Skip to main content

What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw - August 18, 1997

by Logan Scisco

-Vince McMahon, Jerry “the King” Lawler, and Jim Ross are in the booth and they are in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  There are lots of ECW fans in the house and you can see their signs everywhere in the audience.  There are so many signs that they practically coat the floor audience.

-McMahon interviews Rick Rude, who claims that he is a mercenary and is willing to provide insurance to anyone willing to pay for it.  He pledges that once he is paid he makes sure to give the intended victim a “Rude Awakening.”

-Owen Hart and the British Bulldog deliver a taped promo against the Legion of Doom, where they promise to deliver some punishment in advance of the Ground Zero Fatal Four Way.

-Commissioner Sergeant Slaughter is shown arguing with Shawn Michaels in the locker room, but no audio is provided.

-Opening Contest:  Owen Hart & The British Bulldog defeated The Legion of Doom when Owen pins Animal after Henry Godwinn hits Animal with a slop bucket at 4:57:

These two teams have wrestled several times in 1997, mostly when Owen and the Bulldog held the tag team titles and both teams are vying for the “favorite” label heading into Ground Zero.  This is your standard television contest and when all hell breaks loose in the ring, the Godwinns interfere and give Owen and the Bulldog the victory.  After the match, the three teams brawl with each other to emphasize that every team will be for themselves at Ground Zero.  Evidently the Godwinns-LOD issue is building for a house show taking place in Chicago this Saturday.  Rating:  **

-Mankind cuts a pre-taped promo saying that he is not sure if the Undertaker can trust him in their match against Shawn Michaels and Hunter Hearst Helmsley tonight.

-Shawn Michaels tells the announce team that he is tired of being painted into a corner.  He says that he is not supposed to face the Undertaker until Ground Zero and that he does not want to team with Hunter Hearst Helmsley because they are not partners.

-Sunny comes out to be the guest ring announcer for our next match because she has nothing better to do.

-Brian Christopher says that his loss to Taka Michinoku a couple of weeks ago was a fluke and to prove it he is going to beat Flash Funk.

-Flash Funk says that he is not a stepping stone.

-Flash Funk pins “Too Sexy” Brian Christopher with the Funky Flash Splash at 3:40:

The sound crew messes up the ring entrances, as they play Flash Funk’s theme music for Christopher and it does not fit Christopher’s entrance mannerisms.  The problem with the light heavyweight division is on display in this match as expanding the weight limits and categories could have involved some previously established superstars like Funk.  Of course, that may not mean much since Funk hardly wins matches anymore, but it would at least give some guys something to do.  When Christopher goes for the Tennessee Jam, Lawler leaves the announce table and tells Christopher to go for the piledriver and this distraction allows Funk to crotch Christopher on the top rope and finish him off.  Funk has racked up a two match RAW winning streak, but the bookers still do not have anything for him to do.  Rating:  **

-After the match, Sunny consoles Lawler over his son’s loss as McMahon and Ross hype the house show circuit, as well as the Monday Night Raw coming from Madison Square Garden on September 22nd.

-The Undertaker says his patience with Shawn Michaels has run out and he will settle the score with him before Ground Zero and if Mankind gets out of line he will be taken out as well.

-Sergeant Slaughter and Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Chyna are showing arguing backstage, but like Michaels segment earlier there is no audio.

-Ken Shamrock beats The Sultan (w/The Iron Sheik) via submission to the ankle lock at 3:16:

Shamrock survives a some token resistance from the Sultan, which includes the Iron Sheik breaking his Iranian flag across Shamrock’s back, and then gives both of them belly-to-belly suplexes.  A hurricanrana and ankle lock get the victory.  Rating:  *

-The announce team talks about tonight’s tag team main event.

-The Nation of Domination, with their new acquisition Rocky Maivia, come out and demand that Jim Ross interview them.  The crowd works up a “Rocky sucks” chant and Faarooq tells the crowd that Ahmed Johnson was kicked out of the Nation because he was a token black man.  Maivia says he got tired of the crowd chanting for him to die and he became a part of the Nation for respect.  Maivia says that the Nation are not racist, but the Disciples of Apocalypse are, and the Nation will win the respect of the WWF through any means necessary.  Maivia is still a little raw on the mic, but he sounds natural and conveys intensity.  The DOA appear on the Titantron and Crush challenges the Nation to come out to the parking lot for a brawl and the Nation accept.

-Goldust and Marlena are shown playing with their daughter Dakota on the beaches of Atlantic City.

-Dok Hendrix hypes the Madison Square Garden Monday Night Raw show, which will feature a triple threat match between Bret Hart, the Undertaker, and Steve Austin.  I need to see if there is footage of that match.  Shawn Michaels will also be in attendance and there will be a 25 man battle royal, with the winner to face the WWF champion at the next Madison Square Garden show.

-Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Chyna tell the announce crew that they are tired of paying for Shawn Michaels crimes and Helmsley tells McMahon that if he wants a fight then he has one.

-Helmsley and Chyna’s interview is cut off as the Disciples of Apocalypse and the Nation of Domination brawl in the parking lot, but as the groups brawl, Los Boricuas steal DOA’s motorcycles and drive off.

-“The Real Double J” Jesse James defeats “The Loose Cannon” Brian Pillman by disqualification when Goldust interferes at 1:46:

James gimmick is so played out that he does not bother singing on his way to the ring anymore.  You can tell when Ross calls these matches that he thinks this whole storyline is ridiculous since he knows what Pillman used to be capable of in WCW.  James plays around with Pillman, by lifting his dress and “fondling” him, which is a little distasteful.  Pillman appears to have another match won, but Goldust runs out, carefully elbow drops James, and costs Pillman the match.

-Michael Cole interviews Goldust on the entrance ramp and Goldust says he wants Pillman to wear a dress for another week because he looks so beautiful.  Pillman grabs the house mic and asks Goldust to give him one more match and if he loses that match then he will leave the WWF forever.  However, he says that if he defeats Goldust then he gets Marlena as his personal assistant for thirty days.  When Goldust refuses, Pillman says that Dakota is his love child and Marlena accepts Pillman’s challenge.  Goldust is not happy with that at all.  Pillman’s craziness was well suited for this feud, but unfortunately it never came full circle.

-Vader says that the next segment will see “Vader Time.”

-The Patriot defeats Vader (w/Paul Bearer) with Uncle Slam at 5:00:

The ECW-like crowd takes to Vader and cheers loudly as he tears into the Patriot.  The Patriot hits the Patriot Missile as Bret Hart wanders out and Vader blocks a sunset flip with a sit down splash and focuses his offense on the upper sternum, which is quite unique.  The Patriot blocks a Vader Bomb with his knees and then surprises Vader with Uncle Slam to capture another big win.  An okay big man match, but this had several blown spots that were hard to mask.  Rating:  **

-After the match, Bret Hart distracts the Patriot and Vader does a beat down.  Vader prepares to give the Patriot a Vader Bomb, but Bret enters the ring and drapes a Canadian flag over the Patriot.  Vader does not like this, breaks the Canadian flag over his knee, and starts brawling with Bret until the Hart Foundation interfere and do a beat down on him.  This segment makes Vader a face and he will remain in that role until he leaves the company.

-Call 1-900-737-4WWF to hear updates about Steve Austin, Mark Henry, and Ahmed Johnson, a possible managerial shakeup in the company, who is soliciting Rick Rude’s services, and why Shawn Michaels has been seen with Brakus.

-Cole interviews WWF Champion Bret Hart, who says that he is not scared of Vader and prefers to face him sooner rather than later.

-Owen Hart’s spinning heel kick on Goldust on Shotgun Saturday Night is the Stridex Triple Action segment.

-A video package recaps Steve Austin’s neck injury.

-A taped interview between Jim Ross and Steve Austin in Philadelphia, where Austin will be medically checked out tomorrow.  Austin says that he was temporarily paralyzed at SummerSlam and Owen Hart has hell to pay.  Austin says that he does not care what the doctors say because he will be back and he will be at Ground Zero.

-Call 815-734-1161 to get your VHS copy of SummerSlam 1997.  It will cost you $23.95 (plus shipping & handling)!

-Mankind & The Undertaker defeat “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels & Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/Chyna) by disqualification when Michaels hits the Undertaker with a chair at 8:29:

The atmosphere surrounding this match is like a Lethal Lottery tag match, with no one appearing to trust who they are partnered with.  Michaels avoids the Undertaker for a while and after the Undertaker shrugs off some of Michaels offense, Michaels bails and calls out Rick Rude, who slowly walks to the ring when we head to a commercial break.  Mankind is placed in peril, but this match is nowhere near the quality of last week’s singles match between Michaels and Mankind.  A funny announcing moment happens during the double KO segment, when Ross compares it to a mugging on the Boardwalk, which destroys the peaceful image of Atlantic City that McMahon has been at pains to explain during the entire show.  When all hell breaks loose, Rude attempts to hit the Undertaker with a chair, but the Undertaker turns around and stops that and stalks Rude into the ring.  However, that leads to Michaels picking up the chair and smashing the Undertaker over the head with it for the finish  This match never felt like it got going until the sick chair shot that ended it.  Rating:  *½

-After the bell, the Undertaker gets up and reveals a nasty blade job, where you can see a clean cut above the Undertaker’s forehead with blood dripping out. Michaels hits the Undertaker with the chair a second time, but the Undertaker stirs from that so Helmsley, Rude, Chyna, and Michaels all head for the locker room.

The Final Report Card:  There were some decent storyline developments on this show, like Vader’s face turn, Rick Rude explaining who he was, and the Pillman-Goldust feud going to a whole new level, but the main event was really disappointing.  Still, most of the matches were decent and that’s enough to give the show a neutral rating, since it was nowhere near good, but was also not terrible.  By the way, due to the U.S. Open, RAW did not air for the next two weeks, but we will review the August 29th “Friday Night’s Main Event” that aired on USA.

Monday Night War Rating:  3.2 (vs. 4.0 for Nitro)

Show Evaluation:  Neutral


  1. That was a great blade job by Taker and was kinda let down when it didnt happen that way in the Attitude Era stuff on WWE 13

  2. Love the reviews. WWF 97 was great. Taker's blade job is so obvious, right after he gets hit with the chair. He blades as he falls, on camera. Hope you review the second September 5 "Friday Night's Main Event"

  3. No sense mentioning this was basically the birth of DX, huh?

  4. DX? What's that?

  5. You could really say that was the previous week when Helmsley & Chyna helped Michaels beat Mankind.

  6. Yes, I will be reviewing that show in two weeks. As I'm going through these episodes I had completely forgotten that they had two "Friday Night's Main Event" shows in 1997 and they were organized a lot like SNME in terms of match order and production.

  7. Brooklyn Brawler?

  8. Correct! It was the Brawler. He went on to challenge Shawn Michaels for the belt at the MSG show I was at that was a few days after the 1997 Survivor Series. It was actually a really fun match to be at because there was so much heat for Shawn over Montreal and Brawler being a local guy/super underdog was super over (even though we were all kinda cheering him sarcastically). Shawn gave him a good match, selling for him and using cheap heel tactics. Finally, Chyna and HHH distacted Brawler and HBK hit the superkick. Other than a LEGENDARY Bret/Owen iron-man match I saw in Philly in 1994, this Brawler/Shawn match was probably the most fun house show match I've seen.

  9. I think you can find that match on Daily Motion from a fan cam. It is a fun match and Shawn really did treat Brawler like a small threat.

  10. Whoa I never knew there was footage. I'm gonna check it out. See if it was as fun as I remember. Always cool to find footage of house shows you were at.

  11. Fair enough. This is the one I always remember though, the first time they teamed (I know WWE '13 says different). I meant that literally btw, it was so notable it went without saying.


Post a Comment