September 25, 1995
From the Grand Center in Grand Rapids, MI
Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler as part of the first live RAW during the Monday Night Wars era.
We get a video package of Shawn Michaels & Diesel winning the Tag Titles last night at In Your House. However, we then see that Jim Cornette found a contractual loophole and brought his lawyer to meet with WWF Interim Gorilla Monsoon earlier today. And because of that loophole, Owen Hart & Yokozuna once again became the Tag Team Champions but we then see that Gorilla is making them defend the titles tonight.
The hosts run down the show that also features British Bulldog vs. Undertaker. Lawler also tells us that the name of Cornette’s attorney is Clearance Mason.
Skip w/ Sunny vs. Marty Jannetty
Vince welcomes Marty back and calls it a surprise. Marty gets the fans behind him as Vince recalls Marty’s former team with Shawn Michaels. Marty works over Skip to start. Skip bails and hugs Sunny after getting dropkicked as the announcers talk about the Tag Team Title situation. Skip returns and rakes Marty’s face then hammers away in the corner. Marty floats over in the corner and that leads to a reversal sequence ending with Marty using a back drop. Skip bails once again to hug Sunny but this time Marty comes out and decks Skip then surprises Sunny with a hug. Sunny flips out as the fans go nuts and Skip throws a mini tantrum in the ring. Vince reminds us once again we are live as Marty works a hammerlock on the mat. We get more talk about the Tag Titles then see Sunny trip up Marty, leading to Skip using a gutwrench bomb. Skip then suplexes Marty as Dean Douglas is in the aisle taking notes. Vince talks about Douglas’s “controversial” victory last night at In Your House as we go to break. The match returns with Skip turning Marty inside out with a clothesline. We get a split screen of Marty hugging Sunny from earlier as Lawler says Marty is out of shape. Marty fights back and hits a suplex for a two count as Vince hypes the Superstar Line. Marty catches Skip with a powerbomb then fires up and runs wild. Marty drills Skip with a knee lift for a two count then hits a crossbody for a one count and stops as Sunny gets up on the apron to cause a commotion. Skip charges and Marty back drops him to the floor then Marty suplexes Skip back into the ring but gets tripped again by Sunny and Skip falls on top for two. Lawler tells us to remember the name Clearance Mason as Marty hits Skip with a Rocker Dropper then drills him with a flying fist drop for the win (7:42 shown) ***.
Thoughts: Marty seemed a little out of shape here but put on a good performance and the fans were behind him. Skip losing clean on TV again is a sign that he is a lower midcarder for life though. Marty’s return was a pleasant surprise though and gives the midcard some much needed depth but lets see how long it last with Marty’s tendency to wear out his welcome.
We get a video package on last night’s triple header match when British Bulldog took Owen Hart’s spot but Owen ran out at the end and got pinned. We then see Mason in the board room grilling Gorilla over stating Bulldog was a tag team champion last night, not Owen, thus the decision of the match was overturned. And we now learn that the champs will face the Smoking Gunns for the titles.
Dok is in the aisle shilling the In Your House three t-shirt that we were told was only available last night. He seems to have taken over for Barry Didisnky, who was truly awful at his job but I do believe the Mayor of Merchandise is still with the company for a few more months.
WWF Tag Team Title Match: Owen Hart & Yokozuna (c) w/ Jim Cornette & Mr. Fuji vs. Smoking Gunns
We are joined in-progress after the break and see Bart take Owen down with a drop toehold then work the arm. Gunns are trying to get revenge for what happened to them at WrestleMania XI as Billy now tags and works the arm. Owen tags out after a drop toehold as Vince suggests he is still feeling the effects of the jackknife courtesy of Diesel last night. Yokozuna knocks Billy down as we go split screen and see Shawn & Diesel watching the match backstage on the monitor. Billy staggers Yokozuna after a pair of dropkicks then takes him down with a bulldog and celebrates. However, he tries a crucifix and Yokozuna counters with a Samoan Drop. The ref is distracted and that allows Owen to stomp Billy. Owen rolls Billy back onto ring and Yokozuna takes a breather by leaning on the ropes then tags out. The announcers speculate as to why Owen was late to the show last night as Lawler said he overcame transportation issues and got dressed in the cab en route to the arena. Billy manages a two count with a sunset flip but Owen takes him down with an enziguiri before the break. We return to see Owen hit Billy with a corkscrew neckbreaker then he tries a flying body press that Billy rolls through for a two count. Yokozuna tags in and beats on Billy in the corner as Vince talks about this being WrestleMania XI all over again. Yokozuna now puts Billy in a one-handed nerve hold that does not look even the slightest bit capable of holding down a man of Billy’s size. Vince plugs the WrestleMania XI special this weekend as Bart rallies the fans behind his partner. Lawler keeps reference Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones and how he brokered a deal with Nike as Yokozuna maintains the nerve hold. Billy is finally able to escape but runs into a back elbow smash. Yokozuna then tries an elbow drop but misses as both men are down. Billy then tries a leg drop instead of tagging out but misses. Yokozuna then misses a splash as both men are down again. Yokozuna tags out first and Owen grabs Billy’s waist to try and stop the tag but Billy leaps forward and makes the tag. Bart runs wild and even press slams Owen for a two count as Yokozuna was late making the save. The match breaks down as they bounce Owen off of Yokozuna and Yokozuna falls in the corner then the Gunns hit the Sidewinder on Owen. Yokozuna tries to break up the pin with a splash but misses and hits Owen then the Gunns send Yokozuna through the ropes with a dropkick and cover Owen for the win to become the new Tag Team champions (10:17 shown) **1/4. The crowd pops for the finish as The Gunns celebrate. Afterwards, Shawn Michaels & Diesel head into the ring and celebrate with The Gunns as Vince says anything can happen in the WWF. After a replay of the finish we see a pissed off Yokozuna head up the aisle.
Thoughts: Solid match outside of that pathetic nerve hold spot as we now officially get new Tag Team Champions. So, originally, when the triple header concept was developed the plan was for Shawn & Diesel to be champs then eventually lose and feud. However, Vince at the last minute decided it did not make sense for Shawn & Diesel to be champs and decided to go this route with the Clearance Mason stuff here. The Gunns are now the champs of a weak division and the Owen & Yoko act can be split up and used in singles matches where their presence is needed.
We get a hype video for next week’s Bret Hart vs. Jean Pierre Lafitte and Razor Ramon vs. 1-2-3 Kid.
Back to the ring with The Gunns still celebrating and heading up the aisle with the camera mostly focusing on Shawn.
Dok is in the aisle with Gorilla. He asks about finding out last night the next In Your House will feature Undertaker vs. King Mabel (Dok says you might consider this match a “trainwreck” prompting Vince himself to cackle) and will also feature Goldust’s in-ring debut. Gorilla says that he has more to announce for that show too and that British Bulldog will get his wish and have a chance at the World Title against Diesel. Plus, Bret Hart has signed a contract to face whoever is World Champion at the Survivor Series. Plus, we will get Shawn vs. Dean Douglas for the Intercontinental Title. Or will we?
British Bulldog w/ Jim Cornette vs. The Undertaker w/ Paul Bearer
Match starts, after the break as Undertaker goes outside to chase after Bulldog but gets stomped returing to the ring. Undertaker tosses Bulldog down and chokes him out in the corner as Vince puts over Bulldog beating Bam Bam Bigelow last night and how he took Owen’s place in the triple header. Undertaker tries his ropewalk attack but Bulldog yanks him off of the rope. Undertaker sits up then catches Bulldog with a big boot. Undertaker misses an elbow drop and gets clotheslined over the top rope but lands on his feet. Undertaker then chokes Cornette to wake up the crowd but Bulldog runs out with a chop block to save his manager. Bulldog sends Undertaker into the steps then taunts the fans inside of the ring. We see King Mabel & Sir Mo looking on from the aisle as we go to break then return with Bulldog working over Undertaker’s leg. Waylon Mercy is now shown looking on as Undertaker’s knee gives out when Irish whipped by Bulldog. The crowd gets behind Undertaker as Bulldog continues to target the knee. Bulldog tries his running powerslam but Undertaker slips out and hits a back suplex as both men are down. The crowd chants “rest in peace” to get behind Undertaker as he now fires away. Undertaker wins a slugfest then finally hits the ropewalk attack but continues to limp around. Undertaker ducks his head for a back drop and Bulldog piledrives him for a two count. Vertical suplex gets two. Undertaker kicks out of another suplex attempt then ducks a clothesline and chokeslams Bulldog. Mabel now heads into the ring and stares down Undertaker but Bulldog hits a running knee from behind then Mabel catches him for a belly-to-belly suplex and the ref rings the bell for a DQ (7:34 shown) **1/2. Bulldog then picks up Undertaker for a running powerslam and Mabel drops the leg. Another official runs out but Shawn & Diesel head out to clear the ring. Owen & Yokozuna come out too but so do the Smoking Gunns.
Thoughts: Slow start but came together nicely until the DQ finish. Undertaker did a better job with the selling of the knee than Bigelow the night prior. And since both men are to be protected we got the Mabel run-in. Also, we saw a 5 vs. 5 standoff at the end here which you might think could be a Survivor Series match since that is coming up in less than two months.
Another ad for the WrestleMania XI special.
Back to the ring with Diesel, Shawn, Undertaker, and the Smoking Gunns all in the ring. Bart seems covered in soap as he might have legitimately ran out of the shower to get to the ring. Diesel’s music is playing.
We return from break as its now Diesel and Shawn in the ring with Shawn’s theme playing. Shawn is dancing with the WWF logo spotlight on him as Diesel is in the corner. The spotlight on Shawn in late 1995? You don’t say.
Clip from last night’s Razor Ramon vs. Dean Douglas match where Razor and Kid got into a confrontation afterwards when Kid trolled Razor by counting a pin. Lawler then says he heard a rumor of Kid negotiating with Ted DiBiase.
Next week we get Razor Ramon vs. 1-2-3 Kid and Bret Hart vs. Jean Pierre Lafitte. Strong lineup for sure.
Final Thoughts: An enjoyable, focused show this week. No time-filling squash matches featuring midcard acts that aren’t over. Everything had a point this week and it also sets up two good matches for next week too. This is the first RAW under the Watts regime and so far so good as you get a sense of who he thought should be pushed.
I’ll have the 9/30 edition of “Superstars” up later tonight.