WWF Monday Night Raw – July 1, 1996

WWF Monday Night Raw – July 1, 1996
Green Bay, WI (taped 6/24/96)

Commentators: Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler

Non-Title Match:
Marty Jannetty (w/ Leif Cassidy and James E. Cornette)
vs. “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels [WWF Champion] (w/ José Lothario)

Result/Analysis: Michaels via pinfall (14:58 shown) following Sweet Chin Music. Ahh, nostaglia. The original Rockers always had excellent matches in the years post their break-up and their latest – – – perhaps also their last? – – – bout is no different. Shawn knew Marty and Marty knew Shawn. Thus, this match, like there others, is your classic tit-for-tat, one-upmanship, I can do better than you can style of match that’s back-and-forth with the forgotten Jannetty hanging with the WWF Champion. Watch the match; you’ll be into it! Michaels’ win notwithstanding, why not dredge up the nostaglia to generate a good match? Marty is into it. Shawn is into it. Leif Cassidy, Cornette and Lothario hardly figure in, save for Cassidy helping Marty avoid the superkick early on. Jannetty frustrates Michaels somewhat yet Shawn is happy to trade moves in a match he’s going to win. RAW needed a good match for a change and Shawn, at least, motivated Marty to make it something to talked about. Marty hits the Rocker Dropper on Shawn but Michaels escapes defeat when Marty misses the fist drop off the top rope. That sequence followed a series of near falls that has the crowd going. Shawn hits a piledriver and a flying elbow drop before he finishes Marty off with Sweet Chin Music. The WWF Championship wasn’t at stake. If Michaels was winning anyway, then why not? The WWF blew it by not giving The New Rockers the Tag-Team Titles in 1996. The tag-team division was in ruins and unless copyright enfringement was at stake with the defunct AWA, Cornette could have become the full-time manager and The Midnight Rockers tag-team moniker could have/should have been brought back. Shawn and Marty broke into the pro wrestling consciousness together as The Midnight Rockers in the mid-1980’s in the AWA. Go check out those matches on Peacock! Cassidy eats Sweet Chin Music after the match while Lothario super socks Cornette with a punch. Shawn came to ring doing the Kliq Cam nonsense but his camera missed the end credits. Shucks. Vince continues to wet himself any time Michaels does his thing. No wonder Bret Hart went home.
Rating: ***1/2

Meanwhile on WWF SuperStars from the weekend, Sunny pours her heart out to Phineas Godwinn, calling him “baby,” as she tries to apologize for her recent double-cross which cost The Godwinns the Tag-Team Championship versus The Smoking Gunns. Sunny is merely deceiving Phineas’ low I.Q. once again and Phineas falls into the trap telling Sunny he loves her. Sunny has Phineas close his eyes and pucker up for a big kiss. Phineas obliges but he gets slapped instead. HaHa. Phineas cries as Sunny berates him for being an idiot. Sunny is showing plenty of her cleavage here. That poor Hillbilly Hog-Farmer! The Smoking Gunns attack at Sunny’s direction. Henry and Hillbilly Jim then come out to clear the ring. Sunny remains in the ring alone so she tries to flee. She’s met on her escape routes by Henry and Hillbilly. Cornered, Sunny gets on the ring steps as Phineas approaches her with the slop bucket. Phineas has second thoughts about slopping her but Sunny blows him a kiss which prompts him to slop Sunny after all much to the delight of the live crowd. The Godwinns wouldn’t get their return match with The Smoking Gunns for the Tag-Team Titles until SummerSlam as The Bodydonnas would receive a non-title match with The Gunns at IYH in July. The riveting Kloudi as the she-male Sunny manager replacement was just too hard to pass up.

Jake “The Snake” Roberts joins Vince and King for commentary now. Jake, Vince says, is to face Mankind at IYH. Only that match doesn’t happen. Anyway, here comes Mankind to wrestle Duke “The Dumpster” Droese. How is Droese not actually portraying his gimmick in real life yet?

Duke “The Dumpster” Droese vs. Mankind

Result/Analysis: Mankind via submission (4:17 shown) with the Mandible Claw. Droese hits a ni”spinbuster and works a sleeper hold but the match is otherwise a squash. On commentary, Lawler berates Jake the entire match about his past alocohol abuse as he spouts off every drunk joke he can think of to humiliate him. Jake and King get into a shouting match between Vince ending with King smacking Jake twice across the face! Jake retaliates with a choke, but Mankind comes over after he defeats Droese, to put the Mandible Claw on as King grinds his boot into Jake’s head. WWF officials help Jake to his feet as Lawler keeps badmouthing him about his drinking. King tells Jake he better hurry up or he’ll miss “last call.” This got personal really quick despite being on script. Of course, this altercation was just the start. They’d go one-on-one at SummerSlam.
Rating: 1/2*

Meanwhile, call the WWF SuperStar line – – – except you can’t because the phone number is no longer active – – – to find out why The Ultimate Warrior is in the doghouse. Well, in truth, Warrior had his contract terminated for missing house show appearances. Warrior claimed years later McMahon had breached his contract by selling his merchandise without giving him a percentage, though at the time, Warrior’s excuse, per Vince, was that he was grieving his father’s death. Vince disputed that reason as Warrior hadn’t seen his father in 10 years and he had no relationship with him. Warrior’s merchandise claim seems far more plausible. The agreement between Warrior and Vince was doomed to fail from the start in this ill-fated comeback. With RAW pre-taped, Warrior wrestles next week on the 7/8/96 broadcast even though he was terminated 9 days earlier. Embarrassing.

“Stone Cold” Steve Austin joins Vince and King for commentary. Goldust and “Wildman” Marc Mero is tonight’s capper. Austin and Mero are signed for IYH; a return match from King of the Ring. Goldust will again face The Undertaker. Last week, Goldust furthered that along by throwing glitter in Taker’s eyes during Austin’s match with The Phenom. Austin freshened up quick here since his match with The Undertaker in actuality, was an hour beforehand. These pre-taped RAW’s smh …

Goldust (w/ Marlena) vs. “Wildman” Marc Mero (w/ Sable)

Result/Analysis: Goldust via pinfall (12:23 shown) following The Curtain Call. There’s no heat whatsoever between Mero and Goldust yet, though Marlena eyeing Sable starts here for the planned lesbian love angle that ultimately got nixed. Pre-Attitude Era juiciness that we were robbed of! It’s a decent match as Mero loses a second straight decision after being undefeated in the WWF prior to King of the Ring. Austin jaws with Vince about how he’s now beaten everyone in the Federation by winning King of the Ring save for Davey Boy Smith and Shawn Michaels who weren’t in the tournament. Austin also doesn’t take kindly to Vince putting over other SuperStars as an announcer and he tells him so. That’s just so great. Mero and Goldust take turns being in control and swap near falls. The crowd is dead after Michaels’ win over Jannetty so that’s what these long TV tapings do. Marlena puffs cigar smoke in Sable’s face after she encroaches on her space. Mero has the match won but he gets naturally distracted. Goldust recovers from taking a running knee lift to catch Mero with The Curtain Call to win the match. Austin revels in Mero’s defeat.
Rating: **1/4

Next week, The British Bulldog and Vader square off with The Godwinn’s. Also, The Ultimate Warrior, who’s already onto his future endeavors, goes one-on-one with Owen Hart.

The Verdict: Michaels and Jannetty close the book on their rivalry with a good match. They always produced against each post-Rockers. The remainder of the show offers little. Sunny gets slopped but everyone had seen that transpire two days earlier. Mankind will wrestle Henry Godwinn at IYH with Jake “The Snake” Roberts unable to go, which renders Jake and Mankind’s bit a meaningless exercise. Lawler’s wise cracks about Jake’s alcoholism are really funny on the surface but were quite low if you think about it. Goldust was to feud with Mero long-term as Marlena and Sable had a side piece lesbian thing but that wasn’t ultimately seen through. Damnit Vince for chickening out! The product was in disarray with IYH: International Incident being changed weekly on the fly.

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