May 16, 1994
From the Green Mountain State Arena in Morrisville, VT
Your hosts are Vince McMahon and “Macho Man” Randy Savage
Before the show opens we are shown a hype video for tonight’s sumo match between Earthquake and Yokozuna
King of the Ring Qualifying Match: Bam Bam Bigelow w/ Luna Vachon vs. Thurman “Sparky” Plugg
Luna is rocking blue gear tonight. Bigelow shoves Plugg through the ropes Plugg re-enters then fends off an attack and sends Bigelow through the ropes with a dropkick. The announcers have already run through tons of race car related puns. Bigelow heads back in and misses a splash but is able to catch Plugg with a powerslam for a nearfall. Plugg fights back from the corner but Bigelow cuts him off with a headbutt. Bigelow stays in control until he eats boot in the corner. Bigelow comes back with an enziguiri for a nearfall as Vince screams “what do you have to do to beat Sparky Plugg!” Bigelow now uses a chin lock as Luna calls Plugg a “crash dummy.” Bigelow sends Plugg down with a knee smash then hits a falling headbutt for another nearfall. Bigelow beats on Plugg in the corner and follows up with another falling headbutt. Plugg avoid an avalanche in the corner and comes back with a bulldog. Plugg then hits a DDT and heads up top for a flying body press that gets two. Small package gets two. Plugg hammers away then brings Bigelow to his knee after a pair of clotheslines but Luna grabs Plugg’s leg and that allows Bigelow to attack from behind then put Plugg away with a slingshot splash (6:29) **1/4.
Thoughts: Decent enough match here with Vince really selling Plugg as a resilient underdog. Really, Vince did a hell of a job telling that story but I don’t think this crowd really bought Plugg as a threat. The story of Bigelow, who was the runner up in last year’s King of the Ring, being a favorite this year is back in play. However, Bigelow has been downplayed as of late.
King of the Ring Report with Todd Pettengill. We see Pettengill plug the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto that is a small part of this Piper/Lawler feud. We also learn that Bigelow will face Razor Ramon in the first round at the PPV. They also plugged Lex Luger vs. Jeff Jarrett in the KotR qualifying match this Saturday on “Superstars.”
Diesel vs. Mike Maraldo
Diesel tosses Maraldo by the throat then shrugs off some punches before tossing Maraldo over the top rope by the throat. Diesel heads out to smash Maraldo’s head off of the apron then rolls him back inside for the big boot. Vince plugs Diesel vs. Razor for the WrestleMania Revenge tour as Diesel works a bearhug. Diesel then raises his arm before hitting a side slam. Diesel now chokes out Maraldo with his boot in the corner as the announcers talk about the Diesel vs. Bret title match at King of the Ring and how Shawn Michaels was in Miami this week with various celebrities. Diesel stays in control then finally puts Maraldo away with the Jackknife after pumping his arm a few times (3:02).
Thoughts: Once again the mega-push of Diesel on commentary continues. They also explained the Michaels absence due to him being in Miami.
We see a gas station worker claim to have seen The Undertaker on top of a hearse that was coming down the street then says he vanished before approaching the station. Good god this is stupid.
King’s Court with guests Ted DiBiase & Nikolai Volkoff. Lawler insults the “repulsive” crowd then says he is going to destroy Piper at the King of the Ring before introducing his guests, who came in during the commercial break. DiBiase tells us how Volkoff is broke as both DiBiase & Lawler laugh. DiBiase says everyone has a price and makes fun of Volkoff for hating him despite working for him and the fact he is broke means he will do whatever he says. DiBiase then asks Lawler how Volkoff looks. Lawler says Volkoff looks like ten cents as DiBiase says if Volkoff works for him he needs to dress better. DiBiase yanks off Volkoff’s hat then DiBiase hands Volkoff new attire, which he says will come out of his paycheck. Volkoff is handed tights that read “Property of the Million Dollar Man” then begrudingly puts on the tights that have the cent symbol on the sides. Vince says some people have no choice but to work for people they do not like. DiBiase then makes fun of Volkoff”s jacket, featuring an “out of date” Soviet flag and orders Volkoff to remove the jacket. DiBiase & Lawler tell Volkoff to think about his kids and parents in Russia as Volkoff cries while taking it off as Vince says DiBiase can humiliate him because he has the money. DiBiase then hands Volkoff a tuxedo t shirt to match his tights while Vince puts over Volkoff’s weight lifting achievements then mentions American power lifter Mark Henry and how Henry is doing great today. Lawler then tells DiBiase that Volkoff does not look like a million dollars as DiBiase says no he does not but at least Volkoff looks like he has a some “cents.” This was telling and mainly due to Vince on commentary as you can really tell this was his idea and seemed like he did it specifically to send a message. Even Sean Waltman said on the “1994 WWE Timeline” from Kayfabe Commentaries, Waltman confirmed that this was in fact Vince sending a message and having fun with a character. Anyway, since the introduction of this angle has been poor, it did not get over well with this crowd. I will say that DiBiase & Lawler were good in their roles, however.
“The Rocket” Owen Hart vs. Tony Roy
Before entering the ring, Owen calls out Bret while looking into the camera and how he will become the new champion. Vince puts over the Hall of Fame on June 9th and lists the inductees. James Dudley is referred to as “manager extraordinaire.” Owen works over Roy then applies a reverse chin lock. Wednesday then plug the USA Movie special airing of “Broadcast News” while Owen continues to beat down Roy. We now see Roy fight back but Owen avoids a dropkick then puts Roy away with a Sharpshooter (2:19). Owen once again calls out Bret and points at Roy to say that will happen to Bret. Owen now talks about what Bret did to him as a child then Owen hits Roy with a spinning heel kick and puts the glasses on him after slapping him around. Owen holds up Roy’s head and says this looks just like Bret, as Roy appears to be trying not to laugh, then Owen puts Roy down and snaps the glasses off of his face.
Thoughts: Owen’s heel work is awesome as they are still plugging his title matches against Bret as part of the WrestleMania Revenge tour.
We get another Duke “The Dumpster” Droese vignette. Its an overhead shot of him sleeping in the bottom of a dumpster as he gets up to say he has a lot of cleaning up to do in the WWF. I’m still baffled as to why someone thought this gimmick should be showcased on television.
Back from break as we see the ring crew remove the ropes for the sumo match. The announcers then hype this match up a bit.
Now, a hype video for next week’s Earthquake vs. Owen Hart King of the Ring qualifying match. More on this later in the timeline.
Ring announcer Howard Finkel gives us the rules. You win by pushing your opponent out of the ring or any part of his body draping over the ring.
Sumo Match: Yokozuna w/ Mr. Fuji & Jim Cornette vs. Earthquake
Earthquake is rocking teal & black sumo attire. We get the stare down followed by sumo poses. After that they go to their corners and throw salt then get down in their stances but go back to the corner. They get back into their stances but once again stand up and go back to their corners. The announcers compare the men to NFL offensive linemen as the crowd is getting restless. They are back in their stances but get back up as Yokozuna beats his chest. Once again they are back in their stances as Earthquake knocks Yokozuna back but Yokozuna turns him around and almost gets him out of the ring. Earthquake reverses but Yokozuna gets free as they are now struggling in the middle of the ring. Earthquake is pushed near the edge but is able to push Yokozuna back to the middle of the ring. The crowd is now getting behind Earthquake as both men are just drenched in sweat. Cornette barks out encouragement to Yokozuna as the struggle continues. They are now near the edge as Earthquake keeps pushing Yokozuna back. Yokozuna leans on Earthquake but Earthquake gets his arms out and shoves Yokozuna down and out of the ring for the win (6:05). The crowd erupts as Savage leaves the booth to raise Earthquake’s arm as Vince screams about this being an upset. Yokozuna is pissed on the outside as Vince is now screaming about Yokozuna losing face due to being defeated in a sumo match. Vince then yells about these two facing off again in the near future.
Thoughts: Despite it taking over three minutes in the ring until they actually made contact with each other it did not turn out to be that terrible and the finish got a nice pop. A worked sumo match is not exactly the most exciting thing and Yokozuna was just a slog here but the goal was for Earthquake to get over so this feud could have some heat and that was accomplished here. However, the day before this aired, Earthquake quit the promotion after losing to Yokozuna at a house show in San Jose, CA. According to the “Wrestling Observer Newsletter,” Dave Meltzer reported that Earthquake was pissed off about having to put over Yokozuna. A month later in the “Pro Wrestling Torch,” Wade Keller reported that Earthquake’s departure might have been over money as he had reports from backstage of Earthquake arguing with WWF officials over the phone regarding payoffs. Earthquake also was reportedly unhappy over having to do this sumo match as well. And we will see how the company handled Earthquake’s departure next week.
Next week, Earthquake will face Owen Hart in a King of the Ring qualifying match. Well, that never did happen.
Final Thoughts: The finish of the sumo match got over but it was not particularly exciting to watch. The KotR qualifier was fine and the King’s Court segment went on for too long making this edition of RAW a bit of a bore. And there sure are a lot of bad storylines and gimmicks in the midcard, a problem that would not be remedied anytime soon.