This week’s episode aired on Martin Luther King Jr. day and opens with a small and short dedicated to Dr. King.
The show then opens with Vince and Jerry talking about Sunny using her influence on Gorilla Monsoon, a look at Undertaker v Isaac Yankem D.D.S. plus Goldust revealing his love for Razor Ramon as they set the date for the 1996 Royal Rumble. Dox Hendrix says that we might not get the Goldust interview as Razor Ramon is on his way to the arena.
Commentary: Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler
Marty Jannetty vs Owen Hart:
The bell rings and we are underway. They lock up and Owen gets the advantage as he grabs the wrist and arm of Jannetty. Marty then slips out of the wristlock and grabs control of Owen’s arm and goes behind and takes him down with an armdrag takedown. Jannetty then turns his attention to the arm of Owen as he takes him down with a one arm monkey flip. Owen then gets back to his feet and pushes Jannetty. They then lock up again with Owen getting the advantage and goes behind with a hammerlock. Jannetty immediately gets out of the hold and picks the ankle of Owen and takes him down to the mat and transitions into a front face lock. Owen makes it back to his feet and pushes Jannetty in the corner before setting him up on the top turnbuckle to get out of the hold. Owen then goes for a punch but the referee gets in the way and prevents it from happening. This allows for Marty to come off the top and take him down with an armdrag takedown. Both guys make it back to their feet and Owen pushes Jannetty into the the ropes and looks to lay in some punches but Jannetty blocks every time laying in punches of his own. Jannetty then backs Owen up into the ropes and whips him into the opposite side of the ring. Jannetty then goes for a scoop slam as Owen was coming off the ropes but he slips out the back and pushes Jannetty into the ropes looking for a roll up but Jannetty hangs onto the ropes. Jannetty then comes off the ropes and takes Owen down with a clothesline for a two count. The finish of the match sees Owen Hart flip Jannetty to the mat and stacks him up to pick up the win.
Winner: Owen Hart via Roll Up
Royal Rumble Report with Todd Pettengill:
Todd Pettengill is back to run down all things Royal Rumble.
Pettengill announces that for the first time in WWF history there will be a kickoff/preview show that will air 30 minutes before the show called WWF Free For All.
Todd then announces that earlier in the day the Royal Rumble participants will be drawing numbers for their spot in the match. Two of the participants will draw blanks and face off on Free For All. The winner of the match gets lucky number 30 while the loser gets the unfortunate role of starting the match at number 1.
Royal Rumble Entrants:
Dory Funk Jr.
Jake the Snake Roberts
Henry O. Godwinn
Isaac Yankem D.D.S.
Mr. Bob Backlund
Hunter Hearst Helmsley
We then hear comments from Big Daddy Cool Diesel
We then see another vignette from Big Van Vader
Royal Rumble Card:
Ahmed Johnson vs Jeff Jarrett
3 championships will also be up for grabs
Dox Hendrix then confirms that Razor Ramon is on his way to the arena to confront Goldust.
We then see a video of Sunny playing pool.
The Ringmaster vs Matt Hardy:
The bell rings and we are underway. They lock up and The Ringmaster gets the adas he locks in a sideheadlock and takes him down with a headlock takedown. Hardy makes it back to his feet but The Ringmaster maintains the hold. Ringmaster takes Hardy back down to the mat but this time Hardy rolls him up for a one count which breaks the hold. They lock up for a second time with Ringmaster pushing Hardy into the ropes before LAUNCHING him into the opposite ropes. Hardy comes off the ropes and takes down Ringmaster with a clothesline before hitting the ropes and leaping over Ringmaster who drops down to the mat. Hardy then comes off the ropes again but is taken down with a thez press as Ringmaster hammers away on him. The referee looks to break it up which allows for Hardy to roll him up for almost a two count. The Ringmaster gets back up and is immediately all over Hardy as he hits him in the back with two clubbing forearms. The finish of the match sees The Ringmaster lock in the The Million Dollar Dream aka the sleeper hold for the submission victory.
Winner: The Million Dollar Champion The Ringmaster via The Million Dollar Dream
We then go to a video package hyping the return of Shawn Michaels
We then go back to Dox Hendrix who confirms that Razor is just a few millions away from the arena.
The Smoking Gunns vs The Spiders:
We joined the match currently in progress as Billy Gunn rolls up one of the spiders for a nearfall. One of the spiders then tags out to the other who comes in and punches the midsection of Billy. Billy then fights back to break the hold and comes off the ropes and takes down one of the spiders with a leg drop to the back of the neck. During the match we find out that it will be The Smoking Gunns vs The BodyDonnas for the WWF Tag Team Championship. The finish of the match sees Bart tag in Billy who goes to the top. Bart then picks up one of the spiders as Billy hits a top rope leg drop for the pinfall victory.
Winners: The Smoking Gunns via Top Rope Leg Drop/Sidewalk Slam Combo
We then go back to Billionaire Ted’s Wrasslin War Room
We then head back to the ring for the in ring interview of Goldust with Vince McMahon
We then go backstage to Dox Hendrix as he tells us that Razor Ramon just pulled into the arena.
Razor Ramon finally enters the building as he is looking for Goldust
Isaac Yankem D.D.S. vs The Undertaker:
The bell rings and we are underway. They go face to face with each other and Yankem looks to back up and leave but turns around and tries to attack The Undertaker. Undertaker blocks the punch and hits Yankem with a right hand then multiple kicks to the midsection as he backs him into the corner. Undertaker then hits him with another right hand before whipping him into the opposite corner and takes him down with a clothesline. Undertaker then hits a scoopslam before grabbing the face of Yankem and pushing him back into the corner and applying pressure. Undertaker then whips Yankem into the corner again and looks to follow him in but Yankem hits him with a back elbow. Yankem then shoots out of the corner and takes down The Undertaker with a clothesline. Yankem then panders to Lawler as The Undertaker sits back up. Yankem turns around and is immediately back on the attack with clubbing blows to the back. He then looks for an Irish whip attempt but Undertaker reverses it. Yankem then comes off the ropes and telegraphs the back bodydrop with a kick to the face. Undertaker then immediately kicks Yankem in the midsection and looks for the Tombstone Piledriver but Yankem was able to slip out the back and to the floor. During the match we go to the double screen as Dox Hendrix tells us that at the end of this match Goldust will discuss his match with WWF Champion Bret Hart next week. The finish of the match sees The Undertaker hit the Tombstone Piledriver for the win.
Winner: The Undertaker via Tombstone Piledriver
After the match we go backstage as Dox Hendrix tries to conduct an interview with Goldust but Razor Ramon shows up and a brawl ensues between the two.
We then go to Sunny who is sitting in a bathtub.
The brawl between Razor and Goldust continues as they brawl to the outside. Goldust was able to get the upperhand and then drives away.
My Grade: B
This was the go home show for the 1996 Royal Rumble PPV. This was a solid show as we got great matches and a spotlight on the Intercontinental Championship match that will take place at the Rumble between Razor Ramon and Goldust. I’m still scratching my head on why they decided to scrap the Women’s Division and why they continue to be petty and mocking WCW. Overall great show before the Rumble.
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