Monday Night Raw (05/09/94)
Arnold Furious: We’re, still, in Burlington, Vermont. This is the second show taped back on 26th April during a massive Tuesday taping. Hosts are Vince McMahon and Randy Savage, who run through the card.
King of the Ring Qualifier
Razor Ramon vs. Kwang
No prizes for guessing who wins here, but the WWF did book Mabel to win the entire King of the Ring in 1995, over Kwang unmasked, so you can never tell. This is the show’s marquee match, if you can believe that, as the rest of the bouts are jobber matches. Vince irritates me immediately by reminding us that IRS went over Scott Steiner to qualify for KotR. Stop pushing him. He’s SO boring. I’d have put Scott Steiner over everyone and had Owen cheat to beat him in an epic final. But then, if I was the WWF I’d have pushed Scott Steiner properly in 1994 instead of letting him go because my company couldn’t see past him as a tag team guy. Razor employs some rather odd tactics and opts for flash pins rather than beating Kwang up. I guess they wanted to sell Kwang as a tough guy. He’s smaller than Razor though and has to resort to kicking to get anywhere. It’s like Razor was intent on showing he could work a bit. The matches where Razor tries to do that, instead of his standard, well honed smashmouth approach, aren’t great. Unless he’s wrestling Bret Hart. Or Shawn Michaels. Razor busts his lip, which freaks Vince out. Seriously? Are kids going to be given nightmares by a busted lip? Isn’t it better to show the effects of wrestling so kids don’t go out and try to moonsault off their porch? Look at that guy, young-un, he is BLEE-DIN. Kwang takes a terrific bump off the chokeslam; he jumps as high as possible on it and plants the landing. Razor brings more technical skill by rolling through a crossbody for another cheeky two count. Kwang blasts him back down with another kick to his busted face. Kwang blows the Razor’s Edge by being too heavy. Razor, “seeming to be angry” jacks Kwang up for the actual Razor’s Edge and that finishes. Pretty decent match apart from the blown finish.
Final Rating: **¾
Video Control takes us to Roddy Piper on the set of Tough and Deadly. I actually own that movie. It’s good! Piper debates the pros and cons of being a King and derides Jerry Lawler for being a jerk. This is one of those Piper deals where he records bits and pieces and then it’s edited together. It is a real shame that both guys were past their best in the ring, because they were both dynamic on the stick. The eventual King of the Ring showdown is a shambles.
Tangent: Vince actually namedrops a Raw Girl, which is a first, I believe. The one in question is fitness trainer Maria Gonzalez. It strikes me as odd and she must have been a friend of a friend. Possibly the girlfriend of one of the boys.
Crush vs. Ray Roy
Ray Roy? Ray Roy? So, Mr. and Mrs. Roy went ahead and named their kid Ray eh? I’ve seen a few generic Raw jobbers sporting double forename names but Ray Roy rather takes the piss. Mr. Fuji, being completely useless as manager, wants a word with Crush and promptly gets his charge rolled up for an embarrassing near fall. Crush plods through the remainder of the match and finishes with the heart punch. Glad they changed his finish, but he still sucks. Savage keeps matters amusing by talking over the finish to shill the USA network movies this week and calls the movie Friday the 13th B Part II. Even Vince realises it’s wrong and asks Savage if he’s sure. “Yep” replies Randy. Confidence is the key.
Final Rating: ¼*
Video Control takes us to Duke Droese. He collects garbage and is coming to the WWF where he can collect some more. He can start with Crush.
Doink the Clown vs. Mike Terrance
Vince once again reminds us that Doink is a terrific technical wrestler. In the 1994 WWF Drinking Game, that’s a definite shot. Also every time Vince mentions Jeff Jarrett’s music career, as McMahon manages to sneak that into this match too. Terrance is one of the skinnier jobbers, he looks a bit like Chris Jericho. Doink runs a bit of comedy before taking Terrance apart and finishing with the Whoopie Cushion. Brisk!
Final Rating: ½*
The King’s Court
Yet another edition of the King’s Court, as Lawler has to address Roddy Piper’s repost from earlier. Lawler implies that Piper is too cowardly to be a guest on King’s Court and he’s busy making movies. Tough and Deadly, baby! It has the second most ridiculous and prolonged and pointless fight scene between Roddy Piper and his black co-star behind They Live. He has the market cornered in that respect. Lawler’s actual guests are Yokozuna, Mr. Fuji and thankfully Jim Cornette. The Louisville Slugger talks about how good Earthquake was as a sumo but that was “before electricity” and modern athletes are much bigger and better. Jimmy calls Quake an “armchair quarterback”, which allows him to get some fat jokes in. Cornette gets all educational and explains what “Yokozuna” means. Grand champion, in case you were interested. Cornette challenges former sumo wrestler Quake to a sumo match on Raw next week. I’ll give it to Jim Cornette. He makes me want to see matches I know I’ll hate and have zero interest in otherwise. Another outstanding piece of promo work from Mr. Cornette.
Video Control takes us to vox pops as people discuss where the Undertaker is. Not on TV, that’s for sure, which makes me happy as his ludicrous angles are all on hold.
Mabel vs. Mike Bell
Mike Bell is the guy that looks like Rhino. Bell actually worked in ECW too. Mabel vexes me during the “main event” bout by trying to make it a technical match. A short arm scissors? I’m thrilled Mabel knows what that is, but it looks weird from a big fat guy. Mabel actually has “whoomp there it is” embroidered on his chest. Savage makes me laugh by singing along when Oscar does his terrible rapping. I can totally see why Macho thought it was a good idea to release a rap album. Vince one ups his partner by claiming Oscar is “the brains behind the brawn”. Humorous. Incidentally Mabel wins with a belly-to-belly.
Final Rating: ½*
Next Week: Earthquake vs. Yokozuna in that sumo match they’ve been billing.
THE RAW RECAP
Most Entertaining: Jim Cornette. Anytime he shows up and just talks I’m enthralled. I don’t give a hoot about the sumo match but I want to see it because Cornette shilled it.
Least Entertaining: Crush. Though, slightly less terrible than usual.
Quote of the Night: “Sit down, you Yankee trash” – Harvey Wippleman puts a fan in their place.
Match of the Night: Razor Ramon vs. Kwang. If they’d nailed the finish they’ve have made it into the back of the book with all the ***+ matches. Not that the section is particularly big for 1994.
Summary: On paper this is a terrible show. The jobber matches are all woeful and there nothing else that really stands out. But all the bad stuff was really short and all the good stuff filled the show up. It might look poor, but it was actually okay.