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What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw - October 6, 1997

by Logan Scisco

-Vince McMahon tells viewers that Brian Pillman passed away the previous afternoon and wrestlers gather near the entrance to hear the ring bell tolled ten times in his memory.

-McMahon, Jim Ross, and Jerry “the King” Lawler are in the booth and they are live from Kansas City, Missouri.

-Michael Cole interviews D-Generation X, who at this time are just dubbed as “The Kliq.”  DX gives Cole a wedgie as European Champion Shawn Michaels gloats about winning Hell in a Cell last night at Badd Blood.  Michaels wants to see some footage from last night, but the truck plays footage of the Madison Square Garden incident instead.  McMahon is not happy about this and sells it well with his facial expressions.  We go to commercial before Michaels can finish ranting at McMahon.  A great segment for the smarks, but a good chunk of the audience was lost during it.

-When we return from commercial, Michaels is still yelling at McMahon when the Hart Foundation comes out.  WWF Champion Bret Hart says that Michaels is a disgrace to professional wrestling and he says Michaels and Triple H are queer and he makes more money than all of the forces of the Kliq.  He puts over the WWF title, how his possession of it trumps anything that Michaels can say, and that he drove Diesel and Razor Ramon out of the company and he will do the same to Michaels and Triple H.  He challenges Triple H to a match on tonight’s show.  Michaels responds by saying that Bret is only main eventing Survivor Series because he is wrestling him and that Diesel and Razor left the company to expand the Kliq and let them control the wrestling business.  This segment solidifies Bret as the face in this feud as the crowd immediately takes his side.

-The announce crew recaps the Badd Blood tag team championship match.

-Opening Non-Title Lumberjack Match:  The Headbangers defeat The Godwinns (WWF Tag Team Champions w/Uncle Cletus) when Mosh pins Phineas with a schoolboy at 4:15:

In a funny spot, the Headbangers take advantage of the lumberjack stipulation by flying over the top rope and body surfing among the wrestlers surrounding the ring.  By the way, the lumberjacks are composed of the Disciples of Apocalypse, Rockabilly, the Sultan, Flash Funk, the New Blackjacks, the Legion of Doom, the Truth Commission, Los Boricuas, and the Nation of Domination.  This match works a faster pace than the contest at Badd Blood and is much better by comparison.  The referee gets bumped when Mosh tries to splash Phineas in the corner and everyone pours into the ring to fight.  The ring clears just as the referee revives, though, and the Headbangers pick up a measure of revenge for Badd Blood.  Rating:  **

-Ross and Lawler hype the house show circuit.

-Jesus of Los Boricuas says that he is going to easily defeat Marc Mero tonight.

-Marc Mero (w/Sable) beats Jesus with the TKO at 2:21:

This was Mero’s return from a knee injury that he suffered in the early months of 1997.  He has shed the “Wildman” gimmick and is coming back with a “new attitude,” which is code for a heel turn.  Mero’s offense has changed into a more grounded, striking style, but that is not as appealing as his old aerial attack.  This is a short squash to re-establish Mero, but its only highlight is the TKO, which is his new finishing maneuver.

-Jim Cornette gives his views on the wrestling business, where he runs down the New World Order, especially Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Sean Waltman, and Eric Bischoff.  He puts over Mick Foley, Arn Anderson, and Ric Flair and other hardworking talents.  This is a brutally honest rant, but I have never been a fan of segments like this because they make the company doing them look petty and second rate.

-The British Bulldog (w/The Hart Foundation) defeats Rocky Maivia (w/The Nation of Domination) with a running powerslam at 3:44:

This is a “proxy revenge” match from the previous night, where Owen Hart beat Faarooq in the Intercontinental championship tournament final.  This match is somewhat notable because it features the debut of the People’s Elbow, although Maivia isn’t throwing his elbow pad into the crowd.  Just your standard back-and-forth match, with the Bulldog earning a surprisingly clean victory considering the factions presence at ringside.  Rating:  **

-After the match, Faarooq goes after the Bulldog, which causes the factions to brawl with each other until WWF officials and Commissioner Slaughter intervene.

-The announcers recap the Intercontinental tournament final between Owen Hart and Faarooq from last night’s Badd Blood pay-per-view.

-McMahon interviews Steve Austin to get his decision about his future.  Austin says he cost Faarooq the Intercontinental title last night because he felt like it.  Austin says he didn’t go to a doctor, so he has no medical clearance.  McMahon then presents him with a release form, but Austin says he is not going to sign without preconditions because he has leverage.  What he wants in return for signing is for McMahon to give him a match with Owen Hart for the Intercontinental title.  McMahon agrees and offers a handshake, but Austin says no until he has it in writing.  Faarooq comes on the Titantron and cuts a great promo about what suffering and toughness really is, sort of like the black version of Dusty Rhodes “hard times” promo.  Austin just says “bring it on.”  To hell with fighting Owen Hart, I want to see Austin-Faarooq after that promo exchange.  After finishing his promo, Austin pushes McMahon and then grabs Lawler’s crown and kicks it into the crowd.

-Call 1-900-737-4WWF to hear more of what Jim Cornette has to say!

-Hawk promises that Owen Hart is going to be the shortest Intercontinental champion in WWF history, but that’s not possible because Dean Douglas was only champion for about twenty minutes.

-Owen Hart tells the crowd that he cannot wait to face Steve Austin again.

-Intercontinental Championship Match:  Owen Hart (Champion) beats Hawk when Henry Godwinn hits Hawk with a horse shoe at 3:20:

The crowd’s love of the Hart Foundation does not apply to Owen, since he is the foil of the hottest act in the company.  The Godwinns come down to ringside as Hawk sloppily bumps around for Owen and hardly sells the enziguri.  The Godwinns try to cost Hawk the match by hitting him in the back with a slop bucket, but he kicks out and Animal comes down and brawls with the Godwinns as the match continues in the ring.  Hawk hits the flying clothesline, which has to set up twice because of a planned distraction by Uncle Cletus, but interference shortly thereafter costs him the match.  Rating:  *½

-McMahon does his infamous interview with Melanie Pillman, which is completely distasteful as he questions her about her husband’s drug use and how she plans on supporting her family.  This is probably the lowest point in RAW history, which says something considering the Katie Vick incident.

-A video tribute is aired for Brian Pillman.

-Ross and Lawler talk about how much they miss Brian Pillman.

-The next match is supposed to feature Sniper & Recon against the Hardy Boys, but Kane comes out with Paul Bearer and destroys the Hardy’s.  Bearer gets on the mic and says that he had to bring in Kane because the Undertaker would not take him back.  He warns the Undertaker to prepare for his worst nightmare.  This push that they gave to Kane was genius since it disguised his shortcomings and made him appear like a total wrecking machine that was an equal to the Undertaker.

-Non-Title Match:  Triple H (w/Chyna) defeats Bret “the Hitman” Hart (WWF Champion) by count out at 7:49 shown:

This is the first time that Hunter Hearst Helmsley is billed as “Triple H” during his entrance, but that name change goes a long way towards making him a serious contender.  As Bret dominates the action, Shawn Michaels wanders out and picks his nose with the Canadian flag.  This brings the Hart Foundation to ringside and Helmsley stops the five moves of doom with a foot to the face when Bret tries the second rope elbow drop.  Ross subtly buries Bret by calling him “too predictable” in the ring.  Bret gets Helmsley in the Sharpshooter, but Chyna helps Helmsley get to the ropes and then stops Bret from applying the ring post figure-four.  When Bret confronts her, Michaels blasts Bret with Sweet Chin Music and that enables Helmsley to score the upset.  Rating:  **

The Final Report Card:  This match was like a smart fan’s dream as the WWF bashed WCW throughout the evening and made several insider references.  The tasteless segment with Melanie Pillman aside, this was a great episode that continued Steve Austin’s search for revenge against Owen Hart, built a possible feud for Austin with Faarooq and the Nation after he moved on from the Owen issue, set up the build for Bret-Shawn at Survivor Series, and continues the tag team feud between the Godwinns and the Legion of Doom.  This was also the highest rating for RAW since mid-August, which can probably be chalked up to fans wanting to see how the company would respond to Brian Pillman’s death.

Monday Night War Rating:  3.0 (vs. 3.9 for Nitro)

Show Evaluation:  Thumbs Up


  1. TheRealCitizenSnipsJuly 2, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    "Hawk promises that Owen Hart is going to be the shortest Intercontinental champion in WWF history"

    I was going to make a really pedantic joke but then I figured I would have to go back and see who the shortest Intercontinental champion of all time by that point was and FUCK RESEARCH.

  2. Chris Jericho or Dean Douglas

  3. Rey Mysterio?

  4. Really wasn't a fan of Shawn and Triple H during the opening segment overdoing it with the insider terms. Plus, wasn't this the episode where he referred to the WWF Title as a "worthless piece of tin"?

  5. Yes, I believe it was.

  6. Edge had one of those 24 hour runs too, didn't he? He beat Slapnuts at a house show and lost it right back.

  7. Nah, that's the next week (which also has a pretty big moment in wrestling nomenclature).

  8. The same happened in '99 too when he faced Jeff Jarrett IIRC.

  9. I think you guys are talking about the same thing...

  10. Knuckleberry PinnJuly 2, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    Always a weird period when the true top face is being groomed for Mania and thus isn't in the title picture. Bret Hart has been the champ in two such scenarios -- here, as Austin had a firecracker up his ass, and late 95/early 96 when everyone and their mother knew "the boyhood dream" was coming true.

  11. Who was the SHORTEST intercontinental champion though.

    As in height wise.

  12. Scream09_HartKillerJuly 2, 2013 at 8:34 PM

    I know it was because of the backstage stuff, but it sucked that they never really ended the Hart Foundation angle properly. Bret winning the title should have took it to the next level, but instead they seemed to drop the Canada/US stuff and just put Bret with midcarders like Patriot and Vader. I don't know if there's any other option based on the backstage stuff but it's too bad such a hot angle just went away.

  13. This episode was On Demand a few weeks back and that Cornette rant is EPIC. And Mero's new gimmick was the kiss of death. Without the Wildman gimmick and moveset, nobody gave a fuck about him.

  14. Scream09_HartKillerJuly 2, 2013 at 9:09 PM

    I actually liked Mero's gimmick at first. I hated the Wildman. I'm not sure why, I liked Johnny B Badd and was happy he jumped, but I couldn't stand the Wildman gimmick. I liked the new gimmick when he was serious, once they turned him into a goof that Sable had her way with I was done with him.

  15. Is this the one with the "You may be a household name but so is garbage and it stinks when it gets old too" line about Hogan?

  16. Yes. Piper/Hogan cage match was the night before and he crucifies it. It's glorious.

  17. Yeah, in a way I view Canadian Stampede as the blowoff in retrospect.

  18. "B-b-but, you were a bad guy and I was a good guy!"

  19. Is that when Mero called Sal Sincere "A JOBBER", or was that much later?

  20. AverageJoeEverymanJuly 3, 2013 at 7:10 AM

    Nope that was the night after IYH DX which I was at and the only Raw ever from Maine. Also had the DX strip poker and Sable in the potato sack

  21. No, that one was a few weeks later, after Halloween Havoc, in the latter part of the month.


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