Monday Night Raw – November 16, 1998: Austin vs. Rock For The Title

Monday Night Raw
Date: November 16, 1998
Location: Rupp Arena, Lexington, Kentucky
Attendance: 17,610
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

So the YouTube channel I use to get house shows from has been shut down by the user so it’s back to Raw for me. On top of that, this is the show that I had a chance to go to but didn’t for some reason. The main event: Steve Austin vs. The Rock, the latter of whom has won the WWF Title last night at Survivor Series after turning heel and being revealed as the Corporate Champion. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of last night with Shane screwing Austin out of the tournament and joining up with Vince.

I believe there’s a new intro sequence now.

You can see the sign (Sable is the Bomb) my uncle and cousins were holding across from the camera.

Here are Vince, Shane and company to open the show. Vince says that whoever said you can’t fool all of the people all of the time was a fool. He says that Austin was a fool for not sucking up to the boss, but here’s someone that does: the Corporate Champion, the Rock. Rock says he didn’t sell out but rather he got ahead. He calls all of the fans trailer park trash and says he plans on raising the Corporate Eyebrow and dropping the Corporate Elbow. Rock says he would rather kiss up to Vince than the people which doesn’t please the people at all.

Vince wants to know what it’s like to kiss up to him. Ask Regal I guess. Shane says he kind of likes doing it and Rock seems very happy. Vince wants to show us something on the Tron but we see Austin arriving instead. Anyway, now we get a video package of the stuff Shane has done to convince Austin that Shane was on his side. Rock’s attack from last week was fake too. Of course this all begs the question: why would Shane have ever hired Austin back in the first place? He was gone completely legally, so why bring him back at all? Was it all just to mess with Austin? That’s a bit risky.

Not that it matters as here’s Austin to a BIG ovation. Vince reminds him that Austin can’t touch a McMahon unless physically provoked. Austin has a clip of Shane saying that Austin would get his title match the night after Survivor Series. Again, WHY WOULD SHANE EVER SAY THAT IN THE FIRST PLACE??? Vince says he overruled that but Austin pulls out a signed contract, apparently signed by Shane. Again, WHY WOULD SHANE EVER DO THAT IN THE FIRST PLACE??? Vince says it’s worthless, so Austin has a video of Judge Mills Lane (former TV judge) saying that it’s a legal document and Austin gets a title shot tonight.

New Age Outlaws/X-Pac vs. Oddities

Billy and Kurrgan start us off and it’s time to dance for the big man. A big boot to Billy’s “face” puts Billy down but a chop block does the same to Kurrgan. Off to Roadie and the place erupts. Kurrgan grabs a bearhug and slams Road Dogg down before bringing in Golga for some fat man power moves. A corner splash hits but a middle rope one does as well. Billy comes in with the Fameasser for two and everything breaks down. Shaggy, one of the Insane clown Posse, comes off the top but lands on Golga, giving Billy the pin. This was nothing.

The Oddities yell at the Clowns and the Headbangers run in to beat up Road Dogg.

Mankind is here and is very mad over last night.

Vince sends Patterson to find Mankind.

Here’s Shamrock with something to say. He isn’t pleased with last night and he’d rather fight than talk. Shamrock calls out Boss Man for a match later tonight and throws in the IC Title to sweeten the pot. That’s it. This took less than two minutes and got the point across. See how easy it can be?

Val Venis vs. Mark Henry

Val pounds away (get your minds out of the gutter) to start but walks into a forearm. A belly to belly puts Val on the floor and Henry rams him into the post a few times. Back in and Val makes a comeback, hitting a Russian legsweep followed by some right hands. That’s about the extent of it though as Mark launches him into the air. Here’s Chyna, fresh back from breast implant surgery I believe. The distraction lets Val roll up Mark for the fast pin. Another nothing match.

Henry asks Chyna out to dinner and reads her a poem. Chyna walks away. Gee she’s rude.

Vince yells at Patterson for not finding Mankind. Vince: “You couldn’t find your butt!” Brisco: “I know where that is Mr. McMahon.” Brisco gets the assignment to find Mankind now.

Goldust/Steve Blackman vs. Blue Blazer/Jeff Jarrett

Goldust and Jarrett get us going in a match that would seem to be better suited in another company. Goldie gets in some right hands and it’s off to Blackman who is dropkicked down. Off to the Blazer, complete with cape. Jarrett and Goldust fight on the floor as Blackman hits the bicycle kick on Blazer for another fast pin.

Blackman goes for Blazer’s mask but Jarrett and Owen Hart come in for the save. Remember the idea was that Owen was the Blazer but he kept popping up by the Blazer at other times.

Brisco found the boiler room that Mankind was in but “there were weird noises in there.” Now Slaughter is sent to capture Mankind. Vince wants to talk to Rock in private.

Slaughter didn’t find Mankind so Vince sends all three of them to get Mankind.

Steven Regal vs. Godfather

No match as Regal takes the offer of the women instead of the match. Regal: “My name is Steven Regal, not Elton John. I’ll take the broads.” Regal wouldn’t appear on Raw for almost two more years.

Godfather makes fun of Regal and calls him a fag. His word, not mine. A brawl breaks out Godfather gets the better of it.

Kane beats up some production guys near the trucks.

Vince fires up Boss Man.

Intercontinental Title: Ken Shamrock vs. Big Boss Man

Shamrock misses a high kick to start but elbows Boss Man into the ropes. The nightstick is grabbed by Ken but the referee takes it away. Spoilsport. The challenger (Boss Man) gets in a shot and takes it to the floor. Nothing happens there so we go back in for more punching. A kind of spinebuster gets two for Boss Man but he misses a charge into the corner. Shamrock comes back with right hands but as the referee pulls him off, both guys slug the ref down for the double DQ.

Rating: D. This is the longest match of the night and it didn’t even break four minutes. I guess the idea here was to set up another match and these two had been feuding lately, but it’s getting a bit annoying in that we’re over two thirds of the way done with this show and we’ve had barely ten minutes of wrestling.

Referees finally split them up and here are the McMahons. Vince talks to Shamrock and offers him a spot in the Corporation, which is accepted.

Kane is still beating people up when police sirens are heard.

Edge/Gangrel vs. Droz/Animal

Edge gets knocked to the floor very quickly and Gangrel is double backdropped. Droz and Gangrel (what great names there were back then) start us off and it’s off to Edge for a dropkick to the back. A move that would be tweaked and called Poetry in Motion by the Hardys keeps Droz in trouble but he pulls out a powerslam for two. Here’s Hawk on the stage and he climbs the Titantron. Animal and Droz go out to get him and it’s a countout.

After a break Animal and Droz are trying to talk Hawk down. Hawk yells about Droz and even Paul Ellering is out here to talk him down. Ellering tells a story about Hawk’s mother and Hawk tells him to shut up. Droz goes up after Hawk and appears to shove him off the Tron. This would lead to an angle that would somehow get more uncomfortable later on.

After that apparent nearly deadly plunge, here’s Sable who won the Women’s Title last night. She doesn’t have the belt here but I think people prefer her with less clothing. Oh Cole has the title in the ring. It’s a nice fit on him. She dedicates the title to the fans who made her but here’s Shane with a rebuttal. He says that Vince made Sable which she disagrees with. Sable declares herself not for sale and that’s that.

Hawk has been taken to a hospital.

Patterson and Brisco, in Kentuck Wildcat (WOO!) football uniforms go into the boiler room. Slaughter is in riot gear. All three are destroyed by Foley.

Here are the McMahons, Shamrock and Boss Man to complain about Austin having a contract for tonight. Tonight is Austin’s last shot.

WWF World Title: The Rock vs. Steve Austin

Rock misses a punch as Austin gets in and the fight is on. Some more punches miss Rock and the champ bails to the floor. Rock tries to head up the ramp so Austin jumps him and drops the middle finger elbow back inside for two. Another one from the middle rope gets two. All Austin for the first two minutes or so. Just as I say that, Rock comes back with a swinging neckbreaker to take over.

They head to the floor again and Austin is knocked into the crowd which apparently energizes him like a six pack. A chair is knocked away from Austin’s hands and Rock stomps away. Austin fights back but can’t piledrive the champ on the floor. We head back inside and Austin breaks up a sleeper, only to get elbowed down.

The Corporate Elbow debuts and it’s off to a chinlock. Here’s Mankind trying to get to Vince but he only gets Boss Man. Shamrock and Boss Man beat Foley down as Austin fights up. Both finishers are countered before the Stunner hits, but Shamrock pulls the referee out. Here’s Undertaker with a shovel and he blasts Austin in the head with it for the DQ and the end of the show.

Rating: C+. It’s Austin vs. Rock so you have to give them the benefit of the doubt here. The match was hardly a classic and was pretty boring for the most part, but they only had six minutes and a screwy finish to work with. Nothing to see here but like I said, it’s Rock vs. Austin so you have to take a quick look at least.

Overall Rating: C+. This show was all about building to a later show and there’s nothing wrong with that. The short matches really hurt and the explanation was stupid with Shane revealing multiple plot holes, but you can’t say this was dull. We also have a new opponent for Austin, but unfortunately it’s also the beginning of the beginning of the insane Undertaker period, which is bad all around.

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1 comment

  1. Wayne says:

    I remember this night SO well, especially the main event. And again, I MISS these days.