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WWF Raw
June 16, 1997
Lake Placid, NY

Hour 1Hour 2Hour 3Composite
2.402.512.44

Written by: John Petrie

HOUR ONE Hosted By: Vince McMahon and Jim Ross.

- The WWF is doing some minor tinkering. The show's logo now just says
"RAW", which is what McMahon calls it. Hour two will apparently be called
the "WAR ZONE", as that is the logo that they show then. All through the
show, however, they call the it "RAW is WAR".

McMahon and Ross immediately address the Michaels/Hart situation. McMahon
says Shawn injured his neck and knee in the fight with Hart, and will be
out from four to six weeks. Hart injured his knee too, but will be back
in a few days (but will miss tonight's show). No mention is made of
Michaels "quitting" the WWF, and the assumption is that he will be back
eventually. McMahon says both men acted unprofessionally, and that Bret
Hart was the aggressor. However, since they don't know when Shawn will be
back, they will be holding a "Tag Team Tournament". The team that wins
will face Steve Austin and a partner of his choice, though they hope it
will be Shawn. McMahon doesn't say whether or not the titles are
officially vacated at this time. They will later mention that the
tournament is merely to name top contenders to face Austin and partner.

"Stone Cold" Steve Austin comes out. He's upset by all this talk about
him and a partner. He says he doesn't care if it is or isn't Shawn, since
the WWF stuck the two together anyway.

Mankind comes on the big screen and asks if he can be Austin's partner.
Austin calls him a freak, and says he doesn't need him, just like he
didn't need Shawn with "long hair, out here shaking his ass!" Mankind
says he already has "long hair, I can still wear one earring, and I can
shake my ass. I've got a nice ass!" Austin says it's a "nice, big fat
ass!" Mankind tells him to consider the offer.

McMahon then announces that Austin will face Brian Pillman tonight, and
that the rest of the Hart Foundation will be handcuffed around ringside.

Ken Shamrock comes to the ring. He's upset with Austin for attacking him
at the end of RAW last week, and challenges Austin to a fight. Austin
says they'll get it on after he takes care of Pillman.

- The WWF is running a promotional contest for SummerSlam in which one
lucky fan can win a million dollars. Stay tuned to RAW for details.

- Pillman delivers comments from the back. They again show him getting a
swirly at the King of the Ring.

- OWEN HART/THE BRITISH BULLDOG vs. THE NEW BLACKJACKS
Little more than a squash, but both teams looked good. The Bulldog pins
Barry Windham after Owen hits him with a spinning heel kick.

They cut to the Undertaker and Paul Bearer. The World Heavyweight Title
belt is hanging on a rack. Paul Bearer tries to touch it, but the
Undertaker slides it out of his reach. Jim Ross recaps the Nation of
Domination situation. When asked about Ahmed Johnson, Paul Bearer tells
the Undertaker to "shut up, rigor mortis!", then reminds him about the
secret which he is holding over him.

- Ken Shamrock delivers comments from the back.

- HUNTER HEARST HELMSLEY (w/ Chyna) vs. PHINNEAS GODWINN
Apparently Helmsley has a secret over McMahon, because he's still on TV
every week. If you wanted proof that Shawn Michaels wasn't leaving the
WWF, this is it. Helmsley, Shawn's best friend in the WWF, would be
jobbed into oblivion if Michaels left.

Chyna roughs up the guy who takes Helmsley's robe back to the lockerroom.

A back-and-forth stompfest which saw Chyna interfere once during the
match, and once at the end. Godwinn has taken control of the match and
sets Helmsley up for the Slop Drop. Chyna jumps up on the apron. Phinneas
goes over and ... *!achh* ... *urgh!* ... *bleaugh!* ... k-k-kisses her.
(*Spit!*) It's then easy work for Helmsley to slap on the Pedigree for
the win.

Henry Godwinn comes out after the match and shakes Phinneas up for being
distracted by a woman. He yells something to McMahon about it being his
fault.

- Faarooq promises that the two new members of the Nation that he will be
debuting tonight will be "bigger, better, badder, and blacker!"

- Sunny comes to the ring to act as announcer for a special "Inter-
promotional Match". Paul E. Dangerously sits in as color commentator.

- BRIAN CRISTOPHER (USWA) vs. CHRIS CANDIDO (ECW)
Paul E. mentions that Candido left the WWF to come to ECW, and Ross
reminds us that he used to be Skip of the Bodydonnas.

They start off quick. Candido jumps Christopher, pushing him into the
corner. They then work the ropes, doing leapfrogs and such. Christopher
hits an Atomic Nut Cruncher, then an enzuguiri kick. A back bodydrop
follows. Candido turns things around with a swinging neckbreaker. Candido
hits a legdrop off the second turnbuckle, even though Christopher is
halfway across the ring. Candido then sets Christopher up in a corner and
lays in some punches.

McMahon and Ross ask Paul E. about Christopher, goading him into telling
what's really "on your mind!" Paul E. says if they want a shoot, fine. He
says Christopher is Jerry "The King" Lawler's son, something which isn't
mentioned in Memphis (though most everyone knows it). Paul E. says
neither man has the guts to admit that they're related to the other.

Candido hits a huracanrana off the top. He starts to set up another.

Lawler comes out and slaps Paul E. He then enters the ring and pulls
Candido off Christopher. Lawler, his son and, out of nowhere, Rob Van Dam,
all stomp on Candido. Tommy Dreamer then slides into the ring with a
chair to make the save. Candido gets the win via DQ.

- Ahmed Johnson makes comments about Faarooq.

- They show the upcoming tour schedule for the WWF. This Sunday they are in
Hershey Park, Pennsylvania. (Uh-oh ... ECW territory). They then show
clips from the massive card this past Saturday in the Toronto Skydome
(the attendance was somewhere between 18,000 and 25,000). Jim Neidhart
then makes a few comments about his upcoming match with Goldust.

- GOLDUST (w/ Marlena) vs. JIM "THE ANVIL" NEIDHART
They remind us what happened last week between Goldust, the Bulldog, and
Ken Shamrock.

The match only goes a couple of minutes when the Bulldog comes out and
grabs Marlena. Goldust comes out to save her, but is jumped by the Anvil.
Whipped back into the ring, Neidhart throws Goldust into the ropes.
Goldust catches himself, drops, and delivers a fist to the face. He then
rolls up the Anvil for the pin. The British Bulldog's music starts to
play, which is pretty funny (I can't recall them offhand blowing a music
cue so badly).

- Steve Austin outlines his intention to beat the whole Hart Foundation
tonight, then Ken Shamrock.

- Another look at some of the goings-on from earlier in the show as they
begin the second hour.

HOUR TWO Hosted By: Vince McMahon and Jim Ross.

- As mentioned above, the second hour is now the "WAR ZONE".

- BRIAN PILLMAN vs. "STONE COLD" STEVE AUSTIN
Delivering on recent promises that had been broken, the WWF gives us the
match meant for last week, with the stipulation meant for the aborted
Michaels/Hart match at King of the Ring. The Bulldog, Owen and the Anvil
are each handcuffed to a ring post. The match has two referees, the
second of which is outside the ring with the key for the handcuffs.

Austin starts out slugging and kicking Pillman. He whips him into the
ropes and hits an Atomic Gonad Smasher. Pillman slides out, with Austin
in pursuit. Steve stops to trade blows with the one-armed Bulldog, as
Pillman slips back into the ring.

Pillman then takes over with some stiff chops to the chest. Austin
reverses a whip, catches Pillman, and drops him throat-first across the
top rope. Pillman begs for a handshake as they show Owen up on the apron
trying to break out of his cuff. Austin shakes Pillman's hand, the kicks
him in the breadbasket. He whips him out of a corner, but Pillman
reverses it. Pillman charges in, only to meet a forearm from Stone Cold.
Austin continues to work over Pillman. Brian breaks it up with a head
butt. He climbs to the top turnbuckle, but Austin grabs him and drops him
onto the top rope. Pillman slumps to the floor as Austin goes over and
attacks the Bulldog, slamming him into the post he's handcuffed to.

Pillman comes around the ring with a chair held face-high. Austin bowls
him over, slamming the chair into Pillman's face. He then pounds on the
back of Neidhart. Owen jerks on his cuff like a trapped animal as Austin
approaches him. He starts to lay in some shots, but Pillman comes up from
behind and loops a camera cable over his head, choking him. Pillman, it
can be seen, has been busted open, with a cut across the bridge of his
nose. Pillman rolls into the ring as they go to break.

During the commercial, Austin is whipped into the ring steps. Pillman's
face is smeared with blood as he works over Austin. Stone Cold comes
back, rear mule kicking Pillman in his nether regions. Pillman is whipped
into the ropes, but he catches Austin with a kick to the face. He then
slaps Austin into a headlock. Austin gets loose and bounces off the
ropes, hitting a shoulderblock. He tries another, but Pillman slaps the
headlock on again. Austin drops, Stone Cold Stunning Pillman. Austin
misses a follow-up elbowdrop. Things begin to wind down as Austin, looking
exhausted, throws Pillman into the corner and punches him, kicks him,
flips him off, etc. The ref gets in Austin's ear and warns him he's
risking a DQ. Austin backs the ref to the opposite corner, kicks him in
the labonza, and drops him with the Stone Cold Stunner. Back over to
Pillman, Brian drops down and gives Austin a low shot in the jewels. He
then pulls out the classic white taped knuckledusters, using them to
knock Austin out stone cold. He then grabs the second ref (who's trying
to revive the first). Pillman covers and gets a two count.

Owen, meanwhile, has gotten a handcuff key from the pocket of the
unconscious ref. He undoes his cuff, then runs the key over to the Anvil.
Once Owen enters the ring the ref calls for the bell. The Anvil frees
himself and hands the key off to the Bulldog. Soon all three men are free
and they, along with Pillman, stomp a nature trail into Austin's
backside.

Here comes Mankind, Goldust and Ken Shamrock to the rescue. Everyone
clears from the ring except Austin and Shamrock. Austin throws a right,
but Ken blocks it and takes him down with a belly-to-belly suplex. Austin
pulls back, the two stare off for a moment, then Austin takes Shamrock
down and they roll around, trading shots to the head.

Out comes the Legion of Doom this time to pull these two apart. Goldust
follows, and signals for a mic. He yells for Austin and Shamrock to stop,
saying that the two are falling into the Hart Foundation's trap. He then
points out that the five men in the ring are probably the best team in
the WWF to go up against the five Hart Foundation members in the ten-man
match at the next In Your House. Austin gets on the mic and says he
doesn't need any of them, but he'll cut them some slack and team up with
them for that one match. Austin says "after it's over, we ain't going to
be hanging out together ... ain't goin' be drinking beer together ...
it's going right back to this ... " and flips them off. Shamrock looks
less than pleased to be letting Austin off the hook so easily.

This sets up the Hart Foundation vs. Austin, Shamrock, Goldust and the
Legion of Doom. With nearly three weeks until the PPV, I wouldn't be
surprised if this changed somewhat.

- Sable comes out to introduce the participants for the next match, one of
the first in the WWF's new Light Heavyweight Division.

- BOBBY FULTON vs. TOMMY ROGERS
Once known as the Fantastics, they were a great tag team. Now, they both
look fairly washed up. Fulton looks like he's fudging on his paperwork to
be under 215 pounds. I'm not really sure what possessed the WWF to save
this match for so late in the card, and I wouldn't doubt if it came back
to haunt them in the ratings.

Totally unexceptional match, except for the finishing move. Fulton is
playing to the crowd. Rogers comes up from behind and hooks his arms
(like in a full nelson). He then rolls it around like two wrestlers going
from a lock-up into a backslide position, except that Rogers is looking
up and leaning back, while Fulton is facing down, bent at the waist.
Rogers then drops down, DDT'ing Fulton. Rogers covers for the pin.

After the match, "Wildman" Marc Mero comes out to stop Sable from
parading around in the ring.

- THE HEADBANGERS vs. JERRY LAWLER/"MR. MONDAY NIGHT" ROB VAN DAM
This was a pretty good match, though short due to time constraints. Paul
E. and Dreamer watch from the front row of the crowd. Due to time
constraints myself, I will jump ahead to the finish:

One of the Headbangers vaults from the second rope over the top,
clotheslining Van Dam off the apron. Lawler works over the other 'Banger.

Suddenly the ECW's Sandman slides into the ring, Singapore cane in hand.
He whacks Jerry down in the love box. Way in the background, Van Dam can
be seen doing a moonsault off the guardrail-completely oblivious to the
fate of his partner. He apparently misses. Sandman joins Dreamer and
Dangerously behind the guard rail as one of the Headbangers forward
suplexes his partner off the top rope onto Lawler. The Headbangers get
the pin. Van Dam then brawls with Dreamer and Sandman as refs pull them
apart. Paul E. stops his men from crossing the rail again.

- In the back, Ahmed Johnson says he respects the Undertaker, but won't
take any orders from Paul Bearer during this upcoming match.

- Ahmed and the Undertaker come out first, followed by Faarooq. Faarooq
then calls in his newest NOD member: Kama Mustafa! Papa Shango has
returned ... sort of.

- THE UNDERTAKER/AHMED JOHNSON (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. FAAROOQ/KAMA MUSTAFA
The Undertaker wrestles the entire match. Again, for time's sake, let's
jump ahead, shall we?

Ross and McMahon are speculating who the other new NOD member will be.
McMahon brings up Mr. Hughes. Ross suggests Butch Reed. McMahon mentions
Abdullah the Butcher. Ross adds the Junkyard Dog to the list.

Ahmed drops to the floor and shoves Paul Bearer down. The Undertaker,
meanwhile, hasn't been able to tag out, and is completely at the mercy of
Faarooq and Kama. Kama tags in and grabs him around the neck, applying
a belly-to-belly suplex. He then covers for the upset pin, beating the
current World Heavyweight Champion in his Nation of Domination debut.

Kama and Faarooq then stomp on the Undertaker, but are chased off by
Ahmed. Ahmed picks the Undertaker up ... and drops him back down with the
Pearl River Plunge! As the crowd boos, Ahmed climbs the ramp and takes
his rightful place alongside his Nation and raises his fist into the air.

- Matches for next week:

Comments: Now this is what I'm talking about something happening! RAW breaks
from it's rut and debuts Brian Christopher from the USWA, features two ECW
appearances, kicks off the light heavyweight division, initiates a tag team
tournament, brings back Kama, and ends the show with the World Champ getting
pinned and Ahmed Johnson making his long awaited heel turn (which, while
long rumored on the Internet, would have been a shocker to the average fan).

We even got a pretty good match in Austin vs. Pillman.

This was one of those shows in which I had little idea what they would do
next. Every time I turned over to Nitro, when I came back they would be
doing something that surprised me.

Oh yeah ... Shawn Michaels is still in the WWF.


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