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WWF RAW 8/4/1997

Written by: Matt Peddycord

WWF: Raw is War
August 4, 1997
Bethlehem, PA
Stabler Arena

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.

We start the show with the Hart Foundation, and we’re still missing Jim Neidhart. Bret says that last night, he once again proved why he is the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be by overcoming all odds to regain the WWF title. He thinks Shawn stick to his word and never wrestle again in the U.S. since he wasn’t an impartial ref. As for Ken Shamrock, Bret declares that he won’t be getting another European title shot after that crazy display last night. Oh by the way, the Hart Foundation doesn’t wear dresses. End of story. Now Bret lets Owen talk. Owen says he made a HUGE mistake by showing Steve Austin compassion last night. He continues on to say that Austin may have stolen his IC belt, but he made sure Austin would never wrestle again. Owen calls Austin a “crippled freak” and orders him to forfeit the IC title or take another butt-kicking. JR then introduces the *new* WWF Commissioner Sgt. Slaughter. The Sarge tells Bret that he’s the new sheriff in town and announces that Bret will defend the WWF title against The Undertaker? Shawn Michaels, maybe? Nope. The Patriot. As for Bulldog, he will face Ken Shamrock again over the European title. When? SOON. And what about Brian Pillman. He orders Pillman to wear a dress or he will be suspended – again. Will Owen get his rematch with Austin? Yes, when the doctors say he can, and when Stone Cold Says So. *KEERASH* I don’t know how, but Steve Austin is standing at the top of the ramp with a microphone in-hand. Austin says he doesn’t need a doctor’s approval to beat up Owen Hart. He calls Owen a “loser” simply because he’s a part of the Hart family. With all that said, Austin grants Owen an IC title rematch for tonight. There’s NO way that’s going to happen.

They play reactions from MARKS at last night’s SummerSlam. WHATABUNCHA MARKS.

In the back, the Nation of Domination respond to a Faarooq vs. Savio Vega vs. Crush match set for Ground Zero. Faarooq says you can take a man off the streets, but you can’t take the streets out of the man. Tonight, Kama will take care of Ken Shamrock and Ahmed Johnson will take care of whoever he is. Umm, I believe his name is Chainz, Mr. Faarooq.

Ken Shamrock vs. Kama (w/the NOD)
Commissioner Slaughter makes sure the NOD boys don’t interfere by sending them all to the back. Two Supreme Fighting Machines going at it here, folks. Yes, indeed. Perez and Castillo from Los Boricuas interfere and give Kama a suplex on the floor. Back in, Shamrock delivers a Belly to Belly Suplex for the win. (3:03) Afterwards, Kama runs through the crowd to get to Los Boricuas. He’s not afraid. ¾*

Get the SummerSlam Encore! Tomorrow night at 8PM EST!

Brakus. Coming Soon.

TAKA Michinoku vs. Brian Christopher
Sunny days are here again. Fearing that you’ll change the channel, she introduces the two light heavyweights. Jokes are made at Lawler’s expense over whether or not he’s Brian Christopher’s father. TAKA does very little to start as Christopher controls by overpowering him. The highlight comes when TAKA springboard planchas onto Christopher. Back inside, Christopher catches a crossbody block and delivers a backbreaker to take over. Missile Dropkick to the back of TAKA’s head connects. Christopher starts some rolling vertical suplexes and gets tied up in an inside cradle to give TAKA the upset victory. (3:28) Afterwards, Lawler throws a fit on commentary and Christopher makes TAKA pay by dumping him over the top rope. *½

Backstage, the Sarge goes to Brian Pillman’s dressing room and hands him his dress. Slaughter orders Pillman to wear that dress every week on Raw until he wins a match or he’s suspended.

Elsewhere, Paul Bearer says that he’s forgotten more about wrestling than Chyna will ever know. He also declares that he’s more of a man than she will ever be. Is that supposed to be an insult?

Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/Chyna) vs. Vader (w/Paul Bearer)
Helmsley tries to jump the gun on Vader, but gets pummeled for his efforts. Bearer trips up Helmsley and takes a dropkick from Chyna. WHAT. Meanwhile, Vader and Helmsley brawl on the floor until they are both counted out. (2:14) Alright then. ½*

In the back, the Patriot gives a hearty pro-American speech. We may have our faults, but you don’t stay here if you don’t like it here! AND I’M PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN, WHERE AT LEAST I KNOW I’M FREE. This gimmick would have to be so tongue-in-cheek and ironic in order to work in today’s WWE.

The Patriot vs. The Sultan (w/the Iron Sheik)
This is the Hulkamania formula cut down to under two minutes. Sultan beats him down and beats him down until Patriot starts to shake. Southpaw punches land everywhere and he connects with the Patriot Missile. UNCLE SLAM scores the pinfall. (1:44) Hey look, it’s the Hart Foundation. Sgt. Slaughter appears and cuts off everybody but Bret. When he turns around to look for his backup, Patriot leaps off the apron and lowers the boom on Bret! Yeah, that’s real fair. They get into a short pull-apart brawl while the crowd chants for “U-S-A!”. ½*

TIME TO ENTER THE WARZONE! Your hosts are Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, and Jerry Lawler.

Vince McMahon introduces Shawn Michaels to the ring. Lots and lots of boos for this man. He can’t believe that everyone is blaming him for costing the Undertaker the WWF title because Shawn knows he called it straight down the middle. Vince asks Shawn if he is “in cahoots” with Bret Hart? Shawn calls Vince the dumbest sonuvagun he’s ever met in his life. Vince doesn’t quite care for that comment and announces that Shawn might be shuttering his loafers when he meets the Undertaker on September 7. Vince hands over the mic and heads back to the table. Shawn then confirms that he isn’t in cahoots with Bret, but does admit that Bret needs him because Shawn is the only guy in the WWF who has beaten him. I think he means that Bret needs him on his side? As for the Undertaker, they will finally cross paths. Shawn is interrupted by a very loud chant that I can’t quite make out. Shawn then informs the Undertaker that he “lays down for absolutely no one”, which we will find out that’s true over the next two PPVs. After the constant berating he’s taken tonight by the fans, Shawn tells the fans to go to hell after giving them his last ten years. Undertaker, the next time you see Shawn Michaels, his Superkick is going to be one foot down his throat. O RLY? *BONG* Undertaker comes out doing his super slow entrance, which allows Shawn to disappear. Taker is not here to tell us how mad or bad he is, he just wants us to know that he’s ready now to do what he does best: taking souls and making people rest in peace – starting with Shawn Michaels. As he turns away to leave, Paul Bearer appears on the TitanTron. WELL, WELL, WELL. He finds it ironic that Taker would be looking to punish someone else for their crimes when Taker has never been punished for his own crime of murdering his parents. Go ahead and call Paul a fat liar, but Kane is coming. As Taker looks quite confused, the lights that are normally blue for him have now turned blood red. LOTS going on here. Also, it seems pretty obvious that Shawn Michaels has turned heel.

Elsewhere, Commissioner Slaughter gets an update from a doctor on Steve Austin’s condition. It is this doctor’s professional opinion that Austin has spinal shock syndrome and should not wrestle tonight.

Ahmed Johnson (w/the NOD) vs. Chainz (w/the DOA)
Once again, Slaughter makes sure there is nobody hanging around ringside. After a staredown, Chainz goes after Ahmed’s knee. He pays for it with a pair of Michinoku Drivers. Estrada and Vega from Los Boricuas come down to mess with Chainz’s bike. That’s enough of a distraction for him to take the PEARL RIVER PLUNGE to give Ahmed the victory. (2:12) The other DOA members chase away Estrada and Savio into the crowd. Then the Nation of Domination head down. Despite DOA standing right there, they do their pose. In the middle of it, the other NOD members attack Ahmed Johnson! WHAT. All DOA do is stand there and watch. The NOD leaves him laying for reasons we will have to find out later. ½*

The Godwinns vs. The Headbangers
After some general feeling out stuff, Phineas runs right into a flying clothesline from Thrasher. Once the Headbangers celebrate, Henry sneaks in a big clothesline on Thrasher to give the Godwinns the advantage and to get some heat on him. Vince announces that Dude Love will be subbing for Austin tonight against Owen Hart in the main event. Hot tag to Mosh, he surprises Phineas with an O’Connor roll, but Henry breaks it up with a SLOP DROP. Phineas covers Mosh and gets the three-count. (3:51) If I had to guess what was happening over on TNT, it would either be DDP/Flair or a lucha tag match. Either way, it would have been more entertaining than this match. WOO! MUY CALIENTE! ¾*

Brian Pillman vs. Bob Holly
Goldust and Marlena take a front row seat to witness Brian Pillman in a dress. Michael Cole is curious as to why they are here. BECAUSE THEY’RE OBVIOUSLY FREAKS, MICHAEL. Geez. Slaughter makes sure Pillman heads down to the ring in the golden dress by pushing him through the curtain. JR is the only one using some common sense fearing that this move just might push an already psychotic person over the edge. Pillman may be wearing a man thong. Can’t tell, won’t look hard enough to know for sure. Holly misses an Alabama Jam leg drop, but then Pillman gets distracted as Goldust and Marlena are waving a bra in the air. As Pillman goes out to confront them, he gets counted out. (2:24) Therefore, Pillman will have to continue wearing a dress on Raw is War. DUMB. I’ll have to rewatch the Kayfabe Commentaries WWF Timeline of 1997 to see whose idea this was. ¾*

Owen Hart vs. Dude Love
Bret Hart joins us for commentary. Vince gives him an earful for acting like he has the run of the joint just because he’s the WWF champion. Why? Because Vince loves confrontation. Sgt. Slaughter hangs around ringside to make sure everything goes swimmingly. The director focuses on a couple chicks in the front row with Dude Love “tattoos” on their chests. As Owen did last night, he jumps his opponent before the bell. Dude fights back with a face slam and various clotheslines. Owen hits a Spinning Heel Kick, but takes a backdrop to the floor as we see Steve Austin is watching on from a monitor backstage. Out on the floor, Dude mutters something to Bret about wanting his WWF title. Back inside, they kill some time with nothing much going on. Owen dumps Dude on the floor as we go to commercial. When we come back, Dude tries to run down the ramp and drop an elbow on Owen, but misses. Bret calls Dude “stupid”. Back in the ring, Owen delivers the Missile Dropkick and kips up. Hmm, where have I seen that recently? It seems so familiar. Owen enziguri kicks Dude off the apron and then brings him back inside for a flying elbow drop for two. Here comes the British Bulldog. As he distracts Slaughter while Owen distracts the referee, Bret runs Dude into the ringpost and then places him back in the ring. Owen locks in the SHARPSHOOTER and here comes Austin. He grabs a Slammy trophy off the table and tries to start a problem between he and Bret. While refs and agents and Slaughters are trying to stop all this, Austin knocks Owen silly with the Slammy award! That’s when ref Tim White jumps back inside the ring and counts the 1-2-3! Dude Love wins. (9:01 shown) The finish felt like the only thing that was figured out here. Bleh match, but a fun finish. Afterwards, the skanks from the front row come in and molest Dude in the corner. *

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