Welcome to the latest edition of ‘Raw Rewind‘. Today we take in the second episode of WWF Raw from 1994, this show aired on 10 January of that year and is the one year anniversary of the first broadcast. It features The Quebecers, Bam Bam Bigelow and the Undertaker in action.
Champion Roll Call:
WWF Champion: Yokozuna
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Razor Ramon
WWF Tag Team Champions: The Quebecers
You can read last week’s Raw recap here.
We see a video hyping the programme between Johnny Polo and Marty Jannetty, which has led to the match on this episode of Raw where Jannetty and the 1-2-3 Kid will challenge for the tag titles against Polo’s charges, the Quebecers. We then hear from the Quebecers who say that they are focused on their match at the Royal Rumble against Bret and Owen Hart. I fear that could backfire…
After the credits, the Macho Man Randy Savage’s music hits and he makes his way out in a snazzy black, white and red jacket emblazzened with the Raw logo. Special disposition, apparently, has allowed Savage to return to commentary duties alongside McMahon. Johnny Polo, who commentated last week, was brutally annoying. So, on one level, this is progress. Savage’s message for the fans? “Oh yeah!” Naturally…
Match 1: WWF Tag Team champions The Quebecers (w/ Johnny Polo) vs. Marty Jannetty and the 1-2-3 Kid.
Jannetty and Jacques kick this one off. He teases a test of strength then kicks the former Rocker to the gut. However, a victory roll gets the challengers a nearfall before the champions briefly regroup. Jacques backs Jannetty into the corner and refuses to break cleanly and gains the advantage but still nearly finds himself rolled up by his opponent.
The Kid and Pierre both get tagged in. To the surprise of no one, Pierre overpowers his smaller opponent but is felled by a spinning heel kick, which gets the Kid a two count. The crowd chant “1-2-3, 1-2-3” as Jacques re-enters the match-up.
Kid has Jacques in a side headlock but Pierre interferes and all four are in but the babyface challengers quickly clean house. Jannetty and Pierre now lock-up with Pierre again overpowering his opponent. Jannetty counters and both the challengers are in and hit a double back bodydrop before Jannetty assists the Kid in dropkicking Pierre out of the ring before Jacques eats a dropkick, too.
To jeers from the crowd, the Quebecers and Polo head to the back but change their mind half way up the aisle. Jacques is tagged in and tries a monkey flip but gets punched in the face. We head to a break as the Quebecers continue to regroup.
When we return, we see Jannetty and the Kid win the match during the break after a superkick on Jacques but another referee heads out and advises the match official that the Quebecers’ foot was on the bottom rope.
The stalling tactics of the Quebecers is excellent fun and is really riling the crowd. Jannetty hits the ropes, and with the referee distracted, Pierre pulls down the rope and he flies to the ring. However, a double team move fails when Jacques inadvertently clobbers Pierre. The Kid is in and connects with a spinning heel kick to Jacques then a cannonball to Pierre on the outside. Polo attacks Jannetty at ringside and with the referee sorting that, Pierre pushes the Kid off the top rope and the champions gain the advantage.
The Kid is then dropped throat first on the top rope by both of the Quebecers but still manages to kick out, much to the chagrin of Polo. More double-teaming on the Kid as we head to a break. When we return, the champions are still pounding on the Kid, with Jacques getting a nearfall from a running elbow. Jacques then backbody drops Pierre onto the count but the Kid somehow manges to kick out.
Another double team, a leg trip and running clothesline is followed up by a running headbutt from Pierre but again the Kid kicks out as Jannetty rallies the crowd. Jacques connects with a piledriver and then assists Pierre to hit a senton splash but then doesn’t go for a pin. Instead, Pierre goes back up top for another senton but Jannetty is in, knocks Pierre to the outside and hits Jacques with a superkick.
The Kid makes the tag as the crowd explodes. Jannetty cleans house, including knocking Polo off the apron. Jannetty suplexes Pierre and the Kid comes off the top with a crossbody and that’s it, we have new champions.
Winner: and new WWF Tag Team Champions Marty Jannetty and the 1-2-3 Kid.
Overall: Some great storytelling here and some top in-ring action. The Kid took a prolonged beating and the hot tag got an insane reaction. Wonderful match.
We then get a memorable moment from Raw history which again features the Kid and saw him defeat Razor Ramon in one of the show’s most iconic moments.
Royal Rumble Report with Jim Ross replacing the snowed in Todd Pettengill. JR runs through the rules then announces that now all 30 men have been announced for the Rumble, with Luger joining the fray despite the best efforts of Yokozuna’s management. Ross runs through all 30 men, with Tenryu and the Great Kabuka – mercenaries of Mr Fuji – also added to the mix. In addition to all titles being on the line, Ludvig Borga vs. Tatanka has been added to the undercard. Four undercard matches and the Rumble.
We get another moment from Raw history and it features Tiny Tim on the King’s Court – an utterly bizarre and pointless segment.
Match 2: Ludvig Borga vs. Brad Anderson
Borga, in his usual slow and plodding style, attacks Anderson but puts his head down and that gives the jobber a break but three clotheslines don’t fell the Fin but one of Borga’s cuts down Anderson. We hear from Lex Luger, who calls in. He congratulates the new tag champion and declares that he wants to get his hands on Borga. Borga hits a backbreaker before forcing Anderson to submit in the torture rack.
Winners: Ludvig Borga via submission.
Overall: A straightforward and quick win for Borga. Nothing of interest here, though.
We see footage from Superstars of Yokozuna crushing two jobbers at the one time with a Banzai Drop. The lights then go off and Paul Bearer and the Undertaker are shown on the screen, with the Taker putting the finishing touches to a frankly enormous casket. Yokozuna looks, as well as sweaty, terrified by the mere mention of the casket.
The next Raw moment features Doink throwing a pale of water into the face of Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan.
Match 3: The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. Ray Hudson
Hudson is sporting a belter of a mullet. Taker dominates this with Hudson getting no offence in before succumbing to a Tombstone Piledriver.
Winners: The Undertaker via pinfall.
Rating: Quick squash – the Undertaker’s entrance lasted longer than the match did.
We see footage from last week of Bam Bam Bigelow and Bastion Booger teaming up and their falling out which has led to this upcoming match.
A video airs hyping the match next week on Raw which will see Macho Man Randy Savage lock horns with I.R.S.
Match 4: Bam Bam Bigelow (w/ Luna Vachon) vs. The Bastion Booger
Booger gets a jobber entrance. Bam Bam attacks from the off but Booger fights back. He, however, misses a diving headbutt and Bigelow regains control before missing a corner charge… Luna blows kisses at Booger, who leaves the ring to ask for a kiss but is clobbered from behind by Bigelow then driven face first into the steps at ringside. Back inside, Bigelow attempts a slam but falls backwards. He tries again, succeeds then connects with a headbutt off the top rope and that’s it.
Winner: Bam Bam Bigelow via pinfall.
Rating: Not great but least it was quick.
Post-match, Luna slaps Booger and then Bigelow attacks him again.
A Lord Alfred Hayes voiced ad for the game ‘Rage in the cage’ airs before we head backstage to the Quebecers and Johnny Polo. The promise retribution next week.
Another moment from Raw history airs and it’s Kamala attacking Kim Chee and chasing him through the crowd.
As we head to ringside to cut the birthday cake, we learn that Crush will be on commentary for the Macho Man vs. I.R.S. match. At this, I.R.S. heads out and gets in Savage’s face who then smashes the birthday cake into Shyster’s face.
Overall Thoughts: Worth watching for the tag team title match alone – which was absolutely excellent.
Overall score – 3/5
Of course Lex Luger will be announced this coming weekend as being in the Royal Rumble along with Genichiro Tenryu and Great Kabuki.
New word is that King of the Ring PPV in June will be from Baltimore, rather than Philadelphia as we originally reported.
Despite it being announced for weeks that Royal Rumble in Providence is sold out, as of press time 1/4 there were still plenty of tickets available according to the box office at the Civic Center. I think announcing the sellout live as a way to attempt to hype interest in the show as a PPV is now simply company policy as they’ve done it numerous times now on shows that weren’t sold out.
Most of the post-Christmas week shows did average or slightly above average with the best one I’ve heard being 12/28 in Chicago which drew 7,600 and nearly $120,000 with Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart in a cage, Crush-Savage, Luger-Borga and Steiners-Quebecers as the headliners, which may be the biggest gate in Chicago for wrestling since Hogan vs. Flair in November of 1991 did $135,000.
In November, Titan Sports sent out a casting call for both men and women in Hollywood for martial arts performers with the claim they were looking at producing live shows. Don’t know if they’re looking for martial arts gimmick guys to face wrestlers ala New Japan’s successful formula (although martial arts are much bigger in Japan than this country), or looking at producing a martial arts television show or even a martial arts promotion.
Monday Night Raw on 12/27 drew a 2.9 rating, which went head-to-head with Starrcade in most of the country. Actually the number of homes that ordered Starrcade at most could have meant 0.1 or 0.2 difference in the ratings so it was barely a factor. All-American did a 1.9 on 12/26.
I believe as of this weekend, the entire Rumble card will have been announced and that there will only be four undercard matches plus Rumble, which pretty well guarantees the matches will all have length to them. With Bret & Owen Hart both in the tag and the Rumble, it sets up speculation that they’ll win the titles, then break up later in the show, because if they break-up during the tag title match and then make contact for anything more than a brief period in the Rumble, it kills the initial meeting being hyped elsewhere.
Adrian Street was quoted in Wrestling Locker Room News as saying he’s been offered a position as a heel manager but doesn’t have a starting date.
All ‘Raw Rewind 1993’ pieces can be found here.