Taped from San Bernardino, CA
Airdate: April 8, 1996 (taped 4/1)
Hosted by Vince McMahon and
Jerry “The King” Lawler Mr. Perfect
Match 1: Yokozuna (w/ Mr. Fuji) versus Vader (w/ Jim Cornette)
Summary: This match was supposed to happen at WrestleMania; however, due to health concerns regarding Yokozuna, the match was altered and rightfully so. In the WWF’s continuing concerns, this “injury” should explain Yokozuna’s absence when, in fact, he will be off TV to lose weight. Hopefully he will return soon.
After the match, Vader sets the broken leg back on the bottom rope and gives it another Vader bomb. Make that 2. An overdubbed Finkel announcement informs us that Vader won. Officials, including Gerry Brisco, try to remove Yokozuna from the ring. As EMTs examine Yokozuna, the extra-large Samoan writhes in pain. After a commercial break, a forklift removes Yokozuna from ringside.
Vince is in the ring and introduces the Ultimate Warrior. While there is some positive crowd reaction, I believe there is also additional audio-sweetening. According to the Warrior, the spirit of the Warrior did not die during the previous 3 1/2 years. As Warrior speaks in tongues, Goldust with Marlena enters the ring. According to Vince, Goldust will face Warrior at IYH on 4/28. When Goldust asks Warrior to be Superman, Warrior beats his chest like Tarzan. He then refers to Goldust as a “freak.” Next he tells him “…whatever you’re into, I don’t give a shit!” Holy cow! He continues with “a full-length…picture…me kicking your ass from beginning to end.” He then gives Goldust a clothesline.
Outside the arena, Yokozuna is still on the forklift preparing to load an ambulance when, all of a sudden, Vader nails Yokozuna’s leg repeatedly with a chair. Gleefully Cornette celebrates. Vader is truly an unstoppable monster.
Match 2: Hunter Hearst Helmsley versus Duke the “Dumpster” Droese
Summary: Droese’s days in the WWF are numbered as Helmsley’s push continues.
We see highlights of Mankind’s attack of the Undertaker from last week. A star is born!
Finally, Yokozuna is loaded into the ambulance as Perfect makes a Free Willy reference. Sheesh!
Match 3 (arm wrestling): Ahmed Johnson versus the “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith (w/ Owen)
Next week on RAW Savio Vega challenges Goldust for the Intercontinental title.
While wearing a Shawn Michaels shirt, Diesel comes to the ring to provide color commentary on the main event. He shuns McMahon’s handshake. Was he just being a heel or did he just turn down another WWF contract offer?
RAW is sponsored by Castrol and Burger King.
Match 4 for the WWF title: The “Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels (champion) versus the “King” Jerry Lawler
Summary: Lawler’s antics are too old school for 1996. This was another “competitive” squash.
After the match, Diesel gets into the ring and trades blows with Michaels. As Perfect distracts Michaels, Diesel gives the champion a big boot. Perfect tosses the WWF title belt to Diesel who then wallops Michaels with it. The champion is laid out as RAW goes off the air.
Conclusion: Hmmm…let’s see. No Nitro this week and no WCW PPV in April = build the big angles for the next PPV on RAW. In spite of all the heels prevailing on this show, the build for IYH VII is underway. As far as my recommendation is concerned, since it is a building block, I’d say you should invest your time into this show.
TV Rating: 4.70 (Good Gawd!)
Who won? Nitro was pre-empted for Moses starring Ben Kingsley. Believe it or not, I don’t think the parting of the Red Sea beat RAW. The executives at TNT might want to rethink their strategy when pre-empting the ratings juggernaut Nitro. Only the Vega-Goldust match was hyped for next week, so I’m not sure what’s in store. I guess you’ll just have to wait for my next report. Perhaps, it too will be three minutes early.
In other news during this week in wrestling history, the Road Warriors appear to be finished with WCW. With a tag team tournament at the next PPV taking place, I would hope that would be their last show.
Stay tuned for Monday Night War week 32!
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