The fourth part of the #Rawrewind see’s us in Beaumont Texas for a Raw filmed after last week’s show. We’re now 3 weeks away from ‘In Your House: The Final Four’ and this show is all about hyping that event.
Champion Roll Call:
WWF Champion: Sycho Sid
WWF Intercontinental Champion: HHH
WWF Tag Team Champions: Owen Hart and the British Bulldog
Your hosts are Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler and Vince McMahon.
Match 1 Ahmed Johnson v Crush: Ahmed is out first as we see footage of Savio Vega turning on Ahmed from that weekend’s show at Madison Square Garden. Crush comes out surrounded by Nation of Domination people. Crush attacks Ahmed on the outside. Ahmed Johnson then makes a comeback with a scissor kick to the neck before he continues to beat on Crush. Ahmed hits a big punch to the corner and a reverse kick that takes Crush down. He takes too long, though, and misses with a big elbow. Crush counters with an atomic drop and a belly-to-belly suplex.
Crush has Ahmed in a body scissors as Farooq looks on from the isle. Ahmed fights back and drops Crush down to the mat. Crush gets a near fall but Ahmed catches him coming off the top rope with a dropkick before clotheslining him to the outside. Crush distracts the referee as Farooq attacks Ahmed on the outside before Crush hits the heart punch for the victory.
Your winner: Via pinfall, Crush with a heart punch. This is, of course, about furthering Ahmed v NOD feud and did exactly what it needed to do.
We get an in-ring interview next with the WWF Champion Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon. Vince hypes Michaels’ rematch at Thursday Raw on February 13 1997 against Psycho Sid. We also get a bit of promotion ahead of the Final Four match at the next In Your House featuring The Undertaker, Bret Hart, Vader and Stone Cold Steve Austin. HBK informs us that being WWF Champion is where he wants to be. On cue, Vince then brings out Bret ‘the Hitman’ Hart. Vince then tries to interview Hart but has the microphone grabbed from his hand as Hart unleashes on HBK. Vince then introduces another Final Four entrant, The Undertaker.
The Undertaker begins to talk about respect with Hart before speaking about how tired he is to hear about Hart moaning about being screwed. We then get introduced to ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, who JR catches in the aisle to interview. Vader looks on as Austin walks backstage.
Match 2: The British Bulldog (w/ Owen Hart and Clarence Mason ) v Doug Furnas (w/ Phil LaFon): The two lock up early doors before a dropkick sends the Bulldog to the outside. A splash in the corner then gets a two count for Furnas. A Bulldog-esque suplex then gets Furnas a two count.
The Bulldog takes the fight to Furnas on the outside and attacks him with the ring steps. We cut to the backstage where Ahmed Johnson is on the hunt for the NOD. We return as The Bulldog continues to beat down Furnas.
Furnas fights back as he and The Bulldog trade chops before a piledriver attempt is reversed into a backbody drop. Furnas then fights back with a drop kick and a big powerslam for a two count. A head scissor attempt is then countered into a powerbomb from The Bulldog for a two.
Hart tries to attack Furnas with the Slammy but The Bulldog is thrown into Hart but the Bullodg is able to recover with a pinfall with the win.
Your winner: The British Bulldog via pinfall. A good match as we continue to see dissention in the ranks between Owen and The Bulldog. Dissention that would continue until Bret Hart intervenes in a few months time.
We then go to MSG to see more action from Savio Vega turning on Ahmed Johnson in their tag match v Farooq and Crush. We then get an interview with Todd Pettengill and Savio Vega and action from Shotgun as Savio attacks Rocky Maivia.
Match 3: Vader & Mankind (w/ Paul Bearer) v The Godwinns (w/ Hillbilly Jim): Ahead of the Godwinns coming to the ring the WWF airs an advertisement for ‘The Superstar Line’. I’d partially forgotten about all that phone premium number lines to get “insider” news on the WWF.
Anyway, Mankind Phineas start things off and the Godwinn takes the lead with a series of punches. Mankind fights back but is caught with a boot to the face after whipping Phineas into the ropes. The Godwinns really were absolutely hopeless. A perfect example of how far behind the WWF were at the time. Vader is desperate for a tag in but Mankind ignores him as Phineas tags in Henry. Makind takes the advantage here with punches before running into one from Henry and is slammed right infront of Vader. Again Mankind ignores his partner’s attempts to tag in as Phineas is back in.
Mankind throws Phineas to the outside and at ringside Vader and Mankind go face to face. Vader the tags himself in and hits a series of huge punches to Phineas in the corner before taking the big hog farmer down with a clothesline. Vader then tags Mankind in and Foley works on Phineas in the corner. Slight comeback is foiled when Mankind rakes Phineas in the eyes. Mandible claw is locked in and a clothesline from Henry sends both to the outside.
Phineas attempts to clothesline Mankind back in but Vader holds on to his partner’s legs and the duo toss the Godwinn to the outside as Henry launches himself round and attacks Vader and throws Mankind into the steps. After the commercial break Mankind is back in control but Phineas dodges a charge into the corner and both men are down.
Vader and Henry are tagged in as Henry takes both Mankind and Vader down with clotheslines and slams Vader to the mat. Henry is distracted and caught with some big jabs but again takes Vader down, this time with a back suplex. Vader then hits a very low elbow to a prone Henry Godwinn and sends him to the outside with a clothesline. Vader then holds Henry but Godwinn ducks and Mankind nails his partner with a chair shot to the head, despite having more than enough time to stop. Mankind smiles as he makes his way to the back. We get a replay and see Mankind’s demented smile as he cracks a chair over his partner’s head.
Your winners: The Godwinns via DQ. OK enough match but this is all about the relationship between Mankind and Vader. The Godwinns were a pretty hopeless part of a woeful tag division at the time.
The shows goes off the air with an advert for next week’s Royal Rumble Raw and footage of Ahmed finally getting his hands on the Nation of Domination as he hits their car with a 2×4 as they drive off.
Overall: A storyline heavy edition of Raw. More hype ahead of the big ‘In Your House: The Final Four’ main event and further seeds of mistrust are sewn between the tag team champions of Owen Hart and The British Bulldog. The promos from Bret Hart were solid but much of the in-ring action was a bit of a letdown here.