What the World Was Watching: Monday Night RAW – April 24, 1995

A video package hypes tonight’s main event for the WWF title between Diesel and Bam Bam Bigelow.  Vince McMahon plays up that Sid is not happy that Bigelow is getting a title shot prior to In Your House.

Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are doing commentary and they are live from Omaha, Nebraska.  Historyofwwe.com notes that of the 5,800 that attended the tapings, only 4,000 paid.

Opening Contest:  The Smoking Gunns (8-1-1) beat Barry Horowitz & The Brooklyn Brawler when Billy Gunn pins the Brawler after a back suplex/neckbreaker combination at 2:14:

For some weird reason, Lawler keeps screaming “Woo hoo!” in the opening minutes of tonight’s broadcast and it is very weird.  McMahon, in a cute note to kayfabe, notes that the Brawler is “out of his element” since he is in the more rural state of Nebraska and that might distract him in tonight’s bout.  Meanwhile, Lawler spends the duration of the match complaining that Bret Hart ignored his challenge and chose to face Hakushi at In Your House.  The Gunns double team the Brawler relentlessly and finish him off before he can tag Horowitz.

Bam Bam Bigelow says that he is going to win the WWF title tonight and give the title to Ted DiBiase as the “crown jewel” of the Corporation.  Bigelow is sporting a black eye and refuses to tell McMahon how he got it.

WWF Champion Diesel tells McMahon and Lawler that he is giving Bigelow a title shot tonight because he wants to be a fighting champion.  He also says that he thinks this match is an extension of the Bigelow-Lawrence Taylor feud because he invited Taylor to the Royal Rumble.

Bertha Faye (w/Harvey Wippleman) pins La Pantera Serena after a release gorilla press slam at 3:55:

Faye has a completely new look from when she was attacking WWF Women’s Champion Alundra Blayze several weeks ago, no longer wearing face paint and having an unflattering outfit with colorful polka dots.  Pairing her with Wippleman is not a good sign since Wippleman has had very poor managerial success in the company since 1992.  La Pantera Serena is a Mexican wrestler that competed in the 1980s and 1990s for All Japan Women’s Pro-Wrestling and Mexico’s AAA and CMLL promotions.  The bout lasts far too long for the squash that it is meant to be, with Serena messing up a flying body press and McMahon admitting that it shows a “lack of communication.”  A few more botches follow before Faye finally gets the win in a very lackluster debut.

Pettengill hypes the In Your House pay-per-view.  He says that Bret Hart has no idea what Jerry Lawler is saying when he argues that he had an open contract for the Hitman to sign for the show.

Sid says that he will only be happy if he becomes WWF champion and that he “has friends in low places.”

WWF Championship Match:  Diesel (WWF Champion) (3-0-1) defeats Bam Bam Bigelow (w/Ted DiBiase) (6-1) after a Jackknife at 12:51 shown:

Bigelow is all business walking to the ring, wishing to do his best to get back into favor with the Million Dollar Corporation.  Although he received a mixed reaction at WrestleMania, Diesel is over with the Omaha crowd, who chant his name on several occasions during the match and react favorably to all of his power moves and reversals.  As Bigelow works a chinlock, Tatanka comes down to the ring and eventually cheap shots Diesel, but he trips Bigelow when he runs the ropes and Diesel Jackknifes Bigelow to retain the title.  This was a good power match, although it slowed significantly after Tatanka came out and Bigelow could have performed more high-risk offense to sell that he was pulling out all the stops to win the title.  Still, it is a good effort from two guys who had to be worn out from a flight back from Germany less than forty-eight hours before this show.  Rating:  **½

After the match, DiBiase chastises Bigelow on the microphone and discusses the multitude of ways that he has embarrassed the Million Dollar Corporation since The Royal Rumble.  DiBiase proceeds to fire Bigelow and when Bigelow tries to go after DiBiase, Tatanka attacks him.  Bigelow fights off Tatanka and tells DiBiase that he cannot be fired because he quits.  IRS runs out and attacks Bigelow from behind and this creates a three-on-one attack, with Sid coming out to join in the beating.  Eventually, Diesel makes the save and solidifies Bigelow’s face turn.

Call 1-900-747-4WWF to hear Jim Ross’s interview with Bam Bam Bigelow!

Aldo Montoya (7-3) pins The Black Phantom after a springboard flying bulldog at 2:44:

The Phantom dominates much of the bout, but Montoya rebounds with flying forearms, clotheslines, and dropkicks.  He dazes the Phantom enough to hit his finisher but the crowd barely reacts, which is not a good sign for a babyface act.

Hunter-Hearst Helmsley refuses to talk to the announcers.

We get footage of Diesel shaking hands with Bigelow after saving him from a beatdown at the hands of the Million Dollar Corporation.

Lawler shows McMahon that he has a contract for Bret Hart to sign for In Your House but says that Bret is too chicken to sign it.

Tune in next week to see Razor Ramon square off with Sid!

The Last Word:  The show featured a good title defense from Diesel, although Bigelow’s turn continues the process of moving too many capable talents over to the babyface side of the roster without adequately replacing their positions with reciprocal talent.  Sid will face a significant test on next week’s show and it is to be expected that Jeff Jarrett will probably play a role in that match since he and the Roadie are booked to face Ramon and the 1-2-3 Kid at In Your House.  The booking of Bertha Faye was really bad, though, and moving her gimmick from an Aja Kong-like monster to Harvey Wippleman’s love interest was immediate death to the audience.

Up Next:  WWF Superstars from April 29, 1995!