home | wrestling | flashback_reviews | wwe | misc

The January 1993 WWF Extravaganza!

by Scrooge McSuck

- So, a long time ago, back in my early days of trying to be a smart-ass internet wrestling recapper, I had this grand vision: I spent the better part of four years watching all the WWF programming I could, and recording every feature match I could catch. From the early months of 1993 through the Spring of 1997, I recorded all I could, compiling somewhere around 20 tapes of footage, all running 6 hours long. For about 3 or so YEARS, I somehow found my way through each compilation, but I was never too proud of my work. I felt like I never found my true voice, constantly changing styles, and just being a bit uneducated to what I was doing, even though I loved through everything I was writing about, and felt that was enough to get me through.

Well, for the better part of 5 years, I've gone through the tedious task of compiling all the footage again, this time to DVD, courtesy of the various media hosting websites available to the public, before the big bad companies shut people down for trademark and copyright infringement. So, while I have disc after disc from the early 80's through the 2000's, I thought I would go back and do justice what I originally set out to do: Cover the on-going saga of the featured television, and try and piece together everything worth a damn from those glorious years (of course these years are considered lousy in hindsight, but whatever, I liked them). On top of the featured matches, I'll also be working on my extensive Fan-Cam collection, to give a bit of perspective of what the WWF was offering on the House Show circuit, in an era without regionally televised cards like MSG and the Spectrum. Outside of the 5 PPV's, it was rare to get a full broadcast of Superstar vs. Superstar matches. I've always hated doing long-winded introductions, but now that it's out of the way, we won't have to do it again, and jump into our first disc, January '93...

Mr. Perfect vs. The Berzerker:

From the January 2nd episode of SuperStars. Perfect was in a notable program with Ric Flair that would end disappointingly early. I'm still amazed, all these years later, Vince didn't do his best to keep Flair around until WrestleMania, but I guess it was that bad of an issue that he needed to take Flair off T.V. ASAP. The Berzerker was just a JTTS at this point, last having a "meaningful" role as a foil to the Undertaker before being replaced by Kamala. Slugfest to start, then a criss-cross, ending with Perfect knocking Berzerker out of the ring with a dropkick. Back inside, and Berzerker is "hammering away." Whip across the ring is reversed, but Perfect rams his own shoulder into the post. Berzerker with a swing of his sword, but it misses. Berzerker comes off the ropes with a big boot, but a charge sees him backdropped out of the ring. Suddenly, Ric Flair makes his way to ringside, just to remind everyone "hey, Ric Flair and Mr. Perfect hate each other now" (told ya'). Berzerker tries a sneak attack, but Perfect fights it off to continue taunting Flair. Berzerker with Sneak Attack Take 2, and that doesn't work either. Finally, THIRD TIME, Berzerker gains the upperhand... and we go to commercial. We return, with Berzerker planting Perfect with a powerslam for a two count. Irish whip, and Perfect counters a back drop attempt with the Perfect-Plex for the three count at 4:29. After the match, Perfect knocks Berzerker out of the ring with a dropkick, via the top rope... can this happen at the Royal Rumble?! * Quick and inoffensive.

Shawn Michaels (IC Champion) vs. "Jumping" Jim Brunzell:

From the January 3rd episode of Wrestling Challenge. While not an official "feature match", it's more competitive than you would think, more so than some of the other "features" from the weekend shows around this time. Lockup to start, and Michaels with a fireman carry takeover, followed by an arm drag. Brunzell with a side headlock, followed by an atomic drop and an arm drag, before cranking on the left wrist. Michaels takes it to the corner and nails Brunzell with a pair of elbows, but misses a charge. Brunzell takes Michaels down and goes back to working the arm. Brunzell attempts a roll up, but takes an elbow to the side of the head. Michaels with some stomping and choking, no doubt inspiring Hulk Hogan's heel offense a few years later. Michaels with a standing dropkick, but it's only about 0.8 on the Brunzell Scale™, and only gets a two count. Michaels with jabs in the corner, but Brunzell gets in rights of his own before taking a boot to the chest. Irish whip is reversed, and Brunzell slaps on a sleeper hold, but Michaels quickly breaks it with a jaw buster. Brunzell counters a slam with a small package for a two count. Brunzell rams Michaels to the buckle, does the Bees ear smack, and nails him with his signature dropkick for a two count. Brunzell comes off the ropes, but takes a super kick to the midsection, and THAT gets a three count at 5:28. **1/2 Well, I guess Michaels needed some time to perfect the move. It's always nice to see the Jobbers/stars of the past get some more offense than a few punches and a clothesline. There was canned reactions, but a few fans were diggin' it.

Tito Santana & Virgil vs. The Headshrinkers (w/ Afa):

From the January 4th, 1993 episode of Prime Time Wrestling, the last episode of Prime Time to air, before turning into some stupid, lame show called Monday Night Raw. Santana was already back to being a JTTS despite finding his roots, Virgil has been a JTTS for God knows how long, and the Headshrinkers are fairly new to the WWF, so they will probably win. That angle set up with the Natural Disasters seemed to go nowhere. Santana starts with Samu, and gets shoved off into the corner. Santana responds with an arm drag and dropkick. Santana grabs a headlock, then comes off the ropes with a shoulder block. Santana with an arm drag, then slaps on an armbar. Virgil tags in, and comes off the top with a sledge to the arm, then works a wristlock. Samu easily slugs his way free, but misses an elbow drop. Santana tags back in, and continues working the arm. Samu nails Santana across the back of the head, and Fatu finally gets the tag in, missing a headbutt. Virgil tags back in, and he grabs a headlock. Virgil ducks a clothesline and takes Fatu down with a crucifix for a two count. Virgil goes for another headlock, but a back suplex turns the tide. Fatu with a slam, followed by choking/biting. Samu tags back in and connects with a crescent kick. Whip to the corner, and Samu misses a charge. Santana gets the hot tag, and takes Samu over with a back drop, then nails Fatu with a dropkick. Santana hits the ropes and gets tripped by Afa, allowing the 'Shrinkers to work him over. We get a fake hot tag spot, then heel miscommunication, before we get the real hot tag. Virgil pounds away and hits a pair of ugly dropkicks. Virgil with a double DDT, but the 'Shrinkers no-sell that and give Virgil a double headbutt. Fatu heads to the top rope, and the big splash finishes Virgil off at 9:28. *1/2 Well, that was a bit tedious. How a victory over Virgil puts you in the running for top contenders is beyond my comprehension.

Shawn Michaels (IC Champion) vs. Skinner:

No, that is not a typo. Also from the January 4th episode of Prime Time. I always found it odd when they would do heel vs. heel pairings. Face vs. Face you can see happening, but heel vs. heel? Skinner is an even bigger JTTS than Berzerker. Michaels is rocking a powder blue belt, meaning the Warrior wasn't the only one who had a rotation of ungodly awful colored title straps. Lockup, and Skinner slaps the taste out of Shawn's mouth, then plants him with a slam, and sending HBK out of the ring. Michaels takes control momentarily, but gets nailed with a forearm to the throat. Irish whip, and Skinner with a boot to the midsection, followed by a swinging neck breaker. Skinner scoops Shawn up and connects with a shoulder breaker, but that only gets a two count. Skinner with an elbow, knocking Shawn out of the ring, once again. Skinner follows, but ends up being rammed into the ring post for being too aggressive. Michaels hangs Skinner up across the top rope, and chokes away. Michaels with a standing dropkick, and Skinner blatantly puts his hand in the way to block it. Ugh... Skinner with the comeback, hammering on Michaels with headbutts, then tosses Michaels over the top rope. Michaels slides back in between the legs, hits the super kick, and that's enough for the three count at 4:31. *1/2 I'm guessing they were introducing the super-kick as his new, can hit it at anytime, finisher, since his lame back suplex finisher wasn't that interesting for a top of the card heel. Tolerable match, nothing to really say about it other than "that was a short match."

"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan vs. Repo Man:

From the debut episode of Mania, on January 9th. This is definitely a new era of wrestling! Jim Duggan hasn't had a true program since... (thinks back) uh... (thinks more) shoe-horning into the Sgt. Slaughter/Iraq stuff in early 1991? Repo Man's last program was semi-more recent, hanging Davey Boy Smith and working house shows with him during the early summer of '92. Sean Mooney and Lord Alfred Hayes are calling the action... seems like old times. Lockup into the ropes, and Repo offers a cheap shot. Whip to the ropes, Duggan with an elbow, followed by a pair of clotheslines, sending Repo Man to the floor. Back inside, Repo attempts a sunset flip, but Duggan fights it off with a trio of rights. Duggan with an atomic drop, sending Repo outside once again. Repo takes over control, choking Duggan across the middle rope. Repo settles into a chinlock, but it's short-version. Duggan fights back with his usual limited offense (punch-punch). Whip to the corner, and Duggan with a scoop slam. Duggan sets up in the corner, and the clothesline finishes Repo Man off at 3:51. 1/2* That was surprisingly short.

Koko B. Ware vs. Yokozuna (w/ Mr. Fuji):

Yokozuna hasn't really seen much non-scrub competition other than squashing Virgil at the Survivor Series, and Koko is still a JTTS, teaming with "the Rocket" Owen Hart as "High Energy." Yokozuna is scheduled to compete in the Royal Rumble Match, and is an easy candidate for victory. Frankie is shockingly absent from ringside. Lockup, and Yokozuna tosses Koko across the ring. Koko tries a shoulder tackle, but it just knocks himself down. I'm sensing a pattern! Koko with a pair of dropkicks, but another stupid dive misses, and Yokozuna drops a big leg on him. Whip to the corner, and Yokozuna squashes Koko with his massive backside. Banzai Drop, and it's all over at 3:47. 1/4* About a minute of that was actual action. Just a squash match over a more recognizable name, nothing more, nothing less.

WWF Intercontinental Title Match:
Shawn Michaels © vs. Max Moon:

If Michaels is to retain his championship, he's defending the title against Marty Jannetty at the Rumble. Max Moon is just Paul Diamond under a goofy mask, pretending he's from Outer Space. Lockup, and Michaels takes Moon down with an arm drag. They exchange holds and counters until Moon takes Michaels over with a pair of arm drags, and plants him with a slam. Another criss-cross sequence, and Moon takes control with a hammerlock. Mild "Let's Go Shawn!" chant as we take a commercial break. Michaels sends Moon to the corner, but misses a charge. Moon attempts something in the corner, but gets dropped throat-first across the top rope. Irish whip, and Michaels connects with a dropkick. Suddenly, we see Doink (the Clown) hanging around in the aisle, with his arm in a sling. Inside the ring, and Moon with a roll up for a two count. Nothing happens, forcing me to comment on the awful Mike Tyson impersonation going on... seriously, what's the motivation for that one? Moon with another surprise roll up for a two count. Michaels nails Moon coming off the ropes with an elbow for a two count, then slaps on a chinlock. Moon fights free, then sling shots Michaels over the top rope, to the floor. Moon to the apron, and he sits across Michaels chest. Back in the ring, and Moon follows Michaels into the corner with a heel kick, followed by a rolling senton for a two count. Moon with a slam, but he misses another senton. Michaels with the crescent kick, but doesn't cover. Instead, he hits that back suplex, and that gets the three count at 7:55. * Yeah, the crescent/super kick is definitely a better move for Shawn, but it needed something... something to get the fans to take notice of the spot. Match was boring as ass, by the way.

The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. Damien Demento:

The "main event" of the night. As mentioned over the years, don't get me started on what main event means. Damian Demento is just a low-card heel with nothing to do, other than to look up at the lights for three-seconds... see also Skinner, Berzerker. Demento doesn't even get a true entrance, just a "already in the ring" kind of deal. Demento has one of those ridiculous hometowns only an early 90's wrestling promotion could come up with... the Outer Reaches of Your Mind. Demento with a series of rights, but he quickly eats canvas. Undertaker heads to the top rope, and it's Undertaker going old school before it was old school. Undertaker with choking, but he meets the boots on a charge. Demento with some token offense, but Undertaker comes off the ropes with a diving clothesline, and the Tombstone Piledriver ends things quickly at 2:21. DUD SQUASH! Hey, was that Vladimir the Superfan hanging around the front row?

Yokozuna (w/ Mr. Fuji) vs. Jim Powers:

OK, so this isn't a Feature Match, either, but it's a Mania EXCLUSIVE, from January 16th, 1993. Taped from the Manhattan Center, meaning Yokozuna got double duty that night. Sean Mooney and Lord Alfred are calling the "action" we're about to witness. I'm sure there's a handful of people out there that are glad to find out that Powers did come out to "Crank It Up." Powers avoids Yokozuna's attempts at a lock-up, but stupidly runs into him for a shoulder tackle. I guess Roma WAS the brains of the Young Stallions. Powers with clotheslines, with little effect. Yokozuna drops him with an elbow, followed by the belly-to-belly suplex. Yoko crushes Powers in the corner, and finishes him off with the Banzai Drop at 2:56. 3/4* It was slightly better than the squash of Koko. Mooney/Hayes stinking it up is still better than Rob Bartlett.

Mr. Perfect vs. "Terrific" Terry Taylor:

From the January 18th, 1993 episode of Monday Night Raw. Taylor comes out to his old Red Rooster theme, minus the Rooster call, of course. The smark heavy crowd doesn't need that to provoke a response, chanting "Rooster" at him throughout the match. He's another in a long line of JTTS heels, so we could easily expect a clean finish to this one. Commentary is distracted by Randy Savage being mugged of his hat by the Repo Man. I'm not kidding. Taylor hen-pecks Perfect and quickly gets embarrassed with an easy takedown. Taylor with more trash talking, so Perfect cock-slaps him. OK, enough Rooster references. Whip to the corner, arm drag and a dropkick from Perfect, sending Taylor to the floor for a breather. Back inside, Perfect remains in control with a side headlock and armbar. We return from commercial, with Taylor sending Hennig to the floor with a handful of tights. Back inside, Taylor connects with a jaw-buster and continues putting the boots to Perfect. Back breaker for two. Snapmare from out of the corner, and Taylor slaps on a chinlock. Perfect fights free, but walks into a nifty Spinebuster. Taylor with a gutwrench into a Powerbomb, but it only gets two. Perfect mounts a comeback as Ric Flair makes his way to ringside. Taylor tries to take advantage of the situation, but he takes too long setting up for a suplex, allowing Hennig to counter with the Perfect-Plex for three at 8:01. **1/2 Solid match, nothing spectacular. It's easily one of the best matches on the compilation... so far.

"El Matador" Tito Santana vs. Ric Flair:

Also from the January 18th episode of Monday Night Raw. Hmm... you don't think we'll be seeing Mr. Perfect again, do you? If I recall correctly, these two had a pretty good TV match a few months back at the SummerSlam Spectacular. I know, Flair and Santana having a good match together? SHOCKING! Update on Repo Man: He also took Rob Bartlett's car. He was looking for his comedy, but couldn't find it. Santana grabs a headlock and comes off the ropes with a shoulder block. They do it again, and ends the sequence with a side headlock takeover. Loud "Let's Go Flair" chant as Santana remains in control. Savage actually acknowledges the Pro-Flair crowd. We come back from commercials with Santana failing at a monkey flip attempt. Flair with a roll-over cover for two. Flair with his signature knee drop and trash talking for Savage. We confirm a match for next week: Randy Savage vs. the Repo Man! Flair with chops (WOO!... the crowd actually did Woo). Santana mounts a comeback until taking a thumb to the eyes. Flair to the top, and naturally gets slammed off. Whip to the corner, Flair lands on the apron, and falls on his face. Santana follows, connecting with a clothesline. Santana goes for a body press (or maybe the El Paso Picante Sauce), but Flair ducks. Here's Perfect, pulling Flair to the floor, and it's a SLUGFEST! No-bell, but let's say Flair by Disqualification at around the 6:15 mark. ** Decent match, short on time. Obviously used more to further the Flair/Perfect angle. They do a pull-apart brawl for about 5 minutes until agreeing to face each other NEXT WEEK, with the loser having to leave the WWF FOREVER!

"Macho Man" Randy Savage vs. Repo Man:

From the January 25th, 1993 episode of Monday Night Raw, one day removed from the Royal Rumble. Last week on Raw, Repo Man stole one of Savage's cherished hats, and now it's time for revenge! Hey, at least there's a reason it's happening. We got a bit of a teaser between the two during the Rumble Match, including Savage dumping Repo Man on his arse. Savage attacks during Repo's entrance, takes him down with a snapmare on the floor, and drops a knee across the throat. Repo tries tossing Savage to the floor, but Savage lands on his feet and sends him to the floor with a running high knee. Bartlett dares make reference to Savage's bald spot, no doubt inspiring all the jokes for the Billionaire Ted segments. Repo finally takes control, ramming Savage into the ring steps. Back inside, Repo with a snapmare and body scissors. Crowd is fairly quiet. Repo screaming "You can't do this to me" reminds me of the Mountie being dragged off to jail. We come back from commercial break with Repo still in control. Another snapmare and a leg drop gets two. Savage fights out of a body scissors, but a clothesline puts him back down. Back suplex gets a two count. The commentary team of Vince, Heenan, and Bartlett seem more concerned talking about the President inauguration and what the wives of Clinton and Gore were wearing. Savage makes the big comeback, plants Repo with a slam, and finishes him off with the Flying Elbow Drop at 8:55. *1/2 Decent when Savage was in control, but things slowed the fruck down once Repo started getting the majority of the offense. I hated how predictable babyface Savage matches were at the time. Short period of offense, long and boring heel beatdown, quick comeback and Elbow to finish. Oh, and Savage reclaims the hat, because Hats mean more than the WWF Championship.

Kamala (w/ Reverend Slick) vs. The Brooklyn Brawler:

Also from the January 25th episode of Raw. Smart fans will probably get the inside joke that the Brooklyn Brawler is also the masked man known as Kim-Chee, former handler of Kamala until Slick (now a babyface and man of faith, a true-to-life character) convinced him he's a man who deserves to be treated as more than a savage beast. Could you believe Kamala vs. KIM CHEE was one of the matches that the Event Center tried hyping as something worth seeing? Sure, it was on an undercard with stuff like Bret vs. Bam Bam and Perfect vs. Razor, but still... Brawler attacks before the bell, and I'm guessing "punch and kick" will be seen and said, A LOT. Kamala blocks a slam and counters with his own. Incredibly weak "You are a man!" chant. Kamala with the 1993 version of a stink-face. I'm sure Lombardi has done much worse in the privacy of other people's hotel rooms. Kamala with the big splash, and after several failed attempts, manages to cover the Brawler for the three count at 3:34. 1/2* Standard squash match. I get the point of having the crowd guide Kamala into a proper cover, but damn was it annoying to watch on a weekly basis.

Loser Leaves the WWF: Mr. Perfect vs. Ric Flair:

After nearly three months of name calling, run-in's, and more name calling, it's the final encounter: Someone has to go, and go for good. It's unfortunate this episode of Raw was taped in advance, killing the suspense for the IWC (which consisted of about 53 people). As a youngster, I remember being genuinely concerned of Perfect losing. Lockup to the corner, and Perfect offers some slaps. That's not very sportsman-like! Perfect with a drop toe hold and more slapping, just to get inside Flair's head. I should note ahead of time: Bartlett remains (mostly) quiet the entire match, so we're spared horrible comedy routines that would otherwise ruin a good match. Flair and Heenan converse at ringside, with Heenan smuggling the timekeeper hammer under his jacket. Zuh?! Back in, Flair tries to wrestle Hennig to the canvas, but gets trapped in a hammerlock. Flair escapes with an elbow and unloads with chops. Perfect turns the tables, unleashing his own stinging chops. Flair with a headlock takeover, and Perfect counters with a head scissors. They trade blows in the corner, with Perfect gaining the upperhand. Flair thumbs the eyes and tosses Hennig to the floor. He teases using a chair, but the referee yanks it away.

Back from commercial, Flair blocks a sunset flip and nails Perfect with a right between the eyes. Whip to the corner, Hennig flips over and slaps his face on the post. Hennig is bleeding, which could be accidental blood-shed considering the no-blood policy, but people like Bret Hart did it anyway, so who knows. I don't recall Perfect ever blading before in the WWF. Flair uses the ropes to try and steal a pinfall, but Perfect keeps kicking out at two. Hennig reverses a whip to the corner and lays him out with a big right hand. Float-over cover only gets two. Back slide for another two count. Whip to the corner and Perfect with a back drop. Perfect in the corner with mounted punches until Flair counters with an inverted atomic drop. Flair with a school boy for a near fall. Flair finds himself on the apron, only to be brought back in with a suplex. Whip to the ropes, Flair hooks a sleeper hold. Perfect with momentum to ram Flair to the buckle and break the hold. Whip is reversed, and it looks like a botched leap frog is turned into a takedown and Perfect hooking his own sleeper hold. Flair finds his way out of it this time, bringing Perfect to the canvas with a back suplex. Flair hooks the Figure-Four, and yes, he uses the ropes for leverage. I don't think Flair did a single move to target the leg, which seems uncharacteristic of him. Referee Earl Hebner sees the cheating and forces the break. Flair with a snapmare. He goes to the top rope, and one guess what happens.

We come back from another commercial break, with both men struggling to get to their feet. Flair digs into his knee pad and finds a foreign object. He lays Perfect out with it, but Perfect finds something deep inside to kick out at two! Maybe he's a closet Hulkamaniac? Flair hooks the leg again, but still only gets two. Flair with a series of short rights to the cut on Perfect's forehead. Perfect starts doing his best impression of Sting and Lex Luger, no-selling Flair's chops. He shoots Flair to the corner and takes him over with a back drop. Another huge right puts Flair on his ass. Whip to the corner, Flair to the apron, then to the top, and he jumps into a clothesline from Perfect. It only gets a two count. Flair begs him off and sweeps the legs, but even feet on the ropes can't get more than a two count. Perfect counters into an odd cradle for another two count. Whip to the ropes, Flair sets too early for a back drop, and the Perfect-Plex ends Ric Flair's WWF career at 17:53 (minus two commercial breaks). Heenan throws a hissy fit at ringside in response. **** I'm being just a tad bit generous there, as I feel it could've been better, but they kept a steady pace and put on a pretty spectacular match for early 90's WWF Television. It's also pretty historic for being the first "classic" match in Monday Night Raw History. It's a shame that something couldn't have been worked out to keep Flair until WrestleMania. I could only imagine how awesome that match could've been on a stage like WrestleMania.

Closing things out with some Royal Rumble '93 Comments... Yes, I've recapped the 1993 Royal Rumble PPV before, and I'm sure my opinion hasn't changed much, but I just wanted to comment on a few things that tie into the television product, and stuff that just seemed like it's worth mentioning one last time...

For more into what the WWF was offering in the month of January, check out reviews of their House Shows at the Boston Garden on January 9th, Reno, NV on January 23rd and the Headlock on Hunger SuperCard from Madison Square Garden on January 29tha>.

Final Thoughts: January was definitely the month of Mr. Perfect, being featured quite a bit in competitive matches, and used often to further his program with Ric Flair, culminating in an early Match of the Year candidate on Monday Night Raw. Shawn Michaels was being forced down our throats, a trend that would continue for a good majority of 1993. With the Rumble having come and gone, with only Yokozuna winning being anything of significance coming out of the PPV, it'll be interesting to see how WrestleMania starts being set up. Hopefully there will be plenty of matches to help me explain things, otherwise I might have to devote a closing topic to touch base on stuff that wasn't represented through feature matches. This was a fun "waste" of 2 and a half hours, and hopefully it won't be too long before I start working on February '93.

back to OTHER Reviews Index