Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 10/17/94

*** 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 #82

October 10, 1994
Burlington Memorial Auditorium
Burlington, VT
Announcers: Vince McMahon & Randy Savage

1) Jeff Jarrett defeats Doink after a Jerry Lawler fist drop at 8:53

Scott: We are in lush Burlington for tonight’s live Raw and we take two feuds and morph them into one match. Doink & Jeff Jarrett had some issues earlier in the year and of course Doink is currently feuding with Jerry Lawler. I’m sure we’ll see him later in this match. Jarrett has had an uneventful 1994, with back and forth feuds and more syndie than Raw coverage. Maybe that will change. Doink has added another midget (Wink) to his bunch, and seeing him up close, the makeup doesn’t hide their fuglyness. As the match progresses, out comes Queasy with another midget in royal gear who start beating down on Doink, while Jarrett doesn’t let Dink & Wink come help. I can’t believe I’m writing this much about midgets. The match settles down and Jarrett works Doink over with submissions and a sleeper. Doink is trying to recover but Jarrett keeps cutting him off at the pass. The match slows down as the midgets outside are taking away from the minimal work in the ring. Jarrett misses a weak fist drop and Doink hits a power slam as the midgets are on the apron and totally taking away from the match. Doink kicks out from a suplex while the midgets are chasing each other around ringside. The referee is dealing with the midgets while Doink hits the whoopie cushion and is about to win the match, but Jerry Lawler comes out and hits the fist drop, to give Jarrett the win. The match was solid but all the midget garbage on the outside ruined it for me. Grade: *1/2

JT: We are finally back live this week on Monday Night Raw, coming at you from Burlington, VT and pushing down the road toward Survivor Series. Vince McMahon and Randy Savage have the call as always and opening this show up is a matchup between two guys that have been tormenting each other for quite a while now. We first saw Jeff Jarrett in action around 10 months ago and he still seems so rudderless, having never been involved in much of feud or storyline and in no better place than he was when he debuted. Sure he has had this beef with Doink and Dink but this isn’t substantial in any way beyond just eating up some TV time. Doink, Dink and… Wink (?) head out first for this barnburner. Wink debuted on Superstars over the weekend as Doink upped the ante on Jerry Lawler, who debuted his little buddy Queasy a week ago. As the clowns danced around the ring, Double J strutted out and Vince talked about his upcoming album “Ain’t I Great”. Jarrett bailed to the floor after the bell, dodging Doink, but then he reached in and tripped up the clown. Jarrett returned to the ring and went to work, choking away before missing a springboard sit out. Doink unloaded some kicks and shot Jarrett into the corner where Dink popped up and bit his ass before grabbing a side headlock. Doink kept Jarrett off balance, maintaining control and dodging any comeback attempts. Jarrett punched his way free and then grabbed an abdominal stretch, using the ropes for leverage until Dink busted up the rouse. Vince and Randy talked about Lawler’s potential reaction to Wink as Doink made a comeback, leveling Jarrett with a clothesline. And right on cue, the King’s presence was felt when Queasy and another midget showed up at ringside, distracting Doink and allowing Jarrett to knock him outside. The little kings kicked away at Doink as Jarrett kept Dink and Wink at bay. Back inside, Jarrett kicked away and after a break was still in control of the bout. Jarrett mowed Doink down with a dropkick for two and then turned into a lengthy reverse chinlock. Doink eventually escaped and slammed Double J but whiffed on an elbow drop, allowing Jarrett to recover and hook in a sleeper. Doink quickly turned out of the hold but Jarrett landed an enizguri for a near fall. Doink would catch Jarrett with his head down and take him over with a nice butterfly suplex to finally break his momentum. Jarrett got to his feet first but missed a fist drop off the middle rope and Doink made him pay with a big right hand and powerslam. Doink was all fired up but the new midget king got on the apron to run interference. That back fired as Doink whipped Jarrett hard into him, allowing the Clown to get a suplex for a close near fall. Dink and Wink started chasing Lawler around as Doink landed a dropkick for two. The midgets all started to jaw at each other outside, drawing the referee over there to break things up. In the ring, Doink hit the Whoopee Cushion but as he covered, Lawler showed up and whacked him in the head with a fist drop off the middle rope. Jarrett rolled over, covered and got the win. This was much better than it had any right to be as both guys meshed pretty well, weaving through offense and some nice comebacks attempts and cut offs throughout the match. The interference and distraction stuff was well done too, never getting too overbearing. Considering who was involved, this could have been much worse but they somehow made it all work well enough. That said, it is clear where this Doink vs. Lawler stuff is headed and… yeah. Grade: **

*** Jerry Lawler officially introduces the world to Sleazy, his newest little friend. We then get a promo for this Sunday’s premier of WWF Action Zone at noon ET on USA. On the show, Owen Hart gets one final shot at Bret Hart’s WWF Title. ***

2) British Bulldog defeats Roy Raymond with a powerslam at 3:31

Scott: Davey Boy SMITH is slowly getting back into the swing of things here in the WWF as he takes on iconic 90s jobber Raymond Roy. The first episode of the new show WWF Action Zone debuts Sunday and it’s the final WWF Championship match opportunity for Owen Hart against his brother Bret. That replaces All American on the schedule, to go with Superstars and Challenge on the weekend. The Bulldog gets the victory and has become one of the most popular superstars in the company. Grade: DUD

JT: We head right back to the ring as the British Bulldog heads to the ring to tussle with New England stalwart Roy Raymond. Bulldog is very large and looking like a star at this point. Vince and Randy plug the premier of Action Zone as Bulldog opens things up with a nice standing dropkick. Vince also reminds us how Bulldog saved Bret Hart back at SummerSlam, leading to his official WWF return, and ponders if Bulldog and Jim Neidhart will get involved on Sunday. Bulldog pummels and overpowers Raymond before finishing him off with the powerslam. Back to the USWF for you Roy. Grade: DUD

*** We revisit a short of clip from Superstars when Bob Backlund attacked his former manager Arnold Skaaland, locking him in the crossface chicken wing. ***

*** Bob Backlund storms down to ringside and demands a chat with Vince McMahon. Backlund says there is no need to show the tape here on Raw as everyone that saw it on Superstars remembers it. Vince shows the footage again anyway and then tells Backlund his conduct was despicable and he owes Skaaland an apology. Backlund says he should apologize… and apologizes to the fans, Jack Tunney and everyone involved in pro wrestling for ever ascertaining Skaaland as a manager. He apologizes for choosing a man that threw in the towel when so many others wouldn’t have. The best day in his life was July 3, 1994 because he realized the plebeians don’t have enough courage or won’t pay the price for success. Backlund talks about how much he tried to help the fans and their children and how he has never eaten marijuana or swore in front of his children. He calls out the fans for swearing, having chemicals and drugs in their cabinets at home, leading to that behavior by their children. He says his child isn’t out there with a gun but Vince asks what this all has to do with the crossface chicken wing. Backlund says it has to do with discipline, pride and determination. He is proud of the hold and vows to retire if anyone can escape the hold, including anybody in the crowd tonight. Lex Luger then comes down to ringside and says he has seen and heard enough about the CFCW and runs down his recent string of attacks. Luger tells him to pick on somebody his own size for once but Backlund says he has a lot of panache and can wear the American flag all around the world but the plebeians will not help him. Backlund hops in the ring and bounces around as Luger is ushered away by officials while the crowd chants his name. ***

3) Bob Holly defeats Reno Riggins with a high cross body at 2:37

Scott: After a confrontation between Bob Backlund and Lex Luger, ol’ Sparky Plugg takes on another iconic jobber, Reno Riggins. Backlund put his old manager Arnie Skaaland in the Cross Face Chicken Wing this past weekend on Superstars and in an interview segment before this match he wouldn’t apologize and then Lex Luger came out (in his freshly minted Atlanta 1996 Olympic jacket) and picked a fight with Backlund but officials came out to stop it. Sparky wins. Grade: DUD

JT: As the dust settles from that last segment, Bob Holly makes his way to the ring to battle veteran Reno Riggins. Vince tells us that Holly will battle Bob Backlund this weekend as well. Savage and Vince continue to discuss the Backlund situation as Holly, who is decked out in brand new black tights, dominates the match. Riggins actually gets a bit of offense in as Vince tells us Holly will be revving the engine of the WWF car soon. Holly makes a comeback and finishes off Riggins with a high cross body. Grade: DUD

4) Irwin R. Schyster defeats Tim McNeany via submission with the Penalty at 1:54

Scott: IRS is officially settled into the Corporation now and I figured would have been picked even before Nikolai Volkoff. Before the match IRS said he’s going to look into the biggest tax cheat in the WWF: The Undertaker. Does that even make sense? Is the Funeral Parlor in arrears and need to be audited? I don’t know. In any event we get faint IRWIN chants. This match is quick and painless. Grade: DUD

JT: We head back to ringside as Ted DiBiase leads his charge IRS out to the ring for his match with Tim McNeany. Irwin grabs a mic and talks about death and taxes and says he will soon be exposing the biggest tax cheat in WWF history: the Undertaker. Vince and Randy wonder what IRS is talking about as the match gets under way. IRS has a brown belt on tonight, which looks a bit odd. Vince says DiBiase is building the greatest corporate stable in company history and names off his clients. Irwin makes very swift work of McNeany, finishing him with the Penalty. Grade: DUD

*** We head back to Superstars when a casket was wheeled to ringside by Paul Bearer at the end of a Yokozuna match. As Undertaker’s music played and the lights stayed dim, Yoko eventually noticed the casket and freaked out, stumbling his way to the back. ***

5) Heavenly Bodies defeat Barry Horowitz & Nick Barberry when Jimmy Del Ray pins Barberry with a moonsault off the top rope at 2:29

Scott: The thing glaring out to me right now is, why is Barry Horowitz a babyface here? He’s always been a classic WWF heel jobber. Very strange. We haven’t seen the Bodies in a while, as they’ve been shoved down the tag ladder, as is the whole division right now since Michaels & Diesel have hijacked the titles. Jimmy Del Ray is getting out of shape quickly, I don’t know if that’s to magnify that awful jiggling dance he does, but it’s getting out of hand. The heels win. Grade: 1/2*

JT: Wrapping things up this week are the Heavenly Bodies, here to battle Barry Horowitz and Nick Barberry in our final match of the evening. The Bodies are rocking some sweet gold trunks here tonight. We will see if it helps them find some direction finally. And speaking of looks, Horowitz still has the goatee that he debuted recently. Barberry and Horowitz show some spunk early, working over both Prichard and Del Ray but the good times quickly come to an end as the Bodies took over the action. Del Ray eventually hit the top rope moonsault on Barberry for the win. Nothing much here, just more of the usual for the Bodies. Grade: DUD

*** Lex Luger joins us from backstage and says he has heard about the legendary Bob Backlund ever since he entered the sport. That said, he doesn’t like what he sees these days and issues a challenge to Backlund to take on a new generation talent. ***

Final Analysis

Scott: A brand new venue and and a live Raw makes this a much fresher episode than we’ve had in a while. It’s nice to see the Bulldog back in the swing of things and working hard to get back into a different WWF than when he left two years earlier. The Heavenly Bodies are turning into a low mid card joke and should probably go back to SMW where they belong. IRS continues to be the workhorse of the promotion and has his hands in so much creatively. Of all the complaining I do about too many old stiffs in the company, IRS and Backlund are actually working to meld themselves into the “New Generation”. Action Zone has suddenly become the hot show, and Raw actually promotes that like crazy. It’s evident the syndicated shows are starting to become an archaic way of doing wrestling television. This was a refreshing episode with fresh graphics, as clearly the WWF is moving Raw in a new direction. Final Grade: B

JT: Some live energy and a fresh venue certainly gave this week’s show a boost. As did some dedicated focus on storylines and a better anchor match than we have had in weeks. Yes, I am shocked as well: Doink vs. Jeff Jarrett was pretty fun, even with the midget madness going on around it. I really loved the Bob Backlund stuff as he has been lights out in this new role. Lex Luger was a nice addition to things as well and he showed some good fire in his retorts to Backlund during both of his promos. The squashes were just there as usual, but it finally feels like we have some direction again here, perhaps for the first time since SummerSlam. We also had lots of hype for Action Zone, which was a nice touch as well. Until next week! Final Grade: B-