The SmarK Rant for WWF Superstars – 01.29.94
Well, Royal Rumble 94 was sure a thing that happened.
Taped from Fayetteville, NC. FINALLY we start a new set of tapings a month into 1994. They’d been reheating the Lowell MA matches from December 15 like day 3 leftover pizza forever. I can hear Bruce Prichard now, begging to tape some new material while Vince cackles “DAMMIT, PAL, WE CAN STILL USE THIS LUDVIG BORGA SQUASH MATCH ONE MORE TIME!”
Of course these tapings were done on January 12, so we’re already two weeks behind the Royal Rumble show. I know having an immediately up to date taping isn’t the be all and end all, but there’s a damn good reason why Nitro seemed so incredibly fresh by comparison when it launched.
Anyway, Royal Rumble saw TWO winners, in the form of Lex Luger and Bret Hart, leaving Jack Tunney no choice but to declare co-winners.
Jack Tunney joins us after getting pulled out of his box and dusted off, announcing that the WWF title will be defended TWICE at the same event, Wrestlemania X. This was huge news at the time, although we just had two World title matches on RAW this past week. So we’ll do a mini-tournament, which is particularly painful to hear about given how today went for us Blue Jay fans, where a coin toss will determine who faces Yokozuna first. And the other guy faces “suitable competition”, which means we were one coin flip away from seeing Lex Luger v. Crush at Wrestlemania and had it cruelly ripped away from us by fate! So in this case, Bret Hart is the Boston Red Sox, Lex Luger is the Yankees, and I guess Owen Hart is the Blue Jays because he doesn’t get to win shit. Also we’ll have “unannounced guest referees acceptable to both parties”, once we figure out who’s not doing anything that weekend.
Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Stan Lane, who declares that the coin toss is a win-win because the fans win either way. Sounds like something Bruce Prichard would say in a booking meeting.
Men on a Mission v. Terry Austin & Joey Stallings
Hit Row should probably watch tape of this because I’m thinking this is their immediate future. Austin pounds on Mo to start and gets nowhere, and then Mabel comes in and swats him down while Vince makes “Austin City Limits” references for all the hip youth watching. Yeah, who could ever take someone with a last name of “Austin” seriously? Over to Stallings and Mabel quickly squashes him in the corner and they finish with the splash at 3:01. 0 for 1.
Meanwhile, Jim Cornette rants about a conspiracy against Yokozuna after he triumphed against Undertaker fair and square, all by himself, and now has to face two people at Wrestlemania. Seems pretty unfair to me, I dunno.
NEXT WEEK ON RAW: 1-2-3 Kid takes on Johnny Polo! Plus the COIN TOSS!
Thurman “Sparky” Plugg v. The Brooklyn Brawler
Yup, it’s 1994 all right. As the announcers talk about Brawler’s dirty gear, Stan speculates that it’s soot from Plugg’s exhaust. So…are they saying that he farted on the guy? Plugg gets a slam to chase Brawler to the apron as it’s killing me not to type “Bob Holly” because at least Bob “Sparkplug” Holly doesn’t sound completely ludicrous as a name a real human being would use. Thurman, who is called “Sparky” by his friends I would like to remind you, gets a dropkick and snap suplex (the “Speedway Suplex”) and then finishes with a flying splash that Vince dubs “The Overhead Cam” and Stan notes that Brawler “got a valve job”. Vince thinks this is hilarious. 0 for 2.
Meanwhile, Alundra Blayze is now the WWF Women’s champion and she enjoys doing activities to a variety of music.
FACE TO FACE! WITH JIM ROSS!
Sure, Jim notes, the Super Bowl is coming up, but who can get excited about it with all the stuff that happened at the Royal Rumble? So we go to Owen Hart, who is tired of hearing about Bret and his family when no one cares about HIM and what he needs. JR is very disappointed in Owen and what he’s become. And then to prove Owen’s point, we have to also hear from Bret and how he feels about the Rumble.
Diesel v. Tommy Angel
This week’s guest ring announcer literally can’t even read the cue cards. I’d like to think we have some minimum standard of literacy from the fans. Oh, wait, it’s North Carolina, my mistake. Diesel slams Angel and gets the running choke on the ropes, and then hits the big boot and follows with Snake Eyes to finish at 1:28. Big D was still putting it together but he was getting closer. I’ll give him a point to encourage him. 1 for 3.
WRESTLEMANIA X: It’s a thing that’s happening!
The Quebecers join us for a remote interview with Vince, as they announce that next week is a 10 minute challenge against the Steiners, and if the Steiners win, they get a title match.
Tatanka v. Austin Steele
Oh man, we’re running through all the Crockett jobbers at these tapings. Despite the amazing name, Steele looks more like Buddy Landell. And indeed Tatanka chops him around the ring and whips him into the corner and then drops an elbow before adding a backdrop. Steele actually comes back with his own chops and a back elbow while the announcers ponder whether you’d want to win the coin toss or not. Frankly I’m shocked Luger didn’t choke and lose the coin toss as well. Tatanka finishes with what Lane is now dubbing the Renegade Drop at 2:34. 1 for 4.
WRESTLEMANIA X REPORT! WITH TODD PETTENGILL! BROUGHT TO YOU BY COLISEUM VIDEO!
The show is already sold out for the most part, but maybe still call for tickets just to be on the safe side. Also have you heard about Fan Fest? That’s also happening and it’s tons of fun.
Meanwhile, Randy Savage destroys a public library and gives out his meat snacks.
Meanwhile, EARTHQUAKE returns. Yeah that didn’t go very well for him.
Jeff Jarrett v. Tyrone Knox
So Vince hypes up Jarrett’s appearance on the cover of something called “Country Beat Magazine”, complete with a magazine cover that looks pretty legit, but naturally I’m skeptical of 99% of what Vince says so I can only assume it was fake or a paid advertisement or something. Regardless, there IS a current Country Beat Magazine, but it appears to be online only and I can’t find anything about the history of publication to find out if it was around in 1994. Jeff accuses the bald Knox of pulling hair, which prompts Stan to accuse him of being jealous of Jeff’s beautiful hair. Jeff with a suplex while Stan veers into discussion of the different in pronunciation of “suplex” vs “suplay” (Vince prefers “suplex”) and he follows with a dropkick while Stan is just going into free association like Robin Williams and does his Ed McMahon impersonation before singing various snippets of country songs. Knox tries a sunset flip, but Jeff grabs the ropes and pins him at 2:30 while the ref is STANDING RIGHT THERE counting it. 1 for 5. Also he won a squash with a blocked sunset flip?
Paul Bearer wheels out the casket from the Rumble, and we cut to the ridiculous soliloquy from Undertaker from that show, which is supposed to be playing on the screens in the arena on this show taped two weeks before the PPV. That was pretty awkwardly shoehorned in. Also the “rebirth of the Undertaker” nonsense didn’t go ANYWHERE. He just came back with no explanation to fight Ted Dibiase’s equally unexplained fake Undertaker.
The Headshrinkers v. Sid Garrison & Larry McGill
Vince starts putting the Headshrinkers over a bit on commentary, which I’m assuming was leading to the abrupt babyface turn that made no sense. Samu catches Sid with a powerslam and Fatu comes in for a sloppy double slam on the guy, and McGill comes in and also gets wrecked with a backbreaker and headbutt. McGill comes back with a facejam, but Fatu no-sells it and chops him down, and the Shrinkers finish with the usual at 2:39. 1 for 6.
FACE TO FACE! WITH JIM ROSS!
We get vague comments from IRS and Razor Ramon about their match at the Rumble that likely wouldn’t have happened at the time they were taping the interview.
Next week: 1-2-3 Kid & Marty Jannetty! Kwang! And the Steiner Brothers face the Quebecers in a 10 minute non-title challenge! Considering the state of their relationship with Vince at this point, I don’t see that one going well for the Steiners.
I will say, at least, at the VERY LEAST, we’re starting to build towards an awesome show that I actually care about. So I’ll give them that.