It’s All Hallow’s Eve…uh Eve 1995 and the WWF are kicking off Raw right with a Monday Night Raw jack o’lantern! This quickly goes from pretty cool to decidedly uncool when Todd Pettengill shows up dressed as a Dracula. He gives us a brief rundown of the recent events transpiring in the WWE in a voice that’s more The Count from Sesame Street than Bela Lugosi. From there we get the opening before heading to a civic center somewhere in Manitoba, Canada to get the show underway, and oh what a show it is!
We’re joined by Jerry Lawler and Vince McMahon who have dressed up for the occasion. Lawler’s a doctor (later declaring himself to be a proctologist hence the rubber gloves) while Vince is dressed as a prisoner like a year after he nearly got sent to prison for real.
Lawler asks McMahon if he’s supposed to be “Genghis Convict.” I have no idea what this is supposed to mean since there was nothing Mongolian horde-like about McMahon’s getup, but I now have an idea for a puny Halloween costume for some future Halloween.
Match 1: Savio Vega vs. Goldust
Savio Vega heads down to the ring, stopping briefly to chat with Hugo Savinovich and Carlos Carbrera (aka the Spanish announce team). Like Vince and Lawler, they too are decked out in their best Halloween finery. Savio Vega, however, is not. Vega gets in the ring and does a little dance before Goldust heads out.
This is apparently Goldust’s network television debut so Vince and Lawler talk him and his love of movies up. Lawler talks about how Goldust’s music is similar to the theme from Halloween, something I’d never actually noticed before, but is kind of true.
Somehow this leads to the King wondering if Goldust is related to Goldfinger which causes Vince to declare that he remembers “Miss Galore,” from that movie. Lawler puts him on the spot and asks him what Miss Galore’s first name was and Vince hems and haws.
In the ring Goldust attacks Savio Vega before the bell even rings. Savio tries to fight back but Goldust avoids a dropkick and throws Vega into the ringpost shoulder first. He then proceeds to work over Savio Vega’s arm as we go to commercial. TAPE MACHINES ARE ROLLING!
We return with more chucklefuckery from Vince and Lawler about their Halloween costumes as Savio kind of makes a brief comeback with a crossbody block. Goldust, however, has other plans and pounds on Savio Vega’s injured arm and shoulder.
Goldust goes for a corner charge but misses and Savio gets fired up for his comeback. He promptly misses a spinning heel kick though allowing Goldust to regain control. Vince insists that Goldust is going to be a box office flop as Goldust proceeds to nail Savio Vega with one of the ugliest kicks ever. He follows this up with an inside cradle to prove Vince wrong and pick up the win.
This was more or less a squash match to get Goldust over on network television and was fine for what it was. Neither dude stank up the joint, though Goldust’s original outfit was a tad more revealing than I remembered it being so his junk was rather prominently displayed throughout the match. [**]
Meanwhile With Dok Hendrix!
Dok is in his Slam Jam command center painted like a jack o’lantern. He proceeds to spaz the fuck out for a couple minutes about the huge main event between Bret Hart and Diesel at Survivor Series. Since their previous two encounters have ended with shit fuckery, their upcoming match will be NO COUNTOUT! NO TIME LIMIT! NO DISQUALIFICATION! THERE MUST BE A WINNER!
Vince cuts off the over enthusiastic Dok because something is going on in the back!
TO THE BACK!
Razor Ramon and The 1-2-3 Kid are arguing about something. I’m guessing this has something to do with their tag team match at In Your House a few days earlier, but who the fuck knows?
Todd Pettengill does some bad sportscaster voice thing to introduce our next segment: a bout pitting Barry Horowitz against Hakushi…in Karate Fighters. I guess these guys are a tag team or something but have friction due to cultural differences and they have decided to settle things the only way they know how: KARATE FIGHTERS!
Horowitz picks up the win and Hakushi asks if he’ll make it a Two out of Three falls match after the fact. KARATE FIGHTERS!
Match 2: Marty Jannetty vs. “Hot Bod” Joe Dorgan
We head back to the arena for more in ring action as Marty Jannetty (dressed in all the fringe that ever fringed) takes on some random enhancement talent guy. He makes short work of the dude and picks up the win with a flying fist drop.
Winner: Marty Jannetty
Jannetty was announced to be taking on The British Bulldog next week so it makes sense to give him a win here, even if it was against “Hot Bod” Joe Dorgan. [*]
Next Week on Raw!
Isaac Yankem DDS and Jerry “The King” Lawler will be in action next week against Bret Hart and Hakushi. I do not understand why WWF was so awful in 1995, but here you got a promo for a match with four all time greats that doesn’t make me excited, but rather fills me with dread. Good job 1995 WWF!
Meanwhile in the Ring…
Vince McMahon is standing by with Jim Cornette, The British Bulldog and Clarence Mason for an interview. Cornette talks about how Interim President, Gorilla Monsoon is conspiring against the British Bulldog. He says that Davey Boy Smith had Diesel beat when he hit the running powerslam, but Bret Hart interjected himself and ruined everything.
Cornette says that Bulldog won the match by DQ and that the contract had stated the winner of the match between Bulldog and Diesel would face Bret Hart at Survivor Series, but now Monsoon is trying to say that the Champion, not the winner, would face Hart at Survivor Series. Since Gorilla Monsoon has gone back on his word, Cornette has hired Clarence Mason to get the matter sorted out. Cornette talks about the “writs he’s writ” being “well written writs,” and then turns the mic over to Clarence Mason.
Mason says that he’s reviewed the tape of In Your House and read the contract for the match between Diesel and The British Bulldog and has come to the conclusion that the actions of interim President, Gorilla Monsoon, are outrageous and egregious. He’s of the mind that Bulldog is getting a raw deal from the administration and vows to set things right.
Cornette then talks about the upcoming “wild card” match at Survivor Series that splits up his team and makes them partner with people they can’t trust and fight each other. He says that this is just more evidence that the British Bulldog’s being treated unfairly.
Finally Bulldog gets on the mic and talks shit about Marty Jannetty. This brings out Jannetty who proceeds to dropkick Bulldog in the back and then beat the shit out of Jim Cornette. He then makes like he’s going to deck Clarence Mason, but doesn’t because Marty Jannetty is smart enough not to punch a lawyer.
Match 3: The Smoking Gunns vs. Phil Apollo & John Rechner
WWF Tag Team Champs the Smoking Gunns take on some local talent in a pretty one sided affair. Vince calls Phil Apollo Otis a bunch of times for some reason, and John Rechner who’d go to to bigger and better things as Xanta Klaus Balls Mahoney is listed as “Unknown” when you watch this on the WWE Network, so sorry guys…
During the match we get an inset promo from The 1-2-3 Kid apologizing for the temper tantrum he threw at In Your House after getting beat by the Smoking Gunns. He then asks for another shot at the tag team titles.
Back in the ring The Smoking Gunns nail Phil “Otis” Apollo with the Sidewinder to pick up the win.
Winners: The Smoking Gunns
The promo from 1-2-3 Kid that happened while the match was taking place was probably more important than the match itself. [*]
Meanwhile With Bret Hart…
Bret talks about his upcoming match against Diesel at Survivor Series. Afterwards Lawler is sad that Bret didn’t mention his match against Lawler and Isaac Yankem DDS that will be happening next week on Raw.
We go now to Barry Didinski who hawks toy championship belts that can only be purchased at the arena or via a 1-800 number or something. I don’t really know, but do know that if you ordered the belt you’d get three free 8×5 photos!
Vince then informs us that Paul Bearer will be on AOL to chat at 11PM EST…90s internet shit! WOO!
Meanwhile Out In The Forest…
Paul Bearer is freaking the fuck out as he talks about Mabel squashing The Undertakers face. Oh joy! We’re moments away from Phantom of the Opera Mask Undertaker!
Match 4: Razor Ramon (c) vs. Owen Hart (w/ Jim Cornette)
Owen won a battle royal the previous week to earn this shot at Razor Ramon’s Intercontinental Championship. Vince tells us that Shawn Michaels will return to action this Friday in Cincinnati as dudes head out to the ring.
The match gets underway with Razor taking control. He works over Owen’s arm and elbow for about a million years before he hits a fallaway slam. Cornette gets up on the apron so Razor can punch him in the face which brings out Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji. TAPE MACHINES ARE ROLLING!
We return and Owen Hart gets free of an armbar and sends Razor over the top rope out to the floor. Back in the ring he hits a missile dropkick that’s good for two. Owen chokes out Razor near the ropes and thing nails Razor with a spinning heel kick for two. He follows with a reverse neckbreaker that sets up for an elbow drop that earns him another near fall as we go to commercial again. TAPE MACHINES ARE ROLLING!
We come back from the break to find Ramon in a chinlock. He escapes with a back suplex, but Owen has there wherewithal to drape his arm over Razor for a two count. Both men get back to a vertical base and Razor unloads on Owen with fists, nailing him with the discus punch.
He then goes for the back superplex, but Owen falls on top of him on the way down. Razor rolls through though for the pin. ONE! TWO! NO! Razor gets Owen up for the Razor’s Edge but Yokozuna hits the ring to pull Owen off Razor’s shoulders, drawing a DQ.
Owen and Yokozuna then beat on Razor Ramon until the 1-2-3 Kid hits the ring to make the save. Yokozuna promptly dispatches him with a headbutt and then ruins his shit with a legdrop. Ahmed Johnson shows up and bodyslams the giant fake Japanese dude, but then British Bulldog shows up and he and Ahmed Johnson stare each other down.
Winner: Razor Ramon
The match was not terrible but it was a little slow in the early going since there were a lot of rest holds. The action did pick up toward the end, which unsurprisingly is when my interest in the match also picked up.
I think all of the dudes who ran in at the end are in that “wild card” match at Survivor Series, so I guess the schmozzy ending did a decent enough job of building towards that match. [**½]
Outside of the really cool pumpkin in the beginning and the costumes the announcers were wearing there wasn’t anything all that Halloweeny about this episode. There were no costume battle royals, no random appearance of The Boogeyman, no Roddy Piper coked out of his gourd giving bowling balls to small children dressed like Hulk Hogan. Heck, the Undertaker wasn’t even on the show.
As bad as 1995 WWF generally is, this episode was surprisingly not that awful with regard to the in ring action. The two non-squash matches were both given a decent enough amount of time and were enjoyable enough and the squash matches served their purpose. All the storylines that were being built to were logical and all together it was only like 45 minutes without commercials which is basically the perfect length for a weekly wrestling show in my opinion.
Will I watch more non-holiday themed 1995 Raw? Probably not, but as a one off this wasn’t as bad as it could have been.