James Dixon: This is a treat for UK fans, as this tape is exclusive to the British market. Not that anything featured on here is especially worth seeing, but that is par for the course. Johnny Polo presents.
Lex Luger vs. Rick Martel
Oh dear. Lex Luger is fast becoming one of my least favourite WWF wrestlers of the 90s, and Rick Martel is so close to the end of his WWF run that he is back to wearing baby blue. As Honky Tonk Man once theorised in a shoot interview; once you go to baby blue, you are near enough finished. This match comes from Monday Night Raw just after WrestleMania X and Vince McMahon is joined by one of my favourite people in wrestling: Jim Cornette. The action is surprisingly exciting in the first few minutes, and the crowd is hot for this, much to my surprise. Luger hadn’t quite given up completely and still had a shot at becoming a credible main-event star, but the end was nigh and Tatanka loomed. Luger decides the thing this fairly fun contest needs the most is a long headlock sequence, and interest levels wane both with the live crowd and myself. Things pick up with a battle on the outside, and this has not been too bad overall, certainly compared to the abominations with Tatanka that Luger had. Well, that both men had really. Who could forget Martel’s never-ending series with Tatanka over some feathers? Oh that’s right, everyone. The difference between Tatanka and Martel is that the latter had vast experience in the heel role and knew how to keep his stuff fairly interesting, even if he is sometimes overrated and carries a reputation among long-time fans that somewhat elevates his actual ability levels. This goes on a little too long before Luger finishes with the Torture Rack, and is probably best watched in passing while doing something else. Long, but inoffensive.
Final Rating: *¾
The match was so fantastic, that one of the guys in the studio fell asleep. Ok… Way to get the product over as boring! I have no idea what that was supposed to achieve.
Owen Hart vs. Mike Freeman
Again this is the night after WrestleMania, from the same Monday Night Raw show as the last match. Freeman is a TV jobber. He has a dreadful haircut, like so bad you would stop and stare in the street. He sports a mullet with a large mop on top, shaven underneath. It looks like a toupee. The match is almost worth seeing just because of his hair. The crowd chants “we want Bret” and Freeman, bless him, encourages it. They are your cheers pal, sure they are. The match is a squash dragged out to 5-minutes, with Owen hitting his usual trademarks and giving Freeman brief glimpses of offense along the way. Freeman bumps around fairly well, but that is still not an excuse for the horrendous hair!
Final Rating: *¼
“No-where will you find Michael Caine on this video” shares Johnny Polo helpfully. Ok then.
The Bushwhackers vs. The Quebecers
You thought we were going to get away with a WWF release without either The Bushwhackers or IRS? Please. The Quebecers are the tag champions but this is non-title because The Bushwhackers getting a shot would piss all over the belts’ credibility. This comes from the same show again. This tape is a bit of a joke really isn’t it? Vince keeps going on and on about ‘Mania X, which seems somewhat redundant, hyping the show after it has already happened. This exchange between commentators Vince McMahon and Randy Savage has me all of a fluster:
Vince: “Can you imagine, Luke and Butch as representatives of the WWF as tag team champions?”
Savage: “Unbelievable, that would be copasetic with me. Definitely raw!”
Vince: “Oh yeah, very very raw!”
Raw? It would be the worst thing in wrestling history. Considering the Quebecers are the tag champions and the Bushwhackers are a complete joke, the latter get a helluva lot in this. Eventually we get to the heat, and Jacques is far more entertaining as a heel here than he ever was as The Mountie. It is strange really, because he is wearing almost the exact same gear with near enough an identical gimmick, but he is never really referenced as having been The Mountie by the WWF. Even stranger, you never really think of him as having been The Mountie while watching him either. It is a most bizarre phenomenon. Pierre gets the win for the champs after interference from Polo. Not bad for a Bushwhackers match.
Final Rating: *
Tatanka vs. Chris Hamrick
Hamrick was a TV jobber in the WWF but achieved levels of notoriety elsewhere, most notably with Smokey Mountain Wrestling, ECW, XPW and 1PW. Tatanka comes out in a ridiculous headdress which makes him look like a peacock. At this point do I even need to mention that this is from the same show as all the other matches? They start at pace, with Hamrick flying around all over the place for Tatanka. Hamrick was always a good bumper with a very good understanding of ring positioning and how to make his opponent look good. He does that here in impressive fashion by taking an insane bump through the ropes to the outside, something which would later become something of a trademark. It is very impressive to see, but if you are going to pick a trademark bump, perhaps one a little less crippling would be better. Hamrick gets nothing offensive in this, so I can understand his wanting to make a name for himself just from the moves he takes. He seems to impress Randy Savage, who says as much. The war dance spells the end for Hamrick, and he jobs to the End of Trail after 5-minutes. Squash matches went slightly longer on Raw! Great bumping from Hamrick made this a fun watch, even if he did get next to nothing.
Final Rating: **
“George” still hasn’t woken up. I can’t blame him too much.
Jeff Jarrett vs. Koko B. Ware
Yep, same taping. Who would want to see Koko in 1994? Savage calls Jarrett “double jerk”. Oh, snap. Nikolai Volkoff, complete with horrendous hair, is in the crowd wearing a suit. Oh yes, it sure was all go in the WWF. Savage talks about his “good friend Burt Reynolds” and how great he is, because he is prone to tangents. Bizarrely, it is actually not the first time Savage has mentioned Reynolds in a WWF setting, having claiming to have been offered a centrefold shoot for “more money than Burt Reynolds” on his 80s tape Macho Man Randy Savage and Elizabeth. Aren’t you just thrilled you picked up a copy of this book, so you can read about tenuous and entirely irrelevant continuity points like that? Seriously though, Koko in 1994!? He stopped being relevant four or five years ago, why is he employed? He still has High Energy pants on and there is no Frankie to be found. Oh the match, well, it’s nothing of course. Jarrett wins with the DDT, cleanly. Swell.
Final Rating: *
10-Man Tag Team Match
Rick Martel, Jeff Jarrett, IRS & The Headshrinkers vs. Tatanka, 1-2-3 Kid, Thurman Plugg & The Smoking Gunns
This is the ten-man tag match that was cut from the WrestleMania X card due to time constraints, and yes of course it is from the same taping. As we have seen, three of these guys have already worked so don’t expect them to do a lot. Bob Holly is still going under the ludicrous Thurman “Sparky” Plug name. I wish he had brought that back after he had established his mean bastard act; it would have been richly comic seeing him in the gear with his inflated physique and bleached white hair. The action in the early going between Samu and Billy Gunn is stunningly entertaining and energetic, with Gunn getting turned inside out from a Samu clothesline to end their sequence. Billy shocks me again by nailing Jeff Jarrett with a lucha-esque headscissors, which I don’t recall seeing him do before. He certainly didn’t once he became a star in the Attitude era, that’s for sure. The majority of the match is controlled by the faces, who take turns using armbars and headlocks. Kid and IRS do a sequence which ends with everyone in the ring for a brawl. Referee Hebner is far too lenient and lets them get away with it, and IRS ends up pining Kid. I am glad this wasn’t on WrestleMania, though it wasn’t bad, just pointless.
Final Rating: *¾
Yokozuna vs. Scott Powers
Scott Powers is no-one. Yoko demolishes him in short order with the Banzai Drop (after checking if the ropes are slippery first). He sits on Powers after the match to make him suffer He is angry about losing the title, see.
Final Rating: SQUASH (Not rated)
Summary: If this tape was called WrestleMania: The Aftermath or The Raw After WrestleMania X then I probably wouldn’t have minded it quite so much, but it’s not, and thus this is an utterly redundant release. Every single match is culled from the March 21st, 1994 Raw taping from New York, and there is not a hint of workrate in sight. When the best match is a Tatanka squash, you know you are not onto a winner. The WWF must have really considered their UK audience to be complete idiots, willing to snap up any dross they would peddle. In a sense they were right, because people did buy this tape, even though it was just a very average episode of Raw. It is interesting only because of its UK exclusive nature, but otherwise this is a total pass and a disgraceful way to treat the loyal UK fan base.