We get a new opening with the WWF logo rising out of a stone as we get the “revolutionary force in Sports Entertainment” quote to go along with a new opening montage with a country song about all of the wrestlers called “Are You Ready to Go” as this kicks of the WWF new Fall season.
September 3, 1995
From the in Canton, OH
Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler
This week, Dean Douglas makes his in-ring debut against the 1-2-3 Kid. Also, Shawm Michaels vs. Tatanka. Also in action are Yokozuna & Owen Hart.
Man Mountain Rock is playing guitar in the ring. Vince tells us he is facing Jean Pierre Lafitte on the show.
Man Mountain Rock vs. Jean Pierre Lafitte
We also have new name graphics for the show. The announcers talk about the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame and that Bob Backlund does not approve of the inductees. Lafitte is not wearing Bret Hart’s jacket to the ring. The announcers hype up Lafitte/Bret for In Your House as Rock catches Lafitte with an elbow smash then runs him over. He then clotheslines Lafitte over the top rope and tries to hype up the crowd. Rock suplexes Lafitte back into the ring from the apron then stares blankly after whipping Lafitte into the corner and walks over to whip him again but misses a corner splash. Lafitte takes Rock down with a bulldog then hammers away. Lafitte ties Rock into the ropes and hits a pair of crossbody blocks. Rock gets untied and catches a crossbody attempt but Lafitte falls on top for a two count. Lafitte now works a chin lock then blocks a sunset flip and fires away in the corner. Lafitte kicks Rock a few times then tries an Irish whip but Rock reverses and catches Lafitte with an overhead suplex. Rock is up and goes to the middle rope but misses a splash. Lafitte then hits a leg drop and signals its over as he goes up top for the cannonball and the win (4:24) 1/2*. Vince then asks if Lafitte will be good enough to defeat Bret Hart.
Thoughts: Rock completely went through the motions here and they didnt even mention his feud with Backlund as they just talked about Backlund not liking the Hall of Fame musical acts. And he lost clean as a sheet so its clear he has fell out of favor and will not be long for the company. Also, this wound up being his final WWF appearance. His last match took place on 10/10 during the final show of the Germany tour. I do happen to have a fan-cam copy of that show and we will see if it made the recording.
WWF Slam Jam with Dok Hendrix. This has replaced the “Live Event News” segment with the set similar to that of an MTV music video show at the time. Hendrix hypes up the 10/6 MSG show and has the manic energy they wanted from the likes of Stephanie Wiand for these segments. Alundra Blayze vs. Bertha Faye for the Women’s Title will also happen on the show. We then hear from Shawn Michaels once again as he runs down the British Bulldog for their match, which is being billed as the main event. I guess its a little more modern than the typical live event news segments and livelier too so I’d call it a positive change.
We get a hype video for the Shawn Michaels vs. Sid match on RAW that goes through their entire history.
1-2-3 Kid vs. Dean Douglas
I do like Douglas’s theme here. Vince, with glee, talks about what Razor Ramon did to Douglas at SummerSlam. Douglas backs into the corner as Kid was about to kick him. Douglas cheap shots Kid and whips him into the corner then scoops him up for a slam. Kid lands a spin kick and a few more kicks before a poorly timed spin kick sends Douglas outside. Kid slingshots out with a somersault plancha as Douglas made zero effort to catch him. Kid suplexes Douglas into the ring from the apron then heads up top but whiffs on a second somersault plancha attempt. Douglas hits a back suplex as we go to break then return with Douglas applying a chin lock. Lawler so far gives Douglas an “A+” grade in his first appearance as Douglas maintains the chin lock. Kid escapes after a jawbreaker then fires away but ducks his head and Douglas uses a swinging neckbreaker for a two count as Douglas pulled Kid up to break the pin. Douglas lands an atomic drop then a neck snap then toys with Kid until Razor walks down the aisle. Razor gets on the apron but Douglas knocks him off. Razor gets right up then Kid uses a reverse rollup for a nearfall but after that Razor comes in and attacks for the DQ (7:35) *3/4. Douglas bails and jaws at Razor but we see Kid pissed off at Razor for costing him the match.
Thoughts: This wasn’t a great debut for Douglas. As well documented, Kid was used as a way to judge talent in their first match and Kid gave Douglas the thumbs down after this match. They did not have chemistry here and Douglas moved around poorly I thought and had some timing issues too. Quite frankly, seemed like he didnt have enough to keep up. Besides Razor/Douglas, they also set up some dissent between Razor/Kid and we can see how that progresses as the year goes on but an unimpressive debut for the Dean.
A new Goldust vignette as this time he talks about not letting any other man shine his star brighter and live up to his Goldust name.
Ad for the WrestleMania XI special airs.
Owen Hart & Yokozuna w/ Jim Cornette & Mr.Fuji vs. Tony Williams & A.C. Conner
The announcers talk about the triple-header match at In Your House and explain the rules. Owen boots Williams then hammers away. The announcers now talk about George Steele being in Bret Hart’s corner at MSG as Williams dropkicks Hart before tagging out. Hart works over Conner then tags out as we also learn that Bob Backlund will face 1-2-3 Kid at MSG. Williams tags and staggers Yokozuna with a pair of dropkicks but comes off the top and is caught with a slam then Hart tags and uses a jackknife cover for the win (2:37).
Thoughts: Hype for the triple-header match at IYH.
We get a hype video for next week’s Henry Godwinn vs. King Kong Bundy match. Sounds like a barnburner.
We hear from Tatanka with Ted DiBiase as he tells Shawn that the pain felt at SummerSlam will be nothing compared to the pain he dishes out next. Generic promo hyping up a match here.
Barry Didinsky is shilling the new Diesel t-shirt that comes with the LT poster.
Tatanka w/ Ted DiBiase vs. Shawn Michaels
Shawn toys with Tatanka by hiding behind the ref. Match starts as Tatanka hits Shawn with a pair of knee smashes before hammering away in the corner. Vince asks if Tatanka wants to win this match or soften up Shawn for Sid on RAW. Shawn comes back with a hurricarana then hammers away before heading up top with a flying double axe handle. The announcers are shocked that Shawn is wrestling so soon after the ladder match as Tatanka catches Shawn with a powerbomb. Tatanka tosses Shawn outside then Shawn returns and Tatanka targets the back. The announcers talk about the triple header match as Tatanka stays in control. Tatanka hits a gutwrench suplex as Sid comes down the aisle and stands at ringside as we go to break. Match returns with Tatanka putting Shawn in a chin lock. Lawler laughs that Shawn can get help from those “clueless nerds on the internet” as Shawn escapes the chin lock then kicks Tatanka in the face. Tatanka fights back and heads up top and tries a flying chop while Shawn is flat on his back and gets caught with a boot as both men are down. Shawn kips up and stares down Tatanka to the surprise of everyone and starts firing away. Shawn then hits a flying forearm as the fans go nuts and follows that up with a stomp. Shawn rams Tatanka into the corner but eats boot on a charge. Shawn slips out of an End of the Trail attempt then ducks a clothesline and slides underneath Tatanka before hitting the super kick for the win (9:03) **1/4. DiBiase is pissed after the match as Vince raves about Shawn on commentary.
Thoughts: Match was fine as Shawn, coming in hurt from the ladder match, overcame the odds and will have some more momentum heading into Monday’s nights title defense against Sid. We also had some more hype for the triple header at IYH.
WWF Slam Jam with Dok Hendrix. We have the WrestleMania arcade game in the background as there is a contest you can write and have a chance to win. We then hear from Bulldog & Cornette to hype the MSG match against Shawn.
An ad for Bulldog vs. Razor on RAW.
Back to the hosts as they hype up RAW this coming Monday night.
Also next week we will get Hakushi vs. Skip.
A music video recap of the show ends things.
Final Thoughts: We had new production and some revamps of certain segments to go along with three matches featuring name opponents. Let’s see how long that last item goes on for but this was a decent enough show although Douglas did have a disappointing debut in the ring.
Probably the biggest news item was Lex Luger having an interview originally scheduled for this show that never made it to air because Luger shocked the wrestling world by appearing on the debut edition of “WCW Monday Nitro” thus no longer a member of the WWF. And Luger was much better off leaving the WWF being stuck in another midcard feud and looking like a goof having someone turning on you once again. I don’t think many key people in WWF were sad to see Luger go as Bruce Prichard told a story on his podcast how Pat Patterson called him up and asked if he saw Luger on Nitro and was relieved to learn that Luger was no longer their “problem.” Anyway, the hype for RAW this coming Monday has been heavy as its the first show to go head to head with Nitro and expect the companies to get snippier with each other as the year continues.