In this #Rawrewind we review the show from 24 November 1997 featuring a main event of Shawn Michaels v Vader in a non title match. Elsewhere, DX bring out a midget dressed as Bret Hart, Billy Gunn and Jesse James get a tag title shot and the feud between The Rock and Stone Cold continues to heat up.
All the previous Raw Rewinds can be located here.
Champion Roll Call:
WWF Champion: Shawn Michaels
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Stone Cold Steve Austin
WWF Tag Team Champions: The Legion of Doom
WWF European Champion: Shawn Michaels
Your hosts are Jim Ross and Jim Cornette at the Cumberland County Center, Fayetteville, NC.
The show begins with Ravishing Rick Rude’s music. Last week Rude left the company – despite appearing on the tapped Raw – and appeared on Nitro. It’s Harvey Whippleman that comes out, masquerading as “Handsome Harvey”. He introduces DX in the same manner that Rude has previously.
Michaels pushes Whippleman over before stating that he didn’t expect his feud with Bret Hart to end the way that it did. He says that Hart is still under contract and deserves better. HBK states that he and Hart will meet in the ring later and settle this once and for all.
Cornette states we’ll have the in-ring return of Jeff Jarrett and Rocky Maivia will be in action.
Match 1: WWF Tag Team Champions The Legion of Doom v Jesse James & Billy Gunn:
James and Gunn debut their ring music as they make their way out in the LOD shoulder pads. LOD drag the outlaws to the ring with Hawk tossing James into the steps as Animal works on Gunn in the ring.
Cornette discusses the title success of LOD in all the promotions they have wrestled in as Hawk takes apart James in the ring. Hawk misses a corner charge and tumbles out of the ring. Billy Gunn attacks him as we head to a break.
When we return both men are down as Gunn distracts Animal thus preventing Hawk from making the tag. Gunn misses a clothesline before a double clothesline sends both men down. However, Hawk is again prevented from making the tag with James distracting the referee.
As the referee deals with Animal, James drills Hawk with the title belt giving the challengers a nearfall. Gunn misses a top rope leg drop and Hawk finally makes the tag to Animal who cleans house. Gunn ducks a shoulder charge and Animal knocks down the referee.
LOD double team Gunn in the ring and set him up for the Doomsday Device. James hits Animal with a steel chair allowing Gunn to pick up the win with a roll-up. After the bell the new champs escape to the back.
Winners – and new tag team champions Billy Gunn and Jesse James
Match Time – 9.20
Match Score – 2/5. Gunn and James were still gelling as a team and LOD were done by this stage so it was as good as it really could be.
We see clips from the break where LOD destroyed various WWF officials and security guards.
Goldust then makes his way to the ring in a wheelchair. Michael Cole grabs an interview and we see clips of him hitting Vader with. Goldust claims that a broken bone has resulted in him being a paraplegic, much to the astonishment of JR and Cornette.
Vader makes his way out and grabs the microphone from Cole. He tells Goldust everyone knows there’s nothing wrong with him then begins to attack. Goldust’s nurse throws alcohol rub in Vader’s face and the nurse reveals herself to be Luna Vachon as Goldust attacks.
The camera cuts to the back and to a parked Limo as the crowd wonder if Bret Hart is in that Limo. We then see clips of what has led to the match between Triple H and Sgt Slaughter at In Your House: D-Generation X. Michael Cole then brings out the Commissioner for an interview on the stage. Slaughter says it was when Triple H started talking about his family than he knew the fight was on. He puts on his Sgt Slaughter hat and cuts an old school promo. He announces that their match will now be a Boot Camp match.
Match 2: WWF Light Heavyweight Title Tournament Quarter Finals: Brian Christopher (w/ Jerry Lawler) v Flanagan:
Flanagan gets a jobber entrance but launches himself onto Christopher before he can get into the ring. He gets a nearfall with a flying clothesline but is distracted by Lawler and Christopher hits a sunset flip powerbomb to the outside.
With Christopher distracting the referee in the ring, Lawler attacks Flanagan at ringside before rolling him back into the ring. Brian Christopher connects with a top rope dropkick to the back of the head and a Rocker Dropper.
Flanagan regains the advantage with a side Russian Legsweep but runs into a Full Nelson Front Face drop and is dropped by a reverse DDT from the corner. Christopher hits the Tennessee Jam for the win.
Winner – Christopher via pinfall.
Match Time – 3.30
Match Score – 2.5/5. Not bad, Flanagan got more offence in that you’d expect.
Just as cameras show the limo door being opened Raw is War finishes as we enter The Warzone.
Your commentators for The Warzone are Jim Ross and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler.
Shawn Michaels, Triple H and Chyna make their way out to the ring. Trips tells Slaughter he will finish him once and for all at In Your House. HBK grabs the microphone and introduces Bret Hart but it is a midget dressed as The Hitman that makes his way out. Michaels holds Hart away by pushing on his forehead before knocking him to the mat and applying the Sharpshooter. Once the midget has returned to the back Jim Neidhart makes his way out to the top of the ramp.
HBK tells Neidhart he was held back by Hart and carried the team. HBK offers The Anvil the sort of opportunity that Bret Hart never gave him. Michaels offers Neidhart the chance to be a member of DX for one night only. It is announced that later Michaels will face Vader.
Footage then airs of the feud to date between Marc Mero and Butterbean oddly focussing on Butterbean’s computer game appearances whilst a song written about him is played.
Match 3: Savio Vega v Ken Shamrock:
Vega attacks from behind and pounds away on Shamrock but misses a clothesline and only breaks out of a submission move by reaching the ropes. Shamrock is tossed to the outside where Perez attacks when the referee has his back turned.
A spinning heel kick, and the use of the ropes for leverage, gets Vega a nearfall. He blocks a sunset flip with a punch to the face but Shamrock gets his knees up to block a running splash. A powerslam gets Shamrock a nearfall before connecting with a series of right hands.
Shamrock “snaps” and hits the Hurricanrana, clears Perez from the ring and connects with the belly-to-belly suplex before forcing Vega to tap with an Ankle Lock.
Winners – Shamrock via submission
Match Time – 5.20
Match Score – 2/5. Pretty poor. Essentially a squash match and Shamrock still looking very green
When we return Rocky and the Nation are on their way to the ring for an interview with Michael Cole. Maivia is still carrying Stone Cold’s Intercontinental title belt. The Rock says he’s the People’s Champion and he’s calling all the shots for his match with Austin at In Your House. “Rocky Sucks” appears on the Titantron. The Nation head to the back to check on what’s happening.
We see inside the TV truck where Stone Cold is. Stone Cold asks The Rock if the video is live or recorded. Austin then attacks Rocky in the ring. The Nation hit the ring but Stone Cold grabs a chair and clears the ring before flipping the bird at a shocked Maivia.
Match 4: Crush v Jeff Jarrett:
We cut to the back where Jarrett states that Vince McMahon has breached a number of aspects within his contract and as a result he won’t be wrestling.
Winner – Crush via forfeit.
Match Time – N/A
Match Score – N/A
Kane then makes his way to the ring. Crush attacks but Kane grabs him by the throat and chokeslams him before hitting the Tombstone Piledriver. The DOA eventually make the save along with WWF officials and Gerald Brisco takes a chokeslam. This was how the WWF wrote Crush out of TV after he asked to leave, partially in protest at the Montreal Screwjob.
Match 5: Vader v WWF Heavyweight & European Champion Shawn Michaels (w/ Triple H, Chyna & Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart in a non-title match:
Vader has one of his eyes bandaged up as a result of the attack at the hands of Goldust and Luna Vachon. Michaels is unable to move Vader with a series of clotheslines but is soon sent down himself before being press slammed. HBK attempts a sunet flip but Vader sits down to counter.
A nearfall from a running splash. HBK dodges a corner splash but Vader still manages to then connect with a series of forearms. Neidhart pulls down the ropes as Vader hits them causing him to fall to the outside where DX attacks.
Vader reverses an Irish whip into the corner and hits a stiff clothesline before setting up the Vaderbomb. However, Chyna distracts the referee and Triple H throws coffee in Vader’s face. HBK hits two superkicks, one to the back of the head and one to the face, to get the win.
Winner – Shawn Michaels via pinfall.
Match Time – 3.00
Match Score – 2/5. Wasn’t afforded enough time to really get going.
Post match DX celebrate until Chyna hits a low blog on Neidhart and HBK and HHH beat him down as we go off the air.
Overall ThoughtsNot a great show this week. Biggest talking points being LOD dropping the titles and the midget Bret Hart stuff. All very missable this week.
Overall score – 2.5/5