January 17, 1994
From the Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, VA
Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Crush
The show starts off with a clip from last week with Marty Jannetty & 1-2-3 Kid defeating The Quebecers for the Tag Team Titles. Vince then adds how Stan Lane is at Madison Square Garden tonight to give us a report on the rematch.
The hosts run down the show, which includes Randy Savage vs. IRS, as Crush tells Savage he sat down with IRS and to prepare for the beating of his life.
“The Rocket” Owen Hart w/ Bret Hart vs. Terry Austin
Owen gives his sunglasses to a kid in the front row. The announcers talk about both Bret and Owen being in the Rumble match as Owen works over Austin. Crush then talks about being professional, unlike that “hothead” Randy Savage as Owen works the arm of Austin. We now cut to Lane in MSG as he tells us that Marty & Kid have fire in their eyes as Vince tells Lane to keep in touch throughout the night. Owen takes Austin over with a back drop then hits an enziguiri and follows with a flying elbow drop. Owen now dropkicks Austin as the announcers talk about the dynamic between Bret and Owen then Owen hits a missile dropkick then applies the Sharpshooter for the win (4:33). Vince then approaches Bret & Owen and asks them about tonight’s Tag Team Title match at MSG. Owen wants The Quebecers to win so they can get a shot at the Rumble but Bret wants Marty & Kid to win as he knows they will get a shot down the line as he can never cheer for The Quebecers as Owen does not look pleased.
Thoughts: They teased more tension between the Hart Brothers with both men having different choices on who they want to win as Owen wants to have a title shot at the Rumble and not have to wait down the road as he wants his chance to shine. We also had a first with mentions of a house show taking place the same day as a TV show and would hear more updates throughout the show.
The “WWF Unbelievable” ad telling us not to fall for cheap imitations airs.
Tatanka vs. George South
Vince reminds us of Savage shoving a cake into IRS’s face last week as Crush says that is another example of Savage’s unprofessional behavior. Tatanka chops South a few times as the announces talk about Tatanka and Ludvig Borga facing each other then going into the Rumble match. South catches Tatanka with a clothesline for a two count as Crush says while talented, Tatanka is not too bright. We get another update from Lane at MSG with him saying the match has started and Marty & Kid are showing a lot of fire. Tatanka now fires up and hits some more chops then uses a flying chop for the win (2:53). Vince plugs “WWF Mania” with the Rumble number drawing taking place.
Thoughts: We got another update about the Tag Team Title match going on while more hype for the Tatanka/Borga match at the Rumble.
We get a brief video package on WWF Women’s Champion Alundra Blayze. It shows her at the gym, beach, riding her motorcycle, and a clip of her being announced as the champion. So its clear they are building the division around her but they do not have anyone else in the division that we know of other than the person she beat for the title, Heidi Lee Morgan.
Vince welcomes Yokozuna & Mr. Fuji into the ring. Vince asks about Jim Cornette’s absence while Fuji says Cornette is planning a victory celebration in Japan for Yokozuna while Crush is on commentary telling Vince it’s none of his business. Fuji then gets pissed at Vince for mentioning the word “casket” then the lights go out and we see Paul Bearer wheeling the double-wide, double-deep casket down the aisle as his urn sits on top. The lights return as Yokozuna backs to the other side of the ring with Vince taunting him to get closer before pointing out Yokozuna’s fears. Yokozuna then slowly approaches after Fuji calls him over and seems more relaxed. Fuji then tells Yokozuna to squash the casket and Yokozuna goes to open it up but Undertaker pops up, causing Yokozuna to bail. Crush then asks what kind of guy would hang out in a casket as Yokozuna trips while heading backstage then Bearer & Undertaker come into the ring where Undertaker bows to the urn. Undertaker popping out of the casket got the best reaction of the night and it was effective if not a bit hokey. The Undertaker is over a lot as a face though.
We get a video package hyping up next week’s Bret & Owen Hart vs. Headshrinkers match.
Diesel w/ Shawn Michaels vs. Scott Powers
Vince asks Crush if Fuji’s Rumble strategy is to rid Lex Luger from the match but Crush tells him its none of his business. Powers gets in a few moves as Crush now brings up Tonya Harding but Diesel catches Powers with a side slam. Diesel dumps Powers outside then Shawn rolls Powers back in as Diesel stays in control as we get another report from Lane at MSG as we learn that Johnny Polo helped The Quebecers regain the Tag Team Titles as Diesel hits Powers with a gutwrench bomb then picks him up and slaps him down before kicking him around the ring. Diesel then drops Powers with a big boot then drops an elbow for the win (3:30).
Thoughts: And now we learn that The Quebecers are once again champions and the Hart Brothers will have a chance to win the belts at the PPV. Diesel is getting pushed more as a threat now as his alliance with Shawn is back on screen.
Royal Rumble Report with Todd Pettengill.
“Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. IRS
Savage invites Crush into the ring but Crush just tells Savage to see him at the Rumble. IRS gets attacked as he enters the ring but fights back. IRS drops Savage with a back elbow smash as Crush talks about how much he hates Savage. The announcers now talk about IRS/Razor at the Rumble as Savage gets dumped outside. IRS gives Crush a thumbs up then heads out to send Savage into the steps. Savage grabs a chair that the ref tries to take away but in the process IRS attacks from behind. Back inside, Savage catches a kick then spins IRS around for an atomic drop. IRS bails after getting clotheslined then we go to break and return with IRS dropping Savage throat-first across of the guardrail. IRS then takes Savage back inside and hits a suplex for a two count before applying a chin lock. Savage escapes and uses a small package for then they mix it up until Savage misses a charge in the corner. IRS goes back to the chin lock but Savage is able to throw him outside. Savage heads out with a double axe handle then goes after Crush but IRS attacks him from behind. We head to another commercial and return with IRS using an abdominal stretch. IRS heads up top but Savage cuts him off but comes off the top himself and gets punched in the gut. IRS goes back to the chin lock then heads up top again but this time Savage gets his foot up on the attack. Savage drops IRS throat-first across the top rope and sets up for the flying elbow smash but Crush has had enough and attacks Savage for the DQ (8:23) **. IRS joins in to attack Savage then Tatanka runs out for the save. Yokozuna comes out now then Luger heads out to even things up then Diesel, Shawn, and Bret run out as the show goes off the air.
Thoughts: The first half of this match was good and mostly all action but the second half was slowed down by IRS and his various holds that put the crowd to sleep, so much so that the end of the show, with several guys brawling in the ring as a final sell for the Rumble did not get over nearly as well as they were hoping. They even panned to show the full crowd at the end, which was nowhere close to capacity, and only some of the fans were openly cheering while the rest sat on their hands. This also continued the Savage/Crush feud.
Final Thoughts: The big news here was learning The Quebecers recaptured the Tag Team Titles, meaning the Hart Brothers will have the chance to win gold at the Rumble. The featured match was okay with an angle designed to get the crowd hot for the Rumble but did not get over live. And the rest of the show was basic Rumble hype as the PPV is now just five days away.
Here is my schedule for the next several days:
Tuesday: WWF Madison Square Garden 1/17/94
Wednesday: WWF Superstars 1/22/94
Thursday: WWF 1994 Royal Rumble, WWF Wrestling Challenge 1/23/94
Friday: WWF Monday Night RAW 1/24/94
Saturday: WWF Superstars 1/29/94, WWF Wrestling Challenge 1/30/94
Sunday: WWF Monday Night RAW 1/31/94, Randy Savage vs. Crush from 2/1/94 White Plains, NY (WWE Unreleased 1986-1995 DVD).
Monday: WWF Superstars 2/5/94, WWF Wrestling Challenge 2/6/94