On This Day: September 20, 1997 – Shotgun Saturday Night: The Saviors Of Tag Team Wrestling

Shotgun Saturday Night
Date: September 20, 1997
Location: Worthen Arena, Muncie, Indiana
Attendance: 3,329
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jim Cornette

This is another show that I haven’t touched on as much as I should. Shotgun Saturday Night was a show that did a lot to set up the Attitude Era but by this point the era was almost ready to go. We’re getting close to Badd Blood In Your House, meaning it’s all about Shawn vs. Undertaker at this point. Let’s get to it.

The whole show is spent talking about the first MSG Raw which really was a huge deal. Link provided at the bottom.

This is also after the unique parts of the show have been eliminated, making it just another syndicated style show.

Owen Hart vs. Flash Funk

Owen has cops with him to keep Austin away. They trade near falls off simple leg trips before Funk takes over on the arm. Owen spins out to take Flash’s arm but Funk cartwheels away from a monkey flip. A clothesline gets two for Hart and it’s off to a chinlock. After over a minute in the hold it’s a spinwheel kick for two and we take an early break.

Back with Flash getting two off a spinning high cross body. Owen gets two off a swinging neckbreaker but Flash blocks a piledriver with a kick to the head. Flash drapes the Canadian flag over Owen and gets two off a middle rope flip legdrop but Owen hits the piledriver for the pin.

Rating: C-. Not terrible here but at the end of the day it was a five minute match with a minute spent in a chinlock. Still though, Funk is an old favorite of mine and Owen was on fire at this point due to the Hart Foundation story. Then again that would be completely derailed in about two months but we’ll get to that later.

We recap Commissioner Sgt. Slaughter announcing an Intercontinental Title tournament for the vacant title due to Austin’s injuries. We also get a look at the first round matches so far.

Ahmed Johnson is ready for a shot at The Rock in the last first round match.

Vader vs. The Sultan

Sultan is Rikishi as a Middle Eastern masked man. Vader pounds away to start and knocks Sultan down in the corner. A middle rope clothesline drops Sultan as well and there’s a second one for good measure. Sultan comes back with a superkick and some ripping at the nose before clotheslining Vader to the floor. Vader pummels him back but gets sent into the steps. Back in and a huge clothesline sets up the Vader Bomb to pin Sultan.

Rating: C-. Much more fun than you would expect here with both guys showing off their power and agility. Rikishi is a great example of a guy where you just had to find the right gimmick. He went from the Samoan to the Sultan to the dancer and that’s what it took all along. It’s a matter of trying until you get the right combination.

Phineas Godwinn is looking forward to Being in MSG.

We get the Austin interview from Raw with Jerry Lawler laughing about Austin Stunning JR and Slaughter recently. Lawler wants to see it happen to Vince but Austin wants to talk about JR some more. JR was in the wrong place at the wrong time so just mind your business and no more Stunners.

Austin threatens Vince to Jerry’s delight before saying he can take out Owen Hart anytime he likes. This brings out the Hart Foundation with Bret saying they’re sick of Austin using weapons all the time, so here’s a guy in a suit coming to Austin. It’s a lawyer carrying a restraining order which keeps Austin from Owen. Lawler talks too much about what just happens and earns a Stunner.

Austin reads a fan letter and promises to go nuts in MSG this Monday.

Dude Love says he’s home again here in New York and wants to be a role model. He’s ready to fly in MSG like Jimmy Snuka did and be a hep cat you see.

Los Boricuas vs. Rockabilly/Jesse James

It’s Jose and Jesus for Los Boricuas in case you care for some reason. Los Boricuas get jumped from behind with Jesus being elbowed in the face to give Billy control. Jesus comes back with an armdrag, only to be clotheslined down for no cover. James comes in for an elbow drop but Billy misses a Stinger Splash. A hot tag to Jose has no heat at all and everything breaks down. Billy and Jesus fall to the floor and Billy cracks Jose over the head with a guitar for the pin. Jesse and Billy would feud a bit longer before calling themselves the New Age Outlaws. This was their first match as a team though.

The other Boricuas come in to beat down Billy and James post match.

Shawn vs. Undertaker vs. Bret in a triple threat for the title is announced for Monday. You would have heard of that match if it ever happened, meaning it never occurred.

El Pantera vs. Super Loco

Super Loco is Super Crazy of course and the flips begin very quickly. Crazy flips Pantera over but misses an elbow drop. Pantera hooks a surfboard but has to let it go to avoid getting pinned. A slow motion Sin Cara style armdrag takes Crazy down and Pantera sends him to the floor for a dropkick and a suicide dive. Back in and Crazy crotches him on the ropes for a spinwheel kick to the back of the head and a dropkick to send Pantera to the floor.

Crazy hits a BIG dive to take both guys down but Pantera scores with a pair of armdrags back inside. Crazy is sent chest first to the floor ala Rey Mysterio and Pantera takes him down again with a great looking moonsault press. Pantera grabs a quick hurricanrana before crawling up Crazy’s body into a sunset flip for the pin.

Rating: C+. Take two guys and let them fly all over the place to pop the crowd for about seven minutes. It’s a formula as old as any other and it works perfectly well every time. There’s no story to these matches but that’s the point: it’s a spot fest but it’s rather entertaining if you don’t rely on them too much.

We look at Brian Pillman’s XXX Files. He brags about advancing in the Intercontinental Title tournament due to accidental interference from Goldust. Soon enough Pillman will be a champion but he stops to make some sexual noises. The idea is he has Goldust’s wife Marlena for 30 days and is forcing her into various actions with the eventual plan of Marlena turning on Goldust. Here she’s rubbing his feet.

Godwinns vs. Disciples of Apocalypse

8-Ball grabs a headlock on Phineas to start before clotheslining him out to the floor. Cornette implies that the Godwinns are members of the KKK as it’s off to Henry to shove 8-Ball into the corner. 8-Ball comes back with a big boot for two before it’s off to Skull. Phineas low bridges Skull to the floor before Hank gets two. Back to Phineas for some choking but he misses a splash in the corner. Hot tag brings in 8-Ball and the fans don’t care at all. Everything breaks down and Uncle Cletus (Zeb Colter) gives Henry a horseshoe to knock Skull out for the pin.

Rating: D-. Filler and nothing more. The tag division sucked at this point.

Post match the rest of the DOA comes out for the save, sending the Godwinns running to end the show.

Overall Rating: D+. This wasn’t the worst show in the world but it covered everything but the main event story, which is the most interesting part of the company at this point. Not that it matters though as this coming Raw was the beginning of the biggest feud of all time. Still though, nothing to see here, which is why it was a Saturday night show that almost no one watched.

Here’s Raw if you’re interested:

http://kbwrestlingreviews.com/2012/11/04/monday-night-raw-september-22-1997-one-of-the-best-and-most-historic-raws-of-all-time/

 

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of Complete 2001 Monday Night Raw Reviews at Amazon for just $4 at:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E8HXYM2

And check out my Amazon author page with wrestling books for just $4 at:

http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

1 comment

  1. Jon Gill Bunny says:

    I was at the Garden and the Shawn, Bret, Taker match happened. It was a dark match after Raw.