[TV Review] ‘WWF Monday Night Raw’ 1.2.95 – Luger/Davey Boy vs. Bigelow/Tatanka TWICE, King’s Court

Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon & “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels

The first Monday Night RAW features Lex Luger & Davey Boy Smith taking on Bam Bam Bigelow & Tatanka, and in the main event…Lex Luger & Davey Boy Smith take on Bam Bam Bigelow & Tatanka! Also on this episode Jeff Jarrett teases singing, Todd Pettengill delivers a Royal Rumble report, and Jerry Lawler invites fellow king Owen Hart on The King’s Court.

CHAMPIONS

  • WWF CHAMPION: “Big Daddy Cool” Diesel
  • WWF INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION: “The Bad Guy” Razor Ramon
  • WWF TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: Vacant

LINEUP

  • Lex Luger & Davey Boy Smith vs. Bam Bam Bigelow & Tatanka (*1/2)
  • Duke Droese vs. Mike Bell
  • Jeff Jarrett vs. Buck Quartermain
  • Lex Luger & Davey Boy Smith vs. Bam Bam Bigelow & Tatanka (*1/2)

*****

-Monsoon welcomes the home audience alongside Michaels, who is on commentary because…reasons? Monsoon is subbing for usual host Vince McMahon who is out sick. A McMahon? Sick? I don’t buy it.


Lex Luger & “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith and The Million Dollar Corporation (“The Beast from the East” Bam Bam Bigelow & “The Native American” Tatanka) [w/ “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase] fought to a double-countout (8:44 shown)

Bigelow & Tatanka will meet The Headshrinkers on Superstars soon in the semi-finals of the WWF Tag Team Title tournament, but they’ve been tangling with Luger and Smith in singles action lately so they’ve got some business to take care of first. Faces in control until Tatanka hits Luger from behind and what follows is a very sloooooow middle of The Corporation wearing a very disinterested Luger down; at one point TATANKA of all people puts on a standing bearhug just to make it extra unbearable. Smith eventually gets the hot tag but the match breaks out into chaos and both teams are counted out. This was…not very good. (*1/2)

The brawl continues as more officials come out to try and break things up.


-ROYAL RUMBLE REPORT: Todd Pettengill is here to crack some jokes and hype the first PPV of the year, the Royal Rumble. The official host for the show will be Baywatch’s Pamela Anderson, which was a very cool get in 1995 trust me. Matches are hyped (Diesel/Bret for the WWF Title, Undertaker/IRS, Ramon/Jarrett for the Intercontinental Title, finals of the WWF Tag Team Title tournament), plus Pettengill goes down the list of announced Rumble participants. The standouts are obviously “Dirty” Dick Murdoch and Kwang the Ninja.

The Roadie is shown at ringside getting the equipment ready for Double J later in the show. He almost runs into Duke “The Dumpster” Droese during the latter’s entrance but does the roadie thing and stays out of the shot, as he should.


Duke “The Dumpster” Droese defeated Mike Bell (1:33)

Droese wins easily with the Trash Compactor, a cooler finishing move than I remember it being. (SQUASH)


-HYPE VIGNETTE: Kama is coming to FIGHT. Supremely. For he is a machine.

-We get a look at the Tag Team Title tournament bracket. The Heavenly Bodies will meet the winner of Smokin’ Gunns/Well Dun which is happening EXCLUSIVELY on Superstars this weekend. It is not up on the WWE Network so it might as well not exist.

-THE KING’S COURT: Jerry “The King” Lawler welcomes his guest “The King of Harts” Owen Hart, who is carrying Bret’s towel from the Survivor Series. Hart talks about putting on a performance to get his mom Helen to throw in the towel and cost Hart his WWF Championship was only the beginning of his master plan. Hart reflects on the high points of 1994 and announces his intent to win the World, IC, and Tag Team Titles just like Bret, starting with the World after winning the Royal Rumble. I wish, man. I wish.

-NEXT WEEK: WWF celebrates the 2nd anniversary of Monday Night RAW as Razor Ramon defends the Intercontinental Championship against Owen Hart and “the irresistible force meets the immovable object” as Harvey Wippleman meets Howard Finkel in a Tuxedo Match. HA. That’s probably going to be great.

Jeff Jarrett makes his way out for the next match, led by The Roadie. Jarrett does his whole “here’s how I spell my name” shtick but OH MAN there’s no energy in his delivery. Dude must be exhausted after a long taping day.


“Double J” Jeff Jarrett [w/ The Roadie] defeated Buck Quartermain (2:51)

Jarrett wins with the Figure Four after hitting a Superplex, which honestly should have won the match by itself. Barry Windham would agree with me, ask him. Quartermain appears to be a white dude but his attire is pretty much the Japanese flag which is a…look. Dress for the company you want to work for maybe? (SQUASH)


-After a commercial break Jeff Jarrett teases making his singing debut, but due to mishaps and mic feedback he throws a tantrum and walks off.

Super Dave Osborne is here to show us a clip of his upcoming USA Network show, which debuts this Saturday night. SYNERGY.


Lex Luger & “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith defeated The Million Dollar Corporation (“The Beast from the East” Bam Bam Bigelow & “The Native American” Tatanka) [w/ “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase] (4:57 shown)

We join the match in progress, with Luger once again in the Ricky Morton role for his team. Deja freakin’ vu. Real dull like the last match but this time Smith actually gets to hit some moves during his hot tag. Bigelow gets sent to the floor with a clothesline by Luger and climbs back up all groggy, Tatanka gets whipped him into him and Smith gets the pin for his team. This was done to sell the dissention in the ranks of the Million Dollar Corporation but would it have killed them to make it more interesting? (*1/2)

DiBiase and Tatanka blame their loss on Bigelow and berate him as they leave to the back. Poor Bam Bam. Monsoon and Michaels hype next week’s anniversary show once more and that concludes the first episode of the new year!

*****

FINAL THOUGHTS: This show happened, that’s for sure. This had to be at the end of a long taping day, everybody here was low energy including the crowd (save for the reactions they piped in post-production), and we got a tag team match that wasn’t very interesting not once but TWICE. Yeesh. Not a great start to 1995 but hey next week is live so I’m sure that’ll be much better.