Monday Night Raw – January 25, 1999: Talk About Gimmick Overkill

Monday Night Raw
Date: January 25, 1999
Location: America West Arena, Phoenix, Arizona
Attendance: 15,538
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole

It was a good night for the Corporation last night as Vince won the Rumble and Rock won the title back from Mankind in one of the most brutal matches you’ll ever see. This is kind of like a go home show in an odd way as we have Halftime Heat on Sunday. Anyway tonight we have Rock defending his newly won title against HHH in another I Quit match. I’ve also already done the next week’s show and the link is below as usual. Let’s get to it.

We open with stills and audio from last night where Rock cost Austin the Rumble and gave the win to Vince.

Cole’s voice is gone as he shouted a lot last night.

Shane brings out Vince to start the show. The Corporation comes out with the boss and carries him on their shoulders. Oh and Vince finally has his signature theme music now. Vince: “I’M GOING TO WRESTLEMANIA!!!” Well I’d hope so. Things usually fell apart when he wasn’t around. Vince talks about how Rock also won last night and says that since Rock was at ringside (distracting Austin), he gets the $100,000 bounty.

Apparently Rock didn’t get much sleep last night. He was out partying all night, but once he got home he broke into a cold sweat because he’s facing Vince at Wrestlemania. However, that’s not a problem because Vince has filed paperwork to say that he’s no longer the #1 contender. He gets to pick the challenger though. Vince says that Austin will never get another title shot, nor will he get another match with Vince.

This brings Austin to the Titantron, live from Texas (remember that we’re in Arizona). Austin says that he’s going to Wrestlemania, which Vince says is because Austin is buying a ticket. You know, because Austin couldn’t get any match on the card. Austin says he’ll be in the main event, and the Commissioner says so. We go to a wider shot to show Shawn Michaels next to Austin. Did I forget to mention that we were in San Antonio, Texas?

Shawn says that he’s giving Austin protection from himself. If Austin was in the arena tonight, he would destroy Vince and that’s not good. Apparently Shawn has taken a look at the WWF Rule Book (oh I’d LOVE to get my hands on a copy of that) and it says that if the winner of the Rumble steps aside, the person that comes in second gets the title shot. Vince looks like he’s about to be sick.

Austin says he’d love to have the title back but he’d rather beat up Vince more. Therefore on Valentine’s Day, he’ll put up the title shot if Vince will face him in a match. If Vince wins, Austin loses the title shot. However, Austin doesn’t want Vince to be able to run, so let’s make it a cage match. Austin sweetens the offer, saying he’ll NEVER get another title shot. That’s enough for Vince, so Austin guarantees victory. This came off as really serious, which is why Shawn smiling in the background was so annoying. Good stuff though.

An armored truck, presumably with Rock’s money, arrives.

Billy Gunn vs. Goldust

Gunn’s ankle is still messed up from last night. HHH says no catchphrase tonight, because he wants Rocky right here. He doesn’t think Rock made Mankind say I Quit and he knows Rock can’t make him say I Quit. HHH remembers the last time they fought for a title when HHH took the IC Title off Rock, but for once, be a man and accept the challenge.

Oh yeah we have a match here. Goldust jumps Billy from behind and tries for Shattered Dreams about a minute in. Billy counters by mooning Goldie, making him miss a cross body. Now Goldust’s music and pyro go off, and the Blue Freaking Meanie comes out dressed as Blue Dust. Billy gets two off a rollup and three off a piledriver after Blue Dust hit Goldie with the Head. Angle advancement here.

Mankind is here.

Here are the Oddities for a match but Rock interrupts. Rock tells them to get out of the ring and accepts HHH’s challenge for later tonight. Rock is done, but we cut to Mankind in the back as he hijacks the armored truck. He takes a bag of money out of it and heads to the arena. Mankind comes to the arena and says that Rock has his title, but Mankind has Rock’s money. He starts throwing the money away and tells Rock to stay back.

Mankind says he remembers getting hit in the head by a chair a bunch of times, but he does not remember saying that he quit. Instead he remembers being unconscious. However, with the help of the production team, he thinks he’s solved the mystery. We get a clip from Heat of Mankind screaming at Shane that he’ll never say the words I Quit. He says them in a very specific way, and interestingly enough, the time when he said the words in the match were in the exact same tone and speech pattern. Also, he doesn’t appear to move when he gave up, which makes Rock angry. Cole: “I KNEW IT!”

Therefore, Rock has no legitimate claim to that title. Mankind wants his rematch, and he wants it during Halftime Heat, in an empty arena match. This was actually a very clever way to make sure very few spoilers got out. As for the money, Socko is going on a shopping spree. Rock says deal, so Mankind says Have A Nice Day!

Droz vs. George Steele

Wait, because here’s Mideon to ask Lawler and Cole if they can see it. Whatever it is, it’s going to cover the place. For no apparent reason, George is in sunglasses. He immediately bites Droz’s arm and hits Drozdov in the arm with some kind of spike. The turnbuckle is bitten open, but Droz rams him into the buckle for the pin.

The Oddities save Steele from the beating.

The Stooges give the tag champs advice and also some salt peter to drink. For those of you unfamiliar, it’s stuff used in the military to tone down male sex drives.

Debra says no one can resist her. Mark Henry comes up to hit on her and Debra seems interested.

Tag Titles: Owen Hart/Jeff Jarrett vs. Big Boss Man/Ken Shamrock

Boss Man vs. Jarrett to start with Boss Man cleaning house. The baseball slide into the right hand has Jeff in trouble (he and Owen are challenging) but he avoids a charging Boss Man in the corner. Owen comes in and stomps away, drawing a nugget chant. A big clothesline from Shamrock puts Owen down as Debra tries to blow kisses at Shamrock. An enziguri puts Ken down as does a powerslam, which gets two.

There’s the spinwheel kick to Shamrock’s jaw but a top rope dropkick misses. Debra gets on the apron and opens her jacket to reveal her bra, but Shamrock suplexes Owen anyway. Debra takes off her top entirely and there’s the ankle lock to Owen. Everything breaks down and cue the Blue Blazer with a guitar shot to Shamrock, giving Owen and Jeff the titles.

Rating: C-. Most of that is for Debra, which says a lot about this match. Nothing to see here for the most part as Owen and Jarrett weren’t that interesting as champions, but they would hold the belts until after Wrestlemania. Tag team wrestling was getting desperate for a new team to take the division by storm, but it would be another seven months before that happened.

Owen says he’s vindicated because he’s not the Blazer.

Here are Shane with the Stooges and some REALLY bad music. Shane has an issue with Kane, as he’s screwed Vince over lately. Last night after the Rumble, Kane came up to the McMahon suite and apologized. Shane invites Kane down to the ring and here’s the Big Fried Freak. Shane asks Kane to repeat the apology, but in public. Kane uses the voicebox to talk but Shane wants Kane on his knees. Surprisingly enough Kane does it, but that’s STILL not good enough, because Kane was only on one knee.

This brings out X-Pac who says that the Corporation needs to back off. Kane is too big and tough to take this kind of nonsense. He offers Kane a spot in DX and challenges Shane to a fight right now. This earns him a chokeslam from Kane, who apparently wants to stay in the Corporation because they have good dental. Shane gives Pac a Bronco Buster.

Earlier today, PMS took D’Lo Brown shopping. They want him to get them feminine hygiene products. Egads Terri acting is not a pretty sight. Nothing about Jackie is a pretty sight. He has to get a price check and the clerk recognizes him.

Here’s Val Venis’ latest video: Saving Ryan’s Privates/Sister Act. Naturally it’s focused on him and Shamrock’s siter Ryan, setting up Shamrock’s next title defense. It’s Val getting into the shower with Ryan, likely much to Shamrock’s chagrin.

Val Venis vs. Test

Nothing of note happens until Ken comes out and blasts Billy with a chair, sending him into the pumphandle slam for the pin.

Billy Gunn comes out for the save but Val thinks Billy hit him with the chair. Val takes out the bad ankle and we’ve got a threeway feud.

Road Dogg/Al Snow vs. Gangrel/Edge

This is a hardcore tag match and the non-vampires jump the fang dudes as they come up through their ring of fire. They brawl up on the stage before going down onto the concrete. Make that into the back as we can barely keep track of what’s going on. Gangrel crushes both of the opponents with a dumpster before Edge beats on Dogg some more. They fight into the back as Gangrel has silverware thrown at him.

Roadie gets hit in the back by a chair and put on the catering table. Snow and Edge slam chairs together before they fight into the women’s room. The Ho’s are chased out of there and Snow walks out with a toilet seat around his neck. All four guys go on top of something too dark to see before crashing through a table. Blue Dust was involved in there somewhere, giving Snow Head back. Dogg pins Gangrel.

Rating: D+. The problem here was that you couldn’t see a thing for the most part. It was one of those “let’s walk around and find whatever we can to throw each other into” matches which aren’t the easiest things in the world to talk about. The Brood would be switched up to give us Edge and Christian soon after this.

Taker says the evil begins tonight.

Snow wants another shot at the Hardcore Title, but wants 2/3 falls. Dogg says it’s a deal, but here’s the Ministry to beat all of them down. Mabel was brought into the team last night.

Taker is watching from his throne and says this will be a holy war.

Buy the PPV replay even though we’ve told you all the results!

WWF World Title: HHH vs. The Rock

I Quit match. HHH takes over to start with a bunch of punches both in the middle of the ring as well as in the corner. Just in case one of the areas got lonely I’m assuming. Rock gets sent to the floor and there’s a baseball slide. The champ starts to walk away so they fight up to the stage. HHH is rammed into the set but he comes back with a clothesline to take over. Rock won’t say it so HHH rams his head into the stage.

Back to ringside where HHH is sent into the timekeeper’s table. It’s time for some Rock commentary with Rock saying HHH is half gay anyway. There’s a line you wouldn’t hear ever after the 90s. That fires HHH up enough to take it back into the crowd where he chokes Rock with a cord. Back into the ring we go but HHH gets the bell and hammer. Rock comes back with a spinebuster and drops the Elbow onto HHH with the bell. All that gets is HHH telling Rock what he can suck.

HHH pops up and hits a Pedigree out of nowhere but it doesn’t do much good here. We head back to the floor where HHH hits a second Pedigree. He loads up a third on the announce table but here’s the Corporation with Kane holding Chyna by the hair. Either HHH quits or Chyna gets drilled. HHH quits to end the match when Rock was dead to rites.

Rating: C+. It’s Rock vs. HHH, meaning it’s automatically worth a look. The ending kept HHH looking strong which is good as he was about to get pushed further up the card. Rock looked good here as well and the ending was ambiguous because he might not have given up. Things would be changing very soon for HHH and for the better.

Here are the beginning of those changes, as Chyna hits HHH low and joins the Corporation. A big HHH beatdown ends the show.

Overall Rating: C. You can see the screwiness coming already. The good thing about these shows is they go by so fast that you can’t really tell if they’re bad or not. Austin vs. Vince would of course be huge but it would be overtaken by Undertaker’s insanity for the next few months. The main problem continues to be the midcard, which ranges from just ok to horrible. Not a bad show here, but 1999 just isn’t a good year from a quality standpoint.

Here’s Halftime Heat if you’re interested:

Here’s the February 1st if you’re interested:

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews

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