Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 6/26/95

*** 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 #117

June 26, 1995
Danville High School
Danville, PA
Announcers: Vince McMahon & Shawn Michaels

1) Smoking Gunns defeat Jason Ahrndt & Black Phantom when Billy pins Ahrndt with the Sidewinder at  2:15

Scott: So, after… well whatever the hell happened last night in Philly we open with the Smoking Gunns. I’m still trying to wrap my head around what pile of crap I watched last night. Of all the talent in that tournament, MABEL WON? Seriously? Then Mo mush-mouthed his way through reading the scroll as Shawn Michaels just alluded to on commentary. I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed that. At least Bret Hart won and we don’t have to deal with all this foot nonsense. The Gunns win in a pretty quick squash here, but as we continue I will delve more into last night. Grade: DUD

JT: Hey! We are finally back live here on Monday Night Raw and we are less than 24 hours removed from a very bizarre night in Philadelphia as the third annual King of the Ring is in the books. Vince McMahon and his old commentary buddy Shawn Michaels have the call for us here tonight. Michaels flamed out quickly last night, wrestling Kama to a draw and bowing out in the first round of the tournament. I would ask why they even bothered having him in it just to go that route, but whatever at this point. Vince notes that Michaels is here because the King is still cleaning out his mouth after the foot fiasco following his loss to Bret Hart last night. The Smoking Gunns head out to the ring for our opening bout as they look to rebuild their credibility and relevance a bit in the tag division. Vince and Shawn talk about Mabel shocking the world and winning the KOTR crown while Michaels quips about not realizing Mo could read. The Gunns make really swift work of these bums and pick up the win. Grade: DUD

*** Jerry Lawler joins us from the office of his personal dentist Isaac Yankem, DDS. He is there trying to get the brutal stench and smell out of his mouth after his tough loss in Philadelphia last night. Lawler vows that Hart will pay for what he did and that their issue isn’t over yet. He also mentions that Yankem, a former great wrestler, is promising to extract some revenge as well. ***

*** Barry Didinsky is in the aisle shilling the official King of the Ring shirt and hat as well as a Bret Hart hat and sunglasses combo. Order now! ***

2) Skip defeats Scott Taylor with a Frankensteiner off the top rope at 2:00

Scott: Ah Sunny…oh sorry. As I was saying, last night’s show was trash. They just had a recap to shill tomorrow’s Encore Plus of the show. Who would buy that? Anyway, Skip and my girl Sunny are here to pretty things up. I love how even Shawn rips Vince’s hair, even while a babyface. So it appears Sid begged off during last night’s tag team match. That’s an abomination. Even as a heel, Sid’s not a coward. They are totally ruining his character, turning into a typical WWF heel and not the heel he should be. Skip is getting roughed up by these jobbers before he wins matches, which isn’t helping his character in my opinion. Grade: DUD

JT: We head back down to the ring as Skip and Sunny hop on down to the ring to both fat shame the fans and beat down Scott Taylor. Michaels brags about his skills with the ladies as the Bodydonnas rant in the ring. Taylor actually starts off hot with a flurry until Skip drops him with an enziguri to take over. Vince and Shawn talk more about Jerry Lawler in the feud that just won’t ever go away. Taylor dropkicks Skip outside, where he stooges around a bit before turning the tide again. Skip chewing gum during these matches is pretty funny, as is Shawn’s clear disdain for his name. Skip hits a pretty crazy splash off the top rope to the floor and then wins with a top rope Frankensteiner, busting out the high spots in this throwaway bout. Even though he probably gives a bit too much to the jobbers, Skip has a really unique arsenal, even impressing Michaels in the end. If only he had a better name, maybe he could be a legit player, as he has really looked good in limited action thus far. Oh, and Sunny. He has her too. Grade: 1/2*

*** We check out footage from a celebrity softball game in Oklahoma City. Diesel took part of the game and all proceeds went to the families affected by the Oklahoma City bombing from earlier in the year. ***

*** We then join Todd Pettengill for a report filed last night from the Corestates Spectrum. Todd recaps all of the results from King of the Ring. He also reveals that Diesel will face Sid in a WWF Title Lumberjack Match at In Your House #2. ***

3) Man Mountain Rock defeats Phil Apollo via submission with the Whammy Bar at 1:00

Fun Fact: Tonight we say goodbye to Man Mountain Rock after a short stay in the Federation. He had asked to be an announcer when he came into the WWF, but his request was denied. During his run, he had several injuries, including a serious hernia. He also became addicted to pain pills and downers along with smoking marijuana. His substance abuse issues led to his release.

Scott: Wow, I thought they had shit canned Phil Apollo by now. Before this match we had Todd Pettengill doing a KOTR wrap-up and he announced the main event for next month’s IYH #2 from Nashville. It will be Diesel vs. Sid for the WWF Title, in a lumberjack match. That will likely be better than that snorefest they had in May. Man Mountain Rock has a cool WWF guitar, but that’s about as much as his charisma goes. He’s a mediocre worker at best, and poor Phil Apollo has to job to him. Grade: DUD

JT: Back to the ring we go as Man Mountain Rock is shredding his guitar in the middle of the ring for his prematch concert. Michaels takes shots at Bob Backlund for his stance on rock ‘n’ roll and then makes me chuckle when he says Phil Apollo has a big movie coming out: Apollo 13. Vince plugs the Superstar Line, where Jim Ross has more updates on the health of Razor Ramon. MMR picks up the layup win with the Whammy Bar. Too bad this is the last time we see the big guy because I felt like he was actually gaining some momentum and starting to establish himself a bit. The gimmick and look was pretty good, too bad he ended up flaming out so fast. Looks like Bob Backlund will win the war. Grade: DUD

4) King Mabel defeats Kenny Kendall with a belly-to-belly suplex at 1:45

Scott: So here we are. With all that talent in the tournament, they give the KOTR to this talentless hunk. I’m getting a sinking feeling that this guy is going to get a mega push over the next few months and that means…GULP… a WWF Title match. Ugh. This is an ugly squash to continue to push. Grade: DUD

JT: We waste no time getting to our next match and it is a big one as it is the first bout for Mabel as the new King of the WWF. In a nice touch, he is decked out in full royal regalia and is carried to the ring on a throne by some scrubs. That certainly adds to his presence. That said, he was clearly a very questionable and controversial choice to win the tournament, especially when you consider the other talent that filled it up. However, on the other hand they took it as an opportunity to make a new star, someone they have clearly been interested in pushing for a while now. Michaels calls “Mack Daddy Mo” the biggest piece of luggage you will ever see and jokes about his reading again, so I guess he isn’t a fan. Vince puts over the efforts of Savio Vega from last night as Mabel mows through Kenny Kendall, grabbing his first win as King. Grade: DUD

*** We pay a visit to the beach to check in on Waylon Mercy, who will make his official debut next week on Raw. He says that his opponents’ lives are going to be in his hands, you know what he means? ***

*** Todd Pettengill narrates us through a video package recapping this past weekend’s WWF Hall of Fame ceremony. ***

5) Savio Vega defeats Jeff Jarrett via disqualification at 4:45; Jarrett retains WWF Intercontinental Title

Scott: At least one positive came out of last night’s PPV, and that’s Savio Vega’s performance. He wrestled four times and almost won the tournament, and with that he’s earned an IC Title match against Jarrett, who for some bizarre reason didn’t wrestle last night. We had NO TITLE MATCHES last night. That’s bullshit. What color is Jarrett wearing? Looks like some kind of brown velour. It looks like it came off someone’s couch from 1978. Savio is taking full control and even caused some heel miscommunication with Jarrett decking the Roadie instead of the challenger. Jarrett eventually took control as Savio’s ribs are sore after Mabel’s post match beatdown, in which he also ended up attacking Savio’s friend Razor Ramon. Vega tries to make a comeback, however the Roadie trips him, and as a result Savio kicks him into Shawn Michaels at the broadcast table. Shawn and Roadie start jawing, then Jarrett tries to go after Shawn and Michaels starts throwing bombs. Roadie then ends the match by going into the ring and clotheslining Savio to force the DQ. The match really didn’t get going but it looks like we may have Shawn Michaels’ next feud. Grade: *1/2

JT: We head down to the ring for our main event of the evening as the Caribbean Legend Savio Vega is set to challenge Jeff Jarrett for the Intercontinental Title. As Jarrett and the Roadie strut out, Vince tells us that the premier of Jarrett’s music video “With My Baby Tonight” will air on Superstars this weekend. Vega had a monster night last night, winning three matches before falling to Mabel in the KOTR finals. It was a night that certainly put him on the WWF map as a threat. Not sure what the hell is going on with Jarrett’s tights this week. They are shiny plush shit brown. Roadie tries to jump Savio at the bell but Vega catches him and then works over Jarrett to compliments from Michaels, who is shocked he is a step ahead despite all his work last night. Jarrett turns the tide by slinging Vega into the corner but Savio came right back with a clothesline and right hands. Roadie gets involved again but Vega dodges a Jarrett charge and the two buddies collide on the apron. Michaels messes with Roadie’s hair and that draws Jarrett over to get in Shawn’s face. After a break, Savio pitches Jarrett back inside but Roadie punches the challenger and Jarrett gets to work with some kicks. The champ follows with a swinging neckbreaker and a nice suplex for two. Roadie got involved again but Savio fended him off and turned the tide, picking up a close near fall and then dropping Jarrett with a big uranage. Roadie again made his presence known, this time tripping Savio, who then dropkicked him right into the announce table. Michaels got in Roadie’s face again and Jarrett came to assist, leading to a brawl. Once the champ got back inside, Vega rolled him up but Roadie pounced and clotheslined Savio for the DQ and to save the belt for his pal. After the bell, Michaels got in the ring and he and Vega eventually ran off Double J and the Road Dog. This was a spirited match as Savio continues to impress, however it was all about getting Michaels into the path of Jarrett as it looks like these two will now start to feud. Roadie was real good here too, doing everything he could to help Jarrett retain and I also liked the psychology of Vega being a bit tired and Jarrett fresh after not competing last night. Grade: *1/2

Final Analysis

Scott: After the F-quality PPV last night, our episode tonight has the aforementioned King of the Shit Mabel, which at least means they’re going to strap the mini rocket ship on him. The Gunns get a win and perhaps can finally be the top babyface team they’re meant to be. We get an IC Title match which is nice, and then probably Shawn’s next feud is for the IC Title, which means he will probably win it because, well he’s Shawn. How did Undertaker lose to Mabel by the way? How did Mabel beat anybody? These next few Raws are going to be like a car accident. You probably know it’s going to suck but you can’t turn away. I won’t trash this Raw because they’re trying but there’s no light in this tunnel right now. FINAL GRADE: C-

JT: We bounce back from a tough night in Philadelphia with a pretty energetic night of Raw as they start to steer the course for the rest of the summer. We still have way too much damn focus on Jerry Lawler and his mouth issues and not as much mention or even appearance from Bret Hart. Also, I will say it was a treat having Shawn Michaels back in the booth after weeks of foot jokes from the King. Mabel is our King and we will see if the push works at all, but again at least they are trying to mix things up a bit up and down the card. The best course would be a slow burn push to build credibility but we will see. With Michaels on the face side, bumping him down to an IC Title feud makes sense because he can’t be in the main event picture with Diesel still there. It also helps elevate Jarrett and that strap a bit too. Over the course of 24 hours, Savio Vega is suddenly a reliable workhorse star for the company, and that is a good thing. Despite the grim night in Philly, I thought they actually rebounded well enough here with very focused stories and a quick paced show. We just didn’t really get a strong anchor match to really make it stand out. Final Grade: C

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