In December of 1997, The World Wrestling Federation was in full swing for the Royal Rumble in January, the annual event where thirty top WWE Superstars competed for the biggest prize of them all, a title shot at the biggest event of the year, Wrestlemania 14. The Survivor Series had gotten the World Wrestling Federation publicity, for better or for worse. The next Pay Per View DeGeneration X, was a rather weak effort, as this new Attitude Era would have its share of bumps along the road. December 22nd 1997 was a RAW that was taped nearly ten days
WCW Monday Nitro that night was one for the ages for December 22nd. The NWO stormed the set of Nitro and took over the show. While Nitro was a three hour show this week, fans were restless as the NWO dismantled the set and put up one of their own, leading to NWO Monday Nitro. One of the stipulations for the Eric Bischoff against Larry Zbyszko for Starrcade was Nitro being put on the line but the New World Order wanted to get a jump start on the situation. The show was notable for Eric Bischoff professing his undying love for the WCW World Champion Hollywood Hogan in a round about way, by presenting him with a motorcyle, several cars, and a ring shaped like the WCW Championship belt. I'm sure there are any number of slash fan fiction jokes to be made.
Not much to talk about from a wrestling standard, but there was a main event, with Randy "Macho Man" Savage against Lex Luger, where Savage got the win. Sting appears at the end of the show, as Hogan backs off. Starrcade 1997 would be the night where Sting would decisively strike down Hollywood Hogan and destroy the NWO. A match almost in the making in many ways since Hogan's heel turn at the very least and at the very latest to Fall Brawl 1996 when a fake Sting was brought out by the NWO to make WCW think that Sting had turned on them. Vengeance would Sting's.
Nitro was notable for many reasons. RAW had a couple of interesting moments but it was a rather stale show in others.
WWF RAW is WAR 12/22/97 Results
A look at the New Age Outlaws and DX destroying the Legion of Doom last week on RAW on December 15th 1997. Is this the end of Hawk and Animal?
Out comes DX, with Shawn Michaels and Triple H in bathrobes. Michaels cuts a promo, talking about how LOD were taken out by them, not the New Age Outlaws. Also he runs down Owen Hart, along with his opponent at the Royal Rumble 1998, in the Casket Match, the Undertaker. Then DX disrobes. The long story short is they are wearing jockstraps with mistletoe and its quite the battle with censors to try to censor the parts that should be censored for good taste. Shawn Michaels extents an invitation for any of the boys in the back to come out for a smooth under the mistletoe. Out comes Sgt. Slaughter, who rightfully points out that Shawn Michaels never defended the WWF European Championship. Slaughter demands that Michaels defends it or be stripped of the title. Michaels fires back that he's not afraid of stripping. Slaughter has a match between Triple H against Shawn Michaels! Triple H protests, yelling that Slaughter is trying to make DX break up, if Triple H beats Shawn Michaels. Michaels is not down with this. Shawn is not down with this. Shawn Michaels doesn't lay down for anyone. Isn't that the truth. A slightly disturbing opening segment in many ways, but we got Triple H against Shawn Michaels for the WWF European Championship tonight.
The Headbangers defeated the Godwinns.
Naturally we had to squeeze this match in one more time before 1997 concluded. I think we only saw it on pretty much half of the RAWs, and some Shotguns that year. Also a Pay Per View match at Bad Blood 1997. The Godwinns get disqualified for excessive brutality. Then they beam the Headbangers with slop buckets. The never end feud between the hog farmers and the metal heads shall continue.
Recap of Dude Love getting destroyed by the New Age Outlaws. The beating of Dude Love has caused Mankind to come out and play in the cracked psyche of Mick Foley. Mankind says every time Dude Love's ribs get busted, Mankind gets hurt as well. Mankind says he has some nice season's beatings for the Outlaws tonight.
Tonight a confrontation between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Santa Claus. No kidding.
And this is a replay from after the show last week. Santa wants a visit for Sable. He apparently has a surprise for her in his sack. HO, HO, HO! A kid comes into the ring expressing disbelief that he's the real Santa. The kid gets kicked the curb. Out comes Stone Cold Steve Austin. Austin grills Santa but he doesn't pass the Stone Cold test. Then Stone Cold Steve Austin hits the Stone Cold Stunner on Santa Claus. Only in the Attitude Era. This is very much a filler show.
DX are arguing. They part ways in an ugly manner about their European Title match tonight.
The Undertaker defeated WWF Intercontinental Champion the Rock via disqualification in a non title match.
A pretty decent enough match, the first ever one on one match between the Undertaker and the Rock. They'll
Triple H against Shawn Michaels was supposed to occur here but Owen Hart runs out and punks out Triple H. Shawn Michaels chases off Owen and it is complete chaos. The match is rescheduled to be later on in the show.
We see recap of Mankind's promo and the New Age Outlaws are searching for Mankind backstage, wearing hard hats and waving flash lights around as they do so.
Marc Mero(w/Sable) pinned Scott Taylor with the TKO.
Mero brings out Sable in a conservative looking outfit, dressed like a reindeer. his match goes around a minute and Marc Mero pulls out the win with the TKO, putting Taylor down for the pin. Tom Brandi rushes out to take out Marc Mero to continue this feud. Then Sable strips out to reveal a Santa's Little Helper outfit. There's your contractually obligated T & A for the Attitude Era.
Triple H and Chyna are backstage plotting. HHH says that he can beat Shawn Michaels.
Kurrgan pinned 8-Ball
The ill fated Kurrgan push continues. Jackly talks over the microphone. Kurrgan wins. Skull and Chainz of DOA and Recon and Sniper all get involved. This continues this never ending feud that will never die. The match was bad by the way.
The New Age Outlaws are still on the hunt for Mankind.
Ken Shamrock made D'Lo Brown submit to the Ankle Lock.
A rather spirited but short match takes place on WWF RAW on 12/22/97. D'Lo is just a Nation flunky still at this point, he would be awesome next year, but tonight he is fodder for Ken Shamrock, who cranks on the Ankle Lock on D'Lo Brown for the tap out. The Rock is out and to make a long story short, he gives Shamrock an Intercontinental Title Match at the Royal Rumble.
Shawn Michaels and Chyna are talking, with Shawn Michaels telling Chyna that he can beat Triple H.
The search for the New Age Outlaws have found Mankind and Mankind batters them for a shot time. The New Age Outlaws are staggered but they fight back and shove Mankind in a meat locker to take care of him and bolt him inside. The Road Dogg and Billy Gunn leave, the damage done.
Here comes Goldust and Luna Vachon, with Goldust dressed like a Christmas tree. This leads to Goldust reading a creepy version of the Night Before Christmas but here comes Santa Claus, who is none too jolly, giving to the fact that Santa Claus is in fact Vader. Santa Vader hits Goldust in the head with his sack(mind...gutter...out, thanks). The crowd kind of wakes up for Vader. This feud continues, pretty much spinning in circles.
Triple H pinned Shawn Michaels to win the WWF European Championship.
As if this show was not dragging on long enough, both men stall. Then they criss cross across the ropes, with Shawn Michaels taking a dive and Triple H scores the pin, winning the WWF European Title. Thirteen months later, WCW does pretty much the same finish with their World Title and as an indirect result they are dead. Funny how that works out.
Triple H yells that he did it, but Sgt. Slaughter gets the last laugh, putting Triple H in a match with Owen Hart next week(which was supposed to happen this week if you watched last week's show). And European Championship will be in line. The show ends, with DX's happy celebration being dashed due to the fact that Hunter has to defend against someone who is willing to render him limb from limb.
Thoughts on the Show: Very much a filler show. Rock and Undertaker was the only thing resembling a decent match on this show but the December 22nd RAW was just a filler show so close to Christmas. Even the Stone Cold stuff was kind of just pedestrian and he's normally the highlight of the show.
Next week, WCW is coming off of Starrcade but its going to be a big night for the World Wrestling Federation with....an announcement regarding Mike Tyson? Stay tuned.