WWF RAW 2/22/1993
The show starts off just like most weeks of RAW with Vince McMahon, Randy Savage and Rob Bartlett hyping up the night’s action. The only difference is that there’s an added excitement in the air and that’s because Savage let’s us know that none other than Hulk Hogan will be live in the building tonight. If you’re like me and clamoring for a Hogan return to WWE some twenty years later then check out my column, Come Home, Hulk if you haven’t done so already. Let’s get into the action.
Bam Bam Bigelow beat Scott Taylor (SQUASH)
You may not recognize Taylor if you watch a video of this match. You will though if you spike his hair through a white hat and watch him do the Worm. Even if Taylor had discovered his dancing skills at this point in his career I doubt it would have mattered much. Bigelow obliterated him and won after not one but two flying headbutts.
We head to a prerecorded interview with Vince McMahon and Hulk Hogan. It’s kind of odd that they would air this considering Hogan would be appearing live for an interview later in the show. Vince asks Hogan what the future of Hulkamania is. Hulk says that the future of Hulkamania is bright but he wants to talk about the past of Hulkamania. He says that he’s made mistakes in business and his personal life but he wants to put that behind him to set a great example for the young Hulkamaniacs. Hogan says he can’t wait to see the reaction of the Hulkamaniacs when he makes his announcement on RAW.
What an odd interview. Hogan was very reserved never going into “Hulk mode” with that trademark growling voice of his. He was rambling about tabloid media reporting whatever dirt they get their hands on whether it was true or not. I don’t know if he was referring to the steroid trial or a possible affair he had but it was very weird for lack of a better term. This definitely won’t be on any Hulk Hogan highlight tapes and I almost wish I’d never seen it.
Tatanka and The Nasty Boys defeated Shawn Michaels and The Beverly Brothers (**1/4)
This was a pretty solid six man tag. That was mostly thanks to Michaels and Tatanka. Lord knows the Nasty Boys were no Hart Foundation in terms of ring work. The first half of the match was an even brawl between the two teams. Things turned in the favor of the Beverly Brothers and Michaels when Blake Beverly back dropped Brian Knobbs over the top rope. The Bevs and Michaels worked over Knobbs until he was able to get the hot tag to Tatanka who cleaned house.
Tatanka hit the Samoan Drop on Michaels and almost got the three count. The Beverly Brother broke it up and the match became a brawl again. The Bevs and The Nastys fought to the outside leaving Michaels and Tatanka in the ring. Shawn went for his suplex finisher but Tatanka reversed it into a sunset flip to score the three count and the win for his team after 13 minutes.
The story with that match was that Shawn would be defending the Intercontinental Championship against Tatanka at WrestleMania and this was the second time Tatanka pinned him in a non-title match giving him the psychological edge going into WrestleMania.
Crush beat Terry Taylor via Submission (1/2*)
The highlight of this match was some guy in the crowd crowing like a rooster. Hell of a job by that guy. That’s really all I got for this match. Crush wasn’t much of a mat technician to be nice about it. He won at the four minute mark when Taylor submitted to the deadly head vice.
Vince McMahon is in the ring and it’s time for the RAW debut of the Hulkster. The crowd is amped up for Hogan. Hogan begins by talking about last week’s RAW when Money Inc. smashed Brutus Beefcake’s face with I.R.S.’s briefcase. God gets a nice pop when Hogan thanks The Big Man Upstairs for being with Brutus. He also thanks Jimmy Hart for trying to stop the attack. Hogan announces he’s back in WWF and that gets a nice reaction. Hogan says he’s on a mission to right the wrongs by Money Inc. and he calls out Brutus Beefcake. Beefcake says that with the Hulkster by his side that he’ll get his revenge on Money Inc. Hogan says that he’s going to start seizing Money Inc’s assets and he’s going to start by announcing his and Beefcake’s new manager, Jimmy Hart. Jimmy Hart says this is the greatest day in his life as he’s wanted to wear the red and yellow for a while now. He says Money Inc. better start saying their prayers. Hogan says that Hart’s first order of business is to get the Mega-Maniacs matches with Money Inc. Hulk then works the crowd like only he can.
Hogan showed great energy and the crowd responded to him well. The segment lost me when Beefcake and Hart came out and they talked. Everyone was there to see and hear from Hogan. They could have added Beefcake and Hart to the crew at a later time. Since they went that route they should have just announced Money Inc. vs. Mega-Maniacs at WrestleMania. It would have been much more effective to know Hogan’s return date to the ring.
With only a few minutes left to go in the show, The Undertaker came out for a match against Skinner. They went to commercial and when they came back we saw one move before they went to their “promotional consideration paid for by the following spots”. They came back and announced they were out of time as the match was still going on and that we had to wait until next week to find out who the winner was. Not that I expected that match to be a classic or anything but it sucks that they go off the air while there’s still a match going on. Especially one with such a big star like The Undertaker.
This RAW was all about the return of Hulk Hogan. His interview segment was good. It went a little too long. That’s probably the reason they had no time for the Skinner/Undertaker match. Beefcake and Hart were not on Hogan’s level and that’s why when they were talking the segment lost me and you could tell the crowd wasn’t as hot for them as they were for Hogan. The six man was a decent TV match so you had one of the better RAW episodes to date in the early going. My only complaint is that they should have cut out that prerecorded segment with Hogan. That would have given Undertaker and Skinner plenty of time. Or they could have just not aired the Undertaker and Skinner match at all and just done it as a dark match for the people in the arena. I’ll give the 2/22/93 RAW a 5.5/10.
(That’s what she said.)
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