Saturday, July 5, 2014

Raw #158 - May 6th, 1996

Tonight’s episode opens with a memorial for Ray “Crippler” Stevens, Pat Patterson’s long-time partner (of the tag team variety). As for the other kid of partner, an anonymous woman claiming to have been seduced by Shawn Michaels will speak out tonight.
The 123 Kid, whose Clique buddies are exiting the WWF, enters the ring for tonight’s first bout, accompanied by Ted DiBiase, who will also be jumping ship to WCW shortly. Hunter Hearst Helmsley is on commentary tonight with his future father-in-law and Jerry Lawler. The Kid’s opponent is Marc Mero, who enters to his “whipping” theme song with Sable. His pre-match Batusi is for good luck. This match is a rematch from the Free-For-All match eight days ago. Vince welcomes Canadian viewers, who have missed the first three minutes of teh show due to Raw’s new 8:57 start time in the U.S.The action starts out fast, with Mero executing a “Mexican arm drag,” which is what Vince still thinks a Japanese arm drag is called. The Wildman then executes a reckless plancha, nearly landing on his head. An attempted slingshot splash back into the ring gets countered by 123 Kid’s knees… and the rest of him, to whom his knees are attached. Jerry says Sable’s expression never changes, but Hunter says he’s seen her expression change. We said it was raw, folks! The Kid downs Mero with a sleeperhold, using the ring ropes for leverage, while Vince tells hunter that he must admit that “Sable is quite a lady!” Lawler says that ladies love Hunter Hearst Helmsley because “his name isn’t the only thing that’s long about him.” He claims to be talking about his limousine, but I have to wonder if all the heels still share a locker room and shower by now. The “pesky 123 Kid,” says Vince, reapplies the sleeperhold, then hits a “devastating kick” before applying yet another sleeperhold as Raw goes to break.
Mero is out of the sleeper after Raw returns, throwing the Kid over the top rope. Wildman hits a somersault plancha on the Kid, then ascends the ropes with the Kid on the complete other side of the ring. Helmsley crotches Mero, allowing the 123 Kid to attempt a superplex, but Mero counters with a body press for the victory. Hunter is livid and leaves ringside as Mero and the lady Sable (who comes complete with leather whip) celebrate.
Fatu comes to the ring to make a difference. His fellow Bone Street Krew member Savio Vega will face Steve Austin in a Caribbean strap match at the next PPV, but if he loses, he has to become DiBiase’s chauffeur. Fatu will run austin down in DiBiase’s limo to make sure that doesn’t happen… or maybe I’m mixing up my wrestling history. Fatu is wearing his old Headshrinkers tights.
Vince offers a disclaimer before the next segment airs, a video of an anonymous woman, the validity of whose claims against Shawn Michaels he cannot vouch. The woman tells the story of Shawn seducing her to get a psychological edge on her husband, who was a rival wrestler. On the plus side, she does admit that Shawn was the best she had ever had (in a sexual way, regarding sex). Every time she mentions her husband, his name is supposedly disguised to protect her privacy. However, closer inspection reveals that she merely calls him, “my husband,” and that that snippet of audio is played backwards.
The British Bulldog comes to the ring with Diana, who last week claimed that Shawn Michaels propositioned her. Vince vehemently denies that Shawn did anytning of the sort, although I have a friend of a friend whose mom Shawn did hit on while she worked at an arena. Ironically, Davey Boy would end up having an affair with Shawn Michaels’s most recent sex partner, Sunny. The Bulldog tries to ram Fatu’s head against the turnbuckle, but, being a Samoan wrestler, this has no effect (except to make him get funky). Samoans do not stereotypicall have especially strong shoulders, which spells trouble for Fatu when he hits the ring post after missing a charge at the Bulldog in the corner. As Raw goes to break, two Samoans in sunglasses and suits look on.  Viewers in 1996 should recognize the one on the left as Samu, while more recent viewers of WWE should recognize the one on the left as Rosey.

Fatu’s family members are not impressed with Fatu, who is locked in a sleeperhold. Fatu escapes and applies his own sleeper, but is mule-kicked in the groin by Bulldog. Diana Smith will be answering questions on America Online, marking the first and perhaps only time that a chat room has ventured into the topic of sex. Fatu takes Davey Boy down, with Vince noting that “The Bulldog has been bulldogged.” This would be much more clever had Fatu actually done a bulldog, rather than an Ace Crusher. Davey Boy fights back with a clothesline and running powerslam, then pins Fatu. Vince is incredulous: “One, two, and kick out! No… no he got him!” Fatu then gets into an altercation with his family members, possibly over him making too much of a difference. Or maybe Samu wants to become a Headshrinker again after recovering from that bad fish he ate. Whatever the case, Fatu is having none of it, and is both firm and pandering in his defiance. “You ain’t my family. The WWF is my family!” Apparently his refusal worked, as this angle was dropped almost immediately.
In tag team action next are… Tekno Team 2000?! Not only have they been absent from WWF TV since last summer, but they were even excluded from the tag team tournament, for which WWF flat-out invented new characters to team with singles wrestlers for the sake of having a complete eight-team bracket.  Sunny, whose merchandise has been selling as of late, comes to the ring for her match… along with two wrestlers who will serve as her proxies. Before the match, Jerry Lawler gives rather complicated instructions on how to find out about the U.S. Army online. He also wishes Willie Mays a happy birthday. I’m sure Troy’s dad Bill Watts does, too. As Skip and Zip take it to Troy and Travis, Harvey Wippleman takes notes at ringside on the officiating. Jerry Lawler mentions that, speaking of the Tekno Team 2000 and the future, a new pill coming out next year for impotence. Yes, it’s the Tekno Team 2000’s big comeback match, and they’re used as a segue into Viagra jokes.

The New Rockers scout the Bodydonnas, whom they will be challenging for the tag titles shortly (in a loss on Superstars). They tell Vince that of course they’re not nervous, because they’re the New Rockers. Vince then calls them “cornballs, personality-wise.” Troy tries a Stinger splash, but misses, a High-Risk Maneuver that Backfired (#1). Zip knees Troy in the “elbow area,” then tries a High-Risk Maneuver (#2 - elbow) off the top rope that misses. Funny how the Bodydonnas aren’t at all identical, but the announcers have to pretend not to be able to tell which one’s Skip and which one’s Zip, whereas Tekno Team 2000 aren’t supposed to be identical, but nobody watching at home gives a damn about which one’s Troy and which one’s Travis. “Hey, McMahon,” chimes in Lawler. “Did you know that gas prices are up 14% in the last three months?” McMahon basically tells him to shut up. Zip hits an axe-handle smash off the top rope on a prone Troy (or Travis), then picks up the pinfall.
Jim Ross speaks with Jim Cornette and Vader, who faces Yokozuna at In Your House. Ross asks Cornette if he’s worried about Vader’s match next week with Duke “The Dumpster” Droese, because this is 1996. Before The Undertaker faces Owen Hart, his In Your House opponent Goldust comes to the ring for commentary (and to get a good sniff of Vince McMahon.

Goldust, who is sporting his own pair of gold headphones, is still quite enamored with McMahon, though not nearly as much as Vince is with the classy, classy Sable. What a lady she is, by the way. Vince announces that Goldust’s Intercontinental Title defense against the Undertaker will be a casket match, which freaks out Goldust for once. Goldy and Marlena leave the announce table in a hurry, but rush back when Taker’s bell tolls and the lights go out. Goldust audibly panics, telling the directors to “cut.” Vince wonders whether Goldust is simply acting. Immediately after, Goldust speaks lustily about Taker being “so tall, so cold, and so clammy.” “Turn me on, big boy!” He then implies that he’d like to use the urn as a sex toy.
Owen Hart works Undertaker’s leg throughout the break. After the return from commercial, Goldust stands up and comes on strong to Paul Bearer, prompting King to call him a “chubby-chaser.” The champion molests Bearer, loosening his tie and unbuttoning his shirt until he runs away screaming to the back. This means that The Undertaker has no power of the urn as Owen continues to work on the “leg and knee area.” Owen then hits a dropkick off the top rope and attempts a Sharpshooter, but gets choked by Taker. Undertaker tosses him backwards over the top rope. Goldust tries to help him back into the ring, but fondles his backside in the process, to which Owen takes exception. Taker then pulls Hart into the ring and tombstones him for the victory. Bearer then brings out a custom gold-painted casket, which sends Goldust running in terror.

Final tally:

2 Maneuvers (Year total: 68)

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