Saturday, August 2, 2014

Raw #166 - July 1st, 1996

Shawn Michaels, “the greatest sports-entertainer in the world today,” opens tonight’s Raw, walking down the aisle with his “Kliq Cam.” How is the view from the Kliq Cam being shown in real time if this is a live broadcast? Maybe I just answered my own question. Speaking of questions, tonight, HBK faces former Rockers partner Marty Jannetty to determine which one was the “Marty Jannetty” of their team.
Not only is Leif Cassidy in Marty Jannetty’s corner tonight, but so is Jim Cornette, who manages the three-man team that Michaels and friends will face at International Incident. Vince promotes the upcoming match between Goldust (with Marlena) and Marc Mero (with Sable), speculating that “the fur’s gonna fly.” I don’t know exactly what “fur” McMahon’s talking about. Did Vince conduct a photo shoot with Sable before her famous Playboy appearance? Michaels executes a Nice Maneuver (#1) on Jannetty, a jumping standing switch. Or is that just a “jumping switch”? HBK executes another Maneuver (#2), standing up from off his back with a waistlock and trying to take Jannetty back down with a backslide pin, which Marty counters by flipping backward and landing on his feet. Later, Shawn takes Marty down with Japanese arm drags (“Mexican-style,” says McMahon), then dropkicks Marty to the outside, where he regroups with Cornette and Cassidy. Back in the ring, Michaels hits a bionic elbow “to the head area.” Jannetty gets pulled out of the way of the Super Kick by his partner Leif, who then gets a baseball slide from HBK, allowing Marty to jump on Shawn off the apron. Vince accuses, nay, states as a fact that Marty is jealous of Shawn before the less successful Rocker Gord-busts the champion onto the top rope.

After the break, Marty is still in control of the leader of the Kliq, which the King is sick of. Good thing for him, then, that Razor, Diesel, and the 123 Kid have all left for WCW. Vince promises us footage from recent live events, “notwithstanding” live action this Friday at the Meadowlands, and “notwithstanding” a show in New Haven this Saturday. As Shawn feeds off the fans’ cheers to escape a chin lock, Leif Cassidy politely tries to quiet the fans down. Michaels monkey-flips Jannetty out of the corner, but Marty lands on his feet and clotheslines the champion. While atempting a fist drop, though, the New (and original) Rocker gets a boot to the face. Michaels then hits Tito Santana’s flying burrito, followed by a powerbomb attempt which Jannetty reverses with a huracanrana, and which Shawn further reverses with a sunset flip for a two count and a Maneuver (#3). Marty rolls through an HBK body press for a two-count of his own after Michaels’s previous Athletic Maneuver (#4).
When Raw returns, Marty Jannetty lands the Rocker Dropper, which Michaels survives without breaking his neck. Shawn hits a piledriver and mounts the ropes for an elbow drop, followed by a super kick. Before delivering the knockout blow, Michaels gets pumped up by stomping the mat multiple times, which the audience claps along to. After HBK’s comeback in 2002, fans would mistakenly count along with the stomps, rather than clap. Michaels beats his former partner in the first match between the two in which the outcome is obvious. Leif Cassidy gets superkicked after the bell, and Super Sock Jose Lothario socks Jim Cornette to clear the heel manager from the ring. A sign proclaims Green Bay’s love for HBK, which is great and all, but Raw was in Green Bay last week, and they wouldn’t just return to Green Bay a week later for another Raw, would they?

Footage is shown from this Saturday’s Superstars, where Sunny appeared to apologize to Phineas before slapping him in the face and verbally tearing into him. Harsh, but at least she’s not an animal rapist. In the process, Sunny cut a strong and engaging promo as both a (fake) babyface and a heel, reminding me of one of those great Sable promos where… uh… well, you remember how great Sable’s mic skills are. Anyway, the Smoking Gunns put the boots to Phineas, but Hillbilly Jim and Henry Godwinn evened the score, then cornered Sunny for a much-anticipated slopping. The fans went wild! I understand a lot of the wrestlers backstage were happy about this segment, but probably not as much as the fans, who had yet to see her covered in goop like that.
Speaking of messes, Duke “The Dumpster” Droese is in the ring for his match. And further speaking of messes, Jake Roberts is on commentary for this match between Droese and the Snake’s International Incident opponent, Mankind. We see footage of fans at Cleveland’s Gund Arena buying tickets for Summerslam, which were going faster, says Lawler, than tickets to an Indians game. That might have something to do with the Indians playing 81 home games a year. Mankind dominates the early going with punches as Jerry Lawler starts making “drunk” jokes about Jake only being at the arena because the bar was closed.

After the break, it’s more of the same from Lawler, who makes jokes about Jake’s “double vision” and how he was drinking from a paper bag during the break. I wonder how Jerry would feel if I constantly ridiculed his womanizing, multiple divorces, and legal woes? In other words, I wonder what would happen if the King read any of my blog posts. Vince praises Jake’s “refreshing” honesty about how he had a problem and “licked it,” but Lawler suggests that he “drank it.” Roberts wonders what problems Lawler has had in his past, but the King has no idea what he could possibly be talking about. Duke spine-busts Mankind, who quickly returns to his feet. Lawler then makes an accusation that is much funnier in hindsight; weaving in the topical pop culture references as only he can (or would), Jerry says Jake Roberts rode with musician Tiny Tim as he drunkenly hijacked a cart at an airport and ran people over. In 1999, Lawler would run over the foot of a police officer after tearing up a ticket at — you guessed it — an airport. Duke gets Mankind in a bear hug, but Mankind counters with the mandible claw for the victory. Jake has just about reached his limit, standing up to confront Lawler, who slaps him in the face to see if he’ll turn the other cheek. He does! King slaps the other cheek, then gets choked out by Jake before Mankind intervenes and subdues Roberts with the mandible claw, which Lawler later describes as “tastes great, less filling.”
On this week’s Option 6 on the WWF Superstar Line, Jim Ross will tell you why the Ultimate Warrior is in the dog house with the WWF. Goldust, who last week subjected Undertaker to a glitter attack, faces Marc Mero next with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin on commentary. Austin, whose lip is still swollen “eight days” after getting stitches, faces Marc Mero once again at In Your House and uses the word, “ass” on Raw for the first time. This is coming off his famous “Austin 3:16” promo from King of the Ring, which the WWF has thus far not even acknowledged, let alone marketed with merchandise. The announcers make vague reference to some sort of altercation between Sable and Marlena involving the director “fixing the static cling” on Sable’s skirt. I think they’re hinting at a lesbian angle here, but Jerry remains coherent throughout, so I doubt it. At Lawler’s suggestion, Stone Cold ridicules Roberts for being drunk during their King of the Ring match and being an alcoholic. Maybe he’ll open up a Steveweiser at ringside. As for Roberts’s whereabouts, King thinks he’s gone to Canada after seeing a billboard reading, “Drink Canada Dry.” Okay, that’s a pretty good one. Marlena then approaches Sable as Raw goes to break.

The two women have to be separated during the break after Marlena’s “advances” toward Sable. We all know that Goldust is “bizarre,” but could Marlena be “bizarre,” as well. Of course, men are much more open to female “bizarreness” than male “bizarreness.” Austin complains about Vince “putting [Mero] over like a million bucks” on commentary, such as when he praises the Maneuver (#5 - victory roll) that the Wildman uses to nearly pin Goldust. Austin will face Mero for the third of five times at International Incident in accordance to the WWF’s new repeptitive booking philosophy. Marlena then sneaks up behind Sable and sizes her up before following her around ringside and harassing her with cigar smoke. With Mero distracted, Goldust finishes off the Wildman with his trademark move. Now, both Marc Mero and Hunter Hearst Helmsley are victims of the Curtain Call. Goldust then kisses Marlena, shocking Vince, who says, “What the —!?” before Raw goes off the air. 

Final tally:

5 Maneuvers (Year total: 115)
3 Notwithstandings

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