Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Raw #6 - February 22nd, 1993

The sixth episode of Raw gets off to a rocky start, opening with Rob Bartlett making a "dumb wrestling fans" joke: 

"...I've learned a valuable lesson: wrestling fans can spell."

We are promised a live appearance by Hulk Hogan, his first of what I assume will be many Raw appearances (No, not really. This is pretty much it until 2002).

Bam Bam Bigelow steps into the ring with a fresh-faced Scott Taylor, the future Scotty 2 Hotty. One of these men will have three title reigns in the WWF; the other will lose to a retired football player. Rob Bartlett uses Bam Bam's match as an excuse to do a Curly from the Three Stooges impression. The announcers remind us that tonight's show is uncut, uncooked, and uncensored before Bam Bam executes a Maneuver (double underhook backbreaker). Bigelow finishes off Taylor with a series of headbutts off the top rope (but has the good sense to stick his arms in front of him to break the fall, unlike some people).

Vince McMahon: Let's take you now to a special interview that was recorded earlier this week: Vince McMahon and the Hulkster.

The stained glass windows hadn't yet been installed.
No that's not a typo; Vince refers to himself in the third person. We go to the studio for what will no doubt be an incisive interview about why exactly we should worship Hulk Hogan. They discuss Hulk Hogan's retirement ever since Wrestlemania VIII. Hulk Hogan admits to making "mistakes" throughout the 60s, 70s, and 80s, but lashes out against "tabloid terrorism" in the 90s. Fortunately, the Hulkamaniacs "dwell on the positives, not the negatives" (except for positive steroid tests, of course). The Hulkster introduces a new Demandment: believe in Hulk Hogan. Surprisingly, he does not tell his Hulkamaniacs, "I am the Hulkster, your Hulk. You shall have no other Hulks before me."

In our next match, Wrestlemania opponents Shawn Michaels and Tatanka square off in six-man tag action with the Beverly Brothers and the Nasty Boys (neither of whom will appear at Wrestlemania) as their respective partners. No mention is made of Michaels's last challenger, the recently fired Marty Jannetty. The Nasties and Tatanka literally clean house to start off the match. The Nasty Boys catch the Beverly Brothers with a double Pit Stop (a forerunner to Rikishi's stinkface). Talk about uncooked, uncut, and uncensored (#2)! When we come back from commercial, Rob Bartlett, not knowing the meaning of the word "kayfabe," tells the viewers, "They just started again. They weren't really wrestling." My brothers and I used to joke about that when we first started watching WWF. The key difference was that we were in elementary school and not live on the air announcing the matches. 

Brian Knobbs kicks out of a series of pin attempts, prompting Macho Man to say that the "Nasty Boys got guts." They sure do, Randy. Brian Knobbs plays Ricky Morton in this match, not only by having a dumb haircut, but by being beaten down and prevented from making a tag. Shawn plays the cowardly heel, avoiding Tatanka the whole match until the Native American gets the hot tag from Knobbs. Tatanka pummels Michaels with a series of chops, including one High-Risk Maneuver (#2) off the top rope. Tatanka pins Shawn, but one of the Beverlys interrupts the count; Vince McMahon of course insists that "He got 'im!" Michaels goes for the side suplex, which Tatanka counters with a Maneuver (#3), a sunset flip for the pin, prompting Vince to again exclaim, "What a Maneuver!" (#4).

Sean Mooney interviews some Hulkamaniacs, who for some reason are gathered outside the arena. One fan predicts that Hulk Hogan "is gonna clean house in the WWF and become champion again." Silly fan. Hogan is coming back merely to avenge his friend and get payback on Money Inc., not to scrape up another world title run.

Crush and "Terrific" Terry Taylor are already shoving each other in the ring when the show returns from commercial. Macho Man mentions Crush's upcoming match with Doink at Wrestlemania IX. Vince mentions the possibility that Hulk Hogan will head up the President's Council on Physical Fitness, prompting a terrible Arnold Schwarzenegger impression from Bartlett. Crush presses Taylor "with authority" to escape a pin attempt. Crush wins with the head vice.
Look at that Maneuver (#5 - tilt-a-whirl backbreaker).

A noticeably trim Hulk Hogan comes to the ring to "Real American" to talk about his buddy Brutus Beefcake's comeback against the "Multi-Million Dollar Man" (Hulk's words, not mine). Beefcake escaped serious injury, for which the Hulkster thanks two people: "The Big Man Upstairs" and Jimmy Hart. Hogan announces his return to the WWF and brings out Brutus "The Bionic Barber" Beefcake, who also thanks The Big Man and Jimmy Hart for preventing damage to his "titanian [sic] steel" face, prompting Hogan to introduce Hart as their new manager. Their tag team name? "The Mega Maniacs," of course. "Maniacs," as in Hulkamaniacs, and "Mega," as in "Mega Powers," Hogan and Savage's old team. In other words, the new team name of Hogan and Beefcake is 75% Hulk Hogan, 25% Randy Savage.
Pictured: Not Randy Savage

With five minutes left in the show, The Undertaker makes his way to the ring to take on Skinner,  the former Steve Keirn and the future second Doink. After the commercial, Vince tells us that we're running out time. Naturally, they immediately cut to commercial again. We come back just in time to see Skinner choke The Undertaker. Vince hypes next week's Raw, featuring Bret Hart defending his title, and I quote, "against one of the Headshrinkers." For the record, it's Fatu, and for the record, Undertaker wins this match after Raw goes off the air.

Final Tally:

2 uncut, uncensored, uncookeds (Cumulative total: 14)
5 maneuvers (Cumulative total: 29)

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