January 25th, 1993
Taped (on Jan. 18th, 1993) from Manhattan, NY (Manhattan Center)
Announced attendance: ca 1 000 (capacity: ca 1 000)
TV rating: 2.6 (USA Network) [down 0.2 from the previous RAW’s 2.8]
Welcome to another review of an early episode of Monday Night RAW. This week, Ric Flair and Mr. Perfect finally go at it in a one-on-one match, with the loser being forced to leave the World Wrestling Federation! Additionally, Randy Savage is looking for redemption against Repo Man after last week’s theft.
Here is the list of WWF champions heading into this episode (considering the date the show aired):
- WWF Champion: Bret Hart [105th day of his reign] – previous champion: Ric Flair
- WWF Intercontinental Champion: Shawn Michaels [90th day of his reign] – previous champion: The British Bulldog
- WWF World Tag Team Champions: Money Inc (Ted DiBiase & Irwin R. Schyster) [104th 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, Bobby Heenan & Rob Bartlett
– RAW opens with Repo Man, still possessing Randy Savage’s hat, showing up in a flat truck outside to cut off Sean Mooney’s intro.
– The intro of the show plays.
– McMahon, Heenan and Bartlett welcome us to RAW at ringside.
Randy Savage vs. Repo Man
Savage jumps Repo Man from behind right off the bat. Savage takes him outside for a kneedrop. Back in the ring, Macho goes up for a flying kneedrop that gets two. Repo Man throws Savage to the outside. However, he stops to celebrate and Savage comes up with a high knee to the back from behind. Repo Man tries to take a walk to the dressing room, but Savage stops him. Savage takes him back to the ring to continue the beating. A trip to the steps followed by one to the ring post turn things around for Repo Man, though. Heenan with the line of the night by asking Vince “where did they get this guy” [Bartlett] after one of Bartlett’s stupid lines. Repo Man puts Savage in a sleeper, Savage fights out of it and we go to a break.
We return with Repo Man still in control. Legdrop by Repo Man gets two, brother. Bodyscissors by Repo Man. Savage escapes with a kick to the gut, but Repo Man immediately throws him down with a clothesline. The crowd chants for “Macho” while Repo Man chokes away on the ropes. Backdrop suplex by Repo Man gets two. Savage tries to fight back, but Repo Man sends him into the turnbuckle to stop him. Backbreaker by Repo Man. Repo Man goes up but ends up landing in a clothesline by Savage in mid-air. The Macho Elbow connects and that’s all at 13:30. Savage celebrates in the ring afterwards with HIS HAT BACK ON! All is right in the world again!
- Rating: This was a two-week long feud over a hat! It’s not surprising that it turned out to be nothing special. It went a bit long due to the lack of heat, and it honestly felt like little more than a showcase victory for Randy Savage. Not much to this match or “feud”. *1/2
– WrestleMania IX advert airs.
Kamala (w/ Reverend Slick) vs. The Brooklyn Brawler
Brawler goes after Kamala from behind before the bell. He tries a slam on Kamala, but Kamala easily reverses it and hits a slam of his own. Brooklyn Brawler wants a handshake, but the crowd advises Kamala to refuse via a “you are a man” chant. My god! Kamala obliges and chops Brawler instead. Kamala hits a superkick of sorts and follows it up with a buttdrop in the corner. Kamala goes for a pin off some choking in the corner, but he struggles to do the pinfall properly and the match continues. Big boot by Kamala and he does the dumb inverted pinfall once again. Alright, we get the point. Kamala finally hits the splash and keeps rolling the Brawler over until he finally gets him in proper pinfall position at 3:32.
- Rating: Absolutely awful nonsense. DUD
Vince McMahon leaves commentary for an interview with Kamala and Slick. Vince congratulates Slick for the job he’s done with Kamala lately, but Slick says the credit goes to all the fans.
Royal Rumble Report w/ Mean Gene
- Royal Rumble will be available on Coliseum Video on February 11th 1993
- Mean Gene recaps Bret Hart’s successful WWF Title defense over Razor Ramon, as well as Yokozuna’s Royal Rumble win – that will be our main event at WrestleMania.
- Okerlund also recaps Bobby Heenan’s reveal of “Narcissus” and the debut of Giant Gonzalez
- Mean Gene closes by promoting SmarKDown’s review of the Royal Rumble 1993, which you can see here. How nice of you!
– PROMOTIONAL CONSIDERATION PAID FOR BY THE FOLLOWING: Bret Hart wants you to try IcoPro! Snap into a Slim Jim oooh yeeeaah!
Loser Leaves Town Match – Ric Flair vs. Mr. Perfect
Both guys exchange slaps to start. Flair strikes first with a shoulderblock off the lockup. Flair off the ropes, Perfect with a drop toehold and a number of bitchslaps! Flair bails and Heenan is about to have a heart attack over on commentary. They battle over a hammerlock back-and-forth, Flair takes him down with a drop toehold into a headlock, which Perfect turns into a hammerlock. Flair escapes the hold with an elbow in the corner. He goes for chops, but Perfect fires away with chops of his own and Flair begs off. Great commentary by Heenan and Vince, putting over both men’s defensive strategy due to the stipulation. Flair unloads with the chops in the corner. Perfect once again throws chops himself, and follows with a series of jabs as Flair backs off yet again. Flair pokes the eye, dumps Perfect to the floor and grabs a chair, but the referee prevents him from using it on Perfect. We go to a break.
We come back with Flair in control back inside the ring. Flair sends Perfect flying all the way to the outside on a hard whip into the buckle. Perfect is busted open. Flair takes him back inside the ring for another hard whip into the buckle. Flair works the count a few times with his feet on the ropes. Perfect fights back with a clothesline out of the corner that gets him two. Flair goes for a hiptoss, which gets blocked by Perfect and turned into a backslide for two. Perfect with a backdrop out of the corner, and Ric is begging off. Perfect slugs away with fists in the corner, until Flair stops him with an atomic drop and rolls Perfect up for two. Flair goes outside, but Perfect is having none of his mindgames. Perfect chops the f-ck outta Flair’s chest while on the apron, and brings him into the middle of the ring with a suplex for two. Heenan is losing his mind on commentary and I’m loving it! Flair catches Perfect in a sleeper. Perfect fades down to his knees and Heenan is YELLING for the referee to ring the bell while punching the announce table! The ref checks on Perfect, but his arms only drop twice so he’s still in it. Perfect runs Flair into the turnbuckle out of desperation to escape the hold. Now Perfect applies a sleeper of his own, which Flair eventually escapes with a backdrop suplex. Figure Four by Flair, but Hebner breaks the hold after catching Naitch grabbing the ropes for leverage. Flair climbs up to the top rope, but Perfect SHOCKINGLY slams him off. We take a final break!
We’re back with Flair using the ropes to get back up to his feet. Vince lets us know we only have about 9 minutes left on the air. Flair reaches for some brass knuckles on his knee pads. The POWER OF THE PUNCH turns Perfect’s lights out. Flair adds a cheap kneedrop for good measure. Flair covers Perfect to end his WWF career… but Perfect has a foot on the ropes! Now Flair is pissed, so he hammers on Perfect’s cut repeatedly. Perfect no-sells a number of Flair chops in the corner, and he’s all fired up. Perfect with his own chops followed by a big backdrop. Clothesline by Perfect. Whip into the buckle by Perfect, Flair flip into the top rope, but Perfect catches him in mid-air with a clothesline for a nearfall. Flair takes Perfect down for a bunch of two counts, but gets caught using the ropes again. Hebner kicks Flair’s legs away, leading into a cradle by Perfect for two. Flair sets up Perfect for something off the ropes, but Perfect catches Flair with a quick Perfectplex for the win to send Naitch back to WCW at 23:00.
Bobby Heenan is cussing and throwing stuff around ringside after the match while Perfect celebrates.
- Rating: Amazing job done by Perfect and Flair here. They told a brilliant story throughout the entire matchup, with both playing defense at first (which was addressed on commentary) before risking a bit more as tensions grew in the final moments of the match. This lacked a few more nearfalls to take it to that next level, and the commercial breaks in the middle didn’t help, but it was still a heck of a match. The first truly awesome match in the (then brief) history of RAW. ****
– Vince tells us that Ric Flair must honor his already-signed WWF bookings before leaving for good. For those wondering, he worked until February and finished up after the European tour, where he put over the likes of Bret Hart and Undertaker. Here are his final matches, courtesy of Cagematch:
– Next week: Typhoon vs. Doink the Clown. Feel the excitement!
END OF THE SHOW
Final thoughts: Savage/Repo Man was decent at best (a feud over a hat could only go so far…) and Kamala’s squash match sucked, but at the end of the day it all comes down to the main event. Nothing else mattered. Flair/Perfect was awesome and that’s all people were going to remember from this show anyway. Rarely did a match with such huge implications happen on WWF TV at this time, so this show felt huge. Like I said at the beginning of the paragraph, not everything was good, but at the end of the day this will forever be one of the most memorable episodes of RAW due to what happened in the main event. 8/10
That’s gonna be all from me. Make sure you don’t miss the next reviews of RAW, as well as the upcoming pay-per-views from both WCW (SuperBrawl) and WWF (WrestleMania IX). See you in my next review!
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