By Haydn Gleed
WWE Raw on the USA Network
New York City, New York at the Manhattan Center
We opened with a pre-recorded interview from earlier that day, which was conducted by Lord Alfred Hayes who was talking to Shawn Michaels outside the arena. As Michaels was hyping Raw, Mr Perfect walked up to him and attacked with punches. They were literally brawling in the New York street and Perfect even threw Michaels onto the hood of a passing car. Eventually, enough people got between them and the opening Raw credits rolled...
Retro Verdict: Wow, that was a hot opening to the show. I wanted to emphasise the brawling part as it didn't feel like spot after spot, they just wanted to tear into each other. My only complaint was that, although they had an altercation at WrestleMania the month before, we hadn't seen anything on the Raw show that would warrant this type of heated brawl, but that's just a small complaint, based on my frustration of not being able to find all the shows from 1993. Good stuff.
Vince McMahon welcomed us live to the Manhattan Center in New York. Vince introduced "Macho Man" Randy Savage and Bobby "The Brain" Heenen. Vince reminded us that Shawn Michaels would face Hacksaw Duggan in a lumberjack match for the Intercontinental Championship. Shots were shown of the car that Michaels landed on, and we could see that his boots broke the windshield...
Bam Bam Bigelow made his entrance for the King Of The Ring qualifying match against Typhoon. Speaking of Typhoon, he made his entrance to a good reaction. The crowd really seemed up for this show...
1. Bam Bam Bigelow vs Typhoon. Both men circled each other to start the match. Bam Bam came off the ropes and both men collided three times and no one moved. Typhoon got the advantage with a kick to the mid-section and picked up Bam Bam for an impressive looking powerslam. Typhoon applied a wrist lock on Bam Bam who came back and tried to pick Typhoon up for a powerslam, but only got him half way up before dropping him, awkward. Bam Bam bounced off the ropes and went for a standing head-butt but missed.
Typhoon went back to the wrist lock. Bam Bam powered out of it and picked him up for a back body drop. The energy used was too much so Typhoon got back up and clotheslined Bam Bam down. Both men were brawling, but Bigelow got the advantage and knocked Typhoon's head into the ring post twice. The commentators pointed out that although Typhoon had been knocked into the ring post, it was Bam Bam who had a cut on his head.
Back in the ring, Bam Bam applied a face lock applying pressure on Typhoon. Typhoon eventually got back to his feet and broke the hold. Bam Bam quickly reapplied the hold as we went to the commercials.
We come back, and both men are face to face. They brawled in the middle of the ring, until Typhoon got the upper hand. He whipped Bam Bam across the ring and tried to follow up with a splash but missed. Bigelow impressively got Typhoon on his shoulders and dropped him down. Bam Bam climbed to the top rope and hit a diving head-butt. This was enough for the 1-2-3...
Bam Bam Bigelow beat Typhoon via pinfall in 5:08 to advance to the King Of The Ring Tournament.
Retro Verdict: Decent big man match. Was surprised how brutal it was for 1993 standards, but at the same time, there was a spot on the King Of The Ring card at stake so it made sense.
Back from a break, Yokozuna's music was playing as he made his way down to the ring. His opponent already in the ring was PJ Walker (Justin Credible with hair)...
2. Yokozuna vs. PJ Walker. As Yoko was undressing, he already looked blown up after the walk to the ring. Yoko threw salt in the corner and followed his pre-match ritual and locked up with PJ. Yoko threw him across the ring like a rag doll. Yoko knocked PJ down with a chop then hit a belly to belly suplex. One big leg drop, a splash in the corner and the bonsai drop and this match is over...
Yokozuna beat PJ Walker in 2:01 via pinfall.
Retro Verdict: Complete squash, with Yoko headlining King of the Ring against Hulk, it makes sense for him to look brutal.
Mr Perfect made his entrance, and not to sound cliché, the crowd came unglued. His opponent is "Iron" Mike Sharpe...
3. Mr Perfect vs "Iron Mike" Sharpe. Before the match Perfect put his chewing gum in one of the bigger Raw sign ladies mouth, and she loved it. Random, but the crowd found it amusing. Both men locked up, but Sharpe got the better of Perfect. They locked up again, headlock by Perfect. He came off the ropes and hit a perfect drop kick which knocked Mike to the outside.
Sharpe was on the apron and Perfect threw him back in. Perfect hit a number of chops until Iron Mike raked the eyes. Perfect however got back the advantage and face planted Sharpe in the corner a number of times. With Sharpe sitting on the canvas, Perfect hit a neck snapmare. Sharpe raked the eyes and unloaded with some chops himself. Both men started brawling which Perfect got the better of.
Heenen was shown watching the live TV on his desk, as he didn't want to watch Mr Perfect. At one point he was watching his favourite show, an underwear commercial. At one point he said he was looking for that film about that girl who goes to Dallas. Funny. Back in the ring, Iron Mike whipped Perfect into the ropes, ducked down for a back body drop but Perfect caught him and put on a Perfect Plex for the three count...
Mr. Perfect beats "Iron" Mike Sharpe in 4:08 via pinfall.
<b><u>Retro Verdict: Random chewing gum incidents aside, this was a fun segment. Match was ok, but as always Heenen had me cracking up.
As we went to commercial, they promoted Mr Hughes would be out next, way to hook viewers...
Heenen was shown walking around the ring apron, trying to get the thinner Raw sign girls telephone number... Mr Hughes made his entrance, and brought his new manager Harvey Wippleman with him to the ring. His opponent was the Cannonball Kid (Sean Waltman).
4. Mr Hughes vs Cannonball Kid. Kid ran towards Mr Hughes when the bell rang but eat a big clothesline. Vince McMahon called Cannonball Kid, the Kamikaze Kid which was Sean Waltman's name in his match the week prior. Mr Hughes, scooped up the kid and hit a voracious looking powerslam. Hughes made a lax pin, but at the two count he picked up Kid. Hughes picked up Kid by the ears six feet in the air and then just dropped him.
Kick to the head, headbutt, and the kid was struggling. He came out of the corner with a forearm but Hughes didn't move. Kid got whipped across the ring and took a really painful looking bump against the turnbuckle. Whip against the ropes, and Mr Hughes hit a big foot. He hit a spinning side slam for the easy pinfall victory...
Mr. Hughes beat Cannonball Kid in 2:00.
Retro Verdict: Mr Hughes looked like a beast, but it was mostly due to the bumping of Sean Waltman.
The lumberjacks made their entrances, which included, Typhoon, Terry Taylor, Mr Hughes, Yokozuna. They were actually wearing lumberjack shirts... Back from the break, the Lumberjacks were already around the ring as Hacksaw Jim Duggan made his entrance. Again, the crowd were fantastic and popped big. Jim Duggan instantly attacked Yokozuna and knocked him down.
Shawn Michaels made his entrance with the girls screaming, but Michaels came out on crutches and slowly made his way down the aisle. The heels all checked on him, but Perfect came around and attacked him. Perfect threw him into the ring, where Michaels magically was able to run with no problems. Hacksaw clotheslined Michaels over the top rope where Perfect threw him back into the ring for the bell to sound...
5. Shawn Michaels vs Hacksaw Jim Duggan for the Intercontinental Championship in a lumberjack match. Heenen pointed out that Michaels wasn't dressed to wrestle. Hacksaw hit a big atomic drop. He picked up Michaels and hit a number of powerslams, dropping Michaels on the turnbuckles. He hit an elbow in the middle of the ring for a two count. Hacksaw tried ripping Michaels shirt of and then hit a big right which Michaels sold like a demon.
Duggan hit a big inverted suplex and again got a two count. He whipped Michaels into the corner which Michaels hit upside down. Duggan hit a big clothesline and Michaels is in real trouble. He put Michaels into the corner and hit a number of shoulder charges. With Michaels down he put his boot over Michael's throat. Michaels tried to escape but Typhoon pushed him back in.
Duggan put in a chinlock to wear down Michaels. Duggan finally got Michaels shirt all the way off. Hacksaw put Michaels in a bearhug which Shawn sold. Duggan turned the bear hug into a powerslam. Michaels managed to kick out of a pin and came back with a number of punches. Hacksaw quickly got the momentum back with a couple of big rights and a headbutt. Elbow to the head and Duggan was still on the offensive. Michaels in the corner and Duggan climbed to the middle ropes and hit 10 punches with the crowd counting along.
Duggan threw Michaels over the top into the middle of the lumberjacks. Michaels tried to escape, but Mr Perfect and Bob Backlund stopped him as the show went to a break. Back in the arena, Duggan was still on the offensive. He went for a big knee, but Duggan managed to move. Shawn took his boot off and clocked Duggan, who fell to the outside. The heel lumberjacks threw Duggan back in.
Shawn kept putting the boots into Duggan who was struggling. He chocked Duggan on the middle rope. He whipped Duggan into the ropes and went for a back body drop. Duggan caught Michaels and face planted him. Duggan started selling a leg injury. Duggan whipped Michaels into the corner, but Michaels got the boot up and caught the charging Hacksaw. Michaels had Duggan in a side headlock and was wearing down Duggan.
Duggan powered out of the move with the crowd chanting "USA, USA". He broke the hold and came back with a big clothesline. Big back body drop which looked like Michaels nearly hit the roof. Duggan was chocking down Michaels in the corner near Yokozuna. Duggan went for a shoulder charge in the corner but missed. Michaels climbed to the second rope and jumped off, but Duggan caught him and powerslammed him for a two count.
Duggan setup for the football tackle clothesline. Michaels luckily fell to the outside near the heel lumberjacks as the show went to a break. When we came back Shawn was on the offensive. He whipped Jim into the corner and tried to follow up with a crossbody but Duggan moved. Bam Bam jumped up on the apron which distracted Hacksaw long enough for Michaels to recover and cheap shot Duggan from behind.
Michaels threw Hacksaw out of the ring next to Yokozuna who went to town on Duggan including a big legdrop. Yoko threw Duggan back in the ring. Shawn covered by putting one boot on him, but before the 3 count could be made Perfect came into the ring and attacked Michaels. The ref called for the bell for a DQ finish...
Shawn Michaels beat Hacksaw Jim Duggan in 13:05 of TV time via DQ.
After the bell rang, all the lumberjacks ended up in the ring brawling. It was only broken up when Jim Duggan came into the ring brandishing his 2x4. The show went off the air with Duggan on his own circling the ring...
Retro Verdict: Wow, ok I really enjoyed that. From the pre-match selling of the opening angle by Michaels, to the actual match, to the finish, it was all very logical and kept me in the moment. The whole segment went about 20 minutes (TV time) and it flew by, that's a very good sign. I can't believe I enjoyed two Duggan matches in two different shows.
This was probably my favourite episode of Raw so far in 1993. They had a hot opening angle, good big man match, two squash matches where the jobbers did their...uh.... job (no pun intended) well, and a good competitive match to end the show.
If you want to discuss anything about Raw in 1993 or how you think I've lost my mind thinking that Jim Duggan could actually wrestle, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on Twitter at Twitter.com/haydngleed