Written By: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Federation presents RAW
From: Cincinnati, OH
A video promoting the feud between Diesel/Undertaker is shown. Diesel destroying Taker’s casket last week is aired. Diesel will be in action this week. Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart will have a face to face confrontation.
RAW opening video
Opening Contest: Jake Roberts defeated Isaac Yankeem: Side headlock by Roberts early on but is backed into the corner. Yankeem with a right hand but Roberts comes back with a eye poke. Yankeem with a side headlock of his own but Roberts takes Yankeem down with a hip toss and a knee lift. Roberts misses a short arm clothesline and is knocked off his feet by Yankeem with a clothesline. Yankeem with a few forearm drops and works on Roberts in the corner with over hand right hands for several moments. Yankeem runs into a big boot and Roberts goes for a backdrop but Yankeem blocks with a kick to the chest. Yankeem attempts the DDT but Roberts hangs onto the ropes and plants Yankeem with the DDT! Roberts covers Yankeem and picks up the win. DUD
A video promoting the return of the Ultimate Warrior is shown.
Second Contest: Diesel defeated Bob Holly: Diesel with a big knee lift to start off the match and follows up with a elbow across Holly’s neck. Diesel misses a elbow in the corner and Holly gets a few right hands in. Diesel shoves Holly away and Holly crashes down to the mat. Diesel knocks Holly down with a clothesline and looks around the ring thinking perhaps the Undertaker is underneath. Diesel drives Holly down with a side slam and continues to check the ring for the Undertaker. Diesel jumps down onto Holly’s back as he was on the middle rope. Taker with knee lifts, back elbows and right hands in the corner. Diesel sends Holly hard back first across the ring into the corner. Holly blocks a backdrop with a boot to the chest and dropkicks Diesel. Holly knocks Diesel down with a second running clothesline and hammers away on Diesel. Back from a commercial, Diesel has Holly set up for the jackknife power bomb and connects. Diesel covers and wins the match. ½ *
After the match, Diesel makes his way up the ramp way until the Undertaker’s music hits and the lights go off. The lights come back on and the Undertaker is standing in the ring. Diesel makes his way down to the ring and lights go off again. The lights come back on and Diesel is in the ring but the Undertaker is gone. The lights go off a third time and Taker appears on the video wall. Taker says he hopes Diesel doesn’t think that things will be easy. Taker says he is the master of mind games and tells Diesel that he will see Diesel on the dark side!
A video hyping up next weeks show. Shawn Michaels takes on the 1-2-3 Kid while WWF World Champion Bret Hart will square off against Hunter Hearst Helmsley!
Third Contest: Ahmed Johnson defeated Shinobi the Ninja: WWF Intercontinental Champion Goldust calls in during the match and recites a poem. The poem is pretty much Goldust telling Piper he turns him on. Ahmed controls the match and hits the Pearl River Plunge to win the squash match.
A vignette of Mankind is aired. Mankind talks about being woken up late by his mother so her friends could listen to music. Mankind is talking to a rat that understands his pain. “The time has come to relieve this pain, which will be better for me but not good for all of you!”
Footage from last weekends tag team title tournament. Bulldog/Owen advanced in the tag team title tournament.
Vince McMahon introduces Shawn Michaels who gets a pretty good reaction. WWF World Champion Bret Hart is also introduced and also gets a pretty good reception. Michaels says that he has the most respect out of anyone here for Hart. Michaels has to question that Hart is the best there is right now. Michaels believes that he is the best right now. Hart puts Michaels over as one of the best wrestlers he has been able to watch. Hart also says that the past five months have been the hardest of his career taking beatings from the big opponents. Hart is looking forward to showing why he is the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be! Hart says it isn’t his job to beat Michaels and that it is Michaels job to beat him! Michaels talks about his challengers that included nine thugs and seven foot opponents. Michaels shows off his body when it comes to conditioning. Roddy Piper makes his way down to the ring and says his job is to represent the people. Piper doesn’t like it when people boo Bret Hart. Piper also says that you don’t boo a guy like Shawn Michaels. Piper declares that their will be a winner between these two men. Piper announces that the match at Wrestle Mania will be a one hour match where the winner is the man with the most falls! “You might as well shake hands now because you are going to hate each other after this!” Michaels and Hart shake hands to close the segment.
Backstage, Owen and Bulldog slam the door on a camera man trying to see what their game plan is for Yokozuna.
Main Event: Yokozuna defeated Owen Hart/Davey Boy Smith via disqualification in a handicap match: Owen ducks a couple of clotheslines but Yoko nails Owen with a clothesline as Owen comes off the ropes. Yoko follows up with a scoop slam and stalks Owen into a corner. Yoko with a short arm clothesline and Owen quickly tags out to Smith. Smith comes off the ropes looking for a shoulder block but Yoko doesn’t move. Yoko scoop slams Smith and backdrops Owen. Yoko chops Smith in the corner and misses a splash in the corner. Owen leaps off the top with a missile dropkick and Yoko crashes to the mat. Yoko is double teamed as RAW goes to commercial. Owen tags back in and hammers away on Yoko. Smith comes in and along with Owen stomp away on Yoko as Jim Cornette distracts the referee. Smith chokes Yoko before tagging in Owen who leaps off the top and misses a flying head butt! Owen tags out to Smith as Vader makes his way down to the ring. Yoko is able to knock Bulldog and Owen down with right hands and a head butt. Cornette is trying to prevent Vader from getting into the ring. Yoko clotheslines Owen and Smith but when he turns around, Vader clotheslines Yoko! *½
After the match, Yoko is triple teamed until Ahmed Johnson runs down and clotheslines Owen. Johnson with a spine buster on Bulldog! Jake Roberts makes his way down with his snake and unleashes his snake! Roberts chases Vader to the floor with his snake. McMahon announces that at Wrestle Mania it will be Vader vs. Yokozuna!
Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler hype up next weeks show. Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart will be in action against the 1-2-3 Kid and Hunter Hearst Helmsley respectively.
To close out the show we will go to Larry Fling Live. Fling is joined by Huckster and Nacho Man. Nacho says that they left the WWF because they couldn’t keep up with the New Generation. Huckster says he is immortal and keep going forever. Billionaire Ted shows up from satellite and Fling says that he would wrestle if he was overpaid like Huckster and Nacho Man. Nacho says that Ted promised him that he would be winning their match at Wrestle Mania. Huckster says he needs to win for his fans. Huckster begins to hit people with chairs. Fling holds up a red high heel shoe to prevent from being hit.
End of show.
My Take: Roberts/Yankeem was a pretty boring contest. The offense was rather simple and all the fans cared about was seeing Roberts hit the DDT. It is pretty surprising that the DDT was still getting a good reaction back in 1996.
Diesel/Holly was just a extended squash match. Diesel/Taker feud is turning into the most interesting and exciting feud leading into Wrestle Mania so far. Diesel’s attitude change was much needed as he is a good badass heel.
Ahmed Johnson was given a squash this week. The fans seem to be getting behind him as he is really intense. Maybe a little too intense.
Michaels/Hart segment was just a way to keep both guys baby faces and try to get some kind of interest into the match. I personally believe that their needs to be a heel between the two. Michaels is really only over with the female fan base. He can’t be turned heel thought because of all the sympathy things that have happened to him at the time (thug beating in Syracuse). I didn’t really find the segment to be all that great. It just seemed a little flat.
The main event was the best match of the night as it was really the only match that wasn’t a squash. They have been building up the Yoko/Vader match very well in my opinion. Vader is really over with the crowd and Yoko is actually getting over as a baby face. That was something I never expected to happen.
These Larry Fling segments are just perfect examples of how immature McMahon was when it came to losing talent to WCW. It was his own fault that he lost Hogan and Savage to WCW. Savage wanted to wrestle and wasn’t getting that in the WWF. Why would he stay?
Overall, not a good show in terms of wrestling action. Several feuds continued to advance heading into Wrestle Mania so that is a good thing.
Thanks for reading.