WWF Monday Night RAW - September 11, 1995
-Why am I recapping this seemingly random episode of Raw? The answer is simple: this was the first Raw to go head to head against WCW Nitro. You see, Nitro had premiered the previous week, but Raw was preempted (surely no coincidence there).
-Meanwhile, on week 2 of Nitro on TNT, WCW served up:
Sabu vs. Alex Wright
Sting vs. V.K. Wallstreet
Randy Savage vs. Scott Norton
Hulk Hogan vs. Lex Luger for the WCW title.
Youíll notice that Nitroís line-up featured four of the biggest WCW stars in action, with a legit PPV main event in Hogan vs. fresh on the scene Luger. Bischoff and WCW were breaking all the conventional rules of how to run a weekly wrestling show and had Turner pocket books to back them up. Nitro also had a cutting edge intro video and TV set, while Raw has a more quiet, toned down feel to it.
-From an undisclosed location (Canton, OH). Our hosts are Jerry Lawler and Vince McMahon.
Razor Ramon vs. British Bulldog (with Jim Cornette)
Ramon tosses his toothpick at Cornette to set the tone. Razorís hot start leads to Bulldog getting clotheslined to ringside. Bulldog recovers and goes to work wearing down Razor with power moves, including a press slam. The beat down lasts through a commercial, but Razor shows signs of life by countering a power slam. Cue the obligatory comeback, as Razor unleashes an over head slam. Ramon goes for the Razorís Edge, but the ref takes a bump, leading to Dean Douglas running in for an attack. The 1-2-3 Kid attempts a save, but Douglas drops him on the ropes. Razor recovers and is poised for victory, but Kidís assistance backfires and he lands on Razor in a flying leg drop. The ref is awake and calls for the bell at 7:10 (shown). Nothing match that served as a backdrop for the Ramon/Kid feud.
Winner via DQ: The British Bulldog
-Vince McMahon interviews The 1-2-3 Kid and Razor Ramon in the ring about what just happened. Kid argues that he didnít cost Razor the match and is sick of being treated like a little kid. He challenges Razor to a match next week, looking to beat him the same way he did in 1993. Razor accepts the match, looking to make history again like he did in the ladder match at Summerslam.
The Smoking Gunns (Bart and Billy) vs. Brooklyn Brawler and Rad Radford
A double team effort by the jobbers goes no where as the Bart flings Billy at them (rather impressively for 1995). Brawler whips Billy into Radford to cut the ring in half. The Gunns rebound as Bart slams Brawler off the top rope and slingshots into a cross body on Radford. The guillotine leg drop finishes Brawler at 2:48. Fine squash match, but it probably cost them some viewers to Nitro.
Winners: The Smoking Gunns
-Goldust cuts a zany promo overlooking a city at night.
Isaac Yankem vs. Scott Taylor
Yankemís music is simply the sound of a dentist drill. No wonder WCW would overtake WWF around this time, eh? Yankem bats Taylor around and hits a choke slam. They have time to fill, so Yankem chokes on the ropes and slams Taylor into place for some elbow drops. Yankem drapes Taylor over his back by the hair. DDT ends it at 2:10. Glen Jacobs already looked good as a performer but this gimmick was death.
Winner: Isaac Yankem
-Todd Pettengill hosts the In Your House event center and makes fun of Mad About You moving to Sundays. IYH: Triple Header is coming up in just a couple weeks, and Iím relieved to find out that Scrooge McSuck already recapped that one.
-Shawn Michaels cuts a short promo looking to close his feud with Sid. He passes a ladder and he flinches, I guess still reeling from the ladder matches with Razor Ramon. Cute.
Quick start with Shawn outsmarting Sid to catch him in a cross body. Sid absorbs a series of jabs and takes a time out at ringside. Sid returns but Shawn skins the cat to blindside him with a drop-kick to the floor. Sid rebounds by catching HBK and dropping him to the canvas (canít really call it a slam). Sid takes control, with Shawn overselling at times, surely as a way to mess with Sid politically. The beat down continues through a commercial, but Shawn breaks a bear hug only to get knocked back down. Sid spends too much time signaling a power bomb and eats a backdrop counter. Flying cross body by Shawn gets a 2 count. A trio of Sweet Chin Musics finishes Sid at 7:17 (shown). Fun, crowd pleasing outing in itís own right, though not exactly a work of art, **.
Shawn Michaels © vs. Psycho Sid (with Ted Dibiase)
Winner and still Intercontinental Champion: Shawn Michaels
-Shawn lingers in the ring for a strip tease. You wonít see this on Nitro.
-Doc Hendrix interviews WWF Champion Diesel and Shawn Michaels backstage. They face Tag Team Champions Yokozuna and Owen Hart at Triple Header, in a match where all three major belts are on the line. Shawn is working on fixing all the wrongs of his life, and heís close to that goal as heís reconciled with Diesel, beaten Razor Ramon in a ladder match, beaten Sid, and now he and Diesel will be Tag Team Champions! Good stuff here.
Final Thoughts: Iím at a loss for words here, as I enjoyed watching this, but nothing was all that good. Had I watched this live, I think I would have strayed to Nitro, so letís call this Thumbs in the Middle.
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