WWF: Raw is War (01.19.98)


WWF: Raw is War
January 19, 1998
Fresno, CA
Selland Arena

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)

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

Paul Bearer kicks off the show to explain what happened last night with the Undertaker and Kane. Crowd chants “you suck” at him. Paul says if he sucks, he must be pretty good at it. YIKES. Essentially, Paul Bearer explains that creating a false sense of reconciliation between the Undertaker and his brother and then burning the Undertaker alive in a casket was all part of his elaborate scheme that he has been carrying out over the last 6-7 months in order to ruin the Undertaker once and for all, which seems like standing Russo booking to me. Instill doubt, swerve the heck out of everybody, and then come out and say it was your plan ALL ALONG. Once he finishes his explanation, Undertaker’s music hits and some druids wheel a casket down to the ring. When the lid opens, the corners explode with fire and it’s Kane stepping up into the ring. Paul Bearer introduces Kane as the last surviving member of the Undertaker’s family. He then wraps things up saying, “I’m Paul Bearer and you’re not.” So maybe he’s actually Chevy Chase then – in a fat suit? FLETCH!

Meanwhile in the back, we get some comments from D-Generation X concerning the Royal Rumble. HHH says he made Owen Hart look like a loser and thinks Owen should head down south too since he can’t cut it. Shawn is sarcastically guilt ridden for what happened to the Undertaker. To prove to all the WWF fans they aren’t so bad, DX plans to go on a thorough search for the Undertaker. Hmm.

  • Faarooq, D’Lo Brown & Kama vs. The Disciples of Apocalypse

THE GANG WARZ CONTINUE! DOA in total control in this match to start. Lots of punches and kicks and boots. The tide turns with a shot from the apron by Faarooq to 8-Ball or Skull, but D’Lo quickly misses a flying moonsault and Chainz gets the hot tag that triggers a big brawl. Hebner calls for the bell and disqualifies both teams. (4:41) The Rock and Mark Henry head down to outnumber the DOA, but then Ken Shamrock and Ahmed Johnson even the side and the crowd loses their minds as the NOD are cleared out. Ha, Rocky is wearing his IC belt to the fight. WOW. Kevin Kelly thinks Ahmed has never looked better. I know that’s a thing commentators say when a guy returns, but ARE YOU SERIOUS? ¾*

Here’s a Vic Venom promo. Good grief. He’s the edgy Editor-in-Chief for the Raw magazine – now a monthly edition alongside the WWF magazine. You think these crappy commentators on TV are shooting with ya? He’s got the dirt.

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

Brandi interrupts Mero’s disrobing and starts pounding on him. Mero avoids a corner charge though and hits a DDT. As Mero is putting the boots to Brandi, some man comes down and presents some flowers to Sable. Of course Mero doesn’t like that a darn bit and tells Sable to go back to the locker room. Brandi beats Mero back inside and chops him in the corner. Sable doesn’t listen to her hubby and remains at ringside. Sitout gourdbuster by Brandi gets two. There’s a series of nearfalls on Mero, but then Sable appears on the apron while Mero lowblows Brandi. TKO! Cover, 1-2-3. (3:30) After the bell, Mero takes Sable’s flowers and beats Brandi with them. Will Brandi ever beat Mero? *

Backstage, DX finds a hearse and they plan to whack the Undertaker with HHH’s crutch as they open the back door. When they open the door, a bunch of silly party chicks pop out. Shawn and Hunter hop in the car with the chicks and Chyna is left there to close the door.

After the break, a limo appears out back. Mike Tyson comes out.

  • Cactus Jack & Chainsaw Charlie vs. The Quebecers

This is the WWF return of Les Quebecois after spending a year in WCW where they did very little to come back to the WWF to do very little. At least they’re working! Little chaotic to start as Cactus sends Pierre into the steps. Jacques calms down Chainsaw Charlie with a piledriver. He gives Charlie a bunch of turnbuckle smashes and Funk does one of his great exaggerated sell jobs. Another piledriver to Charlie and the Quebecers look for a SPIKE PILEDRIVER until Cactus breaks it up. Cactus is jacking jaws, but the ref is telling him to go back to the apron. Cactus refuses and applies the MANDIBLE CLAW on the ref for the DQ. (3:16) Charlie gets launched throat first onto the top rope, but Cactus refuses and Cactus Clotheslines the Quebecers out to the floor. Funk does a crazy springing dive onto the other three because he’s Terry Funk. The Quebecers still want to fight until Cactus whips out a barbed wire bat to scare them away. Terry Funk is starting to become one of my favorites in January 1998. **

In the back, DX continues their quest of the Undertaker. They ask the minis and they have no idea either.

Elsewhere, the WWF agents are getting super close to Mike Tyson.

  • NWA North American Champion Jeff Jarrett (w/Rock N Roll Express & Jim Cornette) vs. Blackjack Bradshaw (w/Blackjack Windham)

Cornette joins the commentary table to make a few points. He says he demanded the NWA make this a title match to prove NWA competition is superior to the WWF. He calls the WWF an “outlaw” organization and a clown show. Bradshaw is super rough with Jarrett to start. In between punches and clotheslines, he drills Jarrett with a side slam and a Fallaway Slam. RNR Express pull out Bradshaw for a short beating, but haul him back inside to Jarrett. Even with RNR interference, he misses the Bossman straddle and takes a hard clothesline. After a powerbomb, Bradshaw sets up for the LARIAT only for more interference from the Rock N Roll Express. In comes Windham, he misses a LARIAT on Jarrett and decks Bradshaw. Jarrett covers for the win. (3:41) NEVER TRUST BARRY WINDHAM. He turns on nearly every partner he’s ever had. That’s exactly what happens here as he lays out Bradshaw with an intentional LARIAT this time and gets his hands raised by the NWA guys. *½

In the back, Shawn Michaels is shown talking to Triple H and Chyna trying to express how sincere he is about finding the Undertaker. Sure he had some fun with those broads in the hearse and the conversation with the minis was a bust, but he really wants to find the guy. Next thing we know, Helmsley is pointing to something off camera and the lights go dim.

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

It looks like the traditional Undertaker entrance is about to take place. The difference tonight is that he is slowly descending from the rafters. When the lights come back on, it’s Shawn Michaels in the Undertaker attire. Triple H and Chyna join Shawn in the ring for an impromptu weenie roast to celebrate the win over Taker last night. Chyna whips out a giant salami. Lots of dick jokes. LOTS of dick jokes happening right now. Helmsley says he’ll give Owen Hart a European title shot next week on Raw. Even with a torn MCL, Helmsley can still beat him. Helmsley tells all the California girls that there’s no need to ride Space Mountain (WOO!) anymore because it’s old and broken down. If you want to see the stars, call Triple H because he’s got the rocket if you want the ride. JR thanks Helmsley for that information. Shawn gets on the stick and tells everybody that he beat the Undertaker without any help from anybody. He’s still the icon, still the showstopper, still the main event, and still the WWF champion. As for his next opponent Stone Cold Steve Austin, the WWF title is the final mountain for Austin left to climb around here. Shawn Michaels is at the top of that mountain and Austin can ask anybody in the WWF and everybody he ran down south: Shawn lays down for absolutely nobody. To close the segment, DX throws marshmallows at the crowd.

In the back, Mike Tyson is chilling with the Legion of Doom. Now that’s an episode of Mike Tyson Mysteries if I ever saw one. Sunny comes by and tells Mike he’s the baddest man on the planet and that she’s quite a knockout herself. RIGHT OFF THE BAT, Tyson lets her know he’s married. Animal – “Oh what a rush, huh?” Hawk – “Yeah, MAJOR rush.” Awesome.

  • Los Boricuas vs. The Headbangers, TAKA Michinoku & Owen Hart

The Honky Tonk Man joins us for commentary. Not sure why. He tells us Mike Tyson has been following him all day asking for his autograph. Tyson probably thinks he’s actually Elvis. Honky Tonk and Lawler scheme on how they can get rid of Tyson. Ross comments how these two are talking like cousins. Owen has made some odd choices to get some revenge on Los Boricuas who keep being paid henchmen for DX. TAKA and Thrasher take turns playing short face in peril segments to set up the hot tag to Owen. The match breaks down and everybody clears out except Owen and Jesus. One SHARPSHOOTER later and Jesus is tapping out. (3:01) Even with the weird partners, Owen gets his revenge. Cole asks Owen if he accepts Triple H’s challenge for next week. Owen doesn’t know what HHH is up to, but he’ll be more than happy to get his hands on him. *½

In the back, now Mike Tyson is shown hanging out with the Nation of Domination.

  • WWF Intercontinental Champion The Rock vs. Ahmed Johnson

Every time Ahmed takes a back bump, I wonder if his kidneys aren’t going to burst. People’s Elbow gets two. Ahmed counters a suplex for one of his own and takes Rocky to the floor for a ride into the steps. Here comes Mark Henry down to ringside. He finds a chair that he’ll put to use. As Ahmed hits the Spinebuster and calls for the Pearl River Plunge, Henry whacks Ahmed in the back as he comes off the ropes. That staggers Ahmed into the ROCK BOTTOM for the win. (2:43) Crowd is still hot for Ahmed, but this guy is just not the same. Just too many injuries. To prevent any craziness from happening, Ken Shamrock runs down and chases Rock and Henry away. ¾*

Elsewhere, Mike Tyson is making friends with Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie.

After the break, Tyson is with DX! The guy gets around. He’s comparing arms with Chyna. Sounds like Shawn is trying to recruit him. Tyson points to Shawn’s WWF title.

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

The Outlaws are wearing overalls down to the ring to mock the Godwinns. Billy carries a toy pig. Road Dogg explains they have no beef with the Godwinns and just want to show their loyalty to Southern Justice. Gunn gets his overalls ripped clean off and he’s left in some short blue tights to wrestle the match. The Godwinns control 98% of the match just owning Billy like a jobber. However, this adds emphasis on the finish as Road Dogg tosses Gunn the pig to wallop Phineas for the shocking three-count. (4:53) Once the Outlaws clear out, Henry tears open the pig and a brick falls out. This is *not* Southern Justice. *

To get you to call the WWF Superstar Line, JR mentions this could be a “macho” week for the WWF.

Before the break, Vince McMahon heads down to the ring and gets booed out of the building.

When we return, Vince introduces Mike Tyson. He’s joined by his entourage. Tyson mentions he’s a lifelong fan of wrestling. McMahon asks him who some of his favorites were as a kid. He shouts BRUNO SAMMARTINO without giving it a second thought. Vince didn’t seem to like that answer. Nevertheless, it’s cool to see Tyson gushing over being in the WWF. As Vince starts to make his announcement for what Mike Tyson will be doing at WrestleMania 14 on March 29, Stone Cold Steve Austin’s music hits and out he comes to absolutely take over the show. Commissioner Slaughter, refs, and agents head down to try and maintain order in case things get out of hand. Austin hits all four corners just like he always does because this is *his* ring. Vince stops Austin and asks him what he thinks he’s doing out here. Austin says Tyson is shaking all the hands of the WWF superstars and making friends all over and it’s all making Austin violently ill. Tyson extends his hand to Austin and Austin refuses him. While Austin respects what Tyson has done in the boxing world, this isn’t boxing and now you’re messing with Stone Cold which is something that you just don’t do. Austin says he wants a piece of Mike Tyson’s ass. Since Tyson is in *his* ring referring to himself as the baddest man on the planet, Austin lets Tyson know that he’s in fact the world’s toughest sonuvabitch. Austin feels he can beat Tyson any day of the week – twice on Sunday. Does Austin think Tyson can beat his ass? Hell no. Does Austin think he can beat Tyson’s ass? OH HELL YEAH. In case Tyson’s hearing isn’t so good, Austin lets Tyson know what he thinks of him with his two middle fingers. That’s all the motivation Tyson needs as he shoves Austin back to trigger the biggest and most important pull apart ever to occur on Monday Night Raw. As Austin is being pulled away, Vince is shown kicking and screaming at Austin telling him he ruined the whole thing. In fact Vince, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Just an incredible piece of television as everybody in that ring (including Tyson’s people!) did everything necessary to make it look like as real as they possibly could. No doubt about it – my favorite Raw moment up to this point and I’ve seen all 243 episodes.

Before we go, Vince tries to smooth things over with Mike Tyson backstage. Tyson wants to fight Austin right now and repeatedly calls Austin a “coward” and a “faggot”. This is just too amazing.


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