March 22, 2008
Mike Abitabile

Raw is War
Worthen Arena, Muncie, Indiana & Johannesburg Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa
4/14/97

Thanks to some help from a friend who wishes to remain anonymous, I present to you, the recap for the 4-14-97 Raw is War, which was excluded from WWE 24/7. Enjoy!

Because the WWF was on a tour of South Africa, they decided to get cute with this episode of Raw is War and try something different. A few matches were taped in Muncie, Indiana at the conclusion of the April 7th episode of Raw last week and are mixed with matches taped on April 9th in Johannesburg, South Africa. The matches were mashed together with the hope that people would think both shows were happening live at the same time which would, in turn, portray the Fed as truly worldwide.

The revolutionary force in sports entertainment for over fifty years is on the air with the normal Raw is War theme song. Vince McMahon welcomes us to Raw is War in the Worthen Arena (or as he calls it, “The United States”). Vince is joined by Jim Cornette at ringside who tells us Jim Ross and the Honky Tonk Man are in Johannesburg, South Africa. We see a split screen of the USA crowd and the South African crowd and we hear from JR and Honky who tell us Ahmed Johnson will get his hands on Crush later tonight. JR throws it back to Vince.

Legion of Doom vs. The Godwinns

This match came about because of the accidental “drive by slopping” (as Cornette called it) by the Godwinns on the LOD last week on Raw. We are shown video highlights of the aforementioned slopping as the Godwinns head to the ring. All four men start off by brawling in the ring then Animal dumps Henry, leaving Hawk and Phinneas as the legal men in the ring. Phinneas sends Hawk to the ropes and hits a back elbow. They lock up and Phinneas hits a piledriver but Hawk is right back up and clotheslines Phinneas down. He then tags in Animal. Phinneas tags in Henry. Hawk and Henry lock up. Henry lands a well placed knee to the midsection and pounds away. He sends Animal to the ropes, but Animal reverses it and takes Henry down with a shoulder block. Back to a neutral position and both men go for a test of strength. Henry kicks Animal instead and tags in Phinneas, who goes to work on Animal. He hits a jaw breaker and Animal tags in Hawk. Phinneas spits in the air, catches it and wipes it in his hair. Hawk mocks it and Phinneas sends him to the turnbuckle and follows in with a clothesline. A suplex by Phinneas is blocked and then reversed. Hawk then hits a diving fist and sends Phinneas to the ropes but Phinneas blocks it and tags in Henry. Henry and Hawk tie up now and Hawk backs him into the corner. He sends him to the opposite corner and misses a clothesline. Hawk sends Henry to the opposite corner again and goes for a shoulder to the midsection but Henry moves and Hawk hits the post so hard he fell out of the ring. Phinneas is there to throw him back in to Henry. Henry hits a shoulder breaker on Hawk for two as the crowd chants for LOD. Henry tags in Phinneas as we go to break.

We return with Henry working on Hawk’s arm then he tags in Phinneas. During the break, Phinneas hits a DDT on Hawk’s arm. Phinneas continues to work on Hawk’s arm. Cornette points out that Bulldog and Owen are the smartest team in the WWF because they instigated this fight between the LOD and the Godwinns last week and it’s paying dividends as the Godwinns are warming the LOD up for them. Phinneas sends Hawk to the turnbuckle and follows him in, but Hawk hits chest first and bounces backwards, right into Phinneas, knocking him down. This allows Hawk to finally tag in Animal who hits a dropkick on Phinneas and then one on Henry. Hawk takes out Phinneas as Animal slams Henry. All of a sudden, Bulldog and Owen head to the ring. Owen distracts the referee while the Bulldog nails Animal with his tag title belt, which allows Henry to make the pin and get the win! Vince isn’t sure if the Godwinns even understand what happened. Vince throws it back down to South Africa.

JR and Honky agree there will be hell to pay at In Your House Sunday night, but they disagree on who will be paying. JR says the Bulldog and Owen will pay, while Honky says Jesse Jammes will pay for what he did to his guitar two weeks ago. We are then shown highlights on that incident.

Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Jesse Jammes

Chyna is with Hunter. Honky tells us that the whole world will find out who his protégé is this Sunday on pay per view. We then see clips from Wrestlemania 13 as Chyna shook the life out of Marlena, which is why she isn’t here tonight with Goldust, who we will see later on. JR kicks it back to Vince to plug the rest of the show, while the match begins. JR thanks Vince and we go to the action. They lock up and Hunter applies a headlock and turns it into a wrist lock then an arm bar. Jammes reverses the arm bar into an arm ringer on Hunter then applies an arm bar. Hunter is up and reverses, which Jammes reverses. Hunter takes Jammes down with a leg trip but Jammes reverses the wrist lock into one of his own. Hunter reverses and applies a head lock. Jammes sends him to the ropes and hip tosses Hunter. Hunter kicks off though and slams Jammes. Jammes kicks Hunter off himself. Honky runs down Jammes while JR plugs the match between Jesse and Honky’s man this Sunday night. Hunter takes Jammes down with a waist lock but Jammes applies his own. Hunter reverses it and goes back to work on the arm. Jammes reverses with an arm bar. Hunter tries to suplex Jesse, but he can’t get him over so he just gives up on the hold, as Chyna looks on. They lock up again and Jesse backs Hunter into the corner. It looks like a clean break until Hunter throws Jesse into the corner but Jammes reverses it and hip tosses Hunter out of the corner. Cornette breaks in to ask JR and Honky is they heard Tiger Woods won the Masters yesterday. Honky calls Tiger a punk. Jammes with a dropkick and an arm bar take over. Jammes works on the arm. Hunter backs Jammes into the ropes then punches him in the stomach instead of breaking clean. Hunter sends Jammes to the ropes, it is reversed and Jammes takes Hunter over with an arm bar then hits a nice dropkick. He sends Hunter back to the ropes and goes for a back drop but he lowered his head too soon and Hunter drops Jesse’s face across his knee. Hunter backs Jammes into the corner and goes to work on him with boot after boot. He then chokes him. Hunter mocks him and does his bow, as we go to break.

We return with Hunter sending Jammes to the turnbuckle. He then hits a swinging neckbreaker for two. Hunter suplexes Jammes then drops the knee out of the corner for two. Hunter then locks on a chin lock. Jammes gets to his feet and breaks the hold with elbows to the midsection. James tries to build some momentum but Hunter ends it with his high knee to the face for two. Hunter is upset with the count and tells the referee about it before reapplying the chin lock as the four announcers bicker back and forth from thousands of miles away. Jammes breaks the hold again with elbows again but Hunter slams his head on the top turnbuckle then lands some fists. They aren’t affecting Jammes and he fights back with fists of his own. He sends Hunter to the turnbuckle and runs into a big boot. Helmsley goes up top but Jammes tries to throw him to the mat. Hunter pokes him in the eye however and jumps, but Jammes hits him with a clothesline. Jammes hits an inverted atomic drop then a back drop. Jammes turns his collar up and shakes his hips. Honky didn’t appreciate that. He drops his headset and heads to the ring and Jammes pounds away on Hunter with 10 fists in the corner. Jammes runs to the ropes but Honky trips him up and lands a right hand when Jammes turns around. Hunter then hits a Pedigree for the win, with help from Honky. Honky is back and tells JR his protégé will take care of Jammes this Sunday night.

Jammes has a microphone. He says he isn’t looking to Sunday, he is looking to right now. He wants to fight Honky. JR is holding Honky back. Honky breaks free and is going to the ring. He takes his belt off and looks as if he is going to fight Jammes. He thinks better of it though and heads back to the booth as Jammes holds a sign he got from someone in the crowd that says “Chicken”. We go to break.

We return with video from earlier today as the traditional Zulu dancers welcome the WWF wrestlers to South Africa. We see Rocky Maivia in the back getting ready. JR calls him the Tiger Woods of the WWF. Rocky head to the ring and gets a nice ovation.

Non-Title Match: Intercontinental Champion Rocky Maivia vs. Savio Vega

The yet-to-be-named D’Lo Brown and Crush accompany Savio to the ring. For one of the first times I can remember, they play the Nation music with the rappers part recorded and not live. I didn’t know that existed, I just thought they played the version that repeated “Nation…. of Domination” over and over when the rappers weren’t in the arena. JR wonders where Faarooq is and Honky says he saw him in the back earlier. He also mentions this is a non-title match but the title will be on the line Sunday night on pay per view when these two men meet again. They lock up and Savio goes behind. Rocky reverses with a standing switch and Savio snaps him over. Back to the neutral position and Savio goes behind. Rocky takes him over with a headlock, Savio applies a head scissor and Rocky kips up and out. Back up. They lock up and Savio goes behind and takes Rocky down then walks all over him. They lock up yet again and Savio gets a headlock take over and Rocky applies a head scissor and Savio kips out. We now welcome Ahmed in the back watching this match with his 2 x 4. He says he will bring the 2 x 4 to the ring later because he knows the Nation will try to hurt him and he tells Honky to shut up or he will break the 2 x 4 over his face. Savio sends Rocky to the ropes and tries a hip toss but it is reversed and Rocky gets his own for two. Honky tells Ahmed he’s got enough problems and shouldn’t start with Honky too. JR tells Ahmed the fans in South Africa love him and he says he loves them right back. Savio applies a standing headlock on Rocky who backs Savio to the ropes and sends him to the opposite side, a few reversals and Rocky gets the upper hand with some fists and a back elbow. He takes Savio down with an arm drag take over. JR tells the fans watching in the New York metropolitan area (hey, that’s me!) to pick up this Sunday’s New York Daily News for a chance to win tickets to the MSG event on May 17th and reminds us not to forget the Nassau Coliseum event on June 21st. Fun Fact: I was actually at the June 21st event. Savio kicks Rocky in the midsection and throws him to the ropes. Rocky reverses and catches Savio in an arm drag and applies an arm bar. Savio is up and they are in the corner. Rocky doesn’t really break clean and pounds away. Savio gets sent to the opposite corner and he hits a reverse heel kick to Rocky as he came running in. Savio is now in control and chokes Rocky right in front of the referee. He applies a nerve hold on Rocky and wrenches away. Rocky fights to his feet and tries to break it but Savio goes to the eyes. He sends Rocky to the ropes but Rocky gets two out of a sunset flip. Savio kicks him and goes back to the nerve hold. Faarooq makes his way to ringside in a sling as we go to break.

We are back and Savio still has on the nerve hold while Faarooq confers with Crush at ringside. Rocky fights to his feet but Savio stops his momentum with another well placed spin kick to the head. Savio goes back to the nerve hold. Rocky again fights out and Savio kicks him in the midsection and reapplies the nerve hold. Savio releases the hold and puts his foot on Rocky for the pin. It gets two. He continues to kick away while Faarooq shouts encouragement. Now Savio applies a headlock and sends Rocky to the ropes. Rocky ducks an elbow and gets two out of a cross body. Savio then takes Rocky down with a back heel trip and again applies the nerve hold. JR has some big news on the Superstar Line – 1-900-737-4WWF. One WWF superstar has been detained in Kuwait. They’ll tell you who on the Superstar Line. Rocky fights up again and breaks the hold. He sends Savio to the corner and goes for a slam but Savio reverses it and gets two on a roll up. Rocky grabs Savio’s legs and catapults him into the corner. He follows up with an attempted monkey flip. Rocky took too much time though and Savio held on to the ropes while Rocky went down like a ton of bricks. Savio tries to charge into Rocky in the corner but he moves and Savio goes in shoulder first. Savio swings and Rocky ducks then lands a side suplex, but he’s too tired to make a cover. The referee gets to a nine count on both men before Rocky gets an arm over for a two count. They both get up and trade punches with Rocky getting the advantage. Savio goes for another spin wheel kick but Rocky ducks and gets two out of a fisherman’s suplex. He then hits the Rock Bottom before it had a name (“a high impact maneuver there!” as JR called it) which gets two. Rocky hits a DDT and kips up. He goes up top and hits his cross body block but didn’t try for a pin. He calls for his shoulder breaker but Savio slips out down the back and rolls Rocky up for the three count, but he was holding the tights! After the match, the Nation enters and attacks Rocky. Faarooq whips him with a leather belt until Ahmed makes the save with his 2 x 4 and the Nation bails!

Hour number two is on the air as we get the Raw theme music again. We are back in Muncie for the pyro then Vince sends it back to South Africa. Honky says it is cold in South Africa in the outdoor arena. He’s got a bone to pick with Vince when they return. Cornette introduces clips from last week when Steve Austin played “Let’s Make a Deal” with Gorilla Monsoon to get Bret Hart at the pay per view. The match is on, but Owen and Bulldog are not happy and we see them complaining about it last week.

Vince McMahon is in the ring and here comes “Stone Cold” Steve Austin! Vince says Austin got what he wanted. Austin says it is about time. Vince and Gorilla hold him down but they can’t hold him down anymore. Vince says talent always rises to the top and Austin agrees. You can cheer him or you can boo him, but you can’t deny he is the baddest SOB in the ring when the bell sounds. Bret says he’s been screwed, but he ain’t seen nothing yet. When the bell rings, he will get his revenge on Bret Hart. He will beat the living hell out of Bret Hart and no one can stop him. We will hear from Bret later tonight and Vince assumes he won’t like this. Austin says Bret wants to be just like him. Bret imitates him. But his time has come and gone. Austin will whip his ass this Sunday night! We go back to South Africa.

Goldust vs. The Sultan

JR thinks the Austin/Bret match this Sunday will be the best yet between the two. The Iron Sheik is with the Sultan and, as mentioned above, Marlena is not here tonight. After the introductions, we go to break. We return with Goldust ducking a Sultan clothesline attempt and hitting a running clothesline of his own. In the corner, Goldust hits 10 punches on the head of Sultan then kisses him! He then takes Sultan down with a right hand. Sultan bails and Goldust plays the crowd. Sheik goes over to talk to Sultan. During the break, Goldust rubbed himself to play mind games with Sultan. Sultan goes back to the ring and pulls Goldust out of it. Dust tries to throw Sultan into the steps but it is reversed and Goldust tastes the steel. Sultan throws him back in and hits a sick piledriver, which gets two. Sultan locks on a chin lock as JR plugs USA’s Sunday Night Heat lineup of Pacific Blue, Silk Stalkings and The Big Easy. As this is happening, Dust breaks the hold and hits a running bulldog for two! All of a sudden, Hunter and Chyna run in and attack Goldust. The referee calls for the bell and gives the match to Goldust via disqualification. Sultan joins the fun and the three of them triple team Goldust. Hunter and Sultan hit a spike piledriver on Dust with Hunter jumping off the second rope then the Sultan applies the camel clutch and beats Goldust with Sheik’s flag, breaking it over Dust’s back. We go to break, but will hear from Bret Hart next.

Back in the US, Vince shows the new issue of WWF Magazine, with Bret Hart and Bart Simpson on the cover. Bret will be appearing on an episode of the Simpsons very soon. We now go to Kuwait to hear from Bret Hart. We see a montage of comments from Bret which look to be from inside the ring and inside a dressing room. Bret says he is proud to be a hero for people all around the world who know the difference between right and wrong. The American wrestling fans don’t know the difference anymore. They are lost. He stands up for truth, justice and right and wrong. He stands for truth and tells the truth. Everyone else around the world, they understand. They didn’t abandon him like the fans in the US. He calls Shawn Michaels a liar who is spreading lies about Bret. Who would look up to Steve Austin or Shawn Michaels? What kind of person would look up to them? He says Austin found out before and he will find out again – he is not good enough to beat the Hitman. He says he will beat Austin for the fans all around the world. Austin better get better, or get beat. We head back to the states.

Mankind and Vader vs. The Head Bangers

Paul Bearer is with Mankind and Vader. Vince reminds us what happened when Raw went off the air last week – Vader and Mankind came to blows but ended up hugging, and then shows clips of it. He calls them dysfunctional and Cornette mentions this isn’t the first time they physically attacked each other. Vince also reminds us Mankind will face the Undertaker this Sunday night on pay per view for the WWF championship. We go to break.

We return just as the bell rings and Vader and Mosh lock up. Vader powers him down. Mosh is back up and Vader tells him to bring it. They lock back up and Vader backs Mosh into the corner and pounds away at his midsection. Vader taunts the crowd. Mosh catches Vader with a head butt then Thrasher tags in and they double team Vader. A double suplex takes the big guy down. Thrasher applies a front face lock and Vader turns it into a belly to belly suplex. He then goes to drop a big elbow but Thrasher moves and then kicks and pounds away on Vader. He sends Vader to the ropes, it gets reverses and Vader just powers Thrasher down. Cornette reminds us we haven’t seen Undertaker since Mankind burned his face two weeks ago – we’ve heard from him, but no one has seen him. We see clips of the burning from two weeks ago. Mosh runs in illegally and Mankind does the same. He dumps Thrasher then applies the Mandible Claw to Mosh and takes him out of the ring. He follows them out and pounds away on both Bangers on the ramp. Vader comes out to help once the Bangers get the upper hand. He hits a double clothesline on both Bangers and all four men brawl on the outside. Mankind and Mosh roll back in and Mankind chokes Mosh on the apron. Mankind hits a double arm DDT and tags in Vader. JR interrupts to ask if Vince or Cornette read the latest issue of Raw Magazine that has details about a possible Shawn Michaels nervous breakdown. Vince promises JR they will have one ready for him when he returns to the States and Cornette wonders what they will have ready for him – the Raw Magazine or the nervous breakdown. Vader sends Mosh to the corner then follows in with a huge Vader avalanche splash. He then suplexes Mosh. Mosh tries to fight out but Vader fights back with rights and left. Mankind tags in. He hits a running knee to the face of Mosh in the corner then clotheslines Mosh and himself over the top. Thrasher attacks Mankind from behind and Honky interrupts and asks why Vader fired Jim Cornette. Cornette says he wasn’t fired, but rather, he sold Vader’s contract. All of a sudden, Mosh spits something into the eyes on Mankind and the referee calls for the bell to give the win to Mankind and Vader via DQ. Mankind is blinded and Cornette says Mankind is just like Taker now. Vader throws Thrasher from the ring and tries to help Mankind but since he can’t see, he doesn’t know who was in front of him and applies the Mandible Claw to Vader! And Vader goes down! Paul Bearer finally gets Mankind off of Vader. JR and Honky are amazed that Vader was taken down. As they talk about the match, the lights start to flicker in South Africa. We then hear the Undertaker’s voice and he says the end is at hand. He asks the creatures if they are prepared. This Sunday night, Mankind will come face to face with the fire that is the rage of the Undertaker. When it is all said and done, he will unleash the souls of all the demons to torment him forever. Mankind will never rest in peace, but he will burn in hell. Honky is freaked out. The lights go out completely and we go to break.

Vince welcomes us back to the States and again plugs the new issue of Raw Magazine with Vader’s bloody face from Final Four on the cover, and inside are pictures of the lovely Sable. She was one of the ladies competing for Miss Slammy last month, and while we are on the topic, let’s see some highlights from the Miss Slammy competition at the Slammys, the night before Wrestlemania. Tracy and Nadine, the Funkettes, strut their stuff in their bikinis. Marlena does the same and flashes her but while smoking a cigar. Sunny comes out and shows off her assets, followed by Sable in her jaw-dropping bikini. Well, my night’s been made.

We go back to JR in South Africa who says the women of the WWF can not be beat. All of a sudden, the Commandant is shown in the ring and he starts talking. He says South Africa is the greatest place on Earth and mentions that he and his countrymen will soon enter the WWF and will show the entire world the error of their ways. Might is right, he says. Where there is a will, there is a way. They will beat the truth into all of us if they have to. The South Africans have nothing to fear though, because the South African Truth Commission is here. JR doesn’t like the sound of that.

Ahmed Johnson vs. Crush

Ahmed doesn’t have the 2 x 4, despite the fact he told us earlier tonight he would bring it with him. On the way to the ring, Ahmed takes a sign from someone in the crowd that says “Ahmed Johnson Should Be IC Champ”. Crush is accompanied by the guy who looks like D’Lo and Faarooq. Savio is nowhere to be found. JR says the WWF is worldwide, not just around the Atlanta perimeter. Oh, diss. Honky says Faarooq has a plan and will unleash it tonight. Ahmed sits on the top turnbuckle and waits. Ahmed plays to the crowd and gets cheered while Crush plays to them and gets booed. They stare each other down and Crush shoves Ahmed. Crush tries to run into Ahmed and he doesn’t flinch. Ahmed tries a shoulder block and Crush doesn’t flinch. Crush tries it again and goes for a clothesline but Ahmed ducks. Now Ahmed hits the ropes and nails Crush with a huge shoulder block and both men are down. Crush rolls out of the ring and talks with Faarooq. Ahmed comes out to get Crush, so Crush goes back in the ring. Ahmed catapults in over the back of Crush and hits a scissor kick to knock Crush out of the ring. Crush is back in and throws Ahmed out of the ring. And soon-to-be-D’Lo goes to work with kicks and punches while Crush distracts the referee. Ahmed gets back up on the apron and Crush suplexes Ahmed back in. He then hits three standing leg drops to get a two count. Now Savio makes his way to ringside as Crush goes after Ahmed’s kidneys. Savio and Faarooq discuss something and JR wonders what is going to happen as we go to break.

We return with Crush in control and hitting a back breaker. A lateral press gets two. Crush goes to work with the same nerve hold Savio was using on Rocky before. Ahmed fights up and breaks the hold with elbows to the midsection. Ahmed hits a scissor kick on the head of Crush. He picks Crush up and slams him. He stands over him and stares at Faarooq then screws up a running elbow drop. Crush picks up Ahmed and nails a piledriver, which gets two. Ahmed is sent to the ropes and Crush locks on a sleeper hold. JR wonders what the Nation would do to Ahmed if he was unconscious. Ahmed fades. Ahmed starts to get a second wind and gets to his feet. Faarooq throws a belt to Crush and then distracts the referee allowing Crush to choke the life out of Ahmed with the belt. When the ref turns back around, Crush gets rid of the belt and reapplies the sleeper. Ahmed’s hand drops two times but not three. Ahmed begins to fight back and breaks the hold, but a knee to the gut by Crush stops the momentum and he calls for the Heart Punch. Ahmed is able to reverse it and hit a spinning heel kick then send Crush to the ropes. It is reversed but Ahmed reverses a knee and gets the win after cradling Crush! The Nation is upset, but the crowd is going crazy.

Faarooq is on the microphone. He wants to tell Ahmed one thing – he doesn’t care where he is, the Nation is going to get rid of him. He says Ahmed complains about the Nation interfering in his matches, so he is issuing a challenge to him. If Ahmed Johnson can beat Savio Vega, Crush and Faarooq he will disband the Nation of Domination. Ahmed looks as if he likes the idea but doesn’t get a chance to respond just yet. JR sends it back to the United States.

Vince invites us to join the WWF this Sunday night on pay per view to see Undertaker defend the WWF title against Mankind, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin attempt to settle the score against Bret Hart, the Bulldog and Owen defend the tag titles against the Legion of Doom, Rocky Maivia defend the Intercontinental Title against Savio Vega and Honky Tonk Man finally reveal his protégé against Jesse Jammes.

Next week will have In Your House: Revenge of Taker fallout and I promise that all hell will break loose once again.

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