Written by: Matt Peddycord
WWF: Raw is War
August 18, 1997
Atlantic City, NJ
Atlantic City Convention Center
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)
LET’S GET RAW! Your hosts are Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, and Jerry Lawler.
Vince McMahon introduces Rick Rude to the ring to explain what he is doing here with Shawn Michaels and Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Luckily for us, Rude is allowed to do his old “What I’d like to have right now…” introduction. I LOVE IT. Rude says he considers himself an insurance salesman for whatever you need. That person supplies the buck, he supplies the bang. Is it the same “bang” DDP supplies? Vince wants to know who paid the premium, but Rude feels that’s none of his business. Rude offers Vince some insurance since it seems he might need some. You have NO idea, Rick Rude. Vince thinks Rude is talking about protection like Rude is some sort of gangster. All Rude is saying is, if you pay the premium price, somebody will get a Rude Awakening. HIT THE MUSIC.
Somewhere outside the convention center, Shawn Michaels is getting up in Commissioner Slaughter’s face.
The Legion of Doom vs. Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith
These two teams look to tear each other apart making it easier for one of them at Ground Zero. Animal heaves Owen around to start. He tags in Hawk who hits a reverse neckbreaker, but then misses a corner charge and goes flying out to the floor. Bulldog adds insult to injury with a toss into the steps. Back inside, Owen and Davey Boy start to work over Hawk’s back. Owen supplies the backbreaker, Davey Boy delivers the Hourglass Suplex. Hawk is on the wrong side of town, but runs into a double-KO with the Bulldog. HOT TAG TO ANIMAL! He looks to put away Owen, but gets nailed with a Spinning Heel Kick. Here come the Godwinns. Meanwhile, Owen flies down off the top into a powerslam for two. The ref is busy with Phineas, Hawk, and Bulldog getting into a ruckus. While that’s happening, Henry decks Animal with the slop bucket as Owen covers him for the 1-2-3. (4:57) Not a bad five minutes there. Being the smarter of the three teams, Owen and Bulldog leave while LOD and the Godwinns beat each other up until refs and agents appear. They need to just put the Godwinns and LOD in a cage already! *½
Down in the boiler room, Mankind can’t believe the WWF would put he and Undertaker together in a tag team. Will Mankind be Taker’s most loyal partner ever or will he be the final nail in Taker’s coffin? We’ll soon find out. Have a nice day.
For whatever reason, Vince shows us some out-of-place Atlantic City footage from the 1920s. 23 SKIDOO! IT’S THE CAT’S PAJAMAS!
In the back, Shawn Michaels is still whining about other people whining to him about the finish in the SummerSlam main event. He can’t believe he and Hunter Hearst Helmsley have to face the Undertaker and Mankind tonight. He tells Vince that when you put him in a corner, you get what is coming to you. That last line sounding like a Rockers promo.
Flash Funk vs. Brian Christopher
Sunny introduces this light heavyweight division match. Flash Funk’s music plays, but out comes Brian Christopher. Ha, whoops. Christopher starts off real cocky, but takes a dropkick out to the floor and a baseball slide into the barricade. Flash fakes a dive when Christopher moves to the side. Back inside, Christopher hits the Skull Crushing Finale and then follows up with the missile dropkick to the back of the head. He heads up top again, but his daddy Jerry Lawler stands up and heads over to the apron to try and give him some advice, and Christopher gets crotched up top. FUNKY FLASH SPLASH gets the 1-2-3. (3:42) Flash gets the heck out of dodge while the King and Christopher both throw some serious tantrums. ¾*
The Undertaker says Shawn Michaels won’t make it to Ground Zero because he’s going to settle the score tonight. As for Mankind, Taker doesn’t forgive and doesn’t forget. If he gets in Taker’s way, he’ll take him out just like he will Shawn Michaels.
Somewhere in the back, Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Chyna speak with Commissioner Slaughter about trying to weasel out of this main event tag match.
Ken Shamrock vs. The Sultan (w/the Iron Sheik)
Shamrock dumps out Sultan, but takes a ride into the steps. Shieky Baby breaks an Iraqi flagpole over Shamrock before tossing him back inside. Sultan misses a corner charge and gets slammed by Shamrock. He then takes a clothesline that spins the Sultan inside out. That spot looked SO familiar! Shamrock lands a Belly to Belly Suplex, delivers the same to the Iron Sheik, and then headscissors Sultan over before clamping on the ANKLELOCK for the tapout. (3:16) At least as far as Shamrock goes, he looked pretty good in there. ¾*
The Nation of Domination come out and demand some interview time from Jim Ross. Faarooq tells the world that the reason he decided to dump Ahmed Johnson was because he was an Uncle Tom. Wasn’t that the same problem he had with Ahmed LAST summer? He talks about Savio Vega and Crush being idiots for challenging him to a street fight at Ground Zero. He then points out Ahmed’s replacement Rocky Maivia. This sets up Rocky’s first heel promo complaining about the fans chanting “Rocky sucks” and “Die Rocky die”. It’s a little green, but you already can see bits of his famous character coming out. He transitions over to the DOA and calls them a bunch of racist bikers. He then says that the new Nation of Domination will earn respect – by any means necessary. From the TitanTron, the DOA bark at the NOD from backstage to come get them some. AWESOME.
From earlier today, we see that Goldust, Marlena, and their daughter Dakota got to play at the beach. They better watch out for the stray dogs, syringes scattered everywhere, and the homeless people banging each other under the boardwalk!
Back to the show, Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Chyna are backstage telling Vince McMahon that he’s not afraid of the Undertaker and Mankind. He wants to know why he’s having to suffer the consequences of something that Shawn Michaels has done – again. ZING! If Vince wants a war with him, he’s got one as of today. Yeah, suck it Vince.
We cut to the DOA/NOD fight out in the parking lot. Meanwhile, Los Boricuas steal the DOA’s bikes. Typical Puerto Ricans!
Brian Pillman vs. Jesse James
Pillman has to wear another frilly dress for the third week in a row. JJ makes the mistake of trying to fondle Pillman’s cleavage and gets beaten down for it. He fights back, but misses a flying clothesline. That’s when Goldust and Marlena head down. After JJ gets laid out with a DDT, Goldust walks into the ring and drops an elbow on him to cause Pillman to LOSE via DQ. Therefore, he has to wear a dress for a FOURTH week. (1:46) Afterwards, Michael Cole tries to get an interview with the married couple when Pillman interrupts with an ultimatum to make this all go away: beat him at Ground Zero, and Pillman leaves the WWF. If Pillman beats Goldust, then he gets Marlena for 30 days as his personal assistance. When Goldust refuses to do that to his wife, Pillman drops a bomb on him with the news that Dakota is their *love child*. As Goldust runs after Pillman, Marlena accepts the challenge for Goldie. Boy, this got Russoriffic in a hurry. ½*
TIME TO ENTER THE WARZONE! Your hosts are Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, and Jerry Lawler.
The Patriot vs. Vader (w/Paul Bearer)
JR remarks that no one has been on a roll any bigger than the Patriot as of late. No kidding! Bret Hart comes out and waves the Canadian flag to distract Patriot. He fights back though with a jumping clothesline and crotches Vader on the ringpost. Patriot Missile gets two. Crossbody block scores another nearfall, but then he tries a sunset flip and gets squashed. Vader hits him with a splash or two, but the Vader Bomb hits knees. Vader shuts him down again, but gets hit with the UNCLE SLAM for the win. (4:56) As a WCW fan from childhood, I can just imagine my 11 year old brain exploding flipping over to Raw and seeing Vader get pinned by the Patriot. Like, WHAT A RIDICULOUS UPSET. After the bell, Vader attacks Patriot again and tries to hit that Vader Bomb, but then Bret lays the Canadian flag over him to add insult to injury. Say what you will about Vader, but he LOVES America. He takes the flag off Patriot and breaks the pole over his knee! Huge face pop for the man. Well, now Bret and Vader are beating the heck out of each other. Owen Hart and Davey Boy Smith head down to help their brother until Patriot, refs, agents, and Commissioner Slaughter attempt to calm things down. *½
Backstage, Michael Cole speaks with the WWF champion Bret Hart. He thinks the Patriot is NOTHING. As for Vader, any time, any place, pal.
Time for the big Stone Cold Steve Austin interview with Jim Ross from Philadelphia where he will be meeting with a spine specialist. It’s not so much an interview as it is Austin venting. He’s pissed that nobody from the WWF called to see how he was doing. Instead, they put him in a stupid little hotel room filled with pears, apples, and bananas. He admits that getting dumped on his head was pretty scary. STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN WAS SCARED, ladies and gentlemen. You can also kind of tell that was a shoot if you watch his face. He said he’s watched the tape probably 30-40 times and that got him a little depressed, so he’s drank a dozen cases of beer. Owen Hart has hell to pay, that’s for sure. As for the doctors, they tell him he should do something else from now on, but Austin says the decision is his. The only future he sees for him is that he will be Stone Cold Steve Austin and get to the top of the WWF. Whether or not he has to turn over the WWF tag titles, he will be at Ground Zero. He was pissed off before, he’s even more pissed off now. And that’s the bottom line. Now get out, JR. Like I said, this felt like more shoot than work. He looked like he was about to break up several times in that interview.
Shawn Michaels & Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/Chyna) vs. The Undertaker & Mankind
A couple of firsts in this match: this is the FIRST tag team meeting of what we now know as D-Generation X. This is also the ONLY teaming of the Undertaker and Mankind. HHH and Mankind start the match. Shawn quickly comes in to help his partner, but they both get punched away by Mankind. Tag to Undertaker, and Shawn bails. He tries to screw with Undertaker through distraction, but Taker fights back and flips Helmsley over the top rope onto him. Once they regroup, Shawn sneaks some Sweet Chin Music on Taker from the apron. Shawn tags in, but Taker gets out of the corner, and boots Hunter down. With DX on the floor, Shawn signals for his insurance policy Rick Rude to come down. Commercials! When we return, Helmsley flies down into the MANDIBLE CLAW. Luckily for him, Chyna is there to trip up Mankind and pull his nuts into the ringpost. Shawn gets a tag and nails his Flying Forearm. He kips up and blind tags Hunter to go High and Low on him. To the floor, Mankind gets ran into the steps. Back in, HBK hits a jumping back elbow and taunts the Undertaker. DX continues the breakdown of Mankind. Shawn delivers the Flying Elbow Drop. Mankind catches Sweet Chin Music and spins him around for the MANDIBLE CLAW. Helmsley breaks up the hold and tries for the Pedigree, but Mankind falls into his balls instead. HOT TAG TO TAKER! He beats the crap out of Helmsley and punches Shawn off the apron onto the guardrail in sick spot. As Taker lifts Shawn up in the air by his throat, Rude comes over and threatens to nail Taker with a chair! Taker lets go of Shawn and turns around to stalk Rude into the ring. Helmsley gets in the way and receives a Chokeslam. Meanwhile, Shawn has the chair and whacks Taker over the head for the DQ. (9:34 shown) Taker is busted WIDE open, but Shawn gives him another chairshot to the cranium anyway. Just when DX thinks they have him down, Taker SITS UP and scares them away. **
When we return, they show us the dented up chair. Vince closes us out promising that at Ground Zero, there will be hell to pay. Due to the U.S. Open, this will be the LAST Raw of August 1997. However, there are two Friday Night’s Main Event episodes, so those might be interesting.