WWF: Raw is War (04.14.97)

WWF: Raw is War
April 14, 1997
Muncie, IN & Johannesburg, South Africa
Worthen Arena & Johannesburg Stadium

(taped on 4/7/97 & 4/9/97)

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)

FINALLY! For the first time in three months, I’m able to recap some WWF 1997 again for you. Enjoy!

HOUR NUMBER ONE! Your hosts in the US are Vince McMahon and Jim Cornette while Jim Ross and the Honky Tonk Man are in South Africa. I have no idea why they thought a simulcast was a good idea.

  • The Legion of Doom vs. The Godwinns

IN THE GOOD OL’ USA: LOD got slopped last week and you better believe there’ll be HELL TO PAY! They have no trouble with the Godwinns until Hawk runs his shoulder into the post. The Godwinns work that over until there’s a double-KO to set up the HOT TAG TO ANIMAL! The action breaks loose as Owen Hart and the British Bulldog head out with the belts in-hand. While Owen distracts the ref, Bulldog bashes Animal with the title to give the Godwinns the upset victory! (6:39) Not good, but did you really think it would be? ¾*

Let Us Take You Back to Two Weeks Ago: Jesse James refused the Honky Tonk Man’s advances at becoming his protégé and smashed his GEETAR.

  • Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/Chyna) vs. Jesse James

OVER IN SOUTH AFRICA: Honky Tonk will just not shut up about himself in this commentary. I get it. He’s feuding with Jesse James, but c’mon. Feeling out process to start. I can already tell this one is going to take a while. This match is so interesting, our four esteemed commentators start talking about what’s going on in the NEWS. After the commercial break, HHH hits the suplex and the Knee Drop, then hooks on a chinlock. High Knee connects for two. Back to the chinlock. JJ fights out and BOOGIE WOOGIES all over HHH. Honky Tonk has enough of JJ’s comeback and punches him into the PEDIGREE for the 1-2-3. (12:25 shown) JJ and HTM have a standoff, but Honky cowers back to the announce table before any tailkicking can ensue. Total snoozer by the way. ½*

  • WWF Intercontinental Champion Rocky Maivia vs. Savio Vega (w/the NOD)

STILL IN SOUTH AFRICA: Not sure why this is being televised since it’s also going to be a PPV match. It’s all headlocks and headscissors to start. Nevertheless, it’s non-title. On the split-screen, Ahmed Johnson says some things that I don’t understand. Rocky grabs the armbars until Savio catches him charging in the corner with a heel kick. As Vega grinds on the nerve hold, we see an injured Faarooq come down to ringside as we go to commercial. When we come back, Savio is still sticking with the nerve hold. It picks up as Rocky breaks loose. Vega tries a crossbody out the corner, but then Rocky trips him up for a catapult. Back suplex and the fisherman’s suplex gets two. ROCK BOTTOM for 1-2-NO! He follows up with the Flying Bodypress, but Savio escapes the SHOULDERBREAKER and rolls up Rocky with a handful of tights for the 1-2-3. (14:34 shown) Pretty boring for the most part, but picked up pretty well for the home stretch. The Nation do a number on Rocky until Ahmed Johnson runs out with his 2×4 for the save. *½

TIME TO ENTER THE WARZONE! Your hosts don’t change.

IN THE GOOD OL’ USA: Stone Cold Steve Austin meets Vince McMahon out in the ring for an interview. He tells Vince that the WWF is finally giving him what he wants – another rematch with Bret Hart. Everybody has been holding him down in the WWF, but no more because it’s his time. Bret Hart’s time has come and gone. Come Sunday, he will leave Bret in a bloody heap and that’s the bottom line.

  • The Sultan (w/the Iron Sheik) vs. Goldust

BACK IN SOUTH AFRICA: Goldust is looking like Peter Criss right now. VKM wonders if he’s contracted E. coli somehow, but I don’t think the symptoms for having the virus include your face paint looking like a cat. Anywho, Marlena is still back at home licking her wounds from when Chyna shook her like a rag doll at WrestleMania. Goldust beats on Sultan until he has to bail, but then he gets pulled out and whipped into the stairs. Back in, Sultan delivers a piledriver and grabs a chinlock. Once Goldust fights out and hits the Bulldog, Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Chyna run down for the DQ. (3:06 shown) They do a number on Goldust including a spike piledriver and an Iranian flagpole broke over his back. Wild stuff! ½*

OVER IN KUWAIT: Bret Hart lambastes the American fans and gives them a tongue lashing for cheering for people like Stone Cold Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels.

  • The Headbangers vs. Mankind & Vader (w/Paul Bearer)

BACK OVER IN THE GOOD OL’ USA: The Headbangers have to double-team Vader to get him off his feet to start. When its one-on-one, they have no chance. They show us flashbacks of Mankind throwing the fire ball in the Undertaker’s face from two weeks ago. The match breaks down out on the floor for a while. Back in, JR mentions something about the WWF Magazine talking about Shawn Michaels having a nervous breakdown. Nobody really comments on that. Finally, Mankind gets a tag and running knees Mosh in the corner. Cactus Clothesline puts Mosh on the floor where he drinks something from under the apron and then spews whatever it was in Mankind’s face for the DQ. (5:32) While Mankind is blinded, he puts the MANDIBLE CLAW on Vader. Paul Bearer puts a stop to that as quickly as possible. Another bleh match. *

OVER IN SOUTH AFRICA: While JR and Honky Tonk Man are discussing Vader and Mankind’s volatile relationship, the lights start to flicker as the Undertaker’s voice and BONGS come over the PA system. This Sunday night, Mankind will not rest in peace, but he might burn in hell. SNAP!

We get a light jazz montage showing off the earliest of the WWF Divas at the Slammy Awards. The best part of it all has to be Todd Pettengill’s SUPER awkward looks as the ladies parade around him.

BACK TO SOUTH AFRICA: The Commandant from the Truth Commission comes out to tell us that he will show us the error of our ways. Whatever, guy.

  • Ahmed Johnson vs. Crush (w/the NOD)

MORE FROM SOUTH AFRICA: JR tells us beforehand that this match will not pretty. In fact JR, it’s going to downright suck. They start with a double-KO, which seems awfully odd. Ahmed bicycle kicks Crush to the floor. Back in, Crush yanks Ahmed to the floor to get a stomping in the kidneys from D’Lo Brown. The suplex back in followed by a TRIFECTA of legdrops gets two. Out comes Savio Vega who did not come out at the beginning of the match. Commercials! When we return, Ahmed fights out of a nerve hold and hits an ugly Scissors Kick, then some miscommunication makes a missed elbow drop spot look terrible. Crush gives Ahmed a piledriver for two. Sleeper puts Ahmed down on the mat. When he starts to fight up, Faarooq tosses Crush a leather strap to choke out Ahmed FOR REALZ while Savio and D’Lo distract the ref. Once Crush disguises the choke like a sleeper, he still fights out, but runs into a knee. HEART PUNCH? Nope. Ahmed breaks free and hits a spinning heel kick. Another knee strike from Crush is countered into a rollup for the 1-2-3. (8:19 shown) Faarooq issues a challenge to Ahmed that if he can beat the entire Nation of Domination, the group will disband. Ahmed just looks at Faarooq all serious-like, but doesn’t say yes! WHAT A WUSS! ½*

This was quite the throwaway program with no flow whatsoever. They needn’t have bothered. It does start to get better though beginning with next week’s show.

WWF In Your House presents: Revenge of the ‘Taker
LIVE on PPV – April 20 from Rochester, New York
Here is the card as it looks at the end of this show:

MAIN EVENT: WWF World Champion The Undertaker vs. Mankind
WWF Intercontinental Champion Rocky Maivia vs. Savio Vega
WWF World Tag Team Champions Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith vs. The Legion of Doom
Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin
Jesse James vs. Honky Tonk Man’s MYSTERY protege

It looked like Shamrock v. Vader was going to happen too, but then Vader had to go and protect the biz on live TV over on “Good Morning Kuwait” on April 11. He was then detained in Kuwait for the next ten days.


Posted on December 17, 2011, in WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I’ve been recapping RAW’s from 1997 as well and just got done with April. It looks like from May onward it’s an interesting program week in and week out. The first four months is really hit or miss.

  2. Yes it really is. I’d say the goodness starts from 4/21 Raw onward. Austin attacking Bret in the ambulance was cutting edge at the time and the show just really picks up from there.

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