February 22nd, 1993
Location: Manhattan, New York, USA (Manhattan Center)
Announced attendance: ca 1 000 (capacity: ca 1 000)
TV rating: 3.0 (USA Network) [down 0.3 from the previous RAW’s 3.3]
Hello everyone. Welcome to another RAW review here on the blog. This week, Hulk Hogan makes his return to the WWF for the first time since WrestleMania 8. Elsewhere, Shawn Michaels and Tatanka go at it as apart of a six-man tag team match, while The Undertaker faces Skinner in the main event.
Here’s the list of WWF champions heading into this RAW:
- WWF Champion: Bret Hart [133rd day of his reign] – previous champion: Ric Flair
- WWF Intercontinental Champion: Shawn Michaels [118th day of his reign] – previous champion: The British Bulldog
- WWF World Tag Team Champions: Money Inc (Ted DiBiase & Irwin R. Schyster) [132nd day of their reign] – previous champions: The Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon)
Note: in title matches, the defending champions are underlined
Enjoy the review!
Your hosts are Vince McMahon, Randy Savage & Rob Bartlett
Rob Bartlett opens the show with an ULTRA important message for the viewers: he just found out wrestling fans can spell. Well, that’s already a waste of 15 valuable seconds of air time.
RAW’s intro plays.
Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Scott Taylor
Baby Scotty 2 Hotty charges into a shoulderblock by Bam Bam, who was right there waiting for him. Bigelow gives him a second shoulderblock, this time putting actual force into it. Scotty gets a few shots in and tries to run wild, only to get caught with a huge clothesline. Scotty manages to avoid a delayed vertical suplex and goes for something, but Bigelow catches him on his shoulders easily and drops him (and I mean DROPS him!) with an electric chair drop. The fans seem to be impressed with Bigelow’s showing. A butterfly backbreaker sets up the flying headbutt. Bigelow goes up again instead of covering, though, and a second flying headbutt gets the job done at 3:00.
- Rating: Good squash. Bigelow looked awesome in this one. Let’s give some props to Scott Taylor, the future Scotty 2 Hotty later in the decade during the Attitude Era, who made Bam Bam look like quite the world beater. *
Vince McMahon interviews Hulk Hogan
Vince is sitting with Hogan in the very same studio where Hogan discussed his possible retirement at WrestleMania 8. McMahon says the fans want to know if Hogan will be back to wrestling in the WWF, and asks him what is the future of Hulkamania. Hogan claims his fans who continued to support him during his year-long absence have gone from being his friends to being his heroes. He admits he’s made mistakes in his life as a human being, before addressing the “dirt reporters of the 90s”. Thankfully though, the Hulkamaniacs are not all about that – they’re all about positive work ethics. Why are we going there?? Hogan continues: all the Hulkamaniacs know that the future lies in youth – in order to achieve that, Hulk Hogan wants to be the leader of the 90s. Not contradictory. Nope, not one iota! From now on, Hulk says it’s not just “do as I say”, it’s “do as I do”.
Also, there’s now a new 5th demandment: believe in Hulk Hogan! Quite the strategy after all that went down in the previous couple of years of his career. There’s more coming from Hogan live in the arena later on in the show.
This was absolutely godawful with the intent to make Hogan look like the victim of the accusations made by the evil media reporters, obviously indirectly referencing the recent issues regarding the use of steroids. It was absolutely unnecessary and nobody was buying that crap, much like no one bought it on Arsenio Hall. They could and should have used this interview to do something else. Like, I don’t know, address Money Inc and build up the actual WrestleMania program we’re about to have? Just asking.
Shawn Michaels & The Beverly Brothers (Beau & Blake Beverly) vs. Tatanka & The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags)
Michaels comes out with his famous theme song here already, having debuted it on the night he lost to Tatanka on Superstars earlier that month. Speaking of Tatanka, he’s wasting no time tonight as he sprints to the ring and cleans house alongside the Nasty Boys. Knobbs with a faceplant on Blake as the action is properly underway. The Nasty Boys give both Beverlys a double Pit Stop, while Tatanka comes in to take care of Michaels simultaneously. Knobbs beats up Blake some more, until he eventually brings in Shawn who takes over with a back elbow smash to Knobbs. The Beverlys cheat for a bit while Shawn hammers away on Knobbs in their corner. However, Knobbs avoids a backdrop attempt and turns it into a faceplant. He runs wild with a series of clotheslines before tagging in Tatanka. Shawn wants none of him and immediately tags out, so the faces take turns going to work on Beau’s arm. Sags with a shoulderbreaker, but Blake is there to break the pin. Tatanka chops away on all the heels over in their corner as things breakdown for a bit, but everyone ends up leaving the ring and Tatanka continues to work on Beau’s arm after a LOUD chop.
The action returns with Knobbs taking it to Blake. However, Beau pushes the top rope on a blind charge and Knobbs gets dumped. Shawn sends him into the post on the outside before taking him back inside, where he slugs away. The Beverlys come in with their double-team jumping guillotine thing while Shawn has the ref distracted, who then gets two from it. Blake works a bearhug on Knobbs while the crowd chants for the Nastys. Off to Shawn who eats post on a missed blind charge, and he’s immediately out of there again. Beau prevents Knobbs from making the hot tag as the heels continue to cut the ring in half. Knobbs catches him with a kneelift, but he’s still far away from his partner, allowing Michaels to remain in control. They butt heads for a double collision, though, and Tatanka gets the hot tag. Tatanka finally gets his hands on Michaels and he runs wild on him. Powerslam by Tatanka, but the Beverlys immediately come in to break up the pin. Tatanka destroys both Beverlys in short order with a pair of chops WITH EXTRA MUSTARD. He resumes the comeback sequence on Michaels, coming off the top rope with a flying chop for a nearfall while the announcers sell their IC Title match coming up at WM 9. Tatanka seemingly finishes with the Not Samoan Drop, but the Beverlys stop the count again just before three. The Nastys come in to clean house. HBK tries to take advantage of the chaos and goes for the teardrop suplex, but Tatanka blocks and turns it into a sunset flip that gives him his second pinfall win over Shawn at 12:40.
- Rating: A chaotic six-man tag match used to add some heat to the Michaels/Tatanka IC Title match heading into WrestleMania. It was designed to build up Tatanka’s hot tag sequence, which worked. Additionally, the crowd was into the Nasty Boys, which helped. Not a huge fan of Shawn eating two pins in two weeks, but what can you do. Overall, an entertaining little TV match. **1/2
They play a brief WrestleMania IX ad.
Sean Mooney is outside with the fans waiting for Hulk Hogan’s arrival.
PROMOTIONAL CONSIDERATIONS PAID FOR BY THE FOLLOWING! – IcoPro and WWF Figures (still featuring promos from WCW star British Bulldog and the already-retired Sgt. Slaughter).
Crush vs. Terrific Terry Taylor
Crush overpowers Taylor and takes over with a side headlock. Dropkick by Crush followed by a gorilla press slam, and Taylor stops to take a breather. Crush tries to bring him back inside by the hair, but that earns him a necksnap. Taylor works a chinlock back inside while Bartlett does a “hilarious” Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonation. Swinging neckbreaker by Taylor, but Crush kicks out WITH AUTHORITY BY GAWD and he takes back control. Crush with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and the SQUEEZING CLAWHOLD OF DOOM ends Taylor at 3:46.
- Rating: A perfectly acceptable squash. 1/2*
We recap Money Inc’s attack on Brutus Beefcake last week to set up Hulk Hogan’s return in the next segment.
Hulk Hogan returns!
You see brother, last week the Hulkster was sitting in his beach house in Venice Beach watching Brutus Beefcake’s return on RAW. He was grinning from ear to ear as he saw Brutus outstrut and outwrestle Ted DiBiase. However, his smile turned to fear as soon as he saw IRS walking down the ramp. As Brutus’ face got crushed into a million peaces, dude, the noise was so loud he had to turn his head, brother. Thankfully, Beefcake is okay and, as far as Hogan is concerned, he looks more like a wrestler than he ever did. LOL, the irony! He thanks Jimmy Hart for preventing something worse from happening, which he never thought he’d say. Hogan follows it up by officially announcing his return to the ring, and asks Brutus Beefcake to join him in the ring. Brutus covers what happened last week in his usual over-the-top melodramatic way, before thanking Jimmy Hart as well. Hogan announces Jimmy is their new manager and asks him to join them too. Jimmy says he has managed a lot of teams over the years, but Hogan and Beefcake could very well be the greatest tag team of all time. Jimmy says he’s started taking his vitamins, and Money Inc should start saying their prayers. Hogan names the team the Mega Maniacs and finishes by throwing out the challenge.
This was a fine promo, aside from their inevitable exaggerations. It would’ve worked just as fine without the awful cheesy sitdown interview they aired earlier.
They air another ad for WM 9.
When we come back from the promotional video package, Hogan is still posing in the ring.
The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. Skinner
The match starts with… a Slim Jim ad. Well that’s different. We’re back with Skinner beating up Undertaker on the floor and… we’ve run out of time. They will show us the finish next week. See you next week too, Vince!
END OF THE SHOW
Final thoughts: This week’s episode was all about Hulk Hogan’s return, and it certainly delivered when it came to his promo alongside Brutus Beefcake and Jimmy Hart, who officially turned face as the manager of the Mega Maniacs. Hogan’s sitdown interview earlier in the show was horrible, though, covering an unnecessary topic that certainly didn’t help him get any sympathy. The rest of the night were short squashes and the six-man tag match that was done to build up Shawn/Tatanka for the IC Title at WM 9. Overall, nothing you should go out of your way to see, but this was a perfectly watchable episode. The fact that it flies by, at just 45 minutes, obviously helps. 5/10
That’s all for today’s post. Don’t miss any of the upcoming reviews from me or any of the other writers. Download our web-app available in a pop-up icon that should appear in your link bar. See you all next time!
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