Monday Night Raw (06/27/94)
James Dixon: We open with footage of Jerry Lawler attacking Duke Droese with his garbage can last week, and both get pre-recorded promos to talk about it. Droese vows revenge, Lawler begs for a fine as punishment rather than being forced to apologise by WWF officials. Lawler then spends two minute struggling to say he is sorry. That has to be one of the more lenient punishments the WWF has ever handed out. Gorilla Monsoon remains in the announce booth alongside Randy Savage.
Mabel vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
We start with two juxtaposing super-heavyweights, one filled with air and another filled with lead. Bigelow is accompanied by Luna Vachon, and the two have been having problems. It is actually the last time that Luna will act as Bigelow’s valet. These two had a match back in April that turned up on the Paul Bearer’s Hits From The Crypt release, which went ten minutes and was actually, incredibly, fairly good. Mabel annoys me here right away by bumping a snapmare, which just destroys any size factor advantage he might have had. It is simply not realistic that a 500lbs plus man would be flipped over using just his head. The action is slow, but at least they are trying to do stuff rather than just sitting in holds. I would take this over an IRS match any day. Mabel hits the ropes and is Charlie Haas to Luna’s Lillian Garcia, knocking her flying. A white suit clad Oscar tries to help Luna and asks for help from backstage for her, because she is out. Bigelow is unhappy and shoves him off, and Mabel catches him with a double axe handle from the apron. It was horrid, and nearly killed Luna in the process too. Bigelow gets distracted by Luna’s injury and Mabel sneaks in for the count out win. That is some very strange booking right there, because that finish is more commonly associated with heels going over, and indeed it makes far more sense that way. Luna and Bigelow have an argument and Ted DiBiase comes out to calm things down. The match was short and inoffensive, but if that is the only “marquee” match on the show then we are in trouble.
Final Rating: *
Video Control gives us footage of Ted DiBiase introducing his Undertaker, and we get some brief highlights of the saga, with the announcers and presumably the fans, believing him to be the real thing. Now owned by Ted DiBiase, he is motivated and driven by money. The two Undertakers thing was stupid, but I actually have a guilty soft spot for it. When they go that far into cartoon silliness it becomes so bad it is good.
IRS vs. Rich Myers
Thankfully we are spared a pre-match promo from IRS, but we do have to tolerate him wrestling. The crowd is absolutely silent and it is hard to blame them, because IRS almost instantly goes to his abdominal stretch and chinlock. How can he just sit there like that and think it is acceptable to do NOTHING for three minutes? It is pathetic. So is Myers’ selling actually, which he does by screaming like a girl. IRS wins with his STF variation called The Penalty, which they are trying to get over. The problem is that nothing IRS does ever manages to get over. In a 2-minute match designed to showcase himself, IRS spent the majority of the time locking in tedious rest holds. What a waste of my time.
Final Rating: DUD
The King’s Court
I cannot believe we have to sit through this again. Jim Neidhart is the guest, which is at least someone with something to say after his King of the Ring actions (where he joined forces with Owen Hart). Unfortunately, even though Anvil has an agenda, he is not exactly captivating on the stick. Neidhart claims that he carried Bret for years and saved him from a number of sticky situations when they were teaming. Neidhart tells some lies, but he believes what he is saying and justifies it, so it is okay with me. Gorilla if of course, livid, Neidhart brings out Owen Hart, who is no longer ‘The Rocket’, now he is ‘The King of Harts’. Lawler shows character inconsistency by accepting Owen as a King, whereas last year he beat the hell out of Bret for winning the tournament, because he said there could only be one king in the WWF. What has changed in a year? Lawler is still heel; he still has the same views and opinions. The only difference is that Owen is a heel too, so suddenly that changes Lawler’s stance and beliefs? It doesn’t wash with me, it is lazy booking. Owen tells Bret that everything he said would happen is coming true, and says the only thing left is to beat him for the WWF title. Not bad for The King’s Court, but using what should be a specialist segment every single week, is just too much. Overkill in the WWF? Who would have thunk it huh?
Kwang vs. Mike Moraldo
This one is already underway when we join it. Savage has to be forced into doing the promo spot, as he gets sidetracked by the match: “forget the backdrop, do the drop in!” yells Gorilla. When Monsoon is prioritising promos instead of paying attention to the match, it gives you a good idea about the quality of the entertainment on offer.
Final Rating: ¾*
The Headshrinkers vs. The Executioners
The Headshrinkers are the reigning champions. According to Savage, the Executioners here are #99 and #44. He probably isn’t far off; there have been dozens of guys who have donned the masks down the years, and in fact #1 and #2 actually won the WWF tag titles in the 70s, though to be fair they were played by Killer Kowalski and Big John Studd. They had somewhat more credibility as a threat than this incarnation played by Barry Hardy and Duane Gill, who get picked apart here with minimal fuss.
Final Rating: ¾*
Backstage, Nikolai Volkoff and Ted DiBiase are having discussions with Bam Bam Bigelow and Luna…
Lex Luger vs. Mike Bell
Luger takes his time coming out, as Gorilla and Savage speculate that he could be talking to Ted DiBiase. Savage obsesses over the light show going on, which is pretty much one spotlight on Lex. He needs to get himself to Vegas. The crowd is unsure how to react to Lex and thus barely reacts at all. This is in part due to his rumoured associated with DiBiase that they are pushing right now, but also because his stock has fallen so far after repeated failures to win the WWF title that people don’t believe in him anymore. DiBiase shows his face in the entrance way, scouting Luger. For the record, Lex’s offensive moveset is among the weakest around. The air between his moves and their target is John Cena levels of bad.
Final Rating: ½*
Just as we are going off the air, Ted DiBiase announces that he has bought Bam Bam Bigelow and that Lex Luger is next.
THE RAW RECAP
Most Entertaining: This is getting harder and harder to choose each week, and believe me, it is not because there are so many stellar performances. Boy does Raw need Scott Steiner! The thing I enjoyed watching the most was the recap on the fake Undertaker storyline, so I guess the award goes to him! Incredibly!
Least Entertaining: IRS. Back on “form” with his stretching of a 2-minute match into a never ending blip in the space time continuum. Who does rest holds in a 2-minute squash match? Really?
Quote of the Night: “That colour doesn’t go with my outfit!” – Randy Savage on Kwang’s mist. Sorry, but I have seen Randy Savage wear without a doubt the brightest, most ostentatious and mismatched combinations over the years, and not once did ANY of them match.
Match of the Night: Everything tonight was the shits.
Summary: Just as pointless, irrelevant and overall as useless as last week. The WWF is really now starting to suffer from its name stars and established workers having gone, and relying on guys like Mabel is a guarantee that the show will suck. Why are the workrate guys no longer on this show? Of course, it is Kid-Bret next week though isn’t it? Which Furious gets to cover… what an asshole.