Monday Night Raw – May 20, 1996: Holy Cheese Steaks Served on a Book of New York Times Crossword Puzzles

Monday Night Raw
Date: May 20, 1996
Location: Sioux City Auditorium, Sioux City, Iowa
Attendance: 4,000

Commentators: Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler

This is going to be the last show of an era as the Curtain Call happened over the weekend but this was taped WAY in advance so the political issues haven’t come up yet. The big story, for whatever reason, continues to be Shawn Michaels vs. British Bulldog over allegations that Shawn went after Bulldog’s wife. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Steve Austin vs. Marc Mero

During the entrances, we’re told about the Godwinns winning the Tag Team Titles over the weekend. How odd is it for that to be a line just thrown in like that? They trade some arm cranking to start with Mero getting the better of it and shrugging off some right hands to the jaw.

An elbow works a bit better and Austin hits a release Snake Eyes to really take over. Austin sends him outside and we take a break as this is really dull stuff so far. It really is amazing how much more exciting Austin would get because this is dreadful at the moment. Back with Austin getting two off the middle rope elbow and grabbing a chinlock.

Mero fights up but gets caught in a jawbreaker, which is totally different from a Stunner (yes, TOTALLY). It’s back to the chinlock for a bit before Mero makes his real comeback with the usual, including right hands in the corner. Austin shoves him out of the corner and goes up, only to have Savio Vega run in to go after Austin for the DQ.

Rating: D-. Sweet goodness what a boring match. Austin was desperate for a change here and thankfully he would get rid of Ted DiBiase very soon after this. The Vega feud was his first good stuff but it would take a lot longer for Mero to really get anywhere. The match was really just long and that doesn’t make it interesting.

Mero and Vega stare at each other.

Video on Ahmed Johnson on the Kuwait tour where he won a tournament.

Video on Ultimate Warrior’s comic book debuting, meaning we get to hear Vince say “destrucity”.

Savio Vega vs. 1-2-3 Kid

Ted DiBiase sits in on commentary and can’t wait to see Savio turned into his chauffeur when Austin beats him on Sunday. Vega hammers away to start as the announcers ignore what’s in the ring to recap Austin vs. Vega on Sunday. A hiptoss puts Kid down and a running spinwheel kick in the corner puts Kid on the floor.

We hit the chinlock back inside until DiBiase offers a distraction with the hat. Apparently that’s enough for Kid to come back, including a clothesline and top rope splash for two. Kid gets two off a spinning kick of his own and they slowly slug it out as this just won’t end. Savio’s belly to back gets two but he gets kicked down yet again. A top rope splash misses though and Savio grabs a rollup for the pin.

Rating: D. Just horrible here again as this is the last show of a taping and that makes for some of the worst wrestling you can see on a weekly basis. There’s no energy here and I’m not even sure how to criticize it. The match was terribly dull but somehow it might have been better than the first one.

Post match Austin comes in and lays out Vega before tying him up so DiBiase can put the chauffeur’s hat on. I can always go for some goof humiliation involving forced clothing.

We recap the Tag Team Title change and the worthless Phineas Loves Sunny story. If nothing else it’s a way to look at Sunny in the white top and skirt. Sunny did however get Phineas to sign a contract to make her the manager, which set up a match against the Smoking Gunns on this Sunday’s pre-show.

Undertaker comes out of a casket for a chat, saying Goldust will be in the casket on Sunday. Cue Mankind to lock Undertaker in the casket as Goldust goes after Paul Bearer. The casket is turned over and beaten with a pole.

British Bulldog vs. Jake Roberts

Before we’re ready to go, Jim Cornette busts out a restraining order against Shawn Michaels on behalf of Diana Smith. This brings out Gorilla Monsoon (King: “You know what they mean: Gorilla Monsoon happens.”) to eject Diana, making the whole thing a waste of time. That means Shawn can come out and watch because Michaels vs. Bulldog needs all the help it can get.

We take an early break and come back with Jake working on the arm as Shawn denies all the allegations against him. Bulldog slowly stomps away as the announcers try to sell this stupid story. It’s off to a leglock because this match needs to be even slower than it’s been so far. The slow leg stomping continues and BACK TO THE LEGLOCK. Jake fights up and tries a DDT but Bulldog reverses into a half crab.

Lawler talks about Shawn being in Playgirl Magazine as we hit the leglock for the third straight time. King: “Did you show as much as you did to Diana?” It’s off to the half crab AGAIN and here’s Diana. We actually take a freaking break and come back with Diana yelling at Shawn. Water is thrown (hitting Shawn in the shoulder) so Michaels punches Cornette and gets jumped from behind and we’re off with no finish. The post break stuff was about thirty seconds long.

Rating: F. Holy cheese steaks served on a book of New York Times crossword puzzles this was a horrible match. This went on and on with that stupid leglock and somehow I’m supposed to want to pay to see Bulldog on Sunday? Terrible stuff here and Jake looked like he has no desire to be out there whatsoever.

Overall Rating: Agoobwa. This would have been better if a massive electrical storm went through the city and knocked out all the power, forcing them to wrestle in the dark. The worst part about this is that there are a lot of talented people on this show. Every one of the six people who actually wrestled are incredibly talented and should be able to put on a great match. The three who appeared but didn’t wrestle were Undertaker, Mankind and Shawn Michaels. That is inexcusable and this show was nothing short of a disaster. No exaggeration: this might actually be the worst episode of Raw I’ve ever seen.

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1 comment

  1. NightShiftLoser says:

    I saw Bulldog v Roberts and thought “Wow”, and then realized this was 1996, and that made me sad.