Holiday-themed wrestling shows…is there anything better in life?
Specifically, look at that Monday Night Raw jack-o-lantern above. Smoke billowing, candle flickering…gotta say, that is pretty darn cool. If I had any skill, I’d try to carve that out and put it on the Reynolds Ranch front porch. Then again, I always take pride in the candy we give out (so as to bribe the local hooligans into not egging my house), and would hate to scare off any children who might see a pumpkin promoting what has become one of the most boring and repetitive shows ever and run the other direction.
But we’re not talking today, we’re not talking 2015 Raw. We’re talking a Raw from 20 years ago. One that opened with a really cool pumpkin! What could possibly go wrong?
If you guessed, “pretty much everything after that pumpkin”, you’d be correct.
Because soon enough, that cool pumpkin fades out and is replaced by the very not cool…
Wait, I stand corrected: COUNT TODD PETTENGILL!
While I would usually give anyone and everyone in wrestling credit for taking on a Halloween persona, I cannot do so in good conscience here as The Count Todd is attempting to embody isn’t Dracula. It’s this guy:
That would be Count von Count from Sesame Street. Don’t believe me? Here, take a listen. Ha. Ha. Ha.
We’re quickly jolted from Todd to the goofiest intro to Raw ever, the one where they are all fighting on the roof of Titan Tower.
I am sure this sounded like a good idea on paper. But in execution, it looks like a complete and utter mess. In fact, you can’t really tell where they are even at, and the only reason I know is because I am a total geek that has invested the last fifteen years of his life researching the worst in pro wrestling.
And boy have we hit the gold mine here tonight!
The fun starts in earnest as we get Jerry Lawler as a proctologist (!) and Vince McMahon as a criminal (!!!!), a year after he nearly went up the river for real. Lawler gets out his stethoscope and determines that McMahon has no heart.
Lawler: “What are you supposed to be? Genghis Convict?”
That statement there is baffling on countless levels.
Like I heard it four days ago when I started researching this induction, and in the past 96 hours, try as I might, I cannot fathom how it makes any more sense than it did originally. I’d stroke my (no longer imaginary and now very real) beard and ponder it, but there’s way too much stupidity on display tonight to slow down the train.
So Savio Vega shows up and soon enough runs smack dab into…
…ghoulified versions of Hugo Savinovich and Carlos Carbrera. You know a wrestling company is really giving it their all in October when the Spanish announce team is also ready to go trick or treating.
Sadly, Savio is not in costume. Well, anymore than what he normally was. Here’s the thing about Savio: he was on like every Raw from 1994-1996. Like every single one. Why? Who knows. Maybe Vince thought he was the second coming of Pedro Morales or something. Anyway, he was on a million of these shows, yet somehow I had successfully blocked his dance routine from my memory.
And now it comes rushing back. Yeesh.
His opponent this Hallow’s Eve…Eve…would be Goldust, who is not only making an appearance tonight, but his DEBUT. There’s your fun fact to impress your geek friends with: Goldust’s in-ring debut was on the 1995 Halloween show.
As I think back on the original Goldust character, it’s pretty amazing how different it wound up being. The original premise was that he loved movies and would thus quote them throughout his promos. I loved that and wish he’d have done more of it. So the whole match features the announcers making similar references, and Lawler notes that his theme music is eerily similar to the theme from Halloween. Never noticed that before. Hey, how about that. Should also note that the original version of the theme here is approximately 10 seconds long then just loops.
This also leads to a fascinating discussion wherein The King notes maybe Goldust is related to Goldfinger and Vince saying he remembers “Miss Galore” but doesn’t remember her first name. I bet this is the exact moment when Vince decided they needed to go to the Attitude era. Just so he could mention the first name of MISS GALORE.
Throughout the match, Lawler keeps dropping horror movie refs, noting that Goldust should channel Jason Vorhees or someone from The Exorcist. I don’t know he needs to do any of that, as the original outfit the poor guy wore gives me nightmares on its own.
Seriously, look at that – does ANYONE think that’s a good idea??
Apparently these guys did, but then again, should you trust a guy who doesn’t even check to see if his armpits are covered before heading out in public?
I can tell you the guy in front of them in the backwards baseball hat ain’t amused! Word up, homey!
Despite Vince’s ongoing plea that this is going to be a box office flop, Goldust wins with his finisher:
The worst kick you ever did see.
On the plus side, they didn’t zoom in on his crotch.
On the minus side, we go to the Survivor Series Slam Jam and are greeted by…
Actually, the DORK-O-LANTERN!
Yes, kids, that would be DOK HENDRIX. Now if you’ve never heard of Dok Hendrix, I don’t blame you. Perhaps, by chance, you’ve heard of the Fabulous Freebirds, and in particular, Michael PS Hayes. A guy who looked like this:
He was a bad dude, a womanizing, Jack Daniels drinking heel. Along with Terry “Bamm Bamm” Gordy and Buddy Roberts, they were a legendary team in the early 1980s. Somehow, though, he morphed into Dok Hendrix, a complete WWE shill who looked like this:
This despite the fact that he had wrestled as Michael Hayes in the WWF, WCW, World Class, and basically everywhere else. One day he just showed up on WWF TV as Dok Hendrix and everyone in the company played along like he was someone completely new.
The only thing I can possibly compare it to is when Johnny Polo…
…somehow became Raven.
Except, you know, he left the geek character and became the cool character, not vice versa.
Hey, wait a minute…why do both Johnny Polo and Dok Hendrik have the exact same hand sign?
Was that some kinda geek hand gesture all the WWF dweebs did for promo shots?
Anyway, I’m pretty sure Scott Levy never painted his face up like a pumpkin and then completely spazzed out like the biggest mark in Marktown. Like this:
The audio is arguably even worse if you can even fathom such a thing.
Unbelievably, that may not even be the worst sound clip I can grab for you in the span of two minutes, as we get Todd channeling his inner…I dunno, maybe Howard Cosell?…as he introduces us to Hakushi and Barry Horowitz as the prepare to battle in the legendary realm of Karate Fighters (which was previously inducted – read about it here).
In case what you’ve read above hasn’t clued you in, mid 90’s WWF was absolutely terrible. I mean, I don’t dig Raw these days at all, can barely watch more than like 15 minutes a week, but it’s really nothing compared to the total embarrassment that Vince and Co. had on display weekly twenty years ago.
Still, we did get stuff like this outfit from Marty Janetty. It’s like he told the entire locker room, “You think you know fringe? I am the KING of fringe! I dare you to wear more fringe than I, it cannot be done! FRINGE KING!!!!”
Anyway, he beats some jobber whose tights read either “Hot Bod” or “Hot Boo”. For the spirit of the season, we’ll say it’s the latter.
We’re then threatened with an Isaac Yankem DDS match next week. Next week in 1995, that is. Still, don’t be surprised if next week in 2015, Kane tells Seth Rollins he needs to go to the dentist and Yankem was the guy checking his bicuspids. Because that’s the kind of stupid thing I could see this company doing.
We do get a slight reprieve with a Jim Cornette interview which is fine, yet goes on for a good ten minutes. For those of you complaining about boring twenty minute promos now, a quick bit of match says those are roughly 11% of a three hour show. A ten minute promo on this 60 minute block is about 17%.
All these calculations unquestionably prove one thing: Jim Cornette is a better talker than Seth Rollins.
Out of that chatfest we go onto our next encounter, a Smoking Gunns squash match. How much of a squash match you ask?
So much so that Otis Apollo’s partner doesn’t even get a name.
Paging Blade Braxton: we need UNKNOWN immediately written up as Jobber of the Week.
Also, paging Blade Braxton: start writing Jobber of the Weeks again. It’s been YEARS since we’ve had one, dude.
We get a promotional consideration (without Lord Alfred??? FOR SHAME!) urging you to buy WrestleMania: The Arcade Game. I can’t believe I’ve been playing this game for TWENTY YEARS. Even more unimaginable is the fact that I still don’t know if it’s good or it’s terrible. I mean, yeah, it’s cool to hit a 21-hit combo on Shawn Michaels with the Undertaker, but…you know what, I can’t lie.
I’ve never been able to do that.
Twenty years of my life I’ve tried, twenty years of my life I’ve failed. Please don’t comment on how easy it is to do, that will just make me feel worse.
SPEAKING OF FEELING WORSE…
The Mayor of Merchandise, BARRY DIDINSKI, shows up to sell belts which apparently are only sold at arenas (??), even going so far as to these belts “belts”. Not only that, he announces the phone number even though the Network clearly labels it as NO LONGER ACTIVE.
Suffice to say this man won’t be on Vince’s Christmas card list this year.
Before we go to the main event of the show, we go to the forest for some reason, where Paul Bearer is having a seizure talking about Undertaker’s face being smashed by King Mabel. The older folk among us will remember that led to Taker wearing a completely goofy Phantom of the Opera mask.
Just thinking about that I’m kinda having a similar fit.
On the plus side, we already have a GIF of the Week for next Halloween season.
The main event of the show is Owen Hart vs. Razor Ramon. Going out on a limb saying that won’t suck, so let’s switch over to Nitro and see what’s happening there.
Let’s see, Mongo has dressed his dog up as a bat. Huh.
Also, we get a review of last night’s Halloween Havoc, featuring this legendary clip showcasing the YETAY:
The heck with Halloween – let’s get straight to Thanksgiving and be grateful we’re not stuck in 1995 anymore!