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Monday Night RAW April 4, 1994

by Scrooge McSuck

- Taped from the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, NY on March 21st, 1994. I call this the "WrestleMania Special Edition" episode of Monday Night Raw, featuring not one, but TWO matches that were announced for WrestleMania X, but were either cut to nothing, or cut from the show entirely because three matches went too long (and two of them were 5-star classics, so too fucking bad, right? Could've done without that snoozer between Lex and Yoko. Did that REALLY need 16-minutes?!). Vince McMahon and Gorilla Monsoon are "at ringside" via terrible green screen effect to call all the action tonight.

Earthquake vs. Adam Bomb (w/ Harvey Wippleman):

Earlier Tonight, Adam Bomb and Earthquake had an exposition segment to explain their WrestleMania ReMatch. The camera goes some goofy shaking effects for Earthquake's entrance. Bomb attacks before the bell with clubberin' blows. Quake reverses a whip and takes him down with a hip toss, then sends him to the floor with a clothesline. We're already longer than their WrestleMania match. Quake shrugs off a pair of shoulder tackles and sends him back to the floor with another clothesline. Bomb hangs him across the top rope and slingshots in with a clothesline for two. Quake gets trapped in the Andre Special™ while Wippleman tries punking out the Fink. Again. The WWF Universe DEMANDS the Fink get in the ring! Back to the match... Bomb misses an elbow drop. Quake misses an elbow. Epic. Bomb to the top with a flying clothesline, but it only gets two. He meets boot on a charge and gets taken down with a belly-to-belly suplex. Quake with an elbow drop, leg drop, and the Vertical Splash to put Bomb away at 4:20. 1/2* If you like clotheslines, this was your match. It was short, and that's all that mattered. Anyone else notice Earthquake never lost a feature match during his brief return in 1994?

- Courtesy of Coliseum Home Video, available on May 4th, lets look back at WrestleMania X. Lex Luger seems like he has matters in hand, on the verge of defeating WWF Champion Yokozuna, but that crooked referee Mr. Perfect pulled a double-cross and disqualified Luger for manhandling a referee. This was actually a smart throwback to their issues from the year prior, but Hennig's "back problem" (or lucrative insurance policy) rendered the angle dead only a few weeks later. I remember the Revenge Tour hyping Luger vs. Perfect, then a couple of weeks before the shows (May 18th-20th in my area), it changed to Luger vs. Crush. BOOTISTA!

- Gorilla Monsoon brings out Mr. Perfect for A VERY SPECIAL IN-RING INTERVIEW. Monsoon questions Perfect's inability to make a three count when Luger clearly had the match won, and instead was occupied trying to "clear some garbage out of the ring" (Monsoon's words) in the form of a laid out Jim Cornette and Mr. Fuji. Then he had the nerve to put his hands on Mr. Perfect.

Razor Ramon (IC Champion) vs. Austin Steele:

It was at WrestleMania X where Ramon became the UNDISPUTED Intercontinental Champion, having defeated Shawn Michaels in the "inaugural" Ladder Match. Ramon pounds away on his scrub opponent and plants him with a slam. They hype Razor vs. Diesel on the WrestleMania Revenge Tour as Ramon slaps on a modified STF. Ramon with the abdominal stretch (and a beauty) by "the Ladder Man." There's a nickname that died fast. Vince must've referenced All-American Wrestling 4 or 5 times during this match... was there something up with that show to warrant the attention? Razor with the Fallaway Slam. Monsoon tells us that the Royal Albert Hall LITERALLY exploded for the WWF. Literally! The squash drags on and Razor eventually finishes with the Razor's Edge at 3:48.

- Last Week on Monday Night Raw, The Quebecers and Johnny Polo are gloating about their success as Tag Team Champions. This brings out the old dinosaur "Captain Crunch" Lou Albano, who after months of hanging around doing nothing, introduces us to his new team... The Headshrinkers. And people thought Alberto Del Rio's face turn came out of nowhere and made zero sense... but then they show up on the heel side of things for the 10-Man Tag. Logic in Wrestling.

Tatanka, Sparky Plugg, The 1-2-3 Kid, Billy & Bart Gunn vs. Irwin R. Schyster, Double J, The Model, Headshrinker Samu & Fatu (w/ Afa):

This has some trainwreck potential! Tatanka and I.R.S. had the only official program going on at the time, with I.R.S. demanding Tatanka pay taxes on the sacred head-dress passed on to him by Chief Jay Strongbow. Sparky Plugg scored an upset victory over Double J on Superstars the week before, so there's that, too, I guess. Everyone else is filler. Billy Gunn starts with Samu. Samu takes him down with a hip toss and unloads with chops. Billy works in a bridge and back slide for a two count. Samu with a big clothesline, completely over-sold. Double headbutt from the Headshrinkers. Jarrett with a side slam and some struttin'. Billy with a head scissors and tag to Tatanka. Hip toss and a slam, followed by a Japanese arm drag. Jarrett takes Bart Gunn over with a snap suplex, and in comes I.R.S., the only heel with heat. Bart works him over as we take a break.

We return with Sparky getting his eyes raked and sent to the heel corner. Martel tags in for the first time, and easily loses control. Plugg with a diving body press for two. He goes to work on the arm with a wristlock, then changes to an armbar. Why a 10-Man Tag requires a long resthold spot is beyond me. Irwin with a knee to the back from the apron. The heat segment is non-existent, as the 1-2-3 Kid tags in for the first time and unleashes the feet of fury on I.R.S. He grabs him by his tongue and hangs him across the top rope. Slingshot clothesline gets two. Kid goes to the top rope and comes off with a body press. It's a Pier-Six Brawl! Kid with a spinning heel kick. Whip to the corner, he misses a charge, and Irwin rolls him up for three at 7:47. Nice to see that we didn't get either Tatanka vs. I.R.S. or Double J vs. Sparky in this match. *1/2 This was OK, but it had no real flow, and the faces never looked to be in trouble until a mistake by the 1-2-3 Kid at the very end.

- Shawn Michaels is standing by with his new Interview segment called "The Heartbreak Hotel." Shawn was practically non-existent as an in-ring performer between WrestleMania X and the weeks leading up to SummerSlam (his first TV match was against Razor Ramon on Raw sometime in August). Injury? Burn out? Who knows. He shows off the goofy set, complete with heart-shaped bed, lip-shaped pillows and a lamp inspired by A Christmas Story.

Yokozuna (w/ Mr. Fuji & Jim Cornette) vs. Scott Powers:

Yokozuna is being promoted as REALLY pissed off about losing the title at WrestleMania X. He's looking dang near skinny here in comparison to how massive he became throughout 1995 and 1996. Yokozuna over-powers Powers (no relation to Jim) and nails him coming off the ropes with a clothesline. Vince McMahon hypes the USA Network Saturday Night movie: House Party. Even hyping a movie title, Vince sounds really lame. Yokozuna with a back suplex as we hype Roddy Piper's "Bottom Line" on this show called All-American Wrestling. Never heard of it. Yokozuna drops a fat-ass leg drop, drags Powers' body to the corner, and drops ass for the easy three count at 2:38. He barely protected Powers coming down on his chest. Ouch.

- Next Week: The Quebecers meet the winner of a fan poll between Men on a Mission (who won the titles for about a day over in England), the Smoking Gunns, and the Bushwhackers. Wow, the WWF Tag Team Division really started to suck around this time.

Final Thoughts: Not a terribly exciting episode of Monday Night Raw. The two features of WrestleMania "rematches" delivered the obvious results: boring and clusterflock, so we probably should be thankful both were trimmed from the PPV. Mr. Perfect's appearance was rendered pointless before anything could materialize, and OOOOH, Shawn Michaels has an Interview segment! One of the best wrestlers in the company is now strictly a trash talker while his lumbering oaf bodyguard is working all the matches.

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