What the World Was Watching: Monday Night RAW – December 11, 1995

A video package recaps the Bret Hart-Bob Backlund feud, which limits the history between the two to Backlund’s actions over the past two weeks.

Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are the broadcast team and due to a quirk in the taping schedule due to the Thanksgiving holiday they are from Salisbury, Maryland, the site of the Superstars tapings for mid-December.  This is the last RAW before In Your House.

Opening Contest:  Owen Hart (w/Jim Cornette, Mr. Fuji & Yokozuna) (9-4-1) beats Jeff Hardy after a missile dropkick at 2:35:

Owen beat Matt Hardy on Superstars on December 2 and he completes a relatively easy sweep of the Hardy Boys as Diesel is shown watching the match on a monitor in the locker room and Diana Smith is shown in the crowd.

After the match, Owen calls Yokozuna into the ring and Yokozuna proceeds to give Jeff a Banzai Drop.  Owen then puts Jeff in the Sharpshooter, causing Diesel to rush the ring, chase off Owen, and knock Yokozuna out of the ring with a big boot.

Aja Kong defeats Chapparita Asari after a spinning backhand punch at 4:04:

Asari really fit the time period, wearing some Power Range-like ring gear.  She is much smaller than Kong, which works against her as the match rolls along.  Kong continually pulls Asari up, notably after a package piledriver, before breaking her nose with a spinning back hand punch.  The commentary of this bout showed that McMahon had little interest in moving the women’s division forward as he did little to put over Kong as a threat to Women’s Champion Alundra Blayze and talked more about Shawn Michaels.  And this would be the last women’s bout that WWF fans would see on television for years.  Rating:  *

Shawn Michaels does a taped interview with Todd Pettengill.  Michaels says he appreciates the support of the fans since his injury and wants to return immediately but doctors will not sign off on him returning to action.  He gets emotional when discussing the possibility of retirement, refusing to answer the question.

Ahmed Johnson (4-0) pins Rick Stockhauser after a Pearl River Plunge at 1:06:

After the stiff display of the last match that theme keeps rolling along here as Ahmed punishes Stockhauser with two spinebusters after the first one goes awry due to Stockhauser awkwardly coming off the ropes.  When Ahmed made his entrance, Dean Douglas cut a promo about how he was going to end Ahmed’s rise in the company at In Your House.

Lawler interviews Ahmed at ringside, joking that Ahmed had the roughest four years of his life in the third grade, saying that the joke came from Douglas.  Ahmed says Douglas talks a good game but is not willing to confront him face-to-face and tells Lawler that he should sit down unless he wants some problems down the road.  Lawler opts to sit down, a wise choice when confronting the force of nature that is Ahmed Johnson.

Dok Hendrix puts over the WWF’s denim jackets for Diesel, the Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, or Bret Hart.  It is only $59.75 (plus shipping & handling)!  Also, you can only buy one in the continental United States!

Vince McMahon interviews Sid, the 1-2-3 Kid, and Ted DiBiase.  DiBiase puts over the power of his new tag team unit while the Kid reinforces the fact that he does not care about the fans and loves money.  He also accuses Ramon of manipulating him for years.  Sid says that the Million Dollar Corporation is a family and he looks forward to beating up Marty Jannetty at In Your House.  The booking for this tag match has been fine but something is deficient in making people want to see it.

Non-Title Match:  Bret Hart (WWF Champion) (17-2-2) beats Bob Backlund (9-1-1) via disqualification after the British Bulldog runs in at 10:48 shown:

During the match, Lawler wades into the crowd to interview Diana, who puts over her husband’s wrestling and that she loves Jim Cornette for getting her husband some title shots.  If you hated Diesel-British Bulldog at In Your House 4, you will hate this one as well since Backlund spends most of the match working over the arm in boring fashion causing the crowd to grow noticeably restless by the end.  Backlund’s ring rust also shows itself as he finds it difficult to feed into Bret’s comebacks.  Bret appears poised for victory after the second rope elbow drop but when he goes for the Sharpshooter, a run-in produces a disqualification because Backlund has to be kept strong for reasons unknown to anyone.  Rating:  *½

After the bell, Backlund puts Bret in the crossface chicken wing and the Bulldog puts the boots to Bret as WWF officials flood the ring.  McMahon openly wonders what this means for Bret’s chances to defend the WWF title at In Your House.

Tune in next week to see Yokozuna challenge Razor Ramon for the Intercontinental title!

The Last Word:  As noted in the recent Superstars recap, the build for In Your House has been very mediocre, especially for the WWF title match.  The company is hyping the main event by saying that Bret has never beaten the Bulldog and left it at that, but has done very little to create tension between both men on screen or really make the Bulldog a significant threat to Bret’s title.  Also, the tag team match between Sid and the 1-2-3 Kid and Razor Ramon and Marty Jannetty is a big waste of time.  It would have been better for Sid and the Kid to face the Gunns for the tag titles or book the Kid against Jannetty as an outgrowth of what happened in the Survivor Series opener.  The WWF wants to eventually get to Razor-Kid eventually, so why not put over the Kid in a big way to get there rather than booking a match where one side is going to have to lose?  It is just a damning indictment that the biggest moment of the past month’s RAWs was at the beginning when Diesel went tweener and Shawn Michaels collapsed.  After that, everything moved to cruise control.

Monday Night War Rating:  2.5 (vs. 2.6 for Nitro – Ric Flair & Arn Anderson vs. Hulk Hogan & Sting)

Up Next:  WWF Superstars for December 16, 1995!