Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 11/15/93

*** 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! ***


Monday Night Raw #40

November 15, 1993 (Taped November 8, 1993)
Fernwood Resort
Bushkill, PA
Announcers: Vince McMahon & Bobby Heenan

1) Razor Ramon defeats Brooklyn Brawler to retain WWF Intercontinental Title with the Razor’s Edge at 2:54

Scott: Big news as the Intercontinental Champion walks down the aisle. First, Shawn Michaels was reinstated by Jack Tunney, and Shawn will replace Jerry Lawler at Survivor Series against the Hart Family. This was Lawler’s infamous case against a teenager who said Lawler raped her. Randy Savage is barred from announcing because he is “unstable” after what happened last week with Crush. That was fantastic television. Razor wins this one easily, so there’s not much more to actually say. Grade: DUD

JT: Welcome back to the beautiful Fernwood Resort as we are on tape this week with a show that could have some big time Survivor Series implications. It is our final Raw before the big tussle in Boston as next week will bring us the Survivor Series Showdown special. We open things up with our IC Champ back in action as Razor Ramon is lined up against the ever present Brooklyn Brawler. Of course, no Randy Savage in the booth this week after he had his huge meltdown and brawl with Crush a week ago. As Ramon heads out, Vince McMahon announces that Shawn Michaels was reinstated by Jack Tunney as revealed on WWF Radio this past weekend. Also, he is replacing Jerry Lawler at Survivor Series due to the King’s legal problems. They quickly brush over that part. What is interesting is that Vince says that Michaels is Ramon’s arch nemesis even though they have not really crossed paths at all to this point. Brawler attacked Ramon off the bell, not even allowing him to get his vest off but Razor quickly made a come back. As Bobby Heenan noted that the IC title is rightfully Shawn’s and not Ramon’s, Razor swiftly finished the Brawler off with the Edge Ramon grabs yet another win but the big story here was all of the major story developments with Shawn Michaels and Jerry Lawler. Grade: DUD

2) Headshrinkers defeat Mike Bucci & Mike Moraldo when Fatu pins Bucci with a top rope splash at 4:25

Scott: Another squash on the horizon. We get a promo for the Survivor Series Showdown this coming Sunday on USA, where Bret Hart finally gets his WWF Title rematch with Yokozuna. Yeah that only took nine months. Speaking of the Hitman, was the last time he was on Raw that week he chased Jerry Lawler up the Manhattan Center catacombs before SummerSlam? So almost four months. That is so bizarre. Same with Undertaker. I never realized that as I’m watching these 1993 Raws. Oh this match is typical Headshrinkers, an ugly mangling of two stiffs. Grade: DUD

JT: Squash city is on tap next as Vince discusses the upcoming Survivor Series Showdown, featuring Bret Hart’s big WrestleMania rematch against Yokozuna, so don’t miss that! Hart also has a big tilt with IRS this weekend on Superstars. The Headshrinkers are set to go for Survivor Series and get one last warmup here against a couple of stiffs. Well, at least one of them may be innovative anyway. Vince also screws up and confuses the jobbers, calling Moraldo “Bucci” and vice versa. The Shrinkers mow right through them with their usual vicious offense as Vince and Bobby mainly run through the hot issues, including the new Heidi Fleiss pajama line. Grade: DUD

*** We head back to Superstars where Lex Luger and the Steiners revealed that the Undertaker would be replacing Tatanka on their team at Survivor Series. Undertaker would come out to the ring and open his robe to reveal a giant American flag sewn on the inside. ***

3) Lex Luger defeats Quebecer Pierre with a running forearm at 13:32

Fun Fact: Last week on Raw, a 1-800 number was presented during the broadcast allowing viewers to vote on who would face Pierre this week. Lex Luger won overwhelmingly.

Scott: Right before the match we get the Superstars clip where the Undertaker took it upon himself to replace Tatanka on the All Americans team at Survivor Series. It makes perfect sense since he is way more over than Tatanka, and with the undefeated streak over, he’s just another mid-card face. As expected the match has its moments but Johnny Polo keeps distracting Luger and Pierre gets the upper hand. Pierre is the bigger, durable half of the Tag Team Champions. Pierre has a great ground and pound offense to work Luger over. I love Savage, but he really hasn’t spoken much the past few weeks anyway. Vince and Bobby together has been really good on commentary and working this match very well. Pierre leans on Luger with a headlock in the middle of the match but Luger lifts him up and drops him. Pierre recovers and hits a piledriver for two. Pierre goes to the top rope and hits some sloppy leg drop for two. They start going punch for punch and Luger gets the advantage and starts hitting some bombs but now Pierre is kicking out. This is a pretty good match even if it is a bit sloppy at times. Luger dumps Polo, then Pierre gets hit with the loaded forearm and Pierre is out cold. Luger wins the match and Bobby is freaking out about the foreign object. Grade: **1/2

JT: Before the bout we got to check out some footage from Superstars and that included the iconic moment of Undertaker joining the All Americans and revealing the giant flag on the inside of his coat. He didn’t fit much on the surface but after the bizarre 1993 he has had, this was a good call to get him into the main event picture. Tatanka was replaceable at this point as his steam was sadly starting to dry up. He had a really busy year and was all over Raw but after a while the idea of someone being undefeated for as long as he was without having a title was a bit much. Ending the streak to put over Ludvig Borga was the right move. Anyway, up next we have the match that fans voted for last week and that is Quebecer Pierre taking on Lex Luger. I like how these Survivor Series teams gave been going at it in solo matches to help push the PPV. Pierre has the wonderful Johnny Polo with him as usual and everything about them is always so merry and joyous. What a trio. Luger got a nice welcome as he sauntered out for the bout and eventually we were under way. Vince pushes the angle along, stating that the Fanatics’ plan is to eliminate members one by one and pondering what the All Americans would do if Luger were eliminated here. Lex goes right at Pierre, smacking him around and picking up a quick near fall before the Quebecer bailed to regroup. Pierre came back in and was able to slug away a bit but he ran into a boot and ate a clothesline before heading outside again. Polo tried to run interference but it backfired as Luger back dropped Pierre on the floor before a break. When we returned, Luger was controlling the arm but Pierre quickly turns the tide and went to work. He would use his weight to grind Luger, leaning on him with a front face lock until Luger broke free and regained momentum. Polo would again get involved and this time it worked as Pierre clobbered Lex from behind, driving him to the floor and slinging him into the stairs. Back inside, Pierre used his weight again, punishing Luger’s back and neck with a variety of basic offense. Heenan made a nice point here too, talking about how Pierre doesn’t care if he wins this match, just that he wants to take Luger out of Survivor Series. Luger would use his power to stand up while in a rear chinlock and drop Pierre back hard to the mat. Pierre recovered and followed with a nice piledriver for a two count and kept the pressure clamped on tight. Lex finally made his comeback, hitting a powerslam and knocking down Polo off the apron. A moment later, Luger pelted Pierre with his loaded forearm for the win. As Pierre is carted out on a stretch, Vince pretty much right away announces that he thinks Pierre may be knocked out of the PPV due to the forearm. This was a surprisingly good little match thanks to some smart structure, aggressive offense from Pierre and a good closing sequence. I was surprised that they kept things clean and never had Jacques come out to get involved until after the match ended. This also now seemingly draws us even as far as prematch eliminations for Survivor Series so we will now see who the Fanatics turn to as far as drawing the teams back even. Grade: **1/2

4) Diesel defeats Sid Garrison with an elbow drop at 3:29

Scott: The big guy ends the show with another squash, but the big news is that Randy Savage is technically back to being active and can go after Crush. Bobby’s jokes are getting a bit old, talking about going to Burger King for Judge “Whoppner’s” birthday party. Ugh. Diesel wins easily. Grade: DUD

JT: We wrap things up with a quick showcase bout for Diesel. Of course, the return of Shawn Michaels is a pretty big one for the big guy as he has been completely rudderless since he vanished. Bobby notes that Reo Rogers and Shawn Michaels will visit the Hart House to interview Stu and Helen at the Showdown next week. McMahon also notes that Randy Savage is free of his constraints thanks to Jack Tunney and he can focus solely on eliminating Crush. Garrison lands a couple of blows but Diesel eventually polishes him off with an elbow drop. Nothing doing here. Grade: DUD

*** Todd Pettengil is in the house with our final Survivor Series Report here on Raw. The following matches are discussed:

Lex Luger, Undertaker & Steiner Brothers vs. Yokozuna, Ludvig Borga & Quebecers
Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Bruce Hart & Keith Hart w/ Stu Hart vs. Shawn Michaels & The Knights
Razor Ramon, Marty Jannetty, 1-2-3 Kid & Mr. Perfect vs. IRS, Diesel, Rick Martel & Adam Bomb
Doink, Doink, Doink & Doink vs. Bam Bam Bigelow, Bastion Booger & Headshrinkers
Rock ‘N’ Roll Express vs. Heavenly Bodies – Smoky Mountain Wrestling Tag Team Titles

Also, the Hotline is opened up now as well, so give that ring with your parents’ permission, of course. We are just about ten days away from this huge night in the sold out Boston Garden so be sure to call your cable company today to get that order in and avoid the rush! ***

*** We head to Nashville for a visit into the private recording studio of Jeff Jarrett. He berates the staff and musicians and then makes his vow to get to the top of the WWF and the country music industry as well. ***

Final Analysis

Scott: I enjoyed this show as we are a week and half out from Survivor Series. Lex Luger is (at the moment) the top babyface in the company, even with the failed SummerSlam match. With Jerry Lawler gone, it seems any Bret Hart stuff is somewhat on the downlow because Lawler isn’t there to do the back and forth. This show also shows that Pierre is a pretty good wrestler and deserves more credit than he gets as a worker. I’m grading this one high because of the Luger/Pierre match and another Diesel sighting. Final Grade: B

JT: Our final Raw before Survivor Series was a pretty effective one. We got more build for the issue between Randy Savage and Crush and a lot of development for the main event as it now looks like Pierre has been eliminated. The squashes were all quick and fine and the show hummed right along for the most part. And on top of it, Luger vs. Pierre was a good TV match that allowed Pierre to showcase his offense a bit. Good outing here on the precipice of Survivor Series. See you at the Showdown! Final Grade: B-