Saturday, October 13, 2012

Raw #41 - November 29th, 1993

The forty-first Raw comes live from a brand new arena for the cable program, White Plains, New York. Razor faces Diesel in a non-title match, while Ludvig Borga and Owen Hart will be in action. The "Superstar of the Year" trophy will be awarded tonight; the revival of Slammy Awards would still be two and a half years away.
The Steiners, part of the victorious All-Americans team at Survivor Series, start off the night squaring off against Mike Khoury and the fabulously dressed Reno Riggins. Survivor Series was very historically significant in that five of the wrestlers originally announced were replaced at the pay-per-view (Tatanka, Pierre, Jerry Lawler, Doink, Mr. Perfect). Scott Steiner scores a Nice Maneuver (#1) on Khoury in the form of a standing shoulderblock. He then hits a dragon suplex and tags in Rick, who roughs up Riggins with a Dominator-style slam crotch-first into the top turnbuckle. Bobby Heenan calls it "The Flying Bobbitt." Scott tags in and scores another Nice Maneuver (#2) with a legsweep takedown followed by a half crab. Vince informs us of the women's championship tournament that begins tonight in Memphis. That's right; the tournament is so important that it takes place on house shows. This tournament will be especially impressive considering that Luna Vachon is the only female wrestler or valet on the roster. Steiner kills Riggins with the Steiner Screwdriver, then yells, "Huh!" Khoury is allowed to tag in but is quickly flattened with a Maneuver (#3 - tilt-a-whirl slam) by Steiner. This, after the indignity of being called "Harvey" by Vince for whatever reason. He then falls victim to the Frankensteiner and the Scott Steiner pinfall.

Back from break, Vince talks about how scared Yokozuna was of the Undertaker, prompting Heenan to make an ethnic joke about never having seen Yoko's eyes that round. It goes right over Vince's head as a fan holds a "Talk about WCW" sign behind him.
Double J is at Buddy Lee's studio with Buddy Lee's cousin. They get kicked out, but not before somehow getting his name to appear on the security monitor.

Diesel faces Razor next in the battle of the theme songs featuring automotive sound effects. Bobby Heenan still maintains that Razor isn't the real Intercontinental Champion. True, Razor won a 20-man battle royal, "but he didn't beat Razor," says Heenan by accident. Razor wrestles circles around Diesel with wristlocks and drop toe holds. His future Outsiders partner responds with clubs to the back and knees to the gut. If you've been reading my recaps of Diesel's matches, you should be noticing a countout. Diesel then hits a side slam, a Devastating Maneuver (#4) that is one of his many Power Maneuvers (#5), but only gets a two-count. This is obviously not a title match for the same reason Razor's match with Bastion Booger wasn't a title match; would you actually believe a lumbering hoss like Diesel actually holding a title? On a side note, on this day a year from now, Diesel will have become a triple-crown champion and the current reigning WWF champion. Diesel charges Razor in the corner after a long bearhug, but catches Razor's boot. After that Maneuver (#6) to the kisser, Razor climbs to the second rope for a flying bulldog. Ramon signals for the Razor's Edge, but Shawn Michaels runs in before he can hit his finisher. He then tries to piledrive the recognized champion onto the IC belt, but the 123 Kid runs in to bodypress Michaels.

Bam Bam Bigelow takes on John Crystal, the newest member of the Charm City Jobbers, joining fellow Baltimore enhancement talents Duane Gill, Barry Hardy, and Rich Myers. Bigelow heaves Crystal across the ring in a GIF-worthy moment. Vince discusses the hilarious Four Doinks match (Wrestling Observer's Worst Worked Match of 1993), giving Bobby Heenan to get on Gorilla Monsoon's case like he has been doing as of late, saying that the Doinks didn't look dumb enough to be "that big ape." "You'd better leave Gorilla Monsoon alone," says Vince. This is called foreshadowing. Jack Tunney ruled this weekend that there can only be one Doink in the World Wrestling Federation (and it's not Matt Borne). The crowd, clearly unaware that Borne is no longer playing the clown, chants "We want Doink!" Bigelow whips Crystal right out of the ring, then hits an enziguiri to end the match.

Next, we get a replay from this weekend's Wrestling Challenge in which Ray Apollo, who has taken over the role of Doink (marking the penultimate nail in the gimmick's coffin), talks about how much he loves Christmas. "That means Santa Claus and toys and everything for the little girls and boys!" The clown is greeted by a tall Santa Claus with Jack Tunney's voice, who drags a red sack into the middle of the ring, then opens it up to reveal a miniature Doink. What evil have you unleashed upon the world, Mr. Tunney? For the record, this is the final nail in the coffin for the Doink gimmick. This dwarf, if you'll recall, imitated Randy Savage this summer as "The Macho Midget" to distract Doink and cost him a match with Randy. Now, he and Ray Apollo are impersonating Doink. However, Ray Rougeau reminds him that there can only be one Doink, so Ray names him "Dink" and gives him a great big hug like the big dopey neutered clown that he is.

Next, Vince McMahon is in the ring with a trophy for the WWF Superstar of the Year award. My vote goes to the undefeated monk, Friar Ferguson. The voting was so close that Vince brings out the runner-up, Lex Luger, so as to play down the fact that nobody actually likes him that much anymore. As Luger starts to introduce the winner, Heenan straightens up his jacket, certain that it will be him. However, it's Bret Hart, instead. Hart, however, must defend the trophy against the mammoth Yokozuna, who defeats the Hitman before Hulk Hogan claims the  trophy as his own a minute later. Oh, sorry, wrong event. Instead, Bret gives an acceptance speech while the camera zooms in on his name on the trophy. If the cameraman had just done that five minutes ago, we could have cut through all the suspense. He promises to do everything in his power to win back the WWF title, then dedicates the trophy to all the fans who never gave up on him. "There's two people who are going to share the trophy," says Heenan. Hart also dedicates the trophy to his family, including all his brothers.

Clips from the Survivor Series PPV air, showing Owen Hart getting eliminated by Shawn Michaels, then berate Bret for getting in his way on the ring apron. Owen then enters the ring after the Hart family's victory and shoves Bret.

Owen Hart comes down dressed up in Bret Hart glasses and a Hitman-esque black and pink singlet. "Listen to the people boo Owen," says Heenan. "I've been doing that for years." Owen puts his glasses on a fan, but gets attacked by Chris Duffy as he enters the ring. the Rocket hits a Nice Maneuver (#7) on Duffy with a spinning heel kick. Shawn Michaels, Vince informs us, has challenged the 123 Kid to a match tomorrow night. Who exactly is feeding Vince McMahon lines through his earpiece? A number of loud "We want Bret" chant carry on in the arena. Owen dives onto the Duffy on the outside with a plancha, a Maneuver (#8) emulating Bret, claims Vince. Owen then puts Duffy in Bret's Sharpshooter for the victory. Bobby Heenan then gets an interview with Owen, asking him what he thought about Bret winning the trophy, and what he was thinking at Survivor Series. Owen doesn't respond and leaves ringside.

Ludvig Borga punches Scott Taylor before he can be introduced. We'll never know if the production truck got his name right this time. Borga lifts Scotty 2 Hotty by the throat, prompting Vince to ask Bobby where Ludvig's thumb was. "Right around the Adam's apple," says Heenan. "For balance." Balance is very important, as Heenan often points out. It's why heels sometime grab the ropes when applying submission holds. A lack of balance on the ropes caused Yokozuna to Banzai Drop Crush four times. I'm going to miss Heenan. Lex Luger became the first person to pin Borga at the Survivor Series, if you disregard all of those house shows where Luger beat him. Borga scores a Devastating Maneuver (#9 - flapjack), then tells the referee to talk to the hand (in so many words. And by "in so many words," I mean zero, since he just stuck his hand in the ref's face). He then puts Taylor in the torture rack for the second consecutive submission of the evening.

The 123 Kid and Razor speak with the announcers on a split screen. The Kid cuts half a promo about being ready for "Mr. Michaels"'s challenge next week and giving 100%. Next week, "the one and the only Doink" is in action to prove his inferiority to Matt Borne. Crush, who feuded with Doink earlier this year with the face-heel roles reversed, will also be in action.

Final tally:

9 Maneuvers (Cumulative total: 254)

1 comment:

  1. My 8 yr old daughter went absolutely bananas for Dink... I wonder if she suffered a concussion at school today?