- Kind of a nice coincidence that the Raw reviews are covered all the way up through this episode, and this is the one I actually have an interest in re-watching. In the weeks leading up to this episode of Raw, Shawn Michaels was stripped of his Intercontinental Championship (drug problems seem to be the popular reasoning, but take anything with a grain of salt), and a Battle Royale was announced to determine a new Champion. Only one difference: The winner didn't get the belt, but the last two remaining superstars would have a match, sort of a quasi-tournament finals scenario.
- Originally broadcasted on October 4th, 1993, but taped the week prior from New Haven, CT. Vince McMahon and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan are calling the action this week. Remember how awful Rob Bartlett was? Well, he hasn't been on an episode of Raw since April, and the world of wrestling was still glad to be rid of him.
20 Man Battle Royale; Final 2 Battle for the Intercontinental Title:
(Participants: "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Mr. Perfect, Razor Ramon, Tatanka, Marty Jannetty, "The Rocket" Owen Hart, The 1-2-3 Kid, Bob Backlund, "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka, Mabel, Diesel, Irwin R. Schyster, Adam Bomb, "The Model" Rick Martel, The Giant Gonzalez, Bam Bam Bigelow, Bastion Booger, M.V.P., Quebecer Jacques & Pierre)
Looks like pretty much everyone of importance in the mid/upper-midcard is involved, making it a little hard to predict a winner... 'cept for MVP, who would eventually be renamed Abe "Knuckleball" Schartz (and it's Steve Lombardi, by the way). The Quebecers are the reigning Tag Team Champions, and are the only tag team participating, oddly enough. I'd question the presence of Gonzalez, who all but vanished from T.V. since SummerSlam (except for a briefly teased program with Adam Bomb... yuck), but Savage jumps him before the bell, and half the participants gang up to eliminate him at the 30-second mark. So much for the "Andre" rule. Unusual for a Battle Royal, no one else is tossed for a while. Mabel and the Kid pair up a few times, which seems quite strange. Heenan talks about the San Francisco Giants for whatever reason, in reference to "MVP." Snuka might be the winner... of least attention paid to in the ring. Seriously, the ringside cameras rarely focus on his boring nothingness. Mabel continues to pair up with other faces, this time with Tatanka, and then Backlund. He chooses to go after Diesel next, misses a forearm, and gets thrown out with a big THUD at 5:47. Perfect and Savage pair up briefly, and Ramon tosses I.R.S. at 6:17. No, he didn't use the tie to throw him over. The Quebecers try and toss Ramon, but Savage and the Kid make the save. Why?! Booger tosses the Kid out like a bag of trash at 6:52. Tatanka and Perfect exchange chops... guess who sells more. Diesel tries to dump Perfect, but misses a charge, and he's gone at 8:10, and it's time for a commercial...
We return from a commercial break, and Martel tosses Backlund at 10:33, just as we return. I remember missing that from my original taping, but I guess I was late on unpausing the tape coming back from the commercial. Heenan accuses Savage of keeping Crush out of the battle royale, further driving a wedge between the bestest buddies in the whole wide world. Snuka charges Martel, and is back-dropped out at 11:07. So much for Snuka's 1993 return... I think this was his last appearance. Perfect pounds away on Bigelow until Bigelow says fuck it, grabs him by the hair, and throws him over at 11:54. I was a bit surprised to see Perfect go so soon when first watching this, as it aired. Jannetty saves Savage from the Andre Special, then charges Bomb and gets sent to the floor for all his effort at 12:56. Owen has Martel in a compromising position, but it's no go. Tatanka works over Bigelow with chops, but misses a charge, and Bigelow yanks down the ropes for the elimination at 13:21. Booger and Bam Bam double team Savage, but Ramon makes the save. Shortly after, Savage tosses Booger out at 14:08. Bigelow tosses Ramon through the ropes, and Ramon returns and clotheslines Bigelow to the floor at 14:20, just as we go to our second commercial break.
We return, and it's time to clear the ring: Owen Hart dropkicks MVP out at 16:54.He celebrates prematurely, and is dumped out by the Quebecers at 17:09. We're down to Martel, Bomb, and the Quebecers against Ramon and Savage, unlikely partners, but Vince and Heenan fail to remind us of their past. The Quebecers double team Ramon, but don't bother to try and toss him out. Savage manages to fend off Martel and Bomb long enough to eliminate Bomb at 19:44, but then everyone gangs up on him (as well as the recently eliminated Adam Bomb), and Savage is gone at 19:53, disappointing an 8-year old me. That leaves Ramon, down 3-against-1, against the French-Canadian Connection (Ha Ha, FCC, get it?). They do a good job of beating the crap out of Ramon, but we get the obvious heel miscommuncation that sees Pierre accidentally clothesline his partner Jacques out at 23:17, and then in the confusion of things, Ramon throws Pierre out at 23:22, meaning it will be Razor Ramon vs. Rick Martel for the Intercontinental Title, next week on Monday Night Raw. As far as Battle Royale's go, this was mostly entertaining, with time dedicated to show "this one actually matters", and nearly ate up half the broadcast time for the week. Can't say Martel screamed a likely heel winner, but he did go to a No Contest with the UNDEFEATED Tatanka the week before, so seeds were planted for the potential outcome. Would've prefered Savage or Perfect winning, but it's 20-years ago, so whatever.
The Heavenly Bodies (w/ Jim Cornette) vs. Mark Taylor & Scott Thomas:
I guess with pretty much the entire roster part of the Battle Royale, they had to stretch out a bit, borrowing the Heavenly Bodies from SMW for this taping. Their last appearance was a losing-effort at SummerSlam, and they really didn't become a full-time team in the WWF until right after WrestleMania X. Cornette does the pre-match intro for his team, a la the Midnight Express. Prichard starts with Thomas, and dicks with him with a pair of Full Nelsons. He clips the knee as Thomas offers to break it a third time. Whip to the ropes, Prichard with a side suplex, and a back drop flip of Del Ray gets two. Del Ray with a gutwrench suplex, as Heenan mentions the Rock N' Roll Express will be on All-American Wrestling this weekend. Taylor tags in, and gets wiped out by a slingshot clothesline from Del Ray. Whip to the ropes, and Del Ray with a diving back elbow. Prichard tags back in, and hits a top rope spinebuster. Prichard with a delay vertical suplex, then an enziguri. Del Ray comes in for a double suplex, then chokes. Del Ray with a DDT, and Thomas walks into a double crescent kick. Del Ray finally pins Thomas at 3:42. That was most definitely a squash.
- Last week on WWF Superstars, Doink (the Clown) has some fun at the expense of Bam Bam Bigelow and Luna Vachon. Doink has two buckets with him: the first is full of confetti. Bigelow threatens to rip Doink's head off if he does it again, so naturally, Doink dumps the second bucket on Luna's head, and yep, it's water. Vince and Savage aprove, which means Doink's face turn is complete. For whatever reason, Bam Bam beats up on the Jobber who was scheduled to face Doink. Doink whacks Bigelow with a broom, then lures him up the aisle, tripping Bigelow up with invisible wire. Har Har...
- Don't miss the premiere of Hulk Hogan in Mr. Nanny, this weekend, in a theater near you! Weird that this movies was advertised quite heavily during Monday Night Raw at the time, despite Hogan's departure from the company. I guess the bad blood didn't REALLY begin until he signed with WCW and testified at the trial.
Doink (the Clown) vs. Cory Student:
Correction: Doink's face turn is finally complete with HAPPY carnival music, changed since the Superstars clip, which still featured the evil tune. Doink plays to the crowd, tossing stuff to buy fans. He pulls a bucket from under the ring, which causes Bobby Heenan to be uncomfortable at ringside. It ends up being a bucket of popcorn. Har Har... Student tries a sneak attack, but fails. That's why he's the student and not the master. Har Har... Sorry, enough bad jokes. Doink takes Student over with a hip toss, then connects with a dropkick. Doink with a belly-to-belly suplex as Vince and Heenan continue to push a Doink/Bigelow program. Whip to the ropes, and Doink takes him over with a powerslam. Doink to the top rope, and he finishes it off with the Whoopie Cushion at around the 2-minute mark. Afterwards, Bam Bam makes his way to ringside, but Rene Goulet and Tony Garea stands in his way. Bam Bam chooses to beat the crap out of Doink's red wagon instead.
- Replay of the closing minutes from the Battle Royale, because they didn't have something else to fill out the last 3-minutes of the broadcast. Oh well, it's better than starting a feature match with that much time left, cutting away to a commercial, and promising the finish next week, but not following through with the promise. Oh wait, they've already done that.
Final Thought: An all-around solid effort. The Battle Royale was a great feature down the path of crowning a new Intercontinental Champion, and a majority of the remaining time was dedicated to update the fans on the Doink/Bam Bam program that was set to go through WrestleMania X. Even the Heavenly Bodies squash had purpose, giving the fans exposure of them, and eventually the RnR Express, for their appearance at the Survivor Series. Last but not least... Mr. Nanny is out. You probably should go and watch it.
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