WWF RAW 12/30/1996

Written by: Bob Colling

World Wrestling Federation presents RAW
Date:
12/30/1996
From: Albany, NY

Matches:
1.) Bret Hart & Savio Vega defeated Steve Austin & Faarooq by disqualification
2.) WWF Intercontinental Champion Hunter Hearst Helmsley defeated Flash Funk
3.) Jerry Lawler defeated Goldust by count-out

Angle Developments/Notes:
1.) Tonight, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels will have a confrontation in the ring. We get comments from both men where both hype up the confrontation.

2.) Steve Austin attacks Jesse James during his entrance effectively taking him out of the tag match. James was scheduled to team with Savio Vega. Savio comes out for the save and sends Austin into the ring steps. Vega and Austin legally start the tag match where Austin drops Vega throat first across top rope. Austin drops Vega with a short arm clothesline. Faarooq tags in and works over Vega with strikes in the corner. Faarooq follows up with a spine buster but can’t a three count. Vega kicks Faarooq in the corner and hits a spin kick as we see James is on the apron, so he isn’t knocked out of the match after all. Austin stomps on Vega in the corner as James distracts the referee. Vega nearly surprises Austin with an inside cradle. Vega nails Austin with a spin kick in the corner. Vega and Austin knocked down with James getting the hot tag and cleans house. James follows up with a forearm smash and plants Austin with a running bulldog for a near fall. Austin tags out to Faarooq who punches James but James hits a backdrop and a few jabs. James misses a running strike and falls over the top to the floor. Austin chop blocks James on the floor but here comes Bret Hart to check on James. Apparently, the chop block is enough to take James out of action.

Vega sends Faarooq into the corner but misses a shoulder strike and Faarooq keeps control on the canvas. Vega gets out a sleeper with a jaw breaker but can’t get out of the ring. Vega and Austin exchange right hands with Vega getting the better of it but on a splash attempt Austin gets his knees up for a two count. Faarooq enters to hit a power slam but only keeps Vega down for a near fall. Vega gets up with Faarooq on his shoulder and hits an electric chair slam. Bret finally gets the tag and hammers away on Faarooq in his street clothes. Austin enters as well but is knocked down by Hart who atomic drops Faarooq as well. Bret hits a side Russian leg sweep and hits a forearm drop off the middle rope. Hart locks in the Sharpshooter on Faarooq but Crush enters to attack Hart and that leads to the disqualification. (*1/2. The fans only cared about Bret and his interaction with Austin. Vega doesn’t matter at this point.) After the match, Ahmed Johnson enters with a 2×4 to clear the heels from the ring.

3.) As he did last week, Goldust comes out through the crowd with Marlena to watch Hunter’s match. During the match, Lawler gets on the microphone and taunts Goldust while Funk is getting some offense on Hunter. Funk hits a moonsault but can’t get a three count. Hunter grabs his championship while Lawler goes into the crowd but Hunter nails Funk with the championship to get the cheap victory. After the match, Goldust comes to ringside and goes after Lawler. Hunter comes up from behind to give Lawler a hand. Flash Funk runs up and attacks Hunter and sends the champ back into the ring. Funk slams Hunter before going to the top and hits the 450 splash to give the fans something to celebrate.

4.) Jim Ross is in the ring for the confrontation between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. They both get pyro for a confrontation. Next week, Bret will be wrestling Vader on RAW with Michaels being on interfere and notes that he won’t get involved like he said he wouldn’t do at the pay per view. Bret doesn’t like Shawn’s attitude and talks about how much Michaels likes to talk about respecting his mentor Jose Lothario. Bret says that Michaels hasn’t learned anything from Jose Lothario and talks about how Shawn didn’t apologize for screwing over Bret at the pay per view against Sid. Hart thinks Shawn never came close to carrying the championship with nearly the same amount of pride that he did. Hart again mentions that Michaels posed for Playgirl, which is largely targeted towards homosexuals. Hart thinks Shawn has disgraced the WWF World Championship with his actions as champion. Michaels begins to take off his jacket as Bret continues to berate Shawn. Bret looks forward to wrestling Shawn again whether it is for a championship or not. Bret assures Shawn that he will kick his ass because he can. Shawn tells Bret that he has seen him on the road and he doesn’t come across as a role model. WWF World Champion Psycho Sid comes down to the ring to get involved in all of this. Sid wants some competition. Well, here comes the Undertaker it looks like. Yeah, here comes the Undertaker. Vader comes running down and attacks Taker from behind. Taker fights Vader off with a few right hands and Taker has a stare down with Taker at ringside. Vader decks Taker again but Sid doesn’t do anything. Shawn takes out Bret and dives over the top to hammer away on Sid! That was an explosive ending to that segment.

5.) Goldust is more focused on getting his hands on Hunter Hearst Helmsley at ringside more so than getting his hands on Lawler. Lawler has the early advantage with right hands on Goldust and hits a middle rope fist drop. Goldust hits a leaping clothesline but Lawler regains control as Hunter is going towards Marlena. Hunter picks Marlena up and heads to the backstage area but Marc Mero cuts him off. Hunter side steps a charging Goldust and he takes out Mero who had caught Marlena and now Hunter is attacking Goldust sending him into the guard railing. Hunter takes out Mero as well. Marlena is on the floor holding her stomach in pain.

Final Thoughts:
A lot of focus on the Goldust/Hunter feud this week on RAW. The main interview segment was fun and the crowd reacted well to what was going on. The show as a whole was rather lackluster.

Thanks for reading.

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