Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 7/25/94

*** 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 #72

July 25, 1994 (Taped July 1, 1994)
Fernwood Resort
Bushkill, PA
Announcers: Jim Ross & Randy Savage

*** We open with clips from Superstars when Ted DiBiase joined the Heartbreak Hotel to reveal that Lex Luger had joined his Corporation. Tatanka cut in front of Luger and denounced him as a friend and labeled him a sell out. We then got a cut away backstage with Luger vowing he did not sell out. ***

1) Tatanka defeats Nikolai Volkoff in a $10,000 Challenge Match with an inside cradle at 6:14

Fun Fact: At the end of last week’s RAW, Ted DiBiase made the challenge to Tatanka, a $10,000 challenge that he could not beat Nikolai Volkoff on the next episode of RAW.

Scott: At the end of last week’s episode, Tatanka accepted Ted DiBiase’s very lucrative challenge for the Native American, while the Lex Luger saga continues throughout the week. Then this past weekend on Superstars Luger “just happened” to come out on Heartbreak Hotel when DiBiase introduced him and his music played. That kind of made Luger look pretty bad. One thing I have to give Nikolai Volkoff credit for is staying in decent enough shape while he’s probably in his early 50s to this point. This is good for Tatanka because honestly (and I know I harp on this) since his countout win over Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania IX, his only real storyline was with IRS over his feathered headdress. The match wasn’t half bad, but the inside cradle win was pretty lame, making Nikolai look like a total chump. Actually it made Tatanka look pretty stupid too, why didn’t he win with his trademark finisher. In any event, after the match DiBiase was about to give the $10,000 but instead he says he couldn’t win this money if he faced Lex Luger. Tatanka says he can beat Luger on any day. With that Luger came out and answered Tatanka’s challenge. So the match is on, but is Luger with the Corporation? We still don’t know. Grade: **

JT: We are back at you for another edition of Monday Night Raw, still on tape from our third home in Bushkill. And that means Jim Ross and Randy Savage are here for another turn in the booth as well. We are closing in on SummerSlam, which is just five weeks away, and have plenty to cover here tonight, including the building rumors that Ted DiBiase had purchased Lex Luger. And that topic will be top of mind during our opener as DiBiase leads out Nikolai Volkoff to face Tatanka in the big $10,000 Challenge Match that was set up a week ago. Savage says it is clear somebody is lying in this situation as DiBiase is claiming the deal is done while Luger continues to deny. Tatanka jogs out and has his eyes locked on DiBiase the whole way. Tatanka worked the arm to start but Volkoff worked free and unloaded some heavy strikes in the corner. He continues to bring the heavy artillery, laying in punches, kicks and clubbing forearms. Nikolai fended off an initial comeback attempt but Tatanka kept pushing and eventually caught Volkoff with a clothesline and then kicked him down to the floor. Ross talks about a big win Volkoff had over Virgil this past weekend as DiBiase berated the big Russian on the floor, reminding him what was on the line tonight. Nikolai yanked Tatanka to the floor and slung him into the steps a couple of times before pitching him back inside. Nikolai kept laying in the boots as Savage said everyone hates their boss and Nikolai just has no choice at this point. Tatanka finally bowed up and worked his way into his war dance before unleashing a flurry of chops. Nikolai withstood the onslaught and came back with a bodyslam but he stopped to listen to DiBiase, allowing Tatanka to grab an inside cradle for the win. The match was nothing but basic strikes with some decent heat and a few OK spots blended in. It was all about the storyline. Grade: 1/2*

*** After the match, Ted DiBiase flipped out at ringside as Randy Savage slid in the ring and berated DiBiase, telling him to pay up per the terms of the bet. DiBiase climbed in the ring and proved he was a man of his word and paid the money. He told Tatanka that he is a great athlete and he was impressed tonight and then says he earned the cash with the win. DiBiase then says what Tatanka did to Volkoff, he could never do to “my Lex Luger”. Tatanka then says he could beat Luger on his worst day. As they debated, Luger came out to interject and asked Tatanka if he was officially challenging him to a match. Tatanka would confirm and Luger accepted the challenge. ***

2) Headshrinkers defeat Barry Hardy and Joey Stallings when Fatu pins Stallings with a splash off the top rope at 4:00

Scott: We get a look at the Tag Team Champions on Raw for the first time since I believe they won the titles back in May. They actually still act like heels which is cool, as they’re pulling guys up on pinfalls and still working pretty stiff on their opponents. In typical Lou Albano fashion, he shows up to get the tag straps, then he vanishes, for now anyway. Grade: 1/2*

JT: Next up, our WWF Tag Team Champions head out to the ring to battle Barry Hardy and Jason Stallings and they waste zero time getting into the action, jumping their opponents before the bell. After a quick break, Fatu is wrecking Stallings with a clothesline before tagging Samu, leading to a double team headbutt. Savage reminds us that the Headshrinkers are his favorite team a Samu keeps laying the wood, planting Stallings with a DDT off the middle rope. Samu covered but picked up Stallings at the two count, not ready to end the massacre. The champs double teamed Stallings in the corner as Ross said he hoped Jim Cornette is watching closely because he has been demanding a title shot for the Heavenly Bodies. Samu kicks Hardy off the apron as he continues to pound on Stallings. Not wanting to be left out, Fatu hopped down and leveled Hardy on the floor for fun. The champs would plant Stallings with a double face buster followed by Fatu hitting the big splash off the top rope for the win. Ross wonders who the Headshrinkers may defend against at SummerSlam. This was a brutal, nasty squash as Stallings took the ass kicking of a lifetime. Grade: 1/2*

3) Jim Neidhart defeats Jim Powers via submission with a camel clutch at 2:56

Scott: Oh my word, I feel like I’m back at a 1987 MSG house show. Is Bret Hart wrestling Paul Roma later on in the show? Powers is still pretty ripped, but not nearly as blown up as he’ll be when he goes south later in the decade. I like when Ross and Savage talk about the Hart Family issues, and how they’ve split the family in half. Vince sometimes cares more about adding pop culture and Hillary Clinton references instead of talking about the storylines. This isn’t weekend syndies anymore when the matches were stand-alones. Neidhart wins with the submission move. Grade: DUD

JT: As we return from break, Jim Neidhart is headed to the ring, flanked by Owen Hart as always. They laugh their way down to the ring as Ross say Owen has been exposed to Anvil’s insanity and he may have contracted it. It is apparently a throwback match as Neidhart is battling his old foe Jim Powers. Powers tries to out hustle Neidhart off the bell but power won out as Anvil flicked him over the top to the floor. From there, the beating was on. Owen vented at ringside, talking about what he was going to do to Bret inside the cage. Ross recaps Neidhart’s transgressions since his return as the match plods on. Neidhart finally finishes Powers with a powerslam and camel clutch. Neidhart continues to look dominant as both he and Owen are getting more maniacal by the day. Grade: DUD

*** Jim Ross heads to the ring for a chat with the WWF Women’s Champion Alundra Blayze. Ross notes that Blayze issued an open challenge to any lady and Luna Vachon was the first to accept that challenge. Blayze says she has been dealing with Vachon since she arrived here but she is done with her now because she has pride, dignity class and morals. Ross turns the attention to next Monday night as Japanese great Bull Nakano will be here next week to challenge Blayze. As Blayze puts over Nakano, Vachon charges to the ring and gets in Blayze’s face. Vachon says she is responsible for bringing Nakano to America as a challenger. Vachon quickly stomps off as Blayze says she has the title now and will always have the title and that is all she has to say. ***

 4) Yokozuna defeats Adam Bomb by count out at 6:20

Fun Fact: Adam Bomb’s face turn began back on the 5/28 Superstars when he lost a King of the Ring qualifier match after Kwang accidentally sprayed green mist into his face. During the next two months, tensions were high between Bomb and manager Harvey Wippleman. Bomb finally dumped Wippleman as his manager, which lead to him getting a beatdown by Kwang, cementing the face turn.

Scott: So the newly turned babyface Adam Bomb takes on the former WWF Champion in a big power match. I’m very happy about Adam Bomb because he’e one of my favorite guys in the company and perhaps can be moved up the ladder into some more substantive feuds, but seeing this match I have a weird feeling that Bomb is not working out and could become a JTTS, but I hope not. Jim Cornette is conspicuous by his absence and Ross is making that point clear multiple times. As Bomb is making his big comeback, out comes Harvey Whippleman and Kwang, who trips Adam Bomb on an Irish Whip. He goes outside and brawls with Kwang, forcing the countout. So Yokozuna is protected but Bomb doesn’t eat the pin either. So Bomb has a feud going now, and I like that. He’s not floating around. Grade: *

JT: We are treated to another marquee matchup this week as the freshly turned Adam Bomb gets to battle the former WWF Champion Yokozuna. Yoko has been in a bit of a holding pattern since WrestleMania, starting and stopping feuds and ambling around without much direction. He pops up here to take on Bomb, who had finally dumped Harvey Wippleman after some miscommunication with Kwang on Superstars last month. Yoko went right at Bomb off the bell, slugging away and then cutting him down to the mat. Yoko kept right on Bomb as Ross talks about Yoko’s usual strategy of taking his time and dictating the pace. Bomb recovered and punched away and then smashed into Yoko with two clotheslines and a leaping shoulderblock, the last of which knocked Yoko to the floor. After a break, the match reset with Yoko leveling Bomb with a headbutt and chop. Savage wished legend Walter Payton a happy birthday and mentioned his son Jarrett as well. Yoko continued to take his time working through his offense, eventually going to a nerve hold. The crowd rallied Bomb as he fought to his feet and broke out of the hold but the momentum was short lived as Yoko drilled him with a clothesline. Ross pondered where Cornette was this week as Bomb mounted one final push and was able to take Yoko down with a DDT. Bomb headed up top and cracked Yoko with a flying clothesline and then followed with an elbow drop. Kwang and Wippleman then showed up at ringside and tripped up Bomb as he hit the ropes. Bomb slid outside and brawled with Kwang, eventually last long enough to lead to a count out win for Yoko. Bomb would hoist Harvey up and chuck him into Kwang but it was too little too late as Harvey has again cost Bomb a big win. Match was fine and just when it was picking up we got the interference and finish. Yoko needs something substantial, and perhaps an elongated feud with Bomb could have been good for both men. Instead it looks like Bomb will keep toiling with Kwang. Grade: *

*** Todd Pettengil is in the house with this week’s SummerSlam Report, brought to us by Domino’s Pizza. Over 23,000 fans will be jammed into the brand new United Center five weeks from tonight. Here are the matches discussed:

Undertaker vs. Undertaker
Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart – WWF Championship Steel Cage Match
Razor Ramon vs. Diesel – WWF Intercontinental Title Match

And of course, Leslie Nielson is on the case attempting to solve this Undertaker mystery. ***

5) Duke Droese defeats Duane Gill with a powerslam at 2:30

Scott: We end the show with the WWF’s favorite garbage man against the WWF’s best mullet. We just had the SummerSlam Report, where it was announced that Diesel will defend the Intercontinental Title against Razor Ramon. During this mess, Jerry Lawler is on the phone announcing that his guest on the King’s Court is Bob Backlund, who will face Bret Hart for the WWF Title on Superstars this weekend. The Duke wins. Grade: DUD

JT: Our final match of the week features the WWF’s favorite garbage man, Duke Droese, as he locks up with veteran jobber Duane Gill. Ross reminds us of Droese’s issues with Jerry Lawler and they are attempting to get the King on the phone here. And the connection is officially made as Lawler comes through and onto the air. Lawler asks why Droese would have a score to settle with him and then says he hit Droese with the garbage can because he couldn’t find a baseball bat. Droese works over Gill as Lawler gets more threats and one liners in on Droese. We also find out that we will have a King’s Court with Bob Backlund next week. Ross notes that Backlund faces Bret Hart on Superstars this weekend and could be WWF Champion when he shows up next week. Droese finishes Gill off with a powerslam as Lawler gets a few more digs in before wrapping up. Grade: DUD

Final Analysis

Scott: I enjoyed this episode, as the DiBiase storyline (which seems to really be branching out to other things) grows with every episode. Savage and Ross continue to be in a good groove as a teams even when Ross strays to discuss his obsession with the First Lady. I do love when Savage reads the liners for the atrocious USA movies on the weekends. Tatanka and DiBiase are having a lot of biplay, and that’s interesting. Luger is kind of looking like a moron during this, but whatever. Raw has been a lot of fun since King of the Ring and the build to Chicago has been great. Final Grade: C+

JT: Another episode of Raw is in the books and this was another pretty basic offering by the WWF. We had some solid storyline progression, again mainly focused around Ted DiBiase and two marquee matches but nothing really of note. The SummerSlam card continues to come together well but we also had a spotlight on other feuds here as well in Kwang/Adam Bomb and Jerry Lawler/Duke Droese. Ross and Savage had another solid week too as they chemistry grows as a team. Next week’s live card is shaping up to be a big one and at that point we will be just a month away from SummerSlam. Oh and we may have a new WWF Champion? Stay tuned. Final Grade: C