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WWF Monday Night RAW - October 31, 1994

by Erick Von Erich

It's a (not so) special Halloween edition of Monday Night RAW! We're in Burlington, Vermont "live ", but originally taped on October 17, 1994. Our hosts are Vince McMahon and "Macho Man" Randy Savage. A special Halloween gvideo package tell us the tale of how Bob Backlund has SNAPPED, becoming the WWF's own verison of Dr. Jekyll. Backlund is set to challenge Bret Hart for the WWF Championship; which he claims he never lost; at Survivor Series. We'll also have a special edition of the King's Court with the spookiest WWF Superstar around, the Unnnndertaker. As we run down the card, jack-o-lantern graphics have been added! But with so much going on in the World Wrestling Federation, let's get down to ringside for...

"Made in the USA" Lex Luger vs. Mr. Bob Backlund

Luger has a young girl to carry the flag and lead him to ringside. Always thought it was weird to have a guy named LUGER as a patriotic American hero. Backlund enters and does his lunge exercises. Yes, the official graphics label him as "MR. Bob Backlund". Lock-up and Luger biels Backlund across the ring, doing his own version of the lunge warm-ups to frustrate the old codger. They fight over waistlocks, with Luger using the sit-down escape. Backlund finally manages an armbar and works it into a reverse hammerlock. We see Tatanka peering out from behind the curtain, as we go to commercial. Back from the break and Backlund still has the hammerlock, but worked it into a bearhug. Luger fights out and delivers a slam, which brings Tatanka to the ring apron for the distraction. Backlund sneaks up behind and catches Luger in the crossface chickenwing and drags him to the center of the ring. Luger appears to be fading, but Tatanka hops in the ring and puts the boots to him, triggering the DQ. Umm... why? I get that Tatanka and Luger were feuding, but wouldn't the heel (Tatanka) want his rival to lose the match A horde of officials enter the ring, but Backlund will not break the hold. Macho Man finally has enough, leaves the commentary table and runs in to pull Backlund off! Crowd goes nuts for that.

Commercial bumper tells us to tune in to Action Zone, this weekend, for a Mabel vs. Yokozuna match. As we return from the break, Macho Man is catching his breath and says Backlund was "outta' line, brother"!

1-2-3 Kid vs. Tony DeVito

Kid's hair is incredibly poofy and poodle-rific. If anybody could've benefitted from a mask, it would've been Sean Waltman. Didn't DeVito go on to "fame" in ECW? DeVito works an armbar and waistlock, then they hit the ropes for some criss cross (JUMP JUMP action), which ends when Kid delivers a dropkick. DeVito slams Kid, then misses an elbowdrop. Kid takes it home with a laser-like legdrop, a vertical suplex, some kicks, then a flying legdrop from the top for the 3 count.

Survivor Series Report

Todd Pettengill mentions that somebody stole his Spanky/Little Rascals lawn jockey during Halloween shenanigans at his house. The Survivor Series is still scheuled for the night-before-Thanksgiving, still in San Antonio and still has the same card.

King Kong Bundy (w/Ted DiBiase) vs. Bert Centeno

Centeno sorta' has the Demaryius Thomas "wide mohawk". Basic squash for the Walking Condiminium, as he tosses Centeno around, clotheslines him and drops a knee. Avalanche into the corner, then another kneedrop as Bundy wins with a 5 count. Vince and Macho spend most of the match talking about how "Greg Gumball and Mike Sitka" watch Action Zone on an NFL pre-game show; a reference to some skit they were running at the time. Macho references Thurman Thomas for no clear reason, then announces that the "Giants have won the World Series". Yomimuri Giants, that is. During the "pre-Monday Night Wars" RAW episodes, it seems they tried WAY too hard to work in these awful "contemporary" references.

Irwin R. Schyster (otherwise known as IRS) is in a cemetery demanding tax payment from a (dead) guy named "John Dough". Looking at the surroundings, it appears that they're simply using the back of an actual headstone for this faux name. Schyster calls bullshit on Mr.Dough writing off his daughter's birthday party as a tax expense. As payment, Schyster will take a decorative wreath. This was all sorts of stupid.

The King's Court with The Undertaker and Paul Bearer

Jerry Lawler kicks off his in-ring interview segment with an incredibly lame insult to get heat from the audience: "you people are ugly. Halloween must be your favorite holiday". This is touted as an "extra spooky" edition of the Court. Paul Bearer leads Undertaker to the ring, while McMahon compares him to Count Dracula. Umm, I guess there aren't any famous zombies, so a vampire is close enough. The ring remains basked in Undertaker's dark purple entrance light, which freaks out Lawler. Undertaker uses his magic powers of Motioning to the Lighting Guy to return to standard light. Bearer wastes no time in shilling a new WWF Magazine special-- "Tombstoned: the Undertaker's Greatest Matches". Available now! The rest is hyperbole for the big Undertaker/Yokozuna casket match at Survivior Series. Only now, Chuck Norris is the special troubleshooting referee to prevent over-booking like their '94 Royal Rumble match. A crowd sign shows grave sites for Undertaker foes: Shawn Michaels, Yokotuna (sic) and Hulk Hogan. Egads, a Hogan reference on WWF TV in 1994.

A short bumper tells us that, next week, the main event will be Bret "Hitman" Hart and the British Bulldog taking on Owen Hart and Jim "The Anvil" Nedihart. Incestuous booking!

Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart (w/Owen Hart) vs. Tony Roy

Neidhart hiptosses Roy across the ring, twice, while Owen shouts incredibly basic threats at the camera. "Bret, this is what we will do to you, NEXT WEEK". Anvil dumps Roy, upside down, in the corner (known now as "The Tree of Woe"), so Owen can reach in and choke. Anvil then squat-chokes Roy on the middle rope. Roy gets one forearm shot, but then it's more clubbering from Anvil. Basic slam and Anvil slaps on the camel clutch for the submission win. I call shoddy camera/mic work; we didn't get one "Haha! Yeah, Baby!". Macho Man makes another of those forced references: "Stargate was #1 at the movies, this weekend! I predict that Hitman and Bulldog will be #1, next weekend"!

Back from commercial break, McMahon heads to the locker room to get an update on Lex Luger. We get video of Luger icing down his shoulder, but no audio. People like to poke fun at WCW's production flaws, but this is terrible. Especially when you consider that this was TAPED! Macho does his best to narrate things and apologizes for the technical difficulties. Audio finally kicks in, as Tatanks begins attacking Luger. That's it! We're outta' time!

Why'd You Watch This?
Slapping pumpkins on a wrestling show and loosely tying it to Halloween... darn you, Halloween Havok, for making me watch this! The main event of Luger/Backlund was vintage "Superstars Feature Match", a formula they'd been running since late '86. A sub-par feature match, at that. The rest is garbage. This was definitely a slim period for the WWF. Of special note for trivia buffs, is that this was the last WWF appearance of one "Macho Man" Randy Savage, as he bolted for WCW the next week. It was unexpected, as Savage was very much in the mix of things with Backlund this episode. McMahon at least put a capper on Macho's tenure by wishing him luck in a short segment the next week.

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