The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 06.26.95
Y’all can go to hell if you think I’m redoing King of the Ring. Sorry, but even I have my limits. In a roster note, IRS was done after King of the Ring and retired to become a road agent…until WCW promptly signed him for their new show. Whoops.
Live from Danville, PA. These shows have certainly been an education in learning new shitty towns in the US that I’ve never heard of before.
Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Shawn Michaels, since Jerry Lawler is still selling the beating from Bret Hart the night before.
The Smoking Gunns v. The Black Phantom & Jason Arendt
The Gunns double-team Arendt with a neckbreaker and finish him with the Sidewinder at 1:30.
Meanwhile, Jerry Lawler goes to visit his dentist to get the taste of his own feet out of his mouth…Isaac Yankem DDS. Lawler points out that Yankem used to be a wrestler under an assumed name, so they not only tied in the Bret storyline to Jacobs’ debut, but Lawler also explained how a dentist could be a wrestler!
We recap last night’s King of the Ring show, including Sid running away from Diesel like a coward to build up yet another rematch between them. Did they not even understand what got him over in the first place?
Skip Bodydonna v. Scott Taylor
Vince and Shawn just talk right over Sunny’s promo and then throw to Barry Didinsky for some t-shirt shilling. And they wonder why no one ever got over. Taylor fires away to start, but Skip hits an enzuigiri and stops to do jumping jacks. Taylor dropkicks him out and baseball slides him, but Skip pulls him out and splashes him off the top rope to take over. Back in, top rope rana finishes at 2:10.
In Your House 2 Report with Todd. The main event is already signed as noted earlier, with Diesel defending against Sid in a lumberjack match that no sane human being could care about since they’ve already killed off Sid’s aura and character.
Man Mountain Rock v. Phil Apollo
Thankfully, MMR has moved on past the pain of losing his guitar and is rocking out again. Rock tosses Apollo around and finishes with the WHAMMY BAR at 1:00.
King Mabel v. Kenny Kendall.
This is what I hated about this period so much – the previous night at the PPV, the entire crowd turned on the product, chanting for ECW during the big Mabel coronation match and then violently rejecting him as a top guy by throwing garbage at him during the crowning. So do they change the direction or even keep him off TV for a couple of weeks to take the wrong kind of heat off him? Nope, just throw him out and shove him down our throats even harder because FUCK YOU. No one cares about Sid v. Diesel in the main event? FUCK YOU, here’s a lumberjack match between them. Don’t want to cheer for Savio Vega? FUCK YOU, here’s four matches with him and then a main event on RAW. If I could have watched Nitro in 1995, I would have switched in a heartbeat, too, and I was BOYCOTTING WCW due to Hogan’s title reign at the time! They not only didn’t get their audience, they were openly disdainful of them and what they wanted to see (ie, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels and no one else). Mabel pounds away in the corner and adds an enzuigiri, then beats on him on the floor while Shawn laughs off his KOTR elimination (“I guess I need to read the rulebook a bit more.”) and the belly to belly finishes at 2:30. This heel push was DOA from the start.
Meanwhile, Waylon Mercy tries his hand at being a lifeguard before his debut next week.
Meanwhile, the Hall of Fame inducts seven people, including Bill Murray doing a funny remote induction of George Steele.
Intercontinental title: Jeff Jarrett v. Savio Vega
I know what you’re thinking: “So Vega didn’t get over at King of the Ring and become the top babyface we expected, so why not shove him further down the fans’ throats? That’ll work, right?” Congrats, you’re qualified to book this awful show. Jarrett attacks and gets slugged down as a result, and an elbow off the middle rope gets two. Corner clothesline and he slugs away, then puts Jarrett on the floor as Shawn antagonizes the Roadie leading into the break. Back with Jarrett taking over with a neckbreaker, and a suplex gets two. Savio comes back with a suplex of his own and both guys are out. Vince constantly puts over Savio’s effort, but wrestling four matches and losing to a midcarder doesn’t make you a star, it makes you a LOSER. If he had put in that effort and lost out to, say, Undertaker or Shawn Michaels, then you’ve got a storyline. Beating the Roadie to get into the finals and then losing to half of Men on a Mission is not a storyline people can get behind. Shawn beats up the Roadie on the floor and Savio rolls up Jarrett for two, but Roadie comes in for the DQ at 7:30. I was thinking this was another abeyance situation, but I was obviously thinking of the Goldust non-switch in 96. Shawn’s involvement here set up his IC title shot at IYH2 to finally put Jarrett’s title reign out of its misery. **
Next week: Bam Bam Bigelow v. Sid! Why would you even book that on TV? Everything after the post-WM show has just been a big ball of shit rolling downhill faster and faster.