Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 6/19/95

*** 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 #116

June 19, 1995 (Taped June 5, 1995)
Struthers High School
Struthers, OH
Announcers: Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler

1) Undertaker defeats Mike McReynolds with the Tombstone at 2:00

Scott: We open the go-home Raw before Sunday in Philly with a loaded show and all of the major players. The Deadman faces Mabel in the first round of the KOTR tournament and warms up with a new jobber I’ve never heard of before. Vince McMahon finds Jerry Lawler’s feet putrid as the “Kiss My Foot” match is just six days away. The ventilation system in this high school is pretty bad as the smoke hasn’t left the ring area. Taker is one of many guys that could win this tournament, and perhaps after not being around much in 1994, this tournament is his to take. Grade: DUD

JT: We are back here with another edition of Monday Night Raw, still coming at you via videotape from the rocking Struthers High School field house, just six days away from King of the Ring. Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler welcome us to the show and we waste literally no time in welcoming in the Deadman for our opening bout. It isn’t often that Undertaker pops up on Raw, so they really are hyping up this rare treat for us. Vince wastes no time just ripping into King’s disgusting feet as Taker attacks Mike McReynolds off the bell and proceeds to batter him amidst a cloud of persistent smoke. Vince also reminds us that Taker has to square off with Mabel in the KOTR opening round while King notes that he may be looking past Sunday and on to getting revenge on Kama. Lots going on for the Deadman for sure here as of late. Taker easily finishes of McReynolds with the Tombstone and then stuffs him in a bodybag while the Creatures of the Night look on from the crowd. Grade: DUD

*** We head back to last week and recap the issues that unfolded between Bob Backlund and Man Mountain Rock. ***

2) Adam Bomb defeats Bill Payne with a clothesline off the top rope at 2:00

Scott: I’m pretty bummed that Adam Bomb is not in the KOTR tournament, but I guess there’s only so many people you can put in it, and if Lex Luger, British Bulldog & Owen Hart aren’t in it I guess Bomb can’t be either. Vince is shilling the new WWF magazine with Lawler on the cover, and he says the “APA” sponsored it. Hmmmm, a future time remnant? Never mind, we’ll get there. Bomb is beating down this stiff while Vince keeps harping on Lawler’s stinky feet. Bomb wins easily and perhaps can be a contender to Jeff Jarrett’s IC Title. Grade: DUD

JT: Back to the ring we go as Adam Bomb stalks to the ring to battle Bill Payne. Vince talks about the work Bomb is doing with the upcoming Special Olympics in Connecticut as things get started. Vince and King spend nearly the entire match discussing the Kiss My Foot match, including looking at the WWF Magazine, which has Lawler on the cover. Vince also breaks the news that Razor Ramon’s rib injury may keep him out of the King of the Ring. That would be a pretty big blow to the quality of the tournament. Bomb finishes Payne off with a clothesline from the top. Grade: DUD

*** Todd Pettengill is here with our final King of the Ring update here on Monday Night Raw as the show is just six days away now. Here is the full card:

Diesel & Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Sid & Tatanka
Bret Hart vs. Jerry Lawler – Kiss My Foot Match
Undertaker vs. Mabel – Opening Round Match
Shawn Michaels vs. Kama – Opening Round Match
Bob Holly vs. Roadie – Opening Round Match
Razor Ramon vs. Yokozuna – Opening Round Match

All that plus the remainder of the KOTR tournament. There you have it! Be sure to order today so you aren’t left out of the big night in Philadelphia. We will see you there! ***

*** Barry Didinsky is in the aisle promoting a special Diesel Power shirt, available for purchase tonight! ***

3) Psycho Sid & Tatanka defeat New Headshrinkers when Tatanka pins Sionne with after a Sid powerbomb on the floor at 8:56

Fun Fact: PTBN bids a fond farewell to what is left of the Headshrinkers after this match. The team was never the same after Samu left the WWF in the fall of 1994. Sione replaced Samu, but the team only made 1 PPV appearance, the 1994 Survivor Series, after the change. The team would stay around in the WWF until July before Sione left for WCW. 

Scott: Before this, we had our final KOTR report with a Bret Hart promo in there as well. I hope that match is really good because the gimmick is so stupid. The Headshrinkers have slid down the tag team ladder even though Sione is an awesome worker and to me upgrades that team beyond when they were Tag Team Champions. Obviously, this is a setup for Sid & Tatanka to win as they face Diesel & Bigelow on Sunday. Is that match the main event? Will the tournament finals be the main event? How about Hart vs. Lawler? One year ago Lawler was in the main event, why not this year? So many questions surrounding Sunday. The Corporation is working pretty well as a team here and doing some effective double teaming on Fatu & Sionne. Eventually, Sid hits a pretty vicious powerbomb on the floor and that leads to Tatanka’s pinfall and the heels are victorious. It was a fun TV match with a sick ending. Grade: **

JT: We head down to the ring for our marquee match of the evening as Ted DiBiase leads out his prized team of Psycho Sid and Tatanka. Of course, these two are looking to get some work in before they head to Philadelphia for their big challenge against Diesel and Bam Bam Bigelow, so DiBiase signed them for a match against the fading Headshrinkers. Just one year ago, Fatu and Samu were the kings of the tag division, but here we are twelve months later, Samu is gone, Sionne is here and they are nothing but cannon fodder. Even in the promo hyping this match last week, Todd Pettengill basically admitted the Samoans were floundering and needed a big win. As we start to get settled in, King pokes fun at Diesel’s balky elbow, which is still ailing the Champion as we near Sunday. Fatu and Tatanka open up and the Samoan dominates early with hard strikes. Tatanka comes back with a clothesline and starts to work the neck and upper back with chops before pitching the big man to the floor. Tatanka fetches him and rolls him back inside but Fatu just shrugs off a chop to the head from the top rope and then no sells a DDT as well. Vince talks about the thickness of Fatu’s cranium as he drops Tatanka with a side kick and then dances. Sid tags in and stares down Fatu, who moonwalks to the corner and checks in with Sione. Sid tries to ram their heads together but that fails and Sione clotheslines Sid down and lays in a few more shots. Sid recovers and cuts Fatu down with a real hard clothesline and then plants him with a chokeslam. He follows with a leg drop and grabs a near fall and then continues to maul Fatu through a break. Tatanka tags in and keeps the pressure on as Vince again talks about Diesel’s elbow as well as an upcoming charity softball game that he will be taking part in this weekend. Sid and Tatanka double team in the corner, but Sid would whiff on a leg drop, giving Fatu a false hope before Tatanka cut him back down. Fatu would dodge a Tatanka elbow and finally tag in Sione, who came in and mowed right through the Native American, nabbing near falls on a powerslam and stun gun. Stone followed with a piledriver for two but Sid made the save. Sione and Tatanka would end up on the floor while Sid dropped Fatu with a powerbomb in the ring. Sid then hung Fatu in the ropes and hit the floor where he dropped Sione with a big powerbomb on the floor. They pitched him back inside where Tatanka covered for the easy win. Well that was quite the strong finish to a surprisingly feisty match. Sticking Tatanka in this team may have been a shrewd move as this was the best he looked in a while. Sid was great too, tweaking out on the apron and then just beating the piss out of both Samoans whenever he could. The finish was great too with him just wrecking Fatu and Sione with powerbombs to wipe them out. DiBiase’s boys certainly look locked and loaded for Philly. We also say farewell to the Samoans, a team that has provided a lot of entertainment over the past three years. Their time had clearly come but I also feel like they could have accomplished even more with a better sustained push throughout their run. Grade: **

*** We head backstage for a visit with Diesel and Bam Bam Bigelow. They talk about their chances on Sunday with Diesel’s ailing elbow and remain quite confident in their chances against the Corporate team despite the injury. ***

*** We check out footage from Jerry Lawler’s palace where he continues to prepare for Sunday. This time he shows off some ancient torture devices in his dungeon and then warns Bret Hart of the impending doom that awaits him. ***

4) Hunter Hearst-Helmsley defeats Buck Quartermain with the Pedigree at

Scott: This newcomer gets his second Raw match after a final Jerry Lawler vignette in his “palace” putting over the match Sunday with Bret Hart. I’m feeling based on the tournament and the tag match with the WWF Champion in it that this could be the main event. With Lawler as commentator, he can put this match over literally the entire show. Helmsley is a solid character and the mid-card is growing with some decent heels. He beats this bum up, and then debuts (On Raw) his new finisher, the “Pedigree”. Not a bad finisher at all. Grade: DUD

JT: Time for our next match as the blue blood Hunter Hearst-Helmsley slowly walks to the ring and disrobes for a match with old pal Buck Quartermain. King continues to take shots at the Hart Family as the insane hype for the Kiss My Foot match continues. Hunter makes very easy work of the Buckster and finishes him off with his brand new finisher: the Pedigree. Nice win for the American Blueblood as he continues to quietly pick up wins on a regular basis. Grade: DUD

5) Shawn Michaels defeats Gus Kantarakis with the superkick at 4:16

Scott: So Shawn is in the KOTR tournament against Kama in the first round, and with the babyface push that Shawn is getting, if he made it to the finals I can see that match being the main event and the show ends with babyface Shawn celebrating. I do like the jobber’s tights being the colors of the Greek flag, since he is clearly Greek. I’m so puzzled and fascinated on how Sunday’s show will go. More in terms of match order than results, because Diesel’s tag team and Bret Hart are clearly winning, but it comes down to who wins the KOTR tournament. The only legit heel in the bunch is Yokozuna, and as a former WWF Champion I can see him winning. Otherwise, the real favorites are all faces (Shawn, Razor, Undertaker), which means the final match of the night could be the finals of the tournament. Shawn wins the match with the superkick, but immediately Kama comes in looking to go after his tournament opponent in the first round. Then the Undertaker comes down the ramp, stalking the man who melted his urn down. Then Mabel comes down the ramp as we go off the air. Good way to boost the tournament. Grade: *1/2

JT: It is time for our final match of the night as the one and only Shawn Michaels dances out to the ring for a bout with the Greek Freak Gus Kantarakis. Michaels is sporting a five o’clock shadow and the ladies seem to be digging it for sure. Vince talks about Shawn’s tilt with Kama on Sunday as he looks to capture his first ever KOTR crown. He also mentions that Jim Ross has an update on the WWF Superstar line that centers around the injury to Razor Ramon and what could happen if he can’t go in Philly. Michaels plays around with Gus for a bit and then puts him to sleep with the superkick, picking up a win in his final stop the way to Philly. Grade: DUD

*** After the match, Kama tries to attack Shawn Michaels but Michaels fought him off and sent him bailing to the floor. Undertaker then stalked out and stared down Kama followed by Mabel also ambling out as the show would to a close. ***

Final Analysis

Scott: Finally we get some action on a Raw with a lot of the big stars out to wrestle and get the hard sell in before Sunday in Philly. Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Sid & Tatanka and some of the other players. Wait a minute, there are NO Title matches on Sunday. Sid’s in the tag match, Yoko is in the tournament and…wait where the fuck is Jeff Jarrett? Vince, are you drunk? What kind of mess is this? I’m not having a good feeling about this show on Sunday. Plus you’re in Philadelphia which could get kind of rowdy if they don’t like what they see. Good luck Vince, I think you’re going to need it. As for this episode, it’s head and shoulders better than the past two weeks. Now maybe come next Monday we have a great King and some storylines to chew on through the summer… but we will see. FINAL GRADE: C

JT: This was a solid go-home edition of Raw for sure. We saw some big names in there prepping for Sunday and the cornerstone tag match was surprisingly fun. Sid looked great in there and with all the focus on Diesel’s elbow, they have done a really good job of putting the finish of that match in question. Bret Hart vs. Jerry Lawler has been hyped to the Heavens, week after week, and is certainly being positioned as a big time match on the card. And speaking of the card, it is kind of a weird one. As Scott said, we have no title matches and a bunch of top name guys sitting at home, including Jeff Jarrett, British Bulldog and Owen Hart. The tournament is kind of loaded at least but the brackets have giant warning flares that something odd could be approaching as well. Next time we are here, we will know all the answers. Until then… Final Grade: C+

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