/17 August 1998
WWF RAW is WAR
I GET LETTERS: You know, I don't have to like the show EVERY week. Some
people thought I came down too hard on RAW for not having enough wrestling
last week. Here's my favourite one:
...why do you get so pissed off about the program sit down and relax and watch RAW with an open mind.
Here's my professional retort: Yeah, right, whatever. When you put money in my pocket I'll listen to you. Just kidding. Sort of.
To this week:
We open with a shot of a door with "MR. McMAHON" tagged to it. Then we see STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN trying to break in. Apparently, he wants to talk to him.
TV-PG-V: One World Leader Attitude - WWF!
Closed captioned logo and opening credits.
It's 17.8.98 and it's RAW! This week emanating from
Fireworks! Signs! En espanol sea disponible!
AC/DC's "Highway to Hell" fires up which can only mean I'm on a highway to hell. No, it means a hearse is slowly backing into the arena. That must mean the Undertaker's driving, yeah? Then why am I hearing that breaking glass? Why, it's STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN come to confuse us all. Removing a casket from the hearse, he opens it and removes a Coors Light (I back this hearse into the arena and you give me LIGHT beer?) and chugs away on top of the hearse. Hey, Steve, now THAT'S a cold one! Any more puns...nah. Austin makes his way to the ring and tells Vince McMahon he has sixty seconds to hit the ring or he'll drink the other 23 beers he's keeping in the cooler. PAT PATTERSON walks out and Steve is so SMART, he tells him he isn't Vince. GERALD BRISCO and COMMISSIONER SLAUGHTER are close behind. Of course, this IS segment one, so VINCENT K. finds it in his heart to put in an appearance along with the other three men. Mr. McMahon will appear live on an AOL chat Thursday at 5 (8 if you're on that other coast). Austin accuses Vince of being happy because he and Undertaker are no longer tag team champions. Vince says "not really....not really" and Austin says "full of crap." Austin goes on to say "don't trust anybody" and "sorry sun of a bitch" and "ass" and "ass" and "ass." Upshot is he's going to have a confrontation with the Undertaker tonight and Vince better stay out of the way.
Your hosts are Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler, who provide commentary. Lawler promises to have the President later in the show.
KING KEN SHAMROCK v. DAN SEVERN (with his mouthpiece) v. WHINY BITCH OWEN HART (with the Nation, minus the Godfather) in a Triple Threat Match - you can tell Ross' commentary is live because he makes about five unintentional mistakes in the span of Severn's entrance. As we have a staredown, let's take the first ad break.
The highway to hell countdown is at *2* weeks! Are these promos getting more detailed or what? Still, that Stri-Dex box looks strangely out of place...
Owen immediately takes down Shamrock as a boatload of WWF officials shoo away the Rock, D'Lo, and Mizark. While Owen basically has his way with Shamrock (and a loud "Nugget" chant ensues - or is it just on tape?), Severn stands in a corner and studiously watches. We learn that at SummerSlam, Shamrock and Owen will fight in a "Lion's Den" match - the Lion's Den apparently being a nine foot pit (or something) that will be located in the closed-circuit theatre right next door to MSG. It's STILL Owen and Shamrock. Severn is content to discuss the latest Clinton news with referee "Blind" Earl Hebner. Later tonight, a DX/Nation streetfight, a Sable/Jacqueline arm wrestling match (which Ross refers to two MORE times as a Sable/Luna match). Shamrock has a comeback, culminating in a belly-to-belly on Hart. 1, 2, Severn pulls off Shamrock. Shamrock makes a funny face and turns to Severn - but before he can strike, Owen is back up to suplex him. Owen back to the attack. A Sharpshooter attempt is powered away. Shamrock to an armbar, and then the anklelock. Time for Severn to make his move, placing Shamrock in his own version of the Dragon sleeper, which the commentators call a "chokehold." The ref never signals for the bell, but apparently Shamrock passes out, giving Severn the win. (KO 4:40). While Severn continues to keep the chokehold on, Hart puts the boots to Shamrock. Another ref is out to stop Severn - no dice. Let's bring some more refs out - nope. Now STEVE BLACKMAN is out, and Severn finally releases the hold. Then Severn puts the choke on Blackman. Yeah! Hart and Severn work over Blackman for a bit. You know it's bad out there, they've got TONY GAREA and "BLIND" DAVE HEBNER out, for crying out loud. Severn and Hart raise arms in victory, and slap 5s as they walk away. Coming to, Shamrock "snaps" and the officials scatter. Seeing Blackman, he ... nope, he doesn't take out Blackman. That would have been cool, too, have both guys turn on Blackman. "Hey, I came out here to SAVE your sorry ass." Shamrock is ready to "take fifty pounds off [Slaughter's] ass." Well, SOMEBODY is going to get Shamrock on their ass. Let's take a break.
WWF War Zone is out for the N64! 'cause Stone Cold said so! Or something.
Let us take you back to Moments Ago. Why? We just seen it. Even MY short memory hadn't forgotten this. Although seeing Blackman get choked out is still pretty funny. I guess we're going to have a tag team war now - Severn & Hart vs. Shamrock & Blackman. Maybe next week?
GODFATHER (with three hos) v. BART "LEFTY" GUNN (with no hos) in a BRAWLforALL Semifinal - Lawler talks to "the President" via phone, funny but that doesn't REALLY sound like the president. Clips from last night's Sunday Night Heat show the Godfather and Gunn having a tet a tet while Gunn was supposed to be fighting Vader, and while Godfather was supposed to be commentating. WWF.com provides a tale of the tape which is interesting. This match is ALMOST interesting. First round has Bart trying for a takedown, which doesn't work. That manages to eat up the first half of the round. Both men land a fair number of punches, but we all know if it's close, they'll give it to Whitey, so Bart's up 5-0 in the official scoring. The second round starts with a good Godfather punch landing, and Bart trying for the takedown again, and failing. Godfather takes Bart to the corner and punches away, but referee Jack Doane breaks 'em up. Bart catches fire in the last fifteen secdons, punching at will, and actually getting a knockdown with :01 to go. This puts Bart up 20-0. Good replay of the left that knocked him down. Godfather is surprised that they counted the knockdown. Third round has Godfather trying hard to come back and making a game of it, but unfortunately, he left himself open for a looping right that landed right on the chin. Timber! (3rd round KO). Bart managed to win it on his own - somebody forgot to tell him they would have rigged it for him anyway (I only say that because it makes some of you REALLY mad, haha). Bart has some words for Jim Ross again and Ross admits that he's earning some respect.
We see some doors, where Undertaker should be entering later. Then we see Blackman & Shamrock throwing a tantrum, breaking lots of stuff, and looking for Severn & Hart.
Shot of Gangrel. He's NEXT! I hope he doesn't drink that blood again...
Stri-Dex brings you SummerSlam!
MICHAEL KING COLE announces that Owen Hart's special trainer for the Lion's Den match will be Dan Severn. After the next match, we get to see Cole again (yay!) with Shamrock & Blackman, where they'll presumably kick his ass.
GANGREL v. TOO SEXY BRIAN CHRISTOPHER (with Scott Too Hot Taylor, no entrance) - Gangrel comes up through a burning ring of fire (eat your heart out, Johnny Cash) and has some fangs, and drinks some sort of red stuff from a goblet - am I just an old fogey here or is anyone else bothered by this kind of display? Clip from last night's Sunday Night Heat match shows Gangrel's rather sweet DDT on Scott Taylor. Hey, look, there's EDGE! Taylor distracts Gangrel so Christopher can get the quick upperhand - Gangrel no-sells a bulldog and then punches and hits a double-underhook into a powerbomb for 2. That DDT is quickly hit again for the pin. (1:03) Gangrel makes a scary face. That DDT is like a front chancery, up into the air for the opponent and down on his head. Yeah.
Michael King Cole interviews Shamrock who gives an "intense" interview and then chases Cole away. Then he and Blackman break some stuff.
Michael King Cole intereviews D-GENERATION X about the upcoming Street Fight with the Nation. Before anybody answers a question, MARK HENRY, THE ROCK, and D'LO BROWN show up and the Street Fight breaks out backstage. Somebody ought to keep Cole away from everybody - carnage seems to break out wherever the man goes.
DISCIPLES OF APOCALYPSE (with Paul Ellering & Those Beautiful Titan Bikes) v. SCORPIO & FAAROOQ (no entrance) - we are distracted from this match by another phone interview with "the PRESIDENT" who says something about "Mr. One Eye" and some other stuff which isn't terribly funny anyway. The street fight is going on in the back, but there isn't a working camera back there, apparently. Just seems like they're looking for any excuse not to deal with THIS match, which is too bad, because Scorpio's doing quite nicely, thank you. By the way, Paul Ellering is at ringside - why's he back again? The twins take control with some underhanded tactics which manage to distract Faarooq enough to distract the ref. Because this match is apparently too boring, we get that backstage camera working again and switch back there to see Helmsley and the Rock battling - and nearing the curtain. Scorpio, on the outside, takes a clothesline from Ellering. Another shot of the street fight and they're just about out to the entrance way. Hot tag to Faarooq! Faarooq is on fire! (I didn't say that.) And now here's DX and the NATION. Tag to Scorpio, firebird splash! Whoops, referee "Blind" Mike Ciota has turned to the street fight happening outside and doesn't see Scorpio making a pinfall attmept. This means the Ellering manages to pull off the switch and DOA ends the undefeated streak of Faarooq & Scorpio with a pin at somewhere around (4:35). DX and the Nation are FINALLY separated, so they can have their entrances and REALLY have the match when we come back.
Stone Cold Bonz T-shirt ad.
We look at those doors again - nope, no Undertaker.
D-GENERATION X v. THE NATION in a Street Fight (come as you are, bring weapons) - Helmsley says "Are you ready..." and as the Rock, D'Lo and Mizark come out, we flip over to the War Zone (TV-PG-V). The Godfather is still feeling the effects of his manly ass-whoopin' at the hands of Billy's brother - hmmm. Boy oh boy, I LOVE me some garbage can shots! I guess I should also mention Chyna's not out for this match. Ross says "we're not havin' a debate here." Garbage can shots aplenty. Garbage can lid shots aplenty. Baking sheets which seem SLIGHTLY thicker than those aluminum things we usually get in a Public Enema match - not that this match is any better than one of those WCW streetfights. You know, street fights suck. The Rock hits the People's Elbow on the Road Dog (why not?) but the count is stopped when Billy Gunn takes a metal something and hits the Rock with it. Gunn goes on to piledrive the Rock on the baking sheet. Hey, here's JEDOUBLEF JADOUBLEREDOUBLET come out for no good reason - oh, because he's facing X-Pac at SummerSlam, so he's gonna dish out some punishment on X-Pac early. X-Pac gets the better of that exchange, though, foiling his plans. Here's SOUTHERN JUSTICE to swing the pendulum back to Jarrett - who manages to remove a lock of X-Pac's hair. Manwhile, IN the ring, Helmsley goes down to the Rock Bottom (which I am supposed to call a "uranage" but won't) and, as Southern Justice has temporarily removed the Outlaws from the picture, the three men of the Nation continue to take out Helmsley (who bleeds! gosh!), culminating in a whip into a ladder face-first, a ladder to the gut, and finally a slam of the ladder onto Helmsley. Oh, did I mention the Nation brought a ladder? Helmsley is laid out under the ladder. I missed the pin but the Rock's music plays so I guess the Nation won. Gunn is bleeding too! Medic! ('bout 6:40)
WWF SummerSlam "Highway to Hell" promo. Austin and Undertaker are walking that road.
Let Us Take You Back to During the Break - Chyna and James help Helmsley to the back.
RAW is brought to you by the JVC Kaboom!box, Burst gum, and M&M's. The closed captioning is brought to you by 10-10-321 (you can write me all you want, but I STILL think it's funny when a hearing-impaired service is provided by a hearing-required service!)
TIGER ALI SINGH is out to offer an American money to do something disgusting. Apparently his servant ABU (whom I will dub with the last name NAHASAPEETAPETILAN) has been working out all day (to the Sultan's music, yet!) and didn't get a chance to shower. Somebody will get $500 to lick Abu's feet. At this time, I wish I *did* live on the East Coast so I could watch live Clinton coverage. Of course, the fan does it and gets the cash. Lawler seems to be having a vicious flashback to his "kiss my foot" match, although Ross misses on the obvious chance to tweak the King.
Sable is stretching...because you NEED to stretch before EVERY arm-wrestling match!
WWF War Zone for the N64 ad.
Stri-Dex Triple Action features Sable interfering all over the place in last week's Luna/Jacqueline match, culminating in Luna's splash for the pin.
Sable is STILL stretching. Let Us Take You Back to last night's Sunday Night Heat where Jacqueline and Sable trade Jerry Springer lines and Jackie challenges Sable to an arm-wrestling match for tonight. Sable will drop the bomb on Jacqueline, yeah. Winner gets the bikini contest trophy.
(THE LOVELY) SABLE (with Big Ass Trophy and without the Oddities) v. JACQUELINE (without Marvy Marc Mero) - We learn that friends of the Oddities, Insane Clown Posse, will be performing at SummerSlam. Sable talks (ugh). Typical arm wrestling format - Jackie stalls anad won't grip at first. Terribly forced pendulum action as we start. Oh, this tension is unbearable. Finally Jacqueline says "heck with this" and shoves the table into Sable (hey, that rhymes!). Then she takes the trophy - and breaks it over Sable. Wow! MARVY MARC MERO comes out - but the ODDITIES are behind, so Mero and Jackie scurry out through the crowd. Luna is crying - when did *she* become such a wuss, anyway? Replay seems to show that the trophy was really made of styrofoam - probably not what they wanted to have me believe.
Michael King Cole is backstage to interview VAL VENIS. If he runs the gauntlet with Kaientai tonight, he gets five minutes with Yamaguchi-San. Venis says "cut off at the head."
Also tonight, more faux-Clinton! Whee!
It's Droz's World - where tatoos rule.
We look out the door - and still don't see the Undertaker.
DARREN DROZDOV v. (justin "hawk") BRADSHAW in a BRAWLforALL semifinal - Let me go on the record and predict another bullshit victory for Bradshaw, simply because it would be more impressive to put Gunn over Bradshaw, besides it preserves the traditional face/heel match. Another nice WWF.com Tale of the Tape - check out that website sometime. Bradshaw manages to make it through the first round without trying for a cheesy takedown. Failry even round but the replays are all Bradshaw and besides, they WANT Bradshaw to win, so he gets the unofficial 5. Droz manages to land some big blows in round two, and also seems to get a takedown - amazingly, the ref gives it to him. Unofficial scoring has it 10-5, which is bullshit, but about what I expected. Round three has Droz going for a takedown and not getting it. Bradshaw finally goes for a takedown and fails to break. Fairly even third round which means the fix is in and they'll give it to Bradshaw. Sure enough, he's announced as the winner and the look on Droz' face says "I *knew* it was fixed." But hopefully, this means that Bart will wipe the floor with Bradshaw next week (live, by the way).
Replay of Gunn's KO just for good measure.
Let Us Take A Special Look at Al Snow and his Head. He's on his way back to the World Wrestling Federation, yeah! Interview cut from a local tavern shows that the Head is drunk. Lawler hopes that Snow and the Head "don't show up in Philadelphia next Monday..."
Shot backstage at the door - the cameraman's left, he got so bored staring at the doors, he put his camera down and walked away. Or maybe he got knocked over by somebody entering the building...? No, I guess not, Ross or Lawler would have speculated that for me.
Another backstage shot shows Sable walking with purpose towards the entranceway.
DUSTIN RUNNELLS speaks: "You know the Bible says your body is a temple. And as a result, we should be careful what we put into it. Why then would you want to poison your mind? Well, here's an idea for you. Instead of watching this next segment of the War Zone, try curling up with a good book. Something like "Oliver Twist," or "Ivanhoe," or my personal favourite - the New Testament. You'll be glad you did, because He IS coming back. May God bless you all." The preceding was sponsored by The Evangelists Against Television, Movies & Entertainment. (Yes, I see the acronym. But that doesn't mean I have to mention it. Must I beat you over the head with EVERYTHING?)
SABLE's back out to the ring. "Jackie, you bitch! Get your ass out here 'cause you and me are gonna fight!" "Sorry ho, I wasn't born yesterday. Me and my man would NOT walk into a trap. I know those freaks are hanging around..." Jackie challenges Sable to pick a partner and take on Mero & Jacqueline at SummerSlam. Suddenly, the ODDITIES appear and bust up the Brown Bomber and the Marvelous One. The camera falls to the floor.
Michael King Cole stands outside a door. Amazingly, nothing is broken.
WWF SummerSlam "Highway to Hell" promo. Again. It's gonna be rated TV-14!
VAL VENIS (with a pink Super Soaker filled with - I won't speculate) v. KAIENTAI in a Gauntlet match - "Hello, ladies! You know something, you can forget about trying to blackmail the big Valbowski, because even though I'm not a screamer, unlike you, Bill, after I've left my mark, I always Shout it out!" If you don't get it, I ain't explainin' it. COMMISSIONER SLAUGHTER is out to prevent extraneous Kaientai involvement, keeping the remaining four at the top of the ramp.
TEOH is first, and walks to the ring making the "choppy-choppy your peepee" hand motion. Teoh has a good start but Venis is a heavyweight, see, so...fisherman's suplex for the pin (1:11)
FUNAKI runs into a powerslam and a cradle and gets pinned in about (:15).
TOGO gets in a good few moves, so Lawler has enough time to talk to "the PRESIDENT" on the phone one more time. Big powerbomb and Togo amazingly manages to kick out at two. faux-Clinton threatens to put in an appearance next week on RAW. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker by Venis, and then a Stun Gun. Another powerbomb and Togo has to sell it like he's dead for about fifteen seconds so Val can climb the ropes and deliver the money shot for the pin. (2:50)
TAKA MICHINOKU is the final link in this chain - the anchor in the gauntlet. Venis hits a belly-to-back suplex and it looks like he'll get his five minutes with Yamaguchi-San after all. Taka ducks a cross body and Venis is on the outside. Taka with a plancha from the top turnbuckle to the floor! Hmm, it's two to the hour...Taka trying to suplex Venis in, Venis punches away and Taka reels. Venis in, Taka ducks the clothesline but eats the elbow. Powerslam by Val for 2. Elbow to the back, boot to the head. Double underhook suplex for 2. Taka manages to put up a boot, then duck an attempt in the corner. Taka tries for the Michinoku driver but Venis reverses for a slam. Elbow from the top rope misses, though, and the Michinoku driver IS hit for the pin. (3:30) Taka's music plays.
MRS. YAMAGUCHI is out with her husband now (she's Taka's sister, by the way) and while Kaientai put the boots to Venis, she's getting in the ring. And now she gets to SLAP Venis. That's it...no, wait, Venis is going for his Love Gun - and sprays everybody in the ring. "He stained her dress!" jokes abound. Are we DONE yet?
Let us take you back to Earlier Tonight, where Steve Austin promises to stuff Undertaker in the hearse.
Bong...bong...THE UNDERTAKER'S music plays but he's not at the entrance way. He's appeared at the ringsteps and raises his arms so the lights can go on. STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN prefers the traditional walk to the ring. It's 2 or 3 after the hour, by the way. Undertaker is wearing his bishop costume - oh, so it can hide the fact that he's KANE. The ringposts are ablaze, and Austin sees an Undertaker outfit but a Kane mask. Kane takes Austin apart. But Austin fights back. Thesz press! Right hands! Right hands! Right hands! Kane is knocked outside and the fight continues on the outside. Now they're in the crowd - making their way to the hearse. Austin gets control by the time they're actually AT the hearse - and shoves Kane in the back. He gets to the front - but the door is locked. And there's somebody in the front seat - THE UNDERTAKER! The hearse drives away - Undertaker and Kane together again...or are they?