By Haydn Gleed
WWF Raw on the USA Network
Live from Liberty, New York at Liberty Central
I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful holiday season. I personally have been enjoying some quality time with the family, but now I’m back with a Retro Raw looking at the show that aired the day after Christmas in 1994…
The show opened with Tatanka’s war cry followed by Ted DiBiase’s money money money theme song. As Tatanka was led to the ring, Vince McMahon and Shawn Michaels talked at ringside about tonight’s show. Michaels grabbed the microphone and told Vince McMahon to take care of his wig as he interviewed the Million Dollar Man. Ted cut a promo talking about how the British Bulldog is going to be taken out by Tatanka this led to the usual intro music and video…
Retro Verdict: Nice change of pace, and built up a little bit of excitement to what otherwise would be a hoo hum match coming up.
After Vince McMahon wished us a Merry Christmas (just the once), The British Bulldog made his entrance with his fireworks going off overhead…
1. The British Bulldog vs. Tatanka. Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon talked about how Davey Boy would be celebrating Boxing Day, which Shawn Michaels mocked. In the ring both men locked up which Bulldog gained the initial advantage. He worked over the arm of the Native American and knocked him over when they collided. It looked like there should have been a hip toss attempt reversed here but was botched but they covered it up nicely with the camera angle. They tried it again and the hip toss followed by reversal was executed well. In the corner DiBiase gave Tatanka some advice.
Both men locked up again with Davey Boy once again gained the advantage, but Tatanka came back with a beatdown on the back. This led to several chops, hey it’s a Tatanka match what else would you expect? Bulldog came back with a long vertical suplex. Tatanka regained his composure and rolled to the outside.
The finish of the match came when The Million Dollar Man pulled down the top rope causing Bulldog to fall to the outside behind the officials back, which led to Lex Luger coming to ringside. Tatanka tried to go after him which then led to Bam Bam Bigelow coming down. Lex eventually overcame both and led to a standoff with the babyfaces in the ring and the heel’s on the outside…
Both men fought to a double DQ in 6:52.
Retro Verdict: Not the greatest match you will ever see, very hoo hum. This match and the angle that came from it was essentially a setup to next week’s show.
Back in the arena, Henry Godwinn was introduced, and came to the ring holding a pig bucket and the worst intro music I’ve ever heard. Seriously, I’m sure there’s a voice that’s going squeal squeal and then the noise of a pig squealing. If this was a lower class type of website I would make a joke about that, but I will leave it there. His opponent in the ring was Mike Khoury….
2. Henry Godwinn vs. Mike Khoury. The crowd were silent as they had no idea what the heck was going on. Hell, I know what would happen to Henry Godwinn and I’m sitting here wondering what they have actually done to make me actually care about Godwinn’s debut. Shawn Michaels kept screaming piggie for some unknown reason.
Godwinn eventually won with the Slop Drop and also rolled over the jobber like a pig after three very painful minutes….
,Henry Godwinn beat Mike Khoury.
Retro Verdict: Is it 1995 yet? 95 wasn’t a great year for wrestling but at least Nitro started and a fire was lit under the arse of WWF….
In the ring, it is time for the Kings Court, which means we both get an awful or a brilliant part of the show, and guaranteed that the announcers talk over Jerry Lawler. True to form, Vince talked over Lawler as he insulted the people at ringside. Vince looked shocked when Lawler said something to an elderly lady at ringside which we couldn’t hear because the announcers were talking. Lawler eventually introduced Diesel who made his way down the aisle to a great pop.
Diesel climbed into the ring and fireworks went off in the ring. He towered over Jerry Lawler mid-ring as The King admitted he was impressed by the entrance. He also offered a handshake as a congratulation, which Diesel accepted before squashing his hand. Vince laughed as if this was the greatest thing he ever saw. Lawler said that his Christmas Wish is Bob Backlund applying The Crossface Chickenwing onto Diesel. He said Shawn Michaels had told Backlund everything about Diesel which led to Shawn waving at Big Daddy Cool from ringside. Lawler claimed that Michaels allowed Diesel to hold all of the gold in the WWF, and Lawler said that he hopes Michaels is at ringside when Diesel is screaming in agony against Bob Backlund. Very passionate promo from Lawler.
Jerry continued and brought up the fact Diesel had said Bret Hart could have a title shot, and he said I bet you regret that now because they face each other at The Royal Rumble. He said it’s his final wish that both Diesel and Bret eliminate each other and take each other out of the WWF. Diesel finally grabbed the microphone and said he has a wish King and that he wishes that he shuts his mouth. He grabbed the crown from Jerry’s head and threw Lawler out of the ring. He then placed the crown on his head and played to the crowd.
Retro Verdict: The more I see the way they pushed Kevin Nash to the top in 1994/95, the more I see why history tells us it didn’t work. At the time Nash wasn’t considered a great promo, so they didn’t let him talk much and followed the philosophy of actions speak louder than words. They also made Diesel look like an oaf who wasn’t taking things seriously like here putting the crown on, which went against the tough guy image that turned him babyface in the first place. Really enjoyed Lawler getting passionate during his promo, but all that good work was undone by the final doofus shot.
After a commercial, Kwang and his opponent Rich Myers are already in the ring and the match begins instantly…
3. Kwang vs. Rich Myers. Myers had some early offensive, including a dropkick. He tried a crossbody but Kwang ducked and was mocked by Shawn Michaels. They cut to a picture and picture where Howard Finkel apologised to Harvey Whippleman for pulling down his pants last week…..ok.
Kwang finished Rich Myers off with a Leg Lariat…
Kwang beat Rich Myers in 2:44.
Retro Verdict: Completely pointless squash. The announcers didn’t put it over as anything important as they were more concerned with putting over some boxing fella called Vinny Pazienza.
They promoted that next week would be British Bulldog & Lex Luger against Tatanka and Bam Bam Bigelow…
Following another commercial break, the gong hit and the lights in the high school gym went out. They showed Shawn Michaels at ringside who was goofing around with a flashlight and pulling funny faces. As the Undertaker walked slowly to the ring they promoted that The Undertaker would be taking on IRS at the Royal Rumble 1995. As The Undertaker was raising the lights in the gym, they introduced his opponent The Brooklyn Brawler…
4. The Undertaker vs. The Brooklyn Brawler. Randomly, Shawn and Vince had a go at Andre Agassi who had recently cut his hair. They also had a moment when Paul Bearer got over protective with the urn. Random.
Complete and total squash which was a smokescreen for Vince and Shawn Michaels to promote a USA Network special. Of course, The Undertaker won with a Tombstone…
The Undertaker beat The Brooklyn Brawler in 3:12.
After the match IRS, The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase and a Druid were in the aisle. They pointed at The Undertaker as the show went off the air….
Retro Verdict: It’s very jarring in 2015 watching The Undertaker wrestle a meaningless match since his matches these days are built up as such special occasions, but obviously 21 years ago that wasn’t the case. This match was just a way for The Undertaker to showcase his impressive offence leading into the match with IRS at the Rumble 95.
Overall this was a very boring edition of Raw, with nothing that was god awful, but nothing that really stood out. I guess the worst moment was the debut of Henry Godwinn, but I’m struggling to think of anything positive from the show. Thankfully this is the end of Raw’s from 1994, which was an awful year for Monday Night Raw. Seriously, I deserve a medel for sitting and reviewing all 50+ of them.
I want to wish everyone a happy new year, and whatever you are getting up to this New Years Eve I hope you enjoy yourself, but remember to stay safe.
As always, feel free to get in touch either through email email@example.com or via twitter @haydngleed.