Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 4/25/94

*** 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 #60

April 25, 1994 (April 11, 1994)
Memorial Auditorium
Utica, NY
Announcers: Vince McMahon & Randy Savage

1) Razor Ramon defeats Jeff Jarrett via disqualification to retain WWF Intercontinental Title at 9:40

Scott: We open with a non-title matchup with the reigning IC Champion and the man from Music City USA. Vince mentioning Hee Haw is hilarious. These old references are something else. As for Razor, he’s been fortified as the Big Man on Campus since beating Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania. This weekend, Razor will be defending the IC Title against Diesel on Superstars. I wonder if we will see Big Daddy Cool at some point during this match. It’s funny that Shawn Michaels has been on the backburner since WrestleMania and is pretty much managing Diesel. Incidentally the audio wasn’t mixed for this episode, since I have announcers in my left earbud and nat sound in my right earbud. Razor wearing the rare powder blue ensemble tonight, but beyond that you can tell he and Jarrett have pretty good chemistry and Jarrett dictates most of the action, including a sleeper that almost knocked the Bad Guy out. Razor makes a big comeback but Jarrett splits the ropes and falls to the floor. Then Shawn Michaels comes out to jaw jack with Razor but eats a right hand. Chaos ensues and as Razor is about to Edge Shawn, out comes Diesel to save his buddy, throw a boot and hit two Jackknifes to prepare for the big IC Title match this weekend. This entire segment was great for in-ring and storyline advancement and the crowd was pretty whipped up for it. Grade: ** (**** for the entire segment)

JT: We are back this week and once again coming at you via videotape from Utica. Vince McMahon and Randy Savage are in the booth and we are set to open things up with a big time title bout as Jeff Jarrett suddenly finds himself in line for a crack at the IC gold that sits around the waist of Razor Ramon. Jarrett has slowly worked his way up the ladder, nabbing wins on TV here and there but this did feel like a bit of the jump at the time. That said, a good showing here will certainly go quite a long way. Vince puts over his country music endeavors and mentions that Double J will be on Country Music Tonight soon and then drops a Hee Haw reference. Razor gets a nice pop as he saunters to the ring but before the match starts, Jarrett gets right in his face and talks some shit. Razor then flicked the toothpick at him, officially getting us under way. Vince noted that Razor would also be defending his title this weekend on Superstars as he finally answers that challenge from Diesel. Jarrett got a few early shots in, taking Razor down and jawing about it and then hitting an arm drag and focusing in on the limb. Vince questioned if Razor was looking past this bout and to his match with Diesel on Saturday but just as he finished wondering aloud. the champ made a comeback with a fallaway slam. After we get the debut of the Double Feature, Jarrett regained control on the floor and slugged away back inside but Ramon came back with a couple of clotheslines that knocked the challenger back outside. Jarrett yanked the champ out and drilled him into the steps and then went to work in the ring. Jarrett grabbed a near fall off a back elbow and then rammed Razor hard into the corner before pelting him with a fist drop off the middle rope for two. The challenger grabbed a chinlock as the crowd rallied the champ, who eventually fought to his feet and broke the hold. Vince wonders if Razor was biting off too much, having defended his title against Adam Bomb two days ago, Jarrett here and then Diesel this weekend. After a break, Razor snuck in a flurry but Jarrett cut him right off and hooked on a tight sleeperhold. Razor nearly faded but eventually survived and fought out of the hold with a back suplex for a near fall. Jarrett hung in and ducked a charge that sent Ramon careening to the floor. As he recovered out there, Shawn Michaels sauntered out and started talking smack to the Bad Guy. Ramon popped up and slugged Michaels and then headed back into the ring and started to rattle Jarrett. The champ clotheslined Jarrett to the floor and then yanked Michaels in the ring and smacked him around. Just as Razor loaded up Michaels for the Razor’s Edge, Diesel showed up and saved his pal. That led to a great beatdown by Diesel and Michaels, setting the tone for the huge title match on Superstars. This was damn fun and it was a huge step forward from Jarrett, who took the fight right to Ramon and felt like a legit threat. Vince did a great job of pushing his chances as well as Razor’s ragged schedule. These guys had some nice chemistry and everything had good snap and bounce, every move felt crisp and flowed nicely. It was easily Jarrett’s best WWF match to date and also showed the quality of champion that Ramon has become. The finish protected Jarrett nicely and made a ton of sense too. The post match was well done and adds a ton of heat to Saturday’s title bout. Grade: **1/2

*** Shawn Michaels and Diesel check in from backstage and saw Diesel will prove he is the true Intercontinental Champion this weekend. Diesel says they saw an opportunity tonight and seized it and they guarantee they will take home the gold on Superstars. ***

2) Bam Bam Bigelow defeats Tony DeVito with a headbutt off the top rope at 2:15

Scott: The big thing that happens during this squash is that WWF President Jack Tunney calls in to announce next week on Raw the Quebecers will be forced to defend the tag straps against the Headshrinkers. That’s pretty much it. Grade: DUD

JT: Bam Bam Bigelow and Luna Vachon head to the ring for our next tilt as the Bammer is set to clash with Tony DeVito. Bigelow is finally done with the clowns and is looking for his next issue to sink his teeth into. Vince discusses Luna’s chase for Alundra Blayze’s Women’s Title, noting that she will get shots on the WrestleMania Revenge Tour. Bigelow makes quick and easy work of DeVito, but the main story here is Jack Tunney dialing in to confirm that the Quebecers will indeed defend the Tag Team Titles against the Headshrinkers next week on Raw. Big news there. Tunney also says he will investigate any collaboration that occurred between Jarrett, Michaels and Diesel in the previous match. Bigelow puts DeVito away with the top rope headbutt. Grade: DUD

*** The Quebecers and Johnny Polo join us from backstage. Polo says this is unfair and is Lou Albano’s fault. They were all friends and now are forced into a match together. Jacques asks Tunney where the justice is in all this. ***

*** Stanley Esposito, mayor of Stamford, CT, pops in to tell us that the WWF held a special local show and donated all the proceeds to the town library. He credits the kindness and generosity of the company, which is appreciated by all involved. ***

3) Heavenly Bodies defeat Jason Headings & John Paul when Del Ray pinned Headings with a moonsault at 4:55

Scott: Jason Headings looks like Bret Michaels, not SHAWN Michaels. So it looks like Mr. Perfect is out of the WWF at the moment, as Vince announces he no-showed a live event match with Lex Luger this past week. When someone is “indefinitely suspended”, that usually means someone leaves the promotion. The Heavenly Bodies were always a solid team, reminds me of the NWA Midnight Express, with Pritchard as Eaton and Del Rey as Condrey. I love that Jimmy Del Rey is missing a tooth. Typical Smoky Mountain Wrestling. Grade: *

JT: Jim Cornette and the Heavenly Bodies are in the house this week for a tag team bout against John Paul and Jason Headings. Vince thanks the viewers that checked out Raw last week, making it the most watched episode in the program’s history. He and Savage then talk all about the WrestleMania Revenge Tour as the Bodies work over their opponents. Vince then informs us that Mr. Perfect no showed a tour match with Lex Luger and has been indefinitely suspended as a result. Savage said he chickened out and Vince notes that Crush will step in for Perfect against Luger. Savage buries Perfect some more while putting over Crush as an athlete. Headings gets a nice little flurry in but that is quickly cut off by a great trash compactor. The Bodies put quite the beating down here until Del Ray pins Headings with the moonsault. Grade: DUD

*** Jerry Lawler heads out for this week’s King’s Court, with special guest Nikolai Volkoff. Lawler makes fun of Nikolai’s fall from grace and then invites him up from his ringside seat. Lawler makes cracks about his suit and puts over his past accomplishments and then makes fun of him falling on bad times. Nikolai says he will tell the truth, something Lawler never does. He then says his home in the US and he is very proud and he was homesick when he was in Europe. He made lots of money but lost it on bad investments, but he still has his health and will take on Lawler any time. Lawler makes more cracks which only fires Nikolai up even more. Lawler calls him a repulsive broken down old bum that wears the same suit over and over. He tells Nikolai to beg for a job or a hand out but Nikolai says he is not scared of working for a living or of Lawler. Nikolai says he is an honest, hard working man and Lawler says anyone that has a job for him should give a call. Nikolai proudly walks off. ***

4) 1-2-3 Kid defeats Duane Gill with a spin kick at 3:11

Scott: The Kid is somewhat back on his own and doing his thing after this alliance with Marty Jannetty. The Nikolai Volkoff segment with Jerry Lawler wasn’t the best and didn’t really come off as great as it could have. Lawler kind of owned him, so I don’t know if that was a rib or not. Duane Gill’s mullet is getting way out of control. The match isn’t too bad actually, with the Kid winning in the end but Gill threw himself around and made the match better. Grade: *

JT: The 1-2-3 Kid is out for our next matchup, set to battle Duane Gill and his ridiculous mullet. Kid is another guy who seems to be a bit aimless out here, a man without a feud. The undercard is pretty filled with quality talent and they should be paired off better. We get more talk about Razor Ramon and how he will be seeking revenge this weekend. Gill gets a few shots in as Vince talks about some random topics both within the WWF and pop culture, including our weekly update on Roseanne and Tom Arnold. Savage then promotes To The Ends of the Earth, this week’s USA Wednesday Movie. Kid makes a comeback using his agility and speed before polishing Gill off with a spin kick. Grade: DUD

*** The Undertaker sightings continue as hear from a gentleman that works in a deli and he claims that the Deadman came in the other day and ordered a six foot wedge. He made the sandwich but when he turned around to get the pickles, the Undertaker vanished. ***

5) Owen Hart defeats Rich Myers via submission with the Sharpshooter at 3:24

Scott: Right before this match we get our first King of the Ring promo, June 19 in Baltimore. More on that in upcoming episodes. Vince alluded to Owen getting WWF Title shots with his brother Bret on the WrestleMania Revenge tour. In fact Owen will get a shot this coming Friday night at the Providence Civic Center! Hmmmm, you going JR? Owen wins with the Sharpshooter and we move on. Grade: *

JT: Yes, Scott, I am attending that show! Can’t wait! Also, the King of the Ring is coming soon and that means our Qualifying Matches should be kicking off soon too. Owen Hart is out for our final match of the evening, battling Rich Myers. Vince notes that Owen will battle Mo on Challenge this weekend, so check that out. Vince then sends condolences to the family of Richard Nixon before we also get more talk of the Revenge Tour as Owen makes swift work of Myers and his mullet, finishing him with the Sharpshooter. Grade: DUD

*** Lou Albano heads out and celebrates the big news while hyping next week’s big Tag Team Title bout. He also says the Headshrinkers will be his 20th championship team. That draws out Johnny Polo, who gets in the Captain’s face and calls him an old man and a geezer and asks what he is even a captain of. That leads to Randy Savage grabbing hold of Polo and Albano nailing him with a right hand. The Quebecers came out to check on their manager as the show went off the air. ***

Final Analysis

Scott: Another strong episode with five matches packed into an hour. Yeah Lou Albano is back which is mildly annoying but I guess it’s to turn the Headshrinkers face? I’m still perplexed by that. Is it to fill the slot emptied by the loss of the Steiners? Again, why not just give the Smoking Gunns their chance? The Nikolai Volkoff segment seems really silly. I understand having some veterans to stabilize, but not to eat up precious storyline advancement time. Sure a few minutes to drop a jobber is one thing, but not taking up interview time for a storyline. Seems a bit much. We begin the build to Baltimore and the conclusion of the East Coast swing of PPVs that began in November with Survivor Series. Another great episode. Final Grade: B+

JT: Another very enjoyable episode of Raw as things have really settled in nicely after WrestleMania. The pacing of these shows overall has much improved and even the taped episodes feel more lively than they had in the past. The roster has solidified with a blend of new talent and old being utilized in a variance of ways. I like how they are rolling out random matches across the card (Owen Hart vs. Mo) to help with exposure and staying away from a straight slate of jobber matches. There is just a sense of ease and focus out there right now as we cruise along week to week, building both short and long term programs. There is also a lot of synergy across all the shows as opposed to 1993 when Raw often felt like it occurred in a vacuum. The Ramon vs. Jarrett match was fun treat and I loved the post match attack and all of the hype to this weekend’s title bout. I also enjoyed the King’s Court as Nikolai finally told us what he is up too and showed that he remains a proud, hard working man. The rest of the lineup was filled with quick squashes, but a lot of angles and development were told on commentary throughout them. We also have set up a really big time match for next week, one that has been brewing for a quite a while. Final Grade: B