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March to WrestleMania 1993

Backstory:  I was reading Scott’s Monday Night RAW Season One on Kindle, and he mentioned the lack of hype for the main event of WrestleMania IX. That seemed peculiar and very un-WWF-like. I wanted to find out the scoop on this; therefore, I started watching the 1993 episodes of RAW and noticed a missing week between March 22 and WrestleMania on April 4.

The answer lied within the March 22 episode as Vince hyped March to WrestleMania on Sunday March 28 at 8pm EST on USA.  I’d never heard of it, so I thought I’d give it a look. Interestingly an abbreviated version of the show was shown in place of RAW from the Manhattan Center the following night. I will be reviewing that instead since I was unable to locate a copy of the original show. Other matches on the card included:

·         Kamala pinned Kim Chee with a splash.

·         WWF Tag Team Champions Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase and IRS) defeated Reno Riggins and Jerry Sabin after DiBiase locked Riggins in the Million Dollar Dream.

·         Tatanka pinned George South with the Papoose To Go. Shawn Michaels got involved afterwards but was chopped away by Tatanka.

·         The Bushwhackers and Tiger Jackson defeated the Beverly Brothers and Little Louie when Tiger hit Louie with a high crossbody block.

 For those of you who have read my reviews in the past and noticed how DETAILED everything was (and were subsequently bored from it) I have changed my style to a more sports-entertainment type of recap. Let’s see what you think!

The show starts off with Rob Bartlett at the empty Manhattan Center looking lost. The more lost you are, Rob, the better for us.

Hence, our real hosts are Vince McMahon and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan.

We revisit the contract signing from Wrestling Challenge for the championship match at WrestleMania. Yokozuna rams the table into Bret Hart’s gut then avalanches him in the corner.  A double thrust to the throat and a stomp put Bret in position for the Banzai Drop. And Yoko hits it.

Miraculously Bret staggers to his feet only to fall face-first at the feet of Yoko. Moments later Bret rises again to the delight of the crowd. Gorilla Monsoon remarks that Bret has a lot of “heart.”

Vince and Bobby welcome us to the show, and Bobby refers to McMahon as “Mr. Microphone.”  They hype the card featuring Yokozuna against “Macho Man” Randy Savage! Additionally the Undertaker will square off against Bam Bam Bigelow! If that’s not enough the MegaManiacs will be here too!

Match 1: Yokozuna (with Mr. Fuji) versus “Macho Man” Randy Savage

While hyping the main event of WrestleMania Heenan asks if Bret had signed a contract or his last will and testament. Vince believes Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji made a “Macho” mistake signing this match a week before WrestleMania.


·         Say what you want about the legendary Randy Savage in 1993, but he could still incite a crowd.

·         Yokozuna’s offense may have been methodical, but he dominated Savage at the beginning.

·         The Yoko leg drop off the ropes looked devastating.

·         After a missed avalanche Savage took to the top rope to assault Yoko, but a second attempt was thwarted by Mr. Fuji behind the back of referee Earl Hebner.

·         Yoko’s belly-to-belly suplex puts Savage down for 3.

Rating: *1/2

Summary:  While Savage may have been a part-time wrestler for the WWF at this point, putting over Yokozuna clean as a sheet before WrestleMania made Yokozuna look like a million bucks in preparation for the title match.

After the match Mr. Fuji instructs Yokozuna to give Savage a Banzai Drop. Yoko goes up, but Savage escapes ”just in the nick of time.”  A knee to the back from Savage knocks the big man out of the ring! Yoko tries to re-enter but referees and agents prevent that from happening. JJ Dillon is seen here instructing the #1 contender back to the locker room.

“Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews the MegaManiacs (Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake and Hulk Hogan with manager “Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart). “Real American” and the arrival of the Hulkster bring the people to their feet. Beefcake wears his protective mask. Hogan’s promo against Money, Inc. is as nonsensical as you would think. Bartender, I’ll have what they’re having.

Next Vince hypes the Lex Luger- Mr. Perfect match set for WrestleMania. We then see the debut of “The Narcissist” at the Royal Rumble and other Luger highlights. Vince calls Luger’s forearm “suspicious.”

Match 2: Mr. Perfect versus Skinner


·         Skinner wisely attacked before the bell since he didn’t have a prayer in winning.

·         Skinner actually gave Perfect an eye-rake on the ropes.

·         After a mistake by Skinner Perfect took control with chops, a knee-lift, and his trademarked running snapmare.

·         Heenan inferred that he paid off Skinner to take out Perfect before WrestleMania.

·         Skinner poked Perfect in the eye with an alligator claw.

·         Perfect locked on the Perfectplex for the victory.

Rating: ½*

Summary:  After allowing some offense from Skinner Perfect looks prepared for his match against Luger in Las Vegas.

Call the WrestleMania hotline at 1-900-909-9939! It’s only $1.49 for the first minute and 99¢ each additional minute.

Meanwhile Rob asks a production crew member for the location of his fellow hosts which includes a bearable “Macho Man” impression.

Promotional consideration paid for by the following: ICOPRO, WWF action figures featuring the fired British Bulldog and the retired Sgt. Slaughter, along with Flintstones trading cards,

“Mean” Gene provides the WrestleMania IX report. Here is the card:

·         For the WWF title: champion Bret Hart versus Yokozuna

·         For the WWF tag team titles: champions Money Inc. versus The MegaManiacs

·         Crush faces Doink the Clown.

·         And more on April 4 at 7pm EST!

During the report Bret cuts a promo against Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji.

Afterward “Mean” Gene asks Heenan about his toga, and Vince makes weasel jokes.

Match 3: The Undertaker (with Paul Bearer) versus Bam Bam Bigelow


·         Bigelow received the jobber entrance.

·         Undertaker took down Bigelow with a drop toehold.

·         Sweet DDT from the Undertaker after Bigelow put his head down.

·         Bigelow was unable to keep the Undertaker down because UT continued to sit up like a zombie.

·         Bigelow missed the diving headbutt from the top rope.

·         Undertaker gave Bigelow a flying clothesline and a chokeslam.

·         Bigelow took a walk earning UT a countout win.

Rating: *1/2

Summary:  This match highlighted the Undertaker’s ability to take an extreme amount of punishment and come back which would assist him in his match against Giant Gonzales.  Bigelow’s walk-out keeps him from becoming a JTTS for the time-being and lowers the rating ½*. However, his match against Kamala at WrestleMania was canceled without explanation according to Stephen LaRoche.

After the match Giant Gonzales and Harvey Wippleman appear at the entranceway. The Undertaker makes his way toward him, but referees (including Joey Marella & Bill Alfonso) and agents prevent any shenanigans before WrestleMania.

Subsequently Heenan hypes Cleopatra in a see-through toga at WrestleMania! Call your cable company or satellite provider now to order!

Promotional consideration paid for by the following: GI Joe action figures, Slim Jim endorsed by “The Macho Man”, and LJN wrestling video games for all entertainment systems.

Aretha Franklin’s “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” plays behind a video tribute to Bret “Hitman” Hart.

Conclusion:  Simply This show is the pure definition of a go-home show. All of the main matches at WrestleMania are hyped, and the card looks STACKED. None of the three matches on this show were spectacular, but they told the stories necessary to get to WrestleMania. Having seen the previous RAW episodes and this show leading up to the big event I am looking forward to revisiting WrestleMania IX in the near future. Last but certain not least, Rob Bartlett’s involvement (or lack thereof) made this show very entertaining. Check it out!
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  1. They don't even announce time limits in WWE OR TNA anymore. RoH has used the Broadway, but do they have the talent to pull it off now?

    Question: Who do you think could pull off the "One Hour Draw" today? ... if you want, expand the list to "Thirty Minute Draw" guys.

  2. I like time-limit draws if done well, but I hated that NWA/WCW would telegraph it so obviously. Aside from Steamboat/Flair at Wrestlewar, were there any matches where they announced the time elapsed/remaining that did not go to a time limit draw?

  3. I would say Cesaro, Bryan and Punk are three guys that could pull it off convincingly in WWE.

    Thirty minute opens things up a bit as I think you could some veterans into the mix, guys like Goldust that know how to really build a smart match and sell well.

  4. Cena can do it seeing as he and HBK did it in London a few years back.

  5. A few shorter matches would have the "last second win"... the only one that comes to mind now is 2 Cold Scorpio winning a random match (hell if I can remember the exact match) that way.

  6. Can you believe that was seven years ago now! Definitely seems like just a few, but man time flies.

    That is the same time difference as between WrestleMania X and WrestleMania X-7!

  7. You're right! That happened in the match against Benoit at Superbrawl 3. I now also remember a match on WCW Saturday Night where Disco was in a submission move and he just needed to hold on for 2 more seconds, but he gave up anyway.

  8. If I wasn't tired of him on top, and if he didn't already have too many "wasted" title runs... I'd love to see Randy Orton get three months on top, taking his opponents 30 or 45 minutes twice a month (one RAW, one PPV). Cheap heat, stalling... just let him be the bastard he's best at portraying.

  9. Time has its place in matches. The beat the clock matches are usually fun to watch and full of extra drama because of the time factor. WWE could use them again, but they would have to start bringing them back in slowly otherwise people would see the finish a mile away.

  10. It depends on what you mean by "pull off". Almost all of the current crop have the physical stamina to do it. With enough crutches (e.g., no-dq stipulations, overbooking, crowd/backstage brawling, stretchers, ref bumps, iron man, etc.), there are a lot of people who could have a good 60 minute match.

    If you mean two dudes calling it in the ring for 60 minutes and still getting to 4 snowflakes without any nonsense, I'd say there are only a handful of people in history who could do that: Bockwinkle, Flair, HBK, Bret, Benoit, and maybe Angle and Austin. And even then, they'd need an exceptional talent to work with (Mr. Perfect, Cena, Windham, Rock, and maybe HHH if the angle is right).

    The common thread among the guys who could do it is that they could all do enough technical wrestling to make rest holds interesting/important.

  11. The Immortal Hoke OganApril 29, 2014 at 12:06 PM

    The last time-limit draw I can remember was HHH vs. Rock at 'Fully Loaded' 1998. The one that set up the SummerSlam ladder match

  12. In this era, I'd consider *** good enough, because of the way it (should) be booked. Start the "main event" with more than enough time to go, with a match (or if we're doing this on RAW, an interview) scheduled afterwards. That match/interview is a red herring, as the main event will run the rest of the show.

    Now, with Bryan, Punk, or Cena, yeah the snowflakes should be falling. But as I mentioned below, Orton could have (not at present) generated enough heat to get away with ***+, and there might be one or two other guys who can pull it off.

  13. In the Big Two, yeah, that sounds right. I know the Punk/Joe series was much later, but does it count as "high-level" enough? And of course there have been quite a few others on the indies, I bet.

  14. Time Limit Draws suck. Can't book a finish? Don't book the match.

  15. and the crowd shits on them, particularly if they don't have big names. I can see a time limit draw on Clash or SNME to lead to a ppv with big names but crowds hated those 20 minute draws at MSG between B. Brian Blair and Iron Mike Sharpe and shit like that.

  16. TNA's Bound for Glory matches have time limits but are often ignored (e.g. increased from 10 to 15 during 2012 tournament, followed by AJ and Daniels going 17).

  17. The Punk--Joe trilogy is beloved.

    They did TWO 1 hour draws

  18. Impact on FX also had the time limits, with the handy little clock in the top corner. It was a neat touch.

  19. Regal based his entire career off of time limit draws!

  20. Steamboat should be on that list too.

  21. Aries/Black went the full time as well, and it was a very frustrating live experience.

  22. I really hate the time limit draw and wcw announcing the times was always a dead giveaway. Also I can't tell you how many mediocre msg matches I've sat through that didn't have a finish. Did billy jack Haynes ever win or lose a match in the WWF?

  23. Beat the clock was a cool twist on the time limit draw.

  24. I remember that in the nineties (about 1993 and 1994) they announced the time limit for most matches, even if the time limit didn't play into the end at all.

  25. Cena, punk, Bryan, maybe Steen and generico but I'm not sure. Probably just cena, punk, and Bryan for wwe.

  26. Aj styles, Chris Daniels and probably Joe from TNA.
    I don't know id other top tier workers like Cesaro or Rollins could do it or not?

  27. So to reiterate I'd say for sure: Cena, Punk, Bryan, Joe, Styles, Chris Daniels.

  28. The Immortal Hoke OganApril 29, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    I've never really seen any TNA, so I have no idea

  29. Time limits were almost always announced in the older days... it was the first 10-20 minutes that would tip off a time-limit draw.

  30. Cena could absolutely work a good 60 minute match.

  31. The Immortal Hoke OganApril 29, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    I feel like Cena vs. Punk deserved a one-hour blow-off


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