Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Raw #153 - April 1st, 1996

It’s the night after the Wrestlemania XII, and all through the house, not a creature is stirring, except to flip back and forth between Raw, Nitro, and the NCAA basketball finals. And what better way to kick things off than Bob “Spark Plugg” Holly, whose music plays at the beginning of the show! A new wrestler named, “Mankind” enters the ring to ominous music. Vince is taking a chance by letting Mick Foley debut under this name, rather than “Mason the Mutilator.”

Mankind squeals like one of Phineas Godwinn’s girlfriends as he pummels Holly, then pulls out his own hair. Holly gets in offense of his own, drawing some boos from the audience. However, his best dropkick in the business garners a pop. Chants of “He’s hardcore!” are heard from the front row as Jerry Lawler exhausts his supply of “ugly” jokes — you know, the one about getting barred from an ugly contest for being a professional, and how you should never pick a fight with an ugly guy, since he has nothing to lose. Vince repeatedly calls the debuting Mankind, “deranged” as many times as legally allowed. Mankind wins with the mandible claw, causing Holly to vomit as calming piano music plays.
We see stills from last night’s PPV, where Hunter Hearst Helmsley got into a fight with “Wildman” Marc Mero (or “Marc Marro,” as Pettengill called him). Hunter’s escort Sable is seated in the front row tonight.

Vince is remarkably conservative in his praise of last night’s event, calling it, “perhaps one of the greatest Wrestlemanias of all time.” Marc Mero enters to the applause of Sable, who supposedly met Mero for the first time last night at Wrestlemania, rather than at a strip club a few years earlier. Mero hits a somersault plancha on Yankem, then slingshots himself into the ring for a leg drop, landing awkwardly. Helmsley appears at ringside to talk to Sable, who is not cooperating. “Aw, you can do better than her,” says a loud fan nearby. Yankem kicks out of a number of pin attempts but later falls victim to his mean left hook, having failed to heed the warning in his “Johnny B. Badd” theme song. Mero then leaps off the top rope for a sunset flip pin. As his original, non-sadomasochistic theme song plays without a single “whipping” sound effect, Mero confronts Helmsley, who gets slapped by Sable. Mero walks off with Sable as he points to his eyes to show how wild he is.
Vince plugs the Weekly World News April Fools special, airing after Raw. He introduces, “Ed ‘The Biker’ Beegly,” better known as Ed Begley, Jr, who does a short promo spot.
The Bodydonnas are your new tag team champions, and their first order of business is to defeat one of the other top contenders, Aldo Montoya and Barry Horowitz. Last night, The Donnas beat the Godwinns to win the vacant titles after Sunny distracted Phineas with her “assets.” Emphasis on the first three letters of that words. Those first letters being A-S-S. “Ass,” that is. Because she flashed her ass at Phineas. Sunny cuts a promo on the way to the ring as always, in contrast with the mysterious Marlena and the charisma-less Sable. Aldo Montoya hits a Maneuver (#1 - headlock/headscissor combo) on the Bodydonnas, whom Vince insists are nearly identical. Zip repeatedly tries a single-leg takedown on Horowitz, who kicks him away each time. Vince is audibly distracted by a shot of Sunny’s cleavage. “Well, hello!” Skip (or is it Zip? They look so similar) tries to suplex Aldo from the apron into the ring, but the Portuguese Man-o-War reverses it, sending the body prima donna to the floor for a Maneuver (#2), which he follows up with a flying body press off the top rope and to the floor. Aldo gets the hot tag to Horowitz, who rolls up Skip the same we he did last summer. The ref is distracted with Sunny, who is not actually flashing him, then starts the pinfall count after an eternity. Zip makes the save. Soon after, Skip hits a top-rope huracanrana for a Maneuver (#3) that is followed up by a flying butt-splash by Zip for the win. Sunny celebrates with her boys; a lot of people talk about her managing three consecutive tag team championship teams, but if you throw affairs into the mix, then the streak extends to five, as Davey Boy Smith and Shawn Michaels each subsequently held the gold.

Shawn Michaels enters the ring for an in-ring interview wearing perhaps his stupidest-looking gear ever. Not only does his shiny leather vest look like something out of the White Ranger’s secret S&M closet, but he’s wearing a white baseball cap to boot, which reads, “WWF Champion Heartbreak Kid.” Shawn celebrates having “pranced on God’s green earth” and gets a mixed reaction. Vince announces that Jerry Lawler will face Shawn Michaels next week on Raw, with HBK’s ex-friend Diesel on commentary. Shawn promises to wear the belt with the same dignity and pride as Bret Hart did. I assume this is before the photo shoot with Playgirl, where he would wear the belt naked to cover his genitals. As for Diesel, Shawn says that they made good friends, but they make better enemies. Hmm… sounds like a pay-per-view title.
The Undertaker faces the undefeated Justin Hawk Bradshaw, who this time in three years would be Taker’s minion, and who in eight years’ time would retain the title by DQ against the Phenom at Summerslam. JHB dominates the opening minutes and through the commercial break. With the help of the power of the urn, though, Taker fights back and hits him with the Tombstone. Mankind attacks Undertaker before a pinfall, though, preserving Bradshaw’s undefeated streak. More “He’s hardcore” chant’s start up as he smashes taker against the railing and steps, then hits Cactus Jack’s patented elbow off the apron to the floor before applying the mandible claw and inducing more vomiting.

Final tally:

3 Maneuvers (Year total: 49)

1 comment:

  1. Just before the Shawn Michaels segment, there is an advert for the 'Superstar Line' narrated by Dok Hendrix. The music playing in the background is Lex Luger's entrance theme from WCW. How strange.