20 YRS AGO – WWE Monday Night Raw (10-14-96): Michaels vs. Austin, Hunter vs. Freddy Joe Floyd, plus Taker, Jake, Mankind



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The following is my report on Monday Night Raw from 20 years ago this week that originally was published in the Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter #411 (VIP members can access it here,) Not VIP? Go VIP here to access over 1,400 weekly back issues of the Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter chronicling pro wrestling history with an insider approach and independent voice.


WWF Raw Report – 10/14

(Taped Sept. 23 in Hershey, Pa.)… The show opened with a preview of the Shawn Michaels vs. Steve Austin TV main event, which Kelly referred to as perhaps the biggest match ever on Raw… Kevin Kelly & Jim Ross opened the program…

(1) Vader (w/Jim Cornette) beat Phinneous Godwinn (w/Hillbilly Jim and Henry Godwinn). Kevin Kelly announced that a producer informed him Vince McMahon would be returning to hosting Raw next week with Jerry Lawler. Ross said he can’t believe McMahon’s ego has overtaken him again. Kelly admitted his family is a bit concerned about him being taken off Raw. Ross said he’ll be there next week no matter what. Kelly said he is a team player. Ross said he was a company man the first two times he came through the WWF, but those days are over. Sid came to ringside during the match and taunted Vader. Kelly said Todd Pettengill told him that Ross had Cornette pulled from Live Wire. Ross said Cornette volunteered to be pulled from the show. Vader blocked the slop drop by grabbing the ropes. A sign in the crowd read: “ECW: 1, WWF: 0″…

Jim Ross interviewed Mr. Perfect. A good interview with a spirited Perfect mainly saying he’s ready to show the so-called New Generation that he is still the best… As Jerry Lawler ranted in the ring, Ross said, “Can you imagine this Sunday on pay-per-view I’m going to have to be sitting at ringside with this man, a frustrated night club comedian who hasn’t analyzed a wrestling hold in 20 years, and a guy, namely Vince McMahon, who doesn’t even know the names of the holds. I’ll have to carry the whole darn broadcast this Sunday.” Jake Roberts came to the ring doing a convincing job of acting drunk. Gorilla Monsoon came to the ring. Roberts secretly told Monsoon he isn’t really drunk. Roberts surprised Lawler with a DDT for the three count. He then poured a bottle of something on Lawler’s face and put the Snake on Lawler…

Another segment aired on “Double J” Jesse James. He said, “Now I know that the road he took me down led me straight to the unemployment line. He took me from nowhere and left me nowhere.” They said “With My Baby Tonight” will be released on a new album. His producer said people will be surprised with his range when they hear the other songs. They said there is talk of a duet with a major country music star. Next week will feature James talking about his Desert Storm experience…

(2) Hunter Hearst Helmsley beat Freddie Joe Floyd. Hunter handcuffed his valet to the ringpost to keep her from walking off with Mr. Perfect. Ross told Kelly he’s going to be doing voiceovers for third world countries since McMahon is taking his spot on Raw. He also told Kelly to save his money and not hire a real estate agent anytime soon. Perfect produced the key to the cuffs and walked off with the woman. When Hunter pursued the woman, he was counted out and punched by Perfect… A promo aired with Steve Austin saying later on the show he’s “going to whip the ass of the person who whipped your ass, Bret Hart”…

(3) Faarooq beat The Pug. Sunny joined Ross and Kelly on color, although she said very little. Ross said: “You know that head gear is embarrassing. Boy, isn’t that Vince McMahon, in addition to being an egomaniac, a marketing genius? Why would you put a head gear on a three-time All-American from Florida State University? I think that head gear is a motivating factor for Faarooq.” Ross stopped short of calling him Ron Simmons (or for that matter admitting that his commentary is a voice-over on three week old matches)…

Promos aired with Mankind and Undertaker previewing IYH. Both were excellent… Highlights aired of Ahmed Johnson on Live Wire in a verbal sparring match with Faarooq. Ahmed is totally believable in his role and definitely has star power. Faarooq was also very good. Ahmed thanked Faarooq for waking him up…

(4) Shawn Michaels beat Steve Austin via DQ. They showed Jim Cornette and Vader watching the match backstage.They also interviewed Sid backstage. The match itself was a real letdown in that it was presented purely as a backdrop for the promos. Vader ran in for the DQ. Sid made the save and helped Michaels clear the ring… [WK]


CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS 20 YEARS AGO RAW REPORT: Reports on WWF Monday Night Raw and WCW Nitro – Which wrestler on Raw wrestled on this week’s Raw too?

OR GO VIP to access over 1,400 weekly back issues of the Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter chronicling pro wrestling history with an insider approach and independent voice.

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