WWF: Raw is War (12.21.98)

December 21, 1998
Spokane, WA
Spokane 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 Big Boss Man & Ken Shamrock (12/14/1998)
European Champion: X-Pac (10/18/1998)
Light Heavyweight Champion: Duane Gill (11/23/1998)
Hardcore Champion: The Big Boss Man (11/30/1998)
Women’s Champion: Sable (11/15/1998)

MOMENTS AGO: Vince McMahon tells Gerald Brisco, Pat Patterson, and Gerald Brisco he’s leaving to go for a “quick work out” to train for the Royal Rumble and leaves his son Shane in charge of tonight’s RAW. He reminds Patterson and Brisco that they are responsible for Shane’s actions. Keep your ego and temper in check, pal. When Vince returns, he’ll bring back a “bonus” for the Corporation to enjoy. Shane heads straight for the building – WITH A PURPOSE – while Patterson and Brisco try to keep up.

TIME TO GET RAW! Your hosts are Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler.

The Corporation led by Shane McMahon head straight for the ring to begin the show. Commissioner Shawn Michaels is wearing a Santa hat. Shane says he’s going to run RAW tonight the Shane McMahon way. Before he can say anymore, D-GENERATION X appears on the stage. If Shane thinks he’s got the “keys to the kingdom”, D-X has the keys to the boiler room. That brings out MANKIND. Shane yells for production to turn off Mankind’s theme music and calls D-X and Mankind a “loser convention” and the “Bad News Bears of the WWF”. Triple H quips back that the “bad news” is that Shane is an even bigger asshole than his old man. Shane keeps his cool, but the crowd is chanting “asshole” in Shane’s direction. Shane focuses his attention on the NEW AGE OUTLAWS and reminds them they are no longer the WWF tag champs thanks to the BIG BOSS MAN and KEN SHAMROCK. There won’t be a rematch for the WWF tag titles, but then Shawn Michaels announces singles matches for these four guys tonight: Billy Gunn will meet Ken Shamrock while Road Dogg takes on the Big Boss Man. Patterson and Brisco don’t seem to like this idea. As for TRIPLE H and X-PAC, they will take on THE ROCK and (The Corporate Insurance Policy / Blond Diesel) TEST. Shane gets the mic back and challenges Mankind for a match later tonight – IN THIS VERY RING. He wants to finish what his father Vince started and yells he’s going to kick Mankind’s ass. Mankind has a good laugh over Shane’s challenge. Triple H puts his arm around Mankind and joins in for some reason. Okay then, Mankind agrees to the match and can’t wait to see Shane try. HAVE A NICE DAY! Triple H holds the mic for Mankind while the Corporation gets told to “suck it”. Lawler says he’s heard that Shane was a “heckuva” street fighter on the mean streets of Greenwich back in the day. When do the Mean Street Posse come in?

Stone Cold Steve Austin joins Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, and Mark McGwire as People Magazine’s “25 Most Intriguing People of the Year”! According to Cole, nobody has made a bigger impact in 1998!

Elsewhere, D’Lo Brown tries to talk his boy “Sexual Chocolate” Mark Henry out of having fun with some chicks in a back room. D’Lo thinks it’s bad business to do this before a match, but Mark Henry can’t resist. Mark convinces D’Lo to watch the door while he does the deed. WHO COULD THESE FEMALES BE?

  • Al Snow vs. Gangrel

It should be mentioned that TEDDY LONG makes his WWF debut as a referee in this match. Two real geniuses we’ve got here in this match. Snow delivers the arm trap headbutts early and lands a jumping back elbow. Gangrel catches Snow with a powerslam and an arm trap suplex gets two. Snow blocks a punch and clotheslines Gangrel down. Over in the corner, Snow sets Gangrel up top only to get shoved down for a flying bodypress for two. They go through some counters to lead to the SNOW PLOW and Snow gets the three-count. (3:01) Wait a minute. The lights go out, the Brood’s theme music plays, and red strobe lights are all over the ring. EDGE and CHRISTIAN pull Al Snow out to the floor. The lights go completely out and when they come back on, the Brood is gone and Al Snow gets a “bloodbath”. WHAT A BLOODY MESS! *

When we come back, we see what happened during the break. The rest of the JOB SQUAD try to console Snow and he’s totally lost his mind. NOT AGAIN, he says.

  • WWF Intercontinental Championship: Ken Shamrock (c) vs. Billy Gunn

Huge “Shamrock sucks” and “Suck it” chants from the Spokane crowd. Shamrock outwrestles Gunn to start going for the ankle. Cole mentions Gunn’s knee is still “tender”. Gunn goes for the arm which means to me they are going long – at least for the Russo era. Gunn stomps Shamrock down in the corner, but then Shamrock turns things around with a clothesline. He goes to work on Gunn’s knee – because why not. He even wraps Gunn’s knee around the ringpost a few times. Shamrock wants to use a chair, but ref Tim White convinces him otherwise. The crowd REALLY doesn’t like Shamrock. Back in, Gunn gets whipped into a corner and his knee gives out. Shamrock delivers the Hurracanrana and actually hits it this time for two. Gunn gets a desperate small package for a nearfall. Shamrock comes right back with a fisherman’s suplex for another two-count. Hobbling on the one good leg, Gunn still manages to reverse a corner whip for the chest-first bump. As Shamrock staggers back, Gunn rolls him up for a nice nearfall. Shamrock kicks him down and tries a victory roll, but Gunn does the Owen Hart counter for the three-count. (8:23) We’ve got a *NEW* Intercontinental cham-oh wait, here comes Commissioner Shawn Michaels. Turns out that Shawn never said this match would be over the IC title. Shamrock keeps the IC belt, but Gunn wins the match. Cole calls Michaels a “damn Grinch” which I can’t believe made air. Imagine an adult man in *your* life saying that. Gunn shows his ass to Michaels (at least there’s a thong) and Shawn lets us know he doesn’t like the smell of Billy’s ass. Ahh, the Attitude Era. Shamrock flattens Gunn and then he and Michaels head up the ramp to end things. Match was slow and plodding. The characters are OVER, but the matches are not. At least there was some continuity with Gunn’s knee, so that’s something. *½

Hawk has some dirt to dish out! He’ll head to the ring – next!

“PLAYSTATION” SLAM OF THE WEEK (featuring Spyro the Dragon) – Sunday Night Heat, 12/20/98: Hawk clobbers Droz with his giant arm cast to cost him a match against Al Snow.

To the ring, we see HAWK here in his street clothes and without any makeup to let the world know the truth about Droz. Hawk says he’s clean now and doesn’t have to cover for Droz anymore. He refers to Droz as a “pusher” and “an enabler”. Out comes DROZ. Hawk says Droz had a plan to keep Hawk drugged up so he could steal his spot in the Legion of Doom. When he heals up, he promises to “discipline the hell out of Droz”. Once Hawk lays the mic down to leave, Droz jumps Hawk from behind. ANIMAL comes down to save his buddy Hawk. Droz leaves Animal and Hawk behind saying he doesn’t need them. Lawler makes a HILARIOUS comment that there aren’t any drugs in the WWF. Sex, maybe. BUT NO DRUGS!

What a segue, Jerry. We check in with Mark Henry and D’Lo Brown. Mark still hasn’t taken care of business with the ladies. We find out the ladies who want some “Sexual Chocolate” are JACQUELINE and TERRI. Mark joins the ladies while D’Lo stands guard.

They take us back to last Christmas when Stone Cold cracked Kris’ Kringle with a STONE COLD STUNNER. Ya know, Diesel has a case about all this Christmas stuff.

  • Steve Blackman vs. The Blue Blazer (w/Owen Hart)

OWEN HART joins Cole and Lawler to explain the footage shown from last week on RAW when Steve Blackman unmasked the Blue Blazer to be Owen was EDITED. Cole reminds Owen that last week’s RAW was live TV, so that excuse is null and void. Owen still cries there’s a conspiracy and leaves the table. Blazer hits an ENZIGURI OF CERTAIN DEMISE early with Owen at ringside. Blackman fights back and goes for the mask. There’s a match happening, but nobody cares. Owen trips up Blackman and jumps him for the DQ. (2:02) Blazer puts Blackman in the DRAGON SLEEPER. GOLDUST runs down to help out. He takes care of Owen while the Blue Blazer tries to sneak away. Goldust grabs him at the ramp and holds him so Blackman can unmask this guy. It’s JEFF JARRETT. Owen helps Jeff cover up with his cape and then yells “Who is that masked man?” several times for the laughs.

Over at the Love Shack, Terri runs down tonight’s menu for Mark Henry – a seven course meal from soup to nuts, but first – a shower. Jacqueline: “Me and Terri are gonna take a shower – you’re gonna watch.” D’Lo is looking anxious. He even rips off his Nike sweatshirt!

When we come back, Henry is enjoying watching the Terri and Jacqueline shower. It’s illuminated, but of course you can’t make anything out, so don’t even try!

They take us back to earlier tonight when Vince left Shane in charge of tonight’s RAW, and held Patterson and Brisco responsible.

ENTER THE WAR ZONE! Your hosts are Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler.

  • WWF Hardcore Championship: The Big Boss Man (c) vs. Road Dogg

Road Dogg still does the usual New Age Outlaws introduction even though Billy Gunn isn’t here. Yeah. He talks Boss Man into putting the Hardcore title on the line by telling him people who work in correctional facilities get “funky” with nightsticks. Boss Man agrees because he wants to teach Road Dogg what “hard times” is all about. To shut him up, Boss Man plants him with a spinebuster and then tries to rearrange Road Dogg’s face around. To the floor we go, Road Dogg whacks Boss Man with a cookie sheet for two.  Road Dogg ducks the top half of the steps being thrown at him and nails Boss Man with a bucket he finds under the ring apron. Boss Man slugs Road Dogg and slams his face off those steps. More cookie sheet violence ensues as they continue to brawl through the crowd. Boss Man heaves Road Dogg as he falls through a technician’s table near the rampway.  As they go back to ringside, Boss Man takes off his belt and whips Road Dogg. Out comes some powder, but Road Dogg kicks it back in Boss Man’s face. Now Road Dogg gets the belt and pays Boss Man back for those twenty lashes. Back to the floor and into the crowd, Boss Man is chasing after Road Dogg and beating him with a desk fan. WHERE DID BOSS MAN GET A NOOSE AT? Boss Man puts the noose on Road Dogg and chokes him down into a nearfall. As Boss Man walks away to yell at ref Jack Doan, Road Dogg low blows Boss Man and puts a trash can over his head. Road Dogg leaps from a barricade to knock him down. Boss Man uppercuts Road Dogg back and with the noose still around Road Dogg’s neck, he whips him from side to side into guardrails. Pretty violent stuff. HERE COMES MANKIND FROM OUTTA NOWHERE. He throws a net over Boss Man and takes out a telescoping SOMETHING – and waffles Boss Man in the face with it! Road Dogg jumps on Boss Man for the three-count! (6:55) New Hardcore champ! This was a fun brawl, I don’t care who you are. ***

Let’s check in with Mark Henry and the gals. Terri and Jacqueline are down to their nighties. As Terri and Jacqueline start taking off Mark’s clothes, there’s some undeniable sarcasm in Terri’s voice. We see Mark is wearing some red silk boxers. Why not. The ladies put a dog collar around Mark’s neck which is a little different, but Terri is a different kind of lover if you’ve seen those pictures. They decide to give him a massage – and lucky for Mark there’s a massage table in the room. Terri puts a ball gag in his mouth. Check D’Lo Brown outside the door doing push-ups. Next, Terri sprays whipped cream all over Mark’s chest and belly. IS THAT A VIBRATOR? Jerry Lawler is losing his mind.

We get a black and white promo video from Jeff Jarrett. It looks like they shot this out back behind the Spokane Arena. Jarrett tells us what pisses him off: ugly women in politics. He says SEMEN STAINED DRESSES quite a bit, which is pretty hilarious. Debra is standing behind him leaned up against a chain link fence and I’m only assuming she’s in approval with Jeff’s comments.

In the back, Patterson and Brisco try to talk Shane McMahon out of wrestling Mankind tonight – but Shane won’t be DENIED because he’s in charge since Pops is gone. Brisco is afraid Shane’s actions will affect his Christmas bonus Vince promised.

Back in the sex room, Terri puts a mask over Henry’s eyes and clamps his arms and legs to the table. Mark, you may be getting robbed here. He’s really getting turned on here.

  • The Acolytes vs. Bob Holly & Scorpio

What happened to Jackyl? Did he already get released? Acolytes rip into the JOB Squad to start. After a double-team spinebuster to Scorpio, Faarooq tries to cover Scorpio with a foot on his chest. Scorpio comes back with a spinning kick to Faarooq. The match breaks down as Faarooq takes Scorpio to the floor while Bradshaw and Holly brawl. Bradshaw catches Holly with a CLOTHESLINE FROM HELL. Meanwhile, Faarooq and Scorpio are going into the crowd. Bradshaw gives Holly a POWERBOMB and then the ref Jimmy Korderas calls for the bell to DQ the Acolytes. (3:22) Not sure I understand what happened there and nobody explains it, so we’ll just move on. ½*

  • Mankind vs. Shane McMahon (w/Gerald Brisco & Pat Patterson)

Patterson and Brisco continue to try and talk Shane out of this match. SHANE DOESN’T CARE. Brisco distracts Mankind so Shane can hit some stinging jabs. This man fell off the Hell in a Cell through a table – Shane’s jabs don’t matter. Mankind takes down Shane with a clothesline and hits a DOUBLE-ARM DDT. Hey look, the CORPORATION (sans Vince) watch from the stage. Mankind grabs a chair and a mic. He’s got a Christmas surprise for Shane. As Mankind reaches back to whack him, Shane falls on his backside. Mankind decides not to hit him and instead gives Shane the opportunity to sack up and hit him with a chair. Well, Mankind NO-SELLS the chairshot to his back. As Shane tries to bail, Mankind grabs him for some punches. Patterson tries to help out with a running knee, but Mankind moves and Patterson nails Shane. In comes Brisco, Mankind pounds away and whips Brisco into Patterson and Shane. As Pat tries to attack, Mankind grabs the TESTICULAR CLAW on him. That takes care of Pat. Mankind hits a running knee in Shane’s face in the corner. Out comes Mr. Socko and into Shane’s mouth. Here comes the Rock to save Shane as the ref FINALLY DQ’s Shane. (3:05) D-GENERATION X runs down to even the sides as Shane gets dragged away with stars in his eyes. Classic Attitude Era stuff. *½

WWF Attitude promo – the REAL Santa Claus is “Creepy” Freddie Blassie. This didn’t age well.

From Moments Ago, it looks like X-Pac got in a Bronco Buster on Shane.

Outside the building talking things out, Gerald Brisco and Pat Patterson worry about what Mr. McMahon will say when he comes back. Well, Brisco is most worried about the Christmas bonus.

Over at the love shack, D’Lo Brown is trying to get Mark Henry to join him for their tag match. D’LO KNEW THIS WOULD HAPPEN. Anyways, Mark is all tied up as their theme music is playing. “I’m coming, I’m coming” is shouted from behind the door and I don’t even wanna know.

  • The Headbangers vs. D’Lo Brown

D’Lo’s music plays a second time and finally Brown is out, but Henry is not. As the Headbangers walk out, we cut backstage to see Mark Henry’s nuts in a vice as Jacqueline and Terri are whipping him. WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING? D’Lo comes back from the two-on-one attack with a Running Powerbomb on Mosh. Lawler is getting more details in his headset on what’s going on with Mark. Are you even a WWF fan if you haven’t heard Michael Cole say “hot wax and vibrators”? Tag to Thrasher, Brown finds the SKY HIGH for two. The Headbangers take back control, but Mosh misses a flying elbow. D’Lo gets a BAAAACK BODY DROP and delivers the YOU BETTA RECOGNIZE legdrop. Headbangers dropkick D’Lo into a clothesline and the DOUBLE FLAPJACK gets the win. (2:45) Headbangers retain their toy tag team belts. Apparently Henry escaped just as the match was over and he appears at the top of the ramp – still with cuffs on each hand and leftover whipped cream on him. Brown yells at Henry and walks off. *

Patterson and Brisco worry over what Mr. McMahon will say when he comes back. No sooner does the limo pull up when Brisco falls over himself to open the door and pipe up with “It wasn’t my fault, Mr. Mac Man!” and Patterson is unhappy. McMahon powerwalks to where his son is. Brisco: “You think we’ll still get the bonus?” Pretty funny stuff.

The Undertaker is on the cover of the February 1999 issue of “Tattoo” magazine. WOWZERS!

  • Triple H & X-Pac (w/the New Age Outlaws & Chyna) vs. The Rock & Test (w/the Big Boss Man, Ken Shamrock & Shawn Michaels)

Commissioner Shawn Michaels announces some rule changes – the Corporation can stay and watch the match, but the rest of DX have to go to the back. Out comes Vince McMahon on the stage. He lets D-Generation X stay at ringside because hey – it’s the Christmas season. He wants to see a fair fight and wants everybody to see what happens. Vince walks to ringside to convince Shawn that he’s got everything figured out. Rock and X-Pac start the match. X-Pac gets the Rock down in an armbar and tags Triple H, but he wants nothing to do with Triple H and tags in Test. Oh boy. Triple H sells for Test’s forearm shots. We see some Diesel knees in the corner. Test telegraphs a backdrop and Triple H takes him down with a big clothesline. He corners Test for some open shots. As Test reverses a whip on Triple H, Rock hits him from the apron. Triple H NO-SELLS and whacks Rock. Test catches Triple H from behind and tags out. Rock lays the smackdown on Triple H. Once Triple H is down, in comes Test to choke and argue with ref Earl Hebner. He gives Triple H a sidewalk slam for two. Seriously, he’s Diesel. Triple H avoids a corner charge and tags in X-Pac. He’s got kicks ALL DAY for Test. There’s the Bronco Buster! X-Pac punches Rock off the apron. Test then throws X-Pac over the top rope so that Rock can bounce his face off the barricade and throw him crotch-first into the ringpost. Back inside, Hebner gets distracted while Rock and Test stomp X-Pac in the corner. X-Pac tries to come back, but Rock shuts him down with an elbow and a slam for the CORPORATE ELBOW. That gets two. Triple H makes the save. Test holds X-Pac in place so that Rock can punch X-Pac in the nuts. X-Pac stops a corner charge from Test, but runs into a clothesline. X-Pac still manages a spinning heel kick. HOT TAG TO TRIPLE H. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Rock beg off like that. Triple H runs wild with punches and nails Rock with a High Knee. Test eats the Triple H Facebuster. Rock throws out X-Pac while Triple H finds the PEDIGREE on Test! Cover, 1-2-NO! Rock saves the day for the Corporation. Now the lights go out. It’s KANE. Looks like Kane has escaped the asylum. Yeah, but who’s side is he on? He starts going through D-Generation X with CHOKESLAMS, so yeah. He’s now Corporate Kane. Chyna tries to nail Kane across the face, but he’s unaffected. She gets GOOZLED and looks to be getting a chokeslam, but the show ends before we see it happen. (9:57) The match was okay. The swerve at the end leads to more questions, which is what The Russo Era is all about. It sure seemed Test was in good hands with Triple H and X-Pac there. **½

Until next time, so long for now. The final HeAT and RAW of 1998 is on it’s way!

LIVE on January 24 from the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California! ONLY ON PPV!
MAIN EVENT: The Royal Rumble

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