Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 10/24/94

*** 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 #83

October 24, 1994 (Taped October 17. 1994)
Burlington Memorial Auditorium
Burlington, VT
Announcers: Vince McMahon & Randy Savage

1) Razor Ramon defeats Yokozuna via count out to retain WWF Intercontinental Title at 9:23

Scott: We open with a title defense for the Bad Guy, who’s been working pretty hard since winning the title back at SummerSlam. Yokozuna has been floating somewhat aimless since losing to Bret Hart back at WrestleMania. He had that sumo feud with Earthquake, but Quake left the promotion and since then he’s been spinning his wheels until the Undertaker returned. That feud has been left unfulfilled since the Royal Rumble and now that he’s back the “Casket Match” rumors begin. This match is mostly Yoko working the champion over with power moves and the infamous nerve pinch, which is the perfect time for them to go to commercial. Yoko gets a boost of energy and starts beating Razor down in the corner, then back to the nerve pinch. Vince McMahon and Randy Savage start ripping all the NFL pre-game shows from the day before and comparing guys to Buddy Ryan, at the the time the Cardinals head coach. Yoko goes for a rush to the corner but Razor gets out of the way and hits a bulldog but Yoko kicks out. It’s funny they’re calling Razor the “underdog” in this match. Razor knocks Yoko out of the ring, meanwhile someone in black comes up the ramp with a giant casket. Yoko knocks himself into it, freaks out and runs off. Razor wins the match by countout. A solid enough TV match but more to push the Taker/Yoko storyline that will likely culminate at Survivor Series. Grade: **

JT: We are still hanging out in rowdy Vermont this week and we are welcomed in to this taped Raw by our usual announce team of Vince McMahon and Randy Savage. As we continue to careen toward Survivor Series, we open things up with a big Intercontinental Title match between Razor Ramon and Yokozuna. Since beating Diesel at SummerSlam, Ramon hasn’t had anything of substance going on and is due for a new full time feud and challenger. Across the ring, Yoko has been knee deep in mind games as he is trying to stay strong and ward off the vengeful Undertaker, who is coming for his Royal Rumble payback. After both men made their entrances, we got under way as Yoko jumped Ramon at the bell and laid in some hard strikes on the champ. Razor quickly recovered and peppered Yoko with punches and clotheslines that eventually put the big man on his back. A right hand later and Yoko tumbled to the floor where he took a moment to regroup before heading back inside. As Yoko consulted with Mr. Fuji and Jim Cornette, Vince talks about yesterday’s red hot Action Zone title match between Bret Hart and Owen Hart. The Hitman won and the Rocket is out of chances. Yoko slammed Ramon but the champ dodged and elbow drop and started to work the arm. The challenger eventually cut Razor down to the mat and then kicked him out to the floor. The champ crawled back in but Yoko kept slugging away before turning to his nerve hold to take us to break. After the commercial, Ramon fought out of the hold but Yoko spiked him back down to the mat and kept laying in strikes aggressively. Yoko would go back to the nerve hold as Vince compared Ramon to Bret Hart, saying both are fighting champions. We also get some topical football talk and Action Zone promotion on commentary until Razor broke free and hit a bulldog off the second rope for a close near fall. Ramon started to unload some offense and knocked Yoko to the floor. As that was happening, somebody wheeled a giant casket to ringside and Yoko backed into it, saw it and then ran away, giving Ramon the count out win. The Bad Guy survives yet again. This was fine enough and saw some nice energy and aggression in spots, especially by Yoko, but the nerve holds really dragged things down into the soft finish. Yoko has bigger issues to deal with and Ramon needs something else to sink his teeth into. Grade: *1/2

*** Todd Pettengill joins us for our first Survivor Series report here on Raw. The big show comes at us in about four weeks on Thanksgiving Eve, live from San Antonio. Todd tells us that this year we will see teams of five battling in the survivor matches and then takes us back to Action Zone to hear from Bret Hart. After defeating his brother Owen, he officially accepted Bob Backlund’s WWF Title challenge. Here are the matches discussed:

Bret Hart vs. Bob Backlund – WWF Title
Guts & Glory: Lex Luger, Adam Bomb, Mabel & Smoking Gunns vs. Million Dollar Team: Tatanka, Bam Bam Bigelow, King Kong Bundy & Heavenly Bodies

There will be more to come this weekend, so stay tuned as the card continues to round into shape. Call your cable company right now so you don’t get locked out of all the action! ***

2) Smoking Gunns defeat Mike Bell & Barry Hardy when Billy pins Bell after the Sidewinder at 1:40

Scott: Before the match it was announced that next week Bob Backlund & Lex Luger will settle last week’s differences in the ring. It’s nice to see the Gunns here, as we don’t see them as much on Raw as on the weekend syndies. The Gunns have a cool finisher, whatever it is. Bart holds the jobber on his shoulder, and Billy comes off the top rope to do… something. It’s hard to tell. Grade: DUD

JT: We head to the ring as the Smoking Gunns jog out to the ring for a battle with Mike Bell and Barry Hardy. After over a year of aimless tag matches, the Gunns are actually slated for a pretty big match at Survivor Series. Perhaps they will finally break through and get on a roll of some sort after this jump start. After we take a break to promote next week’s big Lex Luger vs. Bob Backlund showdown, Bart is pummeling Mike Bell. Vince and Randy ponder that bout coming next week as the Gunns dominate this one and win with ease after the Sidewinder. Grade: DUD

3) Tatanka defeats Scott Taylor with the End of the Trail at 3:56

Scott: I like how they morphed Tatanka’s and Ted DiBiase’s themes together, to make him a pure heel. He hasn’t totally changed his look yet, with the same colors on his tights. Randy Savage was at this past weekend’s NASCAR race to watch David Green win with the Slim Jim car. I like when Savage talks about his extra curricular events. I think that’s what Vince loved about Savage, that he was a great ambassador of the promotion when he did PR appearances. I like that Tatanka is using real logic that all non-Indians are immigrants. That’s funny. Scott Taylor tries, but fails. Grade: 1/2*

JT: We are right back to the action as Ted DiBiase leads out his prized possession, Tatanka. Vince and Randy waste no time calling him a sell out and turncoat as Tatanka comes hard out of the gate with some stiff kicks and chops. While Tatanka’s gear hasn’t changed, the colors and overall tones have, as they are a bit sharper and darker overall. Tatanka keeps battering Scott Taylor as we veer off a bit on commentary, covering Randy’s NASCAR visit over the weekend. Taylor gets a brief glimmer hope as Tatanka awkwardly fed him a bit before ultimately crushing him with a clothesline. The talk turns back to Lex Luger and his battles with Tatanka along the Hart Attack Tour as well as his bout with Backlund next week. Tatanka finally finishes Taylor with the End of the Trail for the win and then drops him with another one for fun after the bell. Grade: DUD

*** We head back to Superstars where IRS was visiting a local funeral home. There he discusses death and tax cheats. ***

4) Adam Bomb defeats Phil Apollo with the Atom Smasher at 1:45

Scott: I’m excited that Adam Bomb is on Lex Luger’s team at Survivor Series and is getting some shine. Nice pumphandle slam finisher and a quick squash. After the match Bob Backlund comes out of nowhere and puts Bomb in the Cross Face Chicken Wing. So after the announcement of the Survivor Series title match he will have with Bret, he’s going to be pushed to the moon. This bums me out because it makes Bomb look weak. Grade: DUD

JT: Our next match features Adam Bomb taking on veteran Phil Apollo. Like the Gunns, it is cool that Bomb gets a bump up into the big survivor series match, finally giving him some semblance of a push or direction. It is a big spot for all three men. Apollo jumped Bomb at the bell but that didn’t help him much at all as Bomb just trashes him. Hey, after a long absence, Randy Savage’s USA promo read is back! Tonight, Macho plugs a three night tribute to John Candy, featuring three movies across Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evening. Check it out! Bomb finishes Apollo with the Atom Smasher and looks pumped up for his Survivor Series match. After the match, Bob Backlund sneaks in and locks Bomb in the Cross Face Chicken Wing, reminding us all that he is unhinged and focused on making himself as a major threat for Bret Hart at Survivor Series. Grade: DUD

*** Jerry Lawler heads to the ring for this week’s King’s Court. He chastises the fans as usual and then preps to introduce the world to his third royal midget friend. He says this is all because Doink always has Dink with him, so Lawler brought out Queasy to combat him. Doink upped the ante with Wink, so Lawler matched with Sleazy and then we met Pink… and now Cheesy. Sigh. The royal family head to the ring and Lawler issues a challenge to the clowns. Lawler wants to get rid of the clowns so royalty can stand tall. The midgets all weigh in and Lawler again reiterates his desire for a match. ***

5) Diesel defeats Ben Jordan with a Jackknife at 3:47

Scott: This coming Sunday on Action Zone, Diesel & Shawn Michaels will defend the Tag Team Titles against Razor Ramon & 1-2-3 Kid. Hmmm, I see that being a pretty good match. Vince says it’s Ben Jordan’s birthday, and his present is getting destroyed by Big Daddy Cool. Vince says it’s also Hall of Fame quarterback YA Tittle’s birthday. He claims his first name as Ya, but it’s actually short for Yelbraton Abraham. Diesel wins with a somewhat sloppy Jackknife. Grade: DUD

JT: As Diesel saunters to the ring for our final bout of the night, Vince discusses this week’s huge Action Zone match, which will feature Diesel and Shawn Michaels defending their gold against Razor Ramon & 1-2-3 Kid.They are really going all in on the Zone in these early weeks. Vince also notes that Michaels is off redecorating the Heartbreak Hotel and mentions how many analysts thought Diesel and Michaels would have issues teaming still after what happened at SummerSlam. He thinks if the troubles continue, we will see new champs on Sunday. Diesel punishes the birthday boy, Ben Jordan, and puts the dagger in him with a Jackknife. Vince then puts the dagger in my heart by reminding us that this would have been World Series week if there were no MLB strike. Sad panda. Grade: DUD

Final Analysis

Scott: I liked seeing Yokozuna go for another championship, as I feel he’s been forgotten since WrestleMania X and that’s not right. The Smoking Gunns have been floating around aimlessly and perhaps we will now see more of them as the Tag Team Title picture begins to change. I’m upset that Adam Bomb had to be a sacrificial lamb to Bob Backlund rocket push, but it is what it is. The Corporation is taking shape and now is set for a big PPV match. You always need a heel faction to galvanize that side of the creative ledger and help put babyfaces over in the end. This was a fun episode with more promotion of Action Zone and the journey to Survivor Series continues. Grade: B-

JT: These Vermont episodes have shaken Raw up a bit, in a good way, bringing out some good energy and focus that had been lacking since SummerSlam. With Survivor Series just a month away, the card is starting to take shape and two huge matches were revealed tonight. The anchor match tonight was fine as a spectacle but never really kicked into gear and mainly existed to remind us that Yokozuna was afraid of caskets. Other than that, the main focus was all around reminding us of the strength of the Million Dollar Corporation, rehashing all the midget madness and pushing Bob Backlund as he gears up for his biggest WWF match in over a decade. Next week is our Halloween episode so there should be some hijinks as well as a big match between Backlund and Lex Luger in addition to more Survivor Series revelations. Until then… Final Grade: C+