Thursday, October 11, 2012

Raw #39 - November 8th, 1993

Raw's thirty-ninth episode emanates from the exotic locale known as Bushkill, Pennsylvania. Nothing says exciting action like the Poconos. Once again, it seems that the production crew can't get the regular graphics on screen for this live episode, so we get the same dated-looking logos and lettering (even for the early 90s) that we've come to expect from Raw's non-Manhattan Center events.  Tonight's advertised main event is Scott Steiner, who is looking to wrestle yet another country, versus Finland's Ludvig Borga.

The Macho Man is back on Raw, looking for revenge on Crush, while Bobby Heenan is wearing a parachute backwards. He claims to be going to the Bowe-Holyfield fight and parachuting in a la James Miller, the Fan Man. Vince tells him that the fight has already taken place and that the Fan Man was arrested. Vince then announces another telephone poll to determine Quebecer Pierre's opponent next week on Raw. That's right; Raw has been "Raw-active" since Year One, long before "social media" was even conceived. Unlike nowadays, where Raw fans are encouraged to make meaningless choices for the sake of WWE being able to brag about being "socially active," the 1993 phone polls had a practical purpose for the WWF; each call costs $0.99 ($1.58 in today's money). Vince gives Bobby Heenan's (parachute) cord a yank, but it fails to deploy. Heenan makes a John Bobbitt joke, unaware that the castration victim himself would make a pointless guest appearance on Raw just five years later.

As per usual for the last few weeks of Raw, the "main event" opens the show; realistically, this is how a televised wrestling event would be booked, allowing as much time as possible for the big match. The Heckraiser from Hecksinki enters first, followed by the future Big Bad Booty Daddy. Borga jumps Big Poppa Pump while the All-American removes his jacket. Borga gets the early advantage on Steiner, even hitting him with a top rope clothesline. Scott fights back with a tiger driver and a pumphandle slam on the 300+ pounder. This leads the Finn to stall outside the ring as the fans chant "USA." Borga puts Steiner in a headlock, but then gets caught with an Unbelievable Maneuver (#1 - overhead belly-to-belly suplex) by Mr. Rechsteiner. Perhaps if he had stayed in the WWF throughout the 90s, he could have gotten a world title run without transforming himself into Bane from Batman: the Animated Series. The Quebecers come to ringside and confer with their Foreign Fanatics teammate.

The man is bleeding. Will somebody please stop the match?
After the break, Scott Steiner hits a Nice Maneuver (#2 - suplex), dropping Borga back into the ring. The Quebecers, Vince says, are beside themselves. Since the two tag partners are standing next to each other, this figure of speech is technically correct. Bobby Heenan asks Vince the name of the town they're in. It's Bushkill, "Bush" as in the former president, implies Heenan. If Paul Heyman were on commentary, this discussion would have been much more Raw than 1993 could handle. Steiner rolls over Borga into a Boston Crab as Rick Steiner comes to ringside to help even the odds. Borga crawls  to the ropes to break the hold. Steiner scores a number of near-falls on Ludvig, who recently sidelined Tatanka in a Superstars match taped in September. Either Tatanka's injuries suddenly started flaring up again after the episode aired on TV, or the Native American had been competing for the past month against doctors orders, a la Ahmed Johnson and his ruptured kidney. Heenan says that Tatanka is watching tonight's Raw using the new antennae he got in his tepee. That kind of joke would never fly in 2012 (because broadcast television has gone digital, and Raw is only on cable, anyway). Steiner hits a dropkick off the top rope, a High-Risk Maneuver (#3) that takes a lot out of him. Vince describes this contest as a "nip and tuck match," possibly a precursor to the surgically-enhanced Divas matches of the future. Borga brigs Rick Steiner into the ring, who hits the Finn with a belly-to-back suplex. The Quebecers beat up on Rick as the referee calls for the bell. This should be a DQ loss for Scott Steiner, since the Quebecers only interfered to take down Rick Steiner, who wasn't even in the match. However, Hebner disqualifies both men.

Vince shows us the Raw phone number, where we can vote for Pierre's opponent. Another similarity between this poll and the Taboo Tuesday/Cyber Sunday/Raw-active Twitter polls is that there is one obvious choice given, along with a bunch of distractors. In this case, they have been hyping up the rivalry between the Foreign Fanatics and the All-Americans, and lo and behold, Lex Luger is one of the choices. The aftermath of this match will prove that Lex was the choice the WWF really wanted. 

Double J is at the original home of the Grand Ole Opry. Jarrett is in a Cadillac with his driver, Billy Ray Brooks (not to be confused with that Italian boy, Billy Ray Cyrus). He points out the graffiti on the walls of the Ryman Auditorium as a sign of the decay and corruption of Nashville. Is Double J planning an alliance with Ludvig Borga to revitalize America's environment and urban centers? Jeff vows to take on the Undertaker and turn the WWF into the Double J F (While this last wish didn't happen as planned, Jarrett did get to build a promotion to glorify himself in 2002). The Ryman Auditorium, on the other hand, would become the Double J Auditorium.

We cut from a Wendy's commercial to Men on a Mission's entrance, where Oscar sings a seriously off-beat rendition of "Whoomp There it Is." He finally stops rapping, allowing the fans to sing the song on the correct beat. Heenan asks if they're saying, "Woopsie, there it is." Sorry, Brain, but that wasn't funny the first time, and it won't be funny the next dozen times you say it. Steve Smith is in the ring with Mabel. Both men tag out, putting Mo into the ring with Cory Student (the real one, this time). Heenan makes reference to Whoopi Goldberg and Ted Danson, who unbelievably had an affair in 1993 while making the movie "Made in America." Ted and Whoopi: the original Brangelina. Mabel stands right on Student's back and really should have stayed there if he wanted to end the match really quickly. MOM does the Irish whip do-si-do corner splash on Student, who then gets splashed by Mabel and pinned. 

Todd Pettengill gives us the Survivor Series report, filling us in on Mr. Perfect's appearance on Razor Ramon's team, despite the fact that Perfect has been out of action for over a week and would not appear on Pay-Per-View, despite being advertised all the way up to and including the preview show. Speaking of no-shows, Jerry Lawler is still being advertised to team up with his knights to take on the Hart Family. He wouldn't be arrested until later that week. The Toddster lets us know that the All-Americans will announce their replacement member (filling in for Tatanka) this weekend on Superstars. Lastly, Four Doinks will compete in a match that ultimately will not feature Doink. In short, none of the elimination matches will occur as advertised. Todd shows us a clip from Superstars where the Headshrinkers got Doinked. No, not like that. He means they got pranked by Doink the Clown, who showed up on the big screen to introduce one of his partners, another identical Doink. Back from the Report, Vince tells us that Lex Luger leads the poll, but that you still have the opportunity to vote on Pierre's opponent, unlike NAFTA.

Raw comes back with a public service announcement from the Undertaker. "If you drink and drive, sooner or later, you're going to meet the Undertaker." If WWE uses this clip as the impetus for Taker's next Wrestlemania match, the possibilities for opponents would be endless. 

Rick Martel comes down the aisle with a giant blue phallic symbol, otherwise known as an atomizer. Is that why Adam Bomb is on his team at Survivor Series? Martel's opponent is none other than John Paul, the man who had the "Pope" gimmick long before Elijah Burke. The Model has a "sleek physique," says Vince. Martel works over His Holiness while Vince hints that Randy Savage could be the All-Americans' new partner. The Model hits a Nice Maneuver (#4) on Paul, belly-to-beck suplexing him from the corner. John Paul lands some offense with punches and a dropkick, but misses a cross-body from the turnbuckle and submits to the Boston Crab. Martel then sprays some Arrogance on Paul. Vince tells Randy that Crush is in the building.


Quebecer Jacques promises to knock Luger out of action if he wins the poll. Macho Man gets out of his seat as Crush enters, prompting McMahon to stand up and restrain Savage, even waistlocking him. Savage then throws McMahon to the ground, years before Bret Hart or Steve Austin even thought about doing it. Savage jumps on Crush and slams him into the steps before he can step into the ring with Dan Dubiel. The two brawl in the aisle as officials try to separate them. Does this mean Dubiel wins via forfeit??
Bob Backlund takes on Barry Horowitz. Both these men would have unlikely runs in the years to come. Savage returns in the middle of the match to pick a fight with Heenan. Coverage of the match is interrupted to bring us footage of a door. Crush breaks it down, leading Savage to leave ringside again and assault Chaka Bra backstage. 

It's not what it looks like.
Breaking news: A door is closed backstage. A wooden door.

Vince tells us that Randy Savage has been locked out of the building, while Bobby rattles off a series of unintentional double-entendres: "I knew the guy had a short fuse. I knew the guy's nuts for years." By the way, what happened to Backlund vs. Horowitz?

Vince then tells us that Lex Luger has won the polling in a "lan-slide," winning 62% of the vote. Crush and Savage fight outside against a tree as Raw goes off the air.

Final tally:

4 Maneuvers (Cumulative total: 242)

1 comment:

  1. The Undertaker DUI PSA is priceless, as is the DWI poster you posted right after it. Hilarious article.