Saturday, June 11, 2016

Raw History: Episodes #40-42

Raw History
Episode #40
November 15th, 1993 | Fernwood Resort in Bushkill, Pennsylvania

The show opens with a recap of Macho Man going nuts on Crush last Monday night. Vince McMahon informs us that Shawn Michaels has been reinstated and will replace Jerry Lawler at Survivor Series due to some “legal issues.” For those unaware, Jerry was accused of raping a teenage girl.

Non-Title Match
WWF Intercontinental Champion Razor Ramon vs. The Brooklyn Brawler

For being such a famous jobber, I haven’t seen much of the Brooklyn Brawler. He attacks before the bell and puts a hurting on Razor. That obviously doesn’t last long as Razor hits a fallaway slam and gets in the driver’s seat. Surprisingly, Brawler gets in more offense but makes a crucial mistake by setting early and it leads to the Razor’s Edge.

Winner: Razor Ramon in 2:49
A surprisingly solid squash. It was fun to see the Brooklyn Brawler get in more offense than most guys and Razor still was able to win in short order while looking strong. *½ 

Crush cuts a promo backstage on Randy Savage, saying that he’s going to run into trouble for what he did last week. 

An ad runs to promote the “Survivor Series Showdown”, which is not on the WWE Network. Bret Hart gets a rematch at Yokozuna and the WWF Title.

The Headshrinkers w/ Afa vs. Mike Bucci and Mike Maraldo
The jobbers actually get a near fall when they dogpile on top of Fatu. He puts an end to that with a big savant kick. They can win the match fairly quickly but Fatu picks up his opponent before the three. The Headshrinkers put an end to this with a double leg sweep and big splash.

Winners: The Headshrinkers in 4:16
I feel like this lasted a bit too long to be considered an enjoyable squash. They weren’t in their usual jobber killing mode, so this doesn’t score high. ½*

We now get a clip from Superstars, where the “All-Americans” announced their replacement for Tatanka. Lex Luger and the Steiner Brothers reveal that it will be the Undertaker. That is a clear upgrade. Undertaker opening his trench coat to reveal the American flag was cool. Bobby Heenan steals the show with a line of “YOU CAN’T HAVE A PARTNER THAT’S DEAD! THAT’S UNFAIR!” Classic.

Lex Luger vs. Pierre w/ Johnny Polo
Lux Luger attacks at the bell, because he’s far more comfortable as a heel. He’s in charge for a bit with some of his signature SCREAMING CLOTHESLINES! They try a Polo distraction but it backfires when Luger backdrops Pierre on the outside. After a commercial break, it is a successful Polo distraction that turns the tide. Pierre gets two on a diet Vader splash. He moves into a rest hold for a bit since they’re giving them two commercial breaks to work through. Pierre gets two on a piledriver. They’re trying to build up how resilient Lex Luger is, since he continues to kick out. Luger begins to rally, slamming Pierre from the top and tossing Polo from the apron. He hits the LOADED FOREARM and wins.

Winner: Lex Luger in 13:24
Not the worst match but I think it was a bit too long for the quality of these two guys. They did the best I would expect these two to do with this amount of time. **

Pierre is basically dead and is now going to be out of Survivor Series.

Diesel vs. Sid Garrison
Hey, a Sid vs. Diesel match would end up headlining a few Pay-Per-Views in about a year and a half. As expected, Diesel just beats the stuffing out of Garrison. He runs through the few moves that he knows, like a side slam and big boot. Sid Garrison isn’t even worth the Jackknife as he finishes him with an elbow.

Winner: Diesel in 3:23
Your basic squash match. It was absolutely all Diesel and at the very least, it wasn’t really boring. ¾*

Todd Pettengil brings us the Survivor Series Report with no real news.

To close the show, another Jeff Jarrett vignette airs, featuring a cameo from Jacqueline.

Overall: 3/10; Poor. Another lackluster effort for Raw. The squash matches were not of the more entertaining variety and the marquee matchup was decent at best. Also, I feel like the marquee match should either open or close the show. At least the build for Survivor Series was somewhat good.

Raw History
Episode #41
November 29th, 1993 | Westchester County Center in White Plains, New York

Survivor Series has come and gone with Raw being off the air for a week. Side note, I’ve always liked the look of this venue. Vince McMahon and Bobby Heenan are on commentary since Macho Man has been suspended from commentary for the attack on Crush. They run down the show, which sounds pretty good actually.

The Steiner Brothers vs. Mike Khoury and Reno Riggins
Scott Steiner takes down Khoury a few times before pulling out a dragon suplex. Reno gets tagged but wants no part of the Steiners. Scott dropkicks him and then does the damn screwdriver again. Seriously dude, you are killing these guys. He drags Riggins and makes Khoury tag in just so he can suplex him. He ends it with the Frankensteiner.

Winners: The Steiner Brothers in 3:44
I always love me a good Steiner jobber killing. Using a dragon suplex, screwdriver and Frankensteiner made this fun. 

Commentary discusses how Yokozuna was scared of the Undertaker during the main event of Survivor Series, building towards our next big WWF Title program.

Another Jeff Jarrett vignette is shown. He gets kicked out of a talent agency because he’s annoying.

Non-Title Match
WWF Intercontinental Champion Razor Ramon vs. Diesel

Who would have thought in 1993 that these two guys would change the course of wrestling history just two and a half years later? As far as I know, this is their first one on one meeting. Razor tries to go after the arm for some reason but Diesel overpowers him a few times. Diesel goes into his offense like snake eyes, the side slam and a bearhug to wear down Razor. I’m surprised at how one sided this has been, showing that Vince was already into the idea of pushing Diesel. Razor rallies, hitting a bulldog that looks pretty bad. As he calls for the Razor’s Edge, the returning Shawn Michaels attacks him.

Winner via disqualification: Razor Ramon in 5:16
Nowhere near the level they were capable of as shown by their SummerSlam 1994 match. It was a good way of showing how tough Razor was, while showing how dominant Diesel could be.*½ 

Shawn Michaels calls for a piledriver on the Intercontinental Title but the 1-2-3 Kid makes the save. THE KLIQ IS EVERYWHERE! Diesel and Shawn Michaels retreat. These four would have a tag team match on WWF Action Zone in 1994 that was fantastic.

Bam Bam Bigelow w/ Luna Vachon vs. John Crystal
Bigelow dominates this from start to finish. He uses the neck vice, which I never liked. There is definitely some stalling from Bigelow since he doesn’t seem to know what to do to make this last the allotted time they were given. He finally wins with a kick to the skull.

Winner: Bam Bam Bigelow in 3:14
Another relatively dull Bigelow squash. ½*

We go to footage from Wrestling Challenge, where Santa Clause has a gift for Doink. He pulls Dink out of his bag. Hooray, now I get to see the Doink/Dink pairing for the next few months. That was sarcasm if you couldn’t tell.

Vince McMahon is in the ring to announce the 1993 Superstar of the Year. He brings out the runner-up, Lex Luger. This seems like another shining example of Lex Luger being a loser. He can’t win big matches or even an award like this. He thanks the fans and brings out the actual winner, Bret Hart. Bobby Heenan tries to play it off like he thought he’d win, which was odd. His speech is kind of just there and then Luger raises Bret’s arm in victory like the bitch he is.

A clip is shown from Survivor Series where Owen Hart accidentally knocked Bret Hart into the guardrail and it led to him getting pinned. He would be the only Hart eliminated in the match. He was pissed off and then got in Bret’s face after the bell. This would begin the excellent rivalry between him and Bret. Helen Hart sells this very well.

Owen Hart vs. Chris Duffy
Owen Hart is wearing his brother’s trademark glasses, showing off his cocky attitude. While Owen gets in some offense, we are told that Shawn Michaels has challenged the 1-2-3 Kid for next week. Some “we want Bret” chants start. Owen wins with the Sharpshooter in great fashion.

Winner: Owen Hart in 2:40
A fine squash match here. Owen Hart is always entertaining, especially now that he’s turned heel. 

Bobby Heenan tries to interview Owen hart about Bret winning Superstar of the Year and what happened at Survivor Series but Owen just walks off.

Ludvig Borga vs. Scott Taylor
Hey, Scotty 2 Hotty is back! Ludvig Borga misses an elbow but everything that Taylor tries is no sold. Borga then turns him inside out on a clothesline and wins with the torture rack.

Winner: Ludvig Borga in 2:21
Typical stuff from Ludvig Borga. He dominated and at least he didn’t kill time. ¾*

We then get 1-2-3 Kid accepting the challenge of Shawn Michaels. It’s hilarious that he calls him Mr. Michaels.

Overall: 4/10. Weak. While this wasn’t the best of episodes from an in-ring standpoint, I appreciated some of the Survivor Series fallout. The Steiners were fun and we got all of that Kliq action. Owen Hart was a fun addition too as his new heel character was about to become my favorite thing in the company.

Raw History
Episode #42
December 6th, 1993 | Westchester County Center in White Plains, New York

We start with a recap of Shawn Michaels’ attack on Razor Ramon last week before the 1-2-3 Kid made the save, setting the stage for tonight’s match. Bobby Heenan and Vince McMahon then argue about whether or not Shawn Michaels is actually the Intercontinental Champion. Also, Heenan has bene badmouthing Gorilla Monsoon for a few weeks and Monsoon may retaliate tonight.

1-2-3 Kid vs. Shawn Michaels
Shawn Michaels is carrying the Intercontinental Title as he never relinquished it when he was suspended. I’ll never understand why Michaels wore his tights so damn high. The action starts very fast with them only messing up on one awkward spot. Kid springboards out onto Shawn and Vince says he’s never seen that move before, even though I’ve seen Kid do it on Raw already this year. Kid slows things inside and Shawn has trouble breaking free of a headlock. He finally does and uses a head scissors to send Kid outside. Kid tries to dive off the apron but Shawn catches him with a powerslam on the outside. Shawn hits a backbreaker and Kid counters a superplex into a cross body for two. Shawn continue to play the stronger man, which is a nice change of pace for him. Kid hits a big moonsault for two, which is how he beat Razor back in May. He climbs up top and misses a big somersault as they go to another commercial. When we return, Shawn hits a superkick but I guess it still wasn’t his finisher. He signals for the end like Razor Ramon would and hits the Razor’s Edge. He could win, but Shawn instead picks him Kid up. For some reason, Vince thinks that could result in a DQ. He hits a second and out comes Razor in a ridiculous outfit. Shawn runs from Razor and both guys are outside, leading to a double countout.

Double countout in 11:02
Really good stuff here. Their chemistry probably stemmed from their close friendship and Shawn looked determined now that he’s back from suspension. A really fun match here. ***¼

Shawn Michaels runs from Razor Ramon until Diesel lays out Razor. This allows Shawn to hit a Razor’s Edge on the floor to Razor himself. Surprisingly, he even hits a second as officials try to stop him.

Non-Title Match
WWF Tag Team Champions The Quebecers vs. Bert Centano and Mike Walsh

Since Survivor Series has passed, Pierre is now ready to wrestle. I honestly don’t know how replaced him at Survivor Series. A quick look and it was Crush. Anyway I don’t know which jobber is which, but one of them actually hits a nice monkey flip on Pierre. The Quebecers obviously get right back in control and win with their cannonball finisher.

Winners: The Quebecers in 4:21
Not much to write about here. A standard squash with nothing special. It wasn’t dull, so that helped. *

Owen Hart cuts a promo about how everything is about Bret Hart, but he’s coming with a surprise that will make everything be about him.

Doink w/ Dink vs. Tony DeVito
I feel like Tony DeVito has set the jobber record for appearances this year. This is no longer Matt Borne playing Doink, instantly disappointing me. Basically, Doink is going through the motions of boring offense while Dink walks around pulling shenanigans out of his ass. Seriously, it’s dull as hell. He wins with the Whoopee Cushion.

Winner: Doink in 5:51
Who thought this should go nearly six minutes? It was an awful squash, made worse by Dink’s dumb ringside antics. DUD.

Time for yet another Jeff Jarrett vignette. That’s J-E-DOUBLE F. J-A-DOUBLE R-E-DOUBLE T.

A commercial informs us that next week, the Macho Man returns to the ring!

Crush w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Tony Roy
Bobby Heenan says that Mr. Fuji celebrates the anniversary of Pearl Harbor. Damn. Macho Man calls in and it’s more interesting than anything Crush is doing. Vince says that Crush looks awesome, which is the opposite of how I’d say he looks. He seems to have fused his new heel attire with his neon face attire. The phone call connection sucks and it breaks up to the point where we can’t understand anything Savage says. Crush wins and nobody cares.

Winner: Crush in 3:53
As usual with Crush, this is not good. He was never any good. ½*

They get ready to go off the air but Gorilla Monsoon makes his way out to ringside. He gets his revenge on Heenan, dragging him by the collar and physically kicking him out of the arena. This would be the end of Heenan’s WWF run. He and Gorilla came up with this and, according to Heenan, spent an hour or so reminiscing in their hotel after.

Overall: 6/10; Average. Everything after the opener is pretty dreadful in the ring, as the three matches barely manage *½. However, it is memorable for Bobby Heenan’s exit and the marquee matchup delivers as Shawn Michaels and the 1-2-3 Kid have a really good encounter. Worth checking out for the opener and the closing segment.