The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 02.26.96 Taped from Cincinnati, OH Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler Isaac Yankem v. Jake Roberts This would be Jake’s first appearance on RAW, no? Yankem works on a headlock, but Jake puts him down with a hiptoss, so Yankem pounds him down and chokes away in the corner. Yankem uses the clubbing forearms and calls for the DDS, but Jake blocks it and gets the DDT instead at 3:30. Awful and embarrassing for Jake. -* Ultimate Warrior returns at Wrestlemania! Maybe. Diesel v. Bob Holly This would be the match that Bischoff was bashing on Nitro at the same time. Holly attacks in the corner and Diesel pounds him down, then follows with a side slam. Diesel’s all paranoid and checks for Undertaker’s secret trap door, which is kind of a cool touch. Holly makes the comeback as we take a break, but we return with Diesel powerbombing him for the pin at 5:10. Why would you edit 2:00 out of a 5:00 TV match? ½* Diesel feels much more confident about his chances, but Undertaker appears in the ring and then vanishes when Diesel goes to chase him. No wonder Nash went to WCW…no one there had supernatural powers! Ahmed Johnson v. Shinobi Yup, it’s another attempt at finding a gimmick for Al Snow, this time as a ninja. Ahmed looks like he literally bathed himself in baby oil before the match. Ahmed tosses Shinobi around, and the evil ninja blows a springboard spot, slipping on the top rope and falling into a spinebuster and Pearl River Plunge at 1:50. Another winner for Snow. DUD And then immediately after this match, they announce that the Godwinns will be meeting the New Rockers in the tag title tournament, giving us ANOTHER loser gimmick for Al Snow in the same SEGMENT. Mankind is still talking to the rats in a dungeon somewhere. The Observer notes that the rat is the trained pet of Jim Cornette’s girlfriend. Shawn Michaels joins us and Jerry Lawler screams about how he’s getting “the biggest reaction since the Beatles” when clearly fans aren’t reacting. Bret Hart also comes out and they do the mutual respect interview, which goes nowhere. Roddy Piper comes out and chastises the crowd for booing both guys, and announces that the Wrestlemania main event will be an Iron Man match. Yokozuna v. Owen Hart & British Bulldog Yoko manages to fight off both heels, but Owen comes off the top with a missile dropkick and they double-team him as we take a break. Yoko slowly makes the comeback as the Man They Call Vader wanders down to ringside and comes in for the DQ at 6:05. DUD Ahmed and Snake make the save, which sets up their six-man at Wrestlemania. Vince is still selling it as Vader v. Yokozuna, however, so I guess plans changed. Larry Fling Live with the Huckster and Nacho Man, and this one is actually pretty funny. Fling asking “How’s Liz doing?” and then both guys answering before sharing a shocked look is a great bit, and Huckster threatens Fling with a steel chair before backing down from a woman’s shoe. Huckster demands that he win their match to keep up his merchandise sales, and then attacks the crew with incredibly fake chairshots as a tribute to the ending of Uncensored. Ok, THIS was hilarious, and if they had stuck to this kind of cheap satire instead of swinging above their pay grade with the “predatory practices” nonsense it would have been totally harmless fun. The Pulse Probably one of the worst RAW shows I can recall. Next week is Bret v. HHH and Shawn v. Kid, so that should at least be better in the ring.