Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 10/11/93

*** 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 #35

October 11, 1993 (Taped September 27, 1993)
New Haven Coliseum
New Haven, CT
Announcers: Vince McMahon, Randy Savage & Bobby Heenan

1) Razor Ramon defeats Rick Martel to win vacated WWF Intercontinental Title with a Razor’s Edge at 10:42

Fun Fact: After Shawn Michaels was suspended and surrendered the IC title, a battle royal was held (see 10/4/93 episode of Raw). The final 2 men standing in that battle royal would battle here to fill the vacant title.

Scott: So after the shunting of Shawn Michaels, we had the big battle royal last week to determine the final two men that would battle for the gold. We have those final two men now. However I have to say, with no disrespect to The Model, but he hasn’t been in the WWF in over a year before a couple weeks ago, and Razor is one of the most over babyfaces in the company now. I think it was pretty clear that Razor was going to win this match, which is why I’ve always thought a more current heel like Bam Bam Bigelow or even a face/face matchup with Mr. Perfect would have had a little more suspense as to who would win the match. Vince messed up when he called Martel a former WWF Champion. He was a former tag team champion back in the day, and a former AWA Champion, but never a WWF Champion. Having said that, Martel wrestled a great match and really put the screws to the Bad Guy and gave him a great battle, using some big power moves and his patented Boston Crab. Razor was kicking out of various two counts and didn’t submit two separate times to the Crab. Razor eventually got down deep and hit the Razor’s Edge to win the IC Championship. Again I don’t totally find this a shock but it’s still a great moment that I got to watch live. So now we have at least one babyface with a title in the WWF (Yokozuna & The Quebecers holding the other straps) and the crowd was still hot, even on its third show of the night. This was a much better match than I remember. Grade: ***

JT: A week ago we had the battle royal to get us to this point, putting us on the verge of crowning a brand new Intercontinental Champion. And due to the way they booked this whole thing, the outcome is a pretty obvious one. It is hard to sit here and come up with any scenario in which Rick Martel would win the gold. Even if IRS or another heel cost the Bad Guy, you can’t really see Martel taking the win. Now, as we mentioned a week ago there were other options out there to add some ambiguity but instead we take this route. And it isn’t necessarily a bad thing as any fan of Ramon would certainly be glued to the episode knowing he was likely becoming the champ. Before the show opens, Vince McMahon does a nice job of recapping our path here and the New Haven crowd, on their third episode of the taping, is pretty damn fired up as we get underway. As the match fires up, Bobby Heenan says Ramon belongs in the ghetto so we are off to a hell of a start. Martel tries to work the arm but Ramon overpowers the Model and eventually sent him to the floor to regroup with a fallaway slam. Martel shook out the cobwebs and slid back in and was able to bury a knee in the gut and finally build some sustained offense. Ramon fought through it and slugged his way back into control before kicking away and grabbing hold of the arm. After a break, Martel had taken over on offense and started to target the lower back of the Bad Guy both in and out of the ring. Ramon tried to battle back but Martel was able to drill him in the lumbar each time and eventually was able to twist him into the Boston Crab. Ramon would force the rope break but Martel went right back to the hold and cinched it in tightly. Ramon powered out this time but Martel was able to slip free and hit a high cross body off the top that Ramon rolled through on for a two count. Martel struck quickly to keep Ramon on his knees but he dropped the head on a whip and ate a hard knee. After that, Ramon muscled Martel up into the Razor’s Edge and picked up the win and the gold. That was a tidy little title match that was worked cleanly and efficiently with no blown spots or nonsense. I liked how Ramon struggled to hoist Martel into the Edge as well. Ramon has had quite the year and his face turn built nice and organically, all leading to this moment, a moment that felt very well earned. The crowd ate it all up and Ramon’s celebration was a fun one as he soaked in the moment in the center of the ring. Despite the lack of mystery around the finish, Martel was a good choice as a solid heel veteran mechanic that could give Ramon a good match and put him over strongly for his big moment. Grade: **1/2

2) Headshrinkers defeat Sid Curtis & Tommy Morrison when Fatu pins Morrison after a top rope splash at 3:49

Scott: So, we really dip down into the jobber pool for a couple of mullet-clad stiffs, one of which was Rocky’s final opponent three years earlier. That made me laugh when his name was announced. Vince and Bobby even make light of that during the match. The Headshrinkers definitely went to the Steiner Brothers’ school of punishing poor jobbers. Samu and Fatu are sloppy with their stiffness, whereas Rick & Scott are more methodical. An easy squash. Grade: DUD

JT: Tommy “The Machine” Gunn! Oh… different Tommy Morrison. Anyway, here come the Headshrinkers who just keep on keeping on. They don’t seem to have much of an issue going on right now that we are past SummerSlam so while they wait they will pound some more poor jobbers. Vince does ponder what it could be like if the Samoans were to battle various other teams on the roster but again nothing seems to be on the horizon. Samu and Fatu just ran through Curtis, knocking him unconscious and slapping his face with their feet. They then dragged him to his corner to force the tag and proceeded to treat Morrison the same, unloading their standard hard hitting squash offense and pick up yet another win here on Raw. Grade: DUD

3) Owen Hart defeats Scott King with a northern lights suplex at 3:38

Scott: We saw Owen in the battle royal last week, and now he’s in singles competition for just the second time in Raw history. Raw still acts like a syndicated show as they really haven’t talked about the big feuds even since SummerSlam. Only now with Owen in the ring are they talking about the Bret Hart/Jerry Lawler feud and what went down in Auburn Hills. Vince has time for USA movie promos, but not about storylines. Owen wins with an impressive Northern Lights suplex in a very tidy and crisp match. Grade: *

JT: Hey! An Owen Hart sighting! After battling a knee injury and hanging out on the weekend shows, Hart is making back to back appearances here on Monday Night. Of course, he played a role in the giant fiasco at SummerSlam and the announcers discuss what went down between the Kings and the Harts at the Palace while he works over King. It is good to see Owen back in the mix on Mondays and he picks up the quick win here with a northern lights suplex. Grade: DUD

*** Vince McMahon brings Ludvig Borga to the ring for a chat. Borga tells the fans that USA stands for “U Stink A lot” and then mocks the pollution and employment of the country. He finally moves on to calling out Lex Luger and the way he defends Americans. Luger would eventually show up, rip on Borga’s takes and then tell him to love it or leave it as the crowd roared behind him. Borga shrugged of Lex’s aggression and marched off as Luger fired up the crowd in the ring. ***

4) Adam Bomb defeats Russ Greenberg with the Atom Smasher at 2:34

Fun Fact: Johnny Polo sold the contract of Adam Bomb to Harvey Wippleman so he could concentrate on managing the WWF Tag Team Champions, the Quebecers.Tonight is Wippleman’s debut as Bomb’s manager.

Scott: We had a transaction over the weekend as Harvey Wippleman purchased Adam Bomb’s services from Johnny Polo. Still loved Adam Bomb, and even he could have been in the IC TItle match with Razor and it would have added some intrigue. In any event legendary 90s jobber Russ Greenberg took a typical pounding. Before this match we had a great face to face between Ludvig Borga and Lex Luger in the ring, which will set up our main event for Survivor Series in Boston. Bomb hits the Atom Smasher and we move on. I definitely liked 1993 WWF’s cache of heels. It was a solid roster of guys that could take on anybody, and Bomb is one of them. Grade: *

JT: Back to the ring as… Harvey Wippleman is leading Adam Bomb to the ring. Vince lets us know that Johnny Polo sold the contract of Bomb to Harvey over the weekend as he needed to focus fully on the Quebecers going forward. Looks like with Mr. Hughes and Giant Gonzalez suddenly gone, Harvey needed a new charge anyway. Bobby also adds in that Harvey has a new team in the promotion named Well Dunn too. Also on commentary, McMahon revealed that we would be witness to the Savage/Crush Summit next week on Raw. Ross Greenberg gave it a go but it was a fruitless attempt as Bomb smacked him around, pasted him with a standing dropkick and slingshot clothesline and then polished him off with the Atom Smasher. Grade: DUD

5) Rock ‘N’ Roll Express defeat Duane Gill & Barry Hardy when Gibson pins Gil after a double dropkick at 1:30

Fun Fact: Tonight we see the debut of an NWA mainstay tag team, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express. Made up of Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson, the RnR Express began wrestling as a tag team in Memphis in 1983 under Jerry Lawler. The duo is best known for the feud with the Midnight Express, which carried over from Mid South Wrestling to Jim Crockett Promotions. The high flying glam rocker team was always a fan favorite in the South, especially with the female crowds.

Scott: For the first time in WWF TV history, we see belts from another promotion. Ricky & Robert are wearing the SMW Tag Team Titles to the ring in an unsanctioned match with two more mulleted jobbers. Duane Gill’s mullet looks fluffier and fluffier every match he’s in. This was an “express” squash and both guys moved fast and won with their patented double drop kicks. Grade: 0

JT: Well, the WWF’s crossover with Smoky Mountain Wrestling rolls on as the SMW Tag Team Champions, the legendary Rock ‘n’ Roll Express are in the house. Heenan mentions that they have been chasing Jim Cornette all over the place and that is why they are here. It was crazy to see the RNRs pop up like this after having spent such lengthy careers far away from New York. Pretty historical moment. And they even face a legendary jobber tag team in Duane Gill and Barry Hardy! Gibson and Morton pick up a very quick win in their very first WWF match and seem locked in on tracking down Cornette and the Heavenly Bodies. Grade: DUD

Final Analysis

Scott:T he third of three taped shows in my hometown definitely came off tired. I know it was saving money but Vince should have done just done two shows per site and moved on to the next town. Once you get to the third show, the crowd is pretty gassed. Having said that the match to open the show was indeed red hot and seeing Razor win the IC Title was a huge moment. The rest of the show was pretty tiring. The autumn has been a bit sluggish in between SummerSlam and Survivor Series. Then when you get to these taping where by the end of the night the crowd is cooked. I’ll grade it high for the big moment, but otherwise it was a typical flat show. Final Grade: B-

JT: We wrap up the New Haven tapings with a pretty important episode of Raw. Razor Ramon’s big win over Rick Martel brought closure to the fun three week odyssey of the Intercontinental Title and launched a new era for both the upper mid card and for the Bad Guy. That match was perfectly fine and a great moment and we also had a pretty hot showdown between Lex Luger and Ludvig Borga as well as the really cool debut of the Rock ‘N’ Roll Express. The back end of the show was filled with squashes but they were all at least kept brief and mainly all served a purpose from a commentary point of view. We also set up next week’s show nicely with the big hype for the Savage/Crush Summit. Another week in the books… see you next week! Final Grade: B-