WWF: Raw is War (03.17.98)

rawiswar

WWF: Raw is War
March 17, 1998
Phoenix, AZ
America West 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)

LET’S GET STARTED ON THE UNOPPOSED ST. PATRICK’S DAY EDITION OF RAW!

It’s the one night a year where your core audience (males aged 18-34) will be out at a bar drinking and having fun with friends instead of staying home watching wrestling.

Even unopposed, RAW was not able to defeat Nitro in the ratings this week even with a 4.4 overall rating regardless of the fact that this was one whole ratings point higher than it had been the previous week. With Nitro hailing from its normal timeslot and despite being WrestleMania month and with all the Mike Tyson hoopla that went with this year’s show, Nitro continued to weather the storm in the Monday Night Wars with a 5.6 overall rating.

Your hosts are Jim Ross, Michael Cole, and Kevin Kelly.

Ken Shamrock comes down to talk with Kevin Kelly regarded the IC champ the Rock and the Nation of Domination. Instead of the crowd chanting for Shamrock, they chant “Rocky Sucks”. Shamrock thinks that says it all. It truly does, Ken. Shamrock says he prides himself by being a disciplined athlete even though his whole persona is about losing his cool and snapping dude’s ankles. He says he will be the new IC champ come WrestleMania. Well, the Nation of Domination interrupts with the Rock leading the charge. Know your role and shut your mouth because the People’s champ is ready to talk. Watching footage like this makes his shtick feel so new and old at the same time. It’s really strange. Anyways, the Rock calls Shamrock a jabroni and says Shamrock couldn’t last two minutes with anybody in the NOD let alone the Rock. If he can last two minutes with one of the NOD boys, then Rock will give Shamrock an IC title match – TONIGHT! Rock volunteers D’Lo Brown to go down and face Shamrock.

  • Ken Shamrock vs. D’Lo Brown

Shamrock doesn’t give a crap about D’Lo and wants the Rock, which gets him all distracted as D’Lo pearl harbors him. Ahh, we’ve got a two minute timer all ready and set to go. How convenient for such an impromptu moment. Brown holds his own against Shamrock for the first minute or so. Shamrock puts him down with the Belly to Belly Suplex and puts on the ANKLELOCK with nineteen seconds to go. That’s when the Rock slides in and blasts Shamrock across the back with a chair. (1:49) When Shamrock sits up, he dares Rock to hit him again. Rocky doesn’t mind dishing out chairshots and cracks Shamrock across the cranium. This was almost ‘Chairshot Heard Round the World’ rough. Shamrock is out cold no doubt. Faarooq even steps in and gives Rock a tongue lashing for doing that. The crowd senses a face turn for Faarooq, but no dice. Refs and agents come out to check on Shamrock while the Rock and Faarooq head for the dressing room.

After the break, Kevin Kelly confirms that Ken Shamrock has suffered a concussion. Yeah, no duh.

I can’t confirm it for sure, but I’ve heard the interaction between Shamrock and some referees backstage when something like this:

Here comes Sable. Other than having ridiculous ginormous breasts, I don’t see what the attraction is. She has a voice that rivals Stephanie McMahon. She has no butt. She has way too much fake blond hair. You would never really know if she has pretty eyes because she wears more eye liner than four Daytona strippers. She has pretty skin, I guess. I don’t get it. No charisma. No personality. It must literally be that she has huge fake cans. That seems to be where it begins and ends here. I mean, I LOVE boobies. But come on. Anyways, she calls Luna a “bitch” – because apparently you can’t show aggression on promos anymore unless you curse at your opponent – and challenges her to a match tonight.

And just for the record, I do see how shallow that description of Sable is. BUT LOOK AT HER. In what way would you describe her except in a very shallow and sexist way? Let’s be honest, she’s not hired by the WWF here to be a clever or creative character.

After Sable leaves, the Phoenix Suns Gorilla mascot descends from the ceiling and the crowd goes nuts as he hypes the crowd and messes with Ross and Cole. He gets about as big of a pop as Sable here in Phoenix, which is interesting.

  • Jeff Jarrett (w/Tennessee Lee) vs. Tom Brandi

Jeff Jarrett rides a white horse with flashing lights out to the ring like Jerry Lawler did many moons ago in Memphis. The Gorilla has picked up Kevin Kelly’s headset. Ross – “I worked with somebody just like you one time.” That a joke directed at Gorilla Monsoon or somebody in WCW? Who knows. This is a rematch from Shotgun Saturday Night where Jarrett picked up the win. Brandi executes a scary reverse neckbreaker on Jarrett and Jack Brisco rollups Jarrett for two. He misses a corner charge and gets his leg caught up in the ropes as Jarrett seizes the moment and locks in the FIGURE-FOUR for the win. (1:54) Because the WWF is always trying to feel fresh these days, I didn’t think they would go back to 1994 with the “Double J” Jeff Jarrett character, but here we are. ½*

Backstage, the Rock interrupts Kevin Kelly to say he couldn’t give two monkey craps about Ken Shamrock. I think we’ve heard all but one of his bits for the next twelve months. I’m not sure when he started saying “it doesn’t matter what your name is”, but that’s the only one I haven’t heard tonight. Anyways, he thinks Shamrock is out for WrestleMania. Who will be his new opponent? The WWF will have to find somebody worthy. He knows it will be tough, but it’s got to be done. If Shamrock lives through what he suffered tonight, he says Shamrock can enjoy WrestleMania from the comfort of his own home. Oh, and there’s the eyebrow at the end.

WRESTLEMANIA MILLENNIUM MOMENT (brought to you by M&M’s): WrestleMania 11, Lawrence Taylor versus Bam Bam Bigelow. GO LT GO LT GO LT GO!

Next, they air a build-up video for Shawn Michaels versus Steve Austin. Lots of Shawn Michaels highlights from the past five years. This video lasts over eight minutes.

  • The Headbangers vs. The Rock N Roll Express & Jim Cornette

They show us some footage from WWF Superstars (man, when did that show END?) where the Headbangers got five minutes with Jim Cornette if they beat the Rock N Roll Express. Well, they beat the RNRs although Mosh was knocked unconscious. Corny got to drop an elbow on Mosh (that got four replays from different angles) and pinned him. Before the match started, the Gorilla hopped in the ring and showed off a Gorilla 3:16 t-shirt. Cole tells us that Cornette is so confident, he has given Barry Windham the night off here. The graphic for the Headbangers lists them as the NWA North American Tag Champs when they are supposed to be the NWA world tag champs. To take us back ten years ago, the Headbangers hiptoss the RNRs over and do the rowboat routine. Cornette won’t tag in, but it doesn’t matter. He distracts the ref while the RNRs double-clothesline Mosh. They continue to double team Mosh until he catches on and fights them off. STAGE DIVE to Morton! That’s enough to secure the pinfall. (2:07) So far the LONGEST match of the night. ¾*

When the Headbangers go after Cornette, Bob Holly and Bart Gunn enter the ring and start beating up the Headbangers. They have “ME” on their backsides, which could only mean one thing when it comes to Jim Cornette. With Thrasher tied up in the ropes, Bart hands Mosh off to Holly on the middle rope for a flying spinebuster. They grab Thrasher and give him the ROCKET LAUNCHER. Yeah, I think we know what’s happening here. Morton and Gibson seem to be going along fine with all of this. Cornette gets on the microphone to announce he has reinvented the Midnight Express. The team now includes Bombastic Bob and Bodacious Bart. Nevertheless, there are some men wearing skirts who are the NWA tag team champions and Cornette blames the Rock N Roll Express for this. It’s this moment when the Midnight Express turn on the RNRs apparently to start this war all over again now in the WWF, but also as part of the NWA. Is it just me or does Bart Gunn look smaller now? Is it the longer hair maybe?

They remind us that Gennifer Flowers will be at WrestleMania this year.

Evidently the Gorilla missed his cue on that last segment because he’s back in the ring showing off his Gorilla 3:16 t-shirt as if it were the first time. Kane and Paul Bearer come down to knock this guy down a peg. Kane chokeslams the Gorilla to draw BOOS from the crowd. Give him a TOMBSTONE while you’re at it. Ross sells it like a shoot. The Phoenix Suns mascot is just a guy in a gorilla suit trying to make a living, but Kane is 100% real. OHH YESSSSS!

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

The European champ Owen Hart comes down to the ring with his right foot in a boot after rolling his ankle last week in a match against Barry Windham. Just goes to show that it’s not always the crazy moves that can hurt you. He joins Ross and Lawler at the commentary table. Whether his ankle is hurt or not, he will be at WrestleMania to face Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Ross says that Owen will be with us for the rest of the show.

  • Chainsaw Charlie vs. Billy Gunn (w/Road Dogg)

The Outlaws wheel down a dumpster that has “Jack’s House” painted on the side. If I’m not mistaken, this looks like the first time we see the “Bad Ass” doo rag on Billy Gunn. Sometimes it’s hard to catch all of these things. It’s amazing how much of a period of change WrestleMania 14 is in this company. Road Dogg does his own commentary on the house mic. Total brawl here. Gunn gives Funk a couple piledrivers and picks him up off the mat before the three-count. Charlie punches him back and hits a couple DDTs! When Chainsaw goes for the pin, Road Dogg jumps in the ring and blasts him with the WWF tag title belt for the DQ. (2:23) After the bell, Funk punches away Road Dogg and DDTs Gunn on the title belt. Cactus Jack appears as Road Dogg gets his feet tied. We see that Cactus and Chainsaw have acquired some sort of pulley system as Road Dogg gets hung up in the air. Since Cactus says he doesn’t know how to get him down, Road Dogg better call somebody. Classic. ¾*

SLAM OF THE WEEK (brought to you by Bop It): Not really a physical slam so much as a verbal one. Austin tries to get Vince McMahon to hit him across the chops last week on RAW. It didn’t work.

Backstage, Luna calls Sable an ignorant slut. She plans on giving Sable another makeover tonight, but it will come when she decides.

Vince McMahon gets a not-so-warm welcome from the Phoenix crowd as he struts down to the ring to meet Kevin Kelly. He asks McMahon what he thought of Stone Cold Steve Austin disrespecting him last week by giving him the bird and daring McMahon to punch him. By not hitting Austin, Vince says he personally saved the main event of WrestleMania because how can Austin compete with a broken jaw? HAHAHA. They show another clip of Austin ordering Vince to leave his own ring. McMahon repeats what he said earlier: he does what he does for the fans of the WWF. If he had taken Austin down, it would not have looked good to the audience. Wow. Kelly really pushes the question as to whether or not Vince wants Austin to be the next WWF champion to get a clear answer. If Austin will allow himself to be molded into a respectful WWF champion, that would be one thing. If Stone Cold Steve Austin becomes WWF champion as we know him now, that would be a PR nightmare. That’s still not a definitive answer. Kelly wants the truth. Vince doesn’t think Kelly, Austin, or the fans of the WWF can handle the truth! Regardless, Kelly still wants a “yes or no” answer. Vince finally caves and says that “It’s not just no, it’s OH HELL NO”. Ross tells us that Austin must be beside himself watching from home. That’s the bottom line because Vince McMahon said so. Oh boy. What a huge segment for the Mr. McMahon character.

Pete Rose will be at WrestleMania 14!

Next up, they play a Mike Tyson music video called “Bring It On” by Prince, Lucky Luke, and Jim Johnston. Mike Tyson will appears on the go-home RAW before WrestleMania which is oddly enough being taped probably while this show is airing.

Now we get a video package highlighting the career of Stone Cold Steve Austin over the past two years here in the WWF. It lasts a little over six minutes.

Back to the arena, Triple H comes down and challenges Owen Hart to a European title match. He says Owen is full of crap. There’s nothing wrong with his leg! GET IN THE RING! Either show the world you’re a loser or show the world you’re a coward. When Owen brings up Goldust imitating Helmsley to duck out of a European title match in the first place, Hunter piefaces Owen and starts to walk away. Owen gets up and throws water at Helmsley to kickstart a fight.

  • WWF European Championship: Owen Hart (c) vs. Triple H

The match is on. As Owen dumps Helmsley out, Hunter yanks him into the ringpost. While Triple H has the ref distracted, Chyna comes down and whacks Owen in the cast with a ball bat. In the ring, Triple H bends on the injured ankle until the ref calls for the bell. (0:51) OWEN NEVER SURRENDERED. Ladies and gents, we have a new WWF European champion. It takes Owen passing out before Helmsley will let him go. If Owen comes to WrestleMania, he will leave in a wheelchair. By the way, SUCK IT. I assume you would want all heel champs going into your most important PPV in ten years. Sorry TAKA, you clearly don’t matter here.

  • Luna (w/Goldust) vs. Sable (w/Marc Mero)

Ross says this isn’t a match but a confrontation. LOLWUT? It becomes a pull-apart brawl of sorts as refs and agents come down. Once they finally touch, Goldust takes Luna out of the ring as Mero grabs hold of his wife. Ross thinks Sable may have twisted her knee during the ruckus. If this is a shoot, I bet McMahon is sweating bullets. Oh okay, it’s not. THROUGH HELLFIRE AND BRIMSTONE, it’s Kane and Paul Bearer again. Marc Mero gets spooked and leaves his wife alone in the ring. He’s going to get help. HAHA. As she moves back into a corner, we hear a BONG.

The lights go out, but we see that the Undertaker has appeared on top of the TitanTron. Way to go on that getting that help, Marc. Vengeance comes for Kane at WrestleMania 14. He felt Kane’s wrath – now Kane will feel his wrath. It’s too late to turn back now. The only thing Kane can do is REST IN PEACE. Another lightning bolt strikes a casket open on the stage. There’s a dummy Kane inside and it bursts into flames. Ross – “The Undertaker has spoken and he will meet his brother in twelve days at WrestleMania!”

Until next time, so long for now.

wm14

M&Ms presents WWF WrestleMania XIV: dX-Raided LIVE ON PPV on March 29 from the Fleet Center in Boston, MA.
MAIN EVENT
WWF Championship (w/Mike Tyson as Special Enforcer): Shawn Michaels (c) vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin

WWF Intercontinental Championship: The Rock (c) vs. Ken Shamrock
WWF Tag Team Championship: The New Age Outlaws (c) vs. Cactus Jack & Chainsaw Charlie
WWF European Championship: Owen Hart (c) vs. Triple H
WWF Light Heavyweight Championship: TAKA Michinoku (c) vs. Aguila
The Undertaker vs. Kane
Sable & Marc Mero vs. Luna & Goldust
15-Team Battle Royal

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Posted on June 6, 2016, in WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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