Skip to main content

What the World Was Watching: Friday Night's Main Event - September 5, 1997

by Logan Scisco

-A video package hypes tonight’s feature match between the Undertaker and Hunter Hearst Helmsley.

-Jim Ross and Dok Hendrix are doing commentary for tonight’s show.  This show looks to be taped from the same place as last week’s episode.

-Opening Contest:  The Patriot beats Owen Hart by disqualification when the British Bulldog interferes at 6:08 shown:

Owen comes out to his old theme, which has not happened much since he joined the Hart Foundation.  Hendrix emphasizes throughout the match that the Patriot is not a “goody two shoes” but is instead a “really cool dude.”  Ross just prefers to emphasize the Patriot’s collegiate football background.  The storyline they should have emphasized for this match is Owen taking out the Patriot’s legs for Ground Zero to help Bret’s title defense, but there are not any segments prior to the match to play up that point.  This is a standard back-and-forth match and you can tell Owen wants to work a faster pace, but the Patriot moves very slowly when transitioning between spots.  The Patriot appears set for victory at the six minute mark, but the British Bulldog blindsides him for the predictable disqualification finish.  Decent TV fare, but these guys did not complement each other well.  Rating:  **

-After the match, Bret Hart comes down to inflict some damage and he puts the Patriot in the Sharpshooter, but Vader runs out and takes out all three guys by himself.  He whips Bret into the Patriot, who delivers Uncle Slam before WWF officials pour out and put a stop to these extracurricular activities.

-Commissioner Sergeant Slaughter announces that the WWF is not willing to allow Steve Austin to compete before he fully completes his physical rehabilitation.  Slaughter announces that Austin is suspended indefinitely and will be forced to forfeit his share of the tag team championship at Ground Zero.

-Steve Austin tells a camera crew to take a seat outside his residence so he can complain about a care package that the WWF sent him.

-Call 1-900-737-4WWF to find out Brian Pillman’s plans for Marlena if he wins his match at Ground Zero.

-Sunny comes out to do guest commentary and she says that she plans on interviewing Rick Rude and Shawn Michaels tonight.

-Steve Austin shows the camera crew a FedEx package that the WWF sent him, which has a hilarious set of media photographs of Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, and Gorilla Monsoon that are signed and wish Austin well.  Austin has one of the camera people put the photographs on a deer model, which an Owen Hart picture on the rear end, so he can shoot at them with a compound bow.  Austin says he would defend the title every night if he could, but the WWF is too scared he is going to sue them.  The WWF really played the Austin injury well, as they kept him on screen, gave him cover to be out of action for months, and Austin’s promo work kept his character hot.

-Ross asks Dude Love how he feels about having to forfeit the tag team titles at Ground Zero, but before Love can finish his thoughts, the British Bulldog attacks him.

-Non-Title Match:  Dude Love beats The British Bulldog (European Champion) by disqualification when Owen Hart runs in at 5:35 shown:

Ross announces during the match that the Headbangers have been added in place of Steve Austin and Dude Love in the tag team championship Fatal Four Way match at Ground Zero.  Ross also keeps hyping Foley’s Cactus Jack persona, which makes the debut of that persona less of a surprise in retrospect.  The highlights of this match are Love taking his usual brutal bumps into the guardrail and the steps, but there’s not much else.  Like the opener, Love hits Sweet Shin Music and a double arm DDT, but Owen runs in to prevent his partner from losing the match.  Rating:  *½

-After the bell, Owen Hart gets on the mic and promises to break Love’s neck to send a message to Steve Austin, but Love is saved by the Legion of Doom.  Love tries to get the Legion of Doom to dance with him, but they are not down with that and leave.

-A video package hypes the Brian Pillman-Goldust match at Ground Zero.

-Sunny interviews Pillman, who says he is not going to make Terri do anything with him that she has not already done after he wins her services at Ground Zero.

-Ross interviews WWF Champion Bret Hart, who says that he takes pride in destroying American heroes and when he destroys the Patriot it will be like destroying each and every single American wrestling fan.  Bret just has nothing to work with in this feud and it has turned him into a generic anti-American character.

-Sunny interviews Rick Rude, who hits on Sunny and reinforces his “insurance man” gimmick.  Rude fit this role really well and it is a shame that his run did not last very long.

-Call 815-734-1161 to get your copy of Cause Stone Cold Said So for $19.99 (plus $6 shipping & handling)!

-Ross and Hendrix recap the entire show far.  The benefit of watching these things in retrospect is that you can always fast forward…

-The Undertaker defeats Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/Chyna) by disqualification when Shawn Michaels interferes at 4:33 shown:

It takes less than two minutes for Rick Rude to walk out and distract the Undertaker, which gives Helmsley an early advantage.  The Undertaker rallies after selling for a few short moments, but Shawn Michaels interferes and chop blocks him for our third screwy finish of the night.  This was simple time filler.  Rating:  ½*

-After the match, the not yet named D-Generation X does a beatdown of the Undertaker, until he revives and chokeslams a security guard and a WWF official in frustration as D-Generation X flees.

-Sunny catches up with Shawn Michaels, who is leaving the arena, and Michaels promises that he will draw last blood from the Undertaker at Ground Zero.

-The Legion of Doom wrestle Jesus & Jose to a double disqualification when the Godwinns come to the ring at 2:32:

Hendrix says that Jesus and Jose have lots of quality wins and deserved to be in the Fatal Four Way at Ground Zero, but I am having a hard time thinking of a single quality win they have on their resume.  On paper this is an enhancement talent match, but Ross’s delivery on commentary takes it to another level.  The Godwinns wander out after two minutes and Animal hits a nice plancha onto them.  I am assuming that this one ended up as a double disqualification because a winner was never declared and there did not appear to be a count out and the Godwinns did not directly interfere in sight of the referee.  However, I’m really getting tired of all the disqualifications tonight.

-After the match, the Disciples of Apocalypse, Los Boricuas, the Godwinns, and the Legion of Doom brawl all over the place.

-A video package hypes the Patriot’s skills and his college football career at South Carolina.

-Ahmed Johnson’s appearance at Camp Cool J is shown.  Ross tells us that he will be back in action in three weeks.

-Ken Shamrock defeats Salvatore Sincere via submission to the ankle lock at 5:19:

Shamrock puts on a submission clinic, putting Sincere in leg locks and armbars.  Sincere manages a prolonged offensive sequence, but Shamrock kicks out of a Northern lights suplex at one and that’s a clear sign to the marks that Sincere has no chance at all.  A hurricanrana and ankle lock put Sincere away.  Rating:  *¾

-A video package hypes the light heavyweight division.

-Light Heavyweight Exhibition:  Scott Putski beats Steve Casey with the Polish Hammer at 3:49:

Putski is facing Brian Christopher is a light heavyweight contest at Ground Zero, so this is meant to showcase him and keep in the public eye of top talent in the light heavyweight division.  Putski runs through some power moves for a light heavyweight, like an overhead suplex, and Casey has a small offensive set, but his moves lack believability because he hits Putski so softly.  A Casey hurricanrana is blocked by a Putski sit out powerbomb and its lights out for Casey soon after.  Putski really needed another finisher because the Polish Hammer was so 1970s as far as a finishing move was concerned.  Rating:  *½

-Sunny interviews Paul Bearer, who says that Vader’s allegiance should be with him and not the United States.  He says when Kane comes it is going to help him.

-Handicap Match:  The Interrogator (w/The Commandant, Recon & Sniper) defeats Sonny Rogers & Jerry Fox when he pins both men at 2:20:

The WWF really wanted the Interrogator (a.k.a. Kurrgan) to be the focal point of the Truth Commission so he would usually have handicap matches against jobbers on the company’s B and C level shows.  Kurrgan runs through some basic moves on both guys, suplexes Rogers on top of Fox, and then pins them with one foot.

-Ken Shamrock defeating Salvatore Sincere tonight is the Stridex Triple Action segment.

-A music video package that recaps tonight’s show plays us out.

The Final Report Card:  This was the very definition of a filler show as run-ins occurred in every match and kept the gears going for the Ground Zero pay-per-view.  I understand some of the finishes, like the end of the Patriot-Owen, but running four disqualifications in a row is too much and viewers tire of it very quickly.  Thumbs down this week.

Show Evaluation:  Thumbs Down


  1. This show was booked much like the prior week. The first match is the best of the show and its all downhill after that. It just amazes me that the main event is Kurrgan against 2 jobbers. Its not wonder they were getting crushed by Nitro in the ratings. That coupled with the fact their lightheavyweight division was a total joke compared to the cruiserweight division in WCW.

    Its interesting that the Undertaker/HHH match on this show meant virtually nothing at the time. Who would've guessed these two would have the Wrestlemania matches that did in recent years.

    I also agree that Rude's role here was great and I enjoyed it, but when he showed up on Nitro I totally marked out. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I was around 13-14 years old at the time and it was one of those mark out moments for me, especially since I always liked Rude.

  2. Captain HindsightMay 7, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    I thought Bret wrestled Vader here - or were there more than one of these because of the US Open?

  3. That was the previous week. They were pre-empted for two weeks due to the Open.

  4. Due to the late start time (I think the show came on at 10 PM), they booked them more like an old Saturday Night's Main Event, with the top match being first or early in the card. The idea being that at that late hour, it would be hard to hold on to an audience all the way through. Half a rating is better than none, as it were.

  5. Am I crazy or was Austin's neck injury the best thing that ever happened to his character? I thought it finally gave him a valid reason to be pissed at the WWF machine.

  6. I think there's some truth in this. Austin got red hot post-SummerSlam when he began handing out Stone Cold Stunner's to everyone from Jim Ross to Vince McMahon. It only enhanced the rebellious nature of the character.

  7. AmericanWolves02May 7, 2013 at 6:53 PM

  8. That's what I was thinking too. At the time he held two titles and was well on his way to the big one. He really did not have much to be upset about before the WWF became a douche about letting him work.

  9. My god...this match has to happen.

  10. AmericanWolves02May 7, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    "There's a fucking shower on that bus too!" I don't know if he can still go in the ring or if he can even work inside the strict WWE PG world but damnit it's tempting.

    Have you seen their WWE 13 interview with JR? It's gold too.

  11. I thought that was a general consensus, actually.

  12. Scream09_HartKillerMay 7, 2013 at 9:24 PM

    As awesome was it was to see The Rock be able to cut loose and give some not exactly PG promos against Cena...letting Austin talk shit about anyone would be even better. Damn he's entertaining.

  13. Scream09_HartKillerMay 7, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    Was it the contract thing that put Bret on the back-burner? Or did Vince already decided he was going in the DX direction? I thought the Hart Foundation angle was awesome. Seeing Bret as a heel was fresh, there were actual shades of grey, and Bret winning the title seemed like it was going to kick the angle up a notice - when he won the title, with that smug celebration, I literally wanted to kill him. That's a good heel. But literally the next night Shawn and Undertaker take center stage and Bret's feuding with the Patriot. It's too bad we didn't get a fitting conclusion to the angle.

  14. Scream09_HartKillerMay 7, 2013 at 10:07 PM

    "After I regained my WWF Championship at the Summerslam, I was scheduled to begin a feud with Del Wilkes, who wrestled as the Patriot. Del's character was that of a proud American who wrote red, white and blue tights, with a mask depicting the stars and stripes of the American flag. Like me, Del was a fantastic natural athlete and I was looking forward to carrying him to a classic match at the next pay per view.

    That night on Raw, I was supposed to attack Del after his match with Owen and remove his mask. On screen, it was supposed to be symbolic - I was stripping him of his American pride. Off screen, however, Vince felt a masked superstar was too cartoony for the times. A couple of hours before the show I was called into Vince's office to discuss a change of plans. 'Bret,' Vince began. 'Del has brought to my attention that he isn't comfortable with tonight's angle. He doesn't want to lose his mask tonight.' 'Without taking his mask we have no angle!', I sharply shot back. 'If I don't get some heat on him everyone will be talking about Shawn Michaels match!' 'What does Shawn Michaels have to do...nevermind', Vince sheepishly said. 'Bret, quite frankly, Del isn't comfortable doing it. He wants to keep his face hidden because he's concerned about your looks. He's worried if we take his mask off the fans will turn on him and cheer you because you're much better looking. Nobody wants to boo someone as handsome as you.'

    Vince was right. It was Wrestlemania 2 all over again. I agreed to the change. We decided I would just beat him down and drape the American flag over him. I was disappointed in the change, and I feared without the mask angle our match would become nothing more than a midcard match. Is that what Vince wanted? Is that what Shawn wanted? Was Del working for Shawn? I couldn't be sure. But I liked Del. Since he arrived in the WWF he had been respectful and friendly to me. He confided in me that our match on Raw was the best of his career, and he hadn't expressed any desire to be the WWF Champion. Del was a good guy as far as I was concerned. I approached Del in the locker-room to assure him I understood his position. He shook my hand, and, with noticeable moisture surrounding the eye holes in his mask, confided in me that he might play an American patriot, but the greatest man he's ever known is Canadian."

  15. Uh, you meant thumbs up for that awesome Austin segment, right?

  16. I was getting flashbacks to the Extreme Superstar. Superb!

  17. Eh, not your best.

  18. Man, if I could build a time machine, I'd either go back to 1995 for hip-hop, or 1997 for wrestling. Shit was REALLY getting good during this time.

  19. On a related note, has anybody ever listened to Austin's new podcast show? Shit is fucking glorious. I think in his last one he was going on this long ass rant about insects and even INTERVIEWED one of them.

  20. Holy shit...that was the funniest thing I've seen in a long time. "Ya fucking Viking!"


Post a Comment