May 10, 2008
Mike Abitabile

Raw is War
Bob Carpenter Center, Newark, Delaware
5/12/97

Raw is on the air with Vince running down the results from last night’s Cold Day in Hell, In Your House pay per view. Ken Shamrock was victorious in his WWF debut by submission in a physical match. Ahmed Johnson came up just short in his attempt to disband the Nation after beating Crush then Savio, but losing to Ahmed. The Nation survives another day. Steve Austin nearly became the champion last night if not for the Hart Foundation’s distractions, as they were sitting in the front row watching. After Austin hit the Stunner, Brian Pillman rang the ring bell allowing Taker to hit the Tombstone for the win. After the match, the Foundation attacked the Undertaker while Austin knocked Bret out of his wheelchair. Afterwards, Austin returned and hit the Stunner on Taker one last time. Now, Austin will have to focus on the Hart Foundation and more specifically, Brian Pillman. We go to the Raw opening.

JR welcomes us to Raw before the Hart Foundation music hits. All the members come out and stay on the stage. Bret says he surrounded himself with the best that the WWF has to offer. He puts over each member of the Hart Foundation and says he isn’t the bad guy. He says the fans are the bad guys because they cheer for scum. He calls Austin a babbling ass and a hyena. Austin is no hero because he picks on a guy in a wheelchair. It makes Bret sick. The fans cheer for Austin. The fact is that Austin is a loser. Bret mocks Austin for not winning the title. Bret also says Taker shouldn’t get attached to the title because sooner or later, it will be on his shoulder. Finally, Bret, through the cheers of “Go home!” tells us he has a surprise. But he decides not to tell everyone because he gets frustrated with the fans, so the Harts take off. No Vince in the booth, as JR and King are calling Raw tonight.

King of the Ring First Round Match: Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Ahmed Johnson

Chyna accompanies Hunter to the ring. JR mentions that Hunter would make an appropriate king. We go to break before Ahmed comes out and return with his entrance. Ahmed doesn’t look happy about losing last night. Ahmed stalks Hunter outside the ring but Hunter gains the advantage when he rolls in first then puts the boots to Ahmed as he comes in. Hunter gets Ahmed in the corner and tries some chops, but Ahmed shrugs them off and no sells Hunter’s offense. Ahmed pounds away on Hunter in the corner then sends Hunter to the ropes and hits a huge clothesline. He then bench presses Hunter to the mat as Chyna looks on. Ahmed hits a scissor kick to the back of Helmsley’s head then another right to the face. Hunter gets sent to the corner but moves when Ahmed comes rushing in with a shoulder attempt. Hunter sends Ahmed to the ropes, but it is reversed and Hunter is able to hits a knee to the face when Ahmed put his head down too soon and follows up with a clothesline. Hunter kicks away at Ahmed in the corner and chokes him with his foot. Hunter continues to work on Ahmed as King tells us he also has a surprise for us later tonight. Helmsley hits a running knee to the head of Ahmed, which gets him a two count. Hunter punches Ahmed and sends him to the ropes, but it is reversed again and Ahmed hits a spine buster! Ahmed calls for the Pearl River Plunge but Chyna gets a chair. She comes into the ring and hits Ahmed with the chair right to the kidneys causing a disqualification. Well, she may be strong, but I guess she’s not too smart. Hunter and Chyna bail but Ahmed catches them on the stage and Hunter and Chyna double team Ahmed until the officials break it up. There goes Hunter’s chance at the King of the Ring, I guess. Before we go to break, we see Steve Austin in the back and JR promises we will hear from him when we return.

We’re back with the glass breaking and Austin on his way to the ring with a crutch he stole from Bret last night. Hey, there’s Vince to interview Stone Cold. Vince says Austin had one hell of a match last night. Austin doesn’t want Vince to kiss up to him. Austin makes no excuses – he got dumped on his head and Taker won. But he will be the WWF champion sooner or later. Austin says that if Bret has the guts to get his crutch back, he can wheel himself down here and take it. Austin calls Bret a liar and a complete piece of trash. Austin compares the Harts to a snake – you chop the head off first. That’s why Austin is trying to take Bret out – because he is the head. But now he is going to have fun. He isn’t starting with the snake’s head, he’s starting with the snake’s ass, which would be Brian Pillman! Austin says he crippled Pillman once before, and “for years and years in the bush leagues, I carried you right in my back pocket.” But now, his ass is Austin’s, and that’s the bottom line, ‘cause Stone Cold said so!

JR tells us we will see the debut of Scott Putski tonight. He is the son of Hall of Famer, Ivan Putski. We are shown footage of Ivan wrestling to pump us up. King isn’t impressed.

Scott Putski vs. Leif Cassidy

They lock up and Leif gets a go behind, but Scott reverses it. Leif goes to work on the arm and Scott flips out of it using the ropes. Scott applies his own arm ringer then reverses Leif sending him to the ropes and hits a Japanese arm drag then misses an elbow. Leif misses his own elbow and Scott gets an arm drag and applies an arm bar. Leif fights up and they trade reversals until Scott gets an arm bar takedown and Leif slips out. Scott counters and Leif gets belly-to-belly suplexed. Scott hits a hurricanrana into a lateral press for two. Scott sends Leif to the corner, but Leif stops and hits a power bomb out of a double leg pick up! This gets two. Leif isn’t happy with the count and argues with the referee then sends Scott to the ropes and hits a clothesline. They trade fists and kicks until Leif chokes Scott over the top rope and sends him to the corner then follows in with a clothesline. Leif hits a cork screw suplex for two then drops a knee into the solar plexus for another two. Scott off the ropes gets two out of a sunset flip then works on Leif in the corner. He sends Leif to the opposite corner then stalls coming in, allowing Leif to kick him. Putski fights back with a release belly-to-belly suplex then back drops Cassidy and goes to work in the corner. Leif goes into the opposite corner chest first, allowing Scott a chance to hit a release German suplex to get the win. JR enjoys watching these lightweights and hopes to see more in the future. Leif isn’t happy and attacks Scott after the bell. Leif goes up top but Scott puts the stop to that and sends Leif out of the ring with a clothesline! Leif lands right in front of the announce table and starts yelling at JR, saying he won. JR tells him to go take a shower.

JR plugs the upcoming house shows this coming week and tells us tickets are still available. After the break, the Legion of Doom will meet two members of the Nation. We talk to Hawk and Animal before we go to break. Hawk starts with “four score and seven years ago” then stops and realizes that’s the wrong speech. They just want to beat up two guys and don’t care which members of the Nation they face. Oh, what a rush! We go to break.

Legion of Doom vs. The Nation of Domination

LOD comes out first and the crowd explodes. JR calls them the uncrowned tag team champions. The rappers rap the Nation out. Faarooq, Savio, Crush, Clarence Mason and another big guy are on the stage with the rappers. The Nation huddles and JR assumes Faarooq and Crush will take this match, seeing as Savio is facing the Undertaker later tonight. Faarooq tells Savio and Crush that the rappers will be taking this match! The rappers argue, but to no avail. They rush the ring and try to work on the LOD but Hawk and Animal overpower them. Animal hits a flying shoulder block on Wolfie D then hits a sick power bomb! Animal drops the elbow then tags in Hawk. The LOD hit a huge double back drop then throw Wolfie into his corner and JC Ice doesn’t want to tag in but is forced to do so. JC Ice starts dancing around so Hawk clotheslines him into tomorrow then hits a leg drop. JC goes for a piledriver but can’t get him up so he calls in Wolfie and they both get him up, but Hawk is right back up and both members of the LOD clothesline the rappers. JC is put up on Animal’s shoulders and gets hit with the Doomsday Device. They then do the same for Wolfie, who lands right on the prone body of JC Ice! Hawk and Animal pin them both and it’s over! The Nation, who was standing on the stage watching, leaves. And that’s the end of the rappers!

We cut to the back to see Mankind with Paul Bearer (who has his entire head wrapped in gauze). We go to break. As we return, we hear from Lara LeBow, a devoted wife. After she got married, her husband sort of let himself go. We see an overweight man eating cereal in his robe, which is opened. It was a big turn-off, according to Lara. But lately, her husband has been looking F-I-N-E. We see him dancing to HBK’s music. Lara thinks it’s his new “George Clooney” haircut, and tells us to go. WWF: Reality Check!

Mankind comes out on the stage and says “four score and several weeks ago, I brought forth to the Undertaker a great wall of flame.” Was everyone watching an Abraham Lincoln documentary backstage earlier today or something? Mankind says his goal was to permanently scar Taker, but he wasn’t completely successful. He tells the Undertaker to take out his frustrations on him, not Uncle Paul. Mankind says Paul Bearer is here tonight and is very self-conscious about his appearance, so he asks the fans to show some compassion then brings out Uncle Paul. Again, his whole head is wrapped in gauze. Mankind says Paul has a secret and wants him to reveal it. Paul says the bond between Taker and himself has been burned with the fire Taker threw in his eyes. Paul is giving Undertaker one more chance before he reveals the secret. Mankind wants the secret now. Paul says, one more chance. Paul says Taker knows what he is talking about and he has one more chance before he reveals the secret to the whole world. Mankind says Taker has been forewarned then hugs Paul. We go to break.

We return with the Harts sitting in their locker room as the War Zone comes on the air! The Raw video and music play again, and the fireworks go off one more time.

Faarooq is on his way to the ring to talk to Vince McMahon. Vince wants to know how it feels to be named the number one contender for the WWF title. Faarooq says it feels great. He is done with Ahmed and it’s time to become the WWF champion. Faarooq wants to know when the last time the WWF had a real black champion. Vince says never. Faarooq calls Ahmed and Bobo Brazil “token” champions. Faarooq also sticks up for Ahmed saying he never got a WWF title shot either. He feels that the WWF thinks black men aren’t good enough to hold the title. Now, Faarooq will take matters into his own hands. Vince looks perturbed and says it has nothing to do with being black. Faarooq claims a black man never even got a WWF title shot. At King of the Ring, Faarooq will take the title from the Undertaker. Vince calls these comments racist. He has had enough and ends the interview. JR is speechless.

Non-Title Match: WWF Champion The Undertaker vs. Savio Vega

Faarooq is still in the ring as Savio comes out, accompanied by Crush, Clarence, not-yet D-Lo and some other various Nation members. The lights go down and here comes the WWF champion, the Undertaker! We go to break and return with the Undertaker in control of Savio, working on the arm and going Old School. Taker throws Savio into the corner then tries to following in but Savio gets an elbow up and pounds on the Undertaker. He tries to send Taker to the ropes but it is reversed and Taker hits a big boot, which gets two. JR points out Taker is favoring his left knee, which was injured last night against Austin. Taker throws Savio to the ropes, but it is reversed and not-yet D-Lo grabs Taker’s foot as he hits the ropes. When Taker turns around to do something about it, Savio hits a chop lock to the bad knee of the Undertaker. Savio then goes to work on it. Taker tries to fight back but Savio just keeps going to the knee. JR and King figure out that, since this is non-title, Savio’s marching orders are to injury Taker and warm him up for Faarooq rather than to win. Savio sits on the top rope choking Taker, but Taker finally just throws Savio off with a snap mare. Taker throws Savio to the ropes, but Savio hits a mafia kick to the knee followed by a spinning heel kick, which gets two. Savio slams the Undertaker and goes up to the second rope. Taker gets a foot up at the last second after Savio jumps and then hits a backdrop and a choke slam! Faarooq sends Crush up to the apron as Taker calls for the Tombstone. Crush hesitates then gets taken down by Taker. Not-yet D-Lo gets the same! Taker hits the Tombstone but Faarooq and Crush run in before the referee can count to three and attack the champion. The referee calls for the bell and the entire Nation attacks the Undertaker. Faarooq tells them to back up because he wants Taker to himself. Taker sits up so they take him down again, then Faarooq whips the Undertaker with his leather belt! Faarooq then grabs the title and holds it high then throws it at the Undertaker. JR says this is now personal. King says he will reveal his surprise next.

Rob Van Dam vs. Jeff Hardy

Van Dam comes out to the ECW theme music. Lawler meets him in the ring then takes the mic from Finkel and puts him down. King calls ECW “extremely crappy wrestling” and says he found one guy who has been in ECW and hates it just as much. Van Dam calls King’s words, “fact” and calls ECW low budget and low talent. King says RVD is done with ECW and is now in the WWF. He calls RVD “Mr. Monday Night” then calls Jeff Hardy a Bon Jovi wannabe. JR is surprised and says RVD is on the active ECW roster, or at least he was. They lock up and Jeff gets a go behind and a headlock. RVD reverses then throws the kid to the ropes and flips him over then snaps up. RVD hits some kicks then a double under hook face plant. RVD hits a spin kick which sends Hardy out of the ring. RVD hits the ropes and jumps over the top rope to the floor with a summersault plancha! Wow. That looked to be a pretty nasty landing as RVD hits the guardrail with his feet and came down on the back of his head. He’s up though and throws Jeff in the ring. RVD takes Jeff down then hits a spinning leg drop as the crowd chants “Sabu” and “You Sold Out!” RVD slams Jeff and hops up top and hits a huge frog splash! Van Dam is not done though and slams Jeff in the corner. He hops up top again and lands a split legged moonsault for the win! King says Paul Heyman just lost the one piece of talent his crummy organization ever had. Before we go to the second part of Goldust’s in depth interview, JR plugs La Femme Nikita, which is next.

We cut to the second part of the behind the scenes interview with Dustin and Terri Runnels. Last week we learned that the creation of Goldust was an attempt to step out of the shadow of Dusty Rhodes. But what’s next? Dustin says he wants to have fun with the character and take care of his family. He wants to entertain people, like he knows he can. Dustin doesn’t want to do to his daughter what happened to him as a child when he couldn’t see his father because he was on the road. He can’t change the past but he can make sure it doesn’t happen again. Dustin is a grown man but he still seeks his father’s approval. Dustin tells his Dad, if he is watching, he wanted to be just like him and that’s why he became a professional wrestler. He gets very emotional and starts tearing up. He can only hope that his Dad is proud of him. He says he loves Dusty.

We cut back to the arena and the bells are tolling. Taker is on the titan tron. JR wants to know what Taker thinks about Paul Bearer’s comments. Taker says there are certain events that have occurred that are better off never seeing the light of day. As far as his physical condition after the attack by the Nation, Taker must now unless the demons to help him fight off the Nation. The lights come back on with four teams already in the ring.

Non-Title Elimination Match: Tag Team Champions & European Champion The British Bulldog and Intercontinental Champion Owen Hart vs. The Head Bangers vs. Doug Furnas and Phil Lafon vs. The New Blackjacks

JR runs down the rules of this match saying when one member of a team is eliminated, both must leave the ringside area and any man can tag any other man. King references the Raw Bowl from last year, as this is contested under the same rules (but without the football motif). Owen will start off with Phil Lafon. Lafon goes behind and takes Owen down. They trade reversals until Lafon gets up with shoves Owen. Lafon ducks an enziguri then tags in Mosh. Owen tags in Blackjack Windham. Mosh backs Windham into his corner and double teams the veteran with Thrasher. Most then throws Windham into the corner of Furnas and Lafon and tags in Furnas. Furnas sends him to the ropes and hits a flying shoulder block. He tags in Lafon who misses a big knee and hits his own partner! Windham hits a big lariat on Lafon and eliminates him and Furnas with a pin. Mosh jumps Windham from behind and pounds away. He sends Windham to the ropes and Blackjack Bradshaw makes a blind tag then hits a bulldog on Mosh which gets a two count. Bradshaw then hits a side Russian leg sweep as JR wonders if Bret Hart’s secret is a new member of the Hart Foundation. We go to break.

We return with clips from what happened during the commercial. Lafon and Furnas come back and hold down Bradshaw’s foot allowing Mosh to eliminate the Blackjacks after pinning Bradshaw. King calls that exciting! We return to live action with Owen working on Mosh. He throws him head first into the corner then nails a neck breaker. Owen then pulls the turnbuckle pad off the top rope in the far corner. JR says Owen and the Bulldog are scheduled to meet the LOD at the King of the Ring with the tag titles on the line. That’ll be the second pay per view in a row where they advertised that match and it doesn’t end up happening. Owen goes to send Mosh into the exposed turnbuckle but Mosh reverses and Owen goes in sternum first! Thrasher suplexes Mosh off the top rope onto Owen for the win! Wait, Owen’s foot was on the bottom rope so the referee is not going to count the pinfall. Owen tags in the Bulldog, who rolls up Mosh, while he is arguing with the referee, from behind for two. Bulldog then sends Mosh to the ropes and hits a clothesline then follows up with his delayed standing vertical suplex, which gets two. Bulldog sends Mosh to the ropes again, but it is reversed and Thrasher hits Bulldog from behind, allowing Mosh to clothesline him and tag Thrasher. Thrasher hits a clothesline off the second rope for two as Owen makes the save. Thrasher hits a side slam for two. Bulldog is backed into the Head Banger corner and they double team him after Mosh tags in. Another two count on the Bulldog. JR says something is happening in the back and it has something to do with Bret Hart. The Head Bangers make another quick tag and choke Bulldog over the top rope. Thrasher throws Bulldog to the ropes and both men go down with a double clothesline. Thrasher tags in Mosh and Bulldog tags in Owen! King asks JR if he heard about Frank Gifford cheating on his wife Kathie Lee with a flight attendant recently. King points out JR’s wife is a flight attendant! Owen hits a back breaker and applies the Sharpshooter on Mosh but Thrasher makes the save. The Head Bangers want to send Owen and Bulldog into each other from opposite corners but they are reversed and the Bangers hit each other. Owen takes down Mosh with a spinning heel kick and Bulldog hits his power slam on Thrasher to get the win! JR points out neither man involved in the cover were legal. After the match, Brian Pillman and Jim Neidhart wheel Bret to the ring and we go to break. The surprise is next.

We return with the entire Hart Foundation in the ring. Bret asks the people to shut up for a few minutes. Bret tells Owen, Bulldog, Brian and Neidhart to go to the back. He wants to do something on his own. They are hesitant, but finally leave. Bret tells Austin the Harts will stop him if he tries to come out here. Bret wants that gutless poser Shawn Michaels to get his ass out here right now so they can talk face-to-face. And here comes Shawn Michaels. Bret never takes his eyes off Shawn. Bret tells them to cut the music because it’s hurting his ears.

Bret: “Shawn Michaels. The Boy Toy. You know, there was a time when I just couldn’t stand you. Now, when I look at you, I realize that I hate your guts. And the reason that I hate your guts, to list all the reasons why I can’t stand you and you make me sick, the biggest reason is…..” At this point, Shawn Michaels takes his dress jacket off. Bret: “Go ahead, take your jacket off. Make yourself at home. It symbolizes something, you taking your jacket off. It’s like you’re hot, you’re cold, you’re hot, you’re cold. That’s the story of your whole career. One minute you’re hot and the next, you’re not. You know what bugs me about you? Is that… it finally dawned on me. It’s the way you dance around, you have this attitude, this arrogance, this cockiness, and it finally hit me. That’s what you Americans all symbolize. You think you’re better than everyone else. You think you can cop this attitude and … and look down at the rest of the world like you’re better than us. Well, it’s not true. It’s not true at all. ‘Cause you’re rotten, through and through all the way through to your insides. Just like America craving your blood and guts and all your violence and crime on the streets. You love it! You love it all and you hate when somebody tells you the truth!” Shawn Michaels is just standing inches from Bret the whole time while he unloads here. At this point, Bret looks directly at Shawn Michaels.

Bret: “And you hate it when somebody tells you the truth! Talk about rotting from the insides – it’s just like Ancient Rome. America, this great country that should be leading us into the 21st century, but instead, you’re rotting from the inside, just like Ancient Rome and you’re gonna destroy yourself because you’re being controlled and run by scum.” Bret points to Shawn: “Scum like this right here!” Shawn is just getting madder and madder listening to all of this.

Bret: “You know, Shawn Michaels, Boy Toy, you ripped me off of the World Wrestling Federation belt at Wrestlemania XII. In a 60-minute Iron Man Match you screwed me out of that title and you know it. And all you people stood by and let it go, you did nothing about it. So when I decided to come back, instead of facing me like a man, you didn’t have the guts to face me like a man. Instead you were too busy posing for girly magazines. Dancing around, kissing all the girls. Putting tattoos on yourself and earrings through your navel and your nose and your ears. Shaking your ass and making yourself a horse’s ass. The self-professed degenerate, that’s what you are. The self-professed degenerate. And when you talk about role models, you lead the World Wrestling Federation… you took that World Wrestling Federation championship belt in a reign of decadence.” Shawn is just staring a hole through Bret Hart from about a foot away and hasn’t flinched in a while. Bret: “You know, Shawn Michaels. The biggest thing that bothers me about you is that you didn’t have the guts to face me this year at Wrestlemania. You didn’t have the guts to face me one-on-one. Go ahead and talk about all the things. You talk about my mother and my family and how I signed for more money than any other wrestler in the history of the World Wrestling Federation and how I’m controlled by the all mighty dollar.” The crowd is chanting “Hitman Sucks!” Bret: “Who isn’t controlled by the almighty dollar!? That’s a bunch of BS and you know it. The million dollar question. That’s what Vince McMahon said to you last week – the million dollar question. That’s all it was, was a million dollars? Well, Shawn Michaels, it shouldn’t concern you what I get paid. And it shouldn’t concern you whether I’ve got my mother and father and the rest of my family in the front row. And it shouldn’t concern you anything that I do. What should concern you is whether you really believe deep down in your guts, in your heart, whether you’re actually as good as me (which brings a laugh to Shawn’s face), and you pathetic violent people know that is piece of crap right here…..” At this point, JR cuts in and tells us we are out of time but we will keep the cameras rolling and show the rest of this confrontation next week

Next week, we find out what happened between Bret and Shawn when Raw went off the air and the King of the Ring first round matches continue!

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