WWF RAW: February 3, 1997

  • Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Vader
  • Flash Funk vs. Savio Vega
  • Sycho Sid promo
  • WWF Tag Team Championshop: Doug Furnas & Phil LaFon vs. Owen Hart & The British Bulldog
  • Crush vs. Goldust
  • Shawn Michaels promo with Bret Hart walk in then Stone Cold Steve Austin and Sycho Sid run in attacks
  • Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Marc Mero
  • Faarooq & Mankind vs. The Undertaker & Ahmed Johnson

Editors’ Comments / Rating

Compared to: https://www.ckpunk.com/wcw-nitro-february-3-1997/

C. K. Punk: This is the second time, so far in 1997 where WWF has stepped up their game and produced a quality Monday Night RAW, much like the show I remembered from my childhood. The show moved from a one hour to a two hour format (for the first time ever) and they incorporated a good mix of back stage trash talk, promos, and matches. The final tag team, no DQ, match between Faarooq & Mankind and the Undertaker & Ahmed Johnson really provided and exciting end to the night. This helps to push match excitement up to 4.

There is however, some controversy over this show. It was called Royal Rumble Raw and it was being touted that for the first time since the 1980’s viewers would get to see an entire royal rumble match for free (IE: not having to pay for the pay per view (PPV). Long story short, after some push back and threatening of lawsuits from cable companies, the WWF had to back out of this, but do the best they could and simply played a couple video highlights of the Royal Rumble match and have some dubbed over commentary related to the Royal Rumble. Thus, at the time, if you were anticipating being able to see the entire Royal Rumble, you would have surely been disappointed. Additionally, it seems that the Sky dome in Toronto was around half capacity, and lighting got turned down to hide this fact. This dark atmosphere is a turn off to many. I can understand this, but watching it decades later and a fairly low quality recording I did not pick up on this point.

All things considered, I find this RAW to be one of the best shows I have seen so far far in 1997 (though to be fair, we are only talking 5 shows). No doubt there is better to come but I have to think this marks the turning point or WWF in being able to match up to WCW Nitro.

Some thoughts:

  • We finally got to see a video clip of Stone Cold’s “tainted” victory in the Royal Rumble. Yes, it was not was was promised, but for those who were not fortunate to be able to see PPV’s, this would have been at least a treat of sorts. In 1997, it would have been almost impossible to see clips like this on the internet, unlike today.
  • Stone Cold Steve Austin was agitated by the ref for trying to pull him off Vader and he gave the ref a stunner. Very reminiscent of the many shenanigans we will be seeing (based on my memories) out of Stone Cold.
  • Flash Funk definitely has some cool moves to hype up the crowd.
  • Marlena: I forgot about her staple of smoking cigars. She could be seen having a good smoke on this episode.

My rating:

Acting: 3
Commentating: 3
Match Excitement: 4
Production Quality: 3
Story: 3


My Rating:

Acting: ?
Commentating: ?
Match Excitement: ?
Production Quality: ?
Story: ?

Match Excitement
Production Quality

Posted in: 1997, Ahmed Johnson, Bret Hart, Crush, Doug Furnas, Faarooq, Feb. 03, Flash Funk, Goldust, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Mankind, Marc Mero, Owen Hart, Phil LaFon, Savio Vega, Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Sycho Sid, The British Bulldog, Undertaker, Vader, WWF, WWF '97

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *