Arnold Furious: We’re in Manhattan, New York. Hosts are Vince McMahon, Bobby Heenan & Randy Savage. Crowd is molten, again. 1993 Raws had the hottest crowds. Were they all drunk?
King of the Ring Qualifier
Doink the Clown vs. Mr. Perfect
We’ve got multiple Doinks. Doinkelgangers, if you will. One in the ring, one under it and another outside somewhere. This is their third match to determine who goes to King of the Ring. Doink heels it up by taking Perfect’s towel, using it against him and then using it to dry his personal areas. They slap each other a bit before Perfect takes the leg. Doink’s selling is good because he tries to kick but finds he can’t stand on one peg. Who’d have thought we’d get a selling showcase from an evil clown? He does the Bret trick of hobbling around the ring to make sure every fan out here knows his wheel is bad. This gives Perfect an out as Doink starts outwrestling him. They’re almost reversing the heel/face alignment. Throughout the match they sneak in slaps and punches just to add an extra layer. Doink takes Perfect’s arm as a receipt. An eye for an eye, an arm for a leg. Vince spells out what a great character Doink is, explaining his character out while adding what a technically skilled worker he is. Doink has some fun ideas for his heat including a hammerlock slam. As Doink gets into trouble another Doink appears to drag him under the ring. The new Doink has perfect face paint so you can tell it’s a different guy. Matt Borne’s make-up was melting off. The new Doink sets early and gets laid out with the Perfectplex. This brings out Matt Borne, frustrated that the second Doink jobbed, to give Perfect a 2-on-1 shoeing and Crush makes the save. The match was technically strong with enough theatre to keep Vince McMahon amused.
Final Rating: ***½
Video Control takes us to Gene Okerlund with the King of the Ring report. He has the KotR bracket, before throwing to a pre-recorded Hulk Hogan promo. He claims it’s great to be back here in New York, even though he’s not here at all. He’s still talking about saying your prayers and taking your vitamins, which is a touch hypocritical considering his steroid abuse. He keeps talking about how his arms are as big as they always were, which is yet another Hogan lie. Why would you lie like that? Lies upon lies. That’s what Hulkamania stands for. Why didn’t he just come back humble? One thing is true though, he was ripe for a heel turn. Something WCW eventually exploited three years down the line.
Money Inc. vs. Mike Bell & Tony DeVito
DeVito went on to quite the career in ECW. He had hair as a jobber. Amazing how many wrestlers shaved their heads when Steve Austin hit it big. Bell and DeVito get absolutely nothing. Vince talks about Sean Waltman to big up the jobbers. If Waltman can win, anyone can. Yeah, these guys can’t win. Ted and IRS take it in turns to crush the jobbers and hit spots. Irwin finishes with the Write Off.
Final Rating: ½*
Crush vs. Bobby Who
Shouldn’t that be Bobby Whom? Crush clearly wants to no sell Who’s stuff but doesn’t know how to. So he just runs through his bland moveset and poses to utter silence. The best part of the match is Vince trying to get Crush’s new nickname over. “Hawaiian Punch”. Hahaha, what? That’s not as manly sounding as you’re hoping for, Vince. Crush hits a press slam and finishes with the head massage. Urgh, Crush sucked here. Nothing he did was even remotely interesting and the red hot crowd sat on their hands. When you can’t even have a good time squashing someone, you’re in the wrong business.
Final Rating: DUD
Promo Time: Razor Ramon
He’s out here to defend himself after losing to Waltman last week. Ramon is superb on the stick here. His pronunciation is great. “Cack-u-roach” and “McMang” are my favourites. The crowd chant “1-2-3” to amuse themselves. Razor has $2500 of Colombian nose powder cash for a re-match. Vince switches gears to talk about King of the Ring where Razor will face Bret Hart. The former champ strolls out and gets another “1-2-3” chant going. Bret makes fun of Razor for jobbing to a rookie and claims he’s unprepared for King of the Ring. Razor doesn’t even get to respond as Bret walks out, with the crowd continuing to chant “1-2-3”.
Adam Bomb vs. Phil Apollo
Bomb’s manager is Johnny Polo, the future Raven. I love Bomb’s goggles. Bomb is the better half of KroniK as he actually knew how to squash people. Not much else, mind you. Bomb mixes up his pounding, including a dropkick, while giving Apollo nothing at all. Where he improves on Crush is throwing Apollo into the rail, thus giving the fans something before going to his A-list stuff. And Bomb is the heel. Flying shoulderblock and the powerbomb finishes. Crowd popped that more than anything Crush did. Now that’s how you squash someone.
Final Rating: *
THE RAW RECAP
Most Entertaining: Doink. A selling masterclass amongst Vince’s usual cartoon nonsense. Doink might have been a ridiculous character but Matt Borne actually turned it into something real. Compare that to 90% of the other era’s gimmicks and it shows what a great worker he was.
Least Entertaining: Crush. Oh, Crush, you are so, so boring.
Quote of the Night: “We got a clown in the ring and Alfred Hayes is outside” – Vince McMahon makes the funny.
Match of the Night: Mr. Perfect vs. Doink the Clown. While it had little competition it was a solid contest that not only got over wrestling but also both characters and the King of the Ring. Job done.
Summary: It’s a passable Raw, highlighted by two segments. Firstly the opening match, which gave the PPV a bit of a push without resorting to shilling. Good contest between two very talented wrestlers. The other segment was the Razor Ramon-Bret Hart bit. Not only did it build to the PPV, but also referenced Razor’s ongoing angle with Sean Waltman and created a Raw contest for down the line. Smart booking in those two segments. The rest of the show was the usual jobber stuff.