Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 6/28/93

*** 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 #23

June 28, 1993 (Taped June 21, 1993)
Mid-Hudson Civic Center
Poughkeepsie, NY
Announcers: Vince McMahon, Randy Savage & Bobby Heenan

1) Shawn Michaels defeats Kamala to retain WWF Intercontinental Title with a superkick at 11:00

Fun Fact: Tonight we say goodbye to Kamala on WWF TV. He would wrestle on house shows through the end of July before leaving the company. For the next two years, Jim Harris (who played Kamala) would go back to driving a truck before getting back into wrestling and joining WCW. The next time we will see Kamala in a WWF ring on TV is at WrestleMania X-Seven in the Gimmick Battle Royal.

Scott: Wow they will throw anybody up against Shawn for the IC Title. He worked harder than when Hulk Hogan was WWF Champion. Even Marty Jannetty when he was IC Champion for that very short time fit in a title match on Raw. Shawn’s bodyguard officially has a name, and it is Diesel. It’s kind of weird to think about if Kamala had title shots throughout all of the promotions he worked in throughout the 1980s, from World Class to Mid-South to anywhere else around the world. He seemed like one of those novelty gimmicks meant to hunt down babyfaces and not really go after championships. It’s a typical big man/little man match with Kamala using power moves and bear hugs, then Shawn grounds him with the leg. Vince is pimping the July 4 event as big as a PPV, as everybody will be watching and Savage is heavily promoting the charities involved in the event, like Tomorrow Children’s Fund. This match is going longer than I thought it would. Kamala had the match won but did the stupid wrong pin attempt gag, and after Diesel distracted the big guy Shawn superkicked him in the back of the head and retained the title. Grade: *1/2

JT: We are back at it for another week of Monday Night Raw action and this go around we are taped and thus still inside the Mid-Hudson Civic Center. Our favorite Raw workhorse Shawn Michaels is back at it against the fading veteran Kamala. The big man turned face back in the winter but really became a glorified JTTS since then, essentially working as a lower mid card comedy act. But, he was enough of a threat that an IC title match with Michaels doesn’t feel like a complete no brainer for the champ. Michaels was escorted out here by his bodyguard Diesel, a man quickly making his presence known as a force to be reckoned with if you are tussling with the champ. After some early feeling out, Michaels landed the first few shots but Kamala quickly overpowered him before sending his pleading his way into the corner and eventually out to the floor to regroup. Kamala kept laying in chops before slamming the champ and then hooked in a bear hug as the show went to break. When we returned, Kamala still had the hold in and was actually using it to score near falls. Michaels escaped but Kamala dodged a dropkick and went right back on the attack, barreling Michaels hard into the corner but ultimately missed a charge in the corner, hurting his knee in the process. The champ gathered himself and went to work on the leg, keeping Kamala confined to the middle of the ring while softening the big man up. As Michaels kept the pressure on, Vince and Savage promoted the upcoming July 4th Bodyslam Challenge, naming the various athletes that would be partaking. Kamala was finally able to shove Michaels off and regain some control but the damaged wheel kept him limping through his attack. He eventually had Michaels compromised but got confused during the pin cover and had Shawn on his stomach. After some hijinks, Diesel hopped on the apron and ran a diversion, allowing Michaels to pop up and superkick Kamala in the back of the head for the win. Kamala attacked Michaels after the bell but Diesel made the save and left the Ugandan Giant laid out. Considering Kamala was involved, this actually wasn’t that bad. It had some solid limb work and Kamala showed a lot of energy throughout. The crowd was fairly invested too, right up until Diesel got involved. If nothing else, this was a good showcase for Diesel and what his role is in protecting the gold for Michaels. Grade: *1/2

*** Vince McMahon hops in the ring and welcomes out WWF Champion Yokozuna and his manager Mr. Fuji. Vince level sets the Bodyslam Challenge, running through why Fuji and Yokozuna issued the challenge before Fuji reminds us that they have invited athletes from any sport to show up and take a hack at slamming the champ. Fuji confirms that they want to demean American athletes, but McMahon says someone always steps up to the plate and hits a home run when it comes to defending the USA. Fuji reminds us that Hulk Hogan failed at slamming Yoko and Hulkamania is dead and says all of Japan will celebrate his victory. Yoko says that American athletes are just like American products: they are no good. Vince triggers the fans into a “USA” chant and that is that. We then get comments from a few challengers planning to show up Sunday: George Martin (Giants), Jim Campen (Packers) and Tatanka (WWF). ***

2) Smoking Gunns defeat Iron Mike Sharpe & Barry Horowitz when Billy pins Horowitz after the Sidewinder at 4:26

Scott: I know that Vince had a cache of enhancement talent to put guys over, but I honestly didn’t know Canada’s greatest athlete was still with the company this late into 1993. He was on an earlier Raw episode against Mr. Perfect but I thought he was gone after that. This is like an all star jobber team with the iconic Barry Horowitz joining Iron Mike. The Gunns are clearly that kind of tag team that will be world champions at some point. Their finisher is a little sloppy with Bart almost missing Horowitz but they can work on that. The match is typical TV fodder but it’s nice to see two iconic jobbers on screen again. Grade: *

JT: As the Smoking Gunns jogged to the ring, Vince notes that the winner of the Bodyslam Challenge will also receive a red, white and blue Chevrolet pickup truck. The stakes have been risen! The Gunns are still working their way up the ladder and tonight are challenged by a top flight jobber team, and honestly a team that could have been pretty damn good as legit contenders if used right. But, alas, they are nothing more than enhancement players at this point. Billy worked over Mike Sharpe to open things up, and soon enough Bart was doing the same to Horowitz. As Bart whiffed on a cross body and Horowitz leapt into an attack, Savage clarified that the Bodyslam Challenge would not be televised, and the only way to see it was to be live in NYC. The dream quickly died as Bart recovered and hit a flying forearm on Horowitz before tagging in his partner. Billy came in hot, cleaning house on both men before the Gunns finished off Barry with the Sidewinder. Squash city, nothing more to see here. Grade: DUD

*** We revisit last week where 1-2-3 Kid pulled the okie doke on Razor Ramon, knocking the Bad Guy down long enough to escape with the bag filled with $10,000. Vince McMahon then returns to the ring to chat with the former WWF Tag Team Champions Money, Inc. Vince jokes about them not having the gold anymore after losing to the Steiners before IRS reveals that the title match contract guaranteed them a return match for the straps. DiBiase then pivoted and took a shot at Razor Ramon, saying he lost his cool and his money. He would also call him stupid letting things escalate like they did and puts over the Kid for his intelligence in robbing Ramon blind. DiBiase tells him to go to school, perhaps to Michigan like the Steiners, and says he can stand in the ring with a letter jacket and stupid headgear on too. The crowd cheered for Ramon as Money, Inc kept taking shots at him, offering him a job as their maid, before sauntering off. ***

3) Adam Bomb defeats PJ Walker with a powerbomb at 2:13

Scott: After a lengthy Money Inc. promo another well known jobber hits the ring to take on the freak from Three Mile Island and his iconic manager Johnny Polo. The match was a quick squash that barely fit the hour with the long Yokozuna and Money, Inc promos. Grade: DUD

JT: Back to in ring action as the massive Adam Bomb is led to the ring by the very animated Johnny Polo. Old reliable PJ Walker is out there as his opponent and he gets zero offense in as Bomb kicks him off the bell and never relented until winning the bout with a powerbomb. Adam Bomb keeps rolling on, still waiting for his first real rivalry in the promotion. Grade: DUD

4) Crush defeats Bastion Booger with three bodyslams at 5:37

Fun Fact: Tonight we see the return of Mike Shaw. Recall back in April, Shaw debuted as the mad monk, Friar Ferguson. Shaw’s return to the ring is as a slobbish character named Bastion Booger. Allegedly, Shaw was given this character as a punishment for his weight issues.

Scott: So Mike Shaw gets punished because Vince got crap for a religious gimmick, so now he’s…this? He must be pissed off about this because multiple times he no-sold Crush’s fireman’s carry and he seemingly wouldn’t even cooperate back drop for him. The match is a horrible mess with the commentary focusing on the Stars & Stripes Challenge and who can body slam Yokozuna. Also, that Booger has a hump and he smells like moldy fruit. Finally Crush slams Booger three straight times, pumping him up as the possible favorite to slam Yoko on July 4. Grade: DUD

JT: Tongiht’s show wraps up with the Raw debut of Bastion Booger, the newest gimmick for old Mike Shaw. We saw him briefly as Friar Ferguson, but that quickly bombed and drew more heat from outside the world of wrestling than from fans, so he was repackaged… to this. Crush seems to finally have shaken free of the Doinks and now his sights set on slamming Yokozuna on the Intrepid. Booger laid in some clubbing blows, also blocking a slam attempt, but Crush shook off the strikes and kicked away at the big guy. He followed with an ugly back drop attempt but Booger regained control and took the flight to the floor. After shoving Crush into the steel steps, Booger pulled him back inside and choked away at him. As Booger grabbed a bear hug, the announcers hyped the Bodyslam Challenge some more, only stopping when Crush finally broke free. Crush finally got himself going, taking Booger over with a fireman’s carry before slamming the gargantuan three times in a row for the win. That match was really bad, one of the worst we have seen on Raw to date, but the finish was really well done. Crush is being prepped as a legit contender to slam Yokozuna on Sunday, so having him slam Booger here gives the fans some hope he can do it on the Intrepid as well. Booger was terrible here. Grade: DUD

*** We get a clip of Randy Savage at the Meadowlands, where he talks with former New York Giants running back Joe Morris, who says he is coming in to slam “Yokozuno” on behalf of “Macho, Giants fans and America”. ***

Final Analysis

Scott: This show is a huge drop off from last week, with the in-ring action fairly unremarkable and at times downright atrocious with sloppy workers and boring power matches. I would never rip Adam Bomb because he was one of my favorite 1993 gimmicks. The focus of the show was to really pump up the Stars and Stripes Challenge on July 4 and the rest was just fluff. Next week’s show will be very important as it’s live and the day after the event on the Intrepid. So we will blow this off as a throwaway taped show to get everyone ready for the big live show next week. Final Grade: D+

JT: This was not a very good show. They did a hell of a job hyping up the Stars & Stripes Challenge but that was about it. The only other segment of interest was Money, Inc ripping Razor Ramon to seemingly trigger a very interesting and unlikely feud. The in ring action sucked pretty bad on this episode, with the two non squash matches coming up very flat. And like I said above, the main event may be the worst match we have seen to date. Without the Intrepid hype, this would have been a real throwaway, but at least that made this episode somewhat worthwhile. Final Grade: D+