Raw is War Recap (03.31.97)

WWF Raw is War
March 31, 1997
Peoria, IL
Civic Center
(Taped on 3/25/97)

The current WWF champs were as follows:
World Champion: The Undertaker (3/23/1997)
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)

A dramatized recap of the Bret-Shawn confrontation from last week kicks off the show. That Bret Hart is such a jerk!

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

  • WWF European Champion Davey Boy Smith vs. Owen Hart

It’s the match we’ve been waiting for. We flashback to last week when Owen challenged the British Bulldog to a European title match. Why? Just to prove he’s better. Owen surprises DBS with a baseball slide as Bulldog makes his way to the ring. Owen follows up by tossing him into the ring steps and then backs Bulldog into the ringpost before grabbing the European title and telling the camera that it’s HIS belt. Give it some time, Owen. You’ll be the European champ in due time. As Owen rolls Bulldog inside, the match officially begins. Owen delivers a flying bodypress for 1-2-NO! Davey Boy fires back, but gets kicked in the nads. Bulldog fights out of a chinlock, but Owen buries a knee as he comes off the ropes and tries the SHARPSHOOTER. When that fails, Owen reverts back to a Sheik-like chinlock. Bulldog elbows out and counters the kitchen sink into a rollup for two. Bulldog scores a backslide for a nearfall, but telegraphs a backdrop and gets drilled with a piledriver. Commercials! During the break, Owen pins Davey Boy with a flying elbow. Oh, but Bulldog gets his foot on the bottom rope to continue the match. Back to live action, Owen works the knee with a dragon screw leg whip. Back to the chinlock. JR almost revels as he hypes the Legion of Doom getting a tag titles shot against these two at the upcoming In Your House. Owen flies down into a possible SHARPSHOOTER, but manages to slip out and deliver the ENZIGURI! You know, that head kick that put Shawn Michaels out of biz! Owen wants a superplex and when Bulldog pushes him off, he back flips onto his feet and forearm smashes Davey Boy down to the floor! Owen tries to wipe him out with a pescado, but DBS catches him in mid-air and drops him on the guardrail. Back inside, Bulldog starts throwing him around for a bunch of nearfalls. The match spills out to the rampway where Davey Boy delivers a suplex! Back in, the ref gets bumped and Owen grabs a chair. In mid-swing, DBS kicks Owen and the chair falls out of his hands. With Owen staggered, Bulldog clotheslines him down onto the chair. Now Davey Boy has the chair! As he lifts the chair back behind his head to come down onto Owen, Bret Hart runs down and tackles Bulldog before any damage can come to his little brother. Okay, this match is over. (12:00 shown) With Davey Boy down on the mat, Bret holds the chair over his throat to get him to calm down. Owen tries to stop Bret from keeping them apart, but Bret has to get a little physical to get them both to listen to him. ***

Bret gets on the mic and explains that this is exactly what the American fans want: a family soap opera. He tells them he needs them to be on his side and then goes on an anti-American media rant saying it likes to exploit family problems for their own gain. He explains to both Bulldog and Owen how the WWF has been pushing them to fight each other for years now. They did this because America doesn’t care about families or family values. Owen even starts to cry as the three embrace each other. It’s the end of an era, folks! The Hart wars are over! We are seeing the Hart Foundation assemble in front of our very eyes. Even Jerry Lawler is a little teary-eyed over the whole thing. JR and Vince question the motives and take offense to Bret’s anti-American comments.

  • Super Nova vs. El Mosco

And really, how can JR and Vince seriously defend American family values with a straight face when the next segment begins with the appearance of Sunny? She becomes the biggest heel in the company according to JR when she tells him that the state of Oklahoma doesn’t matter. BA-ZING! They use this match to advertise upcoming WWF live events and Sunny. She pretends to know common Spanish phrases and flirts with the Spanish announce team to remind us they HAVE a Spanish announce team for Raw is War and not just the PPVs. Basically this feels like a Super Calo/Psychosis match. El Mosco wins via the Split-Legged Moonsault. (3:54) If Sunny wanted to show off her Espanol, the least she could have done to contribute to this match was learn what El Mosco means. The Mosquito – in case you were wondering! *½

JR brings out the Legion of Doom for an interview to hype their In Your House match. Pretty typical stuff from the LOD. Even a “WELL!” from Hawk.

  • “Double J” Jesse James vs. Jerry Fox

Honky Tonk Man joins us for commentary quoting Jerry Lee Lewis lyrics instead of Elvis. Whoops. Enough with the charade, he’s going to tell us who he has picked as his protégé. Out comes Jesse James and some little kid as he sings Jeff Jarrett’s “With My Baby Tonight” that *he* actually sang back in ’95 or whenever. Hilarious stuff. Yeah, this is REALLY going to get over. Fox quickly gets put away with the PUMPHANDLE SLAM. (1:25) The real story is when Honky Tonk meets Jesse James in the ring after the match and offers not only be his managerial expertise to take Double J to the top, but gives him his prized gee-tar that had been in his family for years and years. Of course, JJ accepts the gee-tar and then smashes it. Consider your offer – DENIED! This was southern independent wrestling-level lame. ¼*

  • Savio Vega & Crush (w/the NOD) vs. Adam O’Brien & Rod Bell

Faarooq is still out nursing that punctured lung back at WrestleMania. Shawn Michaels joins us via telephone. Bret really did a number on him last week that definitely set his “knee injury” recovery back a bit. Shawn says he has a lot to say to Bret, but he refuses to do it over the phone and says he’ll do it in person next week on Raw is War. Oh yeah, there’s a squash happening. Crush gives O’Brien the TOUR OF THE ISLANDS followed by the Demolition Decapitation for the win. (3:18) Dang. He went through TWO of his past gimmicks to beat Adam O’Brien! ¾*

Flashback to Two Weeks Ago on Raw is War: Ken Shamrock made Billy Gunn tap like a little school girl. That sets up a montage of Ken Shamrock doing UFC things using actual UFC footage fighting the likes of Royce Gracie and Dan Severn. My how times have changed. Anyways, Ken Shamrock will be on Raw is War next week!

Meanwhile backstage, Paul Bearer is anxiously awaiting his opportunity to realign himself with the Undertaker.

HOUR NUMBER TWO! Your hosts are the same people that started the show.

Since we didn’t get to complete the segment from last week’s Raw is War involving these three, they get a second chance. Paul Bearer pleads for the Undertaker to take him back. And here comes the champ. Learning from past experiences, Undertaker locks the casket before he enters the ring just so there’s no funny business. Undertaker acts like he’s taking Bearer back and then beats him down. As UT backs Bearer up the aisle and grabs back the urn from off the casket to smash it over Paul Bearer, Mankind comes out from underneath the ring and blasts a fireball in the Undertaker’s face! While the Undertaker WRITHES IN PAIN and wonders through the crowd holding his face, Psycho Sid comes out and chases Mankind and Paul Bearer out of here. To be the Master and the Ruler of the World, he sure seems to stick up for people better than him.

After a commercial break, Psycho Sid gives his comments. He tells Mankind that he knows exactly what to do with fire. Okay. Also if you play with fire with the Undertaker, he will BURN in HELL. Alright then.

  • Goldust vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley

Marlena and Chyna are banned from ringside. Seriously, when is this feud going to end? Shouldn’t there be a cage match in their future at some point? I mean, I’m all for long feuds as long as I care about them. Goldust CHANNELS THE SPIRIT OF DUSTIN RHODES and early on hits a Bulldog. The Harley Race corner bump sends HHH to the floor and the fight continues from there. Back inside, Goldust whiffs on a crossbody block and we’re back on the floor as Hunter gives Goldust a slam and a clothesline on the rampway. Back inside, HHH takes a bow. High Knee connects and then Helmsley stomps a mudhole in Goldust. HHH delivers a swinging neckbreaker. A vertical suplex sets up the Knee Drop out of the corner gets two. Meanwhile, JR and Lawler squabble over Bret Hart’s comments and your first amendment rights. Goldust escapes a chinlock, but eats a DDT for two. HHH shuts down a couple comeback attempts as we see Chyna is now standing at the top of the ramp. Time for commercials. When we return, Goldust is on the offensive and looks to put Helmsley away with the CURTAIN CALL for 1-2-NO! Just then, Chyna walks inside and field goal kicks Goldust in the gut for the DQ. (9:49 shown) Chyna dishes out a chest high spinning heel kick as the zebra-shirts pounce on her. Pat Patterson heads out to reprimand HHH and gets pushed aside. He even punches Patterson away until the first IC champ has had enough. From there, Patterson turns HHH around and beats him back into the corner as Vince goes into a frenzy. Pat’s the godfather to his children, you know! Chyna gets rid of the refs that are holding her back and makes the save for Helmsley. Finally, Goldust clears the ring of Helmsley and considers beating the crap out of Chyna. He won’t do it though because she’s looks just enough like a woman. Fundamentally sound match, but nobody cares at this point unless Chyna is around. *½

Fun fact: the last time Steve Austin actually wrestled on Raw was February 13 against Psycho Sid. Speaking of the guy, here comes Stone Cold Steve Austin out to the ring now to join Vince McMahon for an interview. He’s got a bandage on the side of his forehead from WrestleMania. Just to remind everybody, he never said he QUIT. He also didn’t get the crap beat out of him either. On Bret’s best day which was at WrestleMania, he couldn’t get the job done. The only reason his body gave out was because his head was pumping out more blood than his heart was giving. He basically explains the “shades of gray” time period we are getting ready to enter. There are no good guys or bad guys because it’s all about whooping somebody inside the ring. He calls out Bret wanting another fight, so Bret shows up on the Titantron. Bret tries to convince Austin that he did in fact beat him at WrestleMania. With that said, he’s done messing with Stone Cold. Austin’s not done with him just yet. The next time they get together inside the ring, Austin swears on his life that he will make Bret look ten times as bloody as he did at WrestleMania. He also wants to be responsible for putting Bret in his grave. And that’s the bottom line because Stone Cold Said So. What makes Austin so great is how you can almost believe every single word that he says.

  • WWF Intercontinental Champion Rocky Maivia vs. Bret Hart

No surprise to anyone in 2011 that this would be a dream match about two years later. Bret attacked Rocky from behind and tried to screw up his knee last week. Therefore, this can only be dealt with inside a wrestling ring. Rocky pushes Bret back in the lock-up and then threatens a right hand. When he doesn’t deliver, Bret slides out to the floor. Tony Atlas is in the front row. Back in, they continue the feeling-out process. Bret buries a knee to the gut and starts up with his standard offense – except now complete with chokes and eye rakes in between the Russian legsweeps and inverted atomic drops. Commercials! When we return, Bret starts wearing down the back. Backbreaker connects, but he misses the Flying Vertical Elbow. Maivia delivers the Ode to Rocky Johnson blows in his comeback. Fisherman’s suplex (!) gets 1-2-NO! Call me ignorant here, but is he using a page from Mr. Perfect’s playbook to beat Bret? We are seriously running over into La Femme Nikita’s time, folks! Belly to Belly Suplex from Rocky gets two. Maivia delivers an ugly Hurricane DDT to set up the FLYING BODYPRESS. Oh, but Bret rolls through for 1-2-NO! Bret then draws Rocky into the corner for the Ringpost Figure-Four. When he won’t break the hold, ref Earl Hebner calls for the bell. (10:31 shown) When you’ve won the WWF world title, why care to win the WWF IC title? Stone Cold heads out to kick on Bret until he breaks the hold. Davey Boy Smith and Owen Hart make the save for Bret to sucker Austin into a 3-on-1 attack. Lucky for Austin, the Legion of Doom want the tag belts and head down to even the odds and send the Hart Foundation out through the crowd. GOOD NIGHT EVERYBODY! WE’RE OUTTA TIME! **¼

Here is the current card for In Your House: Revenge of the ‘Taker on April 20!

  • MAIN EVENT: WWF Champion The Undertaker vs. Mankind
  • WWF Tag Team Champions Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith vs. The Legion of Doom
  • Bret Hart vs. Psycho Sid

Posted on July 8, 2011, in WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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