Monday Night Raw
Date: May 6, 1996
Location: Sioux City Auditorium, Sioux City, Iowa
Commentators: Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler
Again, for reasons that I can’t understand, I can’t get away from 1996. We’re just into the Shawn Michaels era now but more importantly, Razor Ramon and Diesel are gone (save for a few house show appearances), meaning everything is about to change in a bad way for the company. Let’s get to it.
This show is dedicated to Ray Stevens, who was often called one of the best of all time.
A woman in shadow, labeled as the ex-wife of a professional wrestler, says Shawn Michaels ruined her life. Details to come.
Marc Mero vs. 1-2-3 Kid
Hunter Hearst Helmsley (feuding with Mero) is on commentary. The Kid starts waving his arms to show off his martial arts abilities but charges into a raised boot in the corner. A running dropkick puts the Kid on the floor and gets a better reaction than almost anything from the February tapings.
Back in and Kid starts firing off some kicks in the corner as HHH talks about Sable being beneath him. A chinlock keeps Mero down but he fights up and twists Kid’s knee around to take over for all of one full second. We hit a sleeper (so another chinlock) to put Mero on the mat again and Kid throws his foot on the ropes like a heel should.
Back from a break with Mero fighting back and hitting a top rope ax handle. With Vince’s manic offense actually working for a change, Mero sends Kid outside for a big running flip dive over the top. Helmsley sends Kid back inside and I stop to wonder how they didn’t put him with DiBiase. That just kind of fits you know? With the referee yelling at…..someone, Helmsley crotches Mero but a superplex is countered into a crossbody to pin the Kid.
Rating: B-. This got a lot better after the break and helped set up Mero vs. Helmsley at the next pay per view. The Kid had his energy going here but it’s still really hard for me to buy him as a heel against anyone other than the smaller opponents. This was the kind of longer match you didn’t get enough on Raw at the time and it worked.
We see Savio Vega attacking Steve Austin to set up a Caribbean strap match. DiBiase accepted for Austin but if Savio loses, he’s DiBiase’s chauffeur.
The woman in shadow claims she slept with Shawn. Her ex-husband was on the road a lot and one day Shawn came over and one thing lead to another. Naturally Shawn was the best she ever had. The husband wrestled Shawn soon after this so there’s a short list of possibilities for who this is supposed to be. Now Shawn is doing it to another marriage and the shadow woman won’t let it happen.
British Bulldog vs. Fatu
Fatu shrugs off Bulldog’s early offense and shakes his rather large hips. Bulldog tries a test of strength but gets headbutted down as he’s messed up due to the Shawn accusations. A clothesline puts Fatu on the floor and it’s time for Bulldog to do Shawn’s poses. Back in and it’s time for the slow stomping as Vince reads house show ads.
Some of Fatu’s many (Known elsewhere as the Samoan Gangster Party but unnamed here. You would know them better as Samu and Rosey.) relatives come out to watch as we take a break. Back with Bulldog kicking Fatu low to send him outside but getting caught in a Diamond Cutter (called a bulldog by Vince, which is actually true). Fatu makes the mistake of going after Cornette though and the powerslam is enough to give Bulldog the pin.
Rating: C. Totally watchable match here and that’s kind of surprising given who Bulldog was against. It’s a good idea to have Bulldog go over some midcarders instead of having the same matches against main eventers that he’s had time after time. Not bad here, especially with the lame story Bulldog is stuck in.
Fatu tells the Samoans that the WWF is his family.
Tekno Team 2000 vs. BodyDonnas
Non-title. Travis and Skip get things going as I try to figure out how I wound up watching match between guys named Travis and Skip. A double hiptoss gets two on Skip and Harvey Wippleman is here to take notes on refereeing. Travis starts working on Zip’s arm as Lawler makes jokes about the yet to be named Viagra.
We take a break and come back with Travis eating a double flapjack as we go to the New Rockers, who will be getting a title shot in the future. I know there are a lot of teams around this point but this should be all the proof you need that quantity doesn’t mean quality. Skip hammers on Travis as this just keeps going. Zip misses a top rope back elbow and everything breaks down. Lawler talks about gas prices being up 14% in the last three months as Skip hits a top rope hurricanrana, setting up a top rope ax handle to the ribs for the pin on Troy.
Rating: D. Like I said, Tekno Team 2000 just wasn’t any good and the BodyDonnas weren’t much better. It’s such a dark time for the division and tag wrestling in general and this wasn’t exactly out of the norm. Sunny didn’t help things either as she overshadowed everyone in the division with pure natural charisma.
Jim Cornette and Vader aren’t worried about Yokozuna. Vader is ready for Duke Droese.
Owen Hart vs. Undertaker
Goldust, Undertaker’s upcoming opponent, is on commentary until he’s told that their match is a casket match. Storming off ensues but he runs into Undertaker during his entrance and runs right back in a cute bit. The freaking out on commentary is pretty amusing. Owen hides on the floor to start before slugging away to as much avail as you would expect. Choking slows Hart down but Goldust gets up as we take a break.
Back with Goldust stalking Paul Bearer as Owen works on the leg. The stalking turns into trying to take Paul’s shirt off, sending the manager running up the aisle. More leg work is followed by a missile dropkick but the Sharpshooter takes WAY too long. The chokeshove over the top has Owen in trouble…..and Goldust grabs the back of Hart’s tights. Back in and the Tombstone wraps this up.
Rating: D+. Nothing to see here other than Goldust doing his wackiness outside. There comes a point where he stops being bizarre and stars being…..well whatever he was here, which has got to be offensive in some way. The Undertaker vs. Goldust feud isn’t much better but for some reason it’s getting a pay per view match.
A casket is wheeled out to send Goldust running as the show ends.
Overall Rating: D+. It’s no surprise why I took so much time finally getting done with this show. There’s almost no spark to it and the biggest angle on the show was setting up Goldust vs. Undertaker for reasons that aren’t entirely clear. I’ve seen far worse but Shawn vs. Bulldog as the top feud in the promotion just isn’t going to work no matter what.
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