Friday, October 14, 2016
Raw History: Episode #52-54
We are live, which is always a treat. Macho Man is joining Vince McMahon for commentary.
This was scheduled to be Marty Jannetty and Razor Ramon. I’m pretty sure Marty is gone for a while from the company. As has become the norm with Quebecer title matches, their opponents start hot and force them to regroup. Razor gets the crowd behind him as Vince McMahon announces the upcoming ladder match at WrestleMania. Johnny Polo gets involved so Razor, wanting none of that, ends him with a Razor’s Edge on the floor. Razor and Kid work very well together, which is expected due to their real life friendship. They are in control until Diesel shows up in the aisle. Kid starts to play the face in peril, which is exactly how it needs to be. Razor gets the hot tag and hits a second rope back suplex. He ends up incredibly close to winning, only for Shawn Michaels to come in and cause a DQ.
Pretty solid tag team match here. People don’t mention it often, but the Quebecers have been steady performers and some of the best people to watch in recent months. Despite the outcome being very obvious with Diesel out there, I rather liked this.
Next week, Macho Man goes for his third WWF Championship as he faced Yokozuna. God, imagine if he would have won and it led to Bret Hart vs. Macho Man?
Jim Cornette is out to tell Macho Man that he has no chance next week. He then introduces Tom Pritchard.
The two men go through some mat exchanges that Bret always gets the better of, so Pritchard blames hair pulling. Vince McMahon points out Nikolai Volkoff in the front row, leading Randy Savage to straight up call him ugly. He then tells us that Donnie Wahlberg will be at WrestleMania! Pritchard takes control and wears down Bret for a bit. When Bret begins his comeback, Cornette tries to get involved, only for Macho Man to leap up and lay him out. Cheating managers are sure running into trouble this week huh? As Bret lands outside, Owen rolls him inside, saying Bret needs his help. Pritchard is too much of a scrub to take advantage though, and ends up submitting to the Sharpshooter.
Decent little match here but rather disappointing. Tom Pritchard was always a decent hand but he did nothing not note here.
Owen Hart’s reaction to Bret winning is priceless. Bret wants to fight now, but officials keep it separate.
Todd Pettengill and his dumb hat bring us the WrestleMania Report. Less than 4 weeks away! Little Richard, Jennie Garth, Donnie Wahlberg, Bucky and Vinny and Sy Sperling will appear. He runs down the card, starting with the Falls Count Anywhere and Ladder matches. He announces a Women’s Championship match, but no opponent for Alundra Blayze, Bigelow and Luna facing Doink and Dink and Ludvig Borga vs. Earthquake. That last match would not happen.
Jim Cornette brings out Yokozuna to get his racket back from Macho Man. Savage and Yokozuna go to brawl as the show goes off the air, leaving you in suspense for next week.
Overall: The show only had two matches but both were relatively solid. That’s much better than the usual fare of squash match after squash match. I thought the Tag Title match was good and the Bret Hart match was decent. The show didn’t have too much flak, using the rest of the time to build towards next week’s WWF Title match and WrestleMania.
Tonight’s episode is taped. Harvey Wippleman is with Vince on commentary.
Yokozuna takes too long to get ready so Savage attacks but it backfires. Yokozuna pounds away on Savage and is already sweating profusely. Savage sends Yokozuna outside with a high knee and takes out Mr. Fuji. He then hits a double axe handle onto Yokozuna outside and the crowd is going nuts as we head to commercial. When we return, Savage is having issues because he can’t bring Yokozuna back in the ring. Yokozuna beats on him there, but Savage hits a cross body inside for two. The crowd buys into every Savage near fall. When Yokozuna gets back in control, Savage looks to be out of it but avoids a leg drop. Jim Cornette is out and distracts the official. Fuji gives Yokozuna a bucket but Savage blocks the shot and levels Yokozuna with it. He only gets two because he took too long to cover. He climbs up and hits the elbow but Crush runs out to ruin things.
I figured that was going to be the finish but Randy Savage did everything in his power to not only get a good match out of Yokozuna, but to build sympathy and have the fans buy into him winning the title with a few weeks until WrestleMania. That takes something special.
Bret Hart comes out next to help Macho Man and then Lex Luger shows up as well. They take out the evil duo of Yokozuna and Crush.
Bigelow goes on the offensive instantly and just beats on Mike Khoury. Khoury avoids a headbutt and hits a dropkick but Bigelow no sells and slams him. Poor Bigelow is good, but is stuck in this dumb Doink feud. He wins with an enziguri.
Bigelow is hit or miss in his squash matches but this was one of the easier ones to watch. It was short and all Bigelow, which is how I like them.
According to Vince, Earthquake’s return was “triumphant”. I mean, he won, but it wasn’t a big deal. Phantom tries to his Quake but it has little to no effect. Vince announces that Borga is injured and we’ll get Earthquake vs. Adam Bomb at WrestleMania. Earthquake hits a damn dropkick, which was shockingly decent. He finishes with the ass splash.
Similar to the last match it was kept short. That’s even better when it’s someone like Earthquake.
This week’s WrestleMania Report is more of the same old news except that we get told about the Tag Team Title match between the Quebecers and Men on a Mission, as well a ten man tag pitting Sparky Plugg, 1-2-3 Kid, Tatanka and the Smoking Guns against the Headshrinkers, Rick Martel, IRS and Jeff Jarrett. This match would end up not making the card.
While Kwang goes through his offense, Sy Sperling calls in to talk about giving Howard Finkel a makeover. Kwang brings the green mist this week instead of the red.
Hey look at this. Another short squash from another guy who I don’t tend to enjoy. Alright.
Stan Lane as an interviewer goes to interview Shawn Michaels but he’s just in a towel and wants to put something more on. All he does is put the Intercontinental Title over the towel. He is asked about Razor Ramon being the undisputed IC Champ, but Shawn is obviously disputing this. Shawn says that he will take Razor’s belt and give it to Diesel.
Next Monday, Crush and Owen Hart face the Smoking Gunns. I just realized that I’ve been calling them the Smoking Guns with one “n” this whole time.
Men on a Mission plod through their awful offense. Mo is somehow more winded than Mabel and looks like he’s dying on the apron. Mabel squashes Smith in the corner and splashes him for the 1-2-3.
Vince McMahon’s reactions to Men on a Mission on commentary is far and away the best thing about their matches. That should say something.
Overall: Not a bad episode. Our big WWF Title match was better than I thought it would be and, while the rest of the show was full of squash matches, at least they were kept short. That made them inoffensive, but still not exactly “must see” television.
Another pre-recorded episode tonight. Ted Dibiase is out to join Vince on commentary.
Owen Hart starts against Bart Gunn and they go through a relatively fast paced exchange. Bart even hits a body press on Crush. It’s bugging me that the Gunns are wearing different shades of blue in their jeans. MATCH DAMMIT! Owen Hart is the key to this, putting on the best performance of anyone included. The Gunns get near victory after a bit but Crush breaks up the pin. He then chop blocks Bart, which Vince believes is like the dirtiest move ever. Owen does the Sharpshooter and Bart gives.
Decent little tag team match here. About as good as one could expect from a makeshift team and a duo like the Gunns.
Time for the WrestleMania Report, where Todd Pettengill confuses people by talking about next Sunday’s “March to WrestleMania” show featuring Bret Hart vs. Crush.
I can’t believe Virgil is still employed. He works a hammerlock and that’s about all he does. Well to be fair, he also does a sloppy sunset flip for two. Jarrett hits a DDT to win.
Too much Virgil offense and too much time in general. Jeff Jarrett has been pretty dull since his debut and this was no exception.
Commentary spends the match explaining the rules of the upcoming mixed tag team match at WrestleMania. Mike Sharpe and his loud selling are again a highlight. Doink wins with the Whoopee Cushion.
Typical Doink squash made a tad better by Mike Sharpe and his selling.
Vince McMahon now leads a segment with Chief Wahoo McDaniel, Chief Jay Strongbow and another guy that hands Tatanka a ceremonial Indian headdress. He cries a bit and they embrace in a segment wasn’t very good.
Oh great. Another IRS squash. I bet you this is boring. He goes through some dull stuff on the jacked jobber. IRS sweats a hell of a lot for a guy who does next to nothing in the ring. Maybe it’s the attire. He wins with the Write Off.
I was right. IRS puts on another boring performance.
Vince McMahon interviews Jim Cornette at ringside because Jimmy Del Ray of the Heavenly Bodies will face Lex Luger on the “March to WrestleMania”. He tries to diss things “made in the USA” like Luger, but fudges up the line. He wants Jimmy to busy up Luger before WrestleMania.
Overall: After two relatively enjoyable episodes, this one falls back down. The hyped tag match was decent at best and the rest was a bunch of squash matches that nobody cared about and weren’t interesting in the least.