What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw – November 24, 1997

by Logan Scisco
Jim Ross and Jim
Cornette are in the booth and they are live from Fayetteville, North Carolina
.
Harvey Wippleman
comes out, billed as “Handsome” Harvey, to Rick Rude’s theme music as Ross and
Cornette make jabs at Rude.  Wippleman
welcomes out D-Generation X, but WWF Champion Shawn Michaels pushes him down,
says he’s not hard to replace, and runs him out of the ring.  Michaels feigns like he cares about what
happened at Montreal and says he and Bret are going to patch up their
differences later tonight.  You know, if
you ran this together with when Bret actually returned to the company it would
make perfect sense.

Opening WWF Tag
Team Championship Contest:  “Road Dogg”
Jesse James & “Bad Ass” Billy Gunn defeat The Legion of Doom (Champions) to
win the titles when Gunn pins Animal with a victory roll at 6:23 shown:
James and Gunn come out with LOD shoulder pads and mock
their age, which creates a brawl on the ramp before the match.  Since James and Gunn are finally facing the
only team in the division with any heat, the crowd is buzzing for this
encounter.  James and Gunn do a great job
keeping Hawk in peril, working a false tag spot and a spot where Gunn keeps
Animal off the apron so Hawk cannot tag out. 
The referee gets bumped on an Animal shoulder block and doesn’t see the
James smack Animal in the back with a chair when Gunn is set up for a Doomsday
Device.  James and Gunn score the upset
when a second referee counts the fall. 
It’s really strange to see that finish work in the heel’s favor.  The crowd is in shock over the result as the
Legion of Doom’s last tag title reign in a major promotion comes to an
end.  The new champions quickly run to a
car in the parking lot and speed away, although they almost smash into a limo pulling
into the arena while doing so.  Rating: 
**
In a Karate
Fighters Holiday Tournament semi-final, Sunny beats Shrimp Scampy, who is
fawning over her instead of focused on his Karate Fighter.
The white limo
that Jesse James & Billy Gunn nearly T-boned earlier is shown.  Is Bret Hart inside?
Goldust comes out
in a wheelchair, pushed by a nurse. 
Michael Cole interviews him and Goldust claims that he is now a
quadriplegic.  Goldust has this role down
pat, as he has Cole cross his legs and put a blanket over him and then thanks
the fans for their support.  Vader comes
out and threatens to make Goldust a permanent part of the wheelchair, but when
he goes after him, the nurse, who reveals herself as Luna Vachon, sprays
alcohol in Vader’s eye and Goldust gets out of the wheelchair and attacks
him.  This was great stuff.
A video package
recaps the Triple H-Commissioner Slaughter feud
.
Cole interviews
Slaughter, who receives more boos than cheers. 
Slaughter puts his Sergeant Slaughter hat on and turns into the Sergeant
character.  Slaughter announces that his
match against Triple H will be a boot camp match, which he says we can consult
the Iron Sheik about if we don’t know what it is, but that conjures up bad mental
images.  A completely over the top promo,
but it’s so campy that it’s entertaining and it made me want to see the match,
regardless of how bad it’s probably going to be.
Light Heavyweight
Championship Tournament First Round Match: 
“Too Sexy” Brian Christopher (w/Jerry Lawler) defeats Flash Flanagan
with a Tennessee Jam at 3:32:
Flanagan gets the jobber entrance and when he hits a
somersault plancha we don’t get to see it until a replay.  See, that’s the problem with this
tournament.  Aside from Taka Michinoku
and Brian Christopher we haven’t seen these guys, so why should we take them
seriously?  Christopher busts out a
sunset flip-style powerbomb from the ring to the arena floor and from that
point on he squashes Flanagan, so there’s not really a point in rating this.
Call 1-900-737-4WWF
to find out why Vince McMahon isn’t on commentary and what pending legal
litigation he is dealing with.
A new video
entrance and song plays us into the second hour of the show.  Jerry Lawler also replaces Cornette in the
booth.
D-Generation X
comes out and Triple H says that he isn’t scared of Sergeant Slaughter.  Instead of having a meeting between Shawn
Michaels and Bret Hart, as promised at the top of the hour, DX brings out a
Bret Hart midget and humiliates it.  Now,
you can take this segment seriously and rant about how bad it was.  However, I just take it in stride with DX’s
juvenile gimmick and found it funny. 
After all, if you thought Bret was showing up on this show I’ve got a
bridge to sell you in my hometown.
Jim Neidhart comes
out and threatens DX, but Michaels holds him off by massaging his ego and how
he was the best part of the Hart Foundation. 
Michaels offers him a spot in DX, an offer that expires at the end of
the show.
Footage of Steve
Austin having supper with a fan who won the Survivor Series Super Supper
Sweepstakes is shown.
A video package
hypes Butterbean, who will face Marc Mero in a four round “tough man” match at
In Your House.
Ken Shamrock
beats Savio Vega via submission to the ankle lock at 5:18:
Savio, the winner of the “gang wars” feud, never got much
of a boost out of it as the Los Boricuas stable never caught on and sunk his
WWF career.  Savio controls most of the
match, which is enough to put you to sleep, but Shamrock eventually snaps and
wins.  Ross says that this shows Shamrock
is getting more dominant, but if you are struggling against Savio Vega at this
stage of his career then I don’t see how you can say that about yourself.  Rating:  ½*
Steve Austin shows
up in his Austin 3:16 pickup truck
.
Cole interviews
the Nation of Domination and at this point based on the booking and scheduling
of interview time it is clear that the Rock is the focal point of the
group.  This is an important interview
because it is where the Rock found his character.  He starts referring to himself in the third
person, refers to himself as “The Rock” consistently, and calls himself the
“People’s champion.”  As the Rock cuts
his promo, lights cut on and off and “Rocky sucks” appears on the Titantron to
help the fans chant along.  Steve Austin
appears on the Titantron and is playing with stuff in the production truck and
warns the Rock that when “3:16” appeared on his beeper (remember those?) that
he’s in trouble, but see, it is actually a taped segment.  Austin appears through the crowd and in a
nice touch, the Rock checks his beeper and gets big eyes, and Austin attacks him
and clears the ring with a chair to end a great segment.  The heat for this feud is nuclear and Vince
had to be smiling ear to ear.
Jeff Jarrett is
backstage complaining about his locker room, water, and food.  He also complains about his opponent, Chainz
(it’s actually Crush), and says he is not wrestling until Vince McMahon lives
up to his contractual obligations.  Crush
wins the match by forfeit, but Kane comes out and destroys him in short
order.  This was Crush’s WWF swan
song.  Gerald Brisco accidentally bumps
into Kane and gets chokeslammed too.
Non-Title
Match:  “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn
Michaels (WWF & European Champion w/D-Generation X) beats Vader with two
Sweet Chin Music’s at 2:38 shown:
Vader is wrestling with one eye because of the alcohol
attack earlier in the show. Before the match, Michaels announces Jim Neidhart
as the newest member of DX.  After the commercial
break, we join this in progress and Vader manhandles Michaels, even when DX
interferes behind the referee’s back. 
Vader goes for a Vader Bomb, but Triple H throws hot coffee into Vader’s
good eye and Michaels wins this one in short order.  I won’t say that this made Vader look weak by
any means, but I hate short matches like this when it comes to using your top
talent.  It does show you how good DX
were at the heel role in that I hated their actions in this match over fifteen
years later.
After the match,
Neidhart poses with Michaels and Triple H, but Chyna gives him a low blow and a
beat down results.
The Final Report Card:  Despite the limited match lineup, the show
did a great job getting over the major players and the Austin-Rock segment was
the highlight of the show.  A very
entertaining two hours of television, although I will readily concede that part
of that entertainment was at Rick Rude and Bret Hart’s expense.
Monday Night War Rating:  3.0 (vs. 3.9 for Nitro)

Show Evaluation:  Thumbs Up