/11 May 1998
WWF RAW is WAR
I'm in the middle of a vacation this week, so the match
description quality won't be as high. I make up for it with extra
sarcastic comments, though!
We open with clips from last week's main event, where Mick Foley took out Terry Funk thanks in no small part to a rousing speech to Foley from Vince McMahon.
LIVE from Baltimore, Maryland it's RAW! Closed captioned, and en espanol sea disponible - 11.5.98 - your hosts are Jim Ross and Michael Cole.
VINCE McMAHON comes out to announce that tonight, WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin must participate in a tag team match tonight in the main event - no partner or opponents are announced. McMahon instead quickly turns his attention to introducing "a man who has proven he has what it takes to once again be considered #1 Contender." Out walks DUDE LOVE, in a suit, a fresh shave, new teeth, glasses, copy of the Wall Street Journal in hand. Dude gives an interview where we meet him again for the first time, then shakes McMahon's hand - he goes on to say that McMahon helped him "find his smile - and a handshake won't do it this time, baby" and they embrace. Vince announces that he has some surprises for the Dude Love/Steve Austin main event at the next pay-per-view - there will be a special guest timekeeper (Gerald Brisco is introduced) AND a special guest ring announcer (Pat Patterson is introduced) AND, for an encore, there will be a very special guest referee. Vince goes on to describe this guest referee as only Vince can - but the gist is he's *this* close to sainthood. No one comes out, so Vince goes to the back to check. After about a million years, Patterson announces "the guest referee - the best there is, the best there was, the best there ever will be ... VINCE McMAHON!" and out comes his buffness, in sleveless zebra shirt. Needless to say, everyone is all hugs in the ring.
Kevin Kelly is in the back to get Steve Austin's reaction (whenever he arrives) - he sees Sable and tries to get a comment but she blows right by him.
Tonight, we're going to hear about DX's trip to Atlanta and the WCW offices. We get a picture of the CNN center with some CG'd "graffiti" on it. Hoo hoo!
DX is at the WCW office - well, in front of it. It seems they can't get in. This will either be seen as incredibly hilarious, or incredibly stupid - or maybe both.
Kevin Kelly is standing next to a metal garage-type door. Hearing a knock and believing it to be Stone Cold Steve Austin, the door is opened, to reveal AL SNOW and HEAD. (woo hoo!) It seems he has tickets to tonight's show but is a little lost.
(the man They call) VADER v. BARRY WINDHAM (with James E. Cornette and the New Midnight Express) - The mastadon is back, complete with a new outfit. Squash in about two ending in a Vaderbomb. Afterwards, the Midnight Express, masters of the double team, try to attack Vader one at a time. Ha!
Stone Cold Steve Austin will be on MTV's Celebrity Death Match this Thursday. The debut is right before Seinfeld in most time zones. JR manages to turn this into a dig at WCW's MTV appearance over the past weekend, which by all accounts was a major league bomb.
Kevin Kelly stands next to Steve Austin's transportation for the evening, and as we see him leave, we take an ad break. Hey, that makes sense - I guess they want to censor him during the break.
I'm in Austin this week, and I'm treated to a local ad telling me that tickets for the LIVE RAW is WAR taping to be held 16 June are on sale now! Since the 16th is a Tuesday, I'll speculate that this show will be broadcast on the 22nd.
Castrol GTX brings you the Slam of the Week - which this week is last week's War Zone clip of Steve Austin giving the Stunner to Pat Patterson.
Sure enough, let us take you back to during the break - where Stone Cold Steve Austin vows to find Vince McMahon and find out what's up with this tag team main event.
HAWK (with Animal and Sunny) v. A LOT OF ADS - RAW is brought to you by Burger King, M&M's, the United States Army, AND WWF: The Music, Volume 2. Wow, ads are up!
HAWK v. SKULL (with 8-Ball and Those Beautiful Titan Bikes) - this isn't much of a 1-on-1 - first 8-Ball and Animal decide to lock it up on the outside while the match is going on, then after that's almost settled, and while the ref is distracted by Animal (or Sunny?), the Disciples of Apocalypse do that twin switch thing again, and there's a pathetically bad schoolboy (I guess they forgot to tell Hawk how the match ended for the pin for the DOA (2:30).
More from D-generation X at the CNN Center - where they are apparently not supposed to film, but that didn't stop them. The rent- a-cops seem generally good humoured about the whole situation. About a million times tonight, Jim Ross will let you know that Nick Lambrose *actually called 911 and tried to get the whole lot of them arrested* - which proves....um, let me get back to you on that.
EDGE vignette - last week I completely missed this, thinking it was a "La Femme Nikita" commercial. This week, it airs right AFTER a "La Femme Nikita" commercial so I wouldn't get confused again.
Let us take you back to earlier today, where BRADSHAW has become Barry Horowitz to TAKA MICHINOKU's Hakushi. Bradshaw is teaching Taka to drive and smoke cigars, apparently. When they come back, their fun is cut short when THOSE THREE JAPANESE GUYS decide to beat up Bradshaw and Michinoku. Meanwhile, ANOTHER JAPANESE GUY is doing some yelling in English over all this. "This is Kaientai!" might have been heard...
JEDOUBLEF JADOUBLEREDOUBLET (with Tennessee Lee) v. FDOUBLEARDOUBLEOQ (with Steve Blackman) - Tennessee Lee protests the Lethal Weapon's presence at ringside, but no dice. It's all Faarooq at the start until Jarrett ducks out and heads outside, where Blackman meets him. Snappy martial arts kicking brings Jarrett back inside the ring for more punishment. Jarrett finally hits a swinging neckbreaker. He has control for a bit until Faarooq reverses a whip and turns Jarrett out. On the outside again, this time Lee tries to keep Blackman away from Jarrett, but is unsuccessful. Blackman gets a GREAT sounding kick off, and throws Jarrett back in for the Dominator. Before we get that, though, out comes KAMA (who is now called "the Godfather" - I guess, because of his funny outfit?) and MARK HENRY, who attack Faarooq to bring on the disqualification (1:53) while Jeff Jarrett finds Blackman's nunchuku and pastes him with them.
In the back, we see Stone Cold Steve Austin walking to the ring with purpose. Let's take a break...
...to sell Stone Cold Steve Austin T-shirts!
"Ad" for the Brisco Brothers body shop - narrated by Vince McMahon, this has the look of a 70's commercial (or a Playboy Buddy Rose ad from the 80's, if you can take that trip down memory lane) and was pretty damn funny.
Hey, look, there's Baltimore Raven Tony Siragusa in the audience! Why is the audience booing him?
I hear glass - Stone Cold Steve Austin comes out to a rousing ovation - "Vince may have stacked the cards but I don't really give a rat's ass about any of that." Apparently, Austin is more interested in tonight's main event - after establishing the existence of a mutual hate society between himself and McMahon, the boss is called out to provide some detail on tonight's match. On the Titantron, and flanked by the Yes Men, Vince asks Brisco and Patterson if they know anything about the main event tonight, and on cue the three of them strike the "Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" pose. Austin says something about sticking the title belt up - well.
We see Sable stretching. No comment can do this justice.
A compilation of all the Val Venis vignettes and the RAW copyright notice.
No War Zone credits, but Jerry Lawler joins Jim Ross at the commentary table. The TV-PG-V box makes an appearance before too long.
SABLE v. MARVELOUS MARC MERO - Before we get any action, Sable takes the mic - "You know, I never thought you'd let it go this far." "Don't try to weasel out of this..." and he picks her up in a fireman's carry - then lets her go. "See what I could have done? I could have given you the TKO and knocked you out for good, but I didn't." Then he asks for an apology for trying to hold back his WWF career. Of course, her apology seems more like a kick in the nuts, followed by a Sablebomb, but maybe I wasn't paying attention. Commentators think this is a breakup - we shall see.
As Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler talk about Sable, the UNDERTAKER appears and utterly *demolishes* Jerry Lawler, apparently for the "interview" he had with Paul Bearer last week. Before the tombstone, however, the lights go out - and through hellfire and brimstone, who should appear on the stage but KANE and PAUL BEARER. Bearer promises that next week, he'll prove that he IS Kane's father. After they leave, 'Taker finishes the job he'd started by tombstoning the King.
Castrol GTX presents WWF Over the Edge! When you think WWF wrestling, think Castrol GTX MOTOR OIL!
With the King gone, who better to provide color commentary than AL SNOW and his HEAD? Unfortunately, security doesn't seem to think this is a good idea. Snow says "I need to see Vince!" about a million times before he's escorted out. Interestingly, Jim Ross never says "Leif Cassidy" but always says "Al Snow." So, where's this going? I would like to know.
DX, earlier today in Atlanta, tells the CNN Center to "suck it." We see an exciting CG clip of an explosion superimposed over the picture of the building. I hope they didn't overpay for these special effects!
Are you ready? Apparently, they made it back in time to appear live right now. Jim Ross tries to speculate on why they would even waste their time in Atlanta, and I'm inclined to agree. X-pac has some words for Eric Bischoff, in response to Bischoff's words about HIM earlier on Nitro (see Nitro report) - something about how wrong Bischoff is, and sucking it, or something. The Road Dogg does his spiel and the crowd is chanting along - so I guess we'll be hearing this for a long time, if the crowd digs it. Gunn has a short spiel. HHH does his ersatz Buffer. Man, they're coasting - I grab a snack. I think I missed Chyna saying "..." too. Finally, business picks up when OWEN HART walks out and promises to kick some ass. Just before he makes it to the ring, he turns around and brings out THE NATION. Somebody thought this was a good time for an ad break, but it wasn't me!
When we come back, the 1-800-COLLECT WWF Rewind is inexplicably dropped in - from last week's War Zone, we are treated to an impressive display of Chyna's athletic ability, from the 6 (ahem) man tag.
Finally back and Hart and Helmsley are going at it. James E. Cornette has joined Ross for commentary. Fortunately, knowing this match can only end up with about ten men in the ring, I don't feel too guilty about the missing blow-by-blow. I will note that Helmsley delivers a WICKED piledriver, but of course you only get 2 with that these days. Owen returns the favour later in the match, but it doesn't look as cool. Also a 2 count. The end comes when they are fighting on a top turnbuckle, and Owen bites Helmsley in the ear (I'm starting to see a cannibalistic pattern with Owen, and I don't like it). Before Owen can perform a top turnbuckle move to follow up, Chyna has removed his leg, crotching him on the top. As the Nation nears Chyna to extract revenge, she grabs a chair. A DX/Nation fight is teased, but nothing comes out of it - and that's 7+ minutes of my life you'll never get back.
Let us take you back to moments ago and get a better camera angle of Chyna taking Owen down. At Over the Edge, there will be a 6-man between Triple H and the New Age Outlaws against Owen Hart and two Nation members I unfortunately didn't seem to catch (one of them is not Mark Henry).
Out comes...well it looks like DUSTIN RHODES. Placing his Goldust robe and wig in an oil kettle, adding some gasoline, lighting a match - "The Rhodes name goes way way back...Vince, you took my dignity from me. You took my father from me. You caused me to lose Terri and Dakota. Why? Over a wig? Over being a freak? You put me in the ring with Kane because I couldn't beat Stone Cold Steve Austin?... Goldust dies TONIGHT! Vince McMahon, you will never forget the name of (inhales) Dustin."
TERRY FUNK & SCORPIO come out - and we see highlights of last week's hardcore matchup between Funk & Foley. The opposition this week is KAIENTAI - out comes the manager, maskless, identified as YAMAGUCHI SAN, complete with Japanese flag (except the white part is black and KAIENTAI is written across the rising sun). Yamaguchi takes the mic and introduces "the New Generation with the new Japanese attitude" - while Kaientai have snuck up from behind, and started the attack. This apparently is a handicap match, and apparently referee "Blind" Tim White has a little problem with keeping it one-on-one in the ring. Kaientai basically have their way with Scorpio until Scorpio manages to powerbomb everybody in sight. He ends up missing his moonsault, though, and eating a TRIPLE dropkick, which unfortunately lands him in his corner, where he tags Funk. The names "Togo, Teioh and Shofunaki" and dropped, we'll have to see how the spellings sort out in the future. Funk applies the spinning toe hold to everyone in sight, but you can't hold down three men with single moves - the triple team eventually takes over, suddenly Bradshaw and Taka are out for no good reason and we have a Kaientai DQ win (3:30, let's say) even though Funk's music plays. Arrrgh.
Vince McMahon talks to an unseen person - apparently Stone Cold Steve Austin's partner in tonight's main event.
Al Snow & Head try to re-enter the building but security denies them.
THE NATION walks to ringside. They have new music, with the Rock providing random snippets of commentary as vocals. "Finally, the fire between the Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin reignites tonight!" Rock's gonna lay the smack down (or lay off the smack, I guess) - anyway, we learn that the Nation will provide the opposition in tonight's tag team main event. As we see Vince, still in his referee garb and flanked by the Yes Men, we take an ad break.
STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN walks out. We learn that the opponents will be the Rock and D-Lo Brown. Vince's voice comes over the PA system: "And now, Stone Cold's tag team partner...being led to the ring by Gerald Brisco and Pat Patterson...VINCE McMAHON!"
THE ROCK & D-LO BROWN v. STEVE AUSTIN & VINCE McMAHON - Austin & Maivia start. Maivia goes out and Austin follows, taking out both Brisco and Patterson in the process, and giving the Rock a clothesline on the ramp. Back in the ring and it's all Austin until the Rock gets in a cheap shot. Tag to D-Lo. Austin quickly reasserts himself with a Thesz press. Repeated rights. D-Lo whips Austin over the rop rope, where Patterson gets in a kick before the Rock drops him on the barricade. Throws back in to D-Lo, Austin absorbs some punches. Tag to the Rock. Austin hulks up here, but when they both go outside, the Rock whips Austin into he steel steps. Rock still on him, now tosses him back in. Cover for only 2. Bodyslam by the Rock, and now it's time for the People's Elbow. 2 count. Reverse chinlock by the Rock, but Austin fights out of it. Sleeper by Austin! All this time, we're seeing McMahon do those great facial expressions - he comes into the ring at this point to distract ref "Blind" Mike Ciota, who has to turn his attention to McMahon to get him out of the ring, while the Rock and D-Lo doubleteam Austin. A couple more 2 counts, and Maivia returns to the chinlock. McMahon poses. Austin fights back again, blocks a side slam - Rock ducks - there's a double clothesline and both men are down. D-Lo comes in and hits an illegal leg drop, which prevents McMahon from being tagged in. The Rock recovers and tags D-Lo, who misses his frog splash. Austin looks for the tag- no he flips McMahon the bird instead. He's a house on fire! Stunner on D-Lo! The Rock tries to make the save but Austin moves out of the way and D-Lo gets the elbow instead. In comes VINCE with a clothesline (!) which Austin sells like a ten-ton truck hit him. In come the Yes Men for the triple team. In comes Dude Love. In comes ... Dustin Rhodes? Ah, hell, why not. In comes the Nation. In comes DX. Whoops, we're outta time. Did we end late or was my watch fast?
See you next week, when RAW is LIVE once again, and I'm back in the saddle with a better description of events as they happen!