Written by: Kevin Kindelberger
WWF Monday Night RAW 6/15/98
Nitro closed the gap last week but still could not best a taped show despite hauling out everything they got. I did some research and the giving away the tickets etc. when DX invaded Nitro was digitally imposed. I should have done that before hand but fuck no one is perfect and I am a sucker at times too. Vince was also on WWF.com stating he would meet EB in a parking lot! Anyway, last week was rather dull and RAW just bounces from great to okay and needs to find a happy medium in the former. I cannot deny they have tapped that mythical teen audience, and have found a winning formula but I am probably too old. Thirteen years ago when I as 20-21 I would have dug it more, but now, not so much. But this running analysis is obviously subjective as it is pretty damn hard to be objective when it comes to wrestling. Nitro has been better as a whole, but the WWF is getting back on track since it derailed at the end of 97. I am sure the dick and fart jokes will grow on me or at least be enough in the background to enjoy the storytelling but when they take center stage it hurts the show, obviously it did not back then as it was new, Jerry Springer on prime-time and who can argue with success? RAW received the same as last week with a 4.3 off of a 4.1 and 4.5 while Nitro garnered a 4.0 off a really weak start, a 3.8 but it went up each hour with a 4.1 then a 4.2.
Sable comes out to the shock of everyone. She is glad to be back and informs us that McMahon hired her back. He comes out to a couple of cheers for that but mostly boos and chants of Austin. Vince wants to clear up any conspiracy charges and has Sable read a letter. It states that he is the Humanitarian of the Year and that he would not stoop so low to use his charitable award, I missed it, to attack Austin. He is in actuality a kind, caring and even jovial WWF owner. He will bring the perpetrators behind the assault on SCSA to justice and he thanks everyone and hopes they enjoy the show. She stops reading and he kisses her on the cheek and states that this should clear up any conspiracy charges and welcomes back Sable. He goes to leave and here comes Austin! The fans fucking explode. Austin comes in to the ring, gently grabs Sable and takes her to the floor and sends her on her way. He has a mic and wants to let Vince know that while she was reading that crap Vince wrote he threw up a bunch of times. I think he said he is tired of all the chickenshit things Vince has been doing and he is fixing to stick his foot up his ass. He goes after Vince who retreats and wants Austin to not resort to violence for once an listen to reason. Austin asks the fans if they want him to kick Vince’s ass and to give him a Hell Yeah and they do, loudly. Vince keeps running in circles and keeps repeating for him to listen to reason. He states the Undertaker over and over and then says it was all him. He knows it sounds preposterous, but swears on his grandmother’s kids, and tries to explain as UT stated he wanted the title. Last week the Undertaker knew what he was doing, knew he was going to call the cops; he knew he would call the cops as he beat up all the superstars. Vince fell for it and so did Austin, UT knew he would not have to come down to make the save because of all the cops. Vince knows it sounds crazy but UT is from the darkside and he continues and cue the dong and the Undertaker. Vince flees, and UT gets in the ring and he and Austin briefly has a staredown. UT picks up a mic and declares that it is true he challenged Austin for the title but he did it like a man, asking for a shot, he did it out of respect for Austin and where he came from. He still respects the title and no matter how plausible Vince’s conspiracy theory is he knows and Austin knows that it is a damn lie….I love Vince’s bug eyes! UT tells him that he makes a living off of preying on the weak, and before he rips off his head he tells Vince he will never be able to manipulate the mind of the Undertaker. Now Kane comes out with Paul and Mankind in tow. Paul calls his performance last week an Academy Award winner. Bearer calls what happened planned, and he was in on it. UT wants more than the belt, he wants Austin’s soul. He wants to entrap him in the cage but that is too far for Bearer, there will be entrapment tonight but it will not be perpetrated by UT, and Paul offers up Kane and Mankind in a tag match against UT and Austin, and that they are standing in the entrance way to hell…..did not make too much sense.
Match 1: Vader v. Rock (c)
The Nation is sent to the back, and this is a qualifying KoTR match. JR brings up Vader’s conditioning again! He does state that Vader has been working on it….They lock up and Rock pushes him into the corner and then slaps him a couple of times off the break. Vader fires back and squashes him in the corner and decleats him with a clothesline. Rock is sent into the other corner and is smashed again. JR again informs us that because it is so hot Vader may get winded and Cole brings up that Vader admitted he did not work out when he was out for three months! Vader gets two after a splash from the middle rope. After a kick, Rock dodges and he gets two after a DDT. Rock batters him in the corner with kicks and stomps. He goes for a bodyslam but Vader falls on him and he gets two, but this time he does slam him and it must have knocked him out as he hits the People’s Elbow and he gets a two count. Vader knocks him down, gets two after the big splash. He pulls the Rock up, misses the elbow and a clothesline sends him to the floor where Mark Henry attacks him from behind and gives him a big splash as the Rock distracted the ref. Rock heads out after him, hits him and back in the ring finishes him with the Rock Bottom.
*** At this point Vader is a jobber but at least he put over the Rock in a fun match. JR is one to talk about being in shape!
DX is in the back and apparently Road Dog is a teacher and pointing at a chalkboard and going over the Pac/HHH match with the latter whining that he does not have a big nose….
Match 2: Darren Drozdov v. Jeff Jarrett
JJ attacks him from behind, but after dodging a clothesline he is dropped on the second go around. Mero and Jackie come down to the announce table as JJ dropkicks Droz. Mero is pissed that Sable is back in the WWF. JJ works him over as Mero whines. Droz is dropped as Lee is slapped by Jackie who was hitting on her. JJ goes out to check on him and he is nutted by Mero. He is rolled back into the ring and pinned by Droz.
** Okay. Angle advancement.
They show Val Venis’ door….with moans coming from it.
More school with DX, it was less than 30 seconds and pointless.
Match 3: Val Venis v. Chainz
Val declares that things are indeed bigger in Texas and looks down….Sweet Jesus. Chainz unloads on him and drops a series of elbows but eats post after the charge off the whip. Val bulldogs him and now beats on him in the corner. He holds onto him off the whips, kneeing him and now a Russian leg sweep. He straddles him, stares at his crotch and wiggles his ass. He hits Chainz a couple of times, kicks him in the head and does it again and another boot just staggers him and Chainz chops him but a forearm sends him down. Val runs him into the corner, punches him and snaps him over. He measures him for the elbow drop, connects and sends him into the corner only to run into an elbow tries again and gets knees and tries a third time and misses completely and is then back suplexed and back dropped. Val begs off, reverses a whip though and powerslams Chainz. He slowly heads up top, Chainz backs into the ropes crotching him and he climbs up top and wants a superplex but is shoved off. Val is wobbly on the top but hits the Money Shot for the win.
**1/2 Fast paced, a sudden ending and I wonder what they are going to do with Val.
Kevin Kelly is with the Undertaker and the former asks if UT can trust him. UT thinks that is an asinine question as Austin’s motto is not to trust anyone. Kelly asks if Austin can trust him and UT affirms that as he has stated he wants Austin’s belt!
DX again and HHH and Pac are talking about their match and Pac is ready for it and now they act serious and HHH gives him breath mints….honestly who fucking cares.
Match 4: Marc Mero v. Dustin Runnels
They exchange some holds. Dustin takes him down with a shoulder tackle. JJ is at the announce table and not too happy with Mero right now. Mero dodges and knocks Dustin to the floor, and Mero leaps off the apron nailing him. Dustin is flung into the steel steps. Back in the ring Mero powerbombs him. Mero telegraphs a back drop and Dustin uppercuts him and follows up with an inverted atomic drop. Dustin goes up top and Mero meets him with a punch, goes up top and hits a nice looking hurracarana. He gets two and JJ gets on the apron and jaws at him. Sable struts down the ramp and he is doubly distracted, and Dustin gets the win off a mere bulldog.
** Angle advancement for Mero’s match against JJ next week.
More DX. Pac and HHH are arguing and Chyna forces them to stop and tells them to just go out and wrestle like men!
Kevin is with Dustin who is happy he got a win and thanks Jesus for it….WTF?
Match 5: X Pac v. HHH
Right at the bell Pac rolls him up for two. Pac hits him a couple of times, blocks a hiptoss with a flip and then kicks him in the head. Pac keeps after him until he is grabbed and tossed to the floor. He wallows there, and Chyna comes down and rolls Pac into the ring who is not happy. HHH hammers him and then suplexes him. He gets two after a knee drop. Pac is sent into the corner headfirst and then another corner. He is flung full force into the opposing corner and down he goes. Pac kicks him and then sends him into the corner and a spinning kick sends HHH to the floor. Chyna is there and she rolls him back into the ring and now HHH is baffled and he is kicked in the head again and Pac gets two. HHH comes back, knees him and tosses him to the floor. Rock is on the mic and distracts HHH as he yaps, Owen gives Pac an atomic drop onto the railing. Rock calls his loss a part of a master plan and he is going to get revenge and tells HHH to turn around so he can smell what he is cooking. Pac makes HHH get back into the ring so he cannot be counted out and so he gets the win.
**1/2 Okay. Angle advancement but HHH advances in the Tournament.
Outlaws come down to check on and help up Pac.
Al Snow comes out and Lawler confronts him and tells Snow that he will not be able to meet Vince with his antics. Al is here to make some citizen’s arrest, one for Vince who killed his career with Aldo Montoya and Lawler for lewd conduct. He has been slipping him the sausage and makes more dick jokes. Lawler acts baffled and goes to throw Head and he is attacked. A ref is suplexed, and Lawler hits him from behind. But he is knocked down and security allows themselves to be beaten up too. Al runs through the crowd.
They show Austin walking in the back.
Match 6: Owen Hart and Mark Henry v. Dan Severn and Ken Shamrock
Shamrock ignores his partner and takes out Owen. He hammers him but Owen trips him up, and puts him in a chickenwing but Shamrock turns him only to be kicked in the nuts. Henry is tagged in and he pounds on Ken, and gets two after a powerslam. Shamrock is in the wrong corner, and is whipped into the other one but Henry misses. Dan is in and he gives him a belly to belly, not much of one but he got the big man up. He slams Henry again but cannot budge him on the waistlock and is shrugged off. Owen is tagged in and he is tackled and picked up and slammed a couple of times, after a belly to back, Henry comes in and clubs Dan and this allows Owen to hit him with a heel kick. They doubleteam Dan, Henry holds him and Owen goes for a missile dropkick and Dan ducks and down goes Henry. Shamrock gets the hot tag and he destroys Owen, running him over but he is grabbed and put in the Sharpshooter! It is in the middle of the ring….but DX runs down and nails Owen from behind and the Nation gets dismantled. Owen is on the ramp looking at Ken who comes for him. Vader runs down and gives Owen a blow and then he and Henry go at it and now the entire Nation is out and the scrum is on with everyone going at it and beating on one another.
**1/2 Not bad, nice to see Owen strong in what has turned into a really lame ass character for him.
Match 7: Tag Team Royal Rumble
The winning team will be the number one contenders. Kane and Mankind are a tag team for this Rumble. After the break all four are going at it. LoD clobber Kane and they barely budge him with a double clothesline but the second one drops him. Here come the Midnight Express…forgot about them. Kane is double clotheslined over the top but he somehow does not touch the floor and chokeslams a member of LoD. Express are in and they are brawling with Mankind and Hawk. Here comes the Headbangers. Kane is choking out Animal. Here comes DoA and they go right for LoD. Here comes Kurrgan and Volga or whatever the fuck his name is. Bart is clotheslined over the rope and the Express are done. Kurrgan is getting doubleteamed but is fighting them off. Brian Christopher and his partner are next and Brian is gettng pummeled. The next team is Farooq and Blackman. They run in and start throwing blows. It is Scott Taylor who is Brian’s partner. The next team is Taka and Bradshaw. DoA is done. No one saw what happened. Hawk and Kane are working together to beat on Farooq, Kane should have no friends, Mankind maybe…..Funk and Scorpio are next. Kurrgan is done. God he is useless, Funk took him out! They show how DoA was ousted and it was courtesy of LoD. Headbangers take out Taylor and Christopher. Kane picks up a Headbanger and gorilla slams him to the floor. Animal shoulder blocks Steve to the floor. Kane tosses Animal out. Funk and Mankind are on the ground brawling as Scorpio tries to take on Kane but Funk runs in with a chair and blasts Kane with it a few times. Mankind tries to toss Funk but he falls to the apron and then hits him with a chair. Scorpio is Tombstoned and Mankind holds the chair on Funk’s head and Kane’s boot to it sends him over the top.
***1/2 That was fun.
Match 8: Kane and Mankind v. Undertaker and SCSA (c)
Paul has the mic and wonders if UT and Austin will accept his challenge and even JR is irate as they already have. Mankind has the mic and he tells UT that this is just beginning and talking about flesh being torn and at the PPV it is his turn to play and it will not be a nice day. Fuck they are really dragging this out as Paul yells that Austin will not come out and now three minutes in he finally does….
No UT yet despite the music….They introduce him again as Austin is getting peeved. No UT and finally Mankind, five minutes in, runs out and the door is slammed into him and Kane attacks Austin and they go back and forth. Bearer has locked himself inside the Cell as Austin is getting hammered on the ramp by both. UT comes up through the ring and boots Bearer in the head twice. Mankind and Kane are trying to get in and Austin attacks them. No he is attacking Mankind as Kane is on top of the Cell. Meanwhile, UT is demolishing Bearer. Kane is on top of the cell trying to do something….not sure what, get in or wallowing…..Bearer is a bloody mess as Austin pummels Mankind. Austin has a chair and he nails Mankind in the back with it. Kane is just up top squatting and JR simply states he is confused. Mankind is hit with the chair again. Inside the Cell UT hits Bearer with the steps and Austin climbs up top the Cell and he just fucking unloads on Kane…..and we fade.
***1/2 A better show than last week. They are pulling a lot of turns like WCW. Is JJ going to turn face? Sable is back after two weeks? Mankind is back with Kane etc. There is almost too much going on and some is good and some is not. The wrestling was solid and it went by quite quickly, but at first I was bitter by the grab ass for the main event, however, it did set up the PPV. JR made it sound like it was this Sunday but it is the following one….I think. Who knows. The DX promos were lame and it really is hard to root for X Pac, knowing what he becomes and of course the Evil Empire HHH will build. The Rumble was fun and the end brawl was fairly cool but the faces really dominated, however I am sure that will change next week before going into the PPV. Overall, it was decent but should have been better. At least Vader got some revenge but there is still too much going on.