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What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw - December 1, 1997

by Logan Scisco

-Footage of the Legion of Doom losing that tag team titles on last week’s show to Jesse James and Billy Gunn is shown.  How will the LOD react to this defeat?

-Jim Ross and Jim Cornette are doing commentary and they are in Norfolk, Virginia.

-WWF Tag Team Champions Jesse James & Billy Gunn come out and James tells us that the Legion of Doom are not in the building.  Gunn says that they are going to wrestle the Headbangers in a non-title match tonight, but before they can finish their comments the Legion of Doom charge into the ring in street clothes and no face paint and run off the champions.

-Flash Funk using the Tumbleweed to beat Taka Michinoku on Shotgun Saturday Night is the Lazer Tag Slam of the Week.

-Sunny comes out to be the guest ring announcer for the next match.

-Opening Light Heavyweight Championship Tournament Semi-Final Contest:  Taka Michinoku beats Aguila with the Michinoku Driver at 4:19:

This match mixes in a little bit of mat wrestling with the high spots.  Aguila nearly advances after wrapping up Michinoku in a La Magistral cradle after Michinoku misses a moonsault, but Michinoku rallies from that point and wins.  Can Michinoku win with anything other than a Michinoku Driver?  Rating:  **

-Jerry Lawler interviews Goldust and Luna Vachon.  Luna does the talking, as Goldust crawls around in dominatrix gear and is attached on a chain.  Luna announces that Goldust should be known as “The Artist Formerly Known as Goldust” and warns Vader that pain is coming.  She and Goldust make out on the canvas to end a very creepy segment.

-In a semi-match of the Karate Fighters Holiday Tournament, Jerry Lawler defeats Tito Santana, dressed in his El Matador gear.  Lawler will face Sunny in the finals.

-Four Corner Elimination Match:  D-Lo Brown (w/The Nation of Domination) wrestles Miguel Perez (w/Los Boricuas), Chainz (w/The Disciples of Apocalypse) & Recon (w/The Truth Commission) to a no contest at 3:45:

Other Eliminations:  Chainz pins Recon after a Death Valley driver at 2:05; Miguel pins D-Lo after blocking a monkey flip at 3:13

As I pointed out in last week’s review, Crush is no longer in the company, so he won’t be with the Disciples of Apocalypse anymore.  This is clearly a bit of Vince Russo booking since he is putting the spotlight on some of the younger stars of some of these groups like Recon and D-Lo.  Of course, with all of the different factions at ringside it is only a matter of time before everyone starts fighting each other and that’s exactly what happens when the match gets down to Chainz and Perez.  So much for this match amounting to anything for anybody.  Rating:  ½*

-D-Generation X comes out and WWF & European Champion Shawn Michaels is in a wheelchair.  They run down Jim Neidhart some more and Triple H tells Sergeant Slaughter that he’s going to put him away for good at In Your House.  Michaels says that he is in a wheelchair because Chyna has been putting him through some intensive leg exercises so that he can increase his pain tolerance and be prepared to face Ken Shamrock at In Your House.  Michaels tells Triple H to test his pain tolerance and in a slightly funny bit, Michaels boot twists a full 360 degrees and he feigns that he is in pain.

-Call 1-900-747-4WWF to find out which WWF superstar has threatened to quit the company!

-Footage of the Montreal screwjob is shown to fans who didn’t buy the pay-per-view.

-A video package breaks down the Steve Austin-Rock feud over the Intercontinental title.

-In the second hour, Jerry Lawler replaces Jim Cornette on commentary.

-The Rock (w/The Nation of Domination) beats Vader via count out at 5:07:

In funny fan moment, a nerdy white kid is shown giving the Nation salute as the Rock makes his entrance.  At the beginning of the match, Steve Austin drives into the arena in his Austin 3:16 truck and decides to watch the match from the hood with some beers.  As with most of these segments, it’s tough to focus on the match since the camera keeps panning back to Austin, but what we do see is pretty good.  Goldust comes out and beats on Vader behind the referee’s back and that incenses Vader, who chases after him and loses the match.  Rating:  **

-A Ken Shamrock video package is shown.

-Our next booked match is the second light heavyweight championship tournament semi-final between Scott Taylor and Brian Christopher, but after Taylor’s entrance Kane comes out and decimates him.  Paul Bearer repeats the fact that Kane will keep destroying people until the Undertaker agrees to fight him.  Since Taylor is in condition to compete, Christopher advances to the finals of the tournament.  Surprise!

-Jeff Jarrett comes out and refuses to fight Ahmed Johnson tonight because Ahmed is not on his level.  Commissioner Slaughter comes out and books Jarrett to face the Undertaker at In Your House.  Jarrett isn’t too happy about that.

-A video package hypes the Sergeant Slaughter-Triple H match at In Your House.

-Non-Title Match:  “The Road Dogg” Jesse James & “Bad Ass” Billy Gunn (WWF Tag Team Champions) beat The Headbangers by disqualification when the Legion of Doom interfere at 2:45:

Just an abbreviated tag tea match here and when the Headbangers begin the hot tag comeback, the LOD make their predictable run-in and cost them the match.  James and Gunn run to the locker room and peel out of the arena in a car, while the Headbangers and LOD argue in the ring.

-A video package recaps D-Generation X’s beat down on Jim Neidhart last week.

-Jim Cornette interviews Marc Mero and Sable and Cornette tells Mero that “people” are saying that Sable is the true star of their team.  Mero tells Sable that she is nothing without him and he does an exhibition by punching hand mitts that have Butterbean’s face in them.  One of them flies off during the exhibition, so Mero gets mad at Sable, says she abandoned him during his knee injury, and she’s worthless.  Best segment of the show and it really made you want Butterbean to beat Mero within an inch of his life at In Your House.

-Call 815-734-1161 to get your commemorative box set of all of the WrestleMania’s on VHS.  It’ll cost you $79.99 (plus $11 shipping & handling).  That’s not a bad deal.

-The Montreal Screwjob is shown again and Lawler insists that Bret Hart submitted and the referee made a legitimate judgment call in ending the match.  This makes the implicit argument that Bret is a sore loser.

-Triple H (w/D-Generation X) pins Jim “the Anvil” Neidhart after hitting him in the back with a steel chair at 2:31:

Ross keeps referring to Neidhart as “the Rhino” during the match because evidently Neidhart’s nickname in the locker room is “the White Rhino.”  Neidhart dominates Helmsley throughout the match with power moves, but Shawn Michaels distracts him on the apron and Helmsley uses a chair that Chyna tosses to him to win the match. 

-After the match, Neidhart gets Pedigreed on a chair and Michaels spray paints “WCW” on his back.  They handcuff him to the top rope and Sergeant Slaughter and Ken Shamrock run out and as Neidhart holds Chyna back, Shamrock puts Michaels in the ankle lock and Slaughter puts Triple H in the Cobra Clutch as we go off the air.  A nice closing segment that finally gave DX some comeuppance for their actions during the last month and redeems at least some of the show.

The Final Report Card:  I wouldn’t say that this was a great “go home” show, since Shamrock didn’t get any comments heading into his first (and only) main event WWF title match and I don’t think adding Undertaker-Jeff Jarrett is going to increase the buys of the pay-per-view.  Still, despite some of the bad segments, like the Four Corner Match, there were some pretty good segments like the Mero-Sable interaction, Rock-Vader, and Taka-Aguila to at least balance it out.  What is surprising is that this show scored a 3.0 rating despite running a Triple H-Neidhart main event, which shows how invested fans were becoming in the WWF product.

Monday Night War Rating:  3.0 (vs. 3.8 for Nitro)

Show Evaluation:  Neutral


  1. "This interview is illegal in 12 states." -Jim Cornette.

    TAFKAGoldust is probably one of my favorite gimmicks. The absurdity is so over the top.

  2. Only quibble...the show was taped in Roanoke, VA, not Norfolk. I remember this as a very story-heavy show...but Degeneration X is one of the worst WWE-produced PPV's ever. Thankfully, better days were just ahead...

  3. Actually, didn't Jarrett say something along the lines of Ahmed being one of the reasons he left the WWF in the first place during that interview? What was that about?

  4. Agreed, probably the worst in WWE show in '97, I'd say, though Survivor Series (from a match quality standpoint) wasn't much better.

  5. With you on that. They started letting him go places with the character that they were afraid to go back in 96

  6. So where has the Undertaker been anyway? Has anyone ever gotten more time off than him? He hasn't been on tv since SurSer. He gets set on fire at the rumble and takes another month off. No wonder he lasted 20 years, he never works.

  7. What this Raw needed was Shamrock and Slaughter being told if they came off the ramp they'd be fired. That would have built interest in the PPV!

  8. Right. Because he's always been on this schedule.

  9. Ive said it before but Mero was such an awesome character during his run with Sable. He played the insecure dick so well...great funny shit

  10. No, not always, but more than anyone I can remember. He was gone for half of 94, a month in 97, a month after the 98 rumble, he left in the fall of 99 and returned May 2000. Who else could take that kind of time off?

    Austin broke his next and he was back on tv in a couple of weeks which is a big reason why he isn't around anymore. Foley fell off a cage and was back on Raw the next night which is a big reason we don't see him anymore.

  11. Woah, I don't remember Neidhart getting any kind of revenge- I just remember the DX turn being the last we saw of him in the WWF. I thought that was a final humiliation meant to send him off.

  12. Austin & Foley were basically in their prime when they got hurt, and had to come back early to keep their spot (in Austin's case, he could have ruined his obvious-by-that-point Main Event Push by taking a year off). Taker was ALREADY a Main Eventer, and had nothing to lose and everything to gain by taking months off here and there to both heal up, and make the people be less sick of him.

    It helped out his career on both levels, whereas guys like Austin & Foley didn't have anywhere near as much of a chance (though Austin DID take a ton of time off EVENTUALLY). Unfair, but that's life for you.

  13. That's basically all I'm saying. Undertaker could take months off at a time and still keep his push or get an even bigger one.

    The way it usually works is Vince promises a guy a push so that he will stay on the road when he really needs some serious time off.

  14. 1997
    1. Canadian Stampede
    2. Summerslam
    3. Badd Blood
    4. Cold Day in Hell
    5. Wrestlemania
    6. Royal Rumble
    7. Revenge of the Taker
    8. Ground Zero
    9. Final Four
    10. King of the Ring
    11. Survivor Series
    12. Degeneration X


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