Welcome to the first ‘Raw Rewind‘ of March 1993 as we rapidly countdown to WrestleMania 9. This week, Bret Hart defends his WWF title against Fatu and we hear from Money Inc ahead of their match with Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake at WrestleMania.
Champion Roll Call:
WWF Champion: Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Shawn Michaels
WWF Tag Team Champions: Money Inc. (Million Dollar Man & I.R.S)
You can read last week’s Raw recap here.
We kick-off with the promised WWF title match pitting reigning champion Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart against, of all people, Fatu of The Headshrinkers.
Rob Bartlett is dressed as Elvis Pressley. No, wait, the joke is he is Elvis Pressley. I say joke… It’s definitely latter-day Elvis, incidentally.
Match 1: WWF Champion Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart vs Fatu (w/ Afa)
There appears no logical explanation why a member of a tag team who, if I’m right, hasn’t yet received a tag title shot is getting a WWF title match. But hey.
Fatu wins the first lock-up and gets the better of a shoulder to shoulder but misses a running elbow. Hart slaps on an arm lock as Vince states that if there is a wrestling move, Hart knows it. Hart tries to hurdle Fatu but feigns injury and rolls up the Headshrinker for a two.
Fatu puts the head down, Hart slams him headfirst into the mat which is no sold before Fatu smashes Hart down with a superkick for a two. A vicious looking one. Fatu applies a nerve hold but Hart fights out before being thrown to the mat before the nerve hold is back on. Hart breaks out but runs into an elbow for another two as Samu heads out to ringside. A flying bodypress gets a two count for Hart but Fatu kicks out, sending the Hitman to the outside where Samu attacks as we go to a break.
We return with Hart lying prone at ringside. Back in, it’s all Fatu as Hart bleeds from a nose wound that was obvious when he came out. A series of headbutts from Fatu won’t help much, nor will the biting. Nice bunch of lads, The Headshrinkers.
Vince claims Hart’s nose is broken but it’s mainly just an excuse to bang on about Brutus Beefcake and IRSBriefcaseToTheFaceGate. Hart is whipped sternum first to the turnbuckle before another diving headbutt gets a two. Fatu hits a side-suplex and a diving headbutt from the top for another two count. Fatu goes back up to the top rope but Hart is up and a punch to the gut sends him groin first into top turnbuckle. A superplex and we get the closest nearfall yet. A bulldog and we get another two. Side-backbreaker and a diving elbow from the second turnbuckle. Sharpshooter time. Afa distracts the referee and Samu is in. The Headshrinkers trade places and Samu gets a nearfall. They switch again but Hart is fighting back. He reverses a powerslam, sends Fatu into Samu, who is tangled in the ropes around his neck, applies the Sharpshooter and that’s all she wrote.
Winner: Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart.
Rating: Pretty one-sided that made Fatu look pretty dominating but hardly makes Hart look all that strong ahead of facing, at WrestleMania, a man who is even bigger than Fatu: Yokozuna.
‘WrestleMania Report’ with ‘Mean’ Gene. Money Inc has challenged Hulk Hogan and Brutus ‘The Barber’ Beefcake – which isn’t the norm from the tag champs, ain’t that right Gene? Some seats left, kids, if you’re reading this actually in February/March 1993. Gene runs down the card: Giant Gonzales vs The Undertaker, IC Champ Shawn Michaels vs Tatanka, Lex Luger vs Mr. Perfect and Hart vs Yoko.
Before Koko B. Ware versus Crush, we cut to Hawaii as Crush is on the beach, fresh from the water. Crush is asked to predict an outcome for his WrestleMania match against Doink, he crushes a coconut.
Match 2: Koko B. Ware vs Doink.
This won’t last all that long… As reported previously, Doink is on the receiving end of a big push at the moment. But Koko B. Ware comes out to his old ‘birdman’ theme rather than the High Energy stuff – still in that attire though. Doink attacks from behind as ‘Elvis’ says he used to watch Koko on Different Strokes. Doink attacks the leg and applies a very early STF. He continues to work on the leg before applying the stump-puller and Koko submits.
Winner: Doink the Clown.
Rating: A squash and a pretty average one.
‘Elvis’ makes his way to ringside with a mic. I hope Doink attacks him. Elvis asks what in Doink’s box, he hopes it’s burgers. Doink slams a cream pie in his face. I’m very happy about this.
We learn that we’ll hear from Money Inc, the tag champs, next before an advert for, first, ICOPRO then Hasbro figures before Slim Jim – the classic advert trilogy in 1993.
Vinnie Mac is in the ring, where he calls out Money Inc. The champs make their way out to the ring sans Jimmy Hart who, remarkably, is now the babyface manager of Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake. Dibiase talks about a friend who is only getting a $700k plus pension and a $1.1m severance pay. What a disconnect with the crowd, eh? Oh wait, that is the shtick. Mercifully, Vince asks them to turn their attention to Hogan and co. Dibiase criticises him for disappearing to do movies while IRS says he’ll do worse to Hogan than he did to Beefcake. IRS says that the odds against Hogan, Beefcake and Hart (3 men) are against them.
Match 3: ‘The Narcissist’ Lex Luger vs PJ Walker.
PJ Walker is a very baby-faced Justin Credible. Hell, it’s even prior to him wearing a jockstrap over his head as a Portuguese man of war. Luger starts with some knees then nearly rips Walker in half with an Irish whip into the corner. A running backbreaker and Luger taunts the crowd as Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan phones in.
Mercifully, Heenan says that’s not really Elvis. But this turns out to be a rubbish joke too as he claims Prescilla is with him. Dear oh dear…
Anyway, back in the ring, eh? Luger lays some kicks in on Walker before firing him at the ropes and hitting a running forearm smash before pinning his opponent with his pinky.
Winner: Lex Luger
Rating: A nothing squash. Not convinced the crowd are really caring about Luger’s ‘Narcissist’ gimmick.
Post-match, Luger drags Walker to the outside, criticises his physique then throws him to the mat.
Vince McMahon hypes the match after the break featuring the Steiner Brothers, whom he calls “Rob and Scott.”
Match 4: The Steiner Brothers vs. Duane Gill and Barry Hardy
Icons of jobbers against the Steiners, excellent. Scott and Hardy kick this one off. ‘Rob’ is in and clotheslines Hardy to the outside where Scott tosses him back in. Rick gets him up on his shoulder and charges him sternum first into the corner before tossing him across the ring to his partner. Gill is in, with dreadful hair, and eats a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker before Scott is in. A pump handle slam nearly kills him before Hardy is forearmed off the apron.
Rick is back and just kicks Gill to the mat. Double underhook suplex sets and a Frankensteiner and this one is over.
Winner: The Steiner Brothers.
Rating: A very one-sided squash match, as the WWF build-up the Steiner Brothers but not really all that much to see here, other than Steiners throwing about a pair of jobbers.
Video airs for WWF Mania. We’ve still not had the conclusion to the Undertaker vs Skinner match from last week. Let’s just assume Taker won, right? Next week we have: Money Inc vs El Matador & Virgil, ‘The Model’ Rick Martel faces Mr. Perfect and more. I hope Elvis isn’t back…
Overall Thoughts: The road to WrestleMania 9 continues but there’s not really all that much to see here. Couple of squash matches and a few promos
Overall score – 2/5
Both WWF and WCW have added a PPV show. WCW’s will be on the 23rd of May called ‘Slamboree’. It’s about inducting people into an NWA Hall of Fame. WWF have added a PPV in June, this’ll eventually be King of the Ring.
A pre-WrestleMania live special on Fox was cancelled. The WWF are trying to source it another home.
Hogan is rumoured to begin filming a television series immediately after WrestleMania.
Lawsuits galore in the world of Titan Sports. The Ultimate Warrior has sued Vince and the WWF, Vince has sued Kevin ‘Nailz’ Wacolz and Phil Mushnick, of the New York Post.
All ‘Raw Rewind 1993’ pieces can be found here.