WWF: Monday Night Raw (08.19.96)

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Monday Night Raw
August 19, 1996
Wheeling, WV
Civic Center

The current WWF Champs were as follows:
World Champion: Shawn Michaels (3/31/96)
Intercontinental Champion: Vacant (8/12/96)
World Tag Team Champions: The Smoking Gunns (5/26/96)

Show starts with stills from SummerSlam recapping Paul Bearer’s betrayal.

Your hosts are Kevin Kelly, Jim Ross, and Jerry Lawler. So strange not hearing Vince McMahon’s voice.

ICtitle96

  • WWF Intercontinental Title Tournament Quarterfinals: Owen Hart vs. Davey Boy Smith

Ross announces the HBK vs. Mankind WWF title match for the next ‘In Your House’ PPV in Philadelphia on September 22. On that same night, the Undertaker is scheduled to meet Goldust in a ‘Final Curtain’ match. He doesn’t give any details as to what that is though. Headlocks and shoulderblocks to start. Bulldog catches Owen with a monkey flip that sends him from one side of the ring to the other. Dropkick sends Owen out and Davey Boy is feeling good. He does his somersault handstand deal and holds the ropes open for Owen. More headlocks and shoulderblocks. DBS blocks the hiptoss, but Owen flips off Davey’s neck and gets the hiptoss after all. And what do you know, a dropkick by Owen sends out Bulldog. Just classic stuff from these two. Now Owen holds the ropes open for Davey Boy. Conspicuous by his absence is Jim Cornette, says our esteemed commentators. Bulldog works a chinlock as there seems to be a lot of static on the feed. Kevin Kelly apologizes for the inconvenience that he has no explanation for at this point. Oh, but then they bring up the Undertaker, so there ya go. Bulldog hits the RUNNING POWERSLAM near the ropes for a nearfall. Hey look, it’s Sunny! Time for commercials though. You’ll come back for Sunny, right? When we return, Sunny has joined the announce table sitting right by Lawler while Bulldog has missed a corner charge and ran his knee into the top turnbuckle. Owen goes to work on the knee while we go to the split-screen with Jim Cornette. He cries conspiracy on the part of Gorilla Monsoon for trying to make him choose between two of his clients. Cornette also mentions that he’s got Yokozuna back under his wing, which is news to everyone at the table and means problems for HBK. Back to the match, Bulldog reaches the ropes in a Sharpshooter, but takes a nasty bump to the floor. Owen fights him on the apron, but winds up taking a suplex down to the floor. They brawl over towards the announce table. Owen hits DBS with a Spinning Heel Kick and chops him down before shooting back inside to win via countout and advance to the next round in the IC title tournament. (9:12 shown) I’ve never seen these two have a bad match. They didn’t break any new ground, but it was a solid ten minutes. After the bell, Sunny gets mad and throws a full drink in Bulldog’s face for getting too close to her naughty bits. Yeah, because she’s soooo selective. Sunny stands behind Lawler and cooler heads prevail here. Out comes Jim Cornette to get in Sunny’s face and call her a “slut”. 1996 WWF is so confusing. There’s hog farmers, sumo wrestlers, plumber wrestlers, and sluts. ***

Clips are shown to remind us of Faarooq kicking Ahmed Johnson’s kidneys funny. JR and Lawler are talking all over this interview with Ahmed during his recovery. Not that we could understand what he was saying anyways.

Back to the show, Mark Henry chooses a weird time to be signing autographs, which causes a confrontation between he and Vader.

  • Vader (w/Jim Cornette) vs. Freddie Joe Floyd

Cornette joins the commentary table to plead his case about Vader being screwed out of the WWF title last night at SummerSlam. After a couple of VADER BOMBS, the feed goes fuzzy again. Total squash as Vader wins in 3:48.

Paul Bearer brings out Mankind for the first time ever and meets Jim Ross in the ring. Why did you turn on the Undertaker? Bearer says he was tired of carrying the Undertaker all around the world for the past six years. Well, that would get kind of tiresome, I suppose. The lights start to flicker. Ross is certain that it’s the Undertaker’s presence, but Bearer wants you to think that it’s Mankind who has the power now. After all, he does have the urn. Mankind says that not only will he find joy in making Shawn Michaels the least “sexy boy” in the WWF, but will also find joy in taking away the WWF title and ruining the lives of the millions in the Kliq. The flickering of the lights begin to get worse and even more noticeable than before. Bearer continues to say that it’s the power of Mankind, and that the Undertaker has passed away. *BONG* The lights go out completely except for a spotlight shining down on the druids carrying the Undertaker towards the ring. Bearer thinks it’s time for the wake, but that’s when Taker sits up. As he gets to his feet, the turnbuckles are supposed to catch on fire. The first try fails, but they light up on the second attempt. Mankind and Bearer bail out as the Undertaker drops to one knee in the center of the ring.

Strange promo for the Stalker Barry Windham. If he’s a stalker, it’s a pretty normal promo for a stalker. Anyways, he’s coming soon to the WWF. Probably would have been an interesting character if Marc Mero would have just let Windham stalk his wife. It’s not real, sir!

  • Final Four Battle Royal (Goldust, Savio Vega, Steve Austin, Psycho Sid)

Okay, so the winner of *this* match gets a WWF title shot on “Championship Friday” on September 6. Just to be a bunch of douches, Psycho Sid gets gang banged over the top rope to the floor. He makes them pay though with Chokeslams everywhere. Crowd loves this guy. No chance of a double-team this week as Austin immediately turns on Goldust as we go to commercial. When we return, Goldust gives Austin a superplex. Savio dumps Goldust out to the apron, but doesn’t make sure he’s gone. Vega fights off a double clothesline and tosses Austin out. He was supposed to land on the apron even though both feet touched the floor. Whoops. He shoots back inside only to take a catapult over the top rope to the floor for the definite elimination. Savio avoids the Curtain Call and lands the SPINNING HEEL KICK. He charges Goldust for the match-ending clothesline only to take a ride over the top rope to the floor. (6:35 shown) If you’re going to pad the ‘In Your House’ card with Taker against Goldust as your semi-main event, you might as well put him in a match with the WWF champion in the mean time. Not much of a match and really just a way to give somebody else the WWF title match since Ahmed Johnson is out of action. *½

  • Non-title match: WWF World Champion Shawn Michaels (w/Jose Lothario) vs. Yokozuna

This would end up being Yoko’s final match on Raw since he never got his weight under any kind of control. The classic stick-and-move strategy works fine for Shawn until he tries a headbutt the man. Commercials! When we return, Cornette is slugging Lothario down. Meanwhile, Shawn is trying to fight out of a nerve hold. He scares away Cornette, which just serves as a distraction. Yoko whips Shawn in for the Ray Stevens corner bump and then delivers a Belly to Belly Suplex. Yoko misses a splash though and here comes Shawn. Flying Forearm and the Flying Splash gets two. Yoko blocks Sweet Chin Music and twirls Shawn around for a Samoan Drop. Ha! Leg drop misses, and he stands back up into SWEET CHIN MUSIC to give HBK the win. (4:14 shown) Way better than I thought it would be considering Yoko’s severe weight issues. *½

NEXT WEEK: Nothing. No Monday Night Raws for two weeks. However, Raw Championship Friday is coming up on September 6 with WWF champion Shawn Michaels battling Goldust! Plus, two more IC championship tourney quarterfinals = Psycho Sid meets Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Steve Austin takes on Marc Mero!

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