WWF: Raw is War (11.16.98)

WWF: Raw is War
November 16, 1998
Lexington, KY
Rupp Arena

The current WWF champs are as follows:
WWF Champion: The Rock (11/15/1998)
Intercontinental Champion: Ken Shamrock (10/12/1998)
World Tag Team Champions: The New Age Outlaws (8/30/1998)
European Champion: X-Pac (10/18/1998)
Light Heavyweight Champion: Christian (10/18/1998)
Hardcore Champion: Mankind (11/2/1998)
Women’s Champion: Sable (11/15/1998)

The show begins with a clip of Stone Cold Steve Austin getting screwed over by Shane McMahon the night before at Survivor Series. BUT WHO IS THE WWF CHAMPION?

TIME TO GET RAW! Your hosts are Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler.

Vince McMahon walks (yes, walks) down to the ring joined by his son Shane, his Three Stooges, and the Big Boss Man. Ross is wondering what Vince has to say about what went down last night at Survivor Series. McMahon begins to tell the people whoever came up with a phrase about not being able to fool all the people all the time was a damn fool himself. He thinks that people who do things the hard way and have middle-class values and ethics are fools as well. Another damn fool is the type of person who doesn’t pucker up and kiss the boss’s ass. Without further ado, Vince introduces not the people’s champion, but the CORPORATE CHAMPION — THE ROCK. The crowd immediately turns from cheers to boos for the Rock. Even the “Rocky Sucks” chants start back up, and the Rock reacts accordingly. Once he gets in the ring, Rock embraces both McMahons to further piss off the crowd. Shane doesn’t really get near the heat of his dad, but of course that never really happens. WHY ROCK WHY? Rock says he never sold out – he just got ahead. According to the fans, is the Rock a “kiss ass”? He doesn’t really care what the people think because they are all pieces of trailer park trash. Rock makes fun of all the 9-5 morons out there. He’s now on top of the world and that’s led him to becoming *your* WWF world champion. Rock feels that all the people in the audience are no better than the biggest piece of trailer park trash: Stone Cold Steve Austin. Now the crowd wants Austin to come out here and kick Rock’s ass. Rock responds to the way the crowd used to treat him. He never forgot that. Rock plans on continuing to raise the Corporate Eyebrow, planting guys with the Rock Bottom, and laying the Smackdown on your Candy Ass with the Most Electrifying Move in Sports Entertainment Today, the Corporate Elbow. Lawler can’t wait to see it. Rock says he would much rather kiss Mr. McMahon’s ass than ever kiss the people’s ass – if ya SMELL what the Rock is cookin’.

Vince gets the mic back and asks Rock what kissing his ass is like. Shane chimes in and says he likes kissing his own father’s ass. WHAT? Now Vince goes back into promoter mode by setting up this year’s Survivor Series Screwjob for us all to see on the TitanTron, but STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN is shown entering the arena. Vince yells for Austin to get removed off the TitanTron. He’s glad Austin is here to rewatch the whole conspiracy going back three weeks ago on RAW when Shane admitted to resigning Austin to Mankind getting screwed out of the WWF title last night at Survivor Series. Shane sets up the video clip of him not counting the pinfall for Stone Cold Steve Austin against Mankind. *GLASS BREAKS* BUSINESS IS PICKING UP EARLY, FOLKS. Here comes Steve Austin to the ring. Austin is all business here, too. He doesn’t hit the four corners and settles for giving the McMahon crew the double birds. If you think Rock is a sorry sell out sumbitch, GIMME A HELL YEAH! Hell yeah. Vince reminds Austin that the contract states that unless he’s provoked, Austin can’t lay a hand on him. Austin sets up some more footage showing Shane McMahon announced two weeks ago that Austin would get a WWF title match the night after Survivor Series. Vince vetoes that decision, but Austin pulls out a contract from his back pocket for a title shot with the Rock here tonight on RAW. Vince doesn’t think the contract means anything, but Austin namedrops Judge Horn of Lexington KY as responsible for making this title shot happen. If Vince doesn’t like what Judge Horn has to say, JUDGE MILLS LANE appears on the TitanTron and essentially declares there must be a Rock versus Austin WWF title match tonight on RAW.

  • The New Age Outlaws & X-Pac vs. The Oddities (w/Luna & ICP)

Not sure I understand why DX is involved with these guys, but here we are. The Outlaws deliver a double-team Shaky Knee Drop for a big pop. Kurrgan pulls Road Dogg in for a sidewalk slam. Tag to Golga, he and Kurrgan run down Road Dogg. Golga lifts up his Cartman t-shirt for an avalanche. He tries an elbow drop off the second rope, but misses. Gunn tags in and hits a FAMOUSER on Golga for two. While Road Dogg attacks Kurrgan, Shaggy 2 Dope hits Golga by mistake with something off the top (off camera). Gunn covers Golga and gets the three-count. (2:53) Okay, we never saw Giant Silva or X-Pac get in the ring. We catch what happened off-camera after the match. The Oddities and ICP argue back to the dressing room. While DX head out, the HEADBANGERS jump Road Dogg from behind and get chased off by Gunn and X-Pac. ½*

From moments ago, Mankind is seen entering the arena talking to himself about feeling betrayed by Vince McMahon and how he’s “coming home”.

Elsewhere, we catch Vince McMahon talking with his Corporation. I guess we can call them that now. Vince voices to them that he doesn’t want to worry about Mankind. While Big Boss Man is told to stick close to Vince, Pat Patterson is told to go talk to Mankind and gets reminded that he’s “gullible”.

Out to the ring, we have the WWF IC Champ KEN SHAMROCK heading down to the ring. He grabs the mic and complains he got screwed by the Big Boss Man. He makes a challenge to the Big Boss Man and even throws the IC title into the mix. He awaits your answer, chump.

  • Val Venis vs. Mark Henry (w/D’Lo Brown)

Just by watching Val’s pre-match shenanigans, you would think it would be Val Venis who is involved in a “sexual harassment” lawsuit, no? Back and forth brawling to start. Imagine that. Henry lands a belly to belly suplex and Val takes a powder. The fight continues with Henry slamming Venis into the ringpost. Back inside, Val knocks Henry down and puts the boots to him. The knees and the Russian legsweep follows. We get the Rick Rude pose and some more punches. Henry gives Val a Gorilla Press Slam when CHYNA returns at the top of the steps. Mark forgets all about Val and wants a piece of Chyna. That’s when Val rolls him up for the three-count. (2:37) Henry asks Chyna to forget about the lawsuit and just wants to grab dinner – NO SEX. He recites another love poem. D’Lo tries to hold back the tears. ¾*

Steve Austin is backstage getting caffeinated. He’s a Caffeinated Rattlesnake – and that’s the most deadly kind!

Meanwhile, Pat Patterson rejoins Vince and his Corporation in their locker room. Pat couldn’t find Mankind. Vince – “YOU COULDN’T FIND YOUR ASS.” Vince sends Gerald Brisco to go find Mankind.

  • The Blue Blazer & Jeff Jarrett (w/Debra) vs. Goldust & Steve Blackman

Wow, Goldust’s entrance happens during Ross and Lawler mentioning the ads. NOT GOOD. Jarrett gets a big pop either because we’re in Kentucky or Debra’s boobies. Ross is quick to refer to Blazer as Owen Hart. Weird tag match, folks. Goldust and Jarrett run the ropes to start. Blackman kicks Jarrett around, but then runs into a dropkick. He hits a suplex and tags in Blazer. Crowd chants “nugget” while Goldust and Jarrett brawl on the floor. Meanwhile, Blackman lands a BICYCLE KICK on Blazer for the win. (2:09) Blackman wants to remove Blazer’s mask, but then he’s attacked by Jarrett and OWEN HART. Well, who is under the mask? Jarrett gives Blackman the STROKE. Blazer then applies the standing dragon sleeper while Owen kicks Blackman in the balls. Goldust finally saves the day, but the damage is already done. ½*

Over in the Corporation’s locker room, Gerald Brisco found the boiler room where Mankind usually resides. He heard some weird noises in there and was afraid to see what it was. Commissioner Slaughter calls Brisco a “wuss”. Since Slaughter is so quick to judge, Vince orders Slaughter to head to the boiler room. Since he thinks it’s no big deal, Slaughter leaves to go bring Mankind to Vince.

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

When we return, Commissioner Slaughter comes back empty handed confessing that Mankind is crazy. Vince doesn’t care if the three of them have to put on riot gear, GO TAKE CARE OF HIM. They argue amongst themselves and leave the room while Slaughter leads the way.

  • The Godfather (w/Three Whores) vs. Steven Regal

Godfather offers Regal – the Man’s Man – all three hoes for the night. One of the chicks shows her ass one time too many. RAW IS STILL TV-PG-V AT THIS POINT. Regal gets the mic and accepts the broads. Godfather didn’t think Regal would take him up on his offer and quotes Archie Bunker saying “England ain’t nuttin’ but a place full of [bleep].” That leads to a fight and Regal having a bad night instead of an EVEN WORSE NIGHT with whatever those questionable women would have done to his genitals. N/R

Apparently, there’s a situation in the back. Outside the building, we see KANE destroying a couple technicians, who take some really good bumps.

Elsewhere, Vince McMahon gets the Big Boss Man pumped up before his match with Ken Shamrock. It’s KNUCKLE UP TIME!

WWF REWIND (brought to you by Glover): Survivor Series, 11/15/98. Shane McMahon swerves Stone Cold Steve Austin and REFUSES to count the pinfall.

  • WWF Intercontinental Championship: Ken Shamrock (c) vs. The Big Boss Man

Boss Man has cost Ken Shamrock not one but TWO matches in seven days thanks to that dreaded nightstick. Shamrock meets Boss Man as he comes in the ring and grabs the nightstick. As he goes to swing at Boss Man, the ref snatches the nightstick away. Boss Man takes over with the Bossman Straddle followed by the slide and uppercut. Some ringside violence ensues. Shamrock bounces Boss Man’s head off the steps. Back inside, Shamrock runs Boss Man down with a clothesline and corners him for some more shots. Boss Man fights back and avalanches Shamrock. There’s a spinebuster slam from Boss Man for two. He misses a corner charge and as he’s straddled on the top rope, Shamrock kicks him down. Whoa. They take turns choking each other in the corner .Ref Mike Chioda won’t leave him alone though and gets blasted by both Shamrock and Boss Man at the same time. The fight continues, but the ref DQ’s both guys to end the match. (3:57) The zebra shirts and agents head out to separate Boss Man and Shamrock. Once things settle down, Vince and Shane McMahon walk out to the ring. Vince tells both guys to stop the violence. He makes the case to Shamrock that they aren’t so different. They both come from broken homes where nobody gave a damn about them. Not even the people give a DAMN about Shamrock, but Vince cares because he understands. Vince offers Shamrock a place in the McMahon family. There’s a corporate champion, a corporate enforcer, and EVERY corporation needs a dangerous man. Vince tells him to consider the offer, but it doesn’t take him long to shake Vince hand and then Boss Man’s hand. Shamrock has joined the Corporation, folks. ¾*

Back outside in the parking lot, Kane chokes a wrestling fan asking for an autograph. CHOKE ME HARDER, DADDY. Just kidding, that didn’t happen. Kane hears a cop car siren and decides it’s time to leave. That’s some incredible response time.

  • Gangrel & Edge (w/Christian) vs. LOD 2000

Ross and Lawler wonder if the original LOD is history. Hawk is “conspicuous by his absence” here. Droz and Animal get rid of Edge and control Gangrel to start. Gangrel manages to corner Droz and tags in Edge for a double gourdbuster onto the top rope. With Droz still draped on the top rope, Christian holds him in place while Edge runs and dropkicks the back. Crowd wants Hawk. Gangrel gets whipped into Droz and drops down as Edge runs and jumps off his back into Droz. Edge charges into a powerslam as we see HAWK at the tunnel. Next thing we know, Hawk CLIMBS TO THE TOP OF THE TITANTRON SCAFFOLDING. Animal and Droz notice what he’s doing and go over to the TitanTron to see what he’s doing and lose the match via countout at 2:15. We go to a commercial.

When we come back, Animal and PAUL ELLERING are trying to talk Hawk down. Ellering tells a personal story about Hawk’s mother. Hawk blames everybody on the floor trying to save him for his troubles. Droz of all people starts to climb up the scaffolding which is the last person Hawk wants to see. Animal refers to Hawk as “Mike” to make it seem like a shoot. Next thing we know, Droz gives Hawk a pat on the chest and Hawk FALLS off the back of the TitanTron! Ross does his quiet, serious voice to say that Hawk fell. Commercials!

When we return, they show Animal’s reaction to the fall. He’s freaking out holding onto Paul Ellering. They show the ambulance backstage driving off as Ellering and DOA watch.

Sable – the NEW WWF women’s champion – hopes to lift the crowd’s spirits. Where’s the belt? Oh, Michael Cole is in the ring, and holds it in his hand. She dedicates the championship to all of her fans. Shane McMahon interrupts to say that the fans didn’t make Sable, Mr. McMahon made Sable.  Shane mentions the unbelievable investment his pops has made over the past three years – how he took another beautiful face and made her a star. Sable says some stuff about working hard and wasn’t given anything to be successful. WHAT. Shane basically calls her a whore to get where she’s at and leaves. Ouch. Sable says something about the only women he knows are the ones he can buy, but she ain’t for sale. Hmm, how much did you get paid for that “Playboy” spread?

Ross just received some news that Hawk is in fact “breathing”. Well, that’s good. So he’s not, ya know, DEAD.

PlayStation’s “MediEvil” brings us the WWF Slam of the Week: Survivor Series, 11/15/98 – The Rock blasts Mankind from behind with the WWF title and then gives him a Rock Bottom.

Elsewhere, we catch Pat Patterson, Gerald Brisco, and Commissioner Slaughter wearing UK Wildcats helmets and shoulder pads heading into the boiler room looking for Mankind. Well, Slaughter is wearing his army helmet. Mankind starts beating the Three Stooges with various pipes and whatnot. He stomps Patterson on the balls and continues to beat on Brisco and Slaughter. What a mess.

Vince McMahon and his Corporate entourage head out before the match. He says he’s not happy about this championship match and can’t believe Steve Austin would get the help of “legal eagles” to do his dirty work. The “asshole” chant gets too loud to ignore and McMahon sarcastically mentions “southern hospitality”. Last night was as close as Austin would ever get to the WWF title again, but here we are. Vince makes sure to tell him that this is in fact Austin’s final WWF title shot, so he better make the most of it. Vince introduces the WWF champion for the first time – the ROCK.

  • WWF Championship: The Rock (c) (w/Ken Shamrock, The Big Boss Man, Vince & Shane McMahon) vs. Steve Austin

Full of VENOM, Austin pounds Rock in the corner until Rock makes a U-turn and retreats up the aisle. Austin chases him down and brings him back to ringside with right hands. Back in the ring, Austin hits the elbow off the ropes and covers for two. This crowd is so hot. There’s a suplex and an elbow off the second rope half way across the ring. That gets two. Rock stuns Austin with a swinging neckbreaker to come back. The “Rocky Sucks” chants are back. To the floor we go, Rock sends Austin into the front row for a big brawl. Awesome. Back to ringside, Austin threatens Rock with a chair only for Rock to kick him away. Rock bounces Austin off the Spanish announce table and chokes him with a TV cable. Crowd is chanting “Austin”. He punches back and elbows Rock on the Spanish announce table. Austin wants a piledriver but of course Rock backdrops him over. Vince has got to be thinking how much money he’s about to make with these two. Back inside, Rock applies a sleeperhold. Austin backs him into the corner, but runs into a back elbow. Rock slams Austin and drops the elbow pad for the CORPORATE ELBOW. Rock keeps Austin grounded with a chinlock. The crowd is pleading for Austin to get up. The arm drops once, twice, – BUT NOT THREE TIMES! Austin gets to his feet, but Rock runs him down for two. MANKIND is at ringside. He fights back and forth with the Big Boss Man. Mankind is trying hard to get to Vince McMahon. Ken Shamrock stands in between them though and while Boss Man holds him up, Shamrock lays in the punches. Austin fights out of a second chinlock and wins a slugfest. Both guys try their finishes, but it’s Austin who finds the STONE COLD STUNNER! Huge pop! Cover, 1-2-NO! Shamrock pulls ref Earl Hebner out. As Austin slams Shamrock off an announce table, Paul Bearer and the Undertaker walk down to ringside carrying a shovel. Austin gets the ref back in the ring while Taker gets in the ring and whacks Austin with the shovel. WHAT. Well, that’s a DQ finish. (6:00) Undertaker rears back for another shot with the shovel, but Paul Bearer manages to stop him. Vince McMahon doesn’t seem to know what exactly is going on there, but decide it’s time to leave. WHERE IS KANE? Helluva match here with boatloads of heat and a sign of the good business that’s to come. ***

Great RAW, but I think anybody with an ounce of brain would say the whole Hawk thing should have been avoided. It certainly doesn’t age well.

Until next time, so long for now.

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