Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 8/14/95

*** 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 #124

August 14, 1995
Worcester Memorial Auditorium
Worcester, MA
Announcers: Vince McMahon, Ted DiBiase & Dok Hendrix

1) Waylon Mercy defeated Doink the Clown via submission with the sleeper at 3:11

Scott: Doink is still with the company? He’s been sporadically around here on Raw for months now, pretty much aimless since that midget debacle back at Survivor Series. Waylon Mercy actually got some babyface cheers from the Worcester crowd as we are two weeks away from SummerSlam. During this match Vince McMahon and Ted DiBiase (doing commentary for Lawler) are debating whether Henry Godwinn is actually with the Corporation or not. To be honest, is there even a Corporation left? The main heels in the company right now are Mabel and Sid. But we haven’t seen Sid much, or any of DiBiase’s other flunkies like Tatanka & King Kong Bundy. This match is a glorified squash as Mercy really works the Clown over and ends the short sprint with a sleeper. This is probably it for Doink, as we have no Dink and no real fanfare like he used to be. The crowd is chanting “KILL THE CLOWN”. Maybe that means that the days of cheesy stupid gimmicks are over and Vince needs to deal with some real type characters, like Waylon Mercy! Grade: DUD

JT: Welcome back to another edition of Monday Night Raw and we are finally back live, this time coming at you from the Worcester Memorial Auditorium and just two scant weeks away from SummerSlam! Vince McMahon is steering this ship as always but this week, with Jerry Lawler in action, is flanked by Ted DiBiase in the booth. We open up with an interesting little match as the erstwhile Waylon Mercy ambles out for a match with the super stale Doink the Clown. Doink has had a lost 1995 and feels like a relic at this point, especially in comparison to the more complex Mercy. Doink is without Dink tonight and just seems kind of sad overall. His time is clearly up. DiBiase talks about how aggravated Sid is over being hosed out of his SummerSlam match with Shawn Michaels, admitting he may actually be psycho now because of it. Doink frustrates Waylon as DiBiase denies that Henry Godwinn is in the Corporation, a point which Vince harps on due to the hog farmer’s recent services. DiBiase rags on Godwinn, calling him cheap and dirty and “BLT breath”. Mercy eventually baits Doink in and decks him with a left hand to take over. Mercy batters the clown a bit more and then sinks in the sleeper for the win. Goodnight, Doink. The crowd loved that one and chanted “Kill the Clown” during the finish, and that effectively ends the run of the Doinkster. It has been an interesting three years for that gimmick but once Matt Borne left it was just never the same and became a goofy sideshow comedy character. And one that got played out quickly. Neither Doink nor Dink will be missed at this point as the time had come. Mercy grabs another win as he chugs along up the ladder. Grade: DUD

*** We check out a lengthy vignette for the soon to be debuting Goldust, and we actually see him for the first time. He is coated in gold paint, wearing gold clothes and has long blonde hair. He talks about Hollywood and legendary film stars before talking about coming to the WWF. ***

*** Ted DiBiase continues to trash Henry Godwinn, who then shows up in the aisle and marches to ringside. DiBiase tries to make nice but Godwinn wants none of it and ends up slopping DiBiase after making him beg on his knees a bit. Godwinn leaves as DiBiase flips out at the embarrassment. ***

2) The Smoking Gunns defeated Bill Garrett & Cody Wade when Billy Gunn pins Wade after the Sidewinder at 1:36

Scott: Dok Hendrix comes out to replace DiBiase on commentary after Henry Godwinn slopped the Corporate boss before commercial. Dok announces that the Gunns will face the Blu Brothers at Summerslam. Shouldn’t they be facing the champions? Why are they not pushed as the #1 babyface team? That’s pretty much what they are? They dispense of these stiffs pretty quickly. Grade: DUD

JT: We head back to the ring and see that Dok Hendrix has showed up to fill in for DiBiase, who left to get cleaned up. Doc says Sid is not going to be happy about any of this. The Smoking Gunns jog out for a tilt with Bill Garrett and Cody Wade but Dok tells us that the Gunns will battle the Blu Twins at SummerSlam. That is a random match but I guess we need to flesh out the depth of the division a bit and the Gunns back on a roll. Garrett has some unique airbrushed trunks. All they are missing is a yin yang sign and “4:20” sprayed across them. The Gunns make quick work here, polishing off Wade with the Sidewinder. They sure look fired up for Pittsburgh but we will see if it’s enough momentum to finally get another crack at the gold. Grade: DUD

*** Dean Douglas joins us from the classroom to give a stiff critique of a recent Bret Hart match. We then hear from Shawn Michaels about his big bout with Jerry Lawler later tonight. ***

3) Hunter Hearst Helmsley pinned Jeff Hardy with the Pedigree at 2:06

Scott: The Greenwich Blueblood takes on this kid with crazy tights that Dok Hendrix says looks like “The Partridge Family Bus”. I coined that for Fatu a couple weeks ago. Next week on Raw we will have Undertaker vs. Tatanka. Well I asked where Tatanka was and found out. Turns out Helmsley will face Bob Holly at SummerSlam in his PPV debut. The match was a quick squash, so let’s move on. Grade: DUD

JT: Back down to the ring and we are joined by Hunter Hearst-Helmsley, who is set to battle Jeff Hardy. Vince plugs the USA Movie of the Week, Stop or My Mom Will Shoot, airing this Thursday! Vince and Dok bag on Hardy’s tights and remind us that Helmsley is a undefeated and a tenacious competitor. Vince also plus the WWF’s presence on America Online and tells us that Vince himself will be online after Raw next week. That should be interesting. Helmsley drops Hardy with the Pedigree for the win and now sets his sights on Bob Holly at SummerSlam as the Blueblood makes his WWF PPV debut. Grade: DUD

*** Todd Pettengill joins us with this week’s SummerSlam Insider. The show is just a hair under two weeks away and the Igloo will be rocking. Here are the matches discussed:

Diesel vs. King Mabel – WWF Title Match
Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon – WWF Intercontinental Title Ladder Match
Bret Hart vs. Isaac Yankem, D.D.S.
Alundra Blayze vs. Bertha Faye – WWF Women’s Title Match
Undertaker vs. Kama
Barry Horowitz vs. Skip
1-2-3 Kid vs. Hakushi

Todd gives a lot of props to Gorilla Monsoon for running the WWF President’s office like a fan would and not playing politics. Get your order in today! ***

4) Henry Godwinn pinned Russ Greenberg with the Slop Drop at 0:56

Scott: I guess newly turned babyface Henry Godwinn takes on Connecticut native Russ Greenberg. The newest SummerSlam report announces that 1-2-3 Kid will face Hakushi and Skip will face Barry Horowitz. This match is less than a minute. Grade: DUD

JT: Next up, Henry Godwinn head to the ring for a second time tonight and he is set to battle Reuss Greenberg. During the break, Vince talks about the new WWF fall season and says WrestleMania: The Special will be leading the way. Godwinn wrecks Greenberg and then slops him as he embarks on his newly minted face run. Grade: DUD

*** We pay a visit to Isaac Yankem’s dentist office, where he and Jerry Lawler are torturing a patient and issuing warnings to Bret Hart. ***

*** Barry Didinsky is backstage plugging the brand new WWF Mad Caps, including a rare uncut sheet of 66 caps. It also includes a gold plated slammer. If you purchase this today, you get a free three month WWF Magazine subscription too. As Barry does his thing, Savio Vega and 1-2-3 Kid were playing a hot Mad Cap game behind him. ***

5) WWF IC Champion Shawn Michaels defeated Jerry Lawler via disqualification at 8:34

Scott: I’m actually kind of looking forward to this match, as we haven’t really seen Jerry Lawler face any real competition outside of Bret Hart in a while. Lawler’s hair is atrocious, as it’s not even a mullet, almost like a rat tail on steroids. Early on it’s mostly Shawn Michaels doing goofy parlor tricks and tripping Lawler for gags. Lawler almost hits a piledriver but Shawn ducks out of it. As has been hinted all night, out comes Sid to ringside. The distraction give Lawler the advantage and he works Shawn over with suplexes and strikes. Sid stalks around the ring with the IC belt in his hand. It still makes no sense that Gorilla Monsoon (in kayfabe) took the title shot away from him. Backstage we know why they did it, but we will leave it at that. Lawler keeps working Shawn over until he misses a top rope splash and Shawn takes over with his comeback moves, like the nip up, clothesline, elbow combo. Shawn hits Sweet Chin Music, but Sid comes in to attack Shawn to force the DQ. Sid works Shawn over in the ring until out comes…Razor Ramon? He saves Shawn from further business. Razor is rocking the banana yellow tights combo. Dok smartly says Razor should sit back and let Shawn get beat up. After the match, Shawn and Razor start jawing with each other until Diesel comes out to get the peace. Grade: **

JT: It is time for our final bout of the evening, a match weeks in the making as Jerry Lawler challenges Shawn Michaels for the IC Title. Lawler slowly walks to the ring, sniping at the crowd along the way as Dok tells us he saw the King chatting up Sid backstage earlier. During all this, we hear from Barry Didinsky as he pushes Mad Caps and also see Vince and Dok plug Stridex at ringside. Quite the wild ride here. Michaels dances out as Vince hard sells the big ladder rematch coming in two weeks time. Of course, Michaels was dinged up by Mabel a week ago so he has to hope he escapes this one healthy before the SummerSlam showdown. We start with some feeling out and a lock up and from there Michaels played some games with Lawler, who started to stooge around. The comedy bits lasted for a bit but things got a bot more serious as Sid stalked down to ringside and grabbed the IC title belt. While Dok gloated about being right, Michaels blocked a piledriver and continued to batter the King. With Shawn starting to get distracted, Lawler reversed a whip and sent the champ hard to the corner and up and over to the floor. After a break, Lawler was working over the back as Dok said the King and Sid haven’t played the trump card yet and wondered what could happen if Razor Ramon showed up now too. Lawler landed a DDT and grabbed a near fall but then whiffed on a punch off the middle rope. Shawn heated up and started to unload his usual offense, mowing through the King with aggression. Michaels followed with Sweet Chin Music but Lawler toppled to the floor and Sid slid in the floor and wiped Shawn out. Sid continued to beat on Shawn, dropping him with a stiff chokeslam but that ended when Ramon showed up and made the save. Sid bolted and then Ramon and Shawn had a staredown while each tugging on the belt until Diesel showed up to keep the peace. The match was kind of bland and never really got in gear as the focus was all around Sid and SummerSlam. The was actually a bit disappointing given all the build over the past couple weeks. Either way, Michaels retains and is now ready for the Igloo and his huge WrestleMania X rematch. Grade: *1/2

Final Analysis:

Scott: A lot of highlights in this episode, like the main event and the strangely entertaining Waylon Mercy. I can’t wrap my head around the character, but maybe that’s a good thing. I liked Dok Hendrix on commentary as its a change of pace from the sometimes annoying Jerry Lawler. The squashes are pretty awful and I still don’t understand why the Smoking Gunns aren’t facing Owen Hart & Yokozuna at SummerSlam. It makes no sense. They’re the only legit babyface team and instead we are getting put together singles guys. The Lawler/Michaels match was a bit disappointing but with Lawler I’m not surprised. SummerSlam isn’t really inspiring me so far, except for the weird rebook by Gorilla Monsoon to have a Shawn/Razor ladder rematch. Kayfabe-wise it makes no sense but is obviously an in-ring upgrade. Another warm water Raw that’s neither great nor terrible. Final Grade: C

JT: Thankfully this show was live because the hot crowd and fresh feel put a fresh coat of paint on what was a pretty bland episode. I mean, a lot happened, don’t get me wrong, and they are doing a nice job of building SummerSlam but in ring there wasn’t much to get excited about and we still aren’t really keeping focus on a holistic basis. The company seems to be in an identity crisis at the moment, trying to figure out what it is. That is clear by the pushing of Gorilla Monsoon as the fan-friendly interim president who makes changes on a whim to ensure the card doesn’t suck, an issue that plagued the company earlier in the summer. I am glad that they are reacting to feedback and trying to improve but it is certainly leading to an odd presentation. We still rarely see the top guns on a regular basis and with just two weeks to go until SummerSlam, we have segments focusing on guys that are nowhere near the show (Waylon Mercy, Henry Godwinn). Also, while I wasn’t expecting a classic, the main event was pretty rushed and disappointing considering they built it up a decent amount the last couple weeks. I will be curious where the focus lies during the go home show next week but as of now this is very much a company in flux. At least the clown is dead. Until next time… Final Grade: C-

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