Saturday, October 4, 2014

Raw #178 - September 30th, 1996

Raw opens with clips from last week’s shocking heel turn for Jim Ross. The month where one wrestler is scheduled to murder another wrestler on pay-per-view, JR is being pushed as the #1 heel in the main story line. Stone Cold Steve Austin faces Jake Roberts in a rematch from King of the Ring. Last time they wrestled, Austin cut his immortal “Austin 3:16” promo and the WWF has capitalized by putting out zero merchandise of it. Jerry Lawler, however, has brought something along for the occasion: a bottle of Jim Bean. Again. Every time The King calls it Jake the Snake’s tag team partner tonight, take a swig of a beverage containing a particular ingredient whose name eludes me. Water, maybe?
Jim Ross tells us that Steve Austin will face Savio Vega at the next pay-per-view. This must be another JR lie, as Austin and Vega have already wrestled each other a half dozen times this year. Savio, for his part, will be wrestling tonight against “Razor Ramon.” Jake Roberts points to Lawler during the match, so King promises that he has “something” for Roberts. That would be the Jim Beam, right? Lawler trots out the old joke about Roberts’s friends Jim Beam and Jack Daniels. Roberts confronts Lawler at ringside, then fends off a sneak attack by Austin. However, Stone Cold gets the jump on Roberts as he re-renters the ring. There is major heat here, as the audience seems to be booing Austin and/or Lawler heavily throughout the match on this taped episode (although all the fans on camera appear to be sitting quietly).

After the break, Roberts sets up for the DDT, but Austin hooks the top rope to counter. Austin tries to pin Jake with his feet on the ropes, but he gets caught by the ref. Roberts then hits the DDT, but Stone Cold gets his foot on the rope again, this time on defense. Jerry Lawler spits liquor at Roberts, distracting him before he succumbs to the Stunner. Austin picks up the win, then double-teams Roberts with Lawler. Savio Vega runs in with a strap (a Caribbean strap) to even the score.
A shot airs of “Razor” and “Diesel” warming up backstage. This is the first fans have seen of the New Diesel, whom most astute fans probably already recognize as Isaac Yankem. Hunter Hearst Helmsley storms to the ring and challenges Mr. Perfect to a match, sans posh accent. He sticks around ringside for commentary for the upcoming tag team match pitting the Godwinns against newcomers The Grimm Twins. The Grimms are huge twins with very similar tattoos to the Blu Twins, but their hair is short instead of long, so that theory goes out the window. Kevin Kelly calls them, “very impressive individuals,” clearly receiving instructions from Vince through his headset. A boy holds up the only piece of Godwinns merchandise ever witnessed by man as the hog farmers enter. Phineas greets Helmsley with his pet goat. The announcers completely ignore the action in the ring, preferring to discuss the Hunter-Perfect feud and Jake Roberts’s alcoholism instead of the bout between the Ozark hillbillies and the former Appalachian hillbillies. Mr. Perfect comes onto the split-screen to accept Hunter’s challenge and give Helmsley a few weeks to get in shape. Perhaps Helmsley could use the services of Muffy, his future wife’s personal trainer. Phineas hits the slop drop on one of the Grimms, to which Kevin Kelly says, “what a maneuver!” A fan wearing the same rare Godwinns t-shirt and a pig snout claps for the winning team.
Dok Hendrix presents part two of his exposé of the WCW-bound Jeff Jarrett, citing “sources” who claim that Double J “struck a deal with The Real Double J.” We then see the secret rehearsal tapes from last July, which features the man formerly known as The Roadie on vocals. His real name is “Jesse James,” coincidentally also having the initials, “JJ.” Jerry Lawler laments having been “hoodwinked again.” A commercial then airs for the newly-launched RAW Magazine, which it markets as if it were a porno mag. It’s an adult magazine for the mature fan, says Pettengill, and fans who are 18 or older can call to get a discount on a subscription.
The fake Razor Ramon makes his second appearance of this taping, apparently to loud boos. However, close-ups of fans show utter indifference on their faces. Jim Ross touts the new Razor as a young 6’7” athlete who is hear to “kick fanny and take names.” If the audience could only hear that the new Razor Ramon kicks fanny, they would be a lot more into the newcomer. Gorilla Monsoon joins the announcers’ table to argue with Jim Ross, who asks Monsoon whether Vince McMahon had ever fired him and made his family almost go hungry. “It certainly doesn’t look like you missed too many meals,” says Monsoon. Savio Vega storms the ring to take it to the impostor Razor Ramon. while Gorilla Monsoon covers the WWF’s ass by clarifying that neither he nor the company ever promised that Kevin Nash and Scott Hall would be on Raw. He and Ross then bicker back and forth and mention Kevin Nash and Scott Hall’s names over and over again, perhaps hoping that fans will confuse this show for WCW Nitro, albeit with more usage of the word, “hoodwink.” Dok Hendrix appears on the split-screen outside of Razor and Diesel’s locker room, where he hopes to get a word with “Diesel.” Diesel isn’t in there anymore.

After the break, Ross continues to be bewildered by people disapproving of his bringing new athletes to the Federation. He didn’t bring Doink in, he says, although in Doink’s case, few noticed when the original wrestler got replaced and passed off as the real thing. Diesel Yankem, DDS lumbers to ringside, pulling down the top rope and calling Savio to spill to the outside. The Fake Razor executes the Fake Razor’s Edge on the Puerto Rican Legend, followed by a Fake Jackknife by Fake Diesel. Diesel’s music, which, along with Razor’s, is featured n the WWF’s new music CD, plays in the arena. “With My Baby Tonight” is also on that CD. Maybe the WWF will bring back a fake Mabel or Hakushi to plug the CD, too. The Undertaker appears in a graveyard to talk some more about the Buried Alive match.
Vader, whom Kevin K. McMahon calls, “devastating,” comes to the ring with tag team partner Jim Cornette. The man who was supposed to beat HBK for the title last month gets his entrance talked over so the announcers can talk about the Wildman Marc Mero. Mero defends his new IC title at Buried Alive against Faarooq, who has had an “amicable parting of ways” with Sunny, who has also ditched the Smoking Gunns. If you would like to pinpoint when Sunny’s career started going downhill, it would be September 22nd-24th, when the WWF decided that, no, fans don’t want to see her cat-fight with Sable or be at ringside for matches or cut promos on behalf of wrestlers, but would rather her host Livewire on Saturday mornings with Todd Pettengill. Sable would become the new Sunny, while Sunny would become the new Stephanie Wiand.

A video package airs for next week’s Goldust-Sid match. Dok Hendrix wonders whether Goldust can “find a crack to bring the giant to his knees.” For Sid’s sake, I hope Goldust never forces him to his knees, let alone find a crack. Shawn Michaels made an appearance this weekend to promote MTV’s Rock The Vote, but tonight he’s in the ring along with José Lothario to face Vader and Cornette. The announcers use the Jim Ross situation to plug Vince McMahon’s appearance on Livewire this Saturday, where Paul Heyman will call in with a worked-shoot diatribe on the chairman. Vader dominates Shawn in the early going until HBK counters a powerbomb with a huracanrana. He then splits Vader’s wishbone on the ring post, despite the referee’s warnings, although he doesn’t get disqualified. Jim Ross comments that we don’t often see Shawn in a “tag team environment,” as long as you ignore his many years in The Rockers and his two title reigns with Diesel (the real one). Vader pummels Shawn some more, then tags in Cornette for what James E. thinks will be easy pickings. However, Shawn makes the hot tag, meaning that, to Cornette’s dismay, he won’t be wrestling the world heavyweight champion, but rather a 62-year-old José Lothario. Lothario makes good on his promise to “kick you butt” until Cornette pokes his eye and tags in Vader. However, the big man somehow allows Lothario to tag out, sending HBK back in. Shawn misses Sweet Chin Music and gets clotheslined, but kicks out of the ensuing pin attempt.
After the break, Vader climbs the ropes for the Vader Bomb, then teases a climb to the very top rope for a moonsault, then settles on a Vader Bomb after all. Shawn counters the splash with two knees. Cory Matthews was right; Vader is applying the Vader Bomb too slowly. The Playgirl coverboy then unloads on Vader, so to speak, then bodyslams Vader. A subsequent slam attempt backfires, and Shawn gets powerbombed and dragged to the corner for a successful Vader Bomb. Vader pins Shawn for the victory, certainly pushing him up the championship ranks, of which he will never reach the top again. Jerry Lawler, who is the heel commentator, I remind you, wonders whether it wasn’t really Vader beating Shawn, but Shawn’s busy schedule that cost him the match. Yes, the former monster heel isn’t enough to topple HBK, but autograph signings at Macy’s are. Sid comes in to break up a post-match beatdown, prompting his opponent for next week, Goldust, to rush in as well as Raw signs off.

No comments:

Post a Comment