WWF RAW – December 29, 1997 – Nassau Coliseum – Uniondale, NY
After last week’s kayfabe worked match between Triple H and Shawn Michaels, the new European champion defends against Owen Hart. Plus, says Michael Cole, “The Rattlesnake plans to throw the book — the Book of Austin — at the Artist Formerly Known as Goldust. If the Book of Austin is as long as the Book of John, it’s only about 50 pages long.
Too much pubs, and not enough dives! It’s time for WWF Raw is War. For the first time in weeks, it’s live, this time from Uniondale, Long Island (Long Island apparently being its own state at the time).
TAFKA Goldust comes out to a re-mixed Goldust theme, dressed as a giant baby for New Year’s. I’m just glad to see he’s finished with the kinky stuff, and instead he’s wearing a diaper and pretending to be a one-year-old. Goldust announces his entry in the “nineteen eighty-eight Royal Rumble” [sic]. It makes sense — with only 20 guys in it, it should be easier than the upcoming nineteen ninety-eight Rumble. He also offers Steve Austin a thong so he can be the Ken to Goldust’s Barbie.
Austin comes dressed to fight (though not to wrestle, what with his injured neck and all). Sure enough, Austin refuses to wrestle his opponent, instead lowering a cloaked object from the ceiling. It’s off center, so Stone Cold has to pull a rope to get it into the ring. It’s a porta-john labeled “Crapper 3:16”. For the record, Thomas Crapper’s profession was strictly a coincidence.
Stone Cole says the commode “stinks like hell” and says Goldust is going inside. Sure enough, Austin beats up ‘Dust and throws him into the porta-potty. Goldust escapes, eats a stunner, and gets tossed right back inside. Stone Cold then tips the unit completely over. Luna has to rescue Goldust, curiously spotless, from the overturned outhouse.
Michael Cole points to another large crate, this one sitting on the entrance ramp. Basically, if you like mysterious boxes, this is the WWF Raw for you. Plus, says Cole, eight WWF Superstars are “plotting against” Kane. Is Undertaker’s brother getting politicked out of the WWF? Speaking of monsters, Mike Tyson has business with the WWF.
The 1-800-Collect Rewind is Owen Hart’s sneak attack on Triple H last week.
Los Boricuas rap their way to the ring to start the latest installment of the Gang Warz, this time taking on Disciples of Apocalypse. Kevin Kelly plugs the DOA’s Titan motorcycles for an unusually long time before the anything-goes six-man match begins. It’s a six-man and not an eight-man, says Jim Ross, because Crush wussed out and quit the WWF. The remaining Disciples are among the seven (not eight — Crush wussed out) superstars looking for revenge on Kane.
José Estrada, the odd Boricua out, jumps into the ring anyway and fights with Brian Lee as Kevin Kelly laments the “lack of institutional control” in the WWF. Savio then kicks Estrada by accident, allowing Lee to pin him. Estrada. The one who isn’t in the match. And none of the announcers find this noteworthy.
Triple H is in the ring on crutches, claiming to have dislocated his kneecap in a match the previous night. And Shawn Michaels is at home with a fever (and Chyna has two swollen glands). That means The Undertaker will have to wait until the Royal Rumble to meet HBK. Right on cue, Taker’s theme plays, the lights go out, and druids slowly roll a casket down the ramp. But when it reaches the ring, Michaels pops out and poses with the rest of D-X. Did the druids know?
Shawn announces the arrival of two new members to D-Generation X. “A Major announcement, perhaps”, says Kelly. My money’s on the New Age Outlaws. In face, it’s Chyna’s bosoms. Hunter and Shawn make boob jokes for the next minute before Michaels gets back to business, addressing Owen Hart and The Undertaker. As Shawn motorboats Chyna, Sgt. Slaughter marches to the ring to put the two boobs in their place.
The commissioner, now sporting a buzzcut, says that while Triple H might be out of action, Shawn Michaels is in “perfect condition” to wrestle. Sarge must not have heard Shawn slur his promo if he thinks that. Regardless, Slaughter orders HBK to defend the WWF title against Owen Hart tonight. That match, plus the box on stage means this is shaping up to be one hell of a night. As WWF Raw goes to commercial, the alliance of DOA, the Headbangers, and Scott Taylor huddle backstage.
Next, Ken Shamrock faces fellow mixed martial artist Kama Mustafa, whom Cole calls,“the Supreme Fighting Machine”. Kevin Kelly, meanwhile, has to “question the wisdom” of The Rock for defending his IC title against Shamrock at the Rumble. Accepting a match of that magnitude? Rocky must have literally gone bananas.
For two MMA legends, Shamrock and Kama have a pretty standard wrestling match until Shamrock makes Kama tap out to the ankle submission. The Rock immediately interrupts Ken’s celebration to talk about the elderly and Social Security. Specifically, that he doesn’t give a damn about either of those things. My only explanation of this promo is that Vince Russo saw 25 years into the future, learned Dwayne Johnson was considering a run for president, and made him say this to preemptively sabotage his campaign.
As for more pertinent issues, The Rock announces Shamrock’s opponent for next week’s WWF Raw, Faarooq. This is news to the Nation leader. Rocky tells Kama and D-Lo to know their role before walking back up the ramp, Faarooq staring daggers at him the entire time.
The commentary team plugs the upcoming WWF events, including one show at the Tingley Coliseum. Cole accidentally skips the WWF’s Madison Square Garden show, which Jim Ross rectifies. All the while, the mystery box remains on stage. “My curiosity is piqued!” says Kelly, hyping the big reveal as only he can.
For the New York market, Dok Hendrix promotes the aforementioned MSG show, which features a tag team cage match main event and a tag title match featuring “B.A. Billy Gunn”.
In a pre-taped segment, Vince McMahon sits in an empty Nassau Coliseum and promises big things for 1998. “As the old expression goes,” says McMahon, “you ain’t seen nothing yet.”
In the ring, Jerry Lawler claims that tag team partner Brian Christopher’s real father is Jim Ross. They await the arrival of Taka Michinoku and a mystery partner. It’s George Steele. The Animal chases the Lawlers out of the ring, strips off his shirt, and starts eating turnbuckle covers.
With Steele preoccupied with his meal, the heels double-team Taka. Michinoku fights back with a spinning heel kick, then a scoop slam. Why he didn’t just turn the scoop slam into a Michinoku Driver, I don’t know, but it lets him hit Too Sexy with a moonsault. The King hits Taka with a foreign object, then attempts a moonsault of his own. this is Jerry Lawler I’m talking about. Fortunately for all parties involved, George Steele hits Christopher with a foreign object of his own, leading Jerry to step down from the top rope.
Brian is back up within seconds, double-teaming Taka with the help of his dad (Jerry, not Jim Ross) and Foreign Object A. George Steele then hits the two heels with Foreign Object B, finally drawing a disqualification. After the Lawlers retreat, Steele starts looking under the ring, throws an empty drink tray into ring, then throws it at the referee.
The big box starts shaking as WWF Raw enters its second hour. “We’re All Together Now” kicks off WarZone, which features Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler (who returned to ringside pretty quick).
The New Age Outlaws emerge in New York Rangers gear and hockey sticks to taunt the Islanders fans. Road Dog narrates highlights of the Outlaws beating up Mick Foley but is interrupted by Dude Love’s music. On the Titantron, the Dude morphs into Mankind, then Cactus Jack, who mentions someone or something called Chainsaw Charlie. Jack then comes to the ring not with a chainsaw, but with a barbed wire bat.
Cactus Jack applies the mandible claw, which Ross says he borrowed from Mankind, on both Outlaws, then pushes Billy Gunn out of the ring to begin this one-on-one match with the Dog. Jerry Lawler notes that Road Dog has few friends, and was so unpopular that “when he was in Vietnam, they were shooting at him from both sides”. Unless Jesse James is in his forties, I think King means Iraq.
The action soon spills to the outside, where the Outlaws double-team Cactus following a chair shot to the head. The referee immediately steps in and tells Billy Gunn to knock it off, then lets the match continue. In the ring, Foley hits Road Dog with a double-arm DDT, but Gunn breaks up the pin, at last causing a disqualification.
Cactus Jack marches up the ramp, where the brawl continues. The Outlaws are soon transfixed by the sight and sound of a chainsaw cutting a hole from within the mystery crate. It’s Chainsaw Charlie, whose titular power tool gives off sparks as he waves it in the air. With pantyhose over his head and a chain saw sound effect blaring over the PA, Terry Funk swings his tool at Dog and Gunn until they retreat. Charlie bounces crotch first on the top rope until WWF Raw cuts to commercial.
Sable walks out in a black silk robe to speak with Kevin Kelly, who “proudly” holds the new swimsuit issue of WWF Raw Magazine. And now, says Sable, she’s going to give the fans a preview of its contents. That is, until a denim-clad Marc Mero immediately interrupts and takes a seat right in the ring. “You know, these people came here to see me wrestle”, says Mero, straining credulity, “not you take those clothes off.” Marc punches Kevin Kelly in the groin, causing him to drop the Sable magazine (in which Kelly has abruptly lost interest).
As Mero corners and berates Sable, Tom Brandi comes to the rescue, only to be TKO’d by Marvelous Marc onto a chair. Mero stuffs pages of the magazine down Brandi’s throat like he’s Ted DiBiase, and down his Speedo like he’s Ted DiBiase at a strip club. Marc tells the fans that he’d better not catch any of them with the WWF Raw Magazine, which hits newsstands tomorrow.
Also new tomorrow, at exactly midnight, is an exclusive update on Davey Boy Smith on the WWF Superstar Line. Unlike the WWF Raw swimsuit edition, the Superstar Line requires parental permission.
Heading into the commercial, the coalition of Kane’s victims files into the ring. After the break, Chainz calls out Kane. “The destruction of Kane is imminent”, declares Jim Ross as Kane takes on Scott Taylor, Flash Funk, the Headbangers, and the remaining Disciples of Apocalypse (They could have recruited those six minis from last month, but that would have been overkill).
Kane hits his ring-post pyro when the lights go out, and Undertaker’s theme plays. The Insignificant Seven egg Taker on, but instead he and Kane team up and clear the ring. Undertaker leaves without saying a word to Kane, only to address his brother by saying to the camera that Taker will burn in hell before he fights him. With this refusal to communicate openly and directly, it’s no wonder the brothers have such a strained relationship.
As Jerry Lawler begs JR for Mike Tyson info, an agitated New Age Outlaws yell at Michael Cole for his impertinent questions. Chainsaw Charlie interrupts the “interview” by cutting through the locker room door. After Gunn and Road Dog flee, Charlie and Cactus push open the door, which comes right off its hinges; the camera man pushes the door out of the way as it falls on him.
Back at ringside, Vladimir the superfan chops his crotch as Lawler and Ross send it over to Jim Cornette. Corny is here to give an update on wrestling in the year 1998, and surprise, surprise, it all stinks. But has he considered that it’s extemporaneous? Cornette rants about “sports entertainment” and the lack of respect for wrestling tradition. Also, immigrants.
The Playstation Slam of the Week, brought to you by Bushido Blade, is last week’s Stone Cold Stunner on Santa Claus.
Sunny interrupts Jim Ross’s Mike Tyson announcement to dance with the WWF Raw swimsuit edition. When that’s over, Ross speaks over the PA and tells fans that the WWF has begun negotiations with Tyson to participate at WrestleMania 14. “Unbelievable, who’s he gonna fight?” asks Lawler, immediately setting expectations higher than anything the WWF could possibly deliver.
It’s now main event time, and Jim Ross can feel in his bones that Owen Hart will win the WWF Title tonight. Shawn Michaels, feeling something else, points to Chyna’s new ta-tas throughout his entrance. As DX’s entrance video plays out on screen, Ross reminds fans that Triple H was injured “last night in HAMILTON, ONTARIO!” His sudden excitement comes not from his enthusiasm for the Canadian city, but rather Owen Hart’s dive onto the champion.
Owen punches out Michaels on the arena floor until the referee separates the two men, allowing HBK space and time to remove his chaps. Owen Hart routs Michaels heading into the commercial break, still pummeling Shawn on the outside when WWF Raw returns. The action finally spills into the ring, where Chyna trips the challenger, allowing Michaels to knock Hart off the ring apron and into the railing. Well that didn’t last long.
The action then continues once more on the arena floor. Jim Ross notes that this match is worthy of a pay-per-view main event, and not like some of those other so-called main events you’ve seen (in WCW). It’s an odd flex to make with five minutes left in the broadcast.
With Triple H now at ringside, Shawn controls the match in the ring. HBK locks Owen in a sleeper hold, but Hart refuses to quit. Then again, the referee is Earl Hebner, so it might not matter. Owen breaks out and slingshots Shawn around the ring for a series of two-counts. Finally, Hart downs Shawn with the dreaded enzuigiri, then locks in the Sharpshooter. Triple H manages to hit Hart with his crutch on his second attempt, triggering the third disqualification of the evening’s five matches. I guess Cornette had a point.
Helmsley beats Owen relentlessly with the crutch. “They’re gonna kill him!” says Lawler prophetically as WWF Raw goes off the air.