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What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw - August 4, 1997

by Logan Scisco

-Vince McMahon. Jim Ross, and Jerry “the King” Lawler are in the booth and they are live from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

-The Hart Foundation, without Jim Neidhart, come out to be interviewed by Jim Ross.  Bret complains about Shawn Michaels being allowed to stay in the WWF despite him being a partial referee last night.  Ross makes it known that the Patriot will face Bret for the WWF title at the next In Your House pay-per-view and Bret makes it clear he is not worried.  Owen gets on the mic and says that his compassion for Steve Austin cost him the Intercontinental title last night, but he says that is okay because Austin will never wrestle again after their match last night.  Ross introduces the new commissioner of the WWF, Sergeant Slaughter and Slaughter will seemingly take over many of the duties of WWF President Gorilla Monsoon.  Slaughter comes out and lets Bret know he makes the rules now and he reinforces the fact that Bret will defend his title at Ground Zero against the Patriot.  Slaughter also tells the British Bulldog that he will face Ken Shamrock again at a date to be determined.  Brian Pillman is told that he will be forced to wear a dress tonight under threat of suspension and Owen is told that he will face Austin at a later date when Austin is medically cleared.  Steve Austin comes out with a neck brace in his hand and says he wants to fight Owen tonight despite not having medical clearance.

-Fans discuss how they feel about last night’s WWF title match.  Fans make it clear that they think the Undertaker was robbed in the WWF title match and that Shawn Michaels is to blame.

-McMahon interviews the Nation of Domination and Faarooq pledges that he will win the triple threat match against Crush and Savio Vega at Ground Zero.  Ahmed Johnson says he will easily take care of Chainz tonight.

-Footage of Ken Shamrock suplexing referees at the end of his match with the British Bulldog last night at SummerSlam is shown.

-Opening Contest:  Ken Shamrock defeats Kama Mustafa (w/The Nation of Domination) with a belly-to-belly suplex at 3:03:

Despite having a new look, Kama is still being billed as “The Supreme Fighting Machine.”  Just thinking about that makes me realize that the WWF blew a potential pay-per-view match for Shamrock, but that would have required Kama to actually win a match and be a regular competitor on television.  Commissioner Slaughter comes out prior to the bout and banishes the Nation from ringside.  When Kama ends up on the floor after some boring striking action, Miguel and Jesus of Los Boricuas show up and give him a double suplex on the arena floor and Shamrock follows up to win the match.  Rating:  ¼*

-Brakus lets us know that he is coming.

-Sunny comes out to be our guest ring announcer because the company has no idea what to do with her at this point.  They should have just thrown her in the Hart Foundation.

-Light Heavyweight Exhibition:  Taka Michinoku beats “Too Sexy” Brian Christopher with a cradle after taking a suplex at 3:27:

Christopher was undefeated in these light heavyweight exhibitions heading into this contest and Michinoku’s record was spotless when facing anyone not named the Great Sasuke.  Michinoku’s mobility brings a lot to the match, as it keeps Christopher on his toes and moving.  Christopher thinks he has the match under control and goes for a series of suplexes, but Michinoku cradles him after taking one of them and wins.  After the match, Lawler complains to the referee and Christopher slingshots Michinoku out of the ring.  This was a well paced television match between the two men elevated to the top of the light heavyweight division.  Rating:  **¼

-Sergeant Slaughter brings a dress to Brian Pillman in the locker room to wear for his match tonight.  When Pillman refuses, Slaughter tells him he will have to wear the dress until he wins a match on RAW and if he does not comply he will be fired.

-Paul Bearer tells the announcers that he is a better manager than Chyna and that he’s more of a man than Chyna will ever be.

-Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/Chyna) and Vader (w/Paul Bearer) wrestle to a double count out at 2:14:

If you recall, Vader’s stock has dropped a great deal since 1996, as he did not even make the SummerSlam card despite main eventing the previous year’s show.  When Bearer trips Helmsley when he runs the ropes, Chyna dropkicks him and Helmsley and Vader weakly brawl on the floor to end the match.  Vader is not happy at all with the match’s outcome.

-Call 1-900-737-4WWF to see who the WWF is recruiting to join the light heavyweight division and hear about the Hart Foundation’s celebration after last night’s SummerSlam pay-per-view.

-The Patriot tells the announce crew that there are some problems with the United States, but it does not give Bret Hart the ability to criticize and hate America.  He says his previous win over Bret was not a fluke and he pledges to beat the “undefeated” Sultan.  Well, the Sultan has not wrestled in a while, but he did lose at WrestleMania and that was a big deal.  This promo was not bad, but it was so pro-American in a corny way that I could not hold a straight face while listening to it.  It was like the Patriot went into his own Hulk Hogan-type world of American craziness.

-The Patriot beats The Sultan (w/The Iron Sheik) with Uncle Sam at 1:45:

The Patriot is using Kurt Angle’s theme and when I heard it I expected a “you suck” chant and Angle to run down and give the Sultan a series of suplexes and apply an ankle lock.  The Sultan has really let himself go, now growing a string of hair, but when you are not being used or winning matches I guess it is okay not to care.  The Patriot wastes no time slamming the Sultan and the Patriot Missile (a flying shoulder block) and Uncle Sam (a full nelson slam) put the Sultan away.

-After the match, Bret Hart comes down to the ring and when Sergeant Slaughter distracts Bret, the Patriot attacks him from behind and they weakly brawl until WWF officials tear them apart.

-McMahon interviews Shawn Michaels, who gets a mixed reaction but the loudest fans are booing.  Michaels says that he does not appreciate having McMahon, the Undertaker, Bret Hart, and the fans dump last night’s main event outcome in his lap.  Michaels says he does not care what anyone thinks and calls McMahon a dumb s.o.b. for asking if he is part of a conspiracy with Bret Hart.  McMahon takes offense and tells Michaels that he will be quaking in his boots when he faces the Undertaker at Ground Zero.  McMahon leaves, so Michaels takes over the mic and says he does not lay down for anyone and that includes the Undertaker.  Wow, talk about a shoot comment circa 1997.  Michaels tells the fans that they can go to hell and that brings out the Undertaker, which sends Michaels fleeing and McMahon back into the ring.

-The Undertaker says he’s tired of talking so much and needs to get back to taking souls.  He promises that Michaels will rest in peace, but Paul Bearer pops up on the Titantron and throws out his murder accusation some more.  Bearer says the Undertaker can make fun of him because he’s fat, but he met with Kane last night and he says that Kane is coming soon.  When the Undertaker leaves, red light floods the arena, but we do not really know why yet.  This segment, along with Michaels, was awesome television and the company cannot hope to touch this today with a ten foot pole.  It effectively transitioned the end of SummerSlam 1997 onto Shawn-Undertaker and kept the Undertaker-Kane issue alive.

-Sergeant Slaughter meets with a doctor who says that Steve Austin is suffering from spinal shock and is in no condition to wrestle tonight.

-Ahmed Johnson (w/The Nation of Domination) defeats Chainz (w/The Disciples of Apocalypse) with a Pearl River Plunge at 2:14:

Like he did in the opener, Slaughter throws his weight around, literally and figuratively, and forces both gangs to the locker room.  The smarks in the crowd work up a loud “ECW” chant and in response, Chainz works the leg in a very non-ECW-like fashion.  Ahmed yells something into the crowd and Ross hilariously critiques it as Ahmed threatening people in the crowd with death.  McMahon just writes it off as Ahmed being “intense.”  Los Boricuas interfere for a second time in a DOA match tonight as they start up Chainz motorcycle and that distraction helps Ahmed win the match.

-After the match, the Nation of Domination and DOA tease a showdown, but when the Nation does their salute, Kama, D-Lo Brown, and Faarooq attack Ahmed Johnson, thereby ending his less than stellar affiliation with the group.

-The Godwinns beat The Headbangers when Phineas pins Mosh after Henry gives Mosh a Slop Drop at 3:49

McMahon informs us early in this match that Steve Austin will be barred from competing tonight and that Dude Love will take his place in a match against Owen Hart.  The crowd doesn’t really get into the Headbangers, so they are a team without a constituency facing the evil Godwinns.  This still does not stop Ross from hyping the Headbangers are growing crowd favorites.  After some brief back and forth action, it appears that the Headbangers are going to win, but Henry sneaks in behind the officials back and gives Mosh a Slop Drop when he has Phineas rolled up and the Godwinns steal a victory.  This was not a terrible match, but it was just dull and did not have a lot going for it.  Rating:  *½

-Goldust and Marlena come out to sit in the front row to see Brian Pillman’s next match.  Michael Cole interviews them and both say they can’t wait to see Pillman in a dress.

-Bob “Spark Plugg” Holly defeats “The Loose Cannon” Brian Pillman by count out at 2:24:

Pillman gets whistled at a lot for wearing the dress and he puts together an entertaining match with Holly.  Goldust and Marlena wave a bra at Pillman from the crowd, which causes Pillman to go out and confront them, but that results in a count out, so he has to wear the dress for a match next week.

-Bret Hart comes out to do guest commentary for the next match and Sergeant Slaughter allows that, but let’s Bret know that he will be carefully supervised.

-Dude Love pins Owen Hart when Steve Austin hits Owen with a Slammy Award at 8:22:

Seeing Bret and Lawler chummy on commentary is rather surreal since they had a feud for three years and Lawler’s crutch on commentary was to make fun of Stu and Helen Hart.  You can see some nasty bruising on Foley’s arms from last night’s cage match with Hunter Hearst Helmsley.  McMahon needles Lawler about why he suddenly likes Bret and Lawler says that he recognizes a great talent.  Unfortunately, this is a boring match as Foley is banged up from last night and Owen’s moves are spaced too far apart.  The crowd is also bummed because Austin was not included, so it has the same dynamic as the Mankind-Pillman match a month or so prior to this.  The British Bulldog wanders out, which draws the attention of Sergeant Slaughter, and that allows Bret to attack Love and roll him into the ring, where Owen applies the Sharpshooter.  Love refuses to submit, though, and Steve Austin comes out and picks up Owen’s Slammy’s from the announce table, which leads to Owen releasing the Sharpshooter.  While jawing with Slaughter and other WWF officials, Austin clocks Owen with a Slammy and helps his tag team partner pick up the win.  Rating:  *½

-After the match, Love celebrates with a couple of groupies.  One of which I think is his wife.

The Final Report Card:  Outside of the awesome interviews that started hour two, this show didn’t have a lot going for it.  With Austin injured it was clear that there was a major void as far as who was going to carry the TV matches and without Bret, the Undertaker, or Shawn Michaels wrestling on the show it was pretty devoid of star power.  The interviews prevent it from getting a thumbs down, but they are not enough to put it in thumbs up territory either.

Monday Night War Rating:  2.7 (vs. 4.4 for Nitro)

Show Evaluation:  Neutral


  1. "They should have just thrown her in the Hart Foundation" ... I think Tammy had half of them in her at the time ;)

  2. The Undertaker-Kane-Paul Bearer(yes I have to put Paul Bearer because he was such a huge part of the feud's success) feud was so great up to WrestleMania 14. The way they built the match and took their time was tremendous. Great angle, and a surprisingly decent match as well.

  3. We're approaching a very good Michaels / Mankind free tv match.

    Good review as always.

  4. "After the match,
    Love celebrates with a couple of groupies.
    One of which I think is his wife."

    According to Foley's book, one of them was his wife although I'm still not sure which one it was.

  5. She's a brunette. So...that one?


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