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Please click through for the Best and Worst of WWF Monday Night RAW for April 19, 1993.
Worst: Sure, Let’s Start With 10 Minutes Of Virgil
If you can’t figure out what’s going on in the picture, Virgil’s trying to do a schoolboy rollup while Razor Ramon’s standing with his back to the ropes. Yep.
If you aren’t familiar with the works of Virgil, he wrote The Aeneid and is considered one of Rome’s greatest poets. He’s also one of the worst pro wrestlers of all time. To put it into a modern perspective, imagine if Eva Marie was suddenly on Raw wrestling Cesaro and taking him over with bad hiptosses and headlocks for five minutes before he hit a finisher on her and won. Wouldn’t that drive you insane?
Throughout this entire match you can see Razor positioning Virgil and saying “okay, small package me.” Virgil does a bad small package. Then Razor’s like “whip me into the ropes. No, whip me into the ropes. WHIP ME INTO THE ROPES” and Virgil’s lying on the ground trying to roll-up his ankle. I could understand if this was Lawrence Taylor and there was some big media crossover thing riding on it, but it’s f*cking Virgil. Investing in Virgil’s like investing in pumpkin futures the first week of November. The second he was done with his “breaking away from the Million Dollar Man” story he should’ve morphed into Wrestling Superstar Virgil, guy who wants to sell you this $20 photo printout at a card show, without any of the in-between.
Razor beats him with the Razor’s Edge, because eventually Eva Marie has to eat the Neutralizer.
Best: L.A. Gore Faces His Greatest Challenge Yet
Up next is the return of my very favorite 1993 Raw jobber L.A. GORE. His first appearance was in a loss to Razor Ramon on the 3/15 show, wherein he looked like William Murderface cosplaying Marty Jannetty.
He’s back this week to cower in fear at the sight of GIANT GONZALEZ, advertised as 8 feet tall and almost 500 pounds. Those stats are scary (and accurate in that “Andre the Giant was 7-5” kind of way), but they neglect to mention that people that tall can’t operate their body in normal human environments so every match is a tall, sad Argentinian trying to hold up his hands without falling over.
To put it another way, the only non choking and chopping offense Gonzalez gets here is a superkick and a chokeslam. The superkick hits Gore in the chest despite Gore only coming up to the Giant’s nipples to begin with, and the chokeslam only gets to about shoulder-height. Wrestling Giant Gonzalez is like wrestling Groot. Wait, I take that back. It’s like wrestling a shoot tree. You just have to run and jump at the tree and fall down.
Best: Luna Vachon’s House Looks Exactly Like You’d Expect
Luna Vachon’s voice is the best. She sounds like she’s the voice actor for one of Skeletor’s minions. It’s like, right between Mer-Man and Beast Man.
She cuts a promo on Sherri Martel as a followup to last week’s hyper-sexual WOMEN IN PRISON catfight spectacular and it’s awesome, especially because she’s cutting it from what I can only assume is her house, which is a brick wall decorated with glittery black curtains. There are random chains hanging from the ceiling that may or may not work the curtains, I’m not sure. Luna stepped out from a GLOW episode fully formed and I couldn’t be enjoying her more.
Worst: Do You Realize Tatanka?
In case you’d forgotten about Native American Hulkster TATANKA, he’s still getting beaten up by cans until it triggers his INDIAN FREAKOUT, which causes him to chop and Samoan drop them to death and win. Tatanka’s the great constant of these early Raws. No matter what else is happening, Tatanka’s somewhere fighting a guy with no business being in the ring and padding his win streak.
Look at that guy he beat. He looks like a character from 3D Ballz. His name is “Art Thomas,” and a quick search of the Internet says he’s also known as both “Mark” and “Mike” Thomas. Probably because there’s a much more famous Art Thomas in the wrestling business. Sorta like when Macho Man decided to call the stripper he was dating “Gorgeous George.”
Worst: A Tag Team Match That Has No Idea What It’s Supposed To Be
If you read last week’s column, you’ll remember the sudden beef betwixt Money Inc. and the Beverly Brothers. The Bevs lost to the Steiner Brothers and IRS was supposed to wrestle them next, so the Million Dollar Man gave them wads of cash to share what they’d learned. They didn’t provide much of use beyond “don’t let the Steiner Brothers do their moves to you,” so IRS got his ass beaten and MDM had to jump in a cause a DQ. That brought out the Beverly Brothers to join the melee, and that turned into a shoving match between the two heel teams.
This week they have a match to blow it off, and it has absolutely no idea what it’s supposed to be. You’ve got two heel teams and that can work, but not in 1993 WWF. 1993 WWF is the most cut and dry, “good vs. evil” stuff in wrestling history. No shades of grey. You’re either a do-gooding Indian or a naked, threatening monster. You’re either a clown that scares children or a guy who surfs and loves everyone. So you’ve got to heel teams wrestling a match like two FACE teams, with both sides going for hot tags and trying to control the pace of the match and it’s just a jumbled mess. The finishing sequence involves somebody getting back body-dropped, if that’s any indication of its aimlessness.
The finish is Ted DiBiase, heel of heels, moving out of the way and causing the Beverlys to hit each other. He then rolls one up and gets a flash pin, even though he’s the goddamn Million Dollar Man and they’re misfit placeholders in purple pants. It’s weird. When the match is over, nothing’s really accomplished. The superior heel team wins fairly, which seems to defeat the entire point, and nobody’s better for it. Oh well!
Worst: Lex’s Metal Arm Screwed Bret
You know, one of my major complaints about this era of Raw is that nothing happens. I’ll say “nothing happens” on a modern Raw, but that’s a lie. Way, way too much happens because it’s three hours, and too much of it’s a reiteration of something we’ve already seen. Guys turn on each other and cheat to win and attack each other backstage all the time now. Here, “nothing happens” means nothing happens. At all.
For example, Bret Hart just lost the WWF Championship to Yokozuna at WrestleMania, then hobbled around at ringside while Hulk Hogan appeared from the great orange void to defeat Yokozuna in 22 seconds. Hart should be feeling a deep, complicated ocean of emotions following that. Instead, because Raw, he’s just like, “yeah I lost, I’ve lost a lot, I’m gonna try to win next time.” Uh, okay?
He barely addresses anything that happened to him and instead starts throwing shade at Lex Luger, who hit him with a SUSPECT FOREARM once and made him question the validity of another man’s bones. He thinks Jack Tunney should launch an investigation on Luger’s arm, and while he’s eventually proven right — Luger has a metal plate in his forearm from a previous motorcycle accident — how WEIRD is that? You got hit so hard you think a man’s got a robot arm, and you’re complaining about it in the ring? Luger’s response should’ve just been cuckoo noises. Or maybe “does Hulk Hogan have a metal foot, because he beat the guy who beat you in front of you in less time than it takes to piss.”
Best: Bam Bam Literally Murders Phil Apollo
Keeping with the “nothing happens on Raw” gag, Doink the Clown shows up but doesn’t do anything. He opens an umbrella indoors and mugs for the camera, then disappears. The actual main event is Bam Bam Bigelow vs. the homie Phil Apollo, whom you’ll remember as the wrestling version of Mrs. Rossini from ‘Who’s The Boss?’
To say Bam Bam wrecks this dude is an understatement. At one point he does a senton that is less “a senton” and more a 400-pound guy deliberately trying to shatter all of your ribs at once. It’s gruesome. Bam Bam was great because there’d be these moments during matches where you’d forget you were watching a goofy WWF wrestler and start fearing for his opponent’s life. He was like a safer, more cartoonish version of Vader.
If you’re wondering what Phil Apollo did to deserve such a beating, don’t worry: it was all a setup for the post-match, in which he’s bailed out by FRIAR FERGUSON.
Worst: Get Hype For That Bam Bam Bigelow/Friar Ferguson Feud
He’s wearing a band-aid because that’s where the soul comes out.
If you’re wondering why you don’t remember a Friar Ferguson vs. Bam Bam Bigelow feud, don’t worry. The Catholic Church of New York gets upset shortly after this at WWF having a fat, jokey monk and the character gets dropped. But DON’T WORRY TWICE, because Fergface becomes Bastion Booger over the summer and he and Bam Bam start it up all over again, this time over love. We’ll get there soon enough so I won’t spoil it, but man, now all I want in my life is a year’s-worth of a man covered in flames beating up a religious guy. It’s like The Last Temptation of Christ as a wrestling feud.