WWE Raw Retro Coverage - July 18, 1994: Diesel vs. Lex Luger for the Intercontinental Championship, Bam Bam Bigelow, Owen Hart, Sparky Plugg, and Mabel in action


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WWE Raw Retro Coverage - July 18, 1994: Diesel vs. Lex Luger for the Intercontinental Championship, Bam Bam Bigelow, Owen Hart, Sparky Plugg, and Mabel in action
2015-07-20 17:22:12


By Haydn Gleed

WWF Raw on the USA Network
Taped in Bushkill, Pennsylvania at the Fernwood Resort

Following on from the previous week's Raw, which was highlighted by an outstanding match between X-Pac and Bret Hart, it's time for us to take a look at what was happening on Monday Night Raw 21 years ago. The main match advertised for this show was an Intercontinental title match between Diesel and Lex Luger. They were also building up, relatively well, the storyline of whether Ted DiBiase had been successful in buying Lex Luger's services....

Bad music and video package, and it's Monday Night Raw folks....

Retro Verdict: Seriously, I've watched far too many of these. For the next few hours after reviewing the show, I'm going to have that damn riff in my head.

Jim Ross welcomed us to Monday Night Raw and introduced his co-host Randy Savage. They talked about the IC title match and also the Luger/DiBiase storyline. Horn sounds burst out in the arena, and out came Diesel being led by Shawn Michaels. In the ring, both men posed as fireworks came out of the corners. Lex Luger made his entrance, to the sound of about 30,000 people cheering.....the only problem is, they were in a building not even a third of that size...

1. Diesel (w/Shawn Michaels) vs. Lex Luger for the Intercontinental Title. Jim Ross wondered out loud as to why The Million Dollar Man was not in the corner of Luger. Your referee for this match was the late Joey Marella.

Retro Verdict: On a truly sad note, it wasn't long after this match was recorded that Joey Marella was killed in an automobile accident driving from a WWF event. In fact, he was killed two weeks before this show went out, so it must have been a very difficult time for everyone concerned when this show was broadcasted. For those who don't know, Joey was the son of long time announcer Gorilla Monsoon. He had been a referee at a house show on July 4 and was driving from the event when he reportedly fell asleep at the wheel. Harvey Whippleman was also in the car and sustained severe injuries during the accident.

Both men circled the ring before locking up in the middle, with neither men being able to gain the early advantage. They locked up, and again nobody gained the advantage. They locked up a third time but again nobody gained the advantage. Diesel placed his palm in Lex's head, who pushed him forcibly away. Diesel responded with a shove of his own which sent Lex to the outside. Diesel tried to pull Lex into the ring, but Lex flipped over him and rolled through for a quick two count. Shawn Michaels climbed on the apron and gave Diesel some advice, as Lex for some reason stood away from them.

When both men locked up next, Diesel gained the advantage and pounded Lex in the corner with elbows and forearms before shoving his boot into his face. Lex came back with a powerslam for a near fall. Lex continued on the offense as the 30,000 strong crowd (noise) went crazy, as people on the hard camera remained unmoved.

Retro Verdict: It's uncanny how much noise they are making by appearing to be sat on their hands.

Lex ducked as Diesel bounced against the rope, and nearly got caught in a Jackknife, but flipped Diesel over his back. He tried to follow up with a crossbody but Diesel moved and Lex went flying to the outside. Shawn Michaels followed up with a cheap shot clothesline. As we went into a commercial, they showed a shot of The Million Dollar Man in the rafters.

In the ring, as we came back from the commercial, Diesel was in full control as he hit snake eyes in the corner. With Lex's throat resting on the middle rope, Diesel came down over the top of him and got a near two count with an arrogant cover. He applied a chinlock and stuck his knee into the back of the all American. Shawn Michaels was shown at ringside complaining about the heat.....ok.

Back in the ring, Lex powered back to his feet as the audio track....I mean the crowd chanted USA, but was put back down with a huge size 14 boot in the face. He followed up with a big elbow for a very near fall. Diesel applied a sleeper on Lex mid-ring.

Retro Verdict: I will resist the urge to make a joke about Lex putting a sleeper hold on the crowd every time he was out there.......that would be a cheap shot....

Lex had a hope spot, but Diesel reapplied the sleeper hold. Shawn Michaels was shown trying to tell the time keeper to ring the bell, but was intimidated by Savage standing up. Lex finally hit a backdrop on Diesel and came back with Roman Reign's offense, punch, punch, punch, punch, clothesline, clothesline, before putting Diesel down with a DDT. He climbed to the middle rope and hit a flying clothesline for another near fall. Diesel caught Lex trying to charge him in the corner, and then pulled the ref in front of him as Lex tried again. With the ref down, Lex picked up Diesel to place him in his submission finisher, until Michaels came into the ring and hit a superkick. Michaels desperately tried to get the ref back to his feet, and with the referee moving, Diesel placed one arm over the top of Lex, but Lex kicked out at the last moment.

With both men back on their feet, they stood up brawling as Razor Ramon came charging down to ringside. He chased Shawn Michaels around the ring, who then jumped under the bottom rope, where Lex attacked him. Razor came in and was attacked by Diesel as the referee called for the bell...

Diesel and Lex Luger fought to a double DQ.

After the match, Diesel cleared Lex out of the ring, and Razor Ramon tried to fight off both Diesel and Shawn Michaels. Michaels stalled which allowed Diesel to get back to his feet and both Kevin Nash and Shawn Michaels put the boots to Razor. Lex came back into the ring and cleared both of the heels. They showed The Million Dollar Man standing in the aisle before walking to the back.

Retro Verdict: The match was ok. The first half of the match was horrible, but it did get a lot better, despite my attempts at cheeky humor, down the stretch. Despite the hints that The Million Dollar Man storyline would be resolved tonight, they are dragging it out for longer.

It's time to wave your hands in the air like you just don't care, as Oscar led out Mabel who came to the ring for his match. The lamb to the slaughter in this match was Austin Steele...

2. Mabel (w/Oscar) vs. Austin Steele. Austin actually applied a headlock to start the match, but Mabel quickly powered out of it. Steele also had a moment where he jumped off the top rope, but Mabel just swatted him away like a fly.

Eventually, Mabel won with a Bossman style side slam...

Mabel beat Austin Steele in 2:24.

Retro Verdict: At one point Mabel did point at Austin Steele and said, oop, there it is, which made me chuckle. Standard squash match.

As we headed into a commercial break, they showed a shot of Owen Hart backstage pumping iron, with Neidhart screaming at him, which made me laugh, for what reason? I have no idea... [C]

Back from the commercial, Owen Hart made his entrance with Jim Neidhart. Owen jawed into the camera that his brother Bret Hart is nothing. His opponent in the ring was Reno Riggins...

3. Owen Hart (w/Jim Neidhart) vs. Reno Riggins. Surprisingly, early on Reno Riggins got the better of some technical wrestling, before Owen eventually gained the advantage with a slap to the face. The commentators started talking about Leslie Nielson being on the case of the Undertaker and we would get an A-Z of the Undertaker case.

Owen eventually finished Reno off with the Sharpshooter....

Retro Verdict: They also announced that the Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart match at SummerSlam would be in a steel cage, which I'm looking forward to watching again. I'm enjoying the squash matches, as they are getting quite a bit of offense in, and looking quite good, but ultimately the main roster guys are better. This is what squash matches should be.

Your friend and mine, Thurman Plugg, was out next with his opponent already in the ring, George South. They announced next week would be Tatanka vs. Nikolai Volkoff....oh god.....

4. Thurman Plugg vs. George South. South had some offence to start the match, before the future Bob Holly took control with a headlock followed by several arm drags and then a head scissors. The commentators talked about Michael Jackson possibly being married to Lisa Marie Pressley, as you do. They also plugged one of my favourite movies, Coming To America, was going to be on USA Network soon. They obviously didn't say, one of Haydn Gleed's movies is going to be on USA Network, but you know what I mean, although that would have been cool. Plugg beat George South in the end with a high flying crossbody....

Thurman Plugg beat George South in 3:02.

Todd Pettengill recapped the Undertaker storyline, including going back to the Royal Rumble 1994, and the light show that was put on once Yokozuna and 40 heels put The Undertaker in the casket. They replayed some of the best vignettes ever (for all the wrong reasons) with "normal" people saying that they had seen The Undertaker including a doughnut guy, a paramedic and a guy at a gas station...

Retro Verdict: Not sure recapping the whole story is a good idea, as it was awful. Hey, what happened to the Leslie Nielsen A-Z story? That would be hilarious.

Backstage, The Million Dollar Man said at SummerSlam he will prove that he has the Undertaker, and up next is another of his men, Bam Bam Bigelow...

Sure enough, after a commercial Bam Bam Bigelow was climbing into the ring, as Howard was announcing his opponent, Gary Sabbaugh...

5. Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Gary Sabbaugh. Again, the jobber of the match, Gary Sabbaugh had some offense, but unlike the other matches, was given more time to try and take down Bam Bam. Randy said that during the break, he heard a nasty rumor that Lex Luger had been seen talking to Ted DiBiase backstage. Despite the amount of offense from Gary, Bam Bam finished him with a Million Dollar Dream turned into a bulldog...

Bam Bam Bigelow beat Gary Sabbaugh in 3:02.

Retro Verdict: Another squash match, where the enhancement talent got some shots in. Not to repeat myself, but this is a far more realistic way to do squash matches, and in my personal opinion, is how they could utilize them in 2015.

After the final commercial, Ted DiBiase joined Jim Ross and Randy Savage at ringside. Jim straight out asked if he had a deal with Luger. Ted didn't say yes or no, so Macho Man called him out on it. Ted said the deal is this weekend he will have an announcement that will rock the WWF. The crowd started to cheer as we saw Tatanka coming down to ringside.

Tatanka said come on Million Dollar Man make your announcement. He said that he heard the promises he made to Lex. Ted told him not to ruffle his feathers, and he's just jealous. He said that he will bet him $10,000 that he can't beat his other guy Nikolai Volkoff, which Tatanka agreed too. Jim Ross hyped that match as well as Adam Bomb against Yokozuna...

Retro Verdict: Ok, fair play, I mocked the match earlier in the report, but with that bet on the line, it could actually turn out to be quite entertaining. Also, Adam Bomb vs. Yokozuna is not going to be a mat classic, but should be good fun.

As for this show, the main match on the card was ok, with some decent action towards the finish. The squash matches were better than usual, because they actually enhanced the main roster guy they were facing. I am quite bored of the Million Dollar Man storyline at the moment, simply because he seems to be involved in all the main storylines outside of the Hart's feud, and it's not progressing at any real pace. I guess that's more to do with the era as opposed to bad episodic television from the time.

As always, any comments or thoughts on this show, or the Retro Raws in general, then let me know via twitter @haydngleed or via email haydn.gleed@gmail.com.

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