The SmarK RAW Rant – 10.26.98
Last week: Steve Austin held Vince McMahon hostage and left him with a mysterious letter in his pocket!
Taped from Madison, WI
Your hosts are JR & King
Mr. Mahon gets wheeled out to start, and he not only holds Austin responsible for everything that happened last week, but he also holds ALL OF US responsible as well. I’d like to see McDevitt try to prosecute that one. So Vince recaps his humiliation and complains that none of his stooges came to his rescue, and the biggest tragedy of all is that his feelings have been hurt. As for the letter, Vince reveals that it’s a “legal document” of some kind, which is why he’s got his super-team of lawyers with him.
WWF European title: X-Pac v. Steve Blackman
X-Pac gets a hiptoss and spinkick to start, but Blackman puts him down with a sidekick and slugs away in the corner. Clearly this is a taped show with sweetened audio, because it doesn’t sound in any way convincing. Blackman drops an elbow and goes to a neck vice while JR talks about how this is the “youth movement” of the WWF. Blackman was on medical leave for 9 years before he debuted in the WWF! He was 35 at the time of this show if my math is correct. Anyway, Steve Regal runs out and attacks X-Pac for the DQ at 2:40. And that’s that. ½*
Meanwhile, Vince and his team of lawyers are DETERMINED to break whatever that document was.
Droz v. The Rock
Thankfully, we’re back to Rock’s old music instead of the abomination from last week. Rock slugs away in the corner, but misses a charge as Lawler wonders whatever happened to “Rocky Sucks”? Droz comes back with a back elbow, sloppy as ever, but Rock goes to the eyes. Droz slugs away in the corner, but Rock gives him the DDT out of the corner and Droz gets a sunset flip for two. Rock goes after Animal to draw the ref’s attention and hits Droz in the nuts, then lays the smackdown in the corner. Droz comes back again with a powerslam for two, but goes up and misses a shoulderblock by a mile. Rock Bottom sets up the People’s Elbow to finish at 4:37, which by the way is the first time he’s pinned someone on TV with that move. And certainly not the last. And then Droz and Animal walk out on Hawk afterwards to build towards that angle we’re all just waiting for. Match came off as a mess, but Rock was doing his best to hold it together. *1/2
D-X introduces Motley Crue for a guest performance of “Wild Side”, looking completely old and out of place after that John Corabi album basically killed them off. I LOVE that album, but when the record company forced them to bring Vince Neil back, it really made them look like an aging nostalgia act and basically all they’ve done is re-release greatest hits albums for the past 20 years. Anyway, this performance is mildly notable because their “road bodyguard” at the time was Andrew Martin, who soon enough got a job with the WWF after a bunch of tryouts in the weeks preceding.
Kane v. Gangrel
Kane slugs away in the corner and puts him down with a big boot, but he goes after Christian and Gangrel attacks him on the floor. That goes badly for him and Kane no-sells Gangrel’s offense in the ring and hits the sideslam. He goes up and hits Gangrel with a flying clothesline, then hits him with a chokeslam to finish. Gangrel’s bug-eyed sell was pretty great and the match was a fun squash for Kane. ** Christian and Gangrel double-team Kane afterwards and Edge comes in to make the save, but then turns on Kane with a chop block and the Brood is thus formed. And then Kane chases them all off right away. Kind of weird, they could have milked a Gangrel/Christian v. Edge/Kane program for a few weeks before the turn, but…you know…Russo.
Steve Austin joins us and lets us know that he told the cops that the gun was a “toy”, so that’s why no one stopped him. And now he’s got a brand new contract with at least one guaranteed title shot, and that’s all he’s gonna need. Vince rolls out to slag his “incompetent attorneys” and wants to hear Austin quit, so TONIGHT IN THIS VERY RING Steve is gonna compete in an I Quit match against Ken Shamrock. Vince gets all worked up, but Shane McMahon comes out and joins Austin in the ring, revealing that he’s a stockholder in the company and IT WAS HIM, IT WAS HIM ALL ALONG who hired Austin back and now he’s got his dad’s attention after 28 years. NO MORE LYING. Well, except for all the lies and backstabbing that would follow for the next 20 years. But Shane is no longer Vince’s boy, he’s a MAN. Hell of a promo from Shane there to kick off his career.
Tiger Ali Singh v. The Godfather
Godfather’s new music debuts here, but we’re not quite to the point where he does the speech yet. Tiger immediately runs away and suckers Godfather into an attack on the floor, then drops him on the railing to take over. Back in, Tiger stomps him down and follows with a dropkick, but Godfather comes back with the Ho Train, only to have Tiger hit a bulldog for two. Godfather dumps him to the floor and Tiger hides behind Babu and runs away. Back in, Singh chokes away as the bored crowd does the wave, and it’s a double DQ at 4:26. It’s astonishing that Tiger Ali Singh was so terrible that he could drag down the hottest era in the history of wrestling single-handedly. I mean, that takes talent. DUD
Meanwhile, Michael Cole asks Vince how he feels, which has to rank up there with stupidest questions of all time on this show. Vince gives pretty much the reaction you’d expect.
Kaientai v. Golga, Kurrgan & The ICP
Golga gets triple-teamed by Kaientai and they all drop elbows on him, but he shrugs it all off and Kurrgan comes in. Taka and Togo try a double dropkick and he no-sells that and hits Funaki with a sideslam. Violent J comes in and drops an elbow and Shaggy throws him into the stairs. Back in, J gouges the eyes and chokes away while the other Oddities express their displeasure at the rules being broken like this. Shaggy with a DDT and he goes up with a flying legdrop before they finally just toss the referee for the DQ at 3:48. Quite the finishes tonight. ICP showed some promise, actually, but obviously that was never going to happen. *1/2
Meanwhile, the stooges help Vince into his limo and promise that Austin will quit before the end of the night.
Meanwhile, Ken Shamrock is pretty sure he’s still the World’s Most Dangerous Man, and Austin hasn’t earned a title shot yet.
Marc Mero v. Goldust
Goldust slugs away in the corner to start and hits a slingshot suplex, but Jackie trips him up and Mero goes low and hits a DDT to take over. Kneelift gets two. Mero and Jackie take turns choking Goldust down on the ropes, but he comes back with a bulldog and gets rid of Jackie with a kiss, then hits Shattered Nuts on Mero for the DQ at 3:00. This all went nowhere. ½* Goldust’s pandering babyface act is already running out of steam after only a week.
WWF tag team titles: The New Age Outlaws v. Mankind & Al Snow
The challengers do a funny promo before the match, where Mick buries the Head as “the stupidest gimmick outside of Rock’s elbow…” and Al suddenly snaps “You’re the one talking to a sock!” I actually thought this was the week where Mr. McMahon expresses his gratitude to Mick in the form of a new title, but I guess that’s still to come. We’ve got about 10 minutes left in the show with the main event yet to come, so I’m guessing this is another 3 minute match with a DQ finish. Collect them all! Gunn gets a press slam on Snow right away and the Outlaws double-team Mankind, but Dogg gets nailed from the apron by Snow and he’s Roadie-in-peril. Snow beats on him outside and Mick does his own version of the shaky knees, but even JR buries him for having no rhythm. Double arm DDT sets up the sock, but Billy Gunn can take no more and comes in to clean house. Snow and Mankind argue over who gets to use the Head and that goes nowhere, much like the entire match, as Gunn storms in again and everyone brawls. Snow hits the Snow Plow but the ref is absent. And then Snow and Mankind argue over who gets to finish, but Dogg rolls up Snow for the pin at 5:30 while he’s distracted. Well at least it was a finish. Match was a complete disaster for whatever reason, as everyone was on completely different pages. Perhaps partying with Motley Crue didn’t agree with DX. -* Snow and Mankind would actually win the tag titles about a year later.
I Quit match: Steve Austin v. Ken Shamrock
Shamrock throws down in the corner but Austin fires back with knees and chokes him out. They fight to the floor and Austin chokes him out with TV cables, but Shamrock runs him into the post and they fight into the crowd. Shamrock runs him into the stairs and back into the ring as Shamrock stomps away in the corner and works on the arm, but Austin gets the Thesz Press. The Stooges interfere and take out the ref, and Austin knocks out Shamrock with a chair and taps Shamrock’s own hand for the win at 6:00. So yeah, an I Quit match where they managed to book a screwjob, kind of a fitting end to a lousy show.
The Shane angle was certainly historic and there was a lot going on this week, but the matches all sucked and the crowd was dead for most of it.