TyboTalks… 25 Years Ago – Monday Night #Raw – #Raw25

Welcome once again to Tybo’s Talks! I am Tybo, and I’m sure by now you know that I am the ‘Five Star General’ of this operation we call SLTD Wrestling. […]

Welcome once again to Tybo’s Talks! I am Tybo, and I’m sure by now you know that I am the ‘Five Star General’ of this operation we call SLTD Wrestling.

It’s crazy to me that a show with essentially the same format has lasted 25 years, although Monday Night Raw is a lot like a soap-opera. With a constant rolling of entering, exiting and returning characters that all operate in the same universe (or street/village if it’s a soap).

Monday Night Raw 25 Years Ago started a lot like most episodes of Raw, with the beginnings of an ongoing story arch what would weave throughout the evening. Tonight, it started with the great Bobby Heenan attempting to get into the show, as he had been replaced by Rob Bartlett.

For anyone who doesn’t know Rob Bartlett is a comedian, impressionist and writer from Brooklyn. Bartlett’s wrestling commentary career was short lived as many thought he made stereotypical and somewhat racist jokes, this coupled with his limited knowledge of wrestling his last appearance on the Raw commentary table was April 19, 1993.

Koko B. Ware vs Yokozuna –  This was the first ever Monday Night Raw match, and it showed exactly what WWE (then WWF) was at the time. Ware was a fun-loving face with crazy colourful ring gear. Yokozuna was a sight to behold, he was a huge sumo wrestling heel who was the stereotypical ‘immovable object’. Yokozuna’s traditional sumo style entrance with the flower presentation and sand seemed to last longer than the actual match. Ware didn’t stand a chance against the undefeated mammoth of a man, not recovering from a massive Banzai-Drop. Winner – Yokozuna

The segments between the matches (although vastly upgraded) are standard. There was a great Royal Rumble 1993 advert, and Bobby Heenan cutting a pre-recorded backstage promo on Mr Perfect, saying his new client ‘Narcissus’ is beyond perfect. Narcissus was actually Lex Luger.

Back to live action in the ring with an official WWE ring girl. I never knew this was even a thing?!

The Stiner Brothers vs The Executioners –  First thing I noticed was that Scott Stiner is basically unrecognisable. As I’m sure many of you know, I have been doing a Tybo Talks… 15 Years Ago series and its crazy to see the ‘Big Bad Booty Daddy’ in his singlet and thick brown mullet ten years earlier. Talking about hair, Rick Stiner’s handle-bar moustache is far better than Hulk Hogan’s ever was. One-sided match. Winners – The Stiner Brothers

The show heads back outside where we see Bobby Heenan dressed in drag, still trying to get into the arena. It’s hard not to laugh at Heenan.

Back in the ring, and there is a special interview with Razor Ramon. Razor is set to meet Bret Hart at Royal Rumble for the WWE Championship, it’s interesting to note this was only 7 months after Razor’s WWE debut. I had honestly forgotten how thick Ramon’s gimmick accent was in the early 90’s. Perfect heel work from the veteran.

Intercontinental Championship: Shawn Michaels (C) vs Max Moon – This was not long after the breakdown of The Rockers tag team, as Michaels was set to take on Marty Jannetty at Royal Rumble. I loved Shawn as a heel in the 90’s, this was when the Intercontinental Championship strap was baby blue. Michaels shows (even in a match against Max Moon) why he was around and as such a top level for so long. This was a solid match, although Michaels used the ‘Sweet Chin Music’ as a random move, then a suplex as a finisher. Winner – Shawn Michaels

As you would expect there is a lot of Royal Rumble related content, and even ‘Mean’ Gene’s ‘Rumble Report’ which I personally think they should bring back for the WWE Network. This was basically pre-taped promos from wrestlers involved, including Jannetty, Michaels, Mr Perfect, Yokozuna and more.

The show heads back outside for the last time where we see Heenan, this time dressed as a Rabbi.

Damien Demento vs The Undertaker (with Paul Barer) – Its main event match time and who else would it be but The Undertaker. The Undertaker, even 25 years ago was just something else. The funny thing about this match is because Undertaker stood the test of time, his gimmick seems completely normal and cool, whereas Demento looks so cheesy and out-dated even though there isn’t much difference between the two. Undertaker is unstoppable in this match, who would have thought the same gimmick and move-set would still be packing in crowds 25 years later. Winner – The Undertaker

After the match Doink, the Clown (who has been walking around the crowd all night) was interviewed at ringside. Doink is a clear heel, but out comes Crush to chase him around the ring.

As the show is going off air Bobby Heenan is allowed into the arena.

Overall – This was a fun show, considering it was the first of its kind it was well put together, and an enjoyable watch. I wouldn’t hesitate to watch Episode Two and beyond. Granted, there was a lot of promos and adverts for Royal Rumble but what else would you expect. The main thing I didn’t understand was the very weak finish with Doink and Crush? The show should have ended with Undertaker in the ring.