May 17, 1993
Location: Manhattan, New York, USA (Manhattan Center)
Announced attendance: ca 1 000
TV rating: 2.9 (USA Network) [up 13.8% from the previous week’s 2.5]
Hey guys, welcome to another RAW review here on the blog. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and have a terrific 2023. Tonight, Shawn Michaels defends the Intercontinental Championship for the third week in a row, this time against a mystery opponent. Razor Ramon is in action in what seems to be just another regular squash, the Smoking Gunns make their RAW debut, and Yokozuna battles Kamala.
Here is the list of champions in the WWF heading into this RAW:
- WWF Champion: Hulk Hogan [43rd day of his 5th reign] – previous champion: Yokozuna
- WWF Intercontinental Champion: Shawn Michaels [202nd day of his 1st reign] – previous champion: The British Bulldog
- WWF World Tag Team Champions: Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase & Irwin R. Schyster) [216th day of their 2nd reign] – previous champions: The Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon)
Enjoy the review!
Your hosts are Vince McMahon, Bobby Heenan & Randy Savage
RAW’s intro plays.
The commentators hype tonight’s featured matches, and throw us to a replay from last week’s street fight between Shawn Michaels and Mr. Perfect.
Lord Alfred Hayes is outside, revealing he saw someone in disguise. A guaranteed surprise for this episode, second time in a row they open the show with a bang.
The Smoking Gunns (Billy & Bart Gunn) vs. Glen Ruth & Tony Vajda
After weeks of vignettes and a few matches on other WWF TV shows, this is our first look at the Smoking Gunns here on RAW. Bart with a schoolboy on Vajda for one. Hiptoss by Bart and it’s off to the future Ass Man. Billy takes Glen down with a short clothesline. Double Russian legsweep by the Gunns, who remain in control with quick tags. Billy drops a knee on Glen’s face, and the Gunns pull off a Bart drop toehold / Billy elbowdrop combo. Billy with a suplex while the announcers wonder who Lord Alfred Hayes saw out on the streets. The Gunns go to work on Glen Ruth’s arm, before Billy backdrops Ruth right into a Bart piledriver for the win at 3:52. Pretty dangerous finish right there.
- Rating: Squash to showcase the new tag team. The Gunns showed good teamwork. 1/2*
Shawn Michaels interview
Vince McMahon is hosting the in-ring interview. Shawn brags about winning the IC Title after telling everyone he’d do it, as well as retaining the belt over Jim Duggan, while the crowd showers him with the usual “Shawn is gay” chants. He took Mr. Perfect’s best shot before last week’s title defense, yet he’s still the champion. In fact, he’s confident he can defend his title anywhere, anytime against any opponent… and out comes the guy in disguise!
It’s MARTY JANNETTY!
Shawn is not interested whatsoever, but Vince asks him if he’s a man of his word and Shawn reluctantly accepts. We’ve got a title match coming up later tonight!
Razor Ramon vs. The Kid
Ramon toys with The Kid and shoves him around to start. Razor unloads on him with chops in the corner, and tosses him three quarters of the way across the ring straight into the other corner. Razor stomps away and takes him down with a fallaway slam, as now Ramon gets all cocky and goes for the cocky bitchslaps. That allows The Kid to block a blind charge in the corner and… MOONSAULT HIM FOR THE SHOCKING UPSET at 2:12.
- Rating: This is obviously one of the most iconic moments in the entire history of RAW, still to this day! The match followed the ordinary squash routine up until the shocking finish, but it’s a moment that will last forever. *1/2
Tatanka vs. Scott Taylor
Crazy to see Tatanka fall down the card so fast after the Michaels feud. He’s literally doing nothing at this point, while Shawn is killing it in several feuds at the same time. Tatanka drills Scotty with a sick clothesline to start. A backdrop dumps the future 2 Cool member to the floor, and Tatanka follows him there for some chops. Back in, the beating continues. Tatanka powerslams Taylor and follows it up with an elbowdrop, but brings him back up for a scoop powerslam. Tatanka is laying some NASTY chops with extra mustard here. Meanwhile, McMahon says The Kid will be remembered from now on as “1-2-3 Kid”. Well, that and about ten other names. Actually ten might be a stretch, more like syxx. Anyway, Tatanka makes the usual comeback with the TOMAHAWK CHOPS OF DEATH, and the Not Samoan Drop ends it at 3:44, as Tatanka gets ready for the upcoming KOTR tournament.
- Rating: Solid squash. Tatanka was feeling it here. 3/4*
King of the Ring Report w/ Mean Gene
- WWF Championship match: Hulk Hogan vs. Yokozuna
- Only two KOTR spots are left, and the draw is already set:
- Bret Hart vs. Razor Ramon
- Jim Duggan vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
- Lex Luger vs. Tatanka
- Winner of Kamala/Hughes vs. winner of HBK/Crush*
*This qualifying match was cancelled, and instead they wrestled for Shawn’s IC Title at the PPV. The final spot ended up going to Mr. Perfect.
IcoPro, you gotta want it!
Chiiips? Gotta have spice and a little excitement!
Yokozuna (w/ Mr. Fuji) vs. Kamala
Both giants collide to start, and Kamala seems to have the advantage as Yoko staggers. They try the spot a second time, with Yoko nearly falling down this time around. Kamala quickly follows it up with a kick and a series of chops, but then Yoko cheats with a throat thrust and takes over from there. Yokozuna finally takes Kamala off his feet and follows it up with a legdrop. Kamala still tries to make a comeback, but Fuji trips him up and allows Yoko to superkick him. Yoko with the running buttdrop in the corner, and a clothesline sets up the Banzai Drop at 3:41.
- Rating: Decent heavyweight tussle that was pretty entertaining. This would pretty much be it for Kamala’s botched babyface push, as he’d smartly walk away about a month later, having wrestled just one more RAW match after this one. *1/4
WWF All-American Wrestling ad plays.
WWF Intercontinental Championship – Shawn Michaels vs. Marty Jannetty
Lockup kicks things off. Into a criss cross sequence they go, Marty flips out of a hiptoss attempt and clotheslines Shawn, followed by another clothesline that dumps Shawn to the floor. Baseball slide by Marty before Shawn can even get back up, and Marty skins the cat back inside before diving onto Shawn on the outside. Big reaction from the crowd while Shawn takes a powder. Jannetty finally has enough and tosses him back inside the ring, where Shawn nearly hits the Superkick, but Marty rolls through to avoid it and hits a Japanese armdrag. Flying headscissors by Marty gets two, then he keeps Shawn in the hold. Shawn eventually finds a way out of the hold, only to miss an elbowdrop as Jannetty backdrops him to remain in control. Marty whips into the buckle, with Shawn taking his classic flip bump in the corner and landing on the floor. Meanwhile, Shawn grabs his belt and walks to the back more than happy to accept a countout defeat… but Mr. Perfect appears on the ramp and stops him as we go to a break.
We return with Marty in control. He goes for yet another flying headscissors, but Shawn blocks it and turns it into a stungun. Shawn slows things down with some choking on the ropes, followed by a running guillotine on the middle rope. And Michaels hits the chinlock, while Perfect is still looking on. Marty tries to fight out of the chinlock, but a Shawn dropkick stops him in his tracks. Shawn goes for another dropkick, but Marty blocks it and catapults Shawn into the post for a delayed nearfall. Jannetty picks up the pace as he makes the comeback, unloading on Shawn with a series of punches. Scoop powerslam gets two. Jannetty fakes a springboard crossbody to distract Shawn, eventually connecting with it once Shawn turns around. O’Connor roll gets two for Marty, Shawn reverses it for two of his own (with a handful of tights), and Marty eats the Superkick once he gets back up. However, Shawn stops to mock Perfect at ringside, who throws his towel at him and allows Marty to cradle Shawn for the pin and the title at 10:57.
- Rating: Another fantastic match between these two former partners, much like the one they’d had at the Royal Rumble earlier in the year, with an unpredictable outcome this time around. This title change came from literally out of nowhere, but it was exciting to see it happen at the end of this really good fast-paced bout. ***1/2
Next week: Doink vs. Mr. Perfect for the final KOTR spot.
END OF THE SHOW
Final thoughts: Probably the greatest episode thus far. This was a really exciting hour of wrestling, with a notable moment that everyone remembers to this day, as well as an exciting return by Marty Jannetty, which led to an impromptu Intercontinental Title match that resulted in a title change. Yokozuna continued the buildup for KOTR with a big win over Kamala, which is also a positive. This was a really fun hour of WWF TV, and a damn great episode of RAW. 8/10
That’s it for me today. Before finishing, I’d like to wish a great 2023 to all SmarKDown readers and supporters. Make sure you don’t miss the next review, WCW Slamboree ’93 feat. Big Van Vader vs. The British Bulldog for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship in the main event. We’ll come back with the RAW reviews immediately after that, as we continue the buildup towards WWF King of the Ring. See you next time!