-For those that complain about the WWE turning RAW into a TV sitcom you should take note that this was heralded as the â€œnew fall seasonâ€ of Monday Night Raw (and WWF Superstars as well). Thereâ€™s a reason for that as Iâ€™ll explain on the bottom of this review. The show starts off with a new graphic for the matches and the crazy, yet cool, introduction that had wrestlers battling on top of WWF headquarters. Tonight, Shawn Michaels faces off against Sid because Michaels won the return ladder match with Razor Ramon at SummerSlam. Meanwhile, the newly turned heel British Bulldog, who is sporting a new haircut, fights Ramon.
-Vince McMahon and Jerry â€œthe Kingâ€ Lawler are on commentary for another taped edition of Raw.
–Opening Contest: â€œThe Bad Guyâ€ Razor Ramon vs. The British Bulldog (w/Jim Cornette):
Footage is shown of Ramon attacking Dean Douglas after SummerSlam because he did not like the grade he received for his match. Donâ€™t we all wish we couldâ€™ve done that to some of our high school teachers? Ramon tosses his tooth pick at Cornette and then works the Bulldogâ€™s arm to start. Ramon then clotheslines the Bulldog over the top rope. The Bulldog stalls for a bit and when he comes back in Ramon continues the assault on the arm. After a minute of that, the Bulldog reverses a whip into the buckles and pinballâ€™s Ramon between them before delivering his sweet vertical suplex. The Bulldog delivers some forearms to the back but Ramon gets a fist off the ropes. However, Ramon puts his head down too early on a whip and the Bulldog drives his head into the mat. The Bulldog then gets two off of a clothesline. The Bulldog gorilla press slams Ramon and we go to a commercial break.
We return with the Bulldog slamming Ramon for two. The Bulldog lifts Ramon for the running powerslam but Ramon grabs the top rope to block it and falls on top of the Bulldog for a fluke two count. The Bulldog delivers another slam and goes to the top rope but Ramon tosses him off. Ramon hits his fallaway slam for two. Ramon beats away but accidentally whips the Bulldog into the referee. Ramon delivers the Razorâ€™s Edge but thereâ€™s no referee to make the count. Dean Douglas runs down to the ring and delivers an elbow from the top rope to the back of Ramonâ€™s head. The 1-2-3 Kid comes out to help Ramon but Dean Douglas just dumps him on the top rope and the Kid falls to the floor. This allows the Bulldog to hit Ramon with a running powerslam but the referee is still out of position so the 1-2-3 Kid climbs the top rope and dives but the Bulldog moves out of the way and the Kid crashes down onto Ramon. The referee sees all this and calls for the bell at 7:10 shown to award the match to the Bulldog by a disqualification. Afterwards, the Bulldog beats on Ramon and Cornette comes into the ring to beat on the kid. Loved the ending sequence where Douglas just came in and destroyed Ramon and the Kid by himself. Grade: C
–Vince McMahon gets in the ring to interview the 1-2-3 Kid and Razor Ramon. The Kid says that he didnâ€™t cost Ramon the match and last week Ramon cost him a match. The Kid says heâ€™s tired of not getting any respect and being treated like a little kid. He says heâ€™ll beat Ramon next week and challenges him to a match. Ramon accepts the Kidâ€™s challenge and will face him next week. Grade: C+
–The Smoking Gunns vs. The Brooklyn Brawler & Rad Radford:
Superstars take note: when youâ€™re teaming with the Brooklyn Brawler you know that your career is moving in a negative direction. Radford and the Brawler attacks the Gunns from behind to start and they manage to isolate Bart. However, he goes under a double clothesline and pulls down the top rope for Billy to leap into the ring from the apron with a flying clothesline. The camera angle catches that beautifully as Billy seems to leap out of nowhere. The Gunns dropkick their opponents and Billy hits the Brawler with a running swinging neckbreaker. Tag Bart and he gets kicked in the back by Radford on the apron when he runs the ropes. Tag Radford and he delivers a neckbreaker and an elbow drop. Tag Brawler and he and Radford get a double elbow off the ropes. The Brawler slams Bart and heads to the top rope but Bart throws him off and tags in Billy. Billy comes in to no ovation on the momentum swinging tag and unloads with a series of second rope fists on the Brawler. Billy leaps onto Radford who is sneaking behind him and all hell breaks loose. Ultimately, the Gunns hit the Brawler with a Sidewinder and that gets the win at 2:46.
–Goldust vignette where he quotes the Night of the Living Dead in his creepiest promo yet about his magical, mystical land. Iâ€™d love it if Goldust went back to his roots and started quoting movies again.
–Isaac Yankem D.D.S. vs. Scott Taylor:
Footage is shown of Lawler and Yankem choking Bret in the ropes at SummerSlam. Lockup starts and Yankem beats on Taylor in the corner. Yankem hits a chokeslam and then chokes Taylor on the second rope. Yankem delivers a slam and a series of elbow drops. Yankem stretches Taylor a bit and then hot shots him. Yankem delivers a DDS for the win at 2:13. Crowd was dead for the whole thing.
–Todd Pettengill brings us the In Your House 3: Triple Header report.
-Call 1-800-TITAN-91 to get the Shawn Michaels hat and the WWF shirt for $25! Youâ€™ll also get a free LT poster that is probably left over from WrestleMania. Call now and get the stuff!
–Intercontinental Championship Match: â€œThe Heartbreak Kidâ€ Shawn Michaels (Champion) vs. Sid (w/Ted DiBiase):
This is the long awaited revenge match on television between Michaels and Sid that had been brewing since Sid attacked Michaels from behind and powerbombed him several times after WrestleMania XI. Lockup gets us started and Sid delays not giving a clean break so Michaels avoids the blow and unloads. Sid ducks a Michaels second rope reverse body press too early and Michaels is able to capitalize and drive Sid to the floor. Back in, Michaels applies a headlock and canâ€™t move Sid with a shoulder block. Sid tosses Michaels over the top rope but Michaels skins the cat back in and dropkicks Sid in the back and to the floor. Sid regroups with DiBiase a second time and then comes back into the ring where he puts Michaels in a headlock. Sid catches Michaels in a bearhug and then drops him like a bad habit to the canvas. Sid chokes Michaels in the corner and whips Michaels into the opposite corner. Michaels sells it by laying across the top ropes so Sid field goal kicks him and then clotheslines him off the apron when he lands there. Sid then goes to the floor, picks up Michaels, and drops him on the apron. Sid rolls inside and distracts the referee while DiBiase gets in some shots on Michaels on the floor. Michaels barely beats the ten count back into the ring as we head to a commercial break.
When we return from the break Sid has Michaels in a bearhug. Michaels escapes but gets kicked in the midsection. Sid works in a headlock sequence with Shawn and then chokeslams him. Sid taunts the crowd instead of covering, though, and thatâ€™s likely going to be a mistake. Sid goes for the powerbomb but Michaels backdrops out of it. Michaels blocks Sidâ€™s punches and gives him his own and then delivers a flying forearm off the ropes. Michaels punches Sid on the canvas and hits a flying body press off the top rope for two. Sid gets up quick and kicks Michaels in the midsection but Michaels goes under a clothesline and hits three superkicks in quick succession to retain the title at 7:23 shown. After the match, Michaels does a striptease. A crowd shot shows that the women are yelling while the guys donâ€™t quite know what to make of the whole deal. Sid dominated too much of the match with his methodical offense and the time constraints of TV didnâ€™t allow Michaels to get sympathy heat. Grade: C
–Doc Hendrix catches up with Diesel and Shawn Michaels in the locker room. He asks them about the triple header match at In Your House where all of the belts are on the line.
-Tune in next week to see WWF Tag Team Champions Owen Hart & Yokozuna battle Men on a Mission because Gorilla Monsoon said so. Also, tune in to see the 1-2-3 Kid battle Razor Ramon! They show clips of next weekâ€™s matches (so much for being live) and play it up like a TV soap opera with the Kid seen crying at the end and Hendrix asking â€œDoes the Kid end up losing a friend?â€
The Final Report Card: The first episode of Monday Nitro debuted on September 4, 1995 which was an excellent calculation by Eric Bischoff because the WWF was pre-empted by the US Open. On that show Lex Luger debuted for WCW and this show was the first edition of the Monday Night Wars. The Sid-Michaels main event went against Hulk Hogan defending the WCW World title against Luger. Some rumors say that the initial plans were for Michaels to face Bret Hart, who was absent from this show. You could tell that the WWF was being pushed to do something different as we got two marquee matchups on this show instead of the typical one major match and a ton of squashes. This show also saw a myriad of production changes. In this first battle of the Monday night programs, Raw edged out Nitro 2.5-2.4. They would also win the next week but drop below a 2.0 in the third to give Nitro its first head-to-head victory. As a result, this is a pretty important show for fans that lived during the Monday Night Wars. I am thankful that they stopped showing clips of the matches and ending with lame rhetorical questions like a daytime soap opera by the end of 1995.
Show Grade: C
Tags: bart gunn, Billy Gunn, Dean Douglas, Diesel, Doc Hendrix, goldust, Gorilla Monsoon, Isaac Yankem D.D.S., Jerry Lawler, Jim Cornette, mabel, Men on a Mission, Mo, monday night raw, Owen Hart, Rad Radford, Razor Ramon, Scott Taylor, shawn michaels, sid, ted dibiase, the 1-2-3 Kid, the British Bulldog, the Brooklyn Brawler, The Smoking Gunns, Todd Pettengill, vince mcmahon, What the World Was Watching, WWE, WWF, Yokozuna