Live from Milwaukee, WI

Airdate: June 23, 1996

Attendance: 8,762

Hosted by Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, and Owen Hart

Prior to the first match, we see highlights of how Austin ascended to the semifinals. Ross actually refers to Austin’s finisher as the Stone Cold Stunner. We then see Mero’s ascension as Owen badmouths Sable and refers to Mero as a “cheater.”

Match 1 (KOTR semifinal): Stone Cold Steve Austin versus Marc Mero (w/ Sable)


Rating: ****

Summary: An excellent match between these two combatants. But will Austin make it to the finals with his bloody mouth? According to Ross, this is Mero’s first defeat in the WWF. He must have been drinking a McMahon cocktail because Mero lost on 4/28 and 4/29 in singles matches.

Backstage, Dok Hendrix interviews Roberts who uses his faith as his strength.

Prior to the next match, we see highlights of Vader’s ascension to the semifinals. After Roberts tossed the snake in the ring, we see highlights of how Roberts ascended to the semifinals.

Match 2 (KOTR semifinal): Jake “The Snake” Roberts versus Vader (w/ Jim Cornette)


Rating: ½*

Summary: Shitty finish to a short match. I understand a heel-heel final matchup would generate zero heat, but Roberts had no business being in the final.

After the match, Vader demolishes Jake with a pair of avalanches. He then drags him to the corner and delivers a Vader bomb. Officials enter the ring before Vader can further injure Roberts.

COLISEUM VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Back in the locker room, an agitated Vader yells at a very nervous Cornette that he’s the King of the Ring.

Last month on the Free for All, the Gunns stole the titles from the Godwinns.

Prior to the next match, Hendrix interviews the Gunns with Sunny. The latter is infuriated by the presence of Kloudy in tonight’s Free for All. Click at your own risk!

Match 3 for the WWF tag team titles: The Smoking Gunns (champions w/ Sunny) versus the Godwinns (w/ Hillbilly Jim)


Rating: **

Summary: Without the tag formula, both teams would lose the audience. As it was, this was a very mediocre tag match with barely any heat.

Back in the locker room, Hendrix interviews Davey Boy Smith with Cornette, Mason, and Diana Smith. In the background, Mr. Perfect was putting stuff into a bag. The less said the better.

Match 4: The Ultimate Warrior versus Jerry “The King “Lawler


Rating: DUD

Summary: Historically speaking, this was Warrior’s last WWF PPV match. It wasn’t good AT ALL.

Backstage, Hendrix interviews WWF President Gorilla Monsoon while doctors work on Roberts. He will let Roberts wrestle, but if he must stop it then he will.

Prior to the next match, we revisit how Mankind humanized Undertaker.

Match 5: The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) versus Mankind


Rating: ****

Summary: Excellent match as Mankind appears to have Undertaker’s number. Interestingly, this is a rare job by Undertaker.

After the match, Mankind chases Bearer back to the locker room while wielding a chair.

Backstage, Hendrix interviews Mr. Perfect and accuses him of collusion. Michaels interrupts and wants Perfect to call it down the middle.

When Hendrix “threw” it back to ringside, Owen then badmouths Hendrix for not mentioning him. HA!

Prior to the next match, we revisit highlights of Goldust’s mouth-to-mouth resuscitation of Johnson.

Match 6 for the WWF Intercontinental title: Goldust (champion w/ Marlena) versus Ahmed Johnson


Rating: **1/2

Summary: Match was too long to enjoy, but this was a huge moment in Ahmed Johnson’s career. Perhaps a better ring general could entice a better match from him.

Promo for IYH VIII: International Incident coming next month.

COLISEUM VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Johnson receives a champagne bath celebration backstage.

Back in the arena, Ross interviews Brian Pillman who comes out on crutches with a walking boot. He insults the crowd and makes a Jeffrey Dahmer remark. He calls Ross a “stupid son of a bitch” then states that he’ll “rape, pillage, and plunder this entire Federation.” The “Loose Cannon” has landed in the WWF! As Austin makes his way to the ring, former Hollywood Blond Pillman gestures toward him wishing him luck.

Match 7 (KOTR final): Jake “The Snake” Roberts versus Stone Cold Steve Austin


Rating: *1/2

Summary: This was supposed to be Hunter Hearst Helmsley’s crowning moment. Due to the “curtain call” incident, instead of his being in the finals against Austin, his first-round opponent limped to the finals and lost. Fortunately, better matches were in Austin’s future.

Hendrix interviews Austin during the coronation ceremony. Here’s Austin’s monologue:

That last statement was the shot heard around the world. Be on the lookout for Austin 3:16 EVERYWHERE!

In effect, A STAR IS BORN, ladies and gentleman!

Owen states that he’ll remain at the broadcast table rather than get involved in the main event. Foreshadowing, perhaps?

Match 8 for the WWF title: The “Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels (champion w/ Jose Lothario) versus the “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith (w/ Jim Cornette & Diana Smith)


Rating: ****

Summary: This match was eons better than last month’s crap fest. While it’s not historically important, it helped to solidify Michaels as a solid WWF champion.

After the match, Owen enters the ring only to get walloped by Michaels. An atomic drop followed by a right hand puts Owen down on the mat. Michaels attempts a superkick to Owen but misses. Owen tries to give him an enziguri, but Michaels ducks. The WWF champion then hooks a figure-four leg lock on Owen. Smith tries to break it up but falls prey to an inside cradle. Finally, a spinning heel kick by Owen, in a tuxedo no less, stops Michaels’ momentum.

Double suplex by Smith and Owen puts Michaels down until NEW Intercontinental champion Ahmed Johnson runs in. He gives Owen a military press slam then slams Smith. Vader hits the ring and runs over Johnson with a running body block. Vader gets whipped and delivers an avalanche to Johnson. Owen mounted the top turnbuckle and nails Michaels with his cast. After Smith and Owen put Michaels in position, Vader mounts the top turnbuckle. All of a sudden, Warrior hits the ring and tosses Vader down to the mat. He then gives both Owen and Smith a clothesline for each as the heels head for higher ground. I smell a six-man tag match at the next PPV.

COLISEUM VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Backstage, Ross interviews Cornette with Smith, Vader, and Owen standing alongside him. They’re ready for an International Incident in Vancouver.

Conclusion: A great main event preceded by a stellar interview by the 1996 King of the Ring Steve Austin makes this a must-see show from my perspective. If that wasn’t enough, the Mankind-Undertaker match was also great, so what are you waiting for?

Buyrate: 0.60

Stay tuned for week 42 of the Monday Night War!

Comments? Suggestions? Send them to me at rsg@rockstargary.com and follow me on Twitter (@rockstargary202).

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