/29 June 1998
WWF RAW is WAR
One World Leader Attitude - WWF!
Courtesy: The Encore - we see still shots of last night's WWF Title match between Kane and Steve Austin - Mankind comes out with a chair, Austin stuns Mankind, Undertaker comes in with a chair - Undertaker and Austin both take aim at Mankind - Austin is busted open - and Howard Finkel declares that ladies and gentlemen, we have a new Champion.
LIVE, 29.6.98, from the Gund Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, it's RAW! It's closed captioned and rated TV-PG-V.
Amid the fireworks and quasi-freedom of expression sit your hosts, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler, who provide commentary. The attendance is ballparked at twenty thousand.
As is the current tradition, the first man out is VINCENT K., accompanied by JERRY BRISCO and COMMISSIONER SLAUGHTER. Notably absent is the Missing Musketeer, Pat Patterson, who receives condolences from JR but they don't say why. I'll offer mine too - it's the right thing to do. The ring is red-carpeted and the WWF Championship title is in a glass case on a pedestal. "Oh what a happy day! We have a NEW WWF Champion! Let me repeat that - we have a NEW WWF Champion! Today - today marks the dawning of a new era here in the WWF. A new era of popularity and prosperity - a new era of respect and dignity and even civility - why, it's as if a giant breath of fresh air (inhales) has CLEANSED the WWF! CLEANSED the WWF of the foul mouth - CLEANSED the WWF of the unseemly hand gesture and CLEANSED the WWF from the beer-swilling. Yes, we have a new Champion - a Champion who is a man among men - a Champion whose lips have never so much as tasted an alcoholic beverage ("Austin" chant fires up) - a Champion who has never uttered the first obscenity in his entire life, and a Champion, ladies and gentlemen, whose only hand gesture is to salute the flag of the United States of America. I give you a role model, I give you a Champion for the new millienium - I give you the new World Wrestling Federation Champion - I GIVE YOU KANE!" And the music plays - and out he comes, accompanied by PAUL BEARER. Jim Ross correctly points out that the first blood drawn on Austin was actually from the Undertaker and not Kane, but the ref missed that. It's all applause and handshakes between Bearer, McMahon and the others. "The World Wrestling Federation - indeed, a place where dreams can come true! There's no way that anyone can understnad what this momentuous occasion means to my son and myself this evening. Until you have walked a mile in my son's shoes, there's no way you can possibly realise it! I was there, Mr. McMahon! I was there for twenty long years - I watched my son, this man, your Champion! And I watched him dream, I watched him sit in a room with pictures of his brother, the Undertaker, all around. I watched him Saturday mornings watching WWF Superstars - he'd say "Dad, I wanna be like him." But I said "Kane, you can be better than him!" It's all right to dream. He was harrassed, he was ridiculed, he was put down, but tonight, oh yes tonight, Undertaker, for the first time, you are standing in the shadow of your little brother!" "Without further ado, Mr. Brisco, to now officially present the WWF Championship to it's rightful owner, Kane...Kane, it gives me a great deal of honour to place this Championship Belt around your waist voluntarily." We are reminded that Austin FORCED McMahon to do it last time (I don't remember that, but oh well). JUST before it happens, we hear glass...and out bounds STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN. "I'm gonna make this short and sweet because there's really not a whole lot to talk about. You know as well as I know ... the stipulations said the man that drew first blood wins the match - that son of a bitch never busted me open!" Austin goes on to make fun of McMahon's shoes, and then asks for a rematch. McMahon grins broadly. "There's no doubt, Mr. Austin, that everyone here would like to see that rematch...maybe you don't deserve a rematch tonight." Austin asks for the hell yeah and the crowd complies. "Tell you what, umm, it's fine with me as long as it's all right with Paul Bearer." And Paul puts on the surprised face. "What about it, fatass? Take the damn microphone and tell me I got a rematch!" "You tell 'im, son....it's all right with me if it's all right with Kane." So everyone is chicken and gutless. Austin turns to Kane and asks one more time. Receiving no answer, Austin taunts Kane, saying that when Undertaker won the belt, he WON the belt - when Kane won it, Undertaker won the belt and handed it to him. This makes Kane rather unhappy. Austin asks one more time - and Kane slowly nods. Austin's music plays - McMahon is furious, Bearer is livid. McMahon ALMOST gets in Kane's face and Kane almost takes umbrage - but Kane ends up holding his ground while the other four men gesticulate wildly in an angry fashion. Tonight - the rematch!
The King of the Ring encore is tomorrow night. GET IT!
Lawler announces that Undertaker will be here tonight to make a "confession." Also tonight, the Brawl for it All - whatever that is.
DARREN DROZDOV v. SABLE - no wait, that can't be right. Sable's wearing what Ross describes as a "spiffy" outfit. "Ladies and gentlemen, Vince McMahon, the owner of the World Wrestling Federation, is pleased to announce that he has signed to an exclusive contract, one of the greatest wrestlers in the world - STEVEN REGAL!" All right! He's still got his WCW robe but his theme is - bland. Too many guitars, considering the themes Regal had with WCW. Sable joins the commentators at the table, so instead of talking about the match, we ask about Sable's terms of return to the WWF. Sable says that she's unable to discuss them. Split screen shows Sable on the right, the match on the left. Regal looks less fat than the last time we saw him. Sable looks about as big as the last time we saw her. Sable again gives a "no comment" when Ross asks about her relationship to Mr. McMahon. Ross tries again, asking why she was in the Owner's box at last night's PPV, and again receives a "no comment." An unspectacular back-and-forth affair ends when Droz climbs the ropes, Regal springs to life and punches away, hits a gut-wrench superplex and scores the submission with what Ross calls a "figure four with the legs and a half nelson" (4:44ish) Well, the match was probably pretty good if I was watching it, if you catch my drift.
We see a shot of Marc Mero skipping rope - he'll be in a Brawl for it All later tonight. Whatever THAT is.
1-800-COLLECT, WWF: The Music Voume 2, and the JVC Kaboom! Box bring you RAW! 10-10-321 brings you the closed captioning!
MICHAEL COLE interviews KEN SHAMROCK, the 1998 King of the Ring (no robe, no scepter, no crown) "There's an old cliche - it's good to be King. Speaking of King, I've competed in many fights in my career including the UFC, fights in Japan, but I must say competing in the King of the Ring has been one of the hardest things that I've ever had to do, and it's been a great accomplishment. Speaking of accomplishments, speaking of great things - Rocky Maivia - I've gotta say it, I've gotta give credit where credit is due - Rocky Maivia you've shown me something that I hadn't seen before - you stepped into this ring, one on one, mano y mano, and did battle with me. I'm not saying I'm agreeing with all the bullcrap you did with me before (chair shot, etc) but I will give you credit..." Speaking of boring interviews, why did I just transcribe most of that? "Enough is enough, and it's time for a change!" Those of you paying attention will recognise that as the beginning of the theme music of WHINY BITCH OWEN HART. Anyway, he wants Shamrock to stop sucking up to the Rock and take HIM on, King on King. Shamrock accepts and promises pain (Did I mention Shamrock is a boring interview?). Strike up the DX music - out is HUNTER HEARST HELMSLEY, who wants to cast HIS lot to be called "the King of Kings," suggesting a three-way dance. Shamrock does some more talking and actually quotes a Miller beer ad and invites both men into the zone - ah hell, I don't know. End result: Tonight we get a Triple Threat between the '94, '97 and '98 Kings of the Ring. This just in - Mabel will NOT be participating. Austin's got better things to do. And Bret Hart - well, you know.
D-Generation-X Home Video ad. It's rated "TV-M!" Ooh!
Shot of Steve Blackman shadowboxing - he'll be taking on Mero in the Brawl for it All.
Ross and Lawler go over the Brawl for it All rules - three one minute rounds. A point system I'm not quick enough to get, a knockout ends the brawl.
MARVELOUS MARC MERO (without Jacqueline) v. STEVE BLACKMAN (without Riggs & Murtaugh - see them this summer in the sequel to the sequel to the sequel!) in a BRAWLforALL - the Brawl has it's own music, I guess. Referee is Danny Hodge (I never heard of him either) - this is supposed to be a boxing/wrestling hybrid. Blackman with a takedown for 5. Another takedown for 5 by Blackman. Crowd is hating this. At the end of the first round, Blackman is apparently way ahead on points. Both mean have trainers in the corner. Unofficial scoring shows Blackman with 25 (5 points for most punches) and Mero with nil. Blackman gets another takedown. Do you think people flipping over from Nitro are REALLY confused if they see this? Mero tries to load up for a big punch, and Blackman keeps taking him down. Crowd is booing with authority. Now we hear that this is a TOURNAMENT - ugh, I hope they aren't ALL like this. Clock for Round 2 is displayed during Round 3. This round is all Blackman takedowns and Mero sticking to punching, so he can lose. Mercifully, this match is over. Blackman is announced as the winner (points) - Lawler and Ross are trying to put this over as an exciting addition to our sport - I say we should never speak of it again.
Kevin Kelly stands outside a door - maybe we'll hear from Kane later - we'll see.
Skittles brings you the Slam of the Week - Chyna DDT's Owen Hart to secure a win for X-Pac - from last night's King of the Ring Pay-per- view. If they're including last night, it's a crime not an [anything] of the week and not give it to Mankind.
Kevin Kelly interviews Kane - "I know I can beat Stone Cold again - I am a (braver?) champion that my brother ever was." And he runs off, and Bearer takes off after him. Kelly is left with Mankind - lucky him!
VAL VENIS v. DICK TOGO (with Yamaguchi-San) - Val grabs a chair and threatens Yamaguchi - why? We see Yamaguchi's wife - she's appropriately hot. "Hello Ladies...So this is the home town of the Cleveland Indians! Well, ladies, if you want to get to first base with the big Valbowski, just choke up on that bat, and swing for the long balls..." Ross hypes the opening day of ticket sales for the WWF Footbrawl at Foxoboro Stadium. DUSTIN RUNNELS continues the streak of us not talking about matches in the ring by joining the commentators at ringside and talking about the tremendous opportunity they have to speak to millions of people every week - more specifically, to spread the word of God. Runnels says that if Val Venis doesn't ask for Jesus to save, well his prayers are with him. This match is basically Togo doing really cool stuff and Venis coming back with really basic stuff, but Venis is the porn star so he wins. Money shot for 3. (3:00) Lawler: "We have Val Venis and Dick Togo - I had a ton of material but Dustin Rhodes comes out here talkin' about the Bible." Venis puts some moves on Mrs. Yamaguchi-San - Yamaguchi takes umbrage, and slaps Val. Val punches back. This brings out Funaki and Teoh who get one shot in and attend to their manager. Venis grabs the chair and everybody in Kaientai gets a free chair shot. Then he gyrates at the babe (sorry, WIFE) again on his way out. So does this make him a face, even though he's COMPLETELY in the wrong here? Now THAT'S attitude!
Edge is in the balcony.
Austin is lacing 'em up! He probably won't wrestle for an hour, but by God, he'll be ready!
Somewhere in here, Undertaker arrived at the arena, but I forgot to type it. I'll remedy that - - - HERE.
WWF Fully Loaded is 26 July, and is presented by Skittles!
Michael Cole interviews Steve Austin - he's pretty damn confident.
Are you ready? Hour two starts with the King of Kings match! TV-PG-V!
HUNTER HEARST HELMSLEY (with Chyna) v. OWEN HART v. KEN SHAMROCK - Ken waffles Hart from behind during his entrance and it's on. Hunter is content to let his two opponents brawl outside the ring while he watches. Shamrock throws Hart into the ring, and Helmsley attacks Shamrock before HE can come in - and then Hart hits Triple H from behind. Helmsley with a high knee but Shamrock breaks the count. Hart hides in a corner while Shamrock and Helmsley do the punch thing. After a while, Hart attacks Shamrock and Helmsley takes a break. Then Helmsley attacks Hart and Shamrock takes a break. Well, you're getting the idea. And this is SO exciting that we take an ad break!
When we come back, we see some replays - a triple sleeper (always popular) and a double jawbreaker counter (nice). The story is that Owen is still going after Shamrock's ankle (which he "broke" two months ago) - and also, DX and the Nation ain't getting along, you know. The bell rings for no particular reason just to add another dash of "whatever" to this match. Helmsley is ready to deliver the Pedigree on Shamrock, but Hart flies in with the spinning heel kick. Hart with a nice DDT. Shamrock has awoken and takes out Hart, who lands on Helmsley. Hart is back up. Shamrock is punching away, kick to the midsection. Whip into the ropes, another knee 1, 2, Owen kicks out. Helmsley runs at Shamrock and ends up being powerslammed. Shamrock screams, which means he's snapped. 'Rana to Hart, anklelock. Just as Hart is ready to tap - Helmsley saves him. Helmsley blocks a 'rana attempt with a spinebuster. Enziguiri by Hart and Helmsley goes out. Hart with a baseball slide to keep Triple H out. Hart runs the ropes, but forgets that Chyna is there to pull the top rope and cause angle advancement. The ref is out to keep Hart and Chyna apart - now Shamrock is outside, hitting Hart from behind. Whoops, THE ROCK is out to waffle Helmsley with the Intercontinental title while Shamrock and Hart brawl on the outside. Shamrock takes Hart to the barricade, *hard*, then goes in the ring to pin the unconscious Helmsley (hmmm....12:50? including an ad break). Man NOW there's a lot happening. Hart is attacking Shamrock - the Rock, back up under the Titantron, is attacked by NEW AGE OUTLAWS and X-PAC - now the NATION is out to even that up - Hart is trying the ringpost figure four on Shamrock! Cool! And now everyone's broken up, I guess.
We cut to Lawler and Ross - again Lawler mentions that the Undertaker has a Confession to make...
BONG...out comes the UNDERTAKER. We take an ad break, and I take a breath. Whew!
Michael Cole is in the ring with Undie. "Many people believe that you owe them an explanation. Why did you interfere last night...?" "First off, I owe no one anything. But I will tell you why it is I came to the ring last night. Now it's common knowledge that me and my brother Kane - well, there is no love lost there. And that's mainly because of the mind manipulation of Paul Bearer. And the day may come, where Kane and I may have to destroy each other, so so be it. But I was not gonna set back and watch my little brother set himself on fire because he wants to live up to the legend of the Undertaker - he wants to be everything I am - he wants to be better. So I did what I did." "With that said, by preventing your brother from setting himself on fire, you may have cost Stone Cold Steve Austin the WWF Championship." "I did what I had to do." "Let me get this straight..." out comes MR. McMAHON onto the entry ramp. "Let me get this straight, you did what you had to do. All right, what you're trying to say is that you're a compassionate human being, you're a compassionate brother. Let me tell you why you did it - you think you can beat your brother for the title...and you DON'T think you can beat Stone Cold Steve Austin. You are singularly the most vile, contemptible, and evil individual that the Devil ever placed on this earth. And let me warn you - Hell hath no fury than what you will find if you interfere in the WWF Championship match tonight. That's a warning. Heed it." Undertaker leaves the ring...
And now, the JVC Kaboom!box presents the Kaboom! of the week. And of course it's GOTTA be Mankind falling fifteen feet from the top of the cage to the floor by way of the Spanish announcer's table. That's more like it!
Bradshaw is punching a bag - this is a harbinger of things to come, I fear...we also see Henry Godwinn (who?) getting his hands taped...oh no...it's time for another...
MARK CANTERBURY (nee Henry Godwinn) v. (don't call me Justin) BRADSHAW in a BRAWLforALL match - Bradshaw is looking a little less Blackjack-like with his facial hair these days - Godwinn is now "going by his legal name" says Ross. This match resembles a local Toughman fight, which makes it a LITTLE more exciting than the Blackman/Mero bout. Mark tries a takedown but nobody moves. No takedowns in the first round, no knockdowns, so the only points are for whoever landed the most punches - unofficial scoring says it's Bradshaw. Bradshaw looks like he's close to knocking out Canterbury, but amazingly, he takes the punishement and stays up. Round two ends with no knockdowns and no takedowns. Both men are suckin' wind. Hey, you know who ELSE used rounds? The AWF! I wonder whatever happened to THOSE guys. "Boring" chant has taken over with the crowd. I guess we all need some training as viewers - or just maybe, we're ALL CORRECT. Round three starts with a takedown by Mark (I'll learn to spell his name later). Cantebury tries to get another takedown for a cheap tie but Bradshaw doesn't go down and lands some more punches. Yee-haw, it's over! Bradshaw wins (points). We better get used to this, it's (apparently) gonna happen for WEEKS.
Kevin Kelly promises to ask Undertaker if he plans on heeding Mr. McMahon's warning when we come back.
AC/DC announce that SummerSlam is 9 weeks away! Well, "Highway to Hell" is played over the "Countdown to SummerSlam" graphic - that's close enough.
Another shot of Edge sitting up there. I guess none of the other Boriquas wanted to flirt with paralysis this week. Oh, I'm sorry I said that - that was poor taste.
LEGION OF DOOM TWO THOUSAND walk to ringside - apparently Sunny is "out ill." (Ross) Animal promises a big surprise for us - and it's - wow! - PRECIOUS PAUL ELLERING! Yeah! He's back! Bald and with newspaper in tow. "I thought he was dead! I thought he was lost at the Iditarod!" Ross is full of one-liners tonight. Animal gives the "old times have been tough, but now with Paul..." speech. Before Ellering speaks, out come SKULL & 8-BALL on Those Beautiful Titan Bikes. They enter the ring...and Paul has the mic. "I want to introduce you to my new team, 8-Ball and Skull, DOA!" Ah hell, Ellering is going to manage the twins. Skull & 8-Ball work over the Road Warriors while Ellering dismantles his Wall Street Journal whipping his former team. Let's take an ad break!
What we just experienced is a soaring high followed by a crashing low. Ha! Not that either team deserves Ellering, now that I think about it - I'm not too hot on either team right now. Was Sunny just written out? And was that like, the QUICKEST turn we'd ever seen? (Maybe Brian Adams on Bret Hart on Nitro...wait a minute, aren't Adams and Hart on the same side now? Hmmmm...)
King of the Ring Encore ad. It's WORTH EVERY PENNY! NO, REALLY! YOU MUST SEE IT! I WOULDN'T USE CAPITAL LETTERS IF I DIDN'T BELIEVE IT MYSELF!
Kevin Kelly asks the Undertaker if he plans on heeding the warning. Undertaker says "Nobody tells me what to do," and walks off.
KANE (with Paul Bearer) v. STEVE AUSTIN for the World Wrestling Federation championship - the challenger is introduced first - the "3:16" on Austin's vest is replaced with "BMF" which means Something Not Very Nice. It's eleven to the hour and I have to wonder if we're done for the ad breaks. Ross mentions that Kane will keep the title on a DQ or Countout - the Champion's advantage. Kane does the fire in the turnbuckles trick. Both men trade punches to start, with Austin punching more than Kane. Kane grabs Austin and reverses in the corner and gets HIS punches off. Austin goes down. Whip into the ropes, head down, knee from Austin, clothesline and an elbow drop. Crowd pops for EVERYTHING Austin does. More elbows, more punches. Kane is whipped into the ropes, kick to the gut, Stunner attempt but Kane ducks away and rolls outside. Austin with a clothesline from the apron to the floor and the brawl is on outside the ring. Head to the STEEL steps. Another set of steps meets Kane's head. Referee "Blind" Earl Hebner allows the leeway. Austin takes Kane to a barricade. Now we're back to the ring, Kane rolled in. Austin comes in and is attacked. Kane is stomping away and the crowd is booing. "Austin" chant starts up as Kane chokes Austin in the corner. Stomp. Another. Whip into the ropes, reversal, Thesz press by Austin, punching, birds, punching. Austin drags Kane to the corner and wraps the knee around the cornerpost repeatedly. Kane thinks about limping but doesn't. Austin clips the left knee. Austin goes for a leglock but Kane kicks Austin out of the ring. Kane steps over the top rope and drops an axehandle to the floor. Whip into the steps - Austin lands hard. Kane picks up Austin and drops his throat across the barricade. Now Kane is stomping Austin on the concrete. Foot on the throat. "Austin" chant starts up again. Austin rolled into the ring. Kane steps over the top rope. To the corner with some hard rights. Whip into the corner and Austin hits the corner chest first, and falls. Rake of the face by Kane. Austin goes outside - and Paul Bearer gets a shot in with his shoe. Austin is after Paul Bearer now - but he's forgotten that Kane's close behind. Hard right and Austin goes down again. We're back in the ring and the reverse chinlock is on. Austin is fading...but before he can come back to life, the UNDERTAKER is slowly walking to the ring. Kane with a boot to the face and Austin is down again. Austin runs back at him, but runs into a slam. Kneedrop. Kane steps over the top rope and climbs the turnbuckle. GIANT clothesline off the top. 1, 2, kickout! Back to the chinlock, back to the "Austin" chant. Austin is FINALLY firing back. Punches, off the ropes, duck, no, Kane with a chokeslam! Tombstone coming up? No, Austin gets out! Kick to the gut, Stunner attempt is shaken off, another kick to the gut, Stunner hits! 1, 2, 3 - ladies and gentlemen, we have a new Champion! (8:26) Undertaker is in the ring. Unfortunately, he turns around to swipe at Paul Bearer, when he turns back he's in a Stunner. Austin walks off - Kane and Undertaker simultaneously sit up and both look towards the entryway...