20 YEARS AGO – KELLER’S WWF RAW REPORT (12-22-97): DX moons the audience, Michaels challenges Triple H for European Title, Undertaker vs. Rock

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

Triple H (art credit Travis Beaven)

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

The following was published in the Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter 20 years ago this week. PWTorch VIP membership gives you access to over 1,500 back issues of the Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter dating back to the late 1980s. Go VIP at www.pwtorch.com/govip.


KELLER’S WWF MONDAY NIGHT RAW REPORT
DECEMBER 22, 1997
LOWELL, MASS.
AIRED ON USA NETWORK

Announcers: Jim Ross, Kevin Kelly, Michael Cole

[HOUR ONE]

After highlights of the DX-LOD angle that concluded last week’s Raw, Jim Ross, Kevin Kelly, and Michael Cole introduced the program. It began “snowing” inside the arena. DX came out wearing white bathrobes. Ross said censors were standing by because they got tipped off about what DX might be planning. Michaels asked the crowd if they’ve been “good little boys and girls.” Michaels said if so, they have a present for them. Ross said, “That’s what I’m afraid of.”

Hunter said the New Age Outlaws better not take credit for ending the career of the LOD. “If you know what’s best for you and your health, you’ll stay out of DX’s business.” A fan held up a “Bret Who?” sign as Hunter brought up Owen Hart’s name. Fans chanted, “Owen, Owen.” Hunter called Owen a baby and said if he needs a pacifier to suck on, he has one for him — then he did the DX crotch chop. Michaels said Undertaker couldn’t beat him the first two times, and the third time wouldn’t be any different. He said he would beat him like a “red headed stepchild.” Michaels said he doesn’t rest in peace, and actually “can stay up all night” while doing a pelvic thrust. Kelly said, “Dice lives.” Michaels and Hunter took off their robes, revealing holiday boxers. Ross said, “That’s not so bad.” Then they dropped the boxers and bent over. The screen blocked out their butts which read “Merry Christmas.” Ross said, “Look at those nuts.” The crowd seemed more amused than offended, although the WWF carefully picked out women laughing.

Sgt. Slaughter came out. DX put their robes back on. Slaughter then told Michaels he had to defend the European Title since he hadn’t defended the title in over 60 days. Slaughter threatened to strip Michaels of the European Title. Michaels said he isn’t scared of being stripped of anything. He added, though, that he would defend the title against anyone, anywhere, anytime. He had chosen Hunter as Michaels’s opponent. Michaels and Hunter looked shaken up by the announcement. Hunter told Slaughter that Slaughter was just trying to ruin Michaels’s Christmas by having him lose the European Title. Michaels interrupted and said he was with him until he said he could beat him. Michaels said, “In case you haven’t heard, I don’t lie down for anybody.” Chyna stood between them as they cut to a commercial. The announcers wondered if DX would be breaking up later on the show…

Cole, Ross, and Kelly stood in front of a blue board with a shot of the arena in the background to simulate that they were announcing from the upper deck. It looked pretty “simulated.” In fact, the entire Raw was a bit of a throwback since they were in a smaller arena which was too small for the TitanTron to fit. There was no rampway, no fireworks. The set consisted of a lot of Christmas lights and decorations…

(1) Headbanger Thrasher (w/Mosh) beat Henry Godwinn (w/Phinneous) via DQ at 1:13 when Phinneous interfered. Before the match, the Godwinns said they deserved a shot at the tag titles. After the match the Godwinns whipped the Bangers… A recap aired of the New Age Outlaws-Dude Love angle from the week before… A promo aired with Mankind “in the bowels of the arena” saying that a funny thing happens when Dude Love gets hurt — he hurts in the same place. He vowed revenge against the New Age Outlaws. No hints yet of Cactus Jack resurfacing as has been talked about. I’m beginning to like more and more the multiple personalities gimmick. Few people could pull it off, but Mick Foley is… In what was billed as a “Raw Exclusive,” they aired footage from the previous week’s Raw that didn’t make the air. It was of Steve Austin confronting a Santa Claus in mid-ring. When Santa kicked a kid out of the ring, Austin came out and demanded to know if he was the real Santa. Santa said he was. Austin said to prove it, he should say what he asked for for Christmas when he was six years old. The Santa thought for a minute and said a Barbie Doll. Austin polled the crowd on whether they thought he was the real Santa and encouraged them to shout, “Hell no.” Austin then gave the Stone Cold Stunner and left…

A camera approached DX’s locker room. Hunter and Michaels were shouting at each other. Chyna stormed out of the room…

(2) Undertaker fought Rocky Maivia (w/NOD) to a no contest at 10:15. D-Lo Brown distracted Undertaker at the start of the match so Rocky attacked Undertaker from behind. That was pretty much the highlight of this snoozefest. Undertaker made an immediate comeback. Kama gave Undertaker a low-blow from behind. Paul Bearer walked out to the aisleway as they cut to a commercial…

Upon returning, Rocky had Undertaker in a nervehold. Rocky did his bug-eyed routine, an expression that he’d be best to drop from his repertoire. It looks phony, exaggerated, and gross. When Undertaker began to break free from the nervehold, Rocky gave him a low blow. Undertaker came back and hit a chokeslam, at which point the lights went out and Kane came out. Bearer said Undertaker ran from Kane’s challenge last week and he is ashamed to say he was ever associated with Undertaker. Bearer told Undertaker because of him his parents have to celebrate Christmas with the maggots and worms. Undertaker lurched at Bearer, so Kane jumped in and attacked him. Undertaker again refused to fight Kane. Kane stood over Undertaker in the corner of the ring…

[HOUR TWO]

Michaels came out for his match. Hunter then came out, but Owen Hart attacked Hunter in the aisleway. Sgt. Slaughter came out suspiciously quickly and ordered Owen to the back. Sarge smiled at DX and then Michaels accused Sarge of putting Owen up to it… Ross & Jim Cornette introduced the second hour of Raw… A camera followed the New Age Outlaws through the “bowels” of the arena looking for Mankind. They attacked someone they thought was Mankind, but it turned out it wasn’t and they ran…

(3) Marc Mero beat Scott Taylor via TKO at 2:16. Mero first came out without Sable. Fans chanted her name. He said since it was the holiday season, he would give the fans a gift and allow Sable to come out. Sable came out in a not-so-flattering reindeer costume with a flashing red nose (it would have fit in with Party of Five’s mascot). Ross said Mero was belittling Sable. It’s amazing how the WWF has manipulated the angle so the only way Sable can “liberate” herself is to strip nearly naked. Isn’t liberation for women supposed to be more closely related to not having to “exploit their bodies?” Anyway, Mero said, “Look at those set of antlers. Are those real?” Mero then ordered Sable to “disrobe” him. When the match started, Sable took off the head of her costume. I’m surprised Joey Styles didn’t show up and make some lame “head” puns. However, Ross and Cornette didn’t need Styles to fulfill their quota of “nutty” puns. After winning with the TKO, Tom Brandi attacked Mero. Mero sold a knee injury, which gave Sable a chance to disrobe herself and reveal a sexy Santa outfit underneath the deer suit…

They went to DX’s locker room where Hunter was complaining to Chyna about Michaels always bragging about being “the show stopper,” to add credibility to the idea that these two might actually fight each other…

(4) Kurrgan (w/Jackal) beat 8-Ball in 2:00. Not as bad as you’d expect, but still very bad. Jackal’s mic work is starting to find a direction. The Truth Commission attacked 8-Ball after the match and Skull made the save… They showed New Age looking for Mankind in the back halls again…

(5) Ken Shamrock beat D-Lo Brown at 2:22 with an ankle lock. Ross mentioned that Ken’s younger brother, Frank, won the middleweight title at the UFC event over the weekend. Shamrock opened with Maurice Smith style roundkicks to D-Lo. D-Lo reached the ropes after an early leglock. He eventually succumbed to an ankle lock. Afterward Rocky walked out and said “the fans want to know what The Rock thinks of the crisis in the Gulf.” Then he stopped himself and said what is really important is that UFC is for has-beens and never-beens and challenged Shamrock to a title match at the Royal Rumble. Shamrock gladly accepted… They showed Michaels confiding in Chyna his complaints about Hunter in the locker room…

New Age finally found Mankind. Mankind attacked them, but New Age stuffed him into a cooler. Nothing more was said, so as far as we know Mankind has died of suffocation in the cooler… Goldust and Luna came out. Goldust was dressed as a Christmas tree and read “T’was the Night Before Christmas” with a lisp. Lots of bad puns by the announcers about “Christmas balls.” Santa attacked Goldust, and it turned out to be Vader. Goldust and Luna fled…

(6) Hunter Hearst Helmsley pinned Shawn Michaels to capture the WWF European Title at 1:17. After each man stalled before locking up, when they finally did lock up Michaels fell to the mat like he was shot. His bump was hilarious. He lay flat as Hunter bounced back and forth off the ropes. He finally splashed Michaels, but didn’t come close to touching him. Michaels’s crying routine afterward was also pretty funny. Hunter eventually embraced Michaels to “sooth him.” Ross said, “Michaels has lost his smile.” Slaughter came out, not looking happy. Hunter called it the happiest moment of his life outside of his kid being born. He added, “Well, I don’t have a kid, well not that I know of. I did it! I did it!” Sarge then said that next week Hunter would have to face Owen, but DX didn’t hear him as they continued to celebrate. Expect quite a “flashback of an angle” in next week’s European Title match… How did the WWF fit so little actual wrestling into two hours?…


NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS FLASHBACK: 10 YRS AGO: WWE in Nashville, Tenn (12-26-07): Orton defends against Jericho, Hardy vs. Kennedy, Triple H vs. Usage, plus Cody, Snitsky, Drew, Santino, Mickie

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


VOTE IN OUR POLLS

Who do you think will prove to be the most valuable recent AEW signing over the next year?
 
pollcode.com free polls
Who do you want to see unseat Kenny Omega as the AEW World Champion?
 
pollcode.com free polls

Stay connected