Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 4/19/93

*** 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! ***


Monday Night Raw #13

April 19, 1993 (Taped April 12, 1993)
Mid-Hudson Civic Center
Poughkeepsie, NY
Announcers: Vince McMahon, Randy Savage & Rob Bartlett

1) Razor Ramon defeats Virgil with the Razor’s Edge at 6:59

Scott: The last time we saw the Bad Guy he defeated Bob Backlund in a way too short match at WrestleMania. Razor is technically still a heel but is starting to get cheers from the crowd so you can somewhat tell a face turn was in the offing at some point. Virgil is still the serviceable guy that will be trotted out there to make the other guy look good. This is officially Rob Bartlett’s final Raw, and thank God for that. He’s not saying much and Savage is antagonizing him every chance he can get. This match actually was better than I thought, as Virgil gave a better match than a typical squash. Razor hits the Edge for the victory, but at the moment he’s floating somewhat aimlessly. In fact post-WrestleMania everybody is somewhat floating around. Grade: *1/2

JT: After a rather up and down yet rowdy episode last week, we remain in Poughkeepsie for the back end of that same taping for this week’s episode. The show opens up with the return of Razor Ramon, still hot off his WrestleMania victory but still a bit aimless on the card. His opponent is the ever present Virgil, who is still hanging around doing the same old thing. The match opened with some real basic standing switches and soft arm work until Razor shoved Virgil into the corner and buried a tight knee. Virgil came back with a nifty small package and went right to the arm but Razor dodged a dropkick and went to work with stomps and chokes, followed by an abdominal stretch. Virgil escaped the hold but missed an elbow, giving Razor the seam to take control back. The Bad Guy toyed around a bit but Virgil was able to land a shot here and there with nothing sustained. After a Ramon chinlock, Virgil caught Razor with his head down and started to make an aggressive comeback, showing some nice fire before crashing hard to a mat when he missed a cross body block. Ramon pounced and hit the Razor’s Edge for the win. That was a decent little squash and Virgil showed good energy whenever on offense. Ramon’s squashes are always fun because he gives a lot of offense throughout and sells so well while doing it. Grade: *

2) Giant Gonzalez defeats LA Gore with a chokeslam at 1:20

Scott: After that hot mess at WrestleMania, Harvey Whippleman’s big guy takes on the iconic LA Gore. There’s really nothing more to say, as it’s a quick, sloppy squash. Grade: DUD

JT: If you ever wanted to see Giant Gonzalez job to the ring, this is the match for you. He does look pretty impressive in this intimate setting, so that is something. Our buddy LA Gore has quite the task ahead of him but the job is short-lived as Gonzalez smacks him around and polishes him off with a chokeslam. Even though he lost in Las Vegas, the Giant and Harvey Wippleman still have their eyes targeted on burying the Undertaker. Grade: DUD

*** Luna Vachon cuts a promo on Sensational Sherri from a dungeon, recapping their issues over the past couple of weeks. ***

3) Tatanka defeats Art Thomas with the Papoose to Go at 2:29

Scott: Wow during this early stretch of Raw episodes no one worked harder on TV than Tatanka, who has probably been on at least half of the episodes. It almost seems like a crime that he didn’t win the Intercontinental Title from Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania because he’s really still over with the fans and add to the fact that he is still undefeated makes for a perfect combination. Art Thomas is pretty stacked for a jobber, but the Native American takes him out with relative ease. Does he get a rematch with Shawn Michaels? Time will tell. Grade: *

JT: Another week, another Tatanka match here on Raw. This guy certainly is earning his pay in the WWF. This week he gets to battle the rather cut Art Thomas. Art attacks off the bell and lands some right hands to the head and gut before pasting Tatanka with a back elbow. Tatanka quickly turned the tide and grabbed a hold of the arm as he regrouped. Thomas dodged an elbow drop, showing some more signs of feistiness, but Tatanka shrugged off his follow up, hit the war dance and finished Art with the Papoose to remain undefeated. As we asked last week… now what lies ahead? Grade: DUD

4) Money, Inc defeat Beverly Brothers in a non-title match when Ted DiBiase pins Beau after botched interference at 12:59

Fun Fact: Last week on MNR (4/12/93), Money, Inc. started the show by paying off the Beverly Brothers to get advice on how to beat the Steiners. Later in the evening, Scott Steiner won his match against IRS when Ted DiBiase interfered. Following the match, the Steiners were setting DiBiase up for the bulldog off the top rope when the Beverly Brothers came out for the save. While DiBiase held Scott, the Beverlys backed up to set up for a double clothesline. At the last moment, Scott moved out of the way and DiBiase was laid flat with the clothesline. The two teams began shoving each other and squared off against each other. IRS turned to leave and was shoved out of the ring by the Beverlys. DiBiase tried to buy the duo off before slipping out of the ring. Lots of jawing was done between the two teams and it set up the matchup for this week’s episode.

Scott: Next to Tatanka, no one has worked harder on these early Raws than the Tag Team Champions. Whereas Hulk Hogan and Shawn Michaels haven’t been on camera once since WrestleMania, Money, Inc has been on constantly, working with everyone and getting good matches each time out. Beau and Blake are a great team and this was a fun back and forth match with Money, Inc continuing their great run of matches and RAW appearances. They are the hardest working of the “Federation Era” guys that are trying to transition into this new era of the WWF. I’ll grade this match slightly higher than it probably is as a tip of the cap to Money, Inc for being the only stable and visible champions. Grade: **1/2

JT: Continuing our story from last week, it is time for tag team warfare as Money, Inc heads out to square off with the Beverly Brothers in a non title affair. Vince called both teams “undesirable” which made me laugh. This was the easiest time of year for IRS to cut promos, layup after layup. This was a nice little dead cat bounce for the Beverlys, who seemed lost at sea after jobbing to the Steiners back at the Royal Rumble. I actually think they had potential as a slighted, aggressive face team so we will see if anything comes of this. They started off well, jumping the champs and triggering a pretty fun brawl that ended with DiBiase and IRS on the floor. Once the match reset, Blake and DiBiase started things off by trading headlocks and arm holds until Blake hit a bodyslam and tagged in Beau, who came in on fire, hammering DiBiase with hammer blows. The Beverlys quick tagged and double teamed, showing off pieces of the arsenal we don’t always get to see. Surprisingly they basically worked a heel role though, pinning DiBiase in he corner and beating on him while baiting in IRS to distract the referee where they could. I thought for sure this was going to be a quasi-face turn, but alas. Blake kept pouring it on but ran into a DiBiase elbow, which allowed him to tag in IRS. The Beverlys quickly regained control and now worked over Irwin’s arm for a bit. You can tell Rob Bartlett is running out of steam as he has been really quiet the last two weeks. A bittersweet end to a very interesting run for sure. After a commercial, IRS was finally on top, grinding Beau with a front chancery. The champs then started to do what they do best: bend the rules and work as a fluid team. That fell apart as Beau landed a kick to a hunched over DiBiase but was unable to make the tag. This is a really neat case study in tag wrestling with two pure heel teams with similar styles working both sides of the coin. Blake would finally get that tag and knife through DiBiase but for some reason tagged Beau right back in. That seemed like questionable strategy. Beau held his own, though, burying a back elbow and back drop. However, a double team attempt went haywire and after the Beverlys collided, DiBiase rolled up Beau to steal the win. That was a pretty fun exhibition between four veteran tag workers that know exactly how to build a match like that. Raw should continue to be built around these mini-story arcs that eat up multiple episodes. Money, Inc rolls on but the Steiner Brothers await. Grade: **

*** Vince McMahon brings out the former WWF Champion Bret Hart for a chat in his first post-WrestleMania appearance on Raw. Bret talks about his familiarity of being an underdog and the resulting challenges he faced as champion. He vowed that he wouldn’t be one and done and goes into his past as a tag champion and intercontinental champion and each time he lost, he proved the critics wrong by not staying down. He then talked about Lex Luger’s attack on him at the WrestleMania brunch and he informs everyone that the Narcissist is the number one priority on his hit list. He is on board with Jack Tunney’s investigation into Luger’s forearm and will aim to take care of Luger for good. ***

5) Bam Bam Bigelow defeats Phil Apollo with a diving headbutt at 4:43

Scott: Bigelow is another big heel that needs to start being pushed up the ladder. Forget that awkward goof Giant Gonzalez. This is the guy that Harvey Whippleman should have been managing and being positioned (next to Yokozuna) as the top heel in the company. Money, Inc is hot as the tag champs but their window is obviously closing and new heels need to be pushed. As mentioned in Bret’s promo, Luger is another one that needs more TV time. Apollo gave Bigelow a better match than anybody probably thought. Bigelow puts him away with the flying head butt to win, then hits another one. After the match Friar Ferguson comes out to save Phil Apollo and dropkicks Bigelow out of the ring. Perhaps this was done to make sure the Friar is a babyface religious figure but the gimmick is quietly buried regardless. Grade: *1/2

JT: One more match to go here tonight as Bam Bam Bigelow marches out to battle Phil Apollo. Bigelow is another heel, like Razor Ramon, that has tons of potential but very little direction at the moment. Apollo tried to grab a side headlock to start things off but that plan failed as Bigelow started to wreck him with his power offense. Bammer grabbed a brief chinlock but missed a charge, giving Apollo a chance at some offense… which failed again as he came up empty on a dropkick. Bigelow went right back to work with aggression as Doink wandered out into the aisle again to taunt the fans. Bigelow slowly worked through his offense to eat up the rest of the show before winning it with a diving headbutt. After the bout he hit a second one but before more damage could be done, our buddy Friar Ferguson came out to make the save and dropkick Bigelow to the floor before dancing in celebration. Well, maybe Bigelow won’t be directionless for much longer. Or maybe he will, as Ferguson was tossed in the trash heap right after this show due to some complaints from the Catholic Church of New York. Back to the monastery, big guy. Grade: DUD

Final Analysis

Scott: The fact that it’s Rob Bartlett’s last episode is enough for me to give it an A+. I won’t, but I could. Money, Inc and Tatanka continue to be the hardest working guys on the roster and seem to be on every Raw while the two singles champions (Hulk Hogan and Shawn Michaels) are nowhere to be seen. Shawn will eventually start to work more on Raw, but Hogan? HA! That’s a laugh. We will see as Raw evolves in 1993 how much that decision in Las Vegas will come back to haunt Vince. This still was a great episode and a hot crowd that also proves Raw needs to move out of the Manhattan Center more often. Final Grade: B+

JT: Not a bad episode here with a pretty good anchor match, lots of in ring action and very little fluff. Razor Ramon and Virgil had a decent little match as well but outside of Friar Ferguson and Bigelow at the end, not much happened in the way of storyline development either, making this a bit of a filler episode. It was nice to see The Hitman resurface and discuss his plans, which now include taking out Lex Luger, a man who will be in action next week. We also say goodbye to Rob Bartlett. He hasn’t been good, but I thought he was actually improving over the past couple weeks. We will never know if he could have become serviceable. Until next week! Final Grade: C+