Saturday, September 5, 2015

Raw History: Episodes 11-12

Raw History

Episode #11
April 5th, 1993 – Manhattan Center in New York City, New York

Vince McMahon and Macho Man welcome the viewers to the show and I’m stoked at the lack of Rob Bartlett.

Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Virgil
Virgil works Bigelow’s arm in the early stages to “Virgil Sucks” chants. There goes those damn smark New York crowds. Virgil tries a dropkick to the knee or something but he just ends up laying under Bigelow. He tries a crucifix but Bigelow drops back and slams him. Vince McMahon reminds everyone that Lex Luger knocked out Bret Hart with his forearm before WrestleMania but this angle went absolutely nowhere. We are also told that Rob Bartlett is still in Las Vegas because he lost everything gambling. I really hope he’s gone for good. Bigelow is boring us as he works over Virgil. Virgil rallies but the crowd doesn’t care as he hits a missile dropkick. He tries a cross body but Bigelow wisely dodges and nails the headbutt to finish it.

Winner: Bam Bam Bigelow in 6:58
They tried to make this competitive but it was boring and the crowd wasn’t behind Virgil at all. *

Jerry Lawler comes out to make his in ring debut but as he berates the fans, they respond with “Burger King” chants. He gets upset and walks out. Cutting to the back, Mean Gene is with Mr. Fuji and Yokozuna. Mr. Fuji is somehow filing a complaint because Hulk Hogan beat Yokozuna in a match that wasn’t scheduled. YOU CHALLENGED HIM YOU IDIOT!

Bob Backlund vs. Kim Chee
This should be rough as its two guys that I’m not a fan of. Chee uses a cheap shot to gain the early advantage and Backlund seems like a terrible person to have on the roster as a plucky babyface. He gets two with a body slam and goes to a chin lock. Backlund ends up wrapping Chee into a strange roll up for the win.

Winner: Bob Backlund in 3:56
Boring. Kim Chee did all of the offense and then Backlund got a roll up. DUD.

Damien Damento vs. “Jumping” Jim Brunzell
I don’t understand this match. Rob Bartlett makes it worse by calling in and saying that he blew all of his money in Las Vegas and can’t make it back to Raw. Damento isn’t the kind of guy you want to see getting victories on TV and the Killer Bees were a thing of the past here. Brunzell gets a near fall with a small package and then another with a sunset flip. Vince sells the encore of WrestleMania and I’ve always wondered how well those encores sold. I believe I hear a smatter of “boring” chants and I’d have to agree. Brunzell hits a dropkick but Damento gets his foot on the ropes. Damento is instantly up and nails a neckbreaker before dropping a knee to win.

Winner: Damien Damento in 5:00
What the fuck was this doing on television and why did it last five minutes? Also, how do you win with a knee drop? Whatever. DUD.

Jerry Lawler goes to come out for his match again, but decides against it.

The Beverly Brothers vs. The Steiner Brothers
Scott and Bo start, with Scott gaining a clear upper hand. Bo then uses some underhanded tactics to even things up but a tag goes to the other Beverly. I still forget their names and can’t tell them apart. Rick and Scott work a short double team before Scott nails an overhead belly to belly for two. The Beverly Brothers, because they are heels, use a cheap shot to turn things back in their favor before the commercial. Vince calls Scott one of the strongest individuals in the WWF…if he only knew what Scott would become. Scott works as the face in trouble until a sloppy tilt a whirl slam. He makes the tag and Rick takes out Blake. Ah, so that’s the other Beverly’s name. Scott eventually is tagged back in for the Frankensteiner and it’s over.

Winners: The Steiner Brothers in 8:58
Decent tag team match. The Beverly Brothers were more competitive than I expected but the match was still kind of boring. *1/2

Jerry Lawler vs. Jim Powers
Is this some sort of special night where guys from the 80’s appear? Jim Powers attacks before the bell to make sure the match starts. Lawler gets a breather while having “Burger King” chants rain down on him. Lawler complains outside for a bit and when he gets in the ring, Powers takes control. King does a lot of stalling and this is dull but Jerry is drawing a TON of heat. Powers has been surprisingly strong throughout, getting most of the offense. Jerry jaws with Macho Man throughout and wins with the Piledriver.

Winner: Jerry Lawler in 6:47
Terrible. A lot of stalling from Jerry Lawler and Jim Powers isn’t engaging enough to interest me. DUD.

Jerry Lawler continues to badmouth Macho Man and the fans after his match.

Overall: 1.5/10; Horrible. Just not a good show. Coming off of a WrestleMania, no matter how disappointing that show is, should be kind of a big deal. Instead we got dull matches and barely any storyline development. No Bret Hart, no Mr. Perfect, no Lex Luger, no WWF Champion. All bad.

Raw History
Episode #12
April 12th, 1993 – Mid Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, New York

The show opens with a shot of Money Inc. paying off the Beverly Brothers for scouting information about the Steiner Brothers. I appreciated this as it was a cool way to show off Money Inc.’s gimmick and wisely play up last week’s Steiners/Beverly Brothers match.

Vince McMahon, Macho Man and dammit, Rob Bartlett is back, are our commentary team. FRIAR FERGUSON DEBUTS TONIGHT!

IRS w/ Ted Dibiase vs. Scott Steiner w/ Rick Steiner
This should prove to be interesting. IRS is one of the more dull workers that I can remember, while Scott was pretty great in the early 90’s. That’s exactly how this starts as IRS tries to work a methodical pace but just gets power slammed by Scott to a pop. Scott starts to work the arm and it strangely looks like IRS is smiling. Steiner gets a near fall with a suplex as IRS stalls outside. Being excellent heels, Ted Dibiase gets in a cheap shot on Scott outside, leading to a faceoff with Rick before commercial. Returning, IRS is the guy in charge. The “Irwin” chant bugs the hell out of me. It just makes the match seem even duller. Rob Bartlett goes to speak, only to be cut off instantly. IRS stupidly tries a top rope move that Vince wisely plays off as something the Beverly Brothers may have advised him off. It fails, leading to Scott’s offense. He is about to win when Ted Dibiase runs in and causes the DQ.

Winner via disqualification: Scott Steiner in 12:30
Acceptable opening contest. The crowd was hot for Scott Steiner and it was two recognizable faces. It was rather dull, because that’s an IRS match for you, but still. 

A brawl ensues, and the Beverly Brothers appear to join in, but they end up getting taken out too. Money Inc. ends up upsetting the Beverly Brothers, who challenge them, but the champs back down. I’m sorry, but I could never cheer the Beverly Brothers.

Tatanka vs. Von Krus
If you haven’t read my Raw History reviews before, you are probably unaware that Von Krus is Big Vito of WCW and later, WWE fame. Tatanka hits a monkey flip that Krus struggles to get over on. Tatanka is fresh off of beating Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania, but not winning the title. Doink comes out to spray water at the kids at ringside. He leaves. Nothing more happens. Tatanka has done all of the offense here. He does his war dance offense and wins with the Samoan Drop in a match that went too long.

Winner: Tatanka in 3:59

Total squash, with a random Doink appearance and it went too long. Blah. SQUASH

We get the always classic WrestleMania Report, recapping the events from Las Vegas. Sean Mooney is hosting it. Rob Bartlett conducts an interview with Luna Vachon. For those unaware, Luna made her debut at WrestleMania, accompanying Shawn Michaels to the ring. She talks into the microphone with her trademark raspy voice. I never liked Luna, but she was different and that made her rather valuable. She calls out Sherri, leading to the crowd chanting for “Sherri.” Sherri is here and she comes down to greet Luna. They verbally spar before things get physical. She even takes out Bartlett, instantly making Sherri a favorite of mine. She FUCKING suplexes Luna on the outside. Some dudes wouldn’t even do that spot. Luna takes off her belt and whips her. I swear to you, this is better than most matches I’ve seen on these first few episodes of Raw. Sensational Sherri has her bra showing and Luna has her pants pulled down to reveal her underwear. Let’s be clear, this is A LOT of skin for 1993. It’s separated as we go to commercial. Coming back, Luna runs back out and attacks again.

Papa Shango vs. Scott Taylor
Scotty 2 Hotty has to be the most consistent jobber I see that becomes something down the line. I’ve seen the Hardy Boyz here and there, but Taylor is always around. He tries a dropkick but is swatted like a fly. How much longer is Papa Shango around? As Shango works him over, Rob Bartlett stumbles back out with his clothes ripped. I guess he was in between the Luna/Sherri fight backstage. A shoulder breaker mercifully ends this.

Winner: Papa Shango in 2:24
Exactly what you would expect. SQUASH

Chris Duffy vs. Friar Ferguson
Friar Ferguson is the repackaged Bastion Booger. Or wait, he was Ferguson first. Whatever. Chris Duffy fails miserably on a piledriver attempt and eats a leg drop. During the match, a non-title match is announced for next week between Money Inc. and the Beverly Brothers. Friar dancing mid-match, so a small hand from the crowd. Is he a heel? Friar even sticks Duffy’s head into his outfit. A “We want Bret” chant breaks out, and rightfully so since he hasn’t been seen since WrestleMania. Duffy has gotten in zero offense and loses when his sunset flip fails and Friar sits on him.

Winner: Friar Ferguson in 4:22
Another squash that lasted way too long. Who thought this was a good idea? SQUASH

Bret Hart has a special interview next week, as well a match involving Virgil. Vince might have said against who, but I missed it and don’t care enough to rewind. Money Inc. trash talks the Beverly Brothers backstage, when they show up and attack. A brawl ends the show. I still am not sure why it’s so “heated.”

Overall: 2.5/10; Bad. Another Raw with not much forward angle advancement. The Steiners moved closer to an eventual Tag Team Title shot, but the Beverly Brothers getting involved was useless. We still haven’t seen Bret Hart or the Undertaker since WrestleMania, and the former was just the WWF Champion. Instead we had to sit through Friar Ferguson.

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