History of Wrestling
20 October 2014

Monday Night RAW #36 - 18/10/1993

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Venue: Mid-Hudson Civic Center, Poughkeepsie, NY
Crowd: 3000 (approx)
Taped: 18.10.1993
Show Length: 48:30
Total Wrestling: 12:38 / 26%
TV Rating: 3.0

Back to Poughkeepsie, where there’s a hot crowd as usual. Vince McMahon hosts with Bobby Heenan and Randy Savage, the latter of whom has a big “summit” tonight with Crush.

The Steiner Brothers vs. Tony DeVito & PJ Walker

Everyone in this match would go on to wrestle for ECW, oddly enough, though DeVito in particular looks a real state here, all pudgy with a mullet. Scott Steiner meanwhile has tights that make him look like the setting sun, and he murders DeVito with a dragon suplex before Rick checks in to smash Walker with a vicious powerslam and a Steinerline. Scott soon wants back in because beating up Justin Credible is a pleasure that everyone can enjoy, and a pleasure it is as he wipes him out with the rarely-seen Steiner Screwdriver as the announcers have a collective embolism. From there, he forces DeVito to tag back in, and the brothers finish him off with the top rope bulldog. Watching the Steiners demolish jobbers is about as much fun as wrestling can get, and this was awesome.

Time: 3:07 / Final Rating: **1/4

IRS vs. Scott Taylor

It looks like we’ve got the cream of the jobber crop tonight, though after what we just saw, and IRS squash is like taking the Christmas decorations down. He runs through his usual tired shtick, including sitting in a chinlock for a minute. In a squash match! I get that a heel shouldn’t do moves that might get popped, but heels can still work in an entertaining fashion too. Of course, he follows the thrilling excitement of the chinlock with an unspeakably boring abdominal stretch, and finally finishes with the Write-Off. This was the complete opposite of the Steiners’ match, and a perfect example of how not to do a squash. Just pathetic.

Time: 3:30 / 
Final Rating: DUD

- Meanwhile, Jeff Jarrett is coming to the WWF, but not just to wrestle because that would be ridiculous. No, he’s on his way to attempt to promote his musical career. How do you spell his name again?

Tatanka vs. ‘Iron’ Mike Sharpe

Seriously, this is like a jobber supercard now! All we need now is Barry Horowitz and Duane Gill to complete the set. Like IRS, Tatanka seemingly wrestles almost every week on almost every show, and also does near enough the same match every time out. How did they manage to give the guy so much TV time and have him go absolutely nowhere at all? I also can’t tell if the crowd are into this or not because I can’t hear them over Sharpe’s selling. I did manage to catch some of the commentary though, and it isn’t about the match but rather an unbelievably vicious diatribe from Savage, shooting on Hulk Hogan as Tatanka wraps things up with the End of the Trail.

Time: 3:01 / Final Rating: 1/2*

Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Dennis Diamond

The streak of “main event” jobbers comes to an end as I have absolutely no idea who Diamond is, and there’s nothing remotely interesting to even write about this match either. Bigelow goes over with the slingshot headbutt. Next…

Time: 3:00 / Final Rating: 1/2*

The Savage/Crush Summit

Crush is making his return from injury after Yokozuna crushed his ribs, and he shocks the crowd by coming out with Mr. Fuji. Crush actually has a similar accent and similar inflections to Alberto Del Rio when he talks, but he also shouts a lot because he’s terrible at interviews. He says that he and Savage were best friends but Savage gave him some bad advice, and that Savage just sat there and watched as Yokozuna gave him those four Banzai Drops. He has a point. Savage tells him he’s making a mistake, offers and handshake, and they leave together, only for Crush to deck him in the aisle with a clothesline and drop him throat-first across the guardrail. Yokozuna soon waddles out to add a Banzai Drop, but a gaggle of referees prevent a second one.

Back from a commercial break, Vince is nice enough to update us on Savage’s condition, noting that he has “lacerated his tongue” before talking about how much biting your tongue hurts. Is that really acceptable maximum level of violence in the WWF in 1993?

———

THE RAW RECAP

Most Entertaining
: Scott Steiner. The man was a machine of destruction.

Least Entertaining: IRS. A disgraceful performer who always managed to give the fans exactly what they didn’t want, and lived down to his expectations here.

Quote of the Night: “I’m telling Hogan right now too, sitting and watching the TV: he wants to come over here and do it face-to-face right here on RAW? Then come on down! Because I think Hogan’s a prima donna, a backstabber and he’s a liar. And he thinks he’s the messiah walking around the face of the earth, and there’s only one power and that’s up above brother, and that’s the way that it is… I’m worried that Crush has been talking to Hogan, and Hogan’s ego is bigger than he is” - Randy Savage goes off into an incredible shoot assault on Hulk Hogan.

Match of the Night: The Steiner Brothers vs. PJ Walker & Tony DeVito. This is how a squash match should be.

Verdict: Where was all the wrestling? We didn’t even get one token marquee match, unless Mike Sharpe is now suddenly a “superstar”. This was a weak episode, and achieved little of consequence other than the ill-advised Crush heel turn. Scott Steiner saves this from being a complete washout, but if ever an episode of RAW was missable, it’s this one.

Rating: 26

———

image

Also Available - The RAW Files: 1996

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

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

Learn about:

  • Brian Pillman pulling a gun on Steve Austin!
  • Jim Ross turning heel on the WWF!
  • The departures and “returns” of Razor Ramon and Diesel!
  • 80s stars stinking up the ring!
  • Shawn Michaels' “boyhood dream”!
  • Goldust trying to get it on with everyone!
  • The debuts of MankindThe RockVaderFaarooqMarc Mero and The Goon!
  • Much, much more!

124 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 here to order in paperback from Lulu.com!

Click here to download on Kindle from Amazon!

19 October 2014
18 October 2014
This VHS sleeve must have been produced some time in advance of the show as you’ll note the back cover erroneously lists Randy Savage vs. Kamala, when in actuality Savage faced the Zodiac.Laziness, incompetence, or simply just “because WCW”?

This VHS sleeve must have been produced some time in advance of the show as you’ll note the back cover erroneously lists Randy Savage vs. Kamala, when in actuality Savage faced the Zodiac.

Laziness, incompetence, or simply just “because WCW”?

17 October 2014
16 October 2014

Las Vegas Sudden Death Match: Randy Savage vs. Diamond Dallas Page

- This review reprinted with permission from the upcoming History of Wrestling book Superstar Series: Randy Savage.

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WCW Halloween Havoc, October 26th, 1997 - MGM Grand Arena, Paradise, NV

James Dixon: This is their fifth pay-per-view meeting of the year, and some of them have been pretty good. Just to clear things up, the stipulation actually means “last man standing”, so they have to answer a ten count. Savage worked near miracles with Crush at WrestleMania X last time he was involved in a match of this nature but that was three-and-a-half years earlier. They fight with little refinement for a few minutes, just brawling, then Page does the exact same spot that he did at the Great American Bash by launching himself over the ropes with a slingshot plancha. It didn’t work for him then, so why would he do it again here? Lack of continuity irks me. Repeating the same story annoys me too, which they do here with the focus being on Page’s injured ribs. They brawl into the crowd right by the Flock, with Stevie Richards having a blast pointing and laughing at Page for getting his ass whupped.

They fight up onto the epic set, filled with graves and caskets, which leads to Tony Schiavone mocking the Undertaker, then Page slams Savage onto a casket which explodes, prompting a premature ejaculation from Dusty Rhodes. “He wobble legged he-em” he bellows unbearably. Dusty in his prime was undoubtedly a charismatic performer and a big star, but his pseudo-black stereotype routine is intensely grating when he commentates. Continuing the theme of ripping themselves off, Savage attacks a cameraman and takes his camera. “This is the first time…” starts Schiavone, presumably about to follow with “… a camera has been used in wrestling!”, which would be hot nonsense. Thankfully it breaks when Page blocks it, prompting much concern from Schiavone, partly because he thinks it costs $100,000.

Elizabeth gets involved, smashing a glass tray over the referee’s head to a huge pop, then choking out Page, resulting in Kimberly coming out to fight her off, dragging her away by the hair as Page and Savage take the chance to have a rest. The fight commences with a new referee and Savage smartly holding the ropes to prevent a Diamond Cutter, then drilling Page with Big Elbow onto the ribs. Page makes it up at nine-and-a-half, to which Schiavone bellows “He got up at ten!” Erm… if Nick Patrick had reached ten, the match would have been over. Page hits the Diamond Cutter from nowhere but is still hurt and stays down when Patrick counts again, and both guys make it up at eight. Savage blocks another Cutter with a nice switch then a mule kick. Cue “Sting”, who smashes Page in the ribs with a baseball bat, which is finally enough to keep Page down for the ten. Shock of all shocks, the nWo wins again. It really does get boring after a while.

Final Rating: **1/2

15 October 2014
14 October 2014

hentired:

Steal His Look: Vince McMahon

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Pink Silk Legale Tie - $24

Tommy Hilfiger White Regular Fit Shirt - $162

Beldevere Como Black Alligator Lace-up Shoes - $349,99

13 October 2014

Monday Night RAW #35 - 11/10/1993

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Venue: New Haven Coliseum, New Haven, CT
Crowd: 5500
Taped: 27.09.93
Show Length: 47:24
Total Wrestling: 23:02 / 48.6%
TV Rating: 2.9

This is the third and final episode from the September taping at the New Haven Coliseum, and the hosts are once again Vince McMahonRandy Savage and Bobby Heenan. Vince voices the highlights from last week’s battle royal, then discusses tonight’s Ramon-Martel match for the vacant Intercontinental title, referring to Martel as a “former WWF champion.” Former multiple time tag team champion, sure!

WWF Intercontinental Title: Razor Ramon vs. Rick Martel

We open with the marquee title match, and the crowd are red hot for this guaranteed title change, something which was absolutely a huge deal back in 1993. Martel was kind of a curious choice however, having been on television (though still working on the road) for most of the year in order to freshen him up, and that plan seemed to have been successful as he looked reinvigorated upon his return, for a few weeks at least. He was also an established name who had been with the WWF for years, so working with and beating him gives Razor a bit of a rub to kickstart his first title reign. 
Eagle-eyed fans may well have suspected this might be the outcome of the battle royal in advance however, as Razor and Martel worked around the horn in a few matches prior to this taping, including one at Madison Square Garden two nights prior to this.

This match is actually kind of strange because while it’s technically sound, smooth, and the two seem to have good chemistry, this isn’t really a great deal to say about it. As noted by Lee Maughan in The Complete WWF Video Guide: Volume 3, it isn’t great, but it isn’t bad either, just a decent, solid television match. There are plenty of near falls towards the end from both guys, and plenty of effort to get things over, and you can understand why both might be motivated with Martel back on TV and Razor about to get a title. Razor of course wins it with the Razor’s Edge, taken like a champ by Martel, kicking off a long on-and-off relationship between Razor and the Intercontinental title that would last for the remained of his WWF tenure. This was actually an important match for him because it helped elevated him to the next level and gave him a level of credibility he had previously lacked in such a high spot on the card.

Time: 10:42 / Final Rating: ***

The Headshrinkers vs. Tommy Morrison & Sid Curtis

The crowd are totally burnt out here, having witnessed three RAWs in one sitting, and they aren’t interesting in another squash at this point, especially not one that takes more than a minute to get going after the opening bell. Morrison incidentally isn’t the pro boxer who played Tommy ‘the Machine’ Gunn in Sylvester Stallone’s depressing 1990 pugilistic flick Rocky V. The Headshrinkers rip the jobbers apart, even through in a slam on the outside on Curtis, who Vince insists on calling “Curtison”. Fatu’s splash from the top looks particularly vicious tonight, and that’s enough to end it. I must say, I’m getting rather sick of writing “standard fare” or “the usual TV squash”, and I didn’t appreciate the minute of stalling for this sub-four minute match either. Curtis, from what I can tell, didn’t appear in the WWF again after this. Vince probably tried to book him but couldn’t remember his name.

Time: 3:49 / Final Rating: 1/2*

Owen Hart vs. Scott King

Owen Hart squash matches are usually pretty good because he often tried to make them semi-competitive without hurting his own character, instantly making them more entertaining. Unfortunately, King, who looks like a baby rabbit with a mullet, feeds all wrong for Owen and has to be led through several holds with baby steps. Owen meanwhile looks like a jobber in his own right in what’s essentially his Blue Blazer attire but without the mask. Owen gives King little more than a few punches, which is frankly all he deserves. A beautiful overhead belly-to-belly is followed by a missile dropkick, and a bridged belly-to-belly wins it. Owen had plenty of moves, and watching him do them on the hapless crash dummy was perfectly fine.

Time: 3:38 / Final Rating: *1/2

- Interview Time: Ludvig Borga. Borga’s character motivation was pretty stupid, his promos sucked (“Let me tell you what the initials ‘USA’ stand for in my country: ‘You stink a lot!’”), and he was a fairly poor wrestler, but I can’t help but mark out for the guy. Borga rips on Americans for being unemployed, so Lex Luger arrives in his red, white and blue Zubaz pants to bark out the tired old “America… Love it, or leave it!” blind xenophobia. Luger shouts, spits and sweats a lot, but Borga remains calm and tells Luger things will only happen on his terms. I think the thing I liked about Ludvig was his subtlety, his direct delivery, and his unwavering belief in what he was saying. It was easy to believe that HE believed it, and this ended up being a good little segment.

Adam Bomb vs. Russ Greenberg

Bomb is now being managed by Harvey Wippleman, which is a better choice than Johnny Polo because he suits the Bomb character far more, but worse because, well, he’s not Johnny Polo, and we love Johnny Polo in the History of Wrestling offices. Bomb spends a lot of time doing chokes before hitting an impressive standing dropkick, as Vince again disparages the jobber by calling him “Ross” when his name is Russ. Bomb nearly breaks his neck on the slingshot clothesline, and the crowd is completely silent for this as Bomb takes it with the Atom Smasher. Not good.

Time: 2:34 / Final Rating: 1/4*

Next Week: A verbal confrontation between Randy Savage and Crush, who Savage still thinks are friends despite Bobby Heenan stirring the pot.

The Rock & Roll Express vs.  Duane Gill & Barry Hardy

This is the WWF debut of the current Smoky Mountain Wrestling tag team champions, so Vince declares the match an unsanctioned one, whatever that means. We often rip on the tag team division the WWF had in the early 90s, but they actually had a pretty good line-up of teams at this point, Men on a Mission aside. Morton and Gibson run through a few of their spots in short order, and wrap it up in short order with the double dropkick. Not much to it actually, and they probably would have been better debuting opposite The Heavenly Bodies to show what both teams could do.

Time: 2:19 / Final Rating: 1/2*

- Next weekIRS and Tatanka are both in action! Well, of course they are.

———

THE RAW RECAP

Most Entertaining: Rick Martel. One of his better matches under the ‘Model’ gimmick, and a successful return to the WWF screens. He did a great job putting Razor over and put in plenty of effort along the way.

Least Entertaining: Vince McMahon - His failure to remember the names of his enhancement guys correctly is a real disrespect to the people who make his “superstars” look good.

Quote of the Night: “You got one shot, you gotta be a human torpedo and go at them. Yeah!” - Randy Savage offers advice to Tony Morrison and Sid Curtis

Match of the Night: Razor Ramon vs. Rick Martel

Verdict: Things started well, but not a great deal happened after Razor’s title win. Though, the Borga-Luger confrontation was pretty good and had plenty of passion, and the crowd responded. It relied on cheap patriotism, as all Luger feuds around this time did, but it achieved its goal. The squash matches were largely pointless, and the debut of the Rock & Roll Express was pretty underwhelming. Ricky Morton didn’t even play Ricky Morton! Not bad, but certainly not particularly good either.

Rating: 36

———

image

Also Available - The RAW Files: 1996

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

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

Learn about:

  • Brian Pillman pulling a gun on Steve Austin!
  • Jim Ross turning heel on the WWF!
  • The departures and “returns” of Razor Ramon and Diesel!
  • 80s stars stinking up the ring!
  • Shawn Michaels' “boyhood dream”!
  • Goldust trying to get it on with everyone!
  • The debuts of MankindThe RockVaderFaarooqMarc Mero and The Goon!
  • Much, much more!

124 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 here to order in paperback from Lulu.com!

Click here to download on Kindle from Amazon!

12 October 2014

TNA Bound for Glory 2014, and Pay-Per-View Events Held Outside North America

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There has been some debate and confusion recently about the status of TNA’s Bound for Glory 2014 as the first major pay-per-view event to be held outside of North America since WWE’s SummerSlam ‘92 at Wembley Stadium in London, England, though that only becomes the case if you add some really transparent qualifiers first.

Firstly, Japanese promotions such as New Japan Pro Wrestling and Dragon Gate both run some pretty big pay-per-view cards in their homeland, with New Japan’s Wrestle Kingdom events second only to WWE’s WrestleMania in terms of most-attended annual pro wrestling cards, so one would have to discount those and simply concentrate on U.S.-based groups. That would also eliminate those early 2000s World Wrestling All-Stars shows, on account of the promotion being headquartered in Brisbane, Australia, and Mexican promotion AAA, who’s 2014 TripleMania even from Mexico City aired on iPPV in the States.

Looking at TNA themselves, they have been in the process of airing a series of special pay-per-view events titled as One Night Only, cards which in some cases were taped in England during the promotion’s 2014 UK tour. One could argue that those broadcasts shouldn’t count given the fact they were taped in advance and didn’t air live, but in that case, shouldn’t we discount Bound for Glory as well, given that the show is scheduled to start at 6:30pm local time and will only air on tape delay in the U.S.? In order for the card to air live at 8pm EST, it would need to begin at 7am on Monday morning in Tokyo, and that isn’t happening.

"Ah", you pedantically counter, "but TNA’s taped-in-the-UK One Night Only pay-per-views are as unlike Bound for Glory, being as they are simply one-off events that don’t fit in with current, ongoing storylines, ergo they obviously don’t count as ‘major shows’”. Perhaps not, but WCW aired matches from New Japan’s Collision in Korea event on pay-per-view, which despite the lack of relation to angles from WCW Monday Nitro and WCW Saturday Night, played to the largest crowds in modern pro wrestling history, attended by over 160,000 spectators. A pretty “major” happening by any standards then, even if the majority of those in attendance had never even seen a pro wrestling match in their lives before, with attendance deemed mandatory by the North Korean government.

So let’s discount Collision in Korea on account of politics. WCW still aired three other New Japan cards on American pay-per-view, all with matches culled from Tokyo Dome cards held between 1991 and 1993. Again, if we discount the Japan Supershow airings on account of them being principally promoted by a Japanese group, and also on account of them having aired on tape delay, that brings us to WWE’s New Year’s Revolution 2005 from San Juan, Puerto Rico. A commonwealth governed by the United States it may be, but Puerto Rico remains a country in the Caribbean, not North America. Attempting to claim otherwise would be like trying to suggest a show held on the Falkland Islands as having happened in the United Kingdom.

For the sake of argument, we’ll discredit New Year’s Revolution on that flimsiest of reasons, leaving us with all of those UK-only pay-per-view events promoted by the WWF/WWE between 1997-2003. Those would include One Night Only, an event also broadcast on pay-per-view throughout Canada, and a card which featured a changing of the promotion’s then-new European title, which was actually acknowledged on WWF programming back in the States. The card was a pretty big deal in the UK, but again for argument’s sake we have to take the arrogant notion that anything which doesn’t air on pay-per-view in the United States “doesn’t count”.

So that just leaves us with SummerSlam '92 as the last “major” pro wrestling card to have not only aired on pay-per-view in North America, but to have also been held outside North America despite being promoted by a North American federation. Oh, but hang on a moment… I thought we weren't counting shows which weren't actually broadcast live and only aired later on tape delay…? ARGH!

11 October 2014
10 October 2014
9 October 2014
INCLUDING FOREWORD BY JIM CORNETTE!——————————————————————————————————————-Throughout the history of the WWF, there have been times of prosperity and times of hardship, cycles that shape the ethos of the company by forcing changes to its infrastructure and on-screen direction. The one constant throughout three decades of change is Vincent Kennedy McMahon, the stalwart puppet-master who captains the ship. Unflinching, thick-skinned, and domineering, McMahon has ultimately outlasted all of his competition and come out on top of every wrestling war he has waged.In 1995, he very nearly lost.Titan Sinking tells the tale of one of the most tumultuous, taxing and trying years in WWF history. Vince was reeling from a nightmare first half of the decade as the year commenced, but having seemingly steered the company through an image-shattering five years, he looked to rebuild his ailing brand and rediscover the magic formula that made his promotion such a juggernaut in the eighties. As each week passed, more and more problems behind the scenes began to unfold, plunging the WWF on the bring of crisis.This book gives the inside story of all of it: with detailed accounts of incidents from Syracuse to Montreal, from the Kliq to he BSKs, Vince’s new hope, to his various creative flops and failures. Find out the real story of the year, and learn how 1995 brought WWF to the brink.——————————————————————————————————————-BUY THIS BOOK!CLICK HERE TO ORDER IN PAPERBACK!CLICK HERE TO ORDER IN COLLECTOR’S EDITION HARDBACK!CLICK HERE TO ORDER ON KINDLE FROM AMAZON!

INCLUDING FOREWORD BY JIM CORNETTE!

——————————————————————————————————————-

Throughout the history of the WWF, there have been times of prosperity and times of hardship, cycles that shape the ethos of the company by forcing changes to its infrastructure and on-screen direction. The one constant throughout three decades of change is Vincent Kennedy McMahon, the stalwart puppet-master who captains the ship. Unflinching, thick-skinned, and domineering, McMahon has ultimately outlasted all of his competition and come out on top of every wrestling war he has waged.

In 1995, he very nearly lost.

Titan Sinking tells the tale of one of the most tumultuous, taxing and trying years in WWF history. Vince was reeling from a nightmare first half of the decade as the year commenced, but having seemingly steered the company through an image-shattering five years, he looked to rebuild his ailing brand and rediscover the magic formula that made his promotion such a juggernaut in the eighties. As each week passed, more and more problems behind the scenes began to unfold, plunging the WWF on the bring of crisis.

This book gives the inside story of all of it: with detailed accounts of incidents from Syracuse to Montreal, from the Kliq to he BSKs, Vince’s new hope, to his various creative flops and failures. Find out the real story of the year, and learn how 1995 brought WWF to the brink.

——————————————————————————————————————-

BUY THIS BOOK!

CLICK HERE TO ORDER IN PAPERBACK!

CLICK HERE TO ORDER IN COLLECTOR’S EDITION HARDBACK!

CLICK HERE TO ORDER ON KINDLE FROM AMAZON!

 
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