Written By: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Federation presents RAW
From: Fayetteville, NC
RAW opens up with the WWF Intercontinental Champion Goldust posing in the ring. Goldust will be in action against the Ultimate Warrior! Warrior comes running down to the pretty good ovation.
Opening Contest: WWF Intercontinental Champion Goldust and Ultimate Warrior fought to a no contest in a first round match of the 1996 King of the Ring tournament: Goldust stalls on the floor until Warrior goes to the floor and stalks the champion for a few moments. Goldust misses a clothesline in the ring and is met with several right hands from Warrior. Atomic drop by Warrior and Goldust goes flying over the top rope to the floor. Goldust stays on the floor until Warrior walks around the ring. Goldust rolls into the ring and stomps away on Warrior, but his strikes have no affect on Warrior. Warrior lifts Goldust up in the air and drops Goldust chest first down to the mat. Warrior sends Goldust over the guard railing into the crowd but yanks Goldust back to the ringside area. Goldust pokes Warrior in the eyes and sends Warrior into the railing. Warrior sends Goldust face first into the ring post and gets a two count back in the ring. Goldust stomps and punches Warrior in the corner followed by a scoop slam. Goldust maintains control with a chin lock. Warrior gets to his feet and electric chair slams Goldust. Goldust decides to roll to the floor and heads to the backstage area. However, Ahmed Johnson comes out and carries Goldust back to the ring as RAW goes to commercial. Goldust pulls Warrior to the floor and sends Warrior into the ring steps face first. Warrior fights back in the ring with an eye poke and several stomps in the corner. Warrior misses a body splash in the corner. Goldust tosses Warrior through the middle rope and Warrior lands onto Marlena’s chair. Goldust works on Warrior’s left hand but Warrior fights back with a backdrop following several right hands. Warrior goes for the cover but only manages to get a near fall. Side belly to belly suplex by Warrior but only gets a two count. Goldust low blows Warrior in the corner as the referee was distracted. Goldust has control of Warrior with a neck vice. Goldust lets go and delivers a fist drop before locking in a sleeper hold. Warrior elbows out of the hold and power slams Goldust for a near fall. Warrior starts to get a second wind as he shakes the ropes. Warrior knocks Goldust down with several clotheslines and a leaping shoulder block. Goldust bails to the floor and again heads up the aisle way. Warrior leaves the ring and stalks Goldust to the backstage area leading to a double count-out. ½*
After the match, Jerry Lawler leaves the commentary area and goes to hit Warrior with a chair but Warrior sees this and chases after Lawler. Warrior smashes the director’s chair in the ring.
Footage from last night’s Free For All before the pay per view. The Smoking Gunns defeated the Godwinns to win the WWF World Tag Team Championships. We also see stills of several matches from the show. A storm caused the pay per view to go off the air and the wrestlers competed in the dark. Vince McMahon announces that tomorrow night we will see Goldust/Undertaker in a casket match, Vega/Austin and Vader/Yoko LIVE on pay per view.
Backstage, Ted DiBiase and Steve Austin talk about last night’s show. DiBiase believes that Vega cheated and that the win was a fluke. DiBiase is so confident that Austin will win, so much so that if Austin doesn’t win the match then DiBiase will forfeit his WWF career!
Second Contest: WWF World Tag Team Champions the Smoking Gunns defeated the Bodydonnas in a non-title match: Sunny is now managing the Smoking Gunns. Zip and Bart starts off the contest. Bart backs Zip into a corner but Zip manages to get a few shots in on Bart. Bart fights back with a few chops and nails Zip with a clothesline. Harvey Wippleman has come out to grade the referees. Billy tags in and wrenches on Zip’s arm before tagging out to Bart. Zip shoulder blocks Bart but Bart connects with a gorilla press slam. Billy tags in and briefly works on Zip’s arm. Skip tags in but is shoulder blocked by Billy. Tilt a whirl head scissors by Skip but Billy eventually comes back with an exploder suplex. Billy clotheslines Skip after Skip landed on his feet on a hip toss attempt. Skip goes to the floor to yell at Sunny but is attacked by Billy from behind as RAW goes to commercial. Bart comes off the ropes but Zip pulls down the top rope sending Bart crashing down to the floor. Skip leaps off the top rope and takes Bart out with a top rope cross body on the floor! Zip chokes Bart behind the referees back for several moments. Skip leg drops Bart but only gets a two count back in the ring. Bart is double teamed in the corner with several stomps and right hands. Zip plants Bart with a gut wrench sit down power bomb but only gets a two count. Bart connects with a jaw breaker to get out of a sleeper hold but Skip tags in and keeps control with an elbow drop. Bart takes Skip over with a German suplex for a two count. Phineas Godwin comes out and walks towards Sunny asking what happened to them. Henry Godwin has come out to the ring as well to bring Phineas back to the backstage area. Bodydonnas double team Bart with a back elbows and a leg drop. Billy is dropped gut first across the top rope and the Bodydonnas connect with a sling shot suplex on Bart. Bart rolls through a top rope cross body and pins Skip. *1/2
At last night’s pay per view Shawn Michaels was summoned to show up in court for alienation of affection, according to Clarence Mason. Michaels just ripped up the summons. As for Michaels vs. Bulldog, there was a double pin with two referees awarding the match to Michaels and the other to Bulldog. Michaels retained the championship because a tie goes to the champion. Thus, Michaels will wrestle Bulldog again at the King of the Ring!
Main Event: Vader defeated Ahmed Johnson to in a first round match to advance in the 1996 King of the Ring tournament: They lockup but neither man is able to get the upper hand. Vader shoves Johnson away, barely and they pose. Johnson gets in Vader’s face until Vader spits on Johnson. Johnson hammers away on Vader with several right hands and the fans just go nuts for Johnson! Johnson chokes Vader until Vader pokes Johnson in the eyes. Vader hammers away on Johnson with several forearm shots but Johnson comes out of the corner with a running clothesline. Johnson comes off the ropes and cross bodies Vader over the top rope and both men crash to the floor! Jim Cornette nails Johnson over the back with a tennis racket, but Johnson isn’t affected. Johnson walks towards the back to get Cornette, who ran away as RAW goes to commercial. Vader knees Johnson in the guy as Johnson comes off the ropes. Vader body splashes a charging Johnson coming off the ropes. Vader leaps off the middle rope and body splashes Johnson again for a two count. Vader clubs away on Johnson until Johnson knocks Vader off his feet with a clothesline. Vader delivers several body blows in the corner to keep control of Johnson. Vader splashes Johnson in the corner two times followed by a clothesline. Vader has a sleeper hold on Johnson to wear down his opponent. Johnson battles back with a vertical suplex! Vader recovers first and power slams Johnson. Vader signals for the end and heads to the top rope looking for a moonsault but misses! Johnson delivers several right hands on Vader and knocks Vader down with a big clothesline as Cornette has come back down to ringside. Johnson nails Vader with another clothesline and a impressive body slam! Johnson catapults Cornette into the ring and Cornette begs off from Johnson in the corner. Cornette is sent into Vader and Johnson connects with a spine buster. Johnson goes for the cover but Owen Hart has left the commentary table and nails Johnson with his cast off the top rope! Vader covers Johnson and wins the match! **1/2
After the match, EMT’s come down to the ring to check on Johnson as RAW goes to commercial.
Backstage, Ahmed Johnson is carted to a ambulance until we see Goldust come over and gives Johnson mouth to mouth! Goldust does mouth to mouth several times until Johnson wakes up. Johnson realizes what happened and freaks out. Johnson staggers down some steps trying to go after Goldust. Johnson grabs Bob Holly and chokes Holly up against a wall asking where Goldust is. Marc Mero tells Johnson where he is. Johnson bursts through a door sending a security guy through the door! Johnson continues to look backstage for Goldust.
End of show
My Take: Warrior/Goldust was god awful. It went on for far too long and the finish didn’t make any sense. Why would Warrior willingly leave the ring when he could advance by count-out? Didn’t make much sense to me but then again Warrior never makes any sense.
The tag team match had some decent spots but again it wasn’t anything all that great. Sunny managing the Smoking Gunns is fine considering she goes wherever the championships go. Just a basic tag team match with a few high points but I lost interest in the match pretty quickly.
The main event was a solid bout and the match of the night. I thought Vader and Ahmed had a good big man type of match. The fans went ape shit when Johnson nailed Vader with a flurry of right hands. That shows me that Johnson is the number two babyface in the company. I haven’t heard a WWF crowd go that nuts on RAW in 1996 before. I didn’t mind the finish because it makes sense. Johnson is bound to lose and having him lose in a bullshit way keeps his heat with the fans.
Judging by what happened to close out the show, Ahmed Johnson will be going after Goldust and WWF Intercontinental Championship. I approve of this and think they can have some good matches.
Overall, everything leading up to the main event was weak and not worth anyone’s time. The main event and the after math were the only good points of the show. That being said, this week’s RAW was a bad one.
Thanks for reading.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.