What the World Was Watching: WWF Monday Night Raw – September 18, 1995

Monday Night Raw

-Clips are shown of the British Bulldog-Razor Ramon match last week on Raw where Dean Douglas and the 1-2-3 Kid interfered leading to Ramon being disqualified. After the match, the Kid challenged Ramon to a match and Ramon accepted.

-We’re off to our second installment of Raw in the Monday Night wars era with Vince McMahon and Jerry “the King” Lawler in the booth.

Opening Contest: The 1-2-3 Kid vs. “The Bad Guy” Razor Ramon:

The Kid’s upset of Ramon from May 1993 is shown along with the Kid crying after Ramon slapped him. Lawler informs us that Dean Douglas will be critiquing this match. The Kid tears into Ramon with some kicks in the corner before the bell and that knocks Ramon to the floor. Ramon gets pissed and rolls into the ring and catches the Kid when he tries a bodypress off the ropes. Ramon lays the Kid on the top rope, kicks him, and then nails a fallaway slam off the second rope for two. Ramon yells at the Kid and delivers some knife edge chops and hiptosses him across the ring. It’s hard to figure out who exactly is playing heel here because of their tactics so far. Ramon knocks the Kid to the floor with a right hand and the Kid slowly crawls back in. Ramon thrusts his shoulder into the Kid’s chest and delivers a chokeslam off a reversal sequence for two. However, the Kid reverses Ramon’s momentum on a whip and ends up throwing him over the top rope. The Kid delivers a springboard dropkick to Ramon on the floor to get a big pop from the crowd. Back in, the Kid nails Ramon with a spinning heel kick off the ropes for one until Ramon puts his foot on the ropes to break. The Kid applies a sleeper as Ramon comes off the ropes as we go to a commercial break.

We come back and Ramon is still in the sleeper. Ramon side suplexes the Kid to escape the sleeper and we have a double KO spot. Ramon crawls over and covers the Kid for two. Ramon fires away on the Kid, whips him into the corner, and clotheslines him against the buckles. Ramon shrugs to the crowd but when he picks the Kid up he gets his eyes raked and both men collide off the ropes for double KO #2. They take out Earl Hebner, who falls to the floor clutching his back, and the Kid falls to the floor as well. Suddenly, Dean Douglas runs down to the ring and splashes onto Ramon’s back from the top rope. Douglas then runs to the back as a fan throws trash at him. Beautiful hit and run there. The Kid then crawls back into the ring with Hebner and he covers Ramon for the slow three count at 7:08 shown. This was a really fun match that continued the Douglas-Ramon storyline. Grade: B-

The Report Card with Dean Douglas and he’s in his ring gear. He gives the 1-2-3 Kid a D for “dumb” because the Kid thinks he defeated Ramon when it was actually Douglas who did it. He gives Ramon an E for “elevate” because that’s what he’s trying to do in challenging him. He says it’s a no brainer that he’ll win at In Your House. Although this gimmick was a little corny Douglas really excelled at it. Grade: C+

Clips are shown of DiBiase getting slopped again on WWF Superstars.

“The Supreme Fighting Machine” Kama & Tatanka (w/Ted DiBiase) vs. Savio Vega & Bob “Spark Plug” Holly:

Vega was the odd man out in Ramon’s inner circle before SummerSlam and that appears to be the case now as well since he’s having problems with Dean Douglas and his closer friend, the 1-2-3 Kid. Tatanka and Vega start with a lockup. Tatanka runs the ropes until he’s hiptossed by Vega and then he’s dropkicked several times. Kama comes in and Vega just hiptosses him and a dropkick sends Kama to the floor. Kama and Holly get tagged in and Kama kicks Holly in the gut before they lockup. Holly goes underneath Kama on a whip and then goes under a boot so that he can armdrag Kama a few times. Holly briefly targets the arm and tags Vega but Vega just gets punched in the face. Tag Tatanka and he bails after avoiding a Savio kick off the ropes. Tatanka provokes Holly to follow him in the aisle and Kama Pearl Harbors Vega. Chaos briefly reins as the heels double team Vega in the ring. Kama and Tatanka double team Vega legally and illegally until a double clothesline spot between Tatanka and Vega gives us a double KO spot. Kama gets tagged in as Vega gets the momentum swinging tag to Holly to little reaction. Holly floors Kama and hits a missile dropkick for two before Tatanka breaks it up. The referee loses control of things and Holly gets some second rope punches on Kama as Vega and Tatanka battle on the floor. Holly tries to finish Kama with a flying bodypress off the top rope but Kama rolls with the move and gets the pin at 5:50. It looks like Kama was supposed to catch Holly with a bodyslam there but it still worked. Solid TV tag match. Grade: C-

Clips of Dean Douglas interfering in the Ramon-Kid match earlier in the show are shown. Ramon cuts a promo and says that Douglas’s Ivy League education isn’t going to help him.

Jean Pierre LaFitte vs. Brian Walsh:

Clips of LaFitte stealing Bret Hart’s gear are shown. LaFitte beats on Walsh in the corner but misses an avalanche. Walsh gets in some minor offense before LaFitte slaps him around. Bret Hart gives an unenthusiastic interview on the phone as LaFitte wails away on Walsh. Remember phone interviews on Raw? You can tell by Bret’s voice that he really disdains being put in feud with a 20th century pirate character over a pair of sunglasses and his ring jacket. LaFitte catches Walsh with a suplex when he tries to jump onto him from the top rope and he chokes away. LaFitte then jumps onto Walsh’s back when he’s draped over the second rope. LaFitte delivers a backbreaker and a Cannonball finishes at 3:17. LaFitte seemed off here.

WWF officials reinforce the ring so that it doesn’t collapse under the weight of Mabel and Yokozuna, which used to be a big deal.

Non-Title Match: WWF Tag Team Champions Owen Hart & Yokozuna (Champions w/Jim Cornette & Mr. Fuji) vs. Men on a Mission:

King Mabel is carried to the ring as McMahon shows the audience footage of the 1995 King of the Ring tournament and Mabel’s match with Diesel at SummerSlam. This match was unique at the time because it was a rare heel vs. heel encounter. The justification for having it is that interim WWF President Gorilla Monsoon thought it would be fun and booked it. Mabel and Yokozuna have a brief stare down to start before leaving the ring and letting Owen and Mo begin the action. Slugfest starts us off, with Mo getting the initial advantage and hitting Owen with an elbow off the ropes. Mo takes Owen to the buckle but a blind charge eats boot and Owen hits a clothesline. Owen whips Mo into the corner with authority but a body press attempt gets him powerslammed. Tag Mabel and he lifts Owen up by his hair and slams him back to the mat. Mabel whips Owen into the corner but a blind charge eats buckle and Owen gets some second rope punches before Mabel pushes him off. Mabel yells over at Yokozuna and takes Owen to the buckle. Men on a Mission make Owen a heel in peril, which you don’t see too often, before Owen gets a fluke sunset flip reversal for two before Mo completes the move for two. Mo runs the ropes really slowly by the way so that whole sequence didn’t look fluid. Owen tosses Mo outside the ring and tags in Yokozuna. The crowd cheers as Mabel and Yokozuna go face to face in the ring and when the referee is distracted Owen takes Mo to the steps. Back in, Yokozuna unloads on Mo in the corner as the crowd sides with the champions. The champions isolated Mo and double team him legally and illegally as we cut to a commercial break.

We return with Owen and Mo in a double KO situation as Vince begs to see Mabel vs. Yokozuna. Both men tag out and we get Vince’s dream match as the crowd explodes. Yes, you read that correctly. Mabel hits Yokozuna with a flying clothesline and in a nice touch to showcase the WWF’s production values, the camera shakes when they hit the canvas. Owen runs into the ring and Mabel clotheslines him and then gorilla press slams him onto Yokozuna. Tag Mo and Men on a Mission double clothesline Yokozuna to the canvas. However, when Mo runs the ropes, Owen knees him in the back and Yokozuna gives him a clothesline. Tag Owen and he hits Mo with a missile dropkick as Yokozuna holds Mo in place for two. Owen hits a neckbreaker and heads to the top rope but Mo crotches him and delivers a superplex for two before Yokozuna breaks the count. All hell breaks loose as Yokozuna knocks Mabel to the floor and as Jim Cornette distracts the referee, Owen gets a drop toe hold on Mo and holds him in place so Yokozuna can leg drop him on the back of the head. Owen then covers for the win at 9:03 shown as Yokozuna trips Mabel when he tries to break up the pin. One of the best matches Owen and Yokozuna ever had together as a team. And despite some of his limitations, I have to give Mo a lot of credit for putting forth a great effort in this match. Grade: C+

WWF Champion Diesel and Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels cut a promo for their triple header match against Owen Hart and Yokozuna.

-Vince McMahon interviews the tag team champions and their managers. Cornette runs through the accomplishments of Owen and Yokozuna and cuts a great heel promo that ridicules Gorilla Monsoon.

-Tune in next week to see the winner of the triple header match, which will have a guaranteed title change according to Gorilla Monsoon, and the British Bulldog battles the Undertaker!

The Final Report Card: This Raw soundly defeated WCW Nitro despite being tape delayed and based onthe work ethic nearly everyone showed on this show I can see why. The two big matches delivered and were fun to watch. 1995 WWF gets a bad rap from a lot of people, but it was at this point in the year that the WWF started to hit their stride with some of their upper card feuds and it made for great television.

Show Grade: C+

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