SummerSlam 1993 has come and gone, and this is the first episode of Monday Night Raw in about a month.  It was a mostly uneventful SummerSlam PPV event, with no titles changing hands.  To make up for it, we get a very active month of Raw.

Episode 31 – September 13, 1993

Venue – Manhattan Center (Manhattan, NY)

Raw returns to the Manhattan Center for the first time since July.  The crowd is extra rowdy and fired up for this episode.

Quebecers def. The Steiner Brothers (Tag Team Title Match)

Well, this was certainly an exciting way to start Raw, as the Quebecers shockingly upset the Steiner Brothers to win the Tag Team Titles.  Who are the Quebecers, you ask?  It’s a good question, because this was their first appearance on Monday Night Raw.

The Quebecers were two Canadians named Jacques and Pierre.  Jacques was most recently known as the Mountie, where he had a short Intercontinental Title run in early 1992.  He and Pierre have about the same attire that he wore with that gimmick.  Fans will probably also remember him as part of the Fabulous Rougeau Brothers tag team in the late ’80s.  The Quebecers had only been together for a couple of months at this point, so most fans were probably very confused by this match.

The Steiner Brothers obviously retained their titles against the Heavenly Bodies at SummerSlam, and they’ve decided to put them up in a “Province of Quebec Rules” match.  This means that piledrivers, moves from the top rope, and throwing people over the top rope will cause a disqualification.  In addition, a count out, or a disqualification will result in a title change.

The match itself is very clunky.  It mostly revolves around the Steiners continuously almost getting themselves disqualified by forgetting these weird rules.  The biggest development is that Johnny Polo comes down to the ring during this match in support of the Quebecers.

Polo throws a hockey stick into the ring, which Jacques tries to use on Scott Steiner behind the ref’s back.  Scott is able to take the stick away, and hits Jacques multiple times with it.  Unfortunately, the referee turns around just in time to see him beating Jacques, and calls for the bell.  Based on these strange rules, the Quebecers are given the Tag Team Titles.

Quebecers Win The Tag Team Titles

Mr. Perfect def. Tony DeVito

Mr. Perfect was unsuccessful in his attempt to take the Intercontinental Title away from Shawn Michaels at SummerSlam.  The announcers keep talking about him having a score to settle with Diesel, so there was likely outside interference in that match.

In classic Manhattan Center form, many fans are heavily behind heels tonight.  There are loud “Perfect sucks” and “We want Shawn” chants from people in the first couple rows.  I don’t know if it’s the crowd, or the SummerSlam loss, but Perfect is extra aggressive and angry in this match.  He quickly takes out this jobber.

Ludvig Borga Confronts Lex Luger

Vince McMahon mentions that it was a bittersweet victory for Lex Luger at SummerSlam.  He defeated Yokozuna by count out, so he won the match, but didn’t get the WWF Title.

After the match, Luger was hanging out with other face wrestlers when Ludvig Borga walked in.  Raw has the exclusive backstage video where Borga mostly just makes fun of Luger and America.  It’s actually a good promo by Borga, and an interesting new feud.

Razor Ramon def. The Executioner

Randy Savage says that Razor Ramon defeated the Million Dollar Man at SummerSlam, and he easily defeats the Executioner here as well.

Vince McMahon Interviews the Quebecers and Johnny Polo

Vince McMahon conducts an interview in the ring with the brand new Tag Team Champions.  The main purpose of the interview is Vince asking them about giving the Steiner Brothers a rematch.  After a couple huddles, Johnny Polo says that the Steiners could get a rematch as long as one of them could beat one of the Quebecers.  The Steiner Brothers come down to the ring, but the refs are able to hold them back.

Quebecers

Doink def. Rich Myers

Things don’t go so well for Rich Myers in this match, but a big development happens after the match.  Doink gets a bucket of water, which he teases throwing at the crowd.  Before he throws it, Bobby Heenan comes over to tell him to splash Vince McMahon and Randy Savage instead.  It looks like Doink is about to throw the water on them until he turns around to drench Bobby Heenan instead.

This would be the beginning of a face turn by Doink, who would soon go from creepy evil clown to goofy fun-loving clown.  Much like Razor Ramon, he was already pretty popular with most fans even before turning face.  Still, I think that most fans cheered him because they liked the evil clown gimmick.

Doink Splashes Bobby Heenan With Water

In one of the strangest moments, Doink comes back out, and teases throwing another bucket of water on Vince McMahon and Randy Savage.  Instead, he throws it at the crowd, but it turns out that it’s just confetti.  So, he leaves, and nothing else happens.  It’s so random.

Another interesting note from this match is that Crush calls in to give an update on his condition.  For anyone who doesn’t remember, he’s been out since getting destroyed by Yokozuna in July.  Randy Savage offers Crush some words of encouragement, and the phone call disconnects afterwards.  Vince McMahon attributes it to technical difficulties.

Episode 32 – September 20, 1993

Venue – Manhattan Center (Manhattan, NY)

Scott Steiner def. Pierre (with Johnny Polo)

Raw starts with clips from last week’s Tag Team Title match, and we immediately get into Scott Steiner vs. Pierre.  Vince McMahon says that Scott Steiner must win tonight in order for the Steiner Brothers to earn a rematch against the Quebecers.

In the match, Scott Steiner takes it to Pierre for a long time, but keeps getting distracted by Johnny Polo. At one point, Pierre leaves for the back with Johnny Polo, and comes back out with Jacques. He starts causing distractions, so Rick Steiner comes out too. Pierre eventually starts taking control with Johnny Polo and Jacques constantly distracting the ref.

This actually reminds me of a current match, because fans seems more interested in chants than the match itself.  I feel like this would have been one of those matches that would get “CM Punk” chants today.  The crowd always loves the Steiner Brothers, but I’m guessing that no one really cares about the Quebecers yet.  Combine that with these guys not being singles wrestlers and an already rowdy Manhattan Center crowd.

Anyway, Scott Steiner wins, and surprisingly there’s no interference.

Bam Bam Bigelow (with Luna Vachon) def. Laverne McGill

This match goes on for way longer than it should, because Crush calls in again after his “technical difficulties” last week. Vince asks when he’ll return, and what kind of shape he’s in. Crush says that he’s in the best shape ever, and that he’ll be returning shortly. Randy Savage asks Crush a question, but he doesn’t respond.  Vince thinks that they’re having technical difficulties again, but Crush responds to him. Vince asks if he heard Randy Savage, and Crush says that he’s not speaking to him as long as he lives.  Crush hangs up, and Savage is confused about why he won’t talk to him.

As for the match, Bam Bam Bigelow obviously wins.

Vince McMahon Interviews Bret Hart

We get an in ring interview here with Bret Hart.  Vince McMahon talks about the events that led up to Bret Hart’s match with Jerry Lawler at SummerSlam.  He then shows some clips from their match.  Jerry Lawler came out on crutches, so Doink took his place. Bret Hart defeated Doink, and eventually got Jerry Lawler in the ring.  He put the Sharpshooter on Lawler, but wouldn’t let it go, even with referees and his family trying to get him to stop.  Since he wouldn’t let him go, the referee gave Jerry Lawler the win. Bret Hart says that he’s only mad that he didn’t hold onto the Sharpshooter longer.

Vince McMahon Interviewing Bret Hart

Mr. Perfect def. Mike Bell

The crowd once again loudly chants “We want Shawn” during this match.  Even though the Manhattan Center tends to favor heels, they’ve always liked Mr. Perfect.  I’m not really sure when fans started turning against him.

Perfect is aggressive and angry again, and easily defeats this guy.

Ludvig Borga Promo

There’s a video where Ludvig Borga is walking around the forest area talking about the pollution and garbage in America.  Borga is actually a really believable evil foreign heel.  He just always has a mean look on his face, and he’s great at cutting these convincing anti-America promos.

Ludvig Borga Promo

Wedding Proposal

Bobby Heenan interviews a couple in the audience, and the guy proposes.  It’s a great segment, because Heenan hilariously makes fun of them the whole time.  Some of his insults are so subtle that they totally go over their heads.

PJ Walker def. IRS

IRS starts the usual beatdown of PJ Walker, but Razor Ramon walks out. The crowd goes absolutely crazy for Ramon, and the distraction causes Walker to roll up IRS for the random win. IRS goes after Ramon, but referees pull them apart.

Razor Ramon Walking Down

I have to say that I’m happy for good old future Justin Credible.  He’s probably been destroyed worse than any other jobber this year, so he deserves this one.

Bobby Heenan Interviews the Quebecers and Johnny Polo

We get a backstage interview, and Bobby Heenan asks Johnny Polo if they’re giving the Steiner Brothers a rematch next week. He says that they won’t be giving them a rematch, but they’ll give one to another team that truly deserves it.

Episode 33 – September 27, 1993

Venue – New Haven Colosseum (New Haven, CT)

This is an exciting day, as it’s the first time that Raw hasn’t taken place in New York.  They’re still close to home, but it’s nice to see them starting to venture out.  It looks like the New Haven Colosseum is the biggest venue they’ve been at so far, but I definitely noticed some empty seats towards some of the top rows.

The episode starts with an announcement that Shawn Michaels has been suspended and stripped of his Intercontinental Title for not fulfilling his contractual obligations. A 20 man battle royal will be held next week, and the last two Superstars remaining in the battle royal will fight for the Intercontinental Title the following week.

Tatanka vs. Rick Martel

This is only the second match on Raw for Rick Martel, and his first appearance since March.  There are some random “Let’s go Rick” chants, so this crowd is picking up where the Manhattan Center left off. This is a solid match, but moves really slow at times. Vince McMahon hilariously says that he doesn’t believe that Tatanka has ever faced Rick Martel before.  He apparently already forgot about WrestleMania VIII, which literally happened the year before.  I guess that I can’t blame him.

Rick Martel

The match lamely ends in a double count out.  They’ve been really pushing Tatanka’s undefeated streak hard, but he consistently has these stupid match endings.  It seems like when he fights anyone other than a jobber, the match ends with something like this.

Battle Royal Participants

In the next segment, some guy named Joe Fowler announces next week’s battle royal participants from a production truck.  I honestly don’t remember Joe Fowler, so I had to look him up.  There’s not much information on him, but it looks like he took over hosting WWF All American Wrestling with Bobby Heenan after Mean Gene left (that must have just happened this month).  It doesn’t appear that he lasts with the company very long.

Anyway, the Superstars that will be in the battle royal are: IRS, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Adam Bomb, Giant Gonzalez, Mr. Perfect, Owen Hart, Rick Martel, Jimmy Snuka, Bob Backlund, Pierre, Jacques, Razor Ramon, Mabel, Diesel, MVP (no, not the one that you’re thinking of), the 1-2-3 Kid, Bam Bam Bigelow, Marty Jannetty, Tatanka, and Bastion Booger.

Ludvig Borga def. Phil Apollo

Easy win for Ludvig Borga.

Jimmy Snuka def. Paul Van Dale

So, Jimmy Snuka is randomly back. The crowd doesn’t really seem to care about him being a legend, because he doesn’t get much of a reaction. It seems like this match goes on forever, because Bobby Heenan calls up Crush to ask him if he will be in the battle royal next week.  He says that he wasn’t invited.  Heenan tells him that Randy Savage is in the battle royal, which Crush says is “typical.” Crush hangs up again when Savage tries to talk to him.

Snuka wins the match with no problem.

IRS Promo

They show a clip from PJ Walker’s upset victory last week over IRS. Afterwards IRS cuts a promo while he appears to be preparing tax documents.  It looks like they’re setting up to a feud with him and Razor Ramon.

IRS Promo

The Quebecers (with Johnny Polo) vs. Barry Horowitz and the 1-2-3 Kid (Tag Team Title Match)

Classic jobber Barry Horowitz was supposed to fight the Quebecers for the Tag Team Titles with Reno Riggins.  This was the deserving team that Johnny Polo was apparently talking about last week.  It turned out that Riggins was home sick though, so Horowitz asked if he could have the 1-2-3 Kid instead. The Quebecers and Johnny Polo think it’s hilarious that he would want the Kid as his partner, and mostly just laugh and make fun of him when he comes out.

The crowd gets into it early with “1-2-3” chants.  The 1-2-3 Kid starts off fast, but then starts getting destroyed.  I’ve discovered that the WWF really wasn’t ready for the 1-2-3 Kid at this time.  His high-flying style was so unique and different that most wrestlers can’t seem to handle it.  I’ve noticed a lot of awkward spots and botched moves in his matches, and I think that’s the reason.

Quebecers and Johnny Polo

Anyway, Jacques gets injured at one point, and has to get taken out on a stretcher.  The ref says that the match must continue, so Pierre fights on his own.  I figured that this was definitely a trick by the Quebecers, but Pierre just gets the win after the Kid knocks himself out when he flies over the top rope after missing a move.

Razor Ramon Interview

Raw ends with the announcers quickly interviewing Razor Ramon about the upcoming battle royal.

Overall Thoughts

With only three episodes of Raw in September, they really made them all count.  There was a Tag Team Title change, a Doink face turn, and a jobber upset.  Not to mention the announcement of Shawn Michaels getting suspended, and a battle royal next month to determine an Intercontinental Title match.

What I still love about these early episodes of Raw is how much story development they get in such a short amount of time.  The matches aren’t always great, but in just one hour, they manage to progress feuds and build up characters better than they do in three hours today.  It’s amazing what could happen when they don’t waste time.

The weirdest part about this month is that they didn’t talk much about Yokozuna and Lex Luger.  After pushing Luger so hard for the past couple months, he didn’t even make an appearance.  In fact, they barely even mentioned him other than his confrontation with Ludvig Borga at SummerSlam.  Yokozuna didn’t appear either, and was hardly referenced.

Giving the Tag Team Titles to the Quebecers seems super random, but they’re clearly trying to keep up the “anything could happen” feel on Raw.  Giving them Johnny Polo as their manager was a great idea, because it gives him something to do other than uselessly managing Adam Bomb.  He does an excellent job of getting them over as cowardly heels too.

Overall, this was a really fun month, and we definitely have a lot to look forward to next month.

September Raw Highlights

  • The Quebecers win the Tag Team Titles from the Steiner Brothers.
  • Doink begins a face turn by splashing Bobby Heenan with a bucket of water.
  • PJ Walker upsets IRS.
  • Raw goes to a venue outside of New York for the first time.
  • Jimmy Snuka makes his return.

September WWF Highlights

  • Ludvig Borga begins a feud with Lex Luger.
  • Shawn Michaels gets suspended, and stripped of the Intercontinental Title.
  • Mean Gene is no longer with the company, and replaced by Joe Fowler.

Best September Raw Match

  • Tatanka vs. Rick Martel

Worst Non-Squash September Raw Match

  • The Quebecers vs. The Steiner Brothers