WWF RAW is WAR 10-6-97
Live from Kansas City, MO
Airdate: October 6, 1997
Attendance: 13,245 (11,484 paid)
Hosted by Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, & Jerry “The King” Lawler
It’s the Brian Pillman memorial show. What will the WWF do to honor its fallen superstar? What else will transpire? Let’s find out!
To open the program, Vince stands in the ring and requests a ten-bell salute to the fallen Brian Pillman. Minus Michaels and Helmsley, the WWF locker room stands in sorrow over itsheralded colleague. The Kansas City faithful then chant "Pill-man" as the show fades to black.
In the ring, Michael Cole interviews Michaels and Helmsley with Chyna. To welcome Cole to the WWF, Chyna gives him a wedgie. Michaels then crows about his victory at the PPV last night while calling himself as "the icon that can still go." Upon referring to Helmsley as "Triple H," Michaels hands the microphone to him. Helmsley then touts Michaels and requests footage from last night's PPV shown, but, after a delay, the "Curtain Call" is shown. As Michaels teases Vince about breaking kayfabe, Vince sends the show to a commercial break.
Afterward, Michaels continues his soliloquy until the Hart Foundation emerges through the entrance. Bret then calls Michaels a "disgrace" and a "degenerate." Upon emphasizing Michaels and Helmsley's alleged bedroom habits, he informs Michaels that he won't be the "showstopper" until he dethrones the “Hitman.”
Bret then mentions that he "ran (Diesel) and (Razor) out of town." When Bret challenges Helmsley to a match TONIGHT, Michaels and Helmsley feign surprise. Bret then states that come Survivor Series '97, he'll "kick (Michaels') scrawny little ass." In rebuttal, Michaels supplies him with the very first "suck it" along with calling Bret a "zero."
HOT TAKE: Obviously, Helmsley and Michaels are trying to portray cool heels. In doing so, it generates both positive and negative heat onto them while removing the heat from their opposition. Gee, that sounds exactly like the nWo, no? Considering every episode of RAW is WAR from this show until the PPV emanates on US soil, subtly making Bret a babyface will be difficult. Come the PPV, it won’t be difficult whatsoever since it emanates in Montreal.
Prior to the opening match, stills from the PPV are shown as the Godwinns achieved tag team gold.
Match 1 (lumberjack/non-title): WWF tag team champions the Godwinns (w/ Uncle Cletus) versus the Headbangers
Summary: The match was entertaining as the lumberjack stipulation drew heat from the Kansas City faithful. The feud between the Godwinns and the Road Warriors is certainly NOT finished.
TV Rating: 2.8
"Earlier today," Perez cuts a promo on Mero.
Match 2: Marc Mero (w/ Sable) versus Miguel Perez, Jr.
Summary: Showcase match for the returning Mero.
TV Rating: 2.7
JIM CORNETTE'S SHOOT: Cornette mentions WCW wrestlers Arn Anderson and “Nature Boy” Ric Flair along with current WWF superstar Mick Foley as "great talents." When he segues to the nWo, Cornette LAMBASTES Kevin Nash for having only six moves. He then turns the topic from Scott Hall to Sean Waltman. I believe this is the first time his real name gets mentioned on TV. Regardless, Cornette believes that the nWo guys think he's funny when he "gets drunk and throws up on himself."
As Cornette continues his rant by dropping Eric Bischoff's name, he simplifies Bischoff's job as "throws a billionaire's money around like water so that he can have guys he likes to hang out with." Cornette then pleads with other wrestling promoters to respect Arn, Flair, and Foley instead of guys whose job is "sucking up."
HOT TAKE: In order to become #1, you don't mention the competition. Do you see Coke besmirching Pepsi in its ads? No. Why? Because they have the lion's share of the market and don't need to recognize it. Although Cornette's viewpoints are revolutionary and break kayfabe six ways to Sunday, how does this actually help the WWF?
Match 3: The “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith (w/ the Hart Foundation) versus Rocky Maivia (w/ the Nation of Domination)
Summary: Decent showing by both wrestlers, and Smith going over continues Maivia's path of paying dues.
TV Rating: 2.6
After the match, Faarooq enters the ring and whips Owen with a belt. The Hart Foundation and NoD then brawl until officials separate them.
Stills of the Hell in a Cell match are shown.
Next, stills of the final of the IC title tournament air.
Stone Cold Steve Austin then comes to the ring to be interviewed by Vince. As he explains that he can do whatever he wants at any time, he doesn’t care if Vince is the owner of the WWF. Vince then presents a waiver to Austin who will sign it on one condition—an Intercontinental title match against Owen.
Since Vince doesn’t have it in writing, Austin won’t sign yet. Suddenly, Faarooq appears on the Titantron and runs down Austin. When Austin rebuts, he’ll take all of the NoD on. To close out the segment, Austin steals Lawler’s crown and punts it into the fifth row. HA!
RAW is WAR is sponsored by the US Army and Snickers.
Prior to the next match, Owen grabs the microphone and truly wants to get his hands on Austin. I just wish Owen hadn’t been in KC nineteen months after this.
Match 4 for the Intercontinental title: Owen Hart (champion) versus Road Warrior Hawk
Summary: As short as this match was, each wrestler brought their arsenal with him.
Vince then interviews Brian Pillman’s widow—Melanie Pillman. She mentions Brian’s heart being the cause of death which helps the WWF overcome the overdose speculation. She then warns about the dangers of painkillers and explains how difficult the news hit her adopted daughter Brittany. Although she’s uncertain about her future, Melanie appreciates all of the support. She then wants Brian’s legacy to be the “best father in the world.” Vince then offers his condolences to close the segment.
HOT TAKE: On one hand, investigative reporting by the WWF exonerates them (at least for the time being) of an overdose, accidental or otherwise. On the other hand, it’s dirty pool to wheel out the widow after a completely unexpected loss. This just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
Video airs highlighting Brian PIllman’s life and career. RIP Brian Pillman 1962-1997.
Match 5: The Truth Commission versus the Hardy Boys
When Bearer grabs the microphone and introduces Kane, he warns Undertaker: “Welcome to your worst nightmare.”
Match 6 (non-title): WWF champion Bret “Hitman” Hart versus HHH (w/ Chyna)
Summary: Hot main event with the Hart Foundation versus the Michaels/HHH faction, but the match wasn’t as worthwhile as the storyline.
Conclusion: Wow! The Helmsley-Michaels faction has certainly commandeered the booking of the high-profile programs lately. I wonder what that’ll mean for WWF champion Bret Hart. Nevertheless, all signs point to a Bret-Michaels rematch at the PPV while turmoil between Austin and the NoD begins to boil. Next week’s show is taped from Topeka, but only Austin’s fate resides on the schedule. Can the misfits of the WWF cause enough of a stir to topple Nitro this week?
Final TV Rating: 3.1
Who won? Nope, Nitro won by a margin of 4.0 to 3.1. Who knows how next week will pan out, but It's fun watching it nonetheless, right?
Stay tuned for WCW Monday Nitro 10-13-97!
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