April 28, 2008
Mike Abitabile

Raw is War
Brown County Expo, Green Bay, Wisconsin
5/5/97

Raw starts with footage from last week’s episode chronicling the night-long storyline between Brian Pillman, Steve Austin and the Hart Foundation. We again see Jim Neidhart return and throw Steve Austin off the stage, and then we go to the Raw theme and entrance video.

The Hart Foundation music plays and they make their way down to the ring. Bret Hart is being wheeled down the ramp by the British Bulldog and is joined by Owen Hart, Jim Neidhart and Brian Pillman. Bret crawls into the ring while Neidhart brings the wheel chair in so Bret can sit in it. The arena lights are down with only a pink spotlight on the Hart Foundation as Bret begins to talk. Bret wants to thank all his fans around the world for their support. He thanks all the international and Canadian fans. As for his American fans? Bret: “In the words of your hero, Shawn Michaels, ‘tough titty, said the kitty.’” Bret thanks Pillman for his words and inspiration last week. He congratulates Owen for his IC title win and thanks Owen for dedicating the win to him. He thanks the Bulldog for thrashing the Undertaker last week in the name of the Hitman. He was also wants to thank Jim Neidhart for saving Bret from Austin last week. He says the Americans are a violent society that can dish it out, but can’t take it. Bret doesn’t think Austin will be here tonight because of his injuries. Bret also doesn’t think Austin has got the “jam” to show up as an “Austin! Austin!” chant breaks out. Bret says Austin got what was coming and now he is nothing but a pile of broken bones. Bret says the American fans hate him, but it’s fine because he hates them right back. Bret runs down all the titles that the Foundation has and calls the fans jealous. Bret says that Brian Pillman is even an expert on the golden rule. Pillman: “Do unto others, and enjoy it!” Bret calls his back up the best pack of lions in the world. He calls them the dream team. They destroyed Austin and now it’s time to destroy someone else – Shawn Michaels. He promises they will destroy Shawn Michaels tonight.

Vince welcomes us to the show and tells us Shawn Michaels better watch his back. We see HBK in the locker room and he doesn’t look happy. We go to break. We return with the Harts wheeling Bret through the back saying they will find HBK.

Ahmed Johnson vs. Rockabilly

JR says that Shawn Michaels is being stalked. Ahmed comes out in black sweatpants. The Honky Tonk Man and his guitar are with Billy. Don’t quote me, but I believe Michael Hayes sings the lead vocals on the Rockabilly theme song. We see footage from last week as Billy and Honky level Flash Funk with the guitar. Billy dances and Ahmed is in no mood (is he ever?) so he attacks and we are under way. Honky bails and Ahmed sends Billy to the ropes and hits a clothesline. He then kicks away on Billy and punches him in the corner, then kicks him when he’s down. Vince and JR reminds us that Ahmed will run the gauntlet against the Nation this Sunday night on pay per view at In Your House: Cold Day in Hell. If Ahmed wins, the Nation must disband. Billy catches Ahmed and drops him throat first across the top rope. We go to a split screen and are joined by Faarooq in the back. His arm is still in a sling. Vince asks if he is impressed by Ahmed so far. Shockingly, he isn’t. Billy goes to work on Ahmed and chokes him. Faarooq says it will be a cold day in hell when someone beats the Nation in a gauntlet match. Tonight, Crush will fight three guys in a row to warm up for the match and prove they are better than Ahmed, who won’t be able to beat three men, while Crush will. Ahmed slowly gets up and Billy tries to slam him but Ahmed shifts his weight and falls on Billy for a two count. Billy goes back to work and chokes Ahmed over the top rope. Billy sends Ahmed to the ropes then applies a sleeper. JR is worried about Austin because he hasn’t shown up to the arena yet. Honky tells Billy to tighten the sleeper. Ahmed’s arm falls twice but before referee Jack Doane can try a third time, Billy releases the hold and dances. What a moron. Honky distracts the ref and Billy tries to hit Ahmed with the guitar, but he ducks and ends up hitting Billy himself with the guitar as Jack Doane turns back around. This causes a DQ. We see replays of Ahmed hitting Billy with the guitar.

In the back, the Harts are still looking for HBK and run into a babyface locker room. I see Bob Holly and a few jobbers, but no HBK. Owen suggests they check the ladies room as we go to break. We return with footage from moments ago as Owen, Bulldog and Neidhart went into another locker room that was empty. The search continues for Shawn Michaels, but if you are searching for action, look no further than this Sunday night on pay per view. Nice segue, Vince!

We see another video package on Ken Shamrock who says he focused his anger into football and wrestling when he was younger. Todd Pettengill tells us that as a teen, Shamrock was destined for disaster but the man who would eventually become his father helped him find focus. Shamrock’s wife and four children help him find balance and anchor him now. We see Ken cheering for his son at a little league game. Shamrock says his family makes him important, not wrestling anymore. But when he is in the ring, that’s his only focus and he puts himself in the zone. No one can enter that zone. He always beats the odds and will do it once again in the WWF. Shamrock explains that he challenged Mike Tyson a few weeks ago because everyone asks him who would win. He calls Tyson a bully and he hates bullies.

Vader vs. Goldust

Still no Paul Bearer with Vader, but Marlena is with Goldust. Vince reminds us Vader embarrassed everyone overseas but might get his Sunday night when Vader takes on Ken Shamrock. JR tells us that match can only be won by submission or knockout, much like a UFC match. He then plugs the UFC event on Friday, May 30. Ken Shamrock makes his way to the ring to watch this match at the announce table. Vader and Shamrock stare each other down as JR thanks Shamrock for saving his butt last week. As Goldust makes his way to the ring, Vince reminds us we will see a sit-down interview with Goldust and Marlena later tonight and we will learn a lot about them. He then tells us that, not only is Steve Austin missing, but so is the WWF title. Apparently, it was taken from the Undertaker’s locker room. Vader and Dust lock up and break. Shamrock is getting pumped up because he is so close. They lock up again and break again. They lock up a third time and Vader backs Dust into the corner. They break clean then Vader head butts Dust. Goldust charges out of the corner and takes down Vader with a leg takedown then pounds away on Vader in the corner with ten punches and a kiss! He throws Vader to the ropes but it is reversed. Dust responds with a throat thrust. Vader sends Dust to the ropes again and puts his head down so Dust tries a sunset flip. Vader responds by sitting on the chest cavity of Goldust then goes after Shamrock. Vader jaw jacks with Ken who doesn’t back down. We go to break.

We return from commercial with Vader pounding on Goldust in the corner. Shamrock says he is going to give Vader a beating on Sunday night because he “dislikes him very much.” Vader hits a running Vader splash on Dust then picks him up before a pinfall attempt is made and applies a chin lock. Marlena looks worried. Vader continues to pound away on Goldust. Shamrock says he will embarrass Vader. Vader sends Dust to the corner then charges in with a splash but Dust catches him and slams him down with a power slam! Some quick rights from Dust and the bionic elbow! Dust tries to send Vader to the corner but it is reversed and Vader slams Goldust down then hits a Vader Bomb splash off the second rope for the win. Vader and Shamrock make eye contact and no one blinks. King: “You’re looking into your future!” Shamrock: “Shut up!” Again, Vader tries to intimidate Shamrock, who isn’t about to back down. JR and Vince tell him not to do it yet. There is nothing to gain. At this point Vader decides to spit on Shamrock. Not smart. Shamrock charges and takes Vader down and they roll around until Mankind and Goldust try to break it up. Dust hits his running Bulldog on Mankind as the heels bail. JR tells us Paul Bearer will return next week then introduces his sit-down with Dustin and Terri, or as you know them, Goldust and Marlena.

We see Mr. and Mrs. Dustin Runnels in regular clothes and no face paint. JR reveals that Dustin is the son of Dusty Rhodes and fought for his father’s attention as a child. Dustin says Dusty was everything that he wanted to be. He loved being with him but eventually he’d get tired of people talking about his father instead of him. Dustin decided to wrestle to gain his father’s respect and we see footage from Dustin Rhodes 1990-91 run in the WWF. He couldn’t have his own identity though. He decided to completely reinvent himself to emerge from his father’s shadow and became Goldust. Dustin said he was scared as hell and wanted to pee his pants. He knew people would be shocked and he says people took the character too seriously and made personal attacks against him. He was frustrated that he still didn’t get the respect of the fans even though he wasn’t Dusty Rhodes son anymore. Terri tells us he would come home upset and would let his insecurities trip him up. They reveal the point of the character was to play mind games with opponents. JR tells us that “a superstar that was once known for his machismo” refused to wrestle Dust. Dustin tells us that it hurt when Scott Hall wouldn’t wrestle him because of the character. He said he can understand the hardships that gay people have to go through trying to fit in because of that situation. But through perseverance, he finally is accepted and it is great. He feels great to come out of the closet and knows how Ellen feels. JR asks if Goldust has gained his father’s respect. Dustin says he hasn’t talked to his Dad in over two years but he tells his Dad, if he is watching, that he loves him. He just hopes people can accept him. We go back to ringside and JR tells us we will see part two next week, which includes a message for his father. Even King was impressed by the interview. We go back to the locker room arena and the Harts are waiting outside a bathroom for Shawn Michaels. We hear a flush then some guy with long brown hair comes out and they attack. They stop when they realize it’s not Shawn Michaels, but then go right back to destroying the poor kid, just for the hell of it. We go to break.

Michele Carlucci is a proud mother. She used to worry about her little boy Tommy because he was a bit on the nerdy side. We see Tommy with thick glasses and a pocket protector. But now he’s developed a new attitude and the kids at school are really warming up to him. We see Tommy in HBK attire, dancing his way through the bus while “Sexy Boy” plays. Michele: “What can I say? He’s a chick magnet!” WWF: Reality Check.

The Nation is in the ring and Faarooq tells us he is going to let Crush fight three of the baddest men he could find, right now. He tells Ahmed he’s done on Sunday night.

Crush vs. Jobber in the Green and Black Tights

JITGABT comes running in and Crush kicks away on him. Crush sends him to the ropes and hits a spinning back breaker and pulls JITGABT up before the ref can make a one count. He follows up with a press slam and drops the kid across his knee with a gut buster. This gets the three count. Crush throws JITGABT out of the ring. Vince says this is disgusting and Ahmed will be much tougher competition on Sunday night.

Crush vs. Jobber in the Pink and Purple Tights

JITPAPT tries to get the crowd behind him by stomping on the mat and clapping. He locks up with Crush who head butts him then tosses him. The kid lands on his feet then goes up top and goes for a spinning cross body block. Crush catches him and slams him. He sends JITPAPT to the corner then hits a belly-to-belly suplex and drops the leg three times and pulls the kid up before the three count. Vince and JR tell us there is a commotion in the back and they think the Harts finally got to Shawn Michaels but can’t confirm it. Crush hits the Heart Punch and yells that it is for Ahmed. This gets the win. Faarooq asks for them to make this harder and to send down the next victim.

Crush vs. Jobber in a Green Bay Packers Jacket with Pantyhose Over His Face

JIAGBPJWPOHF runs in and kicks Crush in the stomach then hits the Pearl River Plunge to get the win! JIAGBPJWPOHF bails and takes the pantyhose off his face to reveal Ahmed Johnson! That must have been the commotion in the back – Ahmed got to the third guy. Faarooq wants Ahmed to come back, but he isn’t biting. Faarooq is magically heeled and his arm is out of the sling and the entire Nation is freaking out.

In the back, the Harts are looking outside the arena and all over the parking lot for Shawn. Bret: “Under that truck, Jim. Owen, try this barrel.” Back in the arena, Sable is modeling the Austin 3:16 shirt. It’s only 20 dollars plus shipping and handling. Get it now because it’s about to become the best selling wrestling t-shirt of all time. We go to break.

We return with hour number two as the Raw theme and music play again and the fireworks go off. Shawn Michaels music hits and he is on his way to the ring. The crowd pops big time. Michaels took his jacket off to dance so Vince helps him put it back on after he’s done shaking it. Vince says the last time we saw HBK a few weeks ago, Stone Cold had leveled him with a haymaker. HBK says he doesn’t know where Steve Austin is and he doesn’t care. But he tells Austin that he can’t take on the Harts by himself, but if he doesn’t want HBK’s help, so be it. He wasn’t doing it to help Austin, rather to hurt the Harts. Michaels says the in thing right now is to tell the fans you don’t like them, but he’s a trendsetter, not a follower. He’s going to suck up to the WWF fans, because someone has to do it. Vince wants to know if the Harts are going to find him. HBK says he isn’t hiding. If they wanted him bad enough, they’d be here, right now. The Hart Foundation may run in a pack, but the Clique runs in a herd. He then looks in the camera and tells us there is no more powerful force in this business than the Kliq, I mean, the Clique. Vince wants to know when HBK will step back in the ring. HBK says the knee is pretty good, so he will return to action at the King of the Ring. Vince says Bret and Shawn hate each other. Shawn says that Bret hates America but doesn’t mind making the American dollars. But if Bret doesn’t like it, don’t let the door hit Bret on his Canadian butt on the way out. Shawn and the fans have had it with the whining and the crying. HBK says he will go through the entire Hart Foundation to get to Bret and will then tear him to pieces. On his way out, HBK shakes hands with the entire front row. All of a sudden, Bret appears on the titan tron with Brian Pillman. Bret says he should have taken care of Michaels for good a few weeks ago when he put Michaels in the figure four around the ring post. HBK gets back in the ring and takes his shirt off. Bret wants to know if that was for the guys or the girls. Bret is tired of HBK coming in with chairs. He thinks HBK’s knee is fine. He wants HBK to take on Jim Neidhart right now. Michaels pretty much says “bring it.” Neidhart comes to the ring but there is no official. HBK and the Anvil start going at it, but the tag champs appear from nowhere and they triple team HBK. LOD comes out to make the save and fend off Owen and the Bulldog. The Harts bail as we go to break.

We return with Shawn Michaels freaking out on the locker room with a chair, looking for the Hart Foundation.

The Legion of Doom vs. Doug Furnas and Phil Lafon

This is a rematch stemming from last week when Furnas and Lafon felt that the LOD cheated to beat them. Before the match begins, we hear from Furnas and Lafon. Furnas says the LOD cheated and the fans were behind LOD. Lafon says they are the most exciting tag team in the WWF and the fans should be behind them. The LOD make their way back into the arena and it should be noted that they are wearing tights that extend upward to cover their upper bodies, as opposed to their normal pants only attire. King wants to know why the fans won’t get behind Furnas and Lafon and say it isn’t fair. Vince says the WWF Title belt is still missing. Hawk and Lafon start out. They lock up and Hawk pushes Lafon off him. Lafon hits a spin kick and chops Hawk in the corner, who reverses it and hits his own chops then tosses Lafon out of the corner. Hawk follows up with a kick the face then a clothesline. Lafon begs off and tags in Furnas. Hawk tags in Animal. The fans cheer for LOD. They lock up and Animal pushes Furnas into the corner. They break clean but Furnas punches Animal then goes to send him into the corner. It is reversed and Furnas comes out with a clothesline and a dropkick. Animal comes off the ropes with a flying shoulder block and they are at the neutral position. We quickly cut to the back and HBK has gotten into the Harts locker room. He is being restrained and we see Brian Pillman taunting him. We go to break.

We return with Animal applying a chin lock to Doug Furnas. JR says everything is under control in the locker room. They both get up and Animal charges with a clothesline but Furnas ducks a shoulder and dumps Animal to the outside. JR tells us that tonight on La Femme Nikita, a secret from Michael’s past puts an assignment in jeopardy. Must be another Michael because there’s no skeleton’s in my closet! Furnas distracts the referee, which gives Lafon the opportunity to hit a stiff suplex on Animal on the outside right in front of the announcers. He then throws Animal back in to Furnas who covers for two, then tags in Lafon. He quickly sends Animal to the ropes and hits a spinning heel kick then goes after Hawk. He ref stops Hawk, allowing Furnas and Lafon to hit a double suplex which actually hits the knee of referee Jack Doane who had his back to the action. A lackadaisical cover by Lafon gets two. He picks Animal up and applies a front chancery, but Animal picks him up and hits an inverted atomic drop. Furnas tags back in and hits a perfect drop kick to Animal. King, mockingly: “An exciting move right there!” Lafon is tagged back in. They go to double suplex Animal again, but he suplexes both of them! Incorrectly, a graphic comes on the screen plugging Owen and the Bulldog vs. LOD at Cold Day in Hell. That match did happen, but was a dark match. Vince doesn’t say anything while the graphic is on the screen, and there is dead silence. Weird. Animal finally makes a tag to Hawk who is a house of fire and takes both men down. He dumps Furnas and we see Bulldog making his way down the ramp, to the ringside arena. Hawk chokeslams Lafon while Animal cuts off the Bulldog. Lafon drops Hawk across the top rope then Owen appears out of nowhere and does it too. This allows Lafon to make the cover and get the win! Hawk complains to the referee, but to no avail.

We cut to the back to see that Jim Neidhart and Brian Pillman are brawling with Shawn Michaels as Bret Hart looks on. The officials try to break it up but out of nowhere, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin makes the save! The Harts bail. All of a sudden, the bell tolls and the lights go out in the arena. The Undertaker is on his way to the ring. JR tells us they will let us know if anything else happens in the back. JR feels it is going to be an intense title match this Sunday night between Austin and Taker. King reminds us the actual title is still missing. Vince is in the ring to interview Taker. Taker grabs the microphone. He says he is the World Wrestling Federation champion and defender of the belt, which belongs to the creatures. But someone has taken the belt from him. Taker calls the thief, “Mr. Soon To Be Dearly Departed” and says the robber is playing a game he can’t win. His patience is wearing thin and the person picked a bad time to piss off the Undertaker. Before the night is over, the thief will pay. And as far as Austin goes, the flame that is his fury will be extinguished by the darkness. We go to break.

We return with Sunny modeling the Austin 3:16 shirt now. I’d type something funny about the phone number and/or price but I am too distracted by my early teenage crush. Moving right along…. We are now shown footage from after Raw went off the air last week. The stretcher that Austin is on gets to the ambulance but Austin kicks everyone away and staggers off it. He knocks over the stretcher and refused medical help.

“Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. European and Tag Team Champion “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith

Bulldog is introduced but doesn’t appear. King thinks maybe HBK got to him and injured him. He finally appears then goes back behind the curtain but comes right back out. That was strange. Bulldog is by himself. Austin comes in the ring as Vince calls him “the next World Wrestling Federation champion.” I think he forgot to add the word “perhaps” there. Austin goes right after Bulldog on the outside and throws Davey into the ring. Austin stomps Bulldog in the corner but it is reversed and Bulldog sends Austin to the corner. Austin comes out with a clothesline then stomps Bulldog in his midsection and gets a two count. He suplexes the Bulldog and gets another two count. Austin puts on a face lock. Austin goes to work on Bulldog’s arm and applies a unique submission move. You don’t see that often from Austin. He continues to work on Bulldog’ arm then goes to the eyes and we go to break.

We return with Bulldog back dropping Austin then missing a running elbow drop. Bulldog winds up and hits a low blow to stop Austin. Earl Hebner warns him. Bulldog kicks Austin in the back and taunts him. JR plugs the Superstar Line with info on Sid and a huge deal the WWF is trying to finalize with Shawn Michaels. The number is 1-900-737-4WWF and it’s only $1.49 a minute. Call now! Bulldog applies a headlock on Austin who fights up and pounds away on Bulldog but gets a knee to the stomach for his troubles. Bulldog yells at Austin as JR tells us Sid won’t be appearing Sunday at Cold Day in Hell to fight Mankind, as advertised, but Mankind will be in action. He wonders who is crazy enough to face Mankind. Bulldog hits his standing delayed vertical suplex then taunts the crowd with a forward flip. He reapplies the headlock. Again Austin fights up and pounds away on the Bulldog. This time he takes Bulldog down with a shoulder block and a Lou Thesz press! Austin gets a leg takedown then goes for the Sharpshooter! Bulldog powers out though and goes back to the headlock. One more time, Austin gets to his feet and now side suplexes Bulldog. Austin goes up to the second rope and misses a double ax handle as we go to break again.

We return with a commercial for Cold Day in Hell – this Sunday night! Back to the action and Bulldog is in control. JR tells us this is a non-title match because the Bulldog refused to put the European belt on the line. Bulldog throws Austin to the corner and goes for his running powerslam but Austin slides down the back, ducks a clothesline and pounds away on Bulldog. He throws Davey into the corner and stomps a mudhole in him but doesn’t get to walk it dry. Austin sends Bulldog to the ropes but it is reversed. Davey puts his head down, so Austin kicks him then hits the Stone Cold Stunner for the win! After the bell rings, Owen Hart and Jim Neidhart rush in and attack Austin. Owen is hitting Austin with his Intercontinental title belt. Wait, JR and I have the same realization at the same moment. That’s not the IC title belt. We see Bret and Pillman watching from the back enjoying this. King says that Owen is using the WWF Title belt on Steve Austin! Thief! LOD is out to make the save and again takes out the tag champs and Neidhart. Furnas and Lafon are out to join the fray and it’s a pier sixer! Owen makes a huge mistake and goes after Lafon so those two start brawling. Whoops. HBK is out next and goes right after Neidhart! Everyone is brawling and everyone is on the right side finally. All of a sudden the lights go out and the bell tolls. The lights come back on with Taker in the ring going after the Harts. Owen grabs the WWF Title belt but Michaels takes it from him and hits Owen and the Anvil with it. HBK drops the belt and goes after Neidhart. Austin turns around and picks up the belt. Taker turns around to see Austin holding his belt! He grabs it from Austin’s hand and lays it down between himself and Austin. Austin goes to leave, thinks about it and comes back in to start going at it with Taker! Taker clotheslines Austin over the top and they brawl around ringside. Austin grabs a chair but Taker takes it and the officials try to break this up! It’s not happening as Taker is going after officials and refs and throws Austin into the steel steps. Austin responds by slamming Taker’s head into the steel. No one can hold these two men apart as we fade to black!

Next week, Paul Bearer returns, the second part of the sit-down with Dustin and Terri, and the fallout from Cold Day in Hell!

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