RAW Before The War (1-30-95)

WWF Monday Night RAW
January 30th, 1995 (Taped January 23rd, 1995)
Taped from the Manatee Civic Center in Palmetto, Florida
Announcers: Vince McMahon and Shawn Michaels

The show opens with black and white stills of Scott “Bam Bam” Bigelow’s meltdown last weekend at The Rumble and his heinous attack on Lawrence Taylor. Bam Bam Bigelow has been suspended for thirty days without pay. Tonight. Bam Bam Bigelow will apologize. Bam Bam sulks in a suit again.

They really need to change the RAW credits at this point. Damien Demento & Kamala still make brief appearances and they’ve been gone from the roster for well over a year and a half and arguably weren’t important enough on the card to make the credits in the first place.

Vince McMahon and Shawn Michaels welcome us to Monday Night RAW, they’re once again in front of an awful green screen. We got a rematch from last week as new WWF Tag Team Champions The Smoking Gunns face the team that they beat for the belts, 123 Kid & Bob Holly! But first, a mini-Royal Rumble as Mable takes on King Kong Bundy in an Over The Top Rope match. Mable eliminated Bundy from the ’95 Rumble last week and now Bundy wants revenge. Nobody knows more about Royal Rumbles than our color commentator for the past few weeks, Shawn Michaels, who won the ’95 Rumble! Michaels cuts a promo about how he’s taking the WWF World Title at WrestleMania XI. Everybody picks the big guy (*coughVINCEcough*) but the little guys like HBK and Andre Agassi are on top in ’95!

Over The Top Rope Match: Mabel (with Oscar) Vs King Kong Bundy (with Ted DiBiase)
For some reason, I think it’s kind of weird to see King Kong Bundy come out to theme music let alone the Million Dollar Man’s theme music. Vince thought King Kong Bundy was going to win the Royal Rumble. Anyone surprised by that prediction? Million Dollar Man cuts a promo and Vince & Shawn Michaels talk over him to plug the Royal Rumble Encore PPV hosted by Roddy Piper tomorrow night.

I love me a battle royal but two man battle royal is a dumb gimmick match even by ’95 WWF standards. Shawn Michaels talking about how size doesn’t matter repeatedly during this seems to be implicitly saying, “Look, I know Vince is gonna push the shit out of these goofs but I’ve got enough talent and the ability to not get winded three minutes into the match so I’m gonna be bigger than all of these guys.” Mercifully, the match ends quickly as IRS and Tatanka run in and help eliminate Mabel. The best thing I can say about that is they only gave it three or four minutes. Mo, Oscar, and Lex Luger run in to make the save. Vince cries about the unfortunate circumstances of the finish to this match. The only unfortunate circumstances in this were that Vince gave King Kong Bundy & Mabel major pushes in 1995!

Only other thing of note in this match is that Oscar during this period of his career looked like a supersized version of one of the henchmen in Meteor Man.

Speaking of unfortunate circumstances, we have a live satellite interview with Scott “Bam Bam” Bigelow. Vince says the Royal Rumble must have been the most HUMILIATING and EMBARRASSING day of Bam Bam Bigelow’s life. Everyone was LAUGHING and having a good old time at Bam Bam’s expense. Vince says the people are entitled to laugh at one of his wrestlers, damn it. Bam Bam thinks Lawrence Taylor was having TOO GOOD of a time. Bam Bam says LT should have more respect to his fellow athlete. You don’t laugh in someone’s face when you go to shake their hands. Bam Bam Bigelow isn’t going to make any apology. The only thing he regrets is he didn’t shove Lawrence Taylor harder! Vince McMahon is APPALLED! Bam Bam Bigelow challenges Lawrence Taylor to a one on one match, any time, any place.

Vince is flummoxed. HBK wonders what LT would do if Bam Bam Bigelow stood on the sidelines after The Giants lost in humiliating fashion and laughed in LT’s face?  Vince thinks LT was just showing compassion to his fellow athlete! Vince says it’s not Lawrence Taylor’s style to put anyone down! (insert joke about LT’s post playing career here)

Hakushi (with Shinja) Vs Ricky Santana
Vince hypes Hakushi and HBK asks if he was really so great then why didn’t Hakushi win the Rumble. Vince says because Hakushi wasn’t in the Rumble last week! And at that moment, Shawn Michaels probably decided to have one of the Kliq shit in Hakushi’s gym bag… HBK points out his knowledge of Japanese by saying that Shinja is Japanese for “Follower.” Of mild note, Bill Alfonso is reffing this match. I think he was gone at this point from WWF and was about to join ECW but is making a guest appearance since WWF is in his home state. Hakushi looks impressive again in another squash win. But Vince hypes him up by wondering if his dropkick is better than Bob Holly is a sign of big things to come.

Vince McMahon and HBK hype the Encore Plus presentation of Royal Rumble again tomorrow night on pay per view.

Aldo Montoya Vs David Sierra
Aldo Montoya’s theme just sounds like a poor man’s version of Tito Santana’s theme. Aldo actually gets pyro. He’s facing future #1 Contender for the WCW Television Title David Sierra. HBK with some disses to Kathie Lee Gifford about her clothing line and a poor performance at the Super Bowl. Vince gets oddly defensive. WHUT? Speaking of the Super Bowl, Vince says we’ll have an appearance by a member of the Super Bowl Champion San Francisco 49ers. Oh man. Hope it’s Ed McCaffrey! Aldo gets the win over the Barrio Brother.

Ken Norton Jr. of the San Francisco 49ers, the first (and so far only) player to win three consecutive Super Bowls, says he’s not going to Disney World to celebrate the unprecedented occasion!  He’s going to WrestleMania XI!

Jerry Lawler welcomes MISTER Bob Backlund onto The King’s Court. The King wants to apologize for the poor reception Backlund is receiving from the MORONS in the crowd. Lawler says Backlund will not let the Crossface Chicken Wing, the most DEVASTATING submission in wrestling, go until his opponent screams, “I give up.” Backlund corrects him and says the opponent has to say, “I quit, Mister Bob Backlund.” Lawler thinks Backlund can get the Crossface Chicken Wing on anybody but him. MISTER Bob Backlund takes exception to this and puts Lawler in the Chicken Wing. HEEL DISSENSION! Lawler submits and Backlund storms out. Michaels and Vince take this is as a sign that Backlund has truly lost it!

Lawler says he quit the interview not the submission. Backlund stomps back to the ring. Lawler pretends Bret Hart is coming to the ring to make the escape! Effective segment in that I really wanted to see Backlund choke out Lawler! But maybe not so effective when I realize we shouldn’t be rooting for a heel who’s taking on the #2 face in the company at WrestleMania…

Another ad for the WWF Royal Rumble Encore Plus PPV tomorrow night.

WWF Tag Team Titles Match: The Smoking Gunns (c) Vs 123 Kid and Bob Holly
Shawn Michaels thinks both of these teams owe a debt of gratitude for this because if Diesel hadn’t betrayed him, neither of these teams would be wrestling for the WWF Tag Team Titles! Shawn Michaels says he’s in search for a bodyguard. He’s a marked man!

These two teams have pretty good chemistry and it’s a fine Face Vs Face tag team match but once again, crowd doesn’t seem into it for whatever reason. Michaels calls both these teams idiots for defending the titles so soon after they won it which is one of those heel commentary points that makes sense. Shawn Michaels compares himself to Deion Sanders. Oh man, I *wish* HBK had recorded a terrible rap album and hosted SNL like Deion did.

This match ends super awkwardly when 123 Kid suffers a seizure after attempting  a forward somersault and Bill Alfonso deciding to throw out the match. Rough ending to a pretty good match. Luckily, Kid was fine and recovered shortly after this.

Kama Vs Jumbo Berretta
Jumbo Berretta might be the most jobber-y looking jobber ever. HBK wonders if Kama should be his bodyguard. Kama pummels the fat jobber with punches and kicks. Shawn Michaels waxes poetic about the glory days of Jumbo Berretta (!?)  Kama gets an impressive belly to belly on the tubby jobber. He wins with a modified crossface.

Next Week on RAW: It’s six man tag action in our featured match as Lex Luger teams up with Men on a Mission to take on The Million Dollar Corporation plus the RAW debut of Man Mountain Rock! Plus an exclusive interview with WWF World Champion “Big Daddy Cool” Diesel! 


Written by Connor McGrath

Connor McGrath is a public access television show host and part-time amateur comedian, who resides in Portland, Maine. He contributes reviews of Northeast independent wrestling promotion, NWA On Fire along with occasional guest articles.

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