The SmarK RAW Rant – 11.30.98
Live! From Baltimore, MD
Your hosts are Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler
ICP & The Headbangers are out to do whatever, but Steve Austin shows up with a shovel and he’s in a bit of a bad mood, what with nearly being embalmed alive last week and all. So all the geeks in the ring get stunners, and Steve is unwilling to wait for the contracted date to settle things with Undertaker.
Meanwhile, Mark Henry is getting all sexified for his date with Chyna tonight.
Meanwhile, in a historic moment, Steve Austin bumps into young STEPHANIE MCMAHON backstage, which I believe marks her television debut, although she’s not named here. Also, you can buy special issues of something called “TV Guide” with WWF people on the covers, or if those issues are sold out, then you can buy ones featuring “recent retiree Hulk Hogan or Steve Austin wannabe Goldberg.” Meow, JR.
The New Age Outlaws v. Gangrel & Edge
Gangrel spits the “red substance” in Billy’s face and everyone brawls to start, with Gangrel hitting a legsweep on Dogg for two. Edge comes in with a flying headscissors on Dogg and they go up for a top rope rana, but Edge tries the same thing on Gunn and it gets turned into a powerbomb. Meanwhile, the Corporation comes out to continue wooing the Outlaws and we get a double down with Gunn and Edge. Tags on both sides and I guess Gangrel is running wild, but it doesn’t matter because Christian runs in for the DQ at 3:01. Then the Corporation comes in and beats on the Brood as the Stooges escort the Outlaws away from the carnage. Well that’s thoughtful. *1/2
Meanwhile, Steve Austin continues searching the bowels out of the building for Undertaker, but he stupidly walks into a storage room and gets attacked and trapped in there. How did he not see Undertaker and Paul Bearer 4 feet away from him? Clearly recovery time from attempted embalming is longer than a week, I guess.
Meanwhile, Mark Henry wants D-Lo to come along on the date, in case he needs some extra confidence. He’s about to bust a move!
Undertaker is here, and he’s OFF THE FORMAT SHEET. JR notes that they’re set to meet at “the sold out BC Place”. That would actually be the football stadium, although they might have been able to sell it out around this time. So Undertaker calls out Kane so that one of them can face eternal darkness, and of course Kane can’t resist that! They slug it out and Undertaker quickly gets a tombstone. “It’s not about wins and losses, it’s about eternal damnation” notes JR. Maybe for Vince. And then we can’t even get a finish to the impromptu brawl, as a bunch of orderlies in white coats run in and try to have Kane committed as he runs away into the audience. I’m pretty sure that’s not how it works.
Meanwhile, out at the limo, Henry just happens to have a fancy jacket in D-Lo’s size, complete with some hot shades…and a chauffeur’s cap. OK, that was funny. So they pick up Chyna from the hotel after the break and Chyna’s pretty over it.
X-Pac is here and he doesn’t know what’s up with the New Age Outlaws, but he DOES have a problem with Commissioner Michaels. So Shawn comes out, noting that “he’s had chunks of guys bigger than you in my stool” and that if X-Pac has any further issues, he’ll get sent down to the “money pit in Atlanta”. And tonight, X-Pac defends the European title against Ken Shamrock.
Meanwhile, Austin has ESCAPED THE MEAT LOCKER. Is that, like, carny code for something?
Goldust v. Jeff Jarrett
Owen Hart is on commentary and JR still thinks he’s the Blue Blazer despite them showing up at the same time every damn week. Goldust attacks on the floor to start and Jarrett quickly hits him with an armbar takedown in the ring while Owen waxes nostalgic about the business. He’s just been up in Calgary fishing and healing, you know. Goldust with the Curtain Call, but Jarrett is in the ropes and they fight on the floor. Back in, Jarrett with a neckbreaker, but Goldust gets a backslide for two, and Jarrett clotheslines him for two. Goldust with a bulldog for two and sets up for Shattered Nuts, but Debra runs interference and Owen Hart comes in for the DQ at 3:31. But then the Blue Blazer comes in and attacks Owen, and unmasks as Steve Blackman. So there you go, it was clearly Blackman under the mask all along. Mystery solved. *
That was SIX MINUTES of wrestling in the first hour, I should note.
Hardcore title: Mankind v. Big Bossman
This is a ladder match, and the entire JOB Squad is hanging out at ringside. Shawn Michaels, on commentary, gives snarky scores every time Mankind hits Bossman with the ladder, noting “Been there, done that.” -2 seems a bit harsh, but it’s his rating system, I guess. Mick tries to climb for the belt but Bossman cuts him off, so he puts the ladder on Bossman and drops elbows on it, which earns him a 6 from Shawn. Bossman tries to come back and Mankind DDTs him and climbs, but Bossman yanks him down and runs him into the ladder. Shawn rates him a 10. They slug it out on top of the ladder and Mick pulls out the Sock, but Rock comes out and pushes over the ladder, then takes out Mick and helps Bossman to climb and win the title at 6:10. “The only thing that Mick Foley loves in his life has been taken from him!” declares JR. “Oh well, he’ll get over it,” snarks Shawn. Then he goes in and beats on Mick with the nightstick while grabbing his back in “pain”. Heel Shawn, giving zero fucks, was pretty damn funny.
Meanwhile, Kane has found Undertaker and attacks him in an empty office, but Taker wins that battle and luckily Paul has a body bag handy. But then Austin appears out of nowhere and breaks the shovel on Taker’s head.
WWF Light heavyweight title: Duane Gill v. Marc Mero
Mero promises that if he can’t beat Gill for the title, he’ll retire. Mero attacks Gill and stomps him down, then chokes away on the ropes. Bob Holly and Scorpio come out to watch as Mero goes up to finish, but the Blue Meanie returns, pushes him off the top rope, and Gill gets the pin to retain at 2:13. So Marc Mero is now retired, and in fact Marc Mero really WAS retired and never came back! Anyway, Stevie Richards was supposed to debut here as well, but Vince was paranoid about his broken neck causing legal troubles later on, so they passed for the time being.
Meanwhile, we head back for Henry and Chyna on their date, as Mark reads some poetry and Chyna is super bored and pounding back the wine. Mark wants to get their groove on and do some dancing next.
WWF European title: X-Pac v. Ken Shamrock
JR notes that Shawn really stuck it to X-Pac by making him defend his title against a top contender. Gosh yes, what a MEANIE. Who should X-Pac be defending against, Duane Gill? He wants to be a heavyweight champion, grow a set. Ken throws x-Pac around, but he comes back with a leg lariat and then Shamrock gets a powerslam for two. Ken locks in a standing facelock and puts X-Pac down with a sidekick, then goes back to the facelock again, but X-Pac fights back with a leg lariat for two. Broncobuster and Shawn suddenly leaves the commentary position to give the referee some advice, which allows Bossman to run in and put X-Pac out. And then HHH comes in for the DQ at 4:41, making his return from various knee surgeries. X-Pac really came off as kind of a wuss here, needing to be saved from defending his title against the bigger guy. Pretty disappointing match. **
Meanwhile, Paul Bearer returns with the orderlies, but the guy in the body bag is actually Undertaker thanks to Austin’s attack.
Meanwhile, back at the bar, Henry busts the promised moves, but leaves to “powder his nose”, and a bunch of douchy guys (including MATT HARDY!) put the moves on her, leading to Mark storming out and kicking their asses.
Val Venis v. Tiger Ali Singh
Val insinuates that Tiger’s girlfriend performed oral sex on him the night before. No wonder Tiger left. Val misses a charge and Singh pounds away in the corner, but Val comes back with the spinebuster. Tiger DDTs him for two and follows with a corner clothesline. Godfather sends his entourage to distract Babu, but now Terri and Jackie head down to add more bullshit to this terrible match and it’s a DQ at 3:00. JR writes off the pregnancy storyline, just noting “Well, admittedly that didn’t materialize.” And then we pile MORE on, as the Acolytes return and destroy Tiger and Babu on behalf of the Jackyl. In the Observer, Dave was sad that they were saddling Don Callis with “the world’s most boring tag team.”
Meanwhile, Steve Austin and Kane watch “Kane” get loaded into the nuthouse van.
Shane McMahon brings out Sable for a “lesson in humility” so she can model the new WWF cologne, “WWF Attitude for Men”. I can’t even imagine how nasty that stuff must have been.
WWF title: The Rock v. Al Snow
They’re STILL messing with Rock’s theme and trying to find something that sticks. This one is pretty bad. They fight to the floor and trade shots into the announce table, but Snow tries a moonsault off the railing and misses. Back in, Rock with a series of clotheslines for two. Ref is bumped and Rock hits the Rock Bottom on Al and then drops the Corporate Elbow on Head in a funny spot, but Snow recovers and hits Rock with the Head himself. And then continuing our theme for the night, Bossman and Shamrock come out to run interference, and Rock Bottom finishes at 5:00. Pretty much a squash for Rock, as it should be. * Poor Mankind takes another beating from the Corporation tonight but the JOB Squad makes the save.
Meanwhile, Austin and Kane track down Paul Bearer and haul him out to the ring to get some revenge. Paul blames everything on the Undertaker, but Austin sends Kane after him to do “that thing you do with the gas can all the time” but then changes his mind and decides to stab him in the heart with a pair of scissors instead. But then he’s got an even BETTER idea, so they haul him backstage again and out to the street this time, where Kane opens up a manhole cover and Paul gets thrown in, presumably to live out his life in the sewers like a Ninja Turtle. And he fits!
Austin heads back to the ring to drink some beers, but the Rock suddenly attacks him and MAKES HIM SPILL THE BEER. So Austin whoops his ass and gives him the stunner before finishing his beer. Rock staggers up again, so it’s KICK WHAM STUNNER for a second time as Rock takes another comedy bump. But Rock can’t leave well enough alone and waits until Austin leaves before cutting his own promo about how he’s still the champ. So Austin comes back out again, and he can respect Rock’s gumption, so he offers a beer as a peace offering. But Rock stupidly turns on him, and takes another stunner. Shane comes out to help Rock back on his feet, and Austin decides to finish off the night by giving Shane a stunner as well, and then one more for Rocky to grow on. Then he helps Shane up, apologizes, and KICK WHAM STUNNER one last time to end the evening. Austin must have been having SOOOO much fun at this point.
Anyway, a much better show than last week’s, even if the wrestling was still the dirt-worst.