Welcome everyone to the Manhattan Centre!!! Welcome to Monday Night RAW!!!!!!
It’s that time again where we travel through Monday Night Raw week by week. Last week we sat and watched the historic yet so-so first ever episode. This week, with just six days until the Royal Rumble, it’s time for
January 18 1993
Vince McMahon welcomes us to Raw. I’ve worked it out, THIS is what is missing from WWE in 2018. It’s not pyro exploding it’s someone like Vince (or in later episodes JR) screaming at us. It sort of pumps you up for the show.
Vince welcomes us to Raw and he is with Randy Savage and Rob Bartlet (noooooo). Rob Bartlet has a photo of Bobby Heenan. He says “Fight the real enemy.” as he tears it up. No idea why. In the middle of all of this, Repo Man attacks Randy Savage from behind and steals his hat before leaping over the barrier and escaping through the crowd.
Mr Perfect vs Terry Taylor
To the melodic tunes of The Red Rooster’s theme, out comes current (in 2018) NXT trainer Terry Taylor quickly folowed by his opponent Mr Perfect. Fun Fact: in the late eighties, WWE had two gimmicks and two wrestlers. They had the Mr Perfect gimmick and the Red Rooster gimmick. They had Terry Taylor and Curt Henning. WWE gave each wrestler a gimmick. Just think how different this match (and for that matter their careers) had WWE given the gimmicks the other way around. Would ‘Mr Perfect‘ Terry Talor have been a hit or miss? For that matter, how do you suppose Curt Henning would have done as the Red Rooster? Let’s make this interactive, tweet me with your opinions on that one @Callaweasy2220.
Taylor lunges at Perfect but Perfect manages to take him down with a Waistlock before rolling over Taylor to show his dominance. Taylor wins a Collar and Elbow Tie-up by pushing Perfect against the ropesbut he quickly breaks it as Randy Savage returns to commentary. Perfect catches Talor with a slap to the face. Another Collar and Elbow ends with Perfect pushing Taylor into the corner but Taylor then turns Perfect into the corner and Right Hands Perfect in the face before Chpping him twice and Irish Whipping Perfect who counters it sending Taylor into the corner. Taylor hits the corner so fast and hard that he rebounds back out of it right into a Hip Toss that Perfect follows with a Dropkick. Taylor scurries to the outside and Perfect gives chase. Taylor runs into the ring with Perfect behind him but the referee stops Perfect from following Taylor as ha bails to the outside again.
Having composed himself, Taylor is back in the ring. A Collar and Elbow is turned into a Headlock by Perfect who turns it into a takedown of sorts that gets Perfect a two count. Taylor gets back to his feet and sends Perfect off the ropes but Perfect clatters into Taylor with a Shoulder Block and a Right Hand that sends Taylor into the corner. Perfect hits a Chop and Taylor sticks his thumb in Perfect’s eye. Bobby Heenan is on the phone and he questions why Bartlet tore his picture saying that if he (Heenan) wanted the commentary job on Raw, he’d have it.
In the ring, Perfect catches Taylor with an Arm Drag that he turns into an Armbar (not to be confused with Eddie Guerrero’s former tag partner, he’s ART Barr). Taylor gets to his feet and sends Perfect off the ropes and hits him with a Hip Toss upon his return but Perfect, now on the canvas, kicks Taylor in the face wich allows Perfect time to get to his feet before hitting Taylor with a Bodyslam. Taylor, on the canvas, hits the same kick to Perfect’s face allowing him time to get to his feet where Perfect hits another Arm Drag.
Back from the ads and Perfect hits Talor with a chop in the corner but Taylor grabs Perfect by his singlet and tosses him out of the ring. Taylor rolls out of the ring and slams Perfect face first into the guard rail. Taylor drags Perfect back into the ring and hits a Jawbreaker followed by a series of kicks, a Right Hand and a Sidewalk Slam that gets a two count. Perfect fires back with some Right Hands of his own but Taylor cuts him off with another thumb to the eye and a Headbutt before taking him down with a Snapmare and wearing him down with a Chinlock. Perfect fights out of it with Axe Handles to the gut before bouncing off the ropes but Taylor catches him with a Double T Spinebuster that gets another two count and he gets another two from a Gutwrench Powerbomb. Both men exchange punches before Perfect puts Taylor’s head between his knees and jumps down (I have no idea the name of this move or how better to describe it, if you do tweet me @Callaweasy2220). Perfect catches Taylor with an Inverted Atomic Drop and a seated Throwback. Ric Flair is at ringside and his presence distracts Perfect allowing Taylor to knock Perfect out of the ring. Taylor distracts the referee allowing Flair to ram Perfect’s head into the steps and pummel Perfect with chops and punching before dumping Perfect back into the ring. Taylor picks Perfect up for a Suplex but Perfect blocks it and turns it into a Perfect Plex for the victory.
Winner: Mr Perfect
There is another girl in a bikini with a board saying ‘RAW‘
An ad is shown with Bret Hart for IcoPro, some nutritional thing that looks suspisiously like a steroid scandal waiting to happen.
Randy Savage is advertising Slim Jim’s (an American version of Pepperami for all the brits reading). He became famous for the slogan ‘Snap into a Slim Jim‘ from these.
Vince McMahon is in the ring with WWE Champion, Bret Hart. He tells us that Razor Ramon can say and do what he wants to Bret but Razor does not need to attack his brother, Owen, or threaten his father. Bret calls Razor ‘Scum‘. Vince asks if the match will be a technical masterclass. Bret says everyone knows he is the best at technical wrestling ut at the Royal Rumble he’s going to throw the rule book out the window. Bret says that Razor will find out why Bret is the WWE Champion because this Sunday, he’ll be the toughest, the meanest and the best.
The Undertaker and Paul Bearer appear in a pre tape advertising WWE’s ‘Headlock on Hunger‘ campaign to end people dying of starvation in Somalia. Not sure these are the best two people for this campaign though.
Marty Jannetty vs Glen Ruth
Its Enhancement Talent Time! No, not Marty…. yet. Anyone recognize Marty’s opponent? Glen will go on to become Thrasher of The Headbangers. Don’t know who they are? Google them! Or wait about four years, I’ll get to them on here.
Jannetty throws his shirt out of the ring and is attacked from behind by Glen who lays into Jannetty with an Axe Handle, Right Hands and kicks. Glen Irish Whips Jannetty but his charge is met with a Back Elbow from Jannetty who follows with a second rope Facebuster. Jannetty then Irish Whips Glen and catches him with an Arm Drag. Glen is back to his feet as Shawn Michaels calls into the show. Shawn tells us that The Rockers were a sucess due to Shawn Michales being part of it. He says The Rockers were famous for Shake, Rattle and Roll and that this Sunday he will SHAKE Jannetty’s world, RATTLE Jannetty’s bones and ROLL out of the Rumble still the Intercontinental Champion.
Jannetty is back in control and he hits a Suplex before a Snapmare into another Armbar. Glen gets back to his feet and Arm Wringers Jannetty and elbows Jannetty’s arm. Jannetty rolls out of the Arm Wringer and applies one of his own before turning it into a Hammerlock that takes Glen down before he gets a two count from a Roll Up. Glen hits a couple of punches in the corner (how is enhancement getting so much offence?) but Jannetty turns it around and hits a series of punches of his own and an Irish Whip. Jannetty applies another Hammerlock but Glen pushes him against the ropes breaking the hold before whipping Jannetty off the ropes. Jannetty slides under Glen’s legs and hits a Rocker Dropper (a move that would become the Fameasser) for the three count.
Winner: Marty Jannetty
We get the same ad for the Royal Rumble that we got last week.
Vince McMahon tells us that Crush will not be at the Rumble dueto an attack by Doink. He takes us to footage from Superstars that aired over the weekend. Following a Crush match, Doink has his arm in a sling. He wants to make peace with Crush and has a flower to give him. Crush takes the flower from Doink and heads up the isle. Doink rips his own arm out of the socket. I kid. The arm in a sling is a fake arm. Doink attacks Crush from behind with it beating him repeatedly with it.
We see the Mania comercial we got last week. Probably going to get this ad for a few weeks.
For reasons unknown, Sean Mooney is STILL outside after last week. This week, however, he is with Repo Man. Repo says it was great when he attacked Randy Savage earlier in the show and sent him flying. He then tells Sean that Savage is behind on the payments for the had and that’s why he reposessed it. Repo says that Savage never paid any attention to him until now and they have a match coming up. Repo then takes Sean’s earpiece and tells Savage that what he did was just the begining.
We go to the Royal Rumble Report. Mean Gene runs through the card for the Rumble including: Bret Hart vs Razor Ramon for the WWE Title, Shawn Michaels vs Marty Jannetty for the Intercontinental Title and The Royal Rumble itself. I personally will catch everyone up next week so we are all on the same page.
Randy Savage is now outside with Sean Mooney looking for Repo Man (he really likes this hat).
Attitude Of Aggression #275- The Big Four Project Chapter 3: Royal Rumble ’88 & WrestleMania IV
The Attitude Of Aggression returns for Chapter 3 of The Big Four Project, a chronological analysis, review, and discussion about WWE’s Big Four PPVs/ Premium Live Events. On this Episode, Dave welcomes back the one and only PC Tunney to discuss two more immensely important events in pro wrestling history, the inaugural Royal Rumble and WrestleMania IV. The 1988 Royal Rumble was different than any other Rumble in history and not just because it was the first. Dave and Tunney break down the fascinating history of the first installment of an event that would evolve into an annual favorite for many in the WWE Universe. From there, the guys recap the surreal events that led to the end of Hulk Hogan’s 4-year reign as WWF Champion and set the stage for, arguably, the most important tournament in WWE History at WrestleMania IV. Macho Madness reached new heights that night. But was Savage the first choice of Vince McMahon to emerge from Atlantic City with the gold that night? We have the whole story for you here on Chapter 3 of The Big Four Project!
About Chairshot Radio
The rebirth of Chairshot Radio will see a rotating cast of hosts delivering you new shows and content. Sports, Entertainment, and Sports Entertainment is the umbrella under which we seek to invade your earballs. So sit back, relax and LET US IN…
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Chairshot Classics: What I Watched #15 – AAW Defining Moment 2018
Harry covers a show that helped to continue Sami Callihan’s 2018 infamy. AAW Defining Moment should be a fun trip down memory lane!
Apologies for the slight delay getting to this but it’s Harry here once again. And for as verbose as I can be at times, I don’t feel the need to waste any time getting to this one. This is the second part of the double shot for AAW on ‘All In’ weekend in Chicago.
The WayBack Machine takes us to August 31st, 2018 as we once again arrive at the Logan Square Auditorium (and oh boy does that become important later) for AAW’s Defining Moment 2018.
What I Watched #15
AAW Defining Moment 2018
Logan Square Auditorium in Chicago, IL
Runtime: 3:18:22 (HighSpotsWrestlingNetwork)
Commentary By: Tyler Volz (PBP) and Marty DeRosa (Color)
- Match 1: Curt Stallion/Jake Something def. Ace Romero/Colt Cabana, Something pins Cabana @ 8:41
- Match 2: Shane Strickland pins Darby Allin, top-rope Swerve Stomp @ 13:30
- Match 3: Jessicka Havoc def. Palmer Cruise/Steve Manders, pinning Cruise with a Chokeslam @ 2:52
- Match 4: OI4K (Dave/Jake Crist) def. Ace Austin/Brian Cage, Dave pins Austin @ 5:55
- Match 5: AAW Heritage Title- Trevor Lee © pins DJ Z (Shiima Xion), roll-through on CBB with tights @ 13:30
- Match 6: AR Fox/Myron Reed def. Bandido/Flamita, double cover @ 15:42
- Match 7: Maxwell Jacob Friedman taps Marko Stunt, Salt of the Earth @ 10:41
- Match 8: Sami Callihan pins Jimmy Jacobs, Cactus Driver on a bridged guardrail @ 17:52
- Match 9: AAW Tag Titles- Eddie Kingston/Jeff Cobb © def. Davey Vega/Mat Fitchett, Cobb pins Fitchett @ 14:19
- Match 10: AAW Heavyweight Title- Brody King pins ACH ©, All Seeing Eye (Whiplash) @ 22:46
Curt Stallion/Jake Something vs. Ace Romero/Colt Cabana
*The match was decent but nothing special. A pretty big win for Something at the end with the three count over Cabana, who has a storied past in Chicago and was one of the biggest names in independent wrestling. That said, I personally don’t love the flukish nature that Something pins Cabana, as I think Something could have used a defining pinfall to really give him a rub going forward.
Cabana usually makes for a fun watch and I’ve grown to enjoy Ace Romero the more I see him (he especially stands out for Limitless, which I hope to get to one day soon). Jake Something is a huge star in the making and you can see it even early in the run of AAW that he has. Stallion is what Stallion is. Solid opener, but nothing you’ll remember post show. (**½)
Darby Allin vs. Shane Strickland
*Showstealer, plain and simple. Strickland had been with AAW for a while but to the best of my memory, it was more often in a tag team with Keith Lee (funny how that works out with 2022 eyes on it, as Swerve and Keith are the current AEW tag champions at the time of writing). I do believe this is only Darby’s second match in AAW (the prior being a five-ish minute loss to Brody King). Both guys are huge names now and with efforts like this, it’s easy to see how. Darby tries to keep pace with Swerve and is able to do so for a good portion of the contest until Swerve finds that next gear down the stretch and puts Allin down with the Swerve Stomp to a massive (deserved) ovation from the crowd. (****)
Jessicka Havok vs. Palmer Cruise/Steve Manders
*I dislike handicap matches in general. However, unlike certain other writers for this site, I don’t mind intergender wrestling. But the suspension of disbelief gets lost here when you have two dudes the size of Cruise and Manders struggling with Jessicka Havok, who should realistically not being coming in at 100% after taking the Ganso Bomb from Brody King through the chairs the night before. I won’t rate the match due to the Larry Csonka (RIP) Rule of not rating anything shorter than three minutes, but I’m calling this a miss regardless. (X)
OI4K (Dave/Jake Crist) vs. Ace Austin/Brian Cage
*The Brothers Crist come out to ringside to stand next to Havok after said match and call out Brody King and Jimmy Jacobs. They get one of those two men as Jacobs makes his way out, but informs Dave and Jake that neither he nor Brody will be facing them due to having prior obligations, but he did find the perfect opponents for OI4K. As for the opponent, Cage does make for a good size fill-in for Brody King. Ace Austin is a OI4K trainee that hadn’t quite made a name for himself at the time but has since turned into a pretty good wrestler, having just competed for NJPW in Best of the Super Jr’s as well as being Impact Wrestling’s X Division champion for a while.
The match itself was not memorable at all. I will admit to typing this review on a bit of a delay and other than the finish (a Tiger Driver ‘98 by Dave to Austin), I don’t remember anything that happened during the course of the contest. Not the best impression for these four men to leave. (**)
AAW Heritage Title- Trevor Lee © vs. DJ Z
*I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…I like DJ Z. I liked him more under his previous identity, but this was him using the Impact Wrestling name for more notoriety with the casual fan. That being said, despite DJZ winning a three way relatively quickly the night before while Trevor was in a war with Ace Romero, I never felt the title was in jeopardy here. For as much as I like DJZ’s run with AAW, this misfortune of his injury just so happened to coincide with Trevor Lee becoming one of the hottest acts on the undercard and there wasn’t anything in the build up to the rematch (despite some good promo work from Z) that made me think that the strap was switching here.
As for the match itself, they have really good chemistry together and that isn’t a surprise given how many of the same promotions they were working for at the time as well as their history in AAW up to this point. I do think this match does a nice job of setting the stage for a return match as it is DJZ’s offensive attack at the end of the contest that gets reversed into the cradle (with a handful of tights) for the finish. The nature of the victory leads me to believe that the story with these two isn’t over quite yet. (***½)
AR Fox/Myron Reed vs. Bandido/Flamita
*This was similar to the main event the night before, but didn’t have the same crowd investment that match did. Bandido and Flamita once again shine here and it is easy to see why they become semi-regulars in AAW after this weekend. AR Fox and Myron Reed (Team Firefox, as they were referred to by Sarah Shockey) get a massive victory with a double pinfall following stereo 450 splashes. This sets up Fox and Reed for a title match against the winners of WRSTLING vs. Besties later in the night, but honestly, I think that Bandido/Flamita was the better pairing to have go forward to a title shot. Firefox had previously unsuccessfully challenged for the tag belts and if I’m being fully honest, I prefer AR Fox as a singles wrestler over being in a tag team. Good match, but I think the wrong team wins. (***½)
Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Marko Stunt
*Marko had just made a name for himself at GCW’s Lost in New York (a show I have watched) and this was a way for him to break out back in his Midwest home. MJF has been on a hot streak point up to this point (believe he is the current CZW Heavyweight champion, though I don’t think he ever actually defends that title) and MJF would make himself a known commodity the next night opening the ‘All In’ PPV against Matt Cross (in a losing effort)
Easy story to tell with MJF taking the much smaller Stunt lightly and Marko making him pay for it. It is unfortunate that more people didn’t get to see what Stunt is capable of, because his run in the indie scene before he went to AEW was quite special to watch due to his ability to connect with a crowd (no different here). The finish sees MJF take advantage of the arm work that he did early in match and after Marko escapes a fujiwara armbar, MJF is able to catch Marko in ‘Salt of the Earth’, a wakigatame (Marko on stomach as MJF applies a cross-armbreaker) for the the tapout. Very good work and Marko does really well for himself in his debut with another high end US Independent. (***)
Jimmy Jacobs vs. Sami Callihan
*Ooooh, boy. A lot to unwrap with this one. Let’s get the match first, because the drama that it creates leads to the fallout that has to be discussed. It is honestly a pretty standard Sami brawl for the time frame. PWG used to have what was known as the “Sami Sprint”…by which it would be Callihan vs. Opponent and the match would run anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes of hard hitting back and forth action with little in terms of a cohesive story or selling. Pretty much a ‘can you top this?’ kind of situation. This feels like that in a sense because the match features both Sami and Jimmy going into their well of tricks (the crowd brawling, the spike, the guardrail that gets used in the finish) while maintaining the crowd reaction from the prior night’s tag match. Fittingly, the finish is visually impressive as Callihan hits the ‘Cactus Driver’ (pulling piledriver) on a guardrail bridged across two metal folding chairs to secure the three count. (***½)
The bigger story coming out of this is that this match almost costs AAW the Logan Square Auditorium and almost ends even more disastrously personally for Callihan. At one point, Callihan and Jacobs are brawling over by the stage in the venue (traditionally used for concerts) where Callihan buries Jacobs under a portion of the stage. Callihan then starts winging metal sitting chairs (not the standard folding ones you see in most companies because the four legged dinner table type chairs) at Jacobs. A voice comes over the house mic telling Callihan to stop, causing a loud visceral boo from the crowd. Callihan more or less tells said voice to “fuck himself” and hurls more chairs at Jacobs.
At first, I thought it was Danny Daniels telling Callihan to stop, but it turns out it was actually building management. This becomes important when after the three count goes down, building security surrounds the ring to escort Callihan out of the building as they were pissed at Sami for throwing chairs that the venue used for other events. As I’ve heard the story, Callihan thinks this is part of a storyline and begins to push the security guys until one of them shows Callihan that he is carrying a real pistol and will use it if necessary. Things break down from there with the rest of OI4K getting involved and eventually Sami is escorted to the back (and presumably out of the building).
How much of this is real? How much of this is scripted? How much of this was sensationalized for additional attention? I don’t have the answers for those questions. I do know that cooler heads would prevail and AAW was able to continue running at LSA, however I feel the truth lies somewhere in the middle. It may have been a planned altercation to play off the recklessness of Callihan. It may have been a real reaction from the building to what they perceived as damage to personal property. The old axiom in wrestling is “believe none of what you hear and half of what you see”. Overall, it makes for a great story with a relatively happy ending all considered. But man does it take the wind of the crowd for quite a while. And I will have to check out the follow up AAW shows to see what the fallout truly is.
AAW Tag Titles- Eddie Kingston/Jeff Cobb © vs. Davey Vega/Mat Fitchett
*Trevor Lee’s promo before the match is not one I can do justice. I recommend the show in general, but Trevor’s asshole smarmy heel persona in AAW (Impact Superstar Trevor Lee) is one of the best things going in the company.
Match is good but you’d have to expect that from the four men involved. Kingston and Cobb work surprisingly well as a team and despite being on separate pages for most of the bout, Vega and Fitchett do link up for a few double teams (corner enzuigiri/Kippou kick combo being standout among them) to continue to prove why they are one of the best tag teams in pro wrestling (still are to this day, though not known as the Besties in the World anymore). The finish sees the final stab from Vega to Fitchett as Vega chooses to take Scarlett to the back after she gets knocked off the apron, leaving Fitchett alone to take a one-two combo of the Backfist to the Future from Kingston that staggers him into a Tour of the Islands from Cobb to finish the contest. The ring work is on point, the story is very well told and you can hear the disappointment from the crowd when Vega chooses the hussy over his long-time tag partner. (****)
AAW Heavyweight Title- ACH © vs. Brody King
*Unfortunately, something gets lost during the course of this contest through no direct fault of the participants. As I understand it, Brody King got concussed relatively early in the bout. Credit to ACH for keeping things together as well as he did, but I would be curious to see what they are capable of with both competitors at 100% capacity for the full duration of the match.
As for the match, it does tell a pretty good story. ACH comes in still pretty beat up from the match with Jeff Cobb the night before. However, ACH lets his pride (or perhaps his ego) get the better of him as he once again tries to hang step for step, strike for strike and move for move with a man much bigger than he is. It ends up coming back to bite him at the end as a distraction from Jimmy Jacobs allows Brody King to take a distracted ACH up into the All Seeing Eye (fireman’s carry into a Michinoku Driver) for the three count to crown a new champion. Slightly cheap on the distraction ending but does help get Jimmy some of the heat he lost earlier in the evening back after dropping the contest to Callihan. (***½)
THE FINAL REACTION
Overall, a better show then the day before but not without a couple flaws. Obviously, the big story to come out of this show would be the fact that AAW almost lost Logan Square Auditorium due to the issues in the Callihan-Jacobs match. Thankfully, those would be resolved and to my knowledge, AAW is still running there. But it gets awfully hairy there for a few.
The highs: two four star matches on this show and they come in completely different type contests. Eddie Kingston continues his march of dominance in AAW and cuts one hell of a promo at the end of the show to run down how ACH let him down by losing the title. Marko Stunt has a fun debut and quickly gets the crowd behind him. The lows: that handicap match helped no one and the tag match that followed wasn’t much better. The main event isn’t what it could have been either, but that’s a case of shit happens with the early concussion to King. I will also say that I thought Sarah Shockey did a better job on color commentary yesterday then Marty DeRosa does here.
We’ll call it an 8 overall. As I said, it is a better top to bottom show then Destination Chicago is. And while high on the guest stars (for obvious reasons), you also get a really good look at what the overall AAW roster is all about too. I look forward to coming back to AAW down the road (ironically, upcoming shows are a double shot as well for the ‘Jim Lynam Memorial’ tournament), but I do want to mix in some other odds and ends before I do so.
Best Match/Moment: Shane Strickland vs. Darby Allin
Worst Match/Moment: The Havok handicap. Especially when you consider what Steve Manders would come to mean for AAW, it’s a really inauspicious debut.
Overall Show Score: 8/10
MVP: Eddie Kingston. The key part of a match that tied for best match of the night honors and absolutely shows why he is viewed the way he is when it comes to talking with an amazing promo to close out the show.
So, where does ‘What I Watched’ go from here? I go on vacation in about a week’s time and will be gone for most of August. I spoke to Andrew and what I hope to do is reformat the ‘All In’ report that I did to the new style so you guys have something to tide you over. As for where I go when I get back from vacation…well, the Peacock WWE Network watch-through that I am working on has reached a show that I’m not sure I’ve ever seen (and if I have, it has been quite a while). Therefore, ‘What I Watched’ #16 will be ECW’s Guilty as Charged 1999 to set the tone for a year where all hell breaks loose in two of the three major promotions. Hopefully, you guys enjoy the ‘All In’ redo to hold you over and I’ll be back later in August with Guilty as Charged. I appreciate everyone who has been checking these out and if you’ve missed any, feel free to click on my name at the top of the article to check out my archive. Thanks for reading.
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