January 18th, 1993
Live from Manhattan, NY (Manhattan Center)
Announced attendance: ca 1 000 (capacity: ca 2 200)
TV rating: 2.8 (USA Network) (up 0.3 from the previous RAW’s 2.5)
Welcome everyone to my review of the second episode of Monday Night RAW. This week, on the go-home edition for the Royal Rumble, Ric Flair, Mr. Perfect and Marty Jannetty are in action. But the real question is… can Bobby Heenan actually get into the arena this time around!?
Here is the list of WWF champions heading into this RAW:
- WWF Champion: Bret Hart [98th day of his reign] – previous champion: Ric Flair
- WWF Intercontinental Champion: Shawn Michaels [83rd day of his reign] – previous champion: The British Bulldog
- WWF World Tag Team Champions: Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase & Irwin R. Schyster) [97th day of their reign] – previous champions: The Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon)
Note: in title matches, the defending champions are underlined
Enjoy the review!
Your hosts are Vince McMahon, Randy Savage & Rob Bartlett
– The show opens with Rob Bartlett ripping a picture of Bobby Heenan, before Repo Man ambushes Macho Man Randy Savage from behind.
– The RAW intro plays.
Mr. Perfect vs. ‘Terrific’ Terry Taylor
We’re starting off the show with a LONG awaited rematch from SummerSlam 89! Savage is absent from commentary as he’s looking for Repo Man, by the way. Perfect takes down Taylor early and slaps him. Savage makes his way back to ringside at this time, without his hat which apparently was stolen by Repo Man. Perfect with a powerslam into a dropkick, but Taylor runs away like a, ahem, like a chicken. Easy target I know, gimme a break! Perfect works a chinlock and the crowd wants Flair. Taylor breaks the hold and hiptosses him, but Perfect kicks him off. Slam by Perfect, but now Taylor kicks him off, only for Perfect to catch him with an armdrag into an armbar. Meanwhile, Bobby Heenan is live on commentary via phone call. He speaks his mind… and they cut to break. Man, poor Heenan!
We return with Taylor pounding away on Perfect around ringside, and with Heenan still on the line. Taylor catches Perfect with a jawbreaker back inside as he takes over. He gets two with a backbreaker. Perfect shows some life near the corner, but Taylor quickly cuts him off with a thumb to the eye. Perfect escapes a chinlock by Taylor, only to walk right into a spinebuster that gets Taylor a two count. Terry with a gutwrench powerbomb for two more. Perfect finally makes a comeback and scores with an atomic drop, followed by the Perfect necksnap. However, Ric Flair comes down to ringside to challenge Perfect, drawing Perfect to the outside for a beatdown while Taylor has the referee distracted. Flair throws Perfect back inside for Taylor to finish him off, but a suplex attempt by Taylor is reversed right into a Perfectplex for the win at 10:30. Perfect rolls out and runs after Flair as soon as it’s over.
- Rating: Quite the good little TV match here. Taylor held his own against Perfect through his cheating early on, and later through Flair’s interferences. Taylor got a couple of solid nearfalls throughout this match, in what might actually be his very best match ever in the WWF, unless I’m forgetting something. It made sense for it to go a bit longer as Perfect was still slowly getting back to in-ring shape after more than a year out of the ring, while Taylor had always been active in both WCW and WWF. ***
– PROMOTIONAL CONSIDERATION PAID FOR BY THE FOLLOWING! Bret Hart wants you to try IcoPro!
– Snap into a Slim Jim oooh yeeeaah!
Vince McMahon interviews Bret Hart
Vince brings back Razor Ramon’s words about Bret and the Hart Family in his promo last week on RAW. Bret says he’s alright when someone comes after him, but Razor crossed the line when he jumped Owen. Bret adds that Razor is the lowest scum in the WWF. Vince wants to know if the upcoming World title match at Royal Rumble will be the typical Bret Hart technical wrestling match. Bret says the championship means Bret Hart is the best wrestler currently, but he’s gonna throw the rule book out the window at the Rumble. He promises to beat up Razor from one side of the ring to the other to get revenge, and Razor will find out that Bret is not only the best but also the toughest. Good follow-up to Razor’s promo the previous week, it did a good job of selling their issues.
– The Undertaker & Paul Bearer promote “Headlock on Hunger”, a show later that month in MSG to raise awareness for children in Somalia.
Marty Jannetty vs. Glen Ruth
Marty is challenging Shawn Michaels for the IC Title in six nights at the Rumble. For those of you who don’t know, Glen Ruth would later work for the WWF as Thrasher, one half of the Headbangers. Glen wants a handshake before the match, only to jump Marty from behind. He ends up running into an elbow on a blind charge, though, and Marty comes off the top rope with a faceplant. Jannetty works the arm before catching Glen with a clothesline off a criss-cross sequence, as Shawn Michaels speaks live via phone call too. Shawn says the Rockers were successful once all because of himself, and promises Sherri will be with him after the Royal Rumble. Jannetty hits a suplex and spends almost the entire phone working on the arm. Marty slugs away on Glen in the corner and shoots him off with a hard Irish whip. Jannetty slides between Glen’s legs and catches him with the Rocker Dropper at 5:10.
- Rating: Not good. Jannetty spent much of the match working holds before finishing the guy out of nowhere. Shawn’s interview kept it somewhat interesting, but it was not a very impressive performance from Jannetty ahead of the big clash with Shawn Michaels at the Royal Rumble for the Intercontinental title. Ineffective squash. 1/2*
– We see a recap of Doink finally making his de-facto debut after MONTHS of introductory cameos, brutally attacking Crush and hospitalizing him last week on Superstars.
– Sean Mooney is outside and Repo Man passes by with Macho Man’s hat. Savage challenges Repo Man right away and leaves the commentary booth.
Royal Rumble Report w/ Mean Gene
- Razor Ramon cuts a promo on Bret Hart. He’s got gold on his fingers and on his neck. After he’s done with Bret, he’ll have gold on his waist.
- Mean Gene follows up by hyping the Royal Rumble match, which will determine the challenger for the WWF Championship at WrestleMania IX.
- Gene hypes the Intercontinental title matchup between Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty as well.
- What are you waiting for? CONTACT YOUR LOCAL CABLE COMPANY FOR AVAILABILITY!
– Randy Savage is outside with Sean Mooney looking for Repo Man on the streets, but he’s nowhere to be seen.
Ric Flair vs. ‘El Matador’ Tito Santana
The fans actually go back-and-forth with chants for both guys. Tito strikes first with a shoulderblock. He follows it up with a powerslam and a side headlock. Flair tries to block the hold, but Tito uses the ropes for leverage and goes back to the side headlock. Flair manages to escape it on a second try, only to immediately eat a shoulderblock and a clothesline. Santana goes back to the side headlock and we take a break.
We’re back with Flair avoiding a monkey flip out of the corner, and he gets two off a jackknife roll-up. Flair drops a pair of knees on Tito’s head, whilst trash talking Savage. That allows Tito to explode with a backdrop out of the corner. He slugs away in the corner, but Flair thumbs him in the eye. Flair goes up, only to get slammed off by Tito. Shocker, I know! Santana makes the comeback and pounds away on Flair while he begs for mercy. Kneelift by Tito and he calls for the Flying Jalapeno. He actually connects with it, but goes for it a second time and Flair sends him flying to the outside. Mr. Perfect comes down to ringside and gets into a huge brawl with Flair, as the match gets thrown out without an ending at about 8:40.
- Rating: Decent match. These two shared good chemistry, and had some good matches throughout Flair’s WWF run in 91-93. This was the last time they wrestled, and while it wasn’t as good due to the non-finish and the focus on Flair’s issues with Perfect, it was solid enough. **1/2
– We come back from break with the brawl still going on. A number of officials separate them, and Flair comes down to ringside to challenge Mr. Perfect for a loser leaves town match next week on RAW!
– Mr. Perfect speaks next, and he immediately accepts the challenge. He says he’s willing to put his own career on the line for a chance to get rid of Flair.
But wait, since both guys are in the Rumble on Sunday, what if the loser of next week’s match had won the Rumble match the night before? Does that mean he still gets to main event WrestleMania for the title? What if he won THAT as well?? Could we then see a WWF Championship match main event that year’s Starrcade!? Sadly no one addresses that very real possibility!
– The announcers promote next week’s show: Flair v. Perfect in a loser leaves town and Randy Savage v. Repo Man are announced.
– The show goes off the air with Repo Man stealing Rob Bartlett’s car while still wearing Savage’s hat.
END OF THE SHOW
Final thoughts: I liked this more than the prior week’s inaugural episode, honestly. The numerous interactions between Flair and Perfect were very fun to watch, with the final segment being of course the highlight, leading into next week’s Loser Leaves WWF match. It did a good job of promoting not just the Royal Rumble PPV, but also the next episode of RAW. Additionally, Mr. Perfect v. Terry Taylor was a nice surprise. Plus, Rob Bartlett wasn’t as unbearable this week, THANK GOD. A genuinely good episode in my opinion. 7/10
That’s all for today’s post. Make sure you don’t miss the reviews of all the other episodes of RAW, as well as my upcoming Royal Rumble 1993 review. Over on the WCW side, SuperBrawl III featuring Sting vs. Vader III is coming soon as well. See you soon!
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