20 YEARS AGO – KELLER’S RAW REPORT (7-14-97): Austin and Dude Love team together, Lawler wrestlers, Paul Bearer discusses new Kane character

Steve Austin (photo credit Wade Keller © PWTorch)

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KELLER’S WWF RAW REPORT
JULY 14, 1997
SAN ANTONIO, TEX.

[Q1: 2.1]… The show opened with Vince McMahon talking about the Hart Foundation rallying around their country with the support of the Canadian fans last week. He then countered that this week in Texas things will be different for the Hart Foundation… Vince McMahon interviewed the Hart Foundation in mid-ring. Bret reiterated his stipulation for SummerSlam. He said Canadians keep their promises. With authority, he looked into the camera and said he will be a five-time WWF Champion. Owen reiterated his vow to kiss Austin’s ass if he loses. British Bulldog added a stip, saying he will eat dog food if he loses to Ken Shamrock. If he’s really a Bulldog, shouldn’t that be a victory dinner? Pillman promo’d his match against Goldust by addressing Dusty Rhodes: “Dusty, I know you’re watching. I love you. Not really. I just like your style. Years and years of abuse and neglect of your little boy while you fed your massive ego and your fat face on top of it (laughs) turned your little son into the most celebrated drag queen of the century. Dustin, I know your daddy broke your heart. At SummerSlam, I’m going to rip it out.” He said if he doesn’t win, he’ll wrestle him the next week on Raw wearing a dress of Marlena’s. Jim Neidhart said he would shave his goatee off the next night on Raw if he loses his match. Bret said Canada’s beer tastes better, their sports are tougher, their women are prettier, their money is nicer looking (now that’s important), and the men are tougher. Steve Austin’s music then began roaring as he walked out onto the stage. Ken Shamrock stepped next to Austin, followed by The Patriot (Del Wilkes). McMahon wondered if The Patriot would be Austin’s tag partner. Sid then walked out in street clothes. McMahon said maybe he would be Austin’s partner. And finally (of course), out walked Shawn Michaels in street clothes…

[Q2: 2.5]… (1) Ivan & Scott Putski beat Jerry Lawler & Brian Christopher when Ivan pinned Lawler at 4:51. Jim Ross said earlier Lawler had been trying to convince him that Christopher wasn’t his son, but was actually his younger brother. Ivan began singing over the house mic. He sounded a bit like Nikolai Volkoff singing the Russian national anthem. Lawler and Christopher attacked them from behind. Lawler piledrove Scott, but when he appeared to have the three count, Christopher stepped in and asked for the pin instead. Christopher then dove off the top rope, but Scott moved out from under the double legdrop. The match continued. Ross suggested that Paul Bearer may present Undertaker’s brother later on the show. Ivan got the hot-tag at 4:15 and flailed away at Lawler including a Polish Hammer for the pinfall… They recapped the Austin-Mankind angle last week. McMahon then interviewed Mankind from a dark corner of the locker room. Mankind refused to answer…

[Q3: 2.4]… Paul Bearer said Kane is no longer a child and eagerly waits to confront him, and next week he would prove Kane is still alive… (2) Taka Michinoku beat Tajiri Yoshihiro at 4:02. Ross said the light-heavyweight division includes wrestlers 215 pounds and less. Taka hit a springboard bodyblock off the top rope. Ross said Taka said what he liked most about the U.S. were the girls. Taka continued to play to the crowd, one of the qualities that prompted the WWF to bring him back for more matches. Yoshihiro nailed Taka with a hard spin wheelkick to the face followed by an Asai moonsault. Fans booed him in response. Yoshihiro followed with some roundkicks, showing his kick boxing background. He hit a hard spin hook kick. None of the kicks were called by name by the announcers. Taka came back with a dropkick to the back, then signaled for the really cool looking Michinoku Driver II (powerbomb piledriver) for the win. A good showcase match for both men… McMahon interviewed Shamrock in the locker room. He said he is not going to be Austin’s partner, but he would be wrestling Neidhart later on the show… They showed Los Boricuas arriving in an early-’70s Chevy convertible with a bright yellow interior and an orange and gold paint job with a mural on the hood… (3) Miguel & Jose (w/Savio & Jesus) beat The Head Bangers. The Bangers wore Marilyn Manson t-shirts. After the match LB attacked the Bangers four-on-two. It’s a good thing, because they gave the DOA a reason to ride out on the motorcycles and make the save. A big brawl broke out…

[Q4: 2.7]… McMahon asked Patriot from the locker room if he was Austin’s partner. Patriot said that’s not the reason he’s there. He said he came to the WWF to defend the USA against the Hart Foundation and other anti-USA forces. McMahon referred to him as Del Wilkes, The Patriot… They showed Michaels pacing in the back… McMahon interviewed Michaels (see WWF Newswire)…

[Q5: 2.8]… After the “Warzone” opening aired, Savio Vega grabbed a camera man in a panic and yelled for him to go out back. McMahon and Ross imagined something horrible had happened. Instead, Savio wanted to show off that they were destroying one of the DOA’s motorcycles. That prompted the DOA to run out. A brawl then broke out in the backstage area. LB then drove away with the DOA’s motorcycle dragging behind the car. The DOA chased after them. The car alarm going off in the background added to the moment… After a commercial break, they showed Chains (Brian Lee) being helped to his feet by Crush… (4) Ken Shamrock beat Jim Neidhart at 4:40. Jerry Lawler joined McMahon and Ross on commentary. Neidhart went to a chinlock at 2:15, and Shamrock just sat there and took it without trying to escape. Finally he fought out of it, but has clearly become “just another wrestler” given the style he fought against Neidhart, whatever intrigue there was because of his background in UFC is now gone. It’s amazing how the WWF fumbled his push so badly already…

{Q6: 2.6]… Another chinlock at 3:30. Unbelievable! Neidhart had done almost nothing, but was sucking air like he was at the 58 minute mark of a 60 minute draw. Shamrock applied a Gagne sleeper and Neidhart submitted a few seconds later. An absolutely terrible finish to a terrible match. Burning 100 dollar bills in mid-ring would have been more economical for McMahon than presenting this match. Afterward British Bulldog and Neidhart attacked Shamrock. Patriot made the save… McMahon attempted to interview Mankind again, but Mankind didn’t say anything as he rocked back and forth on the floor. The Mankind-Austin storyline was recapped… The latest SummerSlam clue was revealed. A skit aired with The Head Bangers playing croquet and being struck by lightning. The clue ended up being “Life”…

[Q7: 2.7]… The Legion of Doom vs. The Blackjacks ended before it began. The Godwinns attacked The LOD from behind with a chair, giving Hawk the slop drop on the rampway. Hawk bled from the top of the head. McMahon said no one would allow Hawk to wrestle with a possible concussion. The LOD returned to the back as fans chanted “LOD, LOD”… (5) Vader (w/Paul Bearer) beat Flash Funk at 4:08. At 1:30 Flash dropkicked Vader over the top rope, then slidekicked him, and followed with a tope. Flash threw Vader into the steps, and Vader threw his forearms into the stairs to shove them out of his path. Ross slipped up and referred to Funk as “Too Cold Scorpio,” but covered for himself well. Flash hit a moonsault for a two count, but Vader soon finished him with a powerbomb and didn’t even bother to hook the leg of his real-life friend during the pinfall. Vader splashed Flash after the match. I hope the reason WWF gave up on pushing Flash is a good one, because he is really being wasted and has so much more potential… McMahon interviewed Austin in the back. Austin reiterated that he didn’t care who his partner is. He said he hasn’t been 100 percent for a year and getting out of bed is a “drastic measure” for him…

[Q8: 3.3]… (6) Steve Austin & Dude Love defeated British Bulldog & Owen Hart at 12:00 to capture the WWF Tag Team Titles. Austin came out and immediately attacked both Owen Hart and Bulldog. The ref officially started the match. At 1:00 Owen and Bulldog were able to take the advantage. The announcers wondered aloud what happened to Austin’s tag partner, whoever it was supposed to be. In a great teaser, as they cut to a commercial they showed the feet of Austin’s partner in the locker room walking toward the ring. Back from the commercial, Austin continued to take a beating from Owen & Bulldog. Several minutes passed and still no partner. Fans got restless. Austin came back on his own and dumped both Owen and Bulldog out of the ring and stood his ground. Then on the TitanTron “Dude Love” (Mick Foley) appeared. He said he was coming to save the day. Austin’s facial expression was priceless as he complained to the ref. Ross explained that Mick Foley wanted to be a teen idol, and now he has gotten to live the fantasy. Owen attacked Austin from behind and Dude Love grabbed the tag rope. Austin tagged out right away to Dude Love for a good pop. At 10:00 Dude applied the Mandible Claw. Owen made the save, but while the ref escorted him out of the ring, Austin gave Bulldog the Stone Cold Stunner. Dude Love covered Bulldog for the pin to crown the new champions. Women ran into the ring and began hugging Dude Love. Ross called them “Dude Love groupies.” Austin shook hands with Dude Love who danced with the women as the show went off the air… Good show… [WK]

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