by Logan Scisco
tells Owen Hart not to mess with their business and Triple H says that Shawn
Michaels will have a message about the Undertaker’s family later tonight.
–Jim Ross, Michael
Cole, and Kevin Kelly are in the booth and they are broadcasting from Penn
State University. This is the fifth
anniversary of RAW being on the USA Network.
Four Corner Contest: The New Age Outlaws (WWF Tag Team Champions) defeat The Godwinns, The Headbangers, and
Sniper & Recon when Billy Gunn pins Phineas after hitting him with a
foreign object at 4:12:
The Outlaws wear Florida Gators shirts to get under the
crowd’s skin, since Florida defeated Penn State in the Citrus Bowl. This is not under elimination rules, so the
first team that gets a fall wins. In a
nice spot, all of the teams pound away on the Outlaws when they get into the
ring, so the tag team champions bail. I
never understand why teams bother to tag out in these matches since tagging in
another team prohibits you from registering a pin or a submission to win. The crowd really gets on the Outlaws case,
working up a large “We are Penn State!” chant and going wild for the attacks by
other teams on them. The ending makes
zero sense as the other two teams see Gunn hit Phineas with a foreign object,
but sit on the apron and let the referee count the fall. Finish aside, I’ll give this a point because
of the crowd. Rating: *¾ (1 for 1)
–A video package
hypes the Legion of Doom, who will face the New Age Outlaws for the tag team
titles at the Royal Rumble. The Legion
of Doom have not been on television since the Outlaws attacked them a month ago
and shaved Hawk’s mohawk and powerbombed Animal through a table.
–Steve Austin shows
up to the arena in his pickup truck as the crowd goes crazy.
–The Godwinns are
shown being tended to in the back by WWF officials because Austin attacked them
during the commercial break.
Austin, who complains that he won the Royal Rumble last year “fair and square”
and didn’t get credit for it. He has an
awesome line in this interview by saying that Vince McMahon might own the ring,
but if a wrestler dares get into it he is going to make sure they get tossed
out of it. Austin takes a pen from Cole
and draws a target on his chest to let everyone in the locker room know how to
find him. Great short interview. 2
–Austin hyping MTV
Celebrity Death Match on a house show is shown.
–DX arrives at the
arena in their limo, but a WWF production truck is blocking the car entrance,
so they have to get out and walk around it.
Match: Kurrgan (w/The Jackyl) defeats
Lance Diamond & Joey Cicero at 2:26:
At this time, Diamond was a rising star in the ECWA and
was engaged in a lengthy feud with Cheetah Master. He won the ECWA’s Super 8 Torurnament in 1998
as well. Kurrgan has to defeat both men to
win this handicap match, which he accomplishes with ease. Kurrgan finishes Diamond off with the
Paralyzer and pins Cicero after a suplex.
After the match, Kurrgan tears apart a Penn State football helmet for
some cheap heat. This was a good squash
and it effectively disguised Kurrgan’s weaknesses. If this was the 1980s Kurrgan would have had
a token feud with Hulk Hogan. The Jackyl’s
commentary also made it tolerable. 3 for 3
Hart is shown attacking Triple H in DX’s limo, but Shawn Michaels and Chyna
jump in and the limo drives off.
–Vader beats “Marvelous”
Marc Mero (w/Goldust) by disqualification at 3:10:
Before the match, Mero gets on the house mic to introduce
Sable, but the mic is not working and Mero doesn’t know it, so he talks in
silence until Sable’s music hits.
However, instead of Sable coming out it is the Artist Formerly Known as
Goldust dressed like Sable. Ross loses
his mind about all of this. In the
middle of the match, Sable predictably comes out and kicks Goldust in the
thigh. Mero gets her to leave, but this
lets Vader recover from a low blow.
However, after he hits a Vader Bomb, Goldust hits him in the back of the
head with a coconut and that draws the disqualification. There was not a lot of in-ring action in this
one, but the extracurriculars made it entertaining. Rating: *¾ (4 for 4)
hype the house show circuit.
–DX returns to the
arena in their limo, but where’s Owen?
–Bam Bam Bigelow
pushing Lawrence Taylor at the 1995 Royal Rumble is the 1-800-COLLECT Slam of
–Vader is shown in
pain in his locker room, a victim of Steve Austin’s rampage.
& Mark Henry wrestle The Rock & D-Lo Brown (w/Kama Mustafa) to a no
contest at 3:08:
The storyline behind this is that Mark Henry suffered an
attack at the hands of the Nation of Domination on Shotgun Saturday Night two
weeks ago and Ken Shamrock made the save before too much damage could be
done. Henry is wearing a “Rocky sucks”
t-shirt and the Rock pledges to rip it off of him before the end of the match. Shamrock wrestles the entire match, which
gives away where this is going, and sure enough, one Shamrock puts the Rock in
an ankle lock, Henry turns on Shamrock and helps the Nation destroy him in the
middle of the ring. The Rock plants
Shamrock with a Rock Bottom and Henry does the three count and then rips off
the “Rocky Sucks” t-shirt to reveal a Nation of Domination t-shirt. Great pacing to this match while it lasted
and Henry’s beatdown on Shamrock looked devastating. Rating: ** (5 for 5)
to get all three “Faces of Foley” t-shirts for $49.99 (plus $9 shipping). If you only want one of them they will cost
you $25 each (plus $8 shipping and handling)!
recap Mark Henry’s heel turn. Backstage,
the Nation of Domination is interviewed by Cole and the Rock tells Faarooq that
he recruited Henry for him and just wants him to be grateful.
–Since we are in
hour two, Ross and Jerry “the King” Lawler are in charge of the announcing
–DX comes out and
Triple H says that Owen Hart got dumped into a sewer and then makes lewd
comments toward sorority girls on Penn State’s campus. Shawn Michaels warns Mike Tyson to stay out
of his business at the Royal Rumble.
Before Michaels can talk about Kane, Owen appears on the Titantron with
his face scratched and bloody and he says that he is going to make DX’s life
hell. Triple H dares Owen to come out
and Owen does, but WWF officials intercede before he can get to the ring. This segment was going somewhere, but when
Owen got involved it fell apart. That’s
not an indictment of him, but this would have been better served having
Michaels get to his bit about Kane. 5 for 6
8-Ball beat The Rock N’ Roll Express (w/Jim Cornette) by disqualification at
This is the next step in the NWA angle its sort of
surreal seeing Cornette working in tandem with the Rock N’ Roll Express. The Express get the Rockers old theme music,
which does not fit at all. The crowd
doesn’t care because this is the Northeast, so it comes off like the Smokey
Mountain tag team title match that was held at the 1993 Survivor Series. Skull & 8-Ball use their power to
dominate the action and Cornette tries to run in and nail 8-Ball with his
tennis racket, but gets caught by the referee and that produces a
disqualification. Cornette eats a right
hand for Skull, but the Express do a small beatdown on the members of the
Disciples of Apocalypse before Chainz makes the save. This was largely
forgettable. 5 for 7
1-900-737-4WWF to hear about the rumors that Hulk Hogan will be in the Royal
Rumble. I never recall hearing this
rumor around this time.
–Cactus Jack is
shown walking around the grounds of Beaver Stadium and he recaps his death
match battles with Terry Funk in Japan.
He says that Funk’s idea to call himself Chainsaw Charlie might be
silly, but it was his choice to take on that gimmick and they just want to
brutalize the New Age Outlaws.
The Artist Formerly Known as Goldust (w/Luna Vachon) to a no contest at 25
For this match, Goldust comes out to Dude Love’s music
and is dressed like Dude Love. Mankind
quickly puts Goldust in the Mandible Claw, but Steve Austin runs out and gives
both men Stunners before giving a “hell yeah” into Jim Ross’s microphone.
appears on the Titantron and is booed.
McMahon says that Mike Tyson has been invited to the Royal Rumble and
will be on Raw next week where he anticipates a special announcement will be
–Sunny comes out in
cheerleader garb to do guest ring announcer duties.
–Savio Vega &
Jesus beat Taka Michinoku & Scott Taylor when Jesus pins Taylor after a
reverse superplex at 4:36:
Lawler makes an awkward quip about how he is not afraid to
admit that he likes younger women except when he has to drop them off at
school. Ross is not sure how to play
that so he just goes along with calling the match. After watching a good chunk of Michinoku’s
matches from this period, I have to come to the conclusion that he has one of
the best bumps off of a powerbomb that I have ever seen. The light heavyweights go to the air one too
many times near the end of this encounter, as Savio catches Michinoku’s
moonsault attempt on the floor and slams him and Taylor gets crotched and
finished with a reverse superplex. That
ending sequence was awesome and this is why tag team wrestling can easily fill
TV time. Rating: **½ (6 for 8)
–We get another
flashback to Bam Bam Bigelow pushed Lawrence Taylor at the 1995 Royal Rumble.
–The Twix Rewind
segment is Shawn Michaels winning the 1995 Royal Rumble.
–DX comes back out
to be interviewed by Cole. Michaels
introduces Kane as the next member of DX, but the Undertaker comes out instead
and tells Michaels to leave his family out of their feud. This is the segment where the Undertaker
chokes Michaels out of nowhere, which is a clip Botchamania uses a lot. The Undertaker then goes to chokeslam Chyna,
but before he can do that all members of DX beat him down. The light go out and Kane’s music hits and
the crowd goes crazy as Kane gets in the ring and makes the save. After the Undertaker recovers, Kane and the
Undertaker exchange their unique “one knee, hand to the air” salute. Have I mentioned that the booking of this
whole Kane-Undertaker issue is awesome? 7 for 9
1-900-RUMBLE-98 to register yourself in the Steve Austin pickup truck
contest! It’ll cost you $1.99 or you can
send a postcard to Devon, Pennsylvania.
–The drawing for
the Royal Rumble is next, but since there is very little time left it is
doubtful whether any drawing will take place.
Chaos unfolds when Ken Shamrock comes in and attacks Mark Henry and
Goldust and Vader start going at it. The
Honky Tonk Man comes out, signaling that he will be in the Royal Rumble match. Steve Austin’s music hits and everyone wants
a piece of him, but Austin comes out from the crowd and gives Phineas Godwinn a
Stone Cold Stunner and then tries to leave.
As most of the superstars brawl in the ring, the Rock, Savio Vega, and
D-Lo Brown attack him to play us out.
Not really a great take home segment, but it was important to show
Austin with some vulnerability heading into the pay-per-view. 7
The Final Report Card: Since we are in the Russo era, we are not
going to get long main event matches, but entertaining segments and wild
behavior makes up for that. Goldust’s
antics continue to get wilder and the Rock is really coming into his own on the
microphone and in the ring. The winner
of the Royal Rumble is pretty clear since they really have not given any other
participant much billing, but the casket match for the WWF title has some
intriguing scenarios now that Kane’s loyalties appear to be with his brother
against D-Generation X.
Monday Night War Rating: 3.4 (vs. 4.6 for Nitro)
Show Evaluation: Thumbs Up