Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 12/6/93

*** 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 #42

December 6, 1993 (Taped November 29, 1993)
Westchester County Civic Center
White Plains, NY
Announcers: Vince McMahon & Bobby Heenan

Fun Fact: Tonight our hearts ache as we say goodbye to Bobby Heenan. He has been a fixture in the WWF since 1984 when we was brought in from the AWA by McMahon. He served as a manager from ’84 to ’91 and as a commentator until here in late ’93. He did sporadic managerial duties during this time, including managing Ric Flair as the Real World Champion when he came into the WWF. Heenan was having issues with his neck along with the long work hours, so he decided he was going to retire and spend time with his family. Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon came up with the idea for the closing of the show where Heenan was literally thrown out of the arena by Monsoon.

Shortly after he left the WWF, WCW contacted him about coming in. He hesitated, but took the job after finding out about WCW’s lighter schedule. Heenan would return to the WWF at WrestleMania X-Seven in 2001 to call the gimmick battle royal with Gene Okerland. He is regarded by many as one of the best, if not the best, wrestling manager of all time.

1) Shawn Michaels defeats 1-2-3 Kid by disqualification at 15:00

Fun Fact: Last week on Raw, Shawn Michaels interfered in the match between Razor Ramon and Diesel. In the aftermath of the match, Michaels was going for a piledriver on the IC title belt when the 1-2-3 Kid came out to make the save.

Fun Fact II: This is Shawn Michaels’ first match on Monday Night Raw since he defeated Marty Jannetty on the July 19 episode.

Scott: This is going to be an exceptional opening match. Shawn Michaels made his big return last week after suspension and almost piledrove Razor Ramon through the IC belt. Shawn now has his own IC belt and is calling himself the Intercontinental Champion because he was never pinned, rather Jack Tunney stripped him of the title. That is the storyline that Michaels and Razor will battle with through 1993 into 1994. What we have to remember is that Razor Ramon is also feuding with IRS. One of the best moves in this bout came when a stunned Michaels caught the Kid in mid air and power slammed him outside to the floor. Shawn keeps working the Kid over until he tries a superplex and then Kid throws him to the canvas. Bobby keeps making fun of Kid, saying that he’s still a toddler but he’s recovering from everything the former IC Champion throws at him. After some two counts, both guys hit noggins and drop to the canvas. The crowd is a little gassed due to it being the second show of the night and sadly this match deserves some more juice. Kid goes for his top rope finisher and hits it, but Michaels kicks out. Eventually Michaels gets control and actually hits a Razor’s Edge but lifts Kid’s head during the count and hits ANOTHER Razor’s Edge. He goes for a third one but the Intercontinental Champion comes out to save Kid, essentially ending the match. Razor runs Michaels to the back but the Bad Guy gets cheap shotted by Diesel. Shawn beat Razor down, and he actually hits Razor with the Razor’s Edge on the concrete. Then he comes back out and hits ANOTHER one. This was great storyline development to set up one of 1994’s biggest feuds. Grade: **

JT: We are coming to on tape this week, still inside the Westchester County Civic Center and open things up with a pretty big match. Of course, this bout was inked a week ago when Shawn Michaels attacked Razor Ramon during a match with Diesel and the 1-2-3 Kid made the save. We haven’t seen Michaels in a Raw ring in  over four months but he looks to be in better shape than when we last saw him. Before the match he reminds that he claims to still be the undisputed IC Champion thanks to his suspension and having never actually been pinned. Razor Ramon obviously disagrees so we will keep an eye on that. The match started with a fast pace and a flurry of offense by both men that ended with Michaels regrouping on the floor. Kid followed after him with a nice springboard cross body and then back inside he snapped off a German suplex into a bridge for a near fall. Kid slowed things down with a side headlock but Michaels broke the hold and turned the tide, clubbing him with right hands before whipping him to the floor with a flying headscissors. On the floor, Kid reversed a whip and sent Michaels hard into the ring post but when he tried another reckless dive, Michaels caught him and took him to the floor with a hard powerslam. After a break, Michaels was working Kid over with backbreakers in the ring, Kid would fend off Michaels on the top rope to block a superplex but when he came off with a missile dropkick, Michaels met him with a dropkick of his own. Michaels focused in on the lower back again, hitting another backbreaker and then holding Kid there on his knee. Kid kicked free and rallied for a moment until the two men collided in the center of the ring. Kid recovered first and rattled Michaels with kicks before hitting a top rope moonsault for two. Kid headed right back up again but came up empty on a somersault senton as we take a second break. Upon returning, Michaels was back in control and looked to add insult to injury as he dropped Kid with a Razor’s Edge. However, Michaels wasn’t done and he picked up the Kid during the pin cover. He would hit another Edge but before he could levy any more punishment, Razor Ramon showed up and pulled the Kid to safety. Michaels confronted Ramon and slapped him in the face, causing Razor to chase him around the ring and into the aisle. Michaels would trip and crawl toward the entrance but as Ramon got closer, Diesel punched him in the head through the curtain. Michaels pounced, choking Ramon out with his own shirt and then dropping him on the floor with a pair of Razor’s Edges. This was a damn good match and segment that added a ton of heat to the feud over the Intercontinental Title. I love how Kid and Diesel are involved here too and everything has been booked really well since Michaels returned. Diesel has been rejuvenated and seems important again and Kid is being elevated as a result of things as well. The match was strong and with a true hot finish it could have climbed even higher but the finish we got was exactly what this feud needed. Michaels is back and suddenly Razor Ramon has a major issue on his hands. Grade: ***

2) The Quebecers defeat Bert Centeno & Brian Walsh when Pierre pins Centeno with the Tower of Quebec at 4:26

Scott: The Tag Team Champions have their first Raw match in a while against the usual jobber fare. Pierre and Luger had a great match a few weeks before which showed he was just as good a wrestler as Jacques is. The tag division is a little flat right now, as the Steiners are really the only team at the level of Johnny Polo’s charges. Polo is sitting in a beach chair outside relaxing while the champs handle these two bums. After the win, Pierre clotheslined Bert Centeno out of the beach chair, which was pretty cool actually. Grade: DUD

JT: We are back from break and a breather after out wild last segment and it is time to be visited by our tag team champions the Quebecers. Johnny Polo leads out the champs as always and actually sets up a lawn chair at ringside and reads a polo magazine as the match kicks off. We get more banter over Gorilla Monsoon as Bobby takes dig after dig at him while Vince claims Monsoon is on his way to Raw as we speak. Jacques tries to fuck with Bert Centeno a bit but Centeno smacks him in the face, dropkicks him and then scurries over and tags in poor Brian Walsh. Walsh gives it a go and then tags Centeno back in and that was the beginning of the end. The Quebecers double teamed Centeno, and beating on him with clubbing forearms and slams as well. Jacques would plant Centeno with a piledriver and then tagged in Pierre so they could unleash the Tower of Quebec for the victory. Polo would hop in the ring with his lawn chair and the champs sat Centeno in just so Pierre could clothesline him out of it. Wonderful douchebaggery by the champions as always. Grade: DUD

*** Vince McMahon interviews Owen Hart and asks for his thoughts about Bret Hart winning Superstar of the Year. Owen says it was great that Bret was rewarded but he wants to know when he will win an award as he has always stood behind his brother and promises he will reveal a surprise that will get everyone talking about him as well. ***

3) Doink the Clown defeats Tony DeVito with the Whoopee Cushion at 5:58

Fun Fact: We have already seen Claude Giroux in the WWF before, playing the role of the Macho Midget. However, here he makes his Raw debut in the role he is most known for, Dink the Clown, sidekick to Doink. On the November 27 episode of Wrestling Challenge, Dink was given to Doink as a present from Santa Claus.

Scott: Do we really need close ups of Dink? He is one ugly little turd. I like that Bobby Heenan said Dink should be hanging off his rear view mirror. So this is what Doink matches turned in to? Midget parlor tricks? Vince and Bobby are pretty much ignoring the match and talking about the Razor/Shawn situation. This match is horrendous and is way too long, not helped by having to deal with Dink and that nonsense. Mercifully the match ends. Grade: DUD

JT: Sigh. As we saw a week ago, Jack Tunney decreed that the multiple Doink shenanigans were officially to end. No more clones or multiples or mind games from the Clowns. And then Santa Claus showed up and gave Doink the gift of a midget doppleganger named Dink. And here we are. With Matt Borne long gone and Dink on the scene, all of the vestiges of the great original evil clown gimmick are gone. And that sucks. It sucks almost as much as Dink. Bobby gets a funny line in here asking if Doink’s opponent is Basil DeVito. The Clown did his usual mat work on DeVito, frustrating and grinding him, while Dink danced and did clown things on the apron. Vince brings up Monsoon again, saying he may be right and that Heenan is not a nice person. At least Doink still worked a pretty aggressive style here at this point, breaking out some amateur holds on the mat and tossing DeVito around with suplexes while also mocking his portly opponent. This squash edged on way too long as Doink finally picked up the win with the Whoopee Cushion after nearly six minutes of action. Vince reminds us that Bam Bam Bigelow and Luna Vachon still want revenge on Doink, so yeah that feud is definitely rolling on. Grade: DUD

*** We head back to Nashville for another visit with Jeff Jarrett. Jarrett is walking down the street bitching to some random guy wearing suspenders, a bowtie and a bowler hat. Jarrett ambles up to a gift shop and chats up Waldo the Country Sax outside the building. He then reminds us of his grand plans to rename the WWF the JJF before returning to Nashville to become a mega star. Jarrett wraps up by telling his buddy to give Waldo a dollar. ***

4) Crush defeats Tony Roy with a stun gun at 4:10

Scott: Led to the ring by Mr. Fuji, Crush works over another stiff, while we get a promo announcing that Macho Man is back as an official superstar and next week will face Fatu in his first match. Vince is throwing Jack Tunney under the bus by saying is probable no one agrees with his decision about suspending Savage as an announcer. You know this issue with Crush will end up at WrestleMania. Grade: DUD

JT: Wrapping things up this week is Crush, who is still deeply embroiled in his feud with the Macho Man. Before the match was find out that Savage will return to the ring next week on Raw as he will battle Fatu. Back in the arena, Mr. Fuji leads out Crush for his bout with Tony Roy. As Crush beats on Roy, Savage calls in from the United Kingdom. He credits Jack Tunney for the wake up call and he is happy to be back in action and out of the broadcast booth. He also discusses his match next week and thanks the fans for their support. Heenan prods Savage, saying he is hiding in England instead of confronting Crush here tonight. Savage cuts in and out a bit but promises to show his fans what’s up next week and against Crush. As Savage hangs up, Crush hits a stun gun and finally puts Roy, and the viewers, out of our collective misery. Grade: DUD

*** As Vince McMahon and Bobby Heenan discuss next week’s show, Gorilla Monsoon finally arrives and marches down the aisle and over to the commentary table. Monsoon gets in Heenan’s face and tells him that he won a free trip. He then yanks Heenan up and drags him down the aisle and then finally throws him out of the building along with his bag. Heenan pratfalls a bit outside and then starts to tear up as he longingly looks back at the Civic Center as the show fades out. ***

Final Analysis

Scott: Other than the great storyline advancement with Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon, and the sad exit of Bobby Heenan at the end this wasn’t much of a show. The squashes were boring and the crowd, who was watching their second show of the night was pretty gassed. That Michaels/Kid match would have had a hell of a lot more juice if it was during the live show earlier in the night. At the time, who knew that would be the last time we’d see Bobby Heenan in the WWF until April 1, 2001. He looked legitimately upset at the end and was really crying. It’s sad because he was a major part of all of our childhoods for the last eight years. This show overall was solid, but not as good as last week. Final Grade: C+

JT: This was certainly a memorable installment of Raw. The opening match between the Kid and Shawn Michaels got the show off to a hot start and the angle that closed it was really good and helps keep the feud over the IC Title cooking. We also got more development around Owen Hart as he has promised a big surprise to get his name on the map and some movement in the continuing saga of Savage vs. Crush as well. The Doink match nearly derailed things but the show hung on and survived. The Crush match was pretty bad too but Savage calling made it move along quickly enough. And of course, we close the episode out with one of the most memorable moments in the history of Raw as Bobby Heenan is thrown out of the building by Gorilla Monsoon, drawing an end to their new decade long rivalry and the Brain’s WWF career. It’s sad to watch to the day and these Raws won’t be the same without him. He breathed fresh breath into the booth when he took over for Rob Bartlett in the spring and has been a mainstay ever since. He helped push along feuds and went toe-to-toe with Randy Savage and Vince McMahon week after week. He also progressively became more antagonistic as the weeks went along and in retrospect you can see they were building it all toward this moment where he would finally get his comeuppance. It was was a hell of a run for the Brain and even though we have a few more weeks left in 1993, it is one of a few ways that kind of marks a close to the first “era” of Raw. Final Grade: B