WWE Raw Retro Coverage – March 15, 1993: Great blizzard of '93 causes havoc with WWE, first Raw away from the Manhattan Center, Papa Shango vs. Bob Backlund, The Nasty Boys vs. The Headshrinkers, Razor Ramon, and Typhoon
By Haydn Gleed
March 15, 1993 WWE Raw on the USA Network
At the Mid-Hudson Civic Center, Poughkeepsie, New York
We opened with a wide shot of the Mid-Hudson Civic Center, as Gorilla Monsoon welcomed us to Monday Night Raw. Alongside Gorilla, is Bobby "The Brain" Heenen and Rob Bartlett dressed up as Vince McMahon. Gorilla said that the great blizzard of 1993 has thrown a monkey wrench in the plans for Raw, but all the WWF stars that could be there were there, Bobby Heenen said that he will be interviewing the Giant Gonzalez and Gorilla runs down the other matches we have to look forward to including the Nasty Boys vs The Headshrinkers. Gorilla told us that Vince McMahon and Randy Macho Man Savage are in New York City receiving an award on behalf of the WWF at the first annual Leukaemia awareness awards…
Retro Verdict: This was an historic Raw, somewhat by accident. The Manhattan Center was not available due to the great blizzard of 1993 in the eastern part of the USA, so they broadcast the first Raw outside the Manhattan Center in Poughkeepsie. Because of this, there was a number of talents who could not make the show. I am personally delighted that Gorilla and The Brain are hosting the show.
The opening credits of Monday Night Raw were shown…
Razor Ramon made his entrance to a good pop from the crowd. His opponent, Russ Greenberg, was already in the ring. Man, that dude had a bad mullet/pontytail combo going on there.
1. Razor Ramon vs. Russ Greenberg. Razor took his time taking off his gold, and handed his jewellery to a ringside helper, and said, "Anything happens to this chico, something gonna happen to you." Both men circled each other to start the match. Razor got a kick straight into the midsection of Russ. He backed him into the corner and chopped on his chest a few times. Razor threw Greenberg across the ring. Rob Bartlett doing a Vince McMahon impression pretended that he was getting over excited and spoke so fast his words were mumbled.
Razor shot Russ into the ropes but missed with a clothesline, Russ tried a crossbody but Ramon caught him mid air. Razor smiled arrogantly at the crowd then threw Greenberg over his head.
With Russ down, Razor started to stomp on him before picking him up and putting him in a leverage move. With Greenberg on the ground, Razor put him in a submission move, before releasing the hold and humiliating Russ with slaps across the head.
Razor was then toying with Greenberg who tried to make a comeback with punches which Razor no sold. Ramon came back with a punch of his own which sent Russ flying. Chokeslam by Razor. Russ was picked up and put on the top rope, where Ramon hit a back suplex from the second turnbuckle. Ramon signalled for the Razor’s edge. He hit it perfectly and the ref counts the 1-2-3...
Razor Ramon beat Russ Greenberg in 3:08.
Retro Verdict: I’m going to make a deal with you right now. I’m sure you don’t want to be reading me ripping on Bartlett for the duration of this report. If how bad it was during the first match is any indication we are in for a long night. If I pretend his "impression" of Vince McMahon never happened, then you will have to watch the show on the network to see how bad it really was, deal? As for the match, it was just kind of there. Razor looked dominant but managed to further establish how much of an arrogant SOB he was.
We came back from the break, and Typhoon’s music hit. Typhoon was originally supposed to face Bam Bam Bigalow according to the advertisement last week, but I guess Bam Bam was one of the wrestlers who couldn’t get to the building. His opponent on this night was L A Gore, who I don’t recall doing anything on the national scene apart from being the occasional jobber on WWF television. He does have a cool moustache though...
2. Typhoon vs. L A Gore. The Brain made a comment about Poughkeepsie have had a blizzard, now they have a Typhoon. The bell rang, and they locked up. Typhoon powered Gore to the mat twice. Gore managed to get Typhoon into a headlock, but Typhoon shot him into the ropes, and knocked him down with a shoulder block. Gore caught Typhoon with a number of shots and backed him into the corner. He tried to whip the big man across the ring, but this got reversed. Typhoon followed up with a big clothesline splash in the corner which looked like it nearly moved the ring.
Out of the corner, Typhoon threw Gore half way across the ring. Typhoon whipped Gore into the ropes and caught him with an elbow. Typhoon then hit a suplex in the middle of the ring. Another whip into the ropes, and a big powerslam on Gore. Typhoon played to the crowd, and stepped over him. He picked him up and a whip in the corner and a close splash follow up from the big man. Gore fell to the middle of the ring, so Typhoon bounced off the ropes and hit the big splash for an easy pinfall victory...
Typhoon beat L A Gore via pinfall in 2:57.
Retro Verdict:Another nothing squash match. I did really like L A Gore’s moustache though.
Gorilla plugged the interview between The Brain and The Giant for after the break… After the commercials, Brain was in the middle of the ring and introduced his guest, the man that forced the Undertaker to look up and think, my god what have I gotten myself into? Giant Gonzalez, who was accompanied by Harvey Whippleman.
They slowly made their way to the ring, as the Brain put over the fact that Gonzalez is the first man to make the Undertaker feel pain. He introduced Harvey firstly and the Brain reminded us that Harvey said he was going to drop a bomb at the Royal Rumble, and he did a 8 foot bomb. Harvey said that he told everyone he had a big surprise for the WWF, and no one realised that he was telling the truth. The problem, he said, was he hasn’t had the chance to prove how awesome the Giant is because every time he stands in the ring, either his opponent doesn’t show up, or they run away.
The Brain brought up the terrible Battle Royal from a few weeks prior and how he dominated when he got in the ring. Harvey said the only person who was stupid enough to get in Gonzalez’s face was the Undertaker and he paid the price at the Rumble. The Brain said that he has heard that the Undertaker has said he is going to put Gonzalez in the biggest coffin the world has ever seen. Harvey said that at Wrestlemania 9, he hopes Undertaker has brought that coffin, cause he will be in it as well as his big goofy sidekick. He said that Gonzalez is going to destroy the Undertaker and bury him once and for all.
Bobby Heenen said he had one more question, he said Giant Gonzalez, then corrected himself by saying Mr Giant Gonzalez, what are your plans for the Undertaker? Gonzalez grunted, that he has a giant surprise for the Undertaker. With that, the crowd booed and we went to another break.
Retro Verdict:As you would expect Harvey did most of the talking. They did put over Gonzalez strong, and he looked scary despite the goofy faces he was pulling. It was impressive seeing the size difference between Gonzalez and Harvey, really emphasised how tall Gonzalez was.
Papa Shango made his entrance, smoking skull and all. Bob Backlund then made his no music, no nonsense entrance, that Gorilla said brought the crowd to his feet, which it did not.
3. Papa Shango vs. Bob Backlund. Backlund tried to extend his hand in friendship, which went unanswered. Papa went to lock up, but Backlund used his speed to move out of the way. Backlund used some single leg take downs, which irritated Shango. Papa held his hands up asking for a test of strength. Backlund started to move in but backed away at first, but finally took the challenge. Shango got Backlund down immediately, and then laid kicks into the stomach.
Bob rolled through, and got Shango in an armbar, nice move. Backlund continued to work the arm, until Papa planted him into the mat, but Backlund got Shango down with a single leg trip and elbowed him in the head before applying a wrist lock. Shango shot Backlund into the ropes and hit a backbreaker. Shango took Backlund into the corner and bounced Bob’s head into the turnbuckle. Shango put his foot into Backlunds throat until Bob rolled out of the ring.
Papa hit Bob against the apron and then threw him in the ring. With Backlund down, Papa hit a headbutt to the groan. Shango put a chinlock on to wear Backlund down. He picked him up and hit a backbreaker and then an elbow drop. Shango was gesturing for Backlund to get up, but went back to the chin lock, which Gorilla said looks like it’s slipped into a choke. Shango used the ropes for leverage a couple of times. The ref checked on Bob by lifting his arm three times.
Backlund made his comeback and hit a number of elbows into the bread basket to break the hold. He bounced against the ropes but was met with a charging Shango and a knee to the midsection. Irish whip against the rope, and Shango hits a powerslam and makes a pin for a close two count. Bob slowly made his way to his feet, and Papa went for another powerslam, but this time Backlund rolled him up into a small package for the win.
Bob Backlund beat Papa Shango in 6:58
Retro Verdict: I don’t know if it was the fact that I’ve watched a number of jobber matches recently, but I really enjoyed this match. For some reason, I just found the dynamic between the powerhouse Shango and the speed of Backlund appealing. Not anywhere near a classic match, but a nice fun match. I’m not going to rip on him, as promised, but if you ever wanted to know when Bartlett was at his most annoying during this broadcast, listen to the commentary during this match.
Gorilla threw to Mean Gene who did his WrestleMania 9 report running down the card and promised that everyone will be in toga’s… We went back to the announcers and Brain said there is no way he is wearing a toga as Gorilla threw to the adverts.... Back in the arena, The Nasty Boys made their entrance closely followed by the Headshrinkers, who were without their manager Afa.
The Nasty Boys vs. The Headshrinkers. Before the match started, The Headshrinkers chanted at the crowd, and the look on Knobbs’s face was priceless. The Nasty Boys decided to do their own version of the chant which went over well with the crowd. They battled back and for, with The Headshrinkers getting boo’s and The Nasty Boys getting cheers. Samu and Knobbs started this one off, and they started to brawl. Samu got Knobbs in the corner and whipped him across the ring. He followed up with a big clothesline.
Another whip across the ring, but this time Knobbs came charging out with a clothesline of his own. Tag in to Sags, and they double teamed Samu with a big back body drop. However, with the ref trying to get Knobbs out of the ring, his back was turned and the Headshrinkers made a switch. They double team Sags but missed with a double clothesline attempt, and Sags knocked them both down with clothesline. Tag to Knobbs who knocked Fatu down. Quick tags by the Nasty ones. Fatu hits a headbutt and bounces off the rope, and Sags hiptossed the shrinker.
Another quick tag, and Knobbs unloads on Fatu, and another tag. Sags puts an armbar on Fatu but strayed too close to the oppositions corner. When he bounced off the rope, Samu hit him in the back, when he turned around he eat a kick to the face. Gorilla sends us for another commercial break. The match continued with both Fatu and Samu in the ring double teaming Sags. Fatu was wearing down Sags on the mat. Fatu threw Sags out of the ring, where Samu slammed him down onto the padded mats.
Kick tag, and Samu headbutted Sags. Samu climbed to the top rope and went for a diving headbutt, but Sags moved and tagged in Knobbs. Knobbs unloaded with punches and clotheslines on Fatu and Samu. He tried to bang their heads together, but they no sold it. They whipped Knobbs into the ropes, went for a double back body drop but Knobbs hooked them into a double DDT. On the outside, they paired off with Knobbs taking Samu into the catering area, and Sags and Fatu joining them. The referee called for a double countout. Both teams were battling and getting food all over them much to the amusement of Gorilla Monsoon.
The Nasty Boys fought The Headshrinkers to a double countout in 9:00
Retro Verdict: Decent match, you know what you’re going to get from the Nasty Boys. I did enjoy the after match brawl through the catering section, a taster of what was to come 5-7 years later during hardcore matches.
Gorilla wrapped up the show, by reminding us that Raw will be back in the Manhattan Center the following week, and we will have Kamala vs. Doink and Tatanka vs The Repo Man. The show ended with a slow motion reply of an unprotected shot to the head with a chair on Fatu.
Retro Verdict: You wouldn’t get that slow-mo on WWETV these days (and rightfully so). Considering it appears they had to scramble to put something together for this show because of the extreme weather, it was a pretty decent effort. There was no angles done to forward the WrestleMania card, but some things can’t be helped.
It did feel a bit low on star power, but the two competitive matches we had were pretty decent and very much watchable. Just whatever you do, turn the commentary off. I know it will be a shame because Gorilla and Brain are awesome together, but with Bartlett just being Bartlett, seriously try and drown him out.
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