Written By: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Federation presents RAW
From: Worcester, MA
RAW opening video
Vince McMahon, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler are on commentary. there is a new set up for RAW, which is the stage they would have for several years. They run down the show which includes a announcement from Ken Shamrock and a debate between Jerry Lawler and ECW owner Paul Heyman.
WWF World Champion Psycho Sid makes his way down to the ring for a interview. Jim Ross enters the ring and asks Sid about teaming with the Undertaker later on. Sid believes that people see him as some kind of fool. Sid smells something fishy with Paul Bearer around. Sid says that the Undertaker will fall victim to him. Sid warns Taker that he needs to stay in the cemetery and that Sid will put him there after Wrestle Mania XIII. The Undertaker’s music hits and makes his way down to the ring by himself. Taker wants Sid to say his scared, if he is. Taker doesn’t believe Sid’s logic makes any sense. Taker doesn’t want anything to happen to Sid tonight because he will not be able to win the championship at Wrestle Mania. Taker declines being Sid’s partner and will deal with Vader and Mankind by himself. Taker tells Sid to enjoy the last few days as WWF World Champion. Paul Bearer, Vader and Mankind make their way down to the aisle way. Bearer taunts Taker for feeling the wrath of Mankind and Vader. Bearer calls both men cowards and says that neither man wants to face Vader and Mankind. All four men brawl in the ring with Sid and Taker cleaning house. Vader hits Taker from behind, but Taker thought it was Sid. They have a stare down to end the segment as RAW goes to commercial.
Opening Contest: WWF Intercontinental Champion Rocky Maivia defeated Tony Kucker in a non-title match: Before the match, Iron Sheik says that his man the Sultan will be winning the championship at Wrestle Mania. This causes Rocky to be attacked from behind but that doesn’t last. Rocky wins the quick squash match following a top rope cross body. NR
After the match, the Sultan tries to attack Rocky but Rocky is able to fight Sultan off. Rocky bails to the floor after hitting Bob Backlund and the Sultan. We see Tony Atlas in the front row and Atlas heads to the backstage with Rocky.
Second Contest: Pierroth/Heavy Metal/Pentagon defeated Latin Lover/Hector Garza/Octagon: During the match, Chyna is seen in the crowd and is escorted out of the arena. Also, during the match Brian Pillman cuts a promo. Pillman says he will be returning to the wrestling ring on WWF Shotgun Saturday Night. Pillman is going to do whatever he wants and if people don’t like it, too bad! I think Pierroth pins Latin Lover with a quick rollup to win the match. *¼
A Wrestle Mania XIII hype video is aired.
Third Contest: Ahmed Johnson defeated Roy Raymond: During the match, the Nation of Domination come out to the top of the entrance way to watch Johnson. Johnson wins another quick squash match with the Pearl River Plunge. NR
After the match, Faarooq cuts a promo on Johnson. Faarooq explains the streets to Ahmed Johnson, who according to Faarooq hasn’t lived that life. Faarooq tells Johnson to watch his back in thirteen days. Johnson chimes in and calls Faarooq a punk. Johnson isn’t scared of the Nation and he never will be. Johnson went out and found two of the meanest, nastiest men he could find. Johnson reveals that he will have the Legion of Doom as his tag team partners for Wrestle Mania! The Legion of Doom show up in the crowd! They come down to the ring and taunt the Nation. Hawk says the gang is here and ready. Animal asks if the Nation heard the power of the WWF fans. Animal starts a LOD chant. Johnson starts up a “Your going down” chant, like always.
Before the next match, Jim Ross talks to Owen Hart and British Bulldog. Owen doesn’t want to talk about Bulldog winning the WWF European Championship. Owen says he is not jealous of Bulldog. The New Blackjacks cuts a promo on the tag team champions. Windham and Bradshaw insults the champions for a few moments.
Fourth Contest: the New Blackjacks defeated WWF World Tag Team Champions British Bulldog/Owen Hart by DQ: Owen and Bulldog attack the Blackjacks before the bell. Owen sends Bradshaw into the ring post on the floor. Bulldog clotheslines Windham over the top to the floor. Bradshaw works on Bulldog with a few knee lifts in the corner. Windham tags in and hammers away on Bulldog. Scoop slam by Windham but misses a elbow drop. Bulldog with a arm drag and Bradshaw tags in to control Bulldog with a few boots. Windham nails Bulldog with a running big boot but Bulldog is able to soon tag out to Owen. Owen backdrops Windham and follows up with a head butt. Windham stops Owen with a low blow in the corner. Bradshaw tags back in and big boots Owen. Owen is tossed to the floor where Windham rams Owen into the guard railing and slams Owen onto the floor! Windham drives Owen down to the mat with a vertical suplex. Owen with a few right hands but is dropped by Windham as RAW goes to commercial. Bulldog has a sleeper on Bradshaw but Bradshaw connects with a jaw breaker and Windham nails Bulldog with a clothesline. Bradshaw hammers away on Bulldog in the corner and Windham gets a few cheap shots in. Bradshaw pump handle slams Bulldog for a near fall. Windham tags in as ECW World Champion Taz cuts a promo from the backstage area. Taz threatens Lawler. Windham crotches Bulldog on the top rope and goes for a superplex but Bulldog shoves Windham off and drops Windham with a running clothesline. Owen tags in and clotheslines Bradshaw followed by a spinning heel kick to both Blackjacks. Owen comes off the top rope with a missile dropkick for a near fall. Bradshaw with several right hands in the corner to regain the advantage. Bradshaw misses a running knee strike in the corner and Owen goes for the Sharpshooter. Owen has it locked in as Bulldog brawls with Windham and ends up shoving the referee down which causes the DQ. *½
After the match, the New Blackjacks celebrate their win.
ECW World Champion Taz and Bill Alfonso have come down to ringside. Taz wants a piece of Lawler and grabs Lawler by the throat! Sabu comes running into the ring and springboards off the top rope but misses a dive and crashes through a table! Several ECW talent come down and check on Sabu as Lawler gets a chuckle out of what happened.
Fifth Contest: Miguel Perez defeated Leif Cassidy: Cassidy attempts a power bomb but Perez counters with a rollup to pick up the win. NR
Backstage, Psycho Sid is preparing to be interviewed. Vince McMahon asks Sid about his thoughts about wrestling Bret Hart next week in a steel cage match. Sid rambles and says that he is going to beat Bret Hart and take out the top dogs in the WWF. At least, that is what I think Sid was talking about.
Jim Ross is standing in the ring with Ken Shamrock. Ross mentions Wrestle Mania XIII and announces that Ken Shamrock will be referring the submission match between Bret Hart and Steve Austin. Shamrock says it is a honor to be apart of Wrestle Mania. Shamrock puts over his ability to make people submit. Shamrock says no one will intimidate him in the WWF. Steve Austin ends up cutting Shamrock off. Austin tells Shamrock he should consider it honor that Austin doesn’t come out and whip Shamrock’s ass. Austin thinks it is bullshit that Bret Hart gets a WWF World Championship match before Wrestle Mania. Austin hopes that Bret Hart wins the championship next week because he wants a shot at the championship at Wrestle Mania. Austin claims to have never submitted in his life and that will not change. Austin threatens Shamrock. Shamrock says he has been fighting all his life and calls out Steve Austin. Well, instead of Austin we get Bret Hart! Hart comes down and says that it is nice of the WWF to allow him to say something after three weeks. Hart claims that he was ripped off last month when he lost the WWF World Championship. Hart is sick of the lack of justice in the WWF. Hart tells Psycho Sid that he is not as good as himself. Hart proclaims that he will be the fifth time WWF World Championship. Hart feels bad for the Undertaker because Steve Austin will be getting a title shot at Wrestle Mania. Hart says he knows submission wrestling better than anyone else. We get a close up of Shamrock’s reaction to that statement. Hart lists the people that he has been screwed over by recently. Hart tells Shamrock that if Shamrock tries to get involved at Wrestle Mania, it will be the biggest regret of his life. Shamrock doesn’t want to here Hart’s life problems. Shamrock is only here in the WWF to referee a match and that is all he will do. Steve Austin shows up at the top of the aisle way. Austin just turns around and heads to the back as RAW goes to commercial.
Before the next match, the Honky Tonk Man is standing in the ring. Honky says that last night he was in Worcester he didn’t get the reaction he wanted so he isn’t going to sing for the fans.
Sixth Contest: Billy Gunn defeated Aldo Montoya: Yet another squash match. Gunn wins the match following a top rope leg drop. NR
Backstage, Mankind is with Paul Bearer. Mankind thinks he has a better grasp of reality. Mankind realizes that he doesn’t need a urn or mommy. Mankind has been preparing for this moment. Mankind punches himself to the point where he bleeds. Mankind cuts a promo so long that RAW just goes to commercial.
Seventh Contest: Goldust defeated Tim McNeedy: HHH and Chyna watch Goldust from the top of the aisle way. Goldust wins the match with the Curtain Call. NR
After the match, Chyna slowly comes down to the ring as Goldust stands in front of Marlena. HHH comes from behind and leaps off the top with a double axe handle. Marlena attacks Chyna by leaping onto her back. Several officials come into the ring and keep the ladies apart. Chyna tries to get her hands on Marlena. Chyna press slams a referee and is held back by HHH, eventually.
Jim Ross is standing in the ring for the Great Debate between Jerry Lawler and ECW owner Paul Heyman. Ross asks if ECW should even exist. Lawler starts off by saying that he isn’t sure if ECW even exists to begin with. Lawler says that Heyman is being seen by more people right this second then ever before. Several ECW wrestlers come down to ringside. Lawler insults the type of wrestling and how the wrestlers beat each other up. Lawler calls the fans idiots, all eleven hundred people. Lawler puts over the WWF being able to draw 22,000 people in Philadelphia. Heyman says that they have earned the respect of all 1,100 people that come to the ECW Arena. Heyman plugs April 13th, where ECW will be putting on a pay per view. The Sandman wants to hit Lawler with his kendo stick but Heyman prevents that from happening. Lawler doesn’t understand why Heyman is getting a chance to plug his pay per view. Heyman shoots on Lawler saying that his sons are ashamed of Lawler and don’t use Lawler’s last name! Lawler says that Heyman’s father finances ECW. Tommy Dreamer tells Lawler to get his guys and they will start a war tonight! Sandman drinks a beer and smashes a beer can over his head. Dreamer is held back by Heyman as Dreamer corners Lawler. Lawler calls out his friends to help battle ECW, but no one shows up. Lawler isn’t afraid of Heyman. Lawler leaves the ring.
Main Event: Vader/Mankind defeated WWF World Champion Psycho Sid/the Undertaker: Sid is doubled teamed before the bell and before the Undertaker comes down to the ring. Sid holds his own and works on both opponents. Mankind and Vader are able to gain the advantage and pummel Sid in the corner. Taker runs down to the ring and hammers away on Vader. Taker comes off the ropes with a clothesline and choke slams Vader! Taker sends Vader to the floor with a big boot. Mankind clotheslines Taker over the top to the floor, but Taker lands on his feet. Taker rams Mankind head first into the ring steps. Vader works on Sid with a few right hands and head butts. Vader drops Sid with a short arm clothesline. Vader comes off the ropes and big splashes Sid for a near fall. Vader has a sleeper hold on Sid for a few moments. Vader controls Sid with right hands as RAW goes to commercial. Sid comes back with a vertical suplex as Taker brawls with Mankind on the floor. Sid tries to tag out but their isn’t anyone in the corner. Vader clotheslines Sid as he comes off the ropes. Mankind tags in and drops an elbow for a two count. Sid tags out to Taker who hammers away on Mankind. Taker big boots Mankind and choke slams Mankind! Sid big boots Vader to the floor. Taker head butts Mankind to the floor. Taker leaps off the apron and accidentally hits Sid. Sid and Taker begin to exchange right hands. They go into the ring and Taker choke slams Sid! Taker leaps over the top rope and takes both Vader and Mankind out with a cross body! Vader gets a near fall on Sid back in the ring. Sid leaves the ring and goes back to Taker to brawl. Sid brings Taker into the ring and plants Taker with a power bomb! Sid leaves the ring and walks out on Taker. Vader rolls in and covers Taker to win the match. **
After the match, Sid shoves Vader off the middle rope as Vader was going to attack Taker some more. Taker gets up and tosses Vader over the top to the floor. Taker runs up the aisle way and to the back to get his hands on Sid.
Backstage, Bret Hart says he guesses he got the WWF World Championship match next week by crying. Next week Hart says he will prove that he is the best and it isn’t a giraffe (Sid).
End of show
My Take: The opening segment was okay, I guess. It was just a basic way of teasing tension between Sid and the Undertaker. Nothing all that fresh in terms of starting an angle. The material for the segment was actually pretty bad, or at least the delivery of it all. Plus, the brawl with all four men kind of seemed awkward. So, considering I have nothing buy negativity about it, maybe it wasn’t good after all.
The six man tag team match is clearly an attempt to combat the Cruiserweights in WCW. However, as mentioned before these guys are not nearly as good as the guys in WCW. At least McMahon is trying, though. The description was short because lets face it, people didn’t care for those guys so why should I? Two other segments occurred during the match for goodness sakes!
Legion of Doom teaming with Ahmed Johnson at Wrestle Mania is a good choice. This whole Ahmed vs. Nation feud seems to be dragging on though.
The tag match involving the tag champions and new Blackjacks wasn’t all that bad. It was a decent little brawl, but I hated the finish. I am interested though to see a possible Owen vs. Bulldog long lasting feud. They had a great match last week, I would like to see several of them in the coming months.
Miguel Perez has a incredibly hairy back. That is all.
I enjoyed the Ken Shamrock, Steve Austin and Bret Hart segment. I thought it did a very good job of promoting the match and introducing Ken Shamrock as a no nonsense type of character. This was one of the few bright spots of the show.
Marlena got a huge reaction when she attacked Chyna. I mean, I would have to say it was the biggest pop of the night. I think that shows you how dead the crowd was. But still, it was a legitimate good reaction.
Jerry Lawler got the better of Paul Heyman in the debate. No doubt about it. Heyman kind of looked like a fool by trying to shoot with Lawler and he failed at that. Not sure how this segment benefited ECW at all, though.
Main event was just okay. Pretty obvious that Taker and Sid would turn on each other, but it was done nicely. A decent way to close out the show.
Overall, you can’t expect RAW to beat Nitro when they put on a show like this. No one wants to watch squash matches in the year 1997. Anyway, the best segment goes to the Shamrock/Austin/Hart segment easily. Match of the night is the main event, because it was one of only two matches that wasn’t a squash. Bad overall show. Poor Worcester crowd for having to sit through it.
Thanks for reading.