Episode 17 - May 16, 1993: There’s No Need to Fear! Underdog is Here!

Just when I think the WWF couldn’t possibly be any dumber, they go and do something like this… AND TOTALLY REDEEM THEMSELVES! Holy smokes, this is a good one. Let’s jump start this episode by finally debuting the long-awaited Smoking Gunns, who literally come out guns blazing, firing their cap guns off like it was a shootout at the O.K. Corral. After removing their cowboy attire, they get down to wrestling in their Wranglers and cowboy boots. They look like a couple of dads who just got done washing their trucks, but boy they sure can wrestle! They do a great job of constantly tagging in and out which gives us plenty of screen time for both men to see what they can do. Their opponents, Glenn Ruth & Tony Vajda, do a great job of selling everything and make the Smoking Gunns look like rockstars.

 Real. Comfortable. Jeans.

Real. Comfortable. Jeans.

Following that, we get Vince McMahon interviewing Shawn Michaels in the ring. Shawn is great on the mic, talking trash up and down about Mr. Perfect and letting everyone know that he has no problem defending his Intercontinental Championship anywhere, anytime, against anybody. It’s around this point that a mysterious man from the crowd jumps in the ring to challenge Michaels. He takes down his hoodie and removes his sunglasses to reveal that he’s Marty Jannetty! Jannetty and Michaels definitely have history so the crowd is eating this turn of events up big time. Shawn accepts the challenge and both men leave to prepare for their match that we’ll see shortly.

 It sucks that they made Shawn Michaels wear his regular street clothes.

It sucks that they made Shawn Michaels wear his regular street clothes.

In the meantime, let’s watch Razor Ramon square off against The Kid. You may remember The Kid as being the same guy who previously went by The Cannonball Kid and the Kamikaze Kid. Macho Man and Vince certainly remember and call him out for it. I wonder if this will be a recurring bit or not, having him go by a different name for every match. It’s a good way to give some personality to a jobber. He and Razor Ramon actually have a similar look and a similar color scheme going on. In Pokemon terms, Razor Ramon is clearly what The Kid evolves into (the final form obviously being Eddie Guerrero). This is your run of the mill squash match, with the The Kid putting up a modicum of resistance. That is until he climbs onto the top ropes and hits Razor Ramon with a moonsault into a 3 count. The crowd explodes at this totally unexpected outcome and I’m just as shocked as Razor Ramon is. This is the first time Raw has put over a jobber like this and I’m very excited to see where this goes.

To give us some time to breath and unpack what we just witnessed, we get a Tatanka/Scott Taylor match (which Bobby Heenan spends regaling us with toilet paper facts) followed by a match between Kamala and Yokozuna. This match is actually interesting at first because Kamala takes charge and nearly knocks Yokozuna down several times. Yokozuna manages to rally back though and hit the Banzai Drop for the win. I’m really curious to see how Yokozuna makes his exit from the company since at this point he’s still basically unstoppable. I’m sure it will be just as anticlimactic as his “match” against Hogan.

Finally all that’s left is the main event between Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty. They put on a fast paced match with tons of reversals that really showcases their athleticism. Marty Jannetty definitely has the upper hand in the match so when Shawn Michaels gets thrown out of the ring, he grabs his Intercontinental Championship belt from Howard Finkel and storms off towards the locker room, content with the loss by DQ since he’ll still retain his title. Just as he makes it to the doors though, Mr. Perfect emerges and stops him dead in his tracks. Forced back to the ring, Shawn makes his comeback and hits Jannetty with a little Sweet Chin Music. Taking time to gloat and taunt Mr. Perfect though gives Jannetty the time he needs to recover and surprise HBK from behind, giving Jannetty both the win and the title. I can’t believe the amount of upsets in this episode. Raw may finally be figuring itself out.

 "Didja hear?! Raw might be getting good!"

"Didja hear?! Raw might be getting good!"

Other Observations

Lots of fun outfits in this episode:

 Randy Savage cosplaying as Harley Quinn.

Randy Savage cosplaying as Harley Quinn.

 Marty Jannetty AKA The Unabomber

Marty Jannetty AKA The Unabomber

 Gene Okerlund just loves trucks.

Gene Okerlund just loves trucks.