WWF Monday Night Raw
January 11, 1993
New York City, NY
The current WWF Champs were as follows:
World Champion: Bret Hart (10/12/1992)
Intercontinental Champion: Shawn Michaels (10/27/1992)
World Tag Team Champions: Money Inc. (10/13/1992)
So long Prime Time Wrestling, it’s time to get RAW!
On the last episode of PTW, it was announced that Bobby Heenan would not be a part of the Raw debut because he’s been replaced! Good thing Sean Mooney is there to stop him from going in.
Your hosts are Vince McMahon, Randy Savage and Rob Bartlett (comedic radio personality). One of those WTF moments looking back. Not as bad as Mongo on Nitro, but still pretty bad.
- Yokozuna (w/Mr. Fuji) vs. Koko B. Ware
Koko is part of the High Energy tag team with Owen Hart at the time, while Yokozuna was squashing everybody in his path. Literally. WHOA! Rob Bartlett is the first to drop an “A” bomb on Raw. Koko tries his hardest just to knock Yoko off his feet, but it just isn’t going to happen. Yoko avoids a charge and sends Koko throat-first to the top-rope. Like a one-handed hotshot. Yoko follows up with the Leg Drop, the Avalanche, and the BANZAI DROP to pick up the win. (3:45) B. Ware of Yoko. Seriously, this guy will CRUSH you. ½*
Royal Rumble ad airs.
I remember the days when you had the Raw ring girls. They look extremely skanky now, and perhaps that’s why they called them Raw girls.
Via tape interview, Bobby Heenan goes on and on about the Narcissist. It’s pretty funny. Sounds like Bobby has a hard time saying Narcissist. It is quite the tongue twister. He’ll debut at the Rumble, so you better tune in!
- Rick & Scott Steiner vs. The Executioners
It’s kind of weird watching the Steiners in the WWF since I just wrapped up watching three years of them competing in WCW. The Executioners I’ve heard are Duane Gill (aka Gillberg) and Barry Hardy (no relation to the “Rainbow Haired Warrior” or “The Man Who Will Not Die”). They wear black tights and masks with white boots. Doink is shown hanging out in the crowd. His poor arm’s in a sling, courtesy of Crush. Bartlett keeps calling him Dork. It’s the usual squash for the Steiners. They manhandle one of the Executioners and then they give the other one the STEINER BULLDOG for the 1-2-3. (3:00) Absolutely no problem whatsoever for the Steiners. They looked tremendous. ¾*
Meanwhile outside the front door of the Manhattan Center, Heenan goes into Ernest P. Worrell mode by dressing up like a lady to get inside. He claims to be Rob Bartlett’s aunt just as Mooney realizes it’s obviously Bobby Heenan.
Vince McMahon interviews Razor Ramon in the ring. He’s the #1 contender to the WWF title and will face WWF Champion Bret Hart at the Royal Rumble. Vince explains that it took Bret 8 ½ years to get where he’s at in the WWF, and Razor would be considered a Johnny-come-lately. Bret’s the main mang in the WWF, so say hello to Razor Ramon. Vince questions why Razor beat up Owen Hart in the locker room the Saturday before. Too bad Bret can’t do nothing about it. He also can’t do anything about Razor taking his WWF title, chico.
Headlock on Hunger Somalia Relief Fundraiser ad airs. Support this cause, or you obviously hate starving Africans.
- WWF Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels vs. Max Moon
No Sherri with HBK this week. It’s undecided at this point in who’s corner she’ll be in at the Rumble. Max Moon looks like a multi-colored Predator in case you’ve never seen him. While Max Moon was originally Konnan, he’s recently been replaced by the awesome and underrated Paul Diamond due to a contract dispute. HBK gets cocky with Moon to start and outwrestles him. Lots of counters and reversals, which leads to a Japanese armdrag and a slam on Shawn. Meanwhile, Bartlett tries to be funny in ways that have nothing to do with this match. Moon goes after the arm as we go to break. We return with Shawn missing a charge in the corner, but then he catches Moon out of the corner and drops him throat-first on the top rope. Doink’s at ringside again messing with the crowd while Bartlett goes into a Mike Tyson impression, which he keeps doing for the rest of the match. Horrible. There’s just too much going on at once here, and all that should matter is what’s going on in the ring right now. Shawn whips Moon around, but then Max gets a desperation inside cradle for two. Shawn grabs a chinlock, but Moon elbows out and catapults Shawn over the top rope and to the floor. HBK thinks he’s avoided a pescado, but turns around into a seated senton off the apron. Back in, Shawn begs off, but gets nailed with a spinning heel kick in the corner and a rolling fireman’s carry for 1-2-NO! HBK then avoids a senton flip and levels Moon with a superkick. TEARDROP SUPLEX misses on the first try, but not the second time. That’s all she wrote. (8:10 aired) Thanks a lot, Rob Bartlett. You killed this match for me. I guess it was decent enough, but nothing too spectacular. **¼
We head outside again where it looks to be quite chilly, and there’s already people lined up to buy tickets for next week’s show. Bobby Heenan walks by in a rabbi costume and says he’s Bartlett’s uncle, but Mooney is wise to his shenanigans once again.
After the break, we look back at this past weekend on Superstars where Kim Chee and Harvey Wippleman start to get rough with Kamala. Reverend Slick comes down to help Kamala out, but then Kim Chee decks Slick. THAT MAKE KAMALA ANGRY! Kim Chee gets chopped into next week, and Wippleman is chased to the locker room.
- The Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer) vs. Damian Demento
There’s only three people on the first episode of Raw that’s still with the company fifteen years later that never ever left for another promotion. Vince McMahon (duh), Shawn Michaels and the Undertaker. I’m sure you noticed if you’re reading this, but I figured it was some worthy trivia. Damian Demento has recently been trying to garner some attention on YouTube with his ridiculous rants against wrestling. It’s obviously just a cry for attention, so there’s no real reason to bother with him. Actually, I just checked his account and it’s been closed, so that’s some good news. Onto the match, Demento talks to himself just before a big staredown with Taker. Demento strikes first, but Taker slows Demento down with a face slam. Taker delivers the Rope Walk, but runs into a boot in the corner. Demento delivers a double-ax handle and a jumping shoulderblock. Taker ducks a clothesline and hits the jumping lariat to set up the TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER. (2:26) Taker sure did have to deal with some freaks back then. ¼*
Vince meets up with Doink and warns him that he better not make children cry anymore, or Crush will have to get physical with him. Crush walks out and tells Doink he better watch himself, so Doink sprays him in the face with a water pistol. Crush gives chase, but then just gives up and stares at Doink from inside the ring. As long as Doink’s laughing, that’s all he cares about.
Mooney finally receives word that Heenan can go inside the Manhattan Center, but Heenan doesn’t realize the show is over. Oh, that Sean Mooney’s a jerk.
Final Thoughts: Rob Bartlett is utterly awful. He has no wrestling knowledge whatsoever, and seemed like he wanted to get his impressions over instead of caring about anything that happened in the ring. Bartlett was given three months and was finally canned by the WWF after a horrible run. Heenan was given his spot back as ‘the greatest color commentator on the planet’ and all would be right with the world. As for the show itself, it’s always important not to do too much in one night. Good effort for the first show, but it definitely needed improving. What can I say? It’s not like the RAW idea was a mistake, so you can’t really down it too much.