*** 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! ***
Monday Night Raw #52
February 21, 1994
Mid-Hudson Civic Center
Announcers: Vince McMahon & Randy Savage
Fun Fact: Monday Night Raw was preempted due to the Westminster Dog Show on February 14.
1) Razor Ramon & 1-2-3 Kid defeat Quebecers by disqualification at 16:10; Quebecers retain the WWF Tag Team Titles
Fun Fact I: Flash back to the 2/7 episode of Raw…While the referee was distracted by Razor Ramon and the Quebecers fighting at ringside, Johnny Polo tripped Marty Jannetty, allowing IRS to get the pin and the win. Following the match, it was announced that Ramon and Jannetty would face the Quebecers tonight. However, a firing would cause this match to change.
Fun Fact II: During the European Tour, Marty Jannetty was fired from the WWF. There is speculation that the firing was a result of a court case against Jannetty and the WWF. Back in 1990, Jannetty as part of the Rockers hit jobber Chuck Austin with a Rocker Dropper during the finish of the match. The move went wrong and Austin broke his neck, paralyzing him. Austin was awarded over $26 million. Jannetty silently disappeared from the WWF shortly after the case closed.
Scott: We open the show with a title defense for Jacques and Pierre, their first Raw defense since being upset about a month ago by the Kid & Marty Jannetty. Now they face the Kid again, but this time he’s joined by the Intercontinental Champion, who as of now still doesn’t have a match for his title. Vince has just said though that the Quebecers (if they win this match) will take on Men on a Mission at WrestleMania for the Tag Team Titles. The Manhattan Center is long gone and now it seems like Poughkeepsie is RAW’s semi-home base and this crowd is always hot for the live action. Vince also lets us know that Razor will defend the IC Title March 20 at the Garden against former champion Shawn Michaels, in a ladder match. What’s a ladder match? Interesting. The babyfaces are taking control early until Johnny Polo sticks his nose into things. Razor comes out and cleans him out with a Razor’s Edge. After commercial the Kid took control on Pierre. The match continues on until Shawn Michaels’ bodyguard Diesel comes out to get Razor’s attention. The match was going at a pretty good pace until Shawn Michaels flew through the crowd and ended the match in a DQ. It was a fun little sprint but we need to start building the WrestleMania matches and this is fine with me. Grade: **
JT: After a needed week off thanks to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, we are back and we are live from Poughkeepsie for this week’s President’s Day edition of Raw! We are also careening toward WrestleMania X so there is a lot of business to take care of here. Vince McMahon welcomes in old friend Randy Savage to the booth this week and I am sure he will have plenty to say. Our opener was set up a couple of weeks ago but the original incarnation looked a bit different as Razor Ramon’s partner was slated to be Marty Jannetty. However, Jannetty was fired between tapings and is replaced by his former tag team partner 1-2-3 Kid, who is seemingly all healed up from his knee injury. It was sad to see Jannetty go as his run over the past eight months has been quite good. He was involved in some high quality matches and was a goto Raw stalwart, especially during his lengthy feud with Johnny Polo. It also looked like he was being elevated a bit with his friendship with Ramon, but alas his star burned out yet again. The Quebecers and Johnny Polo head out as their improbably title domination rolls on with no true contenders in sight, but perhaps that changes tonight. Kid has some new tights on and they instantly make him look more legitimate than the gaudy baby blues. Savage wonders if Kid is 100% since he isn’t that far removed from his injury. The champs strike first, knocking Ramon to the floor and immediately targeting the knee of the Kid, who is hobbling out there. Ramon returns and they double team their way into a near fall and eventually drive the champs to regroup with Polo. As the match reset, Kid took control of Pierre, wrestling him to the mat and grinding him a bit before tagging in Ramon. Polo would make his presence felt, tripping up Ramon from the floor and allowing the champs to double team the Bad Guy. Razor would recover with a double clothesline but again got tied up with Polo, this time on the floor. Ramon and Kid cornered Johnny, leading to a Razor’s Edge on the floor to pop the crowd. That was pretty cool. Polo would get hauled to the back as we headed to break.
When we returned, Kid was again controlling Pierre, working over his arm, as Vince discussed NASCAR for the second straight week, again tying in Sparky Plugg, natch. Ramon tagged in and caught Pierre with an inverted atomic drop and back drop before tagging in Kid. The champs certainly seemed in trouble as Ramon and Kid were fluid in their double teams and quick tags, and they continued to dominate as the minutes ticked away. The champs finally double teamed their way into control of Ramon just as Diesel showed up in the aisle to monitor the proceedings. After a break, the Quebecers collided in the ring, allowing Ramon to tag out to Kid, who came in and cleaned house. That was brief, though, as Pierre hooked the ropes on a whip and dodged a big dropkick to turn the tide back to the champs. After a double hot shot, Jacques and Pierre took turns working over Kid with double teams blended in as well. The crowd tried to rally Kid but the Quebecers had none of it, really laying into Kid with heavy power double teams. Eventually Kid was able to slip free during some miscommunication and Ramon headed in to wipe out the champs. Just as it was looking like we may have new champs thanks to a Razor’s Edge, Shawn Michaels scampered into the ring to draw the DQ. Michaels continued to assault Ramon until Kid made the save. I really enjoyed this matcha and I liked the finish too. The Quebecers have made a living off of barely escaping with the titles so losing by DQ here doesn’t hurt them at all. Razor and Kid looked great as a team, crisp and unified in their offense and it all built to a hot closing sequence where Razor was cleaning house. Then we get the interference to end the match and to help continue the big feud over the IC Title, which was much needed as well. Razor has really developed into such a strong, lovable upper mid card face and Kid being in this slot is elevating him as well. Good opener with a hot crowd. Grade: **1/2
*** It is announced that Randy Savage will challenge Yokozuna for the WWF Heavyweight Title next week on Raw. Savage vows to complete the threepeat with a win. Jim Cornette then comes out to the ring and issues a warning of what is to come to Macho Man. ***
2) Bret Hart defeats Tom Prichard with the Sharpshooter at 12:18
Scott: So it’s announced that next week on RAW Yokozuna will defend the WWF Championship against Randy Savage. Now, back in 1994 we had no idea what could happen before WrestleMania with titles and matches, so it wasn’t totally out of the realm of possibility that Savage could win the title and he faces Luger and Bret at MSG. Now in hindsight that would be a tremendous main event of Savage vs. Bret. Find me one person that wouldn’t want to see that match. Savage also starts building the match by saying (as a babyface) he has no problem beating Luger and Bret at WrestleMania and being a three-peat WWF Champion. Now no disrespect to Yokozuna who’s one of the greatest heels of all time, but from a workrate perspective Savage vs. Bret is a fantasy WrestleMania match that everybody would have wanted. During the match, Donnie Wahlberg comes on the phone as he is one of the celebrities for Mania. I love when Vince tries to put over Donnie’s new album by saying he’s heard “a few of the tracks”. That made me laugh out loud. As for this match, Dr. Tom was a great choice to face Bret as he is technically sound and would make a great TV match. At one point, Cornette was going to smack Bret with the tennis racket but Savage jumped up from his commentary seat and took the racket from him. Later in the match while Bret is down outside, Owen Hart comes out to verbally taunt him and throw him back in the ring. A few seconds later, Bret ratchets the Sharpshooter and wins the match. Only two matches on the show this week but lots of storyline advancement as we head to the Garden on March 20. Grade: **1/2
JT: Next up we have a rare Bret Hart Raw bout as he is set to take on Dr. Tom Prichard of the Heavenly Bodies. This has a nice tie in to WrestleMania via Jim Cornette, manager of the Bodies and spokesperson for Yokozuna. It is always great to see the Hitman here on Raw, especially in interesting matches against rock solid opponents like we are getting here. The crowd was hot for the Hitman as he marched to the ring and immediately took control of the Doctor off the bell, working the arm and keeping him stuck to the mat. Savages promises to win the World Title next week and then beat both Lex Luger and Hart at WrestleMania. That would be quite the twist. Hart kept bringing the heat on Prichard, hammering away and then sending him to the floor with a dropkick. Prichard recovered and landed a few shots but the Hitman dodged an elbow and went right back to the arm. Vince noted that Nikolai Volkoff was seated in the front row and Savage commented that he was “as ugly as ever”. Savage has been pretty subdued and much more salty tonight than he was in his 1993 run in the booth. As Hart kept hold of the arm, we took a break. When we returned, Prichard caught Hart with a kick to the gut and raked the eyes to finally slow the Hitman up. As Prichard slung Hart into the corner, Vince brought Donnie Wahlberg of NKOTB onto the phone to talk about their new album and his role as guest ring announcer at WrestleMania. Wahlberg has watched every Mania and is pumped to be involved and then they talk about Marky Mark and professional jealousy, tying it into the Hart Family. Donnie talks extensively about avoiding those type of family issues before hopping off the line. That was actually a pretty good chat that tied right into one our main storylines. Prichard hooked in a surfboard submission and then kept choking and slugging away at the Hitman. Jim Cornette would try to get involved but Savage popped out of the booth and shoved him back, sending Cornette careening back into the steel steps in a pretty gnarly bump. Hart started to make a comeback but Cornette found his way to the apron and distracted the Hitman, allowing Prichard to knock him to the floor. Cornette then waved to the back and out came Owen Hart to talk trash and shove his brother into the ring. Bret made a quick comeback from that point and quickly locked in the Sharpshooter for the win. Owen was pretty surprised that his brother picked up that win and they stared each other down for a moment until officials showed up to ensure peace. This was another solid match as you would expect, with some fun interference and storyline development between the Harts. Grade: **
*** Todd Pettengil is here with this week’s WrestleMania X Report and he is decked out in full Mania gear. Madison Square Garden is sold out and we are now just under four weeks away from the big show. You can still pick up tickets for the Paramount Theater, however, and watch via closed circuit right next door. Todd reviews all of the announced celebrities that will be in the house, including Little Richard, Burt Reynolds, Donnie Wahlberg, Jennie Garth, Bucky & Vinny and Sy Sperling. And here are the matches discussed:
Randy Savage vs. Crush – Falls Count Anywhere
Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels – WWF Intercontinental Title Ladder Match
Men on a Mission vs. Quebecers – WWF Tag Team Titles
Alundra Blayze vs. TBD – WWF Women’s Title
Earthquake vs. Ludvig Borga
Doink & Dink vs. Bam Bam Bigelow & Luna Vachon
Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart
Lex Luger vs. Yokozuna – WWF Heavyweight Title
Bret Hart vs. Lex Luger OR Yokozuna – WWF Heavyweight Title
The card has really taken shape here! Todd also reminds us that both WWF Title matches will have special guest referees and rumors are swirling! Call your cable company today! ***
*** Yokozuna heads out to the ring with Jim Cornette and Mr. Fuji. After a break, we hear from Little Richard, promoting his WrestleMania appearance. Back ringside, Cornette verbally lays into Savage for assaulting him and stealing his tennis racket. Savage slides in the ring, chucks the racket at Cornette and then calls out Yoko. Yoko starts to get in the ring but Savage knocks him to the floor as we wrap up. ***
Scott: This was a fun episode coming back from the Dog Show week off. We have practically a full card for WrestleMania X with maybe a couple more to come. The Quebecers are working a great run right now with Johnny Polo as maybe the best manager in the promotion. We have a World Title match set for next week that could shift the balance of the WrestleMania card in another direction. As it was live the show was red hot, but it seems that the WWF is slowly working on not making the taped episodes feel like taped episodes. A big thumbs up for this one. Final Grade: B+
JT: Well, this was quite the return to action after our week off. We only had two matches on the slate but both were quite good for TV action and both featured plenty of storyline development throughout. We also now know pretty much the whole WrestleMania card as well as a massive WWF Heavyweight Title match for next week, one that could have major ramifications for MSG. The crowd was really fired up tonight and everyone worked hard and kept this show flying along. A very strong outing as we now sit less than one month away from the biggest show of the year. Final Grade: B