35 Episodes in, How is WWE RAW 1993?
I’ve been watching wrestling off and on for a bit now. It’s a fascinating blast from the past to see these (at this time just) men performing amazing stunts. There are a lot of injuries. Just about any time you don’t see a wrestler for an extended period of time it is because they blew out a knee, or a shoulder, or an ankle. Sometimes concussions, other times they break their nose. It’s an interesting form of entertainment because all of the actors are also their own stunt doubles. It’s one thing when the wrestlers goof their performance by missing, it is another entirely when the move hits far too real. In those moments the question becomes “Do we stop?” Often times the answer is no. Some wrestlers continue with a broken bone, Triple H will eventually finish a match with a torn calf. The bulge from his muscle coiling under the skin catching the eye of concerned front row viewers.
It’s fascinating how quickly the audience can shift. Razor was a source of much ire when I first started watching but now the fans are cheering for him. Gasping with each near fall and booing anytime someone else defeats him. All it takes is for there to be a bigger “bad guy”. And with episode 35 they are definitely cheering pretty loud.
The theme of 1993 is patriotism. Which strangely doesn’t impact Razor Ramone, which is a good thing. He’s a fun wrestler, a big guy, and he’s got an amusing gimmick. Previously the big evil was Yokozuna representing Japan. Now we’ve got Ludvig Borga, who is billed from (and literally born in) Helsinki. His real name isn’t Ludvig, but that’s the less surprising piece of information for me. I’m saddened upon fact checking this to find out just how his life ended, a sad trend for a fair number of wrestlers from this time and earlier. I am left to wonder who will be the next great evil after Ludvig or if he’ll carry us all the way through December.
Overall the show is pretty entertaining. The announcers are mostly awful. Randy Savage is fantastic (and ahead of his time), but I still feel that Bobby Heenan and Vince McMahon do little but take away from the show. They are determined to turn the focus on themselves than they are the entertainers in the ring. This is why someday soon Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler will dominate in their place. Those two guys knew what everyone cared about and I look forward to the passion they bring to the show.