Welcome to the latest edition of ‘Raw Rewind‘ from 1993. Today we take in the episode from 11 October 1993, featuring Razor Ramon against Rick Martel with the winner crowned the new Intercontinental Champion.
Champion Roll Call:
WWF Champion: Yokozuna
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Vacant
WWF Tag Team Champions: The Quebecers
You can read last week’s Raw recap here.
We kick off with a video hyping the importance of tonight’s chance for both Razor Ramon and Rick Martel to win the Intercontinental Championship. The clip features various highlights and eliminations from last week’s 20 man over-the-top Battle Royal.
Vince McMahon is once against joined at ringside by Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan and Randy Savage, who give their thoughts on the opening match – the bout for the vacant IC title.
Match 1: Razor Ramon vs. Rick ‘The Model’ Martel for the vacant Intercontinental Championship
A big match to kick off this week’s episode of WWF Raw. Very much a match between the old generation and the new generation here. Razor throws the toothpick in Martel’s kisser. They shove each other to start before Martel slaps Ramon. An angry Ramon takes the fight to the former IC Champion and begins to work on the arm until a drop toehold fells the relative newbie in the WWF.
Fairly even in the early stages here until Ramon catches Martel coming off the ropes and connects with a fallaway slam, sending ‘The Model’ to the outside. Back to a lock-up position but Martel lands some knees to the mid-section then applies a headlock. Ramon powers out by lifting Martel and dropping him over the other side of the ropes before slingshotting him back in.
It’s Ramon’s turn to dominate as he works away on the arm of his experienced opponent. We return from a break, however, and Martel is slamming his opponent on the outside of the ring before selling the toll the match has taken on his arm.
Three consecutive Irish whips to the corner and a side suplex has Razor down but a pin attempt is brought to an end when Earl Hebner spots his feet on the ropes. Martel continues to attack the back, softening Ramon up for the Boston crab, wonders Heenan.
Martel attempts a Boston crab after a high knee to the back but Ramon is awfully close to the ropes. He inches forward and grabs the ropes. Martel follows up with a side suplex in the middle of the ring and again goes for a Boston crab.
Ramon powers out into a pinning attempt but only gets a two before its reversed into one for Martel but that also only gets a two. Ramon catches Martel’s boot, drops him on the top turnbuckle and goes for the German suplex but takes an elbow in the face. Martel hits a flying bodypress but Ramon rolls through for a two.
A clothesline gets Martel a two. From almost nowhere, Ramon hits the Razor’s Edge and we have a new Intercontinental Champion.
Winner: And new Intercontinental Champion…Razor Ramon!
Overall: What an amazing match. A really great bout pitting a former champion against a man the WWF chose to become the new champion.
Match 2: The Headshrinkers (w/ Afa) vs. Tommy Morrison and Sid Curtis
Am not convinced the future bodes well for Morrison and Curtis here. Certainly, don’t envisage that this will last all that long… Samu starts and the jobbers take turns in being thrown about by him before Fatu is tagged in. Fatu connects with an impressive superkick then follows up with a falling headbutt. Samu attacks Curtis outside the ring and tosses him back in for Fatu, who gauges away at the jobber’s face.
The Headshrinkers nearly take Curtis’ head off with a double clothesline. Samu drags him to his corner and helps Tommy Morrison make the tag in. He’s then decimated, with a reverse Russian legsweep before Fatu goes up top with a top rope splash.
Winners: The Headshrinkers via pinfall.
Overall: Quick and one-sided squash.
We get an advert for the Survivor Series, the Thanksgiving Tradition.
Match 3: Owen Hart vs. Scott King
Owen starts working on King’s left arm. King counters, but some flips get him out of it and a clothesline sends King to the matt, where Hart applies a reverse chinlock. King gets in a bit of offence but a monkey flip turns things back in Hart’s favour before a dropkick and snap suplex have Hart firmly in control. We then get a gut wrench suplex and some European uppercuts.
Another suplex and then Hart hits a flying elbow off the second rope and we’re back to the reverse chinlock. King eats a back bodydrop but fights back with a couple of shots to the face but runs into an overhead belly-to-belly suplex which is followed by a top rope dropkick. He hits a bridging Northern Lights Suplex for the win.
Winner: Owen Hart via pinfall.
Rating: A quick and impressive win for the younger Hart brother.
Vince McMahon is in the ring for an interview and brings out Ludvig Borga, who is jeered by the partisan American crowd. Borga describes them as “pee-ons” and says that in his “continent” USA stands for “You stink a lot”. Patter…
He says he only says what he sees as says American is crumbling and filled with people who can’t read or write. After one too many attacks on America, out comes Lex Luger to a ferocious reaction. He tells Borga to say anything he wants about him but he’s sick and tired of hearing his anti-American attacks while taking a paycheck in the USA. Luger tells him to “love it or leave it” to a great reaction.
Match 4: Adam Bomb (w/ Harvey Wippleman) vs. Ross Greenberg
McMahon announces that Polo has traded Adam Bomb’s services over the weekend while Heenan also states that Wippleman has a new tag team he manages too: Well Dunn.
Bomb throws Greenberg around before sending him to the outside with a dropkick. He slingshots himself in and catches Greenberg with a shoulder tackle. Greenberg attempts to fight back but Bomb no-sells. He hits the Atom Smasher and that’s it done.
Winner: Adam Bomb via pinfall.
Rating: Quite plodding, despite the short time it lasted. Entirely missable.
Match 5: Smoky Mountain Tag Team Champions The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (Robert Gibson & Ricky Morton) vs. Dwayne Gill & Barry Hardy
Gibson and Hardy start this one off. Fast start. Hardy catches a big boot attempt but is felled by an enziguri before tagging in Morton, who connects with a running knee before backdropping the incoming Gill and the Express hit a Hart Attack. Some good double team from Gibson and Morton attacking Hardy’s knee. Express hit the double dropkick and that’s all she wrote.
Winner: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express via pinfall.
Rating: Wasn’t bad. Wasn’t an excellent debut but convincing enough from the Smoky Mountain Wrestling tag champs.
We then get some clips of highlights from Razor Ramon winning the Intercontinental Championship.
Next week we’ll see Tatanka, I.R.S. and the Steiner Brothers all in action as well as Crush being in attendance and addressing his issues with Macho Many Randy Savage.
Overall Thoughts: Perhaps the best episode of Raw to date. A fantastic opening bout, the debut of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express and some decent storyline advancement.
Overall score – 4/5
Jerry Jarrett was at all three nights of television tapings this past week and the wrestlers seemed to think he had a position of authority when it came to creativity.
The only newcomers on the syndicated shows were Rock & Roll Express and Pat Tanaka. Tanaka did jobs for 1-2-3 Kid and Marty Jannetty that were said to be the best match of the respective nights.
Tatanka suffered his first loss on 9/28 Superstars taping to Ludvig Borga. Mr. Fuji came to ringside waving the Japanese flag and distracted the ref so Borga gave Tatanka a chair shot before pinning him. Yokozuna then came to ringside and gave Tatanka two banzais. Lex Luger ran in for the save, but the Quebecers stopped him, although he finally broke free.
Harvey Whippleman vowed to bring in someone to get back at Giant Gonzalez, and it later turned out to be Adam Bomb, who will no longer be managed by Johnny Polo.
A Rick Martel vs. Owen Hart match ended with Martel winning via count-out when Jerry Lawler posted Hart.
There are rumours that both Scott Steiner and Matt Borne (Doink the Clown) are suspended. However, Dave Meltzer said: “All I can report is that I’ve been given denials of Scott Steiner and Borne being suspended, even though it has been reported as such elsewhere (and in the case of Steiner, here initially, although it was retracted last week). The story gets more confusing since “high-ranking WWF officials” have been reported elsewhere as saying the recent suspensions (without any names given) should show everyone that the drug testing enforcement is legitimate.”
Titan’s legal staff is now going after people who sell WWF videotapes.
At the 9/29 Portland tapings, Rock & Roll was facing Well Dunn when Cornette’s interference caused the R&R to lose via count out. Quebecers had title matches ending in DQ and COR losses to Steiners and MOM respectively.
Barry Horowitz was given two wins at the Portland taping.
Nobody knew how to react to Doink in his role as a face who hasn’t completely turned.
Ramon is wearing a new IC belt since Shawn Michaels didn’t return the belt.
Royal Rumble is January 22, 1994 in Providence, RI and WrestleMania is April 3, 1994 at Madison Square Garden.
Madusa was offered a Titan start date of 11/8 but hasn’t officially accepted it.
The new WWF Magazine came out with no story or even mention of the “Now It’s Our Turn” segment. They had a brief item of Gene Okerlund leaving, trying to claim it was their decision. The idea of someone leaving the organization because of a bigger money offer elsewhere seems hard to acknowledge. The story said that Okerlund had become one of the most visible characters in the WWF but the company had decided it was time to move in a new direction and that Okerlund’s contract wasn’t renewed.
The same magazine had a story on Bastion Booger and said that he used to wrestle in Calgary and feuded with Owen and Bruce Hart, although never said he was using another name at the time, nor acknowledged he left Calgary for WCW or Mexico.
Bret Hart, Marty Jannetty, Head Shrinkers, Smoking Gunns and Crush (as a heel) will be the headliners on the “B” team shows which start 10/7.
WWF debuts in Israel with shows 10/7 in Tel Aviv and 10/8 in Haifa, and then runs 10/9 to 10/13 in Germany.
Monday Night Raw headlined by Tatanka vs. Martel on 9/27 rebounded to a 2.7 rating, while All-American did a 2.3 the day before and Mania did a 1.1.
All ‘Raw Rewind 1993’ pieces can be found here.