October 23, 1995
From the Keystone Center in Brandon, Manitoba
Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler
Tonight, Alundra Blayze defends the WWF Women’s Title against Bertha Faye. Also, a 20 man Battle Royal where the winner receives a shot at the Intercontinental Title. Plus, an update on Shawn Michaels’ medical condition and what happened at the end of the World Title match on the In Your House PPV.
#1 Intercontinental Title Contender 20 Man Battle Royal Match: Bam Bam Bigelow, 1-2-3 Kid, Bob Holly, King Kong Bundy, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Kama, Henry Godwinn, Skip, Duke “The Dumpster” Droese, Barry Horowitz, Aldo Montoya, Marty Jannetty, Rad Radford, Jean Pierre Lafitte, Savio Vega, Hakushi, Owen Hart, Fatu, Psycho Sid, and Dr. Isaac Yankem D.D.S.
Lawler tells Vince he wishes Vince could do commentary solo in order for him to enter this match. We get prerecorded comments from Sid and Marty Jannetty. Bundy is the first man eliminated at the fifteen second mark courtesy of Bigelow, Godwinn, Fatu, and Droese. This would be his final WWF televised match. We get some more generic brawling as Vince promises we will hear Jim Ross interview Shawn Michaels. Montoya is the next elimination after Skip tosses him over the top rope. The action is slow and lumbering here as the ring really needs to start thinning out. Helmsley staves off elimination by landing on the apron when Bigelow tosses him over the top rope then ping-pongs on the ropes while getting pummeled by Fatu but the rest is more uneventful brawling. Sid eliminates Bob Holly by flinging him over the top rope but the action remains slow. Sid then eliminates Droese and shortly after that we see Skip toss Hakushi over the top rope for an elimination. The crowd is largely quiet as Lawler tells us he would be legitimately sick if Horowitz won this match. We then go to replay to see how Fatu was tossed by Kama then soon afterwards Horowitz eliminates Skip as Vince does the “Horowitz wins” bit before heading to the break. We return from break as Lawler is elated how Horowitz, 1-2-3 Kid, and Henry Godwinn have all been eliminated. We see replays of some of them as we also learn that Radford and Kama have been eliminated as well. Sid then eliminates Yankem with a back drop as the crowd cheers. Or some crowd members cheer anyway. We are now down to Sid, Owen, Marty, Lafitte, Bigelow, and Savio as Vince says the winner will face Razor Ramon next week for the Intercontinental Title. Bigelow then eliminates Sid for the biggest reaction of the night. We go split screen to see Razor’s facial expressions while presumably watching this match. Its time for another commercial and we return to see that Bigelow has been eliminated and get the replay that it was courtesy of a clothesline from Lafitte. The final four are Owen, Savio, Marty, and Lafitte. Marty puts Owen in a sleeper that gets countered and ends with Marty taking down Owen anyway. We get some chants for Marty and that’s followed by a couple minutes of rather tame action until Marty skins-the-cat and takes Savio outside with a headscissors for an elimination. Lafitte charges and Marty takes him out with a back drop as we are down to Marty and Owen. Marty beats on Owen and clotheslines him over the top rope. Owen lands on the apron and holds on to the ropes for dear life as Marty hammers away. Marty tries to get Owen off of the apron but has his neck snapped against the ropes. Owen then heads back inside and nails an enziguiri before trying to throw him over but Marty springs his feet off the ropes and lands on top of Owen. We get a reverse rollup attempt but Owen runs Marty through the middle ropes as Owen thinks he has won. Marty then takes Cornette’s tennis racket and backs him off but Bulldog runs out from behind and clotheslines Marty then beats the crap out of him before tossing Marty back into the ring. Owen then lands a few shots as Marty staggers around and lands a few more shots but Marty tries to fight back until he gets tossed over the top rope as Owen wins (15:51 shown) *1/4.
Thoughts: This was a chore to get through and the finish lame for a battle royal. Really boring action for the most part that even the announcers seemed to be bored watching. And as noted above, this was Bundy’s final TV appearance for the WWF. In his shoot interview with “Pro Wrestling Diaries,” he hinted about being released over refusing to be in a feud against Henry Godwinn. A quick check shows that Bundy teamed with Kama against Bigelow & Godwinn the following day in a dark match at the “Superstars” tapings. However, Bundy’s return was a flop and the office wasn’t a fan of his performances. He would be shown on the 10/29 episode of “Married With Children.” I’m fine with Owen winning and I guess Marty was the runner up as a consolation prize after losing to Goldust on the PPV.
Back from break as we see a replay of Bulldog beating on Marty.
Lawler interviews Owen & Cornette about next week’s Intercontinental Title match. Lawler even works in a shot at Stu & Helen Hart as Owen says he has beaten everyone in the WWF and will do the same to Razor next week because he is the best there is, best there was, and best there ever will be.
We get the graphic for Diesel vs. Bret Hart at the Survivor Series as we see a replay from last night’s In Your House PPV where Diesel and Bret had a confrontation.
Survivor Series Slam Jam with Dok Hendrix. We learn about the Wildcard match at the show created by Gorilla Monsoon that has Shawn Michaels & Sid & British Bulldog & Ahmed Johnson vs. Dean Douglas & Yokozuna & Owen Hart & Razor Ramon. This Slam Jam is then interrupted when we cut back to the arena and see Bob Backlund campaigning in the crowd as Vince asks why is he doing this in Canada. We then go back to the Slam Jam as we get a promo from Ahmed Johnson. He tells Shawn “Don’t even sweat it G” as he has his back for this match. However, he warns Sid and Bulldog if they cross him he will show them the true meaning of “true evil.” So, we hear from Ahmed for the first time outside of his general hype vignettes. And it was fine. The Wild Card match was an idea created by Bill Watts, who had departed less than two weeks ago. So, they decided the match was happening because fan-favorite President Gorilla Monsoon wanted it to please the fans.
Still to come, the debut of Avatar. Plus, Blayze vs. Faye.
Avatar vs. Brian Walsh
Avatar, who is Al Snow, looks miserable as fuck as he carries his mask to the ring. He then puts the mask on after entering the ring and does some “martial arts” poses. Vince also busts out his “most unusual” phrase in describing Avatar’s antics. Avatar takes Walsh down to start as the crowd is in silence. We now see both men trade arm wringers and then holy shit does this fall apart. Walsh fucks up a monkey flip then Avatar tries to kick him in the back of the head and its not even remotely close but Walsh sells it and goes on the apron in embarrassing fashion. Walsh then falls outside and Avatar tries to fly out but loses his balance so Walsh stands and waits until Avatar is able to fly out with a plancha. Back inside, Avatar misses a springboard moonsault and Walsh hits a pair of clotheslines. Avatar slides around in the corner but counter an Irish whip then hits a spinning backbreaker as Vince makes a comment about Walsh “running out of gas.” Avatar stays in control then stands on top of Walsh and hits a splash for the win (2:35).
Thoughts: What a debut. If Walsh wasn’t horrible or even easier they used a better opponent, maybe the Avatar character stays around a little longer. Vince even buried Walsh so you know he was awful. However, there were some truly terrible sequences and having Avatar walk to the ring holding his mask only to put it on in the ring is not too mysterious. Plus, the crowd was deadly silent. According to Avatar in his shoot interview with RF Video, the company thought that since Mortal Kombat was becoming popular and he was already doing the Shinobi gimmick, they wanted to bring him in to the company. Avatar even said he was going to be built up through a series of vignettes similarly to how Glacier was built up in WCW a year later. However, when he got to the arena, he was told his debut was going to be live. And Avatar said he was not used to the WWF ropes for his springboard moves. Dave Meltzer of the “Wrestling Observer Newsletter” said he was given the excuse for the match being poorly, besides nerves from both men, was that the ropes were stretched out and not tightened plus covered in baby oil after the battle royal. There was also reports from house shows that said he did poorly as well, although having Brooklyn Brawler as his opponent taking that offense is a terrible idea. Avatar did a match that aired on the 10/28 edition of “Mania” where he defeated Skip but I do not have a copy of that so we will not be seeing him in this timeline until the beginning of 1996. Avatar also said that he was perceived as “cocky” and the “Independent Kingpin” that upset guys like Kevin Nash and that’s why he barely did anything until his gimmick change to Leif Cassidy six months later.
Barry Didinsky is back from where ever he was to shill the Shawn & Bret Stand-Ups. And of course the Classic video tape is tossed in free.
Blayze is throwing kicks backstage as a way to prepare for her title defense. Because she does them so many times in her matches.
The announcers talk about next week’s Intercontinental Title match as Vince acts surprised Owen won this battle royal. They now talk about Shawn forfeiting the title last night before we also learn next week will feature Goldust vs. Savio Vega.
WWF Women’s Title Match: Bertha Faye w/ Harvey Whippleman vs. Alundra Blayze (c)
Bertha gives ring announcer Manny Garcia a kiss on the cheek and this angers Harvey. Bertha lands a few shots then press slams Blayze. She blows a kiss at Harvey then hits a pair of leg drops for a two count. Vince now plugs the Superstar Line as Bertha stays in control of the match. Blayze manages a sunset flip for a two count but runs into a clothesline. Bertha counters a second sunset flip attempt with a sit-down splash for a two count as the announcers touch upon the conflict between Diesel and Bret Hart. Bertha wins a slugfest then we go to break and return with Blayze using a Boston Crab. Bertha escapes and hits a corner splash but then Blayze goes up and over in the corner and uses turnbuckle smashes from the apron. Blayze runs wild and gets a nearfall with a missile dropkick. Spinning heel kick gets two as Lawler makes fun of Blayze’s nose. Blayze runs wild again but this time its less impressive as the match has considerably slowed down. Blayze now tries for a piledriver but that gets countered with a back drop. Bertha sets up for a middle rope move but spends far too much time yelling at the ref and that allows Blayze to take her off with a handspring hurricarana. Harvey is up on the apron and distracts the ref then holds Blayze in place but she escapes and Bertha collides into Harvey, allowing Blayze to use a bridging German suplex for the win (7:44 shown) **1/4. Crowd did pop for the finish. After the match we see Bertha chase Harvey backstage as Blayze celebrates with the title belt.
Thoughts: The match was fine but nothing you need to go out of your way to see. And they seemed to start a Bertha/Harvey split as well. Its tough to get excited about the Women’s Division when these are the only two people in the actual division. In his “Something to Wrestle With” podcast, Bruce Prichard said there wasn’t enough domestic talent to field an entire roster of women then claimed there was probably not a big enough audience to accept a women’s division at this time. However, they would make one last attempt over the next few weeks
Another rundown of next week’s show
Ross sits down with Shawn and asks him how it feels to forfeit the title. Shawn says he will never claim to be the toughest or the most popular but that he does work the hardest. He does not feel shamed over being beat up by nine guys and did not enjoy handing over the title to an “overrated” performer. Ross now asks about his teammates at Survivor Series then when can we expect to see Shawn in the ring. Shawn says he has more tests on Wednesday then makes a joke about his brain before saying he hopes to be back in a week. Shawn said he can sit home and cry or be a man and assures us his tears are all dried up. We then end the show cutting back to the announcers as Lawler laughs over Shawn’s comments. So, we should expect Shawn back soon but after the shit pulled at In Your House, who knows. In the “Wrestling Observer Newsletter,” Dave Meltzer reported that Shawn was scheduled to return on 11/3 and we will see in this timeline if that was the case.
Final Thoughts: The only things mentioned about the PPV where the aftermath of the World Title match and the fact Shawn had vacated the Intercontinental Title. Its better off that way, IMO, since the PPV was bad. However, this edition of RAW was not particularly good either although it did have some stakes at least. The mix of poor creative, injuries, and a lack of depth has left these shows little to work with thus not a pleasant viewing experience.