WWF Raw October 27th, 1997

WWF Raw – October 27th, 1997 – Tulsa Convention Center, Tulsa, OK

Too much stars, and not enough stripes! It’s WWF Raw is War from Tulsa, Oklahoma. The WWF had an event there last Tuesday, but they must have stuck around for this episode of WWF Raw, which is not live. Notably, Jerry Lawler is nowhere to be seen (or heard).

Vince McMahon introduces the Nation of Domination, who last week were the victims of a hate crime. Rocky Maivia wears a new t-shirt with a giant “R” on it like he’s trying to steal your Pikachu. Fans boo Faarooq as he tells McMahon there’s racism in the WWF, and even more so when he brings up slavery and discrimination. Did something happen in Tulsa? Vince McMahon apologizes for last week but clearly states there is no racism in the WWF because it’s not allowed.

Faarooq challenges the Hart Foundation to a match next week, drawing the Harts out on stage. “First of all, brothers”, says Bret, “we accept any challenge you want to make….” But he is not a racist. “I come from a country where there is no racial prejudice,” he claims, drawing boos from the audience. “We don’t hate Black people,” says Hart. “We don’t hate brown people,” he continues before, not knowing when to quit, adding, “We don’t hate yellow people”. He also agrees with the Nation that the United States is “riddled with racial prejudice.” The blame, however, falls on “Shawn Michaels and his boy toy, Hunter Hearst Helmsley”.

Michaels, sounding deliberately sanctimonious, comes on the Titantron to agree with the Nation about America’s founding and call Bret the Grand Wizard. Bret’s not wearing a shiny turban and sunglasses, so I don’t know what HBK means. He and Triple H call the Harts the KKK and say the Foundation wanted to wear white sheets and hoods. That’s outrageous; the only Hart Foundation member to wear a Klan robe is Jim Neidhart!

Hunter also heard that the Harts used, “The N-word”. “Oh yeah,” he clarifies, “The N-word.” At this accusation, the Nation rushes to the ramp and cause a mee-lay. Though officials break it up in short order, Bret is left with an injured ankle, which could spell bad news for the Hitman in his match tonight against…

WWF Raw - October 27th, 1997

…Oh dear, Ken Shamrock. Well, I guess we’re crowning a new champion tonight (especially since I hear Bret is leaving for WCW by the end of the year). Speaking of title matches, Owen Hart defends his IC title against Ahmed Johnson.

On the set of Mad TV, Bret Hart stands by as Aries Spears, wearing FUBU gear, does some mediocre impressions of Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage. Hitman and Spears then embrace. And there are people who question Bret’s racial acceptance!

Goldust faces Triple H yet again. But first, Rick Rude has to introduce Hunter to the “fat, out of shape, Tulsa tubs of crap”. One fan, with “I ❤︎ Fat Girls” written on his chest, doesn’t see anything wrong with that. Triple H, who performs his crotch-chops to the strains of “Ode to Joy”, is, along with the rest of D-X, “becoming more degenerate” every week according to Vince.

Shawn Michaels sits down for commentary and notes that he, Rick, and Hunter are all former Intercontinental champions. Chyna would go on to win that title, as well, as would future D-X members Road Dogg and Billy Gunn (while X-Pac and Hornswoggle have yet to do so). Goldust controls the early going, hitting ten punches in the corner and one in the groin. After Hunter ducks, Goldust spills to the outside, where he is womanhandled by Chyna. Shawn approves of the cheating, saying that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. In response, Jim Ross questions Chyna’s sex in those same anserine terms.

With Goldust back in the ring, Triple H softens him up with his knee-based offense (high knee strike, facebreaker, and phantom knee drop). Goldust fights back with punches, which Michaels complains are close-fisted. Hunter goes over the top rope with his signature corner bump and soon tangles with Marlena. Meanwhile in the ring, Goldust holds Marlena’s loaded purse, which Chyna grabs away and smashes him in the face with. Hunter chops his crotch again, leading Vince to repeat the “X marks the spot” catchphrase they’ve been trying to get over all night. A Pedigree later, and HHH wins, bring his record against Goldust to 4-3 in the past year.

In celebration, Shawn stands up on the table and tells Vince to “**** it”, which is bleeped. “That’s disgusting!” growls Vince, throwing his HBK’s headset. “And you’ve got a smile on your face!”

Next, Jim Cornette has some comments on what Vince calls “last night’s low-impact cage match” put on by WCW. The match, pitting Hulk Hogan against Roddy Piper, would be repeated six years later on WWE pay-per-view, minus the cage. Cornette begins by blasting the attitudes of self-proclaimed icons like Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. Randy Savage, he admits, may be a legend, but so is Sinatra, and how many records did he sell last year? I don’t know, but his 1996 compilation albums alone sold nearly 800,000 copies combined. Last night’s cage match was a disgrace, and while Hulk Hogan’s name may be a household word, so is garbage, yada yada yada.

Earlier tonight, Vince McMahon and Sunny saluted Oklahoma legends including Bill Watts, the Brisco Brothers, and Danny Hodge. Even Jim Ross got an award, marking the last nice thing Vince would ever do for him in his home state.

Owen Hart, the fighting Intercontinental champion, comes to the ring to defend against Ahmed Johnson. Vince McMahon again calls Owen the “real hitman” of the Hart Foundation and shows the “devastating footage” from Summerslam to prove it. He faces Stone Cold Steve Austin at Survivor Series, but not for the title if Ahmed can win it tonight. I don’t know what show Vince has been watching for the past three weeks, but I don’t think Austin is going to let that happen. McMahon notes that the official hitman of the Hart Foundation, Bret Hart, will still compete tonight despite the mee-lay at the beginning of the show.

Ahmed Johnson no-sells Owen’s punches, then fists Hart (with punches) with his bandaged right hand. Johnson teams with Ken Shamrock and the LOD against the Nation of Domination at Survivor Series, although if both he and Ken beat the Hart brothers for their respective titles tonight, shouldn’t the Hart Foundation face the NOD instead? Or would the all-champions team of LOD, Ahmed, and Shamrock main-event the pay-per-view?

While Owen stalls on the outside, Ahmed tears his Canadian flag off its pole and kicks it; Jim Ross disapproves. Hart returns to the ring to slap Ahmed, then runs away. When Ahmed corners Hart in the corner, he picks up the referee who stands between them, allowing Owen to kick Johnson in his eponymous body part. The Nation, fresh off their mee-lay at the top of the hour, step on stage and observe as Owen smashes Ahmed’s hand between the steps. He chokes Ahmed with the Canadian flag as WWF Raw is War goes to break.

Hart puts Ahmed in a sleeper and covers him for a two-count. Though Ahmed powers out, he is slow to get to his feet. He then scissors Owen (with a kick) before delivering an unusually weak spinebuster. Before he can hit the Pearl River Plunge, though, Steve Austin runs in and stuns him so Owen can retain by DQ.

On the Superstar Line, Jim Ross has a scoop about three WWF Superstars pulled from the international tour. Hey, they’ve got to leave room on the plane for Tiger Ali Singh!

In the ring, Jim Ross interviews Mankind, who is sporting a much lusher head of hair than when we last saw the Deranged One. From what Ross understands, Dude Love suffered a “minor concussion” in last week’s fight with Kane, but that won’t keep Mankind out of action (because he’s not the one with the concussion; that’s Dude Love). Mankind says his former manager Paul Bearer broke their truce last week by having Kane beat up Dude Love. He challenges Kane before Commissioner Slaughter steps in and disallows it due to both men’s mental conditions. As rational person, Mankind sticks his fingers down his superior’s throat.

In a video package for the Ken Shamrock-Bret Hart title match, which is next for some reason, Jim Ross explains the importance and exclusivity of The Zone, where Shamrock spends much of his time. Tonight, he’ll do battle in a different zone altogether. A zone called…

Too much charge, and not enough stride! …The WarZone! Bret Hart comes to the ring without the Hart Foundation to meet Ken Shamrock. The fans are behind Shamrock, except for one kid who’s behind Jim Ross. Speaking of announcers, Vince McMahon notes that, following the Cleveland Indians’ loss the previous night, Jerry Lawler is out with a case of “post-World Series shock syndrome”. I believe that’s what almost killed Mike Von Erich.

Shamrock works the Hitman’s ankle as Vince McMahon promotes tomorrow night’s Survivor Series Flashback of Survivor Series [sic]. It will feature neither a “low-impact aerobic cage match” nor another bad Hogan movie, but instead Hulk Hogan “at his best and in his prime”.

Bret chop-blocks Ken to turn the match around, then slaps the ring post Figure Four on Shamrock. Hart continues to work the knee, applying a spinning toe hold like Terry Funk, whom he defeated in the latter’s retirement match that August (Funk will join the WWF in two months).

Bret is still working the knee after WWF Raw returns, attempting another ring post Figure Four before Shamrock reverses and pulls Hart into the post. Ken punches out the Hitman on the floor until the referee pulls him away, allowing Bret to retreat and grab a chair. When Hart brings it into the ring, Shamrock steps on it and knocks Bret over with a “hard right hand”, then kicks it away. Shamrock takes down Bret with a Nice Maneuver (#1 – huracanrana), then counters Bret’s first move of doom (the leg sweep) with a belly-to-belly.

Hart tries to apply the Sharpshooter, but Shamrock reverses it into the ankle lock, knocking the referee over in the process. Bret promptly taps out, but, as part of the infamous Tulsa Screwjob, Earl Hebner does not ring the bell (because he’s unconscious). When Shamrock tries to wake the official, Hart levels him with a chair shot. He then puts on the Sharpshooter, but Shawn Michaels runs to the ring and super-kicks him and punches him out. Shamrock goes nuts and suplexes Michaels as more officials fill up the ring. The match ends, although there is no bell.

After Bret’s and Shawn’s respective camps help their respective leaders to their respective feet, the two Survivor Series opponents brawl in the ring. Not even Oklahoma’s own Jerry Brisco can keep the two apart. When the dust settles, Bret holds the title belt over his head, while D-X flies Shawn out of the ring like Superman in reverse.

Bret Hart shares his thoughts backstage, vowing to excellently execute Shawn Michaels at The Survivor Series in Montreal.

The New Blackjacks are already in the ring as Road Dog and B.A. Billy Gunn make their entrance. The D-O-Single-G expresses his championship ambitions before singing a few bars of The Partridge Family. As the match gets underway, Vince once again plugs Flashback: Survivor Series with the same lines about low-impact aerobic cage matches and bad movies. Boy, does he hate the Hulkster. Bradshaw beats the st*ffing out of Road Dog until the Dog gouges his eye. Billy Gunn’s attempted interference only makes Bradshaw angrier. Speaking of past his prime, Barry Windham briefly tags in.

Vince’s voice shifts down an octave as he sends his best wishes to Bob “Gorilla Monsoon” Marella, who is “very ill” in a Philadelphia hospital. Billy Gunn sneaks in a chair shot against Bradshaw as he runs the ropes, allowing Road Dog to pick up the victory for his team. The Godwinns then rush the ring to rough up the New BJs, whom they will face at Survivor Series in eight-man action. To add insult to injury, Gunn & Dog destroy the Blackjacks’ hats. At last, the Headbangers, who are teaming with the Blackjacks at Survivor Series for some reason, make the save, taped-up boom box in tow.

Cameras zoom in on a fan in a Hulk Hogan mask holding up a sign reading, “Will wrestle for food”. “Oh my goodness, another bad movie!” jokes McMahon. What the hell is he talking about?

Vince and JR tell us that Sgt. Slaughter has made the Mankind-Kane match official now that he doesn’t care if Mankind gets seriously hurt. Speaking of Kane, he and “Paul Berruh” come to the ring for an interview with Ross. Bearer re-asserts his vow to make The Undertaker’s life hell until he faces Kane. “Rest in Peace,” says Paul, before reciting his new, Kane-centric catch phrase, “Ashes to Ashes”.

Backstage, Shawn Michaels has a message for Bret Hart: his ass! Shawn pulls down his pants to moon the camera, though Triple H holds a sign in the way (for the most part). “How dare you!” says McMahon. “X marks the spot McMahon!” says Hunter. Speaking of “X”, the serifed letter on Hunter’s sign bears a striking resemblance to the one spray-painted in the Nation’s locker room last week. While Vince looks on disappointed every time HBK shows his butt, Shawn himself ends the segment by literally rofl-ing.

In the ring, Flash Funk awaits the arrival of Sable (and Marc Mero, who’s his opponent tonight). Sable waves around her big whip to the delight of the fans, one of whom (Brock Lesnar?) holds up a sign asking her to wait until he grows up. “She is beautiful,” agrees McMahon. “And just as nice on the inside as she is on the out, really. What a wonderful lady.” Vince might like Sable, but Jim Ross likes chocolate, and he’s looking forward to next week’s show in Hershey, PA.

Ross notes that Mero used to wrestle like Flash Funk, but that it didn’t get him “to the pay window too often in the WWF.” Aside from the Intercontinental title and eight pay-per-view appearances in his first year, that is. Perhaps noticing the holes in JR’s logic, Mero goes to the top for a High-Risk Maneuver (#2), but gets crotched for his troubles. After pushing down Flash Funk, Mero recovers and hits a Maneuver (#3 – Merosault) after all. Ross informs us that Mero will be on something called “Team USA” at Survivor Series.

Flash knocks Mero over with a Maneuver (#4 – spinning front kick) of his own, then sets him up with another Nice Maneuver (#5 – back suplex) so he can go to the top. Funk hits a moonsault, but performs a lazy cover, in JR’s analysis, which allows Mero to kick out. When the referee inexplicably looks away, Marc hits Funk in the junk, then finishes him off with a TKO. Vince gives one last shout of encouragement to a fan taking a picture of Sable before playing JR’s interview with Jeff Jarrett.

Jarrett says that Vince McMahon limited him by making him play the Double J character, so when he lost the Intercontinental Title at In Your House 2, he walked out. Not mentioned is Jarrett’s one month WWF comeback at the end of the year. But at least Vince McMahon gave Jarrett an opportunity, which can’t be said for Eric Bischoff. Only the WWF has bell-to-bell excitement at their house shows, while WCW’s top guys are all in their forties. While Jeff doesn’t have anything new to say, he’ll have more time to say it next week when the interview continues.

Tonight’s LOD-Boricuas main event (Really, main event?) is a non-title affair. However, in pre-recorded comments, Miguel Perez says in Spanish that when they’re done with the LOD, there won’t be anything left to do but put the titles on them.

Jim Ross unsuccessfully attempts to get a word with Billy Gunn and Road Dog, who lounge in neck pillows made from the Blackjacks’ hats. They then sneak over to the LOD’s corner, swipe their shoulder pads, and try them on. This leads Jim Ross to lament how so many people have made asses out of themselves tonight, from Shawn and Hunter to “these two yay-hoos”. Maybe they could form some kind of faction. Ross notes that the other two Boricuas are amused by Gunn and Dog’s antics. They shouldn’t kid themselves, though; if the Boricuas were actually in contention for the tag titles or booked for Survivor Series, they’d be targets, too.

Sure enough, Road Dog accidentally trips Perez as he runs the ropes, much like he did to Double J that fateful night in Nashville, costing Los Boricuas the match. The Boricuas and LOD collectively chase Billy and Roadie up the ramp.

With thirty seconds remaining in the broadcast, the announcers get a word with a ticked-off Ahmed Johnson. By costing him his match, Steve Austin entered Johnson’s “zone” (which he may or may not share with Ken Shamrock). Like an end zone, when you’re in his zone, you score, so now it’s time for Ahmed to score on Stone Cold (non-sexually). “I’m! Comin’! To get you!” screams Ahmed.

Final tally:

5 Maneuvers (Year total: 135)

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