Welcome to the latest edition of ‘Raw Rewind‘. Today we take in the episode of Raw from 1 August 1994 with Shawn Michaels facing Razor Ramon and Bull Nakano, Alundra Blayze and the Smokin’ Gunns all in action.
Champion Roll Call:
WWF Champion: Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Diesel
WWF Tag Team Champions: The Headshrinkers
WWF Women’s Champion: Alundra Blayze
You can read the latest Raw recap here.
We start with a video promo hyping the match between Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon by showing footage from their WrestleMania X ladder match and the resumption of their feud two weeks ago on Raw. We then see pre-recorded clips of the two threatening the other.
After the title sequence, we cut to ringside and Vince McMahon is back on commentary, where he’s joined by Macho Man Randy Savage – who welcomes McMahon back to Raw.
Match 1: Shawn Michaels (w/ WWF Intercontinental Champion Diesel) vs. Razor Ramon
Savage tell us we’re looking at a ring full of the Next Generation. Showing match to start and they lock up. Michaels dodges a couple of clotheslines then pulls Ramon down by his feet but walks into a big right hook and is whipped into the corner and up over the top to the outside.
Michaels tries to re-enter the ring several times but is knocked off the apron. He stops Ramon in his tracks with a thumb to the eye and comes in off the top but only connects with Ramon’s fist. Ramon, though, then puts head down and a spinning neckbreaker puts the Heartbreak Kid back in control. He hammers away on Ramon, driving him face-first into the top turnbuckle.
Michaels attempts a crossbody off the second turnbuckle but is caught and Ramon hits a fallaway slam for a nearfall. Ramon applies an arm bar as we slow the pace down a bit. Michaels fights back and hits a succession of forearms on Ramon. An Irish whip is reversed but Michaels leapfrogs Ramon and continues to work on the man who will face Diesel for the IC title at SummerSlam.
Ramon is whipped into the ropes and Michaels connects with a dropkick for a nearfall. Michaels follows up with a big right hook. With the referee distracted by Michaels, Diesel chokes Ramon on the middle rope. Ramon gets a nearfall, with a backslide, out of nowhere. But Michaels gets one of his own with a clothesline.
It’s now the time for Michaels to slow things down as he applies a reverse chinlock. A couple of elbows from Ramon breaks it up, Michaels attempts a dropkick but is caught and Ramon slingshots him up and over to the outside.
When we return from the break, we see a replay of the slingshot before Michaels heads up top. Ramon catches him and throws him from the top. Ramon applies an Abdominal Stretch in the middle of the ring but a rake to the eyes breaks the hold.
A series of elbows staggers Ramon but Michaels puts his head down and has his face rammed into the mat. Ramon catches Michaels in a bearhug in the middle of the ring as a concerned Diesel looks on at ringside. According to McMahon, this is Michaels’ first match since WrestleMania and he wonders if he picked up a back injury in that match. The pair exchange nearfalls in the ring before Michaels uses Ramon’s own momentum to throw him over the top rope and to the outside.
As the referee checks on Michaels, Diesel drops Ramon with a clothesline as we head to another break. When we return, we see Diesel roll Razor back into the ring. With Ramon lying prone on the apron, Michaels connects with a running elbow. Michaels pounds away in the corner before dragging Ramon’s forehead across the top rope. A running back elbow gets Michaels another nearfall.
As the crowd chants his name, Ramon makes a comeback with a series of clubbing blows but he runs right into a sleeperhold. Razor eventually falls to the mat as Savage states “this doesn’t look good for Miaimi.” Ramon’s arms drop twice but they don’t fall for the third time. He’s back to his feet and free from the hold with a belly-to-back suplex.
Michaels whips Ramon into the ropes but puts his head down and Ramon connects with a kick to the chest. Into the ropes again and we get a clash of heads and both men are down. Both men are back t their feet and trade blows but Ramon gets the advantage. Michaels is up top and hits a moonsault but Razor rolls through for a two.
This match is absolutely excellent but exhausting to follow, as Savage also alludes to on commentary. Michaels attempts a Razor’s Edge but it’s reversed with a back bodydrop. Ramon now signals for the Razor’s Edge but Diesel hits the apron but Razor pounds away. Michaels grabs the IC title and attempts to drill Ramon with it but Razor dodges it. With the referee removing the ring, Ramon runs into the big boot of Diesel, allowing Michaels to roll him up for the win.
Winner: Michaelsvia pinfall
Overall: A really, really great match-up
Post-match, Diesel and Michaels double-team Razor, giving him a beat down. The referees finally break things up as the fans jeer the two heels.
We get a ‘SummerSlam Report’ with Todd Pettengill. We learn that Lex Luger has accepted Tatanka’s challenge for a match at SummerSlam before Pettengill moves on to discuss the double main event.
Match 2: WWF Women’s Champion Alundra Blayze vs. Bull Nakano (w/ Luna Vachon)
Nakano comes out to the old Orient Express theme music for this non-title match-up. Nakano overpowers her much smaller opponent from the offset. Blayze momentarily fights back but it’s short-lived and she’s thrown across the ring by her hair twice.
McMahon talks about Vachon bringing Nakano to America to do what she couldn’t do: defeat Blayze. Blayze counters a powerbomb with a Hurricanrana for a nearfall before a kick fells her bigger opponent. Blayze misses a kick and Nakano pounds on the women’s champion.
Nakano applies a reverse chinlock as Vachon screams from the sidelines. They trade blows before a slap fells Blayze. Nakano hits a piledriver on Blayze and ins her but the champion gets her foot on the rope. Nakano hits a powerbomb for another two. She attempts another but Blayze rolls through then gets a nearfall with a sunset flip.
Blayze misses a top rope dropkick and Nakano slams her in the middle of the ring. She heads up but misses a butt bump, Blayze hits a bridging German suplex for a two. Blayze rolls up Nakano for another nearfall.
Nakano again goes up top but is dropicked to the outside. Blayze comes off the top rope to the outside with a flying bodypress.On the outside, Nakano whips Blayze into the ringpost but is back body dropped on the outside as both women are counted out.
Winners: Double count out.
Overall: Decent match, poor finish but allows this feud to continue.
After the match, Vachon tries to jump the champion but it’s foiled and she clears the ring.
We learn that next week on Raw Bam Bam Bigelow and I.R.S. will team up to face Tatanka and, errr, Doink the Clown…
We get the latest ‘King’s Court’ with his guest being former WWF Champion Bob Backlund. Not before Lawler taunts Savage about his love life. He then begins chatting to a couple in the crowd, leading to the guy proposing to his girlfriend. We go to a break before we get the answer.
When we return, Andrea, the girlfriend, is now in the ring but Mike, the boyfriend, is still in the crowd. Lawler recaps what’s happened as Bob Backlund heads to the ring. Lawler starts to crack jokes at the expense of Mike before asking Andrea what her answer is, she says “yes!”
Lawler says that Backlund never lost the WWF title, Backlund cuts a rambly promo before being asked what he thinks of the ‘New Generation’ shtick. Backlund says he (Hart) is part of a society he has nothing to do with. We see footage from the weekend of Backlund snapping after a loss to Hart on Superstars.
Match 3: The Smokin’ Gunns vs. George Anderson and Tom Bennett
Billy takes Anderson down with a drop toe hold before tagging his brother in. Bart pounds on Anderson before another quick tag and a double team. We go to a break and when we return, Billy hits a standing dropkick on George Anderson.
Bart is back in and hits a boot to the gut, tags Billy in and they hit the Sidewinder for the win.
Winners:The Smoking Gunns via pinfall.
Overall: A quick squash.
Garbage. Really great match between Razor and Michaels and the women’s match wasn’t bad.
Overall score – 3/5
The beginnings of the Bob Backlund turn will start airing this coming weekend when they air Backlund attacking Bret Hart after losing to him in the WWF title match in syndication.
Also, they didn’t jump the gun on the Undertaker vs. Undertaker announcement, but instead are doing a bit where Leslie Neilsen of Naked Gun movie fame is playing a detective trying to get to the bottom of the story.
Titan made a major play to raid Konnan since the AAA shows have proven to have some drawing power in New York and Chicago, but apparently Konnan is staying with AAA after all. He’s got 18 months left on his AAA contract with Televisa.
Monday Night Raw on 7/11 (Bret Hart vs. 1-2-3 Kid) did a 3.0 rating, while All-American did a 1.9 and Mania a 1.1 that weekend. The following weekend saw Raw do a 3.1 (Ramon vs. Diesel for IC title), All-American 2.0 and Mania 1.3.
The last European tour saw the Germany shows do mostly full houses again, the Czechoslovakia show was canceled with no advance and some of the other shows drew 500 to 1,000. WWF was also in the Philippines in recent weeks and ran mainly small-town shows in the U.S.
Raw on 8/1 will be live from Youngstown, OH with Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon and Alundra Blayze defending the women’s title against Bull Nakano. On TV they built up Nakano as 5-10, 250 (she’s more like 5-5 but if she sticks her hair straight up she’ll look taller, although she may be 200 pounds). Nakano debuts on 7/28 in Moncton, New Brunswick.
Expect an acknowledgement to be made on television regarding the death of Joey Marella in a week or two, because matches he was refereeing were still airing as of this weekend.
The Piper sound-a-like at the PPV is Pat O’Neil from North Weymouth, MA. Reportedly he was paid $2,000 for his part in the match.
The WWF Magazine on the newsstands did an article that did a major burial job on Hogan, mentioning his age and saying how he went with another organization where the talent is mainly past their prime, etc.
Brian Lee started on the road this past weekend as The Undertaker, beating Sparky Plugg in a number of cities.
Heavenly Bodies returned as Jimmy Del Rey is back from his injury.
All ‘Raw Rewind 1994’ pieces can be found here.