WWE Raw Retro Coverage - February 22, 1993: Hulk Hogan returns with a new manager, Shawn Michaels and The Beverly Brothers vs. Tatanka and The Nasty Boys, Terry Taylor vs. Crush, Undertaker match cutoff
By Haydn Gleed
WWE Raw on the USA Network
â€¨New York City, New York at the Manhattan Center
The show opened with Rob Bartlett standing in front of the crowd. There was a big sign saying HULK. He said that one thing he has learned is that wrestling fans can spell. He welcomed viewers to Raw and then the opening played...
Retro Verdict: Did Bartlett say he used to think wrestling fans were stupid? Great way to start the show, Rob.
Vince welcomed us to Raw and hyped the six-man tag. Randy "Macho Man" Savage said that Hulk Hogan was in the building and he would be out later live...
Bam Bam Bigelowâ€™s music hit and he made his entrance. Already in the ring was Scott Taylor, a very young looking Scotty 2 Hotty. At the time, he must have been around 23 and he is sporting a very '80s looking mullet...
1. Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Scott Taylor. Scott bounced off the ropes and tried to shoulder charge Bam Bam. Of course, Bigelow didnâ€™t move an inch. Bartlett asked if this Scott is someone they picked up off the street.
They locked up and then Bam Bam whipped Scott into the ropes and shoulder charged him right to the canvas. Bigelow posed for a little bit. He picked Scott back up, whipped him into the ropes, went for a big clothesline, Scott ducked and hit him with a flying shoulder block which left Bam Bam stumbling. Scott bounced back off the ropes but eat a clothesline this time.
Taylor tried to fight back, but Bam Bam put him up in a vertical suplex but Scott wriggled free. Taylor ran the ropes again, but Bam Bam caught him in midair and fell backwards causing Taylor to bounce hard off the canvas. Rob Bartlett did what I assumed was a Micky Mouse impression, nobody cared.
Bam Bam stalked Scott and put him into a front facelock, then picked him up in the air and brought him down on his knee. Bigelow climbed to the top and hit Taylor with the flying headbutt. Instead of pinning him, he went to the other side of the ring and hit another flying headbutt. He pinned the future 2 Hotty and this one was over.
Bam Bam Bigelow beat Scott Taylor via pinfall in 3:00
Retro Verdict: Nice little squash match. Although there was no chance of Bigelow losing, there were a few hope spots. They hyped the hell out of Hogan appearing, and rightfully so.
Vince introduced a special sit down interview with Hulk Hoganâ€¦
We saw Hulk Hogan, dressed in black and wearing jeans, was with Vince McMahon in a studio that had pictures of Hulk all around. Vince started by saying the whole world was awaiting his big announcement on Monday Night Raw and hoping that he would say that he is returning to the ring. Vince asked what was the future for Hulkamania?
Hulk called Vince, Mr McMahon, and said the future of Hulkamania is so exciting. He said he sat back in the last year and watched the little and big Hulkamaniacs continue to train, say their prayers, eat their vitamins, and believe in themselves. He said those people are not just his friends, but they are his heroes, and those are the people who continue to set an example to the rest of the world.
He said when you are at the top of the field - be it in business, sport or sports entertainment like he was - people would go digging into your personal life. He said they found that Hulk Hogan is a human being. Hogan said he was not afraid to admit he made mistakes. During the '60s, '70s, and '80s, he bowed to peer pressure and made mistakes.
He stated his father said "donâ€™t do as I do, do as I say" and he wants to change that. He said that in the age they are living in, there is legitimate media, but thereâ€™s also a lot of tabloid terrorism. He said the latter dwell on the negatives, dig up any dirt that they can, and even if the allegations are false, they donâ€™t care who they hurt they still report it as the truth. He went on to say thank god the Hulkamanics are not like that and that all they focus on is the positives. He said that the Hulkamaniacs with that attitude know that the future of America is all in the youth and he wants to be the leader of the '90s. He said now itâ€™s not do as I say, itâ€™s do as I do.
He said he now has five rules he wants the Hulkamaniacs to follow. Train, say your prayers, eat your vitamins, believe in yourself, and now believe in Hulk Hogan. He finished by saying wait until you hear what he would say on Monday Night Raw. Vince exclaimed that he couldnâ€™t wait...
Retro Verdict: I pretty much wrote out word for word what Hulk Hogan had to say because this was big back in 1993. In 1991, Hogan went on the Arsenio Hall show and claimed that he had never used steroids. This proved to be a false statement. This is clearly the interview where he was trying to make a point and redeem himself. At no point did he blame himself, though. At one point, it sounded like he was going to admit that he made a mistakes because of his own decisions, but he muddied it with the talk of peer pressure and tabloid terrorism. I also noticed the term sports entertainer, which shocked me for 1993, as it shows that itâ€™s been around for a long time even pre-Attitude Era. A very, very interesting and compelling interview from Hogan.
Back in the arena, Vince advertised the six-man match for after the break... [C]
When we came back from the commercials, The Beverley Brothers were already in the ring, and were soon joined by Shawn Michaels. Next were the Nasty Boys, who came out to a fantastic reaction, followed by Tatanka to an equally impressive pop.
1. The Beverley Brothers and Shawn Michaels vs. The Nasty Boys and Tatanka. Tatanka wasted no time and went straight after Shawn. All six men were battling in the ring at the same time. The Nasty Boys whipped Michaels across the ring and Tatanka back body dropped Michaels over the top rope.
The Nasty Boys doubled teamed Blake and then gave him the Pitstop (rubbing his face into Knobbâ€™s armpit). Knobbâ€™s had Blake in the corner and nailed him with a number of punches. He whipped Blake across the ring and tried to follow in with a splash, but missed. Blake tagged Shawn into the ring.
Shawn was in control and whipped Knobbs against the ropes and hit him with a flying elbow. He mocked Tatanka, causing him to try and get in the ring to Michaels. Shawn tossed Knobbs into the corner, and taunted Tatanka again, causing the referee to have his back turned to the double team going on in the corner by the Beverleyâ€™s.
Michaels was nailing Knobbs with punches and elbow with the crowd chanting "Nasty, Nasty." Irish whip into the ropes, Shawn ducked, Knobbs caught him and faceplants him to the canvas. He hit Shawn with two big clotheslines and tagged in Tatanka. Shawn saw this and bolts to his own corner and tags in Beau. Beau ran in to be caught with an armdrag. Tatanka whipped him into one turnbuckle and then into the other and caught him with a chop across the chest.
Beau begged off, but Tatanka put him in an armbar. He tagged in Sags who re-applied the armbar. He picked him up onto his shoulder and hit a shoulder breaker. He tagged in Tatanka who went back to the armbar but Beau powered him into the wrong corner. The heels tried to triple team Tatanka but he powered out. Both teams charged into the ring, and in a cool spot, all three members of each team are facing their opposition and the heels backed off.
Beau tried to hit a cheap shot on Tatanka, but he caught his foot, spinned him around and chopped him down. Knobbs tagged back in as they went to a break. [C]
Back live, we saw that Brian is still in charge as Bartlett proclaimed, "They actually stopped wrestling during the break and they just started again." Vince said that wasnâ€™t the case. Knobbs charged at Blake who ducked, and Beau pulled down the top rope so Brian went flying over the top.
Knobbs was tossed back in the ring and Shawn tagged in. He was unloading some rights and lefts. Knobbs tried to fight back, but Shawn racked the eyes. Shawn stomped Brian while he is on the ground. Vince said that he is looking forward to seeing Tatanka take on Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania. Shawn taunted Tatanka, who again tried to get in the ring. With the refereeâ€™s back turned, the Beverley Brothers cradled Knobbs' neck on the rope, and while Blake was holding Knobbs in the air, Beau leapt over his brother and smashed right into his back.
Shawn covered Brian who kicked out at two. The crowd chanted "Nasty." Blake held Brian in a bearhug. Knobbs tried to power him back into his corner, but Blake grabbed the hair and pulled Brian down to the canvas. Michaels was again tagged into the ring.
Michaels whipped his opponent into the corner and goes to follow up with a tackle, but Knobbs moved. Knobbs tried to crawl towards his corner, but Beau stopped him. The Beverleyâ€™s hit a few quick moves then tag in an out, cutting the ring in half.
Blake got caught with a big kick in the face, but Knobbs had no idea where he was. Shawn was tagged in, and again Knobbs couldâ€™t get to his corner. There was a double clothesline and both men were down. The crowd again started a passionate "Nasty!" chant. Knobbs finally got to his corner and tagged in Tatanka. Michaels had no where to run this time.
Tatanka backed him into a corner and fired off with his distinctive chops. Tatanka whipped him across the ring, and Shawn momentum carries him so heâ€™s lying on top of the turnbuckle. Tatanka with a big field goal kick and Michael landed groin first on the top rope. Big clothesline from the native American and Shawn was down. The Beverleyâ€™s tried to intervene but got chops for their troubles.
Tatanka started his war dance around Michaels and hit a chop to the head. He carried on his dance and another chop to the head. Tatanka went to the top rope and hit an extra big chop to the head for a close two count. Tatanka hit the End Of The Trail finisher, but the Beverleyâ€™s break up the pin. The Nastyâ€™s came into the ring to clear out the brothers.
Michaels hit a few lefts and went for a suplex, but Tatanka rolled through and with a rollup got the 1-2-3... [C]
The Nasty Boys and Tatanka defeat The Beverley Brothers and Shawn Michaels via pinfall in 15:02
Retro Verdict: Entertaining match. All six men worked hard, told a good story, and I was into the action the whole time. I really donâ€™t want to come off as harsh or repetitive, but Bartlett just wasnâ€™t a good wrestling commentator. â€¨
Sean Mooney was outside with a large crowd. A number of them said that they were there because of Hulk Hogan and were excited to see him... [C]
2. Crush vs. Terry Taylor. Straight from the break, both men were already in the ring and the action was about to start. Taylor walked up to Crush and jawed at him, so Crush just pushed him over.
Taylor got up, and Crush put him in a headlock. Taylor got him to the ropes, and as he was about to release the hold, Crush got a shoulder in the bread basket. Whip then a reversal and Crush hit a big dropkick on Terry.
Crush picked Taylor up and pressed him and threw him to the mat. Vince says that Bill Clinton is considering getting the Hulkster to head up the physical fitness department.
Back in the ring, Taylor had a chinlock on Crush, which Crush nearly broke, but Taylor hit a neckbreaker. Taylor covered him, but at two Crush launched him into the air to break the count. Taylor hit a number of punches, but Crush no sold.
Crush hit an atomic drop and then a big clothesline. He gestured he was about to apply the Kona Clutch and did so. After being in the submission hold for 10 seconds, Taylor gave up and the ref called for the bell...â€¨
Crush defeated Terry Taylor via submission in 3:46
Retro Verdict:Throwaway match. At this point in his career, Taylor was just a glorified jobber really, so although he got some offence in, the result was never in doubt. Crush showed some power moves, and he definitely had a connection with the crowd at this point in time. At one point during the match, Bartlett did an Arnie impression. I choose to ignore it and move on with my life (as best I could before mentioning it now).
We were then shown a reply of what happened last week with IRS smashing Brutusâ€™s face with the metal briefcaseâ€¦
At the announcers desk, Savage said that it was only a broken nose sustained by Beefcake, but the intent was for much worse. Vince let us know that Hulk would be with us after the break... [C]
Vince was in the ring after the break, and made the big build up to Hulk Hogan. Real American played and out he came to a big reaction. After some posing by the Hulkster, Vince told Hogan to tell them what they want to know.
"Well, you know something Vince McMahon, looking at all my Hulkamaniacs, they are running wild," Hogan said. He added that there are a lot of things that he wants to talk about, and the first thing he wants to address is what happened last week. He was watching at home, and while he was waiting for one of the biggest and best comebacks ever, he had a giant smile on his face. He watched Brutus out strut the Million Dollar Man, out wrestle the Million Dollar Man, and he was as happy as could be. Everything changed when IRS came out and hit Brutus over the head with the metal case. He said thankfully Brutus was okay.
The thing that tears him apart is not what they did to Brutus, itâ€™s what they tried to do. He said he wants to thank two people in particular, the man upstairs, and the second person he wants to thank, as crazy as it sounds, was Jimmy Hart. The crowd liked that.
Hogan said announced that he was back in the WWF. The crowd went crazy for that. He said heâ€™s on a mission, and the first order of business is to sort out Money Inc. He said he wanted his best friend to be by his side. Brutus "The Bionic Barber" Beefcake.
Beefcake came out in the yellow and red gear with sunglasses and a metal plate on his nose. Brutus said he didnâ€™t know that he was going to get the ultimate wake up call when he got back in the ring last week. As he saw the briefcase coming toward him, he thought it was all over, but he realised the plates holding his face are indestructible.
Barber said he also wanted to thank two people, and he first thanked God for always being there with him. He said he also wanted to thank Jimmy Hart, and as he stands there right now, with Hulkamania running wild in his body, he canâ€™t wait to get his hands on Money Inc.
Hulk said that he hoped that Money Inc were sitting in front of their televisions, because the first thing that they were going to do to get even was strip away their assets, and he couldn't think of anywhere better to start than to take the man that everyone thought was yellow from head to toe but showed his true colors last week. Hogan introduced Jimmy Hart as their new manager. The crowd loved this.
Hart said it was the greatest day of his life. He said he dreamed of wearing the red and yellow and heâ€™s always admired him. He said that heâ€™s managed a lot of good teams, but he thinks Brutus and Hogan will be the best. He also joked that everyday when he got up, he would take his vitamins.
Hulk announced that they were now the Mega Maniacs, and Jimmyâ€™s first order of business is to get Money Inc. in either a singles match or a tag team match for them. Real American played to end the interview as all three men posed in the ring... [C]
Retro Verdict: Ok, I canâ€™t hide it any longer, I was crazy about Hogan when I was a kid. Living in the UK, I was somewhat shielded from the allegations and the politics he played, so watching this was such a kick for me. Jimmy Hart turning was huge news at the time. As I alluded to last week, this was a huge deal as he had been a heel for so long, and I liked the fact that they acknowledged it, and that it was his act instead of his words that showed he had the morals that heâ€™d shown. Brutusâ€™s performanceâ€¦.meh.
We came back with only a couple of minutes of the show left, and the Undertakerâ€™s gong hit. Undertaker and Paul Bearer made their entrance. Already in the ring was Taker's opponent Skinner. [C]
3. Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer) vs. Skinner. The match was joined in progress. Skinner (a/k/a Steve Keirn) clotheslined Taker over the top rope. Vince told us that they are running out of time quickly. Skinner jumped on Taker from ringside and had the claw wrapped around the Undertakerâ€™s throat. Vince said that they are out of time, and that we will see the conclusion of the match next week...
Retro Verdict: I donâ€™t know if the six-man tag match or the Hogan segment went long or if this was meant to be a cliffhanger. If it wasn't the cliffhanger approach, then I canâ€™t believe they messed up the timing so badly. In a way, it would have been better to give more time to Hogan if they realized they were running out of time, because starting a match, having several commercials in a short amount of time really felt, for lack of a better term, amateur.
All in all, though, it was a good and newsworthy show. The two squash matches were decent to good, and the six-man tag match was given a lot of time and was very good. Obviously, the whole episode was centred around the yellow and red Hulkster, and I thought it was excellent.
The sit-down interview was very revealing if you read between the lines, and the in-ring promo was great in terms of seeing how much the crowd was still into him. Definitely a show that you should watch on WWE Network.â€¨â€¨
If you have any feedback, I would love to hear it. Send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on Twitter at Twitter.com/haydngleed. You can also search for me on Facebook.
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