/24 August 1998
WWF RAW is WAR
I GET LETTERS: One particularly angry guy not only sent me a letter
complaining about my treatment of WCW last week, he went on to send me
ANOTHER gem, which I quote here:
listen let me tell you what's going to happen on raw this week! stone cold steve austin is going to call out mcmahon! here he comes followeed by brisco and patterson. mcmahon starts to talk then comes the undertaker. 3seconds latercomes kane and mankind they make a match but it never happens! surprise surprise!as for your puthetic comments [pu-th- e-tic] on thunder being taped for 2weeks . otta 10 weeks in both wwf and wcw lets count how many live events there are. wwf 5live events [all coming from raw] . WCW 20 live events in that same span of time. mmmm! conspiricy theory! the wwf can't even keep there superstars straght. heres somthing you can feed off of I say kane and the undertaker together at a night club. oh chris,
one word, taped!
The Internet: it's a bizarro world. All right, I confess, I'm doing my part for the Conspiracy. Although, as long-time Usenet readers can remember, TINC (There Is No Cabal). But damned if I can figure out what that "Kane and the Undertaker together at a night club" is all about. Nor do I care if it's taped or not - I really don't. But when Tony Schiavone is a lying hypocrite, why, you can bet I'll probably say something about it.
The sad part is Gary ACTUALLY makes some pretty good points up there. RAW *has* been formulaic, and it wouldn't take too much time to draw up a nice Mad-Lib which would cover EVERY episode of RAW from the past month or so - but hell, I *have* complained about it - to the point where people wrote me asking me why I was biased against RAW - and dammit, I'm biased *for* the WWF!
So what's my point, you ask? Ummm...I guess it's "Keep them cards and letters coming!" They entertain me, and if they're really special, they'll entertain YOU! And besides, what else have you done for me lately? *I* had to sit through five hours of wrestling for YOU! Well, ok, I did it for me mostly...
One more letter and then we'lll really get it started (tm MC Hammer - whatever happened to that guy anyway? And is there REALLY gonna be another Vanilla Ice album coming up soon?):
Please don't include my name in your report this week. -(name withheld)
Don't let it be said that I never take requests.
THE UNDERTAKER appears from behind a door - and behind him, KANE follows...
One World Leader Attitude - WWF!
WWF Monday Night RAW comes to you LIVE from Philadelphia, PA 24.8.98 closed captioned and en espanol sea disponible AND rated TV-PG-V. Your hosts are Jim Ross and Jerrly Lawler (and Carlos Cabrerra and Hugo Savitovich, making a rare non-PPV in-arena appearance), who provide all commentary.
Of course, our opening remarks are provided by THE UNDERTAKER, who walks side-by-side with his brother KANE. This should settle any question of "cahoots" amongst us, I would presume, but let's see what the Phenom says first. Ross mentions that the (Hell in the) Cell is hanging above the ring, and sure enough, we get a shot of it. Before any comments are made, out bounds VINCENT K. per standard formula. Happy birthday, Mr. McMahon! "Well, finally Undertaker and Kane have come out of the casket. This is the best television since President Clinton's mea culpa about a week ago - after all those lies, finally we get to the truth. And the truth is, ladies and gentlemen, *I told you so*! Let me repeat that - the truth is...*I* *told* *you* *so*. There's no doubt that Undertaker and Kane, combined, make the most awesome, the most destructive force in the history of the World Wrestling Federation. And there's no doubt that with Kane at your side this Sunday at SummerSlam, there's no doubt that you don't need Vince McMahon to become the WWF Champion at SummerSlam. Because let me go on record, since we're telling the truth, with or without Vince McMahon, with Kane at your side, you will be the World Wrestling Federation Champion once again at SummerSlam. However, Undertaker, as you look to your reign as WWF Champion, there will come a time when you need Vince McMahon. You'll need Vince McMahon for my wisdom. You need Vince McMahon for my brilliant strategy and Undertaker - I'm talkin' to you - you will need Vince McMahon for my friendship. And so, Undertaker, I ask you: Vince McMahon - friend or foe? Now before this night is over, you think about that, but before this night is over, I want an answer. Vince McMahon: friend or foe? You ponder that." While we see a less than pleased look on Undertaker's face, out comes PAUL BEARER, who is also looking a little unhappy. In fact, you can almost see the tears welling in his eyes - well, maybe not really. "Son! Tell me it's not true! Tell me it's all been a lie! Tell me it's all been a dreadful nightmare! It's me! Your father's talking to you! I'm the one who's always been there for you...I'm the one, son! that's always loved you - something your own mother didn't do for you, that sleazy whore!" Undertaker lunges, but Kane stops him. "You stay out of this! Look me in the eye, son! Look me in the eye! The same blood that runs through my veins runs through yours - I'd never lie to you - you know who's being honest and who's being deceitful! Listen to me, son - I'm your dad! Do one last thing for me if you never do anything else - DESTROY HIM!" Kane turns to Undertaker. "Destroy him please - for Daddy..." Kane turns his back, and the Undertaker unleashes a barrage of punches on Bearer. Now here's MANKIND, who comes in and turns his back - Undertaker attacks, and Kane *joins* him. Kane sets up Mankind for the tombstone - Undertaker scales the turnbuckles - DOUBLE SPIKE TOMBSTONE! McMahon: "And now Undertaker, let me remind you - there's only one man left standing between you and the WWF Championship - and that one man is quaking in his boots as we speak - that one man that you will defeat at SummerSlam - Stone Cold Steve Austin" - no sooner do we hear the name than we hear the breaking of glass. Why yes, it's STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN - whoops, it's a wall of fire a la Kane's entrance. Austin isn't burned, but he is rather surprised. After inspecting the ramp for any more fire: "I knew all along that you two were together and you're having a little family reunion, and I damned near choked up in the back because I'm so happy for ya - you sonuvabitch you damn near set me on fire here...SummerSlam is only six days away..." et cetera. He knows against "both of ya big bastards" he doesn't have much of a chance, so he'll just have to take one of them out tonight. "You stand there and you play with fire and you think you're in Stone Cold Steve Austin's head - when I get your ass at SummerSlam, I'm gonna burn YOUR ass - and that's the bottom line, 'cause Stone Cold said so..."
Tonight Chyna calls out the Rock, Bradshaw and Bart Gunn fight in the BRAWLforALL finals, we'll probably find out what's up with that (Hell in the) Cell. Also, Shamrock/Severn III but nobody's mentioned it yet.
KING KEN SHAMROCK (with raving lunacy) v. DAN SEVERN (with a mouthpiece) - oh, that's why. They're gonna have it right now. As Shamrock rushes the commentators, we fade out for the first ad break.
Stri-Dex and Triple H. I don't know what they have in common either...
Let Us Take You Back to Moments Ago - as Kane and the Undertaker combine for a spike piledriver. During the Break, Mankind was taken off on a gurney. Live, we see a shot of the ambulance being loaded. Let Us Take You Back to last week where Severn won the Triple Threat match between himself, Shamrock and Owen Hart, followed by his attack on Steve Blackman.
Shamrock rushes at Severn but he ducks the kick. Severn grabs the leg and tries for a submission but Shamrock counters. Anklelock attempt, Severn counters. Dueling leglocks and they roll to the ropes. Shamrock goes for the double leg, Severn hits an axehandle and then a powerbomb. Severn plays to the crowd. Apparently, neither man wants a pin here, they want the submission. Faceslam by Severn. Fireman's carry takeover into an armbar by Severn - Shamrock with a takeover. Shamrock breaks the UFC-style monotony first with some punches. Whip into the ropes, powerslam by Severn for 2. Maybe they DO want the pin. Fireman's carry slam by Severn. Severn tries for the double-leg but Shamrock's in the ropes - As referee "Blind" Tim White tries to separate the two, here comes OWEN HART to hit Shamrock from behind - and now Hart's got Shamrock in the Dragon Sleeper (DQ 2:53) - out comes STEVE BLACKMAN to give a big kick to Severn and break up Hart and Shamrock. Hart and Severn take off but Shamrock has snapped - with only Blackman left in the ring, it's *Blackman* who gets a belly-to-belly for his troubles. This pisses off Blackman enough to give Shamrock a belly-to-belly of his own, then HE takes off. Then Shamrock runs around and headbutts the STEEL steps.
Backstage, we see Tony Garea on the floor looking dazed - apparently, Mankind ran his gurney over him. Whoops, he escaped from the ambulance and is being Mankind again. We see him rolling it off (towards - who is that, Sable and Luna?) and fade out.
The Highway to Hell countdown is over - SummerSlam is SUNDAY! And after that, we won't have to hear any more AC/DC for a while.
Exterior shot of Philly.
Mankind rides his stretcher down the ramp and runs into the ring. "So it was cahoots all along. A good cub scout should always be prepared - and my cub scout leader Mr. McMahon, he WARNED me Kane was no good...Mr. McMahon has offered me my chance at redemption - and redemption, for me, lies right above my head." Apparently, there's going to be a (Hell in the) Cell match - or is there? Tonight, Mankind's going to walk to the top of the cage and take on Kane there - oh, and there will be seven thousand thumb tacks waiting for whoever goes through the cage. Mankind actually sticks a tack in his head - which is, like, really gross. So tonight, Kane/Mankind. The cell will be involved. I guess NOW we know why the Spanish commentators are out tonight - so somebody can go through their table! HA!
Video package takes a look at Hell in the Cell 2 - where Undertaker and Mankind did that thing that they did. It's STILL enough to make you go "Oh, shit!"
SABLE bounces out - whoops, time for a break.
WWF War Zone for the Nintendo ad.
"Being accompanied to the ring tonight by the ODDIITES, I give you KURRGAN!" Well, that wasn't worth sitting through an ad break. Ha! Sable can't dance, either. Anybody miss Jackyl?
KURRGAN (with the Oddities) v. MARVELOUS MARC MERO (without Jacqueline) - Let Us Take You Back to last week where Jacqueline is Not Sporting At All after the arm wrestling contest with Sable - "As you can see, I'm all by myself - and Kurrgan, if you've got any guts, you'll fight me one on one, and get all those freaks outta here!" The Oddities are reluctant to leave but Kurrgan says it's ok. This match consists of Mero punching, and Kurrgan making a joke of the entire industry. Sable stays behind to smile approvingly while Kurrgan busts the proverbial move. Whilst Kurrgan has his way with Mero, a fan attacks Sable - well, actually it's JACQUELINE disguised in funky dreads and floppy hat - by the time Kurrgan turns around to see Sable getting beaten up - Mero hits the Golotta and is DQ'd (1:46). The Oddities run out and Mero and Jackie run away through the crowd. Don't worry though, Sable's outfit stayed on even though her hair got a little messed up.
X-PAC takes us backstage - we see Jeff Jarrett's boots - and then we pull back and - well, I hope he isn't REALLY urinating into them.
WWF on the Home Shopping Network is plugged - hey, isn't that Fit Finley's music backing up this ad?
SummerSlam - 6 days away! Buy Stri-Dex!
RAW is brought to you by the JVCKaboom!box, and Castrol GTX, and WWF: The Music Volume 2! Closed captioning brought to you by 10-10-321 (Kings of Irony!)
ROAD WARRIOR HAWK is out acting drunk and trying to expose the business just enough to make you wonder if it's a work or not. (Psst, it is.) Ross says "Cut his mic" a few times and looks generally unhappy that Hawk's sitting next to him.
SOUTHERN JUSTICE v. NEW AGE OUTLAWS - Hawk is still talking. Now JEDOUBLEF JADOUBLEREDOUBLET is out and he wants X-Pac out here right now - when the house mic doesn't work, he grabs Hawk's headset. "Don't piss me off! You shoot me from the waist up!" 'cause, you see, he's not wearing his boots, if you catch my drift. Jarrett promises that in six days, after he beats X-Pac, he's gonna shave him all the way. Crowd, having nothing better to do, chants "Suck it." There IS a match going on but none of us are paying any attention to it. This is the new, fiery, hot-tempered Jeff Jarrett - which actually brings to mind every other Jeff Jarrett we've ever seen. Mark Cantebury comes outside the ring to talk to Jarrett, allowing Gunn to sneak up on Dennis Knight, hit a piledriver and Jesse James covers for the pin (3:16). Jarrett and Southern Justice maul a cameraman (Todd Aldredge, they said?) who panned below the waist one too many times [there's a joke in there but I ain't touchin' it]. Then Jarrett shaves him. [Ditto.] This is actually pretty funny and I'm not giving it proper justice. Hawk is apparently still sitting at the commentary table.
Backstage, we see Kane and Undertaker walking around.
The Cell is lowering when we come back. The Mankind/Kane matchup will happen now! And then Sunday, they'll try to team up to get the belts over to the Outlaws.
KANE (with the Undertaker, the TV-PG-V box and the RAW credits) v. MANKIND in Hell in the Cell - I have doubts this match will stay TV-PG, can I say that now. Mankind immediately starts to climb the cage - when two referees try to bring him back to earth, Mankind beats 'em up. The remaning two referees meet the floor. Kane lunges for Mankind - and meets the door. Mankind has a chair now and it looks like he's trying to throw it on top of the cage - he misses twice and hits Lawler the second time. As Kane climbs the cage, Undertaker is following - ah, there goes the Spanish commentator's table. (Ross: "It's happened again!") Crowd is chanting "Austin." Kane runs Mankind's head into the cage. I wish I got the SAP in my area. Taken back to the door area, Kane does the "I'm Curt Hennig, you're Ric Flair" door shot. Finally in the cage - Kane throws the STEEL steps into the ring. Kane uses the steps on Mankind, liberally - first to the shoulder, then to the back. Referee "Blind" Earl Hebner is insane to be in there with those guys. Pescado (!) onto Mankind, who hits the cage wall again. Kane throws the steps onto Mankind - no, he's out of the way - he's also got a chair and the bag o' tacks. Chairshot to Kane! Double chair! And now the bag is open - but Kane's got in tht first shot. Mandible claw - Kane punches out. Mankind is throwing a lotta punches here. Kick to the gut. Piledriver! (Not on the tacks at least). Kane ends up sitting in the pile of tacks. Kane does the Zombie situp and grabs the chair. Whack! Chokeslam by Kane as Undertaker looks on outside the cage. Tombstone by Kane and Kane turns to his brother - who gives the thumb-cross-the-throat sign. Kane takes the chair and places it strategically. No, he picks it up - chair to the head. Ross is apoplectic. Another chair to the skull. (Ross: "Dammit!") Time for another tombstone, this time on the chair. Before the count can happen - STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN appears from *under* the ring and unleashes some anger and furious vengence on Kane. Undertaker climbs the cage while Austin takes the chair to Kane. Undertaker is trying to rip the cage apart. Stunner for Kane! Undertaker is going through the cage - but it's being raised! And VINCENT K. is at the controls of the cage! McMahon apparently doesn't want you to see Austin and Undertaker for free - well, that's just good business. Kane gets ANOTHER Stunner, and all Undertaker can do is watch from about fifty feet in the air on top of the raised cage. (DQ? 7:41) Austin runs after McMahon - no wait, he's got the gurney...
WWF Sunday Night Heat is Sunday at 7! Tell 'em Hunter sent you!
When we come back, the cage has lowered and Undertaker has made his way off of it. "Austin...I have given you far too much respect, beacuse what you just did is come out here in front of millions of people and prove that you are nothing more than a coward! You jumped Kane from behind with no provocation. Well you need to understand this - when you jumped him, you sealed your fate. And tonight, before this night ends, you will come face-to-face with your destiny. This has nothing to do with SummerSlam - this is personal." Kane's bleeding from the head, by the way - even with that mask on! Wow!
Tonight - "Last Stop on the Highway to Hell" - a World Premiere video.
CHYNA is out. Let Us Take You back to last week, where Chyna stayed in the back during the Street Fight and watched the Rock dismantle Triple H. This week, she's going to do it her way and she's out. Here's THE ROCK. Looks like he'll have to do all the talking, if you smell what he's cooking. Before he gets in the ring, here's THE NATION with the ladder. Oh, they're sweeping out tacks as we speak. "Tell you what Chyna, if you want to act like a big shot, you want to call the Rock out, well, in the flesh, here's the People's Champ - but before the Rock goes any farther, he wants you to know that not for one single solitary second that this whole damn thing wasn't a set-up to begin with." And *that's* why the Nation is out with the Rock - in case DX had any plans for a sneak attack. The Rock directs Chyna's attention to the TitanTron where we see that he's parked a forklift at the door of DX (of course, the doors open INWARD but I guess they're dumber than they look). The Rock talks about "the People's Ladder," "the People's Champ," "the People's Choice," "the People's Laundry Detergent," and a few other People's Items. Anyways, the Rock tells Chyna that he knows what a crush she has on him and it ends with "you just need to get some...and Chyna, honey, if you're lucky, about 1.30, 2 o'clock in the morning later tonight, the Rock's just the one to give it to ya if you smell what the Rock's cookin'" She rushes the ladder but Owen and D'Lo get her. "Put her on her knees where she belongs! ... almost looks like a natural position." And...yeah, he tells her to "experience the Magic of the Rock..." but instead of kissing her, he tells her "there's no way [he'd] ever kiss a piece of trash like you!" So the Rock asks Mark Henry to kiss her instead. Mark does a neat tongue thing - approaches Chyna - and ... hey, there's SHAWN MICHAELS come to play the white knight! Chair to Henry's head. The Nation scatters. Michaels hands the chair to Chyna and goes over to the commentary table so he can stand on it and dance to "(I'm Just A) Sexy Boy."
Backstage and out of the arena, DX is finally out of their locker room and they're looking for the Nation. Let Us Take you back to Moments Ago where Michaels hits Henry with the chair.
VAL VENIS v. TAKA MICHINOKU (with the Yamaguchis, no entrance) - "Hello, ladies! You know you can forget about Pat's Cheesesteaks, and try the Big Valbowski's - 'cause I got more meat than your buns can handle!" It's all Taka at the start, befitting the fact that he IS a World Champion. Of course, with Shawn Michaels sitting at the commentary table, we need to talk some more about Shawn and Chyna - what's up with them? Val takes control with a powerbomb and a Money Shot - thankfully, Taka is spared embarrassment at 2 as TRIPLE H is out to chair Venis and cause a DQ (1:07) - Helmsley chairs Michinoku for good measure. Then he gets the mic and promises "Rocky...you're going to be my bitch!" There's a joke in THERE and I won't touch that one either - maybe I'm just losing my touch.
Coming up NEXT - a video! Yahoo!
WWF War Zone for Nintendo ad.
Stri-Dex brings you SummerSlam on Sunday!
Here's the World Premiere of "The Highway to Hell." Well, it might be filler, but nobody does this kind of filler quite like the WWF. You read whatever you want into that - it's a compliment until the next time I have to watch it. I just have one question - is that chick topless or what? Now I know what Ross meant by "fire up your VCR's" 'cause he KNOWS we're into the stillframe technique of analysing these kind of videos...not that I have no life or anything better to do, oh no, not me. No sir.
Coming up next - X-Pac v. Gangrel! Backstage, Gangrel looks like Gangrel.
GANGREL (with a burning ring of fire) v. X-PAC (without Jeff Jarrett) - Gangrel attacks before the bell - whip, reversal, shouldberlock by Gangrel. X-Pac manages a leapfrog and a spinning heel kick - into the corner, Gangrel eats a boot but hits a powerslam for 2. X-Pac is chopping. Gangrel with a counter slam - he's climbing to the top - splash misses. We see EDGE in the crowd for no good reason. X-Pac has Gangrel to the corner. "Educated feet" - then the crowd-favourite Bronco buster. Ah, THERE is JEDOUBLEF JADOUBLEREDOUBLET with his guitar and there's the DQ (1:36) Well, sometimes I HATE being right. Once again, the guitar says "DON'T PISS ME OFF" After Helmsley and Chyna take X-Pac away, Gangrel makes it back into the ring - so EDGE can strike, for no good reason. Gangrel is actually *smiling* though, after the refs manage to pull them apart.
We see a split screen of Bart Gunn and Bradshaw - the BRAWLforALL finals are NEXT! I *almost* forgot all about them...
We see Undertaker backstage, wheeling a casket - and if Kane isn't in it, then by Gosh, where is he?
Ten minutes to the hour, and I haven't seen Al Snow yet...
Shot of the Code Red set. They might have Steve Austin after the show.
BRADSHAW v. (NO LONGER BODACIOUS) BART "LEFTY" GUNN in the BRAWLforALL finals - winner gets $75,000 - loser gets $25,000. The Stri-Dex Triple Action shows Bradshaw and Gunn taking apart various opponents in the tourney. Good staredown as referee Jack Doane runs down the rules. Round one shows Bradshaw throwing more but Bart landing more and better - knockdown by Gunn halfway through the round! Bradshaw is GONE and doesn't even answer Doane's questions. Gunn only needs two more punches to finish the job. Bradshaw is knocked LOOPY. You know what the best part of this is? Freakin' *Bob Holly* was the only one of Bart's opponents not to get knocked out. (KO, 1st round)
MICHAEL KING COLE puts in a token appearance - he's backstage with VINCENT K., who promises that he'll get his answer tonight. Vince then acknowledges the fact that this is the first time in about two years we've seen Cole without some carnage at the end of the interview.
The Gregorian chant is firing up - which can only mean some Undertaker goofiness is coming up. Sure enough, the DRUIDS are out with the casket - eight of 'em. After depositing the casket at the foot of the ring, they file out single file. The Undertaker's music starts up - and out walks THE UNDERTAKER. Hmmm. Maybe Al Snow is in the casket? I dunno. It's now 11. Undertaker does that trick with the lights. "At SummerSlam, I will take what is rightfully mine - the World Wrestling Federation title! And I'm gonna do it like a man - you see Austin, I'm gonna be right there in your face - I'm not gonna jump YOU from behind, and you need not worry about my brother because Kane has his own agenda at SummerSlam. I've been up front from the beginning, so Highway to Hell SummerSlam '98, it's gonna be you, me, and the World Wrestling Federation title (weak "Goldberg" chant?) but tonight, you decided to make this personal. Don't you realise, boy, then when you jumped on Kane, you jumped on me. So what I would like for you to do, Stone Cold Steve Austin, is take a ride on the Highway to Hell tonight. You see..." And here's Mr. McMAHON. "Forget about Austin. More importantly, Vince McMahon: friend or foe?" And McMahon throws the mic at Undertaker's feet. Undertaker grabs McMahon and gives him a chokeslam! STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN jumps out of the casket, and after giving a few choice words to McMahon - turns to Undertaker. But now KANE is exiting the casket! Kane does some manly whompin' on Austin - but Austin manages to leave the ring, and after grabbing a chair, he makes his way back up the ramp - which catches fire. Huh? That AC/DC song plays one more time...and it's five after the hour.
...see you at SummerSlam!