Monday Night Raw – December 19, 1994: Even Santa Has Given Up

Monday Night Raw
Date: December 19, 1994
Location: Liberty High School, Liberty, New York
Attendance: 1,400
Commentators: Vince McMahon, Shawn Michaels

It’s a double main event tonight with Lex Luger vs. IRS and Well Dunn vs. Bushwhackers II! Now how in the world could this not be the best show of the year so far? We’re also starting to get kind of close to the Royal Rumble but the only thing mentioned so far has been the Tag Team Title match with participants to be announced. Maybe we can get a Christmas miracle or something. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

IRS vs. Lex Luger

Luger has what looks like the most bored kid in history carry the American flag to the ring. Lex shoves him down to start as Shawn calls him the Total Package. Vince is trying to figure out who the Druids are and thinks it could be either King Kong Bundy or Tatanka. That’s so stupid I’m not even sure how to make fun of it. A hiptoss and slam put IRS down and there’s an AMERICAN (though not a Real American because that’s been taken) clothesline to give Luger a near fall.

IRS sends Lex outside though and the Druid (who apparently weighs somewhere between 240 and 450lbs) posts him to give his boss (I guess?) control. We see some rings on the Druid’s hand, which Vince says look familiar. He doesn’t say where he’s seen them of course but they do look familiar.

We take a break and come back with IRS dropping some elbows for two more. It’s off to the chinlock before DiBiase offers some advice. Apparently he said “drop a leg and cover”, only to have Luger come back with right hands (Shawn: “Luger punches like a girl.”). The Druid trips Luger up and slaps him though, triggering a brawl which leads to a countout win for IRS.

Rating: D. Another lame match but at least it was shorter this time around. The Million Dollar Team is still one of the worst stables I’ve ever seen though as the thing just keeps going with nothing interesting going on in the slightest. I mean, IRS as the main wrestler just isn’t going to work no matter what you do with him. He’s fine as a midcard guy but they’re actually making him the focus. That’s almost frightening.

The Druid is Tatanka.

We recap the first round of the Tag Team Title tournament.

The Bushwhackers are getting the Fink ready by rubbing sardines in his face.

Jeff Jarrett runs into comedian Rip Taylor at Bally’s in Las Vegas. This continues to be bad.

Smoking Gunns vs. Roy Raymond/Chris Avery

Billy and Raymond get things going as we hear about the Gunns entering rodeo competitions. Well that’s better than entering toughman competitions on live television. Bart suplexes Roy as the announcers break down the upcoming Bushwhackers vs. Well Dunn match. Avery comes in and has about the same success until he pulls some hair to take over…..for all of two seconds. Bart hiptosses him again as Shawn just lays into Vince for his obsession with cowboys. A powerbomb/top rope legdrop combo finally puts Chris away.

Rating: D. The Smoking Gunns are one of the most successful teams from one of the worst eras in tag team history. Until we FINALLY got to Owen/Bulldog as champions in 1996, the titles died more and more every single week. Teams like the Godwinns didn’t help things and it’s no wonder that the Gunns stayed on top so long.

Speaking of which, Henry Godwinn debuts next week.

This week’s King’s Court has Bob Backlund as a guest. They’re milking the heck out of this guy. Lawler isn’t pleased with Jack Tunney ripping Backlund off in something he doesn’t explain well enough. Backlund knows what he is and knows where the plebeians stand. The fans chant EIGHT SECONDS (the amount of time it took for Diesel to beat Backlund) as Bob uses a bunch of big words.

Enough of that though as Backlund talks about hurting Bret Hart at Survivor Series. It was like he was putting the chickenwing on all the people at once. Bob is happy to face Bret at any time, whenever he comes back. Finally, Bob wants to talk about Diesel, who stole the title from him. Backlund: “Kevin Nash, you’re like a neanderthal.” Shawn: “Did you hear that Vince? KEVIN NASH!” The hatred in Vince’s voice is great. Bob calls Nash the tyrannosaurus rex of the WWF, meaning he’ll be extinct soon due to a chickenwing.

Bob Holly vs. Chris Canyon

Yes that Canyon (well Kanyon), who is in a weird purple half singlet and gold trunks. Holly armdrags him into an armbar to start, only to get caught in a belly to back suplex for two. It’s off to a chinlock from Bob (not something you often see from a face) as Shawn brags about himself to kill time. Holly slams him down and drops a top rope elbow for the pin.

Rating: D-. A lot of that is due to the bizarre color combination on Canyon. Seriously it was that distracting. Holly continues to be one of those guys who was watchable in the ring but never had a chance because of the ridiculous gimmick he was stuck with. Canyon would do better later on of course.

Here’s a Royal Rumble control center with Bret vs. Diesel being announced for the first time on Raw. Diesel says Bret has jumped right on this title match idea by naming the time and place. He isn’t sure how Bret has gotten away with wearing pink for so long because a real man wears black with a little gold. At the Rumble, they’ll both be black and blue.

We also get the first ten entrants for the Rumble itself. This just makes me sad.

Well Dunn vs. Bushwhackers

The managers are the big draw here. Again, this just makes me sad. The Bushwhackers clean house again to start with both villains being knocked to the floor. Even the Fink gets to do some whacking. We settle down to Dunn taking over on Butch, only to have Luke dragged inside to send Dunn into Well. Luke gets kicked in the ribs from the apron and Well comes in with a top rope elbow to the jaw. Dunn dives into a raised boot and it’s off to Butch for more clotheslines. Harvey tries to interfere but Fink pulls him down by the pants, allowing Butch to roll Well up for the pin.

Rating: D. Somehow, this might have been a big step up over their first match. Well Dunn was clearly never going anywhere and somehow this was more about the fighting managers than anything else. At least we got the comedy spot at the end because this would have been a waste of time otherwise.

Santa Claus sits on Mabel’s lap for whatever reason. Comedy I believe.

Jim Neidhart vs. Nick Barberri

Neidhart yells at the Spanish announcers for some reason. Forearms put Nick down and a backdrop sends him over the top. Back in and a bad camel clutch makes Nick give up. This was it for Neidhart for a few years for whatever reason.

One more Rumble preview and a look at next week’s card wraps things up.

Overall Rating: D. Dang 1995 is looking better every week. I can’t get over the fact that they though Well Dunn vs. Bushwhackers II was going to be an interesting draw. You really can tell that they’re taking some time off at this point and it’s getting more and more pitiful every single week.

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