparently he never wants to leave Anaheim even after the event is over.
The Smoking Gunns wrestle the Spiders in match that started during the commercial break. In fact, since this Raw is pre-taped, Vince is intentionally showing only the last minute of this match. The Gunns win with the sidewinder, a Devastating Maneuver (#6).
A Billionaire Ted skit airs about Ted Turner’s obsession with buying the WWF and/or raiding their talent. You know, the same thing Vince tried to do to every single one of his competitors in the 80s. The skit ends with the WWF announcer declaring that the New Generation was not for sale. Except, of course, for “superior athletes” like Razor Ramon, Diesel, and the 123 Kid, all of whom jumped ship that summer. Jerry Lawler throws in a cheap shot about how Time Warner investors are in trouble because of its buy-out by Ted Turner.

Goldust does some of his finest work in this interview with Vince McMahon. This is before his character jumped the shark (yes, I’m talking about the thong and bustierre he would wear at Wrestlemania). Goldust’s theme music plays throughout the promo as he quotes Tootsie and asks Vince if he’s carrying an extra microphone in his pants. Lawler wonders if Vince is homophobic. “Goldust is here. He may be queer. Get used to it, because he’s your next Intercontinental Champion.”
Razor Ramon arrives in the arena after the break. “I would hate to be in Goldust’s shoes,” says Hendrix. “Razor’s gonna kick his butt!” Isaac Yankem takes on The Undertaker, who has finally reclaimed his urn (in the form of melted chains). Taker’s long-lost brother seeks advice from Lawler. Yankem nearly gets Tombstoned, but bails out over the top rope for a Clever Maneuver (#7). Lawler tries to steal the “urn” from Paul Bearer, but Taker intervenes and stares down the King, who flees ringside.

Yankem locks a half crab on Taker after the commercial. We cut backstage to Dok Hendrix, who promises a backstage interview with Goldust about next week’s match with Bret Hart. Vince then blurts out a disclaimer about Goldust not representing the gay community and how his “alleged sexual preference” is not the issue in his feud with Razor Ramon. Yankem then lifts up Taker for his own Tombstone piledriver, but the Undertaker reverses it. Just as he is about to finish Yankem off, we cut back to Dok Hendrix, who is pacing back and forth backstage. For years, I thought this was an hilarious editing mistake, but on closer inspection, it seems that Taker botched his Tombstone attempt, which is why the cameras cut away. Why else would The Undertaker have to then deliver a second Tombstone to put away the evil dentist? Then again, it did take three Tombstones to put away Kane at Mania 14…
Goldust delivers a promo about Bret Hart and “hearts,” which is interrupted by a rare backstage brawl wherein Razor Ramon tosses Goldust around backstage and hits him with a garbage can. The brawl ends abruptly when Goldust gives Razor a “shot to the groin,” causing the Bad Guy to crumple into a heap.
Next, we see Sunny in a bath tub as she basks in the afterglow of having done it “for almost an hour.” Watching Raw, that is.
Goldust is seen fleeing the arena with his bags, but Ramon jumps him from behind, leading Dok to shout “Holy shit!” This is not censored in any way. The Bizarre One and the Bad Guy brawl outside in the snow as the very useless officials say things like, “C’mon, Razor, stop it” and “Knock it off.” Goldust flees in his car, which appears to be a rental and not his gold Cadillac.

Final tally:

7 Maneuvers (Year total: 19)

1 comment:

  1. Oh, those Sunny videos teasing young boys with possible boob... I loved each and every one of them. :P