Monday Night Raw (10/24/94)
James Dixon: Savage starts with a belter, calling Tatanka “the most controversial Native American of all time”. How many other controversial Native Americans are there?
WWF Intercontinental Championship
Razor Ramon (c) vs. Yokozuna
Savage confidently predicts a Yokozuna title win, but this was at a point when former WWF champions rarely if ever won the IC title, so I think he was the only one who thought as much. More likely is a cheap non-finish. Yokozuna is worthless as a far as being a top guy now, and has spent the year putting over others, so hopefully he will do the job for Razor here. Yoko jumps Razor, who responds with a flurry, ending in Undertaker’s flying clothesline. Yoko was feuding with Taker at the time so that may well be a cute homage. It probably isn’t though. The fast first 30-seconds means that Yoko needs to have a rest, so he stalls on the outside for a bit. Man, watching him work is just a pleasure. Razor targets the arm and uses his vast speed advantage to stay in control, but Yoko cuts him off and drops the leg. He has the match won, but is stuck in a seated position and is too fat to move and make the cover. See folks, size isn’t everything. The start of this has been far better than I was expecting, but now Yoko is in control I assume we can look forward to stalling, rest holds and stalling. Yoko foolishly throws Razor to the outside, and if he was smart he would just take the count out defeat, but instead he rolls back in. Not a wise strategy, but certainly noble. His reward is selling the nerve pinch, but thankfully the advert break is for once in the right place and when we return, Razor is firing out of it. Hey, this match has a chance now! Yoko pounds on Razor in the corner with a rare explosion of energy, but we pay the price for that, and the next minute is spent doing some standing around and inevitably Yoko is out of ideas, so goes back to the nerve hold, though this time a devastating DOUBLE one. This one is sadly not saved by commercials, and lasts approximately two years. Eventually Yoko misses a charge and gets caught with a top rope bulldog, and the crowd goes wild as Yoko gets out at two. Razor pounds away on Yoko with punches and kicks, and sends him reeling to the outside, where a casket has serendipitously been placed in the aisle. Fancy that! Yoko sells it like Andre the Giant used to when he saw snakes, and runs for the back, giving Razor a count out win. Silly finish, but a far better match than I thought it would be and it was helped by the hot crowd.
Final Rating: **¼
The Smoking Gunns vs. Barry Hardy & Mike Bell
This gets joined in progress because of a promo for Lex Luger vs. Bob Backlund next week, as a sudden shiver makes its way down my spine. The Gunns make extra short work of proceedings, and win with the sidewinder.
Final Rating: ½*
Tatanka vs. Scott Taylor
As a babyface I thought Tatanka was overused and his winning streak (against mostly jobbers) went on too long, but he was not offensive. As a heel, I think he is one of the most boring wrestlers on the planet. I guess being associated with IRS has rubbed off on him. Tatanka could have at least changed his gear like Nikolai Volkoff did when he joined the Corporation. He should have renounced his Native American heritage due to the fact that he had sold out for money, and that is now where his loyalties lie. But no, he still prances around in his tassels, ass flap and stupid armband. Where are his plain black tights and boots, with dollar signs on them? If you sell out, you should become branded, marked. Like the Nazis in Inglorious Basterds. You wanna know about the match? You think I was paying any attention at all!?
Final Rating: ½*
Joyously, IRS cuts a promo about dead people paying taxes: “even after they bring your frozen carcass into the funeral home, you still have to pay your taxes”. What a fucking idiot.
Adam Bomb vs. Phil Apollo
This is my first time covering babyface Bomb. I did not enjoy covering heel Bomb. I don’t much care for the blue gear he is wearing here either, I much prefer the orange, yellow and black. Randy Savage flies through a USA Network copy sheet advertising a John Candy night, who died in March of this year. Wow, I can’t believe he has been dead for nearly 20-years at the time of writing; I still remember Cool Runnings coming out like it was yesterday. I feel old. Bomb wins quickly and then Bob Backlund runs out randomly and puts on the chicken wing. Yes! I love random heel attacks for no reason. Genuinely. I used to adore Positively Kanyon in WCW and his random Diamond Cutter assaults on anyone and everyone, and Shawn Michaels’ random superkick backstage on a random guy remains the funniest thing I have ever seen in wrestling. Bob Backlund just entertained me!
Final Rating: ½*
The King’s Court
It’s back. That respite didn’t last long did it? Lawler spends an age tattling on about his royal midgets, and brings out his newest addition: Cheezy. “Lawler’s got triplets! I didn’t even know he was pregnant. He was showing though” – Randy Savage. Lawler challenges Doink and his… oh, what is the point? No-one in the entire world cares where this goes, and it goes no-where anyway so let’s just move on with our lives and pretend it never happened.
Diesel vs. Ben Jordan
I have never heard of Jordan, but a quick piece of investigation shows he has actually been around since 1991. He looks like a one man Can-Am Connection. You can add him to the list of double forenamers. Diesel is just over a month away from the start of his year long run as WWF champion, and he demolishes Jordan with minimal effort, but stretches things out and uses him as his crash test dummy. The Jacknife wins it, and Diesel didn’t sell a single thing. Not that he should have against Jordan of course.
Final Rating: ¾*
Backlund comes out to run around the ring, because he is a mental case. I have actually rather enjoyed his random acts of insanity this evening.
THE RAW RECAP
Most Entertaining: Bob Backlund. I know, I know, after all my moaning about him, I have proven myself to be a massive hypocrite. This is why I used to have Evil Ste to fall back on! Bob was richly entertaining this week, popping me with his randomness and unpredictable behaviour.
Least Entertaining: Tough one, because about three guys warrant it. Jerry Lawler deserves it for inflicting more midgets on the world, and IRS for his moronic promo, but Tatanka committed a bigger sin: apathy towards his craft. His laziness when it came to changing his persona and character was unforgivable.
Quote of the Night: “I’m coming up next, Luger, you so called American immigrant, next week you don’t stand a chance when Backlund slaps the chicken wing on!” – Tatanka. So called American IMMIGRANT!? Does he have a clue what he is going on about? You can see it in his face that he knows he has got the line wrong, but he has already committed and has to keep going. Like I have said, he was a terrible heel.
Match of the Night: Razor Ramon vs. Yokozuna. Do not adjust your, erm, books. I have indeed given positive awards to both Bob Backlund and Yokozuna.
Summary: Things started well enough, but soon fell off a cliff with a parade of useless squash matches and a terrible King’s Court. This pattern emerged many months ago, and the WWF has been caught in a seemingly endless loop (with the odd anomaly of a decent show) since then. Not dire, but not a good episode.