WWE Raw Retro Coverage – January 31, 1994: WrestleMania Coin Toss, Marty Jannetty vs. Johnny Polo, Razor Ramon gets his gold back
By Haydn Gleed
WWF Raw on the USA Network
Live from Bushkill, Pennsylvania at The Fernwood Resort
After a pretty decent Rumble in 1994, Raw the night after sucked as I wrote about last week. Did they bounce back the week later? Let's find out...
Usual Raw opening with the cheesy music and bad video. In the arena, Vince McMahon welcomed us Live to the Bushkill Arena and to Monday Night Raw. Vince introduced his co-host Irwin R Scheister...
Retro Verdict: If IRS starts talking about taxes all night, I'm muting the commentary.
Vince said that they are going to decide who faces Yokozuna first at WrestleMania by a flip of the coin, and that coin flip will be tonight. IRS started talking about tax cheats and tax deductions.
Retro Verdict: And there it is.
Marty Jannetty's music thankfully played to cut off IRS, and out he came accompanied by Sean Waltman 1-2-3 Kid who was hobbling on crutches. Kid joined the announcers at ringside. Vince and Kid shook hands, but IRS was not happy with the situation. Vince asked Kid how the injury is coming along, but while he was answering; my copy of the show went into commercials, random.
Back from the break, Polo was already in the ring and he asked the crowd to calm down for a minute. Polo asked if anybody actually believes that Kid is really injured, especially when the truth is he is scared of Johnny Polo. IRS, on commentary, started having a go at the 1-2-3 Kid, completely cutting off what Polo was saying in the ring.
Retro Verdict: One of my pet peeves is when announcers talk over the talent, and this is one of the worst examples I've seen.
Johnny finished his promo by confirming it would be a rematch between himself and Marty. Jannetty picked up the microphone, but Polo attacked him...
1. Marty Jannetty vs. Johnny Polo. The bell rang and Marty knocked Johnny down. He tied his legs together with the cord from the microphone. This was before wireless microphones kids. The referee told him off but didn't disqualify Jannetty which IRS rightly pointed out he should have. Polo did some comedy standing and tried to walk. He fell to the mat but got the thumb in the eyes of Jannetty and bailed to the outside.
Polo tried to bail to the back but Jannetty caught up with him and backdropped him in the aisle. Jannetty threw Polo in the ring and hit a crossbody from the top for a close two count. He hit a superkick for another 2 count but Polo got his foot on the rope. Polo recovered and knocked Jannetty to the outside.
Back from a commercial, Polo had a side headlock on Marty. Marty battled back but Polo tried to backbody drop over the top, but due to miscommunication, an error or a combination of both, Marty slipped under him but still ended up on the outside. Polo threw Marty back in the ring and came down off the second rope. He stood up and started dancing away. He applied a chinlock on the mat to wear down Marty. Jannetty's leg bounced up and down like Thumper from Bambi.
Marty made his comeback but both men collided mid-ring which sent Marty to the mat and Polo to the outside. Polo climbed back in the ring and was back on offence. Jannetty came back with a two count rollup but Polo kicked out, but Polo re-applied the side headlock. He released the hold and tried to come off the top ropes but Marty got his boot up. Vince talked about the coin toss later and what would happen depending who won. If Lex won, he would face Yokozuna first and Bret would have to face Owen before going on to face the title winner. If Bret won, he would face Yoko first and Lex would face Crush and then the winner of the first match.
In the ring Marty made a comeback and bounced Polo's head off each of the turnbuckles while the crowd counted along. He put Polo on the top rope but Polo pushed him off. He climbed to his feet, but Marty knocked him off and Polo straddled the top rope.
The finish of the match came when Marty hit the Rocker Dropper to win the match via pinfall...
Marty Jannetty beat Johnny Polo via pinfall in 9:29.
Following the match, IRS ranted about Marty winning and cheating. Kid got in IRS's face and said talking of cheats, everyone knows you have Razor Ramon's gold in your briefcase. This caused IRS to give Kid a right hand which knocked him to the ground. As Marty attacked IRS, The Kid grabbed IRS's briefcase and hopped to the back.
Retro Verdict: The match was ok, nothing special. Polo bumped around like a demon for Jannetty, but the match never felt like it got out of second gear. The afters with Kid and IRS were ok, Kid stealing the briefcase obviously set him up for a feud with IRS as soon as he was recovered from injury. I guess my 2015 mind is sick of briefcases in wrestling with the Money In The Bank in WWE and Feast Or Fired in TNA, so this wasn't particularly a memorable moment.
After the break, IRS was seen arguing with officials. Pat Patterson told him to re-take his position at the announcer's desk. IRS asked Vince where his briefcase was, Vince with a look of hate on his face said he has no idea where your briefcase is, he was too busy picking himself up after IRS knocked him down. IRS walked down the aisle. Just as he was about to reach the curtain, Razor Ramon's music hit and he walked through the curtain, with Marty next to him.
Vince pointed out that Razor had his missing gold around his neck, as Marty held the briefcase in the air behind him. Marty kept pointing at the briefcase, yes we get it. Ref's stood between Razor and IRS as we went to a commercial.
Retro Verdict: Fun moment, and we will see where it leads.
Back from the break, IRS ranted about the contents of his briefcase being stolen. Vince shut him up finally, and threw to a video with Jack Tunney...
Tunney was sat behind his desk at "WWF headquarters" and he reminded us of what happened at the Royal Rumble match where Lex and Bret both hit the floor at the same time. He said it's his decision that both men will have their opportunity, and at WrestleMania 10 there will be two title matches. He said on Monday, there will be a coin toss and ran down the possible results. A graphic was shown to simplify the situation. He also said that guest referee's would be appointed for the matches.
Retro Verdict: Really liked this. When Vince was talking about the possible outcomes earlier, my brain hurt even though I knew how it worked. The graphics simplified this, and showed that although Yoko would be freasher in the first match, whoever lost the coin toss would have to wrestle someone before their shot at the belt. I do miss the days when the authority figures only showed up on the screen when they had something to announce instead of every week and put themselves at the center of the storylines *sigh*.
Back in the arena, Bam Bam Bigelow was making his way down the aisle, being led by Luna Vachon. His opponent already in the ring was Miguel Rosado. On commentary, IRS challenged Marty Jannetty to a match the following week...
2. Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Miguel Rosado. Miguel got a few shots in early on but Bam Bam, the king of 1993/1994 squash matches on Raw, had the majority of the offence.
Bam Bam finished Rosado with a headbutt after bouncing off the ropes...
Bam Bam Bigelow beat Miguel Rosado via pinfall in 2:05.
Retro Verdict: Squash match was what it was, but what I loved about this match was IRS challenging Marty Jannetty. Vince asked IRS why Marty would accept the challenge, and the simple answer was if he had the guts he will turn up. Doesn't have to be complicated does it? You don't need to have the heel drive off while towing someone's dead father or by cooking their pet dog to get the babyface to respond to a challenge.
After another break, it was time for the coin toss. Vince was in the ring, along with a number of officials and Jack Tunney, who got boo'd. Vince ran down the decision, and for the third time tonight we heard what would happen based on the winner of the coin toss. The graphics were shown again and I went and made myself a snack.
After the overkill of the explanation, Vince asked Tunney if he had the coin toss on him, and then corrected himself and asked if he had the coin. Tunney showed the camera that the coin had two sides to it. Vince introduced Lex, who had put his full ring gear on. We can only assume that he wanted to dress like that for the coin toss. Lex shook hands with all of the officials. Bret then made his entrance, also dressed in his full ring gear.
Retro Verdict: I know I know, I'm nitpicking.
With Bret and Lex either side of the ring, Vince told Lex to call it in the air.
Retro Verdict: Hey how come he gets to call it? It's cause Vince is anti-Canadian I tells ya. See Vince screwed Bret 4 years earlier than we thought!!!
Lex called Heads and celebrated. Vince confirmed that we got head after the toss....I mean the coin landed with the head up. Lex spouted off some cliché's about how he's proud to be the co-winner of the Rumble etc, while Bret did not look particularly happy. Bret started talking about the fact he will have to face his brother, which he's not happy about. Bret then spouted off cliché's about wishing Lex the best of luck.
Retro Verdict: I know I joked around a lot while recapping this, but it was quite fun and noval. I don't understand why they just couldn't have been put in a match to settle who the number 1 contender was, but at least they tried something a bit different.
Straight back from commercial, the third match of the night was already in progress...
3. KWANG vs. Sonny Myers. Kwang, incase you didn't know, was the pre-character for Savio Vega. Kwang hit a splash in the corner, rolled to the outside and blew red mist into the air....alright....
Vince told us that Owen Hart was on the line to react to the toss in the ring.....get your mind out of the gutter! Owen said that Lex thinks he's the big winner here, Owen said he's the man who gets the opportunity to show the whole world he is better than Bret.
In the ring, Kwang showed he knew Martial Arts by doing over-emphatic air swipes after hitting each move. Kwang kept going for a pin but lifting up from the pin after a 1 count. Sonny got some offence in but missed with a crossbody. Kwang stood in the corner and waved his arms around and hit a superkick for the win...
Kwang beat Sonny Myers via pinfall.
Retro Verdict: Kwang was such a silly character, and thankfully it didn't last long. Owen was impressive with his promo on the phone, and they built up the Hart Brothers match well even this far away from WrestleMania.
After a commercial, Vince took us to a tribute for the Undertaker aired on Superstars the previous weekend. Bearer screeched in a room with a lot of mist. Paul said he felt The Undertaker all around him. The camera panned back and we saw a shadow of the 'Taker silhouetted on a building behind him. Paul said you can mark his words, his Undertaker will return...
Back in the arena, Corey Student was introduced before his opponent, making his triumphant return, Earthquake.
Retro Verdict: Really not trying to be horrible, as John Tenta was by all accounts a gentlemen of the wrestling world, but Vince built up his entrance with "wait until you hear this ovation", and when he came out there was just silence. It made me laugh far too much, and I know I'm a horrible horrible man.
4. Earthquake vs. Corey Student. When Earthquake got in the ring he ran the ropes and did his jump up and down like an earthquake. Corey used this as an opportunity to get some offence in against the returning star. It didn't last long. Vince announced that Marty had accepted the challenge of IRS and they would face each other on the next week broadcast. In the ring, Earthquake treated Student like a rag doll and reeled off his offence. Earthquake finished him with his Quake Splash finisher...
Earthquake beat Corey Student via pinfall in 3:05.
Retro Verdict: Complete squash as you would imagine. It was nice for me personally watching Earthquake wrestle again as he was always one of my favourites as a kid. I loved the jumping around creating a noise like an earthquake, as a kid that really appealed to me. I wasn't a very smart or well liked kid as you can imagine.
Following another break, Razor Ramon and Marty were backstage. IRS called them a couple of thieves. Razor said hey tax man, you want Marty? If you want him here he is. Marty, sounding slightly slurry, said for every man who has been screwed by the tax man, he is doing it for them. You can take your stinkin government and shove it, he said.
Vince closed the show by promoting the IRS vs. Marty Jannetty match as the crowd chanted Irwin over and over again. Also in action next week, would be Sparky Plugg, The Smoking Gunns and Owen Hart.
Retro Verdict: I actually quite enjoyed this show quite a lot. There was enough going on through the show that you didn't get bored of seeing squash matches. IRS was surprisingly ok on commentary, but that was mostly down to the fact the he was building an angle for the following weeks show instead of always talking about taxes.
The coin toss in the middle of the ring could have been so so bad, but they kept it as short as they could. It wasn't great entertainment by any stretch of the imagination but not as bad as it could have been. The actual action on the show was ok, but it held your interest and didn't over stay it's welcome.
All in all, a show that you might want to check out on the network, especially if you were a fan of the Earthquake as a kid like I was.
Thoughts? Comments? Want to shout at me? It's all good. Hit me up on twitter @haydngleed or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
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