Monday Night Raw – August 3, 1998 – Austin vs. Rock

Monday Night Raw
Date: August 3, 1998
Location: San Diego Sports Center, San Diego, California
Attendance: 9,703
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

We’re that much closer to Summerslam now as I can actually see this year starting to wind down. The main event tonight is another tag title defense, this time against Owen/Rock which should be interesting. Other than that we have a very infamous scene involving a naked Val Venis. Let’s get to it.

Here’s the Nation to open things up. Rock and Owen beat Mankind and Kane on the debut of Heat (it used to be a huge show) to get the shot. They’re here to chat now though. Rock says the Nation is awesome and wants his title shot now but here’s Sarge instead. Rock says go get the champs but Austin comes out on his own. Taker comes out as well but kane pops up on the stage. Austin goes in and gets beaten down but Taker goes after Kane. Mankind jumps him. There’s a referee here. Is this a match? Oh there are like five referees so this is just a brawl. Austin gets a chair and clears the ring.

Marc Mero vs. Golga

Now this is a strange choice. Sable comes out with Golga for some reason. She says she has a surprise for Jackie as well. Kurrgan and Silva come out in tuxedos and sing the Miss America song. It’s Luna to cancel out Jackie. Sable jumps in on commentary. Ramming Golga’s head into the buckle doesn’t work and neither does punching him. Mero avoids a charge and takes Golga down with a middle rope clothesline. Jackie trips Golga so Luna breaks flowers over her back. Silva chokeslams Mero and Golga wins with an Earthquake.

Rating: D. Bad match here but the Oddities would begin to get a moderate push. They would have the ICP do their intro at Summerslam which to be fair was pretty cool. Kurrgan dancing makes up for almost anything though and the Oddities theme was always kind of catchy so why not. This was always kind of a guilty pleasure for me.

Brawl For All Quarter-Finals: Godfather vs. Scorpio

Severn has pulled out so Godfather is back in. Severn says he has nothing to prove so there’s no need for him to be in there. Godfather I think debuts the offering the women instead of fighting deal. Scorpio says let’s fight and someone needs to check on Lawler. Godfather wins on points.

The Outlaws says they’ll take out Kane and Mankind. Roadie gets in a good line: we’re not afraid of you. We’re afraid of what we’ll do to put you do.

Kane/Mankind vs. New Age Outlaws

The Outlaws jump Mankind on the floor while Kane makes his entrance. Mankind and Billy start but it’s quickly off to Roadie. The shaky knee gets two. The monsters take over with Kane pounding on Road Dogg. Billy comes in to try a double suplex but the Outlaws get dropped. Out to the floor and Mankind cracks Road Dogg with the chair. Billy hits Mankind and is clotheslined down by Kane. The Outlaws get Kane alone and hit the double suplex but Mankind uses the Claw on Gunn. This allows Kane to tombstone Roadie for the pin.

Rating: D+. This was more of a brawl and like last week, I don’t think anyone gave the Outlaws a chance at all. That being said, last week was a much better match because it was more wrestling based, as well as having Undertaker sell some stuff. It’s not a horrible match but it was pretty much an annoyance to the monsters rather than a competitive match.

Hawk apologizes to the fans for last week.

Hawk vs. Jeff Jarrett

Hawk starts off with his power stuff and Jeff doesn’t really listen to Tennessee Lee. Hopefully that leads to Lee’s dismissal. A charge misses and Hawk’s shoulder hits the post. Jeff takes over and hits a Russian legsweep. Lee tries to get his belt buckle off for Jeff to use. The delay lets Hawk hit a neckbreaker for the pin. I don’t ever remember Hawk winning a singles match without it being against a team they were feuding against.

Southern Justice jumps the LOD post match and Droz comes out to cancel out Jarrett.

Here’s Vince with his goon squad. He talks about the paths of Austin and Undertaker intersecting at Summerslam. Tonight there’s going to be a roadblock though as they’ll lose the titles. Vince brings up the post main event attack last match, implying that Taker was in on it when Kane and Mankind jumped Austin.

Vince requests that Taker come out now to explain himself. Taker comes out to new music and Austin follows him before anything can be said. Austin says he threw Taker a beer because he looked thirsty. Austin has the Smoking Skull title now. I’m not sure if it made its debut here or not. I didn’t notice it last week. Austin throws the mic to Vince and leaves the tag belts behind.

Taker shouts at Austin to come back and says that’s what Vince wants Austin to do. He says Vince wants to drive a wedge between them, so come and take what belongs to Austin, meaning one of the title belts. Austin does so, ticking off Vince. He tries to leave again but Taker says that Austin is the safest guy in the company right now, at least until Summerslam.

Rock says he doesn’t care what’s going on with the tag champions because they’ll be winning the titles tonight.

HHH vs. X-Pac

Winner gets Rock, presumably at Summerslam, for the title. HHH is introduced as HHH rather than HHH Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Tilt-a-whirl gets two for HHH. HHH controls early with his power advantage, which is an interesting sight given that he’s still skinny here. Pac comes back with a spinwheel kick to take HHH down. The Game comes back with a jumping knee (different than his usual one) which gets two. Neckbreaker gets two. Facebuster by HHH but Pac hits a great looking spin kick for two. Pac loads up the Bronco Buster but Chyna trips him. That lets HHH win with the Pedigree. Interesting plot twist.

Rating: C+. Not bad and HHH seemed to be surprised by that ending. I don’t think they would fight or anything after this but it set up one of my favorite matches ever which launched both HHH and Rock about five levels up on the card. The explanation from Chyna should be interesting.

Pac gets in HHH’s face post match but they don’t fight.

Val Venis/Taka Michinoku vs. Kai En Tai

Teioh and Yamaguchi are with Kai En Tai here, along with Yamaguchi’s wife. Val starts with Togo and it’s time to bump and grind. Oh wait Teioh is on the team and not Funaki. Not that it matters as Taka turns heel, joining Kai En Tai and attacking Val. The match is thrown out.

Taka reveals that Yamaguchi’s wife is his sister, which makes her a disgrace to him. Val is out so they carry him to the back.

Post break they’re still carrying him.

European Title: D’Lo Brown vs. Dan Severn

Brown says he’s wrestling this under protest because most of San Diego isn’t from America. Brown controls to start and Henry comes out to second him. Blackman comes out as well. Severn starts slowly but hooks a few throws to take over. And here’s Shamrock to beat up Brown for the DQ. Another unrateable match.

Edge jumps D’Lo as he leaves and then leaves as well.

Kai En Tai beats on Venis some more.

Here’s Tiger Ali Singh, basically Ted DiBiase Sr. but Indian and minus the talent and charisma. He offers any woman $500 per piece of clothing they take off. His servant Babu gets to pick the woman, and of course she’s rather manly looking. She takes off her top and it’s disturbing. She goes to take her bra off and Singh says no. He’ll give her $500 for every piece of clothing she’ll put on.

We cut to the back and Val is taken into a room with the chopping block and Yamaguchi has a sword. Uh….POLICE???

Tag Titles: Owen Hart/The Rock vs. Steve Austin/Undertaker

The Nation tries to jump them to start and it’s a big brawl. Taker and Owen officially start and Owen goes down to Old School. Off to Austin who walks into a spinwheel kick. Rock comes in and you can feel the fans getting into it quickly. I wonder if they had any idea what they had here. Taker comes in and we go from some of the best chemistry ever to some of the worst. I never remember a very good Rock vs. Undertaker match.

Just like the Outlaws did last week, the challengers work over the knee of the Undertaker. Owen kicks his head off but Taker manages to bring Austin back in. Austin runs over Owen and even tries the Sharpshooter (BIG pop for that). Back to Rock and never mind as Owen comes in before anything happens. Owen tries a Sharpshooter but Austin kicks him off. Rock comes in and hits Austin low but the referee missed it. Austin and Rock slug it out and clothesline each other. Double tag brings in Taker and Owen and a chokeslam gets two. Austin pulls Rock to the floor and a tombstone retains the titles.

Rating: C. Not as good as last week but there’s no way you can screw up Rock vs. Austin. There’s a chemistry there that might be the greatest of all time. The match was more of a brawl than a match but there was a better level of a threat this week than last week. It’s pretty clear who will take the titles off Austin/Taker but it’s still fun to watch.

Post match the monsters attack again. Kane swings a chair but hits Foley by mistake. Taker gets the chair but hits Mankind with it (poor guy) when he had a clean opening at Kane. Austin puts Rock through a table and the Outlaws runs out.

We cut to the back where the door is broken down. Val is naked and Yamaguchi has the sword. He pulls it back and the lights go out. We hear a thud and the show is over.

Overall Rating: C. Not their best show again here but it has a pretty memorable moment. Also we got Rock vs. HHH set up. I think that could use a gimmick added on. Other than that there isn’t much here, especially not in the way of in ring stuff. That’s par for the course for the Attitude Era though so it’s not a huge issue.

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