Monday Night Raw
March 25, 1996
San Antonio, TX
The current WWF Champs were as follows:
World Champion: Bret Hart (11/19/1995)
Intercontinental Champion: Goldust (1/21/1996)
World Tag Team Champions: Vacant (2/15/1996)
Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler.
- Shawn Michaels (w/Jose Lothario) vs. Leif Cassidy
It’s the OLD Rocker taking on a NEW Rocker six days before WrestleMania. This is the first personal appearance of Jose Lothario by HBK’s side. We’ve seen him in videos training Shawn, but never inside a WWF ring. Vince calls Cassidy a dork. WHAT A CATTY SHREW! If not enough stuff is happening right now, Bret Hart heads down to join Vince on commentary as King leaves to go make sure his headlights aren’t still on, which is just a terrible excuse to leave since he and Bret don’t exactly get along. Quick start as Shawn leapfrogs all over Cassidy and armdrags into an armbar while Bret talks about how he’s going to counter Shawn’s overwhelming speed. He’s just going to pound him into the dirt for 60 minutes. Didn’t know there was going to be dirt at WrestleMania this year. Cassidy hits HBK with a RISKY Snow Bomb and capitalizes with a Sambo Suplex. Out comes Marty Jannetty to get a closer look at his partner’s biggest match ever. Commercials! When we return, Cassidy is still all over HBK. Shawn tries coming back as they exchange rollups, but Cassidy thumbs Shawn in the eye and tries to reverse powerbomb HBK on the top rope. It doesn’t go too well as Shawn’s feet get caught up in the ropes instead. Superplex gets two. He tries another, but Shawn fights him off and delivers a flying clothesline. KIP UP, and atomic drops a plenty. Shawn wants the Flying Forearm, but Jannetty trips him up and pulls Shawn by the tights back into the corner. That bothers Bret and he gets up to shove Marty away. With Shawn now free, Cassidy misses a corner charge and stumbles around into SWEET CHIN MUSIC to give HBK the win. (8:34 shown) Afterwards, Shawn gets up in Bret’s face and tells him he doesn’t need Bret to help him fight his battles. After Lothario calms Shawn down, Bret goes and tells Vince that you can’t get any gratitude from some people. Bret considers Shawn a friend and has respect for him, but the bottom line is that WrestleMania 12, he’s going to pound HBK into the DIRT for 60 minutes. Maybe it was Shawn’s selling, but this seemed like they were giving Cassidy WAY too much offense and allowed some risky moves. Remember prior to WrestleMania 28, Vince wanted the guys to take it easy on John Cena. I don’t know that the same thought process was exactly evident here. Nevertheless with the moves we saw here, it does give you that impression that perhaps Shawn is tougher than Bret seems to think. All things being equal, a good TV match. **½
- Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Aldo Montoya
Helmsley has another blonde model with him this week, but shoos her away once he’s in the ring. Montoya does the gentlemanly thing and holds the ropes open for her. Don’t even think they mentioned her name. Hunter uses that gesture to attack Montoya from behind. Montoya fires back with a hiptoss, but a splash hits knees. While Vince throws subtle jabs at WCW, HHH hits the High Knee and the Harley Race Knee Drop for two. Brief comeback by Montoya. He levels Helmsley with a Flying Bodypress for 1-2-NO! From there, he telegraphs a backdrop and Helmsley puts him away with the PEDIGREE. (5:03) Umm, Hunter Hearst Helmsley faces the returning Ultimate Warrior that following Sunday night at WrestleMania 12! ¾*
Over at the Hollywood back lot, Goldust flirts with a mannequin dressed to look like Roddy Piper. Once he’s finished though, Goldust throws the mannequin around as it falls apart. I bet that’s what he does to ALL the guys.
Since Undertaker and Paul Bearer’s entrance takes so long, Dok Hendrix goes all QVC on us and advertises the $180 dollar WrestleMania 12 jacket that you can have embroidered with your name on it!
Okay, Taker has finally turned the lights back on in the arena. Paul Bearer basically gives us a rundown of their several month long feud with Diesel and that we are at the eve of destruction. Undertaker says at one time he was content with just beating him, but Diesel had to go and put his hands on Paul Bearer, which means Diesel’s fate lies in the hands of the reaper. REST IN PEACE.
More workout videos including Bret and Shawn that we’ve seen the last couple weeks. I do want to point out that the promo video hyping the match is one of the best I’ve ever watched.
- Owen Hart (w/Jim Cornette) vs. Ahmed Johnson
You can just about tell what’s going to happen here without even watching the match. By the way, Helen Hart is sitting in the front row. Davey Boy Smith joins Cornette at ringside. Owen can’t handle Ahmed and as he goes for the PEARL RIVER PLUNGE, Davey Boy attacks for the DQ. (3:49 shown) Vader joins his crew, but of course Yokozuna and Jake Roberts come down for the save. *
Before we go, they play Bret Hart’s cheesy “You Start the Fire” music video filled with his special appearances all over the world instead of any in-ring action. The music may suck, but it’s still better than Nickelback.
Next Week: The WrestleMania 12 fallout. Plus, Mankind debuts!