Welcome to the latest edition of ‘Raw Rewind‘ from 1993. Today we cover the episode from 26 July. On this show, Bret ‘The Hitman’ battles Bam Bam Bigelow in a King of the Ring rematch and we’ll also see Mr. Hughes and the Smokin’ Gunns in action.
Champion Roll Call:
WWF Champion: Yokozuna
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Shawn Michaels
WWF Tag Team Champions: The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott)
You can read the last Raw recap here.
We start with a promo from Doink the Clown, who taunts Macho Man Randy Savage – calling him ‘Macho Boy’
Vince McMahon, Bobby Heenan and Randy Savage are at ringside and welcome us to Monday Night Raw. Tonight, we’ll see Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart take on Bam Bam Bigelow and we see Stu and Helen Hart are in the crowd. Mr. Hughes will also be in action as will the debuting Ludvig Borga.
Match 1: Bam Bam Bigelow (w/ Luna Vachon) vs. Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart.
Bam Bam pounds away to start as Savage points out he has a 150+ pound weight advantage. Hart fights back with a dropkick staggering Bigelow before a clothesline sends him to the outside. The Hitman takes the fight to the outside, where he finds himself distracted by Luna. Bam Bam attempts a sneak attack but is caught mid-flow by Hart. Hart comes off the top with a Lou Thesz style press but appears to have injured his left knee.
This allows Bigelow to regain control as we head to a break. Bam Bam continues to dominate when we return, with a series of running headbutts to the prone Hart. Unsurprisingly, he goes to the well once too often and Hart counters. He hits a belly-to-back suplex but it leads to the announcers wondering if he’s done more damage to the knee – not enough to stop him going for a dropkick.
A diving elbow gets a two count but Bigelow fights back and hits a dropkick, which Vince correctly states, to the midsection and we get a rest hold. Back from a break, and we’ve still got the reverse chinlock action on the go.
Bigelow attempts a dropkick but Hart dodges it by holding onto the ropes and drills Bam Bam with a series of punches before a back bodydrop sends him into the air. Another diving elbow gets a two. Hart takes it to Bigelow and drags him forehead first across the top rope.
A clothesline gets Hart another two as the commentators lament the fact he, again, failed to hook the leg. Hart applies a sleeper but Bigelow drives him headfirst into the top turnbuckle, breaking the hold. Hart manages to catch him with a clothesline and looks to apply the Sharpshooter.
We hear the voice of Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler and we see he is with Stu and Helen in the crowd. Hart attempts to leave to challenge Lawler but is caught by Bigelow and driven back first into the turnbuckle. Lawler continues to taunt Stu, who tries to fire back at the “self-proclaimed” King.
Bigelow works on the Hitman in the ring as Lawler berates him over the tanoy. Bigelow goes up top but misses a diving headbutt. Hart pounds away and connects with a series of clotheslines which fell Bigelow. Another diving elbow gets Hart a nearfall. Hart hits a DDT then dives out of the ring to get his hands on Lawler but is counted out.
Winner: Bam Bam Bigelow via countout.
Overall: A good enough match but the priority was continuing the storyline with Lawler and Hart rather than anything else. Yet it got a full 20 minutes.
Post-match, McMahon lambasts the insults that Lawler threw at Stu and Helen Hart as we see that Bret has finally made his up to the top tier but he can’t get his hands on Lawler.
Time for the SummerSlam report with Mean Gene. We learn that Lex Luger will face the giant WWF Champion Yokozuna, this announcement was made at Superstars with Jack Tunney saying that Luger has to wear protection over his forearm. He also touches on Lawler/Hart as well as the RIP match pitting The Undertaker against Giant Gonzales, although we’ve still to learn what the stipulation actually is.
Mr Hughes (w/ Harvey Wippleman) vs. Ross Greenberg
Once again, a black wreath is delivered to ringside as Hughes competes. The fans chant for The Undertaker as Greenberg tries to mount an offence but ultimately runs into a big boot. Hughes hits a powerbomb as McMahon states that he has “annihilated” Greenberg. Clearly bored, Vince starts banging on about the ‘Lex Express’. Hughes hits his trademark sidewalk slam and that’s it.
Winner: Mr. Hughes via pinfall.
Overall: A pretty standard Mr. Hughes win.
Post-match, Hughes sees the flowers and destroys them as Vince McMahon hypes ‘WrestleMania: The Album’.
Match 3: The Smokin’ Gunns vs. Dwayne Gill and Glenn Ruth
Gill and Billy Gunn start and Gill is dropped by a dropkick before we get a quick tag and double team. Gill hits a thumb to the eye and tags in his partner, but the pair eat a crossbody for a two. Bart hits a powerslam and Billy hits a running legdrop then elbow drop but no pinfall attempt is made. The Gunns hit a double-team Russian Legsweep, as the continue to beat down on one of the jobbers. It’s all the Gunns as they destroy Ruth, finishing with a backdrop into a piledriver.
Winners: The Smoking Gunns via pinfall.
Rating: A very, very one-sided squash win for the Smoking Gunns. Not much to see here.
A video clip airs, hyping Ludvig Borga – largely featuring footage of him destroying jobbers on Superstars.
More Lex Express footage airs, including an interview conducted by Vince McMahon at ringside earlier in the day. Vince McMahon looks utterly thrilled by this all.
Match 4: Doink the Clown vs. Phil Apollo
Doink, following on from his earlier promo, taunts Savage throughout this. He has the early advantage with a series of suplexes and submissions. We learn that McMahon will interrogate Luger in the coming weeks, including topics such as his expulsion from uni and drug abuse in sport. Doink hits the top rope butt bump for the win.
Winner: Doink the Clown pinfall.
Rating: A quick squash that was all about furthering a programme between Doink and Randy Savage.
Post-match, Doink invites Savage into the ring. After Savage refuses to get in the ring, Doink joins him at ringside and gets in his face. Doink challenges him to a one-on-one match-up. We then see a series of Doinks in and around the arena. Savage promises a “little surprise” for Doink next week on Raw.
Overall Thoughts: Fun opening match and, in terms of advancement of storylines, a fair bit to see here.
Overall score – 3/5
Titan’s legal department has picked on some strange targets this past week. Jason Shepard, 16, who ran fan clubs for Mr. Perfect and Shawn Michaels received a threatening legal letter regarding such and asking him to turn over all monies received from those endeavours since the WWF holds trademarks to both names. While this is in their legal rights since they own the trademarks, it probably could have been handled in a less-threatening manner. Wade Keller of the Pro Wrestling Torch also received a threatening letter. Two months back Keller, in an ad in his newsletter for Torch t-shirts, made a joke that if you wear a t-shirt and sit in the first rows at a WWF taping, you may get a free WWF t-shirt. This was a comment based on existing and longstanding WWF policy when it comes to those wearing t-shirts of rival company wrestlers at tapings. Titan’s lawyers tried to imply that Keller was saying the WWF endorsed and/or sponsored his t-shirt sale, a conclusion that nobody with half a brain could have come to and demanded he state that Titan Sports neither endorses nor sponsors either his t-shirts or his newsletter. I think that statement is more of a recommendation for a newsletter than a retraction.
Monday Night Raw on 7/12 headlined by Yokozuna vs. Crush for WWF title did a 2.7 rating, while All-American did a 2.4 and Mania a 1.1 that weekend.
Lex Luger is getting some media attention for his tour, which in many cities coincides with an existing WWF house show. On those nights, he’s been saving Bret Hart after Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji are double-teaming Hart. The whole scenario of Luger at children’s hospitals and kissing babies and being friendly to wrestling fans is hilarious to everyone who has formerly worked with him. It’s probably going to be more effective than a traditional wrestling push, although a report from the Saturday night show in Philadelphia when they brought up the Lex Express said it got no reaction other than fans thinking they were shoving him down their throats. However, when he made the save later in the card, they popped big for him.
Giant Gonzalez’ last match will be SummerSlam, and then he’s leaving the WWF and moving to Tampa.
Sensational Sherri was fired this past week. Funny thing about it was it was reported in the Torch that was mailed out Wednesday, but Sherri didn’t even find out until two days later when she was called just before she was about to get on the plane to Philadelphia for her booking that night. With Luna Vachon out with the broken wrist and unable to wrestle until after Sherri’s quitting date of 9/8, Titan really had no use for her left.
Ref Joey Marella is also gone.
Bob Backlund did jobs in his old Northeastern stomping grounds to Bastion Booger all weekend, so he’s got to be just moments about from being through. Well, maybe not…
Matches post-SS announced for 9/26 in Philadelphia were Kid vs. Michaels, Perfect vs. Diesel, Steiners vs. Bigelow & Adam Bomb for the tag titles and Men on a Mission vs. Well Done.
Typhoon returned to action 7/18 in Tampa after missing several months with a shoulder separation.
Expect a number of veterans to be gone over the next few months since they are bringing in so many newcomers and also cutting way back on the number of events being run.
On television, Vince McMahon referred to jobber Rich Myers as the son of “all-time great Jim Myers.” Rich is the son of George Steele.
All ‘Raw Rewind 1993’ pieces can be found here.