WWF Monday Night Raw – June 3, 1996

WWF Monday Night Raw – June 3, 1996
Fayettville, NC (taped 5/27/96)

Goldust is seen in a relaxed pose before the credits air where he’s naked, but robed, with the only the gold strapped Intercontinental Title belt draped across his mid-section. His message is for Ahmed Johnson, who Goldust, hears was a bit perturbed after last week when he saved his life. “I hear you want the Intercontinental Title? Well, here it is (pointing down) come and get it.”

Commentators: Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler

Vince immediatelt confirms that WWF President Gorilla Monsoon has made the match official for King of The Ring and Ahmed will indeed square off with Goldust for the Intercontinental Title.

King of The Ring Tournament First Round Match:
Bob “Spark Plug” Holly vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin

Result/Analysis: Austin via submission (9:17 shown) with the Million-Dollar Dream Eh. Austin was starting to get vocal crowd support – as a heel mind you – but he still wrestles too much of a mat-based style here so large chunks of the match bore. Holly had zero chance to advance in KOR so any offense he musters is fluff. With Ted DiBiase gone, Austin needed to add the Stone Cold Stunner as his new finishing move immediately. Why wait? Austin mixes in stiffer moves such as a backbreaker and a neck snap but the reaction he gets is the takeaway here and not much else.
Rating: *3/4

Vince recaps The Ultimate Warrior/King interaction from RAW last week and informs Lawler the match has been made official for KOR. Lawler, saying he has nothing personal against The Warrior, meanwhile, showcases the sketch for the cover of his comic book, which has him in large scale towering over The Warrior who’s titled as The Ultimate Loser. Ha! What a random and odd pairing.

Vince also announces Mankind and The Undertaker will square off at KOR. I’d have stalled that more but desperate times were at hand. Vince then breaks with tradition, LOL, and shows the cable audience the ending to the casket match at IYH with Mankind popping out of the casket to apply the mandible claw on The Undertaker and therefore cost him the win against Goldust.

Barry Horowitz vs. Mankind

Result/Analysis: Mankind via submission (3:57 shown) with mandible claw. 99.9999% Mankind here. There’s nothing to say. Actually there is, how is Horowitz on the roster in the WWF or anywhere?!? After the match, Jim Ross catches up with Mankind for his opinions on The Undertaker and KOR. Mankind says, “I am hoping that The Undertaker will finally stand up and show just a little bit of pride!!! Or maybe before the King of The Ring he will decide that there is no sense fighting a man who has nothing left to lose! Undertaker, you can’t take my ear, it’s already gone. You can’t take my teeth, they’re already gone. But all the things I’ve lost in life, I think I miss my mind the most and at the King of The Ring, you’re going to lose it ALL!!!”
Rating: DUD (but ***** for the interview)

Next week, The Undertaker is back in action against Davey Boy Smith, “The British Bulldog.”

Vince shows exclusive footage from IYH and the WWF Championship Match. Shawn Michaels and The British Bulldog fought to a draw when both of their shoulders were counted down for three. The re-match has been signed for King of the Ring. Really, what else is there? Poor HBK.

Meanwhile, a naked Goldust lounges in his “jet” and assures us that he saved Ahmed Johnson’s life last week with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, i.e, “the breath of life.” He says, “Ahmed was in trouble and I simply ran to his aid. What did you want me to do? Allow him to expire? No. I didn’t have it in my heart of gold to do that. I only did what came natural.” Goldust then compares the sensation of giving Ahmed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to the taste of chocolate in his mouth as he licks a chocolate bar in demonstation. “The taste in the mouth is exhiliarting. And now Ahmed Johnson I share that very taste, he continues.” Goldust reminds us that some of the best nurses are male nurses and that’s where he’s learned some of his best techniques. He concludes, “At the King of The Ring, at the King of The Ring, it will be and the mighty man jingle, one-on-one. Oh my goodness. And I will be holding that golden Wonka ticket like fine godiva. Ahmed Johnson will list, time melt in my hands and NOT in my mouth and in the end, he will never, EVER, forget the name of … ooooh, Goldust!” Say what you want, but Goldust, even at his most bizarre was a can’t miss in 1996.

Tekno Team 2000 [Travis & Troy] vs. The Godwinns [Henry & Phineas] (w/ Hillbilly Jim)

Result/Analysis: The Godwinns via pinfall (6:24 shown) when Henry pins Travis (I think/I don’t care) following the slop drop. Garbage. Filler. Sunny joins Vince and King for commentary, both flaunting the Tag-Team Titles and her “Smoking Gunns.” Poor lovestruck Phineas. Poor us. It’s like Vince knows every wrestling fan is watching WCW Monday Nitro so why even bother. I’d vote Tekno Team 2000 as the worst WWF tag-team ever. Sunny takes exception to The Bodydonnas on a search for their new manager. Things did get a little cloudy there or shall I say Kloudi. This all begs the question of why weren’t The New Rockers given a run? The tag-team division was in ruins anyway.
Rating: 1/2*

In other riveting developments to emanate straight from Titan Towers, a new angle commences wherein Clarence Mason, Esq., alleges WWF President Gorilla Monsoon of aggravated assault. Beyond stupid. This brilliant brainstorm all but replaces Michaels as a homewrecker. Watch Nitro.

King of The Ring Tournament First Round Match:
Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts

Result/Analysis: Roberts via pinfall (9:38 shown) following the DDT. Helmsley’s burial/punishment had begun for his involvement in the Kliq “Curtain Call” MSG incident so he jobs to a 43-year-old has-been and gets the Snake treatment after the match. What’s more, since Jake needed to be carried to the finish line at his withering state, Hunter did all the work leading up to the DDT. Of course, as he accepted his fate, Helmsley got quite good at jobbing that he then became the next mega star so it all turns out OK for him. Roberts advances to the quarterfinal round in the KOR Tournament to meet Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw. The short-armed clothesline versus The Clothesline From Hell. Not bad. Anyway, the highlight of this bout comes on commentary as Vince speaks out on the ongoings over at the rival organization as he attempts to bury any legitimacy to Razor Ramon and Diesel working on behalf of the WWF, calling it all a “perpetuated ruse.” Keep in Mind this RAW was taped the night of Scott Hall’s WCW invasion but Vince no doubt caught wind of it during the lengthy tapings to then squash any rumors on his next opportunity. For a while, there were plenty of folks who believed even Vince was a lying schmuck and that Hall and Kevin Nash petpetuating their likeness over on Nitro for WCW was part of some master plot. Thus, WCW had an angle going that not even Vince could rubber stamp and kill. How did he sleep at night?
Rating: *1/4

The Verdict: “It’s always darkest before the dawn.” How prophetic that well-known saying is and how it symbolizes where the WWF was at with summer upon them in 1996. Their best feud had to be accelerated. Michaels’ reign as WWF Champion had zero momentum. A rising star was in the doghouse. The tag-team division was a laughingstock. A pair of freaks, but one in particular while licking a chocolate bar, were the highlights on a Monday Night. And you weren’t sure as a fan from week-to-week who else would jettison out and turn up with that rival organization. It’s a good thing the WWF had a guy with black trunks, wearing black boots and with a bald head to showcase, huh?

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