Friday, November 27, 2015

Raw History: Episodes 23-24

Raw History
Episode #23
June 28th, 1993 – Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, New York – Attendance: 3,000

This episode was taped after last week’s live edition. Last week’s show was the best so far, so hopefully this one continues the trend.

WWF Intercontinental Championship
Shawn Michaels (c) w/ Diesel vs. Kamala
What in god’s name has Kamala done to earn a title shot? He doesn’t even know how to pin people correctly. Shawn Michaels is reluctant to lock up but the fans are still hot. Shawn is bumping for the Ugandan Giant but is caught in the bearhug, or the “move big guys who can’t work rely on”. Maybe it’s because he’s against a guy that he doesn’t enjoy working, but Shawn doesn’t seem too motivated here. Shawn works the knee, which Kamala sells pretty poorly. Kamala begins his version of an offensive comeback and still doesn’t know how to pin Shawn correctly. Diesel gets on the apron, which distracts Kamala. Shawn Superkicks him in the back of the head and retains. He should have done more to the back of the head in the future.

Winner and Still WWF Intercontinental Champion: Shawn Michaels in 8:51
Shawn Michaels can be pretty amazing, but even he can’t carry Kamala to something enjoyable. *

Kamala is up and goes after Shawn Michaels, so Diesel does his job and takes him out. Shawn hilariously plays the “Let me at him!”

Vince McMahon is in the ring to interview the reigning WWF Champion, Yokozuna. This should be riveting. The Yokozuna character is one of my least favorite because it runs the tired “evil foreigner” gimmick. The patriotism thing always sucks since A) its lazy booking and B) the WWF is a global company, so why condition your fans to cheer for someone because he loves America? Anyway, this segment blows because it’s so hard to understand Mr. Fuji. This is why Yokozuna segments got better when Jim Cornette was added. This is just promotion for the 4th of the July Body Slam Challenge. Also, Yokozuna speaks and sounds 100% Samoan.

We get a series of sports stars saying how they’re going to be the one to slam Yokozuna. Tatanka speaks last, because he just HAS to be on every single Raw.

The Smoking Guns vs. “Iron” Mike Sharpe and Barry Horowitz
Mike Sharpe and Barry Horowitz are two of the best jobbers in company history. Sharpe is so hilariously loud in the ring. Whether it’s selling, on offense or even just running the ropes. I can’t help but laugh. The Guns get in some basic stuff like arm drags and such. Horowitz actually gets in some offense after Bart misses a cross body and Barry does his back pat taunt. He gets two with a Northern lights suplex. The Guns have the balls to work a hot tag in an enhancement match. Billy comes in and they win with the Sidewinder.

Winners: The Smoking Guns in 4:30
I was shocked to see tag formula worked in an enhancement match. Teams like the Steiner Brothers don’t play that game and just murder jobbers. Extra points for Sharpe’s sound effects and Horowitz’s impressive suplex. 

Back to Vince McMahon in the ring, as he introduces Money Inc. Good lord, I have to hear IRS talk don’t I? IRS tries to play up how wise they are for getting a rematch clause in their contracts. The problem is, you aren’t that smart because everyone gets that. For some reason, they bring up Razor Ramon, or Razor Jabroni as IRS calls him. Ted Dibiase calls him stupid for losing his money. The fans chant “Razor” and this would lead to the Razor Ramon face turn that went over tremendously. I think that could work for anyone. Put him against IRS because nobody likes him.

Adam Bomb w/ Johnny Polo vs. BJ Walker
If you’ve been following this, then you know that PJ Walker is the future Justin Credible and Aldo Montoya. However, the Fink introduces him as BJ Walker and even his graphic says it. In another era, maybe the name BJ Walker would have gotten over. Bomb manhandles Walker, which still makes me question why Bomb wasn’t used better. He had a great look in an era full of fat slobs, could work better than other guys pushed ahead of him, like Crush and Yokozuna, and even had a mouthpiece in Polo. Bomb wins with his impressive slingshot clothesline and a powerbomb.

Winner: Adam Bomb in 2:10
A relatively fun squash. I enjoy watching Adam Bomb work and got a kick out of the BJ Walker name. 

Bastion Booger vs. Crush
Remember the Friar Ferguson debacle? Well they dropped that and the best they could come up with was Bastion Booger. Google him if you don’t remember what he looked like. Macho Man believes that Crush will be the guy to slam Yokozuna. Crush tries a back body drop and it is the WORST I have ever seen. Seriously. Things go outside and Booger gets the upper hand with his entire offense, meaning clubs and punches. Because his offense is pitiful, commentary just discusses how bad he smells. Crush comes back with a suplex that looks like crap but is better than the back body drop earlier. He connects on three straight body slams to win as commentary goes nuts saying that could be Yokozuna on the 4th. It wasn’t.

Winner: Crush in 5:39
This sucked so hard. Bastion Booger is one of the worst ever and Crush wasn’t much better. Awful. DUD

Macho Man and NFL Player Joe Morris cut a promo in Giants Stadium about the 4th of July. Macho Man is incredible at promotion. His energy is unmatched. Next week, the 1-2-3 Kid will be in action as will Mr. Perfect.

Overall: 2.5/10; Bad. The poor fans in attendance went from last week’s awesome show to this albatross being recorded after. It did build towards the USS Intrepid stuff well, but the matches all sucked. Kamala had no business in the ring with HBK and the main event was one of the worst of all-time. The best thing was Adam Bomb and Mike Sharpe’s loud selling, so you know it was a rough show.

Raw History
Episode #24
July 5th, 1993 – Manhattan Center in Manhattan, New York – Attendance: 1,000

We open to footage aboard the U.S.S. Intrepid yesterday morning as multiple Superstars and athletes attempted to slam Yokozuna, only to fail. Seeing Rick Steiner fail was funny, since I’ve seen him German suplex Vader with ease before. Commentary welcomes us to the show before sending it back to the USS Intrepid. 

This looked to be incredibly boring as it was just a series of guys hugging Yokozuna. Crush comes close, fresh off of slamming Bastion Booger multiple times. Scott Steiner, Macho Man and tons of others all fail. When it seems all hope it lost, a helicopter arrives and it’s a now suddenly patriotic Lex Luger. What happened to the Narcissist? He comes in and slams Yokozuna, becoming our American hero. I’m sorry, but I don’t buy it. Also, before the slam, he uses the illegal steel plated forearm to his advantage. That damn heel.

The 1-2-3 Kid vs. Blake Beverly
Is this the start of a singles Blake Beverly run that I had no clue about? This would probably be the first time that I can see Kid as the favorite to win. Kid starts out lightning quick but works best as the resilient underdog and Blake powerslams him. Bobby Heenan calls Luger’s slam a hip toss, which is more accurate. Blake draws solid heat by slapping the Kid around outside. He hits a GREAT looking headbutt in the ring before press slamming Kid to the outside. He covers but lifts Kid, which is a bad move given Kid’s history. The crowd is totally buying a Kid comeback until he misses a cross body. Heenan claims that Kid looks like Todd Pettengill. Blake goes for an ugly dive outside but misses. Kid shows him hoes it’s done with a corkscrew plancha outside. This has been much better than expected as Blake hits a nice back suplex inside. He keeps mistaking himself for a high flyer and misses a splash. This allows Kid to hit a diving leg drop and score the 1-2-3.

Winner: The 1-2-3 Kid in 8:01
Well that far exceeded my expectations. Blake Beverly tossed him around and Kid’s bumps were excellent. The crowd was hot and bought every bit of it, which made this even better. ***¼

We go to our first ever vignette for Men on a Mission. Kill me now. Mabel sucked, Oscar was an awful rapper, but did the rapping and Mo is one of the worst wrestlers in history.

Bam Bam Bigelow w/ Luna Vachon vs. Joey Maggs
Luna Vachon is so terrifying. This is Bigelow’s first appearance since making the Finals of the King of the Ring Tournament. Bigelow is all over the jobber, splashing him multiple times and winning quickly.

Winner: Bam Bam Bigelow in 0:40
I know I said I would start rating squash matches, but this was far too short to give a score to. NO RATING

Samu w/ Afa vs. The Undertaker
Since having the urn stolen by Mr. Hughes, this is the first Undertaker sighting. Even then, Undertaker was such a spectacle. Undertaker actually attempts to leap frog over Samu but I guess Samu had no clue it was happening as he doesn’t get under and they botch it. Undertaker then does a drop toe hold. Hey, it’s the first shots of Undertaker being an actual wrestler. He even does a dropkick. It’s like he’s motivated to show that he can work since he’s embroiled in feuds with awful people like Giant Gonzalez and Mr. Hughes. Samu knocks Undertaker outside and he sits up before a commercial break. Returning, Samu is still throwing him around outside. He hits a sweet powerslam inside but Undertaker sits up out of the pin. The Deadman whips Samu into the corner twice and both times are hard. They play the “no urn” angle well as Samu hits a diving headbutt and Undertaker struggles to sit up. Samu goes to the well one too many times and he misses the second because Undertaker sits up. A Chokeslam and Tombstone finishes this off.

Winner: The Undertaker in 9:03
Way more competitive than I expected. The Undertaker gave Samu a fair amount, while still looking impressive. I also commend him for trying some new offense. **½

Vince McMahon interviews Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji at ringside. Why do they keep insisting on giving interview time to two people who you can barely understand? Why is he even champion in the first place? Vince is more pissed at the foreigners than the fans. Mr. Fuji offers an open contract for a title shot which brings out Crush. Good lord this promo is getting worse by the minute. He failed at the slam, screw his title shot, brudda. The match is made for next week. Hooray, brudda.

Mr. Perfect vs. Brian Costello
Brian Costello has a blonde mullet and a shamrock on the back of his trunks. He gets in nothing as Perfect dropkicks him outside quickly. He then lights him up with chops and wins with the Perfect Plex.

Winner: Mr. Perfect in 0:45
Perfect and Bigelow weren’t getting paid by the minute I guess. Too short to rate again. NO RATING

Overall: 7/10; Good. A bounce back episode for Raw. Yes, a lot of the time was given to the Lex Luger stuff but that’s fine. Blake Beverly and 1-2-3 Kid surprised me with a really good match, and the Undertaker and Samu impressed. Even the squash matches were kept incredibly short. The only real issue this week was the Yokozuna/Crush interview. And now I have to watch them actually work a match. Oh, brudda.

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