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

Vince McMahon narrates a video package that shows highlights of In Your House 5.

McMahon and Jerry Lawler are doing commentary and they are live from Newark, Delaware.  This is the last RAW of 1995 since the WWF was pre-empted for Christmas.

Opening Contest:  Jeff Jarrett (13-8-1) beats Fatu (8-3) via disqualification when Ahmed Johnson interferes at 5:44 shown:

Jarrett draws very little heat in his first match since July and it is weird seeing him wrestle without the Roadie at ringside.  Fatu appears to hurt his shoulder after a Samoan bulldog and somehow that makes him susceptible to a figure-four leglock but Ahmed Johnson runs in to prevent further damage.  Rating:  *¾

Dok Hendrix interviews interim WWF President Gorilla Monsoon, who tosses Jarrett’s name out of the Royal Rumble because he is booking Jarrett to face Ahmed in a singles match.

In a taped promo, Goldust says he has a special bond with Razor Ramon.

A replay of the Diesel-Undertaker confrontation at the end of In Your House 5 is shown.

Hendrix reminds fans that they can call and purchase WrestleMania:  The Arcade Game for SNES, Sega Genesis, and Sony Playstation.  Remember, if you buy it you can get a VHS tape with all of the codes!

Buddy Landel (0-1) defeats Bob Holly (14-12-1) with a corkscrew elbow drop at 6:51:

The audience is given no background on Landel and McMahon does not mention how Landel got squashed by Ahmed Johnson last night at In Your House.  Landel wrestles a very basic style of punches and takedowns, which would work well for an NWA audience in the early 1980s but is not well suited for the 1990s.  And when you cannot have a good, competitive squash against Holly that does not bode well for your long-term prospects.  Rating:  *

Brother Love interviews Ted DiBiase, who does his best to sell the backstory of Xanta Claus and pledges that 1996 will be the year of the Million Dollar Corporation.  He also says that 1996 will be the year of the Million Dollar Champion, which was sort of true because of who would eventually be introduced as the wearer of that title.

Goldust comes out to set up a chair by the entrance and is accompanied by an usher.  Fans are shown Ramon’s reaction to receiving an envelope from Goldust last night at In Your House.

Intercontinental Championship Match:  Razor Ramon (Champion) (24-7-1) beats Yokozuna (2-1-1) via count out at 8:40 shown:

During Ramon’s entrance gold glitter falls from the top of the arena, thereby advancing the mind games that Goldust is playing against the Bad Guy.  Ramon’s temporary alliance with Marty Jannetty also appears to have ended since he is back to wearing his Bad Guy-style jacket as opposed to a generic leather one.  Since much of Ramon’s offense is tied into slams he is significantly limited offensively and Yokozuna is nowhere near his 1993 levels of maneuverability so the sum total of that is a very one dimensional match where the punches fly a ton and it gets old quickly.  Ramon manages to daze Yokozuna enough to hit a second rope bulldog and after that, the lights in the arena flicker and the Undertaker and Paul Bearer come out to ringside with a casket.  Yokozuna freaks out at this sight and high tails it to the locker room, giving the Intercontinental Champion a count out win.  The finish was meant to give some interest to the Undertaker-Yokozuna encounter at Madison Square Garden at the end of January as they would not be booked to face off at a future RAW.  If fans did not know that, though, then it was a puzzling way to end the match because the Undertaker is slotted to face Bret Hart at the Royal Rumble and should be concerned with winning the WWF title.  Rating:  ½*

McMahon and Lawler discuss the RAW Bowl on January 1 without adding a lot of clarity about what the match is aside from the fact that it features four teams.

Hendrix interviews Razor Ramon, who says that Goldust is in love with him but he does not play that side of the fence.

The “Tell Me a Lie” music video for Shawn Michaels career debuts, which is one of the better songs that the WWF ever produced.

Tune in for the New Year’s edition of RAW in two weeks when there will be the RAW Bowl, featuring the Smoking Gunns, Sid & the 1-2-3 Kid, Razor Ramon & Savio Vega, and Owen Hart & Yokozuna!  Also, Diesel squares off with King Mabel!

The Last Word:  This was a very poor RAW as the only storyline that advanced was Razor Ramon and Goldust, which would become a bit wilder by the time the Royal Rumble came around.  Bret Hart-Undertaker was sort of a “dream match” by this point in company history but there was no mention of the fact that they two would be facing each other outside of Gorilla Monsoon’s interview earlier in the broadcast.  And again, the lack of Diesel, one of the hottest characters on the roster, and the complete absence of Shawn Michaels have gutted a good portion of the televised product for the time being, portending an ominous road into 1996 that would see a further decline in the company’s fortunes.

Monday Night War Rating:  2.3 (vs. 2.7 for Nitro – Randy Savage vs. The Giant)

Up Next:  WWF Superstars for December 23, 1995! (The last review of 1995 WWF!)

If you are interested in getting all of these 1995 reviews, in addition to a timeline for the WWF in 1995, a detailed breakdown of wrestler win/loss records, a listing and ranking of major matches, and an explanation of the year’s angles, you can purchase the e-book in Amazon for $4.99 or buy a paperback version for $26.  The paperback is 812 pages.  If you buy the paperback, you will get the e-book for free.