Written by: Kevin Kindelberger
WWF Monday Night RAW 5/11/98
I would say that the WWF has strung together some impressive shows as of late. There is still a lot of work to be done: Kane and the Undertaker is starting to get tiresome; UT has all but dominated the feud and they keep adding new dimensions to the angle and quite frankly they are not that good or interesting. The Rock needs to leave the Nation. He does not need a stable as he can stand out on his own and he has developed his character enough where he can stand on his own. DX “invading” Nitro has essentially turned them face as the fans are now starting to cheer for them, and also their penis jokes are clearly getting over. Austin and Vince is clearly lightening in a bottle, something that is so rare. After Austin and Hart and then Austin and DX he could have floated from feud to feud; just mowing down opponents but this is making RAW must see TV and in the age before DVR is already causing WCW problems. It seems, hopefully so, that RAW is finding its niche as the shows are fast paced and well produced. There is less and less filler and while I am not a fan of the juvenile antics it is still fairly entertaining and Foley is proving that he never should have been pushed back into the midcard, and that his initial run against the Undertaker and challenging for the title was no fluke and that he can run with the big boys. Nitro is back to its regular time and while some may be uncertain as to when it is on because the NBA Playoffs does wreak havoc on Nitro….Still RAW pulled a near 4.8 off of hours of more than a 4.6 and 4.9 while Nitro received a 4.35 off of hours of 4.5, 4.2 and 4.1. They did not get their usual strong beginning and it tapered off as usual but it dropped in the third hour, which is not good….and next week it will be pre-empted again.
JR is giddy that WCW called the police on DX….good one WCW, way to give them more attention.
Here comes Vince and he is booed vociferously. Austin will wrestle tonight in this very ring in a tag team match. He continues that he wants to welcome a man who has made many sacrifices and is still the number one contender and it is Dude Love and here he comes wearing a suit, he has a goatee and his teeth are in. He puts on some nice specs too! Oh and he has a copy of the Wall Street Journal! The fans are chanting for Austin. Foley has the mic and states that last week he was somewhat confused as to who he was, and this week he is a well educated man; he can speak four languages, reads the Classics as well as a lover of women and surprisingly good dancer for a big man. Austin will see how hardcore he is at the PPV. He is now Dude Love, so he is no longer unsure about his identity. He is happy to report that with support of McMahon and the entire WWF that he has found that smile he lost. A handshake is not going to do it and they give each other a big hug. Now Vince introduces the timekeeper for Austin’s and Dude’s match and it is Gerald Brisco. Pat Patterson will be the ring announcer. The guest referee is hyped up by Vince by being really great in a world of mediocrity. He announces him and no one shows and he does it again and still no guest ref and Vince is not happy and heads to the back. He has been in the back for some time as the three mill about the ring waiting. Still nothing, Patterson has the mic and he announces the guest referee and announces him as the best there was, is and ever will be: Vince McMahon and he comes out in an alternative lifestyle ref shirt with the sleeves ripped and the size is a youth medium! Vince shows off for the crowd and Dude dances a jig.
Kevin Kelly is outside looking confused waiting for Austin to arrive.
Okay, DX invaded CNN Center…..not the footage from a couple of weeks ago. They have their army vehicle and want inside the building. HHH claims that WCW officials want to talk with them but the security guard claims otherwise. Gunn compares Titan Towers to the CNN Building and claims the latter sucks. There are some fat chicks who scream at DX. JR informs us that Nick Lambros a WCW official called the police.
There is a rattling on the garage door where Kevin is at. He thinks it is Austin but when he rolls it up it is Al Snow! He shows off his ticket, and is wearing a shirt that says JOB Squad. He is acting confused and Kevin informs him that this is the wrestler entrance. Al and his mannequin head stroll off.
Match 1: Vader v. Barry Windham
Vader is back! Soon to be jobbed. He was out not only to recover kayfabe from Kane but because Kane fucked up a move.
Vader starts strong but Windham takes the offensive and Vader is sent to the floor where the Express hammer him and roll him back into the ring. Windham goes for a sunset flip but is sat on. Vader gives him the big splash for two. Vader finishes him off with a Bomb and then dismantle the Express but when he is surrounded by all three he rolls to the floor and leaves.
** Nice to see Vader back. He is facing Kane at the PPV in a dipshit mask match; so he will get two wins and then be jobbed…..again.
Austin is on MTV Celebrity Death Match.
Austin has arrived and Kevin is trying to act excited but looks stupid.
During the break he spoke with Austin and tells him about Vince’s announcement. Austin looks befuddled and calls it the biggest bunch of cap he has ever heard. Vince can do whatever he wants but will never jerk this belt from his waist. Austin wants to know where Vince is at and Kevin is confused so Austin takes the mic and calls him worthless and goes in search of Vince.
Match 2: Hawk v. Skull
All four just hammer each other and Eight Ball is taken out. Hawk runs over Skull, goes up top and misses the flying clothesline. Skull hammers Hawk in the corner and gets some assistance from Ball. Skull nails him with the big boot. Both men collide, but Skull is up and knocks him back with a forearm, then gives him a backbreaker. Skull leaps off the top and leaps right into a big foot. Hawk clocks him and then gives him a neckbreaker. Skull is run from pillar to post but Hawk dives into the post. Hawk is up first but is rolled over and pinned!
*1/2 Okay match….I think DoA pulled the switcharoo! Yup.
DX is chilling at CNN Center and are actually inside the joint. They are not allowed to film but there are being filmed. THey are walking around the huge lobby talking to police. Gunn tells them to just tell WCW they are here and that will get them in. They pose with a bunch of fans in the lobby.
Promo for Edge. A female voiceover about being the end of all our dreams as he roams the night.
Earlier today” Bradshaw is with Taka, smoking stogies and teaching him to drive. Taka is jerking the car, stalling and going. They return and the Kamikaze Squad comes out of the woodwork and assault them.
Match 3: Double J v. Farooq
JJ hits him with a few punches but is taken down and he retreats to the floor. Blackman is right there and tees off on him. JJ is rolled back and connects with a swinging neckbreaker as Farooq telegraphs the backdrop. JJ jumps on the back of his head as it hangs over the ropes. Farooq is up and avoids the float over out of the corner and JJ turns into an inverted atomic drop and is then clotheslined to the floor. Blackman takes off his head with a kick to his face! JJ did a great job selling that. JJ is rolled back in and Farooq has him up but the Nation runs down and the brawl is on. JJ has nunchucks and is beating and choking out Blackman with them.
NR Angle advancement.
Steve is heading towards the ring. After the break he is there and the fans are erupting. He is not going to cry and complain but he hates Vince and he knows that Vince feels the same way. Even though he is not telling him who his opponents are tonight the least he could do is get his yellow carcass out here and explain. Vince is on the TitanTron claiming he is in a meeting….in a locker room. Vince mocks Austin losing the title at the PPV. Vince and his lackeys act like they have no idea who he is facing tonight. Steve holds up the belt and is going to stick it up their asses.
A Best of Val Venis compilation.
Here comes Sable. The place comes unglued when she comes out. Jesus is she over.
Match 4: Sable v. Marc Mero
Sable has the mic and she wants Marc to get out here right now. Mero flips off the crowd. Man is Sable built. Fuck. Marc has a shit eating grin on his face….well he knows what is going to happen tonight I would be grinning too. She grabs the mic and she cannot believe he would let it go this far and she will give him her best. He has the mic and mocks her and picks her up for the TKO but she wriggles free or is kind of let down. Marc tells her he could do that at anytime.He wants her to apologize in front of the entire world for trying to ruin his career. Instead she kicks him in the nuts, pulls him up and has his head in her crotch! He helps her out but she is able to powerbomb him and the fans just fucking lost it! Mero is throwing a fit in the ring as she walks off no longer looking like a Whitesnake video.
NR But fucking classic.
Undertaker has arrived at the announce table and he is not happy with Lawler who begs off but it is to no avail as the Undertaker takes off his head with some hard rights. He rolls Lawler into the ring, hits him some more and it is chokeslam time! Now time for a Tombstone. The lights go out and cue Kane. Not sure if Lawler got a Tombstone but UT is now focused on Bearer and Kane. Bearer is rambling about something. He wants UT to start believing him as he was right about Kane being alive and next week he is going to prove that he is Kane’s father. They leave and Lawler tries to but he is snatched and given a Tombstone.
Al Snow has come out and joined JR and gets some crowd support. JR wonders why he is here and AL is not happy and talks to his head, and now security has come out and he wants to see Vince and tells them not to touch him. Al gets in the ring and shows off his head and then exits through the crowd.
DX is now leaving and they fire a parting shot at WCW and tell them to suck it and with some “great” special effects the building blows. Um, is that vehicle even street legal….I am sure it was just used as a prop and they had other forms of transportation.
Here comes DX and they are getting so over they will have to turn face. Pac wants Baltimore to make some noise because DX is in the house. They just got back from Atlanta and they screwed with WCW and they tried to have him put in jail. Pac does not know what EB is smoking and he does not want an apology and he kisses no one’s ass, not Vince’s or his and that is why he is not working there anymore. Road Dog introduces the Outlaws. Gunn declares that they have declared war on everyone. HHH’s turn and he wants to know if Baltimore is ready and we all need to get ready to Suck It. DX loves Baltimore, especially the ladies and he brought a little surprise for their state bird. Owen comes out and enough is enough and that it is time for a change. He has some unfinished with HHH who is right there waiting here comes Owen ready to kick his ass. He stops at the ring and here comes the Nation.
Match 4: Owen Hart v. HHH (c)
Non-title. Owen and HHH go at it and Owen is thrust into the corner and down he goes. HHH stomps on him, and keeps after him with fists to the head but Owen back kicks him in the nuts and now he stomps away. Owen stands on his throat and he follows up with a gut wrench suplex and pounds the head. However he telegraphs the back drop and is kneed in the face, and HHH gets a two count. Chyna hits Owen in the head, and now HHH drops him with a high knee off the whip and he gets a two count. Owen fights back and gets to his feet but is raked in the face, and HHH drops him. HHH nails him with a piledriver but only gets two. Owen counters back with a DDT and he drapes his arm over him and he gets a near fall. Owen ties him up in the ropes, or at least tries to but still hammers him with a series of kicks and punches. Owen gives him a neckbreaker and goes off the middle rope with an elbow drop and he gets a two count. Owen pushes him in the corner where he mauls him and then distracts the ref and the Nation pounds him. Now Owen gets two after a piledriver. HHH makes a comeback and he kicks Owen a few times only to be nailed with an enzuguri. Owen goes up top but HHH goes up after him and Owen bites him in the head! HHH is knocked back and Owen is crotched by Chyna and she fends off the Nation with a chair and she gets in the ring with DX and Owen gets clotheslined to the floor. Owen is bleeding from his mouth, making it look like he drew blood with his bite…
*** Lame ass ending but the match was really fun. Damn Chyna crotched him good.
Dustin Rhodes is on the ramp and lighting his Goldust clothes on fire….another change. He claims that he has worked too hard for him during the last three years. He lost his dignity because of Vince’s sick imagination. He blames him for losing his father. He has caused heartache for him and his family as some fans scream that he is a faggot. He is upset for being put in the ring against Kane and he wants Vince to look into the flames as Goldust dies tonight and he will never forget the name of Dustin. He did get quite the pop for that proclamation.
Match 5: Terry Funk and Scorpio v. Kamikaze Squad
Their manager distracts Funk and Scorpio and this allows the Squad to blindside them. They annihilate the faces for a bit but Funk knocks Tojo (how original) to the floor and he throws him into the manager. Scorpio is nearly pinned. Scorpio comes back and heel kicks two of them and the third is powerbombed and so are the other two! Funk misses the moonsault and is triple dropkicked. Funk runs into make the save and he snaps one over and applies a spinning toe hold and does it to another when he tries to make the save. Now Funk is overwhelmed and stomped and choked out. Bradshaw runs down and rolls too far into the ring but he is up and sends them fleeing with his bullrope and Taka lends a hand and Funk and Scorpio are DQ’d/
*** Short but pretty damn fun.
Vince is in the back and he is talking to his cronies about Austin.
Al Snow is still trying to get back into the building.
Here comes the Nation again. Rock has the mic and the fire between he and Stone Cold reignites! Unless Austin’s partner is Godzilla the Rock is getting ready to lay the smackdown on the WWF champ.
Vince and friends are giggling….Austin is walking in the back.
Match 6: SCSA and Vince McMahon v. the Rock and D’Lo Brown
They delay the introduction of Austin’s partner and it is Vince! Rock tries to get an edge but Austin turns it around and Rock flees and D’Lo runs in and gets tossed to the floor. Austin goes after him and cracks Patterson and Brisco’s skulls together. He runs after the Rock and beats him back towards the ring. He drops him throat first onto the railing. He suplexes the Rock back into the ring and he gets a two count. Rock escapes and makes the tag and Brown stomps on Austin but misses a blow after the whip and is Thesz pressed and pounded. Austin is tossed to the floor and the Rock and cronies stomp on Austin. Austin is rolled back into the ring and Brown hammers him in the corner. Rock is tagged in and Austin greets him with a clothesline. They end up on the floor and Rock reverses the whip into the steps and now Austin gets his head bashed into them. He rolls Austin back into the ring and gets a two count. Rock straddles and pounds him. He then bodyslams him and it is Elbow time! He connects and makes the cover getting two. He puts him in a rear chinlock. Austin gets to his feet and puts Rock in a sleeper. Vince gets in the ring and this allows Brown to hit him and now he is in and the ref questions the tag but Brown stays in and he gets a near fall after an elbow from the top. He drops Austin with a back elbow and gets another near fall. Brown hauls him up, tags in the Rock who slams his fist into the the gut, snaps him over and reapplies the rear chinlock. Austin fights to his feet and elbows out but they clothesline each other and both men are down. Brown comes in and drops a leg on Austin, Rock is up and he scoop slams him and now Brown goes up top and misses the Frog Splash. Both men are down and Austin is up and has his hand out and then pulls it back and flips him off and turns to unload on the Rock and D’Lo. He faceplants Brown and gives him a Stunner and covers him but the Rock goes for the elbow but misses and hits his man and Rock is tossed out. Austin turns into a horribly telegraphed clothesline from Vince. He is then stomped by Patterson and Brisco. Austin is up and goes off on the two as Vince has fled but Dude Love runs down and clotheslines him and now Dustin Rhodes has entered the fray and DX too and we fade with JR having a heart attack!
*** Solid main event. Good angle advancement.
****1/2 This may be high as the individual matches did not equal this but the overall package did. Holy shit this was great. Al Snow, DX invading CNN, Austin and Vince, Lawler getting his ass kicked, Sable powerbombing Mero. I mean so much happened but it was paced so damn well and they interspersed some good wrestling in too. Nitro better be prepared because the WWF is not fucking around. They have found a new formula and are sticking with it. It is fresh and new and Vince is now the best heel in the biz right now. He is supplanting the nWo and Bret Hart as the two best heels during the Monday Night Wars. Not yet but he is getting there.
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.