Saturday, December 3, 2016
Raw History: Episodes #67-69
We are live just 24 hours removed from the King of the Ring Pay-Per-View! The biggest news from that show was that Diesel and Bret Hart had a great match that ended via disqualification, while Owen Hart won the King of the Ring tournament. Also, Roddy Piper and Jerry Lawler stunk up the joint. Tonight, Gorilla Monsoon is on commentary with Macho Man.
This is obviously a non-title affair. Diesel dominates the jacked Mark Thomas. Shawn Michaels gets in a cheap shot outside because that’s what heels do. Diesel goes through his five or six moves and wins with the Jackknife.
Typical Diesel squash. Again, it was kind of clear that he was going places fast.
King of the Ring Report time! Todd Pettengill recaps the night and says that Owen Hart will now be known as the King of Harts. Jim Neidhart returned to corner Bret Hart during the WWF Title match and attacked Diesel, leading to the DQ. He then assisted Owen in winning the tournament and sided with him.
The winner gets a WWF Title shot in THREE WEEKS! Kid wrestled twice the night before and sold an injury. He also had one of, if not the best, under five minute matches in history. Volkoff hasn’t really earned a shot but I guess Dibiase bought him this spot. Here, we have a big styles clash and Volkoff overpowers Kid from the get go. Kid bumps for him until he starts to light up Volkoff with those educated feet. Kid scores some near falls with rollups. Volkoff does hit some big moves but none of them look very good. Kid pulls him into a small package to become the number one contender.
Their styles did not mesh well. 1-2-3 Kid has been one of the better performers in Raw history and Volkoff was way past his prime. At least this sets up Kid/Bret.
Nikolai Volkoff and Ted Dibiase attack the 1-2-3 Kid until Virgil of all people make the save. He fails miserably though because he’s Virgil. Lex Luger has to come out and save both of them. Ted Dibiase surprisingly gives Luger a thumbs up and leaves. CONTROVERSY!
Next week, Mabel vs. Bigelow!
Yokozuna has nothing to do now that Earthquake is gone. Gorilla Monsoon says that the other Natural Disaster, Typhoon, is coming for Yokozuna. Oh no. Yokozuna destroys the jobber and he’s not even worth a Banzai drop.
Hey, it was kept short, which is how I like my Yokozuna squash matches.
As Typhoon makes his entrance, he is blocked by Yokozuna. During a commercial break, Yokozuna takes a swing, but Typhoon blocked it and leveled him.
Black Phantom is still Gangrel from what I can tell. Typhoon tosses him around easily. He wins with the Tidal Wave.
Ho hum. They tried building to Typhoon vs. Yokozuna, but I don’t believe Typhoon stuck around much longer after this.
Time for another King’s Court. I’m guessing it will be a dreadful episode since the guest is Duke Droese. We are shown clips of Duke dumping garbage on Jerry Lawler on Superstars. Lawler throws insults as Duke, who responds by saying that Lawler stinks too much for even the trash man. He goes to leave but Lawler attacks and beats him up with the trash can.
Jim Cornette gets on commentary and announces that the Headshrinkers are being forced to defend the WWF Tag Team Titles against the Heavenly Bodies. He even calls them 98 pound weaklings. Jim Powers does his best to make this competitive, with a few near falls. The Bodies bust out some double team moves and Del Rey pins Greenberg with a moonsault press.
More competitive than most squash matches, but still nothing to write home about.
Gorilla Monsoon tells us that the WWF doesn’t condone the actions of Jerry Lawler and he must apologize on Raw next week. Cut to Ted Dibiase, who informs everyone that Lex Luger will be unstoppable with a million dollars backing him.
Overall: Another weak episode of Monday night Raw. The big match wasn’t very good and the squashes weren’t either, but at least they were short. The King’s Court was again, a disaster and continues to make these episodes of Raw tough to get through. It’s like they are highlighting the wrong people.
We start with a recap of the altercation between Jerry Lawler and Duke Droese. Duke speaks, saying that it’s one thing to hit him from behind, but it’s another to use his own trash can on him. Because the use of your own trash can is the real issue here. Lawler then speaks and can’t even bring himself to say “apologize”. He would rather get fined or suspended.
One of those classic Vince McMahon “big man vs. big man” clashes. Gorilla gets to use his tired “IRRESISTIBLE FORCE MEETS THE IMMOVABLE OBJECT” line. Bigelow shows that he’s far superior early but then Mabel starts to rally. Luna gets on the apron and ends up getting knocked off as Mabel is sent off the ropes. Bigelow lays out an absolutely winded Mabel and sees Oscar outside checking on Luna. Bigelow throws him aside. He must have heard Oscar rap. Mabel actually does an axe handle from the apron on Bigelow and they land on Luna. They continue to brawl until Mabel beats the count.
Yea, this was a mess. The fact that, about two minutes into this, Mabel was visibly winded, should tell you something.
Ted Dibiase comes out to calm down Bigelow, who was arguing with the official. MORE CONTROVERSY! We then see that Ted Dibiase brought back the “Undertaker” two weeks ago on Superstars and the Undertaker won a match on this past week’s Superstars.
Hey, no IRS “YOU’RE ALL TAX CHEATS” promo tonight. I appreciate it. The match itself though, was still typical IRS boring stuff. He wins with an STF.
IRS is boring. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it.
The King’s Court is with Jim Neidhart tonight. He comes out to the old Hart Foundation theme and says that he turned on Bret because Bret was always ungrateful for everything Neidhart did for him. Owen Hart comes out with the crown, cape and scepter. He bashes Bret and says that he’s coming for a title shot. Hey, it’s an entertaining edition of the King’s Court.
Did Afa get fired? While the Tag Team Champions beat up the jobbers, Gorilla Monsoon says that Ted Dibiase is having some sort of confrontation backstage with someone. They seem to want to send the cameras to the back but never do it. The match drags and the Headshrinkers win with a splash.
Overly long. Maybe they have technical issues since they never went backstage and maybe that’s why the match went a big long.
We now go backstage to Ted Dibiase, who is seemingly working out a deal with Bigelow.
Kwang’s offense is seemingly a million kicks. I honestly wonder if he has anything else in his arsenal. He spits the mist during the match and wins with, you guessed it, a spinning heel kick.
Another match that isn’t very good. Kwang is another guy who has squash matches that don’t impress me.
We see Ted Dibiase watch from the curtain like some kind of peeping Tom. Luger is like, the only dude to get a near fall in a squash when he tries a schoolboy. Luger then uses the Torture Rack for the submission.
Sign, Lex Luger is a terrible face. This was lame.
Lex Luger poses a ton in the spotlight and Macho Man considers joining him, but can’t get his jacket off. Yea, it was pretty strange.
Overall: It’s pretty telling when the only positive thing about a show in the King’s Court. The marquee match was horrible and the rest of the show wasn’t much better. There’s a nostalgia factor watching these old Raws, but some are just downright putrid.
They start with some uninspired mat work before Tatanka hits a back drop. He seems to be packing on the pounds as of late. The fight spills outside, which gets Macho Man unexpectedly excite. Jarrett shoves Tatanka into the ring post and wins via countout in 6:14. BUT WAIT! Jarrett grabs a microphone and says that unlike Macho Man, he won’t take a countout win and wants the match restarted. They really had plans for Jarrett/Savage didn’t they? The match restarts and Jarrett works a chinlock. Tatanka fights out but Jarrett goes back to it for an EXTENDED period of time. Tatanka finally rallies and hits the flying chop. Jarrett quits and goes to walk away, but runs into Dink and Doink, who threaten him with a bucket of water. He runs in the ring and is rolled up for the 1-2-3.
I wish this ended in 6:14. That portion of the math was decent. The rest was incredibly boring and they just sat around doing next to nothing. Seemed like a house show match.
Time for the King’s Court. Again. His guest is the 1-2-3 Kid. Jerry Lawler wants the Kid to beat Bret Hart because he hates him. Hilariously, Kid calls him “Mr. Lawler” and says that he respects “Mr. Bret Hart”, claiming that he’s the best wrestler in the world. Kid continues to play the respectful card while Lawler wants him to get angry but he doesn’t.
Completely one-sided as Neidhart just dominates. Owen shouts into the camera that both he and Jim carried Bret at different points in their careers. Gorilla Monsoon straight ups says that they were the weak links. Dang. Neidhart hits a powerslam to win.
One-sided, which is how it had to be. Neidhart got to look as good as he could.
I love me some Mike Sharpe! There isn’t enough loud selling from him in this for me to enjoy it. I mean, there’s some, but not enough to make up for Duke’s lack of talent. He scores with an elbow to win.
Another standard squash from a dull worker.
It’s the debut of the classic “BREEEETTTT” commercial.
It’s clear that this Undertaker is shorter than the original, but props to Brian Lee as his imitating is pretty good. He wins with a tombstone.
Typical squash but again, I’d like to comment Brian Lee. Knowing that he’s not the Undertaker is kind of clear now, but I can picture myself and a lot of people not being able to tell the difference back then.
Paul Bearer shows up with the urn, trying to get the Undertaker to come back to him. Ted Dibiase combats that with money but Undertaker is having none of it. However, two handfuls of cash sways his decision, leaving Bearer to exit shaking his head. Also, the King’s Court will feature Ted Dibiase next week, but it will not be live in the arena.
Overall: Better than the last few episodes, but by the slimmest of margins. Again, the main match failed to deliver the squashes weren’t really entertaining. I did think that the King’s Court was alright and I actually rather enjoyed the Undertaker impersonation. Oh well, next week it’s Hart/Kid which should turn things around.