WWF: Raw is War (02.09.98)

rawiswar

WWF: Raw is War
February 9, 1998
Evansville, IN
Roberts Municipal Stadium

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)

Before we even begin, we celebrate Freddie Blassie’s 80th birthday as Sunny impersonates Marilyn Monroe and sings “Happy Birthday, Mr. Blassie”. She even does the bit from “The Seven Year Itch” where her dress flies up.

They show a video package highlighting what happened at the end of Raw between Steve Austin and DX. Tonight, there will be stone cold hell to pay, says Cole.

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

Stone Cold Steve Austin starts the program carrying a white sack with him to the ring. Nobody rubs a title belt in Austin’s face. There’s just some things you just don’t do. He doesn’t want to wait until No Way Out to get a piece of Shawn Michaels, so he tells HBK to get together some guts and come to the ring. DX appears on the TitanTron. Shawn tells Austin he’s all revved up with nowhere to go. He knows exactly how to pull Austin’s strings. Austin is the so-called baddest SOB in the WWF and HBK punked him out like a dog. Austin will get a piece of Shawn Michaels, but only when he wants to. If Austin can give him one good reason for Shawn to come out there, he’ll come out there. Otherwise, he’ll just have to wait until No Way Out. Austin gives him a good reason: he’s got the WWF title in the white sack. When HBK realizes he doesn’t have the belt, DX gets furious. Austin says he’ll be out here all night if Michaels wants his belt back, but he’s going to have to ask real nice. That’s the bottom line because Stone Cold Said So. You better believe there will be hell to pay.

  • Legion of Doom vs. Barry Windham & Jeff Jarrett (w/Jim Cornette & Rock N Roll Express)

Since Sunny has nothing better to do, she is the guest ring announcer for this match. They talk about how the LOD are on a losing streak that has been exacerbated by the NWA stable. I’d say they have been on a losing streak ever since they lost the WWF tag belts to the Outlaws back in November. Being the pissed off duo, Hawk destroys Windham with clotheslines and backdrops to start. Animal does the same to Jarrett, but winds up becoming the face in peril. Jarrett hits the Bossman straddle and struts around. He tags in Windham who handles Animal with a suplex for two. He fires back on Windham with a powerslam and hot tags Hawk. Reverse Neckbreaker on Jarrett connects, but the match breaks down. Windham gets knocked out to the floor. LOD looks to finish off Jarrett, but Hawk misses a corner charge and falls outside the ring. This allows the RNR Express and Jim Cornette to damage Hawk’s knee by dropping him on the steps. Cornette whacks the leg with his tennis racket. Back inside, Jarrett puts the FIGURE-FOUR on Hawk until Bradshaw runs down for the DQ. (5:08) He’s coming for Windham and Jarrett and chases them backstage. Bradshaw – obvs the Tito Santana in this tag team breakup – is still wearing the Blackjacks tights. *½

In the locker room, Shawn Michaels tells Chyna to do whatever she has to do to get the title belt back.

  • Henry Godwinn (w/Phineas Godwinn) vs. Pierre (w/Jacques)

Since the Godwinns cost the Quebecers a match against Los Boricuas on Shotgun Saturday Night using a slop bucket, the Quebecers have gone out and got themselves a slop bucket as well. They announce that the Quebecers will face the Godwinns this Sunday at No Way Out. Big slugfest to start. Pierre throws Henry to the floor for a plancha of sorts. He lands at Henry’s knees, which is never a good thing. Back inside, Pierre hits a flying legdrop for 1-2-NO! Godwinn fights out of a chinlock and slides away from a Flying Senton Bomb. Now here comes Henry. He hits a shinbreaker and starts kicking at the leg so Pierre can sell like Curt Hennig might do. Jacques whacks Henry with the slop bucket. As Phineas chases Jacques into the ring causing the ref all kinds of trouble, Phineas hits Pierre with his slop bucket and Henry covers Pierre for the pinfall. (4:39) Don’t mess with the Kings of the Slop Bucket, I suppose? This might be the weakest feud going into the PPV. ¾*

Chyna comes across Los Boricuas sitting around a table playing cards backstage. She tells them in Spanish that she’s looking for Steve Austin. Looks like they have some sort of deal worked out to help find Austin.

  • TAKA Michinoku & Aguila vs. Pantera & Brian Christopher

You can’t have an Evansville show in 1998 without Brian Christopher, right? So apparently Pantera has turned heel to heat up their match with TAKA Michinoku for No Way Out. Aguila looks like Juventud Guerrera wearing a Psychosis mask. Aguila and Pantera show off with some lucha misses and counters to start. This culminates with Aguila monkey flipping Pantera out to the floor. Christopher tries to pearl harbor Aguila and eats an enziguri kick. Christopher falls over Pantera trying to get back in the ring, but then Pantera eats a DOUBLE DROPKICK to send him crashing back down onto Christopher. Aguila then wipes them both out with a corkscrew plancha. TAKA does his famous springboard dive as well. Back inside, TAKA and Pantera trade some kicks on each other. Tag to Christopher, he wears down Aguila and hits the Full Nelson Facebuster. Commercials! When we come back, Christopher is still in control. He tags in Pantera, but he misses a flying senton bomb. TAKA gets a tag and goes HURRACANRANA CRAZY! Christopher reaches into his trunks for a foreign object, but misses on TAKA. Pantera picks up the object and puts it in his mask Assassins-style and headbutts TAKA from the top rope for the pinfall. (5:25 shown) So Pantera has just pinned the champ. TAKA is out cold! **

Kane and Paul Bearer come to the ring. Bearer is sick and tired of hearing about Vader and how “it’s time”. Kane will meet Vader this Sunday night. To send the point home, Kane sets a Vader clock on fire! I want a Vader clock. As for the Undertaker, Bearer tells his creatures of the night that he’s sure the Deadman won’t be in Houston for the No Way Out PPV. Placing that little seed of doubt in people’s minds about Taker may have helped people decide whether or not to buy the show. Who knows.

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

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

HUGE “Rocky Sucks” chants going through the arena here. Chainz and Shamrock shine on Faarooq to start. Tag to Rock, Shamrock is on him like white on rice and Rocky begs off in the corner. Back to Faarooq, he walks into an armdrag. Chainz tags in and gets tossed out to the floor for the NOD boys to do a quick number on him. Back inside, Rock lays the smackdown on Chainz and hits the People’s Elbow. Cover, 1-2-NO! Faarooq stands over Chainz, but jumps up and down and falls balls first on Chainz knee. Hot tag to Shamrock, Belly to Belly Suplex on Faarooq! The DOA and NOD get into a fight. During the chaos, Shamrock delivers a hurracanrana to Faarooq to set him up for the ANKLELOCK, but Rock breaks it up with a chairshot to the cranium. With the ref distracted by the fight, Faarooq covers Shamrock for the win. (4:22) Shamrock SNAPS and starts dishing out belly to belly suplexes to anybody who gets in his way – even the referee and Chainz included! The Harris twins and Ahmed have to get him to calm down. Anyways, the ten-man tag takes place on Sunday night in Houston. *½

Seven weeks until WrestleMania 14!

We get some WrestleMania Press Conference footage from last Thursday at the Official All-Star Café in Manhattan. It is announced by Vince McMahon that Shawn Michaels will defend his WWF title against Stone Cold Steve Austin in the main event at WrestleMania 14. Mike Tyson will be the special enforcer for this match. We get some work-shoot comments from Austin, Michaels, and Tyson. Shawn reiterates that he absolutely does not lay down for anybody. Some easy questions are thrown to Mike Tyson like who his favorite wrestlers are (Bruno Sammartino, the Valiant brothers). More work-shoot answers are given to the New York media. With the WWF’s intention of making Tyson into a babyface and a likeable person again after his recent Evander Holyfield controversy and spending three years in jail for a rape, he appears like the only sane individual out of these three guys as Austin and Michaels constantly threaten each other. It boils down to a heated confrontation between Austin and Michaels with Mike Tyson keeping them separated.

  • Recon (w/Sniper) vs. Steve Blackman

Hahaha. Steve Blackman is doing a light show in the ring with some ninja glowsticks. It just looks like he’s at a rave. This is what I’m picturing. Jackyl is being lowered from the ceiling on a stage with a podium as he preaches to the masses. This is *change the channel* television as not only is it a lame match, but I do not care what Jackyl has to say, and it just goes on forever and ever. Blackman wins with some sort of ju-jitsu armbar submission. (4:36) JR – “I don’t know if he’s a Jackyl or a Jackass?” Ross also confirms that Blackman remains undefeated. Jackyl slaps Recon for being a failure and turns his back on him hoping he’ll nail him. Recon is tempted, but just can’t bring himself to do it. ½*

The WWF tag champs the New Age Outlaws come out and mock the Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie dumpster dive from last week. It’s not all that funny. Whatever is left of Cactus and Terry Funk, they will sweep it under the rug at No Way Out.

We finally get an update on what’s happening with the search for Stone Cold Steve Austin. He outsmarts Los Boricuas by locking them out of the building using a chain and a padlock. Chyna gets so mad, she flips over a table!

  • Goldust (w/Marc Mero, Sable & Luna Vachon) vs. Headbanger Thrasher (w/Headbanger Mosh)

Goldust is still dressing up like Marilyn Manson. Mero and Luna get rid of Sable for being cheered too much, I suppose. Thrasher comes back on Goldust with a big backdrop that sends him walking. Crowd really wants Sable to come back out. More brawling ensues allowing Luna and Mero to get in some shots on Thrasher. Back inside, Thrasher gets his comeback cut short thanks to Luna tripping him up. This cues Sable to come down. She grabs Luna and starts yelling at her. When Goldust sticks his head through the ropes telling her to leave, Sable slaps him across the face. Thrasher rolls up Goldust for the win. (4:28) Since Sable cost Goldust a win, Luna starts stalking up the ramp. When she gets a shove from Luna, Sable takes off her shades and starts slapping on Luna. Mero pulls Luna away and it seems Sable has finally had enough. Sable is supposed to be in the corner of Mero and Goldust at No Way Out against the Headbangers so we’ll see how that goes. ¾*

Elsewhere, DX is walking tall heading towards the ring for main event interview time.

When we return, DX come out to the ring, but there are no smiles or crotch chops tonight. Shawn wants his belt back and he’s not waiting until Sunday to get it back. He even asks politely by telling Steve Austin to get his ass out here – PLEASE! Well, that brings out Austin with the belt in hand. As Austin runs DX out of the ring, the New Age Outlaws head down to make this 5-on-1. Austin keeps everyone at bay by threatening to whip them with the belt. Next thing we know, we hear chainsaw noise. Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie cut themselves out from under the ring. Owen Hart hits the ring from out of the crowd as DX and the Outlaws head for higher ground. Something has got to give this Sunday at No Way Out of Texas!

And what an even better match that might have been had Shawn Michaels been healthier and there was no bait and switch on us with Savio Vega.

WWFNWO_98

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
NWA North American Heavyweight Title: Jeff Jarrett (c) vs. Bradshaw
War of Attrition Match: The Nation of Domination vs. Ken Shamrock, Ahmed Johnson & Disciples of Apocalypse
Vader vs. Kane
The Headbangers vs. Marc Mero & Goldust
The Godwinns vs. The Quebecers

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