WWF: Raw is War (06.01.98)

WWF: Raw is War
June 1, 1998
Chicago, IL
Rosemont Horizon

The current WWF champs are as follows:
WWF Champion: Steve Austin (3/29/1998)
Intercontinental Champion: The Rock (12/8/1997)
World Tag Team Champions: The New Age Outlaws (3/30/1998)
European Champion: Triple H (3/17/1998)
Light Heavyweight Champion: TAKA Michinoku (12/7/1997)

At the start of the show, they air a montage highlighting the main event of last night’s Over the Edge PPV with Vince McMahon narrating his own biased account of what went down. Considering Vince used to narrate the happenings of PPVs past just like he’s doing here for the following night on RAW, this was an excellent attempt at anti-Stone Cold Steve Austin propaganda.

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

Dude Love is shown sitting in the ring after they air the intro. Last night was not a good night in Dudeville. He lost his teeth, cracked his face, and got his ass kicked by Stone Cold Steve Austin. Dude admits he made some mistakes and wants to apologize to Mr. McMahon. And here comes the chairman of the board. He does not look happy. The Dude says he’s going to have to take some time off, but wants to still be the #1 contender to the WWF title when he returns. He apologizes for letting Vince down last night, but wants to come back at 100%. McMahon scowls at Dude and calls him a miserable failure not just as a WWF superstar, but as a HUMAN BEING. If McMahon is to accept his apology, he wants the Dude to get down on his knees. Dude at first thinks Vince is joking. He’s not – NOW GET DOWN ON YOUR KNEES~! Dude refuses to embarrass himself and the crowd is already turning to like him again. As Vince continues to call Dude an embarrassment, Dude suggests that maybe Vince underestimated how tough Austin really is. Can you imagine anyone getting this type of clear praise on TV in 2017? Vince didn’t underestimate Austin, he just overestimated the Dude. Well now Dude is pissed. He admits hitting Vince over the head with the chair last night felt pretty darn good. Vince then dares him to do again and the crowd goes nuts. Dude picks up the chair and threatens to hit Vince – right up until the point where Vince brings up the college funds set up for Dude’s kids going up in smoke and the 20-year mortgage on his house. That’s when Dude calms down and sits down in the chair looking up at Vince. McMahon admits that the only reason he hasn’t fired Steve Austin is because he makes him richer. The only thing Dude does for McMahon is make him sick. Vince says Dude’s services are no longer required – ultimately firing him. Crowd still wants Austin as the Dude’s music plays for possibly the last time. Vince dances around the Dude as only he can before leaving him to sulk in the ring.

  • Chicago Street Fight: LOD 2000 & Darren Drozdov (w/Sunny) vs. Disciples of Apocalypse

We go outside the Rosemont Horizon in a back lot for this one. Kevin Kelly tries to get a word with Darren Drozdov, but he’s too busy puking. A mindless fight until the Undertaker shows up and punches down the only two men left standing: Droz and Chainz. (about 4:00?) And the fight just sort of ends.

After the break, we see the Undertaker searching the hallways for Mr. McMahon.

  • Val Venis vs. Papi Chulo

When did Vince Russo think to himself that this show needs MORE dick jokes? Cole informs us that Papi Chulo means “Pimp Daddy”. You might remember Papi Chulo as Aguila who can always put down on his resume that he has wrestled at a WrestleMania. Glorified squash for Venis as he wins with the MONEY SHOT at 3:46. The Undertaker is shown walking to the ring as we go to commercial.

When we return, the Undertaker is in the ring venting about Mr. McMahon. Taker says ever since he’s been here in the WWF, he has destroyed all the monsters that have come around to make McMahon’s kingdom safe for him and his handpicked champions. While Taker has had his opportunities at WWF gold, he feels Vince doesn’t want someone like the Undertaker representing the WWF. Still he remained loyal. After the handpicked champions left for more money, he stayed around hoping his time would come. And how does Vince repay him? Taker gets forced into facing his own brother by McMahon. Paul Bearer is allowed by McMahon to openly discuss everything about Taker’s life. He put Taker’s tragedy on TV all for ratings, but Taker never “lost his smile” and kept on fighting. While he’s been taking care of family business, Stone Cold Steve Austin has gone right to the top. Taker has no problem with Austin – all he’s ever done is come to the ring and fight him like a man. See what I mean? Imagine guys being put over in segments like this today. Taker says he’s finally had enough and feels it’s time he gets what is rightfully his. He wants a WWF title shot and demands McMahon come out and face the Reaper. And here comes Mr. McMahon. He admits Taker has got his attention, but what has Taker done for him lately? Oh my. Vince brings up Taker’s family problems again and wants to know if Paul Bearer was telling the truth when he said Taker’s mother was really a whore. Oh my. Vince then makes a match between the Undertaker and Kane for a shot at the WWF title. Oh my. Ross – “UNDERTAKER WILL HAVE TO WALK THROUGH HELL TO GET AT AUSTIN!”

JVC Kaboom! Box presents the Kaboom! of the week. From the Over the Edge PPV, Undertaker chokeslams Pat Patterson through the announce table. Patterson still takes a great bump.

In something resembling an ad, DX uses the Super Soaker CPS 1000 to douse Sable and a photographer at a photo shoot.

The 1998 King of the Ring bracket.

  • KOTR Qualifying Match: Marc Mero vs. Steve Blackman

Crowd chants for Sable, but they aren’t going to get Sable. She’s at home barefoot in the kitchen where she belongs, says Mero. He then introduces his new valet who is everything Sable is not: it’s JACQUELINE. It’s Jeff Jarrett’s side chick! Anywho, Blackman does his chops and things. He controls almost the entire match until Jacqueline distracts him and the ref. Mero low blows Blackman and sets him up for the WILD THING for the win. (2:56) Nobody knows what to call the move for some reason. Mero advances to the KOTR. ½*

Clips from Mancow’s Morning Madhouse radio show in Chicago where Stone Cold Steve Austin is a special guest. Mr. McMahon shows up to be razzed. Entertaining stuff. And now Austin has a PODCAST.

Edge promo. He is light, but you will never see him. I think?

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

  • Elimination Match: The New Age Outlaws & Triple H (w/Chyna & X-Pac) vs. D’Lo Brown, The Rock & Owen Hart (w/Kama & Mark Henry)

Commissioner Slaughter sends all the extras out of here so that’s just 3-on-3. Helmsley jumps D’Lo to get this started. He stomps a mudhole in him and connects with the Harley Race high knee. Tag to Road Dogg, he lands the Shaky Knee Drop. D’Lo comes back with a AA Spinebuster for two. Road Dogg goes to the eyes though and tags out to Gunn. While D’Lo punches back on Gunn, he comes off the ropes only to get nailed from behind by Road Dogg to double him over for the PILEDRIVER from Gunn to send Brown to the showers at 1:30. In comes the Rock. Road Dogg tries to slow things down with some old fashioned hammerlocks and armbars. He tries the Shake Rattle and Roll punches, but then comes off the ropes into the ROCK BOTTOM to even the sides at 2:24. Billy Gunn jumps the Rock and works him over. Blind tag to Owen, he flies in and drills Gunn with a missile dropkick for two. Gunn fires right back with a DDT, but misses a Stinger Splash and eats the SPINNING HEEL KICK OF DEATH to take out Gunn in 3:45. It’s now just Triple H against the Rock and Owen Hart. Chyna gets a little concerned and comes down to ringside as we go to break. When we come back, the Rock and Owen are still working over Triple H. There’s a hope spot here and there. Boy this crowd is hot. Rock hits the People’s Elbow and throws away his elbow pad I believe for the first time ever. Cover, 1-2-NO! Helmsley comes back with the Facebuster. He charges Rock and gets caught in the Rock Bottom, but elbows him away and hits the PEDIGREE. Triple H pins the IC champ at 6:53 shown. Owen Hart and Triple H start slugging it out. When Owen sends Helmsley to the floor with the Spinning Heel Kick, that’s when KEN SHAMROCK RETURNS and punches down Owen for the DQ. (7:26 shown) He gives Owen a Belly to Belly Suplex and looks for the Anklelock when the Nation of Domination run out to save Owen. Of all people, Dan Severn appears and helps Ken Shamrock clear out the ring. Severn and Shamrock trade glances. After Severn picks up his coat and leaves Shamrock behind, Triple H is back in the ring pissed at Shamrock for costing DX the match for another fight. This time refs and agents appear and end up pulling these two apart. Oh boy. Some quick eliminations, but overall very entertaining. **½

We catch the Undertaker in the boiler room contemplating facing his brother again for a shot at the WWF title. It’s quite a dilemma!

After the break, Mr. McMahon is found talking to Paul Bearer and Kane in the locker room. We see a handshake between Kane and McMahon and a big smile on McMahon.

  • KOTR Qualifying Match: Jeff Jarrett (w/Tennessee Lee) vs. Faarooq

Tennessee Lee has cleaned up the Godwinns and turned them into “Southern Justice”. They look like some villains on Walker Texas Ranger. Pretty much booked the same way as the first KOTR qualifying match between Mero and Blackman. Faarooq controlled most of the match, gets distracted by Southern Justice, and then Jarrett cheats to win by KO’ing Faarooq with Tennessee Lee’s belt buckle to advance to the KOTR. (3:22) Just lazy booking here. ½*

McMahon family video clip spotlights Vince McMahon’s tradition of compassion and giving. Hilarious.

  • WWF Light Heavyweight Championship: TAKA Michinoku (c) (w/Bradshaw) vs. Sho Funaki (w/Kaientai & Yamaguchi-san)

Michinoku dumps out Funaki and shows off with the springboard dive to start. Back in, Funaki nails TAKA with a butt-butt and blocks a tornado DDT with an atomic drop. TAKA flips out of a German suplex and delivers a headscissors. He calls for the Michinoku Driver, but Dick Togo distracts and Funaki bails. TAKA decides to wipe them out instead with a moonsault press. We see Al Snow and Head are at ringside in what we would now consider a very un-PC Asian outfit. Back inside, Funaki swats away a missile dropkick and hits a fisherman’s suplex, but misses a flying elbow. TAKA delivers the missile dropkick to the back of Funaki’s head while security escorts Al Snow and Head out of here. He’s getting over for sure. Meanwhile, the MICHINOKU DRIVER gets the win over Funaki. (3:10) There was so much happening there. **

Elsewhere, Paul Bearer promises that his son will be the WWF Champion. Oh my.

Out back, Al Snow is berating Head for getting them kicked out of the building. I mean, that’s my interpretation anyways.

Vince McMahon joins us for extra special commentary time.

  • KOTR Qualifying Match: Terry Funk vs. Mark Henry

Henry backs Funk into the ropes, but gets turned around and chopped. He then delivers a neckbreaker to Henry. He looks for a second one, but the old trick knee acts up on him. Henry comes back with a clothesline and an elbow drop. To the floor we go, Funk bounces Henry off the guardrail and tries the pump splash only to get caught and driven into the ringpost. It doesn’t seem to bother Funk much though as he reverses a whip into the stairs and clobbers Henry with a chairshot. Vince puts over how that feels. Funk tries an Asai Moonsault on Henry and lands one of his thighs on the guardrail. That’s got to leave a NASTY bruise. Back inside, Funk plays the “refuses to say die” game until he eventually can’t kicked out of a powerbomb and a GUERILLA SPLASH. (4:55) Is there seriously anybody in wrestling better than Terry Funk? He’s just the best. *½

Stone Cold Steve Austin is shown entering the arena and it looks like he’s heading to the ring. Mr. McMahon looks worried, but we need a commercial break!

When we come back, the glass shatters and the WWF champ Stone Cold Steve Austin is on his way to the ring. McMahon asks what he is doing here. Okay, well now we have four commentators.

  • #1 Contender’s Match to the WWF title: The Undertaker vs. Kane (w/Paul Bearer)

McMahon and Austin argue back and forth during these entrances. This is a slobberknocker from the word go as you can imagine. Taker punches out Paul Bearer and hits Kane with Old School. He comes off the ropes, but gets goozled and takes a CHOKESLAM from Kane. More slobberknocking action. Kane posts Taker and brings him back inside for chokes and right hands. Taker eventually fights back and delivers the CHOKESLAM. The ref gets bumped in the corner as Taker hits Kane with the TOMBSTONE. That’s when Mick Foley returns to the ring as Mankind and puts Taker in the MANDIBLE CLAW. McMahon acts like he has no idea why Mick Foley is out here, but he’s very impressed with his intestinal fortitude. Once Taker is done fighting off Mankind, Kane grabs him for the TOMBSTONE as the ref wakes up to count the pinfall. (6:27) Afterwards, Kane goes down to ringside and confronts Austin. He does the universal “I’m taking the belt” sign and lights the corners on fire. After Kane and Paul Bearer leaves, Taker and Mankind continue brawling around ringside. Ross remarks that these two will have to settle their match in HELL. And there ya go. McMahon is very impressed with Mankind! You can say he just made the case to get his old job back. *½

Good night, everybody!

MAIN EVENT:
WWF CHAMPIONSHIP: Steve Austin (c) vs. Kane
1998 King of the Ring Finals

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