|It's a new year for Raw, and there's a new announcer in the form of Johnny Polo, who last week defeated Marty Jannetty with the help of Pierre. WWF Champion Yokozuna is in tonight's opening match, taking on Dan Dubiel. If you've been reading my reviews of Raw throughout the year 1993, you'll know that something very, very bad is coming for our jobber friend.|
A very special interview with Lex Luger follows. If there's anything I've learned from ABC family comedies and their "very special episodes," the interview will be about The American Original's new eating disorder or experimentation with sex. First, we get clips of Lex's defeat of Quebecer Jacques this past weekend on Superstars, which involved the Quebecers using Twin Magic to get Pierre into the ring without the referee noticing, despite Pierre weighing about 100 pounds more than the former Mountie. Long story short, Lex knocks out Pierre and pins him, then knocks out Jacques and pins him, then knocks out Johnny Polo. The interview itself gets off to an auspicious start as Lex pays tribute to old Glory by making his pecs bounce in his American flag t-shirt. Vince notes Luger's "massive chest," making Lex blush and giggle like a schoolgirl. Speaking of blushing, massive chests, and schoolgirls, Jerry Lawler is of course still in legal limbo at this time and won't return to the Federation until Wrestlemania X.
Vince wonders if Jack Tunney will agree with the American people (who have been phoning the WWF hotline at $0.99 a call) and allow Lex Luger to enter the Royal Rumble. Lex expresses his anxiety over the decision, claiming to be on pins and needles. I can't say for sure if Luger is on pins, but he's certainly at least half-right. Vince then shifts focus and wants to talk about "the positive." Lex jumps in and says that his urine has always come back clean, despite the presence of traces of Visine. Sadly, the WWF must have edited that part of the interview out before air, so the next we hear from Lex is that he's excited at the possibility of entering and winning the Rumble this year.
|Next is the tag team match of the Smoking Gunns vs. Bam Bam Bigelow and Bastion Booger (Or The New Killer Bees, as I like to call the alliterative duo). This match is what Todd Pettengill dubbed "Beauty and the Beasts" last week. Another Thurman "Sparky" Plugg vignette airs before the heel team makes its entrance with Luna Vachon. Out next are the Gunns, who according to Johnny Polo want to give the Nobel Peace Prize "to the man who discovered Hee Haw." "What's wrong with Hee Haw?" asks Vince.|
Todd Pettengill brings us the Royal Rumble Report, but before he can do that, he gives us this New Years' Resolution: "I wanna hump!" With that visual in mind, let's get down to the details of the Rumble. This year's Rumble is on Saturday, January 22nd, before every Pay-Per-View was on a Sunday. Survivor Series was on a Wednesday, but used to be on a Thursday, Summerslam was on a Monday, and 1991's This Tuesday in Texas was held on some other day of the week, I think. Todd explains the rules of the match, wherein a new participant enters the ring after every two minute interval on the Casio clock; when it came time for the actual event, the intervals would be cut down due to time constraints, and on WWE re-releases of the event, the Casio logo would be replaced with a Royal Rumble logo on the timer. Todd notes that elimination occurs when a Superstar goes over the top rope and his feet touch the floor. Remember this rule for next year's Rumble. A number of participants are announced, including Kamala, who is somehow still under contract but who will not actually be on the Pay-Per-View (much like his cancelled Wrestlemania IX match against Bam Bam). That makes six consecutive WWF PPVs with no Kamala, and the streak would continue all the way up to Wrestlemania 17.
Speaking of no-shows, Ludvig Borga is schedule to enter the Rumble, but will instead break his ankle and never appear in the WWF again. Also entering will be "the strange and whimsical Doink the Clown," as opposed to Matt Bourne's "very evil clown, Doink," and the man from "Love Canal," Adam Bomb. I know that Love Canal is a toxic waste site, but I must note two things: 1) The name is utterly unsuitable for any wrestler supposed to be intimidating. Team Brian Clark up with Brother Love and the Brooklyn Brawler and call them "Love Canal" if you must. 2) Adam Bomb has previously been billed as being from Three Mile Island. I expect him to billed as a Soviet from Chernobyl by year's end. Also entering the Rumble is Bob Backlund, who the previous year set the endurance record by lasting 61 minutes in the Rumble and who this year will be eliminated in 41 seconds. All but three slots have been filled, says the Toddster, leaving open the possibility for Lex Luger to make it in. Todd also announces the rest of the card for the night, including the WWF title casket match, the Harts vs. Quebecers tag title match, Razor Ramon vs. IRS for the IC title, and Tatanka vs. Ludvig Borga in a match in which the injured Borga will be replaced by Bam Bam Bigelow in a meaningless match that serves only to waste time that could have been filled by the Rumble Match itself. Hindsight is 20/20, I suppose. Todd announces that Jeff Jarrett is up next, then proceeds to spell his name, Double-J-style. Just call him TP, ladies and gentlemen.
Lord Alfred Hayes promises an Uncut, Uncensored, and Uncooked edition of Raw next week, marking the program's one-year anniversary. Vince McMahon promises a very special commentator for next week's Raw. Double J steps into the ring to face John Chrystal, whose name is now spelled with an H. Polo calls Jarrett "phat" and explains what that means to "Vic," which is what he has been calling Vince McMahon all night. Only Scott Levy can work outdated slang terms from two different decades into a single sentence, also referring to Double J "this cat." Polo laments that while drinking tea on his yacht with his "Mumzy," she said that Vince was a good commentator. In the WWF, Scott Levy is a spoiled rich kid, in ECW, he would be a homeless outcast, and in WCW of all places, the two disparate gimmicks would actually be reconciled when Raven reveals that he just acts the way he does to drive his rich parents nuts. Vince promotes USA's Friday Night Movie, Bad Influence, starring Rob Lowe and James Spader. Sadly, it is not about Spader's unfortunate season on The Office. Nor is it about Rob Lowe's "little troubles in Atlanta," says Polo. He's talking about the sex tape of Lowe with an underage girl. A little too close to home, Johnny, considering Jerry Lawler's legal woes at the time. John Chrystal hits a Nice Maneuver (#2) on Jarrett, nearly pinning him with a sunset flip. This really makes him mad, as Jarrett's 1999 action figure might say. Polo praises Jarrett's outfit, then calls him "a most unique individual, as [Vince] would be wont to say." A missed charge at Chrystal in the corner leads the enhancement talent to hit a powerslam. However, Jeff hits a DDT to put his opponent away.
|Razor Ramon presents a public service announcement about smoking. "Smokers are losers," says the Bad Guy. Think about that. Even Scott Hall won't smoke cigarettes. Shawn Michaels comes to the ring with his worthless piece of leather. Besides having Diesel with him, HBK is also wearing his phony Intercontinental title. HIs opponent looks like a figure skater. Seriously, what is Brian Walsh wearing? Lord Alfred Hayes promotes the new Rage in the Cage video game for Sega CD, which is basically an update of the Royal Rumble games, but with a larger roster and the addition of a steel cage mode at the expense of the Royal Rumble and tag team modes. No big loss; people like Samu and Brian Knobs aren't really known as tag team wrestlers anyway, right?|
|Shawn chain wrestles with Walsh while Vince McMahon tells Jacques over the phone that the Quebecers must defend their tag team titles against the 123 Kid and Marty Jannetty next week on Raw. Jacques says that they're not "closet champions," which is something that pro wrestling urban legend would disagree with. Walsh hangs right with Michaels, nearly pinning him several times before Shawn throws him to the outside. Diesel tosses him back into the ring, prompting HBK to throw him back out. Diesel puts him right back in for a Michaels suplex. Michaels lifts Walsh up before a 3-count to work him over some more. Razor Ramon, the official Intercontinental champion, comes up in conversation, with Polo suggesting that he be deported. Polo explains that his great-great-great-great-grandfather, Horatio Abercrombie Polo, settled Palm Beach. Vince is not impressed by Polo's history lesson, perhaps because it doesn't mention the Hispanic Christopher Columbus's discovery of America on behalf of the Queen of England. Vince announces a Bam Bam-Booger match for next week's anniversary show as Shawn puts Walsh away with the Super Kick. Just kidding; that's still not his finisher yet, so Michaels hits a piledriver to beat his opponent.|
Vince runs down the card for next week's episode and presents this very festive Raw logo to close one of the bawdiest episodes of Raw to date.
1 Uncut, Uncensored, and Uncooked