Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 9/12/94

*** 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 #77

September 12, 1994 (Taped August 15, 1994)
Lowell Audiotrium
Lowell, MA
Announcers: Vince McMahon & Randy Savage

1) Undertaker defeats Kwang with a chokeslam at 5:24

Scott: So this must have been kind of a mess to sort out. This episode of Raw was taped on 8/1, before any of the SummerSlam stuff went down. So during the Taker vs. Faker storyline, how did they get the real Undertaker to come out for a match while he was supposedly gone until Chicago on August 29? It’s been two weeks since SummerSlam, they couldn’t do a live show on this night? I thought we were past all this weird taping schedule stuff. Having said that, I am glad to see the REAL Undertaker back on RAW and ending that ludicrous storyline. With SummerSlam behind us, I’m curious where storylines will go. We have both new Intercontinental and Tag Team Champions, and I’ll get into that scheduling snafu later on as well. The best moment was when Kwang spewed the green mist, and then Taker no-sold it and spewed the mist back. Gross, but funny. Taker wins, and is back in the mix. Grade: *1/2

JT: Welcome back! It’s been a while, Monday Night Raw! Thanks to the Sunday Night Slam, SummerSlam and the US Open, it has been just about a month since we last were together. Much has changed in that time… although the setting of this show will be interesting as it was actually taped way back before that big night in Chicago, so it may feel a bit stale here tonight. Although there is one change as we have some new graphics with more of a blue tone. Vince McMahon and Randy Savage have the call and we waste no time in witnessing the Raw return of the real Undertaker, who reemerged at SummerSlam to eradicate his evil doppleganger after an eight month absence. Tonight, the Deadman battles Kwang, who is accompanied by Harvey Wippleman as usual. Taker has a new look for the first time in his career, eschewing his gray trim for purple. Paul Bearer also has a brand new, super sized urn, so this certainly feels like a new era for the duo. Apparently Harvey is excited that the kids are all back in school and Savage claims that is because he shops in the boys’ department due to his diminutive size. Taker gets right to work as Vince plugs the upcoming Hart Attack Tour that will be traveling around the country. Savage thinks Taker is bigger and more powerful than ever as he slams Kwang but then comes up empty on a leg drop. Kwang pops up and kicks Taker to the floor and then clobbers the Deadman as he tries to get back in the ring. Taker is able to snap Kwang’s neck across the top rope and then punched away before scaling the top rope and crushing Kwang with an axe blow. Vince reminds us that Leslie Neilson and George Kennedy solved the Undertaker mystery at SummerSlam and deemed the case officially closed. Taker would whiff on an attack, allowing Kwang to kick him back to the floor again. After a break, Kwang was still hammering away with strikes until Taker forced him into the corner with a choke and then shot him across the ring. Kwang caught Taker with a side kick and clotheslined Taker to the floor, but the Deadman landed on his feet and stormed back into the ring. Taker would start choking Kwang, but the mysterious one sprayed his green mist into his face. Taker shook it off, spit the mist back at him and then finished Kwang off with a chokeslam. This was a perfectly executed reintroduction of Undertaker and Kwang continues to be pretty serviceable in the ring, aggressively mixing in strikes and cutting off comebacks. The Deadman is back and Vince informs us that Undertaker will now be seeking revenge against Yokozuna in a casket match, payback for the Royal Rumble. He also flat out says we “may never” see Ted DiBiase’s Undertaker again. Grade: 1/2*

*** We head back to SummerSlam to check out footage from the big steel cage match between Bret Hart and Owen Hart, courtesy Coliseum Home Video. The SummerSlam VHS will be available on October 5th, so start saving up now! ***

2) Jim Neidhart defeats Tim McNeany via submission with the Camel Clutch at 3:53

Scott: We are two weeks from that awesome cage match at SummerSlam where Bret Hart successfully defended the WWF Championship, then Owen Hart and the Anvil locked Bret in the cage and beat him down while other Hart members (including the returning British Bulldog) climbing the walls of the cage. One thing about Neidhart, he does wrestle a methodical squash, better than his lumbering singles matches back in 1985 before the Hart Foundation was formed. Squash complete. Grade: DUD

JT: Coming off SummerSlam, it seems the Hart Family war is far from over as the British Bulldog has returned and been inserted into the fray. Even though Owen Hart lost the cage match, he and the Anvil worked Bret Hart over big time before family members made the save. Anvil jumps Tim McNeany off the bell and slugs away before flipping him across the ring with a hip toss. Anvil continued to overpower McNeany as Vince wondered if Neidhart would be the opportunist to take advantage of the Hitman’s physical condition to capture the gold during the Hart Attack Tour. Vince also reminds us that Neidhart knows everything about Bret and his arsenal so it sure seems that the Hitman’s next title feud is officially set up. McNeany got zero offense in here and Anvil eventually finished him off with the camel clutch, which he keeps locked on long after the bell so Owen can mock the poor kid. Grade: DUD

*** We head back to this past weekend’s Superstars, where Jerry Lawler popped all of Dink’s balloons, pissing off Doink. ***

*** After a break, Jerry Lawler is in the ring for this week’s King’s Court. Lawler gets into it with the crowd and then reads a note he received from Jack Tunney requesting the King again apologize for recent actions. Those actions are his treatment of Doink and Dink on Superstars. He then brought the Clowns out for a chat, mocking their outfits as they arrived. Dink is wearing a Burger King crown and Doink asks Lawler if they got their crowns at the same place. Lawler then makes some short jokes at Dink before saying he is still thinking about whether or not he wants to apologize. Doink then reveals that they have a present for the King and a couple of stagehands bring a large box into the ring. Lawler is weary of a possible stunt and refuses to open it, so Doink offers to open it instead because they really want him to have it. Doink and Dink open the gift and reveal a trash can, which Doink says is for Duke Droese to use next week in his match with the King. Doink says the Dumpster will take out the WWF’s trash next week. Lawler tries to kick the trash can into the crowd but it doesn’t budge and Lawler cowers in pain. Doink reveals that there was a weight in the can and then the Clowns take off as Lawler stumbles around, holding his toe in agony. ***

3) Diesel & Shawn Michaels defeat Paul Van Dale & Tony DeVito when Shawn Michaels pins Van Dale with a big splash off Diesel’s shoulders at 4:22

Fun Fact: The night before SummerSlam, August 28, 1994, Diesel and Shawn Michaels defeated The Headshrinkers to win the WWF Tag Team Championships at a house show in Indianapolis, Indiana. During the match, Diesel hit the jacknife on Samu and then pulled Michaels’ arm on top of Samu for the pin.

Scott: Diesel has no IC belt, but he and Shawn Michaels are the Tag Team Champions, won the night before SummerSlam from the Headshrinkers. Vince says the belts are being steam cleaned according to Shawn, which is why they don’t have them. Sly way of acknowledging why they don’t have them in the ring. The crowd is chanting Diesel’s name, and both Vince and Macho Man are planting seeds of doubt into their relationship, after Shawn accidentally superkicked Diesel, leading to Razor Ramon winning back the IC Title at SummerSlam. Great move by Shawn as he actually jumps off Diesel’s shoulders to splash his opponent and win the match. It was a fun squash and both guys were starting to get face pops, particularly Diesel. Grade: *

JT: Next up, our brand new Tag Team Champions are in the house as Shawn Michaels and Diesel head out to the ring. The duo shocked the Headshrinkers the night before SummerSlam, where Diesel would go on to lose his IC Title. Vince says Michaels was responsible for that loss as he accidentally superkicked Big Daddy Cool. The fans chant for Diesel as Michaels starts things off with Tony DeVito, slapping him around and toying with him as he does best. Michaels is all energy here, leading DeVito into a confrontation with Diesel on the floor and then cracking him with a flying forearm off the apron. Diesel tagged in and battered DeVito as Vince tells us that Michaels informed them the title belts are being steam cleaned tonight. Of course, this show was taped before they won them, which is why they aren’t carrying them to the ring. DeVito actually lands a quick shot and is able to tag in Van Dale, who ducks his head way early and eats a neckbreaker as a result. Diesel comes in and rocks Van Dale with a sidewalk slam and then crushes him with a big boot. Vince wonders who could challenge this team on the Hart Attack Tour as Diesel drops Van Dale with the Jackknife. Michaels then tags in and hits a big splash off Diesel’s shoulders to pick up the win. Vince thinks that was a dig at the Headshrinkers, but either way it was a dominating win. This was a super fun squash with tons of energy and great teamwork from Michaels and Diesel. Shawn was all over the place with a manic pace and Diesel’s cool demeanor was a great balance. Our new champs could certainly dominate for a while. Grade: 1/2*

*** We again head back to Superstars, where Bam Bam Bigelow had a confrontation with Adam Bomb after Ted DiBiase issued an open challenge to anyone in the locker room. As Bomb got in the ring, DiBiase prepared to offer him a wad of cash but then put it away as the two big men went face-to-face. They traded words and eventually fists until Bomb leveled Bigelow with a leaping clothesline, sending him to the floor. ***

4) Adam Bomb defeats Duane Gill with a pump handle slam at 3:19

Scott: I was very pumped to see Adam Bomb as a babyface now after ditching Harvey Whippleman and gets a huge pop from the Lowell crowd. Wow Duane Gill’s hair looks like 1991 Missy Hyatt. Good grief. Perhaps this was the start of a nice push for Bomb. The problem is that both singles titles are already being held by stronger babyfaces. An effective squash and the crowd loves it. The Creation of Devastation. Grade: DUD

JT: Adam Bomb heads down to the ring for our next match, a tilt with Duane Gill. Vince says Bomb is free of those Wippleman shackles and Savage puts over his new blue and yellow tights. Gill’s mullet is at absurd lengths right now. Savage tells us that Team WWF defeated Mancow’s team in the SummerSlam charity softball game that was set up back at the Sunday Night Slam. Vince continues to push Bomb’s burgeoning issue with Bam Bam Bigelow as Bomb beats the piss out of poor Gill, finishing him off with a pump handle slam. It is nice to see Bomb actually in a feud for once, seemingly for the first time since his debut. Grade: DUD

5) Bushwhackers defeat Barry Hardy & Bert Centeno when Luke pins Centeno with the battering ram at 5:04

Scott: Wow this is definitely a taped show when you bring these two fossils back in. It’s hilarious that they just played a New WWF Generation vignette right before this match involving two old guys that are mere babyface fodder for the fans, and not really “new”. But since they’re filling out a chop shop show with SummerSlam stuff in between, why the hell not. Harmless squash, but it’s just funny they’re promoting the “new generation” and then have a team that’s been here since 1988. Grade: DUD

JT: We wrap things up this week with a random appearance by the Bushwhackers, the honorary “fill some time late in a taping” superstars. They are really aimless and outdated at this point but the fans still seem to enjoy them for random showings like this. Vince discusses the Whackers’ ongoing issue with Well Dunn that explodes this weekend as Luke and Butch run through their usual routine. We also get the return of Randy Savage’s USA Movie read, something that seemingly vanished for a few weeks there. This week, Macho Man plugs Incident at Deception Ridge, a USA World Premier this Thursday night at 9PM! After some more comedy and nonsense, the Bushwhackers finish Centeno off with the battering ram. Grade: DUD

Final Analysis

Scott: This was a very bad episode of Raw, mostly because it wasn’t a fresh live Raw out of SummerSlam, and instead it was taped two weeks before SummerSlam even happened. I know I keep harping on this, but I’m sorry it has to be said. Vince needed to do fresh, LIVE Raw shows out of the PPVs. This show felt stale and was stale. The only thing that felt fresh only because it was still active was Diesel & Shawn as tag team champions. Diesel came out without the IC Title, even though at the time of the taping he was actually IC Champion. All the other squashes were boring and stale. And why for the love of God are the FREAKING BUSHWHACKERS on this show? Seriously? Epic ball dropping here by Vince to not schedule a live show here. Final Grade: D

JT: We return with a pretty standard episode of Raw. I will say that we had some really good energy out there considering how stale this was, but that probably had a lot to do with the guys they rolled out there. It was good to have Undertaker back and the doppleganger storyline buried for good. I also found it interesting that for the first time in a long while, Ted DiBaise was barely mentioned or featured on the show in any way. He was in multiples segments a week leading into SummerSlam and now silence for one night at least. We have some good direction for the fall as the Hart Family war rages on, Undertaker sets his sights on Yokozuna and Adam Bomb and Bam Bam Bigelow have ignited an intriguing issue. Diesel and Shawn Michaels also looked great here, bringing tons of energy and cohesion to their team but it was interesting how Vince called out the loud “Diesel” chants that echoed in the arena. Nothing to brag about in ring this week but lots of good storyline resets and energy bumps this a bit. Final Grade: C+