RAW Sept 11 95
The British Bulldog vs. Razor Ramon
We see highlights of Dean Douglas being punked out by Razor at Summerslam (before Dean even got a single match on TV!) Bulldog has a new buzz cut to go along with his new heelish attitude. Competent action until a ref bump sets up Razor barely being able to pick Bulldog up properly for the Razor’s Edge. Dean runs down and hits Razor from the top rope. The 1-2-3 Kid tries to make the save but Dean takes him out too. Bulldog hits Razor with a powerslam but the 1-2-3 Kid tries to break up the pin with a splash only to hit Razor instead. Bulldog whups Kid for his troubles. Bulldog and (soon to be) heel Kid should add some flair to the WWF’s rogue side that had seen TATANKA positioned as a top heel only months before and King Mabel more recently. The better the heels, the more beloved the faces can become.
Razor and Kid whine about each other for a bit and The Kid makes a match with himself vs. Razor for next week on RAW.
Smoking Gunns v. Brooklyn Brawler and Rad Radford
The heels blow a sneak attack and the Gunns dominate the Brawler on the way to a quick win. Radford was in the middle of a mini-push (if you can call a feud with Barry Horowitz a push) at this point so it’s odd to see him teaming with a pure jobber.
A Goldust vignette airs (one of the first)
When they first teased this gimmick (by simply showing his name and announcing he was from Hollywood IIRC) I was fully expecting him to be a mining character complete with rock pick and Duck Dynasty beard. I actually didn’t recognize him at first once he started doing these vignettes. My neighbor was a WCW fan boy and knew it was Dustin from day one. By the following Spring the gimmick was so over the top homosexual that Goldust was edited off the Superstars syndicated show that aired in my hometown of Green Bay. Dustin personally visited the station manager the following June when Raw was taping here and after that Goldust was allowed back on the air. He teases a feud with the Undertaker here.
Issac Yankem vs. Scott Taylor
Terrible dentist puns to start. Not sure how Vince could look at a guy like the Unibomb and think wrestling dentist! Glen Jacobs as Jerry Lawler’s heavy in a proxy feud with Bret Hart is a fine idea. This gimmick gives little room for character growth though. Kane with abs is a strange sight! Vince not so skillfully questions Lawler on “a survey that was just released this week” in order to give an up to the minute “live” feel to this show that was taped 3 weeks earlier. I can’t really do justice in typing how awkward this was forced into the match commentary. DDT wins it. Crowd is dead.
Sid Vicious vs. Shawn Michaels
This match and Bulldog vs. Razor was about as good of a line up as you were going to get on Raw in 1995. At least Vince didn’t roll over and play dead. This was the first TV match between these two men since Sid attacked Shawn the night after Wrestlemania several months earlier. Now we are lucky if they wait a week to build interest in a match. Lawler explains to McMahon that Sid is better because he is bigger (I think we all know Vince agreed on the inside.) Vince is in hype overdrive for his boyfriend Shawn. Sid bumped more than I was expecting, so at least he was game for trying to have a watchable bout. The result should have been a foregone conclusion since the WWF was already hammering home that the PPV main event in two weeks would be IC Champ Shawn teaming with World Champ Diesel against WWF Tag champs Yokozuna and Owen Hart with every belt on the line. After about 6 or 7 minutes of action shown, Shawn pins Sid after 2 ½ superkicks. We close with a Dudes with Attitudes promo.
This was fine. Had I seen this live in 1995, I would have appreciated the line up since it had two solid match ups and a TV debut of the new big scary heel. Watching it now, the show felt flat since I can’t stand Shawn and he was the highlight of the night.
Live from Miami
Eric Bischoff informs us that Vader is AWOL and since he didn’t file the proper paperwork he is off the PPV that is only 6 days away. Hogan’s team is now outnumbered…
Sabu vs. Alex Wright
McMichael thinks Sabu would make a great fullback. Heenan does the hard sell on Sabu being banned in 17 countries. Sabu tosses out a series of big spots where he flies around wildly and crashes hard into the cement, the ring and wherever else. Wright hits a sensational dropkick from the top rope. A reverse frankensteiner finishes Wright in a heck of a high spot!. The fans cheer for the fun spotfest even though the heel won. Sabu sends Wright through a stiff looking table to earn a post match DQ. Perhaps the first nationally televised table bump since Harley Race vs. Hulk Hogan on Saturday Night’s Main Event? Sabu proved here he could wow the masses on the big stage and it’s a shame he’d be back in ECW by November.
Ric Flair promo talking about the history of Arn Anderson and himself. Lex Luger comes down and Flair puts him over strong on the mic. Luger acts a bit bashful and tells Flair “You’re too much” and walks off. I guess that was to tease a Flair/Luger alliance to help set up the main event babyface chaos that would unfold over the next few months. Otherwise the Lex bit was really really odd.
Sting vs. VK Wallstreet
Eric name drops Shawn Michaels and reveals that “he beats the big guy with 3 kicks” to expose RAW being pre-taped in a famous moment. “They named their show after uncooked eggs, we sizzle on this show.”
Bischoff promises Luger won’t be the last WWF star to jump. He ain’t kidding! Looking at Rotundo’s belly dating all the way back to his Mid-Atlantic run in 1983, it’s really no surprise that Bray Wyatt looks so “Husky”. Sting wins with a flying clothesline and the new blood is 0-2 so far tonight.
This Saturday Night at 6:05: Dave Sullivan w/Rabbit vs. Big Bubba…Renegade vs. Maxx Muscle and DISCO INFERNO debuts! Hogan didn’t take advantage of Bubba’s rabbit allergies last week. Disco was pursued by the WWF at this point too IIRC and probably would have fit better in Vince’s circus.
Scott Norton vs. Randy Savage
Norton calls out for Mongo in a follow up to last week’s face off. I don’t think this angle goes anywhere. Norton jams Savage into the mat and Savage sells it like he’s Dennis Byrd.
Norton tries to do a draping DDT (ala Randy Orton) but puts Savage’s arm behind his head like a suplex and thus Savage doesn’t appear ready to take the correct bump and Randy’s probably lucky he didn’t get a neck injury there. Norton bumps around more than I’ve ever seen him to try and show that he can work with the big names but it’s all for naught when Kamala and The Shark (John Tenta) run down. Tenta and Norton collide and John falls on Norton’s legs and traps him. The big elbow gets the 3 count, even with Tenta laying on Norton. Ref Pee Wee Anderson being pretty lax there. Norton and Tenta square off until the Dungeon of Doom gets Shark out of there.
Lex Luger vs. Hulk Hogan
This is the first example of Bischoff hot shotting a money match for ratings instead of drawing money. Making this the Fall Brawl main event and replacing Hogan and Vader in the War Games with some other faces may have been the better plan. Hogan and Luger take turns no selling each other’s moves to establish parity. Hogan gets some offense in and Luger hits literally one move before putting Hogan right in the torture rack. That sets up the “Hulk up” barely 4 minutes in. Finger point. Big boot. Legdrop. The Dungeon run in and attack Hogan but not Luger. Sting and Savage rush in for the save.
Hogan and Savage want to know where Luger is coming from. Sting defends Lex and asks them if Luger can replace Vader in 6 days. Savage thinks Luger is with the Dungeon. In a neat bit of foreshadowing Savage accuses Jimmy Hart of being on Luger’s side as well. Hogan agrees to vote Luger on the team and Savage is beside himself.
Tremendous final angle! Lots of possibilities for what might happen at Fall Brawl now and the babyfaces being at odds sure helps the credibility of the Wrestlecrapistic heel squad they are set to face.
Really solid show from WCW – fast pace and fun matches.
I will be reviewing Fall Brawl ’95 Thursday on this site and every other PPV I own or can find that correlate with the Monday Night Wars along the way.