James Dixon: We are back at the Manhattan Center after a two week hiatus, and we no longer have to suffer Rob Bartlett! Vince had finally come to his senses and realised what a huge detriment he was to the product, and let him go. In his place, we get the best option possible: Bobby f’n Heenan. Yes! Yes! Yes!
Damien Demento vs. Mr. Perfect
Yet more airtime for Demento! The guy is on this show every other week, yet I don’t think he even made a pay-per-view. If In Your House existed at this point, he probably would have worked Tatanka in a battle for the title of “undisputed most inexplicably over-exposed performer”. Thankfully his opponent is Mr. Perfect, who receives a rapturous reception from the New York crowd, who like me, appreciate how great he is. Perfect is in my personal top five favourites of all time. He completely flummoxes Demento early on, with his pace and execution too much for him to handle. Demento tries to drag Perfect down to his low lever with his dull offence, but Perfect isn’t standing for it and instead throws in chops and a few of his trademark impact spots. The Perfectplex soon finishes things, as Perfect leads Demento to his best ever match. Not that it was great or especially good, but Demento’s bar was set so low that this eclipsed anything he had previously done.
Final Rating: *¾
Some kid reads out an essay about drugs. She seems to know an awful lot about it. There is some irony here at this being on a WWF show, but I won’t point it out for fear of Jerry McDevitt. After the kid delivers the ingeniously crafted line “there’s no hope with dope”, the lights go up slightly to reveal The Undertaker, who repeats the line. Whoever penned this segment was on friggin’ drugs. Or maybe I took a bad batch of acid and this is my punishment in the form of a hallucination.
Lex Luger vs. Crush
I have been dreading this, it is the battle of wood against wood. The commentary team discuss Lex Luger’s steel forearm prior to the match, which telegraphs that it will play a part in the finish. A test of strength starts things monotonously, and is a sure fire sign that this is going to be a) long and b) boring. Vince says something about Crush pouring on Hawaiian punch, and I am now convinced that the acid was bad. I haven’t even taken any acid, this is just what the WWF from 1993 does to you if you watch too much of it. Some stalling occurs, naturally, before Luger throws a few shots in a foolish attempt at making Crush sell. It doesn’t work. Back from commercial and Crush is holding an armbar, but Luger soon fights out and takes over on the outside, giving Crush a kicking. Luger runs out of moves so chooses to pose instead, before going to the staple of every inferior worker: the bearhug. This is like the blind leading the blind, there is nothing to it at all. Crush manages a few moves including a high back suplex, and then he locks on the head vice of doom. Luger jumps preposterously a few times in an attempt to convey that Crush was lifting and slamming him by the head, but the timing is all off and Crush barely motions to move at all, and it looks so very phony. Crush, who it has previously been established is a dumb babyface, gets distracted by two Doinks in the crowd. Why didn’t he just win the match first before jawing with them? They were miles away from the ring. After all the hype about Luger’s steel arm throughout the match, the cameras manage to miss it completely when Luger finally uses it, sending Crush out of the ring for a count out win. That was a bit of a disaster, but not quite at the depths I was expecting.
Final Rating: *
King of the Ring is coming to pay-per-view! Next week on Superstars we have a qualifying match between Mr. Perfect and Doink and then on Wrestling Challenge it is Bob Backlund against Lex Luger. One day we will get around to covering those shows too…
Mr. Hughes vs. Jason Knight
The jobber in question here would go onto have a modicum of fame in ECW simply as Jason, where he held the ECW Television title and also teamed with technical wrestling marvel Dean Malenko. Here he is merely fodder for the nomadic Mr. Hughes, who was making his Raw debut. Hughes was a fairly average big man, he could certainly move around fairly well but his style was less than riveting. Bobby Heenan has no interest in the match, and spends his time watching TV at ringside, distracting Vince and Savage in the process. Half of the bout is missed as the camera focuses on Heenan, but there are no complaints from me. Hughes wins with a sidewalk slam and I have forgotten the match already. Great debut!
Final Rating: ¼*
Video Control take us to a vignette hyping the debut of The Smoking Gunns. Interestingly, they refer to each other as partners rather than brothers.
Promo Time: Shawn Michaels.
Michaels rails on New York and calls it the armpit of the nation, then singles out some gays in the crowd. Wrong audience pal; they respond with an INCREDIBLY long “Shawn is gay” chant, which has Vince blushing and Heenan covering it up by claiming they are saying “Shawn is great”. We cut to footage of Shawn attacking Mr. Perfect at WrestleMania, and that of course brings Perfect out. Shawn cheap shots him as he is trying to get in the ring and high-tails it out of there, and Perfect chases him. Not much of a segment, but the chant was something to behold.
Video Control show footage next of Bam Bam Bigelow seemingly trying to force Sensational Sherri to go down on him on live TV, which offends Tatanka, who makes the save. All the while, Sherri’s dress fights a losing battle with her tits, which very nearly make their own way onto television. More footage is shown, this time of Bam Bam cutting Tatanka’s stupid red hair. Not much to this either.
Typhoon vs. Von Krus
We finally get another match, and it is Typhoon! Von Krus gets a few punches in and the inevitable Typhoon head-shaking sell occurs. Typhoon hits a pathetic clothesline which he is immensely proud of, and then takes a standard back bump that was supposed to look like a missed elbow. What a disgrace to the profession this man was. Inevitably, he shakes his head to sell the devastating effects of the missed “move”. Von Krus takes over by working the nose of all things, which is about as successful as you might expect. In another awful looking spot, Von Krus motions to drop a knee to the balls but instead opts to use the point of his elbow, all the while with Typhoon protesting. Why didn’t he just block it? He knew it was coming. Typhoon eventually hits a splash in the corner, which Von Krus dances to sell and thus again pops me like he did a few weeks ago, and the fat tub of lard falls on him with a rotten splash to win it. Even though it was short, every single bit of this was so incredibly bad from bell to bell that it falls into negative star territory.
Final Rating: -*
Bobby Heenan talks to a stereotype “wrestling geek”, who asks his stereotype wrestling geek girlfriend if she will marry him, as the crowd chants “just say no”. Vince wants to go to commercial before she says yes or no, but clearly no-one told her and she jumps her cue. Heenan asks if they want to marry on Monday Night Raw and they vociferously say no, as we go off the air. What the hell was the point of that? There have been a few utterly baffling non-wrestling segments on this show, and they have all been the absolute shits.
THE RAW RECAP
Most Entertaining: Mr. Perfect. Ok so the match he had was nothing special and it was a phoned in performance, but even at 50% Curt Hennig eclipses the majority of the rest of the roster.
Least Entertaining: Typhoon. He made a sub 3-minute match so completely cringe-worthy and unbearable that it went into negative stars. He was the worst wrestler on the face of the planet.
Quote of the Night: “Shawn is gay!” – New York. How could it be anything else? One of the most sustained and amusing chants I have heard on a wrestling show, and the reactions of Shawn, Vince, Heenan and Savage were priceless.
Match of the Night: Mr. Perfect vs. Damien Demento. By default of course, because everything else ranged from bad to abysmal. This held its own at “decidedly average”.
Summary: Is this the worst episode of Raw yet? Very nearly. The two non-wrestling segments really dragged things down, and then the Typhoon match was the icing on the shitcake. It was another show full of jobbers and midcarders, with nothing really happening. When the best thing on the show is New York hurling homophobic abuse at Shawn Michaels, it is pretty clear what a disaster this was.