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Attitude Era Raw Review: Champion vs. Champion

Come join us in looking back at the Attitude Era with the Jan. 22, 1996 episode of Raw. The fallout from the Royal Rumble is beginning as Vader makes his Raw debut, Hart and Goldust square off in a champion vs champion match, and HBK is on the path of revenge.

1996 Royal Rumble Results
  • Ahmed Johnson defeated Jeff Jarrett by DQ
  • The Smoking Gunns defeated the Bodydonnas to retain as WWF Tag Team Champions
  • Goldust defeated Razor Ramon to become to the WWF Intercontinental Champion
  • Shawn Michaels won the Royal Rumble
  • Undertaker defeated Bret Hart by DQ
Vader w/ Jim Cornette vs Savio Vega
  • IT'S VADER TIME for the first time ever on Raw.
  • Vader clowns Vega in the corner with flurries of punches.  Vega is able to escape and superkick Vader out of the ring, but Vader recovers quickly and heabutts Vega into oblivion.  Splash in the corner and then the Vader Bomb for the pinfall.
  • After the match, Vader with a powerslam and then another Vader Bomb.  The ref tries to stop him, but eats a couple of headbutts for his trouble.  Another official has the courage to stand up to Vader and eats a powerbomb for his trouble.  Gorilla Monsoon gets in Vader's face and then has the ring announcer let everyone know that Vader has been indefinitely suspended.  Vader gets in Monsoon's face again, but Monsoon won't back down.  Monsoon checks on the ref and when Vader slaps his back a little hard to get his attention Monsoon starts chopping away!  Vader responds with a splash and a Vader Bomb to Monsoon!
  • HBK and Razor Ramon finally make it out to chase Vader away as more officials and police swarm the ring.
  • Vader crushing people will never not be entertaining.
  • Segment Grade: A
Vader Mad, Vader Smash

  • After break McMahon tries to get words with Vader and Cornette in the back.  Vader declares he is going to war with everyone associated with the WWF including McMahon himself.  He then proceeds to beat the ever living crap out of a trashcan as Cornette tries to calm him in vain.
  • Segment Grade: A
Hunter Hearst Helmsley w/ Shae Marks vs Razor Ramon

  • Roman starts off early with the control and Helmsley is bouncing around like a pinball.  Really fun stuff thanks to Helmsley's selling.  Hunter takes control for the next large section, but a lot of it is missed thanks to cutting to Lawler hitting on Shae Marks.
  • 1-2-3 Kid comes out and stuffs a giant baby bottle in Ramon's face when he is down.  Costing him a second match in as many nights (Kid caused Ramon the loss of his IC Title at the Rumble) as Ramon chases him and gets counted out.  Great we are going to have to relive this feud.
  • Segment Grade: D
The End of the Warroom

  • According to Vince this is thankfully the final episode of the Warroom.  Let's see if that lives up to the billing.
  • Ted's brain trust tries to come up with one original idea, but can't come up with anything other than Scheme Gene asking people to call his hotline.
  • Segment Grade: F
HBK is Back in the Saddle Again

  • HBK is on a three step program- Royal Rumble win, taking care of Owen Hart, and then Wrestlemania.
  • Cornette interrupts the interview with McMahon, because there is nothing that HBK has that can leverage to get another match with Hart, except one thing- the title shot at Wrestlemania.
  • Shawn Michaels agrees to put the title shot on the line because he wants Owen Hart that bad (after a little encouragement from the Kliq).
  • Segment Grade: B
Bret Hart vs Goldust w/ Marlena

  • This match was a solid little affair with Hart selling the effects of his match the night before and Goldust seeking to take advantage.  Unfortunately this just didn't get the time a main event match really should have gotten for a Raw. Even in the one hour era considering what Taker-Yankem got the week before.  It didn't help that they took time for Goldust to try and retreat to the locker room, only for Razor to send him back into the match.
  • After the match, Hart cuts a promo on Diesel (who interfered in last night's match) and sets up a cage match between them.  He also promises Taker that he will get a rematch after being screwed by Diesel the night before.
  • Segment Grade: C+
This was certainly a mixed bag of a Raw.  Things started off strong with the Monsoon-Vader confrontation and then just went all over the place after that.  A lot of outside distractions made for this to be a weaker show as it took away from the solid in ring action that was going around it.

Overall Grade: C+

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