WWF RAW 6/17/1996
Written By: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Federation presents RAW
From: Fayetteville, NC
RAW opens up with footage from the IYH pay per view last month showing highlights of a match between Austin vs. Vega. They will compete tonight in a second round match in the king of the ring tournament.
Opening Contest: Steve Austin defeated Savio Vega in a second round match to advance in the 1996 King of the Ring tournament: Austin works on Vega with several forearm shots and stomps as soon as Vega rolls into the ring. Austin continues his offensive onslaught with chops until Vega fights back with chops of his own. Vega nails Austin with a kick to the side of the head and gets a near fall. Austin bails to the floor to recover from the flurry of offense. Austin drags Vega towards a ring post and wraps Vega’s left leg around the post a few times. Austin chop blocks Vega and continues to work on the leg for several moments. Austin knocks Vega through the middle rope to the floor and taunts the fans. Vega recovers and wraps Austin’s leg around the ring post several times as well. Vega kicks Austin’s leg back in the ring several times to keep control of the contest. Austin is sent into a corner but Austin’s knee gives out and crashes to the mat. Vega grabs Austin by the feet and slams Austin down to the canvas. Vega works on Austin’s left ankle with a standing ankle lock. Austin sends Vega chest first into a corner to stop Vega. Austin fails trying to scoop slam Vega and is nearly pinned. Vega comes off the ropes connecting with a clothesline for a two count. Vega drops Austin with a knee breaker for a two count. Vega scoop slams Austin and attempts a big splash but Austin gets his knees up. Austin knee lifts Vega and sends Vega chest first into a corner. Vega stumbles out and collides with Austin as RAW goes to commercial. Austin misses a splash into the ropes and Vega trades right hands with Austin. Vega drops Austin with a chop and kicks Austin on the knee. Vega nails Austin with a spinning heel kick and nearly wins the bout. Austin gets up and blocks a go behind and hitting Vega with the Stunner. Austin covers and picks up the win. **
Footage of Mankind attacking the Undertaker three months ago, last month, and last week is shown.
Backstage, the Undertaker says he is going to basically end Mankind at the King of the Ring.
Second Contest: Marc Mero defeated Owen Hart in a second round match to advance in the 1996 King of the Ring tournament: Mero backs Hart into a corner but backs away cleanly. Hart backs Mero into a corner and shoves Mero before backing off. Hart drop toe holds Mero but Mero rolls over and has a hammerlock on Hart. Hart counters with one of his own until Mero flips out of it and hip tosses Hart. Hart wrenches on Mero’s arm for a few moments but Mero reverses into a wristlock as well. Mero kicks Hart in the midsection several times until Hart punches out of it and comes off the ropes here Mero catapults Hart across the ring. Mero with a few arm drags and goes back to a wristlock. Hart tries to monkey flip Mero but Mero keeps a wristlock locked in. Mero knocks Hart down with a back elbow and a backdrop. Mero continues with a scoop slam and heads to the top rope. Mero leaps off but misses a somersault dive and crashes to the mat. Hart slows down the contest some more with a sleeper hold. Mero comes off the ropes but runs into a spinning heel kick which gets Hart a two count. Hart delivers a backbreaker to Mero and connects with a gut wrench suplex for another near fall. Hart dropkicks Mero across the middle rope as Steve Austin has apparently left the commentary table. RAW goes to commercial as Hart chokes Mero across the middle rope. Hart blocks a sunset flip at first but Mero takes Hart over for a near fall. Austin has been escorted to the backstage area, according to McMahon. Snap suplex by Hart and locks in a Boston Crab. Mero uses his legs to power out of the hold and nearly picks up the win. They begin to trade chops until Hart connects with a fisherman suplex for a two count. Hart scoop slams Mero again and heads to the top rope but Mero gets his knees up! Mero backdrops Hart and knee lifts Hart to gain some momentum. Hart rakes Mero’s eyes and sends Mero chest first into the corner. Mero flips out of a back suplex and rolls Hart up to advance in the tournament. *1/2
After the match, Hart knocks Mero to the floor and leaps off the apron nailing Mero with a double axe handle. Hart claims that Mero tried to hurt his injured arm. Mero is left lying on the floor.
We go to a different arena where Jim Ross interview British Bulldog with Diana Smith by his side. Bulldog has all the confidence in the world when it comes to his rematch against Shawn Michaels at King of the Ring. Bulldog is going to take Michael’s most prized possession, the WWF World Championship. Bulldog again says that the championship will be his. Ross points out that Michaels is at the arena. Bulldog doesn’t care and ends up calling out Michaels. Michaels runs down to the ring and brawls with Bulldog for a few moments until referees come running down. Referees and enhancement fail to keep them apart.
Aldo Montoya is standing in the ring when Jerry Lawler grabs a microphone and says that Montoya reminds him of Warrior by covering his face. Lawler ends up jamming the microphone into Montoya’s throat and attacks Montoya for a few moments. Lawler plants Montoya with a pile driver. Jake Roberts makes his way down to the ring and Lawler bails to the floor and back to the announcers table.
Footage of Brian Pillman signing his WWF contract during a press conference is shown. Pillman mentions that the past eight weeks have been very difficult for him and says that it is a dream come true to be working with the WWF.
Main Event: Jake Roberts defeated WWF Intercontinental Champion Goldust by reverse decision in a non-title match: Goldust decides to go to the floor and stalls for a few moments. Goldust goes to a corner and notices Roberts bag with his snake it and Goldust bails to the floor. This is going on three minutes of them doing absolutely nothing. Roberts hip tosses Goldust into a corner and Goldust crawls backwards into the bag. Goldust again bails to the floor and talks to Marlena. Goldust returns to the ring and hammers away on Roberts. Goldust sends Roberts shoulder first into the ring post to keep the advantage. Goldust goes back to work on Roberts sending him shoulder first into the ring post. Goldust mounts Roberts and tries to give him mouth to mouth back in the ring. Roberts punches Goldust away and atomic drops Goldust. Roberts attempts a DDT but Goldust pulls away. Mr. Perfect chats with the announcers and says he will let everyone in on who the special referee is for the HBK/Bulldog match at KOTR. Goldust sits on Roberts chest and delivers several right hands as RAW goes to commercial. Roberts jabs Goldust and knocks the champ to the apron. Goldust gets some dust and tosses the gold dust into Roberts face. Goldust punches Roberts and picks up the win. DUD
After the match, the referee Harvey Wippleman notices what is on Roberts face and reverses the decision giving the bout to Roberts. Roberts staggers around blinded but ends up planting Goldust with a DDT anyway.
Backstage, Mr. Perfect talks to Jim Cornette about who the special referee will be for Michaels vs. Bulldog at KOTR. Cornette announces that Mr. Perfect will be the special guest referee! Perfect says he is the perfect referee and assures everyone that he will call the match right down the middle.
End of show
My Take: Vega/Austin was a fine little brawl, I suppose. Kind of surprising that Austin would pick up the win considering Vega had been really dominating his feud with Austin recently. A average match, which considering I haven’t been getting those in recent weeks could be regarded as a good match for RAW.
Mero/Hart was a huge disappointment. Mero looks like he was completely winded from having worked earlier in the night since they would tape four episodes of RAW in one night. They couldn’t get out of first gear it seemed like and the match suffered as a result.
The main event was garbage. Goldust should have beaten Roberts clean since he is the WWF Intercontinental champion and Roberts is just a lower mid-carder really. Roberts is getting a push since he is being portrayed as a sympathetic person due to his battles with drugs and alcohol. Not a fan of that being brought into angles.
Overall, another bad RAW episode but it wasn’t as bad as last week’s.
Thanks for reading.