WWF RAW — November 24th, 1997 — New Crown Center, Fayetteville, NC
Too much Fudd and not enough Pyle!WWF Raw comes to us live from Fayettesville, North Carolina. Rick Rude’s old Stripper-esque theme plays, but “Handsome Harvey” Wippleman comes through the curtain instead. Shouldn’t this be a parody WCW does of D-X, making fun of them losing the real Rick Rude? Harv introduces D-X to the “North Carolina nobodies”.
The remaining three members of D-X come to the ring with video effects to trigger seizures. Shawn sarcastically tells Harvey, “Lord knows that was a tough spot to fill”, then pie-faces him to the mat.
Michaels says that he always takes advantage of live TV (much like Rick Rude on last week’s Nitro), and so he’s here to address what happened at Survivor Series. Michaels seems to be of a clear consciousness tonight, but does he have a clear conscience? With acting that’s legitimately better than the last time he forfeited the WWF title, Shawn is torn up about what happened between him and Bret. He also says (correctly) that Bret Hart is still under contract to the WWF until the end of the month. Shawn and Bret have gotten in touch and will settle their differences tonight — peacefully or not.
The return of Bret Hart is nearly as newsworthy as Jeff Jarrett’s re-debut, which will occur later tonight.
The Legion of Doom defend the tag team titles against the team of Billy Gunn & Road Dog, who finally have theme music. The challengers wear their stolen Road Warriors shoulder pads on stage, where the Dog encourages the fans’ asses to call somebody (provided they didn’t know). Speaking of asses, the LOD are “ready to kick some fanny”, dragging the challengers to the ring. While the Road Warriors already signed to defend their titles at the next pay-per-view, they couldn’t wait that long.
That pay-per-view should not be confused with November to Remember, the ECW event that Jim Ross warns “is not for everyone”. Jim Cornette says he won’t order the ECW show because he has to “get [his] colon irrigated that day.” But aren’t wrestling PPVs usually at night?
The Roadies easily handle the Roadie until Hawk rams his own shoulder into the ring post and spills to the outside. As the show returns from commercial, Road Dog crotches himself on the second rope, allowing Hawk to attempt a hot tag. Animal is out of place dealing with Billy, however. The Dog instead drags Hawk to the challengers’ corner and tags in Billy. Another attempted hot tag to Animal fails the referee fails to see it. In the confusion, Road Dog hits Hawk with a title belt, but he still kicks out of Gunn’s pin attempt.
Billy’s flying leg drop, which missed completely at Survivor Series, misses completely again — but on purpose this time — allowing Hawk to finally tag out. During the LOD’s subsequent house-cleaning, Animal accidentally shoulder-blocks the referee out of the ring. When they try to Doomsday-Device Billy Gunn, the Road Dog hits Animal with a chair. A second ref, seeing Billy’s pin but missing the chair shot that immediately preceded it, slides into the ring and counts to three. And just like that, Dog-Gunn-it are your new tag team champions. The two men flee “like bank robbers” to their car and speed out of the arena, although they have to wait for a limousine to make a left turn.
In the Karate Fighters tournament, Sunny easily defeats Shrimp Scampi, who is so smitten he barely twitches his knob. The tournament commentators then watch Sunny jiggle in her J-Lo dress in slow motion.
During the break, Animal and Hawk took their frustrations out on a security guard, giving the hapless event staff the Doomsday Device. Jim Ross speculates that Bret Hart is he passenger in the newly-arrived limousine.
Goldust arrives in a wheelchair with a nurse. In an interview with Michael Cole, he says his hand injury has spread to his entire body, rendering him paraplegic. No, he takes it back — a quadriplegic. He then asks Cole to cross Dust’s legs for him. When Nurse Goodbody rubs his shoulders with alcohol, he (Goldust) lets out an effeminate moan. But Vader has seen enough, trodding down the ramp, yelling that Goldust hit him with a ball peen hammer last week. I can see Goldust hitting him with his balls or his peen, but a hammer? That sounds out of character.
Vader starts slapping Goldust around like a Kuwaiti talk show host before the nurse splashes the mastodon in the eyes with alcohol. Goldust then gets out of his chair and starts pounding Vader, while the nurse strips off her mask and scrubs to reveal Luna Vachon.
With her pants still around her ankles, she joins in the beating, then says something inaudible into Cole’s microphone. Jim Ross, as he did last week, says the pair have been dressing in Elton John’s closet before adding, “The Bitch is Back” — apparently, that’s what Luna said into the mic. Cameras then zoom in on Vader, but thanks to the production truck and a seven-second delay, we don’t hear what he says.
The limousine is still in the parking lot when WWF Raw returns. Jim Cornette jokes about how boring these constant limousine shots are, as these are common on WCW Nitro. Of course, they would become cliché on WWF Raw within a year or two, as well.
We see a reply of last week’s confrontation between Triple H and Commissioner Slaughter where Hunter, in his New England accent, tells Sarge he’ll “swing by ya house” and have sex with his wife. Michael Cole then recaps Sgt. Slaughter’s career, including his time under the guidance of The Grand Wizard. Maybe it was Sarge who trashed the Nation’s locker room? In the voiceover, Cole warns D-X to take the Cobra Clutch seriously.
Slaughter steps through the curtain while Lex Luger’s second WWF theme plays. The Commish says it’s not D-X’s assault that angered him, but Hunter’s personal comments. A chyron reading “Flanagan” flashes briefly on screen before the correct graphic appears. Slaughter then puts on his Sarge hat and code-switches from his Minnesota accent to his signature growl. Slaughter is going to put Helmsley in “the most devastating submission in hold in the history of the World Wrestling Federation: The Cobra Clutch!”
“The Cobra… Clutch?” asks an incredulous Michael Cole, as if he didn’t just narrate a video package warning D-X of that exact move. “Shut your hole!” says Slaughter, differentiating him from Heidenreich. The Sergeant Commissioner then announces that his match with Triple H will be a Boot Camp match before listing off (for over a minute) various horrors of the Vietnam war that he saw in movies.
Brian Christopher faces “Flanagan”, who is either indie wrestler Flash Flanagan or Jeremy Borash. While the announcers look at the tournament bracket (as if to confirm that, yes, this is Flash Flanagan), Flanagan hits a somersault plancha that the production truck misses. A replay still fails to catch most of the move. Jim Cornette notes that Flanagan has wrestled Christopher in the USWA. Too Sexy hits a sunset flip powerbomb on Flanagan to the floor, allowing Jerry Lawler to get in a few cheap shots. In the ring, Flanagan fights back briefly with a series of weak clotheslines but still loses to Christopher’s Tennessee Jam.
On the WWF Superstar Line, Jim Ross promises fans the scoop on why Vince McMahon is not on the air, and “what legal litigations are pending” with him. As WWF Raw signs off, the limo driver opens the door for… we don’t know. I guess we’ll have to wait for…
…The WarZone, which now uses “We’re All Together Now” as its theme.
Sorry, wrong link!
Degeneration X [sic] walk somberly to the ring, not telling a single person to suck it save for token crotch chops during the in-ring pyro. Jim Ross anticipates this Bret Hart segment as a monumental moment in wrestling history. But first, Triple H says he’s not scared of Slaughter, and that “come Degeneration X” [brief smile], he’s going to finish him off [No smile]. He then tells any local army recruits that while they’re at Fort Bragg, their women will be with the “sergeant with the purple helmet” (his glans). For the record, neither Triple H’s penis nor Sgt. Slaughter is an actual sergeant.
But the reason folks are still tuned in to WWF Raw (or WarZone) isn’t to hear about Helmsley’s military escapades, but to see Bret Hart. Sure enough, Shawn Michaels introduces… a little person with a Bret Hart mask. Triple H then makes some quips about shrinkage. Shawn reenacts the finish of Survivor Series with Mini Bret, who taps out, cries for someone to ring the bell, and admits that Shawn Michaels is the bestest at everything. Hunter slaps a WCW label on Mini Bret’s butt and sends him on his way.
One person (among many) who doesn’t find this funny is Jim Neidhart, who says not that he is in the Hart Foundation, but that he is the Hart Foundation. He threatens to kick D-X’s “butt”, but Shawn tells Neidhart that Bret Hart held The Anvil back for years and never gave him anything in return. And where’s Bret now? At home. Where’s Davey Boy? Having minor knee surgery, says Neidhart, to which Shawn replies that he knows all about the old phony knee injury trick. And where’s Owen? Neidhart says Owen is so “mentally distraught” that he’s at home, too. Shawn then offers Neidhart a spot in D-X to help feed his family — but he has to respond by the end of the night.
Vader, as you’ll recall, was the victim of an assault by Goldust and Luna earlier tonight. Well, forget about that, because he’s wrestling Shawn Michaels in the main event tonight (with no titles on the line).
Also set to appear tonight is “The Rock” Rocky Maivia, along with the rest of the Nation. D’Lo, who lost his hat to Stone Cold last week, is wearing a new one in the graphic.
Footage airs of Steve Austin eating dinner with the Survivor Series Super Supper Sweepstakes winner and her family and friends.
In preparation for the “four-round toughman fight” at Degeneration X, Jim Ross introduces “a special look at The Bean.” That’s not a nickname I just made up; they actually call him that. Michael Cole narrates highlights Butterbean’s boxing career, including pay-per-view fights, his appearance in an EA Sports video game (Toughman Contest, to be exact), and a biographical song. The video package shifts gears to emphasize Butterbean’s dangerous skills. The stock piece, “Helpless” plays, synced up to Mr. Bean’s punches.
Savio Vega comes to the ring while a fan holds up a poorly formatted sign reading, “Bischoff Hogan’s girl is little” (or something). He faces Ken Shamrock, attacking him from behind before the bell. Shamrock then puts Vega in a leglock, but Savio grabs the ropes and takes a powder. The two mix it up some more in the ring, but when Shamrock gets thrown out of the ring, Miguel Perez runs down and clubs him with punches. Savio wears Ken down with a chinlock and kicks, but gets caught when he tries pinning him with his feet on the ropes.
Shamrock fights back with a powerslam, then enters his Zone. Ken fights off the interference of “one of the Los Boricuas”, then makes Savio tap out to the ankle lock.
As if the mysterious white limo earlier tonight weren’t enough, a pickup truck reading “Stone Cold” and “Austin 3:16” arrives. Who could be in that one?
The Nation arrives in their black leather gear, including D’Lo Brown, who has gotten his old hat back. The only exception is The Rock, who sports a fanny pack and an all-denim ensemble. The Rock calls himself the “People’s Champion” for the first time, although his microphone keeps cutting out. He is interrupted by chants of “Rocky Sucks”, led by captions on the Titantron.
Maivia sends the rest of the Nation backstage to investigate before Stone Cold appears on the Tron, messing around in the production truck. In an ode to soon-to-be-obsolete technology, he warns Rocky to look out if his beeper reads, “316”, then wonders “Is it live, or is it Memorex?” Stone Cold sneaks up behind Rocky, who looks at his beeper before Austin stomps a mudhole in him. Austin fends off the Nation with a chair when they arrive for back up, nearly flipping himself over the ropes in the process. Jim Ross apologizes after Austin flips off Rocky.
Crush, in his last appearance in the WWF for four years, rides solo to the ring on his motorcycle. Backstage, the announcers catch up with Jeff Jarrett, whose contract stipulates that cameras follow him from the dressing room to the ring. Bill Goldberg must be taking notes. Jarrett looks over his contract, which he keeps in a New York Islanders folder, and complains about his accommodations. He then repeatedly gripes about having to wrestle Chainz, a biker. In reality, his opponent is Crush, who is also a biker. Regardless, Jeff refuses to wrestle Chainz or Crush, who wins by forfeit.
The lights then go out, Kane’s music hits, and the Undertaker’s brother marches down the ramp. Crush fights in vain against the taller (with lifts) Kane, who tombstones him. Crush rolls on the mat clutching his neck, leading Jim Ross to speculate that he has been badly injured. The rest of the DOA come down without their bikes, but it’s Gerald Brisco who suffers Kane’s wrath in the form of a chokeslam.
Backstage, Jim Neidhart strokes his beard contemplating D-X’s offer.
Vader arrives for the main event with a bandaged eye (not the same one that popped out against Stan Hansen). Shawn Michaels steps through the curtains with the rest of D-X, then welcomes Jim Neidhart as their newest member.
With six minutes left in the show, Vader and Shawn go at it. If this match is anything like some of their dark matches in 1996, they should be able to squeeze in twelve falls easily. Vader hits Michaels with a sit-down splash, then chops his crotch (his own). When he tries to run the ropes, however, Neidhart low-bridges him, sending him to the floor where Anvil and Triple H put the boots to him. Regardless, Vader launches Shawn into the corner and sets up for the Vader Bomb until Triple H throws a cup of coffee at his face.
As Vader grabs Helmsley on the apron, Shawn superkicks him from behind, then from the front, scoring the pin after a grueling three minute slog. Neidhart celebrates with the rest of D-X until Chyna punches him in the groin. I guess he’s out of D-X. Triple H and Shawn stomp him before HBK superkicks him. HBK tells The Anvil that Shawn Michaels is the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be.
The important thing is that Neidhart is upholding the time-honored tradition.