Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Raw History: Episodes 25-26

Raw History
Episode #25
July 12th, 1993 – Manhattan Center in Manhattan, New York – Attendance: 1,000

We are now a quarter of the way through less than a tenth of the total episodes in Raw history. Sheesh. This was recorded after last week’s live episode.

WWF Championship
Yokozuna (c) w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Crush

I always like it when the WWF Title is defended on Raw, but Crush is not a good choice since he sucks. Since Raw is a place where anything can happen, the fans are pumped. They even sing parts of the National Anthem, which is probably my favorite patriotic chant ever. They do the whole “Yokozuna is too big to be knocked down” stuff for a while, so Crush goes to a corner splash. Vince calls it WHATAMANUEVER! The once hot crowd now dies as Yokozuna moves to a nerve hold but the commercial break is expertly timed. Scratch that, Yokozuna goes back to the nerve hold because it’s the only rest hold he knows. Crush rallies and gets two on a flying shoulder block. This once rabid crowd has died because both guys are pretty awful. Fuji nails Crush in the back with the flag leading to Yokozuna hitting the Banzai Drop.

Winner and Still WWF Champion: Yokozuna in 11:08
This was as boring as I expected. Two bad wrestlers had a bad match. To kill this red hot crowd is a damn shame. ¼*

Yokozuna continues to hit more Banzai Drops on Crush because even he’s offended by his awfulness. Tatanka tries to make the save but gets laid out. Jobbers come to make the save but they get stopped too. Macho Man finally gets in pull Crush out of harm’s way. He’ll come to regret that when they feud next year. Spoiler alert. Crush does a stretcher job, which just makes me hope he’s gone for a while.

The Headshrinkers w/ Afa vs. Aaron Ferguson and PJ Walker
Good for Walker as he’s back to PH after being BJ recently. There’s an “Afa” chant. They drop Walker on his head on a flapjack that nearly killed him. Samu follows with a vicious clothesline. To hype themselves up, the Headshrinkers headbutt each other. They roll the dead Walker to the corner and bring Ferguson in. Bobby Heenan steals the show by saying that Walker could star in Weekend at Bernie’s III. Commentary completely confuses the names of both guys. I seriously think Walker is dead. A splash finishes off Ferguson.

Winners: The Headshrinkers in 3:20
Well goddamn. That was up there with some of the best jobber killings I have ever witnessed. That made this enjoyable. **¼

An ad airs for the Intercontinental Title rematch next week between Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty.

Tatanka vs. The Brooklyn Brawler
Tatanka is the biggest TV hog the WWF had at the time. I’m so sick of seeing his matches. The Brawler has been part of the WWF for what has to be like 30 years. Commentary pretty much ignores the match to discuss Yokozuna. Tatanka works the arm until Brawler actually gets in some offense. He chokes Tatanka with his shirt but this is getting WAY more time than it deserves. Tatanka does his little rally and wins with the Samoan Drop.

Winner: Tatanka in 7:09
Boring. I see enough of Tatanka that I can live without a seven minute match against a jobber. His style continues to bore me. ¾*

Before the next match, footage airs of kids hyping Lex Luger. One kid doesn’t shut up and rambles. It sucks.

Mr. Hughes w/ Harvey Wippleman vs. Tony DeVito
Tony DeVito is a chubby fella, so it helps that he shed weight during his run with Da Baldies in ECW. Someone walks out with a reef that says “Rest in Peace”. Gee, I wonder who’s behind this. Hughes does a bunch of punches as DeVito puts in more effort bumping then Hughes does in his offense. When he wins with the Bossman Slam, Vince claims that move is reminiscent of the Undertaker. Does he even watch matches?

Winner: Mr. Hughes in 1:52
Mr. Hughes is so awful to watch. I hate his squash matches. ¼*

Mean Gene brings us the SummerSlam Report. The biggest match signed so far is Bret Hart vs. Jerry Lawler. Way to waste your top guy. Lex Luger is petitioning for a title shot as well. Not much here.

Another MOM promo airs. It’s worse than the first one but the shots of the “hood” make me reminisce about my childhood.

Adam Bomb w/ Johnny Polo vs. Scott Amanti
I don’t get the Adam Bomb/Johnny Polo pairing at all. Scott Amanti is tiny, especially compared to Bomb. Bomb throws him around and wins this with a powerbomb, which is an aptly named finisher for him.

Winner: Adam Bomb in 2:14
Better than the Mr. Hughes match but disappointing because I wanted Adam to kill Amanti like the Headshrinkers did to their jobbers earlier. 

Next week, we get the King’s Court, which is my least favorite Talk Show segment in wrestling history. However, we also get Shawn Michaels vs. Marty Jannetty.

Overall: 2/10; Terrible. Raw has a trend (that will be more evident as time goes on), where it’s a big time match followed by squashes. We kind of get that here but the marquee match sucked hard. The jobber matches weren’t very good either but the Headshrinkers at least had fun in their match. Not one of the better episodes so far.

Raw History
Episode #26
July 19th, 1993 – Manhattan Center in Manhattan, New York – Attendance: 1200

Back to Raw being live this week. We start with shots of the ridiculous Lex Express. After the opening video, Vince McMahon hypes up the debut of MOM tonight. Yuck.

WWF Intercontinental Championship
Shawn Michaels (c) w/ Diesel vs. Marty Jannetty

We see footage of Marty Jannetty returning to win the title from Shawn Michaels in this very building nine weeks ago. The crowd is stoked at the prospect of lightning striking twice here. The competitors feed that as Marty counters everything and gets multiple quick near falls that the crowd eats up. After a breather, Shawn gets back in and they work a standoff that’s a precursor to the stuff that we love on the indies. When Shawn misses the Superkick he gets frustrated again. Marty hits a DDT and seems to win but Shawn’s foot is on the ropes. He celebrates with the title even though Bobby Heenan points out the mistake. Vince McMahon just orgasms all over that. During the commercial, the match restarts. Jannetty goes to a sleeper but Shawn gets out and they do a double shoulder block spot. Returning from commercial, Shawn nails a double axe handle before going to the chin lock. I feel like the chin lock should have come during the break. There’s a “Womp there it is” chant going on. Oh, the 90’s. Marty hits a big elbow for two. Shawn tries a powerbomb but Jannetty counters into a hurricanrana for a VERY close near fall. Shawn comes back with a cross body that Marty rolls through for two again. Marty tries a cross body of his own but misses and crashes and burns over and outside. Diesel rolls him inside and Shawn gets the three.

Winner and Still WWF Intercontinental Champion: Shawn Michaels in 14:20
Really good stuff. Not up to par with their match nine months earlier but I enjoy their chemistry. The finish was a bit anti-climactic though. ***½

Vince McMahon introduces Money Inc. for an interview. They promote their upcoming rematch for the WWF Tag Team Titles while IRS calls people tax cheats. He has just one line and he runs it into the ground. They switch gears to badmouth Razor Ramon, who has now completed his face turn. They offer him a job shining their shoes and such. “Rich mang and tax mang.” I love his terrible Spanish Accent. Ted Dibiase slaps him with money, leading to Razor knocking them out. After Razor leaves, Dibiase challenges the 1-2-3 Kid.

Men on a Mission vs. Rich Myers and Hank Harris
Hearing Vince McMahon get excited for this awful team and their ridiculous outfits is cringe worthy. Also, Oscar somehow thinks that “one” and “mission” rhyme. This is all Men on a Mission but they aren’t very interesting. Mabel squashes one of them to win.

Winners: Men on a Mission in 1:45
For a squash, this wasn’t entertaining in the least. This team sucks and I know we’re going to see a lot of them over time. DUD

SummerSlam Report: Mean Gene dances to the Men on a Mission theme and it’s so bad it’s good. Added to the card, is a WrestleMania IX rematch between the Giant Gonzalez and the Undertaker in a Rest in Peace match. No, we have no clue what that stipulation means.

We now go to a video package for the RIDICULOUS Lex Express, complete with ICOPRO logo. It’s so over the top, I can’t stand it.

Bastion Booger vs. Scott Despres
Bastion Booger clotheslines his opponent before sitting on him. He has quite possibly the worst attire in history. Booger wins in quick and lame fashion.

Winner: Bastion Booger in 1:01
Another dull squash by a terrible wrestler. DUD

An ad for next week shows us that Bam Bam Bigelow will be taking on Bret Hart. Hey, their King of the Ring match ruled, so I’m all for this. We now go to the King’s Court with his guest, Tiny Tim. Mind you, Tiny Tim is from the 60’s. Way to be topical WWF. He’s known for his very high pitched singing while he plays his ukulele. Jerry Lawler gets cheap heat and destroys the ukulele while Tiny Tim cries. Oh my god this was completely pointless.

1-2-3 Kid vs. Chris Duffy
Chris Duffy’s attire is atrocious. He is wearing a black one strap singlet but the butt and knee pads are flower patterned. Kid unloads on him with kicks and gets his stuff in. Money Inc. shows up to scout him, leading to Razor Ramon coming over the guardrail to even the odds. Kid wins in relatively quick order.

Winner: 1-2-3 Kid in 2:10
Basic jobber stuff but a bit more enjoyable than usual since Kid is actually entertaining. 

After the match, the 1-2-3 Kid can’t choose which side to go to since he obviously doesn’t like Money Inc. but still has issues with Razor Ramon so he just leaves through the crowd. Razor and Ted nearly get into it before things come to a close.

Overall: 4.5/10; Below Average. Things got off to such a good start with the hot Intercontinental Title match but fell hard after that. The Tiny Tim segment was horrible and didn’t achieve a single thing while being dreadful to watch. Men on a Mission and Bastion Booger both suck hard so their stuff was intolerable. The Razor/Money Inc. build was solid though.