(Once again, a reminder that these are NOT new rants. They would have been written about five years ago. Once the Network starts showing the RAWs from the end of Feb 94, I’ll pick them up again from there.) The SmarK Legacy Rant for Monday Night RAW – January 31 1994 – Live from Bushkill, PA. – Your hosts are Vince & IRS. – We’re two weeks removed from Royal Rumble 94, and yeah it’s been a while since I’ve done these so hopefully I can get back into the groove again with them. Marty Jannetty v. Johnny Polo 1-2-3 Kid is at ringside, sporting a mightily broken leg, as this was originally advertised as Kid v. Polo even though they knew damn well that Kid was injured. Polo cuts a funny promo on Marty before the match, and Marty responds by hitting him with the microphone and then tying up his feet with the cord. Now there’s a comedy spot that’s totally lost in these heady days of wireless technology. So simple and yet it gets a huge reaction and Polo can bump around like a clown as a result. Polo tries to run away and gets chased and backdropped on the concrete, and they head back into the ring. Polo tosses him, but Marty comes in with a high cross for two. Superkick gets two. Polo comes back with a cheapshot to put Marty on the floor again, and we take a break. Back with Polo holding a chinlock, and they do a backdrop spot so ugly that even Vince scores off them about how bad it looked. They brawl on the floor a bit and back in for an elbow off the middle from Polo. Johnny GETS JIGGY WITH IT and gets two. Wait, was Will Smith a thing at that point? I think I remember people at work singing that stupid song around that time, but I was much younger and more regularly drunk back then. They collide and Polo hits the floor, and back in Marty gets a sunset flip for two. Polo kicks him in the face and sits on top for two, but Marty reverses for two. Polo inexplicably grabs a side headlock and goes nowhere with it, then goes up for that retarded spot where the heel lands on the babyface’s foot. This match started on a downward trajectory and hasn’t really righted itself yet. Marty makes the half-assed comeback and rams Polo into the turnbuckles, but can’t get a superplex. Polo tries to come off the top, but Marty trips him up and Polo does the Flair bump onto the top rope. Marty misses a blind charge, but finishes with the Rocker dropper at 9:33. I’m not one to accuse anyone of taking illicit substances, but Marty was all but picking the rolled up dollar bill out of his nose during the match. Luckily Polo decided to bump like he was doing a demo of a ragdoll physics engine and somewhat bailed out this trainwreck. **1/4 IRS on commentary rages about how the finishing move should be banned because it’s so dangerous. What is he, Charles Austin’s lawyer? Or is that one too obscure now? Anyway, IRS smacks the Kid around, so Kid steals his briefcase and hobbles back to the dressing room with it. – We take a break and IRS is pissed, so he goes back to the dressing room to exact his revenge, but uh oh, here’s Razor Ramon, and he reclaims his gold from the magic briefcase. – Meanwhile, senile President Jack Tunney explains the labyrinthine World title situation for Wrestlemania X. See, if Lex Luger wins the coin toss and finds the immunity idol, and Bret Hart wins the Power of Veto, then Owen Hart might get a rose from Flavor Flav while Crush runs the Wipeout course. I think. It all made much more sense when I was 20, honest. Bam Bam Bigelow v. Miguel Rosado Bigelow shoves Rosado around, but misses a charge and allows the jobber to get his minimal comeback. That doesn’t last long, as Bigelow tosses him down with a press slam and drops a series of increasingly angry headbutts. On commentary, IRS throws out a challenge to Marty Jannetty. Vince questions why Marty would want to accept. Because if he has any guts, he will! See how EASY that used to be? And it’s not like this was even a particularly good time for the promotion or anything. Bam Bam finishes at 2:11. Vince McMahon and his army of kiss-ass sycophants bring out Jack Tunney for the COIN TOSS OF DOOM. Vince makes a big show about Tunney demonstrating that the coin is in fact not rigged, which just makes it all the sillier when Tunney in fact switches to the two-headed coin. Basically heads gives us the scenario we ended up with, and tails would have had Luger facing Crush first. So yeah, Luger wins the coin toss and gets to face Yokozuna first, and we get a nice bit of acting from Bret as he sells the conflicted feelings about facing Owen with just his facial expressions. KWANG v. Sonny Myers We’re joined in progress for whatever silly editing reason. Kwang gets a leg lariat in the corner and shoots some red mist (which, as a reminder, gives Ed Leslie new and unpredictable gimmicks if spit at him) and a spinkick gets two. Kwang uses the MARTIAL ARTS~!, and gets a running elbow in the corner, but a hiptoss only gets one before he picks up the jobber. Oh man, after a devastating hiptoss like that why not just put the poor guy out of his misery? The jobber misses a crossbody and Kwang finishes with a superkick (with extra hand-waving for SUPER DUPER MARTIAL ARTS POWER, much like when Hulk Hogan winds up his fist like Popeye for extra torque) at whatever time it would have been if I gave enough of a shit about Kwang to start the stopwatch. I know you’re saying to yourself “How fucking stupid does a gimmick have to be for Caribbean Legend Savio Vega to be an improvement?”, but there you have it. – Meanwhile, Paul Bearer assures us that Undertaker will return. I bet he’ll go on to do pretty good at Wrestlemanias, as well. Earthquake v. Corey Student This is John Tenta’s triumphant return before heading off to WCW later in the year. Quake gets a belly to belly and a body vice, and puts him down with a clothesline for two. Avalanche and Vince notes that “You could say that this guy is getting SQUASHED” Oh man, he’s SHOOTING. I didn’t even get a chance to make a joke about having to change the name of the running splash from “Avalanche” to “Shark”. Powerslam and butt splash finish at 3:18. – Meanwhile, Marty accepts the challenge of IRS, because HE HATES THE GOVERNMENT, MAN. Yeah, always busting the little guy for carrying a couple of ounces of weed and/or pills in their glove compartment or bags! That shit’s unfair, man! I think we need a new game where we take bets on exactly how high Marty Jannetty was while cutting promos around this time. At least he had positive role models like Razor Ramon and 1-2-3 Kid to keep him from doing anything REALLY stupid. Next week: IRS v. Marty Jannetty, who apparently became a redneck survivalist sometime during a commercial break and failed to notify anyone. Plus SPARKY PLUGG! And the Smoking Gunns!