Monday Night Raw – February 15, 1999: The Forgotten Rock vs. Mankind Match

Monday Night Raw
Date: February 15, 1999
Location: Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center, Birmingham, Alabama
Attendance: 13,906
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler

It’s the night after St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and the main story is that Big Show debuted in the Austin vs. McMahon main event. It’s the late 90s so you know that we’re going to get some Vince vs. Austin stuff. In other PPV news, Mankind and Rock fought to a draw, keeping the title on Foley. Let’s get to it.

We open with clips of the two main events from last night.

Cue theme song.

Here’s Commissioner Shawn Michaels to open things up. He introduces the men that will be facing off for the WWF Title at Wrestlemania: Austin and Mankind. Before Shawn can talk to them we get Vince who is in a big neck brace and has a big bandage on the top of his head. Vince talks about how he’s been humbled and defeated, although the fans aren’t thrilled with him. He wants to start things over and bury the hatchet.

For some reason Vince asks Austin for an apology. Austin apologizes for not giving Vince a worse beating than he already gave him. Vince talks about how Wrestlemania is going to see these two in the main event. There’s a problem with that though: Mankind didn’t win last night. It was a draw, so Rock should get a rematch tonight. Mankind says he’s in bad shape and asks for a week to get ready.

Here’s Rock who is banged up too. He says Mankind wants seven days but he doesn’t have seven minutes. This is when Rock has finally (see what I did there?) gotten his rhythm down on the mic. He doesn’t think much of Shawn but Michaels needs to make this match tonight. Mankind says he has testicles full of fortitude so he’ll face Rock tonight. Vince wants to make it a ladder match for some reason. Shawn says ok. Vince says one more thing: Paul Wight (Big Show. He wouldn’t get his more famous name for a few more weeks) is going to referee the title match at Wrestlemania.

Debra/Jeff Jarrett vs. D’Lo Brown/Ivory

Jarrett and Owen are tag champions here and this is fallout from a title match against Brown/Henry last night. Jarrett runs away from a charging Brown and we stall to begin things. Things get going and Jarrett gets taken down by a leg lariat and again by a clothesline. A middle rope knee drop misses though and Jeff takes over. There’s the Figure Four but Ivory comes in to rake Jeff’s eyes. Brown slams him and hits the Low Down but here come the girls. BIG reaction for Ivory when she goes after Debra. The match gets thrown out. This was nothing.

Debra KILLS Ivory with the guitar post match. Owen comes in to help with the beatdown but it doesn’t go anywhere.

Big Show is introduced to the Corporation.

Here are HHH and X-Pac for a chat. HHH yells at the now Corporate Chyna and calls out Kane as well. Apparently the four of them had a tag match last night and Chyna pinned HHH. Cue Shane, Chyna and Kane for HHH to ask for a rematch. Shane gives Chyna the night off so that’s a no. Pac thinks we should just swap Chyna for Shane and we’ll have a rematch that way. Shane says he has no attire but if Pac will put the European Title up in a tag match, it’s on. Pac says cool.

Mankind is having issues with ladder climbing practice.

Intercontinental Title: Billy Gunn vs. Val Venis

Val is champion and won the title last night when Billy was referee for no apparent reason and allowed the former champion Ken Shamrock’s sister Ryan, who is sleeping with Val, to interfere and cost her brother the title. Got that? Billy misses a charge to start and Val beats him down in the corner. Gunn comes back with a hip swiveling neckbreaker for two. Val charges into a boot and misses a headbutt as Billy punches away. Ryan gets on the apron but Val sends Billy into the ropes, knocking her to the floor. Val grabs a quick German suplex to retain. Another short match.

Ryan limps into the ring to celebrate with Val but he dumps her.

The Ministry is here.

Billy tells Ryan he’s sorry for what just happened when Shamrock comes in and beats the tar out of him.

Here’s the Ministry, which consists of Undertaker, Paul Bearer, the Brood (Edge, Christian and Gangrel), the Acolytes, Mideon and Viscera. Last night they kidnapped Boss Man who later escaped. Bearer and Undertaker say that they want to own the company and there’s nothing Vince can do about it. While Vince has been dealing with Austin, Undertaker has formed an army to destroy the Corporation. He talks about the Higher Power which would wind up being a confusing story even by Russo’s standards. Cue Boss Man who makes a challenge for a six man Corporation vs. Ministry match. Taker doesn’t seem to object.

European Title: Shane McMahon/Kane vs. X-Pac/HHH

I think only Shane can win the title here and I have no idea if he has to pin Pac or not. HHH jumps Kane to start but he can’t really hurt him. Shane runs from the Game and immediately tags Kane back in. DX tries to double team the monster but they walk into a double clothesline. They try some High Low and Kane goes down, but he launches Pac to the floor on the kickout.

X-Pac goes after Shane but walks into a clothesline from Chyna. Apparently Kane can win the title too. A flying knee puts Kane down but only for a second. Kane takes him back down and hits the top rope clothesline. Shane wants in now and hammers HHH down which doesn’t work at all. Off to Pac and the fans are liking this a lot now. Chyna interferes again but Shane accidentally drills her. Bronco Buster is broken up by Kane but HHH knocks Kane to the floor. Chyna hands Shane the belt and a shot to the head of X-Pac gives Shane the title.

Rating: D+. This was a big mess but it gave the Corporation more reason to be hated. Shane wasn’t any good yet but obviously he would improve a lot. This was more about Chyna vs. DX though which was what it should have been about. That being said, it would all be pointless after Wrestlemania anyway. Match itself was nothing of note.

Shane and the Corporation have a big party to celebrate.

Hardcore Title: Steve Blackman vs. Hardcore Holly

Bob is champion. Blackman jumps him on the stage and they head into the back. Not that they have a camera ready or anything but after a few moments of looking at the stage, we catch up with them backstage. Holly throws a TV monitor at Blackman’s head which misses due to a high chance of death. Blackman throws him into some barrels as we hear Bob’s first name: Thurman. Now they’re outside and both are rammed into various things. Holly gets thrown into a dumpster and here’s Droz to beat up Blackman with some object. Holly gets the easy pin. Another nothing match.

Bob comes to the ring and complains about how many bad gimmicks and partners he’s been given over the years. He issues an open challenge for next week and Bart Gun of all people accepts it.

Test/Ken Shamrock/Big Boss Man vs. Acolytes/Mideon

Big brawl to start until we get to Boss Man vs. Mideon in a rematch from last night. They do nothing of note until everything breaks down and the lights go out. Here’s Undertaker and the Ministry heads to the ramp. Viscera and the Brood come out with Shane unconscious. They present him to the Undertaker who says Vince probably doesn’t care about his boy anyway. Taker gives Shane what looks like an envelope and says this is from the Lord of Darkness and is for Vince.

WWF Title: The Rock vs. Mankind

Ladder match remember. Rock is in workout gear and I’ve heard rumors that he did this for awhile because he was recovering from surgery to remove male breasts he developed from using steroids. That might be a joke but I’m not sure. Further research says that he did have the surgery but I’m not sure if it was due to steroids. Rock tells Mankind to put some salt on his hand and take a shot of the Rock. Ok then. Austin comes out to do commentary and scout for Wrestlemania.

Mankind knocks him to the floor to start and the brawl is on. Rock reverses him into the steps knees first and grabs a chair. The knee gets rammed into the chair and Rock brings in the ladder. That goes badly for him as the champ gets the chair and beats the ladder onto Rock with it. People’s Elbow by Mankind puts Rock down and Mankind goes up, but Rock hits him in the knee with the chair.

A chop block puts Mankind down again. Rock puts the ladder around the leg and beats on it with a chair. Almost all Rock so far. He goes for a climb but Mankind throws him onto the top rope. A hard chair shot puts Rock down but Rock pops up and hits Mankind in the knee with the chair. Mankind lands in the ropes but unties himself quickly. Back to the floor and Mankind is somehow still walking.

They go up to the stage area through the crowd and Mankind drops a few elbows. They head back to ringside and Mankind takes over. Mankind sets to piledrive him through the table but a low blow lets Rock hit the Rock Bottom through it instead. For some reason the title isn’t over the middle to the ring but rather off to the left by a few feet. Mankind somehow makes the save and pulls Rock off the ladder for a double arm DDT.

Both guys are down and here’s Mr. Socko. Rock shoves the ladder into Mankind and DDTs him down. Time for another climb but Mankind goes up on the other side as well. Rock reaches for the title but Mankind puts the Claw on at the same time. Cue Big Show to chokeslam Mankind off the ladder. Rock wins the title back.

Rating: B. These two are one of the pairings that will always have good matches together and this was no exception. It’s not as good as some of their matches but for a final match to their feud this was fine. It also set up Mankind vs. Big Show until Wrestlemania as well as giving us Rock vs. Austin in the main event of Wrestlemania. Good brawl here and for a TV main event you can’t ask for much more than that.

Austin Stuns Rock to end the show.

Overall Rating: B-. This was a different kind of build to Mania as other than the main event, everything was pretty much continuing the stories they already had coming instead of doing anything new. That’s not a terrible thing but it’s certainly different. This wasn’t a great show but other than the main event, it was your usual Attitude Era mess. It’s entertaining, but if you’re trying to keep track of what’s going on, watching a one night show is a hard thing to do.

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