James Dixon: We’re in Lowell, Massachusetts. The taping schedule is getting worse and this show was taped in the middle of August and is already a month old. Hosts are Vince McMahon and Randy Savage.
The Undertaker vs. Kwang
This one made it onto an Undertaker tape, and later DVD, called The Undertaker: He Buries Them Alive. I reviewed the match for The Complete WWF Video Guide Volume #III. So many tapes. It is a fairly special match as it’s the first Taker appearance on Raw since January. He used a jumping Tombstone back then, he won’t be doing that tonight. Kwang’s selling is a bit goofy as he can’t figure out Taker’s offence. Thankfully Savio Vega’s run as the masked Kwang prepared him to suck less, as he knew his way around the company but appeared as a new guy to the fans. Kwang mistimes his kicks and seeing as kicks are all he’s got, that’s a worry. Taker utilises minimal effort to defeat Kwang, which is a bit weird as the name guys tended to get more of a match out of the superstars than the assortment of jobbers. Taker actually uses less violent moves than he did against Ray Hudson eight months ago. The slow moving Taker is an easy target for Kwang’s kicks and he even uses the green mist. Taker completely no sells it and finishes with the chokeslam. Kwang is not even worthy of a Tombstone. I actually liked this a bit more on Raw than when it was embedded in a series of weak Taker matches on the DVD.
Final Rating: ¾*
Jim Neidhart vs. Tim McNeany
Anvil doesn’t even wait for the Raw girl to leave before putting a beating on McNeany. He utilises a lot of clubbing blows. Neidhart does a have a reasonable line in jobber killing thanks to his habit of throwing jobbers out to get laughed at by Owen Hart. Anvil is not careful in that respect. The actual clubbing is fairly lightweight by comparison. Anvil must surely have known he was out of his depth here. The WWF wanted him to be a singles wrestler, but he was only ever useful for getting a hot tag and double teams. He’s the definition of a tag team wrestler and his singles moveset is essentially punching and more punching with a bit of punching on the side. Is throwing someone to the floor a move? Anvil manages a front slam to set up the camel clutch, which he screwed up on Jim Powers last time, which finishes.
Final Rating: ¼*
Next Week: Duke Droese gets his big match with Jerry Lawler as revenge for the trashcan assault. He’s hardcore, he’s hardcore, he’s hardcore. Lawler is also starting a feud with Doink and Dink.
The King’s Court
Jerry Lawler’s never-ending chat show continues. Because Jack Tunney has once again warned Lawler over his conduct, King has Doink and Dink on the show. Dink is upset because Lawler burst his balloons. 1994, folks, 1994. Just a year of crap. Doink has a present for Lawler, which is a large box. King refuses to open it so Doink does instead and it’s a bin. Lawler goes to punt the trashcan but it has weights in it so he hurts his foot. Vince baits Savage into shouting GOOOOOOAL again in an attempt to save the segment. It doesn’t work.
Shawn Michaels & Diesel vs. Tony DeVito & Paul Van Dale
The new(-ish) tag champs have a non-title bout against jobbers this evening. Shawn makes DeVito look incredible as they run near misses as speed. Shawn, almost effortlessly, owns DeVito by baiting him into spots and then either out-wrestling him or being too quick. There were times when Shawn was head and shoulders above everyone for making talentless people look good. When he wrestled guys who were ok or better, he made miracles happen. Van Dale is a little shakier than DeVito, so after Shawn outwrestles him and Van Dale blows his selling, Shawn outwrestles him some more and stands there shaking his head. When he’s bored, he tags Diesel for a few power spots. They should have kept this team going longer because they’re great. I guess Vince got a little carried away and put the strap on Diesel early. Van Dale takes a vicious big boot from Dies, the powerbomb follows and Shawn splashes the poor jabroni off Diesel’s shoulders. That was one of the most fun squashes of the entire year. Three stars might be a shade generous but Shawn was amazing at times. Considering how poor Van Dale is, Shawn is just a miracle worker.
Final Rating: ***
Video Control takes us to Ted DiBiase issuing an open challenge on behalf of Bam Bam Bigelow. Adam Bomb answers the call as Vince speculates that Ted has bought him out too. Bigelow is all “save your money, I’ll just kick his ass instead”. Bomb wins the resultant scuffle and Bigelow is held back by officials so they don’t blow the feud in one fight.
Adam Bomb vs. Duane Gill
At least they were trying to get Adam Bomb over during this face run, but he was a bit dull. During that Bigelow fight he debuted new blue gear. Babyface blue. Gill makes Bomb look good by bouncing off him extensively. Gill was a solid jobber, he knew his place. He doesn’t make it silly and tries to be realistic. Bomb finds motivation to hit a bunch of cool stuff, which is way different to his usual approach. Flying sideslam and slingshot clothesline included. Bomb finishes with a pumphandle slam. Colour me surprised, this was actually pretty good.
Final Rating: *¼
The Bushwhackers vs. Barry Hardy & Bert Centeno
Oh come on, now. You’re just killing my buzz. I have quite enjoyed this episode of Raw… up to this point. There’s a bunch of fruity nonsense and the match is so bad Vince focuses on Abe ‘Knuckleball’ Schwartz. He’s on strike, yanno. He’s also from the 1920’s. I think there are obvious severe limitations to Abe Schwartz’s gimmick, and as soon as the baseball strike ended he disappeared. Centeno, who looks like a Samoan, has decent timing. It’s certainly better than that of the Bushwhackers. The Bushwhackers try to count their own pin with a bit of comedy sauce that even irritates Vince. Time for a future endeavouring? All the wrestling in this is horrible and then the Bushwhackers finish with the battering ram. Some of the comedy in the match wasn’t shit; that’s all the praise you’ll be getting from me. Watching Savage do the Bushwhacker march is like some fevered acid flashback. Did that happen to me? Did I see it? Is it real?
Final Rating: DUD
THE RAW RECAP
Most Entertaining: Shawn Michaels. Hands down. He was sensational in a jobber match. I’d wager Paul Van Dale was never in a match this good again.
Least Entertaining: Jim Neidhart. I would go with the obvious choice of the ‘Whackers, but Anvil just rubbed me up the wrong way with his clubbing. Oo-er, missus.
Quote of the Night: “Someone get Anvil a chair. Quit sitting on that KEE-YUD!” – Randy Savage
Match of the Night: Shawn Michaels & Diesel vs. Tony DeVito & Paul Van Dale. Best match I’ve ever seen from DeVito or Van Dale. For Shawn, it was a Monday.
Summary: A pretty entertaining Raw, on the whole. The Bushwhackers match was a bit of a kick in the teeth but after a fun night, I can live with it.