–Vince McMahon and Shawn Michaels are doing commentary this evening and they are still taped from Palmetto, Florida. The green screen that they are broadcast against is jarring.
For those of you who aren’t familiar, WrestleCon is kind of like Axxess on a budget with everyone running their own booth. The key differences though are you have a TON of indy wrestlers, plus dozens of legends. You pay a flat rate to get in ($33) and then each autograph and picture you want is an additional charge. For the sake of finances, I only paid for a handful of pictures.
–Vince McMahon apologizes to Lawrence Taylor for Bam Bam Bigelow’s conduct at the Royal Rumble and announces that Bigelow has been suspended without pay.
–Vince and Shawn Michaels are doing commentary and they are live from Palmetto, Florida. Vince puts over how Michaels won from the #1 position and Michaels says he is going to put some moves on Pamela Anderson. It is so weird to see the winner of the Rumble not getting a twenty minute promo to start the show.
–A limousine pulls into the backstage area and Pamela Anderson walks out. She goes to her locker room as WWF wrestlers, led by Dink of all people, hoot and holler. What? You expected respectful manners out of a group of wrestlers?
As a side note, when you have been watching tons of television tapings from Liberty, New York in a high school gym for weeks on end it really makes you appreciate the bigger venue that this show is in and it makes everything seem more important.
–Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are on the mic and they are live from Tampa, Florida. What is hilarious about the opening is that Vince tries to introduce the Spanish announce team and Hugo Savinovich just stays seated with his back to the camera.
–Vince McMahon and Shawn Michaels are doing commentary and they are live from Houston, Texas. This is the second anniversary episode of Monday Night Raw.
–William Shatner, who is here to hype his new show TekWar, says that he is not scared of appearing on Jerry Lawler’s King’s Court segment and that if Lawler messes with him “he will be out of here at warp speed.” He even admits that he is simply here to do the hard sell for his show and is not going to wrestle.
–“Double J” Jeff Jarrett lets us know how great he is going to be in his signing debut on tonight’s RAW.
–Gorilla Monsoon and Shawn Michaels are doing commentary and they are taped from Liberty, New York. This episode was taped on December 12, 1994.
In the solemn words of Jim Morrison: “This is the end…my only friend…the end.”
With the national expansions of both the WWF and NWA, the territorial system, as we knew it, was breathing its last breath. Despite legends like Verne Gagne, the Von Erichs, Jerry “The King” Lawler, Mad Dog Vachon, Chris Adams, among others, the lingering territories during this era tried their best not only to survive but to succeed.
With the conglomeration of the AWA, WCWA, CWA, and POWW, this supercard marks the last stand by the territories in their effort to compete. How much success do they achieve? Let’s find out!
–A video package recaps the tensions building between the Rock and Paul Wight, whose nickname has been changed to “The Big Show” instead of the “The Big Nasty.” We are also reminded that the Undertaker is going after Vince McMahon.
–Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler are in the booth and they are live from San Jose, California.
–WWF Champion The Rock opens the show and he tells Steve Austin that he will prove his status as “The Great One” at WrestleMania. He demands that Vince McMahon come out and prove to him that the Big Show is not working with Austin. McMahon complies and says that “Dwayne” needs a reality check for being ungrateful for all that McMahon has given him. He says that three generations of his family have looked after the Rock’s ancestors and that Paul Wight is not as quick to understand the existing agreement. Wight comes out and demands to know what McMahon is talking about, threatening he and the Rock. McMahon does not kindly to that, leading Wight to manhandle him into a corner to get his point across. McMahon collects himself and books the Rock and Wight to team up to face Mankind and Steve Austin, thereby making this a preview of WrestleMania. The Rock and Wight shake hands to end the segment at McMahon’s behest.
Prior to my vacation/wedding/honeymoon, I promised a reflection of NWA Great American Bash ’88; however, this show serves as a precursor to it. Therefore, allow me to provide you with said precursor as a turning point for a promotion.
Live from St. Paul, MN
Airdate: April 24, 1983
Hosted by Rod Trongard
by Logan Scisco
angle surrounding last week’s show concerning the European title is shown.
Cole, and Kevin Kelly are in the booth and they are live from the Nassau
Coliseum in New York for the last RAW of 1997.
dressed as a New Year’s baby and declares that he will enter the Royal
Rumble. I should note that Cole is
establishing a bad operating procedure of constantly talking over a wrestler’s
promo, afraid of having any silence on the air.
Goldust is supposed to wrestle Steve Austin, who comes out and has a
Porta John lowered, which he has to tug into the ring from the top of the
arena. The Porta John, which Cole
initially calls an “outhouse” has “Crapper 3:16” written on the outside of it. Goldust tries to sneak up on Austin behind
it, but Austin slams the door in his face, tosses him inside, and when
Goldust comes out he eats a Stone Cold Stunner.
Austin then tosses Goldust back in and turns it over, before ending his
promo on top it. A wild, creative, and
very entertaining segment and Austin had the crowd eating out his hand the
attack on Triple H on last week’s show is the 1-800-COLLECT Rewind segment.
Island Street Fight: The Disciples of
Apocalypse beat Savio Vega, Miguel Perez & Jesus (w/Jose) when Chainz pins
Jose after heel miscommunication at 3:17:
the Boricuas. Ross subtly buries Crush
by saying that after his altercation with Kane he did not want to be in the WWF
anymore. The match gets off to a hot
shot, with chairs being used, but it quickly cools into a battle royal-type
brawl. Jose isn’t supposed to be in the
match, but gets involved anyway and in a piece of WCWesque booking, Chainz pins
him when Savio accidentally blasts him with a spin kick. Rating: *
these ads for a couple of weeks, but I want to say that their “Attitude Era”
ads where the Undertaker, Steve Austin, the Rock, Ken Shamrock, etc. listed
their accomplishments and injuries and put down anyone who criticizes wrestling
for being fake are well done.
Triple H and Chyna are in the ring after the commercial break and Triple H is
on crutches and in a knee brace, which he says is because he dislocated his
knee cap last night, and he says he won’t be able to defend his title against Owen Hart
tonight. Triple H says that Shawn
Michaels isn’t here because he has a 102 degree fever and the lights go out and
a casket is wheeled to the ring by druids, but Michaels pops out of the casket,
which has DX graffiti. Kelly is
outraged, saying Michaels “desecrated the spirit of the casket.” What?
DX puts over Chyna’s breasts for a few minutes and Michaels pledges that
1998 will be the year of DX.
Commissioner Slaughter comes out and says that Triple H is medically
unfit to compete, so he books Michaels in a WWF title match against Owen.
defeats Kama Mustafa (w/Faarooq & D-Lo Brown) via submission to the
anklelock at 3:36:
is that he’s going to slowly go through the Nation in preparation for facing
the Rock for the Intercontinental title. Kama gets in a few token moves and Shamrock
exchanges strikes with him before taking him down and making him tap. Rating: *
Rock comes out and says that fans have asked him his opinion on the elderly and
Social Security, but he doesn’t care as long as makes money. That’s a funny gimmick as last week we said
fans asked his opinion on world peace.
The Rock calls off the Nation from beating up Shamrock and says next
week Shamrock will face Faarooq. Faarooq
isn’t happy about that. The Rock is
carrying the feud on the mic and doing a fantastic job. The Rock-Shamrock feud as a whole is very
underrated and a largely forgotten part of 1998, but the Rock’s work in that
feud is what set him on the path to main event status.
hypes the house show circuit. Why can’t
WWE bother to do this today?
the next Madison Square Garden show. The
matches that are in this show were chronicled in last week’s review.
shown sitting in an empty arena before tonight’s show and thanks the fans for
watching and he promises that 1998 will be the most action packed and enjoyable
year in WWF history. Can’t say he was
wrong about that. I sort of miss these
fan appreciation segments with Vince because he comes off very sincere, but in
the back of his mind he had to know things would have to get better in 1998
because he and Linda lost $5 million or so of their own money on the company in
1997 and couldn’t give Christmas bonuses, which they felt ashamed of, according
to a Kevin Kelly shoot interview.
Lawler & “Too Sexy” Brian Christopher beats Taka Michinoku & George
“the Animal” Steele by disqualification when Steele uses a foreign object at
Jim Ross’s son, which is so ridiculous I’m surprised Ross didn’t corpse on live
television. Steele was Michinoku’s
mystery partner for this match and since they are in a mainstay WWF territory,
he gets a bigger pop than Steve Austin when he comes out and eats a few
turnbuckles. This is a fun match, as
Lawler and Steele both use foreign objects and Lawler teases doing a moonsault,
which if he did it might have made this a **** match. Unfortunately, there isn’t much action because
Steele gets tired of seeing Lawler do his phantom foreign object trick and gets
caught using a real one.
hour, Ross and Lawler take over commentary duties.
“The Road Dogg” Jesse James (w/Billy Gunn) by disqualification when Gunn
interferes at 2:10:
Rangers jerseys. Before the match, Dude
Love morphs into Mankind on the Titantron, who really should be in the hospital
after getting locked in a freezer last week.
Mankind morphs into Cactus Jack and that’s who is coming for the Outlaws
in this match with a barbed wire baseball bat as the crowd goes wild and chants
“ECW.” Cactus takes a nasty chair shot
from James, but quickly rallies to hit a double-arm DDT, prompting the
interference. Lawler is apoplectic about
that because all of the weapons used didn’t bring about a disqualification,
which is a justified view.
Cactus fights the Outlaws by the entrance and out of a crate, which has been
sitting there all night, comes Chainsaw Charlie, which was so stupid it
cannot be put into words. If Terry Funk
popped out of the box or, as Lawler mentioned, Leatherface, this would’ve been
much better. The smart fans in the
audience quickly realize it’s Funk and start chanting “Terry.” As it is,
Charlie runs off the Outlaws with his crazy chainsaw antics.
1-900-RUMBLE-98 to register yourself in the Steve Austin pickup truck
contest! It’ll cost you $1.99 or you can
send a postcard to Devon, Pennsylvania.
Sable, who will be in the next RAW magazine and she says she wants to give fans
a preview of what’s in the magazine, but before she can unveil a swimsuit, Marc
Mero comes out and sets up a chair saying that he wants to see the show. When Kelly tells Mero to calm down, Mero
calls him a third string announcer and gives him a low blow. Tom Brandi runs out when Mero berates Sable,
but eats a TKO on the chair. Mero then
chokes Brandi with parts of Sable’s RAW magazine. It’s unfortunate that Mero’s ring work was
awful at this point because he was tearing it up with this character and it was
the most entertaining he had been in years.
1-900-737-4WWF to hear about the British Bulldog’s future, or lack thereof.
the Disciples of Apocalypse, Flash Funk, and Scott Taylor come to the ring and
call out Kane to get revenge. However,
shortly after Kane comes down, the Undertaker makes an appearance and helps
Kane clear the ring. The Undertaker then
leaves, which causes him to be booed, but it’s an excellent piece of
Madison Square Garden show again.
WWF Tag Team Champions The New Age Outlaws, who say that they aren’t concerned
about facing the Legion of Doom at the Royal Rumble because Chainsaw Charlie is
trying to kill them. The interview ends
with Charlie cutting through a locker room door and the Outlaws flee.
comments on the state of wrestling in 1997 and says it is awful, indicting all
of the major companies, including the WWF.
He doesn’t care for DX, Sable, and the New World Order. He complains about a lack of wrestling,
living in Connecticut, and the Internet.
Cornette says he might bring some tradition back to the WWF, thereby
laying the groundwork for bringing in his NWA faction. A good rant, but Cornette’s view of
traditional wrestling wasn’t going to fly in 1998.
giving a Stone Cold Stunner to Santa Claus is the Sony Playstation Slam of the
with her photo spread in RAW magazine and gives it to a young fan. I’m sure his mother really loved that.
that the WWF has begun negotiations with Mike Tyson to participate at
WrestleMania XIV. The crowd boos that
and Lawler mentions how Vince McMahon talking to Mike Tyson
threatens global security.
chronicles Owen Hart’s return to the WWF.
Match: Owen Hart beats “The Heartbreak
Kid” Shawn Michaels (Champion w/Chyna) by disqualification when Triple H breaks
a crutch over Owen’s head at 7:47 shown:
and Michaels humorously mocks a fan telling Owen to look behind him to avoid a
flying axe handle. Owen dominates the
early going until Chyna trips him. Owen
sells a sleeper spot really well, panicking when it gets put on and trying to
punch his way towards the ropes. Owen
runs through his usual spots for near-falls and the crowd becomes unglued when
he catches Shawn with an enziguri and applies the Sharpshooter. However, Triple H, who came down to the
ringside a few minutes into the match interferes and Michaels keeps the title. Looking back, Owen should’ve gotten the title
here for two weeks and then dropped it back to Michaels before the Royal
Rumble. It would’ve given them two weeks
to hype a rematch and would have allowed them to give Owen a trial run as
champion. The crowds were really into
his “lone Hart” act upon his return, but when he was shuffled back down to the
midcard that aura disappeared. Rating:
Triple H whacks Owen with his other crutch, thereby transitioning his match
with Michaels into a feud between them.
Michaels-Owen Hart to headline a pay-per-view, but for political reasons this
was the best that we were going to get. The
crowd was hot for everything on this show and the show also set up a lot of
great storylines for 1998. Austin is
heading into the Royal Rumble as a wrecking machine, D-Generation X is angering
everyone in the company and stirring the pot, the Undertaker continues to
refuse to face Kane, who in turn is destroying the roster, Cactus Jack is
waging war against the New Age Outlaws, and the Rock is slowly becoming one of
the most entertaining heels in the company.
Coupled with the talents of Owen Hart, Taka Michinoku, Terry Funk, Ken
Shamrock and others it is not surprising that the company soon overtook WCW,
whose main event scene was growing stagnant.
This show also gave lots of hope to loyal WWF fans because the 3.6
rating was the highest ever for a RAW episode that went head-to-head with Nitro
up to this point and it was a significant improvement over the 2.1 rating that
the company drew for the first RAW of 1997.
like to see reviewed next on the blog?
Other writers seem to have WCW covered, but I have a large collection of
old footage that I taped, so I have 1993-1999 RAW’s, old Saturday Night’s Main
Events, the old Coliseum Video “Best Of’s”, Action Zone seasons, 1991-1992 Prime Time Wrestling, Superstars
1994-1997, 1995-1997 USWA, and 1997-1998 Shotgun Saturday Night. Just post below and
whatever seems to get the most votes we will move forward with.
by Logan Scisco
Cole, and Kevin Kelly are in the booth and they are in Durham, New Hampshire.
the Undertaker and announces that he will face Shawn Michaels in a casket match
at the Royal Rumble for the WWF title.
The Undertaker cuts a good promo and acknowledges that the only casket
match he lost took ten men to beat him and D-Generation X doesn’t have ten
people in it and Michaels doesn’t have ten friends to help him. Kane and Paul Bearer come out and Bearer
rehashes “the Undertaker is a murderer” bit.
Kane hits the Undertaker and when he tries to do it a second time, the
Undertaker blocks it, but then leaves instead of retaliating.
to get your copy of WWF the Music:
Volume 2. It will cost you $20
for CD and $15 for the tape (plus $4 shipping & handling)!
and Jerry Lawler’s attack on Taka Michinoku on last week’s RAW is the
1-800-COLLECT Rewind segment.
Contest: Taka Michinoku (Light
Heavyweight Champion) beats Jerry “the King” Lawler by disqualification when
Brian Christopher interferes at 5:42:
Ultimate Japan card during this match, which is a big styles clash since
Lawler can’t work at Michinoku’s speed.
Still, Lawler gives it a good effort by throwing a few dropkicks in the
early going, but the allure of the Memphis stall is too much to resist and the
match slows considerably in the middle.
Lawler hits the piledriver, but opts to go for a fist drop off the
second rope and eats a Michinoku Driver (!) before Christopher runs in for the
predictable disqualification. Rating:
Michinoku gets the better of Christopher and heel miscommunication allows
Michinoku to get away unscathed. The
crowd wasn’t into any of this.
1-900-747-4WWF to find out how D-Generation X almost started a riot over the
tell the announce team that their match with DX isn’t going to be pretty
Domination comes out and the Rock toots his own horn at the expense of Faarooq,
who wants to say a few words. The Rock
demands that Austin come out and he does, but Austin doesn’t have the
Intercontinental belt. He says he’ll
show the Rock later on what happened to his championship belt. The Rock gives him an hour to return him his
property or face some justice at the hands of the Nation.
“The Road Dogg” Jesse James (w/Billy Gunn) with Sweet Shin Music at 4:36:
team champions. Gunn does the
introduction mic work and is nowhere near James’ level. Ross tells Gunn that he and James should call
themselves “The New Age Outlaws” and Gunn says that’s a great idea, so now the
tag team champions will actually have a team name. In the middle of the match, Love undergoes a
small transformation into his other personas, as he puts James in the Mandible
Claw, rips some of his hair out, and screams “Bang, Bang!” Love captures another win, but takes a double
suplex by the entrance after the match and the Outlaws whip a referee into Love
to send him flying off the entrance platform.
That bump had to hurt because Love barely grazed the table set up to
cushion his fall on the way down. Rating:
defeats The Brooklyn Brawler via submission to a bearhug at 2:03:
ankle injury that put him on the shelf at the end of 1996. He looks as generic as you can be, with a
black shirt and black ring trunks. Ross
informs us during this squash that Steve Austin has left the arena with a WWF
highlights the growing tension between Shawn Michaels and Owen Hart.
hour Ross and Jim Cornette are in the booth.
warns Owen Hart that he is endangering the safety of ringside fans by attacking
Shawn Michaels through the crowd.
McMahon orders Owen to appear in the ring since he is still under
contract and Owen comes out of the crowd to a nice reaction. Owen curses McMahon and tells him that no one
is going to run him out of the WWF.
McMahon implies that Owen only cares about winning the WWF title, but
Owen just calls it a “piece of leather with tin on it” and swears that he will
make Michaels life a living hell.
McMahon has police come to the ring and tells Owen that he will come
through the entrance like every other WWF superstar next week and the police
escort Owen out through the crowd. One
of the top segments of Owen’s career, but like a lot of things in the Attitude
Era, this didn’t really lead to anything significant. It’s also somewhat eerie to watch in
1-900-RUMBLE-98 to register yourself in the Steve Austin pickup truck
contest! It’ll cost you $1.99 or you can
send a postcard to Devon, Pennsylvania.
revealing herself last week is shown.
The Sultan (w/The Iron Sheik) with a school boy after heel miscommunication at
turn a new leaf as a face, but didn’t really catch on. Brandi’s failure to make it in the WWF
surprised me because he seemed to have the type of look that the WWF
preferred. Brandi takes a big beating in
this match, but takes advantage of a miscue by the Sultan and chalks up the
upset. Rating: *¾
Marc Mero runs in and pounds Brandi down.
elapsed, the Nation of Domination comes back out as a video package recaps how
the Rock became the new Intercontinental champion on last week’s show. The Rock says that he and the Nation are
coming for the title belt, but Steve Austin appears on the Titantron and this
is the famous segment where he tosses the Intercontinental title belt off a
announces the beginning of the Attitude Era and that the audience is tired of
having its intelligence insulted and the simplistic “good guys versus bad
guys.” He does tell parents that they
should use discretion if they let their kids watch the Warzone.
beats Jose with a German suplex at 1:38:
small back story to this since the Boricuas interrupted a Blackman promo after
Survivor Series. Blackman decimates Jose
with martial arts moves and finishes him off in relatively short order.
Champion Shawn Michaels says he isn’t worried about Owen Hart and after a rock,
paper, and scissors game they come to the conclusion that Triple H will take
care of Owen. They also warn the Legion
of Doom that they are ready for them.
Tombstoning the Sultan on Shotgun Saturday Night is the Lazer Tag Slam of the
Doom beat “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels & Triple H (w/Chyna) by
disqualification when Chyna interferes at 7:40 shown:
clotheslines and Michaels and Triple H cheat to turn the tide. During the hot tag segment, the New Age
Outlaws run down to the ring and smother Hawk with ether, which allows DX to
pulverize Animal after Chyna gets into the ring and gives him a low blow. Rating: **
the Outlaws shave Hawk’s head and with DX’s help they powerbomb Animal from the
apron through the announce table. This
only gets a .4 on the Ross outrage meter, though.
the destruction of the Legion of Doom, the Austin bridge segment, and Owen’s
interaction with Vince headlining the show.
In a weird way, Austin’s popularity is putting Shawn Michaels title
reign in the same category as Bret Hart’s in 1995 whereby the main focus is on
his storylines and the WWF title is fading into the background. Still, D-Generation X is doing a great job
making fans hate them and wanting someone to put them in their place.
by Logan Scisco
of last week’s main event is shown.
Triple H didn’t get a three count after Shawn Michaels hit Ken Shamrock
with Rick Rude’s briefcase because Commissioner Slaughter broke up the count. In the chaos, Shamrock schoolboyed Michaels
and Slaughter counted to three and awarded him the victory. That’s some WCW-type booking there.
Cornette are in the booth and they are taped from an undisclosed location.
Champion Steve Austin comes out and the crowd gives him a “hell yeah” to beat
up Rocky Maivia. Austin goads Maivia to
come down, but Maivia sends the rest of the Nation of Domination. D-Lo Brown eats a Stunner, but all of that is
a distraction that allows Maivia to steal the Intercontinental belt. After that, Austin lets Ross know that he is
going to be around for the whole show to make sure that Maivia pays.
round match of the Karate Fighters Holiday Tournament, Sunny beats George and
Contest: Jerry “the King” Lawler
(w/Brian Christopher) beats Marc Mero (w/Sable) by disqualification when Sable
interferes at 4:41:
trying to avenge Brian Christopher’s defeat to Mero last month. Butterbean is back this week and Mero gets in
his face before the match. Christopher
continues a streak of being on commentary for the opening RAW match. Lawler and Mero box for while and that goes
as well for Lawler as you might expect and then Christopher tries to come onto
Sable at ringside. Mero isn’t happy
about that, but the distraction allows Lawler to hit a piledriver. Before the pin can be registered, though,
Sable delicately climbs in and breaks it up.
After the match, Mero gives Lawler a TKO and then berates Sable for
costing him the match. This is the first
match that Lawler has won in a while and while the wrestling wasn’t great, the
stuff that happened outside of the match was pretty well played. Rating: *
Montreal and interviews Vince McMahon about it.
This is where McMahon gives his famous account of the incident where he
says that he didn’t screw Bret Hart, but that “Bret Hart screwed Bret
Hart.” I remember being so confused
about this stuff as a kid, but I can appreciate this segment much more looking
back at it.
James & “Bad Ass” Billy Gunn defeat Savio Vega & Miguel Perez by
disqualification when Jesus & Jose interfere at 45 seconds:
and their attire, which they seemingly stole before the show went on the
air. Savio and Miguel attack James and
Gunn as they are making their offensive entrance, but before this really gets
going the other Boricuas interfere and they beat down James and Gunn.
hypes Ken Shamrock.
Triple H a belly-to-belly suplex is the Lazer Tag Slam of the Week.
be the guest referee for our next match.
Match: Max Mini, Mini Nova & Mini
Tauras wrestle El Torito, Tarantula & El Battalion to a no contest at 2:50:
legdrags to befuddle his opponents.
There’s lots of flipping and flying and Sunny has to leapfrog El
Torito. Suddenly the lights go out and
Kane comes down to the ring to a huge pop, but this isn’t a WrestleMania 2
incident since the minis flee the ring and hide behind the commentating team in
a funny spot. The Headbangers come to
the minis aid, but Kane doesn’t sell getting a boombox broken over his head and
each of the Headbangers eat a Tombstone.
If Kane had Tombstoned Max Mini this would’ve been a ***** segment.
introduces D-Generation X. This is a
notable segment because this is when Rude jumped to WCW, so he appeared on a
live episode of Monday Nitro and this taped episode, thereby becoming the only
superstar of the Monday Night Wars to appear on both shows on the same night if
you don’t include the simulcast that happened on the last edition of Nitro in
2001. Knowing this piece of trivia helped me win
tickets to a WWE house show a few years ago.
Cornette alludes to this on commentary by noting that Rude “gets
around.” Anyway, WWF Champion Shawn
Michaels says he can’t wait to beat up Bret Hart’s friends now that he has run
Bret out of the company and Triple H calls out Commissioner Slaughter. Triple H says DX makes the rules in the WWF
and insults Slaughter’s manhood. When
Slaughter attacks Helmsley, DX lays him out.
Championship Tournament First Round Match:
Scott Taylor pins Eric Shelley with a flying DDT at 5:26:
replaced in the tournament by Taylor with no reason given. Jeff Jarrett calls in during the show and
says he is going to return on RAW next week.
Shelley looks much better here than he did on a RAW earlier in the year,
but that might be because Taylor is dominating the action. If either of these guys had more build
heading in, the crowd would’ve been into what is a pretty proficient contest. Taylor advances and faces the winner of Flash
Flanagan-Brian Christopher in the semi-finals.
out with Sable and demands an interview.
Ross complies and Mero alleges that Butterbean is stalking Sable and
challenges him. Butterbean gets in the
ring and pushes Mero down, but WWF officials intervene before anything else
happens. Mero’s ring work deteriorated
significantly by this point, but he had great mic skills and did a great job playing
his character here.
Ross’s interview with Vince McMahon over Montreal is shown. McMahon says he would welcome Bret back to
the company, but they would have to sit down and have a clear understanding of
each other’s motivations. He says he’s
already over Montreal and that part of Bret will always be in the WWF and he’ll
remember the good times over the bad.
scheduled to take place, but Goldust comes out with Gerald Brisco and says that
he has medical documentation that he cannot compete. As Vader argues with Brisco over the
documentation, Goldust pulls an object that looks like a hammer out of his
sling and blasts Vader with it. Vader
quivers after the blow and sells it pretty well as Goldust marches off.
1-900-737-4WWF to hear all of the latest news and gossip!
Slaughter comes out and orders Triple H to face him at In Your House.
The Rock” Rocky Maivia (w/The Nation of Domination) by disqualification when
the Nation of Domination interfere at 4:49 shown:
non-title match is a hilarious bit, since he is sporting the belt he stole from
Steve Austin earlier in the show. This
is a standard TV main event, which is butchered by the commercial break. Maivia has such natural crowd heat in this
role that it is unreal. Love hits Sweet
Shin Music, but that triggers interference from the Nation. The Nation beats down Love until Steve Austin
comes out to help, but Maivia escapes with the title belt in the midst of the
chaos. Rating: **
from a business perspective and to hear some of McMahon’s arguments about
Montreal. I know that I criticized the
company for not diving into Montreal on their last show, but showing the
McMahon segments on this taped RAW was a stroke of genius because it gave fans
something to flip back to that was interesting and yet could not be
spoiled. The rest of the show was
effective in building up storylines for the next In Your House pay-per-view, as
Mero continues his spiral into being paranoid about Sable and Triple H is
strengthening his feud with Commissioner Slaughter. Enjoyable show for what it was.
highlights Steve Austin’s acts of defiance against WWF officials in recent
“the King” Lawler are in the booth and they are broadcasting from Muncie,
Intercontinental Championship Tournament First Round Contest: Ken Shamrock pins Faarooq with a
belly-to-belly suplex at 2:42:
submission skills against Faarooq’s power offense. Faarooq seems to have the match in hand after
a spinebuster and Shamrock starts bleeding from the mouth as a result of
“internal injuries,” but he surprises the leader of the Nation of Domination
with a belly-to-belly suplex and advances in the tournament.
the Nation of Domination pounds away on Shamrock, but the Legion of Doom run in
and make the save.
interview Steve Austin, who is in the parking lot. Austin says he does not care about Owen
Hart’s pledge of having a surprise for him tonight.
Exhibition: Taka Michinoku defeats El
Pantera with the Michinoku Driver at 3:56:
run in the WWF’s light heavyweight division in late 1997 and early 1998. This is his debut and he and Michinoku
exchange their high flying offenses, with the crowd firmly behind
Michinoku. Pantera nearly wins with a La
Magistral cradle, but Michinoku rebounds with a missile dropkick and wins with
the Michinoku Driver. Rating:
the Truth Commission and the Commandant says that Sniper and Recon are ready to
face the Legion of Doom tonight.
Doom defeat Sniper & Recon (w/The Commandant & The Interrogator) by
disqualification when the Interrogator interferes at 3:42:
since the Truth Commission seem like a plausible threat to the Legion of Doom
based on a recent string of victories.
Animal gets placed in peril for about ninety seconds and Hawk cleans
house when given the hot tag. The Legion
of Doom seem to have things in hand when Recon is given a Doomsday Device, but
the Interrogator delivers a bad leg drop to the back of Hawk’s head and draws
the disqualification. Just an average
match, but the crowd’s love of the Legion of Doom made this seem like a tag
team championship match. Rating:
the Legion of Doom cannot handle the Interrogator. Ken Shamrock comes out to even the odds, but
even he cannot make the Interrogator go down and the Nation of Domination rush
the ring to work with the Truth Commission and deliver a beat down.
be our guest ring announcer for the next bout.
Mr. Lucky defeat El Torito & Piratita Morgan when Mini finishes Torito with
a splash off the top rope at 6:52:
the match. The match functions under lucha libre rules, so when a man ends up
outside of the ring their partner can enter the match. Sunny gets bigger pops just sitting at ringside
than the match does, but it is not for a lack of trying as all of the
participants quickly move through their spots.
There are a group of high school upperclassmen and college age guys in
the front row and they are into everything tonight, rabidly cheering the heels
and getting on every single one of the heels.
This one runs too long, as there are only so many flips you can see in
rapid succession without getting bored, but it has a fun finish of Mini doing a
splash off the top rope. The other bonus
is that there are not any blown spots. Rating:
recaps the unfolding Brian Pillman-Goldust feud.
Championship First Round Match: Brian
Pillman (w/Marlena) defeats Dude Love by disqualification when Dustin Runnels runs
in at 4:45:
ring and the crowd greets her with “take it off” chants. Ross interviews Marlena before the bout and
she says that she just wants to go home and loves her family. Marlena tries to get away as the match
unfolds, but Pillman stops her. The
match is slow and plodding, somewhat reminiscent of the last time these two
faced each other on RAW. Love prepares
to nail Pillman with Sweet Shin Music, but Dustin Runnels, who is banned from
the arena, pops out of the crowd and beats on Pillman until WWF officials
intervene. This sets up an internal Hart
Foundation match in the semi-finals between Pillman and Owen Hart, if you can
even consider Pillman an active member of the Hart Foundation at this
point. Rating: *
Steve Austin and Lawler kisses up to him.
Austin warns the Hart Foundation that they have hell to pay and this
brings the Hart Foundation out with an attorney. Their attorney serves Austin with a temporary
restraining order keeping him 100 feet away from Owen. Lawler tries to egg Austin on and read the
restraining order over his shoulder and Austin gets annoyed and gives Lawler a
Stone Cold Stunner. This segment told a
great story, as Lawler thought he could “safely” interview Austin and show up
Vince McMahon and Jim Ross and failed spectacularly.
incapacitated, Jim Cornette comes out to do commentary for the rest of the show.
Owen Hart with a school boy at 7:35 shown:
match, but police officers carefully follow him according to the terms of the
restraining order. Owen’s technical
skill holds the match together and since the crowd is hot for Austin, they are
hot for Owen as a heel. The Patriot
seems to be moving more gingerly since Ground Zero, which is either because
injuries are starting to pile up or he is not as motivated. Owen kicks out of the Patriot Missile and
takes control of the match, but Austin comes through the crowd and distracts
Owen, which enables the Patriot to defeat another Hart with a school boy. This match was all Owen. Rating: **½
Owen demands that the police arrest Austin, but Austin escapes through the
Shawn Michaels, who comes out in short shorts.
Michaels says that he hopes to become the first Grand Slam champion in
WWF history when he faces the British Bulldog for the European title at One
Night Only. Michaels reiterates his
previous talking points of going down in a blaze of glory and how the WWF has
it out for him until the Undertaker appears on the Titantron speaking through a
fence. The Undertaker has a great,
albeit corny line to hype their match:
“two men enter and the Undertaker leaves with your soul.”
1-900-737-4WWF to see who Stone Cold Steve Austin wants to give a Stone Cold
Stunner to! It will cost you $1.49 a
minute. If people honestly called the
Superstar line for that information I have a bridge that I would like to sell
them in my hometown.
Headbangers at a Philadelphia Phillies game is shown. Mosh gave the Philly Fanatic a body slam,
which the Fanatic no sold.
Championship Match: The Headbangers
defeat Bret “the Hitman” Hart & The British Bulldog by disqualification
when the Bulldog uses an American flag as a weapon at 11:41 shown:
holders of the WWF tag team championships in history and I would have to agree
with that sentiment based on reviewing 1997.
The team rarely beat big opponents and did not have a memorable
angle. Long time fans remember the team,
but I cannot recall a single great match they had fifteen years later. Despite the tag titles being on the line,
Bret and the Bulldog do not display a sense of urgency to win the belts when
they put Mosh in peril. Bret even
delivers the worst second rope elbow drop that I have ever seen him perform, as
Mosh moves and Bret lands on his feet and then crumbles to the ground with the
rest of the move. Bret and the Bulldog
appear to win the titles when Mosh is pinned after a Bulldog running powerslam,
but Mosh is not the legal man. The
Bulldog proceeds to grab an American flag from a fan at ringside and attack the
Headbangers with it and that gets his team disqualified to prevent a “Canadian
gold rush” of the Hart Foundation holding all of the titles. So, as you can see, the WWF did not just book
champions poorly in the current era. A
really disappointing tag match as it did not look like Bret or the Bulldog
cared. Rating: *½
Vader and the Patriot attack Bret and the Bulldog and the show goes off the air
with Vader about to deliver a Vader Bomb to Bret.
main event, although you could consider this week an upgrade from the triple
threat debacle of the previous week.
While some of the wrestling, especially in the first hour, was good,
nothing stood out as must see television.
The WWF is in a really weird place right now with their booking since
Austin is on the shelf and the public is not into the Patriot as a serious
threat to Bret Hart. The Headbangers are
the tag team champions, but no one, including the booking team, are treating
them seriously. D-Generation X has not
been properly formed on-screen, although Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Shawn
Michaels have collaborated, so even the appeal of Michaels-Undertaker at Badd
Blood is simply “if you hate Shawn Michaels give us another $30 and see the Undertaker
beat him up again!” Overall, this is
just an average outing as the company heads into One Night Only, which I will review
by Logan Scisco
Jim Ross are in the booth and they are live from Evansville, Indiana.
Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels, who come out separately and to explosive
reactions (although Austin’s is far bigger).
Ross obviously asks if they can co-exist and both men say yes because
they don’t like the Hart Foundation. The
Legion of Doom, who are penciled into the first match on tonight’s show, come
out to confront the challengers for the tag team champions and get a promise of
a title match.
Contest: The Legion of Doom defeat Jim “The
Anvil” Neidhart & Brian Pillman (w/The Hart Foundation) by disqualification
when Owen Hart & The British Bulldog interfere at 4:23:
first match on RAW. You can tell Pillman
just isn’t the same on his reconstructed ankle, as his movements are not as
fluid around the ring. The match is
rather messy, as Hawk nearly sends Pillman back to the hospital after a botched
gorilla press slam and Animal and Pillman collide at a high speed when Pillman
doesn’t go over the top rope on a clothesline.
The LOD are set to win by setting up Pillman for a Doomsday Device, but
the tag team champions run in and cause a disqualification. Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels show up to
save the day, but when the Hart Foundation flees, Michaels inadvertently
catches Austin with a baseball slide and they brawl as WWF officials try to
break them up. The crowd was hot for the
LOD, but this match was terrible when you think of the experienced hands that
were putting it together. I would’ve
fired all four men for another lousy effort like this, but the crowds loved
seeing the LOD regardless of their faults.
looks like a completely new man without the funeral parlor makeup, is shown
looking at his watch backstage. Bearer
tells McMahon and Ross that he left his secret in a safe deposit box with an
attorney and the attorney has the only key.
Bearer says he’s not the same man and he’ll reveal the Undertaker’s
secret if he doesn’t return to him tonight.
I’d easily argue that this angle was Bearer’s best work in his WWF
Nation of Domination) defeats Bob “Spark Plugg” Holly with a powerbomb counter
of a hurricanrana at 3:09:
competitors in the Nation of Domination to four. Holly is coming off an upset victory over
Owen Hart last week and it was actually a big deal to beat the champion in a
non-title match back in 1997. Faarooq
does guest commentary for this match and he implies that McMahon is a
racist. This match is really a vehicle
for Faarooq to rant about how this match is what viewers want to see since a
black man is facing a white man. D-Lo
acquits himself well in this contest, which is a glorified squash. Even if it lost momentum near the end, the
crowd liked the finishing spot. Rating:
says he has to make a decision tonight.
a very controversial promo, which you can find on YouTube today, where he says
that Dusty Rhodes doesn’t like his son because Dustin married a “gold digger
from Georgia”, dressed like a “fag”, and says that Dustin’s daughter should be
married “Target” because everyone in Georgia “had a shot at it.” You can tell by McMahon’s voice that he’s not
very happy Lawler dropped so many controversial lines during the non-Warzone
part of the show.
to get your King of the Ring inflatable chair for $59.99 (plus $11 for shipping
& handling)! $60 for an inflatable
chair? Interestingly enough, it looks like
Buh Buh Ray Dudley is involved in the commercial as an extra.
First Round Match: Jerry “the King”
Lawler defeats Goldust (w/Marlena) with the Flair pin at 5:20:
Evansville was a territory for the USWA.
He also gets some loud chants from the crowd, which is the first time
that you have seen Lawler get that type of crowd support in his WWF
tenure. The fact that Lawler is in the
tournament shows how weak this year’s field is.
In a nice piece of continuity, the announce team shows footage of Lawler
confronting Goldust about his sexuality in December 1996 which began Goldust’s
face turn. Goldust no sells the
piledriver, thereby offending all of the USWA fans in attendance, and he gives
the move to Lawler to draw some boos.
The match is a poor brawl, but the crowd enhances it a lot by reacting
big to everything Lawler does. After the
match, Goldust attacks Lawler and sends him down the ramp with a right
hand. Rating: *½
Austin what he thinks the chances are that he and Shawn Michaels win the tag
team titles tonight, but before Austin can respond he’s attacked by Brian
Pillman, Owen Hart, and the British Bulldog.
from commercial break, Austin goes to Shawn Michaels locker room and argues
with him. Supposedly Michaels was also
attacked and he complains that Austin was not watching his back.
Maivia defeats Flash Funk with a flying body press at 3:33:
because they are engaged in prolonged losing streaks. During the match, the Headbangers come out of
the crowd with some of the inflatable King of the Ring chairs and they sit in
them and do guest commentary. After Funk
hits Maivia with a pescado, the Headbangers go over and attack them for some
reason. For another reason, the match is
not thrown out by the referee and during the fighting, Mosh hits Funk over the
head with a boom box and Maivia catches Funk with a flying body press for the
victory. After the match, Funk and
Maivia shake hands and threaten revenge.
I don’t think a tag team between these two is the answer to Maivia’s
problems. Rating: *
part of Mankind’s interview with Jim Ross is shown and he talks about not
wearing a protective cup and how he was harmed by it.
victory over a jobber with a neckbreaker on Shotgun Saturday Night is our Sega
Saturn Slam of the Week.
Hart Foundation hype the match Bret has with Shawn Michaels at the King of the
Ring. I’m interested to see what the
booking of this match would have been like if it had gone according to plan. Pillman says that he’s going to tear Austin
apart at the King of the Ring and the British Bulldog and Owen Hart make it
known that they are not losing the tag team titles tonight.
out to do commentary for our next match.
Replacement Match: Ahmed Johnson defeats
Vader with a spinebuster at 3:04:
caliber match a year earlier but the stock of both men has fallen significantly
in 1997. The interesting stipulation for
this match is that Vader challenged Ahmed for his spot in the King of the Ring
semi-finals since he was not cleared to compete last week. Therefore, if Ahmed loses then Vader will
face Hunter Hearst Helmsley in the King of the Ring semi-finals. A match between these two was a King of the
Ring first round match a year prior as well and Vader won that match with
outside interference. Predictably, this
match is a brawl as both men deliver some haymakers to each other, but Vader is
ill-advised to charge Ahmed in the center of the and ring and loses. This was too abbreviated a match to really
mean anything. Rating: *¼
headed into the Nation of Domination?
Call 1-900-737-4WWF to find out!
that the Undertaker is running out of days to keep his secret safe.
Helmsley (w/Chyna) defeats Rockabilly (w/The Honky Tonk Man) with a Pedigree at
scored a few victories the last couple of weeks against the “The Real Double J”
Jesse James and Goldust. The real star
of this match is Chyna, as she pulls Rockabilly off of Helmsley after a Rocker
dropper and bodyslams the Honky Tonk Man when he tries to hit Helmsley with a
guitar. Helmsley achieves a somewhat
clean victory, but the only reason anyone was taking note of him at this stage
of his career was because of the mystique Chyna created for him. Rating: *¾
tells McMahon that life is about making decisions you don’t want to and the
Undertaker tells Bearer to do what he has to do and that he will do what he has
King of the Ring inflatable chair.
the second portion of Mankind’s interview with Jim Ross is shown. This interview sees Mankind discuss seeing
Jimmy Snuka splash Don Muraco from the top of a cage in Madison Square Garden
in 1983 and the Dude Love character.
Championship Match: “Stone Cold” Steve
Austin & “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels defeat The British Bulldog
& Owen Hart (Champions w/The Hart Foundation) when Austin pins the Bulldog
after Michaels hits Sweet Chin Music at 10:24 shown:
Legion of Doom in a title match next week if they capture the belts here. It’s always entertaining to see Michaels, the
Bulldog, and Owen bouncing all over the ring and that’s what happens in the
opening moments of this match when the challengers take it to the
champions. The Bulldog crotches Michaels
on the ropes to turn the tide, which draws a great reaction of despair from
Austin, and Austin saves the match by breaking up pins from a Bulldog running
powerslam and an Owen belly-to-belly suplex.
All of the tricks of a great tag match are employed here, which include
the false tag or situations where the challengers have the champions pinned but
the referee is not in position to make a count.
The pace of this match is also insane, as everyone is working 100 miles per
hour to get everything in. They do a
creative end to the all hell breaks loose finish as Owen goes to his corner and
Michaels feigns that he is going to, but blasts the Bulldog with Sweet Chin
Music for good measure. A great tag team
match that was a nice way to end Owen and the Bulldog’s seven months of
dominance in the tag team division. I
would have liked a few more false finishes, but everyone was firing on all
cylinders in this one and the crowd with it from beginning to end. Rating: ****¼
don’t get much time to celebrate as the rest of the Hart Foundation attacks
them. Bret stays on the ramp, but Austin
goes after him and his surgically repaired knee as Michaels endures a
four-on-one beating. Eventually the Hart
Foundation divots to save Bret and Austin gets away.
Bulldog argue in the locker room, with Austin insisting that he won the tag
team titles by himself.
out to be interviewed by Vince McMahon.
Bearer says there were three graves in the cemetery when the Undertaker’s
parents were buried and the Undertaker comes out before Bearer can talk
anymore. The Undertaker says that he
hates Bearer and regrets what he must do to him tonight. The Undertaker begins to choke Bearer out,
but based on what Bearer is telling him he lets him go and seemingly bows down
to him as the show plays out.
come off very well and the tag team title match in the main event easily
warrants a thumbs up rating. The ending
of the show with Bearer and the Undertaker was also well done and helps
establish more momentum for that storyline in the weeks ahead. This is definitely one of the best RAW
episodes of 1997.