(I decided against redoing Royal Rumble 95 here in 2019, because there wasn’t much more I had to say about it and my ratings would be essentially the same. I think the most recent version of the rant is fine, to be honest.)
The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 01.23.95
It’s the night after Royal Rumble, and Vince McMahon extends an apology to Lawrence Taylor right away, letting us know that Scott “Bam Bam” Bigelow has been suspended without pay. Sounds serious.
Live from Palmetto, FL.
Your hosts are Vince McMahon & 1995 Royal Rumble winner Shawn Michaels
WWF tag title match: 1-2-3 Kid & Bob Holly v. The Smoking Gunns
I do think that Kid and Sparky could have had a longer title reign than, you know, one day. Especially given where the titles ended up. It just makes no sense on any level. Billy works on Holly’s arm, but Bart comes in and gets caught in the Kid’s corner before fighting back with a powerslam for two. Dropkick gets two and Holly goes back to work on Bart’s arm. I should note Bob bitched about this title reign extensively in his book, noting that he made no more money off it despite being a featured part of the PPV. The Gunns double-team Holly with a double press slam, but Bob shoves them together and the champions double-suplex Billy off the top for two. And we take a break. Back with bitter Bob booting Billy. Kid gets a leg lariat for two, but Holly runs into a boot on a blind charge. He still manages to cut off the tag and Kid remains in control, dropkicking Bart off the apron. It’s kind of funny because on RSPW we’d trade tapes of Waltman playing heel in Japan or whatever, and it was like “OMG! 1-2-3 Kid is being a huge dick! This is so unexpected!” Now of course anything BUT Sean Waltman as a slimy heel is weird to see. Hot tag Bart and he drops a leg on the Kid for two, and the Gunns double-team him for two. Holly, bitching at the referee, starts to let some of his real personality through, and really you’d think that this team would be 100% more interesting if was cranky old Hardcore Holly and shithead X-Pac out there doing their thing. We take another break and now Kid is the face-in-peril as they trade roles, and indeed the Gunns were far more interesting as heels as well. Bart with a suplex combined with a Billy dropkick, but he stops to showboat and only gets two. They beat on Kid in the corner with more standard heel tactics, but Holly finally just bitchslaps Billy from the apron and Kid gets the hot tag. Dropkick gets two for Bob. To the top, but Billy gets his foot up and Bart comes in for the backbreaker into the Billy neckbreaker to finish at 21:18, and the Gunns win their first tag titles. Never really took off to the next level because neither team really wanted to play heel, but it was good action throughout. ***3/4
Vince McMahon interviews the now former champions, and Kid starts to complain about only having 24 hours notice, but Vince corrects him, and Kid cuts off Holly’s promo to foreshadow his heel turn.
Royal Rumble Report with Todd, as he recaps the Diesel-Bret match and all the other stuff.
IRS v. Buck Quartermaine
IRS now has the Undertaker’s urn, kicking off an endless feud with Dibiase over possession of it. IRS tosses the jobber and works on the leg while Roddy Piper phones in a coked up promo and puts over the Rumble and all the stuff that happened therein. IRS finishes with the lariat at 2:16.
Man Mountain Rock is coming, and he plays guitar. Who in their right mind would change a guy’s name from “Maxx Payne” to “Man Mountain Rock”? And Daryl Peterson already owned the rights to his name so it’s not like they couldn’t have kept it.
The King’s Court with Jeff Jarrett. So he’s now the IC champion and his outfit has somehow gotten even more gaudy. And now he wants Diesel’s title as well.
The British Bulldog v. The Black Phantom
The Phantom attacks Bulldog while he’s griping at Shawn, but Bulldog shrugs off his martial arts prowess and hits him with a delayed suplex. Bulldog with a chinlock while Vince RAGES against Shawn’s sneakiness in winning the Rumble. Shawn’s so paranoid about everyone coming after him, in fact, that he’s gonna find himself a new bodyguard. Bulldog finishes with the powerslam at 3:00.
Meanwhile, Bam Bam Bigelow is supposed to apologize for smacking LT around, but audio difficulties prevent it.
Next week: Mabel v. King Kong Bundy and Kid & Holly get their rematch!