Monday Night Raw – January 2, 1995: It’s A Sad New Year

IMG Credit: WWE

Monday Night Raw
Date: January 2, 1995
Location: Liberty High School, Liberty, New York
Attendance: 1,400
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, Shawn Michaels

We’re picking things up not too far removed from the last set. This time around we’re getting ready for the Royal Rumble and that means things should start to get interesting. There aren’t a lot of fresh challengers for Diesel’s WWF Title at the moment so getting someone new out of the Rumble is a good idea. Let’s get to it.

Here are last week’s results if you need a recap.

Jeff Jarrett is ready to sing tonight. I’m sure.

Opening sequence.

It’s so weird to hear Monsoon doing commentary. He says that Vince is under the weather….but Vince did commentary on the first two shows of this taping cycle. Huh?

Bam Bam Bigelow/Tatanka vs. Lex Luger/British Bulldog

Bulldog is late getting to the ring so Luger is in early trouble. Bigelow beats him down to start but a running shot to the face staggers Bigelow right back. A middle rope clothesline gives Luger two on Bigelow and the armbar goes on. DiBiase’s distraction lets Tatanka get in a knee to the back as Shawn asks how Luger would wrestle without a clothesline.

The chops to the head have Luger in more trouble and Tatanka drops some elbows for two. Back from a break with Tatanka hitting the top rope chop to the head and slapping on the bearhug. Monsoon isn’t sure why someone of Tatanka’s size is putting a bearhug on and given how fast it’s broken up, he might be onto something.

Tatanka is right back with a belly to back suplex and Bigelow comes in for a headbutt to keep Luger down. Luger comes right back up with a powerslam and it’s off to the Bulldog for the house cleaning. The real running powerslam drops Tatanka but Bigelow makes the save. Everyone heads outside and it’s a double countout for a pretty lame ending.

Rating: D. Well that was pitiful. This was a bunch of slow action until the ending which doesn’t help anyone. I can understand the idea of not wanting either team to job but they couldn’t have DiBiase hold a foot or something? It wasn’t any good and there wasn’t much that could be done given the way this was being set up.

Royal Rumble Report, with Todd Pettengill criticizing the double countout. We get a quick rundown on the card before breaking news: the tag match WILL CONTINUE later tonight. Well that just makes my day. The rest of the card gets some attention, including IRS busting out his own druids to counter Undertaker. We get a list of Rumble participants, which…..leaves something to be desired shall we say.

Roadie is getting ready for Jeff Jarrett’s singing debut tonight. This has been teased for months now and I wouldn’t get my hopes up.

Duke Droese vs. Mike Bell

Bell’s chop just makes Droese mad and it’s a backdrop into a chinlock. A powerslam sets up the Trash Compactor (tilt-a-whirl powerslam) for the fast pin. Droese is someone who has grown on me a bit over the years.

Video on Kama Mustafa. This was before we knew what mixed martial arts were so it’s not the easiest thing to accept.

We look at the Tag Team Title tournament.

Here’s Jerry Lawler for the King’s Court with Owen Hart as the guest. After they practice the kingly wave, Lawler praises him for his acting job at Survivor Series. Lawler gets in his classic jokes about Stu and Helen Hart, leaving Owen to recap his master plan. I mean, he didn’t win the title himself but he did cost Bret the title and that’s what matters most.

Owen has the very towel that Helen threw in to cost him the title and is far too proud of the thing. That brings him to the new year, when he’s going to win every title there is to win in the WWF. He just won’t lose it like Bret did. Gorilla: “That’s the scoop?” Owen enters the Royal Rumble, which is the real announcement. He certainly took his time getting there.

Next week: Razor Ramon vs. Owen Hart for the Intercontinental Title and Howard Finkel vs. Harvey Wippleman in a tuxedo match. Egads do I have to?

Jeff Jarrett vs. Buck Quartermaine

Gorilla doesn’t want to hear about how great Jarrett is. Jeff takes him down to start and walks over Buck’s back before snapping him throat first across the top. A top rope clothesline connects as Shawn makes fun of Quartermaine’s name. The running crotch attack to the back sets up the strut into a belly to back suplex. Gorilla is getting frustrated, telling Jeff to get in, sing his song and get out. A superplex sets up the Figure Four for the fast tap. Total squash.

Post break it’s time for the song but the microphone levels and lighting are all messed up so that’s not happening. Gorilla: “Where’s Kevin Dunn when you need him?” Jarrett throws in the towel and there’s no song tonight.

We see a clip of Super Dave Osborne’s (comedian who plays a horrible stuntman) new show.

Lex Luger/British Bulldog vs. Bam Bam Bigelow/Tatanka

We’re joined in progress on the restart with Bigelow beating on Luger. Tatanka comes in for some chops and a clothesline before it’s back to Bigelow for the headbutts. We take a break and come back (Gorilla: “After a short short.”) with Shawn saying it feels like this match has been going all night. Tatanka clotheslines Bigelow by mistake and it’s off to the Bulldog to clean house. Another clothesline puts Bigelow on the floor and Bulldog whips Tatanka into Bigelow for the pin (after Tatanka not being ready for a rollup).

Rating: D-. I would love to know the thought process here. Was there any reason to have this match go on again after how boring the first part was earlier on? Now we get to watch the second version, which was shorter, less interesting and had a break in the middle despite not being that long. Another bad stuff, as Luger continues to count down the days of his contract.

Overall Rating: F. I always forget how bad some of these shows can be. Some of them are just not any good with one bad idea after another and this was right up there on the list. Shawn wasn’t even that funny on commentary aside from a few good one liners in there as he and Monsoon didn’t have the chemistry of Shawn and Vince. Awful show that couldn’t finish fast enough.

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