Wrestling in the Clinton Years: Full Rear Assault

A quantum leap into the past by Martin Dixon (@BunnySuicida)

You're not fooling anyone with special effects like that.
You’re not fooling anyone with special effects like that.

WWF Raw November 21, 1994
Hello dear reader and welcome to Wrestling in the Clinton Years, a pleasurable pilgrimage through Pro Wrestling’s puzzling past. We’re mere hours away from the 1994 Survivor Series and this is the last chance for the WWF to sell the show to the paying audience and this episode has no time to waste as there isn’t even time for the title sequence, instead it’s straight to the entranceway as Razor Ramon makes his way to the ring for his scheduled match with Diesel. The entranceway is as far as Ramon gets before he’s immediately attacked from behind by Diesel and his Survivor Series team dubbed “The Teamsters” and consisting of Diesel, fellow WWF Tag champion Shawn Michaels, Jeff Jarrett, Owen Hart & Jim The Anvil Neidhart. The quintet mercilessly stomp Ramon into the concrete before an army of referees & officials try & stop the assault as the screen fades to black for an ad break. I’ll have to admit, that was a very powerful image of the lone Razor subjected to a 5 on one “horsemen” style beatdown which is so rare in WWF/E even now as they do like to keep heroes strong.

Back from the ads we see the announce team for this evening of Vince McMahon & Jim Cornette who are clearly & hilariously in front of a green screen over stock footage of the arena in an effort to make it appear as though they & the show are live. Vince decries the attack on Razor as Cornette gloats & praises the Teamsters’ “full rear assault”. It looks as though the Razor/Diesel match is off the cards thanks to the aforementioned attack so it’s on to the real first match of the show as Tatanka takes on Chris Kanyon (Yes, THAT Kanyon).

Screenshot (97)

Poor Kanyon suffers a prolonged & extended beatdown at the hands of Tatanka who delights in slamming Kanyon repeatedly as manager Ted DiBiase looks on approvingly. As Tatanka continues to rock Kanyon with hard clotheslines & suplexes Vince tells of a news story in which a man intends to go on a hunger strike, demanding a 24 hour, all Portuguese language cable channel all of which is just a ham-fisted segue way about how Survivor Series is available to order on pay per view that honestly made me place my palm on my face. After this Kanyon leaps from the second rope, surprising Tatanka with a crossbody that gets a sudden 2 count followed by punches and a crucifix pin that get another near fall for the rookie, followed by a sunset flip that again nearly gains victory for Kanyon. Kanyon’s comeback is short-lived however as Tatanka blasts Chris with another vicious clothesline and a top rope tomahawk chop to the head before finishing off Kanyon with “The end of the trail”, a Samoan Drop for the victory as DiBiase smirks at ringside to cap off a very enjoyable squash match that did change gears instead of remaining at one steady pace like so many matches I’ve seen so far.

After a hollywood western themed Survivor Series promo the second match sees Adam Bomb who I’m becoming more of a fan of each time I see him, taking on the spellchecking nightmare that is Jason Ahrndt. Bomb is finally in possession of his mushroom cloud shaped pyro in addition to his great entrance music. This is a quick but very enjoyable squash match. Ahrndt doesn’t get much but as a heel jobber this is all about making Adam Bomb look good in double-quick time and he does look very good here. Easily polishing off the match with a hugely impressive pumphandle slam.

Screenshot (99)

Screenshot (100)

The show takes an odd turn as Vince & Cornette take time out to play a little Nintendo, the soon to be released WWF Raw game. The two showcase the game by “playing”an Undertaker vs Yokozuna match. “Playing” in this instance being code for talking over game footage but to be fair, even I wanted that game back in 1994 but as an 11-year-old, I always found the game too expensive and as such didn’t play it until many years later. After this Vince excitedly reveals that Razor Ramon & Diesel will in fact take place at the end of the show, giving Raw an actual main event for the first time I’ve seen in this whole series instead of a squash match.

Before that though, Todd Pettengill recaps the awful build up to Clowns Are Us taking on The Royal Family. I can’t believe that this wretched unfunny feud has had far more screen time than even the WWF championship match (neither champion nor challenger appear on this episode outside of pretaped videos).

To compound my misery, we next journey to the King’s Court with Jerry Lawler and his trio of diminutive sidekicks. The four crow about beating Doink & his team at Survivor Series as from behind the team, Dink sneaks out from under the ring, armed with a super soaker and squirts The King. “Hilariously” Lawler believes that one of his teammates has spat on him & turns to admonish him cueing Pink to appear and repeat the gag. Of course the oblivious heels begin to squabble as Wink & Doink to emerge and the four begin dousing the King & his cohorts with water. Lawler cowers behind his throne as he hurls jibes and minor threats before the Clowns leave the soaked Royalty. Utterly wretched & I’ll be glad to see the end of this interminable feud.

Speaking of interminable, it’s time for more of IRS’ tales from the crypt as Irwin’s continued harassment of the deceased “John Dough” reaches yet another peak of tastelessness. Shovel in hand IRS recaps his actions to date before walking over to the recently re-exhumed grave of Mr Dough and revealing that he has in fact repossessed his very burial site, leaving the corpse “homeless” and joking that IRS will never let a tax cheat “rest in peace” until the debt is paid. I really thought these couldn’t get worse but I underestimated the depths this story will go. I’ve said it before but this is still extraordinarily out-of-place in the New Generation.

Screenshot (104)
IRS would later sell that shovel to a young Hunter Hearst Helmsley…

Following that it’s time for an IRS match if that pervious segment wasn’t bad enough. Irwin’s opponent is a very fresh-faced Matt Hardy in what must be one of his earliest Raw appearances. Sporting his “High Voltage” tights Matt offers up little to no resistance to the boring IRS, who even manages to break out his abdominal stretch complete with unnecessary rope grabbing for good measure. IRS wins this boring match with a leaping clothesline.

Screenshot (105)
Who’s ready for 10 minutes of Todd Pettengill? That’s right the final Survivor Series report is an extended edition where Todd shills every match on the card but sadly we have no new Chuck Norris promo to take the edge off. Again, The Clowns vs Kings takes up most of the time as if I hadn’t seen enough of this feud already.

When this caption enters water it doesn't get wet, the water gets captioned
When this caption enters water it doesn’t get wet, the water gets captioned

And lastly, Diesel returns to the ring along with the rest of The Teamsters for his rescheduled match with Razor Ramon who this time has the rest of his Survivor Series Teammates for backup. The 123 Kid, British Bulldog and The New Headshrinkers are all on hand for support. Before the bell, Razor rushes the ring & begins hammering Diesel with punches as the heel team look on from the apron until Owen Hart is levelled by a punch from Ramon before he grounds the massive Diesel with a hammerlock. Soon after though Diesel is back on his feet & escapes out of the ring to regroup. Back in the ring Diesel knees Razor in the gut and begins to take control with elbow smashes and punches until Ramon lands a few punches of his own. His comeback is short-lived and Diesel regains momentum and chokes Razor in the corner with his foot, utilising his long limbs to control his opponent, followed by a neck crank hold & then a sleeper hold to slow the pace of the match. Cornette on commentary does a good job on covering for such a blatant series of rest holds by talking up Diesel’s surprising technical wrestling abilities. Ramon manages to escape the sleeper hold with a huge belly to back suplex but Diesel sidesteps a charging Razor, sending him over the top rope and crashing to the arena floor right in front of The Teamsters as the show breaks for another ad break.

Diesel is once again in control when the show comes back on bit soon is rocked by a series of Ramon punches until Shawn Michaels distracts him, allowing Diesel to attack Razor from behind. Outside the ring the two teams face off, teasing a brawl until Diesel exits the ring to tip the balance of the face off in his teams’ favour. Ramon quickly follows and blasts Diesel with yet more punches, rolling him back into the ring where Razor stands still, waiting for Diesel to knee him in the gut once more before a sidewalk slam by Diesel gets a near fall. After another neck crank and fight out by Razor he is levelled by an always impressive big boot by Diesel that leads to another 2 count and the one time Oz begins to once more attack Razor, hitting him with snake eyes before attempting his signature Jacknife powerbomb. Diesel is unsuccessful however as Ramon back body drops him and both men lay exhausted on the canvas. The two struggle to their feet where Ramon hits Diesel with some punches and a scoop slam as Jeff Jarrett climbs onto the apron in an attempt to distract Razor but Double J gets punched & thrown into the ring for his efforts where, fuelled by adrenaline, Razor beats up both men before attempting the Razor’s edge on Diesel as British Bulldog pulls Jarrett out of the ring. Owen climbs to the top rope as this happens, aiming to leap and attack Ramon in the confusion. The wily Razor spots him & thwarts Owen, grabbing him & throwing him onto Diesel in the ring before inevitably, everyone climbs into the ring and begins a huge brawl as the referee calls for the bell and a double disqualification finish. The show goes off the air as all 10 men fight it out as Vince screams & shouts about the Survivor Series. You may have noticed that I mention a lot of punching in this match & that is because that’s all that really happens in this match. The fact that this is a rematch of a very recent Ramon & Diesel match and that was vastly superior is very disappointing and the very predictable ending was lacklustre & ham-fisted.

Screenshot (106)

And that’s that. The go home show to the 1994 survivor series is in the books and ends most predictably with a huge melee that everyone saw coming. Adam Bomb and Tatanka were the most entertaining parts of the show and seeing a very young Matt Hardy was fun like when D-Lo Brown turned up on one episode. I really do lament the lack of Bob Backlund on this episode, only appearing in recap videos as he lightens up any show he appears on but overall I was suitably entertained by this episode. 1994 is still finishing strongly overall & I hope it continues until the bitter end.

Thank you for reading.retro rasslin’ fans.

Martin Dixon.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s