History of Wrestling
21 July 2014

Monday Night RAW #26 - 19.07.1993

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Venue: Manhattan Center, Manhattan, NY
Crowd: 1200
Taped: 19.07.1993
Show Length: 47:18
Total Wrestling: 19:15 / 40.7%
TV Rating2.9

We start with the Lex Express and Lex Luger talking about his love of the USA. He’s coming to save the motherfuckin’ day, yeah! Hosts are Vince McMahon, Randy Savage and Bobby Heenan.

WWF Intercontinental Title: Shawn Michaels (c) vs. Marty Jannetty

Vince reminds us that Jannetty beat Shawn for the strap on RAW two months ago, which is part of the reason why Shawn recruited a bodyguard in Diesel. Because Jannetty has won this match before, the fans are excited at the prospect of lightning striking twice. Poor Marty, he’s just weeks away from a career-derailing destruction job at the hands of Ludvig Borga. I’d call it a waste of talent but Jannetty wasted his own talent many times over, sadly.

Marty flips out of everything Shawn brings and goes for multiple flash pins as that’s how he won the belt before. They work some wonderful counters with Michaels getting progressively more frustrated that Jannetty dodges all his best stuff. Shawn makes a point of throwing himself into spots with reckless abandon. Most people just can’t do that. It takes a special kind of person to throw their body around in that fashion. Jannetty isn’t quite at Shawn’s level, which he was back in May. He upsets Shawn with a surprise DDT but Shawn’s foot is on the rope and Diesel has to jump in to tell Earl Hebner he screwed up a three-count. Heenan shows Earl the replay during the ad break and when we return the match is back on.

Jannetty gets a sleeper as Shawn hasn’t been able to cope with Jannetty’s enthusiasm. Shawn gets out and it’s Marty’s turn to take a big bump through the ropes. Another ad break sees Shawn take over after a cheap shot through the ropes. Unfortunately they come back with Shawn hooking a chinlock. That’s supposed to be for during the ad break guys. The commentators put over how much effort has gone into this match and both guys, when paired up with suitable opponents, bring that massive effort. Shawn goes for a big powerbomb only for Marty to counter into a huracanrana for a huge near fall, with Vince getting suitably excited.

Jannetty rolls through a crossbody for another energetic near fall. This has become a real barnburner. Jannetty goes big on the ropes but crashes and burns. Diesel picks him up, throws him back inside and Shawn throws an arm over him for the pin, retaining the title thanks to his bodyguard’s help and Jannetty’s stupidity. Another great TV match between these two, thoush sadly for Jannetty, they’d go in opposite directions from here. Jannetty just wasn’t in the WWF’s long-term plans because of his unreliability, while Shawn would go on to become the kingpin ‘Showstopper’.

Time: 14:20 / Final Rating: ****1/4

- Interview Time: Money, Inc. Vince riles them up immediately by mentioning they lost the titles to the Steiner Brothers. IRS talks about how everybody cheats on their taxes. Get some new material, for crying out loud. Talk about stuck in a rut! DiBiase switches gears to barrack Razor Ramon for losing to the 123 Kid, which brings Razor out to retort. DiBiase offers him a job as a domestic to compensate for losing his $10,000 but Razor takes offence at DiBiase’s tone and lays them both out, which would lead to a freshly turned Razor facing DiBiase at SummerSlam. DiBiase challenges the Kid to prove to Razor what a joke he is.

Men on a Mission vs. Rich Myers & Hank Harris

An example of Oscar’s terrible rapping: “Whose number one? Men on a Mish-un!” Sick rhymes, man. Poor Rich Myers, he always gets fed to the nastiest opponents. Mabel squashes him, literally, while Vince gets orgasmic about his physique. Harris is a bigger guy with a pudgy body but Mabel makes him look tiny, then Oscar gets in the way of the finish, proving himself completely useless. Mabel basically just falls on Harris for the win.

Time: 1:45 / Final Rating: DUD

- Video Control goes to 'Mean' Gene and the SummerSlam Report, where he’s dancing to Men on a Mission’s them music. Now I hate them even more. He mentions the Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzalez has been signed, along with Luger’s title challenge of Yokozuna. Yep, it’s another bad 1993 card, folks.

- Video Control is kept busy by Vince, who throws to the Lex Express. Luger is travelling the country in a hideous AMERICABUS to drum up grass roots support for his title shot. I love that the bus has an ICOPRO advert on it. They were just obsessed with trying to sell people that junk in 1993.

Bastion Booger vs. Scott Despres

I differ greatly in my opinion of Mike Shaw as compared with fellow History of Wrestling scribe James Dixon, who seems to think he was decent in Stampede Wrestling. I thought he sucked and that Makhan Singh was one of the least-important guys in that whole territory. Booger might be his worst gimmick, though that’s sadly debatable. It does allow him to showcase how fat he is, but that’s about it. Poor Despres gets totally squashed here. Normally I wouldn’t rate squash matches but this one was offensively bad, and a complete waste of time.

Time: 1:00 / Final Rating: DUD

- The King’s Court: In the WWF’s continuing attempts to latch on to anybody with even just a modicum of celebrity status, Jerry Lawler's guest this week is 60s novelty act Tiny Tim, a ukulele player who did a famously creepy high-pitched cover of Tiptoe Through the Tulips. The WWF: their finger 30 years off the pulse. Lawler requests a few bars of …Tulips but thankfully cuts him off. Tim plays the whole thing straight but the crowd totally turn on the segment with a big “We want Bret!” chant. Tim tells Lawler he’s not a Burger King but rather a Dairy Queen, and Lawler doesn’t even sock him in the jaw, rendering the entire segment useless. He does smash up the ukulele though, reducing Tim to tears. I was begging for a piledriver here, but alas, one never came.

123 Kid vs. Chris Duffy

Duffy looks like a goofy cross between Bob Backlund and Shane Douglas. Ted DiBiase returns to scout the Kid who unloads with kicks, but Razor Ramon returns to watch the Kid’s back. This is actually the first time on RAW that the Kid has had a flat-out jobber to work with, so it’s the first time he’s been able to really exhibit his best moves. That is at least until Duffy overpowers him. Overpowered by a jobber. Tragic. Strength never was the Kid’s game. He clocks Duffy with a spin kick and leg jams the back of his head for the win.

Time: 2:10 / Final Rating: *1/4

———

THE RAW RECAP

Most Entertaining: Shawn Michaels.

Least Entertaining: Oscar. The worst thing to happen to rap in wrestling, ever.

Quote of the Night: “I’ll show Mr. Machismo what a real man can do” – Ted DiBiase sticks it to Razor Ramon.

Match of the Night: Shawn Michaels vs. Marty Jannetty.

Verdict: The show started incredibly with Shawn and Marty, and the Kid squash at the end was ok. Everything in the middle was horrible. What did the Tiny Tim thing achieve? Jerry Lawler was already over with a bunch of cheap heat, he didn’t need more. The crowd just wanted Bret Hart to come out and kick Lawler’s ass. It boggles the mind that the same company put on Shawn and Marty in a MOTYC to open the show then followed it with the Tiny Tim nonsense. That’s the WWF for you. It’s a constant battle to actually get good wrestling. In order to get there you have to wade through all the crap.

Rating: 46

———

image


The team at HistoryOfWrestling.info who brought you The Complete WWF Video Guide series are back with this companion piece taking you through the first year of the WWF/WWE’s flagship show: Monday Night RAW!

We cover every angle, segment and match in detail and offer plenty of insight and interesting facts along the way.

Learn about:

  • Friar Ferguson’s ill-fated debut!
  • The 123 Kid’s shocking upset victory!
  • Lex Luger’s sudden babyface turn!
  • Vince McMahon’s hatred for Barney the Dinosaur ticket scalpers!
  • The awful Rob Bartlett!
  • Future Superstars who were still Jobbers to the Stars!
  • Randy Savage’s vicious shoot rant about Hulk Hogan!
  • Brutus Beefcake’s parents!
  • The wrestling blowjob!
  • Much, much more!

104 pages!

Written and presented in the usual History of Wrestling style, with various awards, match and show listings, and a host of star ratings for fans to debate at will.

Click to order in paperback from Lulu.com!

Click to order on Kindle from Amazon!

20 July 2014
19 July 2014
18 July 2014
17 July 2014

WWF Tag Team Titles, Best 2/3 Falls: Demolition (c) vs. The Hart Foundation

This review has been reprinted with permission from the History of Wrestling book Superstar Series: The Hart Foundation.

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[27/08/1990 - SummerSlam, The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA]


First Fall: All three members of Demolition are in the building, but it’s only Smash and Crush who come out to wrestle with the angle being that the Harts are the established duo, therefore dominating the early going, while the addition of Crush and the banishment from ringside of Ax has actually weakened Demolition due to the unfamiliarity between Smash and Crush. Crush of course still gets to boss chunks of the match by himself because he’s young and big, traits Vince McMahon just loves in his WWF superstars.

Bret meanwhile takes the opportunity to show what an excellent all-rounder he is, wrestling circles around Crush. Both teams make a reasonable number of tags to keep the action fresh, but the Harts lean heavily on Bret’s abilities as he’s just starting to get the “Five Moves of Doom” over. Demolition double team him though and the Demolition Decapitation puts the defending champions up 1-0.

Second Fall: Demolition kick things off by isolating the already-hurting Bret, whose selling here is typically excellent. He was so consistent in the ring, and he was striving to improve his mic skills ahead of his upcoming singles push. He eventually gets the hot tag to Neidhart, causing a seismic shift in the dynamic of the match. Neidhart is all about the power and single-handedly drags his team back into it. The Harts then look to finish it with the Hart Attack only for Crush to intentionally bump referee Earl Hebner, who calls a DQ to level the score at 1-1.

Third Fall: Ax runs down to hide under the ring as the fall gets underway, with the Harts again demonstrating their superior teaming until Ax sneaks in and beats Bret down. How can Hebner not tell the difference here? Ax has totally different face paint and a different body to Smash and Crush. It’s not even like a Killer Bees level of switching possibilities. Eventually the Legion of Doom get sick of all the switching and come out to retrieve Ax from under the ring, setting up their natural house show program for the autumn and winter months.

With Ax and Smash busy on the outside brawling with the LOD, Crush gets rolled up and the Harts take the titles. It was an interesting switch in that neither team really needed the belts, although it seems like the WWF were lining up Power and Glory for a run with the belts and needed a strong babyface team for them to take the straps from, in order to build up a Power & Glory vs. LOD feud for WrestleMania VII. That plan fell partially by the wayside once the WWF signed the Nasty Boys away from WCW and Neidhart almost got released, resulting in the WWF switching the titles to the Rockers in a Saturday Night’s Main Event match which never made air when the top ring rope broke, the 90-minute broadcast was recut into a 60-minute The Main Event prime time special, and Neidhart was rehired in the interim. The upshot of the “phantom title switch” led to Shawn Michaels accusing Bret of playing politics by not dropping the belts, but in reality Bret was desperate to ditch the titles so he could get his singles run.

Final Rating: 
***1/4

———

image

Superstar Series: The Hart Foundation

The most comprehensive, in-depth guide to legendary WWF tag team The Hart Foundation ever published, this book features full reviews of over 150 Hart Foundation matches, the majority of which are exclusive to this guide!

From PPV to TV to house shows and everything in between, every available bout featuring this dynamic duo is covered in our trademark History of Wrestling style!

As well as chronological match reviews, there are also the usual star ratings, random musings, facts, and behind-the-scenes information. Not only that, but there is also an exhaustive and exclusive list of every Hart Foundation match known to have ever taken place.

A must have for all fans of the team! 106 pages!

• Over 150 Hart Foundation matches!
• Complete reviews and star ratings!
• Behind the scenes information!
• Complete chronology of the team!
• All PPVs, TV and house shows!
• Exclusive content!

Click to order from Lulu.com!

Click to order on Kindle from Amazon!

———

www.historyofwrestling.info
www.twitter.com/HOWwrestling

16 July 2014
bobdahlstrom:

I know I know, this already happened, right? Think about it, all the classic Taker/Savage matches you saw. Wait, now did you really? As hard as it is to believe, these two never had a televised singles match. They wrestled a couple times at house shows, but never televised, so it doesn’t count. And I believe they were in a tag match against each other, but again, I’m not counting it.Think of how awesome this match would have been. I went with a current Undertaker vs Savage before he was super super over the top. Think like WM3 era Savage. Oh man. How great could this have been?

bobdahlstrom:

I know I know, this already happened, right? 

Think about it, all the classic Taker/Savage matches you saw. Wait, now did you really? As hard as it is to believe, these two never had a televised singles match. They wrestled a couple times at house shows, but never televised, so it doesn’t count. And I believe they were in a tag match against each other, but again, I’m not counting it.

Think of how awesome this match would have been. I went with a current Undertaker vs Savage before he was super super over the top. Think like WM3 era Savage. Oh man. How great could this have been?

14 July 2014

Monday Night RAW #25 - 12.07.1993

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Venue: Manhattan Center, Manhattan, NY
Crowd: 1000 (approx)
Taped: 05.07.1993
Show Length: 47:28
Total Wrestling: 25:43 / 54.2%
TV Rating2.7

Hosts are Vince McMahon, Randy Savage and Bobby Heenan.

WWF Title: Yokozuna (c) vs. Crush

I appreciate them putting a title bout on RAW but Crush is bloody awful, and the only guy I can think of who was less deserving of their main event push from this era is Yokozuna. You have to remember coming into this match that the WWF was hyping RAW as a show where anything could happen, but more than that, heels were often transitional champions in the WWF so the fans sense this might be something special and kick off the incredible atmosphere with an impromptu singing of the American National Anthem.

Crush gets the better of the early going to further illustrate the possibility of a title change, albeit via a traditional opening shine. Crush’s big issue is an inability to get Yokozuna off his feet. It’s hard to pin a guy if you can’t even get him on the mat. Yokozuna’s first move is a chop to the throat that knocks Crush down. That’s what he’s up against, where almost every strike knocks him down. Interestingly enough though, to look at them both with no prior knowledge, it’d be impossible to tell who was the unbeatable champ. It’s just how the match has been laid out. Then again, the Crush character never looked capable of a big win. He was too slow and lacking in the aggression department for that.

Yokozuna goes to the nerve hold to officially kill the match dead and the patriotic crowd go from rabid to bored in around two minutes. Way to go, Yoko! It doesn’t help that Crush doesn’t seem to understand the lack of crowd reaction or how to respond. His comeback surrounds taking Yokozuna off his feet, which he eventually does with a clothesline. Talk about building up to nothing. Fuji whacks Crush with the Japanese flag to turn the tide and the Hulkbuster leg drop should finish it, but Yokozuna spends ages standing around posing and gesturing for the Banzai Drop. “What’s he gonna do now?” asks Vince. Oh come on, man. So yes, Banzai Drop, no title for Crush. The match was dull, thanks to both guys being dull, and without heat. Considering how fanatical the crowd was to begin with, that’s squarely on the wrestlers.

Time: 11:08 / Final Rating: 3/4*

- Post Match: Yokozuna continues the abuse with a few more Banzai Drops. Tatanka runs out to try and save but gets knocked out with one punch, then the locker room clears out and Yokozuna levels all the jobbers. Randy Savage can’t take it anymore and drags Crush away to save him from a fifth Banzai Drop but Crush has been crushed. Heenan blames Lex Luger for all of this as he’s upset the champion as Crush does a stretcher job to sell the beatdown. “It could be worse, it could be me” – Bobby Heenan. I like that they sold Crush out, a guy who wasn’t over and wasn’t talented but had been pushed hard, to get over Yokozuna’s domination. A smart booking decision. Crush would disappear for three months to sell his injures, the second time this year he’d been put on the shelf.

The Headshrinkers vs. Aaron Ferguson & PJ Walker

Nice to see PJ has regained his P. I couldn’t have handled a BJ during the show. Ferguson looks inexperienced and badly runs the ropes. The Headshrinkers take it out on PJ instead, throwing him into the air where he lands on his head. Samu has no sympathy for the poor guy and just kills him with a lariat. Perhaps that’s just how they fix broken necks in Samoa. It’s a cultural misunderstanding. The Headshrinkers roll his carcass into the corner so they can kill Ferguson too. Heenan’s assertion that Walker could now star in Weekend at Bernies III makes me laugh since he looks like he might actually be dead. Ferguson’s awful 90s haircut (all shaved up the sides) gets driven into the mat a few times before Fatu finishes with the Superfly Splash. The Headshrinkers were up there with the Steiner Brothers when it came to killing jobbers.

Time: 3:20 / Final Rating: **

Tatanka vs. The Brooklyn Brawler

Steve Lombardi, ladies and gentlemen; career jobber. However he’s had a job with the WWF since 1983 and might be the longest serving guy in the company whose surname isn’t McMahon. Sure, he’s counted more ceiling tiles than most, but staying in the WWF for that long is almost impossible (some 12 years longer than Triple H in fact). Tatanka steamrollers the Brawler, takes his arm and controls the match. Brawler actually gets a heat segment and has Tatanka in trouble with a neckbreaker. He doesn’t bother pinning and instead chokes Tatanka with his shirt, and it doesn’t help any that they sit in a chinlock. Eventually Tatanka just starts no selling, does the war dance and finishes with the End of the Trail. An incredibly boring match up, a total void in the middle of the show.

Time: 7:09 / Final Rating: 1/4*

Mr. Hughes vs. Tony DeVito 

Hughes had stolen the urn from the Undertaker and he parades it around here. DeVito is the future ECW Baldie and ROH Carnage Crew member, minus all his future mannerisms and haircut. He tries his best to get over Hughes’ plodding offence by taking a huge back bump off a punch. When you’re putting way more effort into the sell than the other guy is putting into the punch, you’re the star. Hughes was almost unbearably lazy during his 1993 run, yet the WWF had him back twice, mainly because of his size, but he didn’t put any effort into it those times either. Some guys just bury themselves. DeVito runs into a sidewalk slam and that’s all she wrote. If it had been a lesser jobber this would have been DUD or worse.

Time: 1:52 / Final Rating: 1/4*

- Video Control takes us to the SummerSlam Report with 'Mean' Gene. Bret Hart vs. Jerry Lawler is the biggest match signed so far. Okerlund references the forthcoming Lex Express tour, but there’s not much else to report as the card is still in its infancy. Vince throws us to a Men on a Mission promo after that and they really try to push the “street” aspect of them by having Oscar rap (badly I might add) in front of a green screen where the WWF shot footage in “the hood”. How did this embarrassment ever make it past quality control? Did no one think “Hey, this Oscar guy looks like an idiot and can’t rap for shit?”

Adam Bomb vs. Scott Amanti 

I’m really not sure what Adam Bomb and Johnny Polo have in common. Couldn’t Polo have managed some preppy guy instead? Amanti is one of the skinnier jobbers, which serves to demonstrate just how large Bomb is. He can take a decent bump too, as Bomb throws him across the ring with an enormous Biel before switching to a stomach claw. Bomb realises that sucks and throws Amanti out of the ring instead. Another big throw on the floor amuses Polo, and a diving clothesline and powerbomb one-two finishes it. I’m still puzzled as to why Bomb never got a bigger push given he had all the look, size and moves to get him over, and he was way better than Crush who was continually pushed ahead of him.

Time: 2:14 / Final Rating: *

———

THE RAW RECAP

Most Entertaining: The Headshrinkers. In a poor week they were outstanding in dishing out the abuse.

Least Entertaining: Mr. Hughes. Another unspeakably boring performance from him.

Quote of the Night: “Oh, say can you see…” – New York starts an impromptu singing of the National Anthem, which even as a Brit gave me chills.

Match of the Night: The Headshrinkers vs. PJ Walker & Aaron Ferguson. A squash but a hugely entertaining one.

Verdict: Not one of the best of 1993’s RAW episodes, with four squash matches backing up a hugely underwhelming WWF title match. Crush was probably the wrong guy to get anything over, let alone an injury angle or a title opportunity. He looked ill at ease in a big match and Yokozuna was in no position to carry him, and their match ended up killing one of the hottest wrestling crowds I’ve ever seen, who went from baying for blood to hoping for anything in the space of about five minutes, and once they were gone, they never came back. The rest of the show didn’t do anything for them, or me, as it was just squashes. This one is a definite pass unless you really hate Aaron Ferguson and PJ Walker, then you should check it out because they get their heads kicked in.

Rating: 20

———

image


The team at HistoryOfWrestling.info who brought you The Complete WWF Video Guide series are back with this companion piece taking you through the first year of the WWF/WWE’s flagship show: Monday Night RAW!

We cover every angle, segment and match in detail and offer plenty of insight and interesting facts along the way.

Learn about:

  • Friar Ferguson’s ill-fated debut!
  • The 123 Kid’s shocking upset victory!
  • Lex Luger’s sudden babyface turn!
  • Vince McMahon’s hatred for Barney the Dinosaur ticket scalpers!
  • The awful Rob Bartlett!
  • Future Superstars who were still Jobbers to the Stars!
  • Randy Savage’s vicious shoot rant about Hulk Hogan!
  • Brutus Beefcake’s parents!
  • The wrestling blowjob!
  • Much, much more!

104 pages!

Written and presented in the usual History of Wrestling style, with various awards, match and show listings, and a host of star ratings for fans to debate at will.

Click to order in paperback from Lulu.com!

Click to order on Kindle from Amazon!

13 July 2014
12 July 2014
11 July 2014
10 July 2014

The Brain Busters vs. The Hart Foundation

 - This review has been reprinted with permission from the History of Wrestling book Superstar Series: The Hart Foundation.

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[28/08/1989 - The Meadowlands Arena, East Rutherford, NJ]

The Brain Busters won the tag titles from Demolition, ending their epic 478-day reign with an assist from Andre the Giant, but since they only won the belts after this match had been announced, they’re not on the line here.

Blanchard shows up in the mood for a great match, which is fitting given this would be his final pay-per-view appearance with the company. A random drug test the following November would show traces of cocaine in his system, which might actually explain why he’s so animated here, seemingly determined to get ever single second of the match over. The Harts run a reverse heat on him, which suits me just fine. Anything with Bret and Tully is so good it makes me which Blanchard could have stuck around and been a part of the awesome singles scene of the early 90s. 

Normally heels tend to boss the pace of a match, but here they opt to go down a different route and have the babyfaces dominate, Neidhart with power, Bret with skill. The Harts telegraph a double team though, which allows Anderson to make a gallant save for his partner. It’s like a world gone mad! The Busters take over from there and run heat on the ‘Anvil’, and really keep things interesting by throwing their own bumps, switching up the usual tag team formula and eschewing any rest holds.

The Harts bust out a slingshot shoulderblock after the hot tag, and in a great double team, Neidhart reverse slams Bret onto Blanchard, only for Anderson to clobber Bret from behind and drape Tully on top for the pin. The match was constant hard work from both teams, with excellent action throughout, and although nobody at the time knew this was close to the conclusion of an excellent career for Blanchard, at least as a full-time worker in a major league promotion, it stands in retrospect as him going out in a blaze of glory. 

Final Rating: ****1/4

———

image

Superstar Series: The Hart Foundation

The most comprehensive, in-depth guide to legendary WWF tag team The Hart Foundation ever published, this book features full reviews of over 150 Hart Foundation matches, the majority of which are exclusive to this guide!

From PPV to TV to house shows and everything in between, every available bout featuring this dynamic duo is covered in our trademark History of Wrestling style!

As well as chronological match reviews, there are also the usual star ratings, random musings, facts, and behind-the-scenes information. Not only that, but there is also an exhaustive and exclusive list of every Hart Foundation match known to have ever taken place.

A must have for all fans of the team! 106 pages!

• Over 150 Hart Foundation matches!
• Complete reviews and star ratings!
• Behind the scenes information!
• Complete chronology of the team!
• All PPVs, TV and house shows!
• Exclusive content!

Click to order from Lulu.com!

Click to order on Kindle from Amazon!

———

www.historyofwrestling.info
www.twitter.com/HOWwrestling

9 July 2014
 
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