WWF: Raw is War (02.02.98)


WWF: Raw is War
February 2, 1998
Indianapolis, IN
Market Square 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: Owen Hart (1/26/1998)
Light Heavyweight Champion: TAKA Michinoku (12/7/1997)

We open the show with an announcement made by D-Generation X. This is the famous “State of the Union” address channeling a little bit of George Carlin by pointing out words they can and cannot say on TV with the words they can’t say being bleeped and their mouths being covered with DX censor graphics. Shawn’s facial expressions are pretty funny. I believe the unedited version airs on some DX videotape the WWF released way back when. Being an Arrested Development fan, my mind can’t help but wander to the time Gob gave a sexual harassment speech to the Bluth company staff which had much funnier results than this did. All the same, this is a fun little parody of network censorship that really doesn’t make much sense. Some words are bad, some words are worse, and who or what decides that seems arbitrary. They even manage to make it a little topical treating the whole thing like a Bill Clinton press announcement. Shawn – “I did not sleep with that young intern – as a matter of fact, I was up all night!” Apparently, USA Network liked it.

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

As DX head to the ring (with Shawn Michaels and Triple H dressed like a couple Uncle Sams), Ross explains that WrestleMania 14 sold out at the Fleet Center in Boston in just 90 seconds. Red, white, and blue balloons drop from the rafters like we’re at the DNC. They are out here campaigning for Tyson versus Austin at WrestleMania. To keep it short and sweet, they yell out LET! THEM! FIGHT! It’s not too long before Stone Cold Steve Austin’s music hits and here he comes to the ring. DX strips off the goofy Uncle Sam gear and get serious real quick. Austin gets up in Shawn’s face and tells him he appreciates the fact that DX is out here promoting a fight between he and Tyson. Since he won the Royal Rumble though, that means whether or not he fights Tyson, Shawn’s ass belongs to him and the belt is coming with Stone Cold no matter what. Austin feels pretty confident he beat up anybody in the world because he said so. Ross puts over how serious and personal this moment is. A tense start to the show, for sure. And hey, it wasn’t twenty minutes worth of talking either.

  • Hardcore Match: Cactus Jack vs. Chainsaw Charlie

The balloons are still scattered all around ringside. It’s a lot to clean up. Earlier in the day, Ross interviewed Cactus Jack and Terry Funk sitting in the audience. This has to be strange to a lot of people as this feels more like a shoot interview than anything kayfabe. Cactus is 32 years old and says he’s concerned how he’ll be remembered. When a world champion told him nobody would remember him and that he’ll be in a wheelchair by the time he’s thirty a long time ago, Cactus realizes he’s on borrowed time and needs to consider his legacy. Terry says he loves Cactus like his own son, but not tonight. He wonders if tonight they won’t both go out of the business duking it out hardcore-style. I’m not banking on it.

When we return to the arena, Chainsaw Charlie is already in the ring. Cactus wheels a dumpster out to the stage full of dangerous toys. Chainsaw meets him at the top of the ramp for a chairshot battle that Cactus ultimately wins. DOUBLE-ARM DDT on Charlie gets two. Cactus gives a ladder suplex onto Funk. He wants to suplex Chainsaw on the ladder on the ramp, but Charlie counters and inside cradles Cactus to roll them both down to ringside. After Funk lays in some punches on Cactus, he heaves some trashcans into the ring. Cactus hits Funk with a trashcan to the point that he actually starts to feel sorry for him and hands him the trashcan instead. Funk doesn’t feel like he can hit Cactus either until Cactus turns his back on him. NEVER TURN YOUR BACK ON A FUNK. Cactus fires back on Chainsaw and puts his head in the can culminating in an ill-conceived piledriver. Commercials! When we come back, both guys are on the ramp and Terry Funk is busy with a ladder tornado that Cactus keeps walking into because he’s that crazy. Chainsaw sets up a table and looks for a piledriver, but Cactus backdrops him into the dumpster. Cactus puts Chainsaw down with the MANDIBLE CLAW and uses the ladder to climb up onto the TitanTron to deliver the Cactus Elbow to Funk! And what do you know, styrofoam peanuts go everywhere! Next thing we know, the New Age Outlaws appear. They tie the lids shut on the dumpster and then run it off the edge of the ramp! (8:18 shown) JR – “THERE’S PEOPLE IN THERE!” Agents, refs, wrestlers (both babyface and heel), and Vince McMahon himself comes out to sell this like a shoot. Ross does his uber serious “this is a shoot, you internet marks” voice for the duration of this angle. That dumpster is full of styrofoam peanuts – I can’t stress that enough. Of course, no one will draw attention to that fact. Vince is even shown disciplining the New Age Outlaws and they act like children around him. After the break, Sunny is looking hysterical kneeled down crying over Terry Funk like he’s on death’s door. Flash Funk (clearly a distraught family member, har har) wants to jump on the New Age Outlaws. Vince and his stooges hold Flash back, but a brawl erupts anyhow amongst the wrestlers. Meanwhile, Terry Funk and Mick Foley are being taken care of on stretchers before being wheeled into separate ambulances. **½

Once they make it backstage, Jim Ross interviews the New Age Outlaws. He tries to get to the bottom of why they did this. Road Dogg does all the talking saying maybe they went too far tonight, but they have families they have to feed and opportunities in this business don’t come around all that often for them. They do have guilty looks on their faces – almost like two guys who just shot someone for the first time. Like a couple of pro killers, Shawn Michaels and Triple H interrupt to give them some DX advice. If it wasn’t Chainsaw Charlie and Cactus Jack, it could have been the New Age Outlaws instead. They tell the NAO that the WWF is always telling the wrestlers to push the envelope to get the ratings up. Well, the NAO now need to start thinking of themselves. Helmsley specifically tells them to suck it up because the show goes on. Road Dogg and Billy Gunn don’t seem to know what to think about that.

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

  • WWF European Champion Owen Hart vs. Billy Gunn (w/Road Dogg)

Road Dogg doesn’t even feel like doing his introduction tonight. Owen is the first guy to get his hands on the NAO after the earlier angle, so naturally he’s pissed and high energy. He takes Gunn to the floor and wears him out with a ride into the stairs and a suplex on the floor. Back in, the Outlaws cheat to take control of Owen. Reverse neckbreaker gets two. Owen avoids a dropkick and goes for the Sharpshooter, but Gunn thumbs the eye. Gunn works on the neck, but tries a sunset flip which Owen rolls through and applies the SHARPSHOOTER. As soon as he completes the hold, Road Dogg jumps in the ring for the DQ. (5:25) Afterwards, DX heads down to make this a 5-on-1 mauling. They beat up Owen over to the stage where Helmsley DDTs Owen. With him out cold and Shawn yelling at the camera about bringing in some ratings, they threaten to swing a lifeless Owen off the stage only for the agents to come and stop it at the last second. Good grief. This kind of takes some of the seriousness away from the Foley/Funk incident. If I were Vince, I would have had the Outlaws thrown out of the building for the night if he was so mad. Shawn keeps on coaching the Outlaws on how to “get over” in the WWF. ¾*

Michael Cole is at the hospital and calls into the show, but has no new information.

  • Headbanger Mosh (w/Headbanger Thrasher) vs. Marc Mero (w/Sable)

Mero does his usual pre-match routine of expressing how sick he is of Sable always stealing his spotlight and tells her to go to the back. She has a heart-shaped box of chocolates that Mero chucks up the aisle. Mero even goes as far as to say that maybe Sable should get back on the Stairmaster because it appears she’s gained a few pounds. Mero needs someone from the Beautiful People who will watch his back and brings out “Marilyn”. It’s Goldust sort of dressed like Marilyn Manson. I guess that’s fitting for this match against one of the Headbangers. After Mosh gets thrown out to Goldust, Mero hits a sitout powerbomb on Mosh in the ring. Mosh comes back with a powerslam and starts butt bumping Mero and Goldust off the apron. While he’s too busy watching Thrasher beat up Goldust, Mero sneaks up behind him for a Golota and gets the three-count. (2:26) Ross seems to feel like Mero and Goldust deserve one another since they’re both so insecure and starved for attention. ½*

To the back we go, Jim Cornette and his NWA stable share the split-screen with Bradshaw. Ross wants to know when back-to-blonde Barry Windham feels he’ll have the guts to face Bradshaw. Windham has Jeff Jarrett as his partner now since he felt like Bradshaw’s terrible temper always caused them to lose matches. Bradshaw says he’ll bring a broomstick or even Bozo the Clown if he has to in order to get his hands on Windham.

Video package airs concerning what’s going on lately with Tiger Ali Singh. He’s shown landing in a helicopter to meet his father Tiger Jeet Singh and apparently his mother. He’ll be the Asian Arnold Schwarzenegger, the next Sylvester Stallone, but the movies will have to wait because he wants to be the greatest fighter of all-time. Right.

  • Faarooq (w/the NOD) vs. Chainz (w/the DOA, Ahmed Johnson & Ken Shamrock)

This is basically happening to hype their big ten-man tag match set for the No Way Out PPV. They trade powerslams on each other. Faarooq sits down on the chinlock, but Chainz stands up and electric chair drops him. More stuff happening, but nothing worth getting out of your seat for. Michael Cole calls back into the show for an update. He says Funk has regained consciousness while Foley is slipping in and out of consciousness. Back to the match, Kama grabs Faarooq’s leg by mistake and they get into an argument that winds up causing Faarooq to get counted out. (3:34) The NOD are having some leadership issues right now. I figured this would have just devolved into a ten-man fight to wake this crowd up, but nope. ½*

WWF Rewind brought to you by Western Union: On Shotgun Saturday Night, Kurrgan puts the CLAWHOLD on Michael Modest and drags him up the aisle still in the hold.

  • Barry Windham & Jeff Jarrett (w/Jim Cornette & Rock N Roll Express) vs. Justin Hawk Bradshaw & Flash Funk

So Flash Funk is that broomstick, I suppose. Jarrett jumps Bradshaw at the bell, but eats a boot. Tag to Funk, he gets him some of Jarrett with clotheslines and the like. Back to Bradshaw, he runs Windham off the apron. Meanwhile, the RNR Express grab Funk and drop him on the guardrail. Looks like that’s enough damage to take Funk out of the match as some refs come down and cart him off. Commercials! When we come back, Bradshaw appears to be doing just fine against Jarrett. Oh wait, there’s some more interference by the RNR Express. Back inside, Bradshaw is getting handled like no big deal by Windham and Jarrett. They try a double back drop, but Bradshaw kicks away Windham and hits a LARIAT on Jarrett for the win. (4:00 shown) He wins the battle, but loses the war as the NWA boys do a number on him. Cornette whacks him with the tennis racket and gets nailed. The NWA give him a back suplex/double powerbomb/neckbreaker combination. I mean, it’s like every ECW tag team finisher at once. Jarrett slaps on the FIGURE-FOUR and while Robert Gibson and Ricky Morton hold down the arms of Bradshaw, Windham splashes the knees that Ross puts over as being the reason Bradshaw left the NFL. But you better believe there’ll be hell to pay at No Way Out. **

Another update from Michael Cole. There’s a disturbance and police have been called in as his call breaks up.

WrestleMania 14 Press Conference – New York City – Thursday February 5 – LIVE at 12 noon EST on CNNSI, ESPNNEWS, and TSN in Canada.

In the ring is Wink Collins. You may remember him as the host of the Nacho Man/Huckster videos from 1996. He’s hyping WrestleMania and says it’s sold out, but you can watch it from your living room on PPV. Kane and Paul Bearer head down to the ring. Paul thinks they should show this guy just a little bit of hell that the Undertaker is living right now. As Kane chokes Wink Collins, Vader’s music hits and he comes down to face a guy who is Kane’s own size. No fight. Vader challenges Kane to a match at No Way Out. Before that though, he plans to put Kane’s fire out right now and sprays him with a fire extinguisher. That takes Kane and Paul Bearer out of the ring as they retreat to the locker room. VADER TIME!

  • Steve Austin vs. Road Dogg (w/Billy Gunn)

Hardly a match. Austin beats up both the New Age Outlaws, but the match is stopped when Billy Gunn gets in the ring only to take a STONE COLD STUNNER. (:32) DX heads down to ringside for another 5-on-1 beating. They tie Austin up in the ropes so that Shawn Michaels can talk trash right in his face. Austin’s eyes are bugging. He is PISSED. Next thing we know, Cactus Jack and Terry Funk (with chainsaw in hand!) have apparently escaped the hospital to get their hands on DX and the New Age Outlaws. Stone Cold is walking tall up the ramp to further chase those boys. Meanwhile, Cactus and Funk are helping each other up the aisle. Austin returns to the ring with a DX shirt and rips it up talking trash to the camera about what he’s going to do. Great ending. No rating.

Until next time, so long for now.


WESTERN UNION presents WWF No Way Out! LIVE ON PPV on February 15 from Houston, TX.
MAIN EVENT – Steve Austin, Owen Hart, Cactus Jack & Chainsaw Charlie vs. Shawn Michaels, Triple H, & New Age Outlaws
WWF Light Heavyweight Title: TAKA Michinoku (c) vs. Pantera
War of Attrition Match: The Nation of Domination vs. Ken Shamrock, Ahmed Johnson & Disciples of Apocalypse
Vader vs. Kane


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