Thursday, November 3, 2016

Raw History: Episodes #55-57

Raw History
Episode #55
March 21st, 1994 | Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, New York

We are live and 24 hours removed from WrestleMania X, a show that featured two classics. The big title change coming out of the show is Bret Hart as the new WWF Champion.

Non-Title Match
The Quebecers w/ Johnny Polo vs. The Bushwhackers

Why are the Bushwhackers still employed? This starts with the Bushwhackers doing their typical antics. Vince McMahon apologizes because a ten man tag from WrestleMania was cut due to the “teams not being able to get on the same page”. In other words, they were cut for time restraints. The match will happen in two weeks on Raw. The Bushwhackers have control until the commercial break, when the Quebecers take over. This match is getting far too much time. Some Polo interference allows the Quebecers to win this.

Winners: The Quebecers in 9:21
I really hope I never have to see the Bushwhackers on Raw again. This lasted far too long and should have just been the Quebecers beating them rather handily. ½*

As Vince McMahon tries to get a word with the winners, Capt. Lou Albano comes out saying that he’s going to put together a team and wants a shot at the belts. The Quebecers accept. I guess there will finally be some payoff for the Albano stuff that we saw months ago.

After some still images from WrestleMania X, IRS gives us some tax advice. Can you believe this guy would stick around for another year or so?

Tatanka vs. Chris Hammrick
This is the same Hammrick that would be in ECW a few years later if I’m correct. Tatanka had on his GIANT ceremonial headdress. Hammrick misses a move and falls straight to the ropes to the outside. It looked pretty nasty. Tatanka takes too long here, stalling since he knows he must kill time. He wins with his Samoan or Native American drop.

Winner: Tatanka in 4:46
Too long for a squash match, especially considering Tatanka is not really a fun guy to watch. ½*

Todd Pettengill, supposedly in the locker room in Madison Square Garden, brings us a WrestleMania report. Make sure to order the encore!

Diesel vs. Ken Lucia
The Diesel push is about to get serious. Diesel hits a big leaping clothesline or shoulder block. It’s hard to see because the camera angle was far back. Diesel hits his four or so moves, the side slam, snake eyes, big boot and the Jackknife wins it.

Winner: Diesel in 2:36
All Diesel and that’s how it should be at this time. As I said, the mega-push is coming. *

Next week, Lex Luger takes on Rick Martel! Luger is pissed because he came up short in a big match again.

Vince McMahon brings out the new WWF Champion, Bret Hart, for an in-ring interview. Vince recaps how Bret won and Bret says that he will be the fighting champion that he was last year. Vince then brings up how Owen Hart defeated Bret to open the show. Bret gives Owen props for winning and makes no excuses, but says things are different now that he’s champion again.

Jeff Jarrett vs. Koko B. Ware
Is tonight a showcase for guys who shouldn’t still be signed at this point? He hits a shoulder block but Jarrett controls this thing. It’s funny that Owen Hart has gone way high in the card while Koko is still rocking the High Energy gear here. Koko tries to make a comeback after being beaten up for most of the match, but falls short. Jarrett picks up the win with a DDT.

Winner: Jeff Jarrett in 5:04
This wasn’t exactly a squash match, though the outcome wasn’t really ever in doubt. Still, it was relatively dull. ½*

For some reason, Jeff Jarrett gets in Randy Savage’s face after the match. They go in the ring and the crowd wants Savage. He sends Jarrett packing and celebrates with Koko B. Ware.

Overall: 1/10. What the hell was this? You come off of the heels of your biggest show of the year and you follow it up with this? Four bad matches and an interview with the WWF that didn’t really go anywhere? Think about this…the best match was a short Diesel squash and the fallout from WrestleMania episode ends with Koko B. Ware. That’s just horrible.

Raw History
Episode #56
March 28th, 1994 | Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, New York

Footage from earlier tonight is shown, where Ted Dibiase buys ringside seats from fans. Your hosts tonight are Vince McMahon and Jim Cornette.

Lex Luger vs. Rick Martel
Vince McMahon complains through the first few minutes about Mr. Perfect “costing” Lex Luger the WWF Title at WrestleMania. Going back and watching that match though, it’s pretty clear that Mr. Perfect did the right thing. Luger starts hot with some of his classic SCREAMING CLOTHESLINES! Luger slows things down with an extended headlock sequence. Martel takes over and Luger does some piss poor selling. Cornette actually insinuates that due to losing at Mania, Luger may try to commit suicide. Martel points to his brain to state how smart he is, allowing the Luger comeback, which ends with a torture rack.

Winner: Lex Luger in 14:47
Acceptable wrestling match here. Not too bad and not too good, but a bit dull at times. Luger’s poor selling also takes something out of this as well as the fact that it went too long. *¾ 

Owen Hart vs. Jobber Freeman
We don’t get the name of the jobber, though he screams jobber in the worst way. During the match, we get a promo from Ted Dibiase from his seat. It’s a strange camera angle to work with. As Vince and Cornette talk nonsense on commentary, Owen has to stall. Hey, Vince calls the jobber “Freeman” so I’ll go with that. Owen wins with the Sharpshooter.

Winner: Owen Hart in 5:09
Normally, Owen Hart delivers here but this was pretty bad. I think the main issue was that he was forced to stall. ¼*

Doink vs. Eric Cody
There hasn’t been much in the way of promos tonight. Dink does some of his annoying antics early. At one point, he steps on Eric Cody, which makes me question why there wasn’t a disqualification called. Doink wins with the Whoopee Cushion.

Winner: Doink in 3:30
Another ho-hum Doink match. I miss Matt Osbourne. ¼*

Jim Cornette brings out Johnny Polo and the Quebecers. As Cornette praises them, Capt. Lou Albano comes out. He wants to know if they accept his challenge from last week. They laugh it off and say they accept, so Lou goes back to get his team. He brings out the Headshrinkers. The Quebecers have second thoughts and Polo tries to back out, but already accepted and is stuck.

Next Monday, a WrestleMania rematch! That’s right, Adam Bomb vs. Earthquake.

1-2-3 Kid vs. Black Phantom
I’ve found out that the Black Phantom is Gangrel. These two would have a PPV match about five years later. Phantom tosses Kid around early but he uses that quick offense to swing the momentum in his favor. Cornette does a good job in mentioning that Kid wins with his speed and risks, but it is also how he loses. He wins here with a moonsault.

Winner: 1-2-3 Kid in 2:24
Why did this get the least time of all of the squashes? They were actually two capable workers. ½*

Crush w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Ray Hudson
Nikolai Volkoff is at ringside again and Vince points out that he’s wearing the same suit. They’re trying to say he’s broke, but it could be because of the long black of tapings. Crush plods through his offense and stalls a bit before winning.

Winner: Crush in 3:22
Again, who keeps giving guys like Crush time? He always sucks. Literally always. ¼*

Overall: 2.5/10. Another bad episode of Raw coming out of WrestleMania. It’s as if they aren’t trying at all. I know that the next PPV isn’t for another few months but there should still be some sort of effort on these episodes.

Raw History
Episode #57
April 4th, 1994 | Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, New York

The show starts with Adam Bomb and Earthquake arguing backstage. Vince McMahon and Gorilla Monsoon are our hosts and they are CLEARLY standing in front of a green screen.

Adam Bomb w/ Harvey Wippleman vs. Earthquake
These two met at WrestleMania. Instead of putting over the new, big guy with some potential, Earthquake won. As Adam Bomb works over Earthquake, it leads to Harvey Wippleman and Howard Finkel getting in each other’s faces. Oh goodness, their feud is coming. Bomb hits a flying clothesline for two. Earthquake actually hits a solid belly to belly suplex. He then wins with the ass splash.

Winner: Earthquake in 4:18
That was slow, boring and had the added awfulness of the ringside antics between Harvey and Fink. Also, the wrong guy won again. ¼*

A recap is shown of Lex Luger coming up short again at WrestleMania when he lost via disqualification. Luger is going to take it out on Mr. Perfect.

Gorilla Monsoon brings out Mr. Perfect for an interview about the outcome of the match at WrestleMania. He says his side of the story, which is the right one. Yes, Luger had Yokozuna beaten but Perfect had to get rid of the interfering managers. Then, Luger pushed him and was rightfully disqualified. Monsoon thinks he had a vendetta against Luger and it ends there.

Razor Ramon vs. Austin Steele
Looking at these two guys, it’s pretty clear how this is going to work. Razor Ramon dominates, slapping the pudgy Austin Steele around. The biggest news comes from commentary. First, Vince tells us that Razor will be defending the belt against Diesel soon. Then, he tells us that Men on a Mission won the Tag Titles on a house show, only to drop them back to the Quebecers two nights later. Razor does his usual stuff and wins with the Razor’s Edge. 

Winner: Razor Ramon in 3:43
Standard Razor Ramon squash match. ¾*

A recap is shown of the Headshrinkers and Lou Albano looking for a Tag Team Title shot. Jack Tunney is looking into it and while he does that, next week, the Quebecers are defending the belts. Against who? The fans choose between the Smoking Guns, Men on a Mission and the Bushwhackers. YOU CAN VOTE FOR JUST $1.49 PER MINUTE!

IRS, Jeff Jarrett, Rick Martel & the Headshrinkers w/ Afa vs. 1-2-3 Kid, Thurman Plugg, Tatanka and the Smoking Gunns
This is the match that was cut from WrestleMania. Also, didn’t the Headshrinkers turn face last week? Everyone seems to be motivated as they work at a quick pace. Maybe they’re trying to show that they belonged on WrestleMania. IRS gets tagged and thankfully isn’t on offense, so not even he can slow things down. It’s a lot of fun seeing everyone fly around the ring, especially the Kid. Things break down into a major brawl with everyone fighting everyone. IRS steals a pin after 1-2-3 Kid misses a splash.

Winners: IRS, Jeff Jarrett, Rick Martel and the Headshrinkers in 11:47
Hey, that was actually pretty fun. That would have been better to have on Mania than Adam Bomb/Earthquake or 11 minutes of Luger/Yokozuna. **¾

Shawn Michaels and Diesel bring us the first ever HEARTBREAK HOTEL! After putting himself and the idea of this talk show over, Shawn turns the attention to Razor Ramon and the fact that Diesel is going to challenge Razor for the IC Title.

Yokozuna w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Scott Powers
Gorilla Monsoon tries to blame Yokozuna falling at WrestleMania on slippery ropes. Yokozuna dominates and wins with the Banzai Drop.

Winner: Yokozuna in 2:26
All Yokozuna. ½*

Overall: 3.5/10. The best episode of a bad bunch. We finally get some forward movement with the Diesel/Razor stuff and the six man tag match was a fun match. Nothing else was particularly good, but it was a step in the right direction after two piss poor weeks.

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