WWF Shotgun (partially found July to December season of syndicated wrestling show; 1997)

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Wwf shotgun title.png

The show's logo.

Status: Partially Found

On January 4, 1997 the WWF (now WWE) debuted a syndicated wrestling show called WWF Shotgun Saturday Night, with matches initially taking place in nightclubs, malls, subways, etc. By late February, due to creative decisions by Vince McMahon and then head-writer Vince Russo, they decided to make the show a midcard show, so that wrestlers unused on WWF Raw Is War could get exposure and television time.

Part of the reason why the initial theme was discontinued was because it was often a struggle booking shows every week at such venues, as well as having to constantly work and drive in the freezing cold of New York City.

The presentation was very similar in format to that of WWF Wrestling Challenge in the 1980s. It would include a variety of exclusive midcard feuds, jobber matches, house show promos and main-event storyline buildup. Shotgun Saturday Night was a great inspiration for the 1999 video game WWF Attitude, which featured many of the show's midcarders and had it as an venue in the career mode.

Debut of WWF Shotgun[edit | edit source]

On July 12, 1997, during the gradual growth of the Attitude Era, the show began branching-out into different syndicated versions across the United States, which were very different from each other in terms of content, format and commentary. These included WWF Shotgun Saturday Night, WWF New York, WWF Shotgun Challenge (in the Southern market), WWF Superstars (outside the US) and ultimately WWF Shotgun in the Midwest market, most notably in the Wisconsin area.

In Wisconsin, WWF Shotgun would air on WLUK-TV Fox 11 around midnight or later. It was initially broadcasted from the Stevens Point/Plover area to the Appleton/Green Bay area, being hosted by Michael Cole and Kevin Kelly. Some would also have Raymond Rougeau or Tom Prichard on commentary.

This version of WWF Shotgun has also been said to have aired in the New York City/Long Island area (WLNY-TV NY 55), Anglophone Canada (unknown channel), and Connecticut (WCCT-TV CT 20).

In Georgia, WWF Shotgun Challenge would air on on WFXG Fox 54 in and around the Augusta area.

Status[edit | edit source]

The July to December 1997 season of WWF Shotgun is for the most part lost to time, and it and Shotgun Challenge are the only syndicated version that were known to have the full-length matches, Dok Hendrix's "Slam Jam" center, and exclusive storyline promos.

Despite that, most of those WWF Shotgun episodes from January 1998 to August 1999 have survived and were preserved though VHS transfers, but the season from July to December 1997 is almost completely lost.

The July 12 and July 19 episodes of Shotgun Challenge have since been discovered and preserved. Also discovered has been the December 13, 1997 match of Doug Furnas and Phil Lafon vs. The Hardy Boyz, aired on Shotgun. [1]

The 1997 season was identical in presentation and format to its 1998 and 1999 counterparts, with the only difference being the use of the New Generation "block" logo on the bottom left of the screen instead of the more widely known "scratch" logo.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

These are screenshots of the 1998 season of Shotgun, which the lost July to December 1997 also used. The only difference the 1997 season had was just the New Generation yellow-blue "block" logo on the bottom left.

Shotgun Challenge would have minor cosmetic changes, most notably a slightly different badge logo and no blue box behind the nameplates. Other than that the show versions are basically identical in terms of show content, structure and segments.

See Also[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]