As 1995 starts to wind down and we go through the final three RAWs, I can only get hyped at what 1996 has in store for WWF. Speaking of hyped, lets look at the crowd tonight.
Shall we inspect this further?
JOEY: Cool, startin’ RAW off with nightmare fuel for the next few days. Hyped.
WWF knows they need to hook the audience in right from the tip, and thats why the opening match is The British Bulldog versus Bob “Spark Plug” Holly. I’m just gonna get this out of the way, regardless of your opinion on the would be “SpaceCore” Holly, he was a hardbody dude that just loved to slug it out. Same could be said for Davey Boy. You can tell that these two guys are putting a little extra behind all their strikes and moves.
JOEY: These are the best matches. There’s nothing worse than two performers being too afraid to really lay it in. It becomes stunningly clear that you’re spending your time watching people pretend to fight, and then a lot of questioning follows. What else could I watch? What am I doing with my life? Why is this so shitty? And so on, and so forth.
Holly has the early advantage and takes it to open up on the Bulldog. Davey Boy takes a breather on the outside and comes back in a little more focused. Holly regains his upper hand. A big powerslam is good for a two count for Holly. Bulldog decides that the only counter for the arm ringer he is locked in is to lift Holly up in a military press slam and dump him crotch first across the tope rope.
Bulldog has turned the tide in his favor by this point. Bulldog looks to set up Holly for a delayed vertical suplex; but Holly has other plans and rolls up Davey Boy for a two count. Bulldog is able to hit his delayed suplex.
After proclaiming to be “the best there was, the best there is, there ever will be,” Davey Boy can only come up with a two count. Holly hits a nice sunset flip, which nets this match another two count. Holly then hits his trademark dropkick.
JOEY: That dropkick is out of this world. You get it? Because he almost became “Spacecore” Holly? Before you ask, if Holly is on the card, you can expect at least one reference to the space age twist his character almost received.
Bulldog is able to withstand the assault just long enough, that he finds himself in a most advantageous position:
The next match is Fatu squaring off against the Brooklyn Brawler. Three guesses how this match turned out for Fatu, I’ll give you a hint:
JOEY: The Brooklyn Brawler pulls out an upset. That’s my best guess.
Look at this beautiful vision that is gracing my television:
DOK HENDRIX!! Though are time together is short this episode, he is able to drop a quick banger. Since he was claiming to be responsible for Shawn Michaels’ collapse in the ring, nobody wanted to fight Owen Hart. This led him and that all around giant goober James E. Cornette to issuing an open challenge at the In Your House event. The challenge remained unanswered until tonight:
Our next match, is for the WWF Intercontinental Championship. Razor Ramon defends against the former champion, Dean Douglas. Douglas walks up and slaps Razor right in the face, Ramon retaliates by flicking his toothpick right at Dean’s face. That prompts Dean to jump Ramon before he could take off the belt or his vest. Dean actually went to whip Razor with the title, but the referee snatched the title away from Dean.
JOEY: This episode opened with Vince McMahon calling Dean Douglas a “fifteen minute chump.” Gee, I wonder who’s going to walk away with the Intercontinental Championship.
Douglas goes for a cross body, but Ramon is able to catch him and turn it into a fall away slam. The camera shows that Razor is paying tribute to his friend Shawn Michaels in his own special way
JOEY: Hyped on how well Vince McMahon was able to spin HBK getting the shit kicked out of him outside of a bar. Six year-old Joey definitely saw that, and was worried beyond belief for Shawn. Little did I know, he most likely brought that beating on himself. Hell, I bet at least the locker room was secretly overjoyed that someone did it.
The two IC champions fight all the way through an ill placed commercial break. When we return from the interruption, Douglas is working over Razor in an abdominal stretch. When the ref isn’t looking, Douglas uses the ropes for additional leverage. Using the unfair advantage one too many times gets him caught, and the ref forces him to break the hold.
After a little more back and forth between the two grapplers, it isn’t long before we chalk up another win for the Bad Guy!
JOEY: Get out of town!
Seeing how King Mabel will be fighting the Undertaker at the forthcoming In Your House event; Brother Love, the man responsible for bringing the Undertaker into the WWF, presents him with a very special gift!
A custom, redesigned coffin.
JOEY: Jerry undersold this segment BIG TIME. It was unbearably bad. Everyone involved did a bad job, and they should all feel bad about it. I’m glad it’s out there, but only so that everyone can see how bad it was, and never do anything like it.
In the back, we see Jannetty talking to Razor Ramon. Those two will be teaming up at the WWF In Your House event.
It’s now time for the main event! Ted DiBiase escorts “Sycho” Sid to the ring as he’ll compete against Marty “God, Please Help Me Get Over” Jannetty. Realizing that he was at a big size disadvantage, Marty brought the fight right to Sid before the match started. Using the momentum, Jannetty hits a cross body against the Million Dollar Corporation’s body guard.
When he goes for it a second time, Sid counters it into a big scoopslam. Sid whips Jannetty into the corner, and charges in to attack. Marty is able to ram his boots into Sid’s face and hits him with some high flying offense.
Following the flip-over stunner, he hits a running fist drop that gets him a two count. Coming back from commercial interruption, we see Marty ducking one clothesline. The avoidance was for naught, as he gets flipped inside out on the second clothesline Sid was throwing.
Just as Marty is getting his second wind and starts fighting back, the 1-2-3 Kid runs out and attacks him. This promptly sends out Razor Ramon, who Jannetty was talking to in the back before. Razor chases Kid into the back, leaving Sid all alone with Jannetty. Sid never one to miss an opportunity to get a few cheap shots in, power bombs the holy hell out of Jannetty.
I’m going to turn this over to Joey Finnegan, as he breaks down the update on Shawn Michaels.
JOEY: All right, so Vince McMahon is one of the best promoter’s to ever live. He knows how to spin things to work for him. HBK gets the ever-loving shit kicked out of him outside of a bar by a bunch of marines, and Vince sees an underdog story about a man who will fight through any injury to return to the ring, and risk his body to entertain the fans. It gets laid on thick here.
There’s an interview with his personal physician, and he goes in. Talks about how he doesn’t care about HBK’s wrestling career. His only worry is his health, and yada, yada. He also makes sure to mention that Shawn isn’t progressing neurologically, meaning that he has a lot of post-concussion damage to work through. That part could be very true. He did genuinely get the shit kicked out of him.
That doesn’t change the fact that the spin doctor was working hard on this one. To his credit, it all worked. People bought into this story. Look at all the young girls that were crying when HBK passed out. This angle propelled him to the main event. He comes back soon, and then wins The Royal Rumble. That’s when the Shawn Michaels hype machine goes into overdrive.
What does WWF have in store for us next week?
Thank you for joining us on this installment of The Monday Nerdo Wars!