WWF RAW 3/8/1993
As the show hits the air we learn that it is prerecorded. It’s kind of odd to see a message like that.
We then cut to a taped promo with the Mega-Maniacs where Hulk Hogan tells us they have accepted Money Inc’s challenge for a Tag Team Championship Match at WrestleMania. Then Hulk tells us he and Brutus Beefcake have been training for the big match. Hulk said during training he’s been smashing Beefcake in the face with a steel briefcase over and over again. Now, had they aired that it would have been infinitely better than anything that took place at WrestleMania.
Money Inc. defeated Virgil and Tito Santana (*3/4)
Let’s take a look at Tito Santana’s WWF career timeline. Intercontinental Champion pre-Hulkamania -->Tag Team Champion with a young Rick Martel -->Veteran midcarder used to put over young heels --> Matador --> Virgil’s tag team partner. There’s no need for another arrow. Once you’re Virgil’s tag team partner you know it’s only a matter of time before you’re doing autograph signings in a New Jersey high school.
The match was decent. It was a nice showcase win for the Tag Team Champions. The highlight of the match was when Rob Bartlett asked why I.R.S. wears a tie in the ring when Ted DiBiase doesn’t even bother to wear a shirt. Interesting point when you think about it. Virgil got the hot tag and when he was coming off the ropes, DiBiase tripped him and Irwin hit an everyday, run of the mill back suplex that happened to be enough to put down Virgil and earn the Tag Champs a win after nine minutes.
We see a video of Tatanka’s two non-title wins over Shawn Michaels then we head to the ring where Rick Martel has replaced the ring girl. A natural transition.
Tatanka pinned Phil Apollo (SQUASH)
This match was designed to keep Tatanka looking strong heading into his Intercontinental Championship Match with Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania. It went just long enough for Shawn to conduct a phone interview to hype the WrestleMania match. It’s no coincidence the second Michaels hung up the phone, Tatanka hit his Samoan Drop finisher for the win.
We head to the WrestleMania Report with Mean Gene. He calls WrestleMania IX the greatest WrestleMania of all time. Boy, would that turn out to be wrong.
I sort of miss these PPV reports that they would do. They would take five minutes out of the show to focus on running down the entire card and you’d even hear from some of the competitors hyping their matches. It made the event seem special. Now, you’d be lucky if they even produce a graphic for more than three matches for any given PPV.
Papa Shango beat Mike Edwards (SQUASH)
We are in the squash match portion of the show. The Papa Shango character could have had some legs but it never really caught on and barely lasted a year. The referee in this match is wearing a belt buckle reminiscent of one you’d see on a Texas cowboy. I wonder what Vince felt about that. Papa beat this ham and egger with a shoulder breaker.
Bob Backlund defeated Tony Demoro (SQUASH)
Lucky us! A third straight squash match and we didn’t even have to take a commercial break in between this and the last one. The story in this match was that Backlund was on a quest to get a match at WrestleMania since he had never competed in a WrestleMania before. Backlund scored the win after a double underhook suplex and a half nelson into a pin.
Bartlett is in the back with Rick Martel. Bartlett asks what Martel’s deal is since he’s been displacing the ring girls all night. He says he’s doing it because they have no class and no idea on how to be a model.
Mr. Perfect pinned Rick Martel (**)
Solid match between two professionals. The match didn’t stand out in anyway but that is ok. What isn’t ok is how the match ended. Vince throws it to commercial with like four minutes left in the show. When we come back we see Mr. Perfect in the aisle way. Ok, so the action spilled to the floor. NO! The match is over! They did the finish during the commercial break. Keep in mind that this was a TAPED SHOW so there was absolutely no reason at all that they had to do the finish during the commercial. That really left a bad taste in my mouth. Timing issues were a problem in the first season of RAW but this should never happen on a taped show. Perfect won with the Perfect Plex after about ten minutes. I can see the match ending in the commercial if they wanted to show that a match can end at anytime but they never once pushed that idea. Could you image the firestorm the internet would rain down if they did that during any match on RAW let alone the main event.
As the show ends, Perfect celebrates with the ring girls Martel harassed and lets us know next week will feature Kamala and Razor Ramon in action and a Main Event of Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Typhoon. A five star classic for sure.
Really bad production decision in the main event aside, this was a very watchable episode of RAW. Four of the five matches served some purpose in promoting or showcasing a WrestleMania match. Papa Shango was just kind of there for no reason. RAW wasn’t exactly must see TV at this point but this wasn’t a show that put you to sleep. The 3/8/1993 RAW gets a 5/10.