Sunday, August 19, 2012

Raw #3 - January 25th, 1993

Right off the bat, we are told that this edition of Raw has been pre-recorded, meaning that either Ric Flair or Mr. Perfect competed at the previous night's Royal Rumble despite having already lost a retirement match. WWE could never get away with this in the internet age. Speaking of the Royal Rumble... is something that the announcers should not do tonight, given that it hasn't taken place yet (unless they knew the results beforehand somehow). Outside the arena with Sean Mooney, the Repo Man  vows to repossess Randy Savage's career. Does that mean that Repo gets the distribution rights to all of the Macho Man's matches?

With Macho Man facing Repo Man tonight, Bobby Heenan finally gets to take the headset for tonight's Raw. Unfortunately, Rob Bartlett is still there. Besides the Macho vs. Repo match, the big story of tonight's Raw will be the Bushwhackers in action against jobbers. Oh, and also Ric Flair vs. Mr. Perfect. Come to think of it, this Raw looks pretty stacked for an hour show.

Macho Man does a Pearl Harbor job on Repo Man before the bell as Rob Bartlett does his best Macho Man imitation ("Get 'im, brother!"). Keep in mind that this is Rob Bartlett's best Macho Man imitation, which still kinda sucks. He might have him confused with Hulk Hogan, brother. Off camera, the announcers discuss events from the Royal Rumble that haven't really happened yet. The camera focuses on the action between the two Superstars, which is such a wild brawl that they don't even use any Maneuvers. Heenan says what we're all thinking about Bartlett after a particularly confusing Repo Man joke:

Heenan: Vince, Vince. Where did they get this guy?
McMahon: Nevermind. Well, if you really must know, I mean, he was coming up the subway, and we just decided to...

Repo locks in a chinlock on Macho as he audibly threatens to break his neck. Who does this guy think he is, Marty Jannetty? Meanwhile, Bartlett compares the hold to chiropractic and sex before making an unrelated decade-old Jodi Foster/John Hinckley reference, to Bobby Heenan's bafflement. Repo Man yells out, "Macho what?", which Bobby Heenan for some reason claims is directed towards Vince. On closer inspection, "Macho Man" is an anagram for "A McMahon," which makes those Randy Savage/Stephanie McMahon rumors even more intriguing. As expected, Savage wins the match, reclaims his hideous hat, and unofficially ends Repo Man's WWF career.

Next up is Kamala squaring off against the Brooklyn Brawler, Steve Lombardi, who also portrays Kamala's masked former handler, Kim Chee. Rob Bartlett mistakes Kamala for Nell Carter, despite the Ugandan Giant being topless with a tribal mask on. Bartlett is apparently a racist and a pervert, besides being an annoying announcer. The fans chant "You are a man!" for the newly-civilized Kamala, which I believe is exactly what they chanted at Chyna upon her debut four years later (and, no, this is not hypocritical of me because I accused Bartlett only of racism and perversion, not sexism).

Kamala executes an early version of the stinkface on the Brawler, or else he's doing his best Pat Patterson impersonation (Pat Patterson is gay with Steve Lombardi, is what I'm getting at). 

Kamala follows this up with a perfectly good pin attempt which the referee doesn't count because Brawler is on his front, not on his back. Look, as long as his shoulders are down, it shouldn't matter how he's lying. Heenan neglects to mention that he was the one who first transformed Lombardi into the Brawler

Kamala slips in a fashion resembling a baseball slide, a Maneuver (#1) that George Steinbrenner would be proud of, says McMahon. Kamala finally rolls the Brawler onto his back for the victory. After the match, Reverend Slick thanks the fans for helping Kamala's gimmick to be slightly less racist.

Perfect takes on Ric Flair in their famous retirement match (not, as most announcers would say, infamous. It seems that every time a wrestling announcer refers to some classic match, they call it "infamous." Savage/Steamboat is famous; Lesnar/Goldberg is infamous.). Ric Flair's drop toe hold is a Nice Maneuver (#2), and Bobby Heenan naturally agrees. As Mr. Perfect takes over the match, Flair does his patented Flair Flop, confusing Rob Bartlett, who is apparently seeing only his second Ric Flair match ever. 

Flair picks up one of those non-folding chairs but is thwarted by referee Earl Hebner.

Later, the Nature Boy whips Perfect into the corner, causing him to topple hilariously to the outside as Bobby Heenan urges the ref to start counting him out. Perfect is busted wide open, but JR doesn't commentate on Raw yet, so we don't hear that. Despite the blood loss, Curt Hennig manages to reverse Flair's Irish whip with a Nice Maneuver (#3) followed by a back drop which, as the name suggests, drops Flair right onto his hip. In classic Heenan fashion, "The Brain" complains that Perfect is using a clenched fist while Heenan's voice scales higher and higher. Mr. Perfect ends Flair's career and this one's over, yes, no, this is not, Vince can't believe it. The match continues, much to Vince McMahon's disbelief.

Mr. Perfect nearly falls to Flair's sleeperhold as Bobby Heenan shouts, "Yes! Yes! Yes!," a catchphrase he perfected at 1992's Royal Rumble, nearly 20 years before Daniel Bryan. the referee drops Perfect's arm twice before Hennig gets his hand up on the third time. Bobby Heenan frantically demands a rule change to end the match after only two drops of the arm. Yet another reason why Bobby Heenan should announce Raw every week. Mr. Perfect finally breaks out by using a Nice Maneuver (#4), running Flair into the turnbuckle. Heenana starts to panic and asks if there's a time limit on the match. There certainly ought to be; the Bushwhackers are still scheduled to wrestle some scrubs tonight! Heenan insists that if the match keeps going after Raw ends, it should be thrown out. Bobby Heenan is always trying to weasel out stipulations, as suggested by his nickname: The Brain. They cut to the final commercial break as Flair unsuccessfully climbs to the top rope, only to be slammed to the canvas by Perfect. It's at this point that I notice that Rob Bartlett has been pretty much silent for the past two minutes.

Flair secretly punches out Hennig with brass knuckles (which is city slicker talk for "brass knux"). Vince ruins the match for the home audience by pointing out that Rob Bartlett hasn't said a word, prompting a Bartlett response. Bartlett says he's "never seen anything like this" in his entire life. Of course he hasn't; it's a wrestling match. Mr. Perfect starts no-selling Flair's knife edge chops, signaling a comeback. Amazingly, Flair actually jumps off the top rope, only to be clotheslined by Perfect on the way down. Perfect lands the Perfectplex, which Vince correctly identifies this time, to win the match. Bobby Heenan says something that gets bleeped out - if only this were live, but as it stands, we'll never know exactly what The Brain said.

After the final commercial break, Vince informs us that Jack Tunney is forcing Ric Flair to wrestle his scheduled matches that weekend before he leaves the WWF. How did Jack Tunney tell Vince that so quickly without a cell phone or internet? Old Jack must really be on the ball. For the record, Flair actually continued wrestling house shows into the month of February. Doink vs. Typhoon (who in exactly seven months from this 1/18/93 taping would shock the world as the Shockmaster on Ric Flair's WCW talk show) will main event next week's Raw.

This Raw had it all: The Repo Man, Flair vs. Perfect, Bobby "The Brain" Heenan on commentary, a cancelled Bushwhackers match, and a silent Rob Bartlett.

Thousands of letters would flood the WWF headquarters demanding that the Bushwhackers main event every Raw of 1993 as recompense for their cancelled match.

Final Tally:

0 Uncut, uncensored, uncookeds (possibly because this show was taped) (Cumulative Total: 7)
4 Maneuvers (Cumulative total: 18)

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