SALISBURY, MD (unknown arena)
MONDAY NIGHT RAW (12/11/95)
Jerry “The King” Lawler
Yes, the days when Jeff Hardy was merely a jobber. Diesel watches the match from backstage as Owen dominates Hardy but they still work a pretty fun little squash match. Diana Hart-Smith is also in the crowd. Holy shit, Jeff takes an INSANE 360 clothesline bump and Owen nails him with a missile dropkick for the win in 2:35. After the match, Yoko squashes Hardy with a Bonzai Drop and then Owen puts the Sharpshooter on him. Diesel comes out but Owen bails so he disposes of Yokozuna instead.
WINNER by PINFALL: Owen Hart
Chaparita Asari vs. Aja Kong
Another Japanese ladies match? I’m down. Asari starts off quick with a couple of handspring mule kicks but Kong just powers her down with ease. A nasty hairpull and kicks to the back by Kong followed by a delayed suplex, but Kong pulls her head up at two. Kong then goes to a VICIOUS package piledriver but again picks her head up at two. Kong uses some more stiff kicks to the head and hits a big splash but AGAIN pulls her head up at two. Lawler is making fun of some dead rapper in a really “classy” manner. Kong shakes her ass around (?) and then slams Asari down, followed by a top-rope splash… but it misses. Asari then misses her high spot, which allows Aja to hit the spinning backfist for the pin at 4:05. Aja Kong just KILLED her in this match. **
WINNER by PINFALL: Aja Kong
We get a pre-recorded interview with Todd talking to Shawn on his recovery process. Nothing really gets said here other than Shawn saying that he will return when the doctors allow him to come back. He wants the WWF Title too.
Ahmed Johnson vs. Rick Stockhauser
Ahmed tears this poor scrub apart and no-sells all of his offense. He hits the sloppiest and shittiest spinebuster of all-time followed by showing how green he truly was by repeating the same spot. Pearl River Plunge ends it quick at 1:08.
WINNER by PINFALL: Ahmed Johnson
Lawler interviews Ahmed and makes fun of him some more but gets intimidated and sits back down.
Freddie Blassie yells at a bunch of wrestlers in a promo for the RAW Bowl. I can only cringe at what that is going to entail.
Vince McMahon gets a word with the 1-2-3 Kid and Psycho Sid [w/Ted DiBiase] regarding the tag match against Razor and Marty Jannetty at In Your House. Unfortunately, the Kid has next-to-no charisma at this point in his career and DiBiase has to carry the interview. Sid yells a lot.
I think this is Bob’s first RAW match in over a year and probably one of his last as well. Vince making Lawler read the Burger King sponsor bit is pretty funny. Hart takes Backlund to the mat to start off with but he goes to the ropes and Hart breaks it up. Hart gets a go-behind on Backlund but he switches and gets the champ in a headscissors. This is quality chain wrestling. Bret gets out of the hold and applies a front facelock while Lawler interviews Diana Hart-Smith in the crowd. She has the charisma of a split pea. Back in the ring, Bret goes to the waistlock on Backlund and they go to the ropes. Bret dropkicks Backlund out of the ring and we go to commercial. As we come back, Bret gets a backlside for two. Backlund slips to the outside and stalls for time but Bret finally drags him back in by the arm. Bret wrenches away on the arm but Bob avoids a slam and tries to lock on the Chicken Wing. Bret quickly gets to the ropes though so Backlund continues to work on the arm. Bob takes Bret over with a snap mare and locks on an armbar but gets sidetracked by the audience chanting for the Hitman. He takes Bret down with an armbar again and CONTINUES to beat on the arm. It sounds boring and plodding but it’s solid stuff here. Bret fights out but gets taken down with a big forearm shot aaaaaand Backlund goes back to the arm once again. Bret gets a couple of two counts out of nowhere but we take a second commercial break. Russian Leg Sweep gets two for Bret. Inverted atomic drop sets up the elbow, which leads to the Sharpshooter but the Bulldog runs in for the DQ at 11:34 just as Bob catches Hart with the Crossface. *** ½, solid main event here.
WINNER by DISQUALIFICATION: Bret Hart
Davey Boy puts the boots to Bret while Backlund still has the Crossface locked on. Officials finally clear Backlund and Davey Boy out of the ring after a helluva beating has been administered. Backlund is not happy about being DQ’ed.
OVERALL: A very good main event and some decent build for the PPV makes for the first ‘good’ episode of RAW that I’ve reviewed for the site so far.
TOTAL WRESTLING TIME: 19:22