Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 5/3/93

*** 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 #15

May 3, 1993 (Taped April 26, 1993)
Manhattan Center
New York, NY
Announcers: Vince McMahon, Randy Savage & Bobby Heenan

1) Jim Duggan defeats Shawn Michaels by countout at 11:17; Michaels retains WWF Intercontinental Title

Scott: This is our first title match on the show since Shawn Michaels beat Max Moon a few months ago. Shawn had been incognito since escaping with the IC Title at WrestleMania against Tatanka. Now he defends against another fossil of the Federation Era. I wonder why Jim Duggan has to wear a singlet now, because he’s gone the way of these other guys who have gotten lazy? I find it bizarre that Duggan has the USA chants going when Michaels is… from Texas? I wonder why the WWF Championship can’t be defended on RAW. Oh right, because Hulk Hogan CAN DO WHATEVER HE WANTS. It’s been a month and we get no promos, no highlights, not one live appearance. Michaels did the best he could during this match with a guy who had limited skills when he was in his prime, and now, well, isn’t in his prime. Duggan looks to be hitting his finisher and preparing to shock the world, but Michaels gets clotheslined out of the ring. Duggan comes out and clotheslines him over the railing. Michaels gets counted out and Duggan wins the match but no title change. It wasn’t a bad match all things considered. After the match, Duggan grabs a seat and says he won’t leave the ring until Shawn Michaels returns to the ring. Grade: **

JT: We waste no time this week rolling out the big intercontinental title match that was teased heavily on our last show. Shawn Michaels has been pretty absent on Raw over the past handful of episodes but he returned last week for an interview and is back in the ring here against the veteran Jim Duggan. Duggan has never been one for titles in the WWF but as he was nearing his waning days in the promotion he takes a stab at grabbing some gold here. Duggan hasn’t been as present as he was in past years but he did have a pretty cool mini-feud with Yokozuna earlier in the year so in some ways he was being used higher up the card here than he had in around two years. The crowd loved him just the same as well, and the “USA” and “Hooo” chants rained down immediately. Michaels would stall early on as Duggan chased him around and rallied the crowd. Duggan finally got his hands on the champ, barreling into him with three clotheslines that finally sent Michaels scurrying outside. Duggan was looking pretty portly here, probably a good idea to put him in the singlet at this point. Duggan kept bringing the fight, even chasing down Michaels in the aisle and carrying him back to the ring. After a break, Duggan was still in control but Michaels quickly cut him off by yanking his neck across the top rope. For the first time all match, Michaels sped up and got aggressive, pouncing on his opening by unloading knee drops and stomps. Hacksaw popped the champ with some heavy blows but ate a boot on a charge and then got trapped in a chinlock. The crowd kept rallying Duggan but Michaels didn’t give him much room to breathe, dumping him to the floor and following with an axe blow. Duggan kept plugging away, refusing to stay down, so Shawn went to the eyes and back to the chinlock to wear him down. Hacksaw eventually punched his way back into things, rattling the champ in the corner and then slamming him hard to the mat. Another blow knocked Michaels to the floor and this time Duggan followed out and hammered away at him. He would shrug off an eye rake and clothesline Michaels into the crowd before rolling inside and picking up the count out win. They did a nice job teasing there because on paper there was no chance Duggan would win the gold but it started to look possible towards the end of the match. The bout was fine with plenty of strikes, a pretty hot crowd (especially for a taped episode) and a good closing couple of minutes. Duggan definitely broke out his working boots for this one and if they had PPV constraints instead of TV it may have inched even higher. Grade: **

*** After the match, Jim Duggan grabs a microphone and demands a rematch and vows to not leave the ring until he gets another shot at the title. He would proceed to chuck a few chairs into the ring and then sit on one in protest. He would eventually leave the ring to call Jack Tunney.***

*** Gene Okerlund delivers our King of the Ring Report, with the following announced:

Qualified Participants
Bret Hart
The Narcissist

Upcoming Qualifiers
Mr. Perfect vs. Doink
El Matador vs. Razor Ramon
Jim Duggan vs. Papa Shango

PPV Matches
Hulk Hogan vs. Yokozuna – WWF Heavyweight Title

Sunday June 13 in Dayton, OH! Be there! The Mayle Family will be! ***

2) Doink the Clown defeats Kamikaze Kid with the Stump Puller at 2:05

Fun Fact: Sean Waltman began his pro wrestling training in 1989 before debuting on the independent circuit as The Lightning Kid. He would wrestling in Pro Wrestling America and the Global Wrestling Federation where he wrestled with Jerry Lynn extensively. Waltman wrestled a tryout match in Phoenix, AZ the day after WrestleMania IX and earned a contract with the WWF.

Scott: On this night we begin the saga that is Sean Waltman. His character and reputation will grow throughout 1993, and it begins as the Kamikaze Kid, a faceless jobber as exciting as Von Krus or LA Gore. Doink and Mr. Perfect fought to a draw on Superstars this past weekend so he’s still in limbo for King of the Ring. He does tie the Kid up in knots and that’s that. Grade: *

JT: One of our favorite Raw stars is back as Doink the Clown saunters to the ring for our next matchup. Doink had tried to qualify for KOTR this past weekend but he and Mr. Perfect battled to a draw. In the KOTR Report, Gene Okerlund mentioned that the two would receive another shot at competing to advance. Across the ring is the Kamikaze Kid, a new jobber to the world of WWF but a familiar face to knowledgeable wrestling fans who may have seen him plying his trade down in Global. Doink jumped the Kid off the bell and took him over with a tight belly-to-belly suplex before stomping away. He followed with a clothesline and then turned Kid into an STF, basically toying with him throughout. Kid tried to land a couple of shots but Doink went to the eyes and then dropped a few elbows before wrenching in a nasty stump puller where he rolled all the way back on the mat. Man, give me more of these two, what a fun squash. Doink keeps on being awesome, a very underrated member of the roster from both an in ring and character standpoint. The Kid gets a rough welcome to Raw. Grade: 1/2*

3) Bob Backlund defeats Duane Gill with a bridge at 3:39

Scott: Wow Dwayne Gill is rocking the most awesome 1993 mullet on the planet. As the match is going on, Vince announces that next week Duggan will get an Intercontinental Championship rematch with Shawn Michaels, and it will be a lumberjack match. Backlund, unlike some of the other older guys in the roster, actually still can work in the ring and is a great addition to some of these Raws, defeating the scrubs and putting over the hotter talent. He handles Mr. Mullet here with ease and we move on. Grade: *

JT: Bob Backlund is back for yet another Raw match as he has been one of the most consistently active competitors since the show launched. Here he lines up against Duane Gill and his elaborate mullet. Vince notes that Jack Tunney decreed Michaels and Duggan will have their rematch next week and the ring will be surrounded by lumberjacks to ensure the champion can’t escape. Looks like Michaels may be in some trouble live next Monday night. Backlund outworks Gill both standing and on the mat and beats him with an amateur bridge, as he is usually wont to do. Backlund chugs along, a man without a feud. Grade: DUD

*** Jim Duggan heads back to the ring to chat with Vince McMahon. He recounts his conversation with Jack Tunny and confirms he will get another crack at the Intercontinental Title in a lumberjack match next week. ***

*** We check in with the soon-to-debut Smoking Gunns, who call out some of the WWF’s top teams while they are practicing their shooting out in the desert. Lou Albano is then introduced to the crowd and he comes out to join in on commentary. ***

4) Headshrinkers defeat Jay Sledge & Jim Bell when Fatu pinned Bell after a top rope splash at 5:43

Scott: Ugh, so not only does Captain Lou Albano have to return and glom off of everybody, he has to be on commentary too. It’s Albano’s first appearance since 1987, and it’s clear he’s lost a lot of weight. He’s out because he used to manage the Headshrinkers’ relatives, the Wild Samoans. They totally bury these two stiffs with constant power moves, including a nasty spike piledriver. Samu and Fatu are particularly vicious in this squash, lifting up the bums during pin attempts and continuously applying more pain and punishment. I’m not letting Albano’s babbling ruin my enjoyment of this squash, including Fatu’s victorious top rope splash. I particularly enjoyed that, Albano notwithstanding. Grade: **

JT: With Lou Albano settled into the commentary booth, the Headshrinkers are led out by his former charge Afa. After their hard luck loss at WrestleMania, the Shrinkers are looking to back on track and possibly into the tag title mix. Albano says he is on ICOPRO and is thrilled to be back in the big time. He also says the Samoans have taken a turn for the worse since the days he was associated with them. The Shrinkers jumped their opponents to start and the squash was officially on with a double team flapjack on Sledge. Sledge took a shit kicking from there, getting shoved to the floor and body slammed out on the mat. As he ate a side kick from Samu, Vince noted that Yokozuna would be a lumberjack next week. Fatu came in and fed Sledge to his corner and then kicked Bell in the face right as he walked in. Bell had it worse than Sledge as he got crushed with a spike piledriver and then ate even more offense from both Samoans. Albano and Heenan sparred as the Samoans put Bell down for good with a double reverse Russian leg sweep and a Fatu big splash. Really fun squash by the Samoans, as always. Grade: *

5) Kamala defeats Rich Myers with a splash at 2:29

Scott: This final squash is nothing more than background noise to reveal that not only was Yokozuna announced as a lumberjack in next week’s IC Title match, but Mr. Perfect is as well. Myer’s mullet is just as impressive as Gill’s but Gill’s is dyed, so he gets the nod. The match is the match. Grade: DUD

JT: Kamala is back on the scene and flying solo as Slick is absent this week. As he starts to square off with Rich Myers, Vince announces that Mr. Perfect will be a lumberjack next week as well, meaning each competitor has an arch nemesis to deal with at ringside now. Kamala smacked his way through Myers and his glorious mullet before finishing him off with a splash. Also of note, Myers was a horrible bumper and Savage gets in an Omar the Tent Maker reference. Grade: DUD

*** Vince McMahon announces that Bam Bam Bigelow will battle Typhoon in a KOTR qualifier next week. Bobby Heenan then chats with Shawn Michaels about next week’s title match and the major injustice of Jim Duggan and Jack Tunney conspiring against him as well. ***

Final Analysis

Scott: The chaos of the Duggan/Michaels match brings a whole new element to the show we haven’t seen yet. For some sick reason I’m looking forward to the lumberjack rematch. GET OUT OF MY HEAD DUGGAN! Seeing Captain Lou back does nothing for me, but he is being teased for an eventual comeback. The Headshrinkers were fun to watch as they were pretty stiff in pummeling the jobbers. Oh and still no Hulk Hogan appearances. What a shock. Final Grade: C+

JT: Pretty decent little offering this week with a hot opener, a nice through line that carries us into next week’s live show and a decent series of squashes to close things out. There was no real slow spots or time wasters in here as we just chugged along at a nice pace. The crowd stayed pretty fired up too considering it was their second show of the evening. The Headshrinkers are pretty high on the squash list so anytime we get to see them waste a couple of jobbers it helps the grade as well. The commentary is also obviously a positive now too and helps the show flow even through dead zones. This was a solid episode, especially for a taped show, but checks in just a notch below the real strong outings. Final Grade: C+