Written by: Matt Peddycord
WWF: Friday Night’s Main Event
August 29, 1997
The current WWF champs were as follows:
World Champion: Bret Hart (8/3/1997)
Intercontinental Champion: Steve Austin (8/3/1997)
European Champion: Davey Boy Smith (3/3/1997)
World Tag Team Champions: Steve Austin & Dude Love (7/14/1997)
Your hosts are Jim Ross and Jim Cornette. YES! My favorite commentary pairing of all-time.
We kick off the show with Shawn Michaels coming to the ring and bringing with him the “very same” chair that he busted open the Undertaker with back on August 18. He can’t believe that the WWF is now calling what he did at SummerSlam a mistake after he blatantly nailed the Undertaker with a chair – TWICE – last week on Raw. That’s what happened though when the WWF paints Shawn Michaels into a corner. He comes out fighting. Shawn mocks those in the WWF who call themselves live wires or guys with really bad attitudes, but then he admits he is all of those things in the real world. Shoot comments that aren’t supposed to be shoot comments? Shawn told the WWF not to push him. When they did, they got a reaction all over the Undertaker’s head. As for those who think he’s signed his own death warrant after what he did, Shawn says he will lay down and die for the Undertaker. Essentially, he will not job, which is exactly what happens. Shawn says, however, he will take what is coming to him. If the Undertaker wants to bring him down at Ground Zero, Shawn proclaims he will go down in a “blaze of fire”. The “Shawn is gay” chants are quite impossible to be ignored. Shawn threatens to come out into the audience to screw all the ladies just to show us how straight he is. Being straight is one thing, but having sex with several thousand women in the audience is another. My how times have changed. Anyways, back to business. He threatens to put away the Undertaker for good with a Mack truck if need be. He then calls himself the official outlaw of the WWF and promises to dance all over the Undertaker’s corpse. This was one amazing angst-riddled promo. Afterwards, Shawn grabs a skank out of the front row and plants one on her. Little known inside secret: it was really a dude!
WWF Champion Bret Hart vs. Vader (w/Paul Bearer)
Bret and Vader got into a scuffle last week on Raw when Bret laid a Canadian flag over the Patriot before a Vader Bomb, which pissed off Vader. The crowd is actually cheering Vader for the first time since he left WCW. This is a title match, by the way. Before the match, Bret tells Vader he’s going to beat him up and that he’s fat. A rather large mistake on Bret’s part. Har har. Vader again breaks the Canadian flag over his knee. They head to the floor where Vader misses an avalanche up against the guardrail. Bret capitalizes with a ride into the steps. Like the awesome heel he is, Bret mocks Vader standing on the steps. Back inside, Bret delivers a back suplex and drops the flying vertical elbow as we go to commercial. When we come back, this has developed into a brawl as they are trading blows back and forth, which is a battle Bret just cannot win. Vader hits a short-arm clothesline and a big splash for 1-2-NO! Bret slinks out to the floor and brings a chair into the ring. Vader gets it away from him and threatens to put some hurting on the WWF champ, but that’s all the motivation Owen Hart and Davey Boy Smith need to come down and attack Vader for the DQ. (4:36 shown) We are in an era now where a wrestler can have a chair in his hands and all the ref does is shake his finger at him. Bret puts the ringpost figure-four on Vader, causing the Patriot to come down for the save. Fun, short brawl. *½
Afterwards, Jim Ross speaks with the Patriot asking him what is his association with Vader. Patriot says there is no association, he just won’t stand by and watch somebody be triple-teamed. Patriot plans to throw a monkey wrench in Bret’s plans at Ground Zero.
Sunny stops by to tell us she’ll be conducting some interviews in the men’s locker room tonight. The next Missy Hyatt, ladies and gentlemen. JR wants a woman’s opinion on what Brian Pillman said about Goldust and Marlena’s daughter being his “love child”. She feels no one should say those sort of things when children are present. I didn’t know Dakota was at Raw last week. Anyways, I know what she means. They then replay Pillman’s “confession” from Raw and the match stipulations for he and Goldust at Ground Zero.
Goldust (w/Marlena) vs. Salvatore Sincere
This is the first I’ve seen of Salvatore Sincere since Tiger Ali Singh debuted on Raw back in April. JR and Cornette talk about the severity of the match stipulations if Goldust was to lose to Brian Pillman at Ground Zero. Poor Dakota would be without her mother for 30 days for crying out loud! For some of my readers, I’m sure they would enjoy 30 days without their mothers, frequently yelling down at you in the basement to get a job. I’M TRYING, MOM. THE JOB MARKET IS TERRIBLE. Glorified squash here. Goldust gets nailed when he pays attention to his wife. Running Bulldog and the CURTAIN CALL is enough to put away Sincere. (3:42) Much like Randy Savage would do when he would yell at Diamond Dallas Page over *his* wife, Brian Pillman screams at Goldust from the mezzanine. ¾*
They replay the Stone Cold Steve Austin interview from last week. Next week, we’ll hear what the spine doctors had to say about Austin’s neck.
Dude Love vs. Rockabilly
Dude has his share of the WWF tag team titles with him. Corny can’t figure out what it is about Dude Love that gets everybody excited. JR – “He ain’t got a lick of rhythm.” Honky Tonk Man is conspicuous by his absence. He’s about six weeks away from getting his wig split with a guitar though. Another glorified squash while JR and Cornette try to fit in Beatles references. Sweet Shin Music sets up the DOUBLE-ARM DDT for the pinfall. (4:13) Afterwards, JR questions Dude about the status of the fatal four-way match planned for Ground Zero with the WWF tag titles on the line. Either they defend the championship as a team, or forfeit the championship as a team, because the Dude will not stand alone. Austin is like cheap toilet paper; he don’t take crap off nobody. OWW! And here comes the groupies! ¾*
Backstage in the men’s locker room, Sunny goes up to Bret Hart to ask for a comment. Bret wants her out. Before she goes, Owen grabs her by the arm and tells her to tell Commissioner Slaughter that he’s begging Steve Austin for a rematch so he can finish his career for good.
To kick off the second hour, they replay the closing comments from Shawn Michaels.
Now it’s time for the Undertaker. Cornette puts him over HUGE placing him in the same category as Andre the Giant. Undertaker still his forehead bandaged to sell the chairshots. It’s amazing how something like chairshots to the head would soon become almost so commonplace and normal, and here they are selling an entire PPV main event around it. Taker gives Shawn credit for being able to swing a chair and talk a lot. He says the reason he and Shawn have never touched is because he was saving Shawn to tell the story of the Undertaker, but so much for that. He condemns Shawn to an eternity in hell and tells Shawn that he should have known Taker would get back up. Next week on FNME, Taker faces Hunter Hearst Helmsley, and will tear him apart to show what is in store for Shawn Michaels. At Ground Zero, Shawn Michaels will rest…in….peace. Not nearly as interesting as Shawn Michaels promo from the start of the show.
Sable shows off the Austin 3:16 smoking skull t-shirt while Dok Hendrix does the QVC voiceovers.
Non-title match: WWF European Champion Davey Boy Smith (w/Owen Hart) vs. Road Warrior Hawk (w/Road Warrior Animal)
This is a brawl from the word go. Reverse neckbreaker by Hawk gets two. Cornette lists off the achievement of the Road Warriors being the only AWA, NWA, and WWF tag team champions, and how they could win them again at Ground Zero. Hawk shows off his power with an Hourglass Suplex of his own. Corny also points out how Hawk is primarily a tag team wrestler and how that might affect this match. I miss common sense comments like those by commentators. Davey Boy comes back and shows Hawk how it’s done with his Hourglass Suplex. The Godwinns head out to get a closer look. Bulldog dumps out Hawk to get a kicking from Owen. Back in, Davey Boy maintains control as we go to break. When we return, Hawk fights out of a chinlock and heads up top for the Flying Clothesline. That’s when Owen runs down the apron and blasts him with the European title for the DQ. (5:35 shown) Afterwards, LOD fight off Owen and Bulldog while the Godwinns head to the back. *
In the back, Sunny grabs a word with Los Boricuas. They returned the bikes they stole from the DOA. What’s the big deal? Savio Vega says he can’t wait to get in the ring with Faarooq and Crush.
Crush & Chainz vs. Faarooq & Rocky Maivia
“Rocky sucks” chants are already more overpowering than anything Faarooq has done with the NOD in the past couple months. It’s only a matter of time now before he’s playing second fiddle. This is a brawl all the way with clotheslines and big boots. Crush hits one ugly dangerous-looking piledriver on Faarooq for two. Rocky hits a Hurricane DDT on Chainz, but then he comes back with an electric chair drop on Faarooq. Hot tag to Crush, and we’ve got a pier-sixer on our hands. Los Boricuas head down and start wailing away on Crush for the DQ. (4:13) The rest of the DOA and the NOD appear for a big 12-man brawl, which I guess is why they didn’t have a big six-man brawl at the end of the last match. Refs, agents, and Commissioner Slaughter try and bring some order to this before we head to commercial. *
In the Stridex Slam of the Week spot, Rocky Maivia beats Flash Funk with a Rock Bottom on Shotgun Saturday Night that JR calls the “Hase” due to the move being the Golden Arm Bomber finish by one of my favorite Japanese superstars: Hiroshi Hase. Interesting because I never knew the WWF called his finish anything but a Rock Bottom.
TAKA Michinoku vs. Jerry Lynn
It’s DYNAMIC LYNN! This might be the first time I’ve seen Jerry Lynn in the WWF. Anyways, this should be good. Some headlocks and shoulderblocks to start. Lynn snaps off a tilt-a-whirl headscissors that takes TAKA to the floor. Lynn delivers a somersault plancha. TAKA reverses a whip into the guardrail, but then allows Lynn to come back inside. Super headscissors by TAKA gets 1-2-NO! Now TAKA gets the chance to fly and hits Lynn with his patented springboard plancha. Huge ovation for TAKA. Back in, TAKA whiffs on the fancy Flying Moonsault. Sitout Powerbomb by Lynn gets 1-2-NO! Lynn whips TAKA into the corner for a running dropkick. He tries for another, but TAKA reverses the whip and knees Lynn in the face! Missile dropkick by TAKA connects. Now he calls for the MICHINOKU DRIVER and gets all of that for the 1-2-3. (4:30) Good little match. Jerry Lynn wouldn’t get a spot on the WWF roster just yet, but he would get quickly picked up by ECW and the rest is history. **½
Backstage, Sunny speaks with the Truth Commission. The Commandant’s men get a little (ahem) distracted by Sunny, and he wants his men to be disciplined. Kinky!
Sniper & Recon (w/The Truth Commission) vs. The Headbangers
I’m wondering if this isn’t airing at like 12:45 AM. Thrasher plays face in peril and we get a weak hot tag to Mosh. They go for the STAGE DIVE, but the Interrogator (a.k.a. Kurrgan) tosses Thrasher off the top rope. With Mosh pissed off, that allows Recon to O’Connor roll him up for the 1-2-3. (4:42) They must have really not known what they were going to do with the WWF tag titles at Ground Zero jobbing the Headbangers out to the freaking TRUTH COMMISSION like that just nine days before the PPV. ½*
They close out the show with a video montage highlighting the action tonight.
NEXT WEEK: The Undertaker battles Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Owen Hart challenges the Patriot, and Sunny will try to get a word with Rick Rude.
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.