Monday Night Raw – January 11, 1993 – Where it all began

Monday Night Raw
Date: January 11, 1993
Location: Manhattan Center, Manhattan, New York
Commentators: Vince McMahon, Rob Bartlett, Randy Savage

Well since it’s the anniversary of this, why not do it? Raw more or less ended SNME which I’ll do that last original episode soon enough, as in about an hour from now. This is the show that completely revolutionized wrestling as it was the first show to be aired weekly on prime time cable. The production values were WAY up also as the lighting and the effects were stuff that was unheard of. We’re gearing up for the 93 Rumble which kind of sucked but whatever. Let’s get to it.

Sean Mooney who I didn’t think had a job at this point welcomes us to the show and keeps Heenan from coming in. This would become a running joke on the first few shows until Monsoon threw him out of the company. The arena looks small but cool. Rob Bartlett was a comedian from the Don Imus show and he is easily the worst announcer of all time but to be fair, I’ve read some comments from him since and he completely admits that he was awful, so at least he’s not delusional.

Koko B. Ware vs. Yokozuna

Koko comes out to what would become Owen’s music which makes sense as they were partners around this time. I wonder what’s going to happen here. They say their first swear word on the air which might be a first in company history. The tag line was uncooked, uncut and uncensored. I never got the uncooked part. How is that appealing? Bartlett just makes fat jokes about Yoko which makes sense. Vince is about as excited as humanly possible to be here. Bartlett makes jokes implying that Koko is Gary Coleman which is kind of funny but just out of place here. After Koko gets in no offense for about 4 minutes, the Banzai Drop ends this.

Rating: N/A. It was a glorified squash which is fine. I’m not sure how good this was for the first match in history but that’s fine I guess. This was just to push Yoko so that certainly accomplished its job. A lot of the earlier shows were almost all squashes so get used to it.

Ad for the Rumble.

We get a prerecorded interview from Heenan who talks about Perfect being scared of Narcissus, who was more commonly known as Luger. Heenan is WAY too excited about Luger.

Steiner Brothers vs. Executioners

The Executioners are masked jobbers as if it matters. That goofy clown as Vince calls him is at ringside and gets too much attention. Apparently his name is Doink. As for the match, are you really expecting anything other than total destruction? Apparently Mitch Ferhat, a former Buffalo Bill, is coming to the WWF. He never got there. The Steiner Bulldog ends it.

Rating: N/A. It was more or less the same thing as we got a match earlier, but with two guys instead of one. This is fine as it establishes two dominant forces for new fans which is a good idea.

A woman says that she’s Bartlett’s aunt. Naturally it’s Heenan in drag. This simply does not get old.

Razor Ramon comes out for a “special” interview. He’s fighting Bret for the title at the Rumble in case you didn’t know. It’s exactly what you would expect it to be as it’s just Ramon talking about Bret and how he’ll win the title and we see a clip of him beating up Owen on Superstars, which is why Owen isn’t here tonight.

Ad for Headlock on Hunger, which was a charity thing they were doing at the time to feed hungry people in Somalia.

Tatanka likes the Headlock on Hunger.

Intercontinental Title: Max Moon vs. Shawn Michaels

Max Moon may or may not have been Konnan. Shawn is just getting used to being a midcard deal so don’t expect much here. I don’t think it’s him here as it might be Paul Diamond, who was one of the Orient Express. We get more and more New York jokes from Bartlett that only a handful of people would get. He was great on a morning talk show but WAY off on a wrestling show.

They get the three un line here twice in one match as they try so hard to get that over as a tagline before they realized it sucked. Bartlett, in something that blows my mind, does an impression of Mike Tyson calling into the show from prison. This goes on over two minutes. Make that three. THEY’RE STILL DOING IT.

Seriously they did this for half of the match. Is this supposed to be funny or something? Am I supposed to be amused? After what felt like forever, Shawn hits the kick and that stupid suplex that he was using as his finisher at the time for the pin.

Rating: C+. It was an average match, but it had the DUMBEST commentary in recorded history. The match gets bonus points for being ok with those voices going though so there we are.

Ad for WWF Mania, a Saturday morning show.

Gene does the control center for the Rumble, which more or less is him talking about the major matches and we get promos from some of the guys in said matches, in this case Shawn and Marty. This is short but it was very effective at summarizing the entire show into a 3 minute video. Well done. We run down some people in the Rumble and get comments from Perfect. Ok now this needs to end as it’s about five minutes now. This was the first winner gets a title shot and it’s at 4pm. That’s just odd.

We have an Amish man trying to get inside. Guess who it is. He asks if anyone knows how to get onto the roof. I feel like I’m watching a Trix Cereal commercial. Also, WHERE DOES HE GET THESE COSTUMES???

Kamala exists and that’s about it.

Damien Demento vs. Undertaker

Who else would you get to main event the first show? Bartlett makes fun of Taker and I’m already tired of him. Demento is the guy that freaked out on youtube recently and freaked out about modern wrestling. He’s annoying as all goodness and this is his career highlight. We go over the matches for next week and that’s about all that happens in this match. The Tombstone ends this quickly.

Rating: N/A. It’s like 3 minutes long and it’s more or less a squash. That’s not that interesting.

Doink sprays Crush with water to end the show.

Overall Rating: D+. This started off ok but it felt like there was no flow to it at all. It just wasn’t that good of a show as far as establishing people like it was supposed to do. This show definitely assumed that most people were long time fans of the show and that’s not a good idea to do on a brand new main show.

Still though, this is one of those shows everyone should see at least once as it truly did completely revolutionize wrestling. Definitely take a look at it if you never have before or just to compare it to modern wrestling and see how much things have changed.

4 comments

  1. Are you going to do the final Nitro since that anniversary’s coming up?

    [Reply]

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Sure. The anniversary is Saturday so I’ll put it up then.

    [Reply]

  2. Cool. I’ll keep an eye for it.

    [Reply]

  3. MikeCheyne says:

    Having watched a decent amount of the old Raws now, I see where they were going with Rob Bartlett–they clearly wanted a comedian who could sort of riff on wrestling, possibly appeal to non-wrestlers. The problem, of course, is that wrestling is impossible to riff in the traditional sense–his jokes ruined any attempt at telling a storyline. I found it interesting, though, that in the best match of his early tenure (Perfect vs. Flair), he is completely silent and doesn’t offer anything–I would guess Vince or someone told him to do that and not get in the way of the story, but on the other hand, I don’t know, maybe he got caught up in the match and decided his humor was inappropriate. In listening to him talk, though, I see why wrestling fans would have reacted poorly to him–a lot of his jokes are exactly the annoying things that non-wrestling fans try and say when they watch wrestling (“Oh, that guy looks stupid!” “Oh, that looked like a fake move!”).

    [Reply]

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