20 YRS AGO: KELLER’S WWF Monday Night Raw Report: Steve Austin, Sid, Diesel, The Goon, Vince McMahon, Hunter, Michaels, Billy Gunn

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

Shawn Michaels (photo credit Adam © PWTorch)

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

The following my WWF Monday Night Raw report from 20 years ago this week, originally published in the Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter cover-dated Nov. 7, 1996, issue #418. VIP members now have access to the entire issue in PDF format and All-Text format which also including these topics:

-A cover story on whether ECW is too controversial to debut on pay-per-view…

-Chris Zavisa’s feature column analyzes the two paths WCW took…

-WWF Newswire details Bret Hart’s disappointing return to Raw, Shawn Michaels ripping on fans, and more…

-Plus WCW Newswire, ETC. Newswire, WWF Live Event Reports, reports on Raw, Nitro, ECW, and other TV shows, and more.

Interested in being a VIP member? Tons of benefits, ad-free site, daily exclusive podcasts, three decades or archives, more: DETAILS HERE.


KELLER’S WWF RAW REPORT
DECEMBER 2, 1996
TAPED NOV. 18 IN NEW HAVEN, CONN.
AIRED ON USA NETWORK

 

(1) Flash Funk (w/Nadine and Tracey, the Funkettes) beat The Goon. Vince McMahon “danced” in his ringside chair. Seeing a middle aged man do a dorky dance needlessly distracts from Funk’s cool act. Lawler made fun of McMahon, saying he should star in “White Men Can’t Dance.” The WWF has a real winner of a gimmick here. Funk’s moves were great, too. His ring music and entrance is great. McMahon said Shawn Michaels was standing by in the WWF studios because he wanted to apologize for something. McMahon also said they’d have a tribute to the late Tiny Tim on the show. Lawler laughed about Tim “kicking the bucket”…

They teased footage of Austin nailing Sid in London with the WWF Title belt and said they’d have more later…

(2) Diesel pinned Phinneous Godwinn. Jim Ross joined in on commentary and began making fun of McMahon, saying he wants his dose of McMahon’s “Whadda move!” and “Let’s not go there.” Ross said that Diesel is “nearly” seven feet tall, which is a nice touch of honesty since he is considerably shorter than the original Diesel and actually appeared a bit shorter than Phinneous. Ross pushed youth as Diesel’s asset. At 3:00 Razor came to ringside…

A commercial aired of two fans sitting in the Alamo Dome alone saying they wanted to get their seats seven weeks early. They’re apparently not all that bright since they had their choice of any seat and sat in the middle of the stadium… They replayed the King’s Court segment where Lawler interviewed Tiny Tim in July 1993…

McMahon interviewed Michaels. Michaels acknowledged McMahon’s accusation that last week he was defensive. Michaels then apologized for not being defensive enough. Michaels said last week his emotions got the best of him, but he admitted being a very emotional person. McMahon said, “When you have your emotions under control, you’re really at your best.” Michaels said he wasn’t upset about Sid using a camera against him “because that’s the line of work I’m in.” Michaels did say he was upset with Sid using the camera on Jose Lothario. Michaels said: “Well, let’s face it. That same element that was cheering Sid at Madison Square Garden, that’s the same element that cheers Shawn Michaels’s flamboyance and charisma. Those people might have been booing in Madison Square Garden, but they know when they see Shawn Michaels’s name on the card, without a doubt that will be the best match. I give the fans what they want whenever they want because I take risks like no other man in the WWF because I am, like it or not, a man’s man.” Michaels responded to those who say he is a bad role model by saying at least he brings his skeletons out of the closet and shows it to the public, unlike his accusers. He said there will be 71,000 screaming fans at the Royal Rumble. Michaels said he’s going to continue to speak his mind and he’s not ashamed of who he is or who he’s become”… Lawler said Michaels was “about as sincere as Sable’s hair color”…

(3) Justin Hawk Bradshaw (w/Uncle Zeb) beat “Double J” Jesse Jammes. Bradshaw’s match ending lariat was devastating looking. Zen distracted Jammes and held his leg leading to the finisher. Zeb and Bradshaw branded Jammes after the match…

They recapped the angle last week where Owen got between Bulldog and Austin. Then they showed the angle from London (see pg. 6) where Austin nailed Sid with the WWF belt. Bulldog made the save, but Sid thought Bulldog hit him and thus tried to powerbomb Bulldog. Owen saved Bulldog. Bret then faced off against Sid. Austin then rammed Bret from behind with a knee. Sid then chokeslammed Bret as WWF officials ran into the ring. Locker room interviews from London then aired with Austin, Bulldog, Bret, and Sid. Austin was upset he didn’t beat Sid for the title. Bulldog said he wants at Austin. Owen told him to forget about Austin and concentrate on the tag titles. Bret said come Dec. 15 he will beat Sid for the belt. Sid said he doesn’t know why everyone is sticking their noses in his business…

(4) Jake Roberts & Marc Mero (w/Sable) beat Billy Gunn & Hunter Hearst Helmsley when Billy abandoned Hunter after a collision. …

A promo aired with Jammes who vowed revenge for Zeb and Bradshaw’s actions and wanted a two-on-one match next week… McMahon pushed hard throughout the show that Undertaker vs. Mankind in a “No Holds Barred” match would headline Raw next week…

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