Written By: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Federation presents RAW
From: Sioux City, IA
RAW opens up with a video showing the British Bulldog flipping out over Shawn Michaels allegedly trying to sleep with his wife. Bulldog found out last night at the In Your House pay per view and made his way down towards the ring but was held back by officials.
RAW opening video
Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler go over the show and talk the scandal involving Shawn Michaels and Diane Smith.
Opening Contest: Mankind defeated Bart Gunn: Right hands by Mankind for the upper hand early on. Gunn elbows out of the corner but Mankind stomps Gunn and gouges Gunn’s eyes. Mankind misses a spear in the corner and hit’s the ring post. Gunn controls Mankind with a wristlock. Gunn with a few arm breakers but Mankind almost gets his finisher locked in, thus Gunn nails to the floor. They trade a few shots on the floor before getting back into the ring. Scoop slam by Mankind but misses a elbow drop. Gunn goes back to a wristlock. Mankind with a flurry of right hands and stomps before kicking Gunn to the floor as RAW goes to commercial. Shoulder block by Gunn but Mankind quickly sends Gunn over the top to the floor. Running knee strike in the corner by Mankind. Leg drop on the apron by Mankind and it appears Mankind is bleeding from the hand. Gunn with a few left hands to knock Mankind down. Gunn goes up top and hit’s a missile dropkick for a two count. Scoop slam by Gun and hit’s a top rope elbow drop for a near fall. Gunn mounts Mankind until Mankind is able to shove his fingers down Gunn’s throat and wins the match. ½*
Backstage, Jim Ross talks to Bart Gunn about Mankind’s finisher. Gunn says that he couldn’t move. Mankind attacks Gunn and again shoves his fingers down Gunn’s throat as RAW goes to commercial.
Second Contest: Steve Austin defeated Scott Taylor: Savio Vega is on commentary with Vince McMahon. Vega challenges Austin t a Caribbean strap match. Austin dominates the match and wins with the Million Dollar Dream. NR
After the match, Vega gets a microphone and challenges Austin to the strap match. Austin says no and from behind Vega whips Austin to the floor.
Vince McMahon is standing in the ring with British Bulldog, Jim Cornette and Diane Smith. McMahon introduces the WWF World Champion Shawn Michaels as well. McMahon puts over Michaels win over Diesel last night. Michaels notes beating Bret Hart in a match that no one thought he would last in and he did the same thing with Diesel. Cornette chimes in and wants to talk to Michaels about trying to sleep with Diane Smith. During Bulldog’s match last night, Cornette says Michaels sent a note out to Diane to head to the back where Michaels cornered Diane and tried to take advantage of her. Cornette wants to know what kind of sexual deviant would go after another mans wife. Diane has a stare down with Michaels before saying “Shawn, I know you want me.” Michaels responds by saying “With all do respect, please do not flatter yourself.” Diane slaps Michaels. Michaels insults Bulldog’s manhood and they brawl to close the segment.
Third Contest: The Godwinns fought the New Rockers to a double count-out: Phineas and Jannetty start off with Jannetty shoving Phineas into a corner twice. Drop toe hold by Jannetty and locks in a front face lock. Phineas places Jannetty on the top rope but Jannetty gets off and arm drags Phineas. Phineas fights both Rockers off in the corner and the Rockers bail to the floor. Right hands by Phineas on Cassidy as Sunny walks down to ringside as RAW goes to commercial. Double hip toss and fist drop on Henry by the Rockers. Cassidy back elbows Henry as he comes off the ropes. Jannetty leaps off the middle rope but Henry gets a boot up. Phineas cleans house of the Rockers. Cassidy is able to cross body Phineas over the top to the floor. Cassidy and Phineas brawl on the floor until they are both counted out. ½*
Backstage, Jim Ross is with Mankind in a dark area. Mankind talks about searching for a weapon to use on people. JR mentions the Undertaker but Mankind isn’t afraid. Mankind is surprised at how easy it was to hurt the Undertaker.
Main Event: Ultimate Warrior defeated Dr. Isaac Yankeem: Warrior ducks a clothesline and shoulder blocks Yankeem. Clothesline in the corner by Warrior. Yankeem is tossed over the top to the floor as RAW goes to commercial. Series of clotheslines by Warrior and another shoulder block. Warrior comes off the ropes and big splashes Yankeem for the win. DUD
After the match, Warrior tosses Yankeem to the floor and celebrates his win.
Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler hype up next weeks show.
End of show
My Take: Mankind/Gunn was a really boring match that went on far too long. No one cares about Bart Gunn in a singles role so any offense he had, the fans just weren’t into it.
I like the idea of having Michaels/Bulldog being the main event program. However, the angle is something I just find to be silly. This would have been perfect if Michaels were a heel and Bulldog were the face. People would have more of a reason to boo Michaels. What is the reason to cheer Michaels? I would think Bulldog would get some sympathy cheers if it were a legitimate situation. I don’t know. Not a fan of the angle, but the match will be fine.
Warrior/Yankeem was just awful. I would have to think this is the end of the Yankeem character after just getting destroyed by Warrior. I don’t get the appeal of the Warrior. All he does is growl, run to the ring and usually win a match in under two minutes. How is that going to turn around the WWF?
Overall, this is the worst RAW for the year 1996, so far. Honestly, nothing was all that entertaining. The matches were horrible and the main interview segment was just kind of bland.
Thanks for reading.
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.