Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Raw #192 - January 6th, 1997

Tonight’s Raw is rated TV PG. Therefore, it must suck. Tonight’s topics include whether Bret Hart is the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be (which will be debated by Hart and Vader) and Marlena’s breasts, which she flashed at the Sultan on the premiere of Shotgun Saturday Night. Shocking, I know. I had forgotten The Sultan was even in the WWF.
Owen Hart, along with Slammy-bearer Clarence Mason, takes on Mankind in a heel vs. heel “tough guy match-up.” I’m not sure why Owen had been selected for a match designed for brawlers like Vader or Mankind or Steve Austin, but I guess the “tough man” match is just a term they use whenever they have two heels wrestle each other in the opening match. Vince informs us that Sid will be interviewed tonight, “notwithstanding” the Hart vs. Vader match. Owen tries to lock in the sharpshooter in the opening moments of the match, which Mankind breaks by grabbing the ropes. Supposedly, the rules have been relaxed for this match, despite the rope break. Mankind jumps on Owen’s back and takes him down for a mandible claw from the rear. That’s from the rear, not to the rear. Owen bites Mankind’s fingers to counter, a move that I imagine would be illegal under normal rules (whereas sticking one’s finger’s down an opponents throat would not be). Owen goes to the outside, gordbusters Mankind onto the guard rail, and whips his opponent with the tag team title belt. In reference to the upcoming Shawn Michaels appearance, Jerry says that José Lothario’s arteries are clogged with refried beans, despite the common knowledge that beans are good for your heart. Owen Hart knocks down Mankind, who is on his knees, with a spinning heel kick and later knocks him to the outside with an enziguiri. Mankind responds by clocking Owen with a plastic tub. He’s hardcore! He’s hardcore!
After the break, Mankind hits a neckbreaker, but a Owen rolls through a second neckbreaker attempt to execute a DDT. Mankind catches Owen with the mandible claw after an attempted aerial move, but Owen counters with a Brilliant Maneuver (#1 - spinning heel kick). Mankind dodges a shoulder charge by Owen, who rams into the ring post, then piledrives Hart and falls on top of him for the win. Backstage, Shawn, José Lothario, and José’s son Pete speak on Shawn’s match with Sid and Sid’s actions against José at Survivor Series. We’ve never seen Pete before; let’s hope nothing bad happens to him tonight. Clips from Shotgun Saturday Night then air, such as the Nation of Domination’s assault on Ahmed, which concluded when Johnson gave D’Lo Brown (the unnamed Nation member) the Pearl River Plunge on top of a car. We also see the unfortunate debut of the Flying Nuns, whom the announcers still refuse to acknowledge are men (The Headbangers, for that matter), but who are advertised for next week’s Shotgun.
Vince and Jerry are joined by Jerry’s cousin, The Honky Tonk Man, who is scouting this tag team match pitting the Fake Razor and Fake Diesel against Doug Furnas and Philip LaFon, whom Vince “would suggest” are the best tag team in the Federation. Vince praises the team for using “moves that many of us have never seen before.” Well, moves *he* hasn’t seen before, at least. Among those moves is a standing Backlund-like counter to a Razor armbar.
Vince notes the surprising “effectiveness” of Razor and Diesel as a tag team, having recently beaten the Godwinns. A dropkick to Diesel’s back allows Funas to tag in LaFon for the hot tag. Diesel counters a double-underhook attempt by Lafon, but a Furnas dropkick combined with a LaFon sunset flip almost scores a victory. Furnas tags back in but gets cut off by a Razor Ramon clothesline, an Excellent Maneuver (#2). Furnas counters a Fake Razor’s Edge, hits a Frankensteiner, then takes down Razor with a top-rope Hart Attack with the help of his partner, rolling up Razor for the win with a jackknife pin. After playing clips of last week’s shenanigans where Hunter Heart Helmsley threw Marlena around like a hot potato, Vince announces a tag match next week between the teams of Marc Mero & Goldust and Helmsley & Jerry Lawler. Speaking of Marlena’s hot potatoes, we then see a replay of her flashing the Sultan to provide a distraction and allow Goldust to win on Shotgun. We get a quick word with Bret Hart, who says his opponent Vader is big but not very smart. On a related note, Sid’s music hits.

Jim Ross interviews Sid about his match with Shawn Michaels at the Royal Rumble in HBK’s hometown. Sid says that in this ring, you have to “hit or be hitten,” and “kick or be kicken.” Grammar issues aside, Sid uses this excuse to justify hitting José Lothario with a camera last November. Shawn Michaels crashes the interview wearing jacket resembling a bathrobe, which he strips off while dancing on the announce table. Sid looks on delighted in what makes an exceedingly gay animated GIF.
Correction: Two exceedingly gay animated GIFs. Shawn Michaels knows that in the WWF, it’s strip or be strippen. Sid then apologizes, not for what he did at Survivor Series, but for what he’s going to do right now. Sid laughs and leaves the ring while Shawn continues to dance.
As Bret Hart enters, Shawn says that all Bret did during Shawn’s title reign was knock everything HBK did. Does that include Sunny? Hart faces Vader, who is not represented by Jim Cornette tonight or at the Royal Rumble after Undertaker tombstoned James E. on Superstars the day before. Shawn criticizes Bret’s fashion sense, then accuses Jerry Lawler of stealing jokes. Ridiculous. All Jerry does is look out for number one (and not step in number two!). Shawn then asks Vince who the “they” in “the man they call Vader.” Vince says “they” are the fans. Bret hits an elbow smash off the ring steps onto Vader. Shawn says that unlike Bret, he’s honest about cheating, leading vince to call HBK the most straightforward person there has ever been. Do you think he’ll be saying the same thing next month when Shawn forfeits his title after a mysterious knee injury? Speaking of cheating (rulebreaking, not adultery), Bret continues to work on Vader’s “groin area.” Vince notes that Bret could really use this victory, leading Shawn to ask why anyone would ever need a loss. Vader hits a Devastating Maneuver (#3 - flying body block) on Bret off the top rope. Stone Cold is seen looking on before the commercial break.
Vader does another flying body block as Raw returns. Jerry wonders why José Lothario didn’t name his son Hose-B Lothario as Vader squashes Bret with a splash off the second rope. “Forget about it!” says Vince. Forget about what? I don’t remember now. Vader, not having listened to his son Frankie’s advice to apply the Vader Bomb more quickly, takes an eternity setting it up, allowing Bret to get his knees up. Shawn successfully predicts that Bret Hart will do a Russian leg sweep next to show how predictable the Hitman is. Well, he doesn’t so much “predict” it as state the name of the Patented Maneuver (#4) Bret is in the middle of executing. Next, he agrees with Vince that “you know what comes next” because Bret does the same thing every single match. As if hearing HBK’s commentary, Bret scoop-slams the 450-pound Vader. Well, I don’t think any of us saw that one coming. Next, Bret goes right back to the Five Moves of Doom, which, as I’ve said before, I’ve never actually seen done in sequence, hitting an elbow smash followed by another leg sweep for a Clever Maneuver (#5). I’m not sure why tat particular leg sweep was clever, while the other wasn’t, but regardless, Bret then body presses Vader over the top rope, with both men spilling to the outside. Sid then comes to ringside and grabs the camera man, taking him backstage. Stone Cold sneaks to ringside during the confusion and stuns Bret, making him easy prey for a Vader Bomb after he gets tossed back into the ring. Vader pins Bret for the victory. We cut to backstage, where Sid is choking Pete Lothario. He even knocks off his hat like in the music video for “I’m Too Sexy.” Sid then powerbombs Pete onto an apparently Japanese table backstage, which does not break.
When Raw returns, Shawn is on the scene as well as Bart Gunn, Savio Vega, and Aldo Montoya, about whom I have run out of jokes. Shawn is steaming mad! He’s boiling mad!

Final tally:

5 Maneuvers
4 Notwithstanding
4 Individuals
7 Oh My Goodnesses
4 I Would Suggests

1 comment:

  1. This was actually the first episode of Raw I watched from start to finish. I remember seeing Shawn do his striptease thing and being puzzled as to how exactly it was supposed to intimidate Sid.