The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 12.19.94 Taped from Liberty, NY Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Shawn Michaels Lex Luger v. IRS Shawn is immediately snarking on the bored flagbearer, but history has shown that even lowly flagbearers can go on to head up talent relations of a major wrestling promotion. Lex overpowers him as Vince recaps the backstory to this match and accuses the Million Dollar Corporation members of being druids. This marks the first time in months that name “Nikolai Volkoff” has even been mentioned, by the way. I just presumed he was fired long ago. Lex with a slam and clothesline for two, but he gets distracted by a druid and attacked from behind. I remember back in 1995 RSPW was losing their shit trying to predict what the wacky payoff for the masked druids would be and who would debut under the hoods. The answer: Nothing and no one, in that order. We take a break and return with IRS getting a suplex for two, and a backbreaker for two. We hit the chinlock, but Luger fights out and makes the comeback with a kneelift. Yet again he chases the druid, and IRS rolls him up for two. This prompts a brawl at ringside, as the druid is unmasked as Tatanka and Luger is counted out at 7:00. *1/2 Let us take you back to Superstars, as the Million Dollar Team actually WINS A MATCH, advancing over Men on a Mission in the first round of the tag team tournament. Meanwhile, poor Finkel gets training advice from the Bushwackers. Meanwhile, Jeff Jarrett travels to Bally’s, which is actually the hotel I stayed at in Vegas. Unfortunately he runs into Rip Taylor, who I imagine Vince thought of as the height of edgy comedy. The Smoking Gunns v. Roy Raymond & Chris Avery Shawn just buries the Gunns, calling them a couple of “Rexall cowboys” and not a real Texan like him. He is single-handedly saving these shows with his commentary. The Gunns double-team Raymond, but Avery comes in with a headlock on Bart, but they take him down and Billy drops an elbow. Bart with some rather stiff chops and they hit the double legsweep while Vince puts over bullriding. Shawn: “I think we all know what the Heartbreak Kid is into riding, and it ain’t bulls.” Sidewinder and their other unnamed finisher end it at 4:00. The King’s Court with Mr. Bob Backlund. I love Bob from this era, but ENOUGH already with him. Watching these shows in succession is just too much Bob. And then Backlund calls out KEVIN NASH, which has Shawn immediately snarking on him. “You hear that, McMahon? Kevin Nash. You know who that is?” Just the tone makes the line brilliant. Vince ignores Bob’s obvious snafu, and then no-sells Shawn’s mocking call-out of it as well. What a car wreck. Bob Holly v. Chris Canyon Hey, speaking of car wrecks, it’s Bob Holly. Although I will refrain from any auto racing jokes for obvious reasons. Anyway, Canyon gets some of his shit in, but Holly puts him down with a chinlock while Vince tries to get a commitment for Shawn about the Royal Rumble. Holly finishes with the Overhead Cam at 3:39. Royal Rumble Report! Diesel v. Bret Hart headlines, and Diesel has some comments in something approaching a normal voice instead of his usual fake tough guy accent. Sure, just change everything about the guy, why not. The Bushwackers v. Well Dunn Finkel is cornering the Wackers, which is a new low even by his low standards of self-esteem. The Bushwackers clear the ring, but Well Dunn traps Luke in the corner and beats on him. Blind charge misses, however, and it’s hot tag Butch as Shawn just buries the match with scathing sarcasm. Harvey tries to interfere, but Fink pulls his pants down while the Bushwackers win somehow at 4:30. So this was a thing that happened. DUD Meanwhile, Mabel visits Santa. Hilarity ensues. Jim Neidhart v. Nick Barberri HOW MUCH LONGER IS THIS SHOW? Neidhart pounds away and backdrops the poor guy to the floor, then finishes him with a camel clutch at 2:00. At least it was quick. This was pretty much the end of the line for Anvil, as he and Owen lost in the first round of the tournament and he disappeared until 1997. Next week: Shawn Michaels reveals his Xmas gift, plus British Bulldog v. Tatanka. And HOG debuts! Are we at the Nitro era yet?