WWE Raw Retro Coverage – July 5, 1993: Undertaker makes his return, allout from the stars and stripes event, 1-2-3 Kid continues to impress
By Haydn Gleed
WWE Raw on the USA Network
New York City, New York at the Manhattan Center
The generic music hit with the '90s style video package and we are good to go for this Retro Review of Monday Night Raw from July 5, 1993. After the opening credits, we get a scan of the crowd with the Raw siren blaring and Vince McMahon welcoming us to Monday Night Raw.
"Macho Man" Randy Savage and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan check in on commentary as Vince mentions the stars and stripes challenge from the day before. He threw to a video showing us what happened.
We saw the crowd onboard the USS Intrepid, as someone was singing the American national anthem, quite badly if I'm being honest. Vince reminded us that it was Yokozuna against the US, and that the USA pride was at stake. He also reminded us that Yokozuna was celebrating winning the belt and was trying to embarrass all the American athletes.
They showed highlights of Lee Rouson, Bob Backlund, Peter Taglianetti, Scott Burrell, Scott Steiner trying and failing, before a timeout was called so Yokozuna could eat a big bowl of rice. Following this mid event snack, they showed highlights of Tatanka, Bill Fralic, Crush & Macho Man Randy Savage trying and failing to slam Yokozuna.
With Yokozuna thinking he had embarrassed all of the American athlete's, when by helicopter, Lex Luger arrived. I could have sworn I heard a Hogan chant. Lex walked towards the ring as the crowd were in shock. He pushed Bobby Heenan out of the way, got in the ring and slammed Yokozuna as the crowd chanted Lex over and over again. Lex celebrated as the crowd went wild.
Retro Verdict: It wasn't the best looking slam in the world, but that's just me splitting hairs. This was something out of the ordinary and something different, and I thought it really worked. The crowd loved it. It gave Lex Luger at the time a platform to move into super stardom.
Back in the arena, they showed the commentators talking about what we had all just seen. Vince announced that Lex had challenged Yokozuna for the belt, but Mr Fuji had declined. Macho Man spoke up and said that everyone is damn proud of Lex Luger and addressing Bobby Heenan he said that was the body slam that was heard around the world.
Blake Beverley made his entrance, minus his moustache which looked weird. This was followed by the introduction and entrance of the 1-2-3 Kid who received a standing ovation from the crowd. He high-fived the fans around ringside, and shook the hands of Macho Man & Vince...
1. Blake Beverley vs. 1-2-3 Kid. Back from the commercial, both men circled each other in the ring. The crowd were chanting 1-2-3 as the Kid offered a handshake. Blake slapped the taste out of his mouth and gestured to the crowd. Kid came up from behind and drop kicked him out of the ring.
1-2-3 Kid hit a number of very impressive high flying and high impact moves, until Blake caught him in a powerslam and went to town punishing the Kid. In a move that you don't see very often, Blake hit a suplex near the corner, Kid's back bounced off the turnbuckle and he went flying to the floor. Blake started to get confident and started slapping him across the face. Back in the ring the punishment continued. Blake shouted out at the crowd, "you think I'm going to lose to this kid?!". He then picked up the kid and literally dumped him over the top ropes.
Blake continued the cocky attitude, and was pulling him up after a one count during a pinfall. Kid had a brief hope spot when he went to the second ropes and went for a crossbody but Blake moved. Beverley threw the kid back to the outside and went to the second rope, attempted an axe handle but the kid moved. Kid went up to the top rope, and hit an impressive corkscrew dive type manoeuvre. The Kid got to his feet and climbed back into the ring, but got caught by Blake into a back suplex. He went up top for a flying headbutt but missed, Kid went up top, hit a flying legdrop for the 1-2-3...
1-2-3 Kid beat Blake Beverley in 7:57.
Retro Verdict: I enjoyed that match a lot. At the time, the sort of offence that Sean Waltman was displaying had never really been seen in the WWF, so it was novel and exciting. He also sold like a trooper for Blake, and with the Beverley also getting a ton of heat for his bully boy cocky tactics, you desperately wanted to see The Kid win. One other quick note, at one point I looked up from my laptop, and looked at Blake and without his moustache for a second I thought it was Chris Jericho. Freaked me out and confused me for a moment.
They shifted to the backstage area, where Bam Bam Bigelow had his back to the camera, and Luna Vachon was doing her female Ultimate Warrior shtick. She said that in a few moments, the most powerful force in the WWF, the beast from the east. Alright.
Back from the commercial, Luna was leading Bam Bam down the aisle. His opponent already in the ring was Joey Maggs. Maggs would later go on to have moderate success in WCW.
2. Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Joey Maggs. The match was over before it started. Bam Bam hit a few moves to soften Joey up, and then whipped him into one corner, hit a big splash, whipped him to the other side of the ring and another big splash in the corner, and he got the quick 1-2-3...
Bam Bam Bigelow beat Joey Maggs in 0:42.
Retro Verdict: If I was a cynical person, I would suggest that the squash may have been due to Maggs wrestling frequently before this taping for WCW. Of course I don't know that for a fact. Bam Bam looked very strong and, well a beast. Not sure what that backstage promo was all about.
Samu and Afa from the Headshrinkers, made their way down to the ring. The lights go off, the bong chimes out, and a spotlight follows one man down the aisle. Can you guess who it is? In a moment that had me nearly crying with laughter, they showed Bobby Heenan getting up off the floor. With Vince and Macho mocking him as he returned to his chair, Bobby quite flatly said, well the lights went out I wasn't expecting that.
3. Samu (w/Afa) vs. The Undertaker. Vince McMahon pointed out that this was the return of The Undertaker, and that Taker is without the Urn or Paul Bearer. Both men eyeballed each other, before Samu reached back and hit several big punches which Undertaker no sold. In a surprising botched move, The Undertaker went to leapfrog a charging Samu, but didn't jump up high enough and Samu caught him and left the pair of them in somewhat of a mess.
Undertaker had the early momentum before Samu bailed to the outside. Undertaker chased him outside, but was caught by Samu as he tried to get back in the ring. Taker hit a drop kick, and Macho Man pointed out that he was doing moves that he had never seen him do before. Taker walked the top rope and came down on the back of Samu's neck. Taker got distracted by Afa on the outside, and Samu took advantage of this with an axe handle to the back.
Back from the break, we can see that Samu is continuing with the attack on the outside. Vince said that the attack during the break was vicious. Samu kept up on the offence, but everytime he hit a move, Undertaker would sit up. At one point he clotheslined him over the top and Taker landed on his feet and just stared at Samu. He came in while grabbing Samu around the neck.
Undertaker was now in full control until he missed with a big elbow when Samu moved. Undertaker was now reaching for his urn, but couldn't sit up as it was not there with him. Samu hit a diving headbutt, but as soon as Samu went for a second headbutt he sat up. Taker chockslammed Samu, and again was on the offence. He picked Samu up and hit the tombstone piledriver for the 1-2-3 which the crowd counted along with...
The Undertaker beat Samu in 7:37 via pinfall.
Retro Verdict: There was some moments that irked me, like why didn't Samu pin the Undertaker after the first headbutt when he wasn't moving etc. but they were simple little things. Watchable match even with the botched move which looked horrible in the opening to the match.
We had yet another commercial, and when we came back Mr Fuji was leading Yokozuna down to ringside where Vince McMahon was waiting. As Fuji waved the Japanese flag at ringside, the crowd started chanting USA, USA, USA. Vince brought up Lex Luger, and Fuji went crazy. He said Lex Luger was not invited and he cheated. Vince pointed out that Yoko's celebration was spoilt by Lex turning up.
Vince asked, are you serious in your claims that Luger didn't actually slam Yoko? Fuji replied that you American's need to check your definition of a slam, because from his perspective it looked like a hip toss. Vince asked why did he deny Lex Luger a Championship match? Fuji said simply that he is a cheat. Vince said, well you won't give Lex the match, so what about Bret Hart, what about the Macho Man? Fuji said that Yoko would defeat anybody in the WWF anywhere, anytime.
The crowd started to make some noise, and we see a wide shot of someone walking towards the ring. Eventually we could see that it was Crush. He started off by saying that he admits he had his doubts about Luger, but he made America proud. He said that he embarrassed both Fuji and Yoko. Vince reminded Fuji that he said that anyone who steps forward will be given a chance, and he asked Crush if he wanted to step forward. After a number of cliché lines which didn't really work together, Crush eventually said yes.
Vince asked Yoko directly will you face Crush next week which he said yes. Fuji got in Crush's space and said let me tell you, Yoko will make you want to be back in Hawaii. Crush said that he would embarrass Fuji and Yoko further and that he will take the title...
Retro Verdict: It setup the main event for next week, and also put Fuji over as someone who doesn't want his guy to lose the belt, which is the only reason he's not giving Luger a shot. Crush was Crush, so was as terrible as usual. He just shouts random cliché's into the microphone and my lord doesn't it irritate me. Watchable.
We had our first advertisement for SummerSlam 1993, before we went back to the announce desk where they discussed what we had all just witnessed between Crush and Yoko... Mr Perfect's music hit and he made his way down the aisle. His opponent was Brian Costello...
4. Mr Perfect vs. Brian Costello. Mr Perfect did the whole weird putting the chewing gum in the Raw girls mouth before the match. Perfect had total control of this match. He hit an amazingly beautiful dropkick. After only a minute, Perfect locked in a Perfect Plex and got the 1-2-3...
Mr Perfect beat Brian Costello in 1:34 via pinfall.
Retro Verdict: Felt very rushed, but you can understand that as they were obviously running out of time.
Vince concluded the show by reminding us about the title match for next week. We were shown a slow motion replay of the slam by Lex on Yokozuna as the copyright notice came up...
Retro Verdict: It was a good show. I enjoyed the highlights from the one off special on the USS Intrepid, I really got a kick out of the novelty of it. They did well all show to build up Lex Luger as this huge babyface, and I really enjoyed the 1-2-3 Kidd/Blake Beverley match. The squash matches were too short for them to either be good or bad, they were just sort of there, and there was some things about the Samu against Taker match which didn't sit right with me, but not enough to set me off on a rant or anything. Yeah, I would certainly recommend watching this show on the network. If for no other reason than the historical significance of the stars and stripes challenge changing the companies course from the Hulkstar, to who they were hoping would take over the torch Lex Luger.
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