May 30, 2010
Jack Stevenson

WWF Monday Night Raw
January 22, 1996

Sunny warns us that viewer discretion is advised while playing pool. But, you know, itís Sunny, so itís hot.

We sum up the ďoutrageousĒ Royal Rumble 1996. Tonight, itís champion Vs champion as WWF Champion Bret Hart meets Goldust, Razor Ramon battles Hunter Hearst Helmsley, and a very special interview with Shawn Michaels!

Live from Stockton, California
Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler. Lawler is excited at the news that Bret Hart is hurt.

MATCH 1- SAVIO VEGA VS VADER
Before the match, Jim Cornette has the answer to the most important question in the world today- what time is it? Itís Vader time!
Vader overpowers Savio to start. He batters the plucky Puerto Rican with punches but misses a blind charge and Vega super kicks him to the floor. That just allows Vader to continue the slaughter on the floor though, as Savio goes face first across the crowd barricade. Back in there is a big body splash in the corner by Vader, and itís time, itís time for the Vader Bomb! The cover is academic.
Rating- ĺ *- Just earns a rating due to Savio not being a jobber, but it was a fun little massacre.
Post match Vader flattens Savio with a Vader Bomb and then takes care of Jim Korderas. Cornette and other officials try to reason with Vader, but he isnít listening and a powerbomb leaves another official out of it. WWF President Gorilla Monsoon comes out to indefinitely suspend Vader, and now the Rocky Mountain Monster is annoyed. Jim Cornette tries his best to calm down Vader, but that isnít going to work, so Gorilla Monsoon has to unleash some of his wrestling skills to chop Vader. But times have changed since the 1970ís and the WWF president receives a body splash and Vader bomb! And of course Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon make the save after everyone has been knocked out cold. There is chaos in the ring as Vader retreats to the back, point made. Great segment.

The WWF demands you buy the 1996 Royal Rumble encore.

Moments ago Gorilla Monsoon was taken out on a stretcher. In the back, Vader cannot be reasoned with. He declares war on every wrestler and official in the WWF. Jim Cornette tries to tell us what he is trying to say, but he is drowned out by the rage of Vader.

MATCH 2- HUNTER HEARST HELMSLEY VS RAZOR RAMON
Last night Razor Ramon lost the Intercontinental Title to Goldust with some help from the 123 Kid. We see footage of 123 Kid and Ted DiBiase calling Razor Ramon a crybaby.
Ramon slugs the future multi time world champion to start. A corner elbow sends Helmsley sprawling. Atomic drop! Big right hand, and Ramon is in control as we head to commercials. However, literally as we fade out Hunter ducks Razorís charge and sends him out to the floor. We come back with Hunter in control. They battle over a suplex with Razor on the apron and the aristocrat in the ring, and Hunter crotches the Bad Guy on the top rope. Jerry decides to start flirting with Helmsleyís valet instead of paying attention to the match.
A clothesline by Hunter gets two. Down comes the 123 Kid to force a baby bottle down the gullet of Razor Ramon. This just serves to fire up Razor, and he takes out his frustration on Hunter, before chasing the Kid around the ring. The bell rings, and it turns out Razor Ramon has been counted out!
Rating- * ľ- Unremarkable match with a screwy ending.
Post match Ramon tries for the Razorís Edge on HHH, but Helmsley goes out the back door and gets the hell out of dodge. Razor loses on consecutive nights, both times cost victory by the 123 Kid.

Itís time for the last ever episode of Billionaire Tedís wrassliní war room, which according for Vince McMahon is for ďcomedic purposes only.Ē Thatís actually a pretty good joke there. The joke this time is (this is a good one) they canít come up with any ideas. A few months later, a little thing called the N.W.O debuted, making this promo more idiotic then it already was.

Vince McMahon is ready for an interview with the winner of the 1996 Royal Rumble, Shawn Michaels! Shawn says the last thing he wants to do is say ďI told you so McMahonĒ, but he told you so McMahon, HBK is back on the saddle and heading to Wrestlemania. But right now, the Clique has something to handle- Owen Hart. Heís the only one here who can talk trash- but all of a sudden, Jim Cornette comes out.
Cornette says Owen Hart has proved his point, he knocked out Shawn Michaels. But now Vince McMahon starts standing up for Shawn Michaels, reminding him that last night Shawn threw Vader, Yokozuna and Cornette over the top rope. Jim says be that as it may, Owen still knocked him out. Shawn asks if he has to pay Jim to get a match against Owen, but Jim says if Shawn wants to fight Owen Hart, he has to put the title shot on the line. Shawn says heís waited 11 years to main event Wrestlemania, which causes JC to cry so much he pulls out a hanky and weeps into it. Cornette reiterates he has to put the shot on the line to get Owen Hart, so after consulting with the fans, Shawn accepts, and puts an exclamation mark on it by dumping Jim over the top rope!

Next week, Diesel faces the British Bulldog, and Shawn Michaels meets Yokozuna!

Dok Hendrix and the Raw band rock out.

MAIN EVENT- CHAMPION VS CHAMPION- GOLDUST VS BRET HART
Goldust now has Marlena with him. In pre-recorded, Goldust claims his performance last night was Oscar worthy. Tonight, Bret Hart wonít be able to forget the name of.............Goldust. Bret has an injured knee from the previous night.
We go to commercial in the very early stages in the match, and come back with the two still in the feeling out process (or, in the case of Goldust, the feeling Ďupí process! Yes, Iíll be here till the end of the show.) Bret catapults the Bizarre one out to the floor and we go to yet another commercial break. We come back with the news that Goldust has been pummelling on the world champion throughout the commercial break.
Goldust tries for a sharpshooter but gets kicked to the floor. Marlena tries to take Goldust back to the locker room, but Razor Ramon is here and will not stand for that! He throws Goldust back into the ring, and another commercial break is here. We come back with Bret hitting the Russian Leg Sweep and locking in the Sharpshooter, and Goldust taps! Impossible to rate though since it was decimated by commercials.
Vince McMahon leaps into the ring for an interview. Bret makes it clear that Diesel robbed the fans of a decision last night, and he wants to face Diesel in the Steel Cage! When he steps in the ring, he will realise why he is the World Champion! He also promises the Undertaker a rematch at some point.

Next week, the aforementioned double main event, information on Gorilla Monsoonís condition, and Billionaire Ted holds a press conference explaining why he wants to put the WWF out of business!
Overall- A fast paced, fairly enjoyable show that was hurt by the best angle opening the show and a main event cut to shreds by commercials. Worth a watch, but not essential.

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