Written by: Kevin Kindelberger
WWF Monday Night RAW 7/6/98
Not sure if this is taped, I believe it is as last week was live. So it will not be until next week that we get the WWF’s response to Nitro. Anyway, RAW was decent if disappointing last week and hopefully it gets better. Nitro obviously won 4.8 to 4.0.
Undertaker has come out and demands a match with Austin. Cole is frantically looking for him and finally finds him and is brushed off and Austin heads to the ring and he and UT jaw back and forth after Austin agrees to a match. Vince comes out and demands their attention as the inmates are now trying to run the asylum. Austin will defend the title when he says so and the opponent will be of Vince’s choosing. However, Vince is inclined to allow that to happen, but only at the next PPV and the fans boo that. He does not care if they tear each other apart. They can do this the easy way or the hard way, and so they will be partners against Kane and Mankind. Seeing as UT is hell bent on becoming the champ everyone will hang on Vince’s every word and a number one contender will be announced tonight, something about every superstar in the ring or something. Vince lets Austin know how he feels about being champ again and turns a salute into the finger.
Match 1: Bracchus v. Savio Vega
Bracchus or however you fucking spell it did not even get his name displayed. I remember his promos and he never, ever appeared! Now here he is and I wonder if he has been getting paid.
Vega pushes him into the corner but is taken down and JR is unsure if that will be scored. I mean this is why this is confusing. Vega just pounds him. He hammers him with blow after blow and we actually get some excitement as Bracchus was wobbly and against the ropes but saved by the bell.
Round 2: It is Brakus. It is tied? Brakus dives at him and misses by a mile. He wraps him up and tries to hit him but Vega decks him and takes him down. It is called a slip? Vega is dismantling him. Brakus swings at him and is down and wobbly, the bell rings.
Final Round: Brakus is bleeding as he glares at Vega but is still knocked around and cannot keep his feet and moves like molasses. He gets back to his feet and Brakus is pushed into the ropes and beaten with ease.
*** I actually enjoyed this.
Match 2: Ken Shamrock v. Jeff Jarrett
Shamrock easily knocks JJ around; he sends him to the floor but gets his throat bounced off the top rope. JJ leaps from the top rope with a crossbody but Ken rolls through and gets two. Ken takes him down and has the ankle but is at the ropes and gets an assist from Lee. Shamrock goes after him and runs right into a JJ clothesline. JJ thrusts him into the steel steps and rocks him with several shots to the head. Back in the ring, Shamrock is reeling after more blows and is then snap suplexed. JJ gets a two count. JJ grabs the arm and clotheslines him and gets two after a dropkick. Shamrock is sent for the ride and put in a sleeper. Shamrock reverses the hold but JJ counters with a back suplex. Ken powerslams him, gets two and is fired up as he dropkicks JJ who does not fool Shamrock on the float over. JJ is spiked and they have brought back Mabel! Well, King Mable, and he clotheslines Shamrock and then crushes him with a big splash and the match is tossed.
** Mabel? Whatever works I guess.
Match 3: Vader v. Bradshaw
They lock up, and I will not piss and moan about Vader but he got a solid response from the crowd. Bradshaw kicks him in the gut after the lock up but Bradshaw runs into a brick wall and is clotheslined. Vader drops the elbow, and hammers him in the corner and Bradshaw fires back and they exchange blows. Vader headbutts him twice and Bradshaw is woozy and a short clotheslines drops him. Vader climbs up to the second rope and predictably leaps into a powerslam. FUCK, more interference, Kane and Mankind run into the ring. Kane goes after Vader and chokeslams him. Bradshaw, tries and fails to fend off the Claw and now Vader is Tombstoned.
* More interference.
Match 4: DoA v. Headbangers
Headbangers just stand there as Paul tells DoA to charge and they do. They maul the Bangers. Skull takes off Mosh’s head with a boot but they come back as Thrasher lends a hand. Eight Ball is tagged in after Skull escapes, and he is dropkicked and Thrasher leaps on him getting a two count. Fuck, Paul Ellory or however you spell his name is fucking annoying and he makes no sense as he babbles at the announce table. DoA are in command as Thrasher is hammered out on the floor. He gets back in the ring, dodges a blow and leaps up top and strikes with a flying clothesline. Tags are made by both combatants and the Headbangers unload, but DoA overwhelms them and it is over.
**1/2 Not bad and no interference.
Match 5: Terry Funk v. D’Lo Brown
Funk tackles him but Brown is up and chops away. They both now exchange chops and Kama is getting more and more into his Godfather roll. Funk piledrives him for two and then sweeps him to the mat. Funk tosses him to the floor. Funk goes up and nails him with the moonsault! Back in the ring, Funk slams him and then gets two more after another moonsault. Godfather cheats and Brown hits the moonsault for the win.
**1/2 Funk still has it.
Here comes the Undertaker and the Nation unwisely attack him and they are both chokeslammed. JR tries to act like UT is out to help Funk but he is chokeslammed and the heel turn could be around the corner, especially due to feuding with Austin.
Vince comes down and states that this is the moment the fans have been waiting for as well as all the wrestlers who can hear his voice. Before he names the number one contender he would like some wrestlers to come out: Mankind, who does not show up and Vince is impatient and finally he comes out. Kane is next. Now the Undertaker. Vince calls them an eclectic group and muses aloud who should be the number one contender. The fans boo when he mentions Mankind, and with what he did during the HitC Vince feels his pain and hurt and publicly thanks him for all he has done for the WWF but is it enough? Now to Kane. He calls him stupid, and Kane is not happy about that but Vince continues anyway but does admit that he has guts for being willing to set himself on fire. Now he turns to the Undertaker and is not too kind as he has set Kane on fire and beat Mankind. He probably wonders if he can beat Austin but that for sure he is willing to do whatever it takes to win the title. We will find out tonight in a triple threat match.
Match 5: Droz v. Hawk
Hopefully Hawk is sober for this Brawl match. They exchange shots and Hawk loses his mouthpiece so they pause the action. Droz tackles him right at the bell.
Round 2: The takedown did not count but they are pounding each other! Droz connects with some stiff shots and Hawk is knocked back. But he hits him back and Droz’s hand looks injured as the second round ends.
Final Round: They are a bit slower but Hawk fires off some shots and Hawk loses the mouthpiece again and so Droz spits his out and Hawk gets in one more brief flurry but both are not really connecting and are winded.
** It was a draw. So go to a fucking decision then….
Mero is out with Jackie and she still sucks on the mic. She hints that Mero lost last week because she wore him out in the bedroom. She makes fun of Sable’s prowess in bed. Sable comes out and claims she has her pedal to the metal and Mero’s tire is flat and that he needs Viagra. Jackie calls her body prime real estate and knows what a man wants. Sable claims that her body has been rented out quite often. Jackie calls her a skank and challenges her to a biking contest and Sable tells her not to blow it but to show it and it is on. Damn that was terrible.
Match 7: Val Venis v. Dustin Runnels
Jesus, some ladies actually respond to this ass clown. His sighs and grunts in the mic are quite scary and he makes Beaver jokes as they are at Penn State. Dustin has his head bowed. Val tears him apart, tosses him around the ring and has him in a submission move. He breaks the hold as Edge looks on from the crowd. Dustin fires back and uppercuts Val, and strikes with more rights but runs into some knees and is dropped with a side Russian leg sweep. Kaientai runs out and assaults Val and Yamaguchisan comes out with his wife.
* That was an awful match and for once the interference was much needed.
Okay, Kaientai is beating him up. Yamaguchi has the mic and call him a half man that Yamaguchisan is. He acts like he cannot speak English and butchers Val’s phrase and slaps Val. Now his wife does not look too happy. She stares at Val…..why, oh, why.
DX has been behind closed door all days and we will find out why next.
Here they come dresed as the Nation. HHH is the Rock. Road Dog as Brown, someone as Owen. X Pac is in black face as Mark Henry. Gunn is the Godfather. And so on, I had to stop for a few days to read and write a paper but HHH makes a toilet reference when it comes to what the Rock is cooking. Road Dog as D’Lo is acting like a spaz. HHH is about to the People’s Elbow and then stops and states: “As a matter of fact” He lays the Smackdown etc. Whoever is Owen is spot on, I mean fucking spot on, as he makes fun of his own outfit. He is not a nugget, a blackheart and a sole survivor. He smells what the Rock is cooking because of his nose. X Pac is Henry and acting like Fat Albert and he makes some shit jokes. HHH makes some more jokes and the crowd is eating it up. He then tells the Nation to shut their mouths and know their roles and to suck it.
Match 8: Mable v. Ken Shamrock
It is Mable….and Shamrock charges him right away and gets hammered. He is picked up and tossed and Mable drops a big elbow and then after a two count gives him a backbreaker. Shamrock fires back but the whip is reversed but Mable runs into the corner and Shamrock kicks him a few times, a spinkick does not get him off his feet and then he runs into a big clothesline. Mable powerslams him and points to the sky, and he takes a week to sit up top and leaps from the middle rope, and Shamrock dodges and helps him down to the mat and grabs the ankle to finish him off.
** Not as bad as I thought.
Shamrock keeps it locked in as Mable screeches in pain. Now officials and Slaughter come down and he finally breaks the hold only to mount and poundSlaughter come down and he finally breaks the hold only to mount and pound Mable. Shamrock heads to the back as Vince comes down and the latter gives him a thumbs up.
Vince is strutting around the ring and heads to the announce table. Vince is baffled as Austin’s music hits and out he comes. Austin poses in the ring as Vince complains, and Austin gives a stunned Vince the finger. Austin threatens Vince, who whines that Austin always resorts to violence and wants to know why and Austin responds that is all that works.
Here comes Mankind and Paul Bearer is already in the ring and now Kane comes out….shit it is a triple threat match, Undertaker too.
Match 9: Mankind v. Kane v. Undertaker for Number One Contendership
Undertaker has not come out and Vince is confused too and heads to the ring to find out what is going on. Vince is wondering inside the ring trying to figure out what is going on and he tells the ring announcer something, and seeing as he is not here and chickenshit, therefore Kane and Mankind will fight in a No Holds Barred match for the number one contendership. Meanwhile, Mankind is sitting on the floor and Vince is exhorting him to get in the ring and he will not. Mankind states he will give no more and refuses to fight his friend Kane. The bell rings and Austin wants him to get up and fight. Vince is acting like their is chaos all around and demands the match start and they get it on. Mankind is sitting as Kane heads to him and he has a chair and Vince yells for him to hit Mankind and he does so in the head with the chair. Mankind is rolled into the ring, he rolls Mankind’s carcass over, pulls him into the center of the ring as the fans boo. He pins him and it is over.
Kane gets to his feet, takes off his mask and to the shock of Austin it is the Undertaker!
NR WCW used to get criticized for this but it works as an angle advancement and builds drama, besides when you are in the ratings lead you can afford to do this.
**1/2 Not quite as good Nitro obviously and overall was just average. RAW continues to underwhelm; it has its high moments but also many lows. Perhaps I am just too old to enjoy the adolescent shenanigans.