Tuesday, May 29, 2012

WWF RAW is WAR 11/10/97

The Survivor Series 1997 had passed and the World Wrestling Federation was in full damage control, as WWF RAW is WAR kicked center stage. Last night, Vince McMahon had done the unthinkable and had screwed over perhaps one of the biggest stars in the past few years, Bret Hart. For real, not just because to advance a storyline, to build up a match. We know that Shawn Michaels was in on it(although he did not admit it until 2002). Earl Hebner, the referee was in on it, despite vowing not to swerve Bret and swearing on the heads of his children that he would not do so. The locker room was in an uproar and many competitors boycotted that nights RAW.

The most obvious would be Bret's brother Owen, along with his two brothers-in-law, Davey Boy Smith and Jim Neidhart. Davey Boy Smith would not be seen in WWF again for another two years, paying a fee to get out of his contract. Jim Neidhart would return for a brief time, before getting punted out the door. Owen Hart was basically locked into his contract and forced to stay in WWF until his tragic death. Not only that but Crush, Mick Foley, Barry Windham, and the Road Warriors all boycotted that night's RAW.

WWF Attitude Era Series Part 2: WWF RAW is WAR 11/10/97

It should be noted that this is the show where the DeGeneration X music that we all know makes its debut. So this is a very pivotal night in WWF history for many reasons. Speaking of DX, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Rick Rude, and Chyna are the members of DX at this point. Rick Rude would have a very historical role to play on next show's RAW and Nitro, but we're getting ahead of ourselves.

To say the fans were pissed about what happened with Bret Hart, would be an understatement. They were really booing and they called Shawn a certain word that starts with "f" and rhymes with maggot. Shawn Michaels sent Bret Hart packing to WCW with the rest of the dinosaurs(Hogan, Savage, Flair, Piper, and that gang, for those who don't get the hidden meanings). Shawn Michaels says that he doesn't need to hit a fifty two year old men, referring to Bret's knock out shot on Vince McMahon.

Ken Shamrock is out, and he wants a match with Shawn Michaels. Michaels declines, saying that he humbled Shamrock last week, which is interesting, considering the fact that Shamrock had Michaels beat last week. Michaels says that Rude, Chyna, and Triple H can all take Shamrock any time.

Out comes Sgt. Slaughter, who was the WWF Commissioner at those point, for those who weren't watching. Slaughter as Commissioner did have some amusing interactions with DX, but not much else. Shawn Michaels will face Ken Shamrock but not tonight. To make a long story short(and its very obvious to see who Impact is taking their cues from drawing out things a bit long), its Ken Shamrock against Triple H tonight.

Ahmed Johnson defeated Marc Mero(w/Sable) via disqualification.

Ahmed was very bloated and sloppy at this point. I thought he could have been what Goldberg was a year before Goldberg but Faarooq bruised his kidneys and then he never really recovered. Marc Mero was a far cry from his peak from about 1993-1996, but injuries will do that to you. Mero gets disqualified by hitting Ahmed Johnson in the groin. Low blows happened in every other match but this one, its a disqualification. Mero hits the TKO after the match, a fireman's carry into a Diamond Cutter/RKO. This was during a time where midcarders in other federations used the moves of main event superstars in the competition. See Disco Inferno using the Stone Cold Stunner, and calling it the Chartbuster(and later the Last Dance), over in WCW.

Its Butterbean in the front row as well. Butterbean was this big fat guy who was in tough man competition. Newer fans might remember him being on that celebrity wrestling thing that Hulk Hogan did a couple of years ago.

The Milton Bradley Karate Fighters tournament! I remember this and remember it being ponderous. Such a sign of the times, and if you remember Karate Fighters, then you're a child of the nineties.

TAKA Michinoku pinned Devon Storm in the first round of the Lightheavyweight Championship Tournament.

Sunny is on commentary for this match. The Lightheavyweight Title division in WWF was an attempt to capitalize on the popularity on the WCW Cruiserweight Title. Devon Storm is better known as Crowbart, teaming up with David Flair and Daffney in WCW. Fine match but considering that they had Rey Mysterio against Eddie Guerrero on the other show, this was good. TAKA was great, but he never really got his fair share in WWF I think, after the two matches with Great Sasuke. TAKA will face Mr. Aguila(aka Papa Chulo aka Essa Rios) in the Semifinals.

Last week Goldust and Marlena(aka Terri Runnels) broke up and Goldust has someone else.

Goldust has always been flamboyant but I think that this is the time where he was really, really getting a bit insane. He is coming out wearing pajamas, with black face paint and the letters FU on his face, for forever unchained according to the announcers. Sure it does. Goldust takes a shot at Dusty Rhodes. Watch it boy, or your old man will give you a clubberin' if you wheel. Goldust walked out of the USA against Canada match at Survivor Series, because of a broken arm. Out comes Vader. Vader is not too pleased. He power bombs Goldust dead. Well at least Vader looked rough and tumble right there. He really cut cut off at the knees a lot during this time period.

The Headbangers defeated the Truth Commission of Sniper and Recon.

Jackly is on commentary. DOA are out, if you we did not get enough of DOA against the Truth Commission last night. Headbangers get the win. Interrogator comes in and attacks the, DOA makes the save.
Blackjack Windham is "down" backstage, leaving Bradshaw to go alone against Billy Gunn and Road Dogg.

Here comes Steve Austin to talk about his win last night at the Survivor Series. This segment is historic because its the first ever face to face interaction in WWF history between Steve Austin and the Rock. Not quite the Rock, but Rocky Maivia still although that's to change. Rocky says that he deserves the Intercontinental Title more than Austin. Remember when these two were only feuding over the Intercontinental Title? Rocky challenges Austin to a match, Austin challenges Rocky to get a better hair cut. Oooh, burn. A match is set up and a moment in time that would set up one of the hottest rivalries of the Attitude Era.

Jim Ross tries to interview Steve Blackman but Los Boricuas attack Blackman. Blackman beats them up. I have no idea what this segment was supposed to accomplish.

Billy Gunn and Road Dogg defeated Blackjack Bradshaw in a Handicap Bunkhouse Match.

Standard Hardcore Match that was all the rage with the kids back in 1997. Bradshaw goes nuts with a chair, but eventually the numbers game catches up with him and Billy Gunn hits a DDT for the pin. The not yet the New Age Outlaws are your winners.

Jeff Jarrett who had recently returned to WWF after a year in WCW, returned. Oddly this would set off a chain of events that would lead to TNA. If only the butterfly had flapped his wings in another direction.
Michael Cole interviews Butterbean in the crowd. Marc Mero is in and we have an incident. LT and Bam Bam this was not.

The Undertaker and Kama battled to a no contest when Kane interfered.

The Undertaker was the most popular wrestler on the card tonight. Then again, he's the Undertaker. Screw job or not, you can't boo the Undertaker. Kama and Undertaker always have had solid, if unspectacular matches. This match was shaping up to be that way, until Kane interferes and beats up his brother, who refuses to fight back. The slow build to Wrestlemania 14 continues and Kane and Undertaker was a good feud to start with. It was not until later on that it got stupid.

Recap of last week's battle between Shawn Michaels and Ken Shamrock, which leads into the match.

Ken Shamrock and Triple H never ended when they went off the air.

This match was okayish, but I don't like going off of the air before the match ends. It just leads a bad taste in my mouth and is not really that good. Ken Shamrock gets knocked out with the Halburton and Triple H is pinning him as we fade to black. This was a curious move to make after what happened at the Pay Per View.

On Livewire that week, we see that Shamrock managed to kick out and then he pinned Shawn Michaels to somehow beat Triple H.

On WWF Shotgun that weekend, Vader beat a prelim bum, Ahmed Johnson destroyed a ham en egger, Max Mini defeated Battlelion in a Midgets Match, and Doug Furnas and Phil LaFon defeated Flash Funk and Scott Taylor in a match that might have been solid, although Furnas and LaFon would be out of the company by the end of 1997. Not that they would fit the attitude of the Attitude era.

Next time, Vince McMahon breaks his silence giving his side of the story about the Montreal Screwjob, Rick Rude shows up on RAW with a beard and on Nitro clean shaven, and the genesis of the Rock continues.

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