The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 07.18.94 Taped from Bushkill, PA. Your hosts are Jim Ross & Randy Savage Intercontinental title: Diesel v. Lex Luger One of the advantages of the squash era is that you’d frequently get cool matches like this where they’ve never really interacted before and thus it’s a totally fresh matchup. The backstory with the Luger deal is pretty intriguing, as they’re establishing that he’s so desperate to be the champion that he might have signed with Dibiase to accomplish it. Sadface of the week: Joey Marella referees this match, two weeks after dying in a horrific car accident. I’m guessing that would make this his final appearance. Kind of puts them in a weird position because if they pay tribute to him, they have to admit that this show was taped two weeks before. So how does that work if last week’s show was “live”? Clearly it was taped before Marella died on July 4. Diesel overpowers Luger and pounds away on the back, but Luger comes back with a powerslam for two. Lex slugs him to the floor and Diesel stops for advice from Shawn. That advice? “Find Jesus and marry a hot dancer if you want to revive your career again.” Back in, Diesel puts Lex on the floor via a big boot and slams him out there, and we take a break. Back with Snake Eyes (a rare case where the WCW name for a move carried over and became the “generic” one) and Nash chokes him out on the ropes. That gets two, and we hit the chinlock. Luger fights out, but walks into a big boot, and Diesel drops the elbow for two. Big Kev with the sleeper, but Luger powers out, so Diesel runs him into the corner and goes back to it. Nice little counter there. Shawn goes over to the timekeeper and tells him to RING THE BELL, but obviously you can’t just go over to the timekeeper and tell him to do that! When has THAT ever worked? Luger fights out and makes the comeback with a DDT for two, and goes up with a flying clothesline for two. Blind charge hits boot and the ref gets bumped, so Shawn runs in and superkicks Luger so that Diesel can get two. They slug it out and Razor Ramon joins us to get rid of Shawn, and it’s a donnybrook at 18:09. It wasn’t Hart-Kid or anything, but Nash was working hard and it was a good basic power match that was a nice change of pace from last week. ***1/4 And of course, Luger blows it again in a title match. Mabel v. Austin Steele Mabel whips Steele around and he actually does a Flair Flip, but that gets him nowhere. Steele does all the goofy Flair spots (begging off, yelling in pain during the knucklelock) and even a Flair Flop before the Bossman slam finishes at 2:20. Dude, you’re no Flair. You’re barely even Buddy Landell. Summerslam Report with Todd, as he announces Hart v. Hart in the cage match. Owen Hart v. Reno Riggins Reno actually holds his own on the mat as they exchange hammerlocks, so a frustrated Owen stomps him down and sends him into the corner. Reno escapes a chinlock and slugs away, but Owen puts him down with a belly to belly and finishes with the Sharpshooter at 3:00. Thurman Plugg (His Friends Call Him Sparky) v. George South It’s the quality Crockett jobbers this week! Sparky with the headlock to control, and he takes South down with a flying headscissors, but South gets some offense in the corner before running into an elbow. Plugg goes up with a bodypress to finish at 3:00. Todd Pettingill recaps the Undertaker story so far, which still makes no sense. Bam Bam Bigelow v. Gary Sabbaugh The Stallion fires away in the corner as JR brings up his World Spaghetti Eating Champion status, but Bigelow is unimpressed by pasta consumption and beats him down. Back elbow gets two. Bammer misses a charge and Sabbaugh throws clotheslines, but walks into a powerslam and Bigelow finishes with a cobra sleeper into a bulldog at 3:00. Ted Dibiase has a shocking announcement this weekend, which draws out Tatanka to accuse Luger of selling out. Dibiase thinks he’s just jealous, and offers him $10,000 if he can beat Volkoff next week. Hope the Reddit guy doesn’t wreck the odds on that one. Good squashes this week from a series of professional jobbers, plus the main event was solid. A surprising highlight of the year thus far. Next week: Adam Bomb v. Yokozuna and Tatanka v. Nikolai Volkoff! Both of those sound awful! Just awful!