Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 4/3/95

*** 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 #105

April 3, 1995
Mid-Hudson Civic Center
Poughkeepsie, NY
Announcers: Vince McMahon & Jim Cornette

*** We open the show with still photos of what went down at WrestleMania XI last night. ***

1) Hakushi defeats Bob Holly with a running senton at 6:43

Scott: It is always great when we have a live Raw after a PPV, as Poughkeepsie is jacked up for the post-WrestleMania show that makes Jim Cornette smile, as he now manages the new Tag Team Champions. Last night Owen Hart & Yokozuna defeated the Smoking Gunns. Yoko was the mystery partner and it gives Owen Hart his first championship. More on the other titles later in the show, but right now we have the Modern Day Kamikaze taking on the Spark Plug. It’s so nice to have a fresh Raw after a major PPV so we can actually talk about it instead of being generic with the comments on a show that’s weeks old. Hakushi is a big get for Vince because the roster needs some more legit in-ring workers to counter all the characters and fluff still floating around here. I had a feeling Hakushi would win this because I feel like we are really seeing some galvanizing of other heels outside of the Corporation. Vince was talking about an altercation between Bret Hart and Hakushi. Now that’s a match I’d like to see. Grade: *

JT: Hey! We are live! And we are just one night removed from a very interesting WrestleMania in Hartford and I am sure there will be plenty of fallout here this evening. Vince McMahon and Jim Cornette are in the booth to navigate us through this night of action in Poughkeepsie and the crowd is fired up and ready to rock. Cornette is gloating and giddy about his brand new WWF Tag Team Champions, Owen Hart & Yokozuna, and we will learn more about that as the weeks unfold. We open things up with Hakushi battling the yo-yoing Bob Holly, a wrestler that has bounced up and down the card during his time in the WWF. Hakushi, however, is on the come up and seems poised for a big post Mania push. We learn about Holly’s upcoming racing adventures as he and his buddy 1-2-3 Kid jog to the ring for this one. As Hakushi and Shinja shuffle out, Vince reminds us of the recent confrontation between the White Angel and Bret Hart, who knocked off Bob Backlund last night. Cornette gives Shinja props as things get underway in the ring. Holly works a side headlock and then buries Hakushi with a shoulder block before kicking away and leveling Hakushi with a pair of dropkicks. Hakushi resets but Holly maintains control, staying one step ahead of the Angel, who is now favoring his back. Holly worked the arm as Vince talked about his versatility and recent successes. Hakushi finally turns the tide with a quick knee lift and then went to work punishing the back. Holly dodged a charge and headed up top, he then whiffed on a cross body, crashing hard to the mat. As we headed to break, Owen Hart and Yokozuna sauntered out to scout the action. When we returned, Hakushi was firmly in control, working the arm of Spark Plug. Vince says Billy Gunn’s ribs were injured last night but he should be back in action soon. Hakushi grabs near falls as he keeps beating and grinding the arm. Vince grills Cornette on why the champs are out here and he says they are here to keep an eye on the Kid at ringside. And right as Cornette said that, Owen closed in on Kid, who met him with a big jump kick. However, Yoko backed up his partner and kicked Kid from behind, leaving him in a heap on the floor. In the ring, Holly blocked a superplex and hit a flying clothesline to even things up. Holly popped up and came at Hakushi with a flurry, picking up a two count and then cracking him with a dropkick. Holly kept working at it until Yoko got involved and tripped him from outside. Hakushi pounced, leapt on Holly with a senton splash and nabbed the win. Cornette rationalizes his team’s actions as Hakushi celebrates his win. This was a decent little opener that kept chugging along and all of the action on the floor helped keep the excitement up as well. Both men were focused in their attacks and hit everything with pretty good precision. Hakushi grabs a win with some help from his pals as he continues to set his eyes on the Hitman. Grade: **

*** Jim Ross joins us with a special WrestleMania XI Report, hitting all the big highlights of what unfolded in Hartford. We also see clips from the post show press conference. ***

*** Vince McMahon heads to the ring for a chat with the WWF Champion Diesel, who successfully defended his title against Shawn Michaels last night. Vince says the WWF New Generation is running on Diesel Power and congratulates the champ on his win. He also mentions that Michaels requested a rematch and Diesel says if it wasn’t for Sid interfering and injuring the referee last night, things may have gone differently. There were lots of questions in that match last night and as a result Michaels deserves a rematch. Vince notes the controversies of the bout and he thinks the past friendship of Diesel and Michaels played a role in the match. Diesel talks about their relationship and how close they were and admits it clouded him during the bout. He officially offers Michaels the rematch but warns him that Sid is not Shawn’s friend and is only out for himself and says he should leave Sid home for the rematch. ***

2) Allied Powers defeat Well Dunn when Lex Luger pins Steven Dunn with the running forearm at 3:44

Scott: This newly put together team of Lex Luger & British Bulldog debuted last night and defeated the Blu Brothers in one of the most forgettable opening matches in WrestleMania history. What a fall from grace from Luger, who one year ago was a co-#1 contender for the WWF Title and now is in a forgotten tag team. Bulldog is fine doing whatever the company asks of him to do, but Luger always feels like a top flight star who probably thinks he should be AT WORST Intercontinental Champion. How did nobody tell Well Dunn how awful those tights were? I mean sure we need some awful jobbers in the mix but wow those are horrible. This match is crap, and the faces win. Grade: DUD

JT: We head back down to the ring as Lex Luger and British Bulldog, now dubbed the Allied Powers, power walk to the ring with their great mash up theme to battle the lingering Well Dunn, a team with name value that has accomplished very little during their stint. The Powers knocked off the Blu Twins in Hartford last night and are looking to keep on a roll here. Vince teases Cornette that the Powers could be the future of the tag team division soon enough. Bulldog and Well open up and trade some strikes until Bulldog press slams him into his corner. Dunn tags in but Luger helps the double team and cleans Well right out. The Powers take turns pummeling Dunn as Vince talks about last night’s opener and Cornette says they have some momentum from Hartford. Some trickery gives Well Dunn control and they take turns working Luger over with strikes until Lex decked Dunn and dove into the tag. Bulldog came in hot and mowed through Dunn until things broke down into a brawl. Bulldog flipped Dunn over with a back drop and then hoisted him up so Luger could pelt him with the forearm for the win. This existed as a tag match. Bulldog and Luger do have good chemistry and its a good usage of two guys that would otherwise be a bit aimless. This along with Yoko and Owen teaming also gives the tag division some much needed juice and star power, so that was a plus too. Also, Vince mixed up Well and Dunn throughout the whole match, showing that Well Dunn is, well, done. Grade: 1/2*

*** We hear from some of the celebrities that were there in attendance in Hartford gushing over taking part in WrestleMania. ***

3) Alundra Blayze defeats Bull Nakano to win WWF Women’s Title with a German suplex at 6:41

Fun Fact: The women’s title changed hands back on 11/20/94 in Tokyo, Japan. Since that time, these two women have been off of TV and battling each other on the house show circuit. Tonight, Blayze finally gets her rematch in front of the cameras. This will be Bull Nakano’s final match in the WWF before heading to WCW and AJPW.

Scott: We haven’t seen these outstanding athletes on Raw in months. The title switch was back in November in Japan and we really haven’t heard much about them since, but here is Alundra’s long awaited rematch. Smart move to have a title match on the Raw after Mania, with a hot crowd in the WWF’s backyard of Poughkeepsie. This match comes right out of the gate with hot action as Nakano grinds and Blayze flies around the ring and keeps the movement going. I thought the match was over when Bull hit the top rope leg drop but Blayze kicked out which made me think perhaps we see a new champion. I just remembered we saw Bull with Jerry Lawler a few weeks ago against Bret Hart but not in action for a while. Bull goes for a 450 Splash but misses and Blayze hits a German Suplex pin for the victory and now a two time Women’s Champion. That was a fun, quick sprint that needs to be seen. Perhaps they will be on Raw more often now. Just as we were going to commercial, Blayze is attacked by a huge woman dressed in leather coming out of the crowd. That was a cool, unpredictable moment that hasn’t happened on Raw in a while. Grade: **1/2

JT: We are right back into the ring for our next match, another big one here tonight as the Women’s Title is on the line. Vince notes that Jim Cornette is MIA as our champion Bull Nakano stands tall in the ring awaiting her challenger. Alundra Blayze would jog to the ring, fired up and ready to regain the gold that was ripped from her in November. It has been a while since we have seen the ladies on TV consistently although Bull did make her presence known at ringside antagonize Bret Hart earlier this year. Cornette returns as Bull jumps Alundra at the bell, working her over with clubbing blows. Bull headed up to the top rope but Alundra popped up and snapped her down with a head scissors takeover. Cornette revealed that he has an official contract signed for a huge match for next week: Bret Hart, Bob Holly & 1-2-3 Kid vs. Owen Hart, Yokozuna & Hakushi. That should be a hot piece of business. Bull regained her composure and cut down the challenger with a clothesline and then chucked her across the ring by her hair. Cornette says this is like Beauty & The Beast and that he thinks Bull is the beauty. Nakano keeps bringing the assault, dropping a leg for two and then twisting her into a modified surfboard type submission. Blayze eventually came back by snapping Bull to the mat with three clotheslines and then followed with a leg lariat. The challenger hit the middle rope and landed a dropkick and followed with a second one for two. Blayze tried a sunset flip but Bull dropped down hard on her chest for two and then went to a tight bow & arrow style submission hold. Blayze held on tight until Bull released but the champion continued to maul her. Bull headed up top but Alundra met her with a single leg dropkick that knocked the champ to the floor. Alundra dove out on top of her and slid back in. Bull returned and caught Alundra coming at her and powerbombed her hard to the mat for two. Bull slammed Blayze and hit the top rope but leveled Alundra with a leg drop for another close near fall. Bull tried for a German suplex but Blayze rolled through into a cradle for two. The challenger blocked another one and then hit a perfect bridging German of her own for two. Blayze followed with a second one for another near fall and then headed up top but Bull just kicked her to the floor. Bull tried to dive out into Blayze but the challenger dodged her and she splattered hard on the mat. Blayze hoisted her up and took her over with another German on the floor in a nice spot. Bull recovered and slung Blayze into the steps and then dragged her back inside. Bull slammed Blayze and hit the top rope again but came up empty on a moonsault. Blayze popped up and lifted Bull up into another bridging German, this time nabbing the win and strap. Suplex city, bitch! As Blayze celebrated, a mysterious bruising woman in face paint hopped in the ring and messed her up, leaving her laying in a quivering pool. Looks like a new challenger is in order. This was a great match and a hidden gem. It was a real sprint from bell to bell with some big high spots mixed in, especially Bull’s dive to the floor. The Germans were all well executed too and I really dug the finish. These two have some nice chemistry and have put on the best women’s matches on WWF TV in a decade. If this is it or Bull she has had a nice little run even though we didn’t get to see her often. Grade: ***1/2

4) Men on a Mission defeat Tony Roy & Ben Jordan

Fun Fact: On 3/12 on the Action Zone, Men on a Mission started their heel turn by attacking the Smoking Gunns after a loss. A couple of weeks later on the 3/26 episode of Wrestling Challenge, MOM apologized for their attack on the Gunns and invited them out to the ring so they could shake hands. When the tag champs made it to the ring, MOM again attacked them as well as their own manager, Oscar, who subsequently retired from wrestling after the turn. Oscar did not agree with the heel turn and decided to leave the company. He stated later in an interview that he wanted to be a positive and didn’t believe in the team turning into thugs.

Scott: So it looks like Men on a Mission are heels, as they ditched Oscar and are attacking their opponents before the bell. This was probably a smart thing as they were getting stale as babyfaces. And of course Vince expects BIG things out of Mabel down the line. Grade: DUD

JT: Back to the ring for our final match of the evening as the newly heel turned Men on a Mission amble out to face Tony Roy and Ben Jordan. Of course they are without Mo, who they assaulted on Action Zone after snapping and beating down the Smoking Gunns the week before. They still have their upbeat music and face look though. Mo and Mabel jump Roy and Jordan before the bell and viciously smother Jordan once things settle down. Cornette calls Oscar “The Round Mound of Sound” and says they were smart to ditch him. Both MOM members have eliminated the hair dye too and are sporting black hair only now. They destroy Jordan until he tags Roy, who experiences the same ugliness. Vince and Cornette talk about the big WWF house giveaway that will go down at our brand new May PPV. Mabel eventually finishes Roy with a belly-to-belly for the easy victory. Cornette says the Gunns better be on high alert and Vince thinks they could have their eyes on the tag gold as well. Grade: DUD

*** We check out footage of the Orlando, FL house the WWF is giving away at the new May PPV, In Your House. The details are then provided for how to enter the contest. ***

*** Vince McMahon heads to the ring for a chat with Shawn Michaels and Pyscho Sid. Michaels says his back is screaming, he is sore head to toe and feels like he has been run over by a steamroller. Michaels says he isn’t the only one that had trouble forgetting about their friendship last night and he had a hard time focusing throughout. As a WWF competitor, he knows nothing is more important than the WWF Title and he graciously accepts the rematch. When he wins, he will return the rematch favor. Vince asks about Sid and Diesel’s comments from earlier. Michaels says he can live his life just fine without a bodyguard and he got here because of himself. He doesn’t need a bodyguard, especially one that causes the referee to get hurt and screw him out of the title. As far as the rematch goes, Michaels is going to do Sid a favor and give him the night off. Sid snaps and calls Michaels a stupid little puke and says Michaels is believing the nonsense he is saying. Vince tries to go to break but Sid cuts him off and says Michaels doesn’t give him the night off, he only gives him respect. We then cut to break and when we return, Michaels is out cold and Diesel is brawling with Sid. That is all we find out as we leave for the night. ***

Final Analysis

Scott: For the first time we actually have a legit great Raw the night after WrestleMania. The first two years of Raw we had canned Raws after Mania and any momentum the company had out of the big show was stopped. Now we had a Raw that kept things going, and nothing was bigger than what happened to Shawn Michaels. The three powerbombs from Sid marked the long awaited face turn for the Heartbreak Kid and the reuniting of he and Big Daddy Cool. Sid is one of my favorite big men but in this 1995 WWF will he be able to act like the Sid from 1992 or even in WCW/NWA? Time will tell. Diesel is still the Champ, and I wonder if heel Sid is the new challenger. Men on a Mission are fresh heels who could be used as both a tag team and with Mabel in singles. That was experimented with in 1994 as a face. What about Bret Hart? The Backlund feud is over, but will he get another shot at Diesel? Or will the Jerry Lawler feud continue? So the WWF finally catches up to WCW and has some secondary PPVs for a discounted rate. That is needed in modern day wrestling. The problem is the roster is a little thin so these shows will have to be short or else there will be some pretty weak matches. Time will tell. We even get a nice title change for Alundra Blayze, and a new fresh heel challenger for her apparently. Poor Bull Nakano. For once we had a nice fresh Raw after a big PPV and it works very well. Final Grade: B+

JT: Well now, this was a pretty hopping episode of Raw with lots going on. It had a really fresh feel with all of the WrestleMania fallout blended into the beginning of some new storylines. We saw our brand new tag team champions make their presence known and also set up future contenders for them in the Allied Powers. Hakushi made a statement as well and we will see his issue with Bret Hart continue next week. The Women’s Title match was a real hidden gem and crackled the whole way through, leading to the title change and arrival of a new challenger. And of course the final segment saw a huge development as not only is Shawn Michaels slated for a rematch with Diesel, he also basically fired Sid, who snapped and laid him out. Looks like we are back to Michaels and Diesel being buddies now. I did think Shawn suddenly admitting that he struggled wrestling his friend at Mania was a bit off given his brash nature. He showed no inkling of caring about that at all until this show so it just felt like a convenient mechanism to ignite the face turn more than anything else. I wish he showed at least a glimpse of it leading into Hartford. Either way, it was still well done and makes sense since the crowd was clearly ready to cheer the Heartbreak Kid. It will be interesting to see how he coexists with Diesel going forward. This was a jam packed episode and we didn’t even have a bunch of stars in the mix, so maybe things are looking up as we build toward our first ever May PPV. Final Grade: B+

Leave a Reply