WWE Raw Retro Coverage – May 17, 1993: Razor Ramon vs. The Kid (a/k/a Sean Waltman) in a notable match, Shawn Michaels vs. Marty Jannetty for the Intercontinental Title, Kamala vs. Yokozuna
By Haydn Gleed
WWE Raw on the USA Network
New York City, New York at the Manhattan Center
The show opened with the opening credits. Really looking forward to when they change this terrible video and music... Vince McMahon welcomed us to the Manhattan Center and told us that we were live. Vince introduced "Macho Man" Randy Savage and Bobby Heenen. A random video package was shown of Randy Savage participating in a special Olympics skit on the streets of New York.
Vince hyped we would see Razor Ramon, Tatanka and a special interview with Shawn Michaels. He also hyped Yokozuna against Kamala...
Retro Verdict: I'm being 100% serious when I say I'm actually quite intrigued by the thought of Yoko v Kamala.
Vince threw to a video package of the hot opening from the week before when Perfect attacked Michaels outside the arena and they brawled on the street...
Retro Verdict:I really liked this the first time I watched it and more so the second time.
Lord Alfred Hayes was standing outside the arena who first said that he was surprised at what happened last week, but he's even more surprised this week by who he saw walking into the building in disguise. We would find out who that mystery man is later said Alfred...
We went back to the arena and a gunshot sounded around the Manhattan Center. The Smoking Guns made their entrance down the aisle. The Smoking Guns were a tag team in the 90's that consisted of Bart and Billy Gunn, yes that Billy Gunn.
Retro Verdict: I remember The Smoking Guns, but I had forgotten that they made their debut all the way back in 1993, so I was massively shocked when I saw them. Billy is sporting a really dodgy looking mustache...
Their opponents, who were already in the ring, were Glenn Ruth and Tony Vajda. They weren't announced because The Smoking Guns let off cap guns and Finkel dived out of the ring...
1. The Smoking Guns vs. Tony Vajda and Glenn Ruth. Bart started out with Tony. Clunky hip toss into an armbar by Bart. Quick tag to Billy who re-applied the armbar. He went to whip Tony into the ropes, but Vajda broke free and got the tag to Ruth. Ruth charged in, Billy went for a hip toss but was blocked, however Ruth eat a big clothesline. Billy stood up and shout "BAM!" at the crowd.
Tag to Bart who came in and hit a double Russian leg sweep. Body slam by Bart before another quick tag. Billy hit a number of knees to the face before another quick tag to Bart. Double team by Smoking Guns and yet another quick tag to Billy. Suplex by Billy and both men traded quick tags again and again and were tearing apart Glenn Ruth. The end came when Billy Gunn whipped Ruth into the ropes, back body dropped him and Bart hit a very sloppy and dangerous looking sit down power bomb type maneuver.
The Smoking Guns beat Tony Vadja and Glenn Ruth in 4:23 via pinfall.
Retro Verdict: Well, it was good to see the Smoking Guns, but man had I forgotten how sloppy they were in the ring. I mean, at times I was genuinely worried about the health of the jobbers as everything was so clunky and awkward looking. That finishing move made me wince and cringe.
Back from the commercials, McMahon was in the ring and he introduced Shawn Michaels. Vince said, everyone knows what happened last week but what caused it. Michaels said he will get to that soon enough, but he said everyone in the WWF can agree that Michaels is a man of his word. He said lets recap. He told everyone that he would become the intercontinental champion, which he did. He said that he would defend it all over the world, and he said done. He said that he would go into the Lumberjack match and win, and he did. He said that he was better than Mr Perfect. He took his best shot and he's still champion.
Vince said that he had been a somewhat reluctant champion. Shawn acted all annoyed and said he has defended his title all over the world with his blood, sweat and tears. He said that he is the best in the WWF, and that he will defend his title at anytime against anybody. He said that when you are as good as he is you don't fear anyone. The camera started to point towards a man walking around the ring. As Vince tried to carry on the interview, the man got inside the ring. Shawn joked that someone from the crowd is trying to take him up on his challenge, and that he should get back into his seat.
The man took off his hat and glasses and revealed himself to be Marty Jannetty. The crowd went crazy. Jannetty took the mic and asked if he was a true champion and a man of his word, then would he put his belt up against him? Vince reiterated the question to Shawn who was going crazy in the ring. Shawn was trying to weasel out of the match by saying Jannetty isn't dressed to wrestle. Jannetty said no problem he'll go to the back and get his stuff. Jannetty headed to the back. Vince asked Shawn again if he is a man of his word, which Shawn said he was. Vince announced that tonight we would have the match tonight as we headed to the break.
Retro Verdict: Loved it, loved it, loved it. Shawn's cockiness at the start of the promo got some really good heat, and the reveal of Marty Jannetty was very well done. My only gripe would be considering what Shawn had done to Marty, he should have gone crazy on him, but I guess he was playing it cool to show up Shawn and get his title shot, good stuff!
Back from the break, we saw the three announcers who discussed what we had just seen with Shawn Michaels And Marty...
Razor's music hit and we saw him walk confidently down the aisle towards the ring. His opponent, already in the ring was "The Kid", another name change for Sean Waltman. Macho Man made reference to the constant name changes. Razor was actually getting quite a lot of cheers...
2. Razor Ramon vs The Kid. As the bell rang, Razor threw his toothpick at The Kid. They locked up and Razor confidently threw The Kid across the ring. He put him in the corner and hit a huge chop which echoed in the arena. He picked up The Kid and literally threw him eight feet in the air and half way across the ring. He whipped The Kid into the ropes who ducked a clothesline but got caught when he attempted a cross body, and Razor threw him over this head. Razor sat in the ring looking very confident.
Razor walked over to The Kid and slapped him a couple of times before whipping him into the corner. Razor tried to follow up but The Kid moved and he smacked his head. The Kid went up top and hit a beautiful moonsault. The way The Kid landed he had Razor's shoulders pinned and he got the 1-2-3...
The Kid beat Razor Ramon in 2:15 via pinfall.
The crowd was stunned and Razor sold the shock. The Kid ran around the ringside to massive massive cheers. Razor was going crazy inside the ring as The Kid ran to the back. Razor jawed at the announcers. What a moment!
Retro Verdict: Back in 1993, you had semi competitive matches, and you had enhancement matches on TV. Smaller wrestlers like Sean Waltman, were brought in to make the main roster guys look like a million bucks, while selling for their offense. At the time, the thought of one of these jobbers getting a victory over the established stars was unthinkable, this is why this was such a huge moment. It helped that Waltman celebrated as if he had won the Super Bowl and Razor sold it like the huge huge moment that it was. I loved re-living this moment.
Tatanka made his entrance with a run to the ring. Already in the ring was his opponent Scott Taylor (Scoty Too Hotty)...
3. Tatanka vs. Scott Taylor. As the bell rang, Taylor mocked Tatanka's Native American gimmick. Tatanka wasn't happy. Taylor went for a clothesline, but eat a clothesline of his own. Another whip into the ropes and Taylor took a back body drop.
Taylor charged at Tatanka but was back body dropped to the outside. Tatanka went outside to continue the attack and hit a number of chops.
Taylor back in the ring begged off but got whipped into two turnbuckles and eat a chop each time. Tatanka made a war cry before hitting a big elbow drop on Scott. Powerslam by Tatanka followed up by a whip to the ropes and an elbow to the heart.
Big chop that echoed around the building, followed up by a bodyslam. Whip to the ropes and a hip toss. Tatanka pointed at the camera and said Bam Bam Bigalow this is what will happen to you. Taylor made a comeback and hit a number of punches until Tatanka started on the war path no selling the shots. Another couple of loud chops and he hit the End Of Trail for the 1-2-3. Camera shot was shown of the crowd doing the Tatanka chop. The crowd is really up for this show...
Tatanka beats Scott Taylor via pinfall in 3:45
Retro Verdict: Another squash victory by Tatanka. I loved the Tatanka gimmick, but as I'm watching only Raw exclusively from 1993, it is getting a bit repetitive.
We came back from the break with the commentators in mid conversation about the big Raw sign lady... Kamala made his entrance, before Yoko's music hit and he made his entrance...
4. Kamala vs. Yokozuna. Before the match, the Japanese ladies in the ring bowed and presented flowers to Yokozuna. Yoko just dumped the flowers over the top rope in an unintentional funny moment. As the bell rang, Yoko threw salt in the corner, while Kamala patted his belly. Both men ran at each other, which seemed to affect Yoko more than Kamala. They went back to their corners and ran at each other again. Yoko was rocked.
Kamala ducked a clothesline and hit a kick and chops but Yoko wasn't off his feet. Yoko hit a throat thrust to get the advantage, followed up with a couple of chops himself. Big punch and Kamala was down. Big legdrop from Yoko which Kamala sold well. Yoko picked up Kamala who cameback with a couple of chops. He came off two ropes and hit chops. On the third occasion Fuji grabbed his leg, and Yoko used the distraction to catch Kamala.
Whip into the corner, and Yoko followed up with a splash in the corner. Big clothesline and Kamala is on the ground near the corner. Yoko climbed the ropes and came down with a Bonsai drop for the 1-2-3. Heenen exclaims are you watching Hogan?
Yokozuna beat Kamala via pinfall in 3:58.
Retro Verdict: Meh. I thought it would be quite fun, I was wrong. Very clunky, but still an impressive victory by Yokozuna I suppose.
Back from the commercials, Shawn Michael's music hit for the second time, and a more composed Shawn made his entrance to the ring. Marty made his entrance to the old Rockers music. He's not wearing tassels on his arms which made me sad...
4. Shawn Michaels vs. Marty Jannetty for the Intercontinental Championship. Both men circled each other as the bell rang. They locked up and Shawn got the advantage by pushing Marty into the corner. As they broke, Shawn hit a cheap shot knee to the midsection.
He whipped Marty across the ring and drove Marty's head into the turnbuckle. He tried to do the same on the other turnbuckle but Jannetty blocked and face-planted Shawn instead. Whip across the ring, reversal, Shawn tried to follow up, Jannetty moved and rolled up Michaels for a 2 count.
Michaels was against the ropes, but Marty jumped over Michaels and rolled him up with a schoolboy for another close 2 count. Both men took a breather. They locked up again and Jannetty got a headlock. Michaels tried for a clothesline but Jannetty ducked. Michaels tried to hit a hip toss which was blocked, Jannetty then hit a clothesline of his own, and then clotheslined Michaels out of the ring.
He followed this up with a baseball slide to Michaels on the outside , skinned the cat and leapt over the top with a crossbody. Ok, fingers are starting to hurt keeping up with this. Jannetty went to the outside and hit a punch, before he threw Michaels back in the ring. Whip into the ropes, Jannetty went for a back body drop, but Michaels caught him with a kick. Shawn went for what would become sweet chin music but Marty ducked.
Marty got Michaels into a hurricanrana type move which ended with a head scissors on Michaels for a two count. Marty kept the scissors on to wear down Michaels. Michaels broke the hold, but Marty shot Michaels to the ropes and hit a back body drop. Jannetty whipped Shawn to the corner, who flipped over and fell to the outside.
Michaels took the belt from Finkel at ringside and started walking to the back. He was almost at the back when Mr Perfect came out and Michaels retreated back to the ring. This took us to the break.
Live back on Raw, Jannetty was still in control, but Shawn cut him off and brought his throat down on the top rope. Shawn continued to choke Marty breaking at the refs 4 count. Michaels hit a number of punches in the corner which put Jannetty down. Shawn put his boot into Jannetty's neck.
Jannetty down on the canvas, and Michaels came down again on his throat. Michaels moved Jannetty to the middle of the ring, and put in a chinlock to wear down Marty further. They showed a shot of Perfect at ringside. A whip by Shawn into the corner was followed up with a legdrop. He tried to do the same a second time, but Marty caught his leg, and slingshotted him into the corner. Michaels head bounced against the ring post. Very very close two count.
Marty continued the attack on the ground with punches to the head. Whip into the ropes, and a big flying elbow. He went for a clothesline, Shawn ducked, but Marty caught him with a powerslam for another close two count. Marty went flying into the corner. Faked that he was going to hit a crossbody, Shawn dropped to the mat, but when he got back up Jannetty hit a beautiful crossbody for yet another close two count.
Both men traded rollups, at one point Shawn exposed the rear end of Marty for a close two count. Shawn hit sweet chin music but then started jawing at Mr Perfect while leaning on the ropes. Perfect threw his towel at Michaels which knocked him off balance into the waiting Marty who rolled him up for a three count. We had a new Intercontinental champion!...
Marty Jannetty beat Shawn Michaels via rollup in 9:04 to win the Intercontinental Championship.
Retro Verdict: Best nine minutes and four seconds on Raw since they started in January 1993.
After the match Marty Jannetty celebrated with the belt and Mr Perfect. Vince summed up the show as we see Bobby with his head in his hands...
Retro Verdict: Wow, where do I start. The pace of the match continued all the way through. I knew who was going to win, but I was buying into every close fall. I found myself just watching the match instead of actually reviewing it, which meant it took me three times the amount of time to review the match as I was so engrossed. I cannot praise this match highly enough, and it should have been the match that they had when Marty first returned at the '93 Royal Rumble.
You also had the jaw dropping moment between Scott Hall and Sean Waltman which, even 21 years later, is still a special moment. There were issues of course, Yoko against Kamala wasn't great, but it was a means to an end. Tatanka's match felt like I had seen it several times and I don't know if it was my copy of the show, but I could barely hear the commentators throughout the broadcast. That might also be because the crowd was so hot through the majority of this show, and they had every reason to be. The debut of the Smoking Guns was also very ho hum.
People, probably quite rightly, say the WWF in 1993 was shocking, but do yourself a favor. If you are a newer or older fan, and go back and watch the May 17, 1993 Monday Night Raw to see the good that was happening at the time.
If you want to chat Wrestling, British football or shoot the breeze with me, tweet away. Always happy to have a conversation. Either hit me up on twitter @haydngleed or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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