We’re only a couple of weeks away from SummerSlam as we head into August of 1993.  The WWF is coming off of an eventful month in July, where we saw face turns by both Lex Luger and Razor Ramon.  Monday Night Raw is currently being used as a vehicle to help promote Luger, as he prepares to take on Yokozuna at the summer’s biggest PPV event.

Episode 28 – August 2, 1993

Venue – Bonnie Castle Recreation Center (Alexandria Bay, NY)

It’s an exciting day, as Raw has ventured out into a new location.  Most episodes this year have taken place at the Manhattan Center, and this is only the third different location that they’ve been at since Raw started.  One thing that I love is how unique each venue has looked.  Anyone who watches Monday Night Raw today will notice that every place generally looks the same with WWE’s sets and production.  It’s also interesting to see how far WWE has come since the early ’90s.  This venue looks like a place where they would hold a local indie wrestling show.  Quite a difference from the big arenas that they fill every week now.

Bonnie Castle RecreationCenter

Raw starts where we previously left it, with a clip of Doink challenging “Macho Man” Randy Savage.  Afterwards, Savage cuts a short backstage promo in his amazing looking USA attire, and tells Doink that he might have a surprise for him tonight.

The Steiner Brothers def. Duane Gill and Barry Horowitz

Vince McMahon mentions that the Steiner Brothers have signed an open contract to defend the Tag Team Titles against anyone at SummerSlam, and Bobby Heenan makes fun of them for being stupid. Vince also says that there will be a five-part series called “Who Is Lex Luger?” which will start tonight.

The Steiners win easily here in this short squash match.

“Who Is Lex Luger?” (Part 1)

Before this starts, Vince McMahon says that we’ll find Lex Luger to be informative, honest, interesting, proud, and patriotic.  The interview is Lex Luger talking in front of a black background with his American flag button down shirt.  He talks about academics, identity, and self-esteem.

This is actually pretty awesome, and I wish that it was something that they would do more of today. Luger has been a heel since the beginning of the year, and now they’re suddenly pushing him as their biggest face. So, it makes perfect sense to have segments where we get to know Luger personally.

It’s funny though, because he talks about how he’s always been shy and quiet, so I guess that they’re pretending that the Narcissist gimmick never happened.

Adam Bomb (with Johnny Polo) def. Tony Roy

They try to show the faces of scared kids when Adam Bomb walks out, like they used to with the Undertaker, but I think that people are disinterested more than anything else. I’m not really sure what Johnny Polo is going for here, because he’s wearing a Hawaiian shirt and a safari hat, and carrying a lacrosse stick and gloves.

Adam Bomb easily beats this jobber, and no one seems to care.

Strange note from this match…a lot of the camera angles look like ones that you’ll see from house show clips when there’s like one person walking around the ring recording the match. It’s actually kind of interesting and different.

“Macho Man” Randy Savage def. Doink

Randy Savage is not a bad announcer, but there’s nothing better than seeing him in the ring. At this point, his in ring WWF career was winding down, so it’s good to see him get a big match here.

Randy Savage in USA Attire

Before the match starts, he smartly checks under the ring to make sure that there aren’t any other Doinks.  Since Randy Savage is involved, this is of course a really good match.  The action mostly goes back and forth until Savage gets thrown to the outside.  He goes under the ring, and Bobby Heenan figures that he’ll just stupidly try to come out the other side.  Instead, a “Mini Macho Man” comes out, wearing Savage’s attire along with a super creepy looking Randy Savage mask. Doink chases him around the ring, but the real Randy Savage comes out to cut him off.  After multiple distractions, Savage is able to win with a small package.

SummerSlam Report with Mean Gene

In this report, Mean Gene talks about the WWF Championship match between Yokozuna and Lex Luger, the match between Bret Hart and Jerry Lawler, and the Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzalez in a Rest In Peace match.  For some reason, the Undertaker is still the only one who knows the rules to this type of match.  He also announces Shawn Michaels vs. Mr Perfect for the Intercontinental Title.  This is a feud that dates back to WrestleMania, when Michaels attacked Perfect backstage, but it’s kind of cooled off since Marty Jannetty had surprisingly defeated Michaels for the title in May.  It seems like a random match to have just out of nowhere now.

The Million Dollar Man and The 1-2-3 Kid

If you’ll remember back to last month, the Million Dollar Man challenged the 1-2-3 Kid in an effort to embarrass Razor Ramon.  He lost the match over the weekend on Wrestling Challenge, and Vince McMahon and Bobby Heenan talk to him on the phone.  He says that he’s more upset with Razor Ramon for sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong than anything.

Vince McMahon tells him that they’re about to show a clip from the match, causing him to hang up.  In the match, the Million Dollar Man was destroying the Kid until Razor Ramon comes out to ringside. He has him in the Million Dollar Dream, but lets it go when he sees Ramon. To showboat, the Million Dollar Man gives a super lazy cover, which the Kid reverses into a pin.

Jim Cornette’s WWF Debut

Jim Cornette comes out to the ring, and Bobby Heenan heads to the ring to hug and introduce him as the greatest manager in the history of wrestling.  A confused Vince McMahon says that he’s from Smoky Mountain Wrestling, and wonders what he’s doing here.  Jim Cornette is so great, and cuts an amazing promo. He says that he’s hand-picked the Heavenly Bodies as the new tag team that he’s managing, and they’re challenging the Steiner Brothers.

Jim Cornette's Debut

Mr. Perfect def. Barry Hardy

Jim Cornette joins Vince McMahon and Bobby Heenan on commentary while Mr. Perfect easily disposes of this guy.

Lex Express Updates

Raw ends with video clips from the Lex Express tour.

Episode 29 – August 9, 1993

Venue – Bonnie Castle Recreation Center (Alexandria Bay, NY)

Raw is back in Alexandria Bay again this week, and it starts with some short clips from the Lex Express tour, showing him at a baseball game with an excited Vince McMahon voiceover.

Tatanka def. Mr. Hughes (with Harvey Wippleman)

There’s an awkward botch at the beginning when Tatanka goes for a leap-frog, and ends up hitting Mr. Hughes in the head, then flipping over. Vince McMahon says that it was a great move by Mr. Hughes.  Someone brings another black wreath out to ringside again, which is honestly getting kind of old at this point.  This match is mostly boring, and Tatanka lamely keeps his undefeated streak alive by count out.

There’s also super obvious crowd overdubbing in this match, as there are just consistent streams of fake boos and cheers. I don’t know if we’ll start seeing this more often, but it’s the first time that I’ve noticed it since Raw started. It could also be because this venue seems to have a lot more kids and families than the Manhattan Center, which is normally composed of mostly “smart” fans.  Last week, they weren’t nearly as vocal compared to the typical Raw crowds.

After the match, Harvey Wippleman distracts Tatanka, and Mr. Hughes hits him with the urn. Mr. Hughes destroys the wreath again as well.

“Who Is Lex Luger?” (Part 2?)

I’m not sure if this is part two of this series, or if they’ve shown other parts on their other shows, but we get another personal interview with Lex Luger. First, he talks about college, then pro football, and life after football. Another really good and interesting interview.

Who Is Lex Luger

Bushwhackers and Macho Midget def. Blake Beverly, The Brooklyn Brawler, and Little Louie

The mini Macho Man with the creepy mask from last week is back, and yes his name is actually the Macho Midget. Not surprisingly this is mostly a comedy match, and there’s literally a part where everyone is biting each other’s butts. I have no idea what happened to the Beverly Brothers, but I guess that poor Blake Beverly is a jobber now.

Contract Signing Between Yokozuna and Lex Luger

Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji come to the ring with Jim Cornette, and Fuji says that he’s now Yokozuna’s American spokesperson. After they sign the contracts, Jim Cornette says that he added a special clause…if Lex Luger loses, he’s not allowed to have a rematch.

Surprisingly, there’s no fighting in this contract signing segment.  There are some tense moments, and a lot of harsh words exchanged, but no tables were flipped over.

Yokozuna and Lex Luger Contract Signing

Razor Ramon def. Dan Dubiel

A fully face Razor Ramon easily destroys this nobody.

Summerslam Report with Mean Gene

I hadn’t noticed this before, but SummerSlam was on a Monday this year.  Mean Gene continues to talk about the same matches, so nothing really new here.

Heavenly Bodies def. Bobby Who and Mike Bucci

Jim Cornette cuts a quick backstage promo with the Heavenly Bodies before the match, and then introduces them when they come to the ring.  They’re a big tag team from Jim Cornette’s Smoky Mountain Wrestling promotion, and they’re making their Raw debut.

Bobby Heenan says that the Heavenly Bodies will take the Tag Team Titles to Smoky Mountain Wrestling when they beat the Steiner Brothers.  This is a short match to get the Heavenly Bodies over, and they actually look really good. After the match, Jim Cornette calls out the Steiner Brothers, and says that they’re phonies for not answering his challenge.

Heavenly Bodies

Episode 30 – August 16, 1993

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

The SummerSlam Spectacular is coming up on Sunday, and SummerSlam itself is airing the following Monday, so this is the last episode of Raw this month.  Surprisingly, there were no episodes at the Manhattan Center in August.

Mid-Hudson Civic Center

The 1-2-3 Kid def. The Million Dollar Man

After the upset on Wrestling Challenge, the Million Dollar Man looks to get revenge on the 1-2-3 Kid.  Razor Ramon calls in during this match, as both he and IRS have been banned from ringside.  He mostly puts over the 1-2-3 Kid, so I guess that they’re friends now.

The crowd chants “1-2-3” and “Razor”, and it’s really nice to see a crowd that’s getting involved instead of having to be overdubbed. The Million Dollar Man dominates most of this match, but the Kid starts mounting some offense, which causes IRS to interfere (even though he had been banned). The Million Dollar Man gets disqualified, but they continue to punish the Kid until the Steiner Brothers come out to clear the ring.

Million Dollar Man

The Headshrinkers (with Afa) def. Mike Khoury and Dave Moraldo

These poor jobbers never had a chance.

Summerslam Report with Mean Gene

Mean Gene goes over the same matches as in previous SummerSlam reports, but also adds Ludvig Borga vs. Marty Jannetty and the Steiner Brothers vs. the Heavenly Bodies for the Tag Team Titles.  Vince McMahon mentioned earlier that Razor Ramon will be fighting the Million Dollar Man, and IRS will be taking on the 1-2-3 Kid.  I have no idea why Mean Gene doesn’t talk about these.

Marty Jannetty def. Bastion Booger

Marty Jannetty was so good at this time that he even gets a decent match out of Bastion Booger. He surprisingly takes it to him for the early part of the match until Booger smashes him into the ring post. Booger hits Jannetty with his finisher, but Jannetty reverses it for a pin.

Marty Jannetty

Vince McMahon Interviews Money, Inc.

We get an in ring interview with Money, Inc.  They will be facing the Steiner Brothers for the Tag Team Titles at the SummerSlam Spectacular, so they have words for them as well as Razor Ramon and the 1-2-3 Kid.

Men on a Mission (with Oscar) def. “Iron” Mike Sharpe and Barry Horowitz

I just don’t get this Men on a Mission gimmick…as lame as these guys are, the crowd continues to love them.

“Who Is Lex Luger?” (Part 3?)

In whatever part this is, Lex Luger talks about drugs in sports and anabolic steroids.  This is actually one of the realest interviews that I’ve ever seen on WWE TV.  Luger says that he experimented with drugs in school, but was never a heavy drug user.  He also says that he was an active steroid user, but he’s currently not using them.

Bam Bam Bigelow (with Luna Vachon) def. Rich Myers

Bam Bam Bigelow destroys this guy in another squash match.

Surprise!

Randy Savage had been talking about a big surprise all night, and it’s just the Macho Midget with a bunch of “Raw girls”.  So, this is how the last Raw before SummerSlam ends.

Overall Thoughts

It was a pretty disappointing month of Raw, considering that the WWF was heading into one of their biggest PPV events of the year.  They did a good job of building up some feuds, but most of the matches were bad.  There also seemed to be way more squash matches than usual, and a lot of useless stuff happening.

The most interesting thing they had going at this time was the Lex Luger and Yokozuna feud.  I give them a lot of credit for really putting in a lot of effort to try to get Luger over.  Between the Lex Express, the personal interviews, and the video packages, fans couldn’t ignore him.

August Raw Highlights

  • Raw goes to a new venue.
  • A five-part series called “Who Is Lex Luger?” begins.
  • Jim Cornette makes his WWF debut.
  • The Heavenly Bodies challenge the Steiner Brothers for the WWF Tag Team Titles.
  • Yokozuna and Lex Luger have a contract signing for their match at SummerSlam.

August WWF Highlights

  • The 1-2-3 Kid upsets the Million Dollar Man on Wrestling Challenge.
  • SummerSlam Spectacular takes place a week before the SummerSlam PPV event.

Best August Raw Match

  • “Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. Doink

Worst Non-Squash August Raw Match

  • Tatanka vs. Mr. Hughes