Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 1/10/94

*** Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh reviews are a chronological look back at WWE PPV and TV history that began with a review of WrestleMania I. The PICs have revisited these events and refreshed all of their fun facts that provide insight into the match, competitors and state of the company as well as their overviews of the match action and opinions and thoughts on the outcomes. In addition, Jeff Jarvis assists in compiling historical information and the Fun Facts in each of the reviews. Also, be sure to leave feedback on the reviews at our Facebook page. Enjoy! ***

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Monday Night Raw #47

January 10, 1994
Richmond Coliseum 
Richmond, VA
Announcers: Vince McMahon & Randy Savage

1) Marty Jannetty & 1-2-3 Kid defeat The Quebecers to win WWF Tag Team Titles when Kid pinned Jacques after a cross body block off the top rope at 18:18

Fun Fact: Flashback to October 1993…on the 10/25 episode of Raw, Johnny Polo, manager of the Quebecers, stated that both Marty Jannetty and the 1-2-3 Kid were losers and that he could defeat both of them with both hands tied behind his back. That same week as Jannetty and Kid wrestled each other, Polo got involved in the match and ended up getting double teamed by the duo. After Jannetty lost to Johnny Polo on 12/27 due to Quebecer interference, it was announced that Jannetty and the 1-2-3 Kid would get a tag team title shot at this week’s Raw.

Scott: We celebrate the one year anniversary of Monday Night Raw live from somewhere outside the Northeast. We are in the NWA backbone of Richmond, and we begin with a Tag Title match that stemmed from Johnny Polo shooting his mouth off and then getting challenged by the Rocker and the Kid. They pretty much forced his hand and that’s where we are. Now with the Rumble just two weeks away and the Quebecers set to defend the titles against Bret & Owen Hart, there was no way the belts would change hands. Vince just said in the beginning of the match that Jacques and Pierre would face the Harts regardless of whether they’d have the titles or not. Even though that would be a pretty awesome match on its own, I can’t imagine that match happening without the straps in the equation. During a commercial break we had a phantom pin as it appeared that Jannetty had pinned Jacques after a superkick but the Quebecer’s boot was on the ropes. So with that it appears that we won’t get an epic title change, and that this will just be a great match on a historic Raw, with Johnny Polo’s charges will escape with the tag titles. It was nice to see Raw in a fresh location, so perhaps they are finally leaving the confines of New England and the Northeast and stretching Raw out to other regions of the country. The PPVs are staying close to home, as Survivor Series was in Boston, the Rumble is in Providence, and WrestleMania X is of course at MSG. The Quebecers really worked the Kid over in the middle of the match, including Jacques executing a sweet piledriver and then the Quebecers hit their double team finisher. I thought the match was over, then they tried to hit the finisher again but Marty broke it up. Eventually Marty gets the hot tag and a few moments later we have one of Raw’s greatest upsets to this point when the former Rocker and the rookie become new tag team champions. Richmond went crazy and I have to say it was a damn good match. Grade: **1/2

JT: Well, it has been quite the interesting year here on Monday Night Raw. We saw big returns, shocking upsets, lots of squashes and interesting angle developments along the way. As we enter 1994, the roster is fairly settled and the card for WrestleMania X is taking shape. However, before we get there we still have the Royal Rumble coming up very quickly and, of course, we have a major live celebration here tonight for the one year anniversary of Raw. Johnny Polo has been battling with both Marty Jannetty and the 1-2-3 Kid since the fall and that lengthy pissing match has finally culminated here with a big Tag Team title tilt to open the show. This feud is often overlooked but it was built up really well week to week on Raw, adding additional stakes to the match beyond just the straps. The Quebecers have quietly been dominant over the tag division since September. When they won the belts in that upset over the Steiners, it seemed like they may just get a quick reign before dropping the title right back, but here we are, four months later, and they are still reigning over the division. Before the match starts, Vince McMahon brings out Randy Savage, tonight’s special guest commentator. That was a cool touch as Savage has been such a strong part of the Raw fabric since it launched. The Richmond crowd was pretty hot for the challengers and they looked locked in as things got under way. Vince let us know immediately that the Quebecers and Harts would square off at the Rumble regardless of the result here tonight. Jannetty and Jacques opened things up with Marty grabbed a fast near fall, leveraging his speed to keep the champ off balance. After some regrouping on both ends, we got tags to reset the match with Kid and Pierre. Kid picked right up where Jannetty left off, using his quickness to pelt Pierre in the face with a kick. Jacques would head back in but that was just a ruse as Pierre hopped right into the ring and clobbered Kid from behind. Things broke down and the challengers ran the champs to the floor to console each other and confer with Johnny Polo.

Pierre slid back in but things keep going downhill thanks to some nice double teams by Kid and Jannetty. Jacques got the same treatment and again the champs found themselves regrouping outside. The challengers continued to fluster the Quebecers and dominate the match right into our first break of the night. After that pause, the match had reset with everyone standing around and that is because we had a false finish during the break as the referee had counted three for the challengers but it was revealed that Jacques had his foot on the ropes. Even after cheating a bit, the Quebecers still couldn’t maintain control as Jannetty fought through it and tagged the Kid, who wiped out Jacques with a dropkick and then flew into Pierre with a somersault senton off the top rope down to the floor. He immediately scurried back in and went flying into Jacques off the top. He went to the well again but this time Pierre popped up on the apron and shoved Kid to the mat. Finally able to catch their breath, the champs went right to their playbook of heel tricks, tying up the referee and cheating wherever they could. The Kid was in rough shape after a double hot shot but he survived the pin cover to keep his title dreams alive. Pierre and Jacques took turns clobbering Kid right through our next commercial. Kid did his best to stay alive but it was getting dire for the challengers as Jacques back dropped Pierre onto him for a close near fall. The heavy power double teams continued and after Jacques spiked Kid with a nasty piledriver the champs hit the Tower of Quebec. Hubris took over at that point as they toyed with Kid a bit instead of going for the win and it immediately backfired when Jannetty came in to break up a second Tower and then kicked Jacques face. A moment later, Jannetty was officially tagged in and he went right to work on both men as well as Polo. With the champs reeling, Kid dug up enough energy to get involved and out of nowhere, the underdog challengers hit a double team suplex/cross body for the shocking win. As the new champs celebrated, and Kid celebrated his first ever title, Randy Savage hopped in the ring to join them. The crowd went wild and a moment later, Jannetty and Kid made their way among the fans to celebrate as a group. That was a really good match and it makes the short list of the best Raw matches to date. The whole feud has been really fun and this was a nice way to cap things off and also deliver a memorable moment on a landmark episode. It was neat that Kid and Jannetty got lots of offense in and the Quebecers pretty much stuck to the style that had gotten them this far. Except this time they got tripped up one time too many and it cost them in the end. Good stuff… but what now lies ahead for the Rumble? Grade: ***

*** We get a classic Raw moment, heading back to 5/17/93 when the 1-2-3 Kid upset Razor Ramon. ***

*** Jim Ross is here with our Royal Rumble report, as Todd Pettengil is apparently snowed in. We are two weeks away from the huge event in Providence and the Civic Center is completely sold out. Here are the matches discussed:

Royal Rumble Match: Shawn Michaels, Diesel, Doink, Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Bam Bam Bigelow, Bastion Booger, Billy Gunn, Bart Gunn, Rick Martel, Crush, Tatanka, Adam Bomb, Samu, Fatu, Randy Savage, Ludvig Borga, Jeff Jarrett, 1-2-3 Kid, Marty Jannetty, Greg Valentine, Scott Steiner, Rick Steiner, Kamala, Mo, Mabel, Bob Backlund, Lex Luger, Tenryu & Great Kabuki
Undertaker vs. Yokozuna – WWF Heavyweight Title Casket Match
Razor Ramon vs. IRS – WWF Intercontinental Title
Bret Hart & Owen Hart vs. Quebecers
Tatanka vs. Ludvig Borga

That is the full card. Call your local cable company today as it is almost time to Rumble! ***

*** Another classic Raw moment brings us to 7/19/93 when Jerry Lawler destroyed Tiny Tim’s ukulele on an installment of the King’s Court. ***

2) Ludvig Borga defeats Brad Anderson with the Torture Rack at 2:30

Fun Fact: Tonight we say “Näkemiin” on Raw to Ludvig Borga. On 1/17/94 at a show in Madison Square Garden, Borga injured his ankle in a match against Rick Steiner. This injury ended the Borga character, who was scheduled to appear in the ’94 Royal Rumble and a rumored match at WrestleMania against Earthquake. Borga would return to the ring from 1995 to 1997 for Catch Wrestling Association, where he would win their world championship. He had an unimpressive run in MMA after retiring from wrestling in 1997. He would serve in the Finnish parliament before retiring in 2006. Borga was plagued during the end part of his life with drug and alcohol issues. On January 8, 2010, Borga died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  

Scott: While we have this boring squash, Lex Luger is on the phone and he’s ecstatic that he’s in the Royal Rumble match. It’s of course still a clear path that Luger wins in Providence and he heads to the Home Office in Manhattan on March 20 to face Yokozuna. He still sounds disingenuous. Borga wins. Grade: DUD

JT: As we continue on with this special anniversary episode of Raw, Ludvig Borga makes his way out for a quick showcase match. As Borga mows through Brad Anderson, Lex Luger dials in to discuss his glee at finally being allowed entrance to the Royal Rumble match. The fans have indeed spoken. Borga makes fast work of Anderson and he looks primed for both his big rematch with Tatanka and the Rumble match in Providence. Grade: DUD

*** We head back to this past weekend on Superstars where Yokozuna won a handicap match as he prepares for his Royal Rumble title defense. As he celebrated his win, Undertaker and Paul Bearer appeared on the video wall to taunt the champion as they put the finishing touches on the double deep, double wide casket. Undertaker hauntingly tells Yoko that he doesn’t make mistakes, he buries them. ***

*** The next classic Raw moment brings us 9/13/93 to check out when Doink doused Bobby Heenan with a bucket of ice water. ***

3) Undertaker defeats Ray Hudson with the Tombstone at 2:33

Scott: We just saw the clip of Yokozuna winning a handicap match on Superstars the previous weekend and then a clip of Taker and Paul Bearer making Yoko’s casket. I give Yoko credit for selling the match without ever having to say a word. Vince & Savage are talking about John Madden coming to the WWF? What the hell are they talking about? Speaking of Savage, Jack Tunney gave Savage a one time dispensation to commentate on the one year anniversary of the show. Taker wins easily and is on his way to Providence in 12 days. Grade: DUD

JT: In a final Raw tuneup before his huge WWF Title match, Undertaker slowly marches out to battle Ray Hudson with laser focus and just one goal in mind. His feud with Yoko has been well built since Survivor Series and both men have told the story while never really crossing paths in an arena. Jim Cornette and Paul Bearer have done a great job to put everything over as well. Vince reminds us that Taker has never lost a casket match, another ominous sign for Yoko. It is another nice touch that we get an Undertaker match here to mirror his appearance a year ago on episode one. Taker wrecks Hudson and picks up the win with a Tombstone. Time could finally be running out on Yokozuna and his lengthy title reign. Grade: DUD

4) Bam Bam Bigelow defeats Bastion Booger with the diving headbutt at 2:31

Fun Fact: Last week on Raw, Bam Bam Bigelow and Bastion Booger teamed together against the Smoking Gunns. During the match, Booger kissed Luna Vachon, Bigelow’s valet. This caused Bigelow to lose his cool and begin fighting with Booger, resulting in the team losing via count out. This sets up a match between this two tonight.

Scott: So, this is interesting. A rare heel vs. heel matchup that stems from Luna rubbing Booger’s hump last week during the tag match. Yeah, chew on that for a few moments. Rubbing a hump. Luna actually starts flirting with Booger and easily distracts him enough so Bigelow can attack him from behind. Bigelow seems to be coming off as the face here, and honestly it became a pretty quick squash. Booger gets further embarrassed after the match bring an end to a tough couple of weeks for the big man. Grade: *1/2

JT: We wrap up this big anniversary show with an odd match between two heels, and two former friends that have now become foes. Their partnership dated back to the Survivor Series but last week things blew apart when Booger put the moves on Bammer’s main squeeze Luna Vachon. So, they go toe to toe and belly to belly here to close out the show. And it was quite clear immediately which of these two men was actually being reheated for a push and which was just cannon fodder as after a distraction by Luna, Bigelow clobbers Booger around the ring and dusts him in less than three minutes. Also, be sure to check out the USA Movie Feature this Friday: Let It Ride. Bigelow has really been quite aimless since last summer and it is time they find a direction for such a talented and strong in ring performer. Grade: DUD

*** Backstage, Johnny Polo and the Quebecers complain about the cheating ways of Marty Jannetty and the 1-2-3 Kid  but Jacques breaks the news that they have a rematch clause and that bout will happen next Monday night at a house show at Madison Square Garden. They vow that they will roll into the Rotal Rumble as champions. ***

*** Our final classic Raw moment takes us to 2/15/93 when Kamala chased Kim Chee around the Manhattan Center during a a big battle royal. ***

*** IRS comes out to confront Randy Savage over their match scheduled for next week. Savage then grabs the anniversary cake and slams it into Irwin’s face to end the show. ***

Final Analysis

Scott: The second year of Raw kicks off with a great anniversary show, which includes a huge title change that saw Marty & the Kid pull off a crazy upset and take the tag titles from the Quebecers. We also had the usual squashes but we did get a live Undertaker sighting to continue the Royal Rumble build. The show does seem very different as the calendar turned to 1994, and I hope that continues. The show (and the company) seems very different than one year earlier when we had Taker vs. Damien Demento in the main event. Final Grade: C+

JT: This episode was a tale of two halves. It started off really hot with a strong opener and a major upset title change. Since then… well, not much else happened. We have been building the Royal Rumble for quite a while and things are pretty much locked in and set to go so we are really just eating up time here up and down the card. I liked that they embraced the anniversary feel here with a big title change, Randy Savage in the booth, classic moments and the cake at the end. Made it stand out as a big night throughout. I think the opener was good enough to overshadow the squash parade in the back end of the show plus we did get some final Rumble touches sprinkled in throughout as well. We kick off year two with a bang and we have just one more episode of Raw to go before the Rumble. Final Grade: B-

Author: Vintage Vault

Vintage Vault Reposts are a collection of reviews that Scott and JT have written over the years.