Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Raw #144 - January 22nd, 1996

This post-Rumble Raw opens with Sunny, who warns us that tonight’s program contains “action of a graphic nature.” I’d like to have action of a graphic nature with her! Sex, I mean.
Jim Cornette claims to have the answer to the most important question in the world: what time is it? Vader time, he answers! And Road Warrior Hawk does not walk into the camera shot, either. Vader arrives wearing his singlet backwards for the second night in a row to take on Savio Vega. Vader gets his share of cheers before the action even begins. Vader then pummels Vega with fists to the face. Savio gets offense in after Vader misses a corner splash, but is soon leveled, getting his throat dropped on the guard rail. The newcomer Vader-bombs Vega for the victory, then slams him and delivers another Vader bomb as Jim Cornette holds the referee back. Vader then repeatedly headbutts referee Jimmy Korderas, then powerbombs Jack Dohn while his manager tries to calm him down. Gorilla Monsoon then enters the ring and argues with Vader, then has the ring announcer announce Vader’s indefinite suspension (which, at the time, I thought meant “forever”). Vader gets in Monsoon’s face and gets chopped for his troubles, setting the big(ger) man off. Vader splashes Monsoon in the corner and Vader-bombs the WWF President. All-around good-guys Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon, along with the police, come to Gorilla’s rescue a few minutes late and chase off Vader. Vince McMahon is personally offended that someone would do such a thing to his lifelong friend.

Jim Cornette gets throttled by an angry Vader backstage, as the big man yells to the camera that he declaes war on every wrestler and official in the WWF, including “you, Mr. McMahon, and Mr. Yaaaaarrrrgh!” He then punches a trashcan.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley enters the ring with an escort. Not the Godfather’s kind of escort, of course… or maybe… Well, forget it. His opponent is Razor Ramon, who last night lost his title to Goldust. In that match, “we saw the unthinkable,” which is how Vince referred, I kid you not, to Goldust bringing a woman to ringside. As the two Clique-mates square off, fellow politician 123 Kid appears with Ted DiBiase in a split-screen to gloat about Razor Ramon crying after they cost him the Intercontinental title. For some reason, they have in their possession an oversized bottle and diaper. Razor tumbles over the top rope as Raw goes to break.
Helmsley hits a baseball slide to Ramon’s “rib area” as Raw returns from break. How the Blue Blood ever learned such a peasant’s game as baseball is a mystery. Ramon ends up on his back by the ropes and gets the giant baby bottle jammed in his mouth by the interfering Kid. Razor chases the Kid around the ring and gets counted out, but Ramon returns to the ring to deliver a Razor’s Edge, from which Hunter escapes.
Next, Vince introduces the “final episode” of Billionaire Ted’s Wrasslin’ Warroom, issuing a disclaimer that it is for “comedic purposes.” In this skit, Ted wants his suits to come up with one original idea. Scheme Gene has an idea “too hot” to tell about right now, so everybody in the room calls his hotline to find out what it is. Dok Hendrix then dances with the little-known “Raw band.”

Vince interviews Rumble winner Shawn Michaels in the middle of the ring. HBK brags that he is “back in the saddle again,” no doubt referring to some perverted sex device. Shawn calls out Owen Hart for taking credit for putting him out of action, when it was in fact “nine guys in Syracuse,” whom he vows to “take care of” at some unspecified date in the future. He never did. Jim Cornette comes to the ring and says that Owen has no incentive to wrestle Shawn again. Shawn offers anything to get in the ring with Owen, and Cornette suggests putting his Wrestlemania title shot on the line. Shawn reluctantly agrees after asking the “Kliq’s” opinion. Not the Clique, but the Kliq, his fans. The average member of the “Kliq” has twenty fewer years and one more X chromosome than the average member of the “Clique.” Shawn then throws Cornette over the top rope, because assaulting non-wrestlers worked out so well for Vader earlier tonight.
Goldust, whom Vince cannot believe won the Intercontinental title last night, comes to the ring with Marlena. Lawler warns Vince not to be homophobic. To be fair to Vince, surely the idea of a gay Intercontinental champion is disconcerting for original champion Pat Patterson, as well. In a pre-taped promo, Goldust addresses Bret Hart, the “Calgary cowboy,” and does a John Wayne impression that Jim Ross is lucky not to hear. Vince and Jerry announce the cage match at the next In Your House between Bret Hart and Diesel. Marlena gropes herself at ringside while Vince claims that Gorilla Monsoon has been taken to a “hospital” and not a medical facility, where most injured wrestlers are taken nowadays.

After the break, Goldust has Hart in a hammerlock, which Hart escapes by running across the ring and ducking as he gets to the ropes, sending Goldust falling through the ropes of his own momentum. We then go to another break, Later, Goldust tries a figure-four, but gets booted from the ring half-way through applying it. Goldust and Marlena leave the ring, but Dust gets ambushed by Razor Ramon, who comes out of Gorilla position. I guess with Monsoon in the hospital, anybody can wait behind the entrance curtain. He then tosses Goldust back in the ring, where the match continues despite Ramon’s obvious punching of the IC champion.
When Raw returns from another break, we have just missed a Maneuver (#1) that Bret Hart kicks out of. He then clotheslines Goldust from the second rope and goes for his  infamous “five moves of doom” finishing sequence, which, as always, does not actually consist of five moves. A leg sweep and a Sharpshooter later, Goldust quickly submits, picking up his first loss in the WWF. Vince gets a word with Bret Hart after the match. Hart is sporting a black eye and is eager to get in the cage with Diesel to settle their rivalry once and for all.

Jerry Lawler then announces the “Super Monday” lineup for next week’s post-Super Bowl program. Unlike the Raw Bowl, it will not feature wall-to-wall football puns, but will feature Shawn Michaels vs. Yokozuna, Diesel vs. Bulldog, and Billionaire Ted’s press conference, wherein he addresses allegations that he is trying to put the WWF out of business. After all, deliberately bankrupting one’s competition is something Vince McMahon would never do.

Final tally:

1 Maneuver (Year tally: 20)

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