Written by: Kevin Kindelberger
WWF Monday Night RAW 2/9/98
Despite the questionable ending with Funk and Foley coming back the show was well paced and despite a first hour with only one match it was a good match and the follow up was better. All I want is to be entertained and not have my intelligence insulted and the show did that. The PPV is shaping up to be decent and hopefully the go home show builds on that. The ratings dipped to a 3.2 across the board and that is not a great sign going into their PPV. Meanwhile Nitro saw a slight dip to a 4.6 with a 4.8, 4.4 and 4.6.
No mention of what happened last week, instead they focus on Austin and what happened to him and here he comes. He is not a happy camper and does not like HBK waving the belt in his face. He wants a piece of his ass and does not want to wait that long. DX is on the TitanTron and giggling. Shawn asks him about being tied up and being all revved up with no place to go. Shawn knows how to pull his strings, and he punked out the toughest SOB in the WWF like dog (he spelled it first) and Shawn is the man who calls the shots and not Austin. Austin will get his shot when Shawn is ready and then brags about himself. He wants one good reason to come out and will be happy to do so and slap the taste out of his mouth. Austin will beat his ass if he comes out and his reason is that he has his belt. HBK denies that and for some reason the belt is in the bag and he cannot feel it see that it is not it and of course it is not. Austin pulls out the belt and tells a really upset Shawn that he will be here all night long if he wants the belt….Jesus the fans just lose it when he comes out.
Sunny is in the ring….I forgot to mention that she was dressed up as Marliyn Monroe and singing happy birthday to Freddie Blassie. She is the guest ring announcer and gets cut off by LoD’s music but she announces them over it.
Match 1: LoD v. Barry Windham and Jeff Jarrett
Hawk attacks Barry right away and is back body dropped and clotheslined. Barry is whipped into the ropes and Thesz pressed and JJ runs in to help out poor Barry. Now Animal and JJ are in, and JJ uppercuts him a few times but is whipped into the ropes and knocked down. JJ comes back but misses and is dropped with a flying tackle. Barry hits Animal as he hits the ropes and JJ knocks him to the floor and Barry clotheslines him and rolls him back into the ring. Animal is placed on the ropes and leaped on. Barry is tagged in and they back elbow him. Barry kicks him over and over in the corner, suplexes him and gets a two count. JJ is back in, whips him into the ropes but is brought over and nearly pinned with a sunset flip. Animal cradles him for another two. Barry gets the tag and leaps right into a powerslam. Both make the tag and Hawk chops away, but is whipped into the ropes only to grab JJ and nail him with a neckbreaker. All four are in the ring and Barry is dumped out and Animal is whipped into him but Hawk eats the post and the Express work him over on the outside with the racket and steps. Animal is destroying Barry and Hawk is put in the Figure Four as Animal is blind to what is happening. Bradshaw runs down and clears the ring and chases JJ off as LoD look a bit perturbed by what happened.
Match 2: Pierre v. Henry Godwinn
They exchange shots and go back and forth for a bit until Henry is clotheslined and then dumped to the floor. Pierre leaps over the top and levels Henry. Back in the ring, Henry is side slammed and nailed with a guillotine legdrop and Henry kicks out at two. He is snapped over and put in a rear chinlock. Pierre slams him and takes an hour to get up top and misses the somersault splash. Henry is up first and hits him with a series of rights and back drops him. He gives him a knee breaker and kicks the back of the knee. Henry knocks him to the floor. And goes off the ropes but is tripped up and now the slop bucket comes into play as first Henry is hit by one as Jacques brought one down but Phineas hits Pierre with his own and Henry gets the win.
Chyna is rampaging in the back and interrupts the Baricuas poker game and she speaks Espanol to them and wants to know in her squeaky voice and the Baricuas offer to help find the belt.
Match 2: Brian Christopher and Pantera v. Aguila and Taka Michinoku
Pantera and Aguila start of and they exchange moves and holds. Aguila flies around the ring and catches him with an armdrag and then tosses him out to the floor. Brian runs in and telegraphs a blow and is kicked and Taka is in and kicks him to the floor and Aguila kicks Pantera off the apron and then strikes with a corkscrew plancha and Taka strikes with a springboard plancha. Back in the ring Pantera hits Taka with some spinkicks and whips him into the ropes only to be kicked. Brian is in the ring and Aguila misses a crossbody, and he hammers him and off the leapfrog he grabs him from behind and faceplants Aguila.
Brian kicks away and then whips Aguila into the corner and hits him with a German off the rebound. He jaws at the crowd, pulls him up and bodyslams him and tags in Pantera who rushes up top and misses the somersault and he immediately makes the tag and Taka gets it too. Taka kicks him and connects with a hurracarana and Aguila eats one too. Brian has knucks but Taka ducks and hits him, Pantera runs in and tucks them in his mask and as Brian is rolled up Pantera got the tag and goes up top and nails him with a headbutt and gets the win.
Not bad. Taka is fun to watch and Christopher is really not that bad.
Here comes Kane with Paul Bearer. Paul calls the fans leeches of the night and how they are still in shock because Kane Tombstoned Vader. He is upset that Vader had the audacity to use the extinguisher and blames him for trying to put out Kane’s only good eye. Paul wants Kane to show what time it is and it is a Vader clock and he lights on fire with magic! Oh boy! Paul assures the crowd that UT will not show up in Houston for the PPV as he is gone for eternity.
Match 3: Ken Shamrock and Chainz v. Farooq and the Rock
Rock has the mic and does not like to be told that he sucks. The entire world wants to know what the Rock thinks about cloning. He is in favor of it only if it is done very selectively. As the Rock looks out on the audience, the Rock sees no one worthy of being cloned. There is only one human in the world worthy of being cloned and it is the best damn IC champ, the Rock.
Farooq batters Chainz in the corner but runs into an elbow after the whip in the corner. He is clotheslined and Ken gets the tag and he hits some moves but is dropped. Rock comes in and runs right into a kick and two clotheslines and he backpedals to his corner and the ref holds back Shamrock. Rock hits him a few times and Farooq is tagged in and he is promptly armdragged over. Chainz is in and he is dumped to the floor and assaulted by the Nation and rolled back in. Farooq whips him and gets two after the powerslam. Rock gets the tag and gut punches him and then runs him into the corner where he hammers him. The ref warns him and Chainz fires back but is stopped and bodyslammed and it is elbow time. He covers him but Chainz kicks out. Rock snaps him over and tags in Farooq who straddles him and jumps on the back and slaps him in the head and jumps again. Chainz escapes and Ken gets the hot tag and unloads, Rock is dropped and Farooq eats a belly to belly and as a scrum is going on the floor Shamrock hits the hurracarana and Farooq taps on the Ankle Lock but the ref is distracted and Rock grabs a chair and strikes with a stiff shot to the head and he is pinned. Shamrock snaps and goes after the Nation and DoA and Ahmed runs them out and Shamrock gives a ref a belly to belly and Chainz gets one too. His compadres leap on him and hold him down to calm him down and now he is up and screaming! Now he is fine…
Actually this was pretty good.
We get highlights from the WM press conference and they show Tyson and Austin and DX. Vince sets up the match and Tyson is the guest enforcer….wow that is really “cool.” Austin takes this match really seriously. He thinks Shawn is a piece of trash. Austin is Sprewell and Vince is PJ Carlesimo (He was choked out by him) and Shawn lays down for no one. Vince calls Tyson the hottest man in sports. Tyson rambles about Bruno Sammartino and how he does not need wrestling. Shawn interrupts a question and tells the press that they may not have respect for his business and he can beat up Tyson. Tyson states he can take care of himself. Austin states that he can beat him up. Tyson goes off about how Austin needs to show some love and it is quite funny. Now Austin and Shawn are in each other’s faces and Tyson holds them back and shoves them as HBK tells him he does not want to be touched. Now they show media clips of the press conference.
Match 4: Steve Blackman v. Recon
Recon attacks and tosses him over but Blackman pulls himself back in. Jackyl lowers from the ceiling with a podium and talks about sacrifice and the peons in the crowd. Meanwhile Blackman is taking it to Recon. Jackyl wants to be the announcer for the match. Recon clotheslines Steve and bodyslams him, drops the legs getting a two count. The WWF fears Jackyl’s intercourse with the fans. Recon sandwiches him in the corner and dumps him to the floor and Sniper picks up where he left off as Jackyl keeps preaching about the limited intellect of the WWF. Blackman is on the apron and kicks Recon, rolling him getting two. Blackman whips him front first and then yanks him down, and hits a big boot only to miss the elbow from the top. Recon powerslams him and goes up top as Jackyl keeps going; Recon misses the guillotine legdrop and is finished off and this stops Jackyl who is baffled. Sniper gets nailed too. Jackyl is not happy and gets in the ring staring at his proteges. He now threatens to send Recon back where he came from and how much of a disappointment they are. Jackyl slaps him and Recon threatens him and Jackyl turns his back and just shakes his head as Recon stomps around in a hissy fit.
Way too long of a segment for a lower midcard act.
The Outlaws are out here and they pull out a Cactus Jack condo: a dumpster. It is, of course, model 69 and they hype up its features. They are recapping the flight of flight number 666. They keep going about piloting the thing and in memory for their fallen comrades they want to re-enact it and the dumpster is shoved off and there are dummies in it. They perform CPR and this segment is still going….Dog claims they will sweep the remains of Charlie of Jack away at the PPV…..and this is why they jumped the gun in bringing them back last week.
DX and others are still looking for the belt. Austin chains a door where the Baricuas entered. He bangs on the door and taunts them. Chyna realizes they are stuck and not happy and starts to upend tables.
Some weird synth music and Luna Vachon comes out first followed by Goldust and Mero and Sable.
Match 5: Goldust v. Thrasher
Mero forces Sable to the back.
Match has not started and Thrasher is taken over. Now Thrasher returns the favor. Goldust hits him and whips him into the corner, now he is whipped into the ropes and dropped back and Goldust retreats to the floor. The fans chant for Sable as Thrasher kicks him off of the apron and Goldust ducks in the corner where Mosh just hits him for fun. Thrasher heads over and gets pounded and he clotheslines Thrasher. He dumps him to the floor and then drops him throat first on the railing and Mero and Luna kick him too. Back in the ring, Goldust licks his hand and rubs it in Thrasher’s face and goes up to the middle rope and drops the elbow. Off the whip, Thrasher ducks and gets two after a crossbody. Goldust, still dressed as Manson, stomps on him and is whipped into the ropes and thrown back down. Thrasher clotheslines him but is tripped up by Luna. Sable comes back down and the crowd erupts and Goldust is hammering Thrasher. Sable grabs Luna and slaps Goldust who is rolled up and pinned. Sable backs up the ramp as Luna goes after her and she slaps Luna and Mero holds her back as does Goldust and Sable leaves to the roar of the crowd.
DX are in the back and heading to the ring…..
After the break they are in the ring still strutting around. I thought they were supposed to be upset. Shawn is talking about the PPV and the huge tag match. He is not going to wait until Sunday to get back what is his as waits on absolutely nobody. Austin is going to get an ass whooping via Shawn. Shawn is here and ready to take his gold back and tells Austin to get his ass out here….please. Cue the shattered glass! Here he comes with the belt. He swings it at them and they run off! He is in the ring alone and the Outlaws head down and he swings it at them as the ring is surrounded. Now a chainsaw sound as HBK and HHH get on the apron. Chyna grabs the belt as Jack comes up through the ring and Austin backs off and makes room for him and now Charlie comes through and the crowd goes nuts and Owen enters the ring and the Outlaws run into the ring as DX runs away and the Outlaws get hammered but put up a fight.
Final Thoughts: A step back from last week and this is where Jack and Charlie should have comeback. Austin stealing belts is odd; I get that his character is to stir shit up but it seems like amateur hour. Still it was entertaining and there was a match or two that was decent and the Rock got some air time. The ending was not too bad either as they take a page out of WCW’s book. The PPV seems overbooked with massive tag matches. The Commission segment was way too long. The show was better than what was presented from November to January but it needs to get better and hopefully the PPV delivers.