WWE has never been afraid to experiment in order to build a popular and entertaining product, but this was one time that they perhaps bit off more than they could chew.
On New Year’s Day, 1996, with American college football’s bowl season in full swing, WWE decided to try jumping on the bandwagon by arranging a “bowl game” of its own. Enter the Raw Bowl.
WWE introduced a new design for its ring so that it resembled an American football field, got its superstars to dress up in football jerseys, and even dressed up the referees as football referees, with the iconic zebra stripe uniform.
The event itself was a four-way tag team match won by the Smoking Gunns, who were awarded the Steve Lombardi Trophy (just like NFL’s Lombardi Trophy). Billy and Bart Gunn promptly smashed the trophy on the ground, much to the dismay of the Brooklyn Brawler, who had presented the trophy to the brothers.
Needless to say, the Raw Bowl was short-lived – that 1996 version was the only time the event was ever conducted.
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