WWE Raw Retro Coverage – May 31, 1993: Memorial Day 1993 edition of Raw, Marty Jannetty vs. Bam Bam Bigelow, continuation of the Razor Ramon vs. 1-2-3 Kid feud, King Of The Ring hype in full swing
By Haydn Gleed
WWE Raw on the USA Network
New York City, New York at the Manhattan Center
We opened with a zoomed in view of Hacksaw Jim Duggan's face screaming Hoooo! Duggan reminded us that it's Memorial Day, and spoke about the sacrifices that the great men and women in the military make to keep us safe. He started a USA chant and made his way inside the Manhattan Center.
Retro Verdict: It's scary that 21 years on, we still need the great work of the men and women both in the USA and elsewhere in the world to keep us safe from the evil that is out there. How things change, how things stay the same.
We got the opening credits followed by Vince McMahon welcoming us to Monday Night Raw. Vince was at ringside with Bobby Heenen and "Macho Man" Randy Savage. Vince promoted that we would see Mr Hughes, The Steiner Brothers, Razor Ramon and the match hyped last week, between Marty Jannetty and Bam Bam Bigelow.
Macho Man reminded us that Luna was going to be in the corner of Bam Bam and Sherri in the corner of Jannetty. Heenen said he spoke to Luna, and she has a scissors that she is going to use to restyle Sherri's hair.
Jannetty made his entrance to a huge pop and a lot of screaming ladies. Sherri followed him down to the ring. Bam Bam Bigelow being led by Luna Vachon, made their entrance.
1. Marty Jannetty vs. Bam Bam Bigelow for the Intercontinental Championship. Before the bell even rang, Luna was trying to get in the ring but Sherri attacked her. Bam Bam pulled Luna away and Jannetty did the same with Sherri. With Jannetty still trying to calm down Sherri, Bam Bam got a blindside attack in the corner. Bam Bam pounded on Marty with forarms across the back. Bam Bam hit a big shoulder charge which sent Marty flying.
We had a close up of Luna who was screaming towards Sherri. Sherri was trying to get the crowd behind Marty. Bam Bam continued on the attack but got over confident. He went for a clothesline but Marty ducked. He went up top and came down with an axe handle which got a 2 count. Marty backed Bigelow in the corner but Bam Bam caught him with a headbutt. Bam Bam pounded on the back of Marty's back over and over again. He threw Marty into the ropes, Bam Bam went for a big back body drop but Marty flipped over, landed on his feet but ran into a bear hug.
Bigelow placed Marty on the top rope and went for a punch, but Marty blocked it with his leg. He took down Bam Bam with a head scissors. Marty went for another leverage move, jumping on Bam Bam's shoulders but Bigelow fell backwards as went for a commercial. Back from the break and Bigelow had Marty in a chinlock on the mat. Marty got to his feet but was pounded down to the ground. Marty came back with an air punch, which Bigelow responded with a dropkick, followed by a big splash in the corner.
Bam Bam went for another splash in the opposite corner, but Marty got his feet up. Marty hit a flying clothesline which got the big man down for a 2 count. Jannetty hit a super kick, followed by a clothesline and a sweet dropkick but again he only got a 2 count. Bam Bam came back with a powerslam followed by an impressive backbreaker. Bigelow came off the ropes, but Sherri grabbed his leg. He turned his attention to Sherri allowing Jannetty to knock him out of the ring.
This was followed up by a baseball slide which sent Bam Bam into the steel barricades. Marty went to the top rope and hit a crossbody on Bam Bam on the floor. Marty got back in the ring, and with the help of a distraction from Sherri, Bam Bam was counted out.
Marty Jannetty beat Bam Bam Bigelow via Countout in 9:04(TV Time).
After the bell, Bam Bam snuck back into the ring and blindsided Marty. He splashed Marty on the mat, and Jannetty sold it like he had a cracked rib...
Retro Verdict: Interesting dynamic between the two wrestlers. Bam Bam didn't sell long enough for some of Marty's offence for my tastes, but that's only a small complaint.
We came back from the break, and we saw Dwayne Schintzius in the crowd. They quickly cut back to the ring, where Sherri had grabbed the microphone from the ring announcer, and screamed that she wants Luna right here right now. There was a delay with Sherri screaming for her, when Luna made her way down. There was a ref standing between her and trying to get in the ring. Sherri took matters into her own hand and attacked Luna. The brawl started off as a catfight before Sherri slammed Luna at ringside.
Sherri climbed back into the ring, and motioned that Luna should join her. From behind, Bam Bam grabbed Sherri and held her arms which enabled Luna to take apart Sherri. Tatanka ran in from the back and cleared the ring of the heels. Sherri laid on the mat with a small amount of blood on her chin and cheek...
Retro Verdict: Actually enjoyed this little segment as not only did it advance the Sherri & Luna feud but also the Bam Bam & Tatanka feud which they had going on.
Back from the commercials, we saw Sherri being helped to the back by Tatanka as Vince summed up what happened. At ringside, Bobby Heenen tried to put logic into what the heels did which got Macho Man hot and he nearly attacked The Brain until Vince calmed things down...
Retro Verdict: OK, I'm beating a bit of a dead horse here with this rant, but this is EXACTLY what is missing from Wrestling in 2014, which is a competent commentary team. You have the straight edge play by play in Vince, and you have the face Randy Savage and heel Bobby Heenen, both sticking to the constitution of finding the logic in what either a face or a heel does. It promotes the feud, it gets people emotionally involved in storylines and can also enhance what we have just seen and give us a reason to like or hate someone. It's simple WWE, why can't you just get that logic into your heads!? Sorry about that, now we return to our regular programming....
2. The Steiner Brothers vs Rich Myers & The Executioner. The Executioner started with Rick Steiner, and as you would expect Rick hit a number of powerful moves and looked impressive. Rich was tagged in by The Executioner and Rick tagged in Scott. Scott hit a beautiful suplex which Myers sold well. Scott and Rick were completely dominating Myers, hitting big submission moves and fast tagging in and out. Scott got Myers up into a vertical suplex and brought him hard down into the mat. Rick Steiner went up top, while Scott had Myers lifted on this shoulders, and Rick hit a flying bulldog for the 1-2-3...
The Steiner Brothers beat Rich Myers and The Executioner in 4:23.
Retro Verdict: I always enjoyed the Steiner Brothers as a kid, but now as an adult I have to admit, watching their squash matches has become somewhat of a guilty pleasure of mine. They hit some impressive moves and look dominant. Good use of the squash match format.
A graphic showed Mr Hughes was next as we went into a break... Macho Man advertised the King Of The Ring hotline would be starting the Saturday after this Raw. Remember phoning these before the Internet?...
3. Mr. Hughes vs Bert Centeno. This one didn't last very long. Centeno didn't get any offence in at all. Mr Hughes hit a number of big power spots, and lifted Bert up a couple of times from a pin at the two count. Macho Man again plugged the King Of The Ring phone line. The end came when Mr Hughes hit a sideslam for the win and followed this up with tossing Bert over the top rope.
Mr. Hughes beat Bert Centeno via pinfall in 3:06.
Retro Verdict: The power moves did look impressive, but it was more of the same from Mr Hughes.
Back from the break, there was another plug for All American Wrestling... Hooooooooooo! We heard the distinct introduction music of Hacksaw Jim Duggan. He headed down to the ring with the American flag to a great reaction. His opponent was announced as Mark Thomas. I remember this guy being a consistent jobber, but always remembered thinking he didn't remind me of your typical jobber in terms of his look.
4. Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs Mark Thomas. The match started straight after the break with Hacksaw leading a USA chant. As Jim put his 2X4 in the corner, Mark Thomas attacked from behind, but Duggan no sold it. Thomas came off the ropes and went for a crossbody but Jim caught him and slammed him into the turnbuckle. After an elbow, Jim Duggan got the crowd chanting USA again.
Retro Verdict: Would have been a fun drinking game at the time. Take a shot everytime Duggan tries to get the crowd to chant USA.
Duggan went to the top rope and hit 5 punches with the crowd counting along and again shouted at the crowd USA. Duggan hit a back body drop followed by a Hoooo followed by a supplex and Jim and again stood up and chanted USA. Jim hit a spinning powerslam and setup for the running football clothesline for the 1-2-3...
Hacksaw Jim Duggan beat Mark Thomas via pinfall in 2.25.
Retro Verdict:Although the constant looking for the USA chant was a bit annoying, I had to keep in mind that it was memorial day so it was to be expected and fair enough in my book. I know I joked about it earlier, but everyone should be proud of the country they are from, and Hacksaw was the embodiment of that in 1993.
After the match, Hacksaw threw his 2X4 high in the air, caught it and asked for a microphone. Hacksaw asked Bill Dunn to bring the flag in the ring, and proceeded to lead the crowd in pledging their allegiance to the United States of America. Even the announcers stood up and pledged their allegiance...
Back from the commercials, Vince ran down the last couple of weeks in the career of Razor Ramon. He recapped the loss to the 1-2-3 Kid, how he offered $2,500 for a rematch, which the kid turned down. He said that Razor was now offering $5,000 for the Kid to step back in the ring. Vince said we now had the opportunity to see an interview conducted earlier with the 1-2-3 Kid.
Kid said he was happy to be on television talking to everyone. He said that he was still wearing his lucky Raw t-shirt. Kid said that he was watching WWF with his grandma and grandpa and he saw that Mr Ramon offered $5,000 for him to get back in the ring. He said, however, he couldn't accept the money as he knows what will happen to him if he gets back in the ring with Razor...
<b><u>Retro Verdict:</u></b> I really liked this. The 1-2-3 Kid came across as someone who was surprised at being put in the limelight and as a likeable young man. This promo kind of reminded me of Daniel Bryan a lot.
Back in the arena, Razor made his cocky entrance getting annoyed at the fans trying to touch him. His opponent was announced as Tony Roy. A shot was shown of Macho Man leading the crowd in a 1-2-3 chant aimed at Ramon. An interesting little fact about Tony Roy is that he actually broke into the business at the same time as Triple H, and in fact, they feuded on the indy circuit back in the 90s.
5. Razor Ramon vs. Tony Roy. Razor was not happy with the crowd chanting 1-2-3 and gestured towards Macho Man. With his back turned, Tony Roy snuck up and tried to roll Ramon up for a quick pin, but Razor kicked out and hit a huge clothesline. He continued the aggressive attack with some seriously aggressive looking chops and punches. With Roy down he slapped him across the head a number of times. Macho Man got up on the announce desk and got the crowd 1-2-3 which again distracted Razor and allowed Roy the opportunity to roll him up for another close 2 count.
Razor took more of his frustration out on Roy with some kicks in the corner followed by an elbow in the jaw. The commentators hyped the King Of The Ring coming up, while the crowd started chanting, "We want kid," which again distracted Ramon. Razor placed Tony on the top rope and hit a super back drop, before setting him up for the Razor's edge for the 1-2-3.
Razor Ramon beat Tony Roy via pinfall In 3:49.
Retro Verdict: The WWF really struck gold with this feud in 1993. The crowd loved to try get under his skin of the hell, but unlike today, it was all part of the storyline. It made Razor someone you loved to watch because of the way he sold the crowd getting to him, it made a star out of the 1-2-3 kid and the booking of the feud was almost perfect.
Before we headed to the break, Vince announced that Yokozuna had turned up to the building and we would find out next what he was doing there... Back from commercials, and Yoko was making his way down to the ring. Vince was at ringside and asked Mr Fuji how he could wave the Japanese flag in this arena tonight, when the only flag that should be waved is the American flag on Memorial Day.
Fuji asked what Memorial Day was, to which Vince said it was a day to honour the fallen, a day for the country to honour their hero's. Fuji said that he will celebrate Memorial Day on June 13th. Vince said, no June 13th is the day that Yokozuna will face Hulk Hogan today is Memorial Day. Quite a few noticeable boo's when Vince mentioned Hulk Hogan.
Fuji said that Hulk Hogan was a national hero. Yokozuna said that Hulkamania will die. Vince announced that next week, Yokozuna and Mr Fuji would be part of the Kings Court interview segment, and that it wouldn't surprise Vince if Hulk Hogan showed up. Vince asked, what is going to happen at the King Of The Ring. Yokozuna screamed Bonzai. Mr Fuji said Yokozuna would be the next WWF champion. Vince asked, do you not remember what happened at WrestleMania? Fuji said he doesn't concern himself with the past only the future.
The crowd started chanting USA, and they showed Hacksaw Jim Duggan on the second tier waving the Stars and Stripes, and Fuji returned fire by waving the Japanese flag. We went off the air with Vince chanting, out of time, USA USA...
Retro Verdict: Ugh, that was terrible, really really terrible. If you read the above and didn't really understand what was going on, the reason is because it didn't make sense. Vince was just awful interviewing. He was trying to act all worked up and crazed with anger, but it came across as really campy and made him look like an idiot. Fuji didn't give any logical reason as to why they were there. I could sort of see where he was going when he talked about June 13th being Memorial Day because Hulk Hogan, the American hero, would fall, but he did a piss poor job of getting that across. Just a complete and total mess.
Up until the final segment, I was sort of enjoying the show. I thought the Jannetty/Bigelow match was a lot of fun as was everything to do with the Razor Ramon angle. It baffles me why they decided that they had 4 jobber matches and one competitive match, that it would be a good idea to put the competitive match on first. To me, it would be more logical to have the 4 jobber matches first, and build up towards the big main event match. The ending to the show put a real sour taste in my mouth and it really did spoil what was otherwise a pretty good show.
Agree or disagree with my rant about the end of the show? Feel free to contact me either by email firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on twitter @haydngleed.
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