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 Bobby Heenan starts to make his way in and Mooney informs him that he's been REPLACED by some dude named Rob Bartlett.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?|
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.
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.|