The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 01.09.95 For those keeping track, this was intended as something of a reset for the show, with the second anniversary providing a new booking direction under Jim Ross. Also, the banners and microphones are now redone with the new blue motif for the logo. Live from Houston, TX, finally in a damn arena. There looks to be tons of empty seats and blacked out sections, but baby steps. Actual attendance: 3500. Ouch. Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Shawn Michaels William Shatner cuts a promo about his impending interview with Jerry Lawler. He’s not here to fight! Intercontinental title: Razor Ramon v. Owen Hart Taping in the Summit arena pays immediate visual dividends, giving the show a much more open feel instead of the claustrophobic and depressing halls from the past two months. Owen showboats with the belt, but Ramon takes exception to he who would mess with his gold and beats on Owen before slamming him off the top for two. Ramon goes to work on the arm and controls that, then slugs Owen down for two. Razor catches a crossbody attempt and turns it into the fallaway slam, but Owen backdrops him to the floor to take over. Owen with a dive and back in with a bodypress, but Razor rolls through for two as we take a break. Back with the Owenzuigiri for two and he chokes away for two. They slug it out and Owen catches him with the leg lariat for two and hits the chinlock. Flying forearm gets two. Backbreaker gets two. Sleeper follows and things are looking bad, but Ramon suplexes out and gets two. Razor makes the comeback with the chokeslam and they head up, but Owen drops him on the top rope right on the ol’ razor’s edge. Sharpshooter, but Bret Hart runs in for the DQ at 15:13 and beats the hell out of his brother. Jeff Jarrett comes in to attack Ramon, but the babyfaces send him packing. This was a HELL of a TV match before the cheap ending. ***1/2 Royal Rumble Report with Todd. Aren’t 60 second intervals just AWESOME? Hakushi v. Matt Hardy Matt tries to flip around him, but Hakushi superkicks him and follows with a top rope shoulderblock. Slingshot splash finishes at 1:10. Shit, I was hoping for him to bust out the SPACE FLYING TIGER DROP in his debut. The King’s Court with William Shatner. Oooooh, I remember this show. Trainwreck incoming. Shatner is just there to plug Tekwar, but Lawler gets in his face one time too many and it’s KIRK v. KING. And Shatner takes him down with a monkey flip, so Bret Hart runs in and endorses him after the fact. Where were you when Lawler was trying to beat him up? Bret’s being kind of an asshole this week. Meanwhile, a video strives to convince us that Pam Anderson gives a shit about who wins the Rumble. King Kong Bundy v. Gary Sabaugh Avalanche and we’re out at 0:23. Apparently the show was running super long and Vince was freaking out about getting the tuxedo match in before time ran out. Now they’d just do a 25 minute overrun and take their time. Kama: still headed in, whether you like it or not. Tuxedo match: Howard Finkel v. Harvey Wippleman Well at least this should be short. So yeah, they roll around trying to disrobe each other as you see Finkel’s reward for decades of service and loyalty live on national TV. Fink actually gets stripped first, but apparently still has his cumberbund on so he wins at 2:30. I feel like this professional wrestling match may not have been entirely contested on the up-and-up. Like you even have to guess what this gets. -***** And then they actually went SHORT so we get a minute of Finkel and the Bushwackers dancing around the ring to use up the remaining TV time. Next Week: Jeff Jarrett v. Bret Hart, with Shatner involved somehow. The Pulse: Ramon v. Owen was tremendous, the rest was hot garbage on a stick. But hey, one great match is enough to justify these 45 minute shows at least.