December 19, 2007
Mike Abitabile

Raw is War
The War Memorial at Oncenter, Syracuse, NY
3/17/97

The Raw is War theme song and video play. We enter the arena and the pyro explodes! Vince welcomes us to the show, and he is joined once again by JR and King.

The Legion of Doom vs. Crush and Savio Vega

Howard Finkel is wearing a Wrestlemania 13 shirt tonight. The Nation members, minus Faarooq, join Crush and Savio at ringside. Vince tells us Faarooq and Ahmed have been barred from ringside. JR says the emotions are just too intense for them to be at out there tonight and plugs the 6-man Chicago Street Fight at Wrestlemania. The LOD attacks Crush and Savio before they get in the ring and it’s a pier sixer to start. Animal and Crush get into the ring as Hawk beats up Savio at ringside. Animal throws Crush into the corner and follows him in with a clothesline. Crush fights back with kicks to the mid-section as Hawk and Savio are still brawling all around ringside. Savio slams Hawk’s head into the announce table then throws him in the ring. Animal hits a shoulder block off the ropes on Crush and all four guys are now in the ring. Animal drops an elbow on Crush while Hawk pounds away on Savio. We are now joined by Ahmed in the back as the Nation bails to regroup. He is pleased at LOD being in control. He says he doesn’t know what you are going to see at Wrestlemania because anything can happen in a Street Fight. Vince tells us that The Nation did a number on Ahmed in MSG last night. Savio comes back in and he will officially start with Hawk. He punches Hawk in the head, and now Faarooq joins us as Savio hits a piledriver. He says what happened in MSG was just a start. Hawk lands a dropkick. Faarooq decides to speak in Ebonics so Ahmed can understand him. He tells Ahmed to bring it. Animal tags in and puts a chin lock on Savio as the crowd explodes in an “LOD” chant. Savio reverses the hold but gets an elbow to the chin as Hawk tags back in. We see footage from MSG now as Ahmed hits the Pearl River Plunge on Savio but gets assaulted before the ref could count to three. The entire Nation joined in on the beat down. Savio tags Crush in and Hawk hits a dropkick, followed by a slam and a fist drop. We go to break.

We return with Savio in control of Hawk and he hits a spinning heel kick in the corner, goes over the top, lands on his feet and salutes the Nation. The crowd boos. Back in and Savio goes after Animal, who comes in and distracts the referee allowing Crush to enter the match, without a tag. We go back again to talk to Faarooq but he is no longer in his dressing room. Crush hits a belly-to-belly suplex for two. We got back to Ahmed and Vince wants to know if he is concerned that Faarooq is on his way to the ring. He says no. Faarooq then attacks Ahmed from behind with a nightstick! The ref’s pull him away and we return to the action. Animal tags in and nails a power slam on Savio. King says Ahmed knows he has to watch his back when it comes to the Nation. Crush runs in and they try a double team but Animal takes them both down with clotheslines. Hawk takes Crush out of the ring and Animal calls for the Doomsday Device on Savio. Before they can hit it, Faarooq run in and hits Animal in the kidneys with the nightstick! King calls this a preview of Wrestlemania. Here comes Ahmed with a 2 X 4! He breaks it over one rappers back and hits the Pearl River Plunge on the other! The LOD then hits a sick Doomsday Device on the yet-to-be-named D-Lo Brown! Jerry Brisco attempts to keep the Nation out of the ring. LOD wins by DQ.

Vince says there is some controversy concerning the announced steel cage match for the title tonight. JR tells us that Gorilla Monsoon is on his way to the arena now, as he was in East Rutherford, New Jersey today for an announcement concerning the WWF’s return to the Meadowlands, and more specifically, the fact that Summerslam will be held there this year. JR says there are a ton of rumors surrounding this match. Vince says that, as far as we know, it will be for the title tonight. King has a rumor of his own that he wants to pass along. He heard that Shawn Michaels is on his way to the arena tonight. Vince heard that one as well. One thing that is not a rumor is that “Stone Cold” Steve Austin is here tonight. Vince wants to know why he is here.

Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Flash Funk

Apparently, that monster of a lady that is with Hunter is named Chyna. Thank you, Howard Finkel for finally clearing that up. She is now in Hunter’s corner. Vince confirms that Hunter bailed her out of jail last week. The Funkettes dance Flash out to the ring and Vince tells us the Funkettes will be at the Slammys Friday night to perform for us in the Talent Competition to crown Miss Slammy. King says Owen will be there too, even though he hasn’t been nominated this year. He calls it a travesty of justice. JR says the fans will determine the winners by voting on the Superstar Line. JR feels that Austin is here to make sure Bret wins so he can get a title shot at Wrestlemania, since he is not booked to wrestle tonight.

Chyna refuses to leave the ring and she gets in Flash’s face. Vince says you can’t hit a lady. She finally vacates. King threatens to tell Chyna that Vince and JR said she has a million dollar body but a ten cent face. They deny saying it. They finally lock up and Hunter takes him over with an arm drag takedown and bows to Flash. Headlock by Hunter turned into an arm lock, reversed by Funk who cartwheels and rolls out of a kick attempt. He hits a dropkick then clotheslines Hunter over the top and bows to Hunter! Baseball slide attempt by Flash but Hunter moves and takes Flash down with a clothesline. Vince reminds us Hunter will face Goldust at Wrestlemania and Flash Funk will fight Billy Gunn on the Free For All before the event. Hunter throws Funk back in and kicks Funk in the head. He sends Flash to the ropes but Hunter puts his head down too soon and gets kicked. Flash sends him to the ropes, and leap frogs over Hunter. He tries to do it from the back but Hunter catches Flash on his shoulders and falls backwards, awkwardly I might add. They keep showing Chyna and she just stands there with her arms crossed. Hunter hits a suplex as they plug La Femme Nikita. Hunter drops the knee for two. They exchange blows in the corner and Funk gets the advantage. He throws Hunter into the opposite corner and lands a back drop on Hunter and follows it up with a shoulder block. He again sends Hunter into the corner and hits a Stinger Splash followed by a slam and leg drop. JR says Gorilla Monsoon is 10 minutes away from the arena. Vince says this is the first time a title match has been announced so close to Wrestlemania and can see why there is controversy. Funk goes up top and hits a top rope leg drop but Chyna pulls him out of the ring. Hunter comes up from behind and lands a bridging German suplex for two. Now Hunter goes up top but Flash hits a sidekick as Hunter jumps. This gets two. King says Hunter used to bring the babe of the week to the ring, but now he’s got someone with looks and strength. Funk hits a side slam and calls for his top rope moonsault but Chyna comes up and distracts him. Hunter is up and hits the Pedigree for three. After the match, Chyna holds Funk and Hunter kicks him until the referees run in. Chyna hits a huge kick to Flash for good measure before she and Hunter leave.

Before we go to break we see Shawn Michaels arriving in the back! Good call King.

Mini Vader and Mini Mankind vs. Mini Goldust and Mascarita Sagrada

Before the match starts, we see a sign in the crowd that says “McMahon for US President!” Vince: “Oh my goodness.” We are then shown a video package with highlights from the Meadowlands press conference earlier today. The Undertaker and Linda McMahon were there to witness the death of a tax bill, allowing the WWF to return to New Jersey. (Get it? Undertaker…. Death of a tax bill?) Vince thanks Governor Christy Todd Whitman for her help. King: “I told Goldust to stay out of that sauna!” Sagrada rolls down the entrance ramp. King just wants Mini Marlena to come out. Goldust and Vader start. Mini Goldust does all the mannerisms but Vader attacks and kicks away. Vader sends Dust to the ropes and hits a back drop and Vince says Gorilla will join us after this match to clear everything up. Vader goes for a backdrop but Dust lands on his feet and takes Vader down with an arm drag. Mankind tags in and sends Dust to the corner but he gets his feet up and tags in Sagrada who takes Mankind out with a head scissor and arm drags. The crowd is into the little guy. Vader attacks from behind with a kick. It’s Mini Vader time! JR tells us a major superstar was forced to undergo a strip search by the FAA in an airport recently. Option 6 of the Superstar Line has all the details. King wants to know if it was Sunny and JR says he is close. King wants to work at an airport. Dust comes in and hits a dropkick on Vader then follows him out of the ring with a somersault off the apron. Sagrada hops on Mankind’s shoulders and rolls him up in a victory roll for the win! Vader attempts to attack after the match but Sagrada chases him up the stage. He throws Mini Vader off the stage then jumps off with a cross body block on him! Wow.

A Wrestlemania commercial airs. It is this Sunday night! We return with a replay of the high cross body block off the stage. Gorilla Monsoon has arrived and is with us in the back. He says the cage match tonight will indeed be for the WWF Title. The timing stinks, but the match is for the title. Vince wants to know if Undertaker fans have reached him to tell him this is unfair. Gorilla says it’s not unfair because Bret comes up on the short end of the stick, too. King says Gorilla buckled under the pressure from Bret. Gorilla says it’s a title match whether anyone likes it or not. We go to break.

We return with Bret on his way to the ring for an interview with Kevin Kelly. Kevin calls tonight unprecedented. Bret says he will change the face of Wrestlemania 13 later tonight. He appreciates Gorilla Monsoon for making this decision. He says he won the Rumble and he deserves a little respect around here. He knows Taker isn’t too thrilled about this. But there is a new motto in the WWF – “you scratch my back and I’ll stab yours.” Great quote. After he wins tonight, he will give Taker a title shot, eventually. When he gets to Wrestlemania, Austin will get the worst beating of his life. Every time Austin has stuck his nose in Bret’s business – all of the frustration from those moments will come out all over Austin’s face. He respect’s Shamrock and hopes he calls it right down the middle. He hopes Shamrock can hear Austin say “I Quit.” After he wins the title tonight, he will have a nice long healthy run with it and will face all comers. Confident much?

We go to a commercial that lets us in on a “high powered marketing meeting” at Titan Towers at 11:27pm. JR tries pitching black cowboy hats. Howard Finkel tries pitching a World’s Greatest Ring Announcements VHS. Vince McMahon tries to pitch a horsehair toupee with a headset attached to it. Those products all suck, but if you want a product that doesn’t suck, you can order the Wrestlemania 13 hockey jersey or denim jacket, pitched by Adam and George, respectively. Only 70 bucks for the jersey or 100 bucks for the jacket. Gets yours…… 10 years ago. 815-734-1156 – Visa and MasterCard accepted. Order now!

Rocky Maivia is on his way to the ring in street clothes with his IC Title on his shoulder. He shakes hands with the crowd on his way to the announce table. King doesn’t like it, but Vince invited him. He shakes Vince and JR’s hands and ignores King.

The Sultan vs. Mike Bell

Mr. Bob Backlund and the Iron Sheik accompany the Sultan to ringside. Vince reminds us Rocky will be defending his title against the Sultan at Wrestlemania this Sunday night. Sultan attacks before the bell and pounds away on Mike. He sends him to the corner and runs in, flattening him. He hits a side kick and follows it up with a pile driver. Rocky says he is aware of the Sultan’s power, but he will be ready. He says he will have to watch out for Sheik and Backlund at ringside, too. Sultan hits a huge top rope splash and applies the Camel Clutch. King wants to know where Rocky’s rabbit foot is. Mike Bell submits while Sultan points at Rocky. Vince wishes him the best of luck. Sultan comes outside and goes face-to-face with Rocky. Sheik says Sultan will be the new champion on Sunday. Sultan goes for the belt, but Rocky says that is his belt and the people’s belt and if he wants it, he’s got to go through him first. Rocky says we can do it right now. Vince says it’s a trap and Tony Atlas appears out of nowhere to hold Rocky back. Vince says it’s a good thing Tony Atlas stopped Rocky from making a rookie mistake.

We see Shawn Michaels in the back and Vince says he will join us after the break. JR plugs Wrestlemania and tells us we will find out later tonight if Sid/Taker will be for the title or not. Hour number two is underway as Vince introduces HBK. The crowd is happy to see him and he seems to not be taking it too easy on his knee, like he was the last time we saw him. JR is happy to see him too and calls him a franchise ball player. Not as happy as Vince though, who is smiling from ear to ear. King says HBK may have heard the final word from his doctor and could be hear to announce his retirement. HBK shakes Vince’s hand and HBK says the fans helped him find his smile. It was back in San Antonio, Texas where he left it, but now he brings it with him wherever he goes. He thanks the fans for their support and patience with the “world’s most emotional wrestler.” He says his parents and Vince know how hard he is to deal with and Vince laughs. Vince asks for the prognosis on the knee. He says the knee is coming along. Next week he will go see Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham and hopefully he will be back in the ring in a couple of months whether anyone likes it or now. HBK does have a bone to pick though – with Vince. After all the years here, HBK wants to know why he wasn’t invited to Wrestlemania. His phone never rang – King says HBK’s phone doesn’t ring, it applauds. You can’t have a Wrestlemania without Shawn Michaels. He puts his arm around Vince and says he is inviting himself to Wrestlemania and he will do commentary during the WWF title match. He also says there was no invite to the Slammys, even though he is up for some of the awards. He says he is building a new home in San Antonio and has a lot of “face to spill” but then corrects himself and says “space to fill” – he blames it on too much time off. JR is happy HBK will be part of Wrestlemania weekend.

In the back, the Undertaker is taking his frustrations out of the cage itself. We go to break.

WWF Tag Team and European Champion The British Bulldog vs. Vader

Paul Bearer and Mankind accompany Vader to ringside and Owen Hart is with Bulldog. Owen tries to hold up the European title on their way out, but Bulldog won’t let go. This Sunday night, Bulldog and Owen will defend the tag titles against Vader and Mankind. Vince is fine with HBK inviting himself and says he just wanted HBK to stay out of harm’s way, for his own sake. They lock up and break. They lock up again and Vader overpowers the Bulldog. Vader gets Bulldog in the corner and pounds away. He sends Bulldog to the ropes and Bulldog runs right into Vader, knocking Davey down. Vader pounds away some more. Vader hits a short arm clothesline and Bulldog doesn’t budge. And a second time. Bulldog tries to shoulder block Vader a few times, but it takes three to get him down and he takes him down again with a short clothesline. Bulldog them gets Vader up and over with his STANDING vertical suplex. Wow. He then clotheslines Vader over the top and Mankind checks on him as we go to break.

We return with Vader hitting a second rope splash. This gets two. Bulldog tries a sunset flip and Vader goes to sit down but Bulldog moves. Bulldog tries a crucifix but Vader falls backwards, crushing Bulldog. He hits a Typhoon splash for two. Vader hits a shoulder block off the second rope. Vader pounds away on Bulldog some more. He hits another short arm clothesline and goes up to the second rope again. Bulldog catches him and hits a power slam and follows it up with clotheslines. He sends Vader to the turnbuckle but it gets reversed. Vader charges in but Bulldog catches him again and slams Vader. Bulldog goes for his power slam but Mankind grabs Vader’s leg. Owen makes the save and the bell rings. Vader and Mankind are double teaming Owen as Bulldog takes down Uncle Paul and makes the save with the urn! The crowd loves it! The Bulldog face turn must be coming any day now…… Bulldog wins by DQ.

Ken Shamrock is on his way down the aisle to do commentary for the next match.

Billy Gunn vs. Aaron Ferguson

King: “Ken! Remember me?!” Ken ignores King again and shakes Vince and JR’s hands. Vince says the pressure is on but Ken says he’s used to pressure. Billy Gunn has a few words with Shamrock. He then sends Aaron to the ropes and hits a back elbow. Billy slams the kid and locks on a leg hold after pointing to Shamrock. Ken says that wasn’t too bad, but Gunn is cocky. Billy Gunn puts on an abdominal stretch and again taunts Ken Shamrock. He slams the kid and pounds away on his head. Billy locks on an arm bar and wins by submission. Billy then goes out over to Ken. He says Ken doesn’t look that tough to him. He goes back in the ring and invites Ken in. Vince and JR try to stop him but Shamrock is on his way. He doesn’t back down. The crowd wants to see it.

Vince says this isn’t going to be pretty. Shamrock is in the fighting stance and Billy Gunn mocks it. Shamrock takes him down with an arm bar and Billy screams and taps. Back up and Billy wants to go again. This time Shamrock rolls through and locks on an ankle lock so Billy screams and taps again. Billy Gunn leaves the ring and grabs a chair. The ref stops him and Billy takes off. Gunn says this isn’t over. As Billy Gunn leaves, we see Austin on the tron.

Vince says Austin must be impressed with what he just saw. He says he isn’t impressed because Billy Gunn just got through with a “brutal” match and Shamrock took advantage. He says Shamrock doesn’t belong here. This is his place. All he did was get in some street fights and someone video taped them. One day he will square off with Shamrock and he’ll beat the hell out of him. He just wants Shamrock to call the match down the middle. Vince wants to know why Austin is here. He says that’s a question a jackass would ask because he can go wherever he wants. He’s happy Bret’s got a title shot. “By hook or by crook, he will go into Wrestlemania as champion.” And after Wrestlemania, you’re looking at the new champ. Austin’s got some good reasoning – he says he won the Rumble and was supposed to get the title shot at Wrestlemania anyways. So if Bret wins, he gets that shot. The only reason Bret won Final Four was because Austin was crippled and sick, but he’s better now. Bret Hart couldn’t beat Austin on his worst day. And that’s the bottom line.

Back in the arena, we see the crew setting up the cage. We hear from Sid now. He says he is ready for Bret Hart. He says Austin better keep his nose out of his business. He knows why Austin is here, and you’d have to be an idiot not to know. He will retain his title tonight because he is the master and ruler of the world. We go to break.

We return and the announcers mention Austin and Taker are both here. The face of Wrestlemania is riding on this match. Vince thinks the match favors Bret Hart because he doesn’t have to pin Sid. King agrees.

Steel Cage Match for the WWF Championship: Champion Sycho Sid vs. Bret “Hitman” Hart

Bret’s music played for a while before he came out but he makes his way to the ring. JR was worried something happened. Sid makes his way out next. Vince finds it ironic that Bret has support from Austin, not only because they are opponents at Wrestlemania, but because they hate each other so much. JR says Sid has to hit the power bomb as soon as possible and Bret has to go for Sid’s legs in order to neutralize him. Bret has a smirk on his face and Vince wonders what he has up his sleeve tonight. They lock up and Bret pushed Sid into the corner. He starts hammering away to the mid-section and kicking him when he’s down. He then chokes Sid with his foot, in the corner. Bret head butts Sid but Sid fights back with fists and power. We see Austin watching in the back on the monitor. Bret snap mares Sid over and hits a short elbow drop. Bret climbs up quickly but Sid’s got an ankle. Bret tries to kick him off but Sid crotches him on the top of the cage. Sid picks Bret up and runs him into the side of the cage twice. Sid starts to climb the cage in the opposite corner but Bret puts a stop to that. They are fighting on the top rope and Sid pounds Bret until he lands on the top turnbuckle and kicks away. Sid climbs down and Bret hits a right hand to the forehead. Bret tries to climb out again but Sid catches him and throws him off the top rope. Sid goes for the door but Bret grabs a leg. Austin has arrived! He closes the door and makes sure Sid can’t get out! We go to break.

We return with Bret in control and Austin walking around ringside guarding the door. Bret pounds away at Sid’s lower back. He sends Sid to the turnbuckle, but he reverses and, as Bret comes back out, kicks him in the stomach and sets him up for the power bomb. He hits it! Sid, knowing he can’t get through the door, heads up. Austin climbs the cage and won’t let Sid out. He pounds away at Sid on the top of the cage. Sid returns fire and Bret is starting to get up. Bret is up and he and Austin are double teaming Sid! Sid pounds away on Austin but Bret stops him. Taker makes his way to the ring and is trying to neutralize Austin. He climbs the cage and goes after Stone Cold. Bret is almost out at this point so Taker stops him from leaving. All hell is breaking loose! Sid and Bret are in the cage while Austin and Taker are outside and finally, Sid gets Austin off of the cage. Bret hits a superplex from the top on Sid! Austin is getting a chair and he nails Taker in the back with it when he climbs down! In the ring, Sid is up and trying to climb over the top. Bret goes to the door and is on his way out. As he is doing so, Taker gets back up and slams the door on Bret! Sid reaches the floor first on the other side and wins the match, retains his title and makes sure Wrestlemania will remain as advertised. Sid heads up the ramp and to the locker room. Vince says we will try and get a word from Bret after the break.

Back from commercial and Vince is in the ring with Bret, as they are dismantling the cage around them. Vince: “Bret Hart, you’ve got to be extremely frustrated over what has just happened.” At this point, Bret forcefully pushes Vince to the ground and grabs the microphone. King: “Woah!” Bret: “Frustrated isn’t the god damn word for it. This is bullshit!” JR immediately apologizes, but Bret is far from done. Bret is screaming and yelling now.

Bret: “You screwed me. Everyone screws me and nobody does a god damn thing about it! Nobody in the building cares! Nobody in the dressing room cares! So much god damn injustice around here! I’ve had it up to here! Everybody knows it. I know it. Everybody knows I should be the World Wrestling Federation champion!” King: “Get him out of the ring.” Vince looks on and he is not happy. Bret: “Everybody just keeps turning a blind eye to it! You keep turning a blind eye to it (pointing to Vince). I got that Gorilla Monsoon… he turns a blind eye to it! Everybody in that god damn dressing room knows that I’m the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be. And if you don’t like it, tough shit!” King: “Cut him off!”

Austin is now on the tron saying Bret just keeps crying. He calls Bret a loser and says he tried to help but Bret blew the whole damn thing. Bret says Austin is called Stone Cold because his stones are so cold, he’s afraid to come out here right now. He says Austin doesn’t have the guts to come out. Austin disappears on the tron. Sid is on his way back out and Bret says the belt doesn’t belong to him. Vince is back on commentary and apologizes for Bret’s language. He says Bret has snapped. Bret says Sid knows Bret is the best. Sid: “I don’t know shit!” Bret throws the mic down and Sid enters the ring. King says this is completely out of control and Vince says he knows it. Now Taker is making his way to the ring. Bret goes right after him and dives through the ropes at him. Austin is now out and he is after Bret! Taker gets up and goes into the ring towards Sid. Wrestlemania is now! Austin throws Bret into the steps while Sid and Taker pound away on each other. Vince says there is no conspiracy; it’s only in Bret’s head. A ton of officials have made their way down to the ring to try to break all of this up. Taker throws a bunch of referee’s down to get at Sid. On the outside, Bret punches Pat Patterson, to get at Austin. Vince: “He just hit Hall of Famer Pat Patterson, that dirty, rotten son of a -” but stops himself before he loses his composure. Bret goes back after Austin and throws him into the ring steps! He then chokes the life out of him. In the ring, Taker goes to chokeslam Sid, but Sid responds with his own grip around Taker’s throat.

And now Shawn Michaels is making his way down the ramp! Vince says not to do it because Shawn is hurt. Right in front of HBK, Bret backdrops Austin on the ramp. Michaels walks by and towards the ring. HBK grabs one of the metal posts that held the cage up but quickly puts it down. Taker throws Sid into the guardrail and Austin and Bret still fight on the ramp. Michaels grabs a chair and Vince keeps screaming “No, Shawn!” Bret and Austin fight up the ramp into the locker room and Vince tells us he will see us at Wrestlemania! Wow, talk about all hell breaking loose.

Next week, it’s the fallout from Wrestlemania and Bret Hart unloads (and yes, I will have it word for word for you).

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