Written By: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Federation presents RAW
From: Syracuse, NY (my hometown!)
RAW opening video
Opening Contest: Legion of Doom defeated Savio Vega/Crush by DQ: LOD attack Crush and Vega on the floor before the bell. Hawk and Vega trade right hands while Animal and Crush enter the ring. Animal works on Crush with right hands. Crush comes back with a few big boots to Animal to gain the advantage. Hawk and Vega continue to brawl on the floor, where Vega rams Hawk face first into the announcers table. Animal clotheslines Crush and drops an elbow. Vega is clotheslined by Hawk in the ring. Vega and Hawk are the legal guys once the match is calmed down. Vega with a few right hands and pile drives Hawk, but Hawk no sells and clotheslines Vega. Hawk dropkicks Vega as he comes off the ropes for a two count. Animal tags in and snap mares Vega followed by a sleeper hold. Vega gets out of the hold and has a hammerlock on Animal, but Animal elbows out quickly. Hawk tags into the contest and backs Vega into a corner, where Crush tags in. We see footage from last nights MSG show where Ahmed Johnson was beaten down by Faarooq with a strap. Crush absorbs a clothesline from Hawk but is met with a dropkick. Hawk scoop slams Crush and connects with a standing fist drop as RAW goes to commercial. Vega nails Hawk with a spinning heel kick in the corner. Crush illegally tags in and takes Hawk over with a side belly to belly suplex for a near fall. Faarooq attacks Ahmed Johnson from behind with a nightstick, backstage. Animal gets the tag and power slams Vega. Animal dropkicks Crush and drops both Vega and Crush with a running clothesline. Animal clotheslines Vega in the corner and signals for the Doomsday Device! Faarooq runs down to the ring and nails Animal with a nightstick to cause the DQ. *¼
After the match, the Nation beats down the Legion of Doom. Ahmed Johnson runs down with a 2×4 and cleans house! PG-13 members are nearly killed!
Vince McMahon, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler are on commentary. McMahon mentions the steel cage match between Sid and Bret Hart. McMahon wonders if the cage match will be for the WWF World Championship. Lawler has heard a rumor that Shawn Michaels is on his way to the arena.
Second Contest: Hunter Hearst Helmsley defeated Flash Funk: Hunter arm drags Funk and taunts Funk. Funk leg trips Hunter and uses his legs to take Hunter over. Funk dropkicks Hunter and clotheslines Hunter over the top to the floor. Funk misses a baseball slide and is clotheslined by Hunter on the floor. Funk with a chop back in the ring and attempts a reverse leapfrog but Hunter catches Funk and connects with a electric chair slam! Hunter with a snap suplex and a knee drop for a two count. Hunter and Funk trade right hands in the corner with Funk getting the upper hand. Funk backdrops Hunter and connects with a running clothesline. Funk splashes Hunter in the corner and scoop slams Hunter. Funk with a leg drop and signals for the 450 splash. Funk heads to the top and connects with a top rope leg drop. Funk is pulled off by Chyna and this allows Hunter to German suplex Funk for a two count. Hunter heads to the top rope and is met with a super kick in midair which gets Funk a two count. Back suplex by Funk and again signals for the 450 splash. Funk heads to the top but Chyna gets on the apron and this allows Hunter to kick Funk and drive Funk down with the pedigree for the win. *½
After the match, Chyna gets a cheap shot in on Funk.
Backstage, Shawn Michaels has arrived to the building as RAW goes to commercial!
A video of New Jersey allowing WWF to return to the state. Summer Slam 1997 will be taking place in New Jersey.
Third Contest: Mini Goldust/Mascarita Sagrada Jr. defeated Mini Mankind/Mini Vader: Sagrada pins Mini Mankind with a rollup. NR.
After the match, Sagrada dropkicks Mini Vader to the floor and chases Mini Vader up the aisle way. Sagrada shoves Mini Vader off the ramp and dives off connecting with a cross body!
Backstage, Gorilla Monsoon addresses the cage match. Monsoon announces that the match will be for the WWF World Championship!
Bret Hart makes his way down to the ring for a interview with Kevin Kelly. Kelly asks about Hart’s thought for his match tonight against Sid. Hart appreciates Gorilla Monsoon looking at the situation closer. Hart notes that he won the Royal Rumble and the Final Four. Hart believes he deserves some respect in the WWF. Hart says there is a new motto in the WWF which is “you scratch my back, I’ll screw yours.” Hart proclaims that he will win the WWF World Championship tonight and promises to give Undertaker a title shot. Hart is going to give Steve Austin the worst beating of his life. Hart respects the reputation that Ken Shamrock has and hopes that Shamrock calls the match fair. Hart finishes off the interview with his catchphrase.
Fourth Contest: The Sultan defeated Mike Bell: WWF Intercontinental Champion Rocky Maivia is on commentary for the match. Sultan wins the squash with a camel clutch. NR
After the match, Sultan has a stare down with Rocky. Tony Atlas runs in from the crowd and holds Rocky back from getting involved with Sultan.
Shawn Michaels music hits and makes his way down to the ring to be interviewed by Vince McMahon. Michaels jokes about finding the smile he lost about a month ago. Michaels has decided to bring the smile with him wherever he goes. Michaels thanks the fans for their support and patience. McMahon asks Michaels about the health of his knee. Michaels says the knee is “coming along” and is going to be seeing Dr. Andrews next week to see where his knee is at. Michaels will be in the ring sooner rather than later. Michaels has a bone to pick with Vince McMahon. Michaels mentions that Wrestle Mania is right around the corner and was waiting for the phone call to ring but it never did. Michaels doesn’t see how the WWF can have a Wrestle Mania without Shawn Michaels. Michaels invites himself to Wrestle Mania XIII. Michaels is going to be on commentary for the WWF World Championship match. Michaels mentions the same thing happened for the Slammys. Michaels will also be at the Slammys.
Fifth Contest: WWF European Champion British Bulldog defeated Vader by DQ to retain the title: Vader tosses Bulldog into a corner but doesn’t follow up. Vader with a series of punches in the corner to control Bulldog and head butts Bulldog. Bulldog is sent into the ropes and runs into Vader. Vader with another right hand to drop Bulldog and delivers a short arm clothesline but Bulldog doesn’t go down. Bulldog attempt s a few shoulder blocks and knocks Vader off his feet with a leaping shoulder block. Running clothesline by Bulldog. Bulldog powers Vader up with a vertical suplex and clotheslines Vader to the floor as RAW goes to commercial.
Vader leaps off the middle rope and splashes Bulldog for a near fall. Bulldog avoids a splash by Vader and connects with a cross body for a near fall. Crucifix pin attempt by Bulldog but Vader blocks it and Samoan Drops Bulldog! Big splash by Vader for a two count. Vader leaps off the middle rope and splashes a standing Bulldog. Vader with a short arm clothesline and goes to the middle rope again but is caught in midair and slammed by Bulldog. A series of clotheslines by Bulldog and catches a charging Vader in the corner where Bulldog slams Vader! Bulldog with a few right hands and goes for the running power slam but Mankind grabs Vader’s foot to cause the DQ. **¼
After the match, Owen Hart is attacked by Vader and Mankind. Bulldog hits Paul Bearer and nails both Vader and Mankind with the urn!
Sixth Contest: Billy Gunn defeated Erin Ferguson: Ken Shamrock is on commentary for this match, for some random reason. Gunn wins the squash match quickly with a cross arm beaker. NR.
After the match, Gunn goes to the floor to taunt Ken Shamrock. Gunn says he is going to see if Shamrock lives up to the hype. Gunn wants Shamrock into the ring. Shamrock gets into the ring and locks in a arm bar. Gunn taps out fairly quickly. Gunn says that will not happen again. Shamrock with a go behind and trips Gunn. Shamrock locks in the ankle lock and Gunn quickly taps out again! Gunn backs off and leaves the ring. Gunn grabs a chair and tries to get back into the ring but the referee stops Gunn from getting back into the ring.
Backstage, Steve Austin cuts a promo and asks what is so impressive about Shamrock taking advantage of Billy Gunn. Austin calls Shamrock overrated and a piece of trash. Austin will punch Shamrock out if he doesn’t call the match fair at Wrestle Mania XIII. Austin says he is at the show because it is his job and he is the King of the Ring winner. Austin is happy that Bret Hart has a title shot tonight. Austin says that Hart only won Final Four because Austin was sick.
Backstage, WWF World Champion Psycho Sid tells Steve Austin to keep his ass out of his business. Sid is going to power bomb Bret Hart through the mat to the floor. Sid finishes off with his catchphrase.
The announcers hype up the show as the steel cage is being set up.
Main Event: WWF World Champion Psycho Sid defeated Bret Hart in a steel cage match to retain the title: Hart backs Sid into a corner and delivers a series of right hands to beat down Sid.. Hart chokes Sid but Sid comes back with right hands. Eye rake by Hart and rams Sid into the corner followed by a snap mare and a forearm drop. Hart tries to climb out but Sid low blows Hart and Hart falls back into the ring. Sid rams Hart back first into the cage a few times. Sid tries to climb out but Hart cuts Sid off and punches Sid on the top rope. Sid gets the advantage and begins to kick Hart on the top rope. Hart is crotched on the top turnbuckle but is able to leap off and punch Sid. Hart works on Sid in the corner with right hands and a head butt. Hart attempts to climb again but Sid slams Hart off the top to the mat. Sid goes for the door a few times but Hart grabs Sid by the foot. Steve Austin runs down and holds the door so that Sid can’t escape the cage as RAW goes to commercial! Hart continues to work on Sid’s back with right hands and head butts. Sid sends Hart hard back first into the corner and is able to power bomb Hart! Sid begins to climb the cage but Austin has climbed up as well and begins to punch Sid several times! Austin and Sid are sitting on top of the cage trading right hands! Austin and Hart are now double teaming Sid on top of the cage! Sid is dragged back into the cage by Hart as the Undertaker runs down and all four men are going at it on top of the cage! Taker knocks Austin off the cage and Hart brings Sid back down to the mat with a superplex!
Austin smashes Taker over the back with a chair on the floor! Sid starts to climb up the cage while Hart is at the door. Taker runs over and whips the cage into Hart’s face! Sid is able to drop down and wins the match. **
After the match, Sid celebrates his win while Hart is left in the ring pissed off.
Vince McMahon enters the ring to interview Bret Hart. McMahon says Hart must be frustrated. Hart shoves McMahon down and says this is BULLSHIT! Hart is sick and tired of getting screwed over in the WWF. Hart believes he should be the WWF World Champion. Hart is sick of people turning a blind eye to the miscarriage of justices against him. Hart says everyone knows he is the best. “If you don’t like it, tough shit.” Austin is backstage and tells Hart that he needs to stop crying like a baby and calls Hart a loser. Austin says he tried help Hart to win the WWF World Championship but Hart failed. Hart calls Austin out to the ring. Psycho Sid comes down to the ring and so does the Undertaker. Hart takes Taker out with a suicide dive but Steve Austin comes down and attacks Hart! Taker and Sid start brawling in the ring while Austin brawls with Hart on the floor! Several referees come down to break up the fighting but they are beaten up as well. Bret Hart nails Pat Patterson with a right hand on the aisle way! Taker and Sid try to choke slam each other in the ring. Shawn Michaels appears at the top of the aisle way and slowly comes down to the ringside area. Hart backdrops Austin on the aisle way! Michaels grabs a chair in the ring and goes back to the floor as RAW comes to an end!
End of show
My Take: The Legion of Doom got a pretty big ovation from the Syracuse crowd. The match was pretty boring, though and the crowd kind of got dead near the end of the contest. Thankfully, their was a explosive aftermath to keep the crowd warmed up going forward with the show.
Funk/HHH was a decent little match. Fairly fast pace match with some good offense. At least it wasn’t a complete squash match. Funk needs to lose those boots though.
I don’t care about the short people wrestling matches. If you do, sorry. I’m not going to give much detail on things that don’t offer much to the program.
There doesn’t seem to be much interest in the Sultan character. I’m not interested in the character either. I really don’t even think there is a story between himself and Rocky, anyway.
Michaels promo started off the second hour of the show. I thought it was stupid that Michaels would pretty much make a joke out of him “losing his smile.” I don’t think anyone took that serious anyway, but I’m sure his female fans, his main supporters, did. The interview didn’t really accomplish anything of importance other than Michaels having a non-important role at Wrestle Mania XIII.
I enjoyed Vader/Bulldog. Bulldog displayed some really good power moves and the match was a pretty good slugfest. Lame finish was expected since they are involved in a tag title match at Mania. A solid overall match and segment.
I strongly doubt this singles push for Billy Gunn will amount to anything. Especially considering he got punked out by Ken Shamrock. The fans are clearly interested in Ken Shamrock as he got a good pop from the crowd.
The main event was decent but nothing all that special. The aftermath was great. The heel turn by Hart was done nicely and the brawling between all four men was executed very well. The title match and submission match are clearly the two matches that are the drawing power for the pay per view. A good way to end the show.
Overall, the Syracuse crowd was hot for just about everything and that makes the show a lot of fun. The in-ring action may not have been all that great but it was better than most recent weeks. Decent overall show heading into the biggest pay per view of the year.
Thanks for reading.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.