March 15, 2008
Mike Abitabile

Raw is War
Worthen Arena, Muncie, Indiana
4/7/97

Raw starts off with footage from last week when Mankind threw a fireball in the face of the WWF champion, the Undertaker. We hear Mankind saying he loved the smell of burning hair and flesh, but he has to make amends and he is going to give the Undertaker a gift tonight on Raw is War! Cue to the music.

Vince welcomes us to Raw and says there are a lot of rumors but they have no confirmed reports on the condition of the Undertaker. He then plugs the Sid vs. Mankind match, which I still bet we wonít see. Honky Tonk Man is on commentary with Vince and JR tonight.

Tag Team Champions Owen Hart and European Champion The British Bulldog vs. The Godwinns

The tag champions are accompanied by Owenís Slammys and the Canadian and Union Jack flags. The Godwinns are accompanied by their guest manager, Rebecca Jones (who is holding a Future Farmers of America banner) and the US flag. Owen has a mic and just wants to thank Bret for bringing the Harts back together and filling the family with love again. Owen understands that Shawn Michaels wants to come out later tonight and vent, but he better not say anything about Bret otherwise Owen and Bulldog will beat him up. Honky has a bag tonight and the pieces of the guitar Jesse Jammes destroyed last week are in it. Honky promises a surprise tonight. We go to break.

We return and Owen will starts with Henry. They lock up and Henry powers Owen down. They lock up again and Owen applies a side headlock. Henry throws him to the ropes and gorilla press slams him! Owen gets clotheslined and thereís a two count. Henry tags in Phinneas and slams him on top of Owen. Phinneas works on Owenís arm but Owen rolls out and puts on an arm bar of his own. Bulldog tags in and sends Phinneas to the ropes, but it is reversed and Bulldog gets hip tossed. He tells the ref his tights were pulled and Honky agrees. We go the back to hear from Shawn Michaels. Vince wants to know if HBK heard what Owen had to say. He did and he doesnít care. Heís going to get everything off his chest tonight, including stuff about Bret. HBK says he doesnít respond well to authority. Shawn reminds us that this is live television, so what can you do? Bulldog and Phinneas lock up again and Bulldog backs Phinneas into his corner and the tag champs try to double team him but he goes nuts and starts to have one of his vintage fits. Owen and Bulldog bail and Henry comes in to calm down Phinneas. Henry stays in and works on Bulldogís arm, but makes a quick tag back to Phinneas. Bulldog goes to the ropes and Owen makes a blind tag allowing him to come in with a spinning heel kick on Phinneas. Owen kicks away on Phinneas then taunts Henry, which distracts the ref and allows double team offense. Phinneas is able to backslide Owen out on nowhere but the Bulldog has the official distracted. By the time he sees it, it only gets a two count. Owen responds to this with an enziguri and tags in the Bulldog as we go to break.

We return with Owen and Phinneas in the ring. Phinneas is able to tag Henry but the ref didnít see it, so he doesnít allow it. This again allows the champs to double team Phinneas. They go for a double clothesline but Phinneas ducks and takes out both Owen and Bulldog with his own double clothesline. Vince informs us Sid is not here yet but he is anticipated to arrive in time for his match. Right. Phinneas is finally able to tag in Henry who goes right after Bulldog. He hits a back elbow off the ropes then slams Owen. Then a slam for Davey. Henry gets a two count as we are joined by the LOD in the back while the Godwinns control the champs. Animal is mad that Owen and Bulldog picked on America. Hawk says they will take the titles back at the pay per view. In the ring, Henry hits the Slop Drop but the ref is distracted trying to get Phinneas out of the ring allowing Owen to make the save and pin Henry after a forearm off the top rope to the back of the head. As Owen and Bulldog walk up the ramp to celebrate, they are stopped by the LOD who are on the top of the ramp. Now the Godwinns come up from the bottom of the ramp and the champs are surrounded. Henry goes to slop the champions but they duck and Henry slops the LOD! This upsets them so they attack the Godwinns and they brawl around ringside as Owen and Bulldog laugh on the stage.

We go to the booth and Honky has left for some reason. Vince and JR discuss what just happened. Owen and Bulldog join us from the back. Owen says the LOD will be humiliated even worse at In Your House. Bulldog wants to see more replays of it so they can laugh some more. All of a sudden Steve Austin interrupts the champs because he is on his way to the ring. Officials hold him back and we hear the glass break.

ďStone ColdĒ Steve Austin vs. Billy Gunn

JR tells us business is about to pick up. Vince tells us this is Austinís first match since Wrestlemania. The Honky Tonk Man accompanies Billy Gunn to the ring and Vince and JR wonder if this is the surprise Honky was talking about before. Did Honky finally find his man? Honky returns on commentary. He likes Billy Gunn. Billy goes for the legs a few times but Austin avoids it. Gunn goes for the legs again and Austin grabs him and pounds away. He sends him to the ropes and lands a back body drop on Billy. Austin pounds away some more and Billy bails. We go back to Bulldog and Owen who are upset that Austin tried to get at them before. Billy is back in and they lock up. Austin goes to work on his arm while Owen says they might stick their noses in Austinís business now. Austin goes to the eye and again pounds away on Billy. Billy goes for a back drop but Austin grabs his head and slams it to the canvas. He follows up by slamming Gunnís arm into the ring post multiple times. Austin applies an arm bar. Billy Gunn has yet to mount any offense, but Honky isnít worried. JR reminds us not to miss Sunday Night Heat Ė no, not the wrestling show, but rather the block of shows on USA Sunday nights Ė Pacific Blue at 8pm, Silk Stalkings at 9pm and The Big Easy at 10pm! Honky loves the heat. Billy finally gets the upper hand as they are about to have a clean break in the corner and he punched Austin. He kicks Austin and pounds away in the corner. Austin reverses it and stomps a mud hole in Billy Gunn and then decides to walk it dry. Austin with a Ric Flair-like low blow. He denies it to the refís face but then when Tim White turns around, Austin flips him off! Austin goes up top but Billy caught him and crotched him across the top rope. Austin ducks a clothesline out of the corner and hits a Stunner out of nowhere for the win! Honky wants to talk Billy Gunn right now.

Honky tells Billy he has been watching him for a long time. Just because he offered his guitar to Jesse Jammes, Billy has always been Honkyís first choice. Honky says there is nothing wrong with losing to someone like Stone Cold. Honky wants to take Billy to the top. Honky promises nice clothes, nice hair and nice sideburns. Billy thinks about it then nails Honky with a right hand! We go to break.

We return with Shawn Michaelsí music and Vince tells us to welcome the Heartbreak Kid to the ring. JR reminds us that Owen and Bulldog have already warned HBK not to make any references to Bret Hart. Somehow I doubt he is going to listen to them. Vince reminds us the last time we saw HBK on Raw is War, he was confronting Bret Hart and we are shown footage of Bret applying the figure four around the ring post on HBK. Vince wants to know how much of a setback that was to HBKís knee.

Shawn Michaels: ďWell, Iíll tell you what. Iíd like to, at this minute, Iíd like to use my first amendment rights out here on live television if I may, to tell you and the entire world, what is going on with the Heartbreak Kid. May I?Ē At this point, HBK takes the microphone from Vince. ďAs far as last week (technically, it was two weeks ago) is concerned, Shawn Michaels opened up his big mouth and got beat up. Now, regularly, that would be a big deal, but if youíre Shawn Michaels, that is like waking up, going to bed, eating your breakfast, eating your dinner Ė itís an every day thing. I jack my jaw, somebody smacks me around and we fight about it Ė thatís how I make my living. Now, was it a setback? Yes. When am I coming back? Not gonna tell ya. But, what I will tell you is this. Bret Hart has come out here time and time again, telling the fans of the World Wrestling Federation that he wants to get stuff off his chest. And now, I want to get something off of my chest. Everyone is asking why is Bret Hart, all of a sudden, a Ďbad guy.í Well, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, Iím not gonna lie to ya. Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels loathe one another, whether it be out here, or back there, make no mistake about it, Bret Hart hates my guts. And to be perfectly honest, I hate his. Now, weíre gonna take the gloves off here. Bret Hart has not just recently turned into a bad guy, he has always been a bad guy. He comes out here and he talks about how there are no family values in America. How the World Wrestling Federation exploited his family. Well, Iíve got news for you ladies and gentlemen Ė Bret Hart is the one that asked his Mother and his Father to be on TV. Bret Hart is the one that drags his sister and his children out on TV. The World Wrestling Federation exploits Bret Hartís family because he allows it. Now, the reason he allows it is very simple, for Bret Hartís own financial gain. If Bret can make a buck, heíd sell his Mother, thatís the truth! Now, Bret Hart also has an obsession with Shawn Michaels and the World Wrestling Federation championship. Last year, I won the World Wrestling Federation championship, fair and square. But I want to digress to six years ago when Shawn Michaels first started his singles career and became the Intercontinental champion. Thatís when Bret Hart also became the World Wrestling Federation champion. I ran support to him, I told everybody including himself and his family that I supported him. I was second fiddle to Bret Hart for years here and I did it with a smile on my face because thatís what a man does when it comes to business. But then, when it came for Bret Hart to return the favor, oh yeah, he did it, but he did it kicking and screaming every inch of the way. And then, and then Bret Hart takes time off, he takes time off he says because he needs rest. What he did was take time off to see if Shawn Michaels and the World Wrestling Federation would fall flat on their face without him. Well guess what, we didnít fall face flat anywhere. As a matter of fact, the World Wrestling Federation did the best business it has done in six years. Youíre the boss, am I right or wrong?Ē HBK turns to Vince, who is just standing there listening to all of this.

Vince: ďYouíre right.Ē

Shawn: ďThank you very much. Now, but Bret Hart, he sat, he sat in Calgary and passed judgment on Shawn Michaels. And he told everybody about my faults. And believe me folks, I have got a truckload of faults, but I have never ever lied about that to any one of ya. He talked about my dancing. How could the fans of the World Wrestling Federation cheer a wrestler who dances, who has long hair, who pierces his navel, who has tattoos? How could the fans of the World Wrestling Federation support something like that? Well, itís real simple, they liked it you idiot. Now, but the whole time, I donít say anything, I go on doing my job. And Bret Hart, while heís at home, talks about his loyalty to his WWF fans, and thatís ultimately what made him return to the World Wrestling Federation. Well that is a load of horse shit. The reason Bret Hart returned to the World Wrestling Federation, after using a rival organization against this man (points to Vince) and the company that made him what he was, he stabbed the World Wrestling Federation in the back. Why? For his financial gain. Bret Hart did not comeback to the World Wrestling Federation for his fans, he came back for the almighty dollar. Now, weíre all wondering why are you obsessed with the World Wrestling Federation championship? Iíll tell ya Ė I wanted to be the World Wrestling Federation champion since I was a little kid. It was a dream. Bret Hart is obsessed with the World Wrestling Federation championship because he was born into it. If Bret Hart wasnít a world champion, he would feel like he had fallen short. When he goes home to Calgary, he is still Bret ďHitmanĒ Hart, former World Wrestling Federation champion. Shawn Michaels, when he goes home, heís not the Heartbreak Kid, heís not Shawn Michaels, heís just plain old Shawn. Bret, youíre the Hitman 24 hours a day. And the reason for that is Bret Hart can not separate all of this from his real life. Thatís why he brings his family in it and thatís why he brings all his friends in it. Bret Hart is obsessed with being in the limelight more than I could ever possibly imagine. Well Bret Hart, your obsession with the World Wrestling Federation titleÖ and by the way for you people at home, if you canít hear, there are various people here yelling this for Bret, yelling that for Bret, and my point is this. At one time, to hear all that, it used to upset me, it bothered me to hear the people boo me or say ĎWe Want Bretí but then I finally realized the fans of the World Wrestling Federation are allowed to express their first amendment right whenever they want. So if you want to yell for Bret, you yell for Bret, if you wanna yell for Sid, you yell for Sid, if you wanna yell for me, you yell for me! Iím telling you people thisÖ. I am simply telling you people this. Do not, under any circumstances, let some wrestler, some superstar, come out here and tell you what to do. In our country we can do what the hell we want. I do it, so you might as well do it, too. A lot of World Wrestling Federation superstars have placed themselves as a role model or a super hero. Well, you know what? Everyone that I have seen has fallen short. Has fallen way short. Moms and Dads, Iím not a role model. Iím not telling you to have your children grow up to be like me, but what I am telling you is this. If you are gonna plop your money down for your children to enjoy the World Wrestling Federation, rest assured that there is one guy who knows how much you are spending and every time you put it down, whether you scream, yell or boo, I am coming out here and working my ass off, whether anybody likes it or not. And for you Bret Hart, your obsession with me and the World Wrestling Federation championship will ultimately be, and I want you to read my lips - it was ultimately be your destruction. Now I know he doesnít like this, but Bret, this is from the Heartbreak Kid to you, Iím gonna do a little dance and pull my clothes off, especially for you Hitman. Somebody hit the music!Ē

At this point, HBK hands the microphone back to Vince, who is smiling, and starts dancing and taking his shirt and belt off. We see Owen and Bulldog make their way from the monitor in the back, where they have been watching this, and are headed into the arena. As they head down the ramp, Vince bails and HBK gets a chair. Heís got an equalizer and Owen and Bulldog circle the ring. The referees try to keep them from entering the ring as we go to break.

The second hour of Raw is on the air as the fireworks explode! Vince, JR and Honky recap the first hour of the show as the Headbangers music hits.

The Headbangers vs. Freddie Joe Floyd and Barry Horowitz

Vince again plugs Sid vs. Mankind for later tonight, but reminds us Sid is not here yet. Thrasher starts with Barry. Honky thinks his tooth is chipped, but he wonít whine about it. Thrasher and Barry trade reversals and are back up at a neutral position. Thrasher charges but Barry catches him with a side headlock. Thrasher pushes Barry to the ropes and ducks down, but Barry drops an elbow on him instead of hoping over him. Thrasher makes a blind tag to Mosh while Barry has a headlock applied and then sends Barry to the ropes. Barry is clotheslined by Mosh off the top as he comes back. Mosh kicks away on Barry and drops him across the top rope. We are now shown pre-recorded comments from Vernon White, who was trained at Ken Shamrockís Lionís Den. He will face Shamrock tonight in a No Holds Barred exhibition. He says that tonight he has a chance to make history and he will give it his all. Thrasher is tagged back in and kicks Barry in the ribs. Quick tag back to Mosh and Barry gets double face planted. Mosh Freddie which allows the Bangers to double team Barry while the ref tries to hold back Freddie. Thrasher comes into the match without a tag and they continue to control Barry. Mosh makes a tag back in and Barry hits a jawbreaker then tags in Freddie who has a pair of nice dropkicks for the Bangers. He lands a back elbow off the ropes on Mosh but Mosh reverses a bulldog into a sidewalk slam and the Bangers nail the Stage Dive on Freddie for the win! Before we go to break, Vince again tells us Sid is not here yet and maybe there are flight problems.

No Holds Barred Exhibition: Ken Shamrock vs. Vernon White

Shamrock gets a nice ovation. Honky canít wait for Vernon to make a name for himself. Vince plugs the next UFC ppv and an on-screen graphic tells us it will be Friday night May 30th. Vince mentions Victor Belfor and Tank Abbott as individuals appearing. Vernon tries some kicks but Shamrock blocks them. Vince mentions Vernon trained with Shamrock. Shamrock ducks a kick and applies a leg lock. Shamrock gets in a right hand to the face and Vernon grabs a leg. Shamrock rolls into the ropes and referee Jack Doane calls for the break. As Shamrock is getting up, Vernon hits a stiff kick to his chest and this makes Ken angry. He comes right at Vernon, mounts him and just pounds away until Jack Doane calls it! Shamrock apparently busted Vernonís nose as there is blood everywhere.

After the match, JR interviews Ken at ringside. Shamrock says Vernon got carried away so he lost his temper. All of a sudden Vaderís music hits and he makes his way to ringside with Paul Bearer. Vader goes right towards Shamrock and he is not scared of him at all. Shamrock isnít backing down either. We go to break as the officials break it up.

Vader vs. Frank Staletto

As mentioned, Paul Bearer is with Vader. Vader goes right after Frank with fists to the midsection. He follows up with a stiff short arm clothesline. Vader goes for an armbar, trying to show up Shamrock. Vader nails a HUGE release German suplex, then pounds away on Staletto in the corner. Mankind is standing by in the back. Vince wants to know what the surprise is while Vader slams Frank near the corner. Mankind says he wants to make amends. He has a presentation for Taker later on tonight. Vader hits two Vader Bombs in the corner and picks Frank up without pinning him after each. Vader power bombs Frank and finally takes the victory.

We go to Gorilla Monsoon to find out what is going to happen if Sid doesnít make it. Gorilla has no idea where Sid is, but has heard some rumors. He has a contingency plan Ė the only man on the roster that is there right now that is a suitable replacement is ďStone ColdĒ Steve Austin. So if Sid doesnít get here, we will get Austin vs. Mankind. Obviously, this doesnít sit well with Austin who shows up to tell Gorilla he already wrestled once tonight. He calls Sid yellow. Austin (who is holding his knee brace in his hand) to Gorilla: ďIíll wrap this damn braces right around your fat head!Ē Austin doesnít care about the show. All of a sudden a light bulb goes off in Austinís head. Austin says that Sid is supposed to face Bret at In Your House. He isnít done with Bret yet, so if Gorilla lets Austin face Bret at the pay per view, then he will agree to take Sidís place tonight, too. Otherwise, Gorilla can kiss his ass. Monsoon says that if Sid doesnít show up, Austin will get Bret at the pay per view.

JR interviews Mankind in the middle of the ring. JR wants to know why he burned the Undertaker last week. Mankind says the Undertaker never knew him at all even though they have had such a brutal feud. He knows what itís like to sit on a plane, smelling your flesh burn. He knows what itís like to walk inside your home and have your wife ask what is burning, and itís actually you. Mankind is dealing with reality. When his three year old daughter asks him to protect her, he canít because he is on the road 300 days a year. JR wants to know what kind of match to expect at In Your House. If you thought the fireball was bad, Mankind implores women who love their children to not order the pay per view. He wonít stop until the audience smells Takerís charred flesh. Mankind has his reservation in the emergency room, and he was nice enough to make one for Taker, too. Mankind finally reveals his present for Taker Ė itís a mask just like the one he wears. This is because, by the time the match is over, and Mankind is done with Taker, they will look like twins. All of a sudden the lights start to flicker and the chimes start to sound. We hear Takerís voice. He says he knows all about fire, as Mankind will soon find out. Mankind will feel the heat soon enough. Mankind must spend eternity paying for his crime. Taker may have taught Paul everything he knows about the darkness but he didnít teach Paul everything Taker knows about it. Hell have no fury.

Mankind vs. ďStone ColdĒ Steve Austin

Paul Bearer is still with Mankind. We hear the glass break, so I guess Sid isnít here which also means Austin will face Bret at the pay per view. Mankind greets Austin at the bottom of the ramp and they brawl on the outside. Vince reminds us Austin was already in one match tonight. Mankind goes for a suplex on the ramp but Austin reverses it and suplexes Mankind on the steel! Austin then slams Mankindís head into guard rail. Mankind responds with a short clothesline and tries to slam Austinís head into the steel steps, but it is reversed and Mankind gets it instead. Now Austin slams Mankindís head into the post. We now hear from Bulldog and Owen in the back. Bulldog is mad that Gorilla Monsoon backstabbed Bret Hart while he is in Africa. Owen is disgusted and calls Sid a gutless coward. Mankind and Austin finally fight into the ring but it doesnít last long as they head back out of the ring and Mankind has a chair. Austin blocks it though and drops Mankind face first right across the steel guard rail! He follows up with an elbow off the apron then throws Mankind into the railing. Mankind responds by slamming Austinís head into the table, housing the ring bell. Mankind heads back into the ring and pulls Austin in after him. He sends Austin to the ropes but Austin gets a leg takedown and hammers away on Mankindís head. He sends Mankind to the ropes and hits a back elbow for two. Austin slows down the pace by applying a headlock. We now see Bulldog and Owen watching the match from the crowd. Austin uses the ropes for leverage and the referee doesnít see it. Austin spots Owen and the Bulldog and curses at them and invites them to ringside. We go to break.

We return with a commercial for In Your House: Revenge of Taker, which is just under two weeks on pay per view. When we get back into the arena, we see Mankind holding a chair and Austin lying on the outside of the ring. JR tells us Mankind just hit Austin with the chair and Owen and Bulldog are still watching from the cheap seats. Mankind drops Austin throat first across the top rope as he tries to get in the ring, and we are shown the double feature of the chair shot during the break. JR informs us The Godwinns will take on the LOD next week because of what happened earlier tonight.

Austin is finally back in the ring and Mankind applies a chinlock. Austin breaks it with a chin breaker. Austin misses an elbow drop off the ropes and Mankind leg drops Austin across the bottom rope. He then goes outside and lifts up the mats on the floor. Mankind dumps Austin outside and hits a double axe handle off the apron. Mankind sets Austin up and hits an elbow off the apron onto Austin who was lying on the exposed floor. Somehow Austin fights back but Mankind stops that and tries to piledrive Austin on the ramp, but he reverses by chucking Mankind, unprotected, off the ramp into the guardrail. Wow. Both men stumble to their feet and then into the ring. Austin puts Mankind on the top rope as Bulldog and Owen start to make their way to the ring. Mankind stops Austin from superplexing him and goes for an axe handle off the top but Austin nails him. As Owen and Bulldog get to the ring, LOD make their way out to keep them from interfering! Austin and Mankind continue to brawl in the ring and Austin stomps a mud hole in Mankind and tries to walk it dry but Vader appears out of nowhere and attempts to hit Austin from behind. Stone Cold moves and Vader accidentally runs into Mankind! Mankind responds by starting to fight with Vader! They brawl as Austin chases Bulldog and Owen out of the arena while LOD follows. Paul Bearer breaks it up and eventually Mankind and Vader hug. We are out of time!

Next weekÖ well, next week might be a problem seeing as WWE 24/7 skipped the April 14, 1997 episodes of Raw and Nitro. Iíll see what I can do about that, but I canít make any promises. If not, Iíll be back with the April 21, 1997 episodes!

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