’97 RAW is WAR Review: April 28


RAW starts with a recap of what happened last week and all the attacks. It was notable that the times of the recapped events were in the corner. I’m not sure if this was done to tell wrestling fans when to flip over to WWE programming.

Brian Pillman makes his way out to begin RAW. Pillman says many may think he is crazy but Pillman says he is religious. Pillman asks the crowd to pray with him and they boo this. Pillman begins to “pray” for Bret Hart and all those who cheered the attack on him. He continues and “prays” for those who cheer Austin and to see his annihilation and destruction. Pillman continues his blasphemous conduct and calls Bret Hart the saviour.

Steve Austin interrupts and tells Pillman to pray he doesn’t come down there and beat his a** and that Bret won’t save him. Pillman tells Austin his belief of an eye for an eye and to turn the other cheek and he positions his rear end to the titantron. Austin makes his way to the ring but Owen and Bulldog follow immediately behind him and he retreats through the crowd to avoid a 3-on-1 attack. Pillman invites Bulldog and Owen to join him in prayer and they do so. Meanwhile, we see Austin backstage as he finds an axe handle as an equalizer and returns ringside to clear the ring of the three.

Flash Funk def. Rockabilly
Returning from commercial break we see Brian Pillman backstage “praying” for Bret. Rockabilly nails Funk with the guitar following his loss.

Bret Hart comes out in his wheelchair for a promo. He thanks Pillman for the prayers but says he knows nothing will change and that he remains a hero everywhere but America. He says the American people make him sick and they are Austin’s people.

LOD def. Furnas & LaFon
Furnas and LaFon have an insert promo before the match and talk about how the fans don’t support them otherwise they’d be winning matches. They say they are wrestlers and the LOD are just painted up and they don’t understand the fan’s lack of support. They were the most charismatic I’ve seen them and entertaining. Similar to current day Neville, who was a great wrestler but only showed personality when he turned on the crowd because of their lack of support; this slowly becoming one of my favourite wrestling gimmicks. We hear well wishes for Henry O. Godwinn who was injured by the LOD. After the match, LaFon says it was basically 2-on-1 and Furnas says he had to do the referee’s job as it concerned the legal man; logical points coming across as totally whiny, love it!

Ahmed Johnson is backstage and apologizes for how brutally assaulted the Sultan. He suddenly explodes in rage and says he doesn’t know what people expect when it’s 3-on-1. Johnson yells it’s a gang fight and throws stuff and says I’m a gang member which is the most eloquent way I’ve heard someone declare they are a gangster which sounds far more intimidating.

Intercontinental Championship
Owen Hart def. Rocky Maivia (c)
Owen dedicates this championship match to his brother Bret. Surprisingly, Owen didn’t cheat to steal the championship but gets a roll up for the victory. He adds more gold to the Hart Foundation and Bulldog’s celebration of jumping and running in a circle is must see.

Austin is seen rolling around in a wheelchair of his own as we go to commercial. Back from break, Austin makes his way ringside. He has the wheelchair folded up under his arm and a kendo stick in hand. Austin sets up the wheelchair and sits in it. He challenges Bret to a wheelchair match, which could possibly be better than whatever a House of Horrors match is (this Sunday on Payback on the WWE Network). Austin also talks about his championship match and complains about the Harts and Pillman. Bret on titantron says Austin will leave in the same ambulance which Hart arrived in at the arena.

There is a video package of Ken Shamrock up next with his WWE highlights that we’ve seen before. There is also a clip of Shamrock in an empty arena and he appears, disappears and reappears in the ring. Strange.

Vader def. Jesse James
Squash match really as Vader wins with a Vaderbomb. Jim Ross interviews him after the match. JR asks if Vader has any remorse, is ashamed and if he overreacted to a dumb question. Vader said he doesn’t apologize for anything and asks JR if he should finish what he started back in Kuwait. Vader tosses JR’s hat and removes his glasses but Shamrock makes the save quickly and hits a belly to belly suplex and Vader leaves the ring.

Goldust def. Hunter Hearst Helmsley by Countout
Marlena throws powder in the eyes of Chyna. Hunter goes to check on her and she mistakenly thinks it’s Goldust as she begins to choke him out and slam him which leads to Hunter being counted out.

Undertaker promo over the titantron. He says that no man deserves to be burned but that Paul Bearer played with fire. Undertaker says Austin being distracted may lead to him needing more than just a wheelchair.

The Undertaker def. the British Bulldog by DQ
Pillman is seen praying for the Bulldog prior to his match. Bulldog says he’ll become the WWE Champion for Bret despite this being a non-title match. Whether it’s intentional or not the Bulldog appears to have great comedic timing. Owen interferes leading to the disqualification. Stone Cold comes down for the save and he and Undertaker send Owen and Bulldog into the crowd. Austin grabs the WWE championship and tosses it to the Undertaker. Undertaker stares him down and Austin hits the Undertaker with a stunner. Austin stands over the Undertaker and gives him the middle finger but Undertaker sits up and chokeslams Steve. Austin rolls out the ring and looks up the ramp and sees Bret all alone. Bret stands up using his crutch as Austin tosses away his wheelchair. Just as it looked as though Austin would beat down a one-legged Bret Hart out comes a returning Jim “the Anvil” Neidhart who assaults Austin from behind. Bret then swings his crutch and sends Austin flying off the edge of the ramp. Referees and medical staff check on Austin and he is placed on a stretcher. Brian Pillman is seen smiling maniacally to end RAW.

The Hart Foundation are a great heel faction here and it’s incredible that they have majority of the gold. I think this is great as it will make any babyface stronger as they dethrone these despised anti-Americans. Some filler on this RAW but segments with Austin and the Hart Foundation are must see!






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