Monday Night Raw
Date: June 8, 1998
Location: Metro Center, Rockford, Illinois
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, Jim Ross
Back for another week here as I start doing two of these in a row. That’s going to get me through these years a lot faster than I was going previously. Anyway, tonight we continue the build towards King of the Ring, probably with some more qualifying matches. Also we have Kane vs. Austin set but we need another main event for that show. Something big. Let’s get to it.
Here’s Vince to open the show with the Stooges. They’re all in tuxedos. This is a night of thanks according to Vinny Mac. He comes here with a heart of caring and sharing. We only know the Vince we see on TV. Tonight we’ll meet the real Vince. The fans chant for Austin and Vince says he’s here. Tonight, due to Vince giving a lot of money to charity, he’s being named Humanitarian of the Year. As his biggest humanitarian act of the year, he offers Austin an invitation.
King of the Ring Qualifying Match: The Godfather vs. Ken Shamrock
He isn’t a pimp yet but he does have the hat. The Nation is thrown out. Kama (The Godfather of the Nation) jumps him immediately and hits a corner splash. Ken speeds things up and tries his rana but caught in kind of a release spinebuster. The winner of this gets Mark Henry. Shamrock grabs a leg lock but Kama gets the rope. Ken gets his ankle worked on, as in the one that Owen hurt last month. Godfather hits the ropes but gets tripped into the ankle lock for the tap. Too short to rate but this was fine.
D’Lo runs out for the beatdown but Severn makes the save. They have a qualifying match later.
The top half of the tournament is now set:
The other half gets started tonight.
DX was in New York City this week to spread the word that Summerslam was coming to MSG. They annoy some people and a cop does the Suck It sign. One good looking girl flashes them. That was uncensored on some of their tapes.
Buy this Austin shirt! It’s only 30 bucks after taxes!
Faarooq/Steve Blackman vs. Marc Mero/Jeff Jarrett
So we have KOTR Qualifying Match winners vs. losers. Better than no story. Mero and Farrooq start us off and JR incorrectly says Faarooq used to be IC Champion. Mero takes a quick spinebuster and he’s in trouble early. Off to Jarrett vs. Blackman now which is one of the most boring rivalries I’ve heard of in years. Jeff fakes him out and hits a legsweep to take over.
JR thinks there’s something up with the Humanitarian of the Year jazz. Jarrett gets two off a suplex as does Blackman off a small package. Everything breaks down and Faarooq gets a good reaction beating on Mero. Jarrett stomps on Blackman but Faarooq rams Jarrett into a distracted Mero and Blackman rolls up Jeff for the pin.
Rating: D. Blackman vs. Jarrett just did not work. I don’t know what anyone saw in it but this feud went on for like three months. Granted neither guy was interesting at all at this point as Jarrett would need to get his hair cut off by X-Pac before he became anything of note. Blackman never quite got there.
DX is still in New York. You never see this kind of stuff anymore. Everything feels so clean and structured anymore.
After a break, DX is in fact still in New York. They help a little old lady across the street and just have a good time.
King of the Ring Qualifying Match: Scorpio vs. Owen Hart
This should be good. Just like earlier, the Nation gets thrown out. They fight over a wristlock to start and show off a lot. Owen knocks him to the floor and JR plugs upcoming shows. Top rope shoulder by Scorpio gets two. Back to the arm as JR isn’t sure if this would be an upset or not. The Canadian hits a German on the American for two. Owen’s top rope splash hits boot and Scorpio hits a spinwheel kick for two. The moonsault misses for Scorpio and he lands on his knee. Owen works on it a bit and the Sharpshooter ends this quickly.
Rating: C. Decent enough match but they didn’t have much time to work with. Scorpio couldn’t really be himself at this point and it hurt his time in WWF a lot. That being said, he was in his mid 30s here so he was pretty much past his prime. A few years before this though, the dude was awesome. Look up his mid 90s stuff and you’ll be entertained.
Taker is here. During the break he went into Vince’s office but didn’t find him.
Darren Drozdov vs. Chainz
We get a video of how Droz got the name Puke. I’ll let you visualize that yourselves. Droz is NOT a member of the LOD. He just hangs out with them and feuds with the people they’re feuding and is in their tag matches. Ok then. Chainz takes over and it’s official: Mankind vs. Taker is Hell in a Cell. Chainz misses a middle rope elbow and Droz does the same with a corner splash, allowing Chainz to win with a Death Valley Driver. Too short to rate but it was nothing of note at all.
Here’s Taker to beat up both guys and clear the ring. He wants Vince.
After a break….nothing happens. Ok then. Vince is at his party in the break and there’s no Taker anywhere. Ok then the sequel.
Here’s DX who does their schtick and then says they have business with the DOA. Cue the Legion of Doom who wants the tag titles. Animal demands a title shot at the Outlaws. HHH surprisingly says ok. Cue the DOA to interrupt as well. HHH: “Can’t anybody cut a promo around here?” They want a title shot as well so HHH says they can all suck it. Now Slaughter comes out (how long is he going to have this job for???) and makes a three way tag for tonight.
Taker is destroying stuff in the back.
Edge is STILL coming.
Mark Henry vs. Vader
They stare it down in the middle of the ring and it’s a slugfest to start us off. Vader can’t suplex him nor can he slam him. Henry however can easily slam the Mastadon. Vader fights back and takes over with clotheslines. Now he can slam Henry. He goes up but jumps into a powerslam as Henry pounds away even more. Here’s Taker again and the match is thrown out. Too bad as that was kind of fun while it lasted. Too short to rate though.
Here’s some video from Over the Edge where Sable got fired.
King of the Ring Qualifying Match: Dan Severn vs. D’Lo Brown
D’Lo slaps Severn for some reason and Severn takes him down with ease. They trade grapples and Severn suplexes him with ease. The idea here is that Severn is a master on the mat but isn’t that good with striking. Severn basically squashes him and hooks something like an abdominal stretch on the mat with a leg trap for the submission. I think this led to D’Lo’s chest protector. Again, too short to rate, a running theme tonight.
Owen runs out post match and kicks Severn but Shamrock limps out for the save.
Tribute video on Sable. They make it seem like she’s dead.
Austin meets the Humanitarian guys.
Dustin Runnels vs. Val Venis
Val talks about how he and Dennis Rodman have a lot in common. He dominates the boards and Val dominates the broads. Yeah that was bad. Anyway the Attitude Era version of Rick Rude is against Runnels who is wrestling without pay. Dustin takes over and gets a BIG reaction. They go to the floor where Dustin takes over. Back in he works on the arm for a bit until Val takes over. They screw up….something as Val was supposed to clothesline him but Dustin fell to his knees instead.
Sleeper by Goldie is countered via a jawbreaker and Val pounds on him a bit. Off to a camel clutch and it’s hard not to imagine these being porn positions. He even manages to grind on Dustin during the clutch. That’s talent people. An atomic drop has Val panicking which is kind of funny. Top rope clothesline gets two for Dustin. The bulldog gets two and here’s Taker AGAIN. Yeah it’s thrown out.
Rating: D. I see why Goldust was the best thing that ever happened to Dustin: he’s freaking BORING as himself. As Dustin he’s just Dusty Rhodes’ son and a tall guy from Texas. There’s no character there so Goldust actually made him interesting. Not much here but things would get interesting for these two later on.
DX sprays Doc Hendrix with Super Soakers.
Tag Titles: Disciples of Apocalypse vs. Legion of Doom vs. New Age Outlaws
During the Outlaws’ entrance, Taker beats up Sarge in the back. HHH and Pac are on the stage with various funny signs. Just two in the ring at a time. Billy vs. Animal gets us going. Billy brings in 8-Ball quickly and oh yay it’s more DOA vs. LOD. Let’s say that’s 8-Ball beating on Road Dogg. The twins take over and you can feel the energy being sucked out of the show while they’re in there.
Roadie finally brings in Hawk who just does not look right with hair. Neckbreaker gets two on Skull. Billy comes in and the match continues to go nowhere. The challengers are back in almost immediately and Animal pounds him down. Let’s say that’s Skull. Road Dogg comes in and takes a missed low blow. Back to Animal vs. Skull. GET THIS OVER WITH ALREADY. Finally we get to the ending as both of the Outlaws are brought in. And then Road Dogg quickly lays down for the pin before anyone else can get in. And that’s Outlaws 101. Shouldn’t they lose the titles though as they gave up the fal?
Rating: D+. Other than the ending, this was really boring stuff. The DOA vs. LOD feud went on FOREVER and never got interesting in the slightest. They were such a clash of styles and none of them had anything interesting at all to do. Boring match but the ending showed why the Outlaws are so memorable: they couldn’t beat the challengers physically so use your brains.
About ten cops are in the back as Al Snow comes out to yell at Lawler. And then Snow gets arrested.
Time for the Humanitarian ceremony. Vince and the Stooges come out in their tuxedos again. The cops have surrounded Taker in the back. Here’s Austin as well in his gear and a black tie. Cute. A football player gives Vince a plaque, even though the amount was less than promised. It took time to clear too. Vince hasn’t come for a visit either. The football player’s favorite superstar is Austin by the way. Another football player has a plaque for Vince, although he doesn’t remember getting a check from Vince. Austin is his favorite also.
Vince says he deserves these awards as Austin looks on. Brisco is behind Austin now. JR thinks something is up. He says there’s going to be a WWF Hall of Fame too. Austin reaches into Vince’s pocket and pulls out a roll of money which he gives to the football players for the foundations. There’s a gong strike and we have druids and a coffin. With the lights out, Mankind comes from under the ring and Kane is in the casket. They throw Austin in it and shut it to end the show.
Overall Rating: D+. This show DRAGGED. It felt like it would never end, especially with all of the Taker interference. You can also tell that WWF doesn’t quite have their advertising matches down yet because on next week’s show, there’s a tag team Hell in a Cell match with the three guys at the end and Taker, but that wasn’t important enough to mention. Not a good show and it felt like it went on forever.
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