WWF: Raw is War (01.05.98)

rawiswar

WWF: Raw is War
January 5, 1998
New Haven, CT
New Haven Coliseum

The current WWF champs are as follows:
World Champion: Shawn Michaels (11/9/1997)
Intercontinental Champion: The Rock (12/8/1997)
World Tag Team Champions: The New Age Outlaws (11/24/1997)
European Champion: Triple H (12/22/1997)
Light Heavyweight Champion: TAKA Michinoku (12/7/1997)

Before the intro, Stone Cold Steve Austin is walking around outside the coliseum telling us to sit tight because he’s going to raise hell tonight.

TIME TO GET RAW! Your hosts are Jim Ross, Michael Cole, and Kevin Kelly.

We’re supposed to hear from Don King tonight which they hype all through the show.

  • Faarooq (w/the NOD) vs. Ken Shamrock

Despite Rock making this match happen last week, he’s nowhere to be seen at ringside. Our esteemed commentators talk more about Faarooq causing some internal injuries on Shamrock back in September than anything else. They trade shots on each other to start. Shamrock hits a suplex and tries a crucifix, but Faarooq falls backward on him. Faarooq dumps him out in front of Kama and D’Lo, but they don’t lay a finger on him. Shamrock looks injured here. Another dump on the floor and out walks the Rock onto the ramp. The crowd immediately is all over him. Commercials! When we return, Faarooq is in control. Shamrock surprises him with a hurracanrana, but Faarooq thumbs the eye. Kama Mustafa puts a chair in the corner, but Shamrock reverses the whip and Faarooq gets sent into the chair instead. Belly to Belly Suplex sets up the ANKLELOCK for the win. (5:01 shown) Shamrock has now defeated everyone in the NOD except for the Rock who he will meet at the Royal Rumble over the IC title. As Shamrock and the Rock circle each other in the ring, Stone Cold comes out and gives them both STONE COLD STUNNERS before heading out through the crowd. ARRIVE. STUN PEOPLE. LEAVE. *

When we come back, Jim Cornette is in the ring with Dennis Coralluzzo and Howard Brody representing the NWA. People are BOOING the NWA. Corny is standing by what he said last week about bringing tradition back to wrestling by bringing in the NWA North American title. The championship will be awarded to the winner of this next contest.

  • NWA North American Title Match: Jeff Jarrett vs. Barry Windham

No mention of Windham being a blackjack here. He’s still got the mustache though. Cornette joins the commentary table. Headlocks and hiptosses to start. Jarrett gets the better of Windham and struts over to the corner. Windham makes Jarrett pay with some right hands and hits a suplex for two. Gutwrench suplex gets two as well. Jarrett fights back and pounds Windham in the corner, but Windham catches him trying a floatover in the corner and slams him down for two. Windham lands the LARIAT for 1-2-NO! He gets his foot on the bottom rope as here comes Coralluzzo to distract the ref. As Windham goes for the SUPERPLEX, Cornette slides into the ring and whacks him with the tennis racket. Windham and Jarrett both collapse on the mat, but Jarrett turns over on top of Windham for the three-count to win the title. (3:36) Cornette and the NWA reps celebrate with Jarrett. Here comes Stone Cold to run down and give the victorious Jeff Jarrett a STONE COLD STUNNER. This seems like it will be a running thing throughout the night. Austin mocks the Fargo strut and shows Jarrett both his middle fingers. *½

We get a response from Ken Shamrock for what Stone Cold Steve Austin did to him earlier in the night. He wants nothing more than to be the last man in the Royal Rumble with Stone Cold.

  • Sniper & Recon (w/Jackyl) vs. Skull & 8-Ball (w/Chainz)

Because she has nothing better to do, Sunny comes out in a schoolgirl outfit to introduce the next match. Jackyl gives some chick who looks like she belongs in the Manson family one of those jewel stickers on her forehead. He joins the commentary table to spew more of what he brings to the table. Jackyl feels very indy to me and doesn’t belong here. Standard formula tag here with nothing to write home about. Jackyl wants Recon to splash one of the DOA boys from the other side of the ring. Of course, 8-Ball or Skull moves. It’s little things like that where you can’t take Jackyl seriously. Hot tag to the other bald biker, he catches Sniper with the SPINNING SIDE SLAM without the spin. The match breaks down and Sniper receives a DDT for the three-count. (3:40) Here comes Kurrgan. They announce he will be part of the Royal Rumble this year. He makes Recon and Sniper totally irrelevant by booting down one biker and giving the PARALYZER (clawhold) to the other. Jackyl slaps Kurrgan across the face to get him to stop. Where’s Austin at now? Ross believes Kurrgan will be a *force* in the Royal Rumble match. ½*

D-Generation X comes out to close the first hour. Shawn and Hunter are still super jazzed about Chyna’s rack. Can we not have one promo that isn’t about her rack, guys? Helmsley recalls how Owen Hart lost his big shot at the WWF title last week and makes a dick joke all at the same time. Ugh. Helmsley calls out Owen, but he’s not dumb enough to do that. He shows up on the TitanTron from backstage calling Helmsley a coward. Before he does anything, Owen wants Helmsley’s leg to heal so he can break the other one. He has a black heart and those with black hearts feels no pain. Hunter doesn’t seem too scared.

ENTER THE WARZONE! Your hosts are Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler.

  • Savio Vega (w/Los Boricuas) vs. Owen Hart

Owen is super motivated to put away Savio to start. He’s all kinds of aggressive beating on Savio and even hits the missile dropkick and kip-up. Out comes DX to watch from the top of the ramp and distract Owen. Vega pounds on Owen and works him over with a chinlock, but then Owen escapes with a jawbreaker and hits a crossbody out of the corner for two. Los Boricuas stomp Owen out on the floor. Little ref Jack Doan runs down trying to get them to leave, but he’s unsuccessful. Back inside, Owen hits a series of clotheslines and the Spinning Heel Kick to set up the SHARPSHOOTER. Jesus Castillo brings Owen off the hold, but he’s knocked off the apron. Savio tries to toss Owen out, but Owen counters to a beautiful O’Connor roll and gets the three-count. (4:09) After the bell, Los Boricuas do a number on Owen and deliver him to DX. Shawn makes sure they get paid while Helmsley slap around and embarrass Owen until more refs and Commissioner Slaughter come out to break up the party. *½

A disheveled Paul Bearer looking like Otis Campbell comes out to the ring. After last week when it appeared Undertaker and Kane had formed an alliance, Paul Bearer is crying that he’s now lost his Kane and doesn’t know where to find him. He angrily tells us how much he hates the Undertaker and REALLY hopes Shawn Michaels destroys him at the Royal Rumble. Funny how that ended up, right?

We cut to the back to see Stone Cold Steve Austin hurriedly leaving a locker room. The camera moves in to see that Mark Henry is down on the floor with a table turned over. The Headbangers check on Henry and say how crazy and ballistic Austin is acting.

  • Marc Mero (w/Sable) vs. Tom Brandi

This feels more like a Shotgun Saturday Night main event, right? Mero shields himself from Brandi out on the floor and shoves her into Brandi to knock him in the head. That allows Mero to control the match, but the Sable chants start to get to him. He gets crotched up top and given a ten-count corner punch. Flying bulldog by Brandi gets two. Out to the floor, Mero gets knocked onto Sable hurting her ankle. Lawler wants to give her mouth to mouth or external heart massage. Mero starts yelling at Sable and gets punched by Brandi. He tosses Mero inside and checks on Sable hoping to carry her backstage. Mero double sledges Brandi from the apron and whips him into the steps for touching his wife. Inside the ring, Mero hits one TKO and calls for another one when Stone Cold Steve Austin enters the ring and delivers a STONE COLD STUNNER to Mero! (3:41) There’s our first DQ of the night. Austin considers putting the moves on Sable. As he walks away, there seems to be a little smile on Sable’s face, but you can never tell with her. *½

  • TAFKA Goldust (w/Luna Vachon) vs. Flash Funk

We’ve got one 1970s stereotype wrestling another 1970s stereotype as Goldust looks like Disco Stu in black face. Kids today would need a “safe space” to talk about how offended they are by this. Nothing match, but Funk controls probably 90% of this thing. He goes up top for the Tumbleweed when Luna Vachon pushes him down right in front of the ref for the DQ. (2:33) Afterwards, Goldust hits the Curtain Call on Funk. Vader comes by and runs Goldust and Luna away and then dances with Flash a little bit. ¾*

Special video look at Steve Blackman. He’ll be in the Rumble match.

More videos to kill time. We look at the New Age Outlaws encounters with Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie.

Of all people, the Headbangers appeared on Regis and Kathie Lee earlier this morning.

  • WWF Tag Team Champions The New Age Outlaws vs. The Headbangers

Headbangers clean house on the Outlaws to start. Mosh controls Gunn and Road Dogg with armbars. Tag to Thrasher, they hit Road Dogg with a double front suplex. The Godwinns head out to get a closer look from the ramp. Gunn sticks Thrasher with a back suplex and the tide turns in favor of the Outlaws. Both Thrasher and Road Dogg try for dropkicks, but they both miss and hit each other in the dick. Mosh gets the hot tag and they look to put away Gunn with the STAGE DIVE, but Gunn manages to prevent that from happening and falls on top of Mosh for the win. (4:59) The NAO look for some extracurricular activities, but Chainsaw Charlie and Cactus Jack chase them away. *½

We now go to the Don King piece. During all the hyperboles, we find out that Mike Tyson will be a part of WrestleMania 14 on March 29 LIVE on PPV. He’s EXCITED!

To close the show, Shawn Michaels comes out to talk trash about the Undertaker and how he’s going to beat him in the casket match on January 18. He wants to give the people a taste of what they will see at the Royal Rumble and dares the Undertaker to come out and face him like a man. Well, the lights go out and several druids wheel down the DX casket that we saw last week. Shawn thinks it’s just Hunter and Chyna playing a joke on him until Hunter and Chyna appear on the ramp. They try to get his attention, but not sure what good that will do. Shawn does the cartoony line that if they are up there, then who is in here. He opens the casket lid and Undertaker stands up and pulls Shawn down into the casket with him. THERE’S A CAMERA INSIDE THE CASKET! WHY THOUGH? IT’S COMPLETELY DARK IN THERE NOW.

FOLKS, WE’RE OUTTA TIME!

TOTAL BELL-TO-BELL TIME: 27:39.

Royal_Rumble_1998

1-800-COLLECT presents the Royal Rumble LIVE ON PPV on January 18 from San Jose, California.

DOUBLE MAIN EVENT – WWF CHAMPIONSHIP: Shawn Michaels (c) vs. The Undertaker in a Casket Match
DOUBLE MAIN EVENT – The Rumble Match

WWF Intercontinental Championship: Rocky Maivia (c) vs. Ken Shamrock
WWF Tag Team Championship: The New Age Outlaws (c) vs. The Legion of Doom
Vader vs. TAFKA Goldust

 

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