Jame Dixon: Hosted by Bobby Heenan and Vince McMahon, with Savage absent as he has to contend with Doink the Clown and his promise of “triple vision” later on.
The Steiner Brothers vs. Duane Gill & Barry Horowitz
There are few better ways to start Raw than a Steiners squash. They have good opponents today too, and both of the jobbers went on to get minor pushes in later years. Horowitz foolishly thinks he can mount offence against Scott, and gets a belly-to-belly for his troubles. Heenan says The Steiners don’t use holds, they just throw people around. Yep, that is why we love them. The irony of Scott then putting on a Boston crab amuses me no end. Duane Gill comes in and eats a Steinerline from Rick, as Vince for the fourth or fifth time already on this broadcast puts over Alexandria Bay, the site of tonight’s Raw. Is he buying property there and looking to curry favour with someone on the neighbourhood committee? The Frankensteiner finishes things in under 3-minutes. Not one of the more exciting Steiners squash matches, but perfectly fine for what it was.
Final Rating: *¼
We cut to footage of a sit-down interview with Lex Luger, who talks extensively about himself. If he was an interesting guy, this would be an interesting segment, but he’s not so it isn’t…
Adam Bomb vs. Tony Roy
Why does Tony Roy have two first names? He looks frightened. Bomb manhandles him, and Vince ignores it to talk about a new movie premiere. When Vince cares more about someone else’s product than what is going on in his own, you know it is pretty worthless. It is short though, and Bomb kills Roy off with the powerbomb. We are flying through the jobber bouts tonight! This was a large TV taping though, with three weeks’ worth filmed in one go, so I guess they were pushed for time.
Final Rating: *
Doink the Clown vs. Macho Man Randy Savage
Last time I watched Doink on Raw, he busted out a secret forgotten classic with Marty Jannetty. Randy Savage is of course very capable of having great matches, and I have seen a pretty good bout between these from a different show, so I have high expectations for this going in. Savage is dressed in full All-American regalia, which I can only assume is a transparent attempt to woo Vince by appealing to his unwavering patriotism. If only Vince had taken the hint. Like I have said numerous times, Savage had something to offer the WWF in 1993, far more than a commentator and occasional wrestler. There are so many colours on the screen that I am concerned about the health of my screen. Savage gets almost irrationally pissed off when Doink goes to the eyes, so tries to bring a chair into the ring. The ref stops him and Doink uses this as an opportunity to take control, choking Savage out and putting on a Boston crab. Doink targets the leg, as Vince says “Doink now, targeting the weakened back of Randy Savage”. Come on Vince, watch the match! Going for the leg is smart strategy from Doink, as historically Savage has had kayfabe knee problems, though that little nuance is either lost on the commentary team or they just don’t particularly care. History is a dirty word to Vince McMahon. Back from commercial and they fight over a strange neck hold, and Doink stays on top with biting. He has dominated the majority of this match, using various submission holds, but little of impact to put Savage away. The pace has been fairly pedestrian, but the crowd has remained hot and Savage has stayed alive, so it is more than watchable. Doink misses the Whoopie Cushion but stays in control by hurling Savage to the outside. Savage crawls under the ring, and out of the other side comes a MIDGET MACHO MAN! Vince is absolutely giddy about it, and laughs uproariously. The real Savage returns and hooks a cradle to win the match. I blame this bout for the future existence of Dink. Doink saw what a good tactic it was to have a midget doppelganger and stole the idea! Decent match, but not a patch on either guy’s best.
Final Rating: ***¼
Mean Gene runs down the card for SummerSlam, which is another show that I will re-book one day, because it too was all wrong. It turned out alright (see The Complete WWF Video Guide Volume #III) but it could have been so much more.
Ted DiBiase joins us via telephone, and he is pissed off with Razor Ramon costing him a match against 1-2-3 Kid. Vince is adamant about showing the footage from Wrestling Challenge and DiBiase is so enraged that he hangs up. All Razor did was walk down the aisle, but the distraction was enough for Kid to get yet another shock win. You would think the crowd would care less each time, but they go bananas. Razor has a cheek laughing about it though; it all started with him!
Jim Cornette casually walks to the ring, showing up out of the blue to make his WWF debut! Bobby Heenan is absolutely delighted, and gets in the ring and puts him over big time as the greatest manager in wrestling. Cornette says he is only the greatest because Heenan retired. Both of these comments are absolutely factually spot on. Cornette puts over Smokey Mountain Wrestling and The Heavenly Bodies, before challenging The Steiners. Wow, business sure was changing in 1993. The WWF had worked with other promotions before, though mainly overseas, but to work with an independent, albeit a very good one, was just not in their nature at the time. The WWF had never acknowledged any other promotion, never mind needed to work with one. This deal was more to help Cornette and SMW than the other way around, but the promotion was still ripe grounds for the WWF to cherry pick talent from. To my delight, Cornette joins the commentary team for the next match too. Heenan and Cornette! Smart mark heaven. I am a huge Cornette fan, though I actually enjoy just listening to him rant in shoot interviews even more than watching him manage. Great debut promo here though, and stellar work from Heenan putting him over. He did a splendid job of it.
Mr. Perfect vs. Barry Hardy
Vince mentions The Armstrong Brothers and The Rock ‘N Roll Express, as my mind blows a little. Perfect brings the slick moves and the vicious chops and has little trouble with Hardy. The commentators ignore the match, with Cornette spending the majority of the time arguing with Vince. Perfect randomly removes some of Hardy’s attire, for no discernible reason, then hits the Perfectplex for the win. Ok then.
Final Rating: *¼
What is the worst possible thing that could happen next? If you guessed “Hacksaw Jim Duggan music video” then you are SPOT ON. I have actually suffered through this before, and you can read all about why this makes me want to rip out the little hair I have left by checking out the review of WWF Superstars The Music Video in Volume #III of The Complete WWF Video Guide. To sum up: it is the worst song ever written. Why is this on the screen!?
THE RAW RECAP
Most Entertaining: Jim Cornette. Welcome to the WWF! How badly it needs you.
Least Entertaining: Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Ok, so technically he wasn’t on the show, but his piece of shit music video was and it left an awful taste in my mouth.
Quote of the Night: “You’re here, you’re really here!” – Bobby Heenan can’t hide his delight at Jim Cornette’s arrival in the WWF. This was almost a passing of the torch from Heenan, as he was on his way out of the company not long after this.
Match of the Night: Doink the Clown vs. Macho Man Randy Savage. Doink is making a bit of a habit of having good to great matches on Raw. What a shame he was babyface within a few months and Matt Borne was gone from the company.
Summary: A decent marquee match and the debut of Jim Cornette means this one gets the thumbs up from me. As far as the rest goes, I would always pick The Steiners and Mr. Perfect towards the top of the list of guys I would want to watch in squash matches. Adam Bomb offered nothing, but did his thing briefly, and the only real negatives were the tedious Luger interview and the abysmal and randomly included Duggan music video. Otherwise a fair little show, far better than the last one I covered back in June.