The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 12.11.95 Taped from Richmond, VA Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler Owen Hart v. Jeff Hardy Hardy tries a headlock, but Owen puts him down with a knee and follows with a backbreaker. Jeff, it should be noted, appears to have crafted his tights out of a pair of curtains from the 70s. So kudos for recycling. Owen lays him out with a clothesline (which Jeff sells with a full Jannetty flip) and a missile dropkick finishes at 2:30. Yoko adds a buttdrop for good measure, and this prompts Diesel to leave his backstage seat and make the save. So either this was taped before the heelish interview from the live show or they were just letting him be the same person while they figured it out. Aja Kong v. Chapparita Asari Asari gets a crazy handspring mule kick, but Kong bowls her over and then just punches her in the face repeatedly. Well that works. Package piledriver looks to finish, but Kong picks her up at two. She keeps kicking Asari’s ass while Lawler makes lame fat jokes about Kong (after a comment about eating potatoes, Vince notes “There’s quite a few potatoes in the ring right now.” And that’s a shoot.) Kong gets a splash for two but picks her up, and Asari quickly comes back before missing the Sky Twister Press. Kong finishes her with the backfist at 4:00. Asari is bleeding heavily from the nose afterwards, and given how hard Kong was hitting her, I’m not shocked at all. This was seriously one of the stiffest matches ever seen on RAW. **1/2 This was designed to push Kong to a title match when it was filmed, but by the time it aired Alundra Blayze was already on the outs with the promotion and that’s probably why they didn’t say anything about her on commentary. In fact they largely ignored the match and just spent the whole time making fat jokes. Shawn Michaels sits down with Todd, discussing possible retirement. Todd: “You haven’t been WWF champion, but you’ve had a good career.” That’s kind of a dick thing to say. Shawn basically calls him out for being such a twatburger with that line of questioning and INTERVIEW OVER. Oh great, Todd made him lose his smile. Ahmed Johnson v. Rick Stockhauser That’s a pretty good name for the jobber, actually. Ahmed quickly hits him with a spinebuster as the goof is tripping over his own feet, and then repeats it because the first one looked so shitty. Pearl River Plunge finishes at 1:05. Dean Douglas does a drop-in promo here as well, which is kind of scummy because they definitely knew by this point that Douglas was injured and wouldn’t be wrestling at the PPV. Afterwards, Ahmed declares to Lawler that he’s not a man of words, he’s a man of action. Truer words have never been spoken. The RAW Bowl: Coming New Years Day! Did they seriously expect anyone to give a s--- about this? Speaking of things no sane person could give a s--- about, Sid and The Kid get promo time, as Sid rambles about Marty Jannetty, and Kid is still working out his heel character. Bret Hart v. Mr. Bob Backlund They’ve got lots of time here, so we’ll see if Bret is motivated or not. They fight over a facelock while Jerry Lawler interviews Diana Smith at ringside and she has a perpetual bitchface while delivering terrible lines. She got a LITTLE bit better in 96, but not much. Bret and Bob keep fighting on the ropes for a waistlock and we take a break. Back with Bob clowning around outside the ring, but back inside the ring Bob goes for the chickenwing and Bret makes the ropes. So then Bob goes to work on the arm FOREVER and the crowd is just dead silent while I go read the WON from that week to kill time. Choice quote from that issue: “They also said that DiBiase was reviving the Million Dollar Belt and it would be a newcomer to the company who would get it, which certainly smells like Steve Austin (probably under a different name), although it could also be the return of Jeff Jarrett. When people used to say that Austin was going to be the next Ric Flair, I always disagreed and thought it was more likely he’d be the next Ted DiBiase.” Or, you know, he could be the biggest star in the history of wrestling. Either way. Anyway, we take a second break and return with Bret trying the Sharpshooter, but Bulldog runs in for the DQ at 14:00. *1/2 Both guys were sleepwalking through that one. Next week: Razor Ramon v. Yokozuna! No wonder I didn’t order that PPV back in 1995.