Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 5/8/95

*** Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh reviews are a chronological look back at WWE PPV and TV history that began with a review of WrestleMania I. The PICs have revisited these events and refreshed all of their fun facts that provide insight into the match, competitors and state of the company as well as their overviews of the match action and opinions and thoughts on the outcomes. In addition, Jeff Jarvis assists in compiling historical information and the Fun Facts in each of the reviews. Also, be sure to leave feedback on the reviews at our Facebook page. Enjoy! ***

Monday Night Raw #110

May 8, 1995 (Taped April 24, 1995)
Civic Auditorium
Omaha, NE
Announcers: Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler

1) Jeff Jarrett defeats Doink the Clown in a non-title match via submission with the figure four at 6:55

Fun Fact: On the May 7 episode of WWF Action Zone (recorded on 4/26), Bob Holly pinned Jeff Jarrett in an Intercontinental title match. Unfortunately for Holly, Jarrett’s foot was on the ropes. The decision was overturned and the title vacated. The next week on the show, Jarrett defeated Holly in a rematch for the vacant title. Holly’s title win was never recognized by the WWF.

Fun Fact II: Double J and Doink had issues last year, including Jeff Jarrett trying to kidnap sidekick Dink during the KotR qualifiers. Tonight, Doink gets a shot that Jarrett’s IC title.

Scott: Didn’t this feud end about a year ago? No one cares about Doink anymore, and care about Dink even less. Jarrett is set to face Razor Ramon Sunday as part of a handicap match and the Bad Guy is out of commission after what happened last week. So Jarrett, who re-won his IC Title on Action Zone after those issues with Bob Holly, takes on this stupid clown who should have left the promotion after that mess with the midgets at Survivor Series. At least when Doink fought actual decent wrestlers he brought something to the ring instead of the parlor tricks and fart noises we get when he wrestles jobbers. The match went back and forth with Lawler doing his cheap midget jokes on Dink. Doink may have actually won the match but the Roadie chop blocked Doink and Jarrett slaps on the Figure Four for the victory. Jarrett is slowly moving up the ranks as one of the top heels in the company, even with the goofy gimmick and light up hat. Grade: **

JT: We are back for another big edition of Monday Night Raw, coming at you via videotape from Omaha. Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler have the call and it does seem like the King may have permanently taken the color job after stretches of guests in the roles since Bobby Heenan and Randy Savage each walked away. As we edge every so closer to the first In Your House PPV we have lots to cover, including Bret Hart deciding to wrestle both Hakushi and the King this Sunday night. And the King is gloating over his subterfuge and vows to end this rivalry once and for all in Syracuse. We open up with a non-title match as Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett battles old nemesis Doink the Clown. Doink has really been on the outer edges of the cheese platter since 1994 ended but he is still hanging around causing mischief it seems. And with Doink we also get Dink of course. Jarrett had been mired in some controversy as of late as it seemed he lost his IC strap to Bob Holly a week ago but ended up regaining it yesterday after it was declared vacant. Lawler immediately starts mocking Dink and telling stories of his past attacks on the clowns, and we even get footage from a year ago when he and Double J pied Dink. Vince informs us that this is non-title because Jarrett wasn’t technically champ when the match was signed. Doink starts hot and even gets a shot in on Roadie as he works the arm of Jarrett. Lawler says Roadie will prove he is an accomplished wrestler in the handicap match on Sunday as Doink maintains control of the bout. Jarrett trips up Doink but whiffs on an elbow drop and goes back to the arm. Jarrett catches Doink with a back elbow and Roadie tries to get involved but Doink foils him again and then gets a roll up on the champ for a near fall. Jarrett was able to battle back and spike Doink’s face to the mat and then drop him with a back elbow. Lawler kept mocking Dink as Doink had a brief comeback before missing an elbow drop. Jarrett stomped away and blocked another comeback attempt, controlling the clown with strikes and a chinlock right through a commercial break. Jarrett starts to work the leg as Lawler and Vince pepper in some current events talk in regard to Bob Backlund’s big special announcement later tonight. Double J hooked in a sleeper but Doink hung on and eventually broke free and landed a DDT. The fired up clown followed with a powerslam for two and looked to win the match with the stump puller. However, with the referee tied up with Dink, Roadie hopped in the ring and clobbered Doink from behind. Jarrett pounced up and hooked the figure four for the win. This was a fine TV match with Jarrett dominating the action and Doink making a couple of nice comeback attempts. The finish was good too as we continue to push the fact that Roadie is a big piece of Jarrett’s success, all leading to his in ring debut in less than a week. That all said, it’s time for the clowns to just go away for good. Grade: *1/2

*** We check out a vignette for the soon-to-be-arriving workout gurus, The Bodydonnas, Skip and Sunny. Bam Bam Bigelow then narrates us through his tumultuous 1995. ***

*** Vince McMahon heads to the ring to chat with Psycho Sid and Ted DiBiase, who reveals that he has been in cahoots with Sid for quite a while now. He tells us that he suggested to Shawn Michaels that he needed a bodyguard and that he should hire Sid for the role. The shortest distance to the WWF Title was through Diesel’s little buddy and they went right through him to get the title shot. Sid is the crown jewel of the reorganized Corporation and he has now put Michaels and Razor Ramon on the shelf. This Sunday night, Sid will step in the ring and stop Diesel in his tracks to finally deliver the WWF Title to DiBiase, something he has been desiring since the very beginning. DiBiase says it is too bad Diesel can’t enter the contest to win the house so he has somewhere to stay after he loses. Sid talks about the greatest lion of all time and says he is the super predator and the master of the WWF. At In Your House, Diesel will be driven through the mat and Sid will be the ruler of the world. ***

2) Hakushi defeats Gary Scott with a springboard splash at 2:50

Scott: Moreso than the WWF Title match Sunday, this match between Bret Hart and Hakushi is the one that is going to be a tactical war. Two exceptional in-ring workers that will carry this quick sprint PPV on Sunday. It’s a great dichotomy against the big power match to end the show for the World Title. Bret doing double duty as he’s also wrestling Jerry Lawler. Obviously the WWF had to pull an audible with Shawn Michaels on the shelf for a few more weeks. Hakushi wins easily and has a date with the Hitman. Grade: 1/2*

JT: We head back to the ring where Hakushi, flanked by Shinja, heads out to face Gary Scott. The White Angel has the biggest match of his WWF career upcoming on Sunday as he battles Bret Hart to hopefully end an issue that has been raging since December. Vince says Hakushi and Shinja were in Calgary this weekend and Jim Ross has the details why on the hotline, so check that out. He also tells us that Hart vs. Hakushi will open the show on Sunday. King mocks Bret for dedicating the match to his mother Helen and makes a few jokes at her and Stu’s expense. Hakushi makes quick work of Scott and is now prepped to take on the Hitman. Grade: DUD

*** Todd Pettengill is on the scene with our final In Your House report as the first ever IYH comes to us live Sunday night on Mother’s Day for just $14.95! Here is the full card:

Diesel vs. Psycho Sid – WWF Heavyweight Title
Bret Hart vs. Hakushi
Bret Hart vs. Jerry Lawler
Razor Ramon vs. Jeff Jarrett & Roadie

Yokozuna & Owen Hart vs. Smoking Gunns – WWF Tag Team Titles
Adam Bomb vs. Mabel – King of the Ring Qualifying Match

There you have it! That is the full card coming into your house from Syracuse, NY this Sunday. Oh, and be sure to enter the big contest to win the vacation home in Orlando, FL as well! Entries are due by Friday. Call your cable company right now! ***

3) Bart Gunn defeats Owen Hart with a roll up at 6:15

Scott: With the Tag Team Titles on the line Sunday in Syracuse, one half of each team will face off here to get us all ready. Nice mix up of the heels’ high flyer against the faces’ power guy. We get more crap Duckman liners, as I continue to miss the great USA Movie previews. Again, they went the way of Randy Savage. This has been a pretty good match, as Bart Gunn is pretty spry for the bigger guy on the Smoking Gunns. For a third show in Omaha and taped, I will say we’ve only had one squash and two solid matches with top flight superstars. We’ve had more vignettes and taped pieces on this episode as well. This match goes back and forth and in fact Bart has dictated the tempo and it has gone at a pretty good pace. Both teammates disrupt top rope moves and then both competitors are down late in the match. Bart Gunn wins with a roll up out of nowhere, but as a prelude that probably means Owen & Yoko will retain the Tag Titles, but we’ll see. Grade: **

JT: We head to the ring for our final match of the evening as Owen Hart will battle Bart Gunn in a quasi-preview of Sunday’s Tag Team Title bout. As both competitors make their way to the ring, Vince and Jerry talk about tonight’s episode of Duckman and also remind us that Bob Backlund’s major announcement is still to come. Billy is out with Bart but there is no sign of Yokozuna as Owen is joined by just Jim Cornette and Mr. Fuji. We get some mat work from both men early, trading holds until Bart leverages Owen to the floor. Bart controls the action, grabbing a near fall and working the arm as Vince wonders where Yoko is, pondering if the Headshrinkers wore him out this past weekend. Bart really torques the arm and then lands a sidewalk slam but a trip by Fuji turned the tide and let Owen take over the match. Things spilled outside where Owen rammed Bart into the post and then choked away at him back in the ring. Owen kept the pressure on and survived a desperation sunset flip near fall from Gunn before delivering and enziguri heading into break. After commercial, Owen was fully in control but Bart battled back and tried for a superplex. However, Cornette got involved and blocked the move, causing Bart to crash to the mat. A moment later, Billy evened things up by shoving Owen down as well. Bart took advantage and grabbed a roll up to sneak out the big win. This was a solid little TV match that chugged right along and actually had some nice chemistry. I also liked how everyone outside got involved to help tease the tag bout as well. The Gunns suddenly have some key momentum heading into Sunday night as they look to take back their gold. Grade: *1/2

*** We head back to this past Saturday’s WWF Mania as Todd Pettengill and Stephanie Wiand took us on a tour of the Orlando, FL vacation home that is up for grabs at In Your House. Jerry Lawler then reveals that he will have his mother at ringside on Sunday night and that after he defeats Bret Hart, his mother will challenge Helen to a match as well. ***

Final Analysis

Scott: Our Go Home Raw for the first IYH was a solid effort with some important TV and not a lot of lousy fluff. Only one squash and the other matches were solid enough to keep me entertained. I have to say, I love Sid as he’s one of my favorite guys of all time but this Diesel/Sid title match is concerning me. Diesel is good with these smaller technical guys like Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart. Diesel can work the power game effectively. But can he work against a guy who not only is pretty much the same size as him, but isn’t the most technically sound either? I’m crossing my fingers it isn’t a shit show. I’m looking forward to Hart/Hakushi as that’s a style the WWF hasn’t had in quite a long time. This Raw even had the tour of the house they’ll be giving away too! I’m looking forward to this new concept show Sunday, and this Raw did a pretty good hard sell out the door. Final Grade: B

JT: This was a springily feisty go home episode of Raw. It was tightly wound and paced well and wasn’t stuffed with the filler we have become accustomed to of late. The two anchor matches were fine enough fodder for TV and were both kept short and we only had one squash match as well. The Sid & DiBiase interview was great and really added some extra heat and intrigue into Sunday’s WWF Title Match, a bout that has actually been well built and hyped. If they can deliver on it will be a different story. I thought everything was focused well here and they did a rock solid job of promoting and hard selling IYH. We never did get that Bob Backlund announcement though. Anyway, see you next week with the fallout from In Your House! Final Grade: B-

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