Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Raw History: Episode #103-105
Vince McMahon and Jim Cornette are on commentary again.
Razor goes after the arm while Vince McMahon says that Razor is pissed that Bob Backlund is getting an Intercontinental Title shot before him. Backlund’s is this Sunday, while Mania is two Sundays away. Godwin starts with some heavy whips to the corners. Vince shills the WWF Hotline while Godwin wears down Razor with some basic offense. Razor gets two on a backslide heading into a commercial break. The Roadie creeps out for a look only to get laid out by the 1-2-3 Kid. Godwin gets distracted and climbs on the bottom rope to talk smack to Kid. Razor sneaks up, hooks him for the Razor’s Edge and picks up the W.
Really basic match. Razor started hot, Henry wore him down and Razor came back to win. It did this while building the IC Title match, so it accomplished the goal.
Vince gets a word with Razor Ramon who is livid that Bob Backlund could win the Intercontinental Title and face Bret Hart at WrestleMania with it, leaving him to fight Jarrett for nothing.
This Sunday is the Sunday Night Slam! Bob Backlund gets his IC Title shot, Lex Luger meets Tatanka in a Steel Cage and Bigelow faces Sionne.
After some hype for WrestleMania, we get a clip from Action Zone where Bigelow laid out Doink with a football style tackle.
Steve McMichael is now brought out to the ring. He gets a big pop, which seems very piped in. He joins Vince on commentary since Cornette has to go manage the Heavenly Bodies later. This is Mongo’s first time on commentary, which he would make his official job later in the year on Nitro.
This goes exactly the way you’d expect. Bundy completely dominates while the camera shows that the Million Dollar Corporation has Undertaker’s urn. Bundy wins with the Chris Jericho one foot pin. No flex or “COME ON BABAY” so it doesn’t get that many points from me.
Typical Bundy squash.
Kama comes out to get in Mongo’s face. Mongo keeps calling him coma. Kama is pissed that Mongo chose to enter his profession and threatens him at WrestleMania. Things get heated and leads to a brawl between them. My goodness, that match would have been putrid. Officials break it up.
Todd Pettengil brings us the WrestleMania Report.
Before things get started, we see footage of Oscar from Men on a Mission apologizing for their attack on the Smoking Gunns. The Gunns no sell some of the offense by the Bodies early on and do some of their key spots. Bart highlights his run with a press slam. Of course, the heel challengers end up working the heat segment on Bart. Good because Billy is better at the hot tag. They do a good job of depriving the tag for a while. Billy gets it and enters hot. They hit their finish but Cornette distracts Bart and Del Ray nails Billy with a spinning DDT. Billy powers up from a jackknife cover into a backslide to retain.
Relatively solid tag team match. They didn’t do anything special, but worked a safe style that made sense and did what it needed to.
Overall: . Not the ideal episode. With WrestleMania around the corner, this did not entice me to want to see the Pay-Per-View outside of the football players getting involved. The matches on the show were certainly not very good either.
Vince McMahon and Todd Pettengil host things from WWF Studios in Stamford, while Jim Ross and Gorilla Monsoon call the action of the one match we’ll see tonight. This episode is basically a giant infomercial to hype WrestleMania.
The infomercial portion of the show is nauseating at times. The actual recaps of the builds for the matches isn’t bad, but the way some hype is done is off-putting. Vince makes sure to put down Super Bowls as things that never delivers, even though he has an NFL player on his upcoming card. He also says the WWF never fails to deliver which is a chuckle. They recap all of the major feuds before going to the match.
As Owen was accustomed to doing, he attacks his brother while the lights are off during his entrance. Bret turns it around with a flurry of right hands and a DDT. They fight outside where Bret is still in massive control. As expected, while not using a bunch of weapons or things like that, they at least bring the steel steps into play for a bump. Knowing there are no disqualifications, Owen rakes the eyes and turns the tide. Owen being Owen, he talks smack into the camera in between sending Bret into the guardrail a few times. Through a commercial break, Owen still holds serve. He exposes the turnbuckle but it of course backfires on him. Bret starts the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM. He earns two on the diving second rope elbow. Bret also nails a slingshot into the exposed buckle. That leads to the Sharpshooter and Owen submits rather easily.
These two were pretty much incapable of having anything but really good matches. They clearly had better matches in 1994 on Pay-Per-Views, but this was still high quality. It was a good no holds barred match that didn’t need to overdo it on the violence to seem personal.
Overall: . I’ll give one a score that’s right in the middle. The recap stuff was pretty bad as it didn’t feel like an episode of Raw. In contrast though, the one match we got was really good. It was one of the better matches on Raw this year and ever to be honest.
The Allied Powers (British Bulldog and Lex Luger) def. Jacob and Eli Blu in 6:34.
Razor Ramon def. Jeff Jarrett via disqualification in 13:32. Jarrett retained the Intercontinental Title.
The Undertaker def. King Kong Bundy in 6:36
Owen Hart and Yokozuna def. The Smoking Gunns in 9:42 to win the Tag Team Titles.
Bret Hart def. Bob Backlund in 9:34 in an “I Quit” Match.
Diesel def. Shawn Michaels in 20:35 to retain the WWF Championship.
Lawrence Taylor def. Bam Bam Bigelow in 11:42
Oh how I’ve missed Raws in Poughkeepsie. The crowds were always good. Things open with a photo recap of WrestleMania. Vince McMahon and Jim Cornette host the show.
This is a fast paced match as both guys exchange things rapidly. Holly wins the first battle with a dropkick. Jim Ross would have been all over creaming himself at the dropkick. He misses a flying cross body as Owen Hart and Yokozuna come out with their new Tag Team Titles. After a break, Hakushi has targeted Holly’s arm for some reason. Owen and the Kid end up going at it outside. Yokozuna slowly plods over and levels him. I mean, slow is an understatement. Meanwhile, Holly nails a top rope diving shoulder block before reeling off some more offense. He hits the BEST DROPKICK IN THE BIZ but then gets tripped up by Yokozuna. That leads to Hakushi using a running senton for the 1-2-3.
A solid little match here. Bob Holly was motivated around this time and usually had some good performances, while Hakushi was always someone I enjoyed. Nothing special though.
A bored looking Jim Ross brings us the WrestleMania report. We get words from Bigelow, who seems humbled by the loss to Lawrence Taylor. It seems the face turn is imminent. Ross also hints at a Kama/Undertaker feud, which sounds only slightly better than the Undertaker feuds with IRS and King Kong Bundy.
Vince McMahon stands in the ring for an interview with Diesel. He seems to love Diesel’s theme, bobbing his head to it in hilarious Vince fashion. Diesel admits that if it wasn’t for some botched interference from Sid, Shawn Michaels might have won and says that Michaels deserves a rematch. He’ll only give it to him if Sid isn’t at ringside. He also says that Sid is not Shawn’s friend.
Man, I love the Allied Powers’ theme music. It’s one of the better mashups the WWF has ever done. The Allied Powers start hot because they’re clearly the favorites here. Luger gets in trouble, eating a spinning heel kick and ending up on the receiving end of a double team. Well Dunn does the World’s Greatest Tag Team finisher that was never given a name. Luger’s heat segment is short as he quickly gets a counter and the hot tag. Bulldog gets in the standard offense including slams and back body drops. The Allied Powers take it with a Hart Attack variation involving Luger’s FOREARM OF DOOM!
A bit of an extended squash. Well Dunn got enough in and are enough of a name that this wasn’t exactly a squash, but it was fine for what it was.
Bull Nakano attacks before the bell and just tosses Alundra Blayze around like she’s nothing. Cornette informs us that next week, Yokozuna, Owen Hart and Hakushi take on the 1-2-3 Kid, Bob Holly and Bret Hart. Bull applies a nasty looking leg submission but the challenger reaches the ropes. Blayze starts getting in offense, moving quickly with clotheslines and sunset flips. Bull locks in the damn scorpion cross lock, which Paige now does and calls the PTO. It looks impossible to escape, but Bull lets her go and hits a piledriver. That may have been a mistake. Alundra gets a shoulder up. Blayze knocks her outside and dives off the top onto her. She charges again inside but is met with a powerbomb for two. Bull hits a guillotine leg drop but is knocked off the top right after. Back inside, Blayze hits two bridging German suplex for two near falls. They are making the most of their time. Nakano then tries a damn suicide dive, but misses. Then, to top everything off, Blayze hits a fucking bridging German suplex on the outside! Finally, a fourth German secures the gold for Blayze.
Up to this point, I’d say this was the best women’s match in WWF history. They did everything they possibly could, pulling out all of the stops in the time they were given. Some of the spots that we were treated to were things I wouldn’t see the men do. Just really good work.
As Alundra Blayze celebrates, she is attacked by a mysterious woman. They don’t know it yet, but it is Bertha Faye. She has face paint and comes off like a killer. Unfortunately, she would soon switch gears and go with a ridiculous character.
This is the new, freshly heel turned Men on a Mission. They dumped Oscar, so at least there will be no more piss poor rapping. This is short and is used as a message to the Smoking Gunns for some reason. Mabel wins with a belly to belly.
This was there.
We get our first commercial for the upcoming In Your House Pay-Per-View. The WWF was jumping into the monthly PPV business.
Vince McMahon brings us another in-ring interview, this time with Shawn Michaels and Sid. Shawn says that he is sore after last night. He admits that his focus was a bit off due to his past friendship with Diesel. He graciously accepts the rematch that Diesel offered earlier tonight. Vince asks about Sid and Shawn says that he could live his life fine without a bodyguard and that he doesn’t need one. He brings up the mistake Sid made last night, saying he definitely doesn’t need a bodyguard that does that. Shawn gives Sid the night off for the rematch, causing Sid to shout at him. Sid runs him down, which the crowd seems to enjoy. A commercial break comes and when we return, Shawn is face down with Sid standing over him. Diesel runs out for the save as the show closes.
Overall: A strong episode of Raw. As usual, the live shows manage to deliver where the taped episodes can’t. Here, we were treated to a really good Women’s Title match, a fun opener and a solid angle to close things out. The show moves along quickly and is the best episode of 1995 so far.