WWF: Monday Night Raw (08.01.94) (REPOST~!)

WWF Monday Night Raw
August 1, 1994
Youngstown, OH
Beeghly Center

The current WWF Champs were as follows:
World Champion: Bret Hart (3/20/1994)
Intercontinental Champion: Diesel (4/13/1994)
World Tag Team Champions: The Headshrinkers (4/26/1994)
Women’s Champion: Alundra Blayze (12/13/1993)

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Randy Savage. This was Vince’s big return since ‘pinning the U.S. Supreme Court to the mat for the 1-2-3,’ says Randy. Yeah, he makes court jokes like that one all night long.

  • Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels (w/Diesel)

This is their first meeting inside that squared circle since WrestleMania 10 and also Shawn’s first TV match period since WrestleMania 10. What’s going to happen? It’s PANDEMONIUM! They run the ropes a bunch to start. Shawn trips up Razor and walks over him only to turn around and take a right hand to the face. HBK takes the corner flip bump out to the floor and as he tries to make it back in the ring, Razor makes it a little difficult with right hands. Shawn finally just pokes Ramon in the eye to get back in, but gets caught coming off the top. Shawn takes over with a swinging neckbreaker. Fallaway Slam by Razor turns the tide for 1-2-NO! Shawn backs Razor into the corner to escape an armbar and blasts him in the face with a forearm. Dropkick gets two. After Shawn unloads on Razor with left jabs, Diesel has himself a little fun by choking Razor in the ropes. Razor elbows out of a chinlock and blocks a hiptoss for a backslide. That gets two for Ramon. Shawn drills him with a clothesline and reapplies the chinlock, but Razor elbows out again. He blocks a second dropkick and catapults Shawn out on top of Diesel! Incredible. Commercial break. We come back to see Shawn yank Razor face-first into a corner only to be slammed off the top. Shawn pokes Razor in the eyes again to get out of an ab stretch. Shawn ducks low off a whip and gets his head smashed into the canvas, which is followed by a BAAAAACK body drop by Razor. Vince makes a cheap joke about the Goodwill Games that Ted Turner headed up in the ’90s before the Time Warner sale. Seems a little unnecessary if you ask me. Capitalizing on the back work, Razor grabs a bearhug. Shawn makes an escape into a sunset flip. Razor punches Shawn down and kneels on top for 1-2-NO! Shawn reverses for a two, but stands up right into a clothesline for two. Razor gets dumped out for a Diesel clothesline as we go to our *second* break. We come back to see Shawn dropping a double-ax handle on Razor as he’s draped on the apron. Back in, Shawn hits the Flying Back Elbow for 1-2-NO! Razor starts to come back, so Shawn cuts him off with a sleeper. Razor’s arms drop twice, but not three times! He’s ALIVE! A back suplex by Razor breaks the hold. Hey, it always does. Double-KO spot ensues. Razor blocks everything HBK throws at him and fires back with punches of his own. Shawn staggers around after the corner flip into a clothesline for 1-2-NO! Razor wants the Back Superplex, but Shawn elbows out and hits a crossbody block. Razor rolls through for 1-2-NO! Superkick by Shawn! Cover, 1-2-NO! Shawn looks to be going for the RAZOR’S EDGE, but Razor backdrops out. Now he wants to do the RAZOR’S EDGE, but Diesel pops up on the apron. He causes enough of a distraction for Shawn to grab the IC belt. He misses the charge at Razor and gets caught with a backdrop. While the ref disposes of the belt, Shawn reverses a whip into a Diesel Big Boot. Razor falls back into a school boy as Shawn pulls the tights and gets three. (17:52 shown) A little slow and monotonous in the middle, but a great TV match nonetheless. Diesel and HBK continue afterwards with a post-match beatdown. ***½

SummerSlam Report with Todd Pettingell: The latest news has Lex Luger accepting Tatanka’s challenge. Don’t forget the double main-event – Undertaker vs. Undertaker and WWF Champion Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart in a STEEL CAGE! Also, WWF Intercontinental Champion Diesel vs. Razor Ramon.

  • WWF Women’s Champion Alundra Blayze vs. Bull Nakano (w/Luna Vachon)non-title match

Vince says this is the WWF TV debut of Bull Nakano. He puts her over as a dominant force in Japan. It’s funny that since Bull retired in 1997, she’s become a pro golfer who lives in Florida. Nakano refuses a handshake and goes to work on Blayze. She delivers a pair of hair slings. Blayze comes back with a hurracanrana for two. She nails Nakano with one spin kick, but misses a second one and gets choked up against the ropes. Piledriver gets two for Nakano. She pulls Blayze up after two and delivers a Kneeling Powerbomb for 1-2-NO! Blayze flips out of a second one and sunset flips Nakano for 1-2-NO! Nakano sidesteps a front missile dropkick, but misses a Guillotine Legdrop. BRIDGING GERMAN SUPLEX by Blayze gets 1-2-NO! Blayze counters a German suplex with a front rollup for another two. Nakano takes a bump out to the floor from the top rope thanks to a dropkick by Blayze. She meets Bull with a nice plancha. Nakano reverses a whip into the ringpost, but charges into a backdrop. Whoops. We’ve now got a double-countout on our hands. (5:26) That was a lot better than I expected. With no decision, this sets up their title match at SummerSlam. Blayze fights off a two-on-one attack because she’s the CHAMP. **¼

Next week: IRS & Bam Bam Bigelow versus Tatanka & Doink the Clown!

The King’s Court with Jerry Lawler: Lawler meets a happy couple in the audience. The guy asks his girlfriend to marry him, but we have to find out what her answer is after the break. And we’re back .Wow, the suspense was KILLING me. Now King and the chick Andrea is in the ring. King asks her again if she’ll marry “Mike Boyle” and she says…YES! King forces himself on Andrea for a kiss (TV-G version of ‘Primae Noctis’, I’m guessing?) and then says “that was like kissing an orangutan with cold sores”. Yeah it’s not like kissing a fourteen year old girl, is it Jerry. Now it gets serious. Bob Backlund shows up and reminds us all that he’s the unbeaten WWF champion. He never gave up to the Iron Sheik. Curse you and your towel, Arnold Skaaland! Anyways, Backlund slapped Bret in the face and then applied the Crossface Chickenwing previously on Superstars.

  • The Smokin’ Gunns vs. George Anderson & Tom Bennett

Billy and Bart control Anderson for the duration. They hit the Double Russian Legsweep and put Anderson away with a Canadian backbreaker/flying neckbreaker combination. I have no idea what to call that. (1:44) Nice little squash for the Gunns.

Final Thoughts: Pretty cool episode of Raw for the time. Vince makes his on-screen return, Michaels and Ramon square off in a rare TV match that doesn’t involve ladders, and we get to hear from Bob Backlund right after his heel turn which is crucial to the next year of main event storylines in the WWF. Quite the enjoyable hour of Raw if I do say so myself.

And now for a special bonus match…

  • WWF World Champion Bret Hart vs. Bob Backlund(WWF Superstars 7/30/94)

This is Bobby Backlund’s first WWF title match on TV at least since he lost the belt to the Iron Sheik in December of 1983 against his will because his manager Arnold Skaaland throwing in the towel for him. Who knows why he didn’t get pissed about this sooner, but this was actually a pretty well hyped match for WWF Superstars. HUGE ovation for the Hitman, which was par for the course back then. JR and King are on commentary, which is great because Lawler is so anti-Bret that even though Backlund is still considered a babyface, he finds himself cheering for Backlund just merely because he wants to see Bret beaten so badly. They start off very cautious with one another. Backlund surprises Bret with a few aggressive nearfalls. Bret looks to slow Backlund down and goes to work on the arm. Backlund sells really well and keeps it all very interesting with escapes that wind up going nowhere for him. Backlund finally connects with a nice forearm and rolls Bret over with a body scissors for two. They exchange headbutts as Backlund delivers a piledriver for two. Bret backdrops out of a second piledriver and slams Backlund down for the standing legdrop. Backlund nicely counters Bret’s attempt at an ab stretch for one of his own. Bret counters Backlund’s ab stretch, but quickly takes a hiptoss. Backlund tries to roll Bret over out of a waistlock for a pin attempt and they wind up on the floor. Back in, Bret starts pounding on the back, but Backlund reverses a hard cross corner whip. He follows up with a hard slam for two. Backlund whips out a POWER move by applying a Canadian backbreaker. Bret counters out into a backslide for another nearfall. He looks to reapply the backbreaker, but Bret backdrops him over and falls on top for 1-2-NO! Backlund bridges out back into the standing position and they repeat the sequence into a backslide from Backlund for 1-2-NO! I like that. Lawler reprimands Backlund for not having a killer instinct because he’s not being aggressive and following up on Bret. Now it’s Bret who reverses a cross corner whip and hits a backbreaker for two. Backlund avoids the SHARPSHOOTER and takes an elbow drop instead. Bret gets tripped as he runs off the ropes and falls out to the floor. Backlund brings him back in and slowly covers for two. Back suplex by Backlund, but he doesn’t capitalize. He counters a suplex into a small package for another nearfall on the champ. Backlund thinks he’s won, but no siree Bob. Bret rattles Backlund with a small package and holds on for the three-count to retain. (14:07) Bret shakes hands with Backlund and hits all four corners to celebrate with his fans before going back over to Backlund for another handshake. BACKLUND DOESN’T LIKE TO BE TOUCHED! Bob rejects a second handshake and proceeds to slap Bret across the face and then maniacally puts the champ in the CROSSFACE CHICKENWING! A troupe of referees run down to get Backlund off Bret, but Bob Backlund leaves only when he’s good and ready. He finally releases the hold and looks down at his hands with guilt and shame over what he had just done. This was supposed to lead to the return of Papa Shango as to say that Bob Backlund was acting this way because he was under Papa Shango’s spell, but that idea was scratched in favor of Backlund just being out of touch and bitter. Kind of ironic if you think about it in Bret’s case. Good story told here as far as the match goes with a monumental post-match segment that would kickstart a feud that would last through WrestleMania. ***½

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