WWE | Pro Wrestling

WWE Monday Night Raw: Episode 3 Review

In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, I didn’t have a computer much less the internet. There was no way for me to see live WWF Pay per View results. If I was lucky, a friend of mine from school would see the pay per view, and I would get the results from him on Monday morning. If not, I had to wait a week until Superstars on Saturday morning. When Monday Night Raw went live in early 1993, it meant that I could get the results of pay per views the very next day. This was very exciting, and it changed my life forever! O.K., that’s a little overdramatic, but you get the point.

The 1993 Royal Rumble took place on January 24th, 1993. It was the first time in which the Royal Rumble winner would face the WWF champion in the main event of WrestleMania. The event also featured Bret Hart defending the WWF title against Razor Ramon, and Shawn Michaels defending his Intercontinental title against his former tag team partner Marty Jannetty. I did not see the Rumble live, and I could NOT WAIT for Monday Night Raw to start so I could find out the results.

The Royal Rumble was held in Sacramento and Raw was in New York; therefore, this show was obviously taped. I didn’t know that in 1993, and it may as well have been live to me.

The only thing that I remember about this episode is the retirement match between Rick Flair and Mr. Perfect, and from what I remember the show was really good. Let’s see what I think about this episode 21 years later….

The show starts off with Sean Mooney standing outside the building. Mooney is awaiting the arrival of the Repo Man. Repo pulls up in a tow truck and tells Randy Savage that he is going to repossess his career just like he repossessed his hat.

Opening Music and Siren

It looks like they finally let Bobby Heenan in the building as he joins McMahon and Bartlett on commentary this week. Tonight we will see “The Ugandan Giant” Kamala, The Bushwackers, Macho Man vs The Repo Man, and the retirement match. The Repo Man’s music hits and we are underway.

The Repo Man vs The Macho Man Randy Savage

In those days, I thought Repo Man had cool music; I may have been the only one. Repo Man is showing off the fact that he has Macho Man’s hat. Macho Man doesn’t wait for his own music to hit, and he jump Repo from behind. This made sense because last week Macho spent the entire episode trying to track down The Repo Man. This week he finally has him, and he isn’t going to waste any time. Savage spends the first part of the match kicking, punching, and choking Repo Man. Repo tries to catch his breath as he throws Savage out of the ring. Savage comes right back in with a knee to the back and sends Repo out of the ring. Repo tries to bail, and Savage chases him down. Vince mentions multiple times that Savage came close to winning the Rumble, and he finally tells us that the 505 pound Yokozuna was the winner. Savage brings Repo back to the ring and proceeds to choke him some more. Repo Man takes control of the match after he slammed Savage’s head into the stairs. Repo controls the match for a few minutes, and we go to commercial…

 

Before the commercial break, there was a pretty funny interaction between the announcers. “Vince, where did they get this guy?”- Heenan referring to Bartlett. “Never mind. Well, if you really want to know he was coming off the Subway and we just decided to….”- Vince “You will give anyone a hand out won’t you?”- Heenan. You have to figure Bartlett’s days were numbered at this point.

We are back from commercial and Repo Man is still in control. Heenan gets in a verbal shot at the newly inaugurated President Bill Clinton. After controlling the match for about 4 minutes, Repo tries some kind of move from the second rope and gets clotheslined. Macho body slams Repo to put him in position for his flying elbow. Macho hits the elbow, and this one is over. The lesson here is never steal Randy Savage’s hat.

WrestleMania 9 Promo

Kamala vs The Brooklyn Brawler

Kamala comes out with Slick as his new manager. During the first episode of Raw, we saw the angle that led to Kamala’s babyface turn. Brawler decides to attack Kamala immediately. This was not a good idea. Kamala hits a few moves on Brawler, and the crowd starts chanting “you are a man” at Kamala. That’s a weird chant. Kamala tries his trademark pin. If you don’t know what that is, it goes like this: Kamala’s opponent is face down, Kamala is too stupid to know that his opponent has to be on his back in order to be pinned. Kamala is wondering why the referee isn’t counting. Kamala hits a few more moves, accidently slips, and does his trademark pin attempt again. The referee still won’t count. Kamala hits the big splash, and rolls the Brawler over a few times (because he doesn’t know how to pin him). Kamala finally gets the pin with some help from the crowd. That was awful. I seem to remember enjoying baby face Kamala in 1993. I am not quite sure what I was thinking.

Vince interviews Slick. Basically, the gimmick was that Kamala is bonding with the crowd, and the crowd is responsible for the change in Kamala.

Royal Rumble Report

This was a mark out moment for me. I already found out that Yokozuna won the Rumble, but I still didn’t know who won the other title matches. Mean Gene broke it all down for me and gave me the results that I was waiting for. Bret Hart retained, Yokozuna won the Rumble, The Narcissist was Lex Luger, and Giant Gonzales debuted and manhandled The Undertaker. Wait, who won the IC title match? I guess I’ll have to keep waiting for that one.

Ric Flair’s music hits and here we go: Ric Flair vs Mr. Perfect in a retirement match

Hey, what happened to the Bushwackers? Oh well. This felt like such a huge match at the time. The two men walk around the ring as they feel each other out. A couple of slaps back and forth. Mr. Perfect takes the early advantage and Flair bails out of the ring. “Ric come over here, I have an idea.”- Heenan proceeds to offer a hammer to Flair. This goes without saying, but Bobby Heenan was awesome. Another feeling out process and the announcers do a great job of selling the stipulation. They mention that neither man wants to make a mistake because of the high stakes on the line for this match. We get some back and forth chops in the corner. Ric uses his famous eye poke, throws Perfect out of the ring, and grabs a chair. The chair attempt fails as the referee takes it away just as Flair was about to use it. Flair is pissed and starts shoving the ref. We go to commercial…

When we come back, Flair is in control of the match as he throws Mr. Perfect out of the ring. The announcers sold this as Perfect hitting his head on the ring post on the way out of the ring. Perfect does the blade job as the cameras are on Flair, and we have blood! Flair continues to control the match, Perfect makes a brief comeback, and we get our first near fall. Heenan is starting to get nervous. Just as Flair gets back in control, Perfect locks him up, and we have another near fall. Heenan is getting more nervous, and Ric does his classic beg. Perfect will have none if it as he hits Flair with 5 punches on the turnbuckle. Ric counters with an atomic drop, and a roll up for another near fall. Perfect comes back, suplex, near fall. Flair comes back with a kick to the gut and a sleeper hold. Heenan’s nervousness has turned into excitement. Referee checks Perfect: Hand goes down once, hand goes down twice, hand does not go down 3 times as Perfect comes back and rams Ric into the turnbuckle. Perfect throws Flair against the rope and hits him with a flying clothesline/sleeper hold, and we get a couple more near falls. Match is going back and forth now. Flair gets the figure 4 on, and of course, he uses the ropes for more leverage. The referee caught Flair in the act, and makes him break the hold. Flair remains in control and Heenan is sensing victory. Flair goes to the top rope, and I think you know what happens next. Perfect gets to his feet, and dumps Flair off the top rope. We go to commercial…

We are back, and both men look spent. Vince reminds us that the show is almost over, and if we don’t get a conclusion before the show goes off the air, we will have to wait until next week. Flair grabs a foreign object from his knee pad and nails Perfect! Flair with an elbow drop and Perfect puts his foot on the ropes a little early. Referee still counts 2 and then sees Perfect’s foot on the ropes. Flair is opening up the cut more with some punches. Flair gets Perfect into the corner and lays some chops in. Perfect is starting to no sell the chops, and Flair looks nervous. Perfect looks like he is about to do a “Hulk Hogan style” comeback, and Flair is begging off. Perfect hits some chops, throws Flair into the ropes, hits a backdrop and a punch. Classic Flair spot as he goes into the ropes, comes out to the apron, runs to the other turnbuckle, and Perfect throws him off. Near fall, and more begging. Flair comes back and attempts 3 pins with his feet on the ropes the entire time. Ref finally sees it, and he kicks flair’s feet off the ropes. Perfect tries a small package but Flair kicks out, gets up, and sends Perfect into the ropes. Flair makes a mistake as he puts his head down; Perfect gets him in the Perfectplex and its over!! Heenan was great here as he sold this by going nuts. They even bleeped out whatever Heenan was saying. Flair and Heenan leave the ringside area together, and we go to commercial with Mr. Perfect celebrating…

When we come back from commercial, Vince informs us that Flair must fulfill his WWF commitments through the weekend. I guess he was protecting the house shows. Next week…DOINK VS. TYPHOON!

1993 Reflection: WOW, Monday Night Raw was on fire after their first few episodes. We didn’t get matches of this caliber on WWF Superstars or Wrestling Challenge. It was also rare to see The Macho Man wrestle on free television in those days. I loved this match, and I loved this show. I was going to make sure that I was in front of my television every Monday night at 9pm.

From my eyes in 2014: This match was somewhat historic because it sent a message to the WWF fans. The message was that Monday Night Raw was going to become the flagship show, and it was a must watch. The syndicated programming would become less important in the mid to late 90’s, and eventually it went away altogether. I tried to recap the match as best as I could, but it doesn’t do it justice.  I definitely recommend watching this episode if you have never seen it. If anything, skip the first 20 minutes and watch the retirement match. Twenty one years later, it’s still a fun match to watch.

Tony Vicencio

Twitter: @tviddysblog

Check out my other reviews at www.tviddysblog.com

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