(Usually I do these following the Observer Flashback of the same week to keep them coordinated, but Dave skips this particular week, so I’ll repost the 02/27/95 RAW now and then the Eddie Gilbert death issue of the Observer is the next one up.)
The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 02.27.95
It’s RAW 100! Where’s the nostalgia and celebrities? But at least it’s a NEW OPENING! And yet another graphical makeover, with a new font for the on-screen stuff. I don’t even remember this variation of the show, in fact. Kind of weird to think of how many revamps they had from 93-99 or so, whereas the HD Era has seen the exact same set and graphics going on six years now.
Taped from Macon, GA
Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jim Cornette
Lex Luger v. Tatanka
Luger has Chief Jay Strongbow with him, inspiring fake Native Americans the world over! Tatanka attacks and gets chased off, because he’s apparently a giant coward now. Finally Tatanka returns with a cheapshot and some chops to take over, but if one person knows how to no-sell chops, it’s Lex Luger. Luger slugs away until Tatanka dumps him. Back in, Tatanka keeps throwing the chops and gets two. We take a break and return with Tatanka still in control and throwing chops. We go to the bearhug and Lex escapes that with the expert advice of Jay Strongbow (apparently, the key is to stick your hands in there to break the hold. Duly noted) and Lex no-sells more chops to make the comeback. Sleeper, which is apparently taught to him by Strongbow, and Tatanka breaks that easily. Thanks, Chief. Tatanka goes after Strongbow and rips up the headdress, but the old man beats him up with chops and Lex continues the comeback as we take ANOTHER break. I don’t know why Vince kept trotting out Strongbow as some kind of beloved legend, because I can tell you that even back in 1995 no one gave a shit about him or particularly remembered him with any fondness. So back from the break and Tatanka tries to run, but Lex throws him back in for the REBEL RACK, at which point Tatanka runs away AGAIN, so Luger stomps away on him in frustration. And then Tatanka runs away yet again and walks out on the match at 19:00. Really? Twenty minutes for this boring match and they couldn’t even book a finish? *1/2 Apparently this was supposed to set up a strap match at Wrestlemania (so Tatanka can’t run away) but plans changed.
Owen Hart v. Larry Santo
Is Larry any relation to El? And then literally as soon as I type that, Jim Cornette makes the same joke. Great minds think alike, I guess. Owen hits a leg lariat while Vince notes that he’s looking for a new tag team partner to challenge the Gunns, which is actually an angle that would pay off decently. The original rumor was that they were going after Chris Benoit for the spot, but I don’t know if there was actually anything to that one. In fact, according to the Observer at the time, the plan was Gunns dropping the titles to the heel-turned MOM, since they shot the angle to turn them around this time. Owen with the legdrop and he goes up with a missile dropkick, and the Sharpshooter finishes at 3:45.
Lawrence Taylor appears live on tape to have a verbal showdown with Bigelow and build up their match. He has no answer now, but there’s a press conference the next day and you can call the WWF hotline for live updates! I can tell you that the mainstream media absolutely lambasted them over it and treated it like a total joke, which likely didn’t help the buyrate anyway.
Doink the Clown v. BOB COOK
Yes! Hopefully he’ll throw that awesome left hand at some point in the match. Doink is back in the butt-ugly gear again, sadly. Doink controls with some midget-related shenanigans and an armbar, and finishes with the Whoopie Cushion at 3:00.
Kama v. Ken Raper
Kama throws some punches in the corner and a couple of nice spinkicks, but this UFC deal is absolutely not getting over. Maybe if he carried a cross to the ring to completely rip off Kimo? By the way, I really hope that “Raper” isn’t the guy’s gimmick name. I mean, there’s edgy gimmicks, but yeesh. Kama with a belly to belly and he finishes with an STF at 3:34.
Next week: Shawn Michaels v. The British Bulldog in what turns out to be a pretty great match!