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Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Raw Number Three

This is so much fun, I thought I'd carry on for a bit.

So if you are catching up, I'd suggest you pop down a couple of entries, and read "retro reviews" of Episodes one and two of Monday Night Raw, and the look back at the '93 Rumble, too.

That brings us to Monday 25th January 1993, the third episode of Raw, shown, I would imagine, live from The Manhattan Center. Or maybe not, actually. The PPV the day previous was from Sacramento California, so I'd be interested in the logistics of sorting out that switch from wets coast to east.

Anyway, we kick off this week outside the arena with Mike Adamle......oh, wait, no, it's Mooney again. He catches Repo Man jumping out of a tow truck (!) You could be forgiven for thinking it was Chavo, you know, under that mask. Repo squeaks about being ready for Macho Man, and enters the building. Titles, then that bloody annoying siren again.......

Wahey, Heenan's back! We've still got Bartlett, which is a shame, but Bobby is in the chair, which is great news. I'll include some classic Heenanisms if he spouts them forth, which I'm sure he will. Looking forward to his reaction at Flair v Perfect.

The announcing trio run down what we will see tonight, and Repo Man is first out. He looks hilarious in Savage's hat. Savage runs in, no music, jumping the bell. Not many sold uncontrollable anger like Randy did.

They've now mentioned that Savage came close to winning the Royal Rumble, but they haven't said that Yokozuna won yet, nor that Bret beat Razor. Four minutes in. After five, Yoko gets a mention.

Savage dominates the early portion of the match, before Repo catches him outside the ring on the ring steps. This slows the match down. You forget when you go back to 1993 that a lot of workers like Darsow wrestled a very, very basic style back then. It's a quite boring middle section to this match. So boring the announcers have started talking about an inauguration, presumably of Bill Clinton.

Savage turns the tables, and quickly gets a win, landing his big elbow from the top. Feud over, lasted about a week and six minutes. Savage throws him to the outside, but refs won't let him nail Repo on the floor. Too bad. Savage has hit hat back, but it doesn't match. Savage needs Rico.

Hey, it's Mr Backlund! Back when he was still Bob, he tells us no-one should go to bed hungry, in another plug for Headlock for Hunger. Vince says "speaking of Africa......" and says Kamala is on the show later. Ooh, awkward segue city..........

Back from a break, Heenan pervs at the ring girl, as a good heel should, and we go to a Wrestlemania plug. Vince calls Caesar's Palace "Opulent and splendiferous." Erm, ok. The build up seems to be more for the building than the show.

Back to the arena, it's Kamala. Babyface Kamala, remember, as we saw a couple of weeks ago. And he's facing wrestling premier jobber, The wonderful Brooklyn Brawler. I think Brawler used to portray Kimchee quite a lot, ironically.

Good character development and focus on Kamala here, explaining the babyface turn. The crowd are chanting "You Are a Man" to Kamala. The only wrestler they've chanted that to. Apart from Chyna.

Vince mentions Harvey Wippleman bringing out Giant Gonzales the night previous, and says he is eight foot tall. Heenan says he is actually 20'2". Brilliant. (Wikipedia says actual height of 7'6". Who to believe, WWE or Wikipedia. Both such reputable sources (Note sarcasm)) Is that the first time Gonzales name was mentioned?

Kamala hits a splash, then starts rolling Brawler all over the ring. Eventually he pins him, in a very odd manner. Kamala the character isn't really my kind of thing, but credit to Jim Harris, who played him so outlandishly that it has worked for years.

Slick says that he is not responsible for Kamala's success. The people are. He says Wippleman and Kimchee ought to stay away from Kamala; he doesn't know what the Ugandan will do to them if he sees them. I'm genuinely intrigued by this, because I can't remember what happened to Kamala. Although I do remember him bowling.

Gene Mean runs through what happened at Royal Rumble in fine style, and it's time for Flair and Perfect. Perfect gets the upper hand early on, and Ric bails to talk to Heenan, who has a hammer. Ah, if I had one of them. I would hammer in the morning. I would never do it in the evening, though. Have respect for the neighbours.

You'd suggest we are in for a longish one here, as aside from trying to break the indoor record for reverse knife edge chops, this is a cagey opening. Just before a break, Flair throws Perfect to the outside, but is prevented from hitting him with a chair (wooden, not steel folding) by Earl Hebner. That was pretty stupid, he could have been disqualified. Surprised about that.

Back from break and Flair is on top. Just. In fact I think we just about avoided Flair doing a spot where his trunks get pulled down. Thank God he doesn't do that any more. Erm........

Perfect has been sent into a ringpost, and BLEEDS on Raw. Don't get that anymore. Flair uses all manner of nefarious tactics befitting the dirtiest player in the game, including a hilarious spot where he leans on Perfect's throat, choking him, all the while pleading innocence with the ref.

Perfect gets on top, with Heenan getting increasingly animated on commentary, and McMahon getting more with the "1...2...he got him! No he didn't!" routine. Bartlett, mercifully, has shut up.

I'm making fun of the announcing, but to their credit, they are calling it like it's the biggest match of all time. Keep in min Kurt Angle has a 'career' match every sodding week on Impact, and the commentators talk about something else. It goes for every match, though. Commentators refer loosely to the match, then talk about an angle from earlier that night, or plug Dixie's Twitter, or call the show the longest episodic weekly programme this side of Neptune or whatever, and largely ignore the action in the ring.

Flair takes over with a long sleeper, and after Perfect fights out, slaps on the Figure 4. Perfect recovers, and gets on top, but it's another break time. After the ads, Vince tells us there are nine minutes on the broadcast. Once again, an interesting allusion to reality. They talk about what will happen if the match ends after the broadcast ends. McMahon says they'll fight to a finish and they'll show the result next week. I mean, we both know it will finish before the end, but even lip service to it being real is nice, isn't it?

Flair clocks Perfect with a foreign object, but Hennig gets a foot on the ropes. This is a very good match, and I'm taking into account the fact that I know who wins, because should you not know the outcome, you'd be even more into this. ]

Just as Vince asks Bartlett why he is so quiet, Perfect starts, well, hulking up, basically. Irish whip. back drop, clothesline, then Flair's upside down corner bump and so forth. A series of nearfalls, to which the crowd seem largely apathetic. Hmm.

They soon wake up, though. Flair reverses an Irish whip to the ropes, and drops the head. Perfect hooks it, and hits a Perfect Plex. The directing and camerawork leaves much to be desired, as it is unclear whether Perfect gets three, but the large cheer, referee raising Hennig's hand and music playing all give small clues.

Heenan goes into overdrive. Vince tells Bobby it's his (Heenan's fault), and Heenan's response is bleeped out. Heenan leaves with Flair, who wouldn't be seen on Raw again in person until 2001, the day after the InVasion ended.

A plug for WWF mania is next, and then Vince telling us they are about to name a big match for next week. But first there are more ads........this better be a big match.......

IT'S.........Typhoon v Doink. Ooh, craptacular. That was worth waiting for. Meanwhile, Vince says that Flair will honour his obligations through the weekend - presumably they were fearing some house-show backlash if he didn't turn up as promised.

So, Typhoon v Doink, huh? Can't wait for that............That's so exciting, I'm going to have to continue these old Raw reviews now. Oh well..........

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