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Raw History: Episode 215 and Reliving Nitro: Episode 93

January 1, 2018 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Raw History: Episode 215 and Reliving Nitro: Episode 93  

Raw History
Episode #215
June 23rd, 1997 | Cobo Hall in Detroit, Michigan

WWF Champion: The Undertaker (2) since 3/23/97
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Owen Hart (1) since 4/28/97
WWF European Champion: British Bulldog (1) since 3/3/97
WWF Tag Team Champions: Vacant since 6/16/97

Vince McMahon and Jim Ross were on commentary.

The New Nation of Domination opened Raw, as Faarooq, D-Lo Brown, Ahmed Johnson and Kama Mustafa came out in all black. Vince hopped in the ring to conduct the interview. He asked Ahmed why he joined the NOD. Ahmed claimed nobody backed him up when he was supposed to get his title shot. He doesn’t trust or respect the Undertaker, because he’s allowing someone to blackmail him. D-Lo got to speak, for the first time, and simply reiterated what Ahmed said. He did it again after Faarooq got some words in. Kama put himself over for beating The Undertaker last week. The Nation got ready to leave, when motorcycle engines were heard. I groaned. Crush led four men on bikes to the ring, as we witnessed the debut of the Disciples of Apocalypse. The group consisted of Crush, Chainz (Brian Lee, formerly the fake Undertaker), Skull and 8-Ball (Jacob and Eli Blu, the Harris Twins, etc.). Crush pulled the, “YOU DIDN’T FIRE ME, I QUIT!” card, before igniting a brawl between the factions. A solid way to start the show, as it continued the trend from last Monday’s surprise ending and introduced a new group. Unfortunately, most of the gang warfare stuff is downhill from here.

Commentary ran down tonight’s card and we got a short word from LOD about how they love a fight.

Ken Shamrock vs. Rockabilly w/ The Honky Tonk Man
Dan Severn debuted by joining commentary for this. I get the idea, with Dan knowing Ken, but putting him in position to talk wasn’t a good plan. It’s crazy to hear Vince speak so positively about the UFC. This match when the way you’d expect. Shamrock dominated and hit a belly to belly, before winning with the Ankle Lock in 2:36. [NR]

Post-match, Shamrock went face to face with Severn, but it just led to a handshake.

SLAM OF THE WEEK ~ Ahmed hitting the Pearl River Plunge on Undertaker and joining the Nation of Domination.

A short Sable video was shown, highlighting how Marc Mero has seemed jealous in recent weeks. FIND OUT MORE IN WWF MAGAZINE!

WWF Tag Team Championship Tournament Quarterfinals: The Godwinns vs. The Legion of Doom
There’s added motivation here, as Henry broke his neck against LOD a few months back. The Godwinns slopped LOD during their entrance, setting off a brawl and getting the crowd to loudly chant, “LOD.” Commentary informed us that Ken Shamrock was jumped by the Hart Foundation backstage. Animal was in trouble for a bit, before making the hot tag. The Godwinns cut off Doomsday Device, so Hawk just came off the top with a diving clothesline instead to win in 3:43. Not much to this one. I wanted more intensity considering the feud. [*]

The Godwinns attacked LOD with the slop bucket after the match. Animal ran them off with a chair, but out came the Hart Foundation to finish the job. Bret Hart watched from the stage.

Commentary pointed out boxing legend Tommy “Hitman” Hearns in the crowd.

Backstage, they tried getting a word with Undertaker, but Paul Bearer shouted for him to shut up. Undertaker grabbed him by the throat and did the same with Vader, who entered the room. Bearer reminded him of the “fire” and Undertaker let go.

Flash Funk vs. Sabu w/ Bill Alfonso
I’ve now covered Sabu on both Raw and Nitro. It’s Bill Alfonso’s first appearance on Raw since being a referee in the early days. Paul E. Dangerously joined commentary again. They aired footage of Sabu in ECW, which was huge at the time. Sabu took to the skies quickly and went to get a table, but Funk cut him off. Bill’s whistle was horribly annoying during this match. Sabu brought out a super rana, but missed a cross body and ate a side kick. Sabu got crotched and clotheslined to the outside. Back inside, Funk got two on a moonsault, before being sent outside. Sabu connected on another rana and asked for the table. While he set Funk up on the table, they both got counted out at 4:38. This was a fun little sprint. Not much in the way of a story or anything, but several cool moves. [**¼]

Sabu hit a springboard moonsault but the table didn’t break. A weak splash led to the same result, so a tired Sabu finally broke the table with a flying leg drop.

LAST WEEK ~ Mankind’s attempts to get Steve Austin to choose him as his partner were shown.

CAUST STONE COLD SAID SO ~ An ad ran for this VHS. I remember buying it and watching it over and over.

Non-Title Match: WWF European Champion British Bulldog vs. Mankind
Mankind was out with a “Pick Me Steve” sign around his next and an Austin 3:16 shirt. While these two went at it, Steve Austin got interviewed over the phone. He’s not in attendance due to injury, but guaranteed he’d be back soon. Austin called Mankind’s desire to be his partner a tribute to the best wrestler in the world. Austin surprisingly called him a “kind man.” Mankind planted Bulldog with a double arm DDT, but rocked in place instead of going for the cover. Both men went over the top and brawled outside. Bulldog delivered a release suplex on the ramp. Why don’t more people do it that way on the ramp? It prevents you from taking the bump. Inside, Mankind escaped the running powerslam and went for the Mandible Claw, but Bulldog kicked him to break it. Tired of the match, Bulldog got a chair and hit Mankind with it for the DQ at 4:09. A lot of the match played background noise to the Austin phone call, but it picked up towards the end. [*¾]

Bulldog continued the attack after the match, clocking Mankind with the chair. The fans chanted for Austin, but wouldn’t get him. Bulldog wasted time posing, so Mankind put the Mandible Claw on.

Backstage, Owen Hart was furious that he was defending his title against two people tonight. He argued with Gorilla Monsoon to get Brian Pillman in his corner to even the score since his opponents had seconds.

A short video package of past Intercontinental Champions was shown.


WWF Intercontinental Championship: Owen Hart [c] w/ Brian Pillman vs. Goldust w/ Marlena vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley w/ Chyna
It’s the first ever televised Triple Threat match! During each man’s entrance, their first IC Title wins were shown. Speaking of firsts, first ever IC Champ Pat Patterson was the guest referee. Wisely, everyone went for flash pins in the opening moments. Owen got a legitimate near fall on a sweet belly to belly suplex. Goldust dropped a knee on him and HHH attempted to steal the pin. I bet someone saw that backstage and was like, “THAT WOULD BE A GREAT FINISH FOR THIS KIND OF MATCH,” and then WWE ran it into the ground. The heels teamed up on Goldust for a bit, until Owen cut off the Pedigree with a spinning heel kick. They pulled the fake out finish as Goldust seemed to win via Curtain Call, but Owen’s foot was on the bottom rope. Earl Hebner showed up to contest the finish and went to the instant replay, which was a rarity. After a commercial, the match was restarted. Owen slapped on the Sharpshooter, but HHH broke things up. Each time someone got close to winning, the extra man was there to stop them. Chyna entered the ring and nailed a CHYNACANRANA on Goldust! I don’t even recall her doing that in her actual matches. Owen drilled HHH with the enziguri that killed HBK. Goldust came off the top to break the pin, but Owen avoided him and he landed on Goldust. Owen covered HHH and retained in 8:29. I enjoyed this, though you could tell they weren’t fully comfortable with the format yet. Some stuff was redundant and the stoppage in the middle didn’t help. They did manage to pack a fair amount into the time and keep things moving throughout. [**¾]

Bret Hart came down to the ring with Jim Neidhart for promo time with Vince. When asked about Canadian Stampede, Bret ran down the participants. LOD call themselves the best tag team ever, but Bret thinks he and Anvil are. He said Ken Shamrock came from the Ultimate Fairy Championship, that he has four sisters who would knock Marlena’s socks off and that Austin was the scum of the earth. Bret turned his attention to Tommy Hearns, the boxer in the front row, for stealing his nickname. Tommy mostly ignored Bret’s insults until Bret called him the chicken man. Somehow, that triggered Hearns to hop the guardrail. Anvil stood between them and got decked for his troubles. Agents ran down to keep Hearns and Hart separated. Hot segment, though when compared to Dennis Rodman on WCW, felt like it lacked in star power. The WWF would hit a home run with a similar angle the following year.

Backstage, Savio Vega confronted the Nation of Domination. He was pissed that he turned his back on his Puerto Rican people, only to get fired. Obviously, this ended in a beating for Savio.

Brian Christopher w/ Jerry Lawler vs. Scott Taylor
TOO MUCH! TOO COOL! Lawler joined commentary to continue the ECW/USWA rivalry. Christopher got insert promo time to call himself the most exciting athlete in wrestling. That’s quite the reach. Taylor got in a few moves early, but the focus was clearly on Christopher. He won via flying leg drop in 2:54. [NR]

WWF Tag Team Championship Tournament Quarterfinals: D-Lo Brown and Faarooq w/ Kama Mustafa vs. WWF Champion The Undertaker and Vader w/ Paul Bearer
Apparently, Ahmed Johnson got hurt in his first official NOD match, so he watched on a monitor backstage. After a minute or two, DOA came to ringside and brawled with everyone. Somehow, that didn’t result in a DQ. Instead, we got a commercial break and thins were calm when the show returned. Vader used his size to wear down Faarooq, while JR raved about their football pasts. Vader did well until arguing with the Undertaker. Undertaker punched him, sending him into a weak clothesline from Faarooq that ended things in 5:03. Lame finish to a match that did a whole lot of nothing. It was just early brawling, a segment outside and then Vader doing stuff. [½*]

Post-match, Undertaker and Vader argued, so Undertaker planted him with a Tombstone. Taker left up the ramp and Paul Bearer got on the mic to say that he’ll reveal the big secret next week. Undertaker responded with the throat cut signal and the show ended on a scared Bearer.

Reliving Nitro
Episode #93
June 23rd, 1997 | Macon Coliseum in Macon, Georgia

WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Hulk Hogan (2) 8/10/96
WCW United States Champion: Jeff Jarrett (1) since 6/9/97
WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Outsiders (1) since 10/27/96
WCW Television Champion: Steven Regal (4) since 5/18/97
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Syxx (1) since 2/23/97
WCW Women’s Championship: Akira Hokuto (1) since 12/29/96

LAST WEEK ~ We see footage of the nWo taking out Lex Luger and the Giant last Monday. Instead of a video package or highlights, they aired nearly the entire thing.

Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay and Larry Zbyszko hosted hour one.

Mean Gene brought Diamond Dallas Page and Kimberly out to the stage. Gene wanted to know who DDP was picking for a partner to take on Scott Hall and Randy Savage at Bash at the Beach. He won’t divulge because he loves surprises. Kimberly hates surprises, so she said she spoke with JJ Dillon and got a match made between DDP and Hall for tonight’s main event. Kimberly’s delivery was poor, though it was possibly her first time cutting any kind of promo. Good, quick way to set up the main event.

Damian and La Parka vs. Public Enemy
I feel like I haven’t seen Public Enemy in months. They got dominated for a good chunk of this match, with the lucha duo showing off their offense. Damien missed a moonsault, allowing Rocco Rock to make the warm tag to Grunge. La Parka took a double back body drop and PE went for the tables. Rocco somersaulted to the outside to put Damien through the table. With the referee focused on that, Parka whacked Grunge with a steel chair for the win in 3:57. Mostly a squash, as they did a good job forwarding the La Parka “chairman” angle. PE has fallen quite hard. [NR]

Gene Okerlund returned, this time to have a word with Eddie Guerrero. He questioned Eddie for leaving Chavo Guerrero Jr. to take a beating from Dean Malenko. Eddie said he wasn’t cleared to wrestle and Chavo offered to help. Eddie brought Chavo out to back him up, but Chavo said he didn’t exactly offer his help. To make things right, Eddie gave Chavo his spot in a Cruiserweight Title match tonight and promised to watch his back. Slimy Eddie is quickly becoming a highlight.

Alex Wright vs. Chris Jericho
A rematch from a solid outing a couple of weeks ago. Like that match, Wright jumped Jericho from behind. They exchanged holds in the early goings, with Jericho seemingly one step ahead. Wright took a powder outside, but continued to be in trouble in the ring. Jericho came off the top, right into a dropkick. Wright hit a flying stomp and danced for the crowd. That allowed Jericho to hit the Lionsault for a near fall. Jericho caught him with a spinebuster into the Liontamer to make him tap at 4:41. Not as good as their previous match. The beginning was kind of just there, though it picked up in the final minute or to. [*½]

Commentary took us through a recap of the Steiners/Harlem Heat issues.

Number One Contender’s Match: Harlem Heat w/ Sister Sherri vs. The Steiner Brothers
Booker started against Scott, again previewing a future WCW World Title program. Scott got double teamed early, but turned it around with a press slam on Booker. Rick got the tag and started tossing Harlem Heat around. He was impressively powerful. Even when it looked like Harlem Heat would swing the momentum, Rick caught Booker with a huge powerslam. The fans ate up everything the Steiners did. Rick took a small heat, before countering a Harlem sidekick with a modified powerbomb. Booker lying on the mat with his eyes wide open was hilarious. Scott got the hot tag and hit the butterfly bomb on Booker, only for Stevie to break up the pin. Harlem heat then cut off the Steiner Bulldog. For no reason, Sherri got on the apron. It was clearly only so she could get knocked off into Stevie’s arms. That left Booker to eat a one man Steiner Bulldog from Rick to end it at 8:12. This was solid. Good action and a very hot crowd. [**½]

Mean Gene interviewed Vicious and Delicious. Buff Bagwell said his arms looked better than Scott’s. He then officially coined the name Vicious and Delicious and said they were the new team on the block. They left as the Steiners got to Gene. The Steiners announced they wanted their shot in Las Vegas next week.

Mike Tenay stood in the audience to announce that Ernest Miller would make his official debut in hour two. THAT’LL PUT BUTTS IN THE SEATS. They ran a video package to hype Miller.

Hector Garza vs. Villano IV
It’s kind of wild that I’m watching Garza Jr. (his nephew) wrestle now. The crowd didn’t care about anything these two did. Lots of generic lucha offense in the early goings. Even their flips barely got a pop. Villano missed a moonsault, leading to him getting dropkicked to the outside. Garza followed with one of the weakest baseball slides you’ll ever see. Garza nailed the Tornillo, which Tenay lost his mind over. Inside, Garza added a standing moonsault to win in 4:48. Fine enough as a match, just something the crowd didn’t care about. [*¼]

HOUR TWO! Bobby Heenan replaced Zbyszko.

Mean Gene brought out Lex Luger and the Giant for an in-ring interview. Luger did most of the promo work, which typically isn’t a good thing. He put over the attack last week and promised revenge at Bash at the Beach. Giant didn’t add much and the promo was redundant. It went too long.

WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Syxx [c] w/ Scott Hall vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.
Tony and Bobby argued at the start of the match, because Bobby noted how wise the nWo’s tactics have been. I mean, he’s not wrong. Almost immediately, Chavo sent Syxx outside with a flying head scissors. Syxx managed to take control inside, hitting the Bronco Buster and going to the dreaded chinlock. Syxx missed his second Bronco Buster attempt. Careful, you’ll rip your butthole or something. Chavo began his rally as Eddie arrived to watch from the stage. Chavo took out Syxx with a plancha to the outside. While the referee counted Syxx out, Hall planted Chavo with the Outsider’s Edge. Eddie simply watched from the stage. How did the referee not feel the mat bouncing under his feet? Syxx won via Buzz Killer in 6:01. They need to think of better ways for these matches to end. The in-ring stuff was fine up until the tired finish. [**]

Konnan vs. Steve McMichael w/ Debra
This was supposed to go down two weeks ago, but Kevin Greene jumped Mongo and Konnan was laid out by Hugh Morrus. Both feuds were resolved at the PPV, with Morrus/Konnan being dreadful. Konnan challenged Mongo to a three point stance challenge and it goes as badly as you’d expect. He took Mongo to the mat and wore him down for a bit. Morrus stormed to the ring with a broom handle, meaning that awful feud is continuing. He was held back by officials, as Mongo dropped Konnan with the Tombstone in 3:14. Mostly one-sided before Mongo hit his finisher and won. [¼*]

VIDEO PACKAGE ~ Benoit/Sullivan at Bash at the Beach was hyped.

Gene Okerlund brought out the “Icon” Roddy Piper for an in-ring interview. The crowd loved Piper, though he said he thinks he’s been too much of a goody-too-shoes lately. He turned his attention to Ric Flair, saying he didn’t think Flair would betray him, but admitted Flair had odd quirks. He made a joke about Flair being with two women, so they could entertain each other after he falls asleep. This brought out Flair, who said he left Piper to deal with Syxx, which was best for Piper. Flair brought up facing Hall and Nash, while Piper was away. While they discussed stuff, the Four Horsemen came to the ring. Gene asked where Jeff Jarrett was and Debra said she discarded him. Mongo got in Piper’s face for questioning the Horsemen’s captain. Flair attempted to keep the peace, but Flair and Mongo seemed ready to fight. Benoit awkwardly said Piper was spineless, leading to a brawl. Piper did well until Flair cowered in the corner, allowing Mongo to hit him in the back with the briefcase. Benoit put him in the Crippler Crossface while Flair stomped away on Piper. WAS THIS FLAIR’S PLAN ALL ALONG?

Ernest Miller and Glacier vs. High Voltage
High Voltage hit the first double team move, with a bulldog/sunset flip combo. Mortis, Wrath and James Vandenberg arrived to watch from the stage. Glacier nailed the Cryonic Kick and Miller won it with a spin kick off the top in 2:15. [NR]

The heels rushed he ring, but put the brakes on when Glacier and Miller turned towards them.

VINGETTE ~ Hulk Hogan’s friendship with Dennis Rodman was highlighted.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. WCW World Tag Team Champion Scott Hall w/ Elizabeth and Randy Savage
Kimberly came out with her husband, but left at the sight of Savage. The match began with some basic stuff until DDP was sent outside. Of course, that allowed Savage to get in a cheap shot. Hall threw DDP and his taped ribs into the guardrail and steel steps. Inside, DDP hit a discus clothesline and both men were down. As they got up, DDP called for the Diamond Cutter, so Savage attacked him from behind for the DQ finish in 3:26. [NR]

Hall and Savage spent the next few moments beating on DDP. They unwrapped the rib bandages and hit a super back suplex. Sting was shown in the stands and pointed the bat towards the ring. Savage stopped for a moment, but then realized how far away Sting was, so he dropped the elbow anyway. Sting finally remembered to heard towards the ring, causing Hall and Savage to exit. The big question was if Sting was DDP’s mystery partner. Savage and Hall got back in the ring and got hit with the bat as the show closed..

Raw Rating: 2.4
Nitro Rating: 3.3

The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
RAW: Another above average edition of Raw. Most of the matches were at least decent (except the two tournament matches) and we even had the fun debut of the Triple Threat match. The Hart/Hearns segment was solid and I rather enjoyed Funk/Sabu. The ECW addition to Raw has been fun and that was the case again. They also did a fine job building the NOD, while setting things up the next PPV. All in all, an enjoyable way to spend two hours. 6.5

NITRO:  A relatively good episode of Nitro. There were certainly things to like. I thought the Piper/Horsemen segment came off very well, the Syxx/Chavo match was decent, Steiners/Heat was fun and the La Parka and Eddie Guerrero angles continue to be solid. Though the crowd was hot for the finish, it felt redundant. Like, we’ve seen this from Sting before. 5.0


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Monday Night War, Nitro, RAW, WCW, WWE, Kevin Pantoja