THE SPECIALISTS UNDER THE MICROSCOPE - 8/10 WWE Raw: Girl in the cafeteria vs. Festus, Solution to Big Show's bad breath, Lawler and the Color Purple, A closer look at G.I. Bro, but not Major Gunns
Aug 11, 2009 - 12:30:01 PM
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By Lee Stevens, Torch specialist
Thank you for joining me as put Raw "Under The Microscope." This is not a complete recap of Monday's show, instead it's a closer, usually offbeat, look at the broadcast.
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The Calgary fans came prepared as they put marker to poster board before the broadcast. For those of you who thought, "No, it's been nearly 12 years since Montreal, there's no way anyone still cares about it." I'm sorry, the correct response is "What is long-term memory?" I'll take screwjobs for 500, Alex.
"Bret Screwed Bret" and "The House Hart Built" were among the messages in the crowd on Monday.
I'm not surprised that the fans would be excited at the possibility of seeing Bret Hart, obvious by the reaction of his music and the tease that "the best there is, the best there was, and the best that every will be" was at the arena, but I'm always amazed at how Montreal still stirs up such feelings.
Looking at the 1997 Survivor Series in Montreal, several wrestlers are still active, with the most obvious being short order cook Shawn Michaels. Goldust and Kane are still on the active roster for WWE and Mankind, Billy Gunn, and Road Dogg were last seen in TNA.
One superstar from that night is rumored to be returning to Raw as a guest host, although in a decidedly different look than 12 years ago. Kama Mustafa fought as part of the Nation of Domination at the Survivor Series. Now, he's reportedly being considered as a guest host in the form of The Godfather.
Sadly, many of the performers that night are no longer with us. Crush, British Bulldog, Owen Hart, and Hawk have all died since that pay-per-view.
As for the sign claiming "The House Hart Built," I appreciate their reverence to Bret and the entire Hart family, but technically the arena was built by Graham McCourt Architects, the structural engineer was Jan Bobrowski and Partners and the contractor was CANA.
Although the curved roof does resemble a saddle, the designers simply made it that way for better views for spectators. After it was built, the overwhelming majority of people voting in a contest to name the arena used some version of "saddle" and it's been the Saddledome ever since.
If you think "Vince screwed Bret," "Bret screwed Bret," and "The carpenter screwed Bret's table" should be ancient history, then you were probably just as puzzled to see Sgt. Slaughter on stage Monday night. Apparently many in the WWE Universe have forgotten Sarge's resume as the trivia question stumped nearly half of the voters.
Although Slaughter had a classic feud with Hulk Hogan as he turned his back on his country and sided with General Adnan at the height of the first Iraq war, he didn't win a title from Hogan.
He defeated The Ultimate Warrior with the help of the other choice in the voting, Randy Savage. Savage was enjoying his royal lineage at the time and came to the ring with a scepter and drilled Warrior in the head, allowing Slaughter to get the pin and the championship.
He would later team with former adversary The Iron Sheik, who was now known as Col. Mustafa, and face off once again against Hogan. Hogan would take the title from Slaughter at WrestleMania VII, ending Slaughter's only WWF Championship reign.
Well it's a smaller, scaled down show
Another fan wanted to take the 'Big' out of The Big Show as he asked for "Less Big Show, More Gail Kim." While our portions of Show remained about the same, we did see a bit more of this fan's favorite Diva as she won the four-way match to earn a Divas Title opportunity.
Kim got her start in Canada, not just professionally, but quite literally, as she was born in Toronto. She studied kinesiology at the University of Toronto and nutrition at Ryerson University in Toronto. She also wrestled in the Toronto area as La Felina, "The Queen of the Cats."
As for Big Show, the only item noteworthy about his appearance, other than his super-human ability to intimidate people with his breath, is that he came to the ring with Chris Jericho accompanied by their new mix of theme music and left the ring with his solo song.
As for his boast that "I breathe in someone's direction and I intimidate them," John Cena apparently had the same thought I had upon hearing this. The most common cause of halitosis, or bad breath is bacteria and the most common location is the tongue.
Dentists suggest cleaning or scraping the tongue, maintaining regular dental visits, and the usual brushing and flossing. Changing one's diet can also help cure or contribute to halitosis. It's big bad breath tonight.
Pulitzer Prize for Puppies
As the Divas walked to the ring, Jerry Lawler expressed his affection for a certain color providing an interesting literature look. The King proclaimed, "Did I ever tell you I just love the color purple?" Clearly he was referring to the ring gear of the Divas, but he could have just as easily been referring to "The Color Purple," which was a 1982 novel by Alice Walker.
The movie version of the book starred Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, and Danny Glover and was nominated for 11 Academy Awards. It was later turned into a Broadway musical and received 11 Tony Award nominations.
Lawler's love of purple certainly fits his royal standing as the color is often associated with royalty and nobility.
Other items Lawler could potentially love:
-- Purple mountain majesty (No word on his opinion on the fruited plane)
-- Purple Heart
-- Purple Haze
-- Deep Purple
-- Klingon's blood
-- Prince's Rain (If you know what I'm singing about up here, c'mon raise your hand)
It was good to see The Miz back on Raw after his long exile of roughly 604,800 seconds. I know it was just one week, but I'm trying to put a positive spin on this. When you break it down to seconds, it sounds like he was in the wilderness, desperately fighting for survival instead of recognizing that after one week he's right back where he was before last Monday's show.
It did give us an opportunity to see Eugene again, proving that the Wellness policy apparently subscribes to the same rules as my backyard wiffleball games. It's three strikes and you're out, unless it's your yard and then you get four strikes. If you also brought the ball and bat, you get five or six. If you need seven, let's just go inside.
As for The Miz's alter ego for the night, "The Calgary Kid," the announcers correctly mentioned that the name was shared by an old TV show, Range Ryder and The Calgary Kid, which debuted on CBC television in 1977. The show is known for featuring the first television appearance of Mike Myers, who went on to perform on Saturday Night Live, the Austin Powers movies, and the voice of Shrek among other roles.
How did you find out, boss?
My favorite sign of the evening was from the fan who explained how a fellow spectator made it to the arena that night. "He called in sick" with an arrow pointing to the fan beside him. Perhaps this isn't a new sign, but with what passed for comedy on this particular Monday night, I welcomed the laugh.
I know, let's kick a kid!
I have never truly minded the two sides of Shawn Michaels. The same man who brought us the realistic struggles against Ric Flair, JBL, and Chris Jericho during the last year also brought us crotch chops and infomercials for D-X products. I can find some appreciate for his flexibility and perhaps as a performer, he enjoys the change of pace.
With that in mind, I think it would be fair to say that this wasn't their best effort. Triple H's mistake of thinking he was talking to Michaels was punctuated with a very fake looking wig and then completely over the top acting from the business person enjoying his lunch with a possible Triple H dessert.
The Microscope did appreciate several moments of the segments as I got a chance to take a closer look at the menu behind the counter to see that they offered the soup of the day in a cup or a bowl. Plus, you had healthier options in a turkey burger and a veggie burger.
As for the annoying little girl who prompted Michaels to wreck the salad bar, her bell ringing set off HBK and set off The Microscope's counter. The girl rang the bell 42 times, so if a bell ringing makes Festus angry, but another bell calms him down, by the end of her ringing, Festus would have been no help to her as he would have been sitting mildly in the corner picking at his croutons.
Quote of the night
"I don't get it"--Jerry Lawler after viewing Shawn Michaels and Triple H.
Most of us didn't, King.
The People Have Spoken!
Thank you to everyone who voted in this week's Raw Microscope poll. It was one of the closest finishes in our voting as Sgt. Slaughter, Private Parts, and G.I. Bro all had strong support. In the end, the big winner is a closer look at G.I. Bro.
Many of you may already know that G.I. Bro was the ring name of the man now known as Booker T. Booker Huffman trained with Ivan Putski and entered the ring as G.I. Bro for Putski's Putski's "Western Wrestling Alliance Live!" program. Ironically, the timing coincided with Slaughter's turn towards Iraqi sympathizer during the Gulf War.
Booker's time with the WWA was short-lived and eventually he went to Global Wrestling Federation and teamed up with his brother Lane Huffman as The Ebony Experience. Booker T and Stevie Ray would later join WCW and enjoy tremendous success as Harlem Heat, winning the WCW Tag Team Titles ten times, ten times, ten times.
Years later, as The New Blood fought the Misfits in Action in WCW, the MIA had an unlikely recruit as Booker T reverted back to his G.I. Bro name and look. The Misfits were led by Hugh Morris, now known by the name Hugh G. Rection. Feel free to say it out loud and giggle, kids. The group also featured Major Stash (better known as Van Hammer), Lt. Loco (who was last seen fighting off another wacky match with Hornswoggle), Sgt. AWOL ( a.k.a. The Wall), Cpl. Cajun (Lash LeRoux), and Major Gunns (major guns).
The military look featured a boot camp match at Great American Bash with Shawn Stasiak, but soon Huffman would return to his role as Booker T. That was the final GAB before WCW was purchased by Vince McMahon.
G.I. Bro is also the name of a 1977 film starring Fred Williamson, which has also been released under the title of "Inglorious Bastards." If that sounds familiar to you, it's very close to the title of the new movie starring Brad Pitt and directed by Quentin Tarantino. The new version is actually spelled "Inglourious Basterds" and it is inspired by the older film, but it is not actually a re-make.
Lee Stevens examines Raw and Smackdown with "Under The Microscope." He misses the comments section. E-mail him at GLStevens.Torch@gmail.com
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