Hosted by Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, & Jerry “The King” Lawler
Can Owen win the European title? How will Austin act after his loss at WrestleMania XIII? Read on!
Prior to the opening bout, we revisit the dissension between the tag champs.
Match 1 for the WWF European title: The “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith (champion) versus Owen Hart
As Smith made his entrance, Owen hit a baseball slide and joined him outside the ring.
He then sent Smith shoulder-first into the steps.
After ramming Smith back-first into the ring post twice, Owen tossed him back in, leaped to the top turnbuckle, hit a cross body block, and got 2.
Smith came back with a flurry, but Owen ended it with a FIELD GOAL. Perhaps Owen wanted to remind him of Carbondale in southern Illinois.
After a pair of cross corner whips, Owen clotheslined Smith for 2.
He then followed with a knee to the midsection, attempted the Sharpshooter, but Smith escaped.
While the Peoria faithful chanted “Bull-dog,” Smith rolled up Owen for 2.
He then gave Owen a cross corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
To counter a European uppercut, Smith hooked a backslide for 2.
Owen then responded with a standing dropkick for 2.
As Owen hit a piledriver, RAW is WAR took a commercial break.
During the break, Owen mounted the second turnbuckle and delivered an elbow drop for only 2. Smith placed his boot on the bottom rope.
Afterward, Owen gave Smith a dragon screw leg whip and followed with a vertical suplex for 2.
According to Vince, the tag champions will defend their titles against the Road Warriors at IYH XIV on 4/20.
Owen then reversed a cross corner whip and hit a back elbow.
Upon mounting the top turnbuckle, Owen attempted a missile dropkick, but Smith caught him.
Smith then hooked the Sharpshooter, but Owen escaped and delivered an enziguri. That resulted in a 360° sell by Smith. Woohoo!
After Owen placed Smith atop the top turnbuckle, he attempted a superplex, but Smith knocked him back down to the mat.
Owen then retaliated by nailing Smith down to the floor.
With Smith on the floor, Owen attempted a plancha, but Smith caught and guillotined him using the steel railing.
Back in the ring, Smith hit a pair of clotheslines and catapulted Owen face-first into the top turnbuckle for 2.
After a flapjack, Smith got another 2.
He then gave Owen a back drop and clotheslined him over the top rope to the floor.
Upon joining Owen, Smith suplexed him on the steel ramp. OUCH!
He then tossed Owen inside, gave him a cross corner whip, and followed with a gorilla press slam for 2.
After a leap frog by Owen, Smith PLOWED into referee Earl Hebner.
Owen then hit a spinning heel kick, exited the ring, and grabbed a steel chair.
As Owen re-entered the ring with the chair, Smith prevented him from using it.
He then clotheslined Owen onto the steel chair.
While Smith picked up the chair, Bret hit the ring and stopped him.
Bret then stopped the match and grabbed the microphone.
Summary: Another great match between the brothers-in-law until the abrupt ending.
After the match, Bret gets between Owen and Smith and chastises the WWF audience for the fighting amongst the Hart family. He then tells them that he “needs” them. Next, he runs down some WWF history regarding the Harts and tells Owen how much he assisted him during his upbringing.
While Bret notes that he and Owen are the only two Harts with great wrestling talent, Owen tears up. When Bret tells Owen he loves him, Owen begins to cry. Bret then hugs both of them while giving the Peoria faithful a disdainful glare.
Match 2 (lucha libre): Super Nova versus El Mosco
Sunny joined the broadcast table for this match.
After Super Nova delivered a belly-to-belly suplex, he got 2.
While Ross mentioned that Bret will face Sycho Sid at IYH XIV, El Mosco hit a spinning heel kick. I must add that this move has become the move of 1997.
El Mosco then whipped Super Nova into the corner but came up empty on his follow-through.
When Super Nova walked up the turnbuckles and performed a back flip, he powerslammed El Mosco for 2.
El Mosco responded with a face plant and chastised the Peoria faithful from the second rope.
Seeing his opponent distracted, Super Nova hooked a sunset flip for 2.
He then gave El Mosco a cross corner whip but got vaulted to the apron during his follow-through.
As Super Nova mounted the top turnbuckle, he delivered a flying headscissors.
Sunny then joined the Spanish broadcast table while Super Nova made El Mosco eat the apron. YUCK!
With El Mosco down on the floor, Super Nova then hit a tope suicida. Woohoo!
Back in the ring, El Mosco gave him a cross corner whip, but Super Nova walked up the turnbuckles yet missed a moonsault.
El Mosco then delivered leg drop followed by a powerbomb.
Next, he hit a springboard moonsault and pinned Super Nova.
El Mosco gana.
Summary: Great spots, but I guess selling isn’t a trademark of lucha libre.
After the match, Sunny consoles an emotional Lawler who’s still upset about the Hart family reunion.
In the ring, Ross interviews the Road Warriors. Animal then instructs the Harts not to besmirch America. As he claims that they’ll win the WWF tag titles at IYH XIV, Hawk states that they’ll knock the “doggie dumplings” out of Smith. HA! I cannot make this stuff up.
Match 3: Jesse Jammes versus Jerry Fox
Honkytonk Man joined the broadcast table for this match.
As Jammes brought 6 year-old Nathan Arnold to the ring with him, he sang his theme song.
Jammes leap-frogged and clotheslined Fox.
Next, an atomic drop by Jammes sent Fox over the top rope to the floor.
Jammes then leaped from the apron and hit a lariat.
Back in the ring, Jammes delivered a pumphandle slam.
Summary: Showcase match for Jammes.
After the match, Honkytonk Man joins Jammes in the ring to ask him to be his protégé. As an incentive, he offers Jammes a “hair loom” in the form of a guitar. Jammes contemplates the offer, takes the guitar, and DESTROYS it. He then declines the offer.
The WWF Slam of the Week is Chyna’s interference in the Helmsley/Gunn match from last week.
Match 4: Savio Vega & Crush (w/ the Nation of Domination) versus Adam O’Brien & Rod Bell
While the NoD destroyed O’Brien on the floor, Vega gave Bell a leg lariat.
O’Brien tagged in, but Crush slammed him.
On the phone, Shawn Michaels joined the broadcast.
When O’Brien attempted a cross body block, Crush caught and delivered a pair of backbreakers.
Vega then gave Bell a cross corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
After another cross corner whip, Vega came up empty on his follow-through.
O’Brien tagged in and dropkicked Vega.
As he attempted the ten-punch count-along to Vega, Crush gave him a belly-to-back suplex.
Vega then superkicked Bell while Crush delivered a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker to O’Brien.
Next, Crush mounted the second turnbuckle as the NoD gave O’Brien Demolition Decapitation.
Summary: Showcase match for the NoD.
A video promoting Ken Shamrock airs. Vince then shills a no-holds-barred exhibition by Shamrock next week on RAW is WAR.
We then revisit Bearer’s request to rejoin Undertaker as Mankind cried for his “Uncle Paul.”
In the ring, Bearer apologizes to Undertaker and states that he “held (him) back.” He then wants him to “come back home.” Undertaker then hits the ring. Do we have another reunion tonight? As Ross shills the WWF title match between Undertaker and Mankind at IYH XIV, he subtitled the show “Revenge of the Taker.” Revenge for what?
Undertaker then locks the casket before entering the ring. As he details his history with Bearer, he kisses and hands the WWF belt to Bearer. He then WALLOPS Bearer and saunters after him. When Undertaker grabs the urn, Mankind emerges from under the ring and hits Undertaker with a fireball. Mankind and Bearer then hug in ecstasy over their conspiracy. As Sid then chases them through the Peoria faithful, officials try to assist a blinded Undertaker backstage.
After a commercial break, Sid cuts a promo on Mankind from the locker room.
Prior to the next match, we revisit the ending to the Goldust-Helmsley match at WrestleMania XIII. Next, we again see Chyna’s interference during Helmsley’s match last week.
Match 5: Goldust versus Hunter Hearst Helmsley
Both valets have been BARRED from ringside.
When Goldust hit the ring, he destroyed Helmsley.
He then gave Helmsley a cross corner whip resulting in a Helmsley flip.
Next, he delivered a bulldog as Ross demeaned Helmsley’s Slammy award.
Goldust then gave Helmsley another cross corner whip that sent him over the top turnbuckle to the floor.
After Goldust joined him on the floor, he clotheslined Helmsley.
Back in the ring, Goldust rang Helmsley’s bell then gave him a butt butt.
Goldust then missed a clothesline as well as a cross body block.
As Helmsley delivered a baseball slide, he joined and slammed Goldust on the ramp.
He then clotheslined Goldust on the ramp, tossed Goldust back in, and hit a high knee.
Upon giving Goldust a cross corner whip, Helmsley followed with a swinging neckbreaker for 2.
He then delivered a vertical suplex and a knee drop for another 2.
Shortly after, Goldust hit a cross body block for 2.
Helmsley then responded with a DDT for 2.
After an inverted atomic drop, Goldust gave Helmsley another cross corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
He then tossed Goldust outside the ring, mounted the second turnbuckle, and hit a tope. It wasn’t as pretty as I made it sound.
Suddenly, Chyna appeared at the entrance.
After a commercial break, Vince shilled Mankind versus Sycho Sid next week on RAW is WAR.
Goldust then gave Helmsley the ten-punch count-along as Chyna sauntered toward the ring.
Upon causing Helmsley to take a sternum-first bump in the corner, Goldust delivered the Curtain Call.
Chyna then entered the ring and disrupted the pinfall.
As you would expect, referee Billy Silverman called for the bell disqualifying Helmsley.
Summary: Did you truly anticipate a clean finish for this match?
After the match, Chyna gives Goldust a spinning heel kick. She and Helmsley then double-team Goldust until officials separate them. When Pat Patterson tries to keep Helmsley from attacking Goldust, Helmsley HAMMERS him. Patterson returns and brawls with Helmsley until Chyna breaks free to rescue her charge. Next, they double-team Patterson until Goldust recovers and gives Helmsley a back drop. Upon clotheslining Helmsley over the top rope to the floor, Goldust and Chyna stand face-to-face. Helmsley and Chyna then exit the ring to a chorus of boos.
We then revisit the reunion of the Hart family.
In the ring, Vince interviews Stone Cold Steve Austin who claims he never quit at WrestleMania XIII. He then runs down Bret to the delight of the Peoria faithful and states that he doesn’t care whether or not he receives cheers or boos. In addition, he notes that he won the King of the Ring tournament last year. When he drops the censored word “ass” a couple of times, the Peoria faithful eat it up with a spoon.
Like a chickenshit heel, Bret runs down Austin from the Titantron. When Bret mentions that he’s “finished with (him),” Austin rebuts that Bret would have “to kill (him) to be finished with (him).” Further, he informs Bret that he’ll make Bret even bloodier than Austin was at WrestleMania XIII. He then finishes his disparagement by creating a negative motto on Bret’s future tombstone.
We then revisit last week’s episode when Bret attacked Maivia after a title defense.
After a commercial break, we again revisit the attack by Bret upon Michaels from last week.
Match 6 for the WWF Intercontinental title: Rocky Maivia (champion) versus Bret “Hitman” Hart
According to Vince, Michaels will be LIVE next week on RAW is WAR.
While the Peoria faithful chanted “U-S-A,” Tony Atlas was shown among them.
After Bret missed a back elbow, Maivia hit a cross body block for 2.
Bret then delivered a knee to Maivia’s midsection, an inverted atomic drop, and followed with a clothesline.
Next, he hit a side Russian leg sweep and a belly-to-back suplex for 2.
Maivia came back with an inside cradle for 2, but Bret responded with an elbow smash.
As Bret gave Maivia a backbreaker, he mounted the second turnbuckle but missed a second elbow smash.
Maivia then hooked a fisherman’s suplex for 2.
After a belly-to-belly suplex, Maivia got another 2.
Bret then reversed an Irish whip but fell victim to a tornado DDT. That did NOT look crisp.
When Maivia mounted the top turnbuckle, he hit a cross body block.
Bret then used momentum to land on top but only got 2.
After Bret grabbed Maivia by the legs, he hooked the ring post figure-four leg lock.
Referee Earl Hebner then called for the bell disqualifying Bret.
Summary: This was a copycat move by the WWF as they put their rookie secondary champion in the ring with a heat-seeking ring veteran. While the suplexes by Maivia looked good, he still needs to improve quite a bit.
After the match, Austin hits the ring to attack Bret. Suddenly, Owen and Smith come to rescue Bret. The Hart family then triple-teams Austin until the Road Warriors chase the heels away.
Conclusion: The Hart family reunion adds some spice to the main event scene in the WWF. While the initial angle sells itself well, the payoff at the end of the program completes the circle. I truly enjoy Bret’s heel turn and look forward to the progression of his feud with Austin. On another note, the Undertaker angle with the fireball from Mankind fulfills the description of the upcoming PPV.
Can RAW is WAR beat Nitro this week?
TV Rating: 2.7
Who won? Nope, Nitro won by 0.7 this week. While dissension within the nWo was teased on Nitro, the compiling of the Hart family provided the better story this week. While Nitro will contain post-Spring Stampede aftermath, RAW is WAR will have Mankind versus Sid and Michaels for another interview. The war rages on…