Friday, May 13, 2016

Raw History: Episodes #34-36

Raw History
Episode #34
October 4th, 1993 | New Haven Coliseum in New Haven, Connecticut

Intercontinental Battle Royal
Only a select few guys get an entrance. Unfortunately, Mr. Perfect isn’t one of them. Macho Man is last in and he goes right for Giant Gonzalez. He and everyone else eliminates the giant first. Nobody else goes out for a while as it is just guys trying to and failing. Diesel tosses out Mabel on his own in a preview of the 1995 SummerSlam main event. Razor dumps out IRS. Right before a commercial, Diesel is dumped by Mr. Perfect and when we return, Bob Backlund is eliminated. Action wise, there isn’t anything groundbreaking happening. Marty Jannetty goes out, but somehow MVP is still in this thing. Dumbass Tatanka charges Bigelow, who ducks and he’s gone. Good, keep him away from any belts. Bigelow is out as well, leaving Razor, Martel, MVP, Owen, the Quebecers, Savage and Adam Bomb. As I type that, Owen gets rid of MVP. After Owen is gone, the four heels turn their attention to Razor and Savage. Savage is able to make Adam Bomb go over, but then all of the heels, including Bomb, get rid of him. I would have much rather seen a Savage/Adam Bomb program instead of Savage/Crush. Razor is in trouble, being left alone with the Quebecers and Martel. As one would expect, Razor finds a slight opening to turn the tide after a few glimpses of false hope. He gets rid of both Quebecers to set the stage for the finals next week.

Winners: Razor Ramon and Rick Martel in 19:20
Your basic battle royal except for the fact that the ending is anti-climactic. Having Razor Ramon overcome the heels was a smart move, but making it so the final two guys meet next week felt like it was lacking. It seems unfinished. Also, the final two could have been better. Razor was built up for this but Martel feels random. Outside of that and some slowness early on, this was acceptable. **

The Heavenly Bodies w/ Jim Cornette vs. Scott Thomas and Mark Taylor
When they made their debut, the Heavenly Bodies had a damn good squash. It’s more of the same here. They bust out some nice double teams, a delayed suplex and even a second rope spinebuster. Bobby Heenan spends the match discussing the Rock n’ Roll Express making their debut soon. Odd times for sure. Their finisher is odd though as Pritchard clotheslines Del Rey as he does a DDT. Surely you could find a better way to get the same result than to hit your partner.

Winners: The Heavenly Bodies in 3:38
The Heavenly Bodies have had better squash matches than any team not named the Steiners. 

A clip from Superstars is shown where Doink and Bigelow kind of got into it because of Doink’s antics. Doink throws confetti at him and Bigelow threatens him. After he leaves, Luna tries to talk trash so Doink pours water on her. Bigelow comes back to fight but Doink continues to make him look like a joke.

Doink the Clown vs. Cory Student
Face Doink is not something I was really a fan of. Before the bell, he toys around with Bobby Heenan again. He goes to throw water but instead its popcorn. As Doink beats up his opponent, Heenan says he had 200 pounds of popcorn thrown on him, despite it being a tiny bucket. Doink wins with the Whoopee Cushion.

Winner: Doink the Clown in 1:56
He’s had far better squashes. The face version didn’t speak to me. ½*

Bigelow and Luna come out to fight Doink but are stopped by security. Bigelow takes his anger out on Doink’s wagon.

Overall: 4.5/10; Below average. I wasn’t a big fan of this episode. It was heavily dominated by one match, which actually wasn’t too bad but the rest wasn’t too great. The Heavenly Bodies were fine but the face Doink stuff was pretty blah.

Raw History
Episode #35
October 11th, 1993 | New Haven Coliseum in New Haven, Connecticut

A quick recap of last week’s battle royal opens things. Commentary is the usual trio.

WWF Intercontinental Championship
Razor Ramon vs. Rick Martel

Bobby Heenan still calls Razor Ramon “Desi Arnez.” They go through some exchanges until Razor busts out the fallaway slam early. Martel takes a breather outside but is still on the bad end when he gets back in. Martel starts to go after Razor’s back, which Vince calls a problem area, though we’ve never heard about that before. It makes sense since his finisher is the Boston crab, so you don’t need to make something like that up. They go through a series of near falls after Razor counters the Boston crab. Razor manages to shakes off the back work and hit the Razor’s Edge to become champion.

Winner and New WWF Intercontinental Champion: Razor Ramon in 10:48
Solid effort from both guys. The match wasn’t a classic by any means but it was a good marquee match for this episode. The back work was wise throughout and the right guy went over.**½ 

The Headshrinkers vs. Tony Morrison and Sid Person
The Headshrinkers spend a fair amount of time doing nothing before getting ready to actually compete. When they do compete, Samu lazily throws Person around. Person ends up knocked out like PJ Walker a while back so they bring in Morrison and finish him with a splash.

Winners: The Headshrinkers in 3:47
Your generic squash with the exception of a good old fashioned jobber killing. That gives the score an extra boost. *

Owen Hart vs. Scott King
We are about a month away from the Owen Hart push starting at Survivor Series. Interestingly, I believe that Owen was ready to quit wrestling but a program with Bret pulled him back in. Owen looks motivated here, busting out a monkey flip, missile dropkick, German suplex, elbow and wins with a Northern lights suplex.

Winner: Owen Hart in 3:37
Well somebody certainly knows how to entertain in his squash matches. He used it to showcase his moveset and it was fun. 

Ludvig Borga is out for an interview with Vince McMahon. He starts by saying that USA stands for “U Stink America”. He badmouths America until Lex Luger, fresh off of choking against Yokozuna, comes out to defend his country. Anti-American gimmicks are absolutely lazy and usually suck hard. Macho Man is the best thing about this as he manages to make it sound exciting. Borga says they will fight on his terms, which causes Luger to freak out as Borga leaves.

Adam Bomb w/ Harvey Wippleman vs. Ross Greenberg
Harvey Wippleman is now the manager of Adam Bomb after working a deal out with Johnny Polo. Bomb tosses Greenberg around a bit before showing off his athleticism with a standing dropkick. I still don’t get why Adam wasn’t pushed more. He slingshots in with a shoulder lock before ending things with the Adam Smasher.

Winner: Adam Bomb in 2:33
Another solid squash match here. Adam Bomb was an impressive specimen and he made sue that none of this was dull. *

The Rock n’ Roll Express vs. Duane Gill and Barry Hardy
It’s so strange seeing the Smoky Mountain Tag Team Champions on Raw. Is Barry a cousin of Jeff and Matt? Robert Gibson starts before tagging out and running a double team. The crowd seems to be enjoying them. Morton actually gets an early pin that doesn’t win this as it gets broken up. They win following a double dropkick.

Winners: The Rock n’ Roll Express in 1:54
Nothing special. The Rock n’ Roll Express’ offense was a bit too old school even for 1993. ½*

Overall: 6/10; Average. A decent episode here. The marquee match was solid and all of the squashes, outside of the last one, were enjoyable. About what I’ve come to expect from most episodes of Raw.

Raw History
Episode #36
October 18th, 1993 | Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, New York

In the cheesiest of fashion, Vince McMahon does a voiceover for images of significant summits in history. He then says that the biggest of them all happens tonight when Crush comes face to face with Randy Savage. Wow.

The Steiner Brothers vs. PJ Walker and Tony DeVito
Right at the start, Scott Steiner takes DeVito over. The Steiners and Headshrinkers have been competing for best jobber killers on Raw so far this year. Scott tries to win a full nelson suplex on DeVito. Rick wants his shot and throws Walker around before tagging in Scott for a dropkick. Commentary calls Walker by the name of Student. Scott points to Macho Man and does the fucking Screwdriver! Oh my god. They make DeVito tag in to finish him off.

Winners: The Steiner Brothers in 3:06
Seriously, that was fun. It gets bumped up an extra point because Scott did a screwdriver. Like, that was worth this episode alone. **

There is a hotline that you can call whether or not you want Shawn Michaels’ suspension lifted. Mr. Perfect and Diesel plead their cases for their sides.

IRS vs. Scott Taylor
IRS cuts a pre-match promo about the fans being tax cheats. Stop me if you’ve heard that before. For some reason it seems like he will be Razor Ramon’s first IC Title program. Yuck. Since it’s IRS and he doesn’t know how to be entertaining, he applies a chinlock in a squash match. He wins with the Write Off.

Winner: IRS in 3:30
IRS continues to have the most uninteresting squash matches ever. ¼*

Vince McMahon now takes us to a vignette introducing “Double J” Jeff Jarrett. He will be using the WWF to springboard his country music singing career.

We also see the camera awaiting the arrival of Crush, though it’s at an “emergency exit only” door. Once Crush turns heel, he breaks all of the rules.

Tatanka vs. Mike Sharpe
Before the match, footage is shown of Tatanka and Ludvig Borga getting into it on Superstars. While I don’t like Tatanka, I love me some Mike Sharpe. He goes right into the loud selling, stealing the show. Macho Man has done a great job all night in barely talking to build the tension for his issue with Crush. He even brings up his old friendship with Hulk Hogan and dares him to meet him face to face, calling him a backstabber. Tatanka stays undefeated with the Samoan drop.

Winner: Tatanka in 3:00
Pretty much every single Tatanka squash ever, made slightly better by Mike Sharpe’s selling technique. *

With Mean Gene Okerlund gone, we go to Joe Fowler, who I don’t remember, for the Survivor Series Report. He explains the Survivor Series concept, citing that for the reason why it sold out in under an hour with no matches announced. They announce the All-Americans (Lex Luger, Tatanka and the Steiner Brothers) vs. the Foreign Fanatics (Yokozuna, Ludvig Borga and the Quebecers) and the Hart Family (Bret, Owen, Bruce and Keith Hart) vs. the King and his Knights (Jerry Lawler and mystery partners) as a double main event.

Crush has arrived!

Bam Bam Bigelow w/ Luna Vachon vs. Dennis Diamond
Diamond has the 70’s pornstar look working for him. Bigelow gets all of the offense while the commentators focus on Crush and Savage. We also find out that 60% of the voters so far want HBK to stay suspended. So 3 out of 5? Bigelow wins with a diving headbutt.

Winner: Bam Bam Bigelow in 3:00
Better than the last Bigelow squash as it didn’t last too long. Still was rather dull though. ¾*

Bobby Heenan is in the ring to bring out Crush. Crush surprises many by appearing with Mr. Fuji. Crush says that Macho Man was a good friend but once he surpassed Savage, the Macho Man couldn’t handle it. That is one of the most delusional statements I’ve ever heard. He brings up the fact that Yokozuna crushed him with four Banzai drops and Macho man didn’t pull him out until after the fourth one. Macho Man gets in the ring, telling Crush that he’s making a mistake. He wants Crush to shake his hand, which Crush does, upsetting Fuji and Heenan. Of course, Crush decides to turn around and attack him in the aisle. Crush continues the assault, even causing Savage to bleed from the mouth. Yokozuna and Jim Cornette show up as well. Yokozuna hits a Banzai Drop to cap things.

Overall: 3/10; Poor. Outside of the fun Steiners opener and Mike Sharpe’s selling, I liked almost nothing about this. While the final segment came off about as good as one can expect, it’s hard to take Crush seriously in this angle.