WWE Raw Retro Coverage – March 22, 1993: The Bushwhackers lick the crowd, Kamala vs. Doink, WWF Tag Champions Ted DiBiase and IRS in action, Rob Bartlett in Love & Hype for WrestleMania 9 continues
By Haydn Gleed
WWE Raw on the USA Network
New York City, New York at the Manhattan Center
Vince McMahon welcomed us live to the Manhattan Center before we headed into the opening credits...
The Raw sirens were blaring as Vince introduced us to "Macho Man" Randy Savage and Rob Bartlett. Randy plugged that we would see The Bushwhackers take on Damien Demento and the Repo Man. Bartlett was more excited by Kamala vs. Doink for later in the show. Vince finished off the plugs by saying that we would also see Money Inc. and Tatanka in matches.
Already in the ring was Demento and Repo Man as The Bushwhackers music played, but there was a delay before they came out. We saw that the The Bushwhackers were up in the balcony interacting with the fans. Part of the The Bushwhackers gimmick was they would lick each other’s heads as well as the fans, and that’s exactly what they were doing here. Finally both men made their way through the crowd and made their way into the ring before licking the head of the large lady holding up the Raw sign in the ring. Finally, the match started...
1. The Bushwhackers vs. Damien Demento & Repo Man. The Bushwhackers were playing to the crowd, before Luke licked Butch’s cranium I guess for good luck. Luke and Damien were the guys starting this match off. They locked up and Damien got the upper hand, pushing him into the corner before pounding on him. He wound up for a big elbow but Luke moved and bit Damien on the, uh, rear end. Repo Man tried to sneak in for an attack but Butch caught him and bit him on his rear end as well.
A double team from the The Bushwhackers whipping Repo across the ring, followed by whipping Damien across the ring into him before a double clothesline and the heel team bailed to the outside. In the ring The Bushwhackers did their unique march around the ring before playing to the crowd. With order restored, Damien came back into the ring, and magically Butch was the legal man in the ring. As the ref was trying to get Luke out of the ring, Repo Man struck Butch from behind. The ref turned around and Butch and Repo Man are now the legal men despite no tags taking place.
Repo whipped Butch across the ring who took a big bump in the corner. Luke tried to come in the ring, which the ref stopped, which allowed Damien to illegally come in the ring and double team Butch. Now Damien is the legal man apparently. Butch was on the ropes and Damien pounded on him. Butch tried to get to his feet but stumbled into the corner. Damien shot him to the other corner and followed with a shoulder block. With Butch down, he grabbed the legs and brought a leg down into the groin area.
Tag to Repo Man who pounded down on The Bushwhacker. He got Butch into a headlock and a quick tag to Damien. Damien whipped Butch into the ropes, and they collided. Both men were on the mat, but both men managed to get the tag, and Luke came storming into the ring, hitting a number of punches into the Repo Man’s mid area. He came off the ropes with a big clothesline.
Damien tried to interfere and eat a clothesline himself. Luke picked up both men, and banged their heads together. Luke came off the ropes, but Repo grabbed his leg. Damien went for a powerslam on Luke but Butch pushed them over so Damien was pinned. The ref was more concerned with trying to get Butch out of the ring so ignored the pin, as Repo sneaked back in. He came off the ropes, and went for an elbow drop but Luke moved, so Repo hit Damien. Luke came back into the ring and The Bushwackers hit the battering ram on Repo Man and we have the 1-2-3. Both men celebrated in the ring, as Vince told us that Tatanka would be up next...
The Bushwhackers beat Damien Demento & Repo Man in 5:28.
Retro Verdict: Uch. Don’t get me wrong, The Bushwhackers gimmick was always one of my favourite as a kid, but I had forgotten how bad they were in the ring in the WWF. Just a complete mess, but, hey, I enjoyed them coming through the crowd at the start of the match. It was no Adam Rose entrance, but very fun and lots of fan interaction!
Tatanka’s music welcomed up back after the break, and Tatanka made his entrance. His opponent already in the ring was Reno Riggins, who was mostly known for being a jobber for the WWF between 1993 & 1995, but he did wrestle for Smokey Mountain Wrestling and USWA...
2. Tatanka vs. Reno Riggins While Tatanka was taking off his attire, Reno attacked him from behind. He shot Tatanka into the ropes, and went for a back body drop, but Tatanka jumped over him, turned around and caught Riggins with several big chops. Tatanka whipped him into the ropes, and hit him with a huge back drop. Riggins was in the corner begging off. As Tatanka made his way over to Reno, he got caught with a kick. He whipped Tatanka into the ropes and put him in a sleeper. Tatanka managed to get out of it quite quickly and picked Reno up for an atomic drop.
Reno seemed to sell it, and then no sell it when he decided to bounce off the ropes but Tatanka caught him with a shot. A couple of more chops on Reno and Tatanka hip tossed Riggins which then went into an armbar. Reno backed Tatanka into the corner and hit a number of chops of his own, but when he got over confident Tatanka grabbed him, threw him into the corner and showed him how to chop properly. He whipped Reno across the ring, who reversed it, Tatanka jumped on the second rope, went for a crossbody but Riggins moved.
Riggins pounded on Tatanka on the ground before chocking him. He picked Tatanka up and hit a few punches, before smashing his head into the turnbuckle which Tatanka no sold. He started the tribal dance, with Reno hitting him to no effect. Tatanka ducked a clothesline, hit Reno with a chop and a punch. Whip into the ring into another chop, before hitting a big power slam and then hitting the End of Trail finisher.
Tatanka beat Reno Riggins in 3:30 via pinfall.
Retro Verdict: The match was a lot more competitive than I would have imagined, but again Tatanka looked strong going into his WrestleMania match against Shawn Michaels.
Vince announced the formation of the WWF Hall Of Fame, and announced the first inductee would be Andre The Giant. They showed a great video package on Andre with some classic clips and a slow piano music piece in the background, truly excellent. Back in the arena, Money Inc.’s music was playing. They made their way into the ring, and their opponents were announced as Scott Rich & Jeff Armstrong. Not much is known about these pair, but I can definitely say Jeff was not part of the great Armstrong wrestling family, and it looks like this was a one off jobber match for Scott Rich as I don’t recall seeing him again...
3. WWF Tag Champions Money Inc. vs Scott Rich & Jeff Armstrong. Before the match, IRS reminded the crowd that the tax deadline had passed, and not to be caught cheating on them. Ted DiBiase and Scott Rich started things off. Ted immediately got the upper hand and got Scott in a headlock. Scott managed to get DiBiase into the ropes. But DiBiase eventually came back with a big clothesline to nearly knock his head off.
A whip into the ropes by DiBiase, and a knee to the gut. He then clotheslined Scott out of the ring. Irwin took advantage while Ted had the ref distracted. We got a shot over the shoulder of Rob Bartlett at the announcers desk who was flicking through the channels because he was "checking out the competition." Back in the ring, Irwin was tagged in and whipped him into the corner to tag his partner. Jeff came into the ring, and Irwin managed to catch him into a big suplex. Irwin tagged out, and held Jeff so Ted could get a shot in. DiBiase slammed Jeff’s head into the turnbuckle and hit a number of chops.
Another tag in, and they double clotheslined Jeff. Another tag, and DiBiase hit a powerslam. Money Inc. were looking like a fluent well working tag team, and Vince said he thinks The Mega Maniacs have their work cut out for them. With Irwin as the legal man, he hit an impressive flying clothesline for the three count.
Money Inc. beat Scott Rich & Jeff Armstrong via pinfall at 3.02.
Retro Verdict: Money Inc. looked brutal. Not in an aggressive sense, but just a good fluent tag team, which established them well going into their big WrestleMania match. I actually really liked the Rob Bartlett looking at the TV moment, as it showed the people at home that Raw was live.
Vince threw to "Mean" Gene Okerlund who was in the studio, and ran down the WrestleMania 9 card. I’m actually quite excited to watch this to see if it was as bad as I remember, especially after Mean Gene talked about everyone wearing Toga’s.......
Back from the break, and Doink made his entrance. The camera work and facial expressions from Doink were fantastic. They showed a kid sitting at ringside looking terrified. Kamala’s music played and he made his entrance with The Reverend Slick.
4. Doink vs. Kamala. The bell rang, and Bartlett pointed out that Doink had a present for Kamala. Doink begged off. He went to hand it to Kamala and pulled it away and laughed manically. Kamala stood there looking confused and then patted his belly. As Doink bent down to put the present in the corner, a curious Kamala came over to see what was going on, but Doink exploded at him with a shot to the stomach, and then rugby tackled him to the ground.
Doink put on an armlock into a face lock. He dropped an elbow on Kamala and put on a wrist lock. Kamala managed to get to his feet much to the dismay of Doink, and got hit with a number of big chops. Doink raked the eyes and rugby tackled Kamala again. Back on the mat, Doink applied another arm lock. Kamala was looking for inspiration from the crowd. He got to his feet and threw Doink way across the ring. He hit a number of chops and a kick to the midsection. We went to the break with Kamala patting his belly...
Back in the Arena, Doink was back in control with Kamala on the ground. Kamala made a comeback and hit more head chops and kicks, until he knocked Doink to the outside. Kamala followed and chased after Doink around the ring. Doink got to the corner with the present and stopped Kamala in his tracks, and once again presented the gift to the Ugandan giant.
Kamala was given the present, while Doink rolled back into the ring. The ref continued his count and Kamala was counted out. We see an upset looking Kamala with an empty present box, before he slid back in the ring trying to get to Doink who had already bailed while laughing manically.
Doink beat Kamala via countout in 6:00.
Kamala continued the chase on the outside until Doink went underneath the ring. Kamala chased after him. We saw Doink appear the other side of the ring and grabbed Finkel’s chair. We saw the cloth between the apron and the floor move and Doink smashed that area with the chair. We are talking a normal chair, not one of the flat chairs used during the Attitude era. We saw Kamala come out of the other side of the ring, and sneaked up behind Doink. He picked up the chair and chased after Doink who ran to the back.
Retro Verdict: I really got a kick out of this match. The wrestling was ho hum, but Doink’s antics at this time were great. It’s such a shame to know that the character would lose steam and become comedy fodder, as I really think the sick twisted clown gimmick was working so well at this point.
After the break, the larger Raw sign ladies were standing behind Rob Bartlett, and Vince announced that Rob was the 1993 spam eating contest winner. The ladies said that they loved Rob and Rob gave one of them a big kiss. You just know that Vince was the only one who found this entertaining.
Vince managed to move the conversation along to a WrestleMania special called "March To WrestleMania" which would show Macho Man against Yokozuna. Unfortunately, I don’t have a copy of this show, but think it would be fun to watch, so if anyone knows where I could find it, hit me up using the contact details below. Raw went off the air without any plug for Raw next week.
Retro Verdict: Weird weird segment with Rob Bartlett and the Raw ladies. WWF were definitely in full WrestleMania hype mode towards the end of the show despite this.
All in all it was a fun edition of Monday Night Raw. It was only 34 minutes in length, which surprised me, no idea what happened there. The Bushwhackers match was bad bad bad, but it was fun watching the gimmick again. The two squash matches put over the winners like they should have heading into WrestleMania, and the Doink/Kamala match was good to watch.
Although the shows at this time weren’t out of this world fantastic, they were watchable. If you just ignore the bad (Bartlett) and just enjoyed a bit of wrestling nonsense without thinking too much, these shows were alright. Nothing great, or can’t miss, but good clean fun.
Despite WrestleMania 9 being 13 days after this show, there wasn’t another Raw until the day after the event, they managed to miss out a week’s worth of Raw without a word. They didn’t really bill this as the last Raw before WrestleMania, but at the same time, I suppose Raw wasn’t the flagship show that it is today.
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