RAW Before The War (7-31-95)

WWF Monday Night RAW
July 31st, 1995 (Taped July 24th, 1995)
From Louisville Gardens in Louisville, Kentucky
Announcers: Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler

We open with a super 1995 video package hyping tonight’s main event between the so far, unbeatable WWF Tag Team Champions Owen Hart & Yokozuna and the super team of “Latin Superstars” Three Time WWF Intercontinental Champion Razor Ramon and Savio Vega. Are Vega and Ramon reaching too far too soon? We’ll find out tonight on RAW!

Vince & The King welcome us to the show and we see the ring entrance of King Mabel and Sir Mo. King Mabel is the new #1 contender for the WWF World Title and will be challenging Diesel at SummerSlam ’95.

King Mabel (with Sir Mo) Vs Nick Barberi 
Sir Mo mean mugs Tony Chimel. I enjoy Mabel yelling “I’M THE KING” in his Fat Albert voice. I got to say King Mabel’s gimmick is entertaining. Not so entertaining he deserved to main event the second biggest show of the year but an amusing gimmick. Mabel is agile for a man of his size but I can definitely see where the complaints of him being dangerously sloppy from his fellow workers came from. Everything he does looks like it hurts and not in the “Oh, he’s good at making it look real” way. The King wins with a belly to belly.

Next week, King Mabel’s buddy Sir Mo will take on Diesel in a non-title match and Vince thinks Sir Mo is out to hurt Big Daddy Cool before the WWF World Title match at SummerSlam. Fat Albert hollers into the mic for a minute about how he’s not only the King but the future WWF World Champion.

Fatu tells us to say no to drugs and stay in school and stop the violence. Fatu will return to the ring next week on RAW.

Jerry Lawler is gonna head backstage to get a word with the WWF Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels. We get some footage of their confrontation on last week’s show.

Lawler trolls Shawn Michaels about how bad SID is going to beat up Shawn at SummerSlam. Lawler wishes it were him beating up the Heartbreak Kid at SummerSlam. Shawn Michaels says if King wants to try him, he can try him! He’d be glad to give Lawler an Intercontinental Title Shot. Lawler says he would love to but he’s taken a journalistic oath to stay in the announce booth. HBK says King is barely a wrestler or a broadcast journalist. Well, he’s right on the latter front. King says if it weren’t for the journalistic oath, he’d beat Michaels up so bad. Vince McMahon tells us this isn’t 60 Minutes! It’s not!? What the hell have I been recapping for the past seven months?

Not sure why they’re giving this Lawler-Shawn Michaels feud so much screen time when SID is Michaels’ (scheduled) opponent at SummerSlam (card subject to change…) Maybe SID was off  at a softball tournament or something.

We get another vignette for Goldust. Like this guy will have any staying power in WWF.

Bam Bam Bigelow Vs Bob Cook
Bam Bam Bigelow no longer shoots fire out of his wrists during his entrance. It’s weird the storyline of Bam Bam Bigelow’s fall from grace was a prominent story in the first half of ’95 in WWF, and the second half of ’95 saw Bam Bam actually gradually sliding down the card in WWF! Lawler claims that Bam Bam Bigelow played a sea monster in Waterworld. 1995! Lawler realizes that Jack Tunney was the one who made him take the journalistic oath and he’s now retired so maybe he can beat up anyone he wants now! Vince McMahon hypes WWF’s presence on American Online. 1995! Bam Bam wins with the diving headbutt.

Dean Douglas breaks down Bam Bam Bigelow’s performance in the last match. Odd that they’d have him call out a guy that they weren’t putting him in a program with. Douglas gives Bam Bam an F. He writes F Beast on the chalkboard. Hey, this isn’t ECW, Dean!  I am glad though that Bigelow and Douglas were able to patch up their differences and bond over their mutual hatred of the Clique a few years later in ECW.

Vince McMahon interviews Jim Cornette and the WWF Tag Team Champions Owen Hart & Yokozuna. Cornette makes a joke about Razor and Savio driving low riders with fuzzy dice. Hey! Be a star, Jim! Up next, The Bodydonnas!

Skip (with Sunny) Vs Major Yates
Skip & Sunny claim Skip is still undefeated and he was just cheated when he got beat by Barry Horowtiz. Barry Horowitz hasn’t answered Skip’s challenge for a rematch. Lawler says Horowitz should be like John Kruk (who had just recently retired in the middle of a game so he could retire with exactly a .300 batting average and 100 home runs.) and not press his luck and retire with a victory. Vince announces that Skip will be facing Shawn Michaels this weekend on Superstars. Sunny better be careful getting takeout from WWF Catering after that show! Skip wins with a superplex.

It’s our first SummerSlam Report Insider with Todd Pettingill. SummerSlam ’95 goes down on August 27th from the Igloo in Pittsburgh. Our main event is Diesel defending the WWF World Title against King Mabel. Diesel cuts an insert promo. He doesn’t demand respect! He gets it! Mabel’s gotta earn Diesel’s respect. Earning Kevin Nash’s respect is more important than any title in my book…

Also at SummerSlam, Bret Hart will be taking on newcomer Issac Yankem DDS. Yankem and his nasty teeth cuts a promo in Yankem’s office. Lawler says gross teeth remind him of Bret Hart’s career and at SummerSlam, Yankem will pull ’em out from its root! Todd hopes that Bret gets the win for the sake of dental patients everywhere. Shawn Michaels will defend the Intercontinental Title against SID. We see a history of their feud.

WWF Tag Team Championship Match: Owen Hart & Yokozuna (c) (with Jim Cornette and Mr. Fuji) Vs Razor Ramon & Savio Vega
Barry Didinskey shills the new Razor Ramon t-shirt. Ramon returns the favor by grabbing the shirt from Barry and putting it over Barry’s head. Owen & Savio make for some pretty good opponents. Ditto with Razor & Owen (see the 1-9 episode from earlier this year) This should be a good one. I always love it when big guys oversell moves and this match has Yokozuna selling a dropkick by slowly throwing himself out of the ring. Lawler calls Savio a Mexican jumping bean which is both racist and stupid since Savio’s Puerto Rican… Solid match as I expected. Razor hits the Razor’s Edge and gets the win. Razor & Savio are the new Tag Team Champion but wait! Owen wasn’t the legal man, Yokozuna was! Earl Hebner restarts the match and throws Jim Cornette out from ringside. These two teams go back and forth. We’re almost out of time. If TV time runs out, we’ll restart this match next week. Razor’s chokeslam was great. Super underrated. Didn’t really bust it out much because it was his former/future tag partner’s set up move. AND WE’RE OUTTA TIME! Huh… B.S. False Finish and the show running out of time in the middle of the main event? Did Dusty Rhodes ghostwrite this RAW?

Next Week on RAW: It’s a rematch of this week’s main event as Owen Hart & Yokozuna must once again defend the WWF Tag Team titles against three time former Intercontinental Champion Razor Ramon and his best buddy Savio Vega! Plus WWF World Champion Diesel takes on Sir Mo in a non-title match! 

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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