Making his return to Raw after a long hiatus tonight is Ted DiBiase. Ted’s not doing any wrestling though, instead lending Vince a hand with commentating. I’m not really sure why he hasn’t been around. It’s really a shame because he has a much better gimmick than IRS in addition to just being more interesting in general and having an awesome laugh. Like his namesake, IRS just sucks and nobody likes him.
The first match up is the Smoking Gunns VS Owen Hart & Crush. Up to this point with Raw, most matches are between a jobber and a mid- or upper-carder. This match is interesting though because I would call everybody involved here an upper-carder. Certainly upper-mid carder at the very least. Crush and Owen Hart make short work of the Gunns, which makes sense because they both have on-going storylines while the Smoking Gunns are just dads cosplaying as cowboys. Owen is the one to actually get the win via sharpshooter. This also makes sense because he’ll be facing his brother Bret at Wrestlemania soon and he obviously needs to look as strong as possible.
After that is Doink (and Dink) VS Iron Mike Sharpe. I have no idea why this match happens. It’s over in a matter of minutes and just makes Iron Mike look like a lumbering idiot. What’s the point of humiliating a jobber? They’re already there to lose, don’t rub it in their face. It’s only funny if it’s done to somebody with an inflated ego, like Bobby Heenan. Come on guys. Didn’t you study commedia dell'arte?
We move on to a presentation ceremony to honor Tatanka. I legitimately can't tell if this is a work or a shoot or some combination of the two. Vince is accompanied in ring by Chief Ray Little Turtle of the Lumbee tribe which is the same tribe that Tatanka is from. Also present are two other Native American wrestlers of yore: Chief Wahoo McDaniel and Chief Jay Strongbow. Except that Chief Jay Strongbow isn’t even Native American, but who’s counting? Chief Ray Little Turtle says some nice words about Tatanka and then presents him with a ceremonial headdress. Tatanka is overcome with emotion and has tears streaming down his face as he accepts the headdress and says a few words of gratitude. I have no idea what to think. The whole thing seems fake and cheesy, but Tatanka is selling it so hard.
I don’t know. Maybe it’s real. Maybe it’s not. Maybe the Undertaker is really dead. I don’t even care anymore.