Raw Rewind: 22 September 1997

Craig Wilson

Raw Is War Logo (1998)

This #Rawrewind takes place at MSG, the Monday after WWF’s UK PPV ‘One Night Only’ where Shawn Michaels won the European Championship. On the show the Intercontinental Title tournie continues and the main event is Bret Hart v Goldust in a non-title match.

All the previous Raw Rewinds can be located here.

Champion Roll Call:

WWF Champion: Bret Hart
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Vacant
WWF Tag Team Champions: The Headbangers
WWF European Champion: Shawn Michaels

Your hosts are Vince McMahon, Jim Ross and Jerry ‘the King’ Lawler at the MSG.

The show kicks off with a Jim Ross voiced over video showing many memorable WWF moments from the legendary Madison Square Garden.

Match 1: Rocky Maivia v Ahmed Johnson: The rest of the Nation of Domination accompany Maivia to ringside but Commissioner Slaugher sends them to the back. It’s also announced that Farooq has been reinstated in the IC title tournie as the man that defeated him – Ken Shamrock – is injured. Farooq will meet the winner of this one.

Brawl to start but Ahmed takes advantage here very early on. That is, though, until he misses a corner charge. Float over DDT from Maivia and now it’s the Nation member that’s in control. Captain Lou Albano wanders to ringside to check out the action just as the two take the action to the outside.

Unsurprisingly it appears that Ahmed’s is injured, with a cut open hand. Tellingly, the commentators make a number of references to Johnson being injury prone. Yet, from nowhere, it’s Ahmed that picks up the win with a Pearl River Plunge.

Winner – Ahmed via pinfall
Match Time – 4.58
Match Score – 3/5. A good match here despite the abrupt ending.

Vince hypes the other IC title tournie match tonight pitting Brian Pillman against Owen Hart while JR mentions that Dude Love and Triple H will meet in a falls count anywhere match. Lawler then advises that Bret Hart will face Goldust and Vinnie Mac lets us know that Shawn Michaels will be in appearance.

Stone Cold’s music hits and Austin is standing in the cheap seats with a microphone saying that you can’t have Raw in New York City without him.

An utterly bizarre advert then airs for Lazer Tag featuring Sable, Tim White and Howard Finkel… We then see stills from One Night Only of Shawn Michaels winning the European title. Vince states his next assignment will be Hell in a Cell against The Undertaker. Right on cue, Taker makes his way to the ring for an interview with Vince McMahon.

Vince announces that the winner of the Hell in a Cell match will face the WWF Champion at Survivor Series. The Undertaker tells HBK that there’s only one way out of the Cell and that’s over his dead body. He states that he can’t wait to see Michaels’ body burn in eternal damnation. This brings out the new European Champion. He tells Taker that unless he’s a “hot momma” he’s lying down for no one. Michaels promises to be one step ahead of everyone, as usual.

We return from a break with Sunny making her way to the ring to be guest ring announcer for the next match.

Match 2: Legion of Doom v Farooq & Kama: LOD in control early on, first with Animal against Kama then Hawk’s non-sell fest against Farooq. It takes NOD to double team Hawk for them to get the advantage but even then Hawk quickly recovers.

LOD double team Farooq and set up the Doomsday Device but the rest of the Nation hit the ring and beat down the LOD until Ahmed, complete with heavily bandaged hand, makes the save but soon they are outnumbered. Various officials then eventually break it up.

Winner – LOD via DQ.
Match Time – 2.32
Match Score – 1/5. As bad as you’d expect but mercifully short.

Match 3: Owen Hart v Brian Pillman (w/ Marlena): Owen Hart comes out complete with police officers, due to restraining order he has out against Stone Cold. Pillman comes out in a cast claiming that he broke his arm and forfeiting the match.

This draws out Slaughter who quickly outs Pillman’s ruse and starts the match. Amusingly there is very little contact between the pair in the early stages. That is until Marlena hits Hart with her purse prompting the two to go at it for real.

Goldust runs in and drops Hart with a clothesline prompting the DQ but as officials restrain Goldust, Pillman escapes to the back with Marlena. Owen Hart dedicates making the final to his brother Bret. Stone Cold clubs him from behind as police officers charge the ring.

McMahon throws his headset to the ground and makes his way into the ring. He pleads with the police to give him a minute and tells Austin that the WWF care about his wellbeing and want to see him return to the ring when healthy, not just now and risk further injury. Stone Cold tells McMahon to kiss his ass and hits a Stunner, perhaps the worst Stunner ever, on him.

Winner – Owen Hart
Match Time – 7.12
Match Score – 2/5. Not great, a comedy match to start and when it finally got going Goldust ran in. This match is much more memorable for what took place afterwards.

Time for the Warzone. Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler discuss Vince McMahon being Stunnered.

Match 4: Triple H (w/ Chyna) v Dude Love: Dude Love appears on the Titantron to announce that a falls count anywhere match isn’t really his thing and introduces Mankind. Mankind announces that he has someone that is better suited to this type of match and introduces Cactus Jack.

Cactus gets an “E-C-Dub” chant as he makes his way to the ring with a trash can. Jack gets an early nearfall with a spinning neckbreaker to the exposed area outside the ring. Chyna attacks Cactus before clotheslining him into the crowd and Helmsley follows. They briefly fight backstage before making their way back to the ring.

Triple H gains control when Foley misses a diving elbow from the top rope to the outside and connects only with the trash can. Chyna again distracts Foley and Triple H sends him into Chyna and inadvertently into the steps, taking Chyna out. They fight up the aisle with Jack taking a back suplex for a nearfall.

At the top of the ramp Triple H tries to set up Cactus Jack for a Pedigree on top of a table but a low blow stops him in his tracks and Foley piledrives him through the table for the win.

Winner – Cactus Jack
Match Time – 13.40
Match Score – 4/5. A brilliant match and they cleverly didn’t do too much backstage fighting.

We get a MSG magical moment clip of Andre the Giant slamming Big John Studd at Wrestlemania 1.

JR and Lawler voice over more clips from ‘One Night Only’ before HBK makes his way to the ring with a chair in hand. He calls out The Undertaker, who obliges, but is jumped on the way to the ring by Triple H then Ravishing Rick Rude and Chyna.

Match 5: WWF Champion Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart v Goldust in a non-title match: They start with a brawl before Hart takes control and works on Goldust’s leg for much of the early stages setting up for, as JR points out, the Sharpshooter.

Hart slaps on the ringpost figure four just as Shawn Michaels appears on the stage. Hart continues to work on the leg as JR announces upcoming live WWF action. Goldust blocks a suplex and hits one of his own in what is his first piece of offence for a very long time in this one.

Hart applies the Sharpshooter and picks up the win. Shawn Michaels hits the ring and is joined in quick succession by Rude, Owen Hart, The Bulldog and Jim Neidhart. They brawl until The Undertaker clears the ring and chokeslams both Bret Hart and HBK at the same time as the show ends.

Winner – Bret Hart via submission.
Match Time – 12.50
Match Score – 3/5. A very one-sided

Overall Thoughts: A very solid showing for Raw. Match of the night was the excellent one between Dude Love and Triple H. The first hour is average but The Warzone is great.

Overall score – 3/5

One thought on “Raw Rewind: 22 September 1997

  1. Pingback: Meanwhile, in WCW: 1997 Week 38 | Ring the Damn Bell

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