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WWF Monday Night RAW - September 25, 1995

by SamoaRowe

-So, this is another seemingly random episode of Raw that is historically significant because this was the first time that Nitro beat Raw in the ratings. Nitro scored a 2.7 rating to Raw’s 1.9. Meanwhile, Nitro won the night with this line-up:

-Replay from Triple Header shows the British Bulldog substituting for Owen Hart in the main event against Diesel and Shawn Michaels. Owen showed up late and was allowed to compete, quickly getting pinned by Diesel. Jim Cornette and Clarence Mason lobbied for Diesel and HBK to be stripped of the titles, making the whole thing pointless. Anyways, the tag title situation will be sorted out tonight.

-LIVE from Grand Rapids, MI. Our hosts are Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler

Marty Jannetty vs. Skip (with Sunny)

They have a quick back and forth exchange before Jannetty lands an arm drag and drop-kick to send Skip fleeing in Sunny’s arms. Jannetty blows a kiss at Sunny, sparking some aggression out of Skip. Jannetty clears Skip out with a back drop, prompting another hug. Jannetty sneaks a hug from Sunny as well, which infuriates her and pops the crowd. The match restarts with mat work, but Sunny grabs Marty’s ankle to let Skip nail a power bomb. Dean Douglas appears to be taking notes from the aisle as Skip unleashes power moves heading into a commercial. Jannetty rebounds with a German suplex! Powerbomb counter by Jannetty who continues to roll through a comeback. A Sunny distraction backfires as Jannetty backdrops Skip to the floor. Sunny trips Marty in a suplex, allowing Skip to counter into a cross body. Jannetty shakes it off, hitting the flying fist drop for the win at 7:40 (shown). Strong effort from two hungry guys, **¾.
Winner: Marty Jannetty

-Clarence Mason grills Gorilla Monsoon about what happened at Triple Header. Monsoon concedes to Mason and awards the Tag Team Championship back to Owen Hart and Yokozuna.

WWF Tag Team Championship:
Yokozuna and Owen Hart © (with Jim Cornette and Mr. Fuji) vs. The Smoking Gunns (Billy and Bart)

We join the match in progress and Bart and Owen run the ropes until Bart catches the arm. Billy goes after the arm too, but Owen manages a drop toe hold, allowing a tag to Yokozuna. Billy considers a tag, but decides to lock up with the big man. Billy scores a pair of drop-kicks and takes Yokozuna down with a big bulldog. Yokozuna counters back with a Samoan Drop! Billy settles in as our official Face in Peril ™ but has nice hope spots in between getting beaten up through another commercial. The crowd explodes as Bart gets the hot tag and cleans house! The Smoking Gunns hit the guillotine leg drop on Owen, and Yokozuna’s save attempt fails as he accidentally splashes his own partner. Bart pins Owen for the titles at 10:15 (shown). Hot crowd heat and a well booked formula match make for a good time, ***.
Winners and new WWF Tag Team Champions: The Smoking Gunns

-Diesel and Shawn Michaels join the Smoking Gunns for their celebration. Owen and Yokozuna sulk off. The fans love this.

The British Bulldog (with Jim Cornette) vs. The Undertaker (with Paul Bearer)

Joined in progress, Undertaker returns to the ring to knock Bulldog off his feet. Taker puts together a string of offense, but Bulldog blocks “Old School” (guess it was “new school” at the time) to gain an opening. Bulldog clotheslines Undertaker to the floor, where Taker decides to attack Cornette out of convenience. Bulldog makes the save, driving the Dead Man into the ring steps. Men on a Mission show up to watch as they break for commercial. Post break, Undertaker scratches and claws his way into a comeback, countering with a back suplex. Bulldog rebounds with a piledriver for only 2! A pair of vertical suplexes aren’t enough to finish Undertaker either. Undertaker catches Bulldog with a choke slam but Men on the Mission storm the ring. Bulldog knees Taker into Mabel’s arms for a belly to belly suplex for the DQ at 7:30 (shown). The match was better than you’d expect, with a good pace and variety of power moves on display, **¼.
Winner via DQ: The Undertaker

-The fans chant for Diesel as Bulldog puts Undertaker down again with a running power slam. Mabel lands a leg drop, but Diesel and Shawn Michaels run in for the late save. The Smoking Gunns run in to add further protection to a down and out Undertaker.

-Vince McMahon dances from the commentary booth to Shawn Michaels’ music. Gotta love the little joys of being a wrestling fan.

Final Thoughts: This is the first episode of Monday Night Raw where the booking seems to respond to the growing threat of WCW Nitro. No jobber matches, a random title change, and potential pay-per-view matches being shoved onto television. It makes for compelling entertainment and a legitimately good episode, a Thumbs Up with or without nostalgia being considered.

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