WWF RAW 12/16/1996

Written by: Bob Colling

World Wrestling Federation presents RAW
: 12/16/1996
From: Tampa, FL

1.) Steve Austin defeated Vader by disqualification
2.) Diesel & Razor Ramon defeated The Godwinns
3.) Doug Furnas & Phil LaFon defeated TL Hopper & Doctor X
4.) Bart Gunn defeated Billy Gunn by referee decision

Angle Developments/Notes:
1.) Bret Hart opens the program to be interviewed by Jim Ross in the ring. Last night, Bret Hart lost to WWF World Champion Psycho Sid on pay per view. Hart says there isn’t a good reason why he isn’t the WWF World Champion right now. Bret thinks things have changed since he returned to the company. You don’t know who your friends or enemies are anymore. He believes there aren’t any rules in the WWF right now. He says he doesn’t need any rules. Bret says that Shawn Michaels gave his word that he wouldn’t interfere in the match last night, but he did. He will do whatever he needs to do in order to get back on top. Hitman announces he will be in the Royal Rumble for the first time since 1994. Bret is going to join the commentary team for the opening match.

2.) Vader jabs Austin in the corner and continues pummel him in the corner with a series of strikes dropping Austin to the canvas. Vader follows up with a short arm clothesline. Austin comes off the ropes but runs right into the chest of Vader. Austin takes Vader down with a Thez Press and hammers away on Vader. Austin really has the crowd behind him as he knocks Vader to the floor and continues the attack on the floor. Vader tosses Austin into the ring steps and continues to club away on Austin. Vader tosses Austin over the railing into the crowd. Austin knocks Vader over the railing back toward ringside. Vader attempts the Vader Bomb but takes too long and Austin hammers away on him in the corner. Bret Hart attacks Austin on the floor and has the Sharpshooter on Austin! That causes the referee to ring the bell. Vader and Bret have a brief brawl before Hart goes back to Austin on the floor and locks the Sharpshooter in a second time. (**. A fun brawl that saw the crowd get behind Austin big time. Comes across like the WWF is booking Austin as a baby face with his recent interactions with Mankind and Vader.)

3.) The referee gets distracted by Henry to allow Diesel to power bomb Phineas and Ramon gets the cover to put an end to the tag match.

4.) Backstage, WWF World Champion Psycho Sid is ready to speak to Vince McMahon. Sid says that nobody can beat him for the championship and says anyone that steps in the ring with him will go down. He will wrestle Shawn Michaels at the Alamo Dome in front of 70,000. Sid says he thrives against adversary. Sid suggests that Jose Lothario do himself a favor and stay at home.

5.) Backstage, Shawn Michaels talks to Vince McMahon as well. Michaels says he has been embarrassed in front of his hometown fans before so it wouldn’t be anything new. Michaels says that his fans don’t like what Sid had done to Jose. Vince asks if Shawn would have any excuses if he were to lose. Michaels says he doesn’t make excuses for himself and lives his life on national television. Shawn is confident that he will win the WWF World Championship.

6.) It’s time for the finals of the Karate Fighters Finals. Jerry Lawler squares off against Sable and both are confident they will win. Sable beats Lawler and he is not too happy about it. Mero and Helmsley are in the ring for the finals. Lawler wanted a rematch but isn’t going to get one. Mero is shoved by Lawler and soon attacked by Helmsley and Lawler! Goldust runs into the ring and attacks Helmsley! Goldust knocks Hunter into the crowd and Mero chases Helmsley to the backstage area while Sable heads to the back as well. Lawler calls Goldust a freak and asks what is going on. Lawler asks what the big deal is that Hunter put the moves on Marlena. Lawler calls Hunter a real man in comparison to Goldust. Lawler asks if Goldust is a queer. He took a minute to actually say the word. Goldust says no and decks Lawler with a right hand. So, Goldust is now a babyface.

7.) It’s a brother vs. brother main event as the Smoking Gunns collide live on RAW. Billy attacked Bart before the bel and clotheslines him over the top to the floor. Bart returns to the ring and runs into a big boot in the corner. Bart ducks a clothesline to hit one of his own for a near fall. Bart drops Billy throat first across the top rope and Billy is laying on the canvas out of it. The referee checks on Billy and calls for the bell as Billy appears to have injured his neck. Bart is worried in the ring as officials and the wives of Billy and Bart enter the ring as well. “How could you do this to your own brother.” Bart is really impacted by the apparent injury. Billy is saying he can’t feel anything and that he didn’t do anything to deserve this. Billy is getting a stretcher job to end the program.

Final Thoughts:
Well, the action wasn’t all that great but there was some advancement with the angles this week. Goldust becoming a good guy is an interesting choice and I don’t think it would have worked with anyone other than Lawler. Lawler is hated that much that the turn for Goldust was made rather easily. The main event and the angle associated with it was interesting, but I don’t see fans being overly interested in a Bart Gunn feud with his brother. The opening was fun too with Austin/Vader and the Bret attack. Overall, a decent episode of RAW with some advancement taking place for angles.

Thanks for reading.

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