The SmarK RAW Rant–11.02.98
By Scott Keith on 6th August 2018
The SmarK RAW Rant – 11.02.98
Last week on RAW: http://blogofdoom.com/index.php/2018/07/30/the-smark-raw-rant-10-26-98/
Tonight: Will the McMahon empire crumble live on RAW?
Spoiler: No, it won’t.
Live from Houston, TX
Your hosts are Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler.
Shane McMahon joins us to start, and announces that Steve Austin will face the winner of the WWF title tournament on 11.16 on RAW, and we cut to the back for the arrival of Mr. McMahon while Steve Austin heads down to the ring. Vince decries the rumors of his retirement as POPPYCOCK and wishful thinking. He’ll retire when he dies, and when he dies he wants to go STRAIGHT TO HELL. What a character. So first up, Shane is relieved of his corporate duties and busted down to the lowest position available: Referee. That’s just inhuman! THE MAN HAS A FAMILY! And then Vince scores the all-time burn, telling Shane that he’s not a lot like him, he’s a lot like his MOTHER. Furthermore, Austin’s title shot will be at Survivor Series, where he’ll need to win 4 matches to win the title. And he’s facing the Bossman in the first round. Oh, and there’s a cage above the ring, which will mean HARD TIME for someone before the night is out.
Man, they should have just shut down the show after that sick burn on Shane. There’s no topping that one!
During the break, Vince wheels over to the announce desk to put JR & Lawler in their places as well.
X-Pac & The New Age Outlaws v. The Brood
X-Pac gets a spinkick on Edge to start, but walks into a spinebuster. Edge slams Christian onto him for two. Christian with a gutbuster for two, but X-Pac puts him down with another spinkick and Road Dogg slugs him down for two, but the Brood double-teams him and then everyone brawls until the lights go out and Kane comes in for the Sportz Entertainment Finish around 3:00 or so and chokeslams everyone. Nothing to this one. *
Meanwhile, Vince now wants to know how Michael Cole feels, in response to the stupid question asked last week. Specifically, how does he feel with Big Bossman choking him?
Droz v. Hawk
No match, as now Hawk is drunk or high or whatever again, stumbling down to the ring with messed up hair, and Droz beats on him in the corner until Animal comes down to break up the fight.
Meanwhile, Jim Cornette’s outlandish jackets and “1980s rasslin’ crap” offend Vince, so he sends Cornette packing as well.
Meanwhile, Al Snow and Mankind are still reeling from some of pro wrestling’s greatest secrets being revealed the night before (“Stomp the foot!” “What? NO!”) but they’re gonna get it together against the Oddities.
The Oddities v. Mankind & Al Snow
Mankind tricks Kurrgan into a dance-off and then attacks him, but Snow comes in and gets beat up. Golga pounds on Mankind in the corner and follows with the corner splash, and an elbow gets two. Kurrgan with a sideslam for two, but Mick comes back with the double arm DDT, but misplaces the sock. Snow hits Kurrgan with Head to cover for him while Mick freaks out about the sock, but Kurrgan recovers and they double-team Snow. Al actually fights them off for a bit, but the butt splash finishes him at 4:34. Ridiculously terrible, and the entire last minute with Snow awkwardly fighting them off was awful. The match lost all heat once DUD
Meanwhile, Shaq is hanging around backstage, but he doesn’t have a pass, so Vince tells him to get lost. Vince has a point. Without rules we have anarchy!
“A Real Man’s Man” Steven Regal v. Goldust
Goldust works the arm to start and they’ve already lost the crowd. Regal dumps him and Terri comes out in her Marlena gear, while Regal puts Goldust down with a forearm for two. Regal hits him with forearms in the corner, but Goldust comes back with a bulldog for two. And then the lights go out and it’s another Kane run-in and another no-contest at 5:00 as he chokeslams everyone again. Including Tony Garea, as somewhere young Brian Bayless cries out in terror. This Regal gimmick is dying on the vine and the match was boring AF, mostly because Regal was in no condition to perform. ½*
Meanwhile, Vince asks Mankind for a favor: He cannot interfere in the Rock-Shamrock match tonight, and in exchange Vince presents him with the Hardcore title, kicking off that storied legacy. Although he lost one son tonight, in some respects he gained another. “Gee, thanks, DAD.”
Intercontinental title: Ken Shamrock v. The Rock
Vince has a problem with the Rock, so if Rock doesn’t win the title tonight, he’s out of the tournament. What a magnificent troll job on the fans this whole storyline was. Rock attacks Shamrock to start, but Ken pounds him down with forearms and Rock bails as they brawl at ringside. Back in, Shamrock slugs away in the corner, but Rock makes the comeback before Shamrock hits him with the rana into the belly to belly. Anklelock follows and the crowd is losing their shit, but Rock makes the ropes and they clothesline each other for the double down. Rock recovers first and gets two, and makes the comeback with a neckbreaker for two. Shamrock counters with a powerslam for two, but Rock hits the hurricane DDT for two. Ref gets bumped and Shamrock lays Rock out and brings a chair in, but he accidentally hits himself with it and the People’s Elbow blows the roof off the arena. Sadly, there is no ref, which allows Shamrock to recover the chair and nail Rock with it for the DQ at 8:00, which puts the crowd into a shocked silence. Kind of amazing what a stipulation that people actually believe can do for the heat of a match. Plus these two had mad chemistry so this was pretty great. ***1/2 So Rock is out of the tournament and Vince declares him “The People’s Chump”.
There’s a lot of Vince on this show.
Meanwhile, the Rock tears up the dressing room and threatens Vince’s life for taking away his #1 contendership.
Val Venis v. Jeff Jarrett
Val quickly grabs an abdominal stretch and then turns it into a backslide for two. Corner clotheslines follow, but JJ comes back with a DDT and Val gets a spinebuster. Val goes up and the Blue Blazer runs in for the DQ at 2:30. ½*
Meanwhile, Vince calls the cops on the Rock due to an earlier outburst in the dressing room.
The Headbangers v. D-Lo Brown & Mark Henry
Winner gets the Outlaws at Survivor Series, and the Headbangers are doing Russo’s favorite trope: People who dress up as other people to mock them. Big brawl to start and the crowd is dead already, and the Bangers double-team D-Lo for a bit before he tags out to Henry. Thrasher apparently wrecks his knee coming off the middle rope and he’s limping around awkwardly. Mosh comes in and gets tossed by Henry. Back in, D-Lo works him over as the announcers completely ignore the boring match and talk about the mystery cage match and the Rock’s arrest and whatever else they can think of. Henry with a legdrop on Mosh, but D-Lo goes up and misses a senton. Thrasher gets what I guess is a hot tag and the Headbangers hit Henry with a double suplex and then, say it with me, Kane comes in for the Sportz Entertainment Finish and chokeslams everyone at 5:30. *1/2
Meanwhile, the cops haul off the Rock, despite an attempt to bribe them with donuts.
Owen Hart joins us to apologize once again for injuring Dan Severn and emphasizes that he’s retired. Dan Severn comes out in his neck brace to call Owen scum and a lair, so Owen attacks him until Steve Blackman makes the save. Backstage, Blackman goes nuts on Owen, but the Blue Blazer shows up to make the save. I’m assuming the payoff was supposed to be that Jeff Jarrett was wearing the suit here, but I don’t think it was ever explicitly stated.
Mr. McMahon lowers the cage so someone can face hard time and enjoys a cup of coffee while barking orders at the stooges. So he sends Bossman and the stooges into the cage to ensure that it’s secure, then Bossman locks it and Vince points out that all he asked for…was a cup of coffee. And then the beating is on, in retaliation for their cowardice two weeks ago, until they all vow allegiance to Vince McMahon. Steve Austin climbs in, however, and goes after Bossman, at which point the Stooges return to Team Vince and everyone beats on Austin until Shane talks them into stopping…and then Undertaker comes out as well and beats on Austin until Kane’s music hits for the big payoff of that running gag, as he sets the cage on fire and makes the save to end the show.
Extra Attitude: Austin puts Kane out with the stunner while the ring crew extinguishes the fires, and then once again poor Vince gets mauled by Austin and then thrown into the cage for a stunner.
A pretty hot show, but JESUM CROW these finishes. Literally one match had a finish tonight and the rest were DQs or Kane no-contests. Russo gonna Russo.