Arnold Furious: We’re in White Plains, New York. Hosts are Vince McMahon and Bobby Heenan. They run down the card with Razor vs. Diesel having potential. Borga and Owen have matches tonight and the Superstar of the Year presentation is later.
The Steiner Brothers vs. Reno Riggins & Mike Khoury
Reno Riggins is a decent talent so is unlikely to get jobber-mangled by Scott Steiner, which is a pity. The Steiners murdering jobbers has been a highlight of 1993’s Raw shows. Scott nails him with a dragon suplex, which is how Scott takes it easy on you. Vince gets his jobbers mixed up again and when Khoury tags in he calls him Riggins. Khoury looks like an overselling Chris Jericho (circa 2010). Scotty doesn’t care for Khoury and KILLS him with the Steiner Screwdriver. No pin. He just forces Riggins to tag in. Frankensteiner for him and the Steiners pick up the win.
Final Rating: *½
Video Control has Jeff Jarrett in Memphis. Jarrett is wearing too much red and he walks into a red room to talk to a guy wearing a red shirt. My eyes hurt. He wants to see “Buddy”, which is something to do with country music. Jarrett gets kicked out by security. This felt out of place compared to the other Jarrett segments, as it painted him as a comedy failure.
Diesel vs. Razor Ramon
This is another non-title Raw match for Razor. The champ starts strongly and dominates Diesel with wrestling. Diesel takes over with power and he’s systematic. Heenan mentions how Diesel isn’t much of a wrestler but he’s learning, and he works the lower back with elbows and slams. Diesel goes to a bearhug, which is a bit oppressive in a five minuter. Razor runs into a big boot and the Snake Eyes connects. Razor is a big guy but the crowd is shocked as Diesel has taken him apart. Razor makes a comeback by going to the eyes and hitting a diving bulldog. Cheating and agility. A surprise combination. Diesel finds himself in trouble and set for the Razor’s Edge. That’s Shawn Michaels cue and he runs in to superkick Razor for the DQ. To make a point about the title he goes for a piledriver on the gold, but 1-2-3 Kid makes the save. The match was tidy but uncomplicated and it set up stuff down the line. James gets to cover Shawn vs. Kid next week.
Final Rating: **
Bam Bam Bigelow vs. John Crystal
Crystal gets overpowered and hurled around the ring, even when he tries offensive moves. He sets for a DDT and Bigelow just throws him over his shoulder. Crystal breaks out one of the all time great sells on an Irish whip as he falls over and slides out of the ring in the corner, narrowly missing the ring post. Sensational “small guy” bump. Bigelow kills Crystal with a Gamengiri for the pin. Good jobber murdering from the Bammer.
Final Rating: *½
Video Control takes us to babyface Doink on Challenge. He loves Christmas so out comes Santa with a present for him; Dink. You got a mini-me for Christmas? Ray Rougeau points out there can only be one Doink, thanks to a ruling by Jack Tunney, so Doink names him Dink. And they sure killed that character in a hurry. Matt Borne, we miss you already.
Superstar of the Year
Vince McMahon has the enormous four foot tall trophy, which just needs to be smashed up. Vince calls the voting “close” and brings out runner-up: Lex Luger. He sucks up to the fans, which is why he didn’t work as a babyface. He introduces the winner of Superstar of the Year: Bret Hart. I suppose the logic being that Bret won the WWF title while Luger choked. Also, he’s more popular. Bret thanks the fans for always believing in him. Until 1997! Bret is going after the WWF title again and dedicates the trophy to the fans. Vince segues right into Bret at Survivor Series with Owen getting pinned by Shawn.
Owen Hart vs. Chris Duffy
Owen is still a hand-slapping babyface despite last night’s incident. The fans don’t all respond positively. Duffy, the pudgy Shane Douglas lookalike, can’t keep up with Owen’s spots. The crowd erupts into a “we want Bret” chant, which is exactly what Creative wants to happen, so that’s a bonus. Owen has to walk Duffy through a few high spots. Enzuigiri clocks Duffy so hard he falls out of the ring so Owen follows with a pescado. See, heels don’t have to be boring! Missile dropkick sets up the Sharpshooter and Owen gets the duke. Bobby Heenan decides to get words with Owen, after pointing out the similarities between Owen’s shtick here and Bret’s normal behaviour (the shades, the ring gear, the Sharpshooter). Owen refuses the interview and walks off.
Final Rating: *
Ludvig Borga vs. Scott Taylor
Taylor is rocking a blond semi-mullet. He can barely shift Borga and gets destroyed. Taylor takes a big Farewell before getting submitted in the torture rack.
Final Rating: ½*
Backstage: 1-2-3 Kid is with Razor Ramon. Vince asks him whether he’ll accept Shawn Michaels challenge to a match next week. Waltman’s promo is great, especially as he calls Shawn “Mr. Michaels”. That about sums up his dorky persona.
THE RAW RECAP
Most Entertaining: I could easily have gone for Owen, Scotty Steiner or Bigelow for their treatment of jobbers but I’ll go with Razor Ramon for another solid TV match.
Least Entertaining: Lex Luger. A paint-by-numbers babyface promo from the company’s #2 face.
Quote of the Night: “No more multiple Doinks” promises Vince McMahon after the Survivor Series disaster.
Match of the Night: Razor Ramon vs. Diesel. Proof that Diesel was ok when he was working the Kliq.
Summary: A solid show. Everything flew by. All the matches were ok. They did a bit of work on Owen Hart’s personality and Diesel’s in-ring. Plus the big match set up another big match and more down the line between Shawn and Razor. Thumbs up.