WWF RAW 9/23/1996
Written by: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Federation presents RAW
From: Hershey, PA
1.) Marc Mero defeated Faarooq to win the vacant WWF Intercontinental Championship
2.) WWF World Tag Team Champions Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith defeated Skip & Zip to retain the titles
3.) Barry Windham defeated Hunter Hearst Helmsley
1.) Mr. Perfect opens the show coming out for the Intercontinental Championship match between Mero and Faarooq. Pat Patterson is the special referee. Patterson was the first WWF Intercontinental Champion. Perfect will be on commentary.
2.) Faarooq attacks prior to the bell and delivers several strikes on Mero in the corner. Mero comes off the ropes to hit a head scissors and rolls Faarooq up for a one count. Faarooq kicks Marc on the side of the head to regain control of the match. Mero avoids Faarooq in the corner to hit an arm drag and clotheslines Faarooq over the top to the floor. Merco hits a somersault dive over the top to the floor! Marc heads to the top and hits a springboard moonsault for a near fall! Faarooq dumps Mero over the top to the floor. Faarooq shoulder blocks Mero off the apron and Marc lands chest first across the guard railing.
Ahmed Johnson calls in during the match as Faarooq rams Mero back first into the ring apron. Johnson says he is feeling great and will be back soon. Faarooq plants Mero with a power slam but can’t put Mero away. Faarooq puts Mero on his shoulders and comes off the middle rope to hit a Samoan Drop for a near fall! Holy crap, Pat Patterson delivered one hell of a slow count. Sunny chokes Mero over the bottom rope and Patterson ejects Sunny from ringside! Mero gets out of the Dominator and backslides Faarooq for a near fall. Faarooq quickly gets up and delivers a clothesline. Faarooq knee lifts Mero as he comes off the ropes to continue his advantage. Mero gets a sunset flip but only gets a near fall. Faarooq goes right back to work kicking Mero in the ribs. Mero comes off the ropes to drop Faarooq with a clothesline but misses an elbow drop. Faarooq slams Mero to the canvas and heads to the top rope but Mero crotches Faarooq on the top rope. Mero hits a top rope hurricanrana and has the cover but Faarooq kicks out at two! They collide in the middle of the ring with a double clothesline as Sunny returns to ringside. Sunny and Sable go at it as Mero blocks a purse shot and hits Faarooq with the purse! Mero heads to the top and hits a shooting star press to win the title! (***. I really enjoyed this match as Mero was on fire and hit all his spots very well. The crowd responded to the match and it exceeded my expectations a great deal.) After the match, Sunny takes a brick out of the purse as she was trying to cheat to win the title. Jim Ross gets in the ring to interview Mero with Mr. Perfect in the ring as well.
3.) Ross tells Mero that they are really proud of him. Mero thanks Jesus Christ and the fans along with Sable. Mero and Sable embrace and thanks Mr. Perfect for his advice to help him win the championship.
4.) Backstage, Dox Hendrix is with Marc Mero and the whole baby face roster to celebrate the championship victory. That’s all it was.
5.) This is kind of odd. Vince McMahon takes the time to reveal that Jeff Jarrett was not the guy who sang “With My Baby Tonight.” Jarrett had recently signed with World Championship Wrestling and had not finished his angle with the Roadie prior to leaving. Next week, the real singer of the song will be on RAW. We aren’t told who the person is, but it’s rather obvious.
6.) Owen and Zip kick off the tag match with Owen taking Zip down to the canvas for a quick start. Zip rolls Owen up out of the corner for a near fall as the fans erupt for Extreme Championship Wrestling wrestlers Taz and Bill Alfonso are at ringside with Taz hold a “Sabu Fears Taz” sign as the show goes to commercial. Smith slams Skip and Owen tags in only for Skip to hit a head scissors takedown. Smith tags back in and avoids a middle rope cross body from Skip. Jim Cornette is pissed that Clarence Mason tricked Cornette to sign away Owen and Smith as his tag team. Skip blocks a top rope splash by getting his knees up and Owen lands ribs first across the knees. Zip gets the hot tag that nobody seemingly cares about. Zip backdrops Skip over the top onto Smith. Zip drives Owen down with a gut wrench sit down power bomb! Skip hits a splash off the top but Owen kicks out at two. Smith knee lifts Skip from the apron and Owen hits a spinning heel kick. Owen has the Sharpshooter locked in and gets the submission. (*1/2. Some decent action throughout but the fans didn’t care at all about Skip and Zip and didn’t take their threat seriously at all.)
7.) The Undertaker is at the graveyard to talk about his upcoming match with Mankind in a Buried Alive match. Taker says he will be scarred forever thanks to Paul Bearer betraying him at SummerSlam. Taker has a shovel with him and condemned Mankind to hell and says that Mankind will never rest in peace! They square off on October 20th on pay per view.
8.) Dox Hendrix tries to enter the locker room of Razor Ramon and Diesel but Ramon slams the door with his back to the door.
9.) Steve Austin is on commentary for the main event saying that he wouldn’t have to deal with Bret Hart had his partners practiced safe sex some thirty years ago.
10.) Windham takes Hunter down with a quick arm drag and focuses his offense early on the left arm of Hunter. Windham hits a hammerlock scoop slam but Hunter punches Barry to the corner. Barry backdrops Hunter out of the corner but Hunter recovers to send Windham to the floor where Barry delivers a strike to the midsection and rams Hunter face first into the ring steps. Mr. Perfect has come down to ringside as Windham hits the corner chest first. Hunter gets distracted and Windham hits a back suplex as we go to commercial. They are on the floor briefly before returning to the ring where Hunter gets control with an eye rake. Hunter delivers a knee lift and gets a two count on Windham. Barry gets out of a sleeper hold with a jaw breaker and follows up with a standing dropkick. Hunter drives Windham down with a back suplex but can’t maintain control of the bout. Windham lifts Hunter up and hits a vertical suplex. Mr. Perfect is at ringside and takes Hunter’s woman to the backstage area. Hunter hits a face buster and sees what is going on. Hunter stands on the middle rope and gets crotched by Windham. Barry hooks Hunter on the top and hits the superplex to win the match. (*. A lackluster match with Hunter continuing to be punished for the Curtain Call in May. Windham wouldn’t last all that long in the WWF so this is easily the biggest victory of his run.)
11.) Mankind and Paul Bearer are at the same graveyard where Bearer is telling Mankind that the Undertaker is the reason why they lost the WWF World Championship last night. However, they still have the power of the urn, so it’s not all lost. Mankind says that Taker has made this personal and Taker took something that was his. Mankind is going to take the Undertaker’s last breath from him.
12.) Jim Ross is in the ring to conduct an interview with Razor Ramon and Diesel. Ross had been saying that Ramon and Diesel had come back to the company. They are delaying this reveal by going to a video package for Taker/Mankind on pay per view. Ross says that the fans are going to question his loyalty to the WWF. Ross says he doesn’t have any loyalty to the WWF only to himself. Ross goes on to talk about how Ross left the Atlanta Falcons to be the primary play by play guy in the WWF. He puts himself over as the best play by play guy in the business and his first day he had to wear a yoga at WrestleMania IX. Ross says he carried the broadcast for the King of the Ring pay per view. Ross says he was pulled from commentary because the egotistical owner Vince McMahon couldn’t deal with competition. Super Bowl sunday in 1994 he woke up to having Bells Palsy. On February 11th, 1994 he was fired by Vince McMahon. Ross had to explain to his family that he had just been fired. Then, they called him because McMahon was indicted on drug charges. Ross says everyone leaving the company wasn’t an accident and the guys coming in wasn’t an accident. Ross proceeds to introduce Razor Ramon. In a hilarious moment, the fans go nuts and then realize that it’s not the original Razor Ramon. Ross asks Razor how it feels to be back in the WWF. He does a cheap accent and is quickly attacked by Savio Vega to end the program.
The Jim Ross promo was nicely done but the reveal was horrible and derailed the moment pretty badly. I still enjoyed the show as Mero vs. Faarooq was a fun match that saw Mero shine in his championship winning moment.
Thanks for reading.