Saturday, July 19, 2014

Raw #162 - June 3rd, 1996

Bob Holly is in the ring when Raw begins. The likes of Holly and Aldo Montoya have really benefitted from the Monday Night War; now that Raw has eliminated non-contracted jobbers from its matches for the sake of competitiveness, the lowest tier “Superstars” get a chance to shine and count the lights every Monday night. Vince McMahon announces that Ahmed Johnson will be challenging Goldust for the Intercontinental Title at King of the Ring after last week’s “mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.”
Spark Plugg’s opponent tonight is Steve Austin, whose manager Ted DiBiase was banished from the WWF per pre-match stipulation due to Stone Cold’s loss to Savio Vega at last Tuesday’s PPV.   Fans in attendance at this episode (taped last week) get a spoiler for that PPV, as DiBiase does not enter with Austin. This match is a King of the Ring first round match. Vince blames Jerry Lawler for the Ultimate Warrior being counted out last week and eliminating him from the tournament, claiming that Jerry Lawler blocked Warrior from getting back in the ring after he had chased off Goldust. This is a blatant lie, of course, as Warrior just stood in front of the RAW sign until the bell rang and ended the match, before Jerry even made it to the aisle. Missed cue or not, Vince’s version of the story is official canon, and Lawler and Warrior will have a match at the pay-per-view because of it. Jerry Lawler takes his turn to disingenuously spin events, praising Goldust’s heroism for saving Ahmed’s life, but then again, he’s the heel and is supposed to be a liar. Also according to Lawler, Austin is glad to have Ted DiBiase gone, but I predict Stone Cold’s career will go nowhere without a manager cutting promos for him. Meanwhile, there is a match going on, of which Austin is in control, even kicking Holly in the face to counter a Little Telegraphed Maneuver (#1 - failed back body drop).
Austin, whom Vince repeatedly calls, “heartless” (as the “stone cold” nickname implies), has Holly in a chinlock throughout the break, but Sparky escapes, then crotches Austin on the top rope for a Maneuver (#2) as Stone Cold attempts an aerial move. Holly then attempts the ten punches in the corner, but gets pushed off halfway through. Austin then locks him in the Million Dollar Dream (despite DiBiase no longer being his manager, at least according to kayfabe chronology) for the victory. Austin thus advances to the quarter finals to take on either Savio Vega or Marty Jannetty, the veteran who is nonetheless competing in his first King of the Ring tournament ever due to his past habit of getting fired all the time. Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw has also advanced by defeating Henry Godwinn on Superstars (which was filmed the night after this episode).
Vince replays last week’s footage of Jerry Lawler’s “interference,” albeit heavily edited to appear as though Lawler actually stopped Warrior from re-entering the ring. The sound of the ring bell and ring announcer have been pushed back about ten seconds to get the job done. Fans in attendance, however, will probably be confused as the feud plays out over the course of several episodes, all filmed in one night. Jerry Lawler, we learn, has now been placed in a match against the Ultimate Warrior at King of the Ring. Lawler brings up Warrior’s comic book, which he praises (he has to pay the bills, after all) but says could have been much better had King done some of the artwork. He then shows the cover of a comic book he has been drawing, showing himself squashing a puny Warrior dubbed, “Ultimate Loser.”
Hava Nagila echoes throughout the arena, marking the entrance for Barry Horowitz and reminding fans that he is, technically, a name talent, since he has theme music and all. Deranged individual and future New York Times bestseller Mankind then enters with the video wall displaying his moniker in the same font as on his first autobiography. Jim Ross, apparently the only man able to interview Mankind, offers his thoughts on the newly-signed match between Mankind and the Undertaker for King of the Ring, made necessary by Mankind’s materialization in the casket last Tuesday Night, interference in the casket match, and the de-materialization of The Undertaker after being stuffed in said casket. Mankind hangs Horowitz from the tree of woe and delivers an axe-handle smash, then stomps and chokes the legendary jobber.
Horowitz fights valiantly with European uppercuts, but soon gets caught with the mandible claw and meets defeat. Jim Ross then comes to the ring to get a word from Mankind, who berates Undertaker, then demonstrates that he has nothing to lose, having already lost his ear, his teeth, and his mind.

Next, we see pay-per-view footage that Vince McMahon has been hyping up all night, as if we are going to see complete matches due to the technical difficulties and confusion from last week. In truth all we see is clips from the finish of the main event, which, being a hokey double-pin, you wouldn’t have paid or anyway if you knew it was going to happen. Tonight’s “Slam of the Week” is the botched Pedigree that jobber Marty Garner took on this weekend’s Superstars. Marty thinks he’s going up for a double-underhook suplex or something and thus ends up landing right on his head. The lesson is to always watch HHH’s matches, a lesson drilled into current WWE viewers heads’ over the past decade and a half.
Goldust appears in his den (“of iniquity,” adds Vince) to explain his actions last week, when he kissed Ahmed Johnson. He opens with a quote from “The Color Purple.” He claims that he saved Ahmed’s life by wrapping his lips around the big Johnson. Vince insists that Ahmed didn’t need mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Goldust then compares the kiss with the African-American superstar to the consumption of chocolate. Lawler congratulates Goldust, claiming the Bizarre One has earned an award from the Red Cross for acting in the same capacity as a nurse; Goldust thanks King and explains how he has learned his “best techniques” from male nurses. But back to the chocolate metaphor, Goldust promises that Ahmed will melt in his hands and not in his mouth.

The Tekno Team 2000 make their second appearance on Raw this year, facing the Godwinns. Sunny is on commentary to scout the Godwinns, or to distract him, suggests Vince. The Tekno Team is sporting new, stupid face paint. Backstage, the Bodydonnas announce their worldwide search for a new manager, now that, Skip says, the relationship with Sunny is over. Ha! If her months-long fling with Shawn Michaels didn’t end it for him, why end it now? The in-ring action starts off with Henry Godwinn and Troy, whom Vince calls, “Travis.” As the crowd chants “Sunny,” Phineas steps into the ring with the newly-tagged Travis (or, as Vince calls him, “Troy”). The younger Godwinn is distracted by Sunny’s presence at ringside, “visually harassing” her in her words. Sunny insults Phineas constantly; Jerry adds that “Old Phineas is dumber than dirt” as Travis rams his head into the turnbuckle, which Phineas hits one more time even after Travis has let go, as if to prove Jerry’s point. Erik “Troy” Watts tags in and attempts a standing moonsault, but never quite flips.
After the break, the Tekno Team 2000 attempt a double-team Maneuver (#3), Gourdbusting one partner onto Phineas, who counters by lifting his knees up, itself a Nice Maneuver (#4). Vince wonders why Sunny must bring the tag team belts with her to ringside; Sunny explains that, as per her manager agreement, she gets the belts, the money, and, in a Freudian slip, “the pussy.” She then corrects herself and says, “publicity” before granting that Billy Gunn gets a kiss every now and then. Tekno Team attempt another Maneuver (#5), one leapfrogging the other for a corner splash, but Henry Godwinn dodges and hits the Slop Drop for the pin and the win. An angry Henry then darts toward the ring, but Hillibilly Jim stands in his way, while Jerry Lawler “protects” Sunny.  Clarence Mason then gets on the phone and explains why exactly he was in a neckbrace and using crutches at the PPV. He blames his injuries on an assault by Gorilla Monsoon, showing footage of Monsoon lightly tapping Mason on the back two weeks ago on Raw to escort him from ringside. Vince notes that the “attempted alienation of affections” lawsuit filed against Shawn Michaels last week on PPV has been thrown out.
Jake the Snake Roberts and Hunter Hearst Helmsley face off in another King of the Ring first round match-up. Helmsley was scheduled to win the tournament as of a few weeks ago, before the MSG curtain call incident; let’s see how he fares tonight. Roberts attempts the DDT twice, with Hunter bailing out each time. Valet Jenny Lee sits with Lawler as fans chant, “DDT.” McMahon wants to know what Jenny thinks of Hunter’s “protruding proboscis,” a phrase he repeats a few more times. He then sarcastically refers to her as another “Rocket Scientist of the Week” candidate, since she cannot match the class and intelligence apparently displayed by Sable. Vince wonders whether Jake Roberts will be able to cap off his triumphant return at 43 years of age by winning the King of the Ring; Jerry Lawler laughs off the possibility and calls it a “last hurrah.” Lawler is 45 at the time. Vince takes a moment to explain that Razor Ramon and Diesel are no longer associated with the WWF, bitterly adding that they are trying to “pawn themselves off as the stars they once were in the WWF” and to “perpetuate some sort of ruse” as if they are still in the employ of the WWF. Vince then suggests that if fans want to learn more about the “ruse,” they can call the Superstar Line. Or just change the channel to TNT and watch Nitro. Guess which option most fans chose.
After the break, Hunter is in command. Vince praises the depth of meaning in the Ultimate Warrior comic book, asking Jerry what he thinks of the “Plains of Destrucity” (a prominent geographical feature of Parts Unknown). Lawler compains that he can’t find “destrucity” in any dictionary and wonders whether, as a comic book character, Warrior ever gets asked out on dates by Mary Worth. Lawler promises a special surprise for the Warrior next week, some sort of picture. Jake escapes a chinlock with a jawbreaker, then uses punches and a short-arm clothesline to set up for the DDT, which Hunter yet again avoids by running Roberts into the corner.

Dok Hendrix urges us all to call the Superstar Line to fid out what Vince McMahon thinks about “the latest corporate raids by Billionaire Ted” before the action returns.
Roberts quickly catches Hunter with the DDT to pick up the pinfall and advance to the quarterfinals against Justin Hawk Bradshaw, who qualified tomorrow… I mean, this past weekend on Superstars. Jake then brings out his python and dangles him over top of Hunter. He then threatens to stuff the snake down HHH’s pants, much to his valet’s horror, but the referee prevents this.

Final tally:

5 Maneuvers (Year total: 92)

1 comment:

  1. Once again, during the Superstar Line promo by Dok Hendrix, the music playing in the background is Lex Luger's WCW entrance theme. Not sure if this is a Network edit or if it was used during the actual broadcast.