What the World Was Watching: Monday Night RAW – September 18, 1995

Clips of the end of last week’s British Bulldog-Razor Ramon match are shown, along with the 1-2-3 Kid’s challenge to Razor Ramon for a match on tonight’s show.

Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are doing commentary and they are concluding the tapings in Canton, Ohio.  This is our last RAW before In Your House 3.

Opening Contest:  The 1-2-3 Kid (10-4) pins Razor Ramon (16-4-1) after Dean Douglas gives Ramon a top rope splash to the back at 7:07 shown:

The Kid quickly puts aside any friendship he has with Ramon in the early going, attacking Ramon before the bell and laying in the kicks.  Both men have great chemistry that shows through this match as Ramon fires back with a fallaway slam and a chokeslam to put over how he is the bigger man and the Kid gets desperate with a sleeper halfway through.  For the second straight week we get a ref bump in a Ramon match, with the referee taking a spill to the floor after a collision.  Dean Douglas runs out and splashes Ramon across the back from the top rope and this allows the Kid to score the upset and give Ramon a third straight loss.  This was a fun match and the interference made fans want to see Ramon gets his hands on Douglas at In Your House 3Rating:  ***

Douglas, in his backstage classroom, gives the Kid a grade of “D” for “Dumb” since the Kid thinks he just defeated Ramon.  Ramon gets the grade of “E” for “Elevate” since Ramon is trying to elevate himself at Douglas’ expense.  Douglas gives himself the grade of “A” and he says that the outcome of their match at In Your House 3 will be a no brainer.

McMahon recaps how Henry Godwinn slopped Ted DiBiase again on the recent episode of Superstars.

Kama & Tatanka (w/Ted DiBiase) defeat Bob Holly & Savio Vega when Kama pins Holly after a powerslam at 5:50:

This is a really random tag team match.  The pairing of Kama and Tatanka makes sense because they are Corporation members but Holly and Savio have not been shown as friends on camera.  However, one thing that everyone shares in this bout is that they have no direction in existing storylines.  Holly constantly falls for heel taunting and gives Tatanka and Kama a lot of free two-on-one opportunities on Savio, which McMahon says might be indicating a Holly turn.  Holly eventually gets a very subdued hot tag and Kama botches the finish by not completely catching Holly during the Pit Stop Plunge.  It leads to Holly taking a nasty slam on his neck.  The company may have had plans for a Kama and Tatanka team but Tatanka’s suspension ruined that and any significance this match might have had.  Rating:  **

Razor Ramon tells Dean Douglas that he has his attention and he is going to carve him up at In Your House 3.

Jean-Pierre LaFitte (18-0-1) pins Brian Walsh after Le Cannonball at 3:17:

Bret Hart calls into the show from the set of Lonesome Dove and says that he is disgusted that LaFitte has been stealing glasses from his fans.  McMahon also reminds viewers that interim WWF President Gorilla Monsoon has guaranteed a title change at In Your House 3 in the “triple header.”  LaFitte seems off in this squash, wrestling slowly and nearly losing his balance before doing the Cannonball, but he successfully completes the move for an easy tune up for this Sunday.

WWF officials are shown reinforcing the ring for the main event.

Footage of Mabel’s reign of terror from winning the King of the Ring Tournament to injuring Diesel’s back at SummerSlam is shown.

Non-Title Match:  Owen Hart & Yokozuna (WWF Tag Team Champions w/Jim Cornette & Mr. Fuji) (14-0-1) defeat Men on a Mission (18-2) when Owen pins Sir Mo after a Yokozuna leg drop to the back of the head at 9:07:

This match is non-title, something that Men on a Mission should complain about because they have a ninety percent winning percentage in 1995 and have not lost since May 14.  This is also a unique match because it pits two heel teams against each other, something rarely seen in this era, but in storyline terms interim WWF President Gorilla Monsoon booked it to please the fans.  The match builds to a showdown between Mabel and Yokozuna, with each team cheating behind the referee’s back, and the crowd loses their minds when the big men face off.  In fact, we get the debut of Kevin Dunn’s “shaky camera” techniques that are used today when the camera bounces following a few spots where Mabel and Yokozuna get knocked down.  The end comes when Cornette distracts the referee and Owen and Yokozuna manage to work in their patented drop toe hold-Yokozuna leg drop spot, enabling the champions to win.  When people think of good RAW matches in the early years of the program they overlook this one, but it was a great spectacle for its time.  In all actuality, it should have led to a rematch for the titles at In Your House 4Rating:  ***½

Diesel & Shawn Michaels promise win the WWF tag team titles at In Your House 3.

After a commercial break, McMahon interviews Jim Cornette, Owen Hart, and Yokozuna.  Cornette puts over Owen’s accolades as a former king of the ring winner and Yokozuna’s championship pedigree.  He also raises the prospect of how Diesel and Michaels might have a falling out and might be more preoccupied with protecting their own titles.

Lawler predicts that Yokozuna will win the WWF title from Diesel in the “triple header” match.

Tune in next week to see the British Bulldog face the Undertaker!

The Last Word:  If you have never seen the main event tag team match, I would highly recommend it.  The match continued a string of fun bouts that Men on a Mission had as a unit in 1995 and shows that Mabel would have been best used in that role rather than getting a singles push.  The promo after the main event also did a great job selling fans on In Your House 3, implying that Diesel and Michaels might cost each other the match to save their own titles, which was not out of the realm of possibility since fans in online circles were clamoring for Michaels to get the WWF title before the end of the year and such an outcome could lead to a match between he and Diesel at Survivor Series.  Finally, this show was a major ratings success, illustrating the drawing power of the main event and another Razor Ramon-1-2-3 Kid match.  The booking is getting better after a rough summer as well.

Monday Night War Rating:  2.7 (vs. 1.9 for Nitro – Ric Flair vs. Brian Pillman)

Up Next:  WWF Superstars from September 23, 1995!