This episode takes place right after the “Storm of the Century”, a massive blizzard that affected about 40% of the country’s population. Because the blizzard was so bad, many of the wrestlers who were supposed to appear on this episode weren’t able to make it. Even Vince McMahon is noticeably absent, being replaced instead by Rob Bartlett doing a grating impression of him throughout the night. His partners are Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon who is a breath of fresh air to the broadcast team due to his ability to actually provide good running commentary. This is also the first Raw to happen in a new location, this time at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, NY.
Our first match is Razor Ramon and Russ Greenberg. Seriously, they can’t at least give these poor schmucks cooler names? Rocket Russ. The Greenberg Goon. Danger-Russ. It’s not hard, guys. I do love seeing Razor Ramon in the ring, but it feels like such a waste to put him in another squash match.
Next up we get an interesting match with Typhoon facing off against a wrestler named L.A. Gore. I say interesting because L.A. Gore doesn’t seem like the typical jobber. He’s got a good look to him, seems to be in his late 30’s, and has his initials on his boots. The initials on the boots is something I’ve noticed quite a lot of wrestlers doing from at least the mid-80’s on. It makes me wonder who this guy is. It feels like he could be a local indie wrestler who stepped in to fill the spot of another guy who couldn’t make it through the blizzard. In any case he gets squashed by Typhoon who is basically an even less interesting Yokozuna so who cares I guess.
Speaking of who cares, we move on to an interview with Bobby Heenan and Harvey Wippleman, the manager of Giant Gonzalez who towers behind them. Harvey Wippleman shouts everything in a cool raspy voice that reminds me of a seedy carnival barker from 1890. However I just don’t care about Giant Gonzalez despite his looming Wrestlemania match with the Undertaker who promises to bury Gonzalez in the world’s biggest coffin. More Undertaker, less stupid mullet monsters.
Luckily we move right into a match between my 2 favorite wrestlers to watch right now: Papa Shango and Bob Backlund. Backlund is such a weird, squirrelly dude. Every time Papa Shango goes to clothesline or grab him, he ducks underneath his outstretched arms and then does a weird little skippy dance. He’s a wild ball of energy and it’s so fun to watch someone that just feels like they’re sincerely having the most fun. Backlund eventually wins a very hard fought victory after he finally manages to pin Papa Shango. I don’t know why the WWF hasn’t caught on yet that people like watching wrestlers earn their win. It makes them look that much stronger.
Rounding out the night is an absolute mess of a match featuring the Nasty Boys, the Headshrinkers, and the craft services table. Halfway through, they take their brawl outside the ring, up the entrance ramp, and finally to the concessions. Why is there a table of food set out near where the wrestlers make their entrance? Is there usually one sitting there? Why is there so much mustard? On top of all the goofy food related brawling, there are just so many unprotected chair shots to everyone’s head. Ouch. What a way to end the night.