Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 2/6/95

*** 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 and of course in the comments below. Enjoy! ***

Monday Night Raw #98

February 6, 1995 (Taped January 23, 1995)
Manatee Civic Center
Palmetto, FL
Announcers: Vince McMahon & Shawn Michaels

1) Tatanka, IRS & King Kong Bundy defeat Lex Luger & Men on a Mission when Bundy pins Luger after a Tatanka DDT at 12:00

Fun Fact: On last week’s Raw (1/30/95), Bundy and Mabel were in an Over the Top Rop Challenge match when the rest of the Million Dollar Corporation came out to the ring and assisted in tossing Mabel over the top rope. Following the match, Mo and Luger came to the ring to even the numbers. The events of last week lead us to this match at the start of this episode of Raw.

Scott: This opener stems from the screwjob last week when the Corporation helped King Kong Bundy win the two-man Rumble against Mabel. The babyfaces were ridiculously late and Mabel should have been pissed in my opinion. We will hear from LT’s representative about Bam Bam Bigelow’s challenge later in the show. Meanwhile we see a VERY slow matchup here with myriad of huge dudes and mediocre workers (except IRS), and it shows with some sloppy maneuvers and blown spots. Vince says after months and months of waiting we will have a Lex Luger vs. Tatanka one on one this Sunday on Action Zone. The promos and Shawn’s quips are better than this match is. It’s so plodding and dull, as Bundy literally is doing the same cycle of moves over and over again. IRS comes in and actually works some real moves on Mo, who’s the unfortunate face in peril because big Mabel won’t be and certainly Luger won’t be either. Shawn trashes Vince on his commentary when he makes no sense, calling him a MOROOOOON. Vince actually is trashing both teams for not having it together, so even the announcers are admitting this match is utter trash. Luger gets the hot tag and starts cleaning house, but when the referee isn’t looking Tatanka hit Luger with a DDT and the Corporation steals the win. Shawn goes, “There’s an exciting part of this boring match?” I’ll give it some charity, but I probably shouldn’t. Grade: 1/2*

JT: We are coming at you via very stale videotape from Manatee, FL once more for this week’s edition of Monday Night Raw. Vince McMahon is our lead dog in the booth and he is joined by Shawn Michaels as always. Our opener is a big six man war that was triggered off some issues from a week ago when King Kong Bundy was aided by his Corporation teammates in defeating Mabel in an Over the Top Rope Challenge bout. Lex Luger helped make the save giving us a natural three on three battle, which brings us to tonight. As Vince sets the stage for the night in front of a very obvious green screen, Shawn dances around to the Men on a Mission theme, which made me laugh. Shawn also promises a major surprise that will be coming soon. Luger is led out by a young flag bearer and looks about as checked out as you can be as he slowly walks down the aisle. Ted DiBiase was noticeably missing as his crew, including IRS toting Undertaker’s urn, headed to the ring. Shawn is still bragging about winning the Royal Rumble as things get underway with Mabel and Bundy locking up. Mabel overpowered Bundy early on, rattling him with a clothesline for two and then landing a headbutt and a spin kick for another near fall. Mo would tag in and land a few shots but tried a bodyslam for some reason, which allowed Bundy to club him down and take over. Shawn basically calls Mo stupid as IRS comes in and goes to work. Mo turned the tide and worked the arm but IRS broke free and tagged in Tatanka, who chopped away as we headed to break.

When we returned, Mo was able to tag Mabel, who planted Tatanka with a shoulder block and clothesline. Michaels is criticizing everything during this match, really playing up his ring superiority. Mabel dropped an elbow and tagged in Luger to a moderate pop but Tatanka scrambled and escaped to his corner, tagging in IRS. Irwin grabbed a side headlock but the two would trade some offense until Lex got two on a clothesline. Mo tagged in and worked the arm but DiBiase finally showed up at ringside just as Irwin caught Mo in the gut with a knee. Tatanka piled on with a knee to the back from the apron, giving the Corporation full control. From there, they tagged in and out and worked over Mo, picking up near falls along the way. Michaels calls Bundy a “big blimp” and questions Mo carrying the action for his team as continues ragging on everyone and everything. The match has really slowed down here, with the Corporation meandering through their routines with very little energy or juice and the crowd seems to be as equally burnt out. Vince actually calls out both teams, saying he isn’t impressed with either side for not having their acts together. Michaels piles on and says they all look lethargic and wishes a happy birthday to Ronald Reagan and Babe Ruth. Luger finally gets the tag and cleans house, including slamming Bundy. Tatanka came in and clobbered Lex from behind and then snuck in a DDT on his nemesis, allowing Bundy to cover for the win. Luger loses yet again! This was a really slog with zero interest or energy from anyone in there. I guess Mabel at least worked hard but that only goes so far. The Corporation is already losing steam, Lex Luger is DOA and his feud with Tatanka feels as stale as you can get. If they are trying to stretch that to WrestleMania, they have zero chance of making it that far. Michaels said it all as he missed Tatanka’s DDT and quipped “I missed the most exciting part of this boring match?” In character or not, he has a very valid point. Grade: *

*** Man Mountain Rock gives us the WWF Week in Music update. ***

*** We are joined by Bobby Cupo, Lawrence Taylor’s manager, who reads a prepared statement accepting the apology from the WWF on behalf of what happened at the Royal Rumble. He says they were invited guests and meant no disrespect and will continue to demand an apology from Bam Bam Bigelow for his actions. He also officially declines Bigelow’s challenge for a match. ***

2) Man Mountain Rock defeats Charlie Hunter with a front suplex at 2:30

Fun Fact: This week, we see the Monday Night Raw debut of Man Mountain Rock (Darryl Peterson). Peterson began amateur wrestling in grade school after having a disagreement with his school’s football coach. After a motorcycle accident during his junior year of high school, his amateur career took a hit. After getting married out of high school and working for a couple of years, he decided to give wrestling a shot again and received scholarships to junior college and then to Iowa State University. During his time in college, he won an NCAA National Championship and was an All-American. After graduating, he met Red Bastien in Los Angeles and began training as a professional. He worked for the WWF back in the mid-80s, including being one of the ring workers that put the steel cage together for the Hogan/Bundy WrestleMania II match. After additional training in NJPW, he developed his character, Maxx Payne, while working through CWA and WCW. He was fired from the WCW in 1994 after being involved in a botched brawl at Spring Stampede where Brian Knobbs of the Nasty Boys ended up with a broken shoulder. He debuts tonight under the MMR name.

Scott: We finally get the debut of the big MMR and his WWF guitar against some stiff. Maybe this match will be better than the piece of crap we saw to open this show. It’s sad that the best worker in the company is doing commentary instead of having matches on Raw, while all these fat sloths are filling up the card with boring matches. The crowd’s into this big dude with tye-dye tights. Grade: DUD

JT: We head back to the ring for the debut of Man Mountain Rock, who first jams on his guitar in the ring to get us all fired up. That was a pretty cool and unique idea. Vince and Shawn talk a bit about LT and Bigelow as the match goes along. Shawn calls MMR’s tye-dye outfit a “technicolor yawn”. MMR quickly destroys Charlie Hunter and the crowd was into it enough. If they gave him a better and name and some decent gear, they may have had something here because he really stood out and had a cool hook with the pre match mini-concert. Grade: DUD

*** We check out clips of Diesel’s successful WWF Title defense against Owen Hart on yesterday’s Action Zone, which was followed by a staredown between Big Daddy Cool and Shawn Michaels. We then head to a candid sit-down interview with Vince McMahon and Diesel that took place earlier today. They talk about the match with Owen, comparisons between the Hart Brothers, his building issues and ongoing mind games with Shawn Michaels and his life as a celebrity. Back at the announce table Michaels announces that Diesel will be defending his title against Jeff Jarrett on the 2/20 Raw and on that same night, Michaels will reveal his new bodyguard. ***

3) Mantaur defeats Leroy Howard with a belly-to-belly suplex at 4:30

Scott: With the level of wrestling we’ve watched today, Mantaur may be the best of the bunch. The crowd was hot early but have quickly given up on this mess. Why did Jim Cornette manage this guy? Why does he have a manager at all? We get the announcement that Raw is pre-empted for the Dog Show next week, so on 2/20 live on Raw Diesel defends the World Title against Jeff Jarrett who will attempt to win both singles titles. Leroy Howard got more offense in than he probably should have. Mantaur gets the win eventually, but this was too long. Grade: DUD

JT: We are back to action as Jim Cornette leads out Mantaur for a title with Leroy Howard. Vince and Michaels talk about about the big 2/20 Raw as next week’s show will preempted for the Dog Show. Mantaur starts hot, charging right at Howard, scooping him up and ramming him hard to the corner. After a short spurt of competence from Howard, the Mantaur beating continued from there, trudging along for a bit. Michaels tries to figure out which half of Mantaur is man and Vince shills the remaining WrestleMania tickets, claiming they are going at a record pace. The beast finally finishes Howard off with a belly-to-belly suplex. Again, Mantaur is another guy that could have had some potential if not for this gimmick and look. Grade: DUD

4) Razor Ramon defeats Frankie Lancaster with the Razor’s Edge at 2:45

Scott: The former two-time IC Champion hits the ring and he brings the crowd out of the doldrums that has been this episode. Shawn keeps mentioning that he has obtained a new bodyguard, and I’m wondering who it is. He said it’s not Mantaur. Wearing his banana yellow gear, Ramon works ol’ Frankie over and makes this quick work with the Razor’s Edge. Best match of the night. Grade: DUD

JT: The parade of matches continues on as Razor Ramon saunters out to the ring to battle Frankie Lancaster. Michaels jokes about Ramon no long having the IC gold around his waist after dropping the strap to Jeff Jarrett back at the Rumble. Lancaster gets some offense in early but it is a short run as Ramon takes over and batters Frankie around the ring. Vince notes that Ramon is showing no ill effects of the knee injury from the Rumble while Shawn plugs tonight’s new episode of Tek War. Vince also randomly starts talking about the OJ Trial and bitches about how the media is treating Marcia Clark. Ramon finishes Lancaster with the Edge as he marches along in the quest to regain his gold. Grade: DUD

5) Henry Godwinn defeats Bill Weaver with the Slop Drop at 2:00

Scott: We get a close up of what’s in the slop bucket, and all I see is baby corn and slices of bread. Lord only knows what else is in there. This mess is over. Grade: DUD

JT: It is mercifully time for our final match of the evening as Henry Godwinn stomps to the ring for a bout with Bill Weaver. Vince talks about HOG’s tough tilt with Undertaker back on Superstars and Shawn says the Deadman looked weaker without his urn. We get a close up of the slop bucket, which is the highlight of this quick squash that eventually ends with the Slop Drop. Grade: DUD

*** Vince McMahon reminds us that Monday Night Raw will be preempted next week and Shawn Michaels reveals that he can no longer do commentary as he is too big of a target and has to protect himself going forward. ***

Final Analysis

Scott: This taping may be almost as bad as last week’s episode. That six-man tag opener is one of the worst matches I have ever seen, probably because the expectations were pretty high and everybody was awful. When Shawn & Vince are openly destroying the match you know it’s pretty bad. The two best workers in the company either do commentary or waste time on the syndies wrestling bums. There are so many overweight power workers in this promotion right now that even with the character driven aspect is failing. Man Mountain Rock plays guitar, wrestles a bad match and plays guitar again. I’m a little skeptical of how good this WrestleMania card is going to be. I’m sure we will get a Razor/Jarrett rematch for the IC Title, but other than that I’m not sure where the rest of the card is going to go. If it goes like these last two weeks of Raws are, no wonder it’s in Hartford. Final Grade: D-

JT: This was not good at all. The marquee match was a disaster that got buried on commentary and then we went downhill from there with a meandering aimless parade of squashes that lead nowhere. The roster is filled with pointless gimmicks that will never get over. The wrestlers themselves aren’t awful but these gimmicks are saddling them way down. And even the guys that can wrestle aren’t really being used in effective ways. Where is Owen Hart, British Bulldog, Bob Backlund, Jeff Jarrett, Bret Hart Undertaker, etc., etc. Let’s see those guys each and every week on the showcase program because these other jamokes are going nowhere fast. Also, we have barely seen Diesel on Raw here in 1995. His sit-down interview was solid but how about seeing him in action or in the arena? Shawn Michaels on commentary has been a highlight of this show and now that is gone too as he announces he is quitting the gig. Save us… anyone. Final Grade: D-

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