Monday Night Raw – July 13, 1998: Kane Needs To Chill With The Rematches

Monday Night Raw
Date: July 13, 1998
Location: Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Attendance: 17,569
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Shawn Michaels

Well we have two Raws to go before Fully Loaded which is just a big preview for Summerslam anyway, which the company more or less admitted to. That strategy wound up working as Summerslam was huge that year. The main event tonight is the tag title match with Kane/Mankind challenging the Outlaws. Let’s get to it.

We open with a clip from the end of last week’s show where Undertaker impersonated Kane and became #1 contender.

Raw opens up….and my goodness Shawn Michaels is here. He hasn’t been seen since Wrestlemania. He sits in on commentary and even kisses Lawler on the cheek. Shawn is going to be here for the rest of the night too. That’s something he’d be perfect for today actually.

Vader vs. Undertaker

Imagine this match if they were both in their primes. My goodness. Austin vs. Taker is officially announced for Summerslam. Kane comes out as well after the guys in the match do. He shoots the fire out of the corners and Taker jumps Vader. Vader slugs Taker down and pounds him down in the corner. I kid you not: Taker hits a Fameasser for two. That sounds like something out of a video game. Out to the floor with Bearer and Mankind out with Kane. Back in Vader powerslams him (minus most of the power) and a splash gets two. A middle rope splash gets two on Taker. He pops up, chokeslam, tombstone, pin.

Rating: C. This is exactly what guys who are over the hill like Vader should be doing. Vader was still a big enough guy that he could be considered a threat so having him lose to big names is a good way to keep the big names looking strong while not wasting big matches. Guys like Vader at this stage of his career don’t exist nearly as much anymore and that’s a real shame.

Mankind goes to hit Taker with a chair but Kane stops it for unknown reasons. Another reason JR is awesome: he points out the two possibilities of Kane either wanting to do it himself or saving his brother. That’s what a commentator can be great at: being a guide.

Brawl For All First Round: Bart Gunn vs. Bob Holly

The New Midnight Express collides! Cornette has resigned as their manager because of this. The announcers spend the intros absolutely burying WCW for their horrible Bash at the Beach PPV the night before with Karl Malone and Dennis Rodman in the main event. I gave it a rating of not acceptable if that tells you anything. Bart Gunn was the surprise in this tournament but it doesn’t make this interesting. Bart wins by decision. They get in a fight post match.

We get some clips from the DX Nation parody last week.

The guy that played Owen does some of him impressions on commentary. His Shawn is GREAT. So is his Austin. The Nation pops up on screen and says they’re looking for DX. Jason (impression guy) does some more Owen until the real one comes out and puts him in the Sharpshooter. DX comes out for the save as does the Nation.

Rock/Owen Hart vs. HHH/X-Pac

It’s a brawl to start with HHH and Owen staying in the ring. Rock vs. HHH in a 2/3 falls title for title match is announced for Fully Loaded. Rocky and Pac start us off and a Samoan Drop gets two. Owen hits a top rope elbow for two. Pac tries to speed things up but Owen can go step for step with him. Back to Rock and X-Pac can’t do anything with him either. A slam sets up the People’s Elbow for two. Owen distracts the referee so Rock can hit X-Pac low, but it lets HHH get a belt shot to put him down. Rock breaks up a tag but walks into an X-Factor for the surprise pin. HHH was never in the match.

Rating: C-. This wasn’t bad but the ending was kind of surprising. I like that it came out of nowhere because it’s not something that you see coming. Most matches today are structured and go on the same formula so it’s very nice to be able to have a match that is nowhere near the formula but still works.

Marc Mero vs. Steve Blackman

Sable comes out for commentary. She still can’t comment on her relationship with Vince. Shawn calls Jacqueline Sexual Chocolate. Blackman takes over to start with slams and strikes. He keeps control and the girls get into it. Mero low blows Blackman and a Samoan Drop, but Jackie and Sable distract him and a bicycle kick gets the pin for Blackman.

Tag Titles: New Age Outlaws vs. Kane/Mankind

Undertaker comes out as well. Mankind and Billy start but it’s quickly off to Road Dogg. Billy hammers on Mankind as the champs have tagged twice in just a few seconds. Chyna hits Mankind in his bad shoulder with a belt to give the Outlaws the advantage. Billy jumps off the middle rope into the Claw but Roadie saves him. Here’s Kane and Billy’s punches have no effect at all.

Kane shoves Gunn down and the beating begins. Billy is sent outside and Mankind throws him knees first into the steps. Taker has done nothing at all in this so far other than watch. Owen and Rock come out as Mankind comes back in. Mankind charges into Billy and they ram heads. Road Dogg and Kane come in but Roadie can’t hurt him either. Piledriver takes Mankind down as DX comes out to fight the Nation. Fameasser puts Kane down as does a Russian legsweep, but D’Lo comes off the top with the Lo Down to Road Dogg. A tombstone gives the monsters the titles.

Rating: D+. This was Attitude Era 101: total insanity ending with a run-in to change a title. The monsters would only hold them for a few weeks but would then get them back. It would lead up to Summerslam and the rematch where someone turns on someone else. It’s not a great match but if you’re watching for the wrestling in this one, you really don’t get the point.

HHH complains to Vince about what just happened.

Kai En Tai vs. Too Much/Taka Michinoku

Too Much starts fast and hits a Hart Attack on Funaki. Off to Togo who gets suplexed by Scotty. Taka comes in to speed things up and calls for the Michinoku Driver. Kai En Tai continues their speed stuff to stop Taka but he makes the tag to Brian. A powerbomb puts Togo down and Too Much uses some double teaming to get two. Scotty uses the Worm’s grandfather but Togo moves. A moonsault gets two for Dick. Taka and Scott get in an argument, resulting in Scotty taking a senton backsplash to end this. Not enough to grade but it was mostly a mess.

Too Much throws Taka to the floor….and here’s Val. He didn’t like being slapped by Yamaguchi-San but it made him realize he was wrong about something. No man should ever mess with another man’s wife. Val apologizes and offers a gift: a special viewing of his latest video entitled Land of the Rising Venis. Val is in bed and stuff is censored. And it’s with Yamaguchi’s wife. Val says sayonara and cuts the camera. He says that once they taste Valbowski, they never come back.

Here’s Vince to address a few things. He says we’ll discuss the tag title situation in a minute and calls out Undertaker. Vince talks about King of the Ring and how Taker fooled him last week. What Vince wants to know though is did Taker have help or was he acting along last week. He demands an answer and Taker refuses. Vince starts to back off and here comes Austin.

Austin tells Vince to get out. As for Taker, he and Austin are on the road to Summerslam. Austin respects Taker for challenging him face to face. However before they get there, they have to go through Fully Loaded. Austin wants to know if Taker will be his partner or another opponent at the PPV. Taker won’t answer him either…..and here’s DX?

HHH says he wants answers too and says that tonight, the Outlaws get their rematch. Somehow that means we’ll find out if Taker and Kane are in cahoots. There are going to be three referees: one on the inside, and Taker and Austin as guest enforcers on the outside. Vince says ok so HHH tells him to suck it.

Brawl For All First Round: Godfather vs. Dan Severn

So this is the reason Severn left the tournament. He easily takes Godfather down over and over but for some reason that no one but the people running this crap gets, they don’t count. The fans HATE this and Severn wins. He bailed on it because he had nothing to prove (true) and it made no sense (double true).

Tag Titles: New Age Outlaws vs. Kane/Mankind

Austin and Undertaker are referees on the floor. It’s a brawl to start and I don’t think it’s going to change from that very much. Road Dogg and Kane fight in the ring as Gunn hits Foley in the face with the steps. The Outlaws double team every chance they get but it doesn’t really work. We actually get to a tag format with Mankind vs. Roadie. We’re just waiting on the big brawl with the main event guys to start here. Road Dogg has been being beaten down the entire time here.

Billy comes in and there goes the referee. Roadie low blows Kane and hooks a small package. Austin comes in for the count but Kane pulls Austin out. DUN DUN DUN!!! Kane chokeslams Road Dogg but Austin stops Taker’s count. The brawl begins and here’s the Nation and DX. Stunners and chokeslams all around (Shawn said those exact words a second after I thought of them) end the show.

Rating: D. I can barely rate this so I’ll keep it brief: if you’re looking for wrestling here, go read a book instead, because you have no idea what you’re talking about.

Overall Rating: C-. This show is one where your taste will vary depending on what you’re looking for. The wrestling here is nothing of note at all, but it did a lot of the heavy lifting that had to get done to get us to Fully Loaded. Most of the card is set now so we don’t have that to worry about. That being said, the Fully Loaded stuff wasn’t really all that interesting because it’s just a buildup PPV to Summerslam. Not a terrible show tonight, but this would be a great show to read about instead of watching. Make your own jokes about that in the comments.

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