August 30, 2009
Matt Peddycord
The Powerdriver Review

Bret Hart, Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith vs. Steve Austin, Dude Love & The Undertaker – Flag Match (WWF Raw is War 7/21/97)
Shawn Michaels was supposed to be part of the US team, but was beaten down in the back prior to the match. Bret declares that before this show can go any further, the Hart Foundation must lead the crowd in the Canadian national anthem. Well, they are in Nova Scotia. No pinfalls in this one – the only way to win is to capture your own country’s flag. Steve Austin and Dude Love come out together to go 3-on-2 with the Harts. Dude Love gets dumped as Austin and Bret get it on. Both Austin and Owen go for their respective flags and both men prevent the other from retrieving it. Commercial break! We come back to see the Undertaker has joined the US team. Owen telergraphs a backdrop on Dude and gets kicked in the mouth. Dude Love goes for the flag, but Owen puts a stop to it. Undertaker gets a tag and business has just picked up. He dominates Owen with a Chokeslam and goes for the “instinctive” cover, but that’s no good here. Austin takes over with a clothesline followed by a suplex. The usual babyfaces at least in America (if there even was such a thing as a babyface in 1997) take advantage of being hated in Canada by cheating on a chinlock. Austin puts his feet on the ropes while UT distracts the ref and Foley helps out with a little added leverage. Dude Love tags and takes over on Owen. Owen spins out of a swinging neckbreaker and hits a cool DDT, but Austin runs in to cut off the tag. Owen blocks a superplex on Austin, but Austin brings Owen over to his corner to tag in Taker as we go to another commercial break. After the break, Owen escapes Foley’s sleeper with a back suplex. He catches Dude Love with a Spinning Heel Kick, but the tag gets cut off again! Austin tags and ducks the enziguri to apply the Sharpshooter, but Owen kicks him off. Owen tries to leap over Austin and make the tag to Bret and DOES so, even though he takes a Spinebuster all the same. Austin turns around into a clothesline and the crowd explodes. Bret wants the ringpost Figure-Four, but Dude Love runs him down with a clothesline. Austin makes the tag to UT and he’s cooking on the Hart Foundation. Chokeslam to Davey Boy leads to a TOMBSTONE attempt. Bret nails him from behind to break it up. They get into a fisticuffs, which sets up a double-KO spot. UT sits up and goes for the flag, but Owen slows him down. Now Bret and Undertaker race for their flags. Brian Pillman comes in out of nowhere and stops UT from grabbing the flag – making it easy for Bret to capture the Canadian flag for the win. (12:45 shown) Certainly a lot of emotion exuding from the crowd. The Hart Foundation in 1997 were just awesome. If you’ve seen any decent amount of footage of them or especially if you were a fan back then, you would have to put these guys near the top of your favorite factions list. Also, it was a cool thing to see the American team take advantage of being hated merely because they were Americans and then use that sole reason to draw even more heel heat from the crowd. Pretty cool stuff. I want to seriously see more Raws from 1997. ***

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