WWF Monday Night RAW – January 18, 1993

WWF Monday Night RAW – January 18, 1993
Manhattan Center
New York, New York

Announcers: Vince McMahon, “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Rob Bartlett

As RAW comes on the air, Rob Bartlett is holding a picture of Bobby “The Brain” Heenan to which he says, “fight the real enemy,” before tearing up the photo. Weird. Was that a shoot comment? If so, I don’t follow. Immediately afterward, Repo Man decks Randy Savage from behind and steals the Macho hat and runs through the Manhattan Center crowd with his new reposession. That makes two unpredictable developments in the first 30 seconds. Savage gets to his feet dazed and confused about what happened. The intro music hits and we’re off and running for week 2 of RAW.

“Terrific” Terry Taylor vs. Mr. Perfect

Result/Analysis: Mr. Perfect via pinfall (8:04 – shown) with the Perfectplex. Taylor works on Perfect’s lower back in the match as someone finally uses some psychology in a match. The commentary focused little on the match as you had Macho complaining about Repo Man stealing his hat after being Pearl Harbored, Heenan calling in to let Bartlett know his credentials and Vince trying to call the action. Ric Flair does a run-in where he slaps Perfect around outside the ring while the referee was distracted. If only the WWF could have had more time with the Flair/Perfect feud than they did because it was HOT and it was certaintly worthy of the pay-off which RAW would have at WrestleMania IX instead. If only. The crowd even chanted “Rooster Sucks” at Taylor when he had Perfect held in a rear chinlock. Taylor gives a wry smile. Solid TV match as Perfect’s babyface push continues. Following the pinfall, Perfect immediately runs to backstage to chase Flair but RAW takes a commercial break so there’s no further follow up now.

Rating: **1/2

Vince welcomes WWF Champion “The Hitman” Bret Hart for an interview. The crowd pops pretty good for Bret, who is all smiles for this Monday Night RAW appearance. Vince asks Bret for his remarks on what he took away from Razor Ramon’s interview on RAW last week. Bret says he has no respect for Razor after what he did to his little brother Owen, and futhermore, he finds it disgusting that Ramon said he’d slap around his old man Stu, who is about to turn 78 years old. Bret calls Razor the lowest scum in the World Wrestling Federation and at the bottom of the barrel. Vince asks Bret if the match with Razor at the Royal Rumble will be another technical masterpiece of his. Bret says that while he is “The Excellence of Execution” and the best wrestler in the world, as the WWF Championship belt around his shoulder proves, he plans to throw out the rulebook versus Ramon at the Rumble and kick him down “unconscious street” and beat Razor up from one end of the ring to the other as the Hart family name redeems itself. Bret says he’ll prove he’s the toughest, the meanest and the best wrestler at the Rumble. And with those words, the interview wraps. This intermediary feud for Bret, if nothing else, established the edgier side of his personality and gave fans a lense to him far more than what they already knew, that he was the best technical wrestler.

Meanwhile, Paul Bearer and The Undertaker promote the WWF’s “Headlock on Hunger” initiative for the Somalia Relief Fund. Taker says “No one should have to starve.”

Marty Jannetty vs. Glen Ruth

Result/Analysis: Jannetty via pinfall (5:13) following the Rocker Dropper. The fans cheered for Jannetty at his entrance and upon his victory but didn’t seem to invest in his wrestling. Shawn Michaels called in to assert his bravado and to remind everyone he carried The Rockers tag-team. Shawn says he still knows what goes on inside of Marty’s head … yeah, I won’t go there. Michaels promises to shake, rattle and roll Jannetty at the Rumble as he retains his coveted Intercontinental Championship. Savage spent the match still complaining about his hat. Bartlett cracked a joke that Glen Ruth was Babe Ruth’s illegitimate son. Vince probed Michaels on whose corner Sensational Sherri will be in at the Rumble? Jannetty looked pretty good here in his tune-up match.

Rating: *1/4

We see a Royal Rumble promo next.

Vince, Macho and Bartlett discuss Crush after the attack on him by Doink from WWF SuperStars. We see the footage of Doink’s assault using his prosthetic arm that left Crush without a leg to stand on. Vince speculates that Crush won’t be able to make it to the Royal Rumble on Sunday.

A WWF Mania promo airs. Yeah, wake up early on a Saturday kids for one hour of Todd Pettengill.

Meanwhile, Vince says it’s believed that Crush suffered a concussion but that we’ll know more this coming weekend. Savage has heard on the street that Doink’s prosthetic arm was/is filled with led.

Sean Mooney is outside The Manhattan Center with Repo Man, who has Savage’s hat. Repo taunts Savage for stealing his hat and says Macho deserved to be decked. In a split screen, Savage responds to Repo that he has a “Monday Night Hangover” coming to him soon. Repo tells Savage he wants him in a “New York City Street Fight” and that the next beating he gives him will be worse. Savage is ready for a fight.

The Royal Rumble report with “Mean” Gene Okerlund airs. There’s nothing new as the PPV rundown is the same from over the weekend. Don’t miss out on the live action though, get on the horn and call your local cable company.

Back LIVE, Mooney is tracking Savage who is outside the arena and running in and out of traffic looking for Repo Man. Vince says, “Get him out of the street!” Mooney talks about Savage finding out just how hard it is to hail a taxi cab in this town. My thought: where is the WWF product heading at this juncture? The answer: Nowhere good.

“El Matador” Tito Santana vs. “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair

Result/Analysis: No Contest (6:54 shown) when Mr. Perfect comes to the ring to brawl with Flair. Up to that point, we see a solid TV match with an untimely commercial break thrown in. Flair bumps all over the ring to sell Santana’s offense, including taking the Flair flip off the top turnbuckle and the flying forearm. With Savage on commentary, Flair also did some trash talking to him. Classic. That never got old. The post-match brawl with Flair and Perfect is great with it spilling backstage as various WWF officials such as Pat Patterson and Sgt. Slaughter are unable to separate them. RAW heads to commercial as a groggy Santana is helped backstage.

Rating: **1/4

Following the last commercial break, Flair and Perfect re-appear from behind the backstage curtain but they’re finally separated. Flair locates Vince at ringside and in his heated rage, says the WWF isn’t big enough for him and Perfect to both be in it. He asks for a “Loser Leaves the WWF Match” on RAW next week in front of God and the whole world. He says Perfect isn’t man enough, he doesn’t have the guts (to accept) and that Perfect will never see the day in his life that he beats Ric Flair. Bartlett summarizes that by saying, “Take a prozac.” Perfect comes out with Flair now gone and agrees to the match without any hesitation. Vince is excited but he plays it off as both guys stupidly risking their career.

RAW ends with Repo Man wearing Savage’s hat as he tows away Bartlett’s car. Macho says “You’re going to pay Repo!”

The Verdict: The encore Monday Night RAW felt far more “uncut” than its debut one week before. The #1 feud was highlighted and a major blow-off match agreed to for next week. Wrestling fans were given a big reason to come back. It’s too bad the Flair and Perfect feud had to be so rushed. That was a downside. The random angle with Repo Man and Savage created the spontaneity that RAW was promoted to be about even if it was lame. Their match is also scheduled for next week off the Royal Rumble PPV the day prior. We also had Michaels, while not on camera, badmouthing Jannetty prior to their Rumble IC Title match. There was enough happening to invest in the product at this juncture. RAW was born at the right time.

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