Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 4/12/93

*** 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 #12

April 12, 1993
Mid-Hudson Civic Center
Poughkeepsie, NY
Announcers: Vince McMahon, Randy Savage & Rob Bartlett

*** Before the show, Money, Inc pays off the Beverly Brothers for information on how to handle wrestling the Steiner Brothers. ***

1) Scott Steiner defeats IRS by disqualification at 12:05

Scott: We are live in Poughkeepsie, and it’s evident that Raw needs to start spreading out and going to other arenas. The crowd is red hot and after a while I’m sure that Manhattan Center crowd will start getting flat. It was evident that the honeymoon was clearly over with Rob Bartlett as he’s not talking too much and Vince isn’t feeding him much to say either. I wonder if either the contract was up and they decided not to bother, or if there was a mutual parting of the ways. We are really kicking the top tag team feud into high gear with half of each team in a singles match. IRS does his best heel work to keep pace going with Scotty doing some great reversals. Scott’s about to go for the pin when Ted DiBiase interferes to cause the DQ. The Beverlys come in to help the attack but for some reason the two heel teams start to go back and forth and shoving each other. A Beverlys face turn? That’s an interesting development. The match is good but the big news is Bloom & Enos are faces? Grade: **

JT: For the first time in quite a while, we are back live in Poughkeepsie and can certainly look at this episode as the official post WrestleMania launching point. Rob Bartlett is back with Vince McMahon and Randy Savage and Robbie is actually looking pretty cleaned up this week. Of course, Money, Inc retained their tag team titles at WrestleMania with a DQ win over the MegaManiacs and with Hulk Hogan now otherwise occupied, they are moving onto a new set of challengers in the form of the red hot Steiner Brothers. The Steiners have wrecked everyone in their paths since debuting in December and are primed for a tag title run, but have one more team to defeat to get there. To tee up the feud, Scotty Steiner is lined up with IRS to open up the show. The two would trade some holds early with IRS forcing breaks where he could, trying to avoid the severe power advantage of Scott. After the third break, Scott started to get frustrated, allowing IRS to drill him with enziguri to pay that off. Scott came back with a powerslam and IRS rolled outside to regroup as you could feel the momentum building with the Steiners and the fans. Back inside, Scott went to work on the arm, grinding him on the mat before hitting a vertical suplex for a near fall. IRS would again bail to chat with Ted DiBiase and Savage took the opportunity to mention Chris Webber’s time out snafu at the Final Four in relation to his Michigan brethren in the ring. IRS would come back in and go to the eye before pitching Scott hard to the floor where DiBiase leveled him with a clothesline. After a break, IRS remained in control, working Steiner over with some hard kicks and a piledriver for a two count. IRS would go to a chinlock before dropping Scott with a backbreaker and heading to the top rope, which backfired as he ate a Steiner boot on the way down. Scott fired up, landing a stiff back elbow and then hammering away in the corner and then yanking IRS neck first across the top rope by his tie. Scott was really on fire and the crowd was buzzing as he hit a double underhook suplex but the pin cover was broken up by DiBiase to draw the DQ. The Steiners ran through the champs after the match until the Beverlys ran out to make the save. They tried to rough up the Steiners but some miscommunication ended that, leaving the boys from Michigan to stand tall. Money, Inc and the Beverlys had a shoving match and some arguing afterwards that ended with IRS getting knocked outside and DiBiase begging off. The match was perfectly fine with some good heat and was certainly a fine first step in this feud. Grade: **

2) Tatanka defeats Von Krus with the Papoose to Go at 4:00

Scott: We have the Native American’s first match since his countout win at WrestleMania is again the hottest mid-card worker, even though he didn’t win the IC Title. Von Krus is one of the most renowned jobbers in WWF history. The match is a squash and Tatanka is still undefeated, but will he get a second shot at Shawn Michaels and the Intercontinental Title? Time will tell. Grade: *

JT: One of the most consistent stalwarts of Raw, Tatanka, is back at it with another showcase squash, this time against one of our favorite jobbers, Von Krus. Tatanka came up just short back in Las Vegas, winning the match against Shawn Michaels but not the title. That meant he was 3-0 against the champion with no gold to show for it. Tatanka worked over Krus as the boys plugged the Encore. Bartlett isn’t talking much tonight but when he does he is actually doing a solid job towing the company line. As Tatanka remained in control, Doink ambled down the aisle. Vince immediately wondered which Doink this was but didn’t matter as he sauntered off pretty quickly. Krus got a few shots in but Tatanka cut that short with some chops and a suplex but Krus hung in with a back elbow. Vince noted that the Beverlys were demanding a match with Money, Inc and that we will hear more soon. Tatanka made his comeback with the war dance, some chops and the Papoose to Go for the swift win. With Michaels in his rearview, where does he turn next for a feud? Grade: 1/2*

*** Sean Mooney recaps WrestleMania with an excuse Monday Night Raw report. Coming up after this show, there will be a special Encore on PPV, so get on that! Mooney then shows stills from the show and recaps some of the events. ***

*** Rob Bartlett leaves his chair to head to ringside where he is set to moderate a face to face debate between Luna Vachon and Sensational Sherri. Luna had debuted alongside Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania and doled out a stiff beating to Sherri. Bartlett makes a couple jokes but Luna is focused and pissed off as always and takes a couple of digs at Sherri before she makes her way out. Sherri calls Luna a disgrace and takes a jab at Bartlett too. Luna says she is the ultimate female of the ring and rules the squared circle, vowing to wipe Sherri all over the mat. Sherri said she has faced bigger men than she is a woman and calls her a little girl. With that, Sherri kicked Luna and triggered a wild melee that included Bartlett getting caught up and his clothes torn as well. The brawl was wild and included Sherri’s short getting torn open and exposing her bra and a tussle into the fans at ringside. Eventually, a host of officials broke things up but after a break everything reignited when Luna returned to jump Sherri while she was talking to Savage. They were again separated to finally end the fighting. ***

3) Papa Shango defeats Scott Taylor with the reverse shoulderbreaker at 2:24

Fun Fact: This will be the final Monday Night Raw appearance for Papa Shango, although the character continues with the company until October 1993. He would only make sporadic appearances on the syndicated WWF TV programs into July before disappearing altogether and leaving the WWF in the fall for the USWA under the arrangement the two companies had.

Scott: Shango is a RAW filler from the beginning. He’s wrestling down in Memphis which is his main role right now but whenever they need a slot to fill on RAW in he comes. Scott Taylor (for some reason Fink announced him as Skip Taylor) as we know is a future Attitude Era mainstay. Rob Bartlett is out on the floor after the Sherri/Luna brawl and as expected a simple Vince/Savage broadcast team is great. Oh and Shango wins the match comfortably, which no one is really paying any attention to. They probably want to see Sherri’s boobs flopping around again. Grade: *

JT: It is a sad day as this is our final look at Papa Shango, a Raw favorite from the start. The show nearly rejuvenated him in some ways. Instead, he is off to work in the USWA and await the call to eventually come back. The interesting thing about Shango is that he would get squash features and wasn’t just used as a JTTS, right up until the end. Taylor landed a couple of shots to open up the match but Shango shrugged him off and proceeded to chuck him around the ring. As the match went on, Bartlett stumbled back to ringside and collapsed, clothes torn apart. Change continued to show off his power, tossing Taylor around with ease before finishing him with the shoulderbreaker. Grade: DUD

4) Friar Ferguson defeats Chris Duffy with a sit down splash at 4:22

Fun Fact: This will be the first AND last Raw match for Friar Ferguson, played by Mike Shaw. After the debut of the character, the WWF received complaints from the Catholic Church of New York, so the character was quickly and quietly dropped. Shaw will return to WWF programming in late May with a new character.

Scott: Ok, now this is a minor example, but an example of something that would end up being a bigger problem over the next couple of years. It’s one thing to give someone a gimmick, but it’s another thing to give a gimmick that is so ridiculous that by 1993 the fans really don’t want any part of it. So out comes the former Norman the Lunatic, but he’s dressed in a monk’s cossack and comes in to weird religious sounding music. Easily one of the stupidest ideas Vince ever came up with. The match is crap as expected, but the gimmick just reeks of something from 1988. Certain gimmicks do still work, but others go way off the rails that the crowds really don’t care. This is one of them. Fortunately outside sources tell the WWF to ditch it, and Mike Shaw gets another, more memorable but less dignified gimmick down the line. Grade: DUD

JT: Time for our last match and it features the debut of a very interesting character… Friar Ferguson. The Friar is of course portrayed by the ex Norman the Lunatic/Makhan Singh and here is decked out in a typical monk robe and played to the ring with Gregorian chants. It was certainly an odd gimmick but you figured they would try something religious at some point. Duffy tried to shove the Friar, but Ferguson shoved him hard to the mat and then back dropped him up and over to the mat. He followed that with a leg drop and then mimed a sign of the cross as Duffy tried to escape. Vince wondered if anyone was managing Ferguson and Savage quipped that maybe it was Hulk Hogan. Vince also noted that it was now official for next week: Beverly Brothers vs. Money, Inc. Ferguson unleashed a pair of clotheslines and then did some absurd dancing, nearly exposing his nether regions. Seems a bit risky. Ferguson kept piling on, hitting a big splash but picking Duffy up during the cover. He followed with an avalanche in the corner and then rubbed his robe over his face. As things slowly moved along, Ferguson just meandered through some offense before locking in a lazy nerve hold that was really quite unnecessary. Talk about filling time, this kept going and going until Friar blocked a sunset flip with a sunset flip. And mimed the cross again. Friar can rest peacefully knowing he has delivered the worst squash match we have seen so far since Raw debuted. This doesn’t seem long for the world. Grade: DUD

*** Money, Inc cut a promo about their match with the Beverly Brothers next week, but the Beverlys attack them and the team brawl until the show ends. ***

Final Analysis

Scott: This was a fun show simply because of the different atmosphere, as this was the second time they would leave the Manhattan Center to head north to Poughkeepsie and that crowd is hot. It’s an added energy that for some early episodes the Manhattan Center didn’t have. We get some legit post-WrestleMania information, but no Hulk Hogan takes something away from this. After the bizarre happenings in Vegas he really should have come here live and cut an impassioned promo. Nope. That doesn’t change. As a practicing catholic, the Friar Ferguson gimmick didn’t offend me, it was just stupid. They were smart to ditch it in a few weeks. This was a solid Raw that could have used its champions, and they were absent. Final Grade: B-

JT: Our official post WrestleMania Raw got off to a really good start before sputtering to a close late in the show. The Steiner/IRS match was pretty good and sets up our main tag team feud of the spring right out of the gate. We also get the Beverlys tossed into the mix to help bridge the weeks and give us a nice little multi-show arc to dig into. The Sherri/Luna stuff was a lot of fun and one of the most memorable segments of Raw’s first year. Other than that, there wasn’t much going on in ring or storyline wise. We did get a lot of Mania recapping and discussion, with lots of late push for the Encore. The Ferguson match was a disaster and that gimmick needs to go into the trash bin quickly. It went on and on and ground what had been a decent show to a screeching halt. This was definitely an improvement from last week but still a little ways off from where we were prior to Mania. Final Grade: C