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Thursday, 24 February 2011

Raw Number Twelve

This week's (well, when I say 'this week' I mean April 12 1993) Raw starts with Money Inc handing over some cash to the Beverly Brothers. One of the Bevs says the Steiner Brothers think they are unbeatable, but they are not. Well, they beat you mate. IRS asks about the double arm suplex, and the other Bev says their suplexes are devastating, so you have to take their legs out. Ted asks if they are fast as they look, and gets the answer that Scotty is as quick as a cat. (The cat in question being Ernest Miller) They say to make sure the Frankesteiner doesn't happen, and the Raw intro plays.

I won't lie to you - the acting standards in this were in negative star range. But it's a great little 30 second piece to put over challengers to a title as being really, really good. That's basics, and it is done very nicely here. A creative little thing really, showing you don't have to work too hard sometimes - just have people talk about how great someone else is.

The shows starts, and sadly Bartlett is back. Savage, back in his gay rodeo style of outfit, says IRS v Rick Steiner tonight. Didn't the graphic say Money Inc v Bushwhackers last time? Anyway, Vince says we have Tatanka, Papa Shango and a newcomer. Savage waffles on about being blessed then gets to the point......Friar Ferguson. Oh wow, what a treat. More on that later.

IRS is out first, through a different entrance. Hang on, is this a different arena. It certainly looks like it is shot differently. It might even be MSG. Actually, it's not MSG, but the camera angles certainly look different to the usual Raw set. It's much bigger. IRS is actually wrestling Scott Steiner here. Vince then tells us we are in Poughkeepsie, New York.

Cagey start which comes to laugh when IRS tries a sneaky kick at a clean break, but Scott catches the boot. Irwin, though, lands a cracking inzugiri. Steiner soon hits a big powerslam, before IRS powders.

Back in, and this is starting to take shape as a really nice little wrestling matches. IRS lands a beautiful drop toe hold which Scott transitions into a hammerlock. Nice. It's pretty much hold for hold for a bit, until IRS hits a thumb to the eye and throws Scott to the outside. A waiting DiBiase clotheslines Scott, and Rick arrives to even the score. DiBiase sheds clothes to get down to wrestling trunks as Vince screams "The tag match continues" and throws to a break. Uh, you reckon they'll make this a tag, then, after that piece of foreshadowing?

Back after the break, and it does still appear to be one on one, with IRS on top. IRS hits a piledriver. I thought last week when we saw Lawler hit it that it's a move that is pretty much banned across the board these days, but you largely don't even realise. I also like that you could see that they didn't quite land the move right, or at least Mike Rotunda was overly cautious, but Vince actually called that he 'didn't quite get all of it'. I like that kind of honesty in an announcer.

While IRS has a chinlock on, Vince talks about Bartlett interviewing Luna later on. IRS heads to the top, which can't end well. Indeed - Scott gets a foot up, and takes control. It's a full on babyface comeback, and to be fair the crowd are hot for it. Scott hits the aforementioned double underhook, and they only narrowly avoid injury. It looked dicey for a second there.

DiBiase breaks up a count, Rick soon matches him, and the ref throws the match out. The Steiners set up DiBiase for what looks to be a top rope bulldog, but the Beverlys run out for the save. Scott, though, avoids a double clothesline and the Bevs nail DiBiase instead. Scott is declared winner by DQ, and the good guys leave. DiBiase sells annoyance at the Bevs for messing up, and the two teams end up squaring up. IRS says 'forget it', but the Bevs knock him to the outside from behind. That was odd. They corner Ted, who seems to be offering them money. IRS shapes to go for the briefcase, perhaps to smack them with it, but instead Money Inc just slink away.

Vince trails WM9 again, and says watch the encore (it's the same ad as last week). Tatanka comes steaming out of after this for his match, and is opponent is........hey, it's Vito! Not cross-dressing Italian Vito though. Instead, he is announced as "Von Krus" and hails from Germany. Presumably this is quite near the time he was Skull von Crush in ECW.

Tatanka starts with a sloppy looking combo of springboard, hip toss, arm drag, but before we get very into the match, Doink the Clown. Doink has a umbrella that squirts water (can't see that catching on in Dragon's Den) but just squirts it a little and leaves. Tatanka gets raked in the eyes, and Vito/Von Krus hits a couple of the worst chops you'll ever see. Tatanka regains control, and hits some signature moves. After a 'slugfest' as Vince calls it, Tatanka gets Tanked up, and soon ends the match.

On Commentary during that match, I should note, Vince said the Beverlys have asked for a match with Money Inc. Fink announces Tatanka as still unbeaten. Sean Mooney then hosts a Wrestlemania report, presumably because it was so shit even Gene Mean would have nothing to do with it. Mooney says that it was the greatest Wrestlemania of all time (it wasn't) and says it will go down "in the annals" of history. (One 'n' too many, there)

Bartlett is here after the break with a staggeringly bad shirt and waistcoat combo, and then here comes Luna. She warbles about being the woman of the nineties, a balance of beauty and beast. At least I think she did. I don't doubt Luna was a good wrestler, and she is sadly missed, but I couldn't bear her voice. She does call Bartlett a punk at one point, which is a bonus. Luna basically slagged off Sherri, which draws the Sensational one out from the back.

Sherri doesn't attack Luna though - instead she has a go at Bartlett. This is great. can we all join in? I think every promo from now on should just be anti Bartlett. Luna grabs the mic and says she is "A bandit from the wild untamed future. A voice that was before and will be again." Erm, what? Sherri retorts that she has stood up against "bigger men than you will ever be woman". They are basically just saying words and hoping they vaguely come out in order now. Sherri attacks, and it looks like two women halfway through changing for Halloween started on the wine (or Sherry!) a little early that night. Sherri knocks Luna flying, then rips Bartlett's shirt off for the hell of it.

Sherri actually then hits a nice suplex on the floor, then Luna attacks with a belt. Bartlett tries (fails) to break it up, and Sherri attacks Luna with a cord. (I have to note that at this point Sherri is basically overflowing. Her cups runneth over, if you get what I'm saying.) Luna reverses and Vince reacts with horror at Luna pulling Sherri's clothes off. Sherri reacts in kind, but I have to say it isn't really a pretty sight on either side. They fight out into the audience, and Vince says "oh no" at seven second intervals. Sarge wonders in for a little grope (Trying to "break things up" says Vince. Yeah right!) and scoops Luna out of there. I wonder why Pat Patterson didn't come help, I mean.

Back from a break and it's the odd sight of Randy Savage interviewing Sherri. If you don't know their past, I suggest you google it, but I'll quickly say that she basically dumped him after he lost to Warrior at Mania7, in favour of Ted DiBiase. At this point Sherri has Macho Man's hat covering her chest, since she is now down to a bra on the the top half. Savage starts to praise Sherri, but Luna re-emerges to attack. Meanwhile, there is a jobber and a referee in the ring.

Sherri fights back and at one point has hold of Luna's bra strap. Are we going to see (let's channel King, shall we....) PUPPIES? Wait, no, here comes Pat. We wouldn't want to see breasts now, would we Patricia? No, not at all. Patterson and Sarge remove Luna (again). Sherri shouts something incomprehensible, and then does Savage's catchphrase. The talking (shouting) parts of that were brutal, but the brawl was a lot of fun. It looked pretty realistic at times, and you bought the antagonism between the two. I have no memory of them having a match, so I'm genuinely intrigued as to where this goes.

You know what is needed to follow this up? Voodoo. Here comes Papa Shango, before Sherri has even left, that Ashley Massaro? Oh wait, no, it's a skull. Shangos opponent is..........Scotty Too Hotty - more early 2000s Smackdown talent on this show. Actually he is just Scott Taylor here. And I think Fink called him Skip Taylor.

Vince says that we are getting closer to the tag match between the Beverlys and Money Inc for next week, and that they are negotiating as we speak. Wow, you mean an evil GM isn't forcing them into matches. Whatever next?

Savage says we could have twenty two main events next week, which makes no sense, while Shango is totally dominant in the ring. Bartlett has disappeared, by the way. Wait, no he hasn't, here he comes, with clothes bedraggled and a dopey look on his face. Wait, he has that look all the time, doesn't he? Bartlett collapses, Vince guffaws and Shango wins. The big guy grabs all his props and heads towards Taylor, looking like he might do some of his voodoo gimmick, but instead we see Bartlett looking dazed again, and Vince says Friar Ferguson is up next.

And indeed he is. Gregorian chanting fills the arena, and a rotund figure (The late Mike Shaw) waddles out in full monk get-up, complete with a notepad round his neck. He lifts a page and it has a smiley face with the word "Monk" written underneath. I'm assuming that is for a vow of silence. He also carries a brown piece of wood for some reason. His opponent is Chris Duffy, who appears not to be an early incarnate of Kenzo Suzuki, but instead just an ugly jobber.

Bartlett does a 'frequent friar' joke (well, I say joke.......) in an even more annoying way than usual. He must (MUST) leave soon, mustn't he........? Duffy pushes Ferguson (Fergie?) a couple of times, and gets put on his arse for his troubles. I can't really work out if Fergie is meant to be babyface or heel at this point. He is wrestling barefoot - he doesn't look Samoan.

Fergie slingshots Duffy to the outside as Money Inc v Bevs is announced as a non-title match for the next week. Fergie pulls up his.......what do call that? A smock? A robe? Anyway, he pulls up what he is wearing and waggles his knees. Thanks for that. He is actually starting to look a bit SuBo at this point.

Fergie hits a splash, and it's look like match over, but there is some (unacknowledged) confusion between wrestler and ref, and we carry on. Fergie hits an avalanche, and then weirdly rubs the jobber's face with the underside of his robe. Eugh. This match plods on, Vince tells us Money Inc will have a chat after this match, and the fans start to chant (I think) "We want Bret".

Oh crap, it's a nerve hold by Friar now. Just end it, please. Fergie chokes Duffy on the ropes, so I'll assume at this point he is a heel. An evil monk, perhaps. Duffy, as the crowd start a boring chant, floats over for a sunset flip, but the Monk, erm............sits on the poor guys face. Shall I do a Catholic joke about...........nah, best leave it. That was just weird, by the way.

Another "Please watch our shitty encore" ad, before Money Inc are with us. We have about a minute of the show left. Vince says Bret will be interviewed next week, and it's Virgil v Razor Ramon. Thirty seconds.........

Money Inc start to say that accept a challenge and they've beaten everybody, when they get jumped by the Bevs. This is probably the biggest push of their lives, isn't it? Cheeky brawl for seven seconds, and it's over.

Friar Ferguson debuts and the Beverlys in a main event position. You lucky people.

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