September 28, 2009
Scott Criscuolo & Justin Rozzero

Survivor Series 97
November 9, 1997
Molson Centre
Montreal, Quebec
Attendance: 20,593
Buy Rate: .89
Announcers: Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler

1) Road Dog (Brian Armstrong), Billy Gunn (Monte Sop) & the Godwinns defeat Headbangers & the New Blackjacks

Survivors: Billy Gunn and Jesse Jammes

Eliminations:
Bradshaw (John Layfield) beat Henry Godwinn (Mark Canterbury) at 3:53
Phineas Godwinn (Dennis Knight) beat Barry Windham in 5:15
Billy Gunn beat Mosh (Chaz Warrington) in 8:46
Thrasher (Glen Ruth) beat Phineas in 12:39
Jesse Jammes beat Bradshaw in 13:46
Billy Gunn beats Thrasher in 15:26

Fun Fact: Since neither guy was going anywhere in their current roles, creative decided to start teaming Jammes and Gunn up on the House Show circuit and see what kind of response they would get. So, on an episode of Shotgun Saturday Night, Jesse Jammes confronted Rockabilly and convinced him to dump the Honky Tonk Man as a manager and that they should join up. Rockabilly smashed Honky with his guitar and left with Jammes. The two began teaming regularly and gelled very, very quickly and actually started getting decent reactions. The Vinces liked what they saw, decided to run with it, and the rest is history.

Scott: The first match of this historic night is the beginning of a long run involving the new hot tag team in the WWF: Jesse Jammes and Billy “Did anyone really care?” Gunn. Their banter coming into the ring would be their calling card, and in the beginning it was a little rough and very insulting. They hadn’t given themselves their eventual team nickname just yet, but the swagger was just starting to work out the kinks. The other teams are just other teams put together. The Godwinns are just there, no change at all. The New Blackjacks are the same, except they’re faces. We hadn’t seen them in a while, since the tag team tournament in August. The Headbangers were tag team champs last month. Now, it seems like they’re an afterthought. It’s a shame what happened to tag teams in 1997. They make a big splash debut, or had a 1-2 month hot streak, and now they carry no heat. This was the first sign that the mid-card and tag team situation was due for another overhaul, and that would come soon. The Outlaws survive the match, and are prepared for their big push. Also in the match was Jerry Lawler’s first inquiry into where Vince McMahon was, conspicuous by his absence. JR said “He’s very busy right now.” Yeah, I’ll bet he was. This was a decent opener, but nothing to write home about. Grade: 2

Justin: An OK opener that existed just to put over the future New Age Outlaws. While they were looking good on the House Show circuit, their PPV debut is less than thrilling, which is evidenced at the end of the match, when Billy misses a leg drop off the top rope by about 4 feet. As Scott said, none of these teams had any heat going, so the crowd is kind of flat for this, and the workrate wasn’t enough to bring them back. Thankfully, the tag division would get a bit stronger in 1998, as 1997 was just a year of chaos with makeshift teams and backstage mayhem. The new team on the block picks up a big win and begins what will be a long journey of tag team domination. Grade: 1.5

2) The Truth Commission defeats the Disciples of Apocalypse

Survivor:
Interrogator

Eliminations:
Interrogator (Robert Maillet) beat Chainz (Brian Harris) in 1:16
Skull (Don Harris) pins Jackyl (Don Callis) in 2:50
Skull pins Recon (Barry Buchanan) at 5:20
Sniper (Luc Porier) pins Skull at 6:28
Interrogator pins 8-Ball (Ron Harris) at 8:48
Crush (Brian Adams) pins Sniper at 9:45
Interrogator pins Crush at 9:56

Fun Fact: This is Crush’s final WWF PPV as Crush. He would make one final appearance in 2001 as a member of Kronik, but for all intents and purposes, this was the end of his run. His overall PPV record is 3-18. He was 0-4 in Rumbles, 0-4 at Wrestlemania, 0-3 at King of the Ring, 1-1 at Summerslam, 0-4 at Survivor Series and 2-2 in other events (including Unforgiven 2001). His only 3 wins were against Repo-Man at Summerslam 1992, in a 6-Man Tag at Final Four, and the 8-man tag at Badd Blood.

Fun Fact II: During the summer, the Truth Commission returned to TV after disappearing after their couple of appearances in February. At the time The Commandant, a crazy South African who just yelled all the time, was still leading them. I guess Vince thought the needed a more articulate leader, so he ditched the Commandant and put the Jackyl in charge of the group. The Jackyl was a great talker and added as much legitimacy to the Commission as they would ever get.

Scott: This was the re-inventing of the Gang Warz. Once the Rock joined the Nation, they graduated from this silly storyline onto bigger and better things. So, this group of South African supremacists, the Truth Commission, takes its place. It doesn’t really matter anyway, as by the turn of the year; the whole gang thing dissipates anyway. The DOA, who with their tough biker look was the most popular of the groups, achieved the least success for one reason. As mentioned in previous reviews, it seems as if Vince didn’t want to be accused of racism, so he jobbed the white guys for the black team and in particular the Hispanic Los Boricuas. It happens again here, mostly because Crush would leave and the other guys would be spread out. As for the match itself, it pretty much sucked. This storyline was getting so stale it needed to end. Thankfully, it did. Grade: 1.5

Justin: A pretty big throwaway match here with one sole purpose: push the Interrogator as a monster. The Commission would last a couple more months and then the Interrogator would be renamed Kurgan, and he and Jackyl would be out on their own. The Jackyl is being portrayed by Don Callis, who had been plying his trade in Canada and in other countries around the world. After wrestling in a tryout match in 1996, Vince decided to eventually bring him in as a manager. This is also the last time the DOA would be featured in its entirety, as Crush quit the federation over the Bret Hart screwjob and would be the newest NWO member by the end of 1997. This was a decent brawl, but nothing worth watching. Grade: 1.5

*** They poll the crowd outside the Molson Centre on who would win the World Title match, and a majority of the fans wanted Shawn Michaels to win. Maybe they knew something no one else did? ***

3) Team Canada defeats Team USA

Survivor:
British Bulldog

Eliminations:
Steve Blackman was counted out at 5:47
Vader (Leon White) pins Jim Neidhart at 7:32
Vader pins Phil LaFon (Dan Kroffat) at 9:07
Doug Furnas pins Marc Mero at 11:59
Goldust (Dustin Runnells) was counted out at 17:00
Vader pins Doug Furnas at 17:35
British Bulldog (David Smith) pins Vader at 17:47

Fun Fact: Doug Furnas and Phil LaFon had been MIA since earlier in the year as they were involved in a car accident along with Sid and Flash Funk in the summer. A couple of weeks before this show, they had their return match, and later that night, they helped Team Canada in a beat down of Vader, thus turning them heel and on the side of Canada. I am not sure if they quit because of the screw job or if they were fired, but either way, this is about it for them.

Fun Fact II: Marc Mero had been out of action since February due to having reconstructive knee surgery. He made a few appearances here and there stopping Sable from modeling WWF apparel for the live crowds. This was his return match, and, while he wasn’t a heel yet, he had heelish tendencies, and would make the full turn just a week or so after this show. He is also featuring a shaved head, which Vince thought he needed for his heel run, and a more toned down arsenal, which was necessitated by his injury.

Fun Fact III: According to sources, Steve Blackman was supposed debut way back in 1989 but before he appeared, he wrestled a tour in Africa. While overseas, he contracted a severe case of Malaria and was bed-ridden for a couple of years and nearly died. Once he recovered and got back into ring shape, he contacted Vince and was given another chance. He debuted on Raw, when he jumped out of the crowd and saved Vader.

Fun Fact IV: Goldust was back on the heel side, and weirder than ever. In a sit-down interview, Dustin flipped out on Marlena, claiming she was holding him back from being himself and that he found someone new that would allow him to do so. So in the storyline, Marlena was out and a week or so after this show, Luna Vachon was in. Here, Goldust has FU written on his face, which stood for Forever Unchained. He is also sporting the old Bob Orton cast, which he milked for weeks, and is his reason for not wrestling here, which raises the ire of Vader and leads to their feud.

Fun Fact V: This is Jim Neidhart’s final WWF PPV. His final record was 9-12. He was 1-2 at the Rumble (0-2 in Rumbles), 3-3 at Wrestlemania, 1-0 at King of the Ring, 1-2 at Summerslam, 2-3 at Survivor Series and 1-0 at other PPVs. Amazingly, the Anvil never had a one on one singles match on PPV. He was either in tag matches or battle royals/Rumbles.

Scott: This was the final chapter of the USA/Canada war for 1997. Little did we know why it would end until after the show ended, but in any case Canada comes out on top in the final battle. Davey Boy Smith was embarrassed by the fuckstick that is Shawn Michaels at the One Night Only PPV in England a couple of months before, but is the survivor of the match, and the Molson Centre crowd is ecstatic. Knowing what I know now, the end of this match was quite sad. Davey Boy was an innocent victim of the Shawn Michaels/Bret Hart turf war. He would be back by 1999, but it wouldn’t be the same. As for the others: Goldust has re-heeled out, and would tackle the new hot face Vader in a couple of months. Furnas and LaFon wouldn’t be back, and unfortunately Steve Blackman’s debut goes unnoticed. Shane McMahon’s pet project will be pushed heavily in 1998, with unlimited talent and a thimble of charisma. What’s really screwed up as well is that Vader’s team is half heels (Goldust and Mero). A very dysfunctional but entertaining match and it did get the crowd going. Grade: 3

Justin: A pretty good match that featured some awesome crowd heat and very loud pops for Team Canada (featuring only one Canadian, by the way) and a lot of dissension on Team USA. Besides Vader, the rest of the team is in shambles and did not represent the USA as well as the Canadian Stampede unit did. Blackman is counted out early as they used the old newcomer didn’t know the rules deal, Mero is only out for himself and could give a shit about anything else and Goldust doesn’t even get in the match until Vader throws him in the ring, followed by him running away. Bulldog and Anvil get their final moment in the sun before bolting for WCW, as they receive a huge ovation from the Montreal crowd. Not the greatest match in the world, but a good sendoff for the Canada/USA feud that carried the Federation through most of 1997. It is funny that this match featured just two of the original members in the Canada/USA feud: Bulldog and Anvil, so it was nice to see Davey Boy win the match. Grade: 3

4) Kane (Glen Jacobs) defeats Mankind (Mick Foley) with a Tombstone at 9:29

Fun Fact: Kane was of course the same man that had the failed gimmicks of Isaac Yankem and Faux Diesel. Finally Glen Jacobs gets a gimmick that sticks. Kane kept coming down during various matches on Raw and assaulting whoever was in the ring, most notably, the Hardy Boyz, who had been nothing more than jobbers at this point. One week, he went too far and beat up the fun-loving Dude Love and gave him a chokeslam him on the metal grating outside the ring, thus raising the ire of Mankind and setting up this bout here.

Scott: This was the in-ring debut of Kane, who cost Undertaker the match of the year at Badd Blood. As Dude Love, Mick Foley took a brutal beating at the hands of the Big Red Monster, so he morphs into Mankind to face him. The match is wrestled under Kane’s red light, which gives you such a headache; you can’t really focus on the action, so it kills the whole grade. I tried to be diplomatic for the sake of the action. This masked behemoth really freaks the audience out, and becomes a very important part of the WWF renaissance in the coming year. He also continues his run with the Undertaker the following month, while Mick Foley begins the most important year of his career, as he goes from lovable midcarder, to bona fide superstar. Grade: 2

Justin: A decent debut of Kane here, as he was still gaining his bearings and learning to wrestle a) under a mask and in that slow-Undertaker methodical style. Mick drags a good brawl out of him, but as Scott said the lighting kind of ruins this match, and I am glad they did not stick with that idea, because it would have made many matches unbearable to watch. This is Mick’s last PPV match as Mankind until June 1998, not counting a brief appearance in the Rumble, as he would morph into his most popular character just a couple of weeks after this show. Kane will continue to roll on as he was on a collision course with his brother. Grade: 2

*** Michael Cole interviews Commissioner Slaughter and Vince McMahon, wearing his now familiar suits, permanently putting away the black Raw denim jacket. Slaughter says that there is plenty of security backstage to make sure the WWF Title match happens. Vince also had foreboding words about this match not happening for a very long time, and now it will happen. Cole puts McMahon on the spot who he thinks will win. He says, “I don’t know”. Right here you just feel strange about the whole mood of this show from this point on. ***

5) Ken Shamrock, Ahmed Johnson (Tony Norris) & Legion of Doom defeat the Nation of Domination

Survivor:
Ken Shamrock

Eliminations:
Rocky Maivia (Dwayne Johnson) pins Hawk (Mike Hegstrand) at 2:15
Ahmed Johnson pins Faarooq (Ron Simmons) at 4:39
Rocky Maivia pins Ahmed Johnson at 6:19
Animal pinned Kama (Charles Wright) at 10:53
Animal (Joe Laurinatis) is counted out at 15:26
Ken Shamrock forces D-Lo Brown (A.C. Conner) to submit at 17:10
Ken Shamrock forces Rocky Maivia to submit at 20:33

Fun Fact: This is the Legion of Doom’s final PPV appearance as Tag Team Champions. The LOD challenged the Godwinns to a Tag Title Match on the 10/13 episode of Raw and promised that if they could not finally win the titles, they would officially retire. During the match, Animal was “injured” and Hawk was forced to go it alone. After a Dusty finish where the Godwinns tried to get intentionally disqualified, Animal returned and he and Animal polished off their rivals and won their final Tag Team titles.

Scott: The first step of what would be almost a yearlong feud between Ken Shamrock and Rocky Maivia was here. The Nation steps away from the Gang Wars to face the legendary LOD and Shammy. You can feel the electricity in the arena reaching a fever pitch during this match and the action, although not 5-stars, does get the crowd going. Rock takes a big step in his career next month, as does Shamrock. Rock’s star was definitely on the rise, since he pinned ½ of the greatest tag team ever in the first two minutes. You can also tell that Rock would eventually usurp Faarooq as head of the Nation, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves. The other participants are floating in limbo, except for D-Lo Brown. The portly mid-carder made his in-ring debut when he was jobber AC Conner. He begins a slow build to a solid mid-card career. Shamrock makes Rocky tap, not the first or last time he would do it. He just couldn’t do it when it mattered. This was a solid, energetic match. Grade: 3

Justin: A pretty good battle here between constant enemies. Ahmed and Faarooq’s feud is now 16 months and counting, and Shamrock would start an equally long war with the Rock here. LOD was riding high here, having won the Tag Team Titles just weeks prior to this show, but they would come crashing down just weeks after this show. Ahmed seems to get a boost of energy around this period, but he would finally be turfed come February when he starts getting into ridiculous arguments with management. Shamrock’s stock was on the rise here and he would have a career year in 1998, as would the Rock. This was a good, solid brawl that the crowd was into big time, and it was nice to see some new blood getting a chance to shine on the big stage. Grade: 3

6) Steve Austin (Steve Williams) defeats Owen Hart to win WWF Intercontinental Title with a Stone Cold Stunner at 4:02

Fun Fact: This is Austin’s first match back since his neck was broken at Summerslam. Despite being on the DL, Austin still played a pivotal role on TV throughout August, September and October. Austin had a sit-down interview with Jim Ross in August from his home in Texas and proceeded to rip on Owen and eventually place a picture of Owen’s face on a target and shoot arrows with it. He also had a picture of Owen taped to a horse’s ass to show just what he thought of him. Then at Ground Zero, Austin was forced to forfeit his Tag Team title (with Dude Love) and finally snapped, stunning Jim Ross. The following night, Steve laid out Commissioner Slaughter when he tried to eject him from the building, and the next week on Raw, Steve was served with a Temporary Restraining Order by Owen, and while reading it, Jerry Lawler was looking over his shoulder and he received a Stunner as well. Finally, on the September 22 Raw, the first ever at Madison Square Garden, Austin lost it and stunned Vince McMahon in the middle of the ring when Vince tried to get him to sign a release. The crowd went berserk and everyone was shocked as Vince had never been featured in an angle like this before. Austin was arrested and suspended, but Vince eventually allowed him to come back and fight Owen at Survivor Series. Austin was forced to sign a release, however, stating he would not sue the WWF if he were injured in the match.

Scott: In the re-match of Summerslam, Austin regains the IC Title in his first match back since the devastating neck injury. The length of the match shows that. Owen, the great heel that he is, tries to get himself disqualified throughout the very quick match. This match was paced like it was on RAW, and was really on this card to get the gold off of Owen (for obvious reasons) and to regain Austin’s face power. This would be their last singles match together. Austin harbored some ill feelings for Owen for a while, but Austin, the professional he is, didn’t look for repercussions. Owen milked the injury angle big time, and gave him big time heel heat. It also made Owen a tough son of a bitch. Owen’s career takes a sharp turn soon, and Austin starts his ascent to the top right here. Grade: 1.5

Justin: The crowd was amped for this match, as Owen had egged them on by wearing his now-famous “Owen 3:16 says I just broke your neck” shirt in the weeks leading up to this match. It is funny that they had this match here, because Austin would have been guaranteed a huge pop and a decisive crowd backing him anywhere but Canada, as the crowd is split quite evenly. Austin really should not have been wrestling here, as he is barely healed, which is why this match is so short. Knowing know what we do, it makes sense why Austin needed to pick up the win here, but he definitely was still a ways away from being his old self in the ring. The crowd heat is insane, but the action is lacking, yet it’s still a good moment to see Austin back in the ring holding the gold after the scare he went through 3 months earlier. Grade: 1.5

*** A short vignette for “WWF Attitude” airs. The seed is planted for the renaissance. It was weird to see Bret Hart in anything that said “Attitude” on it. ***

7) Shawn Michaels (Michael Hickenbottom) defeats Bret Hart to win WWF World Title when Vince McMahon tells the referee and timekeeper to end the match at 12:19

Fun Fact: We’re not talking about the facts and the story of the screw job, because there are more in-depth writings about it elsewhere. So here is the link: http://www.brethart.com/montreal/facts.asp. We also recommend watching Wrestling with Shadows, as it also gives you great insight into the incident.

Fun Fact II: Bret Hart’s final WWF PPV record (including Rumbles and Survivor Matches) was 31-26-1. He was 2-5-1 at the Rumble, 7-6 at Wrestlemania, 4-1 at King of the Ring, 6-4 at Summerslam, 4-7 at Survivor Series, 3-1 at In Your House and 5-2 in “other” events.

Scott: Well, there it is. This is the official end of Bret Hart’s WWF career. Now when we wrote the first draft of this review back in 2004 I was officially in Bret Hart’s camp. I thought the whole thing was ridiculous and what Vince and Shawn Michaels planned was complete bullshit. However, now that it’s been a few years, my opinion has softened some, and my opinion of Bret has changed a little. First the match: a great brawl that really starts the match for 7 minutes before the bell even rings. Then the match itself is 12 minutes of pure fighting. Two guys who absolutely despise each other. Now, let’s talk opinions. Justin will get into Vince’s side of the story on this. I will take Bret’s side. Bret Hart should have seen the writing on the wall that his days were numbered. It was common knowledge at this point that he was off to WCW, and that he would be losing the title soon. Bret was told this match would end in a schmozz, and that he would drop the title soon before he left. Vince, for some reason, didn’t trust Bret to let it happen. So he pulled this switcheroo without Bret’s knowledge. Whatever power play Bret supposedly pulled to Vince on where he would drop the title, Vince should have respected his wishes and came up with another option. If Eric Bischoff had offered Bret Hart extra money to leave with the title, I’m sure Bret had the morals (as he claims he does to this day) to tell Easy E that wasn’t an option. Bischoff should have understood that, if he had any kind of scruples whatsoever (as he says he has to this day). No one will ever know what negotiations went on between them. So I think Bret would have done the right thing had Vince taken the time to really think his options out. Having said all that, we’re now over 10 years since this happened. I think Vince is getting over it, but really Bret needs to get over it too. Bret Hart returned to Titan Towers in 2005 to put together a 3-disc DVD about his career (and a fantastic DVD at that). When he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006, he showed up to the ceremony the night before Wrestlemania XXII in Chicago to a great ovation and a great speech. Yet the next night at Wrestlemania, he decides not to show up when the inductees are announced. That bothered me because he robbed the fans of a great moment, and it’s a sign that Bret really isn’t over it. Frankly, no one in wrestling really cares anymore. He shouldn’t care either. Back to 1997: Shawn Michaels is the Champion now, no matter how much of an unscrupulous scumbag he is. With this verdict and chain of events leading to this verdict, the WWF now is under a very dark cloud and the next month or so would be the most depressing in the WWF in years. Grade: 3.5

Justin: Just for shits and giggles, I am going to take a rare position here and defend Vincent Kennedy McMahon on this issue. Now, it is 1997 and the WWF has been soundly beaten in the ratings wars for 15 or so months. While the product is getting better and the fans are returning slowly but surely, Vince is still hemorrhaging money left and right, and there is a very real chance that you could be out of business if you don’t make some smart and savvy business moves. Now, Eric Bischoff had already signed away some key talent just a year earlier that helped swing the War in his favor and one more blow could kill you off forever. When Bret Hart took the summer of 1996 off, the rumors were swirling that he would jump to WCW and be the 3rd man in the NWO, a move that would have sunk the WWF at the time. Vince panicked and gave Bret a 20-year deal to keep him in the Fed. Fast forward one year, and Vince wants to take things in a different direction, a more adult direction, which Bret doesn’t believe in. After reviewing his books and future plans, Vince realized that what he was paying Bret was not worth the money Bret was bringing him in return, so he basically told Bret he would let him out of his deal to go sign a bigger one with WCW, as Vince now had 3 red-hot stars in Michaels, Austin and Undertaker that he thought could carry him forward and that was something he was lacking in 1996. Now, while things were looking up (enough that Bret could go), if Bret appeared on Monday Nitro with the WWF World Title around his waist, it would have absolutely killed the WWF and put WCW over the top for good. At this point, you can argue Bret’s loyalty up and down, over and over, but, how can you guarantee 100% that Eric Bischoff (who was hell bent at driving Vince out of business for good) and Ted Turner would not have thrown $5 million extra at Bret to bring the strap with him. I don’t care what Bret has said, if he was offered that much money to screw Vince over, he would have in a heartbeat. What if Bischoff offered and Bret didn’t do it? Then Bret signs with WCW and gets buried for not being a team player and Vince no longer wants him, so he is up shit creek without a paddle. Now, this is all “what if” and “maybe,” but in Vince’s position, he had to be weary and cognizant of all these possibilities. Even though he screwed him, Vince may have fully trusted Bret at his word, but he did not trust Eric Bischoff, and you can not take a chance like that at a time like late-1997. Even if you physically steal the belt during the match and still go through with the schmozz ending, you still have your undefeated World Champion on the opposing show. It was just too damn risky for Vince, and if Bret (a known self-mark) was balking at dropping the title to Shawn at the PPV, who says he wouldn’t have backed out of his word after the show. Bret Hart is an unbelievable wrestler and one of the all time greats, but I get tired of him being type cast as some sort of perfect angel throughout all of this. Just because Vince screwed him before he could screw Vince doesn’t make him sympathetic, it just makes him look stupid. This is a business, and unfortunately, loyalty takes a back seat to that sometimes. Vince is loyal, almost to a fault, but in this situation, he did what he had to do to save his livelihood. Maybe it is different if Vince is some bean counting CEO, but he is the sole owner (at the time) of the company, and had thousands of employees that he pays and takes care of. Can he risk their loyalty to satiate a man who did not want to lose a “title” in a pre-determined match to make sure his legacy is preserved? I love Bret Hart, but this is hardly Babe Ruth sadly hanging around the Braves to get one last shot at managing. Bret was doing just fucking fine, and if WCW wasn’t so inept (as Vince predicted), he would probably be leading the company at the forefront right now. I am not going say that Bret is totally at fault, but neither is Vince. Both parts are equally wrong and deserve blame for not being men and settling the issue before it got to this point, but please spare me the whining and crying over Bret Hart’s legacy. Grade: 2.5

FINAL ANALYSIS:

Scott: This is the end of the second chapter of the WWF Modern era. From 1993 until now, we’ve seen some great moments and characters, and some not-go great moments and characters. With Hulk Hogan out, the WWF showcased some young and exciting talent (Bret, Owen, HBK, Razor, Diesel, Yoko and the great Waylon Mercy) and a lot of shit (Mabel, Taker/Corporation storyline, Giant Gonzales, Underfaker, almost everything in 1995). This show top to bottom is average, but the ending is of course what everyone remembers. This unbelievable year in the wrestling industry is almost over and once again change is in the wind. Mid-carders are elevated, stars are coming and going, and Vince McMahon will become the most hated heel in the history of wrestling. He’s also an absolute genius. The Bret era is over, and it’s a shame, but unfortunately we must move on. The next month to six weeks would be the most controversial, sad, and morbid time in World Wrestling Federation history. Shows would suck, money would be lost, and wrestlers would jump off what they thought was a sinking ship. Vince McMahon almost threw his whole empire down the drain because of one gamble. As we would see in the future, it worked. For now, it’s very bleak. Final Grade: C

Justin: Well then, this was quite the historic show, no? Times were a changing, as this was one of the most controversial and exciting periods in wrestling history. Vince took a huge risk here and nearly tanked the company in doing so, as the fan and wrestler revolt was humongous. He took everything he had and bet half on his own creative staff (to salvage things) and half on WCW. That is right, he bet on WCW to effectively fuck up the gift Vince handed them: a sympathetic, universally-loved legend that could tear the house down in the ring. And what happened, you ask? They fucked it up! Big time. They blew any momentum they could have had and totally butchered their chance to bury Vince. So, Vince cashed in on both ends, as he, Vince Russo and his son Shane used the incident and an infamous celebrity to create the Mr. McMahon character that would catapult Steve Austin and the WWF to the forefront of the wrestling world, and they would never look back. This is definitely a tumultuous time, but it was a great time to be a fan, as there was great television being produced and an awesome feeling of unpredictability in the air. The WWF would suffer for the rest of 1997, but it was all preparation for 1998, which would bring their resurgence. Grade: C

Scott’s MVP: Bret Hart (For being the class act he is)
Justin’s MVP: None
Runner Up: Steve Austin
Scott’s Non MVP: Shawn Michaels (For the being the class act he’s not)
Justin’s Non MVP: Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart and Vince McMahon for being childish
Runner Up: The Gang Warz

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