WWF RAW 4/1/1996

Written By: Bob Colling

World Wrestling Federation presents RAW
From: San Bernadino, CA

A video going over what happened at Wrestle Mania XII opens the show.

RAW opening video

Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are on commentary and talk about Shawn Michaels winning the WWF World Championship.

Opening Contest: Mankind defeated Bob Holly: Mankind cheap shots Holly before the bell and hammers away on Holly in the corner. Mankind follows up with a vicious running knee strike in the corner. Holly with a flurry of strikes and dropkicks Mankind. Holly attempts a cross body but Mankind moves and Holly falls to the floor. Mankind drops Holly face first on the ring apron before returning to the ring. Mankind sets Holly up in the tree of woe and delivers a double forearm shot. Mankind proceeds to shove his fingers down Holly’s throat and the referee calls for the bell giving Mankind the win in his debut!

Stills from Wrestle Mania XII where HHH brawled with Marc Mero. Sable and Marc Mero are in attendance for RAW.

Second Contest: Marc Mero defeated Dr. Isaac Yankeem: Sable is seen cheering for Mero from the front row. Yankeem shoves Mero away a few times but Mero dropkicks Yankeem to the floor. Mero somersaults over the top rope and onto Yankeem! Mero connects with a slingshot leg drop back into the ring for a two count. Mero takes Yankeem over with a tilt a whirl head scissors and heads to the top rope. Mero nails Yankeem with a double axe handle for a near fall. Yankeem clotheslines Mero and we see HHH is talking to Sable in the crowd. Yankeem drives Mero down to the mat with a back suplex for a two count. Mero almost picks up the win with a crucifix pin but Yankeem regains control with several strikes. Mero gets out of a back suplex and rolls Yankeem up for a near win! Mero with a few punches and leaps off the top rope connecting with a sunset flip for the win. *
After the match, Sable slaps HHH and leaves with Mero.

Next week, the Ultimate Warrior makes his first appearance on RAW!

Footage from Wrestle Mania XII Free for All where the Bodydonnas defeated the Godwinns to win the vacant WWF World Tag Team Championships. Sunny distracted Phineas to help her team win the titles. It is announced they will compete again on April 28th, the next pay per view.

Third Contest: WWF World Tag Team Champions the Bodydonnas defeated Aldo Montoya/Barry Horowitz in a non-title match: Midway through the contest Montoya dumps Skip to the floor and connects with a cross body off the middle rope. Horowitz rolls Skip up back in the ring and nearly gets the upset! Montoya with another cross body on Skip for a two count. Skip stops Montoya with a German suplex for a near fall. Skip connects with a top rope hurricanrana on Montoya and Zip comes off the top with a splash for the win. After the match, Sunny celebrates the win with her men.

Another Wrestle Mania XII hype video is aired.

Vince McMahon introduces the new WWF World Champion Shawn Michaels. Michaels comes out to a really silent reaction for a new champion. Michaels says that last night was the biggest moment of his life. Michaels admits doubting himself a few times but thanks the fans for cheering him on finish the match. McMahon mentions that Shawn Michaels will be wrestling Jerry Lawler next week on RAW and that Diesel will be on commentary. Michaels talks about Bret Hart and puts him over as a champion in his eyes. Michaels promises to wear the belt with pride and dignity just like Bret Hart id. Michaels turns his attention to Lawler and says he is sending Lawler back to White Castle. McMahon brings up Diesel and says Michaels will be wrestling Diesel soon. Michaels notes his friendship with Diesel as being over. “We make good friends, but we make even better enemies.” Michaels says Diesel is going to taste some sweet chin music!

Main Event: The Undertaker defeated Justin Hawk Bradshaw by disqualification: Bradshaw attacks Taker from behind and hammers away on Taker for a few moments. Bradshaw power slams Taker as he comes off the ropes. Bradshaw boots Taker to the floor as RAW goes to commercial. Taker punches Bradshaw until Bradshaw is able to side slam Taker for a two count. Middle rope shoulder block by Bradshaw for a near fall. Bradshaw goes up top but Taker slams Bradshaw in midair! Bradshaw comes out of the corner with a big clothesline but doesn’t go for the cover. Big boot by Bradshaw but misses a clothesline and Taker is able to connect with a leaping clothesline. Taker grabs Bradshaw and hit’s the choke slam! Taker is able to connect with the tombstone pile drive and goes for the cover but Mankind comes in and attacks Taker causing the DQ! **
After the match, Mankind sends Taker into the guard railing and ring steps. Mankind jumps off the ring apron and elbow drops Taker who is on the aisle way! Mankind shoves his fingers down Taker’s throat and Taker is out cold! Mankind comes back for a few more shots on Taker before being pulled away by officials.

Vince McMahon goes over next weeks show to close out the program.

End of show

My Take: A good debut for Mankind. The fans were clearly interested in the character and considering Mankind has a unique style of wrestling, they made some noise for moves they haven’t seen before. A decent little extended squash to give Mankind a successful debut.

Speaking of debuts, Marc Mero (aka Johnny B Badd), put on a solid outing. It’s too bad that he had to work with a green Dr. Yankeem but Mero was able to display some of his high risk moves that are his trademark moves. A feud with HHH is obviously being built up and I would suspect those two putting on some good matches.

The tag match wasn’t all that bad but the first half of the match was just really boring. Thus, I didn’t bother going over rest holds and arm drags. I like Skip (Chris Candido) so having him with the tag titles is something I approve. Not that big on the gimmick though.

The reception that Shawn Michaels got from the fans is not a good sign. They were dead, as if they didn’t care. This is especially bad considering he just won the belt twenty four hours ago and did so in that state! Michaels was trying to hard to be a squeaky clean baby face, too. He is not good in that role. He can be a successful baby face while having some kind of attitude. Not a good sign when the new champ hasn’t won over the fans.

I enjoyed the main event as it was a nice brawl and Bradshaw wasn’t made to look bad. It may be a little bit rushed but having Mankind quickly feuding with Undertaker is awesome. Especially considering Mankind destroyed Undertaker in the beat down makes Mankind look like a threat. A very good way to end the show.

Overall, the main focus on this show was seemingly getting Mankind over as a heel and it worked. The main event was the best match but nothing was horrible. Not a bad show following the big pay per view the previous night. It’s only worrying that Shawn Michaels is not getting a good reception after just one day as being champion. Hopefully that will change soon.

Thanks for reading.

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