’97 RAW is WAR Review: May 5

We have a recap of last week’s RAW with organ music playing over all the segments where Brian Pillman was praying.

The Hart Foundation kicks off RAW. Bret talks about his disdain for the American fans and thanks all his fans worldwide for their support. Bret continues to get great heat from the American fans really making him the most despised on the roster. Bret thanks every member of the Hart Foundation for what they did the previous week (Owen winning the IC title and Neidhart save). Bret says he knows the American fans hate him and he says he hates them too. Bret notes that Austin will not be here tonight which elicits Austin chants. Bret says the fans are jealous because the Hart Foundation has all the gold; tag team gold, Intercontinental gold, European gold, gold in the Anvil’s teeth. He says even Pillman is the expert on the golden rule. Pillman says “Do unto others and enjoy it.” and laughs. Bret ends and says they got rid of Austin and onto Michaels. Great opening segment and Bret’s confidence on the mic is an all time high.

Rockabilly def. Ahmed Johnson by DQ
Rockabilly looked to nail Johnson with a guitar when the referee is distracted by the Honky Tonk Man. The ref turns around and Johnson takes the guitar from Rockabilly and blasts him in the head.

Hart Foundation are searching for Shawn Michaels. There is another Ken Shamrock video package looking at Shamrock’s personal life and mixed martial arts background. Shamrock has a son named Ryan, presumably named after his aunt.

Vader def. Goldust
Shamrock is on commentary during this one. I forgot just how big Goldust was as he was eye to eye with Vader. Vader exits the ring and confronts Shamrock at the commentary table. Vader nails a Vaderbomb for the win. Vader invites Shamrock in the ring and spits at Shamrock. Shamrock rushes the ring and takes down Vader. Mankind comes into attack Shamrock but Goldust evens things out and fends off Mankind.

We now have the sitdown interview with Dustin Runnels and Jim Ross with Marlena (Terri). They talk about Dustin being the son of Dusty Rhodes. Dustin notes he was always in his father’s shadow and it was always about his dad and he was Dusty’s son with no real identity of his own. They discuss the controversy of Goldust and that created even more disrespect. They talk about homophobia and bring up a time when Razor Ramon refused to work with him. He says he now has a identity as Dustin and when he puts on that suit he is Goldust. They talk about whether he has Dusty’s respect and Dustin says they haven’t talked in two and a half years. Dustin says he hopes his dad is proud and loves him but he is taking care of his family. Terri is supportive of Dustin throughout the sitdown interview. They say part 2 is next week. I thought a great interview to get over an upper mid card wrestler and that this could work for a lot of guys today in 2017!

The Hart Foundation are outside a men’s washroom but it isn’t Michaels who comes out but the Hart Foundation beat down the guy anyways.

Crush loses a Gauntlet Match
Crush is scheduled to square off against three jobbers in a Gauntlet match. McMahon notes that Johnson won’t be competing in this style of match on Sunday (it ended up being a Gauntlet match). Crush disposes of the first two but the third man comes in a hoodie and pantyhose over his face. The individual hits the Pearl River Plunge for the win and this ended up being Ahmed Johnson who looked as ridiculous as you could imagine.

The Hart Foundation are out in the parking lot looking for Shawn Michaels. Michaels makes his way ringside for an interview which makes the Hart Foundation look completely stupid. We see a clip of Austin nailing HBK which I think was off air. Michaels says everyone is saying they don’t need the fans so Michaels says he’ll start sucking up. McMahon says the search is on by the Hart Foundation. McMahon asks Michaels when he’ll wrestle again? Michaels announces it will be at the King of the Ring PPV next month. Michaels says he stands up for the American public against Bret and that he’ll go through the whole Hart Foundation and tear Hart to pieces. Bret gets on the titantron and says he should have finished the job he started when he had the figure four leglock around the ring post. Michaels takes his shirt off and Bret asks if that for the guys or girls? Bret tells Shawn his knee seems fine and if he’ll accept a challenge to fight the Anvil. Owen, Bulldog and Anvil come down and beat down Shawn but the LOD come to make the save.

Furnas & LaFon def. the LOD
We see a clip of Michaels being held back backstage against the Hart Foundation. During this match Owen and Bulldog return ringside. Animal confronts Bulldog on the ramp. Owen, who came through the crowd, grabs Hawk and pulls him on the top rope behind the referee’s back. Furnas pins Hawk for the three count.

Shawn Michaels is backstage fighting Brian Pillman and Jim Neidhart backstage. Steve Austin arrives at the arena and helps Michaels fend off these two as they take off.

Undertaker comes out for his go-home promo before his title defense this Sunday. Undertaker says someone has stolen his belt but that doesn’t make him champion. He says it will be a cold day in hell (name of the ppv) if Austin thinks he winning the title. It would be interesting what Undertaker would say if this match was to take place at WWE Great Balls of Fire although that may fit last months 1997 PPV.

Sunny comes out next to model an Austin 3:16 shirt.

Steve Austin def. the British Bulldog
After the match we see Owen with the absconded WWE Championship beating down Austin. LOD comes out to make the save. Furnas and LaFon come down to help the Hart Foundation although you LaFon brawling with Owen for some reason. Michaels makes his way ringside. Lights go out and we hear a gong. When the lights are back, the Undertaker is in the middle of the ring. Everyone clears but Austin and Undertaker. Austin picks up the championship  and Undertaker grabs it from him. Officials are out to separate the two as Undertaker knocks them away and he and Austin brawl to end RAW.

This Cinco de Mayo 1997 RAW edition was alright. I don’t think anything got me anymore excited for In Your House. I think the lack of Austin was noticeable but segments with the Hart Foundation were great. I am looking forward to seeing an upcoming King of the Ring Tournament. Also, this was a fun RAW to go back and watch and compare some events taking place in the WWE presently.





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