*** 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 #29
August 9, 1993 (Taped July 25, 1993)
Castle Recreation Center
Alexandria Bay, NY
Announcers: Vince McMahon, Randy Savage & Bobby Heenan
1) Tatanka defeats Mr. Hughes by count out at 7:00
Scott: This may be the first match in a while where Tatanka’s undefeated streak may be in legit jeopardy. Mr. Hughes has been on a roll since taking the Undertaker’s urn, and with every Mr. Hughes match we get the black funeral wreath at ringside. Why isn’t Taker facing Mr. Hughes at SummerSlam instead of the rematch with Giant Gonzalez? It really makes no sense at all. Mr. Hughes must be dying in that sweat box in upstate NY that we were also in last week. The match could have been better but it was a lot of punching and rolling around and then Tatanka wins by countout when Mr. Hughes didn’t get back in the ring in time. I was actually looking forward to this match because Tatanka had spent his undefeated streak beating up a bunch of jobbers and now was going to face a legitimate big man and the match wasn’t really much of anything. Hughes attacks Tatanka with the urn after the match, which still begs the question why it’s not Hughes vs. Undertaker at SummerSlam? Grade: 1/2*
JT: We are back in the Alexandria Bay sweatbox for our third straight taped episode and instead of cresting towards SummerSlam it feels like we may be backing our way in by eating up some time with stale episodes. We shall see as this week’s show rolls on if we get concrete build for Auburn Hills despite the moldy episode or filler to eat up a week. Raw favorite Tatanka is in the house here and his undefeated streak will be put to the test against the rugged Mr. Hughes. I have no clue how Hughes is out there in that full suit in such a smoking hot building. Hughes jumps Tatanka to start but the Native American fires right back, leading to a trading of blows. Hughes used his weight advantage to lean on Tatanka and regain control but Tatanka hit a cross body block for a new fall off a whip. Hughes quickly clobbered him to take back over, eventually grabbing his mullet and kneeing him hard in the lower back. Bobby Heenan noted that he is confident we will see Hughes at SummerSlam during the Undertaker/Giant Gonzalez battle. After a break, Hughes had Tatanka trapped in a neck vise as the crowd did their best to rally him. Tatanka caught a break when Hughes charged wildly at him and missed, slamming his head into the ring post as a result. He then unloaded a series of chops that ended up knocking the shades right off Hughes’ face. Hughes was able to sidestep a charging Tatanka and slung him outside. He followed him out and slammed him hard on the floor but Tatanka was able to back drop him and slip back in the ring to barely beat the count and win the match. After the bell, Hughes clobbered Tatanka with the urn and crumpled up a black wreath all over him. This was pretty rough and definitely not up to the in ring standard we have become used to from the marquee Raw matches. Also, the audio is a mess here with clearly over sweetened crowd noise drowning the announcers out badly. And like Scott said, this whole angle has been weird with Hughes blatantly having the main issue with Undertaker but is missing from SummerSlam while Giant Gonzalez gets the rematch. Grade: 1/2*
*** We get our next installment of Getting to Know Lex Luger. This week he discusses his experience at college, playing football and his immediate life after quitting. ***
2) Bushwhackers & Macho Midget defeat Brooklyn Brawler, Blake Beverly & Little Louie when Macho pinned Brawler with a splash off the top rope at 6:29
Fun Fact I: Little Louie (real name Louis Waterhouse) is an American midget wrestler. He wrestled for Vincent J. McMahon back in the mid 70s in the WWWF as well as other promotions when midget wrestlers were more common. VKM brings Louie back to the WWF here in ‘93 to counter the addition of the Macho Midget.
Fun Fact II: We bid farewell here to Blake Beverly (Mike Enos) on Raw. After the Beau Beverly (Wayne Bloom) left the WWF after the Royal Rumble, Blake stuck around, being used primarily as enhancement talent. He would go back to wrestle for NJPW for a while before signing on with WCW in 1996.
Scott: I…have no words for this. Bushwhackers and midgets? Egad this isn’t 1975 anymore. I keep forgetting the Bushwhackers were still with the company at this point, but they pop up from time to time. The announcers are trying to say the mask that Macho Midget is wearing is actually his face. It doesn’t become really prevalent until 1995, but these little things are what is making the WWF feel dated and out of touch. Dopey gimmicks and silly parlor tricks. Bobby Heenan is saving me from this mess with the short jokes with all the double entendres with the midgets. He must be thinking the way I’m thinking right now: This is a horrible mess of a match and making fun of the little rugrats is all the entertainment we have. Grade: DUD
JT: This feels really out of place on one of the final Raws before the second biggest PPV of the year. I guess it was just an excuse to use the Macho Midget after his debut this week and is a poor man’s version of the big six man early in the year where Tiger Jackson teamed with the Bushwhackers against Little Louie and the Beverly Brothers. This is pretty much the same match but Beau is gone so the Brooklyn Brawler gets shoved in his place, making it feel even more jobberific. We get the usual comedy to open up as Macho dances around the ring until things finally get going with Luke and Blake. That quickly devolved into mayhem as all six got in the ring and we got more of the usual midget wrestling antics. Bobby asking if Louie was Hillbilly Jim made me chuckle. Louie got a few shots in until Macho ran him off to the floor and the match reset with Butch and Blake. The Bushwhacker easily controlled, picking up a near fall and taking advantage of miscommunication from Beverly and Brawler. After more ambling around on both ends, when Butch used Brawler to battering ram Blake and then both Whackers planted him with a double DDT (!). Instead of pinning him, the Whackers launched Macho off the top with a splash onto Brawler to nab the win. This was a waste of time and not very interesting at all. It should have been a Coliseum Home Video match at best if it absolutely had to exist. Grade: DUD
*** Vince McMahon was standing center ring next to a table with Bobby Heenan, Randy Savage and a gang of WWF officials. He then brought out Yokozuna, first, and, eventually, Lex Luger for the big SummerSlam contract singing. Yokozuna was accompanied by Mr. Fuji… and Jim Cornette. Fuji reveals that Cornette is now Yoko’s official American spokesperson for the champion. Cornette puts over the people of Japan as leaders of industry but says they have been taken advantage of by Jack Tunney and his goons, so Cornette will now be double checking all the details and contracts going forward. Luger eventually makes his way out and has a seat at the table. Cornette verifies that he is good to go with this contract so Yoko signs on the dotted line, as does Lex. Cornette then clarifies that if Luger fails to win at SummerSlam, he will never, ever get another WWF Title match again as long as he is champ. Luger says he won’t need a rematch as he and all of his fans will kick the door of the Palace in and take the belt back to America. ***
3) Razor Ramon defeats Dan Dubiel with a Razor’s Edge at 2:11
Scott: Bobby Heenan announces that Razor will face Ted DiBiase at SummerSlam, as the holes are being filled in the August 30 card in Auburn Hills. This is a quick squash as we get some punches, an abdominal stretch and a Razor’s Edge. That’s pretty much it. Grade: DUD
JT: In his first Raw match as a face, Razor Ramon is set to tussle with Dan Dubiel. Vince reminds us the crazy success of last year’s SummerSlam as a segue off an NFL preseason game that went down at Wembley Stadium over the weekend. Razor makes quick work of Dubiel but the big news is that Ramon will battle Ted DiBiase at SummerSlam to cap off their feud that has brewed over the past month. Grade: DUD
*** Gene Okerlund is back in the house with our SummerSlam report, which is now just three weeks away!
Lex Luger vs. Yokozuna – WWF World Title
Bret Hart vs. Jerry Lawler
Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzalez
Mr. Perfect vs. Shawn Michaels – WWF Intercontinental Title
These and much more, so call your cable company RIGHT NOW! ***
4) Heavenly Bodies defeat Bobby Who & Mike Bucci when Jimmy Del Ray pins Bucci with a moonsault at 2:37
Fun Fact: Tom Prichard and Stan Lane formed the team of the Heavenly Bodies in Smoky Mountain Wrestling. Managed by Jim Cornette, the team became the first SMW tag team champions in April 1992. SMW and WCW worked a cross-promotional deal that allowed the Bodies to wrestle on SuperBrawl III in February 1993 against their heated rivals, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express. When Lane lost a Loser Leaves Town match in May 1993, he was replaced on the team by Jimmy Del Ray. In July, Cornette’s deal with the WWF allowed the Bodies to appear on WWF programming.
Scott: So it seems they are leaning towards this new tag team from ANOTHER promotion facing the Steiners August 30 in Auburn Hills. Still in the era of kayfabe we were perplexed how Vince was working with another promotion since the WWF never did that before. Cornette will never confuse these guys with the iconic Midnight Express but they have good chemistry and worked these two stiffs (including the future Hollywood Nova) over with quick tags and solid double team moves. After the match Cornette continues to bait Scott & Rick into signing the contract by calling them cowards. We will see if the Steiners answer the challenge. Grade: *
JT: After being referenced by Jim Cornette last week, the Heavenly Bodies are in the house here tonight for their WWF debut match. Vince reminds us that Cornette challenged the Steiner Brothers for a SummerSlam match on behalf of the Bodies. He also discusses recent going on in SMW which is a cool touch. Tom Prichard and Bobby Who kick things off with the Doctor taking him down and showing off a bit. Vince notes that a WWF title has never left the company for a different one but that it could happen if the Bodies win in Auburn Hills. Jim Del Ray comes in and lands a nice side kick and the chucks Who into the corner so he can tag in Bucci. As Del Ray works him over, Vince promotes the USA original movie Praying Mantis, so check that out too. After a quick double team by the Bodies, Del Ray finishes Bucci with a nice moonsault off the top rope. Grade: DUD
Scott: I’m still stunned that Vince actually acknowledged talent from another promotion. I wasn’t really in the know at the time so I was clueless about it, but it seemed pretty cool. It may also be an insult to the other tag teams in the company like the Headshrinkers that should have gotten a title shot at SummerSlam instead of these guys. Razor is on fire as a babyface as is Tatanka but they at the moment are somewhat rudderless. Another middling episode that has fluff and the Lex Express. Final Grade: C
JT: Not our best Raw to date. Luckily the contract signing was pretty great because it saved this episode from being a complete dud. It has been fun watching everyone soaked with sweat inside this hell hole, but both episodes from Alexandria Bay have been pretty flat and just felt unimportant overall. With just one more Raw before SummerSlam, hopefully next week things can turn around. The feature match here stunk and the midget mess was a waste of time. Tack on a pair of innocuous squashes and alls we got is that contract signing. Which was good, but not good enough. Final Grade: D