WWE Raw Retro Coverage – March 28, 1994: The Million Dollar Man buys ringside seats, Lex Luger vs. "The Model" Rick Martel, 1-2-3 Kid, Owen Hart, Crush, Doink, and more
By Haydn Gleed
WWF Raw on the USA Network
Taped from Mid-Hudson Civic Center, Poughkeepsie, New York
The show opened not with the terrible music and video, but with The Million Dollar Man at ringside, telling several fans to move. He paid them off and had a couple of seats to himself in the front row.
Retro Verdict: Without looking this up, I've got a feeling that this would be the start of the Corporation, but if I'm wrong don't shout at me. It might be my sick mind, but I was wondering what he was doing going you you and you and giving the ladies money to head to the back. 1994 was such a more innocent time I guess.
Following the awful music and intro video, Vince McMahon welcomed us to Monday Night Raw and recapped what we had just seen with the Million Dollar Man. He stated that there are some things that money can't buy....
Retro Verdict: Like living forever I guess would be top of Vince's list.
He introduced his co-commentator for the evening, Jim Cornette who he antagonised by saying, he'll know all about money can't buy you everything, as the World Heavyweight Championship slipped through his and his clients grasp at WrestleMania. Cornette yelled at Vince, he said he heard the nonsense spoken by Bret and Macho Man last week, and this week he is here to give the unvarnished truth as he's the only one who truly knows what is going on in the WWF.
In the ring, The Model Rick Martel was already in one corner, with his hair in a ponytail....hmmm....interesting. Lex Luger made his entrance to a muted pop while Vince put him over on commentary as being made in the USA. Cornette mocked Lex for losing to Yokozuna at WrestleMania....
1. Lex Luger vs. The Model Rick Martel. The match started slow with both men locking up and Martel stalling by demanding rope breaks. Cornette called Lex a hot head, as Vince ran down what happened at WrestleMania. In the ring, The Model gained the early advantage, before Luger made a comeback with right hands in the corner. He whipped him across the ring and followed up with several clotheslines before The Model bailed to the outside. Cornette claimed that all of the moves so far have been illegal from Luger.
The camera panned to the commentary team, where we could see Ted DiBiase sat behind them. Cornette turned around, and in an unintentional imitation of Brother Love, said I love you. Made me chuckle. Despite Ted not being mic'd up, we got a voiceover from him laughing and mocking Vince, weird. In the ring, Lex was still on offence and synched down on a side headlock on the mat. Vince said Lex was a "house of fire", strange way of putting it. The model forced a rope break, but Lex again went to the headlock of doom on the canvas. The Model eventually powered out of the hold, but Lex hit an atomic drop and then a clothesline to knock The Model out of the ring as we went into a commercial break...
Back from the break, Lex was in the ring, but Rick grabbed his boots and dragged him to the ringside area. The Model hit a number of punches and tried to ram Lex's head into the apron, but Lex blocked and reversed. The Model climbed in the ring and chocked out Lex as he entered the ring. He kept Lex in the corner and knocked him to the ground. Rick continued with some basic offence while the crowd chanted USA. He applied a front chinlock on the mat. The commentators talked about the angle between Lex and Mr Perfect, as Cornette claimed that Lex tried to kill half the people in the building at WrestleMania. Lex made a brief comeback but the Model got a knee to the mid-section before re-applying the front chinlock of doom. At one point the light between the chin and Rick's arm was just sloppy, certainly not what you would have expected from a veteran like Rick Martel. Again Lex made a brief comeback, but The Model held on to the ropes as Lex missed a dropkick attempt.
At the 13 minute mark, Lex reversed a suplex attempt and both men were down. Both men battled, before Rick turned his back on Lex to showboat to the crowd, and Lex came up from behind and hit a number of right hands. He hit a back body drop as Lex psyched himself up. He hit a powerslam before he picked up Rick in a torture rack for the submission victory....
Lex Luger beat Rick The Model Martel in 15:24 via submission.
Retro Verdict: Decent match. I got slightly taken out of the match by Lex constantly going for the rest hold on the mat early on, but when Rick slapped them on later it made sense as he was trying to wear down the powerhouse. The crowd gave Lex a lukewarm reception originally, but popped big when he won the match. Not a match that would blow you away but was a fun serviceable match certainly. The most entertaining part if I'm honest, was listening to Vince and Jim Cornette bicker on commentary.
Following a commercial hyping the encore of WrestleMania 10, Owen Hart was shown backstage lifting weights with Cornette singing his praises. Owen looked into the camera and said, after beating Bret, he is ready to beat anybody. A commercial aired for ten man tag match that got bumped from the WrestleMania 10 card, which will be on next week's show.
In the arena, Owen made his way down the aisle to the ring, looking at the crowd mockingly. Vince called him an ingrate, which Cornette said Owen isn't the ingrate, it's these fans. Owen's opponent already in the ring was Mike Freeman...
Retro Verdict: This Raw is worth watching so far for one reason, listening to Vince and Cornette bicker and doing a stellar job on commentary.
2. Owen Hart vs. Mike Freeman. Owen dominated this entire match, while Vince and Jim talked about this week's news to "prove" that this show was live. We got a strange shot over the shoulder of The Million Dollar Man watching the match at one point. Vince turned around and asked Ted what he was doing. Ted said everybody's got a price for the million dollar man. He's bought these seats, and over the next couple of weeks he will have some big surprises for everybody, and he will prove that everybody has a price for the Million Dollar Man...
Retro Verdict: Yep, definitely the start of the Corporation.
At one point, Vince said WrestleMania wasn't a disappointment unlike "some of those Super Bowls, which get built up and don't deliver". The crowd chanted "We want Bret" on several occasions during the match. Owen won with the sharpshooter after a one sided match...
Owen Hart beat Mike Freeman in 5:20 via submission.
Retro Verdict: Owen looked vicious but at the same time, he looked weak that it took him five minutes to finish off the jobber. This is what happens when I praise the commentary, they start talking about silly "in the news" this week items.
Oh god, Doink's music played. Doink and Dink made their way down to the ringside area, and headed to the commentary position. Doink sprayed water in Ted DiBiase's face. His opponent Eric Cody is already in the ring...
3. Doink The Clown vs. Eric Cody. The bell rang and Eric tried to shake hands with Dink, but the little weirdo had a buzzer in his hand. Eric sold it. Vince laughed his head off, as if he had just pushed someone into the swimming pool fully clothed.
Doink and Dink did some silly comedy spots, with the referee watching and didn't DQ Doink. Doink won with the whoopee cushion...
Doink beat Eric Cody via pinfall in 3:40.
Retro Verdict: I refuse to write play by play for any Doink match, as they defy logic and it gets me angry. What I will take away from this match is Vince McMahon plugging a USA network show Weird Science. Now I may be the only person in the UK who remembers this show, as my first proper crush on anyone was with the lady in this show, a women called Vanessa Angel. She also played the main female lead in Kingpin. I loved her....Sorry back to wrestling. Doink and Dink were just an act that Vince got a kick out of and drove away viewers, simple as that.
The same WrestleMania 10 recap video from earlier played. Although this show is only one hour, it's starting to drag. After the video, the Tag Team Title Holders The Quebecers and Johnny Polo were introduced by Jim Cornette who was in the ring. Once they climbed in all four men hugged. As Cornette was listing all of the accomplishments of The Quebecers, Captain Lou Albano made his way down the aisle and jumped in the ring.
He asked Johnny if they had accepted his challenge from last week. Johnny said, yes of course they have they are the tag team champions. Lou said he would go and get them. He made his way down the aisle and The Headshrinkers with Afa came walking down, in what was presumably a babyface turn. The Quebecers looked frightened in the ring, as Polo screamed not them into the microphone. Albano reminded Polo that they said they would put the belts on the line against anyone that Lou put together, and he has. They went back and forth while both teams screamed at each other, which led into a commercial.
Retro Verdict: Clunky, awkward, uncomfortable, pick your word for this segment. They didn't give the Headshrinkers anytime to talk, which back then was probably a good thing, so we didn't really know if they had turned or if they were there to protect The Quebecers. The whole thing was a mess, which considering the people involved was somewhat of a surprise.
Following the commercial, the 1-2-3 Kid made his entrance to face The Black Phantom, who would later go on to be Gangrel...
4. 1-2-3 Kid vs. The Black Phantom. Kid tried to shake hands before match, but Phantom ignored him. Quick start to the match, with the Kid gaining the early advantage. Phantom gained the offence with an elbow to the face, and then threw Kid half way across the ring.
Kid made his comeback, by getting out of the way of a splash in the corner. He used his quick feet to knock Phantom down and hit a quick legdrop. He finished the future vampire with a moonsault for the 1-2-3...
1-2-3 Kid beat The Black Phantom via pinfall in 2:30.
Retro Verdict: Nothing to see here folks. I enjoyed the match while it lasted, but it wasn't much of a competition. Cornette made a joke about former president Jimmy Carter's daughter being so ugly she couldn't get a date on a gravestone, I laughed, that's all I took from this match.
Immediately following the last match, we went to a commercial, and immediately following the commercial was the final match of the night. Bet they wish they had more time on Raw eh? The final match of the night saw Crush take on Ray Hudson...
5. Crush vs. Ray Hudson. Nothing at all to this match at all. Crush dominated the entire match. Ray Hudson had a dodgy moustache and a bad haircut. Nikolai Volkoff, with a really bad suit, was shown in the crowd, and Crush took a moment to jaw at him.
Crush won the match with a press slam and a kneedrop, honestly...
Crush beat Ray Hudson in 3:21.
Raw went off the air with Crush standing mid-ring waving a Japanese flag....
Retro Verdict: My lord was this a terrible show. I feel awful as I'm watching them, as I know my Retro Raw's are going to be shorter than they should be, but there is literally nothing of any consequence or newsworthiness happing on the shows. At this point, Raw felt as meaningful as Superstars of Main Event.
The Lex Luger vs. The Model match was decent, but had its problems. Cornette and Vince bickering was fun, but ultimately started to grate. Everything else on the show was either jobber matches, awkward promos in the ring or just pure blah. The last couple of weeks show why ECW was so successful starting up in the early 90s with their style of show, as people would have been so bored with this product.
Any thoughts on this show or WWF in the 1994? Hit me up on twitter @haydngleed or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
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