The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 07.04.94
Taped from White Plains, NY
Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Randy Savage
Jeff Jarrett v. Tatanka
Tatanka attacks to start, perhaps because he’s angry about July 4 and having his land stolen and whatnot. Powerslam gets two. Suplex gets two. JJ takes him down for a headlock and works on that, but Tatanka comes back with his own. He holds onto that while we cut to the table with the announcers talking about all the exciting action of the New Generation. That’s right, you wouldn’t see headlocks from those washed up 80s stars! Jeff finally tosses him to break that headlock, and beats him on the floor. Question: Is Jarrett’s yellow and purple polka dot outfit here objectively one of the worst ever? I’m no scientician, but it’s breaking my brain a little. They continue fighting on the floor and Tatanka gets sent into the post and counted out at 6:13. But Jarrett didn’t come all the way to New York to win by countout! So we restart the match (after Jarrett threatens Savage again to further a feud that never went anywhere) and take a break. Back with Jarrett holding the chinlock and then into a sleeper, as Gorilla does a weird “Do you think his DADDY taught him that one?” aside to Savage, who totally no-sells it. Is THAT where they were supposed to be leading with this, I wonder? A Jarretts v. Poffos rehash? Tatanka makes the comeback with chops for two and a DDT for two. Tatanka goes up with the flying chop for two and Jarrett bails to escape and takes a walk, but Doink chases him back into the ring and Tatanka rolls him up for the pin at 16:13. They did that “JJ gives up the countout win and then blows it” finish around the horn for months until it was a regular thing with him, and then totally reversed the gag at Royal Rumble to subvert expectations. Pretty decent match here. **1/2
The King’s Court with 1-2-3 Kid. Lawler is cheering the Kid on because he wants Bret to lose and be humiliated, but Kid won’t stoop to Lawler’s level and cheat. That Sean Waltman, wholesome and virtuous!
Jim Neidhart v. Gary Scott
Owen debuts his new gear here, which would last him quite a long time, actually. Neidhart beats on the jobber and hangs him in the Tree of Woe, then goes to the chinlock while Owen rants to the camera. Anvil finishes with the powerslam at 3:47. See, again the advantage of having jobbers around, because otherwise Neidhart would never get a win in his return tour.
Duke Droese v. Iron Mike Sharpe
Sharpe is unable to slam Droese, thus undermining his claim of being Canada’s Strongest Man. Droese takes him down and drops an elbow on the leg, but Sharpe comes back and pounds away on him. Droese runs him into two of the turnbuckles for a 10-count and gets a suplex for two. Sharpe chokes him out and tries a piledriver, but Duke powers out and drops the elbow for the pin at 4:00. Savage dubs it the “high spinning elbow”.
GO GET ‘EM, CHAMP! I’ll let others make the jokes about the kid having tears in his eyes and stuff. My favorite was later on when Diesel was champion and they were making a big deal about how WWF stars always sign autographs, using KEVIN NASH as an example of someone who’s fan friendly.
“The Undertaker” v. Mike Bell
Brian Lee is noticeably shorter than Mean Mark, but he’s definitely got the mannerisms down. However, as a fan this was always as ridiculously confusing angle to me. Like, the announcers treated it like this really was the Undertaker and Dibiase has paid him off or something, but clearly it was a different guy and I could never figure out if we were supposed to know that. Especially when the real one came back. I don’t think they knew either, and that’s probably why it was such a colossal flop of an angle. Anyway, Underfaker goes through the classic stuff, although he does the flying clothesline wrong. Tombstone finishes at 4:00, and when he flips his hair aside to deliver the move you can totally see it’s the wrong guy. Paul Bearer comes out and they act like Undertaker might betray Dibiase, which again is why it was so confusing. Dibiase uses a fist full of cash to sway him back for some reason. What a stupid storyline this all was, and none of it made any sense whatsoever.
Next week: Bret Hart v. The Kid! The 1-2-3 Kid, not the kid from the earlier “HEY BRET!” video segment. Although that would be pretty funny, too.