Welcome to the latest edition of ‘Raw Rewind‘. Today we take in the episode of Raw from 11 April 1994. This week’s show features Lex Luger on King’s Court as well as Diesel, Thurman Sparky Plugg and the Quebecers 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 the Bushwhackers plugging the phone line vote to get a title shot against The Quebecers. We then hear from Men on a Mission and Smoking Gunn – all calling for support.
After the title sequence, we cut to ringside where Vince McMahon is joined by Macho Man Randy Savage for commentary this week. Vince continues to plug the 1-900 number that allows the WWF fans to decide who will challenge for the tag team titles later in the show.
Match 1: Diesel (w/ Shawn Michaels) vs. Virgil
From memory, this is the first time Diesel has faced someone on Raw who got an entrance. Still, I imagine the outcome will be much the same as previous weeks…
Diesel pounds away to start but misses a running charge into the corner. Virgil works on Diesel’s left arm and then comes off the top with a double axe handle. His steam is short-lived and Diesel overpowers him and hits a big side suplex.
It’s now all Diesel as Shawn Michaels looks on at his bodyguard-cum-protege. Diesel applies a bearhug as Vince McMahon wonders if Virgil will tap out. Instead, he slaps Diesel’s face causing the break of the move but manages to run straight back into another bearhug.
Vince McMahon tells us that later on Raw we’ll have a ‘King’s Court’ with Jerry Lawler and his guest will be Lex Luger. Back to the action, and Virgil is still trapped in a bearhug. Virgil is out of it and manages to get a nearfall following a flying clothesline.
Virgil tries to roll-up Diesel but he holds onto the ropes and Virgil then runs into a big boot. It’s time for the Jackknife powerbomb and we’re done here.
Winner: Diesel via pinfall
Overall: His longest singles match so far and still absolutely dominating.
After an advert for, of all things, Monday Night Raw, McMahon continues to absolutely rip it out of the 1-900 number.
It’s time for ‘King’s Court’. Four men, including Duane Gill and D-Lo Brown, carry him to the ring but drop him at ringside, much to the delight of, well, everyone in the arena, really. Luger heads out and is laughing at Lawler’s plight. Luger asks him if it’s “the court jester or King’s court?” then sits in Lawler’s throne, to everyone’s delight. Lawler raises the topic of the belief that Mr. Perfect has a grudge against Luger and that’s what caused the ending to Luger’s title match at WrestleMania. We then see footage from Luger’s match at WrestleMania, including him shoving Perfect. Luger reiterates his desire to challenge Perfect to a match then leaves.
An ad airs for the ‘WrestleMania Revenge’ tour, which runs into May.
Match 2: Thurman ‘Sparky’ Plugg vs. Barry Horowitz
They lock up to start before Plugg takes advantage with an arm drag then an armbar. Horowitz backs him into the ropes but we don’t get a clean break with Plugg getting slapped before his opponent dives out of the ring. Back to the action, Plugg connects with a nice dropkick and we’re back to the armbar.
Mr. Perfect dials in and Vince McMahon chats away to him. Horowitz hits a reverse DDT but only gets a one. Savage all but calls Perfect a coward for only phoning in rather than attending Raw. Plugg hits a back bodydrop and pounds away on Horowitz. He slams his opponent by the corner, hits a standing falling elbow then a knee drop off the top for the win.
Winner: Sparky Plugg via pinfall.
Overall: A quick win to establish Plugg in the eyes of the WWF fans. Not much to see there, though..
We head backstage where the Quebecers are waiting to find out who they will defend their tag team titles against. We then cut to all three babyface teams standing in the locker room before we head to a break.
Match 3: WWF Tag Team Champions The Quebecers (w/ Johnny Polo) vs. Men on a Mission (w/ Oscar)
Mo and Mabel clear the ring early, sending the champions into the arms of their manager at ringside. We return from an early break and Mo has just flattened Jacques but Pierre gets tagged in and stomps away on Mo in the corner. Mo drops Pierre groin-first on the top rope and tags in Mabel. The hit their double team drop toe hold and leg drop from Mabel combination on Pierre.
Pierre is back to his feet and just manages to dodge a corner charge. Jacques is back in and works on the legs of the big man. Quick tags and the champions double team Mabel. A couple of clotheslines stagger Mabel but an attempted third is countered with a side slam.
Mo is back in and they double suplex Pierre. But Mo can’t capitalise with the pin as Jacques interferes as the referee tried to remove Mabel from the ring. Jacques is back in and slaps Mo as he screams “do you know who we are?” at no one in particular. Jacques taunts Mabel, bringing him into the ring and distracting the referee, as Pierre chokes Mo in their corner.
We head to another break. When we return, Jacques back body drops Pierre onto Mo before they drop him throat-first onto the top rope which gets the tandem a nearfall. A clothesline gets another nearfall for Pierre. The crowd chant “let’s go, Mo” but it’s still all the Quebecers.
That said, Mo counters an attack and bodydrops Pierre over the top. However, Jacques rolls his partner in, preventing Mo from making the tag. The two then connect with simultaneous clotheslines and Mo makes the tag but it’s behind the referee’s back.
The Quebecers attempt a double-team move but Jacques lays out Pierre and Mabel finally gets the tag. Mabel cleans house but misses a running splash on Jacques. Jacques launches Pierre off the top rope and he connects with a shoulder tackle on Mabel. Mo charges into the ring, allowing Jacques to roll Pierre on top of Mabel. But with the referee checking on Jacques, Mo hits the ring and rolls Mabel on top of Pierre but it only gets a two.
Mo is tagged back in and he Irish whips Mabel into the corner on Pierre. Mo rolls up Pierre but with the referee removing Mabel, Jacques reverses it for a nearfall. Jacques tosses Mo out of the ring and Johnny Polo attacks him at ringside. Inside the ring, with Mabel chasing Polo, the Quebecers’ assisted senton gets them the three count and the win.
Winners: The Quebecers.
Overall: Not a bad match. Teams know each other well and some decent action.
Next week on Raw WWF Champion Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart will face Kwang. We then see footage from the Easter Egg roll at the Whitehouse which, randomly, Doink and Dink, as well as the Bushwhackers, attended… OK.
I.R.S. is in the ring to tell all “tax cheats” they only have four more days to pay their taxes – that includes Tatanka who hasn’t paid gift tax on his headdress.
We hear next week on Raw we’ll also be joined by Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler but instead of hearing who his guest is, footage of him falling is shown again.
A decent tag title match aside, there’s not much at all to this Raw -either from an in-ring or a storyline perspective. Easily avoidable.
Overall score – 2/5
When the WWF goes back to promoting regular house shows in the U.S. in mid-May, they’ll embark on a “Wrestlemania Revenge” tour for about one month with one loaded up show per night, tickets raised to $25 ringside and throwing in the special effects usually reserved for PPV shows. Top matches on these shows are Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart, Lex Luger vs. Mr. Perfect, Razor Ramon vs. Diesel, Yokozuna vs. Earthquake, Jeff Jarrett vs. Doink & Dink, Tatanka vs. IRS and Alundra Blayze vs. Luna Vachon. Kind of says something when a line-up like that constitutes “loaded up” shows. I suspect the name and special effects, not to mention the ticket prices, will result in much higher grosses per event than they’ve done post-WM over the past several years.
On the recently-completed European tour, the shows in Germany did big business once again but the England crowds were way down, so the bloom is off the rose there. The 3/29 show in London drew only 3,000 fans, for example.
The Wrestling Observer reports that it appears Bret vs. Yokozuna will headline King of the Ring.
Top matches on the Japan shows are 5/7 in Yokohama with Bret vs. Savage, Tenryu & Undertaker vs. Yokozuna & Bam Bam Bigelow. 5/8 in Nagoya has Bret vs. Bigelow, Undertaker vs. Yokozuna and Tenryu & Savage vs. Adam Bomb & Shawn Michaels. 5/9 in Osaka has Bret vs. Owen, Tenryu vs. Yokozuna and a Royal Rumble. 5/11 in Sapporo has Bret vs. Yokozuna, Tenryu vs. Savage and Undertaker vs. Bomb.
Rick & Scott Steiner are back on the booking sheets, although not in prominent roles.
Roddy Piper will have a regular short commentary piece every week on All-American wrestling. There are strong rumors that Piper and Len Denton (The Grappler) with the blessing on Don Owen will start a Portland Wrestling promotion as soon as the next few months, using local veteran wrestlers and Piper keeping the WWF connection in order to use WWF talent similar to SMW and USWA.
Lex Luger vs. Rick Martel on the 3/28 Raw drew a huge 3.3 rating, while All-American that weekend did 2.5 and Mania a 1.0.
All ‘Raw Rewind 1993’ pieces can be found here.