Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 3/21/94

*** 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! ***


Monday Night Raw #55

March 21, 1994
Mid-Hudson Civic Center
Poughkeepsie, NY
Announcers: Vince McMahon & Randy Savage

1) Quebecers defeat Bushwhackers in a non title match when Jacques pinned Butch after Pierre kneed him in the back at 8:44

Scott: So it’s the Raw the night after WrestleMania, we have a new WWF Champion, and we just had maybe two of the best WrestleMania matches since Savage vs. Steamboat. We open the show with…THE BUSHWHACKERS? I mean seriously? Come on. This show should have been opened with a Bret Hart interview so the crowd can go bonkers. I have no ill will towards Jacques and Pierre, who survived that mess with MOM the night before at MSG. The crowd is now completely dead because they didn’t see their pink & black hero right out of the gate. Again I’m probably thinking in modern day terms so I’ll give Vince that, but honestly the friggin’ Bushwhackers? If you wanted a tag match to open the show, have the Quebecers and Men on a Mission have a rematch after the mess from the night before. Vince sounds like he lost his voice at Mania and Savage is still his color guy which is fine with me. Vince apologized for the ten man tag match being bumped off the show. This match is structurally fine as the Quebecers are clearly the better team but the match is going at such a slow plodding pace the crowd is somewhat dead except for the occasional Bushwhacker spot here and there. After the win stupid Lou Albano comes out to challenge the champions to a match of “his” tag team. The Sicilians? The Blackjacks? Grade: **

JT: We are coming at you live, just one night removed from WrestleMania and we have lots to update you on here tonight. There is a new WWF Heavyweight Champion and much more fallout from MSG but first things first, we welcome out our Tag Team Champions for a non title opener. The Quebecers survived Men on a Mission last night, losing the match and not the straps and now have to take on the stalwart Bushwhackers here in Poughkeepsie. The Whackers come and go at random but are given a golden opportunity here. Randy Savage is back in the booth alongside Vince McMahon as he has dispatched of Crush and has now retaken his old seat, bringing an end to the months long guest color commentator rotation. Luke and Butch jumped the champs at the bell and then threatened Johnny Polo until his boys made the save. The Whackers started playing to the crowd and it cost them as the Quebecers attacked them from behind. The teams traded off from their until we got some usual Bushwhacker comedy tricks that put them back in control. Jacques made a comeback with a pair of right hands and an assist from Johnny Polo as Vince apologized that the big Mania ten man tag match didn’t happen, but tells us it will go down two weeks from tonight instead. The Whackers took back over and quick tagged while keeping the champs all off balance until Jacques countered with a bodyslam and tagged in Pierre. The crowd is pretty subdued here and you can hear random people talking and yelling out so maybe this wasn’t the best match to kick off a live show with? The Bushwhackers continued to dominate right into a commercial break and when we returned, Jacques had Luke trapped in a chinlock. The champs kept tight control of Luke, using their usual array of various double teams and quick tag offense but couldn’t quite put him away. Luke would finally make the tag and the Bushwhackers heated back up, pelting Pierre with a battering ram but with the referee tied up, Polo slipped in the ring and smacked Butch to break up the cover. With the Whackers tied up with Polo, Pierre charged Butch and drilled him in the back with a knee for the win. This was a bit of a mess with a slow awkward pace and a very in and out crowd. The Quebecers were fine on offense but they fed way to much to the Bushwhackers, who felt pretty out of place here at this point. I get that they are easy to have lay down but there had to be another unit that could have been more engaging tonight. Grade: *

*** Vince McMahon interviews the Quebecers and Johnny Polo, who say they will take on any challengers. That draws out Lou Albano, who asks if the champs will take on a team of his choosing with the belts on the line. They call Albano a has been and a nobody and accept the challenge with a smirking confidence. ***

*** IRS joins us from his office with his Top Reasons to Pay Taxes, Top Reasons Why People are Tax Cheats and Top Reasons Why You Should Not Cheat on Your Taxes. ***

2) Tatanka defeats Chris Hamrick with the Papoose to Go at 4:45

Scott: Chris Hamrick has the longest ponytail I’ve ever seen a male have. Right before this there was a promo saying the Wrestlemania X encore is the following Monday. Usually it’s the following night on PPV, but for X you have to wait a week. That’s weird. Even after his ceremony two weeks ago, Tatanka has really become the forgotten babyface after what seemed like a hot 1993. It’s a shame, because he was really over as champion. He wins this match, but aren’t we done with him beating jobbers? Grade: DUD

JT: After being screwed out of a WrestleMania match due to time issues, Tatanka is here for a bout with Chris Hamrick and his absurd albino pony tail. He is rocking his headdress that was gifted to him in the big ceremony two weeks ago. We last saw him in action in a tough losing effort to Yokozuna but other than that he has not much else going on, besides dealing with IRS issuing him a gift tax. Hamrick gave it a go early but Tatanka quickly took control and put a beating on the pale one. In a nasty spot, Hamrick wildly dove legs first at Tatanka but the Native American side stepped him and he flew right through the ropes and landed hard on his back on the floor. From there, Hamrick was easy pickings as Tatanka just smacked him around while Vince and Randy talked more about WrestleMania, including how angry Lex Luger is about getting screwed by Mr. Perfect. Tatanka eventually put away Hamrick with the Papoose as he continues to be refocused and fueled by the headdress. This felt much longer than it needed to be but I get that they wanted to cover a lot of ground about Mania throughout it. Grade: DUD

*** Todd Pettengil checks in with a post WrestleMania Report that was filed from MSG after the show last night. He gives a quick recap of the evening along with still shots and various comments from celebrities before promoting the Encore, airing next Monday night. ***

3) Diesel defeats Ken Lucia with a Jackknife at 1:40

Scott: After his impressive performance back at the Royal Rumble, Diesel wrestles his first RAW match since back in November, and the crowd is actually chanting for Diesel during the match. That’s very interesting. No Shawn Michaels after his epic match the night before against Razor, the first ladder match on camera in WWF history. They seem awfully tight don’t they? Diesel hits the jackknife and wins easily. Grade: DUD

JT: Next up we have Diesel stomping out to the ring to battle Ken Lucia. The big man has rebuilt his credibility a bit since the Royal Rumble but we haven’t seen him as the showcase since that cold night in Providence. Shawn Michaels had a rough night in MSG so he is nowhere to be found here, leaving Diesel to go it alone. And he kicks things off with a big flying shoulder block to make an instant statement. Diesel starts to work the night as Savage discusses his night on the town with Rhonda Shear following Mania. Vince discusses the beatings that Michaels and Razor Ramon took to explain their absences here. He does hint that Diesel will be challenging Ramon for the IC Title sometime down the road. Vince plugs this week’s USA Movie, Major League, as Diesel finishes Lucia with a Jackknife. Grade: DUD

*** Vince McMahon hops in the ring and brings out our new WWF Heavyweight Champion Bret Hart to a rousing ovation. Vince narrates the closing of his match with Yokozuna while Bret said that despite his tough start to the day he didn’t disappoint his fans. Now that he is back on top, he is going to pick up where he left off, taking on all challenges, including the assumed Yokozuna rematch. Vince talks us through of the closing moment of the show as well as the defeat at the hands of Owen Hart, including Bret’s Sharpshooter reversal, which was a first. Bret says Owen just won one match, fair and square, but it was just one match and things are different now that he is the WWF Champion. He tells Owen you can’t always get what you want but sometimes you get what you need. ***

4) Jeff Jarrett defeats Koko B. Ware with a DDT at 5:03

Scott: Double J was bumped off of WrestleMania because he was in that ten man tag match that never happened. I’m still not figuring out why Nikolai Volkoff has continuously been at ringside the past few shows, wearing the same USSR Cold War suit from 1984. Why for the love of God is Koko still wearing the High Energy taxi pants? Why is Koko still here in 1994? I thought he was long gone. Where’s Frankie? This just doesn’t seem right. Vince and Savage keep talking about Mr. Perfect’s subterfuge against Lex Luger in the first World Title match at WrestleMania, and Savage even hints that Luger could turn heel. He fights Rick Martel next week on Raw. As for Jarrett, this is one of his best matches since debuting, really squashing the future Hall of Famer. I’m kind of shocked at that. Grade: *

JT: Our final match features another man left in the cold last night in Jeff Jarrett, who struts out to the ring. And just in our opener, we get the random appearance of a long time stalwart that hasn’t been seen much on TV of late in Koko B. Ware. Koko even gets a full entrance with his old theme! We will see if Jarrett keeps up his usual tendency of getting dominated in matches before stealing wins. Before the match, Jarrett jaws with Nikolai Volkoff, who is again seated in the front row in his usual ugly suit. Koko is getting everyone fired up! The Birdman gets off to a hot start, driving Jarrett from the ring. Jarrett would quickly gain control and for the first time since his debut he actually really ate up most of a match against inferior competition. Koko got his licks in but Jarrett got way more shine than he has in past squash matches. Vince and Randy discuss Luger and Perfect some more and Vince even gets in a funny line, saying “If Jarrett loses this he will be going to the minors”. Double J eventually catches Koko with his head down and hits the DDT for the win. After the bout, Jarrett slides out of the ring and jaws at Savage and Vince before smacking a drink at them. Savage tries to break free and go after Jarrett but Vince reminds him to stay put to avoid what happened in the past. Savage ignores that and gets in the ring and he and Koko run Jarrett off. Maybe Savage is going to stay active after all? Grade: 1/2*

Final Analysis

Scott: I want to really slam this show for not being structured properly, but I won’t. Bret Hart did make an appearance and have an interview with Vince as the new WWF Champion. Diesel begins his mid-card push after his Rumble performance and then getting tossed out of the ladder match. Jeff Jarrett, who was bumped from Mania because the ten man tag match didn’t fit, gets some airtime with a legit JTTS and actually looked really strong in beating him. This show could have been a little stronger with more WrestleMania fallout but I suppose that wasn’t still the thinking in 1994 WWF. Final Grade: B

JT: Well, it was nice to be live following a PPV, something that really hasn’t happened since Raw kicked off. That said, there was some odd decisions throughout this show. We got some stale acts in Koko B. Ware and the Bushwhackers and a lack of key stars from the night before. Bret Hart delivered a strong interview but how do we not hear from Lex Luger or Owen Hart at all? Randy Savage is back in the booth and mentions Crush a bit but he is back to acting like nothing really happened. Where was all that fire from the March to WrestleMania? I appreciate that we wanted to kick off some new feuds, including Lou Albano challenging the Quebecers and Diesel’s singles push firing up but there was no real sense of urgency here at all. They were just a short jaunt up the road from MSG and it made no sense not to just load this one up a bit more and really sell that Encore beyond just some strong commentary. If this show took place any other week, it probably gets a higher grade, but being live and nearby MSG, I have to dock it a bit for not rolling out a more impressive slate. Final Grade: C