Week 1 February 1996
The Pit (Mid South)
The show opens, not with the usual credit sequence, but back stage in the arena where a slew of officials and medical crew are gathered around the destroyed body of Aldo Montoya. The youngster is laid in an unnatural looking angle, with the splintered shards of a broken table surrounding him. The medical crew are rushing around attending to the Portuguese Man o' War, supporting his neck as best they can while the officials are attempting to form a line of defence in front of him. The camera pans back just in time to see Kevin Nash smile and flick his hair back before walking away from the chaotic scene as the opening credits finally begin to play.
The opening sequence finishes and we go straight to the announce booth where Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are on commentary. Vince is somber as he reports that Aldo Montoya is currently being transferred to a local medical facility for treatment on what looks to be a damaged neck. Even the King is minus his usual tactless comments, saying that his sources are telling him that it was Kevin Nash that attacked the youngster, going to far as to powerbomb the man through a table. Vince looks disgusted and says that WWF President Gorilla Monsoon needs to do something about the recent actions of Nash.
Almost on cue the music for the man of the hour starts to play as Big Daddy Cool....or should that be Big Sexy....Kevin Nash starts to play. It takes a moment but the big man finally emerges from the back, stopping every few seconds to glance behind him, shaking his head almost in disbelief before getting in the ring and grabbing a mic. He tells the crowd that they wouldn't believe what he's just seen in the back, he says he was just walking by, minding his own business, when that "young up and comer Aldo Montoya just slipped on a puddle of water....and fell straight through a wooden table....what a waste, such potential maybe wiped out by a simple workplace accident."
He stops for a moment to compose himself before continuing, saying that this is exactly the sort of unsafe working environment that could be avoided if he was the WWF Champion, because not only would he be the champion of the World Wrestling Federation, he would be the champion of the people....and the champion for all the boys in the back....so to put a stop to any further "accidents" happening around here, Bret Hart should make his way to this ring right now, with a referee in toe, take his ass kicking like a man, and then when that final bell rings, and Kevin Nash is your new Champ...."everyone is going to be just that much safer."
With that out comes, not the WWF Champion, but the WWF President, Gorilla Monsoon. Nash looks a little confused as Gorilla gets into the ring with a microphone and asks him what he's doing out here. Monsoon tells Nash that while the Hitman may well be a fighting Champion, and he may well have told Nash he could have another shot at the title any time, any place, "the fact of the matter is that all Title Matches have to go through me as the President of the World Wrestling Federation before they are authorised and made official....and you Mr Nash, due to your recent actions, choices and decisions...you, I'm sorry to say.....are NOT getting a Championship opportunity any time soon."
Nash is irate at this, and Gorilla looks as though he may be in for a rough night as Big Daddy Cool advances menacingly towards him. Monsoon however manages to halt the big man, telling him not to do something they will both end up regretting. He says that Nash could be the man around here, a dominant Champion like no other, but until he stops placing his hands on people in the back, in this ring and anywhere else other than during the confines of a sanctioned match, he can forget about a World Title shot, or any Title shot full stop....he tells Nash that he will follow the rules around here, or suffer the consequences.
Nash looks angry, but only for a second before raising his hands in mock surrender. He tells Monsoon that he might want to heed his own warning...."because if Big Sexy doesn't get what he wants.....well.....lets just say it won't be Kevin Nash that suffers the consequences....it'll be the entire WWF locker room....and how's that gonna feel on your conscience Monkey Man?"
With that Nash shoves his microphone into Monsoons chest and exits the ring over the top rope to head to the back.
The Smoking Gunns are keen to get back to winning ways here after their disappointing showings the last few weeks, but the Million Dollar Corporation are just as keen to add some gold to their account and a victory here would have put them one step closer to a Tag Team Title shot. Unfortunately for DiBiase, his two charges came up short in this one, as the Gunns were able to hit the Kid with the Sidewinder for the *ahem* 1.2.3.
Winner(s): The Smoking Gunns
The match is over and the Gunns celebrate as DiBiase berates his men all the way to the back. The microphones catch him shouting at them that it's time they started living up to his investment in them, before he cuts his losses and puts all his backing and financial power behind Austin and Sid. As the cameras are following the corporation Vince suddenly yells out on commentary that something is happening in the ring. The Gunns have been jumped from behind by two men coming out of the crowd.
The two men, one of whom is clearly Barry Windham, but the other an unknown, put the boots to the former champions for a minute, before Windham picks up Billy, yells in his face and drops him with a DDT. Bart tries to come to the aid of his "brother" but he fares no better as Windham Irish whips him across the ring, straight into a huge lariat from the mystery man, which almost takes his head off his shoulders. The two men stand over their fallen victims for a moment, before Windham rolls to the outside and picks up the Gunns cowboy hats. He hands one to his partner, places the other on his head, and the two men leave the same way they arrived, through the crowd.
We come back from commercial and are instantly greeted to the sounds of Hunter Hearst Helmsley's music, as the young blue blood makes his way down the aisle, with the beautiful figure that is Sunny on his arm. The pair get into the ring and Hunter raises Sunny's hand in the air so that the bubbly blonde can give the crowd a twirl. Gone is the Bodydonna fitness Lycra outfit. Instead Sunny is fitted out in an elegant little black number which shows off all of her ample curves, in all of the right places. She gets on the microphone and tells Phatu that he must be stupid if he thought for one second that someone like her would be interested in managing someone like him. She says that with Skip on the injured list, there is only one man in the World Wrestling Federation worthy of her time, and that man....is Hunter Hearst Helmsley. She hands the microphone to her newest client and Helmsley wastes no time telling Phatu that he must be dreaming if he thinks a beautiful young woman like Sunny would be interested in managing a common little street rat like him. He tells Phatu that he knows he's not here tonight, he's at home nursing a bad back (courtesy of a steel chair last week) but whenever he's back to full health....Hunter Hearst Helmsley will be happy to finish what he started last week, and send him back to the streets for good.
We are treated to a quick recap of last week, where the Nation of Domination (and primarily Bobby and Nelson Knight) arguably cost Chris Jericho the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship. This week the youngster looks to gain a measure of revenge as he goes up against the veteran Bobby Knight. Knight looks strong in this one and is obviously not taking the newcomer very seriously as he hammers down blows, stopping occasionally to confer and laugh with the other Nation members who have accompanied him to ringside. The overconfidence gets the better of him however, as Jericho manages to fight back with a flurry of offence, topped off with a stunning springboard moonsault off the middle rope which is enough to put his cocky opponent down for the three count, much to the amazement of his stunned Nation members.
Winner: Chris Jericho
A split second after the referee's hand has hit the mat for the third time, Faarooq, Kama, Scorpio and Nelson rush the ring in an effort to beat down the surprise victor. Jericho is too quick for the Nation though, rolling out of the ring and up the aisle to celebrate while the Nation stand angrily on the mat shouting threats.
This one was a bit of a throw away/filler match and the crowd clearly knew that because the concession stands were packed. Zip has been floundering a bit since Skip picked up his "injury", with little direction since Sunny had thrown him by the wayside to manage Helmsley. Bob Holly is a decent hand in the ring, but he has very little personality to carry him any further right now (maybe a change of gimmick would help.) Holly picked up the victory here with a roll up.
Winner: Bob Holly
Savio Vega had the unenviable task of trying to get the crowd back into the show after that last match. He comes down to the ring to call out Ted DiBiase's crown jewel The Ringmaster. He says that Austin ran away from him last week, but he can't run forever. The two of them are going to tangle at In Your House, "but if you've got any guts, you'll come down to this ring right now and get a little taste of what's in store for you.
The music of the Million Dollar Man starts to play and DiBiase walks out with a microphone, flanked by Austin and Big Sid. Ted tells Savio that Austin made it very clear last week that he will fight him....and beat him....when the time....and more importantly, the money, is right. "This man right here knows the power of money and he knows how to best utilise his worth....so no, Steve Austin will not be coming down to that ring tonight." DiBiase pauses for a moment before looking up at the big monster Sid. "But this man....this man doesn't care about the value of money, he just likes beating people up. So if it's a fight you want, it's a fight you'll get, because nobody turns down The Million Dollar Man without paying the price."
Sid had the height and weight advantage in this one, but that meant that the speed advantage went to Vega, and he used that for all it was worth. Bobbing and weaving as Sid swung his big fists. He was able to sting the big man with rights and lefts but eventually the speed wasn't enough, as Sid was able to catch a cross body attempt, driving the Puerto Rican to the mat with a big power slam. Sid went to work on Vega, while the King mentioned on commentary that Austin must be liking what he's seeing, because at this rate there will be nothing of Savio Vega left to fight at In Your House. McMahon tells King not to speak too soon though, as with the crowd rallying behind him, Vega was able to fire back and looked to have the big man on the ropes, at least until Austin appeared at ringside, tripping Savio as he was running the ropes while DiBiase distracts the ref. the slight trip was all it took as Vega stumbled straight into the waiting hands of Sid, and straight into a power bomb for the 1, 2, 3.
Winner: Sycho Sid
We come back from commercial to find Vince McMahon stood in the centre of the ring, a wooden table set up, and a chair placed either side. McMahon welcomes us back to RAW, before going on to talk about the upcoming WWF Title match at In Your House. He tells us that due to the constant interference of Kevin Nash, the lack of a real conclusive winner in their last encounter....and more importantly, at the request of the Champion, this bout will be contested inside of a 15 foot high steel cage. Vince says that he has with him here, fresh from the desk of WWF President Gorilla Monsoon, the contract for the title match, ready for the two contestants to sign.
Neither man wastes much time in getting to the ring, even the Undertakers usually methodical entrance doesn't take long (although his is minus his portly manager Paul Bearer so that may have helped his walking pace), as the two combatants are clearly eager to make this one official. Vince asks both men if either of them has anything to say and if they are both willing to go through with the cage match and the risks that are involved with said match. Vince tells them that once the contracts are signed, there's no backing out.
Bret is first to speak, telling McMahon and The Undertaker that he wouldn't have requested a steel cage match in the first place if he had any plans on backing out. He tells The Undertaker that he respects him and he knows that it's going to be no easy feat, "but come In Your House, you, Kevin Nash, and all the great fans of the World Wrestling Federation....are going to see once and for all, who is conclusively, the best there is....the best there was....and the best there ever will be....and that's me, Bret The Hitman Hart."
The Undertaker is next on the mic, he tells Bret that the only reason he is stood there today as the World Wrestling Federation Champion, is because Kevin Nash knows that he could never win the title from the Deadman, so made sure that Bret didn't lose it. He tells Bret to savour these last few weeks between now and the PPV, because make no mistake, when you step through that cage door Hitman, you're stepping through the gates of hell and I will make sure that you rest in peace.
Both men sign the contract and the pair stare each other down briefly, where Bret can be heard telling the Undertaker not to confuse his respect for fear, he doesn't fear the Deadman. There looks to be a possibility that the two men may end up coming to blows before Vince stops the two men, telling The Undertaker that he's just been told in his ear piece that there has been a situation in the back. He yells to get a camera back there.
The camera crew do indeed get there, just in time to find the fallen body of The Undertakers manager Paul Bearer. Just like Aldo Montoya earlier, he has clearly been assaulted and has clearly (judging by the amount of wooden debris surrounding him) been put through a table. King says on commentary that there was obviously another puddle of water back there that Bearer slipped on. The medical personnel arrive at roughly the same time as The Undertaker, who can only look on in rage as Bearer is treated and finally stretchered away to a waiting ambulance. Undertaker throws a few items around in anger before walking out of shot, screaming Kevin Nash's name.
This match was booked fresh on the heels of last weeks debacle, in which the Intercontinental Championship match descended into chaos. Razor and Ahmed seem happy enough to be teaming up, but Jeff Jarrett looks far from comfortable to be teaming with the bizarre Goldust, especially after Goldie rubs his hands over Jarretts back before tagging himself in the match. Goldust is full of confidence, right up until he walks into a stiff right hand from Razor which plants him on his rear. Goldust recoils in pain, and quickly crawls over to his corner on his hands and knees, where (still kneeling) he wraps his arms around Jarrett's waist and pulls him close for reassurance. Jarrett pulls away in horror, which Ramon finds hilarious, unfortunately this gives Goldust the opening to take down Razor while he is busy laughing. McMahon wonders aloud, how much of Goldusts antics are nothing more than a distraction technique. This is a decent match, but the real story comes at the end of the match. As Goldust and Razor are brawling on the outside, Ramon charges at Goldust, but misses, smashing into the corner post taking him down and out. Back in the ring Jarrett has locked Johnson in the figure four, and Ahmed looks to be in serious trouble, until a familiar man with a 7 foot frame climbs over the guard rail. Kevin Nash is here again, he climbs into the ring and starts putting the boots to both Ahmed AND Jarrett, giving the referee little choice but to call for the bell, declaring this one a no contest.
Winner: No Contest
Nash continues stomping down on Ahmed and Jarrett respectively, before tossing both men hard over the top rope. He goes to the outside, where Goldust is still putting the boots to Razor, and picks up a steel chair, before whaling The Bizarre One in the back, putting him down as well. He looks for a moment at Ramon, looks at the announce table, looks back at Ramon, and a sadistic smirk breaks out on his face. He grabs hold of a camera man and drags him close to stare directly into the lens, before shouting "See this Monkey Man.....this is called a conciquence." Before dragging the fallen Ramon over to the announce table. He positions The Bad Guy's head between his legs and gives the sign for the power bomb, clearly planning on sending the Intercontinental Champion through the wood. Luckily for Ramon however, the Royal Rumble winner has seen enough, as Shawn Michaels comes running down the aisle with steel chair in hand. This is enough to make Big Daddy Cool think twice, as he drops Razor and bails over the railings back into the crowd. Michaels drops the chair and goes over to help the hurt Ramon to his feet. With HBK's back turned, Nash clearly sees an opening, and slowly begins to climb back over the steel barrier, looking to take advantage of the fact that his former friends attention is elsewhere. He gets one leg over the rail when suddenly.....
.....the lights go out....
.....the lights come back on....
The Deadman is stood in the centre of the ring staring a hole through Kevin Nash. He is soon joined by Michaels and Razor and finally Ahmed Johnson. With all 4 men stood staring at Big Sexy, Nash decides it's probably in his best interest to back away from the situation, walking slowly into the crowd shouting that "this ain't over" as the show comes to a close.
Final Rating: B