WWF Monday Night Raw July 5, 1993
-In WWF continuity, this takes place less than 24 hours after Yokozuna got slammed by Lex Luger on the U.S.S. Intrepid. We go right to footage of the event, which was billed as Yokozuna vs. The USA in a Bodyslam challenge. Lee Rouson of the NFL, Bob Backlund, Peter Taglianetti of the NHL, and Scott Burrell of the NBA couldn’t get the job done. A troupe of actual WWF stars, including Scott Steiner and Tatanka couldn’t do it either. Crush, coming off slamming Bastion Booger on the last Raw, couldn’t even slam Yokozuna, but he came close. Randy Savage appeared to be the final hope to salvage America’s fragile ego but even the Macho Man came up short. Lex Luger then arrived by helicopter as a surprise competitor. Luger declares that Yokozuna is everything that’s wrong with America, you know, since he’s a foreigner. This stupid xenophobic crap is difficult to swallow sometimes. Anyhow, Luger managed to slam Yokozuna, thus setting up their rivalry heading into Summerslam.
Blake Beverly vs. The 1-2-3 Kid
Loud “1-2-3” chant as the match begins, showing that the crowd doesn’t care that The Kid has been acting rather cowardly these past few weeks. Beverly turns his back and eats a drop-kick and a baseball slide. The Kid counters and gets a near fall. The Kid knocks Blake down with his educated feet and scores anther near fall. Blake cuts off The Kid’s momentum and nails a Neckbreaker. Blake takes his time setting up his next move and suplexes The Kid right onto the turnbuckles! Nasty bump, man! Blake slaps The Kid around for a bit at ringside. Back to the ring, Blake nails a falling head butt. Blake lifts up The Kid and drops him to the floor! The Kid is bumping his ass off! Back to the ring, Blake hits a backbreaker, and pummels him to the turnbuckles and mat. Blake decides to toy with The Kid more, rather than pin him. The Kid bounces off the corner, but misses a cross body block. Blake methodically pounds on The Kid before knocking him to the floor again. Blake misses a dive to the floor! The Kid connects with a senton off the top to the floor! Blake counters with a suplex. Blake misses a diving head butt. The Kid goes high risk and nails a top rope leg drop for the win at 8:02. The match was loads of fun, **¾.
Winner: The 1-2-3 Kid
-Luna Vachon puts over Bam Bam Bigelow backstage.
Bam Bam Bigelow (with Luna Vachon) vs. Joey Maggs
Bigelow goes right to work pounding on Maggs. Bigelow wastes no time making the cover for the win at 0:40. Okay, then. DUD.
Winner: Bam Bam Bigelow
Samu (with Afa) vs. The Undertaker
The Undertaker no-sells some shots and connects with some of his own. Samu connects with a body block, but Undertaker isn’t going anywhere. Taker botches a leap frog. Drop toe hold by Undertaker, who grabs the hair. Taker chases Samu around the ring and is briefly distracted by Afa. Taker takes some shots before drop-kicking Samu to ringside. Taker goes old school…er, new school. Taker is distracted by Afa and eats a clothesline as a result. They take a commercial break, afterwards Samu is knocking Undertaker around ringside. Back to the ring, Undertaker runs into a power slam for 2. Another Bodyslam, but Taker just sits up. Samu clotheslines Taker to the floor, but he lands on his feet. Taker returns and grabs the throat to toss Samu around. Taker misses an elbow drop. Side slam by Samu and a head butt. Undertaker can’t sit up! Samu goes high risk and nails a flying head butt. Rather than make a cover, Samu slaps the face and goes high risk again. Taker dodges merely by sitting up. Chokeslam by Undertaker and a Tombstone Piledriver finishes Samu at 7:22 (shown). Plodding match, but Undertaker showed more vulnerability than I would’ve expected, *½.
Winner: The Undertaker
-WWF Champion Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji come to ringside for an interview with Vince McMahon. Vince asks Mr. Fuji how it feels to hear the USA chants from the crowd. Fuji whines that Luger was uninvited and denies that the body slam should count. Fuji doesn’t think Luger should get a title shot because he’s a cheater. Vince asks him about Bret Hart instead, but they are joined by Crush. Crush thanks Luger for making him proud to be an American. I just felt my eyes roll to the back of my head. Hey, I love America as much as anyone, but all this “Our country rules, your country sucks” BS is just moronic. Crush challenges Yokozuna and the match appears to be set for next week.
-Get ready for an event so hot, they can’t show it until the end of summer: Summerslam ‘93!
Mr. Perfect vs. Brian Costello
They crisscross until Perfect nails a drop-kick. Perfect nails some chops at ringside. They trade shots in the ring. More chopping by Perfect in the ring. The Perfect-plex finishes Costello at 0:56. Fair enough, DUD.
Winner: Mr. Perfect
Final Thoughts: These less than a minute squashes are actually quite an improvement to the three minute squashes with a one minute chinlock. I would like to see this trend continue. This episode had plenty of direction, though the masturbatory self-congratulations for simply being a U.S. citizen got tired after the first five minutes. It was painfully obvious that Luger was meant to fill the void left behind by Hulk Hogan, which was counterproductive since Hogan’s act was already showing it’s age. It also hurt simply due to being so blatant. Look kids, a roided up superman who loves America and will battle any foreigner who dares to have his own customs! Otherwise, the Beverly/Kid match was a fun little battle and The Undertaker made his triumphant return. All in all, a decent edition.
Thumbs in the middle.