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Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Raw number 2

I had some fun with the retro review of Raw #1 last week - more than I did this week's 900th effort, anyway - so I thought I may step on a week and see how WWE followed up their first ever Monday Night flagship show.

If you didn't see the review of the first show, then either scroll down a little bit, or if you are particularly lazy, just click here.

S0 lets fire up the time machine, and head back to January 18 1993, six days before the Royal Rumble of that year.

The show starts with Vince McMahon, Randy Savage and Rob Bartlett - a man who I had forgotten the existence of until review last week's show, and I realise exactly why my brain had chosen to blot him out. I prefer Michael Cole.......just.

Bartlett rips up a piece of paper with a picture on it, and says "fight the real enemy." I couldn't see who the picture was of (Heenan maybe?).

In a fun start, Savage is attacked from behind by Barry Darsow, in his guise as The Repo Man. Vince and Rob talk to Savage, as the very annoying opening siren drones on. Macho Man appears to have lost his hat. Oh dear. Sorry, I mean, OHhhhhhhh De-yuh!

After the opening theme music, it's......well, what do you know, TNA head of Talent Relations, 'Terrific' Terry Taylor. (Don't say rooster, don't say rooster, don't say rooster.......) His opponent is Mr Perfect, who was really over as a babyface at this point, having turn in the build up to Survivor Series, 1992, accepting the position as Randy Savage's tag team partner, replacing The Ultimate Warrior who had disappeared following one of his 465 sackings from WWF.

Savage meanwhile, on this show, hasn't spoken so far, so I'm assuming he's gone backstage and will re-emerge to wrestle Repo later on.

The match begins, and Vince acknowledges that Randy is 'on the prowl' looking for Repo Man. He soon returns, and says Repo Man clocked him, but he'll get him at some point. Perfect meanwhile, dominates the early stages, and the crowd chant "We Want Flair".

They've got Heenan on the phone now, and it apparently was Heenan's photo who Bartlett ripped up. Heenan plugs All American Wrestling. Savage asks about Repo and his hat. Uh, there's a match on. They go to a break, and they are all over the place.

Back from ad, and Heenan is still on the phone, Taylor on top in the ring. Heenan tells Vince he is calling collect - Vince says to hang up. Funny.

Perfect gets back on top, while the commentators plug the Rumble. Oh, here's Flair. He's looking old and telling the President of the company they are drop dead gorgeous. Oh no, that was Impact last week. Here, Ric looks like he did for most of career - like the challenged brother of Naked Gun actor Leslie Neilson.

Taylor knocks Hennig to the outside, and Flair attacks with the ref's back turned. Perfect is rolled back in the ring. Triple T attempts a suplex, but Hennig responds with.......well, it's known as a Fisherman's suplex, and Perfect called it the Perfect Plex. Vince calls it a Superplex. I guess I shouldn't get so annoyed with Cole when calls Randy Orton's powerslam a scoop slam, should I? Perfect gets the win and runs to the back, obviously to attack Flair.

A sign of the times - the camera gets to the curtain and stops. No going backstage in 1993.

After a break, a slightly skanky ring girl hold up a sign, before we get the same ICOPRO and Slim Jim ads as last week, as well as Lord Alfred plugging X-Men and Spiderman on SNES. I feel old.

Bret is next, appearing on Raw #2, where he was slightly more relevant than at #900. Decent interview, with the most notable thing being that Vince asks Bret about his strategy. They talk about being a technical wrestler, and about how he plans to win. Good lord, how we don't hear that any more. That should be the primary focus of World Title matches. Sure, have a reason for them to feud, of course, but they'll get that 'big fight feel' that they love to talk about if they actually treat wrestling as a serious sport.

After Bret, it's Paul Bearer and Taker in the blue screen interview room, where they talk about the Headlock on Hunger event to raise money for Somalia. No, I'm serious. Couldn't they have found someone other than THE TWO PEOPLE IN THE COMPANY ASSOCIATED WITH DEATH to try and get people to pledge money to, uh, stop people dying. The big guy says "No-one should starve to death". Uh, thanks Take, for those words of exquisite wisdom. That was just odd.

Marty Janetty v Glenn Ruth (DJ - Designated Jobber) is next. Marty on top, and Shawn is on the phone. He calls Janetty a simpleton, amongst other things, and says Sherri will be in his corner at the Rumble. Janetty eventually wins with the Rocker Dropper (Vince doesn't recognise it)

Crush isn't going to the Rumble apparently. We flip to WWE Superstars from the previous weekend, where Doink took out the big Hawaiian with a fake arm. Lawler and Savage on commentary do a really nice job, but Vince freaks out that Doink took his own arm off. I can't believe how bad Vince is, listening back. I thought he was good when I was a kid.

Poor Sean Mooney is still stood outside the building, just like last week, only this time he finds Repo Man, not Bobby Heenan. Repo has the hat, and Savage goes beserk, even though he changes his hat every week. They talk via the earpiece, and Savage takes off again. Repo Man is one of those gimmicks/acts that shouldn't work, but somehow did via the ridiculously over the top performance by Darsow.

Gene Mean is back with another Rumble plug. Razor with a brief threat to Bret. I loved that Razor character. I thought Scott Hall was fantastic for about three years as Razor. Gene Mean runs down some of the Rumble competitors. The gimmick of the graphic is that the still photos are 'bursting' through the wall. Which sounds lame until you see a picture of Fred Ottman (Typhoon) grinning ludicrous, and if you're like me you have a Shockmaster flashback. Poor Uncle Fred.

Back to Mooney outside, and Savage runs past him. Savage looks like such a bizarre, campy clown with all his purple tassles. I don't care how good a wrestler he was (and he was awesome) I always felt his attire hurt him around this time. Savage can't find Repo, so it's back to the ring.

Vince McMahon calls Tito Santana one of the greatest ever. So why did you dress him up like a bloody bullfighter? He is wrestling Ric Flair, with his appallingly bad midi file 2001 (A Space Odyssey) entrance music. Savage is back, and it'll be interesting to see how much he comments on Flair, since the pair of them had a rivalry that lasted most of the previous year.

It's no fun listening to anyone except Heenan call a Santana match. I miss Bobby. Does he get back onto Raw? I can't remember. Two minutes into the match and you start to recall why Flair was so great. He hasn't even got close to an offensive move yet, he has just fed for Tito the whole time, making him look good. I mean, Tito was pretty good, but Flair's way was to build the opponent convincingly, only to knock him down. Classic.

On commentary, Vince confirms Savage v Repo Man for the week after. Savage says he has to think of what to do for 7 days. Vince suggests, uh, the Rumble? Savage says "you're right". Nice to know the runner up cared so much.

Tito hits his big forearm, but for some reason doesn't cover Flair. He waits for him to get up, then charges again, misses, and falls to the outside. As he does, Perfect emerges to pull Flair out, drawing a DQ. Refs and agents come to break it, and they do the whole wild brawl spot. Savage calls it a Pier 9 brawl. I thought it Pier 6 was the rough one? Trouble must be spreading.

They brawl backstage, and Vince asks we can get a camera back there. Apparently not, since we now get a ten second close up of the curtain. They promise a word with Flair or Perfect after the ads......

Or not. Flair and Perfect fight through the curtain again. They split apart, and Flair heads to McMahon. Mic time......Flair says the WWE isn't big enough for him and Mr Perfect, so he is challenging Perfect next week on Raw in a Loser Leaves Town match.

Perfect soon wanders over, after Flair leaves. Perfect says he'll take it in a heartbeat. He calls he and Flair the two best athletes in the WWF. His music hits and the crowd cheer. I loved Perfect's music. One of the best ever.

The show ends with Repo Man having possession of that hat and a car. Oh yeah, I should have told you. Bartlett kept droning on about checking his car throughout the show, I just thought he was telling a bad joke.

Well, ok, he WAS telling a bad joke, but it was actually leading somewhere. I apologise for the omission. Please try to sleep tonight, won't you?

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