Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 9/18/95

*** 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 #127

September 18, 1995 (Taped August 28, 1995)
Canton Civic Center
Canton, OH
Announcers: Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler

Monday Night War Report: WCW Monday Nitro this week takes place one night after WCW’s Fall Brawl PPV, emanating from Freedom Hall in Johnson City, TN. The results were as followed: 1) Marcus Alexander Bagwell & Scotty Riggs defeated WCW World Tag Team Champions Harlem Heat (w/ Sister Sherri) to win the Tag Titles (4:40); 2) Paul Orndorff pinned Johnny B. Badd (6:40); 3) Ric Flair defeated Brian Pillman via submission (5:24). Raw would rebound after last week’s loss to squeak out a win this week, 2.5 to 2.4.

Head-to-Head Ratings Scorecard: Nitro 1 – Raw 1

1) The 1-2-3 Kid defeats Razor Ramon after a Dean Douglas top rope splash at 7:08

Fun Fact: Last week, 1-2-3 Kid interfered in Razor Ramon’s match and accidentally hit Razor as he came off the top rope trying to hit Davey Boy Smith. After the match, the two argued with each other. Kid said nobody took him seriously when he first beat Razor in 1993, and he challenged Razor to another match, which Razor accepted for this week.

Scott: We open with a rematch long overdue. Back in May 1993, Razor Ramon was a heel and the 1-2-3 Kid was a plucky jobber. Kid pulled off the upset and now two and a half years later they are both babyfaces and friends. I just realized as Vince McHaon said it that this Sunday is IYH #3. Then I recalled we lost two weeks of shows because of the US Open on USA Network. Jerry Lawler is fully in the Kid’s corner during this match, which tells me that a Kid heel turn may be in the offing somewhere down the line. The match is back and forth and when we went to commercial Kid had Razor in a sleeper until Razor recovered and got out of it. Both men are down and with the Canton crowd on their feet, Razor starts to really lay into Kid with some strikes as Vince says Razor actually isn’t going full steam because they are friends. At one point, Razor is in the ring on his back as the Kid is outside with the referee. Down the ramp comes Dean Douglas, who hits a splash on Razor, then escapes. The Kid crawls into the ring, drapes his arm over the fallen Razor and gets the three count. The Bad Guy is now more determined than ever to get the evil teacher. Grade: *1/2

JT: We waltz into week two of the new fall season, still in Canton, with a big night of action ahead of us. This is a very special Thursday night episode of Raw and Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler have the call as usual and welcome us right into our very interesting opening match, which features two close friends going to battle after a skirmish a week ago. Of course, there is tons of history between 1-2-3 Kid and Razor Ramon and most of it has been woven into the very fabric of Raw. Kid chugs out first, looking to remind everyone that he isn’t just some lucky kid. Ramon saunters to the ring next and Vince hypes up his big match with Dean Douglas at IYH3. Kid jumps Ramon as he gets in the ring and quickly sends him back to the floor to gain his bearings. Razor charges back in and Kid outquicks him until the Bad Guy catches him on a cross body and then sends him flying with a big fallaway slam off the middle rope. Ramon keeps overpowering and hammering away at Kid as we get more IYH3 talk. King wonders if Kid has aligned himself with Douglas at all but Vince thinks he just wants respect from his friend and mentor. Ramon starts to work the arm and then crushes Kid with a hard uranage for two. Kid starts to mount a comeback and clocks Ramon with a spin kick for one. He follows up by jumping on Ramon’s back and hooking a sleeper, hanging on to the hold through a break. Ramon broke the hold and turned up the heat, burying Kid in the corner with a clothesline. Vince thinks Razor is holding back on his friend here and things start to get dicey when the ref gets wiped out during a collision. With everyone down, Douglas showed up and hit a big splash off the top rope on the Bad Guy before sneaking away. Kid and the ref both recovered and Kid would cover the prone Ramon for the upset win. The crowd was in shock at that one. I really enjoyed that match as it was well structured and hard hitting, especially during Ramon’s heat segment. It isn’t a shock that these guys have great chemistry but it is always fun to watch it play out. I liked the finish too as Kid gets his win but the IYH3 match gets a big heat boost. Grade: **

*** We go backstage, where a sweaty Dean Douglas is in his classroom. He gives 1-2-3 Kid a “D” for “dumb” and Razor Ramon an “E” for “elevate”, which is trying to do by taking on the Dean. He also gives him self an “A” and says Ramon will get an “N” on Sunday as it will be a no brainer who will win that match. ***

2) Tatanka & Kama defeat Savio Vega & Bob Holly when Kama pins Holly with a powerslam at 5:47

Scott: Interesting little tag team match here as two Corporate members face the Puerto Rican legend and the race car driver. This is rare for the WWF to have such a short amount of time to promote a PPV, even more so that this show was on a Thursday so that means only three days until IYH. The discussion on commentary centers around Henry Godwinn, who’s now on a mission to slop the entire Corporation, who at this point is nothing more than a bunch of glorified mid-card guys. This match is pretty good though as both teams are going back and forth until Kama recovers from a missile dropkick to reverse a cross body into a powerslam for the victory. Kama (and the Corporation) gets the much needed win. Sid faces Henry Godwinn on Sunday, a far cry from title matches with Diesel. Grade: *

JT: We head right back to the ring as Ted DiBiase leads out the very stale team of Tatanka and Kama for a battle with Savio Vega and Bob Holly. We head back to Superstars, where Henry Godwinn slopped DiBiase in advance of his match with Psycho Sid. Lawler reminds us that Vega is battling Waylon Mercy this Sunday and doesn’t think that match will go very well. Tatanka and Savio open things up and the Caribbean Legend gets off to a hot start, working over both men before sending Kama careening to the floor. Things reset as Holly and Kama tag in and we get a rather sloppy exchange between the two. Holly started to work the arm and then tagged in Savio but Kama caught him with a right hand. Tatanka tagged in and then bailed outside as Savio was picking up steam. We get some good heel work as Tatanka heads across the floor and trips up Holly, which allowed Kama to nail Savio from behind. The Million Dollar boys snuck in some double teams as Holly argued with the ref, gaining full control of the proceedings. Kama and Tatanka would dominate Vega for a minute or so until Savio and Tatanka collided heads, wiping both men out. Both would recover and make tags, with Holly coming in hot and landing the first shot, rattling the big man. Holly followed with a missile dropkick for two and then things broke down. Holly came flying off the top rope with a cross body but Kama caught him and awkwardly slammed him down for the win. This was a sloppy mess from bell to bell, especially when Kama and Holly were in there as they just didn’t mesh at all. Tatanka feels like a relic at this point and this whole match felt pretty aimless overall. Not much going on here. Grade: 1/2*

*** Razor Ramon is backstage and vows to take out Dean Douglas this Sunday night. ***

3) Jean-Pierre Lafitte defeated Brian Walsh with a somersault cannonball at 3:18

Scott: While this squash is going on, Vince is on the phone with Bret Hart, who will be facing Lafitte on Sunday in Saginaw. This all stems from Lafitte stealing glasses from kids and taking Bret’s jacket on Superstars. Wow this PPV is being totally rush booked with matches being slapped together at random. Lafitte wins, and is ready for the Hitman Sunday. Grade: DUD

JT: We go right back to the ring as Jean-Pierre Lafitte stalks to the ring, toting along Bret Hart’s jacket. Vince recaps the history between the pirate and the Hitman as Brian Walsh actually lands a couple of shots in. As Lafitte takes over, Bret Hart calls in from the set of Lonesome Dove. Hart makes some pirate jokes and then takes Lafitte to task for how he treats the young fans. Lafitte batters Walsh as Hart says the pirate will go down for all the stealing he has been doing of late. Hart hangs up and Lafitte finishes Walsh with a nice somersault cannonball. Lafitte has been sure and steady since debuting but finally gets his breakthrough chance on Sunday. Grade: DUD

*** Vince McMahon narrates through the history between King Mabel and Diesel to show the rise of Men on a Mission. ***

4) Owen Hart & Yokozuna defeat Men on a Mission in a non-title match when Hart pinned Mo after a Yokozuna legdrop at 9:30

Scott: Finally, we have two heel tag teams brawling it out here, but no titles are on the line so why would the fans care who wins the match? Just because Vince wants to see Yoko & Mabel in the ring together? Who cares? We already know that Owen can wrestle circles around Mo, so all in all this match could be an utter slog. It is cool to see the last two KOTR winners in the ring together. Owen & Yoko seems to be coming off as the babyface team in terms of structure, as they are the ones getting double teamed behind the referee’s back. Probably because even though he’s a heel, Owen Hart is a popular wrestler with the fans. Then again, Mo is getting double teamed a few minutes later. So maybe it’s just four cheating jerks trying to out “jerk” each other. The crowd is a bit timid until Yoko & Mabel start slugging it out. Yoko is heavier but Mabel is taller. Owen ends up pinning Mo after interference from Yokozuna. The match was frighteningly fun. Grade: **

JT: We head back to the ring for our final match of the evening as our Tag Team Champions make their way out, flanked by Mr. Fuji and Jim Cornette as always. Men on a Mission are already in the ring and Vince ensures us the ring has been reinforced here tonight. This is a pretty interesting match on paper, with both teams quite disliked by the fans and also due to the physical constitution of each unit. We get the showdown between Mabel and Yoko and then each time gathers and sets themselves. We open with Owen and Mo and they trade some offense, with both looking fairly crisp in their attacks. Mo snaps off a nice powerslam and then tags Mabel, who just spikes Owen to the mat by his hair and then kicks away. Owen would dodge an avalanche in the corner and then hammer away until the King shoved him back hard to the mat. The crowd certainly seems to be backing the champs here as Vince gives a final sell for IYH3 this weekend. Mo and Mabel take turns tagging in and out and putting a beating on Owen as we find out Diesel’s back is still dinged up from SummerSlam. Owen would block a sloppy Mo sunset flip attempt for two and then chuck Mo over the top to the floor, allowing him to finally tag Yoko. Yoko power walked into the ring and beckoned Mabel, but that just allowed Owen to batter Mo on the floor. That was a great heel spot right there. Owen shoved Mo back in and Yoko went right to work, viciously beating him down as the crowd buzzed a bit. After a break, Owen and Mo both went for a spin kick and whiffed, careening hard to the mat. They would both tag and Yoko and Mabel met in the center of the ring like two bulls colliding as the crowd popped. Mabel won the battle and actually worked over both champs before tagging Mo right back in. After a double clothesline by MOM, Mo peppered some shots until Owen kicked him in the back to kill his momentum. Yoko clotheslined Mo down and Owen hit a missile dropkick for a close near fall. Owen followed with a neckbreaker but Mo came back with a superplex for two. Things broke down with all four brawling but Mabel would get knocked to the floor, allowing Owen to trip up Mo and Yoko to drop the leg to give the champs the win. This was much better than it had any right to be with a much quicker pace than I expected. Mo was sloppy in spots as usual but he hung right with Owen throughout and the back-and-forth structure kept it moving. The Mabel/Yoko spots were also well done and the crowd pop for the big collision was a cool moment. I definitely enjoyed this more than I expected to heading in, so kudos there. The champs now move on to an incredibly high stakes match on Sunday. Grade **

*** Diesel and Shawn Michaels are backstage and talk all about their big Triple Header match on Sunday night at In Your House #3. Vince McMahon then gets in the ring to talk to Jim Cornette, Yokozuna and Owen Hart and they also give their thoughts on the Triple Header match. ***

Final Analysis:

Scott: With not much time to promote a PPV on Raw, this show did seem very rushed. The first match and the last match were entertaining enough but the announcing is the important thing here because the guys are trying to promote this PPV that had no real build on Monday nights because of the time off the show had to endure. Diesel’s title reign is really starting to fatigue but here he siphons off the hotter Shawn Michaels. Razor and The Kid are on a collision course down the line. A decent show and we are off to Saginaw! Final Grade: C+

JT: This was a tidy little go home edition of Raw and I have been enjoying the refreshed product since the new fall season launched. The graphics, the flow, the feel and just the overall look needed a change and we got it. They are pretty much embracing that they are taped some weeks now, including showing clips of what is to come throughout the night and it seems to be working for now. The roster is also fluctuating a bit, which is helping to keep things fresher too. We had two solid matches bookending the show and plenty of final hype for In Your House, which looks to be a decent enough show on paper. The main event here was pretty fun and was the best Mabel has looked since his big push began. And honestly I think that shows he is best used as a tag wrestler that can dominate in spurts. If he had a better partner, they could have had something more there. That said, all the gold is on the line this Sunday night, we will see if we have new champions in place next week on Raw. Until then… Final Grade: B-

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