Monday Night Raw has made it through an entire year of existence as we look forward to the Royal Rumble.

Episode 46 – January 3, 1994

Venue – Mid-Hudson Civic Center (Poughkeepsie, NY)

It’s January 1994, and Monday Night Raw has officially made it through the first year.  Raw in 1993 brought us a lot of excitement, including upset victories, title changes, and heated rivalries.  This year starts with some intense feuds heading up to the Royal Rumble, so let’s see where things take us.

Still not having found a replacement for Bobby Heenan, Johnny Polo joins Vince McMahon on commentary.

Promos and Interviews

Undertaker and Yokozuna

Raw starts with yet another amazing promo from the Undertaker and Paul Bearer at their workshop.  Paul Bearer does most of the talking while the Undertaker continues to build Yokozuna’s extra-large casket.  I don’t care how many of these promos they do, they’re incredible every time.

Undertaker Building A Casket With Paul Bearer

They also show a clip from Wrestling Challenge where Jim Cornette claims Paul Bearer stuck some fine print in the contract after he already signed it, which made it a casket match.  Cornette also tries to squash rumors that Yokozuna is afraid of the Undertaker, but his fear becomes obvious when he looks terrified after just hearing the word “casket”.

Lex Luger Interview

Vince McMahon interviews Lex Luger in the empty arena before Raw.  As I mentioned last month, Luger has really cooled down since his massive push leading up to SummerSlam.  He’s still popular with the fans, but they just haven’t given him much to do other than constantly knocking out the Quebecers.

Lex Luger and Vince McMahon

The interview revolves around whether Luger will be allowed to compete in the Royal Rumble, which has been his only storyline for the past month.  Luger is really good at these intimate sitdown interviews, but it still feels like they don’t have anything for him to do.

Sparky Plugg Promo

We get another Sparky Plugg promo.  These are bordering on Jeff Jarrett levels of bad.

Marty Jannetty and the 1-2-3 Kid Challenge the Quebecers

They show clips from Johnny Polo’s upset victory against Marty Jannetty last week.  After the highlights, Marty Jannetty comes out with the 1-2-3 Kid to confront Polo.  He challenges the Quebecers to a Tag Team Title match.  After some hesitation, Polo finally accepts.

Marty Jannetty and 1-2-3 Kid Confront Johnny Polo

Royal Rumble Report

There’s another Royal Rumble report from Todd Pettengill.  He goes over the rules for the Royal Rumble match, and shows some of the participants.  The only new match that’s announced is Tatanka vs. Ludvig Borga.

Squash Matches

Yokozuna def. Dan Dubiel

Jeff Jarrett def. John Chrystal

Shawn Michaels (with Kevin Nash) def. Brian Walsh

Yokozuna has one of his only Raw matches since winning the title at King of the Ring last year, and Jeff Jarrett continues to perfect his lame gimmick.  Nothing really of note with these matches.

Big Match

The Smoking Gunns def. Bam Bam Bigelow and Bastion Booger (with Luna Vachon)

The Smoking Gunns have looked impressive since their debut last year.  They take on the random team of Bam Bam Bigelow and Bastion Booger.  The crowd isn’t into this match at all, and it moves pretty slow.  Booger decides to give Luna Vachon a big hug while he’s on the outside, and she slaps him across the face.  He doesn’t seem to care, and gives her a hug again.  Booger gives her a third hug, and she looks like she’s about to throw up.  Meanwhile, Bam Bam Bigelow is taking punishment from both Smoking Gunns in the ring.  Booger gives her another uncomfortably long hug, and Bigelow finally notices.  Both men start brawling on the outside, and they get counted out.

I’m not really too sure where they plan on going with this one.  Bigelow saving Luna Vachon from the disgusting embrace of Bastion Booger is a definite face move.  Do they plan on starting a feud that literally no one would care about?

Episode 47 – January 10, 1994

Venue – Richmond Coliseum (Richmond, VA)

It’s the one year anniversary celebration of Monday Night Raw, and to celebrate, we get Randy Savage back on commentary!  He gets introduced to officially begin the show, and the crowd goes insane.  This is the farthest that the WWF has been from New York, as they’re broadcasting live from Virginia.  It looks like by far the biggest venue for Raw so far, and the crowd is visibly excited all night.

Monday Night Raw 1 Year Anniversary

The episode starts with clips showing what led up to Marty Jannetty and the 1-2-3 Kid vs. the Quebecers tonight.  We then get a short promo from the Quebecers and Johnny Polo.

Promos and Interviews

Undertaker and Yokozuna

They show clips from Yokozuna’s match on WWF Superstars.  After the match, the lights go out, and Paul Bearer appears on the screen with the Undertaker.  Yokozuna looks terrified again, as the Undertaker has almost finished his massive casket.

Undertaker and Paul Bearer Surprise Yokozuna

Royal Rumble Report

We get another Royal Rumble report, but this one is with Jim Ross!  He made his WWF debut at WrestleMania IX, but this is his first appearance on Raw.  Ross is definitely the best person who has done these ppv reports other than Mean Gene.

Squash Matches

Ludvig Borga def. Brad Anderson

The Undertaker def. Ray Hudson

Not much to say about these obvious squash matches.

Big Matches

Marty Jannetty and The 1-2-3 Kid def. The Quebecers (with Johnny Polo) – Tag Team Title Match

The opening match of the night is the highly anticipated Tag Team Title match that was made last week.  The crowd is really hot for this match.  The fast paced team of Marty Jannetty and the 1-2-3 Kid work really well together, and they perform some nice double team moves.  They take it to the Quebecers early, and control most of the match.

The Quebecers finally gain the upper hand after some cheating, and begin punishing the 1-2-3 Kid.  He remains resilient, and constantly kicks out of their pin attempts.  Jannetty gets tired of Jacques and Pierre’s underhanded tactics, and interjects himself to help the Kid.  They both gain momentum, and score a shocking to capture the Tag Team Titles.

Afterwards, Randy Savage comes in the ring to congratulate them, and they celebrate with an ecstatic crowd.

Bam Bam Bigelow (with Luna Vachon) def. Bastion Booger

Fortunately, this feud only lasted a week.  Before this match, they show clips from last week when Bam Bam Bigelow attacked Bastion Booger after he hugged Luna Vachon multiple times.  It’s strange, because Bigelow doesn’t seem to have turned face, so we have this weird heel vs. heel match.

Luna lures Booger over towards her, which causes Bigelow to sneak attack him.  He easily defeats Booger in this short match.

Raw ends with a promo from the Quebecers and Johnny Polo where they reveal that Polo put a rematch clause into their contract for this match.  They’ll fight Marty Jannetty and the 1-2-3 Kid again at a house show at Madison Square Garden.

Episode 48 – January 17, 1993

Venue – Richmond Coliseum (Richmond, VA)

This episode starts with highlights from Marty Jannetty and the 1-2-3 Kid’s big Tag Team Title victory last week.  Crush joins Vince McMahon on commentary this week.

Promos and Interviews

Alundra Blayze Promo

We get a very ’90s video package of Alundra Blayze.  There is still yet to be any women’s matches on Raw.

Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji Interview

Vince McMahon interviews Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji in the ring.  According to Mr. Fuji, Jim Cornette is at a big press conference in Tokyo.  Fuji says that there will be a big victory celebration for Yokozuna there.  The interview doesn’t last long when the lights go out, and Paul Bearer wheels out the massive casket that the Undertaker built.  Mr. Fuji gives Yokozuna instructions to squash the casket, but before he’s able to do that, the Undertaker pops out.  The crowd goes crazy, and Yokozuna continues to look terrified heading into this match.

Vince McMahon Interviewing Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji

Royal Rumble Report

Todd Pettingill is back to take over the Royal Rumble reports.  The biggest news he has is that the Quebecers won back the Tag Team Titles from Marty Jannetty and the 1-2-3 Kid at Madison Square Garden.  So, that was a short-lived title reign.

Squash Matches

Owen Hart (with Bret Hart) def. Terry Austin

Owen Hart and Bret Hart

Tatanka def. George South

Kevin Nash (with Shawn Michaels) def. Scott Powers

The only interesting thing from these matches is that Owen Hart and Bret Hart are shown reunited for the first time on Raw.  After the match, Vince McMahon has a short interview with them about their match against the Quebecers at the Royal Rumble.

Big Match

“Macho Man” Randy Savage def. IRS

Randy Savage has to be held back from attacking Crush as he gets into the ring, and he starts fast against IRS.  The crowd is very hot for this match, and it’s definitely the loudest that they’ve been all night.  Savage still looks great, although IRS takes it to him for most of the match.  Savage eventually gets momentum towards the end, but Crush interferes, causing a DQ.  Crush and IRS double team Savage until Tatanka comes out to try to make the save.  IRS takes out Tatanka, and then Yokozuna comes out to continue to punish Savage.  Finally Lex Luger comes flying out in some American flag shorts and a USA themed windbreaker.  Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart make their way down to the ring as well, and we have a crazy fight to end Raw.

Episode 49 – January 24, 1994

Venue – Richmond Coliseum (Richmond, VA)

Jim Ross makes his announcing debut on Monday Night Raw, as he joins Vince McMahon on commentary.

Vince McMahon and Jim Ross

Promos and Interviews

Sparky Plugg Promo

This has to be one of the stupidest gimmicks ever.

Royal Rumble Report

Todd Pettengill gives us a post Royal Rumble report.  He talks about how Lex Luger and Bret Hart both eliminated each other to end the Royal Rumble match, so no one is sure about who will go on to face the WWF Champion at WrestleMania.

He also says that Yokozuna is still the WWF Champion after defeating the Undertaker.  Pettengill notes that they saw something “out of this world”, and anyone who missed it missed the “supernatural”.  Basically, what happens was nearly every heel came out from the dressing room to attack the Undertaker.  They opened the urn, causing a green mist to start spewing out.  The Undertaker lost all of his power, and was stuffed into the casket.  After the casket was wheeled back, the Undertaker appeared to ascend up to the heavens.  He then showed up from inside the casket on the screen.  It seems kind of lame now, but I was absolutely shocked when I was a kid.

Another big development was Owen Hart kicking out Bret Hart’s knee after losing their Tag Team Title match to the Quebecers.

Squash Matches

Lex Luger def. Austin Steele

Jeff Jarrett def. John Paul

Adam Bomb (with Harvey Whippleman) def. Tommy Angel

Doink (with Dink) def. Joey Stallings

Shawn Michaels (with Kevin Nash) def. Tyrone Knox

Shawn Michaels

It’s a big night for squash matches tonight, as they take over this episode.  Unfortunately, nothing overly exciting happens with any of them.

Big Match

The Headshrinkers (with Afa) def. Men on a Mission (with Oscar)

Two of the top tag teams in the WWF take on each other.  The crowd continues to absolutely love Men on a Mission.  It’s a pretty slow starting match that seems like it takes forever to get going.  The best part is Fatu stupidly trying to slam Mabel, and then even more stupidly trying to suplex him.  Mo takes most of the punishment in this match, as the Headshrinkers control almost the entire thing.  Eventually, Mabel tags in to clear everyone out.  We get kind of a confusing and sloppy ending with the Headshrinkers pinning Mo, and getting a clean victory over Men on a Mission.

Men on a Mission

Episode 50 – January 31, 1994

Venue – Fernwood Resort (Bushkill, PA)

IRS joins Vince McMahon on commentary, as they’re back in a smaller venue.

Fernwood Resort

Promos and Interviews

Bret Hart and Lex Luger Coin Toss

In order to resolve the situation of who will fight for the WWF Title at WrestleMania, we get a confusing coin toss segment. Here are the scenarios:

If Lex Luger wins the coin toss, he will fight Yokozuna at WrestleMania for the title.  Bret Hart will have to fight Owen Hart, and then will later fight the winner of the Yokozuna vs. Lex Luger match.  If Bret Hart wins the coin toss, he will fight Yokozuna at WrestleMania for the title.  Lex Luger will have to fight Crush, and then will later fight the winner of Yokozuna vs. Bret Hart.  I’m not entirely how this benefits the winner of the coin toss.  Either way, both guys get a title shot, and if the winner wins the title, they would have to fight twice regardless.  Shouldn’t it be that the winner of the coin toss only has to fight once?  Or, maybe that if the loser of the coin toss loser their first match, they forfeit their title shot?

Anyway, they introduce both men, and although they each got big cheers, it sounds like Bret Hart was more popular at this time.  Luger wins the coin toss, so we will get brother vs. brother at WrestleMania.  Both guys shake hands before the segment ends.

Undertaker Tribute

They show an Undertaker tribute from WWF Superstars, which is Paul Bearer cutting a promo from a graveyard.  He says that the Undertaker is not gone, and he will return.

WrestleMania Report

We get our first WrestleMania Report with Todd Pettengill leading up to WrestleMania X.  He goes over everything that we literally just saw in the coin toss segment.

Squash Matches

Bam Bam Bigelow (with Luna Vachon) def. Miguel Rosado

Kwang (with Harvey Whippleman) def. Rich Myers

Kwang

Earthquake def. Corey Student

The masked ninja, Kwang, who would later become Savio Vega, makes his Monday Night Raw debut, and Earthquake makes his return to the WWF.

Big Match

Marty Jannetty (with The 1-2-3 Kid) def. Johnny Polo

The 1-2-3 Kid was originally supposed to face Johnny Polo tonight, but he’s apparently been injured, and comes to the ring on crutches with Marty Jannetty.  Instead, Jannetty gets a rematch with Polo.  Before the match, Polo claims that the Kid really isn’t hurt, and that he’s just afraid of him.  He also says that Jannetty isn’t even in his league, because he already beat him.  Jannetty grabs the mic, and uses it to attack Johnny Polo.

This turns into a solid back and forth match that’s better than their first encounter, although there’s a couple botched moves.  Jannetty wins the match cleanly to get his revenge.  After the match, the Kid starts getting in the face of IRS about stealing Razor Ramon’s gold.  IRS gets upset, and knocks the Kid down.  Jannetty saves the Kid, and he makes his way off with his briefcase.  IRS looks everywhere for his briefcase, and Marty Jannetty comes back out with Razor Ramon wearing the gold around his neck again.

To end the night, there’s a promo from Marty Jannetty and Razor Ramon, and it’s announced that Jannetty will fight IRS next week.

Overall Thoughts

The best part about Raw continues to be their storyline building, although as the show progresses, the matches are becoming more underwhelming.  The surprising Tag Team Title win for Marty Jannetty and the 1-2-3 Kid was awesome, but the rest of the matches were mostly lame.

I hope that they find a permanent replacement for Bobby Heenan soon, although I like how they’ve been working the wrestler on commentary into the show.

It’s nice to see Raw continue to travel, and I’m curious to see how many new venues they take place from this year.

January Raw Highlights

  • Bastion Booger hugs Luna Vachon, creating a weird feud between he and Bam Bam Bigelow.
  • Raw celebrates its one year anniversary.
  • Marty Jannetty and the 1-2-3 Kid defeat the Quebecers for the Tag Team Titles.
  • Jim Ross makes his Raw announcing debut.
  • Lex Luger wins the coin toss to get first crack at Yokozuna at WrestleMania.
  • Kwang makes his Raw debut.
  • Earthquake makes his return.
  • Marty Jannetty and the 1-2-3 Kid steal back Razor Ramon’s gold from IRS.

January WWF Highlights

  • The Quebecers win back the Tag Team Titles from Marty Jannetty and the 1-2-3 Kid at a house show in Madison Square Garden.
  • Bret Hart and Lex Luger both eliminate each other to end the Royal Rumble match.
  • Yokozuna defeats the Undertaker to keep the WWF Title.
  • Owen Hart turns on Bret Hart.

Best January Raw Match

  • Marty Jannetty and The 1-2-3 Kid vs. The Quebecers

Worst Non-Squash January Raw Match

  • Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Bastion Booger

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