The WWF “kicked off” the new year in 1996 with an American football-themed tag team match. If you think that football pun was bad, you will be absolutely traumatized by the Raw Bowl, which served as an excuse for commentators Jerry Lawler and Vince McMahon to cram as many gridiron references and play-on-words as humanly possible.
The Raw Bowl was a four-way elimination tag team match - the Federation’s first - complete with timeouts, Earl Hebner with a whistle and flags, hash-marks on the green canvas, and football jerseys worn by all the wrestlers. For example, the 1-2-3 Kid wore the number 123, Yokozuna wore his weight in pounds, and Savio Vega wore número uno.
The Smoking Gunns emerged victorious in a match that could have (and should have) stood on its own without the campy gimmickry. Their prize? The prestigious (Steve) Lombardi Trophy, presented backstage by the Brooklyn Brawler.