Monday Night Raw – September 21, 1998: Austin, Kane, Undertaker And…..Billy Gunn?

Monday Night Raw
Date: September 21, 1998
Location: Power Balance Pavilion, Sacramento, California
Commentators: Jim Cornette, Shane McMahon, Kevin Kelly

It’s the go home show for Breakdown which will see Undertaker/Kane vs. Austin in what amounts to a handicap match. Other than that there isn’t much to talk about, but we have a freshly face Rock and a rapidly turning face Mankind so things have to be pretty entertaining around here this week. Let’s get to it.

Whoa where are Jim and Jerry? I can live with this new team though. Kevin Kelly is there too.

We open with Rock coming to the ring to meet Vince, Mankind and Shamrock. Undertaker and Kane are standing on the ramp to prevent Austin from attacking Vince. Tonight it’s Austin/whoever wants to join him vs. Undertaker/Kane. As for the other three in the ring, he’s here to ensure that none of them are going to be Austin’s partner tonight. Why should any of them settle to be a partner when they could be the same as Undertaker or Kane? By that, Vince means any of them could be world champion. If they don’t help Austin, they can be in a triple threat match tonight and the winner gets a title match next week.

Billy Gunn vs. Jeff Jarrett

Roadie has a throat issue so Billy has to do the entrance, complete with a cue card for his own name. All of the outside people are sent out and Billy jumps Jeff to start things off. Jeff escapes the gorilla press and a dropkick gets two for Billy. There’s a six man tag on Sunday between DX and Jeff/Southern Justice. Jeff comes back with a pair of dropkicks There’s the gorilla press from Gunn but Jeff pops up and hits a top rope cross body for two. DDT gets the same. Jim and Jerry are filming Man on the Moon apparently.

Billy misses a cross body as Shane is more fired up than anyone Raw has had on commentary in years. Out to the floor with Jarrett in control, only to be sent into the post by Billy. That does nothing at all as it’s back to Jeff stomping on him. Jeff goes up and hits Billy in the back as we hear about a Women’s Title match tonight, which would be the first time the title had been active in almost three years.

Russian legsweep gets two for Jarrett. Piledriver by Billy is broken up with a backdrop and both guys are down. Fameasser (not yet named) puts Jarrett down but a Stinger Splash misses and Billy runs into the referee. The guitar is taken away though and Billy hits a neckbreaker for the pin.

Rating: C-. Nothing great here but it furthered the feud between the two groups and helped to set up the match on Sunday which is about all you can ask for in a match like this. Billy was decent in the ring but I don’t think anyone wanted to see him as a singles guy ever. Jarrett got better in a hurry too.

We go to the back and Vince says he has no idea who will team up with Austin but the match is happening no matter what.

Here’s Austin for a chat. Things are starting to look bad for him because Undertaker and Kane are back there making deals with Vince. Undertaker says this is just business Coming after the title though is automatically personal because it means you’re coming after him. As for Vince, Austin isn’t going to moan about those stipulations because he’ll fight Undertaker and Kane on his own if he has to, just like he’ll do on Sunday.

Earlier today Undertaker and Kane arrived. I figured that would be confirmed when we saw them here earlier but you can’t be too sure I guess.

Headbangers vs. Oddities

Silva and Golga in this case. The Headbangers spray something in the giants’ eyes and choke Golga out before ripping up the Cartman doll. Kurrgan gets beaten up as well. No match.

Undertaker tells Austin to cool off with his threats. Due to his and Kane’s deal with Vince, they’re getting the title match.

Women’s Title: Sable vs. Jacqueline

Mero stays on the apron and distracts Sable so that Jackie can get in a shot to her back to take over. Jackie fires off some kicks into the ribs and a DDT gets two. She misses a crotch attack on the ropes though and Sable goes into catfight mode with a take down. Sable throws Jackie to the floor and knocks Mero off the apron as well. She suplexes Jackie back in but Mero holds the foot for the pin and the title for Jackie. I don’t think there’s a belt. Too short to rate but as usual Sable was bad in the ring.

Undertaker/Kane vs. Steve Austin/???

Before Austin gets in the ring, Billy Gunn comes out to be his partner. Ok then. Brawl to start with Kane hammering Billy to the floor. Austin and Taker start things off with Austin hitting the middle finger elbow. Off to Billy who has to stick and move. Taker misses a big boot and gets caught by a Fameasser for two. Back to Austin who sends Taker into the corner but gets clotheslined down.

Off to Kane but Austin fights back and tags in Billy. Chokeslam is broken up but Undertaker’s distraction allows Kane to knock him over the top. Billy is sent into the steps and we head back in. Taker comes in and beats on Billy but lowers his head so Billy can get in a boot. Taker looks at him and takes Billy’s head off again. Back to Kane who hits a big boot for two.

A regular clothesline sets up the top rope clothesline for two. Austin makes the save and flips off Kane. Well at least he’s multitasking. Billy and Kane hit a double clothesline and Gunn makes the tag to Austin. Stunner doesn’t work but the second attempt gets two on Kane due to a Taker save. Everything breaks down and the referee goes down. Chokeslam to Billy by Undertaker is good for the pin despite them both being legal.

Rating: C-. Standard main event style tag match here but I’m really not sure why they picked Billy Gunn of all people to be his partner. I know they lost all of the other main event players but still, Billy Gunn? Not HHH? Anyway, the match was fine but I really don’t know what it does for Sunday.

Austin clocks both guys with a chair post match.

Southern Justice vs. Disciples of Apocalypse

8-Ball and Mark start things off with 8-Ball getting two off a legdrop. Off to Knight and Skull with Skull taking his head off with a clothesline. Sidewalk slam gets two. They head to the floor and here’s Jarrett with a guitar shot to Ellering. The match just kind of stops.

Vince says Undertaker and Shane are going to take care of Billy Gunn later.

A REAL MAN’S MAN is coming.

Al Snow vs. Sgt. Slaughter

This is a boot camp match, which basically means a street fight. Before the match Snow does the questions about Head. If Snow wins he’s reinstated but if he loses he’s gone. Sarge jumps him and rips off Snow’s shirt as Cornette says that Snow is as crazy as a rainbow trout in a carwash. Snow comes back with a superkick and a slingshot into the post. Snow has Slaughter’s belt and whips the Sarge’s back and they go to the floor.

He gets a chair but his swing hits the post. A chair to the back of Snow gets two on the floor. Snow shrugs that off and hits something like Poetry in Motion up against the railing. A moonsault off the barricade only gets two. Cornette is just great on commentary, snapping off all kinds of analysis and insane things but staying entertaining the entire time. Snow goes up top with the chair but as he moonsaults with it, Sarge moves and Al hits canvas. Cobra Clutch goes on but Snow escapes. He breaks it up again with a low blow and Sarge takes off his boot. That goes nowhere and a shot with Head gets the pin for Al.

Rating: D. This was nothing but a way to finally give Al a reason to be around every week, even though he has been for like four months. Sarge is only so interesting and it was pretty clear that he wasn’t going to win here. I like Snow but this did nothing for me for the most part.

Patterson and Brisco run in post match for a beatdown on Snow but Scorpio makes the save.

Rock says he’ll be champion soon, that Mankind is a piece of trash and that Shamrock is proof that anyone can act tough.

Val Venis vs. Owen Hart

Dustin is on commentary. Val talks about cigars before the match. This was in the Lewinsky scandal so I think you know where this is going. Owen takes over to start as Shane taunts Dustin about his wife being in two adult films with Val. Owen pounds on Val some more and Dustin comes in for the DQ.

Val knocks him back and ties him up in the ropes. There’s a third video with her from Val which has Terri saying she was considering a reconciliation but has changed her mind.

European Title: X-Pac vs. D’Lo Brown

Brown is in the unusual position of having to use power here so he slams Pac down to take over. The legdrop hits but Brown poses too much. Brown misses a charge in the corner and Pac hits a spin kick, but the Bronco Buster misses and D’Lo takes over again. A middle rope moonsault misses Pac and he comes back with spinning kicks. There’s the Bronco Buster but Pac charges into the Sky High for a delayed two. Brown dives off the top but jumps right into the X-Factor to give Pac the title.

Rating: C. Not a bad match here and for a midcard title like the European Title, it’s fine to make DX look even stronger. Also I’m glad they didn’t mention the Nation vs. DX feud as it’s been done for awhile now. Fun little match here and it worked pretty well. Pac would lose the title back pretty quickly though.

Mankind says he feels like the little engine that could. On his best early to mid-afternoon, he could beat Rock on his worst late evening. As for Shamrock, he knows a lot of holds and Mankind doesn’t know how to get out of any of them. It takes a very tough man to beat Mankind, but it certainly doesn’t take very long. I love this guy.

The Rock vs. Ken Shamrock vs. Mankind

The winner gets a title shot next week. Rock and Mankind double team Shamrock to start but Mankind is the first to turn on his partner. They head to the floor but Shamrock hits a baseball slide to take out Foley. Foley comes back in the ring with the running knee to Shamrock’s head. Rock is down on the floor. Shamrock suplexes Mankind down so Rock comes in to pick their bones.

There’s the People’s Elbow but instead of covering, Rock throws Shamrock to the floor. He turns around and walks into a double arm DDT for two. Ken pulls Rock to the floor and sends him into the barricade. Back in, Mankind tries the Claw but Shamrock pounds away on his face. Shamrock has busted open Mankind’s left cheek. Rock comes in and it’s double/triple sleeper time. Foley comes back with the double jawbreaker and here come Vince, Kane and Undertaker.

Shamrock hits the belly to belly on Mankind and puts the ankle lock on him but Rock makes the save. Rock Bottom takes out Shamrock but this time Mankind makes the save. Shane hasn’t chilled out for the entire show which is both annoying and good at the same time. Undertaker pulls Mankind to the floor and the monsters beat him down. Rock hits his spinning DDT on Shamrock for two. Ken comes back with a standing rana and a powerslam for two. Shamrock gets sent to the floor and the monsters beat on him too. They get in the ring and beat down Rock so the match is thrown out somewhere in there.

Rating: C. I think it was pretty clear we weren’t getting a clean ending here and that’s ok. This was playing into the theme of drama all night long and that makes for a pretty interesting show most of the time. These three would have a cage match eventually with the winner getting a title shot, so at least we would get a winner there.

Post match Undertaker and Kane beat up Foley some more, which allows Austin to sneak up on Vince and beat him up to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. This is one where your taste will vary greatly. We’ve reached the point of soap opera Raws, as each show turns out to be a small piece of a huge story that won’t be revealed for months. That being said, it’s very interesting to see where these turns take us and it’s easy to see how this show was so successful. It would get better soon too.

Here’s Breakdown if you’re interested:

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  1. Wayne says:

    Man, THIS is the era I MISS so much. Anticipating (and watching) Raw during this period was an event in itself. Truly can’t miss TV.

  2. I remember watching this one live and being really surprised that Billy Gunn came out – and then imaging the story they could go with from there. It went nowhere though (thanks Russo!).

  3. Jay says:

    I kinda liked Billy Gunn teaming with Austin that night but being surprised at the same time. The Triple Threat is fun with Rock/Mankind/Shamrock,2 Title Matches with X-Pac winning his first of a couple European Titles,the Return of the Womens Title with Jackie winning. I think the physical Belt would come back either the next week after the PPV or before Judgment Day.

    Anybody know why JR & King didn’t do this RAW? Shane & Cornette along with Kevin Kelly doing Commentary here was fine though.