Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 5/9/94

*** 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 #62

May 9, 1994 (April 26, 1994)
Green Mountain State
Burlington, VT
Announcers: Vince McMahon & Randy Savage

1) Razor Ramon defeats Kwang in a King of the Ring Qualifying Match with the Razor’s Edge at 9:42

Scott: In his first televised match since losing the Intercontinental Title to Diesel, The Bad Guy takes on Kwang in a qualifying match for June 19 in Baltimore. IRS was the first to qualify by beating Scott Steiner this past weekend on Superstars. With the right guy, Razor was a pretty solid worker in the ring. Unfortunately, Kwang wasn’t an easy guy to throw around, so this was a battle of two big guys throwing bombs at each other over and over again. Kwang got a pretty solid amount of offense in, as we find out Razor broke his nose against Diesel the previous weekend. Vince and Savage did a great job keeping the energy level up as Kwang lays into Razor with the kicks but he keeps kicking out. Harvey Wippleman is badmouthing the Vermont crowd, but his guy is giving all the business possible to Bad Guy but neither will give up. This match is much more entertaining than I expected it to be. Razor eventually recovers and gets Kwang up for the Razor’s Edge and hits it for the victory. Huge win for the Bad Guy, who moves on to the tournament. Grade: **

JT: We are back in Vermont this week, again on tape, and the official build for the second annual King of the Ring is underway. Vince McMahon and Randy Savage are in the booth as we open things up with a big qualifying match featuring the former IC champ Razor Ramon and the mysterious Kwang. We saw Kwang a few weeks ago as he gave Bret Hart a solid little WWF Title match. Vince notes that we should have Yokozuna’s response to Earthquake’s challenge here tonight as he visits the King’s Court. Ramon looked focused as he made his way out and kept his eyes locked on Kwang and Harvey Wippleman as they entered. Razor took hold of the arm to open things up but Kwang broke free and used some thrusts and chops to take control of the bout. He worked Ramon over with some kicks in the corner before laying in more chops. Ramon turned him around and battered him with right hands before clotheslining him to the floor. Kwang kept popping up and hopping on the apron, fending off Ramon attacks and finally snapping his neck across the top rope to slow up the Bad Guy. That was some really cool stuff as we usually get the heel regrouping instead of aggressively charging back into the ring. Kwang kept kicking and punching away but Razor was able to catch him in a flash backslide for two in between offensive spurts. Kwang kept the pressure on with a choke but whiffed on a charge and slammed his shoulder into the post. Razor went back to the arm, grabbing a near fall on a high cross body in between wrist locks. Kwang broke out and leveled Ramon with a desperation spinning heel kick before laying in some chops to the traps and hooking in a chinlock. Vince comments that Ramon’s mouth was busted up and claims that we will cut to a wide angle if it gets worse due to all the kids watching at home. It certainly is a new era. Kwang was able to crack Ramon with a knee lift to the nose but the Bad Guy slugged his way back into things momentarily until Kwang blocked a back drop and slammed him face first into the mat. After a break, Ramon again punched free from Kwang and sent him hard to the mat with a chokeslam for two. Ramon heated up, clobbering Kwang with more right hands before propping him up on the middle rope. Kwang elbowed Ramon down and came off with a nice cross body but Razor rolled through for a two count. As they both popped up, Kwang cut Ramon down with a kick for a near fall. Ramon recovered, drilled Kwang with a knee lift and then tried for the Edge but collapsed under the weight of the masked man. A moment later, Kwang whiffed on a dropkick and then mustered up some more energy and this time hit the Edge for the win. That was a surprisingly nifty little match and I will say Kwang has brought it in his two big Raw matches. He wrestled aggressively and unconventionally, especially when it came to cutting off comebacks and landing big strikes. Razor was gutty as well and showed his anger and focus well, especially when he nutted up and hit the Edge on the second attempt. With a better gimmick Kwang could maybe be something eventually. For now, he is here to make the upper mid carders and main eventers look good. The Bad Guy is officially heading to Baltimore. Grade: **

*** Todd Pettengil is in the house with this week’s King of the Ring report and he is sporting the official King of the Ring satin jacket. With that said, the following superstars have qualified for the KOTR tournament:

Razor Ramon

Next week’s upcoming qualifying:

Sparky Thurman Plugg vs. Bam Bam Bigelow (Winner faces Razor Ramon)

Also announced for the PPV:

Roddy Piper vs. Jerry Lawler

Things are starting to come together and we are just a little over five weeks away from the big Father’s Day event in Baltimore. Order today! ***

2) Crush defeats Raymond Roy with a Heart Punch at 2:57

Scott: Before this match during the KOTR Report, Todd announces that Jerry Lawler vs. Roddy Piper has been set for the PPV. Piper then does some Piper-ish promos from his movie set to get the build rolling. Raymond Roy, and iconic 90s jobber, makes his Raw debut here against the devious Crush. The way Vince is talking, it looks like Lex Luger has been siphoned off the whole Mr. Perfect thing to now be feuding with Crush. As I’m watching these Raws I’m starting to feel a little sympathy for Luger because his feuds keep bouncing around because guys keep leaving the promotion. Savage’s reading of the Friday the 13th USA promos is hilarious. Crush wins. Grade: DUD

JT: We are back and next up we are going to check out Crush in a showcase tilt with Rhode Island’s own Raymond Roy. The big man is as menacing as always and is accompanying by Mr. Fuji as usual. Savage puts over Crush’s skill as Vince notes that he will be battling Lex Luger across the WrestleMania Revenge Tour. Roy actually struck first and got a two count on a roll up but that was all she wrote from the Ocean Stater as Crush mowed him down with a kick. Vince and Randy covered a few topics from across the WWF as Crush tortured Roy and polished him off with the heart punch. Savage was able to sneak in a plug for Friday the 13th Part V and VII coming this week on USA. This was just Crush doing Crush things. Grade: DUD

*** We head over to the dump to check in on Duke “The Dumpster” Droese. He is coming soon! ***

*** We then head back to last week’s Superstars when Jerry Lawler tormented Dink until Doink came out to make the save. Doink would slam two pies in Dink’s face and then silly string him. doing then unmask to reveal himself as Jeff Jarrett. ***

3) Doink defeats Mike Terrance with the Whoopee Cushion at 2:28

Scott: We get clips from Superstars when Jeff Jarrett attacked Dink, dressed as Doink. It was actually really funny and was my favorite Jeff Jarrett moment to this point. Doink won with the usual parlor tricks crap. Grade: DUD

JT: It looks like Dink has recovered from his grand humiliation as he is skipping to the ring here alongside his big buddy Doink. Where are you, Matt Borne? The Doinkster is lined up with Mike Terrance tonight and Vince takes a moment to put over the Clown’s technical skills before deriding Jeff Jarrett’s long term goals. As Doink alternated between tricks and strikes, Jarrett called in and bragged about his Dink assault and just laughs off the idea that Doink is a good technical wrestler. He rants a bit more and hangs up just before Doink hits the Whoopee Cushion for the win. We’re all having fun out there this week! Grade: DUD

*** We check out a spotlight video on Earthquake, highlighting his sumo background and future in the WWF.”

*** After a break, Jerry Lawler joins us in the ring for this week’s King Court. As usual, Lawler trashes Roddy Piper for a minute before bringing out his guest, Yokozuna. Yoko ambled out alongside Mr. Fuji and Jim Cornette and settled in for the conversation. Lawler and Cornette mock the photos of Earthquake as a sumo wrestler but do admit he was undefeated in the sport. Cornette calls that ancient history and says the athletes of today are better than the ones he faced and that Quake is nothing more than a typical American arm chair quarterback these days. Yoko is the one that proves what he can do, not just talk about it, and explains that the term yokozuna means “grand champion of sumo wrestling”. Lawler asks Cornette if they will accept Quake’s challenge and they do so immediately, with Cornette saying they should have a sumo match to really prove who is the true champion. They run through the potential logistics of such a match and Cornette asks Lawler to hunt down Quake and gain his acceptance for a sumo match next week. ***

*** We head out to a yard where a random landscaper discusses seeing the Undertaker while they were working a job last week. ***

4) Mabel defeats Mike Bell with a sidewalk slam at 2:27

Fun Fact: Here in the late spring of ’94, Men on a Mission were forced to take a break from tag team wrestling. Mo injured his leg in a match with Owen Hart at a Wrestling Challenge taping. This injury would put him out of action for several months, allowing Mabel to get a singles push. Due to his size, he was always seen as the special attraction in the group. He would get his first taste of that face push following this episode of Raw as he enters the KotR qualifiers.

Scott: Well we knew this would happen eventually. Mabel would start working some singles matches because Vince definitely wants this giant hoss to be something down the line. This coming weekend Mabel will face Pierre from the Quebecers in a KOTR qualifying match. The winner will face IRS at the PPV, so we pretty much know who’s winning that match. Before this match Yokozuna was on the King’s Court and Jim Cornette accepted Earthquake’s challenge, but it will be a Sumo Match. Savage just got a note during this hot mess that Earthquake is accepting the challenge next week for the Sumo match. Mabel wins and moves on to the qualifying match this weekend. Grade: DUD

JT: Closing things out for us this week is Mabel, who is battling Mike Bell tonight and then wrestling Pierre this weekend in a KOTR Qualifier. The winner of that bout will face IRS in the first round. So, it looks like Mabel will be getting a push of his own for the time being. Bell jumped Mabel off the bell but that ended poorly as Mabel smacked him around with chops before clotheslining him to the mat. As Mabel works the arm a bit, Savage informs us that Earthquake has “unofficially” accepted the challenge. We are looking for confirmation still! And as I type that, Savage says he found out it is official. Mabel hit Bell with a leg drop, squashed him with an avalanche and then ended his night with a sidewalk slam. Mabel looks locked and loaded to go for his big qualifying match this weekend. Grade: DUD

*** Jerry Lawler catches up with Earthquake backstage and Quake officially accepts the sumo match challenge for next week. ***

Final Analysis

Scott: This episode had a lot of crap (cough-DOINK-cough) but it did advance some storylines as we head towards June 19. I enjoyed the Earthquake revival and it also gave Yokozuna something to do after his loss a month and a half earlier. The verbal jabs between Jerry Lawler and Roddy Piper has now turned into a match at King of the Ring. That’s a match that’s never happened on a big stage and really spikes the PPV. Since WrestleMania, Raw is starting to position itself as the top show on WWF programming. It’s not quite there yet as the weekend syndies still get a decent chunk of juicy storyline hooks. But Raw will get there eventually. Final Grade: B-

JT: This was a solid episode of Raw that helped propel us along toward King of the Ring while also continuing our mini story arc of Yokozuna vs. Earthquake. Quake has really been pushed as a top player here since his return, which is cool to see. The Ramon/Kwang match was better than I anticipated and I like the story of Ramon working his way back into contention via the KOTR. And speaking of KOTR, we found out that Roddy Piper will return to the ring to battle Jerry Lawler after the two have been trading verbal jabs over the past few weeks. At this point, Raw has become a fairly well oiled machine when it comes to show structure and goals. The talent turnover continues but most of these guys are working hard and aggressively and that helps carry things despite the dimming of star power. Final Grade: B-