WWF RAW 6/24/1996
World Wrestling Federation presents RAW
From: Green Bay, WI
RAW opens up with Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler hyping up the upcoming Ahmed Johnson vs. HHH contest. Johnson is the new WWF Intercontinental Champion.
Opening Contest: WWF Intercontinental Champion Ahmed Johnson defeated Hunter Hearst Helmsley in a non-title match: Johnson tosses HHH down to the mat a few times out of a lockup position. Johnson gets out of a side headlock but dropping HHH to the canvas. Johnson shoulder blocks HHH and stalks towards HHH in the corner. Johnson just backs off and eventually goes back to a side headlock on HHH. Johnson blocks a hip toss attempt by connecting with a clothesline. Johnson attempts a running cross body but misses and falls over the top rope to the floor. HHH baseball slides Johnson on the floor and tosses Johnson into the ring steps shoulder first. HHH continues his offense by sending Johnson back first into the ring post. HHH heads to the top rope and nails Johnson with a axe handle across the back for a two count. Johnson comes off the ropes and is met with a high knee lift. HHH leaps off the middle rope with a clothesline for a two count. We see comments from Goldust, who is assuring us he will get his championship back. Goldust is also going to bury the Undertaker. Johnson fights out of a headlock as RAW goes to commercial. HHH chops Johnson in the corner several times and adds insults to injury with slaps. Johnson eventually fights out of the corner with a flurry of right hands. Johnson misses a shoulder block in the corner but catches HHH leaping off the top rope. Johnson connects with an atomic drop and sends HHH flipping into the corner. Johnson gorilla press slams HHH for a two count. Johnson ducks a wild clothesline and plants HHH with a spine buster! Johnson goes for the Pearl River Plunge but HHH is able to counter with a backdrop. HHH nails Johnson with a flurry of forearm shots in the corner. HHH continues to slap Johnson like he is a bitch. Well, Johnson blocks a backdrop attempt by planting HHH with the Pearl River Plunge to win the contest! **
After the match, Dox Hendrix interview Ahmed Johnson. Johnson calls Dox “Mike”, since Hendrix is really Michael Hayes. Johnson is going to defend the championship for everyone, not just African Americans. Johnson is going to defend the champions for the people, for now on. Johnson isn’t afraid of Goldust and will grant him a rematch whenever he wants one!
Second Contest: the Bodydonnas defeated the Brooklyn Brawler/Mark Johnson: Zip pins Johnson after a top rope sit down splash to win the squash match. NR
After the match, Cloudy, the new manager for the Bodydonnas, chases after Sunny briefly.
Next week, Shawn Michaels wrestles Marty Jannetty in a non-title match. A video highlighting the rise of Michaels while Jannetty’s career “burned out” is shown.
Third Contest: Vader/Owen Hart/British Bulldog defeated Savio Vega/Aldo Montoya/Barry Horowitz: Another squash match, pretty much. Owen forces Montoya to tap out with the Sharpshooter. NR
Before going to a commercial, Brian Pillman makes his way down to the ring with the help of crutches. Vince McMahon interviews Brian Pillman. Pillman wants to know who he needs to talk to so that he can get his money after being in the WWF for one week. McMahon notes that Pillman hasn’t wrestled yet, but Pillman doesn’t think that matters.
Main Event: the Undertaker defeated Steve Austin by disqualification: Austin attacks Taker from behind with several right hands and boots in the corner but Taker isn’t greatly affected. Taker battles back with several throat thrusts and works on Austin in the corner. Taker tosses Austin back first into the corner and continues his offensive attack with several right hands. Taker big boots Austin as Lawler is insulting Paul Bearer on the floor. Taker tosses Austin to the floor as Taker realizes what Lawler has been doing. Taker turns his attention back to Austin but Austin regains control by ramming Taker into the ring apron back first. Taker stops Austin by sending Austin face first into the ring post and ring steps. Taker briefly chokes Austin in the corner until Austin rolls to the floor. Taker kicks Austin into the guard railing as Austin tried to pull Taker out to the floor. Taker meets Austin on the aisle way with a head butt to prevent Austin from leaving. Taker comes off the ropes but misses a elbow drop. Austin runs into a big boot in the corner as RAW goes to commercial. Taker rams Austin face first into the corner and proceeds to choke Austin for a few moments. Austin chop blocks Taker’s left knee and begins to stomp away on the left knee. Austin wraps Taker’s knee across the ring post! Austin stomps away on Taker several times in the corner. Taker is having a difficult time getting to his feet. Austin leaps off the middle rope nailing Taker with a forearm drop. Austin continues to work on Taker’s left knee for several moments. Goldust has made his way down to the ringside area and joins the commentators. Austin ducks under a big boot and chop blocks Taker’s knee again as RAW goes to commercial. Taker attempts a leaping clothesline but Austin drops down and Taker crashes to the mat. Austin misses a splash onto the ropes and is choke slammed by Taker! Taker signals for the tombstone but Goldust gets on the apron and tosses gold powder into Taker’s eyes causing the DQ! *1/4
After the match, Austin punches Taker several times until Taker is able to send Austin to the floor following several rights and lefts. Jerry Lawler gets on the apron and wants Bearer to talk about the rumors of Bearer screwing Taker over last night! Taker goes to hit Lawler but is held back by Bearer.
End of show
My Take: Johnson/HHH was a decent contest but it was a fairly slow match. HHH is being punished for the house show incident back in May so it isn’t at all surprising to see him lose here. Johnson is really over with the crowd. He is one of only a few guys who get a big pop on his comebacks. Johnson needs to be a main event guy, for sure.
Taker/Austin was a bad match. Who would have thought that two years later they would be making ridiculous money fighting over the WWF World Championship. You never would have thought that after watching their match on this show. The DQ finish was just to protect Austin since he must be in line for a big push after winning the tournament last night.
Overall, it wasn’t a totally bad show. I would say it was mediocre as part of me liked the Johnson/HHH stuff because I am really starting to like Johnson and his intensity. It really helps a rather dull show. This show is only noteworthy because I believe this is the first meeting between Austin and Taker. Thumbs down for RAW this week.
Thanks for reading.