What the World Was Watching: Monday Night RAW – July 17, 1995

Irwin R. Schyster and Shawn Michaels cut dueling promos against each other for tonight’s main event, with Michaels saying that he is going to do what lots of Americans want to do in slapping around the tax man.

Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are doing commentary and they are concluding the tapings in Danville, Pennsylvania.

Opening Non-Title Contest:  Owen Hart & Yokozuna (WWF Tag Team Champions w/Jim Cornette & Mr. Fuji) (10-0) defeat Jim Dimitri & Gus Kantarrakis when Owen makes Dimitri submit to the Sharpshooter at 2:53:

Dimitri and Kantarrakis are wearing matching blue singlets, thereby resembling something more than the jobber tag team that they are supposed to be.  Dimitri is a Canadian wrestler known today as “the wrestling lawyer,” since he practiced law after wrapping up his wrestling career in 1995.  The tag team champions give no offense to their opponents, taking turns dominating their competition, until Yokozuna gives Dimitri a leg drop to the back of the head and Owen locks Dimitri in the Sharpshooter to give the heels a win and some momentum heading into In Your House 2.

Todd Pettengill provides the In Your House 2 Report.

Call 1-900-737-4WWF to hear the Ross Report and find out who might be the next WWF president.

Jean-Pierre LaFitte (12-0-1) beats David Thornberg after Le Cannonball at 2:33:

McMahon implies that LaFitte is responsible for some recent thefts in the locker room, thereby taking his pirate gimmick too far.  LaFitte beats Thornberg pillar to post, incorporating a new move with a release German suplex, en route to another victory.

A replay of the first Fatu “Makin’ a Difference” vignette is shown.

We get our contractually required playing of “With My Baby Tonight” to justify what the WWF spent on the music video.

Shawn Michaels (11-1-1) pins Irwin R. Schyster (w/Ted DiBiase) (1-3) after Sweet Chin Music at 8:35 shown:

Michaels and IRS were wrestling each other on the house show circuit leading up to this bout, which serves as a proxy fight between Michaels and the Million Dollar Corporation.  IRS is also winding down his time in the company, having done big jobs for the Undertaker, Bam Bam Bigelow, and Savio Vega during the year and he gets a jobber entrance tonight.  Michaels justifies a critique that Gorilla Monsoon made when IRS debuted in 1991 in that he uses IRS’s tie against him, using it to hot shot IRS across the top rope early in the match.  IRS keeps the rest holds to a minimum, shocking viewers that are used to his work, and he counters Sweet Chin Music with the Write Off but does not go to a cover, and Michaels eventually catches the tax man with his finisher out of nowhere for the win.  This would be IRS’s last televised bout in the company after a four-year run and it was a good way to go out.  Rating:  ***

Barry Didinski tries to get us to buy a Shawn Michaels t-shirt, as Michaels stops by and kisses a female fan who is wearing the Razor Ramon shirt.

Isaac Yankem says that a young patient has an abscess and he pulls a tooth, while Lawler says Yankem is going to knock out Bret Hart’s teeth with his fist.

Kama (w/Ted DiBiase) (20-0-1) beats Billy Mack after a right hand at 2:01:

Mack was a freelance worker, coming into the WWF on several occasions in 1985, 1995, and 1996 to do jobs for big name talent.  Mack catches Kama off guard with a missile dropkick but Kama cuts off a Barry Horowitz 2.0 story quickly with a thrust kick.  After that the smaller Mack cannot handle Kama’s strikes, producing yet another win for the Supreme Fighting Machine.

After the bout, Kama yells at the Creatures of the Night at ringside.

McMahon interviews WWF Champion Diesel, who claims that Sid is a chicken and that he is going to end his career with a Jackknife at In Your House 2.  He makes a Don Pardo reference and welcomes out his lumberjacks, which include Tekno Team 2000, Savio Vega, Duke Droese, Bob Holly, the Smoking Gunns, Bam Bam Bigelow, Fatu, Adam Bomb, Man Mountain Rock, the 1-2-3 Kid, and Shawn Michaels.  Michaels and Bigelow say that they cannot wait to beat up Sid if he comes to their side of the ring at In Your House.  Sid walks out and laughs and we cut to commercial.  When we return, Sid refuses to get into the ring to face Diesel, despite the fact that his lumberjacks have come out to back him up, and this reinforces how Sid is a chicken and all of this is somehow meant to get people to buy the pay-per-view.  Another weird thing about this segment is that McMahon wears the WWF title belt for a good chunk of it and cuts a mini-promo against Sid, warning him that there is nowhere to hide at In Your House.

Tune in next week to see Bret Hart square off with Hakushi!

The Last Word:  The feature match was evidence that Shawn Michaels was a miracle worker in 1995 as he took IRS, who had wrestled a string of bad bouts throughout the year, and turned in something worth watching.  The last segment tried to build drama for the pay-per-view, but the Diesel-Sid feud ran out of momentum a long time ago and should have been blown off last month.  At this point the lumberjack match comes off as a mercy killing.

Up Next:  WWF Superstars from July 22, 1995!