Hello all. In between my extra special reports on WWF
Tough Enough, I watch wrestle tapes and DVDs. I
thought I'd pick up a new DVD I saw at Suncoast the
other day. It's Best of RAW in a two-package set
(volumes one and two.) Also the DVD includes a
crapload of stuff that the VHS tapes didn't, so let's
BEST OF RAW VOLUME 1
Since I have Freeze frame and slow motion on my DVD player, here's a list of all the Superstars on the RAW into on the first disc: Austin, Undertaker, Big Show, Hawk, Shamrock, Rock, X-Pac, DX, Kane, Gangral, Mankind, Roaddogg, Rock, Kane, Mankind, Undertaker, Edge, Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Austin, Bradshaw, Rock, Al Snow, Undertaker, Sable (!), Mankind, Val Venis, Austin, Shamrock, Undertaker, HHH, D-Lo, Chyna, Rock, Jeff Jarret, Billy Gunn, Mankind, Shawn Michaels.
Gee, no favorites, eh? At least no Vince. Anyway, Michael Cole is our host for the quote unquote BEST of RAW. RAW is blah blah blah. Cole promises we will see classic stuff, and for that we start in one place.
Glass. Stone Cold doesn't like Vince McMahon. But why? Well, here's one reason. Back in 1997 Vince McMahon demanded Austin to defend his I-C belt against The Rock. This of course causes Austin to come out and hit the corners. Austin only had the one tee-shirt then (Austin 3:16.) Anyway, Austin doesn't care who Vince is. Vince then pulls the "I'm your boss," card which IS useful in making somebody work. But not Austin, who calls McMahon on his consequences, and threatens to whip McMahon's ass. Vince then gets on him about his language, which causes him to swear MORE. After more bickering, Austin decides that he's gonna have a hot dog and some beer while he decides whether or not to defend the title.
Stone Cold has always had enemies, such as Shawn Michaels as we see here. Cole voiceover that all the enemies failed, as Stone Cold (back to footage) wins the WWF Champions over Michaels at Wrestlemania X-Ivy. The next night, Vince has the fun time of introducing Austin as the new WWF champ. Austin comes out, take the brand spankin' new belt from Vince, and throws the old one on Vince foot, which Vince sells like a 57lb anvil. Vince claims that he's proud of Austin, but the crowd ain't buying it. McMahon says that they should work together, but Austin will not do things his way. Oh by the way, here's a stunner. Crowd eats with up plus more.
Enough of Austin, here's the Rock. The Rock was once a part of the nation of domination, which was led of Faarooq (now of APA fame.) One time, The Rock gave out Rolexs to his other partners in the nation, Mark Henry, D-Lo Brown and Kama Godfather. Faarooq, meanwhile, got an autographed picture of The Rock posing with the I-C belt. Classic. Faarooq was naturally pissed, and at WM X-Ivy prevented the Nation from coming to help The Rock when he was in Shamrock's anklelock. Eventually Faarooq got so mad he challenged The Rock to a fight, which in the first round Faarooq handed Rocky his ass, and Rocky ran away. Faarooq calls him back, but The Nation turns on him and reveals that The Rock is now the new ruler of the Nation.
Now it's time for some OLDE SCHOOL YO! The Undertaker has always been one of the most dominant wrestlers in the WWF. But one night, at his hell in the cell match at Badd Blood, his brother Issac Yankum appeared to make his, and our, life a living hell. Here's a bunch of clips of Kane lying a smack, and sometimes a boot to the Undertaker. But Undertaker refuses to fight his brother, because he promised his parents he never would.
One night, D-Generation X (original) was putting the mainly beatdown to Undertaker, including HHH and his gimpy leg. Kane muzac hits, and Lawler assumes that Kane is there to join DX. Wrong-O. Kane does the hair grab on Shawn, and saves his brother. HISTORY!! Kane makes his first of 376 face turns. So Undertaker and Kane were united as one...oops, at least until the Royal Rumble, where Kane and Paul decided to burn him alive in a casket KILLING THE UNDERTAKER!! HISTORY!! Kane makes his first of 375 heel turns. So now that he's dead, Kane has the run of the WWF. He just comes out and tombstone whoever he damn well pleases (like the Phoenix Suns gorilla, see below.) One night, Undertaker muzac starting playing during an ear-splitting Paul promo. The a BOLT OF LIGHTNING brings Undertaker back to life. Geez. Anyway, Undertaker had a chat with his parents while he was dead (you mean the same parents we later find out he killed Shane?!?!) That's right. ANyway, welcome to hell as he announce the first of many UT-Kane matches to come. At Wrestlemania, Undertaker was BANQUE as he beat his brother after three tombstones.
But enough about the Undertaker, Cole moves us onto...X-PAC!!?! Oh, I meant "The Kid" as he was called. Anyway, he cuts a famous promo, but mysteriously all the reference to Hogan were cut out. I'll bet the butler did it. So it's a new DX and they were there to rip ass on the WWF. Rip ass? Anyway, fast forward to Norfolk. Those wacky D-Generates are invading Nitro. So THAT'S what started it? It only took WCW three years to respond to the shot. SO they try to get into the building that Nitro was supposedly in, but get locked out as the garage door closes.
We'll talk more about DX later. Oh THANK GOD! Now it's to talk about WWF legend Mick Foley. When he first showed up in the federation, he was Mankind. Mankind usually fought the Underseller. Then Mick got to live out the dream of his childhood by playing eternal studster, Dude Love. But that couldn't compare to when those two, via editing magic, introduced his OTHER alter-ego, WCW and ECW star Cactus Jack. Jack comes out with a trash can, before coming out with trashcans was cool. HHH, the person egging him on just trash all over him. Then Cactus piledrives him through a table. Cactus later teamed with his old buddy Chainsaw Charlie (nee Terry Funk) to form a wicked tag team. Wicked to watch at least.
One night the tag team with no name fought the New Age Outlaws, Billy Gunn and Jesse James. It was a STEEL cage match for the vacant WWF title thanks to the wrong dumpster rule. Don't ask. By the time we cut into the match, Funk is tied up on the cage and is ineffective. Meanwhile, DX version 2.0 is formed when The Kid, HHH, and Chyna come down to the ring, as Syxx cracks the STEEL chair on Mick's skull as he tries to leave. After a piledriver, Road Dogg busts out the Worm (minus the hopping and the HOO HOO HOO.) The Outlaws are once again champions. After the match, Cactus bemoans the fact that while they were laid out the crowd chants for Austin. He demands a group apology for turning on him after he has done everything for them. The crowd is...apathetic. Cactus realizes their unappreciation and retires. It may be the last time we ever see Cactus Jack...or was it? (It wasn't.)
Even though they SEEMED evil during the last bit, D-Generation X just wanna have fun. Like this time they parodied the Nation. Triple H plays the Rock, Billy Gunn plays Godfather. Billy: "Pimps Up. Hos down. West siiiiiide!" Road Dogg plays D-Lo to the T, basically repeating what the others are saying and wagging his head. X-Pac is Miz-ark Henry. Jason Sensation plays Owen Hart, but his bit imitating him was cut for obvious reasons.
Speaking of...nothing in particular, here's Val Venis. The porn star. Oh yes, being a porn star provided your own storylines! They're so easy to make. I mean, here Val and Mrs. Yamaguchi-San in "Land of the Rising Venis." Hey, MY porn doesn't have all that pixilation! Anyway, this naturally pissed off Mr. Yamaguchi-san and his team, Kaientai. Not the fun loving INDEEEED! jobbing Kaientai of today, but the bad-ass jobbing Kaientai consisting of Dick Togo, Men's Teioh, and Sho Funaki. One night Yami busts out some salami and chops it in half. You see, it's a metaphor for a PENIS. Just in case you didn't get it, he screams "I CHOPPY CHOPPY YOUR PEE PEE AHAHAHAHAHA!!!" The next tv show, Val and TAKA Michinoku are teaming together against Kaientai when TAKA turns on Venis. This killed his career by the way. He had some good popularity, comparable to Tajiri today. Anyway Kaientai take Val to the back and Mr. Yamaguchi-san take a swing at Val with a sword. The video justs gives up on the Val thing at this point. This is a good thing.
SPECIAL: To those of you who made it this far, you DESERVE to know...the rest of the story. Anyway, the lights go out and that episode of RAW ends. The next episode Val comes out with JOHN FUCKING WAYNE BOBBITT, who really got his PEE PEE CHOPPIED CHOPPIED. Walking to the ring, and during most of the interview, Val SELLS HIS DICK BEING CHOPPED OFF. After some of the worst speeches in the world, Val reveals that his dick is fine after all. Blesses is he, the crowd cheers. The RAW ratings hit 17.6 for that quarter hour. But how did Val salvage it, you ask? By SHRINKAGE of course.
ANYWAY, here's more fun with Steve Austin. Vince McMahon boasts that he assualted Steve Austin. Austin plays the SMART cart and asks the nice rentocops to arrest McMahon for, you guessed it, assault. Brisco and Patterson also get arrested for trying to stop the cops. Austin gets an insult in on each of them, and pours beer on Vince before they're taken off. Later, they've apparently posted bail in under two hours because they were back later that show. Vince tells us all that there's nobody in the WWF who scares him, so he tells Austin he has to fight the Undertaker. Undertaker decided to chokeslam instead. Oh, and here's a tombstone, but Kane comes to save Vince, or get Undertaker whichever you believe. So Undertaker and Kane scuffle some more. While UT and Kane fight the night away, Austin's muzac hits and he stunners Gerry and Pat before tying Vince up in the ropes. He goes to get a chair, but Dude Love saves his boss by taking a headshot for the team while Vince gets away again.
SUPER fast-forward to Unforgiven: IYH. Undertaker and Kane both cover Steve Austin. Why didn't one of them push the other off? Who knows. The next night Vince invites Austin to the ceremony for the NEW WWF champion. McMahon strings Undertaker and Kane along, talking about who's going to be the next champion. But Austin drives a zamboni into the arena. He climbs the zamboni and DIVES over the police onto Vince, getting in quite a few punches before getting arrested. Skip a commercial break and we see Vince yelling to Kane and UT about getting beaten up too many times. He decides that NEITHER of the two are going to be the champion. After insulting them, Undertaker warns him that the next time Vince screws up, they'll handicap his ass. The MOMENT, the MOMENT they turn their back on him, he flips off Taker. And gets caught. So the fun brother stomp the hell out of Vince, ending with them breaking his ankle with the STEEL steps.
This lands poor Vince in the hospital. Vince has plenty of well-wishers. Well, actually just one. Mankind comes by to cheer him up with noise makers, half-eaten candy, and a sock puppet. All this just ends up pissing Vince off, to the point of kicking his only friend out of his room. This of course leaves him with a nurse and a doctor. Dr. Austin that is, who has a prescription of whoopass and 3:16. Austin even goes to the point of giving McMahon an enema. Yes, that's right. So now, VInce is a gimp, so he can only watch as Austin pour concrete in an expensive car. Poor Vince. At Judgment Day: IYH. Austin the ref counts HIMSELF the winner and gets fired. The next night, Austin kidnaps Vince McMahon, and humiliates him by making him piss himself at the end of the show.
That same night the Undertaker turned heel as he joined up with Paul Bearer again. Undertaker forms the ministry of Darkness, which contains the Acolytes, Mideon, Viscera, and the brood. This reminds me of a time when Christian was in the Brood and fucked up somehow, so he had to fight the Big Show. He got squashed. This reminded me of last night on Smackdown where he had to fight Undertaker and Kane. He got squashed. Good to see some things never change. SO, the ministry was DARK and SCARY! It was SCARY! Oh yes it was. So scary that I'll have to review it again when it shows up on the second DVD in the set.
To wrap things up, here's Shane McMahon turning on his father by signing Austin to a brand new contract. Shane doesn't listen to Vince anymore, because he was wrong to do all those things to Austin. Shane cries that he was never loved, so he got the brass to go over his head. Vince should be proud (he would be later that month when Shane does one of the quickest turns ever at the Survivor Series.)
With that Michael Cole closes the show, promising Volume 2. We actually did get it (about a year and a half later mind you...)
Now we move onto the cream of the DVD, the bonus segments. These are divided into FULL section, not clips like the feature presentation. There's three pages and fourteen clips overall. Along with these are "ENTERTAINMENT ASTERISKS." Not to be confused with Keith patented star system. *Cough* Anyway...
(12/15/97) Austin chucks Rocky's I-C belt into the river. It even has a "Let's go back to last week..." with the first DTA and the SAME STONE COLD TIME! SAME STONE COLD CHAAAAANNEL! Corny and Ross call the "action"
***** One of, if not THE best RAW segments of all time.
(1/5/98) Shawn calls out the Undertaker. Hot damn, it's a HBK segment! I'm starting to grow faith in the video making team again. A bunch of druids bring out the DXified casket, which Shawn came out of the week before. Shawn assumes that it's HHH in there, but makes an ass out of U and Me by having the Undertaker in there.
***1/2 Classic stuff, but nothing super.
(3/9/98) Austin calls out Vince McMahon because he made the mistake of calling Mike Tyson the baddest man. Austin sits in the ring and insults stooges until Vince comes out. Then he yells at McMahon.
** Blah. Too long of a set-up for too little of a payoff.
(3/17/98) PHOENIX YO! PHOENIX YO! PHOENIX YO! The Suns Go-Rilla entertain thecrowd, as we see the time period of, you got it, KANE RUN-INS!!!! KANE YO! KANE YO!
15* Just because it's the dayom Go-Rilla and Kane!!! No sell it baby!!! Oh wait, nobody hit him. Ok, you get off this time.
(4/13/98) Vince vs Steve Austin I. You know the drill. Vince gets the Goldberg treatment, minus muzac. Shane McMahon makes one of his first appearances ever, in a suit no less. McMahon makes Austin put one hand behind his back. After this is done, Mick Foley comes out as Dude Love. Comedic genius from the fact that AS SOON as Dude's music hits, Austin and Vince point at each other. He confuses us all by seeming to go after Vince, then turning around and attacking Austin with the claw. Then Mick calls Vince in the ring, but the posse pulls him away.
**** The huge turning point of the WWF/WCW war, and they never really looked back after this night.
(4/20/98) Yeah, well Kane and Paul Bearer dig up UT&Kane's parents. Ugh. Wrestlecrap.
* Because I can't give anything Kane does a DUD
(5/4/98) This is gold immediately because we get to hear Dude's other muzac, the Love Shack theme. Mick cuts a promo on Vince saying he'll never be Dude Love again. Vince rags on Mick for a while, and then Austin destroys the Love Shack set.
** for the song ** for the promo = ****
(5/11/98) Rocky n D-Lo are in a tag match with Austin, but who is his partner. It's Vince McMahon. This is the first MATCH on the bonus section, and it's now bad, for being a handicap match. Eventually Vince clotheslines Austin, and everybody and there mother runs-in. **
(5/18/98) The stooges wrestle for the first time in ages against Austin. Sarge is your ref in this one. Eventually Mick FOley runs in and Austin beats the crap out of him, until a "fan" chairs Austin, and is revealed to be Vince McMahon. Um, why do you have to disguise yourself when the odds are 5 on 1???
** (6/14/98 - Typo?) Kane and Mankind just earned the number one contendership for the tag titles, and now the main event is the Hell in the Cell tag match v UT and Austin. Austin shows up, but UT doesn't although they play his muzac twice. Oops, he's under the ring with Paul Bearer who was dumb enough to lock himself in the cage. Kane and Austin also go at it from the to of the cage.
*** Good little segment.
(7/20/98) X-Pac v Rock. Good little match, but the commentary talks about HHH v Rock 2/3 falls the entire match, pretty much promising that X-Pac would lose...and he does.
(9/14/98) Mankind is a face now yo. And he's here to fight in Undertaker in some sort of a hardcore match. Earlier that night Mankind did HHH proud by waylaying into Kane with a sledgehammer. Undertaker DESTROYS Mankind in the end with the tombstone on a chair. Rock jumps out a dumpster to save Mankind. ROCK N SOCK!! ROCK N SOCK!! Oh, well Mankind didn't really have a sock, and the Rock really didn't care about saving Mick as much as getting UT.
**** Good hardcore action, before hardcore became an every show thing.
(9/28/98) Shamrock, Mankind, and Rocky v UT and Kane. Anyway, the three faces can't get along, mostly due to Shamrock being a pain in the ass. A good match happens and UT jobs cleanly to The Rock via Rock Bottom.
*** It was OK.
(10/12/98) Mankind debuts Mr Socks as he wrestles Mark Henry. Match sucked, but Socko got a big pop. *
So that's my coverage of the first half of the DVD. I'll be doing the second half sometime next week. My opinion? What? My review? What? YOU WANT MY REVIEW? In my opinion there's a LOT of better clips they could've picked. And for the bonus clips, why not have put the FULL DX/Nation skit (probably because of Owen like I said) and how come there's no record of Socko's REAL debut, other than a short clip in the feature? It sucks that many of RAW's best moments in 1998 were absent, but if you are nut for nostalgia you WILL love seeing those full clips on the DVD.
4.5/5 rating. If anything, but it for the Love Shack theme, Dude Love's GOOD theme.