Arnold Furious: So here it is; the famous lost episode of Raw. Much like one back in August, this is not really a proper Raw at all, but rather a highlight show based around Survivor Series Showdown. The difference is that the August show was counted as a cannon episode but this was not. It is “Episode #41A” if you will. Why? I have no idea. I can only assume the WWF predicted the existence of this book and wanted to make it as difficult as possible to compile. The same applies to their VHS releases, for the record. Bobby Heenan and Vince McMahon present from the studio, and discuss the various changes to the Survivor Series card.
Yokozuna (c) vs. Bret Hart
Gorilla and JR take on commentary duties for this. These two are the only guys in history to contest consecutive WrestleMania main events at the time of writing. At this point Bret is a former one-time champion, and this is Yoko’s second reign with the title. Bret’s program at Survivor Series was a bit of a mess, and his subsequent match alongside his brothers against Shawn Michaels and some random masked guys, was a colossal bore. It would certainly have added some serious spice to things if they had hotshotted the belt to Hart here, and it would have changed the landscape of the WWF considerably. It is a shame it didn’t go down that way. Yoko starts quickly but misses an elbow and subsequently ends up on the outside of the ring, where he comically walks into the post. He stays on the outside for a good minute, with Earl Hebner showing his usual disregard for the rules. Even Gorilla and JR pick up on it. The idiotic fans show their ignorance by chanting “USA” at one of the world’s most famous Canadians, and Bret manages a wry smile in response. Yoko regains control in the ring, and after that long breather, he is in need of another long breather, because he is so incredibly fat and out of shape. How was this guy the WWF champion at all? Never mind for as long as he was. Yoko’s heat is as slow, boring and predictable as you would imagine, and even Bret’s stellar selling can’t save this one. Yoko is sweating buckets and blowing like crazy after the effort of all the rest holds he has been doing. He attempts to combat that with another one, and Bret is forced to grimace and gurn for minutes on end in a tedious nerve pinch. Bret somehow survives a hold of such unbridled devastation, and fights Yoko on the outside, but ends up getting waffled with a chair while Mr. Fuji distracts the ref. Yoko hits the Hulkbuster but is too knackered to make the cover. Gorilla thinks he is stupid rather than blown. I disagree. You know that feeling you get in life when you are desperately waiting for something and time seems to move slower than anything has ever moved? That is the feeling I get from watching Yokozuna. In many ways that makes the ancient Fuji the perfect manager for him, as he demonstrates by taking the worst bump ever on the apron. Bret punches him and he slowly, gently, lands on his ass. See; peas in a pod. Bret tries to drag this towards exciting with a few close near falls, which do bring the crowd to life, but he is forced to slow things down and sell his leg to give Yoko time to catch his breath. It’s actually quite pathetic. Speaking of which, Fuji is still sat on the apron minutes after the bump, it looks ridiculous. Yoko catches a belly-to-belly in mid-air, in his first exciting spot of the bout, but misses a splash and gets caught in the Sharpshooter. Owen Hart randomly comes to the ring to slap hands with fans, like an idiot, so Fuji comes in and wallops Bret with the salt bucket. Owen doesn’t like this, so runs in and starts punching Yoko, and Hebner again ignores the rules and doesn’t call for the bell. It is only when Owen brings in the salt bucket and uses it on Yoko that he finally calls the DQ. That was far too long a match for such a deeply unsatisfying finish, and that is a sentence I have written all too often over the course of these books. Owen’s sudden appearance in the aisle was inexplicable and nonsensical, and the match was just so very boring.
Final Rating: *½
Todd Pettengill hammers home the changes to the Survivor Series card again, and it is interesting to note that at this point, two days before the card, they hadn’t yet swapped out Mr. Perfect for Randy Savage. Todd mentions that Bobby Heenan had claimed it would happen, but it wasn’t official. We cut to footage from Superstars of Doink introducing his three Survivor Series partners to Bam Bam Bigelow via video screen, and lo and behold they are all Doinks. Real Doinks, not the bullshit they ended up feeding us with MOM and The Bushwhackers. False advertising at its finest from the WWF. The graphic on-screen for the match that Perfect was supposed to be involved in confirms that he is still advertised as being in the match. The decision for him to pull out, much like last year when he was subbed in for The Ultimate Warrior, must have been close to the line. Todd rounds things off by saying the show will “change the complexion of the nation”, confirming that he is a complete moron.
IRS vs. Marty Jannetty
There are only two matches on this show, so naturally one of them HAS to feature IRS. Why did Irwin never get his comeuppance in the same way someone like The Mountie did? That character was infuriating and annoying (by design) and the fans hated him, but they loved it when The Big Bossman beat him and caused him to have to spend a night in jail. Nothing like that ever happened to IRS, he just continued with the same tired spiel week after week, with no real direction or added layers to his character. What they should have done with him is have him be exposed as a tax cheat or a fraudster, and be forced to pay for it. They could have had him be reduced to working in borrowed rags, a broken man, and film vignettes of him trying to learn to survive in his new lifestyle. Hell, they could have had him go chicken hunting with Kamala, or eat sardines out of a tin like the disgusting Bushwhackers. Sure, it would be campy, silly and surely a candidate for induction over at WrestleCrap.com, but it would have at least made IRS entertaining and watchable, something he never was. It’s something he is not here either, as he irritates me to the max by going right to his staple chinlock and abdominal stretch. Jannetty can barely be bothered to muster anything even close to fire, and I don’t blame him. IRS sapped the life out of his opponents as much as he did the fans. Jannetty finally does throw in the big sell, flipping 360 with style after the Write-off. That finishes Jannetty off, which is a travesty in itself. IRS should not be cleanly beating Marty Jannetty, especially after he dominated the match from start to finish. Jannetty was one of the MVPs on Raw in 1993, but even he couldn’t make IRS entertaining.
Final Rating: ½*
Hosted by Reo Rodgers, who has Shawn Michaels with him. Rodgers is Bruce Prichard playing an even camper Dusty Rhodes, only without a splodge. Vince sure loved sticking it to Dusty whenever possible. The character flopped and this was one of only two segments he was given. Rodgers and Michaels visit “Helen” and “Stu” at the Hart House, but it is of course two randomers under old people masks. Prichard is just HORRIBLE as Rodgers, even if his Dusty impression is spot on. Michaels shouldn’t be reduced to bullshit like this. Vince must think it is bad as well, because he calls time on it and ends the show. One of the worst things I have seen on Raw in 1993, which is a helluva thing.
Summary: No awards for this show, as it is not a “real” episode of Raw. I am not surprised the WWF has erased this from existence and pretended like it never happened, because it is a colossal dung heap of a show. The Bret-Yoko match was inexplicably long with a horrid finish and a complete lack of action throughout. Elsewhere, the only other match is an IRS snoozefest, and the Rodgers segment was a joke. If this was a standard episode of Raw, it would be the worst out of all of them. This is lost for a reason, let it stay that way.