Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Raw #189 - December 16th, 1996

It’s the night after In Your House and, for what I believe is the first time in history, Raw opens with an in-ring interview rather than an actual match. Vince acts as if this wasn’t written in the program, but JR acts like he’s known about it all along and steps into the ring with a microphone. Hart complains that things have changed in the WWF, that he can’t tell his enemies from his friends, and that there are no rules in the WWF anymore. He says he’s not going to follow the rules anymore, either and puts Sid, Steve Austin, and Shawn Michaels on notice, calling HBK, “you little prissy.” It’s not the Attitude Era just yet, so he’ll have to settle with “prissy” for now. Bret announces that he will enter the Royal Rumble, then comes to the announcers’ desk for commentary.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Raw #188 - December 9th, 1996

Warning: the following blog post contains action of a graphic nature. Reader discretion is advised. But not really. Tonight’s bloodless, taped episode of Raw opens with an unnecessary warning in hopes of luring fans away from Nitro on TNT. Sid, whom Vince touts as leading the WWF into a new era and who JR agrees will be a major force in the WWF for a long time (rather than leaving before next summer’s end) faces fellow champion Hunter Hearst Helmsley, whom he beats up in the aisle.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Raw #187 - December 2nd, 1996

Raw opens with no intro for the second week in a row, perhaps in an effort to keep viewers from flipping to Nitro during the theme music. But who needs the Raw theme when Flash Funk’s funky entrance music, funky back-up dancers, and funky Vince McMahon are here to provide us with infinitely more entertainment? “Come on King, shake that thang!” urges Vince. “Come on king, shake the booty!” McMahon is in such a groove that he won’t even let Jerry Lawler’s insults faze him, remarking that were he to knock his toupee off, it indeed “would be funky.”

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Raw #186 - November 25th, 1996

Bret Hart wrestles on Raw for the first time in months to face Owen Hart, who is accompanied by the man he will beat out for the Best Bow Tie Slammy, Clarence Mason. Owen still has the “King of Harts” playing card lighting during his entrance. Those transparencies they put over the lights can’t come cheat, so you’re darn right they’re gonna get their money’s worth.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Raw #185 - November 18th, 1996

Steve Austin arrives on Raw to face Mankind in a “tough man contest.” Originally, Vader was pencilled in as Stone Cold’s opponent, but he was injured by the 700-pound (“I would suggest,” says McMahon) Yokozuna the night before at Survivor Series with a uranage. The shoulder injury is said to only sideline Vader for a few days, but that’s enough time to keep him off television all month thanks to the compact taping schedule.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Raw #184 - November 11th, 1996

The last Raw before Survivor Series kicks off with Bulldog and Owen Hart defending their tag team titles against Sid and Shawn Michaels. Last year at Survivor Series, Michaels, Sid, and Bulldog were all on the same team in the Wild Card match, with Owen on the opposing side. Vince recaps the problems brewing between Sid and Michaels, as well as their feud with the tag team champions, while managing to say, “melee” once and “from there” three times.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Raw #183 - November 4th, 1996

Kevin Kelly is at Brian Pillman’s home live. We know it’s live because it says, “LIVE!” on screen. Another way to tell it’s live? Well, you’ll just have to listen to Pillman. Tonight’s episode is the first RAW at the new 7:57 starting time, and what better way to thank USA for rearranging its broadcast schedule than with gun violence and the F-word?