Written by: Kevin Kindelberger
WWF Monday Night RAW 4/6/98
We are hot on the heels of a great PPV and a great follow up. The problem that has plagued RAW for months is following up with another good show. However, more and more fans are tuning in and I expect another great outing. Now this one is taped but they should be able to follow up anyway. Vince and Austin’s feud so far is great and the long Nation tease of a break up has finally commenced (this one makes the nWo break up seem short). Sable and Luna look to be ending their feud at the next PPV and DX has been reborn, and no Syxx could not cut the mustard and for once I agree with Hogan. Now Wikipedia has RAW beating Nitro this week however, Nitro did maintain a slim lead….which makes me wonder what they will do the following week in order to try and maintain their former dominance. RAW got a 4.4 off of hours of 4.3 and 4.5 while Nitro received a 4.6 off of hours of 4.7 and two 4.5’s, the War is truly on.
Here comes a swaggering Vince and the crowd jeers and starts an Austin chant. He meekly asks for the crowds attention and gets booed louder. Last Monday when he had Austin arrested was the toughest decision he has ever made. He had second thoughts and due to his benevolence he had Austin released. Nevertheless Steve Austin has learned his lesson, no longer will he be considered a beer swilling, trash talking WWF champion. Tonight may be the proudest moment of Vince’s career, and tonight we will see a new and improved Austin and the fans do not like that. He guarantees a new and improved Austin or the crowd gets their money back.
Here comes Cornette and right in front of him is Dan Severn and he is carrying a bunch of gold belts. They show a video package of Severn in MMA.
Match 1: Dan Severn v. Flash Funk
Dan is crouched and leaps at Funk who deftly dodges. Now they circle one another again, and Dan grabs him around the waist taking him down. Funk gets to the ropes and the ref calls for the break. They lock up again and Dan takes him down again and he goes for the cross armbreaker but cannot quite get it cinched in and the ref calls for the break. Funk drives him into the corner and rams him into the corner a few times but Dan takes him down and smacks him upside the head a few times. Funk gets to the ropes again and when they hook up Dan tosses him back but then runs into a spinkick. Funk charges him but is caught, picked up and back slammed and Dan gets the arm and forces Funk to submit.
** Dan has some potential.
DX is in the building and Gunn is knocking on the ladies locker room.
Here comes the new DX. HHH reminds us of last week when he promised the world a revolution, a change and an army. He lives up to all his promises. Road Dog has the mic bellowing that the WWF proudly brings to us the tag team champs of the world. They call themselves the best athletes in the world. Syxx wants to know what the Hell is going in Syracuse NY. It is X Pac now, and if you want to see grumpy old men stinking up the joint you are in the wrong place as they are young and hungry. HHH affirms that if they want a war they got one. His bazooka is locked, cocked and loaded.
They show Austin’s dressing room.
After the break they are messing with one of the stage hands and spraypainting him. They are being nWo-lite as they spraypaint DX all over the place.
Match 2: Steve Blackman v. Brian Christopher
Brian mocks him by doing all sorts of faux karate and he gets kicked in the chest and then run into the corner. He tries to catapult him out but Brian hangs onto the ropes. Tennessee comes down and goes to the announce table. Brian whips him into the ropes and gets run over, tries for a hiptoss but it is blocked and each time he gets up Steve takes him down. Brian is in the corner and asks for a break but Steve does not oblige so Brian rakes him in the eyes. Now he slugs away, but Steve launches him straight up and sends him crashing down. Steve just stands and points at Lee for a minute….a long minute and of course Brian belts him from behind. Brian runs his head into the corner, Steve reverses the whip but is grabbed and Mic Checked. Brian stands over him, finally goes up to the middle rope and missile kicks him in the back. He takes his time, uses the legs to roll up Steve and gets two. Puts his head in his crotch and Steve pancakes him and then runs him over. Brian is whipped face first into the corner and then follows up with a side slam with Brian facing the canvas. But Brian is able to grab the ropes and Steve misses the dropkick. Brian goes up top and is slow to leap and he leaps right into a punch and then kicked in the head and put in an armbreaker type submission and it is over.
** Not bad and nice to see a Light Heavyweight get in some offense.
Lee who had left during the match, comes back out and tells Steve to calm down and then takes an hour to introduce JJ. JJ is right behind Blackman and has a guitar and smashes a prepared Steve with it. JJ has the mic and calls that a smash hit and wants his music cranked up and starts to dance.
DX is now in the parking garage. They are right by DoA’s motorbikes. HHH dares them to whiz on the bikes. They oblige and get ready and urinate on them. Well we hear peeing like sounds. They giggle like 12 year olds drinking an Odouls.
Cactus comes out with a neckbrace and a chair. Jack has the mic and states that a lot of bad things have happened to him over the years. He will be damned to let scum like DX put Cactus Jack away. Funk is not here tonight but left a message on his answering machine. He and Funk do not miss matches so he must be really hurt. He wishes people knew Funk more as everyone in the back agrees he is the toughest old bastard alive. He continues about Funk’s back being injured, and he had always wanted to be a WWF champ and then retire. But they do not have the belts anymore. Jack keeps going about being hurt and getting sick from hearing an announcement thanking fans for coming to RAW. Then he heard something about Austin and people chanted his name. Now goes on about Dude Love and people wanted Cactus Jack, and he gave every God damn thing he got and what he got instead was people chanting for Austin. He and Austin go way back and he is a fine champ but what the fans did was disgusting and he is willing to accept a group apology from them right now. They mostly boo but some bow down to him and there is a lot of silence. He responds that after thirteen years it is not worth it anymore and so it will be a long time before they see Cactus Jack anymore. He slowly leaves with his chair. He has grabs the mic again, and he thanks those who got something out of a Cactus Jack, raises his fist and then leaves.
Farooq arrives at the arena, earlier today, and Rock is there to greet him with open arms and Farooq tackles him and the brawl is on. The rest of the Nation come out and dismantle Farooq, hit him with a plastic garbage can and runs him into a door and then taunt him. Rock calls himself the ruler of the Nation and warns Farooq to never come back.
Match 3: Rock (c) v. Owen Hart for WWF IC Title
Rock has the mic and finally the People’s Champ has returned to Syracuse…..
Poor Owen, getting hosed. The bell rings as the crowd jeers the Rock telling him that he sucks. They lock up and Rock backs him up in the corner, the ref calls for the break and so the Rock smacks Owen. Rock whips him into the corner and Owen moves and they exchange hammerlocks, and Rock stands over him and paintbrushes him. An upset Owen hops up and now they exchange armbars and now Owen slaps him in the face and then takes him down. Owen drills him with his knee and then goes off the ropes and Kama grabs his leg. Owen is not too happy and the Nation is sent to the showers! JR does claim that Owen and HHH’s rivalry is not over….I will believe it when I see it. Rock flies into the ropes right into a sleeper but Rock escapes and counters with a DDT. He gets two and follows up with a shoulderbreaker. It is Elbow time and then he covers him and gets two. Rock runs his head into the buckle, whips him into the other corner and clotheslines him there. He tries again but runs into an elbow and now Owen strikes with two clotheslines. Rock reverses a whip but telegraphs the back drop and is nailed with a swinging neckbreaker. Owen gets two, sends him into the corner after the cover and mounts and pounds him ten times. He whips him into the ropes and spinkicks him. He gets two, and Rock grabs and goes for the Rock Bottom but Owen blocks it and counters with an enzuguri and it is Sharpshooter time! The crowd erupts and the Rock is in the middle of the ring. Here comes Chyna and she has a bat and uses it right on his back and the match is tossed. She stalks to the back drops the bat at the feet of DX and keeps going.
**1/2 Good match and it is nice to see Owen still in the thick of things. He should not have lost at WM but he should get a rematch.
Vince is in the ring and has two of NY’s finest with him. Without further ado he is presenting to us the new and improved SCSA. Here he comes in a suit and tie and an Austin hat! Classic. He tucks in his tie and looks to go up top and salute the fans but Vince shakes his head so Austin stops and salutes from the canvas. Vince is gleeful, and states he is overwhelmed and tonight is the first step in Austin becoming the greatest WWF champ of all time. He keeps going and tells the fans to keep it down. He thanks Austin and reiterates this is a step in the right direction. In the meetings he had he talked about attire and Austin agrees that he remembers. Vince calls this a work in progress and wants to know where the Gucci shoes are, Austin claims they hurt his feet and so has his wrestling boots on. Vince responds that he does not want to break his spirit but just bend it a bit. He takes off the hat and calls it a nice hat and tosses it into the crowd. Austin states he liked that hat and Vince agrees it was fine but just did not go with the suit. Austin steps away and comes back and Vince asks what changed his mind. Austin responds that he was sitting in his jail cell, the walls closing in and they would not bring him his bread and water. Besides what chance does a guy from TX have against a man from Greenwich CT, a man born with a silver spoon in his mouth, a man who is a great entrepreneur and owner of a multi-million dollar company. The fans are not happy! Austin pauses, looks at them and then continues and in his jail cell and asked for a Hell yeah if he can beat Vince and the fans respond in the affirmative. He stops and states there was no one else in the jail cell so he realized that he could not win. Vince is nodding and grinning the entire time. Austin wants one of the police to take a picture of the two holding the belt and he does so. If it was the old Austin he would have told Vince to shove the camera up his ass. But this is the new Austin and instead tells him that this is the last time he will ever have a picture with him and this is the last time he will be wearing a suit. A stunned Vince watches him take off the suit. Austin proclaims himself a redneck and he has one last thing to say to Vince as he tosses the gear out of the ring. He reminds Vince not to trust anybody and then pops him in the nuts and then takes a picture of Vince wallowing in pain. He gets on the ropes and yells that he will not change for anybody and leaves as the police look on. Vince is none too pleased right now and slowly leaves.
Here comes an irate looking DoA. One of the Twins calls what happened BS and then all sorts bleeps happen as they want a piece of DX tonight.
Match 4: Luna v. Jobber
Goldust decleats him with a clothesline, beats on him some more and then suplexes him. Goldust finally leaves and the bell rings. Luna slaps him and then monkeyflips him across the ring. Luna goes up top and gets the win after the diving headbutt.
Make her even more manly and bad ass I guess.
Val is lounging on the couch getting powdered up and he is giving us more lame sexual and dick innuendos. He is going to rise to the occasion etc. He tells the ladies he is entering the WWF and that it will be a scream.
Match 5: Marc Mero v. Ken Shamrock
Mero has the mic and tells Sable that he allowed her to have the spotlight and then tells her to get the Hell out of his face. She shrugs and mouths fine and leaves.
Here we go, Mero slugs away driving him back into the ropes but misses the clothesline after the whip. Shamrock returns the favor with bodyshots and drops him with not one but two clotheslines. Mero reverses the whip, knees him and then nails him with a running knee lift. He starts to box him but get knocked down and Shamrock goes after the arm, trying to force him to submit but Mero rolls into the ropes. Shamrock works over the body again with fists but Mero rakes the eyes and gets in a couple of blows but the offensive does not last. He takes down Mero with a spinkick. Ken goes for the hurracarana but get powerbombed instead. Mero flips him off a couple of times and it is TKO time. However, Shamrock counters with a belly to belly. But here comes the Nation and Shamrock sees them coming, head out and grabs a chair and clears them out. The Nation does not retreat and Mark Henry nails him from behind and gives him a belly to belly suplex. The Nation pick him apart and Brown crushes him with a Frog Splash. Rock has the mic and proclaims this a new era and a new Nation and gives him one last stomp for good measure.
** Okay match but mostly for angle advancement.
Here comes the Undertaker and Kevin Kelly reminds him how much his body absorbed at WM. He asks if UT can do it again at the upcoming PPV. UT responds that Kane found out that not only is the Undertaker the older brother but the Lord of Darkness. He admits that Kane gave him quite the beating but Kane’s soul is not pure and that is why he lost. Kevin asks about the Inferno Match. UT calls that desperate men resorting to desperate measures and remind Kane that he beat him when they were kids and it does not matter if the ring is on fire or whatever because Kane will be set on fire and suffer eternal damnation. Paul calls out surprise, surprise and they are at the graves of UT’s poor parents. Kane will beat him senseless at Unforgiven and Kane shatters the tombstones and Paul tells UT that he will be sent on fire as Kane sets the grave site where his parents are buried on fire. UT just glares and then looks sad.
I love the look on the crowd: stunned….it is not real people.
Match 6: DX v. DoA
DoA charge down and the brawl is on. DX is cleared out and X Pac is at the announce table. Gunn and Chainz will start off and then Gunn tags in Road Dog. Road Dog is kicked a couple of times but he reverses the whip only to be taken down and Chainz drops a few hard elbows. He follows up by whipping him pillar to post and then dismantles him with a clothesline. Road Dog retreats to his corner and tags in Gunn, and one of the Twins is in and we will say Skull. They lock up and Skulls sends him into the ropes and runs him over with a shoulderblock. He works over the back with clubbing blows but Gunn sends him into the ropes and Gunn telegraphs the back drop and gets nailed with a swinging neckbreaker. Eight Ball gets the tag and they double clothesline Gunn. Ball yells at him and pulls him up and one punch sends Gunn to the floor. He grabs him by the head and pulls him up but Gunn bounces his head off the top rope. Here comes HHH and he shoves him into his corner and they team up and hammer him. Ball fights out of the corner but telegraphs the back drop and gets bulldogged. Road Dog is in and puts him in a reverse chinlock. Dog kicks him in the ribs a few times and Chyna lends a hand….
Ball side slams HHH and both men are down. Chainz gets the hot tag and he goes off and now all six are in the ring and it is chaos. Some are on the floor with DoA taking it to them. HHH eats a big boot and then a powerslam. Chainz goes for the cover but Gunnn makes the save only to be back dropped. However HHH runs over and finishes Chainz with the Pedigree. Now DX brings the chairs into play and knock DoA around. HHH cracks Chainz in the head with it. Gunn piledrives Chainz into the chair and they roll him out to the floor. Nope to the apron and they string him up on the ropes, and Pac kicks him in the chest a few times and out comes LoD and they tee off on DX and Pac’s blows have no effect and so he turns back to Chainz and assaults him and we fade.
** Okay match, the ending brawl helps set up the tag title match later this month.
***1/2 Not as good as last week but still solid. The promos were a bit long but the Austin one did the job. There was also some decent wrestling with Owen and the Rock. The main event was okay and I am still not sold on DX, the show has picked up since Shawn left as Nitro gets better at times when Hogan is gone. Overall though they did a fine job preparing for the PPV and advancing the angles. Rock and Shamrock will have to have a blow off match, as will Owen and HHH while Vince and Austin start to pick up some steam. RAW has not magically gotten better and Nitro worse but it seems that RAW is creating new fans and putting on something new and seen as fresh.