Johnson makes his NoD debut while the winners of the quarterfinals of the tag team tournament are finalized. Also, the very first triple-threat match on RAW is WAR occurs. Read on!
To begin the show, Vince interviews the Nation of Domination in the ring. When Vince asks why he joined the NoD, Johnson calls him "white man." He also has lost respect for Undertaker due to Bearer's influence. When Faarooq gets his turn, he continues to stir the racism pot. Brown then touts the NoD as "dominant." Proudly, Kama proclaims his victory over Undertaker last week.
Suddenly, a group of bikers led by Crush hit the ring on Harley-Davidsons. He introduces the DoA—Disciples of Apocalypse. The groups then brawl with one another until officials separate them. During the melee, Johnson supposedly blows out his knee according to Meltzer. That will keep him from facing Undertaker at IYH XVI.
Backstage, the Road Warriors cut a quick promo on the Godwinns.
RAW is WAR is sponsored by Wrigley's Winterfresh gum and 1-800-COLLECT.
We then revisit last week's episode when Shamrock challenged Austin, and the Hart Foundation's challengers for the PPV were established.
Match 1: Ken Shamrock versus Rockabilly (w/ the Honkytonk Man)
NWA World champion Dan Severn joined the broadcast table for this match.
When Rockabilly attempted a hip toss, Shamrock took him down for an ankle lock.
Quickly, Rockabilly made the ropes.
Shortly after, Shamrock escaped a slam and hooked a belly-to-belly suplex.
He then applied the ankle lock, and Rockabilly submitted.
Summary: Showcase match for Shamrock.
TV Rating: 2.2
After the match, Honkytonk Man threatens to nail Shamrock with the guitar, but when Shamrock turns around, Honkytonk Man thinks better of it. Shamrock then confronts Severn at ringside but ultimately shakes his hand.
The Army Slam of the Week is Johnson's heel turn during last week's episode as he delivered the Pearl River Plunge to Undertaker.
After the show in Anaheim this Saturday gets hyped, a revealing video featuring Sable airs. Try to keep your tongues in your mouth, gentlemen. We then see segments from the previous two weeks about Marc Mero's removing Sable from the spotlight while Ross plugs a Vince Russo article in WWF Magazine.
We then revisit Shotgun Saturday Night from two months ago when the Road Warriors inadvertently broke Henry's neck.
Next, we get the bracket for the tag team tournament.
Match 2 for the WWF tag team titles (quarterfinal): The Road Warriors versus the Godwinns
Prior to the bell, the Godwinns met the Road Warriors outside the ring and slopped them. How dastardly!
The Road Warriors then delivered clotheslines to each Godwinn.
According to Ross, the Hart Foundation attacked Shamrock backstage.
Meanwhile, Animal double-clotheslined the Godwinns.
Hawk tagged in and gave Henry an enziguri.
After a clothesline, Henry piledrove Hawk to no effect.
Hawk then clotheslined Henry and gave a hangman's neckbreaker to an incoming Phineas.
As tags were exchanged on both sides, Henry distracted referee Earl Hebner, and Phineas tossed Animal over the top rope to the floor.
While Hawk distracted Hebner, Henry rammed Animal shoulder-first into the steps.
Phineas then slammed Animal, mounted the second turnbuckle, leaped, but ate a clothesline. That did NOT look crisp.
Hot tag Hawk.
After Hawk powerslammed Henry, he mounted the top turnbuckle in preparation for the Doomsday Device.
On the other hand, Phineas interfered by nailing Animal.
Hawk then hit a top rope clothesline to Henry.
The Road Warriors advanced.
Summary: Showcase match for the Road Warriors.
TV Rating: 2.3
After the match, Phineas nails Hawk with the slop bucket while Henry clotheslines Animal over the top rope to the floor. Henry then gives Hawk a Slop Drop before Animal returns with a chair to chase them off. Suddenly, the Hart Foundation hits the ring to attack the Road Warriors. In the meantime, Bret stands at the entrance observing the carnage.
Seated in the front row is boxer Thomas "Hitman" Hearns. More on this later.
Back in the locker room, Bearer shouts at Undertaker, but Undertaker grabs both Bearer and Vader by the throat. Bearer then screams "the fire" causing Undertaker to walk away.
After a commercial break, Owen's disgusted about the upcoming triple threat match.
Promo for 'Cause Stone Cold Said So airs.
In a pre-taped segment, Funk cuts a promo on Sabu.
Courtesy of Uncle Paul, a highlight reel of Sabu airs during his entrance.
Match 3: Sabu (w/ Bill Alfonso) versus Flash Funk
Uncle Paul joined the broadcast table for this match and shilled ECW Hardcore Heaven '97 LIVE on PPV on 8/17.
After Sabu hit a springboard leg lariat, he delivered a spinning heel kick.
With Funk on the floor, Sabu gave him a baseball slide.
Sabu then hit a somersault plancha that could have killed him had Funk not caught him.
Back in the ring, Funk gave Sabu a cross corner whip followed by an avalanche.
He then slammed Sabu, mounted the top turnbuckle, and hit a corkscrew splash for 2.
As Funk remounted the top turnbuckle, Sabu caught and gave him a super huracanrana for 2.
He then delivered a springboard leg drop for another 2.
When Sabu missed a springboard dive, Funk gave him a superkick.
He then mounted the second turnbuckle, but Sabu caught him again.
After Sabu attempted a second super huracanrana, Funk crotched him on the top rope. OUCH!
He then hit a clothesline followed by a handspring crescent kick.
With Sabu on the floor, Funk delivered a plancha.
Alfonso then distracted Funk enough so that when Funk returned to the ring, he ate a dropkick to the knee.
Upon reversing a cross corner whip, Funk gave Sabu another avalanche.
He then slammed Sabu, mounted the top turnbuckle, and hit a moonsault for 2.
As Funk charged, Sabu backdropped him over the top rope to the floor.
Sabu then leaped over the top rope and gave Funk a huracanrana.
Meanwhile, Uncle Paul name-dropped the competition albeit subtly.
Alfonso then set up the table at the foot of the ramp.
After Sabu placed Funk atop it, he hit an Asai moonsault to Funk on the table. Unfortunately, the table didn't break.
The bell rang signaling a double countout.
Summary: Crossover material with some good high-flying.
TV Rating: 2.4
After the match, Sabu hits a leg drop on Funk causing the table to break.
We then revisit last week's episode when Mankind requested to be Austin's partner.
Promo #2 for 'Cause Stone Cold Said So airs.
Vince then shills $1 million-dollar chance sponsored by Discovery Zone.
Match 4 (non-title): WWF European champion the "British Bulldog" Davey Boy Smith versus Mankind
As Mankind made his entrance, he wore an Austin 3:16 t-shirt as well as a "Pick me, Steve" sign around his neck. HA!
Mankind then grabbed the microphone and dedicated the match to Austin.
After a snap mare, Mankind gave Smith a leg drop.
Meanwhile, Austin was on the phone while Mankind made Smith taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Damn Good fish sandwich at HopCat.
When Smith missed a clothesline, Mankind delivered a double-arm DDT.
He then gave Smith a Cactus clothesline, but Smith came back by ramming Mankind shoulder-first into the steps.
On the ramp, Smith delivered a vertical suplex. OUCH!
Back in the ring, he gave Mankind a pair of cross corner whips and attempted the running powerslam.
However, Mankind countered with the Mandible claw.
While referee Jim Korderas was occupied with him, Smith used his trick knee to counter the claw hold.
He then exited the ring and grabbed a steel chair.
Upon re-entering the ring, he WALLOPED Mankind in the back with it.
Korderas then called for the DQ giving Mankind the victory.
Summary: What was the purpose of this? I see none whatsoever.
Um, Helmsley, aren't you on the booking committee?
TV Rating: 2.5
After the match, Smith nails Mankind in the back with the chair again. He then SMACKS Mankind in the head with it. What a brutal shot! In case that wasn't enough, he CREAMS Mankind in the head with it again. SICK! When Smith poses, Mankind somehow wakes up and applies the Mandible claw before Smith escapes. The post-match drama was EONS better than the match itself.
Ross then shills the WWF calendar:
Friday (6/27) in Salt Lake City, UT
Saturday (6/28) in Anaheim, CA
Sunday (6/29) in Denver, CO
Monday (6/30) in Des Moines, IA (RAW is WAR LIVE)
Monday (7/7) in Edmonton, Alberta (RAW is WAR LIVE)
Backstage, Owen complains to WWF President Gorilla Monsoon about not having a second; thus, he requests Pillman to join him. The funny part about this segment was although Monsoon agreed, Owen continued to argue. HA!
A video showcasing the Intercontinental title airs.
Prior to the next match, we revisit RAW from 10/21/96 when Helmsley won the IC title by defeating Mero. We then revisit Royal Rumble '96 when Goldust beat Razor Ramon to capture the IC title. Lastly, we revisit RAW is WAR from 4/28 when Owen pinned Rocky Maivia to achieve the IC title.
Match 5 for the WWF Intercontinental title (triple-threat): Owen Hart (champion w/ Brian Pillman) versus Goldust (w/ Marlena) versus Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/ Chyna)
This was the first triple-threat match in RAW's history.
Pat Patterson was the special guest referee for this match.
After Goldust delivered a lariat to Owen, Helmsley prevented him from pinning Owen.
Helmsley then gave Owen a high knee, but Goldust made the save.
As Helmsley received an inverted atomic drop from Goldust, Owen gave Goldust a vertical suplex for 2.
Goldust came back with a double noggin knocker before Helmsley tossed him to the floor.
Upon reversing an Irish whip, Owen delivered a belly-to-belly suplex for 2.
Goldust then gave Owen a knee drop, but Helmsley tried to capitalize. He only got 2.
When Owen dropkicked Goldust, Helmsley attempted the Pedigree only to suffer a spinning heel kick from Owen.
Speaking of Owen, he missed a clothesline, but Goldust delivered the Curtain Call.
WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION!
Wait a minute! Pillman stormed into the ring to protest that Owen's foot was on the bottom rope.
Earl Hebner then entered the ring to notify Patterson that he saw Owen's foot.
Nevertheless, Patterson raised Goldust's arm in victory.
As Pillman and Patterson came to blows, Monsoon entered the ring.
During the commercial break, he showed Patterson the replay.
Afterward, the match restarted, and Goldust gave Owen the Flip, Flop, and Fly.
Owen then delivered a gutwrench suplex and hooked the Sharpshooter.
To break the hold, Helmsley clotheslined Owen.
He then gave Owen a knee drop for 2.
When Owen delivered a hangman's neckbreaker to Helmsley, he got 2.
Helmsley then grabbed Owen's legs and crotched him with the ring post.
After a fist drop, Goldust got 2.
Helmsley then tossed Owen to the floor, but Owen mounted the top turnbuckle and delivered a double missile dropkick.
As he gave Goldust a spinning heel kick, he got 2.
Owen and Helmsley then brawled on the floor causing Patterson to join them.
Concurrently, Chyna entered the ring and gave Goldust a huracanrana. Holy flying Amazonians, Batman!
When Owen and Helmsley returned to the ring, Owen delivered an enziguri.
Goldust then mounted the top turnbuckle and hit Helmsley with a double axe handle. He had intended to nail Owen, but Owen evaded him.
With Helmsley down and Pillman grabbing Goldust, Owen pinned Helmsley.
Summary: Good experiment for the WWF as it was non-stop action.
TV Rating: 2.6
After a commercial break, Vince interviews Bret with Neidhart in the ring. As Bret touts Neidhart and himself "the greatest tag team in the World Wrestling Federation" to spite the Road Warriors, he runs down Shamrock and Goldust. He then refers to Austin as the "scum of the earth."
Following that, he turns his attention to Hearns. When Bret informs him that "there's only room for one hitman" while referring to himself, he challenges Hearns. Bret then calls Hearns "the chicken man," so Hearns storms the ring to stand up for himself. Before he and Bret tangle, Hearns nails Neidhart. Hearns' bodyguard then steps in to prevent any further chaos. The Detroit faithful then chant "U-S-A" to provoke the Hart Foundation.
Back in the locker room, the new Nation of Domination begins a promo until Savio Vega interrupts. When Vega tries to nail Faarooq, Brown and Kama double-team him. Faarooq then joins the fray by whipping Vega repeatedly.
In a pre-recorded interview, Christopher touts himself as the "most exciting athlete on the face of the earth." He then coins his nickname "Too Sexy."
Match 6: Brian Christopher (w/ Jerry "The King" Lawler) versus Scott Taylor
Lawler joined the broadcast table for this match.
As Christopher gave Taylor a German suplex, he missed an elbow drop.
Taylor then delivered a leg lariat followed by a somersault double leg drop for 2.
When Christopher came back with a Rocker Dropper, he mounted the second turnbuckle and hit a missile dropkick to the back of Taylor's head.
He then hit a backbreaker for 2.
After a cross corner whip, Christopher came up empty on his follow-through.
Taylor then delivered a springboard clothesline from the apron.
As Christopher reversed a cross corner whip, he rammed Taylor into the top turnbuckle.
He then floated over Taylor, mounted the second turnbuckle, and hit an inverted DDT.
When he mounted the top turnbuckle, he hit a guillotine leg drop.
Summary: Showcase match for Christopher yet the Detroit faithful hit the concession stands for popcorn.
TV Rating: 2.5
Ross then shills the WWF Superstar Line.
Promo #3 for 'Cause Stone Cold Said So airs.
Prior to the main event, Bearer swears that "everything is A-OK."
Match 7 for the WWF tag team titles (quarterfinal): WWF champion Undertaker & Vader (w/ Paul Bearer) versus Faarooq & D’Lo Brown (w/ the Nation of Domination)
Brown attacked Undertaker at the onset but fell victim to a flying clothesline.
After he gave Undertaker a cross corner whip, Brown followed with a shoulder block to the midsection.
Suddenly, the DoA came to the ring.
Undertaker then clotheslined Brown over the top rope to the floor.
As you'd expect, the DoA ganged up on Brown so Faarooq and Kama joined the fray.
After a commercial break and order was restored, Vader slammed Brown and hit the Vader bomb for a 1-count thanks to Faarooq.
Speaking of Faarooq, he tagged in, gave Vader a cross corner whip, but ate a running body block.
Vader then mounted the second turnbuckle, leaped, but Faarooq caught and powerslammed him.
When Brown tagged in, Vader gave him a running body block.
He then delivered a splash for 2.
In the meantime, Undertaker and Bearer continued to bicker with one another.
As Faarooq tagged in, Vader tried to tag out only to get nailed by Undertaker.
Faarooq then clotheslined Vader.
The NoD advanced.
Summary: Dysfunctional tag teams, a Vince Russo staple, tend to combust. This time, it happened within one match.
TV Rating: 2.5
After the match, Undertaker reverses an Irish whip and gives Vader the big boot. He then follows with the tombstone. Bearer then makes a hasty exit but returns when Undertaker heads up the ramp. As he grabs the microphone, he threatens Undertaker with an exposing announcement next week. Undertaker then gives the hand gesture that he'll destroy Bearer.
Conclusion: Other than Johnson's NoD debut becoming one of the worst heel turns ever, this show was extremely skippable.
Overall TV Rating: 2.4
Who won? Once again, Nitro beat RAW is WAR. This time by a margin of 0.8. Considering WCW's hype of their "impact player" next week, the WWF should be running scared of their next rating. Who knows what'll happen.