Monday Night Raw (11/21/94)
Arnold Furious: We’re in Bushkill, Pennsylvania. This is the third and final taping in the block. We have a marquee main event of Razor Ramon vs. Diesel. Hosts are Vince McMahon and Jim Cornette. As Razor comes out for the main event, the Teamsters, a Survivor Series group consisting of Shawn Michaels, Jeff Jarrett, Jim Neidhart and some others, jump him. Which means that’ll take place later. Cornette, in a luminous yellow jacket, finds this hilarious.
Tatanka vs. Chris Kanyon
Not for the first time Kanyon is a better wrestler than the guy he’s here to put over. Tatanka clubs away as Kanyon tries to find different ways to sell the Injun’s boring offence. There’s only so many ways you can bump a clubbing forearm or a scoop slam, and that’s literally all Tatanka has. Cornette goes off on a tangent about Pocahontas as Kanyon bounces out of the corner sideways to sell an Irish whip. I appreciate the effort Chris, but there really is no point. Kanyon mounts a comeback with a springboard crossbody followed by a crucifix. Yep, that 30 seconds was more interesting than the entirety of Tatanka’s heel run. Here’s an angle they could have run; Tatanka loses here and is given an ultimatum by DiBiase not to do it again then turn Kanyon and have him join the Million Dollar Corporation. Have Tatanka go back face to make himself useful and run that feud. Based on this match, it would have been pretty good. Kanyon ends up laying down for the Papoose-to-Go. He carried Tatanka all match long.
Final Rating: *½
Adam Bomb vs. Jason Arndt
Arndt is a weird guy to write about. He’s probably better known to you as Joey Abs. Arndt had an incredible toolset and could easily have made it if he’d found the right character. Matt Hardy claims that Arndt stopped listening to him and developed an attitude and a drug habit, which is why he went to pieces and got fired. Certainly Arndt was always better when either working against or for Matt. Bomb slowly works Arndt over before finishing with the pumphandle slam. The announcers were busy shilling Acclaim’s new WWF game. Bomb and Arndt are both far better when working with someone more talented. This showed up both guys’ shortcomings.
Final Rating: ½*
The King’s Court
Jerry Lawler has his Royal Family for Survivor Series, which is three midgets in mini-Lawler gear. Lawler makes short jokes until the clowns turn up with water pistols to spray the ring. Doink has a super soaker. The one positive thing; this was short.
IRS vs. Matt Hardy
Poor Matt Hardy. He’s got no hope of getting an interesting bout out of IRS. Irwin gets a promo; “pay your taxes, blah, blah, blah, taxes, yadda, yadda, taxes, taxes, taxes”. Has there ever been a lazier streak of tedious promos than IRS’ during 1994? Cookie cutter, absurd, boring. Ted destroys IRS for talent by slapping the fallen Matt with a wad of cash. Awesome. Matt tries like hell to sell IRS’ stuff but Irwin gives him nothing worth selling. Matt gets a sunset flip, which wakes IRS up into hitting a double underhook suplex right into that bloody abdominal stretch. The Write-Off finishes and the commentators don’t even notice. This would mark the second match of the evening where the jobber is the better worker. Third if you consider Arndt as marginally better than Adam Bomb.
Final Rating: ½*
Diesel vs. Razor Ramon
Diesel is on the verge of a face turn and the WWF title. This is the last Raw he appears on before being a world champion. This match is more about Survivor Series though as both guys bring out all of their teammates for the PPV. Diesel and Razor usually had decent matches, although Nash is working particularly safe here. They don’t look like they’ll set the wrestling world on fire inside two years. Diesel shows some interesting tactics and even applies a sleeper as Cornette calls him a “thinking man’s wrestler”. Well, if you think about tall people, sure! Shawn is still aware of Nash’s shortcomings and is jumping around onto the apron and distracts all the time. Diesel shows how dominating he is when the lumberjacks go to fight and he steps in between and backs down the entire babyface team. Oh yeah, he’s getting a monster push. The match works out ok because of a) the friendship between the two competitors and b) their familiarity after a series of matches. It allows them to work at a decent pace and keep the crowd involved. It’s not a technical masterpiece or anything and Diesel does need to slow it down occasionally. He’s methodical and goes to work at Razor’s back to help set up the Jacknife. Snake eyes, which Vince suspects will be a powerslam. It makes you wonder if he’s ever paid attention to a Diesel match. Vince just likes how tall he is. Razor escapes the Jacknife after concerted Shawn distracting. As Razor mounts a comeback, Jeff Jarrett jumps onto the apron, with Davey having to pull him down before Owen jumps in there and everyone else follows for the DQ. Double DQ and we’re out of there before Vince can finish plugging Survivor Series.
Final Rating: **½
THE RAW RECAP
Most Entertaining: Chris Kanyon. The attempts at getting Tatanka to do something, anything, in his squash match was appreciated.
Least Entertaining: IRS.
Quote of the Night: “They cheated… and the sun was in our eyes” – Jim Cornette makes excuses for the Heavenly Bodies losing to the Smoking Gunns.
Match of the Night: Diesel vs. Razor Ramon. Two good friends with a lot of familiarity stuff having a solid but unspectacular outing.
Summary: It might not seem like a good show, based on snowflakes, but my investment in all of the jobbers is what made me interested in this episode. Kanyon, Arndt and Hardy all progress to genuine WWF careers in later life, Kanyon after a successful run in WCW. A quick aside though: Kanyon’s first gig in WCW was in a tag team called ‘Men at Work’ as a construction worker who’d measure stuff during the match with an actual tape measure. Geez, WCW, how did that not get over? During his career as a WWF jobber he consistently entertained, to the point where he was better than the superstars he was putting over. Hell, if PJ Walker gets a push why doesn’t Chris Kanyon? I’d have snapped him up in 1994. I’m surprised Pat Patterson didn’t.