Written by: Kevin Kindelberger
WWF Monday Night RAW 3/30/98
I am curious to see how they follow up WM. I was honestly surprised how good the PPV was. Sure there were some trip ups such as Owen losing and some overbooking issues. I still wonder why JJ showed up….anyway there is a lot of positive coming out of the PPV and I really do not have much to say as I want to see if they change directions or stay the course or make minor changes. Of course a lot of that may take a month to notice but the Austin Era has officially begun. RAW got a strong 3.8 and a really strong start with a 4.0 but a surprising dip to a 3.6 for the second hour. Nitro received a 4.2 with a strong 4.6 opener but fell below RAW in the second hour with a 3.9 and got a healthy increase to a 4.1 but damn is RAW nipping at its heels!
They show Austin winning (fast count!)and the newspapers discuss it. Now some highlights from WM.
Here comes Vince with the WWF belt. Vince is booed as he holds the title up. It looks like a brand new belt. He asks if the crowd can here him and if the mic works and he cannot hear himself and is getting bitter with the crowd. He is pleased to present to them, calls the crowd loud again, the new WWF champ Steve Austin and he has a belt slung over his shoulder. He looks at it and then looks up at Vince. He grabs the new one out of Vince’s hand and Vince limps as if kicked and Austin celebrates! Vince has something to say, other than congratulations. He wants to clear up some things he may have said and is booed loudly. He repeats he wants to clear up any misinterpretations and is proud of Austin becoming champ. He is proud of him becoming champ and representing his company, and together with Vince’s mental prowess and Steve’s physical prowess that Austin can one day become the greatest WWF champ. Austin wants to clear any BS and declares Vince hates him and that Austin hates him right back. Austin will not be broken and what Vince sees is is what he gets, and too bad. Vince claims he is incapable of hate and finds Austin a genuine human being, a swell guy. The fans chant bullshit. Vince states he loves him and that he is a Hell of a guy. Austin wants to know what he said, and Vince stumbles around and repeats that he is a Hell of a guy. Austin is adamant and Vince acknowledges that he stated that he loved him but meant it as a figure of speech and tries to move on but Austin will not allow him to and wants to know what he means, figure of speech or not. Vince does not want this moment ruined and tries to move on and says it again but without the mic. Austin makes him say it in the mic, and so Vince does and Austin laughs and says he loves him too. And now that we got that BS out of the way he assures Vince that he will not change. He will continue to raise Hell and make Vince’s hair go gray as well as keep doing things his way. Vince responds that they can do this the easy way or the hard way Mr. Austin and it is up to Austin. Austin responds that that sounds like an important decision and if he needs to make one tonight he wants the definition of both. The easy way is to be flexible, and to adapt, which is common in business. The hard way, and Vince tells him that he will end up doing things his way anyway so he might as well come around. Austin would like ten seconds to think about it and he looks around and then kicks and Stuns Vince! Austin tells everyone that what they have seen is Stone Cold doing things the hard way and asks the crowd to give him a “Hell Yeah” if they want him to continue doing things the hard way and they respond enthusiastically! Austin runs around the ring says something to JR and departs as officials help Vince.
Vince is being tended to in the back, drinks some water and looks baffled.
Match 1: LoD v. Jesus and Jose
LoD take it to both, Jesus is knocked to the floor. Jose is powerslammed and the Doomsday Device finishes him and it is over.
** Squash. Are they going to explain their break up?
Sunny calls them LoD 2000 and a mix of steel and sex appeal!
Kevin Kelly tells us that Vince has called the police and wants Austin arrested.
I guess Cactus and Funk have been stripped of the titles…..technicality.
Kevin Kelly is in the back again and talks about the cops and Austin claims Vince does not have the balls having him arrested.
Match 2: Kurrgan v. Chainz
They lock up and Chainz is shoved into the corner; they lock up again and Chainz puts him in a side headlock and tosses him with ease. Chainz kicks him once but is kicked right back and then back dropped. He chokes him out over the ropes.
They show Vince out in the parking lot talking to Brisco and Slaughter.
Chainz hits some clotheslines to no effect and is taken off his feet by one from Chainz. Kurrgan misses in the corner and Chainz hits him and then boots him in the face but it has no effect and Kurrgan gives him the big boot and finishes him with the Paralyzer.
1/2 Terrible and what is the plan for Kurrgan? It is also clear that DoA is done for as a team.
Kurrgan drags him to the back with the Paralyzer locked on.
They go to the back of the Pepsi Center (Denver) and the police have arrived and Vince is talking to the cops.
They are walking into the arena together and Vince has a swagger. Vince tells the police where Austin’s dressing room is (I thought police would be there anyway….).
Tennessee introduces JJ.
Match 3: Aguila v. Jeff Jarrett
Jeff attacks him before the bell but he is whipped into the ropes however Aguila telegraphs the back drop and gets a swinging neckbreaker for his troubles. JJ does his usual, chokes him out on the ropes and then leaps on him. Aguila is sent into the corner and sandwiched, he kicks him in the gut and gives him a vertical suplex. JJ kicks him in the chest, pulls him up but Aguila reverses the whip and stops his momentum before getting the boot. Aguila back flips around and spinkicks him. He has the arm and takes him down again and after a bodyslam he goes up and corkscrews off the top and JJ rolls wrong and still is hit in the back but he hops right up and puts him in the Figure Four and it is over.
* No Cruiserweight can beat a heavyweight in the WWF or WCW. Not a good match either.
Blackman runs down and assaults JJ; boots him in the head and knocks him to the floor with a clothesline. Lee acts to hit him and this allows JJ to knock Blackman to the floor and JJ departs leaving behind an angry Blackman.
Vince and crew are looking for Austin, nope the cops have him. Austin yells at him and gets in a shove as Vince yells that Austin deserved to be arrested and that he is going where he belongs. Austin warns him that he will get out soon. They show Austin in the car and getting carted off and he is not happy warning Vince again.
Vince and his cronies come to the ring…..it is in NY, the Pepsi Center may not open until later in Denver and WM was in Boston too. I am not very bright.
Okay Vince is in the ring and he believes that he owes the fans an explanation. He asks for some respect and they jeer louder. Perhaps that in the state of mind Austin is in a 24 hour cooling off period was in order. He gave Austin a choice and he chose his and dammit Vince chose his too. He swaggers off.
Nation is in the back. JR asks the Rock about last night and Rock tells him to shut his mouth and know his role. Rock is upset that Ken tried to end his career, but he is still standing like the man and a half he is, and that he is still the champ, and he is going to take his big hand and lay the smackdown on him tonight. He turns to Farooq and tells him that he opened the Rock’s eyes because if it was not for Farooq he would not be the champ and be as successful as he is now and he thanks him for it and after tonight the Nation will be stronger.
Match 4: Rock (c) and Farooq v. Ken Shamrock and Steve Blackman
Farooq start off and the Rock wants to start off the match and tells the crowd to shut up. He gets in the ring, the ref keeps Ken at bay as the Rock tells him to do so. Rock tags Farooq back in and Farooq is a bit baffled but game. Shamrock looks a tad befuddled, but they finally lock up and Farooq hammers him and then powerslams him off the whip. Shamrock comes back with some furious fists and feet. Blackman gets the tag and he misses the big boot and gets a snap suplex for his troubles. Farooq misses the elbow drop, and Steve snaps him over and tags in Shamrock who runs in and drops Farooq and then knocks the Rock off the arpon. Farooq is sent into the ropes and he back elbows Farooq. He dropkicks Farooq, and tags in Blackman who dropkicks him after Ken whips him into the ropes. Shamrock is tagged back in and slugs the gut a few times but Farooq escapes with a spinebuster. Farooq crawls over to the Rock and the Rock places his hand higher and then states he is out of here and limps off. Farooq fights back but is shoved into the corner and given a weak belly to belly and that finishes him off!
**1/2 For angle advancement but the finish was weak.
Farooq has the mic and tells the Rock to listen to him, and that no boy grows up to be a man when he crosses him. Because the Rock likes to wear fancy clothing he calls him down to wear an ass whooping. The Rock comes down and they jaw at each other. The other members are baffled and the Rock and Farooq go at it and they are finally pushed apart and the Rock limps off. Farooq tells him that it is not over and that he needs to get his ass back over and so the Nation assaults him and Farooq gets wasted. The Rock gets back in the ring and gives him the Rock Bottom. Rock has the mic and calls him a piece of trash and Farooq was never the leader and the Rock is not only the leader but the ruler of the Nation and gives him a stomp for good measure.
Here comes HHH and JR has brought up a rift in DX. HHH states that a lot can happen in 24 hours, and wants to start with Tyson. He asked a thousand times if Shawn was sure that Tyson was really a part of DX. What he heard was don’t worry kid I have it covered and was repeatedly told not to worry. He tells Shawn that he dropped the ball, and now Shawn should not worry because HHH picked up the ball and he will take care of the worries and the problems and he will make the decisions. This is the genesis of DX and tonight he will form the DX Army, and take care of things that should have been taken care of from the beginning. The first thing you do when you start an army is to look to your buddies, your friends, the Kliq and points at the entrance and out comes X Pac! The fans give him a nice pop too! You know when you have been an indentured servant for two years you have some things to say and he tells Pac to raise some Hell. Pac or Syxx or whatever hypes up Albany and then has something to get off his chest. He heard Hogan claim that he could not cut mustard well Hogan sucks! The fans like that. He has no room to talk about cutting the mustard. He has more advice and that is not to stop short as Bischoff will go so far up his ass that he will know what Hogan had for breakfast! Pac was sitting at home and quotes Snoop Dog and he got a call from HHH needing help and he responded with an affirmative. He has one more thing to say and that is Hall and Nash would be standing right here with us if they were not being held hostage by WCW and that is face Eric Bischoff and he can put that in his pipe and smoke it! This is a new beginning for DX and they are here to rip ass on the WWF and it starts tonight! HHH has two words: Suck It. Damn the fans loved that.
Now to be fair Waltman was high a lot and he was given a chance to main event Nitros and PPV’s and Nash and Hall were playing politics and so Waltman, a notoriously unreliable Waltman was fired. Now of course EB gives his friends second and third chances and this reaction shows he could regret letting him go. Also, I would like to point out that many pundits claim the ratings shot through the roof for this promo too but it happened in the second hour where the ratings started to dip, now I do not have the quarter hour breakdowns but we will see what kind of impact he and DX, without Shawn, has.
They pan to some moaning, and it is coming from a TV and there is Val Venis. He is previewing his newest flick called something Hard. Bruce Willis is good but Val Venis is great (he is lounging on a couch with his arms behind his head). He is the real deal and au natural, and ladies no one has what he has been blessed with. When he penetrates the WWF all the ladies will be squealing with delight and they will get all of Val Venis. Wow he is just so good….Holy shit, that is awful he is chuckles like a creepy pedophile.
Match 5: Taka Michinoku (c) v. Marc Mero
JR was silent for a minute after that vignette! Sable comes out to a huge pop. Luna comes out and screeches about wanting a rematch and Sable agrees. She wants a special match with Sable, and Sable responds that she can have any kind of match she wants anywhere. Luna wants to explain the stipulations, and they are going to call this match an evening gown match. She reminds Sable of her ripping the gown, at the next PPV the winner of the match will be the one with the most clothes on. Mero is upset….Luna claims she is going to embarrass Sable by stripping her down to her bra and panties, that is if she wears bras and panties and calls her a slut. Sable responds that she has already kicked her ass and will be happy to do it again and Luna leaves calling her a slut.
The bell rings and Taka sends him into the ropes and spinkicks him, but is dropped and then powerbombed. Mero drop him again after several lefts and rights. Taka is launched straight up and sent crashing down. Mero chokes him out and Sable is upset with Mero. Taka rolls him up and gets a near fall, and as Sable argues with the ref Mero nuts him and finishes him off with the TKO.
1/2 Nice way to bury your champ…..
Sable checks on Taka, so much for the change in heart for Mero as he is all upset and orders her to leave. And they argue all the way to the back. Three guys come from the audience and annihilate Taka; JR informs us that they are Oriental (not in vogue my friend). JR wonders where security is as they leave through the crowd.
Match 6: Headbangers (c) v. New Midnight Express for NWA Tag Titles
This was already going or just started after the break. Holly pushes Thrasher into the ropes and we get some leapfrogs and so on before Holly is hiptossed. It was Mosh, and he tags in Thrasher and they doubleteam him and Bart runs into the ring and he too gets dropped. Dan Severn has come to ringside being hyped up by Shamrock. Bart is rolled up but he had made the tag and Thrasher gets a swinging neckbreaker from Holly, and now he is down after a back elbow. Bart is tagged back in and he unloads on Thrasher with shots to the head, and the tag is made again and Holly gets two after a sideslam by Bart and he dropped the elbow. Holly works him over in the corner with punches and kicks. Holly slams him and sits up top, and jumps right into a boot. Both men are down and Mosh gets the hot tag and takes out both Express, scoops slams both and powerslams Holly but Bart makes the save at two. Now all four are going at it. Mosh mounts and pounds Holly in the corner but Bart helps him out and then picks up Holly and tosses him on Mosh and they get the win.
** Okay match.
Cornette whispers in Severn’s ear and he goes in and gives a Banger a belly to belly and the other a double underhook slam. He pulls back on his arms and Cornette calls him off as the fans chant for Shamrock.
Austin is on the phone using his one call. He wants the announcers to tell Vince that he is a sorry something. Also, that Vince’s ass belongs to Stone Cold and it will not be a fun night for him next week as he is going to whip his ass.
They are setting up the cage and the lights go out and here comes Kane! Paul tells the Undertaker to behold his brother. And if he actually believed that despite last night if it was all over. Kane was the first person to ever kick out from the Tombstone not once, but twice. UT has had to change and after all this he knows that the Undertaker has had to change; he has had to face his flesh and blood one on one and Kane beat him all over the ring and he cowered in the corner as Kane put his fist against his skull. After Paul returned to the hotel last evening and he was awoken by a dream and in that dream he saw a wrestling ring and it was surrounded by fire. In that ring he saw Kane standing all alone and he challenges the Undertaker to step into that ring and face his brother one more time. The dream is not finished yet and in order to win this match either he or his brother must catch fire, and it is an Inferno Unforgiven. That is stupid stipulation.
Match 7: Chainsaw Charlie and Cactus Jack (c) v. New Age Outlaws for WWF Tag Titles
So they were not stripped of the titles….Here we go and all four are going at it slugging it out. Funk gets his shirt torn off and pounded. Jack is choking out Gunn. Gunn is hung upside down on the cage and Jack runs into him. He then turns his attention to Road Dog and goes after him; they switch up and Gunn back drops Jack into the cage. Funk blasts Road Dog and goes of on Gunn and pounds him. Road Dog takes some tape and chokes him out. Jack is placed on the apron and they are cuffing him to the cage. Road Dog runs over and kicks Jack; he was tied and not cuffed. He was tied by his neck! They whip Jack into the ropes but he double DDT’s them, and he catapults Gunn face first into the cage and he stumbles into a left from Road Dog. Jack decks Road Dog and starts to climb the cage and Gunn goes after him and is punched off. Now it is a pinfall match. Jack is hanging over the cage and DX runs down and Syxx uses the chair on Jack’s head a few times and he falls into the ring. The Outlaws spike piledrive him into the chair and Road Dog does the worm before pinning him. They all attack Cactus Jack so it looks like the Outlaws are the newest members of DX. They keep beating on Jack and Syxx taunts a choking Funk. HHH breaks the chair over Jack’s head and there are hugs all around and the fans respond quite positively.
** 1/2 Decent. I guess a lawyer claimed they used the wrong dumpster and hence the rematch.
**** Great show. Not a lot of wrestling but it answered some questions and kept other things going. Rock is not out of the Nation but at least the angle finally moved on a bit. Syxx came and gave a great promo, so he was sober. McMahon plays his douche role to a tee because he really is an asshole. This is the best show in quite some time; unfortunately I need to get used to a lack of wrestling but it does differentiate itself from Nitro. The Venis promo was creepy and the jobbing of the Light Heavyweights was downright silly but overall I was pleased and entertained. I also wonder if Tyson is done now or will show back up and I find it odd that Shawn did not show up but he did go out putting Austin in a spectacular fashion.