I decided a while back that I should review events I was actually at. This is the beginning of that series. The most prominent event I attended was a little thing you may have heard of. I don’t know. May have heard of it…
I not only was there, but I was front row. $8,200 for two tickets. Seated next to Los Lonely Boys (guests of Stone Cold). I’ll add this unique perspective throughout the event.
Out of the gate, the theme song is very early 2000 – screaming, murder vocals. The show opens with Harlem Boys Choir singing Flag America 9/11 Patriotism or some song. We were all into it back then and of course, we visited Ground Zero. It was boring. At the end of the boring kids’ song, we see a different Freedom Tower. By the way, if you want to see me, there’s a big red head guy front row and I’m the guy next to him. We were huge.
The second episode of Raw was January 18, 1993 and was the lead-in to the Royal Rumble. Makes sense that they’ll BARELY mention it! The siren is going off. It’s Vince, a microphone-less Rob Bartlett and Macho Man Savage, who gets NAILED by Repo Man just as he is about to talk. It is chaos from the get-go! Then our sick ass open hits.
Terrific Terry Taylor comes out next. He has trouble getting passed the model (not Rick Martel). He will face MISTER….PERFECT. (Howard Finkel impression). Bartlett no sells the seriousness of Savage’s attack, asking him if he saw his car. (#10). A We Want Flair chant. Heenan calls in to tell “Ron Bartlett” off. A “This match sucks”chant!!! “Uh oh!” Bartlett says! (#11). Flair comes out to the crowd’s delight. Vince calls the Perfectplex “The Superplex!”
If you look back at the first episode of Raw, it is a different time for sure. However, it also has enough fuck ups in it to be hard to watch without a groan factory in your living room.
The very first episode of Monday Night Raw opens with Sean Mooney outside of the Manhattan Center. Bobby Heenan runs up and is like hey who are you I need to get in. Mooney is like no. Rob Bartlett replaced you.
Happy Mother’s Day and welcome to IYH A Cold Day in HELL. The house set is back but with a noticeable change – a video wall now occupied the giant window section. Also, the fireworks we begin the show with seem like an amateur set them. Tito Santana is on Spanish commentary!!
Flash Funk opens the show. This gimmick was torturous from day one and that’s coming from a Doink the Clown fan when Vince pushed him. Flash faces the man who will take over WWE in the future, Triple H. He also has Chyna with him. King needs the word “dojo” explained. There appears to be an issue with the white balance on the cameras. Helmsley hits one of the craziest belly-to-back suplexes off of the top rope. He flips Funk in the air. One Pedigree later and he wins. Chyna does a little roughing up of Flash.
In Your House: Revenge of the Taker followed the worst performing Wrestlemania in history, 13. “WALCOME EVERYONE!” Vince screams. The trio of Vince, JR and King Jerry Lawler are on commentary.
Uggghhhhhhh WHAT A RUSH! The Legion of Doom faces Bulldog and Owen. Smith and Hart use Bret’s theme, as the Hart Foundation had just recently reformed as a heel stable. “Hey Ross, you ever stop to think and forget to start again?” King begins the night with. LOD win the belts by pinning the wrong man. The decision gets reversed and the match continues. The commentators missed every second of it while arguing. Vince pretty much says it twice. He calls for the replay three times. The LOD hits the Doomsday Device on Owen and Bret Hart is late running out. The referee has to stall and finally counts so Bret can cause the DQ. When the finish gets botched, it’s a big deal. This show will see even more of this tonight.
We see Sunny and Brian Pillman basically fucking on the Superstar line. I’m sure they really did hook up, considering Sunny will finger-fuck herself on Skype for a $20 in 2015. Sick of Sunny jokes yet? I’m not!
In Your House: It’s Time is the last pay per view of 1996. It’s presented by Milton Bradley Karate Fighters – a shit toy. Bret “Hitman” Hart faces Sid for the championship. We are in West Palm Beach, Florida. The fucking house set is back!!! Also, the trio is on commentary. JR, King and Vince. A fan behind the Spanish commentary table had a sign asking Sunny if she wants to wrestle. I know the answer in 2015.
Leif Cassidy, Al Snow, is our heel against Flash Funk, 2 Cold Scorpio. “I know thas right!”Vince says as Flash comes out. The Funkettes are with him, not to be confused with Funkadactyls. Vince is DANCING. King is about to knock someone out. Flash botches a corner move. He wins with a 450 splash in a rather good match between the two ECW stars. JR says we will see things from both of these men, especially Flash Funk. It actually was especially Al Snow. JR incorrectly calls it a “Shooting Star Press.”
The 1996 Survivor Series was an important night in wrestling history including the Rock’s debut, a new logo and lots of fun. It’s the Survivor Series! Sponsored by Milton Bradley’s Karate Fighters. I bought them because of this. They sucked dick.
Out of the gate, the World Trade Center is heavy in the logo.The lower thirds (name graphics) all have the buildings in them. Sort of sad, looking back. Fucking religion.
The British Bulldog and Owen Hart, the tag team champions, are teamed with the Rockers to face Doug Furnas and Phillip Lafon along with the fucking hillbillies, the Godwins. My mom texts me at 5 am distracting me as Henry and Marty both get eliminated. Phineas is power slammed and eliminated by the Bulldog. Furnas about breaks his neck on a botched drop kick. Lafon eliminates Leif Cassidy with a reverse suplex that looks near fatal. Furnas hits the best drop kick I’ve seen, rivaling Bob Holly and Jim Brunzel. Furnas and Lafon beat the tag champions and the sole survivors are the debuting stars. Won’t be the only occurrence of such a debut tonight.
Two In Your House PPVs back to back a month apart could be a hard sell. What could be a selling point? How about a BURIED ALIVE match!!?
PlayStation presented In Your House: Buried Alive. The Market Square Arena in Indiana hosts the event! And finally, FINALLY The HOUSE set is gone! It’s a mock-graveyard entrance. Thematic. King is back on commentary, too! With Vince and JR, who is upset because he doesn’t have a microphone.
Savio Vega was scheduled to face Stone Cold, continuing Vega’s trend of opening shows…but he is injured. HHH faces Stone Cold Steve Austin. JR’s mic keeps cutting out. It’s a rib by Vince. For some reason, both Austin and HHH get in the face of some fat Hoosier. It seems like they’re just doing a strange dance. They don’t do any moves and fuck around! Vince calls them both future WWF champions. The match ends up being more about Vince and JR arguing! JR says Helmsley needs a haircut.
In Your House: Mind Games is our next show and the tenth In Your House to be done! Yes, the house set is STILL used.
We begin with the Free For All! I know plenty of people have been saying listen, Savio Vega had been opening too many events. I agree! Marty Jannetty is in the ring to face an opponent…Savio Vega, dammit! At least he’s not opening the PPV itself. Bradshaw appears and is mad that an immigrant is wrestling. We hear an ECW chant. Vince mentions that some “local promotion” was there, and he’s glad they bought tickets. I can see the Sandman, smoking. Ha. Savio counters a cross body and wins. He gets attacked by Bradshaw. Uncle Zebekiah (Coulter) shows up too.
In Your House International Incident ended up being a very fun event, thanks to some future stars on the card as well as comedic moments from the King. The event is from Vancouver, BC. We begin with the Free For All. JR, King and the chairman, Vince are all in commentary. The fireworks go off for our free audience, as the instrumental version of Slam Jam plays.
Savio Vega will open up the event with a match against Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw. Of course that’s today’s JBL. He knocked out Savio a few weeks ago on Raw with a cowbell. Savio needed more of it. Guess who comes out managing Bradshaw? Uncle Zebekiah aka Zeb Coulter. Bradshaw is very physical. He wins with a foot on the rope that would have helped him none. Bradshaw hits his lariat but it’s way milder than his future version. Savio gets “branded” by Zeb, but it’s not hot. Just has shoe polish on it or something.
We get an Undertaker music video and because Goldust and Taker will wrassle tonight. Goldust joins the commentary team to do a movie-script-promo. I liked those.
Also, we review that the Ultimate Warrior was replaced by Sycho Sid, who drives a Lincoln into a dumpster. When he gets out of his car, his music plays. Did he have WWF Metal in his CD player?
In Your House 4: Great White North emanates from Canada. We open to an “up and coming artist” that the ring announcer informs is “Toni Wilson.” I think she botches the first line of the Canadian National Anthem, which most WWF fans at the time likely booed at home, but I don’t know.
Royal Rumble 1989! Time to watch and enjoy, hopefully. Out of the gate, we get a Vincegasm with “HAAAALK HOOOOGAM.”
The Summit in Houston is our location, with Gorilla and Ventura on commentary.
The Fabulous Rougeaus and Dino Bravo will open the show against a popular Hart Foundation and Hacksaw Jim Duggan! Gorilla notes “that piece of garbage, Frenchie” is at ringside. Jimmy Hart is too. Now, the play by play isn’t much of my style but I’ll tell you that I think this is a great six-man tag match. The Rougeaus win the first fall over Bret Hart. Gorilla informs us that people are “literally hanging from the rafters.” Id like to edit a porno with him doing commentary sometime. Hacksaw and the Harts get the last two falls thanks to the 2X4. What if an amateur wrestler came to the ring with a wooden board?
November 20th, 1993. Pensacola, Florida. Monotonic Tony Schiavone and Jesse Ventura are ready to call a night of senseless antics and questionable action. This event barely even made sense, with the goal being to team up with some of your worst enemies and win in order to advance to a battle royal. If you win THAT, out of 16 competitors, then you…get a ring. A ring on your hand, not even a wrestling ring. I don’t know what kind of ratings this event did, but I’m afraid to look because if the number is over 8 buys, I’ll be depressed that I’m human again for a month.
On the second Raw after the Montreal Screw Job, a funny thing happened. Vince McMahon made himself out to be a total dunderhead, liar and idiot all in two little hours. Now, like never before, you’ll understand why.
Raw opens with Stone Cold Steve Austin – and in classic form. The crowd was still grasping how to perform a “Hell yeah” and Austin bullies JR a little too – wonder who put him up to that?