Written by: Kevin Kindelberger
WWF Monday Night RAW 1/19/98
The night after the Rumble and the Road to WrestleMania begins. Austin winning was the correct thing and it is nice to know one company who does not fuck up their top draw, and it is clear now that the focus is getting off of Michaels like it did Bret Hart and it is becoming more and more the Austin show. The Rumble was pretty good, the matches were average but the Rumble match itself was pretty damn fun and the entire PPV was miles beyond the shit that was on display last month. Now hopefully they can build off of this and put on an entertaining show. RAW got a huge 4.0 off of hours of 4.2 and 3.7 while Nitro received a 5.0 and 4.2 for a 4.5 total.
They recap what Kane did and everyone acts sad as if no one saw this swerve coming! Paul Bearer comes down to the ring chuckling that he fooled everyone and he is greeted with chants that he sucks. If he does then he must be good (what). He had everyone right in the palm of his hands. He should have Golden Globe for his performance. He makes fun of the Undertaker for falling for it and Paul is gleeful for getting him, aka fooling him. And last night was beautiful as everyone thought Kane was going to help out big brother instead he picked him up and chokeslammed him down into his own casket. Paul came down with three locks and they locked him into the casket. He is giving a play by play of what happened last night and there was a girl in the audience sobbing. Fans are getting irked by this overlong promo, and he explains the gas poured on it and the match that set the fire. It felt so good for him to do that. The plan has come to pass and UT is gone never to return and gasp…..the UT’s dong echoes. A casket is rolled down and of course it is Kane who comes out as Paul goes from being scared to triumphant. He presents Kane to everyone as the last surviving member of UT’s family….um his voice echoed last night. Of course that was a Home Video exclusive.
DX are conferring in the back looking really alternative lifestyle, not that there is anything wrong with that.
After the break they are giggling, DX, and JR asks about last night and HHH tells Owen that he cannot cut it here and should head south. Now to Shawn who laid UT to rest. Shawn appreciates what is said and he could not sleep last night as he was guilt ridden over what happened to the Undertaker. He pretends to cry and HHH asks for a tissue. DX is going to to out tonight and find the Undertaker and bring him back tonight because they feel bad as to what happened.
Match 1: DoA v. Nation of Domination
Nation seems to be cohesive as D’Lo and Skull (or the other twin) start off. Rock is not down there as it is Brown, Kama and Farooq. Brown takes it to Ball but gets whipped into the corner and then mounted and pounded. Chainz and Kama are in and Kama runs him over, hiptosses him but misses the clothesline and kick attempt. Now Chainz drops three elbows on him and Skull is in and he gets pummeled in the corner. Farooq is tagged in and he stomps away and Brown is tagged back in and he and Skull go back and forth but D’Lo elbows him down and drops the legs for a two count. Now Brown gets slugged in the gut; Kama is tagged in and he knocks down Skull, bodyslams him and Brown gets the tag and misses the flip splash. Now all six are in the ring and they are brawling and the fans love it and then boo when the bell rings. Now the Rock and Henry come in but so does Ahmed to help DoA. Shamrock runs in and clears the ring.
A hearse has arrived.
Vic Venom….Russo baby, talking about the dirt and WWF Magazine.
Match 2: Tom Brandi v. Marc Mero
Mero makes her open the ropes for him as JR wonders if Mero’s time has come and gone. Brandi pulls Sable aside and attacks Mero from behind and he slams him down for two. Mero is whipped into the corner but Brandi eats post and is DDT’d. Mero drops the elbow on the sternum and chokes him on the ropes. Someone arrives with flowers for Sable and now Mero notices them and is not pleased and she screams she does not know and Mero stomps on them and banishes her from ringside. Brandi attacks again from behind and chops him in the corner and then spears him after the whip into the corner. He front suplexes him and gets two….Sable is still at ringside. Mero goes for a back suplex but Brandi lands on him for two and then Mero goes for the TKO but is shoved and then Brandi rolls him up a couple of times and cannot get the three count. Sable is on the apron and this allows Mero to nut him and hit the TKO for the win.
Mero gets some serious heat….but why feud with Brandi?
DX is walking around the Hearse acting like UT is there and a bunch of ladies come out squealing and pull them in and Chyna just shuts the door with a “those guys” look.
Another limo pulls up as the announcers hype up Tyson and Shan McMahon comes out acting cool and there is Iron Mike!
Match 3: The Quebecers v. Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie
I forgot about the Amazing French Canadians; too much wrestling! They scatter from the ring as a Jack brings in a ball bat with barbed wire and Charlie, well, has the chainsaw. Jack assaults Pierre and whips him into the steps as Chainsaw takes it to Rougeau but the latter gets the upperhand and takes it to him. But Charlie no sells and slugs back until he is piledrived and Chainsaw stumbles to his feet, staggers about as he continues being punished. His head is getting rammed into the turnbuckle over and over and runs in a circle before collapsing in a heap. Pierre gets the tag and he hammers him and he too piledrives him. Pierre pulls him up, tags in Jacque who tags back in Pierre and the go for the spiked piledriver and Jack decides enough is enough and clotheslines Jacques and then Pierre. Cactus puts the ref in the Claw as Charlie is doubleteamed. The bell rings as the Quebecers get clotheslined to the floor and then Charlie flies onto all three of them. Cactus celebrates in the ring but gets kneed out and then Pierre is back flipped on top of him! The ring is cleared out as Cactus Jack waves around the barbed bat.
Fun but needlessly a DQ.
DX is talking to the midgets about where UT is and HHH does not want short answers, Chyna picks him up and they ramble in Spanish….funny actually, but they do not know where he is.
Tyson is hamming it up with WWF officials.
Match 4: Blackjack Bradshaw v. Jeff Jarrett (c) for NWA Title
JJ starts his strut and he and the Rock and Roll express assault him. Bradshaw makes a comeback and side slams JJ as Cornette screams about how great the NWA are and will bring back wrestling. Bradshaw is just manhandling JJ. He bodyslams him only to miss the elbow, but JJ is caught on the flying tackle attempt and tossed back. The Express trip up Bradshawn and hit him a few times. JJ dropkicks him, hits the head and chokes him out on the ropes with some help from the Express. JJ misses the charge but Bradshaw eats a clothesline from Gibson but Bradshaw blocks a JJ kick and takes off his head with a short clothesline and then a big boot to the head. JJ is powerbombed, and Cornette gets on the apron and the Express run in but they are ousted. Windham randomly runs in and accidentally hits Bradshaw and JJ gets the win.
No reason for interference here but why not!
Bradshaw is not happy but he gets overwhelmed and Cornette hits him with the racket. Windham comes in to stop the assault but then helps out the NWA crew. Russo Swerve!
DX are in the locker room talking about UT but the lights dim.
Vince talks about MLK.
UT’s music echoes and he or someone is descending from the ceiling. The lights are out with random flashes of light. A figure is in the ring (DX I bet) and it is HBK dressed as the Undertaker. The fans seem to like it. Here comes a gimpy HHH and Chyna in tow with a BBQ grill. They have UT’s trench coat and Shawn puts on a chef’s hat and gives one to HHH who is wearing a “Suck the Cook” apron and they have Marshmallows. HHH talks about jumbo weenies. He asks what Chyna is bringing and she whips out a big sausage. Now they make fire and burned jokes on UT’s behalf. HHH is giving Owen a shot at his coveted Euro title. He keeps bringing up that it will be man to boy. HHH claims he has one leg but that it does not matter as Shawn plays with his sausage or salami. HHH proclaims there is no need to ride Space Mountain and if you want to see the stars call HHH as he has the rocket as he gots the ride. Shawn wants to tell those jokes. But he gave UT one last chance to become champ and with zero help he still beat him. And he is still the Showstopper etc. Now it is time to go to the list to see who is next in line. He states the obvious that the winner of the Rumble gets a shot at the champ and it is Austin and the crowd pops. Shawn tells him that he has been a former tag champ and IC champ and he has been there and done that. It seems there is one more mountain for Stone Cold to climb and not only is HBK at the top of the mountain, he owns because he says so. Austin has quite the winning streak but he needs to call all in the locker room and those sent down south what happened to them when they faced him. Oh and Shawn lays down for nobody (no shit). They finish by chucking Marshmallows into the crowd.
Iron Mike is still having a good time.
Match 5: Headbangers and Taka Michinoku and Owen Hart v. Los Baricuas
Taka and Miguel start of and the latter has a headlock applied. Taka escapes but is clotheslined, but he ducks a blow and strikes with a hurracarana and a dropkick only to turn into a clothesline. Mosh is tagged in and he kicks Miguel, runs him over, leapfrogs and another all leading to a measly hiptoss and then a dropkick. Both Bangers are in as is Jesus and the latter is doubleteamed. Thrasher runs into a kick to the head as he goes off the ropes and Vega chops him in the corner and then a spinkick to the head in the corner. Vega leaps at him and his head hits only turnbuckle. Owen gets the tag and he destroys the heels with spinkicks and an enzuguri and Jesus taps to the Sharpshooter.
Owen is reduced to midcard matches?
Cole wonders if Owen will except the HHH challenge next week; he is wary but accepts.
Tyson is with the Nation in the locker room.
Match 5: Ahmed Johnson v. Rock (c)
Rock takes it to him with a suplex and then the People’s Elbow for two. He kicks him into the canvas as the crowd chants that he sucks. He wants another suplex but it is blocked and Ahmed reverses it and follows up with two clotheslines before knocking him to the floor. Rock is flung into the steel steps and here comes Mark Henry, Rock is rolled back into the ring. Henry has a chair and Rock gets hit with a spinebuster and Henry is almost too late with the chair but wallops him and Rock wins via a Rock Bottom.
Ahmed is now fodder, lower than Vader!
Shamrock runs down and Rock and Henry retreat.
Cactus Jack is showing Tyson his barbed bat.
Now DX is schmoozing Tyson with him touching Chyna’s muscles.
Match 6: Godwinns v. New Age Outlaws (c) for WWF Tag Titles
The Outlaws come down dressed as farmers and try to talk the Godwinns out of having the match but they have none of it and attack them. Phineas fouls a move and drops Gunn on his head getting two. He hammers him in the corner and Henry is tagged in, and he continues the hammering this time on the back. Henry bodyslams and then drops the elbow getting two. Henry runs over and hits Road Dog and then goes back to punish Gunn some more. Henry chokes him out with his boot and stomps him a bit more before choking him out some more. Phineas gets the tag and he kicks Gunn in the chest, headbutts him, and then slaps and taunts and spits on him. Gunn is just getting manhandled by the Godwinns, a blow from Phineas drops him. He drops his weight on the lower back and tags in Henry who kicks him….this is really lame. Gunn is whipped into the corner, clotheslined and nearly pinned. Gunn tries to fight back but is back dropped and then front slammed. Both Godwinns flapjack him and Dog has to make the save. Gunn uses the piggy bank to knock out Phineas as the ref is distracted to get the win.
Not a piggy bank but a loaded stuffed animal. Outlaws continue to play the cowardly heels to a tee but their matches are AWFUL.
Here comes Vince.
Vince is introducing the “baddest man on the planet” and here comes Iron Mike and his entourage to same horrible rap song. Tyson is excited to be in the ring and shouts out to Bruno (I am sure Vince is bitter about that) and tries to say Nikolai Volkoff. Vince announces that on March 29th in this very ring…..Here comes Austin! Now a plethora of officials come to the ring right behind him. Shane wants him gone. Vince wants to know why Austin is here. Austin responds that he is sick and tired of Mike shaking everyone’s hands and Tyson offers his hand and he refuses to shake it and does not want to be his friend. Austin respects what he has done but when he steps in this ring it is a whole new world and wants a piece of ass and then threatens Vince. Austin does not agree that Tyson is the baddest, and that he can kick Tyson’s ass any day of the week. Austin flips him off and Tyson shoves him and now all Hades has broken lose and both men are covered up. Austin is buried under a mountain of suits as Tyson looks on. Now Vince needs to be restrained as he screams over and over that Austin ruined it; Austin is restrained and sent to the back, or pushed and not like restrained by cuffs etc.
After the break they show the footage and the announcers discuss it. Vince is trying too calm Tyson down and Austin yells that Austin is a faggot! Vince has that confused look as he tries to soothe him.
Final Thoughts: Finally RAW is getting better and it was basically done on the strength of the Tyson ending. The WWF did it right by bringing Austin out and having them get into it. There were a million ways they could have done it and they chose the right one and this is something wrestling rarely gets right, so it was a breath of fresh air. It takes the hottest commodity in wrestling and pairs him with the hottest boxing commodity (before his ignominious fall). Other than that nothing really stood out. No real wrestling matches as they were mostly short though Owen got a squash and Mero is pretty classic if a bit played out. There is still a lot of work to do but it is getting better and even DX’s promo had its moments and did not make me want to change the channel…..even though I cannot change channels.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.