September 28, 2007
Mike Abitabile

Monday Night Raw
Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas
1/20/97

As Raw comes on the air, we are shown newspaper clippings from the San Antonio Express News highlighting last night’s Royal Rumble. We are then shown video highlights from the pay-per-view, including the controversy surrounding the winner of the Rumble match itself, as Vince, JR and King ponder who will face Shawn Michaels for the title at Wrestlemania 13.

We are live in Beaumont, Texas. As the announce team hypes up the show, they are interrupted by Bret Hart, who has a live mic, and he’s not happy. He’s talking directly to Vince, who really hasn’t acknowledged he’s running the show outright yet. The topics covered in Bret’s venting are going all the way back to last month’s In Your House: It’s Time and how Shawn Michaels was ringside and cost him the title. That’s all well and good though, because he entered the Rumble. But that didn’t work out either because he got screwed out of winning that, too! “I’ve been screwed by Shawn Michaels, the boy toy. I’ve been screwed by “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. I’ve been screwed by the World Wrestling Federation. And I’ve been screwed by you (points to Vince)!” Vince is staggering around ringside and has no idea what to do. After pointing out that he doesn’t think he will ever get his shot at the title again, Bret quits the WWF, throws down his mic and leaves through the crowd to “We Want Bret!” chants.

And now here’s Austin and he’s got a live mic! The mic isn’t working at first, which works out fine because that’s the beauty of live television, and it gives Austin another crack to make once he gets a working one. “You gonna give me a piece of equipment that works son, or am I gonna have to whip your ass!?” Huge applause for that. He says Bret cries and whines. The bottom line is, when the going gets tough, the Harts get going! Austin says it’s good that Bret is going back home because the only guy he can beat is up there – his wrinkled up old man. Austin says he’s been screwed with, too – he’s supposed to fight Sid tonight, but that won’t be happening because Sid suffered a minor concussion during his match with Shawn Michaels at the Rumble the night before, so Gorilla Monsoon won’t let him wrestle tonight. Therefore, Austin will fight the Undertaker instead! Austin’s take on this? “As far as Gorilla Monsoon goes, I got a big bunch of bananas and I can tell you where to stick each and every one of them!” Meantime, Vince has taken off for backstage leaving us with JR and King to call the show. What an opening segment!

JR gives us the attendance for the Rumble, which was 60,525. JR recaps what just happened and King is throwing a party because Bret is gone. It’s time for our first match.

Non-Title Match: WWF Tag Team Champions “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith and Owen Hart w/ Clarence Mason vs. Doug Furnas and Phil Lafon

JR points out that during the Rumble match, Owen accidentally eliminated the Bulldog, but for now, it looks like everything is fine between them. Owen starts out with Lafon and the two start off with chain and mat wrestling. Lafon hits a side kick and tags in Furnas. He hits a beautiful dropkick on Owen followed by a standing belly to belly suplex. This gets a two count. Owen comes back with his patented spinning heel kick. He tags in the Bulldog. Meanwhile, JR and King argue over what happened in the Rumble. King takes Austin’s side and points out referees and umpires miss calls in other sports and JR takes Bret’s side, going by the book and the rules. Back to the action, Furnas hits a hurricanrana on Davey and gets a two. Bulldog rolls out to slow down the pace of the match. Lafon tags back in. JR informs us that Undertaker was fined his entire Royal Rumble pay-per-view paycheck for going nuts and chokeslamming a referee after his match with Vader the night before. King likes that. Davey backs Lafon into his corner and Owen gets some cheap shots in. Lafon fights back and works on the leg of the Bulldog. Furnas is tagged back in, and Davey makes a blind tag to Owen, who takes out Furnas with a perfect top rope missile drop kick when he is least expecting it.

Don’t forget, La Femme Nikita is on as soon as Raw ends! JR wants to see Nikita vs. Robin Hood and points out that there is no baiting and switching on Raw. This is due to Nitro offering a title match between Hollywood Hogan and The Giant the week before, only to make you watch Robin Hood and see the highlights of the title match during the commercials.

Owen tries to lock on the sharpshooter and Furnas breaks it before Owen can turn him. Bulldog comes in and they try to double team Furnas, but he is able to take them both down with a double clothesline. Owen stops Furnas before he can make a tag. Owen hits the enzuiguri and only gets a two count. JR mentions that Gorilla Monsoon will have a major announcement later tonight that he is sure will shake the foundation of the WWF. Standing vertical suplex by the Bulldog. Another two count. Owen comes back in and continues to work over Furnas. Owen goes up top looking for a belly flop headbutt and misses! Owen tags Bulldog in and Furnas is able to finally make the hot tag to Lafon. He goes after Bulldog and Owen. Snap suplex on Davey, followed by a Northern Lights suplex, for a two count. Owen saves Bulldog, so Furnas takes him out of the ring. Owen grabs Lafon as he is running to the ropes and nails him with his Slammy! Bulldog hits the running powerslam and gets the 3 count! King points out that, now that Bret is gone, Owen can be the star of the Hart family! Really good match, too bad they didn’t save that for Wrestlemania.

We are shown HBK’s entrance from the Rumble so we can feel how much the fans loved him in his hometown. Don’t forget, the Royal Rumble encore is tomorrow night at 8pm, on PPV!

Farooq vs. Bart Gunn

The entire Nation of Domination accompanies Farooq down to the ring, including PG-13, Crush, the yet-to-be-named D-Lo Brown, two guys I’ve never seen before, a lady, and Clarence Mason. We are shown a clip from the Rumble of Ahmed Pearl River Plunging an unnamed Nation member through an announce table. JR and King agree that the issues with Ahmed and the Nation are not over. And here comes Bart Gunn, who injured his brother Billy a few weeks ago. JR reminds us about the forthcoming main event, Taker vs. Austin, and takes another shot at WCW saying “and you won’t have to sit through Robin Hood to see it.” Hiplock take over and an arm drag by Bart. He tries to wear Farooq down with an armbar. We are back from commercial and the tide has changed. Farooq is in total control. Bart Gunn gets choked over the middle rope and the Nation chokes him out some more while Farooq distracts the referee. King says he was just handed a note that states President Clinton left his own inauguration to watch Raw! Farooq locks in a headlock. He puts his feet on the ropes while the ref isn’t looking to get some good old fashioned heel heat. PG-13 denies Farooq is cheating when the ref asks. Bart tries to make a mini-comeback, as the crowd starts chanting “Jail Bird” at Crush. Farooq takes control again and goes back to the headlock. Bart makes another comeback after Farooq misses a top rope missile shoulderblock. He hits a running bulldog but Farooq is too close to the ropes and the rappers put his foot on the bottom rope before the ref can count to three. This upsets Bart who goes after them and takes them out. This distraction allows Farooq to come out and attack Bart from behind. Crush rolls Bart back in the ring, Farooq hits the Dominator and that’ll do it. Slow at times, but when the action picked up, not a bad match.

As the Nation heads to the locker room, Vince and Gorilla are on their way back to the ring. The major announcement is next! But first, more clips from the Rumble.

We are back in the ring with Vince and Gorilla. Gorilla is upset to hear Bret quit. He hopes Bret can hear this invitation, and hopefully reconsider his decision. Gorilla explains that Austin was eliminated from the Rumble but got back in because the referees didn’t see this happen and illegally eliminated three people to win the match. The match result stands because the referee’s decision is final, so Austin officially won the Rumble. However…. Gorilla won’t let that tainted victory get Austin a title shot at Wrestlemania 13. King is not happy. So, Gorilla has put together a four man, no disqualification, elimination match. The winner of that match will face the champion at Wrestlemania 13. The participants are the three guys who were illegally eliminated by Austin in the Royal Rumble match: The Undertaker, Vader and the third, if he accepts, would be Bret Hart. Austin is also allowed in the match because he did win the Rumble. Vince and Gorilla leave the ring, and here comes Austin. He is pissed. Austin says you can’t have a four way because Bret’s gone! Austin says there is no instant replay rule in the WWF. Austin: “You sit there and call yourself the Gorilla, yet you hee-haw like a jackass!” Austin wants no part of this match, but if he had to do it, he’ll win the four-way, too. He wants a piece of Monsoon. Vince tries to stop him and now Austin is jaw-jacking with Vince! King begs Austin to hit McMahon. And Bret is coming back through the crowd! He grabs the mic and simply says “I accept.” He wants Austin right now and here we go! Austin and Bret are getting it on in the aisle! Security! We go to commercial. As we return, we hear a familiar voice and Vince has returned to the announce table. Austin and Bret are just now being pulled apart. As Taker makes his way out for the match, Bret is still in the aisle and now they start going at it! Once Taker turns his back, Austin attacks and the main event is on!

Undertaker vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin

Vince points out that Taker has broken ribs, which he suffered at the Rumble. So why can he wrestle tonight, but not Sid, who has a concussion? I digress. Taker and Austin brawl ringside and the fans are in a frenzy. Austin finally rolls in the ring and the bell sounds. Taker to the ropes, Austin puts his head down, telegraphing the back drop, so Taker slams Austin’s head to the mat. Taker goes up top for the move now known as “Old School”. He chokes Austin out in the corner with his boot as Vince and JR point out Taker has a new hardcore attitude, which he showed off the previous night at the Royal Rumble, and seems to be showing here tonight. Vince then tells us how fair Monsoon’s decision was and says everyone in the WWF is delighted that Bret has reconsidered. King: “Speak for yourself!” King points out Bret is watching this match from near the entrance, though this isn’t shown. Now it’s Taker’s turn to duck his head too soon and Austin hits a swinging neck breaker. Now Austin’s on the offense. Vince isn’t sure if Austin knows Taker has hurt ribs, so King screams and points to his own ribs, hoping to catch Austin’s attention. Austin chokes Taker on the middle rope. Taker is back up and fights back with some fists. Vince lets us know HBK will join us next week. Austin applies a headlock. King has now left the announce table and is at ringside telling Austin to work on Taker’s ribs. Taker hits a low blow! Taker walks up behind Austin, so Stone Cold hits the Stunner, but he’s too hurt to capitalize. That’s completely understandable. Both men are down and we cut to the back. Wrestlers and officials are trying to keep Bret Hart and Vader apart!

Back to the action, Austin is in control. Austin heads up top, but Taker hits the ropes and crotches Stone Cold. King is still screaming about the ribs at the announce table. Taker goes up to and tries to superplex Austin, but Austin shrugs him off and hits his patented middle rope elbow drop. Taker ducks a clothesline and hits his own flying clothesline. He goes for a chokeslam, but here comes Vader. Taker sees him and chokeslams Vader! Austin goes after Taker from behind. Here comes Bret! All hell is breaking loose! JR: “The final four is right here!” All four men are going at it. Bret and Austin are going at it in the aisle and Taker and Vader in the ring. Taker stands tall in the ring as we fade to black. While not a technical masterpiece, it was another fun match and a good closing segment. Raw was really starting to hit its stride here.

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