The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 09.25.95
Ad roulette! I got a commercial for PureTalk before this show. So it begins.
So it’s the night after In Your House 3, when Shawn Michaels & Diesel supposably won the tag titles from Owen & Yoko, only to have Gorilla Monsoon to reverse the decision and force the new old champions to face the Smoking Gunns.
Also, they’ve overhauled the RAW intro. Again. Men fighting on the rooftops! Pretty sure the shots of people running into the fences were recycled into the D-X entrance years later, as well.
Live from Grand Rapids, MI
Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler
Marty Jannetty v. Skip the Bodydonna
Not quite the bombshell return that Lex Luger coming back to Nitro was. At least he stuck around for a while this time. Marty with a dropkick to send Skip running, but Skip fires back in the corner. Marty dumps him again and dances a lot, then clowns around with Sunny and gets a good reaction for it. Real talk: How many drugs WERE the three of these people on at this point? A cumulative guess is fine. Back in the ring, Marty works on the arm, but Sunny trips him up and Skip takes over with a Doctorbomb while Dean Douglas takes notes at ringside. We take a break and return with Skip continuing to bore a formerly-hot crowd until Marty comes back with a german suplex for two. He blocks a rana attempt with a powerbomb and makes the comeback with a kneelift for two. Bodypress gets two and he stops to backdrop Skip out of the ring. Back in, the Rocker Dropper sets up the flying fistdrop for the pin at 9:41. Frankly I’m shocked they were still letting him do the Rocker Dropper after all the unpleasantness with Charles Austin. Shockingly good match, showing what Jannetty could pull off when (allegedly) sober and motivated. ***1/4
Meanwhile, Gorilla Monsoon “maintains the integrity of the WWF by delivering what was promised”, which in this case translates to doing a bait-and-switch of the main event and then a Dusty Finish the next night to undo their bullshit booking. They GUARANTEED a title change to sell the show! Like, what kind of a nonsense straw man argument were they building against WCW there? As if “not delivering on their main events” was somehow the burning issue fans had with the competition and WWF was rescuing us from that? Hey, I paid $20 for that IYH show in 1995 and felt completely ripped off both the night of the show and then the night after. Belated FUCK YOU to Vince McMahon for this whole thing.
WWF tag titles: Yokozuna & Owen Hart v. The Smoking Gunns
The Gunns double-team Owen and work on the arm as Billy is starting to get noticeably more developed in the steroidal sense. Billy tries a headlock on Yokozuna, but gets tossed out of the ring and then choked out. Yoko was getting slower and slower as this title reign progressed. Owen with a chinlock and the Owenzuigri gets two as we take a break. Back with the champs beating on Billy in the corner while Vince hypes Wrestlemania The Special on FOX…at 11 PM. On a SATURDAY. Ouch. That show was originally produced for NBC months earlier and was pretty much rejected by them, leaving WWF free to take a lowball offer from FOX to try and recoup something out of it. Billy fights out of a Yokozuna chinlock and walks into an elbow, but Yoko misses his elbowdrop and it’s hot tag Bart after some drama with Owen desperately trying to hold Billy by the belt. Bart cleans house and presses Owen for two and it’s BONZO GONZO. The champs collide and Owen gets caught in a Sidewinder to give the Gunns the titles again at 12:13. Crowd went crazy for the title change. ***
Undertaker v. The British Bulldog
Now given Bulldog was getting his first ever title shot on PPV upcoming, you’d think they would put him over strong here. Taker chokes him out in the corner and gets the flying clothesline, but goes after Jim Cornette and gets attacked by Bulldog as a result. King Mabel is watching and we take a break. Back with Bulldog working on the leg via a half-crab. Taker escapes with a backdrop suplex and goes old school, but lands on the bad leg. Bulldog puts him down with a piledriver for two, but Taker sits up. Bulldog with a delayed suplex for two. Taker no-sells and comes back with the chokeslam, but Mabel walks in for the DQ and beatdown at 9:20. Another shockingly entertaining match thanks to Bulldog. *** Not exactly the finish to make anyone buy Bulldog as a threat to Diesel.
Shawn and Diesel dance for the fans to end the show.
Next week: Razor Ramon v. 1-2-3 Kid and Bret Hart v. Jean-Pierre Lafitte!
Hell of a show this week.