WWE Raw Retro Coverage – July 19, 1993: Shawn Michaels vs. Marty Jannetty for the Intercontinental Title, Lex Express launch, Men on a Mission debut, and a man has a ukulele broken on live television
By Haydn Gleed
WWF Raw on the USA Network
New York City, New York at the Manhattan Center
We opened up with a video package of the launch of the Lex Express. Vince McMahon introduced a promo by Lex Luger by describing him as humble. Lex, wearing what looks to be the going out shirt for a referee, said people say it's not cool to be patriotic and he's going to prove that that is wrong and America is the land of opportunity. We then got a shot of the Lex express, with Vince McMahon promoting he is doing this to get a title shot against Yokozuna.
Retro Verdict: Whatever happened to winning matches and Jack Tunney naming you number 1 contender to get your match? In all seriousness, the Lex express was a black eye for Vince McMahon and his belief that he can get anybody over. The sadistic side of me is looking forward to remembering how bad this all was.
The opening video package played along with the generic music. We had a pan of the Manhattan Center as Vince McMahon proclaimed they were live and welcomed us to Monday Night Raw. Vince introduced Bobby "The Brain" Heenan and "Macho Man" Randy Savage. They promoted the intercontinental championship match between Marty Jannetty and Shawn Michaels and the debut of Men on a Mission...
Retro Verdict: Men on a Mission - *shudder* that already brings back bad memories.
Shawn Michaels' music played as he made his way down the aisle with Diesel in tow. A video package from 9 weeks ago was shown as Marty originally beat Shawn for the IC Title with the help of Mr Perfect. Shawn won the belt back between the 9 weeks of the video package and this episode. Marty Jannetty made his entrance to the old Rockers music and wearing the tassels. Bobby pointed out that the main difference between 9 weeks ago and now is the insurance policy Diesel...
1. Shawn Michaels (w/Diesel) vs. Marty Jannetty for the Intercontinental Title. Marty played to the crowd and got a great reaction. Diesel stood behind Shawn, and you could see the sheer size of Kevin Nash. Both men circled each other to start the match, with Jannetty looking anxiously at Diesel. Shawn took advantage of the distraction and nailed Marty while Macho Man and Vince pointed out that was a huge mistake.
The match started off quickly, with both men trading quick rollups and reversals. Marty used Shawn's momentum to fling him to the outside. Shawn got back in the ring. Again both men tried to gain the advantage but again there were a number of reversals.
They locked up for a third time, but this time Shawn got the cheap shot and was in control until he went for a flying shoulder tackle in the corner but Marty moved. Jannetty got a two count, and placed Shawn Michaels in an armbar to punish the shoulder Shawn had hurt.
Jannetty went up top and hit a flying clothesline but instead of covering him went to the other corner, jumped off, noticed Shawn had moved and landed on his feet before hitting a DDT. He went for the cover and got a 3 count. The camera angle was straight in front of Shawn's legs and we could clearly see he put his foot on the rope. Diesel entered the ring and got in the referee's face as Marty celebrated, Vince threw to a commercial break as the crowd were going wild...
Back from the break, and Marty was roughing up Michaels on the outside. Vince explained that during the commercial break, the ref came over to see the finish and then subsequently restarted the match. Vince commented that it was Bobby Heenan who had called the ref over to look at the video.
In the ring, Marty hit a suplex and got a close two count. Macho Man was ripping into Bobby Heenan for what he did. Backbreaker by Jannetty for another close two count. Marty was showing signs of frustration but put Michaels in a sleeper hold after a number of punches. A profile shot of Diesel was shown as he looked concerned.
Michaels finally managed to get to his feet and hit a back suplex to power out of the hold. Both men got to their feet at the same time, but Michaels got an elbow in the face of Marty before throwing him to the outside. Both men collided midring and Michaels fell to the outside as we again went to another break...
Back from the adverts, Michaels was coming down with an ax handle from the top rope for a two count. He placed Jannetty in a chinlock on the mat. At one point, you could see Shawn and Marty talking to each other. Marty soon after got to his feet and break the hold but came off the ropes into a knee into the mid section. Shawn applied a front chinlock on the mat. The crowd started chanting Marty.
Shawn used the ropes to apply more pressure on Marty, until the ref lifted his arm three times, but on the third time he showed signs of life, picked Shawn up and dropped him on the top rope. He hit a flying elbow and got another two count. Jannetty hit a number of high impact moves, before setting him up for a super kick. Shawn staggered to his feet, and then got caught in the ropes. Jannetty went for a flying crossbody but Shawn ducked and Jannetty went flying to the outside. With the refs back turned, Diesel picked up Jannetty and threw him back in the ring. Shawn crawled over and got the 1-2-3 to retain his championship...
Shawn Michaels beat Marty Jannetty in 13:50 (TV time) via pinfall to retain the Intercontinental Championship.
Retro Verdict: I never thought I'd say this about a match involving these two, but this was not good. Firstly, the fake finish with the ref not seeing Michaels' foot on the rope was bad enough anyways. But to come back from a commercial break and try to cover for the fact the match was restarted with the commentators talking about what happened, without actually showing us the video was crazy. The heel Heenan pointed out the hypocrisy of the babyfaces getting upset that he got the match restarted, by saying if it was Jannetty (babyface) had got his foot on the rope they would have done the same thing he did. That was just stupid to point that out and you couldn't help but agree with Heenan. And finally, the action in the match was clunky, there was no flow to it. Both men looked half a step slower than they should have been, I don't know what was wrong. Neither men seemed to know what was coming next, see the moment Shawn went to get Marty on the outside, and Marty rolled in the ring and lay on the mat before Shawn got to him. The camera showing them talking during a rest hold didn't help. Apologies about the mini rant, but that was truly a huge disappointment to this viewer.
We returned from the break with McMahon in the ring, introducing Money Inc. They made their way down to the ring, at a brisk pace and looked business like. Ted DiBiase was counting his money, and Vince pointed out that it was Ted's favourite past time. Vince then stirred the pot by saying it seemed to him that The Steiner's favourite past time was beating them.
IRS was the first one to speak up, he did his usual schtick about the crowd being tax cheats, and then claimed that they were robbed of the tag team titles. Irwin said that they will have their rematch next week on Superstars, and the Steiners won't cheat this time.
DiBiase said speaking of losers, he can't think of a bigger loser than Razor Ramon. He reiterated the storyline about the 1-2-3 Kid beating him and started to run him down further when the crowd started to pop. The wide angle showed us that Razor was making his way down to the ring and was looking straight at Money Inc.
Razor stepped into the ring and was asked by Vince why he was there. Razor said ok rich man, tax man, you want me to work for you? No way! He said he has always worked for himself not for anyone else. Ted said, so what you are saying is that you don't have a price? He held out cash in front of Razor and said everybody's got a price, even you. Razor pushed Ted down to the apron and threw Irwin to the outside.
Ted said nobody does that to Money Inc. and he will make Razor pay. Ted said he wants the 1-2-3 Kid in the ring and show Mr Machismo what a real man can do. A graphic hyped M.O.M are next. Oh goody.
Retro Verdict: This is what should have happened the last time Money Inc started running down Razor, for Ramon to come out and cement the unexpected face turn. Looking forward to seeing DiBiase face the 1-2-3 Kid even though I know what happens. That's a sign of a memorable feud/angle/match my friends.
Men On A Mission made their way down to the ring after the break led by their rapping manager Oscar. MOM were the aforementioned Oscar, who managed Mo and Mabel. Mabel, the late Nelson Frazier, Jr. would go on to be Big Daddy V, King Mabel and Viscera. Mo would not go on and have such a distinguished career as his partner, but did wrestle until 2006. I will have a lot more to say about MOM when I write the July review roundup.
Their opponents already in the ring, were not announced, but are Rich Myers and Hank Harris...
1. Men On A Mission (w/Oscar) vs. Rich Myers and Hank Harris. Before the bell rang, Oscar got the crowd going with his rapping. As the bell rang, the jobbers tried to attack MOM. Mabel clotheslined one of them over the top rope and then hit a elbow on Rich Myers. He picked him up and threw him to the other side of the ring.
Mo threw Rich into the corner and in tagged in Hank Harris. MOM hit a number of double team moves, before Mabel started throwing his weight around. As Oscar was cutting a promo to the camera, MOM hit their finishing move which we couldn't really see behind his head. They got the 1-2-3 though obviously...
Men On A Mission beat Rich Myers and Hank Harris in 2:03 via pinfall.
Retro Verdict: I'm going to try and judge this act as if I had never seen it before, and I will resist the urge to call it a mix of R-Truth and Brodus Clay's gimmicks (oops I did mention it). If this was the first time I had seen them, I would actually think this was a fun tag team, and Oscar certainly got the crowd going and into the match.
Back from the adverts, Scott Despres was already in the ring, and out came my favourite wrestler Bastion Booger...
3. Bastion Booger vs. Scott Despres. Vince McMahon called Bastion a warthog before the bell rang. Bastion sort of waddled his way around the ring and hit some powerfulish looking moves. The finish came when he sat on Scott Despres...
Bastion Booger beat Scott Despres in 0:58 via pinfall.
Retro Verdict: I point blank refuse to analyze anything Bastion Booger does.
An ad promoted that next week we would have Bret Hart against Bam Bam Bigelow...
We cut straight from the advert into the King's Court mid-session. He is interviewing someone called Tiny Tim, who I have since learned after watching this, he was a comedy singer who was famous for playing the ukulele. Jerry said that he loves the fact he looks like he's an unmade bed. The audio when Tiny Tim was speaking was awful.
Jerry said he wanted Tiny Tim to sing his most famous song, but stopped him after a few bars. Jerry threw a few barbs at Tiny Tim before promoting Tim's new radio show. Jerry Lawler asked Tim if he thought he was a Burger King. Tiny Tim said he did not, he said he was more of a Dairy Queen. The crowd started chanting Dairy Queen. Lawler broke Tiny Tim's ukulele while Tim pretending to cry.
Retro Verdict: Oh my god, that was awful. I had no idea who Tiny Tim was, but this wasn't a good showcase for him, and he sounded petrified to be out there. This segment just felt like 3 minutes of my life that I will never ever get back. I don't see what the point of it was.
Straight back from the break, the 1-2-3 Kid and Chris Duffy are in the ring, and the bell rings...
4. 1-2-3 Kid vs. Chris Duffy. Kid hit some quick offense on Chris Duffy as we see Money Inc. make their way to the middle of the aisle to watch the match. Vince confirmed that the 1-2-3 Kid had accepted DiBiase's challenge and will face him next week.
The Kid hit a wonderful looking kick in the corner before synching in a headlock. As the match continued, Razor Ramon made his way through the crowd and climbed the ringside barrier. In the ring The Kid was completely dominating until he got a boot to the face.
After a few offensive moves from Duffy, the 1-2-3 Kid regained the advantage. He went to the top rope and hit a top rope leg drop for the 1-2-3. They showed a shot of a concerned looking Ted DiBiase as Razor Ramon looked on with an impressed look on his face. The Kid looked at the aisle and looked at Ramon, and decided to make his exit through the crowd...
1-2-3 Kid beat Chris Duffy in 2:17 via pinfall.
After The Kid made his exit, Razor was jawing at Money Inc. who made their way towards Ramon with the referee's trying to stand between them. Both Ramon and DiBiase took off their shirts, but we cut to a commercial break...
Retro Verdict: The 1-2-3 Kid again looked really impressive with his flashy high impact move set. I liked the fact that they are playing up the fact that despite their differences, Razor now respects The Kid, and I like the fact Ted sold that he was slightly concerned after watching the match.
We come back and Macho Man is holding a kid as Vince wrapped up the show. They showed the Lex Express driving along a highway as the show closed...
Retro Verdict: I wonder whatever happened to that kid the Macho Man was holding? Anyways, as for Raw, it was a mix bag of disappointing, good angles, bad wrestlers, bad cameo's and intriguing debut's. Not a bad combination to fit into a 40 minute show eh?
First the bad. The Tiny Tim interview was just awkward and really didn't belong on a wrestling show. He only seemed to be there to promote his radio show, which Jerry Lawler did after running the guy down. Because Tiny Tim was so meek it came across like what Lawler was saying was bad. Besides from that, I do not understand why this was on the show in the first place.
I was also very disappointed by Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty's match. I expect such a high standard from them, it's probably unfair for me to be disappointed by this match, but something just seemed off to me. I didn't like the whole fake finish, especially the way it played out and everything just felt clunky.
As for the good, MOM's debut was a lot of fun, and I'll be honest I only remember the bad so this was a pleasant surprise for me. The whole angle involving Razor Ramon, 1-2-3 Kid, and Money Inc. is just good story telling and well acted by everyone that it's hard to not be entertained by it.
Next week show should be a lot of fun to review with Bret Hart against Bam Bam Bigelow, and 1-2-3 Kid vs. Ted DiBiase.
Agree/Disagree with me about the Michaels and Jannetty match? That's cool, everyone has different opinions, that's what makes the world go round. If you want to voice your opinion hit me up on twitter @haydngleed or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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