Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Raw #147 - February 19th, 1996

Sunny advises viewer discretion tonight for material too hot for some. Vince recaps the previous night’s pay-per-view which featured an “eerie” ending. Not “eary” like Mankind, however. And what does the Ultimate Warrior have to do with tonight’s Raw? We’ll find out on tonight’s episode, which opens with Razor Ramon challenging for Goldust’s Intercontinental title. All this, plus another Billionaire Ted skit.
Vince speculates that Razor Ramon will be Hall-of-Fame-bound should he win the Intercontinental Title a fifth time. He doesn’t, but ends up making the Hall of Fame, anyway. Not Scott Hall, mind you, but Razor Ramon. Razor takes it to Goldust from the outset, punching him out before he can even take off his robe before tossing him over the top rope. Razor follows this up by lifting him into the air by a wristlock, then makes the mistake of attempting the Razor’s Edge too close to the ropes, getting dropped over and to the outside.
Goldust is still in control after the break when the Bizarre One puts Razor in a sleeper. Ramon executes his won sleeper, but Goldust counters it with a Devastating Maneuver (#1 - jawbreaker). Goldust goes to the top rope, forgetting that it’s not 2014 yet, and he doesn’t have any aerial moves. Ramon crotches the champion on the turnbuckle and hits a superplex, then catches Goldy with a fall-away slam, throwing Dust to the arena floor. Next, it’s time for another superplex, this time of the belly-to-back variety, but Goldust flees after hitting the mat. Razor picks up the countout victory but not the title. Ramon cuts a promo about how he doesn’t want his belt, he wants, and I quote, his “ass.” “Well, we said it was Raw!” says Vince, a throwback to the very first episode of Raw. Razor addresses the new acting president, and I quote again, “Roddy Rowdy Piper.” Ramon doesn’t want his kids “watching this kind of stuff on TV” and wants Piper to make him a match with Goldust, which he would do at the next day’s Superstars taping in a segment that would never air on Raw due to Ramon’s suspension and removal from Wrestlemania. This whole promo is filled with compromising sound bites that one could make into an entertaining video package (which this writer did before WWE’s lawyers had it pulled from Youtube. But here, have a listen). Meanwhile, backstage, Undertaker emerges from an upright casket.

Dok Hendrix voices over a commercial for new WWF sweatshirts before boogieing down to the Raw Band and delivering a special live Slam Jam announcing the Wrestlemania main event between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. Shawn beat Owen the night before, while The Undertaker sucked Diesel… through the canvas to allow Bret Hart to escape. Undy and Diesel face off at Mania as well. The Slam Jam is interrupted by Vader, who marches down to the ring in a sweatshirt (but not the new Federation sweatshirts for sale at 1-800-TITAN-91) as the formidable team of Barry Horowitz and Aldo Montoya await the Body Donnas. Vader demolishes both men, chokeslamming Montoya particularly nastily Vince mentions his one-on-one match with Yokozuna at Wrestlemania, which will be changed as soon as Vince realizes Yokozuna is in no way capable of working a whole match anymore. The Bodydonnas match never happens, but we do see an Ultimate Warrior video package as Vince whitewashes Warrior’s history with the company. And if he can use the hype to take pot shots at Hulk Hogan in the coming weeks, then that’s just an added bonus.
Sunny sings, “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” a la Marilyn Monroe, despite the fact that this is Presidents’ Day and not Bill Clinton’s birthday. Speaking of presidents, Bob Backlund is seen campaigning in the aisles. Jerry Lawler claims Backlund will challenge Bob Dole to a match at the New Hampshire primaries. Vince McMahon calls The Ring Master, “a stone-cold individual” on his way to face Marty Jannetty, who will be teaming up with a new partner to enter the upcoming tag team tournament, aka “Shallow Talent Pool Awareness Month.” The first match announced? The Bushwhackers vs. The Body Donnas. A series of roll-ups between both men fails to yield a three-count, and Jannetty winds up on the outside before pulling himself under the ropes and through Ring Master’s legs with a Maneuver (#2). Mr. Master hangs up Marty with a Stun Gun just before the break.

Ring Master locks in an STF after the commercial break until Jannetty grabs the bottom rope, then continues grounding Marty with holds. Jannetty even taps out, but this is before tapping out signalled a submission, so the match continues. Master charges at Jannetty in the corner, but the former and future Rocker gets his feet up after the Million Dollar Champion telegraphs that Maneuver (#3). Vince notes that the Ring Master is now as “bald as he can be” after shaving his head. Austin lands on his feet to counter a belly-to-back suplex, then locks in the Million Dollar Dream for the submission victory. Vince once again calls the man, “stone cold” before another Mankind vignette, where we get a good look at his pet rat, his claw, and a bit of his mask.
Tatanka makes his return to Raw, stopping by to collect one last pay check. Todd Pettengill announces two more Slammy categories, the Blue Light Special for worst dressed, and Best Buns for best buns. Undertaker faces off against the Native American, and during the match, cheers erupt, which is unusual for a Tatanka match these days. Diesel, it seems is coming down the aisle, where he grabs a camera man and takes him backstage.

Diesel appears on a split screen after the break, destroying Taker’s casket with an axe, but unfortunately, the Dead Man is locked in a sleeper hold and doesn’t notice it. The casket is Undertaker’s home, says Jerry Lawler sincerely, making this the first Mania match whose feud involved destroying the other guy’s home, predating Matt vs. Jeff Hardy by 13 years. Meanwhile, Undertaker tombstones Tatanka for a victory. Taker then sees the replay of Diesel destroying his casket and lurches back to dressing room area.
Next is “Larry Fling Almost Live,” another Billionaire Ted segment. We start off with jokes about Larry King/Fling’s many wives and girlfriends. Fortunately, Larry, like most people, isn’t watching Raw tonight, so he will eventually agree to guest-host Raw in a decade and a half. Callers to the show include “Randy from Sarasota,” “Terry from Tampa” (who asks for next Monday off due to a lady’s shoe-induced injury), and “Jane from Hanoi.” Fun time is over, though, when Larry starts grilling Ted with a bunch of questions with little interest for wrestling fans but much interest for people who hate Ted Turner. Afterwards, Undertaker and Paul “Berra” (as Vince pronounces it) mourn the loss of Taker’s casket.

Final tally:

3 Maneuvers (Year total: 38)

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