July 26, 2010
Matt Peddycord
The Powerdriver Review

Monday Night Raw
January 13, 1997
Albany, NY
Knickerbocker Arena
(Taped on 12/30/96)

The current WWF champs were as follows:
World Champion: Psycho Sid (11/17/1996)
Intercontinental Champion: Hunter Hearst Helmsley (10/21/1996)
World Tag Team Champions: Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith (9/22/1996)

TONIGHT: Shawn Michaels will be LIVE from Park Place in San Antonio gearing up for the Royal Rumble this Sunday. Wait, why is he signing an autograph for Jesse James?

Your hosts are Vince McMahon and the Honky Tonk Man.

Hunter Hearst Helmsley & Jerry Lawler vs. Goldust & Marc Mero (w/Marlena & Sable)
Goldust and Mero clean house to start. Back in, Helmsley refuses to have anything to do with Goldust. Instead, Lawler hooks up with Mero. Lawler canít get anything going with Mero (even has some heel miscommunication) and has to bail out to regroup. Back in again, Helmsley tags in and Goldust runs over after him even though heís not supposed to be in the ring. Once Goldust clears out, Helmsley goes low on Mero, but takes a backdrop. Quick tag to Goldust and Hunter scurries over for a tag to Lawler and slides out of the ring. As you can tell, he wants NOTHING to do with Goldust. Lawler pounds Goldust in the corner and calls for a boot from Helmsley, but that fails. DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER on the heels! Tag to Mero, Lawler blind tags Helmsley and thatís bad news for Mero. They manage to keep Mero in the corner so they can cheat like crazy. Suplex by Lawler, but he misses a fist drop and Mero tags out. Goldust hits the Lariat! Lawler goes for a tag, but Helmsley is down on the floor avoiding the tag. Lawler goes to the eyes and grabs Goldust for a double-team, but he ducks and Lawler gets nailed. Helmsley dumps out Mero while Lawler digs into his tights for something evil to hit Mero in the face. Commercials! When we return, Mero mounts a comeback with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors. HOT TAG TO GOLDUST! Finally, he gets his hands on Hunter. Just a zillion punches here. Helmsley gets tied up in the ropes and Goldust starts to choke on him, but he wonít let go after the five count and thatís a disqualification. (11:23 shown) Mero tries to pull Goldust off Helmsley and when he does so, Goldust slugs him a few times. That time away from Hunter allows him to escape to the back with Lawler. The seeds are planted for a Marc Mero heel turn right around here, but an injury would take him away for a yearís time starting in February. Kind of an odd tag match though that was all over the place. *Ĺ

For some reason, the WWF champ Psycho Sid was hanging out in an empty Alamodome earlier today. He quotes a German philosopher and says he will have to become a monster to walk out of the Royal Rumble with the WWF title. The same goes for Shawn. However, when Sid grabs Shawnís throat and everyone in the arena sees the look in Sidís eyes, they will know that he is ďthe manĒ and the master and the ruler of the world. Tee-hee-hee!

Over to Park Place with Shawn Michaels, what is his reaction to Sidís actions and comments? Donít worry Sid, Shawn knows how to play dirty if thatís what Sid wants to do. Shawn says that Sid can be the master of ruler of anything he wants, but he wonít walk out of San Antonio as the WWF champion. You see that attitude come out of Shawn here where he is absolutely OBSESSED to prove to Vince McMahon and everybody else that nobody brings it like he does.

Yesterday on Superstars, Steve Austin assaulted Bret Hart and PILLMANIZED Bretís leg. Bret comes out limping to join us for commentary.

Davey Boy Smith (w/Clarence Mason) vs. Rocky Maivia
Right off the bat, Bret calls Rocky Maivia one of the most prominent wrestlers that heís ever seen come into the WWF. They show a clip of Marc Mero having an argument with Sable on Shotgun Saturday Night thanks to the Honky Tonk Man. Those things happen. Then, Rocky Maivia steps in to rescue Sable away from HTM. Once Honky Tonk left, Rocky tries to make sure Sable was okay when Marc Mero pulls Sable away and that leads to a trading of the blows between Maivia and Mero. Oh boy. Armdrags and hiptosses all around from Maivia to start. Bulldog grabs a headlock, but Rocky battles out and dropkicks him out to the floor. Meanwhile, Honky Tonk Man is trying to recruit Bret Hart. He says he wonít pass any judgment on HTM, but heíll take care of him if he tries to cross his path. Davey Boy tries to leave, but Clarence Mason encourages him back into the ring like a good manager should. Back in, Maivia grabs a wristlock as Owen Hart heads down to stand in front of Bret and watch over him to make sure he doesnít get involved. Commercial break. When we come back, Bulldog is in total control with a chinlock. Davey Boy hits the Stalling Suplex and shows off his massive bicep to Bret Hart. Back to the chinlock, that leads to a double-KO. Maivia fights up with tons of punches and starts up the clotheslines. They both fly out to the floor where Davey Boy Smith throws Maivia into the guardrail. Oh wait! Out of nowhere comes Stone Cold Steve Austin to clip Bulldog from behind. STONE COLD STUNNER on the floor! When Bret stands up to get at Austin, Owen stands in his way because he has no clue what is going on. Owen finally turns around and sees who is at ringside. Now Bret and Owen chase Austin to the back. Meanwhile, Rocky Maivia sneaks back into the ring and wins via countout. (9:12 shown) Nothing necessarily wrong with the match, it was just more angle-driven than caring about who was the better man. *Ĺ

The Undertaker vs. Crush (w/Faarooq and the Nation of Domination)
On an already bad night of wrestling, I canít imagine this one tearing the house down to save the show. Undertaker meets Crush in the aisle and slams his head onto the steps. In the ring, UT catches Crush ducking low and hits him with a DDT. Jumping legdrop connects. He goes for OLD SKOOL, but Faarooq wiggles the ropes to screw that up. Crush takes a backdrop to the floor, but hotshots UT to take over with some serious pounding. Uh oh, piledriver on UT! To the floor, Crush drops him on the guardrail and gives him the receipt for smashing his head on the steps. We look over at the entrance way and VADER IS WATCHING! Commercials! When we come back, Crush is still in control with his weak brawling offense. Backbreaker hits, but a flying fist drop misses. HERE COMES THE UNDERTAKER! He connects with the Flying Lariat, but Crush slips out of the TOMBSTONE and gives Taker a belly to belly suplex. Next up, the HEART PUNCH fails and Taker goozles Crush for the Chokeslam. Everybody knows its over from here. The Nation of Domination hit the ring and jump on Undertaker for the DQ. (8:38 shown) Vader runs down to join in on the fun as well and delivers a pair of Pump Splashes. Oh snap. Ahmed Johnson is in the ring with a 2◊4, but thereís just too many people against him. Faarooq continues to beat him across the back with the 2◊4 until we see credits and fade to black Ė or is it Ahmedís consciousness that fades to black? ĺ*

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