Rewriting the Book
By CG Scum
What if Shawn Michaels never “lost his smile” or forfeited the WWF Title in February of 1997?
We move along in our story, with the annual SummerSlam blockbuster pay per view under two weeks away. Following the huge bombshell dropped by Vince McMahon at the behest of the injured WWF President, Gorilla Monsoon, Shawn Michaels will now be the official in the WWF Title match at the event between the Undertaker and Bret Hart, as the WWF higher ups begin trying to take action on making Bret and Shawn coexist with in the same company. Can these two sworn enemies keep their cool and not let their personal issues cost them their job with the WWF? As for the Undertaker, he not only has his WWF Championship to defend, but he is now faced with what appears to be a secret from his past that is repeatedly being thrown in his face by his former manager turned arch enemy, Paul Bearer. What exactly is the decision facing the “Dead Man” that Paul Bearer spoke of? Who or what is this secret from his past and how will he respond to his former manager’s demands and apparent blackmail attempts? Steve Austin and his unlikely partner, Dude Love shocked everyone as they shook hands and worked successfully as a unit in becoming Tag Team Champions, but one must ask, can Austin coexist for any length of time as part of a team, with the Dude or anyone for that matter? We will begin to see these and many more cliffhangers involving the entire WWF roster play out as we move along in Part VII of the story. (NOTE- As in several of the preceding parts of this ongoing story, Part VII contains some events at this point in WWF history that actually took place that stay within the major storylines of this “Rewriting of the Book,” which I personally believe are better off left as they occurred. Thus, although the dates of when the happenings occur in some cases may be a few weeks off as far as when they actually occurred, they do play well in continuing the story as well as continuing to build where they will go heading forward. In my eyes these happenings would have happened regardless of the “losing of Shawn’s smile”(or for the less significant events, they just fit perfectly) and are some of the more memorable moments in the company’s history and leaving them out I think would lessen the story I am moving along with. Some of these moments, I do add a few minor twists to, but for the most part they are untouched. In giving credit and recalling these moments, I will label them with three stars before and a corresponding number after these segments (***) and in doing so give credit in my brief explanation in recalling these spots to the website thehistoryofwwe.com , where I got the descriptions that I am using. At the bottom of this part, each numbered event will be explained.) All that considered, we jump back into our story with both feet in the native land of Bret Hart and his Hart Foundation, Canada, as Raw is War returns to the “Great White North” and Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Raw is War- July 21, 1997- Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Raw kicks off and we are immediately welcomed by Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, and the returning Vince McMahon. After his colleagues welcome him back and congratulate him on a job well done in delivering President Monsoon’s stipulations and ultimatums to Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels last week, the threesome reminds us that in a feature bout tonight, the Undertaker will defend the WWF Title against the man they call Vader. In addition, we are told that the new WWF Tag Team Champions, Steve Austin and Dude Love will face off against Hart Foundation members, Brian Pillman and Jim Neidhart in their very first title defense. Just as they finish their intro, the arena comes completely unglued as the music of Bret Hart blares through the speakers and the “Hitman” strides to the ring with Owen, Bulldog, Pillman, and Neidhart at his side. Bret waves the Canadian flag as the group shakes hands with the fans on their way down the ramp and grabs a microphone as he steps through the ropes, waiting for several seconds to speak due to the volume level of the energized crowd.
Bret: “Hello, Canada, it’s great to be back home. Thank you all so much and thank you Canada, for still letting me be your hero. It’s always nice to know that your hard work and your dedication is appreciated and it’s always nice to know that you can always come home and get some respect. So, in just about two weeks’ time, finally, it will be time for Bret “The Hitman” Hart to reclaim his rightful spot as WWF Champion. It will finally be time that the “Excellence of Execution” becomes a five time world champion. It will be so satisfying to see that jealous, no good, Shawn Michaels have to call for the bell and hand me my title after I deliver the beating of a life time to the Undertaker and take back what is rightfully mine. You see, Gorilla Monsoon and Vince McMahon (Stares over at McMahon at the broadcast table) may think it is some great threat to me, warning me that if I lose I can never wrestle in America again. Well here is a newsflash for both of you; you would be doing me a favor by letting me not have to wrestle in America. (Crowd pops loud) If it was up to me, I would stay right here in Canada, or wrestle overseas, where they still appreciate the entertainment of a good, wholesome wrestling match and don’t thirst for blood and weapons and foul language like the barbaric crowds across the USA. So, hey, there is a thought, maybe once I get my title back at SummerSlam, I will see what I can do about defending it solely on Canadian soil, (again the crowd goes bonkers) how would you like that, Canada? On a side note, my opponent at SummerSlam, the WWF Champion the Undertaker, I have a message for you. I am warning you right now that you had better drop the little games you are playing with Paul Bearer and your little fireworks and “scared of the dark” nonsense, because I am coming for you and that title. You had better focus on the “best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be,” because I want you at your best and I want no excuses when I beat you for that belt. You better leave your little Halloween party ‘tricks and treats’ for another time, because if you are not focused and you do not give me the respect and the attention I deserve, you are going to get hurt and hurt bad. Either way, let’s move on to the present, as in tonight. We already know that the team of Brian Pillman and the big “Anvil” will be bringing the tag titles back to the Foundation tonight, but I figure as a treat to the great fans of our home and native land that it would only be fair to have the rest of the Hart Foundation in action here tonight too. So, I have talked to my brother, Owen, and reminded him about being robbed of the Intercontinental title by Ken Shamrock, and with his Legion of Doom buddies being knocked out of action by the Nation last week, I say tonight right here in Halifax is the perfect place for him to take back his belt. So, Owen has laid out a challenge to Kenny for an Intercontinental Title match right here tonight in Halifax. That just leaves me and Davey without a match tonight, so, how about we stand united to represent Canada this evening in a Flag Match. We will bring the maple leaf and our opponents can bring the “stars and stripes” and we will see exactly who the better country is. As for opponents, I can’t think of anyone who epitomizes the slimy, arrogant American way more than Shawn Michaels, so “Boy Toy,” I know you are here and set to come out here and prance around in a bit, so how about you find yourself a partner, if you can actually find anyone who trusts you, and we have a little game of capture the flag? We will be waiting for your response and we will be waiting to show the world what all of you here tonight know, that Canada is simply the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be.” (The Foundation soaks in the cheers from the crowd as the show cuts to its first commercial break.)
After the break, we cut to a prerecorded interview with Sycho Sid, Animal, and Hawk (who are not at Raw tonight as a result of the attack last week by the Nation). It is of note that Hawk and Animal wear no face paint as they sit for these comments. During the promo, Sid challenges Faarooq to a match at SummerSlam and the Road Warriors also lay out a challenge for a tag team tables match against Rocky Maivia and Marc Mero for SummerSlam, after referring to being put through the tables by Maivia and Mero last week. Following this, we head back to the ring, where the New Blackjacks and the D.O.A. once again battle to a double disqualification. Vader and Savio Vega interfere on behalf of the Blackjacks, again, before Crush and Chainz hit the ring and make the save, with Crush once again getting the better of Vader in seeking revenge for the underhanded tactics that cost him and the Undertaker their match the week before. Just before the commercial break, we see Billy Gunn and Jesse James in the backstage area, chatting with Faarooq, D-Lo Brown, and Kama. They tell the Nation members that they are officially the “hottest free agent tag team” in the WWF and they are listening to all bidders. Faarooq responds and tells them to “get the hell out of our face,” before the two sarcastically shrug their shoulders and walk away talking amongst themselves about their “free agent” status.
Following the commercial, we head back up to ringside, where Ken Shamrock and Paul Ellering hit the ring. Ellering takes a microphone and speaks, first addressing the Nation regarding their attack on the Road Warriors and Sid, promising “pain and destruction” from the three at SummerSlam. He then hands off to Shamrock who accepts the challenge laid out earlier in the night by Owen. Immediately upon his acceptance, Owen strides to the ring with the Bulldog at his side to a huge ovation.
Match- Intercontinental Title Match- Champion, Ken Shamrock (with Paul Ellering) vs. Owen Hart (with the British Bulldog) – Owen and Shamrock meet at center ring and begin trading rights and lefts, to the delight of the excited crowd. Shamrock wins out on the slugfest, staggering Owen before whipping him to the ropes. Bouncing off, Owen ducks a clothesline and again gets the red hot crowd on its feet when he shoots off with a big tackle and climbs on the I-C titlist with a flurry of right hands. He pulls Shamrock up and catches him again coming off the ropes with two consecutive hip tosses that see Shamrock bounce back to his feet and charge immediately following each. On the second charge, Owen catches his opponent with a drop toe hold, and rides over top of the mixed martial arts legend, grabbing back on a rear chin lock. After wearing Shamrock down with the hold until he was able to inch close enough to grab the ropes for a break, Hart releases, and Shamrock slides under the rope for a quick consultation with Ellering before heading back under the bottom rope and into the ring. A quick breather appears to have done Shamrock well as he returns and catches Owen with a boot to the mid-section before locking him in a front face lock and then muscling him over for a suplex. He stays on the offensive, as when Hart bounces up; he wraps his arms around his torso and hurls him over head with another suplex. This leads to a two count before the Bulldog reaches in and puts Owen’s leg on the ropes to break the count. Seeing this, Shamrock allows his temper to get the better of him, as he slides out through the ropes and chases Davey Boy. After a full lap around, Bulldog slides under the rope and through the ring to avoid Shamrock, who allows the distraction to get the best of him, as he is met while in pursuit by a spinning heel kick from the recovered challenger. After another two count, Owen pulls the champ up and scores with a high knee lift that staggers his opponent followed by a running bulldog. As Shamrock recovers, Owen climbs to the top rope and hits a picture perfect high cross body that almost wins him the title as Shamrock kicks out at two and three quarters. Bulldog hops to the apron to argue the count and Owen comes over to join in the argument, allowing a bit of a breather for Shamrock, who slowly gets to his feet and pursues Hart from behind. Owen sensing his opponent nearing, turns and hooks him under the arm for a hiptoss, but Shamrock reverses and tosses the “King of Harts” clean over the top rope and to the floor, partially wiping out the Bulldog in the process. As Owen gets his bearings and climbs back on the apron, the I-C Champ is waiting, hooking him and hoisting him over the top with a suplex to bring him back into the ring. Just as he gets Owen vertical though, Davey Boy grabs his ankle, causing Hart to fall on top of Shamrock as they fall back into the ring. Bulldog holds on to Shamrock’s ankle for dear life as he ducks below the sight of the referee, hiding himself with the apron as the outside assistance is enough for a 1-2-3, and Owen Hart has once again regained the Intercontinental Championship. An irate Shamrock immediately rolls over and locks the ankle lock on Owen as Ellering tries to explain what had happened to the official. With Shamrock “in the zone,” he is blind to the Bulldog wiping out Ellering with a forearm to the back of the head and disposing of the referee over the top rope. Davey Boy snatches the I-C belt quick and sneaks up before leveling the now former champion with it. Owen and Davey stomp on the now fallen and semi-conscious Shamrock before Bulldog hoists him up and scores with his running powerslam. After this he adds insult to injury, Davey Boy produces a can of dog food, and smears several handfulls onto the face of Shamrock before putting him in the ankle lock. With Shamrock seemingly helpless with none of his Legion of Doom brothers present to help him, aid comes in an unlikely fashion, as “Stone Cold” and Dude Love race to the ring, with Bulldog finally releasing the ankle as he sees them coming and he and Owen bail out. The show goes to break with the visual of a tired but triumphant Owen walking side by side with his partner, with his new strap slung over his shoulder.
After the break, we see a still seething mad Ken Shamrock walking backstage. He walks past Shawn Michaels, who stops him and asks him who is looking for. When Shamrock growls that he is on a hunt for the British Bulldog, Michaels tells him that even though they don’t see eye to eye, he could deliver him the Bulldog if he joined him as his partner in the Flag Match tonight against Bret and Davey Boy. Shamrock reluctantly accepts, making it clear, that he “doesn’t like even one single thing” about Michaels, but admitting he would do anything to get at the Bulldog tonight. Following this, we return to the ring for the WWF Championship match between the Undertaker, who is seconded by Crush and Vader who comes to the ring with Paul Bearer. Bearer again carries the manila envelope with him and immediately grabs the microphone and threatens to “unveil” the contents to everyone if Undertaker does not do as he says and send Crush back to the dressing room. After Crush puts up an argument and some deliberation, the Undertaker tells him to return to the back and that he can handle business by himself. Jim Ross weighs in on the development, noting, “Whatever this is that Paul Bearer is holding over the Undertaker must be pretty serious stuff if the “Phenom” is honoring the wishes of his former manager.” After the two huge combatants batter each other for about five minutes, the fight spills to the floor where the Undertaker takes control after whipping Vader into the ringpost. The referee begins counting both men out, but as the ‘Taker starts climbing back in the ring, Bearer begins to pull the material from the envelope, screaming at the champion as he does so. Undertaker turns back and attempts to grab the material from Bearer, when Vader recovers and returns the favor from seconds ago, shoving the Undertaker from behind, causing him to run headfirst into the post as Vader slides back into the ring on the count of nine and earns a countout victory over the WWF titlist. As Vader and Bearer celebrate, the Undertaker sits up on the outside of the ring and climbs back between the ropes. Just as he starts to pursue the two who are now heading up the ramp, the lights once again dim and the same scene from the past few weeks repeats itself, as a huge bang is followed by red flames shooting from each corner ringpost, halting the Deadman’s pursuit as Bearer and Vader gloat the entire way back to the dressing room. “The Undertaker is having trouble keeping his head in the game,” again observes Ross just before the commercial break. “If he is going to continue on as WWF Champion, he is going to have to rise above whatever this is and regain his focus very soon.”
Returning from break, we again see Billy Gunn and Jesse James backstage, this time talking with Paul Ellering. They again are selling themselves as the ‘hottest free agent tag team in the WWF,” to which Ellering replies, “I already have the greatest tag team of all time, sorry fellas, not interested.” Gunn and James are unphased by the shun, happily moving along as James says, “oh well, his loss, and we will just see about who the greatest tag team is when all is said and done.” Gunn responds, “His loss is right, what is wrong with that guy? Does he even read that newspaper he always carries around? ‘Cause if he did, I’m sure there must be a headline in there about the “hottest free agent tag team on the market today.” The two chuckle sarcastically as they continue their walk and we head back up to ringside for the Tag Team Championship match.
The tag title match is complete chaos right from the get go, as Neidhart and Pillman are introduced first, followed by the introduction of “Stone Cold.” Austin strides to the ring and waits just outside as the disco strains of Dude Love’s theme hits. The co-holder of the tag titles shuffles out in all his tie-dyed glory, but after just a few steps through the curtain, he is ambushed by the European Champion, Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Hunter whacks the Dude across the back with a chairshot and then scores with several more while he is down on the steel ramp. As Austin turns to see this, Pillman and Neidhart jump him in the aisle, while Helmsley lays out Foley with a pedigree on the steel. When Austin finally battles his way through his two opponents to come to his partners aid, Owen and Bulldog attack him before he can lend his help. Seeing this, Helmsley simply slides away and to the back, as Owen drops the “Rattlesnake” on his head with a piledriver on the steel, leaving him laying right next to his partner. The match is ruled a no contest, as it never actually began and the four Hart Foundation members celebrate as they leave regardless of there being no official decision rendered.
Following another break, we go back stage for a promo with the Nation. Maivia and Mero are wearing spiked shoulder pads and face paint, mocking the Road Warriors, while Mero’s wife Sable wears a bald head wig, dark shades, a fake mustache and holds a rolled up copy of the Wall Street Journal, mocking Ellering. Faarooq sports an official WWF Sycho Sid Halloween mask and wears a black vest and tights reminiscent of his SummerSlam opponent. They sarcastically mock and make fun of the three, with Faarooq claiming to be the true “master and ruler of the world,” before making a somewhat controversial insinuation, asking, “What do you mean by master, any way boy?” Maivia and Mero are hilarious in their portrayal of Hawk and Animal, poking fun at the team’s age, with Maivia, playing the role of Hawk, spoofing the Warrior’s longtime catchphrases, proclaiming “we dine on dog crap and snack on whatever the hell they are serving at the early bird buffet,” finishing the promo saying, “Ohhhh, what a rush, no really, I think I need someone to rush, rush me to the hospital, because I’m so damn old.” When the shot returns to ringside, Jerry Lawler laughs and repeats several of the comments from the parody, while Ross and McMahon shake their heads in disgust at the disrespect shown to the legendary team. “Those boys had better be careful what they wish for, because the Road Warriors are American originals and they are bad to the bone. Maivia and Mero might be the ones needing to get rushed to a hospital come SummerSlam.” We then head back to the ring as all four participants are introduced and the stage is set for the main event of the evening.
Match- Flag Match- Bret “The Hitman” Hart and the British Bulldog vs. Shawn Michaels and Ken Shamrock- With “old glory” waiting in the corner of the HBK and Shamrock team and the Canadian flag on the opposing side, good ol’ J.R. explains that the object of this match is to “capture” your opponents’ home countries flag, while protecting your own you can then display and wave proudly as the winners. Immediately upon entry to the ring, a still maniacal Shamrock goes right at Davey Boy clotheslining him over the top rope and to the floor where he follows out and pummels the Bulldog, exacting revenge for the earlier bout that cost him his title. Bret slides out and tries to pull Shamrock off as he cinches up on an ankle lock on the floor, but it is to no avail, as not only does Shamrock have a death grip on Bulldog, but HBK arrives and blindsides Bret with a chop block, taking him down before mounting him and raining repeated punches on his face. Michaels rolls Bret into the ring and whips him to the ropes, where he scores with a high flying forearm, as Shamrock still refuses to listen to the referee and will not let go of Davey’s ankle. “He is gonna snap the Bulldog’s ankle,” notes J.R., as the “King” chimes in and says, “Shamrock has snapped again.” A host of referees come to ringside and finally pry him off the leg and the official for the bout orders Shamrock back to the locker room and calls for help for the Bulldog. With the match still not officially underway, the ref speaks with the ring announcer, who relays the message that each man will have a replacement partner. Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart strides to the ring and gets a very nostalgic pop from the Canadian faithful who are excited to see an old school reunion of the original Hart Foundation. When a replacement for HBK is called, no one comes out at first, but Shawn does however maintain his advantage over the “Hitman” despite the chaos going on around him. A whip to the buckle sees Bret snap back hard as he runs sternum first to the corner before falling flat on his back. After a couple of kicks for good measure, Shawn climbs to the top and hits a picture perfect elbow drop, which causing the “Anvil” to run in following impact and score with a stiff boot to the head. Michaels shakes it off and as Neidhart leaves the ring, he jumps on his back and latches on a sleeper hold. “HBK is taking on both members of one of the greatest tag teams in WWF history,” Ross announces, “but you have to wonder when the numbers game is gonna catch up to him unless someone feels some sympathy for him and comes out to stand by his side.” McMahon chimes in “It’s no surprise that Shawn Michaels has no friends in his corner, he has no respect for authority or for anyone other than himself.” As Neidhart fades to the sleeper, Bret, who is still the legal man rises and levels HBK with a double ax shot to the back. Prying him off his partner, Bret then scores with a Russian leg sweep and then comes quickly off the second rope with an elbow drop. With pinfalls being pointless, Hart stays on his rival, lifting him up and hitting a side backbreaker. Again, pulling Shawn back to his feet, Bret is really in a groove now as he scores with an inverted atomic drop followed by a bulldog. Keeping the pressure on, Bret whips Michaels to the far corner, where he flips in upside down and over to the apron. Immediately upon hitting the apron, Neidhart floors him with a big forearm, and kicks him back into the ring. Bret tags in the big “Anvil,” who upon entry drops a knee on Shawn before scooping him up and leveling him with a powerslam. Neidhart then tags in Bret and hoists Michaels up in a bear hug. The crowd goes nuts as Bret hits the far ropes and scores with the classic Hart Foundation finisher, “The Hart Attack” clothesline. Just as Shawn’s head bounces off the mat though, Bret points to the crowd and notifies Neidhart, as one of the masked men, dressed still head to toe in green makes their way through the crowd just past the announcers table. “Oh here we go again,” says Ross, as while distracted, Bret walks through the ropes and to the outside toward the attacker. At this point from the opposite side, a second “man in green” appears and sneaks up and first deposits the referee over the top rope and to the floor before slinking in behind Neidhart, dropping to one knee and leveling him with an uppercut, low blow between the legs, flooring the big man. The masked figure then tosses Neidhart to the floor and quickly slings him into the guard rail, before making another escape. Seeing this, Bret turns back around and the other attacker tries to sneak in with chair in hand while the one who got the “Anvil” races off through the crowd. “Dammit, I have seen enough of this crap,” says McMahon at the broadcast booth, as he stands up and removes his head set and from behind, yanks the chair out of the attackers hands, pulling it away and letting it drop to the apron. Incensed, the attacker turns their attention on McMahon, as the two tie up briefly before the masked assailant scores with two knees to the stomach and again a vicious hangman’s neckbreaker on the floor before jumping the barrier and heading for higher ground. “The owner of this company has seen enough and he is not standing for this anymore,” hollers, J.R. “He has paid a dear price here, but you have to admire his guts and dedication to restoring some order around here.” Seeing this, Bret has turned his focus to the outside and the fallen McMahon, kneeling over him and helping him up. Now fully recovered though, HBK sees an opportunity and grabs the chair from the apron and slides out behind Hart. Michaels takes a wild swing as Bret turns, but the “Hitman” ducks and he instead levels McMahon with a vicious chairshot, standing in disbelief after he watches his boss crumple from the blow. “Good lord, enough is enough, that man is not a wrestler, the Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels rivalry has taken yet another casualty in the form of the CEO of this damn company, get some help out here,” pleads Ross, as Bret ever the opportunist, takes full advantage of Shawn contemplating what he had done and whacks him across the back with the chair before sliding him back into the ring. Just as they get back into the ring and EMT’s appear to help McMahon to the back, the arena lights go to black. When they come back on, Michaels seemingly has a partner, in the form of Bret’s SummerSlam opponent, as the Undertaker is now in the corner of HBK, holding the tag rope. “Oh man, business has just picked up in this one, what the hell else are we gonna see here tonight?” questions Ross, as Bret screams in the ‘Taker’s face, before picking up the chair again and crushing Michaels over the head with it. Bret then reluctantly goes to the corner to retrieve the flag, trying to feel out the position of the WWF Champion, who simply steps aside and allows him to climb up and grab the U.S. flag and win the match for the Hart and Neidhart team. A now recovered “Anvil” and Bret celebrate, draping the red, white, and blue over a fallen HBK, as they retrieve their own flag and wave it proud for all to see. Just as they turn around, though, the Undertaker has stepped over the top and into the ring and he slaps his hand to the throat of both, delivering an impressive double choke slam. He follows up with a tombstone for Neidhart, followed by one for the “Hitman,” who he stacks on his partner before covering both with the Canadian flag. ‘Taker then looks directly to the camera and says, “How’s that for focus?” before dropping to a knee a flipping his hair back in classic “Dead Man” fashion. Raw goes off the air to first the image of the three downed competitors covered in their respective flags, the Undertaker in his classic pose, and inexplicably, Paul Bearer, Vader, the New Blackjacks, and Savio, who have walked out on to the ramp and all appear to be applauding the actions of the WWF Champion. “What the hell did we just see,” questions, J.R., “what does this mean for the future of the WWF Champion, the Undertaker? Has he sided once again with the “Unholy Alliance of Paul Bearer?” Has the “Dead Man” signed a deal with the devil?” We are out of time here folks, but we will get some answer for sure next week.”
Raw is War- July 28, 1997- Pittsburgh, PA
The WWF’s flagship program comes on the air this week and immediately, we revisit the scene from the final moments of Raw involving the Undertaker and the appearance of the “Unholy Alliance.” Immediately following the brief recap, we cut to backstage, where Crush, 8-Ball, Skull, and Chainz confront the Undertaker, with Crush speaking for the others. He asks, “What the hell was that last week, we jumped on board to watch your back because I consider you a brother. Please tell me that this is still the case.” Undertaker responds with his head bowed a bit, saying, “Of course man, you know we are brothers, we are all brothers. I need to figure this situation with that scumbag Bearer out and figure it out fast. It is just another case of him and his stooges playing their little games and making it appear to be something it isn’t.” Crush looks at the rest of the DOA and they nod before he responds, “That’s what I thought and all I needed to hear, your word has always been good by me, and you know we have got your back.” In response Undertaker says, “You know I appreciate that and its why I brought you guys on board to begin with. Stick with me while I sort this thing out, because you know in the end, Paul Bearer will rest in peace.” After this spot, the theme and Raw intro plays before we see the two man team of Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler at ringside. They explain that Vince McMahon will again not be at Raw tonight due to the altercation he had with the masked man and the chair shot he took courtesy of Shawn Michaels. They do announce however that for the first time since his injury at the Canadian Stampede event, WWF President, Gorilla Monsoon will be in the ring to address SummerSlam and make an important announcement tonight. We are also informed that two matches are slated for tonight, including a main event six man tag team match between Faarooq, Rocky Maivia, and Marc Mero, who will face off against the WWF Tag Team Champions, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Dude Love, who will team up with their partner Ken Shamrock. In addition, we will see Owen Hart and the British Bulldog team up against Billy Gunn and Jesse James. Also noted is that there will be a contract signing for the big WWF title bout set for SummerSlam later in the program, with the WWF Champion, the Undertaker, Bret Hart, and special referee, Shawn Michaels all set to be in the ring for the occasion. After this intro, we go to a commercial to the image of Paul Bearer, leading Savio Vega and Vader to the ring for tag team action that is up next.
Returning from break, Bearer leads Vader and Savio to the ring, where they face off with Crush and Chainz from the DOA. Much like the previous battles between these two factions, the referee completely loses control of this one, as both the New Blackjacks and Skull and 8-Ball eventually enter the fray with all eight men brawling about the ringside area until the bout is ruled a double disqualification. When the “Alliance” gains control due to Savio using the urn of Paul Bearer, the Undertaker comes to the ring and both sides part ways. He has no physical interaction with any of the men, and once again, when the Bearer faction backs off and walks away, they applaud the ‘Taker, with Bearer noting in the camera, “See, I told you, he is coming around to see things my way.” Crush and company look confused in watching this as they seem to again question the motives of the “Dead Man” as they walk away and the Undertaker is left standing alone in the ring, shaking his head. We then cut backstage, where Billy Gunn and Jesse James are shown, this time approaching Bret “the Hitman” Hart. “Hey, Bret, you know we are the hottest free agent team in the WWF right now, man. What do you think? Would we look good in pink and black or what?” asks Gunn. “Well guys, I see your point about working your tail off and not getting much respect, so let’s see what you guys can do. You have got Owen and Davey tonight and Brian and “The Anvil” in the pre-show match at SummerSlam. If you can prove your worth with a good showing against us, then maybe we can talk, how is that?” James replies, “Oh, we will put forth a good showing my friend, that I can guarantee you, but I wouldn’t wait around if I was you and you want this team on board. The offers are flying off the table for the “hottest free agent tag team in the WWF.” Gunn and James walk away, and Bret heads in the other direction after taking a deep breath and then giving a sigh.
After the break, we see “Stone Cold” and Dude Love talking in the back. Dude tells Austin, that he will be there for the six man tag later tonight, but that before then he has to call upon a “very crazy cat” that he knows “oh so well, daddy-o” to talk with him about some business they have at SummerSlam. Austin watches in disbelief as the Dude struts away and we go back up to ringside and await the WWF President. After the footage of Monsoon being injured at the Canadian Stampede airs, he walks through the curtain and hits the ring with a microphone in hand, addressing the crowd.
Monsoon: “Hello, it is great to be back out here in front of all of the great fans of the WWF here in Pittsburgh and watching around the world on the USA television network. I come to you all tonight with some exciting news about SummerSlam, which is somewhat bittersweet for me personally, as following that I have a very difficult announcement to make. First things first though, as you all know, we do have a WWF Championship match set between the Undertaker and Bret Hart, with Shawn Michaels slated to be the special guest referee. The ramifications in this one are huge, with Bret’s American wrestling career, Shawn’s career as a whole, and the Undertaker’s WWF Championship all on the line in this one. As you know, we will sign the paperwork on this and make it official later tonight right here on Raw. Also signed for this Sunday in East Rutherford, New Jersey is a tables match between the Road Warriors and the team of Rocky Maivia and Marc Mero, as well as a one on one bout pitting Sycho Sid versus Faarooq. This leaves many open slots on the card due to my not being here for the past several weeks, so I am here tonight to tell you of several huge additions to what is sure to be a red hot event this Sunday. First off, we have a new Intercontinental Champion, Owen Hart. Due to he and his cronies insistence on attacking and “pearl harbor” jobbing a certain WWF superstar, I have decided to give said superstar a shot at Owen’s newly won title. That superstar that will take on Owen this Sunday is none other than, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Speaking of the Intercontinental Title, the former champion, Ken Shamrock lost that prestigious championship under some pretty questionable circumstances due to interference by Owen Hart’s buddy and brother-in-law, the British Bulldog. So the way I see it, it is only fair that Davey Boy faces the music at SummerSlam and he and Ken Shamrock also do battle in one on one competition. Well, while I’m on a roll here, I figure why stop, right? For the past several weeks here on Raw there has been an all-out war brewing between Paul Bearer’s ‘Unholy Alliance’ and the four men that call themselves the Disciples of Apocalypse. This war is one that I for one feel needs to be resolved, so what we are going to do is have a huge eight man tag team match at SummerSlam pitting the team of Vader, Savio Vega, and the New Blackjacks against the four man team consisting of Crush, Chainz, Skull, and 8-Ball. Lastly, regarding SummerSlam, there is an item that I laid out to a competitor here last month. That man is Mick Foley. Call him Dude Love or Mankind, or whatever you would like, but whatever you call him, he earned the right at our last pay per view to choose his opponent at SummerSlam and to choose any type of match he would like to compete in against said opponent. So, immediately following the next commercial break, we will hear from Mick and he will select his opponent and the type of match he wishes to do battle in this Sunday as well. Now, I must move on to a much more difficult item. You see, after the beating I took at the hands of an unidentified masked man at our July In Your House event that took place in Calgary, I have spent much of the last month in and out of the hospital, pondering my future here in the World Wrestling Federation. I have mulled over many options in my head, but due to the unsafe environment around here resulting from to the inability of almost every current member of the roster to follow the rules and regulations we have around here, coupled with my age and the input of my doctors, I regret to inform all of you, the great fans of the World Wrestling Federation that I will be stepping down and resigning my position of WWF President effective following next week’s edition of Raw is War. It pains me to do this, as this company is all I have ever known and it has been so good to me over the years, but I have consulted with Vince McMahon, the board of directors, and those close to me and we all feel this is the best decision I can make. I will not, however, be going out quietly, as next week in my final act as WWF President, I have a bombshell to drop on you all that will finally bring an answer to one of the most pressing mysteries in recent WWF history. I thank all of you, the fans, and I thank Mr. Vince McMahon for all that you all have done for me and given me over the years and I look forward to sending you off with what I think will be a fantastic going away present next week. Thank you very much and enjoy the rest of the action here tonight. (Show cuts to break as the camera follows Monsoon leaving up the ramp.)
After the break, we hear the bopping strains of Dude Love’s theme music and as promised by President Monsoon, the Dude then appears up on the TitanTron to make his big SummerSlam announcement.
Dude: “Owww, hello all my kind brothers and sisters out there in Pittsburgh, PA and all across the globe in TV land. It’s me the most happenin’ cat in the land, Dude Love, and man oh man have I got some news for all of you. You see, my main monkey, the big cheese, Gorilla Monsoon, gave me the right to choose my opponent for SummerSlam and if that wasn’t enough of a trip, daddy-o, he is letting the Dude pick the type of match that we do battle in. So, I have been swirling this one around in my mind for a while now, and I got to thinkin’ that what the Dude is missin’ is a little bit of gold. Then, I got to thinkin’ a little bit more and it hit me. You see, there is this one crazy cat, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, and this wild child has been jumpin’ on the Dude at every chance he has had the past few weeks. He has been droppin’ the Dude on his head like my main man Timmy Leary was turnin’ on, tunin’ in, and droppin’ out back in the day, so I got to figuring that my not-so-kind brother, Hunter, he is carrying the European strap around his waist, so why not kill two birds with one stone and take on Mr. Helmsley for that gold at SummerSlam. (Shot goes to split screen with Helmsley and Chyna looking on at a monitor, mocking and laughing at Foley’s announcement) But my love children, you see, the Dude got to thinking even more about this match at SummerSlam and you all know me, I am more of a lover and not a fighter, so I thought better of taking on the champeen at the big show out at the Meadowlands. (Another split shot shows Helmsley and Chyna now confused, thinking he is backing out of the match possibly) So, my brother, Hunter and your oh so finer Chyna, I decided that even though the Dude didn’t want no part of you all at the ‘Slam, I knew a guy that certainly loves a good fight. He is a wacky and a crazy man to say the least and he is standing by right now my friends. So without further ado, let me turn this Kool-Aid party over to my main man who is standing by, actually let’s call him my main Mankind, and he is standing doing his favorite jam, maybe you have heard of it Hunter, it’s called the ‘Boiler Room Shuffle,’ owwww, have mercy. (Helmsley and Chyna are now shown on the split pointing nervously and getting angry as the screen cuts to Mankind sitting on the boiler room floor)
Mankind: “Well, thanks Dude, one thing I can say for sure is that you certainly are one happenin’ and tripped out dude that is without question a sight for the sore eyes when it comes to all the chickadees, brother man. But as for you Hunter Hearst Helmsley, you on the other hand are happening no more. You jumping me and bashing my head with chairs and hitting pedigree after pedigree after pedigree has left me but just one choice, Hunter. That choice is to turn the Hunter into the hunted and I know of no better way of doing that then to come home. That is right, in case you can’t get a whiff of where I am coming from with that enormous snout protruding from your scowling face, it is gonna be you and me, Hunter, for your European Championship and we are gonna get it on in my home, the boiler room. So, think this over between now and Sunday you arrogant, smarmy jerk, because your pretentious backside is in for the kicking of its lifetime and I will maim you and cripple you and enjoy every minute of doing so along the way to becoming the new champion of Europe. Have a nice day. (Helmsley and Chyna again are shown on the split screen and they are now visibly shaken by the announcement)
Following this huge announcement, J.R. and the King ponder the huge announcements from the last two segments, discussing the matches now added to SummerSlam and the resignation of President Monsoon. They also speculate on the big announcement that he will make next week on Raw. We then head to the ring for the earlier announced tag team match as Billy Gunn and Jesse James are set to take on the British Bulldog and Owen Hart. The bout is fast paced with non-stop action from the get go, with all four combatants running through much of their trademark offense. Several times throughout the match we see Bret Hart watching intently on his monitor in his locker room. After a miscalculated charge to the corner sees Jesse James bounce his head off the steel ringpost, the Owen and Bulldog team takes a decided advantage. Bulldog dominates James, hitting him with two running clotheslines and a powerslam that would’ve scored the three count if not for a save by Gunn. Seeing the interference, Owen charges in and leaves his feet for a spinning heel kick, but when Billy ducks, Hart nails the referee instead. Owen then turns and flings Gunn to the floor and the two work over the already injured James. Owen leaves the ring to continue to punish Gunn as Bulldog mocks his SummerSlam opponent, Ken Shamrock by putting Jesse in the anklelock. At this point, Shamrock charges from the back and chases Bulldog from the ring and into the crowd, following him in hot pursuit. Not knowing exactly where his partner had gone, Owen returns to the ring and looks out into the crowd while James still lays prone on the mat. As he is turned, “Stone Cold” charges from the back and when the I-C Champ turns, he is met with a stunner, that sees Austin simply turn and leave after hitting the big move and elicit a huge roar from the crowd. Slowly recovering, Gunn sees Owen down and yanks his partner from the ring. The referee slowly crawls back into the ring and as Owen slowly gets up but is still bent over, Gunn levels him with the move that would eventually become known as the “Fame-asser” and scores the huge upset win for his team with an assist from the “Rattlesnake.” The announcers tell us that the six man tag match is up next, and then just before heading to break, we quickly return to the back, where Shawn Michaels runs into President Monsoon’s office, he asks if he can sign the contract right now, as he has just received a phone call and he must leave the building. He apologizes and says he is very sorry to hear that Gorilla will be stepping down after next week. Monsoon reluctantly lets Michaels sign on the dotted line to make him officially the referee at SummerSlam, but is obviously not buying the well wishes of HBK, as when he is departing he shakes his head and offers up the following, “Very sorry to hear I’m leaving, gimme a break.”
Returning from break, the participants for the big six man tag team match are introduced, with the Faarooq, Maivia, and Mero team being accompanied by D-Lo Brown, Kama, and Sable prompting J.R. to cry foul immediately, “There is a whole army coming out here, now how is that fair to their opponents?” Following their arrival, Ken Shamrock is announced and he is accompanied by Paul Ellering. Next up is Dude Love, who boogies his way out with three of his “Dudettes” hanging off his arms. Lastly, the place erupts as the glass shatters and Steve Austin strides to the ring with a purpose. Lawler fires back at the earlier Ross comment noting, “Hey, J.R., between the “Dudettes” and Ellering, this team has got even more people at ringside, how come you don’t complain about that?” Ross replies with a doubtful comment of, “The Dudettes, come on King, please.”
Match- WWF Tag Team Champions, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Dude Love and Ken Shamrock(with Paul Ellering) vs. Faarooq, Rocky Maivia, and “Marvelous” Marc Mero (with Sable, D-Lo Brown, and Kama)- The bell rings and all six men hit the ring and trade punches. Of note is the fact that Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Chyna have showed up at the broadcast tables as the match begins. Helmsley sits in with J.R. and the “King,” while the “Ninth Wonder of the World,” being fluent in Spanish grabs a seat at the Spanish announce table for the bout. In the ring, Mero and Shamrock square off, while Austin and Faarooq trade big rights, as do the Dude and Maivia. The Austin, Love, Shamrock team wins the early slugfest, with each man chasing their respective foe outside to the floor to regroup. When they return, it is Mero who starts off against the Dude. Foley blocks two shots and responds with two big rights of his own before winging the “Marvelous One” to the ropes and catching him coming off with a boot to the gut. With Mero doubled over, Foley comes at him from the side and catches him with a swinging neckbreaker which is good for a count of two. As Mero tries to slide away and into the corner, Love follows and lays a succession of left boots to his opponent. “This guy is an animal,” notes Helmsley, “it is preposterous that I should have to fight this maniac in a Boiler Room Brawl on Sunday.” With Mero still reeling, Dude charges full speed from the far corner and lands a sickening knee to the face that once again sees the Nation member roll out to the floor. He regroups and when he does he goes directly to his corner and tags in Faarooq, while Foley has also tagged in a fresh man as Shamrock enters the fray. A lockup sees Faarooq go to the eyes to gain an advantage before winging Shamrock to the buckle and following with a stiff clothesline. The powerful leader of the Nation the sends his foe off the ropes and floors him with a shoulder block before dropping an elbow and covering for a two count. Faarooq stays on top of his man, dragging him to his home corner while holding him in a rear chin lock before tagging in Rocky. Upon entry, Maivia and Faarooq both lay the boots to Shamrock for the allotted four count before Faarooq heads back to the apron. Rocky pulls his opponent up and hits a big flying forearm of the ropes before turning and slapping Austin, causing the “Rattlesnake” to try and interfere, only to get cut off by the official and allow for a triple team effort on the winded Shamrock. “It’s like a mugging out here, the referee needs to get some control,” quips Ross, as when he does turn back around, Maivia argues with him and the aforementioned three man assault turns to four as D-Lo and Kama also get some shots in on the former MMA star while he lays helpless on the mat. At this point, Austin and Dude have seen enough, and they hop to the floor and race around opposite sides of the ring, each arriving with a well-placed forearm to drop both of the outside members of the Nation. Austin turns back and returns to his corner, but when Love begins to shuffle back, Helmsley steps up from the broadcast position and belts him in the back of the head with the European title. The referee is completely confused with all of the action and completely misses this, but Austin does not, as he races back around and trades blows with Hunter until Chyna leaves her announce post and slides in behind “Stone Cold” and puts him to his knees with a blatant low blow. “Oh come on now, dammit, you got five guys with the Nation and now you have Helmsley and this amazon Chyna making it a damn seven on three handicapped match.”As Maivia continues to work over Shamrock in the ring, Faarooq joins the melee on the outside, as he D-Lo and Kama jump all over the fallen tag team champions. After pounding Shamrock into the mat with a “Rock Bottom,: Rocky then hoists his opponent to his shoulders and points for Mero to head to the top rope. Just as they appear to be setting up for the finisher of their SummerSlam opponents, the remainder of the L.O.D. appears, as Hawk, Animal, and Sid sprint to the ring to even the sides. Hawk tackles Rocky before Mero could come off the top and Animal yanks the foot of “Marvelous,” crotching him in the corner before press slamming him back into the ring. With the referee still trying to stop the brawl on the outside, which has seen Sid now getting the better of Faarooq and both Austin and Foley begin to fight back, the Warriors dispose of Maivia and put Mero up on the shoulders of Animal, with Hawk coming off the top with the “Doomsday Device.” Following the move, they slide to the outside and actually put the Nation members and Helmsley at a disadvantage numbers wise, as the wily Ellering calls for Austin to return to his corner. With Shamrock now revived and Mero still down, Ellering turns the referee’s attention back to the ring, where he sees Shamrock dive to tag in “Stone Cold,” who pulls up Mero and nails a stunner for the three count and victory. His celebration is short lived though, as we see Owen Hart and the British Bulldog charge the ring with Owen and Austin trading blows, while Bulldog batters the still somewhat winded Shamrock, who seems to awaken in a rage, when Davey again smears his face with dog food. “It’s a pier six brawl out here in what is a preview of Sunday night will look like. We have the opponents from five different matches all paired off and beating the hell out of each other all over the ringside area. Good luck settling this thing down,” offers up Jim Ross as Raw heads to its final commercial break alternating between shots of separate brawls between Austin and Owen, Shamrock and Bulldog, Sid and Faarooq, and the Road Warriors battling with D-Lo and Kama while their opponents (Mero and Maivia) for Sunday still are down from the L.O.D.’s initial interaction in the bout.
Returning from the break, WWF President Gorilla Monsoon waits in the ring as the music of Bret Hart blares through the house system and the “Hitman” strolls to the ring for the contract signing. The lights then fade to black for the always awe-inspiring intro of the WWF Champion the Undertaker. After he shoots his hands in the air upon reaching the top step into the ring, the lights return and both he and his challenger sit at opposite sides of a table in the ring, as Monsoon holds the contract in his hand and addresses them.
Monsoon: “Gentleman, we all know why we are here. We are just six days out from the biggest event of the summer, SummerSlam, where the two of you will make history as you do battle for the WWF Championship. This match is unique, however, as not only will the Undertaker’s WWF title be up for grabs, but you, Bret Hart, if you cannot defeat this man will never again be allowed to wrestle in a WWF ring in the United States ever again. In addition to this, a man that you both are very familiar with, the “Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels will be the referee for this bout and if it is deemed in any way, shape, or form that Mr. Michaels does not call this match right down the middle, he will be terminated from his duties and no longer allowed to compete here in the World Wrestling Federation. Now, Shawn Michaels informed me earlier this evening that he had to leave the arena, so he has already signed off on his end of the contact, agreeing to all the terms put forth. As the challenger, Bret, I ask that you do the same at this point.”
Bret: “First of all, Shawn Michaels had to leave the building, huh? Again? Let me refresh your memory Mr. President as to the last time that Shawn Michaels had one of his so-called emergency phone calls, ok. It was at the “In Your House” pay per view this past April. Does that ring a bell, Monsoon? It should, because I was in a match that night with another piece of American scum, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels and his “leaving the building” trick caused me to get screwed over and lose that match. Remember, he was playing his little game, actually the one he is still playing with his buddies in black or green, hell they ought to come out in yellow, because that is all that they are, a bunch of yellow, gutless, cowards. So, let me just say that I for one will have eyes in the back of my head here as I sign this contract because unlike you Monsoon and unlike this idiots here in Pittsburgh, I was not born yesterday and I am not gullible and …(Undertaker reaches across and yanks the microphone from Bret)
Undertaker: “You gonna sign that thing or are we all gonna have to sit here and listen to you whine and cry like you always do. You see “Hitman,” even though our paths have rarely crossed in the ring, there has always been what I have felt was a mutual respect between the two of us. For the past six or seven years, we have arguably been the two biggest stars in this company. Many have come and gone and many have stayed, but the “Hitman” and the “Dead Man,” have constantly been at the top. But then the past eight months or so, you have changed. You talk about getting screwed and a lack of respect, well let me tell you something, boy, you had my respect and you have been slowly losing it. You call me out last week and say ‘I had better be focused?’ Let me remind you that I am the ‘Lord of Darkness,’ and I am the WWF Champion, I am always focused. You want me at my best? I am always at my best and come Sunday night, because of you and you big, whiny mouth, I am gonna take your soul, I am gonna show you what it is like to be brought to the depths of hell, and I am gonna beat your crybaby ass and make it so you can’t ever wrestle again in the country that made you a household name, Bret. So, give me that pen. (‘Taker swipes the pen from Bret’s hand, grabs the contract and signs it) I just signed your death certificate Bret, and come Sunday, you and your career here in the WWF will rest in peace.(He rolls the mike back across the table to Bret)
Bret: “Ok, so I am losing your respect? Well, join the club, “Dead Man,” it seems everyone in this organization and out in the crowd here has lost respect for me, yet each and every time I step in this ring I get the job done and remind them that I am “the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be.” So, yeah, I’m signing (Bret signs the contract) and I can’t wait to see you there, but it’s gonna be you that gets dragged through hell when I excellently execute you and become WWF Champion for the fifth time it is gonna be you that…(Bret stops talking momentarily and stands, prompting Undertaker to do the same. He motions to the entrance ramp, where the now familiar masked attacker appears, again all in green. As the two turn their attention that way, ‘Taker points out that another nearly identical figure is coming from the crowd behind Bret and then they see that a third and fourth “man in green” is approaching through the crowd on either side. Once the first masked man to appears reaches ringside, Monsoon scurries out around him and heads to the back. The four mysterious figures surround the ring as Bret and ‘Taker prepare to do battle with them, standing back to back with their fists raised. The man who approached down the ramp stops and picks up a chair as all four jump up on the apron and close in. At this point, the DOA comes from the back and all four members appear to be on their way to help the Undertaker, but before they get half way down the ramp, the ‘Unholy Alliance’ attacks them from behind and all eight men brawl about the ramp area. Both Bret and Undertaker score with punches on the first two masked men they zero in on as the third slowly enters and they get to him as well. As Hart and the “Phenom” fight off the two men, the attacker that grabbed the chair sneaks into the ring. Bret tries to unmask one of the men, but is then caught from behind by a low blow from one of his partners in crime. With Bret down, the chair wielding masked man zeroes in on him, but after sending each of the other three green clad attackers to the floor, Undertaker snatches the chair as he raises it to hit Bret. Tossing the chair to the mat, Undertaker grabs the masked man by his throat and appears to be ready to chokeslam him. “It’s about damn time one of these cowards got theirs,” J.R. hollers, “chokeslam his ass, chokeslam him to hell.” But instead of delivering the chokeslam, the ‘Taker reaches his other hand to the top of the head of the man and in one tug unmasks him, revealing him to be none other than Shawn Michaels. “Well, I will be damned,” Ross says, “ Bret Hart was right all along, it is Shawn Michaels pulling all the strings behind this pack of dogs. He had to leave for an emergency , my rosy red Oklahoma ass” Slowly recovering, Bret sees this go on and in a burst of adrenaline returns to his feet and jaws in the face of the revealed HBK. He picks up the chair from the mat as the Undertaker holds Michaels wide open for a home run swing. Bret winds up and takes his best cut, but Michaels ducks at the last split second and Hart K.O.’s the Undertaker instead. Stunned for a second, Bret lowers the chair and looks over the now bloodied and unconscious Undertaker. HBK has slipped behind him and after the initial shock, Bret turns to level him anyway, but instead gets a face full of steel, as Michaels hits “Sweet Chin Music” knocking the chair into the face of the “Hitman” and leaving him laying as well. Raw goes off the air as Michaels peels off the green sweatshirt he is wearing to reveal a sleeveless referee’s shirt as he switches between standing a top both Bret and ‘Taker, looking down at them with several “crotch chops,” as an appalled J.R. brings us home. “The yellow coward, Shawn Michaels has been revealed as the ring leader of these masked men that has been running roughshod over this organization for the past four and a half months and he has just laid to waste both of the men who will vie for the WWF title in a match that he will referee on Sunday night at SummerSlam. Titles will be on the line, careers, will be on the line, and dammit, who the hell are these other ‘hired guns’ that Michaels has been running out here. One thing is for sure, SummerSlam is gonna be red hot this Sunday and you do not want to miss it, that folks, I can guarantee. We are out of time here, we will see you Sunday night on pay per view.”
SummerSlam- August 3, 1997- East Rutherford, NJ-
The WWF’s annual summertime blockbuster begins as the commentary team of Jerry “The King” Lawler and Jim Ross start of the “Free for All” portion of the pay per view with a historical look back at the history of the WWF at the Meadowlands, noting that this was the company’s return to the building. Following this, the cameras cut to WWF President, Gorilla Monsoon, who is standing by with new announcer, Michael Cole backstage. Monsoon again speaks of his big announcement for tomorrow night’s Raw on his final night, and he also notes that he has one item of business regarding one of tonight’s matches, as he bans Chyna from the building as to be sure that the Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Mankind Boiler Room Brawl later in the night is a fight to the finish between the two for the European Championship. Monsoon then strides off to his office and the cameras then go to Helmsley and Chyna, who are obviously upset when clued in on the announcement by Dok Hendrix. As Helmsley shouts in protest, proclaiming that the WWF is stacking the deck against him, security arrives with Monsoon and they are ordered to escort “The Ninth Wonder of the World” from the building. Following this scene, we go to the ring, where the “Hottest Free Agents in the WWF,” Billy Gunn and Jesse James score a win over Brian Pillman and Jim Neidhart. The tide of the match turns when the four battle on the outside and a rowdy fan, splashes a beer on Neidhart and the “Anvil” turns to grab the apparently intoxicated onlooker. Just as he does, while the referee tries to separate Gunn and Pillman and return them to their corners, James picks up the sign the fan drops over the rail when he is grabbed that reads, “Go Back to Canada,” and belts Neidhart over the head with it. As the fan is removed from the building and Neidhart goes down like a ton of bricks, James tears the sign in half to reveal a stop sign as the reason that the “Anvil” is now unconscious. He rolls the motionless body back in the ring and bounces off the ropes, hitting his “shake, rattle, and, roll” knee drop for the three count and the win. Of note, Bret Hart was shown on the split screen at several points in the bout watching on the monitor. Following the match, the “Free for All” comes to and end and after a brief pause, the pay per view portion is set to begin.
Following the lead in video promo detailing the Undertaker/Bret Hart World Title match, we are brought inside the arena, where after a fireworks and pyro display, we are brought back the J.R. and the “King,” who run down the star studded lineup that waits ahead. Before we go up to the ring for the opening contest, Vince McMahon walks to the ramp and gives a personal thanks to New Jersey Governor, Christine Todd Whittman, who played a large part in bringing the WWF back to the state after a lengthy hiatus. McMahon shakes her hand and presents her with a plaque of gratitude before sending things back up to ringside. (McMahon does wear a neckbrace as he presents the plaque, per the events that took place between he and the “masked man” this past Monday, but he makes no reference of the event or the apparatus he wears)
The opening contest is the eight man tag match between the members of Paul Bearer’s “Unholy Alliance,” (Vader, Savio Vega, and the New Blackjacks) and the Disciples of Apocalypse (Crush, Skull, 8-Ball, and Chainz). As the Alliance team strides through the back on their way to the curtain, they stop and knock on the locker room door of the Undertaker. Paul Bearer simply tells the WWF Champion when he opens the door, “remember our deal, Dead Man.” An angered Undertaker looks at all four men and then makes eye contact with Bearer and simply nods his head before starting to shut the door. Bearer slides his hand in before the group continues to the ring and adds, “No matter what happens, remember the agreement.” As they are then introduced, the match is as to be expected a wild brawl from start to finish. In the end, the “Alliance” group gets the win, when after Skull and 8-ball hit a double chokeslam on Savio while the rest of the combatants brawl about ringside, a hooded man comes down the ramp and takes Paul Bearer’s urn and bounces it off the back of Skull’s head as he goes for the pin. The man then pulls Savio out and Blackjack Windham slide in as the referee returns for the three count. When the Alliance begins to celebrate, the hooded man pull down the hood and reveals himself to be a returning Goldust. Just before heading to the interview area, we see the Undertaker, seething mad and turning over a table in his dressing room after seeing the end of this match.
Heading to the interview area, we see Michael Cole, who is joined by Bret “The Hitman” Hart.
Cole: “Bret Hart, judgment day is upon us. It is do or die here tonight for you, as your American wrestling career is on the line. Many factors weigh into this this bout tonight, but the one on everyone’s mind is can Shawn Michaels be an impartial official especially after this past week, he was indeed revealed as the leader of the group of masked men that have been raising such havoc in the WWF for the past few months?”
Bret: “Well, Michael, all I can say, is he had better be impartial, or he is fired. I am not surprised that Shawn Michaels was hiding under that mask all these months, heck, I told everyone it was him the day after WrestleMania. It is not surprising at all that a gutless, coward like Shawn, much like all of the gutless Americans here tonight in New Jersey would stoop to such levels. It’s the American way, take the low road and take the easy way out, Michael. Honestly, though, enough about Shawn Michaels, let’s talk about Bret Hart becoming a five time WWF Champion here tonight. Let’s talk about the “Hitman” excellently executing the Undertaker tonight. Now all week everyone says to me, ‘Bret, are you sorry you hit the ‘Taker with that chair shot Monday night?’ Of course I am not sorry, did I mean to hit Shawn Michaels? Well, sure I did, but the Undertaker just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, so wham, he takes the steel to the face. Just another day at the office in the World Wrestling Federation, where the bloodthirsty American fans will settle for nothing less than matches that see two athletes maimed and crippled. If the big, bad Undertaker is so upset over that chairshot, he is really gonna be upset when I twist him into the sharpshooter tonight and that sleazebag, Shawn Michaels has to call for the bell after I make him submit and show everyone that I’m the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be.”
We then head back to ringside, where the British Bulldog is introduced first, followed by Paul Ellering, who leads the “World’s Most Dangerous Man” to the ring.
***Match- Ken Shamrock (with Paul Ellering) vs. The British Bulldog***-Davey Boy Smith defeated Ken Shamrock via disqualification at 7:27 when Shamrock hit Smith in the back of the head on the floor with a chair; prior to the bout, footage was shown of Bulldog attacking Shamrock recently on Raw; during Smith’s entrance, it was announced Smith would face Shawn Michaels Sept. 20 as part of One Night Only in Birmingham, England; after the bout, Shamrock locked Smith in a choke hold, with referees, Tony Garea, Gerald Brisco, Dave Hebner, and Pat Patterson then swarming the ring; after releasing the hold, an enraged and bloody Shamrock dropped several of the officials with belly to belly suplexes as the crowd cheered***(1)
After the chaos from Shamrock’s outburst settled down, we go back again to the backstage interview area, where Dox Hendrix is standing by with the special guest referee for tonight’s WWF Championship bout, Shawn Michaels.
Hendrix: “Well, Shawn, tonight you take on a somewhat unfamiliar role, as yes, you will be involved in the main event here tonight at SummerSlam, but it will be as the referee, not as a competitor for the WWF World Title. On top of that, you have to call the match straight down the middle or risk being fired from the WWF. Plus, all of this comes on the heels of you being revealed as the puppeteer behind the masked men attacks that have been going on…(Michaels interrupts)
Michaels: “Enough, Dox. Listen, I don’t need to explain myself to anyone around here. Not you, not Monsoon, not Vince McMahon, not Bret Hart, and certainly not the ungrateful fans out there. I don’t have time here right now to explain, but tomorrow night on Raw, Gorilla Monsoon isn’t the only one with a blockbuster, because, ol’ HBK has got one to drop on you all, too. But that is tomorrow, that is the future, so why don’t we first address the present where I have a world title match to officiate tonight. Will I call it down the middle? You betcha I will, I will be playing no favorites one way or another, as heck, that will be easy for me. You have one crybaby Canadian who I may hate more than anyone else on this planet and then you have a big, dead, dummy that I can’t stand either. So why not call it down the middle? As for me being in an unfamiliar spot, just remember Dox, whether he is in the match or calling the match, the HBK will always find a way to be the “show stopper” and when it is all said and done, he will certainly be the “main event.”
Back to the broadcast position, J.R. and the King contemplate what HBK’s “blockbuster” could be and then we head back to the ring for the Sycho Sid versus Faarooq match. After a back and forth bout, where Faarooq dominated early, before Sid took charge after mounting a powerful comeback, Faarooq pulls out the win when D-Lo and Kama try to interfere, prompting Hawk and Animal to come to the aid of Sid and destroy the two Nation members who were in the corner of Faarooq. This distracted the ref long enough to allow Rocky Maivia to sneak in and hit an unsuspecting Sid with a “Rock Bottom” and then drape Faarooq on top for the victory. After this bout, we are shown a video package detailing the history behind Mick Foley being granted the match of his choice at SummerSlam and then the repeated attacks and ensuing feud between him and Hunter Hearst Helmsley.
Following the video package, we are shown the footage of Gorilla Monsoon’s announcement from the “Free for All,” where he banned Chyna from the building and the irate comments from the European champion that follows. We then go to a shot inside the boiler room, where Mankind sits, rocking back and forth in the bowels of the Meadowlands. The shot then moves to the hallway, where a seemingly worried Helmsley asks a number of questions of the referee who walks with him toward the Boiler Room.
Match- European Championship Boiler Room Brawl- Champion, Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Mankind- The Boiler Room Brawl begins with the European Champion and the referee slowly opening the door and entering the sparsely lit room. Helmsley treads very carefully and seems very reluctant to get too far from the door. He turns and asks the official one last question and that is whether or not the match has officially begun, and the referee tells him once he has exited and shut the door the match starts. Hunter then rushes him out the door, shutting it quickly and he attempts to cheaply escape before any contact is even made. Just as he pulls the handle to walk out and win the match just seconds after it begins, Mankind blindsides him and knocks him into the door, which slams shut. The boiler room appears a very dangerous atmosphere, as we see rows of shelving with what appears to be steel piping in the distance behind the two grapplers as Mankind continues to start quickly, leveling Helmsley to his knees with repeated right forearms to the skull. As Helmsley attempts to slide away, the aggressive challenger has none of it, laying a succession of boots into the champion. Now reeling and slumped against the wall, Hunter is wide open for the attack of Foley, who gets a running start and drives his knee into the champs face. Continuing the pummeling, Mankind grabs Helmsley by both ears and begins bouncing the back of his skull off the wall behind them, actually putting a hole in it, but refusing to let go, as he works from the wall to bouncing his head off the concrete floor. Mankind pulls Hunter up by his hair and scores with a swinging neckbreaker before sliding over on top of him and again pounding the face of Helmsley with right hands. Two handfuls of hair help to again yank Helmsley to his feet before he is again introduced to the unforgiving concrete via a vertical suplex. The suplex takes as bit out of Foley as well and as he slowly rises, in desperation, Helmsley reaches out his arm and grabs a piece of aluminum piping that was strewn across the floor and slams it across the ankle of Mankind, buying him some recoup time. As Foley hops back towards him, Helmsley scores with a second shot with the pipe, this time across the knee that staggers the challenger, before he drops him by bringing the pipe up with both hands in an uppercut like fashion between the legs of Mankind with a blatant, yet in this atmosphere, completely legal low blow. Hunter seems to get second wind following this as he continues his assault with the pipe, crushing Mankind over the head with a pair of gruesome shots. Finally tossing the weapon aside, Helmsley lays several boots to the side of his foe’s head before picking him up and whipping him back first into the aforementioned shelving, prompting all of the steel that rested on it to roll of on top of the fallen “Hardcore Legend.” Battling to keep his footing and continue his attack, the European champs dives on top and lays in a few stiff punches before grabbing one of the long, thin steel pipes and viciously choking Foley with it. As they move along toward the back of the room, Helmsley lays kicks into the ribs of Mankind, stopping to pull him up and bounce his skull off the huge furnace several times before trying to spray his face with scalding hot water from the valve on the apparatus. Luckily, and maybe out of instinct, Foley ducks and returns the “aluminum pipe low blow” favor from moments ago, doubling Helmsley over with the shot below the belt. Again, given the beating he had been taking, one can only think that that move was followed by one of pure instinct as Mankind followed with a double arm DDT on the concrete and random steel rolling about the floor. It is now Helmsley who is the recipient of a whip into the shelving, as they maneuver back toward the front of the room and Foley slings hunter face first into the shelving, knocking him on to his back where dozens of pipes roll off and on to his prone body. Mankind follows up with a running elbow drop before scooping up his rival and plunging his fingers into his gullet with the mandible claw. Pushing him back while still cinching up on his deadly finisher, Foley lays Hunter across a table that stands up against the wall. He climbs up on the same table and grabs on to the back of HHH’s tights in an attempt to hit a spike piledriver on the table. After two blocked attempts, Helmsley reverses and backdrops Mankind off the table, landing him in a crumpled heap, as the back of his head and shoulder crack of the cement while his lower back and legs crunch against the nearby shelving. Back on the offense, Helmsley pulls up Foley and whips him back first again into the shelving that is now empty, breaking several of the shelves clean in half on impact. As Mankind sits amongst the wreckage, Hunter walks a few steps over and retrieves a ladder, lifting it high above his head as he approaches. Mankind beats him to the punch though, as when before the ladder can be brought down upon his body, he thrusts out his hand as he gets up and again scores with the mandible claw. As the ladder falls over his head and to the ground, the European Champ appears to be in big trouble as he begins fading. Seemingly not content with simply putting his enemy down and walking out the door to claim the title, Mankind again pushes the semiconscious Helmsley on top of the table. Keeping his death grip on until Hunter lay motionless on the wood, Foley then releases and walks over and picks up the somewhat bent up ladder. He leans it against the wall and scales almost to the top rung, before he leaps off with hopes of an elbow drop driving his opponent through the table. The ladder slips out from under him though on his launch, and the elbow comes up short, with Foley’s head bouncing off the corner of the table as his lower body is “cushioned” by the unforgiving eight foot drop to the concrete. As both men lay motionless, Hunter is the first to rise and he crawls down and pulls his opponent over to the table. As both men stand on it, Helmsley scores with a flurry of forearms to the back before placing the head of the challenger between his legs and hooking both arms, pounding the face of Mankind through the thick, wooden table with a pedigree. Much like his challenger moments before, it appears HHH would rather put an exclamation point on the match rather than simply winning as he momentarily disappears, before we hear the beeping, siren-like noise that comes from certain pieces of motorized equipment while they are running in reverse. As the mangled body of Mankind sits seemingly limp against the wall, the European Champion is now driving a small forklift that was in the back of the room in what appears to be an attempt to turn Foley into a human shishkabob. Luckily, Mankind rolls out of the path of the oncoming vehicle, which sees the arms of the forklift pierce into the wall, sticking the vehicle, which Helmsley frantically tries to back up. Again showing unbelievable heart and determination, Foley rises and pursues the now somewhat trapped champion. Helmsley quickly rolls the side window up in an attempt to hold off his challenger, but Foley again retrieves one of the pieces of piping and smashes out not only that window, but the front windshield as well after climbing on to the hood of the machine. He pulls a seemingly shocked and fearful Helmsley by his hair on to the hood, where he blocks a right hand and then scores with three consecutive punches. With the champion reeling, Foley drops to a knee and hits a low blow, doubling Hunter over before successfully bouncing his skull off the hood of the forklift with a spike piledriver. As, Helmsley rolls off and lays unconscious on the floor on broken wood, bent steel, and the concrete below, Mankind looks as though he was climbing down from the hood, but then stops, removes his mask and tears open his trademark brown ring attire, revealing a “heart tattoo” on his chest reminiscent of the home video footage shown on Raw sometime ago in his childhood portrayal of Dude Love. Foley then throws each hand up in the “I love you” symbol synonymous with “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka in what would appear to be another tip of the cap to his childhood and the influential moment in Foley’s life when he witnessed Snuka soar off the steel cage at Madison Square Garden and hit the “Superfly” on the Magnificent Muraco. Following the salute, he hurls himself off the machine and scores with an elbow to the heart of HHH. Despite the move taking a lot out of Mankind, he crawls through the rubble and reaches up, turning the knob and crawling out of the Boiler Room, beaten and battered, but victorious as the new European Champion. As the official raises his hand, the crowd watching the match goes nuts as the eerie strains of Mankind’s music hits and he is handed the European belt. The camera shot then goes to foot of the battered, newly crowned champ that begins tapping in rhythm as the theme music switches to the disco strains of Dude Love. Just then though, the “dance party” comes to an abrupt halt as we see a chair enter the frame in mid swing crashing across the ankle of the new champion. As the shot pans back, we see four identically dressed masked men, again, head to toe in green, each with a chair in hand. The four intruders savagely beat every inch of Mankind’s body, taking turns bringing the chairs down across him. After over a dozen chairshots, one of the masked attackers pulls the limp body of Foley up and drives his skull off a chair that lays on the floor with a pedigree. Then a second of the assailants scoops him up and drops him with a hangman’s neckbreaker before the third masked man places his ankle inside the bent up chair and the fourth drops a knee seeming to crack the ankle of the “Hardcore Legend” who shrieks in agony as the attackers stand over him momentarily and then walk away. Just before the camera shot goes back to ringside, we see Shawn Michaels approach from the opposite direction that the attackers went, dressed in his referee’s attire and sarcastically grimacing as he walks by, saying, “oooh, that’s gotta hurt.”
The commentators seem momentarily speechless after the carnage they had just witnessed in the Boiler Room and immediately following. When they finally do get their bearings, and offended J.R. states, “It’s a damn shame, King. A crying, damn shame. Ever since he was a little boy out on Long Island, not too far from here, Mickey Foley dreamed and making the big time and wearing WWF gold. Tonight, he achieves his dream, with his first taste of singles championship gold since arriving here in the WWF and moments after he is beating to a damn pulp by a bunch of thugs. All I can say is I hope that Mick Foley’s ankle was not broken in that heinous attack, and I hope he is ok. He deserves that title, dammit, he has busted his ass and earned that spot and to have it all taken away by a pack of damn yellow dogs just makes me sick.” After venting, J.R. informs us that next up will be the Intercontinental Title match and after a brief history of Owen and Austin’s feud, we first get the intro of the I-C Champ and then the crowd erupts for “Stone Cold.”
***Match- Intercontinental Championship Match- Champion, Owen Hart vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin***- Steve Austin pinned WWF IC Champion Owen Hart with a roll up to win the title at 16:17; prior to the bout, a video package was shown detailing the feud between Austin and Hart dating back to Canadian Stampede; following Hart’s entrance, Michael Cole conducted a backstage interview with Austin regarding the match, with Austin telling him off; during the final minute of the match, Hart dropped Austin with a modified tombstone piledriver, causing Austin to have temporary paralysis; after the contest, several referees helped Austin to his feet and then backstage***(2)
With the uncertainty and reality of the Austin injury situation, a concerned Ross and Lawler almost immediately send the show to the backstage area, where Kevin Kelly is standing by with the WWF Champion.
Kelly: “Undertaker, the night is finally upon us. It is you and Bret Hart for the WWF Title and if you win, Bret will no longer be allowed to compete on U.S. soil. So many storylines involved heading into this thing, though, as there is the Shawn Michaels factor, there is the item of Bret earlier saying he ‘was not sorry’ for mistakenly leveling you with a chair this past Monday, and then there is the question as to what is going on between you and your former manager, Paul Bearer. It seems…(Undertaker grabs away the microphone)
Undertaker: “Storylines and nonsense are not what is important here, Kevin Kelly. What the issue at hand is, is the WWF Championship and that takes precedent over all these other little kiddie games going on. Shawn Michaels, just do your job, son. Just count the three when I drop the tombstone and bury the career of Bret Hart. As for Bret not being sorry, we are grown men here, Kevin, I wouldn’t be sorry either, just like I won’t be sorry tonight when I tear out his heart, when I take from him his soul, and when all is said and done, Bret “The Hitman” Hart, rests in peace.” (‘Taker hands the microphone back and starts to walk away)
Kelly: “But wait, Undertaker, what about the issue of you and Paul Bearer? (Undertaker does not even turn to acknowledge the question as we just see him continue to walk away before the camera shot goes back to ringside where we are set for the tag team tables match.)
The Nation team of Rocky Maivia and “Marvelous” Marc Mero are introduced first and are led out by the beautiful Sable. The New Jersey crowd explodes as the legendary Road Warriors are introduced with their manager, Paul Ellering. After a quality bout that saw both teams impress, the L.O.D. gets the win when they powerbomb both Maivia and Mero each through tables that they had actually first set up in the ring. When it appeared the Maivia and Mero team had things going there way, Faarooq appeared and looked to help put the finishing touches on Hawk and Animal. However, his attempt to return the favor of Rocky from earlier backfired horribly, as he took what appeared to be the loaded purse of Sable and tried to belt Animal with it as Maivia held him back, only to miss and knock out Rocky instead. This lead to Animal clotheslining a stunned Faarooq over the top before powerbombing Rocky through the first table. Left alone, Mero was easy pickings, as he first felt the “Doomsday Device,’ before Hawk drove him through the second table for the win.
Following this bout and a brief commercial promoting the next “In Your House” pay per view event, which will be called “Ground Zero,” and will take place on September 7 in Louisville, Kentucky. After this, we are again shown the promo package readying us for the WWF Championship match before the referee, Shawn Michaels is brought out first. Bret Hart strides to the ring next, hearing a deafening chorus of boos as he makes his way to the ring, before the lights go down for the awesome entrance of the WWF Champion.
***Match- WWF Championship Match- Champion, The Undertaker vs. Bret “The Hitman” Hart-(Shawn Michaels is Special Guest Referee)***- Bret Hart pinned WWF World Champion the Undertaker to win the title at 28:08 when guest referee Shawn Michaels accidentally missed Bret and hit Taker over the head with a steel chair Hart brought into the ring moments earlier after Hart spat in Michaels’ face when Michaels confronted him about the weapon being in the ring; stipulations for the bout stated if Hart didn’t win the title then he would never again wrestle in the United States and if Michaels favored Taker in his officiating then he too would not be able to compete in the US; prior to the bout, Hart had the Canadian National Anthem played and dedicated the match to his international fans; immediately after the match, Michaels left ringside, with Taker following after; moments later, Hart draped himself in the Canadian flag and celebrated in the ring with Owen Hart, Brian Pillman, and Davey Boy Smith as fans threw trash into the ring. *** (3) SummerSlam goes off the air to the alternating image of the Hart’s celebrating in the garbage filled ring and then a shot well into the crowd at the Meadowlands of five masked men, again dressed head to toe in green, slowly nodding their heads and applauding. As always, Jim Ross takes us home. “Well folks, we have a new WWF Champion. Bret Hart can still wrestle in America and for that matter, Shawn Michaels called it right down the middle, but I have a feeling these two men are gonna have hell to pay after both cracking the skull of the “Phenom” with a chair in consecutive nights. Both members of the World tag Team Champions added another piece of gold to their collection tonight, as Steve Austin won the Intercontinental Title and Mick Foley is the new European Champ, however, the status of both men is in question following horrific scenes near the end of either of the contests they were in tonight. What the hell are the two big bombshells we are waiting on tomorrow night from Shawn Michaels and from Gorilla Monsoon on his last night as WWF President and what other surprises could possibly lie in store tomorrow night on Raw? You will have to tune in and see tomorrow folks, as I guarantee you do not want to miss it. Thank you again for joining us here tonight for SummerSlam, for Jerry “The King” Lawler, I am Jim Ross and we wish you a good night and we will see you all tomorrow.”
This marks the end of Part VII of our story. Following the huge event that was SummerSlam, we begin to move along into the homestretch of this story with many questions to be answered. Heading into Part VIII we are left to ponder what will happen in the wake of Monsoon resigning? What does HBK have to say tomorrow night, who are the other masked men and how many of them actually are there? What is the deal with the Undertaker and Paul Bearer and what is the physical status of two men who are currently occupying not only the WWF tag titles, but now are also the I-C and European Champions respectively, Steve Austin and Mick Foley? All of these cliffhangers and the final payoff in this tale will be revealed as we head into the final three chapters of our journey that has raised the question, “What if Shawn Michaels never lost his smile?”
***As stated in the intro to this part, several of the matches in this part played out as they actually did in WWF. These noted instances in this story were recalled as told by the website, thehistoryofwwe.com . The actual dates and events these events took place at are listed below, for a good feel on how these matches and the company at this point in time were playing out (and to give this story a more realistic feel), I would once again suggest, if you have the time, look these up on YouTube and give them a look while moving along here.***
1)- SummerSlam –August 3, 1997
2)- SummerSlam- August 3, 1997
3)- SummerSlam- August 3, 1997HahHHH