On February 24th, 1997, was the night ECW came to Monday Night Raw. The episode began with a tag team match-up between the Godwinns and The New Blackjacks. From there, however, the episode became memorable as it came less than a year after the ‘takeover’ of the nWo in World Championship Wrestling. During the night’s first match, Jerry Lawler shared that ECW would be at Monday Night Raw.
So while the ‘invasion’ portion wasn’t as apparent as some may think, it certainly broke the proverbial fourth wall. For weeks, Jerry’ The King’ Lawler spoke disparagingly about what he often referred to was Extremely Crappy Wrestling.
The Night ECW came to Monday Night RAWFans in the arena were sporting Blue World Order (bWo) t-shirts showing their support for one of the promotion’s most popular stables at the time. As fans will recall, bWo was a stable that spoofed the nWo, who were obviously a focal point of the opposing WCW. After a commercial break ECW owner Paul E Dangerously, flagged by John Kronus and Perry Saturn aka The Eliminators came out.
Fans rose to their feet as Saturn and Kronus took the unsuspecting WWE aid and hit him with their total elimination finishing move.
Your challenge has been accepted. ECW is in the hooooousse. – Paul Heyman
Fans would chant ECW as Jerry Lawler would call those in attendance ‘idiots’ as they collectively showed their approval for the promotion. It was at this point when the show once again went to commercial. Dangerously stood in the ring with one of ECW’s most notable faces upon their return to action.
Ladies and Gentleman, on behalf of Extreme Championship Wrestling, I give to you from the Full-Blooded Italian’s, Little Guido. And I think it’s time to hit the music of Little Guido’s opponent. – Paul E Dangerously
At this time, the bWo would jump the guardrails. They consisted of Hollywood Nova, Da Blue Guy, Big Stevie Cool, and 7-11. It was at this time when Big Stevie Cool would give a promo.
‘Jerry’ The King’ Lawler, on behalf of the ECW and the blue World order, we have only three words for you. WE’RE…TAKING…OVER! – Big Stevie Cool
‘Hey mang, say hello to da blue guy – The Blue Meanie.
The bell would ring, and Big Stevie Cool and Little Guido would begin their match. Paul E would join the commentary and share with the viewers that the promotion, his promotion, was revolutionary. At this time, ECW World Champion Raven would come down the aisle, gaining the attention of the entire blue World order, in particular Big Stevie Cool.
Those with long memories will remember that the two were allies with at one point. With Stevie distracted, Guido attempted to a pinning attempt. However, as Raven approached the fallen Stevie, he didn’t make any attempt to strike him. Instead, Big Stevie Cool hits Guido with a powerbomb and the Stevie kick. It ends with a three count and the win.
Has this show sucked without ECW or what? In the ring right now, from Buffalo, New York from Extreme Championship Wrestling, Mikey Whipwreck. – Paul Heyman
It was at this time when the familiar entrance music ‘Path of Rage’ along with Bill Alfonso would usher in the Human Suplex Machine…Taz, and a second ECW match-up would take place.
This one would involve the Human Suplex Machine, Taz, facing off Mikey Whipwreck with Paul E Dangerously once again, resuming commentary with Lawler and Vince McMahon. While the match took place, Dangerously shared that the promotion has an upcoming pay-per-view Barely Legal taking place. In the ring, Taz showed how intense he is on Whipwreck.
But the fans’ attention is taken away as Sabu appeared atop the RAW sign and leapt onto the security below. He raced to the ring and takes a hold of Bill Alfonso as Dangerously introduces him as the most suicidal, homicidal, and genocidal wrestler.
With Sabu distracted, Taz suplexed Mikey Whipwreck over the top rope onto Sabu, who is on the floor. Security recovers and proceeds to usher Sabu out from the ring. In the ring, Taz slaps on his Katahajime the (Tazmission) to get the submission win on Whipwreck. Alfonso waved the flag of Taz in the ring as fans in attendance celebrated the win.
The next match-up that involved ECW talent would be the final one of the night. However, what happened after the match would set the stage for the future in the heated rivalry between ECW and Jerry’ The King’ Lawler. Paul E Dangerously introduced standing in the ring with Sign Guy Dudley (who wasn’t mentioned) D-Von Dudley.
It was at this point when the familiar sound of ‘Man in the Box’ by Alice in Chains blared through the overhead speakers. Fans in attendance erupted as the Innovator of Violence, Tommy Dreamer, emerged from the entranceway with Beulah McGillicutty.
The bell would sound as D-Von and Dreamer began to battle in the middle of the ring. Interestingly, as Lawler said to Paul E that he should be thankful for the opportunity the King has given him for bringing ECW to Monday Night Raw, Dangerously corrected him. He said.. it’s not because of you but because of the man sitting to your left. This was a subtle nod to way back in 1997 before the infamous Montreal Screwjob that Vince McMahon was the owner of the WWE, and was mentioned on air.
Dreamer then began to take weapons from the audience and used them on D-Von. Tommy Dreamer would use steps, crowbars, and pots to batter D-Von. Back on commentary, things began to get heated between Lawler and Dangerously. D-Von used a chair on Dreamer but ends up eating it himself. Sign Guy then grabbed Beulah and puts her in harm’s way. This was until Dreamer hit a DDT on D-Von Dudley to get the win.
After the match, Bubba Ray Dudley, D-Von’s tag team partner, ran into the ring and attacked Tommy Dreamer. This brought out The Sandman, who came to Dreamer’s aid.
D-Von and Bubba Ray attempted to battle The Sandman but paid for it themselves with some chair shots. Dreamer and The Sandman celebrated in the ring. But it was at this point where Dangerously is restrained by the ECW talent as he and Lawler were pulled apart at commentary.
This wouldn’t be the last time ECW would come to Monday Night Raw, but it was undoubtedly the first one. It was also an experience that would showcase several ECW talents to a major televised audience. This also ushered the first time when the original ECW and Paul E Dangerously (Paul Heyman) would be working in conjunction with the WWF/E.