WWF RAW 6/29/1998
Written by: Kevin Kindelberger
WWF Monday Night RAW 6/29/98
I was impressed by the PPV as the WWF knows how to use its uppercarders even with their limitations. The final three matches were great and made the PPV. Austin and Kane were able to follow up with a great, if predictable, title match. It will be interesting to see where they go from here. I do not foresee them keeping the belt off of Austin for too long (see WCW with Sting when they did the opposite). But they booked themselves, I would not say in a corner, but in a way that they had to take the title off of Austin. It shows that Vince will do whatever it takes to succeed and it makes Austin look human; he was screwed over, and this will get the fans further behind him. The fans showed up in droves to watch as the show garnered a spectacular 5.4 off of the hours of 5.2 and 5.6 while Nitro received the same 4.1 and cannot get out of the blocks with the first hour, staying at a 4.0 then dropping to a 3.8 but upping to a near 4.2 in the final hour.
The fans boo as a gloating Vince comes down. He is in a giddy mood as he taunts the crowd about that lowdown, foul mouthed Austin is no longer the champ. The belt is inside a glass case as Vince continues bragging but pauses as the fans chant Austin over and over. Kane does not utter profanities and salutes the flag. Vince announces a new role-model and a champion for the 21st Century and here he comes. He is asking Paul to say some words. Paul rambles as usual. Paul was there for twenty years and watched his son, their champion and watched him dream and sit in a room with pictures of his brother all around. He watched the WWF and wanted to be just like his brother. Paul declared to him that he could be better. UT is now in the shadow. Vince will now officially give Kane the belt. Vince is honored to place the belt around his waist, voluntarily. Cue Austin!! The fans just shat themselves. Austin is in the ring and is bellowing about the stipulation in the match and that Vince along with everyone knows that Austin was never split open by Kane. It was the Undertaker. He tells Vince to shut up and will rip off his head just for his damn shoes. Austin wants a rematch tonight. Vince equivocates and Austin yells at him to make the damn match. He wants him to act like a man. Vince counters that he may not deserve a rematch. Vince finally acquiesces as long as it all right with Bearer and Austin calls him a fat ass. Kane is just standing looking mopey. Paul wants Kane to say something, but Austin is adamant and tells Paul to spit out the cupcake and say something. Paul quivers and agrees as long as it is okay with Kane. Austin asks Kane. Austin continues that Kane is no longer under the shadow of the UT and talks about his whining and taunts Kane. Kane is getting riled as Austin wants to know if Kane actually thinks if he could have beaten him fair and square. His brother helped him last night and Austin wonders if he can live with it. He asks one last time for the rematch and Kane nods! Vince is livid, or constipated.
Here comes Sable. She has a contract and introduces Steven Regal! Remember, he was fired, not for shooting on Goldberg but for constant drunkeness and he failed a Wellness test a couple of years ago too. But he is classic. His music sucks though.
Match 1: Droz v. Steven Regal
They exchange holds, Droz leapfrogs him and then takes him down. Regal fires back and hammers him with shots in the corner. He double knees him in the head getting two. Regal puts him in a chinlock. Droz fights to his feet and slugs away. Sable is no commenting all questions pertaining to her and Vince. Regal fires back but is caught and backslid down for two. Droz drops him after Regal gets back up and boxes away. Regal is suplexed. Droz goes up top, is punched in the gut and Regal sets him up and goes up with him and double arm suplexes him off the top. He rolls Droz over and it is Stretch time!
** A bit slow. Regal is still a tad sloppy but is damn talented.
Shamrock is in the ring discussing great things. He has to give credit where credit is due, and Rocky showed him something. He stepped into the ring, one on one, and did battle. He does not agree with all the bullcrap that happened before, as that is not over. Rock is a true champion and a true warrior. Owen comes out and wants to be spared all the sugarcoated garbage. He has been a King of the Ring too, and Owen wants him to step into his court tonight and Ken will find out why he is the Blackheart. Shamrock rambles about walking the walk, and Ken remembers Owen breaking his ankle and so Owen has pain to look forward too tonight. Here comes DX! HHH does not want those two to get their panties in a bunch. HHH declares himself the King and none can be without him in the ring and wants a three way dance. Shamrock agrees, in a convoluted way of course. Jesus he rambles. Fuck he is still going about the match, about the time and the place and both of them in his zone and finally finishes….damn that was long.
Match 2: Marc Mero v. Steve Blackman
They have boxing gloves on and it is a last man standing match. Blackman takes him down twice and they tie up again and scuffle with Blackman getting the upperhand. They throw wild blows and none connect and Blackman sticks him and the first round ends.
The second round, with no clock shown this time, is the same as the first with Blackman taking him down a few times and Mero connecting with one blow….Nope it was Blackman and it looked stiff. The fans are chanting for wrestling.
Final Round: Blackman takes him down. They miss blows and Mero is tackled again and then again. They swing at each other and exchange a few blows and on the lock up chat to one another and the fans boo vociferously! It is over….thank God.
DUD-it is the Brawl for it All, not sure if they are actually shoot fighting or if it is a mix as some blows were stiff….I will have to look it up.
Match 3: Val Venis v. Togo
He does his thing….Runnels comes down to the announce table.
Okay the match is going back and forth. Brawl for it All was a shootfighting Tournament, in order to give the “tougher” guys something to do. Steve Williams will make an appearance. It was voluntary too. But the rules are complicated with points for takedowns and punches and the fans remain impatient. I did not see who won but I vaguely remember, oh and there were numerous injuries. But then again it was voluntary and I do not blame the WWF for trying something new.
It is Togo, and he hits a somersault from the top and gets a near fall. Now Val spikes him and goes up top but Togo is right there but gets pushed off and slammed. Val is back up top and hits the Money Shot and it is over.
**1/2 Fast paced.
Dustin was talking about Jesus. Classic. Val goes to Yamaguchison’s wife who is in the front row and is thrusting his hips at her and she looks disgusted. He comes over to Val and pushes him only to be knocked down and then he takes out Kaientai and they have proved to be useless since their relatively strong debut.
Edge is in the crowd….already ended a career too!!
Match 4: Owen Hart v. Ken Shamrock v. HHH
Owen heads down and Ken charges from behind and beats the Hades out of Owen as HHH chills in the ring. Owen is rolled back into the ring where HHH tears into him and goes for a cover after a knee drop but Ken stops the count and now he beats on HHH as Owen rests. Ken hits him with a knee lift and now Owen charges and rips into Ken with some kicks and stomps. He drops the knee numerous times and works over the ankle until HHH comes over and belts him, snaps him over and punches him in the head a few times. HHH suplexes Owen, and connects with another knee drop and after a respite Ken attacks; he slams HHH and then drops the elbow as does Owen but Ken drops him and gets two on HHH. Owen puts him in a clutch but Ken will have none of it and tosses Owen to the floor. But HHH is able to go on the offensive and he knocks Ken around, gets a two count and then Owen runs in and dropkicks HHH and weakly piledrives him. He covers him but Ken makes the save and he snap suplexes Owen. He goes over and stomps on both men, takes Owen down but is kicked in the nuts and Owen gets two after a German suplex as HHH broke it up with a kick to the nads.
All three are going at it, HHH rolls Ken back into the ring and Owen puts him in a Crab and Owen fucking watches HHH get in and charge off the ropes and elbow him in the back of the head!! Owen does not stay down and shoves HHH off and assaults Ken. HHH though fires back, until hit with a missile dropkick and Owen puts Ken in the Sharpshooter but HHH knocks Owen to the floor….Fuck Chyna is out there. HHH hits his knee lift for the 444th time. Owen runs back into the ring and cracks HHH with a spinning heel kick and then spikes him with a DDT. Shamrock gets to his feet and slugs away on Owen but they both collide and all three are down. Ken whips Owen into the ropes and kicks his head off and then strikes with a spinning kick and he gets a near fall. Owen is run over and Ken has the Ankle Lock on but HHH kicks Shamrock, and Ken is fucking murdered by a spinebuster/powerbomb move. Owen sends HHH to the floor with an enzuguri and then Owen baseball slides into him. Of course Chyna lowers the ropes as Owen runs after Ken and out he goes. The ref admonishes Owen! He was jawing with Chyna. Ken takes out Owen from behind. The Rock has come down and knocks out HHH with the belt. Ken gets the win. Owen goes after Shamrock as DX assaults the Rock at the top of the ramp. Now the Nation comes out and the brawl is on. Owen applies a Figure Four around the post.
***1/2 Fucking overbooking nonsense, and Chyna is hideous. Yes it is mean, but goddamn I look like Brad Pitt compared to her. Still, all three looked strong and it sets up Rock and HHH and Owen and Ken, as all four needed a mix up.
Here comes the Undertaker. Cole asks why he interfered. UT responds that he did not want to see his brother set himself on fire and he did what he had to do as Cole explains that he may have cost Austin the title…no shit dumbass he stated that. Vince comes out and states that UT is compassionate (facetiously). He tells UT that he thinks he can beat his brother but not Austin. He continues that UT is a contemptible human and hell with have no fury if he intervenes in the title match tonight.
Match 5: Bradshaw v. Canterbury
They are wailing away on one another, swinging wildly. Bradshaw is grabbed but he cannot be taken down and bell rings.
Not sure if Canterbury is a Godwinn. But in the second round Canterbury is getting mauled. He manages to stop the onslaught by holding him. They square off and take a couple of swings and the bell rings. The fans are booing as JR tries to hype the tournament and is not doing a good job as he claims what an innovator the WWF is. The fans are chanting boring!
Final Round: Canterbury is able to take him down and gets right back up….he cannot punch him once he is down? They are back on the mat with Bradshaw getting the upperhand and no they cannot hit each other. Fucking lame. Bradshaw hits him a few times and it is over.
** Bradshaw wins and this had some action.
Here comes LoD and their fanbase is slowly dwindling because they have been terribly booked. Animal has a surprise for the Cleveland crowd, the Browns getting a victory? Nope it is Paul Allery their old manager. Hawk hypes him up and mocks Albert Belle and while LoD have been through some tough times Paul is back and he is happy to be so and has something to say but it is interrupted by DoA. They get in the ring and Paul bellows that he is with DoA and they stomp away on LoD. They get their asses kicked as Paul gloats.
Kevin Kelly has found UT and asks if he will heed Vince and not interfere, and UT responds with a shove and tells him that no one tells him what to do.
Match 6: Steve Austin v. Kane (c) for WWF Title
Austin takes it to him right away; he hammers him, but Kane reverses a whip and gets a move or two in until he is Thesz Pressed. Austin pounds away and goes for the Stunner but is shoved off. Kane retreats to the floor but Austin pursues by flying into him from the apron. He then thrusts him into the steel steps, not once but twice. Kane’s head is introduced to the railing and he is rolled back into the ring. Kane greets him with a big punch and now it is his turn as he stomps away and now chokes him out with some stomps interspersed. Another Thesz press off the reversal and Austin pummels him. He drags him over to the post and bashes his ankle into it over and over. Kane gimps to his feet and Austin clips the knee. He grabs the legs but Kane pushes him to the floor. Kane heads out after him and drops down on him from the apron. Kane sends him front first into the steel steps. Kane picks him up and drops him down onto the railing. Kane stomps and stands on Austin. The fans get behind Austin as he is rolled back into the ring. Kane batters him with hard rights and sends him sternum first into the corner where Austin collapses. Kane grabs and squeezes the head trying to open him up. Austin falls to the floor and Paul bashes him with his shoe. Austin staggers after him and gets belted from behind and then rolled back into the ring. Kane falls on him and applies a rear chinlock. Austin gets to his feet as UT comes out. Kane punches out Austin, bodyslams him and gets two after a flying clothesline from the top rope and goes back to the rear chinlock. Austin is on his feet again and punches free, ducks a blow but is goozled and chokeslammed! Kane though takes his time as he walks away, heads back to Austin and attempts the Tombstone but Austin counters and goes for the Stunner but is shoved off. Kane misses the big boot and is kicked in the gut and Stunned and Austin has regained the title!
UT is in the ring standing there like a good and he too is Stunned, both men rise up as Austin leaves with the title.
*** Now I am not like some who do not like title changes on TV. It can potentially kill a payoff down the road where they can make money. Now Kane and Austin had a great match and could have had another at the PPV, building it up and teasing UT and Kane perhaps getting together. But a TV match can build interest in the product, woo viewers away for the competition for the night and hopefully keep them for future shows as far more people watch on Monday’s than order PPV’s and it can create buzz.
***1/2 See comments above. Overall the show was closer to a *** as I am not sold on the Brawl for it All, but there were two solid matches and a decent, if long beginning. A bit disappointing as it came off a hot PPV, and did not tie up many loose ends and the ratings were high too. I expected something better and the air was sucked out of the stadium during the Brawl matches. Still it had its moments, hopefully they capitalize and while I am not sold on the title change so soon as Kane should have had it a bit longer and then lose to Austin next month or in three way at the PPV or at SummerSlam. But then again Austin is the hottest thing on TV but it would show him taking Vince’s best shot and succeeding and give Vince a month of gloating at the least and allow Austin to get revenge.