Raw is War Recap (03.17.97)

WWF Raw is War
March 17, 1997
Syracuse, NY
War Memorial Auditorium

LIVE!

The current WWF champs were as follows:
World Champion: Psycho Sid (2/17/1997)
Intercontinental Champion: Rocky Maivia (2/13/1997)
European Champion: Davey Boy Smith (3/3/1997)
World Tag Team Champions: Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith (9/22/1996)

HOUR NUMBER ONE! Your hosts are Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, and Jerry Lawler.

  • The Legion of Doom vs. Savio Vega & Crush (w/the NOD)

If Faarooq is banned from ringside, then how is he ‘inconspicuous by his absence’ Vince? Also, Ahmed Johnson is not allowed out here either because this feud is just getting too intense when they can all just wait and fight each other in six days at WrestleMania. LOD meet Savio and Crush in the aisle way for a big long beat-em-up brawl. While Animal handles Crush inside the ring, Savio bounces Hawk’s head off the announce table. Even though he’s barred from ringside, it doesn’t mean we can’t communicate with the guy. Ahmed Johnson shows up on the split-screen in his AJ jacket. Apparently he’s gone into Charlie Manson mode. In other words, he’s CRAZY. Back to the match, Savio delivers a piledriver to Hawk, but YOU CAN’T GIVE HAWK A PILEDRIVER. Faarooq appears on the split-screen and talks to Vince. He speaks ebonics so that Ahmed can understand him. When you look up ‘street’, you see Faarooq’s name by it. Look it up where, Faarooq? A dictionary, maybe? They show us a clip from last night in MSG where Ahmed got beat down again by the Nation of Domination and nobody came to his aid. As Hawk mounts a comeback on Crush, we take a commercial break. When we return, Savio hits Hawk in the corner with a SPINNING HEEL KICK. Animal gets drawn in, but naturally that doesn’t help Hawk at all. We see that Faarooq has left his post, but Ahmed is still in the same spot watching on the monitor. Isn’t he concerned that Faarooq is now loose? Nope, he’s going to keep his eye on his crew as they get ready for WrestleMania. And what a shocker! Faarooq decks Ahmed from behind with a nightstick and nails him a few times before giving him the bad mouth. Here comes the zebra shirts to hopefully restrain Faarooq. Oh yeah, there’s a match going on. Animal powerslams and clotheslines these two from the NOD. As they set up Savio Vega for the DOOMSDAY DEVICE, here comes Faarooq to whack Animal in the back with his nightstick for the DQ. (7:25 shown) Hey pal, you are BARRED from ringside! Clearly the Legion of Doom are outnumbered by the Nation of Domination until Ahmed Johnson runs out with a 2×4 to clean house. Sheesh, when did the Big Bossman and Hacksaw Jim Duggan come back as two black dudes? While Faarooq, Savio, Crush, and D’Lo appear all out of sorts around ringside, PG-13 takes the brunt of the punishment as JC Ice takes the PEARL RIVER PLUNGE and Wolfie D gets turned inside out with the DOOMSDAY DEVICE. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m actually looking forward to this Chicago Street Fight. *½

The 1997 Slammy Awards airs Friday March 21 at 11PM on the USA Network! The nominees for the Larry Flynt Freedom of Speech award are Jerry Lawler, Paul E. Dangerously, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Howard Stern (?!?!), and Faarooq. Cast your vote now on America Online!

Back to the show, Vince announces that there is a rumor going around as to whether or not the steel cage match between the WWF champ Psycho Sid and Bret Hart that is scheduled for tonight will actually be a title match. The president of the WWF Gorilla Monsoon will hopefully shed some light on this situation at some point tonight. Speaking of rumors, Jerry Lawler has heard that Shawn Michaels is on his way to the arena. Speaking of not rumors, Steve Austin is here – TONIGHT! That’s not good news, says Vince.

  • Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/Chyna) vs. Flash Funk

They show us every appearance of Chyna to date – from choking out Marlena to literally throwing referees around last week. JR mentions that the Funkettes just might be performing this Friday night at the Slammy awards. Oh, goody! Chyna won’t leave the ring when she’s asked. HHH shoves Flash Funk back and then Chyna stands in front of HHH. Better calm down. You can’t hit a woman, Flash! Not even women who look like men. HHH delivers an armdrag and bows, but then Funk cartwheels away from a whip into the ropes and flips HHH over with his legs when a kick gets caught. Flash clotheslines HHH to the floor and tries a baseball slide, but HHH sidesteps the slide and clotheslines Flash down. Back inside, HHH telegraphs a backdrop, but catches Funk in mid-air trying a leapfrog and dangerously drops back with an electric chair drop. Suplex sets up a knee drop while Vince hypes La Femme Nikita! Flash wins a slugfest and hits a backdrop. The comeback leads to a Guillotine Legdrop for 1-2-NO! Chyna grabs Funk’s ankle to pull him off the pin. Here comes Helmsley from behind with a sloppy German suplex for two. Hunter heads up top, but flies down into a boot. That gets two. Funk calls for the FUNKY FLASH SPLASH, but Chyna gets up on the apron. While he’s distracted, Helmsley comes over and spins Funk around for the kick and the PEDIGREE. Cover, 1-2-3. (5:49) Fundamentally sound, but just a tad messy. Afterwards, Chyna holds Flash while HHH gets in a few more shots. She even delivers a good swift kick before the guys in the zebra shirts make them leave. *

Ladies and gentlemen, Shawn Michaels has just entered the building!

  • Mini Goldust & Mascarita Sagrada Jr. vs. Mini Mankind & Mini Vader

The WWF holds a press conference in New Jersey to announce the death of a tax bill. Wrestling can now come back to the Garden State and East Rutherford NJ will be host to SummerSlam 1997. In the WWF, it pays to be vertically challenged. Mini Goldust looks like a twelve year old boy, but he’s probably not really twelve. Sagrada gets a hot tag and Mankind oversells the heck out of everything. Vader runs in with a little big boot, but Goldust gets a tag. They go to the floor where Goldust delivers a CANNONBALL dive off the apron. Back inside, Sagrada catches Mini Mankind with a victory roll for the win. (2:58) What is Vince’s deal with midgets? I just don’t get it. Afterwards, Sagrada shoves Vader off the rampway and delivers a crazy dive to the floor. ½*

WWF President Gorilla Monsoon joins us from backstage with the big announcement concerning tonight’s cage match. Will it be for the WWF title? Monsoon believes Bret Hart deserves a fair rematch where no one can screw him out of the title, so he confirms the WWF title will be on the line. When Vince asks Gorilla if this is unfair to the Undertaker who will be meeting the WWF champ Psycho Sid in six days at WrestleMania, Monsoon sticks by Bret’s side. Nevertheless, the decision is final. Sid-Bret for the WWF title in a steel cage – TONIGHT!

After the break, Bret Hart heads out for a quick response to Gorilla Monsoon’s confirmation. Tonight, Bret says he’s looking to change the face of WrestleMania 13 by winning the WWF title for a fifth time as he squares off against Stone Cold Steve Austin in the submission match. He will win back the title tonight and he doesn’t care whether the Undertaker likes it or not. There’s a new saying in the WWF: you scratch my back, and I’ll stab yours. He can get his title shot, but he has to get in line just like everybody else. As for WrestleMania, Bret says he’s going to put together every interaction he’s had with Stone Cold Steve Austin and use all of that aggression against him. The pain he plans to inflict is going to be so bad, Austin won’t even be able to scream that he gives up. Oh and about Ken Shamrock, Bret says he has respect for him and the reputation that proceeds him. He just wants Shamrock to call it right down the middle and for him to get close enough to Austin so he can hear him give up. Before he’s even won back the WWF title, Bret is already looking forward to a nice and long run as the WWF champion. Everybody can get in line, because everyone in the WWF will get a chance to prove themselves against the Excellence of Execution who is also the best there is, best there was, and without a shadow of a doubt the best there ever will be. Thank you and have a great evening. Quite the split crowd here.

Buy the WrestleMania 13 hockey jersey for $70! Buy the WrestleMania 13 black denim jacket too for $100! And they seriously want to make fun of WCW on their DVDs for doing the exact same thing for the nWo? Give me a break.

  • The Sultan (w/The Iron Sheik & Bob Backlund) vs. Mike Bell

The WWF IC champ Rocky Maivia joins our esteemed commentators for this next match. Sultan gets a shot at the IC title at WrestleMania. He rips Mike Bell a new one with a corner splash and a piledriver. After a flying splash, Sultan makes Bell give up to the CAMEL CLUTCH as he points over at Rocky. (1:00) They go face to face after the match is over. Rocky takes off the headset because he wants to get it on right here and now. Tony Atlas jumps the rail and restrains Rocky while the Sultan continues to stare. The dude has a staring problem! That’s got to be what this whole feud is about.

Shawn Michaels is waiting to speak to us backstage. BRB!

HOUR NUMBER TWO! Hit that WARZONE intro which is the same as the RAW intro! It’s now 10PM EST.

Nevermind, here comes Shawn Michaels out to the ring. I’d stay out of the clubs tonight while you’re in town if I were you, Shawn. He informs us that he has found his smile again back home in San Antonio. Now he’s taking it with him wherever he goes. C’mon Shawn, how do you lose your mouth? That doesn’t even make sense. He thanks all his fans for their support during this “trying time”. How’s the injured knee? He’s going to go see Doc Andrews down in Birmingham to see how things are going. Shawn hopes to be back in the ring in a couple months. When he returns, the clothes are coming off one way or another. WHAT. Shawn has a bone to pick with Vince. He’s upset that Vince never called him to be at WrestleMania. How can you have a WrestleMania without HBK? He ends up inviting himself to the show AND says that he will be sitting beside Vince at the commentary table during the Sid-UT WWF title match. Shawn didn’t get an invitation to the Slammy awards either, even though he’s up for a few awards. He’s got some face to spill (space to fill?) in his new home and he wants to fill it up with Slammy awards.

In the back, the Undertaker turns over one of the blue cage walls in a form of protest to Gorilla’s decision. That man has ATTITUDE! He gets it.

  • WWF European Champion Davey Boy Smith (w/Owen Hart) vs. Vader (w/Paul Bearer & Mankind)

Owen tries holding up the European belt as he basically considers himself a co-champion. Yeah RIGHT. Vader owns Bulldog to start with forearms in the corner followed by a big body attack. Short-arm clothesline, but Davey Boy won’t go down. Vader tries a second one and DBS stands up to him again. Vader NO-SELLS a couple shoulderblocks, but Davey Boy puts him down on the third one. HOLY CRAP. Bulldog follows up with the Hourglass Suplex. A clothesline puts Vader on the floor as we go to break. When we come back, Vader is back in the ring and splashing Davey Boy from the second rope for 1-2-NO! Sunset flip fails, but DBS avoids Vader sitting on him. Crossbody gets two. He tries the Crucifix which beat Vader at BEACH BLAST 93, but Vader falls back to crush the Bulldog. Splash gets two. Vader connects with a Body Attack off the second rope. A short-arm clothesline puts DBS down for real this time. He tries another dive from the second rope, but Bulldog catches him in mid-air for a powerslam. HERE COMES BULLDOG! He delivers a series of clotheslines and when Vader reverses a corner whip and tries a splash, DBS catches him and gives Vader what he could of a slam. Bulldog picks Vader up this time for the RUNNING POWERSLAM, but Mankind grabs hold of Vader’s legs to prevent the slam from happening. DQ! (5:54 shown) You know it’s almost time for a PPV with all these dirty finishes tonight. Afterwards, Owen gets doubled-teamed, but Bulldog takes the urn away from Paul Bearer and decks both Vader and Mankind to get them to stop. Fun little match. **

The 1997 Slammy Awards airs Friday March 21 at 11PM on the USA Network! The nominees for the Best Bow Tie award are Bob Backlund, Pee Wee Herman, Clarence Mason, Louis Farrakhan (a joke that would never be made today), and Yokozuna (the one he had on his butt, not a bow tie around his neck). Cast your vote now on America Online!

  • Billy Gunn vs. Aaron Ferguson

Ken Shamrock – the former UFC fighter and former World’s Most Dangerous Man who will be refereeing the Bret-Austin submission match at WrestleMania – joins us for commentary. Gunn seems more interested in getting Shamrock’s attention than beating up poor Ferguson. Gunn applies a cross armbreaker to get the win. (2:01) Afterwards, Billy Gunn challenges Ken Shamrock to a match right now. When Shamrock gives in and enters the ring, he gets into a shoot wrestling stance and Gunn starts to mock him. Once they lock up, Shamrock brings Gunn down into a Fujiwara armbar. Shamrock lets him go, which Gunn calls a lucky takedown. During a second lock up and out of a standing switch, Shamrock escapes the waistlock into the ANKLELOCK. After Shamrock releases the hold, he informs that Billy Gunn that he COULD have broke his ankle and didn’t. Gunn resorts to rasslin techniques and threatens Shamrock with a chair, but then decides to fight another day. As he heads back up the ramp, Gunn tells Shamrock that this isn’t over. This was great and if TNA ever brings in UFC talent again since they are both on Spike TV, Vince Russo or whoever should look back on these early Ken Shamrock appearances on how to book shoot fighters in their kind of environment.

Hey look! It’s Stone Cold Steve Austin on the Titantron! Vince asks him if he is impressed by what Ken Shamrock did to Billy Gunn just now. He ain’t impressed because Billy Gunn just got done with a grueling match and Shamrock took advantage of the situation. HA! Austin calls Shamrock overrated and a big piece of trash. One of these days, Austin says he’ll take on Ken Shamrock and beat the heck out of him. By the way, Shamrock is standing on the ring apron watching Austin saying all of this. Next question, why are you here tonight, Mr. Austin? That’s a jackass question, son. Since he’s the King of the Ring, no one can tell him not to be here. He’s very happy that Bret Hart is getting the WWF title shot tonight because when he wins and WrestleMania is over, Stone Cold Steve Austin will be the *NEW* WWF champion. He will beat the heck out of Bret and that’s the bottom line because you’re looking at the new champ. Lawler – “Testify!”

Let’s hear what the current WWF champ Psycho Sid has to say while the production crew set up the blue steel cage. Sid says he’s ready for this match and warns Stone Cold that he better stay out of this match, because you would have to be a complete idiot to not know what Austin has planned for tonight. Lucky for Sid, he’s only three-quarters an idiot. Sid says he will powerbomb Bret through the ring to the floor because he is the man, the master, and the ruler of the WORLD.

  • WWF World Champion Psycho Sid vs. Bret Hart – Cage Match

Lots of suspense surrounding this match. Bret corners Sid early and pounds away. He tries a quick escape over the cage wall, but Sid slams his leg into the cage to bring him back down. Sid runs Bret into the cage a couple times and tries to climb out himself. Bret meets him on the top rope and takes Sid back to the mat. Bret tries another quick escape, but gets slammed down off the top turnbuckle. Sid tries to walk out, but Bret grabs a leg and here comes Stone Cold Steve Austin to keep the door shut! Commercials. When we return, Sid reverses a corner whip and delivers the POWERBOMB. Since Austin has kept the door shut, Sid tries climbing out again. Too bad Austin is much quicker than Sid, as he climbs up the cage and trades punches with Sid until Bret is able to meet them both at the top. Wait a minute, here comes the Undertaker, who has a guaranteed WWF title shot at WrestleMania hanging in the balance. He brings Austin down off the cage while Bret gives Sid a superplex. Meanwhile at ringside, Austin hits Taker over the back with a chair and stomps a mudhole in him. A bunch of refs head down to escort Austin backstage. Back in the ring, Sid begins to climb over the cage wall as Bret heads for the door, but the Undertaker is right there to slam the door on him while Sid makes it over the cage wall and both his feet touch the floor to give Sid the win. (7:59 shown) So it’s still Sid against Taker for the WWF title at WrestleMania, and Bret taking on Austin in a non-title submission match. There was a lot of extracurricular stuff happening, but it all made sense and intertwined. Just great booking. **½

After the break, Vince McMahon goes into the ring to speak with a visibly frustrated Bret Hart as the ring crew start to take down the cage. Bret shoves Vince away and proceeds to cut a profanity laced promo about how everybody in the WWF is screwing him. Nobody in the building cares, nobody in the dressing room cares, and he’s had up to HERE (his forehead) with all the injustice. Everybody knows that Bret Hart should be the WWF champion and everybody knows that he’s the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be. Vince McMahon who is now standing at ringside looking extremely disappointed in Bret’s comments. If you don’t like it, tough poop. JR apologizes for everything Bret has just said. Meanwhile, Stone Cold Steve Austin shows up on the Titantron and tells Bret that he tried to help him win back the WWF title, but Bret threw it all away because Bret’s a LOSER. Bret is SUPER pissed and demands that Austin come out and face him right now. He brings up Sid who comes back out and points a finger in Bret’s face. Undertaker heads down to the ring as well, but Bret sees him coming and flies through the ropes with a suicide dive out on top of UT. Out comes Austin, who goes after Bret while UT and Sid trade blows inside the ring. Security can’t possibly keep these four apart. Shawn Michaels heads out to get a closer look. He doesn’t say a word or throw a punch, but for some reason arms himself with a steel chair as we fade to black.

Easily one of the best endings to a Monday Night Raw ever as finally Bret turns full-blown heel with Stone Cold Steve Austin slowly becoming the hero, but the end of this show is also why we now have a seven second delay to prevent this amount of profanity from ever airing without censorship on live television.

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Posted on June 20, 2011, in WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. In my opinion, Raw was at its best in 1997. They had an excellent combination of great wrestlers and gimmicks, a great booking team mixed with Vince Russo and his state-of-the-art ideas (even though one could say he got them from ECW) with Vince McMahon whose a good a filler and also Jim Cornette whose a great old school philosophy booker. Watching these Raws show how formulaic and snail paced Raw is these days.

  2. Nothing was done half-way. Everything felt real and passionate, which is an emotion that this generation is lacking for one reason or another.

  3. Technically hitman didnt turn full blown heel till the raw episode after wrestlemania, This was a rant to the WWF administrators and fellow wrestlers not to the fans as such although their were people who were starting to boo him. The fans still cheered him coming to the ring for the sumission match and he still gave the glasses to a young boy at ringside. He was definitely a tweener in the lead up to wrestlemania.

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