The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 12.12.94 Yay, some terrible RAWs to cap off my marathon WWE Network day while my wife is out of town. Five SNMEs, a couple of RAW, and Summerslam 2002 on the live feed while I wrote the new Sporting News column. Quite the day for my $9.99. LIVE from Liberty, NY. Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Shawn Michaels. Mr. Bob Backlund v. Doink the Clown And what a way to start out a new taping cycle. I can only support Mr. Backlund in his plan to exterminate all clowns from the face of the earth, and hope he turns his attention to midgets next. Doink is back to the Matt Osborne gear, which at least doesn’t make him look like a prelim guy. And WHERE THE FUCK are they taping this show? It seriously looks like my high school gym. Not that I’d know what my gym looked like. There, saved you the snarky comeback. The History of WWE site reveals a sellout of 1400 people. World champion Diesel, ladies and gentlemen! The house shows with Diesel v. Bob on top were actually drawing so low at this point that they were cancelling entire tour legs. Very, very, long stall to start and they trade headlocks as we’re 5:00 in with absolutely nothing happening. They have literally only made contact twice, and finally Backlund puts him down with a forearm and goes to work on the arm. Doink with a sunset flip for two and we take a break. Back with Doink getting a small package for two, but Backlund goes back to the arm and works on that forever. Like, just minutes of laying on the mat with a hammerlock. Finally Doink comes back with a bodypress for two and backslide for two, but an elbow misses and Mr. Backlund finishes with the crossface chickenwing at 16:22. This was like watching an indy promotion from the time, with a tiny crowd in a high school gym and two washed up former stars having a boring match. -** This atrocity somehow qualified for the “Best of Season 1 and 2” DVD set a few years back. We take a look at the upcoming tag title tournament on Superstars, with the actual winners of the titles nowhere to be found. I forget the circumstances that led to the switch from the Gunns to the Miracle Jobber Connection. A quick check of the Observer at the time reveals the answer is “Because Vince McMahon.” OK then. Meanwhile, Jeff Jarrett is looking for a new hometown, starting in Vegas. As a note from last week’s show, my question about Brian Lee working as Jarrett’s roadie stems from a comment that Meltzer made in the Observer at the time, where someone heard the name “Lee Roadie” and confused it with Brian Armstrong, giving us Brian Lee by mistake. He actually posted a retraction in the next issue, so there you go. Razor Ramon v. Mark Starr Interestingly, Mark Starr and Chris Kanyon, who were enhancement guys here in 94, would jump to WCW as a moderately pushed tag team for a while. Starr, a pretty good longtime regional hand and brother of Chris Champion, goes after the knee and actually gets some offense in on Ramon until he gets waffled with a forearm. Razor with the top rope backdrop and Razor’s Edge to finish at 3:00. Starr is yet another guy where he had a good look, worked for cheap, and could have been packaged into at least a lower card gimmick guy to have good matches. But they just passed on all these guys for some reason and kept recycling the same goofs to lower and lower gates. Seriously, they are taping RAW in a fucking HIGH SCHOOL GYM, how much worse could it get if they gave Kanyon & Starr a try as a tag team, for example? The King’s Court with IRS and his druids. They were just not going to give up on this dog of a program until it bankrupted the company. So next week it’s IRS v. Lex Luger. Hakushi is coming! Aldo Montoya v. Nick Barberri Vince: “Aldo Montoya turned down the money from Ted Dibiase, wanting to make a name for himself in the WWF.” Shawn: “And the name he picked was Portuguese Man-O-War. Probably should have taken the money.” I would time travel back to 1994 to high five that shit. Aldo dumps the jobber and hits him with a dive, then works the arm before finishing with a bulldog at 2:30. Shawn Michaels notes that he had a mask just like Aldo’s hanging in his high school locker room. No wonder the gimmick died. King Kong Bundy v. Bobby Knight Bundy tosses the jobber and hauls him back in for the usual while Shawn is literally reading a magazine at the announce table. Can we just have Shawn on commentary forever? The yawn-inducing squash continues unabated until the Avalanche finishes at 4:00. So yeah, this might have been one of the worst episodes of all time, in front of a tiny crowd that barely even made a noise all show. Next week: Lex Luger v. IRS and Bushwackers v. Well Dunn part 2. I may have spoken too soon.