Saturday, June 21, 2014

Raw #154 - April 8th, 1996


With Jerry Lawler facing Shawn Michaels in tonight’s main event, the King has been replaced on commentary. You could say that tonight’s announcing will be “perfect.” You’d be wrong, though, as Vince is still at the announce table. Our opening contest is Vader vs. Yokozuna, the match that was originally scheduled for Wrestlemania.
Vader, who is outweighed by 200 pounds against Yoko, starts off trading shoves and punches (very slowly) with his hefty adversary, who soon fells him with a Samoan Drop (or as the big Samoan knows it, a drop). Vince makes note of Raw’s new start time, 8:57 Eastern Time, enacted  with cooperation from the USA Network to get the jump on Nitro. There’s no way this could escalate, unless WCW management has some kind of influence over Turner Network Television. The two “bo-hemoths” continue to battle, with Yokozuna dropping Vader with a Maneuver (#1 - uranage suplex) followed by a leg drop. The Hawaiian Mr. Fuji waves the American flag as Yoko hammers away at Vader in the corner. The Man They Call Vader manages to dodge Yokozuna’s very slow corner charge, then, with the help of Jim Cornette, drapes the sumo’s leg across the bottom rope and executes a Vader Bomb onto it, causing the referee to ring the bell and award the match to Vader. Vince says he heard a snap as Yoko cries out in pain. Vader then hits two more Vader Bombs on his leg, and Yokozuna screams “Ah shit!” repeatedly. Even Perfect takes exception to Vader’s actions as Gerald Brisco, Dave Hebner, and other officials come to the big(ger) man’s aid. Vince laments “the horruh” of this and blasts certain fans as “sick”  for cheering Vader’s attack.



After the break, we see clips of Yokozuna being taken away from ringside on a forklift, the stretcher not being strong enough to carry him. Yoko will again get humiliated for his weight at Summerslam, when he will be so fat that he breaks the top rope. Vince brings out the Ultimate Warrior, who makes his first-ever appearance on Raw, tying Hulk Hogan’s record. Warrior credits his comeback to the demands of the warriors for his return. When the topic turns to the New Generation superstars, Goldust saunters down to the ring with Marlena. Goldust, we are told, will defend the Intercontinental title against the Warrior. The Bizarre One inhales deeply, and Warrior responds with a snort before Goldust quotes the film, “The Warriors.” It’s innuendo time, so Goldust suggests some Superman roleplay where he climbs on Warrior’s back and they “take off.” That don’t make the world work! “Hold it right there, freak!” says Warrior. “Whatever you’re into, I don’t give a sh*t!” he continues, his profanity (barely) bleeped out, unlike Yokozuna’s. He then offers an action-adventure — him kicking Goldust’s ass from beginning to end. A Warrior clothesline later, and Goldust retreats. Still to come is arm-wrestling! The British Bulldog arm-sports-entertains against Ahmed Johnson.
Vader attacks Yokozuna’s leg backstage with a chair as Yoko sits on the forklift. After the assault, Yoko throws a piece of plastic at the camera to get the crew away.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley comes to the ring with a new esc- uh, valet. I don’t need anymore online prostitution sites spamming my comments. Duke “The Dumpster” Droese takes on his old nemesis, who kicks off a flurry of offense before being thrown into the steps. Mr. Perfect credits the Preview Channel’s highest ratings ever to “two things: Sunny.” Vince pretends not to understand, so Perfect elaborates: “best buns.” Buns have come a long way in the World Wrestling Federation, though it would still be a few years until breasts would be verbally acknowledged on television, what with Sable’s “38 specials” and Lawler’s constant mentions of “puppies.” Hunter performs a curtsy before Marc Mero cuts a pre-recorded promo about “wild surprises” for HHH, which comes off slightly less gay than the typical Johnny B. Badd promo.
After the break (this being an era when Duke “The Dumpster” Droese merits two television segments on a 60-minute show), the trash man hits a Nice Maneuver (#2 - inverted atomic drop), then a powerslam, but Helmsley escapes Duke’s Trash Compactor tiltawhirl slam finisher. The Blue Blood lands the Pedigree for the victory, which is impressive, as is Hunter’s valet (though not, Vince makes sure to note, as impressive as Sable). We then see a replay Mankind’s attack on The Undertaker from last week before Davey Boy Smith enters the ring. Diana Smith is seen at ringside, although Vince does not comment on how she or any of the other Hart sisters are more attractive than Hunter’s valet (as he did last month), as he is limiting himself to one over-selling of beauty at a time.

Dok Hendrix tries to sell the audience on a piece of canvas with Shawn Michaels’s signature as paramedics load Yokozuna into an ambulance. “He looks like Free Willy,” says Perfect. Vince is not amused.
Vince steps into the ring to officiate the arm-wrestling competition, which for some reason has never been featured as a specialty match in any wrestling video game. Nor has the contract-signing, come to think of it. Owen Hart fondles his brother-in-law’s muscles, then complains that Ahmed Johnson is too oily and will try to slip out of Smith’s grip. Johnson wipes his hands off on Jack Doan’s shirt. The complaints continue, and the referee threatens to eject Owen Hart, who next argues that the Bulldog is not ready yet. Owen gets the boot, ensuring the contest will be between the British Bulldog and Ahmed Johnson. Meanwhile, Johnson’s impractical wrestling trunks ensure that fabric will be between his butt cheeks. Ahmed wins the contest, but Davey Boy overturns the table and attacks the wedgied Pearl River Powerhouse with a chair, then whips him into the table, making it very oily. “He’s hardcore,” chant fans in the front rows. Bulldog then stomps on the table with Ahmed underneath.

Dok Hendrix voices over a promo package for Savio Vega vs. Goldust on next week’s Raw. Both were embarrassed at Wrestlemania, says Dok. Yes, Savio was embarrassed by losing a match to Steve Austin, while Goldust was embarrassed by being stripped to women’s lingerie by Roddy Piper. So that makes them about even, right? The hard sell continues as Hendrix shills the WWF Superstar Line, where on option 6, callers can learn what Olympic event Diesel is training for. There’s no such thing sport as the quad pull, is there?
With Diesel at ringside for commentary, Jerry Lawler is in the ring for his non-title match against HBK. Vince notes the success of the charity softball event held Wrestlemania weekend. Right about now, Sid is kicking himself for having feigned a neck injury. Shawn Michaels bumps and grinds into the ring, but Vince wonders why Diesel is wearing a Michaels t-shirt. “I’m part of the Clique!” Big Daddy Cool laughs, bending kayfabe. Meanwhile, a fan holds up the alternate logo of Monday Night Raw that used to be featured whenever Raw was held away from the Manhattan Center in 1993. Vince says that he never thought he would see two people like Shawn Michaels and Diesel, who were such good friends, face each other in a match, clearly forgetting about Wrestlemania XI. The match kicks off with lots of stalling and comedy spots, like the typical Jerry Lawler WWF match. Lawler even uses a foreign object in his fist to punch Michaels in order to get the advantage. Perfect asks Diesel about HBK’s “kick his seven-foot ass” remark, shattering the previous record for profanity on WWF programming. Remember on the first episode, when Rob Bartlett’s use of the word, “ass” caused a minor uproar? Talk about uncut, uncensored, uncooked!


The King hits a piledriver on Shawn Michaels, but HBK kicks out to little fanfare. A fan with a bag over his head demonstrates his excitement over the Jerry Lawler main event before Lawler attempts a flying fist but gets punched in the gut. Michaels borrows from Tito Santana, hitting the move formerly known as the Flying Burrito, then kips up and hits a flying elbow. Shawn lets Lawler out of a pin to argue with Diesel. King tries to sneak up on the champion, but Shawn hits him with the Super Kick and pins him. Shawn calls Diesel into the ring, and Big Daddy Cool very slowly enters the ring. They exchange punches until Mr. Perfect climbs the ring steps. Michaels takes a swing at him, allowing Diesel to surprise the champion with a big boot. Perfect then throws Diesel the world title belt (showing no hard feelings for Big Daddy Cool costing him the Intercontinental title against Michaels at Summerslam ’93), which he uses to knock Michaels out.


Final tally:

2 Maneuvers (Year total: 51)
1 Ahmed Johnson wedgie

2 comments:

  1. I found out about the blog a few days ago and I must say: this is really one of the greatest places I've been to online in years. Keep up with the great work!

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  2. I remember this RAW well. I watched on vacation in Kissisme, FL. If you'll recall, Mr Perfect would go on to say that the reason he participation of Shawn's attack was because HBK threw the title belt down on the mat like a piece of garbage. This from the guy who once destroyed it with a hammer.

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