What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw – February 20, 1995

Vince McMahon and Jim Cornette are in the booth and they are live from Macon, Georgia.  Less than 3,000 fans bought tickets to this show, illustrating just how cold the product was at the time.

Opening Contest:  Bam Bam Bigelow (w/Ted DiBiase) (1-0) pins Gary Sabaugh after a flying headbutt at 3:53:

This is Bigelow’s return to in-ring action after serving a thirty day suspension for pushing Lawrence Taylor at The Royal Rumble.  Cornette pays homage to Sabaugh’s Italian Stallion gimmick by hyping how he holds the world’s spaghetti eating record but McMahon does not sell that comment.  Fans shower Bigelow with a few “LT” chants as plows through Sabaugh in a boring squash.

After the match, Bigelow tells Lawrence Taylor that he is just hiding behind his manager and lawyer and that Taylor is a “punk” that he will gladly face “any time, any place.”

Adam Bomb (4-1) beats Rip Rogers after the Neutron Bomb at 3:24:

Our string of old NWA competitors continues this evening as Rogers, last seen in the Global Wrestling Federation, is brought in to make Bomb look good.  Rogers yells and screams as Bomb tosses him around and has a funny sequence where a dropkick causes him to lay on the ropes and Rogers decides to just fly out of the ring for the hell of it.  Rogers scream when Bomb flies at him for the finish is also humorous.

McMahon recaps Bret Hart winning the WWF Magazine’s “Award of the People” for 1994.

Shawn Michaels is a guest on Jerry Lawler’s “King’s Court.”  Lawler rants about Bret Hart before Michaels comes out, insisting that Bret hates Japanese people and that he only won the WWF Magazine award because Japanese readers were excluded from the polling.  Michaels reiterates his need for a bodyguard and he introduces how Sid is returning to the WWF as his bodyguard.  Sid promises Michaels that there will be “no bad times” with him watching the Heartbreak Kid’s back and pledges that both of them will soon “rule the world.”

Call 1-900-737-4WWF to hear about Lex Luger talking to some NFL players before the Super Bowl!

The Blu Brothers (w/Uncle Zebekiah) (3-0) defeat LeRoy Howard & Mark Starr after Jacob pins Starr after a spinebuster/leg drop combination at 4:20:

Todd Pettengill comes into the split screen and says that he has gotten a hold of Lawrence Taylor and that Taylor is going to be on RAW next week.  The only thing entertaining about the contest is Cornette trying to explain to McMahon how the Smoky Mountain region is different than the Appalachian Mountains.  After the bout, the Blus stare at the camera curiously, unsure of what it is as this gimmick goes off the deep end.

Footage of WWF Champion Diesel at the NBA All-Star Weekend is shown.  Diesel signs autographs, shoots some hoops, and later judged a slam dunk contest with Conan O’Brien.

WWF Championship Match:  Diesel (Champion) (1-0-1) beats Jeff Jarrett (Intercontinental Champion w/The Roadie) (5-1) after a Jackknife at 8:03 shown:

Aside from Shawn Michaels, Jarrett is the highest ranking heel left in the company to challenge Diesel so the company was booking these two to face each other on house shows leading up to this match.  The problem, though, was that Jarrett was perceived as nowhere near Diesel’s level and this hurt the drawing power of those bouts.  There were a few warning signs for Diesel in how his WrestleMania match with Michaels needed to be booked as elements of the crowd get behind Jarrett for being the smaller man and using aerial moves to try to take Diesel down.  There are also a few noticeable boos when Diesel makes his comeback, although they are overwhelmed by cheers.  Diesel finishes Jarrett without much difficulty after kicking out of a flying body press – Jarrett does not even try to go after Diesel’s legs in this bout which makes little sense considering his figure-four finisher – so this match did not do much for establishing Jarrett beyond the midcard.  Rating:  **½

After the bout, Diesel gives the Roadie a Jackknife and then stares down the aisle where Shawn Michaels and Sid are standing and watching.  After the commercial break, Cornette reluctantly interviews both of them, and Michaels says that Sid will fill Diesel’s shoes and help him win the WWF title.

A video package hypes Lex Luger’s feud with Tatanka.

Tune in next week for the 100th edition of RAW to see Lex Luger collide with Tatanka!  Also, Lawrence Taylor will make an appearance to rebut the comments of Bam Bam Bigelow!

The Last Word:  We got a payoff to Shawn Michaels bodyguard angle and it was a good choice for the role as the selection made fans think that Michaels just might beat Diesel for the title at WrestleMania, but the rest of the show was pretty sub-par.  The squashes before the title match went too long and although the title match had some fun moments, largely because of the Roadie’s horrible attempts at interference, no one really thought Jarrett was going to beat Diesel and he never put the champion in significant peril during the match.  At least the good thing about bringing in Sid is that the company has a strong heel in waiting, although Sid is being used in a non-wrestling role at the moment.

Up Next (on Saturday):  WWF Superstars from February 25, 1995!