The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 10.09.95
Taped from Grand Rapids, MI
Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler
Yokozuna, British Bulldog & Owen Hart v. Diesel, Shawn Michaels & Undertaker
Weird cut-in promo of Shawn Michaels at an inner city school ceremony in Washington, as he gets all choked up at being a role model and basically acts more like the real life Shawn we know now rather than the cartoon character he was for most of the 90s. It was actually a really nice human moment for someone who was seemingly always having to be “on” at the time. Owen starts with Shawn and ends up on the floor off a monkey flip, and the Bulldog gets pinballed by the faces to set up a double boot from Diesel and Undertaker on Yokozuna. That was pretty cool. Bulldog gets pounded by Diesel and makes the mistake of bailing to the Undertaker’s side of the ring, and that goes badly for him. Diesel with a leaping clothesline on Yoko, and Undertaker goes old school before walking into a samoan drop. He quickly no-sells that and comes back with a DDT, and the faces keep working on Yoko until he finally drops Shawn with the Rock Bottom for two. Shawn is your face in peril and Owen gets a backbreaker for two. Bulldog gets a press slam for two. Bulldog and Owen was a natural pairing of awesome that I’m shocked it took another year for them to get the tag titles. Shawn is in TROUBLE as we take a break. Back with Owen and Bulldog continuing the double-teaming with an abdominal stretch as we get a parade of heels out taking notes (Waylon Mercy, and then Dean Douglas), but Hebner catches them cheating and Shawn comes back with a backslide on Owen for two. Yoko stops that comeback and then beats Shawn down, and Bulldog headbutts him down for two. Delayed suplex gets two. Owen with the chinlock and he cuts off Shawn with a leg lariat for two, but Shawn rolls him up for two. Owen with the gutwrench and he goes up, but we take another break while Owen is in mid-air. Back with Shawn finally getting the hot tag to Diesel, who hits Bulldog with a sideslam, but runs into a powerslam for two. Undertaker inadvertently distracts the ref, and Yoko drops the HULKBUSTER on Diesel so that Bulldog can get the pin at 16:05. And then you KNOW Bill Watts is booking because Yoko and Mabel proceed to pulverizing Undertaker while Dean Douglas beats on Shawn outside to keep him from making the save. Mabel’s sloppy legdrops actually legitimately fractured Undertaker’s orbital bone, giving us the Phantom of the Opera version of the character. You can actually see his eye turning purple and it’s pretty gross. This was TREMENDOUS, with Diesel doing the job and the heels actually getting some real heat on them for once. Plus it was a great six-man to boot, with Owen and Bulldog doing most of the work with Shawn as the face in peril, which is basically the perfect combination. ***3/4
Meanwhile, at Summerslam, Bret Hart faces Isaac Yankem and they basically show the whole match while Vince and Jerry overdub the commentary and talk about next week’s cage rematch. It’s a pretty good match, but what a strange way to fill time, as this ran about 12 minutes. I remember that cage match as being dogshit, though, so we’ll see if time was kind to it. It wasn’t originally supposed to air on TV and so Bret was going half-speed as usual for a dark match, and Vince changed his mind after the tapings finished for some reason and decided to use it as a RAW main event.
Makin’ A Difference Fatu v. Skip of the Bodydonnas
Man, here’s all that was wrong about 1995 in a nutshell. Fatu chases him around the ring, but misses a blind charge and Skip takes over with a chinlock and goes up with a diving headbutt, and even Vince calls him an idiot for doing that. Who headbutts a SAMOAN? That’s just basic wrestling genetics! Fatu makes the comeback and finishes with the flying splash at 5:45. Skip was pretty much a glorified jobber at this point. *
Meanwhile, Dok Hendrix is unsure about interviewing the babyfaces in the locker room.
Meanwhile, Jim Ross interviews a coked up Jim Cornette while Bulldog mugs for the camera while wearing a cap for some reason. This was pretty wacky, to say the least.
Vince and Jerry continue stretching out the show as long as possible to wrap things up.
Next week: Bret Hart v. Isaac Yankem in a cage, as we somehow get a FOURTH week out of these tapings!
This was basically a one-match show with another half hour of filler, but it was a hell of a match and a great angle. Too bad the PPV was a disaster that pretty much sent the entire promotion off the rails.