WWF RAW 12/23/1996

Written by: Bob Colling

World Wrestling Federation presents RAW
Date:
12/23/1996
From: Tampa, FL

Matches:
1.) WWF Intercontinental Champion Hunter Hearst Helmsley defeated Marc Mero to retain the title
2.) Rocky Maivia defeated Salvatore Sincere
3.) Pierroth & Cibernetico defeated The New Rockers
4.) Bret Hart defeated Razor Ramon

Angle Developments/Notes:
1.) Last week, Vince McMahon said the match between Mero/Helmsley could see a title change if the match ended in DQ or count-out. Goldust appears in the crowd prior to the bell and Mero goes to work on Hunter with right hands in the corner. Hunter is sent into the corner and Marc hits a backdrop followed by more strikes. Hunter goes upside down in the corner and is knocked over the top to the floor. Mero goes after Jerry Lawler but can’t get his hands on him as Lawler runs away and goes to the backstage area. Hunter nails Mero with a clothesline on the floor. Hunter gets a chair but puts it down because he remembers the stipulation. Mero arm drags Hunter and hammers away on the champ some more in the corner. Hunter dumps Marc to the floor and plays to the crowd but Mero returns and drops him with a right hand. Hunter tosses Mero over the top to the floor. Hunter baseball slides Mero on the floor and rams Marc face first into the ring steps. Mero shoulder blocks Hunter from the apron and hits a sunset flip for a near fall. They trade a few pin attempts until Helmsley runs over Mero with a clothesline.

Helmsley continues his offense with a delayed vertical suplex when we return from a commercial break. Hunter drops a knee across Mero’s face for a two count. Mero comes back with a head scissors and a high knee lift. Marc hits a missile dropkick but Hunter kicks out at two. Mero drops Hunter with a Samoan Drop and signals for the end. Hunter avoids a springboard moonsault and spikes Mero with the Pedigree for the win. (**. Nothing overly exciting here but it’s important that Helmsley was able to get a clean victory over Mero after six months of jobbing even as the champion. It would appear the punishment for Hunter is officially over for the MSG incident.) After the match, Hunter grabs a microphone and talks to Goldust saying they will meet at the Royal Rumble. Hunter is going to show Goldust what it is like to be a real man. Hunter tells Marlena she will know what it is like to be with a real man. That comment gets Goldust riled up and he leaves his seat to go after Hunter.

2.) Apparently, Billy Gunn doesn’t have any feeling in his lower body. Bart Gunn apologized on Livewire and said he hoped it had happened to him instead.

3.) WWF World Champion Psycho Sid comes down to the ring to be interviewed by Vince McMahon. Sid is laughing at Vince as he speaks about challengers to the WWF World Championship. Sid says that within thirty days he had defeated two of the greatest in Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart. Sid calls himself the super predator of the WWF. He wants everyone to realize one thing that he will always be 6’9’’ and over 300lbs every day.

4.) Honkytonk Man is looking for someone to be like him and be the greatest ever. He is on commentary for the main event. Ramon hammers away on Bret after Hart had gotten a few strikes of offense in. Bret gets some momentum with more strikes in the corner as the start of the match is nothing but strikes. Ramon taunts the fans as he continues to just hammer away on Bret. Razor sends Bret to the floor but Bret is able to send Ramon into the ring steps. Bret sends Ramon into the ring steps several more times and into the railing. Bret comes out of the corner with a running bulldog and hits a middle rope forearm drop. Hart locks in the Sharpshooter and gets the submission. (*. Well, that was just a bad main event. Ramon’s offense was nothing but punches and lacked providing anything entertaining. The fans were not invested into the match at all.)

5.) Backstage, Shawn Michaels is getting annoyed with Vince McMahon’s questions. Shawn hasn’t made excuses while Bret has done nothing but use excuses. Shawn is going to win like a man at the Royal Rumble.

Final Thoughts:
A subpar episode this week for RAW as the feature match between Hunter and Mero wasn’t all that great. The main event was rather terrible and the promo by Sid didn’t do much to hype up the main event at the Royal Rumble. It was a forgettable week worth of material on RAW.

Thanks for reading.

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