Sunday, September 21, 2014

Raw #176 - September 16th, 1996

Jake Roberts opens this taped broadcast by chasing Jerry Lawler out of the broadcast position. If Lawler still had his headset, he’d be making a Jake the Snake joke about “chasers” right about now. His opponent is the debuting Sultan, who enters to the Iron Sheik’s old music along with Sheiky Baby himself and Bob Backlund.
The Sultan is wearing a pointy cap, looking like a combination of Oz and a Hershey’s Kiss. The cameraman makes sure to get a close-up of The Sultan so that everyone watching at home can immediately recognize him as Fatu. After removing his cap, Sultan reveals a bald head with a single braid, a big change from Fatu’s old haircut. Talk about making a difference! Jerry Lawler repeats a rumor he heard that The Sultan was once held hostage, and when he wouldn’t talk, his captors cut out his tongue. Sheik twice avoids the DDT, then wins after Lawler distracts the Snake by tossing a small bottle at him. The camel clutch leads to a submission. Lawler says he did everyone a favor by costing Jake the match, because if it had gone any longer, he would have wanted overtime pay: time-and-a-fifth. Forget DDP Yoga; Jerry Lawler has been really stretching it for decades.
Owen Hart and Brian Pillman brag backstage about the Hart brothers having “re-conciled.” Stone Cold joins in as the Steiner Brothers’ music plays in the background. But don’t get too excited; it’s just Alex Porteau and Bob Holly. They take on the tag team champions The Smoking Gunns in a non-title match. Sunny unveils a giant picture of herself hung from the rafters as Lawler recounts a recent nightmare: Sunny was his mother, and he was bottle-fed. I guess the scary part for King was that Sunny was twenty-some years older than him, and not vice-versa. Bob Holly gives Billy trouble in the early going, so Gunn tags in his brother Bart, Bombastic Bob’s future tag team partner. Jim Ross makes another outlandish guarantee, this time that Razor and Diesel will be on Raw live next week. He also thinks that the new show Livewire is going to be must-see television, so judge for yourself how credible he is. Camp Cornette, who face the Gunns on Sunday for the titles, distract the Gunns by taking up seats at ringside. Bart lifts up The Pug from a certain three-count to show off for Bulldog and Owen, then tags in Billy, who takes too much time setting up for a suplex and gets surprised with a roll-up for two. Porteau tags in Holly, but misses the actual tag, which Lawler points out. Jim Ross calls Sunny a Jezebel after she jerks Bob Holly off… the top rope, but a last-second confrontation between Billy and Owen Hart allows Holly to roll up Gunn for the upset victory. If this happens Sunday, the Gunns will lose their titles, but I think the bigger story is that Bob Holly finally got his win back against the Smoking Gunns after two losses in early 1995.
Gorilla Monsoon weighs in on the Razor/Diesel controversy, officially stating that Scott Hall and Kevin Nash are under contract to “another organization.” He then apologizes to any WWF fans who feel misled by Jim Ross (in effect, saying sorry for the angle doing exactly what it was intended to do). A loud clang like a pot being dropped on the floor can be heard during Monsoon’s speech, which is apparently Jim Ross dropping his headset and storming off the set.
Jerry Lawler is in the ring with Vader and Jim Cornette, who at In Your House faces José Lothario, the only guy the King knows who has an autographed copy of the Bible. Notice he said, “guy,” as he would later use the same joke for Mae Young. Jim Cornette holds a public workout with the unusually small jobber Tony Williams. Cornette, who towers over Tony, keeps putting Williams into holds, but his workout partner keeps reversing them. Eventually, Vader blindsides WIlliams with a fist to the face, allowing Cornette to tie up Williams and slap him around.
Jim Ross is back at the announce table, claiming never to have “hoodwinked” anybody, as Monsoon had alleged. Jerry Lawler tells JR, “I’m glad to see you’re back… especially after seeing your front!” Is King saying that Ross has a nice ass? On an unrelated note, Pat Patterson is on commentary. The first Intercontinental champion will be the special referee in next week’s tournament finals, which is notable in that it will actually take place. As Marc Mero comes to the ring, JR does his best McMahon impression by calling Sable a “gracious lady.” the Wildman and Owen Hart square off as Kevin Kelly emulates other announcers, praising Marc Mero for his nice maneuvers, and Owen Hart for his suplex, and a beauty. Gorilla Monsoon cuts into the commentary, not to chastise Kelly for plagiarism, but to again set the record straight on JR’s story in verbose fashion, using both “conscientious broadcast journalist” and “scrutinize” in the same sentence. “There’s plenty of action going on now,” says Gorilla, “so let’s get back to the ring.” How long has he been waiting to say that again? Ross is frustrated at people doubting him, and tells us, as Monsoon suggested, to “wait and see next week.” Meanwhile, nobody on commentary is paying attention to the match, despite Monsoon’s other suggestion.
Kevin Kelly channels Vince again, shouting “what a maneuver” at a Mero somersault plancha, but blows it when he calls another Wildman move a “high back drop” instead of a “baaaack body drop.” Owen Hart removes his cast and hits Mero in the head with it, which Jerry doesn’t see because he was looking at Sable. Wait, so does he still think Sable’s ugly, or what? Mero kicks out of a pin attempt, then hits Owen with the cast seemingly in plain view of the referee, then pins Owen for the victory instead of getting disqualified. Kevin Kelly tries a little too hard to copy Vince this time, calling the bout a “tremendous ma- match.” Hulk Hogan may not know a wristlock from a wristwatch, but Kevin Kelly doesn’t know a tremendous maneuver from a tremendous match. A young fan holds up a sign reading, “Take a walk on the wildsid.” So, is he a Mero fan or a Sid fan? Or is that their new, lame tag team name?
In keeping with the recent theme of JR telling outrageous lies, Ross claims that the wrestlers only got back from the South African tour this morning. Maybe that’s true, implying that the superstars are wrestling on live TV only hours after flying in from a seven-time-zone, fifteen-plus-hour flight from Johannesburg. We see footage of the WWF superstars on the savanna, including Hunter Hearst Helmsley in short pants and Stone Cold Steve Austin wearing a baseball cap, which seems to impress Jerry Lawler more than the giraffes or the fact that Austin crapped his pants in his match against Yokozuna. Bret Hart, who may have wrestled his last WWF match while on tour, took the time to call Brian Pillman a liar for claiming that the Hitman would be appearing at Mind Games. Again, this month’s theme is false advertising for upcoming shows, followed by denials in order to protect the Federation from legal liability. Bret also says that Owen is a liar; his scum brother claimed that the two had reconciled. How dare he!

A commercial airs for the new interactive program, Livewire, complete with sound bites from various WWF announcers putting over how outrageous the callers and their responses are. Of course, the show airs live, and it has yet to premiere, so all of these quotes are completely fabricated. Kevin Kelly tells us how to call, fax, or email into the show, flubbing the fax number along the way.
Faarooq and Sid square off in the second semifinal match in the IC title tournament. Faarooq, who unlike Sid, has held a World Title, takes it to Sid, flattening him with a powerslam.. Sid, however, no-sells the slam and pops up to his feet. Ross calls Faarooq’s helmet, “controversial headgear,” with “controversial” being a euphemism for “stupid.” Sid throws his patented weak punches in the corner, but after missing a charge in the corner, he gets belly-to-back suplexed, Jerry Lawler makes the same nonsensical “kidney transplant” joke at Jake Roberts’s and Ahmed Johnson’s expense that he made last week. The other commentators ignore this joke and let Ahmed’s pre-recorded comments play. Ahmed calls Sunny a “tooth in the wind” (I think. Or "Too thin to win?") and vows to Faarooq that he will “tear your ath up.” You don’t have to bleep “ass” out if you say it with a lisp. Mr. Assad target’s Sid’s kidneys as we go to break.
Sid flips out of Faarooq’s finisher and hits a one-handed chokeslam, causing Jim Ross to exclaim “What power!” (although it sounds like, “White power!” No wonder Faarooq felt the need to form the Nation of Domination). Sunny gets on the apron and argues with the referee, distracting him from the pin attempt Sid should be making on Faarooq but isn’t. Instead, Faarooq gets up to his feet before Sid, fetches a chair from ringside, and pounds Sid with it behind the ref’s back and pins Sid. In a brilliant bit of officiating, the ref makes the count with the steel chair in plain view, but Sid kicks out. Sid then grabs the chair, hits Faarooq with it, and gets disqualified, meaning that Faarooq advances to face Wildman Marc Mero in the finals on next week’s Raw. Undertaker then cuts a promo on Goldust for their upcoming “Final Curtain” match, promising a “premiere of the new Undertaker.”
Finally Paul Bearer cuts a promo on Shawn Michaels by singing a few bars of his “Sexy Boy” theme song. Mankind wonders whether, if he beats Shawn Michaels, it will make him a “sexy boy,” too. To find out whether Mankind will become WWF champion, and more importantly, a sexy boy, order In Your House: Mind Games on pay-per-view.

No comments:

Post a Comment