KJP's Medium-Rare RAW Report, Vol. II, #14
Date: 8/5/96. Taping date: 7/22/96. Location: Key Arena, Seattle, WA.
Hosts: Vince McMahon and Jim Ross. Guest commentator: Hillbilly Jim
(Little known fact: on the other side of that milk carton with Duckman's
face, is the face of Eric Bischoff.)
-- disclaimer --
-- "revolutionary force" animation --
Dateline: Atlanta. The World's Strongest Man competes in the
Olympics... and finishes in 14th. But, as a consolation prize, Mark
Henry wins this lovely 10 year contract with the WWF. In comments
pulled from last week's show (including stray bell ringing), Jerry
Lawler claims Henry will 'rue the day' he steps in a WWF ring. This has
nothing to do with the rest of the show, mind you, but Titan just felt a
need to crow.
-- titles --
First up: Justin Bradshaw, the British Bulldog, Steve Austin, Savio
Vega, Owen Hart, Marc Mero, Mankind, Ahmed Johnson, Goldust, Sid, and
the Undertaker. What do they have in common, besides their faces
crammed into one-third of the screen? They're the participants in the
Raw Invitational Battle Royale, tonight's main event. Eleven people
doesn't make for much of a battle, but maybe what they'll be lacking in
quantity they'll make up for in quantity.
Jerry Lawler vs. Aldo "Jellyfish" Montoya
Or maybe not. Man. You'd think the Jellyfish would have had enough of
dealing with Lawler by now. It seems whenever Lawler wants to prove he
can handle another superstar, he demonstrates on Aldo Montoya. First,
it was Bret "Kiss My Foot" Hart, then more recently, the Ultimate "Comic
Book" Warrior. Now it's Jake "Recovering Alcoholic" Roberts. Of
course, Aldo has brought this upon himself to an extent, as he had the
audacity to actually beat Lawler on Superstars last weekend.
So, what's in the bag, Jerry, as if we need to ask? After the King is
allowed to rant on for a while, finally the control booth has had enough
and Montoya's sparklers are started up. Not that this slows Lawler down
in the least. Even as Lawler disrobes for the match, his invectives
continue unabated. Even the ringing of the match bell only barely
causes Lawler to miss a beat. I tell you, Lawler and Cornette would
make a world class debate team. Finally, it occurs to Lawler that
Montoya might have something he wants to say. So he drops the
microphone and tells Montoya to go pick it up. To the fans' horror,
Aldo complies. And so the match begins.
Lawler attacks with a boot to Aldo's gut, and the cordless microphone
sails into the crowd for some lucky fan to take home. Lawler soon
manages to execute a suplex, and things look dark for the man in yellow.
"This will not be a happy hour for Aldo Montoya." Et tu, Jimbo? Lawler
sets up for a back body drop, but Lawler hasn't actually executed one of
those in years, so it's just as well the Jellyfish stopped short and
gave him an uppercut to the jaw. From there, it's Aldo who dominates
for a while, with a cross-corner whip, bouncing into a dropkick. Then
one of those "high risk maneuvers" up to the top rope. Lawler almost
catches him up there, but not quite, and the fist to the face lands.
Montoya goes for the DDT... but Lawler slips out, and goes running to
the referee for some relief. Comic relief, that is. Eventually, the
Jellyfish pries the King loose, and continues the attack, which includes
a demonstration of the proper way to do a back body drop. Soon
thereafter comes the Infuriating Enemy Pummel. Then, after another hard
shot to Lawler's jaw, Aldo demonstrates, for contrast, the wrong way to
do a back body drop. Lawler cooperates, stepping over Montoya's head and
turning it into a perfect position for a piledriver. Not satisfied with
one piledriver, Lawler decides to make it a double. And speaking of
doubles, let's repeat the cast of tonight's battle royale. After the
second piledriver comes the 1-2-3 pinfall, but that is almost
incidental, as Lawler now knocks Montoya into a convenient position
underneath the ropes, then goes and gets the bottle, and offers to buy
Montoya a drink to show there's no hard feelings. And, as there's no
bartender around, Lawler even offers to pour. Of course, we don't have
any whiskey glasses around, but that's a rather minor consideration,
actually. McMahon can't imagine what Montoya is feeling at this moment,
but give it about ten minutes and I think I can make a pretty good
guess. The only hangup is that I'm not entirely sure Montoya is over
age, but well, what's done is done. Or not, as Lawler repeat his
"attack" three more times before the scene is finally broken up. When
you think about it though, the scene of Lawler, breaking free from the
grasps of several officials, in order to pour one more finger of whiskey
down Montoya's throat is, well, pretty pathetic.
-- ad break --
The New and Improved Rockers vs. The Not Particularly New Nor Improved
Bodydonnas (wo/Cloudy, so I stand corrected)
But first, just because someone in production is a sadist, let's review
highlights, or what passes for highlights of the Lawler/Montoya match.
But McMahon at least has the decency to apologize for that afterwards.
Meanwhile, Hillbilly Jim has come to offer whatever words of wisdom he
can as guest commentator. Yes, I know, but I guess they need to balance
out Jim Ross's keen insights on the sport.
Back out on the floor, the Bodydonnas' music is starting up, so Marty
and Leif take their marks at the designated ambush stations and wait.
Soon enough, Skip and Zip make their way out to the arena, and Marty and
Leif escort them, albeit a bit roughly, to the ring. They select Zip as
the man to start for the Bodydonnas, and decide to defer their decision
as to who starts for their side until someone makes them choose. In the
meantime, it's double teams galore, so sit back and enjoy! Two man
slingshot suplex, without the shot or the suplex. After a bit more
stomping of Zip, Marty exits the ring, in order to have Leif tag him in,
and resume the double team. There be madness to their method. This
time, though, the two-man back body drop goes wrong, as Zip kicks Leif
and grabs Marty for a roll up into a small package! Leif, fortunately,
does not need much time to collect his wits, and so he is quickly there
to make the save.
Finally, Skip arrives on the scene, and things officially go completely
out of control. Finally the referee gets a handle on things, ejects
Skip from the ring, and allows the Rockers a few more seconds of
luscious double teaming before Leif exits the ring voluntarily, and it's
finally down to Marty vs. Zip. Marty sends the winded Zip for the ride.
Zip reverses, but Leif is there to grab Marty as he is coming off the
ropes, and so Zip's dropkick catches air. Marty, after showing due
gratitude to his partner, decides to go for a cover, but by now a two
count will be the best he can get. In the meantime, Skip, who has not
had much to do this match, will have plenty to do on next week's show,
as he takes on the latest heartthrob of Sunny Gunn-etc., Faarooq "Could
I *sell* a vowel, Pat?" Asad. While the sports entertainer formerly
known as Simmons rants on, Marty next attempt to send Skip for the ride
ends in a missed clothesline, followed by a neat tackle of the Rocker
using the tagged-in Skip as a tripping block. Skip sticks Jannetty into
a corner, climbs up, and tries to get the crowd up for an Infuriating
Enemy Pummel. He doesn't get much crowd, but he does get his licks in
before the referee steps in. Cross-corner whip, Jannetty stops and
tries to flip over Skip, but the original Bodydonna catches him, and
gets in position for the running slam. But there's no way Skip will
have the power to pull off that move, so Jannetty slips off. Marty and
Skip exchange aborted back suplex attempts, Skip gets Marty into
piledriver position, goes for the power bomb instead, Marty grabs his
head with his legs, actually manages to flip up over the top of Skip's
head, and comes down the other side for a sunset flip. Skip kicks out
at two, gets up and charges right back at Jannetty, who steers his face
away from him with his most flexible feet. Skip charges at Jannetty
again, who misses a clothesline, and Skip comes off the ropes to jump on
top of Marty for a change, and yank him back with a head scissors. Marty
gets tossed in the direction of his own corner, though, and Leif Cassidy
comes in to cap off the sequence with a missed kick by Leif and a
clothesline by Skip. Meanwhile, throughout this sixty second sequence,
possibly the best the WWF has had in years, not only has Faarooq
completely hogged the spotlight, but his ramblings have completely
drifted away from wrestling, and ended up in something resembling Mutual
of Omaha's Wild Kingdom.
Back with the match, Skip has tagged in Zip, and they perform a double
elbow on the unfortunate Leif, followed by an assisted leg drop. Zip
covers, but the referee was escorting Skip out and was therefore a
fraction late in starting, so Cassidy was able to kick out. After
winning a slapping match, Zip picks Leif up for a supposedly
spine-jarring drop, but at the peak, Leif reaches back and tags Marty
in. Leif comes down actually rather softly, and runs to come off the
ropes. Leif dives between Zip's legs successfully enough, but Marty's
sneak attack clothesline from behind manages to miss, and Zip has the
time to knock both Rockers down in turn after this. As Zip winds up
Marty's arm to start that little game as he tags in Skip, Vince asks
Hillbilly Jim what sort of strategy the Godwinns have for the four-team
tag match at SummerSlam. Uh, Vince, think about that. Godwinns,
strategy, you know, strategy sort of implies, well, thought, and at any
rate HBJ's less than insightful response bears me out on this. Skip
continues the arm twisting theme in pretty predictable fashion, until
Jannetty gets lightly cross-corner whipped, and comes up with the
spit-take elbow when Skip gets too close. Jannetty capitalizes with a
bulldog with a somersault through in for effect, but since the wrestling
is threatening to get too good again, let's cut away to...
The Gunns and the Godwinns, in separate windows, both viewing the action
on really small television sets. The Gunns, appreciative of the
first-rate action going on in the ring, ignore the fact that they are on
camera and continue to watch. Not so the Godwinns, who immediately stop
watching, and turn to wave at the camera. They then attempt to turn
back to the match, but can't help glancing back at the camera every
couple of seconds. And, letting the rest of us in on the action, we
return just in time to see Marty Jannetty appearing to attempt a Rocker
Dropper (thanks to everyone who let me know every single detail about
that move, BTW), but instead ends up doing a back flip, and then getting
clotheslined by Skip. Upstairs goes Skip, top turnbuckle, he launches...
and hits it. I don't know what he hit, but whatever it was he hit it.
Cover, and again Leif runs in to make the save. Skip misses a weak
roundhouse, allowing Jannetty to hit a... well, it wasn't a back suplex,
it was just an ugly "lift and let him drop behind you" kind of move.
Marty misses with a clothesline, and Skip once again jumps on Jeanetty's
head. Marty stumbles back towards the ropes, and Leif steps over and
takes things from there, grabbing Skip's head and introducing it to the
ropes. After a few moments of recovery time, Jannetty grabs Skip and
gently tosses him over the top rope, to eliminate him from the next
match. Zip now enters in a modest effort to keep things going, but the
referee will have none of it. But the distraction give Leif Cassidy
plenty of opportunity to, say, hit Skip with a swinging neckbreaker.
Marty gestures to Leif to kindly load Skip back in the ring, and makes
the token cover. The referee breaks away from Zip in order to count, 1,
2... and Skip's foot finds the ropes. After a move that really should
have been more painful for Jannetty than Skip, Marty picks Skip up, tags
in Leif, and then cross-corner whips Skip, and follows that up by being
CCWed by Leif, and reversing Leif right into Skip. Garnish with a
clothesline from Marty. Leif covers, but all that rates only a two
count. Cassidy rubs Skip's face in the canvas, while we see a closeup
of Hillbilly Jim waxing ineloquent. At this point things settle down
into the more general abuse reserved for the Face In Trouble(TM), usable
now that we finally have a sense again of which teams are faces and
which are heels in the tag ranks. Punching match, which Leif wins win a
snap over and leg drop. Cover, 2. Hillbilly Jim continues, going on to
claim that Phineas' infatuation with Sunny is finally, completely, and
utterly at an end. McMahon and Ross take a sensibly skeptical view of
this. Cut momentarily back to the match, then to Gorilla Monsoon, who
"with great reluctance", reinstates Clarence Mason's mystery man to the
WWF. This is all Mason wanted to hear, which is good, because that's
all we get to hear.
Leif continues abusing Skip, both on a physical level and one involving
humiliation, using the loose-fitting tights to prevent tags more than
once. This culminates in a cross-corner whip which gets three inches of
ring movement even with the major bounce out by Skip. Another tag tease
comes along later on in the form of a spinebuster which nearly lets Skip
within range of his partner. Leif seems to have Skip covered, but for
some reason the referee isn't counting. While we try to figure out
what's up with that, let's go to a
SummerSlam Sweepstakes promo.
-- ad break --
And during all that, we missed out on that all-important race to tag. Oh
well, anyway, the Bodydonnas attempt to engineer a Rocker collision at
ring center, but the Rockers both reverse successfully. Leif scoops and
slams Zip, while Marty pounds away on Skip. Marty sends Skip for the
ride, but this had the rather unfortunate effect of disturbing Leif as
he was attempting to scale to the top turnbuckle. Marty attempts to
neutralize his mistake by charging at Skip, but instead compounds it
when Skip lifts him up and out of the ring, as well as out of the match
altogether. Skip now joins the pained Leif up on the top turnbuckle,
and adds to his agony with a Frankensteiner from there. Next, Zip
scales the turnbuckle in order to add the finishing touch... only to
have the match finished by a little touch from Bart Gunn, who has run up
to join the fun along with Billy. The four-on-two pummeling that
results is only temporary, though, as the Godwinns are not far behind.
The donnybrook finishes off in the usual fashion from there, with the
faces (Godwinns and Bodydonnas, for those who have lost track) on the
inside claiming victory (and in this case, correctly), with the heels on
the outside vowing vengeance when it really counts, in this case at
SummerSlam. Hillbilly Jim enters the ring to make the faces' victory
official, and let's see, we've got the whole cast here, except... except
Sunny. Why is that? I guess we didn't want to test Phineas's hormonal
control system prematurely.
Our next topic of discussion, Shawn Michaels. Yes, the guy who got
flattened by Vader in the main event of IYH a couple of weeks ago. Yes,
the guy who got ambushed for no obvious reason by Mankind. And yes, the
guy who was interviewed by Kevin Kelly, the newest member of the WWF
announcing team, earlier today. In said interview, Michaels addresses
these issues just as a warmup. He goes on to talk about his SummerSlam
match with Vader, the slightly infamous match with Bret Hart where he
won the title (thus taking care of the obligatory Hitman plug for the
week), and then on to the post-SummerSlam title defense against the
winner of the battle royale we're sort of impatiently waiting for by
now. Finally, after four and a half minutes without a really good quote
the whole time, we finally give up and go to an
-- ad break --
Footage from the house show at the Molson Center in Montreal, insert
Jake Roberts reference here.
Raw Invitational Battle Royale (for a WWF title shot) involving:
Bradshaw, Bulldog, Austin, Vega, Owen Hart, Mero, Mankind, Ahmed,
Goldust, Sid, and Undertaker.
And at the moment Mankind is entering the arena, leaving us no clue as
to how many others are left to enter. Next is Ahmed Johnson, who is,
amazingly, wrestling against doctor's orders that he knows nothing
about, but which will continue to be mentioned throughout the contest.
Next one out is Goldust. Question, if Mankind thinks Goldust is his
mother, what does Mankind think Marlena is? Goldie is followed by Sid,
and then comes our last competitor, the Undertaker. Totally out of
character, the Undertaker runs up the aisle, though perhaps more in
character, he ignores the referee's signal to wait for the match to
begin officially. This is just as well, as Mankind has also already
jumped the gun and is in the ring, so the Undertaker joins him there.
Everybody else figures they might as well get started, and so the match
begins. It looks like the Undertaker and Mankind are pretty much
fixated on one another, and such isolated matchup have no place in a
battle royale, so it's only right that the Undertaker eliminates both
Mankind and himself in a time of eight seconds, thus making it
effectively a nine-man battle royale with a two-man sideshow, which
moves up the aisle and out of the picture.
At about the 1:00 mark, Goldust saves Savio from elimination at the
hands of Bradshaw, an interesting decision on his part, and not Goldie's
last. Seconds later, Ahmed sends the Bulldog hurtling out of the ring,
and then there were eight, a nice convenient number for a four-cornered
wrestling surface. Just before 2:00, Bradshaw is again frustrated, this
time Sid saves Marc Mero from elimination. Things settle neatly into the
corners, giving us time to mention the Bikini Beach Blast-Off, a beauty
pageant between Sunny, Marlena, and Sable. And my cable system does not
get the Preview Channel. Grr.
At 2:30, Mero just misses getting Austin out, but Sid has a more
successful time with Bradshaw, who ends a rather frustrating match in
eighth. Around 3:15, Savio saves Ahmed from elimination at the hands of
Goldust. At 4:00, Mero sends Owen tumbling over the top rope. Showing
he had learned something from Shawn Michaels, Owen grabs the top rope
and pulls himself back in. Showing that there's still more for him to
learn, Owen promptly leaves himself wide open to a Wildman clothesline
which eliminates him. Down to six, let's go to the
Slam of the week: Savio Vega stumbles into Jim Cornette's conveniently
placed racket, making him easy prey for the power slam of the British
Bulldog. Not much to that, but hey, they could have chosen one of
-- ad break --
Counting commercial time as "real time", we return at the seven minute
mark, and find the same six, Vega, Sid, Mero, Goldust, Ahmed, and Austin
all still in the match. Mero has trouble picking up Goldie, so he tries
getting a running start at him. Not exactly a bright idea, with Goldust
standing so close to the ropes, and sure enough, Mero is over the top
rope and out at 7:10. Goldust is the target of further idiocy moments
later, as Savio hits him with his latest trademark move, the crescent
kick in the corner. What Savio forgot is that this move lands him on
the outside of the ring, safely on his feet, mind you, but all the same
out of the battle royale at the 7:30 mark. The ring population shrinks
to four, so, in a token effort to correct this, let's bring the side
show back in here, yes, it's Mankind and the Undertaker, still at it.
They come through the crowd, over the railing, into the ring, somehow
avoiding having any influence on the remaining in-ring battles, then
back out of the ring, over the other railing, and back off into the
crowd. Thank you, gentlemen, let's give them a round of applause,
they'll be here all week, enjoy the buffet.
By now, it's the 8:30 mark, and the remaining faces, Sid and Ahmed, are
in control. But control is fleeting, and as time ticks by, it becomes
clear that the situation is essentially a stalemate. Around 10:00,
Austin performs an encore of his mule kick that temporarily waylayed the
Undertaker last week, this time on Ahmed. Nothing comes of it, just
thought I'd mark time. At 11:15, Ahmed dumps Goldust over the top rope,
but only as far as the apron, so we remain at four. Ahmed hits the
spinebuster on Goldie a few moments later. He puts Goldie in position
for the Pearl River Plunge, but Goldust insists that that is not is
*his* copy of the script, so he quickly escapes that predicament.
Well, even teases of toss-outs are few and far between, so let's see how
the side show is doing. The Undertaker clobbers Mankind with a pallet.
Well, that's something different.
SummerSlam promo (Olympics).
-- ad break --
Again, taking ad time as real time, we return just shy of the 15 minute
mark, which would mean half the match so far has gone without a single
elimination. Sid, for his part, stuffs Goldie in the power bomb, and
hits it. However, Austin attacks Sid long before Sid can take advantage
of the move, and thus the stalemate continues. At 15:40, Austin fails to
piledrive Sid, getting back body dropped instead, and Sid comes right
back to give Austin a power bomb to call his own at 16:00. Ten seconds
later, Goldust attempts to one-up that with a Curtain Call on Ahmed, but
fails miserably in the attempt.
So while we're waiting for something involving potential eliminations to
happen in the match, let's go back and review the progress of the side
show again. It's partially a review of what we saw last time,
culminating in the Undertaker scooping and slamming Mankind on something
very large and metallic, before a roving band of officials come in to
try and break it all up, unsuccessfully.
Back to the match, nothing much has happened, except Sid and Goldie are
now down, and Ahmed and Austin are the active pair. Again, it is
becoming more and more obviously that the situation has become static,
so let's take the time to mention that next week's card includes a
non-title match between Shawn Michaels and Owen Hart. And speaking of
Owen Hart, here he comes, along with his compadre, the British Bulldog.
They're here about the stalemate, and they've come to break it up.
Tapping the shoulder of the first wrestler he encounters, Owen thus
entrances Sid into staring at him instead of paying attention to the
match. Austin suddenly looks up and realizes this, and with one mighty
blow takes Sid out of the game at the 18:30 mark of the match. With two
heels against one face, it's starting to look dim for Ahmed. They
attack Ahmed as one, but then Goldust quickly backs off and lets Austin
continue the assault on his own. Then, after Austin is satisfied with
his work, Goldust steps in and starts attacking Austin! At 19:30
Goldust dumps Austin over the top rope, but Austin catches the apron.
Austin sneaks back in, and the first part of Goldust to discover this
fact is the part between his legs. Austin goes on the attack, but by
now Ahmed has recovered, and takes Austin down, letting Goldust rest
some more. At 20:30, Ahmed has Austin halfway up, and Goldust, in
another interesting decision, decides to side with Ahmed, and swiftly
lifts Austin's hanging leg up and over the top rope, and the rest of
Austin goes tumbling with it to the floor. And then there were two.
Time out for everyone to catch their breath, and Ahmed sizes up the
situation, and not knowing about his ruptured kidney, likes it very
much, thank you. Ahmed beats up on Goldie a while, but then drops from
exhaustion. Goldust takes the initiative, and hits a piledriver at
22:00. Well and good, but it doesn't get Ahmed over the top rope yet.
While we look for ways to actually do that, let's take one more
-- ad break --
24:30, and Goldust takes a deep breath in celebration of a job well
done. Well, not quite done, actually, as Ahmed rushes up from behind and
tackles him. We hold a rather interesting position for quite a while,
then finally at the 25:00 mark, Ahmed sends Goldie for a ride.
Anticipating a charge, Goldie grabs the rope and attempts to leverage
Ahmed out. Instead, though, Ahmed runs right into Goldust, sending him
toppling over the rope. At the last second, Goldie's feet catch Ahmed,
and send him over the top rope. Over they go, and is it to be a draw?
Well, no, as one of the participants managed to hook his legs over the
top rope, thus saving himself while the other crashed to the floor. And
your winner is.... Ahmed Johnson.
Not a very dignified position to be proclaimed the winner from, but
Ahmed rights himself soon enough and is able to celebrate his victory in
a proper fashion.
And that's pretty much the show, so let's repeat next week's main event
(Shawn vs. Owen), while showing continuous replays of Ahmed moment of
victory. Oops, well, we've still got a minute to kill, so let's get
McMahon in there for an interview of the winner... oops, well, maybe
that isn't such a great idea. McMahon asks Ahmed to comment on the
prize he's won. From Ahmed's mumblings, one gathers the general
impression that he's more enthusiastic about a potential match with
Vader than one with Shawn Michaels. Anyway, this is a pretty miserable
way to go out, how about a quick storming of the ring from Faarooq Asad?
Well, we've already had one brawl between them, but I guess it's the
best we're going to get on short notice. Later.
-- Kevin Podsiadlik