February 20, 2008
Mike Abitabile

Raw is War
Civic Center, Peoria, Illinois
3/31/97

This episode of Raw was taped the day after last week’s (March 25th), so we are not live. We come on the air with a highlight video of Bret Hart’s speech from last week. We don’t respect him, and he doesn’t respect us. We can kiss his ass (as long as we live in America). Shawn Michaels tries to interrupt, but he ends up getting re-injured thanks to a figure-four around the ring post! We go inside the arena and Vince welcomes us to Raw with JR and King. We are told that Bret Hart will fight Rocky Maivia tonight, which, in retrospect, might be their only meeting on TV. Vince tells us Bret has flushed his legacy down the toilet. We are also informed that Hunter Hearst Helmsley will face Goldust in a Wrestlemania rematch and Chyna is barred from ringside. Finally, King tells us he thinks Undertaker and Paul Bearer are going to have a reunion tonight.

European Title Match: European and Tag Team Champion “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith vs. Tag Team Champion and Slammy Award Winner Owen Hart

Vince tells us that while Taker and Paul Bearer might reunite, this match is the exact opposite and we are getting ready to see a complete divorce. As Bulldog is coming to the ring, Owen hits a baseball slide on him while his music is still playing. He goes outside and attacks. He sends the Bulldog into the ring steps and rams him into the post twice! Owen grabs the European title and says it is his. He throws the Bulldog into the ring and heads up top. The referee finally officially starts the match. Owen hits a spinning body block for two. Owen puts the Bulldog in the corner and pounds away. Davey fights back with his own fists but Owen goes low with a kick to regain control. He mounts the Bulldog and pounds away. JR informs us that these two men must somehow work together at the next In Your House to defend their tag titles against the Legion of Doom, regardless of who wins this match. Owen sends Bulldog into the corner then nails a European uppercut. Owen throws Davey into the opposite corner and clotheslines the Bulldog for a two count. Owen slows down the pace with a chin lock. JR wonders what it is like in the Hart living room right now and points out that Bulldog has a bloody nose because of the onslaught by Owen. JR thinks Owen is doing exactly what he needs to do to get the title. King likes this because it proves Owen is the leader of the team. Bulldog fights back to break the hold but gets kneed to the midsection for his troubles. Owen tries to lock on the Sharpshooter but Bulldog pushes him off. Owen continues to pound away on Davey’s head and uses another chin lock. Bulldog fights it off again and this time reverses the knee to the mid-section and rolls up Owen for two. He backs Owen into the corner and sends him to the opposite turnbuckle but gets kicked to the head when he charges in. More European uppercuts by Owen until Davey ducks one and gets two out of a backslide. Owen hits a beautiful standing dropkick for two. Owen throws Bulldog to the ropes, but he gets reversed. Davey telegraph’s putting his head down and Owen hits a huge piledriver as we go to break.

We return with Owen repeatedly driving his shoulder to the midsection of the Bulldog in the corner. During the break, Owen hits an elbow off the top rope and got a three count. However, the referee missed Davey’s foot on the bottom rope and restarted the match when he saw it. Back to the action, Owen works on Bulldog’s leg. He snap suplex’s Davey and floats over for a two count. Owen locks on another chin lock. Bulldog fights back, again, and gets Owen in the corner and pounds away. He throws Owen to the other corner, but he reverses again and takes Davey down with a back elbow. Owen goes up top and misses his missile dropkick. Davey grabs the legs and puts the Sharpshooter on Owen! Owen sneaks out of it but Davey holds the left leg of Owen while he gets up. Owen takes the opportunity to hit Davey with the enziguri with his right leg! More European uppercuts by Owen, who then puts Bulldog up top. Davey tries to push Owen backwards off the top but Owen does a back flip and lands on his feet! Owen then charges and knocks Owen off the top to the floor. King is amazed. Owen launches himself over the top but Bulldog caught him and dropped him across the railing and throws him back in. Owen begins to beg off as the tide has changed. Bulldog hits two clotheslines and slingshots Owen into the turnbuckle! This gets two. Bulldog sends Owen to the ropes and hits a flapjack for two. Back to the ropes and this time Bulldog hits a backdrop then clotheslines Owen over the top. Owen is headed up the ramp and Davey follows and suplexes Owen on the steel ramp! Davey throws Owen back in and tries to yank the hair out of Owen’s head. Davey throws Owen to the corner and bench presses him down. This gets two. Owen is sent to the ropes, but he reverses and leap frog’s over Davey as he comes back, but Davey runs right into the referee to knock him down and out. Owen hits a spinning heel kick on Bulldog and goes to get a chair from ringside. Bulldog kicks Owen before he can hit him and then clotheslines Owen, who lands on the chair. Now Bulldog has the chair! All of a sudden, out of nowhere, Bret Hart shows up and goes after the Bulldog! He puts the chair against the throat of the Bulldog and threatens him. Owen is not happy about this and Bret is trying to break this up as Owen and Bulldog are still trying to get to each other. Vince wants to know what selfish motive is causing Bret to do this. Bulldog goes for the chair again, but Bret takes it away. Owen shoves Bret. Bret has a microphone.

“Can’t you see? This is what all these people want. Family values. That’s what the want. They’ve had us fighting for years.” Bret wants to know what they are fighting for. To satisfy a bunch of people that don’t know anything about family values? Bret says he needs Owen and Bulldog. Bret blames the American people for the Hart family feud. He tells Owen that it’s their fault for Owen’s jealousy. He reminds Owen that he dressed him for school and made sure he got on the school bus. Bret reminds Owen that he threatened a teacher who was picking on Owen. Owen is crying! Bret wants Owen to look him in the eye. Bret: “Owen, I love you.” Owen says he loves Bret, too. They hug. Bulldog then hugs Bret and they all hug each other. The look on Bret’s face is priceless. So cold. He then gives a blank stare to Vince McMahon at ringside. King is also crying in the booth! Vince questions the motives. We got to break.

We return with Sunny on her way to ringside for guest commentary. Sunny plays to the crowd before the match while the commentators discuss what we just saw.

El Mosco vs. Super Nova

Sunny was touched by the family reunion we just saw. She was in tears in the back. She says she would love to sink her teeth into the Harts. Sunny days, indeed. The lucha’s lock up and Mosco hits a flying dropkick but Nova reverses things with an arm drag. They trade reversals until Nova takes over Mosco with a belly-to-belly suplex. Mosco works over the arm of Nova while JR tells us Bret will face Sid at In Your House (although I doubt it) and Vince tells us he could be the Intercontinental Champion at that point, depending on if he beats Rocky later tonight. Mosco hits a spinning heel kick but misses a follow up and Nova hits a power slam for two. Sunny calls JR fat in Spanish at ringside while Mosco hits an electric chair drop. Mosco lands a sunset flip from the top rope for two. Nova hits a flying head scissor from the top as Sunny heads to the Spanish announce table to cheer up Hugo and Carlos. Nova hits a swanton suicide dive through the ropes to the outside. Back in and Nova misses a top rope whisper in the wind. Mosco power bombs Nova and hits a springboard off the ropes for the win. Sunny is back over with Vince and company and is trying to make King feel better since he is still crying over the Harts.

JR is in the ring to interview the Legion of Doom about their upcoming tag team title shot at In Your House. JR says the Harts are united now and Animal doesn’t care. He is mad that the Harts insulted the integrity of the USA. He says it takes teamwork to win. He says they are taking the belts at In Your House. Hawk? Wellllll! He says they are going to knock the doggy dumplings out of the Bulldog and kick the snot out of Owen. What a rush!

Jesse Jammes vs. Jerry Fox

Honky Tonk Man has come ringside to do commentary for this match. He is still looking for his new protégé. Jesse Jammes is bringing a little friend with him as he sings himself to the ring. According to JR, it is six year old guest manager, Nathan Arnold. Honky likes the way Jammes sings and says the search is almost over. Jammes works on the arm of Fox. Fox puts on a headlock and Jammes sends him to the ropes. Jammes leap frogs over Fox but then nails him with a clothesline. Fox goes for a kick but Jammes grabs the leg, spins him around and hits an atomic drop that sends Fox over the top rope. Jammes hits a clothesline off the second rope to the outside on Fox while Honky says Jesse Jammes is at the top of his list right now. Fox comes in and gets sent to the ropes. He reverses it and gets pump-handle slammed to give Jesse Jammes the win as Honky says he wants to go talk to Jammes.

In the ring Honky says he is impressed with Jammes. Honky tells Jesse Jammes he wants him to be him protégé. Jammes looks very receptive. Honky presents his priceless family guitar to Jammes. Jesse looks happy. He says he is breathless. He has music history in his hands. He knows exactly what to do. He goes to play it then smashes it on the canvas! Honky is extremely upset. He tells Honky it was out of tune for him. Honky starts to collect the pieces as Jammes walks away.

Savio Vega and Crush vs. Rod Bell and Adam O’Brien

The rappers rap Savio and Crush out and they are accompanied by Clarence Mason, D-Lo Brown and a couple of other men I’ve never seen before in my life. No Faarooq, as he is still injured from Wrestlemania. The Nation jumps the jobbers and Savio dumps O’Brien out of the ring. Crush goes to the corner and Savio starts out with Bell. Outside, the Nation members attack O’Brien as Savio hits a spin kick on Bell. He throws the kid into the Crush’s foot as he tags the big man in. Crush hits a headbutt to the chest and hurls Bell to his corner who tags in O’Brien. Don’t forget, she’s drop dead gorgeous and La Femme Nikita is on tonight, right after Raw! Crush pounds away on O’Brien and slams him. As Crush hits a back breaker on O’Brien, Shawn Michaels joins us on the phone. He says his knee is hurting again, thanks to Bret. He wasn’t healthy before last week, and it’s worse now. This is a set back. Crush tags in Savio, who throws O’Brien to Bell and tags him in. Savio chops away at Bell in the corner while HBK says he has a lot to say to Bret, but not over the phone. Bret got to vent last week, and next week, HBK will do his venting. He hangs up before King got to ask him a question. Savio again forces Bell to tag in O’Brien who dropkicks Savio and Crush. He goes to pound away on Savio in the corner but Crush makes the save. Crush hits the spinning back breaker and they use the old Demolition Decapitation to get the win.

We are shown a special look at Ken Shamrock. Two weeks ago he put on an exhibition with Bill Gunn and then at Wrestlemania, he got physically involved with Bret Hart. Shamrock thinks he can achieve the same amount of success in the WWF that he has in the UFC. Next week, he will have a special no holds barred exhibition.

The fireworks explode and welcome us to hour number two! We recap the first hour and King is still emotional about the Harts. Paul Bearer makes his way to ringside as we see clips from last week when Paul Bearer wants to be Taker’s manager again while Mankind begs Uncle Paul not to do it. Back in the ring, Paul says he made a mistake but he did it all for Taker. He allowed him to become his own man. He says he held Taker back, but he is sorry. He wants to come back home. He asks Taker to come meet him face-to-face and the lights begin to flicker as Taker’s music hits. King might need another hanker chief if this ends like the Harts. As Taker makes his way to the ring, JR reminds us Taker will defend the WWF Title against Mankind at In Your House: Revenge of Taker next month. Taker walks by the casket and urn, which is at ringside. JR reminds us that two days ago on Shotgun, Mankind applied the Mandible Claw to Gerald Brisco and there was no Paul Bearer to stop him. Taker locks the casket before he goes into the ring because he’s worried Mankind is in there and it could all be a trap. Taker tells Paul that he can’t forget betrayal. But he may be able to forgive it. He’s thought about this for a week. Together, they were unstoppable. He owes Paul for that. Taker kisses his WWF Title belt and hands it to Paul. He then knocks him on his ass with a right hand! Paul tries to run but Taker stalks him. Taker grabs the urn and threatens to hit Paul with it on the ramp. Before he can though, Mankind crawls out from under the ring and throws a fireball in Taker’s face! Mankind and Uncle Paul hug and Taker is hurt. It was a plan all along. Sid comes out to make the save and chases Mankind and Paul through the crowd. The entire fleet of referees comes out to help taker but he attacks them because he can’t see. He then falls into the front row and knocks over the table the ring bell sits on. The officials finally get to him and take him out through the crowd. We go to break and return with a replay of the fireball. Sid is in the back and threatens Mankind. If he wants to play with fire, Taker can play with fire. Sid says that Taker was the better man at Wrestlemania but Mankind will burn in hell.

Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Goldust

No valets tonight, as Marlena is still healing up from the attack at Wrestlemania and Chyna is barred from ringside. We see clips of Chyna attacking Marlena at Wrestlemania and slamming Bart Gunn last week. Goldust runs down the ramp and throws his wig at Hunter. He then goes right after Hunter with fists of fury in the corner! He throws Hunter into the turnbuckle and does it again and follows it up with a bulldog. One more time into the corner and this time Hunter goes over the top. Goldust attacks Hunter with a clothesline on the outside. Vince promises an update on the condition of Taker. There is a report he was severely burned in the facial area but it can’t be confirmed. King wants an update on the Harts. “How are those crazy kids doing now?” Hunter takes control as Goldust is getting back in the ring. He sends Dust to the ropes and puts his head down. Goldust hits a butt bop then misses a body block off the ropes and goes tumbling outside. King goes off on an up-to-the-minute pop culture tangent to make you believe this show is live (rather than that the announcers are just sitting in a room in Stamford doing live commentary over a taped Raw) about Barry Manilow getting sued for his concert being too loud, John Daly checking back into the Betty Ford Center and the Easter Bunny leaving him no candy yesterday. Hunter slams Goldust on the ramp and goes back in the ring to break the count. Back outside, he hits a stiff clothesline on Dust. Hunter throws Goldust back in and nails a running high knee to the jaw. Dust tries to fight out of the corner, to no avail and Hunter just kicks away. Hunter throws Goldust hard into the opposite corner then hits a spinning neck breaker for two. He follows up with a snap suplex and drops a knee across the forehead of Goldust. This gets two then Hunter locks on a chin lock. Goldust fights out of it and hits a body block for two. Hunter lands a DDT to quickly regain control. This gets two. Hunter pounds away with closed fists to the head. Dust tries to fit back with open hand thrusts and an inverted atomic drop. Hunter dumps Dust to the floor and hits a double axe handle from the second rope as Chyna joins us on the stage. We go to break.

We return with Goldust in control. Vince informs us that next week, Mankind will meet Psycho Sid. Again, I doubt that. Goldust has ten fists for Hunter in the corner, which brings Chyna to the ring. Dust hits the Curtain Call and Chyna comes in to cause a DQ with a stiff kick to the ribs of Dust and follows it up with a spin kick. The entire fleet of referees has returned to restrain her. Hunter throws Pat Patterson out of the way and then throws a fist at him. Patterson fights back and attacks Hunter! Chyna breaks free of the referees to makes the save. Together they double team Patterson until Goldust gets back up to stop Hunter, but Chyna continues to lay into Patterson. Chyna goes eye-to-eye with Goldust and challenges him to go, but the referees hold him back. He can’t hit a woman. Hunter and Chyna take off.

We are shown highlights of the Hart family reunion from earlier tonight. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin makes his way to the ring to talk to Vince. Austin tells us that he never quit at Wrestlemania and he is pissed off about it. Shamrock never heard it because he never said it. He also says Bret didn’t make him bleed, he made himself bleed because of the guardrail. On Bret’s best day, he couldn’t get the job done. His head was pouring out more blood than his heart could pump. He calls Bret a piece of trash. Bret isn’t what the people needed. Austin doesn’t care what you think about him and he isn’t changing for anyone. Cheer, boo, whatever. He’s going to whip someone’s ass, no matter what. Austin challenges Bret right now, if he hasn’t quit the Fed again. Bret’s on the tron and says he kicked Austin’s ass at Wrestlemania. He says he beat Austin at Wrestlemania and he’s done with Austin. Austin says he’ll have to kill him to be finished with him. Austin says the next time they go, Bret will look ten times worse than Austin looked at Wrestlemania. He says Bret’s tombstone will say Bret Hart was the biggest piece of crap that ever walked God’s green Earth and the reason he is laying there is because of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin!

We see clips from last week when Bret attacked Rocky during his match, which is what set up the following contest.

Intercontinental Title Match: Champion Rocky Maivia vs. Bret “Hitman” Hart

Bret comes out first and takes a while to enter the arena. JR thinks he is hugging Owen and Bulldog some more. Vince again plugs Bret vs. Sid at In Your House (and again, don’t get your hopes up for it). Bret finally enters to boos. As Rocky enters, we see highlights of his match at Wrestlemania. They lock up and Rocky puts Bret back into the corner. Rocky gives a clean break after threatening Bret, to show he is not intimidated. Bret bails out. Vince plugs a big fight on Tuesday Night Fights tomorrow on USA Network – Hector “Macho” Camacho vs. “Sugar” Ray Leonard. JR’s money is on Camacho. Bret is back in and asks for a handshake. Rocky won’t do it. They lock up again and Bret gets a headlock and takes Rocky over. Rocky gets out of it with a head scissor and both men are back up to the neutral position. We see Tony Atlas in the front row again. Bret gets a go behind and takes Rocky down. King is worried about Tony Atlas being at ringside. Bret puts on an arm ringer and works on Rocky’s arm. Rocky reverses and works on Bret’s arm. Bret sends Rocky to the ropes, he ducks a clothesline and Rocky hits a body block for two. Back up and Bret applies a side headlock. He takes Rocky over and gets a two. Rocky fights out and puts Bret’s arm against his back with a key lock. Bret is up and works on Rocky’s arm again. JR informs us that Pat Patterson is going to be okay after the beating he took earlier tonight. Rocky rolls out and goes after Bret’s arm and works on his shoulder. Bret sends Rocky to the ropes, ducks down then hits a knee to the midsection. Bret kicks Rocky in the midsection and rakes Rocky’s eyes against the top rope. Bret hits an inverted atomic drop and a short clothesline. He then mocks the crowd. Bret hits a Russian leg sweep and follows up with a standing leg drop and chokes Rocky in the corner. He then hammers away at Rocky. JR hears Austin is pacing in the locker room. We go to break.

We return with Bret in control. He is working on Rocky’s lower back. He hits a head butt and a side suplex. This gets two. Bret sends Rocky to the ropes and telegraphs a back drop, so Rocky rolls him up for two. Bret is right back to work. A backbreaker sets up the second rope elbow, but in a rare occurrence, Bret misses it as Rocky moves! Rocky hits some rights hands to take Bret down. Rocky sends Bret to the ropes and hits a fist to the midsection and follows up with a fisherman’s suplex for two. Rocky hits a kick to the midsection followed by a belly-to-belly suplex for another two. To the ropes and Rocky hits the Layin’ the Smackdown DDT and heads up top! He methodically waits for Bret to get up and when he does, Rocky launches himself and lands his cross body block, but Bret rolls throw and gets two! The referee was out of position and Bret could have possibly gotten a three count. Bret suckers Rocky into the corner and locks on the figure four around the ring post. The referee calls for the bell and DQ’s Bret. Austin comes out to make the save, though I’m sure he doesn’t care about Rocky, but Bulldog and Owen come to Bret’s rescue. It’s a three on one assault until the Legion of Doom come out. The Harts bail through the crowd as Austin tries to get to Bret! And we fade to black.

Next week, Shawn Michaels vents his frustrations towards Bret Hart and you (won’t) get Sid vs. Mankind!

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