Friday, January 22, 2016

Raw History: Episodes #27-28

Episode #27
July 26th, 1992 | Manhattan Center in Manhattan, New York | Attendance: 1200

Tonight’s show is taped. Doink cuts a promo backstage where he says that he has a surprise for Macho Man. Stu and Helen Hart are in the crowd, but have balcony seats. Maybe if Bret was WWF Champion, he could have scored them better seats.

Bam Bam Bigelow w/ Luna Vachon vs. Bret Hart
These two had a damn fine match in the Finals of the King of the Ring, so I hope this can live up to that. Early on, we get things similar to the KOTR Finals, as Bigelow just overpowers Hart. Bret comes back with some of his awesome looking punches. Bigelow goes after the leg and gets in most of the offense here as Stu looks on and is totally stone faced. Bigelow hits a low dropkick, which is interesting for sure. It didn’t look as good as I expected. The former WWF Champion begins his rally with a heel like top rope face wash. He tries the second rope elbow, but Bigelow gets to his feet, so he changes to a clothesline. He nails a bulldog that Vince calls “WHATAMANUEVER!” As he attempts the Sharpshooter, Jerry Lawler appears in the balcony with a microphone to berate Stu and Helen. Bret tries to go after him, but Bigelow stops him. He beats on Bret and the Lawler jokes are awful and grating. It’s so irritating and I hate everything that Jerry Lawler ever did in the WWF. Bret finally takes down Bigelow and heads upstairs, getting counted out.

Winner via countout: Bam Bam Bigelow in 16:04
Nowhere near their King of the Ring match. This was uninspired and lasted too long if they were just going to go with the countout finish. Plus, Lawler made this even worse. Like he does to everything. **¼


Time for Mean Gene to bring us the SummerSlam Report. Lex Luger vs. Yokozuna has been added to the card, with the WWF Championship on the line. Also, we get the epic rematch between The Undertaker and Giant Gonzalez, which will be a “Rest in Peace” match. Nobody knows the rules though.

Mr. Hughes w/ Harvey Wippleman vs. Russ Greenberg
Who keeps giving Mr. Hughes television time? Russ Greenberg is pretty jacked for a jobber. Unfortunately, he gets in nothing as Hughes wins with his dull offense.

Winner: Mr. Hughes in 3:04
Boring as always with Mr. Hughes. The quicker he’s off my television, the better. DUD

The Smoking Guns vs. Dwayne Gill and Glen Ruth
Hey, it’s two jobbers that I know pretty well. The Smoking Guns do most of the offense here. Bart hits a sweet looking knee drop that highlights this. That is, until the Guns bust out their finisher which is a back drop into a piledriver. Sick idea.

Winners: The Smoking Guns in 4:22
More fun than our previous squash. The Guns did some solid jobber killing here and were more enjoyable than usual. 

We go to a short Ludvig Borga hype video before cutting to a pre-recorded Lex Luger interview. They talk about how he’s so patriotic but don’t go into the questions we want. You know, like why did he suddenly stop being a narcissist? Luger gets his title shot at SummerSlam, but has to wear a pad over his loaded forearm. The highlight here was a guy who nearly walked into the background of the shot, but notices and awkwardly backs out.

Doink the Clown vs. Phil Apollo
Doink is one of the better guys to watch in squash matches because he’s damn good. Vince McMahon steals the whole thing by saying that during his interview with Lex Luger next week, he will ask about steroids. Well hot damn. Whoopee Cushion wins this.

Winner: Doink in 2:31
Again, nothing special, but not bad. *

Doink the Clown gets on the microphone and calls Macho Man into the ring. He’s not pleased with the fact that Macho Man interfered in his match against Marty Jannetty. He challenges Macho Man to a match next week and Savage quickly agrees. Two more Doinks appear and they all laugh to close things.

Overall: 3/10; Poor. Not much of note happened here. I’m looking forward to Doink vs. Randy Savage next week, but this stuff was rough. The Bret Hart/Bigelow match heavily disappointed and everything else was a squash. Throw in the terribleness that was Jerry Lawler and you have a show that wasn’t enjoyable.

Raw History
Episode #28
August 2nd, 1993 | Castle Recreation Center in New York | Attendance: 1,000

This show was pre-recorded on July 25th. Vince McMahon and Bobby Heenan are doing things on commentary since Macho Man is in action later. Macho Man promises a little surprise later tonight. I wonder if he told the same thing to Elizabeth and Gorgeous George.

Non-Title Match
WWF Tag Team Champions The Steiner Brothers vs. Barry Horowitz and Duane Gill
Interesting to note that within a few years, both Horowitz and Gill would get slight pushes, while the Steiners would return to WCW until its dying days. Scott has been excellent at killing jobbers and he hits a big belly to belly on Barry before a pump handle slam on the future Gillberg. Frankensteiner connects to end this.

Winners: WWF Tag Team Champions The Steiner Brothers in 2:45
I prefer when the Steiner Brothers demolish jobbers, but this was still fine. 

Footage of the sit-down interview with Lex Luger is shown. He talks about himself and his past. Unfortunately, Lex Luger is a pretty boring guy, making this a pretty boring segment.

Adam Bomb w/ Johnny Polo vs. Tony Roy
As Adam Bomb walks out, commentary discusses the contract signing next week for the epic Luger/Yokozuna SummerSlam match. Heenan suggests it will end in a melee which shocks Vince McMahon. If he only knew how every contract signing over the next 20 years would end. Vince changes to discuss an upcoming movie on the USA Network. Adam Bomb manhandles Roy throughout and wins with the powerbomb.

Winner: Adam Bomb in 2:18
I will still never understand why Adam Bomb didn’t get a better push in 1993. In a company that that was needing big looking guys post steroid scandal, Bomb fit the mold and could actually work. 

We get promotion for a “HUGE” match next week. It’s Tatanka vs. Mr. Hughes. Oh my god, that is going to suck something fierce.

Doink the Clown vs. Macho Man Randy Savage
Macho Man is in full one patriotic gear as if he was the one riding the Lex Express. That sounded wrong. Savage wisely checks under the ring for other Doinks. Doink quickly goes to the eyes, so Savage tries to get a chair so show how pissed he is, but the referee stops him. Doink goes to a Boston Crab but Savage gets free. As Doink goes after the leg, Vince says he’s targeting the weakened back. It’s like he doesn’t even watch the matches. Savage starts to rally and knocks Doink outside and we go to commercial. Poor timing for sure. Returning, Doink has Savage in an interesting neck submission. Moving from that, Doink gets two on a nice belly to belly. He goes for the Whoopee Cushion but Savage moves out of the way. He throws Savage outside, and Randy goes under the ring. Doink expects Savage to sneak out the other side, but it’s a midget Macho Man instead. Doink, perfectly in character, finds this hilarious. That’s Savage’s “little surprise”. The real Macho Man gets back in the ring and wins with an inside cradle.

Winner: Macho Man Randy Savage in 11:22
Fun little match here. Not the best from either guy, but Savage wasn’t given the chance to work enough during this era. The midget was a fun spot here before it became tired and terrible during the Dink run. ***


Time for the SummerSlam Report, led by Mean Gene. Newly added to the card is Shawn Michaels defending the Intercontinental Title against Mr. Perfect. This has been brewing since WrestleMania IX and was billed as the “Greatest Intercontinental Title Match”. It didn’t quite turn out that way.

Ted Dibiase joins us via telephone and he’s not happy. Vince McMahon shows footage from Wrestling Challenge, where the 1-2-3 Kid bested Dibiase thanks to a distraction from Razor Ramon. The crowd popped hard for another upset from the Kid. The Kliq pulls a fast one.

In a completely shocking moment, Jim Cornette walks down to the ring to make his WWF debut! Bobby Heenan loves this and nearly falls over going to give him love. Heenan puts over Cornette as the greatest manager in wrestling, to which Cornette says that’s only because Heenan retired. It’s so strange to hear Vince McMahon discuss another promotion on air, as he mentions Smokey Mountain Wrestling. He puts over SMW and his tag team, the Heavenly Bodies, who want to challenge the Steiner Brothers. Great promo and it’s good to see Cornette because the man could flat out talk. He goes and joins commentary.

Mr. Perfect vs. Barry Hardy
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but Barry Hardy’s blonde mullet is out there. He actually takes down Perfect and tries the gum spit and swat. He whiffs because he’s not Mr. Perfect. The rest of the match is just Perfect getting in his offense, and he strangely removes some of Hardy’s attire. Maybe he’s still bitter about Bret Hart doing it to him at SummerSlam 1991.

Winner: Mr. Perfect in 2:39
Completely basic squash, but Mr. Perfect doing one is more enjoyable than someone normal. 

Overall: 6/10; Average. A definite swing in the right direction for this show. Doink vs. Savage was a good match and the squash matches were all fine. The Steiner Brothers, Mr. Perfect and Adam Bomb were all acts that I enjoyed during the time, so that was okay. Jim Cornette’s debut also gets a thumbs up from me.