Thursday, February 16, 2017

Raw History: #79-81

Raw History
Episode #79
September 26th, 1994 | Memorial Auditorium in Utica, New York

Our usual hosts handle things tonight.

WWF Intercontinental Championship
Razor Ramon (c) vs. Tatanka w/ Ted Dibiase

Well someone’s partnership with Ted Dibiase is already paying off. Just to show how much of a heel he is now, Tatanka attacks from behind. Razor turns the tide and sends him packing to talk strategy with Ted Dibiase. Once they go back inside, they do some uninspired work. It’s clear that Tatanka’s waistline was expanding. They start trading blows outside heading into a classic Raw commercial break. Isn’t it strange how the arena they ran in back in Lowell has the same name as this one? Inside, Tatanka comes very close to winning on a near fall that was probably a lot closer than planned. Tatanka pulls a page out of Razor’s book by utilizing an abdominal stretch with some assistance from Dibiase. Ted was so good as doing the little things to draw heat. They get caught and Razor starts to rally. He calls for the Razor’s Edge but Dibiase gets on the apron. Lex Luger comes down the aisle but Bigelow runs out and attacks him. Tatanka, like a moron, goes out and joins in, getting counted out.

Winner via countout and Still WWF Intercontinental Champion: Razor Ramon in 13:34
Honestly, this kind of felt like the definition of going through the motions. Tatanka seemed unsure of how to work as a heel for some of the match and it dragged for the most part. It picked up as Razor rallied but it wasn’t enough to save this. 

This past weekend on Superstars, the Undertaker and Paul Bearer cut a promo on Yokozuna. Undertaker and Yokozuna will be meeting on the Hart Attack Tour because in this era, television was used to promote house shows.

Kwang w/ Harvey Wippleman vs. Rich Myers
You know, for a character that ultimately went nowhere, Kwang sure got a lot of TV time in 1994. Vince McMahon makes a long winded joke about the NFL and a three way trade between the Cardinals, ESPN and the WWF. Macho Man goes to the Cardinals, Phil Simms comes to commentary and ESPN gets Luke and Butch. I mean, I’d get rid of them too. Kwang wins with a spinning heel kick.

Winner: Kwang in 2:08
Ho hum. Vince’s commentary was better than the match.

The recently returned British Bulldog is the guest on the King’s Court. Jerry Lawler just makes non-stop terrible dog jokes. He’s the only one laughing at them. Well, Vince is at ringside, but it’s just so bad. Bulldog threatens him if he keeps it up and Jim Neidhart shows up. Neidhart says Bulldog isn’t a family member because he’s not one of the twelve Harts. That would be fine reasoning if, you know, Neidhart was one of the twelve Harts. His dumbass is related in the same way that Bulldog is. Neidhart issues a challenge and Bulldog accepts for next week. He talks a bit too much and promos are FAR from his strong point.

Next week, Alundra Blayze and Heidi Lee Morgan take on Bull Nakano and Luna Vachon!

We get a recap of the well done Bob Backlund segment from last week.

The 1-2-3 Kid vs. Kenny David
Hey, it’s another jobber with two first names. Bob Backlund comes out during the match to bring a dictionary to Randy Savage so he could better “interpret his discourse with the plebeians”. Kid hits some fun little offense and uses a big leg drop to finish it.

Winner: 1-2-3 Kid in 3:27
Typical stuff here.

A vignette airs for the return of King Kong Bundy. Not only does he absolutely suck, but this vignette is terrible too.

On Sunday October 23rd at noon Eastern, the WWF debuts Action Zone! I don’t remember this show as a kid, but it had some pretty good matches.

Non-Title Match
Diesel and Shawn Michaels vs. Bob Starr and Chris Kanyon

Yes it’s that Kanyon. Commentary also tells us that one of the Headshrinkers has quit. The Tag Team Champions toy with their opponents here, as Starr and Kanyon get in pretty much no offense. Randy Savage says that Diesel is practically the champions by himself. That’s the smell of the mega Diesel push getting ready to reach its peak soon. He wins it with the Jackknife.

Winners: Diesel and Shawn Michaels in 3:44
Completely one-sided as expected.

As the champions celebrate, the new Headshrinkers show up. Fatu is joined by Sionne and they send the champions packing. After a commercial, Capt. Lou Albano says that Samu ate some bad fish. No, seriously, that was the reasoning.

Overall: 3/10. Like a lot of episodes of Raw in the year 1994, this wasn’t very good. The marquee Intercontinental Title match was seriously lackluster but the last two squash matches were at least somewhat fun. The King’s Court was pretty bad too as it was filled with shit jokes.

Raw History
Episode #80
October 3rd, 1994 | Memorial Auditorium in Utica, New York

Randy Savage and Vince McMahon are our hosts.

British Bulldog vs. Jim Neidhart w/ Owen Hart
A quick distraction from Owen Hart allows Jim Neidhart to take advantage. Owen: “He’s real strong but he’s dumb.” Bulldog doesn’t stay down long and they end up working a test of strength. Bulldog dropkicks to get out of it, showing his athleticism. Anvil works some chinlocks because that’s about the maximum effort he can put into a singles match. Owen pulls the top rope down on Bulldog, causing him to fall outside. This brings out Bret Hart to even the score, but Bulldog is selling a knee injury. Neidhart now pounds away on Bulldog for a while and goes to another staple of a guy that doesn’t put in much effort, the bearhug. Bulldog begins to rally and gets two on a clothesline. Owen talks smack when Bulldog ends up in trouble again. Anvil applies a camel clutch but Bulldog fights out. Bob Backlund shows up to talk trash to Bret, allowing Owen to enter and dropkick Bulldog.

Winner via disqualification: British Bulldog in 11:50
Not bad actually. Usually singles matches for Jim Neidhart are bad but he worked pretty well with Bulldog. It wasn’t a classic and had a few dull moments, but they did fine overall. **¼

Bret Hart enters and it becomes a family war as all four guys trade blows until Owen Hart and Jim Neidhart escape.

Doink vs. Barry Horowitz
Commentary spends the match discussing the EPIC Jerry Lawler/Doink feud. Yea, not even commentary is entertaining here. Doink wins in short order with the Whoopee Cushion, which now has sound effects included.

Winner: Doink in 2:33
Doink matches are considerably less interesting these days.

Another week, another Undertaker and Paul Bearer promo from Superstars. It’s again about Yokozuna and casket matches.

Jerry Lawler brings out Yokozuna for the King’s Court. He is accompanied by Mr. Fuji and Jim Cornette. Cornette being here means this may be tolerable instead of dreadful. Cornette says that the rumors of Yokozuna being scared of the Undertaker is a bogus story. Lawler makes the mistake of saying casket, which starts to freak out Yokozuna.

Next week, Bam Bam Bigelow goes one on one with Lex Luger!

Alundra Blayze and Heidi Lee Morgan vs. Bull Nakano and Luna Vachon
Did they get a time machine and pull Heidi Lee Morgan out of the 80s? Her attire and look just seems so outdated even in that time. She starts against Luna and scores an interesting near fall on a roll up. She ends up playing the face in peril. Bull does the bulk of the beatdown. When Morgan starts a small rally, it of course brings “USA” chants. Gotta love those evil foreigners. Macho Man says “call me crazy, but I’m attracted to Bull Nakano”. Vince McMahon indeed calls him crazy. Blayze gets the hot tag and beast the hell out of Luna. She tries a double suplex with Morgan on Bull, but Bull reverses it. Macho Man calls her strong and pretty, causing Vince to say she isn’t pretty. Wow, Vince really had an issue with her looks. A bridging German from Blayze on Luna nets her team the win.

Winners: Alundra Blayze and Heidi Lee Morgan in 5:02
That was much different than the earlier match but I enjoyed them about the same for different reasons. This was rather fast paced and Bull Nakano is just so good to watch. **¼

Bob Backlund vs. Gary Scott
Bob Backlund has now adopted the haircut and blue robe look. Scott hits a quick arm drag and Macho Man gets excited. He shouldn’t. Backlund stretches the ham and egger before making him submit to the crossface chicken wing.

Winner: Bob Backlund in 2:25
About as enjoyable as you would expect. Backlund is much more fun as this nutcase character.

Bret Hart is interviewed about Bob Backlund. He says that he’s beaten Bob Backlund already so he feels he doesn’t deserve a WWF Title shot and he should go to the back of the line.

Overall: 5/10. An improvement on last week. The Neidhart/Bulldog match was decent and I thought the same about the women’s tag team match. Bob Backlund was even enjoyable. Doink and the poor King’s Court segment really hurt this show in the end.

Raw History
Episode #81
October 10th, 1994 | Memorial Auditorium in Utica, New York

We have our usual commentary team tonight.

Bam Bam Bigelow w/ The Million Dollar Corporation vs. Lex Luger
Vince speculates if Lex Luger will bring his own entourage, but I’m like 90% sure he has no friends. Well, he brings the American flag with him so there’s that. Like all heels, Bigelow attacks form behind following a distraction from Tatanka. He beats on Luger until the man made in the USA gets a short rally and sends him outside. Vince McMahon tells us that King Kong Bundy is the newest member of the Million Dollar Corporation. Commentary keeps making Christopher Columbus references. Bigelow turns things around and looks for the headbutt but misses. Luger knocks Nikolai Volkoff off the apron and scores two on Bigelow. King Kong Bundy waddles down to ringside. Luger lets go of a hold to protest this. Really Luger? The other three guys at ringside were okay but four is too much? After a commercial break, Mabel and Adam Bomb have come out to help watch Luger’s back. Bigelow is in control, scoring on a DDT for two. He hits a strange looking dropkick for another near fall. Dibiase calls Luger a loser at ringside and, judging by Luger’s record in big matches, he isn’t entirely wrong. Luger starts the comeback, complete with SCREAMING CLOTHESLINES! Tatanka tries to get involved but gets knocked off the apron by Bigelow accidentally. Luger rolls him up and snatches victory.

Winner: Lex Luger in 10:46
A solid match that was much better than expected. Bigelow and Luger both worked some slow points, but the finishing stretch was pretty well done and the fact that it didn’t end in a DQ or countout was cool. **½

Bigelow argues with Tatanka up the aisle until Ted Dibiase calms things down. Lex Luger celebrates like he won some big time match. He’s the king of major celebrations in strange situations.

Footage airs of Bob Backlund on the Heartbreak Hotel this past weekend on Superstars. Shawn Michaels says he and Diesel want to party with Backlund but Backlund declines because they aren’t on his level. Backlund uses big words that go over Shawn’s head and challenges Bret Hart to a WWF Title match.

Mabel vs. Reno Riggins
Did Mo die or something? I’m not complaining but he just disappeared. Reno Riggins gives it the old college try but it is a futile effort against someone of Mabel’s size. Mabel misses an elbow drop, giving people false hope that he’ll win. Mabel squashes those thoughts with a leg drop.

Winner: Mabel in 2:37
Pretty much every Mabel squash ever with a few misses from him.

We see clips of Macho Man at the Columbus Day parade.

Owen Hart w/ Jim Neidhart vs. John Crystal
Commentary hypes the fact that Owen Hart gets his last shot at Bret Hart’s WWF Title on the debut episode of Action Zone. Vince then starts talking about George Lucas writing three more Star Wars movies and suggests that Princess Leia will be played by Bull Nakano. Macho Man responds with “THAT’S AN OLD FLAME OF MINE!” Crystal gets in like one move and Owen dominates. The Sharpshooter ends it.

Winner: Owen Hart in 3:41
Fine for what it was. Owen Hart just did his thing for a while, which is usually good.

Our third straight week featuring an Undertaker casket promo from Superstars.

King Kong Bundy w/ Ted Dibiase vs. Mike Khoury
King Kong Bundy dominates and could win quickly but pulls Khoury up from the count. Bundy wins with a splash and wants the five count.

Winner: King Kong Bundy in 2:44
Boring. But now whenever I hear the “money” part of Dibiase’s theme, I just hear “Bundy” instead.

A clip airs from Superstars where Doink and Dink pranked Jerry Lawler and made him sit in a pie. This leads us to the King’s Court and Lawler brings out his guest, Queasy. For those who don’t remember, Queasy is one of the little people that teams with Lawler at the Survivor Series. This whole segment and feud is absolute garbage.

The New Headshrinkers w/ Afa and Capt. Lou Albano vs. Corey Student and JT Storm
Here we have the Raw debut of Sionne. Macho Man thinks this is the improved version of the Headshrinkers. They win in very short order after a Sionne kick.

Winners: The New Headshrinkers in 1:43
Not bad as it made the new Headshrinkers look pretty dominant.

Next week, Doink goes one on one with Jeff Jarrett.

Overall: 4.5/10. While the big matchup this week was better than last, the rest of the show kind of dragged. King Kong Bundy is someone I never like to have around and the King’s Court segment was one again atrocious.