Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 10/25/93

*** Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh reviews are a chronological look back at WWE PPV and TV history that began with a review of WrestleMania I. The PICs have revisited these events and refreshed all of their fun facts that provide insight into the match, competitors and state of the company as well as their overviews of the match action and opinions and thoughts on the outcomes. In addition, Jeff Jarvis assists in compiling historical information and the Fun Facts in each of the reviews. Also, be sure to leave feedback on the reviews at our Facebook page. Enjoy! ***

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Monday Night Raw #37

October 25, 1993 (Taped October 18, 1993)
Mid-Hudson Civic Center
Poughkeepsie, NY
Announcers: Vince McMahon & Bobby Heenan

1) Crush defeats Phil Apollo with the cranium crunch at 2:49

Scott: One week after the traitorous betrayal of Randy Savage and the injuries suffered in the beatdown, Crush and his new manager Mr. Fuji come out to abuse Raw jobber Phil Apollo. Savage is not at ringside due to the lacerated tongue he suffered in the beatdown. It was evident while Crush spent the summer off camera that he trimmed down a bit and looks in much better shape than when he was a babyface with those bright orange tights. From a storyline perspective it makes sense because Razor Ramon switched to babyface, so we needed a heel to replace him. Razor is crazy over as Intercontinental Champion, so Crush needs to be a badass. The new purple tights and face paint certainly fits the new personality. Crush wins the squash and lays some kicks into Apollo post-match. Grade: DUD

JT: We are back in Poughkeepsie and on tape this week and are still feeling the aftershocks from last week’s Savage/Crush Summit. It was a wild scene that saw Crush’s anger boil over and end in a vicious attack on his former buddy. With Savage now sidelined thanks to a lacerated tongue, Crush is out here to open the show, sporting a new look, some face paint and being joined by his official new manager Mr. Fuji. Phil Apollo needs the Blow-A-Way diet and some more flattering attire. He gives it a go but it is futile as Crush wears him down with his power and, ahem, martial arts based strikes. As Scott mentioned, Crush definitely lost some of his bloating during his time off and seems to be moving a bit better now. As much as the Crush heel turn was needed, he really was quite over earlier in the year and the company seemingly missed their window to make him into a main event level star. The Doink feud just stunted his momentum and necessitated the turn, which was really was so well done. Crush grabs his first win as a heel with his Cranium Crunch. Grade: DUD

2) 1-2-3 Kid and Marty Jannetty wrestle to a double count out at 13:00

Fun Fact: On the 9/21 episode of All-American Wrestling, these two babyfaces wrestled for the first time, with Jannetty winning after the Kid missed a dive through the ropes and was counted out. Following the match, Jannetty help the Kid back into the ring and the two hugged each other.

Scott: These two babyfaces are working together as a team at Survivor Series, but in this instance we can get a good match out of the youngster and the experienced veteran. Jannetty has settled into the role as veteran mid-carder and is going to put over and work with the other young workers. After the spike in his career with the May upset of Razor Ramon, Kid has settled back into the role of lower mid-carder. Midway through a pretty decent match Johnny Polo comes to ringside. Polo slammed both guys in a promo before the match as “losers”. Vince and Bobby surmise that he is scouting both guys, in particular the Kid. Polo has tripped both guys during Irish whips and continues to bash them as bums and that he could beat them with his hand tied behind his back. The match settles in with more grappling moves, and sadly if Polo wasn’t at ringside this probably would have been a much better match with more of a flow. Both guys start picking the pace up late and the referee gets knocked out. Polo interferes and throws Jannetty into the post, making Kid miss his plancha move to the floor. Due to this, the match sadly ends in a double countout. Polo tries to leave triumphantly but Marty and Kid catch up and both guys lay the business into Polo in the ring. A double thrust kick knocks Polo to the floor. A great match ended poorly but the beatdown made up for it. Grade **

JT: This is a nice little surprise and quite the treat here tonight. Marty Jannetty and 1-2-3 Kid were in the middle of a little friendly rivalry and Kid was looking to even up the score. Before the match we get a quick prom from Johnny Polo as he mocks both guys and claims he could beat them both with his arms tied behind his back. Vince also mentions that these two will be teaming up come Survivor Series, but we will cover that more later. Both Kid and Jannetty get warm welcomes from the fans and on paper this has sneaky potential to be one of the best bouts we have seen this year. After some feeling out, Jannetty was the first to grab a hold but Kid came right back and worked the arm. Bobby Heenan has been pretty funny all night as earlier he was mocking Savage’s busted tongue by doing impressions and now he was was putting over Polo’s athletic ability. A quick flurry ended with another stand off and some applause from the crowd as these two friends seem to know each other’s offense quite well. Kid got the first near fall but things reset again, allowing Marty to grab a side headlock but Kid slipped free and hit a flash leg drop for another near fall. Kid kicked away but Jannetty caught him on a leapfrog and powerbombed him for two. As Jannetty got to his feet, Polo sauntered out to ringside and mugged for the camera. Following a break, Polo tripped up Jannetty and Kid took advantage, grabbing a two count. Kid kept using his kicks and leg drops to force Jannetty on his back but got a little too ahead of himself and missed a moonsault off the top rope. As Jannetty worked over Kid, Polo told the camera he could beat both guys and the proceeded to trip up Kid. Jannetty glared at him and went for the cover anyway. Jannetty grabbed hold of the arm and seemed to be in control but out of nowhere, Kid nailed him with a bridging German suplex for a close near fall. Marty recovered and got a bit more aggressive but Kid was able to reverse a whip and shoot him into the referee by accident. With the official down, Kid dropkicked Marty to the floor but Polo was able to drag Marty out of the way as Kid charged and he ended up missing a wild moonsault dive, crashing hard on the floor. The referee recovered and the match ended up being a double countout. That miss by Kid was nuts. Polo laughs and celebrates and struts off but Marty caught up to him and pitched him back into the ring. Kid and Marty would get some revenge with a brief attack before kicking Polo to the floor. Well, this wasn’t quite as good as it could have been because just as it was getting dialed up, the storyline took over and much of the attention was on Polo mugging at ringside. There were a couple of really neat spots and Kid’s dive to the floor was a rough one but overall it just never really got going. That said, this is a pretty fun little feud that is brewing and you can tell the hierarchy thought highly of Polo at this point. Grade: **

*** Jeff Jarrett is back again this week and this time he is hanging around a Nashville strip mall, talking about politics of the country music business. Thus, he has sought out Buddy Lee, the top publicist in the world. He first promises to prove that he is the greatest wrestler in the world by taking out Undertaker, Mr. Perfect, the Steiners and others. And then he will return here and Buddy Lee will beg and plead him to sign a deal with his company once he sees the stardom of Jarrett. ***

3) Ludvig Borga defeats Mike Bucci by submission with the backbreaker at 3:45

Scott:The monster from Helsinki is here and mangles the future Hollywood Nova. It is announced that Borga will face Tatanka on this weekend’s Superstars in the battle of the undefeateds. Perhaps this is a good time for Tatanka’s streak to end since the WWF isn’t doing anything with it. Admittedly Borga has been in the perfect spot to siphon Lex Luger off the WWF TItle picture and into this patriotic feud. One of the many things that need to change in the WWF is things like Bobby mentioning that it’s both Minnie Pearl’s and Dave Cowens’ birthdays. The younger WWF fans either don’t know who they are, or don’t care. Borga wins the squash easily and afterwards talks to Bobby and says he will end the Native American’s streak this weekend. Grade: DUD

JT: Ludvig Borga is back on the scene this week and he wastes absolutely no time in jumping Mike Bucci as the bell sounded. Bucci had zero chance here as Borga is on a mission and has bigger fish to fry, mainly Lex Luger and Survivor Series, but also Tatanka, who he will face this coming weekend on Superstars. That is a massive match of two undefeated stars. Borga mows through Bucci and looks locked in and ready to potentially end Tatanka’s steak. Grade: DUD

*** Bobby Heenan interviews Ludvig Borga at ringside. Borga vows to end Tatanka’s undefeated streak this weekend on Superstars. He also promises to end his career and the American dream. ***

4) Men on a Mission defeat Steve Greenman & Todd Mata when Mabel pinned Mata after a bulldog at 5:33

Scott: We haven’t seen MOM in a while and I don’t remember any of these jobbers. Steve Greenman has one of the worst singlets I’ve ever seen. Vince says that this weekend on WWF Challenge that MOM will get a Tag Team Title shot against the Quebecers. Another example of how things in the WWF need to change. The warm up squashes should be on the weekend, and the title matches should be on your prime time show. This tiresome philosophy will change as Vince realizes that Raw is his flagship show and not the weekend syndies any longer. Of course MOM have minimal ability but they had flashy tights and the rapping got the crowd going as well. The big guys take care of these faceless stiffs and we move on. Grade: DUD

JT: I will say this: Men on Mission brought a hell of an energy to these arenas and the fans loved getting into their entrance routine. Great presence, soft look and… well, not great in the ring. What the fuck is Steve Greenman wearing? Mo kicked things off and took it right to Greenman, including breaking out a clothesline off the middle rope. It seems like we have a big time weekend lined up on the syndicated programs as not only do we have Borga vs. Tatanka but we also will be getting a Tag Team Title match between MOM and the Quebecers on Challenge. Must be sweeps! Mo finally tagged in Mabel, who punished Mata, grounding him and then leaning heavily on his back with a submission hold. MOM would also quick tag a bit and break out some double teams as the crowd chanted “Whoomp, There It Is”. Mabel would eventually polish off Mata with a bulldog to cap off an impressive little win. MOM is now primed to take a swipe at the gold this weekend. Grade: DUD

*** Joe Fowler is back with our Survivor Series Report! The big night is just a month away, and we discuss the following bouts:

Lex Luger, Tatanka & Steiner Brothers vs. Yokozuna, Ludvig Borga & Quebecers
Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Bruce Hart & Keith Hart (w/ Stu Hart) vs. Jerry Lawler & His Knights – Ray Combs will be the special guest ring announcer

Doink, Doink, Doink & Doink vs. Bam Bam Bigelow, Bastion Booger & Headshrinkers
Mr. Perfect, Razor Ramon, 1-2-3 Kid & Marty Jannetty vs. IRS, Adam Bomb, Rick Martel & Diesel

Order now! The anticipation is building and the show will be available only PPV! ***

5) Diesel defeats Dan Dubiel with a right hand punch at 4:02

Scott: Time for the Raw singles debut of Shawn Michaels’ bodyguard. Shawn is still on the outs and the hotline #’s are burning up as to whether he should reinstated. I love how Vince & Bobby would mock the USA live reads for their shows. Silk Stalkings was around in 1993? Wow I didn’t know that. Diesel is big and lumbering but who cares. He’s a beast, but he needs some polishing, as he won the match with a punch. Yeah, that has to change. Grade: DUD

JT: We wrap things up this week with one more squash match featuring Diesel’s first Raw singles bout. Of course, he is embroiled in an issue with Mr. Perfect and Vince also notes that he is gunning for Razor Ramon’s IC Title. In addition to all of this, he has also been banging the drum to have Jack Tunney lift the suspension of his buddy Shawn Michaels. The fans disagreed on the hotline, natch. Diesel ambles his way to a win with a soft looking punch to the dome. The look and potential is there but a lot more polishing is needed… and it probably wouldn’t hurt his chances for success if Michaels comes back sooner than later. Grade: DUD

Final Analysis

Scott: This was a fun episode to get the build going for Survivor Series. Diesel makes his Raw singles debut and is, well, rough. Kid/Jannetty was a fun match, as Marty was in a good groove as a solid mid-card guy who worked with the younger talent. Ludvig Borga was an awesome heel who was bent on destroying Lex Luger and the All American team. Men on a Mission are a typical early 90s babyface team with little ability but fun tights and a crowd friendly attitude. Again the matches were crap but the in between stuff was solid. Final Grade: C+

JT: After a massive episode last week, we take a pretty big dip with this episode. It was filled with aimless squashes and very little storyline direction outside of the Kid/Jannetty match. Even that under delivered for the most part. The Polo stuff was fun but it definitely killed that match. We get some hype for Borga/Tatanka and the Survivor Series card is now fleshed out but otherwise there wasn’t much happening here this week. Hopefully things pick up on our next episode. Final Grade: C-

Author: Vintage Vault

Vintage Vault Reposts are a collection of reviews that Scott and JT have written over the years.