Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 6/7/93

*** 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 #20

June 7, 1993
Manhattan Center
New York, NY
Announcers: Vince McMahon, Randy Savage & Bobby Heenan

1) Shawn Michaels defeats Russ Greenberg with a piledriver at 3:53

Fun Fact I: Kevin Nash was born in July, 1959 in Detroit, Michigan. He played basketball for the University of Tennessee from 1977 to 1980 before going to Europe to play professionally. His basketball career was cut short when he tore his ACL in 1981 while playing in Germany. He served in the military police at a NATO secure facility in Germany for two years, worked on an assembly line at Ford and as a floor manager at a strip club in Atlanta before getting into professional wrestling. He started his wrestling career in 1990 in World Championship Wrestling, where Nash would go through several character changes, but would never find the right fit. He started as part of the Master Blasters tag team under the name Steel. When the team broke apart in 1991, he was rebranded as the Master Blaster for his first singles run. His next push was as a character named Oz, based off of the Wizard of Oz children’s book. This run only lasted a month before it was scrapped. He then was billed as Vinnie Vegas, which lasted until Nash left for the WWF in 1993. Nash came to the WWF at the request of Shawn Michaels to serve as his bodyguard. He makes his on-camera debut here without a name.

Fun Fact II: On June 6, the night before Raw at a house show in Albany, New York, Shawn Michaels beat Marty Jannetty to win back the Intercontinental Championship. Jannetty was distracted by his debuting bodyguard, allowing Michaels to hit a superkick for the win.

Scott: Shawn Michaels enters the match as the NEW Intercontinental Champion, as he won the title back from Marty Jannetty with his new “insurance policy” helping out. His new bodyguard should be familiar to WCW fans of the time. He’s the former Oz and Vinnie Vegas, yet he has no name right now. Seems like nothing more than a piece of meat, but that changes. Shawn finally gets to work over a stiff and gets the victory. The Marty win was a nice one night spike in Raw’s ratings, but in the grand scheme of things Shawn being champion is probably better for things. After the KOTR report, where it’s announced that the Michaels/Crush match at the PPV is now for the IC Title, Shawn comes back out and bitches that his gold is now on the line. This match is nothing, but Shawn is back on top. Grade: *

JT: Here we are just one week away from KOTR with one more Raw to go before the big showdown in Dayton. We are also back live yet again here in the Manhattan Center and we open with a big time surprise as Shawn Michaels is revealed to have regained the IC title from Marty Jannetty over the weekend. Poor Marty, his run was a brief shooting star but it doesn’t take away from was an awesome moment his victory was. I guess he could only go so far with the belt, but we could have maybe squeezed out a few more fun title bouts. Anyway, Michaels enters here with the gold tightly fastened around his waist but he is also not alone… as he has a giant bodyguard alongside with him. Michaels ambushes the announcers as they intro the show and introduces his to his unnamed “insurance policy”. In the ring, Greenburg gives it a bit of a go, but Michaels easily outworks him on the mat, followed by a flurry of higher impact moves before finishing him off with a piledriver for the win. Michaels was all over Raw over the past six weeks and he caps off this run to KOTR with a strong weekend of victories. Grade: DUD

*** Gene Okerlund stops by with our King of the Ring Report, which is now just six days away and completely sold out! Here are the matches discussed:

Hulk Hogan vs. Yokozuna – WWF Heavyweight Title
Bret Hart vs. Razor Ramon – KOTR Opening Round Match

Mr. Perfect vs. Mr. Hughes – KOTR Opening Round Match
Jim Duggan vs. Bam Bam Bigelow – KOTR Opening Round Match
Tatanka vs. Lex Luger – KOTR Opening Round Match
Crush vs. Shawn Michaels – WWF Intercontinental Title

Call your cable company and join us live on PPV for this unforgettable night of wrestling! ***

*** Shawn Michaels and his bodyguard come back out to bitch at the announcers about having his match with Crush changed to an IC Title defense. He accuses the promotion of being jealous and taking it out on him as a result. He vows that he and his bodyguard will ensure his title stays around his waist on Sunday. ***

2) Adam Bomb defeats Tito Santana with a slingshot clothesline at 5:32

Fun Fact: This will be the Raw farewell for a WWF legend, Tito Santana. His last televised WWF match will occur on Superstars in July and he will continue to wrestle for the company into August before signing on with Eastern Championship Wrestling.

Scott: So Tito Santana is doing once again what he does best. He’s going to put new talent through his paces and put him over as a big star. Johnny Polo comes out with a lax stick and gloves this time, but Adam Bomb is the centerpiece. A huge guy with a great look, even sporting the creepy contact lenses. Tito does take the match to Bomb and the big guy has had to work a little more than he’s used to, and even had to take the Flying Burrito forearm but that was when the match changed. After the two count, Bomb takes over and hits a somewhat awkward flying clothesline from the outside of the ring. He gets the win but perhaps he should come up with another finisher as this one could be ugly if not executed properly. Grade: **

JT: Newcomer Adam Bomb makes his way out to the ring for another showcase match here on Raw. As always, he is accompanied by the great Johnny Polo. Tonight his competition is a bit stiffer than usual as he has to tussle with the beloved veteran Tito Santana, who actually gets an entrance here. The crowd seemed happy to see Tito here tonight, perhaps wondering if he could sneak out one more win in the Big Apple. Tito was able to work the arm a bit to start before Bomb overpowered him. Santana kept using his speed to dodge Bomb and the big man just couldn’t find a seam to get on track until finally busting out of a sunset flip and cracking Santana with an uppercut. As Bomb went to work, Vince noted that Razor Ramon was now offering $7,500 to the Kid for a rematch. Heenan believes Kid thinks that isn’t enough money to risk his career. Bomb ran Tito from corner to corner but the Matador landed a few punches and then hit the flying forearm to rattle Bomb. However, the big man shook that off, spiked Tito back to the mat and then hit a flying clothesline for the win. Santana was game here but Bomb was really stiff still at this point and didn’t give him much to work with. Santana has been a ton of fun to watch through our PPV, SNME and Raw recaps and I will definitely miss seeing him pop up on these shows from time to time. Grade: *

3) Tatanka defeats Peter Weeks with a tomahawk chop off the top rope at 3:16

Scott: Tatanka, who seems to be getting farther away from being Intercontinental Champion, is now set to face the Narcissist Lex Luger on Sunday in Dayton. Here he takes on some new fodder in the jobber pool. Tatanka was really hot throughout the first four months of 1993, but after the DQ win at WrestleMania he’s cooled off and been put on the backburner. I don’t really understand it as he is really over with the fans and he should have gotten a rematch with Michaels at King of the Ring with a stipulation and a title victory. Oh well, he gets the win here. Grade: *

JT: Well, well, well, Tatanka is back! The early Raw mainstay was absent in the ring last week but he is back here and ready to rock against Peter Weeks. Weeks has a terrible look. As Tatanka made quick work of him, the announcers discussed his opening round match with Lex Luger and a potential second round showdown with his nemesis Bam Bam Bigelow. Weeks would land a couple of shots in before Tatanka chopped him to pieces and picked up the win. Not much to see here, just a chance to hype up KOTR and rightly so. Grade: DUD

*** Jerry Lawler comes out for a special edition of The King’s Court. Lawler makes fun of Vince McMahon and Randy Savage as well as New York City. After a commercial, the King brings out Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji for one final chat before KOTR. Lawler starts by ragging on Hulk Hogan, claiming he is off in Hollywood making movies before asking Fuji what it will be like in Dayton. Fuji reveals that Yoko has bulked up and is now weighing in at 550 pounds. Fuji says Hogan’s bones will crack and then Yoko will squash him to take the title back and earn the respect of Japan. Yoko again speaks English, saying Hogan will go down. ***

4) Fatu & IRS defeat Rick Steiner & Billy Gunn with a clothesline from behind at 11:30

Scott: A prelude to the eight man tag match coming up at the KOTR has one member of each team in a mixed tag match if you will. These are the top four teams in the promotion right now with Money, Inc. still holding the tag straps. The Steiners are obviously being prepped as the next face team to win it, as the Gunns have just arrived and need more seasoning. The other four guys are stalking the ring, almost like an unspoken lumberjack match. As expected the heels are miscommunicating and arguing with each other as Rick & Bart are working very well together. This match eventually just falls apart with everybody going bonkers until Money, Inc. sneaks in and gets the victory for the heels. That could be a fun match at KOTR, with the top four teams going at it. Grade: **

JT: And it is officially main event time as we get one last shill in for KOTR with some of the competitors in the big eight man tag squaring off to close out the show. Bill Dunn introducing Bart as Billy’s cousin made me laugh. The crowd was all over Irwin immediately, as always, and he glared right back at them as everyone settled in around the ring. In a funny bit, the Headshrinkers were devouring WWF Ice Cream Bars before the bell. This definitely had the makings of a chaotic scene as Scott Steiner, Bart Gunn, Samu, Ted DiBiase and Afa were all milling around ringside. DiBiase tries to give the Shrinkers some cash to ensure things are on the up and up but Afa just eats it. And with that, Billy and Fatu kick things off with Gunn controlling the offense. Gunn picked up a near fall with a neckbreaker before tagging Rick, who hit a nice belly-to-belly for two. IRS would get the tag but whiffed on a clothesline and spilled to the floor. Once he got back inside, Rick slugged away with right hands and a big clothesline for two. As Steiner and Gunn tagged in and out and dominated, things got dicey on the floor with Money, Inc and the Shrinkers getting into it. DiBiase would flash some more cash to settle things down and eventually the bout restarted with IRS and Steiner going at it. IRS was able to pitch Steiner to the floor where he was met by an attack from DiBiase and Samu. Scott tried to help out but the referee got tied up and the assault continued. Scott has quite the look going here, with a tank top tucked into jeans, which were in turn tucked into cowboy boots. Back in the ring, Fatu mowed through Rick with a stiff clothesline for a near fall. Scott would dodge a Fatu splash and make the tag to Billy, who cleaned house on both guys. However, he got stupid and after slugging at DiBiase, he stood and did a ridiculous gun show dance until IRS pegged him from behind and snuck out the win. That was pretty chaotic, as expected, and also a bit sloppy but all of that energy and mayhem definitely sets the tone for the least hyped KOTR PPV match. It was nice that they got a chance to build it just a bit. It also shows that Money, Inc has three legit tag teams that could come gunning for their gold. The Steiners are definitely a top that list but the Gunns and Shrinkers are right in the mix too. Grade: *1/2

*** Razor Ramon comes out to chat with Vince McMahon. McMahon notes Razor’s latest offer of $7,500 as the crowd chants “1-2-3”. Razor says that next week we finally get the match that everyone is waiting for: 1-2-3 Kid vs. Razor Ramon. McMahon says there is no confirmation but Ramon says for that amount of money, he could have everyone in the Manhattan Center standing on their heads naked. McMahon then asks about his KOTR match with Bret Hart and says that hotline voters have him at just a 7% chance of victory. Ramon says Hart will be a loser, has been and grease spot on the mat. ***

Final Analysis

Scott: What would a RAW episode be without a Tatanka match? Who has been on more since the show launched in January: Tatanka or Money, Inc? The tag champs haven’t been on lately so the Native American has caught up somewhat. Our go home Raw for KOTR has had big time build, including a LIVE interview with the #1 contender for the WWF Championship. Think maybe the WWF Champion could show up for at least THIS segment? Vince really buried the main event situation completely, and I think a lot of it has to do with him panicking at WrestleMania and still treating the promotion like it’s 1986 and that doesn’t work when you have legitimate weekly programming. Fortunately by now he figures that out. So let’s see how this PPV shapes up and if it works to have a big show in between WrestleMania and SummerSlam. Final Grade: C+

JT: The hot run of Raws since the calendar switched to May pretty much comes to an end here. They did a fine job of hyping the hell out of KOTR but the show as a whole never really clicked. We do get the major revelation of Shawn Michaels regaining the IC title but other than that, there wasn’t much going on. Yokozuna was in the house for one last hard sell of the WWF Title match but Vince McMahon’s prediction from a week ago fails to come true as Hulk Hogan was a no show. That means the Hulkster did not appear live on the flagship program once since February. Pretty crazy that they couldn’t roll him out at least one time to help set up the rematch, but I guess in some ways it sells itself regardless, plus he seemed out of place in that setting anyway. The man event was fine but no match here really props up the show in any way. It was all about KOTR hype, which makes perfect sense, but overall quality wise, this is one of our worst in a while. Grade: C-