Monday, October 27, 2014

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW–10.09.95

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.

39 comments:

  1. The WWF is derailing under Diesel Power!

    They should have ran with Backlund.

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  2. I find it interesting how totally de-emphasized that Diesel was getting around this point. Clearly the entire show is based around the wacky misadventures of Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels and the fans were catching on.

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  3. Y'know, despite his established Samoan heritage, Rocky must not have inherited that gene. I'd go into this further, but then I'd feel like Leonardo DiCaprio hauling out a skull and a taking measurements.

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  4. It's OK, my roommate at that time was samoan, so I can speak with confidence about this stuff and know in my heart that I'm not racist.

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  5. This was a holy shit RAW back in the day. I remember watching WWF Mania on Saturday and being shocked the faces not only jobbed but got beatdown so badly. That wasn't how the WWF booked at the time.


    Viva la Bill Watts

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  6. Back then Undertaker doing that move wasn't Old School, it was just School.

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  7. I still remember Diesel's weird selling of the legdrop- seeing his legs shoot all the way almost straight up. I mean- OVERSELLING? From KEVIN NASH??
    The beatdown was pretty cool for the time, and I actually remember thinking Taker's mask was BAD-ASS. Time has since revealed it as being a bit silly.

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  8. What was really weird was that WWF did a Jannetty/Droese match on the Action Zone, which the announcers said should have taken place on Raw, but the post match beatdown went on too long so the match was scrapped due to time constraints.

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  9. According to various shoot interviews I think it was around this time that Vince decided on Bret vs Shawn at 12.

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  10. He's one of the few who didn't balloon into a huge size as he got older (even the Cruiserweight-ish ones turned out fat... time may not be friendly to the Usos). But he DID have to have surgery to get his bitch-tits removed (which is why he wore a shirt for a few months back in the late '90s).

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  11. That beatdown after the six-man was one of the most memorable beatings ever...to me at least.

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  12. I just realised that when WWF usually do the whole battle of the superfaces thing, they normally position them as on screen friends beforehand, but that was never the case with Shawn and Bret. With all the major babyfaces being beaten, you'd think it would have been a good time for Bret to make the save and start the on screen friendship with Shawn.

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  13. Mabel had to be one of the guys that everyone dreaded working with.


    No heat, sloppy/dangerous, and I'm not even sure 80's Flair could have carried him past 3 stars.

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  14. Watts had his weaknesses, but in a way I think wrestling is worse off without a guy with a distinct and focused vision for how the product should be. Much like the Kansas City Royals this year--stathead types my sniff at their plan, but things sure turned around once they actually fucking HAD a plan.

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  15. Mabel crushing Diesel's face was serious business for us in 5th grade. We were all talking about Undertaker's sweet skull mask. I bought into it so much that I was very concerned when Bret removed the mask and started stomping his face at the Rumble.

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  16. The visual of John Cena giving Viscera an F5 was pretty spectacular.

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  17. It probably is family traits, but at the same time, the Polynesians do have a very high obesity rate compared to the world population.

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  18. six man tag broke my 8-year-old heart. I was whining at the screen, getting physically upset at Dean Douglas beating up HBK.

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  19. Mabel had heat. His fat helped the heat stay in his body and kept it well insulated.

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  20. Michaels, Diesel and Undertaker had become untouchable at that point so seeing them lose AND take the beat down was shocking. I remember even Paul Bearer looking shocked.

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  21. I Love my job,, since I've been bringing in USD5600… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online(Click on menu Home).

    visit site>>>>>> job-storm.cₒm

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  22. Well at least Gorilla Monsoon fined him $5000 (and King Mabel $7500). JUSTICE!!



    And I'll say again, that IYH 4 card did look promising ON PAPER. It just didn't work at all.

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  23. Yep, and Batista gave him a spinebuster too, and Benoit got a huge pop when he put him in the crossface. I also remember a huge pop for the Dudleys when they gave him a 3D about 2 months into their WWF tenure. Mabel was perfect to put guys over.

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  24. Did Mabel ever face HBK? If Shawn got a watchable match out of him.....

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  25. Some folks have all the luck....

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  26. Yep, they faced at the 1995 KOTR, and... oh wait a minute.... Nope. don't think they did actually.

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  27. Unless it happened off camera or there was a big edit, I never once saw the Undertaker physically react to getting his face broken. Dude just lays there like he's dead the whole time. Talk about living the gimmick.


    And being a real life badass.

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  28. That is damn true. I would have immediately screamed like a girl and rolled out of the ring. I would NOT have stayed there and taken 5 more legdrops by the same guy who JUST BROKE MY FACE.

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  29. There's a fancam here of Bret, Shawn and Diesel facing Mabel, Yokozuna and Bulldog. With er, Bob Backlund as referee. Sounds like fun!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zA98ByKkkf0

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  30. Watts wasn't long for the promotion after this though, was he?

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  31. Although that cage match wasn't too good (oops, spoiler alert), it was pretty well built up over the previous couple of weeks for a Raw match, so there is that to appreciate.

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  32. Definitely the highlight of the Watts "era." That guy could book heels.

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  33. I remember reading that Bret-Shawn was the plan for WM XII in the sheets around this time (Oct. 1995). It was kind of an abrupt shift from the current product, which was built around Shawn and Diesel being the top 2 guys and Bret fighting guys like Yankem and Lafitte on the midcard. Even Bret getting the title shot vs. Diesel at Survivor Series was out of the blue (although not super surprising since there were no heels for Diesel to fight).

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  34. Oh I give these guys who get seriously hurt and don't sell it all the credit in the world - if I got hurt for real I'm not even pretending I'm not hurt, I'm calling the whole thing off and going home. Like Sin Cara.

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  35. Douglas would have to work in ECW 3 years to pay that fine off.

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  36. I wouldn't go so far as to call the brother fat. He's got a weight problem. What's the nigga gon' do? He's Samoan.

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  37. Next weeks cage match was the first wrestling match i watched following a 2 plus year layoff...thanks to Wrestlemania 9s awfulness & me realizing wrestling was pre determined. Somehow that cage match match hooked me for good.

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  38. A full year of Yordano Ventura and the overdue emergence (and health) of Danny Duffy had a helluva lot more to do with their turnaround than any "plan." Ned Yost might be the worst manager in baseball, but that bullpen goes a long way toward disguising it.

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  39. I don't think it's a given that that bullpen just magically came together.


    Yost isn't going to be mistaken for a tactical genius, but getting guys to play hard and buy into the system is about 95% of a manager's job. Calling for bunts and pointing to the bullpen is the rest--if even that.

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