Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 11/8/93

*** 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 #39

November 8, 1993
Fernwood Resort
Bushkill, PA
Announcers: Vince McMahon, Randy Savage & Bobby Heenan

1) Ludvig Borga wrestles Scott Steiner to a double disqualification at 13:00

Fun Fact: On the October 30 episode of Superstars, Ludvig Borga ended Tatanka’s nearly two year undefeated streak and giving Tatanka his first televised WWF loss. After controlling Tatanka throughout the entire match, Borga knocked him out with a steel chair while the referee was not looking and pinned Tatanka by placing one finger on him. Tatanka was then assaulted by Borga and Yokozuna after the bout.

Scott: We have one member of each team of our Survivor Series main event battling to open this week’s show. Incidentally we debut a new venue in Raw history… a resort? What is this, Dirty Dancing? Where’s the Sheldrake? These are the two heavy hitters on the teams, so I was expecting a pretty stiff fight here. It’s definitely more of a ground and pound affair, after Scott hit two pretty sweet suplexes and Borga bailed to the floor. Savage isn’t talking as much as Vince and Bobby so I wonder if his tongue is still bothering him after the Crush attack. As the match progresses, out come the Quebecers to ringside. Eventually Scott puts Borga in a Boston Crab and out comes Scott’s brother Rick to make sure things are ok. Borga was definitely being pushed as a major player, and I wonder if he was going to be the next heel champion, or at least a legit feud for Razor Ramon’s IC Championship. Meanwhile there’s a poll out as to who would face Quebecer Pierre on next week’s show. The choices are Luger, Rick Steiner, Doink or Marty Jannetty. Gee, I wonder who the WWF wants to win that poll? Scott Steiner is dumped to the floor, then Rick Steiner gets on the apron and Borga throws him into the ring. Eventually the whole thing ends in a brawl and we get the bell. That ending was fairly obvious but still it was a pretty solid TV match with some good strikes and suplexes. Grade: **

JT: As we creep ever closer to Survivor Series, we are live tonight from the iconic Fernwood Resort and are opening things up with a big time tussle between powerful hosses. Both Ludvig Borga and Scott Steiner are slated to be on opposite teams in the Survivor Series main event but tonight they are squaring off in singles action. Borga is hot off ending Tatanka’s undefeated steak and likely knocking him out of the Thanksgiving Eve Spectacular and Steiner is looking for revenge. And speaking of revenge, Randy Savage is back in the booth and has his eyes set on Crush, who is here tonight. Before the match, Vince McMahon lets us know there is a poll tonight to determine who gets to battle Quebecer Pierre next week: Lex Luge, Rick Steiner, Doink or Marty Jannetty. Best of luck to all involved. Borga kicks things off by attacking Steiner as he was taking his jacket off and proceeded to hammer away at him with hard fists. Borga kept bringing the heat as Vince wondered how Scott would adapt to singles competition. Borga would cut down Steiner with a clothesline on the mat and then head up top and hit a nice flying lariat as well. The resort crowd chanted “USA” and it paid off as Steiner battled back and hit a butterfly suplex followed by a pump handle suplex, sending the Finnish monster to the floor. This resort ballroom is tiny and it’s so crazy to think Raw was held there. Savage calls out Crush again but Vince reminds him he is obligated to remain in the booth as the match resets with a lockup. After busting out of a side headlock, Steiner grabbed a near fall with a big belly-to-belly suplex. Ludvig again punched his way back into control and then hit a leaping clothesline for two. Borga is pretty funny out there, jawing loudly the whole match and giving a big “yeah!” after the clothesline. Steiner recovered but Borga dodged him by bailing outside yet again. And this time some backup arrived as the Quebecers marched out to ringside to consult with Ludvig. After a break. Steiner suplexed Borga back into the ring and then turned him into a rather sloppy Boston Crab. As Borga crawled to the ropes, Rick Steiner came down to the ring to keep an eye on the tag team champs. Borga would reverse a whip but ate a boot on a charge, leading to a pair of Steiner near falls. Steiner pelted Borga with a dropkick and then a missile dropkick but only got a two count. Borga, sporting a bloody nose, came right back with a powerslam for two. Steiner would end up on the floor and Borga wouldn’t let him back into the ring, leading to Rick getting pulled into the ring. Rick would take Borga over with a back suplex, triggering a big brawl and the double disqualification. That was a pretty fun match with some hard hitting power offense and a suplex showcase by Scott. It did a nice job of setting the stage for the PPV too and overall ended up being much more entertaining than it looked on paper. Grade: **

*** We head back to Nashville to visit with our friend Jeff Jarrett. This week he pulls up in a vintage 1968 Cadillac and is being driven by his driver Billy Ray. They pull up in front of the iconic Ryman Auditorium, home of the Grand Ole Opry. He then dumps all of it, saying the place is dead just like its legendary stars Conway Twitty and George Jones. Well, Jones’ career is dead anyway. He takes a shot at the Undertaker and vows to use him and the WWF to become a country music star. And they will even rename the promotion the JJF and the auditorium the JJ Auditorium. ***

2) Men on a Mission defeat Corey Student & Steve Smith when Mabel pins Student after a splash at 3:37

Scott: While this mess is going on, Vince is talking to Savage about not getting involved physically if Crush comes down the ramp. But wasn’t Savage in a couple matches lately, including the IC Title battle royal? I love how Vince uses that stip whenever Savage needs to be held over a barrel. It’s so stupid. This is a typical MOM gimmick match with goofy parlor tricks and such. The rapping is average, and the wresting is well below that. Grade: DUD

JT: Up next we have some tag team action with crowd favorites Men on a Mission. Or, as Bobby Heenan calls them, Men From a Mission. The Fernood faithful are digging the entrance as most crowds seem to do. Just based on their entrance alone you would think MOM were mega stars. Mabel toys with Steve Smith to start things off as the commentary quickly turns back to Randy Savage and Crush with Vince again reminding Savage of his obligations. Vince also promotes “Kennedy”, this week’s USA movie special. Bobby spins a Whoopi Goldberg and Ted Danson joke as the match meanders on in the ring. Mabel finally finishes Student off with a splash to pick up the win. MOM is another team without direction and could use some sort of feud at some point soon. Really, the whole division outside of the Steiners and Quebecers feels like its in the same boat. Grade: DUD

*** Todd Pettengil is here with this week’s Survivor Series Report and here are the matches discussed:

Lex Luger, ??? & Steiner Brothers vs. Yokozuna, Ludvig Borga & Quebecers
Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Bruce Hart & Keith Hart (w/ Stu Hart) vs. Jerry Lawler & His Knights
Razor Ramon, Mr. Perfect, Mart Jannetty & 1-2-3 Kid vs. IRS, Adam Bomb, Diesel & Rick Martel
Doink, Doink, Doink & Doink vs. Bam Bam Bigelow, Bastion Booger & Headshrinkers
Rock ‘N’ Roll Express vs. Heavenly Bodies – Smoky Mountain Tag Team Titles

Be sure to tune into Superstars this weekend to find out who will replace Tatanka. The show is sold out in Boston so the only way you can watch is on PPV and you should get that order in right now! ***

 3) Rick Martel defeats John Paul via submission with the Boston Crab at 2:52

Scott: Rick Martel is the heel version of Mr. Perfect, a solid veteran who can knock out some jobbers and then put over the younger guys. Savage isn’t really talking much, he’s really stewing at the broadcast table waiting for Crush. Martel will get an IC Title rematch with Razor this weekend on Superstars. Again, why not here on Raw? This is your prime time show, and while Vince is promoting those atrocious USA movies we should have some title matches. Martel ratchets up the Boston Crab for the easy victory. Will he finally gain much sought after gold? Check out Superstars this weekend to find out. Grade: *

JT: Hey, Rick Martel is here! We last saw him battling Razor Ramon for the vacant IC Title but he is hanging around still and is slated for Survivor Series as well. I love that Martel brought back those baby blue tights. As Martel works over John Paul, Vince implores us to watch Superstars to find out that new member of the All Americans and also to check out Martel’s rematch with Ramon. Heenan lets us know that Bernie Kosar was benched by the Browns earlier today, so there you go. Paul gets a glimmer of offense but the Model quickly puts him away with the Boston Crab. Martel looks primed for his big title shot this weekend as well as the PPV. Grade: DUD

*** As Crush is set to head out for his match, Randy Savage leaps up from the announce table and starts pacing. Vince McMahon follows him and tries to talk some sense into him but he shoves McMahon to the ground and attacks his former friend in the aisle. They are eventually broken up by officials. ***

4) Bob Backlund vs. Barry Horowitz

Scott: We were supposed to have Crush vs. Dan Dubiel, but Savage gets up and throws Vince to the ground. Then he jumps Crush and all hell broke loose. It was actually a pretty cool moment, something that Raw hasn’t really had to this point. So then we get to 80s guys wrestling in the 90s. Savage comes back to the broadcast booth, all exasperated and pissed off. That was the beauty of Randy Savage. He always added that extra emotion that made feuds that much better. During the match Crush broke through his locker room door, which got Savage running down the ramp and backstage and he goes after Crush again. This match actually never ends as we see them brawl in the hallway and we go to commercial. Grade: N/A

JT: Coming off a hot brawl between Randy Savage and Crush, we arrive at our final match, a tilt between Bob Backlund and Barry Horowitz. Vince and Bobby pay very little attention to the match and just argue over the Savage/Crush situation instead, with the Brain really being an asshole as he has been for the last few weeks. Vince notes that Crush is locked in his locker room and things have settled down. Backlund and Horowitz trade holds and takedowns as Savage reappears and rejoins the commentary team. He is all fired up and gets in Heenan’s face for making fun of his injury. Savage just keeps rambling on as the match is going absolutely nowhere in the ring. We then cut backstage where Crush breaks out of his dressing room (which looks like the resort janitor’s office) and storms down the hallway (filled with faux paneling and a green carpet). Savage bolts from the table and meetings him back there for another wild brawl. And after a break the match is over so we never will know the winner of that one. And that is probably for the best. Grade: N/A

*** Vince McMahon announces that Lex Luger has won the viewer poll with 62% of the vote and will take on Quebecer Pierre next week. We then cut to Randy Savage and Crush brawling outside to close the show. ***

Final Analysis

Scott: This was one of the best Raws in a while. The Savage/Crush stuff dominated the action and that’s fine, because this show needed a little juice to it coming close to Survivor Series. After the opener which continued to push the main event of the PPV, the rest of the matches were crap. MOM are utterly talentless but hey the crowd digs them so why not. Survivor Series is around the corner, and STILL no Bret Hart on Raw? We get a promo during the Survivor Series Report but still no Bret on camera. Very strange. Having said that, this is one of the most entertaining episodes to date. Grade: B+

JT: Well this certainly was an upgrade from last week. Sure we had a few dog matches but the majority of the show was eaten up by a fun power match and lots of Savage/Crush angst and brawling. I really enjoyed Borga vs. Steiner and it was a good showcase build for the Survivor Series main event. Savage was the MVP of the episode, stewing at ringside the whole show before finally exploding, chucking McMahon to the floor and then finally getting his licks in on Crush. It was a wild scene that injected some hot energy into the show. The commentary overall really has been fantastic since SummerSlam as it has been focused and blended with pushing the big angles, calling the action and mixing in plugs and ongoing bits. Really sharp work. Just one more Raw to go before Survivor Series… see you then! Final Grade: B