Venue: Manhattan Center (Manhattan, NY)
Commentators: Vince McMahon, ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage, & Rob Bartlett
How do you follow up last week’s important show? With an episode that features Typhoon vs. Doink as the featured match. Yikes. Luckily we’ve got other things going on besides that, including the return of Brutus ‘The Barber’ Beefcake and, sadly, a 10-bell salute to the late great Andre The Giant. Alright well this should be a thing, let’s do this.
- WWF Champion: Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart
- WWF Intercontinental Champion: Shawn Michaels
- WWF World Tag Team Champions: Money Inc. (‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase & Irwin R. Schyster)
- Tatanka vs. Damien Demento (*1/4)
- High Energy vs. Mike Sharpe & Von Krus (SQUASH)
- Typhoon vs. Doink the Clown (**)
- Yokozuna vs. Bobby DeVito (SQUASH)
- Lex Luger vs. Jason Knight (SQUASH)
Tatanka vs. Damien Demento
I guess the 10-bell salute isn’t starting the show. Weird. I absolutely loved Tatanka (BUFFALO!) as a kid, even going so far as to give myself the gimmick of ‘Tomahawk’, his kid brother, in my various feuds with my WWF Wrestling Buddies. Yes that’s racist in retrospect and YES my childhood was lonely, thanks for asking. The RAW graphic once again spells Demento’s first name as ‘Damian’ but everywhere I go online has it as ‘Damien’ instead. I’m going with the latter but I’m probably wrong.
Tatanka almost gets the pin early but Demento kicks out of the roll-up and goes a clubberin’. Tatanka reverses an Irish whip and connects with a hip toss followed by a scoop slam and a clothesline up and over to the floor. Demento starts talking to either the voices in his head or his God; either way Tatanka breaks it up with a knife-edged chop. Demento manages a little bit of offense, including a hard clothesline out of the corner. Demento goes for a lateral press off a standing legdrop but only gets two. Bartlett makes a joke that he had ‘Tatanka trucks’ as a kid and Savage dumps on him (HA!) for it. Tatanka gets his war dance a going and mounts his comeback, winning soon after with the End of the Trail (Samoan drop). His undefeated streak continues.
Tatanka defeated Damien Demento via pinfall with the End of the Trail (4:09)
- Well at least Demento had a much better outing against Tatanka than he did against The Undertaker, despite still losing. Match was fine, a simple way to add another notch in Tatanka’s undefeated belt. (*1/4)
We go to footage from the WWF’s ‘Headlock on Hunger’ event at Madison Square Garden over the weekend. Bret Hart shows up with a giant novelty check for 100,000 dollars, the money they raised to help Somalia. Hart gives the check over to charity reps in a short presentation.
Vince McMahon welcomes the returning Brutus ‘The Barber’ Beefcake to the ring. He’s been gone for a year following the destruction of his Barber Shop talk show set, and the crowd actually gives him a warm welcome despite being full of dork smarks. Beefcake is here to make a very important announcement: he’s returning to in-ring action after a three-year hiatus due to injuries suffered in a parasailing accident. Beefcake plays multiple sympathy cards, talking about what happened before the accident (buried his parents, got left by his wife) as well as the accident itself, caused by an out of control parasailer whose knees collided with his face and crushed it into pieces. Beefcake says he was ready to give up but didn’t thanks to his best friend HULK HOGAN, who was with him after his surgery, helped him along the road to recovery, and convinced him that he could get back into the ring. You guys remember he was on TV for the past two years doing interview segments, right? No? Okay.
- I get what the WWF was trying to do here, turning the awful stuff that happened to Beefcake back in 1990 into a positive by making him a sympathetic babyface. And while what happened is truly terrible and I’m glad he survived all that, his delivery of this promo didn’t come off sympathetic. The inflection in his voice and delivery of the promo made him sound more like he was complaining, which is an awful way to read it but that’s how it came across to me. It also went on just a little too long and he lost the crowd halfway through, who initially seemed happy to see him. This not only set up Beefcake’s return but the impending return of Hulk Hogan, the very embodiment of the WWF in the 1980s. How will he be perceived in 1993? You’ll find out soon enough.
High Energy (‘The Rocket’ Owen Hart & ‘The Birdman’ Koko B. Ware) vs. ‘Iron’ Mike Sharpe & Von Krus
I totally thought High Energy were already done at this point, I guess I was wrong. Huh. Their opponents are comprised of legendary WWF enhancement talent/loudest wrestler in professional wrestling history ‘Iron’ Mike Sharpe and Von Krus, the future Skull Von Krush/Big Vito/Vito.
Sharpe overpowers Hart but The Rocket uses his speed to outmaneuver him into an armbar. Ware tags in and High Energy use the big man as a wishbone. Von Krus tags in, High Energy connect with a back bodydrop and Ware dropkicks Sharpe off the apron. They hit their finisher, a missile dropkick by Ware while Hart holds Von Krus in a Hart Attack position, and Hart rolls Krus up for the 1…2…3.
High Energy defeated Mike Sharpe & Von Krus when Owen Hart pinned Von Krus following a missile dropkick from Koko B. Ware (1:32)
- Simple squash for High Energy, a team just spinning their wheels until Ware leaves the WWF. They probably could have had a fun Tag Team Title run but they were outmatched by other teams on the roster so they were victims of poor timing and positioning. (SQUASH)
McMahon segues into the footage of Doink The Clown’s cast attack on Crush from two weeks ago on Superstars. Crush is due back in action in a few weeks where the feud will resume. I’m sure Crush is thrilled about that but not as thrilled as I am to get this next match over with so let’s hurry this up.
Typhoon vs. Doink The Clown
Doink takes Typhoon to the mat by sweeping the legs and slaps on a front chancery as the crowd reacts favorably. Heel Doink is loved by all. Typhoon gets his bearings and throws Doink halfway across the ring, giving both time to reset. Doink slides under Typhoon’s legs, outwrestling him once again and applying a wristlock. Doink transitions into a hammerlock and rakes the eyes, then drops an elbow. Bartlett makes a bad joke, McMahon no-sells him in embarrassment. Typhoon gets to his feet and squashes Doink in the corner, then applies a bearhug. Doink escapes with a rake of the eyes and brings him back to the mat with a front facelock. Doink with forearms, Typhoon no-sells them all and counters a crossbody with a powerslam. Typhoon misses the Avalanche in the corner and Doink belts him with a clothesline from the middle turnbuckle, rolling him up and pulling the tights for the 1…2…3.
Doink The Clown defeated Typhoon via pinfall after a flying clothesline (3:13)
- I expected this match to be god-awful, but you know what? It actually wasn’t. Doink wrestled a smart match, his strategy to take the big man down to the mat as many times as he could to wear him down and he was successful. His roll-up was great too, pulling the tights in a way that almost mocked Typhoon as he was winning, like it was a prank. HEEL DOINK IS THE GREATEST. I dread his babyface turn with every ounce of my being. (**)
After the match Doink gives the hard cam a TERRIFYING stare as he leaves and I’m never sleeping again HOLY CRAP.
After a WWF Mania promo we go to McMahon who’s ringside with that show’s host Todd Pettengill. Pettengill hypes this weekend’s show, which will feature Giant Gonzalez. Maybe not hype, maybe it was a threat.
Cut to the ring where Howard Finkel talks about the recently-deceased Andre The Giant before leading the crowd in a 10-bell salute, a slideshow of famous Andre moments shown to the home audience. This is the first time I can remember the WWF honoring one of its late performers but it’s unfortunately not the last. Not by a long shot.
Promotional Consideration Paid For by the Following: ICOPro, WWF action figures, and Slim Jim. The figure commercial appears to be from 1992 as it features Sgt. Slaughter. Anyway it least it broke up the usual two commercials.
Yokozuna [w/ Mr. Fuji] vs. Bobby DeVito
During Yoko’s introduction Bartlett FINALLY charms in with a pertinent comment, saying that Savage was the first man to knock Yoko off his feet at the Royal Rumble. McMahon buries that statement and says Yoko has never been off his feet, already trying to rewrite history one week after the fact. That’s what you get from taking a break from your bad jokes to contribute an actual fact, Bartlett! HOW DARE YOU. McMahon hypes ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan’s challenge for Yokozuna, scheduled to take place on TV this weekend.
DeVito stupidly charges at Yoko, who belts him with a savate kick. ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan chimes in via telephone as Yoko goes to work, hyping his match with the big man this weekend. Duggan seems fairly confident he can knock Yoko off his feet, calling him ‘YAKAZUMA’ and not caring that he messed it up because it’s “some JAPANESE name”. Real cool guy, that Duggan. Yoko wins in short order with the Banzai Drop, as he’s wont to do.
Yokozuna defeated Bobby DeVito via pinfall with the Banzai Drop (2:02)
- Typical Yoko squash made worse by the WWF’s attempts to retcon what happened at the Royal Rumble the week before, as well as Duggan’s casual racism that certainly has not aged well in this day and age. Moving on. (SQUASH)
McMahon welcomes the WWF Tag Team Champions Money Inc. to ringside, finally making their debut on Monday Night Raw. You’d figure they would have been here sooner given they’re champions but hey whatever. ‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase badly recites the ‘Humpty Dumpty’ nursery rhyme in reference to Brutus Beefcake. DiBiase throws shade at Beefcake for offering an open contract despite not being in the ring for three years, and both he and Irwin R. Schyster want a shot. They flip a coin to decide who will face Beefcake next week. DiBiase says he wins, I.R.S. never actually seeing the coin but just going with it. Their manager, ‘The Mouth of the South’ Jimmy Hart, comes out and says this is a waste of time; they’re Tag Team Champions and risking injury by wanting to face Beefcake. DiBiase says this is purely recreational. Schyster chimes in and gets mad at Beefcake not paying his taxes on his doctor bills or something. DiBiase says the only asset Beefcake has is his million-dollar face and teases taking that away soon enough. DO IT, MONEY INC. I DARE YOU. This rambled for longer than needed but it did its job making Money Inc. look even scummier by wanting to pick on Beefcake to add to his suffering. Extra points to Schyster for staying on brand and only caring about Beefcake paying his taxes. He’s committed to the cause.
‘The Narcissist’ Lex Luger makes his entrance for the final match on the show, posing in front of a mirror and getting CRAZY OFFENDED when a plus-size RAW lady shows up to do her sign thing. I laughed a little bit, I won’t lie.
We then go to a pre-taped video with Steve Jordan of the Minnesota Vikings and Mr. Perfect. Perfect throws the tight-end PERFECT PASS after PERFECT PASS before throwing and CATCHING his own pass, because he’s just that Perfect. So lame yet so great.
‘The Narcissist’ Lex Luger vs. Jason Knight
Luger made his debut at the Royal Rumble, Bobby Heenan’s secret weapon in his quest to destroy Mr. Perfect. His opponent is best known as simply Jason, former ECW Television Champion and manager of Justin Credible, among others. Two future ECW stars on the same show doing job duties. Respect.
Oh hey, we’re finally getting to the match! Luger dominates as Savage announces that Beefcake/DiBiase has been made official for the next show, which is said to be next week but it’s actually two weeks from now due to preemption. Luger drops Jason with a clothesline, McMahon hypes Quantum Leap which is on right after Monday Night Raw. The way he says ‘Scott Bakula’ is tremendous, he’s got a Brian from Family Guy inflection to it. Luger belts Jason with his steel-plated elbow, pinning him with his pinky for the 1…2…3. THIS NARCISSIST IS REALLY FULL OF HIMSELF, ISN’T HE?
Lex Luger defeated Jason Knight via pinfall (2:39)
- Shock and awe, it’s a squash. Luger emphasized the elbow shots but the steel plate in his elbow wasn’t mentioned by commentary so it wasn’t put over as any more dangerous than a regular elbow. Strange. I guess they got too bogged down in Quantum Leap (SQUASH)
Luger messes with Jason, giving him a Giant Swing just to show off how tough he is. He’s no Cesaro, but I’ll let it slide.
After a commercial break McMahon announces Monday Night Raw will return in two weeks with a 16-man battle royal and Brutus Beefcake making his in-ring return against Ted DiBiase. I wonder if the battle royal will have a SUPER IMPORTANT TROPHY as its prize or something. And that’s that.
Final Thoughts: This episode had some important stuff going down with the return of Brutus Beefcake but I didn’t buy into his promo so I can’t say I was exactly riveted by it. I will admit to being surprised at the Typhoon/Doink match though; I expected a car wreck but Doink breaking out actual moves and wrestling smart won me over. Definitely a skippable episode if you don’t care about The Barber but not terrible if you decide to see it for yourself.
- Best Match: Typhoon vs. Doink The Clown (I KNOW, RIGHT?)
- Worst Match: Tatanka vs. Damien Demento (by default)
- Best Moment: Doink’s EVIL GLARE into the camera after his win. Gave me chills. I’m still freaking out about it.
- Worst Moment: The WWF retcons Yokozuna being knocked off his feet at Royal Rumble so his upcoming match with Jim Duggan this weekend has drama. Super lame and a little bit insulting.