James Dixon: After two diabolically bad weeks, I am looking to be put out of my misery with the final Raw show of the year. Then I hear Tatanka’s war cry and I just start to riot in the office. Seriously, that staple gun and that wall that it is now embedded into, both had it coming. Bah humbug!
Tatanka vs. The British Bulldog
The marquee matches I have covered in December have featured lame country music singer Jeff Jarrett, unbearable happy clown Doink, tedious taxman IRS and wooden robot Lex Luger. Tatanka is the piss soaked cherry on top of my shit filled Christmas pudding. Thank god then, for a motivated Davey Boy Smith. We have often said at History of Wrestling that Davey Boy was only as good as his opponents, but that blanket statement is perhaps a tad unfair. Davey was talented, and he had an energy and explosiveness to him when he was in the right mood. This is one of those nights, and he seems determined to drag Tatanka kicking and screaming to a semi-decent match. People reading this out of context might be confused as to just why we hate Tatanka so much, but to be clear, it is only his heel persona that we cannot tolerate. As a babyface he was often fairly decent, and surprised us with good showings against Skinner, Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels and Ludvig Borga. As a heel he is lazy, unmotivated, has no moveset, no discernible mannerisms and no credibility. It killed his career. This is going fairly well because of Davey’s quickness and fun power moves, until Tatanka slaps on some rest holds to bore the audience. Inevitably we get outside interference from Ted DiBiase and the Corporation (in the form of Bam Bam Bigelow) so Lex Luger comes out to even things up. This is the start of a “special relationship” between the US and the UK’s finest, as they formed The Allied Powers tag team. With those two guys, both fairly big names, they should have conquered the world, and probably been tag champions. Instead, by WrestleMania they were beating two mountain men in the opener. These guys headlined SummerSlam 92 and 93 respectively! The WWF was a useless place in 1994/95. The match ends in a DQ because of all the interference, and surprisingly, I am not actually giddy about it!
Final Rating: **
I apologise for the following match review, I don’t know what came over me.
Henry Godwinn vs. Mike Khoury
Sooey! Sooey! Henry Godwinn has decent heel music. Let’s scuffle y’all. Sooey. Henry’s shirt is ripped, probably from all the scufflin’. His shirt is white, he looked better in yellow. Henry sure looks hawngree, he best seek out some vittles. Maters and taters should do it. Henry goes on the offensive dreckly, the big ole hog farmer. Vince thinks he is a favourite for the Rumble. Sooey. Vince is not on drugs. Sooey. Henry sure has a lot of gumption, despite his mullet. Sooey. Slop drop.
Final Rating: DUD
The King’s Court
The crowd is fat and ugly, cheap heat, yadda yadda. Diesel is tonight’s guest, probably looking for revenge on Bob Backlund for last week’s “outing”. Maybe he will call him by his real name. Oh… Lawler wants to shake Diesel’s hand and subsequently gets his hand squeezed. Lawler says Michaels should be the champion right now, and he hopes he is at ringside when Backlund beats him. Yeah, that doesn’t happen. Why the hell was it Diesel vs. Bret Hart at the Royal Rumble? They have barely even promoted it. Backlund getting a rematch makes so much more sense. Lawler rants and rants and rants as Diesel stands there and takes it, before taking off Lawler’s crown and throwing him out of the ring. Diesel puts on the crown, channelling the spirit of Hacksaw Jim Duggan when he stole Harley Race’s king attire years prior. Diesel looks like a right wassock sat in Lawler’s throne with the crown on his head.
Kwang vs. Rich Myers
This match serves as a vehicle for Howard Finkel to apologise for removing Harvey Wippleman’s trousers last week. You almost feel for Kwang, because he is barely mentioned once by the announcers. Well, until you realise that it is Kwang, and he doesn’t deserve mentioning. The spin kick of doom finishes things quickly.
Final Rating: ½*
Backstage, Ted DiBiase is interviewed by Stephanie Wyand, who is livid about Bulldog and Luger challenging his guys to a match. Yeah, they should have set it up at the start of next week’s show, like on every Raw from 2002 onwards!
The Undertaker vs. The Brooklyn Brawler
Is this a marquee match? It is certainly a battle of two guys who would go onto be the longest serving in the history of the WWF/WWE. As of the time of writing, Brawler had been with the company (mostly in a backstage capacity) for 30 years, and Undertaker as an in-ring performer for nearly 23. That is quite astonishing for a lifelong jobber and a wrestling zombie. Undertaker runs (well, walks slowly) through his usual routine and polishes Brawler off with little resistance. Post match, IRS turns up in the aisle and he is the final image of Raw from 1994. What a fittingly shit way to end.
Final Rating: ¼*
THE RAW RECAP
Most Entertaining: The British Bulldog. Davey seemed motivated and thus he managed to do the unthinkable and get a decent match out of heel Tatanka. Impressive indeed.
Least Entertaining: Henry Godwinn. Guess how much I love hillbilly gimmicks?
Quote of the Night: “That guy is like lifting a wet safe” – Shawn Michaels takes it again, with this less than subtle knock on Tatanka.
Match of the Night: The British Bulldog vs. Tatanka. Yes, heel Tatanka! What a way to end the year.
Summary: This show encapsulated Raw in 1994 in one go. A half-decent but unspectacular marquee match that was instantly forgettable, surrounded by some useless squash matches featuring ridiculous gimmicks that were never going to sell tickets. Then there is Lawler and his endless King’s Court run, a segment of the show which absolutely dominated Raw this year, more often than not to its detriment. Another poor effort, and thank GOD that year is over.