Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 3/20/95

*** 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 #103

March 20, 1995 (Taped March 13, 1995)
Memorial Civic Auditorium
Stockton, CA
Announcers: Vince McMahon & Jim Cornette

Fun Fact: On the day this Raw episode aired, Big John Studd passed away at the age of 46.

1) Razor Ramon defeats Henry Godwinn with the Razor’s Edge at 6:30

Scott: This is an interesting matchup because Henry Godwinn feels like a mid-card heel rather than fodder for the upper mid-card guys, but perhaps this makes Razor Ramon look better facing this raw bone pig farmer just two weeks before his shot to regain the Intercontinental Title against Jeff Jarrett. It looks like Jarrett will be defending the Title against Bob Backlund on the Sunday Night Slam after last week’s episode of Raw. I think this may be the last time we have these specialty shows before PPVs. That will become clearer after WrestleMania. Godwinn was dominated the action and working Razor over, and the Roadie came out to try and distract Razor, until the 1-2-3 Kid came out to take care of that interference. Razor recovers to hit the Edge and win the match. That was a solid TV power affair. We need more Razor on Raw, it seems like he’s hardly ever on. Grade: *1/2

JT: Welcome to Monday Night Raw where we are via videotape from Stockton, CA! We are inching ever so closer to WrestleMania as the big night in Hartford is now two weeks away and after last week much of the card is now place. Vince Mcmahon and Jim Cornette have the call again this week and we open things up with on of our marquee matches as the former Intercontinental Champion Razor Ramon battles the hog farmer Henry Godwinn. Of course, Ramon will be challenging Jeff Jarrett for the IC strap in Hartford and looks poised to regain the gold after the upset at the Rumble. As the match gets underway I just noticed the referees are now wearing polo style striped shirts instead of the button down and bowtie, so that change has officially happened here. We open with a lock up but Ramon quickly takes control of the arm and goes to work. Vince and Cornette talk about Razor’s issues with Jarrett as Godwinn takes over with a clothesline followed by a wheelbarrow slam. Godwinn punished the back, slamming Razor down hard for two as the crowd tries to rally the Bad Guy. Ramon came back and punched away as Vince says he may be distracted by what went down last week with Bob Backlund forcing his way into an IC title match with Double J. Godwinn quickly reversed the tide and clubbed away as Vince plugged the Superstar Line and lets us know that they don’t start charging until you choose an option. Razor would get a backslide for two and after a break the two big men were trading heavy punches to the face. Ramon won the throw down and buried Godwinn with a clothesline before following with a bulldog off the middle rope for two. As Ramon looked primed for a win, Roadie sauntered out to the ring to distract the Bad Guy, allowing Godwinn to clobber him from behind. 1-2-3 Kid then showed up to even the odds and took out Roadie, distracting Godwinn. Razor took advantage of that and hit the Razor’s Edge for the win. That was a solid little brawl with some good storyline advancement mixed in as well. It was simple but sometimes that is effective enough for a match like this. Grade: *1/2

*** After the match, Razor Ramon chats with Vince McMahon about his concern over the Jeff Jarrett vs. Bob Backlund IC title match that could cost him his shot at WrestleMania. We then revisit last week where Barry Horowitz requested a rematch with Jeff Jarrett and Double J offered to put the gold on the line. However, before Horowitz could sign his name, Bob Backlund attacked him and signed the contract instead. Jim Cornette then leaves the commentary table to meet with the Heavenly Bodies. ***

*** We head back to Action Zone where Bam Bam Bigelow defeated Doink and also mocked Lawrence Taylor by doing a three point stance tackle. All Pro Team member Steve “Mongo” Michaels of the Green Bay Packers then heads out to join Vince McMahon at the announce table.***

2) King Kong Bundy defeats Adam Kroomes & Raven Clark after pinning Kroomes with the Avalanche at 2:40

Scott: To prepare for the Bigelow/LT match April 2 in Hartford, one of the Corporation’s biggest studs takes on two stiffs in a handicap match. Bundy is set to face the Undertaker at WrestleMania as we still have that subplot of Taker’s urn being absconded by the Corporation at the Royal Rumble and the Deadman trying to get it back. Steve McMichael joins Vince on commentary as Cornette left to prepare the Heavenly Bodies for their big match later in the show. McMichael is pretty funny with his drawl and his mocking of the Corporation members. Bundy wins easily, and then after the match Kama and McMichael gets into a scrum that has to be broken up by many officials. Vince does his babyface STOP IT STOP IT, which adds so much to the reality of it. If you’re wondering what the actual main event of WrestleMania XI was going to be, this may have been the tipping point. Grade: DUD

JT: As Mongo settles into the booth with Vince, King Kong Bundy ambles out for a handicap tussle with Adam Kroomes and Raven Clark. He should beat the shit out of them for those names alone. Mongo talks about Bundy calling out Reggie White and promises Reggie can mess him up. Bundy starts things off with Kroomes and batters him around as Mongo talks some more shit about the Corporation. He also promises the All Pro Team will get involved if the Corporation interferes. Vince reminds Mongo that Kama called him out specifically and Mongo jokes about his name. Bundy destroys both jamokes and grabs the win after an Avalanche. Bundy looks to be about as ready as he will ever be to battle Undertaker in Hartford. Grade: DUD

*** Kama heads out and confronts Steve McMichael, leading to a heated brawl between the two men that is eventually broken up by officials. ***

*** Todd Pettengill is in the house with this week’s WrestleMania XI Report. We are two weeks away and time is running out quickly so get those orders in today! Here are the matches discussed:

Diesel vs. Shawn Michaels – WWF Title
Razor Ramon vs. Jeff Jarrett – Intercontinental Title
Bret Hart vs. Bob Backlund – I Quit Match
Undertaker vs. King Kong Bundy
Lex Luger & British Bulldog vs. Jacob & Eli Blu

The following celebrities are also announced: Pam Anderson, Nicholas Turturro, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Jennifer McCarthy and more! Don’t miss it! ***

3) Smoking Gunns defeat Heavenly Bodies to retain WWF Tag Team Titles when Billy Gunns pins Jimmy Del Ray with a backslide at 11:30

Scott: The Gunns have been on Raw more since winning the tag titles than they were probably the previous two years. I’ve commented recently that the Bodies hadn’t had any real meaningful matches in the past year, but out of nowhere they get a title shot here. A clip is played of Oscar apologizing on behalf of Men on a Mission for attacking the Gunns after last week’s Action Zone title match, which the Gunns escaped with a win. You know what’s going to happen when the babyface manager has to apologize for his tag team doing heel things. The match is actually pretty solid, as the Gunns do have great chemistry and are dominating the match, until the commercial break. Then when return, Tom Prichard has a front facelock on Bart Gunn. This hold continues for the next few minutes (including a ghost babyface pin that the referee didn’t see). Gigolo Jimmy tags in and we get a reverse chin lock, as the match has started to grind down to a crawl. Eventually Billy Gunn gets the hot tag and the Gunns hit the finisher, but Cornette distracts the referee and Bodies break up the pinfall. Then, out of nowhere Billy Gunn gets a backslide for the three count, although Del Ray’s foot may have been on the rope, but at another angle it wasn’t. So the Gunns head to WrestleMania to face Owen Hart and his mystery partner. Grade: *1/2

JT: We head back to the ring as Jim Cornette has reemerged to introduce the Heavenly Bodies, who are gunning for tag team gold here tonight. As the Smoking Gunns jog out, Vince reminds us of Men on a Mission’s attack on the Gunns a week ago. Yesterday on Action Zone, Oscar then publicly apologized to the fans on behalf of his team. Vince promotes a special Home Shopping Network event next week where WrestleMania merchandise will be offered. We open up with Tom Prichard and Billy Gunn going at it with some back and forth offense that ends with a Gunn dropkick on both Prichard and Jimmy Del Ray. The Bodies regroup outside as Vince reminds us the Gunns will be taking on Owen Hart and a mystery partner in Hartford. When we restart, Prichard tries to chop away at Bart, but Bart comes right back at him with punches. Things ebb and flow from there with the Gunns taking most of the offense and working some quick tags in as well. Vince says Mongo is still heated backstage and discusses the big NFL vs. WWF WrestleMania showdown. He also talks about the speculation around who Owen’s mystery partner will be in two weeks time. The champs continue to dominate and keep the Bodies off balance until we return from a break and the challengers had taken over. Prichard clamps on a front face lock and then the Bodies use some classic heel tricks to double team and keep Bart trapped. They work him over for a few minutes until Bart is able to snap off a suplex but it wasn’t enough as Del Ray tagged in and cut him off. Del Ray would miss a dive off the top and make the tag but after a double clothesline, Bart was finally able to tag in Billy. Billy came in hot and mowed through both challengers and the champs followed up with the Sidewinder but some Cornette interference allowed Del Ray to bust up the cover by flying in off the top rope. Del Ray stayed in the ring and hit a DDT for two. He followed that with a jackknife pin but Billy bridged out and got a backslide for the win. The champs nab a hard fought win and now trek on to Mania for their biggest challenge to date. The Bodies gave it a go and are still solid fodder for the tag division but they are played out as legit threats at this point. Grade: **

*** We check out clips from Magic Johnson’s “March Magic” event in New York City, including appearances from some WWF superstars. ***

*** Vince McMahon and Jim Cornette promote next week’s Sunday Night Slam. We also hear comments from Lex Luger and Tatanka. ***

Final Analysis

Scott: More great hype all over the show, and some decent matches that put over the winners and the storylines for WrestleMania. I know with it being in Hartford it seems such a low rent show, but honestly 1995 seems like a stripped down year anyway so it seems to fit. The Smoking Gunns are finally getting what the deserve which is high profile TV tag title matches. Sure the Bodies are a bit worn out but it’s better than nothing. The tag division is a bit scattered right now but hopefully that works out. Jim Cornette has been a good complement to Vince as an announcer and hopefully he sticks around. Another fun episode, see you next week! Final Grade: B

JT: This was a fine episode of Raw with lots of hype for WrestleMania spread across the card, not just focusing on the top matches. The in ring action was fairly solid this week and I really dug the Mongo and Kama showdown, which helped further along Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Lawrence Taylor without needing them to be involved. The IC Title stuff was well done too with Razor Ramon showing some really good fire and anger about the potential that he could miss out on a title bout at Mania. Vince and Cornette have been really solid as a team and do a nice job furthering the angles while calling the matches. As much as I enjoyed Shawn Michaels in the booth, Cornette has been an improvement overall. Until next week! Final Grade: B-