Sunday, June 7, 2015

Raw History: Episode 2

WWF Monday Night Raw Episode 2
January 18th, 1993 – Manhattan Center in New York City, New York

Just six days away from the 1993 Royal Rumble, episode 2 of Raw looks to build on the success that was the first episode. Commentary is once again Macho Man, Vince McMahon and Rob Bartlett. As the show is introduced, Macho Man is attacked from behind by the Repo Man, who then runs off and repossess his signature hat. CONTROVERSY!

Mr. Perfect vs. Terrific Terry Taylor
I've heard, and I'm not sure who accurate this is, that these two were basically a coin flip away from debuting with different gimmicks in the earlier 90's. Curt Hennig as the Red Rooster is a thought that saddens me. As they have a feeling out process, Macho Man returns to commentary because he couldn't find Repo Man. Perfect gets the upper hand and Taylor runs around the ring. The crowd is relatively hot for this. Perfect applies a headlock takeover as Bobby Heenan calls in. He's upset about how he has been replaced by Rob Bartlett of all people. They go to commercial as Perfect has a hammerlock applied. Taylor has the upper hand when they return, hitting a jaw and backbreaker for two. Taylor executes a sweet spine buster and gut wrench powerbomb for two near falls. Perfect rallies with a huge inverted atomic drop, which is the most 90's move you could hit. He hits the neck snap as Ric Flair walks to the ring. He attacks Perfect behind the official's back but once Perfect is rolled back in, he blocks a suplex and counters with the Perfect Plex for three.

Winner: Mr. Perfect in 10:31
Solid opening contest. Continued Mr. Perfect's push and Terry Taylor looked good. All in all, can't ask for much more. **3/4

We get ICOPRO and Slim Jim ads and I love that these are still on the WWE Network. Vince McMahon introduces the WWF Champion, Bret Hart. He discusses Razor Ramon's recent attack on Owen Hart. He is not happy with Razor saying he'd slap Stu Hart, who was going to be 78 in 1993. My goodness. Did it's job, but I wish him or Razor had a match on one of these episodes to promote the match. Bret doesn't get enough credit for his promo work.

Glen Ruth vs. Marty Jannetty
You should see the attires these two guys are sporting. So many colors. Marty Jannetty gets leveled from behind by Glen Ruth but quickly gets back in control. Ruth cowers in the corner but Marty hits him with a deep arm drag. Shawn Michaels dials in to hype his Intercontinental Title match this Sunday. Marty hits a nice suplex as this has gone on longer than expected. I guess it's to give HBK time to talk. Ruth actually does a wrist lock but I wouldn't really consider it offense. This has been filled with arm drags, hammerlocks and wrist locks. So, consistency for arm work I guess. Marty hits the Rocker Dropper to win.

Winner: Marty Jannetty in 5:10
Boring. Too much useless arm work that didn't play into the end and it's like they were killing time. *

An ad airs for the Royal Rumble before we go to a clip from SuperStars where Doink beats up Crush with a fake arm. This actually made it all the way to a WrestleMania match. Think about that. Somehow, Crush suffered a concussion even though he was hit in the back.

Sean Mooney is outside and he interviews Repo Man. Macho Man doesn't even react until he sees that Repo Man has his hat. There are some things you just don't do to a man. To be fair, the hat doesn't even match Macho's jacket like it normally does. Royal Rumble Report time! It airs this Sunday at 4PM! It's more of the same except that The Berzerker is announced for the Rumble, making it an instant must watch.

El Matador vs. Ric Flair
Rob Bartlett commits a cardinal sin of wrestling by bashing Ric Flair's robes. El Matador hits some shoulder blocks to “Tito” chants from the fans before applying a headlock. Flair gets out but eats a clothesline and dropkick. They go to commercial during another headlock. Flair blocks a monkey flip and delivers short punches in the corner. He hits some chops but then gets back body dropped as Bartlett continues to be lame on commentary. Tito hits punches in the corner and the fans not counting in Spanish disappoints me. He slams Flair from the top causing Flair to cower and beg for mercy. El Matador calls for and nails the Flying Jalapeno! He goes for it again but falls outside. Mr. Perfect runs out and brings Flair out to brawl. Surprisingly, no disqualification is called. Sgt. Slaughter, Pat Patterson and officials come out to break it up and pull Mr. Perfect to the back. 

Double Count Out in 8:40
I guess they called a double countout. This wasn't bad. Pretty basic stuff. **

Ric Flair angrily is interviewed by Vince McMahon. He challenges Mr. Perfect to a Loser Leaves WWF match next week, successfully booking the first big match in Raw history. After Flair leaves, Mr. Perfect comes out and accepts the challenge. Lastly, Repo Man is shown outside towing Bartlett's car. 

Overall: 6/10; Average. Another cool little episode. We got a solid bout between Perfect and Taylor and Flair/Matador wasn't bad. The Jannetty match was pretty boring though. Everything did serve a purpose and built towards the Royal Rumble pretty well.