I hated this week’s Raw.
Wait, that doesn’t properly convey my feelings. RD, can you crank up the text size, make it bold, and add some color?
(Note from RD: You got it, kid.)
I HATED THIS WEEK’S RAW!!!
Wow, you even threw in some exclamation points at no charge. Thanks.
Seriously, though, I don’t think that the largest and boldest and reddest font Dreamweaver will allow can properly convey just how much I hated that show. Every single segment with guest GMs ZZ Top…man…so horrible. Is wrestling comedy really that hard? Is it?
Maybe the crack WWE writing crew should give Don Muraco and his erstwhile sidekick, the “devious one”, Mr. Fuji a call. Because they knew what comedy was all about, and how to present it in such a manner to the audience that it was actually, you know, FUNNY.
In case you weren’t around in the mid 80’s (and WWE apparently thinks everyone was around back then, hence ZZ Top of all people on Raw), this was the set up. Muraco and Fuji had deccided they were so successful in wrestling that they needed to take on new challenges, and decided that Hollywood should be blessed with their acting abilities. Yes, I know this sounds ludicrous, but it led to lots of great skits such as Fuji Vice, Fuji Bandito, and today’s epic, Fuji General, a knock off of the popular General Hospital soap opera.
Now before you start sending us hate mail about how “Fuji General isn’t WrestleCrap!”, trust me, we know. RD and I both agree that while these sketches weren’t offensive nor did they advance storylines any, the idea that the WWF wanted to get their two big heels over as BAD ACTORS is so damn FUNNY, and the mere execution of it has sent us into hysterical fits of laughter, how could it NOT be written about on the site? No, it’s not technically the “worst in wrestling”, but RD and I both agreed after watching Raw this week, it was high time someone showed that yes, once upon a time, a very long time ago apparently, WWE had a knack for comedy.
So Fuji and Muraco would appear, seemingly weekly, on the TNT Show to talk about their fledgling dramatic acting careers. Each week they’d present new shows they were, I guess, shopping around to networks. This week we get a peak of their latest opus, Fuji General, which accoridng to the chyron is “Courtesy of USA Network.”
I can picture Vince asking the network execs there for such permission, like it was a monumental negotiation.
“OH PLEASE PLEEEEEASE LET US HAVE IT!!”
“Well….your groveling has convinced us. It’s your’s.”
Vince McCarson, in one of his more modest/normal-looking suits, asks the Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas of the WWF how come their thespian aspirations continue to go nowhere.
Muraco states that while he and Fuji possess limitless talent, they seem to be having bad luck getting professionals behind the scenes to help them out.
If I didn’t know better, I’d think Muraco’s line about “You take a 4th rate B director and 7th rate C script” was the conception of the basis of WWE Films in Vince’s brain.
Petty sniping aside, we get the clip a rollin’ and the title Fuji General comes up while soap opera-y organ music plays in the background, not unlike the mock soap opera from The Carol Burnett show called “As the Stomach Turns”, only that was intentionally funny.
(Note from RD: An “As the Stomach Turns” reference? You cannot be 25. Impossible. 55 maybe. 25? No way.)
Muraco, in a doctor’s labcoat and stethoscope, stiffly and awkwardly walks to the nurse’s desk and proceeds to read his lines off the cue-card under the camera in the most marble mouthed manner possible.
Nurse Peacock….Wait a minute, her last name is Peacock? Are the Parker Brothers writing this thing? She appears to be an “actress” from the Stamford community theater. Her over-acting like she’s auditioning for Coppola, in the midst of horrible dialogue and flat delivery, is tremendous.
By the way, I thought soap actresses were supposed to be attractive?
(Note from RD: I’d chastise you for the callousness of that line, but you have a point: I believe this woman’s face maybe made out of paper mache.)
Muraco sweet talks Nurse Peacock, who he’s supposedly committing adultery with – and I do say “supposedly.” I’ll believe wrestling storylines are real before I believe he’s tapping THAT.
The best part of the whole thing is Muraco’s delivery, as he continually reads off the cue cards without any pauses or imaginary apostrophes. It’s like he’s reading every single paragrah of dialogue, whether it be 15 words or 1,500, as one giant run-on sentence.
The high-strung director, who looks like Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show executive producer Fred de Cordova, interrupts the scene and tries to outdo Nurse Peacock in dramatic over-acting.
Calm down, man. It’s the WWF, not The Actor’s Studio!
Muraco tries to keep a straight face as he flatly and emotionlessly declares his passionate love for Nurse Peacock. Don Muraco is a comedic gem without even trying.
Meanwhile, Dr. Fuji waddles out with his own doctor’s coat, wearing his derby hat and admonishes their unprofessional behavior in broken English (can clip this).
Between this and Donnybrook Theater, have I mentioned lately how much I love Mr. Fuji?
The trio check up on a patient who is either in for an appendectomy or he’s got an addiction to hookahs.
(Note from RD: Not sure who that guy is, but he looks like the love spawn of Barry Horrowitz and “Dr. Death” Steve Williams.)
Fuji again admonishes Dr. Muraco and Nurse Peacock for their shameless, smoldering, poorly written, hammily-acted affair while on duty at the hospital. Nurse Peacock takes exception to Fuji’s salacious insinuations and orders him out, causing him to fire her on the spot.
Muraco consoles his now unemployed paramour by saying he has his career to think about, which makes Fred the director to cut the scene again and have another stereotypical director freak out. “Stop being a wrestler for awhile, ACT!” I wonder how many times these same words are uttered while filming RAW and Smackdown backstage segments and retorted with, “I’m not a f***ing actor, Mr. Dunn!”
To be fair to Muraco and Fuji, the script they’re acting out is s*** to begin with, and their delivery is actually making this more entertaining than if someone was trying to make this work.
That, kids, is comedy.
This all leads to Muraco, in his Emmy-nominated performance declaring whilst looking at the camera and smiling: “I can bemyselfwithyouIneedyouLouisewe’ve gotsomuchgoingforusdon’tletthefacti’m goingbacktomywifespoilourfunforbothofus.”
(Note from RD: I’ll say this – I will never watch a Don Muraco match and question his cardio again. I don’t think he took a breath at anytime during his line readings.)
Fred has had enough of Muraco’s obvious comedic talent and throws another “impress the talent scouts and maybe they’ll hire me” temper tantrum that causes Fuji and Muraco to quit his crappy, horribly-written, hammily-supporting-playered non-existant soap opera.
Cut back to the TNT talk show, Vince is having a mighty good Vince laugh over it all.
While Alfred has his legs up and can’t control himself. Even the Big John Studd LJN figure in the little ring on the table is throwing his head back in sheer delight.
I ask you, how can we boo and hate these guys if they’re making us laugh so hard??!! It’s impossible!
But it doesn’t matter. It was comedy.
And it was great.
Don Muraco (as marble mouthed as possible): “IfyouonlyknewthepainIwasgoingthroughbutdespiteitallIknowonethingIloveyou.”
Nurse Peacock (overacting): “You’ve got a funny way of showing it!”
(Dramatic organ plays)
Muraco: “You’recutewhenyou’remadrememberupinthemountainswhenyougotmadbecause itrainedallweekend?IneversawyoulookprettieruntilnowI’vegottostopIknowI’monlymaking itworse.”
Director (OVEROVEROVERACTING!): “Cut Cut CUT! Please, Cut! Thirty-nine years I’ve been a director! Mr. Muraco, you’re not in the wrestling ring! Use a little finese! I know you’re not an actor, she knows you’re not an actor, you know you’re not an actor…but why do we have to convince them? A little love, a little tenderness, a little expression – TRY IT!”
Mr. Fuji: “Nurse Peacock, Dr. Muraco…what is going on around here? I’m surprised at you two. You both well aware of the standards of the hospital. There’s no place for such nonsense. Dr. Muraco! When I think of all the time…(mumbles something)…and I trained you.”
Nurse: “It was my fault! I started it! “
Fuji: “I don’t want to hear your confession. I want you to check your patient, you probably don’t have the time when you’re both occupied!”
Muraco: “I can bemyselfwithyouIneedyouLouisewe’ve gotsomuchgoingforusdon’tletthefacti’m goingbacktomywifespoilourfunforbothofus.”