Thursday, August 27, 2015

Raw History: Episodes 7-8

Raw History
Episode #7
March 1st, 1993 – Manhattan Center in Manhattan, New York

Tonight's show opens with Bret Hart's theme as he comes out to defend the WWF Title against Fatu. Makes sense that the constantly defending champion would put the belt on the line for his first ever Raw match. Commentary is the usual Vince McMahon, Macho Man and Rob Bartlett. Bartlett is dressed as Elvis and it sucks.

WWF Championship
Bret Hart (c) vs. Fatu w/ Afa

Bret Hart starts with a headlock, eats a scoop slam and then fires back with an arm drag. Bret does some arm work and I'd just like to point out that I loved how Bret would give everyone a shot at the title. Fatu hits a superkick from out of nowhere to earn a near fall and a pop from the crowd. Vlad the Superfan is in the front row, which is always cool. Bret counters a hip toss but Fatu blocks his and clotheslines him down. He applies the dreaded nerve hold, which is a move I hate. It looks like it does nothing. As Fatu picks up a near fall, Samu stalks his way to ringside. Bret hits a cross body but is knocked outside. Afa distracts the official as Samu slams Bret on the mat. Fatu works Bret's back for a while and even throws in a signature Samoan headbutt for good measure. Fatu hits a piledriver, which is awesome to see considering the fact that it's now banned but it's only good for two. Bartlett is pretty unbearable on commentary but Vince calls a side slam a suplex and takes the cake for tonight. A second rope headbutt only gets Fatu another near fall. He goes for another one but Bret meets him and hits a second rope suplex for two. Bret hits his perfect backbreaker and applies the Sharpshooter but we get shenanigans from the Headshrinkers who interfere and switch out. The switch does nothing as Samu gets a near fall and brings Fatu back in. Bret knocks Fatu into Samu, who gets his head stuck in the ropes and knocks Afa off the apron. The Sharpshooter is locked in and Fatu gives up.

Winner and Still WWF Champion: Bret Hart in 15:06
Back to back shows with fifteen minute matches? Me like. This was great as Bret Hart looked golden and he made Fatu look better than he's ever looked, even during his Rikishi run. ***1/2

Mean Gene brings us to the WrestleMania Report. He announces that Money Inc. will defend the Tag Team Titles against the Mega Maniacs before running through the card that we already know of. Oh, The Narcissist vs. Mr. Perfect is added.

Vince McMahon interviews Crush, who is flabby as hell and apparently was just swimming in the ocean. He speaks in his terrible Hawaiian accent before crushing a coconut because that's what he's going to do to Doink at WrestleMania.

Doink the Clown vs. Koko B. Ware
Vince McMahon calls Koko a young man, which has to be wrong since he's been in WWF since like 1985. Doink attacks before the bell and Bartlett makes his first funny remark by saying he loved Koko on Different Strokes. Doink applies a much better STF than John Cena has ever done but breaks it. He then seems amused by how baggy Koko's pants are before continuing the leg work. He polishes off Koko by making him submit to the Stump Puller.

Winner: Doink the Clown in 1:48
Just used to get Doink over. I enjoyed the leg work even though it was short. SQUASH

Rob “Elvis” Bartlett interviews Doink, who has a gift, after the match. Rob asks for what's in the box, Doink gives him a small pie before hitting him in the face with a big one.

After commercials, Vince McMahon is in the ring awaiting the arrival of the WWF Tag Team Champions, Money Inc. Ted Dibiase talks about some rich dude making $700,000 a year in retirement and saying it was too cheap. He gets down to business, calling Jimmy Hart an overpaid gopher and they promote WrestleMania a bit. IRS also calls his briefcase the beef case. It's strange but I guess a guy who fathered Bo Dallas and Bray Wyatt has to be a bit odd.

“The Narcissist” Lex Luger vs. PJ Walker
For the uninitiated, PJ Walker is the future Justin Credible of ECW fame. Luger throws him into the corner hard as Vince McMahon goes to a phone conversation with Bobby Heenan. Luger hits a rib breaker as Vince McMahon continues to push this ANNOYING Elvis/Bartlett stuff. After hitting the forearm, Luger pins Walker with his pinky.

Winner: Lex Luger in 2:59
All Luger. Another squash, but in this day and age, it made sense. SQUASH

Post-match, Lex Luger throws PJ Walker out of the ring and calls him a typical male. He berates him before knocking him out again.

Duane Gill and someone vs. The Steiner Brothers
I did not hear the name of Duane Gill's partner, but they both have ridiculous hair. Black on the sides with blonde mullets over. Fantastic. Before the bell, Vince calls them Scott and Rob Steiner. Scott hits a belly to belly on Duane's partner before tagging in his lesser brother. Rick clotheslines no name outside and then runs around the ring. The Steiners allow Duane to get tagged in because they know they got this. Rick hits a backbreaker and laughs before tagging Scott who tosses Duane around. THIS WOULDNT HAPPEN IF HE WAS GILLBERG DAMMIT! The crowd is red hot for the Frankensteiner and he nails it. It looked weak as hell, but was enough to get the job done.

Winners: The Steiner Brothers in 4:43
A third straight squash and the Steiners looked really good. SQUASH

Overall: 6/10; Average. I wanted to like this episode so much more. The squashes were what they were, which is fine but the gem here is Bret Hart vs. Fatu. A really good contest and second to only Ric Flair/Mr. Perfect for best Raw match so far. The Elvis stuff made the show unbearable at points though.


Raw History
Episode #8
March 8th, 1993 – Manhattan Center in Manhattan, New York

A pre-taped promo from the Mega-Maniacs airs where Hulk Hogan talks about Humpty Dumpty. It actually has to do with them accepting the challenge of Money Inc. for WrestleMania IX. Hogan also sings and steals the Saturday Night Live opening while Beefcake looks awkward and tries to mimic Hogan’s words. It’s odd. Commentary is the usual combination of Vince McMahon, Rob Bartlett and Macho Man.

Non-Title Match
El Matador and Virgil vs. Money Inc.

Tito Santana was cool in his prime, but man I never liked anything at all about Virgil. Ted Dibiase clearly reminds Virgil about his past as his bitch basically. When Virgil gets the tag, Bartlett says that he and Montel Williams are the same person, making it two straight weeks where he’s said something comical. This is the definition of two teams going through the motions and having a basic tag team match. Virgil applies a wrist lock and IRS has the balls to try a nip up and fails miserably. This gets a commercial break for some reason as El Matador plays face in peril. Virgil gets the hot tag, which is a sentence that should never be the case. Thanks to a trip from Dibiase, IRS nails a suplex that is enough to beat Virgil.

Winners: Money Inc. in 8:02
This was incredibly basic. It wasn’t bad and it wasn’t terrible but nothing of note happened here. *3/4

After a clip of Tatanka pinning Shawn Michaels last week is shown, Rick Martel comes out to switched places with the ring girl. I won’t lie, I laughed really hard at this.

Phil Apollo vs. Tatanka
They start by blocking each other’s hip tosses until Tatanka does one that takes Apollo over and out. Apollo has the tiniest lightning bolt on his trunks and I had to point it out because it looks ridiculous. Shawn Michaels calls in to commentary and badmouths Tatanka. It sounds awkward and he stumbles through it. Can you believe this guy would become arguably the greatest of all time? Tatanka rallies and hits some Tomahawk Chops before a Samoan Drop to end it. Why the hell is a Native American doing a Samoan Drop?

Winner: Tatanka in 2:42
Literally all Tatanka. SQUASH

Mean Gene takes us to the WrestleMania Report and, because it’s Hulk Hogan, they’re billing WrestleMania as a “Double Main Event”. Sure. We also get a Bret Hart promo in there about being the underdog and one from Mr. Fuji about Yokozuna. 

Mike Edwards vs. Papa Shango
I’ll give you three guesses on how this one ends guys. The future Kama/Godfather pretty much manhandles Mike Edwards here. Edwards is a hairy man. Like only behind Albert and that dude from Los Boricuas. Shango could’ve won but chose to lift Edwards for more damage. He could’ve won with a second back suplex but decides against it again. He finally chooses to end it, thankfully.

Winner: Papa Shango in 2:31
Another complete squash. I don’t really get this one though since Papa Shango wasn’t going anywhere. This could’ve been used to showcase the Headshrinkers since they’re set to face the Steiner Brothers at WrestleMania. SQUASH

Bob Backlund vs. Tony Demoro
Vince McMahon says that Bob Backlund is on a hot streak but it must be on Superstars since all I’ve seen of him is how he lasted an hour in the Royal Rumble. They stall a bunch as Backlund offers a handshake and then the crowd actually starts to chant for him after he takes down Demoro. This is boring. I guess they’re trying to showcase how Backlund knows some amateur wrestling. He hits a double underhook suplex and chooses to pin Demoro in an odd way.

Winner: Bob Backlund in 3:51
Dull. Yes, it was a squash but it was a terribly boring one. SQUASH

Rob Bartlett interviews Rick Martel who runs him down for his ridiculous attire and brags about being a model. 

Mr. Perfect vs. Rick Martel
Two good workers should put on a good main event here. They feel each other out in the early goings and Rick Martel wants to make sure he doesn’t get hit in the face. Martel also dodges a move, does a cartwheel and some jumping jacks. Perfect dodges a move with a cartwheel too, which was cool. Martel and his gut start to focus on the arm to wear down Perfect. Martel uses a gut wrench suplex for two and I don’t see nearly as much of that move as I’d like. A camel clutch is applied and the crowd attempts to rally Perfect. He fights out of it but Martel stays in control until Perfect blocks a double axe handle. He follows with two atomic drops and THE STRAPS ARE DOWN! They go to commercial and Perfect wins during the break.

Winner: Mr. Perfect in 7:57
Decent match but I hate that the ending happened during the break. I get the whole “anything can happen” thing but it still sucks. **1/4

Mr. Perfect brings out two girls that Rick Martel was rude to earlier in the night and celebrates with them in the ring. We are then told that next week Kamala will be in action as well as Razor Ramon! Plus, Typhoon vs. Bam Bam Bigelow! 

Overall: 2/10; Terrible. Not the strongest episode. You had three squash matches and then two matches that weren’t very good. It didn’t even build towards WrestleMania well. This had the feeling of a show that the WWF just threw together. My least favorite episode of Raw so far.