WWF Monday Night Raw -April 19, 1993
-Money Inc open the program, laughing about their upcoming match with the Beverly Bros. If Hogan and Beefcake couldn’t take down Money Inc, then how do they expect to? Good point. Cut to a quick Beverly Bros. retort, and they politely disagree.
-Our hosts for the evening are Vince McMahon, Randy Savage, and Rob Bartlett. It’s worth pointing out that this is Bartlett’s last episode. I can’t say he’ll be missed.
Razor Ramon vs. Virgil
They lock up and exchange arm holds. Razor is booed for using a rope break, which just seems odd to me. They exchange waist locks. Virgil uses a leg scissors to reverse Razor’s side headlock takedown, and the match restarts. Razor corners Virgil and heels it up with stomps. Roll-up by Virgil gets 2. Virgil works the arm as the crowd chants “Razor.” It really sucks to be Virgil. Razor hides out in the ropes, and uses them to dodge a drop-kick. Abdominal stretch by Razor. Virgil misses an elbow drop, but Razor connects with his own attempt. Body slam by Razor and some bald head slapping. Methodical pummeling by Razor and some rope choking. Chinlock variation by Razor. Virgil repeatedly slaps the canvas to pump up the crowd, but it looked like he was tapping out. Virgil builds some momentum with a flying clothesline, but he misses a flying cross body. The Razor’s Edge is enough to put Virgil away for good at 6:56. This was the definition of the word “dull.” *
Winner: Razor Ramon
-Savage and Vince admire the bruises on Bartlett’s face, which he acquired when he was caught up in last week’s Luna/Sherri confrontation.
Giant Gonzales (with Harvey Wippleman) vs. L.A. Gore
This was a very exciting contest, featuring plenty of back and forth action… just kidding. Gonzales squashed Gore like a bug with sloppy big man offense. Gonzales wins with perhaps the worst choke slam this side of Undertaker/Hogan in 2002 at 1:19. DUD.
Winner: Giant Gonzales
-Backstage, Luna Vachon is roaring some gibberish about Sensational Sherri. We take a look back at still shots of Luna beating up Sherri at Wrestlemania IX. Later, Luna attacked Sherri in the dressing room and slammed a monitor over her head. And then on last week’s Raw, they spent two segments trying to strip each other. As you can tell, this is a riveting storyline.
Tatanka vs. Art Thomas
Thomas jumps Tatanka from behind and pounds away with methodical heel offense. Thomas stays on offense quite a while longer than I expected, until Tatanka catches his breath and applies an armbar. Tatanka misses an elbow drop, giving Thomas the brief advantage. Tatanka goes on the warpath. Samoan drop puts Thomas away at 2:29. Same old Tatanka formula, ¼*. (Editor's Note: I'm going out on a limb and guessing that this wasn't "Seaman/Sailor" Art Thomas from the 60's)
The Beverly Bros. vs. Money Inc.
Dibiase and IRS jump the Beverly’s from behind for a chaotic start. Blake Beverly and Dibiase appear to be the legal men, and Dibiase is sent packing from the ring. The match restarts with Blake and Dibiase going through the opening motions. Dibiase speeds things up, but misses an elbow drop. Body slam by Blake, and a tag is made to Beau. Beau targets Dibiase’s arm, Blake tags and head-butts the arm. Yikes, Ted Dibiase is a heel in peril! The Beverly’s successfully keep Dibiase isolated, and keep the arm attacks coming. IRS tags at one point, but the referee missed it. Now IRS knows how frustrating that can be. IRS tries to get involved with an illegal tag, but the brutal attack on Dibiase’s arm continues. IRS finally lands the hot tag, but the Beverly’s go after his arm as well. IRS is completely isolated as we head to a commercial.
After the break, IRS has managed to apply a front headlock on Beau Beverly. The tables have turned, and Money Inc have successfully isolated Beau. I’m on the fence on whether or not I’m going to nit-pick that Dibiase isn’t selling his arm injuries, so I’ll just let it go for now. Beau catches Dibiase off guard with a Neckbreaker and makes the hot tag to Blake. Blake cleans house on Dibiase and tags Beau for some reason. Beau hit’s an elbow drop and seems to be holding up alright. Cover by Beau gets 2, due to IRS getting involved. Blake knocks IRS out of the ring, but accidentally clotheslines his partner. Dibiase capitalizes with a cover on Beau for the victory at 10:58 (shown). This was pretty good for heel vs. heel, **¾.
Winners: Ted Dibiase and IRS
-Vince McMahon hosts a very special in-ring interview with Bret “The Hitman” Hart. They talk about Hart’s WWF Championship loss to Yokozuna at Wrestlemania IX. Hart stumbles over his words while explaining his underdog status. Hart is accustomed to proving people wrong, and he will do so again to the people who think he has peaked. Hart has a hit list, and his first target is Lex Luger. In case you’re wondering why, Luger attacked Hart at a press conference the day of Wrestlemania IX. Luger elbowed Hart from behind, knocking him out in the process. Hart redeems the promo by promising to overcome Luger.
Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Phil Apollo
Bigelow easily tosses Apollo off him and knocks him to the canvas. Snapmare by Bigelow and a neck vice. Bigelow misses a corner charge, but counters a drop-kick. Suplex by Bigelow. Doink the Clown shows up in the aisle, taunting some fans. Bigelow tosses Apollo, but he’s clearly distracted by Doink’s presence. Bigelow thumbs the eyes and connects with a corner splash. Bigelow chokes Apollo and hit’s a body slam. Senton by Bigelow, who then goes high risk. Bigelow connects with the diving head butt for the win at 4:41. Squash-tastic, ½*.
Winner: Bam Bam Bigelow
-After the match, Bigelow hits another diving head butt, just to show Apollo who's boss (editor's note: Judith Light, pay attention!). Friar Ferguson wanders to the ring to bless Apollo. Actually, he’s just protecting Apollo from further attack. Bigelow acts tough, but he turns his back and gets drop-kicked out of the ring. Yes, you read that right, Ferguson actually hit a drop-kick.
Final Thoughts: Pretty decent show this week. We were treated to a perfectly solid tag team match between two teams who understand a successful tag formula very well. The rest of the wrestling was nothing to brag about, but we got to hear from Bret Hart, and the seeds were planted for a rivalry with Luger. Basically, as long as they keep advancing angles, it’s really hard to find bad things to say about Raw.
Thumbs in the middle, leaning up.