WWE has begun adding older episodes of Raw to the WWE Network again after plenty of Nitros, and I have decided to do the occasional recap as a fun way to discuss them.
The show opens up with Vince McMahon and Ted Dibiase introducing us to WWF Monday Night Raw. Vince lets us know that Jerry Lawler vs Shawn Michaels is our main event, and that is why Ted is with him instead tonight.
First match is Waylon Mercy vs Doink the Clown. Quite a bit of back-and-forth early, as the crowd chants “Kill the Clown.” Quickly, Waylon slaps on the sleeper-hold for the win. I don’t perceive either of these characters have specific programs happening, so them having a quick match made sense.
After the match, we get our first glimpse of Goldust. In the previous episodes leading up to this, we have seen short vignettes focused around the character’s name. This time, Goldust has a long interview in front of an obvious green screen with WB Studios in the background. Goldust tells us he is the biggest star in the WWF and that he wants Diesel’s gold belt. The audio was a little off but it setup the Goldust character nicely as a delusional actor archetype.
Henry Godwinn makes his way to the ring and screams at Dibiase. Henry is angry at being denied as a member of The Million Dollar Corporation, and Ted’s remarks about him being nothing to him. After a few minutes of yelling at Dibiase and forcing him on his knees, Godwinn dumps a bucket of slop on Ted’s head. Vince is shocked and appalled at this site. The crowd popped huge for the payoff. Ted is replaced on color commentary by Doc Hendrix.
Next match is The Smoking Gunns vs Bill Garrett & Cody Wade. I only know the names of the not-Gunns because Vince mentioned them once when they were in the ring. Of course, the Gunns got the fancy entrance to let you know who the stars were here. After a little bit of bad action back and forth with Bill Garrett, he tagged in Cody Wade who took the Gunns’ signature finisher for the pin. Short, nothing match which showcased the Gunns’ signature move well.
Now we have The Report Card with Dean Douglas. He rambles on for a good while, picking apart a Bret Hart match in which he forgets to hook the leg and so he gets an ‘F’ grade for ‘Execution’. Dean is doing decent work here, I just wish we could move on and he could have a match. These segments aren’t doing much for me anymore.
Shawn Michaels does a quick interview, telling McMahon that nothing is going to stop him from gyrating. Not even Mabel’s vicious attack from last week!
In what would be a main event match 12 years later, next was Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs Jeff Hardy. Another quick match meant to showcase Hunter. After Jeff misses what would later be known as the Whisper in the Wind, Hunter stomps on Jeff for a few seconds and then picks him up for the pedigree and pin. You’ll make it some day, Jeff. Then you’ll go to TNA to waste the prime of your career.
The next segment is the Summerslam Insider with Todd Pettengill. Todd recaps all of the major feuds happening heading into Summerslam (sponsored by Stridex of all things), which helps when this episode took months to be added to the Network.
Next match is Henry Godwinn vs Russ Greenburg. Russ got no entrance, so you know the rest. Nothing special about the match, except Godwinn squashed him in under a minute with his finisher, with what was shown between commercial breaks. Russ couldn’t catch a break after the match either, as Henry then dumped slop on him.
Another vignette in the dentist office with Isaac Yankem and Jerry Lawler. This time, Jerry talks about how he wants Bret Hart to suffer real bad at Summerslam as Isaac shoves a nasty drill into a screaming woman’s mouth. Yikes.
After Jerry Lawler makes his way to the ring for Jerry Lawler vs WWF Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels, we cut to a promo for WWF Mat Caps. 123 Kid and Savio Vega are playing with them. Most of the world knows these simply as pogs, and man does this fit 1996 to a tee. Buy your sheet for only $19 and you get a free 3 month subscription to WWF Magazine included! As we come back from commercial, Vince promotes Stridex more and insinuates Doc could use some. Vince was pretty funny when he wanted to be.
The announcers continually make mention of Sycho Sid being backstage, so you know he’s going to get involved. Good back and forth action for a while as Michaels manages to dodge Lawler’s signature piledriver. Sid makes his way out and grabs the Intercontinental Championship, distracting Shawn. Shawn eventually tunes up the band and hits Lawler with the kick. Sid won’t allow Shawn to finish the job and comes in with the belt for the DQ. Sid gets the upper hand and lays out Shawn with the chokeslam, prompting Razor Ramon to come out and make the save. Shawn was about to hit the kick on Sid but Razor stops him to hit the Razor’s Edge on Sid instead. Razor is stopped by Lawler as Lawler and Sid leave the ring. Razor and Shawn argue about the belt and are about to go to blows, prompting Diesel to come out and break the two up as the show goes off the air.
Pretty much a nothing edition of WWF Monday Night Raw except for the angle at the end which should lead to interesting feuds leading into Summerslam.