The SmarK Rant for WWF Monday Night RAW–05.15.95 / 05.22.95

(We’re actually getting a few weeks ahead on the Observer Flashbacks now, so here’s two episodes of RAW to get caught up again.) 

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 05.15.95

Live from Binghamton, NY

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler.

Owen Hart & Yokozuna v. Nick Barberri & Bill Weaver

Yoko plasters both jobbers by himself and Owen adds a leg lariat and works on the arm of Barberri. The jobber comes back with a hiptoss and they actually work Owen over in their corner a bit, but Yoko comes in and splats Weaver with a Rock Bottom for the pin at 3:00.

Last night: Jerry Lawler cheats outrageously and beats Bret Hart at the first In Your House.

Man Mountain Rock v. Iron Mike Sharpe

Is this a squash or a main event from 1952? Rock has thankfully ditched the cornrows and pajamas, but he’s still a lost cause. He drops an elbow on Sharpe and finishes with the Painkiller (Fujiwara armbar) at 1:30.

Last night: An 11 year old kid wins the house! And then turns it around for a $30,000 profit as it turned out.

Meanwhile, Caribbean legend Savio Vega introduces himself to the world. Thankfully his English would get better.

Meanwhile, Barry Didinsky shills some crappy t-shirts. Well not “$9.99” level crappy but certainly no sane human would wear a “Diesel v. Sid” shirt.

King of the Ring Qualifier: Bob Holly v. Mantaur

Mantaur powers him out of the ring, but Holly comes back with dropkicks. Mantaur with more devastating shoulderblocks and a powerslam for two, and he chokes away in the corner. Sideslam and he stomps away as the crowd is just deathly silent for this. Suplex gets two and he pounds on Bob in the corner, but a blind charge misses and Holly gets two. Holly makes the comeback with a missile dropkick for two and a flying bodypress to finish at 5:31. Just horrible. DUD

Mr. Bob Backlund has a big announcement and Vince is pretty funny as the straight man (“Well, Mr. Backlund, for the benefit of those of us who are on THIS planet…”) and Bob rambles on for 5 minutes, reeling off crazy “historical” dates like JFK getting shot in December 1983 until Vince finally reins him in and Bob spits out that he’s running for President. This trainwreck went absolutely nowhere. Much like this show.

Bam Bam Bigelow v. IRS

Bigelow has new upbeat babyface music and elaborate flaming gear for his entrance. This was SO not the way to get him over as a top babyface. IRS runs away from Bigelow to start and we take a break after 2:00 of stalling. Back with Bigelow in control, but he misses the diving headbutt and IRS comes back with clotheslines to take over. And then it’s the abdominal stretch to really rev up the excitement and he pounds away before pulling off the turnbuckle, but Bigelow sends him into it for the pin at 5:00. That’s a hell of a way to kick off Bigelow’s big run, selling the whole match for the most boring wrestler alive and then having to cheat to beat him. ½*

Next week: Shawn Michaels returns to face King Kong Bundy, as we get a video package about him to waste MORE airtime and wrap it up. Holy balls was this a pathetic show, with two craptastic feature matches and a whole lot of recaps. Hopefully King of the Ring will help to improve the quality.

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 05.22.95

What is the deal with the 98 era RAWs on the Network where the graphic has “Viewer discretion advised” plastered across it? There’s two versions of each of those shows in the archives, and both are rated TV-14 with the ominous parental warning at the beginning. Was there extra nudity and swearing or something?

Taped from Binghamton NY.

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler.

Razor Ramon v. Mike Bell

So as Vince brings up on commentary, this was the week where they did the completely random Jarrett-Ramon IC title switch in Quebec, which I’m assuming was some sort of political deal relating to the nasty promotional war with the Rougeaus at the time. Bell tries a hammerlock and gets rebuffed as apparently Ramon has qualified for the KOTR in between shows, beating Jacob Blu. Yeah, that’s what the roster was like at this point. Corner clothesline and blockbuster slam set up an STF, as Ramon tortures the poor jobber to amuse Savio Vega. Chokeslam and Razor’s Edge finish at 4:15.

Bret Hart joins us at ringside and he wants Jerry Lawler in one last match so he can destroy him once and for all. Lawler cowers and Bret calls him “lower than shit”, badgering him into picking whatever kind of match he wants to settle it. No answer is forthcoming, because Lawler is the classic Memphis heel who talks big and then backs down.

Hunter Hearst Helmsley v. John Crystal

And so the reign of terror begins. Crystal works on a hammerlock, but Hunter makes the ropes and slaps the guy around in the corner. Leg lariat and he debuts the formal bow (one of the only moves he used to do effectively for a long time) and finishes with the Ace Crusher at 2:34. Vince is pretty impressed! Maybe he’ll fix him up with his daughter.

Mr. Backlund outlines his policies as President: He would ban calculators and computers, and mandate that everyone read one great American novel per week. NO SUMMER VACATIONS. See, when they can edit him down into soundbites and contain the crazy, he’s hilarious.

The Allied Powers v. Bill Payne & Tony Devito

The Powers quickly double-team Payne and Bulldog finishes with a powerslam at 3:00. They were really downplaying them as a team at this point due to Bulldog’s rampant legal troubles. This was more of a backdrop for Vince messing with Lawler over the Bret Hart thing.

Kama v. Barry Horowitz

Horowitz manages to trick Kama to the floor, but gets beat on in the ring with Kama’s dazzling array of punches. Half-crab finishes at 2:11.

Shawn Michaels v. King Kong Bundy

Really, in retrospect the result here was never in doubt. I mean, were we really gonna see King King Kong Bundy? That’s just SILLY. Shawn slugs away in the corner and then jumps to the floor to clown with Dibiase in a funny spot, but Bundy whips him out of the ring. Shawn is instantly the world’s greatest babyface in his first match back after his turn. Bundy hammers him and follows with a backdrop, then goes to a bearhug, which Shawn tries to reverse into a sunset flip. Bundy sits on him for two, however. To the chinlock, but we take a break and return with Shawn hitting the superkick for the pin at 8:00. Wow, Bundy lays down clean. This was about as good as you were gonna get out of him. ** Diesel and Bigelow come out to make amends afterwards, thus rekindling the bromance while Bigelow is the weirdo hanging out with them because they think he’s funny when he’s drunk.

Next week: Undertaker v. Jeff Jarrett!