What the World Was Watching: Monday Night RAW – May 22, 1995

A promo video puts over how King Kong Bundy is going to try to put Shawn Michaels on the shelf permanently tonight in their King of the Ring qualifying match.

Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are in the booth and they are taped from Binghamton, New York.

Opening Contest:  Razor Ramon (w/Savio Vega) (12-2-1) defeats Mike Bell with a super side suplex at 4:17:

Ramon’s brief two-day Intercontinental title reign in Montreal is recognized by McMahon, making him the first man to win the Intercontinental title three times.  McMahon puts over how Ramon needs a victory after a “topsy-turvy four days” but Ramon’s win-loss record suggests that he is not in bad shape and also attests to how over he is with the WWF fan base.  Ramon teases going for the Razor’s Edge but opts not to do it, simply pushing Bell over after the super side suplex and pinning him with one foot.  That was a weird spot and deflated the crowd, who wanted to see Ramon’s finisher.

Bret Hart comes to ringside and rants about Lawler cheating to beat him.  He asks Lawler what it is going to take to get him into the ring one more time and is willing to let Lawler name the stipulation.  Lawler is reluctant so Bret bullies him, creating an altercation near the announce table as WWF officials try to intervene.  Bret’s occasional cursing in this promo, coupled with the fight near Lawler, was the most “real” angle that the company had pulled to this point and immediately got the audience invested in a rematch between the two.

Hunter-Hearst Helmsley (3-0) pins John Crystal after a Diamond Cutter at 3:06:

Lawler hilariously complaints to McMahon that he did nothing to help him against Bret in the last segment.   Helmsley makes his RAW debut here, with McMahon saying that it was highly anticipated by many.  He is still using the Diamond Cutter as a finish because this set of tapings took place before those for The Action Zone, where he debuted the Pedigree.

­-Bob Backlund gives his first campaign talking segment.  He says that “the educational ecosystem” is “running amok” and says he would give everyone a job so they could buy a dictionary and help their reading ability.  He also says that he would demand people read one classic American novel a week and wants to abolish the spell check.  On math, Backlund promises to ban calculators in school and that computers are bad.  And to make all the kids angry at home, Backlund promises to get rid of summer vacation and make young people go to school twelve months out of the year.  All of this is supposed to help America catch up to the Japanese.  This is a great gimmick for Backlund.

Stephanie Wiand takes Matt Pomposelli on a tour of the house that he won at In Your House.  The Bushwhackers greet him after popping out of a closet.

The Allied Powers (9-0) defeat Bill Payne & Tony DeVito after the British Bulldog pins Payne after a running powerslam at 2:56:

As expected, the Allied Powers have no problems with Payne and DeVito, toying with them before the Bulldog hits one power move for the victory.  The Powers keep grinding their wheels waiting for some inevitable title shot but since the Bulldog was facing assault charges from a Calgary bar fight the company seems lukewarm on pushing them too hard.  At the end of the bout McMahon teases Lawler that he sees Bret Hart coming down the aisle.

McMahon recaps Ted DiBiase’s challenge to Bam Bam Bigelow for a tag team match and how Bigelow wants Diesel as a partner to face Sid and Tatanka.

Kama (w/Ted DiBiase) (12-0) defeated Barry Horowitz via submission to a half Boston Crab at 2:21:

Kama’s squashes continue to be a bore as he does not have the creative strikes in his offense that a character like this needs.  His finishing move continues to change here as he looks to have gone for a Tequila Sunrise but it is so poorly applied that it just looks like a standard half Boston Crab.  Kama will be in action on Superstars when he attempts to qualify for the King of the Ring Tournament against Duke Droese.

Todd Pettengill puts over the 1995 WWF Hall of Fame Ceremony and provides phone numbers for people to buy tickets.  He announces that Antonio Rocca will be inducted into this year’s Hall of Fame.

Barry Didinsky continues to shill a gaudy Shawn Michaels t-shirt with blue letting all over it.  Call 1-800-8808-RAW to get yours for $20 (plus $3.95 shipping & handling)!

King of the Ring Qualifying Match:  Shawn Michaels (5-1) pins King Kong Bundy (w/Ted DiBiase) (13-2) after Sweet Chin Music at 6:01 shown:

Michaels gets a good reaction when he comes out, although some fans appear to be confused about whether they should really embrace him as a babyface after he has wrestled as a heel for more than three years.  Michaels bumps well for Bundy but the problem with this match is that it follows the formula of recent WWF feature matches where the heel has a really long, boring segment on offense that sucks the life out of the match.  And when we get back from the commercial break, Bundy eats Sweet Chin Music almost immediately and Michaels gets into the King of the Ring Tournament.  Rating:  *

Diesel and Bam Bam Bigelow walk out and it becomes incredibly pointless for Bigelow to be there as McMahon phrases things as an evaluation of whether Diesel and Michaels have reunited.  After thinking about it for a few moments, Michaels has Diesel put his hand up high to give him a high five and he and Diesel embrace as Bigelow stands there, claps, and then holds their hands up.  Bigelow looked incredibly awkward during this entire segment, not to mention second-rate compared to Diesel and Michaels.  This would be the same problem Sting had in WCW in late 1995 when the company positioned him as a friend of Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage.

McMahon asks Lawler whether he will accept Bret Hart’s challenge and Lawler says he has problems with his throat and cannot answer.

The Undertaker cuts a brief promo against Jeff Jarrett for next week’s show.

Tune in next week to see the Undertaker collide with Jeff Jarrett in a King of the Ring qualifying match!  Also, Sid and Hakushi will be in action!

The Last Word:  The main events are just not doing it for RAW in recent weeks and next week’s offer of zombie Undertaker does not offer a lot of hope either.  Bundy would not make very many appearances after this show so this was really the end of him as a bona fide upper card guy in 1995, having put together a lot of clunkers in his feature matches.

Up Next:  WWF Superstars for May 27, 1995!