Written by: Matt Peddycord
WWF: Raw is War
June 9, 1997
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: Shawn Michaels & Steve Austin (5/26/1997)
Most of you insiders reading this probably already know the story, but this is the infamous evening where Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels – both scheduled to appear on the program – got into a legitimate argument backstage. Apparently, the argument that started all of this was Bret confronting Shawn over his comments about Bret having “Sunny days” crossing the line a couple weeks back. Once they started fighting, Shawn got a hunk of his hair pulled out of his head and walked out of the company for the second time in four months this time claiming unsafe working conditions and threatened to leave the WWF for good to go work with his “real friends” over in WCW. Nothing concerning the off-screen altercation was mentioned on the air until the following week when the WWF tag team belts were declared vacant for the third time in three years.
Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Jim Ross.
The Legion of Doom & Ahmed Johnson vs. Faarooq, Savio Vega & Crush
It’s a WrestleMania 13 rematch, but without all the flare of a street fight. Plus, the NOD aren’t quite exactly as strong a unit as they were then. Hawk starts off with Savio. He sells nothing Savio throws at him and tags Animal. Crush serves to be a more suitable opponent. There’s a shoulderblock battle, which Animal wins. He dropkicks Crush out and Hawk runs him down with a clothesline. Back in, Crush tags Faarooq and he doesn’t seem too cool with that. Ahmed comes inside to face him. Faarooq telegraphs a backdrop and Ahmed stops him with a scissors kick. From there, Faarooq is stuck on the wrong side of town. Ahmed kicks Faarooq out to the floor where the NOD can attempt to regroup, but LOD run over and sandwich them all together. With Crush and Savio down, Hawk throws Faarooq back inside to Ahmed. After a series of corner clotheslines, Faarooq stumbles into the PEARL RIVER PLUNGE and that’s that. (6:07) Next thing we see are Crush and Savio Vega walking up towards the tunnel – figuratively and literally walking out on their supposed leader. ¾*
After the break, the NEW King of the Ring Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Chyna head down to the ring to talk with Vince McMahon. Here’s the latest shoot comment that isn’t supposed to be a shoot comment. HHH tells Vince that they both know he should have been KOTR in 1996. The story there is he was slated to win the KOTR, but instead he was the one who got punished for the whole MSG incident. Helmsley sends out a challenge to anybody in the WWF that has the guts to face him, all they have to do is knock on his door. Well, Mankind appears on the TitanTron knocking at his door. Chyna SPEAKS for the first time ever and says if Mankind wants some more, he can come down and kiss her behind. Mankind says that’s fine because he’s a good kisser. After that little gem, he heads to the ring doing the Cactus Jack mannerisms. Once he pops in the ring, Helmsley crowns him again with the KOTR crown. They leave him lying there and start to leave, but then Mankind sits up and puts the KOTR crown on his head.
WWF European Champion Davey Boy Smith vs. Goldust (w/Marlena)
Can you believe it? THREE MONTHS of this title being in existence and no title defenses on your top program. JR says that instead of being the American Dream, Goldust can be the European Dream. Basic stuff to start. Goldust gets in a few lariats, but Davey Boy hits the Hourglass Suplex. After some Dusty punches, Davey Boy whips Goldust into the corner and tries the RUNNING POWERSLAM. Goldust slips out and drops Bulldog with a DDT for the 1-2-3. Oh, but Davey Boy clearly had his feet on the bottom rope. Match continues, but we have to take a commercial break. When we return, Davey Boy is in total control. Goldust fights out of a chinlock, but a crossbody block takes him out to the floor where Davey Boy follows him for a double-countout brawl. (7:21 shown) Bulldog tries to injure Goldust using the steps, but Marlena comes over and slaps him to try to get Davey Boy to stop. That just angers him further, so he grabs a chair. Marlena kneels down on top of her man begging Bulldog to stop. Just as he lifts the chair back over his head, KEN SHAMROCK makes the save and gives Bulldog a big throw. As Davey Boy gets up to see who just did that to him, he shoves Shamrock back. Shamrock wants to fight, but ref Tim White keeps them separated and Davey Boy walks out. *½
Meanwhile backstage, Dok Hendrix is trying to figure out what the disturbance is inside the Nation of Domination’s dressing room. The door is locked, but Faarooq and some others walk out. He’s got something to say, so he’s going to the ring to say it. Hendrix goes back into the dressing room and talks to Savio Vega, who just says stuff in Spanish. Crush tells Hendrix that everything is just fine with the Nation of Domination, then he kicks Hendrix out. Let’s go to the ring. Faarooq can’t trust either Crush or Savio Vega, so they’re both fired. Oh yeah, and so is Clarence Mason and those nameless suits for that matter. The only man left in the Nation besides Faarooq himself is D’Lo Brown. With all that business taken care of, the newest Nation member will be revealed next week on Raw is War so long as the Undertaker and Ahmed Johnson accept his challenge.
Backstage, it appears Marc Mero is laying down the law with his wife Sable. We can’t hear what he’s saying. He’s probably just pissed that she keeps giving those KOTR inflatable chairs lap dances. If their marriage is to succeed, that relationship must end NOW.
Paul E. Dangerously and Tommy Dreamer take their seats in the audience. You know it’s TOTALLY unplanned when the spotlight is shining on them and everything.
The Headbangers vs. Phil LaFon & Doug Furnas
LaFon and Furnas claim to be the WWF’s most EXCITING tag team. Apparently the Headbangers beg to differ. Vince acknowledges the ECW chants. LaFon runs down Mosh, but he fires back with armdrags and dropkicks. Tag to Furnas, he takes a double flapjack from the Headbangers. LaFon and Furnas do the same to Thrasher except they drop him on the top rope. LaFon tries Cattle Mutilation and hits a snap suplex. Back to Furnas, he hits the other best dropkick in the business. They continue to work over Thrasher. Beautiful headscissors gets two. Fast forward to the finish while the crowd continues to chant ECW things, LaFon runs Mosh into the steps and dives onto Thrasher, but Thrasher moves and Furnas gets nailed. As LaFon backs up into the ropes disgusted with himself, Mosh pulls him out while Thrasher pins Furnas for the win. (3:37) Short and decent. *½
In the back, Jerry Lawler stands by with the ECW “defector” Rob Van Dam. He can’t believe McMahon let Paul E. Dangerously and Tommy Dreamer into the building. If those two interfere in RVD’s match tonight, there will be HELL to pay.
HOUR NUMBER TWO! Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Jim Ross.
They kick off the hour with the hottest man in the company: Stone Cold Steve Austin. Vince McMahon meets him inside the ring and calls the swirly Austin gave to Brian Pillman last night at the KOTR “dastardly”. Austin says he’s proud of what he did and just wishes there had been other things inside that toilet bowl. He can’t wait for later on tonight when he gets to beat up Pillman, drop him with the Stunner, pin him 1-2-3, and carry his carcass to the locker room to finish the job. Vince mentions the open challenge laid out by Bret Hart last night for five guys to take on the Hart Foundation at the Calgary Stampede PPV on July 6. Steve Austin says he’ll be the first one on the list. He doesn’t even care if four other wrestlers accept the challenge, because he’ll beat up the whole Hart family if he has to. And that’s the bottom line, because Stone Cold said so.
Rob Van Dam (w/Jerry Lawler) vs. Flash Funk
Before the match, Paul E. and Tommy Dreamer naturally get into an argument with Jerry Lawler and Rob Van Dam. After the break, some brief footage of Jerry Lawler’s appearance at Wrestlepalooza in the ECW arena from the previous Saturday night gets shown. Looks like Lawler, RVD, and Sabu are beating up Dreamer. More of that will be shown on Shotgun Saturday Night, says JR. Sounding incredibly hoarse, Lawler joins Vince and JR and says he’s got a throat infection after suffering the Mandible Claw Sunday night. Onto the match, Flash and RVD trade kicks. Funk dropkicks RVD to the floor and follows up with a pescado. Back on the apron, RVD trips up Flash and delivers a slingshot legdrop. With Flash on the floor, RVD upstages his high-risk move with a somersault plancha, which barely hits. Inside the ring, Van Dam hits Rolling Thunder, but Funk mounts his comeback. T-bone suplex sets up the Flying Moonsault for 1-2-NO! Flash misses a spinning heel kick though and takes a standing moonsault for two. Hurracanrana gets countered by RVD with a powerbomb and a bridge for 1-2-NO! Funk hits an enziguri, but charges into a boot and takes the Split-Legged Moonsault to give RVD the win. (4:29) Then the fun picks up as Dangerously and Dreamer jump the railing to beat up Lawler and RVD. Refs and agents head down to separate the two parties. Somewhere ECW marks are flipping out! **
WWF Intercontinental Champion Owen Hart (w/Jim Neidhart) vs. Psycho Sid
Here is Sid’s last match to date on WWF TV. He’s not dead yet, so you can never say never! Ken Shamrock comes out and joins us for commentary. Shamrock is sick and tired of seeing people being outnumbered and it’s not fair, so he’s keeping an eye out on this match. Owen goes for the legs and uses Neidhart’s interference to gain the advantage. Eventually, Shamrock gives Neidhart a belly to belly suplex on the floor to take care of him. With Neidhart done for, Sid gets a quick Chokeslam on Owen for the non-title victory. (4:14) Shamrock and Sid shake hands. The man is making friends now! *
Sable comes out to model the Raw is War t-shirt when Marc Mero comes out the curtain and drags her back inside.
And now time for the fourth and final installment of the Mankind interview. Couple ECW clips get played. Every time Mankind locks in the Mandible Claw, he pretends the victim is Vince McMahon and asks why Vince didn’t take him on when he was younger. He feels disdain for Shawn Michaels because he got the ‘boyhood dream’ treatment and Foley didn’t. He’s never been diagnosed with a multiple-personality disorder and doesn’t believe in doctors. If there was something wrong with his mind, he thinks he would know that. JR brings up the possibility that maybe all of Mankind’s problems are his own fault and he should just accept the personal responsibility for the outcome of his life. That’s when Foley goes nuts and puts Jimmy in the Mandible Claw. Once he releases the hold and realizes what he’s done, Mankind changes his tune and feels nothing but sympathy for what’s happened to JR.
Rockabilly (w/Honky Tonk Man) vs. Bart Gunn
THE SMOKING GUNNS EXPLODE! Honky Tonk Man feels that Rockabilly can’t become the star he believes he can be until the issue gets settled with his brother Bart. Yeah, THAT’S what’s holding him back. Bart tries a comeback and quickly telegraphs a backdrop to eat a Rocker Dropper. SHAKE RATTLE AND ROLL ends Bart in no time. (2:54) So now expect a meteoric rise for Rockabilly. The sky is the limit for this man! ½*
Backstage, a cameraman spies on the Hart Foundation and gets knocked down.
Steve Austin vs. Brian Pillman
During Austin’s entrance, the Hart Foundation jump him from behind and beat him up so badly that he can’t even compete. While refs and agents try and get rid of the Hart Foundation, that’s when Mankind rushes down and we have what appears to be bait-and-switch booking.
Mankind vs. Brian Pillman
Vince finally brings up that Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels have been asked to leave the building after an ‘unprofessional display of conduct’ earlier in the day. No more detailed of a description than that. This is all Mankind until Pillman drops him on the rampway with a back suplex. Lots of back and forth punching. Mankind rallies back with an inverted atomic drop and a big boot. DOUBLE-ARM DDT leads to the MANDIBLE CLAW, which brings out the Hart Foundation for the DQ. (5:13 shown) Stone Cold comes hobbling down the ramp followed by Ken Shamrock. Together, they clean house on the heels. Austin doesn’t quite care for Shamrock’s assistance, so he drops him with a Stunner. He flips both Shamrock and Mankind double birds and heads out as we close the show. *