WWF Monday Night RAW – July 31st, 1995

 

July 31, 1995

From the Louisville Gardens in Louisville, KY

Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler

We get a hype video for tonight’s Tag Team Title match between Razor Ramon & Savio Vega vs. Owen Hart & Yokozuna

 

King Mabel w/ Sir Mo vs. Nick Barberri

Mabel is once again carried out on his throne. Mabel tosses Barberri into the corner and beats him down. Mabel continues to beat down Barberrl as the announcers talk about Mabel attacking Diesel while he was a lumberjack at In Your House. Barberri lands a few shots but gets tossed around then drilled with an enziguiri. Lawler is now pissed over Shawn Micheals disrespecting him last week as the show went off the air and even says that Shawn backed down from his challenge. Mabel heads out to toss Barberri into the steps as Vince tells us that Shawn vs. Sid will take place at SummerSlam. Back inside, Mabel whiffs on an elbow drop. Barberri tries a pair of dropkicks and the second attempt is swatted away then Mabel puts Barberri away with a belly-to-belly suplex (3:12). After the match, Vince tells us that Diesel vs. Mo will take place on next week’s show. Mabel then grabs the mic to tell us once again at SummerSlam he will be World Champion in addition to being the king.

Thoughts: They hyped up Mabel/Diesel at SummerSlam plus we broke the news of Shawn vs. Sid at SummerSlam. And hinted at a Shawn/Lawler feud. However, Mabel has shown nothing indicating he could be a top heel and literally cut the same exact promo he did on the syndicated shows a day prior.

 

We get the Fatu vignette in front of his high school. He will be in action on RAW next week.

 

Lawler leaves the announcers table as he wants to go backstage and challenge Shawn to a match. We then get a replay of Lawler and Shawn exchanging words during a split-screen promo.

 

We now see Lawler backstage with Shawn. Lawler wishes it was him facing Shawn instead of Sid at SummerSlam. Shawn then says he has some time before that and can fit him in as Lawler tries to brush it off as Shawn joking. Lawler then said he took an oath as a journalist that he would not be in the ring on RAW. Shawn then tells Lawler to take a match and mocks him as Lawler keeps talking about the “journalistic oath.” Shawn keeps egging on Lawler.

 

The graphic hyping Goldust’s debut airs.

 

Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Bob Cook

Lawler is back at the booth and talking about how he would have slapped Shawn if not for that journalistic oath. Cook rakes Bigelow’s eyes then hammers away. Bigelow reverses an Irish whip and Cook slides outside acting like he was a genius for avoiding Bigelow but ends up getting dragged back into the ring. Bigelow tosses Cook around as Lawler makes fun of Bigelow and uses references to the movie “Waterworld.” Cook gives Bigelow a shot to the face but Bigelow fights back and hits a suplex. Lawler talks about Shawn being in trouble as Bigelow applies a chin lock. The phone number for the WWF/AOL partnership flashes on the screen as Cook beats on Bigelow in the corner as the crowd is silent. Bigelow turns the tide and fights back then drops Cook with a clothesline and uses a scoop slam before the diving headbutt gets the win (3:21). After the match, we see Bigelow celebrate in front of the video wall, which is displaying his finisher.

Thoughts: Crowd completely dead here and if you want to know how much Bigelow has fallen down the card, in the span of 4.5 months he went from WrestleMania main eventer to the guy in the cooldown match following an angle.

 

A new Dean Douglas segment. He talks about Bam Bam Bigelow then uses the definition of the word “beast” that means a contemptible person then goes on his looks and gives Bigelow an “F.” Shorter than last week but probably worse. This isnt a character that gets heat but rather a character that makes you change the channel.

 

We see the Tag Team champions backstage with Cornette, who hypes up his team ahead of their title defense.

 

Skip w/ Sunny vs. Major Yates

Before the match, Sunny calls the crowd “fat, out of shape morons” while both of them flip out over Barry Horowitz. Skip says he is still undefeated and got cheated. Skip uses a slam then does a jumping jack but stops to land some stomps. Skip does more jumping jacks and nearly loses via rollup. Yates works the arm after a monkey flip as Vince says Skip will face Shawn Michaels this weekend on “Superstars.” Skip fights back as the announcers talk about Horowitz not yet granting a rematch. Yates uses a sunset flip for a nearfall butSkip comes back with a sling blade then sets up for the superplex and the win as he hooked the leg rather than perform pushups while pinning his opponent (2:23). After the match, Skip yells about Horowitz ruining his life.

Thoughts: They pushed the Skip/Horowitz feud and the Skip/Shawn match on “Superstars.” And they really tried to get over how much the loss to Horowitz has effected Skip mentally as he keeps snapping and flipping out. A rematch, although not officially announced, seems to be coming soon.

 

WWF SummerSlam Insider with Todd Pettengill, dressed as a club owner from 1988. No longer is this the “report” but now its the insider. I guess Vince had a sudden moment and demanded a word change. We get hype for Diesel vs. Mabel for the World Title, Bret Hart vs. Isaac Yankem, and Shawn Michaels vs. Sid for the Intercontinental Title.

 

A hype video for next week’s Diesel vs. Mo match. Sounds like a barnburner.

 

WWF Tag Team Title Match: Yokozuna & Owen Hart w/ Jim Cornette & Mr. Fuji vs. Razor Ramon & Savio Vega

On the way to the ring, Razor & Savio pass guy Barry Didinsky who was selling a Razor t-shirt. Owen jabs his finger into Vega’s chest then slaps him across the face. Vega fights back and skies Owen with a back drop. Vega tags out after fighting over an arm wringer as Razor now works the arm of Owen. Razor decks Owen, who stumbles and falls through the ropes as we head to break. Match returns with Owen floating over and slapping Razor. We then see Razor catch Owen with a fallaway slam for a two count but Owen scurries to his corner and tags out. Yokozuna is billed as the largest man in WWF by Vince as his weight is now 668 lbs. Yokozuna backs Razor into the corner but Razor fights back. Vega tags in and works the arm then dropkicks Yokozuna through the ropes. Lawler says that Vega is celebrating like a “Mexican jumping bean” as the champs huddle with their managers on the outside. Lawler tells us that Vega & Razor both speak “broken English” and uses some more ethnic stereotypes. Yokozuna finally returns to the ring and tags out as Owen gets taken down with an arm drag. Vince eggs on Lawler to accept Shawn’s challenge as Owen hits Vega with a spinning heel kick. Yokozuna tags and the champs hit the drop toe hold/leg drop combo as Yokozuna takes a bit to get up from one knee as we see Vega roll to the ropes. Yokozuna kicks Vega outside and Owen slams Vega and roughs him up on the outside. Owen then rolls Vega back in and Yokozuna chops him down a few times as Lawler suggests he can break the “Journalistic oath” since there is no President. We go to break with Yokozuna working a chin lock on Vega then return as Vega escaped and tagged out. Razor runs wild and hits a flying bulldog for two as Owen made the save. Match breaks down and the challengers take out both men with double clotheslines. Razor and Owen are now in the ring as Razor has Owen up for the Razor’s Edge and hits the move for the win. However, the ref waves it off as Cornette is throwing a fit about Owen not being the legal man, which was true, and the match is then ordered to continue and that Cornette has to leave ringside. Razor ducks a swing from Yokozuna and fires away. Owen is perched on the top rope and Razor tosses him off at Yokozuna. Two refs drag Cornette backstage as Vega has tagged into the match. Vega covers Owen for two despite him never seen tagging into the match. Vega gets a few nearfalls but is attacked by Yokozuna. We go to break with Owen working over Vega then return as Vega uses a sunset flip for a nearfall. Owen tags out after a snapmare as Yokozuna hits a clothesline but misses an elbow drop. Both men tag out and Razor fires away on Owen. Vince says if this match does not end before we go off of air it will continue next week. Razor hits Owen with a super back suplex but Owen reverses in midair then Razor reverses the pinfall for two. Razor tries to put Owen away as Lawler talks about how he accepted Shawn’s challenge. Razor then plants Owen with an uranage then gets to his feet and signals for the Razor’s Edge but the show goes off the air (13:28 shown) **.

Thoughts: The match was just kinda there as the case with any match involving Yokozuna, however, you have to work in multiple rest spots since his cardio is shot. And the champs are not getting the rapidly declining division over. Also, it was reported in the “Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter” that Owen was on the “cutback list” as the company was sick of his backstage blowups, with one incident reported where Owen put his fist through a glass window through at a door in an arena due to getting fined for being 15 minutes late.  Even besides all of that, it was a shock the Powers did not beat the champs or even slam Yokozuna at the PPV but according to Lex Luger in his shoot interview with Highspots, his contract was expired by this point so I guess the company did not want to commit until he actually re-signed since Lex was on a per appearance deal. Anyway, this match will re-start next week and join Diesel vs. Mo as the featured matches.

 

Final Thoughts: We saw the top matches announced for SummerSlam although they do not seem any good on paper. Dean Douglas came back with a terrible segment and we had a long mediocre tag match that will resume next week go to along with another bad match on paper with Diesel vs. Mo. And as we see here, besides Shawn Michaels, most of the characters in this company are just plain terrible. Creative peak in WWF history this is not.

 

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Tuesday: WWF Superstars 8/5/95, WWF Wrestling Challenge 8/6/95

Wednesday: WWF Monday Night RAW 8/7/95

Thursday: WWF Superstars 8/12/95

Friday: WWF Madison Square Garden 8/12/95

Saturday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 8/13/95

Sunday: WWF Monday Night RAW 8/14/95

Monday: WWF Valleyfield, Quebec 8/16/95