Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 12/27/93

*** 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! ***

raw_12-27-93_1

Monday Night Raw #45

December 27, 1993 (Taped December 13, 1993)
Mid-Hudson Civic Center
Poughkeepsie, NY
Announcers: Vince McMahon, Jacques & Pierre

1) Lex Luger defeats Barry Horowitz with a superplex at 4:26

Scott: The fact that the World Tag Team Champions, the Quebecers are on commentary makes this entire show ten times more entertaining. At this point there’s no doubt that Lex Luger was Vince’s guy to win the Rumble, go to MSG on March 20 and become the WWF Champion. The crowd was definitely into Luger so it wasn’t totally out of the realm of possibility. I love that the Quebecers are speaking French on the air over Vince’s commentary. They should have been on more often. The match is of course a squash, because Luger is the top dog right now. He’s facing Jacques this weekend on Superstars so of course Jacques is ripping him throughout the match, saying he needs to oil himself up because he has no physique. Grade: DUD

JT: Well, it has been a long winding road throughout 1993 but here we are at the final episode of Raw of its inaugural calendar year. We have seen many stars come and go and lots of fun angles, memorable moments and some really… well, interesting stuff. We kick off the the 1993 finale fittingly with one of the year’s most visible stars in Lex Luger. When Raw premiered, Luger was just preparing to debut as the Narcissist. Almost twelve months later, he is now positioned as the top face of the promotion. That said, despite his position, he is amazingly in danger of not being part of the marquee Royal Rumble match in a few weeks due to a stipulation he agreed to prior to SummerSlam. He battles our old buddy Barry Horowitz here and the action is what you would expect, but the true highlight is our audio accompaniment as the Quebecers are this week’s guest announcers. And it is glorious. As Vince is trying to call the match, they are just covering in French and disregarding him, mainly because Pierre doesn’t speak English apparently. Vince and Jacques discuss Luger’s goal of competing in the Rumble and then announce that the Quebecers will be defending their Tag Team Titles against Bret and Owen Hart in Providence. Jacques laughs that off and also jokes about his match with Luger this coming weekend. Horowitz begs off a bit and tries to outwit Lex and actually controls for a quite a bit, but ultimately it is to no avail as Luger makes a quick comeback on Barry and nabs the win with a superplex. Lex continues to make his case but at this point he is still on the outside looking in. Of course, you can get your vote in now on the Opinion Poll hotline! Grade: DUD

*** We head back to October 25 with highlights of the Marty Jannetty vs. 1-2-3 Kid match that ended thanks to interference from Johnny Polo. Polo then joins us for a live interview and talks about his promises that he can defeat both Jannetty and the Kid at the same and will take out “Marty Confetti” tonight. ***

2) Johnny Polo defeats Marty Jannetty by blocking a sunset flip at 6:22

Fun Fact: This match was announced last week on Raw during the Headshrinkers match. McMahon announced that Polo would face Jannetty and that the Quebecers would be joining him on commentary.

Scott: This is actually a great match as Polo is a former WCW Light Heavyweight who’s currently managing the Tag Team Champions but after what happened with that 1-2-3 Kid vs. Jannetty match from October where Polo interfered against both of them, the Rocker gets his revenge. It’s announced here that the Quebecers will face the rehabilitated Owen & Bret Hart for the Tag Team Titles at the Royal Rumble. Vince is hilarious here, getting frustrated that Jacques and Pierre are talking French over his commentary. You knew because Jannetty is just fodder that Polo was going to win this match with nefarious means. The visual of the theme blasting while Polo and the Quebecers are celebrating afterwards was pretty awesome. Afterwards referee Joey Marella kicked Pierre out of the broadcast booth. I didn’t know referees had that kind of power. The match was fun. Grade: **

JT: This has been such a fun mini feud. Johnny Polo was so good in this role because of his versatility. He was really good as a manager, he was very funny in promos and interviews and he could step in the ring and deliver when called upon as well. The ongoing battles between Polo, Jannetty and Kid have slowly unfolded but were executed well and this feels like a well built match to close out the year. Polo has talked lots of trash and it is time to see if he can do it in the ring. Polo plays some mind games to start before they finally lock up and Johnny shows off a bit with a standing switch and hip toss. Jacques played it up as Polo sent Jannetty flying across the ring again, but Marty finally cut that off and went to work. Jannetty would grab a near fall and then started to work the arm but Polo outsmarted him again, ducking a charge and causing Marty to crash hard to the floor. Polo then took to the air and dove out into Marty as Jacques kept cheering him on, dubbing it “PoloMania”. Jannetty recovered and jumped over the top rope and into the ring, careening into Polo for a two count. Vince jokes that the Quebecers could lose the titles at the Rumble and then end up at Neverland Ranch. That is a pretty loaded statement. Marty unloads a back elbow and then spikes Polo to the mat before heading up top. However, Polo met him up there and attempted a superplex that the Rocker managed to block. He would shove Polo to the mat and hit a high cross body for two. Jannetty would dropkick Polo over the top rope and Pierre came over to help but Marty dropkicked them into each other. Pierre would recover and scamper around the ring to trip up Marty but that backfired as he caught Polo trying to sneak attack him. Marty headed back up top but Pierre pulled Polo to the floor. Marty was finally fed up and dove into Pierre off the top. Jannetty popped up and tried a sunset flip back into the ring, but Polo dropped down and grabbed Pierre for leverage to pick up the big upset victory. This was a lot of fun and played perfectly as the douchebag heels just kept fucking with Jannetty until they finally stole a win over him. Polo did his job well, flashing enough to make the match watchable but not going all out. The Quebecers would celebrate at the announce table until the referee came over and tossed Pierre out of the booth. Too little, too late Marty! Polo grabs the win but this feud seems to be far from over. Grade: **

3) Doink defeats Spike Gray with a German suplex at 1:04

Scott: I just noticed that throughout most of 1993 that Vince totally screwed up the jobber’s names. He just called Spike Gray “Mike”. That’s not the first time he’s done that this year. Of course Dink is now seconding Doink to the ring, and this was a super quick squash. That means I don’t have to look at Dink that long. Grade: DUD

JT: And after that greatness we are saddled with Doink and Dink. Talk about the difference a year makes, Doink is a prime example. A cunning, devious, unique heel early the year was stripped down, diluted and made into a dopey joke by Christmas. Jacques rips on Jack Tunney and tells him to get Luger’s steel plate out of his arm if he wants to get involved in things. Doink would get an assist from his sidekick to fuck with Spike Gray before he Clown swiftly knocks off his opponent with a midget assisted German suplex. What a sad state of affairs. Grade: DUD

*** Todd Pettengil is in the house with our Royal Rumble report. The Rumble is just over a few weeks away and since the Providence Civic Center is already sold out, the only way to see the show is on PPV. Here are the matches discussed:

Royal Rumble Match: Bret Hart, Crush, Kamala, Owen Hart, Doink, Mabel, Scott Steiner, Shawn Michaels, Diesel, Adam Bomb, Bam Bam Bigelow, Randy Savage, 1-2-3 Kid, Fatu, Samu, Rick Steiner, Bob Backlund & Greg Valentine
Undertaker vs. Yokozuna – WWF Championship Casket Match
Razor Ramon vs. IRS – WWF Intercontinental Title Match
Quebecers vs. Bret & Owen Hart – WWF Tag Team Title Match

More Rumble names to come, but for now this is what we got. Call your cable company today so you don’t get locked out because it’s time to Rumble! ***

4) Crush defeats Mike Moraldo with the Cranium Crush at 2:14

Scott: I love that when they showed Mike Moraldo on camera he looked so confident and thrilled, that he’s about to get the crap beat out of him. Crush is moving up the heel ladder. I wonder if Crush (or Randy Savage) was considered Rumble favorites? In particular Savage, who was finally back on the regular wrestling circuit, was someone that could be in the main event at WrestleMania. Perhaps? Nah, it’s all about Luger right now. Crush wins easily. Grade: DUD

JT: Next up is our weekly visit from Crush. At least it seems to be weekly ever since he turned heel. Vince notes that both Crush and his archival Randy Savage will be in the Rumble match so we are sure they will cross paths there. Jacques blames Savage for messing up their Survivor Series match and then Vince needles him about the big Rumble Tag Title match. Vince also mentions that Savage is back in the ring full time but has also now been cleared to work Mania with Pettengil. Crush batters Moraldo and forces him to quit with the Cranium Crush. The man from Kona keeps rolling on as we all await his huge collision with the Macho Man. Grade: DUD

*** We visit the Undertaker’s workshop where he and Paul Bearer continue to assemble the double wide, double deep casket for the Royal Rumble along with levying threats at Yokozuna. We then head back to this past weekend on All American Wrestling where Alundra Blayze knocked off Heidi Lee Morgan to win the reinstated WWF Women’s Championship in a tournament final. After that we get a quick vignette alerting us of the impending debut of the mysterious Kwang. ***

5) Razor Ramon defeats Derek Domino with the Razor’s Edge at 3:53

Scott: As they pan through the crowd and I’m looking at some of the fans and wow the WWF had some of the ugliest t-shirts. Thank God they got better merchandising people as time went on. Razor comes out with the title but not with the gold chains, which were swiped by IRS. IRS will get an IC Title shot at the Royal Rumble so perhaps the gold will return. The matches on this week’s show were pretty awful, but at least Jacques on commentary was hilarious and made it entertaining. Grade: DUD

JT: We wrap things up this week with our Intercontinental Champion Razor Ramon in action against Derek Domino. Razor has the gold around his waist but the usual gold around his neck is stashed away in the Halliburton of IRS still. Razor has been a true Raw workhorse throughout 1993, rarely missing a week. Jacques is really funny here with loads of cheesy jokes and ball busting. He also insinuates that Ramon has an affair going on with Fidel Castro’s wife. Ramon dominates the match and nails the Razor’s Edge for the win. Grade: DUD

Final Analysis

Scott: This was a throwaway taped episode with some forgettable squashes but some fantastic commentary from the Quebecers saved the episode. The first year of Monday Night Raw is in the books and it’s a very different roster than it was in January. Hulk Hogan is gone, and the rest of the roster of young studs has definitely stepped up. Will 1994 will go down as one of the more surprisingly exceptional years in WWF history? Heels are dominating right now, but we are soon into WrestleMania season. Let’s get it on. Final Grade: D

JT: We end 1993 with a forgettable episode of Raw that seemed to exist solely to kill time during the holiday week. It was a few weeks old at this point anyway and the only match of note was a mid card feud that involved a manager. The commentary was quite funny and helped keep the episode from dragging but in ring it was not good at all. There was also very little angle development outside of Vince and Jacques discussing the key issues. The first year of Raw has had many ups and downs and while we enter 1994 with less star power than a year ago, the company seems to set up for a fun WrestleMania season with many of its players established and locked into interesting feuds. See you on the other side! Final Grade: D+

Author: Vintage Vault

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