Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 7/19/93

*** 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 #26

July 19, 1993
Manhattan Center
New York City, NY
Announcers: Vince McMahon, Randy Savage & Bobby Heenan

*** We open with highlights of Lex Luger’s press conference to launch his Lex Express bus tour and campaign as he works to secure a WWF World Title match at SummerSlam. ***

1) Shawn Michaels defeats Marty Jannetty to retain WWF Intercontinental Title after Jannetty missed a dive to the floor at 23:00

Fun Fact: The longstanding rivalry between former tag team partners continues here. Recall that back at the beginning of June, Shawn Michaels won the IC title back from Marty Jannetty at a house show with the assistance of new bodyguard, Diesel. On the 7/3 episode of Superstars, Jannetty lost again to Michaels with more interference from Diesel.

Scott: You could say that this feud is a nominee for PWI Feud of the Year, as these guys have had multiple matches from PPV and free TV and all have been really good. Perhaps Shawn’s regaining the title should count there too. This is probably the final encounter for these two and I’m guessing right off the bat that Michaels will probably win this match as the inevitable title match with Mr. Perfect is on the horizon for SummerSlam. After a few minutes we get a phantom finish as Marty Jannetty gets a pin after a DDT but Shawn’s foot was on the ropes that the referee didn’t see. So when we return from break the match is restarted and Michaels starts to take control. Shawn is looking a little beefy compared to (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) the better conditioned Jannetty. Both men actually go back and forth after Shawn did some Ric Flair-like tactics, using the ropes for leverage on a front facelock. Then Marty gets about three or four very close two counts in a row as both men really go at it. This may be the forgotten great match of the set, as most remember the 5/17 match only because Marty won the title at that bout, but this match won PWI Match of the Year. Eventually Marty goes for a throw and Shawn ducks, so Marty goes flying out to the floor. Diesel tosses him back in and Shawn barely pins him to retain the IC Title. It was a really great match and Shawn finally dispatches his former tag team partner. He probably moves on to Mr. Perfect now, or whoever his opponent will be for SummerSlam. Grade: ***1/2

JT: We are back live this week inside the Manhattan Center and waste no time in kicking off the show with a big time rematch between Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty. It was just about two months ago that Jannetty shocked the WWF with a surprise return and upset win to take Michaels’ IC gold. A month after that, Michaels debuted his new bodyguard and regained his strap from his former teammate. Now, Jannetty gets one more crack at it and the fans in NYC were ready for the magic to happen again. Michaels landed the first blow, taking advantage of Jannetty being distracted by Diesel. Jannetty made a quick comeback, reversing a few offensive moves for near falls before sending the champ flying to the floor. When he returned, Michaels was able to grab a tight side headlock but Jannetty escaped and continued to frustrate Michaels by dodging or reversing all of his offense. That is a nice little plot point as Jannetty really does know Michaels quite well and can duck away from his big shots. The champ got dirty and took a cheap shot around the referee but missed a big charge into the corner leading to a flurry from the challenger. Michaels slowed things back down with a back elbow but ate a boot on another hard charge and the challenger followed with a clothesline off the middle rope and DDT for… the win? It sure looked like it but Diesel hopped in the ring and pointed out that Shawn’s foot was on the ropes during the cover.

After a break, everything was sorted out thanks to Bobby Heenan and his monitor and the match was back under way with Jannetty still in control, snapping Shawn over with a suplex for two. Jannetty kept pouring it on, eventually grabbing a sleeperhold but Michaels broke that with a back suplex. The champ landed a stiff back elbow and shoved Jannetty to the floor so he could buy a moment to regroup. He eventually ambled outside as well where he shoved the challenger back into the ring. The two would collide on a criss cross and the force knocked Shawn right back to the floor, where Diesel met him and tried to help him recover. After another commercial, Michaels quickly scurried to the top rope and hit a clubbing blow on Marty for two. Michaels worked to ground Jannetty from there, wrangling him to the mat with a front chancery. Jannetty finally broke free and hit a leaping back elbow for a near fall before reversing a powerbomb into a head scissors takeover. Michaels bounced up and again sprinted to the top rope where he hit a cross body that the challenger reversed for a near fall. Jannetty followed with a rocker dropper but Shawn suckered him in towards the ropes and was able to avoid a flying dive by Marty, who crashed hard outside. With the referee tied up, Diesel pitched Jannetty back inside for Michaels to easily cover for the win. That was a really hot match with great pacing from both guys. They never stopped hustling and Michaels is so good at giving a ton of offense but never looking weak. Jannetty was crisp and on point again too and Diesel was effective without being too involved. The win by Michaels puts this issue to bed finally so he can move on. It will be interesting to see where Jannetty goes from here. This is yet another of the best Raw matches to date as the overall in ring quality has picked up since the late spring. Grade: ***1/2

*** Vince McMahon welcomes Money, Inc to the ring for an interview and immediately busts them up about losing their straps to the Steiner Brothers. IRS reveals that they have a rematch coming up this weekend on Superstars and there will be no referee reversals or payoffs and that the titles are coming home. Ted DiBiase then starts taking shots at Razor Ramon again, calling him a loser and makes fun of him for losing to a nobody punk that stole $10,000 from him. Ramon saunters out to a huge pop as DiBiase keeps ranting and offers Ramon a gig as their toilet cleaner. Ramon says he doesn’t mind working with his hands, but he does for himself and not for DiBiase or IRS. DiBiase then offers him some money before slapping it across his face. Ramon then shoves him down and pitches IRS to the floor as the crowd cheers him on. Money, Inc hops back in the ring and DiBiase vows to embarrass Ramon by challenging 1-2-3 Kid and wiping the mat with him. ***

2) Men on a Mission defeat Rich Myers & Hank Harris when Mabel pins Harris with a big splash at 1:51

Fun Fact: Nelson Frazier (Mabel) and “Bobby” Lee Horne (Mo) make their tag team debut in the WWF here at Men on a Mission. The duo originally got their start in the Pro Wrestling Federation and USWA as the brother tag team, the Harlem Knights.

Scott: A very bright combination of guys make their RAW debut after a couple weeks of vignettes. Two big dudes from the streets with their rapping manager Oscar, Mo and Mabel come out to a pretty good response from the crowd with Oscar’s rapping intro and generic hip-hop music in the background. They make quick work of these two stiffs while the announce guys recap the Razor Ramon/Money, Inc situation that just occurred. An easy squash for their debut win. Grade: DUD

JT: After a few weeks of hype, Men on a Mission make their official in ring debut. Oscar leads Mo and Mabel to the ring rapping and the fans seemed pretty into the whole thing. MOM worked fast, knocking Harris to the floor and then double teaming Myers, including Mabel dropping a big leg on him. Harris eventually made his way back in as the crowd chanted “Whoomp, There It Is!” which really helps the ambiance. As Oscar laid a challenge to Money, Inc on the outside, Mabel hit a giant splash on Harris to grab the win. That was a pretty good debut and they certainly felt like stars out of the gate, especially with the rapping and the crowd buying right into the whole act. Grade: 1/2*

*** Gene Okerlund is back with this week’s SummerSlam Report and the following matches are covered:

Bret Hart vs. Jerry Lawler
Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzalez – Rest in Peace Match

Gene also notes that Jack Tunney will announce a decision regarding Lex Luger’s quest for a WWF Title match with Yokozuna. It’s hottest night of the summer for sure! ***

*** We get footage of the initial stops on the Lex Express Call to Action bus tour, with Luger greeting fans and take photos at local landmarks. ***

3) Bastion Booger defeats Scott Despres with a sit down splash at 1:28

Scott: PTBN member Matt Rotella’s favorite wrestler makes an appearance here against a poor bastard that will have to have his head between Booger’s legs. Why did Mike Shaw get punished with this gimmick because Friar Ferguson was inappropriate? Unless he came up with it, then he deserves the fact he smells like a combination of damp laundry and moldy fruit. The match is thankfully, quick and painless. Grade: DUD

JT: Our buddy Bastion Booger is back this week and Vince wastes no time calling him a gargoyle and a warthog, and both seem to fit well. Booger squashes Despres with ease, sitting on his back, dropping a leg on him and the polishing him off with a sit down splash. That is my kind of squash, quick and painless and hard hitting enough to get the crowd engaged. The gimmick is pretty awful but Booger is good as a potential JTTS, picking up wins like this to establish himself as a player. Grade: DUD

*** Jerry Lawler comes out for a special edition of the King’s Court. His guest is music …icon (?) Tiny Tim, the master of the ukulele. King makes jokes about his outfit as Tim gleefully just shrugs the barbs off. King asks Tim to sing Tiptoe Through the Tulips but cuts him off right away and makes fun of his voice. King also references his marriage to Miss Vickie and asks him when his career died and what he is up to now. Tim continues to just deadpan the answers and plug his upcoming show, ignoring all of King’s attacks. The fans chant for Bret Hart as King asks Tim if he thinks he is a Burger King. Tim says he is not a Burger King, but he is a Dairy Queen. King snaps at that one and then destroys his prized ukulele, sending Tim into overacted tears. King closes out by promising to destroy Bret Hart as well. ***

4) 1-2-3 Kid defeats Chris Duffy with a leg drop off the top rope at 2:17

Scott: Earlier in the show Ted DiBiase challenged the Kid to a match, pretty much to humiliate Razor Ramon. That match location is to be determined. Speaking of Money, Inc, they come out to watch the match with Kid and the iconic (well ok maybe not) Chris Duffy. Razor Ramon comes out to make sure there’s no shenanigans. Where did Duffy get those tights? Good grief. Watch this episode and you’ll see what I mean. Kid wins the match with his top rope leg drop and then because both exits are blocked, Kid leaves through the crowd. Razor then flicks his toothpick at DiBiase and we are off the air. Grade: *1/2

JT: 1-2-3 Kid has settled right into the roster as regular competitor, even getting slated for a showcase match here against the beloved Chris Duffy. Kid quickly goes on the attack, grabbing a fast near fall but as he locked up with Duffy, Money, Inc showed up in the aisle. Vince reveals that Kid accepted DiBiase’s challenge for a match to be determined in the future. Razor Ramon would emerge as well, ensuring Money, Inc stayed away from the Kid. Duffy landed one shot in but Kid pretty much owned the match as the focus continued to be around Ramon and Money, Inc at ringside. Kid kept flying around at a crisp pace before finishing Duffy with a top rope leg drop. After the match, Kid assessed everyone at ringside and snuck out through the crowd. Quick, fun squash with a lot of excitement due to what was going down at ringside. Grade: 1/2*

Final Analysis

Scott: This episode should get an A right off the bat for that awesome IC Title match between the former Rockers. It’s amazing how even though Shawn Michaels was starting to look a little out of shape he was kind of working his butt off show in and show out, and getting really good matches out of everybody. We finally get the debut of Men on a Mission who are funny comedic guys that enhance the babyface side of the tag division. We also start seeing the slow babyface turn of Razor Ramon which was clearly needed. The show is in a good groove now with storylines (it seems like it coincided with Hulk Hogan leaving, what a surprise). One of my favorite episodes thus far, even with the Bastion Booger sighting. Final Grade: A

JT: This was a really damn good episode of Raw, with a red hot title match kicking us off and lots of angle development following. I think this Jannetty/Michaels certainly rivals their May tilt, just with a little less drama involved. We also had the very iconic King’s Court with Tiny Tim, which is a hallmark segment of the early years of Raw. Add in a few quick hitting squashes and the big face turn of Razor Ramon and we had a show that chugged along and never slowed down. In addition, we had the hot debut of MOM, who looked like stars out of the gate thanks to their atmosphere and the crowd buying into the act. Capping it all off was just enough pushing of the Lex Express without going too overboard in hyping it. The SummerSlam hype is fully underway and hopefully the hot Raws will continue as well. Grade: A

Author: Vintage Vault

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