December 13, 2008
Mike Abitabile

Raw is War
Northlands Coliseum, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
7/7/97

Raw starts with a recap of the previous night’s In Your House: Canadian Stampede, including various newspaper clippings and Canadian fans telling us how awesome Bret Hart is. Footage is shown of the main event and the Hart Family celebrating after their win.

Jim Ross welcomes us to Canada as Bret Hart makes his way to the ring and the crowd explodes. Vince is awaiting the Hitman and announces that Bret Hart has been named the number one contender for the WWF title and will face the Undertaker at Summerslam. Bret thanks the fans for letting him be their hero and believing in him. America, love it or leave it….. and Bret loves leaving it. Bret says he isn’t anti-American, just pro-Canadian. Bret puts over Canada and puts down the United States. He then promises he will win the title for a fifth time at Summerslam and won’t let the Canadian fans down. He says that if he doesn’t win the title belt at Summerslam, he will never wrestle in the United States again. Bret brings out Owen Hart and puts him over for pinning Steve Austin last night. JR announces Steve Austin will fight Owen at Summerslam for the Intercontinental title. Bret then introduces the Bulldog. JR tells us he will defend the European title against the undefeated Ken Shamrock at Summerslam. I should mention all of the Harts are wearing Edmonton Oiler hockey jerseys. Bret asks us to look at the titan tron, where the Canadian National Anthem is being played with an image of the Canadian flag on it. The crowd is eating all of this up. All of a sudden, from behind, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin comes in and attacks all three men with a steel chair, right in the middle of the Canadian national anthem! The crowd is booing loudly as we go to break.

As we return, Vince apologizes to any Canadians offended by Austin’s disrespectful actions during their national anthem. During the break, Bret said he won’t let Austin walk all over Canada.

Taka Michinoku vs. The Great Sasuke

This is a rematch as these two locked up last night at Canadian Stampede. Brian Christopher makes his way out to sit at ringside and do guest commentary. Earlier in the day, Sasuke told WWF cameras….. something in Japanese. Taka attacks to start and hits a thrust to the throat but gets kicked in the stomach and sent to the floor. Sasuke then hits a huge plancha over the top rope onto Taka. Back in the ring and Taka works on the arm but Sasuke reverses it into a roll-up for two. Sasuke applies a half crap but Taka gets to the ropes. They trade kicks and Sasuke gets the upper hand and kicks Taka out of the ring. Taka comes back in with a missile dropkick off the top rope sending Sasuke to the floor and tries to follow up with a springboard moonsault but loses his footing and falls backwards. He goes back up and hits it then waits for Sasuke to come back in. Sasuke tries a German suplex but Taka flips out and hits a belly to belly suplex for two. He then lands the Mickinoku Driver and goes up top for a moonsault but misses as Sasuke moves! Sasuke goes for a moonsault of his own off the ropes but Taka hits a dropkick then gets backdropped to the floor. Sasuke gets a running start and unleashes the Space Flying Tiger Drop over the top to the floor! If you aren’t sure what that is, look it up, but suffice to say, the commentators are speechless. Back in the ring and Taka kicks out at two after a Sasuke bridging German suplex. Sasuke then hits the Thunder Tiger Bomb (A Razor’s Edge into a power bomb) for the win but Brian Christopher isn’t impressed. Well, he’d be the only one.

Crush vs. Savio Vega

Before the match starts, we see a highlight package of the history of the original Nation of Domination. That incarnation of the Nation was disbanded because of the incompetence and infighting between Savio and Crush. Now, each man has his own faction and they will go one on one now. Speaking of Los Boricuas and the DOA, they are at ringside for this match. Referee Tim White is trying to get all members out of the ring so Savio and Crush can start this match. Savio jumps Crush and chokes him against the ropes then slams his head against the turnbuckle. Crush then reverses a backdrop attempt and tries to break Savio in half across his knee. Savio ducks a big boot then knocks Crush to the floor with a spinning heel kick. Crush lands at the feet of the Boricuas but the DOA come over to make sure they can’t do any damage. Back in the ring and Crush hits a clothesline to knock Savio down and the DOA go after him. Now the Boricuas come over to defend their leader and it’s a double disqualification as all eight men brawl. Jesus is dropped across a Harley before the officials can break it up.

In the back, Paul Bearer seems pleased with himself. Paul refuses to apologize for his actions last week. He isn’t the killer, the Undertaker is, so he should apologize. Vince wants to know why we should believe him. Paul says we should believe him because Kane told him the story himself. Kane is disfigured and charred but he is alive and one day he will come face to face with Taker. Paul can’t wait for that day.

Final Round Tag Team Tournament Match: Faarooq and D-Lo Brown vs. Two Time Slammy Award Winner and Intercontinental Champion Owen Hart and European Champion The British Bulldog

The winners of this match will face “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and a partner of his choosing next week on Raw, live from San Antonio, Texas. San Antonio? Hmmmm. Kama is with the Nation while Anvil and Brian Pillman are with Owen and Bulldog. Needless to say, Owen and Bulldog get an insane reaction as Brian Pillman holds up a sign that says “Nation of Masturbation” that he got from the crowd. Austin is in the back watching and says he doesn’t care who his partner is next week and will never pick Mankind to be his partner because he’s a freak. Vince cuts him off and we go to break.

The bell rings and Owen starts out with D-Lo. Owen goes down after a shoulder block but takes D-Lo over with an arm drag. D-Lo fights back with a back elbow but misses an elbow drop. Bulldog and Faarooq tag in. Bulldog hits a power slam off the ropes on Faarooq and follows it up with a clothesline, but D-Lo attacks from behind to give the Nation the advantage. Faarooq tags in D-Lo who hits a standing leg drop and gets a two count. Faarooq comes back in and tries a back drop but Bulldog slams his head against the canvas. Luckily for him, Faarooq tags D-Lo right back in and he snap suplexes the Bulldog for another two count. D-Lo slows down the pace with a chin lock but Bulldog fights back until D-Lo drives a knee into the midsection and reapplies the chin lock. Faarooq and D-Lo switch place illegally - behind the referee’s back, and Faarooq gets a two count on the Bulldog after a power slam of his own. He goes for a follow up splash but Bulldog gets his knees up. D-Lo tags back in and stops Bulldog from getting to his corner. Quick tag back to Faarooq who goes for the Dominator but Bulldog reveres it into a backdrop and finally makes the tag to Owen! D-Lo also comes back in and gets dropkicked and hit with a patented spinning heel kick. Owen Hart is on fire until Kama pulls the top rope down and then slams Owen on the floor! Anvil and Pillman come over to help and it’s a melee on the floor. All of a sudden, Owen is able to sneak back into the ring before the 10 count expires to win the match for his team by count out! After the match, Mankind runs out in an Austin 3:16 shirt and tells the Hart Foundation he’ll see them next week.

Again we go to the back to talk to Steve Austin. He is facing Hunter Hearst Helmsley tonight. Austin says he’s already done King of the Ring and he doesn’t mind punching out Chyna.

The War Zone comes on the air with highlights from the first hour of the show. We start with a match that is being billed as a first time affair, but I seem to recall these two men locking up at last year’s In Your House: Buried Alive as Hunter was subbing for Savio Vega at the time.

Half of the Tag Team Champions “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley

Chyna is with Hunter and Austin gets booed unmercifully, but it’s okay because he loves it and is feeding off it. Before the match starts, Austin walks to the announce table and jacks Vince’s water. We then see highlights of the Mankind/Hunter brawl from last night’s In Your House. Chyna got involved then the two men brawled all over the Saddledome, inside and out. Back live and Austin locks up with Hunter. They break and go nose to nose then trade reversals. Austin then mocks Hunter’s bow, which was great. Austin goes to work on the arm so Hunter goes to the eye. Hunter punches away at Austin in the corner but Austin reverses it and sends Hunter to the opposite corner and over the top. On the floor, Austin drops Hunter throat first across the guardrail then tries to bring him back in with a suplex but Hunter reverses it and rolls Austin up for two. Austin hits a quick clothesline and gets a two count as well. We go to break.

Back live and Austin is pounding away on Hunter and puts him on the top turnbuckle. Austin goes for a suplex but Hunter drops him down to the mat and jumps, but Austin gets his foot up. He sends Hunter to the corner but Hunter now gets a boot up and Austin goes down. Hunter pounds and kicks Austin in the corner then drops a knee. The crowd doesn’t know who to cheer for as Hunter is a heel but they hate Austin. Weird. Hunter gest caught in an inverted atomic drop but sidesteps Austin and hits a clothesline. Austin ducks under a clothesline and it’s Lou Thesz Press time! Chyna grabs a chair and leaves it on the apron then goes over and trips Austin up! From behind Hunter takes Austin down with a clothesline. Now Hunter picks up the chair as Chyna distracts the referee but Mankind runs down to the make the save! Unfortunately, Hunter sees him and plasters him with the chair! Austin is up though and Hunter turns around into a Stunner which gets Austin the three count and the win!

After the match, Austin grabs a microphone and tells Mankind to get up and come in the ring. Austin says he doesn’t like Mankind but will go to war with him. If Mankind shakes Austin’s hand, they’ll be a team. Mankind wants a hug instead, so they hug. Austin then stuns him! DTA! Austin tells Mankind he will never be his partner. Mankind now has the microphone and says he was just looking for some respect. It’s apparent now that drastic measures will be taken. Next week he’ll do something he never thought he’d have to do again. Next week, everything changes. Bang bang?

Sunny is in the ring for guest announcing. I think she said something about the competitors, I don’t know, I was too busy staring.

Brian Christopher vs. Eric Shelley

I’m paying attention again as Sunny explains Shelley is representing all of Canada. Last week Jerry Lawler helped Brian win his match against Scott Putski which causes Ivan Putski to challenge King and Brian this past week. King accepts after mocking Ivan – it’ll be King and Brian Christopher taking on Ivan and Scott Putski next week on Raw. Brian goes to shake Eric’s hand but hits a clothesline instead. He kicks away at Shelley but gets monkey flipped for his troubles. Brian fights back with The Stroke then a release Northern Lights suplex. Shelly gets a quick roll up for two then sends Brian to the floor with a standing dropkick. Shelley goes for a plancha over the top but Brian moves and Shelley goes splat. Back in and Christopher hits a dropkick off the second rope to the back of Shelley’s head. Shelley hits his own dropkick then goes to splash Brian in the corner, but Christopher moves out of the way and hits an inverted DDT off the second rope to set up his top rope leg drop for the win.

After the match, I assume Sunny announced Brian Christopher as the winner, but again, I was too distracted to listen. King goes in the ring then spike piledrives Eric Shelley with Brian Christopher’s help and promises that and more for the Putski’s next week.

After the break, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin makes his way back to the ring. He calls Vince in the ring right now. Vince shows clips of Austin being handcuffed last night then flipping everyone off while he was cuffed! Austin doesn’t care about the Canadians and is proud of his actions last night and tonight. Austin again tells Vince he doesn’t care who his partner is next week and pretty much tells Gorilla Monsoon to pick one for him. As for Summerslam, Perhaps inspired by Bret Hart’s stipulation earlier tonight, Austin tells us that if he doesn’t beat Owen Hart, he’ll kiss his ass right in the middle of the ring! “I’ll kiss his ass if I can’t kick it!”

Bret “Hitman” Hart vs. Goldust

Earlier today, Goldust told us he’s going to beat Bret tonight. Well, I’m sold! No Marlena tonight. Vince tells us Marlena is home with Dakota who is under the weather. Bret is also flying solo, strangely enough. The Canadian crowd goes ape. Back to the action as Bret Hart attacks early and dumps Dust to the floor then drops him across the guardrail. He throws Goldust back in and hits an inverted atomic drop and follows it up with a clothesline. Bret then rakes the eyes of Goldust across the top rope. This has been all Bret Hart so far. He slams Goldust and drops an elbow. He then locks Goldust upside down in the corner and kicks away. All of a sudden, the DOA make an appearance and come down the ramp on their bikes. Goldust and Bret brawl on the floor, right in front of the motorcycles then go back in the ring. Now, the Hart Foundation makes their way to the ring, as we go to break.

We return with the DOA sitting around the ring on their bikes while the Harts are watching from the bottom of the ramp. What does the DOA have to do with any of this? Bret hits a backbreaker on Goldust then his second rope elbow drop. That gets him a two count. Bret hits his Russian leg sweep for another two count. Goldust fights back with a snap mare and a short elbow drop. He then locks on a chin lock. All of a sudden, the LOD and Ken Shamrock come out and stand at the midpoint of the ramp as Goldust takes Bret down by the hair. Goldust hits a flying clothesline for two then returns to the chin lock. And now Steve Austin has come out and is at the top of the ramp. Bret gets another two count after a snap suplex. Goldust goes for a sunset flip but Bret blocks it and gets the three count for the win. The Harts come in to celebrate as Austin looks on disgusted, we fade to black.

Next week, we’ll see the one night return of Hall of Famer Ivan Putski. Plus, who will be Stone Cold’s partner in his fight against Bulldog and Owen?

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