Friday, October 20, 2017

Raw History: Episodes #118-120

Raw History
Episode #118
July 3rd, 1995 | Danville, Pennsylvania

We get a recap of the end of Raw last week, when Jeff Jarrett and Shawn Michaels came to blows. There are also those classic quick promos from the guys in our main event, Sid and Bam Bam Bigelow. Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler, back from his dentist appointment.

1-2-3 Kid vs. Mike Bell
I feel like I haven’t seen the 1-2-3 Kid in a long time. I know he’s just coming back from an injury, but it still feel like a while. Kid falls victim to the size disadvantage for a bit. He’s too good to let that stop him though, getting in some of his fast paced, high octane offense. An Oklahoma roll wins it.

Winner: 1-2-3 Kid in 3:30
Fine start to the show. Gets Kid a win in his return, which the crowd seemed to love.

Todd Pettengill is here to bring us the second In Your House Report! The show airs on July 23rd. Three titles will be on the line. First, Diesel defends the WWF Championship against Sycho Sid in a Lumberjack match. IRS, Kama, King Mabel and Jacob and Eli Blu are Sid’s lumberjacks, while Diesel will have Razor Ramon, Savio Vega, Adam Bomb and the Smoking Gunns. Todd shows the viewers what happened when Raw went off the air last week. Jarrett demanded a title match with Michaels only to get laid out with Sweet Chin Music. He’ll defend the strap against HBK at In Your House, along with his live singing debut. The Roadie will meet the 1-2-3 Kid in a battle of future DX members. Lastly, Yokozuna and Owen Hart will put the Tag Team Titles on the line against the Allied Powers. That actually sounds like a decent show.

For the first time ever, Jeff Jarrett’s “With My Baby Tonight” music video is shown. This song is still on my iPod to this day.

Bob Holly vs. Brooklyn Brawler
Considering Holly’s future as a member of the J.O.B. Squad, I’m surprised Brooklyn Brawler wasn’t part of that stable. Holly’s offense was so much more high flying based at this time. He snaps off a rana and gets in the BEST DROPKICK IN THE BIZ. He wins with the top rope cross body.

Winner: Bob Holly in 2:54
Standard stuff. Holly was impressive at times.

Next week, King Kong Bundy teams with Tatanka to face the Allied Powers.

Let’s go back to Superstars this past weekend. Henry Godwin took on Adam Bomb. They fought to a double countout, leading to Bomb getting slopped.

Henry O. Godwin vs. Barry Horowitz
Barry continues to be the only jobber to get the “oh but he’s never won a match” treatment from commentary. There are actually some “Barry” chants. Vince says that Ted Dibiase is courting Henry Godwin for some reason. Godwin uses a second rope knee before winning via Slop Drop.

Winner: Henry O. Godwin in 2:57
Much better than his debut squashes. It’s like he’s starting to click within the gimmick.

Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Sycho Sid w/ Ted Dibiase
They make a point of showing Ted Dibiase nod in the direction of Henry Godwin, who smiles and stays at ringside. He meets Bigelow in the aisle and gets into a slugfest with him. Bigelow is confused by this but has to quickly prepare for the match. He gets the upper hand early and even withstands a Dibiase distraction. Bigelow nails a DDT and goes up for the headbutt, but again Dibiase gets on the apron. You can tell Bigelow is a full-fledged babyface because he stupidly follows Dibiase around the ring, opening the door for Sid. Bigelow fights out of a camel clutch with an impressive electric chair drop. He also avoids the powerbomb. Bigelow climbs up, only for Godwin to resurface and shove him off the top. Sid pins him, because apparently it’s that easy to beat Bigelow.

Winner: Sycho Sid in 5:41
Obviously, Sid couldn’t lose with a title shot on the horizon. They did about as good as one could expect, all things considered. Unfortunately, that isn’t very good. 

Sid delivers the powerbomb after the match. No Diesel run in though.

Waylon Mercy vs. Jeff Hardy
Hey, it’s a debut that I am actually excited to see. They do a great job of showcasing how different he is once the bell rings. Beforehand, he shakes hands with the future WWE Champion and even the official. Once things start though, he pretty much doesn’t let up at all. Both guys are wearing all white, which looks a bit strange for some reason. SWEET BABY JESUS, he hits a damn Brainbuster! Mercy ends it with a sleeper hold and his facial expression while applying it was fantastic.

Winner: Waylon Mercy in 3:06
Okay, that was easily the highlight of the entire show. Great debut for someone so interesting.

Jerry Lawler takes us back to the dentist office. It’s hilarious to see him there in his full king attire. He berates a kid until the kid says Jerry has bad breath. Lawler announces that Isaac Yankem was a great wrestler before he became a dentist. Seeing the future Kane, with that hair and those teeth, is pretty priceless.

Overall: 5/10. At first, I was prepared to give this a really low score. I mean, the big matchup between Bigelow and Sid pretty much fell flat. But, the show worked in other ways. It set up In Your House rather well, brought back the 1-2-3 Kid in strong fashion and gave us the debut of the awesome Waylon Mercy.

Raw History
Episode #119
July 10th, 1995 | Danville, Pennsylvania

Things open with a recap of Sid turning on Shawn Michaels, joining the Million Dollar Corporation and Bigelow getting kicked out of the group. They focus on the fact that Sid is a bully who runs a bit scared when faced with someone else of his size. Our usual hosts run things.

The Roadie w/ Jeff Jarrett vs. Jerry Flynn
Future WCW lower midcarder Jerry Flynn gets a crack at the future Road Dogg. He actually starts a bit hot, taking Roadie over and working the arm before hitting a spin kick. Roadie actually applies a half Boston crab and, like a good heel, uses the ropes for leverage. Flynn tries a rana but Roadie counters into a sweet powerbomb for the three.

Winner: The Roadie in 2:38
Some off moments during this but that was the best finish to a Roadie match I’ve ever seen.

They take us to Jeff Jarrett with Rip Taylor videos in Las Vegas, though it’s pretty much just rehashed footage from his early vignettes. This leads into another airing of the “With My Baby Tonight” music video.

Savio Vega vs. Mike Khoury
Mike Khoury has to be one of the longest tenured jobbers I can recall. He gets in some offense but not too much. This is all about Savio and the SV shaved into the back of his head. Surprisingly, it’s a crucifix that gets him the win.

Winner: Savio Vega in 1:48
Short and relatively sweet.

Vince McMahon brings out Sycho Sid for an in-ring interview. Ted Dibiase does the talking for Sid, disappointing me because I love hearing insane Sid. Ted brings out the best lumberjacks that money could buy. They include the Million Dollar Corporation, King Mabel, Sir Mo, Hunter Hearst-Helmsley, Skip, Mantaur, Rad Radford, Jean-Pierre Lafitte, the Heavenly Bodies and others. Not exactly murderer’s row. Sid ends it with a loud “I AM THE MASTER AND THE RULER OF THE WORLD!”

Yesterday on the Action Zone, Skip took on Barry Horowitz. Skip dropkicked him down and started doing push-ups. Barry took advantage, rolling him up to score the first win of his career.

Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Matt Hardy
Oh snap. This is most likely two future WWE Hall of Famers. Matt looks so damn bland here. Hunter’s offense was really generic at this time. He would sprinkle in the mannerisms of the blueblood character to try and spice things up. HHH finishes him with the Pedigree.

Winner: Hunter Hearst Helmsley in 3:11
About what I’d expect here except that Matt didn’t impress as the jobber here.

Todd Pettengill’s In Your House Report brings us the final two matches added to the card. Razor Ramon will team with Savio Vega to face Men on a Mission, while Bam Bam Bigelow goes one on one with Henry Godwin.

The Allied Powers vs. Henry O. Godwin and Tatanka w/ Ted Dibiase
The Million Dollar Corporation attack before the bell. Once the match officially starts, we get the continuation of the terrible Tatanka/Luger rivalry. Also, wasn’t this supposed to be King Kong Bundy instead of HOG? Not that I’m complaining since Godwin can at least do stuff. Luger takes the heat for a while. Tatanka’s attire has two handprints on his ass, which is strange. Bulldog gets the hot tag and just lays into Tatanka. Tatanka tries an up and over, but struggles due to his weight most likely. Bulldog hits the stalling vertical for a very close near fall. He still picks up Tatanka and scores on the running powerslam for the victory.

Winners: The Allied Powers in 5:51
A fine, basic tag team match designed to give the top contenders a win heading into the Pay-Per-View. 

We get another Isaac Yankem video with Jerry Lawler. It’s not very good.

Overall: 3/10. Not as fun or interesting as last week’s show. The main match was very blah and the rest of the show came off as boring. None of the squash matches really interested me and the Sid promo was a lot of nothing.

Raw History
Episode #120
July 17th, 1995 | Danville, Pennsylvania

It’s the final show in a big block of tapings from Danville. IRS tells us he wants to make Shawn Michaels the “Heartbroken Kid” while HBK wants to slap the tax man around. Lawler and McMahon are on commentary.

WWF Tag Team Champions Owen Hart and Yokozuna w/ Jim Cornette and Mr. Fuji vs. Jim Dimitrie and Gus Kantarrakis
According to Cornette, the jobbers sound like a law firm. Dimitrie and Kantarrakis…not so much. They actually have matching attire, though it’s just generic blue singlets. Owen Hart does most of the work, as usual. Yokozuna is up to 641 pounds, which, according to Lawler, is more than Jacob and Eli Blu combined. Good lord. A Sharpshooter ends the jobbers.

Winners: Owen Hart and Yokozuna in 2:54
Just put here to get Owen and Yokozuna a win before the PPV.

In Your House Report time. Nothing new comes to light.

Jean-Pierre Lafitte vs. David Thornburg
Thornburg tries to overpower Lafitte, which completely fails. Vince tells us that things have gone missing in the locker room, insinuating that Lafitte stole it because he’s a pirate. Lafitte nails Le Cannonball and puts away Thornburg.

Winner: Jean-Pierre Lafitte in 2:33
Not bad.

It’s the first vignette for MAKE A DIFFERENCE Fatu. Surprisingly, Vince actually doesn’t act like this is a whole new person, admitting he was Fatu from the Headshrinkers. It’s so cheesy. He literally says “there’s no hope in dope.”

Another airing of “With My Baby Tonight” is shown. Wow, they really got mileage out of this didn’t they?

IRS w/ Ted Dibiase vs. Shawn Michaels
I feel like this is weird placement for this match. IRS is sporting blue instead of white. It looks odd considering we’ve become accustomed to his original look. IRS stalls a ton because he’s IRS, so Shawn goes to the aisle and gets him, pulling him by his tie. Shawn gets in some of his offense until IRS sends him outside and throws him into the steel steps. He does classic IRS stuff, like the abdominal stretch with the ropes for leverage and the chinlock. Babyface comeback time for HBK but he misses the Sweet Chin Music. He tries it again and connects, getting the 1-2-3.

Winner: Shawn Michaels in 8:37
Not even Shawn Michaels in this era could get a good match out of IRS. I think this is the end of the IRS run, but I’ll be reviewing Nitros and he shows up there too. Dammit. 

Next week, Bret Hart takes on Hakushi! Yes!

More Isaac Yankem videos involving awful dentist noises and bad Lawler puns.

Kama w/ Ted Dibiase vs. Billy Mack
Vince spends the match talking about the Miss America pageant. It reminds me of his pop culture talk during the early episodes of Raw. Kama knocks out Mack like he’s the Big Show or something.

Winner: Kama in 2:02
At least it was short. It’s Kama though, so it wasn’t much fun. Kama also goes over to mess with some of Undertaker’s “creatures of the night.”

Vince McMahon introduces the WWF Champion, Diesel, to bring out his lumberjacks. Before he shows us his friends, he hypes the match a bit, saying that he’s going to end things once and for all. His lumberjacks are Adam Bomb, Bob Holly, Bigelow, the Smoking Gunns, Tekno Team 2000, 1-2-3 Kid, Fatu, Savio Vega, Duke Droese and Shawn Michaels. Diesel gets words from some of the lumberjacks about what they’ll do if they get their hands on Sid. Vince brings out Sid, who has his lumberjacks follow. Or at least, Jerry Lawler says he went to get them for some reason. Sid nearly enters the ring but decides against it.

Overall: 4/10. I’m scoring this one in the middle of the past two shows. This one again didn’t have a good marquee match but it worked as a go home show. The closing segment focusing on the WWF Title match was probably the first time I can recall that happening on a go home episode.