WWE Raw Retro Coverage – April 19, 1993: Bret Hart addresses his WrestleMania 9 loss, Razor Ramon vs. Virgil, Money Inc. vs. The Beverly Brothers, Friar Ferguson makes his second appearance, Giant Gonzalez, Tatanka
By Haydn Gleed
WWE Raw on the USA Network
Poughkeepsie, New York at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center
We opened with a strange side view of Money Inc. in a dark room. They questioned how the Beverley Brothers thought they could bankrupt them when the Mega Maniacs couldn't. They said the Beverly Brothers need to think again. This was followed by an opposite side view of the Beverley Brothers.
Blake started off by saying tonight, in front of everyone they are going to show everyone how much you are worth. Beau said tonight they will bankrupt Money Inc. Both turned to the camera and said they will show them tonight on Monday Night Raw. Cue the opening credits...
Retro Verdict: It was a little campy for my taste, but it made the main event of this show seem important. Without this intro, the main event is pointless, but this give it a big match feeling.
As Vince McMahon welcomed us to Raw, Razor Ramon made his entrance. He got a great heel reaction. Vince advised that later in the show the main event would be the Beverley Brothers against Money Inc and that there would be an interview with Bret "The Hitman" Hart. Razor's opponent Virgil made his entrance.
1. Razor Ramon vs Virgil. Virgil appeared to have the advantage in the early going, with Razor getting put in leverage moves, but he made his way to the ropes each time. They traded moves until Virgil had Razor in an armlock. Virgil whipped Razor into the ropes and went to hit a dropkick, but Razor held onto the ropes. He stomped Virgil down several times. He chocked Virgil on the top rope for the 5 seconds the ref gave him.
Virgil briefly got the advantage, but then missed with an elbow drop. Razor scooped up Virgil, and then slapped Virgil across the head and then stomped him. This time, Razor chocked Virgil on the bottom rope for five seconds. Razor arrogantly whipped Virgil into the ropes, went for a back body drop but Virgil caught him with a boot. Virgil went to the top rope and hit a flying clothesline. He whipped Razor into the corner, reversed, Virgil tried to jump off the second rope for a crossbody but missed. Razor picked up Virgil for the Razor's edge and got the 3 count.
Razor Ramon beat Virgil in 7:13
Retro Verdict: A bit of a nothing match. I still hate watching Virgil matches, as I keep seeing missed spots and his offence always looks week. That said, Razor looked really good, and the certainly played up the story that the only time Razor was in trouble, was when he was being overly confident.
We went straight to the announce desk with "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Vince McMahon, and Rob Bartlett. They again ran down the lineup... Back from the break, The Giant Gonzalez made his entrance, oh goody. His opponent was LA Gore...
2. The Giant Gonzalez (w/Harvey Whippleman) vs. LA Gore. Before the match, Howard Finkel announced The Giant as 8 feet tall. He certainly looked impressive standing next to Howard. LA Gore was on the outside to the start the match, but Giant grabbed him by the head and pulled him over the top rope. What followed then, was what I can only describe as chop chop, kick kick, punch punch and a lot of shouting from Harvey Whippleman. The ending came quickly, when Gonzalez chock slammed LA Gore...
The Giant Gonzalez beat LA Gore in 2:04.
Retro Verdict: Not much to say here, except it was so bad, I would rather watch a Great Khali match than watch another Gonzalez match.
We went backstage where Luna was running around screaming. I tried watching the start of the promo four or five times, but couldn't understand what she said. But she then cut a good promo on Sherri Martel, telling her she stuck her nose in where it didn't belong. We also saw some exclusive back stage footage of Luna attacking Sherri in the first aid room at WrestleMania. She finished the promo by saying she will hunt Sherri down and will become the goddess of the squared circle...
Retro Verdict: How in the hell did Luna make those noises!? Apart from the fact I couldn't understand her at the start of the promo, the rest of it was fantastic and intense. Luna was definitely under rated as a scary heel back in the day.
Back into the arena, Tatanka made his entrance. Already in the ring is Art Thomas who is playing to the crowd. I did check, it's not the African American Art Thomas from the 60's, there are a number of differences between him and the wrestler taking on Tatanka in the early 90's.....
3. Tatanka vs Art Thomas. Tatanka got hit with a cheap shot before the bell even sounded. He had the advantage at the start, pounding Tatanka's head into 3 of the turnbuckles. Surprisingly, Art was on offence for a good minute until Tatanka came back strong and put on a powerful looking armbar. He had Thomas down, went for an elbow but missed.
Thomas, grabbed Tatanka and again bashed his head into the turnbuckle. This time however, Tatanka no sold and went on the dance and caught Art with several big chops. He lifted him up for the End Of Trail for the 1-2-3...
Tatanka beat Art Thomas in 2:43.
Retro Verdict: It seems to me in the early days, Raw was the Tatanka show. I'm not complaining as I really get a kick out of his character, and I really enjoyed the undefeated streak he had going on at the time. I'm surprised they gave Thomas as much offence as he did, and the match ended quicker than I expected, but no real complaints about this match.
In the arena, we heard the distinctive laugh of The Million Dollar Man as Money Inc made their entrance. IRS took the mic and again mentioned that you can't escape the tax deadline!.. The Beverley Brothers made their entrance, and the crowd cheered.
4. Money Inc vs The Beverley Brothers in a non title match. Money Inc. jumped the Beverley Brothers before the bell, which resulted in a four man brawl in the ring. Money Inc. bailed to the outside. After things had calmed down, it was Ted DiBiase and Blake Beverley to start the match. Vince and Randy Savage were ripping into Bartlett's commentary style.
Blake and Ted exchanged the early advantage, until Blake had DiBiase in his corner and tagged in Beau. Both Beverley's were tagging in and out quickly, cutting the ring in half. This went on for a good 2 minutes until DiBiase powered Blake into his corner, but Beau distracted the ref so the tag was not allowed. Heel move by the supposed babyfaces, but the crowd liked it.
Double team on DiBiase in the corner, and the Beverley's again started to tag in and out quickly. DiBiase regained the advantage by catching a charging Blake with an elbow. He tagged out, Irwin went for an elbow but missed, and again The Beverley's were in complete control tagging in and out.
The Beverley's were still employing heel tactics, such as distracting the ref and chocking Irwin with the tag rope. Raw went to a break at this point. We came back and the roles had reversed. Money Inc. were in complete control and were tagging in and out quickly. Beau caught Ted with a kick in the chest, but he couldn't quite get to his corner. He did manage to catch Ted with a swinging neck breaker on DiBiase and this time he did manage to tag in his team mate. Blake caught DiBiase with a big back body drop.
Blake scooped DiBiase into a powerslam, and tagged in a selling Beau who didn't look like he was ready for the tag. Beau also back body dropped Ted DiBiase. The Beverley's went for a double team. Blake had DiBiase held, and Beau went for a clothesline, Million Dollar man ducked, and Blake hit his partner. Quick rollup, and we have the 1-2-3 for Money Inc.
Money Inc beat the Beverley Brothers in 11:04.
Retro Verdict: Really confusing match. I thought last week that it was a babyface turn from The Beverley's, but they were still acting like heels. I think even at one point telling the crowd to shut up. Money Inc. were obviously heels based on the pre-match promo and the way the crowd were reacting. Just a bit of a mess really, which was a shame as it had been built up pretty well.
We went to the break with Vince reminding us that Bret Hart was being interviewed next... Back from the commercials, Vince was in the ring and introduced Bret The Hitman Hart as the former World Wrestling Champion.
Vince reminded Bret that two weeks ago, he stepped into the ring as the champion against Yokozuna and lost. Bret said it wasn't the first time he was an underdog. He said that most of his career he has felt like an underdog. He said for some reason he liked being the underdog. He also said that he has heard a lot of people say that The Hitman was done, that he has reached the heights of his career. But he doesn't think they could be more wrong.
Bret listed all the times he lost championships in the past, and was written off, but he came back and regained the belts. He asked the crowd if he looks like a beaten man, which the crowd responded positively. He just said that he feels a little bit naked without the belt. He said he's going to make a list, and the first man on his list was Lex Lugar. Footage was shown of the night before WrestleMania where Lex hit Bret with a forearm.
Vince said that there was some controversy about Lex's elbow and is under investigation. Bret said that he had been hit by many elbows in the past, that's his job, but he has never felt anything like that. There was definitely more than bone in that shot.
Vince asked what will it take for him to be once again World Wrestling Federation Champion. Bret said he is going to climb up like he always has, first show Lex that this is wrestling not bodybuilding, and then he will go after the big guns like Yokozuna and even The Immortal Hulk Hogan. He will get back what is rightfully his.
Retro Verdict: Bret was umming and arrring quite a lot at the start of this promo, like he wasn't exactly comfortable with what he was saying, but as he relaxed it was a pretty good intense interview.
Bam Bam Bigalow made his entrance to no reaction. His opponent was Phil Apollo...
5. Bam Bam Bigalow vs Phil Apollo.</b> The match started with Bam Bam on offence with a number of shoulder charges. He caught Phil with a crossbody off the ropes. Bam Bam whipped Apollo across the ring and followed up with a splash, but Apollo moved. Phil went for a dropkick but Bam Bam swatted him away.
Doink came down the aisle, as Bam Bam threw Apollo all the way across the ring. The camera got right into the face of Doink, who just stared into the camera. I loved this character. Bam Bam was distracted in the ring, but he managed to maintain the advantage. He whipped him into the corner and again followed up with a splash, but this time he got him. Apollo managed to come back with a few kicks and punches, but Bam Bam knocked him down quite easily.
Bam Bam scopped him up and followed up with his whole weight coming down on Phil Apollo. Bam Bam went to the top and hit the flying headbutt. Apollo didn't move an inch and Bam Bam's your winner...
Bam Bam Bigalow beat Phil Apollo in 5:01.
Retro Verdict: Bam Bam looked like a complete beast in this match. Despite the fact that I loved Doink, I have no idea what the intention here was.
After the match Friar Ferguson, came down to the ring to stop the after match beatdown that Bam Bam was dishing out to Phil Apollo. Friar protected Apollo until Bam Bam was leaving. Friar stood up and hit a dropkick and Bam Bam went flying.
Vince and Randy closed off the show by advertising the matches for next week.
Retro Verdict: I hate that Friar Ferguson character, and it was a bad ending to a bad show. With Razor Ramon, Bret Hart, and Money Inc. in the lineup, I thought this would be pretty good, but I was wrong. Bret's promo was good, but everything else just seemed lackluster and pointless. It was the first Raw held in 1993 that I really didn't like.
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