We’ve officially entered into the summer of 1993 and June is a very eventful month for the WWF.  Before the month is over, there’s a new WWF Champion, a new king, another Intercontinental Title change, and new Tag Team Champs.  It’s also the end of an era, as Hulk Hogan’s historic WWF run is finished.

In addition to being uncooked, uncut, and uncensored, Monday Night Raw continues to try to be more unpredictable.  After last month’s upsets, they seem to be trying to push the fact that “anything could happen” on Raw.

Episode 20 – June 7, 1993

Venue – Manhattan Center (Manhattan, NY)

Raw immediately starts off with Shawn Michaels being announced as the new Intercontinental Champion, and he comes down to the ring for the first time with his new bodyguard. When they cut to the announcers, Michaels interrupts to say that he’s back on top of the world. He lets them know that he now has a bodyguard as his insurance policy.  The bodyguard doesn’t have a name yet, but this is Diesel, who would eventually have a successful main event singles run, and even hold the WWF Title.  In the mid-’90s, he would gain even more fame as Kevin Nash, by being one of the original NWO members in WCW.  We’re getting ahead of ourselves though, because right now he’s just hired muscle by Michaels.

New Intercontinental Champion - Shawn Michaels

Matches

Shawn Michaels (with Diesel) def. Ross Greenberg

The crowd starts chanting “let’s go Shawn” when this match starts.  As much as the Manhattan Center loves heels, they usually hate Shawn Michaels, so this is kind of surprising.  I guess that they didn’t care about this random jobber with Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake’s attire.  Vince McMahon says that Michaels defeated Marty Jannetty last night in Albany, with the help of his bodyguard, to win back the Intercontinental Title.  Michaels is super cocky during this match, and mostly laid back.  Vince plays up his upcoming match against Crush at King of the Ring.

Adam Bomb (with Johnny Polo) def. El Matador

This match moves really slow, because everything that Adam Bomb does takes forever, and El Matador spends most of the time trying to get him off of his feet. Vince McMahon mentions that Razor Ramon has now upped the price for the 1-2-3 Kid to get back into the ring with him to $7,500, which is about the only exciting thing that happens here.

Tatanka def. Peter Weeks

Tatanka easily takes out this loser.

Fatu (with Samu and Afa) and IRS (with The Million Dollar Man) def. Billy Gunn (with Bart Gunn) and Rick Steiner (with Scott Steiner)

This feels like a current Raw match to set up the eight man tag team match at the upcoming PPV, but it’s very enjoyable with some good back and forth action. IRS gets the pinfall on Billy Gunn after a distraction from the Million Dollar Man.

Money, Inc. Celebrating

Promos and Interviews

We get our last King of the Ring report with Mean Gene.  The PPV is coming up on Sunday, and he plays up the main event of Hulk Hogan vs. Yokozuna for the WWF Title. He once again goes over the bracket for the King of the Ring tournament, and he also announces that Shawn Michaels vs. Crush is now for the Intercontinental Title.  After he sends it back to the announcers, Michaels comes out to yell at them about how upset he is that his title is already on the line.

Jerry Lawler interviews Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji on “King’s Court”. Before they come out, he cuts a great heel promo mostly making fun of New York City. He says that whoever wins the King of the Ring tournament will be an imposter, because he’s the only true king in the WWF.  Mr. Fuji talks about how massive Yokozuna is, and he how he’ll crush Hulk Hogan.  The crowd isn’t hating Hogan quite as much today, as there are some “Hogan” chants from a very small part of the audience.  Yokozuna just says that Hogan will go down.

King's Court

Vince McMahon interviews Razor Ramon outside of the ring, and the crowd constantly chants “1-2-3”. He says that he’ll put up $7,500 to fight the 1-2-3 Kid next week, which Vince had already mentioned earlier.

Episode 21 – June 14, 1993

Venue – Manhattan Center (Manhattan, NY)

This episode airs the night after the highly anticipated King of the Ring PPVppv event, and the show starts with a clip showing Yokozuna winning the title from Hulk Hogan. They also show a backstage interview that Mean Gene did after the match with Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji. Mr. Fuji says that they’re planning on having a celebration on July 4 at a historical American landmark. Yokozuna just says “Hulkamania is dead”.  He was actually quite right, as this would be Hogan’s last TV appearance with the company until 2002.  He would fight in New Japan Pro Wrestling for a while before signing with WCW in 1994, and officially ending the Hulk Hogan era in the WWF.

Mean Gene Interviewing Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji

Mr. Perfect def. LA Gore

During this match, they mostly go over things that happened at King of the Ring.  Vince McMahon mentions that Mr. Perfect had a great match with Bret Hart in the tournament last night, and says that Hart went on to win it all.  Bobby Heenan brags about Yokozuna kicking out of Hulk Hogan’s leg drop, and Vince McMahon talks about some shadiness that happened with a Japanese photographer’s exploding camera.

This match is a short squash match for Mr. Perfect.

Doink vs. Marty Jannetty

Doink comes to the ring drinking a Pepsi, which he later squirts at the announcers, and immediately crawls under the ring. He comes out of the other side with a jacket on, and Vince McMahon absolutely freaks out about how it must be another Doink. Marty Jannetty puts on another really good performance, but the match gets kind of slow in the middle when Doink is in control. They eventually brawl to the outside, and they both get counted out. Jannetty continues to attack Doink after the match, and they want to keep fighting, but the refs break them up. Nothing ever happens with the other Doink.

Doink Drinking A Pepsi

Owen Hart def. Dan Dubiel

The 1-2-3 Kid calls in from Japan during this match. He says that promoters from all around the world have been calling him ever since he won the match against Razor Ramon. He also says that everyone over there is celebrating Yokozuna’s title win. Earlier in the night, Vince McMahon interviewed Razor Ramon in the ring, and Ramon upped his offer for the 1-2-3 Kid to fight him again to $10,000.  When Vince gives this news to the Kid, he finally accepts.

Owen Hart easily wins this match, and gets a nice reaction from the crowd.

Undertaker (with Paul Bearer) def. PJ Walker (from WWF Superstars)

They show a short squash match from WWF Superstars, because after the match, Giant Gonzalez comes out with Harvey Wippleman to attack the Undertaker. While they’re brawling, Mr. Hughes comes out, and gives his finisher to Paul Bearer causing him to drop the urn. Wippleman picks it up, gives it to Mr. Hughes, and he hits the Undertaker with it multiple times.  After wreaking havoc, they leave with the urn, and the announcers are shocked because Undertaker doesn’t sit up.

Mr. Huges Taking The Urn

Jerry Lawler def. Mark Thomas

The announcers talk about how Jerry Lawler destroyed Bret Hart after he won the King of the Ring tournament, and Lawler cuts a great heel promo. Bobby Heenan temporarily leaves in protest, because the crowd won’t stop chanting “Burger King”.  He comes back with big news that Mr. Fuji will be challenging any professional American athlete to slam Yokozuna on July 4.

Jerry Lawler easily wins this match.

Promos and Interviews

Other than the interview with Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji from the night before, and Vince McMahon interviewing Razor Ramon, there was nothing else.  They really packed a lot of matches into this episode.

Episode 22 – June 21, 1993

Venue – Mid-Hudson Civic Center (Poughkeepsie, NY)

Raw is back at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center with a couple big matches, and definitely the most eventful episode this month.

Matches

The Steiner Brothers def. Barry Hardy and Reno Riggins

In a shocking turn of events, the Steiner Brothers suddenly have the Tag Team Titles when they come to the ring. According to Vince McMahon, the Steiners won the titles last Monday (at a TV taping), Money, Inc. won them back last Wednesday (at a house show), but the Steiners won them back again on Saturday (at another house show).  Pretty crazy week in the tag team division!  Vince McMahon also mentions that the Steiner Brothers have accepted Yokozuna’s body slam challenge on July 4, which will take place on the USS Intrepid.

Do I really even have to say how this match goes?

Marty Jannetty def. Doink (2 out of 3 falls)

Big rematch here between Marty Jannetty and Doink after their double count out fight last week.  The crowd is pretty excited to start, as Jannetty gets a huge cheer when he comes out.  This match takes forever to start though, because Doink keeps trying to lure Jannetty in. There’s a lot of weird psychology stuff at the beginning of the match, which makes it move extremely slow.  It kind of takes the crowd out of it, but Jannetty hits a couple big moves, which gets them back into it.  Doink gets the first fall fairly quickly.

Doink vs. Marty Jannetty

Vince McMahon mentions a couple of football and hockey players that have accepted Yokozuna’s body slam challenge. Jannetty gets the second fall, and both guys really start to look gassed at certain points.  Doink starts working on Jannetty’s leg after the second fall, which slows things back down. Jannetty does a great job of selling the leg, and it plays really well into the match. Another Doink sneaks under the ring once Jannetty starts taking control, but Jannetty goes to look when the crowd starts pointing under there.  He doesn’t find anything, and they start fighting again after Doink hits Jannetty while he’s on the outside.

The original Doink eventually switches with the new one under the ring. The idiot ref doesn’t notice that this Doink has his face paint fully intact, while the original Doink’s face paint was basically gone by this point. Jannetty puts up a good fight, but the fresh Doink is able to easily beat him. At this point in the match, Vince McMahon has absolutely lost his mind. Fortunately for Jannetty, Randy Savage leaves the announce table to pull the original Doink out from under the ring. The stupid ref is totally shocked, and gives the victory to Jannetty.  This was by far the longest Raw match so far, and a really good match overall.

Mr. Hughes (with Harvey Wippleman) def. Bobby Who

Mr. Hughes comes out with the Undertaker’s urn, and easily destroys this joke.  Despite taking out the Undertaker, Mr. Hughes pretty much gets no reaction from the crowd.

Razor Ramon vs. The 1-2-3 Kid ($10,000 Challenge)

Razor Ramon

This match has been building up since last month after the 1-2-3 Kid shockingly upset Razor Ramon. He’s finally accepted the challenge to get back into the ring, and the crowd is really behind him with loud “1-2-3” chants. After hardly getting to do anything in his first couple matches, the 1-2-3 Kid really gets to show off his athleticism early into this match.  Ramon easily handles him for the rest of the match though, and mostly tries to make a fool out of him.  The 1-2-3 Kid starts getting some offense, and in a very heelish move, takes the money.  He runs out of the building, leaves in his car, and both guys get counted out.  Ramon cuts a short promo after the match about how he’s coming after him.

1-2-3 Kid

Promos and Interviews

With the 2 out of 3 falls match taking up mostly of the show, this was another promoless week, other than Razor Ramon yelling at the 1-2-3 Kid after their match.

Episode 23 – June 28, 1993

Venue – Mid-Hudson Civic Center (Poughkeepsie, NY)

We’re nearing the end of June, and we’re less than a week away from Yokozuna’s body slam challenge (now officially called the Stars and Stripes Challenge).  This episode is mostly to build up to that event, and after some big matches last week, we easily get the worst array of matches on Raw so far.

Raw Announce Crew

Matches

Shawn Michaels (with Diesel) def. Kamala (Intercontinental Title Match)

This match takes forever to start, with Shawn Michaels constantly trying to sucker in Kamala. Even after that, it’s a super slow-moving match with a lot of time-wasting. Michaels does a good job of working Kamala’s leg throughout the match, but it’s a really boring match overall that goes way too long. My favorite thing is that Kamala unsuccessfully tries to pin Michaels while he’s turned over for some reason.  I know that Kamala’s gimmick is that he’s supposed to be an unintelligent savage, but he’s been wrestling for years!  He’s certainly pinned people before, so why did he suddenly just forget how to do it.  Anyway, Diesel ends up distracting Kamala, and Michaels wins with a super kick to the back of the head. Kamala attacks Michaels after the match, but Diesel takes him out.

The Smoking Gunns  def. “Iron” Mike Sharpe and Barry Horowitz

A couple of classic jobbers here, who actually put up a decent fight before getting beat by the Smoking Gunns.

Adam Bomb (with Johnny Polo) def. PJ Walker

The usual destruction of poor PJ Walker.

Crush def. Bastion Booger

This is the Monday Night Raw debut of Bastion Booger, who you might remember debuting as the ridiculous Friar Ferguson back in April.  They must have quickly decided that the gimmick of an overweight and out of shape friar wasn’t working, but somehow they gave him an even worse gimmick.  His character is now that he’s a disgusting slob, who wears an outfit that looks like it should be worn by a bikini model, and he smells really bad.  What a great idea.  Anyway, the match is lame, but it’s to build Crush up for the Stars and Stripes challenge on Sunday.  He slams Booger a couple of times, making people think that he could possibly be the one to slam Yokozuna.

Promos and Interviews

Vince McMahon interviews Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji in the ring. Fuji starts waving the Japanese flag, and the crowd starts loudly chanting “USA”. This entire challenge is based around Mr. Fuji trying to embarrass the American athlete.  Vince gets extra animated when talking about how America will step up, and Fuji mostly just tries to put down the US.  Afterwards, they show some mostly bad promos from some of the athletes who have accepted the challenge.

Vince McMahon Interviewing Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji

Vince McMahon interviews Money, Inc. in the ring. He starts by poking fun at them for not having the Tag Team Titles anymore, but IRS says that there was a clause in the contract when they fought the Steiner Brothers that says that they get a rematch.  The Million Dollar Man then randomly starts making fun of Razor Ramon for being stupid. He says that he lost his cool, and let some nobody beat him, and then lost all of his money.  The New York crowd, who already loved Ramon, immediately starts chanting “Razor”.  Before they leave, the Million Dollar Man says that maybe they could find Ramon a job as a maid.

Vince McMahon Interviewing Money, Inc.

Randy Savage cuts a promo from Giants Stadium with Joe Morris (the greatest RB of all time according to Savage). It’s mostly about them slamming Yokozuna at the Stars and Stripes Challenge.

Overall Thoughts

With all of the title changes, this was definitely the most eventful month in the WWF since Raw started.  The episodes of Raw were kind of up and down though.  There were a couple really big matches, and some nice storyline progression, but then there was a lot of boring wrestling thrown in there.  The next PPV is Summerslam, so I’m hoping that we get some exciting stuff happening over the next month.

Despite the fact that 1993 is generally considered to not be a very good year for the WWF, it’s pretty interesting to look back on this transitional period.  They were slowly moving away from their ’80s stars, and pushing their younger talent, which tends to take some adjusting.  Hogan being gone is obviously the biggest thing to happen, but over the next year, there will be a lot more changes.

I normally list out the wrestling themed commercials on each episode, but at this point, they’re pretty much showing the same ones over and over again, so I figured that it would be more fun to note some highlights:

June Raw Highlights

  • Shawn Michaels debuts his new bodyguard.
  • Jerry Lawler hosts the first episode of King’s Court.
  • The 1-2-3 Kid finally accepts Razor Ramon’s $10,000 challenge, and runs off with his money after fighting him.
  • Money, Inc. appears to start a feud with Razor Ramon.

June WWF Highlights

  • Shawn Michaels wins back the Intercontinental Title from Marty Jannetty.
  • Bret Hart wins the King of the Ring tournament.
  • Yokozuna defeats Hulk Hogan for the WWF Title.
  • The Steiner Brothers win the Tag Team Titles from Money, Inc., lose them back to them, then win them back again.
  • Mr. Fuji issues an open challenge to any American athlete who could slam Yokozuna on July 4.

Best June Raw Match

  • Marty Jannetty vs. Doink (2 out of 3 falls)

Worst Non Squash June Raw Match

  • Shawn Michaels vs. Kamala