Written by: Matt Peddycord
WWF: Raw is War
May 12, 1997
Bob Carpenter Center
The current WWF champs were as follows:
World Champion: The Undertaker (3/23/1997)
Intercontinental Champion: Owen Hart (4/28/1997)
European Champion: Davey Boy Smith (3/3/1997)
World Tag Team Champions: Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith (9/22/1996)
Tonight’s broadcast is dedicated to the late Rose Anderson who was a family friend of the McMahons. The next image we see is the “Cold Day in HELL” logo. Got to love it.
Anyways, we get still shots of the previous night’s festivities courtesy of WWF Magazine.
The “Worldwide Leader in Sports Entertainment” ad debuts.
Your hosts are Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler.
Out comes the Hart Foundation to start the show. Bret introduces his crew and then denigrates Stone Cold Steve Austin. He turns his attention to the WWF fans and points out their hypocrisy for wanting justice to be served after Austin was screwed out of winning the title at Cold Day in Hell when they didn’t seem to even care whenever this same thing happened to Bret. As for the Undertaker, Bret says it’s just a matter of time until the only WWF title they don’t currently hold will be coming home to them. Bret also mentions a surprise, but he won’t tell us what it is since the crowd won’t shut up, so they decide it’s time to leave.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/Chyna) vs. Ahmed Johnson – KOTR Quarterfinals
Ahmed looks to vent out his frustrations for not realizing his goal last night all over HHH while JR discusses the vast differences in these two men. After his big kicks, Ahmed misses a corner charge and runs shoulder-first into the middle turnbuckle. Facebuster and the Harley Race knee drop gets two. Ahmed gets ANGRY and drops HHH with the Spinebuster. Chyna knows the PEARL RIVER PLUNGE is coming and nails Ahmed with a chair in plain sight of the ref for the DQ. (3:53) Knowing that was probably not such a smart idea, HHH takes Chyna by the hand and leads her up the ramp. However, Ahmed runs after him and beats Hunter on the ramp while Chyna tries to pull him off her man. A fleet of refs come down to pull Ahmed off Helmsley as Howard Finkel announces Johnson’s advancement in the tournament. I know what you’re thinking. I thought HHH won the KOTR in 1997? Just keep watching. ¾*
In a Super Soaker commercial, Sunny shoots the Headbangers with the big CPS 2000. Maybe it was just the one I had, but that thing leaked like crazy. You would get more wet than anybody you shot. That’s what she said.
Stone Cold Steve Austin comes out and meets Vince McMahon in the ring. He’s carrying a crutch with him. What is it with the rising stars of 1997 in both WWF and WCW and crutches? Both DDP and Austin carrying around crutches. Crowd seems disappointed that Austin isn’t the champ yet, but he promises there will come a day when he will be WWF champion. If Bret wants his crutch back, he needs to wheel on down and see what kind of luck he has in taking it away from him. Austin says he’s going to treat the Hart Foundation like you would a snake. Ordinarily you would just chop it’s head off, which in this scenario would be Bret. UH-HUH! Austin’s going after the snake’s butt. I guess that is funnier than ‘snake’s tail’. If it had a butt, the butt of the snake would be Brian Pillman. Austin crippled him once before and he carried him in his back pocket in the bush leagues. But when they meet in the ring, Austin will destroy him and that’s the bottom line ’cause Stone Cold Said So.
Here’s a Hall of Fame montage for Ivan Putski to hype up his son’s debut, of course including a shot of Putski beating on Roddy Piper.
Scott Putski vs. Leif Cassidy
As I said before, this is Scott Putski’s WWF debut. He’s been around for years most notably in the GWF, but now he’s made it to the big time. He’s got kind of a Renegade thing going on with the tassels and long dark hair. He’s a much better wrestler, I’ll tell ya that much. He’s got some lucha influences, which is different from his dad. One hurracanrana hits, but Putski runs into a Snow Bomb for two. Cassidy looks so disappointed when he repeatedly can’t get the three-count on this guy. Overhead belly to belly suplex connects. After some awkward corner to corner moves, Putski delivers the Release German Suplex for the 1-2-3. (4:08) Afterwards, Cassidy is so pissed that he got beat, he takes it out on Putski some more down on the floor. Putski makes sure to clean house on him again though as Cassidy yells at JR for getting showed up not once but TWICE in five minutes. ¾*
How do you not love the LOD?
The Legion of Doom vs. PG-13
Well, Savio Vega has a match later with the Undertaker, so he won’t be in this match. Faarooq and Crush would be their best opponents, but they don’t really want to meet the Legion of Doom, so they send down PG-13 to face Hawk and Animal while the rest of the NOD stay up on the ramp and watch. This goes about as bad as it could for PG-13. First JC Ice receives the DOOMSDAY DEVICE, then Wolfie D (who calls the NOD to come down and help, but they just walk away) to give LOD the win at 2:01. Yeah, so, that’s the end of PG-13 in the WWF as they go spend some time in ECW.
Call the Ross Report right now to find out some scintillating news on Psycho Sid!
In the back, we see Mankind shunning the camera as he looks after his uncle Paul who has his face all wrapped up.
When we return from commercials, Mankind appears on the ramp and confesses how he didn’t exactly get the job done when he burned the Undertaker. But at Revenge of the Taker, Undertaker went and burned Paul Bearer – a man that loved him. Before Mankind brings out Paul Bearer, he asks the crowd to show him some compassion. Paul Bearer gives Undertaker one more chance to make amends, but Mankind pleads with him not to do that. If Undertaker doesn’t take his offer, Paul Bearer will reveal a secret that he vowed to keep while standing over the grave site of the Undertaker’s parents. Come back, or Paul Bearer is going to hurt him bad. Mankind reminds the Undertaker that he’s been forewarned. Have a nice day. They embrace before Mankind helps Paul Bearer to the back.
HOUR NUMBER TWO! Your hosts are Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler.
Vince McMahon speaks with the NEW #1 contender to the WWF title Faarooq. Don’t see how that would be possible since he’s only beaten Ahmed Johnson once in the last three months, but okay. It was originally going to be Ahmed Johnson against the Undertaker at the King of the Ring, but that obviously has been changed. Faarooq asks Vince when was the last time a black man won the WWF title? Never. He calls IC champions like Ahmed Johnson and US champions like Bobo Brazil “token” champions. The reason it’s never happened is because the white man doesn’t feel the black man is worthy of holding the gold. No longer will the black man wash the white man’s cars and raise the white man’s kids. Vince says it has nothing to do with being black. Faarooq calls the Undertaker the ‘white savior’ and at the King of the Ring, he will be a dead man. Hate to break it to you, brother, but he’s always been a dead man. Faarooq continues to preach his message of hate as he goes the Charles Barkley route saying he never meant to be a role model for anybody. He finishes up saying he will take matters into his own hands BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY!
WWF World Champion The Undertaker vs. Savio Vega (w/the NOD)
This non-title match starts up during the commercial break. Taker hits Old School and boots Savio down for two. One of the NOD suits around ringside distracts Undertaker so Vega can take over. Savio kicks at the knee Austin worked over last night and then chokes him in the corner. Vega comes off the middle rope, but flies down onto a boot. Taker delivers the Chokeslam and calls for the finish. He takes out Crush and I believe D’Lo Brown off the apron. TOMBSTONE to Savio, but the NOD boys all jump the Undertaker before he can get the pin for the DQ. (4:01 shown) Once UT’s beaten down, Faarooq whips him with a leather strap and then holds up the WWF title.
After the break, Sable appears and models the original Austin 3:16 t-shirt on the ramp.
Rob Van Dam vs. Jeff Hardy
So over in ECW, RVD was on a severe losing streak and told everyone he would soon be competing on Monday nights. Many thought he would be returning to WCW for the big contracts like several other ECW stars had done in the past, but here he shows up on Monday Night Raw. This is all confirmed by Jerry Lawler talking to RVD in the ring and lambasting ECW for absolutely sucking. RVD calls ECW low-budget and a promotion full of no-talent wannabes who couldn’t possibly hold onto someone with the extreme talents of Rob Van Dam. Lawler calls Van Dam “Mr. Monday Night” and tells him to take care of this Jon Bon Jovi wannabe Jeff Hardy. Right off the bat, RVD does his split and monkey flip. Series of kicks lead to a double-underhook front suplex. Spin kick puts Hardy on the floor and RVD wipes him out with a somersault plancha. Back in, he hits the spinning legdrop and heads up top for the FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH. Split-legged moonsault gets the win though at 2:29. Funny how he’s so anti-ECW, yet his theme music is the ECW theme song. Lawler says RVD won’t be returning to ECW because he’s now in the WWF on Monday nights. JR doesn’t think RVD has a contract, so take that Lawler.
And now part two of the sit-down interview with Dustin & Terri Runnels. Not nearly as interesting as last week. They do continue to push him as a big family man and really wanting to reconnect with his father. He wanted to be just like you, Big Dust!
Jim Ross joins the Undertaker LIVE via the backstage camera. He tells Paul Bearer that some dark secrets should never see the light of day. As for Faarooq, he’s left the Undertaker no choice but to unleash a demon to help him do battle against the Nation of Domination so that they can all soon rest in peace.
WWF World Tag Team Champions Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith vs. The Headbangers vs. The New Blackjacks vs. Doug Furnas & Phil LaFon
This is a non-title four-way elimination match. LaFon and Owen have a headlock-headscissors exchange on the mat. Bunch of tags happen as Furnas and LaFon encounter some miscommunication problems. Windham uses that opportunity to deck LaFon with a LARIAT to eliminate the Can-Am Express at 1:42. The New Blackjacks double-team Mosh as we go to commercial. AND WE’RE BACK! During the break, we find out LaFon and Furnas screw the Blackjacks out of the match with the Strongbow finish. Now it’s down to just the Headbangers and the tag champs. The top turnbuckle gets exposed and that backfires on Owen as he runs chest-first into the corner. Thrasher gives Mosh a front suplex from the middle rope on top of Owen for the 1-2-3! Oh, but Owen had his foot on the bottom rope. Match continues. During the chaos, Davey Boy gets the tag when Mosh isn’t looking and school boys him for two. Hourglass suplex scores another nearfall. Thrasher gets in a knee from the apron to allow the Headbangers to work over Bulldog. Leapfrog guillotine gets two. Double-KO sets up a tag to Owen. He hits a backbreaker to set up the SHARPSHOOTER on Mosh, but Thrasher runs in for the save. The match breaks down into the corners and the Headbangers gets whipped into each other. Spinning heel kick to Mosh from Owen, but a RUNNING POWERSLAM by the Bulldog on Thrasher gets the real 1-2-3. (7:18 shown) JR – “Neither one was legal, but who’s counting?” The Headbangers looked probably the best I’ve seen yet. *½
After the match, Jim Neidhart and Brian Pillman head down to the ring with Bret Hart to join the tag champs. Before he gets started though, Bret sends everybody back to the dressing room. Don’t worry, he’ll be fine. Bret sends a message to Austin that if he’s thinking about coming out to the ring, just remember that there’s a pack of lions that’ll rip him to shreds if he does. So what’s this surprise all about, Bret? He calls Shawn Michaels out. Bret lets Shawn know how he feels by saying that he hates his guts because he’s the epitome of America: arrogant, cocky, and thinks he’s better than everybody else. At one point, Shawn takes his sport jacket off and Bret uses that as an analogy to describe Shawn’s career. One minute he’s hot, the next minute he’s not. OUCH. Bret compares present-day America to ancient Rome. When it fell, the people were being controlled by a bunch of scum just like America today in a country that’s going to eventually end up destroying itself. Wow, that’s actually some legitimate social commentary there. Bret continues to berate Shawn Michaels saying he screwed him out of the WWF title at WrestleMania 12 and didn’t have the guts to face him in a rematch at WrestleMania 13. He brings up the absurdity that Shawn lived through during his title reign – posing for girly mags and getting his navel pierced. HA! This goes on until JR tells us we have run out of time.
So what happened after they went off the air? Well, Bret eventually challenges Shawn to a match at the King of the Ring and Shawn answers the challenge by giving Bret SWEET CHIN MUSIC to send him falling out of his wheelchair. The Hart Foundation comes down and beats Shawn up for it until Stone Cold Steve Austin makes the save using the crutch.
WWF and Super Soaker presents the King of the Ring on June 8
LIVE on PPV from Providence, Rhode Island
MAIN EVENT: WWF Champion Undertaker vs. Faarooq
King of the Ring Tournament two semi-final matches and the finals
WWF Tag Team Champions Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith vs. The Legion of Doom
Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart for a WWF title shot at SummerSlam (rumored)
Steve Austin vs. Brian Pillman (rumored)
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.