What the World Was Watching: Monday Night RAW – June 12, 1995

Vince McMahon hypes tonight’s Lex Luger-Yokozuna main event, recapping their old feud that began nearly two years ago.  He ignores their WrestleMania X bout but the best part about the package is that it gives the company an excuse to bring back the “I’ll Be Your Hero” song.  Yokozuna’s manager Jim Cornette and Luger cut quick promos against each other before RAW’s opening song kicks on.

McMahon and Jerry Lawler have the commentary duties and they are still in Struthers, Ohio.  Lawler promises more training footage of how he is preparing for The King of the Ring.

Opening Contest:  Bam Bam Bigelow (9-2) defeats Duane Gill after a flying headbutt at 2:31:

WWF Champion Diesel calls into the show and says that he will probably not be 100% for The King of the Ring.  However, he says he will be on the show because Bigelow will be counting on him.  Gill makes the mistake of trying a high-flying move and gets caught and rammed into the buckles, allowing Bigelow to deliver a suplex and his finisher for his tenth win of the year.

Waylon Mercy’s new vignette shows him with a worm on his arm.  He says he likes worms but not when worms crawl on him, just like he does not like wrestlers touching him.  He squishes the worm on his arm to illustrate what he is going to do to some of the WWF’s top stars.  I am sure someone would file an animal cruelty complaint against the company for something like this today.

Call 1-800-TITAN-91 to get your WWF mat caps, which the Smoking Gunns are playing with backstage.  McMahon makes fun of Didinski when he says he wishes he was on the arena floor, saying “I bet you do!” and Lawler derides the t-shirt he is wearing.  The mat caps, WWF play pad, gold slammer, and t-shirt are still $25 (plus $3.95 shipping and handling)!

Kama (w/Ted DiBiase) (16-0) beats David Haskins after a belly-to-belly suplex at 2:03:

One of the Creatures of the Night follows Kama from Superstars (at least in storyline terms despite the taping schedule) and has another black wreath near them.  Kama urges Haskins to fight back as he destroys him but Haskins does not reciprocate so an angry Kama beats him with a belly-to-belly suplex.  Random piece of trivia:  Kama has used ten different finishers in his matches this year.

After the match, Kama argues with the Creature of the Night and shreds the black wreath.

Todd Pettengill provides The King of the Ring Report.  No new matches have been announced so it looks like the card will simply be the tag team match between Diesel and Bam Bam Bigelow against Sid and Tatanka, the “kiss my foot” match between Bret Hart and Jerry Lawler, and then the tournament matches.  I am shocked they did not try to book a random Intercontinental title match between Jeff Jarrett and someone like Man Mountain Rock.

Lawler shows a model foot that has scabs and callouses and says that it is what Bret Hart will have to kiss at The King of the Ring.  Lawler acts like the model smells and McMahon sells it on commentary.

Yokozuna is shown eating a huge bowl of rice as Owen Hart, Mr. Fuji, and Jim Cornette encourage him.

Man Mountain Rock (10-0) defeats Bob Cook via submission to the Whammy Bar at 1:03:

Rock seems to be circling back to the same opponents as this is the second time he has faced Cook, having defeated him back in February on Superstars.  One would expect a Bob Backlund appearance during this match as he said he was going to confront Rock on last week’s show but he is nowhere to be found as Rock finishes Cook in quick fashion without breaking a sweat.

Stephanie Wiand recaps the various Hall of Fame inductees before announcing George Steele as the final Hall of Fame inductee for this year.

Bob Backlund is shown knocking Man Mountain Rock’s guitar off a table backstage and kicking it.  Backlund tells the audience that they are being surrounded by devious activity and noise that comes out of the WWF guitar Rock plays and he rants about how it hurts children.  He hilariously refers to the Rolling Stones as “the Crawling Stones.”  Backlund gets so worked up that he knocks over the table and falls on the ground and rolls everywhere, screaming about how rock music is garbage, messing with the camera feed.

Tekno Team 2000 (2-0) defeat Mike Khoury & John Crystal when Travis pins Khoury after a reverse flying body press at 3:25:

This was the bout that Meltzer said had to be wrestled a second time due to botches in The Wrestling Observer.  Khoury and Crystal sport matching tights as they teamed on the independent circuit as Models Incorporated.  They are not billed as such but they try to express their physiques by wearing jean shorts.  Things are still messy in this match as Travis (Chad Fortune) has some problems with timing and Troy (Erik Watts) has to direct him around.  The match also lacks flow as there are prolonged periods of double teaming, with the referee standing by as if held in place by an invisible force that only Scottish economist Adam Smith may understand, and Khoury forgets that he needs to get up from a slam to take Travis’s reverse flying body press for the finish.  Bad matches happen but this was an indication that Tekno Team 2000 was not ready for prime time.  After all, it was only 1995!

Rock is shown in the locker room crying over his broken guitar.  Lawler hilariously comments that it was an accident and Rock says that he will now deal with Backlund.

King of the Ring Qualifying Match:  Yokozuna (w/Jim Cornette & Mr. Fuji) beats Lex Luger (8-0-1) (w/Scott Anton) via count out at 8:05 shown:

Before the match McMahon acknowledges that Razor Ramon was injured at the Nassau Coliseum and that he may not compete in the King of the Ring Tournament.  Luger is accompanied to the ring by Scott Anton – the future Scotty Riggs – who was working in the USWA around this time period.  That was indication that something was up because Luger usually had young fans carry the American flag to the ring.  In a funny bit, Yokozuna is now billed at 641 pounds, packing on that extra pound from all of the rice he was eating backstage before the match.  This match follows more of their WrestleMania X template, with Yokozuna slowing things down significantly on the offensive end.  And as was the case at WrestleMania Luger is on the verge of victory until shenanigans unfold as this time Fuji attacks Anton on the floor, drawing Luger outside to get the American flag back and Yokozuna tosses his old foe into the ring post and leg drops him for a cheap win.  The outcome ends Luger’s sixteen-match winning streak in overall competition and five-match winning streak in singles competition as he once again disappoints America.  This bout also showed that Yokozuna could not go anymore as a singles competitor since he was heavier and more limited but the company chose him to represent his tag team in the King of the Ring Tournament instead of Owen Hart for reasons that I will never understand.  Rating:  ½*

Lawler’s training footage is what was shown on Superstars where he walked through a horse stable barefoot.  Footage is also shown of Lawler shoving his foot into Aldo Montoya’s mouth after beating him on that same show.

Tune in next week to see Sid and Tatanka battle the New Headshrinkers!  Also, the Undertaker and Shawn Michaels will be in action!

The Last Word:  As The King of the Ring build unfolds I cannot help but wonder whether the company would have been better off if they switched the roles that Michaels and Bigelow have.  Bigelow had an ongoing feud with the Million Dollar Corporation, but so did Michaels, and Diesel and Michaels make a better team than the awkward pairing of Diesel and Bigelow.  Also, giving Bigelow a big push via winning the tournament could have solidified the babyface run that he wanted to have after WrestleMania XI.  As far as this show goes, the audience sees Lex Luger choke again, losing a high stakes contest where McMahon said he was fighting for the pride of America against a long-time rival.  Yokozuna is now booked to face Razor Ramon in the first round of the tournament but Ramon is injured and it is not clear how his position on the card might be filled.  Sadly, the company would not be in this situation if they had given a clear winner in Owen Hart-British Bulldog last week and then they could have used the Luger-Yokozuna match on this show as a replacement bout for Ramon, with Luger going over to face Owen (since the Bulldog was not going to win due to his legal troubles in Calgary).

Up Next:  WWF Superstars from June 17, 1995!