WWF Monday Night RAW – January 16th, 1995

 

January 16, 1995

From The Summit in Houston, TX

Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Shawn Michaels

We get a video package hyping Bret Hart w/ William Shatner vs. Jeff Jarrett w/ The Roadie.

 

Heavenly Bodies w/ Jim Cornette vs. 1-2-3 Kid & Bob Holly

The Bodies attack before the bell and dump Kid outside before double-teaming Holly. Cornette celebrates as The Bodies are in complete control as they attempt to get revenge for this weekend’s loss. Del Ray catches Holly with a super kick for a two count. Shawn says that Kid & Holly have as much of a chance at winning the Tag Titles as the Chargers do at beating the 49ers in the Super Bowl. Prichard hits a gutwrench bomb for two. Del Ray tags in and hits a snap suplex after taunting Kid as Vince put over the beating Kid took on the Action Zone against Bam Bam Bigelow. The crowd chants for Kid as Holly rolls through a crossbody for a two count. We now see Bigelow, Tatanka, and Ted DiBiase come down the aisle as Prichard almost puts Holly away with a flying knee drop. Holly ducks a double clothesline and jumps on the arms of The Bodies, causing them to collide, then tags out. Kid runs wild as the crowd cheers then the match breaks down and Kid takes Del Ray over with a Northern Lights suplex as Holly fights off Prichard and that gets the win (4:37) **1/4.

Thoughts: All action and a reasonable story of The Bodies feeling screwed over in how they lost in the semifinals and were out for revenge but it was not enough as the team of Holly & Kid win this decisively and get some more momentum heading into the Finals, where the underdog story is being heavily hyped.

 

Vince now asks questions for Bret & Shatner, who are standing in the locker room. Bret says he does not have ring rust and his full of fire. Shawn asks Shatner who will be watching his back as Shatner says he will take care of Lawler again if needed then warns Roadie not to interfere as he will become “Roadkill” if he does. Once again, Shatner definitely seemed like he had a few scotches here.

 

Mantaur w/ Jim Cornette vs. Jason Ahrndt

Mantaur has ditched the Boar’s Head and now using face paint. Mantaur rams Ahrndt into the corner as Vince still cannot believe the boar’s head is gone. Mantaur roars after hitting a belly-to-belly suplex as Shawn says Cornette sees the talent in Mantaur. Vince hypes up the Rumble match drawing on the “Action Zone” this weekend as Mantaur stays in control until he puts Ahrndt away with a splash (1:43).

Thoughts: They already ditched the boar’s head, because he could not even get into the ring with that huge thing on his head, and gave him face paint. And Cornette is now randomly his manager too and it was explained on commentary that Cornette sees talent in Mantaur.

 

Royal Rumble Report with Todd Pettengill. But first, we hear from Jeff Jarrett with Roadie backstage as he tells Pettengill to hurry up so we can hear him comment on tonight’s match. Jarrett then tells us that tonight’s match will not have any effect on his match against Razor Ramon on the PPV. Jarrett then gets mad when he hears Pettengill predict Bret as his winner. Jarrett wasn’t bad here and once again, Roadie is able to stand out in a background role. His mannerisms and movements were usually spot on and added to the gimmick.

 

Jeff Jarrett w/ The Roadie vs. Bret Hart w/ William Shatner

Despite the added edge as of late, Bret makes sure to give his shades to a kid sitting in the front row. Jarrett stalls in the corner then bails before trying to sneak in for an attack. They finally lockup then Bret blocks a punch and hammers away. Bret rakes Jarrett face across the top rope as Vince cannot believe what he is seeing. Bret leg drops Jarrett then rakes his face then roughs him up again. Bret works the arm as Vince asks if Bret will become champion at WrestleMania. Vince talks about the bad blood between Shatner and The Roadie, which really hasn’t been played up so its a clear giveaway what will happen during this match. Bret stays in control as Shawn says Diesel better be careful since Bret has not shown any signs of ring rust. Jarrett is able to break up a headlock with a back suplex then hits a swinging neckbreaker as we go to break. We return as Jarrett is now roughing up Bret. Jarrett takes his time on the middle rope and ends up getting punched in midair. Bret fires away and hits a Russian side leg sweep for a nearfall. Suplex gets two. Flying elbow drop gets two. Bret now sets up for the Sharpshooter but Jarrett is able to rake the eyes. Bret fights back and ties up Jarrett in the ropes but misses a flying attack as Roadie freed up Jarrett. Shatner looks concerned, and shitfaced, while holding Bret’s jacket but he was invested and playing his role well. Jarrett applies the figure-four but Bret reaches the ropes with help from his friend then we get a reversal sequence that ends with Bret grabbing Jarrett’s tights to reverse a rollup and he gets the win (9:00 shown) ***. After the match, Roadie goes after Bret but Shatner comes in and takes him out with a forearm smash. Shatner tends to Bret then ducks a flying attack by Roadie. Shatner now uses a turnbuckle smash before tossing Roadie over the top rope.

Thoughts: The match was good and both guys on the outside played their roles well. The story of the match was Bret showing more aggression in the ring and if all that has happened to him in 1994 will make him go back to the heel ways. The other focus was on Shatner, who really was invested in his role and it showed. Roadie was a great sport here and took some nice bumps for Shatner here too. However, there was a report from Dave Meltzer in the “Wrestling Observer Newsletter” that most of the wrestlers though that Shatner acted “stuck up” backstage.

 

A recap of the Tag Team Title Tournament Semifinals.

 

King’s Court is up next as it features the entire Million Dollar Corporation, including the two druids. And no Nikolai Volkoff who per Cagematch wrestled his last match on December 30th. DiBiase talks about being the CEO of the Corporation and promises the Royal Rumble will be their night and they will celebrate all night long. DiBiase claims IRS will run The Undertaker out of the WWF, Bam Bam Bigelow & Tatanka will win the Tag Team titles and even defend their titles against the Smoking Gunns, and King Kong Bundy will win the Royal Rumble match then become champion at WrestleMania. DiBiase then talks about The Corporation having everything and is “alive in ’95.” Shawn says the Million Dollar Corporation might have a lot of things coming out of the Rumble but they will not have the Royal Rumble match winner as he vows to win that match. Really just a lame interview for a stable that is not over anywhere near its push. No one is buying Bundy as a top heel in this era, either. And the IRS/Undertaker feud sucks.

 

Vince hypes the WWF Superstar Line

 

Mabel w/ Oscar vs. Lee Tobin

Vince runs down all of Diesel’s upcoming media and public appearances as Shawn says he will have all of those gigs when he becomes champion. Mabel tosses Tobin around then drops him with an enziguiri. Shawn intentionally mispronounces the word “agile” while describing Mabel as Tobin fires away until he walks into a clothesline. Mabel then hits another clothesline and finishes off Tobin with a leg drop (2:31). Mabel dances after the match as Oscar raps with Vince suggesting that Mabel is a Rumble favorite.

Thoughts: Mabel is being hyped as the babyface super heavyweight that has the best chance to eliminate Bundy at the Rumble.

 

The hosts are now with Mabel. They ask him who will win the Rumble and Mabel says that he will in fact win the match. Shawn objects and asks why a big man will win as Mabel says he is the biggest and baddest. However, Bundy runs out and is pissed at Mabel so Mabel rolls into the ring and challenges Bundy, who is being held back by DiBiase. They’re trying to build some heat to a potential big man standoff in the Rumble match. But once again, Bundy is not over and Mabel has been booked as an afterthought as a singles wrestler.

 

The Pamela Anderson walking the beach Royal Rumble ad airs.

 

We see the hosts run down next week’s show. The Smoking Gunns will face the winner of the Tag Team Tournament Finals. Plus, the Royal Rumble match winner will be on the show. Shawn then adds that the winner will be the dude the chicks love the most, himself.

 

A Diesel music video package then closes out the show.

 

Final Thoughts: We got more of the Bret storyline with his celebrity friend Shatner in his corner too. And next week the Rumble winner will appear live as well as a Tag Team Title match. I found it to be an enjoyable episode but the intrigue of the actual Rumble match is low despite some of the other matches on the card being hyped up well.