WWF RAW 3/3/1997
Written By: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Federation presents RAW
From: Berlin, Germany
A video highlighting the Berlin Wall and the Cold War. Owen Hart and British Bulldog will square off to crown the first WWF European Champion.
RAW opening video
Honky Tonk Man makes his way down to the ring to join the announcers table.
Bret Hart is backstage and cuts a promo on about keeping focus on his match with Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Hart tells McMahon that he hopes Steve Austin is watching the match at his house because he will be doing to Steve Austin what he is going to do to Helmsley tonight.
Opening Contest: Hunter Hearst Helmsley defeated Bret Hart via disqualification: Helmsley kicks a Bret Hart bear into the crowd before the match. HHH with a knee to Hart’s midsection but Hart quickly comes back with a side headlock takedown. Steve Austin has showed up to the WWF headquarters in Connecticut. HHH yanks Hart down by the hair and casually leaves the ring to the apron. Hart takes HHH back down with a side headlock. HHH counters with a head scissors but Hart breaks free and once again takes HHH down with a side headlock. HHH sends Hart into the ropes and knocks Hart down with a forearm shot. HHH misses a elbow drop and Hart locks in a headlock again. HHH sends Hart into the ropes and delivers a knee to Hart’s midsection and has control of the contest as RAW goes to commercial. HHH hammers away on Hart to keep the upper hand. HHH sends Hart shoulder first into the ring post and comes off the ropes connecting with a single arm breaker and gets a two count. HHH drives his knee down into Hart’s left shoulder a few times. HHH with a running high knee lift as Hart comes off the ropes. HHH heads to the top rope but Hart gets up and crotches HHH on the top following a few right hands. Hart brings HHH back down to the canvas with a superplex! Hart with a leg drop and right hand to HHH’s gut. Hart with a side Russian leg sweep and gets a near fall. Hart with a backbreaker and heads to the middle rope where he leaps off connecting with a forearm drop for a near fall. Hart with a snap suplex and floats over for a pin but HHH kicks out at two. Hart backs HHH into a corner and head butts HHH. HHH sends Hart into the corner and goes for the pedigree but Hart reverses it and catapults HHH head first into the corner! Hart goes for the sharpshooter but HHH rakes Hart’s eyes! HHH is sent into the corner and flips upside down which allows Hart to stomp away on HHH. Hart shoves down the referee as the referee attempted to pull him away and Hart has been disqualified. **¾
After the match, HHH’s female bodyguard comes into the ring and Hart backs off.
McMahon goes to interview Austin from the WWF Headquarters but Austin isn’t there and we instead just hear a toilet being flushed.
Footage from the Royal Rumble where Owen Hart eliminated the British Bulldog.
Footage of Vader defeating Rocky Maivia during the European Championship tournament eleven days ago is shown.
Second Contest: WWF Intercontinental Champion Rocky Maivia defeated Vader via disqualification to retain the title: Vader with a quick right hand to control Rock in the corner and delivers a few overhand forearm shots. Vader with a flurry of right jabs and clotheslines Rock as he staggers out of the corner. Vader with a sit down abdominal stretch, briefly, before going to a traditional sleeper hold. Rock gets out of it and rolls Vader up coming off the ropes for a two count. Vader recovers and nails Rock with a clothesline and splashes the champion in the corner. Rock attempts a sunset flip but Vader drops down onto Rock’s chest and gets a near fall. Vader attempts a vertical suplex but Rock is able to connect with one of his own for a near fall. Rock with a few clotheslines and begins to hammer away on the challenger. Back suplex by Rock for a two count as RAW goes to commercial. Vader splashes Rock as RAW returns but only gets a two count. Vader drags Rock to the corner and leaps off the middle rope with a splash but only gets a near fall! Vader continues to control Rock with a leg lock but Rock reaches the bottom rope fairly quickly. Vader scoop slams Rock and leaps off the middle rope but is caught by Rock and power slammed for a near fall. Rock takes Vader down with a belly to belly suplex for another near fall. Rock plants Vader with a float over DDT and signals for the cross body. Rock heads to the top rope and connects with the cross body but Vader rolls out of a cover attempt. Rock dropkicks Vader over the top to the floor and quickly follows the challenger. Mankind comes down to ringside and hits Rock with the urn which causes the DQ. **½
After the match, Vader looks at Mankind and wonders what that was all about. Vader sends Rock back into the ring and continues to club away on Rock. Vader with a clothesline on the champion. Vader drops a elbow to Rock’s chest and several officials come into the ring to prevent any further damage.
Footage of Jerry Lawler challenging ECW two weeks ago. The video also shows a few clips of Sabu and Tazz. USA actually blurs the use of a cane on the floor during a D-Von Dudley and Tommy Dreamer match. Lawler and Heyman interactions are also featured. Sandman hitting himself with a beer can is also blurred out as well as drinking beer. The footage closes with Lawler and Heyman trying to get their hands on each other.
Jerry Lawler calls into the show and says he can not believe that McMahon wasted air time showing that ECW footage. Lawler claims that several WWF wrestlers are mad that ECW wrestlers came into the WWF. Lawler invites Paul Heyman to come to Worchester, MA next week.
Third Contest: The Sultan defeated Flash Funk: Sultan with a back elbow to knock Funk down to the mat. Sultan gained the upper hand by attacking Funk during the commercial. Funk is able to dropkick Sultan to the floor and leaps off the middle rope to take Sultan out with a clothesline on the floor. Sultan regains control back in the ring with a sleeper hold and Funk drops to his knees. Paul Heyman calls in during the match as well and talks about wanting to plug his pay per view on April 13th. Funk with a spinning heel kick but only gets a near fall. Double clothesline spot sees both men knocked down to the canvas. Funk chops Sultan and takes Sultan down with a hurricanrana. Funk heads to the top rope and hit’s a moonsault but only gets a two count! Sultan blocks a head scissors attempt by slamming Funk down to the mat. Sultan locks in the camel clutch and wins the match. *¼
Footage from October 1996 is shown when Steve Austin trashed WWF Headquarters.
Backstage, WWF World Champion Psycho Sid tells Mankind that he should have been focusing on the game they play instead of speaking German. Sid turns his attention to the Undertaker and says that both Taker and Mankind will be losers, basically.
Footage from In Your House: Final Four is shown. Bulldog and Owen Hart attacking each other was featured.
Ahmed Johnson comes down to the ring to announce whether or not he accepts Faarooq’s challenge to a street fight at Wrestle Mania. Johnson accepts the challenge and says he doesn’t want to come by himself this time. Johnson says he will take Faarooq down for them (the fans). Johnson finishes off by saying his “you’re going down” catchphrase.
Footage of the Legion of Doom’s return to the WWF last week is shown. A promo by LOD is shown from Shotgun Saturday Night. They cut a promo on the Nation of Domination and they hope to be at Wrestle Mania.
Fourth Contest: WWF World Champion Psycho Sid defeated Mankind to retain the title: Sid goes right at Mankind with a boot to the gut and several right hands. Sid with a clothesline while still wearing the title! Sid with a running big boot on the floor and hammers away on Mankind. Mankind with a series of right hands on the floor and attempts a clothesline but hit’s the ring post! Sid clubs away on Mankind and wrenches the challengers neck back in the ring. Mankind elbows his way out of the neck vice but Sid takes Mankind down with a arm breaker. Steve Austin joins the announcers to a cut a promo from the WWF Headquarters. Austin gets sick at seeing Bret Hart complaining and whining on television. Back to the action, Mankind is choking Sid on the apron and chokes the champion on the middle rope. Mankind with a leg drop driving Sid’s throat across the middle rope. Mankind with a elbow smash to Sid’s throat once again. Mankind hammers away on Sid as Sid stands on the apron. Mankind knocks Sid down to his knees and goes back to choking Sid across the middle rope. Sid re-enters and clubs away on Mankind followed by a running big boot to the side of Mankind’s head. Sid misses a big boot in the corner and Mankind delivers a flurry of right hands in the corner. Back from a commercial, Sid clotheslines Mankind to the floor. Sid hammers away on Mankind on the floor and stalks towards Paul Bearer. Mankind attempts to come from behind but Sid tosses Mankind back first into the ring post. Sid with a back suplex on the floor as well! Mankind drops Sid throat first across the top rope and leaps off the middle rope with a leg drop back in the ring for a near fall. Mankind ducks a clothesline and has the Mandible Claw on the champion! Sid’s shoulders go down a few times but Sid kicks out. Sid powers to his feet and yanks the claw out of his mouth! Mankind with a boot to Sid’s gut and drops Sid with a double arm DDT and only gets a two count! Mankind locks in a sleeper hold but is backed into the corner. Sid runs into a big boot and Mankind goes back to a sleeper hold. Mankind leaps onto Sid’s back and is quickly dropped down to the canvas. Sid with a series of right hands and delivers a ten punch count in the corner. Sid grabs Paul Bearer and moves out of the way causing Mankind to hit Bearer. Sid with a choke slam but only gets a two count. Mankind attempts a backdrop but Sid blocks it and plants Mankind with a power bomb to win the match. **½
More footage hyping up the friction between Owen Hart and British Bulldog. Bulldog wanted to know who side Clarence Mason and Owen Hart were on. Bulldog fired Clarence Mason on Shotgun Saturday Night.
Vince McMahon interviews Steve Austin from the WWF Headquarters. McMahon wants to know what is with Steve Austin trying to and costing Bret Hart the WWF World Championship. Austin points out that he was sick at Final Four and still competed while Bret Hart complains about it. Austin says that he is the WWF World Champion. Austin thinks the submission match is “a bunch of bull”. Austin still says that he will kick Bret Hart’s ass. Austin tells Ken Shamrock, the special referee, that their isn’t anyone that can make him tap out.
Main Event: British Bulldog defeated Owen Hart to win the vacant WWF European Championship: Bulldog is able to back Owen into a corner but cleanly lets go. Owen with a wrist lock but Bulldog kips up and Owen goes the same taking Bulldog down again with a wrist lock. Bulldog rolls around and kicks Owen’s arm to regain control. Owen kips up to his feet and tosses Bulldog into the corner attempting a monkey flop but Bulldog lands on his feet. Owen with a hip toss but is kicked away by Bulldog. Owen quickly kips up and they have a standoff. Test of strength sees Bulldog getting the upper hand as expected. Owen lunges off the ropes and hip tosses Bulldog. Owen attempts a hurricanrana but Bulldog power bombs Owen! Bulldog tosses Owen over the top to the floor and the fans erupt! Bulldog holds the ropes to allow his partner to enter the ring. Owen with a hammerlock but Bulldog counters quickly. Owen with a rollup but only gets a two count. Bulldog with a quick arm drag to regain control of the contest. Bulldog starts to work on Owen’s arm and slams Owen down to the mat as Owen attempted to snap mare Bulldog. Bulldog lifts Owen up by the arm and drives Owen down to the canvas. Bulldog with a crucifix for a two count and goes for a vertical suplex but Owen gets out of it. Owen misses a kick to the head and Bulldog locks in the surfboard submission. Owen grabs the referee to get out of the hold! Bulldog snap mares Owen and has a arm lock cinched in. Owen runs the ropes but Bulldog uses his feet to lift Own down to the mat. Owen backdrops Bulldog over the top to the floor and Owen does the same taunt that Bulldog did earlier. Owen holds the ropes for Bulldog to allow him back into the ring. Side headlock by Bulldog and gets a near fall. Owen leapfrogs Bulldog and acts like he hurt his knee but instead was faking it and cheap shots Bulldog by kicking Bulldog a few times. Owen attempts the sharpshooter but Bulldog kicks Owen away. Bulldog is sent into the ropes and Owen connects with a spinning heel kick. Owen works on Bulldog’s back with a backbreaker and sends Bulldog hard into the corner back first. Owen scoop slams Bulldog and delivers a leg drop for a near fall. Bulldog elbows his way out of a sleeper hold but is stopped with a knee to the gut. Owen kicks Bulldog to the floor but Bulldog comes back in with a sunset flip and almost wins the match. Owen stops the momentum change with a clothesline and drops a elbow for a near fall. Owen with a nice overhead belly to belly suplex coming back from commercial and gets a near fall! Owen has a camel clutch on Bulldog until Bulldog drives Owen down with a electric chair slam. Owen with a big boot out of the corner and rolls Bulldog up using the ropes for leverage but only gets a two count. Owen with a neck breaker and a middle rope elbow drop gets him another two count. Owen crotches Bulldog on the top rope and attempts a superplex but Bulldog counters and lands on top of Owen but isn’t able to get a three count! Bulldog with a series of clotheslines and drives Owen down with a vertical suplex for a near fall. Owen goes chest first into the corner and Bulldog gorilla press slams Owen groin first on the top rope. Bulldog attempts a suplex from the apron into the ring but Owen counters with a German suplex with a bridge getting a two count in the process. Bulldog catches Owen in the corner and goes for the running power slam but Owen hangs onto the ropes to avoid taking it and lands on top of Bulldog for a two count. Owen with a cross body off the middle rope but Bulldog rolls through for a two count. Owen with a kick to Bulldog’s head and goes for the sharpshooter! Owen has the sharpshooter locked in and Bulldog begins to crawl to the ropes. Bulldog is able to reach the ropes and Owen thinks he has won the match. Bulldog gets out of a tombstone pile driver attempt and hit’s the running power slam but Owen kicks out! Owen attempts a victory roll but Bulldog rolls through and is able to pin Owen to win the title! ****
After the match, Bulldog and Owen shake hands.
End of show
My Take: HHH/Hart was a solid contest but I didn’t think the finish was the best choice. Hart appears to be on a heel turn, which makes sense for the American fan base but to do this in Germany just seems like a bad choice. Hart is extremely popular in Germany and should continue to act like a baby face in that country. Anyway, the match was pretty good and almost got to *** stars from me but the finish was just something I didn’t like at all.
I enjoyed the Rock/Vader match even though Rock was still pretty green at the time. I thought they balanced everything out and while Rock is clearly booked weak here with the poor finish it was still entertaining for what it was.
Not a bad match for the Sultan. The only reason why it wasn’t a bad match was because Funk was able to get a few good moves in. Funk is a good high flyer and should be used as a enhancement talent more often.
I wasn’t expecting Sid/Mankind to be any good but I thought they pulled off a solid title match. I just figured their styles were a little too different but I was wrong. A good showing by Sid heading into the main event at Wrestle Mania.
The main event was a fantastic match between two great workers. Nothing really needs to be said about it. You need to watch the Bulldog and Owen entertain viewers for over twenty minutes. Just a great contest.
Overall, this was a good RAW episode. All the matches were entertaining in my opinion. A pretty stacked show too as not a lot of under card guys worked the show.
Thanks for reading.