Monday Night Raw (04/11/94)
James Dixon: We are back live, and Vince is joined on commentary by Macho Man Randy Savage.
Diesel vs. Virgil
“Whoop de du, big deal!” says Savage as Vince gets a semi on over Diesel’s size. How is Virgil still employed!? He has been near enough irrelevant for the last three years. Hell, he was jobber food for Nailz two years ago, and hasn’t done anything since then even. He tries to get something going with Diesel, looking lively at first and targeting the arm, until Diesel gets bored of selling and twats him with a forearm and stops him dead in his tracks. It is pretty much all Diesel from there. “Virgil is building some momentum” says Vince as he gets caught in a bearhug. Diesel could have won this match ages ago, but he is toying with him. That is a problem, because Diesel only has four moves, and he has used three of them. Back to the bearhug it is then. It is a lazy one too, and they just stand there, literally stand straight up next to each other, having a gentle cuddle. Team Hell No they are not, and Virgil takes umbrage to the show of affection and explodes into life. Briefly. Then Diesel kicks his face off and ends it with the Jacknife. Pretty entertaining considering the players.
Final Rating: *½
The King’s Court
Jerry Lawler gets carried to the ring on a throne by job guys, with D’Lo Brown front and centre of the servant party, alongside the future Gillberg. Wrestling is funny. “This is boring” says Savage, and he is right. The jobbers agree, and “drop” Lawler off his throne. D’Lo is very concerned. Replays show that Gillberg was the culprit. “Never have I ever seen anything like this in my life” chortles Savage. Lex Luger is Lawler’s guest, and he can’t stop laughing either. These guys need to get out more, it wasn’t that funny. Luger sarcastically buries Lawler for being a klutz, and puts over Piper’s Pit and The Brother Love Show. Luger sits in Lawler’s throne, and the crowd pops. Come on New York, don’t encourage this nonsense. Lawler tells Luger like it is; that he was way out of line at WrestleMania for his treatment of managers and officials, and his use of the steel forearm. How can anyone, especially when the footage is shown, dispute that Lawler and Perfect are right? I guess America loves a cheater, as long as they are championing the red, white and blue. Luger brushes over the issue, because he is in the wrong, and instead lays the blame on Mr. Perfect. The way he is circumventing the question, he could make a pretty good politician. After some more shouting at Perfect, Luger leaves. Like last week, the segment to build the feud was fine, but the knowledge of no pay-off renders it redundant.
Sparky Plugg vs. Barry Horowitz
I find it hard to look at the Sparky Plugg character as anything more than an elevated jobber. It is just a perception I have of the gimmick that won’t go away. To me, he is on about the same level of a Barry Horowitz, and indeed the two ended up on the same team at Survivor Series 1995 later the next year. Size wise both guys are evenly matched, which could potentially lead to a decent contest if they don’t just do a squash. Barney the Dinosaur comes up again on Raw, as Savage makes reference to someone punching him in a mall, and Vince suggests that Savage should run security for him. That would be a colourful pairing alright! Knowing that Vince doesn’t have any interest or knowledge about the outside world, yet knows of Barney and that he was popular, strongly suggests to me that the creation of John Cena was directly related to him. “Oh remember that big purple dinosaur that was really, really over with kids? I bet we could make a great gimmick out of that. Let’s have one of our sports entertainers be a human equivalent!” is probably how the conversation went. Mr. Perfect calls in to distract the commentary team and ends up having an argument with Savage. The match is over soon after, and was sadly no-where near the back-and-forth contest I was hoping for. Utterly non-descript, though the extra-curricular aural activity from the announce desk didn’t help much.
Final Rating: ½*
The results are in for the fan voted tag title match coming up next, as Men on a Mission win out ahead of The Bushwhackers and The Smoking Gunns. Man, how shitty must those two teams feel to lose to those guys? To be honest, there was no preferred option here from my perspective. MOM are fat and useless, The Smoking Gunns are boring and The Bushwhackers are well, The Bushwhackers. My feelings on them have been made very clear elsewhere. It is good to see that worthiness to the WWF tag belts is now decided by popularity contests rather than athletic merit or a strong win/loss record.
WWF Tag Team Championship
The Quebecers (c) vs. Men on a Mission
Polo comes out sporting eye gauze to sell his injury from All-American playing catch with Gorilla Monsoon. Talk about commitment! The match these teams had at WrestleMania was actually surprisingly decent, and probably MOM’s best ever. It wasn’t good mind you, but you could watch it without the aid of a stick to poke yourself in the eye with. Savage compares Mabel to a plane, which is probably not a great analogy, because Mabel sure can’t fly. He is more like the Hindenburg, if it were made entirely of lead. Attempts to knock Mabel off his feet prove to be entirely ineffectual and ultimately futile, but when Mo comes in, the champions take over because he is the obvious weak link. I have never seen a rotund man so poor at projecting his size. The way he gets thrown around and manhandled makes him look like an enhancement match guy. It is because he is such a little short-arse; he just doesn’t look like a wrestler at all. The Quebecers run heat on Mo, which is not entertaining, and then Mabel comes in and slowly cleans house from the hot tag. He finally gets knocked off his feet after a double team slingshot shoulder block, and things rather fall apart structurally. Mabel gets a very close two count after some shenanigans, with Mo having pushed Mabel on top of Pierre to switch a pin attempt around. Savage is aghast when The Quebecers pull the same trick themselves. His double standards are right out of the Lex Luger school of thought. The Quebecers eventually pick off Mo with the Tower of Quebec to retain the belts. Formula for the most part, messy towards the end, but it didn’t suck. The Quebecers are vastly underrated as a tag team, because they had some great matches in their WWF run and also managed to carry lesser lights (or in this case, heavies) to perfectly watchable contests.
Final Rating: *¾
“Pay your taxes, Tatanka” says IRS in the ring. Well, that wasn’t a waste of time at all.
THE RAW RECAP
Most Entertaining: Randy Savage. He didn’t do much out of the ordinary, but on a very average show, he was a consistent beacon of often unintentionally hilarious entertainment. The man is a loose cannon with a live microphone.
Least Entertaining: Sparky Plugg. Horrid gimmick, boring move-set and attire so bright it will make you go blind. He was working the king of the jobbers in Horowitz, and couldn’t even make it fun. Poor showing.
Quote of the Night: “That was nothing less than incredible” said the hyperbole machine that is Randy Savage about Diesel-Virgil! I wonder how the hell he described his match with Steamboat at WrestleMania III!? It was probably a 5-day long poetic soliloquy.
Match of the Night: The Quebecers vs. Men on a Mission. Once again, we were hardly spoilt for choice.
Summary: Two and a half marquee matches this week, but none of them was particularly interesting or worth seeing. This Raw will always be remembered as the one where Jerry Lawler fell off his throne, and to be frank, that is all it deserves to be remembered for. The streak of bad shows continues…