WWF Monday Night RAW – July 17th, 1995
By Brian Bayless on 28th April 2021
July 17, 1995
From the Whitey McCloskey Center in Danville, PA. The fourth and final show of this taping.
Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King Lawler
We start off with words from IRS and Shawn Michaels to hype up their match tonight.
Yokozuna & Owen Hart w/Jim Cornette & Mr. Fuji vs. Gus Kantarakis & Jim Dimitri
Dimitri & Kantarakis have matching singlets. Lawler talks about the care Dr. Isaac Yankem takes in his work as Owen works over Dimitri for a bit. Dimitri works the arm now then tags out as Kantarakis also works the arm. Owen takes Kantarakis down with a short-armed clothesline then connects with a standing dropkick. Yokozuna tags as Lawler says he weighs more than Jacob & Eli Blu combined. The champs take control and hit the drop toehold/leg drop combo before Owen puts Dimitri in the Sharpshooter for the win (2:55).
Thoughts: Last minute hype for the Tag Team Title match at the PPV with the top story of that match being whether or not Luger can slam Yokozuna now that he is more than 75 lbs heavier than he was two years ago.
In Your House Report with Todd Pettengill. More of the same here with Pettengill saying that Diesel will reveal his bodyguards tonight.
Jean Pierre Lafitte vs. David Thornberg
We get some topical references from the announcers as Lafitte shrugs of a pair of clotheslines before hitting one of his own. Lafitte hits a release German suplex as Lawler makes Helen Hart jokes. Vince says there is a rumor things are missing in the WWF locker room and how Lafitte is a prime suspect. Lafitte flies to the outside and wipes out Thornberg with a clothesline then brings him back into the ring. Vince plugs the Superstar Line as Lafitte ties Thornberg in the ropes and hits a pair of crossbody blocks. Lafitte then hits a DDT and signals that its over before heading up top for the Cannonball for the win (2:33).
Thoughts: Looks like they are now starting a storyline with Lafitte over him stealing from people. Lets see how that ends up.
The introductory vignette for Fatu that aired this past weekend on the syndicated shows airs.
We cut back to the announcers as they talk about Jarrett singing live for the first time at In Your House. After that the “With My Baby Tonight” video airs.
IRS w/ Ted DiBiase vs. Shawn Michaels
Vince talks about Jarrett possibly losing the Itnercontinental Title to Shawn and even getting stage fright at the PPV. Lawler, however, says Jarrett is a “modern day Elvis.” Shawn plays to the crowd to start as Vince cackles like a moron. Vince talks about the pressure on Jarrett as IRS reaches the ropes while in an armbar. IRS bails then yanks Shawn down by the hair and bails again and heads up the aisle but Shawn brings him back into the ring. Shawn grabs IRS by the tie and snaps his neck off of the top rope. Shawn uses a forearm smash for two then works a side headlock on the mat. Shawn dropkicks IRS for two after a brief offensive flurry before going back to the side headlock on the mat. The announcers continue to talk about Shawn vs. Jarrett as Vince says we will hear from Diesel later on in the show. Shawn misses a charge and spills outside as we get “Irwin” chants from the crowd. IRS rams Shawn into the steps as Lawler tells us Sid said he would come out tonight. Vince says that Diesel is watching this match as Shawn fights back. Shawn slingshots back in for a sunset flip and gets a two count but IRS knocks him down with a shot to the gut. IRS hammers away in the corner then puts on his dreaded abdominal stretch while trying to use the ropes for leverage whenever he can. The crowd is firmly behind Shawn as we go to break. Match returns with IRS working a chin lock on the mat. IRS uses a scoop slam then heads up top and leaps but Shawn gets his foot up as both men are down. Lawler once again tells us how Dr. Yankem will destroy Bret as Shawn starts to run wild. Shawn heads up top for a double axe handle that gets two. Shawn then signals for the super kick but IRS ducks and lands the Write Off clothesline in a nice sequence. IRS then whips Shawn into the corner but Shawn floats over and this time connects with the super kick for the win (8:38 shown) **3/4. The crowd is ecstatic while DiBiase is pissed.
Thoughts: Good match here with the crowd jacked for Shawn, which is impressive since this was the final show of a lacakluster taping. No small feat there. The outcome was never in doubt but both had chemistry here. And this was the final TV match for IRS as he would do a few more house shows against Shawn at the end of the month before jumping ship to WCW in September. The character more than wore out its welcome and after viewing his run its clear a lot of fans look back at his run with rose-colored glasses.
Barry Didinsky is with a young woman selling shirts as Shawn passes by and gives the young lady a guess.
Still to come, Diesel will introduce to us his lumberjacks for the PPV.
Hype video for next week’s Bret Hart vs. Hakushi match.
A new Dr. Isaac Yankem video. He tells some kid his tooth looks really bad and needs it to get pulled. Lawler promises Yankem will take care of Bret’s teeth with his fist and can gum food together with his dad, Stu. Yankem then pulls the kid’s tooth out as its all blurred out.
Kama w/ Ted DiBiase vs. Russ Greenberg
Funny moment here during the introductions as Greenberg is introduced as “Billy Mack” then is visibly shown pissed off saying “it’s Russ Greenberg” to the ring announcer. Kama beats down Greenberg as Vince puts Kama over as a lumberjack. Kama uses a rollup for two as the announcers talk about Bret vs. Hakushi next week. Greenberg climbs up top and hits a missile dropkick as Kama was complaining to the ref. Greenberg runs into a thrust kick as the announcers now talk about Barry Horowitz’s win over Skip. Kama kicks Greenberg in the corner then avoids some punches and knees Greenberg down. Kama stays in control and uses a right hand for the win (2:02). After the match, Kama yells at the Creatures of the Night.
Thoughts: Just a backdrop for the announcers to talk about other things in the promotion. They still have Kama yell at the Creatures of the night at ringside but it hasn’t progressed to anything more.
Vince welcomes Diesel to the ring. Diesel makes an awful joke about Frank Perdue and Ted DiBiase having the fact they are surrounded by big chickens in common. Diesel then talks about this will be settled at the PPV and that Sid will get Jackknifed at the PPV and his career will be over. He then introduces his lumberjacks, with Bam Bam Bigelow in the front. The rest of them are: Billy Gunn, Bart Gunn, Bob Holly, 1-2-3 Kid, Adam Bomb, Savio Vega, Duke Droese, Troy, Travis, Fatu (in a black t-shirt and pants trying to blend in I guess before being debuted as his new character), Man Mountain Rock, and Shawn Michaels. Shawn leaps up on the apron and gives Diesel a high five. Vince then welcomes Sid out to the ring. Sid comes down the aisle and says he’s not afraid. Sid then stops and shakes his head and laughs as Lawler screams about getting the lumberjacks as we go to break. We return as Vince wants Sid to come into the ring and look Diesel in the eyes. Sid is on the apron with his lumberjacks behind him. Sid stays on the apron and taunts Diesel as the crowd chants but Sid backs down and leaves with his lumberjacks as Diesel’s lumberjacks celebrate in the ring as Lawler is on commentary telling us its the last time we will see Diesel as champion. The crowd was into this until the end but I can’t imagine anyone clamoring for these two to wrestle again. Diesel is still hurt with his elbow and Sid sucks once the bell rings so its likely not going to be pretty and the Lumberjack stipulation is more about making Sid into a pussy rather than hyping up the title match itself.
Final Thoughts: The featured match was solid and the rest of the show last-minute hype for the PPV, which is to be expected. Anyway, the best of this four-show taping but we will see how the PPV does next as its just six days away.
Here is my schedule for the next several days:
Thursday: WWF Superstars 7/22/95, WWF Wrestling Challenge 7/23/95
Friday: WWF In Your House 2
Saturday: WWF Monday Night RAW 7/24/95
Sunday: WWF Superstars 7/29/95, WWF Wrestling Challenge 7/30/95
Monday: WWF Monday Night RAW 7/31/95
Tuesday: WWF Superstars 8/5/95, WWF Wrestling Challenge 8/6/95
Wednesday: WWF Monday Night RAW 8/7/95