Monday Night Raw – November 20, 1995: The Best One So Far

Monday Night Raw
Date: November 20, 1995
Location: Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, Virginia
Attendance: 4,500
Commentators: Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler

It’s the night after Survivor Series and the big story is Bret Hart ending Diesel’s year long reign as WWF World Champion. That means it’s time to get ready for the Royal Rumble in about two months but first we have to get through a major angle tonight. I’m sure you’ve seen this one before and it set up a lot going forward. Let’s get to it.

We open with a stills package on last night’s main event.

Opening sequence.

We look back at 1-2-3 Kid joining the Corporation last week, which resulted in Sid helping Kid win a Survivor Series match last night. Kid also cost Razor the Wild Card match.

Hakushi vs. 1-2-3 Kid

We get a phone call from Razor which is the forerunner to guest commentary. Kid grabs a headlock to give us a slow start as Razor calls the Kid small change. A dropkick puts Kid down and we hit the armbar as we hear about Barry Horowitz Americanizing Hakushi. Here’s Marty Jannetty for a failed run-in due to losing the Survivor Series match last night.

We take a break and come back with Kid grabbing a very modified cravate and kicking Hakushi in the head. A top rope splash gets two on Hakushi but he comes back with a cross body for a near fall of his own. Kid is knocked outside with a great looking kick to the head but DiBiase shoves Hakushi off the top, setting up a spinwheel kick to the head for the pin.

Rating: C+. These two always had good matches against each other and you really shouldn’t expect anything else given who was in there. The Kid was getting a strong push here and is so arrogant that it’s easy to hate him. Throw in DiBiase to do the talking and everything should work fine.

Post match DiBiase brags about his new investment but here’s Jannetty to try again. This time he just gets powerbombed on the floor by an invading Sid. Serves him right for messing with a good match.

Slam Jam time with Dok Hendrix freaking out over Survivor Series. The main event of the next pay per view is Bret defending his newly won title against British Bulldog. That means we get clips of Summerslam 1992 and comments from Bulldog saying he’ll win. On top of that we’ll be having a hog pen match with HHH vs. Henry Godwinn just because.

Diesel arrives.

Skip vs. Savio Vega

Savio hammers away to start and catapults Skip into the buckle. Skip comes back but here’s a surly Diesel to shove him down for what should be a DQ but just ends the match without a bell because the WWF is stupid sometimes.

Diesel thought about apologizing for beating down Bret after the match last night. For the first time in a year he slept like a baby and woke up with a smile on his face. A year ago he won the title and was turned into a marketing campaign by the bosses at Titan Tower. Diesel only cares about his family and friends (“That includes you Shawn Michaels.”) anymore. He’ll still slap hands but they better have a black glove on them. Diesel walks to the back and gets a quick hug from Shawn as Diesel is officially a tweener. As is so often the case, Diesel can bring the goods on the mic and the fun stuff is coming with him.

Shawn Michaels vs. Owen Hart

Owen doesn’t even get an entrance. Shawn grabs a hurricanrana and hammers away to start, only to be sent to the floor for a baseball slide. Back in and it’s a backbreaker into a chinlock as it’s time for a break. We come back with Owen dropping a leg for two and getting the same off a superplex. Shawn starts the comeback with the usual but Owen is smart enough to stay in the corner to avoid Sweet Chin Music. An enziguri drops Shawn but it’s too early for the Sharpshooter. Instead a clothesline puts Owen on the floor with Shawn skinning the cat…..and collapsing, drawing a no contest.

Rating: B. These two always worked well together but the match here was really just a backdrop for the major angle. This took Shawn off TV until the Royal Rumble and set up his huge comeback match to start his main event push in 1996. The angle worked really well here and there’s a reason this is remembered so strongly.

The fans get very quiet as we go to a break. Back with medical staff checking on Shawn and Vince in the ring as they give Shawn oxygen. We actually take a second break and come back with Pat Patterson asking if Shawn can hear him. Shawn’s eyes are open and the fans are all looking terrified. Even Owen is shaken up as we wrap things up.

Overall Rating: A-. This is one of the better episodes the show has ever had and possibly the best ever at this point. The Diesel promo changed a lot as he was almost instantly the top heel in the company, Shawn’s angle at the end is great and Bret is still waiting to make his return as the giant slaying hero. Things would get bad in 1996 but we’re looking at some awesome stuff for the next few weeks.

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