It’s the spring of 1993, and Wrestlemania is officially over.  We’ve seen the culmination of storylines that had been building up for months, and we’ll now start heading towards new feuds.

The biggest piece of news from Wrestlemania is that there’s a new WWF champion.  So, Yokozuna must have the title, right?  Nope!  Our new WWF champion is once again Hulk Hogan.  How did this possibly happen, you ask?  Bret Hart lost in match with Yokozuna after Mr. Fuji threw salt in his eyes.  Hogan, who is suddenly well known to be good friends with Hart, came down to help his friend out.  He tries to tell the referee about the salt, but has no luck.  Mr. Fuji, for some strange reason challenges Hogan, and puts Yokozuna’s title on the line.  Fuji mistakenly throws salt in Yokozuna’s eyes, and Hogan beats him to win the title in less than a minute.

It’s ridiculous that they were building up Yokozuna to be this huge monster heel, and then had him get easily defeated by Hogan.  It also seems crazy to put the title on Hogan since he was even more of a part-timer here than Brock is today.  I mean, he was still easily the biggest draw in the company at this time, so I guess that they figured that it made the most sense from a business standpoint.

So, we definitely have some excitement as we enter into April.

Episode 11 – April 5, 1993

Venue – Manhattan Center (Manhattan, NY)

This is the first episode of Monday Night Raw to air after Wrestlemania.  To start things off, for the first time since Raw started, Rob Bartlett isn’t announcing!  It’s only Vince McMahon and Randy Savage on the announce team tonight, and they don’t even mention Bartlett during their opening segment.  I had hoped that Vince McMahon finally got rid of him, but they mention in the first match that Bartlett is still out in Las Vegas.  According to Vince, he lost everything out there, but he hopes to be back next week, which made me go from the greatest feeling ever to the worst feeling ever within about five minutes.

Vince McMahon and Randy Savage

Matches

Bam Bam Bigelow def. Virgil

Tonight’s show feels more like a current episode of Raw, because the announcers are so busy talking about what happened at Wrestlemania that they hardly pay attention to any of the matches.  Here, they mostly talk about what happened in the main event, and how Hogan won the title.  Randy Savage says that Bret Hart has earned everyone’s respect.  Vince McMahon also mentions that Lex Luger knocked out Bret Hart at the Wrestlemania brunch, and then later knocked out Mr. Perfect after their match.  The last Wrestlemania point that Vince mentions is that there was “double Doink” against Crush.

Onto the match, there are scattered “Virgil sucks” chants from the crowd at the beginning, but later the crowd suddenly gets behind him.  They go from “Virgil sucks” to consistent “Virgil” chants, so I guess that we could just call Virgil the original John Cena.  Bam Bam Bigelow gets the win to a huge cheer.

Bob Backlund def. Kim Chee

The crowd continues to love Bob Backlund on his comeback run, and there are “Bobby” chants throughout the match.  With more Wrestlemania updates, Vince mentions that Luna Vachon made her WWF debut in the corner of Shawn Michaels, and absolutely destroyed Sensational Sherri.  He also says that fans could call the Wrestlemania Hotline to find out last night’s results.  Yep, that’s right, this was before we could find instant results by scrolling through Twitter, or read through a recap on a wrestling website.  If we didn’t buy the PPV, but wanted to know the results, our options were pretty limited.  Anyway, Backlund wins the match to a huge cheer.

Damien Demento def. Jim Brunzell

A former member of the Killer Bees tag team in the ’80s, “Jumping” Jim Brunzell was apparently still employed by the WWF in 1993.  This is an unnecessarily long and slow match that the crowd really isn’t into.  Rob Bartlett calls in during the match to say that he needs help, because he lost everything.  Just in case anyone was really craving a Rob Bartlett update.  Vince also says that cable companies will be showing an encore presentation of Wrestlemania. Demento gets a rare win, which is strange, because he’s usually the enhancement talent.

The Steiner Brothers def. The Beverly Brothers

In a very solid tag team match, the Steiner Brothers defeat the Beverly Brothers.  The Steiners continue to look extremely impressive, and Vince McMahon says that they’ve challenged the winner of yesterday’s Tag Team Title match.

The Steiner Brothers

Jerry Lawler def. Jim Powers

Another former ’80s tag team member is in action, as the former Young Stallion, Jim Powers, gets defeated by Jerry Lawler.  At this time, Lawler was an announcer on WWF Superstars, but he makes his Raw debut here.  He had originally came out to fight earlier in the night, but after cutting a promo where he insulted the crowd, they wouldn’t stop chanting “Burger King”.  Their endless chants caused him to walk out instead of fighting.  He came out again, but left after the chants continued.  He finally ended up fighting in the main event, because Powers attacked him before he got into the ring.

The match itself is just ok, but it’s all based around building up a Jerry Lawler feud with Randy Savage.  The crowd keeps chanting “Burger King”, and for some reason Lawler blames Savage.  He keeps yelling at Savage whenever he gets near the announce table, and he constantly taunts him from inside of the ring.  After the match, Lawler cuts a promo where he basically calls Savage a coward for hiding behind the commentary desk.

Jerry Lawler

Promos and Interviews

Not much happening this week with promos and interviews, but there’s a prerecorded interview from Mean Gene with Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji.  They say that the match with Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania shouldn’t count, since there was no official contract.

Episode 12 – April 12, 1993

Mid-Hudson Civic Center (Poughkeepsie, NY)

We have our second episode from the Mid-Hudson Civic Center, and we sadly have a returning Rob Bartlett.  Last week was really just an explanation of everything that happened at Wrestlemania, but this week starts the build to new storylines and feuds.

One of the biggest upcoming feuds is Money, Inc. and the Steiner Brothers.  At the beginning of the episode, Money, Inc. is shown giving money to the Beverly Brothers backstage to tell them everything that they learned after fighting the Steiners last week.

Money, Inc. and the Beverly Brothers

Matches

Scott Steiner (with Rick Steiner) def. IRS (with Million Dollar Man)

I love these Raw episodes from the Mid-Hudson Civic Center, because the crowd is crazy (in a good way).  They’re noticeably much louder than last week’s crowd, and are super hot to start the night.  They’re really into this match, and they love Scott Steiner.  Rob Bartlett starts with his lame jokes already, although he doesn’t really say much all night…he just occasionally chimes in with his awful lines.

This ends up being a very good back and forth match, which exists to begin the feud of the Steiner Brothers and Money, Inc.  The Million Dollar man eventually comes in to cause a DQ, and a fight starts.  The Steiners are about to give their finisher to the Million Dollar Man, but the Beverly Brothers interfere to help Money, Inc.  The Steiner Brothers eventually overpower both teams, which causes Money, Inc. to start arguing with the Beverly Brothers.  IRS gets knocked out of the ring, both teams have a staredown, and the segment kind of awkwardly ends.

Tatanka def. Von Krus

They’re really starting to play up Tatanka’s undefeated streak, and Vince McMahon mentions that he won at Wrestlemania to keep the streak alive, but didn’t get the title.  Doink comes out during the match, and randomly starts spraying water out of an umbrella, but doesn’t actually have any effect on the match.  Tatanka wins in a fairly long squash match, and Vince also says that the Beverly Brothers have asked for a match against Money, Inc.

Tatanka

Papa Shango def. Scott Taylor

Poor Scott Taylor has had two Raw matches, and has hit a grand total of about two moves.  He gets easily destroyed by the crazy Papa Shango here.

Friar Ferguson def. Chris Duffy

Vince McMahon had been talking about the debut of Friar Ferguson all night, and I honestly could not remember this guy.  There are some wrestlers from back in the day that I don’t really remember very well, but I don’t ever even remember hearing this name before.  I guess that Ferguson is supposed to be a face, but the crowd really has no reaction to him (with such a great gimmick like an overweight and out of shape friar, I wonder why).  It took me until the end of the match to realize this, but Friar Ferguson is Bastion Booger!  This must have been a very short-lived gimmick before he would become one of the most ridiculous characters of all time.

Promos and Interviews

We get a Wrestlemania report with Sean Mooney.  He says that this is being referred to as the greatest Wrestlemania ever, which is kind of funny to hear considering that most people consider this to be one of the worst Wrestlemanias ever.  I’m pretty sure the only person who thinks that it’s the greatest Wrestlemania is Vince McMahon.  Anyway, he shows stills from Yokozuna beating Bret Hart, then Hulk Hogan beating Yokozuna.  He also shows the two Doinks, and then the Undertaker rising back up to come after Giant Gonzalez.  Lastly, he talks about the Wrestlemania encore, which is happening right after tonight’s episode of Raw.

In the biggest segment of the night, we get Rob Bartlett interviewing Luna Vachon at ringside.  She cuts an insanely over the top promo where she says that she’s the true woman of the ’90s, and calls Sensational Sherri a witch.  The crowd starts chanting “Sherri”, which causes her to come out.  She immediately yells at Rob Bartlett for even bringing out Luna, and then attacks her.  Bartlett gets knocked to the ground, which is great.

Sherri suplexes Luna on the outside, and they brawl into the crowd.  It appears that Sherri has won, so Randy Savage starts interviewing her until Luna comes back out to attack her.  This turns into an Attitude Era cat fight, as they literally start tearing each other’s clothes off.  By the time the fight ends, Sensational Sherri’s boobs are hanging out, and Luna Vachon is in her underwear.

Rob Bartlett Interviewing Luna Vachon and Sensational Sherri

Vince had announced that the Beverly Brothers will be fighting Money, Inc. next week, so we get a quick backstage promo by Money, Inc. to end the show.  The Beverly Brothers attack them, and they brawl as Raw goes off the air.

Episode 13 – April 19, 1993

Mid-Hudson Civic Center (Poughkeepsie, NY)

The episode starts with a quick promo from Money, Inc. followed by a quick promo from the Beverly Brothers.

Money, Inc. Promo

Matches

Razor Ramon def. Virgil

Even though he’s a heel, these New York crowds always love Razor Ramon, so the fans are pretty hot to start this one.  Virgil is surprisingly popular, and there are “Virgil” chants throughout the match.  He actually controls things initially, but Ramon ends up mostly destroying him.  The best part of this match is Rob Bartlett saying “Do you know what amazes me?”, and Randy Savage responding with “Probably everything”.

Razor's Edge

Giant Gonzalez (with Harvey Wippleman) def. LA Gore

LA Gore understandably doesn’t want to get into the ring for this match, but Giant Gonzalez pulls him in.  It’s just a short squash match, and the crowd continues pretty much giving no reaction to Gonzalez.

Tatanka def. Art Thomas

Art Thomas attacks Tatanka before the match starts, and controls things at the beginning, but Tatanka wins another short squash match.

Money, Inc. def. The Beverly Brothers

The big tag team match, which came about last week isn’t the main event for some reason.  It’s kind of a strange match, because I’m pretty sure that both teams are still heels.  Vince calls them both “undesirable” tag teams, and says that nobody probably cares who wins this.  He’s right, because the crowd never really gets into it.  They seem to hate Money, Inc. worse though, so the Beverly Brothers get cheered a little bit more.

The match itself is a solid long match.  The Beverly Brothers have some really good double team work, and control the beginning, despite being attacked by Money, Inc. before the match started.  They lose at the end though, after one Beverly Brother clotheslines the other.

Bam Bam Bigelow def. Phil Apollo

This is a pretty long match, but it’s mostly Bam Bam Bigelow easily taking care of poor Phil Apollo.  Much like in Tatanka’s match last week, Doink walks out towards the ring, and splashes water from an umbrella.  He once again doesn’t actually do anything to effect the match though, so I’m not really sure what the point is.  As always, Bigelow gets a huge cheer when he wins with the flying headbutt.  He goes up to hit Apollo with another one after the match, but Friar Ferguson comes out to stop him.  He dropkicks Bigelow, and apparently starts this weird feud.

Promos and Interviews

Other than the opening promos from Money, Inc. and the Beverly Brothers, it’s a fairly light promo week.

Luna Vachon has a prerecorded promo that might be even more over the top than her promo in her interview with Rob Bartlett last week.  They also show clips of her attacking Sensational Sherri backstage at Wrestlemania.

Vince McMahon interviews Bret Hart in the ring, and starts mostly talking about his Wrestlemania loss to Yokozuna.  Hart talks about always being an underdog, and says that a lot of people think that he might be finished.  He says that they couldn’t be more wrong.  Their focus quickly shifts to Lex Luger, who knocked Bret Hart out at the Wrestlemania brunch.  They show a clip of it, and Hart says that he wants Luger.

Vince McMahon and Bret Hart

Episode 14 – April 26, 1993

Venue – Manhattan Center (Manhattan, NY)

We’re back at the Manhattan Center this week, and in the best news ever, Rob Bartlett is done as a WWF announcer!  I know that we were fooled a couple of weeks ago, but it’s official this time.  Bobby Heenan has thankfully taken his place, and says that he’ll be on every week from now on.  Vince McMahon says that Rob Bartlett quit when he heard that Heenan would be announcing.  Randy Savage says that Bobby Heenan couldn’t carry Bartlett’s jock, which might be the most ridiculous thing that I’ve ever heard.

New Monday Night Raw Announcers

Matches

Mr. Perfect def. Damien Demento

This is a slow match, like every other Damien Demento match, and he spends a lot of time talking to the sky.  There was a loud chant from the crowd at one point, and I couldn’t make out what they were saying, but I’m pretty sure that they were chanting “LSD”.  I don’t know, maybe they think that Damien Demento is on drugs, which really wouldn’t be surprising.  Mr. Perfect wins in a fairly short match though.

Lex Luger def. Crush

Big match for Raw here with two of their higher level guys.  It’s kind of a slow start with a lot of strength displays, but the crowd seems to love it.  The crowd is cheering way more for Crush, which is surprising considering how much the Manhattan Center usually loves Lex Luger.  This is definitely the best that we’ve seen Crush look so far.  He has Luger in his finisher, but then sees Doink up in the balcony, which distracts him.  Another Doink shows up on the other side of the balcony, and Luger knocks out Crush, which causes him to get counted out.

Lex Luger vs. Crush

Mr. Hughes def. Jason Knight

Mr. Hughes makes his Monday Night Raw debut, and destroys this loser jobber.  That’s all there really is to say about this one.

Typhoon def. Von Krus

Another pretty short squash match.  Von Krus controls things for a little while, but Typhoon wins.  “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan calls in during the match to talk about his match with Shawn Michaels next week.

Promos and Interviews

In one of the most random things ever, they show an essay winner reading her paper about not doing drugs, and then the Undertaker suddenly appears to say “there’s no hope with dope”.

In an ongoing story throughout the night, Bobby Heenan says that he got a scoop that an audience member is proposing to his girlfriend tonight, and he’s making sure that she says no.  They show the couple a handful of times during the episode, and Heenan interviews them at the end of the show.  He hilariously makes fun of both of them, but the guy still proposes to his excited girlfriend.

There’s an amazingly bad promo for an upcoming tag team called the Smoking Gunns.  Some of the gimmicks that the WWF decided to go with at this time were just ridiculous.  Still, they would become a pretty successful tag team for a couple of years, and Billy Gunn would have a very long WWF career.

Vince McMahon interviews Shawn Michaels in the ring.  Vince says that Michaels will be putting his title on the line against “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan next week, who we haven’t seen since he got crushed by Yokozuna.  The main portion of the interview is to build up his feud with Mr. Perfect though.  They show a clip from backstage at Wrestlemania when Michaels attacked Perfect, and Vince says that he’ll have to fight him eventually.  Michaels has a good heel promo, mostly making fun of the crowd, and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan.  The fans get all over him during this.  Mr. Perfect comes down to the ring, but Michaels runs away.

Shawn Michaels

Lastly, they show a clip from WWF Superstars where Sensational Sherri had apparently interrupted Bam Bam Bigelow’s promo, and he’s about ready to hit her until Tatanka comes down to make the save.  Tatanka was then supposed to fight later, but Bigelow attacked him backstage before he could get to the ring.  So, I guess that they’ve dropped the potential Bam Bam Bigelow and Friar Ferguson feud already.

Commercials

  • ICOPRO commercial with Bret Hart (episode 11).
  • Classic Slim Jim commercial with “Macho Man” Randy Savage (episodes 11 – 13).
  • Commercial for a Wrestlemania encore (episodes 11 and 12).
  • Preview for WWF Mania (episodes 11 and 13).
  • Commercial for the newest WWF action figures (episodes 11 – 14).
  • New ICOPRO commercial with the Steiner Brothers (episodes 12 and 13).
  • King of the Ring preview (episode 14).
  • ICOPRO commercial with Tatanka (episode 14).

Overall Thoughts

Not the most exciting month of episodes, but this was really all about wrapping everything up that happened at Wrestlemania, and starting new stuff.  I would have liked to see them go somewhere with the Jerry Lawler and Randy Savage feud, but it doesn’t seem to amount to anything on Raw at least.  I’m so excited that Bobby Heenan is announcing on the show now, and he instantly makes everything better.  I’m looking forward to see where things go as we head towards King of the Ring.