Monday Night Raw (03/15/93)
Arnold Furious: We’re in Poughkeepsie, New York. Hosts are Gorilla Monsoon, Bobby Heenan and “Not Vince McMahon”, which is Rob Bartlett practically signing his resignation. Total switch up from the usual line up as a bucket load of snow has taken out New York City. Therefore we’ve switched venues and most of the crew. The crowd is MOLTEN.
Razor Ramon vs. Russ Greenberg
Bartlett’s first call as Vince is “quite a load of gold on the neck area” as Razor strolls down. Razor totally squashes Greenberg as Bartlett switches to talking quickly. Come on, man, Vince has a load of his own tropes for you to exploit. Razor develops a series of submission holds that he never uses just so he can beat up Greenberg a lot. Greenberg’s total offence is two punches, which Razor ignores. Chokeslam, back superplex and the Razor’s Edge finishes.
Final Rating: *
Video Control takes us to Randy Savage and Jesse Jackson (yes, that one) as they talk about Headlock on Hunger. The WWF did go out of its way to help good causes sometimes. I almost wish they had a more consistent presence onscreen with charity work because I know they do a lot behind the scenes. It makes it easier to say I’m into wrestling when wrestling gives back.
Typhoon vs. LA Gore
Name like Al Gore, looks like DDP, jobs like every other no-name scrub. This crowd is insane because they even pop Typhoon’s mediocre offence. I especially like the powerslam, as Typhoon pretty much dumps Gore on his head with it. Sloppy. Typhoon finishes with a big splash and the roof nearly comes off. Jesus, Poughkeepsie, were you angling for a PPV or something?
Final Rating: ¼*
Promo Time: Giant Gonzalez
Bobby Heenan has difficulties with his cues. Shoot? We take another commercial so it might have been. He introduces Giant Gonzalez. Harvey Wippleman does the talking as Heenan can’t get the mic above Gonzalez’s nipples. Gonzalez eventually promises a giant surprise for The Undertaker. Oh, I hope it’s not his penis. “Hello, am I off the air. Hey, stupid!” – Heenan continues to struggle with his cues.
Papa Shango vs. Bob Backlund
The term “clash of styles” springs to mind. When wrestling a cartoon, Backlund looks a bit ridiculous. Backlund wrestles circles around Shango but can’t drag a story out of him. Charles Wright has to be one of the most deadly boring wrestlers to ever set foot in the WWF. I find myself begging for a commercial break. Backlund wrestles out of any holds Shango comes up with, so Shango opts for various pummelling techniques instead. At least the finish makes sense, with Backlund catching Shango cold with a small package. Papa Shango sucks something fierce. They should have put the gimmick on someone smarter.
Final Rating: ¾*
Video Control gives us the latest ‘Mania shill, with Yokozuna crushing a jobber for his own amusement. Gene Okerlund is thrilled that they’ll be having “the world’s largest toga party”. I saw WrestleMania and there were only like seven guys wearing togas. Biggest sausage-fest, ever. Animal House; now that was a toga party. TOGA, TOGA, TOGA, TOGA!
The Nasty Boys vs. The Headshrinkers
The Nasties still work here? Urgh. They’d become a comedy act by 1993 and were about ready to move on. Poughkeepsie likes them, too. Alright, alright, you want a PPV, we get it. The double teaming is ok in this and the level of quality outshines the rest of the show. And when The Nasty Boys outshine the rest of your show, your show sucks. After a fairly violent shine, Sags gets isolated for heat. Rob Bartlett is at the point where he’s totally wrecked the entire show now. His nonsense has enraged the other two commentators to the point where they want to bash his face in. Samu misses with a diving headbutt allowing the hot tag. The match feels a bit rushed but Knobs seems genuinely excited to be tagged in. They spill outside and we get a set-up concession stand fight, which is nothing like the famous Tupelo brawl. That’s the idea anyway. Both teams get counted out. Decent brawl, formula tag and then a decent brawl to finish.
Final Rating: **½
Next Week: Kamala vs. Doink. Tatanka vs. Repo Man. Plus, The Bushwhackers!
THE RAW RECAP
Most Entertaining: The Nasty Boys. Their match reminded me of some of their work to come with Cactus Jack and company in WCW.
Least Entertaining: Rob Bartlett. How hard is it to make fun of Vince McMahon? He’s one of the easiest people to rib in wrestling. Unless you’re Rob Bartlett.
Quote of the Night: “I’m gonna knock him out” – Bobby Heenan on Rob Bartlett.
Match of the Night: The Nasty Boys vs. The Headshrinkers. A decent end to a terrible show.
Summary: Did Vince McMahon just completely miss this show? It was horribly organised, disjointed and lacking in everything that makes a show exciting. Except the crowd, which was ace, they were hot for absolutely everything. I know the snowstorm buggered up the original plans, so for a fill in show it makes sense for it to look cobbled together. However, Bartlett virtually ruined it by himself. It was even worse than his Tyson deal. How hard is it to mock Vince McMahon? The only thing he even got right was Vince’s “Raaaaw” pronunciation. Not even once did he think to use “whatamanoeuvre”.