WWF: Raw is War (06.22.98)

WWF: Raw is War
June 22, 1998
Austin, TX
Frank Erwin Center

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)

TONIGHT: Paul Bearer will be joining us from his home – via satellite!

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

Vince McMahon comes out to the ring to start the show. The Hell in a Cell is hanging from the rafters again this week. McMahon introduces us to the next WWF champion: KANE! Vince tries to convince Kane that winning the WWF title at the King of the Ring will be the greatest day of his life. The days of carrying all the baggage of his horrible childhood will be over. Vince declares winning the WWF title is Kane’s destiny – and no man can stop destiny! Not even Stone Cold Steve Austin. He then says the match that will take place on Sunday night has never happened in the WWF before. Kane will be challenging Austin to a “first blood” match. Vince doubts Austin’s confidence to win this match. As for how much confidence Kane has to defeat Austin, he speaks *for the first time on WWF TV* by putting an electrolarynx up to this throat to say: “If I do not win the title, I will set myself on fire.” We see Paul Bearer’s reaction from his home and he seems quite surprised by this news. Someone in the WWF must be a fan of Ned on South Park. Now set those corners on fire!

  • KOTR Quarterfinals: Ken Shamrock vs. Mark Henry (w/the NOD)

Commissioner Slaughter and some zebra shirts make sure the Nation heads back to the dressing room. You can’t fault these guys for trying to come down to ringside, amirite? Henry dominates with his power and size to start. He’s pretty much Black Vader at this point – just without the clubbing blows and personality. He concentrates on the back and punishes Shamrock with a bearhug. When Shamrock escapes, Henry sits down on a sunset flip ala Vader. When Shamrock comes out of the bearhug a second time, he staggers Henry with multiple shots coming off the ropes until he finally takes Henry down with the Hurracanrana. As Henry slides out to the floor, Vader appears and drills him with a Body Attack as revenge for last week. VINTAGE VADER! Back inside, Shamrock delivers a Belly to Belly Suplex and gets the win. (4:37) Shamrock will meet the winner of Jeff Jarrett and Marc Mero at the PPV. *½

Hey look, it’s Edge sitting somewhere in the arena! He will be making his debut tonight!

The DX Super Soaker CPS-3000 commercial airs. The New Age Outlaws and X-Pac act like unprofessional a-holes and spray down the director for the lulz.

Now Edge is standing somewhere else in the arena.

  • X-Pac (w/Chyna) vs. Dustin Runnels

Runnels kneels in prayer during X-Pac’s entrance. I guess we’re doing *that* whole thing now. X-Pac wears a Triple H t-shirt out to the ring. After some crotch chops, X-Pac blindsides Runnels and hammers him down. Runnels tries to come back with a backdrop, but X-Pac sees it coming and delivers what will become known as the X-Factor. To the floor, X-Pac hits a running dropkick through the ropes. Back in, X-Pac hits his signature kick combo in the corner. He tries a running bulldog (which is Dustin’s finish now), but Runnels counters and drops him on the ropes. The Lariat gets two. Runnels misses a crossbody block off the ropes and does his famous bump to the floor. As Dustin staggers up, Chyna runs him over. Back inside, X-Pac delivers his sliding legdrops. They play off a chinlock allowing Runnels to mount a comeback. When he sets up for the Running Bulldog, Chyna trips him up. As he stands up, Runnels turns around into a Spinning Heel Kick from X-Pac for the three-count. (5:32) Triple H comes down to high-five his DX pal. Runnels wants a friendly handshake from X-Pac afterwards and only gets a crotch chop. **

We now go to Paul Bearer’s house for a response on Kane’s claim that he will set himself on fire if he doesn’t beat Steve Austin at the King of the Ring. He’s got quite a large bandage on his forehead to sell the bloody beating he took at the hands of the Undertaker last week. Paul Bearer says Kane will do exactly what he says, but he will be at Kane’s side at the King of the Ring when he’s crowned the WWF champion.

We see shots of the first Hell in a Cell match to advertise Undertaker vs. Mankind in the Hell in a Cell which will take place this Sunday at the King of the Ring.

Jerry Lawler invites Al Snow and Head out to the ring. He’s been dressing up as a cleaning lady today. Sure enough, Al Snow and Head climb over the rail and he’s dressed like an old lady. Head is wearing Lawler’s crown. Lawler offers Snow an appointment on paper with Vince McMahon in exchange for the crown. Unfortunately for Snow, it’s not an appointment but a contract! The contract states that Al Snow and Head must meet Too Much (or Brian Christopher and Scott Taylor) in a tag match at the King of the Ring. If Snow wins, he’ll get his meeting with McMahon. If he does the J-O-B at the P-P-V, he’ll have to leave the WWF. Snow says he’ll lay down right now. Lawler calls out Christopher and Taylor, but Snow gets up and whacks both men with the Head and runs out of the ring stopping at the commentary table to tell JR that “the Head lays down for nobody” and then flees through the crowd. I wonder what Shawn Michaels thinks of all this?

Kevin Kelly stands in front of a door. We’ll hear from Stone Cold TONIGHT!

Edge has moved to the edge of the staging area. Stay tuned – he’ll eventually make it to the ring.

  • KOTR Quarterfinals: Jeff Jarrett (w/Tennessee Lee) vs. Marc Mero (w/Jacqueline)

The crowd gets a nice “Sable” chant going here. We learn that Sable is now being employed by Titan Sports and not the WWF, so that’s how she circumvented the loser-leaves-the-WWF clause. Mero hits a Sablebomb on Jarrett and follows up with the Merosault for two. Jarrett tries to come back with some sort of powerbomb thing, but ends up dumping Mero on the ropes and it’s all screwed up. Anyways, they trade quick rollups and small packages. Jarrett hits the Bossman Straddle, but gets tripped up by Jacqueline when he tries a second one. When Tennessee Lee gets involved with Jacqueline, ref Jack Doan heads out to separate the two. Meanwhile, Mero hits the TKO on Jarrett and there’s no ref. Here comes Sable (Have her boobies got even bigger? Good grief.) to distract Mero. He turns around into a DDT from Jarrett and that’s all she wrote. (4:31) Afterwards, Jarrett promises that the “King of Country Music” will become King of the Ring. He’ll have to go through Ken Shamrock for that to even begin to happen. By the way, why does Sable even care about Mero at this point? *½

The Cinn-A-Burst Rewind: RAW 6/15/98, Steve Austin and Kane fighting on top of the Hell in a Cell.

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

  • Kane vs. Road Dogg (w/Billy Gunn)

Seems like an odd match to put on right now because Road Dogg clearly has to job. We catch Paul Bearer watching on from his home super pumped to see his son. Ref Jimmy Korderas sends Gunn back to the dressing room. Kane shoves away Road Dogg after he tries a bunch of right hand blows and boots him down. He chokes Road Dogg in the corner and whips him from corner to corner. Road Dogg tries coming back with the Shake Rattle and Roll to no avail. The Flying Clothesline leads to the Chokeslam. Road Dogg tries to low blow his way out, but Kane has “titanium testicles” jokes Lawler and drills Road Dogg anyway. The TOMBSTONE follows and we’re outta here. (4:04) Seemed like an odd opponent to sacrifice to Kane in my opinion. It’s so random and since there’s no issues between Kane and DX at this point that nobody will remember by the end of the night, so whatevs. ¾*

We now go back to Paul Bearer’s home where he says he is healing from the beating he received at the hands of the Undertaker last week. He again confirms that he will be at the King of the Ring to support his son Kane. Jim Ross asks him why Undertaker did what he did to him. Bearer says Taker wanted to shut him up because Bearer knows Taker is part of Mr. McMahon’s plan to destroy Stone Cold Steve Austin. When he starts talking about the Undertaker, the lights in Paul’s home start to flicker and the Undertaker is right there in Paul Bearer’s living room! He beats up Paul Bearer again and destroys everything in his home before the satellite feed eventually cuts out. Oh boy.

  • Edge vs. Jose Estrada

Here is the RAW debut of Edge. Edge comes in through the crowd and gets a DX-esque entrance where there’s quick shots of his TitanTron video alongside a discolored and grainy filter on footage of what’s happening inside the arena. Edge has several RAGE FITS during this match. After he sends Estrada to the floor with a dropkick, he lands on top of Jose’s head with a somersault plancha and knocks him out to get the countout win. (1:08) Not the best debut for sure. Estrada does the stretcher job and Ross remarks there’s no worse injury in this business than a neck injury. Well, I’d say that’s true no matter what you’re doing. N/R

Backstage, we see Kane reacting to what happened to his father. Kane is attempting to scream in anger using his electrolarynx, which is quite strange. Mankind tries to console the monster and let him know everything will be okay. What a friend!

  • KOTR Quarterfinals: Owen Hart vs. Dan Severn

Severn shoots on Owen and takes him over with a release German suplex. Owen stuns Severn with the Enziguri Kick of Certain Demise and delivers a fisherman’s suplex for two. He follows up with an awkward backbreaker and applies a chinlock, but Severn escapes and hits a Belly to Belly Suplex. Owen comes back with a swinging neckbreaker and steals JR’s chair. He tosses the chair into the ring and once Severn picks it up, ref Tim White tries to get it away from Severn. Meanwhile, X-Pac appears and whacks Owen over the back with a chair of his own. As Owen rolls back into the ring, Severn applies his Bow and Arrow submission for the win. (2:59) The Nation runs down to help Owen, but Severn and X-Pac are long gone. ¾*

When we come back, The Rock and the Nation are in the ring. He’s got the mic and calls out DX to come smell what the Rock is cooking. D-Generation X appears in the aisle, but Commissioner Slaughter and the zebra shirts stand in their way.

  • KOTR Quarterfinals: The Rock vs. Triple H (w/Chyna)

Rock pearl harbors HHH to start and beats him from corner to corner. Helmsley comes back with a swinging neckbreaker and follows up with a suplex and the Harley Race knee drop for two. Rock catches Triple H with a DDT and tells Chyna to suck it before he covers Helmsley for a two-count. Suplex gets two. There’s the People’s Elbow that gets two as well. Rock beats Triple H down in the corner again and threatens ref Earl Hebner. Helmsley punches back and hits the High Knee and the Facebuster. He gives Rock a crotch chop and slugs him down. To the floor we go, Rock bounces Helmsley’s nose off the steps and leaves him behind. He gets back in the ring to insult Triple H, but then Chyna shows up and drops Rock with a DDT. Triple H shoots back in the ring and pounces on Rock for 1-2-NO! After they trade sleeperholds, Rock nearly gets whacked with the European title by Chyna. He gets distracted allowing Helmsley to try the PEDIGREE, but Rock low blows his way out and delivers a random fisherman’s suplex to get the three-count. (8:08) Pretty anticlimactic finish, but nevertheless Rock advances to the PPV. The rest of D-Generation X comes out to stomp the Rock until the Nation of Domination head down for a big pier-six brawl. Commissioner Slaughter, refs, and agents are all out to try and stop it. It just sort of stops on it’s own though. **

Backstage, Kane is still very upset. Mankind promises that Uncle Paul will be all right and to be good while he takes care of Billy Gunn.

When we come back, Mankind is shown sitting in the ring rocking back and forth comparing the battle of Gettysburg to his years long story with the Undertaker, the Hell in a Cell lowers. He dreams of urinating on the Undertaker’s grave for what he has done to his Uncle Paul. Mankind calls this a family matter and will put Taker behind the bars of the Hell in a Cell because blood is thicker than water. If that’s not enough, Mankind guarantees that have a surprise for everyone that we will not soon forget. And boy, will he. He offers Kane some encouragement saying all is not lost. Mankind will have his vengeance, Kane will have Steve Austin’s WWF championship, and Uncle Paul will have the Undertaker’s SOUL. Have a nice day! Good stuff.

  • Mankind vs. Billy Gunn (w/Chyna)

Mankind pearl harbors Gunn and pounds him down into the corner for the running knee. The Cactus Clothesline puts both men on the floor. Chyna comes over and beats Mankind down. She gets sent back to the locker room by ref Mike Chioda. During some ringside violence, Gunn reverses a whip into steps on Mankind for a nasty bump. Gunn continues to take things up a notch by dropping Mankind on the guardrail and bouncing his face off the ringpost. Back inside, Mankind backs Gunn into the corner to break up a sleeperhold. Back to the floor for the Cactus Elbow. Mankind puts up half of the steps and walks towards Gunn only for Gunn to dropkick the steps back at Mankind’s head. In the ring, Gunn delivers the Rocker Dropper out of nowhere and calls for the PILEDRIVER, but Mankind trips him up and catapults him into the corner to stagger him into the MANDIBLE CLAW for the submission. (5:40) Mankind doesn’t stick around and immediately heads back to be with Kane, but he’s nowhere to be found. Lots of violence in this one. **

Out comes Sable to introduce the WWF champion Stone Cold Steve Austin to the ring. He’s wearing a white Austin 3:16 baseball jersey so you know there’s some blood about to appear. Austin tells Sable to go back behind the curtain and give Mr. McMahon the finger and tell him this bird from Stone Cold. After he sends her out, Austin then makes sure there’s nobody under the ring and accepts the “first blood” challenge. He’s bled before and he ain’t afraid to bleed again. When you put the WWF title on the line, it means your big dead ass belongs to Stone Cold Steve Austin. Concerning Kane setting himself on fire if he loses, Austin says he’ll bring all the marshmallows and hotdogs and beer he can if Kane is dumb enough to set himself on fire. It really doesn’t make a difference to Austin, but he’ll be there to set another log on the fire. Next thing we know, fire shoots out of the entryway and out comes Kane. When he normally does that thing with his arms that causes fire to shoot from the corners, this time there’s no fire. Austin looks confused. That’s when red paint falls from the rafters on him! Kane grabs his electrolarynx and tells Austin that the blood on him will be for real this Sunday at the King of the Ring. Now fire shoots from the corners and he walks away as the show comes to a close.

Until next time, so long for now.

WWF CHAMPIONSHIP: Steve Austin (c) vs. Kane
Hell in a Cell: The Undertaker vs. Mankind
1998 King of the Ring Tournament
Al Snow & Head vs. Too Much


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