WWF Monday Night Raw - January 18, 1993
-Vince McMahon introduces the show, airing from the Manhattan Center in New York City! Repo Man quickly jumps Randy Savage, who’s on the commentary team, and flees into the crowd before he can face any consequences.
Terrific Terry Taylor vs. Mr. Perfect
Taylor talks some smack, but Perfect isn’t intimidated. Taylor complains to the referee after recovering from a takedown. Savage joins McMahon at the announce table, and they take time to discuss the Repo Man. Meanwhile, Taylor chops Perfect into the corner. Perfect rebounds with a hard Irish whip, drop-kick, and tosses Taylor to the floor (all without breaking much of a sweat!). On commentary, Savage is complaining because Repo Man stole his hat. They remember there is a match in progress, and Perfect is working a headlock (as the crowd chants “We want Flair!”). The commentators receive a call from Bobby Heenan, distracting us from Taylor’s comeback. Perfect gets an armdrag and locks the arm. Taylor and Perfect are fighting pretty evenly until Perfect locks the arm again, as we head to commercial…
… after the break, Taylor pulls Perfect by the tights to the floor. Taylor introduces Perfect’s skull to the guard rail and takes some cheap shots. Jawbreaker by Taylor and some angry stomping (because he’s the heel). McMahon hangs up on Heenan, and learns he’s being stuck with the phone bill (you have to love Bobby Heenan). Taylor lands some head-butts and a snapmare for the chinlock! The crowd is distracted by some random “Ric Flair sucks” chants. Taylor plants Perfect and attempts the cover to no avail. Taylor hit’s a power bomb variation but cannot get the cover. A slugfest erupts, with Perfect gaining control. Atomic drop by Perfect who then snaps Taylor’s head to the mat. Perfect is distracted by Ric Flair at ringside. Taylor rams Perfect to the floor, where Flair is ready to attack. Flair dishes out punishment (which the ref completely misses). Perfect is rolled into the ring where he manages to hit the Perfect-plex for the win anyhow at 8:00. Okay-ish match, Perfect was always a joy to watch in the ring, **¼.
Winner: Mr. Perfect
-Vince McMahon invites the World Wrestling Federation Champion, Bret Hart, to the ring for an interview. They are less than a week away from the Royal Rumble, where Hart is defending the title against Razor Ramon. Hart takes offense to Ramon’s threats to his brother and father. Hart says you don’t think about slapping a 78 year old man, even though I’m sure that Stu Hart wouldn’t have had a problem dismantling the entire WWF roster with his bare hands, even at that age. Vince asks about what strategy Bret will use at the Rumble. Hart puts himself over as the best, using the championship as proof, and he plans on throwing the rules out the window when it comes to beating Ramon. This was a serviceable promo by the champion.
Marty Jannetty vs. Glen Ruth
Ruth jumps Jannetty from behind, but he’s not good enough to keep the advantage. Hard Irish whip by Jannetty, who then works the arm. Meanwhile, the commentators get a phone call from Shawn Michaels. I guess when you only have an hour of television, you have to fit these interviews in somehow. Jannetty continues to dominate Ruth with an armdrag. HBK is trashing Jannetty over the phone and promises to defeat Jannetty at the Rumble. Jannetty continues to work on Ruth’s arm. Jannetty rolls out of a wristlock and applies a hammerlock, and a cover. Ruth pummels Jannetty into the corner, but that only angers the former Rocker. Hard Irish whip by Jannetty, who then goes back to work on the arm. Ruth shoulders his way to freedom, but gets planted face first by Jannetty’s leg. Jannetty gets the cover for the win at 5:10. This was a rather boring extended squash match, *.
Winner: Marty Jannetty
-We take a look back at the last edition of WWF Superstars, where Crush and Doink the Clown had a confrontation. Doink offered a flower as a peace offering, before landing a cheap shot with a mannequin arm and pummeling him with it. Say what you will about later incarnations of this character, evil Doink was pure gold.
-Sean Mooney is outside the building, looking for an interview with Repo Man (who’s sporting Savage’s hat). Repo Man is happy because he finally got Savage’s attention. Savage challenges Repo Man to a match tonight. Repo accepts the match and jumps for joy.
-After a break, we hear from Sean Mooney again. Randy Savage is outside with him, looking all over the place for the Repo Man.
El Matador vs. Ric Flair
This one should be good. They lock up and Tito Santana (I’m not calling him “El Matador” in this play by play, I absolutely refuse) goes for the headlock (Editor's Note: fine. Call him "Chico"). Flair is too fast and crafty, but he gets planted with a body slam and a side headlock takedown. Santana works the head. Flair tries to kick out of the headlock using the turnbuckles, but Santana holds on. Shoulder tackle by Santana and a clothesline and drop-kick. Side headlock takedown by Santana gets a cover for 2. And we’re off to a commercial.
After the break, Flair blocks a monkey flip. Flair regains control by poking the eyes. Flair follows up with a series of jabs on the eyes of poor Tito Santana. Snapmare by Flair and a knee drop. Meanwhile, McMahon announces that the Repo Man/Savage match will take place next week. Phooey. Back to the match, Flair lands some chops and smashes. Santana rebounds with a hard Irish whip and big back body drop. Flair thumbs the eyes and heads to the top rope. Santana catches Flair and plants him on the mat. Flair begs for mercy, but receives none. Flair suffers a hard Irish whip and flops to ringside. Big clothesline on the floor by Santana. The action returns to the ring, where Flair begs again. Big back body drop by Santana and a knee lift to the face. Running clothesline by Santana, who appears to have Flair’s number. Unfortunately, Flair ducks a charging Santana, and his momentum sends him crashing to ringside. Mr. Perfect runs in and attacks Flair, leading to a ringside brawl. WWF officials run out and attempt to break them up. The match appears to end at a no contest at 6:55 (shown). It was a good match up until the non-finish. **½
-After the break, the Flair/Perfect brawl is still in progress. Flair cuts an angry promo. He claims the WW(beep) isn’t big enough for himself and Perfect. Flair demands a match with Perfect, with the loser leaving the Federation. Flair storms out. McMahon asks Perfect for a response. Perfect accepts the match “in a heart beat.” Perfect puts the upcoming match over as the final battle between the two greatest athletes in the WWF.
-Outside the building, Repo Man is still running around with Macho Man’s hat. Repo Man steals a car to end the show.
Final Thoughts: They sure did pack in a lot of angle advancement in a short program. They built up the Royal Rumble very nicely and it was nice having some self contained, week to week, feuds such as Flair/Perfect and Repo Man/Savage to develop. The wrestling was pretty solid, so this made for an enjoyable viewing.
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