Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 1/24/94

*** 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 #49

January 24, 1994 (Taped January 10, 1994)
Richmond Coliseum 
Richmond, VA
Announcers: Vince McMahon & Jim Ross

1) Lex Luger defeats Austin Steele with a superplex at 3:41

Scott: You can definitely tell this show is taped as we get no crazy opening and go right into the first match here. Jim Ross is in to sit with Vince McMahon, making his Raw debut. It won’t be the last time that’s for sure. Vince is talking about the previous Saturday’s Royal Rumble and what happened with Luger and Bret Hart. We all know what happened in Providence as both men’s feet hit the floor at the same time. So back in the day WrestleMania tickets went on sale in January. Now of course they go on sale in November. The match is typical TV Luger. It seems like a glorified house show with the up to date commentary slinked around it. Grade: *

JT: We are coming at you via some stale tape this week but we are also hot off the heels of a very interesting Royal Rumble this past Saturday night. Vince McMahon’s rotating guest chair continues as Jim Ross steps into the Raw booth for the first time. Out first is one of the co-winners of the Rumble, Lex Luger, and Vince and Ross dive right into breaking down what happened at the culmination of that bout as Luger and Bret Hart tied. Luger works the arm and then a headlock to open up as Vince says he has turned things up a notch of late. Lex keeps the pressure on as this really just a very basic squash to allow the announcers to really put him over hard while weaving in comments on the Rumble. Vince shills WrestleMania tickets, which just went on sale earlier today. Luger eventually polishes him off with a superplex as Vince wonders how Jack Tunney will make a decision regarding the main event of Mania. Grade: DUD

*** Todd Pettengil joins us for a Royal Rumble wrap-up report. He discusses the intense Rumble match and its controversial outcome, as Lex Luger and Bret Hart eliminated each other at the same time. And fans can way in with their opinion later tonight on Raw. The big question is… who will main event WrestleMania? Jack Tunney will tell us this weekend. Todd also briefly discusses the bizarre ending to the WWF Championship match and the shocking closing moments of Tag Team Championship bout. Missed it the first time? Order the encore tomorrow night! ***

2) Jeff Jarrett defeats John Paul with a roll up at 4:10

Scott: Todd Pettingill gives us the Royal Rumble recap and says that President Jack Tunney will have to decide whether Luger or Bret will face Yokozuna March 20 at the Garden for the gold. Jarrett made his PPV debut at the Rumble and not only had a good Rumble performance but came out to help Yokozuna dump Undertaker in the casket, as Yoko needed about ten heels to come out and help him retain his World Title. Then of course there was the unbelievable rising of the Deadman from the casket. It’s still one of the most bizarre moments in WWF PPV history. Vince and Ross are pimping the Rumble encore tomorrow night, and to watch that instead of the State of the Union Address. Jarrett wins and dumps a DDT on the bum after the bell for good measure. Grade: *

JT: As Jeff Jarrett struts out to the ring, Vince McMahon offers fans the chance to order the Royal Rumble Encore or watch Bill Clinton’s State of the Union address. In a funny, and timely, response, Ross says “I’ve already heard enough from Hillary”. The more things change. Jarrett pastes John Paul with a dropkick out of the gate as Vince and Ross talk more about the Rumble results. Paul snuck in a couple of near falls but Jarrett booted him in the gut and went back to work each time. Jarrett would preen in between his attack as usual as Vince mentioned he will be attending some country music awards show and also appeared on the cover of Country Beat magazine, which Ross claims to subscribe. This has been such a bland show thus far as the commentary feels very antiseptic and basic. After one more Paul flurry, Jarrett was able to float over behind him, roll him up and grab the tights for the win. I don’t get why Jarrett is made to look weak in these squashes as he always gives up offense and sneaks out wins. Odd. Jarrett DDTs Paul after the bell to at least look somewhat vicious. Grade: DUD

3) Headshrinkers defeat Men on a Mission when Fatu pinned Mo with a splash off the top rope at 13:00

Fun Fact: This match was supposed to be the Headshrinkers against the Hart Brothers, but due to Owen turning on his brother Bret the night before at the Royal Rumble, a substitution had to be made. Thus, MoM are taking the place of the Harts.

Scott: While we have to watch this hot mess, Vince announces that Owen Hart will be on All American this coming weekend to explain himself after his heel turn at the Royal Rumble when he kicked Bret’s leg out from… his leg during the tag title match with the Quebecers. As for this match, this is the MOM’s first real competition after some bad squashes and equally bad rapping. As the new year progresses, we need to build this tag team division to feud with the Quebecers. The match picked up in the past few minutes but the big shock was that the Headshrinkers actually won clean. That took me by surprise. Grade: **

JT: Well, it looks like the scheduled Hart Brothers vs. Headshrinkers match was just a giant tease that will never come to fruition as Owen Hart turned on his brother Bret on Saturday night, dissolving their union for good. With the Harts out, Men on a Mission are tapped to step in and battle the Samoans. As I have mentioned in previous weeks, the tag division at this point was really starting to sag and we haven’t had much in the way of feuds or issues between these handful of teams. Maybe this will kick start something. Mo and Fatu open things up as Ross and Vince discuss the Hart Family issues. Mo outworked Fatu a bit early on as Ross says Mabel is the “straw that stirs the drink” for MOM while also claiming that Afa is the “Jimmy Johnson of the WWF”. Samu would tag in and land a shot on Mo, but he quickly tagged in Mabel, who used his size to take control of the match. Fatu snuck in the ring after a blind tag and kicked Mabel in the face twice but he tried a suplex, which predictably ended poorly. Mo headed back in and kept the heat on but as he hit the ropes, Samu kicked him in the back to turn the tide. After a break, the Shrinkers were firmly in control of the action, double teaming a bit before Fatu eventually grabbed a nerve hold. Ross broke down some strategy, but it was quite basic, as he talked about how the Shrinkers wanted to keep Mabel parked on the apron while picking apart Mo. Mo would get dumped outside and abused there for a minute, until he was shoved back inside and beat on some more by both Shrinkers. I actually thought Samu and Fatu utilized some solid offense during that long heat segment and they actually got the crowd engaged by the time Mo tagged out to the big man. Mabel came in hot, mowing down both Samoans with clotheslines and then violently shoving Samu in the corner before hitting a sit out clothesline on Samu. The crowd was riled up as Mabel ran Samu into Afa and hit his spin kick for two. For some reason, Mo blind tagged Mabel and then walked right into a Samu crescent kick. Mabel made the save but Samu knocked him to the floor, allowing the Samoans to double team and finish Mo of with a Fatu big splash. Well, that was a statement win. Oscar looked like a dipshit walking in circles on the floor during the closing sequence. Mabel wipes out both Samoans as we abruptly cut to a bumper and then commercial. This whole show just feels off. The match was fine fodder with a decent little heat segment. Mabel actually looked pretty good as the hot tag monster and it looked like they were trying to build a little dissension with the blind tag. The Shrinkers grab a key win as they look to reestablish themselves as title players. Grade: *1/2

4) Adam Bomb defeats Tommy Angel with a powerbomb at 3:14

Scott: Vince needs to really start structuring this mid-card because he has a great cache of characters and a lot of them are starting to just come into their own but their only on Raw killing jobbers. In fact Vince and Ross are criticizing Harvey Whippleman for not having this guy prepared and he’s not working in the ring well. That’s very strange. The match is a mess and quick. Grade: *

JT: We head right back to the ring as Adam Bomb and Harvey Wippleman make their way to the ring. Ross mentions that Bomb entered the Rumble match at #30 and as Ted DiBiase told us on Saturday night, he had an embarrassing showing for a man his size entering that late. Ross seems to agree but he blames Harvey for not better preparing him for action. Be sure to tune in to USA this Thursday night to check out Invasion of Privacy, starring Robby Benson and Jennifer O’Neill for this week’s World Premier Move Encore. Ross actually puts over Tommy Angel a bit but despite a couple of glimmers of offense, Bomb makes pretty quick work of him, finishing him with a nice flying clothesline and hard powerbomb. Ross and McMahon have been this weird mix of milquetoast and critical while blending in bitter social commentaries and it has cast a weird pall over the matches. What an odd episode. Grade: DUD

*** We head out to the speedway for another visit with “Sparky” Thurman Plugg, who shows up his skills on the track while also talking about what he will accomplish when he debuts in singles action in the WWF, which happens on Superstars and Challenge this weekend. He did make his official debut in the Royal Rumble match, replacing the injured 1-2-3 Kid. ***

5) Doink defeats Joey Stallings with the Whoopee Cushion at 3:27

Scott: Ross says his mom thinks Dink is as cute as a “speckled pup”. He’s an ugly midget with makeup, let’s just face facts here. Jim Ross is probably cringing that he has to watch clowns and midgets. Dammit Bill Watts would never have this crap in Mid-South. This Raw is like watching a throwaway Superstars episode with Vince and Ross throwing bad jokes around with the occasional USA Network show plug, wrestling or bad movies. They do go back to the situation with Bret and Luger and the big decision that Jack Tunney has to make. The promotion as a whole is pretty good shape with the roster and the feuds, except this. Clearly Doink has to go. This isn’t 1988 anymore. Grade: DUD

JT: The hits keep on coming as Doink and Dink come dancing out, with Dink walking an imaginary dog and playing lame tricks on Joey Stallings. Ross has not been very enjoyable here tonight, working his usual shtick, I miss the heel dynamic or intensity of Randy Savage that we usually have. Doink takes Joey Stallings to the mat as Ross notes of Doink’s ongoing issues with Bam Bam Bigelow and Luna Vachon, a feud that is still raging on despite Bigelow eliminating the Clown from the Rumble. Stallings came back with a leg sweep for a near fall but Doink dodged a dropkick and went back on offense. Ross and Vince turn back to discussing the Rumble finish until Doink wins the match with the Whoopee Cushion. Next. Grade: DUD

6) Shawn Michaels defeats Tyrone Knox with a piledriver at 4:25

Scott: The first thing Vince and Ross discuss is that Diesel had an incredible performance at the Royal Rumble, and that the tension between Michaels and his bodyguard is already beginning, and something that quells for now. Razor Ramon is still the IC Champion, and after beating IRS, the Bad Guy will focus on Shawn and with WrestleMania approaching, it’s obvious this is the big feud for the season. I like how Vince is saying how the WWF was rumored to replace the NFL on CBS. Even I had to laugh at that in 1994. The match was a glorified squash, which included Shawn using a piledriver as a finisher. Grade: DUD

JT: One more match to go before we can finally wrap this puppy up. Shawn Michaels is out to close the show, accompanied by Diesel, who had a very impressive showing on Saturday night. Of course, they also had some issues as Michaels helped eliminate his buddy, pissing him off quite a bit. They are OK here but you have to wonder if the betrayal will linger in the bodyguard’s mind. Vince is still pushing the Encore vs. State of the Union battle as the match gets underway. Tyrone Knox gets a little offense in but Shawn quickly smashes him with a forearm and takes over as Vince discusses the Diesel elimination and Shawn’s interference in the Razor Ramon/IRS IC Title bout. Michaels work slap Knox around and then work a chinlock as Vince shoots down a rumor that the WWF could replace the NFL on CBS since football is now headed to Fox. They are staying at home on USA! Knox gets one last gasp in, as Ross yells “You go Tyrone”, but Michaels finishes him with a piledriver. Another nothing match as not even Michaels had much energy going out there. Grade: DUD

Final Analysis

Scott: This was a standard taped Raw episode, but it was interesting having Jim Ross doing commentary with Vince, as Ross was all over the syndies during this time. The build for WrestleMania X is going to start soon and we need to get a decision from Jack Tunney soon on who will face Yokozuna at Madison Square Garden. As 1994 continues I hope we see different venues and some hot Northeast crowds. This show was stale and it’s time for a new set of tapings. Final Grade: D

JT: This was one of the worst episodes of Raw we have sat through. There was zero energy across the board an it felt more like an old canned episode Superstars than what Raw usually comes across as. Overall, it was just very flat, antiseptic and had absolutely no excitement. The commentary was weird too as Ross and McMahon just chatted away about everything in a calm demeanor, just having discussions instead of relaying any sense of urgency. It really just felt like a punted episode across the board with zero progression at all. Literally nothing of importance happened here, it was just a parade of random matches peppered with results from the Royal Rumble. Hopefully next week we get the WrestleMania build kicked up and bring back the usual Raw excitement. Final Grade: D