March 8th, 1993
Taped show (on March 1st, 1993)
Location: Manhattan, New York, USA (Manhattan Center)
Announced attendance: ca 1 000 (capacity: ca 1 000)
TV rating: 3.0 (USA Network) [up 0.1 from the previous week’s 2.9]
Hello everyone. Welcome to yet another WWF RAW episode from 1993. This week has the likes of Tatanka and Bob Backlund in singles action. Money Inc. also compete ahead of their WrestleMania showdown with the Mega Maniacs for the tag team titles. Also, Mr. Perfect and Rick Martel clash in tonight’s main event. Let’s get into it without any further ado…
Here is the list of WWF champions heading into this episode of RAW (reign durations considering the air date):
- WWF Champion: Bret Hart [147th day of his reign] – previous champion: Ric Flair
- WWF Intercontinental Champion: Shawn Michaels [132nd day of his reign] – previous champion: The British Bulldog
- WWF World Tag Team Champions: Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase & Irwin R. Schyster) [146th day of their reign] – previous champions: The Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon)
Enjoy the review!
Your hosts are Vince McMahon, Randy Savage & Rob Bartlett (yeah, he’s still around…)
We open with a pre-taped promo from the Mega Maniacs and Jimmy Hart accepting Money Inc’s challenge for the tag titles at WM 9. Hogan sings and welcomes us to Monday Night RAW.
The show’s intro plays.
The announcers shill tonight’s events as we move on to the opener.
Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase & Irwin R. Schyster) vs. ‘El Matador’ Tito Santana & Virgil
IRS with his usual quick promo before the beginning of the match. DiBiase and Tito shove each other as we get underway. Tito strikes with a back elbow out of the corner for an early two count. Into a headlock goes Tito, with DiBiase getting a few nearfalls off it, but not being able to reverse it. Both guys tag out to their respective partners, and the crowd showers IRS with “Irwin” chants. Virgil with a hiptoss followed by a series of clotheslines. IRS bails, but Tito meets him outside with a punch. Back in, a double-team back elbow smash by the faces gives Tito two. Tito goes to work on the arm while IRS tries to get out of the ring. Virgil comes in without a tag while Ted has the ref distraces, which gets Ted all worked up on the apron. Virgil continues the arm work before bringing Tito back in, who does the same. Tito cheapshots DiBiase off the apron and then fakes yet another tag to Virgil, which is definitely not cheating! We go to a break.
We’re back with Tito trying to fight out of a front facelock by IRS, only to walk right into a knee to the gut from IRS. It’s heat spot o’clock now, with Tito taking a beating from the champs, who start cutting the ring in half. Virgil with the hot tag already, however, and Virg sends IRS into the turnbuckle. Virgil makes the comeback with clotheslines on both heels and a slam to Rotunda. However, a trip by DiBiase on a criss-cross cuts off the OLIVE GARDEN COMEBACK, and Irwin wins it for the champs with a backdrop suplex at 8:00.
- Rating: Solid win for Money Inc over a non-team on the way to their tag title defense at WrestleMania. The match was fine, despite the rushed heat spot. **
Meanwhile, Rick Martel steals the plaque from one of the RAW girls and does the modeling in her place.
Tatanka vs. Phil Apollo
Tatanka avoids Apollo early on with a bunch of leapfrogs and dumps him with a hiptoss. Tatanka unloads with the chops, but Phil stops him with a thumb to the eye. Meanwhile, Shawn Michaels joins us via phone call. Tatanka with a powerslam, but Apollo moves out of the way of an elbowdrop. Apollo rams Tatanka’s head into the buckle, but Tatanka no-sells it and finishes it with the Not Samoan Drop at 2:42.
- Rating: A normal squash. Phil Apollo got more offense than he probably needed ahead of Tatanka’s big IC title match, but it was otherwise alright. 1/2*
WrestleMania IX Report w/ Mean Gene
- Gene briefly recaps the latest Maniacs/Money Inc segments and hypes their match at WM.
- Tickets are still available!
- Mean Gene promotes Bret/Yoko for the WWF Title in the main event – let’s hear from both of them:
- Bret has studied Yokozuna; he knows Yoko is undefeated and he has squashed every opponent he’s faced. He respects that, but knows Yoko and Fuji don’t respect his ability. Bret promises that Yokozuna will walk out of the ring at WrestleMania with respect for him.
- Mr. Fuji says Bret is not an underdog, he’s already a defeated man. Yokozuna is gonna excellently execute Bret at WM 9 and walk away with the WWF Championship.
- Gene hypes up Undertaker/Gonzalez at WrestleMania, and we hear from Undertaker and Paul Bearer.
Rick Martel steals the girl’s plaque yet again.
Papa Shango vs. Mike Edwards
Wait, how come Papa Shango is still a thing??? Shango destroys the jobber easily and hits a corner avalanche. Backdrop suplex, but Shango stops his own count at two. He hits another backdrop suplex and goes for the pin again, but stops the pin yet again. Okay, what’s the point when you’re on television once every 3 months or whatever. The shoulderbreaker finishes the dude at 2:31.
- Rating: Bleh. 1/4*
COMMERCIAL CONSIDERATION PAID FOR BY THE FOLLOWING: Bret Hart tells you what IcoPro is all about! Macho Man wants you to buy some WWF Figures. Each sold separately, dig it!?
Bob Backlund vs. Tony DiMoro
Bob, clearly still not the crazy uncle yet, wants a handshake but the jobber refuses it. They fight over a hiptoss to start, which is obviously won by Backlund. Vince talks about how Bob can’t wait to make his WM debut next month, as WrestleMania wasn’t a thing yet when Backlund was WWF Champion. Backlund with another hiptoss and he trips up Tony, who bails. We get a fight over a pinfall on the mat, but nobody wins that one and we get a stalemate. And then Bob finally catches him with a butterfly overhead suplex for the win at 3:51.
- Rating: Way too long for what it was. With all due respect, no one wants to see Bob Backlund chain-wrestling with a jobber 4 weeks ahead of the biggest show of the year. DUD
Meanwhile, Rick Martel humiliates Rob Bartlett in a quick interview before tonight’s final match.
If you wanna give someone heat, having them talk down to this goof will only achieve the opposite and make them the biggest babyface on the show.
Mr. Perfect vs. Rick Martel
They begin with Perfect’s usual powerslam/kick him off spot leading to a stalemate. Martel hides in the corner and then does a cartwheel to avoid Perfect on a criss-cross sequence. Martel tries something off the ropes, but now it’s Perfect who cartwheels his way out of there. That gets a solid pop and leads into another stalemate. However, Martel rakes the eyes to take over and Perfect eats knee on a blind charge. Single-arm takedown by Martel, who goes to work on the arm with an armbar. Perfect uses Martel’s own momentum to dump him to the floor, escaping the hold as we take a break.
We return with Martel taking over with some CLUBBING BLOWS on Perfect in the ring. A gutwrench suplex gets two. Vince declares it a SEE SAW MATCHUP BACK AND FORTH now, so you know he’s enjoying it! Perfect escapes a facelock by Martel, only to run right into a knee to the breadbasket. Martel goes to the apron for a slingshot splash, but Perfect raises his knees to block it. Martel goes back to the midsection to retake control, but makes the mistake of going up and Perfect catches him with a punch in mid-air. An atomic drop knocks Martel all the way into the buckle, and Perfect follows it up with an inverted one. Perfect makes the comeback with a backdrop into the kneelift, but we stop to take a final break.
We return with… Perfect celebrating the win. Hmm, alright then. We see the replay, with Perfect telling us NOW YOU’RE GONNA SEE A PERFECTPLEX before hitting it for the win at 10:00. Vince hypes up Perfect’s upcoming WM match with Lex Luger while he celebrates.
- Rating: This was a pretty good match, despite the very lame ending during the break. The action was good and their interactions back-and-forth were fun too, like the deal with Perfect returning the cartwheel spot that Martel did earlier. These two know what they’re doing out there. ***
Perfect brings out the two RAW girls that Martel abused earlier and poses with them to close the show. That was a nice little way to culminate the mini-story told throughout the episode.
END OF THE SHOW
Final thoughts: If anything, this week’s episode shows how weak the build-up towards this year’s WrestleMania is. Rick Martel was clearly the highlight of this show, so it’s only fitting he’s out of the WM 9 card. A Papa Shango squash is utterly pointless in early 1993, nothing but filler, and happy-go-lucky 43 year old Bob Backlund hitting one move on a jobber in a 4-minute match accomplishes nothing either. No wonder this comeback run went nowhere, until he became the crazy old uncle and had a huge career resurgence. Money Inc winning was nice, and Perfect/Martel was a good TV match, but otherwise from that there’s nothing to see here. How about some ‘Mania build!!? 4/10
That’s gonna be all from me today. If you enjoy these reviews, make sure you drop a like and a comment down below. Here are all the RAW reviews on the blog so far, which you can find on top of the site’s page (along with every WWF & WCW PPV review). Download our app via the pop-up icon that should appear in the link bar. Make sure you don’t miss any of the upcoming articles here on the site. See you next time!
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