Part two of the #Rawrewind see’s us at the Knickerboker Arena in Albany New York for the WWF Raw episode broadcast on 13 January 1997, the final show before that year’s Royal Rumble.
Champion Roll Call:
WWF Champion: Sycho Sid
WWF Intercontinental Champion: HHH
WWF Tag Team Champions: Owen Hart and the British Bulldog
We start with a recap of Sid powerbombing Jose Lothario’s son from last week’s edition of Raw. Vince informs us that HBK is joining us from San Antonio for an interview as we see clips of Stone Cold attacking Bret Hart on Superstars.
Your hosts are Vince McMahon and the Honky Tonk Man.
Match 1: HHH & Jerry ‘the King’ Lawler v Goldust and ‘the Wildman’ Marc Mero : Lawler and Trips are in the ring as the show starts. Honky Tonk Man joins Vince on commentary as cover for Lawler. Mero’s music hits to a good pop as he hits the ring with Sable. The golden robe-clad Goldust makes his way down to the ring next and clearly means business as he goes straight for the Intercontinental Champion HHH.
The faces clear the ring as the referee tries to impose order on the match. Mero and Lawler start this one. We get informed that tonight we’ll see Crush v The Undertaker and Rocky Miavia v one-half of the tag team champions, the British Bulldog.
Test of strength in the ring which Lawler sells before being dropped with a right hook. Double team move backfires as HHH cracks Lawler across the face with a fist. HHH is tagged in and Goldust fires across the ring to attack him.
Big back body drop has HHH on the mat and Goldust tags in but HHH leaves and Lawler is the legal man. Yet another double team move backfires as Goldust reverses Lawler into HHH’s boot. Some joined up thinking now from the heels as they work over Mero in the corner.
Goldust is in now as HHH refuses to tag in but finally makes his way in for a double team move but again hits his partner. This is the last Raw before the 1997 Royal Rumble and we learn that on next week’s show the winner of the Rumble will face the loser of the match between Sid and Michaels. Goldust finally gets his hands on HHH but the referee breaks it up and gets HHH out. Mero is in and locks up with Mero before HHH reluctantly tags in.
We return from a break as HHH works away on Mero before a flying head scissors from the Wildman has both men down. Goldust is tagged in and attacks HHH. HHH is tied up in the ropes and Goldust keeps attacking forcing a DQ.
Your winners: HHH & Lawler by DQ: A decent enough match here and great booking keeping HHH away from Goldust as long as possible. The only point in this match was to further build to the HHH v Goldust match at the Royal Rumble for the Intercontinental Title.
We’re soon speaking with Michaels but first we hear pre-recorded comments from Sid inside the Alamodome, the venue for the Royal Rumble. Predictably incoherent stuff from Sid, talking about Michaels’ family and friends having to look on as Sid beats him.
Michaels is up now as we see a highlight package of what led to the match between him and Sid at Royal Rumble 1997. Michaels talks about how dirty Texans can fight and that he’s going to take the fight to Sid.
Bret Hart’s music hits as he limps down to the ring. We see more footage of Austin’s chair attack on his ankle. Bret is joining the commentary team for the next match which we get after an advert for the 1997 Royal Rumble.
Match 2: The British Bulldog v Rocky Miavia: Rocky hits the ring to a good pop, something that will soon change. Dissention in the ranks between Mero and Sable is showed in a video package before Miavia saves Sable from the Honky Tonk Man. This results in Maivia and Mero fighting it out.
Anyway, we start with a tie-up that the Bulldog comfortably powers out of. Bret Hart goes into a rant about the WWF being a lawless land. Rocky takes the Bulldog down with a number of deep arm drags.
Bulldog powers back and takes control with a side headlock. A dropkick sends Davey-Boy to the outside and it takes Clarence Mason to stop him making his way to the back. Owen makes his way down to ringside and gets in his brother’s face.
Rocky gets a near fall with a flying bodypress. Bulldog hits back with the hanging suplex and a legdrop for a two of his own.
Rocky fights back and a clothesline takes them both to the outside. Miavia is whipped into the guardrail as Austin attacks the Bulldog. Owen and Bret make for Austin as Miavia gets back into the ring at 9 to win via count out.
Your winner: Rocky Miavia by count out.
Another match used to advance a feud – this time between Austin and Bret Hart.
The Nation are Backstage as we hear from Farooq ahead of the Rumble and from Crush on his upcoming match with The Undertaker.
Match 3: The Undertaker v Crush: The lights go out as The Undertaker makes his way down to the ring for this week’s main event. Crush is rapped down to the ring by JC Ice and Wolfie D and is accompanied by Farooq and Clarence Mason. The ‘taker attacks Crush in the aisle and sends him into the ring steps.
The Undertaker hits a big DDT on Crush and then a slam and leg drop. Crush fights back but is dumped to the outside by the ‘taker but counters by dropping him on the top rope. Back in the ring Crush punches away on the Undertaker and attacks away in the corner before running into a big boot.
Crush is momentarily distracted by a “jailbird” chant which refers to his brief stint in jail for possession of drugs and a handgun. The Taker is dropped onto the guardrail before being thrown into the ringsteps.
Back in the ring and Crush continues to work away on the Undertaker as Vader looks on from the entry way. The Undertaker fights back and goes for a Tombstone but Crush fights out and sends the ‘taker down with a belly-to-belly suplex before signalling for the heart punch which is blocked and The Undertaker hits a weak looking chokeslam. The Nation interfere to stop the three count and Vader joins the fray to help in the beat down of the Undertaker.
Your winner: Via DQ, The Undertaker.
Post match the Nation and Vader continue the beatdown before Ahmed tries to make the save with a 2×4. However, he is also outnumbered and the show closes with The Undertaker down after two Vader Bombs and Ahmed being hit by Farooq with a 2×4.
Overall: Bit frustrating that we didn’t get a single clean finish on the card at all. As you’d expect with the last show before a PPQ, all the matches were about furthering feuds ahead of the card but, still, the show left a lot to be desired.