WWE Raw: The Beginning Seasons 1 & 2 DVD Review

Monday Night Raw. For a lot of you, this show has been an institution, on air since you started watching wrestling. For others, like myself, it was a breath of fresh air in the world of televised pro-wrestling. For a start, the show was live, which was a very unusual concept back in the dark days of 1993. From humble beginnings, the show has been on air now for almost twenty years, with (as of the date this is being written) 920 episodes under its belt and shows no signs of leaving the airwaves any time soon. Hundreds of wrestlers have graced a RAW ring, numerous in-ring announcers, commentators, backstage interviewers, referees, managers, valets, wives, girlfriends, sons and daughters have featured on the show and this is the first in what should be a series of looks at the phenomenon that is Monday Night RAW.

wwe-raw-1-2-dvd

Certificate: 18

Running Time: 696mins (11hrs 36mins)

Discs: 4

Disc 1

Chapters

  • Koko B. Ware v Yokozuna (January 11, 1993)
  • The Undertaker v Damien Demento (January 11, 1993)
  • Loser Leaves the WWE: Ric Flair v Mr. Perfect (January 25, 1993)
  • 10 Bell Salute to Andre the Giant (February 1, 1993)
  • Lex Luger v Jason Knight (February 1, 1993)
  • Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake v “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase (February 15, 1993)
  • The Megamaniacs (February 22, 1993)
  • Bret Hart v Fatu (March 1, 1993)
  • Doink the Clown Pie-Faces Elvis (March 1, 1993)
  • Crush on the sands of Hawaii (March 1, 1993)
  • Mr. Perfect v Rick “The Model” Martel (March 8, 1993)
  • Doink the Clown v Kamala (March 22, 1993)
  • Lex Luger v Crush (April 26, 1993)
  • Mr. Perfect attacks Shawn Michaels (May 10, 1993)
  • Lumberjack Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship: “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan v Shawn Michaels (May 10, 1993)
  • The Kid v Razor Ramon (May 17, 1993)
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Marty Jannetty v Shawn Michaels (May 17, 1993)
  • King of the Ring Tournament Qualifying Match: Mr. Perfect v Doink the Clown (May 24, 1993)

Extras

  • The Smoking Gunns ride into the WWE (April 26, 1993)

Disc 2

Chapters

  • Shawn Michaels v Russ Greenberg (June 7, 1993)
  • 2 out of 3 Falls Match: Marty Jannetty v Doink the Clown (June 21, 1993)
  • Yokozuna Body Slam Competition on the U.S.S. Intrepid (July 5, 1993)
  • Bret Hart v Bam Bam Bigelow (July 26, 1993)
  • Jim Cornette arrives in the WWE (August 2, 1993)
  • “Macho Man” Randy Savage v Doink the Clown (August 2, 1993)
  • 1-2-3 Kid v “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase (August 16, 1993)
  • The Quebecers are new Tag Team Champions (September 13, 1993)
  • Doink the Clown v Corey Student (October 4, 1993)
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: (Razor Ramon v Rick “The Model” Martel (October 11, 1993)
  • Crush hires Mr. Fuji as his new manager (October 18, 1993)
  • “Macho Man” Randy Savage attacks Crush (November 8, 1993)
  • Bret Hart is Wrestler of the Year (November 29, 1993)
  • Razor Ramon v Diesel (November 29, 1993)
  • 1-2-3 Kid v Shawn Michaels (December 6, 1993)
  • Gorilla Monsoon throws out Bobby Heenan (December 6, 1993)
  • Thurman “Sparky” Plugg is ready to race (December 20, 1993)
  • Jeff Jarrett v P.J. Walker (December 20, 1993)

Extras

  • That’s Double J, Jeff Jarrett (December 13, 1993)

Disc 3

Chapters

  • Is Yokozuna afraid of the casket? (January 17, 1994)
  • WrestleMania X Coin Flip (January 31, 1994)
  • Bret Hart v Tom Prichard (February 21, 1994)
  • World Tag Team Championship Match: The Quebecers v Razor Ramon & The 1-2-3 Kid (February 21, 1994)
  • Shawn Michaels Locker Room Interview (February 28, 1994)
  • WWE Championship Match: Yokozuna v “Macho Man” Randy Savage (February 28, 1994)
  • “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase buys front row seats (March 28, 1994)
  • Lex Luger v Rick “The Model” Martel (March 28, 1994)
  • 10-Man Tag Team Match: IRS, Jeff Jarrett, Rick “The Model” Martel, & The Headshrinkers v Tatanka, The 1-2-3 Kid, Thurman “Sparky” Plugg, & The Smoking Gunns (April 4, 1994)
  • Debut of The Heartbreak Hotel (April 4, 1994)
  • Jerry “The King” Lawler is dropped on his head (April 11, 1994)
  • Razor Ramon v Jeff Jarrett (April 25, 1994)
  • WWE Tag Team Championship Match: The Quebecers v The Headshrinkers (May 2, 1994)
  • Sumo Match: Yokozuna v Earthquake (May 16, 1994)
  • King of the Ring Qualifying Match: Owen Hart v Doink the Clown (May 23, 1994)
  • Duke “The Dumpster” Droese makes his Raw debut (May 23, 1994)
  • The King’s Court with Bret Hart & Diesel (May 30, 1994)
  • Not-So-Rowdy on The King’s Court (June 6, 1994)
  • The King’s Court with Duke “The Dumpster” Droese (June 20, 1994)
  • The King’s Court with The King of Harts (June 27, 1994)

Extras

  • Go get him Champ! It’s only 9 o’clock (April 11, 1994)

Disc 4

Chapters

  • WWE Championship Match: Bret Hart v The 1-2-3 Kid (July 11, 1994)
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Diesel v Lex Luger (July 18, 1994)
  • $10,000 Challenge Match: Tatanka v Nikolai Volkoff (July 25, 1994)
  • Alundra Blayze v Bull Nakano (August 1, 1994)
  • Shawn Michaels v Razor Ramon (August 1, 1994)
  • Owen Hart v The 1-2-3 Kid (August 15, 1994)
  • The Undertaker v Kwang (September 12, 1994)
  • Mr. Backlund demonstrates The Chicken Wing (September 19, 1994)
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Razor Ramon v Yokozuna (October 24, 1994)
  • Jeff Jarrett v The British Bulldog (December 5, 1994)
  • Bob Backlund v Doink the Clown (December 12, 1994)
  • The British Bulldog v Tatanka (December 24, 1994)
  • The King’s Court with WWE Champion Diesel (December 24, 1994)
  • The Undertaker v The Brooklyn Brawler (December 24, 1994)

Extras

  • King Kong Bundy (September 26, 1994)
  • IRS taxes the dead (October 31, 1994)
  • Jeff Jarrett does Vegas (December 12, 1994)
  • Christmas at the Heartbreak Hotel (December 19, 1994)
  • Bret Hart wishes everyone a Happy New Year (December 26, 1994)

When I first heard that WWE would be releasing DVDs devoted to RAW, my mind immediately went to the Monday Night War era, so it was with a heavy heart that I greeted the news that we would be starting at the beginning AND that the release of subsequent years were dependant on how well Series 1 & 2 sold. After viewing the set, however, I can say I was wrong. Sure, there was a lot of dross in 1993-94, but the same can be said for any year, so credit to whoever was responsible for choosing the content on show here as the majority of it is well worth watching (or a repeat viewing for those of us jogging down memory lane).

It was inevitable that Yoko v Koko and Undertaker v Damien Demento (I still want to know what was in his kneepad) would be on the first disc, with them being the opening match and main-event of the first episode respectively. It’s also pretty cool to see future names (of varying degrees) as jobbers or low-level performers (Jason and Justin Credible of ECW fame being the two main ones I saw) and some of the matches on show would steal the spotlight even today. I’m looking at you Flair/Perfect, Perfect/Martel, Shawn Michaels/Marty Jannetty, 1-2-3 Kid/HBK, Razor/Jarrett, Owen/Doink, Owen/1-2-3 Kid, Bret/1-2-3 Kid and Shawn/Razor. In fact, the WWF Championship Match between Bret Hart and the future X-Pac is easily one of my favourite matches of all time. Both wrestlers are on fire, the crowd are hot as Hell and, on commentary, Jim Ross and Randy Savage sell the story amazingly well, with their dialogue being emotionally genuine and full of excitement.

You also get a few squashes (as was the norm of the time), some awesome segments, THE moment RAW became the must-see show (1-2-3 Kid pinning Razor Ramon), skits, characters and, rather ingeniously, little trivia facts between each chapter (for example, did you know Hulk Hogan, despite being WWE Champion in 1993 and part of the company for the first six months of RAW, didn’t have a match on the show until his return in 2002?) to keep you occupied and informed.

For what is considered part of the worst WWE era, this is a goldmine of the good and the great of that time period. Luger slamming Yokozuna on a battleship is great just for the tight jeans and t-shirt combo Lex is rocking, while the various interview segments all hold up well even today.

All I can say is roll on Season 3 & 4 (1995-96) and then, following that, the awesomeness that will be Season 5 & 6 (1997-98).

Extras

A few decent extras spread out over the four discs and each one is a product of their time, especially the vignettes showcasing the talents.

Overview

Much better than it has any right to be, this is a great collection and a reminder that no matter how bad a reputation an era has, there will always be those matches and moments that stand out and make you realise that it wasn’t as horrible as you remember or were told.

The matches on show range from those with curiosity value only to stunning pieces of action, while the segments are a times hilarious, dramatic or emotional (with the ousting of Bobby Heenan managing to be all three), but always entertaining.

At four discs and over 11hrs in content, this is very good value for money and, if nothing else, you need to buy it to ensure the later years are released in the future.

Points: 8/10

Buy It:

UK: DVD

USA: DVD

Canada: DVD

Tags

  • Murdock

    I thought Bret vs Bam Bam Bigelow and Doink vs Marty Jannetty were pretty good and quite underrated.

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