Coming off of a fairly uneventful SummerSlam, the WWF had a pretty big month in September. The Steiner Brothers lost the Tag Team Titles to the Quebecers on Raw, and Shawn Michaels was stripped of the Intercontinental Title. With more than a month before Survivor Series, we’ll see what kind of surprises October 1993 has in store for us.
Episode 34 – October 4, 1993
Venue – New Haven Colosseum (New Haven, CT)
Raw immediately starts with the battle royal to determine the number one contenders for the vacated Intercontinental Title. Details about the battle royal are further explained in last month’s review. The basics are that 20 men will compete in a battle royal, and the last two will fight the next week for the Intercontinental Title.
The cool thing about this battle royal is that something huge is at stake, unlike the random battle royal from February that seemed to take place for no particular reason. There’s a lot of legitimate superstars in here too, so it really feels like almost anyone has a chance of winning.
There are a lot of huge men in this battle royal, so Randy Savage smartly attacks Giant Gonzalez from behind as soon as he enters the ring. Everyone starts helping him out, and the massive man ends up being the first one eliminated. It’s quite a while before the next person gets eliminated, but Diesel impressively throws out Mabel on his own next. So, the two biggest men in this event are already gone.
In case anyone was curious, I thought that it would be fun to keep track of the rest of the eliminations:
IRS by Razor Ramon
1-2-3 Kid by Bastion Booger
Diesel by Mr. Perfect
Bob Backlund by Rick Martel
Jimmy Snuka by Rick Martel
Mr. Perfect by Bam Bam Bigelow
Marty Jannetty by Adam Bomb
Tatanka by Bam Bam Bigelow
Bastion Booger by Randy Savage
Bam Bam Bigelow by Razor Ramon
MVP by Owen Hart
Owen Hart by Jacques
Adam Bomb by Randy Savage
Randy Savage by the Quebecers and Rick Martel
Jacques by Pierre
Pierre by Razor Ramon
This was a really fun and exciting battle royal, and not to sound like Vince McMahon, but it felt like anything could happen. It got a little slow at the end, because the Quebecers teamed up with Rick Martel to beat on Razor Ramon for what felt like forever. Finally, Pierre accidentally eliminated Jacques, Ramon tossed out Pierre, and we’re left with Razor Ramon vs. Rick Martel for the Intercontinental Title next week.
It’s an interesting choice to go with Martel. Even though he’s a veteran, he had been absent for most of the year. Before this event, he only had two Raw matches.
The battle royal took up most of the show, and used most of their major wrestlers, so not much else really happens on this episode.
The Heavenly Bodies (with Jim Cornette) def. Mark Thomas and Scott Taylor
Jim Cornette introduces the Heavenly Bodies, although the audio is very strange at this part. I’m not sure if they were overdubbing music, but it’s difficult to hear anything other than the announcers. Easy win for the Heavenly Bodies, who look impressive in their second Raw match.
Doink def. Cory Student
Before the match, they show a clip from WWF Superstars, where Doink continues his face turn by throwing confetti at Bam Bam Bigelow and dumping a bucket of water on Luna Vachon. He has other silly antics too, as he’s now officially gone from evil clown to full goofball.
He comes to the ring for this match with a wagon and balloons. He tosses bags of popcorn into the crowd, and throws a bucket of popcorn at Bobby Heenan. He quickly takes out this jobber too. Bam Bam Bigelow comes out after the match, but is separated by refs. He destroys Doink’s wagon and balloons.
Battle Royal Highlights
I guess that they needed to fill some time, because the show ends with clips from the last couple minutes of the battle royal that we literally just saw.
Episode 35 – October 11, 1993
Venue – New Haven Colosseum (New Haven, CT)
This is the third Raw episode in a row to take place at the New Haven Colosseum, and I’m pretty sure that they taped all three episodes at once. It’s not a bad venue, but I definitely prefer the Manhattan Center and the Mid-Hudson Civic Center. The crowd here seems noticeably less interested than at those other places.
This particular episode opens with a cool video package about the Intercontinental Title match with a classic voiceover from Vince McMahon.
Razor Ramon def. Rick Martel (Intercontinental Title Match)
I’ve said this before, but I love that many Monday Night Raw episodes started with a big and important match back then. It gets people really into the show instead of starting with endless promos that make everyone fall asleep.
Rick Martel smartly works on Razor Ramon’s back for most of the match, which makes sense considering that his finisher is the Boston Crab. It’s those small things that I feel like a lot of wrestlers forget about today. Anyway, it’s a really exciting match with a lot of close falls towards the end. Martel has looked impressive in only his couple Raw matches this year. I would definitely put this as one of the top matches on Raw so far.
Ramon finally wins, and the crowd goes crazy.
The Headshrinkers (with Afa) def. Tony Morrison and Sid Courson
As usual, the Headshrinkers destroy these jobbers.
Owen Hart def. Scott King
Owen Hart is really impressive in the ring, but at this point High Energy was finished, so he doesn’t really have any type of character other than “Brother of Bret Hart”. Fortunately, over the next year they’ll start doing more with him.
He easily beats this guy.
Vince McMahon Interviews Ludvig Borga
In ring interview with the latest foreign heel, and the crowd immediately starts chanting “USA”. Ludvig Borga says that it stands for “You Stink A lot”. His promo is mostly bashing America, and bad mouthing Lex Luger.
Luger eventually comes out in some awesome looking American flag pants, and this is the first time that he’s been on Raw since SummerSlam. Luger actually cuts a very strong and passionate promo back on Borga. The crowd seems to be loving it. It’s certainly the best Luger promo I’ve seen since he’s been in the WWF. There’s some heated exchanges between both guys, but Borga decides to back down, saying that they’ll fight on his terms.
Adam Bomb (with Harvey Wippleman) def. Ross Greenberg
There was apparently a “transfer of assets” according to Vince McMahon, so Harvey Wippleman now manages Adam Bomb instead of Johnny Polo. I’m pretty sure that Giant Gonzalez and Mr. Hughes were just about out of the WWF already at this point, so they probably needed something for Wippleman to do. With Johnny Polo now managing the Quebecers full-time, this makes sense.
Short squash match with no surprises here.
The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express def. Duane Gill and Barry Hardy
We get a rare WWF appearance from the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express, who are the Smokey Mountain Wrestling Tag Team Champions. The announcers actually acknowledge them as being a great tag team, and not just some random “new team”, which is nice to see. They look really fast here, and quickly defeat these guys. The fans love them.
Intercontinental Title Match Highlights
I guess that they needed to fill some time again, because Raw ends with clips from the last couple minutes of the Intercontinental Title match.
Episode 36 – October 17, 1993
Venue – Mid-Hudson Civic Center (Poughkeepsie, NY)
We’re thankfully back at a good venue, and this week’s episode is all about “summits”. There’s a video package opening that shows pictures of legendary debates and compromises in history. They compare them to the Ramon vs. Martel match from last week, the Borga and Luger encounter, and most importantly a preview for the meeting between Crush and Randy Savage.
We haven’t seen Crush since getting destroyed by Yokozuna back in July. We’ve heard him call in a couple of times though, and for unexplained reasons, he has some major issues with “Macho Man” Randy Savage. We’ll get to the bottom of that tonight in what they’re dubbing the “Savage/Crush Summit”.
The Steiner Brothers def. PJ Walker and Tony DeVito
The Steiners look impressive, as usual, but seem kind of disinterested since losing the Tag Team Titles. For some reason, Vince McMahon constantly calls PJ Walker “Cory Student”. I’ve actually noticed him getting his jobbers confused a lot, but he usually corrects himself after a while. He doesn’t seem to ever figure this one out though. I mean, they’re all pretty much the same guy, so I guess that it makes sense.
PJ Walker always seems to take the worst punishment of any jobber, and the poor guy gets a Steiner Screwdriver here.
The Shawn Michaels Suspension
Vince McMahon shows phone numbers where fans can call to vote on whether or not the suspension on Shawn Michaels should be lifted. There’s also pretty hilarious promos from Diesel and Mr. Perfect trying to convince fans on which way to vote.
IRS def. Scott Taylor
An angry IRS easily beats Scott Taylor.
Jeff Jarrett Promo
Promo for the newcomer, “Double J” Jeff Jarrett. It’s really long, and bad in a way that words can’t explain.
Tatanka def. “Iron” Mike Sharpe
They show a clip from WWF Superstars where Tatanka and Ludvig Borga had a verbal altercation in the locker room before being separated by refs.
Tatanka quickly wins this match, because he only gets legitimate victories over jobbers these days.
Survivor Series Report
Joe Fowler has replaced Mean Gene on these PPV reports, and he’s not nearly as good. He goes over some matches that were apparently made on WWF Superstars. The main event will be “The All Americans” (Lex Luger, Tatanka, and the Steiner Brothers) vs. “The Foreign Fanatics” (Yokozuna, Ludvig Borga, and the Quebecers). There’s also the Hart Family (Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Bruce Hart, and Keith Hart) vs. Jerry Lawler and His Knights. He also announces that Family Feud host, Ray Combs, will be at Survivor Series.
Bam Bam Bigelow (with Luna Vachon) def. Dennis Diamond
Another short squash match.
We had to get all of these short squash matches out-of-the-way due to the anticipation of the Savage/Crush Summit. A bearded Crush in a leather jacket comes to the ring with Mr. Fuji for some reason. Bobby Heenan interviews Crush in the ring, and tries to stir up trouble by telling him that he’s been betrayed by Randy Savage.
Crush says that Savage was his best friend (this is the first time that I remember hearing this), and he said that he always listened to everything that Savage had to say. He claims that he became superior to Savage, and that Savage couldn’t handle it. He said that people like Bobby Heenan and Mr. Fuji made him see the light.
He says that Savage told him that he would have his back in his match against Yokozuna, but he sat there doing nothing. He thinks that Savage obviously wanted him out of the WWF. He also says that Savage only called him twice, and Mr. Fuji is the only one who makes any sense.
Savage comes to the ring to try to talk some sense into Crush. His passionate promo works, and Crush shakes his hand. Then, obvious to anyone other than nine-year old Paul, who was devastated by this, Crush clotheslines and attacks Savage on the outside. He drops Savage on the steel railing, and then Mr. Fuji calls out Jim Cornette and Yokozuna. Crush bows to Yokozuna for some reason. He then continues to destroy Savage until his mouth is gushing blood. It finishes with Yokozuna hitting Savage with a Banzai Drop. He goes up for another, but the refs pull Savage out.
This was a really intense segment. Even though Crush and Savage being best friends seemed to come out of nowhere, the passion in both of their promos made it feel very real. From a believability standpoint, I’m a little confused about Crush’s reasoning here. I get that he would be angry at Savage for not saving him until he had already taken four Banzai Drops. I even get that he would be upset at Savage for not calling him while he was injured. But, to now team with Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji seems very strange. They were the ones who put him out of action in the first place!
Raw ends showing that 64% voted that the Shawn Michaels suspension shouldn’t be lifted, and 36% voted that it should be lifted.
Episode 37 – October 24, 1993
Venue – Mid-Hudson Civic Center (Poughkeepsie, NY)
Raw starts with a video package showing highlights from the Savage/Crush Summit last week, and we get right into new heel Crush.
Crush (with Mr. Fuji) def. Phil Apollo
Crush, who is now officially managed by Mr. Fuji, comes out with face paint, and new purple and black attire. The angry Crush easily destroys this jobber.
The 1-2-3 Kid vs. Marty Jannetty
Random face vs. face match here with two popular wrestlers. There was a promo from Johnny Polo before the match making fun of both guys, and saying that he could beat both of them with his hands tied behind his back.
This match starts off surprisingly slow considering that these are two of the fastest wrestlers in the company. The match eventually does get fast paced and really good. Johnny Polo walks out during the middle of the match, and he trips both guys at different times. The 1-2-3 Kid goes for a crazy looking flipping suicide dive, but Polo throws Jannetty into the ring post. The Kid misses, and Jannetty is hurt, which causes a double count out.
The Johnny Polo antics were kind of distracting, but Marty Jannetty put on a top-notch performance as usual. After the match, Jannetty attacks Polo on his way back down the aisle. He brings him back into the ring where he and the Kid beat him up. The crowd loves it.
Jeff Jarrett Promo
Another indescribably bad promo by Jeff Jarrett for his upcoming debut. I don’t really know what they were thinking with this character being an aspiring country star who wants to use the WWF to help launch his singing career.
Ludvig Borga def. Mike Bucci
Ludvig Borga absolutely destroys this guy, and he’s really getting over with the crowd as an evil foreign heel. Bobby Heenan interviews him after the match, and congratulates him on still being undefeated in the WWF. He says that he’ll be fighting Tatanka this weekend, and he’ll break Tatanka’s undefeated streak.
Men on a Mission (with Oscar) def. Tom Mata and Steve Greenman
The crowd continues to absolutely love the lame Men on a Mission. I did at the time too though, so I guess that it was a ’90s thing.
They crush these guys.
Survivor Series Report
I’m already sick of Joe Fowler. I can’t believe that they replaced Mean Gene with this guy. He announces the same matches from last week, plus some new matches. It will be 4 Doinks vs. Bam Bam Bigelow, Bastion Booger, and the Headshrinkers, along with Razor Ramon, Mr. Perfect, Marty Jannetty, and the 1-2-3 Kid vs. IRS, Diesel, Adam Bomb, and Rick Martel.
Diesel def. Dan Dubiel
With Shawn Michaels suspended, Diesel now has singles matches. He destroys Dan Dubiel in a match that takes way too long.
This month of Raw was filled with a couple big moments and a lot of filler. The battle royal was fun, and seeing Razor Ramon win the Intercontinental Title was great. He definitely deserves it. He’s been one of the most popular wrestlers this year, even when he was a heel. He also put over the 1-2-3 Kid, and helped turn him from a jobber to a fan favorite.
I would have liked to see more from Lex Luger and Ludvig Borga after their heated exchange, but Borga seems to have turned his attention to Tatanka. Overall, it wasn’t a bad month, and they definitely started some good stories. My biggest complaint was that it seemed like there were way more squash matches than usual.
October Raw Highlights
- Razor Ramon and Rick Martel win the battle royal for the vacated Intercontinental Title, and earn the chance to fight each other for the belt.
- Razor Ramon defeats Rick Martel to become the new Intercontinental Champion.
- Harvey Wippleman becomes the new manager of Adam Bomb.
- The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express make their Monday Night Raw debut.
- Crush turns on “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and joins forces with Mr. Fuji and Yokozuna.
- Fans vote to not lift the suspension on Shawn Michaels.
October WWF Highlights
- Doink begins a feud with Bam Bam Bigelow.
- Ludvig Borga begins a feud with Tatanka.
- Four matches are made for Survivor Series.
Best October Raw Match
- Razor Ramon vs. Rick Martel
Worst Non-Squash October Raw Match
- The 1-2-3 Kid vs. Marty Jannetty (*note – This wasn’t a bad match, but there were only two non-squash matches this month besides the battle royal).