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Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Raw Number Five

Lawks a mercy, we're rattling through these now. If this your first step onto this page for a while (or ever), then welcome (back). To catch you up, I decided to have a little look at the first ever Raw a couple of weeks ago, since we were heading into Raw #900. It was so much fun, I kept going, and we're onto the fifth one already. If you want to read reviews of the first four, then scroll down or use the navigation on the right hand side.

For those that are ready, let's crack on with Raw number five, brought to us on February 15th 1993, approximately six weeks before Wrestlemania IX. As I recall, we were promised Brutus Beefcake v Ted DiBiase this week. I can pretty much remember what happened, but I'll feign a lack of recollection, and we'll get into it.

The show begins with a couple of jobbers already in the ring. Who will they be fed to, I wonder? Our commentary team is once again Vince "I'm the boss but I don't really want the world to know yet" McMahon, Randy "Quite Macho in my spangly gear and I don't really want to commentate really Man" Savage, and Rob "How I've still got a commentary job after four excruciating weeks is incredible, the WWF must have signed me to a stupid contract or they think I am giving them street cred" Bartlett.

Vince reminds us that it's Beekcafe's return tonight, and turns to Savage for advice. He actually calls him "Macho" which is very odd. Bartlett is dressed the same as the show previous, and it turns out it's a really bad lapel, not a scarf. That doesn't save him, he still looks like a prat.

The jobbers are for the Steiners, as made evident by the playing of the Michigan fight song. Oh, and the emergence Rick and Scott. Scott hits a couple of heavy looking suplexes, while Savage can't get his mic working. One of the jobbers appears to be called Bobby Hoo, which gives a chance for Vince to do his Abbott and Costello routine that he would later do when Jim Neidhart was put under a hood and forced to be "Who?"

The Steiners win, and just assume that during the last paragraph they hit a clothesline and a stiff suplex in succession for about three minutes.

Gene Mean gives us a rundown of matches booked for Mania. So far it's Bret v Yoko, Taker v Gonzalez and Crush v Doink.

Back in the arena, and for the second week running, and the third of five Raws, Yoko's in town. Ross Greenberg is the feed for today. Savage is still off mic, by the way. Although we can sort of hear him, almost like he is on a phone in space. We can hear agitated comments which sound deliberate, but Vince and Rob are ignoring or can't hear them.

Vince tells us that Hacksaw Jim Duggan, who fought Yoko on another show the previous weekend, was the first man to knock the big guy off his feet. Hey, I thought Savage did it at the Rumble? Does getting out of the way and letting Yoko run into the buckle not count?

Yoko wins nice and simply, and Savage steals a mic from Bartlett. I can only imagine the asides we can hear were put on in post.

A cardboard cut-off brings us a special report.....oh wait, no, it's Lord Alfred. He's here to tell us about Duggan knocking Yokozuna down. Apparently it was on WWF Superstars. Duggan eventually knocking Yoko over after a couple of shoulder charges, but the big Samoan threw salt in his eyes to get DQed, then hit the Banzai Drop a couple of times. Ouch.

Back to the arena, and Vince says that the 16 guys who will be in a battle royal later on all refused to take part if Giant Gonzales was involved. They go to highlights (using that term very loosely here) from Superstars of the Giant winning a handicap match by count out after the 3 opponents legged it. One of them was Louie Spiccoli I think.

Right, I'll try to work out the sixteen guys in the Battle Royal for you - this could be tricky. I can see Michaels, Razor, Backlund, Beserker, Kamala, Koko, Tatanka, Kimchee, Typhoon, Terry Taylor, Tito Santana, Damien Demento, Owen Hart, Skinner and I think Iron Mike Sharpe. That's fifteen, but it's all I can see.

It's very tricky to keep up with eliminations, although I should say this is given a nice amount of time to develop, and isn't rushed at all. It's a lot of fun. I liked seeing Shawn and Owen have a little battle, years before the duo made it bigger. It also amused me to hear the crowd chant 'Huss' along with a departing Beserker.

I should point out that on comms Savage put over Michaels getting upset by Tatanka on Superstars. Man, Superstars is where it's at, not Raw!

Kamala is eliminated by Kimchee, amongst others. When eliminated, he climbs back in and throws out his former handler, and chases him through the crowd and into the hospitality area. After a break, we are told Kamala is still chasing, and we see him continue to chase across the balcony. Back in the ring, Michaels backdrops Typhoon out to leave Tatanka, Michaels, Tito and Razor in the ring. The heels form a little clique (heh heh) of sorts, and the two duos square up.

Surprisingly, it isn't a babyface next out, but Shawn, disposed of by Tito and Tatanka as a pair. So who is going to win.....? Might be a moot point, as Giant Gonzales comes wondering in and starts to attack Tatanka and Tito. Razor sneaks away, and I guess wins by default because Gonzales threw the other two out. Yup, Finkel makes it official. Ramon wins. Hey yo!

After we have a break, the familiar "Money" theme plays, and it's time for Ted DiBiase and Brutus Beefcake and their, erm, Face Off, if you will.

Ted goes for a couple of hook ups at the start of the match which Beefcake avoids and does a little strut. Savage says he is worried about Beefcake and "the facial type sutuation. You know what I'm talking about." I don't want to know about that at all, 'Macho', thanks all the same.

It's all Brutus in the early going, with DiBiase swinging a couple of times at the face, but missing. Jimmy Hart keeps telling his charge that Beefcake is no pushover. Brutus, it's key to mention, hasn't taken a bump yet, several minutes in. There is a lot of stalling with DiBiase going to the outside.

Brutus holds a headlock for about a week, and during this pause IRS wanders to ringside, complete with steel briefcase. It doesn't take the man with the red braces to nail Brutus in the back. We have a DQ. Money INC double team Brutus, with Hart looking pained. He tries to stop IRS from inflicting more damage, but no luck. Irwin smacks Brutus with the briefcase after throwing Jimmy down.

Eventually the heels leave, with Jimmy left to try to tend to the fallen Beefcake. Brutus does a good job of holding his face and not letting the camera see it. Actually, this angle was pretty well done although the payoff (eventually) was pretty awful. To conclude the show, Vince tells us that Beefcake is standing in the dressing room and might have a broken nose. Other than that he'll be ok. Huh. I thought they could of held off on that for a little longer. He says Money Inc will be in action next week, so expect to see Beefcake try to exact revenge. He also says it wouldn't surprise him to see Hulk Hogan show up at Raw. That's an odd way to sell the Hulkster's big return after nearly a year, isn't it? A flippant comment in the closing moments of the show. You'd think it'd be big news that Hogan would be there, or no mention and the return comes as a surprise. Hmm.

Anyway, that's that for episode five. I shouldn't have thought it'll be long and I'll have episode six done and dusted. Let's hope no-one fixes Bartlett's microphone before then.

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