Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 5/24/93

*** 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 #18

May 24, 1993 (Taped May 17, 1993)
Manhattan Center
New York, NY
Announcers: Vince McMahon, Randy Savage & Bobby Heenan

1) Mr. Perfect defeats Doink the Clown in a King of the Ring Qualifying Match with a Perfectplex at 15:00

Fun Fact: This is the third King of the Ring qualifying match between Mr. Perfect and Doink the Clown. The first match on the May 1 episode of WWF Superstars and the second match on the May 16 episode of Wrestling Challenge both resulted in time-limit draws. This third match was given a no time limit stipulation in order to produce a qualifier.

Scott: We open the show with an illusion, as Doink comes down to ringside but then there’s Lord Alfred outside the Manhattan Center with Doink…standing right next to him. It’s definitely Matt Borne so obviously the Lord Alfred clip was recorded earlier. This is the third match between the two with the winner getting a slot in the PPV tournament. The first two on previous syndicated TV ended in schmozzs and draws. On talent alone, this should be a great match as Borne can go hold for hold with Perfect if need be, and after some punches and kicks Doink starts working on Perfect’s arm. Perfect tries to make comebacks but Doink has been relentless with the cheating and hard strikes. The match continues to roll on when the second Doink comes crawling under the ring from the aisle. Of course the second Doink emerges and starts laying into Perfect, and instead of ignoring it Vince acknowledges that this Doink’s makeup is unsmudged and not coming off. Perfect ends up hitting the Perfectplex for the victory, then the original comes out and both Doinks start laying the business to the winner until Crush comes out to save him. So Perfect is the final piece to the King of the Ring puzzle. After last week’s five star main event, this one is close but not quite, yet still better than anything else we’ve seen recently. Grade: ****

JT: We are not live this week so the arena still feels like it is buzzing from the events of our last episode, which was easily the best so far since Raw kicked off. It was a statement type of episode that announced what Raw could be when delayed appropriately. Time to see if that momentum carries over to this week. We open up with the rubber match between Doink and Mr. Perfect for a highly coveted King of the Ring tournament slot after the two had fought twice to draws. Doink entered first and ducked under the ring as we quickly cut outside to Lord Al Hayes, who is with… Doink? Illusions all over the place! Back ringside, Doink emerged from his hiding spot and as he settled into the squared circle, Mr. Perfect made his way out, looking to hopefully settle this issue and nab that KOTR slot. Doink jumped Perfect coming in the ring and then bealed him across the ring before making lewd gestures with Perfect’s towel. That horseplay cost him as Perfect recovered and laid a tight beating on the clown, working over the leg in the process. Doink tried to hobble away but Perfect kept a hold of the leg, rattling it off the post as we went to break. When we returned, Perfect was still in control and still mauling the leg but Doink turned the tide by landing a kick to the gut when Perfect let his guard down. Still selling the leg, Doink laid in some stiff strikes and then pitched Perfect to the floor, following him with an axe blow off the apron. Perfect laid in a shot as they made their way back in but Doink clobbered him back to the floor before dragging him inside. Perfect recovered a bit and the two traded holds on the mat, showing off their respective amateur skills. I love these matches where Doink gets to showcase his mat skills, it added such a great dimension to his already well developed character. Perfect slipped free and hit a neck snap and then came right at the clown as he begged off. Both men spilled out to the floor with a shrewd tease of another potential draw, but Doink won the tussle and ended up rattling Perfect’s shoulder and arm against the ring post. Doink wrapped up the arm and then slammed Perfect hard on it but Perfect rebounded and leveled the clown with a clothesline. Perfect would pitch Doink outside but as he did, a second Doink snuck down and slid under he ring to hide. As the announcers sorted things out, the Doinks swapped and the new Doink hit the ring and started to work over Perfect. McMahon noted right away that Doink’s paint was restored but things went sideways for the clowns as Perfect grabbed him in the Perfectplex and snuck out the win. Before he could celebrate, the Doinks mobbed him and viciously beat him down. Crush would eventually make the save and while damage was done, Perfect has officially locked up a spot in the big tournament in Dayton. This was a great match with tremendous focus on limb work and on point selling from both. The pacing was real good too as the two had cultivated a smooth chemistry in the ring. This easily could have gone another ten minutes without losing a step. Grade: ***1/2

*** Gene Okerlund is here with our King of the Ring report. Here are the matches discussed:

Bret Hart vs. Razor Ramon – KOTR First Round Match
Jim Duggan vs. Bam Bam Bigelow – KOTR First Round Match

Tatanka vs. Lex Luger – KOTR First Round Match
Mr. Perfect vs. Mr. Hughes – KOTR First Round Match

Hulk Hogan vs. Yokozuna – WWF Heavyweight Title

It is not too early to call and order as the show is less than a month away…so do it…now! ***

2) Money, Inc defeats Mike Bell & Tony DeVito when IRS pinned DeVito with the Write Off at 3:58

Scott: So after kicking it old school and DiBiase gets his shoes shined by some dope in the crowd, the tag team champions make their first Raw appearance in a while by working some stiffs over. The highlight of this match is the inside joke by Bobby when he said “The only thing worse than having the last name Devito is the first name Basil”, referring to a backstage WWF official. The champs win after an IRS flying clothesline. The clock is ticking on their title reign, as the Steiner Brothers are lurking. Grade: *

JT: Our tag team champions are back in the house this week for one of their usual Raw tune up matches. Vince notes that they will be taking part in a big eight man tag at KOTR but doesn’t give specifics. DiBiase takes us back to 1988 by pulling some kid from the crowd to shine his boots for $100. I wonder what his RSPW screen name was? IRS teaches him a tough lesson by taxing the payment and only giving him $30. Still not a bad deal, really. With that done, DiBiase kicks things off with Mike Bell as Heenan lands the DeVito joke that Scott noted above. Pretty funny. The champs make quick work of Bell and DeVito and look towards their KOTR tussle as well as a looming challenge from the red hot Steiner Brothers. Grade: 1/2*

3) Crush defeats Bobby Who with the head vice at 3:22

Scott: Crush has been the butt of a giant joke during this feud with Doink, and we hope at this point that it’s over and he moves on. They do start transitioning the feud out of Doink and into Shawn Michaels, but of course last week’s title change kind of throws a wrench into the mix of that feud. Not much more to say here, just another squash. Grade: DUD

JT: After coming into WWF with a hot push, Crush’s career has really stalled out since entering this feud with Doink. He hasn’t really gotten much shine in and is being made to look like a dope at every turn, getting outsmarted in and out of the ring. He needs a win and a reset badly. Who actually got a few licks in but Crush shrugged them off and wiped Bobby out from there. Vince discussed how Crush and Shawn Michaels wrested to a double countout over the weekend, a result that knocked them both out of the KOTR tourney and hinted that their issue was not yet settled. After cutting Who down with a clothesline on the floor, Crush hammered a way for a bit longer before locking in the head vice for the win. This is a key time for Crush’s development as a top level player as he is now embroiled in two big feuds and desperately needs to emerge victorious from at least one of them. Grade: DUD

*** Vince McMahon welcomes Razor Ramon to the ring for a chat. We start off with highlights of his embarrassing upset loss to The Kid last week. Ramon denies losing, takes shots at the Kid’s stature, says he doesn’t know or care what his name is and then offers $2,500 for a rematch. Talk then turned to KOTR but before they got started, Bret Hart sauntered out and led the crowd in a “1-2-3” chant before busting Razor’s balls about his loss and obsession with the Kid instead of focusing on the tournament. Ramon then flipped out as Hart walked off. ***

4) Adam Bomb defeats Phil Apollo with a powerbomb at 3:24

Fun Fact: Bryan Clark made his pro wrestling debut in the AWA in 1989 under the name The Nightstalker. He moved on to WCW in 1991 when the AWA folded and then on to Smoky Mountain wrestling. He signed on with the WWF in the spring of 1993 and began wrestling under the name Adam Bomb, a character who was a survivor of the Three Mile Island nuclear accident. He makes his MNR debut here tonight.

Scott: One of my favorite characters of the “New Generation” makes his Raw debut here with his iconic manager, Johnny Polo. I was a big Adam Bomb fan immediately as another great big heel to counter guys like Undertaker and such. Phil Apollo has been as much of a Raw mainstay as the actual superstars on the roster, as he’s put over a myriad of guys since the show started. Bomb had the great look, great tights and a great manager. Grade: DUD

JT: We wrap up this week’s show with the Raw debut of a new character, Adam Bomb. He is led to the ring by the eclectic Johnny Polo, who Bobby Heenan immediately puts over as a close friend. Bomb was a massive dude with a good look and…interesting gimmick. He certainly has the tools and the mouthpiece but we will see how he evolves. Before he makes his way out, we see Bobby flipping channels as usual. And man it makes you remember what TV was like in 1993. In a fun bit, he stops on a channel that shows Johnny Polo backstage warning of Bomb’s impending appearance. Apollo never stood a chance here as Bomb battered him from corner to corner and then folded him up with a back suplex. Vince kept harping on the Kid/Ramon upset and also shilled tickets for next week’s show before pimping the newest USA World Premier move: Duplicates. Bomb eventually finished off Apollo with a flying clothesline off the top and a powerbomb, winning in fairly impressive fashion. Grade: 1/2*

*** Bam Bam Bigelow joins us from backstage to hype his big Intercontinental Title match with Marty Jannetty next week. ***

Final Analysis

Scott: This episode may not have had as much sizzle as last week’s, but we do have a great opener with Perfect and Doink, with Perfect filling the last tournament slot. Razor Ramon tried to get some of his dignity back by buying it, but Bret Hart comes out to put over his match at KOTR by dressing him down. They had a great match back at the Royal Rumble and there’s no reason why their rematch wouldn’t be equally as good. The Raw debut of Adam Bomb and his awesome manager Johnny Polo makes this a personal favorite episode for me. Oh and the WWF Champion decides to show up for a quick three minute TAPED appearance after not showing up on TV since that farce in Las Vegas. That’s probably our only build for the title match at KOTR, thanks for the three minutes. This was a decent episode of Raw, but not as good as last week’s. Final Grade: B-

JT: The WWF had a tough task following up last week’s outstanding installment of Raw but they did a pretty damn good job of giving it a go. The opening match was really good, one of the best in Raw history so far, and the rest of the show flowed right along without a bump. All three squash matches were short and serviceable and the Ramon/Hart interview packed a lot of build across two feuds into just an effective few minutes. They also worked in a lot of build and hype for both KOTR and next week, making this a very effective 45 minutes. That is all you can ask for out of a televised wrestling program at that point. Final Grade: B