Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 8/21/95

*** 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 #125

August 21, 1995 (Taped August 14, 1995)
Worcester Memorial Auditorium
Worcester, MA
Announcers: Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler

Fun Fact I: This is the final episode of Raw before the beginning of the Monday Night War. Raw will be preempted for the next two weeks due to the US Open tennis tournament, during which time southern rival wrestling company World Championship Wrestling (WCW) will start their own Monday night show, Monday Nitro on TNT. Future write-ups will have information giving ratings of each show along with a brief synopsis of what happened on Nitro.

Fun Fact II: The match at SummerSlam between the Undertaker and Kama has been changed to a casket match after the events on Superstars this past weekend. On the show, Kama came out to the ring and destroyed a black wreath that was there, only to have one of the Creatures of the Night jump the rail to try to save the wreath. Kama choked out the Creature resulting in the change to the match.

1) Men on a Mission defeated Roy Raymond & Joe Handcock when Mabel pins Raymond with a belly-to-belly suplex at 2:47

Scott: Our go home Raw before SummerSlam in Pittsburgh starts with the #1 contender for the World Title and his partner against a couple of stiffs. This is an exciting episode tonight because later we will see the Undertaker on Raw for the first time in a while. Mabel actually hit a pretty decent piledriver on one of these bums, as Vince is mushing the jobbers’ names together, calling one guy “Joe Raymond”. So sad. The Diesel chants are building, which surprises me because I had thought by this point he was cooked as Champion. Perhaps not. I mean the match at SummerSlam won’t be a workrate marvel but the crowd seems to be into it. Mabel cuts a promo after the squash and challenges the Allied Powers to a tag match right now? Idle threat it seems. Grade: DUD

JT: Thanks to the US Open, we have reached our final episode of Monday Night Raw for quite a while and also our last show before SummerSlam, coming at you via videotape from Worcester once again. Jerry Lawler is back in the booth this week, flanking Vince McMahon and we open things up our number one contender for the WWF Title teaming with his pal, Sir Mo, for one final tuneup before Pittsburgh. MOM attacked Roy Raymond and Joe Handcock to start things off and dominated from there. We get a debate around whether or not Diesel can jackknife Mabel at SummerSlam as the monster destroys Handcock and then Lawler talks about his match with Shawn Michaels from a week ago. Vince also reveals that Sid will face the winner of the SummerSlam IC Title Ladder Match on the 9/11 Raw. As the crowd chants for Diesel, Mabel eventually polishes off Raymond with a belly-to-belly suplex. That was squash city and Mabel certainly looks primed. After the match, Mabel grabs a mic and puts over MOM as the greatest team of all time and issues a challenge to the Allied Powers for a match tonight. Grade: DUD

*** We head to a satellite classroom outside of the Auditorium where Dean Douglas gushes over the performance of Men on a Mission. Vince McMahon then announces that he will participate in a live chat on America Online at 10pm tonight. ***

2) The 1-2-3 Kid defeated The Brooklyn Brawler with a leg lariat at 1:32

Scott: The 1-2-3 Kid will face Hakushi Sunday at SummerSlam and that seems like it will be a pretty good match. We are waiting for the Allied Powers’ response to MOM’s challenge for a tag team match tonight. Brawler started hot but the Kid recovers and wins the match easily. The highlight of the match is Lawler & Vince playing with the Stridex Telestrator. Grade: DUD

JT: Back to the ring, the 1-2-3 Kid jogs out to face off with the old stalwart, the Brooklyn Brawler. The Brawler jumps Kid on the floor and goes to work, looking as sharp as ever. Vince reminds that Kid will face Hakushi at SummerSlam and King mentions Mike Tyson beating Peter McNeely. Vince promises SummerSlam will be a guaranteed three hours of action and deliver for fans, unlike that fight. Kid eventually powers up and knocks off Brawler with a leg lariat. Nice effort from the Brawler but Kid picks up the win and is ready to go for Pittsburgh. Grade: DUD

*** Barry Didinsky is in the aisle promoting a brand new Undertaker t-shirt, available for sale right now. You will also get a free three month subscription to the WWF Magazine and a box of Stridex if you order tonight. Do it! ***

3) The Undertaker defeated Tatanka with the Tombstone at 6:41

Scott: So it’s now announced that the Undertaker/Kama bout Sunday will be a casket match. It’s great to see Taker on Raw, it’s making the show seem more special. Raw will be off for the next two weeks due to the US Open, so on the return episode on 9/11 we will have Shawn Michaels finally taking on Sid. Whether it will be for the Intercontinental Title or not depends on Sunday, of course. Taker starts hot, but Tatanka settles in and works his usual boring heel offense. Tatanka was red hot almost a year ago when he turned heel on Lex Luger, and once Sid joined the Corporation he’s nothing but a toadie. You don’t even see King Kong Bundy much anymore as the stable continues to dwindle. Undertaker recovers from the beatdown, hits the Chokeslam & Tombstone for the victory. The match was slightly above a DUD because it is the Deadman. Grade: 1/2*

JT: We head down to the ring for our next bout as Ted DiBiase leads out Tatanka, who is looking to soften up the Undertaker for his stablemate Kama. As the Deadman marches down the aisle with Paul Bearer, Vince reminds us that his showdown with Kama at SummerSlam will now be a casket match. Taker is rightfully pissed off and fired up and goes right at Tatanka before the bell. He hammers and clubs away, shooting Tatanka from corner to corner as Vince tells us that Kama is not pleased about the new stipulation. Tatanka lands a chop and slams the Deadman but he certainly weary in there. Taker sits up and punches away but Tatanka catches him on a charge and flips him over with a sloppy Samoan drop. Tatanka peppered Taker with right hands and then stomped away as the crowd tried to rally the Deadman. Tatanka grabbed a near fall off a slam and then hooked in a chinlock as King makes some Jerry Garcia jokes. Vince plus this week’s USA Movie, Down Out and Dangerous, so check that out this Wednesday night. Taker eventually powers up and breaks the hold with a back suplex and then catches a charging Tatanka with a bit boot. After a break, Tatanka had regained control but Taker quickly comes back with a leaping clothesline and then tries for the Tombstone, but Tatanka wriggled free and hit a jumping shoulder block. Taker ducked a clothesline and planted Tatanka with a chokeslam before finally finishing him with the Tombstone. This was a fine little TV match and Tatanka was feisty here, showing a bit more energy than he had of late. It was also good to see Taker here on Raw, something that has been a rare occurrence of late. Taker finally is ready to take back his urn and end this year long feud with Ted DiBiase this Sunday night. Grade: *1/2

*** Todd Pettengill is here with our final SummerSlam Insider on Raw. The hottest show of the summer is just six days away, sponsored by Stridex, and here are the matches discussed:

Diesel vs. King Mabel – WWF Title
Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon – Intercontinental Title Ladder Match

Bret Hart vs. Isaac Yankem, D.D.S.

Call your cable company today so you don’t miss out on this action packed evening! ***

*** Men on a Mission reiterate their challenge to the Allied Powers and Jerry Lawler tells us that British Bulldog wants to accept but can’t find Lex Luger to make it official. We then play some Tee Vee Trivia to promote the success of Monday Night Raw and the new fall season, which kicks off on USA on September 11. ***

4) Jean-Pierre LaFitte defeated Scott Taylor with the cannonball at 3:04

Scott: The Pirate works on a jobber as we talk about the SummerSlam matches. I want to clarify that the Michaels/Sid match on the 9/11 Season Premiere of Raw is actually an IC Title match either way. So Sid will face either Shawn or Razor Ramon, and he has history with both guys, so it sets up well. This was a boring squash. Grade: DUD

JT: We head back to the ring where Jean-Pierre Lafitte attacks Scott Taylor before the bell and pummels him with right hands. Vince calls Lafitte a thief for stealing some Bret Hart memorabilia as Taylor tries to make a go of this, but doesn’t have much success. Lawler says Bulldog still can’t find Lex Luger as Vince promotes the WWF Superstar Line, which has an update on why Ernie Ladd has been hanging out with Men on a Mission. Lafitte mauls Taylor and finishes him with the cannonball. Lafitte continues to roll along and it sure seems he is targeting the Hitman these days. Grade: DUD

*** We head back to the Hollywood Hills to once again hear from Goldust, who is discussing his impending arrival in the WWF. ***

*** Vince McMahon heads to the ring to welcome out the WWF Champion Diesel to chat about SummerSlam. He says King Mabel has certainly picked up the pace the past few weeks and revisits the Men on a Mission attack two weeks ago. Diesel also addresses the concerns that he can’t jackknife Mabel, teasing that he thinks he can. Davey Boy Smith then heads out to wish Diesel good luck on Sunday and then also asks him to team up tonight to battle MOM. He says Lex Luger had a medical emergency back in Atlanta and he needs a partner to answer tonight’s challenge. Diesel accepts and it looks like our main event is now set. ***

5) Diesel & The British Bulldog defeated Men on a Mission (King Mabel & Sir Mo) ended in a No Contest at 2:20

Scott: So during Diesel’s in-ring interview, the British Bulldog came out and asked the WWF Champion if he can step in for Lex Luger in this challenge with MOM. So the crowd goes crazy and early on it looks like we will see our main event players mix it up ahead of Sunday. Then out of nowhere, the Bulldog turns on Diesel! He clotheslines Diesel from behind and helps Mabel with a sidewalk slam. Then comes a triple team beatdown as Bulldog is slapping Diesel across the face before powerslamming him. What’s going on here? Well guess who comes out next? JIM CORNETTE! Very interesting. The match ends with Diesel out and Mabel holding the World Title. What a great, crazy ending. The Bulldog is a new fresh heel, apparently aligned with Cornette. That’s a great combo with Owen Hart and Yokozuna in Cornette’s camp. Grade: N/A

JT: After a break, we head right back to the ring where Men on a Mission are headed out to battle Diesel and British Bulldog in our final match of the evening. I never realized how short Davey Boy Smith was until he stood next to Diesel. Crazy. Mo and Diesel start things off and the champ overpowers Mo as Vince hypes SummerSlam. King hints about Royal Plan B as Diesel tags Bulldog and Mabel enters the ring as well. However, Bulldog shocks everyone by slugging Diesel from behind, driving him into the arms of Mabel, who plants the champ with a sidewalk slam. Bulldog talks shit to Diesel and slaps him around as Jim Cornette shows up and cackles. Diesel fends off Mabel but Bulldog catches him and drops him with the running powerslam. Mabel then follows with a pair of leg drops and it suddenly looks like the champ is in dire trouble come Sunday. The match early existed but that was a great heel turn and beatdown. Bulldog was in great need of freshening up so the heel turn is a welcome sight. It also adds a ton of heat to Mabel and now adds just a little bit of uncertainty for Sunday. Nothing match, great angle. Grade: N/A

*** Jerry Lawler catches up with British Bulldog, Jim Cornette and Men on a Mission backstage. Mabel has the WWF Title on his shoulder as Bulldog says it isn’t time to reveal their motives. Cornette says the surprises are still going to keep coming for Diesel. Mabel says this is the first part of the Royal Plan and on Sunday, the Title is going around his slim waist. Vince recaps what happened and wraps up the show and reminds us that Raw is off the air for three weeks but will return on 9/11 with the new fall season. ***

Final Analysis

Scott: This was a fun go home Raw for many reasons. We get Diesel and Undertaker sightings and out of nowhere a British Bulldog heel turn! Wow that was great and perhaps the roster will get shaken up a bit with a superstar heel joining Jim Cornette’s group. That also means that Cornette may have shifted power on the heel side from Ted DiBiase’s trash Corporation to this new group with Hart, Yokozuna and now Bulldog. I hope Undertaker vanquishes Kama and moves on to something better. SummerSlam on paper looks pretty flat but perhaps it can be executed properly. This was the best Raw of the month. Final Grade: B-

JT: Well, that was certainly the go home episode of Raw. While not much was popping as far as in ring action, the pacing and prep for SummerSlam was quite good and the final British Bulldog heel turn angle was executed excellently. Bulldog had gotten real stale and it was clear the Allied Powers were going nowhere fast, so this was a shrewd move and gives Diesel a future feud as well. I liked the way they wove the story throughout the episode, with Men on a Mission challenging the Powers and then things unfolding from there. Even though the match was bland, it was cool seeing Undertaker on Raw again as well, and the final push for the casket match was well done. We have finally reached SummerSlam and then we get three weeks off before kicking off the new fall season of Raw, which includes a ton of hype along with it. We will see if they show gets any sort of refresh when it returns. Until then… Final Grade: B-

Author: Vintage Vault

Vintage Vault Reposts are a collection of reviews that Scott and JT have written over the years.