I am going to start reviewing entire years of WWF/E wrestling programming, beginning in 1993 and going for, well, as long as I can. When I get to the point in time that WCW enters into the picture with Monday Nitro, I will also be reviewing that company's product as well as comparing the two on a monthly basis. I will have the following on which to grade each company: WWF/E Raw complete, WWF/E Smackdown complete, All WWF/E PPVs, WCW Monday Nitro complete, WCW Thunder complete, all WCW PPVs. I will make a note for each company monthly and, once WCW enters the fray, assign a winner. Superstar of the Month and Match of the Month accolades will also be bestowed upon deserving superstars. Maybe even Promo of the Month. I may try to incorporate TNA into the mix eventually.
As far as my qualifications go, I have been a wrestling fan my entire life. I wasn't one of those "Attitude Era" bandwagoners and I still watch the product today (mainly WWE and TNA, with the occasional ROH viewing mixed in). I have my prejudices in wrestling (hate Mysterio, love Jericho, etc.) and I'm sure they will find a way to affect my judgment from time to time. Hopefully someone will find this worth reading. If you have anything to add or would like copies of any shows, please let me know and I will do my best accommodate your requests. Thanks, everybody, and I hope you wrestling/ex-wrestling fans enjoy!
January of 1993 was a monumental month for Vincent Kennedy McMahon's World Wrestling Federation. This month saw the launch of the WWF's flagship show, Monday Night Raw, "live" from the Manhattan Center in New York City. This is one of the most important moments in wrestling history, and I really think it has been downplayed by a majority of fans. While I think most believe that the airing of Raw is a significant moment in wrestling history, I think most wrestling fans truly forget how great the show was right from the start. Sure, we had some duds from the beginning - Taker/Demento, Jannetty/Ruth and Kamala/Brawler spring to mind - but we also had some seriously entertaining wrestling on prime time television.
This month also hosted the sixth annual Royal Rumble event, which in itself was a beast of a PPV. The Rumble began with two former world champions (Ric Flair and Bob Backlund) and saw Ted DiBiase prove once again why he is the baddest man in wrestling. The event also showcased the culmination of the Shawn Michaels/Marty Jannetty feud that had been building prior to Marty's firing a year earlier. On an even higher level, we saw the "Excellence of Execution," Bret Hart, defend his title against a major player in the Monday Night Wars, Razor Ramon (Scott Hall).
Amidst all of this commotion, we can find a few true wrestling gems, including a great "Loser Leaves WWF" match between Mr. Perfect (Curt Hennig) and Ric Flair. And of course, calling the shots the whole time, we've got Vince McMahon, some douchebag (Rob something-or-other is the worst announcer I've seen in wrestling to this point - including Schiavone in the early 90s), "Macho Man" Randy Savage, and the legendary duo of Bobby "The Brain" Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon.
Awards for the month:
Superstar of the Month: Shawn Michaels. The "Heartbreak Kid" put on an excellent match with Max Moon at the inaugural Raw and stole the show at the Royal Rumble in a successful title defense against former partner, Marty Jannetty.
Match of the Month: Ric Flair vs. Mr. Perfect. Flair and Perfect really delivered in Flair's WWF swan song. Honorable mentions to Michaels/Jannetty and Ramon/Hart.
Promo of the Month: Razor Ramon. Razor Ramon cut a badass promo on Bret Hart during the 1/11 Raw. Hart tried to counter the following week, but Hall had a style on the mic that was really unmatched at the time. Combine that with the footage of Hall kicking Owen's ass and it's Razor hands down.