WWE Raw Retro Coverage – July 12, 1993: Yokozuna vs. Crush for the WWF Championship in a memorable match and angle, Vince McMahon calls the enhancement wrestlers by the wrong name, a boring second half of the show
By Haydn Gleed
WWE Raw on the USA Network
New York City, New York at the Manhattan Center
We opened with a shot of a lady holding a bouquet of flowers. I'm no expert, but I'm guessing they are some form of Japanese flowers. Why do I think this? because as Vince McMahon welcomes us to Raw, Yokozuna's music is playing in the background. Vince introduced his co-hosts, Bobby "The Brain" Heenan and Macho Man Randy Savage...
Yoko made his way down to the ring, with Mr Fuji leading the way. The commentators talked about Lex Luger body slamming Yokozuna at the Stars and Stripes event on July 4th and Heenan tried to suggest it was a hip toss. The Japanese girls tried to give Yoko the flowers, but he took them and threw them down to the outside with authority. Heenan suggested that you are looking at a mean angry world champion.
The Raw opening music played with the generic video. We were shown a shot of the commentators, where Macho Man waved a small American flag back and for. Crush made his entrance and he had a big smile on his face. He high fived the fans at ringside as we saw that Yoko wasn't taking his eyes off Crush...
1. Yokozuna (w/Mr Fuji) vs. Crush for the WWF Championship. Yoko followed his traditional pre-match routine as Crush watched on. The crowd started singing the national anthem followed by a USA USA chant as Mr Fuji waved his Japanese flag.
They locked up and both men traded getting the better of the lock up. Crush bounced against the ropes and in a clunky move, Yoko hit a powerslam. He went for an elbow but missed, and Crush caught him with a big boot which knocked Yoko to the outside. Yoko took a bit of time on the outside to regain his composure.
Finally, he got back in the ring and both men collided mid-ring a couple of times before Crush regained the advantage. He whipped Yoko across the ring and followed up with a Stinger Splash. He tried to do the same thing again, but Yoko moved just in the nick of time.
Yoko was in total control and he knocked Crush down with powerful looking blows and headbutts before picking him up and dropping him on the top rope. Another shot knocked Crush to the outside.
Yoko dragged Crush back into the ring and was in total control wearing Crush down as we went into a commercial. Back from the break, we saw Crush duck under a clothesline attempt just to turn around and get a foot to the face. Yoko applied another wear down move which didn't look like it would hurt a 5 year old, but both men were sweating like crazy so I guess it was a breather in the middle of the match.
Yoko whipped Crush to the corner and went to splash him, but Crush moved at literally the last second. Crush tried to knock Yoko off his feet with punches and a dropkick, but eventually got him with a clothesline. He went up top and hit a flying shoulder block. He got a very close 2 count. Macho Man went crazy thinking he had him.
Crush went up top again but this time got hit by the Japanese flag by Fuji. Bobby Heenan said he lost his footing and slipped, I chuckled at that. Yoko went to the outside and scooped slammed Crush on the outside. You could hear the ref tell Yoko to throw him back in the ring or be counted out.
In the ring, Yoko hit a belly to belly suplex on Crush before hitting a legdrop. Yoko motioned that he was going to drag him to the corner for the bonsai drop. He hit it and got the 3 count.
Yokozunna beat Crush in 11:12 (TV time) to retain the WWF Championship.
After the match, Yoko continued to sit on Crush before getting back up and hit another bonsai drop before hitting a third. Tatanka came charging down to the ring but got a chop to the head for his trouble. He went back up for a 4th bonsai drop. A number of jobbers came rushing out and got thrown out. Randy Savage stood up, got in the ring and pulled Crush out of the way of a 5th bonsai drop. Bobby Heenan on commentary blamed Lex Luger for causing all of this. Paramedics came down to the ring with a stretcher as we went to the break...
Back from the adverts, Crush was being stretchered out of the arena with Macho Man and Tatanka by his side. Bobby Heenan again claimed that all of this was Lex Luger's fault and showed great intensity and the old weasel magic.
Retro Verdict: Phew, where do I start with that? Firstly, call me crazy, but I enjoyed that match. It's not going to win any awards for match of the year or anything, but it was a good big man match. The post match angle was very well done, and was very shocking at the time. Bobby Heenan was fantastic at putting over Yokozuna as a monster. I'm lucky enough to know where this leads and they have set this up really well. I'd forgotten how well done all round this angle actually was.
The Headshrinkers made their way down the aisle, led by Afa, while Vince ranted about what had just happened to Crush. Their opponents were Aaron Ferguson & P.J. Walker...
Retro Verdict: One of the jobbers who came out to help Crush was PJ Walker (aka Justin Credible). I still find it hard to recognise him with hair!
2. The Headshrinkers (w/Afa) vs. P.J. Walker & Aaron Ferguson. The Headshrinkers did their pre-match routine before the match, as the commentators still talked about Crush. The Headshrinkers went straight onto the attack and looked like they nearly killed PJ Walker. Vince & Bobby kept calling PJ as Ferguson. They obviously got the jobbers names mixed up.
The Headshrinkers started headbutting the other to get each other going I guess. They rolled PJ over to his partner and Ferguson came into the ring, but the announcers called him Walker, uch.
There was not one hope spot in this match for the jobbers, and the Headshrinkers eventually one with their big splash move from the top rope...
The Headshrinkers beat P.J. Walker & Aaron Ferguson in 3:20 via pinfall.
Retro Verdict: Ok, first of all The Headshrinkers worked like babyfaces, so I don't know if there was a turn that I haven't seen or what, but it was very odd. Secondly, I know PJ Walker and Aaron Ferguson were only jobbers at the time, but surely Vince and Bobby should have taken time to get the names of the jobbers right, that was embarrassing. I went back to watch both men, and although PJ has got hair, he was definitely the guy that they were referring to as Ferguson.
A video package aired on Marty Jannetty that promoted next week on Raw he would face Shawn Michaels for the IC belt...
Tatanka's music played and he charged to the ring. His opponent was already in the ring, and it was everyone's fav jobber Brooklyn Brawler...
3. Tatanka vs. Brooklyn Brawler. The Brawler played to the crowd at the start of the match as Tatanka looked on confused. Vince told us that Macho Man would join us again soon. Brawler talked some trash at the beginning of the match. Macho Man re-joined them and told them that Crush was not in a good way. Macho Man said that he was having trouble breathing and that he was going to the hospital. Macho Man and Bobby Heenan started arguing about who's at fault.
In the ring Tatanka was completely dominant, to the point Brawler started walking towards the back, but he made his way back into the ring. Tatanka hit a beautiful scoop slam before putting in an armlock. Brawler reversed the armlock and hit a clothesline. Brooklyn Brawler was on offence for a good minute or so, and hit a nice looking neckbreaker before laying in the boots. Tatanka came back with a number of chops and tried to charge Brawler in the corner but he moved and he was back on the offence. He took off his shirt and started chocking out Tatanka while the ref counted to 5.
Brawler had Tatanka in a chinlock while Macho Man ranted about the fact Jack Tunney would not allow him to compete and there needed to be a change in the WWF. Tatanka made his way back to his feet before Brawler grabbed the mullet and dragged him back to the mat. Brooklyn Brawler smashed Tatanka's head into the turnbuckle and he started to do his war dance and unloaded on Brawler. He climbed to the top rope and hit the chop from the top rope. He lifted him up for the End Of The Trail finisher for the 1-2-3...
Tatanka beat Brooklyn Brawler in 7:23 via pinfall.
Retro Verdict: A surprisingly competitive match, and was actually half decent for a TV match. Slightly in keeping with the formulaic nature of Tatanka's matches but it's still effective.
Back from the break, Mr Hughes with Harvey Whippleman were in the ring along with his opponent who they didn't announce, but was Tony Devito...
4. Mr Hughes (w/Harvey Whippleman) vs. Tony DeVito. As the match was about to start, a man walked down to the ring holding a wreath that said Rest In Peace. Hmmm who could that be from? Tony DeVito tried to take advantage of the distraction but got knocked straight down. Again, there was no hope spots from the jobber, Mr Hughes was completely dominant. At one point he whipped Tony into the turnbuckle with as much force as I've seen from anyone. He covered him but at 2 stood up to continue the match. He stared at the camera and shouted this is for you Undertaker you are going down. He hit a sideslam and got the three count...
Mr Hughes beat Tony DeVito in 2:06 via pinfall.
After the match, Mr Hughes inspected the wreath and read a card that clearly showed it was from The Undertaker. He started go crazy and beat the hell out of the wreath. He stared at the camera and said, "You want me? Come and find me. You don't want me boy!"
Retro Verdict: Well that wasn't very nice destroying a gift that someone sent you like that. Usual jobber match from Mr Hughes, power moves and not a lot of movement from him, it was all being created by his opponent. The Wreath was the only thing with a bit of personality out there.
Again we come back from the break, and without any introductions we have Adam Bomb in the ring, with his opponent Scott Amati opposite him. Johnny Polo (aka Raven) was in the corner of Mr Bomb...
5. Adam Bomb vs. Scott Amati. Adam circled Scott to start off with. Bomb looked about 3 times thicker and taller than Amati. He threw him around the ring like a ragged doll and hit some impressive kicks in the corner, before picking him up and threw him from one side of the ring to the other.
Adam Bomb stuck his tongue out while leaning on the top rope. They cut to Johnny Polo who was laughing at the camera. Bomb had Scott on the mat, and shaped his hand into a claw and held it against Scott's stomach. Amati sold it like he was giving birth.
The finish came, when Adam Bomb went to the top rope and came down with a flying clothesline, closely followed by a big powerbomb, and they cut to a commercial straight after the 3 count...
Adam Bomb beat Scott Amati in 2:41 via pinfall.
Retro Verdict: What the hell was that claw to the stomach crap?! It looked like the man was tickling his opponent. Another Adam Bomb match, another week where we know nothing about him apart from when he scores the pinfall we are guaranteed an advert straight after the ref hits three on the mat.
Vince promoted that next week, the 1-2-3 Kid would return to action, we would get Men On A Mission debuting and in the King's Court will be Tiny Tim. They closed by saying that the main event would be Marty Jannetty against Shawn Michaels...
Retro Verdict: For a 40 minute show without the ad breaks, that sure felt long. The opening match and the consequent angle were good to very good, but the rest of the show, boy was it bad.
I continue to scratch my head as to why they had the main event at the start and the rest of the show with jobbers. If you had had 2 of the jobber matches at the start, then Tatanka v Brooklyn Brawler then another jobbers match followed by the Crush v Yoko match and angle, the show would have felt more newsworthy and seemed a lot better than the content deserved, but literally, if I switched off after Crush got stretched out all I would have missed is jobber matches and the commentators arguing. The format of the show was just all wrong. I can't recommend this whole show. I would watch the first 20 minutes, and then do yourself a favour and save the other 20 minutes of your life doing something more productive like staring at a wall.
Think I'm being too harsh, or do you regret watching the last 20 minutes of the show like me? Hit me up on twitter @haydngleed or email me at email@example.com and we can have a chat about it.
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