In week 4, Nitro scored its first victory in the Monday Night Wars. If the WWF didn’t see them as legitimate competition before, they had to now. Unfortunately for the WWF, their episode of RAW this week was already recorded. They didn’t have a chance to make adjustments. Would week 5 see another victory for WCW? Let’s find out!
(All screen captures are the property of World Wrestling Entertainment)
WWF Monday Night RAW #129
October 2, 1995
Grand Rapids, Michigan
RAW is still in Grand Rapids, as they always film more than one episode in each town. The show starts with a “Last week on RAW” introduction. They show clips of the Smoking Gunns winning the tag team titles. Vince then welcomes everyone to the show, as Razor Ramon makes his way to the ring for his match. They show some clips from the WrestleMania special, as well as clips from previous Razor/Kid matches. Lawler and Vince then talk about the rest of tonight’s show and show clips of the Bret Hart/Jean-Pierre match from In Your House.
Razor Ramon vs. The 1-2-3 Kid
The Kid makes his entrance and they show a clip of the end of the Razor/Dean Douglas match from In Your House 3. Vince speculates as to whether Kid intentionally cost Razor the match or not.
Razor starts the match by easily tossing Kid out of the ring. Kid gets back in but gets shoved into a corner and punched. On commentary. Lawler says that he witnessed Kid having a conversation with Ted DiBiase, but he doesn’t know what it was about. The Kid then tries a hammerlock, but he gets elbowed in the face. Razor misses a charge and Kid kicks him in the corner, before taking him across the ring and doing the same in another corner. Razor does a duck-under and Kid attempts a cross body, but Razor catches him and hits a fall away slam for a 2 count. Then, Razor catches one of Kid’s kicks, but Kid hits him with his other leg and gets a 2 count of his own. Dean Douglas is shown taking notes in the entryway. The Kid then slides under Razor, but he turns right into a punch for a 2 count. Kid answers back with a spinning wheel kick and gets a 2 count, as well. He then hits some sliding leg drops and goes for another wheel kick, but Razor clotheslines him hard and pins him for a 3.
Winner: Razor Ramon
The Kid is frustrated and demands another match, so the ref obliges. Kid slaps Razor, but he gets whipped into the corner and clotheslined. Razor chops him and beal tosses him across the ring. Then, Razor locks in an abdominal stretch but decides to take him down to the mat and paint brush the back of his head a few times. They go to commercial and come back to inform us that the Kid got pinned again after a powerbomb.
Winner: Razor Ramon
The Kid had demanded yet another match, so Razor carries him around on his shoulder and it almost gets turned into a sunset flip. However, Kid eats a punch to the face. Razor then puts him on the top and hits a super back suplex and signals for the Razor’s Edge. He starts to do the move, but Kid is nearly unconscious, so Razor rolls him up instead for another 3 count.
They told a good story with this match. The Kid did a great job of showing frustration. This is one of the few stories they were doing at the time that was told well.
Winner: Razor Ramon
After the match is finally over, Razor slaps him and tells him that’s enough. The Kid reluctantly backs down and shakes Razor’s hand. He even raises his arm, but then he attempts another roll up. The ref gives him a 2 count and they tease doing another match. The fans chant for the Razor’s Edge and Kid even turns to allow Razor to do it, but Razor refuses. The Kid offers him his hand and Razor shakes it before they finally calm down and leave the ring.
Vince then talks a little about In Your House 4. He runs down the card, as Lawler comments on each match. Jerry says that Bulldog will have a new chew toy, Dean Douglas will have no trouble beating Shawn, and King Mabel will beat the Undertaker. He says that he knows that because it takes a King to know a King.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Barry Horowitz
Horowitz makes his way to the ring to a version of “Hava Nagila”, and they show us some clips from last week of Mabel attacking the Undertaker. They then go backstage to Hunter and Vince asks if Horowitz can get another surprise win tonight over Helmsley. Hunter says, “Fat chance!” They go to commercial and then come back to Vince talking about something rather unsettling. Vince plugs a hotline that fans can call to vote on whether or not they think O.J. Simpson is guilty. The verdict of his trial was supposed to be announced that day, so Vince thought he could capitalize on it by polling the fans. Sadly, this isn’t the only time that Vince would make reference to O.J. Simpson. He does worse than this in a few months time.
Hunter grabs an arm wringer and then turns it into a cross armbreaker, but he kicks Barry and releases the hold. Next, he hits a takedown and goes into a waistlock, but Barry reverses it and Hunter gets to the ropes. On commentary, Vince says that last week’s RAW was the most watched episode in history. I’m pretty sure that the ratings said otherwise. Hunter punches, chops, and European uppercuts Barry into the corner and the drops a knee onto him. He bows mockingly, before hitting a stalling suplex. Barry fights back and Hunter ducks for a back drop, so Barry hits a sunset flip for a 2 count. Hunter is pissed and he stomps Horowitz, before choking him. He even rips at his face. Hunter then hits a jumping back elbow, but Barry reverses a hip toss attempt into a backslide for another 2 count. Hunter answers back with a hard clothesline for a 2. However, Barry blocks a whip into the corner, hits a forearm, and then does a Thesz Press for a 2. Then, he turns an abdominal stretch into a pin for another 2. Unfortunately, Barry ducks his head for a back drop, which allows Hunter to grab him and hit a Pedigree for the 3 count. Hunter gives Barry another sarcastic bow after the match and one fan is surprisingly happy about Hunter’s win.
Barry was still riding the wave of popularity from his fluke win over Skip, so it’s not surprising that they let him get so much offense in this match. This was pretty decent for a short match and it made both men look good. It’s so different seeing Triple H look this slender. I sometimes forget that he didn’t use to be a bloated mass of muscle.
Winner: Hunter Hearst Helmsley
The show then goes to commercial, with a short preview of the upcoming Bret/Jean-Pierre match.
PG-13 vs. Al Brown & Sonny Rogers
The new team of PG-13, which consists of Wolfie D and J.C. Ice, make their way to the ring. They’re dressed in ridiculous bright colored outfits and are carrying hubcaps, for some reason. Vince says that they’re the current USWA Tag Team Champions. USWA is Jerry Jarrett’s Memphis territory, where Jerry Lawler still occasionally wrestled, at that time. They give the crowd a little rap before the match starts and then they show an inset promo from them. They address the Smoking Gunns. They say that the Gunns don’t know them, but they know the Gunns. They aren’t impressed by the Gunns being tag champs and they say that these two punks from the hood will shock the world by taking the Gunns’ gold.
Wolfie D and Sonny start the match and Wolfie gets an arm wringer, but Sonny reverses it and drops a leg on his arm. Wolfie retaliates with a punch and tags Ice. Wolfie then holds Sonny in place, while J.C. hits a dropkick. Ice dances for a moment and then hits another dropkick, before tagging Wolfie again. They whip Sonny into the ropes and hit a double back elbow that gets them a 2 count. Wolfie slams Sonny and tags Ice so they can hit an inverted atomic drop/clothesline combo. J.C. then gets another 2 count after a double stomp. J.C. tags Wolfie again and he hits a wind-up punch, snap mare, and then misses an elbow, which allows Sonny to tag out to Al Brown. Al slams Wolfie, but then misses a corner charge. Wolfie hits a back suplex and tags out, but J.C. distracts the ref while Wolfie hits a top rope facebuster. This only gets a 2 count, so Ice argues with the ref. Both of PG-13 get into the ring and hit a double team bulldog that Lawler calls a “Double Dog”. Then, J.C. tags Wolfie and catches him off the ropes for a tilt-a-whirl suplex that slams Wolfie down onto Al for the 3 count.
This was an okay debut, but it was a bit sloppy. It’s also hard to take PG-13 seriously when neither man has any muscle tone, at all. These two wouldn’t have much of a run as competitors, but they would get work as the rappers for The Nation of Domination.
Vince plugs the O.J. Simpson hotline again and they go to commercial with another preview of the Bret/Jean-Pierre match. There is also an ad for next week’s RAW that promotes a 6-Man Tag Match. It will be Undertaker, Diesel, & Shawn Michaels vs. Yokozuna, Owen Hart, & The British Bulldog.
Bret Hart vs. Jean-Pierre Lafitte
Jean-Pierre makes his entrance, as they show clips from his match with Bret at In Your House 3. Then, Dok Hendrix is in the aisle and he says he’s with his lovely model, Sandy. Vince sounds confused and we soon see why. When they cut to Dok, he’s standing with a kid. Whoa, Dok! Don’t make Vince get Chris Hansen. Sandy is wearing a Bret Hart t-shirt and Dok plugs the same offer as last week. They will throw in a classic WWF tape with a purchase. He’s still holding up the blank VHS tape as an example. The show goes to commercial and comes back to show Bret’s entrance. Vince brings up SummerSlam ‘92 and shows clips of the Bret/Bulldog match. Then, they go to another commercial.
The show comes back to show Bret and Lafitte slugging it out in the corner. Jean-Pierre beats down Bret and tells the fans to shut up. He then whips Bret into the corner and clotheslines him, before hitting an elbow drop. He hammers on him some more and gets a headlock, but Bret elbows out of the hold. However, Jean-Pierre hits a back elbow and whips him into the corner again. Lafitte misses a charge and tumbles to the outside, so Bret follows and slams him onto the steps. Lawler complains that it should be a DQ, but it falls on deaf ears. Bret throws him back inside and they fight back and forth until Lafitte press slams him into the top rope and gets a headlock. The fans rally Bret, so he punches his way out and attempts a hip toss, but Lafitte clotheslines him. Jean-Pierre slams him and hits a flying fist drop for a 2 count. He then chokes Bret on the ropes and hits a running knee attack. He hits a corner splash and goes for a clothesline, but Bret rolls him up for 2, as they go to commercial. The show comes back, as Lafitte is hitting a leg drop for another 2. He then hits a sidewalk slam and goes to the top, but he misses a flying leg drop. The two of them end up fighting to the outside again and Lafitte whips Bret into the steps, which draws a cackle from Lawler. Lafitte catches him coming into the ring and tries a suplex, but Bret reverses it. Bret then goes into his finishing routine of an inverted atomic drop, Russian leg sweep, and diving elbow, but only gets a 2. Jean-Pierre then catches Bret on a leap-over and hits a rolling Samoan drop for a 2 of his own. Lafitte gets Bret down again and goes for the cannonball, but Bret crotches him and hits a superplex. He then locks in the Sharpshooter and gets the submission win.
This wasn’t as good as their In Your House match, but it was still pretty good. The two of them have pretty good chemistry. Lawler was also pretty entertaining on commentary, during this.
Winner: Bret Hart
Bret celebrates in the ring, but Lawler gets in his face as he’s leaving. Jerry takes off his jacket and dares Bret to fight him, so Bret obliges. They get into a punch-out and Bret knocks Lawler over the guardrail, but Isaac Yankem arrives and attacks him. Yankem hits Bret with the DDS on the floor and officials arrive to make him leave. The show goes to commercial with Yankem gloating over his attack.
The show comes back from commercial, as Bret is being helped to the back. Vince says that Gorilla Monsoon called and told him that there will be a cage match between Bret and Yankem, soon enough. Lawler says that Bret won’t get away with attacking him. Then, Vince talks about next week’s 6-Man Tag Match and they go to pre-recorded comments from Camp Cornette.
Cornette is with Fuji, Yokozuna, Owen Hart, and Bulldog. He says that Undertaker couldn’t handle Bulldog by himself, so he had his friends come down to help. He says that Yoko and Owen showed up to make things even. Owen then says that next week Undertaker, Shawn, & Diesel will be all theirs. Bulldog finishes the promo by saying they will finish the three of them, once and for all. Yoko also yells, “Banzai!”
The show goes to a 30-second break and comes back to some pre-recorded comments from Diesel, Shawn Michaels, & Undertaker. Shawn talks first, while Paul Bearer makes faces and Undertaker is in standby mode. Shawn says that the last thing Undertaker needs is help from them. They’re there because they want to be. Diesel says that they do whatever they want. That sounds almost like a shoot, brother! Undertaker wakes up and says that their opponents seem to think that next week will be a party, but they will be the vultures scraping the rotting carcasses. When night falls, so do they. Shawn looks hilariously grossed out by Undertaker’s promo.
Vince then gives everyone the results of the O.J. Simpson poll. 49% of fans say he’s guilty and 51% say he’s not. Then they close the show by airing a clip of Bret punching Lawler over the guardrail. Lawler takes offense to this being shown.
(Well, that was an interesting episode. Let’s see what Nitro had to offer.)
WCW Monday Nitro #5
October 2, 1995
The show opens with some aerial shots of downtown Denver. Bischoff welcomes everyone to the show and talks about the Luger/Savage and Arn/Flair matches. Next, we get this week’s “Pepe Watch”.
Pepe is wearing googly eyes because Mongo says he’s in for some eye-popping excitement. Heenan then says that things are going to get hot and heavy. Bischoff starts to say more, but Ric Flair runs up to the commentary desk and grabs Eric’s headset. He starts yelling almost incoherently about Denver and how things are going to get mile high. He says it will be him and Double-A right there in the ring. He leaves and Bischoff shows some clips of the Luger/Savage confrontation, as well as Savage’s match last week and the Giant’s attack.
If Luger loses, he will leave WCW: Lex Luger vs. Randy Savage
Remember last week when Luger mentioned putting up his WCW Title shot in this match? Well, apparently he either wasn’t supposed to say that or WCW forgot because it’s never mentioned here. Luger makes his entrance and does a pec dance as his pyro goes off. Randy Savage is out next and Bischoff takes the opportunity to plug the WCW hotline. At least they’re not asking for opinions on O.J. Simpson. Mongo says that if Luger loses, he might have to go back to that other league, where they do nothing but throw eggs around. Huh?? I’ve never heard of this mysterious egg league.
The two men stare each other down and then lock-up…and remain locked-up…for a while. They struggle around and tumble out of the ring, but they are still locked up. The ref attempts to separate them, as the show goes to commercial. The show comes back, as Savage gets back into the ring and is shortly joined by Luger. They lock-up again and Luger shoves Savage into the corner, before doing some flexing. Savage shoves him, so Luger slaps him. Savage then hits a back elbow, so Luger bails. However, Savage gives chase and attempts a suplex on the floor. Luger reverses and hits a neckbreaker. He then throws Savage inside, but Luger gets rolled up for a 2 count. Luger fights back and press slams Savage, before posing for the crowd. Luger ducks for a back drop and gets kicked and then Savage tries to reverse a hip toss into a backslide. The two of them fight back and forth for control of the slide and Luger ends up hooking his foot against the rope to stop it. Lex finally gains control and performs the backslide for a 2 count. They end up colliding, but Savage is up first and goes to the top. He jumps, but Luger punches him in the gut. They end up fighting to the outside again and Savage hits a flying axehandle, before dropping Luger onto the guardrail. He then tries to slam Luger into the post, but it’s reversed. The two of them crawl into the ring and Savage sends Luger into the corner with a high knee. Randy then reverses a whip, but accidentally takes out the ref. He goes up and hits the flying elbow drop, but there’s no ref. Savage just watched the ref go down. Why would he attempt a finisher? While the ref is out cold, The Giant arrives and chokeslams Savage, but Luger was on the mat and didn’t see him. The Giant quickly leaves, as both Lex and the ref recover. Lex pulls Savage up onto his shoulders for the Torture Rack. The ref checks his arms 3 times and awards the match to Luger.
This was a pretty good match. Luger is still motivated, so he did fairly well here. This also did a good job of keeping their feud moving forward and casting doubt upon Luger’s intentions.
Winner: Lex Luger
The show goes to commercial and when they come back, Bischoff hypes WCW Saturday Night. Arn Anderson & Brian Pillman will take on Bunkhouse Buck & Dick Slater. They will try to find out why Johnny B. Badd missed his U.S. Title shot. Also, Jim Duggan will face Big Bubba.
Next, the commentators talk about the last match. Heenan says that everyone should blockade themselves in their hotel rooms because the Giant is in town. Bischoff asks why the Giant didn’t attack Luger, but no one gives him an answer. Eric then starts to talk about the next match, but Disco Inferno’s music starts playing. Bischoff is confused because he’s not supposed to be there. Disco comes out and dances in the entryway, but he gets interrupted by Eddie Guerrero, who is making his entrance. Guerrero yells at Disco and chases him away, before heading to the ring.
Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko
Future Radicalz members preemptively EXPLODE! Oh, I already used that joke last week. My bad. The two men get into each other’s faces, but the ref separates them. They show a clip from Main Event of Eddie beating Jushin Thunder Liger to get this opportunity tonight.
They lock-up and end up in the corner for a clean break, but Guerrero shoves Dean down to the mat. Dean kips up and they go into a test of strength. They end up on the mat and Dean monkey flips Eddie, but he lands on his feet. On commentary, Bischoff talks about how Dean is the man of 1000 holds and Mongo compares it to a book about 101 sex positions. Mongo, you are one strange man. Eddie and Dean fight back and forth and do a criss-cross. Eddie leapfrogs and dives over Dean, but Dean dropkicks him. He then catches Eddie on a leap-over and hits an Alabama slam, but Hulk Hogan chooses this moment to arrive. Apparently, that’s more important, so they cut to the back for a quick Hogan promo. HEY, THERE’S A MATCH GOING ON HERE!!
Hogan’s limo pulls up and Jimmy Hart tells him to stay inside because Giant has attacked Savage. Hogan says that’s why he’s here and nothing can stop him. He can’t sleep and he can’t live with himself, so he’s going to face Giant eye-to-eye. He then asks if Jimmy is with him. Hart says that Hogan’s neck isn’t 100%, so he doesn’t need to be there. I agree. Can he go away now? Hogan says that if the Giant wipes him out then so be it, but he wants the Giant eye-to-eye.
Thankfully, they go back to the match. Dean gets a full nelson, but Eddie reverses it. Dean then reverses him and gets a snap mare for a 2 count. Eddie tries a monkey flip, but Dean reverses that and they fall through the ropes. Then, Eddie slams Dean on the floor and rolls back inside. He climbs to the top rope and then leaps over the post and lands on Dean, as the crowd pop for the move. Eddie throws him back inside and hits a brainbuster, before signaling for the frog splash. He goes for it, but Dean gets his knees up. The two of them then reverse back and forth and Dean goes for a German suplex, but Eddie rolls him up for a 3 count.
This looked like it was a really fun match, but sadly the momentum was killed by the random Hogan promo in the middle. I liked what I saw of it, but they really annoyed me. Hogan is like Poochie. If he’s not on screen, the other people still have to talk about him. Now, they even have to give up match time to him. It’s no wonder fans began to turn on him around this time.
Winner: Eddie Guerrero
When the match ends, Malenko’s music plays for just a moment, but they quickly switch it to Eddie’s music. Dean stops Eddie from leaving and says he wants a rematch. Eddie says any time and they shake hands.
There’s a commercial break next and they come back to Mean Gene in the ring. He welcomes…OH, COME ON!! If they were going to have a Hogan promo here, then they didn’t need to interrupt the last match! Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Hart come to the ring. Hogan is still wearing his neck brace. Gene says that there’s a man in town that’s cut a path of destruction and Hogan is his target. Hogan says that after everything that’s gone down with the Giant, he had to do some soul-searching. He says that he was hanging out with a young Hulkamaniac who needs a double lung transplant. The boy told him to look Giant in the eye and take him down. Hogan says that since Giant isn’t out there, he must be in the back. Then, he says that just like he’s going to rip off his t-shirt, he’s going to rip apart the Giant. He rips his shirt, as he promised, and leaves the ring. He gives the tattered shirt to a fan and starts high-fiving people, BUT WAIT! An old woman throws powder in Hogan’s eyes as Mean Gene shouts, “WHATS THIS? THERE’S A WOMAN…WITH A CANE!!!”
Oh god, it’s Mongo’s Grandma! She’s finally had enough! Wait, I don’t think she’d attack Hogan. Either way, the old woman jumps the guardrail and continues hitting Hogan with her cane. She then throws Hogan into the ring, as Giant and Zodiac arrive. The old woman then takes off the disguise and that’s no woman! It’s Kevin Sullivan. Giant rips off Hogan’s neck brace and gives him another neck snap. Sullivan then takes an electric clipper and does the unthinkable. He shaves off Hogan’s iconic mustache. He makes sure to leave just a little bit in the middle of the top lip, in what is foreshadowing for Hogan’s future. The American Males run to the ring to stop the attack, but Giant gives both of them a chokeslam. The Nasty Boys try next, but they meet the same fate. Heenan laughs hysterically, as Zodiac threatens to cut Hogan’s hair with some scissors. I think he might be reverting to his old gimmick. The show then goes to another commercial, as the Dungeon members leave the ring.
Ric Flair vs. Arn Anderson
Poor Arn gets the jobber entrance when they come back from break. Flair gets an entrance, but Bischoff spends that time talking about the last segment. He asks why Luger never came out to help and Heenan says he was minding his own business.
Flair and Anderson lock-up and Ric gets a headlock, but Arn shoves him down. Flair chops him, but Arn reverses a whip and hits a back body drop for a 2 count. He then stomps Ric’s arm and grabs a hammerlock. Flair fights to his feet and punches and chops Arn into the corner, but Arn gets an eye rake. He whips Flair into the corner for his usual bump, but Ric suckers Arn in and low bridges him. They fight back and forth on the floor and Flair gets back dropped and slammed into the guardrail. They go back inside and get into a punch-out, but Flair gets an eye-poke. It’s not enough, as Arn hits his awesome spinebuster for another 2 count. Arn gets an armbar, but he tries to whip Ric into the ropes and gets caught in a sleeper hold. Anderson reverses it into one of his own, but gets shoved into the corner and back suplexed. The two of them then trade elbow shots and Flair gets a Figure Four, but Arn reaches the ropes. Arn bails outside and Flair comes off the top, but Anderson punches him in the gut. Arn goes for a piledriver but gets back dropped and thrown into the ring. However, he catches Flair coming in and goes for a DDT. Ric hooks the ropes and Anderson crashes to the mat. They fight back and forth some more and Flair gets the Figure Four again. Pillman then shows up and hits a splash onto Flair, so the ref calls for the bell.
This was a pretty good main event. These two usually have good matches against each other, so I didn’t expect anything less. It’s a shame about the ending, but they’re trying to build the story, so I understand.
Winner: Ric Flair (by DQ)
Pillman continues attacking, but Flair fights back. Arn grabs him by the leg and the two of them double team him. Pillman holds Flair down and Arn starts dropping knees onto Ric’s ribs. Once they think he’s had enough, they hold up the Four Horsemen sign in his face and leave.
They go to one last commercial and come back to the commentators. Bischoff says that he has shocking news. Flair has asked for a cage match against Arn and it will happen next week. Mongo says it’s the only way he’ll get Arn one-on-one, with no interference. Yeah, right because no one ever interferes in a cage match. Heenan says that someone isn’t going to walk out of that cage. Bischoff then promotes some other matches for next week. Sting will face Shark. Sabu will face Mr. J.L. and Big Bubba will face Road Warrior Hawk.
Thoughts and comparisons:
Nitro was the better show this week. RAW had some decent action, but it also had that tasteless O.J. Simpson stuff. Nitro had some amusingly over the top nonsense and some good matches. Of course, my opinion wasn’t reflected in the ratings last week. Let’s see if it’s the same story this week.
It’s a tie! RAW bounced back after their poor rating the week before, but Nitro also stayed strong. WCW is proving that they can hang with the WWF and that’s a good sign for them.
Thank you for reading. As always, check out my PPV review blog here. Check out the Facebook page I started for my blogs here. Also, follow me on Twitter @PaulDMatthews78.