What the World Was Watching: WWF Monday Night Raw – February 19, 1996

WWF Raw

-Sunny is on the beach and reminds us that viewer discretion is advised.

-Vince McMahon says that last night at In Your House, Bret Hart retained the title after Diesel was dragged under the ring by the Undertaker.

-McMahon and Jerry “the King” Lawler are in the booth and they are live from Cincinnati, Ohio.

-Opening Contest for the Intercontinental Championship: Goldust (w/Marlena) vs. “The Bad Guy” Razor Ramon:

They said on last week’s show that Goldust was going to face the Undertaker, but they decided to switch things up so Ramon faces Goldust here and the Undertaker faces Tatanka. Ugh, how many times do I have to watch Undertaker vs. Tatanka? It’s not going to be good regardless of how many times they run it. Marlena blows smoke in Ramon’s face and that secondhand smoke experience infuriates Ramon so much that he pulls Goldust into the ring and destroys him. Ramon spits in Goldust’s face when Goldust taunts him and he goes to work on the arm. Ramon goes for the Razor’s Edge, but he’s too close to the ropes so Goldust backdrops him to the floor as we head to a commercial break.

When we get back from the break, both men trade sleepers. Goldust delivers a jawbreaker to escape and goes to the top rope, but Ramon crotches him and delivers a superplex. Goldust tries a body press, but you can’t do that to Ramon and Ramon gives him a fall away slam that sends Goldust over the top rope. Jesus. Ramon gives Goldust a flying clothesline from the apron and hits a side suplex off the second rope when the action gets back into the ring. However, Goldust rolls out of the ring and flees and Ramon wins via count out at 5:03 shown. Why couldn’t they do THIS match at the Rumble? By the way, this was Ramon’s last Raw match before jumping to WCW a couple of months later. Rating: **½

-After the match, Ramon gets the mic and says that he doesn’t want Goldust’s belt, he wants his ass. I’m sure he might want to put a “no homo” in front of that around Goldust. Ramon says he doesn’t want his kids watching Goldust on TV so he demands that WWF Interim President “Rowdy” Roddy Piper to make a match between them at a future date. Good post-match interview.

-The Undertaker exits his casket backstage. Tatanka watch out!

-Call 1-800-TITAN-91 to get the latest Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, and Diesel sweatshirts. Adult sizes are $29.95 and youth sizes are $19.95. Shipping and handling isn’t included of course.

-Doc Hendrix recaps last night’s In Your House 6 pay-per-view. He announces that Diesel and the Undertaker will face each other at WrestleMania XII.

-Vader and Jim Cornette come down to the ring and Vader destroys Aldo Montoya and Barry Horowitz, who are waiting to take on the Bodydonnas. He gives Montoya one of the sickest chokeslams I’ve ever seen.

-The Ultimate Warrior is coming back!

-Get your tickets form WrestleMania XII now!

-Sunny sings happy birthday to the president in a red dress.

-Bob Backlund is shown campaigning in the crowd. This was such a wasted storyline for Backlund to be involved in, although it perfectly suited his personality.

-Marty Jannetty vs. The Ringmaster (w/Ted DiBiase):

Austin has already shaved his head and replaced the green ring trunks that were given to him when he debuted with a pair of black ones. Like a bald guy with black trunks is going to get over. Austin turns over Jannetty’s body press and gets two and then schoolboys him and holds onto the tights for two. Austin tosses Jannetty to the floor and stares into the camera with “stone cold” eyes (or so says McMahon). Back in, Jannetty catches Austin with a dropkick for two. Austin comes back with a hot shot and we go to a commercial break.

When we return Jannetty gets a near-fall from a right hand, but a splash eats knees. Austin applies an STF, but Jannetty gets to the ropes to force a break. A right hand gets two. A weird neck wrench causes Jannetty to tap out, but the WWF didn’t recognize such things until 1997 so Austin doesn’t get the win. Jannetty drives Austin’s head into the canvas when he puts his head down too early and makes the comeback. A knee lift gets two. However, Austin tumbles over on a side suplex attempt and locks in the Million Dollar Dream for the win at 4:47. A solid technical match, but the crowd could’ve cared less about it. It’s so weird to see an Austin match where the crowd is more interested in buying cotton candy, but hey, we all have to start somewhere. Rating: **¼

-We get our first look at Mankind in his latest vignette and he curses the world for seeing him as ugly. Excellent promo that effectively put over the character’s background.

-Vote for the Blue Light Special and Best Buns award for the 1996 Slammy Awards!

-Tatanka (w/Ted DiBiase) vs. The Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer):

Tatanka tries to attack the Undertaker before the bell, but the Undertaker just grabs him by the throat and pounds away as per usual. Tatanka catches the Undertaker with the End of the Trail when the Undertaker runs the ropes and Diesel suddenly comes to the ring with an AX. That takes wrestling weaponry to a whole new level and makes the sledgehammer seem tame by comparison. Don’t worry, though, Diesel hasn’t come to the ring to commit murder. Instead, he grabs a camera man and takes him to the back as we go to a commercial break.

When we get back from the break, Diesel is taking the ax to the Undertaker’s casket backstage as Tatanka has the Undertaker in a chinlock in the split screen. The Undertaker side suplexes out of the chinlock and makes a brief comeback. Tatanka wiggles his way out of a Tombstone and hits a piledriver. Tatanka takes too long to cover, though, so the Undertaker hits him with a chokeslam and nails the Tombstone for the win at 3:59 shown. Not much of a main event, but Tatanka was a JTTS at this point. However, I’ll take this over any of their other previous encounters. Rating: *

-After the match, the Undertaker sees a replay on the entrance screen of Diesel taking the ax to his casket backstage. The guys in the production truck could’ve done him some favors by showing that AS it was going on. It might’ve helped the Undertaker limit the damage and I’m not sure the Undertaker’s insurance company is going to be sympathetic to the “I had a wrestling match” excuse.

-McMahon and Lawler discuss how serious the Undertaker-Diesel feud is getting and Lawler says that he’s going to go backstage to get a closer look.

-Larry Fling Live’s guest is Billionaire Ted. The Nacho Man and the Huckster call in and the Huckster asks to get next Monday off of work because he recently got hit in the face with a woman’s shoe, which is a rip on a string of finishes with women’s shoes on Nitro. They make a Hanoi Jane reference, which is completely inappropriate and Larry Fling interrogates Ted on an SEC investigation into his business, the losses in his wrasslin’ company, and how Hulk Hogan is being paid. A worthless segment that was just mean.

-The Undertaker and Paul Bearer inspect the damage to the Undertaker’s casket. Paul Bearer cries about it and warns Diesel that he’ll pay. Looks like Clarence Mason might have a new client, but I’m sure he only represents the heels.

-Tune in next week to see Yokozuna face Owen Hart and the British Bulldog in a handicap match. Jake Roberts collides with Isaac Yankem and Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels face off in a special interview!

The Final Report Card: Diesel bringing an ax to the ring was a big “wtf” moment and the mic work on this show was great. The main event is lousy for the second week in a row, but I can live with everything else (well except for the Larry Fling segment) and I wasn’t expecting wonders from Undertaker-Tatanka anyway. I have a bad feeling, though, that with the way they are running through big matches that they are going to run out of things to do by the time we hit April.

Monday Night War Rating: 3.1 (vs. 2.9 for Nitro)

Show Evaluation: Thumbs Up

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