WWF Monday Night RAW – January 23rd, 1995


January 23, 1995

From the Manatee Civic Center in Palmetto, FL

Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Shawn Michaels

The show starts with a somber sounding Vince in front of the ring. He extends an apology to Lawrence Taylor and his family over the actions of Scott “Bam Bam” Bigelow. Vince also lets us know that Bigelow has been suspended without pay.


Shawn Michaels comes out to the ring and briefly dances before going over to Vince. Shawn brags about telling us he would win the Royal Rumble match while gloating over being able to have Pamela Anderson escort him down the aisle at WrestleMania for his shot at the World Title.


Tag Team Title Match: Smoking Gunns vs. 1-2-3 Kid & Bob “Spark Plugg” Holly (c)

The underdog duo of Kid & Holly defend the titles the day after winning them on the PPV. Shawn puts over how he was a tag champion at one point while Vince plugs the WWF Superstar line. Billy and Holly start things off as Vince points out the beating that Kid & Holly took last night. Billy and Holly end in a stalemate after some back-and-forth while Shawn mocks them soon having a catfight. Vince now says that the Gunns were likely preparing for Tatanka & Bigelow tonight and had less than 24 hours to study Kid & Holly. Kid and Bart are now in the ring as Bart catches Kid with a powerslam after a reversal sequence for a two count. Kid avoids a dropkick then lands one of his own for two. Kid & Holly now work over the arm of Bart as Shawn wants to know which Smoking Gunn took the “steer to the rear,” causing them to miss the Tag Team Tournament. Billy tags and bulldogs Holly for two as Shawn brags about winning the Rumble match. The Gunns catch Holly with a double press slam then Holly escapes a sidewinder attempt and sends Bart into Billy then hits a dropkick. Kid tags and helps Holly hit Billy with a double superplex for a nearfall as we head to break. The match returns as Holly works over Billy. The champs work over Billy then Kid lands a spinning heel kick for two before attacking Bart. Holly slugs it out with Billy but ends up eating boot on a charge. Kid tags in and beats on Billy then dropkicks Bart off of the apron so a tag could not be made. Kid ducks his head and Billy hits a Rocker Dropper as both men are down. Vince touts last night’s Bret Hart vs. Diesel match and how it received a standing ovation from the crowd while Shawn jokes about thinking he saw that match. Bart finally makes the tag and runs wild, getting a good amount of cheers. Holly breaks up a pin attempt then for some reason the Gunns do not cover after a side slam/leg drop combo. The Gunns double-team Kid before the break and stay in control when we return. Vince puts over Kid’s heart as the Gunns hit a vertical suplex/dropkick combo for two. Kid tries to fight back but gets dropped by Billy. Kid looks out of it then Holly kneed Billy in the back from the apron and tags in as he runs wild. Holly dropkicks Billy for two as Vince says he might just have the best dropkick in the WWE. Holly heads up top for a splash but Billy got his boot up and we see Holly’s head just bounce off of the mat and he ended up getting a legit concussion then after that the Gunns hit the Sidewinder for the win and the titles (19:20 shown) ***1/4. The crowd popped for the finish.

Thoughts: I liked the match and it was all action for the most part but having Kid & Holly act heelish after being hyped as the face underdog duo all throughout the tournament just felt contrived to me. And a bit out of place against a team that had the size advantage. Plus, you’d think it would make more sense for the team that missed the tournament to have the edge and play heels too but I guess they wanted the Gunns as face champs and as we saw later, the entire point of the tag tournament was to kickoff a feud between Bigelow and LT.


A Bigelow Slim Jim ad airs. Odd they would have a heel do this ad.


Vince is with Kid & Holly and tells them the match last night took too much out of them. Kid said they gave the Gunns and title shot but remember the shot was 24 hours notice but Vince reminds them they knew before the Rumble this match was taken place. Holly then talks about being underdogs and is out of it so Kid cuts him off and asks the Gunns to give them a courtesy of a rematch. And like I said about Holly getting concussed, this was in fact reported by Wade Keller in the “Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter” and oddly enough another injury would occur to his partner.


Todd Pettengill gives us a Royal Rumble Report that Vince tells us took place after the PPV. Pettengill stands behind a Royal Rumble sign and black curtain as he verbalizes what happened during the singles matches on the show. We did not even get any still photos here. It was a long segment.


Back to the hosts as we hear a chant for Diesel while Shawn tells us the WWF is jealous of him as evidenced that we did not hear about him in the Rumble Report. Shawn then said he is going to find someone he can trust to watch his back then alerts everyone he is seeking a new bodyguard.


We get the same clip from last week with William Shatner walking down the aisle with Bret Hart and plugging TekWar airing after RAW.


IRS w/ Ted DiBiase vs. Buck Quartermaine

IRS stomps on Quartermaine as Roddy Piper has now called in and talks about the jealously between the Old and New Generation while putting over the New Generation and how last night was one of the greatest Royal Rumbles he has ever seen. The druid is back as Piper congratulates the Smoking Gunns then Shawn wants to hear kudos. Piper jokingly refers to Shawn as “Cher” but first talks about Bigelow and how he took a cheap shot at LT as IRS puts Quartermaine away with a Write Off Clothesline (2:17). Vince then plugs the encore plus airing of the PPV with Piper apparently conducting an interview with Shawn. Piper then goes off on Shawn from starting off as a decent kid then turning into a jerk,.

Thoughts: We hear from Piper here and his appearances sure have lessened in quality over the years. Anyway, they plugged the Shawn interview for the encore PPV airing, which takes place a week from Tuesday.


We get an airing of the first Man Mountain Rock vignette.


King’s Court with guests Jeff Jarrett & The Roadie. Jarrett struts around with his new “JJ” jumpsuit before showing us the Intercontinental Title around his waist. Jarrett talks about how last night he did just what he said about taking the title and humiliating Razor Ramon. Vince says The Roadie is why Jarrett won while Lawler now wants to know what is next for Jarrett. We then hear Jarrett says he has been champion “quite a while” and how there is one missing ingredient title from the “Ain’t I Great Tour” is the World Title as Jarrett now calls out Diesel for a match tonight. Jarrett wants the opportunity to strut his stuff and humiliate Diesel as Shawn says Diesel does not have the guts. A generic promo as Jarrett’s ego has grown even bigger since winning the IC Title last night. I did like the line about being champ for “quite a while” though and as usual, Roadie’s facial expressions remain tremendous.


We get an ad for “WWF Mania” as it will be live on location in Hartford, CT to cover the opening ticket sale of WrestleMania XI. Unfortunately, I do not have a copy of that show. Finding episodes of Mania from 94-96 are not too easy.


Back to the hosts as Shawn demands Vince call him the winner of the Royal Rumble before we see the graphic to call for WrestleMania tickets.


British Bulldog vs. Black Phantom

Bulldog ducks underneath the ropes to yell at Shawn while Shawn responds by making crying sounds and mannerisms. Shawn also says that his athletic superiority is why he won and for Bulldog to blame his own stupidity for why he lost. Phantom attacks Bulldog from behind but Bulldog quickly fights back. Vince talks about the finish and screams about Bulldog being robbed while calling Shawn a sneak as Shawn says he is the man and how Vince cannot stand the fact he won the Rumble. Bulldog continues to beat on Phantom as Shawn says he will take care of the fact he is a marked man by getting a bodyguard. Bulldog avoids a flying attack by Phantom then hits a running powerslam for the win (3:12).

Thoughts: They are really playing up how Bulldog got screwed over but for Vince to blame that on Shawn instead of the fact the bell rang and Bulldog’s music played does not make much sense. If you want to say that Shawn’s athleticism was so amazing that it fooled everyone then just do so and hype up Shawn for being lucky instead of acting like Shawn cheated to win the match.


Vince once again plugs the WWF Superstar Line and the fact its open 24 hours a day.


We now cut to Bigelow as Vince tells us he is going to apologize for his actions but there are audio problems.


Vince runs down next week’s show as we have Mabel vs. King Kong Bundy in a “two-man Royal Rumble match” as Shawn jokingly refers to them as the “Blubber Boys.” Plus, we will have a Tag Team Title rematch between the Gunns and Kid & Holly. Also, Kama will be in action as Vince signs “Karma Chameleon.”


Back to Bigelow as Vince says if we can work out the problems it will air but if not then it will have to wait until next week. Bigelow still cannot hear Vince then says “can’t we get this over with” as the show goes off the air. A nice way to hype next week’s show.


Final Thoughts: We saw the Tag Team Titles change hands for the second time in a 24 hour span and teased next week’s apology from Bigelow. Plus, we get a Tag Title rematch for next week as well. Shawn is also looking for a new bodyguard as the company dealt with the Rumble fallout and is now going to start the hype for WrestleMania XI.