December 18, 2010
Matt Peddycord
The Powerdriver Review

Monday Night Raw
February 24, 1997
New York City
Manhattan Center
LIVE!

The current WWF champs were as follows:
World Champion: Psycho Sid (2/17/1997)
Intercontinental Champion: Rocky Maivia (2/13/1997)
World Tag Team Champions: Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith (9/22/1996)

Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler. JR has some time off to be with his family after his father passed away.

With the majority of the WWF superstars are gone to Germany, it finally gives ECW a chance to get some national exposure to promote their upcoming PPV. Is he looking for future talent to bring into the fold? Is he just trying something different to hopefully pop a bigger rating with the help of the faithful ECW audience? Why bring relative unknowns onto his flagship show? These are all very good questions.

The New Blackjacks vs. The Godwinns
Once Barry Windham got older, the more he REALLY looks like his father with dark hair. This is the New Blackjacks RAW debut. In case you’re unfamiliar, the New Blackjacks are Blackjack Windham and Blackjack Bradshaw. I think Bradshaw really thinks he’s Stan Hansen here. No explanation necessary. Big brawl to start. Meanwhile, Lawler reminds us that those morons from ECW are in the building. Henry Godwinn gets outsmarted to become face-in-peril. Hey look, Ken Shamrock is in the audience! Lawler says he and Ken go way back. HOT TAG TO PHINEAS! He grabs a sleeper on Windham, but he hits the mat leaving Phineas wide open for the RUNNING LARIAT by Bradshaw. Cover, 1-2-3. (5:49) Phineas had his foot on the bottom rope, but the pinfall decision stands, so ref Mike Chioda gets slopped. ¾*

Just as Vince plugs the legendary Sugar Ray Leonard’s final comeback boxing match against Hector ‘Macho’ Camacho LIVE on PPV on March 1, the ECW world tag team champs the Eliminators appear in the ring and deliver TOTAL ELIMINATION to a ring crew member. In comes Paul E Dangerously to tell the world that he and ECW accept the challenge and that they are indeed in the house.

Little Guido vs. Stevie Richards (w/the bWo)
When we return, Paul E introduces Little Guido (complete with the ECW graphics and everything!) and calls for the bWo theme music. Dangerously joins Vince and King at the announce table while Da Blue Guy, Big Stevie Cool, Hollywood Nova, and 7-11 (Rob Feinstein’s great imitation of Syxx) mock the new World order in the ring. Oh what a difference a year makes in the world of wrestling. Finally, Guido has enough and clears the ring. By the way, ECW ref John Finnegan is the official ref for all the ECW matches. As the match progresses, Richards attacks Guido with Kevin Nash’s side slam. Lawler calls the bWo a huge rip off. Paul E doesn’t know what King is talking about. Johnny Polo’s back! Man, he looks a lot more depressed since the last time we saw him though. I keed. That’s the ECW world champ Raven. He’s out here to get a closer look and distract Stevie Richards. We get Goldust on the split-screen. What does he think of the ECW action? Everyone are just B-movies compared to Goldust. Okay. Paul E says he would go home with Goldust as long as Marlena comes along with the deal. Tonight, Marlena faces Sunny in an arm wrestling match. What is her condition? Her ribs are taped up, but she’s still going to compete. He assures us that he will make sure that “IT” (referring to Chyna) doesn’t interfere. Moving on. STEVIE BOMB sets up the STEVIE KICK for the win. (3:41) Vince makes sure to mention that the bWo isn’t to be confused with the clothing line: nWo. SNAP! *

Honky Tonk Man heads out to officiate the scantily clad arm wrestling match between Sunny and Marlena. Sunny cuts the classic Rick Rude promo on the crowd before the match. AWESOME. Once Marlena comes out, Sunny gives Marlena a chance to lose by forfeit. Marlena says that we’re all glad that Sunny stopped working 42nd street long enough to come and be with us tonight. No way is Marlena going to forfeit. HTM feels the need to explain the rules to an arm wrestling match. Sunny stalls a whole bunch just to screw with everybody. They do finally lock up and just as Sunny is about to lose, Marlena throws salt in her eyes. Is Sunny turning Japanese? I didn’t think so. Goldust’s opponent for tonight – Savio Vega – heads out to apparently take care of Marlena. That brings out Goldust and our next match is under way.

Goldust vs. Savio Vega (w/the NOD & Sunny)
Goldust bashes Savio’s head off the arm wrestling table before we go to commercial. When we come back, we find out that Puerto Rican star Miguel Perez Jr (Of course, there are no juniors in the WWF! That’s demeaning!) has joined Vince and the King for an update on what Puerto Rico now thinks of Savio Vega since he has turned into a terrible human being. Meanwhile, Savio is in total control as he dumps Goldust out for a Piledriver from Crush. Back inside, Vega steps up his game with a nerve hold. Sunny is really warming up to the Nation of Domination around ringside. Goldust fights out and hits a DDT. Splash from Vega hits knees. Savio telegraphs a backdrop and takes an uppercut. Now lariats are everywhere! Goldust stops a superplex and prevents himself from jumping down onto a boot, but gets tripped up from the outside by Crush. Goldust goes out after Crush and walks back inside into a SPINNING HEEL KICK. He didn’t catch him flush though. In comes Crush to attack for the DQ. (8:34 shown) Of course there’s a post-match beatdown, but Miguel Perez saves the day. No Ahmed? *½

Next Monday, Raw will be coming to you from Berlin, Germany as a brand new European champion will be crowned.

Flashback to Monday Night Raw back when they were all mostly taped in the Manhattan Center. This one comes from July 19 1993 where Jerry Lawler made fun of the ukulele guy Tiny Tim. Perhaps they showed this in memory of him even though he died three months before?

Jerry Lawler goes over to interview Ken Shamrock. Lawler acts like he knows Shamrock and taught him all he knows. Ken calls him a liar and that’s all there is to that.

Look out for the 1997 Slammy Awards – brought to you by WWF Full Metal: The Album! It airs Friday March 21 at 11PM on the USA Network. The Finisher of the Year nominees are HBK’s Sweet Chin Music, Marc Mero’s Wild Thing, Psycho Sid’s Powerbomb, Stone Cold’s Stunner, and Bret Hart’s Sharpshooter.

Taz (w/Bill Alfonso & Team Taz) vs. Mikey Whipwreck
Lawler and Paul E have a great back and forth both arguing and pointing out the absurdity of the other. While Taz is destroying Whipwreck, Faarooq and the Nation of Domination appear in the split-screen. Notice how there’s constant split-screen interviews with WWF wrestlers during the ECW segments of the show. Anyways, Faarooq threatens the Undertaker and doesn’t forget about Ahmed Johnson either. Suddenly, Sabu is shown standing ON TOP OF THE ‘R’ of the RAW set. He then dives down on top of Team Taz. Sabu comes down to ringside and grabs hold of Bill Alfonso, so Taz tries to overhead suplex Whipwreck over the top rope onto Sabu. It doesn’t work like it was supposed to because the ropes are much tighter than in ECW, which makes it much harder for somebody short like Taz to flip Whipwreck over the top rope. Back inside, Taz delivers the Head and Arm Suplex and puts Whipwreck away with the TAZZMISSION. (2:33) This was a pretty cool moment for fans of the Sabu-Taz feud. ¾*

The Legion of Doom vs. The Headbangers
Vince has a surprise for us! It’s the return and the RAW debut of the Legion of Doom. The tag team that’s like an old comfortable shoe. This is the first we have seen of them on nationwide TV since last May, but the first we have seen of them in the WWF since 1992. Naturally, the Road Warriors control to start. Animal delivers a NASTY powerbomb to Mosh for two. Lawler mentions the Butthole Surfers as one of the bands that the Headbangers listen to. That raises an eyebrow on Vince. Chants of “Bischoff sucks!” and “Nitro sucks!” take turns during this match. Hawk runs shoulder first into the ringpost to turn the tide of this match and keep it from being a total squash. Commercials! Z105! AND WE’RE BACK! Hot tag to Animal, this match spills out on the floor to trigger a double countout. (7:44 shown) Well dang, they could have at least given LOD the win. Afterwards, Mosh takes the DOOMSDAY DEVICE anyway. *

The “Tell Me A Lie” music video gets updated with more recent clips since the last time Shawn became injured and had to step away.

Tommy Dreamer (w/Beulah) vs. D-Von Dudley (w/Sign Guy Dudley)
Once again, Paul E introduces the wrestlers and then joins Jerry Lawler for more lively banter while plugging his upcoming ECW PPV on April 13. Dreamer wears the classic EC F’N W t-shirt on this TV-PG show. They brawl to the floor where D-Von takes a pan to the head. Another fan hands Tommy a cane. VINTAGE ECW! After tossing D-Von into the steps, Dreamer sets half of the stairs on the apron and then baseball slides the steps into D-Von. Back inside, the steps come into play again, but used against Tommy Dreamer. Sign Guy hands D-Von a chair to bash Tommy over the head. More chair stuff follows. D-Von misses a flying headbutt on the chair and takes a Piledriver. Now Tommy has the chair, but Sign Guy grabs him by the ankle, allowing D-Von to bash the chair back in his face. Beulah gets pulled into the ring, but she kicks D-Von in the balls to set up the DREAMER DDT on the chair. (4:28) Undertaker gets a quick split-screen interview. The only thing that stands between him and Psycho Sid at WrestleMania – is time. Meanwhile in the ring, Bubba Ray Dudley joins his brother to deliver the 3D to Tommy Dreamer. The Sandman makes the save and cleans house. Over by the announce table as Dangerously and Lawler continue to argue, Vince McMahon is forced to stand between Jerry Lawler and the majority of the ECW roster! The man certainly has balls! ¾*

After the break, Jerry Lawler sends out ANOTHER personal invitation to Paul E. Dangerously and the ECW roster. If they show up here again, Lawler says he’ll stick his fist down Paul E’s throat. I didn’t know he was into that sort of thing.

A recap is shown of last week’s epic Bret-Austin-Sid saga, which ended with Sid leaving Raw as the WWF champ. Of course, not without Undertaker letting him know what’s ahead at WrestleMania 13.

Over to Todd Pettingell, he grabs UFC star Ken Shamrock for a REAL interview. After he introduces his wife and his father, Todd asks him who he thinks will win at WrestleMania between the Undertaker and Sid. He goes with the Undertaker. What about Stone Cold Steve Austin and Bret Hart in the submission match? He can’t pick a winner in that one. Shut up Todd, time for the Nation of Domination. Faarooq comes over and acknowledges Shamrock. He calls where Shamrock used to work the UFC-A-T? He calls it cat fighting. HA! Faarooq tells Shamrock that if think he’s a real man, he needs to get in the ring. Shamrock says Faarooq doesn’t know how to fight anybody one-on-one. With that said, he would be more than glad to take on Faarooq if Vince will let him.

The Undertaker vs. Faarooq (w/the NOD)
UT has to chase Faarooq into the ring to get this started. He hits Old School and Faarooq bails again. Back inside, UT telegraphs a backdrop and gets his head slammed back on the mat. Faarooq dumps him out for a D’Lo stomping. Commercials! When we return, Faarooq is still in control. He posts the leg, but misses a corner charge. Faarooq gets some leverage with a little help from his friends using the ropes. UT catches Faarooq in mid-air for a powerslam. As he comes off the ropes, D’Lo Brown pulls the ropes down to flip UT out. Of course he lands on his feet. Meanwhile, Faarooq tries to attack with the top half of the ring steps, but Taker boots them back down on top of Faarooq. Back in, UT ducks low off a whip and gets caught with a piledriver, but he NO-SELLS. In come the Nation of Domination for the DQ. (11:28 shown) And what do you know, the Legion of Doom were looking for a fight and now they got one as they run in and make the save to close out the show. Not bad, but not all that great either. ¾*

And that’s the show. If you were looking different, you probably weren’t watching WWF at this point anyway, so bringing ECW on with thirteen years of hindsight leaves me saying — big deal. After last week’s great show, watching them on RAW just made the ECW guys look second rate. Once the ECW fans get past marking out seeing their favorites on RAW, surely they would see the fact of the matter here.

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