Commentary by Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross
Survivor Series 1997 kicks off with 4 on 4 traditional Survivor Series match. The newly formed team of The New Age Outlaws, Road Dogg Jesse James and Bad Ass Billy Gunn join forces with The Godwinns, Henry and Phineaus. They take on the Headbangers, Mosh and Thrasher joining The New Blackjacks (Blackjack Bradshaw making his WWE PPV debut and Blackjack Windham). The feud is primarily between The New Age Outlaws and The Headbangers as Bad Ass Billy Gunn smashed a boom box on Thrashers head during a previous match. In the end, it is The New Age Outlaws who survive after they eliminate their final opponent Thrasher to win. Ironically, during the match commentary Jerry Lawler asks Jim Ross where Vince McMahon is, as typically all three of them are on commentary to which Jim Ross replies he is very busy. This is potentially due to the planning of the Montreal Screwjob.
The second match is another 4 on 4 Survivor Series match with The Disciples of Apocalypse (Crush, Chainz, 8-Ball and Skull) against the new team of The Truth Commission (The Interrogator, The Jackyl, Recon and Sniper). The Interrogator is the star attraction during the match as he eliminates a total of three opponents with hsi sidewalk slam, with the final victim being Crush. The Interrogator is the sole survivor of the match.
The third match is once again a 4 on 4 survivor series elimination match but this time between two nations as Team USA takes on Team Canada. Representing Team USA are Vader, Steve Blackman, Goldust and Marc Mero, managed by Sable. Team Canada consists of the British Bulldog, Jim The Anvil Neidhart, Doug Furnas and Phil LaFon. Strangely no one from Team Canada is a born Canadian apart from Phil LaFon. Steve Blackman’s WWE PPV debut is at this event, however, he first appeared in the WWE when he came out through the crowd to help Vader when he was attacked by Team Canada prior to Survivor Series 1997. Team USA’s entrance music is the theme used by Kurt Angle, whereas Team Canada’s entrance theme is to Bret Hart’s music. During the match, the crowd are loudly chanting for Sable. Marc Mero at this point has returned after rehab from a knee injury and has cut his hair and dressed like a boxer. Whilst in the ring, he has also changed his wrestling style from high flying moves to more as a Boxer throwing punches. Goldust has also chased his face paint, which says F U, apparently standing for Forever Unchained. This is related to him leaving his wife Marlena and child. Marlena is therefore not by his side. Goldust is also not tagged at all into the match and at a crucial point towards the end walks away getting himself counted out. When Vader pins Doug Furnas, the British Bulldog hits Vader with the ring bell behind the referees back to pick up the win for Team Canada as the sole survivor.
In the next match, it is the WWE PPV debut of Kane in an actual wrestling match, managed by his brother Undertaker’s ex-manager, Paul Bearer. Kane takes on Mankind who was also previously managed by Paul Bearer. Kane and Mankind both fight outside the ring before the bell and the match is set under the red lights used for Kane’s entrance. As expected it is a brawl, however, it is Kane dishing out the punishment on Mankind who is used to taking it. Kane throws the steel steps at Mankind’s head and throws him onto the commentary table. Mankind does get the opportunity to do the mandible claw on Paul Bearer, however, at the end, he is tombstoned by Kane who is victorious.
In a backstage interview with Vince McMahon he is asked who will win between Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart to which he replies I don’t know, considering he knew the outcome already of the Montreal Screwjob.
The next match is another 4 on 4 survivor series elimination match between the Nation of Domination against Legion of Doom, Ken Shamrock and Ahmed Johnson. Despite joining the Nation of Domination earlier in the year, Ahmed Johnson had left the faction to go against them again. Representing the Nation of Domination team are Faarooq, D’Lo Brown, Kama Mustafa, and Rocky Maivia. The first person to be eliminated is Hawk by a Rock Bottom from Rocky Maivia. Ahmed Johnson once again gets his personal revenge by eliminating Faarooq. However, Faarooq does not leave the ringside area and takes the opportunity to pull Ahmed Johnson’s leg and hold it down when he is pinned by Rocky Maivia. Despite there being two referees and this being witnessed by the referee on the outside, there is no consequences for the Nation of Domination. The crowd is chanting Rocky sucks during the match, and at the end, it is two on two, as Rocky Maivia and D’Lo Brown face Animal and Ken Shamrock. Billy Gunn and the Road Dogg interrupt the match wearing the Legion of Doom shoulder pads and face paint to distract Animal. Both of them attack Animal and throw powder in his eyes to have him counted out. Ken Shamrock is left on his own and manages to eliminate D’Lo Brown with the ankle lock. Rocky Maivia however, sneaks in behind the referees back and hits Ken Shamrock with a steel chair. Although Ken Shamrock then still manages to eliminate Rocky Maivia with an ankle lock and win as the sole survivor just as Rocky Maivia did at Survivor Series 1996.
The next match is for the Intercontinental title as champion Owen Hart takes on Stonecold Steve Austin. Owen Hart enters with Team Canada members British Bulldog, Jim The Anvil Neidhart, Doug Furnas and Phil LaFon following him. Owen Hart does attempt to disqualify himself by strangling Steve Austin with the wire and rings the bell which the referee disallows. It does seem Owen Hart is being really careful when attacking Steve Austin and as the match is short he falls quickly to the stonecold stunner. Steve Austin becomes the new Intercontinental champion and then also stuns Doug Furnas and Phil LaFon who enter the ring.
The main event match of Survivor Series 1997 now known as the Montreal Screwjob is for the WWE championship. Bret Hart defends his title against the then European Champion Shawn Michaels. Most of the match is a full-on brawl between the two around ringside and down the aisle before the bell even rings. It is insane how this brawl does truly reflect the hatred between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels at the time. Several officials including Vince McMahon, Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco all try to persuade both competitors back into the ring which they eventually do. The match is typically short for a Bret Hart or Shawn Michaels PPV match and at the end, Bret Hart is trapped in the sharpshooter from Shawn Michaels. The referee Earl Hebner signals for the bell and flees from the ring. Bret Hart realising he has just been screwed by Vince McMahon spits in his face. Triple H and Gerald Brisco quickly escort Shawn Michaels backstage and the PPV goes very quickly off the air without a proper commentary outro.
Survivor Series 1997
Commentary by Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross