The SmarK Rant for WWF Monday Night RAW–03.15.93

The SmarK Legacy Rant for Monday Night RAW – March 15 1993

– Live from Poughkeepsie, New York. Apparently a giant blizzard has prevented taping at the Manhattan Center, so this marks the first show shot somewhere else.

– Your hosts are Gorilla, Bobby and (Not) Vince McMahon. Uh oh, Rob Bartlett brings his impersonation skills again.

Razor Ramon v. Russ Greenberg

Razor tosses the jobber around and hits the fallaway slam, then ties him up with an abdominal stretch and slaps him around on the mat. Bartlett is so unintelligible as “Vince” that even Gorilla and Bobby are openly annoyed by him here. Razor chokeslams Greenberg and hits a backdrop suplex off the middle rope. Razor’s Edge finishes at 3:05.

Typhoon v. L.A. Gore

What about the advertised Typhoon v. Bam Bam match? Will the bait and switch on this program never end? Gore looks like Dennis Condrey on roids and I’m surprised they never tried anything with him because he’s got the kind of look of someone who would at least get a shot. Gore hammers away to start, but Typhoon clotheslines him in the corner and hiptosses him out. Typhoon elbows him down and follows with a suplex. An awful powerslam nearly breaks the poor jobber’s neck, and an avalanche puts him down before the big fat splash finishes at 2:54. Seriously, how hard is it to do a good Vince impression? He’s a human cartoon character as it is and Bartlett can’t even do the simplest bits of his act, like “notwithstanding” and “BAAAAAAACK body drop”.

Giant Gonzalez comes out for an interview with Bobby Heenan, which gives us a weird bit of business where Heenan berates a production guy at ringside for not giving him the proper time cue, and then we take a break and return with Heenan complaining about not getting the proper help. I’m assuming that’s part of the Fall of Bobby Heenan story arc that leads to his “firing”, but it was really strange and insider-ish to see on this show nonetheless. As for the interview, Gonzalez is gonna bury the Undertaker, blah blah.

Papa Shango v. Bob Backlund

Bartlett is just getting irritating now, talking over Gorilla with his nonsensical babble and getting close to surpassing Duke Doherty as the world’s most awful color man. Shango wins a test of strength by booting Bob down, but Backlund takes him down and works the arm. Shango comes back with a backbreaker and chokes him out in the corner, then tosses him and sends him into the apron. Gorilla and Bobby sound just as exasperated with Bartlett as I feel, and he still won’t take the hint and shut the hell up. Back in the ring, Shango goes to a chinlock, but Bob fights out of it. Shango puts him down with another backbreaker and drops an elbow, then goes to a chinlock again. A slam gets two, but Backlund gets a fluke small package for the pin at 7:00, drawing a huge pop. Very chinlocky, but nothing really wrong with it. **1/2

Wrestlemania IX Report, with Mean Gene! I feel like I should go back and do the Anthology review of WM IX to pay off these RAW reviews, but then I’d have to give up the original version with my joke about lions whispering spots to the Christians. I guess it’d be for the greater good, though, and it’s not like I’ve never recycled material before.

The Headshrinkers v. The Nasty Boys

Big brawl to start and Samu gets a corner clothesline on Knobs, but Knobs fires back with a clothesline out of the corner and the Nasties get a double backdrop. Sags clotheslines Fatu for two, and Knobs follows with an armbar takedown. Sags gets a hiptoss and the Nasties double-team in their corner, but Sags gets caught with a cheapshot and plays face in peril. We take a break and return with Fatu going to the chinlock and then tossing Sags so that Samu can slam him on the floor. Back in, Samu goes up and misses a diving headbutt, and it’s hot tag Knobs. He hits Samu with a backdrop, which should have been an easy lay-up for Bartlett and we get nothing. They brawl to the floor and back to the “concession stand” for the lame double countout at 6:21. This might have been an entertaining brawl given a street fight setting and more time, but this wasn’t it. *1/2

Next week: Doink, Tatanka and the Bushwhackers!

Great crowd energy and some very entertaining matches, but I hope to GOD I never have to hear Bartlett as Vince again.