Welcome to the latest edition of ‘Raw Rewind‘. Today we take in the episode of Raw from 4 April 1994. Not only do we get the debut of the ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ segment but we get the 10-man tag match from WrestleMania that was canned and Earthquake, Adam Bomb, Yokozuna and Razor Ramon all in action.
Champion Roll Call:
WWF Champion: Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Razor Ramon
WWF Tag Team Champions: The Quebecers
You can read last week’s Raw recap here.
We start with Earthquake and Adam Bomb in each other’s face backstage, setting up a rematch tonight of their bout at WrestleMania X.
Vince McMahon is joined by Gorilla Monsoon on commentary for Raw this week and the pair hype the Adam Bomb and Earthquake match as well as the 10-man tag match which was supposed to happen at WrestleMania. We’ll also see Razor Ramon and Yokozuna in action as well as the debut of Shawn Michaels’ ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ segment.
Match 1: Earthquake vs. Adam Bomb (w/ Harvey Wippleman)
Am sure this will get longer than their initial match at WrestleMania got. Adam Bomb attacks and we’re underway. Earthquake blocks an Irish whip, hits a hiptoss then clotheslines Bomb to the outside as McMahon claims this match means so match to Bomb’s career.
Bomb hits a series of running charges on Earthquake that don’t even move the big man but a clothesline fells Bomb and sends him out of the ring again. Bomb catches Earthquake with a right-hook, drops him throat-first off the top rope and re-enters the ring with a slingshot clothesline. An elbow drop then gets Bomb a nearfal.
Earthquake is tangled in the ropes as Wippleman berates Howard Finkel at ringside. Adam Bomb misses a running elbow but Earthquake does likewise. Adam Bomb heads up top and connects with a flying clothesline but it only gets a two. Bomb stops away in the corner before running into a big boot.
With the momentum on his side, Earthquake hits a belly-to-belly suplex on Bomb and drops a big elbow. Earthquake hits a running legdrop before setting up for his Earthquake Splash and that’s it. Monsoon says that’s a 6.5 on the Richter scale.
Winner: Earthquake via pinfall
Overall: A comfortable win for Earthquake, bringing this feud to an end.
We then see footage from WrestleMania X of the match between Lex Luger and Yokozuna and the tomfoolery which prevented Luger from winning the title. This leads to a promo with Lex Luger, who accuses Mr. Perfect of having a personal problem with him and challenges him to step inside the ring.
When we return from a break, Gorilla Monsoon is in the ring to interview Mr. Perfect. Perfect doesn’t get the strongest of welcomes, which Monsoon points out. Perfect says he called the match “perfectly” and has nothing against either man. Perfect reiterates that he disqualified Luger because he dragged both managers into the ring and then laid his hands on him. Monsoon accuses Perfect of having a vendetta against Luger. Monsoon says that when Luger is finished with Perfect he’ll have ‘made in the USA’ emblazoned across his chest.
Match 2: WWF Intercontinental Champion Razor Ramon vs. Austin Steele
Ramon pounds away on Steele to start this before hiptossing him across the ring. Steele reminds me a lot, aesthetically, of Buddy Rose around the time of his blow away diet. Ramon has Steele down and applies an STF before slapping away at the back of his head.
Steele is whipped into the ropes and straight into a back elbow. From there, Ramon applies an “abdominal stretch and a beauty” according to Monsoon, who’s added a touch of old school class to the Raw commentary. Ramon picks up Steele and throws him away with a fallaway slam. He kicks away at Steele’s head.
McMahon alludes to the fact that the WWF tag team titles have changed hands twice on the post-WrestleMania European tour with Men on a Mission defeating the Quebecers on Tuesday but losing them again on Thursday.
In the ring, Ramon hits a belly-to-back suplex and then the Razor’s Edge for the win.
Winner: Razor Ramon via pinfall.
Overall: Dominant squash win for Ramon – not convinced that Steele even connected with a punch let alone a move on Ramon..
McMahon and Monsoon discuss the problems that are brewing between Ramon and Diesel. We then are shown clips from last week on Raw when Captain Lou Albano challenged the Quebecers to put the tag titles on the line against his new team, the Headshrinkers. We cut backstage to the Quebecers and Johnny Polo, with the trio running down all of the tag teams in the WWF and promise to take anyone on. There’s a phone vote to decide who’ll face the tag champions: the Bushwhackers, Men on a Mission or the Smoking Gunns.
We then see footage of the heel team from the 10-man tag arguing at WrestleMania over who should be captain.
Match 3: Jeff Jarrett, I.R.S., Rick ‘The Model’ Martel, The Headshrinkers (w/ Afa) vs. Tatanka, the 1-2-3 Kid, Sparky Plugg and the Smoking Gunns
Samu and Billy Gunn start this one off. Audible “Irwin, Irwin” chants from the crowd. Samu overpowers Gunn and hits a series of chops. He misses a clothesline and we get a series of bridging pins, al nearfalls. Gunn takes Samu down with an armdrag but Samu nearly takes Billy’s head off with a clothesline before Fatu is tagged in and they connect with a double headbutt. Fatu hits a backbreaker and a falling headbutt before Jarrett enters the match. He hits another backbreaker but a second is countered with a headscissors and Tatanka is in.
Jarrett tries to flee but it turns out he was playing possum and knees the Native American in the gut but runs into a hiptoss and a slam. Tatanka works on the arm before tagging in Bart Gunn. Gunn rolls up Jarrett but only gets a two before a standing dropkick. Jarrett fights back and drives him head-first into the top turnbuckle before hitting a snap suplex.
I.R.S. is in now, to jeers from the crowd. He tries to ram Bart into the top turnbuckle but it’s blocked and he has his head driven into the turnbuckle. We head to a break and when we return, Sparky Plugg is in but has his eyes raked and Rick Martel is in. This is very, very quick. Plugg fights back and gets a nearfall with a crossbody.
Plugg and Martel trade working on the arm before Martel is taken down. Martel breaks free but misses a corner charge and Plugg continues to break down the arm. Plugg is whipped into the ropes and I.R.S. drives his knee into his back.
I.R.S. is in but misses an elbow drop and the Kid is in. He attempts a spinning kick, has his foot caught and connects with an Enziguri. The Kid slingshots himself into the ring with a clothesline for a two. He comes off the top with a crossbody but Jarrett backs the save and all 10 men enter the ring and brawl.
The ring clears, the Kid connects with a spinning heel kick and a series of kicks in the corner. However, he misses a corner charge and I.R.S. rolls him up for the win.
Winner: I.R.S. via pinfall.
Overall: Far too short to really amount to much.
McMahon has another punt at the phone poll which will decide who faces the Quebecers for the tag titles next week on Raw.
We’re up on the stage for the ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ segment with Shawn Michaels, who is joined by Diesel. He says WWF superstars have been trying to get onto the hottest show on TV but there are no vacancies at the hotel. After some stereotypical hotel based gags, he turns his attention to Razor Ramon. Michaels announces that Diesel would like to challenge Ramon for the IC title and bring it back to the Heartbreak Hotel.
Match 4: Yokozuna (w/ Mr. Fuji and Jim Cornette) vs Scott Powers
Unsurprisingly, Yokozuna overpowers, errr, Powers early on. Powers tries to use his pace but runs into a big clothesline as Monsoon wonders if Yokozuna has lost weight. McMahon, however, thinks he is bigger. Yokozuna fells Powers with a big chop then a headbutt. Yokozuna connects with a belly-to-back suplex then drops a running legdrop.
He now sets up Powers for the Banzai Drop and this one is over.
Winner: Yokozuna via pinfall.
Overall: Quick squash.
A pretty meh episode of Raw.
Overall score – 2/5
Figures for Wrestlemania. Actual attendance at Madison Square Garden was 18,065 fans with a gate of $960,000.
The Undertaker and Paul Bearer were in Japan for a press conference. Undertaker totally stayed in character as they were plugging the WWF Japan tour in May. Undertaker & Genichiro Tenryu will form a tag team in several main events. It was also announced Bret Hart would defend the title on the four shows against Owen Hart, Bam Bam Bigelow, Randy Savage and Yokozuna.
Some notes from the tapings this past week. At the Superstars taping on 3/22 in Lowell, MA, they ran a strong angle with Tatanka and IRS. Tatanka beat Kwang via DQ when he used the Kabuki mist in the eyes. IRS, who was at ringside, attacked Tatanka and tied him in the ropes, put on the headdress and did a war dance. He started ripping the headdress when Chief Jay Strongbow made the save chopping IRS. As he tried to untie Tatanka, IRS attacked him and destroyed him and started stuffing the feathers down his pants.
Perry Saturn got a try-out but the jobber didn’t work well and his match was pretty bad.
Crush now using the heart punch as a finisher and IRS now using a version of the STF.
Howard Finkel had a tuxedo match with Harvey Wippleman. Wippleman ripped up Howard’s pants so he had to work in his underwear, but made the comeback and left Wippleman in his underwear as Savage’s music played. Finkel got one of biggest face pops of the night.
Johnny Polo is doing the interview segment on Challenge since Stan Lane & Ted DiBiase are doing the announcing.
Monday Night raw on 3/21 did a 2.8 rating which considering it was going against the Academy Awards isn’t too bad, while All-American did a 2.0 and Mania a 1.3, both of which were lower than expected considering all the hype attached to them doing both shows live from MSG.
Mabel and Yokozuna worked two matches at recent tapings, with each bodyslamming the other although the bouts other than that were said to have been awful.
King of the Ring is the 19th of June in Baltimore.
Jennie Garth update. She wasn’t unhappy about being there because she was getting a big payday for doing basically nothing. She refused to do the skit they had lined up for her because she thought it was in bad taste and wasn’t happy because of a security problem.
All ‘Raw Rewind 1993’ pieces can be found here.