The SmarK Rant for WWF Superstars – 01.08.94
Taped from Lowell, MA. The bizarre taping schedule continues, as this was the first week of that taping cycle, but the show was taped on December 15, meaning that these matches are literally a month old already. No wonder RAW felt so much fresher.
Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Stan Lane. Stan continues to do yeoman’s work in this role but Vince desperately needs a heel to play off again.
LAST WEEK: The Lex Luger Locomotive continued to steam down the tracks! I see we’ve upgraded from the literal bus to a metaphorical train now.
Meanwhile: Senile old Jack Tunney grants Lex Luger entry into the Royal Rumble because reasons, on the condition that Fuji also gets to enter Tenryu and Great Kabuki. Even in 1994 both of those guys were pretty damn old. Even in the kayfabe storylines of wrestling, fans would be aware that Kabuki was supposed to be Great Muta’s father/uncle/whatever, which goes against the “New Generation” nonsense they were peddling at this point.
Yokozuna v. Scott Taylor & Bert Centino
Some kid has a plastic Undertaker-branded urn at ringside, which is exactly the kind of thing that the WWF would push in the 90s without even thinking about the implications of turning symbols of death into a literal plaything. I mean, it’s just wrestling, whatever, but sheesh. That feels like something that would get plastered on Twitter with complaints to sponsors if they did it today. The geeks try a double dropkick and somehow miss completely and Yokozuna beats on Taylor and hits him with a belly to belly. Centino tries to save and he gets legdropped as a result, and then Yoko stacks them like cordwood and finishes with the DOUBLE BANZAI at 3:00. Maybe that’s where Roman got the idea? Big guy beating up two little guys is always fun. 1 for 1. But then on the way out, Paul Bearer and Undertaker pop up on the video wall and they’re STILL WORKING ON THAT FUCKING CASKET. It’s been a month now! How much of a perfectionist is this guy? Anyway, Undertaker clarifies that he doesn’t make mistakes, he buries them. That doesn’t really make any sense but it’s sure a cool line.
Jeff Jarrett v. Rich Myers
Vince notes that Yoko is DEATHLY afraid of Undertaker and then notes “no pun intended”. YOU FILTHY LIAR. Clearly that pun was intended. Hopefully he doesn’t tell those lies on the stand. Meanwhile Stan Lane makes Slim Whitman references about JJ for all the kids watching. Jarrett gets a dropkick and follows with a slingshot suplex, but Myers rolls him up for two. Jarrett slugs him down again and threatens the ref with another punch, and Vince is AGHAST, noting that Jack Tunney will surely take action for that threatening gesture. What is this, Nazi Germany? This is AMERICA, not communist Russia, we have a little thing called FREEDOOM OF SPEECH that says I can walk into a crowded movie theater and yell “fire!” if I damn well want to! Myers makes a brief comeback and Jarrett finishes him with something boring that I’ve already forgotten at 2:15 because I was too worked up about corrupt old Big Pharma socialist puppet Tunney. 1 for 2.
FACE TO FACE! WITH JIM ROSS!
This week we hear from IRS and Razor Ramon, and Razor is going to remember the beating he took from Shawn Michaels and use it against IRS. Well that hardly seems fair.
Bret Hart v. Mike Bell
Oh man, after just finishing Red Dead Redemption 2, “Mike Bell” reminds me too much of “Micah Bell” and now my blood is getting all angried up! DAMMIT, DUTCH, WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST LISTEN TO ARTHUR? Anyway, the kid they picked for ring announcer this week actually does a pretty good job, although he’s too overcome with tears in his eyes while announcing Bret. Bret takes Bell down with a headlock while Owen cheers him on at ringside. This had to be kind of weird for the crowd, because this was taped before their reconciliation would have aired. Bret gets a suplex and drops a leg on Bell, then finishes with the usual at 2:02. 1 for 3.
The Quebecers joins us for a special interview with Ray Rougeau, in advance of defending the tag titles against Marty Jannetty & 1-2-3 Kid on RAW. However, that match was a month away at the time this was taped, so instead the Quebecers talk about the Rumble match with Owen & Bret. Jacques gets a funny line, talking about how “brothers are not always close and don’t always get along” and then giving Ray a sideways glance. OK, that was pretty clever.
Meanwhile, apparently Randy Savage crashes school dances in barns and gives out meat snacks. Weird flex but OK.
Meanwhile, Tatanka really dislikes drinking and driving. Bold stance. I suppose we should be thankful that they didn’t have him talking about “leaving the wagons on the reservation after drinking too much fire water”. Maybe they still will, show’s not over yet.
Razor Ramon v. Chris Duffy
Razor tosses Duffy and then throws him back in, so Duffy tries to slingshot Razor into the ring and that goes badly for him as well. Razor gets a chokeslam and finishes with the Razor’s Edge at 2:33. So I was watching a YouTube list video and although I can neither confirm nor deny personally, apparently no one ever kicked out of the Razor’s Edge because Hall never did the move in a match where it wasn’t going to be the finish. That’s pretty cool if true. 1 for 4.
Meanwhile, it’s the coming of KWANG, who’s breaking boards with CARIBBEAN KUNG FU.
ROYAL RUMBLE REPORT! WITH TODD PETTENGILL!
Lex Luger does a promo where he talks about how happy he is for the opportunity and thanks the fans for making it happen, sounding like a robot reading off cue cards. Honestly, he used to have charisma in WCW, I’ve seen it. Meanwhile, on Wrestling Challenge, Jim Cornette reveals that Yokozuna has a “little phobia” about being locked in a casket. That’s a pretty damn reasonable phobia, in fact. Are we supposed to be like “Oh man, what a wuss, he doesn’t even want to be locked in a box and buried alive? WIMP!” Oh, also, Tatanka lets us know that Ludvig Borga speaks with a forked tongue.
Bam Bam Bigelow v. Bryan Walsh
Apparently this week is the first anniversary of Monday Night RAW, which is kind of astonishing considering they now celebrate diamond anniversaries and 5000th episodes and such for it and it seems like it’s never going to die. Walsh tries some offense and gets slammed around the ring like he’s in Wrestlemania: The Arcade Game as a result, but without the goofy digitized icons flying off him. Bigelow goes to a chinlock and Walsh decides to try a victory roll like he’s Bret Hart, but Bam Bam drops him with an electric chair and then finishes with the diving headbutt at 2:19. Good enough for a point. 2 for 5. And then Doink the Clown comes out and scatters marbles on the ground before Dink trips up Bam Bam and he takes a painful bump on his head as a result. That’s not funny, that’s DANGEROUS! Also some stupid kid at home would probably try that and break his neck. Probably young Joey Janela if we’re being honest. I’m taking away the point for the match! 1 for 5.
And we finish with a pair of promos from Tatanka and Ludvig Borga leading up the Rumble.
Promotional considerations are paid for by “Rage in the Cage”, introduced by Lord Alfred as he exclaims “Attention Sega CD fans!” That’s a pretty specific segment of your audience. In fact I don’t even remember that game at all and I have hard drives full of retro wrestling games, which are of course all legally bought and paid for.
NEXT WEEK: Undertaker finally finishes that stupid casket! Tatanka! Lex Luger v. Bastion Booger!