First, I would like to deny the rumors that I am a masochist. I only say this because not only am I reviewing WCW Worldwide from 1993 and ECW but now I will review the Best of RAW starting from 1993 as well. My pain is your pleasure. Let’s go back in time and enjoy the birth of Monday Night RAW!
A graphic is shown noting that the first eight episodes were taped on 1/11/93. Wow, I bet that was a long night.
Sean Mooney welcomes us live from outside the Manhattan Center. Bobby Heenan walks by stating that he wants to be a part of Monday Night RAW. Mooney notifies Bobby that Rob Bartlett has taken his place. To quote Bobby, “I don’t care about Rob Bartlett!” Neither do we nowadays. Mooney tries to stop Bobby from entering stating it’s sold out.
The original opening is played.
Vince McMahon welcomes us to Monday Night RAW alongside Randy “Macho Man” Savage and Rob Bartlett. The Steiners will be in action. Also we will see an interview with Razor Ramon. (Steiners match and Ramon interview are not shown.) Bartlett has high hopes for the match between Koko B. Ware and “Yokozuma.” Great debut there, Rob. Savage states that Damien Demento will face the Undertaker.
Match 1: Koko B. Ware versus Yokozuna (w/ Mr. Fuji and geishas)
Koko comes to the ring to Owen Hart’s music. The geishas honor Yokozuna with flowers and a bow. Rob mentions that Yokozuna should spend less time at the sushi bar and more time at the salad bar. Good insight indeed unfortunately. At this point in Yokozuna’s career he is not only undefeated but also has never been taken off his feet! Yokozuna is listed at 505 pounds according to Vince. Rob zings Yokozuna saying that his “ass is like an amphitheater.” Vince chimes in with RAW being “uncooked.” Savage follows with “uncensored.”
Yoko stalls with some Sumo stretches. Collar and elbow tie-up sends Koko to the corner after a shove. A second one achieves the same result. A running shoulderblock by Koko but Yokozuna doesn’t budge. In fact Koko bounces off like he hit a brick wall! A second try at a running shoulderblock also comes up empty. Koko tries a dropkick but that only puts Yokozuna back a step. Another one puts him against the ropes. Koko tries coming off the ropes but eats the top rope as Yokozuna sidesteps him.
Yokozuna comes off the ropes and delivers a legdrop. He picks him up, grabs him by the throat, and throws him into the corner. Avalanche squishes Koko in the corner. Koko staggers out, but Yokozuna just pushes him down. Banzai drop dispels all the air out of Koko’s pants for the pinfall. DUD
A graphic is shown stating that Damien Demento’s record on RAW was 1-4. His only win came against “Jumping” Jim Brunzell formerly of Killer Bee fame.
Match 2: Damien Demento versus the Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer)
Damien is already in the ring as the Undertaker’s ominous music begins. They stare each other down to start. Damien slaps the Undertaker. Methinks that wasn’t very wise. A series of rights stagger the Undertaker. Irish whip leads to the Undertaker slamming Demento’s head to the canvas. He sends Demento’s head to the top turnbuckle then twists his arm. He backs up to the corner to mount the top rope while maintaining control on the arm. He walks the top rope and comes off with a sledge to the shoulder. At this point I’m glad Michael Cole isn’t calling this match.
Another ram of the head to the turnbuckle by the Undertaker. He then chokes Demento in the corner. He sends Demento to the opposite corner but eats boot on his way in. Demento comes off the second rope with a double-axehandle then off the ropes with a running shoulderblock. An Irish whip leads to an attempted clothesline but the Undertaker ducks and steamrolls Demento. Tombstone by the Undertaker finishes him off. DUD
Our next graphic takes us to Monday, January 25. Mr. Perfect is shown with the little known fact that he had the longest Intercontinental title reign of the 1990s.
Match 3: Loser Leaves Town: Ric Flair versus Mr. Perfect
Heenan is on commentary for this match with Vince. Staredown to start. Collar and elbow tie-up ends up in the corner. Flair shoves Perfect but gets slapped in return. Another shove causes another slap. They tie-up again and Flair grabs a quick headlock. Perfect backs Flair into the ropes but gets shoulderblocked. Immediately thereafter Perfect drop-toeholds Flair coming off the ropes. Each gets up and Perfect slaps Flair. Perfect shuffles so Flair retreats to the outside.
Flair briefly consults with Heenan at ringside. Instead of receiving a hammer from Heenan Flair tries a hammerlock but gets reversed. Flair drop-toeholds Perfect and floats over into a front facelock. Perfect reverses again into a hammerlock. They stand up and Flair lands an elbow to the head in the corner followed by two chops. Perfect returns fire with fire on Flair. Four chops later and we get a Flair Flop.
Flair begs off in the corner. The game of human chess continues as both men cautiously size each other up. Again they tie-up and Flair grabs another headlock. He takes him to the mat, but suddenly Perfect puts him in a headscissors. Flair pops right out and both men are at a stalemate.
Another lockup and Flair knees Perfect in the breadbasket. He takes him to the corner then chops and punches him. Perfect again reverses and lays chops into Flair. Left jabs put Flair down a few times. Flair stalls in the corner again. A test of strength is teased, but Flair gives Perfect an eyepoke. He then vaults Perfect over the top rope! Flair grabs a chair at ringside, but Earl Hebner takes the chair away before Flair can waffle Perfect with it. Flair argues with Hebner as we take a break.
We return and Flair hammers Perfect on the canvas. Flair whips Perfect from one corner to the other. Perfect flips over the turnbuckle to the floor! Perfect is busted open. Hebner checks on Perfect, but Flair grabs him by the hair to bring him back in. He works him over in the corner, tells Earl to keep quiet, and whips Perfect to the opposite corner with some mustard on it. Bobby woos his approval.
Flair applies a half-nelson in a pin attempt while putting his feet on the ropes. He gets a couple of 2 counts. In true dick fashion he argues with Hebner with his lower leg draped on Perfect’s throat. He allows Perfect to get to his feet only to give him some boot laces on his face. Perfect tries to land a fist off the ropes but Flair chops him. They exchange blows and Flair kicks him to take control. He whips him to the corner but gets reversed. Coming out of the corner Perfect gives him the Axe! Perfect somersaults on top of Flair and gets a 2 count.
Perfect tries to follow-up but Flair goes downstairs to take advantage. An Irish whip leads to an attempted hiptoss, but Perfect reverses into a struggle over a backslide. He only succeeds in getting a 2 count. After another reversed Irish whip Flair gets backdropped coming out of the corner. He begs off again, but Perfect pulls him feet first to the middle of the ring. Mounting the second turnbuckle he gives Flair 5 punches with the crowd counting along. Flair evens the odds with an inverted atomic drop that appears to be low.
Flair schoolboys Perfect for another 2 count. He then rolls to the outside. When Flair returns to the apron Perfect chops then suplexes him back in and gets another 2 count. Flair retreats again to the corner only to sucker Perfect with a kick to the midsection. Flair gets a sleeper off the ropes. Perfect starts to fade but passes the arm test on the third try. He gets up, uses momentum to break the hold in the corner, and rams Flair’s head into the turnbuckle. Flair collapses to the mat.
Honestly, you cannot tell who will win this match. An Irish whip is reversed and a leapfrog spot is botched. Perfect grabs a sleeper to compensate and gets a couple of two counts. Flair gets to his feet and gives Perfect a belly-to-back suplex to counter. Flair grabs Perfect by the leg and applies the figure-four. He grabs the top rope for more leverage. He gets a couple more two counts until Hebner sees Flair’s cheating and breaks the hold. Flair kicks Perfect in the leg a few times then chops him. He snapmares him down and heads to the top. Unfortunately for Flair Perfect catches him and slams him to the canvas. We take another break.
We return as Perfect limps across the ring to a kneeling Flair. While Hebner holds Perfect back Flair pulls some brass knuckles out of his knee pad then waffles Perfect with them! An elbowdrop leads to yet another 2 count only because Perfect puts his foot on the bottom rope. Flair rehooks him but only gets another2 count. He pounds the cut on Perfect’s head several times, sets Perfect up in the corner, and chops him again. Despite the punishment Perfect absorbs the blows. He limps after Flair and chops him in the opposite corner. He whips Flair to the other corner and backdrops him.
Another Axe puts Flair down again on the canvas. Subsequently another whip to the corner by Perfect leads to a Flair Flip. He keeps his balance on the apron and mounts the top turnbuckle. Unfortunately he receives a clothesline for his troubles. Perfect gets another 2 count out of it.
Flair trips him up by grabbing both legs and gets some 2 counts with his legs on the ropes. Hebner catches Flair cheating again and kicks his legs off the ropes. Perfect uses the momentum to cradle Flair for another 2 count. He whips him once more and hooks the Perfectplex for the upset victory! Perfect wins! Flair has to leave the WWF! Heenan is in such disbelief the censors work overtime to shelter us from Bobby’s swearing. He leaves with Flair. Oh my God! What a match! ****3/4
Our next graphic takes us to February 1 and shows us that Andre the Giant was the first WWE superstar ever to be featured in Sports Illustrated.
Howard Finkel announces the death of Andre the Giant (1946-1993). A 10-bell salute is rung.
Our next graphic tells us that Lex Luger signed a contract to play for the Green Bay Packers. He never played a game for them and was not listed on their roster.
Lex Luger comes to the ring. While he admires himself in the mirror a rather large woman wearing a swimsuit and sunglasses holds up a sign stating “Why cook at home? We’ve got it RAW.”
A vignette hosted by Minnesota Vikings tight end Steve Jordan is shown. He showcases “the perfect passer” Mr. Perfect. He completes every pass he throws to Jordan. He then throws the perfect bomb pass to…himself!
Match 4: “The Narcissist” Lex Luger versus Jason Knight
Luger locks up with Knight and pushes him back into the corner. He then executes an armdrag and celebrates. They lock up again so Luger grabs a hammerlock. Knight tries to escape by going to the corner. Seemingly Luger gives the clean break only to give Knight a knee to the mid-section soon thereafter. An Irish whip to the opposite corner is reversed by Knight. He eats boot on a blind charge though. Luger then left-arm clotheslines him then drops him on the top rope. He whips Knight into the ropes and powerslams him. After another whip he gives him the running forearm. He picks him up only to knock him back down with a right hand. Arrogantly he pins Knight with his pinky finger. After the match Luger gives Knight the giant swing. DUD
Our next graphic takes us to February 15 and lets us know that fans used to chant “Fruitcake” to incite Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake.
Match 5: “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase (w/ Jimmy Hart) versus Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake
DiBiase tries to lock up but Beefcake struts in the other direction. They circle and Ted tries again only to get psyched out once more. They finally lock up and Brutus uses DiBiase’s momemtum to send him into the turnbuckle. Kneelift and some rights put DiBiase in control. He tries to punch Beefcake coming off the ropes but misses. Beefcake returns fire and sends him outside the ring.
DiBiase comes back in but Beefcake grabs and cinches a standing headlock on him. Ted shakes him off and drops down. Beefcake jumps over him, stops, and nails him with three right hands. Those send DiBiase to the floor once again. Ted is extremely furious outside the ring. Beefcake then shows DiBiase what he can kiss.
Back inside DiBiase takes control with a kick to the midsection and some clubbing forearms to the back. He tries to ram Beefcake’s head into the top turnbuckle but gets blocked. Instead he gets his head rammed into it. Beefcake goes back to the standing headlock to maintain control. IRS comes to ringside. DiBiase tries to shake off Beefcake but Brutus hangs on.
The crowd chants “Irwin.” As if on cue DiBiase shoots Beefcake off the ropes and IRS wallops him with the Halliburton. Referee Joey Marella sees the interference and calls for the DQ. IRS comes in the ring and he and DiBiase put the boots to Beefcake. DiBiase holds Beefcake’s arms from behind so that IRS can smash his newly repaired face to pieces. Jimmy Hart tries to talk IRS out of it but gets shoved down. Viciously IRS nails Beefcake in the face with the Halliburton! Jimmy Hart checks on Brutus while DiBiase laughs about it. They try to hit him again, but Jimmy Hart talks them out of it. As he leaves the ring DiBiase utters: “Welcome back, Beefcake!” Brutus exits via stretcher. A puddle of blood lies on the mat where Beefcake was struck. **
Our next graphic takes us to February 22 and informs us that Hulk Hogan never competed in a match on RAW until he returned in 2002.
Vince McMahon is in the ring and introduces Hulk Hogan. He describes his emotions during the Beefcake match from last week and lets us know that Beefcake is OK. Furthermore, he gives thanks to God and Jimmy Hart for helping Brutus. Hulk wants to “right the wrong” against IRS and DiBiase. He then introduces Beefcake who is wearing a bandage on his supposedly broken nose. He also praises God and Jimmy Hart. Hogan then introduces their new manager…Jimmy Hart! Jimmy then states that Hogan and Beefcake “will be the greatest tag team of all time.” He then warns Money Inc. to say their prayers. Hogan calls his team “the MegaManiacs.” He poses to end the segment.
Our next graphic takes us to March 1 and informs us that the scar on Fatu’s stomach was caused by a drive-by shooting in 1987.
Match 6 for the WWF title: Bret “The Hitman” Hart (champion) versus Fatu (w/ Afa)
Rob Bartlett impersonates Elvis during this match. I heave my dinner. Collar and elbow tie-up goes nowhere to start. A second tie-up leads to a headlock by Bret. Fatu shakes him off. Bret tries a running shoulderblock to no avail. He tries a high cross-body but Fatu catches and slams him. A running elbowdrop misses, and Bret controls with an armdrag and armbar.
Fatu sends Bret into the corner. He charges but misses the elbow to the head. Bret takes him down with another armdrag. Fatu shoots Bret off him into the ropes. Bret again tries to shoulderblock him, but Fatu won’t budge. A second one succeeds however. Dastardly Afa hooks Bret coming off the ropes, and Bret goes down in a heap clutching his knee.
But Bret is playing possum and rolls Fatu up for a 2 count. He continues to control with an armbar. Fatu picks him up and slams him, but Bret holds on to the arm and Fatu’s momentum takes him over. Fatu shoots him off but misses a clothesline. Bret rams Fatu’s head into the mat. Fatu no-sells it and gives Bret a savate kick to the face. It only gets a 2 count. Fatu then headbutts Bret. After an Irish whip they each try a hiptoss then Fatu clotheslines him to the canvas.
Fatu maintains control with a nerve pinch. Bret tries to elbow out of it, but Fatu throws him down by the hair. Fatu delivers a couple of shots to the head before returning to the nerve pinch then proceeds to bite Bret on the face. Bret then comes off the ropes but Fatu gives him an elbow to knock him back down.
Samu comes to ringside. Fatu whips Bret into the ropes but misses the clothesline. Bret gets a 2 count off a flying bodypress. The kickout by Fatu sends Bret to the floor. Afa distracts the referee so that Samu can slam Bret on the outside. He then headbutts him twice on the floor and rams his head into the steel steps. We take a break.
We return with Bret still on the outside. Fatu joins him and rams Bret’s head into the apron. Both men re-enter the ring. Fatu headbutts and gives him 3 elbows to the head in the corner. A whip by Fatu sends Bret back-first into the opposite corner. A backbreaker by Fatu earns him another 2 count. Once again Fatu rams Bret into the corner back-first and dives twice with headbutts. Fatu bites Bret again then delivers a piledriver! However, it only nets a 2 count! Fatu bites Bret on the nose again. Bret is bleeding.
Fatu kicks Bret in the corner. He then rams Bret sternum-first into the opposite corner and gives him another headbutt followed by a sidewalk slam. From the second turnbuckle Fatu delivers another headbutt. He heads to the top rope, but Bret crotches him. OUCH! He then superplexes Fatu. That gets 2.
He bulldogs Fatu then gives him a backbreaker. Bret comes off the second rope with an elbow then applies the Sharpshooter. Afa gets on the apron to distract the referee. Samu comes in the ring and wallops Bret from behind! He switches with Fatu and covers him but Bret kicks out at 2. The Headshrinkers switch again and Fatu tries to slam Bret. Bret slides out and hooks Fatu in a sleeperhold. Fatu tries to ram Bret into Samu on the apron but gets rammed instead sending Samu to the floor. Bret then Russian legsweeps Fatu and dropkicks Afa off the apron. Bret tries the Sharpshooter again and gets the submission victory! ***
Our next graphic informs us there are several types of circus clowns: White face, Auguste Character, and Hobo with a picture of Doink.
We see the final moments of a match between Doink and Koko B. Ware. Bartlett, er, I mean Elvis with his wig askew tries to interview Doink. Elvis ends up getting a banana cream pie in the face.
Our next graphic informs us of Crush’s Hawaiian roots and diving achievements.
We see Crush on the beaches of Hawaii being interviewed by Vince and Savage who are in studio. Crush destroys a coconut with his bare hands to describe what he’ll do to Doink at WrestleMania.
Our next graphic takes us to March 8 and informs us that Rick Martel was a two-time tag team champion with Tony Garea.
Match 7: “The Model” Rick Martel versus Mr. Perfect
Former AWA champions collide! Collar and elbow tie-up gives us a stalemate. Another tie-up and Martel grabs a standing headlock. Henning shoots him off, but Martel shoulderblocks him down. He hits the ropes again, jumps over Perfect, but gets hiptossed. He quickly kicks Perfect in the face though. Perfect slams Martel, but Rick kicks him in the mush again. Martel slams Perfect but receives the kick in the face this time.
They tie up again and Martel attempts to throw two punches but both get blocked. When Perfect tries to retaliate Martel runs away. Another tie-up leads to a couple knees to the midsection by Martel. He forearms Perfect then tries an Irish whip. It gets reversed but instead of receiving punishment by Perfect Martel cartwheels to the side and does jumping jacks.
They try to tie up again but Perfect goes behind only to be reversed quickly by Martel. Perfect grabs a leg but Martel kicks him into the ropes. Perfect cartwheels to the side to mock Martel. After another tie-up to the corner Martel pokes Perfect in the eye. Behind the referee’s back Martel nails Perfect in the throat. Martel gets Perfect in the corner and delivers some more knees to the midsection. He whips him to the corner but gets reversed. A blind charge by Perfect gets knees to the face. A double sledge and a couple of kicks segue into a Northern Lights suplex without the bridge. He then gets a keylock on the arm.
Martel works the arm for a moment until he tries a hammerlock. Perfect reverses the hold. Martel hoists himself over the head of Perfect and tries to run him into the ropes for a rollup. Perfect dodges the ropes sending Martel straight to the floor. We take a break.
When we return Martel is in the ring holding his arm while Perfect is outside the ring. Martel grabs the hair to pull him back in. A shot to the side and some double axehandles to the back put Martel in control. He gutwrench suplexes Perfect and gets a 2 count. He hits him again with a double axehandle but Perfect nails him with a right hand to the chest.
An uppercut is followed by some more shots to the back by Martel. He then applies a rear chinlock. Perfect tries to come back with elbows to the midsection. When he escapes and comes off the ropes Martel knees him in the midsection to put him down. He gives him a backbreaker and goes to the apron. A slingshot splash hits knees to turn the tide again. Perfect gives Martel a headbutt. Martel puts him in the corner and rams his face to the turnbuckle. He Irish whips him and catches him in a breadbasket with a very audible “ooh” from Perfect.
Martel mounts the second turnbuckle but Perfect punches him in the gut. A missed punch by Martel leads to an atomic drop into the top turnbuckle. After Martel turns around, Perfect follows with an inverted atomic drop. Perfect gets fired up and pulls a strap down. He gives Martel a couple of shots and a chop. A whip to the corner enables Perfect to lift Martel into a back body drop. He gives him a knee lift and we take another break.
We return this time to see Perfect exit the ring victoriously. The finish occurred during the break. I’ve never seen that happen before. On the replay Perfect whips Martel but gets reversed. Perfect then hooks the Perfectplex for the victory! ***
Our next graphic takes us to March 22 and informs us that Kamala lost to the Undertaker in the WWE’s first ever coffin match.
Match 8: Doink the Clown versus Kamala (w/ Reverend Slick)
The bell rings and Doink offers Kamala a wrapped present. He puts the present away and takes Kamala down by the legs. He applies an armbar. He hooks the head as well, but Kamala gets to his feet. Single leg takedown allows Doink to elbowdrop Kamala. He continues his advantage with the armbar.
Kamala tries to break free with three chops to the head but Doink rakes the eyes. Another takedown leads to a stomp. He bars the arm some more. Kamala comes back with a throw, a couple of chops, and a kick to the gut. From the corner he whips Doink to the opposite corner and Avalanches him. He gives Doink a double axehandle. We take a break.
We return with Doink in control working on the arm. Kamala comes back with chops and kicks. One chop sends Doink over the top rope to the floor! A chase around the ring ensues. Doink again tries to bribe Kamala with the wrapped present. He grabs the present. Doink slides in the ring, and Kamala is counted out. Kamala discovers the box is empty and chases him. Doink hides under the ring. Kamala follows him. Doink escapes to the other side of the ring and grabs a chair. Kamala tries to come out the same way but Doink nails him. Kamala tries again but Doink uses the chair once more. Kamala exits from another side of the ring apparently unscathed. Kamala wallops Doink in the back with a double axehandle. He grabs the chair and chases him backstage.*
Our next graphic takes us to April 26 and informs us that prior to joining the WWE Crush was trained by Antonio Inoki. During his training Crush was serving with the US Army in Japan.
Match 9: “The Narcissist” Lex Luger versus Crush
We get X-rays of Luger’s arm with the steel plate shown inside. A long collar and elbow tie-up segues into a Crush shove into the corner. Luger tries to psyche out Crush by flexing his arms and pecs. Crush seems undaunted. We get a test of strength now, and Crush gets the early advantage. Luger immediately kicks him in the midsection sending Crush to a knee. He fights back however and kicks Luger a couple of times in the gut. He military presses Luger a couple of times then slams him. Luger bails to the outside and stalls.
Back in the ring they tie-up and go to the corner. Luger gives Crush a right hand to escape. He then gives Crush a couple of elbows to the back. An Irish whip by Luger gets reversed. Crush leapfrogs him and then dropkicks him! He then gives him an armdrag. We take a break.
We return with Luger giving Crush another Irish whip. Luger tries to hiptoss him, but Crush belly-to-belly suplexes Luger! Wow! A motivated Crush is a good thing! A kick to the gut puts Luger in the corner. A whip to the other corner leads to a blind charge where Luger escapes while Crush elbows the top turnbuckle pad.
A running knee to the ribs by Luger puts Crush on the floor. Coming off the apron Luger double axehandles Crush. He then rams Crush’s back into the apron twice. After beating the count he exits the ring so that he can pick Crush up and ram his back into the steel ring post. He throws him in and continues to work on the back.
Luger applies a bearhug. Crush rings Luger’s bell a couple times and punches him to escape. He comes off the ropes and misses a clothesline. Luger catches him on the rebound and powerslams him. It gets a 2 count. Luger tries to suplex Crush a couple of times but gets blocked and reversed. Luger whips and tries to use the steel forearm but Crush ducks, goes behind, and gives Luger a belly-to back suplex.
Luger gets up to back away. He kicks Crush in the gut to take control; however, Crush rakes the eyes to seize it himself. He slams Luger then gives him a standing legdrop. Crush applies the Kona compactor. He gets Luger to the canvas but releases the hold. Why? Because he sees Doink in the stands! He holds the ropes open for him then stands on the second rope yelling at him to come in the ring. Suddenly a second Doink appears in another part of the audience. This distracts Crush so Luger knocks him out of the ring with the steel forearm. Crush is counted out. **1/2
Our next graphic takes us to May 10 and informs us that Howard Finkel’s 1993 Oldsmobile Achieve was damaged during the Michaels-Perfect fight on the streets of Manhattan. It states the retail price in 1993 for the Achieve was $14,000.
Lord Alfred Hayes interviews Shawn Michaels outside the Manhattan Center. The time stamp says 7:12pm. Meanwhile Mr. Perfect shoves Michaels. They start brawling and Perfect throws Michaels into the door of the aforementioned Achieve. They continue brawling until Perfect throws Michaels onto the hood. Several people intervene to stop the fight. Perfect tries to get back to Michaels but is restrained. Michaels jumps back at Perfect but they’re finally pulled apart…at least for now.
Our next graphic informs us that Jim Duggan won the first ever Royal Rumble match in 1988. Initially the Royal Rumble was telecast on the USA Network.
Match 10: Lumberjack match for the Intercontinental Championship: Shawn Michaels (champion) versus “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan
Before Michaels comes out Duggan attacks Yokozuna outside the ring. Shawn comes through the entrance on crutches. Perfect walks to where Michaels is and attacks him. He throws him in the ring and Michaels throws a fit without the need for crutches. Bobby claims a miracle. Duggan forearms Michaels over the top rope.
Immediately Perfect throws Michaels back in and the bell rings to start the match. Shawn tries to kick Duggan but Jim catches the foot, spins him around, and gives him an atomic drop. Heenan makes a big deal out of the fact that Michaels isn’t dressed to wrestle. Speaking of attire the lumberjacks are all wearing red and black plaid lumberjack shirts. Duggan Irish whips Shawn then scoops him up and slams him from pillar to post and then to the canvas. He drops the elbow and goes for the pin. It gets 2.
Duggan rips the t-shirt off Shawn and gives him some rights. The last one has Michaels flailing across the ring. He then gives Michaels a suplex. The crowd chants “Shawn is gay!” Sshh…don’t tell his wife. Duggan whips Shawn from one corner to another and Shawn flips upside-down. After a couple of clubbing forearms to the back he whips Shawn off the ropes and clotheslines him. Duggan picks him up, rams him into the top turnbuckle and works him over. Shawn tries to escape but can’t. Again Michaels is thrown into the ropes. He eats an elbow. Duggan hooks him in a rear chinlock.
After another whip Duggan locks Michaels in a bearhug. He then turns it into a slam but only gets 2 on a pinfall attempt. Michaels rakes the eyes to get a breather. He then loses an exchange of blows. Duggan then hooks Michaels in a front facelock. He breaks the hold only to elbow Shawn in the head. Again Duggan works him over in the corner. Vince and Bobby even make note of the beating Shawn is taking here.
Duggan mounts the second turnbuckle and gets in five punches before Bill Alfonso reaches the 5 count. Shawn staggers to the center of the ring and collapses. Duggan works over Michaels some more against the ropes until Shawn gets tied up in them. Duggan then boots him until he’s free. Michaels then gets sent over the top rope again. As the lumberjacks attempt to get Michaels back in the ring Shawn tries to flee. Perfect and Terry Taylor carry Michaels back to the ring as we take a break.
We return and Duggan whips Michaels off the ropes and bodyslams him. He comes off the ropes but misses a kneedrop. Michaels has removed his boot. He hammers Duggan with it knocking him out of the ring and Alfonso down. The lumberjacks toss Duggan in and Michaels puts the boots to him. He slides Duggan back out only for the lumberjacks to throw him back in. Michaels continues to kick Duggan. He then chokes him on the second rope. Michaels then lands on Duggan’s back Bossman-style.
He whips Duggan but puts his head down. Jim sends Michaels’ head to the mat. Duggan stalks Michaels in the corner but gets his eyes raked. Michaels tries to ram Duggan’s head into the top turnbuckle but gets reversed. Another whip to the corner and the blind charge eats boot. A pinfall attempt gets 2 and Michaels hits the chinlock.
Duggan finally breaks free with three elbows to the midsection. He comes off the ropes, ducks a clothesline, and nails Michaels with his own clothesline. Another whip and Michaels is backdropped high in the air! Duggan then chokes Michaels right in front of Yokozuna. He continues to work over Michaels in the corner then whips to the other corner. Shawn avoids the charging Duggan then mounts the second turnbuckle.
He tries a flying bodypress but Duggan catches him in mid-air. He slams Michaels down “with authority” according to Vince. It only gets a 2 count. Duggan then chinlocks him. The crowd amuses itself with the tomahawk chop. Duggan hits the 3-point stance, but it sends Michaels outside the ring. The lumberjacks take their time getting Michaels back in the ring as we take another break.
We return with Michaels in control. He rams Duggan’s head into the turnbuckle then whips Duggan to the opposite corner but misses the blind charge. Bigelow gets up on the apron. Michaels takes advantage by delivering a knee to Duggan’s back. Michaels then throws Duggan out by Yokozuna. Yoko nails him then drops the big leg on him on the outside. He slowly tosses Duggan back in the ring.
As Shawn seems perplexed with an unconscious Duggan Perfect enters the ring to nail Michaels. Alfonso calls for the DQ. We take another break.
When we return we get Finkel’s announcement and then the ring fills with lumberjacks. While groggy Duggan comes back with his 2x4 and chases everyone out of the ring. **1/2
Our next graphic takes us to May 17 and informs us that Razor Ramon was largely based on Al Pacino’s Scarface character – Tony Montana. The original Scarface movie was done in 1932.
Match 11: Razor Ramon versus The Kid
A large woman holds up a “We Be RAW” sign. She tries to kiss Ramon but he just disses her. Razor continues his penchant for disrespect by flicking his toothpick at The Kid. They tie up and Ramon has no problem throwing The Kid down. They tie up again and Ramon just maneuvers The Kid into the corner. He chops The Kid twice then vaults him out of the corner.
Ramon puts The Kid in an abdominal stretch while holding the right foot. Only a hair pull breaks the hold. The Kid comes off the ropes and Ramon catches him for a fallaway slam. He whips The Kid to the corner but misses the charge. He hit his head on the ring post. The Kid moonsaults onto Ramon and pins him! What a shocking upset! The Kid celebrates in the crowd as Ramon is livid. ½*
Our next graphic informs us that Marty Jannetty received ten stitches when Michaels threw him through the Barber Shop window in 1991.
Match 12 for the Intercontinental Championship: Shawn Michaels (champion) versus Marty Jannetty
They tie up and Michaels works over Jannetty in the corner. He rams Jannetty’s head into the opposite turnbuckle. He tries again and gets his head rammed. Another whip and Jannetty schoolboys Michaels for a quick 2 count. They hit the ropes for a leapfrog and a Jannetty sunset flip. Michaels shoots Jannetty off a headlock, misses a couple of rights, tries to hiptoss him, but gets clotheslined. A second clothesline sends Michaels out of the ring.
Jannetty baseball-slides him then skins the cat back in. He then hits him with a pescado. The crowd is FIRMLY behind Marty. Jannetty nails him and tosses him back in. Another whip and Michaels punts Jannetty. Michaels misses a superkick and a clothesline but gets armdragged. A flying headscissors gets a 2 count for Marty.
Shawn escapes the headscissors but misses the elbowdrop. Another whip to Michaels and Jannetty gives him a back body drop. A cross-corner whip flips Michaels upside-down and outside the ring. Shawn grabs his belt and tries to go home. However, Perfect emerges from the entrance to force Michaels back to the ring. We take a break.
When we return Perfect remains at ringside. Jannetty slingshots Michaels from the apron into the ring. He attempts another headscissors but Michaels hotshots him instead. Shawn chokes Marty then peppers him with jabs and then a right hand in the corner. He continues to work over Jannetty in the corner. Michaels chokes him on the second rope then drops down on him Bossman-style.
Shawn snapmares Jannetty then hits the chinlock. Jannetty fights out but gets dropkicked coming out of the corner. Another dropkick attempt by Michaels coming out of the corner fails and Shawn gets caught and catapulted into the ring post. Jannetty crawls over, drapes an arm over Shawn and gets a 2 count. Another whip but Michaels puts his head down so Marty rams the back of it on the mat. He then lands a few right hands.
Another whip by Jannetty and he lands the flying back elbow. Yet another whip and Jannetty catches Michaels with a powerslam. It gets 2. Michaels whips Jannetty to the corner. Jannetty jumps to the second turnbuckle. Michaels ducks but Jannetty fakes him out instead and goes to the top. He hits a high flying bodypress for 2.
Shawn tries a kick but Marty catches the foot and spins him around for an atomic drop attempt. However, Michaels flips over Jannetty. After a standing switch Marty rolls up Michaels off the ropes. Shawn reverses it and grabs the tights. It only gets 2. Michaels follows with a superkick. Perfect distracts Michaels at ringside. Heenan asks Shawn to focus. Perfect throws his towel at Shawn. Marty then locks Shawn in an inside cradle for the upset victory and the title! ****1/2
Our next graphic takes us to May 24 and informs us that Doink assembled a crew of mini-clowns named Wink, Pink, and Dink.
Match 13: Doink the Clown versus Mr. Perfect
Doink comes to the ring; however, outside the arena Lord Alfred Hayes is interviewing…Doink the Clown! How is this possible? Doink claims it’s an illusion. This is a King of the Ring qualifying match. Doink charges right away then chokes Perfect with his own towel. He even tosses Perfect across the ring with assistance from the towel. Perfect comes back with a couple of fists and a whip. He clotheslines Doink with the towel. They get into a slapfest. Doink tries to kick Perfect but gets caught. Perfect single legtrips Doink then puts a knee to the ankle. He then applies a spinning toe hold. Long live Terry Funk! Perfect drags Doink by the leg to the corner and wraps his leg around the ring post. We take a break.
When we return Perfect towers over a slumped Doink In the corner. He continues to work on the leg. Doink comes back with kicks, a chop, a right hand, and a kick to the midsection. He then tosses Perfect over the top rope. While favoring his leg he gives Perfect a double axehandle from the apron. Doink then rams Perfect’s head into the ring post.
Doink sets up Perfect on the apron and drops a forearm to the chest. Perfect tries to come back, but Doink nails him to send him back to the floor. Back in the ring he gives Perfect a fireman’s carry-takedown. Perfect comes right back with a headscissors. Doink gets a couple of rope-assisted 2 counts on Perfect while remaining in the headscissors. He comes off the ropes to drop a leg on Perfect and his other leg acts up. Doink grabs the armbar. Perfect tries to counter but fails to gain the advantage. He floats over and kicks Doink in the leg.
He snaps the leg back putting stress on the hamstring. Savage gets really excited by encouraging Perfect to “snap into it.” Perfect works Doink over with some rights and a chop. He gets the single leg takedown and applies the Indian Deathlock! He slaps Doink while he has him locked in and gets a series of 2 counts. Doink comes back with a hard right to escape.
He chases Perfect so that he can bite his face. Perfect heads to the outside to escape. Doink follows him and throws him shoulder-first into the ring post. They fight on the outside but Doink wraps Perfect’s arm around the ring post. Back in the ring he keylocks the arm. Doink continues working on the arm and gives Perfect the hammerlock slam. He gets a 2 count and we take a break.
We return with both men trading blows. Doink misses a roundhouse so Perfect gives him an atomic drop. A running clothesline by Perfect puts Doink down. Unfortunately for Perfect Doink uses his momentum to put his head into the second turnbuckle. After a whip Doink misses the clothesline but Perfect clotheslines Doink out of the ring. Another Doink comes to ringside and goes under the ring.
The initial Doink crawls under the ring. One of the Doinks emerges from under the ring but we don’t know which one it is. Perfect brings Doink back in and tries to snapmare him; however, Doink nails him in the midsection. He works over Perfect then whips him to the other corner. He monkey-flips Perfect. Vince acknowledges that the face paint of the current Doink isn’t as messed up as before. He whips Perfect off the ropes but gets caught in the Perfectplex. Mr. Perfect advances in the King of the Ring tournament! The other Doink gets in the ring and goes to work on Perfect. Crush makes the save for Perfect. ***
Overall, parts 1 and 2 of this trip down memory lane have been incredible. RAW was definitely a unique wrestling program in 1993. Its language was a bit rougher. The appearance of blood on TV in 1993 was definitely different. The matches were truly off the charts. The loser-leaves-town match has to be seen to be appreciated. The Jannetty-Michaels match defined true workrate. Parts 3 and 4 are coming soon so stay tuned!
Be sure to visit http://www.rockstargary.com to check out more info on me!
Damn they had some gems in 93ReplyDelete
It was so weird how bret used to defend the belt against low level mid card guys like fatu and virgilReplyDelete
I don't know how you call yourself a masochist for reviewing the stuff that you do. Maybe it's nostalgia talking, but that stuff's not that bad. In the case of the early Raws - and certainly with the Best of DVD - a lot of it was quite good.ReplyDelete
I think it was a great gimmick. he was the "fighting champion" (as opposed to - but never mentioned directly - the champions before) that gave everybody a shot at the belt.ReplyDelete
I thought they were going into the same direction with CM Punk this year but again it was dropped almost immediatly.
The graphic mentioned in the beginning of this article was wrong. I went to almost all of the shows at the Manhattan Center. The most they did in a night were 2 shows. A live one, and a taped on for the next week.ReplyDelete
The graphic about the first eight episodes of RAW being taped the first night was wrong. Only the first three episodes were taped. The early RAWs were taped in three, ocassionally four, week cycles, just like the other TV tapings.ReplyDelete
I was at that first one as well, I'm almost sure it was three shows (I believe the biweekly tapings started after Nitro started). I do remember seeing the 1-2-3 Kid appearing for his match against Razor Ramon. Knowing him as the Lightning Kid from Global Championship Wrestling and seeing him in the WWF syndicated shows using a different adjective "Kid" with every appearance and losing each match, I turned to my brother and told him "I bet bet's he's going to win this match" and the next thing you know he wins.ReplyDelete
Yup you got the live post ppv show and then 3 plus taped ones.ReplyDelete
The old gwf was so awesome.ReplyDelete
The next WWE documentary: The Rise and Fall of the Global Wrestling Federation. It should run about 22 minutes...ReplyDelete
I used to love coming home from school and turning on the GWF. Such stupid fun.
Blame WWE for their misinformation. I was only using what was being given to me here. TV tapings were usually longer back then so I took the information as fact. My apologies.ReplyDelete
From the company that gave us Ahmed Johnson and JBL. It actually was a fun little company. I have a few of the shows on tape, along with old ECW, SMW and the AWF. Does anyone remember the AWF? Anyone? Beuller? Beuller?ReplyDelete
Unfotunately I do remember the AWF.ReplyDelete
This is true, but when it first started they were live every other week, and sometimes 2 weeks in a row.ReplyDelete