WWF RAW Hosted By: Jim Ross, Michael Cole and Kevin Kelly.
- Still photos are shown from Steve Austin's victory over Rocky Maivia at
the "DeGeneration X" PPV. Intro. Fireworks. An incredibly packed house,
with at least one sign for every 2.3 people it would seem.
- New announcing crew tonight. Cole actually isn't bad, having seamlessly
replaced Todd Pettengill on the WWF's shows. I'll say this about
Pettengill: he had one major plus and one major minus. The plus was that
he was good behind the mic in terms of the quality of his voice and such.
The minus was that he spent all of his time trying to get himself over as
some kind of comic genius. Cole, who actually physically resembles
Pettengill a little bit, just sticks to doing his job.
- Vince McMahon heads to the ring. The crowd lets him know how little they
they think of him. McMahon just smiles. He goes into a speech, saying
that despite his overwhelming popularity, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin has
crossed the line and gone too far. Vince says Austin endangered the
safety of the fans by driving his truck all the way to the ring. Austin's
abuse of referees is brought up, as well as the fact that Austin used his
truck as a weapon in the match. Vince says the ref who Austin had Stunned
was in the process of calling for a DQ when the second ref came in to
make the three count in Austin's favor. McMahon says that because of
this, he is ordering Austin to defend his Intercontinental Title in a
rematch against the "People's Champion", Rocky Maivia. (Huh?)
Katie bar the door, cuz ...
Stone Cold doesn't look too happy (though frankly when does he ever?)
He chucks the belt into the ring and gives Vince the cold shoulder as he
plays to the crowd. McMahon contemplates making an exit, but decides to
stay in the ring since Austin wants to speak. Austin says he wasn't sure
if he heard him right because of all the explosions. A rematch? Tonight?
Austin says he doesn't give a damn who McMahon is. "Who I am," says
McMahon, "is the proud owner of the World Wrestling Federation. And
furthermore, Mr. Austin, I'm your ... your boss!" Austin says he doesn't
give a damn. He asks the fans if they'd like to see him whip McMahon's
ass, then "Gimme a 'Hell yes!'" The crowd gives with a loud "Hell yes!"
McMahon says he's been meaning to talk to him about his language also.
Austin replies with something that gets edited out by the playing an
audio clip of crowd noise over it. McMahon says if Austin doesn't defend
the belt there'll be serious consequences. Austin says he'll go in the
back, drink a beer, eat a hot dog and think over whether he'll defend the
belt or not. Whatever he decides, if he comes back out, someone is
getting their ass whipped.
Either Cole or Kelly points out during this how many WWF officials and
"agents" are around ringside. Calling this a "heel turn" on McMahon's
part wouldn't be too far off the mark. I have a theory about this. It's
a bit whacky. It's down in the "Bottom Line" section.
- SUNNY vs. JERRY "THE KING" LAWLER
It's the finals of the Karate Fighters Holiday Tournament. Lawler quickly
wins, but a "Hidden Camera" instant replay shows that he used chewing
gum to rig his fighter, used a Sable action figure to seduce the opposing
fighter ... and paid off the ref. An announcer comes out and says that
the "Tribunal" has stripped Lawler of the title and crowns Sunny the 1997
Karate Fighters Champion.
A good angle, but the match itself sucked.
- They show stills from the LOD/Dog & Gunn match.
- LEGION OF DOOM vs. THE GODWINNS
A total *ugh!* of a match. Road Dog and Bad Ass come to the ring to keep
an eye on things. This actually wasn't too bad. Why? Because the first
few minutes of an LOD match usually aren't too bad, since that's how long
it takes for them to completely run out of gas. They're still going
strong when ...
Suddenly the lights go out!
It's Kane ... again. Hawk is the only one left in the ring, Animal having
been thrown into the ring steps. Everyone else hightails it out of there.
Kane kicks him in the gut and piledrives him. Hawk stands right back up.
Kane grabs him by the throat (instantly killing a huge cheer that had
started to go up for Hawk) and chokeslams him. Hawk tries to get up
again. Kane grabs him and hoists him into the Tombstone Piledriver, which
finally puts him down for good. After Kane and Paul Bearer leave, Road
Dog and Bad Ass sneak in to lay in a few shots of their own. Animal
eventually chases them off with a chair.
- Replay of Kane's attack. Gunn and Dog are still in the ring. Road Dog
says that now that they've completely finished off all the tag teams in
the WWF, he and Billy Gunn will start competing in singles competition,
(but not until he and Gun do a chorus of the "Nah nah hey hey goodbye!"
song, dedicated to the "OLD"). Road Dog challenges anyone to come out and
face Billy Gunn in a singles match.
- "BAD ASS" BILLY GUNN vs. ???
Dude Love comes out! "I said one guy, not three!" laments Road Dog.
- "BAD ASS" BILLY GUNN vs. DUDE LOVE
A surprisingly decent little match. They start off attacking Dude on the
floor. Road Dog sits in for commentary as the match progresses. Nice
back-and-forth action as Road Dog alternates between worry and
confidence, based on Gunn's performance. Dude eventually gets Gunn set up
for the "Sweet Shin Music", but Gunn avoids it and nails a standing
Rocker Dropper a few moments later. Dude comes back with the "SSM" and
double arm DDT. Dude covers and gets the surprisingly clean pin.
Road Dog slides into the ring and pastes Dude Love with a steel chair. He
and Gunn then set him up for shot off the top rope, Billy intending to
drive a knee into Dude's head with both tag team belts placed on his
face. The knee misses, though, but the crowd still pops for the insane
- Rocky Maivia, in the back with the Nation of Domination, says there's no
way Austin wants to face him again tonight. Rocky says he clearly kicked
Austin's ass the night before, and is the "People's Champion".
- Stills from the Taka Michinoku/Brian Christopher match are shown. They
then show Christopher, after the match at the PPV, roaming the halls with
a cupful of ice for his busted lip. Christopher says there's no way he's
letting a "foreigner" come into this country and win HIS belt. Cut to a
clip of Jim Ross teaching Taka some English. Ross tells him that a
"knock down, drag out fight" is a "slobberknocker", which Taka is able to
say on his second try. Cut back to the ring, where Jim Cornette is
awaiting to do a special interview with Taka and his first challenger to
the title. Taka comes out. Moments later Jerry Lawler comes out,
interrupting Cornette's setup for the champion/challenger interview.
Lawler does the usual anti-foreigner schtick, joking that every four
seconds a woman in Japan gives birth and that he is going to track her
down and make her stop. Lawler asks Taka if he even knows any English: a
prerequisite, in his opinion, for someone to hold a title in this
country. "You ... jack-ass!" replies Taka. "That's two!" exclaims
Out comes a masked wrestler, named "El Unico" by Cornette. Okay, I'll
admit it: I fell for it. I looked this guy over and wondered "who's he?"
My dad took one look at him and said "Ahhh ... that's Lawler's jerk of
a kid!" Lawler, meanwhile, runs the "masked man" down as being another
foreigner-"Still drippin' wet from swimming across the Rio Grande!".
Lawler puts a finger in "El Unico's" face, prompting a shove in return.
He and Taka then stand side-by-side, teasing a fight with Lawler ...
until the masked man attacks Taka. Yes, it is Brian Christopher. He and
Lawler proceed to destroy Taka, taking turns nailing him with THREE
straight piledrivers! (If this was Memphis the ring doctor would have
declared Taka legally dead). The usual host of referees arrive to break
Heading into the break they show Austin reclining in the back, scarfing
down a hot dog.
- In what is hopefully the final jab at Bret Hart, the WWF shows what
they'd been hyping since the top of the show as the "Destruction of the
Hart Foundation", which turns out to be a series of clips showing Shawn
Michaels beating the British Bulldog in the U.K., Shawn beating Bret at
the Survivor Series, Degeneration X turning on Jim Neidhart and Owen Hart
attacking Shawn at the previous night's PPV. This last bit is played up
as Owen getting "final revenge" on Michaels, settling the score for the
Hart Foundation. The idea here is that Shawn rid the WWF of the Hart
Foundation, but that Owen got in the final word and that we won't be
seeing any more of him. Uh-huh. Yeah.
- KURRGAN THE INTERROGATOR (w/ the Jackal) vs. FLASH FUNK
Boy, am I glad there can be only one! Kurrgan, formerly the Interrogator,
has a slightly more interesting ring outfit. He still can't wrestle a
lick, with his performance in this match comparable to a tree being hit
by lightning and slowly toppling over. I've seen a stack of cardboard
boxes being knocked over display more wrestling acumen. The Jackal sits
in for color commentary, playing up his generic cult leader gimmick.
Kurrgan wins wit the lamest looking Iron Claw to the forehead I've ever
seen. He then refuses to release the hold, causing the referee to reverse
the decision and give Flash Funk the DQ win. Sniper and Recon from the
Truth Commission come out, but they are unsuccessful in getting him to
let go the hold. Finally the Jackal slaps Kurrgan's face, which cause the
big man to let go and give him an evil stare. The two then trade a
maniacal laugh as Recon and Sniper look on in the corner.
I'd never have devoted this much text to the match, except that it seems
to have signaled the end of the Truth Commission. Huzzah!
- Stills from Michaels vs. Shamrock. They then show post-match comments
from Shamrock, who essentially throws his hat into the ring as the first
official entrant in the Royal Rumble.
Hype for the "War Zone" closes out the first hour.
WWF WAR ZONE Hosted By: Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler.
- No fireworks for the second hour. DeGeneration X come out instead. Hunter
gets on the mic first, taking another opportunity to run down Sgt.
Slaughter and his "old lady". Shawn then takes over and says he
"schooled" Ken Shamrock. He then moves on to the Hart family, which he
claims to have destroyed. He calls them a "big, smoking, stinky, nasty
turd!", which nearly gives Jim Ross a heart (Hart?) attack. Shawn says
what you do to turds is flush them. They all go down, except for that
last little nugget that just won't go. Owen is that nugget. Shawn closes
by saying that he knows Owen isn't in the building, but nonetheless won't
leave the ring until Owen-if he's anywhere in the state of Maine-comes
out to face him.
A card table is set up. Chyna whispers something to Shawn, who then says
over the mic that he's going to live up to that old promise to walk naked
on live TV. A deck of cards has appeared and what was going to be a game
of poker is now a game of strip poker.
The segment ends with the first hand being dealt ... and the DOA entering
the ring area on their motorcycles. Back from the commercial they show a
graphic for the Royal Rumble, which is being sponsored by 1-800-COLLECT.
In case you're wondering about the WWF having advertiser problems, well,
1-800-COLLECT is also a sponsor of Nitro (or at least they used to be).
- THE DOA vs. LOS BORICUAS
The card table has been moved from the ring to ringside. The strip poker
game progresses at the same time as the match (sort of. Other than Shawn
and Hunter losing their shirts, nothing much seems to be happening-except
for all three shielding their cards from the camera).
Total yawner of a match. Los Boricuas-at full strength-get the win over
just the two bald members of DOA. Someone uses a 2X4 and someone gets the
pin-aw ... who cares! Los Boricuas win.
DX, smoking stogies, tell Los Boricuas to beat it. The camera cuts to
the back, where Rocky Maivia is pacing in anticipation of his possible
match with Steve Austin later in the show.
- The poker game has moved back into the ring. Even though Shawn is only
holding maybe two cards, and doesn't pick up any of the ones he's dealt,
he acts like he's lost another hand and "reluctantly" strips off his
pants. The squeal from the women in the crowd is overwhelming, if not a
bit embarrassing. Shawn strips to his jockeys as the Head Bangers come to
the ring for their match. The two men in skirts politely ask for the card
table to be removed from the ring. DX refuses. The Bangers flip over the
card table. Shawn takes the glass he'd been drinking Jack Daniels from
and smashes it over Mosh's heads (leaving several tiny cuts and scrapes).
Shawn follows this with a swat from a steel chair. Thrasher is then
triple-teamed, set up on Helmsley's shoulders on the top turnbuckle and
powerbombed through the card table! The bottle of booze is dumped over
Thrasher. Shawn struts about the ring as Hunter is shoving a chair into
Mosh's throat. Shawn stops to plant a foot on Thrasher's chest and jiggles
CUT THE F&@#ING MUSIC! I was into it up to this point, but really ...
Shawn fidgeting with his Unit was just too much!
Fortunately this spectacle is finally cut short when out of nowhere Owen
Hart slides into the ring and attacks Shawn. Hunter quickly chases him
off and Owen runs away through the crowd.
- JEFF JARRETT vs. VADER
Yes, the WWF may have completely botched Jarrett's return. The outfit is
dumb, his entrance music is even dumber, and he's yet to do anything in
the ring. This match is no exception.
Before the two can even lock up Goldust's new music starts to play. Out
he comes wearing a black robe, accompanied by Luna. Once he reaches the
ring he opens the robe, flashing Vader. He and Luna split, with Vader in
close pursuit. Jarrett earns a countout victory.
Like Raven, this is the third week in a row that Jarrett has been
announced in a match, but didn't wrestle. (At least to WCW's benefit
they've provided one good match to take his place on one of those
occasions). I simply don't understand where they're going with this one.
Jarrett, although he technically has back-to-back wins over the
Undertaker and Vader on successive nights, has absolutely no credibility
built up whatsoever. What are they saving him for? The WWF has an
overabundance of heels right now and frankly Jarrett is the least
interesting of all of them. They seem to be portraying him as a "new age"
Ric Flair. Having him wrestle as a face would probably be wise, but may
not be doable given this stupid persona they've saddled him with. Jarrett
came back and said the "Double J" gimmick McMahon made up for him was
stupid. This is supposed to be better? We're SUPPOSED to think that
Jarrett came up with this gimmick. I just don't get it.
Now Goldust I understand. It seems that after he broke his hand several
weeks back he was left with two courses of action: let the hand heal
naturally and keep wrestling, which would almost guarantee the injury
sticking around for the next half year, or he could get it operated on,
which would put him out of action until January, but almost guaranteed a
full recovery. Goldust chose the latter, which is why his match with
Vader was scrapped from the PPV. Expect a lot more stuff like this over
the next month. Thank God you couldn't actually see anything. Goldust was
first shown from the side, then from across the ring, where he could only
be seen from the chest up. I doubt seriously that he was actually totally
nude under the coat as so many have assumed. I may not quite get what
they're trying to do with him, but at least I understand why he isn't in
- Stills from Marc Mero vs. Butterbean are shown. Butterbean, in post-match
comments, says he's after Mero and that this isn't over.
- SALVATORE SINCERE vs. "MARVELOUS" MARC MERO
Mero comes to the ring and says he's the greatest wrestler and boxer in
the world. He says he's annoyed that McMahon has sent him out to wrestle
a jobber like Sal Sincere. Mero says it's a jobber's role to lose every
match, and that Sincere-a "jobroni"-isn't even really named "Sal
Sincere". Mero reveals the jobber's real name: Tom Brandi. Mero says the
WWF gave him a stupid gimmick and that Brandi foolishly accepted it.
He then brings out Sable, who he calls his "property". Sable comes down
the ramp wearing a potato sack. Once in the ring he says he'll quickly
finish of the jobber Brandi, but that Sable has to disrobe him first. As
he stands there waiting for her to pull off his robe she stops, thinks it
over, and removes her potato sack, revealing the skimpiest assortment of
dental floss ever to be called a bikini. Mero turns to see what the crowd
is going nuts over and quickly wraps his robe around her. Brandi seizes
the opportunity to drop-kick him out of the ring. Mero, instead of
continuing the match, hustles Sable out of the ring area. Sincere/Brandi
wins the match by countout.
You have to say this about the WWF: they're equal opportunists in their
sexist ways. First we got Shawn's "oscar", then Sable's "golden globes".
Ah, it's an award winning night all around!
- You can win Steve Austin's "3:16" pickup yourself, simply by calling a
special phone number and entering a contest. You can also enter by
sending in a postcard to a certain address. If interested, I'm assuming
all the details are on the WWF's website. The winner will be contacted
during the Royal Rumble. Yes, they'll be fixing the damage Austin did to
the truck first.
- "THE ROCK" ROCKY MAIVIA (w/ the NOD) vs. "STONE COLD" STEVE AUSTIN
Maivia comes to the ring first. The "Rocky sucks!" chant which
accompanies him is louder than anything else heard on the show.
Austin heads to the ring, though he's still dressed in street clothes.
McMahon meets Austin in the ring and points out that he doesn't appear to
be dressed to wrestle. Austin asks if he has to be dressed to wrestle
just to wrestle? McMahon says if he wants to wear jeans in a match then
he can, and that the match should start. Austin says it's not gonna be
that way, as he sat in the back, drank a few "Steveweisers" and decided
not to wrestle Maivia. He asks McMahon what he's going to do ... fire
him? Maivia interjects, saying "Vince, 'The Rock' thinks you should fire
him!" McMahon tells him to keep out of it, then warns Austin that he
won't fire him, but that Austin is forcing him to strip him of the title
and give it to "The Rock". Austin says if Vince strips him of the title
he'll beat the hell out of him. Austin goes on to say that he's already
been the Intercontinental Champion, as well as a Tag Team Champion (twice
for both), and that there's only one title he's interested in: the World
Heavyweight Title. Because Austin's got "bigger fish to fry" he forfeits
the title, offering the belt to Maivia. "Take it!" says McMahon. Rocky
snatches away the belt. Austin the offers Rocky his hand. Rocky shakes it
and Austin holds his arm up as McMahon announces Maivia as the new WWF
Intercontinental Champion. The celebration quickly ends as Austin kicks
him in the gut and drops him with a Stone Cold Stunner. "There's your
champion!" says Austin, who picks up the belt and tells McMahon that if
he wants ratings, then everyone should tune in next week to see what
plans Austin has for the belt. "Same 'Stone Cold' time ... same 'Stone
Cold' channel!" He starts to leave, then comes back to the ring for one
last hurrah as McMahon confers with his aides at ringside; McMahon
himself standing on the apron.
Austin suddenly decides to run the ropes. Hitting the ropes closest to
the ramp, McMahon is propelled off the apron, slamming hard on the floor
at the foot of the ramp! McMahon comes up cussing, calling Austin a name
that had to be covered over with a crowd noise audio fill. Austin shows
that he was just bouncing on the ropes and that it was an accident, but
McMahon looks unconvinced. The show ends with a quick replay of Maivia
getting stunned, then McMahon getting dumped.
- Next week: Nothing announced.
One of the weirdest RAW's I can ever remember. The poor match quality aside
(with only one good match out of seven advertised-only four of which
actually took place), this show was packed with surprises, some drama, and a
ton of general strangeness. From an in-ring standpoint Nitro obviously won
the night. RAW easily cleaned up in every other category though. I might
have been more impressed with Nitro if I felt any of the matches actually
Even the Disco Inferno title win seemed pointless, since WCW's continuing
fascination with him will obviously wane again in the next few weeks and
he'll once again be relegated back to jobber status. (Hey, maybe I'm wrong
on this one, but frankly I gave up on him long ago. He's yet another in a
long string of wrestlers who everyone says is really good, yet never manages
to show it in most of his matches). Too many people also overlook the fact
that he really has one of the dumbest gimmicks in wrestling-if not THE
dumbest. Drop the gimmick, have him go by his real name, let him turn up his
in-ring performances and maybe, just maybe, I'll give a damn. Until then
he's a comic relief wrestler who's been pushed and de-pushed too many times
to even begin taking seriously.
RAW delivered a show that kept my full attention for the two hours, yet it
wasn't until it was all over that I realized they'd only delivered one
decent match (and I bet I'm probably in slim company as one who enjoyed that
match-Dude Love vs. Bad Ass). Still, it was enough for me to give the show
the nod over Nitro, since despite the marginally better match quality this
week, I can't even point to one Nitro match which really did anything for
me. The Disco/Saturn match came the closest, but that involved a wrestler
who means nothing to me (Saturn) and a wrestler I actively dislike (Disco).
The bit with Shawn juggling his nutsack really was too much, though. I
actually felt bile rise in my throat. I was really enjoying myself up until
then. Fortunately Sable brought me out of that funk a few minutes later.
Arrrooooooo! Rowf, rowf! Oink!