February 15th, 1993 – Manhattan Center in Manhattan, New York
We continue the Road to WrestleMania IX with the fifth episode of Monday Night Raw!
Things open with Brutus Beefcake cutting a short promo about his return. It then cuts to Ted Dibiase cutting one back on him while Jimmy Hart is worried. Commentary is once again Vince McMahon, Macho Man and Rob Bartlett. Two jobbers are already in the ring for the opener.
Yup. The dude's name is actually Bobby Who. I'm not sure which jobber is which but one starts with Scott and eats a full nelson suplex. It's actually very pretty. Rick gets the tag, causing the fans to bark and jobber #2 enters. Ah, according to Vince, this is Bobby Who. He doesn't fare much better. Rick decides to apply a rest hold for some strange reason and Who reaches the ropes. Rick hits a clothesline and tags Scott in. Tiger suplex followed by the top rope bulldog ends it.
Just done to get the Steiner Brothers over. Basic stuff.
Mean Gene brings us the WrestleMania Report, reminding us for the 100th time that it's going down in Las Vegas. Along with Bret Hart vs. Yokozuna, more matches are announced. First up, The Undertaker will take on the Giant Gonzalez. Also, Crush goes one on one with Doink the Clown.
This is the third Yokozuna match in five episodes of Raw. They keep doing this thing on commentary where Macho Man's headset is messed up so all we hear are weird sound bytes of him complaining. It's strange since we saw Macho Man at ringside at the start of the show. Anyway, Yokozuna hits a big belly to belly suplex and a leg drop before polishing off Ross with the Banzai Drop.
Another Yokozuna match where he gets all of the offense.
Time for a Special Report, hosted by Lord Alfred Hayes. He talks about “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan becoming the first man to knock Yokozuna off of his feet in singles competition on Superstars this week. Like an idiot, Duggan celebrated like he won the match, allowing Yokozuna to throw salt in his eyes. Two Banzai Drops later, Duggan was stretchered out.
Commentary states that the Giant Gonzalez said he wanted in the Battle Royal tonight, causing the rest of the participants to say they would not compete if that's the case. More Superstars clips are shown, this one of the Giant Gonzalez winning a three on one handicap match.
There is no mentioning of who is in the Battle Royal as it's just a big cluster. Shawn Michaels stays outside for a bit to let everyone else fight. Kim Chee continually exits under the bottom rope to avoid Kamala. I also see El Matador, Owen Hart, Tatanka, Skinner, Terry Taylor, Koko B. Ware, Damien Damento, Typhoon, Bob Backlund and Razor Ramon. Koko is first out via a Shawn Michaels back body drop. Kim Chee continues to avoid Kamala as we get a lot of near eliminations. Typhoon knocks out Skinner with a SHOCKING clothesline. Kamala dumps out Damento as well. Owen Hart jumps on the Berzerker's back but gets flipped over and out. Kamala is on fire as he kicks Berzerker out before battling with Typhoon. Kim Chee decides to get involved as he helps Typhoon get another SHOCKING elimination on Kamala. The Ugandan Giant gets back in and tosses out Kim Chee, forcing him to flee through the crowd and up in the balcony. We get our final SHOCK of the night as Shawn Michaels rids the ring of Typhoon. The final four are El Matador, Tatanka, Razor and Michaels. The first signs of the Kliq can be seen as Razor and Shawn decide to team up. This battle royal is made better because Bartlett's headset is busted now, so he's silent and Macho Man is calling the action. The match breaks down into tag stuff until Shawn gets dumped out. The Giant Gonzalez shows up from the back and is bored with the match so he eliminates Tatanka and El Matador on his own. Razor slid under the bottom rope when he came out, so once he leaves, Razor gets back in and is announced as the victor.
Your typical battle royal. Lots of punches, kicks and stalls. I also don't like battle royals with nothing on the line. At least someone awful didn't win.
Commentary really plays up how concerned they are about Beefcake's return. I wouldn't be concerned since every single time Dibiase tries to lock up, Beefcake instead chooses to strut. Jimmy Hart can be heard shouting “he's quick, he's fast, watch out.” This makes no sense as Beefcake is in no way fast. He reels off a few right hands that send Dibiase to the outside. Dibiase gets in and tries to smash Beefcake's face into the corner but it's blocked and Dibiase goes in. A side headlock is applied, because Beefcake's offense sucks as IRS strolls to ringside. As Beefcake gets sent into the ropes, IRS smashes him with his briefcase in the back.
That was boring. Beefcake sucks but at least it was short.
Money Inc. continue to pound away on Brutus Beefcake as Jimmy Hart pleads with them to stop. IRS shoves Hart to the ground and levels Beefcake in the face. It's funny because Beefcake was held by Dibiase for like four full minutes and didn't counter or move at all. He sells it like his face has been broken again as Hart checks on him. As Beefcake is taken out, some clearly fake looking blood stains are in the ring.
Overall: The Road to WrestleMania IX continues on with a second straight disappointing episode. We got another Yokozuna squash and the battle royal was different in a good way. However, any show that has Brutus Beefcake in the main event is going to suffer. They're building the stories relatively well heading into WrestleMania IX but that's two straight episodes that I was not a fan of.
February 22nd, 1993 – Manhattan Center in Manhattan, New York
The show open with Rob Bartlett doing a play on SNL by saying “LIVE FROM NEW YORK IT'S MONDAY NIGHT RAW!” He still sucks. Vince McMahon and Macho Man join him on commentary as they hype the card for tonight.
The future Scotty 2 Hotty seems like he's here to do the job to Bam Bam Bigelow. Instantly, Bam Bam shoulder blocks Taylor to the mat hard twice. Bam Bam continues to overpower and work him over as commentary just continues to plug Hulk Hogan's appearance later tonight. Seriously, they mention it like 14 times. A big backbreaker followed by the flying headbutt is enough but Bam Bam drops two more headbutts to finish it.
Impressive showing for Bam Bam and the final headbutts were impressive.
An interview with Vince McMahon and Hulk Hogan is shown, discussing the future of Hulkamania. Hogan talks about mistakes that he's made but that he's ready to return.
Commentary discusses how Tatanka defeated Shawn Michaels in a non-title contest. Tatanka attacks at the bell and everyone goes at it until Tatanka back body drops Shawn outside. Bartlett calls it the coolest thing he's ever seen. As things cool down, the Nasty Boys give the Beverly Brothers a double pit stop. Things turn around as Shawn gets the tag and they work basic heel tactics on Brian Knobbs. Knobbs rallies and Tatanka gets the tag, so Shawn tags out. The faces begin to work over Beau, aka Beverly #1. We go to commercial and Bartlett says that they stopped during commercial only to resume as the broadcast came back. The heels have begun to beat up on Knobbs as the Beverly Brothers use the World's Greatest Tag Team's finisher, which is rather embarrassing as I love them and hate the Beverly Brothers. The fans won't stop chanting “nasty” but it's not helping Knobbs much. He finally makes the hot tag to Tatanka who takes out Michaels. He gets a very close near fall as they announce that Michaels defends against Tatanka at WrestleMania. Beau breaks up another pin attempt but the Nasty Boys get involved and knock them outside. This allows Tatanka to score a second straight pin over HBK with a rollup!
Pretty basic tag team match. Nothing of note really happened but I did enjoy Tatanka and Shawn's interactions. Maybe their match at WrestleMania will be really good.
Sean Mooney is outside to promote more of the Hulk Hogan appearance.
They begin with smack talk and Crush shoves Terry Taylor to the mat with force. Taylor fights back with a snap mare on the top rope. Oh goodness, Vince McMahon gets a “phone call” and it's Bartlett doing a sad Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonation. I hate these things. Taylor applies a chinlock but Crush uses the power of Hawaii to fight out brudda. Crush hits a few moves and then does the coconut crush or whatever it was called for the win.
Another nothing match. Crush never really impressed me.
We get a recap of the brutal assault on Brutus Beefcake last week. Vince McMahon is now in the ring and he brings out Hulk Hogan to a big pop, much better than Beefcake's last week. He rambles until he brings out Beefcake. He's sporting fake bruises and tape on his nose as he rambles. If anyone ever benefited more from being Hogan's friend than Brutus, please point it out to me. They introduce their new manager, Jimmy Hart, who has turned his back on Money Inc! They lay down a challenge for Money Inc and call themselves the Mega Maniacs.
Skinner attacks at the bell and there is like, less than a minute left on the show. Skinner chokes The Undertaker outside the ring as Vince McMahon begins to sign off saying that we will see the conclusion of the match next week along with a WWF Title match.
Overall: I thought it was nice to see a fifteen minute match on the card, though I wish it was something better than the six man tag that we got. The Hulk Hogan promo was the typical stuff he'd do but it got the crowd pumped. I strongly dislike ending a show in the middle of the match but what can you do?