WWF RAW 9/16/1996
Written by: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Federation presents RAW
From: Wheeling, WV
Jake Roberts chases Jerry Lawler around ringside and up the aisle way before entering the ring for a match against a debuting wrestler.
Opening Contest: Jake Roberts vs. the Sultan: This is the debut of the Sultan, who is managed by Bob Backlund and the Iron Sheik. For those unaware, the Sultan is better known nowadays as Rikishi. Roberts nearly hit the DDT early on but Sultan bailed to the floor. Lawler throws something into the ring and that distracts Roberts. Sultan locks in the camel clutch and wins the match. (DUD. Nothing much of a match here.)
Backstage, Owen Hart and Brian Pillman are chatting. Owen gives Pillman all the credit for bringing Owen and Bret together. Steve Austin enters the picture and says he is the best there is.
Second Contest: WWF World Tag Team Champions the Smoking Gunns vs. Bob Holly & Alex Porteau: This is a non-title match. A huge photo of Sunny was shown hanging from the rafters before the start of the contest. Owen Hart and the British Bulldog come down to ringside with Jim Cornette to watch the match. Jim Ross announces that Razor Ramon and Diesel will be on RAW next week. Porteau misses Holly on a hot tag and looks foolish. Holly nearly pins Billy after hitting a hurricanrana. Sunny crotches Holly on the top rope to help her team. The Gunns hit the sideslam/top rope leg drop on Holly. Billy is distracted by Owen and Holly gets the win with a surprise roll up. (1/2*. Holly’s offense was a bright spot for the match. That’s really about it.)
Gorilla Monsoon says that both Scott Hall and Kevin Nash will not be appearing on RAW next week due to being under contract with another organization. Jim Ross has left the commentary table after that announcement.
Jerry Lawler is in the ring with Jim Cornette and Vader. Cornette has a lot to worry about as of late and now he has to wrestle Jose Lothario. Cornette is showing the world his skills with a public exhibition. Cornette works with a guy named Tony Williams. Williams actually delivers moves on Cornette and is attacked by Vader for doing so. Williams is tied up in the ropes and Cornette gets several shots in.
Third Contest: Owen Hart vs. Marc Mero in a WWF Intercontinental Championship Tournament Match: Owen nails Mero with a spinning heel kick early on after a few arm drags from Mero to gain control of the contest. Owen hits Mero with his cast and tosses Mero to the floor. Mero battles back with a somersault dive to the floor and nearly wins with a slingshot splash back into the ring. Owen takes off his cast to hit Mero with it but only gets a near fall. Mero nails Owen with the cast and wins the match. (*1/2. Well, these two are capable of putting on a great match but instead they played up the cast. It had its moments of fun, but it could’ve been so much better.)
We hear from Bret Hart who calls Brian Pillman a liar saying he never said he was going to be at Mind Games. He calls Owen a liar as well. He hasn’t forgotten about his fans.
Main Event: Faarooq vs. Psycho Sid in a WWF Intercontinental Championship Tournament Match: Sid no sells a snap powerslam and hammers away on Faarooq. Faarooq also hit a back suplex, which saw Sid land dangerously on his neck. Sid nearly wins after a powerslam when he caught Faarooq in midair leaping off the top rope. Sid hits a chokeslam but Sunny gets on the apron to distract the referee. Faarooq hits Sid with a chair twice and goes for the cover but Sid kicks out. Sid has the chair and whacks Faarooq over the back with it to cause the disqualification. (*1/4. The finish makes sense. Are you really going to have Sid go after a secondary championship considering how over the guy is at this point? No. No you’re not. A few good spots, but mostly a boring match.)
We hear from the Undertaker who says he will never forget the name of Goldust this Sunday when he destroys him. Taker says he is on his way to Mankind and Paul Bearer. This will be Goldust’s final curtain. The premiere of the new Undertaker.
Mankind wonders if he will be a sexy boy and the women will want to kiss him when he wins the WWF World Championship.
Well, there were two feature matches but neither one of them produced a lot of entertainment, sadly. I’m noticing that the RAW matches look good on paper, but never seem to deliver. A thumbs down for this episode.
Thanks for reading.