Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Raw History: Episodes #37-39

Raw History
Episode #37
October 25th, 1993 | Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, New York

Due to the close of last week’s episode, Randy Savage is not on commentary. We see a recap of Crush and Yokozuna’s attack.

Crush w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Phil Apollo
Crush is in his new goofy purple and black gear along with the stupid face paint. To be fair, it’s still a better look than his face gear from earlier in the year. Crush dominates in his typical boring fashion and wins with the coconut crush, which I assume has a new name.

Winner: Crush in 2:48
Crush pretty much is incapable of having an interesting math. This was a dull squash with the only good thing being Bobby Heenan making fun of Randy Savage on commentary. ¼*

Johnny Polo calls Marty Jannetty and the 1-2-3 Kid losers, saying he could beat both with his hands tied behind his back.

1-2-3 Kid vs. Marty Jannetty
This should be pretty good if Marty Jannetty is on form. They start with some good old fashioned WRESTLING! They work some quick stuff, ending with stereo nip ups. STANDOFF! As they continue to work at a fun, fast pace, Johnny Polo shows up at ringside. He trips up Jannetty, giving Kid a near fall. Kid then misses a somersault from the top, giving Jannetty a near fall. Polo now trips up Kid. Jannetty gets mad, but still goes for a pin which made me chuckle. Jannetty nails a snap suplex but his next move is countered into a German suplex. Kid’s offense was far different from most of what the roster was doing at the time. We get a ref bump before Kid kicks the hell out of Marty. He goes for a dive outside but Polo shoves Jannetty into the ring post and Kid hits the mat hard. This leads to a double countout.

Double countout in 10:40
I actually enjoyed this match. It was a bit disappointing considering the two guys in the ring but overall, it was fun. They had a good series of counters though I could have done without the Polo side stuff. ***

After the match, both guys get Johnny Polo and beat him up. No help from the Quebecers for him.

Time for another Jeff Jarrett vignette, where he puts down country singers and says that he’s the best. He calls out the Steiners, Mr. Perfect and the Undertaker. That’s like, four of the five guys I wouldn’t call out on the current roster.

Ludvig Borga vs. Mike Bucci
Ludvig Borga attacks before the start and dominates. He slams Bucci down and drops an elbow, while jawing with the fans in between. He does hit a decent looking shoulder block before using the torture rack to win.

Winner: Ludvig Borga in 3:45
While he dominated, it wasn’t what I want to see from a badass heel in a squash. There was too much downtime and talking with the fans. He should have just abused this guy. ½*

Ludvig Borga gets interviewed by Bobby Heenan about being undefeated. Borga challenges Tatanka and promises to end his streak.

Men on a Mission w/ Oscar vs. Steve Greenman and Tom Mata 
Surprisingly, Men on a Mission is over as hell. Mo starts with Greenman, who looks like Danny McBride. Mo hits an ugly second rope clothesline while commentary tells us that they have a Tag Team Title shot this weekend. Tag comes to Mabel who plods through his offense. The fans chant “hey ho” and “womp there it is”. Outside of that, everything going on is bland. Mabel squashes Mata to end the pain.

Winners: Men on a Mission in 5:32
This sucked hard. Men on a Mission were both so bad and this somehow lasted half as long as Jannetty vs. Kid. Awful. DUD.

We get the Survivor Series Report, telling us of the double main event that was announced last week. They add Bigelow, the Headshrinkers and Bastion Booger take on four Doinks. Riveting. The other new match does sound good though as Razor Ramon teams with the 1-2-3 Kid, Marty Jannetty and Mr. Perfect to take on IRS, Diesel, Rick Martel and Adam Bomb.

Diesel vs. Dan Dubiel
The Diesel push is beginning. With Shawn Michaels gone, he’s getting some in ring time to shine. He seems to forget what move he’s trying and just awkwardly tosses Dubiel. Much like the Ludvig Borga squash, this has some stalling as Diesel can win within a minute but stretches this out. After a while he nails the big boot and Jackknife for the 1-2-3.

Winner: Diesel in 4:02
Another squash match that was uninteresting due to them dragging it out. Blah. ¼*

The battle of undefeated streaks between Tatanka and Ludvig Borga will take place on Superstars. Normally, I’d be upset that I’ll miss a match between two undefeated guys, but it’s Tatanka and Borga, so I’m not fussed.

Overall: 3/10. There is a good match on this show between the 1-2-3 Kid and Marty Jannetty. The problem is that everything else around it sucks something fierce. When the four other matches can’t combine to equal one star, you know there’s a problem.

Raw History
Episode #38
November 1st, 1993 | Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, New York

The show opens to the awful sight of Bastion Booger eating a ton of raw food as Bobby Heenan tries to interview him. Get it? Raw food? Because this show is called Raw?

Non-Title Match
Bastion Booger vs. Razor Ramon

The theme music of Bastion Booger is nothing but fart sounds. Vince McMahon and his love of gross out comedy has never been more evident. He splashes Razor and then does the Friar Ferguson dance. Razor gets pissed that he would remind us of that gimmick and sends him outside. They fight out there for a bit as the crowd tries to rally Razor. Booger applies the bearhug because he’s already blown up. He actually gets a near fall on another splash. Since he has no other offense, Booger goes back to a bearhug. Even Vince calls the match lethargic. Razor finally is able to slam him and calls for the finish. He can’t hit it because Bastion is too fat. When he sits on Razor, the Champion flips it over and scores the win on the rollup.

Winner: Razor Ramon in 7:10
Far too long for a Bastion Booger match. Razor Ramon did the best he could, but there’s nothing positive you can do with Bastion. Not good. ¼*

The Survivor Series Report now airs, led to Todd Pettengil and while I never liked him, he is better than the random guy we had last time. We see a clip from Superstars and the epic clash between Tatanka and Ludvig Borga. With a distraction from Mr. Fuji and the help of a steel chair, Borga ended the undefeated streak of Tatanka. Yokozuna and the Foreign Fanatics attacked and even beat up Lex Luger when he tried to make the save.

Vince McMahon is now in the ring to conduct an interview with the Foreign Fanatics. Jim Cornette handles the talking for his team, which is best considering the cast of characters on this team. They announce that Ludvig Borga will face Scott Steiner next week. They run down Scott before Cornette puts over everyone on the team. Honestly, he’s the only good thing about this entire segment.

Mr. Perfect vs. The Executioner
Man, the WWF really ran the Executioner character for years huh? Mr. Perfect went from hot face at the start of the year to midcard face with no direction. Executioner actually gets in a solid looking hip toss, but he misses a corner splash and Perfect kicks him in the guy, field goal style. He goes into some of his trademark offense for a bit. Vince say something about “has the foot” and it sounds like “how the fuck?” The Perfectplex connects to end this.

Winner: Mr. Perfect in 4:52
Not the best Mr. Perfect squash as it lasted a bit too long, but it was still kind of fun to see him twist the Executioner around like a pretzel at times. *

We get another Jeff Jarrett vignette, where he runs down Billy Ray Cyrus, Razor Ramon, 1-2-3 Kid and Men on a Mission. He promises to send Men on a Mission back to homelessness. Ouch. That’s “J-E’DOUBLE F J-A-DOUBLE R-E-DOUBLE T”.

The Smoking Guns vs. Well Dunn w/ Harvey Wippleman
Well Dunn’s attire looks like they’re wearing g strings. This is interesting since it shouldn’t be an actual squash match considering Well Dunn is a rather legit team. Billy and Bart trade getting in offense and hit a suplex/cross body double team that Timothy Well breaks up. Thanks to some interference from Harvey, Well Dunn is able to work a heat on Bart. When Vince gets mad at them trying a move from the top, Heenan responds with “when the Steiners take a man to the top and throw him into the balcony” nobody says anything. Classic. He also tries to make a joke about “well done” being on “raw”, but it goes WAY over Vince’s head. Billy gets the mild tag and takes out both guys. Harvey ends up causing the DQ to save his boys.

Winners via disqualification: The Smoking Guns in 7:55
Technically, this was fine. They did standard tag formula and worked it well. The heels had the cheap heat from the manager and the crowd was behind the Guns. **

Macho Man calls in as Bobby Heenan makes fun of the fact that he bit his tongue. Macho Man returns to commentary next week.

Adam Bomb w/ Harvey Wippleman vs. Virgil
When the hell does Virgil’s contract finally run out? Vince McMahon always tried to hype Virgil as a threat but he isn’t. He does cause Adam Bomb to regroup for a bit outside. His flurry doesn’t last long as Adam is back on offense. He starts to throw Virgil around, dominating. Virgil tries to rally with a cross body but Adam kind of just avoids it and he crashes. A powerbomb follows to seal the deal.

Winner: Adam Bomb in 5:24
I don’t mind this going five minutes as it wasn’t a total squash and Virgil got in some offense. Still, it’s Virgil and it isn’t very good. *

Overall: 4/10. While the last episode had a higher ceiling, this one was overall slightly more enjoyable. The Booger/Razor match was bad, but everything else was at least watchable and they did a decent job of building towards Survivor Series.

Raw History
Episode #39
November 8th, 1993 | Fernwood Resort in Bushkill, Pennsylvania

This is the first ever Raw in the state of Pennsylvania. There is a hype video to open things for the Scott Steiner/Ludvig Borga match. It features the side profile short promos and Vince McMahon’s voiceover work. 

Ludvig Borga vs. Scott Steiner
In typical Ludvig Borga fashion, he attacks before the bell. He hits a second rope flying clothesline but doesn’t cover, since his goal is to eliminate Scott before Survivor Series. Scott comes back with an impressive show of strength and has the crowd roaring. The fans are eating this up as once Borga works a chinlock, they go right into “USA” chants. Scott just belly to belly suplexes Ludvig because he was a beast. He mostly whiffs on a dropkick, marking the first thing he’s done that doesn’t look good. The Quebecers show up leading into the commercial. Rick comes out to make sure nothing happens while his brother continues to beat Ludvig down. Scott gets multiple near falls while busting Ludvig’s nose open. Ludvig brings Rick in the ring, leading to a giant brawl that ends things.

Winner via disqualification: Ludvig Borga in 10:31
I guess Ludvig Borga wins because, even though he brought in Rick, he ended up eating a suplex. The match itself was solid until the finish, mainly because Scott was being all kinds of awesome. **¼

Another Jeff Jarrett vignette airs.

Men on a Mission w/ Oscar vs. Steve Smith and Cory Student
Mabel starts and dumbass Steve Smith tries to attack. The dude is 500 pounds and you’re a jobber. This won’t end well. Oh my goodness, Men on a Mission do a double dropkick. Mo goes through his atrocious offense before Mabel plants Cory with a DDT. Mo then pushes Mabel onto Cory for the win. That’s it.

Winners: Men on a Mission in 3:35
At least this was shorter than their previous terrible squash. It still sucked though. ¼*

Cut to Todd Pettengil for the Survivor Series Report! Tatanka is kayfabe injured and needs to be replaced. That replacement will be announced on Superstars. Bret Hart cuts a promo on how Jerry Lawler and his Knights will go down. We also see clips of the Headshrinkers getting ready for a match on Superstars when multiple Doinks appeared on the screen. They announce one of the weirdest matches in WWF history, as the Smoky Mountain Tag Team Titles will be on the line when the Rock n Roll Express take on the Heavenly Bodies.

Rick Martel vs. John Paul
This is just being lazy with the jobber names. Rick Martel takes this lightly and for good reason as he pretty much dominates. He wins with the Boston Crab.

Winner: Rick Martel in 2:52
Standard squash. It was kept short and Rick Martel did it right. *

Knowing that Crush is coming out, Macho Man goes nuts and has to be held back by Vince McMahon. Savage shoves McMahon to the ground and attacks Crush. A bunch of officials have to run out to make the save but they continue to brawl until a commercial.

Barry Horowitz vs. Bob Backlund
Both of these guys would actually be headed towards pushes over the next two years. While they work some ground based stuff, macho Man comes back to a massive pop. He threatens Heenan but doesn’t beat him up. Clearly the match doesn’t matter as we see Crush burst out of his locker room and Macho Man runs to the back to attack him. They don’t even bother to show us a finish to the match.

They hype next week’s episode as this one ends.

Overall: 2.5/10. Even though the opener wasn’t anything special, it was a solid start with some fun Scott Steiner work. After that, show fell off a cliff. Men on a Mission suck, the Martel squash was there and the last match didn’t even have a finish.