Monday Night Raw (09/26/94)
Arnold Furious: We’re in Utica, New York, LIVE at the Memorial Auditorium. Hosts are Vince McMahon and Randy Savage. The former shills tonight’s IC title match, with Ted DiBiase’s newest acquisition Tatanka going for gold. We also have Spanish commentators! It’s only a matter of time before someone destroys that there Spanish table.
WWF Intercontinental Championship
Razor Ramon (c) vs. Tatanka
Razor’s opening shine sees Tatanka get beaten from pillar to post. Tatanka was fantastically boring as a heel. As soon as he takes over, the match dies on its ass. He doesn’t know how to work heat and he doesn’t have a moveset for a match beyond five minutes long. There’s nothing worse, in wrestling, than perfunctory heat. It’ll kill your crowd dead in five seconds flat. Tatanka is so boring that Razor takes over again with an armbar and has to lead the match. While he’s significantly better at it, he wants to work a faster paced match than Tatanka and it just dies again. Tatanka is just useless as a heel, it borders on the offensive. He doesn’t add anything new. He’s just the same old guy minus anything that made him fun. I know we’re all starting to sound like broken records when discussing Tatanka as a heel but the one attribute of his heel run was his inability to actually work heel. To the point where a hot turn was tepid a month later and Tatanka ended up in tags with someone who could get heat for him. He hung about in the WWF as a heel for nearly two years without ever achieving the slightest heat. Razor tries to hold the match together, but it’s almost impossible with Tatanka’s weird approach. Razor isn’t the man to carry a lesser wrestler either. The brawling continues for about 10-minutes until Lex Luger strolls out. Bigelow intercepts, but Tatanka attacks Luger anyway and gets counted out… like a moron. Ten minutes of absolute crap. I don’t want to make a blanket statement like “every Tatanka heel singles match sucks”, but it’s true.
Final Rating: ½*
Kwang vs. Rich Myers
Myers is desperately trying to model his hair on Shawn Michaels. He has a similar moveset too: headscissors, dropkicks, etc and massive bumps. He’s not on Shawn’s level, but the effort is there. Vince has no interest in this and talks about the NFL during the whole match. Kwang puts the beatdown on Myers and finishes with a spinning heel kick. Myers’ HBK-lite approach made this one fun.
Final Rating: *
The King’s Court
Lawler doesn’t spend any time yapping and brings out Davey Boy Smith, the British Bulldog, almost immediately. When Davey shows up, Lawler brings a load of dog jokes. “My dog’s name is Timex, he’s a watch dog”. Alright, that one was funny. Davey finds it all amusing until Lawler brings up Diana Hart. King is quite pleasant considering his usual approach. Davey getting ruffled brings out Jim Neidhart and the Anvil challenges Davey to a match next week, which is accepted. Davey is a great worker but a terrible interview. This continues the WWF’s habit of forcing people who can’t talk into doing interviews instead of wrestling.
Video Control shows us Bob Backlund killing Lou Gianfriddo last week. Vince’s promised update on Lou’s condition is a “slight separated shoulder”. Way to build up that hold, Vince. If I was announcing Lou would have a broken shoulder, a dislocated jaw and be clinically dead. Sell the hold! Vince’s business sense just evaporated during the steroid trials, he couldn’t build up a damn thing.
1-2-3 Kid vs. Kenny David
Yet another jobber with two first names. This one looks like he’s Amish, complete with a silly beard. Vince calls him Kerry Davis. Bob Backlund shows up with a gift for Randy Savage. It’s a dictionary, so Savage can translate Bob’s promos. Awesome. Kid manages to drop himself on his neck even in a jobber match. Every other kick connects and he finishes Kenny off with a leg jam.
Final Rating: *
Shawn Michaels & Diesel vs. Bob Starr & Chris Kanyon
Who betta than Kanyon? Shawn Michaels, that’s who. It is the Kanyon you’re thinking of too, the WCW one. Bob Starr has a massive ginger rock star haircut. Kanyon takes his first bump square on the neck. Shawn looks a lot less motivated than he did in Lowell. Instead it’s Diesel who carries the workrate for his team and hammers Kanyon. Shawn pulls out the Savage elbow and winks at Randy on the announce desk. Diesel again outperforms Shawn by giving poor Bob Starr the big boot and Jacknife. Shawn tags in, runs the ropes and gets the pin before sucker punching Kanyon off the apron. Given that this match was more Diesel than Shawn, it wasn’t a patch on the match from a few weeks back. Still, better than anything else on Raw though.
Final Rating: *½
Post Match: the New Headshrinkers run in to clean house on the tag champs. Unfortunately Sione has replaced Samu. This would be his debut. Lou Albano claims Samu ate some bad fish and got sent home to Samoa for the cure. Or alternatively, he’s gone from the WWF. This would mark the end of the Headshrinkers as a viable threat to the division. Sione would effectively ruin the former champions before defecting to WCW. Fatu would end up going singles and having moderate success.
THE RAW RECAP
Most Entertaining: Shawn Michaels & Diesel. I went with the tag team as I couldn’t bring myself to give it to Nash by himself.
Least Entertaining: There were a few contenders but I have to go with Tatanka for his total heel failure against Ramon. The turn already looks disastrous after a month.
Quote of the Night: “Bob Starr, who’s anything but that at this juncture” – Vince McMahon buries a jobber.
Match of the Night: Shawn Michaels & Diesel vs. Bob Starr & Chris Kanyon. At *½ this topped the night’s action. Not exactly a red letter day for wrestling. Shawn didn’t even have to do anything memorable to steal this show.
Summary: I’m quite happy to hand over to James for four shows and give myself a break. 1994 has an enormous number of unbearable Raws. This one was the shits.