Posted on March 8, 2013
WWF May 1997
Creatively now you would assume RAW would be a ratings winner this month. Yet it continued to lose to Nitro in the ratings war. May was a hectic month with the IYH event seeing Steve Austin against the Undertaker for the WWF title. In true heel fashion the Hart foundation provided interference ensuring the match would not be even ans dewing the seeds for the summers biggest PPV Summerslam.
Undertaker had his own storyline involving longtime manager Paul Bearer. Bearer managed to blackmail the undertaker by threatening to open the “Pandora box” on the Undertaker. Whatever Bearer had on the Undertaker must have been true, as the Undertaker regrettably reunited with Paul and Paul pushed the face champion into doing heel type stuff. It was all very soap like and great entertainment as the audience were to wonder firstly when the Undertaker would snap and take out Bearer and secondly what Bearers secret was. This was one of those storyline that held interest. It would not be until the winter of 1997 that we would see where this was going.
Also in May Raw explored one of it’s characters back story. Mankind did a sit down interview with JR where he told JR about his childhood wrestling persona dude love. When he was younger Mick explained he would jump from the rooftop of his house onto a make shift mattress wrestling ring. It is the substance that would later make Mick Foley a best selling author and it also changed his character. The mysterious hair tearing bad guy was a little less mysterious. For many this would be difficult but for Foley it was the start of his character being reinvented.
Elsewhere on Raw Ahmed Johnson continued his feud with the Nation. Raw also aired a segment with Rob Van Dam defeating a then unknown Jeff Hardy. Van Dam would christen himself Mr Monday night on that episode of RAW and it is a nickname that has lived with him since (given minor adjustments depending on the night he regularly wrestles). Van Dam featured on Raw as part of an angle with the edgy ECW promotion.
The main events on RAW in May featured mainly tag matches. All of them got great crowd reactions. The most Memorable saw Austin teaming with Michaels on an addition of Raw. They were united the Hart family and the match saw Bret interfere and the rivalries between Bret with Shawn and Austin continued. In the case of Michaels and Hart the rivalry would continue again until the winter.