Monday Night Raw – June 22, 1998 – Edge Is Here

Monday Night Raw
Date: June 22, 1998
Location: Frank Erwin Center, Austin, Texas
Attendance: 10,891
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, Jim Ross

This is the go home show for the King of the Ring and the first set of KOTR matches, so we’ll have four of those tonight. Other than that expect more as far as the C-o-n-spiracy and the whole fallout from that. We also have Kane and Mankind vs. an Outlaw apiece. This looks like a very standard go home show, so let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of the end of last week’s show with Taker destroying Bearer. Kane will break his silence tonight.

Theme song.

The Cell is above the ring again.

Here’s Vince to open the show. He brings out the next WWF Champion, Kane. Bearer is watching on satellite. The fans immediately chant for Austin. Vince says this will be the greatest day of Kane’s life on Sunday. Kane has apparently requested a special kind of match. There’s no pin, submission, DQ or countout. It’s first blood. Vince wants to know how confident Austin is. Kane (who hasn’t said anything until now) says that if he doesn’t win the title, he’ll set himself on fire. I can’t help but laugh at this.

King of the Ring Quarterfinals: Ken Shamrock vs. Mark Henry

The Nation is sent out again as they’ve been for the last few weeks. Shamrock makes Henry miss and fires off the kicks. He walks into a powerslam to take him down though. Legdrop gets no cover for Henry, which is chalked up to a rookie mistake by JR. Henry hooks on a bearhug and then a splash to the back of Kenny. Back to the bearhug. Shamrock tries to come back with a sunset flip but Henry drops down onto him. And now bearhug #3. FEEL THE ELECTRICITY BABY!!! Shamrock fights back and manages to hit the rana, sending Mark to the floor. Vader runs out and drills Henry. Belly to belly by Shamrock wins this.

Rating: D+. Henry somehow didn’t get any better for about 12 years. I mean dude, by the laws of averages and muscle memory you would think that somehow he would get better. That belly to belly was pretty impressive. Shamrock had a lot of talent but was only going to be an upper midcarder at best given the way his character went. Plus injuries on top of that.

Edge is in the audience.

X-Pac vs. Dustin Runnels

Dustin, the newly religious man, offers a handshake but gets a crotch chop for his efforts. The move known as the X-Factor takes him down but it doesn’t mean much yet. Dustin crotches him to counter a bulldog but Pac sends him to the floor. Chyna hits him low and momentum shifts again. Pac hits some of those very fast legdrops of his. I’ve always liked those. Off to a chinlock and we talk about how Austin could make Kane bleed. Dustin makes a comeback and a cross body gets two. One armed suplex gets the same. He loads up the bulldog but Chyna trips him. Pac kicks his head off for the pin.

Rating: C-. It’s amazing how much less annoying Sean Waltman is when he’s against someone who isn’t a giant. Dustin is a good sized guy but they didn’t have to make him look like an idiot here to have Pac beat him. That’s what gets on my nerves about small guys like Pac and Mysterio: if they’re fighting giants, the giants have to look like idiots for the small guy to win. This has nothing to do with the match. I’m just kind of rambling now.

Pac won’t shake his hand again post match.

We talk to Bearer at his home in….wherever it is. He promises to be at Kane’s side on Sunday.

Here’s Jerry Lawler to rant about Al Snow some more. Snow has apparently stolen the cleaning lady’s dress. Jerry has some papers for Snow, and here comes Snow out of the crowd in a dress. Head has the King’s Crown. Jerry offers a meeting with Vince for the crown. Lawler gets the crown back and Snow is handed a contract, signed by Vince McMahon. Snow and Head have to team up and face Too Much at King of the Ring. If they win, Snow gets his meeting with Vince.

Snow drops to the mat and says pin me and pay me. Why wait until the PPV apparently? Jerry calls out Too Much but Snow pops up and beats them up with Head.

Edge is now sitting on the stage.

King of the Ring Quarterfinals: Marc Mero vs. Jeff Jarrett

Jarrett knocks him to the floor quickly as the fans are cheering for Sable. There’s a gag order on the Sable issue which translates to me that they have no idea what they’re doing with the story but they have to have her back. Mero powerbombs Jarrett and hits a moonsault press for two. He might have hurt his knee jumping but still manages a small package for two. Jackie trips Jarrett and Tennessee Lee goes after her. That lets Mero hit Jeff low and hit the TKO but there’s no referee. Cue Sable for a distraction and Jarrett grabs a DDT to advance.

Rating: C-. Match was okayish but this was about Sable. I don’t think they ever actually revealed what the reason was for her coming back, but that’s par for the course in this ear. Anyway, decent match and a weird thing to see Jarrett as the face in one of these, especially after that character totally bombed as a face for the Horsemen.

Jarrett says he’s seen the light and will be king.

Kane vs. Road Dogg

I don’t see this lasting long. Billy is sent to the back. Roadie tries to stick and move but there’s too much Kane. A big boot puts Road Dogg down and there’s the smother that Kane has been using on Cena lately. Road Dogg takes a beating but manages to get in some punches and a clothesline to send him to the floor. And never mind as Kane takes over again quickly. Chokeslam is loaded up but Roadie hits him low….to no effect. The chokeslam hits and Tombstone finishes.

Rating: D. Just an extended squash here but it made Kane look unhurtable going into the match on Sunday. That’s the point of this and it also pushes the tag title match which is coming eventually. See how easy it can be to efficiently book a show? Why don’t people get that more often?

Bearer talks about the Conspiracy and Taker wanting to shut him up last week. Screams are heard and Taker comes in and destroys Bearer again. Various stuff is destroyed and the feed cuts out.

And now, it’s time.

Edge vs. Jose Estrada

All that is known about Edge is that he’s a tortured soul from Toronto. He comes in through the crowd and Estrada jumps him. Edge comes back with a spear and sends him to the floor. Edge hits a flip dive over the top onto Estrada….and breaks Estrada’s neck, putting him out for months. Edge wins by countout. The replay shows that Edge’s leg landed on the top of Jose’s head. It only lasted about 30 seconds.

And that’s how Edge debuted.

Kane is freaking in the back as Foley tries to calm him down. There’s a buzz from Kane’s voicebox.

Jose is taken out on a stretcher. Based on the replay, it’s hard to say who’s at fault. When you flip forward like that, it’s hard to control where you land. Probably a combination of both.

King of the Ring Quarterfinals: Dan Severn vs. Owen Hart

Severn is in that t-shirt of his. He spears Owen down and you know he wants it on the mat. The American hits a German on the Canadian but gets caught in an enziguri. Fisherman’s suplex gets two for Owen. Severn comes back but gets caught in a neckbreaker. Owen rolls outside and grabs a chair. Severn grabs it and in the distraction, X-Pac comes in and cracks a chair on Owen’s back. Severn’s submission ends this. Too short to rate but the match was fine.

The Nation runs Severn off.

Post break Rock calls out DX for a fight and here they come. Remember that it’s still HHH vs. Rock in the tournament later. DX comes out but suits hold them back.

King of the Ring Quarterfinals: HHH vs. The Rock

Just Chyna out there with either person. Winner gets Severn at the PPV. Rock takes over to start and hammers HHH down. He ducks his head though and HHH grabs a swinging neckbreaker. HHH takes over and drops the Flair Knee for two. Rock takes over and hits a suplex for two. There’s the People’s Elbow but HHH kicks out. Rock punches HHH, HHH punches Rock, HHH hits the facebuster to take over. Rock sends him to the floor but as he poses, Chyna DDTs him for two. They trade sleepers and Chyna tries to interfere for some reason. The distraction lets Rock hit a low blow and win with a fisherman’s suplex.

Rating: D+. How was that 8 minutes long? Usually the rule of thumb I use is that each paragraph of text is about four minutes of video. How in the world was this an 8 minute matches? It was mainly punching for one thing and nothing at all stands out about it. Definitely one of the weakest I can remember from these two, but their big one is coming.

DX and the Nation run out and it’s a big brawl.

Here’s the semi-finals for the KOTR:

Shamrock
Jarrett

Severn
Rock

Kane is still freaking out. Mankind says stay here because he has to go have a match.

Mankind vs. Billy Gunn

Mankind talks about being a history fan and having a picture of men from Gettysburg near his bed. As he’s talking about this, the Cell is lowered. The story was about time healing all wounds, but he doesn’t want to heal the wounds with Taker after what Taker did to Paul Bearer last week. They’re not going to prosecute him though because it’s a family matter on Sunday at the PPV.

Here’s Billy and the Cell is still down. All Mankind to start including the running knee in the corner. He takes Billy to the mat with a body scissors and the Cell is up. Billy tries to fire off some punches and they go to the floor. Chyna’s interference doesn’t really work at all. She gets ejected and they stay on the floor. Billy drops him onto the railing and into the post but it doesn’t really do anything. Billy dropkicks the steps into Mankind’s face and hammers away but Mankind keeps getting up. Fameasser (called the Rocker Dropper) doesn’t do anything and a piledriver is countered. Mandible Claw ends this.

Rating: D. The problem here was that the ending was inevitable. I mean, did anyone think Billy Gunn was going to win this? The match just went on and wasn’t all that interesting at all. The Outlaws were good at just about everything, except for that whole having matches thing. They were more of an act than a team, which makes things like this a bit annoying.

Mankind can’t find Kane.

Here’s Sable of all people with about 5 minutes left in the show. She brings out Austin in the white baseball jersey which never really worked for him. He wants Sable to go flip Vince off for him. Austin looks around for anyone wanting a fight and then accepts Kane’s challenge. In one of the funniest lines I can ever remember, Austin says if Kane lights himself on fire, he’ll be there with marshmallows, hot dogs and beer and we’ll have a big campfire. Here comes Kane but blood flows from the ceiling onto Austin. Now the white shirt makes more sense. Kane says on Sunday the blood will be real.

Overall Rating: D+. I really didn’t like this one as much as I did last week’s. This was more about getting all of the things that we had to get done before Sunday done. The lack of Vince has been hurting the shows as he’s only been in the opening segments lately. The wrestling here continues to be weak, but seeing Edge debut, even though it was shot, was very cool.

Here’s King of the Ring if you’re interested:

http://kbwrestlingreviews.com/2012/01/20/king-of-the-ring-1998-kane-is-champion/

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