Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Raw #181 - October 21st, 1996

Sid opens the show to take on Owen Hart, who is still one half of the tag team champions. Sid, who earned a title shot last night by defeating Vader, looks to get his mitts on the Slammy Award-winner on this month’s live episode of Raw. More important, however, is the return of Vince McMahon to the RAW commentary desk. How many times will he say, “maneuver”? It’s hard to say, but he’s already said, “individual” twice in the first five minutes.
Owen downs Sid with a missile dropkick, then clotheslines Sid over the top rope to the floor, allowing the British Bulldog to try to get a cheap shot in. Sid blocks the punch and delivers one of his own, but then gets chop-blocked by Owen from behind.
After the break, Owen and Bulldog take turns working over Sid’s knee while a chant of “Sid” echoes throughout the arena — and the crowd’s reaction isn’t even being piped in, unlike previous, taped episodes of Raw. Sid makes his comeback while a fan holds up a sign reading, “Hump his face.” Fortunately for Owen Hart, the instructions are directed at Goldust, so the King of Harts need not fear getting Sid’s softballs stuck in his face. A leg drop by Sid misses, allow Hart to work over the leg some more, even using an Indian deathlock (though not the two-minute long Triple H version. Vince takes the time to mention an “Undertaker sighting” (harking back to 1994), the return of Bret Hart, and “notwithstanding that,” the return of Mr. Perfect to the ring. Sid catches Owen with a chokeslam much better than the one he executed on the much-heavier Vader last night. Bulldog clotheslines Sid before he can powerbomb Hart, drawing a disqualification, but Michaels storms the ring to even the sides for his Survivor Series opponent. The two have a long discussion before Shawn leaves the ring. We then see video stills of the “devastating match-up” between Mankind and Undertaker, where Undertaker technically won but was buried alive by Mankind  with the help of the mysterious Executioner and four other heels. As Vince tells fans about the supernatural resurrection of The Undertaker, the Smoking Gunns’ cowboy music plays.

Jim Ross is at ringside for commentary as the Gunns come to the ring to face the Godwinns, each of whom is carrying a pig. Sure, they look cute, but the Godwinns are hog farmers, so just think about what old Henry will end up doing to his “pet.” And don’t think about what Phineas might do to his. Jerry Lawler claims one of the pigs (the ones in the Godwinns’ hands) peed on him, then makes the same “K-Mart” joke about Jim Ross’s suit that he made about Mr. Perfect last night. Bart Gunn slams Phineas just before the commercial break.
Vince comments that the Gunns, former tag team champions, haven’t been “smoking” as of late. The same can’t be said about the writers who came up with Fake Razor and Fake Diesel. Phineas dodges the Waltz Through Texas and tags in Henry, who whips Bart into the ropes, knocking Billy to the ground and allowing the elder godwinn to hit the Slop Drop on Bart. Billy is furious at Bart, possibly at his decision to have the Gunns switch to black jeans.
Three of 1996’s Hall of Fame inductees are announced next, all at once. Pat Patterson, Jimmy Snuka, and Vincent J. McMahon are all announced. Yet to be announced: Johnny Rodz and Baron Scicluna. Hunter Hearst Helmsley ambushes Mr. Perfect, ramming a crate into him and causing him to shout, “Jesus Christ, Goddammit!” I didn’t even know Perfect was a religious man.
Bret Hart is up next. In fact, not only is he “up next,” he’s “up next!”, complete with exclamation point. But first, clips of Stone Cold from Livewire are shown, including one where he resents being treated like “some jabroni,” then claims to have beaten up Stu Hart in his own home. As Bret’s music plays in the arena, Vince speculates that Bret will “drop a bomb” on the WWF. Bret starts off by saying he had been made a great offer by a “rival wrestling organization,” and that he wasn’t sure whether to take it. Vince is shown gnashing his teeth at ringside. Backstage, a group of heels look on, including Steve Austin, Brian Pillman, Salvatore Sincere, and — The Rock? He hasn’t even debuted yet! Bret says he’ll “be with the WWF forever.” Well, he did just sign a 20-year contract, so it’s pretty safe bet that he’ll always be on good terms with the company. Vince McMahon applauds. Bret then says that Shawn Michaels beat him fair and square at Wrestlemania, but that there’s something about him that “really bugs” him. Bret suggests that Shawn might be more popular than he is (drawing boos from the crowd) and maybe cuter than he is (drawing high-pitched cheers and a hearty chuckle from Vince). Hart then quotes Richard Nixon and says that, “you learn from defeat, and you come back and you beat him the next time.” Fitting, since Hart, too, would basically be forced from his position amid scandal. Hart says he accepts the challenge of the WWF’s best wrestler, Steve Austin. Brian Pillman jumps for joy, but Austin stares him down. Hart says, “we’ll see who kicks who’s ass at Madison Square Garden.” Such terrible language. It should be “who kicks whom’s ass.” He then tells the story of promising his dying nephew that he would come out of retirement, but lightens the mood by admitting that he can’t dance or pose for “girlie books,” but he’s still the best there is, best there was, and the best there ever will be.
Before Mr. Perfect can return, Todd pettengill and Jerry Lawler present the Karate Fighters Tournament selection show, which is quite timely considering that NCAA March Madness is just a scant five months away. Bob Backlund will take on Sunny, whom Lawler says has a “great pair of wrists.” Also, Dok Hendrix takes on Sable, Sid takes on Marlena, and Phineas Godwinn takes on the favorite to win it all, Mr. Perfect. This could be another classic “Perfect” vignette in the making! Jerry, as Headstone, then beats Todd, as Samurai Ninja.
Mr. Perfect arrives at ringside along with Marc Mero, Sable, and Gorilla Monsoon. Hunter Hearst Helmsely is already in the ring, mocking Perfect’s limp. A fan at ringside once again exhorts Goldust to “hump his face,” but the Bizarre One is nowhere to be found. Gorilla Monsoon says that by doctor’s orders, he will not allow Mr. Perfect to wrestle tonight. Perfect says that Marc Mero has offered to take Perfect’s place, but both Hunter and Gorilla agree that Helmsley is under no obligation to accept the challenge. Hunter says he’ll only wrestle Mero if the Wildman puts the IC title on the line, which Perfect agrees to, and Mero as well. Gorilla says that only he can sanction a title match, then goes ahead and sanctions the match (unlike last night’s Buried Alive match), and it’s official.

Perfect joins the commentary team, apologizing to the fans for being unable to compete. Wildman attempts a plancha on Helmsley, but bails at the last minute after Hunter pulls Sable in front of himself. Sable slaps Hunter, who then gets his with a “hard right hand” by Mero. Vince notes that Hunter did not bring an escort to ringside tonight. He then comments on the challenger’s “suplex, nicely done” in this “see-saw match-up.” Hunter drops a knee that comes nowhere near Mero’s head but which Lawler nonetheless calls, “perfectly executed” to Hennig's protest.
Mero is in control after the final commercial break, hitting Helmsley with the Samoan drop, then giving an anticipatory Batusi before climbing the ropes for the Wild Thing, the Most Devastating Maneuver (#1) in the WWF. However, Hunter knocks the referee into the ropes, crotching Mero. However, Mero counters a superplex attempt with a Gordbuster, the move invented by the man now wearing a hood as The Executioner. Mero hits the Merosault, but Hunter kicks out of one of many High-Impact Maneuvers (#2) in the WWF. A ref bump allows Helmsley a chance to grab a chair. Sable then Perfect grab the chair, which he brandishes against Helmsley. Perfect then swings it and nails Mero in the head, allowing Hunter to hit the Pedigree, a move that normally couldn’t beat Freddie Joe Floyd, but after the chair shot is enough to win Hunter the title. Vince shouts that “this whole thing has been a hoax,” a “perfect hoax,” even, implying that their plan was to have Hunter lose every match for months in the hopes that Ahmed Johnson would win the title but then have to forfeit it, then Marc Mero would win it in a tournament, trust Mr. Perfect enough to accept a challenge on his behalf, and then be unable to beat Hunter until a ref bump gave Mr. Perfect the opportunity to hit Mero with a chair.

Final tally:

2 Maneuvers (Year total: 153)

No comments:

Post a Comment