Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Raw History: Episodes 21-22

Raw History
Episode #21
June 14th, 1993 – Manhattan Center in Manhattan, New York – Attendance: 1000

Just one night removed from King of the Ring, we get footage of Yokozuna dethroning Hulk Hogan to win the WWF Championship for the second time. Mean Gene interviews Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji. Man these guys desperately need an American promo guy to help out. They say they will celebrate on July 4th, which outrages the patriotic side of Mean Gene.

Commentary tonight consists of Vince McMahon, Macho Man and Bobby Heenan. It must have been recorded recently though because this a taped episode but they discuss the amazing Mr. Perfect/Bret Hart match from the previous night.

Mr. Perfect vs. LA Gore
LA Gore has the most absurd looking mustache. Maybe I’ve mentioned that before, I can’t recall. Perfect is in control but Gore actually gets in some offense. The Perfect Plex ends this one rather quickly.

Winner: Mr. Perfect in 2:45
Not much here, but a win for Mr. Perfect to bounce back from the tough loss at the King of the Ring. SQUASH

Razor Ramon is introduced and he’s carrying a bag like he’s Jake the Snake or something. They bring up the 1-2-3 Kid not wanting to get back in the ring with Razor. Razor calls him “stick mang” which gives me a chuckle. He wants to prove the loss was a fluke and offers $10,000.

Doink the Clown vs. Marty Jannetty
As Doink makes his entrance, he goes under the ring and a clearly different one emerges to spray something at the commentary team. Doink attacks at the bell but Jannetty uses his speed to get the early upper hand. He outsmarts Doink and goes to working the arm as we head to a commercial break. The action spills outside for a brief moment but Jannetty comes back in with a cross body for two. Doink busts out a sweet powerslam and there is paint ALL over Marty’s chest. “Let’s go Doink” chants can be heard as he takes Marty to school on the mat. Doink nails the Whoopee Cushion but it’s not his finisher at this time so it only gets two. Vlad the Superfan is a smooth dude as he has a chick sitting on his lap in the front row. Doink goes to the well too many times and is slammed from the top. Marty gets in a back elbow, dropkick and suplex for two. The match goes outside again and Marty connects on a superkick and hurricanrana as the referee counts to ten.

Double Countout in 9:12
Entertaining match here. Doink has been one the more impressive guys I’ve watched in 1993 and since his return, Marty has been motivated. Good stuff. ***½

Marty Jannetty and Doink continue to brawl after the bell, which leads me to believe we’re getting a nice little TV feud out of this.

Owen Hart vs. Dan Dubiel
Dan Dubiel is a jobber that we’ve yet to see n Raw. Owen Hart is still sporting his absurd parachute pants with the checkered pattern. Vince McMahon mentions that they are trying to get in touch with the 1-2-3 Kid, who is over in Japan. They get in touch with him and he brings up how he’s been getting booked by other promoters. It’s so interesting to hear the WWF acknowledge other wrestling. The Kid accepts the challenge, and why wouldn’t he? The worst that can happen is that he loses, which is no big deal. Owen wins but the focus was on the Kid throughout.

Winner: Owen Hart in 3:50
Not a total squash, which was fine since Owen Hart wasn’t yet high up in the card. His flurry at the end was cool. **

This week on All-American Wrestling, Owen Hart will take on Bastion Booger. Booger is Friar Ferguson, whose gimmick was scrapped after his two awful appearances on Raw.

We now go to extended footage from this past week’s episode of Superstars. The Undertaker took on PJ Walker, who is the future Aldo Montoya and Justin Credible. We get the entire match and entrance before Giant Gonzalez appears. Where was this feud in between WrestleMania and King of the Ring? Not that I miss it, but what happened to continuity. They brawl before Mr. Hughes gets involved, slams Paul Bearer and lays out Undertaker with the urn. I’m not sure what this would lead to, since I don’t remember an Undertaker/Hughes program.

Jerry Lawler vs. Mark Thomas
Commentary points out that Jerry Lawler is wearing black and pink, which is significant since he attacked Bret Hart the previous night. However, he wore it last week so it lessens the impact. The fans are all wearing Burger King crowns. This is your typical dull Lawler affair. Blah.

Winner: Jerry Lawler in 3:51
Completely dull. Jerry Lawler’s WWF stuff nearly always blows. SQUASH

Next week, Raw emanates from Poughkeepsie! They’re always a hot crowd. A big episode is set as Razor Ramon meets the 1-2-3 Kid and we’ll get a rematch between Doink and Marty Jannetty. And its Two out of Three Falls! Sweet.

Overall: 5/10; Mediocre. Another run of the mill show with nothing much happening. The fact that it was prerecorded hurt but we’re starting to get some solid matches on a more consistent basis. Jannetty/Doink was impressive and next week’s card looks solid.

Raw History
Episode #22
June 21st, 1993 – Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, New York – Attendance: 3,000

Our opening highlights the 1-2-3 Kid’s memorable upset over Razor Ramon because we get the rematch tonight. The crowd is Poughkeepsie is red hot as usual as Vince McMahon tells us that it’s the first day of summer. That means SummerSlam is around the corner.

Non-Title Match
WWF Tag Team Champions The Steiner Brothers vs. Barry Hardy and Reno Riggins

You read that correctly. The Steiner Brothers have finally captured the straps from Money Inc. Interestingly, they won the belts, dropped them back to Money Inc. and took them back again. House Show title changes for the win. The Steiners normally have fun against jobbers and it shows quick when Scott absolutely murders Riggins on a suplex. Rick and Hardy enter and Rick just rams him into the corner. Vince continues to hype the Body Slam Challenge on the 4th of July because both Steiners are going to attempt. Scott comes in and nails a sweet overhead belly to belly suplex on Hardy. He allows Reno to tag back in so he can suplex him too. They botch the Frankensteiner finish though.

Winners: WWF Tag Team Champions The Steiner Brothers in 3:51
The Steiner Brothers are always a fun team to watch when they demolish jobbers and this was no different. **

Two out of Three Falls Match
Doink the Clown vs. Marty Jannetty

Alright, these two put on a good match last week. Doink comes out riding a unicycle because he’s a boss. Early on, Doink fails to give a tough break and works a headlock while laughing. They do a crisscross spot where Jannetty hits an arm drag. Doink plays great mind games before slamming Jannetty to the mat. Marty does the crisscross thing again but Doink is pissed now and just nails him with a forearm. Vince McMahon hypes up Mr. Hughes’ appearance later, which may ruin a shot that’s been good so far. Jannetty hits a monkey flip for our first near fall. A backslide earns him another but he misses a high risk move in the corner. This allows Doink to hit the Whoopee Cushion and score the first fall at 7:16. After a commercial, the second fall begins. Doink comes out aggressive and Marty takes the signature Bret Hart corner bump. Doink says sorry a bunch while smiling because he’s awesome at playing his character. Randy Savage gets upset when Doink steals his double axe handle to the outside. Back inside, Jannetty starts to rally and hits a suplex. He connects on a SICK sounding superkick but Doink gets his foot on the rope. Jannetty doesn’t let up and hits the top rope fist drop to even the score at 4:38 of the second fall. This has been excellent and it’s time for our final fall. After a stalling atomic drop from Jannetty, Doink takes control and slams his knee on the ring post. He locks in a figure four but Marty turns it over only for Doink to reach the ropes quickly. Doink goes back to the knee, taking out Marty’s high flying offense. Hell, when Marty does a back body drop, his leg gives out, so Doink goes to an STF. Some fantastic selling and submissions here. Doink makes the mistake of going up top, so he’ slammed to the mat. A second Doink runs out and hides under the ring, so Marty searches for him. As he does so, Doink kicks he crap out of him. Inside, Marty barely connects on a dropkick that knocks Doink back out, allowing him to switch out. Well, we think he does but he doesn’t. He’s knocked back outside and switches this time. New Doink nails a piledriver to wrap this thing up. However, Randy Savage reveals the second Doink, so the referee reverses the decision, giving Marty the second fall via disqualification.

Winner: Marty Jannetty in 20:38
Well damn that was a cracker. They went for twenty minutes and almost never slowed the pace. It had technical wrestling, high flying, psychology and selling. A criminally underrated bout that is my Raw match of the year right now. ****

Mr. Hughes w/ Harvey Wippleman vs. Bobby Who
Vince McMahon and Bobby Heenan run the “who” jokes. I feel like that’s the only reason he was given this name. Mr. Hughes is one of the worst workers on the roster, but I guess this works as a cool down between big matches. Vince McMahon has the nerve to say that Mr. Hughes can wrestle. Hughes takes long to win because he keeps picking Bobby up. Bossman slam ends it.

Winner: Mr. Hughes in 3:02
Total squash, but I’m going to start rating these because some can be entertaining. This wasn’t. ½*

1-2-3 Kid vs. Razor Ramon
If you’ve been following you know that $10,000 is on the line tonight. The 1-2-3 Kid doesn’t even have theme music yet. Right at the bell, Kid gets a sunset flip near fall and the crowd is absolutely electric. They’re popping for everything that he does, which proves the angle of his upset worked to perfection. He makes a crucial mistake by trying a cross body which gets caught into a fallaway slam. Kid is nearly broken in half by a Chokeslam. Razor wants to make Kid suffer though and puts on abdominal stretch before slapping him up to humiliate him. Second rope back suplex from Razor who signals for the finish. However, he throws Kid outside and EXPOSES THE CONCRETE! God, I miss that spot. He wants the Razor’s Edge on it but Kid counters with a back drop. He climbs up for a dive but slips and hits the concrete hard. I have no idea how he’s not concussed. Inside, we get the moonsault spot that ended it last time but it’s not enough. Kid decides to say forget it, as he brags the bag of money and escapes, leading to the double countout. As the bell rings, the camera follows them outside where Kid hops in a cab and leaves.

Double Countout in 5:17
The match itself was pretty fun. Kid bumped like a madman and Razor looked like a dominant star who was pissed. The finish made sense as well so I don’t mind it here. ***

Overall: 9/10; Incredible. Easily the best episode of Raw in history so far. The Steiners killed some jobbers for my entertainment before we got the Raw match of the year in Doink vs. Marty Jannetty. Seriously, go out and watch this and enjoy it for yourself. The main event was a fun angle as well and the only blemish on the show was Mr. Hughes but even that was kept short. I seriously hope for more shows like this down the road.