The SmarK Rant for WWF Monday Night RAW–09.27.93

The SmarK Legacy Rant for Monday Night RAW – September 27 1993

– JACK TUNNEY~! Announces that Shawn Michaels has failed to fulfill contractual stuff and missed dates and thus is STRIPPED of the Intercontinental title. For those keeping track, this was his first time dropping a title without dropping it in the ring. The “actual” reason was Shawn failing a drug test, but Shawn still denies that one, so who the hell knows what the real reason was. Either way, he’s gone for a while. So next week it’s a battle royale, and the last two face off for the title the week after that.

– Live from New Haven, CT, as the post-Manhattan Center era begins.

– Your hosts are Vince, Bobby and Macho.

Tatanka v. Rick Martel

Good god, the ugly graphics are back. This is a rematch of their epic at Wrestlemania VIII. Vince says “Mix it up in a rough-house fashion” TWICE before they even lock up, so you know this one’s gonna be awesome. Tatanka takes him down with a headlock, but Martel escapes and does jumping jacks. Why did they bother bringing Martel back? He’s the same stale boring heel who bored everyone from 1989 until 1992 and brought nothing new to the table here. And it’s not like I have anything against him as a worker or anything, but geez, find something new to do with the character. Martel stalls so long that even Macho Man makes fun of him for it, and then catches Tatanka with a sneak attack back in the ring and pounds away in the corner. Tatanka botches a crossbody out of the corner and then repeats the spot (which ends up with him missing the move anyway) and Martel actually pulls out a Backstabber and we take a break. We’re back and Macho notes that Martel “is all over Tatanka like melting butter”. And yet they suspended SHAWN for drugs. Martel with an abdominal stretch, which Tatanka escapes pretty easily and then gets his own. I’m gonna play Gorilla Monsoon here and note that they both suck at it. Tatanka misses a blind charge and Martel gets a backdrop suplex (or “side suplex” in Vince’s world) for two. Martel with a slingshot splash that misses badly, but he recovers and gets a slam, then works on the back with a rear chinlock. The crowd is totally dead for this and it’s way past time to take this yawnfest home. Tatanka obliges with the PISSED OFF RACIAL STEREOTYPE COMEBACK and he goes up with the flying chop, but Martel tosses him. And so help me god, they actually brawl outside for the double countout at 10:45. They’re protecting RICK FUCKING MARTEL with this bullshit finish? Yeah, I know why, but COME ON. *1/2

– Next week: IRS, Macho Man, Adam Bomb, Giant Gonzalez, Mr. Perfect, Owen Hart, Rick Martel, Jimmy Snuka, Bob Backlund, Pierre, Jacques (still not acknowledged as a former champ), Mabel, Razor Ramon, Diesel, MVP, 1-2-3 Kid, Bam Bam Bigelow, Marty Jannetty, Tatanka and Bastion Booger compete in the battle royale for the I-C title! A real who’s who of everyone who happened to be at the tapings!

Ludvig Borga v. Phil Apollo

Borga clotheslines him out of the corner and follows with a sideslam, then a spinebuster. He tosses Apollo and clotheslines him on the floor. Back in, delayed suplex and elbowdrop follow, and the torture rack finishes.

Jimmy Snuka v. Paul Van Dale

Snuka looks old and very very de-roided. Criss-cross and Snuka headbutts the jobber down, but Dale chokes him out on the ropes while Bobby does the weekly phone call with Crush and drums up problems with Randy Savage by insinuating that Macho Man kept Crush out of the battle royale next week. Vince is shocked that someone would think politics would ever influence things in the WWF. Snuka finishes this boring squash with a slingshot suplex and superfly splash. The phone call was far more entertaining than the match.

Meanwhile, IRS is holed up in his office, and in a weird moment Vince calls him “Mr. Rotundo” instead of “Mr. Shyster”. Live TV!

WWF World tag titles: The Quebecers v. 1-2-3 Kid & Barry Horowitz

Barry actually gets promo time, as he reveals that Reno Riggins is home sick with the flu, so Kid is subbing instead. Vince’s indignation because he thought it would be worthy competition, like Well Dunn, is pretty funny. Kid cleans house with dropkicks and even Barry gets to throw one. Back in, Jacques offers a handshake to the Kid while Pierre attacks from behind. Because he’s na├»ve, you see. Pierre levels him with a lariat and adds a press slam. Jacques slams Pierre onto Kid, and then Pierre slams Jacques on him for two. They drop Kid on the top rope and Jacques tries a cross-body, but misses. Kid spinkicks him out of the ring and Jacques is OUT. Johnny tries to revive him while wearing hockey gloves, which is a hilarious visual. Bobby helpfully hands him a tiny cup of water, but that doesn’t wake him up, so the refs bring out a stretcher. Finkel declares that THE MATCH MUST CONTINUE when we return. So Pierre is on his own against Barry Horowitz, but fights on with a top rope legdrop while we get a cut-in of Jacques in the back, still unconscious. Pierre tosses Horowitz back to his own corner, allowing Kid to come back in, but he puts him down with a clothesline anyway. Kid makes the comeback with kicks, but misses a spinkick and splats on the floor. Polo tosses him back in and Pierre pins him to retain at 9:53. This crowd really sucked the fun out of this, because this should have been an awesome piece of business where they were stacking the deck against the Quebecers in every way possible and getting Kid over as an underdog threat, but it just never clicked. I wanted to like it so much, though. **1/2

Razor Ramon cuts his promo about the battle royale next week to wrap things up.