The Netcop Retro Rant for Survivor Series 1994
– Yeah, yeah, I know I’ve got 5 shows to cover in 4 days. Have I ever let you down before?
– Speaking of letdown, the feedback for my N2R 99 Rant is filtering in, with less than usual, which probably indicates you all know I was right and it wasn’t that great a show. The feedback I *did* get all came from people with e-mail addresses like “RVD420@ Ã¢â‚¬Â and “SabuRulz4Life@ Ã¢â‚¬Â and generally contained no evidence of capitalization, spell-checking or thought beyond “that show rooled! New jack dived off a backboard and they all did crazy bumps and it was 5x better than any WWF or WCW show this year!Ã¢â‚¬Â You know, the usual in-depth analysis from Paul Heyman’s target audience. I find the fact that the audience sat on their hands chanting “Show your titsÃ¢â‚¬Â at a female fan during the three-way while popping for the highspots pretty much indicates to me that they weren’t particularly into it, either. Hey, the truth hurts. Don’t shoot the messenger.
– On with the show
– Live from San Antonio, Texas.
– Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Gorilla Monsoon.
– Opening match: Shawn Michaels, Diesel, Owen Hart, Jim Neidhart & Jeff Jarrett v. The British Bulldog, Razor Ramon, Fatu & Sionne. Sionne is of course Barbarian repackaged as a Headshrinker following the departure of Samu. Kid & Anvil start, and it turns into a heat segment on the Kid PDQ. An Owen-Bulldog confrontation follows, and it’s a goody. Anvil comes in and almost gets finished by the faces, but Fatu is having problems adjusting to wearing boots (don’t ask) and Anvil thus escapes certain doom. Razor & JJ try to resolve their issue, doing a lengthy sequence. Diesel tags in and casually disposes of Fatu with the powerbomb. Kid tries next, second verse, same as the first. Sionne comes in, same thing. Bulldog tries, gets pasted with a big boot, and is counted out. That leaves Ramon 5-on-1. Diesel has a pretty easy time of things, but Razor comes back and tries the Razor’s Edge. Diesel escapes and powerbombs him — and NOW Shawn wants to tag in after sitting on the apron for 20 minutes. He calls a tired Diesel over to try the double-team, but of course Razor ducks and Big Kev takes one for the team. Diesel snaps and goes after his partner, and eventually chases him back to the dressing room, with the rest of the team following to calm things down. The others are counted out one-by-one, until finally Ramon wins an improbable countout victory at 20:43. WAY cheap ending, but the match was rockin’ while it lasted. *** Survivor: Razor Ramon.
– Meanwhile, Shawn runs all the way back to the car, leaving his half of the tag titles with Toad Pettingzoo, thus vacating them.
– Jerry Lawler, Cheezy, Sleezy & Queezy v. Doink, Dink, Wink & Pink. MIDGET MADNESS! Those of you who followed the Coliseum Video Rants I did are well aware of my feelings on the whole midget genre, but if you’re new to the Netcop World, we’ll just say that I HATE THEM and leave it at that. Basic comedy match here, with Doink dominating Lawler and the little guys working in their stuff between the hideous amounts of stalling. Lawler pins Doink with a handful of tights, and then the evil midgets run through the good midgets in short order one-by-one, ending with Dink’s demise at 16:03. A DUD if there ever was one. Survivors: Lawler, Cheezy, Sleezy & Queezy. The King berates his team, so all 6 midgets team up and chase him to the back, where Doink hits him in the face with a pie. Such divine comedy. It’s not wrestling, it’s sports entertainment, you know.
– Toad takes us back to Tokyo as Bull Nakano wins the Women’s title from Alundra Blayze. I think it was something like a ****1/2 match, so of course we only get the finish.
– WWF World title: Bret Hart v. Mr. Bob Backlund. This is submission rules, with the winner being decided when their second throws in the towel. Bob has Owen Hart, Bret has the Bulldog. Stu and Helen Hart are also at ringside, which becomes important later. Backlund is drawing BIG heel heat here, by the way. The story is that he’s still bitter at his manager throwing in the towel and costing him the title 11 years prior, and he snapped and took out Bret Hart a few months prior to this, along with nearly everyone else in the promotion. Bret quickly dominates Bob on the mat, something you don’t see too often. Bob suddenly tries the Crossface-Chickenwing out of nowhere, but Bret wiggles free. Again, and Bret reverses to a belly-to-belly. Bret tries building to the Sharpshooter, but misses an elbow and Bob works the arm. Shots of Bret’s then-wife Julie are shown, and she looks way less horrible and shrewish than she did on Wrestling With Shadows. Bob does a great job of holding an armbar despite all of Bret’s attempts to break the hold. Surprisingly, the crowd remains into the match during all the matwork, which is a testiment to how over Bret was. Bret finally manages a figure-four, which has Backlund screaming at Owen to throw in the towel, but he refuses. So Backlund sucks it up and reverses. Bret breaks the works the knee. Bob comes back with a piledriver and tries the chickenwing, but Bret makes the ropes. Backlund tries a sleeper, which is pretty pointless for this match. Double-KO, but Bret is fresher and recovers first with a piledriver and the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM. Sharpshooter in the center of the ring, but now Owen and Bulldog get into a foot-race, allowing Owen to sneak in and break the hold. Bulldog lunges and misses, slamming his own head into the stairs. Great bump there. Bulldog is out cold, and now Backlund takes advantage and hooks the CFCW. Bulldog can’t throw in the towel, so Bret fights the move, doing an awesome selling job. There’s nowhere to go, however. So Owen, in true weasel fashion, heads over to his parents and starts pleading with his mother to throw in the towel on Bret’s behalf. Not with Stu, of course, because the old man obviously sees right through the act. He’s literally in tears as the announcers speculate on a possible face turn. Owen continues hounding his mother, pulling her out of the audience, but Stu keeps pulling her back. Finally, she gives in and throws in the towel at 35:12, giving Mr. Backlund his third WWF title. The crowd is REALLY displeased with that one. Owen breaks into maniacal laughter and sprints back to the dressing room. Backlund’s celebration is priceless. Great old school match — Steve Corino would be proud. ****
– Backstage, Owen confirms that the whole thing was a setup. Back at ringside, Vince laments the feeling of betrayal he has. BRET SCREWED oh, never mind.
– Tatanka, Bam Bam Bigelow, King Kong Bundy, Tom Prichard & Jimmy Del Ray v. Lex Luger, Adam Bomb, Mabel, Billy & Bart Gunn. Lex & Tatanka start, with nothing of note happening. Mabel comes in and flattens Tom Prichard in short order to get rid of him. We get the Mabel-Bundy showdown next. It goes nowhere, so we try Mabel-Bam Bam. Mabel heads to the top, but gets slammed off. Bigelow tries a sunset flip, but Mabel is you know what’s coming JUST TOO FAT. He sits down. Ouch. They both tumble out, but Mabel is like a beached whale and can’t beat the count back in. Some random matchups for a bit, then Adam Bomb gets moonsaulted and pinned by Bigelow. Luger kills Del Ray with the STAINLESS STEEL FOREARM OF DEATH and pins him. The Smoking Gunns double-team Tatanka, looking good in the process. Billy looks totally different with a moustache and a non-roided physique. Sidewinder gets two, then Bart tries a crucifix and gets hit with the Papoose to Go and pinned. Billy & Luger keep Tatanka in their corner, but he finally fights free and tags in Bundy, who squashes Mr. Ass in about three seconds. So it’s 3-on-1 for Luger. He manages to dominate Tatanka, but the Bundy-Bigelow tandem proves to be too much. They spend an eternity beating him down. Finally, Tatanka is sacrificed as a resurgant Luger gets a small package to eliminate him, but Bundy uses that window to splash and pin him at 23:18 in a smart ending. Surprisingly good, but too long at the end. **3/4 Survivors: Bigelow & Bundy.
– Mr. Backlund calls an impromptu press conference to announce his future plans for the WWF title. He doesn’t mention getting squashed by Diesel in 9 seconds 6 days later, of course.
– Casket match: The Undertaker v. Yokozuna. Chuck Norris is YOUR special trouble-shooting referee, in order to prevent a repeat of Royal Rumble 94. They both go through their usual slow-motion-even-on-fast-forward offense, until UT takes out the managers and gets jumped, giving Yoko the advantage. He dominates for a while, then Taker comes back with a flying clothesline and tries to roll Yoko into the casket. Bundy and Bigelow come out and yell stuff at Chuck Norris. Ooooo, that’s scary. IRS sneaks in and nails Undertaker, however, setting off the epic Undertaker v. Corporation feud that spanned most of 1995. Yoko almost gets the win, but UT escapes and comes back to give Yoko a big boot that sends him crashing into the casket. He slams the lid and gets the win for the good ol’ USA. I’m so verklempt. Yoko would not be seen again until Wrestlemania XI, so we can thank Undertaker for that much, at least. Much was Big Show v. Kane level of bad, of course. -*
The Bottom Line: Pretty polarized show, with some exceptionally crappy stuff and some pretty good stuff. The Backlund-Hart match is DEFINITELY not for everyone, and I doubt today’s “sports entertainmentÃ¢â‚¬Â fan would get through the first 10 minutes without taking a bathroom break, but to each their own. The show had no real long-lasting effect on the world or anything, so I’ll say very mildly recommended.