From January 11, 1993!
Just for fun today I sat down and watched the entirety of the first episode of WWE/WWF Monday Night Raw! WWE has been nice enough to put the whole episode up on YouTube and its crazy to see how the show began.
First of all we have the announcers — Vince, Macho Man and… Rob Bartlett?! Who the hell is this? One of Vince’s least successful ideas. Rob was a comedian who WWF wanted to teach how to be a wrestling announcer. Your lack of knowledge for this name should let you know how successful this experiment was.
Throughout the evening Bobby the Brain Heenan tries to get inside. He dons a variety of costumes and fails at every turn. Sure a lot of old WWF stuff was aimed at children. But the Brain is one of those things that gets funnier and funnier the older we get. Much like the Adam West Batman show.
Koko B Ware vs Yokozuna (with Mr Fuji).
Koko is in his High Energy gear but is without his tag team partner Owen Hart (more on that later). Over time I forgot how agile and quick Yokozuna was. He’s one big guy but he moves with more grace than most world champions. Many that were half his weight. Of course Yokozuna wins this match, and continues his undefeated streak of the time. Yoko would go on to win the WWF title twice after this and he really was one of the coolest most unique attractions WWE has ever had.
Your Rob Bartlett quotes to remember from this match:
“That’s one big butt oriental”
“He’s got an ass like an ampitheater”
Holy crap the ICO/PRO banner is in the house! Wow nostalgia has officially hit me here.
The Steiner Brothers vs. The Executioners.
No idea who were under the masks this time. Doesn’t much matter though. Steiners win easily. Its very interesting to see this younger Scott Steiner knowing that he turns into Big Poppa Pump. Its like seeing a super villains origin.
Doink the Clown is in the crowd. Barlett calls him Dork the Clown at least twice. Pretty sure its Matt Bourne at this point.
Vince McMahon drops quite a few “What a maneuver!” If I were older at the time this would have made for the world’s greatest drinking game.
Mitch Frerotte from the Buffalo Bills is coming to the WWF! I guess Mitch was in the NFL at the time and said when he’s done he wants to wrestle. Never happened.
Vince interviews Razor Ramon and questions Razor about attacking Owen Hart. See told you I would get back to that. Razor attacked Owen on WWF Mania. I guess Mania was a Sunday show that nearly nothing happened on. Much like Wrestling Challenge.
Max Moon vs. Shawn Michaels (Intercontinental champion).
Max Moon! I’m pretty sure this is Konnan too. Its actually a really good match. Konnan is on his game. Shawn thought he was great, but was not yet as great as he would become. Max flips and flops and is incredibly fast. No wonder they wanted this gimmick to get over. He was Rey Mysterio before there was a Rey Mysterio. Great match and the only one on the first episode that is not a squash.
Bartlett does a horrible Mike Tyson promotion. I’ll guess at the time WWE thought the only Iron Mike that would be working for them was Iron Mike Sharpe. You know, he was probably one of the Executioners.
How early into Shawn Michaels singles career was this match? He wins with a suplex. Yeah. A suplex.
If you’re curious what was going on in WWF at the time, the big angle on Superstars involved Slick convincing Kamala that he is a man. Kamala and Slick. Not an independent promotion. WWF. When Shawn Michaels, Owen Hart, Bret Hart, Razor Ramon and more were all under contract.
Damian Demento vs the Undertaker
If it wasn’t for this match Damian would probably be completely forgotten in wrestling history. He doesn’t do much of anything but get his ass kicked. He looks cool. It was always an interesting gimmick. But other than looking like the Muppet Uncle Deadly what is there?
Undertaker hits a tombstone to win and starts a long long streak of wins on Raw.
Doink is interviewed to close out the show and set up the next great angle when Crush comes out to tell him to “knock it off, Brah!” Again, this was one of the premier feuds at the time.
Wrestling is crazy.
Congratulations on 1000!