By Haydn Gleed
WWF Raw on the USA Network
Palmetto, Florida at the Manatee Civic Center
Raw opened with the terrible music and video combo for the last time, well, at least this version of it anyways. Vince McMahon welcomed us to Raw and we saw McMahon and Shawn Michaels clearly standing in front of a green screen, but this time it looked worse than ever. Michaels was goofing around trying to hide McMahon behind him. Vince promoted that tonight we would have Razor Ramon in action, an interview with Diesel, a statement from Lawrence Taylor’s lawyer and a six man match between MOM & Lex Luger against IRS, Tatanka & King Kong Bundy…
With that being said, we saw that MOM were already in the ring dancing around. Lex Luger made his entrance and the crowd cheer track….I mean the audience made some noise. The kid waving the American flag leading Lex to the ring was jawing at the camera and pointing at himself…ok. With all the babyfaces in the ring, Money Money Money played out, and out came Tatanka, King Kong Bundy and IRS with Undertaker’s urn. They were joined on the way to the ring by The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase….
1. Men On A Mission & Lex Luger vs. IRS, Tatanka & King Kong Bundy. King Kong Bundy and Mabel started this match, oh lord. Mabel used his strength to put the man with no neck into the corner. Bundy reversed a whip to the corner, but Mabel came out with a shoulder charge. Shawn Michaels said that this was ugly and I couldn’t agree more. Mabel hit a kick to the back to the head for a two count. Mo tagged in and came with an axe handle. He tried to slam Bundy, but couldn’t lift him. Bundy knocked Mo to the corner and tagged in IRS.
IRRRRRWWWWIIIIINNNNNN came in and hit his very exciting offence, but Mo came back with a dropkick. He hit a slam on IRS and gained a close two count. Mo began to work on the arm of the taxman, but the Wyatt daddy managed to tag in Tatanka. The Native American came in as we went to a commercial. We came back and Mo was being beaten down by Tatanka, who turned his back and Mo made the tag to Mabel…
Retro Verdict: Well that was all kinds of stupid!
Mabel came into the ring and knocked Tatanka down to the mat with a shoulder. Tatanka got to his feet and promptly got knocked back down with a clothesline. Mabel followed up with an elbow and tagged in Lex Luger. Tatanka scrambled as quickly as he could into the corner and tagged in IRS. Is that storyline still going on?! This allowed Vince to plug an upcoming show with Luger against Tatanka.
After some back and forth, Lex gained the advantage with a clothesline. He focused on the arm and tagged in Mo who continued working on the arm. IRS however got a knee to the mid-section and just like that the heels were on offence.
Late in the match, Mo had been worked over by the heels for several minutes but he managed to get the hot tag to Lex Luger. He came in like a house on fire and managed to slam Bundy but Tatanka attacked him from behind. Behind the referee’s back, Tatanka hit a DDT and Bundy covered for the 1-2-3….
Tatanka, King Kong Bundy & IRS beat MOM & Lex Luger.
Retro Verdict: On the surface this seems like a silly move having Lex pinned when any one of the two MOM guys could have taken the fall, but you have to remember, WWF were promoting the big showdown between Lex and Tatanka and therefore, having the heel cheat by hitting a move behind the ref’s back in order to get the win was the way to make people want to see Lex get his revenge. The fact that Lex also slammed the big King Kong Bundy before taking a pin means he didn’t lose much. As for the match, the only word I can use to describe it is meh.
Before a commercial, we saw a dodgy porn-esque looking guy named Bobby Cupo, who Vince told us would be reading a statement from Lawrence Taylor after the break…
Following the adverts, Mr Porno Cupo read from a piece of paper. He said that they accepted the apology of the World Wrestling Federation. Taylor wanted to make clear that there was no disrespect meant towards Bam Bam Bigelow, he was simply in attendance to watch the show. They feel that the actions of Bigelow were unprofessional and still demands an apology. In regards to Bigelow’s challenge, he wants to make clear that while Lawrence Taylor respects the skills of Professional Wrestlers he does not want to become one.
Retro Verdict: Despite me mocking Mr Porno man, this was actually quite alright. I don’t really like legal stuff coming into the world of wrestling, but since this was, at the time, a star from outside the wrestling world, it was ok in this instance.
In the ring, Man Mountain Rock was playing guitar with a spotlight on him, and Vince told us that this was the debut of the Mountain. With Man Mountain Rock playing the guitar, Vince said they are rocking out. His opponent for his debut was Charlie Hunter….
2. Man Mountain Rock vs. Charlie Hunter. I have to say that it was clear from the start that Maxx Payne would not get over as Man Mountain Rock when you see the “Dude Love” style tie dyed pyjamas on as his ring gear…
As for the match, Charlie got a brief hope spot to begin with, but Mountain Rock won with a slam, elbowdrop and then a front face suplex….
Man Mountain Rock beat Charlie Hunter.
Retro Verdict: The announcers actually did well in explaining to the audience who Man Mountain Rock was, and also played up his amateur background. The gear was awful, and at one point even Michaels on commentary pointed out how awful it was. Shame as I remember seeing this guy and being quite impressed by him as something different.
Following a commercial, they showed highlights of Diesel against Owen Hart from the day before with Diesel winning with the Jacknife and Shawn Michaels eyeballing him from ringside. This moved into the pre-promised interview with Kevin Nash. Vince and Diesel were sat in director chairs, and they had a bit of banter to start with. Vince asked how do Owen and Bret Hart compare as wrestlers. Diesel said they are both great athletes, but Bret is stronger but Owen focuses on a body part including his knee. Vince asked what the story is with his knees, and Diesel said he has had nine operations.
Vince said there was more than one anxious moments in his match against Owen Hart, especially when Shawn Michaels was around. Diesel said that Shawn distracted him and Owen took advantage, and he doesn’t know what his problem is. He said that Shawn plays mind games. Vince said that you can’t take anything away from him because he’s the Royal Rumble winner, and Diesel said that he knows him very well after spending two years with him.
Vince said let’s talk about responsibilities. He said that as champion comes big responsibilities and they showed numerous clips of Nash outside the wrestling universe in a slim jim advert and playing baseball as well as some other clips. Vince said that after his match last night he had responsibilities, and being champion must take it’s toll. How does he keep it together? How does he keep his marriage? Diesel said, just like a Diesel would he keeps going. He didn’t realise how challenging it was being champion. When you are WWF champion it’s pretty prestigious. Vince questioned if Double J takes the belt in two weeks, Diesel said no way.
Retro Verdict: You know what? I quite liked this too. It was a bit wishy washy and look at us we are brilliant, but it humanised Diesel. He came across as likeable and overall a positive segment.
You’ve heard of suplex city obviously if you are reading this, the remainder of the show I will title, squash city….
Up first, the human cow, pig, bear whatever the hell it is, Mantaur facing Leroy Howard….
3. Mantaur vs. Leroy Howard. Mantaur moo’d a lot and finished Leroy with a belly to belly….
Mantaur beat Leroy Hoawrd in 3:30.
Next up, is the bad guy Razor Ramon vs. Frankie Lancaster…
4. Razor Ramon vs. Frankie Lancaster. Razor finishes Lancaster off rather easily with the Razor’s Edge….
Razor Ramon beat Frankie Lancaster in 3:30.
Final competitors in my labelled squash city segment are Henry Godwinn against Bill Weaver….
5. Henry Godwinn vs. Bill Weaver. Godwinn punched, kicked, punched, kicked and followed up with more punches and kicks ending with a Slop Drop…
Henry Godwinn beat Bill Weaver in 2:20.
Retro Verdict: Do you know what this smacked to me? This is the final show in the tapings, we have done everything we are going to do of any interest, let’s throw on those random matches all together at the end cause we have nothing else. I guess after 4 hours of tapings, it is understandable.
Vince closed the show by reminding us that next week there would be no Raw as there was some kind of dog show the following week but reminded us that in two weeks’ time it would be Diesel vs. Jeff Jarrett, Bam Bam Bigelow in action following his suspension and Shawn Michaels would reveal his new bodyguard. Shawn Michaels announced his hot news which was that he would no longer be the co-host of Monday Night Raw…
Retro Verdict: That’s a shame, Michaels with his not caring about authority attitude said it like it was even if it was to stir the pot somewhat. Ah well, he made up for not caring on commentary with his antics over the next couple of years both in and out of the ring. Anyhow, the first half of this show was decent, with some really interesting newsworthy moments, however the second half, as you can tell by my coverage, was just a waste of time, kind of like the second hour of the three hour marathon of Raw these days.
With that, I bid you farewell for now, and will return in two weeks with the next Retro Raw. With what Vince announced as happening on that show, it sounds like it’s going to be a good one.
As always, if you want to get in touch feel free on twitter @haydngleed or via email email@example.com.