Friday, August 13, 2010

WWF Review: April 1993 (Re-Post)

Hailing from The Outer Reaches of Your Mind, it's Damian Demento!
April of '93 was another great month for the WWF full of solid matches, great characters, and a few compelling storylines. One thing to note about the WWF at this time is its emphasis on wrestling. Raw was only a one hour show when it began, but it routinely showcased four or five matches a week, which appears to be on par with what we have in today's wrestling world. Obviously the overall roster's talent wasn't as strong as it is now and there were less storylines, but the wrestling, the main reason most of us long-time fans continue to tune in every week, was the main attraction.

The fallout from Wrestlemania IX helped propel the WWF forward this month, and while many talented wrestlers were featured in primetime, some of the company's biggest stars were conspicuously absent from the Monday Night ring - most notably Hogan, Yoko, Bret Hart, and Shawn Michaels. Hogan spent most of the month ego-jerking; Yoko and Fuji were contesting the legitimacy of Hogan's victory at Mania; Hart was coming up with grammatically awkward threats; and Michaels was avoiding Sherri Martel or something.

Speaking of Sherri, she and Luna Vachon continued their program which began at Mania when Luna attacked her for no damn reason.

Anyway, let's get to some awards:

Superstar of the Month: IRS. Mike Rotunda's portrayal of an evil tax collector is one of my favorite gimmicks ever. The gimmick itself is terrible, but Rotunda pulled it off flawlessly, and the tax man's partnership with "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase was a match made in Heaven. As DiBiase strutted about in his flashy, sequined tuxedos, Rotunda was sporting the least gay pair of suspenders I've ever seen (that's a compliment). Add to that some cool glasses, a necktie, and an attaché case, and you had probably the most badass tax man ever to grace the Earth.

But it wasn't all about looks with Rotunda, as he was also a phenomenal in-ring competitor. He had the standout match of the month with Scott Steiner as well as a great tag team effort with DiBiase against the Beverly Brothers. All in all, a hell of a month for IRS (not surprising, as it was April).

Match of the Month: IRS v. Scott Steiner.
In the growing feud between the Steiner Brothers and Money, Inc., this was the first battle. Rotunda and Steiner had a pretty evenly fought match until the future "Big Poppa Pump" hooked up a double-underhook suplex on the tax man. DiBiase saved the day by attacking Steiner prior to the three-count, thus costing IRS the match.This wasn't the only great match of the month,however; Rotunda and DiBiase had a barnburner with the hideously-ugly-yet-criminally-underrated Beverly Brothers. It's pretty obvious to anyone watching that Money, Inc. were at the top of their game in early 1993.

Promo of the Month: Bret Hart.
After losing the WWF Championship at Wrestlemania to Yokozuna (who subsequently lost it to Hulk Hogan in an extremely illogical sequence of events), Bret Hart is pissed. But Hart isn't pissed at any one man in particular, he is pissed at the entire World Wrestling Federation. Standing in the middle of the ring with announcer Vince McMahon, Bret (awkwardly) vows to bitchslap everyone who stands in his way on his journey back to the top peak of the highest mountain in the wrestling business of the world. (I told you it was awkward.) There seems to be a misconception out there that Hart wasn't a great mic worker. While he wasn't always the most poignant speaker, Hart delivered promos with a genuine intensity and passion that most wrestlers could never match. This promo is a great example of his verbal tenacity.

Shocking Moment of the Month: Damian Demento wins a match! I'm going to be honest with you - I've been scratching my head since the first episode of Monday Night Raw trying to figure out just who the hell this jabroni is and why he is on my television. Hailing from the mysterious Outer Reaches of your Mind (just down the highway from Parts Unknown), Demento has one of the worst looks I've ever seen in wrestling. His hair is stupid, he hears voices in his head (and they don't even make him cool like Randy Orton), and he is a terrible wrestler. But this is his time to shine with his victory over the much respected "Jumping" Jim Brunzell on April 5. Congratulations, Mr. Demento!

Ridiculous Gimmick of the Month: Friar Ferguson.
Friar Ferguson may be one of the stranger gimmicks I've come across. He pretty much looks like a ripoff of the Friar Tuck character from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. While the character itself is ridiculous, it is made even moreso by the knowledge that within a matter of months the friar gimmick would be dropped in favor of the slovenly Bastion Booger character. Ridiculous.

Most Hated Jobber: Virgil.
I hate Virgil. What an idiot. DiBiase should have sent him back into indentured servitude.

Reflections: April was a strong month for the World Wrestling Federation. While Wrestlemania failed to engage me the way it usually does, the fallout was interesting and the matches week-in and week-out were extremely impressive. Hopefully the WWF can ride this wave of momentum into the summer.

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