Written by: Kevin Kindelberger
WWF Monday Night RAW 2/23/98
Shit, it is hard to remember what is going on. So much fucking WCW. The Saturday RAW did the job in the sense that it expanded on storylines and allowed some wrestling, which is good. But the last PPV was just awful, so anything would be better than that. Hopefully now that they are back on Monday’s they get back to the improving shows before the PPV. They have found a formula that has allowed a rise in the ratings but has not been very good overall but hopefully this changes. The Saturday show did get a solid 3.0 so the audience pretty much followed. The return to Monday saw only a slight increase to a 3.2 off of hours of 3.4 and 3.0 and the decrease in the second hour is never a good sign. Meanwhile the night after SuperBrawl Nitro received a 4.6 off of hours of 4.9, 4.3 and 4.6.
Here come the New Age Outlaws. Road Dog is on the mic and bragging about taking out LoD and theyy may not have a dumpster as they already took out two old fossils and now LoD need to bring out their walksers and come to the ring.
Match 1: New Age Outlaws (c) v. LoD for WWF Tag Titles
LoD obliges and charge down and the brawl is on with the Outlaws getting pasted. Gunn is kicked to the floor and Dog is whipped into the ropes and Animal runs him over and then powerbombs him. Gunn runs in to make the save. Hawk decks him and now he is in and he is hammering Road Dog. Hawk gets his leg grabbed but he is able to hit the enzuguri, and he strikes with his patented neckbreaker and he clotheslines Road Dog to the floor and he keeps hammering him there too. Gunn hits him from behind and then shoves him into the steps where he stomps a hole in him. Back in the ring, Gunn gets the tag and the fans chant LoD as Hawk gets punished in the corner. Road Dog is back in and he continues the punishment. Now they doubleteam him. Gunn covers him and gets two, and puts him in a rear chinlock. Hawk gets up but is kneed, sent into the corner and Gunn leaps into him with a forearm. Hawk is whipped into the other corner but off the rebound they crack heads. Animal gets the hot tag and destroys the Outlaws. Gunn is sent to the floor and Dog gets hammered by both and they hit their finisher and for some reason the ref turns and tells Hawk to leave and Gunn runs in and hits Hawk, knocking him to the floor and then uses the title belt to clock Animal and he is pinned.
** Really? The ref forces Hawk out of the ring instead of making the cover when they have used that move hundreds of times? I know they need new ways to have heels win but that was lame.
Well, LoD have had enough and they start beating on each other and officials cannot keep them apart. The fans are stunned and chant LoD hoping they kiss and make up. Animal leaves and then runs back into the ring and the brawl is back on. A Russo specialty to break up tag teams and the most popular one….of course it could be just a tease.
Match 2: Ken Shamrock v. Jeff Jarrett
JJ looks a little wary….I would to. Jarrett takes him down and struts. Shamrock does not take to kindly to that and just unloads on him. He punches and kicks him, whips him into the corner and JJ floats over but Shamrock had stopped and JJ is nearly pinned after a German suplex. Ken takes him down and has the ankle but JJ grabs the rope and thumbs the eye. But his offense is short lived as he is clotheslined to the floor. Shamrock grabs him and he is going to suplex him in and Jimmy is late on the ankle grab and while the suplex connects the ankle twists. JJ gets a two count and Shamrock grabs Cornette and JJ hits him from behind and he slams him around and gets another two count. He has him up but Shamrock counters with a suplex only to miss the elbow drop. JJ bodyslams him and JJ sits up top and leaps right into a boot to the face. Off the whip they both collide and they are down. The fans chant that Jarrett sucks as he slowly climbs to his feet, Shamrock is up first and he blocks blows giving some back, dropkicks him and it is hurracarana time. He powerslams him and JJ kicks out. Jimmy is on the apron and Ken goes after him and JJ charges but Ken moves. They go back and forth and Ken accidentally hits the ref and JJ uses this to clock Shamrock.Jimmy runs in with the racket and he hits JJ instead! Ken applies the Ankle Lock and it is elementary from here as JJ is out cold. Shamrock refuses to release it and shoves the ref afterwards but relents and leaves.
**1/2 Overbooked but still not bad and Shamrock gets another win heading into WM.
Lawler is in the back and he is getting screamed at by Animal about not knowing what it is like to have family and that Animal has no brother. Hawk does not like that comment and the brawl is on again for the threequel!
Match 3: DoA v. Truth Commission
Recon and Chainz start. Recon misses the kick and he is powerslammed. Eight Ball is in and he boots Recon and knee lifts him in the face. Recon is pounded and now Ball has the arm. Skull is tagged in and they double elbow him. Skull works him over in the corner, but Recon reverses the whip and kicks him in the chin. Skull battles back and stomps on his head. Chainz gets the tag and he runs over and hits Sniper. Chainz gets two after a big boot. Chainz pounds him and now Ball is back in and they elbow poor Recon who is getting demolished. He is sandwiched in the corner, snapped over and put in a rear chinlock. Skull is tagged in and Kurrgan gets the tag and he is double slammed but he pops right back up as the brawl is out on the floor. Ball is booted in the face and the Paralyzer is applied. Chainz hits him from behind but the bell had rung.
*1/2 Um, not much here. Weird ending and Kurrgan is pretty useless despite his size and he will not amount to anything.
The Commission are arguing and Sniper is slapped by Jackyl and Kurrgan puts him in the Paralyzer and now Recon gets slapped by Jackyl. And Sniper may be dead as the hold is still applied. Jackyl leaves, the hold is still on! He is draggin him up the ramp with the Paralyzer applied.
DX is in San Antonio and they are at Shawn’s home. Shawn is at his home bar, turns around and walks through the bar door and Chyna is fan after taking Steve’s best shot and he kisses his wife. HHH declares that they are looking for ratings and that is why they are at Shawn’s house. In the next four weeks they will set the Nielsens on fire and they discuss next week on RAW and it will start there, as Steve, Tyson and Owen will be there and it will end at WM. HHH claims that WM is stamped X rated.
Sunny is the guest ring announcer:
Match 4: Taka Michinoku (c) v. Barry Windham
Barry kicks him in the gut a few times and tosses him with ease. Taka ducks a clothesline and gets one after a springboard moonsault. Barry is not happy and uppercuts him and now beats on him in the corner. Taka hits another moonsault and he gets two this time. Barry kicks him in the chest, whips him into the ropes, dropkicks him and then elbows him in the face. He one handed slams him. Taka is placed up top and Barry superplexes him, follows up with a running lariat and he goes for the pin and cue Kane! Barry has run as Taka is motionless in the middle of the ring. Kane chokeslams him and then finishes him with the Tombstone. Paul has the mic and there is only one WWF superstar Kane wants and that is Steve Austin. He wants him to listen good, if he has the guts next week on RAW he will step in the ring and look Kane square in the eye.
** Just for the angle advancement. Just like WCW the Cruiserweights get demolished by the bigger guys and Barry is a midcarder! Terrible match as Taka should have gotten in more offense and it seems to that this is a throw away show as they keep hyping up next week!
Outlaws are outside and bragging about splitting up LoD. And they have the fans eating out of their hands Road Dog is using a handheld and bragging about this being a new age. Cole wants to know if they have respect for what the LoD has done and Road Dog just chuckles and Gunn revs the engine. A chainsaw is heard and Cole does not hear it and waltzes off. Charlie starts to use the chainsaw on the car and Jack runs up and hits it with a sledgehammer. They keep doing attacking the car and the door opens and Road Dog kicks him off with the chainsaw still on! They back up and finally escape. Not sure about the chainsaw as it looks a tad dangerous.
“Dusty Rhodes” behind an opague curtain discusses his career and they show him fighting Flair in the WWF. He is talking about his legend and how Funk kicked his ass. Now they show him elbowing Rude and dropping the elbow on people. He is really proud of his son and how he touched the gold. His son came from his loins and his proudest moment was making it to WM and dancing with Sapphire. Nice ad for WCW wrestlers dumbasses.
Dustin comes out to Dusty’s theme and wearing the polka dots. JR informs us that Dusty does not mind this and thinks it is funny.
Match 5: Goldust v. Bradshaw
Goldust dances around shakes his ass at him. They finally lock up and Bradshaw is taken down and he does the spinning elbow but it does not hurt him and Bradshaw knocks him to the floor. Goldust has the mic and calls himself a legend and the only true Texan and Bradshaw needs to start letting him beat him up. He gets back into the ring and promptly gets beat up. He is clotheslined, back dropped and the elbow drop leads to a two count. He drops another elbow for two more. He drops him with a running elbow, and he knees him in the gut a few times but now Goldust does the patented Dusty shots but is clotheslined and finished off.
** 1/2 For the comic relief.
Kevin Kelly waits for Hawk and wants to know what is going through his mind and Hawk keeps walking.
Match 6: Steve Blackman v. the Rock (c)
Blackman shows off his skills with neon nunchucks. He takes it to Rock with a series of blows. Brown grabs his ankle and Rock bodyslams him, and it is People’s Elbow time and he gets a two count. Kama now unloads on him. Rock stomps away in the corner and uses his boot to choke him. Now D’Lo joins in. Blackman is sandwiched in the corner but he misses the elbow in the other corner and Steve kicks him in the skull. Rock has him down and pinned after a powerslam but Farooq distracts the ref. Rock runs into Farooq knocking him off the apron. Rock is rolled up and nearly pinned. Rock pounds him in the corner. Blackman misses a lariat and is DDT’d and now Farooq distracts the ref again. Brown has the chucks and tosses them over Rock’s head and Blackman grabs them and uses them on the Rock getting the win.
** Okay match, angle advancement. If D’Lo did it on accident then it was the worse throw in the world.
Brown yells that Farooq made him do it and Rock demands for him to get back in the ring and an argument ensues. Farooq leaves and he signals for the troops to depart with him.
Luna is with Kevin Kelly and she sounds like Gozer from Ghostbusters. She was waiting in the back for Sable and she is going to break her Estee Lauder face and just screams. Shit she is really scaring me. I am going to have fucking nightmares.
Slaughter comes in and he has some words for the NWA referee. Cornette has some words for Slaughter about this being an NWA match and he is ignored Earl Hebner is there and the NWA ref is sent to the back.
Match 7: Rock and Roll Express (c) v. Headbangers for NWA Tag Titles
Morton hits Mosh but is sent into the corner but he bounces out and gives him a swinging neckbreaker. Now both Express are in and they collide. Gibson kicks Mosh and then accidentally hits Morton. Now he gets the tag, and he rakes the eyes and Gibson holds Mosh and Morton is grabbed by Thrasher and he is snapped over the top. Morton is whipped into Gibson and they argue and finally hug. The Headbangers take advantage and knock both around. But Gibson slams Mosh and knees him in the chest. Morton is tagged in and he snapped over and Morton gets two. The Express miss the double dropkick, and Thrasher gets the hot tag and takes it to both. Morton is side slammed, Morton makes the save and now all four are going at it and Cornette hits Thrasher with the racket and he falls on top of Morton and gets the win.
* This was really bad. This NWA thing is not panning out.
Express are not happy with Cornette and he is pouting.
Pete Rose will be at WM.
Austin video package of his road to WM.
Match 8: Marc Mero v. Owen Hart (c) for WWF European Title
The fans chant for Sable and he drops down for a monkeyflip but gets a knee to the head. Owen dropkicks him. Mero whips him into the corner and then clotheslines him. Mero drops him and gets two. Here comes Sable. Owen rolls him up and gets two and does it again. Mero grabs him and is cradled for two. Mero is slammed and Owen missile kicks him, nips up and strikes with an enzuguri. He gets a two count. Owen charges him in the corner and misses and down he goes. Mero pummels him and shoves the ref down. Mero works over the back and then nuts him. Owen counters out of the TKO and DDT’s him. He puts him in the Sharpshooter and the ref calls for the bell, it was a DQ.
** Odd ending. A lot of odd endings.
Luna comes down and she is held back and Sable is being held back too. Mero is yelling at her and she shoves him down and now Mero goes after Goldust who was yapping at Sable. They are still trying to get at each other as Goldust and Luna are led to the back. Sable tells Luna to get her ass back here and calls her a bitch and Luna is frothing and shoves down Goldust and Sable is heading after her too and we fade.
**1/2 I cannot rank it any higher because I felt it was a throwaway show. They treated it that way as they hyped up next week and none of the main participants were here tonight. It is fine to focus on the midcard and there was more wrestling but it was not very good and many of the finishes were lame. Still it did keep the angles going, many of them are spinning their wheels like Rock and the Nation and Sable and Luna keep shoving each other. LoD did break up for now but overall not much happened. Not a bad show hence the average rating because that it what it was.
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.