The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 02.06.95
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Taped from Palmetto, FL, aka THE TAPING THAT NEVER ENDS.
Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Shawn Michaels for the last time.
Lex Luger & Men on a Mission v. Tatanka, IRS & King Kong Bundy
This is following from the Bundy v. Mabel “match” last week, so at least there’s some semblance of a storyline here. Mabel and Bundy have their showdown of suck to start and Mabel knocks him down for two, but Mo comes in and gets beat up by the heels. Because he’s just the worst. Shifting him to a managerial role was really the best decision for everyone. We take a break and return with Mabel getting a tag and taking over on Tatanka and even the heat machine can’t cover up the boredom of the crowd. Luger gets a backslide on IRS for two and the faces work him over, but then Mo tags in and AGAIN is a crushing disappointment to his team. Remember when you’d get squashes on Superstars where you’d have one semi-star like Brady Boone and then a total nobody pasty white nothing as a partner? And Boone would do pretty good and then tag in the loser, who would completely tank the match and do the job? Yeah, that’s Mo. So that “heat” segment drags on for an inexplicably ridiculous length of time, and Vince is like “I’m not impressed with either threesome tonight, to be honest.” Oh, TAG. Finally, 14:00 in (FOURTEEN MINUTES!) it’s hot tag Luger and one or two kids can actually be seen running back to their seats from the shitter in excitement. I bet one of them left mid-shit with the toilet paper hanging off his shoe and everything. Sadly, their dreams are crushed when Tatanka sneaks in with a DDT behind the ref’s back and Bundy gets the pin at 15:37. OK, why the fuck was Lex Luger doing the clean job with Jobbers On A Mission as partners? So weird. *
Man Mountain Rock does some word association to establish himself as a babyface.
We really ramp up the thrill ride with a prepared statement from LT’s lawyer, who accepts the WWF’s apology but stresses that Taylor doesn’t want to be a wrestler.
Man Mountain Rock v. Charlie Hunter
Poor Daryl has ugly tie-dye pajamas as gear and dreads, making him look like an escaped mental patient who got caught in a paint shaker explosion. Not a good look. The announcers stress the amateur credentials of Rock, because you-know-who is booking now. As a hint, it rhymes with “Hoss”. Rock with a slam and elbowdrop, and he finishes with a front suplex at 3:00. Another debut, another gimmick dead in the water. My thinking was that someone should have ripped off The Big Lebowski for him, but that movie didn’t come along until three years later. But I think a laid-back stoner who constantly falls into bad situations might have been a better fit for him.
Meanwhile, Vince has a sitdown interview with Diesel, who has completely dropped the tough guy New York accent and now just talks with a normal voice and smiles a lot. The talk about exciting stuff like being a role model and the demands of the championship. Meanwhile, another 2 or 3 shows get cancelled for low advances.
Mantaur v. Leroy Howard
While I’m thinking about it, why did they bother changing “The Minotaur” to “Mantaur”? Did someone actually feel that particular change would make a difference to his career or make people care more? I feel like I should know Leroy from somewhere but he’s probably just a generic black guy jobber. Leroy actually drops an elbow and goes up with a bodypress, but Mantaur catches him and stomps him down while Shawn questions which half of Mantaur is the bull part. Vince moves on quickly past that one. Mantaur cuts off the jobber again and pounds him down, then finishes with a pair of Avalanches and a belly to belly at 3:45. He’s half man, half bear, half pig!
Razor Ramon v. Frankie Lancaster
Hey, old school jobber time with “The Thumper”. He was actually part of a decent Rock N Roll ripoff team called the Heartbreakers with Wendell Cooley in the dying days of the various Crockett territories, and worked a lot in World Class as well. Ramon works the arm and slugs him down after a brief flurry of offense, then finishes with the Razor’s Edge at 3:45.
Henry Godwinn v. Bill Weaver
HOG with his usual kicking and punching on the jobber and he finishes with the Slop Drop at 2:20.
Next week: The dog show!
Two weeks hence: Diesel v. Jeff Jarrett, and Shawn Michaels introduces his new bodyguard! And that’s one payoff that actually pays off.
As for this week…if you can’t love a show with Man Mountain Rock, Mantaur AND Henry Godwinn, then clearly you’re not Jim Ross enough.