The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 01.30.95
Taped from Palmetto, FL
Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Shawn Michaels, and I think the green screen is getting WORSE.
Over The Top Challenge: Mabel v. King Kong Bundy
So pretty straightforward here, winner is the first one to throw the other guy over the top. And since Bundy doesn’t do jobs, that makes the winner pretty obvious. So they battle it out on the ropes and Bundy struggles to push Mabel over, then opts to Avalanche him instead, at which point the entire Corporation runs in and they all put Mabel out at 3:10. I feel like perhaps this athletic contest might not have been waged entirely on the up-and-up. DUD
Meanwhile, Bigelow gets another try at his apology to LT, as Vince psychoanalyzes him and if it wasn’t clear that this whole thing was an angle before, now it was. Bigelow gets so annoyed by Vince’s nonsense that he tells him to shove his apology and instead challenges LT to a MATCH. Vince is SHOCKED. As a non-football fan at the time (and well, still today) having Taylor out there meant nothing to me and I barely knew him as a celebrity back then. I was far more excited about Diesel v. Shawn.
Hakushi v. Ricky Santana
Really weird to see Santana working a WWF show after spending his entire career as an NWA guy. He gets a quick burst of offense, but Hakushi spinkicks him down while Shawn has to correct Vince on the pronunciation of “Shinja”. Santana keeps slugging away in the corner, but Hakushi chops him down. Santana fights back again, but Hakushi puts him down with a backdrop suplex and finishes with a flying shoulderblock and handspring splash at 4:00. Funny note, as Shawn was busting on LT after the shoulderblock, noting that “he wouldn’t have the guts to do something like that.” In fact, that was exactly the move that LT won the match with!
Aldo Montoya v. David Sierra
Holy cow, they’ve got BOTH of the Barrio Brothers working as jobbers? There’s another perfectly good team they could have for cheap! Sierra is better known by the name Fidel Sierra, aka The Cuban Assassin. Sierra gets some quick offense and goes up, but Montoya slams him off and finishes with a sloppy bulldog at 2:00. Need I point out that this gimmick is DEATH? And yet Paul Heyman practically had to beg Vince to pry him away during the 97 ECW invasion angle so he could repackage him as Justin Credible.
The King’s Court with Mr. Bob Backlund. They really need a break from this Backlund deal. So now he’s decided that he will procure the chickenwing on anyone, and in order to release it the victim must say “I quit Mr. Bob Backlund”. And to show that means anyone, he puts it on Lawler, who of course quits like a coward immediately.
WWF tag team titles: The Smoking Gunns v. 1-2-3 Kid & Bob Holly
Kid is on fire against Billy to start, throwing a leg lariat for two and sending him scurrying back to the corner. Double dropkick on Bart gets two and they work him over in the corner, but Kid gets elbowed down by Billy for two. And we take a break with Kid getting beat up in the Gunn corner. Mind-blowing time: Three years from this match, everyone would change gimmicks and swap partners, giving us Bob Holly & Bart Gunn as a team, and Billy Gunn & 1-2-3 Kid as part of another. Really at this point would anyone believe that the business would be changed by the team of Smoking Gunn Billy, 1-2-3 Kid, The Roadie and Jean Paul Levesque? Wrestling is weird. Holly comes back with a small package on Bart for two while Shawn goes on a hilariously sarcastic rant about sportsmanship. Billy slugs Bob down in the corner and Bart slams him for two and goes to the chinlock. They collide on a bodypress attempt and it’s hot tag Kid, as he comes off the top with a senton and wipes out, twitching and convulsing as they stop the match at 11:00. Very weak compared to last week. **1/2 I don’t even remember where they went with that one, but he was back in Razor’s corner for Wrestlemania in his dragon pajamas so it wasn’t anywhere notable.
Kama v. Jumbo Barretta
Jumbo certainly lives up to his name. Kama legsweeps him down and adds an impressive slam, then slugs away in the corner with knees and finishes with a belly to belly and STF at 3:45. And then we’re abruptly out after that. This probably would have been a good time to debut him with a super-impressive squash, and this was the exact opposite of that.
Next week: Lex Luger & MOM v. The Corporation! That one has “fourth week of the taping” written all over it.