January 18th, 1993
From the Manhattan Center in New York City, NY
Your hosts are Vince McMahon, Randy Savage, and Rob Bartlett
The show starts off with Rob Bartlett holding up a picture of Bobby Heenan then tearing it up as he says “fight the real enemy.” Immediately afterwards we see the Repo Man attack Randy Savage from behind and run off with his hat. We get an unexpected attack to start off the show which is a not only a change of pace but adds to the unpredictable nature of a live show.
Terry Taylor vs. Mr. Perfect
Bartlett talks about struggling to find a parking space as Vince says Savage is on the prowl looking for Repo Man. Taylor in plain black trunks instead of that atrocious gear he was wearing on the 12/28 “Prime Time Wrestling” show. Taylor stalls after getting slapped as Savage returns saying that attack from Repo Man was in the top 10 of his attacks and wants him now. Taylor bails after a flurry of offense from Perfect then bails again as Savage is pissed to learn that Repo Man stole his hat. Perfect beats on Taylor in the corner as we hear from Heenan, who is on the phone, pissed over Bartlett tearing up his photo and will tear off his cheap sports coat if he does it again. We go to break and return with Taylor pulling Perfect outside then going out and ramming him into the guardrail. Taylor pulls Perfect back into the ring and hits a jawbreaker then Heenan laughs before saying it was a collect call so he won’t be paying the bill. Taylor almost puts Perfect away with a backbreaker then applies a chinlock. Taylor cuts off a comeback and hits a gutwrench powerbomb for two. Perfect fights back quickly after that and uses a neck snap after an inverted atomic drop then Ric Flair comes out to challenge Perfect. Taylor sends Perfect outside with a high knee and Flair chops Perfect as the ref was distracted. Perfect is rolled inside but blocks a suplex then hits the Perfect Plex for the win (9:28) **3/4.
Thoughts: Good action while it lasted. Taylor had a good showing but it would never amount to any sort of push or anything but the real story is the Perfect/Flair feud that has really heated up over the past week.
Vince McMahon is in the ring and welcomes Bret Hart for an interview. Bret has little respect for Razor Ramon due to the attack on Owen and Razor’s talk about slapping his 78 year old dad across the face. Bret then calls himself the “Excellence of Execution” and says the belt means he is the best wrestler but will throw that rule book out of the window at the Rumble as he promises to beat up Razor and show he is also the toughest, meanest, and best. The promo was basic, with Bret saying he will get down and dirty to win this match and not just relying on his technical ability, as they hype up the title match at the Rumble.
Marty Jannetty vs. Glen Ruth
Ruth attacks Marty from behind but Marty immediately fights back. Marty works the arm as the announcers talk about whose corner Sensational Sherri will be in at the Rumble. Shawn Michaels is now on the phone as he talks about making The Rockers successful and promises to retain the Intercontinental Title at the Rumble. Marty suplexes Ruth then goes over to the camera and states he will be the next IC before applying an armbar. Shawn then says that Sherri will do whatever he asks as Ruth fights back. Ruth beats on Marty in the corner but Marty turns it around. Shwan has hung up as Marty stays in control then finally puts Ruth away with a Rocker Dropper (5:12).
Thoughts: Long squash match to provide a backdrop for Shawn to call-in and hype his match against Marty at the Rumble. They also speculated as to which corner Sherri will be in with Shawn once again saying Sherri will do whatever he says.
An ad for the Royal Rumble airs.
Crush getting attacked by Doink from “Superstars” was shown. I was reading a back issue of the “Wrestling Observer Newsletter” from this time period and apparently this angle received bad press from the “New York Daily News” TV writer Bob Raissman. Here is what Raissman said about this angle:
“On the flip side of credibility, you have the kind of sleaze only the World Wrestling Federation is capable of generating. The toilet bowl Vince “Sir Swill” McMahon operates has no bottom. On Saturday’s show, seen on Ch. 5, character Doink the Clown attacked wrestler Crush from behind with phony plaster cast. With paramedics placing a spine board under Crush’s back, McMahon gushed about the possibility of Crush injuring his neck and vertebra. Considering the seriousness of recent injury suffered by Dennis Byrd, the script McMahon was working form could have been written only by an insensitive lowlife concerned only with exploiting the misery of others–and all in place to entertain your children.”
An ad for WWF Mania airs.
Back to the announcers as Savage said the word on the street is that Doink’s prosthetic arm was filled with led. Vince believes that Crush has suffered a concussion but will find out more this weekend. I do like how they are hinting the arm was loaded because that makes sense as to how the injury was perceived on TV.
We cut outside as Sean Mooney has located the Repo Man, who is holding Savage’s hat. Repo Man brags about the attack and said Savage deserved it while we go split screen to see a pissed off Savage. We now hear from Savage, promising Repo a “Monday Night RAW hangover” but Repo says the next attack will be even worse. Savage then challenges Repo to a New York Street fight as Repo taunts Savage with the hat. Looks like Savage vs. Repo Man is going to happen soon.
The Royal Rumble Report from this week’s syndicated shows airs.
Back outside with Mooney as we see Savage running around on the streets looking for Repo Man.
El Matador vs. Ric Flair
Bartlett cracks a “joke” about Flair playing Eddie Haskell on “Leave it to Beaver” that was even less funny than it reads. We get some “Tito” chants as Matador works a side headlock on the mat. Vince talks about Bret appearing on “Live! with Regis & Kathy Lee” this Wednesday. We get some cheers for Flair but Matador takes Flair back down after a flurry of offesne right before break. The match returns with Flair blocking a monkey flip in the corner then using a jackknife cover for two. Flair punches Matador in the corner then talks trash to Savage before hitting a knee drop. Vince tells us that next week we will see Savage vs. Repo Man as Flair continues to beat on Matador but runs into a back drop. Matador slams Flair off of the top rope then sends him outside with an Irish whip in the corner. Matador heads out and clotheslines Flair before rolling him back inside. Matador fires away and hits the flying forearm but tries again and spills outside. Perfect now runs out and drags Flair outside and the two brawl leading to a DQ (8:14) **1/4. Several officials including Sgt. Slaughter and Pat Patterson run out to try and break this up then run backstage as the two brawled through the curtains.
Thoughts: A good chunk of the match took place during the break but the action was solid while it lasted but the real focus was once again on the Flair/Perfect feud. And the post-match brawl looked great.
We return from break with Flair and Perfect still fighting as they return to ringside. They are finally separated as Flair tells Vince that the WWF is not big enough for both Perfect and himself and says the loser will leave the WWF as Vince cannot believe Flair will risk his career for this match. Flair then says Perfect is a coward if he refuses as Vince hopes for an answer before the show ends.Perfect then comes out after Flair leaves and Perfect accepts and promises that Flair will be gone from the WWF. Vince thinks they are going to far in risking their careers but Perfect does not care. Great job in setting up this Loser Leaves match with both guys bringing the intensity.
The show ends with Repo Man wearing Savage’s hat as he tows away Bartlett’s car.
Final Thoughts: This show was a lot better than last week’s debut. Wade Keller of the “Pro Wrestling Torch” compared this episode to something similar to Bill Watts Mid-South and I agree with him as it was spontaneous and focused on a couple of angles and set things up nicely for next week. Bartlett’s material is still awful but he was so toned down to the point you barely noticed him during the show. This made you want to watch next week.
Here is my schedule for the next several days:
Friday: WWF Superstars 1/23/93, WWF Wrestling Challenge 1/24/93
Saturday: (Mid-South, time permitting)
Monday: WWF 1993 Royal Rumble
Tuesday: WWF Monday Night RAW 1/25/93
Wednesday: WWF Madison Square Garden 1/29/93 (Headlock on Hunger benefit show)
Thursday: WWF Superstars 1/30/93, WWF Wrestling Challenge 1/31/93