RAW Before The War (1-9-95)

WWF Monday Night Raw

January 9th, 1995

Live from the Summit in Houston, Texas

Announcers: Vince McMahon and Shawn Michaels

Welcome everybody to my recap of the second anniversary episode of Monday Night RAW and the first live RAW of 1995. Last year on RAW’s First Anniversary, the 123 Kid and Marty Jannetty won the WWF Tag Team Titles from the Quebecers. Will titles change hands on this year’s anniversary? It could happen as Razor Ramon defends his WWF Intercontinental Title against Owen Hart, the man who defeated Razor in the finals of the 1994 King of the Ring Tournament!

Happy Second Birthday, Monday Night RAW!

We are live from the Summit in Houston, home of the 1994 NBA Word Champions The Houston Rockets. Mildly interesting to note that the 1st Anniversary episode of RAW took place from the biggest venue that had held RAW to that point (the Richmond Coliseum) until this episode.  Vince McMahon & Shawn Michaels welcome us to the show. Shawn Michaels predicts Owen will win the Intercontinental Title tonight and turn the Royal Rumble upside down. Vince McMahon says Jerry Lawler will have the huge television and motion picture star William Shatner on the King’s Court. HBK says Lawler’s gonna take Shatner boldly where no man has gone before.

Shatner cuts a promo on Jerry Lawler. If Lawler tries to start trouble. Shatner will throw him out at WARP SPEED! Shatner’s here to promote TekWar! Not to fight!

WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Title Match: Razor Ramon (c) Vs “The King of Harts” Owen Hart

Vince & Shawn talk about the ramifications of this match. If Owen Hart wins, he’ll have to face Jeff Jarrett at the Royal Rumble and maybe Razor will be in the Rumble! Things could get turned upside dow!  Owen yanks the IC title away from Razor and poses with it. Razor clobbers The King of Harts to start the match. Vince mentions next week in our main event, Bret Hart will take on Jeff Jarrett and Bret will have William Shatner in his corner!

This match is a lot better than the average RAW main event of the era.  These guys definitely have their work boots on. I like this match more than their King of the Ring ’94 match and I liked that one too!

 

Shawn Michaels doesn’t know about Vince but he’s hyped for the debut of Hakushi. Owen Hart looks like he has the match and Intercontinental Title won when he locks in the Sharpshooter on Razor but Bret runs down and decks him to cause a disqualification. Definitely one of those classic “babyface acting like a jerk” moment. Bret kicks Owen’s ass. While this is happening Double J and The Roadie attack Razor Ramon and make the save. Danny Davis tries to stop this but is unsuccessful. Pier six brawl breaks out. More Keystone Cop officials try to keep things in order. Dorky ring announcer that I don’t recognize announces that Owen has won the match by disqualification but since the title can’t change hands on a disqualification, Razor is still the champ!

Todd Pettingell is here with our Royal Rumble ’95 Report! The Rumble is less than two weeks away! Todd is also flabbergasted that Bret Hart ran in on Owen’s match and not the other way around. Is this a new side of the Hitman we’re seeing? No, Todd! Hitman’s heel turn is two years away! Todd says he has the coolest job in the world! Getting to talk about the World Wrestling Federation and getting paid for it. I’m halfway there, Todd. So close yet, so far.

Todd wonders if Pamela Anderson is gonna be at the Royal Rumble, does it mean David Hasselhoff will be there? And if the Hoff is there, will KITT show up to watch the Rumble? The winner of the Royal Rumble not only gets a WWF World Title shot at WrestleMania XI but will get escorted to ringside at that show by Pamela Anderson!

Diesel cuts a promo on Bret Hart. He wonders how many assets of Bret’s have been frozen while he’s been sitting up there in Calgary. SEE YA IN TAMPA, BRET! Diesel sounds a lot gruffer than usual.

No rundown of the participants of the Rumble this week. Hmmm. Don’t be the only one in your neighborhood not watching the Royal Rumble! Call your local cable operator and order today!

Up next! The debut of Hakushi!

Hakushi’s manager looks familiar but I’m disoriented and I can’t quite express who I think it is!

Jerry Lawler promises to beam up William Shatner if he messes with him tonight!

Hakushi (with Shinja) Vs Matt Hardy

Hakushi enters as Vince McMahon hypes the premiere of TekWar, the new series that follows Monday Night RAW on The USA Network. Hakushi is taking on future internet wrestling community pariah Matt Hardy. Shawn Michaels says Hakushi owns a Japanese restaurant and the writing on his body is the menu for his restaurant. The writing on his left arm means “Moo Goo Gai Pan”. I guess charmingly racist heel announcers were still a thing in 1995. Hakushi wins a short squash. That guy was ahead of his time. Hardy was a great choice for cannon fodder for Hakushi’s RAW debut too.

Jerry Lawler wanted to talk to Bret Hart about his Jurassic Park parents Stu & Helen but Bret sent his big shot, Hollywood buddy William Shatner to head to the King’s Court. Lawler says Shatner’s accomplished a lot in his career but the greatest moment of it all is being a guest on the King’s Court tonight. Shat gives him a big thumbs down. Shatner says he was more thrilled chewing GUM yesterday than being on The King’s Court. Shat says Lawler’s been badmouthing him for weeks. Why should he be excited to be here? The King says this may be the Home of the Whopper! But when you mess with Shatner, you’re in trouble. Lawler says nobody here with pointy ears is going to save Shatner tonight! Lawler tells he’s going to send Shatner where no man’s gone before with his fist! Shatner puts a wrist lock on Lawler. The King charges but gets monkey flipped by The Shat.  Hey! Captain Kirk knows too more moves than Great Khali. Bret Hart runs down to celebrate and hug it out with TJ Hooker. Jeff Jarrett and The Roadie hold Lawler back.

We get an ad for the 1995 Royal Rumble where the World Wrestling Federation superstars court the affections of Pamela Anderson. Diesel, Lex Luger, Shawn Michaels, Jeff Jarrett, Jerry Lawler, and even Doink The Clown want to tap that.

Dating Doink The Clown couldn’t have been a worse idea than marrying Kid Rock…

King Kong Bundy (with Ted DiBiase) Vs Gary Sabaugh

King Kong Bundy is in the ring to face former NWA/WCW jobber and Jeff and Matt Hardy’s crooked trainer “The Italian Stallion” Gary Sabaugh. King Kong Bundy’s ’94/’95 comeback was almost as baffling as Bob Backlund being a World Champion during this eara. It made no sense to have these guys in the New Generation era but at least, Backlund maintained relevancy by reinventing his character being entertaining. Bundy’s “Five Count” schtick just seemed beyond tired at this point. Bundy wins with a Avalanche in less than thirty seconds and then waddles outside to yell at Vince and HBK.

We get a recap of this weekend’s WWF Tag Team Titles tournament action on Superstars. It was supposed to be The Smoking Gunns Vs Well Dunn in the last quarterfinals match but The Smoking Gunns were in an unfortunate rodeo accident (that’s the actual excuse they gave) and had to be replaced by 123 Kid & Bob Holly. Bob Holly & 123 Kid won when Holly hits a sunset flip off the top on Dunn! This weekend, our two semi-finals matches; The Heavenly Bodies Vs 123 Kid & Bob Holly and The New Headshrinkers Vs Bam Bam Bigelow & Tatanka! The finals happen at the 1995 Royal Rumble pay per view on January 22nd!

 

Backstage, The Bushwhackers hype up Howard Finkel for his tuxedo match against Harvey Whippleman. I’m praying for the sweet merciful embrace of death.

Tuxedo Match: Harvey Whippleman Vs Howard Finkel

Vince says this isn’t a Hall of Fame match and Harvey Whippleman isn’t a Supreme Fighting Machine! Vince does know a guy who is!

Coming Soon to the World Wrestling Federation…

 

Harvey enters to the Bushwhackers theme. HBK talks about Tom Snyder’s new show debuting on CBS after Letterman tonight. Vince wants to know how Michaels can talk about Tom Snyder during a time like this. I WISH I was watching Tom Snyder now. Harvey and Fink’s underwear has RAW written on the back. Oh God. This is an inside joke that went way way too far and went on way too publicly. UGH! Fink and The Whackers do the Bushwhacker Stomp. Vince: Kinky Friedman would be so proud.

Well, I can’t think of a worse way to end this Second Anniversary episode of RAW but even this wasn’t quite bad enough to ruin a pretty good episode. Almost but not quite…

They must have had a lot of time to kill because this celebration goes on too long. Finally, Fink doing the Bushwhacker Stomp in his skivvies is interrupted by an ad hyping Bret Hart Vs Jeff Jarrett next week on RAW.

Shawn Michaels does some heel mugging for the fans in the front row and him and Vince sum up tonight’s episode. Yeah, they really did have a lot of time to kill. Probably not a great idea for Hakushi & Bundy’s squashes to run so short.

Oh wait! There’s still a little bit more show left. Jeff Jarrett has SOMETHING TO SAY about that TekWar geek! The Roadie will take care of Shat. If Bret Hart thinks he’s winning the WWF World Title at the Rumble, he’s not even going to get through Jeff Jarrett next week. Shatner’s gonna WISH he was on the set of TekWar!

Next Week on Monday Night RAW: It’s the final episode before the ’95 Royal Rumble! Bret Hart returns to the ring for his first match since Survivor Series ’94 to face “Double J” Jeff Jarrett. In Jarrett’s corner, The Roadie. In Bret Hart’s corner, Captain Kirk himself, TekWar star William Shatner! Plus The 123 Kid and Bob Holly Vs The Heavenly Bodies and the debut of MANTAUR! 

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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