January 26, 2013
Justin Rozzero
The Place to Be

Raw is War 10/12/98

- Our opening video takes back through the last five weeks, detailing how Mr. McMahon has screwed Steve Austin out of the WWF Title and the ensuing fallout…McMahon has invited Austin to Raw tonight…and we see footage from earlier tonight when McMahon drove to the Nassau Coliseum in his very own corvette…I kind of assumed Vince never knew how to drive, but I guess I am proven long…Vince complains about the idiot not opening the garage door for him as it was starting to rain…his toadies load him into his wheelchair and he motors off…McMahon’s wheelchair needs to be inducted into the HOF…no opening animation this week so we head right down to the ring

- New Age Outlaws vs. LOD 2000…tag titles are on the line here…NAO do their usual mic work…Gunn rambles something about deciding not to leave DX, so I guess there were rumors claiming he was…Hawk is in street clothes and he leads Animal & Droz out to the ring…Droz did fit well with the LOD look, I’ll give them that…Hawk jumps on commentary as JR welcomes him back and hopes he is healthy…Hawk confirms he is sober and doing well…he admits he has been hooked on pain pills for years but is doing well now…Animal has told Hawk he should be an alternate as he heals up and Hawk is on board with that decision…King is being a dick as usual but Hawk shrugs it off…LOD controls…crazy to think that a little over a year earlier, the NAO upset the dominant LOD for the tag straps…and less than a year later things have flipped way the hell around…as Animal continues to dominate in the ring, DOA & Paul Ellering sprint to the ring, drag Hawk out of his chair and the beat the crap out of him…wow, this was like a legit gang beatdown as they just tossed him and started hammering away…Droz and Animal come out to help…the Headbangers then sneak in from behind and bash Dogg with a boombox…the referee finally calls for the bell…the Bangers take off as the street fight continues on the floor…JR informs us that DOA & Ellering will battle LOD Sunday on PPV…also, the Bangers will be challenging the NAO for the straps…Dogg is busted open…good opening segment, pushing two PPV matches…that assault by the DOA may have been the most impressive thing they have done to this point

- JR tells us that Triple H is injured and has to forfeit the IC Title, so we will have a one night tournament here on Raw to determine the new champ…we cut backstage where McMahon is monitoring the garage, waiting for Austin…we see Kane walk in, wearing a windbreaker outfit and his mask…that was awesome

- Steve Blackman vs. Ken Shamrock…this is the opening tournament match…Blackman is still recovering from knee surgery but McMahon forced him back into action early…we see highlights of Blackman saving Shamrock two months back, but was attacked by an angry Shamrock as a result…JR notes the smattering of boos headed Shamrock’s way…Ken jumps Blackman before the bell, hammering him with knees to the head…Shamrock faces Mankind this Sunday…JR says McMahon stripped Hunter of the belt this past Friday…nice touch to continue pushing Vince’s power trip…Shamrock starts picking apart Blackman’s knee…commentary really pushing and focusing on Shamrock here…Blackman battles back but he is clearly banged up…Blackman stands over a prone Shamrock, but Ken hooks his leg, takes him down and traps him in a leglock to force the submission…gallant effort by Blackman, but Shamrock was in machine mode…as he has his hand raised, the Blue Blazer makes his first appearance, attacking both men as JR tries to figure out what the hell is going on…after Blazer scampers off, Shamrock applies his Anklelock on Blackman and refuses to break until officials pry him off

- Back to McMahon’s monitor, and this time Undertaker walks in, wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt…no dress code in 1998, children

- Back from break, we see Terri Runnels fondling Val Venis’s bare chest as he moans…JR tells us that Goldust returns tonight and takes to a highlight package to reintroduce new fans to the character…a lot of WCW potshots here, as they talk about Goldust taking out Razor Ramon and Roddy Piper…nice touch

- Val Venis vs. Steve Blackman…the first round continues…Terri is with Val, rocking another hot miniscule dress…Val does his thing and then we are joined by the greatest heel of 1998, Marc Mero…ok, maybe not the greatest, but admit it, he is pretty awesome…Jackie is with him, natch…she also has her Women’s Title around her waist…pretty even early on…the midcard was really stacked with a nice mix of veterans and young guys that all had pretty good chemistry and worked unique matches…nice to see some damn variety out there…Val hits a nice gutwrench suplex for two…Val faces Goldust Sunday…JR has been notified that someone else has now arrived in the garage, and we will see it after the match…Mero preps for the Marvelocity, but Terri distracts him long enough for Val to recover and hit the Fisherman’s Suplex for the win…Jackie smacks Terri and pounds away at her until the referees break up the catfight…makes sense for Val to win, but I was hoping to see more Mero tonight…fans chant for Sable because of course they do

- We get that footage of the garage and it was just Paul Bearer ambling in, carrying a briefcase…JR says he has been on hiatus and Vince wants know why he is here tonight…was everyone on hiatus in the fall of 1998…I feel like every time someone shows up, they are just making a return

- Back from break, Michael Cole is with Sable, complimenting her Oscar-worthy performance on Pacific Blue last night…Cole hopes she isn’t leaving wrestling for acting and she confirms that she is here to stay…she suddenly walks off, opens a random door and drags Jackie out of it…they struggle all the way out into the arena, where they start brawling over by the tech area

- After another break, we go back to relive the last segment

- Mankind vs. Mark Henry…this is our third tourney match…Mankind is out first, wrestling in his hometown…we see a clip of Michael Cole interviewing Mankind from earlier today, talking about his PPV match with Shamrock…Mankind says the chairshot Shamrock hit him with was the weakest he has ever felt in all his years of taking chairshots…and he has one word for us…Socko…well, didn’t take long for that to become a thing…that was a funny promo thought…Henry has a match with the Rock on Sunday…JR reminds us that he is suing Chyna for sexual harassment…we head back to earlier when Henry read a special poem for Chyna…well, this is an odd relationship…Henry slugs away, but Chyna is out immediately…Henry runs over Mankind, showing off his power…followed by a quick press slam and splash onto Mankind’s knee…Henry stays on the knee, showing some nice psychology, surprisingly enough…Lawler applauds Henry for ignoring Chyna and dominating the match…Henry misses a splash off the middle rope, opening the door for a Mankind comeback…JR notes that Mankind has never been a singles champ in WWF…Mankind’s leg collapses as he runs the ropes, but he able to fight back and hit a double arm DDT…now he takes his shoe off to reveal Mr. Socko on his foot…he pulls it off and hooks the Socko Claw on Henry…so it begins…Henry is out and Mankind advances to the semifinals…we get the iconic camera shot of Mankind talking to Socko, head cocked sideways…Mankind leaves as Chyna climbs into the ring…she gets in Henry’s face, demanding to know what his problem is…Henry says it is out of his hands now and takes off

- Back to the garage, where a cement truck pulls in…the door swings open and Steve Austin hops out…Austin may have the tightest pair of jorts ever created painted onto his legs…perhaps he macraméd them himself…we go to break

- When we return, Cole is with Austin and wants to know what is up…Austin sends Cole to get the one-legged bastard over to the garage and then rambles on about something else as he closes the door…elsewhere Vince is angry and the lackeys vow to go see what is going on…as they leave, Slaughter trips and falls on Vince’s leg…hehe

- Jeff Jarrett vs. X-Pac…our final opening round match is up next as we hit hour two of our show…we get clips of their bout at Summerslam, when Jarrett had his hair cut and footage from Breakdown, when Jarrett bashed Pac in the face with a guitar…Lawler wants to know why Austin would be driving a cement truck, and is upset about it…Pac battles D-Lo for the European Title on Sunday…Jarrett decks Pac with a clothesline off the bell, but Pac fires back with chops…JR really putting over Pac’s courage, coming back from major neck injuries…more truck talk as Jarrett dominates the action…goes for the figure four, but Pac blocks with an inside cradle for two…Lawler wishes his Cleveland Indians luck against the Yankees in the ALCS…how’d that work out for you, King…Yankees were awesome that year, one of the greatest teams of all time…Mike Chioda goes down as Pac tries a Bronco Buster, but Jarrett sticks his foot up and kicks Pac straight in the nuts…that was awesome…Jarrett goes under the wing to grab his guitar case…he opens it, but instead of his guitaer, Head is inside…Pac rolls up a stunned Jarrett for the win...Snow sneaks in and grabs Head and then escapes through the crowd…Lawler can’t believe Snow outsmarted Jarrett…Snow set to face Mero on Sunday…I love how there are undercard feuds and rivalries…Vince Russo definitely deserves credit for that aspect of his booking

- We head back to the garage, where Austin pulls the truck up next to Vince’s Corvette…Vince is watching in stunned silence, bug eyed as Austin lowers the chute over the open roof…and he turns it on, letting the cement fill the luxury car…the windows bust and the cement pours out on to the ground as Austin stomps off

- Back from break and we are joined by Austin, who marches to the ring, skin tight jorts and all…fans pop accordingly…Austin talks about Vince cemeting his fate when he screwed Austin at Breakdown…as long as they are both in WWF, Austin will make Vince’s life a living hell…he believes he will make a good referee on Sunday and the crowd agrees…Vince wheels himself out and before Austin can come get him, two K-9 cops with police dogs emerge as does a third man, dressed in black and wearing a ski mask…they all flank Vince as Austin walks up the ramp at him…he has to stop when gets to the dogs, as they start lunging for him…Vince says that Austin has destroyed his car collection…he vows that Austin will wrestle tonight, teaming with the Rock to take on Undertaker & Kane…wow that is a huge match…Vince tells Austin he will need to have eyes in the back of his head at some point tonight…he talks about his crushed ankle, that may prevent him from ever riding a horse and winning a polo match again…his system is in shock from being defribulated last week…and his rectal area is hurting from being violated as well…Austin will suffer this weekend, because if he doesn’t raise the hand of a new Champion, humbling himself in front of Vince, Austin will be fired…Austin doesn’t think Vince has the balls to do it…Vince nails the line of lines…”my balls are as big as grapefruits and this Sunday you will be picking the seeds out of your teeth”…this is epic stuff…Vince is on fire and awesome beyond my words here…he spins around and wheels off…Austin contemplates his next move as we take a break

- JR apologizes for the language in the last segment, saying Austin and McMahon have such a rivalry, that they don’t care what they say or do…Lawler recaps the stipulation now added to Sunday’s match

- Val Venis vs. Ken Shamrock…our first semifinal match…Shamrock jumps Val as he heads down the ramp…Shamrock is fantastic tonight…they brawl on the floor as Ken sends Val crashing into the ring steps…Shamrock is a ball of energy, not stopping for a breath, all over Venis…back in the ring, he just stomps away angrily…Shamrock works over the back, even hooking in a Camel Clutch…Val lands a big boot but his comeback is short lived as Shamrock takes his head off with a clothesline…Shamrock is a wrestling clinician at this point…Ken locks in a Boston Crab, really working the back…he can’t reach the ropes as Ken drags him back to the middle of the ring and sits back low…Val finally reaches the rope and forces the break…Val gets a pair of near falls, but Shamrock coldly clips his ankle and then hooks the Anklelock to advance to the finals…I love Shamrock…and he just marches off after winning…as Val writhes on the mat, Goldust’s music hits and he walks down to the ring in all his golden glory…these two will wrestle Sunday…Goldust disrobes and shimmies for Val, who is crumpled in the corner, nursing his ankle…Goldust hammers away on Val and then punts him with the Shattered Dreams…the Big Valbowski is in some big time pain

- As we head to break, we see Vince and his soldiers assessing the damage to his car…Mankind shows up and starts fishing in the cement with Socko…he finds the keys, but Vince just snaps at him to leave everything alone

- Back from break, Cole is with Rock in the back…Rock is the number one contender for the World Title…Rock isn’t too excited to team with Austin later…he would rather slap him in the face than slap his hand…Henry and D-Lo show up and start questioning Rock about teaming with Austin…Rock abuses them a bit and tells them to head outside to talk things over…looks like the Nation is in trouble

- Mankind vs. X-Pac…winner of this heads to the finals…this is a pretty interesting matchup here…10-10-321 brings us Judgment Day this Sunday…dial and save 50%...this is a hella aggressive match, with Pac going right at Mankind…Mankind dumps him to the floor and chucks him into the steps…now he grabs a chair but Chioda stops him from using it…Pac hits the Buster, but mankind rebuts with a club to the face…this hybrid Mankind era is an intriguing one…acting very dull mentally, but still an aggressive, calculating heel in the ring…Mankind takes Pac over with a neckbreaker on the floor…Shamrock comes down and stands ringside, looking on…he grabs the chair and bashes Mankind in the ankle in it…Pac rolls him up and wins the match…that was the same ankle that Henry busted up earlier tonight…not Shamrock gets in the ring and beats the piss out of Pac…my Lord, he is tremendous tonight…he had a goal and has executed beautifully…Shamrock works over the neck as officials pour into the ring…Mankind is helped to the back as Shamrock finally releases the hold as we head to break

- Shamrock vs. X-Pac…we return from break and the bell rings at the requets of Pac, who is still prone in the corner…Triple H is at ringside, on crutches and then he joins in on commentary…Shamrock is just assaulting Pac, tossing him all around the ring and stomping the piss out of him…Hunter says Pac is the most resilient person in the company…Shamrock is flying all over the place…Hunter knows he will be the IC Champ regardless of being stripped of his title…he says he never got a phone call and only found out by watching Raw…Pac finally lands a move, taking down Ken with a spinning heel kick…he follows with the Buster as Hunter roots him on…Shamrock swats him down and grabs the Anklelock, but Pac reaches the ropes…Ken breaks it and then drags him back to the middle of the ring and reapplies it…he ciniches it in and Pac finally taps out…this is how you build up a dominant monster in one night…Shamrock looked amazing all night long, mowing through guys and executing on his plan to become champion…Pac looked great also, fighting through injury in a gallant effort…now Mankind is out with a chair, looking for revenge, but Shamrock walks off with his gold in tow and we head to break

- Undertaker & Kane vs. Austin & Rock…as we return from break, Taker is heading to the ring, where Kane already awaits…the brothers have a staredown as Rock makes his way out next…JR tells us the IC strap will be on the line Sunday with Mankind challenging Shamrock…Austin is out last to a big pop…all four men brawl as the bell sounds and chaos ensues…Hebner has no chance with this one…Austin and Kane battle as Rock works over Taker…things settle down as Austin and Taker end up in the ring squaring off…Paul Bearer waddles down the ramp as Taker gets a near fall…Bearer looks on at ringside as Austin fights his way back into things…Austin tags in Rock…he sets up the People’s Elbow, but Taker sits up mid-move, so Rock kicks him back down and finishes the Elbow…good stuff…JR hyping the PPV big time here…Taker lands a big chokeslam and then tags in Kane…Taker and Kane start tagging in and out, working Rock over…this whole match exists just so JR & King can pimp the PPV, which is perfectly fine…Rock hasn’t gotten any offense in…JR plus Heat as well, leading into the PPV…Austin finally gets the hot tag and is all over Taker…Brown & Henry are out now, and assaulting Rock…Henry splashes him on the floor at D-Lo’s direction…Austin is tied in the ropes but is trying to fight off Taker…he is able to finally break loose…Kane & Taker work him over as Vince’s security guard charges into the ring and bashes Austin with his nightstick…he rips off his mask and is revealed to be…the Big Boss Man…Taker and Kane continue the beating as Vince wheels out onto the ramp and watches with a smirk….the assault continues as we fade out for the night…this was an awesome episode of Raw, top to bottom…tons of feuds going on, lots of push for the PPV, a mega push for Shamrock, memorable moments and quotes and a hard sell for the main event to end the show

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