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Raw: The Beginning


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Has anyone else purchased/watched this? I think this more than makes up for that horrible 15th anniversary set as matches and angles are full. I've only made it through the 1993 discs so far, but I'll share some of my thoughts.

 

During the first year, Raw seemed like Vince was trying a Memphis-style studio show. Each week had self-contained angles and the format came off very much like USWA telecasts, right down to the small, intimate arena.

 

I was 9 at the time so I didn't notice but there was a LOT of Hulk hate in NYC when Vince brings him out to team with Brutus.

 

Surprising to hear Vince refer to "pro wrestling" during commentary.

 

I've changed my mind on heel Doink; I had no memory of how interesting the character actually was. Again, I was 9.

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Personally I cant wait for my copy as Alan has told many times on his podcast WWF changed to a premium tie channel in Ireland at the beginning of 1993 until a week or two after Wrestlemania X. So Ive only seen a limited amount of 1993 WWF outside of PPVs and commerical tapes.

 

Yeah Doink was amazing both in terms of his relatively cerebal promos foreshadowing something in the match and his in-ring work. His series with Mr. Perfect was great stuff as was the Summerslam deal.

 

Was the 15th anniversary set that bad? I remember the first disc being really strong.

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Has anyone else purchased/watched this? I think this more than makes up for that horrible 15th anniversary set as matches and angles are full. I've only made it through the 1993 discs so far, but I'll share some of my thoughts.

 

During the first year, Raw seemed like Vince was trying a Memphis-style studio show. Each week had self-contained angles and the format came off very much like USWA telecasts, right down to the small, intimate arena.

 

I was 9 at the time so I didn't notice but there was a LOT of Hulk hate in NYC when Vince brings him out to team with Brutus.

 

Surprising to hear Vince refer to "pro wrestling" during commentary.

 

I've changed my mind on heel Doink; I had no memory of how interesting the character actually was. Again, I was 9.

I remember Dave making references in the WON to the WWF's Memphis-style booking at the time, in the sense that they were running way more angles than normal and seemed to be booking for their hardcore fans more than casual fans. The Hogan and Luger megapushes would seem to challenge that, but I do see the point.

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Has anyone else purchased/watched this? I think this more than makes up for that horrible 15th anniversary set as matches and angles are full. I've only made it through the 1993 discs so far, but I'll share some of my thoughts.

 

During the first year, Raw seemed like Vince was trying a Memphis-style studio show. Each week had self-contained angles and the format came off very much like USWA telecasts, right down to the small, intimate arena.

 

I was 9 at the time so I didn't notice but there was a LOT of Hulk hate in NYC when Vince brings him out to team with Brutus.

 

Surprising to hear Vince refer to "pro wrestling" during commentary.

 

I've changed my mind on heel Doink; I had no memory of how interesting the character actually was. Again, I was 9.

I remember Dave making references in the WON to the WWF's Memphis-style booking at the time, in the sense that they were running way more angles than normal and seemed to be booking for their hardcore fans more than casual fans. The Hogan and Luger megapushes would seem to challenge that, but I do see the point.

 

 

Although the hardcore WWF fans decide to shit all over the Hogan and Luger megapushes and embrace Bret Hart.

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Was the 15th anniversary set that bad? I remember the first disc being really strong.

The first disc was okay, then they start picking seemingly random things like Goldust kissing Ahmed Johnson and the only segment from the year 2000 is when Chris Jericho pinned Triple-H only to have the decision reversed.

 

In fact, it seems like there was more focus on the years 2005-07 on that set and nearly every match/angle is clipped.

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Bret Hart vs. Tom Prichard is a nifty little match. Just an idea of the things that are included in this set.

 

I doubt they'd do it for DVD, maybe for the 24/7 channel, but something similar for Saturday Night's Main Event would be awesome. Now, that was a well-done DVD set. I don't know how they could get that one so right and the Raw 15th so wrong.

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Just started watching it last night. The VQ is terrific. Some random thoughts:

 

1. Jesus, that guy with McMahon is terrible. I get it - he's trying to be the snarky jerkface heel announcer that Heenan would do so beautifully for Nitro. But he's so obnoxious. Vince and Macho ignore him half the time. I hope he's gone soon.

 

2. Listening to Macho on commentary: I am constantly amazed at how perfect Jay Lethal's impression of Savage's voice comes through - word choice, inflection, pacing, all of it.

 

3. The Flair/Perfect match was pretty good. But it was all Curt. Flair really did seem to be going through the motions, hitting his tired spots at all the right places. Curt wrestled his ass off and made quite a match of it. However, Ric's over-the-rope, run-the-apron, and come-off-the-top spot was pretty awesome. He ran that apron crazy fast.

 

4. Luger got almost ZERO response from the crowd.

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Just started watching it last night. The VQ is terrific. Some random thoughts:

1. Jesus, that guy with McMahon is terrible. I get it - he's trying to be the snarky jerkface heel announcer that Heenan would do so beautifully for Nitro. But he's so obnoxious. Vince and Macho ignore him half the time. I hope he's gone soon.

Listening to Vince the few times he's announcing with Bartlett it sounds like he just gets tired of him. He gets in one amusing line about Yokozuna putting a "Headlock on Hunger," which was the WWF's Somalia charity at the time.

 

2. Listening to Macho on commentary: I am constantly amazed at how perfect Jay Lethal's impression of Savage's voice comes through - word choice, inflection, pacing, all of it.

What I find funny is Savage seems to be really trying to be impartial on commentary.

 

4. Luger got almost ZERO response from the crowd.

Being that the show was live and in an intimate theater that was full of the fans who would become ECW loyalists, you'll find there are a few times where the crowd doesn't react the way they were expected. The "Hulk Has-Been" and "Hulk Homo" signs in the crowd, for example.

 

Shawn Michaels seemed to be really on at this point, probably relishing being one of the regular featured performers.

 

And, was it deliberate that WWE used matches with Jason Knight and P.J. Walker as preliminary wrestlers? I wish they'd have thrown in the match where Walker upsets I.R.S., though that didn't really go anywhere. Doesn't look like Walker's return as "Man O' War" Aldo Montoya is included in disc 2.

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Being that the show was live and in an intimate theater that was full of the fans who would become ECW loyalists, you'll find there are a few times where the crowd doesn't react the way they were expected. The "Hulk Has-Been" and "Hulk Homo" signs in the crowd, for example.

I think you called it here. I watched a few minutes last night, and I saw an absolutely atrocious Hogan promo. In the audience were signs saying things like "Hogan Who"? It was Hogan's promo about how great Beefcake is and introducing Jimmy Hart as their manager. [anyone else not able to think clearly about Jimmy these days? All I hear when I see footage of him is him chanting "Wrestlicious!"] Anyway, the promo was aimed at little kids, of which there were about 4 in the audience. I am not the biggest Hogan fan, though I definitely can appreciate the guy's work. But this one was definitely embarrassing.

 

I happened to have also watched WCW Main Event from Aug 94 just before it -- that promo was shameful, too. 1993-94 was absolutely a terrible time for Hogan, it would seem. 1996 can't come fast enough.

 

Also, what in the world were they thinking with the Elvis character?

 

I know it sounds like I am bitching, but I am actually really enjoying this DVD. The ring action is pretty good. And I am definitely looking forward to Michaels, Waltman, more Bret, and some of the other stuff that I know is coming up. I shut it off to go to sleep last night just as Perfect/Martel was coming on -- I would guess that's a solid match. And I might be the only person left who kinda likes Yokozuna.

 

But it is fun to nitpick.

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I know it sounds like I am bitching, but I am actually really enjoying this DVD. The ring action is pretty good. And I am definitely looking forward to Michaels, Waltman, more Bret, and some of the other stuff that I know is coming up. I shut it off to go to sleep last night just as Perfect/Martel was coming on -- I would guess that's a solid match. And I might be the only person left who kinda likes Yokozuna.

 

But it is fun to nitpick.

The ring action is incredibly solid. Still only on disc 1 of the 1994 set. Really strong wrestling with an emphasis on working as opposed to crazy bumps and spots. 1-2-3 Kid vs. Shawn Michaels was a really fun match, as was Razor vs. Diesel. Also, the angle that sets up the WrestleMania ladder match is included. It still seems so effective.

 

Cheers to WWE and a big LOL for including those "coming to the WWF" promos for Jeff Jarrett, Bob Holly, and King Kong Bundy.

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I bought the set yesterday and have watched the 1993 discs. Some thoughts so far:

 

* I think what really made Raw special in the early years was the smaller venues that gave the show a different feel. The Raw tapings that are held in larger venues, though, tended to come off like an episode of Superstars (and if I'm not mistaken, they sometimes combined Raw and Superstars tapings). But when they go to the smaller venues, it truly gives the show a unique feel... I think that was definitely part of its appeal back then, as it didn't look the generic "big crowd with canned heat" atmosphere.

 

* The wrestling is quite good... while not every match is a high-star affair, there is more emphasis on building a story within the match in most cases.

 

* Evil Doink was indeed a cool character. It's too bad, though, that the cool characters ultimately get turned face because then people think they are too cool to boo. Razor Ramon is another example, but his character was able to stay pretty intact after turning face. With Doink, what made his character special was gone once he turned face.

 

(Side note on Doink: I don't remember exactly what point Matt Bourne left the WWF, but I don't think anybody could have duplicated what he did for the character. Steve Lombardi was pretty much limited to bumping when he took over the character and Ray Licachelli (sp?), while a better fit than Lombardi, was not the worker Bourne was.)

 

* Rob Bartlett was definitely terrible. It's no surprise he didn't last... his jokes were awful and he never really added anything to the match. The times he may be at his best, though, is when he is silent for most of the match and then remarks how he is just in awe of the wrestling. :)

 

And while it's not on the DVD, I do remember the episode in which heavy snowfall kept some of the roster from making a show at the Manhattan Center, so their idea was to have Gorilla and Bobby on commnetary, accompanied by Rob Bartlett doing an impersonation of Vince McMahon. Needless to say, it made Kevin Nash's Vince impersonation look brilliant by comparison. :)

 

* The vignettes they aired of wrestlers set to debut or return were amusing. It also reminded me just how horrible the Double J gimmick was... I know they may have stuck them on there to poke fun of Jeff Jarrett, but regardless of what one thinks of Jarrett, there was no way he was going to get over with the gimmick as it was presented.

 

* The "smart fan" penetration is certainly evident in the Manhattan Center shows, but they could just as easily get caught up in the moment. The signs mocking Hogan, those in the crowd who don't buy his promo, the fans taunting Tatanka during the lumberjack match and the mocking of Shawn Michaels (which had less to do with what they thought of him as a wrestler and more to do with a particular promo he cut) are all signs of this, but these fans also could get caught up in the moment as well. They may have preferred Shawn to Marty Jannetty, but they popped loudly when Jannetty won the I-C title. :)

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* The vignettes they aired of wrestlers set to debut or return were amusing. It also reminded me just how horrible the Double J gimmick was... I know they may have stuck them on there to poke fun of Jeff Jarrett, but regardless of what one thinks of Jarrett, there was no way he was going to get over with the gimmick as it was presented.

I had forgotten that the "Double-J" gimmick was supposed to be that Jarrett was such a bad singer he couldn't get a recording contract so he decided to use the WWF for publicity. I just don't get how that was supposed to get him over at all.

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* The vignettes they aired of wrestlers set to debut or return were amusing. It also reminded me just how horrible the Double J gimmick was... I know they may have stuck them on there to poke fun of Jeff Jarrett, but regardless of what one thinks of Jarrett, there was no way he was going to get over with the gimmick as it was presented.

I had forgotten that the "Double-J" gimmick was supposed to be that Jarrett was such a bad singer he couldn't get a recording contract so he decided to use the WWF for publicity. I just don't get how that was supposed to get him over at all.

 

I think Double J's gimmick is really underrated. It was a personal favourite of mine and I noticed it really caught on with a lot of my peers and made people notice him.

 

JE Double F, JA Double R, E Double T. That's Double J, Jeff Jarrett is a phrase nobody forgets:)

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* The vignettes they aired of wrestlers set to debut or return were amusing. It also reminded me just how horrible the Double J gimmick was... I know they may have stuck them on there to poke fun of Jeff Jarrett, but regardless of what one thinks of Jarrett, there was no way he was going to get over with the gimmick as it was presented.

I have enjoyed those, too, silly as they were. The Crush vignette where he's "live via satellite" from a Hawaii beach teasing about how nice the weather is -- and then he crushes a coconut. Too awesome.

 

I like that they included some special features, too. On the first disc is Bret doing the Mean Joe Green thing with a little kid backstage. And then an awesome one about how a guy stops having sex with his hot wife when he realizes what time it is -- then he sits up and turns on RAW.

 

Awesome.

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The Crush angle I always thought was really well done, where he got sidelined in a surprisingly good match with Yokozuna and Savage came to the rescue too little too late. The heel turn with Savage trying to talk him out of going with Fuji at the end of Raw later that year was tremendous.

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The Crush angle I always thought was really well done, where he got sidelined in a surprisingly good match with Yokozuna and Savage came to the rescue too little too late. The heel turn with Savage trying to talk him out of going with Fuji at the end of Raw later that year was tremendous.

Agreed. Crush is an interesting case as he was certainly over as a midcard babyface, but when they turned Luger and Doink face, they obviously needed somebody to jump to the heel side and they did a very good job turning Crush heel.

 

Still, it would have been interesting to see how far Crush could have gone with his babyface character.

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I'll add that, after having watched some of the 1994 stuff, that Lex Luger had some pretty decent work on Raw. His match with Rick Martel was solid, but the one I may have liked better was his match with Diesel.

 

Seriously... they pulled off some good spots and transitions in that match, stuff you didn't always see from either Luger or Nash in that period.

 

And really, it just seemed Luger was more comfortable (and more over) with his face character in WWF. His Narcissist gimmick never worked and Luger didn't really seem to be into it.

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Watched a few more matches now.

 

- I'd forgotten how many non-title matches were aired on Raw back then. Vince would always push how important it was for a wrestler to pin the champion to move up the ranks and establish himself as a contender. It was almost as if the undercard was treated with an air of legitimacy.

 

- In the same vein, the Razor Ramon-Shawn Michaels-Diesel angle was very well done. While the Undertaker and Yokozuna were doing ghost-and-goblin angles these three were getting heat the old-fashioned way. It was nice to see the babyface really sell a beat-down from the heel.

 

- I remember the WWF pushing the Headshrinkers-Quebecers title match for weeks and they gave it a big main event feel for the title match. What the hell was the reason for that?

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Jerry Lawler making fun of Stu and Helen Hart to their faces during Bret's match with Bam Bam from the 7/26/93 RAW still fucking rules. I still maintain that a lot of fans who hate Lawler and worship Bret, if psycho-analyzed, would be boiled down to being kids at this moment and being traumatized by Lawler being so "mean" and the fued that followed.

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Jerry Lawler making fun of Stu and Helen Hart to their faces during Bret's match with Bam Bam from the 7/26/93 RAW still fucking rules. I still maintain that a lot of fans who hate Lawler and worship Bret, if psycho-analyzed, would be boiled down to being kids at this moment and being traumatized by Lawler being so "mean" and the fued that followed.

That was soooo phony. Bret vs Lawler was easily my worse Bret feud ever. I couldn't wait for it to be over so Bret could stop playing in the mid card and get back to main event status again. It was "go away (kiss my foot anyone?) and let Bret wrestle where he is supposed to again heat" Of course, on a board like here where everyone has to be super negative against everything and everyone, I suppose people could relate to Lawler making fun of somebody's parents and think it rules. Because making fun of people is just sooo cool! (sarcasm)

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