History of Wrestling

WWF Title: Steve Austin (c) vs. Kurt Angle

- This review has been reprinted here with permission from the History of Wrestling book The Complete WWF Video Guide, Volume 5 - Attitude: The Invasion Years.

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[SummerSlam, 19.08.2001 - Compaq Center, San Jose, CA]

With Austin turning heel at InVasion to lead the Alliance, the Rock flirting with Hollywood, Triple H and Chris Benoit on the injured reserve list and Chris Jericho bouncing around the midcard, Angle has found himself in the role of the WWF’s lead babyface, with an accelerated month-long push into the realms of actually being a badass pro wrestler as opposed to a goofball who just happened to be a great grappler.

They meet in the aisle for Austin’s standard match-opening walkabout bawl, where Angle stomps a mudhole in Austin but fails to wipe it dry. In the ring, Austin blasts Angle with three suplexes for a two count, so Angle returns fire with no less than seven German suplexes. He tries for the Olympic Slam but Austin avoids it with a rake to the eyes. Over in the corner, they fight over a superplex with Austin landing it on the second attempt, adding a level of realism to the struggle that so few workers seem to do. A Stunner out of nowhere gets a two count, visibly pissing Austin off, and a second one puts Angle on the floor where Austin shoves him into the steel post six times to draw blood, as he’d previously promised to do on RAW.

They brawl into the crowd where Austin suplexes Angle on the concrete, but Angle catches Austin with the Anklelock and actually drags him over the guardrail, up the steel steps, through the ropes and back into the ring without letting go, creating a visual reminiscent of the Austin-Bret Hart Sharpshooter spot from WrestleMania 13, only this time it’s Angle who’s the one basically bleeding to death. Back on the floor, Angle fires off suplexes of the belly-to-belly and backdrop variety, then heads back inside for a moonsault which actually connects, a move he’d legitimately broken Hardcore Holly’s arm with previously. Running out of weaponry, Austin actually breaks out the Million Dollar Dream allowing JR to make Ringmaster references, and they call back to the finish of the Austin-Hart Survivor Series ‘96 match, with Angle pushing off the top turnbuckle to roll into a pin. Austin’s learnt from his past however, and keeps the hold applied to avoid defeat. Man, that’s some deep psychology right there.

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Desperate now, Austin hits a third Stunner and still only gets two. He recognises however that the end is now near, and smugly smirks before going for another Stunner… only for Angle to grab Austin’s boot and counter with probably the most sudden yet super smooth counter into the Olympic Slam you’ll ever see. Angle follows with another ankle lock attempt, so Austin, now running on empty, punches referee Earl Hebner square in the face to avoid defeat. Angle scores with a DDT so second referee Mike Chioda runs in to make the pin, but Austin kicks out and gives him a Stunner. That brings out third ref Tim White, who blocks Austin’s attempt at decking Angle with the title belt. Annoyed, Austin blasts White with it instead.

Kurt hits another Olympic Slam and makes the cover but with no WWF referees left, crooked WCW official Nick Patrick comes out… and disqualifies Austin for his referee abuse, ensuring the title stays with the Alliance. That’s exactly the kind of finish you get when you’ve got a freshly-turned babyface star whom it’s too early to beat, but you’re also in the midst of an ongoing angle that requires you keep the title on the heel. Still, it did at least build to a rematch at Unforgiven the next month, although real life would play a serious hand in the outcome of that when America began looking for a national hero in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Interestingly, WWF writer Ed Koskey later revealed that his original plan was to have Angle beat Austin so badly that Austin needed to get himself disqualified to save the title. Austin apparently changed the booking to what we actually saw, presumably because he didn’t want to appear weak as the lead heel in the promotion, and didn’t want the hot new babyface to be so aggressive as to draw any sympathy for him. Either way, this match was absolutely awesome, even with the cheap ending.

Final Rating: ****1/2

27 August 2014
bobdahlstrom:

Once upon a time when Cody was in Evolution, (AGGGH I FUCKED UP I MEANT LEGACY. But Legacy sucked anyway so what’s it really matter.) I, along with many other people, thought Ted Dibiase Jr. was the better of the two of them. But then a funny thing happened. Cody kept getting better while Ted kept doing nothing. I started to really like Cody’s matches a lot. First he was dashing, then he got the Doctor Doom mask and acted like a super villain. My wrestling friends couldn’t get into him but I thought the dude was great. I think Cody now is just awesome, and I think he’s one of the more underrated guys in the WWE.I once heard Colt Cabana say that El Generico is the most underrated man in wrestling, and that’s hard for me to disagree with. I’ve seen him wrestle live a whole bunch of times, and he’s just so much fun to watch. He’s got a great move set and is just really solid all around.I think this match would be awesome. Funny thing about Cody…I’ve drawn him twice and each time he changed his ring attire like, three days later. (This has been done for a bit, I just never posted it, hehe.)

bobdahlstrom:

Once upon a time when Cody was in Evolution, (AGGGH I FUCKED UP I MEANT LEGACY. But Legacy sucked anyway so what’s it really matter.) I, along with many other people, thought Ted Dibiase Jr. was the better of the two of them. But then a funny thing happened. Cody kept getting better while Ted kept doing nothing. I started to really like Cody’s matches a lot. First he was dashing, then he got the Doctor Doom mask and acted like a super villain. My wrestling friends couldn’t get into him but I thought the dude was great. I think Cody now is just awesome, and I think he’s one of the more underrated guys in the WWE.

I once heard Colt Cabana say that El Generico is the most underrated man in wrestling, and that’s hard for me to disagree with. I’ve seen him wrestle live a whole bunch of times, and he’s just so much fun to watch. He’s got a great move set and is just really solid all around.

I think this match would be awesome. Funny thing about Cody…I’ve drawn him twice and each time he changed his ring attire like, three days later. (This has been done for a bit, I just never posted it, hehe.)

25 August 2014

NOT Monday Night RAW - 23.08.1993

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Venue: Mid-Hudson Civic Center, New York City, NY
Crowd: 3000
Taped: 16.08.93 / 22.08.93
Show Length: 45:56
Total Wrestling: 11:12 / 24.4%
TV Rating: 2.8

"This is NOT Monday Night RAW" says Vince McMahon, who instead introduces us to highlights from last night’s SummerSlam Spectacular which they’ve been hyping up for weeks. Vince and Bobby Heenan host from the studio, while Jim Ross and Gorilla Monsoon are your commentators.

WWF Tag Team Titles, Steel Cage Match: The Steiner Brothers (c) vs. Money, Inc.

The only way to win is for both team members to climb out of the cage, with no pins or submissions, and no using the door either. It seems almost unfair on the Steiners to have them defend the belts in such a brutal environment just a week before SummerSlam. Although Ted DiBiase’s last RAW match happened last week, this was actually taped directly after that show. The RAW banners are even still up, which is incredibly lazy. I guess they didn’t want to waste any money on a SummerSlam Spectacular banner they’d only use once though. Cheapskates. 

Money, Inc. both try to escape immediately but get thwarted and pair off with the Steiners, who try duelling escapes too. It’s too early for that though, so DiBiase brings Scott back in with a back suplex and now it’s Money, Inc.’s turn to try and leave. Schyster’s tie is his downfall this time. JR puts over what a unique match this is, and I guess it is a rarity but it’s certainly not the first instance of a team cage match.

Back from commercial, Scott has escaped, which is a pretty stupid tactic on his part since it leaves Rick at a 2-on-1 disadvantage. Pleasingly he at least realises this and climbs back in, even allowing IRS to escape to give his team the numbers advantage. DiBiase soon finds himself tied upside down in the cage, giving the Steiners the chance to try and leave together so IRS comes back to stop them. It must be said that for all the convoluted situations here, the wrestlers involved really are making the best of it. The psychology has been excellent, much better than other examples of team cage matches the WWF produced.

Rick misses the point by climbing out alone, which is fine since his character is supposed to be a little bit off-the-wall anyway, and Scott inevitably gets double-teamed until Rick motions to get back in. It turns out that Scott doesn’t need him as he hits a desperation clothesline that puts all three guys down. Scott recovers and tries to escape but Money, Inc. prevent him, then go for the win themselves with DiBiase climbing out on one side. Rick runs around to the other side however and puts the descending IRS on his shoulders so IRS can’t hit the deck, and an unimpeded Scott manages to escape, giving the Steiners the title-retaining win. What a brilliantly unique spot that was. A superb match, easily the best IRS was ever involved in, and the best blue-barred tag team cage match I’ve ever seen. Quite a way for DiBiase to go out in style too.

Time: 8:03 / Final Rating: ****

- Backstage, Jim Cornette puts over the Steiners’ wrestling ability, but says the Heavenly Bodies are better fighters with more stamina. Jimmy Del Rey adds that the Steiners will go from champs to chumps. Short and succinct.

- Meanwhile, Vince chastises Heenan for not calling the SummerSlam Hotline. Maybe he just didn’t want to pay 99c a minute to listen to 'Mean' Gene blowing hot air! Unbelievably, Vince literally spends more than five minutes going on and on and his rip-off hotline. Dude, push the pay-per-view, not this!

- Elsewhere, Jerry Lawler talks to an Elvis impersonator in a pink Cadillac. What, his cousin wasn’t available? The gimmick here is that this is supposed to be the real Elvis and he’s tired of impersonators, like Bret Hart impersonating a king. JR calls them both jerks, and Hart tells Lawler he crossed the line by bringing his family into it before promising to mutilate him at ”the SummerSlam”. Bret loved putting unnecessary prefixes on show and promotion names. Quite a passionate promo here.

- Interview Time: The Undertaker explains the rules of his unfairly skewed “Rest in Peace match” by ludicrously claiming he’ll remove all of Giant Gonzalez' organs and take his soul, a rather lovely mental image for a family show. Gonzalez, as you can imagine, isn't particularly thrilled at the prospect of dismemberment, and comes out to growl like a grumpy bear. And we still don't know what a “Rest in Peace match” is!

- Who is Lex Luger? The grand finale of an unspeakably dull five-part series of sit-down interviews with Luger, who talks about Japan and how he got the metal plate in his arm. His monotone delivery and general unlikeable nature makes these segments way worse than if someone with charisma had done them. Mick Foley did something similar on RAW in 1997 and got himself over in a major way. All Luger does is blow smoke and figuratively jerk off America. Subtlety goes a long way Vince, you should try it sometime. Heenan essentially calls him out on this all being too much, so Vince responds with a soliloquy so emotional and patriotic in Luger’s defence that it should have been backdropped by an orchestra playing a sad tune. It reminds me of Bill Pullman’s speech in Independence Day. Did any American fans really not see through this transparent fluff?

Yokozuna vs. ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan

Duggan is only slightly less credible an opponent than Luger, which isn’t a compliment to Duggan. Again, they’re subtle with who they program Yokozuna against aren’t they? This is a grudge match, with Yokozuna having put Duggan on the shelf a few months ago following a few Banzai Drops. The crowd is red hot for Duggan in this and explode when he clotheslines and knocks down Yokozuna. ‘Hacksaw’ celebrates like he just won the WWF title in a scene eerily prescient of Luger’s hollow SummerSlam victory. Duggan looks to follow up the clothesline with the Three Point Stance, otherwise known as a clothesline. Why didn’t he just pin him after the first one? Duggan is distracted by Mr. Fuji and gets squashed in the corner, and the Banzai Drop finishes in short order. I think a fair bit of this was cut due to the ad break, but what we got here was far more entertaining than you would ever imagine given who was involved.

Time: 3:09 / Final Rating: *3/4

- Post-match, Yokozuna shoves over the referee and looks to crush Duggan’s ribs again but some more officials come out to prevent it. You might think Luger would be the one to make the save, but no. What a babyface, eh?

- Backstage, Cornette says Yokozuna has become a rabid animal, and at SummerSlam he’ll be unleashed, adding that Luger asked for this match, so whatever happens will be on his own head. Cornette is so good that he actually makes me want to re-watch Yokozuna-Luger! Of course, that’s exactly the reason he was brought in for this role.

- Over to Vince again, who says Luger is “already a certifiable bona-fide American hero.” Oh, come on now! To add a layer of treacle to the Americana fluff, we get Luger’s awfully pandering music video, complete with shots of Lex looking wistful while riding the Lex Express. There’s barely any footage of him actually wrestling, which could be seen as a damning indictment of why his push ultimately failed. You can put all the promotional power you want behind something, but the “product” has got to be good in order to be sustainable. With Lex, it wasn’t.

- No RAW next week because of SummerSlam. On a Monday! And no RAW the week after that either because of the U.S. Open. Things sure were different back in ‘93.

———

THE RAW RECAP

Most Entertaining: Rick Steiner. His superb spot to close the cage match gets him the nod, although Jim Cornette deserves a mention for making Yokozuna vs. Lex Luger feel like a must-see main event match.

Least Entertaining: Lex Luger. The word “grating” springs to mind. 

Quote of the Night: “The man is baffling!” - Bobby Heenan about Lex Luger. What’s truly baffling is the extent of his push and the ultimately underwhelming conclusion to it.

Match of the Night: The Steiners vs. Money, Inc. Ted DiBiase goes out in style with a really excellent cage match. Notable for its intelligence rather than its violence, the drama, pacing and psychology make it a real hidden gem

Verdict: It’s a hype show, and not really a Monday Night RAW, but it’s a pretty entertaining show in places. Some of it is useless and Vince’s speech will make you feel almost sick, such is its cloying nature, but the cage match eats up a fair portion of the proceedings and is well worth checking out. The lack of pointless squash matches and a focus on top guys only makes this the best edition of “RAW" in almost two months.

Rating: 44

———

ALSO AVAILABLE:

The Raw Files: 1994

The RAW Files: 1994

The team at HistoryOfWrestling.info who brought you The Complete WWF Video Guide series are back with this companion piece documenting every episode of the the WWF/WWE’s flagship show Monday Night RAW year by year!

We cover every angle, segment and match in detail and offer plenty of insight and interesting facts along the way.

Learn about:

  • Tatanka’s ill-advised heel turn!
  • The madness of the Macho Man on commentary!
  • The WWF’s struggle with the departure of key stars!
  • The New Generation taking hold!
  • Vince McMahon’s obsession with Roseanne Barr!
  • Kanyon and the Hardy Boyz as enhancement talent!
  • The rise to prominence of the 123 Kid!
  • Bob Backlund crossface chicken-winging on everyone in sight!
  • Much, much more!

102 pages!

Written and presented in the usual History of Wrestling style, with various awards, match and show listings, and a host of star ratings for fans to debate at will.

Click here to order in paperback from Lulu.com!

Click here to order on Kindle from Amazon!

24 August 2014
23 August 2014
22 August 2014
21 August 2014

TLC: Edge & Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. The Hardy Boyz

- This review has been reprinted here with permission from the History of Wrestling book The Complete WWF Video Guide, Volume 5 - Attitude: The Invasion Years.

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[SummerSlam, 27.08.2000 - Raleigh Enterainment and Sports Arena, Raliegh, NC]

If Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon set new standards for spectacular gimmick bouts with their ladder matches together in 1994 and 1995, then Edge, Christian, the Hardy Boyz and the Dudley Boyz raised the bar to previously unimaginable heights at the turn of the century with their incredible table, ladder and chair-based stunt festivals. Unofficially kicking off in October 1999 when doubles ladder match put Edge, Christian and the Hardys on the map at No Mercy, the Dudleys were added to the mix for a sensational triple team ladder bout that stole the show at the otherwise meek WrestleMania 2000. Since then, the Dudleys have introduced regular table-smashing to WWF audiences, while ‘chair expertise’ has been crowbarred in as the speciality of Edge & Christian, giving each tandem a foreign object-based gimmick. And now, for the very first time, those elements are about to come to a head, and the results are spectacular…

One of the many great things about the match is how it escalates in nuttiness, the spots getting bigger and bigger and bigger as they go. For example, they throw chairs at one another before the ladders even come into play, and when they do, nobody goes crashing through any tables for a good little while. It’s perfect that way because you “Ooh!” and “Ahh!” at each spot slightly crazier than the last, but they never feel like they’re regressing at any point. Christian for instance takes a Full Nelson Bomb off a ladder which draws very audible gasps from the audience, a reaction it might not have enjoyed had the tables already been in play. Jeff then gets pushed onto a ladder balanced atop another, creating a see-saw effect that whacks Matt in the face. On the one hand that’s a great spot, because unlike a lot of ladder-based spots, you just don’t see it coming. One the other hand, it’s the same spot that caused Joey Mercury’s nose to explode in disgusting fashion at Armageddon 2006, so I certainly wouldn’t recommend it to anyone with a ladder match in their immediate future.

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The tables are then brought in with Christian eating a 3D through one, usually a sure-fire match-ender, but not here. The Dudleys then stack two tables side-by-side atop two other tables, but Edge cuts them off with a chair before they can do anything with them. That’s yet another great thing about this match because so often in these types of matches you’ll see someone set up a table only to crash through it seconds later in the most blatantly contrived manner possible. Sabu was notorious for it in ECW, but here it makes total sense that the Dudleys would set the tables up this way since they had success with a similar set-up just two months ago at King of the Ring, where they powerbombed Road Dogg from the ring through two stacked up tables, and the fact they get cut off by Edge means you completely forget the tables are set up in that manner anyway, making their eventual impact that much greater.

I also think six guys across three teams is probably the perfect number for this kind of match, because it allows for 2-4 guys at a time to rest and/or stay out of the way (under the pretense of selling of course) while those left standing perform their next high spot. When you have more guys in the match (such as later Money in the Bank ladder matches with 10 wrestlers in there), you’d see guys drop to the floor and play dead for lengthy periods after just a couple of minutes, having taken moves that weren’t particularly impactful-looking, and it hurts the credibility somewhat. You don’t get that here because you also have the advantage of passing off somebody’s lack of involvement as taking a respite if their partner remains active. Simply put, the tag team format of the match allows Jeff Hardy to spend a few minutes selling the pain after missing a senton off a giant ladder through a table (on the outside, mind you), but also spend a few extra moments catching his breath even after recovering as big brother Matt goes to war in the ring. I also loved that Bubba moved on that senton since he got nailed with it once before, in the aforementioned WrestleMania 2000 match. Progressive psychology at its finest.

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Remember those four tables the Dudleys parked on the outside of the ring? Bubba clambers up the giant ladder (now firmly planted in the ring), but gets pushed off sideways by Edge and Christian, sending him flying over the top, through the tables, and ending up a broken heap on the floor. Absolutely insane, and how he never blew his shoulder or elbow (or both) out doing a stunt that risky, I’ll never know. And that’s not even the most ridiculous bump of the match! Lita runs in a returns fire by pushing Edge and Christian sideways off the ladder, resulting in them both landing balls-first across the top rope, and then Matt begins to climb the ladder in what pretty much everyone had pegged as the big hometown hero finish. Not so. D-Von recovers just in time to tip the ladder from the opposite side, sending Matt over the top through two ringside tables BACKWARDS. He could easily have broken his neck doing that, especially if he’d come down across the ringside barrier. Just absolutely bonkers.

You’d think that would be it for the nuttiness, but Lita goes to check on Matt so Edge blasts her with a stiff spear, her head landing barely an inch away from the cold, sharp edge of an errant ladder laid across the floor. You think about how sore everyone in this match must have been for a month afterwards, but they’re playing with such narrow margins that even watching it back years later you can’t help but grimace at how close they all came to doing permanent damage had they just been a couple of inches either side off target.

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Finally, Jeff and D-Von, the last apparent survivors of this whole incredible car wreck, climb up and each grab a belt, but Edge and Christian pull the ladder out from beneath them, resulting in an impromptu game of Hang Tough. D-Von suddenly falls flat on his back, leaving Jeff alone with the belts for the second false finish as the crowd just absolutely explodes… but he can’t get enough purchase to unhook the belts, so Edge and Christian SWAT him down with a ladder, then climb it to retrieve the belts. 

Just absolutely incredible stuff that built and built and built to the finish with the spots getting riskier and more intense as they went along, and just when you thought they couldn’t top themselves, they did over and over again. Perhaps even better than that was that not a single spot was missed, nothing felt out of place, everything was completely organic, it ebbed and flowed like any great pro wrestling battle should… Obviously there’ll be some who feel a stunt show like this shouldn’t compare to a technical classic, but wrestling has many forms, and as far as those stunt shows go, this one was damn well perfection.

Final Rating: *****

———

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The Complete WWF Video Guide, Volume 5: Invasion! The Death of WWF

An invaluable resource for any wrestling fan of the era, this is fifth and final entry in the series of WWF/WWE Video Guide books from the team at HistoryOfWrestling.info.

A complete guide to every WWF VHS release from October 1999 to May 2002 with full reviews of every tape, alternative wrestler bios, exclusive artwork by Bob Dahlstrom, awards, match ratings, and much, much more.

Learn about:

  • The failed WCW and ECW invasion angle!
  • The failed heel turn of Steve Austin!
  • The failed WWF run of the nWo!
  • The rise of Triple H to genuine main event star!
  • The rise of The Rock to genuine to genuine Hollywood star!
  • The return of Ric Flair!
  • The evolution of the ladder and TLC matches!
  • The mystery of who ran over Steve Austin!
  • The first business exposing season of Tough Enough!
  • The vast increase in Diva VHS releases!
  • The classic (and not so classic) matches!

By far the biggest book the HOW team have ever compiled, featuring more in-depth analysis and controversial commentary than ever before!

368 pages!

Click to order in paperback from Lulu.com!

Kindle edition also available worldwide from Amazon!

20 August 2014
19 August 2014
18 August 2014

Monday Night RAW #30 - 16.08.1993

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Venue: Mid-Hudson Civic Center, New York City, NY
Crowd: 3000
Taped: 08.16.93
Show Length: 47:17
Total Wrestling: 17:59 / 38%
TV Rating: 3.2

123 Kid vs. Ted DiBiase

This is a fun way to start. Kid actually holds a victory over DiBiase, having beaten him a few weeks ago on TV thanks to a distraction from Razor Ramon. This is technically DiBiase’s last appearance as a wrestler on RAW and he’s quick out of the blocks, desperate to get revenge for his humiliation. Razor actually calls in to offer his thoughts, but has little to say. The Kid spends a large part of the early going on the outside as DiBiase dominates in the ring. The Kid manages a few dropkicks and a messy headscissors/crossbody hybrid, but soon gets beaten back down. He finally gets some momentum, but IRS runs down and pushes him off the top rope for a DQ. Kid wins again!

Money, Inc. beat on the Kid after the bell but the Steiner Brothers come out to make the save, despite having recently been programmed with the Heavenly Bodies, and DiBiase with Ramon. That was actually done to set up next week’s free-to-air SummerSlam Spectacular, but surely they should have been hyping the money-generating pay-per-view ahead of that? Focus, WWF, focus! The match wasn’t bad, but it was structurally odd and the Kid spent far too much time on the outside, hurting the flow somewhat.

Time: 4:45 / Final Rating: **1/4

The Headshrinkers vs. Mike Khoury & Dave Moraldo

Dave Moraldo looks like a 70’s pornstar. Khoury only had a four year career, doing jobs for the stars in both the WWF and WCW. He actually formed a tag title winning team with fellow 1993 RAW jobber Dan Dubiel, aka Johnny Handsome, in a Mid-Atlantic independent. Man, the rest of their roster must have been the pits if those two were the cream of their tag teaming crop.

Samu has been known to maul jobbers for our entertainment, and things start pleasingly with a nasty chop and savat kick. Moraldo sells it like John Cena, doing a full on “dead sell”, though thankfully without the superhuman comeback. Samu has to roll him to his corner and bring Khoury in the hard way. The Headshrinkers double team Khoury, and Moraldo is still out cold some two minutes later! Commitment to the cause, or legitimately knocked out? Even Vince sounds worried about him. Fatu hits the splash off the top on Khoury and that finishes things. Moraldo is still out as The Headshrinkers celebrate the win. Is he dead?

Time: 3:08 / Final Rating: *1/2

- Backstage, Bastion Booger is eating WWF branded ice cream to, erm, warm up for his match with Marty Jannetty.

Marty Jannetty vs. Bastion Booger

This is something of a styles clash. Booger’s gimmick is of course that he is a fat slob, and he falls out of the ring early on so Jannetty nails him with an axe handle off the apron and then a slingshot tope. Jannetty looks rather casual here, like the match is an inconvenience to him. Everything Booger does just looks so sloppy, which I’ve got to pin on the gimmick because Mike Shaw was never this bad pre-WWF. Booger is still worlds better than Friar Ferguson though, one of the worst characters I’ve ever seen. Booger sits down onto Jannetty who reverses into a sunset flip to quickly finish things. Why did they even bother with this match? Evidently someone enjoyed it, because it actually turns up on the Columbia House VHS release Best of WWF Fan Favorites.

Time: 4:46 / Final Rating: 1/4*

- Interview Time: Money, Inc. Haven’t we seen enough of IRS on this show already? This is Monday Night RAW, not Coliseum Video, one appearance from him is more than plenty! They don’t have much to say either, beyond hyping their cage match with the Steiners at the SummerSlam Spectacular. A whole lot of hot air.

Men on a Mission vs. ‘Iron’ Mike Sharpe & Barry Horowitz

"Whoa, where am I?" says Vince as the camera turns upside down during Men on a Mission’s entrance, presumably because the weight of Mabel caused a minor localised earthquake. "I’m on Monday Night RAW! I know where I am!” It’s good to know he can keep track! The ridiculous Sharpe brings his usual ear-rantingly loud selling, only this time doing it from the apron as Horowitz gets a brief bit of offence in. MOM soon come to dominate however, thanks mostly to Mabel’s girth, and they rap… er, wrap things up in short order. Not exactly one for the highlight reel.

Time: 2:08 / Final Rating: 1/4*

- Who Is Lex Luger? - The neverending Luger sitdown interview continues as Lex proudly boasts of never having had a drug problem. Just give it a few years, buddy. He also denies taking steroids but does admit to using them before they were illegal, in the line Hulk Hogan was supposed to have used during his infamous 1991 appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show. Clearly the message the WWF wants you to take from this is that Luger is a clean-cut All-American hero and perfect replacement for the shamed ‘Hulkster’. This was the best of these interviews by far and is actually pretty interesting to hear Vince McMahon and one of his wrestlers mention the word “steroids”, a topic usually high on the list of banned subjects in the promotion.

Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Rich Myers

Myers is another porn star-looking jobber and has a ridiculously long blonde mullet. He’s also performed in the same jobber-collecting indy promotion as Khoury and Dubiel. Bigelow kills him with a back suplex then sends him careening halfway across the ring with a huge shoulderblock. Bam Bam is up there with the Steiners and Samu as a wonderful jobber killer, but spends rather too much time here just jawing with the crowd while doing stomps. He makes up for it with a suplex which is just plain cruel, stalling Myers in the air then just letting go. A vicious slam is followed by the diving headbutt, and that completes the demolition job. Poor Myers. He actually bumped around really well for Bigelow here and made him look absolutely vicious. No wonder he ended up working for the WWF on and off for four years.

Time: 3:12 / Final Rating: *1/2

- Meanwhile, Randy Savage has been promising a surprise all night long and now, finally, here it is: The Macho Midget with the RAW Girls. That is Gobbledygooker-levels of let-down.

- And finally, for the third week running. I’m forced to suffer though another dreadful music video from the dire WrestleMania: The Album, the time the SummerSlam Jam. The lyrics in the chorus are completely indecipherable and still cause debate today but really, who cares? It’s a bad song with an annoyingly catchy hook that sticks in your brain and eats away at it for the rest of the day. 



———

THE RAW RECAP

Most Entertaining: Dave Moraldo. Some place out there, he’s still selling the effects of that Samu savat kick.

Least Entertaining: Bastion Booger. He just sucks. 

Quote of the Night: “Coming up next is mom, not my mom, but Men on a Mission!” - Randy Savage makes sure there is no doubt.

Match of the Night: The 123 Kid vs. Ted DiBiase. Too short and generally a bit of a letdown, with DiBiase too broken down to give the Bret Hart/Shawn Michaels-type treatment to Kid, but still the best match on the show.

Verdict: Of the things promised at the end of last week’s show, only one of them was delivered, and that was MOM in a 2-minute squash. Where was the Gonzalez interview? Where was the Borga appearance? What happened to IRS being in action? (not that I am sorry for that not taking place). What we were left with was alright at times, but never ventured above ordinary, and the result is a pretty humdrum show. I am noticing a worrying pattern in August, with the shows getting slightly worse each week. That doesn’t bode well for what is to come.

Rating: 29

———

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The Raw Files: 1994

The RAW Files: 1994

The team at HistoryOfWrestling.info who brought you The Complete WWF Video Guide series are back with this companion piece documenting every episode of the the WWF/WWE’s flagship show Monday Night RAW year by year!

We cover every angle, segment and match in detail and offer plenty of insight and interesting facts along the way.

Learn about:

  • Tatanka’s ill-advised heel turn!
  • The madness of the Macho Man on commentary!
  • The WWF’s struggle with the departure of key stars!
  • The New Generation taking hold!
  • Vince McMahon’s obsession with Roseanne Barr!
  • Kanyon and the Hardy Boyz as enhancement talent!
  • The rise to prominence of the 123 Kid!
  • Bob Backlund crossface chicken-winging on everyone in sight!
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Written and presented in the usual History of Wrestling style, with various awards, match and show listings, and a host of star ratings for fans to debate at will.

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17 August 2014

John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar certainly had a different look and feel to it back in 2002!

 
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