April 3, 2008
Mike Abitabile

Raw is War
Broome County Arena, Binghamton, New York
4/21/97

Raw starts with a clip from last night’s In Your House: Revenge of Taker. Undertaker is shown throwing a fireball in the face of Paul Bearer as revenge for getting burned himself a few weeks back. After the Raw theme song and video play, we head inside the arena and the familiar Raw music is interrupted by the sound of glass breaking! JR welcomes us to Raw is War as “Stone Cold” Steve Austin heads to the ring to talk to Vince McMahon.

Vince informs everyone that on May 11th at the next In Your House, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin will get a WWF Title shot! The crowd pops and Austin tells McMahon to shut his hole. He doesn’t want to talk about that yet. He isn’t done with Bret Hart. Last night, the whole world saw Austin kick Bret’s ass with his own Sharpshooter. The only reason he isn’t done yet is because the Bulldog and Owen came out to save Bret. Tonight, Austin wants Bret Hart right now. He tells Bret not to worry about putting on his black and pink tights because they look like crap anyways! He doesn’t want to wrestle Bret, he wants to fight him. Austin tells Bret he’s got one minute to get out there. There is a 60 second countdown clock on the titan tron, and when it finally gets to zero, Austin says he knew Bret didn’t have the guts to show up, so he’s going to go back there and get him! All of a sudden, Bret, Owen and Bulldog come on the tron and Bret says he accepts the street fight challenge. He calls Austin a hyena and says like Austin, the fans are hyenas with no family values. Bret says last night, he almost tore Austin’s leg off its hinges and the fans loved it because they love the blood and violence. Bret is mad that Austin is getting a title shot. He sounds a bit jealous. After Bret is through with Austin tonight, he’s going straight to hell. Austin tells Vince that if he is going to hell, Bret is damn sure coming with him and Austin heads up the ramp to the back. Remember that for later.

Vince heads back to the booth and we cut to the back as Austin is in the locker room area trying to find Bret Hart. We go to break. When we return, we see Bret pacing in his locker room, preparing for his street fight later tonight.

Ahmed Johnson vs. The Sultan

The Iron Sheik is with the Sultan, however, Mr. Bob Backlund is still missing in action. JR informs us that last night, Ahmed accepted the Nation’s challenge to run the gauntlet and wrestle all three members in a row at the next In Your House. Ahmed sits on the top turnbuckle and doesn’t look happy. He waits for Sheik to leave them goes nose-to-nose with Sultan and pushes him back, which starts a slugfest. Sultan sends Ahmed to the ropes, but it is reversed, Ahmed drops to the mat so Sultan hopes over him, then hits a kick right to Sultan’s face on the way back. JR wonders if Ahmed can survive the entire Nation on May 11th, to which King promptly replies, “No.” Ahmed hits a Booker T style scissor kick to the back of Sultan’s neck. Ahmed picks up Sultan and sends him to the turnbuckle, but it is reversed. As Ahmed comes out of the corner, Sultan hits a sidekick. Sultan goes to work on Ahmed in the corner and pounds away. Ahmed starts to fight back and goes to town with fists. He then sends Sultan back to the ropes but it is again reversed and Sultan takes Ahmed down with a well placed knee to the midsection. Sultan then hits a sick piledriver on Ahmed. Sultan with a nonchalant cover on Ahmed gets two so he applies a headlock. Ahmed fights up but is stopped in his tracks with a head butt. Sultan again sends Ahmed to the ropes and puts his head down. Ahmed takes it and hits a sit down suplex for two. Ahmed follows up with a huge spinebuster and calls for the Plunge. All of a sudden the Nation’s music hits and they appear on the ramp. Ahmed leaves the ring and stands at the bottom of the ramp, inviting them to come down. From behind, the Sultan jumps Ahmed and throws him into the ring post. The Nation now heads to the ring but Ahmed pulls out his trusty 2 x 4 from under the ring and when the Nation sees it, they back peddle. So Ahmed goes over to the Sultan and hits him with the wood! That’ll earn him a DQ. Ahmed then rolls Sultan into the ring and hits him a few more times until more referees come out to stop Ahmed and the Nation leaves.

Austin is still in the back pacing back and forth as we go to break. We return and Austin has found the Hart Foundation locker room. The door is locked so Austin does everything in his power to break it down, including beating it with a chair and kicking it. Nothing is working though. We have a camera inside the locker room and we see Bret with Pat Patterson, Blackjack Lanza, Dave Hebner and Tony Garea. He tells them to send Austin to the ring then Bret will give him what he wants and what he deserves.

We go back to the ring and Vince introduces us to Ken Shamrock who is sitting at the announce table with them. Vince says Shamrock will take on Vader on May 11th at In Your House in a No Holds Barred match. Vince informs us that Vader is not here tonight and is detained in Kuwait. We are shown clips from the Kuwait Invitational Tournament, which was won by Tiger Ali Singh, who will we see make his Raw debut later tonight. However, Vader took exception to a reporter in Kuwait asking him if wrestling is fake and got physical with him as a result. We are shown a snazzy graphic of Vader with jail bars in front of him with the words “Vader Held Hostage: Day 9”. Vince says we will find out the fate of Vader on Wednesday when he goes to court in Kuwait. King has drawn a picture for the occasion; it is of Vader shoveling cow manure as punishment. King also drew jail bars on the clear packaging bubble of the Vader action figure (from Superstars Series 2). Shamrock says he doesn’t like bullies. He’s always had problems with bullies his whole life. When Vader returns on “March” 11th, Shamrock will be Vader’s judge, jury and executioner. King wants to know about the rumor that Shamrock wants to challenge Mike Tyson. Shamrock says they always ask him who would win if he fought Mike Tyson. Shamrock says he knows who would win, but the public will know themselves if Tyson steps in the ring with him. He calls Tyson a bully and says he’ll beat Tyson. Shamrock starts to get into it with King, but we again hear the glass break, so we go to the ring.

Street Fight: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. Bret “Hitman” Hart

Austin is in jeans and an Austin 3:16 shirt. We are shown still frames from last night’s pay per view match between these two men. Bret had removed Austin’s knee brace then used a chair on Austin’s exposed knee joint. He also applied the figure four leg lock around the ring post. We go to break.

During the break, Austin got on the announce table to yell at Vince McMahon. Vince says Austin wants Bret and will go through anyone to get him. Austin puts his head on the top turnbuckle while he waits for Bret. Bret is making Austin wait. As soon as Bret’s music finally hits, Austin pops up and is ready to go. Bret takes a while to appear but finally does, wearing a shirt, jeans and his leather jacket. Austin tells Bret to get in the ring. Bret takes off his leather jacket and slowly makes his way to the ring. Austin calls Bret a chicken. Austin isn’t even going to let Bret in the ring. All of a sudden, Owen and Bulldog come out of the crowd from behind and attack Austin. Bret enters the ring and it’s three on one. The Hart Foundation is assaulting Steve Austin! They tear the shirt off Austin’s back and are just all over him. Now Shawn Michaels makes his way out of the crowd with a steel chair! He takes a huge swing at Bret, but he ducks. Owen isn’t as lucky and he gets nailed hard. The same for Bulldog. Michaels chases Owen and Bulldog out of the arena, through the crowd, with the chair. That leaves us with Bret and Austin in the ring. Vince says Bret is lucky he ducked the chair shot and King says to ring the bell and start the street fight! Technically the bell never rings, so I don’t know if this is an actual match or not. Regardless, Austin is still down and Bret hits a standing leg drop on him. Bret puts Austin in the corner and kicks away at him. Bret punches Austin right in the head then pounds away some more once Austin is down. Bret picks Austin up and hits a piledriver then get a chair. Austin is motionless. Bret goes into the ring and puts the chair around Austin’s ankle. He wants to “Pillmanize” Austin (remember that for later, too). Bret heads up top and jumps but Austin is able to move his leg out of the way. He takes the chair and swings at Bret’s knee! Austin’s up and now he’s ready to go! He slams the chair right in the knee joint multiple times then gives Bret the finger! He then slams the chair into Bret’s wrist! The crowd is going nuts! Bret crawls off because he can’t stand. Austin stalks him with the chair and Bret gives Austin two middle fingers! In response, Austin swings the chair right on Bret’s leg then slams the chair into the knee again and again and again! Austin locks on the Sharpshooter, just like last night! Austin gives Bret the finger before he turns it over, and Bret does the same. Bret is screaming in pain as three referees run in and try to get Austin to break the hold. Austin refuses to do so and more officials come in to break it up. He won’t let go. Vince says it was a set up from the get-go and luckily HBK was here to foil that plan. They finally pull Austin off of Bret, who immediately clutches his knee. JR says Bret is hurt severely. We go to break.

We return with Bret still withering in pain, grabbing his wrist and knee. Austin is nowhere to be found but Bulldog and Owen have returned and are yelling and screaming at Vince, who is in the ring, to get some help. The emergency medical technicians are on their way to the ring and we see clips of what just went down. Vince returns to the booth and says that Bret claims his wrist is broken and Bulldog keeps screaming that the leg is broken as well. Vince says there is now a commotion in the back.

As they attempt to put Bret on a stretcher, we go to the back to see President Gorilla Monsoon has confronted Stone Cold near the exit to the arena and you can see an ambulance in the background.

Gorilla: “What else is gonna go on here tonight? Austin, what the hell is the matter with you!?”

Austin: “What the hell do you mean, ‘what’s wrong with me?’ I told you what I was gonna do to Bret Hart and….”

Gorilla: “You’re out of control!”

Austin: “YOU DAMN RIGHT! And I ain’t through yet!”

Gorilla: “We have rules and regulations here, and you have broken every one of them!”

Austin: “You damn right I did, because I don’t care about them! What are you gonna do about it!?”

Gorilla: “I’ll tell you what I am gonna do. I want you, to get your ass, out of this building, right now!”

Austin: “Nobody talks to me like that!”

Gorilla: “Go out there, and get some fresh air and calm down!”

Austin: “Don’t talk to me like that or I’ll whip your ass, too!”

Gorilla: “I want you out of here! Get out! Get out!”

Austin seemingly leaves, passing the ambulance as he goes, and tells Gorilla he’ll cut him a damn break.

We head back into the arena. They are loading Bret onto a stretcher and he screams, “It’s my leg, god damn it!” and Vince immediately apologizes for the language. The stretcher doesn’t seem to be working, so Owen and Bulldog help Bret hobble up the ramp. We go to break.

We return from break with the start of hour number two. The Raw theme and video play again and Vince welcomes us back and tells us they will keep us updated on the Bret Hart situation.

Tiger Ali Singh vs. Salvatore Sincere

Neither man’s entrance is shown, which doesn’t bode well for their long term use.

You may remember that Singh signed a contract with the WWF before Raw went on the air from the Skydome in Toronto in February (if not, you can go read my recap for that event). Again, Singh won the Kuwait Cup Invitational this year (which was won by Ahmed Johnson the year before). They lock up to start and Sal throws some fists and gets Singh in the corner. JR reminds us that Tiger is the son of the legendary Tiger Jeet Singh. Sal chops away on Tiger in the corner, but Tiger reverses it and pounds away and chops Sal now. He follows up with a ton of kicks. We are shown a split screen of Bret being wheeled through the backstage arena on a stretcher. Back in the ring, Tiger sends Sal to the opposite turnbuckle and follows in with a big Stinger Splash. He then hits a release t-bone Tazz-plex and a running bulldog. King says the only reason Tiger won the Kuwait Cup is because Vader was locked up. Tiger kicks Sal and we go to a split screen again. Bret is in the first aid room and they are icing down his knee. An official tells Owen and Bulldog to calm down, which sets them both off. Everyone seemed pretty calm until the official said that. In the ring, they each reverse a suplex attempt until Sal gets two with a bridging Northern lights suplex. Sal slams Tiger near the corner then goes up for a slingshot elbow drop for two. He then chokes Tiger with his knee. Sal sends Tiger to the ropes and puts his head down so Tiger hits a sunset flip for two. Sal hits a standing clothesline and gets two. Sal then chops Tiger and hits a jawbreaker which, again, gets two. We again head to the back and they are still icing down Bret. Back to the action and Tiger gets two out of a backslide. Vince mentions that Tiger Ali Singh took his name from his personal two favorite fighters – his Dad and Muhammad Ali. Sal again chops Tiger and sends Singh to the ropes. Tiger ducks a clothesline attempt and hits a spinning heel kick on the way back to get the win.

Vince tells us they are going to send Bret for x-rays so we head to the back to see them wheeling Bret out of the arena. Bulldog: “A million dollar worth of talent sitting right here on a stretcher – it shouldn’t be!” Bulldog says Austin is going to pay then tells the EMT’s to watch the cables on the floor. Funny bit as they wheel over a bump and Bret cringes in the pain and the stretcher bounces. Owen yells at them to watch the knee as they carefully load Bret into the ambulance. They close the ambulance doors and Bulldog tells them to get him to the hospital quickly.

All of a sudden we are in the front seat of the ambulance with a camera facing towards the back, so we see Bret. The EMT with him says “Okay, let’s go Tracey” and we hear a familiar voice say “Don’t you say one word!” The camera pans to the driver’s seat and we see Austin with a white hat on yelling at an EMT standing outside the ambulance trying to get back in (presumably the driver, Tracey). JR: “Oh my god!” Austin: “I told you, we’re going straight to hell!” (Good thing I gave you the heads up to remember that line from before). Austin climbs into the back of the ambulance and continues his assault on Bret Hart as the EMT’s bail! Austin rolls the stretcher out of the ambulance so that Bret is leaning vertically and pounds away on him. Bret couldn’t fight back even if he was physically able to, as he is strapped to the stretcher! Owen and Bulldog are able to fight Austin off just long enough to get Bret back in the ambulance and finally get him out of there and on his way to the hospital. As we go to break, Owen and Bulldog agree Austin is going to pay and they are going to kill him tonight.

We return from break with footage of what just happened. We now see Owen and Bulldog walking in the back looking for Austin.

Jesse Jammes vs. Rockabilly

As usual, Jesse sings himself out to the ring. Rockabilly turned out to be the Honky Tonk Man’s protégé last night, even though he attacked him down a few weeks ago. So therefore, Honky is with Rockabilly. We are shown the clips from two weeks ago when Billy Gunn turned down Honky’s offer. King explains that this incident showed Honky that Billy Gunn was the right choice because any man with enough spunk to hit the Honky Tonk Man, deserves the shot. If that’s the case, why wasn’t Jesse Jammes reconsidered? In the ring, Billy attacks Jesse and sends him to the ropes. It is reversed and Jammes puts his head down, so Billy goes for a kick, but Jammes moves out of the way. He hip tosses Billy and gets two. He follows up with an arm drag take down then works on the arm. JR says the WWF will keep us updated on Bret’s injuries, the whereabouts of Sycho Sid and the Vader saga 24 hours a day, on the Superstar Line. In the ring, Billy gets back to his feet and backs Jammes into the ropes, and they break clean until Billy punches Jesse in the midsection. He sends him to the ropes and puts his head down but Jammes gets a sunset flip for two. Billy takes control with a clothesline. It gets two. Billy works on Jammes in the corner and rakes the eyes. Billy follows up with fists and does the Honky Tonk Man shuffle. Billy suplexes Jesse and gets two again. Billy slows down the pace and kicks Jesse in the head. King says that if Honky has confidence in Billy, then so does he. JR wants to know if he is Honky’s cousin or something. King: “Maybe.” Billy sends Jesse to the corner then hits a back elbow when he comes out. This also gets two. Billy then chokes Jesse over the top rope. JR mentions he thinks Mankind is here tonight but Paul Bearer isn’t. He was taken to the burn center last night but was released today and sent to another location, but no one knows where that location is. Billy drops Jesse over the top rope throat first. Billy then applies a chin lock. Jesse fights up and breaks the hold with elbows to the midsection. He runs to the ropes but his momentum is stopped when Billy hits him with a knee to the breadbasket. Billy throws Jesse into the corner and kicks away at him then chokes him. Billy shakes his hips again. He sends Jammes to the ropes and a clothesline is ducked followed by a flying forearm by Jammes which gets two. Jammes is back in control and punches Billy and sends him to the corner. He flips up his collar and runs in with a clothesline. Billy stops this momentum when he picks up Jesse and drops him across the top turnbuckle, head first. Billy hits the Shake, Rattle & Roll for the win. After the match, Billy showboats until Jesse gets back up and starts beating him up until Honky comes in and breaks the guitar over the back of Jesse Jammes! He then raises Billy’s hand.

We go to the back to see HBK and Stone Cold yelling at each other and Gorilla is in between them. From what I gather, the gist of it seems to be that Austin was mad that HBK came out to help him and he says he doesn’t need any help. HBK takes offense to this and Gorilla is trying to calm the situation down. HBK tells Austin to go to hell and Monsoon tells Shawn to calm down while “I go talk to this maniac” as he follows Austin out of the room and we go to break.

We return at the broadcast booth with Vince telling us Mankind is standing by. Vince asks JR about what we just saw and he pretty much says what I assumed – Austin didn’t want any help. We go to Mankind. He is in the boiler room and is upset that Uncle Paul’s face was burnt last night. His says Paul’s face melted but he didn’t whimper at all. Thanks to Taker, Paul is disfigured, just like himself. He says he misses Uncle Paul and tells him to get well soon. We hear the bell’s toll and Mankind hears them too then looks around as the Undertaker makes his way out to the ring for his match.

WWF Champion The Undertaker vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley

Taker’s face is still bandaged on the right side of his forehead. Courtesy of Coliseum Video, we again see Paul Bearer’s face being burnt last night. Vince tells us that Mankind brought the flammable material into the ring in the first place. Don’t forget, a brand new episode of La Femme Nikita as soon as Raw is War concludes. We go to break. We return just in time for Hunter’s entrance. Chyna is with Hunter. Hunter takes his time getting to the ring so Taker goes to get him. He throws Hunter in the ring then turns his attention to Chyna, who doesn’t back up, but doesn’t advance towards him either. Taker rolls in and goes to work on Hunter. He pounds away on his head then throws him into the turnbuckle. JR thinks Undertaker has snapped based on the way he wrestled, and his actions, last night. Hunter tries a knee to the midsection but Taker doesn’t flinch. He sends Hunter to the turnbuckle then picks him up for a two-handed choke slam. Taker with a thrust to the throat. Taker sends Hunter to the ropes and puts his head down. Hunter drops Taker’s head across his knee then clotheslines him. Taker gets up in the corner and Helmsley pounds away. Hunter throws Taker to the opposite corner then runs into a big boot. Taker with a clothesline, which gets two. Taker works on the arm of Hunter and drops the leg on it. Another two count. Taker goes Old School and walks the ropes. Yet another two count. Taker applies a rear chin lock then turns it into a crucifix pin for two. Hunter leaves the ring as we get a good look at the burn mark on Taker’s face because the bandages have come off. Taker goes out to throw Hunter back in. Hunter drops an elbow as Taker crawls back in. Helmsley goes to work on the burn scar. Hunter then pushes the referee out of the way. JR informs us that Mankind has disappeared. Hunter rakes the burn scar over the second rope and continues to pound away on it. He then drops his knee on it. Two count. Hunter throws Taker to the corner, but Taker comes running out with a rocker dropper. Take regains control and sends Hunter to the turnbuckle who does a flip and comes back down into a clothesline, which gets two. Taker locks on a nerve hold. Hunter gets to his feet and fights out. He throws Taker to the outside and then into the steel steps, head first. Hunter heads back in. Hunter bows to the crowd. Hunter hits a double axe handle off the apron then throws Taker back in and applies a chin lock. JR sends a hello to Harley Race who is feeling better after a car accident and hopes he is in the crowd with us later this week when they are in Kansas City. As we go to break, we see Dustin and Terri, as JR calls them (instead of Goldust and Marlena) sitting in the crowd (since they are in street clothes and no makeup for Dust). We return with Hunter in control in the corner. Hunter is pummeling Taker with kicks. As the crowd begins to chant “Rest in Peace”, Hunter pounds away on Taker all over the ring. Taker gets a fist in but Hunter sends him to the turnbuckle.

Taker reverses it but Hunter hits a back elbow out of the corner. Hunter throws Taker head first into the top turnbuckle and it has no effect! Taker just looks at Hunter then throws him to the turnbuckle and punches him so hard he flips over the top rope. Hunter gets to the apron and Taker pulls him back in forcefully. We then see Mankind headed to the ring with a blow torch that is lit! Taker choke slam’s Hunter with one hand then makes eye contact with Mankind. Taker looks worried and Vince says this is getting way out of hand. We hear a headset hit the table then JR ask where Vince is going. Mankind repeatedly hits Taker with the propane bottle then tries to turn the blow torch back on while kneeling over Taker. Taker reaches up and grabs Mankind by the throat and Vince has returned. Not sure where he went. Mankind bails through the crowd and Taker follows. They brawl out of the arena. Chyna is over near the railing watching them leave and all of a sudden we see Terri, I mean, Marlena reach over and choke Chyna with her pocketbook strap! As this is happening, we see Dustin….errr, Goldust, hope the railing and go right after Hunter! Marlena jumps on Chyna’s back as she continues to choke the life out of Chyna as Goldust beats the hell out of Helmsley! We go to break at the officials swarm the scene.

We return to hear the glass breaking yet again tonight (hey, I’m not complaining) and Austin is on his way to the ring with his t-shirt draped around his neck. Vince says this has been a pretty eventful 24 hours for Austin. He beat up Bret last night, was named number one contender then sent Bret to the hospital. Vince thinks Austin must feel pretty good about himself. Austin says he told the world he’d send Bret back to Canada and that’s what he did. He tells the fans off because they didn’t help him do anything, he did it by himself! He makes fun of Vince and his “dimple” chin for jumping on the Austin bandwagon. He threatens to knock Vince out. As far as Austin is concerned, Bret is done. One down, two to go as Owen and the Bulldog have hell to pay. Vince say Austin will have hell to pay when he faces the Undertaker. Austin says the Undertaker will have the coldest day in hell he can ever imagine at In Your House next month. Taker can bring the tombstones and the creatures, but he better make sure he brings the belt too, because it’s headed to Austin. Austin says he won’t be a role model when he becomes champ. That’s all he’s got to say, and it’s a good thing because Owen and the Bulldog run in and attack Austin! Vince McMahon even tries to pull them off until he gets knocked on his butt! They continue to double team Austin until HBK makes the save with a chair! Owen, Bulldog and Vince bail. HBK chases the tag champs from the arena again and Vince heads back to the broadcast location. Austin is left laying in the ring, so Vince tells the ring attendants to get some help for him. JR says we may need another ambulance tonight. King says that if they bring him to the same hospital Bret is in, they would go to war all over again at the emergency room. I’d have to agree. Austin slowly gets up under his own power until Brian Pillman, who hasn’t been seen since Austin shattered his ankle and the Gun Incident that followed last October, comes through the crowd and attacks Austin from behind! He takes Austin down with a huge chair shot! Pillman chases the ref’s away and tries to shatter Austin’s ankle with the chair, just like Austin did to him (maybe that’s why Bret tried to Pillmanize Austin earlier tonight). HBK runs in and makes the save again, as Raw fades to black.

Next week, we’ll find out the reasoning behind Brian Pillman’s return.

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