Best: Babyface Kamala
The last quarter-hour of the first Raw begins with a recap of Kamala turning face, and while it didn’t really go anywhere, the clip itself is great. Kamala gets pushed around by Kim Chee and Harvey Wippleman, so the REVEREND WITH A DOCTORATE IN STYLE STUDIES Slick runs out and tries to protect him. Slick gets taken down, Kamala takes offense, and Kim Chee and Harvey get sent packing. Kamala gets extra points for communicating “I don’t like what you did and I’m tired of being pushed around” with a couple of belly slaps.
Worst: LOL Damien Demento
Hahaha, okay, so, Damien Demento.
Before we had Mordecai to make “do you remember that shitty goth guy who showed up to fight the Undertaker and didn’t really” we had Damien Demento, a character from “The Outer Reaches of Your Mind” who may or may not have made Weird Al famous by playing his parody records, I can’t really remember. All you need to know is that Demento’s WWF career is as follows:
1. Buy feathery shoulderpads
2. Lose to Undertaker on Raw
3. Get thrown out of the Royal Rumble by Carlos Colon in 1990-goddamn-3 and never be seen again
Damien Demento is what Sheamus would’ve been if Sheamus had come up in 1992. A tall-ish, strong-ish guy with a weird look who growls a lot and gets fed to the guy they plan on keeping. Oh who am I kidding, Sheamus would’ve been huge in 1993, only he would’ve been called IAN IRELAND and he would’ve ridden a horse to the ring.
Best: I’ve Never Really Liked Undertaker, But He Looks Like F**king Kawada Compared To Damien Demento
Young Undertaker (Youngertaker) is still a pretty fresh concept to me, because I literally did not watch a match of his more than once until he fought Shawn Michaels in Hell In A Cell. Youngertaker is a lot like Kane — a guy handcuffed by this gimmick where he’s supposed to be a barely mobile zombie who SUDDENLY FLIES AT YOU or whatever — and a lot of his matches from this era are Kane matches. Honestly they’re like Kane matches where both guys are Kane. Lots of CHOPS TO THE THROAT LOOKATHAT, lots of bodyslams and nerve holds, a couple of jumping spots and a tombstone. It’s fine, especially in an era when Doink and Crush were closing out your show, but Shane Douglas and Ricky Steamboat versus Brian Pillman and Steve Austin was on the other channel and my mind was sorta made up.
It’s nice to see poor Undertaker in the prime of his life, before he found out what happened to his parents, found out his invalid brother was still alive and could control fire, tried to embalm anyone, tried to get Black Married, dragged anybody behind his motorcycle, got chokeslammed through anyone’s burning bones, murdered his manager in a concrete crypt or traveled out into the desert with anyone to carry around motorcycles and make shoes out of snakes.
Best: Pre-Crisis Doink The Clown
Doink (or “Dork the Clown” as they call him for large parts of the show … thanks a lot, Rob Bartlett) was a pretty interesting character when he was a clown who lured children in with his smiling face and then CRUSHED THEIR DREAMS. It was one of the first ever experiments in discovering that a WWE Universe Member had the short term memory of a hamster and could be baited and disappointed over and over and over.
Doink’s rationale of “hey, I don’t care if these kids are cryin’, I’M LAUGHIN'” is also pretty amazing. They never sent him to John Wayne Gacy or Heath Ledger Joker Town, but they made him enough of a sleaze that you’d want to keep your children away from him, but not because you thought he’d murder them. That’s a fine line to walk.
Best: CRUSH ON THE MICROPHONE, BRAH
And the greatest part of the show is the very end, when Vince confronts Doink about making children cry at the request of CRUSH, a man who’d spent a few years dressing as post-apocalyptic S&M worker until remembering he was from Hawaii, wearing hypercolors and saying BRAH a lot. A LOT. Here’s a transcript of his show-ending promo:
Crush: YOU LIKE MAKE A KID CRY BRAH?
Doink: /wanders away
Crush: YOU THINK THAT’S FUNNY BRAH. I DON’T THINK THAT’S FUNNY BRAH. BRAH, THAT’S NO FUNNY.
Doink: /is off somewhere doing the Harlem Globetrotters bucket of confetti gag
Crush: GET IN THE RING BRAH
And somehow that leads to Crush chasing Doink around the ring, then rolling INTO it by himself and allowing Doink to make fun of him on the outside. I choose to believe this story ended with Crush showing up unexpectedly at a child’s birthday party, crushing the head of the birthday clown and cradling the child lovingly as it laughs.
Who am I kidding, this story wasn’t ever continued. No way this show got a second episode.