WWF Monday Night Raw – January 25, 1993

WWF Monday Night RAW – January 25, 1993
Manhattan Center
New York, New York

Announcers: Vince McMahon, Rob Bartlett and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

Raw begins outside of the Manhattan Center with Sean Mooney. Repo Man drives up alongside the arena in the same tow truck he left in the previous week when he reposessed Rob Bartlett’s car. Repo still has Macho Man’s hat, too, which he likewise stole on last week’s Raw. Mooney tells Repo he’s late, to which Repo says, he’s always on time it’s just no one knows exactly where he is. Repo says that tonight he’ll reposess Savage’s career much like he did his hat. Repo runs off and the intro music for Raw hits. The post-Royal Rumble week now begins.

Vince McMahon welcomes everyone to Monday Night Raw (is this show pre-taped?) and informs us the bottom feeders on the roster will compete tonight, i.e., Kamala and The Bushwhackers. Seriously, Vince? Bartlett, meanwhile, is amped for Repo Man versus Randy Savage and says it’s no secret who he’s rooting for. Heenan, in his first Raw broadcast, hypes the Main Event between Ric Flair and Mr. Perfect and promises we’ve seen the last of Mr. Perfect. “Whooooo!!!”

Repo Man vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage

Result/Analysis: Savage via pinfall (9:03 shown) following the flying elbow drop. This mini feud was thankfully a one-and-done match. Yawn. Savage wins a brawl from the start after jumping Repo Man from behind upon his entrance. Repo then assumes control and grounds Savage with multiple rest holds as Macho looks like a washed up chump here struggling against mid card fodder. The match is so boring that Ric Flair versus Mr. Perfect in “The Loser Leaves the WWF” main event is discussed at considerable length as that’s the only hope for tonight. Bartlett and McMahon also discus the fashion worn at President Bill Clinton’s inaugural from the past week as the match just drags on. This is like watching a Savage match at the beginning of his babyface run in 1987/1988 in that he’d take a sustained beating yet still come out on top. Savage at this point was half as motivated and half the wrestler he was during his prime. Why Repo Man is even on the active roster I don’t know. Macho will no doubt be back behind the broadcast table on Raw next week. Vince had no plans for him beyond being an announcer and giving him the occasional match such as this one or to compete in the Royal Rumble, as he did, where he was the star that could put Yokozuna over.

Rating: *1/2

A WrestleMania IX promo airs that’s voiced over by Vince. The event takes place on Sunday, April 4 from Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada, or, the “entertainment capital of the world.”

The Brooklyn Brawler vs. “The Ugandan Giant” Kamala (w/ Reverend Slick)

Result/Analysis: Kamala via pinfall (3:34) following a big splash. There are the squash matches that have entertainment value and there are the squash matches that are dull and serve no ultimate purpose. This was the latter. No one is excited by Kamala’s face turn a few weeks into it. Vince is trying to hype it as a success story but a jobber opponent like The Brooklyn Brawler nor the feud Kamala is thrust into with his ex-handler Kimchee is anything that anyone wants to see on television or in attendance with their hard earned money. Even still, Vince interviews Reverend Slick after the match to speak about his extraordinary turnaround of Kamala. Slick refuses to take full credit for what’s happened to Kamala as he gives credit to all of the wonderful people – – – the WWF fans – – – as the responsible party for the conversion of “The Ugandan Giant” as the ones who have opened his heart. Slick warns Kimchee and Doctor Harvey Wippleman that he won’t be held responsible by them if they don’t stay out of Kamala’s way. I’d have that feud play out on Wrestling Challenge at the most. Better yet, let’s have The Giant Gonzalez warm up for The Undertaker by destroying Kamala.

Rating: 1/4*

“Mean” Gene Okerlund has a post-Royal Rumble report wherein he recaps Bret Hart’s successful WWF Title defense versus Razor Ramon, Yokozuna’s Rumble match victory and now resulting WWF Championship match at WrestleMania IX, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan’s unveiling of “The Narcissist” Lex Luger, whom Gene lauds as “The Bronze Adonis,” as well as the shocking debut of Giant Gonzalez, who manhandled The Undertaker as part of the Rumble match.

And, it appears, The Bushwhackers scheduled tag-team match has been scrapped without a mention of it because out comes “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair for Raw’s Main Event. Damn! No Luke and Butch? Bummer.

Loser Leaves the WWF:
“The Nature Boy” Ric Flair vs. Mr. Perfect

Result/Analysis: Perfect via pinfall (17:59 shown; reportedly 23:00 live) with the Perfectplex. Flair’s WWF career, at least in terms of his television apperances, ended here. He did have house show commitments contractually for another few weeks but Flair wouldn’t be on WWF television again for another 8 years (2001) following WCW’s demise. As for a synopsis of the match, it begins as a stalemate as each man tries to frustrate the other. Both have a look of determination and display a reality of the high stakes of not being on the losing end. Heenan counsels Flair and even tries to slip him the timekeeper’s hammer in which he sounds the ring bell with in a funny sidebar outside the ring. Perfect wins a chopping contest in the corner and Flair does his signature flop. Each man is tenative and defensive in the early stages. Perfect decks Flair with a series of right hands which Vince uses to prompt Heenan to complain about the officiating as being slanted and lousy. Flair tosses Perfect over the top rope and grabs a chair to swing. Referee Dave Hebner stops that and Raw heads to a commercial break. When the match resumes, Flair caroms Perfect over the top rope into the ring post, which allows Perfect time to blade outside the ring. Heenan sees Perfect in dire straights busted open and bleeding from the skull and says, “Now that’s fair to Flair. Wooooo! There’s going to be a party tonight in The Big Apple.” Flair tries for a series of pins but uses the ring ropes for leverage and Hebner stops him. Perfect fights back with a clothesline out of the corner and nearly pins Flair. He gets two and then another two count on on a backslide. Flair takes a back drop and begs off into the corner as Vince calls it for what it is. Heenan says the referee has given up and he isn’t trying to control the match. Perfect wails on Flair as he’s perched on the ropes but Flair counters with an atomic drop. A roll-up pin gets Flair a two count. Perfect tosses Flair out then suplexes him back into the ring for a two count. Flair gets a sleeper hold on off a reversal into the ropes and Perfect is fading fast. Perfect keeps his arm up on the third raise by Hebner so Heenan criticizes that rule as lousy saying a man’s arm should only be raised twice. LOL. That’s NOT fair to Flair, Bobby! Perfect gets loose by ramming Flair face first into the top turnbuckle but then he botches a spot where he was to get a sleeper on Flair. Vince sounds off that Perfect is going to beat Flair but Bobby wonders if Perfect is out of gas. Flair counters out of a chinlock with a back drop, then locks in the figure-four. Being Flair, he grabs onto the ropes multiple times for leverage before Hebner notices it and breaks the hold. Heenan is getting more hysterical by the minute. Flair stomps at Perfect’s knee as Heenan lauds him for building the foundation for finishing off the big house. Flair makes the mistake of going to the top rope though and gets caught as he always does to take the Flair flip. With that, it’s a second commercial break to the match. Ugh. Back to it, Vince plays up the remaining time on air and says to Bobby that viewers would have to be told next week what happens in the match should cameras stop rolling. As if. Flair reaches into his knee pad and gets brass knucks and decks Perfect before then stuffing them back inside his trunks. Heenan says, “Beat him any way that you can!” Flair drops an elbow for good measure and covers for a pin but Perfect gets his foot on the bottom rope. Bartlett is thankfully speechless but Vince gets him to communicate how great the match is even still. Flair chops at Perfect in the corner but Perfect toughens up showing Flair that his chops are having no effect on him. Flair begs off again and Perfect chops him in the other corner. Flair takes a back drop and then a right hand. He’s clotheslined coming off the top rope after being thrown into the corner, flipping onto the apron and running himself up to the top turnbuckle. Another Flair fo paux. Perfect gets 2 1/2. Flair catches Perfect in the corner and covers for multiple two counts while his feet are on the ropes. Slick Ric is trying to lie, cheat and steal his way out of this “career” match. Perfect cradles Flair for two. Both men are up. Flair reverses Perfect but he drops his head and Perfect catches him into the Perfectplex and Ric can’t escape before three! Heenan loses it at the announce table in an expletive-filled rage but we hear “God damn it! No, No, No!!!” Heenan complains to Hebner to no avail and raises Flair’s hands before walking him out (and out of the WWF). That’s NOT fair to Flair!

Rating: ***3/4

We get a WWF Mania promo to remind us all again about the weekly joke that is Saturday morning programming with Todd Pettengill. I think the kids stayed on the cartoons.

Next week on Raw the promoted match is a can’t miss. Yes, the WWF is giving us Typhoon vs. Doink. They’re not “clowning around” with this creative direction/product one bit.

The Verdict: Flair had a great 18 month run in his initial WWF stint but he’s headed back home to WCW where he would main event. He and Vince had a verbal agreement that Flair could leave if he was moved out of the main event picture in the WWF. Classy. Anyway, with Lex Luger brought in to pick up the feud with Perfect, Flair departing wasn’t felt as a massive blow. Perfect wrestled his best match since his classic SummerSlam ‘91 IC Title bout versus Bret Hart so that was a positive in terms of his work rate. I’m pretty sure this Raw as well as the second week was pre-taped following the debut on January 11, but whatever. That would explain Kamala getting a match and the beginning and end to the Repo Man/Macho Man mini feud. Had the Flair/Perfect match happened on its own, say at the Royal Rumble, which it should have as both being in the Rumble match was irrelevant knowing neither could win that to get the WWF Championship match at WrestleMania IX with fans knowing either was gone, the historical impact and remembrance of this Loser Leaves the WWF Match would be greater. As it is though, the match holds up well. I loved Flair in the WWF and Heenan helped make his tenure pretty great.

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