In this #Rawrewind we take in the 3 November 1997 show, the last one before Survivor Series 1997. The lightheavyweight Championship tournament kicks off with Super Loco taking on Aguila, Vader taking on British Bulldog ahead of Team USA v Team Cananda at the Survivor Series and a main event of Ken Shamrock taking on European Champion Shawn Michaels.
All the previous Raw Rewinds can be located here.
Champion Roll Call:
WWF Champion: Bret Hart
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Owen Hart
WWF Tag Team Champions: Legion of Doom
WWF European Champion: Shawn Michaels
Your hosts are Jim Ross and Jim Cornette at the Hersheypark Arena, Hershey in Pennsylvania.
They announce that Stone Cold will be here, Ahmed will be in action and Vader will meet the British Bulldog in a Dog Collar match. Stone Cold’s music hits and he’s on his way to the ring, to a thunderous reaction, to speak with Vince McMahon, who is already in the ring. JR hypes that at Survivor Series Austin will meet Owen Hart with the IC title up for grabs.
Austin states that he has nothing against Ahmed Johnson – who was on the receiving end of a Stunner last week – and explains that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. This brings out Ahmed Johnson and a group of officials.
McMahon demands that the officials keep their eye on Austin as he chats with Ahmed as Commissioner Slaughter joins the officials in the ring. A huge “Austin, Austin” chat rings out around the arena. Ahmed states that until last week Stone Cold had his respect but now he’s going to kick his ass. Johnson challenges Austin to a match tonight.
Austin says “if anyone wants to see Ahmed Johnson get his ass whipped give me a hell yeah” which gets a huge reaction from the fans, so I guess that’s the match set for later tonight then.
Cornette and JR hype the rest of the card with the Lightheavyweight Championship tournament kicking off, an interview with Goldust and Marlena and Shawn Michael responding to Ken Shamrock.
Sunny is announced as the special guest ring announcer for the next match.
Match 1: Super Loco v Aguila:
Super Loco would later gain fame as Super Crazy whilst the man behind the mask as Aguila would later wrestle for the WWF as Essa Rios. Brian Christopher has joined Cornette and JR on commentary.
Super Loco attempts a dive through the ropes but gets tangled up in them. He regains his composure and attempts another dive off the ropes but connects with the guard rail. Aguila has more success with a flying move over the top rope.
Loco reenters the ring with a slingshot spinning heel kick but with Aguila balanced on the ropes, he misses a second slingshot kick. A bow and arrow submission move keeps Loco in control before Aguila is backdropped over the top rope and Super Loco finally connects with high risk move when he hits a cartwheel backflip to the outside.
Back inside, Loco misses a corkscrew moonsault and Aguila hits a dropkick to the back of the head which sends Loco to the outside where Aguila hits a moonsault to the outside. Back inside and Aguila hits an armdrag off the top rope and a twisting splash for the win.
Winner – Aguila via pinfall
Match Time – 5.12
Match Score – 2/5. A spotfest with far too many botches to be a good match. Aguila did, however, look good.
JR then introduces his interview with Goldust, claiming that Goldust “rapes” his wife of his dignity. Marlena states that times have been tough but things are better now. Marlena then discusses their daughter, Dakota, saying that she’s happier now that her mum is home.
Goldust states that he can’t do this anymore and that everything his wife says makes him sick. He says he is sick of living for his Dad and for her. He accuses her of not letting him be what he wants to be. Goldust states that he’s found somebody else and for a long time he hasn’t loved her. He hands back his wedding ring and tells her to shove it up her ass.
A video package then airs showing the recent developments in the feud between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels ahead of their title match at Survivor Series. Clips also air from their Wrestlemania 12 match.
Ahmed makes his way down to the ring for his match with Stone Cold but instead of Austin, it is Kane, along with Paul Bearer, that make their way to the ring. Ahmed attacks but Kane drops him with a chokeslam and two Tombstone piledrivers. Mankind makes the save by applying the Mandible Claw on Bearer and striking Kane with a pipe – which bends in the process – and stands at ringside with a steel chair preventing Kane from doing any more damage.
We return from a break with JR and Cornette wondering if anyone can stop Kane. Austin then makes his way back out. He then states that what just happened to Ahmed was a lot less of an ass-whipping than he would have gotten from Stone Cold. He then challenges anyone in the dressing room to come out and fight him. He asks for a “hot dog and a beer” as he waits for anyone to accept his challenge.
Eventually the music of the Nation of Domination blasts out as Farooq, D-Lo Brown, Rocky Maivia and Kama make their way to the ring. Farooq chooses Kama to fight Stone Cold. LOD attack the NOD from behind and with Kama distracted, Stone Cold drops him with a Stunner and walks to the back leaving the rest to brawl at ringside.
Quite incredibly that’s the end of Raw is War with just one match taking place. It’s time to go to the Warzone where announce duties will be handled by Jim Ross, Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler and Vince McMahon.
Vince hands over to Michael Cole, who is in the ring, and he announces Shawn Michaels. HBK’s music hits but it is Rick Rude that makes his way through the curtain. He cuts his standard promo on the crowd as Rude introduces D-Generation X.
Vince states that Bret Hart refused to be on Raw tonight – in what would have been his final appearance – owing to the remarks made by HBK. Vince states he wouldn’t be surprised if Survivor Series was the final time that Michaels and Hart would meet in the ring.
We see clips from last week’s Raw of Michaels attacking Hart during The Hitman’s match against Shamrock and Shamrock then attacking him. HBK then kisses Triple H and Chyna. Triple H grabs the mic from Cole stating that he’s talked enough. He then praises Cole for putting up with their actions and with Chyna crouching down behind him, Triple H pushes Cole over.
HBK tells Bret Hart he will show him at Survivor Series that he is indeed the man. Michaels states next week on Raw he will not only walk naked but will also face Ken Shamrock. Triple H calls out Slaughter, who makes his way out.
Slaughter grabs the mic and speaks to DX. They then put on helmets with wipers on it to counter the amount of spitting from Slaughter when he speaks. Slaughter tells Michaels he will face Shamrock but it will be tonight and not next week.
Up next is Marc Mero against Marc Mero and we see Mero bursting into Sable’s dressing room where she’s topless. A pre-recorded interview with Vega airs where he says he will avenge what Mero did to Perez.
Match 2: Marc Mero (w/Sable) v Savio Vega:
Vega attacks to start but misses a dropkick but Mero misses an elbow drop and Vega works away in the corner. Mero fights back and connects with a series of rights and lefts in the corner but Vega is able to connect with a spinning heel kick into the corner.
Vega taunts Sable and Mero rolls him up for a two. It’s Vega that is up first but misses a spinning heel kick and with the referee speaking with Sable he hits a low blow and a TKO for the win.
After the match, Mero tries to interview Sable but Mero interrupts stating that if Cole wants to speak to a superstar he speaks to him and not Sable.
Winner – Marc Mero via pinfall.
Match Time – 2.33
Match Score – 2/5. Mero is hopeless.
JR hypes the WWF phone-in line with a story about how Goldust broke his hand.
Match 3: Vader v British Bulldog (w/ Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart, Doug Furnas and Phil LaFon) in a Dog Collar match:
JR and McMahon discuss that Vader will lead Team USA made up of himself, Goldust, Marc Mero and Patriot before discussing that Patriot is out injured.
This is basically a strap match with the winner being the first to touch all four turnbuckles. Bulldog sends Vader over the top rope where the rest of Team Canada attack at ringside. This allows Bulldog to touch three turnbuckles but Vader pulls him to the ground before he can touch the final one.
Cole interviews Furnas and LaFon at ringside about why they are joining Team Canada. They state that when they were in a car accident recently it was only the US fans that didn’t give them any support. Furnas states that he’s embarrassed by America.
Meanwhile, Vader is able to connect with three turnbuckles as we see Neidhart ready to bounce if Vader gets close to the fourth. He knocks down Neidhart and hits the fourth turnbuckle before Team Canada attack. A fan then hits the ring and takes out Furnas and LaFon until Nedihart takes him down. Vader then lies on top of him to protect him. This was the surprise debut of Steve Blackman.
Winner – Vader via touching all turnbuckles.
Match Time – 3.34
Match Score – 2/5. An OK match but very obvious what was going to happen and as stipulation matches go, this type of match is always pretty bad.
We see clips of James and Gunn costing Los Boricuas in their match last week against WW Tag Champs LOD.
Match 4: Jesus Castilla & Jose Estrada v B.A. Billy Gunn and Road Dog Jesse James:
Gunn and James hit the ring complete with what’s left of The New Blackjacks’ hats. JR announces that LOD have been removed from the arena after an altercation with Slaughter.
James and Gunn double team Jesus in the early stages. Gunn is on the receiving end of a “maggot” chant. Vince announces that due to time constraints the second part of JR’s ‘no holds barred’ interview with Jeff Jarrett will now air on WWF Livewire.
Vince and Lawler praise Gunn and James on their undefeated streak since teaming together. Jesus counters a Billy Gunn flapjack attempt with a DDT and he’s able to tag in Estrada as James re-enters the ring also.
All four men are in the ring and Gunn and James are whipped into each other before Gunn’s clotheslined to the outside. In the ring, Los Boricuas continue their double team attack on James. Jose sets up James for a powerbomb but instead drops James face first onto the turnbuckle.
But with the referee removing Jesus from the ring, Gunn hits a top rope fist drop allowing James to pick up the win.
Winner – Jesse James via pinfall.
Match Time – 5.22
Match Score – 2/5. The winning streak of James and Gunn continues in unspectacular style.
Match 5: WWF European Champion Shawn Michaels (w/ Chyna & Triple H) v Ken Shamrock in a non-title match:
Shamrock wastes no time in attacking HBK who can’t even get his entrance attire off before he’s tossed to the outside onto Triple H and Chyna. Once Michaels is back in Shamrock works on him in the corner before HBK takes the standard corner bump in the other.
The European champion is able to block a belly-to-belly suplex attempt with a rake to the eye before hammering Shamrock headfirst into the turnbuckle. Shamrock no-sells and gets a nearfall with a Fisherman’s Suplex.
Shamrock then counters a hiplock with one of his own as HBK offers him a handshake. A clothesline sends both men to the outside and with the referee keeping Triple H from getting involved, HBK attacks Shamrock from behind but is eventually pushed face first into the ringpost. However, the referee is still with Triple H and Chyna drives Shamrock into the ringpost as well.
We head to a break as Rick Rude, complete with briefcase, makes his way down to the ring. We return with Triple H attacking Shamrock at ringside as Michaels distracts the referee inside the ring. HBK applies a reverse chinlock as we go for a breather in what has been a fast paced match so far.
McMahon reiterates that we’re unlikely to ever see a Bret Hart v Shawn Michaels match against. Shamrock counters a kick with a roll-up but Michaels is up first and again rakes the eye. A standing dropkick fells the World’s Most Dangerous man as he takes the acclaim from Chyna and Triple H before getting a two count.
Michaels misses a corner charge and Shamrock pounds away and connects with a back elbow then a spinning kick. However, a Hurricanrana attempt is countered with a powerbomb and HBK gets a two. Mihaels tees up the band but Shamrock ducks and hits a belly-to-belly suplex. Triple H distracts Shamrock who knocks him off the apron.
HBK attempts Sweet Chin Music and applies the Anklelock submission. However, Chyna jumps on the apron and Rude enters the ring and drops Shamrock with it before Triple H Pedigrees him onto it as the show goes off the air.
Winner – Ken Shamrock via DQ
Match Time – 11 minute
Match Score – 4/5. A really really good match up. Fast paced hard hitting action.
Overall Thoughts As you’d expect ahead of a PPV there was more storyline stuff than in-ring action here. A shame then that what wrestling there was on show was pretty poor. The only match worth watching was the main event, the rest of the action largely missable.
Overall score – 2/5