Happy Nerdo New Year! We’re celebrating the first WWF RAW of 1996! If you guys stuck with the Monday Nerdo War through 1995, then you’re in for a treat as we head into what is arguably the Golden Age of wrestling in the coming years.
Tonight, we have the debut of who would become arguably the biggest draw in wrestling.
JOEY: With one of the worst gimmicks in the history of wrestling.
Before we can get to that, we have “Double J” Jeff Jarrett starting things off tonight against the “Modern Day Kamikaze” Hakushi. Jarret opens the match with a scoop slam and his trademark strut. Jarret goes to kick Hakushi in the gut, but Hakushi catches his foot and trips him up.
JOEY: I would be hyped if Hakushi really lived up to his name, and took out Jarrett for good. “Double J” is the worst. Would’ve been a shame to lose such a badass, but he took on the nickname. He had to understand the risks!
Hakushi isn’t able to build on the counter, as he gets sent over the top rope. Jarrett gloating, doesn’t realize that Hakushi landed on his feet. In the blink of an eye, Hakushi has ascended to the top rope and comes flying off of it with a shoulder tackle.
Following a dropkick, Hakushi whips Jarrett into the ropes. Jarret, having great ring wherewithal, is able to hold onto the ropes and slide under the bottom rope to the outside. Jarrett decides that he has had enough of Hakushi and starts to head to the back. Just as he gets to the entrance way, Jarrett thinks better of taking a count-out loss to Hakushi. As he heads back to the ring, he is able to trip Hakushi.
Back in the ring, Jarret takes advantage of his cheap tactic with a short-arm clothesline. Heading into a commercial break, Jarrett is choking Hakushi over the middle rope.
Coming back from the break, Jarrett has Hakushi locked in an abdominal stretch. Like any villain worth his pay, Jarrett gains some added leverage using the ropes. Hakushi is able to break out of the submission hold with a hip toss. Hakushi sends the country singer into the ropes and drops his head, whatever he was planning gets cut off thanks to a Jarrett DDT. Hakushi starts to battle back with a back spin kick to Jarrett’s gut.
Hakushi attempts a drop kick but Jarrett side steps it, Jarret goes for a pin and gets a two count. Hakushi goes for springboard cross body block, which yet again comes up short for the Modern Day Kamikaze. After the miscue, Jarret again attempts to score a decision via pinfall but only gets two. Hakushi is able to send Jarrett into the corner and connect with his trademark handspring back elbow.
Hakushi sensing the end is near, goes to the apron on the outside; Hakushi goes for a Springboard Tope Splash but Jarrett is able to get his knees up into his gut. While reeling from the pain, Hakushi finds himself locked in the Figure Four, and it doesn’t take long for him to submit to the pain.
JOEY: BOOOOO!! Man, now I realize why WWE paired Hakushi with Barry Horowitz at the beginning. What a waste.
Main event is coming around early tonight as McMahon and King throw it to DOK HENDRIX with the Royal Rumble Slam Jam!
Apparently, Dok “P.S.” Hendrix got caught in a New York airport during that huge blizzard, so we get Jim “As God As My Witness” Ross. Whatever. He’s introducing the known Royal Rumble match participants:
I miss Dok’s coke jitters 🙁
JOEY: Doug Gilbert? The ’96 Rumble was star-studded, huh?
Up next we get a treat as Ahmed Johnson takes on Jeff Bettler.
Bettler’s pants remind me of the jacket Will Smith wore inside out on the early seasons of Fresh Prince.
JOEY: Dude looks fly as hell.
Bettler’s pants took longer to make than this match lasted:
Look how unnecessarily baggy they are..I don’t get it.
After the Pearl River Plunge, “Double J” Jeff Jarrett runs out and tries to sneak attack Ahmed with a guitar (or gee-tar if you’re a hick). Ahmed ducks and Jarrett’s wild swing hits the post. Without his trusty favorite gimmick, Jarrett bails on the botched run-in before Johnson can retaliate.
We get treated to probably my fifth favorite talk show segment (Piper’s Pit, Funeral Parlor, Snake Pit, The Barber Shop): The Brother Love Show.
In this edition of the The Brother Love Show, Ted DiBiase is introducing the WWF to his hand picked new Million Dollar Champion:
DiBiase introduces us to The Ringmaster. Shitty name aside, McMahon relays to the home audience that this man’s wrestling prowess is widely known and he is something of a mat technical genius. That’s all well and good, but I can’t wait till he’s catching cold cans of Steveweiser in those giant hands of his.
Following the debut of the future “Stone Cold”, we get “The Bizarre One” Goldust squaring up agains “The Portuguese Man o’ War” Aldo Montoya.
JOEY: Perfect choice of picture right there. Giving me some serious “Silence of the Lambs” vibes. I DON’T LIKE IT!!! I prefer Goldust as a creepy, but harmless guy with a stutter. I don’t want to think of what it’d be like to be brutally murdered by him, so he can fashion my skin into a body suit.
Goldust gets the jump on Montoya by attacking him while he’s talking to the referee before the match starts. Goldust then sends Montoya crashing into the turnbuckles, and follows it up with a big back suplex. Montoya gets grounded with a vicious lariat by Goldust. “The Bizarre One” continues to work over the neck of Montoya with a head scissor stomp.
Montoya starts to battle back against the future Intercontinental Champion and connects with a big clothesline of his own, which he follows up with a back body drop. Unfortunately for Aldo, he isn’t able to fully capitalize on his momentum and it isn’t long before he’s facing the Curtain Call.
We get to see a press conference held earlier in the day by Shawn Michaels in regards to his future with wrestling. Michaels starts off by saying that every doctor he has seen, and every one of his friends and family have urged him not to wrestle any longer. Let’s hear what “The Heartbreak Kid” has to say on the matter:
“Retire, lol nah. By the way, spoilers!”
Before getting to the main event, we get treated to yet another Royal Rumble Slam Jam. Instead of bringing out JR, we get Scheme Gene.
JOEY: THAT’S WHY SCOTT HALL CALLED HIM THAT WHEN HE SHOWED UP ON WCW!! Sorry, for my hype levels. That’s just a genius touch for the angle. Definitely helped sell the idea of WWF invading WCW.
I’m just going to throw this out there: petty Vince McMahon is my absolute favorite. I picked up so many tips and tricks on the ancient art of pettiness from him. “Scheme” Gene is hyping that he’ll announce the newest Royal Rumble participant; but he’ll only do it on his hotline. After some coaxing from Jim Ross, Gene finally reveals the next entrant:
“Scheme” Gene announces that Vader is the newest participant in the Rumble match. As the show cuts to commercial, McMahon makes some quip about Gene being just a little behind on the news again.
JOEY: The best part is this is only the beginning. The tip of the iceberg. There’s a lot more on the way.
The main event tonight is a real treat, as we get the entire WWF Championship match from the December In Your House event. WWF Champion Bret “Hitman” Hart defends against his brother-in-law The British Bulldog.
JOEY: We decided to tag out of this one, and let the work speak for itself. The match is embedded, in full, directly below. Enjoy!
Before signing off for the evening, we get treated to more of Vince McMahon’s pettiness. Here it is in it’s entirety:
My hype on “Billionaire Ted,” “The Nacho Man,” and “The Huckster” knows no bounds.
Here’s a look at what next week will hold for us:
See you next week!
JOEY: Can’t wait to see “The Ringmaster” destroy some jabroni!
THE FOLLOWING ANNOUNCEMENT HAS BEEN PAID FOR BY TEAM WCW
Fre, one half of Team WCW, is away on vacation this week. The other half, Carlos, will be away on vacation next week. So, Team WCW will be gone for a bit, but they will most definitely return!