Saturday, July 26, 2014

Raw #164 - June 17th, 1996

Vince opens tonight’s Raw with a suggestion to the viewer to “expect the unexpected.” The opening match is Steve Austin vs. Savio Vega, wrestling on television for the fifth time in three months, not including Beware of Dog 1. Very unexpected indeed.
The match gets underway in a hurry in an effort to get the jump on Nitro and keep viewers hooked before WCW’s show comes on. Austin works over Savio’s ankle on the rope, which not too many wrestlers do (because it causes an automatic rope break). Austin knocks Savio to the outside, where the Caribbean Legend slams Austin’s leg against the ring post. He later Irish whips Austin, who falls to the ground due to an injured leg. Why don’t more people just drop to the ground to counter an Irish whip? How many successful Irish whips have you seen in MMA? Austin grabs Savio by the belt and pulls him into the top turnbuckle for a Clever Maneuver (#1). Savio soon shifts the momentum back in his favor by reversing a body slam into a body press. Stone Cold evens things out a bit by lifting his knees to counter a Vega splash but damages his knee in the process. Both men accidentally knock heads right before the break.

Savio and Austin, who is without Ted DiBiase tonight due to the Million Dollar Man being banished from the Federation tomorrow night (in real time; twenty days ago in kayfabe time). Austin escapes a pin via rope break. Savio then grabs Austin in a waistlock, which Stone Cold counters with the first-ever Stunner on Raw, a Maneuver (#2) Vince does not identify by name. Austin pins Savio to eliminate him from the second round before he has even advanced past the first round, Vega’s first round victory being taped the following night in real time. Savio would gain revenge the next night by beating Austin in a strap match (which was shown twenty days ago. If you thought *live* television was unpredictable, look what kind of crazy shenanigans occur on taped TV!). Mankind’s attacks on the Undertaker are recapped, albeit with better lighting for his assault on Taker in Goldust’s casket.
Steve Austin does not leave ringside, instead putting on a headset for commentary. Vince says Austin has a “bird’s eye view” of the action, which would be true if the announce table were suspended from the ceiling. A memorial for Dick Murdoch, who entered last year’s Royal Rumble, airs.

Owen Hart, who this weekend on Superstars (again, in a match taped the night after this) lost to Barry Horowitz by reverse decision by new referee Harvey Wippleman, faces Marc Mero. Vince McMahon is outraged at Owen Hart’s cast, which he doubts is necessary, especially since no one saw Hart injure himself. Austin, getting his first extended mic time, has refrained from swearing, leaving the profanity to the likes of Ultimate Warrior. Vince is also setting a personal record, going the whole match thus far without mentioning how classy Sable is. Marc Mero backflips out of a hammerlock for a Maneuver (#3) that he follows up with a hip toss and, later, a Nice Maneuver (#4 - reverse monkey flip). Vince wonders aloud whether Goldust, who faces Jake Roberts tonight, will “have to eat a 15-foot python.” I think he means, “15-inch.” Unless he means the reptile…. Vince thinks Goldust could be afraid of snakes, and I certainly hope he is; we might get some great quotes from Indiana Jones. Marc Mero attempts a flipping senton on Owen Hart off the top rope, but misses, resulting in a Devastating Maneuver (#5) for the Wildman. Owen further punishes Mero with a Maneuver (#6 - spinning heel kick) while the Wildman runs the ropes. Austin takes off his headset and teases interference against Marc Mero as Raw goes to break.
When the show returns, we learn that Austin has been removed from ringside to prevent interference. Owen puts Mero in the Boston Crab, but fortunately, he’s not facing Sable, whose face Jerry says could turn you to stone. Mero kicks out of a Perfect Plex, but Owen Hart ascends the ropes for a High-Risk Maneuver (#7), a splash that Mero counters with his knees. Mero surprises Owen from behind, taking him down with his legs for a roll-up and a three count. In retaliation, Owen Hart knocks Mero out with his cast. Goldust, Lawler suggests, should come to the ring to give Mero “artificial insemination.” He corrects himself a few times, but never quite finds the term he’s looking for, which is “mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.”
Jim Ross interviews the British Bulldog in another arena on the “Attitude Adjustment Tour,” actually the arena in Charleston, South Carolina, the same place they filmed Beware of Dog 2 and Superstars. Shawn Michaels storms the ring after Bulldog claims not to give a “frog’s fat arse” about his whereabouts. The two brawl, and not even Gerald Brisco, Rene Goulet, and Barry Horowitz can pull them apart.
Dok Hendrix tells us to call the Superstar Line to find out who the 5 new Superstars are who are coming to the WWF. The answer: The Goon, TL Hopper, Freddie Joe Floyd, Alex “The Pug” Porteau, and Salvatore Sincere, also known as the “Kiss of Death Five,” a group of “superstars” brought in to lose every match while not technically being “enhancement talent.”
Jerry Lawler steps into the ring to have a word with Aldo Montoya, hoping to demonstrate what he’ll do to the Ultimate Warrior. Lawler cheap-shots him with the microphone, then piledrives him. Jake Roberts makes the save (a little too late), driving Lawler back to the announce table. As a result, Aldo’s scheduled match against Hunter Hearst Helmsley never takes place, sparing HHH from another loss during his “doghouse” period. A maniacal Jerry Lawler tells Warrior fans that all of the “destrucity” will fall at the feet of the King.
Brian Pillman, who is on crutches due to an auto accident, is seen at his contract-signing press conference at WWF headquarters. Pillman will not be able to wrestle until the following year. A transcript will be available on AOL, “notwithstanding” coverage of the conference on Mania and Action Zone.

Goldust enters with his wig somewhat frazzled. Vince hopes that he “likes his snake raw, ‘cause he’s gonna eat a big python here tonight!” Speaking of homoeroticism, Vince once again shows the footage of Goldust kissing Ahmed Johnson, whom Lawler accuses of being so dumb, he thinks you need a ticket to get on Soul Train. Bad example, Jerry, as it’s entirely possible that the Soul Train television show requires its audience to have tickets. “Boarding pass” would have been a better choice of words. Jake starts a “DDT” as Goldust stalls and threatens to leave ringside, just as he did in the Warrior match from earlier in the taping. Jerry excitedly plugs the new RAW Magazine, for which Marlena has done an, uh, artistic photo shoot, meaning mostly nude. Jerry Lawler for the first time takes exception to Jake Roberts’s talk of recovering from addiction. Lawler’s a king, so, like a doctor, he doesn’t make mistakes, he buries them. Yeah, right. Considering that he pushed his own son, Brian Christopher, to the moon in USWA, it’s safe to say that Lawler doesn’t “bury” his “mistakes.” Goldust gets Roberts in a waistlock, then feels him up (and down), suggesting that he does indeed “like his snake raw.” Goldust cowers in the corner twice, the second time getting spanked by The Snake, which is a very common tactic by the Bizarre One’s supposedly completely heterosexual opponents. After a hip toss, Dust crawls backwards to the corner, accidentally getting up-close-and-personal with Roberts’s bag. A few weeks ago, Goldust performed mouth-to-mouth; this week, it’s snake-to-snake. Goldust turns the match into his favor by pulling Roberts’s arm into the ring post for a Clever Maneuver (#8). Jerry Lawler takes the opportunity to spoil the ending to the new Mission: Impossible movie, then says he’ll give away the ending of this match, predicting a win for Goldust. Who does he think he is, Eric Bischoff? The Bizarre One tries to kiss Jake, but gets an uppercut instead. Roberts then hits Goldust with an inverted atomic drop, a Perfectly Legal Maneuver (#9), despite protests from Lawler. Mr. Perfect joins the broadcast via split-screen, where he is to interview Jim Cornette and find out who the special referee for the PPV main event is. Perfect knows who it is, but won’t say until after the match. In the mean time, Goldust stuffs his crotch into Jake’s face in the corner.
After the break, Vince talks more about the special referee situation for King of the Ring, while reluctantly praising the Impressive Legal Maneuvering (#10) of Clarence Mason. Goldust has Roberts in a leglock, but lets go, allowing Jake the Snake to get to his feet and clotheslines the Bizarre One. Marlena slips a gold foreign object into Goldust’s hand, a weapon Goldust uses to knock down Roberts and pin the veteran. Harvey then sees glitter all over Jake’s face and reverses the decision, figuring out that Goldust has used a foreign object. This is one time when Goldust’s flamboyance backfires. In retaliation, Dust picks up the blinded Roberts by the neck and stalks him as the Snake gropes at the air in a scene reminiscent of the Wrestlemania VII blindfold match. Roberts finds Goldust and DDTs him. Backstage, Jim Cornette reveals the identity of the special referee: Mr. Perfect himself! Hmm… couldn’t Jim have just picked Owen hart as the ref and eliminated any doubt about the outcome of the match?

Final tally:

10 Maneuvers (Year total: 108)

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