–Boyz 2 Men sing “America the Beautiful” to kick off the show. They receive a Cena-like mixed reaction.
–Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler are in the booth and they are live from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
–Steve Austin arrives at the arena and comes across a driver of a Coor’s Light truck. Product placement 101.
–Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler are calling the action and they are live from Albany, New York. This is the last RAW we have to hear called by Cole for a while so I am happy about that. This is the go home show for WrestleMania XV.
–A video package recaps the tensions building between the Rock and Paul Wight, whose nickname has been changed to “The Big Show” instead of the “The Big Nasty.” We are also reminded that the Undertaker is going after Vince McMahon.
–Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler are in the booth and they are live from San Jose, California.
–WWF Champion The Rock opens the show and he tells Steve Austin that he will prove his status as “The Great One” at WrestleMania. He demands that Vince McMahon come out and prove to him that the Big Show is not working with Austin. McMahon complies and says that “Dwayne” needs a reality check for being ungrateful for all that McMahon has given him. He says that three generations of his family have looked after the Rock’s ancestors and that Paul Wight is not as quick to understand the existing agreement. Wight comes out and demands to know what McMahon is talking about, threatening he and the Rock. McMahon does not kindly to that, leading Wight to manhandle him into a corner to get his point across. McMahon collects himself and books the Rock and Wight to team up to face Mankind and Steve Austin, thereby making this a preview of WrestleMania. The Rock and Wight shake hands to end the segment at McMahon’s behest.
–A video package recaps the Undertaker’s recent threats against Vince McMahon, culminating in the Undertaker burning a teddy bear at the end of last week’s RAW.
–Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler are doing commentary and they are live from Cleveland, Ohio.
–The Corporation comes out and Vince McMahon discusses how the audience does not understand his capacity to love. He fires Kane for losing the inferno match to the Undertaker last week and has orderlies come down to send Kane to the insane asylum. However, Chyna comes to Kane’s aid and they fight them off. Chyna tells McMahon that she can control Kane and asks for Kane to be booked against Steve Austin, with Kane’s job on the line. McMahon counters by also putting Chyna’s job on the line. Mankind then joins the festivities and volunteers to referee the Steve Austin-Kane match to prove himself worthy of refereeing the title match at WrestleMania XV. McMahon agrees on the condition that Mankind is able to defeat the Undertaker on tonight’s show (this is later clarified in the broadcast to mean that McMahon will consider Mankind for the role at WrestleMania based on how the match goes). The Undertaker’s voice then comes on via the loudspeakers and he says that he has already told McMahon what he is going to take from him.
The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 09.16.96
OK, one week left of this shitty taping before we REALLY hit rock bottom of the promotion next week. Man, remember a while ago when I said if we can get through the post-WM doldrums period with Shawn as champion it would pick up in August? This is NOT picking up.
Also, yeah I’m skipping Fall Brawl in the chronology. You guys can live-stream it one night if you want, it’s a good show and well worth watching. I will likely redo Mindgames, however, because it’s much shorter.
Taped…again…from Wheeling WV
Your hosts are Kevin Kelly, Jerry Lawler and the increasingly insane Jim Ross. According to the Observer, this was a feature, not a bug, as despite spending 90% of their commentary time on the stupid Fake Razor angle, the WWF felt like the backlash would be too negative towards the company, so they decided to make JR the fall guy by having him portrayed as the lying carny who is opposing the company mandate.