Raw Rewind: 28 July 1997

Craig Wilson

Raw Is War Logo (1998)

This #Rawrewind is the go home show ahead of Summerslam and features a main event of Bret ‘the Hitman’ Hart versus The Patriot.

Elsewhere, Stone Cold and Dude Love defended the tag titles against The Godwinns, LOD faced Los Boricuas, Crush took Farooq and The Truth Commission debuted.

All the previous Raw Rewinds can be located here.

Champion Roll Call:

WWF Champion: The Undertaker
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Owen Hart
WWF Tag Team Champions: Stone Cold Steve Austin & Dude Love
WWF European Champion: The British Bulldog

Your hosts are Vince McMahon, Jim Ross and Jerry ‘the King’ Lawler in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

As Vince introduces the show the music of The Hart Foundation hits and the group make their way to the ring waving the Canadian Maple Leaf flag and the Union Jack. JR is in the ring to interview Bret Hart over his conduct on last week’s episode of Raw is War.

It’s announced by JR that Hart isn’t being fired or suspended and that next week will see a new WWF Commissioner appointed by Gorilla Monsoon. Hart addresses the partisan Pittsburgh fans to great jeers. He references O.J. Simpson whilst stating that there is no such thing as justice in America.

He promises to win the gold at Summerslam and then addresses the debut of The Patriot before challenging him to a match this very evening.

Vince and Lawler then hype the rest of the show including The Godwinns having a title shot against Austin and Dude Love, a scheduled appearance from Shawn Michaels as well as Crush taking on Farooq. Los Boricuas are also in action against The Legion of Doom with The Truth Commission debuting.

Predictably woeful pre-recorded clips from fans air with their thoughts on who will win between The Undertaker and Bret Hart at Summerslam.

Match 1: Savio Vega & Miguel Perez (w/ Los Boricuas) v The Legion of Doom: Clips air of The Godwinns jumping LOD on Raw is War two weeks prior to this show. Savio Vega and Hawk start this. Hawk is backed into the corner but no sells an Irish whip into other corner and drops Vega with a neckbreaker.

Animal is tagged in and hits a running charge. Miguel Perez is in now and takes a running powerslam off the ropes. A standing slam follows and Hawk is in but he misses a top rope headbutt. He clobbers the Road Warrior with a clothesline and tags his partner in and they double team their opponent.

Savio slams Hawk before another quick tag. Perez works on Hawk in the corner before slamming him in the middle of the ring and hits a standing moonsault for a two count. Hawk is backed into the Boricuas corner but fights out and drops Perez with a big boot for a nearfall that’s interrupted by Animal.

LOD signal for The Doomsday Device but the other two Los Boricuas interfere and are joined by The Godwinns . Hawk is Slop Dropped outside the ring then has a bucket of slop dropped on him as the four Los Boricuas work on Animal inside the ring.

Your winners: The Legion of Doom via DQ. A standard brawl tag team match here. Nothing special really, the Godwinn interference was a certainty.

Triple H is interviewed backstage ahead of his match with Vader as clips are aired of his feud with Mankind from May and will see the pair compete at Summerslam in a steel cage.

Match 2: Triple H (w/ Chyna) v Vader (w/ Paul Bearer): As Chyna heads of Vader, Mankind attacks Triple H from behind. She spears him when she turns around and Helmsley works on Mankindin the ring.

They attempt a double team on Mankind but with Chyna standing on the top rope, Triple H is knocked into the ropes dropping her groin first on the turnbuckle. The pair then fight into the crowd with Vader seemingly having grown weary of this and returned to the back.

Your winner: No contest

A soundbyte airs hyping The Truth Commission with The Commandant announcing that “the truth will hurt.” We then see a promo for Brakkus. The ring announced introduced Michael Moorer, a heavyweight boxing champion from Pittsburgh, sitting in the front row

Match 3: Jesse James, Flash Funk and Bob Holly v Recon, Sniper, The Interrogator (w/ The Commandant): Gorilla Monsoon has joined the commentary team with JR asking him about the rationale for hiring a commissioner. The Interrogator is Kurrgan, Sniper is Luc Poirier and Recon is better known for his future gimmick Bull Buchanan.

Monsoon announces that the new Commissioner will be announced on Raw next week. Recon and Flash Funk start this one off. They trade blows before Funk hits a flying body press for a two. A dropkick sends Recon back into his corner and Sniper is in but straight into a drop toe hold and Jesse James gets the tag.

James gets a two count with a cross body. A high knee from Recon on the outside derails James’ momentum and it’s The Interrogator that’s in now. He hits a big forearm that drops James before Sniper and Recon are tagged in in quick succession. The Interrogator is back in with clubbing blows in the corner.

He misses a running charge and Bob Holly is in. He hits a series of shots on all of The Truth Commission and all six men are in. A side slam on Holly gives The Interrogator the win.

Your winners: The Truth Commission. A squash win for The Commandant’s team who looked OK, no better and no worse.

After the match McMahon called a young fan at home who had entered the SummerSlam contest to announce he would be flown in to SummerSlam for a chance to win a million dollars.

A feature aired on The Patriot Del Wilkes where he’s described as an international superstar who is defending his country. He accepts Bret Hart’s challenges, states he would never pass up on an opportunity to defend his country and concludes by saying he doesn’t like Hart very much. Not a great promo…

Match 4: Crush (w/ The DOA) v Farooq (w/ NOD): A good pop greets The DOA who make their way to the ring on their bikes. Ahmed is by the side of Farooq, along with D’Lo Brown and Kama Mustafa.

All eight men square off in the ring with NOD saluting Crush’s cohorts. Crush and Farooq stand face to face before he slaps away Farooq’s hand when he attempts the NOD salute. Farooq pounds away in the corner but is caught off the top rope with a powerslam and it’s the leader of DOA’s turn ot be in control.

Farooq dodges a high boot and drops his former charge with a chop block. Vince describes the 33 year old Crush as a youngster at this point… Lawler said Ross could relate to Crush being fired from the NOD because McMahon once fired him.

Crush is chocked on the ropes and with the referee distracted, Kama levels him with a shot to the face. Crush comes back with an electric chair drop before piledriving him in the middle of the ring. He lands a kick to the face but is tripped by Kama which starts an eight man brawl.

The leader of DOA attack Crush on the ramp and hit a quadruple powerbomb as DOA are beat down in the ring by the NOD>

Your winner: No contest. Rather predictably this one ended in a mass brawl. So that’s a DQ win, a squash and two no contests so far in the show.

It’s time to go to the Warzone as we enter the second hour of the show which will feature Stone Cold Steve Austin and Dude Love defending their tag titles against The Godwinns. We see clips of The Godwinns’ sneak attack on LOD earlier on in the show.

More fan interview clips air with those interviewed split down the middle in terms of who they think will win the Summerslam main event.

Match 5: WWF Tag Team Champions Stone Cold Steve Austin & Dude Love v The Godwinns: The British Bulldog and Owen Hart have joined the commentary team. “Dude Love” chants to the beat of his music from the fans. He gets a great babyface pop bettered only by the reception that Stone Cold got from the Pittsburgh fans.

Dude and Phineas start this one. Love counters an Irish whip by sliding under the bottom rope before dropping Phineas throat first on the top rope. Austin gets the tag in and he pounds away on The Godwinn. He puts his head down, though, and Henry is in.

Austin greets Henry with a clothesline before bringing his partner bag in and the tag champs briefly double team Henry. Henry counters with a series of clubbing blows but misses a roundhouse and is dropped for a two count with a double arm DDT. Phineas interrupts that count and turns round into a clothesline.
Henry slams Dude Love and slams his partner onto one of half the tag champions. Phineas works on Dude Love in the corner with forearms and an elbow. Dude Love, though, counters and reverses an Irish whip into the corner and bulldogs Phineas out of the corner.

Love makes the hot tag and is in to a huge reaction. Phineas takes a Lous Thesz press and then a Stunner but Henry clobbers him to the outside, right in front of Bulldog and Owen Hart. Owen nails Austin with the Intercontinental Title belt and Austin is counted out. Owen claims he did this because Austin was trying to steal his title belt.

Austin drags Owen from his chair and all six men brawl at ringside before they are joined by The Legion of Doom as The Godwinns escape to the back quickly followed by Owen Hart and The Bulldog.

Your winners: The Godwinns via count out. An entertaining enough tag match but another non clean finish. I guess that would only get worse as we continue towards the Attitude Era.

We go to a break just as JR hypes the Michaels interview later in the show as well as another winner of the Summerslam competition next.

During the previous match Bulldog claimed he could beat Shamrock in an arm wrestling contest. After the commercial break, Shamrock brought a table to ringside and issued a challenge to Bulldog

Match 6: Devon Storm v Ace Darling: Storm is better known for his stint in WCW as Crowbar whilst Darling wrestled almost exclusively on the independent scene. Storm lands some uppercuts to start and a monkey flip out of the corner.

Darling lands on his feet and counters a powerbomb with a Hurricanrana but Storm rolls through for the win.

Your winner: Storm via pinfall in a ridiculously short match up. Difficult to give that one any real rating…

McMahon then tried to call another SummerSlam winner, but at first got a number where the phone lines were out. He then called a second number and the person he reached was understandably excited about a free jaunt to Summerslam.

Ken Shamrock then beat The British Bulldog in an arm wrestling contest via DQ. Surprisingly it was more dramatic than most with Shamrock really milking the babyface comeback. As soon as Shamrock got the advantage, Bulldog headbutted him then attacked with a chair. The European Champion then pulled out some dog food and shoved it in Shamrock’s face.

Match 7: Goldust (w/ Marlena) v Rockabilly (w/ Honky Tonk Man): Marlena taunted Brian Pillman pre match with a mannequin wearing one of her dresses. Lock up to start and Goldust is backed into the corner where Gunn works away on his oopponent.

Gunn whips him into the ropes but puts his head down and Goldust lands his trademark drop to the ground and punch combination. At ringside Gunn taunts Moorer and slaps him across the face. The boxer responds with a solid looking punch to the face, knocking out Rockabilly. As this is going on, Pillman races to the ring and DDTs Goldust and destroys the mannequin. Post-match, Marlena jumps on Pillman’s back and it takes officials to get her off him.

Your winner: Another non finish… This one never really got going at all.

A very good video package aired previewing the Bret v Undertaker Summerslam match including sit-down interview sound bites with Taker, Bret, Michaels, and Bulldog along with old footage. Bret said Undertaker is agile, unlike other big men that he has competed with such as Sid and Diesel.

Vince is in the ring now for an interview with Shawn Michaels. Straight off the bat, McMahon asks him if he will apologise for his comments about Canada. HBK states he isn’t looking to win any popularity contests and says he’ll join the commentary booth when “his good buddy” Bret Hart wrestles The Patriot. Bret is shown backstage kicking over objects and throwing chairs.

More of the abysmal fan interviews are shown with the fans bigging up The Undertaker and being very critical of Hart and Canada.

Match 8: Bret Hart v The Patriot: Hart grabs the microphone and demands that the crowd “shut up for a minute” for the Canadian national anthem. There’s a delay in it being played during which HBK asks Vince to “hum a few bars”.

Patriot is out second complete with American flag. It’s then The Patriot’s turn to ask for a national anthem to be played. It’s fair to say that the American anthem gets a better reaction than the Canadian one did.

Hart attacks from behind and lands a series of clubbing blows as the anthem still plays. The Patriot fights back and Hart slides to the outside. The Patriot joins him but slips. We learn that the USA Network has allowed Raw more time as it approaches the time limit.

The Patriot gets a two count following the Patriot Missile. We return from a break with Hart hitting a backbreaker. Footage is shown of Hart applying the ringpost figure four on The Patriot during the break. Hart gets a nearfall with a Russian legsweep.

The Hitman drops The Patriot with a belly-to-back suplex and lands a driving second rope elbow drop. The Patriot mounts a comeback in the corner with a series of shots to the mid-section and one to the face. Hart misses a punch and Patriot syncs in the Bridging Full Nelson but they collide with the referee, knocking Hebner down.

Bret Hart piledrives The Patriot but the referee is still down. As Hebner comes to, The Hitman drops a legdrop and then a headbutt to the mid-section. Hart pins The Patriot but Michaels grabs his leg and pulls him off. Hart revives the referee before going to the ropes to taunt Michaels, The Patriot rolls Hart up for the win.

The Patriot via pinfall. A really good match with an important storyline finish ahead of Summerslam.

Afterwards, Michaels stands on the announce table dancing to The Patriot’s music as he taunts Bret Hart. The Undertaker’s music hits and he makes his way onto the ramp as the show closes.

Overall: For a go home show ahead of a PPV this was a pretty lacklustre show. Far too many non-finishes and a surprising amount of introductions or debuts – those are usually saved until after a PPV.

2 thoughts on “Raw Rewind: 28 July 1997

  1. Pingback: This Week in Wrestling | Ring the Damn Bell

  2. Pingback: Meanwhile, in WCW: 1997 Week 30 | Ring the Damn Bell

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