Friday, September 9, 2016

Raw History: Episodes #49-51

Raw History
Episode #49
January 24th, 1994 | Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, Virginia

The Royal Rumble was the night before but this is a taped episode. I hate that. Nothing significant will probably happen here. Commentary will be Vince McMahon and Jim Ross. Here are the Rumble results.

Tatanka def. Bigelow (replacement for Ludvig Borga)
The Quebecers def. Bret Hart and Owen Hart (Bret tried to fight valiantly but didn’t tag in Owen, causing Owen to turn on him and kick his leg out from under his leg. Yes, that’s how Owen says it in his promo)
Razor Ramon def. IRS to keep the IC Title
Yokozuna def. Undertaker to keep the WWF Title (one of the most absurd things you’ll ever see. Go watch this train wreck. Undertaker would take time off until SummerSlam)
Bret Hart and Lex Luger co-won the Royal Rumble

Lex Luger vs. Austin Steele
Austin Steele looks like a knockoff Buddy Landell. He gets in a few shots, but this is mostly Lex Luger. Unfortunately, most of the things that Luger does are pretty boring. He hits a powerslam before winning with a second rope suplex. Was that seriously one of his finishers?

Winner: Lex Luger in 3:31
Man, Lex Luger is not really fun to watch is he? Bland stuff here. ½*

Todd Pettengill brings us the Royal Rumble Report. He recaps all of the stuff I wrote about in the beginning of this review.

Jeff Jarrett vs. John Paul
Man, poor John Paul got the most generic of jobber names didn’t he? Jeff Jarrett once again is sporting some ridiculous attire. Jarrett goes through his stuff, complete with jaw jacking but it almost costs him as Paul rolls him up multiple times. To win, Jarrett pulls the tights.

Winner: Jeff Jarrett in 4:11
Another standard squash from Jeff Jarrett, but it’s funny that he had to hold the tights. ¾*

Next week, the 1-2-3 Kid faces Johnny Polo!

The Headshrinkers w/ Afa vs. Men on a Mission w/ Oscar
This was supposed to be the Headshrinkers vs. Owen and Bret but the Harts had a falling out at the Rumble. Well, talk about getting terrible replacements. It sucks because they advertised that on a show that was pre-recorded. You knew the split was coming and that this was the match we would get you bastards. After beating up the useless Mo for a bit, Mabel gets tagged and Samu wants no part of tagging out. For some reason, this goes to a commercial break while Mo is the face in peril. He’s not particularly good at it but he has to by default. Mabel eventually gets the relatively hot tag and does some of his plodding offense. It’s hilarious to see the crowd looking like they’re sitting on their hands while piped in crowd noise goes wild. Mo tags back in like an idiot and eats a superkick and splash to end it.

Winners: The Headshrinkers in 10:48
Why did Men on a Mission get the eventual Tag Title shot at WrestleMania? Anyway, this was slow and plodding and more disappointing since I was advertised what I’m sure was going to be a better match.*

Adam Bomb w/ Harvey Wippleman vs. Tommy Angel
Yea, this is all Adam Bomb outside of two dropkicks. He nails a dropkick of his own, a clothesline and the power bomb.

Winner: Adam Bomb in 3:07
Typical Adam Bomb squash. He gets in his power and a bit of his athletic stuff. ¾*

A Thurman Plugg vignette is shown again.

Doink vs. Joey Stallings
Dammit. I hate watching Doink when it’s not the originator. Dink has an invisible dog that attacks Joey before the match. Wow. Doink hits his stuff and wins with the Whoopee Cushion.

Winner: Doink in 3:26
Man, this episode has really lacked hasn’t it? Another ho-hum match. ½*

Shawn Michaels w/ Diesel vs. Tyrone Knox
Can Shawn Michaels save this dire episode? Shawn works over Knox and we nearly see Diesel get in a cheap shot but he decides that Knox isn’t worth it. Hilariously, Vince McMahon says that there were rumors that the CBS was going to have the WWF replace the NFL. Not even at the height of the WWF’s popularity would that have been a good move for CBS.

Winner: Shawn Michaels in N/A (stopwatch issues)
Nope, Shawn Michaels could not save this, although this was the most entertaining match of the night. 

Overall: 1.5/10. This show was horrible. Partially because it was recorded before the Royal Rumble and nothing of note could happen, but also because there was little to no effort in the actual stuff. Squash matches and a piss poor marquee match with no angle advancement makes for a bad episode.

Raw History
Episode #50
January 31st, 1994 | Fernwood Resort in Bushkill, Pennsylvania

Hey, we’re live! Commentary is Vince McMahon and IRS.

Marty Jannetty vs. Johnny Polo
A rematch of a good match from a few weeks ago. It was supposed to be the 1-2-3 Kid, but he’s hurt and joins commentary. Polo talks trash before the bell so Marty trips him up and ties his feet together in the microphone wire. Wow, remember when there were actually cords to microphones? Marty is in control until the commercial break where we return in the midst of a Polo chinlock. Look at these guys using the commercial break correctly. Polo does well at getting in all of the usual heel tactics. Things have slowed and gone downhill rather quickly as this is nowhere near as fun as the match a few weeks back. Marty wins with the Rocker Dropper.

Winner: Marty Jannetty in 9:33
This got off to a fun start, but really slowed as time went on. It’s like, they went from having a good time a few weeks ago, to just trying to bore us this time around. **

IRS is a dick on commentary, so 1-2-3 Kid gets on him for stealing Razor Ramon’s chain. IRS hits him and Jannetty makes the save. Kid escapes with IRS’ briefcase. After a commercial, IRS goes to chase them down but Razor appears with his chain and IRS backs away like that gives Razor special powers or something.

We go to JACK TUNNEY! He’s discussing the controversial ending to the 1994 Royal Rumble. Tunney says that both Bret Hart and Lex Luger will get title shots at WrestleMania. There will be a coin toss. If Luger wins, he gets the first shot and Bret faces Owen. Bret would then face the winner of the title match. If Bret wins, he gets the first shot and Luger faces Crush before getting his shot. How are Crush and Owen Hart on the same level?

Bam Bam Bigelow w/ Luna Vachon vs. Miguel Rosado
During this match, IRS challenges Marty Jannetty to a match next week. Somehow, Bigelow is in far better shape than his opponent. Rosado is just flabby and has a massive gut. Bigelow shouts that he wants Doink as he just pulverizes Rosado.

Winner: Bam Bam Bigelow in 2:11
All Bigelow and that’s a good thing. It was short, which is what I want from an imposing guy like him. *

Vince McMahon, Jack Tunney and a bunch of those douchebag “yes men” are in the ring for the coin toss. Lex Luger and Bret Hart come out, with the latter getting a significantly better reaction. Luger wins the coin toss, saving us from Crush vs. Lex and giving us Bret vs. Owen.

Kwang w/ Harvey Wippleman vs. Rich Myers
Who thought that people would buy Kwang as a threat? He looks like a good trying terrible martial arts. His “martial arts” only bests what we saw from Crush. Owen Hart is the best thing about this when he calls in and runs down Bret hart. Kwang finishes with a superkick.

Winner: Kwang in 3:21
Another squash that wasn’t interesting, but at least it was relatively short. About as good a debut as you could expect for someone like Kwang. ¾*

Time for Todd Pettengill and the WrestleMania Report! He goes over the stuff we already know like Luger vs. Yokozuna, Bret vs. Owen and Bret vs. the winner of the Luger/Yokozuna match.

We are taken to a “Special Look” at the Undertaker. It’s Paul Bearer in a graveyard talking about how the Undertaker would never rest in peace, so he isn’t gone. Can it be considered a look at someone if he isn’t shown?

Earthquake vs. Cory Student
Vince McMahon says there’s going to be a big ovation because Earthquake is back. The fans almost give no reaction. As Earthquake plods through his offense, we get word that Jannetty has accepted IRS’ challenge. He then hits the earthquake ass splash and wins.

Winner: Earthquake in 3:18
Earthquake’s return would be the first in a line of guys way past their prime and usefulness getting brought back to the company. It wasn’t good at any point. ¼*

Marty Jannetty and Razor Ramon are interviewed about next week. Goodness, Marty stumbles through this and looks blasted out of his mind.

Overall: 3.5/10. Better than last week but that isn’t saying much. The marquee match was disappointing and the squashes were kind of just there. Still, there was some decent forward movement towards WrestleMania, which is important.

Raw History
Episode #51
February 7th, 1994 | Fernwood Resort in Bushkill, Pennsylvania

Oh goodness, Vince McMahon’s broadcast partner this week is Bastion Booger.

The Smoking Guns vs. Barry Horowitz and Reno Riggins
Hey, it’s two decent jobbers. They actually start by doing well until Bart cross bodies in, despite not being tagged. Come on, Bill Alfonso, you need to be a better official. Vince informs us that the Steiner Brothers were unable to beat the Quebecers in a 10 minute challenge on Superstars. The Steiners would be on their way out of the company and I doubt we’ll see them again on Raw. The Guns use the default WWE 2K series double team move of a drop toe hold/elbow drop combination. Guns win after the Sidewinder.

Winners: The Smoking Guns in 3:39
Pretty fine stuff here. Horowitz and Riggins are solid hands for jobbers so this was decent. *

A clip is shown of Owen Hart on All-American Wrestling where he talks about how good it felt to kick his brother at the Royal Rumble. Bret also speaks, saying that while he never wanted to fight his brother, he has to.

Owen Hart vs. John Paul
Bastion Booger: I don’t trust this John Paul guy, I never trust a guy with two first names. He’s not wrong. Owen gets his stuff in, keeping it about as entertaining as you’d expect, finishing with the Sharpshooter.

Winner: Owen Hart in 3:36
Another squash for Owen that comes off better than the squashes by other guys. *¼

We get another Paul Bearer graveyard promo about the Undertaker.

IRS vs. Marty Jannetty
In typical IRS fashion, the match is dull. That is until Jannetty SUPER over bumps on a whip into the ring post. How is IRS so sweaty? The match is like 1:20 in. The Quebecers show up just before the commercial break but are ejected by the time the show returns. We see why as they attacked Jannetty. IRS is in control, going through the motions of his boring offense. Johnny Polo shows up as Jannetty rallies, followed by Razor Ramon, followed by the Quebecers. Who is overbooking this? Why are the Quebecers allowed back out? They telegraph the hell out of the finish as Polo trips Jannetty on a springboard, allowing IRS to pin him.

Winner: IRS in 8:54
Dammit, I’ve still yet to see an interesting IRS singles match. Jannetty wasn’t at his best here, which means that IRS was in total control of calling things and that is bad news. 

Vince McMahon tells us that Razor Ramon and Marty Jannetty have demanded and been granted a Tag Team Title shot in two weeks on Raw. Next week is pre-empted by the dog show.

Thurman Plugg vs. Duane Gill
Oh look, it’s future J.O.B. Squad teammates. Vince calls “Sparky” an “electric performer” but he does relatively basic stuff here. His gear is only second to Jeff Jarrett for worst in the company currently. Plugg wins with a flying knee drop.

Winner: Thurman Plugg in 2:58
He was there, he did his stuff and the crowd didn’t care. ½*

Todd Pettengill brings us the WrestleMania Report, featuring the announcement of Crush vs. Randy Savage in a Falls Count Anywhere match.

Crush w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Thornberg
I didn’t catch the first name of the jobber. Crush gets in all of the offense, hitting a bad martial arts kick and winning with the CLAW!

Winner: Crush in 2:34
It’s Crush so you know it isn’t good. At least it was short though. ½*

Overall: 3.5/10. This was such a bad crop of episodes, with none of them being any good. This one was “highlighted” by a boring marquee match and some dull squashes, though I did not hate the first two matches.