Monday Night Raw – May 25, 1998 – HHH vs. Rock. Austin vs. Taker?

Monday Night Raw
Date: May 25, 1998
Location: UTC Arena, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Attendance: 6,500
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s FINALLY the go home show for Over the Edge so I think you know what the focus of tonight is going to be. Expect a lot of Nation vs. DX and a lot of Austin vs. McMahon/Love. The match at the PPV is a classic so I hope the show leading up to it can be as good. This isn’t a live show which means very little for the sake of this but I need to fill in more space. Let’s get to it.

Here are Vince, the Stooges, and cops to open the show. We recap last week with the Stooges and Vince (dressed in a costume) beat down Austin to let Foley get the real beating in. However that’s going to pale in comparison to what happens on Sunday. He says that he got away with assault last Monday. Vince runs down the stipulations of the match and what everyone is going to be doing. Cue Austin and the eruption that comes with him.

Austin curses a lot and tells the cops that he heard an admission of assault so cuff him. Somehow it actually works and Vince is taken away by the cops. The Stooges try to keep it from happening and Austin says that looks like obstruction of justice. That gets the Stooges cuffed as well and I can’t help but think that Patterson is a little aroused by this. Austin pulls out a beer and pours it over Vince as he’s taken away.

Legion of Doom vs. Disciples of Apocolypse

It’s a six man here with the debut of Droz. His name is Puke here but screw that. He gets beaten down by Chainz on the floor. Well so much for that. Animal vs. let’s say Skull starts us off. Off to Droz who hits a clothesline and then gets beaten down again. He can throw a decent dropkick though. That’s enough for him I guess as he goes out quickly. Still better than Garrett Bischoff.

Hawk (who still doesn’t look right with hair) is beaten down in the corner after being in control for about 4 seconds. Well to be fair he was supposed to be drunk or high so it’s kind of excusable. Chainz and Hawk collide which lets Chainz get two. Can we have Hawk shoot up in the ring? It would be more entertaining than this. Off to Droz and everything breaks down. Droz hits a three point clothesline and a Batista Bomb on Chainz for the pin.

Rating: D. This feud was so boring and thankfully I think it ended very soon after this. I don’t think it was so much about the feud being over as much as Vince falling asleep from it. There’s no chemistry at all and the Warriors are just old here. Droz didn’t help things and his pill pusher character never went anywhere. Granted that could be because he was crippled.

Vince and the Stooges are led away in handcuffs. Austin talks more trash to them.

Dan Severn vs. Owen Hart

We get a video of Owen turning on Shamrock before this starts. Gee, I wonder what the ending of this is going to be. Severn is the NWA World Champion and that belt on Raw is still a bizarre sight to see. He takes Owen down very quickly and tries a cross armbreaker but Owen manages to avoid it. Severn chokes away and Owen starts throwing punches. The crowd really doesn’t care here. And then Owen kicks him low for….not a DQ? They go to the mat for a bit and Severn gets an armbar to draw in the Nation for the DQ.

Rating: D. This was nothing, partially because Severn really wasn’t an interesting wrestler at all. And people wonder why ROH gets eye rolls when they bring him in as a big deal. The match was just for the postmatch beatdown, but I really don’t get the point of this for the most part. It was pretty worthless for the most part though.

The Nation destroys Severn but they can’t quite Pillmanize his leg due to referee interference.

Austin was on Celebrity Deathmatch last week and will be again this week.

Vince is still in the squad car.

Edge is still coming.

Here’s the Jackyl who has with him Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf and Crackhead Bob from the Howard Stern Show. Hank had recently been voted the World’s Most Beautiful Person by People Matazine’s website so he curses about that a lot. Bob yells a lot. This is stupid if you couldn’t tell. Jackyl says we’re not done yet and brings out Luna, Golga (Earthquake) and Giant Silva.

Golga vs. Thrasher

If you don’t know what’s coming here, you’re beyond my help. Bob sits in on commentary while the dominance commences. Total squash of course that takes longer than it should. It ended with a powerslam if you’re interested. Silva beats up Most for fun. The referee too.

Vince is still in the car as Austin talks trash to him.

Vader vs. Jeff Jarrett

Austin has agreed to let Vince and company go if certain conditions are met. No word on what those are yet. Vader pounds Jarrett down and hits a splash but there’s no referee due to Tennessee Lee. Then he does it again. Jarrett goes after the knee as Vader goes after Lee. The fans cheer for Vader but they don’t know what they want to see right Vince? Jarrett works over the knee until Vader runs over him. I’ve always liked that. Vader hits a middle rope splash but Kane runs in for the DQ.

Rating: D+. Better than the opener as the fans were into it, but still pretty dull. Jarrett was so freaking boring as the country singer guy and it was no exception here. He wuldn’t change characters until like July and it couldn’t have come soon enough. Vader still had it but they were already burying him, saying he wasn’t in top shape on commentary. The second run-in finish of the night isn’t helping things either.

Kane destroys Vader post match.

Vince is out of the car. Austin makes him apologize but Vince calls him the former champion. That’s not good enough so Vince has to do it again. Austin says Vince is a good kid and they all get unhancuffed.

Here are Vince and the Stooges after the second hour begins. No commercial though which makes this seem more realistic. Vince looking all messed up is a nice visual. He freaks out on Austin for treating him so badly and insists he DID NOT mean his apology. Austin made a condition that there had to be a WWF guy at the match Sunday to keep Vince in line. Vince is cool with that because no one on the roster can intimidate him. He makes Austin vs. Taker tonight.

DX was at an airport earlier. This is another of their “secret missions”. HHH had a speech but says Raw is too full of hot angles so they have to cut it short. HHH is going to be flying the plane and says it’s a very dangerous mission so he may never see them again. He gets in the wrong plane and that’s it. Ok then.

Al Snow jumps the guardrail and gets in the ring. Then he gets out of the ring and grabs Jerry, demanding his meeting with Vince. Security pulls him off.

Taka Michinoku vs. Dick Togo

Taka is Light Heavyweight Champion but this isn’t a title match because he’s not allowed to defend the title I guess. Also, Togo still has the best name EVER. There’s a spin wheel kick by Taka to send Togo to the floor and there’s his signature dive to the floor. Back in and another dive runs into a dropkick. Taka gets knocked into the railing and there’s a flip dive from the apron. Togo grabs a nerve hold for about a second and then hits a powerslam for two. Taka fights back but his tornado DDT is countered. A standing rana gets the pin for him though.

Rating: C. The match was fine but it was pretty uninteresting. This feud went on for awhile until they pulled the plug on Taka as champion and had him join Kai En Tai, putting the Light Heavyweight Title on this new guy named Christian who had a little bit better career I’d certainly think. Fun match, but it had nothing on what WCW was doing at the time and this division never did.

Post match the other Kai En Tai members come in and beat up Taka.

Back to the airport for more DX hijinks. Apparently HHH has flown off and they have no idea where he went. They all suggest they can fly after him but no one does. Rockabilly is mentioned.

Marc Mero vs. Farrooq

Sable forcibly rips the rope off Mero and he’s not happy about it. Mero starts off fast but gets caught in a powerslam. We go to the floor where Mero hides behind Sable. Mero stomps away again and Sable pops up on the apron. Mero tells her to get down and walks into a clothesline for the pin. This was just for the Sable/Mero stuff.

Mero freaks out on her post match and says that on Sunday, Sable can bring anyone she wants to meet him in a match. If they do, she’s free. If he wins, she’s gone forever. It would wind up being her vs. Mero with Sable losing. She’d be back in a few months.

Video on Pat Patterson and how awesome he is.

HHH is flying around (“I’m in the COCKpit!”) and says he’s flying around Nitro, writing messages in smoke for the WCW fans, such as DX Rules, WCW Sucks! Stupid but I’ve seen worse.

HHH vs. The Rock

This works. Non-title here. Before we get started though, Rock says the fans want to know how he feels about Viagara. However, since he doesn’t need it, he has no comment on it. He’ll also beat Farrooq on Sunday. As for HHH, DX is obsessed with their anatomies. Rock has something hard waiting for him: the Rock Bottom. After a break, here’s HHH and we’re ready to go.

Feeling out process to start and they’re more or less playing chess with each other. They trade headlocks and both guys go to the floor. Chyna interferes but is counteracted by Mark Henry. Back in the Rock takes over. Henry interferes, drawing Chyna up to the apron. The distraction allows a belt shot to HHH but Chyna makes the save and we take a break. Back with the People’s Elbow getting two.

HHH fights back with a clothesline and a crotch chop to Henry. Henry gets on the apron so Chyna pops Rock with a title as well. That was nice. HHH drops the knee (missed by four inches) for two. He stomps away but Rock hits a swinging neckbreaker to get two. Pedigree is countered into a backdrop to the floor. Henry stomps on HHH but Chyna pops him with a chair. HHH saves her and they fight on the floor to a double countout.

Rating: C-. Rock vs. HHH is one of those matches you always have to take a look at. This was nothing special but they would really heat things up over the summer, culminating in one of my all time favorites at Summerslam in their ladder match for the IC Title. The ending had to be that way because they were both champions, but you could see the chemistry out there.

HHH says bring it and Rock leaves. Farrooq pops up behind the future Great One and piledrives him on the stage.

Vince is going to be the guest referee for the main event.

Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker

Before Austin arrives, Taker chokeslams Vince. He loads up the Tombstone but here’s Kane. They slug it out and fight into the crowd. With Vince down here comes Austin. Stunner to both Stooges and he ties Vince up in the ropes. Austin grabs a chair and Vince is panicking. Here’s Dude Love with a chair of his own but Austin is ready for him and smacks his chair into Dude’s into Dude’s head. It’s so refreshing to see smart faces.

Overall Rating: C+. If there’s one thing Raw never did wrong at this point, it was the go home show. This set up the PPV perfectly with I believe everything outside of Jarrett vs. Blackman getting some time and I think we’re all thankful for that. Not much as far as wrestling goes but it’s 1998 so I don’t think anyone is surprised by that. Good stuff though and we got a classic main event out of Austin vs. Foley.

Here’s Over the Edge if you’re interested.


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1 comment

  1. Sebastian Howard says:

    “That gets the Stooges cuffed as well and I can’t help but think that Patterson is a little aroused by this.”

    Great line.