Written by: Matt Peddycord
WWF: Raw is War
July 28, 1997
Pittsburgh Civic Arena
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: Steve Austin & Dude Love (7/14/1997)
Your hosts are Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, and Jerry Lawler.
Jim Ross meets the Hart Foundation (sans Jim Neidhart) in the ring. While Bret is facing a possible suspension or firing for what he did last week to Vince McMahon and Shawn Michaels, the WWF has decided instead to go ahead with the SummerSlam main event the way it is. Next week however, Gorilla Monsoon will name a Commissioner of the WWF and this entire situation will be reevaluated. Bret gets on the mic and reminds us how retarded American justice has become; using the OJ Simpson case as the prime example. He feels Americans will do just about anything to *screw* you. Oh man, I can’t wait to write up my Survivor Series 1997 recap. Bret is backpedaling on the stipulation where he said he would never wrestle on American soil again if he didn’t win the WWF title. He just mean that as a figure of speech. After he made that comment, the WWF has done everything to stack the deck against him. These USA chants are distracting Bret. Even if Shawn doesn’t call the match down the middle, Bret still gets screwed and Shawn can go back home for another ten years and find his smile. HA! Bret will be a five-time WWF champion whether America likes it or not. Pillman’s faces he’s making behind Bret’s back is hilarious. Bret makes threats towards Shawn Michaels to apologize to the Canadian fans for what he said about them last week. Here is where Bret makes the comment that if America is one giant toilet bowl, then you could stick the hose for an enema right here in Pittsburgh. I think he calls the town Pissburgh at one point. The crowd is getting really rambunctious and chanting something I can’t quite make out. We switch gears over to the Patriot. For sticking his nose in Bret’s business last week, he wants a match with the Patriot – TONIGHT.
They ask local Pittsburghers who they think will win the WWF title match on Sunday. They might want to keep an eye on the guy in the mask.
The Legion of Doom vs. Savio Vega & Miguel Perez (w/Jose & Jesus)
Hawk is your face in peril and you can guess how that goes. They go for the DOOMSDAY DEVICE on Perez, but the other Boricuas break it up for the DQ. (3:01) Out comes the Godwinns. While Los Boricuas beat up Animal, Henry SLOP DROPS and slops Hawk out on the floor. ½*
Next week, Raw is War starts at a new time: LIVE from 8:57 to 11PM!
After seeing some of the abuse Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Chyna have dished out on Mankind over the past two and a half months, Helmsley meets Mankind inside a STEEL CAGE come SummerSlam. Helmsley says we’re going to see how big of an animal he can be.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/Chyna) vs. Vader (w/Paul Bearer)
No match. Mankind “disguised” as a cameraman steals a camera and beats up Helmsley. Mankind manages to fight out and chases Helmsley through the crowd.
The Commandant says the TRUTH WILL HURT. Yeah, hurts to watch the Truth Commission.
Heavyweight Boxing Champion Michael Moorer gets a shoutout. The only thing I remember about this guy is that he’s the one who got knocked out by George Foreman in his big comeback title win in 1994, but I don’t claim to know a lot about boxing. Around this time though, he was gearing up for a rematch with Evander Holyfield, which he would lose.
BRAKUS. Coming soon.
The Truth Commission vs. Jesse James, Flash Funk & Bob Holly
So the Truth Commission is made up of the Interrogator (aka Kurrgan), Sniper, and Recon (aka Bull Buchanan). Of course, you also have the Commandant who barks things from outside the ring. There was also the Jackyl (aka Cyrus the Virus), but he wouldn’t come in until later. Gorilla Monsoon speaks with Jim Ross before the match and conforms that he will announce who the WWF Commissioner will be next week due to all the out of control shenanigans we’ve seen over the past month. He says he just can’t be everywhere at once. Due to his declining health, he couldn’t be the authority figure that he needed to be. Sniper and Recon have some trouble, but not the Interrogator. Holly gets pinned fairly easily with a Side Slam. (3:23) Wrong place, wrong time, and wrong philosophy for the Truth Commission. ½*
Vince calls a kid in Liverpool, NY who gets to come to SummerSlam for a chance at the million bucks and bring a guest as well. The kid doesn’t seem too excited. In fact, he seems a little disappointed that he can only bring one other person with him. Lawler calls Vince a cheap skate for only letting him bring one other person and tries to swindle the kid into splitting the million bucks with him.
Video package airs for the Patriot to round up some sympathy for the guy. After the break, Patriot says he doesn’t like Bret Hart and that this is one night he’s going to enjoy defending ‘Murica.
Crush (w/the DOA) vs. Faarooq (w/the NOD)
Ahmed Johnson returns debuting his NOD-style tights. Faarooq pounds the back and sits down on a chinlock, but Crush electric chair drops him over. Faarooq telegraphs a backdrop and receives a Piledriver. With Crush in control, Kama grabs an ankle to trip him up, which opens up the floodgates for an eight-man war. (3:16) When Crush gets thrown out of the ring, Los Boricuas appear and give Crush a QUADRUPLE POWERBOMB on the ramp. GANG RULZ! ¾*
TIME TO ENTER THE WARZONE!
WWF World Tag Team Champions Steve Austin & Dude Love vs. The Godwinns
Surrounded by all their gold, Owen Hart and Davey Boy Smith join us for commentary during this one. The Dude and Austin beat up Phineas pretty good to start. Double-Arm DDT gets two. Henry slams Phineas on top of Dude to turn the tide. Davey Boy challenges Ken Shamrock to an arm wrestling match for tonight. Hot tag to Austin, he handles the Godwinns pretty easily on his own and drops Phineas with a STONE COLD STUNNER. It’s all over, but Henry knocks Austin to the floor. Ref Mike Chioda starts the count and once his back is turned, Owen walks over and nails Austin with his IC title belt to get him counted out. (4:36) Of course, this leads to a 4-on-2 fight until the LOD run down to scare off the Godwinns and beat up Owen and Davey Boy. *½
Devon Storm vs. Ace Darling
Ken Shamrock is standing by for the arm wrestling match showing he’s down for it. These two do a quick HBK-Jannetty sequence and Storm gets the pin after countering a headscissors into a sunset flip in :45.
After a couple failed attempts at calling this guy, some nerd in Lafayette IN gets to come to SummerSlam at a chance at the million bucks. It could just be Bryan Danielson. All he says is “YES!” over and over again.
Time for the arm-wrestling match. First Davey Boy is winning, and then when Shamrock starts to win, Bulldog headbutts him and attacks Shamrock with a chair. Once he’s down, Davey Boy pulls out some cheap dog food and pours it all over Shamrock’s face.
Goldust (w/Marlena) vs. Rockabilly (w/the Honky Tonk Man)
There’s a mannequin at ringside wearing a golden dress that Brian Pillman will wear if he loses to Goldust at SummerSlam. Goldust and Marlena taunt Pillman saying that he doesn’t exactly fill out his tights. Pittsburgh wants to see him in a dress. Weird! Hardly even a match here. Rockabilly goes outside and gets in Michael Moorer’s face. Rockabilly slaps Moorer across the face and gets a right hand in return to knock him out cold. Next thing we know, Brian Pillman is in the ring attacking Goldust and the match has been thrown out. Pillman rips up the dress and starts choking Goldust when Marlena hops on his back. Referees and agents come out to settle the situation and escort Pillman backstage. No rating.
Now we get a video humanizing the Undertaker as this man who cares about his “soul and spirit”. Clips are shown including taking us back to Taker’s very first match in the WWF at the 1990 Survivor Series which included Bret Hart.
Vince brings out Shawn Michaels. He says he doesn’t apologize to anybody for anything. He admits that he’s a lot safer at ringside than he is back in the locker room. Well, that’s probably true. With that said, Shawn Michaels will join us for color commentary in the main event.
Bret Hart vs. The Patriot
Everybody shows Bret respect when they play the Canadian national anthem, but then Bret pearl harbors the Patriot while the US national anthem is being played. Shawn uses that excuse for why he doesn’t like the guy leaving out that he disrespected the entire Canadian audience last week. After Bret beats and chokes Patriot down in the corner, he rallies back and delivers the Patriot Missile for 1-2-NO! Commercials. When we come back, Bret is in control. During the break, he got crazy and slapped on the ringpost figure-four. Bret executes some of the Five Moves of Doom. Patriot tries to deliver the Uncle Slam real quick near the corner, but Bret kicks off the turnbuckles and they both fall backwards into the referee. Bret hits Patriot with a Piledriver and covers, but ref Hebner is down. Bret shakes Hebner a little bit and covers again, but Shawn sneaks in and pulls Bret off the pin. Bret is rightfully pissed. As Bret yells at Shawn from inside the ring, Patriot schoolboys Bret for the 1-2-3. (6:42 shown) That’s certainly the win Patriot needed to gain some credibility. **
Afterwards, HBK stands up on the announce table provoking Bret. Referees and agents keep Bret at bay as the Undertaker’s music plays throughout the arena. There’s plenty of fog, but no Undertaker as we close out the program.
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.