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.

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