Monday Night Raw: December 21, 1998 – Swerves, A Title Change, Whipped Cream And Gerbils

Monday Night Raw
Date: December 21, 1998
Location: Spokane Arena, Spokane, Washington
Attendance: 9,487
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler

We’re about a month from the Rumble and there are only two shows left to go in 1998. The main story for tonight is likely going to be the debut of Test last week to end the show and what it means for the Corporation, who has all the titles of note right now. Other than that we’ll likely see the return of Austin after a one week absence which is never a bad thing. Let’s get to it.

Vince leaves and tells Shane he’s in charge tonight. Patterson and Brisco will be held responsible in case Shane screws up.

Cole calls the show an action adventure series and 15 seconds in, Lawler says in case you just joined us, Shane is in charge tonight. To be fair, today you would be expected to have a recap fifteen seconds in.

Here’s the Corporation to open things up. Shane is in charge tonight tonight because Vince is off training for the Rumble. Before Shane can get anywhere, here’s DX who says Shane may have the keys to the kingdom tonight, but DX has the keys to the boiler room. Here’s Mankind but before anything else can be said, Shane wants to talk about the Outlaws. Tonight it’s Billy vs. Shamrock (non-title) and Road Dogg vs. Boss Man (non-title as well). Also it’s Rock/Test vs. HHH/X-Pac and Shane vs. Mankind. Mankind and DX crack up. Total time to make four matches: seven and a half minutes. Takes notes modern WWE.

D’Lo tells Henry to not have sex before his match but Henry says it’s cool.

Al Snow vs. Gangrel

Snow pounds away on Gangrel and the fans want Head. A kick to Gangrel’s face puts him down and he charges into Snow’s boot to put him down again. Gangrel comes back with a neckbreaker and a floatover suplex for two. Snow puts Gangrel on the top rope but gets shoved off and a cross body gets two for Gangrel. A reverse DDT by Snow is countered but he hits the Snow Plow for the pin.

Rating: D+. This was a strange choice for an opener. It wasn’t a good match or anything and it was really basic. I’m not sure why this match was here unless there’s something post match. Snow was starting to get a reaction and the fans noticed it, which is why he got pushed a lot harder in 99. See? It’s not that complicated. Also take note, because it might be months before you see a 100% clean win on this show.

Post match the lights go out and Snow gets a blood bath. During the break Snow freaked out and said not again, not again. Normal night for Snow.

Intercontinental Title: Billy Gunn vs. Ken Shamrock

So why would Shane make this a title match? He’s in complete control and the Outlaws already beat Shamrock and Boss Man at the PPV, so why risk this? Shamrock immediately takes him down by the leg but Billy kicks Ken away. It’s a feeling out process to start but Billy takes him down with a drop toehold. The crowd is HOT tonight. The champ gets put in an armbar for a bit followed by Billy stomping away in the corner.

Shamrock takes Billy’s head off with a clothesline and it’s off to the leg as you would expect from a submissions guy like Ken. The leg goes around the post and remember that the leg was hurt in the tag match last week. After a chair is taken away from Shamrock, he goes back to strikes of all sorts to the knee. The standing rana gets two for Shamrock and a small package gets the same for Gunn. Another cradle gets two for Billy before Shamrock goes to the knee again. Ken tries a rolling leglock or something close to it, only to have Billy fall on him and hook the legs for the pin and the title.

Rating: C. This wasn’t bad at all here. Billy was a guy that had potential all the time but he never kept it going and people got tired of seeing the same stuff over and over again. Shamrock was great as a killing machine with a ton of submissions to use. You know the screwjob is coming though and here it is.

Immediately after the match here’s Shawn to say it wasn’t a title match, which makes sense in a screw you fans way. Billy moons Shawn and gets decked by Shamrock. Billy pops up and chases them away with his leg feeling fine.

Here’s Hawk with some bombs to drop apparently. Hawk admits that he has an addiction problem but now he’s clean. The surprise is that Droz was his supplier and Droz was just trying to steal Hawk’s job. Now that Hawk’s clean, Droz isn’t needed anymore. Droz comes out and jumps Hawk, who has a cast on his arm. Animal comes out for the save. This angle never clicked at all.

Henry goes into PMS’ locker room as D’Lo guards the door.

Steve Blackman vs. Blue Blazer

Blazer comes out and Owen comes out behind him. Why is this STILL going? The Blazer jumps Blackman and hits an enziguri to take over quickly. Blackman keeps going for the mask as Owen calls conspiracy last week, saying that the tape (on a live show) was doctored. Blackman makes a comeback and Owen comes in for the DQ.

Post match Goldust comes out to break up the double team. The mask is pulled off and it’s Jeff Jarrett. Ok, now no one needs to wear the mask again.

PMS (Terri and Jackie) are going to take a shower while Henry watches. Brown is getting frustrated outside.

Road Dogg vs. Big Boss Man

Road Dogg implies Boss Man and Test anally stimulate each other with nightsticks which makes Boss Man make this a title match by his own words.

Hardcore Title: Road Dogg vs. Big Boss Man

Boss Man takes over to start and whips Road Dogg into the corner and out to the floor. He takes too much time though and Roadie gets something made of metal and cracks the champ in the head to take over. A shot with the steps hit the post instead of Road Dogg but Boss Man gets in a shot with the same piece of metal from earlier to knock Road Dogg into the crowd.

Road Dogg gets thrown into the technical area and then choked by a pole of some kind. These early hardcore matches were wild messes which is the appropriate kind of match to have actually. Back to the ring and Boss Man whips Roadie with a thick belt. Boss Man pulls out some powder and gets it knocked back into his own eyes. Road Dogg whips him with the belt and it’s back into the crowd.

Boss Man finds a fan (as in one you use to cool off a room) somewhere and gets in a shot to slow Road Dogg down. Now he’s got a noose and chokes out Road Dogg for two in the middle of the crowd. A low blow from Road Dogg stops Boss Man and he puts a trashcan over the champ before diving off a wall onto him. The noose is still around Roadie’s neck though and he gets whipped into some walls with it. Here’s Mankind from the concourse with a net to tie up Boss Man. Mankind breaks something over Boss Man’s head and Road Dogg pins him for the title.

Rating: B-. That’s likely too high but I liked this a lot for some reason. It was a huge mess and that’s the idea of a hardcore match. They had to take something from the Corporation eventually just to stop the bleeding on the other side a bit. Road Dogg was very popular so giving him a title makes as much sense as anyone else. This was a fun match too.

PMS takes Henry’s clothes off before putting a studded collar on him. They give Henry a massage with a bunch of oils followed by covering his stomach with whipped cream.

We go to a commercial and come back with Jeff Jarrett ranting about women that piss him off. This would be the character that finally got people to hate him.

Back to the sex scene and we have Henry being strapped down to the table he’s on.

Bob Holly/Scorpio vs. Acolytes

The Acolytes destroy both JOB Squad guys to start and it’s Holly vs. Bradshaw to start. Scorpio comes in and things go badly for 2 Cold (Scorpio). Off to Farrooq who helps Bradshaw with a double spinebuster but Holly distracts the Acolytes long enough for Scorpio to get up and kick Farrooq down. Everything breaks down and the Acolytes beat them up so badly that the referee just calls it a DQ win for the JOB Squad.

Shane McMahon vs. Mankind

The Stooges are here with Shane and they look scared to death because of Vince saying whatever happens to Shane is their fault. Shane pops Mankind with some lefts and rights but a single shot from Mankind puts Shane down. There’s the double arm DDT but instead of covering, Mankind goes to the floor to get a chair and the mic. Shawn is holding the Corporation back on the stage. Mankind pulls the chair back but Shane falls down before Mankind can hit him. Foley hands Shane the chair and says lay him out and make Vince proud. Shane hits him with it but it has no effect. Patterson and Brisco come in and it’s thrown out.

Mankind beats up the Stooges and grabs Patterson’s crotch. Shane gets kneed in the face and here’s Socko. The Corporation and DX come out and it’s a Bronco Buster from X-Pac to Shane.

Patterson and Brisco are worried about their bonus.

Brown tries to get Henry to come out for their match but the door is locked and Henry isn’t coming out.

Mark Henry/D’Lo Brown vs. Headbangers

I wonder how many years that head swivel added to Brown’s career. We cut to the back and Henry is still tied down while Jackie whips him. He’s also ball gagged and there are testicle clamps involved. Professional wrestling ladies and gentlemen! It’s basically a handicap match and Brown gets caught by a top rope clothesline. Brown hits a Liger Bomb out of the corner on Mosh for two. Off to Thrasher who takes the Sky High for two as Lawler is getting reports of gerbils in the back. Mosh misses a middle rope elbow but the numbers keep the Bangers in control. A double flapjack pins D’Lo in short work.

Henry stumbles to the stage in underwear and with shackles around his wrists. Brown is MAD.

Vince gets back and goes to find Shane. It doesn’t seem that Vince has been watching the show.

X-Pac/HHH vs. Test/The Rock

Before the match Shawn throws out DX. Vince comes out and says let them stay. Ok then. Rock and X-Pac start things off and Pac hits a kick to the chest and an armdrag to take over. Off to HHH vs. Test with the bigger guy (Test) looking as awkward as ever (which is pretty awkward). Rock’s distraction lets Test get in a big boot to somewhere around the face for two.

Rock comes in to beat HHH down some more and test gets two off a side slam. HHH gets in a facebuster and makes the tag so things can speed up a bit. Some kicks in the corner put Test down and there’s the Bronco Buster. Test dumps Pac to the floor and things break down a bit. Pac gets crotched against the post by Rock and DX is in trouble. Back in with Rock vs. Pac and a slam sets up the Corporate Elbow for two.

HHH comes in sans tag to clothesline Rock down, only to result in X-Pac getting double teamed. Off to Test who misses a clothesline and gets his head kicked off by X-Pac. There’s the hot tag to HHH who cleans house and hits a high knee to Rock and a facebuster to Test. Everything breaks down and HHH hits the Pedigree on Test but Rock makes the save. There go the lights and here comes Kane, who is suddenly not institutionalized. He chokeslams HHH and the rest of DX. Apparently Kane is the holiday bonus for the Corporation. The match is thrown out.

Rating: C. The match was fine and given that it’s the Attitude Era, expecting a pin or submission ending in a main event is asking way too much. Test didn’t look like anything more than a taller and slower Boss Man here, so adding in Kane sort of makes him look worthless. Nothing great to see here but HHH and Pac always had some chemistry together.

Kane grabs Chyna by the throat to end the show.

Overall Rating: C-. This show started well but the ending brings it down for me. The Hardcore Title changing was finally something going bad for the Corporation but they come back with an even bigger win in the form of Kane. Now given that it’s Kane his heel turn likely won’t make it past the end of the year, but for now it defeats a lot of the purpose of the stuff earlier tonight. Not a bad show at all, but the ending pulls it down.

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