Written by: Kevin Kindelberger
WWF Monday Night RAW 3/23/98
The go home show! Last week was fun, and I am hoping that they go all out. They have heavily hyped WM, primarily focusing on the main event. I feel as if the WWF is on the verge of a breakthrough. I often feel that and they end up letting me down. But this time…..all the elements are really in place. Now all they have to do is tone down some of the juvenile antics and pick up on the quality of wrestling. Ratings stayed strong with a 3.6 off of hours of 3.6 and 3.7 while Nitro received a 4.6 off of hours of 4.9, 4.7 and 4.4 where it dropped for each hour and it usually only drops either a little or gets a bump up in the third hour and it did not, dropping rather low, so it will be interesting what WWF did to counteract.
Spell Check is not working, and I am too damn lazy to go over it….But Holy Shit, I read over some of my past posts and it is clear that I need to take my time and actually pause the action and/or stop watching TV and doing other things because there are so many fucking errors that it is embarrassing and I apologize for that!
Here comes Stone Cold! Kevin Kelly starts to talk and is told to shut up. Vince made it clear that he does not want Austin being champ. Austin is not moaning because he cannot be broken, and he does what he wants when he wants. The most important thing for him to do is to get Shawn in the ring and beat his ass, 1-2-3. It will be the toughest match of his life. Vince and the WWF can throw as much crap at him but he is going to beat Shawn’s ass. Kevin tells Austin that DX is coming in full force and Steve takes it as an insult and the fans agree. He threatens to snap Kelly. It is all fine with him as he has the night off as he has a cooler of SteveWeisers and is going to drink all of them. Slaughter comes down and informs Austin and Steve makes sure that he does not want one of his beers. Slaughter informs him that he is wrestling tonight, and it is due to Vince ordering it (Vince cannot be there tonight) and he will wrestle Rocky Maivia tonight. Stone Cold responds that is no big deal as he can take care of him. Austin keeps going and Slaughter tells him that if he does not wrestle Rocky tonight then it will be a non-title match at WM. Austin was ready to do what Vince wanted but Slaughter had to come out and insult him and it is kick-Stunner!
Match 1: Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie v. Quebecers
Pierre sends him into the ropes and knocks him down. Pierre goes up top and gets his arm grabbed and he is tossed off. Charlie gets the tag and he nails Pierre and he and Jack clothesline him to the floor. Road Dog has shown up and they are in tuxes and have champagne. Meanwhile Charlie tosses Jacques to the floor. Jack decides to go after them but Charlie is tossed to the floor so Jack turns to help and is dropkicked off the apron. Charlie is getting worked over in the ring. Pierre is drilling Charlie with his elbow, slams him and tags in Jacques who bodyslams Pierre on him and gets two. So I guess there was no tag. Pierre goes up and leaps onto a boot and Jack gets the tag and unloads and here comes Billy Gunn and he clothesline’s Jack and now Dog runs down and they use the champagne bucket and demolish the two with it. Road Dog tosses the table into the ring and they break the table over Charlie’s head and his head is clean through it! Now Gunn has a chair and Gunn has Jack, and they spike piledrive him right into it. Now Gunn and Dog taunt the two.
**1/2 I liked the angle advancement and the small table through the head was a nice touch.
Tennessee Lee is introducing JJ.
Match 3: Jeff Jarrett v. Steve Blackman
They lock up and JJ whips him into the corner and takes him down. Now after some back and forth, JJ catches him after the leapfrog and drops him back. He whips Blackman into the ropes kicks him and then nails him with a swinging neckbreaker. But he goes to the well one too many times and off the whip telegraphs the back drop and is nailed. JJ fights back, takes him down and goes up top and JJ goes up top and JJ falls on top of him and Lee holds Blackman’s leg and this allows JJ to pin him. Blackman is upset and another ref comes down and argues with the current ref and Lee shoves the ref and JJ is in the fray and Blackman takes him out and runs after Lee.
* Holy shit a lot happened there. Too much in fact. I hate when other refs randomly run down especially when cheating happens every fucking match.
A limo arrives. Tyson comes out with HBK right behind and of course HHH and Chyna bringing up the rear.
They show long highlights of last week and Kane.
UT is in a cemetery and talking about Kane and the sins that he himself is about to commit. It is something that must be done and hopefully as one they can rest in peace. If that is not the case he will serve his penance and burn in damnation. He wants it understood that Kane has given him no choice and that UT loves him.
Here comes Kane with Paul Bearer. Paul has the mic and is babbling absolute fucking nonsense. Jesus he is fucking annoying. Paul claims that Kane has some powers and he too can do the lightening and claims he has even more. And lightening hits the announce table. Now the lighting man gets it too and Paul asks if the fans are believers and UT better be one. He wants him to get a close at Kane and the fire was all his fault etc. Paul brought his brother into the WWF and he he was right about Kane destroying everyone in his path and has done so. Paul wants him to show everyone one more thing and one of the crew members is set on fire and he runs off or around and he finally gets extinguished (nothing like lame ass magic tricks and attempted murder on “real” TV).
They show the guy getting carted off on a gurney.
Match 4: DoA v. New Midnight Express
Skull takes it to Gunn, whips him into the corner and spikes him with a spinebuster. Ball gets the tag and out come the Headbangers and Ball gives him a swinging neckbreaker. Skull is tagged back in and Bart ducks the clothesline and is given a vertical suplex. Now the Rock and Roll Express come down. Holly gets the tag and clotheslines him and clubs the back. Bangers and Express are smacking at each other. Ball tosses Holly as now the Baricuas come down. Now the Quebecers have come down. Bart misses a clothesline and he is clotheslined but he knocks Ball down and Holly gets the tag and briefly hammers him and tags in his partner. Now the brawl starts on the floor and they are now all in the ring. Cornette runs off as the brawl continues. The fans chant for LoD and JR claims that that is not going to happen….which means it will sometime down the road.
** Just a set up for the tag team Battle Royal on Sunday.
Here comes DX with Tyson. HHH welcomes us to the show that never ends. It is X Rated so the kids should put the parents to bed. Now to some footage from last week of Owen getting the ball bat on the cast. He brags about becoming the new European Champion. Chyna is handcuffed to something at WM but according to HHH that is not going to matter as he owns Owen and is going to send him packing to Calgary. If all the desert ladies get lucky they can come back to HHH’s place and after they get pricked by his cactus they can play with his prarie dog…..yup he fucking said that. Now to Shawn who wants to bring the cameraman over here to a lady who has a DX sign with big boobs and she is not cute and they hint at that. Now they show off Tyson wearing the DX shirt and he calls Austin and Vince a bunch of chicks fighting out here and mocks them. He appreciates Vince’s support for not wanting Austin as champ and stops for the Austin. But if needs a dirty a jockstrap in his drawer he would give a him a call as he does not give a rat’s ass what he thinks. Austin better forget about Vince and Stunning Slaughter for the 100th time and think about one thing only and that is the belt, which is around HBK’s waist. There is only one way to achieve the dream he has been waiting for 8 years and there is only one more person who has done it longer and that is himself and he will only give Austin one chance. He tells Austin that he has one real problem at WM and wonders aloud who it is as they surround Tyson and pat him and finally HBK enlightens us that it is Tyson. Tyson slurs in his babytalk voice tells us that if Austin gets in his face he will knock him out and HBK will be champ and that Tyson will still be the baddest man on the planet….Damn you can barely understand what he says and this was really long too.
Gennifer Flowers wants us to come out of the closet and be a WWF fan and watch WM with pride. I am in, she is strangely alluring.
Match 5: Chainz v. Farooq
They lock up and Farooq pounds him, sends him for the ride but is hiptossed and then clotheslined and then clotheslined again. Chainz bodyslams him and whips him into the corner but runs into a boot and Farooq goes up and clotheslines him from the top. Here comes the Rock with a chair. Farooq nails Chainz and then powerslams him off the whip getting two. He puts him in a rear chinlock but Chainz counters with jawbreaker only to miss the elbow drop. The fans tell Rocky that he sucks as Chainz tries to punch away from Farooq but gets popped and snap suplexed and Farooq gets another near fall. Chainz cradles him for a near fall but Farooq comes right back with a clothesline and another near fall. He puts him back in the chinlock but Chainz is up and slugs free only to be given a spinebuster. Rock runs into the ring with the chair and Farooq is baffled and the ref warns him off and then the Rock dings him with it, not too hard, but Farooq is out and he calls out the rest of a befuddled Nation and they haul him off to the back. I guess the chair shot was a bit harder…..
*** Only in the hopes of getting the Rock out of the Nation.
Match 6: Barry Windham v. Bradshaw
Rock and Roll Express come down to ringside. Bradshaw sprints to the ring and is met with some forearms. But Bradshaw whips him into the ropes, gives him the big boot and then whips him with his trench coat. Barry tries to run off to the floor but Bradshaw gives chase and hammers him out on the floor. He rolls him back into the ring but now Windham whips him with a jacket only to get destroyed with a forearm. Bradshaw kicks him over and over in the corner and now knife edge chops him. He sandwiches him in the ocorner and then does it again. Off the whip, Bradshaw misses and eats a DDT. Barry uses the jacket one more time for good measure and back suplexes him. Barry boots him in the head as Cornette jaws at the Express and this take Barry’s eye off the ball and he is rolled up and finished. Barry is pissed and goes after Bradshaw and the New Express run down to lend a hand.
** The evolution of Bradshaw if anything. Oh and the New Midnight Express are called Bodacious Bart and something Holly….FUCKING TERRIBLE.
WM Rewind moment. WM I and they bring out Ali and yet show Hogan and Piper. At least Vince does not care.
DX with Tyson in the back. He is holding the belt and even Lawler has no idea what the fuck he is saying.
Mero and Sable come out and Vince Russo is there too. Mero claims she has been riding on his coattails. He wants her to have the spotlight. They are giving her an award for the WWF RAW with Sunny and Sable on the cover as they were the best selling in history. Sunny could not be there as she is under the weather (rehab). Vince gives her the award and thanks her and she in turn thanks all the fans. Here comes Luna and Goldust and Luna takes the plague and annihilates her with it and rips her evening gown…PANTIES! (maybe I am a 15 year old virgin) and Vince covers her up and tries to make sure she is okay. Mero screams that Goldust is a dead man. What about her ankle?
Video package for WM.
Match 7: Rock (c) v. Steve Austin
This is a non-title match. Rock wisely departs to the floor as Austin comes out to his epic pop. Jesus you just do not see this anymore.
Rock teases the lock and it finally happens, and Austin pushes him into the corner and on the ref breakup strikes him. Now they lock up again and exchange hammerlocks and Austin slaps him. They pan to DX’s locker room as they watch. Rock has a headlock on again but he is pushed into the ropes and he runs over Austin. Austin is up and unloads on Rock but telegraphs the back drop and gets kicked and clotheslined. Austin is up and gets knocked back down and he is kicked in the ribs. They exchange shots, and Rock runs him over again off the whip but he is Thesz Pressed and pounded on the next whip. Austin goes for the Stunner and Rock retreats to the floor. Austin goes to the apron and leaps off and clotheslines Mark Henry. Rock goes over but gets punished. He is sent back into the ring and pounded some more. Rock heads to the floor again and Austin goes right after him and has a chair to keep the Nation at bay and Rock takes advantage by blindsiding him. He drops him throat first on the railing, and Rock whispers to him before bashing his head onto the steel steps. Rock breaks the count and drops him on the railing again. Back in the ring, Rock stomps away in the corner and chokes him out with his boot. Mark Henry chokes him out as Rock distracts the ref….
Rock is put in the sleeper but he backs him into the corner and then bodyslams him. He strikes with the People’s Elbow and gets a two count and puts him in the rear chinlock. Austin is up and fires off a flurry of elbows, runs over the Rock only to come off the ropes and get taken down by a knee to the gut. Rock bodyslams him and flips him off. Now he misses the Elbow, and Rock is still up first and he batters him in the corner but Austin fires back but is sent into the corner and Austin explodes out of the corner with a clothesline and another one. He telegraphs the back drop again and is kicked but he Stuns Rock and finishes him off! D’Lo runs in with a chair and he too gets Stunned. Rock recovers quick and runs off. DX comes out to the top of the ramp. Shawn reminds him that he has tasted Sweet Chin Music twice and basically states he is going to beat him up on Sunday. Austin wants a piece and HBK obliges, heading down to the ring but HHH gets in front of him and holds him back…..
***1/2 On the strength that it has been some time since Austin has fought in a main event. Also, the Rock looked strong. And it set up the main event quite well.
***1/2 They did an excellent job of setting up WM. The last two weeks alone would have convinced me to buy it. Putting Austin in the main event was a smart move. There ratings have been fairly high without him in it but WCW’s lowered and they have been putting their big guns in the main event the last couple of month’s as RAW has inched closer. This works in the short-term but there is burn out and WCW needs to be wary. Austin has been injured but now he is getting better and if they can avoid putting him in the main event all the time WCW is in trouble and so far they have handled him well, saving him for a rainy day. The Michaels promo was FAR too long and rambling but other than that the show did the job.