/1 June 1998
WWF RAW is WAR
One world leader attitude - WWF!
We see stills from last night's Over the Edge PPV. Vince McMahon narrates, which means we get his own special spin on the pictures. The highlight is Dude Love's chair shot on Mr. McMahon, which to hear Mr. McMahon call it, is roughly analogous to the Olympic bombing in terms of heinous acts. It's nice to once again hear McMahon's "gruff" voice opening a RAW, by the way.
WWF RAW! coming to you LIVE 1.6.98 from the Rosemont Horizon in Chicago, Illionis, closed captioned, rated TV-PG-V and probably en espanol sea disponible. Your hosts are Jim Ross and Michael Cole, who provide commentary. JR announces the attendance at 16,157.
MICK FOLEY has staged a sitdown strike in the middle of the ring. Fans boo lustily. "It was not a good night in Dudeville last night - I lost my teeth, I cracked my face, I lost my teeth, I lost the match. Hell, I might as well come right out and admit it - Stone Cold Steve Austin kicked my ass last night. (pop) That's all right, because now I realise that I've made a few mistakes, not the least of which was listening to the wrong people, and I think it's about time that the Dude gave a little apology. So if you'll accept that apology, I'd like to call out Mr. McMahon." Who should arrive but VINCENT K. himself. He's not too happy. "Well Mr. McMahon, I realise that I let you down, and due to what Stone Cold Steve Austin did to my face last night, the Dude's gonna be out of action a little while, but I would like to think that based upon that tremendous match we had last night that the Dude will once again be the #1 contender. So I apologise for letting you down, but I'm gonna come back at 100%." "You want me to accept your apology. You want me to accept an apology from someone who was a miserable failure as a WWF superstar and a failure as a human being as well, you want me to accept your apology? Well then, let's begin by you getting down... on ...your ...knees...." "You are kidding. This is a joke." "You're the joke GEDDOWNONYOURKNEES!" "I think we've got ourselves a little problem, Vince. See I came out here to apologise but I want you to understand my kids are watching this show and I will not alllow you to embarrass me on national television." "You don't have to worry about that, because you're already an embarrassament to me, you're an embarrassment to fans all over the world, you're an embarrassment to yourself and I dare say you're an embarrassment to your own family. GEDONYOURKNEES!" "You call me a failure? I think you've failed to realise what a tough SOB Stone Austin really was!" "You've got it wrong. You see, I didn't underestimate SCSA's abilities, I just OVERestimated yours, Dude." "I've got a little confession to make, and that is, when I took that steel chair last night and wrapped it around your skull, (pop) deep inside, it felt pretty damn good..." (big cheers) "Why don't you do it again?" Tumultuous cheers! "Why don't you do it right now? There's the chair, come on, come on, make my day, Dude, come on." And Dude picks up the chair. "Come on! HIT ME! COME ON! COME ON! HIT ME WITH THE CHAIR! COME ON! BLAST ME! And just think about that college fund, that college education for your kids, going poof, come on! How about that house you just bought! You know, twenty year mortgage! Twenty years! Come on! What about that fund you set up for your parents! Come on! Come on, Dude! Hit me! Dude! COME ON! HAVE SOME GUTS FOR ONCE IN YOUR LIFE! COME ON! HIT ME WITH THE BLOODY CHAIR! COME ON!! Let me tell you something. The only reason I haven't fired Stone Cold Steve Austin yet is because *he* *makes* *me* *richer!* You know what you make me, DUDE? All you do is make...me...SICK! I'll tell you what. Your services here in the World Wresling Federation are no longer required." And Dude Love's music plays...one last time? Vince does the swagger dance and then leaves Dude, head hung low, sitting in the chair, alone in the ring.
We learn that tonight we have THREE King of the Ring qualifiers, a 6-man elimination bout between the Nation and DX, and ANOTHER 6-man between LOD/Droz and the DOA - NEXT!
Burst Gum and Castrol GTX AND WWF the Music Volume 2 (get it at Blockbuster) AND the Super Soaker CPS 1000 bring you WWF RAW!
Kevin Kelly, back behind the arena, at the sight of the Chicago Street Fight, interviews Darren Drozdov, who pukes (go figure). The LOD and Sunny join them for more babblin'. After at least hearing the "snack on danger and dine on death" line, we see Chainz enter via A Beautiful Titan Bike. The other guys are distracted enough to not notice Skull & 8- Ball jumping them from behind. And away we go...
LOD TWO THOUSAND & DARREN "DROZ" DROZDOV v. DISCIPLES OF APOCALYPSE in a Chicago Street Fight - Garbage garbage garbage, in the back lot of the Rosemont Horizon. Sunny wisely stays out of the way. As per my standing policy, I won't bother to fill you in on the exciting details of like the *millionth* LOD/DOA match. The twist is that there's a lot more chair shots, random metal shots, and Sunny screaming where we can hear it. The bonus is that with the sun rapidly setting, it gets pretty dark really fast, but not so dark I can't see this match, darn. For no particular reason, about three minutes in, the UNDERTAKER chooses THIS backdoor to make his entrance to the arena. He destroys the last two men standing (which are Chainz and Puke), then keeps walking to the ring - and we follow him, then fade out. (No contest? Double KO? Sextuple KO? About 4:00 I'll never get back) Apparently, the Undertaker's got something REALLY important to say, which explains his presence in street clothes (for the first time ever in the WWF?) and maybe when we come back we'll find out what it's all about.
If you missed Over the Edge, don't worry! There will be Encores! Yeah! Woo hoo! Encore presentation! I'm gonna buy it right now!
"Hey! Where's McMahon? Where the hell's McMahon, huh?" I guess we won't see the Undertaker for a while tonight - he's on a Snowquest.
VAL VENIS v. PAPI CHULO - "Hello ladies (heh heh heh) No I'm not happy to see ya, that IS a gun in my pocket, ohhhhh, heh heh heh, and believe you me, this gun shoots no blanks, (inhale), ahhhh, HA!" and with that ha, he cheapshots Chulo (his RAW debut!) Venis debuts a Camel clutch complete with masher, grinding, genital - yeah you know. Chulo tries a springboard plancha, but Venis catches him, ending that sole attempt at offense. Cole shares with us that "Papi Chulo" means "Pimp Daddy." That's nice. Venis shows about six or seven moves tonight, and this match is better suited to introducing him to the fans (glorified squash) than his first RAW appearance (glorified almost-even match with Flash Funk - er, Scoprio). After a Samoan drop, Venis hits the Money Shot (top rope splash) for the pin (3:45).
As Venis exits, we see the Undertaker heading to the ring. So we milk this for *another* ad break.
There's a new SCSA shirt! Don't Trust Anybody! Where's my piggy bank?
"--why I'm so pissed off at Vince McMahon! Let's start from the beginning, some ten years about when I first arrived in the World Wrestling Federation, Vince McMahon was known as somebody that would give somebody an opportunity, even if they were just a little different, and Vince McMahon did just that - he give me the chance to be myself, to be the Undertaker. But you see, that's where all the givin' stopped and all the takin' began. Shortly after my arrival in the World Wrestling Federation, I became the Slayer of the Dragons. Now you ask, what do I mean by that? Vince McMahon knew that I would be loyal for him giving me an opportunity, so what he did is he put every Giant, every freak that he knew his hand-picked champions couldn't beat, and he sic'd me on 'em. And I beat 'em - I destroyed 'em - and I moved on. What I did for Vince McMahon was make his kingdom safe for himself and all of his hand-picked champions. The whole time, I knew that my time would come, and after I made his kingdom safe, and there was no one left, well, then I got my opportunities. Oh yes, I am a two-time former World Wrestling Federation Champion. (crowd cheers) But as you all know, my tenure as Champion - they didn't last very long. Why? Because Vince McMahon didn't want someone like the Undertaker representing the World Wrestling Federation. But I remained loyal. Even after all his hand-chosen favourites left town for greener pastures, more money, I stayed here. I stayed by his side, thinking my time would come. How do I get repaid for that? He forces me to fight my own brother. He gives Paul Bearer an open forum to discuss every tragic incident that ever happened in the life of the Undertaker - for what reason? Let me tell you why. Because it's all *ratings*. He put my family tragedy on the line for ratings, and even after all that, I never "lost my smile." I kept on fighting, and as I been taking care of family business, Stone Cold Steve Austin - right to the top. But don't get me wrong, I got nothing against Steve Austin, the only thing Steve Austin ever did was come to the ring and fight me like a man and that's all I ever asked. (pop) But you see, Vince, after years of mistreatment, and after the last eight months of you throwing my family under my face, I've had enough. Now it's time the Undertaker got what is rightfully his. I demand my shot at the World Wrestling Federation title. And I've done enough talking. Now Vince McMahon, Mr. McMahon, whatever it is you like to be called, I think it's time you got yo pencil neck geeked ass out here and faced the reaper." Strangely enough, Vincent K. complies. He has the same look as before. He SNATCHES the mic from the 'Taker. "I'm gonna give you the answer you're looking for in just a minute. But first you're gonna hear me out. After all I've done for you...you chokeslammed me damn near to hell last week (pop) you hover over me like a giant vulture last night and why? To get my attention? You got it! You got it. You wanna talk about loyalty, dedication, honour, all those qualities you have, I'll grant you that and I appreciated it, but lets face it - *what have you done for Vince McMahon lately? As far as your family's concerned, *all* your family's concerned, I have a question for you - is Paul Bearer telling you the truth when he says your mother's a whore?" Crowd goes nuts and 'Taker is ready to smack Vince. "Wait a minute. You want the answer? You want to be #1 contender? You deserve it? That's what you want? That's what you'll get. Sure, no problem. You'll get it. You'll get it if you defeat your opponent in this ring tonight. No problem." There IS a slight problem - McMahon is careful not to mention until the very end - that that opponent - is - are you ready for this? - Kane. Vince walks away, a smile begninning to form at the edges of his lips (must be those ratings he's smelling).
JPV Kaboom! Box presents the Kaboom! of the week. From last night's PPV (and courtesy the Encore [that hasn't happened yet?]) Undertaker chokeslams Pat Patterson through the English announcer's table. Hey anybody else notice McMahon cut the dead weight this week? I haven't seen Patterson or Brisco ONCE tonight.
In something resembling an ad, DX uses the Super Soaker CPS 1000 to douse Sable and a photographer at an ersatz photo shoot. My sides hurt 'cause I'm laughing so hard. Oh by the way, Sable lost last night.
In fact, we see stills from last night's PPV showing Sable representing herself in the Mero match, losing, and being forced out of the World Wrestling Federation.
STEVE BLACKMAN (with Riggs & Murtaugh) v. MARVELOUS MARC MERO in a King of the Ring Qualifier - we get our first look at the bracket - very interesting. I'll provide it later in this report. Mero grabs the mic. "You want Sable? Well guess what. Sable's home barefoot in the kitchen where she belongs. However, however, the lady I'm about to introduce, is everything that Sable is not. Not only does she know her place, not only does she have a bod to die for, but she's black, she's beautiful, and she's mine. Ladies and gentlemen, the sultry, the sensuous, JACQUELINE!" Yes, THAT Jacqueline. And out she comes, great gosh a mighty and she does look good. For those of you keeping score at home, Jacqueline's fake breasts are smaller than Sable's fake breasts - this is a good thing. Mero starts out in charge, but Blackman gains control with those big martial arts kicks. Mero goes out - and into Jacqueline's waiting arms, where we get the hug and chest massage (no, Marc's chest) - ok, we've established their relationship. Blackman has his way, but of course, Jacqueline provides distraction, allowing referee "Blind" Earl Herbner (hey, Earl! Good to have you back! Even if you STILL miss all the action!) to miss the Golotta. Mero with a fallaway slam - and - YEAH! The Wild Thing shooting star press (which is now called - well - they didn't call it). 1, 2, 3 (2:51) - replays revise history to say that Jacqueline started it all off by putting Mero's foot on the rope (even though Mero managed to do THAT on his own) - another replay of the shooting star press shows both Cole and Ross failing to give it a name - Cole is especially bad, saying "we haven't seen that in YEARS!" Man, I remember when Cole was first on RAW and he called EVERY move correctly. He must have caught something from Ross.
Clips from Mancow's Morning Madhouse (Chicagoland Radio For People Who Can't Tune In Another Station) and Special Guest Stone Cold Steve Austin, as well as (on the phone) Vincent K. Pretty entertaining, by morning radio standards.
Edge promo. He's in my head and won't let go...oh...wait...that's not him. This vignette nabs the coveted "TV-PG-V" box, which means it's time for the War Zone.
Jerry Lawler replaces Michael Cole at the commentary table.
HUNTER HEARST HELMSLEY & NEW AGE OUTLAWS (with Chyna and X-Pac) v. OWEN HART & THE ROCK & D-LO BROWN (with the World's Strongest Man and the Godfather) in an Elimination Tag Match - Commissioner Slaughter and another ref remove the seconds from the ringside area, leaving the six participants in this contest. D-Lo and HHH start. Helmsley takes control, as you might expect. D-Lo plays punching bag. Thirty seconds in, tag to Jesse James, but D-Lo comes back with a spinebuster. James cheats with an eyepoke and tags in Gunn. D-Lo ducks and punches back. Whip, reverse, Brown gets kicked in the back by James on the outside and after a Gunn piledriver, he's eliminated (1:32) The Rock comes in and the Outlaws take turns working him over. James works a series of headlocks until the Rock hits a short clothesline. Rock hits the Rock Bottom (2:23) and pins James. What's a "Yurinaji?" - that sounds obscene, Ross! [Yes, I know it's hypocritical to ALSO make fun of Ross for CALLING a move. Sue me.] Gunn comes in and takes charge. Punches. Elbow drop by Gunn. Tag to Helmsley. Kick, punch, tag to Gunn. Tag to Hart when Gunn isn't looking (whip) who comes in with a missile dropkick. Gunn is eliminated with a spinning heel kick and a pin (3:32) Before we are treated to a 2-on-1, out comes Chyna and we take an ad break. So with three pins in under four minutes, we are supposed to suspend disbelief that nothing will happen for three minutes after that? That's all I'm saying.
When we come back, the Rock is trying in vain to pin Helmsley. 1, 2, no, 1, 2, no. Chyna is apparently at ringside. Tag to Owen, doubleteam. Neckbreaker. Second rope elbow. 1, 2, no. Sunset flip reversed by Helmsley but referee "Blind" Jack Doane is occupied with the Rock at the moment. 6, 7, no. Bodyslam, tag, Hart and Maivia make-a-wish with Helmsley's legs. Kickanpoundin in the corner by the Rock. You-block-my-punch-I-don't-block-yours routine but the Rock comes to and puts him down, and NOW - the elbow pad is removed, and it's The People's Elbow! 1, 2, no. Whip, head down, Helmsley with a knee across the throat on the way down. Block, block, Pedigree, pin (10:05) - it's Owen and Helmsley for all the marbles now. They're toe to toe and Owen is getting the better of it. Enziguiri by Owen, but in comes - KEN SHAMROCK??? (DQ 10:38) - Shamrock DEMOLISHES Owen with kicks and suplexes. Eventually the Nation returns and piles on Shamrock - who should make the save but DAN SEVERN? Hey, that was unexpected. The ring is cleared. Shamrock and Severn finally face each other - Severn straightens his tie and walks away. As Owen Hart is announced as the winner, a rather peeved Helmsley swings Shamrock around and takes him down - Shamrock responds with a Goldberg-esque spear and we have ANOTHER donnybrook here. A wheelbarrowful of WWF officials separate the two and we get an exciting Tony Garea/Ken Shamrock shouting match as a bonus.
The Undertaker, undoubtedly in the boiler room, contemplates having to face his (half-)brother.
When we come back, Mr. McMahon is talking to Paul Bearer and Kane - we see a handshake between Kane and McMahon and a big smile on McMahon.
JEDOUBLEF JADOUBLEREDOUBLET (presented by Tedoublenedoublesdoublee Ldoublee) v. FDOUBLEARDOUBLEOQ in a King of the Ring Qualifier - Lee *also* presents SOUTHERN JUSTICE (aka the Godwinns, cleaned up, hair in ponytails, and nice suits) as Jarrett's "treatment" (as in "You fellas up North don't know how to treat a guy like Double J") so I wonder how this match will end - I think the sad part is I like both guys, but I KNOW there's no way I'm going to see Faarooq make it any farther in this tournament. Faarooq, of course, has his way in this match for the most part. Jarrett crotches Faarooq on the top rope as he climbs the turnbuckles. Farroq hits the spinebuster, but Southern Justice is up on the apron - Lee passes Jarrett his belt while referee "Blind" Mike Ciota tries to get them off the apron - Jarrett waffles Faarooq with the buckle and gets the pin. (3:21) Mero and Jarrett will face off in the round of eight. Oh yeah, that bracket is down there. No, really - keep reading.
McMahon family video clip spotlights Vince McMahon's tradition of compassion and giving. Wait, can I still boo him even if he gives a lot of money to charities? I can? OK.
Super Soaker presents King of the Ring! 28 June ONLY on Pay-per-view!
TAKA MICHINOKU (with Bradshaw) v. SHO FUNAKI (with Kaientai and Yamaguchi San) for the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship - Oh look! There's Al Snow and the Head dressed as - Chinamen? But these guys, they're Japanese! That wacky Al Snow has got it all wrong again - he'll NEVER meet McMahon at this rate. Anyway, the high spots include Taka's springboard plancha, his Asai moonsault - and Snow taking pictures of the Japanese photographers at ringside, who actually pose for him! Funaki hits a fishermanbuster but releases. Funaki then misses a top rope move of some sort. Security removes Al Snow and all my distractions from this match (which is better than my writeup would indicate). Michinoku driver - damn, the match is over already (3:08) ??? Bradshaw and Michinoku get buddy-buddy in the ring.
Paul Bearer promises that "my son will be the WWF Champion!" which DOES sort of relate to tonight's #1 Contender match, but not in that obvious way that I, as a WWF fan, NEED it to be. Har har.
Al Snow berates the head. Apparently the Head's idea was dressing as Don Ho, who to my knowledge was also not Chinese.
Vincent K. joins the commentators at ringside - this should be good.
MARK HENRY v. TERRY FUNK in a King of the Ring Qualifier - McMahon reiterates that Mick Foley is "history in the World Wrestling Federation." Psst, this match should suck. Lockup, standing switch, Funk with a chop, another (woooo!), another, neckbreaker. 1, 2, BIG kick out by The World's Strongest Man. Funk goes for another neckbreaker - and instead hits a Golotta-kick behind the ref's back. THAT is clever. Back to the chops (woooo!) - whip, reversal, Henry clothesline. And big elbow. McMahon, in split screen, talks up the Kane/UT match to take place later tonight. Henry takes Funk into the corner and hits a clubberin' forearm. Head meets post. Funk is now outside and Henry follows behind. Funk with a punch to the gut, and another. Funk climbs the ropes and goes for a Vaderbomb-like splash, only on the outside, but Henry catches him and posts him in the back. Funk comes back and whips Henry into the STEEL steps. Funk's got a chair now - big pop when it hits Henry in the head. Vince says that's the worst sound to hear in your own head. Of course, "Blind" Tim White is elsewhere during this whole rigamrole and completely misses it. Funk is again climbing the ropes - moonsault! And Henry doesn't know how to sell it, or even take the hit - Funk ends up mangling himself on the barricade even after hitting Henry. Both men back in, slowly. Henry misses a clothesline - but when Funk tries a shoulderblock, he hits Henry HARD - and goes down. Henry with a splash. 1, 2, no. Another bodyslam by Henry for 2. Legdrop of doom! 1, 2, no! Funk with a small package - 1, 2, no. Henry with a powerbomb, another big splash and that's finally it. 1, 2, 3. (4:53) Did I detect "realism" at the end there? Only Terry Funk is man enough to let himself get booked like that. God bless you, Funker. I hope you make the PPV some other way.
We see Steve Austin entering the arena and cut to Vince, looking puzzled.
PPV Encore ad.
I hear glass - McMahon: "What the hell's HE doing here?" Stone Cold Steve Austin is apparently here to join the commentators, bringing the total to four.
KANE (with Paul Bearer) v. UNDERTAKER, winner is #1 Contender - Undertaker is fists a flyin', and even takes a shot at Mike Ciota (misses), THEN goes outside to take a shot at Paul Bearer (lands it). It looks like McMahon has sufficiently fired up ol' 'Taker here. (Vince: "Now THIS is an ass kicking!") 'Taker climbs to the top rope, does that tightrope thing and hits the axehandle. Kane comes back and hits a chokeslam. Kane with short clothesline. Kane throws 'Taker out and follows. 'Taker's head meets the STEEL post. Back in we go. Throat chop by Kane. 'Taker fires back. Head to the post by Kane. Kane stays on Undertaker while McMahon and Austin trade verbal potshots, and while Ross occasionally calls the match. 'Taker with a brief flurry, Kane with a powerslam. Kick to the head by Kane. Irish whip, 'Taker puts a boot up. Kane misses an elbowdrop. Back to punches, back and forth. Whip, duck, Undertaker with the chokeslam. Austin is rooting for Undertaker - like he WANTS to face *either* of these guys again. Kane gets up. Undertaker with side Russian leg sweep (!) - Legdrop of doom! 1, 2, no, Kane kicks out. Undertaker stays on with rights. Whip, reverse, reverse, Ciota goes down after eating a whipped Kane. Undertaker pushes Kane into a post, Kane comes back out and 'Taker catches him in a tombstone. As the pinfall DOESN'T happen, out runs - MANKIND? And with a mandible claw, he inserts himself in the match. McMahon is smiling broadly - "*I* don't know what he's doing here, I *fired* him!" Undertaker pushes Mankind back outside. Kane is back up in the meantime. Tombstone! 1, 2, 3. (6:25) - Kane is the #1 Contender! McMahon gives Austin a salute, Austin flips McMahon off. Austin rips off his headset but Kane is there. He makes the "I want da belt" gesture, then lights up the turnbuckles. As they walk off, Undertaker is left to brawl with Mankind. McMahon: "I may change my mind about Mick Foley - he's really showing me some intestinal fortitude here, he's showing me some guts! He's impressing me! He's damn well sure impressing me!" They keep brawling until 2302, and we gotta go!
OK, you read this far. Here's the '98 King of the Ring tourney bracket. I'll try the old HTML trick of making the font look readable, but make no guarantees:
Ken Shamrock ________ Kamaved Mustafa \________ Mark Henry __Henry_/ \ Terry Funk \________ Jeff Jarrett Jarrett_ / \ Faarooq \________/ \ Steve Blackman __Mero__/ \ Marc Mero \________ The Rock ________ / Vader \________ / H. H. Helmsley ________/ \ / X-Pac \________/ Dan Severn ________ / D-Lo Brown \________/ Owen Hart ________/ Scorpio
Wow, that's still pretty ugly. Oh well.
See you next week!