Monday Night Raw – January 18, 1999: I’ve Heard Of Combining Match Builds But This Is Nuts

Monday Night Raw
Date: January 18, 1999
Location: Montagne Center, Beaumont, Texas
Attendance: 7,454
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler

We’re back and it’s the go home show for the Rumble. The main stories going on here are Rock vs. Mankind along with Austin vs. Vince (of course), as we continue to get closer to Mania season. The main event tonight is Rock vs. Kane, who I don’t remember getting together that often other than for Rock to make fun of him. Let’s get to it.

We get the Martin Luther King video to open things up. Vince has always done this which is cool.

Here’s Austin to open things up. He goes through the usual stuff: He’s is #1 in the Rumble, there’s a bounty on his head, all that jazz. Austin says exactly what you would expect him to say in this case before talking about Mankind. He’ll be ready for the Rumble but he’s looking forward to facing Mankind for the title at Mania. The fans want him to beat up Vince tonight and win the Rumble on Sunday. This is one of the lamest Austin promos I can ever remember. Just nothing to it at all but the fans eat it up. Austin has a beer on the announce table and that’s about it.

Hardcore Title: Road Dogg vs. Gangrel

Dogg is champion and he says that even though his name isn’t Buffy, tonight he’s a vampire slayer. They start fast and the brawl heads to the floor with Gangrel in control. Dogg sends him into the barricade and then the steps before we go into the crowd. They slug it out out there before heading back to ringside for table time. The champ sets up said table but Gangrel hits him low and sends Dogg through the table via a powerbomb. That only gets two for Gangrel and Dogg comes back with a DDT onto the pieces of wood.

Another table is loaded up but Gangrel blasts Roadie with a piece of the broken one to take over. Some trashcan shots to the back slow Dogg down but he puts Gangrel on the second table. A shaky elbow off the apron doesn’t break the table and neither does a seated senton off the apron. A middle rope elbow mostly breaks it but Gangrel gets up first. Dogg whips Gangrel onto the broken table and follows it up with a suplex. A chair shot to the head from the apron finally ends Gangrel to retain the title.

Rating: C. This was a stiffer hardcore match than you’re likely used to as the title hasn’t turned into full on self-parody yet. It wasn’t good or anything like that but it was still fun at this point. Gangrel never did anything in the WWF so a match like this was a very strange thing to see from him. Decent match but nothing great at all.

Austin is still here.

Video on the Rumble.

Test vs. Billy Gunn

BIG reaction for Gunn here. Test’s shirt has a picture of a gun on it and says “Guns don’t kill people. I kill people.” Sign of the times man. Another sign of the times: America Online is sponsoring the show. They jockey for position around the ropes until Test elbows him down to take over. Billy comes back with a suplex and a middle rope elbow for two.

We head to the floor where Test takes over with the power stuff. As they come back in, Gunn guillotines him on the top rope a clothesline puts Gunn down but he counters the pumphandle slam. Billy’s piledriver is countered but he comes back with a Fameasser. Not that it matters though as here’s Shamrock to take Billy’s head off for the DQ.

Rating: D. This was just a backdrop for the ending to take place in front of. That’s the right move probably as the match on Sunday is about revenge for Shamrock, so having a crazy man like him snap before Sunday is the right idea. On top of that, would anyone be interested in seeing Gunn vs. Test go on any longer?

Post match Shamrock destroys Gunn and beats him up on the announce table. The ankle lock goes on and a bunch of referees get beaten up. Shamrock pulls out a hammer but doesn’t get to use it.

Halftime Heat is coming.

Billy gets his ankle looked at and screams very loudly.

Jarrett and Hart say they’ve beaten everyone and that they’re the next tag champions. Boss Man and Shamrock, the tag champions, come in and beat up the blonde guys.

Vince training video, this time showing him sparring in a ring. He Stuns a bunch of training partners and throws them out. These are still pretty funny. Shane: “AUSTIN IS GOING DOWN! WELL OVER ACTUALLY!”

Boss Man is beating on Mankind in the back. Mankind fights back but we lose the camera feed.

Dan Severn vs. Steve Blackman

Dan might have faked his neck injury and attacked Blackman on Heat last night to set this up. Blackman jumps him immediately and it turns into one of those annoying shoot style matches. Severn tries to ground and pound but Blackman takes his knees out. Dan comes back with a suplex but misses an elbow. Blackman gets fired up but Severn hits him low for the DQ. This was Severn’s last Raw match.

Blackman gets put in a dragon sleeper post match.

Mankind and Boss Man are still fighting.

Video on Rock vs. Mankind with both guys talking about how they’ll be awesome in the match. The theme seems to be that Rock will beat on Mankind but Mankind won’t quit. Nothing is mentioned of Mankind’s offense.

Mankind vs. Big Boss Man

They brawl into the arena and this is hardcore. The fight starts on the floor with Mankind going into the steps. Once they get in the ring we actually get a bell with Boss Man in control. Mankind comes back and drops a leg for two before pounding away a bit more. The champion elbows Boss Man to the floor but Mankind gets sent face first into a chair.

Several shots into the steps have Foley’s head in trouble before we head back inside. After Boss Man beats on him even more, Mankind comes back with a clothesline to slow down the punishment. There’s the double arm DDT and it’s Socko time. The Claw goes on but here’s rock with a chair shot to the back of Mankind head for the DQ. In a hardcore match.

Rating: C-. The very stupid ending aside, this was a pretty solid and brutal fight which did its intended job. Having Boss Man work over Mankind made sense as no one was expecting him to win, but he got to beat on Mankind for awhile and hurt the champion’s head, which would be chillingly revisited on Sunday.

Rock goes after Mankind’s head a bit more post match.

Henry begs Chyna for mercy because his mama is out there tonight.

Rock is worried about facing Kane tonight but Vince tries to play peacemaker. Kane is to lay down apparently. Rock calls Kane a retard and Vince demands that Kane do as he’s supposed to.

Here’s Chyna to force Mark Henry (numb nuts as she calls him) to make a decision about something. Henry’s mom is in the crowd. Henry comes out and says that nothing happened and can he please have the tape. Chyna says roll the footage. We see Chyna’s friend Sammi locking Henry in a room and kissing him. She goes down on him for a bit, Henry pulls up her dress, and Mark finds a penis. Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got a transvestite. Chyna yells at Henry and says his mom had this coming. Henry gets a low blow and his mama yells at him.

Patterson and Brisco talk strategy for their handicap match against Chyna tonight. They argue over who should get the pin.

Al Snow vs. Goldust

The winner of this gets to keep Head. Goldie stole it and we got Al Snow in drag because…seriously why was that a good idea? Goldust pounds away to start but walks into a suplex. They head to the floor almost immediately with Snow being dropped onto the steps. Apparently Gunn’s ankle is ok and he’ll be in the match on Sunday. Snow hits a rana back inside but gets caught by an uppercut and what would be named the Edge-O-Matic. A kind of forward belly to back suplex gets two on Al but Snow gets the same off a cross body. Out of nowhere an Oklahoma Roll gets the pin for Snow.

Rating: D. This didn’t do anything for me at all. Snow was a fine worker, but this story basically came and went in less than ten days. Just not much to see here, especially with how little time they had to work with. Goldust was just kind of there and that would be the case until he left for WCW in a few months/a year or so.

Post match Goldust steals Head again and hits Snow with Shattered Dreams. Goldie leaves with Head. This would result in Snow going insane.

Austin is still here.

Patterson tells Brisco to get the pin. Apparently Vince has said that Brisco should pin Chyna, which ticks Patterson off. These two are hilarious together.

Buy the WWF CD!

Mideon pops up and asks if Lawler and Cole feel it. He’s insane here as well and promises another sacrifice in six days at the Rumble.

Cue the Ministry with the torches and the throne. Taker talks about how Mideon is a once lost soul who has now been found. There will be another sacrifice at the PPV but we can’t comprehend who it’ll be. Ok then.

Chyna vs. Pat Patterson/Gerald Brisco

After a recap of the Corporate Rumble last week we’re read to go. There was an arm wrestling match last night on Heat with Chyna beating Vince (I think) as well. Brisco takes Chyna down to start but Chyna quickly takes over and shoots the half to take over. I don’t think the Stooges have to tag here. Patterson gets a shot now and he talks some trash. Chyna bends his fingers back so Pat puts her in an airplane spin.

Naturally it makes him dizzy so Brisco shoves him to the floor. Chyna beats them both up and we get the comedy groin shot. Patterson hits her low and Chyna is like dude, really? Chyna grabs them both by the balls and lets them argue. She sits on the top rope and stupidly allows Patterson to shove her down. Cue Sable of all people but Luna jumps her from behind. Apparently they’re fighting for the Women’s Title on Sunday in a strap match. Since freaking when?

Brisco does something like a People’s Elbow but the Stooges argue over who should cover. Now they slug it out a bit so Chyna rams their heads together. Brisco throws powder in Chyna’s eyes and they spank her around a bit. The Stooges grab her chest (Lawler: “WHAT’S PATTERSON DOING THERE?”) and Chyna clears her eyes out and beats them up easily. Both guys get DDT’d and she pins both of them.

Rating: D. I get the idea of comedy matches, but did we need molestation involved? On top of that, I’ve heard of hyping two matches at once, but what in the world was Sable coming out there for? Nothing to see here and the Stooges wouldn’t really be funny until they had their handicap match against the Mean Street Posse which is just awesome.

Austin is still here.

Rock and Vince make fun of Kane when he’s not around.

We recap Rock costing Kane the world title last week.

The Rock vs. Kane

Rock is in street clothes and seems to be limping a bit. All of the Corporation is with him here. The Corporation tries to calm Kane down and get him to take a dive with references to the Fingerpoke of Doom. Kane shoves Vince away and the big beatdown is on. Rock wants him all to himself and we get a bell. Dang and I had “no match” all ready to type. Some right hands stagger Kane but he throws Rock into the corner by the throat. A clothesline puts Kane on the floor and Rock pounds away a bit more.

Rock does his always funny commentary while wrestling thing but gets caught by the monster in the process. A low blow staggers Kane and we head back in. Rock hits some punches but the no selling by the monster begins. Another low blow puts Kane down and there’s the Elbow. Kane pops up and chokeslams Rock down but the Corporation runs in to throw the match out.

Rating: D+. It’s hard to get into these matches when you’re just waiting for the big ending and you know there’s no way someone is going to get a pin. Kane and Rock are a pairing that you didn’t see all that often which is kind of surprising given how they were both getting big at the same time. Nothing to see here as expected.

Post match the Corporation beats on Kane until Mankind makes the save. Rock bails and gets caught between Mankind and Austin to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. This is going to be one of those years where it depends on your taste in wrestling for the most part. The main feuds here are really well defined and they’re definitely going to be worth seeing on Sunday. The problem is the rest of the card, as there is NOTHING else worth seeing and almost nothing at all with any development at all. I guess you could say Shamrock vs. Gunn has been built decently, but that doesn’t exactly scream must see match to be. Anyway, watchable show here and it got me ready for the Rumble, which is the right idea.

Here’s the Rumble if you’re interested:

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1 comment

  1. Brendan says:

    The Sable/Luna match was actually announced at least a week or two before this show.