December 18, 2010
Matt Peddycord
The Powerdriver Review

Monday Night Raw
February 17, 1997
Nashville, TN
Nashville Arena
LIVE!

The current WWF champs were as follows:
World Champion: Bret Hart (2/16/1997)
Intercontinental Champion: Rocky Maivia (2/13/1997)
World Tag Team Champions: Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith (9/22/1996)

Your hosts are Good Ol’ JR and Jerry “The King” Lawler.

WWF World Champion Bret Hart vs. Psycho Sid
This show is starting off SERIOUS. Sid gets the awesome SID fireworks sign and everything. Just as the match is getting underway, Stone Cold Steve Austin runs out and starts beating on Bret Hart. Once the refs and stooges separate the two, Psycho Sid gets his hands on Austin for trying to ruin his WWF title match because of his obsession with Bret Hart. As Sid gets pulled away, Austin dives on the back of Sid’s knee and catches him pretty good. Once Austin is escorted to the back, Sid limps back into the ring and the match will be postponed for later in the evening to give Sid some time to regroup so he can have a fair shot at regaining the gold.

They replay HBK’s “Lost My Smile” speech for probably the millionth time in four days.

Stills are shown from last night’s Final Four match.

In the back, Kevin Kelly is talking with Psycho Sid. Nothing will stop him from reaching his destiny of becoming the WWF champion again. Not a broken leg, sleet, snow, HELL WATER (whatever that is), or even Stone Cold Steve Austin will stand in his way. That’s because he’s the man, the master, and the ruler of the world, ya’ll.

Marc Mero (w/Sable) vs. Savio Vega (w/the NOD)
This would be known as Mero’s last TV match as the Wildman. Keep in mind that Sable has been getting involved in matches here lately, which could prove the difference between a win or Sable getting handled by the Nation of Domination. Faarooq and some other Muslims in suits are hanging out in the upper deck because the white man in charge won’t let them sit in the front row. With that logic, Rosa Parks > Faarooq. Crush, D’Lo Brown, and PG-13 watch on from ringside. It’s armdrags all over the place on Savio to start. He bails to the floor to seek some solitude with his pal Crush, but Mero stops all of that with a somersault plancha. DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER! Back in, Vega takes over by beating Mero in the corner. Mero fights back, but gets dumped face-first on the top turnbuckle during a ten-count corner punch. Mero gets thrown out to PG-13, but Sable comes over and kicks JC Ice away while D’Lo just stands there and lets it happen. Back inside, Mero looks to put Vega away, but the NOD boys chase Sable into the ring for the DQ. (4:16) Just as the NOD corner Mero and Sable, Ahmed Johnson chases them out with a 2×4. Decent enough. *½

Let Us Take You Back To Moments Ago: Ahmed Johnson shows up with another 2×4 to scare away the Nation of Domination.

JR interviews the WWF champ Bret Hart in the back. Bret says that Sid is just another contender to get past. Lawler thinks Bret is overlooking Sid, but Bret’s just looking out for himself. He’s the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be. The WWF title sitting over his shoulder proves that statement for the fourth time. JR mentions the Undertaker as Bret’s next possible opponent at WrestleMania. Bret’s not afraid of the Undertaker and he proved that last night by eliminating him. Lawler suggests that Bret is glad that Austin injured Sid’s knee tonight so he doesn’t have to face a “fresh” Psycho Sid. Bret simply tells Lawler to shut up. Good one, Bret! Lawler considers going to the back and massaging Sid’s knee or something. But Jerry, he’s not a fourteen year old girl. Ahem.

WWF Intercontinental Champion Rocky Maivia vs. Leif Cassidy
They show a replay of Rocky upsetting Helmsley to win the IC belt just four days ago on Thursday Raw Thursday. Sunny comes out to be the guest time keeper for this match. This gives JR a chance to plug her upcoming appearance on Entertainment Tonight as she will be crowned the Queen of Cyberspace for being the most downloaded celebrity in the history of America Online. On her way to the timekeeper’s table, she teases Rocky with her big white boa wearing just about the sluttiest dress I’ve ever seen. I’m assuming this is non-title considering Cassidy lost to Marc Mero the previous night. Rock punches and clotheslines Cassidy to the floor, but he floats back in and pounds on Maivia. Crossbody by Rocky gets two. Time for an armbar! We get HHH up on the split-screen for an interview. Naturally, he’s out to regain his IC title. JR seems to think Hunter would want to get some revenge on Goldust after he got the best of him last night at In Your House. No mention is made of Chyna since she’s “just a fan” as far as we know. However, if HHH finds him in the building, he’s going to get what’s coming to him. Back to the match, Cassidy kicks Maivia around and then works the arm. Rocky tries a couple surprise nearfalls, but Cassidy stops him with an armbreaker DDT. More damage done to the arm sets up a double sledge by Cassidy for two. He heads up again, but gets slammed down. HERE COMES ROCKY! Flying Bodypress connects, but the SHOULDERBREAKER puts Cassidy away for the win. (9:34) Sunny seems pretty pleased, but she’s more interested in holding up a ‘Sunny for President’ sign. **

Over at the announce table, Jerry Lawler grabs an “ECW RULES” sign from a kid in the front row. He’s had just about all he wants to see of signs like these. Lawler points out that probably 99% of the world has no idea what ECW is. He compares ECW to the premise of the film “Escape From New York” in that it’s a place where a bunch of misfit and has-been wrestlers meet. He brings up WCW taking away Jerry Lawler signs when they came to Memphis and apparently cries bringing up freedom of speech, but then says that ECW signs shouldn’t be allowed at WWF events. HUH? Since he’s so sick of seeing these signs on WWF television, he sends out an open challenge to ECW to settle this once and for all to show up at the Manhattan Center in New York City next week for Monday Night Raw.

Last Tuesday, Jesse James, the Godwinns, and Hillbilly Jim showed up on Prime Time Country on TNN! Earlier in the show, host of the show Gary Chapman sang the national anthem.

Kevin Kelly brings Goldust and Marlena out for an interview. Stills are shown of Goldust distracting HHH last night at the In Your House PPV. JR calls Goldust and Marlena the WWF’s version of the husband-wife duo of Gary Chapman and Amy Grant. Umm, WHAT? Goldust says HHH’s indecent proposal of trying to get Marlena has crossed the line. Now it’s personal. What does Marlena think of all this? She creates more questions than answers. As for Goldust’s masculinity, she assures us that Goldust is ALL MAN and definitely more of a man than Hunter Hearst Helmsley will ever be. Well, that brings out HHH to distract Goldust. Hunter throws some water in his face and proceeds to stomp the crap out of Goldust before giving him a PEDIGREE. Marlena turns HHH around for a slap, which brings the unnamed Chyna in the ring to grab Marlena from behind and shake her around like a rag doll. Security runs in to escort her off to “jail” for the second time in 24 hours while everyone is left wondering who this woman is and what she is doing here. Goldust carries his director to the back to get some medical assistance.

The Headbangers vs. The Hardy Boys
Apparently success came to this tag team once they changed the ‘s’ to a ‘z’. Headbangers attack to start. As Mosh catches Matt with a powerslam, we go to the Nation of Domination for an interview. JR doesn’t think that crew can finish what they started with Ahmed Johnson. Faarooq calls Ahmed a liar that says he knows what its like living on the streets, yet Ahmed’s got himself a three-bedroom penthouse apartment where he lives in Houston and drives around in two different cars. Not at the same time, I hope. Faarooq makes a point to refer to himself as the Devil and that his Nation of Domination are his demons. Holy crap. Faarooq goes on to change his match with Ahmed Johnson at WrestleMania 13 a Chicago street fight so that he can show everybody in the world what the streets are *really* like. Is there also going to be the homeless sleeping in refrigerator boxes, strung out junkies, and raging alcoholics who happen to be Vietnam vets in this match? Because living in the country suburbs like I do, that’s what I think the streets are *really* like. Oh wait, there’s a match going on. Matt is still getting whooped. JR on the Headbangers favorite type of music – “What’s that lady’s name? Marilyn Manson?” Just how out of touch are we, WWF? Jeff gets the hot tag, but lands on his head after a clothesline from Mosh. That sets him up quite nicely for the STAGE DIVE to finish him off. (4:02) JR says they are going to try to have the WWF title match again after the break as we see Sid getting PSYCHED in the back. ¾*

Psycho Sid makes his entrance, but Stone Cold Steve Austin attacks Bret Hart backstage to ruin the second attempt at this WWF title match. Sid heads to the back to get his hands on both men until everyone is pulled apart as we take another break.

When we return, Kevin Kelly meets with WWF President Gorilla Monsoon to get a word on the Stone Cold Steve Austin interruptions. Regardless of Austin constantly getting involved in this WWF title match, Monsoon promises that unlike other people (*cough* WCW! *cough*) they will still deliver the WWF title match TONIGHT.

Owen Hart (w/Clarence Mason) vs. Flash Funk
Flash, you are SOOOOO funky. Did I ever mention how much I love Owen Hart’s theme music? I just love it. Once again, they show us how Owen eliminated fellow tag team partner and brother-in-law Davey Boy Smith in the Royal Rumble. Also last night at In Your House, those two got into a shoving match. Moving on. Fancy kip ups and wristlocks to start. Owen jabs Funk in the gut and flips off Flash’s head only to come back around with a clothesline. Both try dropkicks unsuccessfully, so Owen turns his back and celebrates. Meanwhile, JR says Jerry Lawler has a phone call. It’s Paul Heyman – the head fellow of ECW! He answers Lawler’s challenge on behalf of his misfit crew who will appear in the Manhattan Center next week LIVE on Monday Night Raw. Lawler is not intimidated at all as he sarcastically mentions ECW stars who might show up: the Blue Meanie, the Sandman, or Sabu. All people that Lawler says nobody has ever heard of – except for him. Paul Heyman says if security will let his ECW stars into the Manhattan Center, they will indeed be there. Lawler gets the last word after apparently Heyman has hung up saying that ECW can show up if they can recognize the Manhattan Center from the usual bingo hall they are used to wrestling in. HA! Back to the match, Clarence Mason is calling Owen over to the corner when he’s trying to apply the SHARPSHOOTER. That momentary distraction nearly costs Owen the match as Funk cradles him up for 1-2-NO! That causes Owen to head out to yell at Mason, which causes Owen to be miss Flash Funk diving down on top of him. Out comes Davey Boy to send Clarence Mason to the back. Commercials! We return to see Funk winning a backslide battle for 1-2-NO! Out of nowhere, Owen blocks a whip and delivers a bridging German suplex for 1-2-NO! Another interruption comes as we go to the split-screen to hear from Stone Cold Steve Austin. JR asks him if he’s lost his mind. Austin thinks he should be the WWF champion because he won the Royal Rumble and Shawn quit because he’s got a hurt knee. It’s a conspiracy, folks! And that’s the bottom line, ’cause Stone Cold said so. Back to live action, Owen delivers a gutwrench suplex for two. Owen misses a corner charge for the Bobby Eaton crotch bump. Funk hits a flying bodypress for 1-2-NO! Moonsault gets 1-2-NO! Owen reverses a whip and drops to the mat. As Funk starts to come off the ropes, Bulldog bashes him in the back of the head with Owen’s Slammy award, which staggers Flash into a Spinning Heel Kick. Davey Boy holds Flash’s foot down on the mat as Owen covers for the 1-2-3. (8:37 shown) Cheat to win! Owen and Bulldog argue over who knows what on their way backstage. It probably was a great match, but there was too many distractions to be able to pay attention to everything. **¾

Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Bart Gunn
Stills are shown of the still unnamed Chyna choking out Marlena last night at the In Your House PPV. Plus, they replay Chyna attacking Marlena tonight and shaking her around like a rag doll. Marlena’s been sent to the hospital coughing up blood! Honky Tonk Man joins JR and the King on commentary for this match. JR gets up before the match and asks Helmsley what the deal is with this beastly woman who keeps showing up and coming after Marlena. He denies any and all association with her. JR isn’t convinced. Pretty much an armbar match until Goldust runs out and chases Helmsley through the crowd to give Bart the countout victory. (4:35) Like you never saw *that* coming. ½*

We check in with esteemed orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews down in Birmingham for a word on the condition of Shawn Michaels and his problematic knee. He tells us that no surgery is needed, but rehab is a must and can be done at HBK’s house. He does believe that Shawn will be able to resume his wrestling career. What a shock.

WWF World Champion Bret Hart vs. Psycho Sid
Third time will be the charm. Plus, there’s only twenty minutes left in this program. Bret tries to kick at the knee, but Sid fires back and whips Bret hard into the corner. Russian Legsweep stuns Sid, but once again the power of Sid prevails as he knocks Bret on his back with a clothesline. Bret drops Sid with a backbreaker and headbutts the groin before going for the flying vertical elbow drop. Sid gets a shot in and hits Bret with a backbreaker of his own for two. He uses the bottom ropes as a springboard to stomp Bret in the chest a few times. That gets two. Once he’s standing, Bret kicks back on the knee and takes Sid to school. He even debuts the ringpost figure-four! That takes into commercial. When we come back, Sid fights out of the corner and levels Bret with a clothesline. The crowd erupts! In NYC or Philadelphia, sure. But in Nashville? He hits the legdrop for 1-2-NO! Sid slams Bret for an ugly second rope legdrop for two. Bret rakes out of the CHOKESLAM and goes to splash Sid who is wrapped up in the ropes, but Sid moves and Bret crotches himself. As Sid walks over to Bret, he dumps Sid over the top rope to the floor. Wait a minute, here comes Stone Cold again to disrupt this match. Sid teaches him a lesson with a right hand to the face! Sid tries a sunset flip (really?) back inside, but Bret rolls through into the SHARPSHOOTER! Perfect ring placement! However, even a punch from Sid wasn’t enough to stop Stone Cold. While the ref is checking on Sid, Austin appears on the apron with a chair in hand and nails Bret in the back of the head! That frees up Sid as Bret is basically out on his feet. And it’s academic from there. POWERBOMB! Cover, 1-2-3. (11:54 shown) So Sid regains the WWF title. What a sad day for Bret fans. This had a few psychology issues with Sid not really selling five minutes of knee work, but what do you expect with Sid in the ring. Other than that, a fun and somewhat forgotten storytelling match. ***

After Sid celebrates completing his destiny, BONG! The lights go out and here comes the Undertaker. Sid lays the WWF title belt down across the mat, but Undertaker completely ignores that and stands nose-to-nose with the new champ. There’s your so-called WrestleMania 13 main event, everyone.

AND WE OUT! Next week, ECW in NYC!

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