Sunday, September 13, 2015

Raw History: Episodes 15-16

Episode #15
May 3rd, 1993 – Manhattan Center in Manhattan, New York

This week, Raw instantly opens with the theme of the Intercontinental Champion as Shawn Michaels will be defending the belt in our opening contest. For the second straight week, we have Vince McMahon, Macho Man and Bobby Heenan on commentary, which is great.

WWF Intercontinental Championship
Shawn Michaels (c) vs. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan
Jim Duggan is wearing a singlet, which is not a good look but something he probably should have worn during his 2007 run because I wouldn’t have to see his body. He starts a “USA” chant, which I will always find stupid when he’s facing an American. He starts hot, forcing Shawn Michaels to catch a breather outside. After a commercial break, Michaels has gained control and hits a double axe handle that Macho Man would be proud of. Shawn is very good at the little things that make him a better heel. After being knocked outside, Duggan gets hyped by more “USA” chants, but the apparently evil foreigner Shawn Michaels uses a rake to the eyes. He goes back to his third headlock of the match. Hacksaw rallies and does the old school ten punches in the corner before hitting a body slam. Man, his offense is basic as fuck huh? A big clothesline sends Michaels to the floor and he tries to leave but Duggan stops him. Like a moron though, he throws him into the crowd and Shawn is able to escape.

Winner via countout: “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan in 11:06
I thought this was decent. You could tell they needed to go like 10 minutes as Shawn Michaels applied some rest holds. The finish was alright to set up a rematch. **¼

Jim Duggan gets on the microphone and says that it’s not right that he can beat Shawn Michaels up, but when the Champion runs away, he doesn’t win the belt. He issues a sit down strike, but is standing when we return.

Mean Gene bring us the King of the Ring Report! Bret Hart is the one seed, while everyone else has to qualify. Lex Luger qualified, while Mr. Perfect and Doink wrestled to a draw on Superstars. Also, Hulk Hogan will defend the WWF Championship against Yokozuna. He also reports that Jim Duggan has left the ring and is calling Jack Tunney. This week on Superstars, El Matador faces Razor Ramon in a qualifying match, and Duggan takes on Papa Shango.

Doink the Clown vs. Kamikaze Kid
Yes, Kamikaze Kid is Sean Waltman. Doink attacks at the bell and just dominates this completely. Vince McMahon is more interested in figuring out which of the multiple Doinks this is than calling the match. The Stump Puller forces Kid to submit.

Winner: Doink the Clown in 2:07
You know what this was. SQUASH

Bob Backlund vs. Dwayne Gill
Look at all of these recognizable jobbers today. Dwayne Gill would go on to compete in the Deadly Game Tournament for the WWF Title at Survivor Series 1998 and then be the longest reigning Light Heavyweight Champion. He fares much worse here. We are informed that Jim Duggan had success with Jack Tunney and gets a rematch next week in a Lumberjack Match! Gill gets in more offense than the Kid did at least. Backlund wins with another odd pinning combination.

Winner: Bob Backlund in 3:40
Not a squash, which surprised me. It wasn’t very good, but it was at least somewhat competitive. 

Jim Duggan is brought back out. This is like the Jim Duggan Power Hour. They use this to inform the live crowd of next week’s match. Duggan claims that Shawn is pretty and wrestles well, but he can’t fight.

Another vignette for the Smoking Guns is shown. Before the next match, a legend is announced in Captain Lou Albano!

The Headshrinkers w/ Afa vs. Jim Bell and Tony Roy
Captain Lou Albano gets on commentary and they discuss him possibly managing the Headshrinkers. So Afa is chopped liver? They get in pretty much all of the offense here. We get told that Yokozuna will be a Lumberjack next week and he has issues with Jim Duggan. The Headshrinkers allow the other team to tag in and out because it doesn’t matter. They just keep pounding away. A double team piledriver is hit as Afa jumps around outside. Heenan and Albano are just going at it on commentary. A double Stroke, for you Jeff Jarrett fans is followed by a splash and it’s over.

Winners: The Headshrinkers in 5:41
Longer than I expected, though it was still pretty much a squash. However, it was important as Lou Albano discussed their ruthlessness. 

Kamala vs. Rich Myers
More information on the Lumberjack match as Mr. Perfect is going to be outside of the ring. Rich Myers offers a handshake but Kamala wants no part. He instead hits Myers with his rear end and slams him down. He splashes Myers and he does his whole, “I’m trying to pin him on his stomach and flip him over too much” gimmick. The crowd seems to like it. He figures it out and wins.

Winner: Kamala in 2:29
Basic squash. SQUASH

Bobby Heenan interviews Shawn Michaels backstage, but we are also informed of a King of the Ring Qualifying match next week between Bigelow and Typhoon. Shawn complains that it’s unfair but has something up his sleeve that he tells Bobby about in his ear.

Overall: 5/10; Mediocre. This wasn't the worst episode as it featured a decent Intercontinental Title match as well as some forward movement towards King of the Ring. The Headshrinkers match was okay and involved the Captain Lou Albano angle. However, there was a bit too much Jim Duggan. He appeared or was mentioned in nearly every single segment, which was too much.

Raw History
Episode #16
May 10th, 1993 – Manhattan Center in Manhattan, New York

Raw opens with a clip from earlier tonight, at 7:02PM, as Shawn Michaels is interviewed by Lord Alfred Hayes. I didn’t know he was still employed. Suddenly, Mr. Perfect attacks and we have a big outdoor brawl! I’ve stood exactly where they’re fighting before, which is cool. Shawn gets slammed on the hood of a car and officials try to break them up. See, I think that Mr. Perfect was red hot in late ’92-early ’93 and should have been in the WWF Title picture but instead, is feuding with the Intercontinental Champion.

Once again, commentary is Vince McMahon, Macho Man and Bobby Heenan. I’m gonna stop pointing this out weekly unless there are changes to the booth.

King of the Ring Qualifying Match
Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Typhoon

Well, I honestly think the outcome to this is pretty foregone. They try shoulder blocking each other, but it’s like running into brick walls. Bigelow gets the upper hand with a slam and elbow, but misses a standing headbutt. He does end up hitting a nice suplex before being knocked outside. Typhoon follows, but falls for a classic heel tactic as Bigelow nails him when he tries to get back inside. He stops Typhoon from getting inside a few more times, before applying a chin lock of sorts. Surprisingly, this has lasted through a commercial break. It doesn’t last much longer though as a top rope headbutt gets Bigelow the W.

Winner: Bam Bam Bigelow in 5:23
Decent big man match. I didn’t expect a classic from Typhoon, but Bigelow continues to do very well. 

PJ Walker vs. Yokozuna w/ Mr. Fuji
At the bell, we are told that Yokozuna will face Kamala next week. PJ Walker is the future Aldo Montoya and Justin Credible. They actually lock up and Yokozuna just tosses him. He follows with a belly to belly, leg drop and corner splash. A chop leads to the Banzai Drop and this thing is over.

Winner: Yokozuna in 2:11
This was every other Yokozuna match on Raw. SQUASH

King of the Ring Report time! We are reminded of Hulk Hogan vs. Yokozuna and then told that Bret Hart, Razor Ramon, Lex Luger, Jim Duggan and Bigelow have all qualified. This weekend, the three spots are up when Mr. Perfect meets Doink in a rematch and Tatanka faces Giant Gonzalez. What do I have to do to get Wrestling Challenge on the WWE Network?

“Iron” Mike Sharpe vs. Mr. Perfect
I love Mr. Perfect, but he’s got his work cut out for him against “Canada’s Greatest Athlete.” There’s a fat ring girl in the ring, who gets “Bobby’s girl” chants and it looks like Perfect is gonna kiss her. Instead, he put his gum in her mouth. Yuck. Perfect dropkicks Sharpe and then fires off with some chops. Sharpe comes back with some of his own and they are just hammering away at each other. Perfect takes one strap down because he means business now. Bobby Heenan is channel surfing again, which is something you shouldn’t do when Mr. Perfect is wrestling. Sharpe ducks for a back body drop, but eats the Perfect Plex to end this.

Winner: Mr. Perfect in 4:38
A solid little match. Once again, Mr. Perfect doesn’t just do a straight squash and has a competitive match that’s fun. **

Cannonball Kid vs. Mr. Hughes w/ Harvey Wippleman
You know, I never understood why Mr. Hughes would get random pushes. No word is given on his random team up with Wippleman. Last week, we had the Kamikaze Kid and now he’s the Cannonball Kid. I sense another name coming soon; one that will stick. Hughes dominates and hits a big two handed Chokeslam that I would have used to win. Instead, he does a bit more offense before mercifully pinning him.

Winner: Mr. Hughes in 2:18
Totally one sided. SQUASH

An ad airs for All-American Wrestling, which is hosted by Mean Gene and Bobby Heenan. I miss weekend afternoon wrestling. The lumberjacks start to pour in as our main event is near. Before the match starts, Jim Duggan attacks Yokozuna, who broke Duggan’s ribs a few months back with multiple Banzai Drops. Mr. Fuji calms Yokozuna down though. Shawn Michaels comes out in street clothes and on crutches, but when Mr. Perfect comes for him, he runs, showing he’s faking.

WWF Intercontinental Championship Lumberjack Match
Shawn Michaels (c) vs. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan

I believe this is the first ever gimmick match in the history of Raw. With Shawn Michaels in street clothes and being caught off guard, Jim Duggan is in the driver’s seat. Some atomic drops and an elbow get the challenger two. More “Shawn is Gay” chants. Duggan is doing his generic awesome that hasn’t evolved since his prime in the 80’s and Shawn has barely gotten in any offense. I also forgot to mention that every Lumberjack is wearing lumberjack flannels. Except for Yokozuna since there aren’t 600 pound lumberjacks and no shirt would fit him. They come into play when Duggan tosses him outside and he’s forced back in when he tries to run. After a commercial, Shawn takes his boot off and clocks Duggan with it, which sends him outside. The heels rolls him back in without attacking which is strange. Shawn is now working over Duggan for a bit as the crowd chants “USA” against an American again. Stupid. He does rally though and elevates Shawn on a big back body drop. For some reason, the crowd has chosen to do the Atlanta Brave Tomahawk Chop. Duggan’s three point stance tackle sends Shawn outside before another commercial. Vince McMahon mentions that we’re low on time. Bigelow gets on the apron, which distracts Duggan, allowing Shawn to nail him and send him outside by Yokozuna, who sits on him. When he’s rolled back in, Mr. Perfect has seen enough and he nails Shawn to cause the disqualification.

Winner via disqualification: Shawn Michaels in 13:09
They got a ton of time and this was solid. I think that Duggan was in control for too long considering his ability though. **¼ 

Shawn Michaels and Mr. Perfect brawl, which leads to all of the lumberjacks entering the ring and giving us a huge brawl. Jim Duggan clears the ring with his 2x4 though as we come to a close.

Overall: 5.5/10; Decent. You know, for the first time in a while, the show is on an upswing. We had three competitive matches here. The IC Title was a big main event for the time and was pretty well done, we had a King of the Ring Qualifying match and a Mr. Perfect appearance. Not a bad way to spend 45 minutes at all.