James Dixon: “This is the price is right” says Randy Savage, as he welcomes us to Raw like a friggin’ maniac. His jacket tonight is so bright, it could make you blind twice.
WWF Intercontinental Championship
Razor Ramon (c) vs. Jeff Jarrett
Lee and I have watched and reviewed this already in Volume #3 as it turns up on the Razor Ramon – Oozing Machismo tape. I feel like I have seen this match a million times, as it happened seemingly every week in 1994-95, and then again in 1999, and then again in 2002. They didn’t even have much in the way of chemistry, and I always thought their exchanges were rather awkward and uninspiring. The one thing this match has going for it, is the doo-laly commentary from Randy Savage. In fact, it plays host to one of Lee’s all-time favourite Macho “madness” lines, as he says: “Double J’s giving him a “buck buck buck!” He thinks he’s a chickEEEEEEEYYYYYNNN!” It is a line so absolutely off its tits, that one day it made Lee just burst out laughing, uncontrollably, at his desk. If you ever sit and watch 90’s wrestling with non-fans present and Savage is commentating, it makes you cringe, but really you secretly love it. The guy is just so over-the-top that he goes careening past bad and back into the realms of awesome. Case in point: here he talks about a “hyena”, or a “hayeenus” or possibly even a “high anus”. With Savage, you never know, it could have been any of them. I think he meant hiatus. This match is like most marquee matches on Raw: fine when they actually do something, interminable when they sit in a sleeper hold. Actually, the long sleeper section is inexcusable for these two; I expect much more from them. Naturally, Razor goes over via DQ, thanks to Shawn Michaels sticking his neb in. Diesel nails Razor with the Jacknife afterwards and stands on him to set up a match between the two.
Final Rating: *¼
Backstage, Shawn Michaels and Diesel justify their actions and say Diesel is going to be the next IC champion.
Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Tony DeVito
Savage starts his commentary on the match by barking like a dog. Of course he does! DeVito tries a move, so Bam Bam takes a page out of Earthquake’s playbook and throws in a standing dropkick. Then, to the chinlock, which is the last move I want to see after the previous match. Come on Bammer, you are usually one of the masters of jobber killing, step to it! Jack Tunney calls in and says he is going to conduct a thorough investigation into the actions of Diesel, Michaels and Jarrett. What, by rewarding Diesel with a title shot? Tunney says next week on Raw, The Quebecers will defend their tag titles against The Headshrinkers. Aww, man! That is a great match and it is on Furious’ watch! That drunkard gets all the best matches, and I get stuck with fucking IRS week after week. Bigelow wins here with a headbutt. His apathy towards this is made clear by the fact he didn’t even do it from the top, he just hit the ropes and fell on him. Bollocks.
Final Rating: ½*
The Quebecers are unhappy about their match next week. They should be!
The Heavenly Bodies vs. John Paul & Jason Headings
Vince claims last week’s Raw was the highest rated in the show’s history. It must have been the drawing power of Kwang and the rich comedy of Jerry Lawler. Vince then breaks the news that Mr. Perfect had pulled out of his matches with Lex Luger and has been indefinitely suspended for failing to fulfil his contractual obligations. The match gets ignored until the colourful Jason Headings comes in, and he amuses Vince by looking like Jeff Jarrett. He is certainly very “90s” with his long bleached blonde hair and bright orange tights. Savage doesn’t know the difference between the Heavenly Bodies, and he is proud of that fact. Jesus, he is even more off-the-wall than usual tonight! The Bodies run through their fun offence and have the match won a bunch of times, but keep pulling Headings up before the three. Del Ray finally finishes things with his tragic moonsault from the top. It is Terry Funk levels of sideways. I wonder who has the worst moonsault I have seen? Off the top of my head:
- Terry Funk
- Jimmy Del Ray
- Bam Bam Bigelow
- CM Punk
Funk’s was universally awful. Lita’s was just sloppy and her head scraped the mat every time. Del Ray’s looked more like a cartwheel, as did Bam Bam’s. Punk’s I only include because I have just watched the bonus features on the CM Punk – Best in the World Blu-ray and he mentions how “crappy” it is and jokes that “CM” stands for “Crappy Moonsault”, so it is fresh. There are definitely worse, but like I say, top of my head. Answers on a postcard…
Final Rating: *¼
The King’s Court
Three weeks running! You think they are forcing it down people’s throats on purpose to make them sick of it, so Piper can come back as a hero? I sure do. Nikolai Volkoff is Lawler’s guest, and Vince calls him “one of the most agile big men” in the history of the WWF. As strong evidence as any that Vince never actually watched his product. Nikolai is less wooden than Alundra Blayze was last week, but he is barely decipherable due to his accent. The crowd doesn’t react to a thing he says, as he talks about the bad investments he has made and how badly things have gone for him. This is the wrong company for a foreigner to be asking for sympathy. The audience have been trained to hate the “evil frrnnrr” so they don’t give Nikolai anything here. This segment just dies on its arse.
1-2-3 Kid vs. Duane Gill
If you do a little “Attitude arithmetic” this match becomes X-Pac vs. Gillberg. I don’t know which one I would prefer! I hope Kid will be sympathetic towards the plight of a jobber, and give Gill a bunch of stuff. Gill actually does mount some offence for a bit, knocking Kid to the outside a couple of times before being caught with a slingshot back in. Kid goes to the kicks, which flummoxes Randy Savage, who struggles to identify the difference between any of them. Vince hands Savage the floor to do a USA Network movie promo, and he makes a mess of it, forgetting to read half of the copy because he becomes sidetracked by something else. Vince suggests it will be the last time he does it, so Savage responds by telling him to go and be a guest on the Arsenio Hall show. Oh, snap! That show was of course the one on which Hogan lied about taking steroids, and didn’t help Vince’s or the WWF’s cause at all. This is right smack bang in the middle of the business end of the trial, but Vince is able to laugh the comment off. Who knew we would get such read between the lines entertainment from Kid-Gill!? The match itself is alright, but it is all kicks from Kid and not a lot from Gill. Shame really, I reckon they could have had a pretty decent match.
Final Rating: *
Some butcher with a familiar face claims to have seen The Undertaker, and says he vanished in a puff of smoke after ordering a “six foot wedge”. Pardon?
Owen Hart vs. Rich Myers
A note of a probably coincidental nature: Myers is wearing almost identical attire to what Bret Hart used to wear in the early days of The Hart Foundation. I am sure it is not intentional at all, but it amuses me. Owen starts aggressively with chops and a European uppercut, which Myers bumps like Scott Hall at WrestleMania XVIII; he staggers backwards and then takes a dumb looking bump. He might dress like Bret, but he sure doesn’t work like him. Savage asks Vince if Owen has developed an attitude problem. Was he not watching for the last 6-months? Myers tries to hit a dropkick but Owen has it scouted and moves, then finishes the match with the Sharpshooter. Because Myers kinda sucks, he keeps it on for a bit afterwards as well. Fun little squash because Owen is always highly entertaining.
Final Rating: *¼
Captain Lou joins Savage and Vince at ringside to celebrate The Headshrinkers title match next week so Johnny Polo comes out to jaw with him. They have an argument and Savage grabs Polo for Albano to lamp him, then gets in the ring to pose with the Captain as we go off the air. I bet there was never a Savage-Polo revenge match, though I would certainly like to see one!
THE RAW RECAP
Most Entertaining: Randy Savage. Whatever he was smoking, I want to be smoking. In fact, we all should be smoking it. The world would be a wackier and more interesting place.
Least Entertaining: Nikolai Volkoff. Not a glorious return, nor a particularly welcome one. He was one of a number of guys from the past that turned up in the WWF in the 1993-95 period, and like most of the rest of them, he sucked even more than he had the first time.
Quote of the Night: “Double J’s giving him a “buck buck buck!” He thinks he’s a chickEEEEEYYYYYNNN!” – Randy Savage. How could it be anything else? Seriously, just read that line again and imagine Savage saying it in his own unmatchable unique style, with his strange emphasis on words and randomly placed intonations. I guarantee you will be at work one day and accidentally think about it, and then won’t be able to stop laughing as everyone around you thinks you are an idiot. Welcome to our world!
Match of the Night: Oh, take your pick, they are all boring.
Summary: More of the same I’m afraid, with a deeply unsatisfying marquee match followed by a bunch of nondescript jobber bouts. Sure, the squashes were fairly alright this week, but they weren’t backed up by that killer angle or match that can carry the whole show. Raw and the WWF in general, has obvious problems in some key areas, and Nikolai Volkoff is certainly not the man to fix that! Bring back Matt Borne I say! I have not enjoyed April one little bit. How the WWF managed to luck out and produce a show as good as WrestleMania X right before it, is just beyond me.