Friday, August 31, 2012

Raw #15 - May 3rd, 1993

We open the fifteenth episode of Raw with the entrance of Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Michaels, the IC champion, is already in the ring. This is supposed to be Duggan's first shot at any WWF title. His most recent shot was to have been a shot at the tag titles in 2008, with Jerry Lawler as his partner, but he would be replaced with Michael Cole at the last minute. The fans chant "USA" during the match between the New Yorker and the Texan. Michaels keeps getting knocked out of the ring, eventually trying to flee the match altogether. Hacksaw brings him back to the ring with a fireman's carry.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Raw #14 - April 26th, 1993

The fourteenth episode of Raw is back in the Manhattan Center. Vince welcomes us, accompanied by Randy Savage and Rob -- no, wait. That's Bobby Heenan! Tonight we will see Lex Luger vs. "The Original Hawaiian Crush," according to Vince. I think he means, "The Original Hawaiian Punch, Crush," unless Crush is at least 1200 years old and was the first settler on the islands.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Raw #13 - April 19th, 1993

We open the thirteenth episode of Raw with short promos of Money Inc. and the Beverly Brothers hyping their match tonight. I know the Beverlys are supposed to be from Shaker Heights, Ohio, but their Minnesota accents contradict that pretty conclusively.

Razor Ramon comes down the Mid-Hudson Civic Center's aisle to the regular Monday Night Raw graphics. I guess the WWF did the post-production of this taped episode on their computer at the Manhattan Center. I'm not even kidding anymore. There is something about live shows in Poughkeepsie that prevents Raw from having its regular graphics. Virgil, wrestling superstar, is The Bad Guy's opponent tonight. Virgil makes his way to the ring in his barber-pole pants with his rarely-heard entrance music playing. It sounds like someone playing Jake Roberts's theme music with a cheap synthesizer's trumpet voice. The two exchange hammerlocks and go-behinds, with Razor breaking the holds by grabbing the ropes. I can't blame Razor for taking the safe route here, and if there's anyone known for their safe and responsible decision-making, it's Scott Hall. Razor puts the abdominal stretch on Virgil, but does not grab his far leg. If Gorilla Monsoon were here, Ramon would get an earful about this. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Raw #12 - April 12th, 1993

Not pictured: sack with a dollar sign on it.
The twelfth episode of Raw opens up with Money Inc. very loudly smacking stacks of dollar bills into the Beverly Brothers' hands in exchange for inside information on the Steiners. Blake says that the Steiners' suplexes are devastating, which reveals a great deal: Vince McMahon is publishing his own thesaurus, and the Beverlys have been reading the manuscript.

Raw 1993, Quarter 1 Stats

With my hometown Baltimore Orioles pushing closer and closer to their first playoff berth (and winning season) since before the Montreal Screwjob, I'm in the mood for stats.

The following rankings are based solely on Monday Night Raw results from its first 3 months, January 11th to April 5th (excluding PPV, Superstars, and house show results). Wins in squash matches and indirect wins (via DQ, countout, and tag matches where the partner gets the fall) count as half a win. Likewise, losses via DQ, countout, or a tag partner taking the fall count as half a loss. Razor Ramon gets a two-point bonus for winning a battle royal, while the other participants are not penalized. Only superstars with more than one match will be ranked.

Superstars are ranked by percentage, then their net win/loss total.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Raw #11 - April 5th, 1993

Virgil puts his name on his tights
so no one else grabs the
zebra-striped long johns by accident.
Welcome to the eleventh episode of Monday Night Raw! We are taped from the Manhattan Center. Bad news: last night's Wrestlemania IX event sucked. Good news: Rob Bartlett has been written out of tonight's show. This show being taped before Wrestlemania, the announcers don't give away any specific results on camera. Vince McMahon says that last night's Wrestlemania was one of the greatest of all time, yet another sign that this show was taped before the event actually happened.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

How much does Art Donovan weigh?

Raw #10 - March 22nd, 1993

The tenth episode of Raw is back in the Manhattan Center. It's uncut, unpredictable, and un-something else. Shut up, Bartlett. Tonight, the Bushwhackers take on Damien Demento & The Repo Man for the Wrestlecrap Tag Titles.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Raw #9 - March 15th, 1993

It's the ninth episode of Raw and... what's this? We're at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, New York? And that's not Vince McMahon's voice, that's Gorilla Monsoon's. And look who's standing next to him! None other than Bobby "The Brain" Heenan. Monsoon and Heenan are on commentary? The only thing better would be if Macho Man were here. And guess who's standing to Monsoon's left.... Crap, it's Rob Bartlett. Doing a Vince McMahon impersonation. Tonight, Vince and Randy are at the Michael Landis Leukemia Awards dinner. They give out awards for that now?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Hipster Roddy Piper

Trans-Jinder Mahal

If Jinder Mahal took Vito's gimmick...

Raw #8 - March 8th, 1993

"Siam is the biggest country in the world, brother!"
Tonight's Raw is pre-recorded and opens with the Mega-Maniacs talking about their upcoming Wrestlemania match. Beefcake suggests removing the turn signals from their motorcycles so that they can hang their tag belts in front of them. There's something about Hulk Hogan that turns everyone around him into an unsafe driver. Hulkster sings a few bars from The King and I, which he claims he and Brutus have been working out to. I demand footage of that. He promises a surprise for Money Inc. Hopefully it's Deborah Kerr as their valet. The Mega-Maniacs paraphrase SNL:

From New York, it's Monday Night Raw! Whatcha gonna do?

Did I mention that this show is not live?

Special thanks to Maffew...

...for this shout-out on the Botchamania website.

For the one or two of you who don't know who Maffew is, he makes the awesome Botchamania series, which is in its 212th installment at this time. Botchamania was the main reason I started a Youtube channel.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Raw #7 - March 1st, 1993

The seventh episode of Raw starts off with WWF champion Bret Hart making his way to the ring to defend his title against Fatu. Bret is WWF champion, after all, so it's only natural that he'd make lots of live appearances (remember this next month). For some reason, Rob Bartlett feels that he isn't annoying enough already, so he is dressed like Elvis tonight. Note that tonight's episode is in New York City, as usual, and not in Memphis, and that Elvis neither was born nor died any time near March 1st, the date of tonight's show.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Raw #6 - February 22nd, 1993

The sixth episode of Raw gets off to a rocky start, opening with Rob Bartlett making a "dumb wrestling fans" joke: 

"...I've learned a valuable lesson: wrestling fans can spell."

We are promised a live appearance by Hulk Hogan, his first of what I assume will be many Raw appearances (No, not really. This is pretty much it until 2002).

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Raw #5 - February 15th, 1993

Tonight's Raw is the first in two weeks, and to mark this auspicious occasion, it has been pre-recorded. We open with short promos by both Brutus Beefcake and Ted DiBiase, flanked by a nervous Jimmy Hart who bobs up and down and tells Ted, and I quote, "There's no need for that, baby. No need for that now." Even when he's hinting at a face turn, the Mouth of the South has no "off" button, baby.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Raw #4 - February 1st, 1993

The fourth episode of Raw starts off with Native American Tatanka vs. Damien Demento (who doesn't get an entrance).

This episode of Raw apparently predates the invention of "center align."

Tatanka is sporting his classic red mohawk, although a natural feud with the former Red Rooster Terry Taylor would never materialize. This being a live show, we are told right off the bat that tonight's episode is uncut, uncensored, and uncooked. Tatanka quickly puts Demento in a small package for the "1-2-and-3-no, only a count of 2." Demento takes time to talk to the gods on the outside of the ring (could the Damien Demento character be a riff on the Ultimate Warrior?). Rob Bartlett fondly recalls playing with "Tatanka trucks" (get it? Like "Tonka trucks"?). The announcers ignore a "We want Flair" chant as Demento cinches in a chinlock on the Undefeated Native American. Tatanka finally hits the Samoan Drop on Demento for the pinfall. Why does a Native American use a Samoan Drop, anyway? Royal Rumble for SNES had the good sense (and lack of creativity) to call it a "reverse slam". Over all, this match was heavy on tassels but light on Maneuvers.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Raw #3 - January 25th, 1993

Right off the bat, we are told that this edition of Raw has been pre-recorded, meaning that either Ric Flair or Mr. Perfect competed at the previous night's Royal Rumble despite having already lost a retirement match. WWE could never get away with this in the internet age. Speaking of the Royal Rumble... is something that the announcers should not do tonight, given that it hasn't taken place yet (unless they knew the results beforehand somehow). Outside the arena with Sean Mooney, the Repo Man  vows to repossess Randy Savage's career. Does that mean that Repo gets the distribution rights to all of the Macho Man's matches?

With Macho Man facing Repo Man tonight, Bobby Heenan finally gets to take the headset for tonight's Raw. Unfortunately, Rob Bartlett is still there. Besides the Macho vs. Repo match, the big story of tonight's Raw will be the Bushwhackers in action against jobbers. Oh, and also Ric Flair vs. Mr. Perfect. Come to think of it, this Raw looks pretty stacked for an hour show.

Raw #2 - January 18th, 1993

We kick off the second episode of Raw with Rob Bartlett ripping up a picture of Bobby Heenan. Out of the blue, Randy Savage gets jumped from behind by the Repo Man, inspiring a small chant of "Repo! Repo!" Next time you see that clip of Steve Austin jumping Sandman from behind during his entrance in ECW, remember that they got the idea from Barry Darsow on the second episode of Raw. Probably.

After the opening video rolls, it's down to business: Repeating the show's slogan: "Uncut, uncensored, and uncooked." Unfortunately, Repo Man's attack has led the Macho Man to run off in search of him, leaving Vince McMahon and Rob Bartlett to man the announce table.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Raw #1 - January 11th, 1993

We start off the first Raw with Sean Mooney denying Bobby Heenan into the Manhattan Center because he's not on the announce team and he doesn't have a ticket. To put this in perspective, JTG is free to roam around backstage on a modern Raw, yet Bobby Heenan can't even get into the building because  Rob Bartlett took his place. Heenan must really hate Rob Bartlett, and the fans will too over the next hour. Cue the Monday Night Raw theme, featuring arguably the greatest MIDI drums in wrestling history.

Back in the days of squash matches, they would announce that so-and-so would "be in action." Tonight, it's the Steiner Brothers in action. Damien Demento propels himself into the trivia books by facing The Undertaker in the first Raw main event. Rob Bartlett attempts a joke about Yokozuna's sumo thong, leaving Macho Man to try to cover for him. Rob then imitates the Macho Man with, not one, but three "Ooooh"s, in case we didn't hear him the first time.

Sign #1 that Rob Bartlett knows nothing about the product: He claims he "can't wait to see" a Koko B. Ware match.

Sign #2: He calls Koko's opponent, "Yokozuma." I'll cut him some slack on that one; even Yoko's manager Mr. Fuji called him that half the time.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Blogging Raw, from the beginning

I started watching WWF right around the time that Monday Night Raw began its run on the USA Network. Unfortunately, we wouldn't have cable in our household for another two and half years or so. I thus had to make do watching WWF Superstars on Saturdays to keep up with the storylines (which, not even being school-aged yet, I barely had the attention span for) and to catch the all-important squash matches, featuring name talent squaring off against no-names (whom my brothers and I would refer to as "flabby guys" and, later, "scrubs." "Jobbers" and "enhancement talent" would have to wait until we got internet access). Essentially, we were catching only a glimpse of what was happening in the world of the World Wrestling Federation.