–Vince McMahon and Jim Cornette are in the booth and they are live from Stockton, California.
–Opening Contest: The New Headshrinkers (2-1-1) wrestle The Blu Brothers (w/Uncle Zebekiah) (5-0) to a double count out at 7:06 shown:
McMahon informs us that the New Headshrinkers are taking the place of Bob Holly and the 1-2-3 Kid who are “stuck in a traffic jam” and are thereby unable to make tonight’s bell time. The real reason was that the Kid had suffered a concussion the night Hakushi the previous night in Anaheim and was not in any condition to compete. I have no idea why the company did not go with that story instead of “California storms are stranding Holly and the Kid” in traffic as that excuse sounds quite lame, even moreso because Holly is supposed to be a stock car driver and might actually be able to navigate a traffic jam or two. Anyway, this contest does have a small backstory as the Blus interfered in a match that the Headshrinkers had against the Smoking Gunns for the tag team titles several weeks ago on Superstars, but McMahon and Cornette fail to talk about this. The match also features the debut of the Blu Brothers “illegal switch” spot as they use their appearance as twins to maintain the advantage. After trading some stiff blows throughout the match, the teams utilize a finish that they have run on the house show circuit of brawling to the back and that leaves the audience without a decisive winner. Rating: **
–A Lawrence Taylor video package hypes his NFL career and how he always finds a way to get the job done. After the video, McMahon hypes how Carl Banks; Chris Spielman; Ricky Jackson; Ken Norton, Jr.; Reggie White; and Steve McMichael will be in Taylor’s corner. McMichael cuts a promo and says that he will be on RAW next week to refute some comments that the Million Dollar Team has made about him.
–A taped promo from the Million Dollar Corporation sees Tatanka insult Chris Spielman, King Kong Bundy go after Reggie White, and Kama put down McMichael.
–A pre-recorded interview with Ernie Ladd, who competed in professional wrestling and the AFL, is shown. Ladd says that Taylor is going to need better training to be a wrestler and that he will need an element of surprise to beat Bam Bam Bigelow at WrestleMania.
–Barry Horowitz tells McMahon that he has a good chance to knock off Jarrett tonight because he is sure of himself, is confident, and has been talking to Razor Ramon. Cornette insults Horowitz’s winless record and Horowitz just echoes McMahon’s comments that there is a first time for everything.
–Intercontinental Championship Match: Jeff Jarrett (Champion w/The Roadie) (6-2) defeats Barry Horowitz via submission to the figure-four leg lock at 4:37:
Long-time WWF fans likely expected a squash here as Horowitz was a veteran enhancement talent but he surprises Jarrett with several rollups in the early going and giving Jarrett all he can handle. Based on McMahon’s commentary about Horowitz’s winless record a future push was hinted at, but having Jarrett struggle until Horowitz injured his knee on a knee lift did him no favors in the eyes of fans as a credible heel. Rating: *
–Footage of Bret Hart causing Jerry Lawler’s elimination in a battle royal on Superstars two weeks ago is shown. Bret then cuts a promo about how Lawler has been a “pain the butt” and he hates his guts.
–Todd Pettengill provides the audience with the WrestleMania XI Report. It is announces that Salt-N-Pepa will be singing “What a Man” for Lawrence Taylor at the show and a new match is announced between the Smoking Gunns and Owen Hart and a mystery partner. This seems like a big slight to Men on a Mission, who came within a hair of winning the titles on The Action Zone. Pettengill adds that Lex Luger and the British Bulldog will team up for the card as well to face the Blu Brothers.
–Jerry Lawler (w/Bull Nakano) beats Bret Hart (1-0-1) by count out at 6:29:
WWF Women’s Champion Nakano accompanies Lawler to the ring to reinforce the idea that Bret is prejudiced against Japanese people. This is the first clash between Bret and Lawler since 1993, rekindling their feud that was never settled because of false rape allegations made against Lawler in the leadup to the Survivor Series that year. The real message many fans get from this match is that lots of people really hate Bret, as Bob Backlund is seen scouting the match from the crowd and Shinja and Hakushi appear in the aisle to watch the match as well. The bout features some good back-and-forth action that is cut short when Nakano holds Bret’s leg when he tries to get back into the ring after fighting Lawler on the floor and that produces a count out win for the King. Rating: **
–After the match, Bret tries to chase Nakano back to the locker room but she hides behind Hakushi and Shinja in the aisle. Bret then fights Lawler back to the ring and back drops him before Lawler retreats to the backstage area.
–McMahon informs the audience that Barry Horowitz is requesting a rematch against Jeff Jarrett. Jarrett comes out to the ringside area with a contract for a title shot, signs it, and hands it to Horowitz. However, Bob Backlund suddenly appears and hooks Horowitz in a crossface chicken wing. Jarrett cheers Backlund on but his mood quickly changes when Backlund signs the contract to face Jarrett for the title.
–Tune in next week to see Razor Ramon square off against Henry Godwinn! Also, the Smoking Gunns defend the WWF tag team titles against the Heavenly Bodies!
The Last Word: I will always be partial to this show because it was the first episode of Monday Night RAW that I ever watched and it hooked me as a regular viewer for the next six years. Bret’s loss was shocking but necessary to continue his feud with Lawler, which was going to occupy his time for much of the year. And the Jarrett-Backlund angle was unique as heel-versus-heel matches were very rare in this period and it was a great swerve to end the show.
Up Next: WWF Superstars from March 18!