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Raw History: Episode 222 and Reliving Nitro: Episode 100

February 19, 2018 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Raw History: Episode 222 and Reliving Nitro: Episode 100  

Raw History
Episode #222
August 11th, 1997 | Gulf Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Mississippi

WWF Champion: Bret Hart (5) since 8/3/97
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Steve Austin (1) since 8/3/97
WWF European Champion: British Bulldog (1) since 3/3/97
WWF Tag Team Champions: Dude Love (1) and Steve Austin (2) since 7/14/97

The events of last week were recapped to start the show. Mainly Bret Hart being WWF Champion, Shawn Michaels turning heel and new Commissioner Sgt. Slaughter.

Vince McMahon, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler were on commentary.

JR introduced Shawn Michaels for an interview. Shawn returns to the ring against Mankind tonight. He threw some barbs at Vince for blaming him for the WWF Title match at SummerSlam and not telling him about the match tonight. Shawn had to find out by watching Superstars. The fans chanted “Shawn is gay” so he told them to ask their mothers and sisters how gay he is. When Shawn alleged that there was a conspiracy against him, Commissioner Slaughter came out. Shawn mocked Slaughter’s giant chin and didn’t take him seriously. He got in his face and was spit on from some of Sarge’s words. Shawn claimed to have an insurance policy for his match tonight and delivered the crotch chop to the Commissioner. Insurance policy? Could it be Sid? Or possibly Diesel? This went a bit long, but did a great job to continue Shawn’s new role.

The Biloxi fans were asked about HBK/Mankind. Most think Shawn will win.

Country Whipping Match: Hawk w/ Animal vs. Henry Godwinn w/ Phineas Godwinn
Henry explained the rules in a backstage interview, saying the strap could be used until one man couldn’t take it and ran away. As expected, they just whipped each other a bunch. Owen Hart and British Bulldog joined commentary to hype the Fatal Four Way Tag Team Title match at Ground Zero, featuring these three teams and the champions. Owen and Davey argued about wanting to beat up Patriot tonight to honor Bret. Just as Hawk set up to win, Phineas got involved after hitting Animal with the slop bucket. Animal still got up in time to save Hawk and they sent the Godwinns outside to give Hawk the win at 3:48. Considering the finish, this would’ve worked better as a tag. Instead, it was just a bunch of wailing and whipping. [¼*]

EARLIER TODAY ~ Slaughter handed Brian Pillman a dress as his ring gear for the evening.

Scott Putski vs. Tony Williams
Goldust and Marlena came out to join commentary. They revealed that they placed a camera in Pillman’s locker room, so we could see him throw a tantrum when he failed to get into a dress. The match got the small part of the split screen, as it was just there to fill time. Putski won via Polish Hammer in 3:30 but I couldn’t pay attention to it. [NR]

Sgt. Slaughter, who is out to best Kimberly and Mean Gene combined in Monday night appearances, was seen for the third time, as he took Goldust and Marlena backstage for their actions.

Backstage, Undertaker warned Shawn Michaels that he’ll be watching his match tonight. At Ground Zero, Shawn will need burial insurance. Umm, okay.

Brian Pillman vs. Flash Funk
A bit haunting to hear JR note that this could be what sends Pillman “over the edge.” Anyway, if this was both guys in their primes, it would rule. While they went through some exchanges, commentary hyped Lawler’s appearance at ECW Hardcore Heaven this weekend. Our FOURTH Slaughter appearance came as he spoke on a split screen to announce that Patriot and a mystery partner would face Owen and Bulldog tonight. As Pillman got near a win, Goldust and Marlena returned and played the video of Pillman’s dressing room. Funk rolled him up to steal it in 3:16. Disappointing considering their talent, but expected considering the angle. [*]

A video package aired to hype and recap the Owen Hart/Steve Austin rivalry.

The hour one main event segment saw Vince McMahon interview Dude Love in the ring. It’s awesome how he’s Dude here, but would be Mankind for the main event. When asked about Austin’s injury, Dude said his buddy, “The Iceman,” would be back soon. After discussing his Ground Zero opposition, he claimed he expected Mankind to beat Shawn Michaels tonight. Shawn interrupted on the Titantron to call Dude a nimrod (his second drop of that word tonight). He hyped the insurance policy again, but Dude was just all about the love and peace, baby. His groupies from last week jumped in the ring and he partied with them. The Shawn part wasn’t needed, as Mick was killing it as Dude. Great work.


WWF European Champion British Bulldog and Owen Hart vs. Ken Shamrock and the Patriot
Owen dedicated the match to Bret. Patriot chose Shamrock as his partner, which was obvious considering Bulldog. Shamrock threw Owen around to start, before Bulldog and Patriot went at it. Bret Hart came out to the stage for a closer look heading into a commercial break. Shamrock got isolated for a while. They built to a hot tag for Patriot, who came in with offense as cheesy as his gimmick. He even went all DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER like this was the 80s. Owen tried saving Bulldog by sliding a chair in the ring, only for it to backfire. Patriot hit Uncle Slam onto it, pinning the European Champion in 8:07. Quite enjoyable little tag there. The crowd was into it and tag formula was well executed. [**¼]

THIS PAST WEEK ~ Bret Hart’s return to Canada as a hero was shown. Several Canadian fans bragged about Bret’s greatness.

Backstage, Shawn was talking with his insurance policy. He kicked the cameraman away, and all we saw of the person was the back of his head.

Further backstage, the Patriot cut a generic promo until Bret Hart attacked him with a steel chair.

Chainz vs. Faarooq
Who booked Chainz in a singles match on back to back weeks? Yikes. All faction members were banned from ringside. As expected, they just wailed on each other for most of the match. However, once the referee went down, things got interesting. Rocky Maivia rushed to the ring and hit Chainz with the Rock Bottom. Faarooq covered to win in 3:04. More of an angle than a match. [NR]

Rocky did the Nation pose with Faarooq, officially joining the group. This is quite the historic moment, as it was the start of Rocky vaulting into superstardom.

The Nation spoke backstage and shut their locker room door as DOA arrived for a fight.

Sable was out to introduce the next match. The Patriot interrupted before she got to speak (he deserves a title shot just for that) to say he wanted Bret Hart tonight, not on September 7th. Bret obliged and they brawled. Patriot had the upper hand, until the Hart Foundation (with no Jim Neidhart) ran in to jump him. They choked him with the Canadian flag before officials and Sgt. Slaughter (sixth appearance) broke things up.

Mankind cut a short promo saying he hoped Shawn’s insurance policy was life insurance because he plans on making Shawn eat his own liver. Yuck.

VIGNETTE ~ Brakkus is coming!

Mankind vs. Shawn Michaels
According to WWE ’13, this was the start of the Attitude Era. Mankind brought a garbage can to the ring, only to get hit with it first. That set the tone for this one. They went outside and Shawn was sent into the guardrail. Michaels hit a backdrop onto the announce table and added an elbow off the apron, but it didn’t break. Inside, he went for Sweet Chin Music, but Mankind countered with the Mandible Claw. Shawn took him outside and the fight continued as Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Chyna strolled to ringside. After a break, Shawn removed Mankind’s mask and whacked him with it. They traded offense for the next few minutes, until Mankind hit a spinebuster. He got going, triggering the arrival of the insurance policy, Rick Rude! Chyna distracted the referee, allowing Rude to clock Mankind with a chair. Sweet Chin Music hit and Shawn got the win in 8:42. Great main event. The best match on Monday nights since Austin and HBK won the Tag Titles. A physical, brutal match that made the most of the time given. [***¾]

Shawn’s celebration was cut short, as the Undertaker made his slow walk to the ring. Before he could do anything, Paul Bearer appeared on the Titantron to say Kane was coming and that Undertaker would burn in heel. Fire shot up on the stage as Raw ended.

Road Wild 1997 Results
Harlem Heat def. Vicious and Delicious in 10;20
Mexican Death Match: Konnan def. Rey Mysterio Jr. in 10:56
Chris Benoit and Steve McMichael def. Dean Malenko and Jeff Jarrett in 9:38
WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Alex Wright [c] def. Chris Jericho in 13:04
Ric Flair def. Syxx in 11:07
Curt Hennig def. DDP in 9:43
The Giant def. Randy Savage in 6:07
WCW World Tag Team Championship: The Steiner Brothers def. The Outsiders [c] via DQ in 15:29
WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Hulk Hogan def. Lex Luger [c] in 16:16

Reliving Nitro
Episode #100
August 11th, 1997 | Denver Coliseum in Denver, Colorado

WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Hulk Hogan (3) 8/9/97
WCW United States Champion: Jeff Jarrett (1) since 6/9/97
WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Outsiders (3) since 2/24/97
WCW Television Champion: Ultimo Dragon (2) since 7/22/97
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Alex Wright (1) since 7/28/97

In the back, the Giant tried entering the building, but was stopped by security, who handed him a paper. It upset the Giant, but no word on what it was.

HOUR ONE! Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko and Mike Tenay host. Michael Buffer introduced things in the rings, before the Nitro Girls did their opening routine.

The nWo theme hit as the Outsiders and Syxx made their way to the ring. WOLFPAC IN THE HOUSE. Scott Hall did an early version of his signature survey, saying everyone watches the show for the nWo. They bragged about retaining the titles against the Steiners. If the Steiners were the best team in the world, they’d be champs. Nash added that the nWo was just “too sweet” right as the Steiners music played.

Non-Title Match: WCW World Tag Team Champions The Outsiders w/ Syxx vs. Bobby Starr and David Moore
The jobbers got the Steiners theme, which upset the fans. Hall beat up the larger jobber, Moore, before forcing him to tag Starr. Nash got the tag and hit the Jackknife for the win in 1:30. The squash we expected. [NR]

Nash addressed the camera and demanded someone else come out. The real Steiner Brothers ran in through the crowd and cleaned house. They sent the Outsiders packing with STEINERLINES and posed with the titles, alongside Ted Dibiase. It made no sense to not put the titles on them at Road Wild.

Meng vs. Wrath w/ James Vandenberg
More battles like this, please. Meng went after Wrath during his entrance, sparking a brawl. They battled outside, with Meng nailing the Kick of Fear. He cut off Wrath’s climb to the top and nailed a superplex. They continued to trade big barbs until Meng locked in the Tongan Death Grip and scored a pin with it at 2:41. Though it was super short, I enjoyed what we got. [**]

Mortis hit the ring, quickly followed by the Barbarian. The two teams went at it, with the Faces of Fear getting the advantage. They cornered Vandenberg by the guardrail, but he hopped over and escaped.

Mean Gene introduced the Steiner Brothers and Ted Dibiase for some promo time. After some excited talking about beating up the Outsiders, Dibiase questioned Nick Patrick. He called a DQ at the PPV, so Dibiase believed Nick might be trying to make amends with the nWo. Patrick came out to defend himself and said he did his job, but threw accusations at Randy Anderson for allowing things to go down the way they did during Hogan/Luger. Dibiase only cared about the Tag Title match treatment and said the Steiners weren’t done with the Outsiders.

Chris Jericho vs. Eddie Guerrero
Like the last match, there’s potential here. Eddie charged to start, but Jericho sidestepped him and got on the offensive. Eddie had to take a powder outside. Back inside, Jericho went for the Lionsault but Eddie got his knees up. Still, Jericho brought the impactful offense with a release German, butterfly bomb and CESARO SWING! Eddie sold the dizzy effects hilariously, falling outside and right in place for a Jericho tope. Inside, Eddie cut Jericho off and hit one of the hardest looking Frog Splashes ever to win in 4:34. Another match that was too short, yet still very good for what we got. [**½]

Nitro Girls time! AND YES, ALEX WRIGHT RETURNED TO DANCE WITH THEM! Das Wunderkind was the best. Mean Gene (tied at 2 for those keeping score with me) interviewed Wright. Alex just said the fans booed him because they were jealous of his looks, skills, dancing ability and the fact that he’s a champion.

WCW United States Championship: Jeff Jarrett [c] w/ Debra vs. Dean Malenko
At Road Wild, Jarrett left Malenko all alone in their match, ending their short partnership. Jarrett went for the pre-match attack, only for Dean to be ready and turn it around on him. The crowd was HOT for this, with loud “Jarrett sucks” chants. Jarrett went to walk out, but got brought back in for a leg lariat. He tried escaping again, only to see Mongo waiting atop the ramp. COMMERCIAL. Returning, things cooled down as Jarrett used Debra as a shield to turn the tide. Dean took a beating for a while, with the crowd kind of subdued. He applied the Texas Cloverleaf, but then Eddie Guerrero showed up to attack him for the DQ at 4:16. Another short match with some quality action. The pace slowed after the break, but it was still fine stuff. [**]

Eddie and Jeff put the boots to Dean until Mongo charged back out for the save. He cleaned house and bumped into Dean. Mongo offered a handshake, but Dean’s in no mood to trust anyone. He kicked Mongo and threw him outside. Mongo smiled outside, saying Dean was tough and that he respected him.

Mean Gene took a 3-2 lead by interviewing Ric Flair and Curt Hennig, and the Horsemen. Flair questioned Hennig talking with Eric Bischoff, but Curt said it wasn’t an issue. Curt still hadn’t joined or rejected the Horsemen offer and was just focused on being in tonight’s main event. Hennig did agree to be Ric Flair’s partner for an upcoming tag match against Konnan and Syxx. Not much new information given here, except about the tag.

HOUR TWO! Bobby Heenan replaced Larry Zbyszko. No fancy intro for the hour.

Eric Bischoff came out to cut a promo, flanked by Scott Norton. He congratulated Hulk Hogan on winning the WCW Title back. Buff Bagwell, Syxx, Scott Hall and Vincent joined them to sing “Happy Birthday” to Hollywood. When that ended, Bischoff announced that the paper the Giant received earlier was a restraining order. They had Bagwell walk 50 feet down the aisle to draw a marker that Giant couldn’t cross. Giant started making his way to the ring. Zbyszko and JJ Dillon arrived to plead with Giant not to go any further. He crossed the line and was told he was going to jail. He left without doing anything. Once I passed the line, I’d get my money’s worth. A lame end to that segment.

The Nitro Girls were back. 3-3.

Chris Benoit and Steve McMichael vs. The Steiner Brothers w/ Ted Dibiase
Maybe I should be counting the appearances for the Steiners tonight, instead of Kimberly and Gene. Or even Mongo. He and Scott traded power based offense to start. Benoit and Rick had a better exchange, highlighted by Rick catching him with a sweet powerslam. Rick and Mongo just wailed on each other when they got to go at it. Rick dumped him on his head on a belly to belly that led to a rather abrupt finish at 4:04. The trend of fun, short matches tonight continues, though this one had a strange end. [*¾]

Mean Gene (4-3) brought out former WCW World Champion Lex Luger. He struggled through some of his words. Luger called for WCW to remain cohesive despite the setbacks at Road Wild. He had no ill will towards Randy Anderson, but warned Hogan that he’d make him submit again.

The Nitro Girls danced more, giving Kimberly a 4-3 lead.

Buff Bagwell w/ Vincent vs. Diamond Dallas Page
After some grappling to start, DDP went for the Diamond Cutter. Bagwell escaped outside for a breather. Vincent got in some cheap shots as Bagwell took control. The referees continued to be a focus of the night, as this one got into a heated argument with Bagwell. In a horribly odd looking spot, the referee turned his back to the match to ask the timekeeper how much time was left. That got Vincent on the apron, but Buff was sent into him. Diamond Cutter hit and DDP won at 3:36. The trend of solid sprints ended here. That referee stuff was weird. [½*]

WCW Television Championship: Ultimo Dragon [c] vs. Mortis w/ James Vandenberg
Another match with potential if given a good amount of time. They showed some of their cool offense early on, including Dragon’s headstand spot. They fought up top, leading to a front superplex by Dragon. Mortis responded with a Northern lights suplex for a near fall. Dragon avoided the Flatliner, which was a super Samoan Drop back then, and hit a powerbomb. Dragon Sleeper got applied and Dragon retained in 3:09. Fun, but too short and not a lot of substance with this style. [*¼]

Mean Gene tied things at 4 to get a word with JJ Dillon. Sting watched from the rafters as JJ announced that he had another contract to offer him. Sting entered the ring to hear JJ announce the contract was for a match against Syxx. He ripped it up again, because it’s obviously not who he wanted. The fans loudly chanted that Sting wanted Hogan, but JJ continued to look around like a clueless buffoon.

Curt Hennig vs. Randy Savage w/ Elizabeth
Commentary hyped this as a first time ever meeting. Honestly, that might be right. Some generic exchanges led them to fight outside. Savage used Liz as a shield, but Hennig went for the shot anyway. She ducked and Savage got hit. What was the point then? More brawling followed the commercial break until DDP ran down. He beat on Hennig leading to a DQ at 3:02. Just time filler until the run in.[NR]

Since Savage and DDP still had issues, they also got into it. Scott Hall helped Savage attack DDP, while Hennig left to the back. Lex Luger, purveyor of solidarity, showed up to save DDP.

Raw MVP: Mankind/Dude Love
Raw LVP: The Godwinns
Nitro MVP: The Steiner Brothers
Nitro LVP: JJ Dillon

Raw Rating:
Nitro Rating: 3.8

The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
Raw: If I only grade the first hour, it’s pretty rough. If I only grade the second hour, it’s great. Combined, we’ll go somewhere down the middle, with a positive bump due to the historic implications. It was the first sign of HHH and Shawn Michaels working together, as well as the night Rocky Maivia joined the Nation of Domination, which set him on a course to become a megastar. Mankind/HBK is a top five match on Raw/Nitro in 1997. 6.0

Nitro: I rather enjoyed this episode. Most of the matches were short, but enjoyable. A few things missed in the second half, from Dillon being an idiot to a lackluster close to the show. However, it moved along nicely and never felt like a long show. They moved a few angles forward, though it was odd to see so many people used multiple times. 5.5


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