Last week’s episode, featuring the return of Brutus Beefcake, drew a really good rating. In my opinion, the rating was due to the anticipation of Hulk Hogan’s return. Hogan did not return last week; however he will return during this episode. Surprisingly, this episode drew slightly fewer ratings than last week. Even back in 1993, the rating patterns were sometimes hard to figure out. On to the show….
[adinserter block=”1″]Show opens with Rob Bartlett standing in front of a crowd. He says that he has learned a valuable lesson, “wrestling fans CAN spell.” He was pointing to a sign that said HULK, and the crowd was chanting Hogan. “Live from New York, its Monday Night Raw!”- Bartlett
Opening Theme and Sirens
Vince introduces the show. Tonight, Tatanka and The Nasty Boys vs The Beverly Brothers and Shawn Michaels. Savage lets us know that The Hulkster is here….Dig it! Also, the Undertaker is here.
Bam Bam Bigelow vs Scott Taylor
Scott Taylor is, of course, Scotty 2 Hotty, and boy does he look young here. Standard squash match as Bam Bam hits the diving Headbutt for the win at about the 3 minute mark. I think Bam Bam was a little too far from Taylor the first time, so he hit the move twice. Bartlett has started off a little extra annoying this evening. The announcers have let us known about 9 times that Hogan is here tonight.
Interview with Hulk Hogan
This is a pre-taped interview with Vince and Hogan both sitting in director chairs. This interview is basically a promo for another promo. The world wants to know what Hulk Hogan is going to do. Is he coming back? This was weird. I think this was a way for Hogan to admit steroid use, without admitting it, and then he apologized, I think. Looking back, this was a pointless interview. I am sure it served a purpose in 1993. Anyway, we have to wait a little longer for Hulk’s announcement.
Tatanka with The Nasty Boys vs Shawn Michaels vs The Beverly Brothers
Tatanka hit the ring, and the six men go at it right from the start. The faces clean house, and the heels must re-group. The idea behind this match is to build to a Shawn Michaels title defense against Tatanka at Mania. The announcers mention that Tatanka has already beaten Michaels once in a non-title match. In those days, the title meant something, and if you beat the champion in a non-title match; you earned a title match. This was a decent match that lasted about 13 minutes. The Nasties start off by beating on the Beverlys for a while. Shawn Michaels comes in and takes control, but Knobs makes a come-back. Knobs tags in Tatanka, and Shawn bails out to tag a Beverly. We get about 5 more reminders that Hogan is coming. Up to this point, the faces have controlled about 90% of the match. The announcers are telling the story that Shawn is avoiding Tatanka. Commercial Break…
When we come back, the faces are still in control. Bartlett tells us that the wrestlers stopped wrestling during the commercial break, and when we came back, they resumed. He was kidding. The heels finally gain some control of the match. I could never keep track of which Beverly was which; I just knew that one had a mustache, and the other didn’t. The heels beat down Knobs for about 3 minutes; Knobs gets the hot tag to Tatanka, and the crowd loves it. Tatanka goes for the pin on Shawn, but Beau makes the save. Tatanka chops both Beverlys, and its war dance time. Tatanka hit most of his finishing sequence, and goes for the pin. Weird spot as it looked like Tatanka was waiting for the Beverly to break up the pin, but he was staring right at them, so Shawn was forced to kick out. Not sure what happened there. Tatanka then hits a fall-away slam, pin attempt, and this time they break it up. The Nasties clear the ring of the Beverlys, and Tatanka gets a sunset flip for the win. So that is now 2 wins for Tatanka over the Intercontinental champion. At the time, I was sure that Tatanka was going to win the I-C title at WrestleMania. I was wrong.
Crush vs “Terrific Terry Taylor”
We didn’t get the Red Rooster music this week; that’s disappointing. Not quite the standard squash match as Taylor got in some offense, but pretty close to a squash. Crush puts on his skull crusher for the submission. I used to use that move on my little brother, he said it hurt.
Recap of last week’s angle. The return of Hulk Hogan is Next!
The Music hits and the crowd pops, although not quite as loud as I remember. The first thing Hogan wants to address is the incident that happened last week. Hulk Hogan went into detail about how bad last week was. He said, “Brutus Beefcake’s face was crushed into a MILLION pieces dude!” AND THEN….HIS VERY NEXT QUOTE….”BUT BRUTUS IS OK!”……what!????? He said that’s the good news.
So to recap: His face was crushed into ONE MILLION PIECES, but the good news is he’s O.K.
Hogan says he isn’t pissed at what they did to Beefcake, but what they TRIED to do. So, he wants to thank 2 people publicly. The first person is GOD. The second person…..Jimmy Hart. Hulk Says he is officially BACK! The first order of business is to get revenge on Money Inc. Hulk Introduces Brutus “THE BIONIC BARBER BEEFCAKE”! Brutus has new red and yellow gear. He also has a giant bandage on his nose to sell the horrific injury that wasn’t so bad. Does that make sense? No? Let’s move on. Brutus also thanks Jimmy Hart, and he can’t wait to get his hands on Money Inc. Hogan introduces their new manager, Jimmy Hart! Up to that point, Jimmy Hart had been a heel my entire life. I Hated Jimmy Hart. Seeing Jimmy Hart come out as a babyface in Red and Yellow was a huge mark out moment for me in 1993. Jimmy says this is a dream come true. He also says he has managed a lot of great tag teams over the years, but Hulk and Brutus will be the best of all time.
Hulk calls Jimmy over and says, “Jimmy your first order of business as the manager of this..uh…this trio of…THE MEGA MANIACS …yeah that’s what we will call ourselves.”
So Hogan just made up the team name on the spot. Sure he did. Hogan wants Money Inc. in singles matches, or in tag matches. Promo ends with the standard, “Watcha gonna do?” We get all of the Hulk poses.
1993 reflection: Hulk Hogan had been off TV, for what felt like forever. It had only been a year, but it still felt like forever. A lot had changed since he had left. At WrestleMania 8, the stars on top were Hogan, Flair, Sid, Savage, and Piper. All of those guys were gone (Savage as an active wrestler). When Hogan left, Bret Hart was an upper mid-card wrestler, and Shawn Michaels was in the opening match. Now, Bret was the man on top, and Shawn was the IC champion. I was not the biggest fan of Hulk, but I was excited to see him back. However, something did not seem right. It felt like Hogan was out of place. Regardless of that, this was the second best episode of Raw I had seen to that point.
From my eyes in 2014: This was the Hulk Hogan Show, but I thought the episode was pretty good. The 6-man match was good, and it built towards the IC title program. The squash matches did their part, and the Hogan segment built towards mania. The down-playing of Brutus’s injury doesn’t make sense to me, but back then I didn’t even notice. These days, we see in-ring “main event interview segments” all of the time. In those days, it was rare. If you want to see the first ever “in-ring main event interview” in Raw history, check this episode out.
[adinserter block=”2″]As it turns out, I was correct about Hogan not fitting in. Vince was pushing a lot of “smaller” guys in 1993, and when Hogan was asked to drop the title to Bret later in the year, he refused. Hogan dropped the title to Yokozuna in June, and he left the promotion right after the match.
Oh, by the way, the show didn’t actually end with the interview segment, because in 1993, that didn’t happen. If you want to see a weird rushed ending to Raw, watch this episode. They hadn’t quite figured out the formatting yet. With two minutes left in the episode:
Undertaker entrance…….commercial……..we come back from commercial….”slim Jim promo”…we come back from the promo, and Skinner is choking Taker, we are out of time, show goes off the air….what just happened? See you next week.
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