WWF: Raw is War (06.08.98)

WWF: Raw is War
June 8, 1998
Rockford, IL
Metro Centre

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)

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

Vince McMahon, Gerald Brisco, and Pat Patterson head to the ring in tuxedos. Vince asks the crowd for their attention. NOOOOO! They are all dressed up tonight because Vince McMahon is being honored as the “humanitarian of the year” for his generosity by some wonderful charitable organizations. And guess what, we’re all invited to the gala affair. Because he’s such a swell guy, Vince has extended an olive branch to Stone Cold Steve Austin who will be joining him in the ring during the presentation. Jim Ross smells something fishy here. Vince thanks from the bottom of his heart and heads out with stooges Patterson and Brisco.

  • KOTR Qualifying Match: Ken Shamrock vs. Kama (w/the NOD)

Various zebra shirts make sure the Nation of Domination (without the Rock) head back to the dressing room to prevent any shenanigans. They remind us of Ken Shamrock’s return to the WWF scene last week when he assaulted Owen Hart who had previously injured Shamrock’s ankle to put him out in the first place. Kama overpowers Shamrock to start, but Shamrock makes his comeback with flashy moves like a crossbody block and a jumping hip bump. He tries a hurracanrana, but Kama stuffs him with a powerbomb. Kama goes for the ankle although not like say a Ric Flair or a Bret Hart. He stomps the ankle and does apply a heel hook. Shamrock does sell the ankle really well though. He suckers Kama into an ANKLELOCK though and gets the tapout to advance to the KOTR. (2:43) D’Lo Brown comes out to trade fisticuffs with Shamrock, but Dan Severn makes the save. They will be squaring off to get into the KOTR later tonight. Ross and Cole keep putting over that Severn and Shamrock don’t like each other, but don’t seem to bother with the respect aspect that they should have for one another both being UFC guys. ¾*

After they brag about selling out MSG on Friday night, we go to a montage of D-Generation X bothering people in NYC to promote SummerSlam in NYC. They get some girls to show their boobies, they offend minorities – you know, good old American-style fun!

  • Faarooq & Steve Blackman vs. Marc Mero & Jeff Jarrett (w/Jacqueline & Tennessee Lee)

Faarooq and Mero start us off here. Punchy-kicky stuff from Mero. Faarooq has enough and drills him with a spinebuster. An exchange between Jarrett and Blackman gets a little awkward. When Blackman tries a floatover out of the corner, Jarrett sees it coming and connects with a Russian legsweep. Fargo strut! Blackman comes back with some karate and a powerslam gets two. The match breaks down. While Jacqueline massages Mero’s ego, Faarooq knocks Jarrett into Mero. Jarrett then gets rolled up by Blackman for the 1-2-3. (3:26) Well that was a short-lived working relationship. ¾*

Hey! Look at the plagues Vince is getting tonight!

More fun in NYC with DX.

After the break, more fun in NYC with DX. More boobies! Some black dude gets real hype over them.

  • KOTR Qualifying Match: Owen Hart vs. Scorpio

They play around with wristlocks and hammerlocks to start. Owen does a backflip out of the hammerlock and nobody seems to care. I still mark out for it, Owen. He catches Scorpio with a Spinning Heel Kick for two. To the floor, Owen baseball slides Scorpio into the guardrail and drills him with a pescado. Back on the apron, Scorpio shoulder butts Owen through the ropes and connects with a flying body press for two. Scorpio returns to the arm until Owen surprises him with a bridging German suplex. Neckbreaker and a flying elbow gets two. The crowd is rather quiet for this, but maybe they just *know* who will win. Scorpio blocks a flying splash by bringing up his foot. Roundhouse kick off the ropes catches Owen for two. A powerbomb sets up a Flying Moonsault, but there’s no water in the pool. Scorpio seems to have hit his knee and so Owen takes advantage with a chopblock to set up the SHARPSHOOTER for the win. (5:17) Good little match as expected. I think Owen needed a good one-on-one. **½

We get a shot of the Undertaker arriving at the arena and he’s walking with purpose!

During the break, Undertaker pushes past security looking for Mr. McMahon.

  • Chainz vs. Darren Drozdov

We get some NBC Sports footage of Darren Drozdov in the NFL throwing up on the football. Back and forth brawl with punches and kicks. Droz apparently does a three-point stance Stinger Splash and misses. Chainz hoists up Droz for the Death Valley Driver (which apparently is his finish) and gets the win. (2:55) Hey look, here comes the Undertaker! He’s got CHOKESLAMS for both guys! Where you at, McMahon? ½*

After the break, the Undertaker is still in the ring. McMahon, Patterson, and Brisco show up on the TitanTron with former football stars and charity representatives George Martin and Darnell Autry. Since Vince won’t come to the Undertaker, the Undertaker will come after Vince.

D-Generation X comes out to the ring to do their usual shtick. When Triple H starts to cut a promo on the Nation of Domination, LOD 2000 and Sunny interrupt wanting a WWF tag titles shot. Helmsley grants them the tag titles shot despite not being either Road Dogg or Billy Gunn. Both sides are then interrupted by the Disciples of Apocalypse who also feel they deserve a shot at the WWF tag titles. DX huddles to discuss what to do and then decide that all four of them can SUCK IT. Out comes Commissioner Slaughter to settle this whole thing. After thinking about this long and hard, he decides to make a triple threat match between the three teams.

In the back, Undertaker throws a tantrum on trash cans because he hasn’t got his way yet.

Edge vignette airs. Although the vignette doesn’t tell us, he will debut on RAW in two weeks!

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

  • Vader vs. Mark Henry

This is a hoss match if there ever was one. Henry can’t be slammed, but Vader can. Good grief. Henry hits the jumping elbow drop off the ropes and remarks that it’s his turn now. Vader eventually has enough of the clubbering and hits back with a short-arm clothesline. A big slam from Vader (although not as clean as the one from Henry) sets up a leap from the middle rope, but Henry catches him in mid-air and slams him down. They brawl into the corner as the Undertaker appears again and delivers CHOKESLAMS to both guys for I’m assuming a no-contest in 2:45. *½

JVC Kaboom! Box presents the Kaboom! of the week. From the Over the Edge PPV, Steve Austin gives Dude Love that famously cringey chairshot.

They take us back to Over the Edge where Marc Mero proved he’s the smartest man alive by duping Sable and securing the pinfall to oust Sable from the WWF.

  • KOTR Qualifying Match: Dan Severn vs. D’Lo Brown

Dan Severn is a wrestler, but not a ‘rassler. He looks so awkward running the ropes and taking moves from D’Lo. Severn still gets the win as he makes D’Lo submit to a bow and arrow hold. (3:10) Surprise, surprise. Owen Hart jumps Severn after the bell, but then Ken Shamrock limps down to the ring and chases Owen through the crowd. Kudos to Shamrock for selling that ankle. ¾*

They air the “Tell Me A Lie” video tribute equivalent for Sable. Gag me with a spoon.

From earlier today, we see Stone Cold Steve Austin shaking hands with George Martin and Darnell Autry. He may be shaking their hands, but he definitely doesn’t trust them!

  • Dustin Runnels vs. Val Venis

Val Venis compares himself to Dennis Rodman claiming people both call them “The Worm”. Rodman dominates the boards while Venis dominates the broads. Good grief. Venis pushes Runnels back into the corner out of the tie-up and feels him up and down. It’s almost like Venis is now Goldust. Both are controversial and sexual characters turned up to 11. Runnels doesn’t care for that sort of treatment and cleans house on Venis. He’s dressed all in black wearing the black and white Mechanix gloves that Sting wears. To the floor, Runnels bounces Val’s head off the steps. Back in, Venis stops some arm work and hits a back suplex. Is Venis just check out his penis? Who knows. They trade sleeperholds, but Venis stops Dustin with a jawbreaker. Venis sits down on a chinlock and tries to drop his weight on Runnels only to come down on a knee to the balls. An inverted atomic drop leads to a whole bunch of lariats by Runnels. The RUNNING BULLDOG connects! He covers Venis, but only gets two. Here comes the Undertaker to kill the fun as he drops them both with CHOKESLAMS. He really wants McMahon. There wasn’t a closing bell, but let’s say 6:00. **

DX takes Super Soakers to the Slam Jam set and sprays both Dok Hendrix and a “camera geek”. He has a name, Billy!

Before the next match starts, the Undertaker is assaulting Commissioner Slaughter backstage.

  • WWF Tag Team Championship: The New Age Outlaws (w/Chyna) (c) vs. Disciples of Apocalypse vs. LOD 2000 (w/Sunny)

Why are LOD 2000 wearing those stupid helmets again? I thought they were done with those. Triple H and X-Pac sit at the top of the ramp holding Lodi-esque signs. One of them says “Where’s Rocco?” for those fans from 1992 who are still sticking around. The Outlaws bump around for Animal to start. 8-Ball tags in and gets punched onto the ropes by Road Dogg for the Bossman Straddle. Skull and Hawk have a turn. Skull NO-SELLS a suplex, but boy those enziguris from Hawk really smart. He tags out to 8-Ball who takes a Reverse Neckbreaker by Hawk. Hawk runs over and smacks Gunn for a tag and then tells him to suck it. Gunn delivers a drop toe hold to 8-Ball and gets the Shaky Knee Drop from Road Dogg. 8-Ball gets cornered in the Outlaws corner. Blah blah blah. Moving forward. Lots of back and forth brawling ensues until we get to the finish where Road Dogg and Billy Gunn are tagged in to face each other. In what Ross and Lawler consider to be genius, Road Dogg hits the mat and lets Gunn lay on top of him for the quick 1-2-3. (7:38) The Outlaws saw the loophole in this style of match and took advantage. Was this ever done a second time? Anyways, the Outlaws regain the tag titles. *

In the back, loads of cops have shown up. Commercials!

Al Snow and Head again confront Jerry Lawler about getting that meeting with Vince McMahon. Snow has on a tuxedo t-shirt to show he’s dressed right for this classy affair tonight. Next thing we know, security is after Snow and takes him away from ringside. Al is not happy!

Looks like Kevin Kelly will be handling the festivities tonight. George Martin and Darnell Autry are already in the ring. He welcomes Vince, Patterson, and Brisco to the ring. Stone Cold Steve Austin is out next. He wears his usual get-up, but has a black tie around his neck. That’s not what Vince meant when he said this was a black tie affair, Steve! Kelly runs through former New York Giants George Martin’s accomplishments before presenting Vince McMahon with the plague for “Humanitarian of the Year” award. Martin thanks Vince for his charitable contribution even though it was significantly less than he previously had agreed to give. He also remarks that the check finally cleared after two attempts. Is this a rib on Paul Heyman? Martin makes sure to tell us all that his favorite WWF superstar is Stone Cold Steve Austin. We go to the back to see the Undertaker being cornered by at least a dozen security guys. Darnell Autry gets his time and says he doesn’t remember Vince giving his organization a check, but whatevs. Ross is certain it’s just a clerical error. He presents Vince with the “Humanitarian of the Year” award and also expresses that Stone Cold Steve Austin is his favorite WWF superstar. Vince NO-SELLS both of those Austin comments. While Vince puts himself over for his incredible generosity and comments that he will put these two awards up in the future WWF Hall of Fame building, Austin picks his pocket and finds $1200 in there. On behalf of Vince, Austin hands over the $1200 to Darnell Autry for a “hell of a cause”. Austin thinks Vince should instead be the “jackass of the year” and so do the fans. The lights them go out and the Undertaker’s druids wheel a casket down to ringside. As Austin is facing the druids, Mankind shows up behind him and runs him over. Kane comes out of the casket and joins in on the fun. The lights come back on as Kane and Mankind do a number on the WWF champ. Thanks to Paul Bearer’s instruction, they then roll Austin into the casket and close the lid. Kane sets the corners on fire while Vince looks absolutely ecstatic with what just occurred. IS AUSTIN GOING TO REST IN PEACE?

Good night, everybody!

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

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