WWF Raw Is War 7/7/97
The night after the Hart Foundation received a hero's welcome at The Canadian Stampede, Raw emanates from Edmonton.
Bret Hart opens the show, as Canada is still basking in their patriotism. And he's going to talk with Vince McMahon. "Thank you for still letting me be your hero." Bret makes it clear that he isn't anti-American. He's just very pro Canadian. Canada takes care of the old and the sick. Canada has gun control. People don't shoot each other on the street. Canada isn't riddled with racial prejudice. How crazy that a wrestling promo from 1997 would still have such relevancy 20 years later. After cutting the best Canadian babyface promo you'll ever hear, Bret brings Owen to the ring. Then he brings out the Bulldog. They turn to the screen and the national anthem plays. During this, Steve Austin attacks from behind like the true American scum that he is. During the break, Bret said he promised that Austin would not walk over Canada. Vince McMahon apologized on behalf of the WWF for Austin's behavior.
Taka Michinoku vs The Great Sasuke
Brian Christopher joins for commentary, which means a 4 man booth, 2 of them being Lawlers. Sasuke cut a promo in Japanese earlier today. Lol. No interpretation or anything. King immediately starts saying racist shit. Brian is even more annoying than King. Jesus Christ. When they both get to squealing...fuck. Sasuke has a weird sense of build. He does a dive and THEN starts doing submissions and wear down holds. Taka nearly dies slipping on an Asai moonsault. That could have been super bad. He recovered to hit it properly, which the cameras missed. Sasuke does the flying space tiger drop. Taka didn't even try to catch him, which is pretty shitty considering Sasuke pretty much saved his life earlier in the mat. Sasuke got the win with the thunder fire bomb. JR and Vince both say Taka's name as "MichinoKO", even making fun of Chimel for not saying it properly while they themselves weren't saying it right.
Savio Vega vs Crush
Fuck me. This is terrible, but thankfully only lasts a couple of minutes before GANG WARZ break out and the match is stopped.
Coming up, Paul Bearer will reveal more of Undertaker's secrets.
TO THE BACK. Paul speaks to Vince about what he said in regards to Undertaker last week. He refuses to apologize. Kane is alive and Undertaker is a murderer!
British Bulldog/Owen Hart vs D'Lo Brown/Faarooq
This is a tournament final, with the winner getting a title shot against Steve Austin and a partner next week. Austin has a promo during this, and he does not give a shit who wins or who his partner is. D'Lo and Owen begin. I wonder why Pillman and Anvil didn't get any intros earlier. Bulldog's body from here to the end of 1998 is just staggering. Jesus Christ that dude must have been on so much shit during that year. Bulldog is FIP in this. Owen gets the hot tag and is promptly low bridged to the floor by Kama. Anvil and Pillman start throwing fists and I guess Bulldog and Owen won via count out, even though this definitely should have been thrown out. The same shit that happened in the last match happened in this match. Sounds like collusion to me. After the match, Mankind (in an Austin 3:16 shirt) came out to tell them they'd be facing him and Austin next week. Austin got another promo after the match pretty much saying the same thing as before, but also letting it be known he'd punch a woman. Well. Yeah.
Steve Austin vs Hunter Hearst Helmsley
Even after assaulting the hometown heroes DURING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM, Austin still gets a sizable chunk of the audience behind him. Lol at Austin almost flipping HHH off, then deciding to do the worst curtsy you've ever seen. This is fairly competitive, but not entertaining at all. Chyna trips up Austin and slips a chair into the ring. Before HHH can use it, Mankind ran in and got brained. Austin won with the Stunner. After the match, Austin tells Mankind to get in the ring and says he doesn't like him, but he'll go to war with him if that's what Mankind wants. They hug it out! Stunner OUTTA NOWHERE. What a SWERVE. DTA, so they say. "You ain't gonna be my partner never, 'cuz you're a long haired freak and YOU SUCK!" Mankind says that drastic measures are needed, and the WWF will never be the same. How ominous.
Eric Shelley vs Brian Christopher
As if seeing Christopher once wasn't enough for the show. Sunny doing the introductions makes me even more disgusted after seeing snippets of her porn. Going from the cruiser stylings of Michinoku Pro to this shit on the same show is fascinating. This is absolutely terrible, made even worse by constant Polack jokes from King. Brian wins with the Tennessee Jam. King helps to beat the guy up after the match.
TO THE McMAHON. Stone Cold is back out for another interview. He reiterates that he doesn't give a shit about any partners or any countries. If he doesn't beat Owen at Summerslam, he'll kiss his ass.
Goldust vs Bret Hart
Bret focuses on Goldy's lower back right away. It's only about 2 or 3 minutes before the DOA roll down to ringside for no reason. Then the Hart Foundation comes out. Then LOD and Ken Shamrock come out. Then Austin comes out. Bret wins with a roll up and then...nothing happens. No brawl. Show just ends.
They got a bunch of angles progressed, but god damn did the wrestling suck. As did the commentary. Just brutal shit. Felt just as long as a 3 hour Raw.