Monday Night Raw – July 1, 1996: Of Course It’s Shawn

Monday Night Raw
Date: July 1, 1996
Location: Brown County Expo, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Attendance: 4,660
Commentators: Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler

It’s Shawn-a-Mania running wild here as Shawn is the undisputed king of the company and rolling over anyone who dares challenge him. Unfortunately this isn’t exactly saving them in the ratings but there’s only so much they can do against Nitro and the Outsiders at this point, especially with British Bulldog as his top challenger in the previous few months. Let’s get to it.

Shawn Michaels vs. Marty Jannetty

Non-title. Shawn has the Kliq Cam with him to make sure he’s even less interesting than he already was. Jim Cornette is on the floor with the New Rockers to help set up Shawn vs. Vader. They do the big lockup to start as Vince talks about Canada Day. Feeling out process to start with Shawn nipping back up off an early takedown. Some armdrags put Shawn down again and it’s actually all Marty early on. You know Shawn isn’t going to sell for that long though and he makes a quick comeback with a few armdrags of his own, followed by a clothesline.

Leif pulls his partner out of the way of Sweet Chin Music and offers a distraction so Marty can take over again. There’s a backdrop to drop Shawn on his back but Marty spends too much time posing. Back from a break with Marty getting two off a snapmare (yes a snapmare) and putting on a chinlock. Shawn’s comeback is cut off when his shoulder goes into the post. Marty lands on his feet to escape a monkey flip and nails a quick clothesline. Again Shawn will have none of that and hits the forearm but doesn’t go straight for the superkick.

Instead he tries a powerbomb which is countered into a hurricanrana which is countered into a sunset flip for two on Marty. We take another break and come back with Marty scoring with the Rocker Dropper but missing the top rope fist drop. Shawn goes old school with a piledriver (which, along with the teardrop suplex were completely abandoned once he went to the superkick) and the top rope elbow, followed by Sweet Chin Music for the pin.

Rating: B. These two always worked well together, dating back to their great feud in 1993 over the Intercontinental Title. Marty continues to be a very underrated performer who could have been much better remembered if he wasn’t partnered with Shawn Michaels earlier in his career. Really good TV match here though which you could easily put on yet another Shawn DVD.

Leif tries to interfere and gets a superkick of his own. Shawn’s manager Jose Lothario punches out Cornette, who did nothing here.

We look at Sunny suckering Phineas Godwinn in to admit he loved her before ripping him apart and sending the Smoking Gunns in for the beatdown. Hillbilly Jim and Henry Godwinn made the save, leaving Sunny to be slopped. Sunny looked great here, before the slopping that is.

Mankind vs. Duke Droese

Jake Roberts is on commentary, which isn’t something you often hear. Lawler makes drunk jokes about Roberts as Mankind beats the heck out of Droese to start. We take a very early break and come back with Mankind cranking on the arm as the slow beating continues, only to be cut off by Jake asking what closet Lawler came out of. A quick spinebuster gives Duke a breather but Mankind grabs the Mandible Claw to break up…..something that isn’t important as Droese is out.

Rating: D. This was just a squash and it makes sense that Droese was gone after this, save for a few matches on Superstars. The guy was a wrestling garbageman though and he’s only going to get so far in the company. At least things are starting to shift though and that’s a really good thing for the WWF’s future.

Lawler and Roberts get in an argument with Jerry slapping him, only to have Mankind put Jake down with the Claw.

Marc Mero vs. Goldust

Steve Austin is on commentary before his match with Mero at In Your House IX. Goldust is feuding with Undertaker so a cameo isn’t out of the question. During the entrances, Austin starts yelling at Vince for cutting him off and you can almost hear 1998 from here. Mero punches him out to the floor to start as Austin goes off on Roberts for being old. Goldust is sent outside again as the stalling continues.

We take a break and come back with Mero knocking Goldust around ringside before he gets caught in a chinlock. Make that three chinlocks as this just keeps going. Goldust drops a fist to the head and we hit ANOTHER chinlock as we go to a second break. Back with Mero missing an elbow drop and Goldust hammering away with right hands. That’s enough excitement so it’s off to a REVERSE chinlock.

Mero gets back up and charges into a back elbow, setting up a powerslam for two. A double clothesline puts both of them down because this match hasn’t involved enough laying around. Marlena gets very close to Sable as Mero makes his comeback. The camera stays on the women and cuts back to see Goldust hitting the Curtain Call for the pin.

Rating: D-. Oh sweet goodness what a boring match. This was a bunch of sitting around waiting on anything interesting to happen and then not being surprised when nothing happened. These guys are better than this and I have no idea why they had such a horrible match with such little effort involved.

Overall Rating: C-. The opener is really good but it’s not enough to save the rest of the show. This show went up against the go home show for Bash at the Beach 1996 (as in the Third Man) so the follow up from this mess is going against Hogan’s big first appearance from this show. Well at least it should as Hogan didn’t debut in the Black and White until the NEXT week for reasons of WCW is stupid. Either way, this show sucked, save for Shawn of course, which is just how things worked in 1996.

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