WWE Raw Retro Coverage – October 4, 1993: 20-man battle royal to determine the top two contenders for the vacant Intercontinental Title match, The Heavenly Bodies and Doink jump the shark
By Haydn Gleed
WWF Raw on the USA Network
New Haven, Connecticut at the New Haven Coliseum
We opened with the usual Monday Night Raw graphics and music from 1993. When we are inside the arena, Tatanka's music immediately plays as we see the crowd doing the chop motion. Vince welcomed us to Monday Night Raw and introduced the announce team of himself and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan at ringside.
Already in the ring from what I can see is Bam Bam Bigelow, IRS, 1-2-3 Kid, Bastion Booger (uch), Mabel, Mr Perfect, Marty Jannetty and Diesel. The announcers talked about the significance of whoever wins the match, being the intercontinental championship match. The final 2 of the battle royal will face next week for the vacated belt.
Adam Bomb made his full entrance, followed by Razor Ramon who got a good reaction. At this point, Bobby said the funniest thing I'd ever heard and said he reckons Bastion Booger was going to win. The tag team title holders, The Quebecers made their entrance as we went into a commercial...
Back from the break the Giant Gonzalez was just stepping into the ring as Land Of Hope And Glory played and Macho Men made his entrance. He climbed to the top rope and hit Gonzalez from behind and we are underway...
1. A 20-man Battle Royal to determine the top two contenders for the vacant Intercontinental Title. There is no easy way to cover a Battle Royal, so until something of significance happens, I'll just list who got eliminated and if possible, who eliminated them. Adam Bomb, Macho Man, 1-2-3 Kid, Diesel and Bastion Booger eliminated Giant Gonzalez within 10 seconds. Adam Bomb nearly had Jannetty over the top but he managed to stay in. The announcers pointed out that Jimmy Snuka and Rick Martel were also in the match.
Five minutes into the match and only Gonzalez had been eliminated. Diesel on his own eliminated Mabel which was a spot aimed at making Kevin Nash look impressive. Perfect and Randy Savage battled and the hardcore fans at the time were drooling. Razor Ramon eliminated IRS. While Razor was gesturing, Jacques came from behind and nearly eliminated him. Bastion Booger eliminated 1-2-3 Kid in the greatest travesty in WWF history. Slight exaggeration?
Vince brought up the fact that Bobby once hid under the ring in a Battle Royal in Chicargo, to which Bobby's response was simple, that it earned him a lot of money. Diesel charged at Mr Perfect but Perfect ducked and Diesel was eliminated. As we came back from the break, Bob Backlund was flying over the top ropes, unfortunately couldn't see who eliminated him. Booger is still in there. Superfly Jimmy Snuka was eliminated by Rick "The Model" Martel. Bam Bam Bigelow eliminated Mr Perfect. Adam Bomb eliminated Marty Jannetty. Bam Bam pulled the ropes down as Tatanka charged at him and eliminated him.
Randy Savage eliminated Bastion Booger to become even more of a legend in my eyes, and as we headed into a commercial break, Razor Ramon clotheslined Bam Bam Bigelow over the top ropes...
During the break, nobody else was eliminated and everyone had paired off with each other. I just realised at this point that there was a character named MVP in the battle royal. No it's not the TNA guy, it was actually Steve Lombardi, mostly famous for his Brooklyn Brawler character, was in the midst of a short run as a baseball player gimmick. This was the only televised match for MVP in 1993. The reason I noticed him? He got eliminated by an Owen Hart drop kick.
Jacques then eliminated Owen Hart by throwing him over the top. We were down to our last six, which were 4 heels against 2 babyfaces. On the heel side you had both Quebecers, Rick Martel and Adam Bomb. On the babyface side, you had Razor Ramon and Macho Man Randy Savage. The heels huddled up while Macho and Razor looked at each other with caution. We had a period with 2 heels beating on 1 babyface.
Adam Bomb was eliminated by Macho Man when Savage got him up on his shoulders and dumped him over the top. His excitement was short lived though, when the Quebecers and The Model lifted him over the top rope. On the outside, Adam Bomb clotheslined Macho Man. We were now down to our final four, which was Razor Ramon against The Model and The Quebecers essentially.
The Quebecers hugged mid ring, as the Model beat on Razor. Vince said that it's quite obvious Razor is not long for this match, which gave away the ending. All three heels went for a drop kick on Ramon, but Razor held the ropes and the three heels were down to the mat. Razor unloaded on the heels but the numbers game caught up with him.
The crowd were going nuts, right behind Razor as the heels beat down on him further, each taking a turn. The Model started slapping him across the face in an insult. Jacques held Razor as Pierre came off the ropes. Razor moved so Pierre clotheslined Jacques over the top rope. While Pierre was selling this, Razor came up from behind and tossed him over the top rope. The bell rang and we have our two competitors for the IC title match next week, Razor Ramon and Rick "The Model" Martel...
Razor Ramon and Rick "The Model" Martel were the last two in the 20 man battle royal to determine the IC title match in 19:22 (excluding commercials).
After the match, both remaining competitors were trying to get at each other as the referee's held them back. The Quebecers tried to jump Ramon but Razor knocked them out of the ring.
Retro Verdict: Here in the UK, we have something called Marmite. It's a spreadable buttery type product, which has the tag line you either love it or you hate it, this is how I feel about Battle Royals. You either love them or you hate them, and it's down to the individual person or match. I personally loved this one. They made the IC title seem like the most important thing in the world to these guys, and as a result it didn't feel like a spot fest for 20 men. The crowd emotion at the end when Razor was being beat down came through the screen at me, and the pop when Razor beat the odds to get into the match next week was out of genuine excitement. The 20 minutes flew by so I would recommend you watch this if it's on the network.
We come back from commercial, and we see The Heavenly Bodies and Jim Cornette are in the ring. They will be facing the team of Mark Taylor and Scott Thomas...
2. The Heavenly Bodies vs. Mark Taylor and Scott Thomas. Cornette stood on the ring apron to agitate the crowd to begin with. My copy of the show at this point decided that it didn't want to play ball anymore so I only got to watch the 30 seconds or so of the match.
The ending came when Scott Taylor eat a double DDT from the Heavenly Bodies...
The Heavenly Bodies beat Mark Taylor and Scott Thomas via pinfall.
Retro Verdict: Hard for me to analyse this as I only saw about 35 seconds of the match, but I always felt that The Heavenly Bodies were a misused and underrated team in the WWF. I know there was a lot of political nonsense backstage, but they missed a big opportunity with these two.
They showed a clip of Superstars, where Bam Bam Bigelow was walking backstage when Doink made his way out. I guess he's a babyface now following the Heenan soaking. Doink threatened to throw water over Bam Bam. He pulled the bucket back and threw confetti over Bam Bam. Was quite funny seeing a big hard man in Bam Bam with shiny glitter all over him. Luna started to gesture and shout at Doink, so he grabbed the other bucket and put on her head. We could see that she got soaked with water. Ok, I'll admit it, I laughed at that...
They went back to the announcers, where Bobby pretended to laugh. Vince reminded us about Bobby's soaking. Bobby looked in the camera and told him if he saw him he would break that red nose off his face. Vince said he's up next, to which Bobby looked nervous and pushed the camera away...
After the break, Doink made his way down the ring on a little red bike with a balloon. This was around the time when Doink went from a freaky looking clown, who you never knew if he was insane or dangerously intelligent, to a cartoon character that nobody liked. In the ring, was his opponent Cory Student who was a regular jobber in the WWF up until the end of 1994...
3. Doink The Clown vs. Cory Student. Before the match, Doink threw cotton candy into the crowd. He reached under the ring, and had a bucket. He noticed Heenan at ringside and started pointing towards him. Bobby was trying to hide behind a piece of paper. He begged off as Doink stood over him. After a delay he threw the contents over Heenan and we saw it was popcorn. Bobby instantly went I'm freezing, it's so cold, before he realised it was popcorn.
Doink jumped in the ring, where Cory Student tried to jump him from behind but Doink caught him with a kick to the midsection. Doink controlled the match, hitting a big body drop before taking his jacket off. He beat him down in the corner and threw him halfway across the ring.
Doink hit a belly to belly suplex before jumping on top him. Vince said Doink is riding Student, which my perverted mind forced me to laugh. The ending came when Doink hit a powerslam followed by the butt bomb for the 1-2-3...
Doink beat Cory Student in 1:57 via pinfall.
As Howard was announcing the winner, Bam Bam and Luna were shown making their way down to the ring. Doink noticed them and looked a bit nervous. Bigelow made his way into the ring despite the officials trying to hold him back.
Bam Bam decided to leave the ring and started beating up Doink's little red wagon. Anything can happen on Monday Night Raw folks. Doink just stood in the ring laughing.
Retro Verdict: Uch! I think the expression my American cousins use is this gimmick has jumped the shark. Seriously, beating up a little red kids wagon? Give me a break. You can literally see the interest level in Doink decreasing by the moment at this point, and he became the character that ECW mocked the WWF for, and quite rightly so as well.
Back from the commercials, Vince and Bobby tried to explain that the only reason that Bam Bam didn't attack Doink is because the fine and suspensions that the WWF would have placed on him. They ended the show by promoting the big IC match next week between Razor Ramon and Rick "The Model" Martel. They replayed the last 4 minutes of the Battle Royal to close the show.
Retro Verdict: One match show. After the Battle Royal there was nothing else really to the show. As I wrote about earlier, I personally loved the Battle Royal but I can understand if some people don't enjoy it. Either way, it's a good template on how to have a Battle Royal for a vacated championship and make the belt seem like the most important thing to the competitors.
Unfortunately, I didn't get to watch the full Heavenly Bodies match, but it was just a squash match anyways, and Doink just started irritating me at this point. I wanted Bam Bam to legitimately beat him up which is not the emotion the viewer should have been having at the time. The depressing thing is, they carried on this character for a long long time after the gimmick became stale.
What were your thoughts on the Battle Royal? Do you agree with me that this was around the time they ruined the Doink character? I'm a big believer that no matter how good something is, you need feedback to make it better so feel free to send any feedback, good or bad, to me on twitter @haydngleed or via email email@example.com
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