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

-The ending of the Shawn Michaels-Jeff Jarrett match at In Your House 2 is shown, with Vince McMahon going nuts about how Michaels is now a three-time Intercontinental champion.

McMahon and Jerry Lawler are doing commentary and they are live from Louisville, Kentucky.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, these RAW tapings drew 4,181 fans.

Call 1-900-737-4WWF to hear an interview with Shawn Michaels and who he would like to face as his opponent at SummerSlam!

Opening Non-Title Match:  Shawn Michaels (Intercontinental Champion) (13-1-1) pins Jimmy del Ray (w/Tom Prichard & Jim Cornette) (0-1) after Sweet Chin Music at 5:20:

Michaels defeated Prichard in late May, so this is his opportunity to have a sweep of the Heavenly Bodies in singles action.  McMahon continues his incredible love affair with Michaels during his entrance, causing Lawler to note that McMahon is going to blow his vocal chords.  Del Ray gets in some token offense before missing a splash off the top rope and Michaels runs through his comeback, giving Sweet Chin Music to both of the Heavenly Bodies for the finish.  After the match, Michaels dances and nearly exposes himself on live television.  This is the last WWF appearance for the Bodies, who were victims of budget cuts.  Prichard was retained and repackaged as Zip in 1996 while Del Ray was released.  Rating:  **¼

McMahon and Lawler recap Jeff Jarrett’s musical performance at In Your House 2 and how he lost the Intercontinental title to Shawn Michaels.  McMahon notes that Jarrett blamed the Roadie after the match for the loss and says that Dok Hendrix overheard that the Roadie might have been singing “With My Baby Tonight” instead of Jarrett.

A video package recaps the Bret Hart-Hakushi rivalry.

The Smoking Gunns (14-3-1) beat John Faulkner & Rick Stockhauser when Billy pins Faulkner after a Super Sidewinder at 2:01:

The Gunns have not done much since losing the tag team titles, losing a rematch against Owen Hart and Yokozuna and then jobbing to Men on a Mission in feature matches.  Faulkner and Stockhauser have matching red and black tights and both did jobs on WWF television in 1995, but additional research does not expose much about their careers.  The Gunns make short work of their opponents here, hitting their Super Sidewinder where Bart hoists up Faulkner and Billy launches himself off the top rope to drive Faulkner into the canvas to win.  McMahon says that the Gunns might be tag team champions again, giving the audience a hint that their push might be revived since the division is short on reliable teams.

Barry Didinski shills an “Ain’t I Great” t-shirt, which you can buy for $17 (plus $3.95 shipping & handling)!  If you buy it you can also get a cassette tape with “With My Baby Tonight.”

Howard Finkel gives a mock introduction for Goldust as his vignette for this week.  We have yet to see what this Goldust character looks like.

A replay of Fatu’s “making a difference” vignette is shown.

Waylon Mercy (5-0) defeats Gary Scott via submission to a sleeper hold at 2:02:

Scott was used frequently as an enhancement talent by the WWF in 1994 and 1995, probably getting some gigs with the help of Jim Cornette, who booked Scott to do jobs in Smoky Mountain Wrestling in its early years.  After shaking hands with the referee, Mercy attacks Scott before the official bell and does not let up, quickly locking in a sleeper after slamming his opponent on the arena floor.

Todd Pettengill provides a recap of In Your House 2.  Pettengill hints at a SummerSlam match between Shawn Michaels and Sid because Sid blames Michaels for costing him the WWF title in his lumberjack match with Sid at the pay-per-view.  Pettengill also notes that Mabel is calling himself the number one contender for the WWF title and Mabel cuts a promo, saying that he is above Diesel and that Diesel is not worthy of being champion.

Bret Hart (8-2-2) beats Hakushi (w/Shinja) (21-1) via submission at 9:20 shown:

Although this feud has been usurped by the Isaac Yankem vignettes, Hakushi tried to keep it alive by pulling out a severed Bret head before his squash matches between the first In Your House and this encounter.  This is a hard hitting match, with both men throwing high impact moves at each other.  For example, Bret is whipped into the ring post under the bottom turnbuckle and Hakushi busts out a Space Flying Tiger Drop that immediately makes the crowd pay attention.  After Hakushi misses a flying headbutt, Bret hits a superduperplex and then forces Hakushi to submit to a Sharpshooter, ending their feud.  After the bell, Shinja tries to attack Bret but eats a piledriver, thereby writing him off of WWF television for good.  The two commercial breaks disrupted the flow of the match but this was arguably better than their In Your House encounter because of its quick pace and brutal bumps.  Bret wrote in his book that he hoped that this match would make Hakushi relevant again but sadly, Hakushi sank further down the card and was gone from the company six months later.  Rating:  ****

Jean-Pierre LaFitte comes to ringside and grabs Hakushi’s bag with a severed Bret Hart head, no doubt trying to stock up on authentic items for the launch of eBay in two months.

The first vignette of a new wrestler, Dean Douglas, is shown.  The character is played by Shane Douglas, a former school teacher and ECW World Champion.  Douglas defines knowledge, chastises the audience for plagiarizing papers, and says that a lot of WWF superstars are going to see how knowledgeable he is.

Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels is interviewed backstage by McMahon and Lawler.  Lawler tells Michaels that he is a marked man, but Michaels does not seem to care and says he is more than willing to face Lawler at any time.

Tune in next week to see Owen Hart & Yokozuna defend their tag team titles against Savio Vega & Razor Ramon!  Also, King Mabel, Skip, and Bam Bam Bigelow will be in action!

The Last Word:  This was a great episode, largely because the audience got bouts featuring the two best workers in the company in Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart.  The show marked the height of Hakushi’s presence in the WWF.  He would be in the company until early 1996, but would be shunted down the card quickly after SummerSlam.  However, this show illustrates what kind of matches he could have had against some other top stars on the roster like Shawn Michaels if given an opportunity in this era.

Up Next:  WWF Superstars from July 29, 1995!