Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Raw #195 - January 27th, 1997

Ahmed Johnson, who this past Saturday was betrayed by Savio Vega, opens up Raw. Thanks to an editing error, an off-camera Vince McMahon introduces footage of the Madison Square Garden event but gets talked over by none other than Vince McMahon, who now appears on camera to introduce tonight’s show and the Spanish announce team. Only then does the MSG footage air. With Crush and Savio Vega representing Hawaii and Puerto Rico, respectively, all Faarooq needs is Nation members from the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Guam.
The announcers debate the effectiveness of Crush’s heart punch in comparison to Ahmed’s kicks. Ahmed jumps up for a wild elbow drop but Crush dodges, then delivers his signature ground attack, using his famed technical prowess to sap Ahmed’s strength. Faarooq is seen peeking from behind the RAW sign before the commercial break.
Ahmed rallies after Raw returns, intercepting one of Crush’s patented aerial attacks with a dropkick. However, Faarooq roughs up Ahmed outside the ring while the referee is distracted, allowing Crush to put Ahmed away with the Heart Punch.
A commercial airs for Thursday Raw Thursday Live, a two-hour Raw special taking place on what Stone Cold says is his favorite night of the week. It must be because of NBC’s Must See TV; Austin loves Suddenly Susan, and that’s the bottom line! Advertised for the show is WWF champion Shawn Michaels defending his title against Sycho Sid in a match that won’t actually happen… but more on that in a moment.

Shawn Michaels struts into the ring on his healthy legs for an interview with Vince McMahon, Shawn claims he’s giving Sid a title shot to return the favor, as Sid had given him a shot at the Royal Rumble. The coming weeks will show how sincere Shawn is about returning favors as far as Bret Hart is concerned. Shawn talks about the bad attitudes going around the WWF, and if he has to be bad to stay on top, he’ll be bad, too. Vince brings out Bret, the first of four men to compete for the Wrestlemania title shot at next month’s In Your House. Bret tells Shawn he’s the one he wants to beat for the title, and he doesn’t want any excuses or for Michaels to injure himself. Whoops! Next out is The Undertaker, who says he’s tired of hearing about how Bret has been screwed, citing Taker’s own match with Bret at last year’s Royal Rumble, where Diesel cost him the title. Taker wants to face Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania — a match that won’t happen for twelve years. Vince comments that “a number of individuals” have ignored the possibility of Sid having the title by Mania. Next out is Stone Cold, whom Lawler gleefully claims likes to park in handicapped parking spaces. What a bad ass! Jim Ross holds the mic for Austin, who stays in the aisle to cut his promo. Two fat silhouettes loom in the background, but Vader and Paul Bearer never get a chance to speak.
The British Bulldog, escorted to the ring by Clarence Mason, Owen Hart, and Owen’s Slammy, faces Doug Furnas in singles action. Lawler compares Furnas to Reggie White running through the Patriots the night before, one of many football references King makes tonight. Another attempt at a charge sends Furnas bouncing over the top rope and to the floor. Bulldog picks up the ring steps and drops them on Furnas right in front of the referee, who, just like at the Goldust-HHH match at the Rumble, does not call for a disqualification.

During the break, Ahmed Johnson tore up the backstage area with a 2x4 looking for the Nation. Jerry Lawler thinks the Nation is setting a trap for Johnson. Bulldog remains in control after the break, which is no surprise, considering that he dropped steel steps right onto Furnas. Doug reverses a piledriver attempt with a back body drop, but Bulldog soon goes back on the offensive with a suplex. A dropikick and a belly-to-belly put Furnas in control until Davey Boy counters his Frankensteiner with a Maneuver (#1 - powerbomb). “That could do it!” says Vince. “And it — no, it does. Yes. No? It didn’t!” Jerry Lawler steps in to clarify this convoluted exchange between Vince McMahon and, uh, Vince McMahon: “No, he didn’t!” Meanwhile, Owen lies in wait with his Slammy to strike Furnas, so naturally, Phil LaFon jumps onto the apron, distracting the referee while trying to draw his attention to the cheating. Owen accidentally strikes Bulldog with the Slammy, allowing Furnas to roll up Bulldog. Once again, Vince thinks the match is over, and Lawler has to correct him. Furnas knocks Owen off the apron, then sunset flips Bulldog, who counters with the Summerslam 1992 finish for the victory. Davey Boy is upset at Owen and Clarence Mason nonetheless. “Bulldog” chants emerge as a face turn is hinted at. The camera zooms in on Owen’s Slammy, which tips over on the mat; Vince thinks it’s an omen.
Once again, we see footage of the Ahmed-Savio vs. Faarooq-Crush tag team match from MSG, where Ahmed hit a Devastating Maneuver (#2 - spinebuster) on the leader of the Nation before delivering the same to Crush, then getting his neck pulled down over the top rope by his own partner. Later that night on Shotgun, Savio cemented his heel turn by ganging up on Rocky Maivia with the other members of the Nation. Of course, by years’ end, both Savio and Crush would be kicked out of the Nation, and Ahmed and Rocky would join it.

Paul Bearer accompanies his clients Mankind and Vader to the ring for a match against the Godwinns. But before we get to see that match, Dok Hendrix tries to convince us to pay to call the Superstar Line to find out what Sid’s secret weapon will be on Thursday Raw Thursday (in a match that, again, will not end up taking place).
Next, we see footage from a press conference held at Toronto’s Sky Dome to announce the signing of a second-generation wrestler. Don’t get too excited, though. It’s just Tiger Ali Singh. Vince then considers aloud whether to sign La Femme Nikita while sticking it to Ted Turner’s inferior Robin Hood series.

Next week’s Raw will feature this year’s Royal Rumble match, plus matches from the Sky Dome. The Godwinns, regulars on Shotgun Saturday Night, trade punches with Vader and Mankind for basically the whole match. Vader hugs Mankind’s legs to prevent Phineas from suplexing him, then yank PIG over the top rope the hard way. A brawl then breaks out on the outside as Raw goes to commercial.
Henry Godwinn gets the hot tag, hitting clotheslines on his opponents, to which Vince urges the fans to “forget about it!” Okay, Vince. Anyway, Henry Godwinn is in the ring somehow, even though I don’t remember how he got there, but is knocked out of the ring. Mankind very slowly approaches Henry, who is restrained by Vader, with a steel chair. HOG dodges the chair shot, which Mankind delivers a few seconds later to his own partner. Mankind does not seem upset, and the announcers speculate whether he could have stopped the chair shot. The Godwinns win by countout over the team that will get title shots at Wrestlemania. In the parking lot, Ahmed swings a 2x4 at one of PG-13, then stuffs him into the trunk of the car. This is not a particularly effective tactic, however, as the car belongs to the Nation, who drive away with the rapper safely in tow.

Final tally:

2 Maneuvers (Year total: 11)

No comments:

Post a Comment