Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 4/11/94

*** 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 #58

April 11, 1994
Memorial Auditorium
Utica, NY
Announcers: Vince McMahon & Randy Savage

*** The show opens with the Bushwhackers, Men on a Mission and Smoking Gunns all stumping for last minute votes in the poll to determine who will battle the Quebecers here tonight. ***

1) Diesel defeats Virgil with a Jackknife at 5:23

Scott: So while we make the final voting push for who will face the Quebecers later in the night for the Tag Team Championship, the sudden #1 contender for the Intercontinental Championship opens the show against veteran Virgil. It’s so weird that Shawn Michaels lost the IC Title ladder match against Razor Ramon at WrestleMania and then out of the blue steps aside and the announcers have suddenly put his bodyguard at the top of the list to take Razor’s IC Title from him. Even Vince mentions that Shawn is working on behalf of Diesel to get an IC Title shot. Diesel is definitely working matches better than when he was doing forgettable squashes in late-1993. He’s utilizing his power more and being crisper with his power moves. Virgil bounced around and took the Jacknife powerbomb for the win. Diesel moves on and he’s got his sights on Razor Ramon. Grade: *

JT: We are back live this week and in a brand new arena tonight as we emanate live from Utica, NY. Of course we are still sticking to that Northeast corridor these days for TV but at least it’s something fresh. Randy Savage is back in the booth alongside Vince McMahon as we edge further away from WrestleMania, even though many of the storylines and memories remain fresh from MSG. Opening things up is Diesel as he takes on the always present Virgil. A battle of bodyguards! It seems Shawn Michaels has decided to take some time to recharge his batteries, so he is currently seconding Diesel in his quest to unseat Razor Ramon as IC Champ. Diesel’s swagger and overall presence seems to be more at ease these days as opposed to his stilted solo run in the fall, so perhaps now he is ready for this push. Virgil gets his own entrance yet again this time and he even seems to be getting a bump in relevance of late. Diesel used his power off the bell but Virgil leveraged his speed to turn things around, landing a shot off the top rope before grabbing hold of the arm. Diesel cut that off quickly, leveling Virgil with a sidewalk slam. Vince notes that Shawn has repeatedly issued the challenge to Ramon as Savage puts over Diesel’s uniqueness as a competitor. Diesel kept the strikes coming, cutting Virgil down with a clothesline before locking on a bear hug. Virgil clapped his way out of that but Diesel kept grinding away, pummeling the ribs, back and head with punches. Diesel went back to the bear hug but Virgil goes to the eyes to break it this time. Virgil caught some fire and nailed Diesel with a leaping clothesline for two but he then popped up and walked right into a Diesel big boot. A moment later, Diesel dropped him with the Jackknife for the win. This was effectively a squash with a little bit of zip mixed in but Diesel grabs another win and continues his ascent up the ladder as he looks to lift the IC gold off the waist of the Bad Guy. Grade 1/2*

*** Jerry Lawler heads out to the ring on a sedan for an installment of the King’s Court. And in a great moment, the jobbers carrying him lose their balance while trying to plant the sedan to the apron, causing Lawler to tumble to the floor. After a break, Lawler regroups and officially kicks off the show, bringing out Lex Luger to the ring for a chat. Luger laughs his way to the ring as the disheveled King is still trying to regain his composure. Luger invokes Brother Love, says Lawler is stylish and coordinated and jokes that Leno and Letterman are shaking in their boots about the King’s Court. Luger continues to tease Lawler, sitting in his throne and playing to the crowd. Lawler finally settles things down and says Lex is spreading accusations that Mr. Perfect is holding a grudge against him and let it affect his refereeing at WrestleMania. Lawler says that Perfect is not a grudge holder and that everything that happened at Mania was Lex’s own fault. Lawler then shows the footage of the closing moments of the Mania match while narrating what happened. Luger again tells Perfect that he should have come to him ahead of time to discuss their issues instead of waiting to take out the grudge in the ring and cost him the WWF Title in the process. Lex says he won’t cry over spilt milk and that is resolve to be Champion is renewed. He dares Perfect to get out of his suit and get back in the ring so he can take him out. ***

2) Thurman Sparky Plugg defeats Barry Horowitz with a knee drop off the top rope at 3:10

Scott: After the King’s Court segment with Lex Luger, Mr. Perfect called into the announce table to dispute Luger’s claims that Perfect has a beef and that beef cost him the WWF Title at WrestleMania against Yokozuna. No one cared about Plugg’s win because obviously the burgeoning feud between Perfect and Luger was the key topic here. They don’t even mention the match last year at WrestleMania IX. That’s stupid, since there was a big brawl after that match involving Shawn Michaels. Sparky wins. Grade: DUD

JT: Next up we have Sparky Plugg jogging out to the ring to battle our old friend Barry Horowitz. Sparky hasn’t seen too much action here on Raw but was part of the big ten man tag a week ago. Vince talks about the WWF Mania cohost contest, where fans can send in audition tapes to win a spot alongside Todd Pettengil and the Macho Man. He and Randy then talk about the whereabouts of the Undertaker for a moment. Sparky works over Horowitz for a few minutes but the true focus here is Mr. Perfect dialing into the show to cut with Vince and Randy. Perfect says Luger has a problem and that he didn’t purposely rip him off at Mania. He thinks Lex is shooting his mouth off too loud asking for matches now. Savage pushes him but Perfect warns them not to light a fire they can’t control. Perfect again defends his actions and tells Luger that he will slap his mouth if he opens it up again. Savage says Perfect was morally wrong and scared but Perfect said he is the greatest wrestler and athlete in the WWF and that whoever doesn’t like him is wrong. Sparky picks up the win and chugs along. Grade: DUD

*** Backstage, the Quebecers harass the employees from Quest Interactive as they await the results of the phone poll. ***

3) The Quebecers defeat Men on a Mission to retain WWF Tag Team Titles when Pierre pinned Mo after the Tower of Quebec at 9:23

Fun Fact: Last week on Raw, the fans were given the opportunity to pick who The Quebecers would face for the titles this week. The Smoking Gunns and The Bushwhackers were the other two teams in the poll.

Scott: So after their match win at WrestleMania, followed by swapping the straps overseas, MOM gets one more title shot against Jacques and Pierre here and the Utica crowd is crazy. Men on a Mission win the phone vote over the Smoking Gunns & Bushwhackers. Now I wonder if there were different booking decisions based on who won the vote. If the Gunns, who really should be the #1 babyfaces in the company, won the vote would the titles have switched hands here? You know those dopes Luke & Butch wouldn’t have won squat if they won the vote. This is the wild card though. They’re not the most over team but they have won the titles once and I’m sure the titles changed back to the Quebecers using Johnny Polo chicanery. The match was actually quite fun, and maybe MOM’s best TV match since their debut. The Quebecers win cheap as they hit their finisher on Mo while Mabel was chasing Polo around the ring. The Quebecers have been great heel champions, bobbing and weaving around the babyfaces with the occasional upset loss. Grade; **

JT: It is main event time and out come our wonderful Tag Team Champs, led to the ring by Johnny Polo. Polo is sporting an eye bandage, a result of getting hit by a Gorilla Monsoon fastball on All American. The Quebecers have been so much fun as confident yet chickshit yet brash champions since September. A steadying force on all WWF programming during that time. And the result of the vote is revealed as Men on a Mission head down to the ring, led by Oscar rapping them out. These two teams clashed at WrestleMania and traded the Tag Titles back and forth in Europe a couple of weeks back. Now they tussle once more for the gold. The Utica crowd was feeling the rapping and they seemed pretty jacked up for the title match here. The challengers went right to work on the champs off the bell, clearing them out of the ring as we took a break. After commercial, things had settled down and Mo and Jacques were tying up in the ring. Mo had control of the bout but Pierre clubbed him from behind as he hit the ropes and the champs went to work. Mo recovered and was able to crotch Pierre across the top rope before tagging in Mabel. The big man dropped a leg on Pierre and then clobbered away at him but Pierre landed a quick blow and made the tag. Jacques hammered away and then tagged back out but that went poorly as Mabel caught Pierre with a sidewalk slam. Mo tagged back in and they hit a double suplex as the crowd cheered them on. The champs turned the tide and started to double team and cheat as usual, controlling the pacing and really putting a beating on Mo. Things turned after a double clothesline and some miscommunication by the champs, allowing Mo to make the tag. Jacques survived a Mabel onslaught and made the tag to Pierre, who hit a clothesline off the second rope. In a neat piece of booking continuity, Earl Hebner refused to count a Quebecer pinfall because Jacques was in the ring near the corner. That helps add some credence to the claims of Mr. Perfect. It isn’t mentioned on commentary but it was clear what they were going for. After a near fall from a Quebecer small package, Mo got knocked to the floor where Polo ran over and laid the boots to him. Mabel chased Polo, catching and slamming him to the floor. But while that was going on, the Quebecers double teamed Mo and won the bout with their finisher. After an up and down match that was a pretty fun finish with the Quebecers again outsmarting their way to another title defense. We will soon see if their reign will live on or be cut short by Lou Albano and the Headshrinkers. Grade: *1/2

*** We see footage of Randy Savage and the Bushwhackers taking part in the White House Easter Egg Roll. IRS then hops in the ring and reminds the tax cheats that they have just four days left to pay their taxes. He then calls out Tatanka for not paying the gift tax on his headdress. ***

Final Analysis

Scott: This show started to bring some of the residual WrestleMania storylines to the surface, like what happened between Mr. Perfect and Lex Luger. We would start getting more King’s Courts weekly on Raw, as Heartbreak Hotel would be the Superstars interview show. We also seem to see Shawn Michaels pushed aside in favor of Diesel as Razor Ramon’s next contender for the Intercontinental Title. I thought that strange considering Diesel was on the outs when 1994 started. I guess that Royal Rumble appearance changed people’s minds. I still love the Quebecers as they have given stability to the Tag Team division, although by now I would have thought that the Smoking Gunns would have had a title shot, but we barely see them on the show. Lawler being dropped by the jobbers was pretty funny. Had to say that. A standard Raw with some good advancement of stuff. Grade: B-

JT: For the second straight week we had a pretty fun Raw with a lively crowd and lots of angle progression. The show itself has been very tightly run since Mania, with little time wasted and every segment flowing right into the next. The in ring action is what it is but that is covered by quick pacing, focused commentary and character development. The Jerry Lawler sedan bit is a classic one and I really enjoyed Luger and the fans yukking it up at him. I thought Luger and Mr. Perfect have both really been on point in this feud, both bringing fire and passion and getting their points across well. Diesel gets a big win and it is clear now that Shawn Michaels will serve as his manager during his chase for the gold. The Tag Title bout was fine enough and it was enhanced quite a bit by the surprisingly hot crowd. The Quebecers continue to control the tag division and they have been tremendous while doing it. Is the clock ticking on their reign though? Again, a solid episode with lots to like but without any sort of key match or moment to bump it up to that next tier. Final Grade: B-