Written by: Matt Peddycord
WWF: Raw is War
September 29, 1997
The current WWF champs were as follows:
World Champion: Bret Hart (8/3/1997)
Intercontinental Champion: Vacant (9/8/1997)
European Champion: Shawn Michaels (9/20/1997)
World Tag Team Champions: The Headbangers (9/7/1997)
TIME TO GET RAW! Your hosts are Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, and Jerry Lawler.
Vince McMahon introduces Shawn Michaels and his Shawntourage to the ring. First things first. Vince wants to know why Rick Rude is here. Rude lives by a strict confidentiality rule. However, Rude does offer Vince a protection plan with Steve Austin running wild. His catchphrase is identical to the mafia’s business plan: pay me now, or you will pay later. During all of this, Hunter Hearst Helmsley and HBK are giving Vince bunny ears. Shawn reminds us of the number he and his crew did to the Undertaker last week on Raw. He doesn’t have to try and get out of Hell in a Cell, because he’s already proven he can beat the hell out of the Undertaker. Some guy is yelling “faggot” all through this. Hunter Hearst Helmsley’s head has already healed. Shawn wants him to “let loose” on Vince, but all he does is tell him that he’s making his own break to get to the top of the WWF. Helmsley declares that Undertaker might not make it to Hell in a Cell. In fact, the ring will now be their “house of pain”. On that note, Commissioner Slaughter appears and puts Hunter Hearst Helmsley in a match with the Undertaker tonight. Really one of the best things Helmsley does at this point is react to being put in bad situations. We get one of his signature reactions here. The Hart Foundation interrupts and Bret tells Shawn that he will suffer for his crimes – tonight! Shawn and Hunter do the “I’m shaking in my boots” routine. Lawler laughs it up, but JR knows there’s gonna be HELL TO PAY.
Steve Austin still hasn’t made it to the building tonight.
Video package highlighting the Shawn Michaels/Davey Boy Smith match from One Night Only airs. It is pretty wild how bad they made Bulldog look and how he never got his revenge.
Davey Boy Smith vs. Vader
Bulldog still has his knee wrapped from September 20. JR declares this will be a slobberknocker. Vader dominates to start with his grizzly offense. He comes off the middle rope once too often though and takes a powerslam. To the outside we go, Vader gets hung out to dry on the guardrail, which is pretty brutal on the ribs. Back inside, Davey Boy hits a back suplex and tries a sunset flip only to make Vader try to sit on him, which he tries and misses. Commercials! When we return, Vader returns the favor to Bulldog and drops *him* on the guardrail. Back in, Vader hits a splash for two. He goes for the finish with a Vader Bomb, but in comes the Hart Foundation to beat the crap out of him for the DQ. (5:59 shown) Bret jabs him a bunch of times in the ribs with the Canadian flagpole and then Ringpost Figure-Fours him. When the Patriot comes down to make the save, he receives the same punishment. Once both guys are laid out, the Harts drape Canadian flags over their victims. Bret – “COME ON, USA.” Actually a pretty fun brawl for the time allotted. **
We finally get to see the Ron Simmons piece detailing his football career that has ran on WWF Superstars.
WWF Intercontinental Title Tournament Semifinals: Ahmed Johnson (w/the LOD & Ken Shamrock) vs. Faarooq (w/the NOD)
Ahmed Johnson needs surgery – AGAIN. Last week on Raw, he cut his hand on a nail that was sticking out of the announce table during a spill to the outside and fights tonight with his hand heavily bandaged. That could only happen to Ahmed. Faarooq starts stomping the injured hand and pisses off Ahmed to the point that he throws down half of the steps onto Faarooq’s arm and shoves away the ref for the DQ. (2:27) Ahmed, Shamrock, and the Legion of Doom clean house afterwards. ¾*
Over on the final edition of Brian Pillman’s XXX Files, he and Marlena lay in bed. Pillman says he will not fight Dude Love at Badd Blood unless that maniac Goldust is handcuffed to the ringpost. He’s going to have to get his own pair of handcuffs though because he and Marlena’s handcuffs will be pretty busy.
Goldust vs. The Sultan (w/the Iron Sheik)
Dude Love joins us for commentary. SIDE NOTE: Steve Austin is in the building. So much going on with this Goldust/Pillman feud at Badd Blood. To reiterate, Goldust will be handcuffed to the ringpost during the Brian Pillman and Dude Love match. If Dude wins, Goldust gets a no-DQ match with Pillman. Plus, Goldust and Marlena will renew their vows at the Kiel Center. Just craziness. Dude says that perhaps Cactus Jack will give Goldust some pointers for the no-DQ match. By the way, this will be the Iron Sheik’s final appearance on Raw for many years. He will be a Shotgun Saturday Night guy standing in the Sultan’s corner through the end of the year though. Simply a glorified squash for Goldust as this match spills over into the second hour. Half of his face is painted like a golden skull. The camera zooms in on Goldust wearing his wedding ring. He wins with the Running Bulldog. (5:38) Kind of a sad end to the feud as I’m sure I’ll feel the same way once we get to May 1999 for another death. ¾*
AND NOW WE ENTER THE WARZONE! Your hosts are Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, and Jerry Lawler.
Out comes Stone Cold Steve Austin to a ruckus crowd. He wants Vince to get his butt in the ring. We’re already seeing light shades of the Mr. McMahon character fleshing out as Vince has clearly had enough of this guy. Austin doesn’t want Vince to beat around the bush. Either fire him and get a butt whooping or don’t fire him and get a butt whooping. Austin is basically daring Vince to fire him. McMahon gives Austin three options: bring a doctor’s note that clears him to compete, sign a waiver so Austin can wrestle that prevents him from suing anybody if he gets hurt further, or be fired. McMahon doesn’t get up in Austin’s face and yell “YOU’RE FIIIIIIIRED!!!” Nope, he just quietly and reluctantly tells Austin that he has to consider “termination”. Austin threatens Vince again, but he’s got a week to decide what he’s going to do. However, if Vince does decide to fire Austin, Austin will beat him up in front of the world worse than he’s ever been beaten in his life, and that’s the bottom line ’cause Stone Cold said so. When Vince goes back to his chair, Austin taunts him with the double-bird. Well, that’s going to fester. Vince looks SO OFFENDED. I’m telling you. MONTREAL WAS A WORK. IT WAS A WORRRRRK.
WWF Tag Team Champions The Headbangers vs. Los Boricuas
Looks like Los Boricuas went shopping with Konnan because now they look like a couple of Puerto Rican thug rappers. Somehow, this is a title match. Thrasher becomes *your* face in peril to take us into commercial. Nothing too awesome there. Castillo misses a corner charge to set up the hot tag to Mosh. Once the match breaks down, the Godwinns and Uncle Cletus head down to beat up everybody for the DQ. (7:16 shown) Savio Vega and Miguel Perez Jr. head down to stand by their fellow Los Boricuas and to show off that they can afford to buy FUBU as well. We get one big stand-off with Los Boricuas standing tall in the ring, but ultimately the Godwinns will face the WWF tag champs the Headbangers at Badd Blood, so who really cares about them. *½
Owen Hart debuts the “Owen 3:16 – I just broke your neck” t-shirt, which is right up there with the self-designed Greg Valentine t-shirt in my book for my personal favorite wrestling t-shirt of all-time. Owen is followed by a police squadron to keep him safe from Austin. Vince McMahon wants to know why Owen would try and provoke Austin like this. Owen says it’s the truth and he’ll do it again if he has to. Time to switch gears to the IC title tournament finals. Owen says he can beat Faarooq at Badd Blood with both hands tied behind his back. Owen tries to politic Vince into firing Austin. Owen can’t wait for Badd Blood because he will once again be the WWF Intercontinental champion. Then the next night on Raw, Vince will do the right thing and fire Austin to get rid of him for good. Well, it turns out Austin is one of the police squadron guys who creeps up on Owen and drops him with a Stone Cold Stunner. Austin runs through the crowd to get away from the police. You got to love this stuff.
After the break, we witness Jim Neidhart checking on Owen who is laying down in the locker room.
The Undertaker vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/Shawn Michaels & Chyna)
Bret and Davey Boy Smith beat up the Undertaker in the aisle until they’re punched back to the locker room by the Patriot and Vader. It’s not over though as HHH and HBK put the boots to Taker as well. Taker fights them off and chases Shawn into the ring, but he’s nailed from behind by Helmsley. Taker comes back though and Chokeslams Hunter. As he goes for the TOMBSTONE, Rick Rude appears and nails Taker from behind with a Halliburton for the DQ. (1:53) The mugging continues as the Shawntourage (I’m sticking with that until the name DX is official) holds up Taker so he can eat SWEET CHIN MUSIC. Rude opens up the briefcase and pulls out a body bag fit for Taker. It looks like the Shawntourage has won, but then Taker sits up while zipped up in the body bag. Taker escapes the body bag and stalks HBK up the ramp while knocking away Helmsley. As Shawn gets to the curtain, we see a puff of smoke and a red light coming from backstage. WHAT IS HAPPENING? Shawn tries to get away by climbing the TitanTron. Meanwhile, Helmsley charges Taker and gets scooped up for a TOMBSTONE on the ramp. No rating, but what an awesome ending to Raw.