After a series of Raw episodes that culminated in Razor Ramon winning the Intercontinental Championship, it was time for the WWF to gear their programming towards the upcoming Survivor Series. The funniest thing was that Shawn Michaels had already made up with the WWF and was on his way back. They switched the title awfully fast in that case. I don’t know what to expect with these shows, but there was an incident on a radio show where Savage did a shoot promo on Hulk Hogan and said a lot of bad stuff about him. It wasn’t an angle.
– October 18th, 1993, on Monday Night Raw, from the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, New York
Can’t stop laughing at the opening video that implies the Crush and Randy Savage summit is similar to Reagan/Gorbachev. This show is full of squash matches.
Starting things off, we get a Steiner Brothers squash that also includes PJ Walker. No surprises this time for PJ. Scott broke out the Steiner Screwdriver!
Apparently people are going to be able to vote on whether or not Shawn Michaels should remain suspended. Diesel gets to comment in favor of the yes side, and Mr. Perfect comments in favor of the no side.
Next up it was time for IRS to beat Scott Taylor. There was a funny Yokozuna vignette first that presented him as being like Godzilla. No idea why IRS was being pushed like this.
Apparently we have a newcomer to the WWF called “Double J.” Oh boy. Not the Jarrett era! They presented him as being a country singer who wanted to use the WWF to get to greater pastures. J-E-DOUBLE F J-A-DOUBLE R-E-DOUBLE T.
Not another Tatanka squash. Couldn’t they vary this stuff up sometimes? They teased him feuding with Ludvig Borga. Savage hadn’t spoken during the whole episode until questioned about it.
The Survivor Series report announced a few of the matches, which everyone knows about. A few of the matches had to be changed for a variation of reasons.
Bam Bam Bigelow had a match against some guy named Dennis Diamond. That name amuses me. Savage has been talking a lot since Heenan brought up Crush.
Time for the summit! Crush makes his way out there, and he’s with Mr. Fuji! They act like Crush and Savage were the absolute best of friends. Savage also does a good job making it look like he was crying. After Crush tells him to stay out of his life, Savage gets in the ring and says Crush is making a big mistake. After Savage tells him he’s out of line, Crush takes a moment and decides to shake Savage’s hand. HOWEVER, Crush then clotheslines him as soon as they leave the ring to walk down the aisle. He then press slams Savage onto the railing, and out come Yokozuna and Jim Cornette. Oh boy. Crush throws Savage into the steps, then into the post as Savage is bleeding from the mouth and forehead. Into the ring now, and Yokozuna sits on him with a BANZAI DROP. Now some referees get Savage out of the ring and carry him to the back. That was a good way to end an otherwise boring episode of Raw.
– October 19th, 1993, from the Civic Center in Glens Falls, New York
Mr. Perfect vs. Yokozuna (w/Mr. Fuji) for the WWF Championship
Pre-Match Thoughts: I’m really interested to see how Perfect works as a challenger against somebody so big. I’m glad to have found this and be able to watch a competitive match between top guys. About time. It has been a while, WWF wise. Oddly, Stan Lane and Gorilla Monsoon are on commentary for this one. The crowd barely reacted to Perfect.
Match Review: Yoko tries to attack, but Perfect dodges his clothesline and goes for a cross body, only for Yoko to slam him. Yoko misses an elbow drop, so Perfect knocks him out of the ring with a dropkick. Yoko does a great bit where he posts himself, then takes a long time before getting back in the ring. When he does, he straddles the ropes and Perfect pulls them up on him to crotch him. That was funny. Perfect misses a dropkick, so now he’s getting clobbered. A clothesline nearly knocks him out of the ring, then Yokozuna goes to the nerve hold. He picks Perfect up and throws him out of the ring, and when Perfect rolls back in there, he gets rammed into the buckle. Perfect returns the favor, but Yokozuna chops him a lot and throws him hard into the buckle. Yoko misses a splash in the corner, but Perfect only chops him. He goes to the second rope for a flying clothesline, and now Yokozuna goes down. Yokozuna then distracts the referee, and Fuji tries to grab Perfect. Now Yoko crushes Perfect in the corner, then finishes him with the BANZAI DROP at 7:48.
My Thoughts: That finish was somewhat surprising in that it’s odd to see Mr. Perfect do the job for somebody that way. I’m not accustomed to seeing that. The match was nothing special and neither guy put in much of an effort. Easy night for them both. *1/4.
– Taped to air October 25th, 1993, on Monday Night Raw, from the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, New York
Looks like we’re starting things off with a Crush squash. That’s a little different than usual. I’m surprised he’d have a match on the same taping as his turn. Crush looked different with face paint, but his offense still sucked.
1-2-3 Kid vs. Marty Jannetty
Pre-Match Thoughts: Johnny Polo was there to talk trash on both these guys, and he said he’d beat both these guys in a match if given a chance. Time for a babyface match here. This could be a whole lot of fun. Or it’ll suck. You’d assume it would be the former and not the latter. Kid was a workhorse on these Raw episodes all the way until he went to WCW. Jannetty was the Intercontinental Champion a few months before this, and now he’s here and nowhere near as over.
Match Review: They shake hands, and we get right to it. When they lock up, they break clean. Jannetty takes Kid down, but Kid now reverses to a hammerlock. Then they do some back suplex reversals, and Jannetty hip tosses him, after which Kid kicks him down and both guys kip up. Kid puts a headlock on Jannetty, then a victory roll gets 2. Kid hits him with a spinning wheel kick for 2, but Jannetty comes back with a powerbomb that gets 2. Johnny Polo is at ringside now.
Polo trips Jannetty after the commercial, then Kid covers for 2. Kid hits Marty with some kicks, then leg drops him. He goes up top, then comes down with a senton bomb that misses. Jannetty capitalizes with a facebuster, but only gets a 2 count. Polo trips Kid now, so everything’s evened out. Kid rolls Jannetty up for 2 when Polo distracts Marty, then Marty throws Kid hard into the buckle. Jannetty goes to a hammerlock, then shoots the half for 2. He suplexes Kid twice, and Kid reverses the third to a German suplex that gets 2. Kid accidentally throws Jannetty into the referee, then kicks him out of the ring. Kid decides to fly out there with a dive through the ropes, and Polo shoves Jannetty into the post so both guys get hurt. Now the referee counts, and there’s a double count-out after about 13 minutes. Jannetty attacks Polo in the aisle, then Kid gets in the ring with him and they take turns! Looks like we have a new tag team!
My Thoughts: I liked this match, it was better than their previous bout. These guys worked hard and did a lot of good stuff here. Kid’s German suplex was just about perfect, and given they were so rare to see in the WWF at that time, it was cool to scope one out. I don’t particularly understand why Johnny Polo interfered, but I know his interference built to something. ***1/4, as soon as a match with both these guys is spotted, it’s a match people should watch. End of story.
Time for another Jeff Jarrett promo. Double J is tired of the politics in the music industry. That’s all he really said.
Next up, it was time to see Ludvig Borga go to work. Don’t care, but at least it’s different than the usual. Heenan interviewed him after the match, and Borga pointed out that he was facing Tatanka this weekend on Superstars. Somebody’s 0 has to go!
Now, Men on a Mission. Also different than the usual. I was wondering why they weren’t in more prominent positions. The crowd liked their entrance. Mo was completely unremarkable in every way, but Mabel always felt like a guy who could have been a bigger star. His lack of in-ring ability didn’t really matter.
Lastly, Diesel was given a showcase match. That’s different as well. It makes Diesel look silly for them to show a picture of him in a track suit before his match. YES, DIESEL HAS HIS MUSIC. He did not have a finisher yet, though. So he knocked the guy out with a right hand after abusing him. Good episode this time given the variety.
– Taped to air October 30th, 1993, on Superstars, from the Memorial Auditorium in Worcester, Massachusetts
Ludvig Borga vs. Tatanka
Pre-Match Thoughts: Two undefeated wrestlers go toe to toe! It would seem like there would be a cop out finish to keep either man from being pinned. That was not the case, however. More to come on that front. Anyway, I’m really bored by Tatanka right now. Also bored by Borga. Obviously, I wouldn’t be watching or reviewing this if it was lacking a significant event. The runtime for this is unfortunately long.
Match Review: Borga’s insert promo was hilarious. Anyway, these two lock up and Borga goes to work with body shots. Borga then misses a charge to the corner, so Tatanka hits him with some hard chops and a clothesline. After a few more clotheslines, Borga finally goes down. They lock up again after some time, and Tatanka takes Borga down with a cross body for 2. I hate seeing someone do an immovable gimmick when they’re the same height as the wrestler they’re facing. Not much difference in weight either. Borga goes back to the body, eventually knocking Tatanka down. Borga follows with a side slam, and here comes Mr. Fuji. Borga was going to be on Fuji’s team at Survivor Series, so that makes sense. Borga suplexes Tatanka, and we head to a commercial.
Back from the commercial, Borga has a chinlock on Tatanka. When Tatanka breaks it with a back suplex, Borga no-sells it and clotheslines him. Back to the chinlock again, and when Tatanka breaks it this time, Borga goes back to the body shots. Tatanka starts no-selling stuff and landing some chops, but Borga hits him in the ribs again. Borga throws Tatanka over the top, and while Fuji distracts the referee, Borga grabs a chair and hits Tatanka across the back with it. He throws Tatanka in the ring, and because he’s unconscious, Tatanka’s undefeated streak comes to an end at the 10:05 mark. Out comes Yokozuna, and it’s time for some punishment. They turn Tatanka over so his ribs are exposed, and he gives Tatanka a BANZAI DROP. Then a second. Lex Luger wants to go help, but the Quebecers are beating him up backstage. Eventually Luger fights them off and runs out to the ring, but the Quebecers jump him from behind. Where are the Steiners? Anyway, Luger beats Yokozuna and Borga up by himself.
My Thoughts: It was funny for Borga to pin Tatanka with one finger. I liked the angle much more than the match, even though the match was better than I thought it would be. Borga was nothing special, a very generic power wrestler at best. For some reason this was watchable regardless of that. *1/2. He had some decent spots and the body work was good, but I didn’t like his lack of selling.
– Taped to air November 1st, 1993, on Monday Night Raw, from the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, New York
This Raw does have three somewhat competitive matches, but they aren’t with good workers. That presents a bit of an issue for me. Randy Savage was off commentary for the rest of this taping after being attacked by Crush.
Before Bastion Booger faced Razor Ramon, he pigged out on raw food. Disgusting. There’s no way I’m going to give that match a full review anyway. Wait a second, Bastion Booger had music? He was so damn fat, this is gross to even see. Heenan compared Booger to the Hindenburg. Not sure this was the best match for Razor to have after becoming champion. It was boring and Razor pinned Booger after reversing a butt splash at 7:09. DUD.
After the Survivor Series report talks about Tatanka being injured, the Foreign Fanatics were in the ring for an interview. Cornette and Polo did a whole lot of the talking. Looks like Borga was to face Scott Steiner on next week’s show.
Another Mr. Perfect squash. Oh well.
Next up, there was another Jeff Jarrett thing. I don’t want to keep doing the spelling out his name gimmick.
Well Dunn took on the Smoking Gunns. That’s interesting at least. I don’t get Well Dunn’s gimmick and I don’t understand why Harvey Wippleman would be managing them. This wasn’t any good and the crowd didn’t care. Worst of all, it took 7:31 for the match to end. When it did, it was because Wippleman tripped Billy Gunn in plain sight of the referee. 1/2*. Poor match.
Closing out the show, Virgil took on Adam Bomb. Really weird seeing Virgil in this era. The match had zero heat. They both botched a lot of spots. Bomb won at 5:31 with a powerbomb. DUD. Absolutely terrible episode.
– November 8th, 1993, on Monday Night Raw, from Fernwood Resort in Bushkill, Pennsylvania
This venue looks like an actual high school gym. Randy Savage was back this week! He said all hell would break loose if Crush showed up for his scheduled match. Oh boy.
Ludvig Borga vs. Scott Steiner
Pre-Match Thoughts: Presumably Scott Steiner is higher on the WWF’s tough list than Tatanka at this point. I’m interested in this match if only because I know Steiner won’t let Borga stiff him. This could be amusing. The two promos before the match were great. Scott’s was a typical BIG POPPA PUMP promo. Borga’s push makes sense to me in the sense of the WWF not having many big guys and him being one.
Match Review: Borga attacks Steiner with a double axehandle, so we’re underway. He rips Steiner’s jacket off and tosses it out of the ring, then clobbers him with more shots. He clotheslines Steiner, then heads up top for a flying clothesline. That was interesting. Scott comes back with his double underhook powerbomb, then a pumphandle slam! Borga takes a powder, then gets back in and headlocks him. Borga breaks it, but Steiner gives him a belly to belly throw for 2. Steiner goes for a backdrop, but Borga hits him with body shots and a huge clothesline for 2. That’s followed up with a bodyslam, then an elbow drop misses. Steiner dropkicks Borga to the outside, and here come the Quebecers. Wonder why.
After a commercial, Borga tries to suplex Steiner to the outside only to be brought into the ring that way. Steiner puts a Boston crab on him, and now Rick Steiner makes his way out there. Borga makes the ropes to break the hold, which lasted forever. Borga then eats a big boot, and Steiner rolls him up for 2. A small package gets 2 as well, then another dropkick gets 2. Steiner slams Borga, then heads up top for a sorry missile dropkick that gets 2. What was that? Borga comes back with a powerslam for 2, then knocks him to the outside. Borga has a bloody nose. Now one of the Quebecers goes over towards Rick Steiner to distract him, and Borga grabs him to bring him in the ring. Rick drops Borga with a back suplex, and now everyone gets in there as the bell rings after 11 minutes or so. Both guys were disqualified.
After the bout, the Steiners clear the Quebecers from the ring, then double up on Borga and hit him with a double STEINERLINE.
My Thoughts: Borga was next level blown up after that match and could barely finish the post-match. This wasn’t brutally awful, but everything fell apart after Borga was in that Boston crab. His stamina was just totally gone. *3/4. Don’t know why they chose this match. Steiner’s in-ring ability as a singles guy was seriously lacking. Arguably always was.
Another Jeff Jarrett vignette and promo. Listening to him rant about old country stars is really boring. He kept going back to the Undertaker too. Why? I don’t think he was ever programmed with him.
Looks like Men on a Mission were scheduled for another squash match. I’m okay with that. Mabel’s splash finish looked like it could easily hurt the other guy.
Rick Martel was out there for a short match of his own, I guess I’m glad he didn’t up and disappear after losing that title shot.
Apparently it’s time for Crush to have his match, but Savage is too pissed. He throws Vince down to the floor (!), then jumps Crush in the aisle and starts beating him up! Of course, some referees walk out there to try to break this up. After Savage gives Crush a hiding, Crush gets in some shots of his own. Slowly they make their way to the back as we go to a commercial.
Bob Backlund is supposed to face Barry Horowitz and we’re supposed to watch this, but we aren’t going to watch it. Randy Savage walks back to the announce table to continue his commentary, and apparently Crush was locked in a room in the back. Crush breaks the door open, and now Savage runs back there! After more fighting and a commercial, Savage and Crush were fighting outside! This was great and made an otherwise bad episode pretty good.
– Taped to air November 15th, 1993, on Monday Night Raw, from Fernwood Resort in Bushkill, Pennsylvania
After a recap of the happenings from last week, we went straight to the first match, which had Razor Ramon taking on the Brooklyn Brawler. Randy Savage wasn’t allowed to be on commentary because he had been so unstable. Shawn Michaels had been reinstated as well. Razor took about 3 minutes or so to finish Brawler with the Razor’s Edge. *.
Crush did a promo on Savage, it wasn’t anything special.
The Headshrinkers made an appearance here for a squash match, and its been long enough since I’ve seen them that I’m cool with this.
I’m glad they showed the All-Americans introducing the replacement partner from Tatanka. As you all may know, it was…THE UNDERTAKER. It was great when Taker opened his coat to reveal the American flag inside of it.
Pierre (WWF Tag Team Champion, w/Johnny Polo) vs. Lex Luger
Pre-Match Thoughts: This isn’t a bad matchup for Raw, in fact it could be quite good. Who knows how it’ll really turn out, but this is the first time Luger had worked on Raw since his babyface turn. I think that’s incredibly foolish.
Match Review: Luger goes straight to work, throwing Pierre hard to the corner and giving him a back suplex for 2. After Pierre stalls for a while, he gets back in the ring and misses a charge to the corner. Luger clotheslines Pierre for 2, and again Pierre takes a breather. Luger decides to follow him, and Polo pushes Luger. Now Pierre tries to capitalize on the distraction, but Luger backdrops him and we go to a commercial.
After the commercial, Luger has a wristlock on Pierre. He blocks a hip toss, but Pierre gets control with a clothesline. Pierre slaps a front face-lock on Luger, after which Luger comes back with a clothesline. Polo grabs Luger to trip him, and this time Pierre knocks Luger out of the ring. Pierre hits Luger with a double axehandle from the apron, then rams him into the steps. Luger gets picked up and rammed into the post, then back to the ring things go. Pierre leaps on Luger’s back, then slams him. Pierre’s pump splash gets 2, then he goes to a chinlock. At the worst possible time, we go to a commercial.
The chinlock is still on, but Luger gets up with Pierre on his back and drops him to the canvas. Pierre comes back with a piledriver, but that only gets 2. After another bodyslam by Pierre, he heads up top for a terrible looking leg drop that gets 2. Pierre follows with a side slam, and goes up top again for a senton bomb that misses. Pierre gets up first, but Luger rams him into the buckle. Luger hits him with some elbows, then knocks him down with right hands. Lex follows up with a backdrop, then clotheslines him a few times. Luger powerslams Pierre for 2, then puts him on the top rope for some reason. Pierre fights him off, but Luger slams him down anyway. Polo gets in the ring and Luger knocks him out, then Luger hits Pierre with the LOADED FOREARM for the win after nearly 15 minutes. After the match, it was made clear that Luger had knocked Pierre unconscious and Pierre was taken out on a stretcher.
My Thoughts: Sorry if I didn’t make this sound exciting, but for a 15 minute match this certainly was not. Luger wasn’t the top worker that he was just three years before this, and Pierre was overrated himself. I know some people love the Quebecers for their offense, but I think Pierre was the weak link in the chain. His offense wasn’t that impressive, it’s actually repetitive. It was also often very sloppy. **. Maybe I’m being generous.
Next up, it was DIESEL POWER. The guy he was facing looked like they had Fruit of the Looms on over their pants. Once I noticed it, I couldn’t stop laughing.
The show closed out with a terrible Jeff Jarrett bit where he acted like a record producer. Oh wow. THAT’S JACQUELINE!
– Taped to air November 21st, 1993, on Survivor Series Showdown, from Farrell Hall in Delhi, New York
Bret Hart vs. Yokozuna (w/Mr. Fuji) for the WWF Championship
Pre-Match Thoughts: This seems almost guaranteed to be worth my time given that they put it on a somewhat recent WWE DVD release. Haven’t seen very much of Bret in 1993, so I’m eager to see something different. This was presented as being the rematch from WrestleMania and that it was entirely possible Bret would win.
Match Review: Bret attacks Yokozuna to start this off, but Yoko quickly slams him. Yoko misses an elbow drop, so Bret dropkicks him to the outside. When Yoko gets back in the ring, Bret pulls the rope up to crotch him and follows up with a series of right hands. Bret hops on Yoko’s back for a sleeper, but Yokozuna pulls him to the canvas. Yoko also clotheslines Bret, then hits him with an elbow smash. After Yoko rakes at his face, he nails Bret with a headbutt. Yoko drops a big elbow, then kicks Bret to the outside. Fuji hits Bret with his flag stick, and we head to a commercial.
Back from the break, Bret knocks Yoko down with punches only for the champion to hit Bret with a low blow. Yokozuna goes to the nerve hold, then when Bret breaks it, Bret is tossed to the floor. Bret rams Yoko into the steps, but Yokozuna comes back with a chair shot to the back. After one to the head, we go to another commercial.
The match is still going, and Yoko is still beating Bret up. They eventually trade punches, but Bret misses a dropkick and Yoko remains in control. Yoko drops a big leg, then starts choking the Hitman. Yoko misses a charge to the corner, so Bret nails him with clotheslines to finally knock him down for 2. Bret knocks Fuji off the apron, then goes up to the second rope only for Yoko to catch him. Bret bites Yoko to break free, then boots him in the face and bulldogs him from the second rope. After a count of 2, Bret goes to the second rope for an elbow smash that also gets 2. Yoko gets up and catches Bret for a belly to belly, then misses a big splash. Bret puts the SHARPSHOOTER on him, and they had to do some movie magic I’ll get into later. Anyway, Owen walks out to the ring, and Fuji gets in there and waffles Bret with the salt bucket. Once Owen sees that, he runs into the ring and attacks both Yokozuna and Fuji, hitting Yokozuna with that bucket for a disqualification after about 17 minutes.
My Thoughts: That was a really good match, and they found a way to edit Jerry Lawler out of it. That was neat. In actuality, Lawler had walked out there and tried to interfere, so Owen followed and took him out. Then the referee was outside the ring and things happened as the video showed them. Anyway, back to the match, I enjoyed seeing Yokozuna do such a long match with minimal rest periods. The crowd was heated as well, they bought all of Bret’s near falls. I was a little taken aback by that. Anyway, I wonder what Vince thought of this match, if he thought anything of it. ***.
In case anyone was unaware of this, they pushed Survivor Series as having a double main event where the Harts vs. Knights match was on par with the Foreign Fanatics vs. All-Americans. I don’t know who bought that at the time. Anyway, this was a fun couple months of shows, I’ve certainly watched worse. The Jerry Lawler scandal is something I intend on getting to later. I don’t know what to think of the Survivor Series card, but truthfully I’m not going to watch it for a while. Next up for me is another Clash of the Champions.
Best: Randy Savage vs. Crush program. The summit, the brawl…everything was really good.
Worst: Bastion Booger vs. Razor Ramon. Kill me next time, okay?