WWE Raw Retro Coverage – January 25, 1993: Ric Flair vs Mr. Perfect in a Loser Leaves WWF match, Macho Man fights the Repo Man over a hat, Kamala vs. Brooklyn Brawler
Editor's Note: Welcome Haydn Gleed as the newest Prowrestling.net writer. Haydn will be writing the weekly WWE Raw Retro reviews. He is reviewing these shows from a VHS tape collection, so it is possible there will be some gaps if a show(s) or segments are missing. We will run two reviews on Mondays until we catch up so that each episode airs the same week it originally aired.
By Haydn Gleed
WWE Raw on the USA Network
New York City, New York at the Manhattan Center
Sean Mooney welcomed us to Raw outside the arena, as the Repo Man pulled up in his truck. Sean Mooney told Repo that he’s late, which Repo just laughed at. He said he’s very much looking forward to repossessing the career of Macho Man Randy Savage tonight. Repo Man said Macho better be ready for him cause he’s ready for you. With a laugh he took off past the confused looking people outside and into the building.
Raw opening credits were shown, and Vince welcomed us to the Manhattan Centre. At ringside were Vince, Rob Bartlett and Bobby The Brain Heenan on commentary. Vince hyped that on this show we would see the Ugandan giant Kamala and the Bushwhackers, Rob Bartlett said he’s excited about Macho Man against Repo Man, and Bobby goes on a classic rant about the WWF not being big enough for both Mr Perfect and Ric Flair and on this show someone will leave the company…
Retro Verdict: I'm not sure how Vince thought the Bushwhackers and Kamala are the two biggest things to keep viewers on the edge of their seat, and Rob Bartlett had about as much enthusiasm about the Macho Man/Repo Man match as a kid with coal at Christmas. Bobby, as usual though, was brilliant.
Repo Man made his entrance with Macho Man Randy Savage’s hat. Good heat from the crowd. Macho Man didn’t even wait for his music and attacked Repo from behind to start the match…
1. Macho Man Randy Savage vs. Repo Man. Macho quickly took down Repo and put his foot on his throat. He attacked him some more at ringside. Good intensity from Macho even though it was over only a hat.
Back in the ring, Macho wore down his opponent and Repo ended up falling to the outside. Repo tried to leave up the entranceway but Randy stopped him. Back in the ring, and he had Repo in the corner, and again put his foot over his throat. Repo escaped to the ringside area where he got his wind, moved out of the way of a Randy attack, and rammed Macho’s head into the steel steps. He then threw Savage shoulder first into the ring post.
Repo rolled Macho into the ring and whipped him viciously into the turnbuckle and put him into a rest hold while screaming, "I’m gonna break your neck." Bobby said that Mr Perfect bought some new luggage because he’s leaving tonight. Vince asked how he could let Ric Flair take this match, and Bobby simply said Flair is a competitor and doesn’t back away from a situation. Rob Bartlett tried to shift the focus back to the match by making a joke about the tyre marks on Repo Man’s tights. Bobby simply said, "Vince, where did you get this guy?" Brilliant! [C]
Back from the break, Repo was still in control. Bartlett made a joke about Jodie Foster and Bobby said, "What is he talking about?" Macho powered out of a rest hold, but was knocked straight down with a stiff clothesline. Some kids in the front row tried to start a Macho chant. Macho made a comeback, but after a clothesline, Repo got back the advantage.
After a few more rest holds, Repo climbed to the second rope and went for an ax handle, but got hit in the gut by Randy. Macho scooped up Repo for a powerslam,, and went to the top rope. The crowd rose to their feet as the Savage one leapt and dropped the elbow on Repo Man for the 1-2-3...
Macho Man Randy Savage beats Repo Man via pinfall in 13:30
Retro Verdict: Not the best match you will see, the best part was Bobby ripping into Rob Bartlett at every opportunity. At the end of the day, at least the Macho Man got his hat back.
Back from the break, the Brooklyn Brawler was already in the ring, when Kamala made his entrance, led to the ring by Reverend Slick.
Retro Storyline Explanation: To give some background on what was happening storyline wise at the time, Kamala was being managed by Harvey Whippleman and his handler Kim Chee, and for the lack of a better term, was being treated like an animal by them. After a fun program with the Undertaker, which resulted in Kamala losing the first televised coffin match, he turned babyface with the help of the Reverand Slick, who was teaching him "to be a man." In a fun, insider note, the man under the Kim Chee mask at times was Steve Lombardi, whose other character at the time was Kamala's opponent in this match the Brooklyn Brawler.
2. Brooklyn Brawler vs. Kamala. Before the bell rang and the music stopped, Brawler attacked Kamala from behind. He tried to whip him from one turnbuckle to the other, however Kamala wasn’t moving. Kamala reversed the attempt and sent Brooklyn into the turnbuckle, charged at him and missed.
Brawler tried to pick Kamala up for a powerslam, but Kamala was not moving. Kamala picked up Brawler and slammed him down. Brawler begged off, but Kamala chopped him down and then used a kick to the head to send Brawler down. The crowd chanted "You are a man" while playing into the storyline at the time.
In the corner, Kamala did a splash and then stepped on Brawler. After a few more moves against the ropes, Kamala had Brawler down, and made an attempted pin, but Brawler was on his front. The crowd and Slick pleaded with Kamala to turn him over, but instead he picked him up just to kick him in the chest.
After a whip into the ropes and a big foot into the face. Kamala patted his belly and again tried to pin Brooklyn incorrectly. After a big splash, Kamala rolled Brooklyn over a few times until he finally got it right for the win...
Kamala beat Brooklyn Brawler via pinfall in 3:32.
Retro Verdict: Just a fun match and gimmick, I had forgotten how endearing the Kamala character was.
Vince waited outside the ring to interview Kamala and Slick. Vince said that what the Reverend had done for Kamala was incredible. Slick said he can’t take all the credit, the majority of the credit should go to the fans who have opened up the heart and eyes of the giant Kamala. Slick warned Harvey Whippleman to stay out Kamala’s way, because Slick will not take responsibility for what might happen. Kamala did his groan to show agreement. Vince thanked them for their time, and the pair played to the crowd...
Ric Flair made his entrance, with Vince reminding us that both his and Mr Perfect's careers were on the line. Bobby left the broadcast area to shake Ric’s hand. Mr Perfect made his entrance to a very good reaction.
3. Ric Flair vs. "Mr Perfect" Curt Hennig in a loser leaves WWF match. They circled each other and locked up. Perfect slapped Ric across the face and they both shoved each other. Vince apologized for commentary they may have been picking up by accident, and then exclaimed that it’s the Sci Fi channel.
Flair and Perfect locked up and Flair ran the ropes, knocked Perfect down with a shoulder block. Perfect took him down with a wrestling leglock. Following a few slaps across the head, Flair bailed to the outside. As Flair walked by Heenan, The Brain showed him he had a hammer under his jacket.
Back inside the ring, Perfect had Flair in a hammerlock but got backed into the corner where Flair hit him with a couple of elbows. Curt reversed and chopped the hell out of Flair's chest, causing Ric to beg off.
Both men hit each other with move and counter move until Flair gained the advantage with a knee to the mid-section. Bobby was going ape on commentary. Flair got the advantage again with a poke to the eye. He threw Perfect to the outside and went after him with a chair, but the referee grabbed the chair before he could use it. Cut to commercial. [C]
We came back with Perfect trying to roll up Flair, but got a punch to the face for his troubles. He whipped him into the turnbuckle and Perfect went flying over the top. Vince said Perfect had hit his head on the ring post. Perfect sold that he was dazed very well. Flair heeled on the ref as he opened up a cut on Perfect’s head.
Perfect hit a few punches and flipped over on Flair and grabbed the legs for a two count. Flair was whipped into the corner and went over for a big back body drop. Perfect had Ric in the corner and threw five punches with the crowd counting along. Ric hit an atomic drop to regain the advantage.
Ric took to the outside. When he tried to return to the ring, Perfect waited for him and hit a suplex over the top rope. Later, Ric put Perfect into a sleeper hold. Perfect dropped down to the mat. The referee raised Perfect's hand twice and both times it dropped like a stone, but the third time he stopped his arm from falling and powered up to his feet.
Perfect took Flair to the mat with a sleeper hold of his own. Ric was on his back so the referee counted his shoulders down for a number of close two counts. Ric powered back to his feet and hit a back supplex on Perfect. Both men were down and slowly get to their feet. Flair got up a second earlier than Curt, and locked in the Figure Four. With the ref’s back turned, Flair grabbed the rope for more leverage. Perfect was in a lot of pain, but Flair was caught grabbing the ropes and was forced to release the hold. Curt sold his leg.
With Perfect down, Flair went to the top rope, but Mr Perfect caught him and threw him off the top rope as they went to another break. [C]
After the break, Flair was down, and Perfect was again selling his leg. The ref checked on Perfect as Flair got some brass knuckles out of his knee pad. With the ref distracted, Flair clocked Perfect. Flair covered Perfect, who got his foot on the rope at the last moment. A shot of a smiling Heenan was shown. Flair tried to open up Perfect even more.
Flair chopped Perfect in the corner, but Curt no sold them and came out of the corner all fired up. Curt did a tremendous job of still selling the bad leg. Perfect fired away at Flair in the corner with punches and chops. Perfect went to hit a clothesline on Flair, who looked like he was about to duck but sold it as if it hit. The camera shot changed at exactly the right moment, so you didn’t actually see the clothesline miss.
Flair was whipped into the corner and flipped over, ran across the apron, went to the top rope. He leapt at Perfect, who caught him with a punch. Perfect covered Flair for a close two count. Flair begged off and yelled NO!! Flair rolled up Perfect and put his legs on the rope for more leverage but only got a two count.
Flair sent Perfect into the ropes and then ducked. Perfect caught Flair with the Perfect Plex for the win and Flair was gone from the WWF...
Mr Perfect defeated Ric Flair via pinfall at 23:00 in a loser leaves WWF match.
Bobby Heenan shouted "no" over and over again. He stood up and was censored as he left the announcers desk. Heenan went to comfort Flair as they headed to the back and Perfect celebrated in the ring. [C]
Retro Verdict: Wow, what a match. Both men worked really hard and looked amazing. The match wasn’t perfect (no pun intended), but with so much on the line they told a great story, and it was a great way for Flair to leave at the time. Bobby was fantastic on commentary.
After the break, and Vince announced that Ric Flair had been ordered to fulfill his weekend obligations by WWF President Jack Tunney. Vince added that it was "all downhill from there." Ouch. They announced that next week it would be Typhoon vs. Doink The Clown...
Retro Verdict: Wait, we didn’t get to see The Bushwhackers in tag team action?! But Vince, you promised! In all seriousness, this was a decent enough show. You have to go out of your way to see the Perfect vs. Flair match as that was the best match from all the early Raw episodes so far. It was also refreshing to hear Bobby on commentary. He was so good around this time. His jabs at Rob Bartlett also made me happy.
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