Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW–09.25.95

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.

55 comments:

  1. To be fair, you can't really job the Undertaker like that since he's always been protected. It was WWF's fault for booking themselves into a corner like this by booking two guys together who shouldn't be doing jobs. Razor would've been a good guy for Bulldog to go over strong and give him some main event cred, but for some reason did the stupid DQ finish instead.

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  2. Shocked they never ran with a Taker/Bulldog program. Bulldog is a weird guy in that he was around a lot and over but never had any memorable non title feuds. The matches against Bret, Shawn, and Diesel and then that's it. And from there it's the tag team run with Owen.

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  3. And Marty has always been awesome, so wasn't surprising he could have a good match with Skip. What was surprising was how quickly they turned Marty into a JTTS guy despite drawing a lot of heat in his return match. It's like WWF are allergic to making new stars.

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  4. Kayfabe wise there's no reason for Bulldog and Taker to do a program together. Bulldog's gimmick is that he's the strongest guy in the company and Undertaker's gimmick is that he's a zombie, no real reason for them to feud.

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  5. "Real talk: How many drugs WERE the three of these people on at this point? A cumulative guess is fine."

    All of them.

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  6. Why did they always keep the old Rockers outfit on Jannetty? It really made him seem like he was stuck in the past. I almost think he would have been perceived as a more legitimate threat if he had evolved visually like Shawn Michaels did, rather than keep the neon streamers.

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  7. I think Marty actually liked wearing his Rockers garb and don't think he was ever interested in evolving his character.

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  8. "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."


    Pretty sure they also reused a lot of that footage in the 2002 Raw intro too. I know the helicopter flying in front of the full moon was reused for Hollywood Rock's entrance.

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  9. He followed Ricky Morton logic.

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  10. Was there a story behind Davey Boy never getting a run with the title? I'd have thought taking a flyer on him would have been perfectly harmless.

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  11. He was too bizarre.

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  12. Virgil's Gimmick TableOctober 22, 2014 at 12:51 AM

    So basically it was the greatest intro ever in separate parts, but terribly cheesy as a whole.

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  13. Isn't 'guaranteeing' a title change basically saying "wrestling is fake, but if you buy this show your favorites will win and we'll send you home happy!" Guaranteeing a title change from the face authority figure to try and butter up the fans seems like a pretty dumb selling point. Did anyone really say "I want to see Hulk Hogan and the Macho Man at tge WCW show, but WWE is guaranteeing a title change so I'll order their show!"?

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  14. The Warlord v Bulldog feud was legendary!

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  15. Nice first post, 'Unknown', I see a bright future for you here.

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  16. I think the reason the WWF Championship was and should be important is equally due to the guys who didn't win it. Roddy Piper is one of the few perennially recognizable wrestling names to people who never even watched it, and he never won it. Jake, Perfect, Orndorff, Rude, DiBiase... hell, by today's standards Razor Ramon would've been the champion twice, but they all never won it.

    You always want to see talented guys have a run, but the real money is in keeping the world title THE prize and not some whore who gets passed around to guys who've "earned it".

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  17. In this context, it was two singles champions versus tag champions, with all titles on the line. So, as long as somebody wins, a title is guaranteed to change hands.

    Not sure how that alone proves westling fake.

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  18. It's a Ghost Keith!

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  19. Or not bizarre enough.

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  20. Morton and Janetty should team up now on the indies.

    The Rock and Roll Rockers!

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  21. You used the "f-word"! You never should have been broken into the wrestling commenting business.

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  22. TJ: I had no idea that Shane McMahon was actually trained by Al Snow and Dr. Tom Pritchard (not a real doctor)

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/golianopoulos/how-pro-wrestlings-scion-is-fighting-to-make-it-on-his-own?s=mobile

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  23. Ah, sorry, now I realize that was the stipulation for that match. I thought this was more like when they guarantee that a title will change hands to try and reel people in. In that case it would kind of be proving that wrestling is fake because how could you ever truly guarantee a win? I'm trying to remember what matches have been hyped that way. It seems like it was possibly a WCW match.

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  24. Bulldog was the strongest LIVING man in the company. The Undertaker was the strongest DEAD MAN in the WWF.

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  25. And at this point in their career they could enter the ring sitting in rocking chairs.

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  26. CruelConnectionNumber2October 22, 2014 at 2:17 AM

    He's the Dr. of Desire!

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  27. CruelConnectionNumber2October 22, 2014 at 2:18 AM

    No, the rival WCW main event that month was "guaranteed" to feature THE ZODIAC MAN and THE SHARK.

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  28. CruelConnectionNumber2October 22, 2014 at 2:19 AM

    Short answer? STEROIDS in 1992 during his peak. And he was a lousy heel aside from some good chemistry tagging with Owen.

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  29. I can't ever recall a match being hyped that way. Vince has hyped a PPV saying there would definitely be a new WWF champion, but only when the title's been vacant. WCW did that one show they hyped where they admitted wrestling was fake but that Goldberg might go off the script or something like that.

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  30. You want to put them in the Wyatt Family??

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  31. Maybe I'm thinking of the Goldberg match, I could've sworn I've seen it in other matches before too, maybe not though.

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  32. There was only so far the WWF was willing to go with a Jannetty push since he was already so unreliable. A JTTS role was actually pretty perfect for him.

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  33. Nope, there is always "Count-Out" and "DQ". Both better that what they came up with...

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  34. Monsoon took count-out and DQ off the table, if either of those happened the guy lost his belt.

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  35. MikeyMike, WitnessOctober 22, 2014 at 4:44 AM

    The matches seem to be halfway decent on this show. The PPVs don't get good for another two months though.

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  36. Yeah this was a rare good raw back then.

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  37. Yeah, this definitely seems to be the first real acknowledgement from WWF that the landscape has changed and Godwinn squashes aren't gonna cut it anymore.

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  38. Was there any build for In Your House 3?

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  39. Exactly! 1995 Undertaker wasn't doing a job on free tv

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  40. "Now given Bulldog was getting his first ever title shot on PPV upcoming..."


    I thought that happened at Wrestlemania 2?

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  41. Specifically banned in that match, like in Triple Threats.

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  42. "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."


    Note to self: when returning to ECW, leech off of Candido's heat with Triple Threat.

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  43. Hell, even the queen of England was into that match!

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  44. It's kind of strange that IYH 4 is considered by most (myself included) as being one of the worst shows ever, but on paper, there was definitely some appeal to it.



    1- Bulldog's first ever world title match
    2- HBK against the "new guy" Dean Douglas, who had just beaten Razor, should have been a good match at the very least
    3- Yoko vs Mabel, I'm always a sucker for "Big vs Big" matches
    4- a Faces vs Faces tag title match, with the Smoking Gunns vs Razor/Kid
    5- the debut of Goldust.


    But yeah, it didn't turn out so good.

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  45. He obviously meant the big belt

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  46. That's kind of a good question, due to the US Open hiatus. I remember lots of hype, must have been on WWF Superstars, which still meant something at the time.

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  47. That was actually an emergency taping that fooled the dirt sheets in 95. After the debut success of nitro, vince panicked and ordered all his stars to stamford and the buzz began. It turned out to be just this opening

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  48. It's always nice to look back on that 95 WWF product that people got nostalgic for in the Raw thread. Mabel-related DQ's in the main event? Compelling! Excitement over a three star match? Smell the workrate!

    Like Raw sucks now but it's mostly stagnant and frustrating as opposed to these shows where there's no way for the roster to get better.

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  49. Same as Tito wearing the "Strike Force" tights till 1991.

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  50. Yep, at least he finally moved on to be a Matador. Must have taken him 2,5 years of intense therapy to accept it and move on.

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  51. Huh? Guys only feud if their gimmicks match up somehow?

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  52. And by the spring of '96 they had to junk it because it was already out of date wrt who was still on the roster.

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  53. stuff like this bothers me soo much. it's scripted, certain workers (in this case Taker and Bulldog) don't NEED to have a match. why would anyone book something like this when it is obvious it will cause problems (because no one is "allowed" to lose at that pont)?

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  54. to be fair I guess most people would never claim they are nostalgic for that. to me it seems to be a lot more about "structural" (in lack of a better word) things like wins/losses and titles still being important at that point (instead of specific workers etc.).

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