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WWF Monday Night Raw - January 11 1993
by SamoaRowe

-The show opens with Sean Mooney standing outside the Manhattan Center. Bobby Heenan storms by, insisting on being a part of the show, despite Mooney's claim that he has been replaced. Heenan throws an entertaining tantrum, and we cut to the intro package.

-Vince McMahon, Randy Savage, and Rob Bartlett are our hosts for the evening. Vince gives his now legendary "Welcome to Monday Night Raw" introduction. Savage is doing a good job pretending that he isn't pissed about working on commentary.

Koko B. Ware vs. Yokozuna (with Mr. Fuji)
I smell a squash. It feels strange knowing that this was the first ever match in the history of Raw. There is a bit of stalling in the early going, with Ware playing to the rowdy NYC crowd. They finally lock up, with Yokozuna tossing Ware to the mat. Ware responds by playing to the crowd by clapping. I don't see how that will help him win, but I digress. Yokozuna shoves Ware down again. Ware attempts a shoulder tackle, but bounces off the formidable Samoan sumo star. Since the first tackle attempt worked so well, Ware tries again, to similar results. Ware hits a series of drop-kicks, but gets grounded. Yokozuna hits a fat leg drop. Yokozuna chokes Ware and tosses him into the turnbuckles. Running splash to the corner by Yokozuna, who then climbs the turnbuckles and hits the banzai drop for the win at 3:45. This was some boring squashing, not the best way to kick this program off, DUD.
Winner: Yokozuna

-An ad for the Royal Rumble plays. I bet you are all looking forward to Bret Hart vs. Razor Ramon for the WWF title.

-Some awful looking skank with a dated early 90's haircut shows off a "Raw" sign in the ring. This makes me yearn for Maria and the kiss-cam.

-Backstage, Bobby Heenan has words for Mr. Perfect. Heenan is hyping up the Narcissist, who is more perfect than Curt Hennig. The Narcissist is making his debut at the Royal Rumble, you'd better order it.

Scott and Rick Steiner vs. The Executioners
Scott destroys an Executioner. This is back before Scott got carried away with steroids and freaks, so he is actually capable of serving out an impressive beat-down. Meanwhile, "Dork" the clown is in the audience, enjoying this match, for some random reason. It's actually Doink, but the commentators have fun at his expense. In the ring, Rick tags in and continues the massacre of the Executioners. Scott takes out both Executioners at ringside, knocking their heads together. Back in the ring, Rick slams one of the masked jobbers and tags in Scott, who applies an overhead belly to belly suplex. The Executioners make a tag, but Scott doesn't care. Double underhook slam by Scott kills the jobber. Scott positions the jobber for the top rope bulldog by Rick, which picks up the win for the Steiners at 3:04. Entertaining squash, 3/4*.
Winners: Rick and Scott Steiner

-Outside the building, a hideous looking woman claiming to be Rob Barlett's aunt is trying to get past security. The woman turns out to be Bobby Heenan, who is still trying to get into the building. The Heenan antics have been the highlights of the show thus far.

-After a bunch of commercials (starring WWF stars) we get an in-ring interview with Razor Ramon, conducted by Vince McMahon. Razor says he was "born ready" for the chance to be the WWF Champion. Vince points out that Bret Hart had a long road to the WWF title, and Razor is a relative newcomer. Razor scoffs at this fact and puts himself over as needing only eight and a half months to catch up to Bret Hart. We take a look back at Razor attacking Owen Hart during an interview. Gee, that was harsh. Razor says that Bret can't do anything about protecting Owen or about keeping his WWF title at the Rumble.

-Backstage, Tatanka cuts a goofy promotion, putting over the WWF's "Headlock on Hunger" campaign.

Intercontinental Championship: Shawn Michaels (c) vs. Max Moon
I bet you didn't know that Konnan used to be a robot? Armdrag by HBK, giving me hope that this match won't be nonsense. Moon reverses a hammerlock, which is broken right away. Moon goes for a back suplex, but HBK counters. HBK goes off the ropes and finds himself the victim of some arm drags by Moon. Scoop slam by Moon sends HBK into the ropes to regain himself. The match restarts with a lock-up. HBK takes control, but Moon ducks and slams HBK and applies the hammerlock. We head to a commercial.

After the break, HBK has Moon in the corner. Irish whip with authority by HBK, but Moon escapes the follow-up. HBK catches Moon on his shoulders and drops him on the ropes. Drop-kick by HBK, who then gloats for the crowd's enjoyment. Meanwhile, Doink is hanging out at ringside again. Back in the ring, Moon rolls up HBK for a near fall. The commentators are busy pretending to talk to Mike Tyson about the show. I'm amazed that they thought this would be funny. It still beats Katie Vick, so I'll stop whining. HBK has been in control of the match and has just been punching and stomping, really vanilla stuff if you ask me. HBK hits an elbow and goes for the cover. Cue the chinlock by HBK. Moon fights to his feet and slingshots HBK over the ropes to the floor. Moon hits a senton off the apron onto the dazed HBK. Moon hits a flurry of high-flying offense, complete with a cradle pinning predicament. Moon hits a body slam, but misses a splash. HBK comes back with the Sweet Chin Music. Moon escapes a suplex, but HBK hits another one right away, giving him the win at 8:08 (shown). This was really uninspiring stuff, *1/4.
Winner and still Intercontinental Champion: Shawn Michaels

-Royal Rumble report: Mean Gene shills the upcoming pay-per-view. They announce Shawn Michaels vs. Marty Jannetty at the show. This transitions into an HBK promo, who is willing to give Marty a title shot even though he doesn't deserve one. HBK feels that Sensational Sherrie will be in his corner. Next, we get a Marty Jannetty promo, who promises a title win and the end of HBK's career. Jannetty is confident that Sherrie will be in HIS corner. Wow, how puzzling. Next, Mean Gene talks about the Rumble, and goes through some of the participants, which includes Ric Flair, Jerry Lawler, Bob Backlund, IRS, and Mr. Perfect. We get some words from Mr. Perfect, who we should all miss badly. You know, it wouldn't be a terrible idea for WWE to use this format to hype pay-per-views now. It would work better than what they do now, with only having the same two people trying to sell the entire show.

-Outside the building, fans are already in line to buy tickets for the next Raw taping. Bobby Heenan tries sneaking in again, this time as a stereotypical Jewish man, complete with a fake beard.

-We take a moment to look back at WWF Superstars, where Reverend Slick stood up for Kamala against his handlers. Kamala got all fired up and turned face.

Damien Demento vs. The Undertaker (with Paul Bearer)
Wow, Damien is pretty much the 1993 version of Snitsky. I'm glad that some things never change. Damien throws a couple of shots, which Undertaker proceeds to no-sell. Taker slams Damien's head into the mat. Taker does his "old-school" spot, even though this is 1993, so this was cutting edge at the time. Taker chokes Damien in the corner. Taker charges, but Damien gets a boot up. Damien goes to the second rope, but Taker blocks him. Shoulder block by Damien sends Taker to the mat, but he gets right back up. Running shoulder block by Undertaker crushes Damien. Taker hits the tombstone piledriver, keeping things mercifully short at 2:26. Had this gone any longer, it would have gotten ugly, 1/4*.
Winner: The Undertaker

Next week: Woody Allen faces Mia Farrow in a cage match. More stupid pop-culture humor.

-Vince McMahon interviews Doink. He asks Doink about Crush being angry over the way that he makes children cry. We are joined by Crush, who tries to verbally put Doink in his place. Doink doesn't seem to give a rat's ass, so Crush chases him around the ring.

-Outside, Sean Mooney lets Bobby Heenan know that he is finally allowed to go into the building. Sadly, the show is over. Better luck next time, Brain.

Final Thoughts: This is worth watching for historical reasons, being that it was the first ever Monday Night Raw. It also helps put things into perspective to see the similarities to the 1993 product and the 2007 version. The wrestling itself is nothing memorable, being as this was filled with squash matches, and the one match that got time was really sloppy and dull. So avoid if you want to watch a good show, but watch if you are interested in the history.

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