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Monday, 6 September 2010

Raw Number Four

Here we go then, the fourth ever Raw, and what a main event we have scheduled, after the teaser from last week. Typhoon v Doink. Fat Bloke v Clown. Who could ask for more?

We start this exciting, historic broadcast with a sound of a chihuahua in an airing cupboard. Oh wait, no, it's Tatanka, and the wailing at the start of his music. Incidentally, his is basically the same entrance theme the 123 Kid, except for wailing swapped for some people shouting "123".

His opponent is the already-in-the-ring-and-therefore-presumably-soon-to-be-released Damien Demento. (Demento was in fact released in October of 1993 - Wiki is your friend.) Demento's hometown is "The Outer Reaches of Your Mind". Just.......what?

Vince on comms has Savage and Bartlett with him. Tatanka is, I believe, undefeated at this point. He starts strongly, and Damien soon is on the outside talking to thin air. Err, ok then. He is heard to say "The Indian Will Suffer." How very unPC.

Vince plugs Typhoon v Doink and a tag match featuring High Energy for later on. He also says we'll have an interview with Brutus Beefcake, so I assume this is the return which led to the big angle. We'll see. I won't spoil it for you if you don't know.

Interestingly, there is a very strong "We Want Flair" chant audible during this match.

Tatanka gets the upper hand, does his skipping version on Hulking Up, and dispatches Demento with his Samoan Drop finisher, which I believe he called the End of the Trail. Vince doesn't namecheck it, and Savage reasserts that Tatanka I still undefeated.

We go then to clips of MSG, where WWF made $100,000 for The Red Cross for the Headlock for Hunger appeal for Somalia. I will always say that whatever things are levelled against Vince and WWE (Many of them deserved) you should always remember that the company does a massive amount for charities. Vince genuinely feels (and I believe he is right) that his company can make a difference in people's lives. I applaud that.

Next, Vince is in the ring with Brutus Beefcake, who gets a nice reaction. Ed Leslie has been a figure of fun over the years, because of his association with Hogan, but he was pretty over here, despite being away for over a year. If you don't know (although he'll tell you in a second) Leslie genuinely had a near-fatal para-sailing accident which shattered his face. This is just over a year later, after having some metal plates fitted.

Beefcake tells us he is back, and will take on all comers. He then tells a (very) long story about his parents dying and his wife leaving him before getting smashed in the face in the above incident. Beefcake paints a picture of him being close to death, and, in his words, he was touching the Hand of God (he means he was dying, not that he knows Maradona.)

Brutus then credits Hulk Hogan with saving his life, and therefore hints that Hogan is more powerful than God. (Book it, Russo. Book it now!) Beefcake talks about how awesome Hogan is a bit more (well, he is awake), and Vince then says he has the Big Man looking over his shoulder. I don't know if he means Hogan or God. If indeed they are different.

So, the gist is, Brutus is back. I don't mean to make fun of him too much, because he did go through some traumatic stuff, but this was pretty dull.

Mania plug for Vegas - it's on April 4, and this Raw which we are looking at right now is from February 8. Let's at least get through all the Raws up until then, shall we?

A ring girl circles with a sign saying "Steak Tartare is RAW" - That's actually a good joke. I may steal that at some point and hope no-one notices.

High Energy are here now. That's Owen Hart and Koko B Ware to the uninitiated. They are taking on the legend that is Iron Mike Sharpe and his partner, who I believe is Glen Ruth, who was a jobber a couple of episodes back. I forgot to mention at the time, Glen Ruth would later bcome more well known to you all as Headbanger Thrasher. (Thanks Paul B for that tip. Good luck at Charlton ;-))

Owen and Koko will this in very short order, mainly with Drop kicks.

After a break, it's a three-shot on Savage, Vince and Bartlett, with the latter wearing a ridiculous combo of white tie, white scarf and sunglasses. He looks like a blind vicar. We get a flashback to Doink using a fake arm to attack Crush that we saw a week or two back, while the live crowd again throwing up a "We Want Flair" chant.

Doink emerges, and I have to say I loved this character. Evil, heel Doink was played to the hilt by Matt Borne. I wasn't keen on the babyface version, but loved this one. So do some of the audience, by the way, who chant "Doink" audibly.

Typhoon is his opponent, and one assumes this is supposed to be a showcase for Doink, who outwrestles Typhoon in the early going. Savage and McMahon talk about Doink being a technical wrestler, while Bartlett attempts a poor conceit about Clowns Anonymous. The other two basically ignore him.

It's hard for a big man like Typhoon to be a babyface in peril, so he basically just no-sells a couple of times after a while, then slams Doink. Typhoon misses an Avalanche (which was a later name of his Natural Disaster partner Earthquake), and Doink hits a second rope clothesline. He pulls some tights, and we're done. That was basically a squash. Poor quality match, really, but good booking of Doink. Fred Ottman would leave WWF shortly afterwards.

Vince talks to Todd Pettengill about WWF Mania, and he says he'll feature Giant Gonzales. Back in the ring, Howard Finkel tells us that Andre the Giant has died. He talks fondly of Andre, and gets the crowd to rise for a ten bell salute. Hmm. We don't see that anymore. So sad that the epidemic of wrestler deaths actually makes companies LESS likely to acknowledge them.

Skimpy costumed ring girl, ads, and then we are back. And the Japanese music signals Yokozuna's presence. Someone named Bobby de Vito is in the ring. Either as an opponent or lunch, I'm not sure which.

Savage mentions that he didn't fare too well against Yoko at the Rumble. Vince says that Hacksaw Jim Duggan will wrestle Yokozuna "this weekend". I assume that it's on Superstars or something similar that Vince can't namecheck because it's on another channel. Mind you, Vince then says (as Cole would say "And I Quote") "This past weekend Hacksaw Jim Duggan issuing the challenge to Yokozuna, and the big man is very much forward looking to.....something along those lines." Yeah, uh, thanks for that, Vinny. Very concise.

A buzzing noise comes over the top of Vince's words. He says that we have a phone connection with Hacksaw. In fact we don't, and the buzzing noise is a dialling tone. The bell goes, DeVito charges, and Yoko kicks him in the face. Hacksaw comes on the line, and calls the big guy Yakkazuma twice. Vince corrects him, and Hacksaw, the spirit of America says "It's some Japanese name". How very racially tolerant.

Duggan talks nonsense, and mercifully is breaking up so they cut him off. Yoko meanwhile has already won the match. Vince plugs Luger after the break. So if you thought Brutus talking was dull.......

In fact, it isn't Luger after the break, it's tag team champs Money Inc (Ted DiBiase and IRS). Vince says they asked for this time, and so DiBiase recites a nursery rhyme. Better than that, he botches a nursery rhyme. "Kings Horses"doesn't rhyme with "together again", Teddy.

The gist is that he's talking about Beefcake. He admits it's a sad story, but that Brutus has a screw loose. Ted says Brutus hasn't wrestled in three years, and both of Money will face him. Ted flips a coin, says he wins, and that he'll wrestle Beefcake. Brutus said he had an open contract, you see. This draws out Jimmy Hart, heel all his life, who says it is a waste of time. He is worried about his boys getting hurt.

DiBiase says Jimmy shouldn't worry, IRS calls Brutus a tax cheat (that's original) and Jimmy asks them to come to the back, selling worry. As they start to leave, here comes Luger to angelic sounding music. He poses to a mirror in the ring, while for no apparent reason other than to be cruel, a fat woman carries a Raw board around the edge of the ring. Classy.

Luger shows his annoyance at this to a very young looking Mike Chioda, before we cut to pre-tape vignette of Mr Perfect being a quarterback. You know, the one where an NFL player acts badly, and Hennig throws a pass to himself. Sort of. The reason for this was that Luger was brought in by Heenan to feud with Perfect.

Back to the ring, Luger is wrestling Jason Knight, of later minor ECW fame. Savage shushes everyone, to read a big announcement. Beefcake has accepted the DiBiase/IRS challenge. I assume for next week. In fact, yes, Vince confirms it. Then plugs Quantum Leap. Fine.

Luger hits a couple of clotheslines and a powerslam, before 'hitting' a big forearm. It looked like he missed by miles. He picks Knight up and punches him once more, before pinning him with his little finger. No talk about a 'loaded forearm' at this stage, so I'm guessing this factors into storyline soon enough. Luger throws Knight around a bit post match to sell arrogance. By that I mean he is trying to look like an asshole, not that he has starting pimping Rick Martel's fragrance.

Two Plus Size ladies now do the ring girl duties, with one of them (this is not a joke) wearing an almost exact replica of the outfit Bertha Faye would later wear. Late ads, including Lord Alfred doing an abysmal job of hyping Terminator 2 for Game Boy, follow, before Vince says Raw will be back in two weeks. There is a Dog Show in the interim. Hang on, he just plugged Brutus v DiBiase for next week, didn't he?

He changes his mind, and says that this will be in a fortnight's time, as well as a 16-man Battle Royal. He doesn't say what it is in aid of. Though he does say Bartlett might enter. I think he is joking. Although I'll pray that he isn't.

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