Monday, January 24, 2011

THE NEW GENERATION ERA PROJECT: RAW REVIEW WEEK 3

So I'm assuming this was taped after the last episode, which might be kind of weird for those people in attendance. If they watched the Royal Rumble they would see both Ric Flair and Mr. Perfect, and one of them, after tonight's episode, will have lost a career match.

We kick off with Repo Man pulling up in a tow-truck, and in a brief interview with Sean Mooney he promises to repossess Macho Man's career.

Thanks for the lift, Axe.
In the arena, we have Bartlett, Vince and HEENAN(replacing the active Macho Man). Right off the bat Bobby starts laying in the verbal jabs on Bartlett and it's glorious.

Repo Man makes his way down for our first contest.....

REPO MAN vs. "MACHO MAN" RANDY SAVAGE
This match starts out all over the place, with Savage just going nuts. He's hoping over the top rope to the floor, snapmaring Repo on the outside, just going wild. They brawl quite a bit in the first half, but soon we settle down with Repo in control. Repo is pretty awesome during this segment. He gets Macho in a rear chin lock, and just starts ranting. "I could break you neck right now! No one does that to me!" and on and on. There's some very vocal Macho fans at rings side and he jaws with them a little, yelling gems like "Shut up, kid!" and "Macho what?" at them.

Macho's comebacks seem kind of clunky, like he decided half way through a sequence that he didn't want to get beat up anymore, but he didn't tell Repo. It's kind of neat, in a sloppy Macho MADNESS kind of way. The ending was pretty abrupt, but it was a fun time nonetheless.


KAMALA w/Rev. Slick vs. THE BROOKLYN BRAWLER
This is how my son pins me sometimes, and so I slap his belly in response.
Man, I don't remember a Kamala face run at all. But apparently REVEREND Slick is trying to teach him that "He is a Man." This is a fun quick match with Brawler doing what he does best - getting the crap beat out of him. If you kind of squint he looks like Artie Lang. I actually like Kamala's offense. It's kind of fun and wild. They work in the bit where he tries to pin Brawler on his stomach, and Slick is trying to get the crowd to help him tell Kamala how to do it properly. Eventually he gets it, and Kamala picks up the win. Fun times.

VINCE INTERVIEWS SLICK
Slick gets fired up and thanks the fans, who he says are responsible for the transformation of Kamala. Then he threatens Kim Chee and Harvey Whippleman to not get in the Ugandan Giant's way.

Now I want to see Giant Gonzalez vs. Kamala....that had to have happened.

CAREER ON THE LINE
MR. PERFECT vs. RIC FLAIR
I dug this match. It's better than the one they had at the beginning of the year. They took some of the best stuff from that and peppered it in, but it's a different match, and kind of moves towards the Standard Flair Match Format. There's some fun extraneous stuff, like Flair rolling out for a powder early and Heenan getting up and offering him the time keeper's hammer on the sly. Or Earl Hebner diving off the apron to strip Flair of a chair before he could use it on a prone Mr. Perfect.

Mr. Perfect takes a kind of awkward bump that opens him up. He tries to do a Shawn Michaels kind of bump in the corner, but he tries to hang on and ends up swinging himself into the post as he falls down. I'm not positive if it was on purpose and he bladed, or if he really knocked his noggin and it opened him up hard way. The wound looks a bit like a nasty goose egg, so I figured it bonked him pretty good. Also, Perfect does a tremendous sell on his leg, and keeps it going as the match is over. I love how he does, it as it just looks awesome. Wrestler's should watch it and take notes.

Heenan is great on commentary, and adds a lot of drama that I didn't quite get from the match. I didn't quite feel that tension and drama that comes with this being someone's LAST MATCH. It was a well paced match and had good execution, but it felt like a really good exhibition that didn't have much on the line. Like I said, Bobby really helped with this, as he was really going irate. When the match was over he said something that was bleeped out big time, and I wonder if he even said anything bad at all, or if Vince just bleeped it all out in post so that RAW came off...well...raw. Bartlett, didn't detract much, and actually added, because about 5 minutes in he was speechless. It was like the work in the ring was too good for him to crack wise about it, and that added a lot.

It's a good match, and worth checking out if you haven't seen it, but not really as good as some of the other stuff I've seen in January.

FINAL THOUGHTS:
Good show. We get an interesting brawl between Macho and Repo, a fun little squash from Kamala and a lengthy battle between Mr. Perfect and Ric Flair that sees one wrestler packing. So lots of action for an hour show. I'd take this type of RAW over RAW now, or Impact, or probably even RoH on HDNet. I am disappointed that Vince told me I was getting a Bushwhacker's match at the top of the show, and it didn't happen. But he did confirm a match for next week:

I'm excited actually.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The New Generation Era Project ROYAL RUMBLE 1993

ROYAL RUMBLE
January 24th, 1993
ARCO Arena
Sacramento. CA
16,000 in attendance


We got Bobby Heenan and Gorilla on commentary for this, which is refreshing after watching the Raw's with Vince, Macho, and Bartlett.

Let's get down to the business.

THE STEINER BROTHERS vs. THE BEVERLY BROTHERS
His name is Robert Paulson.
We're at kind of the twilight of the Beverly Bros. WWF career. They'd had their time in the sun with teams like the Road Warriors and The Natural Disasters, and now they've fallen down the tag team totem pole. This doesn't mean they can't be entertaining. They're both really good at doing some of the chickenshit heel stuff. Begging off, hiding in the ropes - that kind of thing. The Steiners play their power game, but both Beverly Bros. have a couple of good throws in their repertoire, so they don't look totally out of place.

I kind of dig The Steiners in the WWF. I wasn't feeling them in some of the stuff I saw from WCW. Didn't care for how they rolled with Doom or the Skyscrapers. But here, they seem much more well rounded. The highlights of this one is Rick throwing a nasty German suplex to Blake and turning Beau out with a ridiculous Steinerline. Scott gets to finish things off with a neck crunching Frankensteiner. These guys are just plain badasses.

INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
MARTY JANETTY vs. SHAWN MICHAELS(c)

Vince confused me on RAW, because he talked about these two mixing it up in the Rumble, not in a singles match. They do a hype video showing the infamous Barbershop Break-Up. They follow it up with Jannetty's return where he accidentally blasts Sherri with Shawn's mirror. Before the match starts Sherri comes out by herself to ring side. She's doing a demure act, and looks SMOKIN' HOT.

It was the palantir that deceived Sherri.
This match is pretty damn awesome and it probably the best one I've seen so far in this project. It's got a hot beginning with Marty going nuts and Shawn bumping wildly. Then things settle down with Shawn doing some awesome shoulder work. He busts out a shoulder breaker and a single-arm DDT. It's good stuff. And Marty sells the beat down really well. Actually Marty really comes through in every way with this match. His comeback is hot as hell and he goes crazy doing it. They work in a pretty cool suplex spot with Marty on the apron and successfully suplexing HBK to the floor. Things go into overdrive at this point. Sherri comes over feigning concern and gives him a huge slap. Once he hits the ring it's near fall heaven between the two, until Shawn accidentally elbows the ref. Sherri sneaks in and goes to clock him one but hits Marty instead. Shawn lets her know she's a screw up and superkicks Marty for the win(after the ref wakes up, of course.)

This is just a really cool match, and to me, is a clear message that Marty isn't nearly as high on the WWF's priority list. The star here is Shawn Michaels and he has a whole lot going on. He's going to out smart his nemesis and show up one of the all-time greatest valet/managers in the same match. He is absolutely King Dick of the WWF right now.

After the match, Shawn sees that Sherri is hysterical in the back with Mean Gene and he rushes back there to give her another talking to. Marty jumps him from behind and it's all broken up, while the announcers let us know this is FAR FROM OVER. For some reason an orange is thrown during the brawl. I laughed.

BAM BAM BIGELOW vs. THE BIG BOSS MAN
I was pretty excited about this one because I LOVE Bigelow, and Boss Man is super-solid in my book.

This match is nice and meaty and these two work just as hard as Marty and Shawn did. Boss Man takes a nasty spill over the top rope and nails his back on the apron really early. It looked like it really stung. They do some pretty athletic big man spots. Bammer in particular takes an awesome back body drop bump for Boss Man. I really really enjoyed this match, and seeing these two slug it out. It just looked like they busted their ass in this one.

Historically speaking this match is kind of important as it's Big Boss Man's last PPV appearance before he leaves the company in March. Very cool match, that I suggest checking out if you dig two big bruisers beating on each other.

WWF CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
RAZOR RAMON vs. BRET  "HIT MAN" HART(c)
I've made my love for Bret known. He's tied up with Macho Man as my favorite wrestler of all time. (I can't choose.) I also think Scott Hall is an utterly AMAZING wrestler and because of his problems he's lost some of the love he deserves. He's incredibly versatile and is able to shift between styles without looking bad. For example at the opening of this match he's selling Bret's leg work like a Shawn Micaels. Later he tosses Bret around outside like a monster. I'd say Hall is one of the most versatile wrestler's ever in that he can litterally morph in the ring and be everything the crowd wants at any given moment.

Not only is this match a great example of his skills, but it's just a really good match. Bret and Scott work really well together. They do some fun brawling around and toss in some cool spots like Bret's cool tope, that I kind of forgot existed. There's some cool counter's like Bret's back body drop counter, and Razor kicking him in the face when Bret goes for the middle rope elbow drop. They're simple but cool and are kind of surprising when they happen.

The way they set up the Sharpshooter was fun as it kind of came out of nowhere. Razor kicked out of a roll-up and while they laid thee, Bret felt that their legs were in position. So  he locked it up and rolled through for the submission. Really fun finish and a solid match between the two.

THE UNVEILING OF.....NARCISSIST...
They finally do a big unveiling of "Narcissist" Lex Luger. It's a fun show with a big curtain being lifted, revealing Luger and a couple of mirrors. He takes off his awesome cape that he got from Krypton and starts showing off the goods. It's absolutely perfect, especially with Heenan verbally stroking him the whole time. Luger plays this pretty perfect, and does some fun stuff like directing different camera men to get close-ups on different body parts. He even cuts a fun promo, where I'm pretty sure he says he's the most "mesamorphically magnificent physical specimen beyond perfection". It's not a word but maybe it should be. I think I know what it means, at least judging from the context clues.
So ready for Super Brawl Saturday.

CESAR AND CLEOPATRA STOP BY
Cesar starts off with the "Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears," bit which is funny. Because that's totally Marc Antony's line. Marc Antony would be pissed. This is just some hype for Wrestlemania IX which will be taking place at Cesar's Palace. Part of the invitation is a decree that the winner of the Rumble will be wrestling for the WWF Championship at Wrestlemania. I think that makes this one the first to do that.

THE ROYAL RUMBLE
I'd written this big long recap of the Rumble, and I realized it was just plain boring. It was mostly me recapping who came in and what they did, and you should just watch the damn thing. But here's my favorite stuff:

Highs and Lows
 -Bob Backlund. It's brilliant actually. He comes in and people are kind giggling while they're cheering. He's #2, and he starts it off with Flair, who is easy to hate. When he starts showing up Flair the crowd gets into his kind of goofy act. After the Undertaker stuff about midway(I'll highlight that in a bit) Bob Backlund is still alive, after taking a Berzerker chair shot and a body slam to the concrete. It's when he gets back in that the crowd is really fully behind him. Every time it looks like he's going to get eliminated, the crowd goes nuts. It's really one of the best executed star making performances, because people really start to give a shit about a 43 year old Bob Backlund. When it's down to him, Yoko, and Savage, the crowd is wondering if he's got what it takes. The best is that he gives it his best shot on Yoko and Yoko tosses his ass, to get all the heat from beating this guy who just broke the record for longest time in the Rumble. It's a brilliant game, and worth watching the Rumble for.

-The First Half. You get Backlund, Flair, DiBiase, Mr. Perfect, Jerry Lawler, and Tenryu all in the first half. They do amazing work together. Well. except Tenryu. He kind of wanders around from corner to corner looking for some one to play with. I think Ted DiBiase might be the only guy he's comfortable with, because he kind of keeps coming back to him and giving him a little poke or kick, like he's asking him if he wants to go  out for coffee. But the other guys do just awesome stuff, especially Perfect, who is hot as hell coming in against Flair, who he's fighting with their careers on the line the following night.

-EL GIGANTE The Monster makes his debut and eliminates the Undertaker, despite not being an entrant in the Rumble. He dominates the Undertaker so bad that he can't even sit up, until Paul Bearer revives him with the Urn. God Undertaker is so awesome in this segment. He's so good at playing this character. Gigante is....Gigante. He looks scary as hell.

PERFECT.
-Koko B. Ware is a Douche. Koko totally teams up with Ted DiBiase to eliminate Mr. Perfect, who's being pulled to the ground by an eliminated Jerry Lawler. It's an awesome segment as it's done very dramatically and Perfect looks so desperate to hang on. But the story for me is that damn Bird Man was taking advantage of some heel tactics. The best part? Ted DiBiase later eliminates Koko by dumping him while he's trying to eliminate Terry Taylor.

-The Second Half. Was kind of a cool down after the Undertaker/Gigante stuff. We get guys like Saggs, Typhoon, Fatu, Tito, Earthquake, Owen Hart and Repo Man. Once Yoko comes in it becomes very apparent that there's not much to stop him from winning.

-Earthquake. I gotta single out the Quaker, though. Earthquake comes in and immediately battles his partner and eliminates him. It's like he knows that he's only got so much stamina and he's gotta take care of his partner first. It's pretty awesome. Then when Yoko hits the ring the two have a big show down that gets the ARCO Arena rocking in anticipation. And Yoko looks crazy impressive as he belly to belly suplexes Yoko over the top.

-Yokozuna. This is the Yokozuna is a monster and he gets to swat out Bob Backlund, who was building quite the fan base over the night, and goes one on one with Macho Man. The stuff with Macho is actually amazing. The two really work well together. When Yoko finally falls, the crowd goes nuts. I'm a little miffed at the ending, because Savage hits the elbow and GOES FOR A PIN! But it's almost worth it because Yoko presses him off so that Savage flies over the top rope and to the floor. It's probably the most ridiculous elimination ever. But Yoko looks like a total BEAST.

FINAL THOUGHTS
This has to be one of the best Rumbles from top to bottom. It's got four solid undercard matches between some very awesome wrestlers. The Rumble match itself isn't the best. It starts off really hot but by the time it gets down to the last ten there's not really many contenders left that you can see main eventing Wrestlemania. It's essentially Macho and Yoko, which is cool, but you find yourself going, "when are they going to toss these jabronies out?" Still, this show is a highlight so far in the project and has provided some of the best wrestling of the year. Can't wait to see how it's followed up on RAW.

Friday, January 14, 2011

New Generation Era Project RAW Review Week 2

Monday Night Raw
January 18th 1993
Grand Ballroom at Manhattan Center Studios

In the opening, Bartlett tears up a picture that I thought was Donald Trump's but they say it was Bobby Heenan's. I think they're messing with me. Then the REPO MAN blindsides randy Savage and escapes into the crowd.

I was a little worried that this would put Savage out for some of the broadcast but he saddles up before the first match starts. Repo stole Macho's hat and Savage puts over the attack saying it's a Top 10 hardest hit he's ever taken.

I'm trying to think how good that actually is.... Hogan - Gotta hit harder. Warrior - Probably hit harder. Andre- No questions. After that we still have people like Roberts, Tito, Steamboat, Honky Tonk Man, Bruno Sammartino, Sensational Sherri's purse....and Top 10 doesn't seem so impressive. But I'm digging an eventual Repo Man/Randy Savage match.

TERRIFIC TERRY TAYLOR vs. MR. PERFECT
The crowd is pretty hot in this match. Terry Taylor is a smarmy little bastard. There's a moment where he drops Perfect's face the rail and practically runs away after doing it and rolls back into the ring. Then he comes back out and punches Perfect in the face and runs off back into the ring again. It's really funny looking. Terry Taylor breaks out some very cool stuff like a nice snappy Spine Buster and a Gut Wrench Powerbomb.

Perfect is good at looking beat up, and by the time he makes his comeback he looks like he's been through the wringer. His comeback isn't so hot, as the stuff he brings is a little cutesy, like that bell ringer where you put a guy's head between your knees and jump up and down. He also tosses in an atomic drop, which always gets a little response but I was kind of hoping for a little more out of his comeback.

Eventually Flair hits ringside and Perfect gets distracted. Terry Taylor knocks him to the outside where, behind the ref's back, Flair beats on Perfect. Flair runs off and Perfect is rolled in for Terry Taylor to finish up. The Terrific one goes for a suplex but it's blocked and countered with THE PERFECT PLEX and the 1,2,3.

Pretty cool stuff here but Mr. Perfect still isn't clicking for me as a good guy.

BRET HART IS THE TOUGHEST, MEANEST AND THE BEST
That's the fanciest Bret Hart fan I've ever seen. FANCY.
One of my complaints from the the first episode was a lack of Bret Hart, who was the WWF Champion at the time. Bret Hart said in his WWE DVD, that his first reign didn't feel quite right, like it wasn't for real. You can kind of see that here as he's cutting a promo on Razor Ramon. You don't quite believe him when he talks about holding the championship and that means he's the best. It's like he doesn't actually know for sure if he'll Vince is going to book Razor to win or something. It's a little weird, as Bret would later develop to having a massive ego(rightful so in my opinion), and being a guy who believes in his own act. He doesn't end with his legendary catchphrase, but instead says that being the WWF champion means that he's "the toughest, the meanest and the best." Which isn't nearly as good.

MARTY JANNETTY vs. GLEN RUTH
The crowd is pretty into Marty. He's got a lot of girl's screaming for him. Glen Ruth would later become THRASHER from The Headbangerz. Here'e he's got some goofy tights and a full head of hair. This match isn't bad at all, but it does feel a little underwhelming. Marty, athletically, has it going on, and in terms of pacing, he's fantastic. He has really nice quick counters that shut down Ruth's offense, and everything looks crisp. My problem with Jannetty is that he doesn't seem bigger than himself. Like mentally he's distracted. He's got these sad, dead eyes, like he's thinking about where he stashed his stuff before the show. It's really too bad, because the crowd wants to like him.

DOINK BEATS UP CRUSH and FREAKS VINCE THE HELL OUT
This girl also thought he Doink took his actual arm off and beat Crush with it.
They show a replay of some events that transpired on Superstars. Doink, who's arm is in a sling, offers Crush a flower as an apology for all their fighting. Crush takes the flower and hands it to a kid in the crowd. Doink takes off his fake broken arm and beats the daylights out of Crush with it. Vince McMahon loses it saynig "HE TOOK HIS OWN ARM OUT OF IT'S SOCKET AND IS BEATING CRUSH WITH IT."
He plays this like Doink has a detachable arm, folks. And Savage has to step in and be THE VOICE OF REASON.

SAVAGE: "That's uh...that's a cast, McMahon."
VINCE: "Oh..well, I guess, yes, that's what it is."

Wow. I'm glad Randy Savage took time to fly down from the Danger Zone to set you straight on reality, Vince.

Anyway, this puts Crush on the shelf and out of the Royal Rumble. Bummer.

THE REPO MAN HAS YOUR HAT
Man, this is hilarious. They're filming Repo outside, and Savage is responding live. Both of these guys are awesome here. Repo talking about how the hat is Savage's prize possesion and how he was late on payments for it. Savage is talking about a New York Street Fight and goes running off into the streets of Manhattan. Some funny little bits here.
"All the Madness is escaping through the top of my head right now."

"EL MATADOR" TITO SANTANA  vs. RIC FLAIR
You know, I really really like Tito's El Matador gear. The Pink and Green. The long tights. The ponytail. I dig it, man. They do some fun headlock work with Tito working it and finding ways to slap it back on. There's some d-bags in the crowd that are doing a "Let's Go Flair" chant, which finally gets some kids to wake up and go "Tee-toe, tee-toe!"

It's a good match, probably the best I've seen so far in this little project. Flair gets in all his classic spots and even busts out a neat little jackknife pin. Tito gets hot as hell in the final stretch and the crowd is going wild. He does for a flying forearm(or a cross body) and Flair ducks it. Tito sails over the top rope to the floor. But before Flair can capitalize, Mr. Perfect is out and all over him. The Ref calls the match and the two throw down all over the building.

THE WWF ISN'T BIG ENOUGH FOR FLAIR AND PERFECT
Flair makes his way back to ringside and lays out the challenge to Perfect saying "one of us stays and one of us goes." Perfect makes his way over there and accepts. Flair was great as usual being wild and crazy, and Perfect handled his acceptance swimmingly. It's a great sell for next week's episode, which comes after the Royal Rumble.

FINAL THOUGHTS
From a wrestling and a story aspect, this felt a LOT better than the first episode. We got a decent Terry Taylor/Perfect match and a good Santana/Flair match. Jannetty was okay, but didn't seem all there. In terms of story, we get Ric Flair and Perfect going at it, and the wacky stuff with Macho and Repo. And next week, looks to be really nice as we get Perfect/Flair Loser Leaves Town and Savage vs. Repo Man.

Certainly a better second episode with a better rhythm and a neat method of actually setting up the next week's stuff.

But before we get to next week we gotta go through the Royal Rumble. As far as I can tell they've only announced two matched for it: The Rumble, and Bret vs. Razor Ramon. Most of the other feuds will be lumped into the Royal Rumble itself, like Marty/Shawn. Can't wait to watch that, as I really can't remember it at all.

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Generation Era Project: RAW Week 1.

Monday Night Raw
January 11th 1993
Grand Ballroom at Manhattan Center Studios


Kicking off the first episode ever is Sean Mooney standing outside the theater. Bobby Heenan starts to make his way in and Mooney informs him that he's been REPLACED by some dude named Rob Bartlett. Heenan gets irate. I get irate too. I want me some Heenan.


ROB FUCKING BARTLETT
So I don't remember this dude at all. He's apparently a comedian who was a regular on Don Imus' show. His job, the whole show, is to poke fun at pretty much everything. Upon seeing Yokozuna(who he constantly calls YokoZUMA) he says, "He's got an ass like an amphitheater." Vince sounds a little surprised at the "ass" word getting tossed out there but he uses it to further brand the show as Uncooked, Uncut and Uncensored. Bartlett is pretty hit and miss, with some hokey one liners similar to Jerry Lawler, and a terrible Mike Tyson impersonation. Even though it's a product of it's time, some of the pop-culture references are groan worthy, and hamfisted. But enough about this guy let's get to the first match.


YOKOZUNA vs. KOKO B. WARE
Koko's rocking the HIGH ENERGY gear and no Frankie. 1993 will prove to have some of thegreatest examples of wrestler gear ever. They work a pretty simple squash match, with them getting over the fact that no one has been able to knock Yoko from his feet. 


While the match isn't anything special 'Zuna working his gimmick is cool as hell. He's so methodical and has strong precise movements. And just when you think he's just a big lumbering fatass, he charges across the ring like a freight train, and you wonder how Koko survives. Yoko was a scary looking dude, and even just his Leg Drop seemed like enough to kill another man dead. Neat match, just for the Yoko factor.


A MAN KNOWN AS...NARSISUS. NARCYST. NARSISTUS.. AWWWW FORGET IT.
During this time period Mr. Perfect was in the middle of a face run. Bobby Heenan, looking to shut down his former client, has hired a man known as Narcissist. But no one can pronounce it the same way twice. Not Vince. Not Heenan. They leave out some s's. They add in some t's. They change which sylable they're going to emphasize. And even better, they go out of their way to not use "The" before "Narcissist." Heenan goes hypes up this mystery competitor by telling Mr. Perfect that Narcissist is BEYOND perfect. Can't wait to see this great unveiling at the Rumble.


THE STEINERS vs. THE EXECUTIONERS
This kind of looks extra painful doesn't it?
During this entire match "Doink the Clown" is running back and forth on the second level laughing his ass off. It's kind of like that scene in "IT" where the kids are looking at those old photo's of Derry and each one has Pennywise The Dancing Clown somewhere in them. Then the photos start moving and he runs up to the foregrown and scares the shit out of me. I mean them. The kids got scared, not me. 


While Doink is doing his thing, The Steiners are killing a couple of guys. Rick whips Executioner #1 so hard the guy just falls down before he reaches the ropes. They just beat the snot out of these goobers with Tiger Drivers and Over the Head Belly to Belly Suplexes. Steiners are way scarier than a clown. 


THE BAD GUY IS NUMERO UNO, CHICO
Razor Ramon comes out and gives a slow ass promo. Apparently Razor beat the snot out of Owen Hart to get into the head of Bret, who he'll be facing for the WWF Title at the Royal Rumble. It's nothing special at all, EXCEPT the end. Right at the end he surprises Vince with a toothpick to the freaking eye. Vince's face is priceless. He gives this look like "Okay buddy, everybody gets one, I'll see your ass backstage." Pretty underwhelming promo from Scott Hall.


MAX MOON vs. (c)SHAWN MICHAELS for the Intercontinental Championship
If you haven't seen Max Moon, it's like Rainbow Bright and Tron had sex on some Saved By The Bell sheets, and this is what came out. Originally a character created by KONNAN, the Max Moon costume reportedly cost $1300 to make. So when Konnan left the company in a dispute with Vince, Paul Diamond took over the prestigious mantle and that's who we have facing HBK here.


These two have a pretty long history. Diamond was in Texas All Star Wrestling back in the mid 80's and took on the Rookie Michaels as his tag team partner. Later, when Shawn would go on hiatus because of his back it would be Diamond(under the name Venum) that would wrestle Shawn  in his only match during that period. 


They work a pretty basic match with some cool spots. Shawn gets slingshotted over the top rope to the floor and Moon does that Rey Mysterio spot where he runs off the apron and sits on the dude's chest. The crowd is pretty listless and there's a lot of distractions. Doink makes his way up the aisle to fart around with some fans, and Bartlett gets set up to do his Mike Tyson impersonation. You know, for the laughs. Can't say there's much to this one but it is interesting to note the history of these two guys.


DAMIAN DEMENTO vs. THE UNDERTAKER
Taker is pretty cool in this. He works his gimmick so well. I forget about this stuff, but he was really good at keeping his hair in front of his face for the whole match. He'd always keep his head lowered as he got up so it fell in front and you really can't see it much at all. Then when he flips it back after the Tombstone pin and his arms are all rolled back and shit - well it's pretty damn scary. It's like watching The Ring. 
Remember when he was just "The Best Pure Soul-Taker" in the WWE?


This is a short affair and nothing special other than watching Taker work his schtick so damn well. Demento was a pretty clunky dude, by the way. He looks cool as hell and I wonder if he's got more in him than a Double Axe Handle. Probably not, which is why I don't remember him.


DOINK GETS THE FINAL SEGMENT, BRAH
Vince does a final interview segment with Doink telling him that Crush has warned him in the past about making kids cry. Doink laughs it off. Crush comes out and reiterates his threat stating that if he sees him, "touching anybody else"(CREEPY) he's going to break his legs and arms. Doink spits in his face and they do the slowest chase around the ring ever. Crush then says forget this and just hops in the ring while Doink laughs at him. Crush's music plays, which I thought was freaking AWESOME, which closes out the show. Crush didn't look so tough in this at all. Though I hope he finally gets that clown.


FINAL THOUGHTS
It's the first show ever and the WWF Champion doesn't make an appearance. Not a match. Not a live interview. Not even a taped segment. The only mention Bret gets is Razor hyping their match together. You'd think that with this being supposedly historic, you'd bring in in your top guys. I think the recent iteration of Superstars even had John Cena on it. 


They have an interesting format, where it seemed like the opening and ending matches were just kind of squash matches, with the real "main event" being the Intercontinental Championship match which was second to last. They'll continue to tinker with this, for example Bret and 1-2-3 Kid's Title match in '94 went on first. Kind of similar to Saturday Night's Mainevent, where the big matches came on earlier.


It's an interesting show over all, but not really worth it in terms of wrestling. Shawn/Moon felt like a walk through and the Steiners, Yoko, and Undertaker, while all very cool, just had squash matches. In terms of storylines, the big story of the night was mostly Doink/Crush and Heenan trying to get into the building. 


Next week they promise me some Hitman, so things should pick up. They all advertised this:
Mi-a's gon-na kill yooooou.
So it could be a wash.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Next Project

THE NEW GENERATION: THE ERA BETWEEN MOUNTAINS

It was a new era. In 1992, Hulkamania and the entire WWF was ravished by a steroid scandal. After Wrestlemania 8, the Hulkster went on a hiatus and figure out how to rebuild his image. The company was left to move on. They managed to sustain on other superstars from the Hulkamanaia era, like "Macho Man" Randy Savage, and the man who was supposed to take over the Hulkster's mantle, the ever popular Ultimate Warrior.

While Savage, Warrior and Ric Flair were used to draw in fans, McMahon started to build new stars in Bret Hart, Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels. The fans grew into the Hitman's Championship reign, and McMahon decided it was time to move forward with the next generation of stars. Warrior was fired for a myriad of reasons. Flair's contract was going to finish up in February of '93 and not be renewed. And Macho Man's role was cut back to semi-active wrestler and full-time commentator on a brand new television  program: Monday Night Raw.

Raw began on January 11th 1993, and it's roster featured some of the greatest names in history. The Undertaker. Bret and Owen Hart. Scott Hall. Shawn Michaels. Mr. Perfect. The Steiners. This New Generation of WWF Superstars was incredibly different than the main eventers of the previous generation. These were more agile and technically sound wrestlers that would normally make up the undercard of a Wrestlemania than headline it.These men weren't passed the torch, they just picked it up when the old guard dropped it and while history may show that they didn't take it very far, they still did some cool stuff with it.

Financially speaking this period is looked at as a low point in the history of the company, yet it's incredibly interesting and rife with creative change. From the wrestling style to the character creation, the WWF threw a lot fo different stuff at the wall. Some stuff succeeded and some failed. Lots failed. We've also got the birth of Raw and even as early as the first episode you can see that Vince was tinkering with a more edgy image for his company. And he did this while filling the roster with goofy characters like Clowns, Tax Collectors and Repossession Men.

I've decide to go back and kind of relive this era with adult eyes. When I was kid, I loved the new stars(Bret Hart is tied with Macho Man for favorite wrestler ever) and even dug the crazy characters. Now I want to go back and see what I missed. Knowing that Vince was desperately trying to rebuild the company, and knowing some of the backstage drama that would arise as certain wrestlers came together(The Cliq is born), I think it would be cool to check it out all over again and reevaluate the period.

So I'm going to try to watch WWF programming chronologically starting with the very first episode of RAW - January 11th, 1993. I'll be recapping the shows(RAWs and PPVs) and hopefully be able to detail what was going on during this time period with the knowledge of hindsight. I hope to bring in some pals and get some discussion going on and take this a little deeper, getting other people's perspective on the era.

Every couple of weeks, I'll be doing some Power Rankings for that time period, so you know what wrestlers and what matches you should be checking out from this era. So hop on the Lex Express(after he finishes looking at himself in the mirror) and get ready to experience the WWF's New Generation all over again.