Hosted by Vince McMahon, Jim Ross & the Honkytonk Man
It’s time for RAW is Germany! Drive the Volkswagen down and grab some wiener schnitzel.
Prior to the first match, Vince interviews Bret in split-screen.
Match 1: Bret “Hitman” Hart versus Hunter Hearst Helmsley
After Bret gave Helmsley a hip toss, Stone Cold Steve Austin arrived at WWF headquarters in Stamford, CT.
During a commercial break, Todd Pettengill shilled the 1997 WWF Slammy Awards. It will be shown on 3/21 at 11PM ET. Evidently, the USA Network must not be funding this show.
Afterward, Helmsley rammed Bret shoulder-first into the ring post.
Bret then reversed an Irish whip but fell victim to a single-arm DDT for 2.
Shortly after, Helmsley gave Bret a high knee.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle but got caught.
When Bret joined him, he gave Helmsley a superplex.
After a leg drop, Bret delivered a side Russian leg sweep for 2.
He then gave Helmsley a backbreaker followed by an elbow smash from the second rope for another 2.
Upon giving Helmsley a vertical suplex, Bret almost got 3.
Helmsley then reversed a cross corner whip and attempted the Pedigree; however, Bret countered with a catapult to the top turnbuckle.
When Bret attempted the Sharpshooter, Helmsley raked his eyes.
then reversed another cross corner whip which resulted in a Helmsley flip.
When Bret put the boots to Helmsley, he shoved down referee Earl Hebner.
Speaking of Hebner, he called for the bell disqualifying Bret.
Summary: Crappy finish to a truly good match.
After the match, “that woman,” according to Vince, gets in Bret’s face, but officials escort her away.
LIVE from WWF Studios, Austin pays a visit to the throne.
We then revisit Royal Rumble when Owen “mistakenly” tossed out Smith.
Afterward, we revisit IYH XIII: Final Four when Undertaker booted a chair into Vader’s face causing a serious blade job.
The WWF Slam of the Week features the high-impact moves between Undertaker and Faarooq from last week’s show.
Prior to the next match, we see footage from Chemnitz, Germany when Vader rolled through a cross body block from Maivia to advance in the European title tournament.
Match 2 for the WWF Intercontinental title: Rocky Maivia (champion) versus Vader (w/ Paul Bearer)
Upon pummeling Maivia in the corner, Vader delivered a short-arm clothesline.
Maivia came back with a rollup for 2.
After Vader clotheslined him, he gave Maivia a cross corner whip followed by an avalanche.
Maivia then attempted a sunset flip, but Vader SQUISHED him.
GET OUT THE SPATULA!
Vader then attempted a vertical suplex, but Maivia blocked and gave him one of his own.
As Maivia delivered a pair of clotheslines, he gave Vader a belly-to-back suplex for 2.
Vader then splashed Maivia for 2 following a commercial break.
When he mounted the second turnbuckle, Vader hit another splash.
Do we have a new champion?
Shortly after, Vader slammed him, mounted the second turnbuckle, but ate a powerslam for 2.
Maivia then hit a belly-to-belly suplex for another 2.
After Vader reversed an Irish whip, Maivia delivered a float-over DDT. It was MUCH crisper than at the PPV.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a cross body block.
Next, a dropkick by Maivia sent Vader over the top rope to the floor.
While both Vader and Maivia were on the floor, Mankind WALLOPED Maivia with the urn.
The anonymous referee then called for the bell disqualifying Vader.
Summary: Extremely good big man-smaller man match that improved Maivia’s stock thanks to Vader.
After the match, Vader clotheslined The Tooth Fairy out of Maivia. He then delivered an elbow drop down near Berchtesgaden while Bearer distracted the referee.
We then revisit RAW from two weeks ago when Jerry “The King” Lawler invited ECW to RAW at the Manhattan Center. Next, we revisit last week’s show when ECW showcased themselves quite well.
Next week, RAW is WAR LIVE next Monday at 7:57PM ET from Worcester, MA.
Match 3: Flash Funk versus the Sultan
Lawler was on the phone during the early portion of the match.
After a back elbow, Sultan ate a dropkick from Funk.
Speaking of Funk, he mounted the second turnbuckle and clotheslined Sultan on the floor.
Back in the ring, Sultan applied a sleeper while Uncle Paul was on the phone.
As Funk escaped, he leaped to the second turnbuckle, hit a forearm smash, and delivered a spinning heel kick for 2.
After a double clothesline, Sultan missed an elbow drop.
Funk then gave Sultan a huracanrana as Uncle Paul plugged the ECW PPV.
When Funk mounted the top turnbuckle, he hit the moonsault for 2.
He then attempted a flying headscissors, but Sultan applied the brakes.
Finally, Sultan hooked the camel clutch for the submission.
Summary: Showcase match for Sultan.
We then revisit RAW from last October when Austin was a menace in the WWF Studios.
Backstage, Sid cuts a promo on Mankind and Undertaker.
RAW is sponsored by Wrigley’s Doublemint gum and WWF Full Metal: The Album.
We then revisit IYH XIII again as Owen accidentally hit Smith with a spinning heel kick which caused Smith to nail him.
Afterward, Carsten Schaefer interviews Ahmed Johnson. While Johnson accepts Faarooq’s challenge, he won’t be “by (himself).” He then leads the Berlin faithful in a “you’re going down” chant. I wonder if this guy was in attendance.
Promo for WrestleMania XIII airs. It will be LIVE on PPV on 3/23.
We again revisit last week’s episode when the Road Warriors returned to the WWF.
We then revisit Shotgun Saturday Night when the Road Warriors wanted to be invited to WrestleMania.
As Mankind makes his entrance, a pre-recorded interview featuring him speaking German airs. If my translation is correct, he asked “What happened to my fucking ear?” I may be paraphrasing.
After Vince shills the 1997 Slammy Awards, we then see footage from earlier.
Match 4 for the WWF title: Sycho Sid (champion) versus Mankind (w/ Paul Bearer)
Sid attacked Mankind at the onset and clotheslined him.
When he followed Mankind outside the ring, Sid delivered the big boot.
With Sid leaned against the ring post, Mankind unsuccessfully nailed him, but successfully HIT THE POLE.
Meanwhile, Austin complained about sitting next to the commode on the flight to New York.
As Sid laid across the second rope, Mankind gave him a leg drop.
Sid then charged Mankind in the corner but came up empty.
After a commercial break, Sid clotheslined Mankind over the top rope to the floor.
Mankind then tried to ambush a Bearer-distracted Sid, but the latter shoved him into the ring post.
Next, Sid gave Mankind a belly-to-back suplex on the floor.
Mankind came back by guillotining Sid using the top rope.
While he mounted the second turnbuckle, Mankind hit a leg drop.
Do we have a new champion?
As Ross shilled the WWF Superstar Line, Mankind applied the Mandible claw.
Will Sid lose?
Sid then broke the hold but fell victim to a double-arm DDT for 2.
After an Irish whip, Mankind hooked a sleeper, but Sid escaped.
Mankind in the corner, Sid charged but ate boot.
Mankind then reapplied the sleeper, but Sid made the ropes.
When Mankind used the ropes to climb onto Sid’s back, Sid fell backward to break the hold.
He then gave Mankind the ten-punch count-along.
Bearer got up on the apron, Sid grabbed him. When Mankind charged, he nailed Bearer instead of Sid.
Sid then gave Mankind a chokeslam for 2.
While Mankind attempted a back drop, Sid countered with a powerbomb.
Summary: Mankind carried Sid very well here.
We then revisit Shotgun Saturday Night from two weeks ago (taped 2/17) when Vega assisted Crush in his victory over Smith. Afterward, Smith called out Clarence Mason and fired him as his manager.
Ross then shills WrestleMania XIII.
We then revisit IYH XIII again as Austin’s interference helped Bret win the WWF title. Following that, we revisit RAW from two weeks ago when Austin’s interference cost Bret the WWF title.
Vince then interviews Austin from the WWF Studios. After Austin runs down Bret, he chastises Vince for making a video for Shawn Michaels. He then states that at IYH XIII, he was “sick as a dog” and had blown out his knee. Ultimately, he vows not to quit during the submission match at WrestleMania XIII.
Match 5 (European title final): WWF tag team champion the “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith versus WWF tag team champion Owen Hart
While Smith made his entrance, Ross touted his victories during the tournament.
Owen gave Smith a cross corner whip, but Smith cartwheeled out of a monkey flip.
As Owen attempted a huracanrana, Smith powerbombed him.
He then catapulted Owen over the top rope to the floor.
Upon Owen’s return, he rolled up Smith for 2.
After a commercial break, Smith hooked a crucifix and got 2.
He then attempted the delayed vertical suplex, but Owen escaped but missed the enziguri.
Next, Smith hooked a bow-and-arrow, but Owen escaped.
After a leap frog, Smith gave Owen a monkey flip.
Smith then charged, but Owen backdropped him over the top rope to the floor.
After a leap frog, Owen tweaked his left knee.
Oops, he was playing possum. SNEAKY!
Owen then attempted the Sharpshooter, but Smith escaped.
After a spinning heel kick by Owen, he gave Smith a backbreaker.
He then gave Smith a HARD cross corner whip.
After a slam, Owen hit a leg drop for 2.
He then put a knee into Smith’s midsection as Honkytonk Man mimicked Stu Hart.
From the apron, Smith entered via sunset flip and got 2.
Owen responded with a clothesline and elbow drop for 2.
During a commercial break, the WWF Rewind is “that woman’s” entering the ring to protect Helmsley from earlier tonight.
Afterward, Owen delivered a belly-to-belly suplex for another 2.
While Vince indirectly badmouthed WCW for their nWo interview segment, Smith escaped a rear chin lock with an electric chair.
With Owen in the corner, Smith charged but ate boot.
Owen then tried to pin Smith with his feet on the second rope but only got 2.
Following that, Owen hooked a hangman’s neckbreaker, mounted the top turnbuckle, and hit the big elbow for only 2.
Owen then placed Smith atop the top turnbuckle, joined him, and attempted a superplex.
On the other hand, Smith used momentum to land on top for 2.
He then delivered a series of lariats followed by a vertical suplex for 2.
When he gave Owen a cross corner whip, Owen took a sternum-first bump.
Smith then gave Owen a gorilla press and crotched him on the top rope. OUCH!
With Owen on the apron, Smith attempted to suplex him in, but Owen escaped.
He then delivered a German suplex with a bridge for 2.
As Smith reversed a cross corner whip, Owen tried to float over only to be caught.
Instead of receiving the running powerslam, Owen held onto the ropes and landed atop Smith for another 2.
He then leaped to the second turnbuckle and hit a cross body block. Conversely, Smith used momentum to land on top for 2.
In response, Owen delivered an enziguri and followed with the Sharpshooter.
Will Smith submit?
No, he made the ropes.
Owen then attempted a tombstone, but Smith countered with his running powerslam.
Do we have a new champion?
Owen then hooked a victory roll, but Smith reversed it.
WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION!
Summary: Best. Match. On. RAW. Ever. Remarkable effort on both wrestlers’ parts. The chemistry between them was outstanding as they countered moves left and right. Also, at times, they sniffed out each other’s moves making the match even better. Outstanding match worth-seeking out for any and all wrestling fans.
After the match, Owen and Smith shake hands although Owen considered a sneak attack.
Conclusion: What a phenomenal show! Bret-Helmsley, Vader-Maivia, and Smith-Owen far exceeded all expectations I had for this week. If the WWF can maintain this type of show, its time as the #2 wrestling promotion would cease very quickly. Can RAW is Germany beat Nitro this week?
TV Rating: 1.9
Who won? Nope, Nitro won by a point and half. Wow! While Nitro stirred rumors of a possible Ted Turner sighting which may have influenced viewers, RAW brought the goods with a spectacular show albeit taped. Next week, both shows are LIVE with Nitro at the beach and RAW in Worcester.