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Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Raw: Number 16

I've got my check shirt on and my chopper in hand (ooh, hello) because it's Lumberjack time! I will work all night and work all day to provide you with up to the minute coverage of, erm, something that happened eighteen years ago.

Anyway, it's Raw and it's the scheduled rematch between that tedious oaf Hacksaw Jim Duggan and the staggeringly brilliant Shawn Michaels. Both of whom are going into the same Hall of Fame class. No justice, is there?

Michaels starts the show chatting to Lord Alfred saying that Duggan is going to find out why he is the IC champion, when a blonde chap in a sports coat attacks. Hoorah, it's Curt Hennig, who blasts Michaels into the door of what appears to be a parked taxi. Nice. He follows this up with a modified hip toss as various New Yorkers look on at an incident the likes of which they have probably only seen three times that day. A group of people eventually try to break the fight up. To begin with they look like civilians, but eventually more and more of them have ties on and I spot Tony Garea who I'm sure broke up more fights in a suit than he had matches.

It's quite a cool visual and an interesting segment as it was very different. It felt like chaos, which was what they were trying to get across. After the fight is broken up we have the annoying theme song and then it's Vince signing in, with Savage 'ooh yeah'ing all over him. Heenan completes the comms trio, wearing a lurid orange jacket.

McMahon excitedly plugs the lumberjack match. The combination of a crowd chanting something I can't quite work out (egged on by Savage, so perhaps something offensive to Heenan) the announcers shouting and the annoying siren make this a very hard opening to watch/listen to. Heenan says Duggan paid off Perfect to do that. He says that Yokozuna will be one of the Lumberjacks. Savage says Perfect will be too.

His yammering is interrupted by the strains of "bam bam" and Mr Bigelow's uninspired theme music. Bammer is facing Typhoon - Vince says there is more than 700lbs in there, not including the official. What an odd qualifying statement.

Speaking of qualifying, this is a qualifier for the King of the Ring. It probably ought to be Prince of the Mints or Lord of the Cheeseboard, really. These two hefty fellas exchanged some shoulderblocks and slams, and I can't help but notice that the ropes look really slack. I don't know if that is due to girth or because I'm not used to seeing matches from this era.

As we get a nip slip on live TV (don't get too excited - it's Typhoon coming out of his his singlet a little. Ugh) Vince says that he thinks that the Intercontinental Title is going to change hands tonight. Oh well, that's Duggan's dreams dashed already. Unlucky, Jim. Might as well not bother since Vince "Kiss of Death" McMahon has proclaimed you champion elect.

Bigelow takes control of the match, keeping Typhoon on the outside, while Heenan rightly points out a huge gash in Bam Bam's head. Typh mounts a comeback just as we go to break, and when we return, it's a slugfest which the former Tugboat wins. However, he misses an avalanche to the corner, and Triple B nails him with a pretty awesome looking Samoan Drop. He goes up for a top rope headbutt and it's over. BBB in the KOTR.

Great call by Vince, by the way. Bam Bam is feuding with Tatanka at this point, and McMahon points out that Bigelow used Tatanka's finishing move in that match. More piebald horses and cacti herald another Smoking Gunns vignette, and Vince says they'll be on "Saturday Morning Mania" this week. Bobby stands up to get a good look at the bikini-ed up ring girl, who appears to have a killer body but also eyebrows like Groucho Marx's moustache (oh, just Google him).

Next, we have a man to make Bam Bam and Typhoon look like Victoria Beckham on one of her skinny days, it's Yokozuna. He's facing PJ Walker, which is of course Justin Credible/Aldo Montoya in a former life. By the way, if you enjoyed Bigelow and Typhoon plodding around, you get Yoko v Kamala next week.

Yoko obviously annihilates Justin Montwalker in short order, but it's really impressive. I sorely miss these type of squash (literally in Yoko's case) matches as it does so much for a character. This took about 90 seconds of TV time, tops, and the announcers did a good job of talking up his upcoming match with Hogan at King of the Ring.

Off to Gene Mean for a plug for a ICOPRO dressed up as a KOTR preview. He mentions Hogan v Yoko, then tells us Bret, Luger, Razor, Duggan and now Bam Bam are all in the tournament. Doink v Perfect is on for Wrestling Challenge and Tatanka meets Giant Gonzales on Superstars, says Gene Mean.

Back to Raw, and it's one of the deliberate unattractive, plumper ring girls. "Is that Knobbs or Sags?" says Bobby. Mr Perfect, for it he who is up next, starts to flirt with her, tenderly grabs her face and shapes to kiss her - then puts his gum in her mouth. Lovely. She liked it, though.

Jobber of the Millennium Iron Mike Sharpe is the opponent for Hennig, cast and all, and Vince calls him a veteran. The announcers talk about the upcoming Lumberjack match, which Perfect will be on hand for. Vince said last week that it's the first ever Lumberjack match, but Heenan says he has been in them before and they hurt.

Heenan says he is bored of watching Mr Perfect, and starts playing with his TV monitor like he did last week.
Again, I assume this is to prove WWF is live. After some standard action, Hennig wins with the Perfect Plex. Coming next is another 'Mr'. It's Mr Hughes.

Heenan attempts to get a (slim, attractive) ring girl's number, whilst in the ring I think I spy 'The Kamikaze Kid' aka X-Pac waiting to be jobbed. We get ICOPRO and Slim Jim ads, then we are back with Mr Hughes and Harvey Whippleman. McMahon did say last week that Hughes was being eyed up by managers, it seems old Bruno got him. Meanwhile, Sean Waltman is advertised as "The Cannonball Kid", which is different to last week. I wonder if they'll make anything of that.

Aha, yes they do. Vince calls him the Kamikaze Kid, then corrects himself. Savage points out that he was called the Kamikaze Kid the week before. Hughes is again wrestling with his sunglasses on again. After a big boot which Vince oversells, it's a Boss Man Slam variant for the win.

A commercial airs for All American Wrestling. In it, Gene Mean and Heenan mention Paris, France (That's not All American) and Mars (Neither is that). Back in the arena, Vince and Bobby hype Crush v Blake Beverley for the next show. Oooh, that's a hook, isn't it? (Note sarcasm)

Here come the Lumberjacks! First out is Terry Taylor, and he's got red and black checks on, pure lumberjack style. Oh, actually, they all have.  They haven't entered to music, they've just wandered out, so I'm trying to pick out who they are. Mr Hughes is back, as is Yokozuna (no checks for him). I think I see Typhoon again. Bigelow, too.

Hacksaw Jim is out to his 'hoooo' music, and he runs into the ring.....then out again to punch Yoko to the floor. Good move, Jim, anger the biggest Lumberjack. That'll work.

Michaels arrives on crutches. He is obviously suggesting he can't wrestle. Perfect sneaks up behind him, punches him, and throws him in the ring. At this point Shawn is obviously ok, and as a true American hero, Duggan attacks Shawn from behind. Shawn goes to the outside, and Perfect throws him back again. I think I see Tatanka and Bob Backlund as lumberjacks, too. Michaels is dressed in jeans and cowboys boots, by the way.

This is now a virtual re-run of last week. Slow, dull offence by Duggan, "Shawn is Gay" chants from homophobic idiots in New York, pointless "U-S-A" chants to follow (they are both American, you spanners) and Shawn desperately overselling. Can you tell I'm not enjoying it?

At one stage, Shawn tries to leave, but Perfect and Backund bring him back. Shawn has had no offence for the entire match so far, which is probably about six minutes. Duggan misses a legdrop, and when he stands, Shawn has taken off his boot and nails Jim with it. Ref knocked down and didn't see it. Duggan to the outside, but the heels roll him in.

We go back and forth with this for a while before HJD takes over, and hits his three-point-stance clothesline which knocks Shawn to the outside. Stupidly, WWF go to break at this point. Are you kidding? We had to sit through that then a finisher hits and you go to commercials? Wow.

We're back, though, and now Shawn is on top and looks fine. Michaels misses a splash in the corner, and Bam Bam pops up onto the apron. Duggan is distracted, Shawn knees him in the back and throws him to Yokozuna. The big Samoan chops and legdrops Hacksaw then rolls him in. Shawn places one foot on Duggan for a pin, but on the count of two Perfect runs in and smashes Shawn. So it's a DQ. After all that, it's a DQ and Shawn wins. Vince says 'there's going to be trouble here' and we go to....Macho Man in a pretape plugging action figures. Random. Back to the ring, and Bam Bam is inside it and pacing about. Shawn comes running back in and attacks Perfect. Then all the Lumberjacks (except Yoko) come in and start a mass brawl.  Duggan swing his plank at everyone and they scarper (hey, was that Iron Mike Sharpe?).

And that's your lot. A mess of a show that. No action to truly speak of, and an awful main event. Next time, we have Kamala v Yokozuna to look forward to. Oh joy..........

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