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What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw - November 3, 1997

by Logan Scisco

-Jim Ross, and Jim Cornette are in the booth and they are live from Hershey, Pennsylvania.

-McMahon interviews Steve Austin, who reiterates his hatred of Owen Hart and says that he attacked Ahmed Johnson last week because he wants to make sure Owen held onto the Intercontinental title at Survivor Series.  Ahmed comes out and says he respected Austin until last week and proceeds to challenge Austin to a match.  Austin gets a “hell yeah” from the crowd to agree to the match, but in storyline terms that is non-sensical since Austin’s reinstatement was not supposed to take effect until the Survivor Series.

-Sunny comes out to do guest ring announcing duties for the next match.  She makes some ten year old’s night by giving him a kiss on the cheek.

-Opening Light Heavyweight Championship Tournament First Round Contest:  Aguila beats Super Loco with a moonsault at 5:11:

The brackets for the tournament are as follows:  the winner of this match faces the winner of Taka Michinoku and Devon Storm.  The other side of the bracket sees Jerry Lynn face Eric Shelley and Flash Flanagan face Brian Christopher.  It’s a crime that Tajiri was not in the tournament based on his recent work.  Super Loco is Super Crazy, but he’s not very proficient with his moves and makes himself look foolish by getting tangled in the ropes in a fake dive spot and then missing a flying spinning kick off the top rope, so that probably explains why he wasn’t long for the WWF.  Loco also keeps shrugging after every move or taunt at the crowd, which is strange.  This is a complete spotfest and the pacing is really awkward, but the result is not in doubt since Ross was putting Aguila over hard despite him only getting twenty percent of the offense.  Having Brian Christopher on commentary for this didn’t help either.  Rating:  *

-A pre-taped Jim Ross interview with Dustin Runnels and Terri is shown, which is where Runnels starts a heel turn by saying he’s tired of Terri and how she won’t let him be who is wants to be.  Runnels says that when Terri was gone for a month he found someone who let him express himself, that he doesn’t love her, and walks out after giving back his wedding ring.  Ross rants about how Goldust should be ashamed of himself when the segment finishes.

-A long video package chronicles the Bret Hart-Shawn Michaels feud.

-The Austin-Ahmed match looks like it is happening next, but after Ahmed makes his entrance Kane comes out and destroys him with two Tombstones.  Mankind runs in after that and gives Paul Bearer the Mandible Claw and blasts Kane with a piece of metal, but like Michael Myers in the Halloween films, Kane sits up as we head to a commercial break.  I remember being very angry about this since I really wanted to see Austin-Ahmed.

-Call 815-734-1161 to get your Steve Austin t-shirt, which comes in its special can of “whoop ass.”  It’ll cost you $30 (plus $6 shipping & handling)!

-My copy of the show fast forwards through the next segment, but the end of it sees Steve Austin give Kama Mustafa a Stone Cold Stunner, while the Legion of Doom brawl with other Nation members.  I think Austin came out and challenged the Nation to a fight since he didn’t get to face Ahmed Johnson and this was the result.

-The announce crew switches out, like WCW used to do on Nitro, as Vince McMahon comes out with Jerry Lawler to do commentating duties with Jim Ross.  Jim Cornette hits the showers.

-Michael Cole interviews D-Generation X and Shawn Michaels kisses Triple H and Chyna in response to a “Shawn is gay chant.”  He doesn’t dare do that to Rick Rude.  DX bullies Cole, who leaves the ring in disgust, and Michaels makes fun of Hulk Hogan’s guitar taunt with his European title.  Michaels says next week he is going to walk naked, which makes McMahon freak out, and he’ll beat Ken Shamrock as well.  Commissioner Slaughter comes out and DX dons face guards with windshield wipers to block Slaughter’s spitting.  Slaughter isn’t amused and orders Michaels to face Shamrock tonight.

-Marc Mero is irate backstage because Sable isn’t ready and he barges into her locker room with her only half clothed.

-Marc Mero (w/Sable) beats Savio Vega with a TKO at 2:31:

So yes, this is our second match of the night and the first in nearly an hour.  Mero continues to steamroll his way through the lower midcard, but this boxing gimmick is just not working.  He sets up the TKO with another low blow to end this dull contest.

-Cole interviews Sable about how she feels about Mero’s recent low blows in matches, but before she can say much, Mero ends the interview and says if Cole wants to interview a real superstar he can talk to him next week.

-Call 1-900-737-4WWF to find out why Goldust has a broken hand.

-Dog Collar Match:  Vader defeats The British Bulldog (w/Team Canada) at 3:32:

Ross announces that the Patriot has a torn tricep muscle and will not be at the Survivor Series.  The Bulldog brings Jim Neidhart, Doug Furnas, and Phil LaFon with him as they are part of Team Canada at the Survivor Series in a match that has received very little attention.  Instead of this being a straight up match, you win by touching all four corners.  This is also the first dog collar match in RAW’s history.  Since the match is no disqualification, Team Canada beats up Vader and his comrades on Team USA, Goldust and Marc Mero, are not helping because they are heels.  Most of the match we don’t even see, as LaFon and Furnas cut a return promo.  Vader wins, to the surprise of the announcers who don’t even keep up with the match.  Rating:  ¼*

-After the match, Team Canada beats on Vader in the corner until a man, later identified as Steve Blackman, comes in and attacks the heels with karate.  They play it off like a random fan charging the ring and they play it well, with Vader laying on top of Blackman to block the blows of the heels.

-The announce crew hypes the house show circuit.

-“The Road Dogg” Jesse James & “Bad Ass” Billy Gunn beat Jesus & Jose when James pins Jose after Gunn hits a flying elbow drop to the back of Jose’s head at 5:19:

McMahon never knows the names of the Boricuas, which shows you where they stand on the WWF totem pole.  McMahon also lets us know that we won’t get any more comments from Jeff Jarrett because of time constraints, so the second part of his interview will be aired on Livewire.  I’m sure Jarrett was thrilled about that.  This match sees James debut the origins of his shaking knee drop spot, but the rest is very uneventful as the crowd doesn’t care who wins as both teams are heels.  This just serves to give the yet to be named Outlaws another victory.  Rating:  ¾*

-Non-Title Match:  Ken Shamrock beats “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels (European Champion w/D-Generation X) by disqualification when Triple H interferes at 7:48 shown:

This match was triggered by Michaels interfering in Shamrock’s match against Bret Hart on last week’s show.  Shamrock dominates Michaels before DX’s numbers come into play.  Rick Rude comes out midway through the match as I begin speculating on how Michaels keeps coming up with the money to pay Rude for protection.  Talk about another storyline mystery we never got to the bottom of.  Michaels carries Shamrock to a good match here, but Shamrock botches several sequences.  Shamrock makes Michaels tap out to the ankle lock behind the referee’s back, thereby providing a justification for him to receive a title match with Michaels after Survivor Series, and predictable interference from DX ends the match.  Rating:  ***

-After the match, Triple H gives Shamrock a Pedigree on Rick Rude’s briefcase as the show goes off the air.  What does this mean for Bret Hart?!?!

The Final Report Card:  This show was paced very poorly, with only one match in the first hour and they were really trying to cram everything in by the end.  It was really odd not to have Bret or Owen Hart on the show, which was another sign that Bret’s title reign was coming to an end.  The main event was good, but it’s not enough to lift the show out of thumbs down territory since there weren’t any other redeeming elements.

Monday Night War Rating:  2.6 (vs. 4.0 for Nitro)

Show Evaluation:  Thumbs Down


  1. Oh man, the Artist Formerly Known as Goldust is awesome.

  2. Ah, the WWF right before Montreal.

  3. If you just play with their time frames a bit Austin vs. Ahmed would have been HUGE. It would have been interesting to see what might have happened in an alternate universe where Ahmed/Farooq never crossed paths. Or maybe some other guy would have just got caught up in that terribly injurious codependent relationship.

  4. One of my favorite Lawler lines ever came during the light heavyweight tournament, where, in building up to Brian Christopher vs. TAKA, Lawler said that Brian Christopher "thinks Judo is what they make bagels out of"

  5. I loved what a mess that Team USA vs. Team Canada was. You have two Americans, a Brit, and a French Canadian representing Canada against a mish mash team of heels who mostly had no beef with the Harts.

  6. Let's see, the sloppiest guy in the company against the mega-star with the brittle neck. Yeah, I don't think WWE was ever too keen on Ahmed vs. Austin. WWE basically folded on Ahmed after WM13, given that his push vanished after joining the Nation.

  7. Well he was booked to face the Undertaker for the WWF title but got injured and ruined that fresh and interesting matchup. I remember marking out when he gave the Undertaker a Pearl River Plunge at KOTR.

  8. That Dustin/Terri interview segment was an obvious attempt at recapturing what they got with the famous Mick Foley interview (where he talked about Dude Love), complete with the "Sports entertainment" angle-based stuff coming at the end of a "shoot" interview.

    Of course, Dustin isn't half the talent Foley was, so it never panned out.

  9. I'm not saying it was a good idea, nor would it have even been a big match, at this point in time--that's why I said you'd have to manipulate the time frames. Ahmed immediately after his Survivor Series debut vs. Stone Cold (around KotR '97, right before the injury) would have been epic however. Ahmed had just gotten done tossing Yokozuna around like a rag doll and Austin was proving that there wasn't a fight he would back down from or a beating he couldn't take. It could have been a Hogan/Warrior scenario.

  10. I thought the artist formerly known as Prince Iakeau was a better gimmick.


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