What the World Was Watching: Monday Night RAW – November 20, 1995

A video package recaps how Bret Hart defeated Diesel at Survivor Series to become the new WWF Champion.

Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are on commentary and they are live from Richmond, Virginia.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, the tapings were attended by 4,500 fans.

McMahon and Lawler discuss the 1-2-3 Kid’s heel turn on last week’s show and how he was the sole survivor in the Bodydonnas-Underdogs match last night at Survivor Series.

Opening Contest:  The 1-2-3 Kid (w/Ted DiBiase) (11-7) pins Hakushi (25-4) after a spinning heel kick at 6:44 shown:

Although the Kid has turned heel, he has not changed his theme music.  Razor Ramon calls in during the match and says that he will get vengeance on the Kid at a later date.  And Ramon is not the only one who wants revenge on the Kid, as Marty Jannetty tries to get at the Kid but is stopped by WWF officials.  All of this storyline development slows the early parts of the match down and as a result, this does not quite live up to their SummerSlam encounter earlier in the year.  Hakushi is pushed off the top rope by DiBiase near the end of the match when he tries an aerial maneuver onto the Kid on the floor and that gives the Kid the opening he needs to win his first singles match since mid-September.  Rating:  **

Lawler interviews the Kid and DiBiase.  DiBiase says that the Kid is “new and improved” and taunts Ramon and Jannetty.  Jannetty comes out to confront the Kid, but Sid also comes out and attacks him, powerbombing Jannetty on the arena floor.

Dok Hendrix hypes the In Your House 5 main event where Bret Hart will defend the WWF title against the British Bulldog.  The Bulldog cuts a taped promo about how he beat Bret once before at SummerSlam ’92 and that he will do the same to win the title at Hershey, Pennsylvania.  Hendrix announces that Henry Godwinn will face off with Hunter-Hearst Helmsley in an Arkansas hog pen match.

Diesel is shown arriving at the arena in street clothes and he eventually catches up with Shawn Michaels, talking to him backstage.

Barry Didinski tells fans that they need to buy an Undertaker, Diesel, Bret Hart, or Shawn Michaels denim jacket for $59.95 (plus $3.95 shipping & handling)!

Skip (w/Sunny) (9-8) wrestles Savio Vega (14-3) to a no contest when Diesel interferes at 2:55:

Savio has not done much of anything since King of the Ring but he still has a very attractive win/loss record to show for 1995.  Skip and Savio go through the motions until Diesel walks out, knocks Skip down, and gets on the house show mic, putting an end to this midcard bout.

Diesel proceeds to cut his best promo of the year, calling out McMahon for trying to make him a corporate puppet, one of the first times that someone has recognized McMahon as the owner of the company on television.  He concludes by saying that the “Big Daddy Cool” from the 1994 Royal Rumble is back and the only fans whose hands he is going to slap are those with black gloves.  The last twenty-four hours has done a ton to make the Diesel character one of the best on the roster.  It almost a shame that THIS character could not be wearing the title right now and be built to job to Michaels at WrestleMania XII.

Owen Hart (w/Jim Cornette) (7-4-1) defeats Shawn Michaels (19-2-1) via referee stoppage at 10:22 shown:

On its face, this match looked like a relatively easy Michaels victory to keep padding his resume for the Royal Rumble.  McMahon spends much of the bout discussing the beating that Michaels took during last night’s wild card match, suffering a Razor’s Edge, Sid powerbomb, and Yokozuna leg drop.  As can be expected, this match is fantastic, with both men trading their major moves and near-falls, working at a million miles per hour and not slowing down.  Owen has an intelligent block of Sweet Chin Music by grabbing onto the ropes and refusing to come out of the corner.  When Michaels pulls him out, Owen hits his enziguri.  Shortly thereafter Michaels sends Owen to the floor with a clothesline, skins the cat back into the ring, and poses but then collapses.  Even Owen does not know what to make of that and referee Earl Hebner runs to the locker room for help.  The ending was something completely out of left field and it really put over Owen’s enziguri, which was later credited with causing Michaels injury.  Thehistoryofwwe.com says that the match was a no contest but due to the fact that Owen was left standing and the match was called off due to injury, I am going to credit him with a victory.  Rating:  ***½

After a commercial break, EMTs are shown working on Michaels as McMahon is in the ring.  No commentary is given for the fans and the crowd shots show tons of concerned fans.

Tune in next week to see the Undertaker face Kama to get the remains of the urn back!  Also, Brother Love returns to interview WWF Champion Bret Hart!

The Last Word:  Just like Survivor Series the previous night, this show constituted a shift in the company’s booking to a more “realistic” style.  The Michaels “injury” suffered during the main event, which was tied to head injuries that Michaels had been battling since his fight against “ten thugs” in Syracuse a month earlier, laid the groundwork for his world title push in early 1996.  It also took him off of television until the 1996 Royal Rumble.  Diesel’s promo in the middle of the show was arguably the best WWF promo of 1995 and if he had this character when he was the champion then 1995 would have been a much better year for the company’s bottom line.

Monday Night War Rating:  2.3 (vs. 2.5 for Nitro – Sting vs. Hulk Hogan)

Up Next:  WWF Superstars for November 25, 1995!