Monday, December 12, 2016

Raw History: Episodes 70-72

Raw History
Episode #70
July 11th, 1994 | Fernwood Resort in Bushkill, Pennsylvania

Highlights of the year that 1-2-3 Kid has had are shown, from his debut to winning the Tag Team Titles to becoming the number one contender. Jim Ross and Macho Man are on commentary tonight.

WWF Championship
Bret Hart (c) vs. The 1-2-3 Kid

In the past year they mention that Bret Hart has won the King of the Ring, Royal Rumble, Superstar of the Year and WWF Title. Owen Hart and Jim Neidhart show up to talk smack to Bret but they are sent away. Right out of the first lockup, Kid brings Hart down with an arm drag, causing Bret to give a look that says “okay, I see this won’t be easy.” Bret takes things to the mat, but Kid uses his quickness and a flurry of kicks to send him reeling to the outside. Following a commercial, Kid is wrestling Bret’s game on the mat and is doing well for himself. Bret seems to get in control, but Kid scores some near falls on flash pins. He tries a crucifix but Bret counters and pins him for a three count. Kid gets his foot on the ropes and the referee misses it. Bret explains it to the referee and demands a restart. Instantly from the restart, Kid scores a near fall, showing that Bret may have made a mistake. JR asks Savage if he would have asked for a restart and Savage says “no way, I’d be in the shower getting ready to party.” Kid is in trouble, but busts out some kicks to save himself. The moonsault that he beat Razor Ramon with gets two. He brings out a powerbomb of all things and hits a top rope leg drop for another close near fall. Kid leaps out onto Bret, but kind of gets brushed aside and hits hard. He still tries more high risk and goes to the well too often as he misses a cannonball splash. Bret tries a superplex but Kid lands on top for two. He jumps from the top again but Bret catches his legs and locks in the Sharpshooter for the submission.

Winner and Still WWF Champion: Bret Hart in 17:34
I’d say this was the best match in the history of Raw up to this point. This worked so well since the WWF spent a year building Kid as this underdog who could win at any time, so the fans bit on every near fall. Bret gave Kid a ton and it took Kid making some mistakes for Bret to retain the title. Great match. ****½

Todd Pettengill brings us the first SummerSlam Report. He hypes that it will take place in the brand new United Center in Chicago and will have the largest crowd to see a WWF show this year. He announces the Undertaker vs. Undertaker main event.

Crush w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Matt Hardy
One of these guys would go on to be a big star. The other is Crush. Unfortunately here, this is all about Crush. His attire isn’t as ridiculously awful as it normally is. Macho Man has gone insane on commentary, just shouting “GOAAAALLLL”. Crush wins in short order with a big backbreaker.

Winner: Crush in 1:27
Hey, they kept a Crush squash short and sweet. I appreciate that.

An ad actually discusses how the WWF Title has eluded Lex Luger. He’ll be facing Diesel for the Intercontinental Title though. Will he come up short with this title on the line too? FIND OUT NEXT WEEK!

Razor Ramon vs. Barry Horowitz
Razor is one of those faces that does heel things and is more over for it. He applies a submission on Barry, shrugs and then just smacks him in the back of the head a few times. Commentary spends the match discussing the company looking for a detective to search for the Undertaker. Surprisingly, Razor wins with a small package.

Winner: Razor Ramon in 2:54
Standard stuff here, not much to discuss.

Time for the King’s Court, taking place in one of Ted Dibiase’s offices. King mentions all of the people that Dibiase has bought and mentions that he’s heard Ted was trying to purchase Lex Luger. Dibiase claims that he isn’t trying, but he’s already bought his services.

IRS vs. Ray Hudson
Guess what IRS cuts a promo on when he walks to the ring? He calls the fans a bunch of tax cheats. As commentary discusses more potential detectives, IRS plods through his shitty offense. IRS wins with the Penalty, or STF.

Winner: IRS in 3:47
This was given too much time. Honestly though, more than 90 seconds of IRS is too much for me.

Bret Hart is interviewed and he puts over the 1-2-3 Kid. He is asked about Owen Hart wanting to take the title at SummerSlam. Bret mentions that with Owen having the Anvil in his corner, so Bret is going to bring one of his brothers to back him up.

Overall: 8/10. As noted previously, when the marquee match delivers and takes up about half of the show, the whole broadcast will get a high score. That’s the case here since the WWF Title not only delivered but was excellent. There was also some forward movement towards SummerSlam and only one match (IRS of course) that I didn’t care for,

Raw History
Episode #71
July 18th, 1994 | Fernwood Resort in Bushkill, Pennsylvania

The show opens with footage from Superstars, where Tatanka called out Lex Luger for selling out to Ted Dibiase.

WWF Intercontinental Championship
Diesel (c) w/ Shawn Michaels vs. Lex Luger

Commentary questions if Lex Luger has sold out or not. Both men are powerful and they play into that early on. They trade stuff early on, with neither man gaining a clear advantage. Luger falls outside, leading to a cheap clothesline from Shawn Michaels. We then see Ted Dibiase watching from the rafters like he’s 1997 Sting or something. Following a commercial, Diesel stays in control, hitting snake eyes for two. I love when Jim Ross asks Macho Man questions because he tends to just respond with “I don’t know”. Diesel slows thing to a crawl with chinlocks and sleeper holds. Things finally pick up as Luger rallies and gets two on a DDT. HBK’s ringside reactions are pretty great. Razor Ramon appears to equalize Shawn and chases him around the ring. Shawn enters the ring and gets into it with Luger, resulting in the DQ.

Double disqualification in 14:05
I appreciate seeing the Intercontinental Title getting a lot of time, but these weren’t the right two guys for it. Neither was very good at working lengthy matches and this dragged on. The finishing stuff was alright, but not enough to save things. 

The brawl continues and ends as the faces send the heels packing. Ted Dibiase appears in the aisle, disappointing that Lex Luger didn’t win the title. Get used to it man.

Mabel w/ Oscar  vs. Austin Steele
Mabel completely dominates the Buddy Landel impersonator throughout. The crowd chants “WHOMP THERE IT IS”, which is funny since R-Truth uses the same thing to this day.

Winner: Mabel in 2:15
At least it was short.

SummerSlam Report time! Todd informs us that Bret and Owen will meet for the WWF Championship inside of a fifteen foot high Steel Cage. The cage will be there to prevent the incredibly large Hart family from getting involved.

Owen Hart w/ Jim Neidhart vs. Reno Riggins
As the crowd chants “we want Bret”, Owen shouts back “I want Bret too!” Great stuff from Owen and this entire feud is so well done. Owen owns Reno and puts him away with the Sharpshooter.

Winner: Owen Hart in 2:54
As usual, an Owen Hart squash is relatively entertaining. Owen also doesn’t break the hold instantly, telling the referee that he couldn’t hear him.

Adam Bomb, no longer with Harvey Wippleman, faces Yokozuna next week. Oh joy.

Sparky Plugg vs. George South
We are just going through the motions of squash matches aren’t we? We’ve come to the match of the night where commentary just discusses random pop culture instead of pro wrestling. Hey, it even includes the trademark Randy Savage USA Network plug. Speaking of Plugg, he wins with a cross body.

Winner: Sparky Plugg in 2:41
Moving right along as this was kind of irrelevant.

We get some promotion for the Undertaker/Undertaker match.

Bam Bam Bigelow w/ Ted Dibiase vs. Gary Sabaugh
Was getting rid of Luna part of the deal that Bigelow signed to join the Million Dollar Corporation? Bigelow goes through his stuff and applies the Million Dollar Dream. He turns it into a bulldog and wins.

Winner: Bam Bam Bigelow in 2:56
Standard Bigelow stuff though I like the change of finisher.

Ted Dibiase is interviewed after the match about the Lex Luger situation. He promises some answers this weekend. Tatanka comes out to say that he knows Luger signed on. Dibiase responds with “calm down Indian”. Whoa. He calls Tatanka jealous and then bets him $10,000 that Tatanka can’t beat Nikolai Volkoff next week. Good lord, I have to sit through that don’t I?

Overall: 3/10. Unlike the previous week, this week’s title match did not deliver. The rest of the show was pretty dull as well outside of Owen Hart being awesome. There seemed to be a ton of emphasis on Ted Dibiase as well and that looks like it will carry over to next week.

Raw History
Episode #72
July 25th, 1994 | Fernwood Resort in Bushkill, Pennsylvania

We are immediately taken to a recap of the Tatanka/Dibiase altercation last week. On Superstars this past weekend, Dibiase made his huge announcement and introduced Lex Luger. Tatanka was there to confront him and Luger still denies selling out.

Nikolai Volkoff w/ Ted Dibiase vs. Tatanka
Don’t forget, but $10,000 is on the line here. I still don’t get why Ted Dibiase’s first new client was Volkoff. I would have looked at his physique and stayed far away. Volkoff starts in control until Tatanka chops him and sends him outside. Despite this, Volkoff gets back inside and takes control again. He goes for a slam and Tatanka pulls him into a small package to earn ten grand.

Winner: Tatanka in 6:13
Pretty dull affair between two dull workers. I liked almost none of this and thought it was pretty bad. ¾*

Macho Man jumps in the ring with a microphone to make sure Ted Dibiase pays him. He does so, but says that Tatanka couldn’t beat “his” Lex Luger. Tatanka says that he can do so on his worst day. Thigs brings out Luger, who accepts the challenge, but doesn’t really acknowledge Dibiase.

The Headshrinkers w/ Afa and Capt. Lou Albano vs. Barry Hardy and Joey Stallings
Afa is back at ringside with the Tag Team Champions. The match starts before a commercial and just sees the Headshrinkers completely kick ass. They dominate to the point where Jim Ross just wants them to put the jobbers out of their misery, which they do after a splash.

Winners: The Headshrinkers in 3:33
One of the more fun Headshrinkers squashes since they murdered their opponents.

Next week, we actually have a match that sounds good. It’s a WrestleMania X rematch when Razor Ramon meets Shawn Michaels.

Jim Neidhart w/ Owen Hart vs. Jim Powers
Owen talks trash to the camera while Neidhart goes through his typical offense. None of it is very impressive though. He wins with a camel clutch like move.

Winner: Jim Neidhart in 2:58
Standard stuff.

Oh snap, we also get Alundra Blayze vs. Bull Nakano next week. That should be good.

Alundra Blayze is now interviewed in the ring by Jim Ross. She says that Bull Nakano is the kind of girl that could even beat the men in the company. Luna Vachon shows up and says that she is responsible for bringing Bull to the United States. Then she leaves. Alundra, as always, stumbles through her promo but says that she’ll always have the belt.

Adam Bomb vs. Yokozuna w/ Mr. Fuji
Hey, we get two non-squash matches tonight and next week. Yokozuna starts hot but Adam Bomb rallies with some clotheslines and uses a shoulder block to knock Yokozuna to the outside. The ropes sound so strange here, making a weird noise as Adam bounces off. After a commercial, Yokozuna goes into his slow offense, including the DREADED NERVE HOLD. Adam slightly rallies and hits a big flying clothesline off the top. Kwang and Harvey Wippleman come down to the ring and Kwang trips Adam. He goes outside and brawls with Kwang, leading to a countout.

Winner via countout: Yokozuna in 5:51
That was actually better than expected and continues my thought process that Adam Bomb could have been a bigger star than he was. Maybe not WWF Champion material, but certainly an upper card player in a time devoid of top stars. He definitely had the look. **

Todd Pettengill brings us the SummerSlam Report. He runs down the double main event that we already knew about, but adds a third match. Razor Ramon gets his rematch and faces Diesel for the WWF Championship.

Duke Droese vs. Duane Gill
Commentary discusses the unfortunate rivalry between Duke Droese and Jerry Lawler. Lawler calls in and badmouths Duke. Duke does his few moves while Lawler announces that his King’s Court guest next week will be Bob Backlund.

Winner: Duke Droese in 2:31
Typical stuff.

Overall: 4.5/10. I was pleasantly surprised that Yokozuna/Adam Bomb didn’t suck, but Tatanka/Volkoff absolutely did. The rest of the show was a mixed bag. The Neidhart and Duke stuff was kind of just there, the Blayze interview was short but dull and the Headshrinkers squash was kind of fun actually. Next week looks pretty good though.