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WWF 1994 in Review

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fairly certain advertising torrents isn't allowed so I won't.

Starting off with 1/1/94 Superstars.

Opening match is Lex Luger vs Jacques of the Quebecers. 

Jacques cuts a promo on Lex putting Pierre out with his loaded forearm a few weeks earlier. Did they ever acknowledge that Fabulous Rougeau Jacques, the Mountie and Quebecer Jacques were all the same person?

Luger's selling was horrific and its a pretty good reason why fans never connected with him as a top face. It was so over the top that it worked in the later days of WCW as a stooping heel, but top baby faces shouldn't be selling backrakes, hair pulling and the boots put to them a few minutes into a match like death...or without any attempt to fight back. Him actively looking over his shoulder for when Jacques is kicking him to know when to sell is really off putting. There's also a lot of close ups of Luger's taint.

I really like his firey babyface comebacks. They're very Steamboat esque. But there's three in the one six minute match, and they're all pretty stilted on account of him not really having much to do moveset wise.

Quebecers try the twin magic switcheroo. Its ambitious...but still inexplicably the match continues.

Luger beats both the tag champs cleanly with his forearm and then pins Polo for good measure. Is this the first time the top guy beating the tag champs by himself trope makes an appearance?

Again Polo interferes like a wrestler rather than a manager, nailing Luger with a running knee on the outside and then hitting some kicks. Then when dragged in at the end, doesn't nearly beg off anywhere near enough in that context. Its off putting.

Jim Cornette cuts a super shitty "it was acceptable at the time" promo on Tatanka, calling all Native Americans drunks and unemployed. It doesn't age well. Tatanka's response is bad, especially for a pretaped one. He hasn't forgotten  what Yokozuna did to him. Just his lines.

PSA ad from Razor Ramon. This also doesn't age well.

Mike Khoury and Tim McNeedy vs The Headshrinkers.

Samu doesn't wrestle like a savage. Its wrestling school lock ups and headlock. But he's got a sweet savate kick. Fatu gets it. Fairly nothing squash ending with a double Russian legsweep and a Fatu top rope splash.

Razor live promo. Its odd that Scott Hall never participated in a Royal Rumble. Recap of Shawn hitting the Razors Edge on him in the entrance way and Hall hitting his head both times, and that weird time when IRS was repossessing stuff from various midcarders (was Barry Darsow supposed to get a push before leaving and they just put IRS in there instead?)

Bastion Booger vs a jobber (theres a small child doing the ring announcing. He's terrible). What was Booger's gimmick exactly, other than big disgusting nearly naked guy? He wins by face sitting on the enhancement guy. Again with the taint close ups. 

Thurman Sparky Plugg promo vid. This would have been a great heel gimmick. Even today..trash NASCAR guy works. 

Owen Hart vs Barry "Tiger King" Hardy. Theres a nice bit of foreshadowing here where Owen goes up top for a missile dropkick only to notice the video wall is focusing on Bret at ringside instead, and then points to it finally showing his big moment on replay whilst leaving the ring.

Theres a Rumble promo video from Todd Pettengill. I forgot about that brief period where they had a thing with Casio for the countdown. Im guessing it was to make it seem like a legitimate sports feel. Then they gave up on it. Pettengill thinks Mabel looks a lot like Mrs Doubtfire. I don't see it..

There's an opinion poll for Lex Luger. I'm not entirely sure what the question is. I think its to be allowed in the Rumble. Did they try to do a Honky Tonk Man vote of confidence here? 

Ludvig Borga squash. RWNJ aside, he had a great look. Those tights should be replicated. No one ever does them. There can't be too many more TV appearances for him before he minces his ankle. He finishes with a torture rack that doesn't quite look right. I can't see how what he's doing is painful. It looks like a set up for an airplane spin rather than the backbreaker set up.

Show ends hyping whether Lex Luger will be allowed in the Royal Rumble. Logically...why not?

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I think Quebecer Jacques was once referred to as " a former intercontinental champion" but that could have been done by Gorilla Monsoon who was at times going into business for himself on commentary. Come to think of it, it was also Gorilla who said something about Raymond being the tough one in the family during the Quebecer era, so yes he was somewhat acknowleged as one and the same. If that's what Vince wanted is anyone's guess, given the circumstances.

Also, Repo man had already been gone for a good while at that point. That was just about IRS taking Razor's gold chains because he had omitted paying some tax or another on them. Knowing Razor, he probably omitted paying for them altogether, though!

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WWF Mania 1/1/94

I dont understand how you can have this show geared to adults on Saturday morning and hosted by Todd Pettengill.  Imagine waking up hungover and dealing with that manic fuckwittery.

Recap of Polo and Marty from RAW the week before. I've mentioned this match before. Its an absolute banger, but its so not the story that needs to be told. Johnny Polo, cowardly, arrogant heel in his first match ever is having a 50/50 spotfest with Marty Jannety. Both guys take some insane bumps here. A missed crossbody off the ropes to the outside followed by a plancha. 

The crowd is massively into it. Good match into it. Not Let's Go Marty. 

Polo takes a dropkick bump in the ring to the floor over the top rope. A Marty double axe handle from the top rope to the floor. Polo wins with a reversed sunset flip and holding on to Pierre on the outside. Marty wants to take on both Quebecers after the match with a chair, letting them know he's got justifiable homicidal background. 

More Todd Pettengill. 

Crush promo. Finkel interviewing him is jarring, especially as he asks questions in his ring announcing cadence. Crush is wearing a hybrid of his Kona Crush and his purple and black gear. Looks cool. Crush is underrated in the pantheon of worst promo guys ever. Lot of cliches. Lot of sick burns that don't really make sense. Let me tell you something. Your worst nightmare. Punk. Punk. Punk. I only just realised that Crush turning heel and managed by Fuji made sense long term going back to Demolition. I assume this was never really addressed.

Savage promo in response. He tries with very little.

Mabel/Mo vs Iron Mike Sharpe/Mike Bell

Mabel starts the match with a drop toe hold and a amateur wrestling flip around. Its pretty cool to see. Mo has a nice armbar into a slam. It looks good, again for the stuff guys don't use any more. Mabel wins it. They really came around at the wrong time. A year earlier could have been fun matches with the Headshrinkers and the Disasters. Here, they're not as popular as the Steiners, and the Gunns are being pushed, the Mabel singles push gets earmarked early.

Taker promo hyping the Yokozuna match at the Rumble. Nothing of note.

JIP of Jeff Jarrett vs Scott Taylor. Jarrett during the period where he looks an extra on the Sonny and Cher Show with the fluro tights and headband whilst being a country music singer is odd. He starts on TV in like late 93 and doesn't really change his gear from being just another guy till the end of 94. 

The promo pics for Rick Steiner are interesting from a no head gear and no Michigan themed attire of the time perspective. Could just be the stock photo. Given the Scott singles push rumours at the time i wonder if it was more to it.

Lex Luger vs Barry Horrowitz from RAW. Going on my earlier comments, I think Luger patterned his fired up babyface comebacks on Steamboats. But they lack the non punch kick stuff to make it work. Here he is showing off some sweet Steamboat-esque armdrags that wouldn't be unwelcome during them. I don't think I've ever seen it happen. 

Gorilla gets on a really weird tangent demanding Clinton gets impeached...in January 1994. 

Luger wins it with a top rope superplex.

Savage campaigns for Luger to be in the Rumble. So his eventual win isn't tainted by him not being there. If you can give Savage credit for something its that he was just the absolute best with continuity in his storyline over the long term and his motivations making sense. 

PSA from Bret about drink driving. Savage says he doesn't drink or drive so he's fine. Todd seems confused.

Shawn Michaels vs Phil Apollo 

JR says that Shawn calls himself the Wrestler of the 90s. I dont recall him saying that ever. I do recall JR calling Sting that a lot. JR then follows it up by saying he's never seen any other athlete deserving of that moniker. Apollo takes a lot of the match. Sweet chin music followed by an odd top rope twisting fist drop. 

Promo for Kwang. Wow. How is that not trotted out any more? Dude is Chris Farley like in his gracefulness. 

Razor Ramon vs Derek Domino or something from RAW. Hall just beats the piss out of this guy. He spikes him good on the razors edge too. Not sure what happened there but yikes.

Show ends with Todd wanting to be Savage's tag team partner. It goes nowhere thankfully.

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3 hours ago, RolandTHTG said:

He also repossessed the headstones of someone related to Taker, and Tatanka's headdress. 

Probably for tax reasons, too!

Oh, and that Marty vs Polo was their second match, they had one in late'93, with more cheating and outside interference. Maybe that match had given Polo so much false confidence that he actually thought he could take Marty man to man and believed in it so much that he almost pulled it off?

Edited by Shartnado
Marty vs Polo
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5 hours ago, RolandTHTG said:

Show ends hyping whether Lex Luger will be allowed in the Royal Rumble. Logically...why not?

Because if he won, he would get another title shot, and he was only supposed to get the one title shot at SummerSlam 93.

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18 minutes ago, Gorman said:

Because if he won, he would get another title shot, and he was only supposed to get the one title shot at SummerSlam 93.

Sure, given it was only the second year that rule was in place, he could easily have been in the Rumble but not get his title shot?

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2/1/94 Wrestling Challenge

JIP - Tatanka vs Tony Devito 

DeVito runs the ropes nicely. I've never observed that about a wrestler before. Now I'm trying to think who are guys that do or don't do it well? Rey adapted it well for his size. Taker always looked crisp and purposeful when he did it. But otherwise drawing a blank. 

JR puts DeVito over here decently. Tatanka is already yesterdays news following his loss to Borga. Its all they can talk about with him. I can see where Pritchard is coming from with the Ryback stuff.

Rumble 94 promo...I had no idea Lord Alfred was still on active duty this long. He was such a weird character. Ostensibly a heel, but...never really did anything that heelish either. He just was. And was British.

Headshrinkers vs two enhancement talent

Fatu just murders a guy here. Job guys attempt to do a synchronised roll up off the ropes. Fatu just throws the guy against the top rope. Double russian legsweep and top rope splash does it.

Hype video for the MSG Royal Rumble show. Diesel gets interviewed in what appears to be a motel room, noting the floral curtains in the background. Rebuttal from Shawn follows.

Don't drink and drive ad with Bret. He flubs it. In hindsight im almost at the point where its crazy to think they put the title on him in 1992. His promos were terrible, as great as he was in ring.

Doink vs Duane Gill 

Over very quickly. Doink wins with the whoopee cushion. I love the idea put forward by commentary that Doink was a former great wrestler who's now in hiding. Who did Big Josh upset?

Cornette and Yoko promo. Stan Lane was really underrated as an on screen talent in this time. Clear and well spoken. Wasnt a fast talker like everyone else on screen at the time also. Man, he was super cheesy. "He's not scared, he just gets the creeps when you say casket". 

MOM vs Reno Riggins and his partner who never gets in the ring.

I never realised just how white WWF audiences were at this time. MOM are fairly over with an otherwise tired long taping crowd, but its just dorky white children in every shot.

I like Mo. He's technically sound and does some nice things for a guy his size. Reno Riggins shows off some personality and slick in ring movement before getting squashed by Mabel.

IRS vs Mike Khoury

The ongoing angle is uncertainty around whether IRS has Razor's gold chains in his briefcase or not. Who cares? Its already been shown he did. IRS wins this one quickly with a belly to back suplex.

Shawn Michaels vs Phil Santino.

JR with the wrestler of the 90s spiel again. This time talking up his credentials as a martial artist....That's a different one. Shawn wins quickly with the super kick.

Crush promo for the New York rumble. Like a tornado through a trailer park is the cliche of choice. 

Hype for next week - Taker, Crush, Borga, the 'once defeated Tatanka' and the new pairing of Jannetty and the Kid..

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Monday Night Raw Jan 3 1994.

Johnny Polo and Vince hosting.

Dan Dubiel vs Yokozuna.

Strange way to book a casket match by having the babyface sneak the stipulation into the contract under the heel manager's eyes. Aside from making them look super incompetent, it makes the Undertaker look uncharacteristically like a sneaky piece of shit.

It worked for Moxley and MJF recently as MJF thought he was getting a huge advantage over Mox with his paradigm shift stipulation giving him a huge advantage. There was no huge advantage for Yokozuna to agree to the match in the first place.

Polo tries educating Vince on what "dope" means, before giving an insight into "Mr Fuji's keen Oriental mind".

Can't tell whether Yokozuna whiffs the Banzai Drop or not. Doesn't look great.

Vince interview with Luger. He's definitely the blandest Vince top guy choice he ever had. Again they don't publish the numbers of the poll to allow him to compete.

Bam Bam Bigelow tags with Bastion Booger against the Smoking Gunns.

Bigelow deserves better than this. They just drop the ball with him countless times. I'd argue he should have had Yoko's run instead. Debuted around the same time and had better name recognition. Has a good ppv match against Boss Man at the Rumble. Gets his Mania match against Kamala cancelled at the last minute. Has a huge showing KOTR against Bret. Then nothing. Can't have two monster heels pushed at the same time i guess...other than Adam Bomb, Diesel, Borga, Gonzales, Mr Hughes etc.

Booger tries to kiss Luna. Bigelow sees it and attacks him and count themselves out after Bam Bam takes care of both Gunns. 

Rumble promo video gets Fatu and Samu confused. An early precursor to An Uso.

Homeless looking Jannety and the Kid storm the booth to demand a tag title shot. They get it. Marty looks messed up. 

Jeff Jarrett vs enhancement talent 

Polo makes jokes about Burt Reynolds' divorce and Rob Lowe's Atlanta incident. It's strange to think Burt works for them a few months later.

Strange match. Jarrett gives the enhancement guy plenty. Wins with a jumping DDT. Its a problem that plagues the rest of his career in not knowing what style to work. One minute he's a Flair knock off. Next week vicious punch kick guy. Memphis stooging. Firey babyface. And none of them ever really stick or fit. 

Polo clearly getting fed lines from Vince and just shitting on them. "Smokers are losers? Yeah well I only smoke when I'm on fire...whatever that means".

Shawn Michaels vs Brian Walsh

Another enhancement talent getting plenty of opportunities to shine. Shawn wins with a piledriver. Show ends. By the by.

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8/1/20 Superstars

Tunney announcement confirming Luger can enter the Rumble but in return Cornette gets the remaining 2 spots for Tenryu and the Great Kabuki. 

Bert Centeno and Scott Taylor vs Yokozuna

Centeno is awful. Match starts with some tandem dropkicks on Yokozuna...Centeno's are some of the worst I've ever seen. Barely leaves the ground.

Most of the match spent hyping up Andre the Giant's record in handicap matches. Yoko wins by stacking both guys and Banzai Dropping both. Taker promo on the video wall afterwards. They do a pretty good job of hyping this match and Yokozuna having no chance of winning. Not enough guys win matches via murder these days.

Jarrett wins a match against a job guy after the job guy missed a dropkick. Never seen that finish before. Its underwhelming. Jarrett hits his jumping DDT afterwards.

Bret Hart vs Mike Bell

Quick match. Bret puts him away with the sharpshooter. Most of the match spent focusing on Owen at ringside. 

Raymond Rougeau interviews the Quebecers. Jacques: "I'll tell you one thing. Brothers aren't always close or always get along" *glares at Raymond*.

Razor Ramon vs Duffy. Another quick squash of no importance. IRS in screen promo during it.

Another Kwang video. Still bad. A ninja he is not.

A Luger promo. Its bad. Proto Kurt Angle in its earnest insincerity. Between the poll and now these promos I'd have been certain he was turning heel here. Instead...he just sucked.

Bam Bam vs jobber. Bam Bam wins with a diving headbutt and theyre really building to a match with Bastion Booger that goes nowhere. Doink comes out after the match, Dink trips up Bam Bam and Luna trips over marbles. They changed direction quickly and its a shitty one.


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the really weird thing about them never officially recognizing Quebecer Jacques was Jacques Rougeau [Jr.] or The Mountie is that The Quebecers' attire and theme song are completely enigmatic non-sequiturs unless you acknowledge that Jacques was formerly "The Mountie".  But then, this is the same company that hasn't had the 3 Hs of Triple H stand for anything for 19 years so I should be used to this sort of thing by now.  Don't remember Monsoon or Jacques himself winking at the connection, glad they did.

In retrospect, Repo Man would have been a lot of fun as the 3rd member of a Money Inc trio, with Repo Man and IRS representing both "blue collar" and "white collar" means of quasi-legal theft and underhanded Asset Procurement being the illegal secret to Dibiase's supreme wealth.  Shame that IRS only started "garnishing" people's possessions after Dibiase was retired and Darsow was gone.

Looking forward to you continuing through all of 1994 WWF, because it's a year I remember really fondly in spite of (or even because of) a lot of it not being especially good.  HBK experimenting with a Piledriver finisher and Bigelow already being squandered on stuff like a dumb heel vs heel feud with Booger which feels like an early manifestation of Vince booking solely for his own amusement (haha it's fat guy vs fat guy! Good Shit, Pal!) definitely ring a bell, as does a revolving door at RAW color analyst in a futile attempt to fill the post-Heenan void [Hennig was probably the best of the bunch, though I wish Jacques -- ever naturally gifted at being a loudmouth prick -- had gotten more turns than he did. I wanted to like Dibiase in the role but he never quite took to it]

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4 hours ago, RolandTHTG said:

Johnny Polo and Vince hosting.

Judging from the "WHO THE FUCK HIRED RAVEN" comment, I wonder what his relationship with Vince is really like. He was actually producing for them back in those days -- and apparently was a total slacker who would call TVs and say he was at the office, call the office and say he was at TVs, then go back to sleep. 

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I'm curious how he got in the door the first time.

I think I remember him saying in a shoot that Piper vouched for him from the Portland days, but the timelines don't particularly add up. Not unrealistic by any stretch. 

Probably makes more sense than seeing him open WCW PPVs in the cruiserweight division and see heel manager/commentator potential.

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1 hour ago, Curt McGirt said:

Judging from the "WHO THE FUCK HIRED RAVEN" comment, I wonder what his relationship with Vince is really like. He was actually producing for them back in those days -- and apparently was a total slacker who would call TVs and say he was at the office, call the office and say he was at TVs, then go back to sleep. 

He also would take young Shane to parties and bring him home at like 4 am which apparently had Vince livid. 

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From Vince himself when young Shane thought Dracula was in his closet:

"I went in that closet and started growling and yelling, having a battle. I threw a little furniture. Now Shane's really scared to death, until finally his dad walks out of the closet. I said, "Son, you never have to worry about Dracula again. Dracula's dead."

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10/1/94 RAW (one year anniversary show).

Recap of the Polo/Jannetty match. Its jarring hearing Vince narrate the recap with "TO FIND OUT ONCE AND FOR ALL WHO THE BETTER WRESTLER IS".

Marty and the Kid vs the Quebecers for the Tag Titles.

This is such a well laid out match. A throwaway TV match before an already scheduled PPV defence, huge babyface dominant opening segment, heels teasing a walkout. Dusty finish during an ad break. 

Then the finish sucks. Marty breaks up the face in peril segment by entering the ring as the illegal man, stopping their finish, and then dragging the Kid over to his corner for the least organic hot tag ever.

Powerplex picks up the win and the title change. Savage comes in to celebrate with them after..

Its not as good as the Headshrinkers title change in a few months time but this was really fun and ahead of its time.

I lost a lot of what I wrote from here.

Nothing to really write home about. A Borga and a Taker squash of no consequence.

Bastion Booger vs Bam Bam Bigelow 

Bigelow takes a huge Flair flop bump from the apron to the floor. Not sure if intentionally.

Botched body slam, followed by a diving headbutt wins it for Bigelow. Beatdown after the match...I assume Booger got canned after this?

IRS interrupts Savage to conclude the show hyping next weeks main event. And wears a cake.

Weird show. Good but weird.


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15 hours ago, RolandTHTG said:

10/1/94 RAW (one year anniversary show).


Botched body slam, followed by a diving headbutt wins it for Bigelow. Beatdown after the match...I assume Booger got canned after this?


Booger did commentary on a Raw a couple of weeks after this and did house show matches until early August (though not regularly after a European tour in March). Cagematch also lists him doing a couple of jobs on TV (twice to Earthquake and once to Koko).

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/1/2020 at 12:58 AM, Robert s said:

Booger did commentary on a Raw a couple of weeks after this and did house show matches until early August (though not regularly after a European tour in March). Cagematch also lists him doing a couple of jobs on TV (twice to Earthquake and once to Koko).

And if you job to Koko on TV, you are most definitely on your way out. To this day I'm always surprised when I see him win anything above a jobber match beyond 1987 (and even then the wins must have been few and far between).

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  • 1 month later...

15/1/94 Superstars - 

"THIS ISN'T A BODYBUILDING CONTEST, THIS IS THE WWF" - Vince McMahon with a straight face.

- Lex Luger vs Bastion Booger - Luger sells way too comically for a babyface, frustratingly so. This is actually a pretty good match, Booger takes about 70% of the match. Luger does a really tepid hulk up and wins with the forearm.

- Stan Lane and Vince commentating. I wonder why Stan Lane never worked out as a commentator - he's pretty good for the syndicated stuff - gets the main angles over, well spoken, good looking, charismatic guy, and Vince seems to enjoy working with him? 

- Promo from Bret and Owen - Bret congratulates the Kid and Jannetty - first reference to "JAM UP GUYS", while Owen sulks that they're not getting the title shot. I mean, if you look over whether there's logic that the Harts no longer get the shot at the Rumble, Owen's pretty justified throughout here. Like the little touch about Bret declaring that he will no longer be taking singles matches and will only be taking tag matches from here on in. 

Quebecers promo - Johnny Polo is a terrible promo, and especially not as good as Jacques. I don't know why he went his entire WWF career with a mouthpiece. Didn't need it. Marty/Kid promo in response is even less coherent. 

Headshrinkers vs Devito/Mike Bell - Headshrinker squashes are always fun. It's funny how much better Fatu is at playing the savage character than Samu, yet then ends up as Make A Difference Fatu a year later anyway.

The New York City Royal Rumble idea is an odd one - sort of cannibalizes the PPV market by making it less special if you're promoting it on house shows. Or were the MSG ticket sales that bad to need it? They never did it again I believe. 

Tatanka vs. Barry Horowitz - As far as Horowitz goes, he's a terrible enhancement talent here. Sells practically none of Tatanka's stuff, and even does the "just misses kicking out after 3" thing after his finish. 

Virgil vs. Derek Domino - Virgil still using the Million Dollar Dream 3 years later? His theme slapped too. Anyway, did we really need a Virgil enhancement match at this point?

IRS squash. Went and made a drink. I doubt I missed anything. 

Duane Gill vs The Undertaker - Vince hypes that the Undertaker has never lost a casket match, although by this point he'd lost plenty to the Warrior, Sid and Yokozuna including some that were televised. In fact he lost his first 9. Quick squash, chokeslam finish, and then the bodybag gets bought out which is....kinda odd behaviour for a face.


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16/1/94 - Wrestling Challenge

Hosted by Gorilla and JR

Mike Bell vs Razor Ramon

Mike Bell has an awful habit of getting the piss beat out of him in squash matches. This is pretty brutal. Razor wins it with a back-suplex from the top rope, doesn't let him get any in, and just lays it in. Enjoyable. I wish we had a Scott Hall main event run.

Brian Walsh vs Jeff Jarrett

Brian Walsh looks creepy AF. Like a malnutrioned Von Erich in an iceskating leotard. Gorilla and JR just make no secret of pissing on Double J's gimmick. "What sort of country and western attire is that?', and they're right. Looks like a background guy from Sonny & Cher and it looks ridiculous. Weird career for Brian Walsh, he's a job guy till 1998 with the WWF, and doesn't wrestle for many independents in between. 

Lord Alfred Hayes promo

Hey - why don't we ever really focus on Roddy Piper's allegations that Lord Alfred sexually assaulted him early on in his career? That's pretty messed up, or were they proven to be Roddy just rambling about stuff? 

Doink squash match - wins with a stump puller. Insert promo from Bam Bam. 

NYC Rumble hype videos which promote the Rock N Roll Express, Ivan Putski and Sgt Slaughter....in 1994. Weird that this house show gets more hype time than the actual Rumble coming up.

Bastion Booger vs John Crystal

Booger wins! Sit down splash to the face...and then eats a tin of peaches after. Sure.

Yokozuna squash....Taker comes out to confront him after

Steiners squash  - what a weird exit for them. They main event Survivor Series 93, afterthoughts at the Rumble, still get featured on the syndicated shows, don't put anyone on the way out, and then never return. Were they confident that they'd come back after the Japan tour? 

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17/1/94 Monday Night RAW

Hosted by Vince McMahon and......Crush?

I really don't understand why there's a live show at MSG with the title switch at the same time as the taped show airs. Was it really that expensive to air live at the time?

Owen Hart vs Terry Austin
Terry Austin is better known as the Russian Assassin/Black Scorpion who was a long term PWF guy in the 90s. This is a really good exhibition for Owen - lets him show that he's just as talented as Bret. It's interesting how much we look at Bret with rose coloured glasses - Hogan was universally lazy and didn't do TV shots, etc. Bret wrestled on Raw 3 times in 1993, 4 times in 1994 and 8 times in 1995. By comparison, Shawn wrestled 10 times in 1993 despite missing a chunk of the year to suspension, 4 times in 1994 despite being injured for a few months with a broken hand, and 9 times despite being storyline injured twice. Razor 14 times in 1993, 11 times in 1994, 14 times in 1995. Nash 4 times in 93 despite debuting mid year, 10 in 1994, 6 times in 1995. Yokozuna 7 times in 1993, 8 times in 1994, 12 times in 1995.

Ad plays with a guy dressed up as Razor Ramon and the tag line "Don't Accept Cheap Imitations".....this ages well.

Tatanka vs George South 

Tatanka wins in under 3 minutes with the End of the Trail. Crush is actually surprisingly good on commentary, despite being easily the worst promo guy in the history of the business.

Yokozuna promo 

Yokozuna goes to squash the casket, but Taker is inside and he powders.

Diesel vs Scott Powers

Fun squash. Shawn just hilariously heels it up on this guy on the outside. Does a good job establishing Diesel as a monster.

IRS vs Randy Savage

It occurs to me that if Vince McMahon had a favourite archetypal heel, it's Mike Rotundo. He bumps plenty, his offense is deliberately boring as hell, and you're supposed to give him the majority of his heat because of how much of a reprehensible person he is in general, rather than anything he does in the ring - and usually based on Vince's own disgusts (smoking, poor hygiene, hillbillies, the government)..Fun end to the match, Crush pushes Savage off the top rope for the DQ. Tatanka comes in for the save but gets beaten down, Yokozuna comes out. followed by Lex Luger, then Shawn and DIesel, then Bret Hart. Faces clear the ring as the show ends, and kicks off a mini tradition for show before the Rumble.

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WWF Mania 22/1.

Yoko handicap squash match

Recap of Randy Savage promo from a couple of weeks ago. Its odd that they're treating Savage as such a big deal and threat to win yet still largely an announcer on the nothing shows. The Bruno role has still never really been worked out.

Bret and Owen draw their numbers for the Rumble. Owen throws a fit at his number while Bret gets a good one. The subtle looks in the background are some nice foreshadowing.

The promo they cut announcing their tag team is really obvious in hindsight. I never realised it the first time around but Owen drops massive heel vibes here and Bret doesn't sell it. "I said a lot of things I shouldn't have said and it doesn't matter if they're true or not", "the Rocket is going to be taking off and I'm going to have my brother the Hitman right behind me".

Then, they show one of the riggers repelling from the ceiling in a harness straight after. Bad timing.

Doink/MOM draw their numbers. Mo was 30 at the time. Looks 50 at least.

After all this I'm convinced that in hindsight Luger should have turned on the Undertaker at the Rumble. Perfect goes AWOL after Mania, the finish to the casket match gets shit on. Have Luger make a deal with Cornette to help Yokozuna beat Taker in exchange for being able to enter the Rumble, and then depending on whether Taker can work Mania or needs the time off, have Taker cost Luger the Rumble, Luger/Taker at Mania or Summerslam instead of the fake Taker debacle.

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