November 13, 2008
Mike Abitabile

Raw is War
Cobo Hall, Detroit, Michigan
6/23/97

Raw comes on the air this week with a tribute to Stan “The Man” Stasiak, who passed away the previous Thursday of heart failure at the age of 60. He was a former WWWF champion.

Vince welcomes us live inside the arena but the Nation of Domination’s music interrupts him and JR. The New Nation – Faarooq, Ahmed Johnson, D-Lo Brown and Kama Mustafa, makes their way to the ring to talk to Vince. JR wants to know why Ahmed joined the Nation. Vince asks right away, to which Ahmed tells the fans to shut up. Ahmed calls Vince a white man and says Vince knows why Ahmed did what he had to do. Ahmed blames the fans and says they never backed him up because he was black. He also accuses Vince of not backing him up by never giving him a title shot. Ahmed references Louis Farrakhan and says he has no respect for the Undertaker. D-Lo grabs the microphone and reiterates that Ahmed joined the Nation because everyone turned their back on him. Faarooq says that the powerful black men are getting together now. Ahmed threatens Vince with bodily harm while Kama says he is proud of his victory over Taker last week. He is also proud of the Nation and his new brother, Ahmed, who will finally get his shot at the Undertaker at In Your House in July. D-Lo says the Nation rules the World Wrestling Federation when, out of nowhere, four bikers make their way to the ring on Harley Davidson’s. They surround the ring as JR points out one of them is Crush.

They enter the ring and Crush calls everything we just heard crap. He says Faarooq never fired him (though video evidence could prove otherwise) because he quit. Again, I don’t remember that happening. Crush introduces us to the Disciples of Apocalypse and an eight man brawl breaks out! Officials and referees try to break it up as Vince returns to the booth. As the fight starts to die down, it looks like Ahmed Johnson is coming up limp, favoring his knee. That can’t be good for business. No, that can’t be good for anyone (expect maybe Vader. More on that soon). Vince tells us the Nation will return later to fight unlikely partners Vader and Undertaker (as they are both “managed” by Paul Bearer) in the tag tournament.

We head to the back to talk to the LOD. They will face the Godwinns in the tag tournament tonight. They can’t wait for it to get ugly, because that’s the way they like it. We then see Ken Shamrock warming up in the back.

Ken Shamrock vs. Rockabilly

We are shown highlights of the Austin/Shamrock situation over the last few weeks. Check out my previous Raw recaps for more on that, if you missed it. The upshot is, Austin, Shamrock, the LOD and Goldust have accepted the challenge of the Hart Foundation for a five on five match at In Your House. Back live, Dan Severn is welcomed to the broadcast booth by Vince, who calls him the current NWA World Heavyweight Champion. He is there to talk about Ken Shamrock. Vince says the last time Shamrock and Severn locked up, it was in this very building. That’s fine, as long as we don’t discuss what happened ON TOP of this building less than two years ago, thank you very much. Shamrock takes down Billy as Dan Severn has technical difficulties with his headset. JR says Shamrock and Severn are one for one against each other. Shamrock locks on a submission, which perks Severn up. Vince is sickened by the negative perception the public has about the UFC. I bet you won’t hear that from him anymore. Rockabilly fights back with fists and puts Shamrock in the corner. He kicks away then hits a forearm to the back of Shamrock’s head, which gets two. Shamrock reverses a body slam attempt and lands a belly to belly suplex and applies the ankle lock, to which Billy quickly taps out. After the match, Honky goes to waffle Shamrock with his guitar, but Ken saw him and Honky retreats. Ken then makes his way over to Dan Severn and they go nose to nose. Shamrock extends his hand and Severn shakes it.

In the back, Henry Godwinn says he and Phinneas will do things their way from now on and says the broken neck he sustained from the LOD wasn’t accidental, like they claim. They try to get their revenge next.

First Round Tag Team Tournament Match: The Godwinns vs. The Legion of Doom

The Godwinns are already at ringside to meet the LOD as they get to the bottom of the ramp. They decide to slop the LOD to show they mean business. This only angers Animal and Hawk, who charge in and it’s a pier six brawl until the LOD clears house. The Godwinns regroup and Phinneas comes in to start with Animal. After a knee to the midsection by Phinneas, he tags in Henry. Vince informs us that Ken Shamrock has been attacked backstage, apparently, by the Hart Foundation. Animal stops a double team attempt and takes both Godwinns down with clotheslines. Hawk tags in and hits an enziguri on Henry but it is no sold. Henry then piledrives Hawk, and he no sells that. Phinneas runs in but gets a neck breaker for his troubles. As Animal tags back in, JR tells us the LOD is the only team to win the AWA, NWA and WWF tag team championships then proclaims that two of those companies are out of business. Didn’t Vince just call Dan Severn the current NWA champion? Phinneas dumps Animal over the top rope to the floor and distracts the referee while Henry sends Animal into the steel steps. Back in and Phinneas goes for a clothesline off the second rope but screws up. Each man tags in their partner then the LOD sets Henry up for the Doomsday Device but Phinneas breaks it up. Hawk however, still hits the clothesline on Henry, who is standing on the mat, rather then up on Animal’s shoulders. This is enough to get the win. After the match, the Godwinns use their slop bucket as a weapon on the LOD but Hawk and Animal fight back. After they finally clear the ring, the Hart Foundation run out and attack the LOD from behind while Bret Hart, who finally returns after the backstage fight with HBK two weeks ago, looks on from atop the stage.

We see boxing legend Tommy “Hitman” Herns in the crowd with his family. In the back, Taker and Paul Bearer are in the locker room. Paul won’t let Taker talk, so Taker applies a choke to him. Paul mentions “the fire” so Taker releases it and walks away.

Owen Hart tells us there is a conspiracy against him. Tonight, in the first ever WWF Triple Threat Match, in which his Intercontinental title is on the line, he can lose the belt without being pinned. He’s not worried though because he has a surprise for us.

Next we see Steve Austin plug his “’Cause Stone Cold Said So” video tape. Vince tells us the tape is rated TV-M.

Flash Funk vs. Sabu

Before the match, Flash tells us he is going to beat Sabu because he is a great flyer. Paul E. Dangerously joins us on commentary for this match. Sabu is seconded by Bill Alphonso, who JR reminds us was a former WWF referee. We see a “best of” Sabu highlight reel with ECW clips. Paul mentions Sabu will be appearing on the next ECW pay per view. Flash kicks Sabu as he slid for a leg, then sends him to the ropes. Sabu hopes up and hits a springboard kick then throws Funk to the floor and follows up with a summersault plancha! As Sabu goes for a table, Paul tells us that, opposed to what Eric Bischoff will tell you, the Public Enemy didn’t invent tables on television, Sabu did and they stole it. Funk throws Sabu back in the ring and they slug it out. Funk slams Sabu in the corner and goes for his spinning splash off the top, which gets two. Funk goes back up but Sabu stops him and hits a hurricanrana off the top. This also gets two. JR and Paul mention these two have fought before in the ECW Arena. Sabu misses a springboard body block off the second rope and Flash hits a side kick. Back up top and Sabu goes for another hurricanrana, but Funk holds on then throws Sabu off the top rope to the apron and follows up with a handspring back kick to head of Sabu. Now Funk jumps over the top onto Sabu but is distracted by Fonzie and his whistle. Back in, Sabu takes Funk down with a dropkick to the knee. Flash regains the advantage and hits a huge moonsault off the top and lands hard on Sabu’s arms. It gets two. Back up and Sabu backdrops Funk to the floor then hops over the top and hits a hurricanrana onto Flash! Fonzie sets up a table and Funk gets put on it. The referee calls for the bell as Sabu hits a moonsault off the second rope, but the table doesn’t break. Sabu tries a splash, and it still doesn’t break. Paul says these tables aren’t precut, like you’d see elsewhere. Sabu finally breaks the table with a springboard leg drop from the top rope then leaves through the crowd, throwing chairs.

Last week Mankind tried to get Steve Austin to pick him as his replacement partner. This week, he’ll face the British Bulldog.

Non-Title Match: European Champion The British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith vs. Mankind

Mankind is wearing an Austin 3:16 shirt with a cardboard sign around his neck that says “Pick Me Steve.” Mankind grabs a microphone and dedicates this match to Steve Austin. Mankind backs Bulldog into the corner then snap mares him over and hits a leg drop. We are now joined by Steve Austin via telephone in Texas. Austin tells Vince to never call him collect again and sends his love out to his brother Kevin, who was stepped on by a bull recently. Mankind and Bulldog continue to slug it out while Austin plugs the house shows he’ll be at this weekend. Davey gets dumped to the outside and thrown into the guard rail. Austin says he still thinks of Shawn Michaels as his partner, but not by choice. Austin does take his hat off to Mankind though. Davey slams Mankind’s head into the turnbuckle then sends him to the ropes and puts his head down, allowing Mankind the chance to hit a double arm DDT! He slams his knee into Davey’s face in the corner then clotheslines him over the top as Vince says goodbye to Austin. Davey Boy is up quick with a clothesline then sends Mankind hard into the steel steps. Bulldog then slams Mankind on the steel ramp and throws him back into the ring. Davey sets up the Power Slam but Mankind slips down the back and applies the Mandible Claw. Bulldog is able to break it with a low blow however and then brings a steel chair into the ring. He hits Mankind with it and gets DQ’d. He then slams it HARD over the unprotected head of Mankind, multiple times! Good grief. Bulldog poses but Mankind is able to get back up and apply the Mandible Claw again!

In the back, Owen Hart is arguing with WWF President Gorilla Monsoon as Goldust, Marlena, Hunter and Chyna look on. He says there is a conspiracy against him, so he is demanding that Brian Pillman be allowed to accompany him to ringside. Gorilla is okay with it but Owen continues fighting. After repeating that he is okay with it, as well as Pat Patterson telling Owen that Gorilla is okay with it, he finally stops arguing and is happy with the verdict.

Hour number two is on the air with a retrospective vignette concerning the history of the Intercontinental Championship.

Triple Threat Intercontinental Title Match: Two Time Slammy Award Winner and Intercontinental Champion Owen Hart vs. Goldust vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley

Again, this is the first ever triple threat match in WWF history (on television at least) and the first man to score a pinfall or submission will be the champion, which, in essence, takes away the championship advantage. Brian Pillman, Marlena and Chyna are in the corner of their respective men. Also, the first ever Intercontinental champion, Pat Patterson, is the special referee for this match. We are shown footage of Hunter winning the IC title from Marc Mero on October 21, 1996, Goldust winning the belt from Razor Ramon on January 21, 1996 and Owen winning the belt from Rocky Maivia on April 28, 1997. Man, they are really doing a good job of making this match seem special. All three men start brawling to start and Goldust clotheslines Owen. He tries for a pin but Hunter breaks it up. As Hunter lays the boots to Goldust, Owen tries to roll him up from behind but that also gets two. Hunter hits a high knee to the face of Owen and goes for a pin but now Goldust breaks up the count. The three men continue breaking up pinfalls attempts until Hunter dumps Goldust to the outside and gets belly to belly suplexed by Owen. Another two count as Dust comes back in and breaks it up. Owen and Hunter begin to double team Goldust but Owen hits a spinning heel kick on Hunter as he went for the Pedigree. Goldust then hits the Curtain Call on Owen and gets the three count for the win and a new champion! However, it seems as though Owen had his foot on the bottom rope. Brian Pillman and Earl Hebner come in to try and explain to Pat what happened, but he’s having none of it. Finally, Gorilla Monsoon makes his way to the ring as we go to break.

We return to find out that Gorlla showed Pat Owen’s foot on the rope on the big screen and the match has been restarted. Again, Owen and Hunter double team Goldust but Dust is able to fight out of it and take down both men! He gets two on Hunter until Owen breaks it up. Owen quickly gut wrench suplexes Dust then locks on the Sharpshooter! Hunter breaks it up though and drops a knee on Owen, for two, as Goldust breaks it up. Owen gets a neckbreaker on Hunter and makes the cover. It gets two because, you guessed it, Dust broke it up. I think we get it by now….. you can’t get a pinfall unless both your opponents are incapacitated. Owen is dumped to the floor leaving Goldust and Hunter to duck it out, until Owen makes his return with a double dropkick off the top rope. He gets two on Goldust as Hunter barely gets there to break it up. Hunter and Owen then brawl on the floor. Pat Patterson tries to keep Brian Pillman from interfering allowing Chyna to sneak into the ring and hit a hurricanrana on Goldust! Owen and Hunter get back in the ring, and Owen hits an enziguri on Hunter and goes for the cover. Goldust tries to break it up, but Owen moves and Dust lands on Hunter then rolls out of the ring. Owen makes the cover on Hunter again and retains his title!

After the commercial break, Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart make their way to the ring. Vince announces Bret will return to action this Saturday night at a WWF live event. As for In Your House, Bret says there is going to be a Canadian Stampede. He says the LOD is not the greatest tag team in the history of the WWF because the greatest tag team in the history of the WWF is standing in the ring right now. Bret also isn’t scared of Ken Shamrock and Goldust. His sisters will take care of Marlena, too. As far as Steve Austin goes, he’s the scum of the Earth. Bret is a little annoyed though because Tommy “Hitman” Hearns is at ringside and has apparently stole Bret Hart’s nickname. Bret goes over to him and says there is only room for one Hitman, and it’s him. Bret challenges Hearns to come into the ring and prove himself. Hearns snaps at perhaps the worst diss ever, from Bret: “I don’t think you’re the Hitman, I think you’re the chicken man!” Hearns runs in the ring as Vince tries to maintain order. Bret takes off his jacket and watch as Hearns takes down Neidhart with a flurry of fists! Before he can get to Bret, officials swarm the ring to keep each man apart!

After the break, we see Tommy Hearns back in his seat and he gets a huge ovation. In the back is Faarooq, Kama and D-Lo. Savio rushes in and takes the weakest swing ever at Faarooq. Kama and D-Lo beat him down then Faarooq whips him like a dog.

Brian Christopher vs. Scott Taylor

Jerry Lawler accompanies Brian Christopher to ringside. Earlier today, Brian explains to us that he dominated the USWA and he’s here to dominate the WWF. They lock up and trade arm bar reversals. King joins Vince and JR on commentary. Christopher hits a release German suplex on Taylor but misses a follow-up elbow. Taylor hits a back elbow and a summersault leg drop to the back of the head of Christopher. King is upset that Paul E. was out here before. Brian regains control and hits a second rope dropkick to the back of the head. Vince asks King if the allegation Paul E. levied last week, that being Brian Christopher is his son, is true or not? King is non-committal either way and just calls Paul a bad source. Christopher hits a reverse DDT off the second rope and hits a top rope leg drop for the win!

In the back, Paul Bearer is with Vader. Vince wants to know what fire Paul was talking about before. Paul tells him to mind his own business.

First Round Tag Team Tournament Match: WWF Champion The Undertaker and Vader vs. Faarooq and D-Lo Brown

Kama is with the Nation, but Vince tells us that there is a report that Ahmed injured his knee earlier tonight during the brawl with the DOA. So there goes your World title match at the next In Your House. Paul is with his team, but specifically comes out with Taker. D-Lo jumps Taker to start but gets hit with a flying clothesline. We see Ahmed sitting in the back watching the match. Vince wonders if Ahmed is really hurt or if this is just another trick by the Nation. Taker works on D-Lo’s arm but D-Lo takes control with shoulder blocks. He puts his head down too soon though and gets sent over the top rope, right in the waiting arms of the DOA, who have just made their way to ringside. A brawl breaks out with everyone, including Taker, as we go to break.

We return and order has been restored. D-Lo and Vader are trading blows until, not surprisingly, Vader gains control. He goes up to the second rope for a Vader Bomb and hits it! Unfortunately, Faarooq comes in to break it up then drags D-Lo to his corner so he can make a tag. Faarooq goes right at Vader but gets powered down. Vader goes up to the second ropes and jumps, but Faarooq catches him and power slams him. He tags back in D-Lo while Paul Bearer yells at Taker in the corner. Vader controls D-Lo and hits a splash on him. It gets two as Faarooq breaks it up again. Vader goes over to Taker and says something to him that Taker doesn’t like. Taker responds by slugging his partner who turns around into a clothesline by Faarooq, who just tagged in. This gets the Nation the win! Paul Bearer is screaming at the Undertaker ad Vader is also not happy. He attacks Taker from behind but gets a big boot to his face and gets TOMBSTONED! Wow, he’s 450 pounds! Paul runs away then grabs a microphone. He tells Taker the secret is getting revealed next week because of what he just did. Taker responds with a throat slash as we fade to black with Paul Bearer yells at a cameraman.

Next week, will the secret be revealed? Plus, the tag tournament moves into the semi-finals and Taker needs a new opponent for Canadian Stampede. Who will it be?

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