Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 10/10/94

*** Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh reviews are a chronological look back at WWE PPV and TV history that began with a review of WrestleMania I. The PICs have revisited these events and refreshed all of their fun facts that provide insight into the match, competitors and state of the company as well as their overviews of the match action and opinions and thoughts on the outcomes. In addition, Jeff Jarvis assists in compiling historical information and the Fun Facts in each of the reviews. Also, be sure to leave feedback on the reviews at our Facebook page. Enjoy! ***

Monday Night Raw #81

October 10, 1994 (Taped September 26, 1994)
Utica Memorial Auditorium
Utica, NY
Announcers: Vince McMahon & Randy Savage

1) Lex Luger defeats Bam Bam Bigelow with a roll up at 8:35

Scott: The battle between Lex Luger and Ted DiBiase’s Corporation continues as Flexy Lexy takes on the Beast from the East. Bigelow seems to have not gotten his fair shake in the WWF so far, and even being part of this faction isn’t helping him because Tatanka is the new shiny toy in Ted DiBiase’s collection. Vince McMahon mentions that day’s Columbus Day parade in New York City. Thanks for the plug Vinnie Mac! Lots of Christopher Columbus references from Vince and Macho Man, as they continue to show to me that they really are in a fun groove as commentators. Of course there is lots of interference from Tatanka and Nikolai Volkoff around the ring as Luger is trying to put Bigelow away. To make matters worse for Luger, down the ramp comes the returning King Kong Bundy, who’s also now part of the Corporation. We will see him in action later on. Bigelow is in full control at this point, but the tide has changed as down the aisle comes Adam Bomb and Mabel, to try and even the odds around the ring. It’s almost become an organic Lumberjack match. Vince used the word “avarice” to describe Ted DiBiase. Hmmm, I wonder where I heard that word before. DiBiase once “wallowed in the muck of avarice”. This also proves to me the Volkoff storyline has pretty much disintegrated, as he went from an indentured servant to a full blown Corporate stooge. The match has become fun psychological warfare with all the guys at ringside, as Luger attempts to make a big comeback and with lots of outside nonsense, Luger rolls Bam Bam up for the victory. Adam Bomb & Mabel celebrate with Luger in the ring, while Tatanka & Bam Bam are arguing outside about who caused the loss. That was a fun opener to get things going. Grade: **

JT: We are coming you via videotape yet again this week, still emanating from Utica and of course as always, Vince McMahon and Randy Savage have the call for us. We are starting to get some clarity around the direction for Survivor Series and hopefully that continues tonight. The show opens up with Lex Luger still warring with Ted DiBiase and his Corporation, as this week he squares off with Bam Bam Bigelow. While the feud has at least been focused throughout most of 1994, Luger still feels like a bit of an afterthought, showing little interest in chasing any gold these days. DIBiase sets the tone right out of the gate as Tatanka and Nikolai Volkoff accompany Bigelow to the ring as well. Savage thinks this shows DiBiase doesn’t think Bigelow can win this on his own. Vince and Randy pay some tribute to Columbus Day as Luger heads down to the ring, toting the American flag along with him. The Corporation circled Luger as the bell sounded, giving Bigelow the chance to ambush Lex and open up the match with some power strikes. Bigelow continued to overpower Lex until Luger found some space to land a back elbow to the jaw before slugging Bammer out to the floor. The big man regrouped as Vince noted the newest member of the Corporation, King Kong Bundy, makes his Raw debut later tonight. Luger started to work the arm as Savage talks about how Tatanka disappointed all the Native Americans around the world thanks to the almighty dollar. Vince wonders where Bundy and IRS are and then asks Savage where he stands with his taxes. Bigelow goes to the eyes and then lands a big powerslam for two, followed by a falling headbutt before whiffing on a headbutt off the top rope. Luger wiped out Volkoff before getting a two count on Bammer. Lex went back to the arm but just as he was feeling good, Bundy emerged at ringside, causing Luger to break the hold and argue with the ref. After a break, Bigelow kicked away at Luger just as reinforcements arrived in the form of Adam Bomb and Mabel. Savage said Luger was too proud to call for help but he is glad they showed up. The crowd fired up a “USA” chant as Bigelow spiked Luger with a DDT for two before going to a reverse chinlock. Luger fought his way to his feet but Bigelow caught him with a knee to the gut to cut him off. And by “caught” I mean “barely grazed”, that didn’t look good at all. Bigelow started to talk some shit and play it up with his stablemates but Luger took advantage and landed a few punches until Bammer cut him off by going to the eyes. DiBiase got in Lex’s face as Bigelow dragged him to his feet and shot him into the corner. Bigelow would eat boots on a charge and Luger followed that up with a series of right hands and clotheslines. DiBiase would hop on the apron, leading to Tatanka getting involved. Luger kicked him away and a moment later Bigelow and Tatanka collided on the apron, allowing Luger to roll Bammer up for the win. Vince called out how Luger won that all on his own as Bigelow and Tatanka argued at ringside. The match was fine enough despite a few missed spots and some sloppiness, but it really was more about putting over the numbers strength of the Corporation and the potential of Luger gaining some allies in his war… just in time for Survivor Series? Grade: *1/2

*** We head back to this past weekend’s Superstars where Shawn Michaels welcomed Bob Backlund into the Heartbreak Hotel. Michaels says Backlund has undergone some serious changes as of late and says he is a Madman that they want to party with. Backlund says he doesn’t think he wants to accept Michaels and Diesel into his generation and calls out Bret Hart, who he claims is engulfed in a river of lies, amongst other things. Backlund says he is WWF Champion and has waited ten years and demands that Hart walk out here and wrestle him. ***

2) Mabel defeats Reno Riggins with a leg drop at 2:25

Scott: So after helping Lex Luger out in the first match, Mabel heads back out for singles action against the Double R. Vince always mentions John Riggins when ol’ Reno comes out to wrestle. We keep talking about the Columbus Day parade, which Savage was actually in with the Fox 5 NY crew. I think that’s why Vince loved Savage, he would do all the fun PR stuff for the WWF. Mabel wins with the leg drop. Grade: DUD

JT: As Mabel heads down to the ring, Vince reminds us that Action Zone debuts in just two weeks and the first episode will feature a WWF Title match between Bret Hart and Owen Hart. Mabel actually does some wrapping here tonight, covering for Oscar, who is MIA. Tonight the big man tussles with old veteran Reno Riggins, who gives it a go but is woefully overmatched as expected. Vince lets us know that Reno is not related to John Riggins and Mabel is not related to Barney. We also find out that Savage was part of the New York City Columbus Day Parade and we will see footage in a bit. Riggins keeps trying to find an opening and land a few shots, God bless him, but it is all for naught as Mabel easily polishes him off with with a leg drop. Grade: DUD

*** We head back to earlier today as Randy Savage was riding the Cooley’s Anemia Foundation float in the New York City Columbus Day Parade. ***

3) Owen Hart defeats John Chrystal via submission with the Sharpshooter at 3:41

Scott: I like how Anvil takes off Owen Hart’s shades like he used to do to Bret back in the day. Owen is slowly starting to take a back seat in the pecking order, now with British Bulldog in the mix it seems to be turning into a family feud situation. Vince mentions Jack Tunney will be on Letterman singing a duet with Barry Manilow. And the rumored prequel movies George Lucas is writing will have Bull NAKANAKANO as Princess Leia. Where do they get these things? Owen is tearing this guy to shreds and finishes things off with the Sharpshooter for the win. Grade: DUD

JT: We roll along with the arrival of Owen Hart and Jim Neidhart as the King of Harts is set to square off with John Chrystal. Despite his loss at SummerSlam, the Hart Family feud has heated up even more and Owen has earned yet another crack at the WWF Title on Action Zone in a couple weeks. That match will be the Rocket’s last chance at the title. As the match gets under way, Vince calls back to last week when Bret Hart backed up British Bulldog in his bot with the Anvil. Savage also reminds us that Bob Backlund was involved in that as well. Owen works over Chrystal with ease as Vince jokes that Jack Tunney will be on the David Letterman Show tonight and then says George Lucas is writing three new Star Wars movies and Bull Nakano is in the running for a part. He also makes cracks about Roseanne, a favorite topic of Vince and Randy. Owen eventually hit a nice belly-to-belly suplex before cinching in the Sharpshooter for the win. Owen keeps on rolling and he he looks ready for his final WWF Title tilt with his brother in two weeks. Grade: DUD

*** We head back to Superstars as Undertaker and Paul Bearer continue to call out and issue warnings to Yokozuna. Yoko’s time has come to pay his crimes and he will face the reaper once more on the Hart Attack Tour. ***

4) King Kong Bundy defeats Mike Khoury with an Avalanche at 2:44

Fun Fact: For the first time since February 1988, we see King Kong Bundy return to a WWF ring. After leaving the WWF in 1988, Bundy spent time focusing on acting and comedy work. He returns tonight as Ted DiBiase’s latest acquisition to the Million Dollar Corporation.

Scott: It’s all about the Corporation tonight as out comes the big guy who is making his WWF return. King Kong Bundy is definitely showing his age in his face and he’s probably not as big as his Federation heyday but he’s still a mountain of a man. This match is a mess as Bundy lumbers over this bum and keeps lifting him up on two counts. Vince and Savage are talking about the weekend’s movies in the theaters while this mess is happening. Bundy finally ends it. Grade: DUD

JT: Up next, Ted DiBiase brings out his newest prized possession, the returning King Kong Bundy, a mean we haven’t see on WWF TV since early 1988. Mike Khoury draws the task of battling the mammoth here tonight as Bundy is looking bigger than ever. It was an interesting decision to bring Bundy back as he has the name value and is a good enforcer for DiBiase but on the flip side it completely goes against the whole New Generation thing. Bundy overpowers Khoury and crushes him with a big knee drop him but picks him up at two. Vince talks about Savage’s appearance on the Ricki Lake Show last week as Bundy keeps laying in some stiff offense. Bundy eventually buried Khoury with an Avalanche and picked up the win. DiBiase’s Corporation is looking stout if they can avoid internal strife. Grade: DUD

*** We check out footage from Superstars where Dink snuck up to the commentary table and put a pie on Jerry Lawler’s seat. After Lawler had a spat with Doink, who was on the video wall, the King sat in the pie. ***

*** Jerry Lawler heads to the ring for this week’s King’s Court, which he claims will be one of the shortest ones ever. And that is because he is going to be taking about short people, whom he hates. He makes some cracks about Dink and then introduces us to the man who will take care of Dink for him. He says Dink is the eighth dwarf “Ugly” and then introduces his midget friend Queasy. Queasy smugly struts down to the ring, dressed up like the King, as Lawler keeps launching barbs at Dink. Queasy issues a warning to Dink and says he is royalty as King keeps making short jokes. Lawler and Queasy head out to close the segment. ***

5) Headshrinkers defeat Cory Student & JS Storm when Sione pins Storm with a big boot at 1:42

Scott: Do we really need to see Lou Albano without a shirt on? Sione is the new member of the tag team, replacing Samu. In fact Vince said he is the most “barbaric” of the family. Savage concurred, and that whole conversation made me laugh. For those who haven’t watched, Sione is the former Barbarian. This was a quick squash, and I like this new combo. Grade: DUD

JT: Closing things out this week are the revamped Headshrinkers taking on Cory Student and JS Storm. As we learned a couple weeks ago, Samu is gone and cousin Sione has arrived. Vince says Sione is more “barbaric” than his family members and notes that the Samoans will still be gunning to regain those tag straps. He also asks which two of the Headshrinkers will Shawn Michaels and Diesel have to face so perhaps Samu may still be around? We shall see. Student wearing t-shirt under his tights is an odd choice and Vince makes fun of his weight. Sione mows right through him as Vince wonders how Michaels got qualified to give Advice to the Lovelorn in WWF Magazine. Storm tags in and things go quite poorly from him as well as Sionne batters him before tagging in Fatu. Fatu gets a few shots in before tagging Sione, who leveled Storm with a big boot for the easy win. Savage thinks this may be a new and improved version of the Headshrinkers. Grade: DUD

*** Vince McMahon and Randy Savage run down next week’s card as Doink and Dink dance down to ringside and pass out Burger King crowns. Doink says this weekend he will have a little surprise for Jerry Lawler and Queasy. ***

Final Analysis

Scott: After a couple of duds we are finally getting on track for our next PPV, Survivor Series. We are getting some Survivor tag matches into focus, and Bret Hart is getting multiple World Title contenders. The company has had a pretty solid nine months in 1994 and there has been some good character development, Diesel in particular. I like having the Barbarian back in his gimmick to help the former tag champs, but this Lawler/Doink midget mess is getting worse and worse. An utter waste of prime time wrestling time… no pun intended. Put it on the weekend syndies, and leave Raw to the actual workers. The shows are still coming off a little flat, but this one found a focus at least and I can tell it will get better. Final Grade: C+

JT: Well, this week’s show was an improvement from last week at the very least as Survivor Series seems to be coming into focus a bit more. The anchor match was also a bit better as well, mainly thanks to the showcase of the Corporation as the continue to torture Lex Luger. King Kong Bundy is back on the scene, giving Ted DiBiase  yet another big body to dominate the WWF with. I also like the new look Headshrinkers as Sionne brought some needed energy to the team after they had begun to fade a bit toward the end of their title reign. Of course, we also have to talk about Jerry Lawler, who introduced us to Queasy, his little person friend that is now targeting Dink. Good times here in the fall of 1994. Thankfully the World Title picture is holding steady as Bret Hart is still fending off his brother Owen while also now dealing with Bob Backlund, who is demanding another shot at the gold. We continue to inch along week by week but at least we saw some progress in this episode. Final Grade: C