Monday Night Raw – May 18, 1998 – Austin vs. The Stooges

Monday Night Raw
Date: May 18, 1998
Location: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee
Attendance: 11,528
Commentators: Jim Ross, Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler

We’re getting closer to Over the Edge which is on the 31st of May. Until then, it’s more Austin vs. Vince craziness. Tonight it’s going to be the Rattlesnake vs. the Stooges in what I’m sure will be an athletically based contest. Val Venis finally debuts tonight and we’ll probably build up a lot more for the PPV as well. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of last week where Vince stacked the deck against Austin which sets up the awesome match at the PPV.

Vince and the Stooges open us up. According to Vince, Austin has a concussion which JR disputes. If Austin tries anything, he’ll get hurt even worse. For Austin’s protection, he’s barred from the arena tonight. We see a video of Austin arriving and a guy stopping him. The guy sounds scared to death. Austin says he’s going to have some beers and the guy has five minutes to decide about the easy way or the hard way.

Here’s Dude who says that as Austin’s title reign is dying, the Dude is becoming stronger. Insert your own Lebowski joke here. That movie had already come out so I wonder if that’s why Vince picked the name Dude. I can’t imagine Vince has seen that movie to this day so we’ll go with no there. Dude says all of their dreams will come true on the 31st.

Vince calls out Dustin Runnels, (Goldust) and yells at him for blaming Vince for all of his problems. Vince says he gave Dustin Goldust and Dustin threw it away. Dude vs. Dustin (who recently had knee surgery) is made and the #1 contender spot is up for grabs. If Dustin loses, he has to work for free for thirty days. Dustin says ok and clocks Dude, getting him a 3-1 beating.

Jerry Lawler gets here with someone under a sheet. He tells whoever it is to mingle but the person can’t see. Jerry says it’s a security precaution and the security guard from earlier says it’s ok.

Scorpio vs. Val Venis

This is Val’s debut. The first thing said about Venis is from Cole: “Here he comes!” These jokes write themselves. Nothing special to start us off as they trade wristlocks. Val takes over with some clotheslines and a powerslam. Scorpio comes back with a sunset flip and what we would call Trouble in Paradise. Val goes up for a middle rope splash but jumps (mostly) into a boot. Trouble in Paradise hits again and the Tumbleweed gets two. The Canadian (Val) gets a German on the American for two. Scorpio slams him but the moonsault misses, setting up the Money Shot to end this.

Rating: D+. The match wasn’t that good as it ran too long for a debut. Venis shows he’s resilient but he needed more than that in his debut match. The top rope splash was always cool to see, but Val was in too much trouble here for his debut. Also he looked a little out of sync in there and the match dragged about two minutes too long. Not horrible, but it’s a debut so you have to cut him some slack.

Austin goes up to the security guard again and says the guy has picked the hard way. Pain ensues. Then we get the kind of thing that makes characters great. Austin grabs the guy’s walkie talkie and says that we have a situation here and that he’s coming for Vince. Little things like those made Austin unique because we get a bit of comedy in there with it, just to add his own signature to it. Little things like that add up and helped make Austin the legend that he is.

Here’s Austin in the arena and he says he’s getting a little madder about all of the strings Vince is pulling every day. He calls out Vince and the Stooges to settle this right now. Either get out here or he’ll start breaking expensive stuff. Austin wants to fight them all and Vince panics. Austin wants a street fight and Patterson says sure because Austin said he sucks, which he absolutely does not! Oh there are a million jokes there. Briscoe wants in on this too. Vince says Austin will get two of the three, but he won’t say which two. Is this supposed to be a secret?

Edge is coming.

The make-up lady is trying to help the person under King’s sheet. I think I know who it is.

Here’s Sable who asks Marc Mero to come out here. She offers him an amicable split and Mero chuckles. He has a contract that she signed and says she’s his property.

Marc Mero vs. Terry Funk

Mero jumps him coming in and they start in a brawl on the floor. Yeah brawl with Terry Funk. This COULDN’T go bad. Back in and Terry takes over with a piledriver for two. Mero pounds away as JR makes some not very veiled references to WCW and their Seniors’ Tour. Funk shoves the referee and suplexes Mero but with the referee down Marc hits him low for two. TKO puts Funk down but Sable is on the apron. Terry no sells the TKO and hits a DDT for the pin.

Rating: C. Eh not bad but the point here was advancing Sable vs. Mero which they did here. This is what wrestling doesn’t have today: basic storylines like this with a match being thrown out there where this isn’t a shocking upset. Both of these guys have their own thing going on and we didn’t have to have a big video about it. We were just told about it and I find that it works better that way.

Cops are here for Austin.

Legion of Doom vs. Disciples of Apocalypse

Gah I hate this feud. No Sunny here who I think was gone for good now. It’s Chainz/Skull here so I don’t have to play guess which twin. Skull vs. Hawk to start. I don’t like Hawk having hair as it gets confusing. The DOA controls early on but Hawk hits a facejam on Skull to take over and he follows it with….my goodness an enziguri. Well not really as that means head kick and this was in the back but still, points for trying.

Off to Animal and everything breaks down. Animal powerbombs Skull for one as this is falling apart quickly. Hawk hits a middle rope splash for two as the tagging is being forgotten. 8-Ball comes in through the crowd and rolls Animal up for the surprise pin. They would have a regular tag at the PPV. This was short and not very good, which I think was intentional to show that the LOD were getting up there in years and couldn’t hang with these younger guys.

LOD demands a 6-man next week. That would be Droz’s debut.

Steve Austin will be on Celebrity Deathmatch.

Paul Bearer and Kane were at a medical facility earlier for a DNA test. Kane in street clothes with a hood over his head is a different look for him.

Here’s King with his bodyguard. And it’s Al Snow. I was right earlier.

Dude Love vs. Dustin Rhodes

30 days pay vs. #1 contendership here. Dustin hammers away and this is just Dustin Rhodes. He has a big FU painted on his shirt while Love was in a sportscoat. Out to the floor and Dustin goes into the steps. Austin is watching in the back. Dustin hits the bulldog to booing but walks into the Mandible Claw to end this. This was nothing.

The cops arrest Austin. After a break Vince comes in to run his mouth and provoke Austin some more.

Headbangers vs. Kai En Tai

This is supposed to be 2-2 but it’s a 3-2 attack in the aisle. The team is Dick Togo and Men’s Teioh. We get down to a regular match as Snow is in the audience now, demanding his meeting with Vince. The heels cheat a lot because that’s what heels do. Back in the ring Teioh hits Thrasher low and Togo hits what we would call a Whisper in the Wind to put Thrasher down again.

Thrasher finally blocks a superplex or a super rana to take over. And never mind that as Teioh interferes to knock him off the top. The heels cheat even more as Funaki comes in to beat on Mosh. Bradshaw and Taka come in for the save from the big beatdown and the match is thrown out.

Rating: D+. Eh whatever here. Kai En Tai wouldn’t go anywhere until Taka turned heel and joined them but it’s not like this ever amounted to anything. Pretty weak match overall and the ending didn’t help as that’s how the vast majority of these matches ended: in a relatively predictable DQ.

Austin is put into the police car.

More of Bearer and Kane getting their DNA test.

Tag Titles: New Age Outlaws vs. Owen Hart/Rocky Maivia

DX does their schtick before the match. It’s a big brawl once the Nation gets here with no one in the ring at all. After a break we’re finally ready to go with Rock vs. Road Dogg. Billy protests something and Rock kicks Roadie low. There’s the People’s Elbow which has a name now. We hear about how great Owen is and now it’s time for Billy to get beaten up. Back to Roadie after about 2 seconds as Rock hits a Samoan Drop and Owen adds a top rope elbow for no cover.

Instead of trying for the pin, he wants to bite Dogg’s ear. Well sure why not. Rock Bottom gets two and everything breaks down. Rock is yelling at Chyna when Faarooq runs down and plants him with a piledriver. Road Dogg reaches over to steal a pin and get what would be the biggest fall of his career if he knew what was coming.

Rating: C-. Eh it set up the PPV match with Farrooq vs. Rock and continued the summer long feud between the two groups. The match wasn’t the point here and there’s nothing wrong with that in this case. It was going to set up Rock vs. HHH at the end of the summer and this is one of those side steps to get us there.

The cops haven’t taken Austin away yet. After a break the cops let Austin go after he apologizes to the guard.

Kevin Kelly is in the ring with a doctor who says Paul is Kane’s father. There go the lights and here’s Kane. Bearer calls Taker’s mother a two bit whore and Taker is there in about 4 seconds. Kane takes a chokeslam but Taker goes after Bearer too much and Kane beats him down. Vader, Kane’s opponent on Sunday, comes down to beat on Kane as Taker chases Bearer off. Vader stands tall as Kane bails.

Gerald Brisco/Pat Patterson vs. Steve Austin

Commissioner Slaughter is guest referee. He pops Austin on the way in and it’s a beatdown. This is a street fight also. Patterson hits him with a foreign object of some kind for two and Austin is all fired up. Stunners for the Stooges as well as Slaughter so I think we’ll say this is thrown out. Dude runs out and gets a beating also. A “fan” jumps the railing and pops Austin with a chair but it’s Vince in an Austin mask. Austin is left on the floor to end the show.

Overall Rating: C-. The show was energetic enough and the one major angle was well pushed, but it was the main focus of the show which gets a little tiring. This is more of a miss than a hit which is rare in these days. We need to get to the PPV soon because the story and scenario is all set up. Not a terrible show but it was kind of hard to get through.

 

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